Coastal and Tropical South
Roses That Grow
Antique Roses for Southern Gardens, by William Welch (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2004; $24.95) was written to dispel some of the myths around growing roses in our region. The author not only grows roses, he researches, photographs, and arranges America's favorite flower in gardens and vases to celebrate their diverse beauty. Best of all, this book includes ratings of roses by gardeners on the Gulf Coast, so you can use it as a shopping list or pat yourself on the back for the roses you grow successfully.
Favorite or New Plant
Called the "spring debutante" by Steve Bender of Southern Living magazine, flowering almond (Prunus triloba) leads the pack for early spring-flowering shrubs and trees. Sometimes sold as double-flowering plum, its pink flowers choke each stem for its length before the leaves unfurl. Rather nondescript the rest of the year, flowering almond is not a specimen plant but an essential addition to cottage-style designs and beds featuring the first of spring's blossoms.