Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern Coasts

September, 2000
Regional Report

Web Finds

The Dirt Doctor
Howard Garrett may be from up there in Dallas, but his ideas and advice about organic gardening are definitely southern enough for me. He knows humidity and drought like few do; he's both a landscape architect and an organic horticulturist. His site is easy on the eyes, loads fast, and has straightforward advice you can use in any garden. It can be found at

Favorite or New Plant

American Beautyberry
The American beautyberry or French mulberry (Callicarpa dichtoma) features chains of purple berries, a weeping form, and striking light green leaves. A native species, beautyberry emerges soon after land clearing, usually at the edge of wooded areas in all kinds of soils where the pH is slightly acid. It grows best in a half day of sun to produce the maximum amount of berries - birds love them.

I love this shrub because it holds its own all summer in spite of the heat. It's deciduous and what berries remain after the leaves drop are stunning. The dwarf varieties have fruits that look like shiny purple bbs strung along fine stems. It's a tough plant. I know because mine rode home in the back of a pickup truck from Texas with no cover and very little damage done.


Today's site banner is by sunnyvalley and is called "Iris Eternal Bliss"