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Julie Irwin Zimmerman


Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

There is much in the plant business that is punishing, if not downright ugly: exhausting days during the growing season; changeable weather and fickle consumers; the threat of fungus, pests, disease, and price-slashing competition. So perhaps it’s not surprising that in the last half-century, the number of

Garden States

“Lantana is a great plant,” says Melissa Benoit of Marvin’s Organic Gardens in Lebanon. For starters, when the going gets tough, lantana keeps blooming. “It’s heat- and drought-tolerant,” Benoit explains. “We had some here last year that looked good all summer, even at the end of August.” Lantana’s colorful flowers, borne in charming clusters, attract butterflies. Plus, they come in mounding or trailing varieties, so they look good in a hanging basket. You can even train them as topiaries. Bonus: lantana blooms summer to frost, so you get your money’s worth.