Coastal and Tropical South

August, 2009
Regional Report

Web Finds

The National Society of Allotments
I literally stumbled upon the fact that we are currently in the middle of National Allotment Week in the UK. It's a decidedly British celebration of public community garden plots that are a staple of the Realm. Check out the Web site of the advocacy organization that promotes this brilliant use of leftover space in every village and town. Translate this into every neighborhood and borough and you've got my dream scene. Not only is the history rich, dating from 1901, but the information is current, including such important facts as "Planning permission is NOT required for sheds, greenhouses, and poly-tunnels on allotment sites." Best of all, the organization claims that the best way to keep the allotment gardens going is by cultivating "keen gardeners."

Favorite or New Plant

Fruit Cocktail
Justicia, with its shiny, leathery leaves and brilliant rose pink candle-like flowers, has been a garden favorite in our regions since the early 20th century. Its flashy cousin, 'Fruit Cocktail' justicia, builds on those qualities and adds multi-colored blooms that burst from their bracts. Partly sunny sites throughout our regions can host this beauty, though I'd keep it in a container or a courtyard if you live away from the Gulf Coast. It's a firecracker of a plant!

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