Nature builds soil naturally. You can too. Weedless Gardening, by Lee Reich (Workman Publishing, 2001; $8.95), can teach you how. Learn to build soil easily and naturally, from the top down. The book is easy on the budget, the techniques very easy on the back, and the advice will turn your lot in life into a fertile garden of Eden.
Favorite or New Plant
Ornamental grasses are finally receiving the attention they deserve in our landscapes. One group of grasses leading the pack in popularity are the various types of miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis). They form attractive, 5- to 6-foot-tall clumps of foliage that waves gracefully in the breeze all summer. Then in late summer to fall they enter their "second season" as their fuzzy seed heads emerge above the clumps. When freezing temperatures shut down the landscape, the grasses turn a beautiful, golden, straw color for the winter season. There are a number of varieties to choose from, including dwarf types and variegated types. Plant maiden grass in full sun. Once established, its watering needs are minimal.