DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Mar 8 2010

When Lilacs Last in Stone Mountain Bloom’d

by Patricia D

I miss lilacs.  Against the advice of every book I read when I first started gardening in the South I defiantly planted a lilac bush and nursed it through three years of misery before it finally gave up on me.   Mother Nature’s compensation for depriving me of that scent, comfortingly sweet in the soft night air, heady and almost too heavy in the midday sun,  is magnolias with their bright lemon scent and those show off camellias that bloom when I still don’t expect to see flowers.  Though I miss the Spring riot of peonies I could never keep a gardenia alive back home and roses and rosemary are so much less finicky here.  It is difficult to feel cheated when planting pansies in the fall, cheerful, bright and hinting at the intoxication of Spring in the South, but I still manage to feel put upon when I find myself cutting the grass in December.

Naturally I have a battered copy of Don Hasting’s Month-by-Month Gardening in the South but here are a few other titles in the collection you may find helpful.

Bulletproof Flowers of the South by Jim Wilson,  Gardening in the Humid South by E.N. O’Rourke,  Questions and Answers by Deep South Gardeners by Nellie Neal, Gardening with Native Plants of the South by Sally Wasowski and Commonsense Vegetable Gardening for the South by William D. Adams

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Merle March 8, 2010 at 4:06 PM

My favorite southern plant book is Passalong Plants by Steve Bender and Felder Rushing. I still enjoy reading it even though I no longer have a garden.

Amanda March 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM

I would also suggest any of Walter Reeves’ books. I love The Georgia Gardner and Month by Month gardening in Georgia.

Deborah March 8, 2010 at 8:42 PM

I enjoyed your post, and I love gardens. I would suggest reading Making The Most Of Shade by Larry Hodgson. I was vexed about my backyard until I read and purchased this book. Check it out at your local library and enjoy the beauty of a shade garden.

Alison W. March 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Patricia–come clean…have you really ever mowed your lawn in December! 😎

Patricia D March 11, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Yes, I have had to mow the lawn in December, which is actually so much more pleasant than mowing the lawn in August but still, kind of a weird experience for me.

Veronica W March 15, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I love gardens…I hate yard work; I have an aversion to crawling things and dirt. So, all of you folks wearing gardening mitts and waving your trowels, invite me over to tiptoe through the tulips.

Deborah March 16, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I love gardens…I love yard work. It is my therapy. I never had an aversion to crawling things and dirt. I pick up crawling things with Joshua, my grandson,and he thinks “I am cool.” I prefer not to wear garden mitts because I love to feel the dirt between my fingers. My friend, you are invited to come over and tiptoe through the hosta,fern,and lenten rose with me.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: