Poison Ivy 3

Poison Ivy

Summer is the time to enjoy outdoor family activities with no regrets.   Poison ivy can put a damper on the fun if accidental exposure occurs. The rash from poison ivy, oak, and sumac is due to an allergic reaction to urushiol, a sticky oil produced by these plants. All parts of both living and dead […]

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Tamarak Tree 4 (Large)

The Tamarack Tree

The Tamarack Tree Because of the expected demise of the ash trees, many home owners are investigating different options for landscape trees. Wisconsin has a variety of both deciduous and coniferous trees. Deciduous trees are hardwoods that lose their leaves seasonally. Conifers are soft wood trees that keep their needles, with one mighty exception: the […]

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Perennial Gardens in the Rather's Beaver Dam home_opt

The Perennial Garden

The Perennial Garden Master Gardener Volunteers are often called upon for landscaping advice. Invariably the preference is for a “no maintenance” perennial garden. Unfortunately that type of garden does not exist in the real world. Low maintenance, yes. No maintenance, no. The use of perennials will substantially decrease the amount of time, labor, and long-term […]

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Tomatoes on the vine

Tomatoes, the Quintessential Garden Crop

It seems that tomatoes are the favorite vegetable for U.S. gardeners. Even people who don’t have a garden plot will put a plant or two in a container on their patio. And, why not? Tomatoes are easy to eat right off of the plant, are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, come in a […]

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preying-mantis-green-light  Jan 2013_opt

In Praise of the Praying Mantis

One of the most loved insects in the world and one of the most feared by other insects is the praying mantis. The family includes 2200 species in nine families around the world in both temperate and tropical climates. As a group, the preferred term for these insects is mantids, derived from the Greek word […]

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Virginia bluebells with Lungwort

Virginia Bluebells

I have to admit, when it comes to spring flowers for the garden, my go-to choices are the crocus, daffodil, and tulip. A couple years ago, after doing some research, I decided to incorporate a few native spring wildflowers, including Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) into a small shade garden. It took a little time, but […]

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monarch on Asclepias curassavica-1 (2)

Monarch Butterflies and Milkweed

Over the last few years, you may have seen on TV or read an article about the decline of the monarch butterfly population. Researchers believe the population has decreased 80% in the last 20 years and is at a dangerously low level. In fact, 3 of the lowest overwintering populations have been recorded within the […]

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lambsquarter4

Lamb’s Quarter—A Spring Bounty

As the weather begins to moderate, a gardener’s fancy turns to planting, harvesting, and working the soil. It is hard to wait to taste that first bit of fresh picked bounty. Often, the first things to sprout are the weeds. And, many of those weeds are edible. Not only are they edible, they are powerhouses […]

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