Shade, Semi-Shade and Sun

If you look out at your landscape, you’ll probably see all degrees of sun and shade.  There are lots of names of these levels of light, but shade, semi-shade and sun are good descriptors for most plants.   One of the most pertinent reasons for focusing on shade levels is that it really helps locate…

Straw Foxglove

Unlike foxglove that are biennial, straw foxglove (Digitalis lutea) is a true perennial. The light yellow bell-shaped downward-facing flowers are smaller than their biennial relatives, but what is lost in flower size, straw foxglove makes up for in reliability and ease of growth.   Straw foxglove does best in average garden soil in a site…

Rose Diseases

Unfortunately, roses are not care-free plants, at least not in the Midwest.  They are susceptible hosts to several diseases, namely powdery mildew, rust, black spot and rose rosette.   Powdery mildew:  The name is apt for this disease, as the foliage of affected stems turns to a whitish cast as if dusted with flour.  Powdery…

Spring, Summer, Fall Blooming Perennials

Perennial flowers offer great appeal in the spring, ringing the bell of activity of the gardening season.  The great news is that perennials do not bloom only in spring – they offer ever-changing garden views in all seasons.  If you plan your garden well, it will offer texture, color and movement appeal whenever you look…

Woodland Phlox

Woodland phlox, Phlox divaricata, also known as wild sweet William, is a shade-loving perennial that produces lavender blue five-petalled flowers in spring. It has a wonderfully long bloom season. In my garden, it has been sending out flowers for a solid month now.   Woodland phlox does best under trees in soils rich in humus….

Plant Groundcovers Under Shade Trees

Is the vegetation under your shade tree thin and lifeless?  If so, you may wish to consider planting a groundcover instead of turfgrass.  Periwinkle, English ivy, lamium, pachysandra, some cultivars of coral bells, ajuga, plumbago, euonymous, Virginia creeper and Hall’s honeysuckle are good options to consider.  The bottom line is Right Plant, Right Place, and…

April is National Safe Digging Month

April is Safe Digging Month   Late April is prime time for starting all sorts of landscaping projects from planting trees, shrubs and lawns to installing brick work and paths.  But, before you dig, it’s SUPER important that you make sure there are no buried communication or utility lines in your digging zone.  Here are…

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…

February’s Garden Basket

February, March and April are busy months for the Nebraska Extension Master Gardener program. Master Gardener Interns are participating in classes, on their way to becoming certified Master Gardeners. The classes are intensive, covering botany, plant diseases, landscape design, bug boot camp, and plant management. Once coursework is complete, Master Gardener volunteers hit the ground…

2019 Reflections

Extension Master Gardeners were busy in 2019 in the Douglas-Sarpy counties. Over 200 volunteers reporting 16,022 hours of service to the program. These volunteer opportunities came in a wide variety of formats. They answered Over 7,000 calls on the horticulture helpline that we staff six months out of the year. Volunteers were also present at…