Coastal and Tropical South

April, 2007
Regional Report

Books

Herbs in Our Zones
So much romance surrounds the subject of herbs, it can be difficult to get good information that is zone-specific. Most books are written somewhere outside our region, and translating the information is difficult or impossible. While some of the best references can be hard to locate, if Monica Brandies writes it, you'll be glad you found it. One of her older books, published in 1996 (BB Mackey Books, Wayne, PA; $15.50) is Herbs and Spices for Florida Gardens. She divides the state into its three zones, and gardeners throughout our region will find the information very valuable.

Favorite or New Plant

Lemongrass
This member of the mint family is a lovely clumping garden plant, full of flavor ready to add zest to cooking and fragrance to potpourri. A tropical perennial that loves heat and plentiful moisture, the essential oil of lemongrass is frequently used in soaps and cosmetics. A recent encounter with a sweet and smoky roasted chile soup flavored with this warm, citrusy herb reminded me to suggest it for your garden as well as your kitchen. Alas, I don't have the recipe!

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