Perennial Combinations; Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start, by C. Colston Burrell (Rodale Press, 1999; $29.95) is a must for gardeners who want to create stunning combinations of flowers and get color and interest in every season. With photographs of many featured combinations, plant names, and growing tips, this book is about as practical as they come, yet inspiring too.
Favorite or New Plant
Johnny-Jump-Up (Viola tricolor)
If it's early color you want -- winter through spring -- plant Johnny-jump-ups, or violas. These durable little plants spread cheer and color when you least expect it. Plant from seed or purchase them in cell packs at your local garden retailer. They prefer well-drained soils with ample organic matter, such as compost, added to the planting area. Locate them in full sun to part shade.