Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

May, 2004
Regional Report

Books

Landscaping with Ornamental Grasses
Sunset Publishing Company is quick to jump on the bandwagon when they spot a new trend, and ornamental grasses are hot right now in the California landscape scene. Landscaping with Ornamental Grasses, by Fiona Gilsenan (Sunset Publishing Company, 2002; $14.95) provides readers with a glossary of common and hardy varieties, suggestions for how to use grasses in the landscape, seasonal maintenance tips, and even a section on how to use grasses in floral arrangements. Beautifully photographed and well laid out, if you are thinking of incorporating grasses into your landscape, check this book first.

Favorite or New Plant

Fuchsia
Fuchsias are so elegant and hardy, it's hard to imagine a shady garden without one. Every little girl should have at least one pair of fuchsia earrings in her past. There are many different varieties to please every gardener. Colors range from red to purple, white, pink and of course, fuchsia.

The Brazilian fuchsia mite put a damper on things for a few years, but it is finally coming under control. If you find distorted foliage, simply clip it off and dispose of it in a covered container. Dip your shears in a 10 percent bleach solution to avoid spreading the mite between plants.

Fuchsias bloom on new wood, so once they have finished the initial bloom, feel free to cut them back dramatically. They are also heavy feeders, so pour on the fertilizer. Just remember to rinse the foliage with fresh water after feeding. Keep the plants damp at all times and you should have good luck.

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