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Green Speak

Horticulture topics from gardens to lawns and then some.

Photo of the Week - March 13, 2017

Hooray! Winter has returned. While sane people stayed inside, horticulture educators like myself headed outside to take pictures. Many homeowners and gardeners may be feeling a panic rising in their chest seeing their emerging plants and spring blooming bulbs covered in snow. Oddly, I find it a great time to examine how plants respond to this kind of environmental stress. I'm also the neighbor who...

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Photo of the Week - March 2, 2017

The winter has been unusually warm these past several weeks (even months). While it has been nice to go for walks in short-sleeves and even grill outside, I truly long for winter weather. Winter without snow is terribly bleak. Snow gives residents of the Midwest something visually stimulating in an otherwise dull, dormant landscape. Finally, we're seeing a bit of colder weather as we e...

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Photo taken on January 9, 2017. Icy morning in the high tunnel.

Photo of the Week - Feb 21, 2017

It seems fitting to post my photo of an icy morning taken earlier this year at the start of January. Presently in late February, we seem to be in a prolonged stretch of warm weather. Perhaps next week I'll post emerging daffodils or my lilac with leaves bursting through their buds. Today, let's remain in winter for a moment and remember what typically is our current state in February....

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Sustainability for the Home Landscape

As gardeners, we seek to connect with the world and ourselves through the cultivation of plants. Gardening is an act of emphasizing nature's beauty and bounty within our landscapes. In the past century, our quality of interactions with the outdoors has diminished. Introducing the Contemporary American Landscape Packed schedules gave rise to the demand for low-ma...

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Horticulture in the Movies: Interstellar

As winter approaches, there seems nothing better than to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie. Watching movies is a favorite hobby of mine. And when movies mix horticulture into a plot, it gets my rapt attention. Toss in a little science fiction and you had me at the opening credits. The thing is, there are not very many movies that have horticultural themes or subthemes. My goal is...

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Finding the Sublime Beauty in the Midwest

Sublime- for most of my young life my understanding of this word was misplaced. It wasn't until the pursuit of my graduate work that sublime was made clear. Sublime is a feeling experienced when encountered with unspoken beauty and possibly terror that leaves us in admiration. Think about standing on the beach looking at the ocean. The vastness of the water holds us in a trance of awe and a pan...

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Where are the Monarch Butterflies?

Three. As of writing this blog on August 9, 2016, I have only seen three monarch butterflies. It seems year after year I encounter fewer and fewer monarchs. But don't take my word alone. According to Monarch Watch with the University of Kansas, the evidence is clear: Monarch overwintering populations have steadily decreased since record keeping began in 1994. Du...

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