Go ahead, be daring. Gardening authority Christopher Lloyd will give you the courage in "Color for Adventurous Gardeners." Lloyd encourages gardeners to forget about color rules, arguing that in the right circumstances, every color can be used with any other.
The book explores 11 garden colors in depth -- red, orange, blue, mauve, green, white, yellow, pink, purple, brown and black -- and gives extensive examples of plants that represent each. Lloyd also suggests possible combinations, such as red and purple, orange and mauve, and magenta and lime green. Some might make purists sniff in disdain, but they'll sure liven up a garden.
"Color for Adventurous Gardeners" is published by Firefly Books. It sells for $35 in hardcover and $19.95 in paperback.
An alternativeto fish emulsion
Fish emulsion is great food for plants. The organic fertilizer also is a trick-of-a-treat for raccoons and opossums; they pick up the fish smell and dig up plants thinking fish is buried there.
Instead of fish emulsion, apply a seaweed solution, using a powder or liquid form mixed according to directions on the product. Your plants still get those important trace elements for good growth. Apply the seaweed solution as a foliage spray or watering-can application.
Ordering flower bulbs
Gardeners wanting specific varieties of daffodils, tulips and other bulbs for fall planting might need to buy from mail-order nurseries now.
A list of bulb suppliers, plus links to Web sites, can be found at the site of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center, www.bulb.com. On the home page, click on "Where to Buy."