gardens

Landscaping Around Trees

While we may be accustomed to seeing trees standing all by themselves in yards across neighborhoods, it’s actually better tree care to grow other plants and flowers around trees. But how many of us actually consider how to landscape trees when we create our yard design? Not many at all! Most people don’t even know […]

winter flowering trees dogwoods

Best Front Yard Trees

Choosing the right trees for your yard is important because it’s a long-term decision. Given the long lives of trees, you should make sure you understand the purpose you want your front yard trees to serve, as well as the details of the trees you choose. For example, you need to know the tree’s size, […]

Propagating Plants From Stem Cuttings

Your mother probably propagated her favorite flowers in a glass of water on the windowsill. That works fine for some plants, but there are many kinds that require more effort to propagate from cuttings. Some require MUCH more effort. Of course plants can be propagated from seed, but seeds often produce new plants that are […]

hummingbird pollination flowers

Pollination in Fruit Trees

Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the male part of a blossom to the female part of a blossom. Fertilization occurs within the ovary when a sperm cell from a pollen grain unites with an egg to produce an embryo which then develops into a seed. After fertilization, the ovary that contains the […]

blueberry grow guide blueberry pie

Why Is My Blueberry Bush Not Producing Fruit?

So, you have blueberry plants, but you don’t have blueberries. What’s up with that? Are your blueberry bushes in full sun? If not, you will be disappointed. Like most plants grown for food, blueberries do best in full sun (at least 6 hours). They can take some partial shade, but too much shade will decrease […]

Granny Smith Apple

Fruit Trees for the Midwest

There are many different kinds of fruit trees that are well adapted for growing in the American Midwest. The backyard orchardist can choose from popular apple, pear, Asian pear, peach, nectarine, cherry, and plum tree varieties. A little more obscure, but just as much fun to grow are persimmons and pawpaws. Growing your own fruit […]

Plant Hardiness Zones USDA planting zone

Plant Hardiness Zones

About Those USDA Climate Zones   The familiar United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map is based on the average annual minimum temperature for each zone. Needless to say, some years a zone will get a minimum temperature lower or higher than the average. Nevertheless, the average minimum temperature is a fairly good indicator […]

ann magnolia tree

Top 5 Early Spring Flowering Trees

IT’S SPRING!       Among our favorite early spring blooming trees are: Japanese magnolia (like the Ann or Jane), eastern redbud, flowering dogwood(white and pink), Taiwan cherry, and wild plum. The Japanese magnolias are among the first bloomers of spring. Three important types of early blooming Japanese magnolias are: The star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) […]

pruning and plant care guide

Basic Pruning for Shrubs and Trees

We prune our trees and shrubs to control their size, shape and scale within our landscape. Proper pruning also stimulates flowering and fruiting and helps to keep shrubs and trees healthy and vigorous, thus reducing the likelihood of future problems.   There are two main kinds of pruning: Thinning and Heading.    Thinning Thinning cuts […]

tomatomania

Tomato-mania! Part 2

The tomato is so much more than just your French Fries’ best friend or the third metric when making your favorite sandwich. It’s farm to table, to palate. Done. Simple, effective, easy to grow, with ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’-type outcomes. There are many different kinds of tomatoes out there to cultivate in your garden. Each […]

tomatomania

Tomatomania! – Part 1

When you think of the tomato what comes to mind could very well be “I could sure go for a BLT,” or “Why is Pico de Gallo the best thing about my burrito?” But it typically isn’t “Man, tomatoes sure do have versatility, don’t they?” But that’s exactly why we love tomatoes so much – besides […]

wedding

’Tis The Wedding Flower Seasons

When it comes to weddings, flowers are pretty much a given. Whether they’re for the bouquet, the centerpieces or simply petals sprinkled at the bride’s feet as she makes her walk down the aisle, blooms and blossoms are a must have in the world of weddings. One thing that is vital to planning your flower […]