Coastal and Tropical South
Vines and Climbing Plants
New this year from Timber Press is Armitage's Vines and Climbers: A Gardener's Guide to the Best Vertical Plants by Allan M. Armitage. Professor Armitage teaches horticulture and conducts research on new garden plants at the University of Georgia, Athens. If you have ever purchased plants labeled "Athens Select" (and you should since they're selected for our regions) you know Armitage, who runs the Trial Gardens at UGA. What a great collection of plants he has assembled to explain and illustrate the many kinds of vines and climbing plants that can be grown in the US, most in our regions. 115 plants are profiled and Armitage's friendly descriptions are appropriate for every gardener, but don't belie his academic prowess- they are complete and accurate. From Timber Press, Inc., 133 SW Second Av, Ste 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527 or www.timberpress.com, hardcover $29.95.
Favorite or New Plant
Coleus 'Alligator Tears'
The array of coleus that everyone can grow easily just keeps getting wider. Today's coleus hare bizarre leaf patterns as well as predictable designs. They have leaves that are broad and leaves that are finely cut, variegated or edged in more colors. 'Alligator Tears' coleus is one of the Colorblaze series from Proven Winners that is especially useful in our regions. Tall (to 3 feet) with dense foliage in full sun, this coleus offers yellow centers on green edged leaves that are 3-5" long and about an inch wide at their widest point. Very upright and 8-10" wide, it can be pinched like all other coleus to create a branched form. 'Alligator Tears' grows equally well in containers and beds. Pinch off any flowers that form to keep the leaves coming.