Western Mountains and High Plains
Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Summer is a wonderful time to escape to the mountains and take a hike, and it's even more fun if you know what wildflowers you encounter along the way. Rocky Mountain Wildflowers, by Jerry Pavia (Fulcrum Publishing, 2003; $19.95), is a guidebook on wildflowers that presents 95 selected species of wildflowers common to the Rocky Mountain region. A map of the Rockies is included as well as separate maps for seven of the major parks of the Rockies in both Canada and the United States.
Favorite or New Plant
Sweet Potato Vine
The ornamental sweet potato vines are among the fastest growing and most colorful plants to use in container gardens and window boxes. Three types are commonly available for their showy foliage: 'Blackie', with dark purple, nearly black leaves; 'Margarita', with chartreuse foliage; and 'Tricolor', with pale green, white, and pink-margined leaves. They do best in well-drained soil and partly sunny locations as they can scorch in full sun and reflected heat. Cut back often to control size and to stimulate more branching.