Western Mountains and High Plains
(Overly) Enthusiastic Gardeners
Garden Lunacy: A Growing Concern, by Art Wolk (AAB Book Publishing, 2005; $26.95), is a must read if you just want to take a break from the ordinary gardening books. It's not about plants, but rather about gardeners -- those that are not the norm. You'll get a unique perspective on the joys, fears, successes, and failures of passionate and sometimes obsessive gardeners, and you'll get a few chuckles, too.
Favorite or New Plant
Feather Reed Grass
If you are uncertain about growing ornamental grasses in your landscape, start out with feather reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora). The wheat-like stalks makes it one of the showiest and most popular grasses for home garden use. As the year unfolds, it transforms itself for almost ten months in the landscape. In late fall, the foliage turns orange to yellow and persists into winter. It's considered a well-behaved ornamental grass because it's sterile and does not self-seed. When grown in full sun, it doesn't need staking.
Feather reed grass makes an attractive background grass where a stately effect is desired. You also can grow single specimen plants for an architectural vertical accent, or use it with perennials of all types.