A Natural Shift

My gardening style has changed over the years, sometimes due to environmental factors, like living in an apartment, other times inspired by a certain type of plant, or even a new hobby. However, I’ve noticed a major shift in the last few months that might have irrevocably changed the direction of my garden for the…

Summer Solstice Lecture: Native Plants of the Midwest

Last night I attended a Summer Solstice Lecture featuring Alan Branhagen at Lauritzen Gardens located at 100 Bancroft Street in Omaha, NE. Alan Branhagen is currently the director of operations at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and is also the author of Native Plants of the Midwest. We learned which natives grow to best suit your conditions…

How To: Create a Butterfly Habitat in Your Yard

Butterflies add so much to your yard and landscape while bringing it to life. Here are some tips for creating a more butterfly-friendly area in your yard. Host PlantsMost butterflies and moths are dependent on one or more types of host plants, a plant on which they lay their eggs and caterpillars feed on. There…

Garden Journal 06/02/2019

It’s the beginning of June here on the farm. We’ve had lots of activity in the garden and many different visitors in the landscape. Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on this week. I’ve posted about these peonies before and have even made a very similar arrangement, but I’ll never get enough. Original…

Forest Types and Exploring for Native Species

One of my all-time favorite things to do at home to to walk around the very edges of our property, up past the field and into the forest. Using my new terminology from the Master Conservationist Program, our property actually includes all of the “forest types” ranging from prairie and savanna, to woodland and forest….

Iowa Ecosystems: Forests

I signed up for a Master Conservationist Program through our local Golden Hills RC&D, Pottawattamie County Conservation, Pottawattamie County Soil & Water Conservation, Pottawattamie County NRCS, ISU Extension and Outreach West Pottawattamie over the summer. The program is one Saturday per month and is hosted at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa. Unfortunately, I…

Midwest Natives Nursery

On Saturday, Midwest Natives Nursery in Lincoln, NE hosted its first plant sale of the year, which will continue each Saturday until the plants are sold out. I started following Midwest Natives Nursery on Facebook and couldn’t wait to attend their opening event. I ended up purchasing a flat of native species including various milkweed,…

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

I was in Atlanta, Georgia for a work training at the end of April. During the eight days that we were in class, we had one free afternoon. I chose to spend my free time at the Atlanta Botanical Garden located at 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30309. I recruited a small group of my…

Interview with Michelle Biodrowski

Michelle Biodrowski had a booth at the Seed Exchange and Gardener Social event in Council Bluffs this spring and gave a presentation on Native Plants for a Backyard Habitat at the West Pott. Master Gardeners Spring Garden Conference. Since we keep running into each other now and her presentation was so great, I asked Michelle…

2019 Spring Garden Conference

The West Pott. Master Gardeners hosted their 2019 Spring Garden Conference today at Holiday Inn & Suites at Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The conference sold out in just a few weeks at 160 attendees due to an impressive lineup of speakers. They included Kim Todd with Backyard Farmer, Scott Evans, Jan Riggenbach, Michelle Biodrowski,…

Seed Exchange & Gardener Social

Several groups came together to host the March into Spring – Seed Exchange and Gardener Social today at Sherbondy’s Garden Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa today, March 24, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. “Seed swaps having been going on for thousands of years. Folks coming together at markets, town squares, in huts and…

Garden Journal 01/13/2019

Several inches of snow came down between Friday night and Saturday afternoon here in southwest Iowa. It made for some pretty views from our house. Walking around our acreage is both a great way to get some exercise and it forces me to take a few moments to truly appreciate the beautiful place that we…

Growing Snowy Paperwhites

Snow is gently falling outside our windows here on the farm in southwest Iowa. It started last night around dinner and seems to be still going strong here this afternoon. When you have really large windows in your house the difference between a brown view and a white view is huge. It’s so bright outside…

Interview with Jan Riggenbach

I’ve had the honor of attending three of Jan Riggenbach’s lectures in the last few years. A regular contributor for the Omaha World Herald, author of Your Midwest Garden and all out garden-guru, she continues to impress with her breath of knowledge. Last year, I heard her speak at the West Pottawattamie Master Gardener’s Spring…

Favorite Online Gardening Resources

Like many of you, I am constantly seeking new resources for advice on gardening and landscaping. I’ve scoured the web for the best of the best and thought it was time to share my favorite resources with you. Garden Answer The queen of annuals, perennials and just about anything related to home gardening, Laura with…

Six Favorite Garden Centers in Omaha/Council Bluffs

If you have the winter blues, you must visit a local garden center. It’s the only place that feels like summer in the dead of winter. After extensive research, these are my top six favorite nurseries or garden centers in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area in alphabetical order. Whether you are in Council Bluffs or out in…

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Gardeners

Most gardeners love it when the seed catalogs start to arrive in our mailboxes, showcasing all of the newest tools and most unique new seed varieties. It’s a season for reflection on the last year – what worked and didn’t, what you want to grow again and what you vow never to try again (eggplant…

Six Holiday Plants That Make Great Gifts

This holiday season, consider giving a beautiful seasonal plant as a gift to one of your friends, coworkers or family members. They provide great indoor color, freshness and delight all season long. Here are six great holiday plants to give this year. Poinsettia Cyclamen Dracenia Norfolk Island Pine Paperwhites Amaryllis First up is a classic…

Cyclamen in the Conservatory

The Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens is a sight to see this time of year and all year, being one place that feels like summer forever. Right now the model train weaves through the “cold” front room in the conservatory with splashes of pink and red cyclamen stealing the show. Cyclamen The trick…