Organic Lawn Care
If your heart's desire is to grow a lawn without spending hours each week taking care of it, and without applying chemical weed killers and fertilizers, Organic Gardening Basics: Lawns (Rodale Inc., 2000; $14.95), by the editors of Organic Gardening magazine, may be just the book for you. It's a great little reference filled with friendly advice for keeping your lawn healthy the organic way. You'll learn the basics of choosing the right kind of lawn grass for your area and for applying fertilizer. You'll also find tips on suppressing weeds, diseases, and other pests.
Favorite or New Plant
I've been noticing a lot of daylilies lately. These tough, hardy perennials seem to be making a comeback in our area. I'm glad because they thrive and bloom under the toughest of conditions, bringing splashes of color to the most unlikely spots. I've seen them in parking strips at the shopping mall, near the pumps at the gas station, and in front of my favorite coffee haunt. Their cheerful, trumpet-shaped blossoms are held high above strap-like foliage, and when planted in drifts they make a big, bold statement, especially when surrounded by concrete sidewalks, driveways, and buildings. What an oasis on a hot summer day!
Daylilies come in a wide range of festive summer colors: red, pink, yellow, orange, cream, near white, and occasionally purple. If you get close enough to the blossoms, you will discover that some varieties have a delightful fragrance.
Daylilies don't need much except an occasional, deep drink of water. Mulch with compost or bark nuggets, and then just sit back and enjoy the display. They'll bloom their little heads off during the hottest months of summer.