Northern & Central Midwest

May, 2005
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Dichondra
My new favorite for hanging baskets is Dichondra micrantha, also called kidneyweed. It is a perennial ground cover where it grows in its native New Zealand, and a cultivar called 'Silver Falls' is showing up in garden centers in this country to be grown as an annual. This lovely silver plant has tiny, fan-shaped foliage on long silver stems that cascade about three feet long. It grows best in full sun, although it will tolerate some shade and is generally drought tolerant -- perfect for a container. It makes a beautiful foil to annuals in all shades of yellow, blue, red, and purple.

Clever Gardening Technique

Movable Trellises Make House Maintenance Easier
Do you paint your house every couple of years and have a love-hate relationship with the trellises attached to the siding? Install trellises with hinges at the bottom and hooks and eyes at the top to hold them to the siding or fence. When it comes time to paint, simply unhook and lower them, plants and all, gently to the ground. When painting is finished, raise them back up and hook into place. Easy!

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