Inspired by actual gardeners' inquiries, each chapter deals with such down-to-earth subjects as when to start seeds, why plants might fail to bloom, pruning techniques, identifying and controlling common pests, home fruit production, plant propagation, harvesting and storing, and seasonal gift ideas.
One of the latest trends in home horticulture is regional gardening, but most popular garden books and syndicated columns are written by authors on the East and West coasts. Possum in the Pawpaw Tree is aimed at the heartland of the United States, where "normal" weather means bitter winters, torrential spring rains, and summer drought. Since such normal weather is assured, midwestern gardeners must be prepared for the unexpected.
The material here is arranged to provide a handy month-by-month guide to indoor and outdoor gardening activities, both for the novice and the more experienced gardener. Each chapter contains a gardening calendar, short essays, and a section of questions-and-answers that focus on gardening problems and disasters peculiar to the Midwest.
The seasonal arrangement serves as a starting point for beginners and provides reminders for more experienced gardeners. Monthly topics cover houseplants, garden flowers, vegetables, woody landscape plants, lawns, and ideas for new gardening adventures.
B. Rosie Lerner
B. Rosie Lerner is the consumer horticulture specialist in the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and the state coordinator of the Indiana Master Gardener Program.
Beverly S. Netzhammer
Beverly Shaw (formerly Netzhammer) is Horticulturist and Perennial Designer at ScapeArt Landscape Design and Installation. She is the first recipient of the Outstanding Master Gardener Award in Indiana and writes the statewide garden column "In the Grow (formerly Growing Concerns)."