Middle South

June, 2005
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Nanci Griffith at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Nanci Griffith and the Blue Moon Orchestra will perform on Friday, July 1, at 8 p.m. at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The concert takes place on the Great Lawn, with the garden's conservatory and the Atlanta skyline serving as the dramatic backdrop.

Nanci Griffith is one of my all-time favorite singer/songwriters; she has a gloriously clear, sweet voice, which she often accompanies with her acoustic guitar. Tickets for the Nanci Griffith concert are $35; be sure to doublecheck with the garden, though, because just this week Nanci cancelled a concert due to illness.

This concert is one in the Atlanta Botanical Garden's SunTrust Concerts in the Garden series. For information on this and other concerts at the garden, visit this Web page: http://www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org/events_and_exhibits/event_concerts.htm.

I can't think of anything more enjoyable than a day spent wandering the beautiful gardens there, followed by an evening of wonderful music.

Favorite or New Plant

Penstemon 'Husker Red'
The 'Husker Red' penstemons are blooming in my garden right now, and it's easy to see why they were chosen the Perennial Plant of the Year in 1996. The rich, dark red foliage of this easy-to-grow perennial would be reason enough for the designation, but the addition of tall spikes of dainty white flowers in midsummer make it even more of a winner.

Penstemons are native to the western US, where they thrive in hot, sunny conditions. This gives a clue to their care: They require excellent drainage and will not tolerate wet feet. They prefer full sun but will tolerate some light shade. Although some penstemons are rather wild-looking and best relegated to less formal garden settings, 'Husker Red' is exceptionally well behaved, creating tidy, attractive mounds. The plant's flower stalks reach about 30 inches in height, but they are airy enough to allow this lovely plant a spot in the front or middle of the border. Or, cut the flower stalks and bring them indoors for beautiful, long-lasting cut flowers.

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