August 1, 2020

One of the most overused ornamental trees is river birch (Betula nigra).  Do not presume that I mean it is unattractive.  The bark can be very enticing, especially the cultivar 'Cully' (aka 'Heritage') pictured above.  This special lighter pigmented deviant was discove...

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...

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...

August 1, 2019

Mid summer is when one starts to see more scalped lawns, or lawns that are habitually cut too low and begin turning brown.  I will discuss WHY this happens (both plant and people) and WHY it is a poor cultivation/management technique.  First, the height you choose for...

June 2, 2019

About a year ago I started displaying a word sign along the road at the intersection fronting my property (see September 2018 blog post).  The word for this month (June 2019) is zealotry.  Before you ask why, let me give you some background info.  I was involved in the...

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Rant of the Month

Unfortunately, most people know little about gardening and environmental issues including many "professionals" employed to choose, install and maintain plants and design landscapes. This page highlights specific issues 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.  I will occasionally also post outstanding and approved examples in an effort to educate.

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