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,…

Is That Your Natural Color?

A first it may look fun.  Who wouldn’t be attracted to brilliant hues of green, blue, yellows?  Glitter?  You can never not have enough glitter during the holidays!  But what happens once the season is over?  What do you do with that poor hot pink cactus?  How do you keep the lime-green poinsettia alive? You…

Poinsettias on Your Desktop

There is no plant more associated with Christmas than the poinsettia.  The good news is that the number of cultivars keeps expanding each year.  Colors and shapes are available to fit any situation or décor.  Big ones are great for church or bank lobbies…but small ones make a big difference in the enjoyment of the…

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…

USDA Hardiness Zones

As a gardener it is a good chance that you know what hardiness zone you live in.  You know that you need to choose perennials, trees & shrubs that are hardy to your zone or a zone colder.  You also know that plants that are in a warmer zone will not overwinter where you are….

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…

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

Protecting Young Trees in Winter

Many homeowners plant trees in the fall, after all, fall is for planting.  As the focus shifts from planting to raking leaves to getting ready to scoop snow off driveways, there’s a common tendency to forget about the new trees that were planted this fall or even in the past few years.  At least 3…

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…

Sunset Bells

Sometimes I struggle grasping the diversity of the Gesneriaceae family.  With over 130 genera and an untold (well not untold but greatly disputed) number of species I am always amazed by this family of plants.  One thing that I do find fascinating is: there are no native Gesneriads to the United States and Canada and…