The Pocket Gardener
If you've often wished you had your reference books with you on a trip to the nursery, The Pocket Gardener is just the resource you need. Ohio State University has created a wonderful program you can download from their Web site and install onto your personal computer. It can be made even more portable if you install it on your hand-held PDA. The Pocket Gardener provides detailed information about hundreds of popular plants and includes pictures of each. Although it is specifically geared to gardening zones 5 and 6, it's quite useful because most of the plants included in the database are widely adapted.
Favorite or New Plant
Statice (Limonium sinuatum, sometimes called sea lavender) does double-duty in my garden. It's a dependable, carefree plant if left alone, and the cut flowers are perfect for either fresh or dry flower arrangements. It performs well in sunny sites, in most any kind of soil, and isn't bothered by wind or rain. The handsome, round, dark green leaves are low to the ground, while the flower stalks stand above the foliage on 12- to 18-inch-tall stems. It's an annual in our gardening region, but well worth replanting every spring.