Coastal and Tropical South
The first of a projected series, First Garden: Getting Started in Southern Gardening is your columnist's latest book, published this month by Cool Springs Press. It is designed to build your confidence in gardening with practical, helpful information. Step-by-step, we'll go through the garden, learning to put it together for maximum enjoyment. Included are fifty plant profiles, chosen because they likely are in your yard, or should be (in my best judgement). Hope you like it!
Favorite or New Plant
Papery bracts in a rainbow of colors make this distinctive plant a regional favorite. Its tropical flair is both a joy and a challenge to its fans; its sense of place speaks volumes. But these beauties can be gorgeous for everyone. Support the vines, or the thorns will actually shred the leaves on a windy day. If you use fertilizer mixed in water, use it monthly from February through September. Water regularly while new growth is sprouting, but once the plants are in bloom, be stingy. Remember the bougies prefer tight shoes so don't repot too often.