Coastal and Tropical South
Dr. Lee Reich brings the world of backyard fruit growing to everyone in his very accessible new book, Landscaping with Fruit (Storey Publishing, Feb 2009, 192 pgs., $19.95 paperback). Some people just like the idea of putting the trees and shrubs in your garden to work feeding the family. Others want to avoid pesticides, and growing your own is a sure way to do that. Reich gives you advice on fruit choices, right sites, plans for five luscious landscapes, and a fruit encyclopedia that includes many fruits we can grow in our regions. His advice is spot-on.
Favorite or New Plant
Almost too cute for words, this is a miniature version of the tree long celebrated in poetry and now popular for its health benefits. It is deciduous and sports glossy green leaves each spring, followed by spectacular orange flowers in summer. Soon the 2-inch fruits appear, and they are just as edible as their full-size relatives. Or you can leave the fruit on the plant for their decorative value. Annual pruning will keep it productive, or restrict its height. Dwarf pomegranate is fairly drought tolerant and blooms more abundantly when its roots are a bit cramped. These last qualities make it a good candidate for bonsai treatment.