Coastal and Tropical South

November, 2007
Regional Report

Books

Beautiful Gardens at Night
The Garden at Night; Private Views of Public Edens (Chronicle Books, 2007; $40) is exactly that: nocturnal photos taken in public gardens. From our region: Fairchild, Leu, and Vizcaya gardens are included. Spectacular nighttime photographs by Linda Rutenberg feel almost dangerous at times. A glimpse of a lotus leaf in the midst of unfurling awaits on one page, a stunning border of white tulips against a dark lawn illuminates another. It's as if we are voyeurs, surely trespassing, and perhaps subject to arrest for seeing such sights. This substantial volume is a coffee table book of the very best sort, and would make a grand gift for anyone who likes dramatic photography and beautiful plants.

Favorite or New Plant

Rosedown Plantation Gardenia
This historic plant is single-flowered, rather small-leaved, and stiffly upright in its form. But in November it is covered in colorful orange hips, as its seedpods are called, for their resemblance to rose hips. References for this hip gardenia variously name it Gardenia jasminoides, G. radicans, and G. florida, but all agree it is named for the garden where it was rediscovered in the 20th century. Easy to grow and excellent company for a variety of plants from camellias to palmettos in high shade. You can see my photo of these amazing hips at: http://www.gardenmama.com.

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