The Wreath

December 15 is National Wreaths Across America Day.  Wreaths, being the circular arrangement of plant twigs, leaves and fruits that they are, have been ubiquitous with Christmas.  Historically, however, the wreath has long been representative of Mother Earth and the sun. With no beginning and no ending, the circle itself is symbolic of infinity.  Today,…

What about the Horticulture Education for Extension Master Gardeners?

(Part 2 of 3) Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners are Extension-educated volunteers who make a difference in their communities by educating people of all backgrounds about research-based gardening information. Programs across the nation are set up on a one-for-one basis, with 1 hour of volunteer time for each hour of education received.  In Nebraska, Extension provides…

What are Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners?

(Part 1 of 3) Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners are Extension-educated volunteers who make a difference in their communities, reaching people from all backgrounds and ethnicities about research-based gardening information.  While beautification of outdoor spaces is one of the happy consequences of their volunteer efforts, Master Gardeners do so much more: ▪They work with child care…

It’s The Berries

As autumn’s colorful leaves fall to the ground, our attention turns to berries as a source of color in our landscapes and for cuttings to grace our tables and entryways. Crabapples represent some of the most reliable of spring’s breathtaking flowers, but the fruit they produce also offer an array of yellow, orange and red…

Autumn Leaf Colors

This season’s autumn colors have been exceptional. Shortened day lengths, sunny and warm days, cool nights, and adequate soil moisture provide the perfect conditions to showcase autumn’s greens, golds, reds, oranges and coppers in our trees and shrubs. Fall leaf color is a dynamic process, influenced by the decline and production of pigments within leaves….

Fall Garden Clean Up

When cleaning up the fall garden, it’s hard to know what should be cleared away and what should stay.  Gurus of tidiness opt for removing everything now in order to start with a clean slate in the spring.  But is there such a thing as too much tidiness?  It turns out that, yes indeed, that…

The Benefits of Fallen Leaves

It’s too bad autumn’s fallen leaves are seen as a nuisance, something to be gotten rid of as soon as possible. In truth, they are a boon to landscapes, serving as mulches, benefiting soils, and boosting our compost piles. Not only are leaf piles fun to jump in and make for great leaf fights, by…

The Picnic Beetle

Picnic beetles are small black insects with yellowish spots on their wing covers. This nuisance insect feeds on over-ripe and decaying fruits and vegetables. Its common name comes from its annoying habit of showing up in your potato salad at outdoor events. While it can damage fruits and vegetables, picnic beetles take advantage of over-ripe…

Moving Houseplants Indoors

September is the best month for transitioning our houseplants from the outdoors to inside.  At this time of year, we don’t have the impending crunch of time when frost is imminent and our only choice is to hastily move plants indoors. By planning ahead, we have the time to pay attention to our houseplants by…

September Flower Power

September doesn’t have to be about chrysanthemums and asters alone.  There is a plethora of other, lesser-known, counterparts that can add flower power to the late season garden. Turtlehead, Chelone lyonii, has light pink to dark pink flowers that resemble, you guessed it, a turtle’s head. Serrate leaves are pointed, shiny and dark green. People…