Fifteen years ago I decided to devote part of my garden to growing native plants, which I defined as anything that grew in North America. I quickly found that not all plants could adapt to our cool, wet summers. I lost practically every plant! I might have done better had I read Native Plants in the Coastal Garden by April Pettinger and Brenda Costanzo (Timber Press, 2003; $19.95).
In this newly revised and updated edition, Pettinger and Costanzo begin with an introduction to our region's climatic and floral diversity, go on to stress the importance of site analysis, and then carefully explain the interaction plants have with one another to achieve a successful balance in plant communities.
The bulk of the book is devoted to detailed descriptions of hundreds of native plants, including perennials and annuals, trees and shrubs, grasses and sedges. Sample site plans, along with a regional resource guide, make this book a valuable addition to any reference shelf.
Clever Gardening Technique
Clear Up Doggy Spots in Your Lawn
If Rex is making a mess of your lawn, try this homemade remedy to dilute the high salt content and ammonia from dog spots. Add 1 cup baby shampoo and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide to 5 gallons of water and mix well. Use about a quart of this mixture on each dog spot you find in your lawn. It is perfectly safe for your lawn and the soil. The mixture should neutralize the urine and the grass should begin to grow back within a few weeks.