Viburnums – Tried and True for the Landscape

Need a screen between your backyard and the street?  How about you and the nosy neighbor?  Or, let’s say you need a good specimen feature in a corner planting…what would be a good choice?  If any of these scenarios are a reality for you, consider the group of shrubs, the Viburnums.  In general, they are…

Shrub Pruning – For Some Shrubs

It’s late March and if you’re like most Nebraskans who tend to their landscape, you’ve been looking out the window all winter and wondering if it is time to prune the shrubs.  It might be…depending on the shrub.  This handy chart will steer you in the right direction.   Prune Now: privet, burning bush, spirea,…

Lawn Mower Preparation

It’s been sitting in the back of the garage all winter, collecting dust, possibly rusting, probably caked with debris – the lawn mower.   In many cases, homeowners simply add gas, pull the rip cord and start mowing without much thought given to the equipment.  This is unwise, as mowers are investments with prices ranging…

Gardening Projects

What really sets Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners apart from garden clubs is their dedication to learning Best Management Practices, the cornerstone of what the land grant university has to offer, whether it is an invasive insect, a tough weed to manage, or a proven plant variety to try. This dedication to learning shows in the…

Valentine’s Day Alternatives

No doubt there are certain reported health benefits to a little dark chocolate now and then, but maybe this year, an alternative is in order for your loved one.   Here’s a short list of good ones:   *A potted plant – pots of Boston fern, rosemary, African violets, orchids and sweet bay can last…

Lawns in the Shade? Really?

Are lawns supposed to be in the shade?  No, not really.  Yet, as you gaze out the window at your landscape, even in winter, many lawns are covered in shade.  Even in winter, even without tree leaves to cast a shadow.  How did this happen?   First, how it happened.  The most likely scenario is…

Beyond the flower

Sometimes I get too caught up in flowers. One of my goals is to have something in bloom every month of the year in our yard. A worthy challenge. Flowers speak to us. They make us happy, they bring us joy and yes, frustration. We often get so caught up in the flower that we…

National Poinsettia Day

Today, December 12th, is National Poinsettia Day in the United States.  Today we celebrate this durable and highly attractive plant for the indoor landscape.  Some quick tidbits about poinsettias:   *Contrary to popular belief, they are not poisonous.  Oh sure, if you ate a whole plant, it’s likely that it would result in a stomachache,…

Keeping Fresh Greens Fresh

The holiday season is upon us and many of us will be putting up live/fresh cut trees.  There is nothing better than the smell of fresh cut greens indoors to celebrate the spirit of the season.  However, there are a few tips that you can follow to make sure that your tree and greens stay…

Pruning Hydrangeas

In the realm of gardening questions, answering “When can I prune my hydrangea?” can be the most complicated. This is because of the number of hydrangea types that grow in this region, requiring an understanding on our part before the pruning saw is even employed. It’s important to note that pruning most woody plants in…