Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

November, 2003
Regional Report

Books

The Meaning of Herbs
I picked up a copy of The Meaning of Herbs, by Gretchen Scoble and Ann Field (Chronicle Books, 2001; $16.95) at the new Conservatory gift shop as a gift for a friend, but I couldn't bear to part with it. It is a delightful, illustrated dictionary of herbs and their uses throughout history, including magical and medicinal uses. The illustrations are wonderful! The herbs are listed in alphabetical order, with both the common and botanical names.

Goldenrod, for example, as legend has it, grows where secret treasure is buried. Good information to have on hand, don't you think?

Favorite or New Plant

Money Plant
Lunaria, or money plant, brings good luck to your garden. The "coins" that are the seedpods develop in late summer and eventually dry to a papery silver, perfect for flower arrangements. Lunaria is not particular about soil and will thrive even in clay. It is drought tolerant and requires moderate watering during the growing season. This biennial plant has violet, mustard-like flowers during the spring, which develop into the coins as they mature. The foliage is serrated and heart shaped. The entire plant stands about 3 feet tall. Nice for planting in a mixed border. Besides, we need all the "money" we can get our hands on!

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