Western Mountains and High Plains
What is that tree? Will it grow in my yard? The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees, Western Region, by Elbert L. Little (Alfred A. Knopf, 1980; $18.00) is the first all-photographic tree field guide, and its 855 pictures are categorized by leaf shape. As with other Audubon Field Guides, you can expect detailed descriptions, habitats, and ranges, all in a 4" x 8" book you can stick in your pocket or backpack.
Favorite or New Plant
Flowering kale or ornamental cabbage is an annual that is well worth growing for autumn color. It thrives in cool weather and will put on a dramatic display. In the high plains or lower elevations, this plant begins to show its true colors in late summer through autumn. The waxy green heads are pink, red, white, cream or maroon in the centers. Flowering kale will retain its crispy foliage from fall to early winter despite the cool weather and frequent brushes with frost. It should be used in mass plantings to make a bold display. Plant single colors of your choice to outline beds of other cool-tolerant plants, such as pansies, violas, calendulas, or dianthus. It performs best in full sun to partial shade.