Want to Learn About Garden Weeds?
If you'd like to learn more about those pesky garden weeds, Weeds of Canada and the Northern United States, by France Royer and Richard Dickinson (University of Alberta Press, 1999; $30) is an excellent resource. The book has photos and line drawings of 175 weed species at different stages of growth, and offers information on germination, plant fertility, and geographic distribution. There's also a set of quick-reference guides to seedlings, flowers, and invasive grasses, so if you're unsure of a weed's identity, you can take the guide outside and use it as a field reference. There's even a ruler printed on the back cover to help you measure plants accurately. I've found it to be exceptionally helpful in my quest to understand the enemy!
Favorite or New Plant
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
This is the time of year when the perennial sedum 'Autumn Joy' finally comes into her glory, producing broccoli-like clusters of flower buds that open into 8-inch heads of densely packed flowers. The flowers start out as pale green buds, open to dark pink, and gradually age to bronze. The flower heads remain on the plants through December in my garden, providing interest in an otherwise dull flower bed. I sometimes harvest the flowers in winter to add to dried flower arrangements.
'Autumn Joy' grows best in full sun in well-drained soil. It can grow to 12 inches tall and may flop over, so consider supporting it with a wire cage.