Northern & Central Midwest

December, 2010
Regional Report

Books

The Resilient Gardener
The subtitle for The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2010, $29.95), Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times says it all. Deppe has put together a comprehensive guide for growing your own food without input such as irrigation or fertilizers. She gives tips on how to garden even when your life may be in a time of turmoil or you may not be feeling well. Her gentle manner and wit makes this book a wonderful read and inspiration when the wind is howling outside.

Favorite or New Plant

Winterberry
This deciduous holly (Ilex verticillata) is in its glory right now. The leaves have dropped to reveal the magnificent display of tiny, cherry-red berries. Deciduous hollies have leaves more like a serviceberry than an evergreen holly-- they are not prickly! The leaves are dark green in summer and turn yellow to maroon in fall. The berries ripen in September and hang on the shrub until January, with plenty for the birds and you to enjoy. Deciduous hollies grow in full sun to partial shade and do best in somewhat moist soil. Fertility levels can be average to low. There are plenty of beautiful varieties available, but make sure you purchase at least one male plant for every four or five females in order to have berries.

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