New England

October, 2006
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Drumstick Allium
I'll never be without drumstick alliums (Allium sphaerocephalon) in my garden. Their purplish blue flower heads are smaller than most ornamental alliums, at about 2 inches in diameter, but they still make a wonderful showing if they are massed. It's hard to imagine how their thin stalks that rise about 1-1/2 to 2 feet high can support anything, but in flower they happily sway in the strongest breezes. They come back year after year without declining, but I manage to find a new place to plant some every year anyway.

Clever Gardening Technique

Planning for a Live Christmas Tree
If you are planning to buy a live Christmas tree -- even a live tabletop tree -- that you'll plant after the holiday is over, dig and prepare the planting hole now before the soil freezes. Once you've dug the hole, place the soil from the hole in a nonfreezing garage or basement. As soon as possible after the holidays, gradually accustom the tree to the cold by moving into the garage or shed before setting it outside. When you're ready to plant, water the tree well before placing it in the hole, cover the rootball with soil up to where the roots flare out at the base of the trunk, and water again.

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