Digging Deep, by Fran Sorin (Warner Books, 2004; $22.95) is a joyful read for those who garden as much for the consciousness-raising experience as for the tomatoes. For anyone who has ever bought plants on impulse and then wondered why they didn't satisfy in the garden, take heart. Sorin walks you through choosing plants for the mood you want to set, asks you to consider which of several leaves you like the best, and inspires some serious thinking about the space we create in the garden.
Favorite or New Plant
Strawberry geranium (Saxifraga stolonifera) makes a big impact by the potful, or in combination with purple fountain grass, bacopa, and impatiens. The rounded, somewhat-striped leaves and spikes of white flowers would be wonderful alone, but its unusual reproductive habits make it a standout. After the flowers finish, each mother plant sends out thin stems that end in fully formed plantlets. Let these babies fall out of a windowbox or over the edge of any container for a charming touch on your deck or patio this summer.