Thursday, April 19, 2012


Chances are half of your grandmother's garden is in this book. Especially if your grandmother gardened in the Southeastern U.S. This jewel of a book won the 1994 Quill & Trowel Award and for good reason; it's fun, full, and familiar. Steven Bender and Felder Rushing take turns telling story after story of plants they've seen in gardens but NEVER sold at any stores. And I'll solve the mystery right up front; you get these plants through knowing other gardeners.
Passalong Plants: 117 Plants with stories and photos.

I never realized how many bulletproof passalongs are in my garden. Perhaps that's why the garden made it through the drought with flying colors.

Arrowroot (Syngonium) from my mom's garden and from my brother's garden.

Airplane plants from my friend Laurie's garden.

My bottle tree along with native Virginia Creeper vines. I would never think to pass Virginia Creeper along, but it's in the book!

Canna(dark leaves), Elephant ears, and Mexican Firespike are all passalongs here in the Deep South.
They love all the rain we are having.

Lantana is a native passalong and it's in the book.

You have to worry about a plant that has more alias's than many criminals. This one goes by Mexicali rose, Cashmere Bouquet, stinkplant, and Clerodendrum bungei.

I got this shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) from my good friend Shirley. It blooms only in mild winters, but the foliage is beautiful and tropical in all seasons.
Walking Iris is quite a talented passalong. It will send out bloom shoots that hop,skip, and jump around your garden. Noone seems to mind. It's in the book.

Finally, daylillies are a nice passalong plant to share with others. I got this one (Vino do Norte)
from my good friend Bill.

And while I'm on the subject, let me Passalong this tip. You'll find other wonderful book reviews in our group thanks to Holley at Roses and Other Gardening Joys. Please go take a look. Thanks, Holley.
Until next month, Happy Garden Book Reviewing!

Sit down a spell and read a garden book!


  1. This is one of my absolute favorite books!! I love the way Steven Bender writes. He was the first garden writer I discovered who was also funny. I still refer to it when I have a spot to fill. :o)

  2. I have that book and I just love the authors' folksy humor! I think my love of gardening began when my grandmother (from the south) got me started with geranium cuttings when I was a little girl. I remember she referred to cuttings as "slips". (I love your bottle tree!)

  3. Sounds like a fun book! It's definitely going on my list. I love reading stories that tie in with plants. Your passalong plants look quite beautiful. There is a reason people passed these types of plants along - because they perform well! Thanks for joining in!

  4. Sounds like a book I'd like! When I started my garden, a very generous avid gardener in my community invited me over to see her garden. While we toured she identified every perennial plant and we pulled up root after root for me to transplant. I'll always be grateful to Paula for getting me started:)

  5. Hi David! Once again you have reviewed a book in my gardening library. It is so fun to see our common interest!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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