Coastal and Tropical South
dening Basics for Dummieshot off the press from Wiley (February, 2007, 400 pages, $21.99), written by Steven A. Frowine and the editors of the National Gardening Association. Like all the books in this series, it's designed to help the novice. But like many of them, it also holds clear explanations of sometimes-confusing terms and procedures. This one will be useful to every gardener (or would-be gardener) who appreciates solid information presented in a friendly, encouraging style.
Favorite or New Plant
Almost ubiquitous for years in our region, caladiums have long been a staple of shade gardens. For a different look, consider pots or beds of the lance-leafed varieties with good sun tolerance. 'Florida Sweetheart' is a strong pink with green edges and is quite compact, making it an excellent container choice. 'Rosalie' has a bit less sun tolerance, with foliage in a deeper shade of fuchsia pink. My favorite sun caladium is 'Gingerland', with cream leaves dappled with red and edged in green. Plant the bulbs in well-drained soil, fertilize regularly, and do not allow them to bloom.