The Wildlife Gardener's Guide
The Wildlife Gardener's Guide by Janet Marinelli (Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 2008; $9.95) is a terrific handbook devoted to the art and science of energizing a garden with the presence of birds and butterflies. It includes ten hands-on wildlife garden projects with step-by-step instructions, lists of plants that have critter appeal, and detailed plans for wildlife-friendly borders and containers.
Favorite or New Plant
Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is an old-fashioned shrub that blooms from mid-summer right through early fall. Also known as shrub althea, the flowers are similar to the tropical hibiscus and come in pinks, reds, purple, lavender, and white. Besides being beautiful, they're attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. They prefer full sun and grow best in well-drained soil. You can find container-grown rose-of-Sharon plants from spring through fall in local nurseries, so it's not too late to add some color to your landscape.