Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Orchid fanciers take notice! Flora's Orchids (Timber Press, 2005; $59.95) is the end-all encyclopedia of orchid culture. It has been endorsed by the American Orchid Society and contains full-color photos, taxonomy and classifications, information on hybrids and cultivation, and an in-depth look at orchid pests and diseases and their cures.
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Favorite or New Plant
Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) are short-lived perennials. Once established, they will reward you with months of colorful blooms held aloft on fuzzy stems. The 3-inch, tissue-paper flowers actually hold well in flower arrangements, and the pod-like buds are very stylish. 'Champagne Bubbles' is my favorite variety.
I have found through experience that these poppies don't like to be transplanted. They will cease blooming if moved too often. Plant Iceland poppies from cell packs and leave them alone. Plant in late fall or early winter for spring and summer bloom. Select a site in full sun with well-drained, sandy soil. Fertilize and deadhead frequently for best results.