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Garden News & Notes

Berry Compound Reduces Aging Effects: In a study of aged rats done by USDA researchers at the Agricultural Research Service it was found that a diet rich in the berry and grape compound pterostilbene “reversed measurable negative effects of aging on brain function and behavioral performance”. The report goes on to further state that “pterostilbene was effective in reversing cognitive decline, and that improved working memory was linked to pterostilbene levels in the hippocampus region of the brain.”  USDA article

Lee Reich, author of “The Pruning Book” and “Weedless Gardening”,  has just published an excellent resource for fruit gardening entitled,”Landscaping With Fruit”.  Mr. Reich begins with landscape and design considerations, discussing siting, soil, climate, plant selection, pruning, pests, and ornamental values. He then goes on to present an extensive array of fruits suitable for growing in the home garden, giving all the necessary information for successful cultivation. The book includes a list of sources, bibliography, USDA Hardiness Map and an AHS Heat Zone Map. Highly recommended. (Storey Publishing, 2009)

Planning a staycation this year but still yearning for the sight of distant gardens?  Take a look at EarthCam – a comprehensive source for links to cams of every type around the world.  Type “garden” into the search box and fly away to distant lands.

Plants of Merit, a St. Louis, MO program which aims to raise the public’s awareness of beautiful and environmentally friendly plants for the home landscape, has included several edible ornamentals in their yearly list for the first time ever. The selections are:  Brassica oleracea ‘Redbor – a kale with edible leaves but primarily grown as an ornamental; Brassica oleracea  ‘Ruby Perfection’ – a cool weather, beautiful  red cabbage that produces 3-4 pound heads;  and Capiscum annuum ‘Black Pearl’ – an exquisite ornamental pepper with bright red fruits surrounded by glossy black leaves.  The pearl-shaped peppers are extremely hot.  For more information and cultural hints go to Plants of Merit.