Coastal and Tropical South
Norman Winter has written a real gardener's guide to exotic but easy to grow flower combinations. Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden (University Press of Mississippi, 2009, 200 color photos, $28 paperback, www.upress.state.ms.us) shows you how to put together flowers, textures, and colors. Winter combines native plants with those from farflung locales that grow well in our regions to transform individual plants into powerful plantings of contrast and form. He grows designs you can enjoy in the garden, cut for the vase, and create stunning containers, too. His advice in this book explains how plants work together, and how you can get more work out of yours. Beautiful and smart, this book's a keeper.
Favorite or New Plant
The stunning leaves on this succulent plant are huge and shaped like ping pong paddles. They are green, but with a silver and red sheen that is really eye-catching. It's no more difficult to take care of than its kalanchoe relatives better known for their bright flower clusters. Don't overwater, fertilize occasionally, and use it for contrast in combination pots with sedums and ornamental grass or millet.