In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology
Insects and Gardens, a delightful book by Eric Grissellhis, is not a handbook on how to recognize and eliminate insect pests, but a thoughtful exploration of the vital role insects play in every garden ecosystem. With this in mind, the author encourages gardeners everywhere to declare a truce with the insects we encounter. Insects and Gardens, by Eric Grissellhis, Timberpress, 2001, $29.95.
Favorite or New Plant
Bed and Border Treasure
Nemophila maculata, also known as five spot, is an interesting cool-season plant native to the grasslands and forests of central California. Easy to start from seed, this low-growing annual forms clumps of medium green leaves with scalloped edges. Starting in mid-May, small white flowers emerge above and between the fancy leaves. Each five-petaled flower is cup-shaped, and the petals are adorned with delicate purple veins. A large purple spot appears at the tip of each petal, giving a perky and cheerful look to the garden. Planting in a cool, moist, partly shady spot will prolong the blooming season from its natural cycle of May and June right up through early August.