Field Guide to Insects
As the spring season warms up, it's time for the awakening of the insect world. Now is a good time to get to know some of our friends and foes in the garden. The Peterson Field Guide Insects, by Donald J. Borror and Richard E. White (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998; $19) is a great reference. It uses the Peterson identification system to distinguish one insect from another, including size lines to show the actual length of each insect.
Favorite or New Plant
Take dangling heart-shaped flowers, arch them over deeply cut leaves in shades of green, gray, and blue, and the result is the wonderful, old-fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis). This plant is a must for the shade garden and is a dependable performer. Plant in well-drained soil that is enriched with compost. There are several choices available, from the fringed bleeding heart with its fernlike leaves, to the hybrids that bloom with white flowers and dwarf forms. This perennial is excellent when teamed up with ferns, hostas, and annual impatiens.