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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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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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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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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Along Came a Spider

Spiders. Are they creepy, crawly creatures to be feared, monitored, squished or evaded as quickly as possible? Or, wonderful beings that add immensely to gardens? According to mental health statistics, arachnophobia, or a fear of spiders that overwhelms reason, is one of the top ten phobias with millions of sufferers worldwide. In the United States, […]

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