The Gardener's Palette
If you can't be playing in your garden in winter at least you can be relaxing inside and reading about gardening. The Gardener's Palette, by Sydney Eddison (Contemporary Books, 2003; $29.95) is a perfectly enjoyable book to read cover to cover, and it will get the creative juices flowing about color in your plantings. The author's background as a painter informs her discussion of color theory and her approach to using paintings, fabrics, photographs, and nature as inspiration for a color palette in the garden. I'll refer to this book again and again.
Favorite or New Plant
There's something about rosemary. I've grown an upright form for years; not the same plant because one winter mine just gave it up when I moved it indoors. But I'm seldom without one. My newest love is the trailing form, Rosemary officinalis. I have both 'Prostrata' and 'Irene' varieties, and I'll have to reserve judgement on which is my favorite. In our climate we have to bring rosemary inside before temperatures dip in the fall and keep her from drying out. Once she gets it in her head to begin drying, it's hard to stop her. I'm keeping 'Prostrata' in my bathroom this winter because even though these Mediterranean plants like it hot and dry, they seem to do better with some humidity in our exceedingly dry, indoor winter environment. The plant seems content, showing few dead needles, and she's covered with tiny buds again after only a month's rest.