Northern & Central Midwest
The Gardener's Guide to Growing Asters, by aster specialist Paul Picton (Timber Press, 1999; $29.95), has a wealth of information about growing all types of asters, including some history, a lot of information about culture, and breathtaking photographs of different varieties.
Tool or Gardening Product
Bamboo, Bamboo, and More Bamboo
Bamboo poles of half inch or 5/8 inch are indispensable in my garden. I order them in boxes of 50 and use them for tomato and cucumber A-frames, bean teepees, pea stakes, fence posts, rose trellises, hose guides, and anything else I can think of. They are attractive, durable, and inexpensive -- just what I like in a garden tool.