July 1, 2020

One of the most common gardening mistakes is miscalculating size and then mislocating based on this miscalculation.  It seems almost no one knows or want to learn that all woody plants (shrubs, trees and ligneous vines) have indeterminate growth; i.e., they...

June 1, 2020

I had a rant about Asiatic Bittersweet (aka Python Vine) ready to post and will post it closer to fall, but hours before my first of the month deadline another important topic won favor because I thought it timelier.  The replacement topic involves self-reflection, des...

May 1, 2020

Regrettably, most of the wood edge, understory and blocking roadside shrubbery you see in the Midwest is Asian Bush Honeysuckle (ABH).  ABH consists of a couple of species, with non-fragrant flowers ranging from white to red-pink, with hints of yellow, and they hybridi...

April 1, 2020

What were you doing April 22, 1970?   It was a perfect spring day in my south-central Illinois hometown.  I was a high school senior, the music was great, neither social media nor the 24-hour news cycle existed, the Vietnam War was still raging and Richard Milhous Nixo...

March 1, 2020

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map was originally compiled at the Arnold Arboretum, first published in 1938 and most recently updated (for only the second time) in 2012. *  The previous update was in 1990.  The map can be useful in helping to decide whether or not to pl...

February 1, 2020

The Old Farmer's Almanac claims its "weather" predictions are 80 percent accurate--using a secret formula created back about 1800, and still employed.  However, a University of Illinois professor of atmospheric science conducted a study which concluded the Almanac's pr...

January 1, 2020

Perhaps you have noticed the seasonally abnormal appearance of many Oriental maples (AKA Japanese maples).  I am referring to the tan-brown leaves still attached to many central Indiana specimens past New Year's Day.  But do you know why they are still attached?  Allow...

December 1, 2019

Like many people, I enjoy giving; but like some, I find it uncomfortable receiving.  The discomfort for me has always been tied to inherent introversion as well as embarrassment linked to impoverishment in my youth.  Now, as an aging adult, I am a little better...

November 1, 2019

(1)  All woody species (vines, shrubs & trees) are indeterminate growers (i.e., they do not stop growing {getting bigger} unless dormant, until dead, and some species may live many decades or centuries).  Eastern White Cedar (AKA arborvitae) Th...

October 1, 2019

One of the most glaring home landscape issues in the Midwest is the prevalence of declining and dead Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens).  The causal agent of the disease (needle cast) is several species of a fungus (Rhizosphaera)--other species, especially...

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Rant of the Month

Unfortunately, most people have limited gardening ability or environmental ethic; including many "professionals" employed to choose, install and maintain plants and design landscapes. This page highlights specific examples of the incompetence and deficiency with commentary on remedy or recommendation for course of action. Examples are numerous and easy to find -- rarely requiring me to travel far from home.  Hopefully, these postings will make the task of finding examples more difficult.

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