Forcing Flowering Branches

In the drab, grey days of February and early March, indoor color is welcome.  Most Nebraskans get a sort of “cabin fever” after being forced indoors for several months.  Fight back with some blooming branches. Simply prune off several branches from spring flowering trees and shrubs and plunk them in a large vase of water. …

My Favorite Garden Books…a Series of Sorts

When I go to a garden book, it’s usually to find an answer about specific features of a plant.  With that in mind, it’s no wonder that my favorite book is actually a series of books, connected in one way or another to the University of Illinois.  As you read down through the list, sometimes…

Dreamin’ of Green Grass

I’ve been fortunate over the years to travel to other states to learn about various aspects of tree and turf care and transfer the technology and research results to the residents of Nebraska.  It’s amazing how many similarities there are.  Sure, the plants are different, and the care is a bit unique, but fertilization, pruning,…

Seed swapping and understanding seed packets

This time of year is the perfect time to think about swapping or buying seeds to get ready for the coming year.  But many people are often confused about some of the language used on seed packets.  What exactly does hybrid mean? or heirloom?  What a bout non-GMO?  

Winter Interest in the Landscape

As an arborist, horticulturist, etc. I always get the question – “what should I plant in my landscape?”….to which I answer, “First, take an inventory of what is there now, and plant something different”…an appeal to increase diversity.  A common second answer is “Plant something that is appealing in all seasons, or at least in…

Denver Botanical Garden

Hailed as one of the top 5 botanical gardens in the US and often referred to as an oases in the city, the Denver Botanical Garden is a must on your places to visit.  This week on the GROBigRed Blog we are talking about vacation destinations. I had the pleasure of visiting the Denver Botanical…

Ice Melters in the Landscape

In Nebraska, ice melt product application is a necessary evil, however steps can be taken to minimize damage to landscape plants.

African violet no more!

I am a huge African violet nut.  Huge.  African violets belong to the family Gesneriaceae and belong in the genus Saintpaulia.  Until recently taxonomist have pretty much left this genus of plants alone.  At one time there was about 21 recognized species of African violets until a few years ago when the “Great Merger” occurred. …

Raised Beds Around Trees—A Good Idea??

Recently, I received an update from a favorite how-to site, which included directions for building a raised bed around a tree. This unfortunate practice leads to many dead trees, often years down the road when the tree owner no longer mentally connects the tree dying with the creation of the raised bed. Case in point,…