Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Favorite or New Plant
I love alyssum. It's simple to grow, requires little or no care, has no fancy soil requirements, and comes back year after year. A friend gave me a pot of tulips that had been planted with alyssum as a border. The tulips faded so I dug out the alyssum and planted it in my little garden. It has only been a few weeks and it's thriving. Alyssum is drought resistant, grows in all zones, withstands sun or shade, blooms in even rocky soil, and comes in four colors : white, lavender, purple, and yellow. You can't go wrong with it.
75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden
I am lucky enough to be on the mailing list for many publishing companies and receive new gardening books on a regular basis. Every once in a while one stands out among the rest, and 75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden, by Jack Staub (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2008; $19.95), is one of those. The illustrations by Ellen Buchert are colorful, simple, and bring to mind 19th-century botanical drawings. Each fruit depicted in the book has its own particular history that's both charming and informative. There are even recipes for serving them up.