New England

June, 2013
Regional Report

Tool or Gardening Product

Ear and Eye Protection
Eh? What's that's you say? Protect your precious hearing by using sound protection for your ears whenever you are using any type of power equipment in the garden, such as mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, and chipper shredders. Hang a pair of sound-protective earmuffs from the handle of your mower so you are never tempted to mow without them. And be sure to wear goggles whenever you use tools that can throw up debris.

Favorite or New Plant

Cheddar Pink
If you like fragrant flowers, you will love Dianthus gratianopolitanus, even if you can't pronounce it! (It's "grah-tee-ah-no-pol-ih-TAY-nus;" now you can really impress your gardening friends.) It's foliage forms a low, spreading mat of narrow, silvery blue-green leaves, out of which arise in late spring to early summer an abundance of pink, fringe-petaled flowers on 6-inch, slender stalks. The flowers have a delicious, spicy scent (another common name is clove pink), so be sure to plant this pink where you can enjoy its fragrance -- along a walkway, in a rock garden, or between the stones of a dry-laid patio. Blooms attract bees and butterflies as well. Full sun is a must, as is well-drained soil, preferably on the alkaline side. 'Firewitch' has showy magenta flowers, while those of 'Bath's Pink' are a cool, pale pink. Shear back flowers when they fade and enjoy the striking foliage color the rest of the season.

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