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  • Killer on the Loose September 19, 2014
    Tis the time of year when huge “bees” are flying all over the yard.  They aren’t actually bees, but bumblebee mimics and they prey on the very insects they resemble.  Meet a Robberfly (Mallophora bomboides), a member of the insect order Diptera.  This particular species is commonly called “Florida Bee Killer” due to their preferred […] We love hearing from y […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Lights, Camera, Action: Hollywood’s Fan Palms September 18, 2014
    Sprinklers let loose— Water is softly spraying a neighbor’s yard, and it sounds nice, even though it is only a plain green lawn that’s benefiting.  Well, not just a lawn— Out the window I see both a tall California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) and a more robust Phoenix Palm (Phoenix Cunninghamiana) standing together in the […] We love hearing from you! P […]
    Kathy Vilim
  • When the Gall Moves, it Probably isn’t a Gall September 12, 2014
    I was walking past the Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) tree, one of two saplings I have planted on the southwest side of the pond. Bald-cypress are known for getting species-specific insects known as Cypress Twig Gall Midge (Taxodiomyia cupressiananassa). The smaller of my two trees has a few sprinkled throughout. Galls are housing created from […] We love […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Gardening for Wildlife at the Flower Farm September 11, 2014
    On September 28th last year (2012), my husband and I closed on our first home, a 1.5 acre property that backs out to a nature preserve and is surrounded by woods on all four sides. I wrote about our gardening efforts last year in an article I called “Wildlife Gardening in Rivendell,” because the property […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see […]
    Jesse Elwert
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit September 9, 2014
    Anticipation Anticipation makes my world go ’round. I find something, perhaps a plant, just beginning to emerge in the spring. I return to the infant plant often. Watching and waiting. Looking forward to its grand finale. This is the story of anticipation from beginning to disappointing end, of a Jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum. The photograph above, […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Little Lacewing Life Cycle September 8, 2014
    Lacewings are delicate insects that are considered to be beneficial to your garden.  I’ve observed them in my beautiful wildlife garden during the day and at night.  To the casual observer they appear to be clumsy fliers, but that may serve as a survival technique.  From what I’ve read, they have sensory organs at the […] We love hearing from you! Please cli […]
    Judy Burris
  • Cream of the Gardening Crop: Skimmers September 5, 2014
    I’ve a new dragonfly at my place.  I was excited when I saw the overall purple hue of this beauty.  I knew it was one I had never seen before and at first I struggled to identify it. Anyone can make up a  checklist of Dragonflies and Damselflies (order: Odonata) based on their location.  I […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beauti […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Vampires in the Canyon September 4, 2014
    Is there a vampire in the Canyon?  If you were hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains this month, you would most certainly run across patches of strange-looking, yellowish vine-like plants. What is this plant that is laid out across the chaparral bushes as if it were strangling them? Is it really hurting the bushes on […] We love hearing from you! Please […]
    Kathy Vilim
  • Duckweed For Wildlife September 3, 2014
    Duckweed is the smallest flowering plant in the US If you have a wildlife pond, I’m sure you’re familiar with Duckweed (Lemna minor) as it can quickly cover the surface of your pond. Duckweed is commonly found in ponds, lakes, marshes, and slow moving streams. In streams where the water moves more quickly, the Duckweed is […] We love hearing from you! Please […]
    Carole Sevilla Brown

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Wordless Wednesday: Firsts In The Garden

Every seed is awakened, and all animal life.

~Sitting Bull

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The Scoop on Poop

Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.

~William Ruckelshaus

Animal manures are among the most commonly used fertilizers in home gardens. Composted manure is commonly available from local farms and garden centers and is also found in forty-pound bags at many local stores during the garden season. So [...]

Oops! I did it again...

*SIGH* I’ve done it again. The same thing happened last year, too. I’ve managed to neglect every houseplant we have to the point of death. Not the indoor garden vegetable plants, mind you,  but the “bring a bit of the outdoors in” plants that everyone has growing in their home. (Or at least [...]

Frost!

Hardiness refers to the lowest temperature a plant can survive in. While there are plants and trees that can survive for several months at temperatures below freezing, many are damaged or killed when the temperatures plummet and plants are exposed to frost.

Frost occurs when ice crystals form as water vapor condenses at freezing temperatures. The [...]

April Garden Chores

“April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.”

~Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe

March is nearly at an end, it’s time to look ahead to April garden chores. Though temperatures rise throughout the month, rain is the norm in many parts of the country. It’s important to remember not [...]

Spring Fever

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.

~Soren Kierkegaard

I don’t know why I let it happen every spring, but I do. The beautiful sunshine beckons me outdoors where I’ve longed to be all winter. Sowing seeds in warmed soil, relaxing outside with a book [...]

Wordless Wednesday:A Place for Wildlife

The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is over 7,000 acres of land in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. The land was dedicated as a refuge and breeding ground for wildlife in 1938. It’s located in the middle of one of the Atlantic Flyway’s busiest lanes. We visit throughout each spring hoping to catch [...]

“It’ll never grow.”

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.

~Horace, Satires

“It’ll never grow.” Our elderly neighbor stood looking at the newly prepared soil waiting to be planted with my first garden. He shook his head, climbed back on his rider mower and returned to [...]

Gardenscape 2010

The sudden onset of beautiful sunny weather had me outside sowing seeds, clearing beds and just plain enjoying the mild days. With the garden well underway and the first day of spring officially here I think it’s a great time to share a few of my favorite pictures from “Gardenscape” the Rochester, NY flower show. [...]

A Bee In My Garden

It’s wonderful to me that bees have this simple, age-old thing going on.

~Peter Fonda

I knew when I heard the soft sound of buzzing it was officially spring in the garden. If the bees are awake and foraging what other proof could we demand? At once the transformation from winter to spring [...]