Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2009
Regional Report

Books

Roses For Dummies
Roses for Dummies by my friend Lance Walheim (Wiley Publishing, 2000) continues the series. Everything you ever wanted to know about roses but were afraid to ask is in this easy-to-use book. You will learn how to differentiate between the different kinds of roses, how to integrate roses into your garden, how to water, mulch, and fertilize roses and how to protect them from pests and bad weather. It also has a resource guide for shows and mail order sources. There is a section on fragrant varieties and also separates them by color. If you are a novice gardener, or even if you are a rosarian, this book will help you make the most of America's favorite flower in your own garden.

Favorite or New Plant

Blue Globe Thistle
Blue globe thistle (Echinops spp.) is a member of the thistle family. It is a perennial that goes dormant in the winter months. This is an interesting plant for the cutting garden. The ping pong ball-sized blooms are perfectly round and a startling true blue and last for several weeks in arrangements. The plants are multi branching and grow to about 5 feet but the best part is that they don't take over like some thistle plants. The plants grow in clumps and can be divided or left in place for many years.

Too bad Henry pulled out the one I just planted. I guess I'll have to try again...

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