Field Guide to Insects
As the spring season begins to warm, the insect world also awakens. Now is a good time to get to know some of our friends and foes in the garden. The Peterson Field Guide to Insects, by Donald J. Borror and Richard E. White (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998; $19) is a great reference. It uses the Peterson identification system to distinguish one insect from another, including size lines to show the actual length of each insect.
Favorite or New Plant
Take dangling heart-shaped flowers, arch them over deeply cut leaves in shades of green and gray, and the result is the wonderful, old-fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis). This plant is a dependable performer, and I think it is a must for the shade garden. Plant in rich, well-drained soil in a site with dappled afternoon shade. There are several choices available, from the fringed bleeding heart with its fernlike leaves, to the hybrids that bloom with white flowers. There are even dwarf forms. This perennial is excellent when teamed with shade-loving ferns, hostas, impatiens, and hellebores.