Upper South

October, 2011
Regional Report

Books

Pumpkins
Think making pie is the only way to use the nutrition powerhouse that is pumpkin? Author DeeDee Stoval offers 125 creative recipes using pumpkin in her book, Pumpkin: A Superfood for All 12 Months of the Year (Storey Publishing, 2005, $12.95). The ideas range from beverages to appetizers, snacks, soups, salads, main courses, cookies, breads, cakes, and, of course, pies. Some recipes start with whole pumpkin while others use canned pumpkin. Plus there are recipes utilizing the seeds. Stoval also provides decorating and entertaining ideas for harvest celebrations and Halloween parties as well as information on pumpkin festivals, lore, and growing facts.

Favorite or New Plant

'Vibrant Dome' Aster
Asters of all shapes, sizes, and species are welcome in my garden as their abundant display of flowers is balm to these last days of the growing season. Still, I have to admit that the taller, floppier ones can be a bit aggravating. Thankfully, there are a number of low-growing, mounding types that reach only 18 to 24 inches tall, rather than 4 to 6 feet or more, and don't require staking. If your garden is on the smaller side, consider adding some of these shorter-growing asters next year. Most of these are in the blue-lavender-purple range of colors, but if you want some bright pink in your garden, consider 'Vibrant Dome' aster. A vigorous sport of 'Purple Dome', this is a tough, compact, disease-resistant, and heavy-blooming aster with hot raspberry-pink flowers for many weeks in the fall.' Vibrant Dome' does best with full sun to part shade in fertile, well-drained, moist soil, but it is very adaptable.

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