What's Hot - January/February 2006

January 05, 2006
Written by Lorraine Hunter
As winter settles in across the country, consumer gardening magazines are focusing on indoor activities such as reading and growing houseplants as well as offering tips on adding content to the outdoor garden in winter.
Good Reads for Gardeners; Fancy Pots for Indoor Plants

10As winter settles in across the country, consumer gardening magazines are focusing on indoor activities such as reading and growing houseplants as well as offering tips on adding content to the outdoor garden in winter.

Canadian Gardening, Winter 2006, recommends several plants to consider when planning a border along a dry, fast-draining slope. These include ‘Fairview’ Chinese juniper to help form the backbone of the border; ornamental grasses such as big bluestem (Andropogon Gerardii); ‘Sapphire’ blue oat (Helictotrichon sempervirens) and variegated moor grass (Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’); flowering shrubs like dwarf Korean lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’), Van Houtte spirea (Spiraea x vanhouttei) and dwarf burning bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’).

Trees with beautiful barks are highlighted in this issue. They include paperbark maple (Acer griseum) with cinnamon coloured exfoliating bark; paperbark cherry (Prunus serrula) with glistening mahogany red bark; lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana) with milky white outer layer bark that exfoliates in patches to reveal underbark colours of white, silver, olive, light purple and brown; and striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum), which has medium green bark with white stripes when young, maturing to green and reddish brown traced with silver.

Because winter is the season when gardeners catch up with their reading, Canadian Gardening also presents a plethora of good books on a variety of gardening subjects, such as: Dryland Gardening: Plants that Survive & Thrive in Tough Conditions by Jennifer Bennett, Firefly Books, $24.95; Elegant Silvers: Striking Plants for Every Garden by Jo Ann Gardner and Karen Bussolini, Timber Press, $47.50; 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens by Lorraine Johnson, Whitecap Books, $24.95; Trees for the Small Garden by Simon Toomer, Key Porter Book, $24.95; What Grows Here? Favourite Plants for Better Yards by Jim Hole, Lone Pine Publishing, Vol. I, Locations, Vol. II, Problems, each $19.95.

Horticulture, December 2005, also reviews a cross section of good reads for gardeners. These include: A Rage for Rock Gardening by Nicola Shulman, David R. Godine, US $20; 75 Exciting Vegetables for Your Garden by Jack Staub, Gibbs Smith, US $24.95; The Royal Horticultural Society Treasury of Garden Writing selected by Charles Elliott, Frances Lincoln Limited, US $19.95 and Dogwoods by Paul Cappiello and Don Shadow, Timber Press, US $39.95.

The same issue of Horticulture zeroes in on indoor pots and houseplants to keep a gardener’s creativity alive all winter. Some of the plants featured are crocodile fern (Microsorium musifolium Crocodyllus) in a tall glazed clay pot; rainbow fern (Selaginella uncinata) in a pot made from recycled tires; corkscrew rush (Juncus effusus ‘Spiralis’) in a tall aluminum cache pot; and staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) in a freestanding 35-inch tall glazed ceramic container.

Books available at ANNEX BookStore at 1-877-267-3473 or online at www.annexbookstore.com

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