Book Review – Gardening with Less Water by David A. Bainbridge.

4 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Storey Publishing for providing me with a free ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review.

Living in the Adelaide Hills as I do, this is the perfect book of gardening advice for my area. We are a dry, arid area for most of the year and our climate soars into the low to mid 40’s Celsius in the summer and drops to just below zero Celsius in the winter. It is a hot, dry place for most of the year and wanting to keep a garden for ourselves, as well as the native animals, birds and insects while not paying through the roof for water is hard. Which is why I wanted to read ‘Gardening with less water’ and why I absolutely LOVED it! I want an Olla… actually I want several! Hubby was reading the ARC over my shoulder a lot and we have some odds and ends around the gardening we hope to play with shortly to see how we can improve our garden on less water – all thanks to this book.

To list some of the great information I got from this book, the first few chapters explore the different ways to water plants. You have your olla, wick, drip feed and so much more. And as much as I enjoyed the step by step instructions on how to make these watering devices out of objects readily at hand, I do wish they discussed grey water more. As in, which forms of watering in this section were better suited to the use of grey water, and which weren’t? Yes the use of grey water was touched in chapters later, and sometimes almost mentioned during the different types of water saving devices… but not enough for me to feel comfortable in using it with any of the new devices except maybe in deep pipe irrigation system.

Chapter eleven is well worth a read too as, although not precisely set for the Australian climate, it was a wealth of knowledge on how to study your garden, climate and micro climates within your garden and figure out which water saving techniques best suited. From small patio pot plants through to farming, this chapter covered it all and it is the chapter I can see myself going over again each time I plan something new in my garden to ensure I’m getting it right.

I will say now that the reason I didn’t give the full 5 stars is two-fold. One part is it wasn’t a book set for the Australian climates (my fault, I chose to read it knowing it was based in the USA) and the second reason being South Australia is already pretty water savings savvy so there were areas of the book that told me things I already knew. We have a saying here in South Australia: When it rains you don’t need an umbrella, you need yet another rain water tank! We harvest as much as we can, especially as there are many farms and towns surrounding my own that still don’t use mains water and the people living their survive only on what the rains bring. Other than that, this book was fantastic.

Would I recommend this book for others?

Yes, absolutely yes! As the book says in chapter twelve – water conservation should start in our own homes, streets, schools, towns, etc. And ‘Gardening with less water’ is a perfect book of advice, guidance and inspiration to get that happening everywhere!

Would I buy this book for myself?

Despite it not being an Australia book, yes. There is just so much information to be gained from this book that can be used here in my hills; I wouldn’t need to seek out a book based in Australia to replace it. It is perfect the way it is and such an inspiration to get the whole world saving water on small and grand scales alike.

In summary: We, the world, need this book. Little things combined can make big differences and with a book like ‘Gardening with less water’ to guide us we can help save water and help bring the world back to life. Water conservation isn’t just better for the environment either. It is better for us as it can allow us to grow more of our own food and it’s better for our budgets if all we want to do is have a lush, green garden while using far less water. I’m adding this book to my Amazon wish list I love it so much and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO



  1. Hi JJ Herb container with olla irrigation for your patio or porch: How to by David A. Bainbridge, produced by S. Rood.

    see also free resources at www://

    Liked by 1 person

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