Fruits of the Bush

Fruits grown in the home landscape always seem to taste better than anything purchased. Even better is something grown in natural surroundings. Elderberry is native to Wisconsin, although few people have been introduced to their fragrant, edible flowers and delicious berries. Elderberry (Sambucus) is native to Central Europe and North America. It grows freely along […]


Fall Planning for Spring Growth

Now that fall has arrived, it is time for all gardeners to kick back, relax and enjoy a well-earned rest; correct? Maybe not just yet.  Fall is the best time to evaluate what was the good, bad, and ugly about the current landscape and plan for the spring.  It is an ideal time to plan […]

Hummingbird  Phlox (002)

Hummingbirds in the Garden

Hummingbirds are a treat to have in the garden. They play an important role as pollinators and are entertaining to watch.  They can be quite feisty when protecting their territory, are very acrobatic as they hover and dart up and down and even backwards, and can be very vocal with their squeaky chirps and twitters. […]

Nasturtium 'Peach Melba'


Nasturtiums are an old-fashioned, colorful, fragrant annual and culinary herb. They have appeared in paintings by Monet and Henri Matisse, have been used for medicinal purposes to treat wounds and prevent infections, and were used as a pepper substitute during World War II.  The flowers attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.  Deer typically do not like […]

Youth Gardening

Teach a Child to Garden

Gardening is beneficial for people of all ages, but introducing children at an early age has proven to have life-long rewards. Children who participated in gardening programs learned to work cooperatively, had better relationships with the environment, ate more fruits and vegetables, scored higher on science achievement tests, and showed increased responsibility in all areas […]

Paper wasps and nest

Bee a Wasp Promoter

Most people have come to realize that bees are important pollinators and with the exception of a few unfortunate encounters, peacefully coexist with them. However, wasps are an entirely different matter. Even cartoonists depict bees as cute, sweet, friendly creatures, while wasps are shown as evil, angry characters. So, are wasps beneficial or just pests? […]

Chicory along Roadside 2 (2)

Roadside Beauties

July brings patriotism, hot weather, hot dogs, fireworks, and beautiful chicory blooming along the roadsides in Wisconsin. The pretty blue blooms are common chicory, Cichorium intybus, a plant that originated in the Mediterranean and was cultivated in North America from the 1700s until the 1950s when it became more economical to import it. Now, it […]


Summer Berries

What are the berries that first come to mind? Blueberry? Strawberry? Raspberry? What about bananas, watermelon, tomatoes or grapes? According to the botanical definition of a berry, berries include currants, blueberries, cranberries, and also bananas, tomatoes, watermelon, grapes and pumpkins. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are not berries at all, but are classified as an aggregate […]