Marsh of Fecundity

By Boak Wiesner Considering the sheer rapidity at which plants in the marsh grow as well as the half-million seeds a single cattail head produces, this would be a good name. It’s actually a play on the name “Sea of Fecundity” which, of course, is seen on the Moon’s lower right limb as we look…

Gardens of Eatin’ Corn Looks Golden

Fruits and vegetables are swelling up everywhere in the Gardens of Eatin’; tomatoes and peppers, pomegranates and squash. But although all of our gardens are experiencing wonderful growth, there is one patch that has left others in the dust. By midsummer, a healthy crop of field corn should be more than 6 feet tall and…

Midnight Snack

Perhaps the greatest compliment you can pay a gardener is to eat and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Farmers and hobbyists alike take delight in watching smiles manifest after someone bites into their fresh and flavorful produce. Unfortunately, here at the Arboretum Home Demonstration Gardens, we’ve been receiving ‘’compliments” from unwelcome visitors. An obnoxiously…

A Midsummer Day’s Bounty

By Greg Lecker The thought strikes you as soon as your vehicle turns onto the Alkire entry drive.  The Arboretum in mid-July is incredibly lush.  Compared with last year’s drought, this year’s water-soaked landscape is noticeably larger, thicker.  Walking from the Sensory Garden parking lot into Grace Dayton Wildflower Garden, I’m struck with the dense…

Heat of the Harvest

With temps in the nineties and relative humidity hovering at a balmy fifty-five percent, many of us here at the Arboretum are feeling as though we’ve entered the dog-days of summer. But the Gardens of Eatin’ have been responding quite well to the stifling heat we’ve been experiencing. We’re thrilled to see such lush and…

Flowers and Fruits

By Mary Beth Pottratz Tall white Seneca snakeroot plants line Alkmire Drive like toy soldiers. Their creamy spires lord over the golden-yellow prairie coreopsis and purple prairie clover. The rose walk is in its full glory. Beyond, rainbows of annuals carpet the ground.  But I don’t even stop to decipher the mysterious bird stuttering incessantly…

Better late than never

We finally made it. The Minnesota summer is in full swing and the delicious plants and cultivars in the Gardens of Eatin’ couldn’t be happier. Because of this years Mediterranean theme, many of the plants are accustomed to much drier and more moderate climates than the Midwest has to offer. The heavy rains and low…

Of Basswoods and Bugs

By Boak Wiesner Over the last few days, I noticed a certain light perfume in the air and, after some closer investigation, I realized that it was the smell of basswood trees in bloom. It seems that all the them around have burst into flower at once making the hot, humid air is redolent with…

Prairie Splendors

By Mary Beth Pottratz  Finally, a dry and sunny day at the Arb! Gentle breeze whisk any mosquitoes away. A brown thrasher beckons me into the Woodland Garden with its series of two-note calls. A pair of common yellowthroats sing back and forth, and the shade is deep and cool. Royal ferns have spores tipping…