Nasturtium 'Peach Melba'

Nasturtium

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 […]

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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? […]

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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 […]

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Raspberries

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 […]

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Echinacea (Large) (2) (2)

Echinacea – The Quintessential Summer Flower

Spring blooms are refreshment to winter weary souls. They give the assurance that summer is on the horizon and better things are coming. Summer blooms bring out the brilliance of a beautiful day in a background of lush green grass, trees, and shrubs. The quintessential summer bloomer is Echinacea. These tall beauties are commonly pale […]

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lilac bush

Lovely Lilacs

“Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.”  Oliver Wendell Holmes Aside from roses, there is no flower as beautiful and aromatic as lilacs. Lilacs have a distinctive, memorable fragrance. When the smell of lilacs heralds the arrival of spring, where does the […]

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Dames Rocket

Dame’s Rocket

A plant with pretty pink to purple flowers, a long bloom season, fragrant – especially in the evening, attracts butterflies, deer don’t like it, no disease problems, and easy to grow. Sounds like a perfect ornamental plant for the home garden. Not so fast! This “perfect” plant is dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis) and it’s on […]

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Edible Nettles (Large)

Delectable, Edible Stinging Nettle

There are a number of edible weeds, including dandelion, purslane, and lambs quarter. While it might be hard to swallow, figuratively speaking, stinging nettle may be added to that list. Urtica dioica, or stinging nettle is a perennial herb native to Europe and most of North America. The Latin term is quite descriptive: urtica means […]

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