Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2005
Regional Report

Web Finds

Weekend Gardener
This Weekend Gardener site is maintained by people who garden, and it will give you access to handpicked garden links and seed-starting information for many flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Perhaps the most useful part of the site is the custom-growing guide organized by USDA hardiness zone. I use it weekly to prompt me on what I should be doing since I'm not so great at watching my calendar!

Favorite or New Plant

Korean Angelica
Korean Angelica (Angelica gigas), an old-fashioned plant that is coming back into vogue, can give your perennial border a dramatic statement. Best of all, it grows in partial to full shade -- perfect for a woodland garden. Provide it with organic soil and moisture in dry times and the plant will thrive.

This short-lived perennial has purple buds and stems, and huge dissected leaves. If you grow it from seed, small rosettes will give way to one or two sturdy purplish stems with bold leaves. The following year, several leaf stalks emerge and then in midsummer, a flower stalk appears. The flower stalk tops out at about 6 feet, and then produces umbels of dark purple flowers. Each umbel is about 10 inches across. If you cut out the flower stalk just as the blossoms open, you can extend the life of the plant. However, the flower is striking and will produce plenty of seedlings. Unfortunately, after the plant blooms, it dies. But the carpet of seedlings at its feet will provide Korean angelica for years to come.

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