Becoming a Certified Monarch Waystation

One way to help pollinators AND support an organization that is helping pollinators… is to have your garden become a Certified Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch. Monarch Watch is a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular fall migration….

Raising Black Swallowtail Butterflies

If you’ve seen a Black Swallowtail in your yard, you’ll probably want to find out how to have more of them. They are gorgeous. The male and female Black Swallowtail butterflies are very different. The males are mostly black with a lot of yellow while the females are mostly black with a lot of blue…

Garden Journal 7/28/2019

We have definitely entered the high summer and the summer perennials are thriving. Last week it was brutal and in the 90s all week but this week we are seeing 70s and 80s. Thankful for this break in the heat for the RAGBRAI riders this week. We’ve been at this house for two and a…

Iowa Ecosystems: Wetlands

This month, our Master Conservationist class was held at Heron Haven in Omaha, NE to discuss the wetlands ecosystem. Heron Haven is a spring-fed wetland sanctuary. The sanctuary features one of the last oxbow wetlands of the Big Papillion Creek and it is within Omaha’s city limits. You may remember my recap of a Master Gardener…

Healthy Soil, Healthy Planet

I attended a lecture titled Healthy Soils, Healthy Planet today at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa. It was the third installment of their 2019 speaker series. Today, Jean Eells discussed the importance of soil health and its impact on every day life. From cover crops and no-till to how adopting those practices widely…

Butterflies, Bees and More

The farm is bursting with life. I’m seeing something new every single day. It’s amazing how quickly things change in just a short amount of time. All of these photos were taken within a 48 hour period when I was trying to find as many different species as possible in our yard, I found a…

Interview with Benjamin Vogt

I first heard Benjamin Vogt speak at a Council Bluffs Noon Rotary lunch last year. A friend had invited me because she thought I would be interested in the topic. Vogt’s passion for what he does quickly became apparent. He urged the audience to re-think their grass lawns and instead plant low-maintenance native plants. I…

Upcoming Local Events

There are a lot of great events planned for this summer through various organizations in Iowa and Nebraska. I thought I would gather some gardening and art-focused events that look interesting to me and share with all of you. They are grouped by venue and not by date so be sure to check the date…

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…