Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2009
Regional Report


Sqyare Foot Gardening
I've always been a fan of Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening book, but now he's made it even better. All New Square Foot Gardening has many, many new ideas to try to basically make gardening easy, inexpensive, and unbelievably productive. Think about this: A Square Foot Garden needs just twenty percent of the space of a traditional garden. And, this type of garden takes no fertilizer and no digging. Even in my intensive garden, I'm using many of his methods. They make sense, and he gives step-by-step instructions on how to do absolutely everything. If you have any interest in vegetable gardening and don't have enough time to do it the way you want, this is a must-have.

Favorite or New Plant

'Gage's Shadow' Perilla
'Gage's Shadow' perilla is another Proven Winner, and for good reason. This is a hybrid between coleus and perilla, and it is a vigorous annual plant that withstands drought. It is tolerant of humidity, heat, and poor soils, and makes an excellent container plant. The color combination of purple and green actually is an excellent foil for many flower colors, especially pinks and purples. It's large -- up to three feet -- and stands on its own without need of adornment. It holds up much better than coleus and makes a gorgeous architectural statement. And, best of all, the breeders named it after their son, Gage, who has cerebral palsy.

For every 'Gage's Shadow' Perilla sold, Proven Winners will make a donation to United Cerebral Palsy to promote research and provide services for those with cerebral palsy.


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