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It's not everyone's cup of tea

June 30, 2005

Re the cover story on English gardens [June 23]: Finally more diversity in your gardening articles. As much as native grasses and plants seem to be a constant politically correct running theme in your Home section articles on gardening, I have no interest in planting them.

I loved the article on English gardens. I have this type of garden and enjoy input from others who also plant gardens of this type. It is beneficial to all to be exposed to a variety of ideas. The suggested water conservation tips were good ones to consider for English gardeners in our climate.

Margy McDonnell

Westlake Village


I'm afraid that you misled your readers with this article and its accompanying photographs. The writer waxes lyrical about the English cottage garden and encourages us to adapt the idea. However, not until near the end does she mention water needs. "One myth, quickly dispelled, is that an English garden has to be a water hog." In this single paragraph on the subject she lists three California natives and suggests that "climateadapted perennials" can be used to save water in such a garden, with no further suggestions. On the front page, however, the plants shown, such as delphiniums, lobelia and hydrangeas, all need ample water to thrive. In Southern California, where water is in short supply and we should be using it carefully, this is irresponsible and misleading journalism.

Susan Shields

Santa Barbara

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