Garden Gnome

Garden gnomes.  Are they cute or whimsical or just a waste of space?  I for one, think they are adorable and should grace any garden.  They have been around for centuries some literature date them back to the 1600’s but they didn’t hit mainstream until German 1800’s. Phillip Griebel popularized these mythical creatures in Germany…

Rain Garden Plants

Okay so I’ve been lagging behind getting my blogs out this past month.  Getting back into the swing of things this week I wanted to talk about choosing plants for rain gardens.  When we think of rain gardens we think of plants that will be submerged all the time like aquatic/pond plants.  However, this is…

Three Must Have Books

This week on the GROBigRed Blog we are celebrating National Library Lover’s Month and the books that we love to use.  I want to share two of my go-to books and a new addition that I am excited to have this year. Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains (ISBN 978-1-60938-071-7) by…

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…

Winter Water

When we think of droughts we often think of soaring heat, lack of rainfall and summer.  We never stop and think that a drought can happen anytime of the year in any season.  Winter droughts do as much damage, maybe even more, as summer droughts.  This is because we tend to not think about our…

Boo!

A few weeks ago I blogged about plant names and how they can be misleading.  Since Halloween is only a week away I thought I would share with you three of my favorite spooky plants: Death Camass, Bloodroot and Skeleton Weed. Death Camass (Zigadenus venenosus) is a native bulbous perennial that is found throughout the…

Voracious Vigorous Voles

They look like mice with short tails, but what problems do voles pose for our landscapes? These guys are granivores, so people that feed birds will naturally have more voles in their yard because bird seed is a whole bunch of grain that falls to the ground as the birds partake. It’s the fallen grain…

Autumn Hues of Yellow and Gold

The yellows and golds of autumn bring brightness and warmth to the landscape.  Sitting beneath my ash trees in the fall, the air is awash with a golden glow as the trees appear to be lit from within.  It’s truly magical. Sometimes I think we’re so fixated on the reds of autumn we fail to…

It’s Time to Think About Spring-Flowering Bulbs

If you have a fall to-do list, be sure to add “planting spring-flowering bulbs”.  New gardeners are enchanted when they see these harbingers of spring and are sometimes dismayed when they find that the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs is in the fall.  Spring-flowering bulbs pack a punch with their color, size range and adaptability. …

Peonies

Peonies are one of the longest lived herbaceous perennials.  Some anecdotal evidence reports upwards of 80+ years.  How did your peonies do this year?  Did they flower okay for you or have they started to fizzle in their performance.  Working with clients I have found two major sources for poor peony performance. 1.  planted to…

Nonstructural Carbohydrates—Say Again?

Nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) are one of those quirks of nature that perplex gardeners when they come across these knobby underground things. They are a part of the plant but not a root per se even if they are underground.   Scientist don’t agree on why NSC exist but one thing that is known is they don’t…