Middle South

February, 2004
Regional Report

Books

Deckscaping
There is so much room for change in a deck garden that an idea book is great to keep around. My favorite is Deckscaping, by Barbara Ellis (Storey Books, 2002; $19.95). It's packed with ideas you may never have considered, like including ornamental grasses for their flowing texture, growing pretty peppers in pots, or fine-tuning your plant choices to attract butterflies. Practical matters like choosing furniture or using awnings are covered as well.

Favorite or New Plant

Bishop's Weed
Whether you call it ammi or bishop's weed, this is a great cool-season annual to weave into mixed flower beds. Its frothy white flowers go with everything, and they are the most versatile cut flowers you can grow. The rounded umbels look like Queen Anne's lace, but they shed very little pollen and last more than a week in a vase. Start the seeds indoors now, and set out the little plants under milk carton cloches when they are six weeks old. I've grown both Ammi majus and Ammi visagna 'Green Mist' with equal success. Ammi majus is quicker to bloom, but 'Green Mist' flowers over a longer period of time.

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