Coastal and Tropical South

February, 2012
Regional Report

Books

Life and Gardening
At first glance, you wouldn't think that So Much Sky (Studio G, 2011), written by Karen Weir-Jimerson, a strong Midwestern woman, would have much to say to gardeners in our part of the country. Au contraire, these essays will touch a nerve with everyone who has curiosity about the natural world or raised a family. Both can bring on insights as strong as their humor in a great writer, and Karen certainly qualifies. She has written eight books about gardening and is the force of nature behind 'Slow Lane', a column about modern life viewed through a rural lens. There are windmills and critters, bonfires and parades, children and animals with important roles to play in the family. All are touched by Karen's wit and wisdom, and you will be, too.

Favorite or New Plant

Golden Brush Ginger
Native to Borneo, golden brush ginger or Burbidgea schizocheila grows well in consistently moist soil but does not need flooded spaces. Orange flowers with a hint of yellow grace this true ginger on a thick, compact plant. Its leaves are dark underneath and a delightful green on top. They grow slowly to fill beds and pots with tall stems that are attractive even without flowers, but the flowers are worth the wait. Unlike other gingers, golden brush looks less than perfectly groomed with a loose, curly flower head that always has one petal larger than the rest. It will make you smile.

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