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Frogs, Toads, and the Garden

Frogs, Toads, and the Garden According to the Chinese zodiac, 2015 was the year of the sheep. According to my garden, it was the year of the amphibian. There were more frogs and toads than I have ever seen in all my time gardening at this location. Good or bad? Let’s take a look. Frogs […]


Egyptian Walking Onions: Summer’s Bounty

Egyptian Walking Onions: Summer’s Bounty Egyptian walking onion is the common name for “Allium proliferum.” As both names imply, these onions are prolific and literally over time, walk across your garden. Also known as “tree”, “forever”, “top” “winter”, and “perennial” onions, this inter-species hybrid between bunching and bulbing onions produces multiple offspring without a single […]

Hosta and Fern Combination

Hardy Ferns

Looking for a plant that will add beauty, texture, and structure to your shade garden, is deer resistant and easy to care for? Hardy ferns may be the answer. Hardy ferns are those that tolerate our cold winter temperatures and can be grown outdoors year-round. Native and non-native ferns come in a variety of textures, […]


Zinnia – A Happy Little Face in the Garden

Perennials are plants that persist for multiple seasons. Generally the top part of the plant will die back in the fall or winter, but the root will remain and new plant growth will appear the following spring. Many gardeners prefer perennials since they do not have to be planted every year. Annuals on the other […]

Monarda 2


  You probably know this popular perennial as bee balm, Oswego tea or bergamot. Monarda is a member of the mint family – with the characteristic square stems, opposite leaves and fragrant foliage. The genus name Monarda honors a 16th century Spanish physician and botanist, Nicholas Monardes. The common name bee balm refers to the […]

Common Purslane

Purslane: To Eat or Not to Eat

One of the bane’s of gardening is weed management. Some weeds fall into the “if you can’t beat them join them” category. Purslane is one of those weeds. Common purslane, Portulaca oleracea, is an edible weed. In fact, in many parts of the world, it is cultivated because of its high nutrient value. It has […]

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 […]

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 […]