Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2007
Regional Report

Web Finds

Seeds of Change
Seeds of Change has always been a special place to obtain heirloom seeds, and it is now offering all types of garden and kitchen tools, fruit trees, produce gift boxes, and best of all, information. You can sign up to use GardenCycle: A Gardener's Day Journal, and you can also sign up for their e-newsletter. The newsletter is filled with information on specific vegetables, and something few other sites have -- information on how to save seeds. The Web site is also filled with other information on organic living.

Favorite or New Plant

Castor Bean
Castor beans (Ricinis communis) provide an incredible tropical look to the garden. The leaves are 8 to 10 inches across and look like deep green or maroon palm leaves. The flowers are small, but the plants have showy pink or red prickly capsules standing above the foliage. This is an annual plant that should be grown from seed each year, preferably started indoors in February or March. They thrive in full sun in rich, well-drained soil and make a dramatic statement at the back of the flower border or as a focal point in a patio planter. A word of caution is in order: the seeds are quite poisonous so you may want to remove them as they are produced, especially if small children and pets visit your garden.


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