Northern & Central Midwest
Park's Success with Herbs
Park's Success with Herbs, by Gertrude Foster and Rosemary Louden (Park Seed Co., 1980; $10), contains an absolute wealth of information about growing and using herbs. It's chock full of tips and suggestions about growing herbs from seed, in the garden, and under glass and how to use them, complete with recipes. It's a must-have book for the herb enthusiast. You have to order it through Park Seed Company in Greenwood, South Carolina.
Favorite or New Plant
Sweet olive (Osmanthus fragrans) will always have a special place in my heart and on my desk. Sweet olive is grown as a houseplant in our climate. It's not a spectacular plant, and some would even call it homely. But it blooms almost year round with the most heavenly scent. The leaves are glossy green and leathery, sort of like holly without the barbs (it's related to holly). Knobby fruiting branches bring forth small creamy-white flowers week after week that can fill a room with their citrusy, jasmine-like scent. The plants are extremely slow growing and take little care except watering once a week, fertilizing once or twice a year, and rarely any pruning. It's my kind of plant.