Container Water Gardens
If you'd love to have the soothing sounds of a water garden but don't think you have the space, Container Water Gardens, by Philip Swindells (Storey Books, 1998; $22.95), will change your mind. It provides simple, step-by-step instructions with photographs so you can create low-maintenance water features for small landscapes, yards, decks, balconies, and even indoors. An illustrated plant directory features more than 90 plants to grow in your container water garden.
Favorite or New Plant
'Stella d'Oro' Daylily
I admire 'Stella d'Oro' daylily. Not only does it flower all season long, but its mounds of arching, grasslike foliage make a nice backdrop for my smaller annuals and perennials. It is also one of the most dependable varieties for our region.
'Stella d'Oro' will tolerate a wide range of soils, from clay to sand, but it grows best in fertile, compost-enriched soil that drains well but still holds some moisture. I add a generous amount of compost to the planting area and mix it in well. Although daylilies will grow in some shade, you will get more flowers from plants that receive full sun for at least half the day.