By GARY CHURCH garythegrower@yahoo.com

Money is such a touchy subject, that I have never brought it up. Since we just got back from Atlantic City we do now have a need for it. Well, not me, but my wife. I passed up all the temptations to put my money in the slot machines, but she gave in to their seductive lighting and promises of big money. She put her only dollar, that she had been saving for her retirement, into one of those penny slot machines. At first everything was great, she won 84 cents. I saw in her eyes a dream of winning enough money for a winter home in the Bahamas. This didn’t happen. Instead of cashing out and being ahead 84 cents, she kept on playing and finally lost it all, her winnings and her whole retirement savings. If just 20 of her friends could please give her a nickle when you see her, I think she has learned her lesson and will never do it again. We were in Atlantic City for a shrubbery convention. When I told that to Teressa, who had called me with a question, she said, “I didn’t know shrubs had conventions.” They do! In order to keep this column up on the latest trend in plants, I like to attend these trade shows. One of the plants that caught my eye was the Rhus typhina “Bailtiger.” Now I know you will never remember that name, but it has the common name of “Tiger Eyes Sumac.” I know what your thinking, poison sumac. This is not that sumac. That poison sumac doesn’t even grow around here. This sumac was discovered growing at Bailey Nurseries and just released in 2004. One reason I noticed it was the color. The deeply cut, almost lacy foliage is yellow. I always like to put yellow in my landscape. The stems are upright, but the yellow leaves droop downward. It might even resemble an Oriental plant. The color is not always yellow, though. The new growth is a chartreuse-green and the fall color is orange and scarlet. All of this on rosy-pink leaf stems. At maturity, it is only six to eight feet in height and width. You usually don’t have to trim it, but watch out if you have deer. They may trim it for you. In my humble opinion, this plant looks better when mixed with darker color flowers, like purple salvias, red monardas or purple petunias. Mixed in with dark color shrubs, it is very eye catching. The plant takes full to part sun and will tolerate growing in poor soils, once established. If you would like a closer look at one, I did see them available at the beautiful Maple Grove Nurseries near Parkstown Corners on West Washington Street. The name of the trade show I was visiting is the Penn Allied Nursery Trade Show. The shorter version is PANTS. I think they call it that because a lot of people lose theirs while visiting the Atlantic City Casinos. I didn’t, although I might have dropped a few bucks at a very quaint restaurant in Cape May. Make your space a green space.

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