Coastal and Tropical South

April, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Mickey Mouse Plant
You may have seen Xanthosoma sagittifolium albomarginatum or know it as variegated elephant ear. Some know that this aroid and many of its relatives have arrowhead shapes, in this case huge leaves that are easily recognizable. The leaf colors are strong, almost bluish green, and the variegation patterns look masterfully painted. The plants can grow in shade or partial sun, where they will need more water but will also be much larger. A single plant in a water feature or a row of them along a driveway makes a strong statement of tropical style.

Tool or Gardening Product

The Big Scoop
Sometimes called a grain scoop or a compost scoop, this tool looks like a large aluminum snow shovel. Obviously I do not live where snow is an issue, but found this tool standing all alone in the back of a store years ago. Now they are everywhere as gardeners seek out light, ergonomic tools. Its handle is short with a comfortable D handle, and its scoop is big enough to move piles of leaves, compost, and gravel. It is lightweight, and the wide scoop distributes the load very well. This tool saves my back regularly.

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