Coastal and Tropical South
If you're planning a trip, put public gardens on your list and use the American Public Garden Association (APGA) Web site to locate botanic gardens, conservatories, and educational facilities with display gardens. There are members in every state, and the site has a search engine to help you locate gardens wherever you're traveling. Use it, and you'll learn something, enjoy something, and remember at least one part of your trip!
Favorite or New Plant
Giant Bird -- Of Paradise, Of Course
Strelitzia nicolai 'White Bird of Paradise' is stunning. If you're always looking for a plant to contrast with the many green leaves of our favorite tropicals, add this one. It has big potential, can reach more than ten feet tall in the Tropical zone, and is a fine container plant along the Southern Coasts. White bird is a bit more exotic than the classic orange bird of paradise -- its flowers look even more like origami paper creations. When these birds reach about 2 feet tall and their roots are crowded, they'll start blooming. With regular additions of fertilizer and water, they will continue putting out flower stems to your great joy.