April Wildflowers of Shenandoah National Park

So I never did tell you about the time Judy and I motored down the Skyline Drive in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, did I? This was back in late April, after visiting friends near Baltimore and then Tammy of Casa Mariposa in northern Virginia.

A view of the Blue Ridge Mountains

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The Pansies of Autumn

It is my contention that Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are underused, and Chrysanthemums overused, as fall annuals.

Flats of orange Pansies ready for planting.

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Two Walks in the Lurie Garden

At my annual checkup I was told to try walking for a half hour every day in addition to whatever other exercise I was already doing. Luckily for me, the Lurie Garden is just about 10 minute walk from my office.


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October Bloom Day

It’s been a fairly warm autumn so far. Leaves are slow to color, flowers to fade. Though they certainly are fading.


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The Bees Sure Do Like NE Aster

I’ve read that New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) is an important source of nectar for Monarch Butterflies on their southern migration. From casual observation, though, I have to conclude that Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) is a much bigger draw for Monarchs and other butterflies as well.


Bees, are a different story, though. Right now the New England Asters are covered with bees of many kinds.

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Book Review: Gardening for Butterflies

Having just watched the second presidential debate, let me say this: let’s talk about butterflies! I mean, who doesn’t want more butterflies around? They add not just movement and beauty, but really a kind of magic to the garden.


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More Plants!

I got home from work today to find two boxes waiting on the steps for me. Both contained plants. One was from Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin, the other from Prairie Moon Nursery in Minnesota.



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Gardener, Spare That Stem!

Do you ever wonder if it is better to clean up the garden in fall or wait until spring? Well, stop wondering. Garden clean up in spring is far better – that is, if you want your garden to be full of birds, bees, butterflies, and other beautiful or helpful creatures.

Eastern Comma butterflies hibernate as adults in plant litter.

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A Host of Daffodil (Bulbs) Arrive

A few days ago I received 2oo daffodil bulbs from Colorblends Wholesale Flowerbulbs. This is a joyful occurrence in itself, but what made it especially delightful was that the bulbs were free. This was thanks to the generosity of Colorblends and the hard work of the organizers of the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling, which Judy and I attended back in July.


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My Year of Living With ‘Betty’

Clematis viticella ‘Betty Corning’, that is. Person or plant, time together can bring greater understanding. ¬†At the same time, a hastily-made commitment to a plant (or a person) can bring pain and disappointment. These negative experiences could be avoided through careful consideration, which did not occur in relation to my first year with ‘Betty’.

‘Betty Corning’

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