Northern & Central Midwest
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman (ISBN 0-06-447207-8)
This delightful small paperback, which can be read in an hour, will renew your faith in the spirit of gardens. It is simply a series of vignettes of people in a city who come together to plant a vacant lot. It starts with a young girl scratching lima beans into the hard ground, and by the end of the book, we know many people of all personalities and ethnicities who are tied together by this garden. It's a must-read under a maple tree in springtime.
Favorite or New Plant
Turtlehead (Chelone) is a simple plant that gives so much back, especially in the fall garden. It has tidy, fresh foliage all summer and then, just as so many other plants begin to wane, it begins to show its fuchsia-pink or white turtlehead blossoms. It will bloom until snowfall. These plants adapt to wet or dry soils and will grow in full sun to full shade. They spread by reseeding, but never get rampant. All it takes is occasional roguing out of the extra plants. What more could you ask for in a perennial?