Reading can be a cure for winter blues

Tired of being cooped up indoors? For a gardener, one way of dealing with wintery weather doldrums is to “think spring” using reading material as an aid, whether it is one of the mail-order catalogs or a book that might have looked interesting. Just recently, as I was going through the winter edition of the Old Dominion Gardener, a publication of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, the book that caught my attention turned out be very time-appropriate, and truly my kind of a book.

The reason I think of this book as time-appropriate is evident in its title, 50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants (Timber Press, Inc. 2008). Sure, while it hurts to admit, I don’t particularly care to fuss too much in the garden now, unlike in my younger days. Age has begun to creep up and sometimes I can almost hear the old bones creak!

As reinforced in the book’s subtitle, “Tough-but-Beautiful Plants Anyone Can Grow,” the author, Tracy Disabato-Aust, has certainly made every effort to help us simplify gardening, yet enjoy our passion. She has, during the course of time, developed a two-part check list to help her determine the pros and cons of a given plant. “Each of my 50,” she says, “meets most if not all five traits on the High-Impact Traits checklist. However, a plant also had to posses at least nine of the twelve traits (or about three-quarters of them) on the Low Maintenance Traits checklist to be included in the top 50.”

Also, “the right plant in the right place keeps care to a minimum,” Tracy emphasizes, and is just as important the appropriate hardiness zone is. In addition to colored illustrations of each entry, the author, at the end of the book, has provided a list of some of the sources where one can obtain the featured plants. Included in the list are two of our very own: Andre Viette Farm and Nursery in Fisherville and Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester.

The author sums it all by saying: “Life is short. Go for the gusto, keep it simple, and have fun with these 50 stunning, high-impact, indomitable plants.”
gitaagrawal@juno .com | 751-0421


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