Northern & Central Midwest
Favorite or New Plant
Silver Whispers Stone Pine
I wanted to try 'Silver Whispers' stone pine in my own garden before touting its great qualities, and it has been stellar. So many pines are huge, and outgrow any spot except the middle of a large yard, but this one is small, petite, and absolutely beautiful. Swiss stone pines are in the white pine group, with five needles in a bundle on their stems, but are sturdier and more urban tolerant than the Eastern white pines. Silver Whispers has tightly packed needles that are deep green with white stripes, giving the plant an overall silvery sheen. The plant needs full sun to thrive, and will grow easily in most soils except those that are constantly wet. It grows very slowly and will reach only 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
Clever Gardening Technique
Use Same Trellis for Peas and Beans
Plant pole beans at the base of your peas. When the peas are finished, the beans should be coming on strong. Clip the pea plants instead of pulling them and you will avoid disturbing the beans. Also, all legume plants produce nodules with nitrogen-fixing bacteria on the roots, so leaving the roots in the ground to decompose will add some free fertilizer as well as inoculating the second planting of legumes with more bacteria.