Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Gardening by Mail
Gardening by Mail, 5th edition, by Barbara J. Barton and Ginny Hunt (Houghton Mifflin, 1997; $24), contains everything you need to know about mail-order gardening, including information on ordering on-line. It includes plant and seed sources, garden suppliers and services, professional societies, trade associations, conservation and umbrella groups, magazines and newsletters, and a list of horticultural libraries and books. It is a comprehensive, well-thought-out book for the garden journalist or home gardener. The index is easy to follow and use and is listed according to subject. If you have ever wondered where to find anything related to gardening, this is the place to look!
Favorite or New Plant
The western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) is a small deciduous tree, growing 15-20 feet tall. It's native to Utah, Arizona, and parts of California. Redbuds bloom in early spring, producing tiny flowers that range from magenta to white. The leaves are bright green and heart-shaped and turn yellow or red in fall. The tree may have a single trunk or multiple trunks. Redbuds adapt well to different moisture and soil conditions. They can live near well-watered lawns or in a dry area. For best growth, plant in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil and provide infrequent, deep watering in summer months. Western redbud is also resistant to oak root fungus.