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Ruin Garden at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory – a Must-See? by Susan Harris

12 hours agoHobbies / Gardening : Garden Rant

From my recent stay in Pittsburgh I’ve shown you Randyland, which writer/adventurers Susan Reimer,  Ginny Smith,   Carrie Engel and I stumbled upon while playing hooky from hotel conference rooms. We were on our way to another destination,...Show More Summary

Monarchs Led Me To This Talented Artist

I have a heart for one the most iconic symbols of this country - the monarch butterfly. I've always been fascinated by them and entranced by their beautiful markings and how they metamorphose while being encased in a green jewel chrysalis. Show More Summary

Puss Caterpillar – White (and Venomous)

Q: I’ve never seen a white caterpillar before, nor one that looks like it is covered with fur like an angora kitten. Do you know what kind it is? Is there such a thing as an albino caterpillar? A: Yikes – don’t touch it!! It’s a puss moth caterpillar and it hides painfully venomous spines […]

September Starts

Labor day seems like the beginning of fall. Here the weather is trying to cooperate with all the people that gather for one last picnic before the weather really begins to turn. One little white rose at the tippy top of the arbor hangs on. Show More Summary

Mid-century house inspires Palm Springs-style garden in Austin

Charlotte Warren, a photographer and former co-chair of the local Garden Conservancy tour, inherited a steeply sloping, west-facing zoysia lawn when she moved into her home in the hills of West Austin. Aside from requiring lots of water...Show More Summary

Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, Late August by Susan Harris

I spent a sublime morning this week at the Blackwater  National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, in the beautiful State of Maryland. Outside the Visitor’s Center, a wildlife garden that includes Butterfly Weed (Asclepias incarnata). The very-familiar Rudbeckia with the rarely used Turtlehead (Chelone obliqua.) One of the many abandoned […]

Plant This: Candy lily blooms are a sweet surprise

4 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

Visiting the garden of my friend Cat/The Whimsical Gardener earlier this summer, I exclaimed over a dainty, freckled flower on a long stem, with the sword-like leaves of an iris. Candy lily, she said, adding that she took no particular care and it thrived in morning to mid-afternoon sun. Show More Summary

Inspiration for my new bottle tree comes from the desert

5 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

When it’s too hot to plant, consider planting a bottle tree. It’ll never need watering, and the more the Death Star shines on it, the better it looks. I made a simple, post-style bottle tree 5 years ago. But the cedar post was rotting, and it was beginning to list. Show More Summary

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!

6 days 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

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

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