Western Mountains and High Plains
The growing season is upon us, and wouldn't it be nice to be able to start new plants from our garden? Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual of Practical Techniques, by Alan Toogood (DK Publishing, Inc., 1999; $35), features the more unusual and specialized techniques for starting your favorite plants. It answers questions we often encounter when it comes to propagating woody and herbaceous plants from the landscape.
It's so complete that it's one of my favorites.
Favorite or New Plant
One of the most versatile ground covers for our region is creeping veronica (Veronica spp.). These plants work well in rock gardens, as edging, in between stepping stones, and in retaining walls. The mass of spring and summer flowers create a drift of color that complements spring-flowering bulbs and other perennials.
Plant in well-drained soils from the mountains to the High Plains. 'Waterperry Blue' is one of my favorites, with sky-blue flowers, and foliage that matures into a handsome reddish purple in the fall and winter.