The beetle battle continues

Amid harvests of cherry and ground tomatoes, Ted’s crew still continues to fight the advance of Japanese Beetles in Home Domonstration. Each day armed to the teeth with rubbing alcohol and spritzers, the crew diligently makes rounds in the gardens, shaking off leaves full of the pesky pest, and drowning them in the alcohol solution….

Midsummer Daydream

By Mary Beth Pottratz A single cicada saws incessantly from a tree, and bees drone in and out of blooms. Birds are settled down to their afternoon naps. Even the geese have tucked their necks under-wing. Dragonflies and damselflies dart lazily overhead. Monarchs and skippers flit from one clump of plants to another, never really…

The corn gets visitors…

It’s not often that mere plants can humble even hardened gardeners, but it just takes a stroll through the Harvest Gardens these days to feel small in the face of heirloom corn. Stretching to the sky at dizzying heights above other varieties of cucumbers and pole beans, the corn subtly pushes visitors to look up…

Prairie Beauty is More Than Meets the Eye

By Greg Lecker Prairie beauty is more than meets the eye.  Yes, prairie flowers and grasses offer a visual delight.  Subtle reddish accents highlight the tan seed heads of Side Oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) that shimmy and shake like fringe of a dancer.   Beyond such visual delights, there are opportunities to experience the prairie by…

Cannibals in the Ornamental Garden?

Is there any surprise that Ted is growing Cannibal Tomatoes in the Ornamental Garden? Along with the hottest pepper known to man, he thought he’d save room in the plot for a tomato that inspires images of gnashing and gnawing – we are afraid to even go near Home Demo. these days. So what’s the…

Ted’s ornamental peppers “even out”

Catching Ted for a chat isn’t the easiest this time of year; the needs of both the shrub roses and Gardens of Eatin’ are always pressing. We gathered the following info. from Ted before he ran out the door shouting something about Japanese Beetles. As far as the Home Demo. gardens are concerned, it seems the pepper…

Prairie Garden Insects

By Boak Wiesner When I pulled into the lot at the prairie garden, a large camera was being used to photograph some very interesting insects. With the emergence of cicadas in the last few weeks, the Cicada Killer Wasps are out and around, this one perching on Spike Gayfeather, waiting for unsuspecting insects to come…

And the vines keep climbing…

  Ted spent this morning training tendrils in Home Demo., weaving vines of melons, squash, and cucumbers up slatted fences in the Gardens of Eatin’. Ted trellises these crawlers to save space by growing them to the sky, as opposed to letting the vines creep along the garden floor. Hanging fruit on trellised vines will…

Cabin Fever in July

By Mary Beth Pottratz Driving to the nether ends of the Arboretum’s main parking lot, I realize many other people are suffering the same strain of summertime cabin fever that had befallen me during our 100-degree days.  With temperatures twenty degrees cooler today, people swarm like bees over lipstick-colored annuals. The display and perennial gardens…

Can you take the heat?

In leiu of last week’s broiling temperatures, we thought it appropriate to introduce a smoking-hot pepper variety straight from the Arb – one you may think twice about before bringing to the dinner plate. Don’t be fooled by the stature of this small plant. Despite its modest size now, it soon will pack enough punch to ward…