Northern & Central Midwest
The Well-Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust
Whether you've never done any perennial gardening or are an old pro, this book will be immensely useful to you. The author, an experienced horticulturist and landscape designer, shares her expertise, including experience with landscape clients' plants. There is an extensive encyclopedia that not only gives regular cultural care tips, but pruning tips as well. This is something most perennial books neglect. The text is easily accessible to the newcomer or seasoned perennial grower.
Favorite or New Plant
Black flowers have a mystical draw for many of us and this new introduction from Ball Horticultural promises to be special in its own right. Due to be released in 2011, the 'Phantom' petunia is a true black velvet with a white star. Complement it with deep red flowers and you will have non-stop drama. As with any petunia, it will need full sun and well-drained soil. Beyond that, it is supposed to be self dead-heading and doesn't need pinching. Look for it next spring!