The Tree Care Primer
Trees are an important, long-term investment in our gardens. It pays to have help in selecting and caring for them. Whether you do it yourself or hire it done, your tree care will be the best possible if you spend some time reading The Tree Care Primer, by Christopher Roddick (Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2007; $9.95). A lot of information and many helpful photographs are packed into its 119 pages. The author is a certified arborist who has worked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for 10 years and provides the newest and best information on how to purchase trees that are appropriate for your site, how to plant them, and how to maintain them. Especially helpful is the organization of the book, as it is divided into how to care for juvenile trees, more mature trees, very old trees, and dying/dead trees.
Favorite or New Plant
Italian Summer Squash
If you think zucchini and other summer squash are just bland and boring vegetables, then this year try one of the Italian heirlooms or related hybrids with flavor that's often described as "robust" and "nutty." I just call them "yummy." Officially, these squash are considered cocozelle rather than zucchini, but botanical jargon aside, look for names like 'Striato d'Italia', 'Striato di Napoli', and 'Romanesco', with the latter considered the best. Some hybrid names include 'Gadzukes!', 'Largo', and 'Romano'. They vary some in appearance, but generally these squash are striped and/or ridged. In Italy, the large blossoms are also favored for frying.