Middle South

July, 2009
Regional Report

Books

The Green Gardener's Guide
Do you know that by planting trees for shade and windbreak, you can reduce your heating and cooling needs by as much as 40 percent? The Green Gardener's Guide, written by Joe Lamp'l and published by Cool Springs Press, 2008, offers hundreds of simple tips such as this, reminding gardeners that protecting and preserving the environment is not always hard as it seems. Joe explains a variety of beneficial garden practices, including some that conserve water and energy, reduce chemical use, and utilize garden waste to enrich the environment. Filled with straight talk and practical advice, the book is simple to understand and many of its tips are easy to incorporate into daily and seasonal routines.

Favorite or New Plant

'Prince' Purple Fountain Grass
'Prince' purple fountain grass (Pennisetum purpureum), a Proven Selections introduction, is a standout in my summer garden. Towering 6 feet tall at the back of the border, its purple-black foliage is a sight to behold. Prince is a warm-season grass and should be treated as an annual except in zones 8 to 11. Recent warm winters, however, have ensured this ornamental's return each spring since its planting in 2007. Best of all, color and vigor of the grass seem to intensify in summer's heat.

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