Trees are For the Birds!

There’s no better way to explain nature to your kids than to feed the birds, using the right combination of bird food, feeders, bird baths and shelter.  Cardinals, juncos, chickadees, goldfinches and mellow morning doves are among the common species in our area.   Start off with one of the most overlooked tools to attract…

Feeding Birds and Vole Damage—How They Relate

Nothing beats the beauty and movement of our backyard birds, especially during the winter months when our landscapes lack color.  One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that the bird seed dropped beneath bird feeders can attract voles. Voles are granivores, meaning grains are their main food source.  Since the bird seed in…

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. …

Plants With Heart-Shaped Leaves

Nothing says “I love you” like a plant! Why not a houseplant with heart-shaped leaves for your main squeeze on Valentine’s Day? After all, roses aren’t the only romantic gift. Give the gift of romance and healthy air, all at the same time! The chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) has wonderful drooping spikes of muted red…

Interesting Insect Books

To cap off our library lover’s week I would like to encourage to check out the insect books your local library may have. If you go to the science section you should look for the 595 library number range. There you’ll find books on spiders, myriapods (millipedes/centipedes), insects and other arthropods. Depending on what you…

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…

My Favorite Gardening Books

In recognition of February as National Library Lovers’ Month, I’m going to share my favorite gardening books with you.  The Undaunted Garden—Planting for Weather-Resilient Beauty by Lauren Springer (ISBN 1-55591-115-3) has everything a gardener wants—colorful pictures of great gardens, a directory of tough plants (also with great pictures), and Springer’s straightforward narrative. The single best…

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…

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,…

National Plan Vacation Day–Include A Botanical Garden!

It’s National Plan Vacation Day! In recognition of a gardener’s favorite vacation site–the botanical garden–we’re running this article that appeared in the December 2017 Master Gardener newsletter Roots & Shoots from Master Gardener Connie Lowndes. Enjoy! Horticulture Traveling on a Dime: Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Pass by Connie Lowndes, Master Gardener We love our Nebraska Statewide Arboretum…