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Postcards From The Edge – DROUGHT by Ivette Soler

I have lived through drought before, but I have never seen anything like what I am witnessing now. I live in what is usually called an “up and coming” community – this is one of those places where artists and musicians come to raise their families, and before the drought, it looked like an adorable […]

Garlic chive time!

8 hours agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

Like Captain von Trapp’s edelweiss, the clean and bright flowers of garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) cheer me up when I’m feeling down in the August dumps. “Won’t be long now,” they whisper. “This is summer’s last gasp.” With puffballs...Show More Summary

I spy a garden spider, and she’s not alone

Everyone’s been talking this month about the common but uncommonly large garden spider, also known as black-and-yellow argiope. As it happens, my garden is home to at least one of these colorful, creepy, yet beneficial predators. She’s a big ‘un! She builds her web in the curbside garden between a softleaf yucca and a cluster of Salvia greggii. Show More Summary

Ames NeverLeak™ Hose Reels: A Review

Since I discovered Ames Tools earlier this year and got to see firsthand how some of them are made and what the company's philosophies are towards their products and their customers, I've become a big fan. I have to tell you when they first contacted me about trying out some of their products, I was hesitant. Show More Summary

Leaf-footed Bug – Nymph

Q: We noticed this pretty bug on the side of our car. The bug was gesturing at us with its antennae and abdomen. A: It just wanted to be friendly! It’s a nymph (i.e. juvenile) of a leaf-footed bug, Acanthocephala terminalis. It’s a minor pest of fruits, nuts and vegetables. It is typically controlled by […]

River Birch Sawfly Larvae – Proper Control

Q: In March I drenched the ground around our two river birches with the Ortho product which has imidacloprid. Each tree has 3 trunks, each about 6 inches in diameter. I used a 40 oz. bottle and divided it between the two. We have had no problem with sawfly larvae until mid-August, when I saw […]

English Ivy – Mature Form, Flowers, Berries

Q: This aggressive ivy look-alike has covered up English ivy and everything in its path while making stubborn mounds several feet high! A: It’s what experts call the “mature” form of English ivy, as contrasted with the “juvenile” phase we all recognize. The mature form typically has few, if any, leaf lobes while the juvenile […]

Millipedes – Identification

Q: We have an abundance of these things in and around our home. What is it and how do we get rid of them? This one is nearly five inches long. A: It’s a North American millipede, Narceus americanus. There are other big millipedes, like the giant African millipede, Archispirostreptus gigas You have probably also […]

Upcoming presentation in San Angelo: Design Tips for Drought-Proof Gardens

2 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

Hey, West Texans! If you live in or near San Angelo, I invite you to attend the Fall Landscaping Symposium, presented by Concho Valley Master Gardeners, on Saturday, September 13th. I’ll be speaking at 12:45 pm on my favorite subject: how to design your yard with less or no lawn. Show More Summary

Sensational by Elizabeth Licata

It’s a fact that botanical gardens have to keep on their toes to attract visitors throughout the year. Just as with art museums, a great collection is not enough.  In addition to the traditional special events, like orchid, mum, spring flower, coleus, and poinsettia shows, there must be model trains, bright lights in winter, Santa, […]

Waiting for autumn’s reviving touch

3 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

Whew! After writing 16 posts about Portland gardens, each containing scads of photos of summer-lush and richly blooming borders, I’m somehow ready for a return to my own Death Star-blasted garden. August is my least favorite gardening month here in Austin. Show More Summary

Who’s more controversial – Michelle Rhee or Scotts Miracle-Gro? by Susan Harris

To most of the media, it’s the famous education reformer Michelle Rhee, ex-DC Schools Chancellor, who’s controversial, unpopular, even reviled by some, especially teachers’ unions. (Interesting read on the subject.)  So when Scotts MiracleGro...Show More Summary

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Caterpillar

Regardless of what you've been told, the stripes on a woolly bear caterpillar do not predict the severity of an approaching winter, but it may tell you something about the previous winter. According to Mike Peters, an entomologist at...Show More Summary

Exploring outside Portland: Columbia River Gorge, lavender farm on the Fruit Loop, and Cannon Beach

Before the Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland, Oregon, last month, my husband and I took a few days to explore the city and surrounding region. On our last day we rented a car and drove east along I-84 to see the majestic Columbia River Gorge. Show More Summary

Courtyard Garden: One Year Later by Evelyn Hadden

It’s time for an update on my courtyard garden. The thrill of saying that hasn’t dimmed after a year, and I imagine I will still be delighted about it if I am lucky enough to have a courtyard garden decades from now. First, a quick before-and-after pairing to show the changes in the structure of […]

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