Coastal and Tropical South

July, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Yellow Bells
Tecoma stans, known as yellow bells or yellow elder, brings a jaunty air to the garden with toothy leaves and stunning yellow flowers. Although seldom as large as its Bignoniaceae family relatives like trumpet vine and catalpa tree, yellow bells is as easy to grow and almost as hardy. This sunlover needs regular watering, occasional fertilizer, and will offer up plenty of cuttings as well as seedpods that are easily propagated. Grow it in a garden bed year round in the Tropics and look for it to perennialize along the Southern Coasts, but root some cuttings and save some seed just in case.

Tool or Gardening Product

PowerGear Hand Pruner
Fiskars wrote the book on tools that gardeners can rely on to do the job and last for years. The PowerGear pruners use a nifty mechanism that enables gardeners to cut branches in one or two bites. That means less force is needed per stroke to make the cut gradually with less impact on the wrist and arms. It is a great technology for people who need ergonomic adaptations, such as those of us who have arthritis. But everyone will find the workload lightened by this nifty pruner. Its blades are stainless steel and are set in reinforced fiberglass with a bright orange head that is hard to lose sight of in the garden. I appreciate that very much.

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