I love annuals!
Douglas county sits just on the eastern edge of what once was a vast prairie; 18 million acres that stretched across the state from southeast to northwest. Early settlers crossing this part of the state encountered a sea of grass and unbroken soil stretching as far as the eye could see.
Do you have an avid gardener on your Christmas list? There’s still time to shop for that special, gardening Christmas present! Many local businesses carry items that would appeal to your gardening friends and relatives, including: hand tools, garden gadgets, house plants, bird feeders, books and natural soaps and lotions.
‘Tis the season, autumn is definitely stepping aside . My houseplants have survived the move indoors, I have some perennials growing on the window seat, and this year I may even try growing an Amaryllis (more on this adventure later.) I love November and December: the first snow, the crisp air, holiday music, my kitchen full of the aromas of holiday cooking, and the stores are full of beautiful poinsettias. I’m a bit of a traditionalist.
No matter how you receive your news, you have undoubtedly heard recent stories about the precipitous decline in bee populations in recent years. Whether due to Colony Collapse Disorder, where for still unknown reasons, worker bees simply abandon the hive; or the reckless use of neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics), which are fatal to bees; the declining bee population is bad news for bee keepers and farmers alike. Pollinators are essential to our environment.
This fall I had the opportunity to visit many floral shops throughout the Metro area and outstate Minnesota, and fell in love with Bittersweet, a very popular ornamental used in fall arrangements. The good news: there is a beautiful native variety that is hardy (zone 3) in Minnesota, American Bittersweet ( Celastrus scandens ). The bad news: a very popular, very prolific invasive variety is also found in Minnesota, Oriental Bittersweet ( Celastrus orbiculatus) . Oriental bittersweet vines grow up to 66’ long and have large root systems that send up new shoots.
I fear the cold weather has come to stay (was there ever an “Indian Summer” this year?), and hopefully you have completed most of your fall garden chores. Now is the time to sit back, relax, and ponder the successes and failures of this season’s garden, what you will do differently and what new additions will be included in next year’s garden. This is also the season that I have time to clean and inventory my kitchen shelves and make plans for holiday baking. After last year’s oatmeal fiasco, I am keeping a keen eye out for kitchen invaders.
I am an avid reader, and so it was with great sadness that I
Many of my Spring calls concern trees damaged during the winter by voles. Bark is chewed, tunnels abound and trees struggle to come back, if they are lucky.&nb
Can we expect snow mold damage in our lawns next spring? The answer to this question is dependent on the snow and soil temperature conditions this fall and winter. Snow mold is common during years when an early, deep snow cover prevents the soil from freezing.