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Connecting to Our Food Web

Dedicated to educational resources towards building and sustaining viable food webs and ecosystems
Great Blue Lobelia - Lobelia siphilitica
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Welcome to My Jungle -- September, 2018

Late summer flowering perennials may be less common but they are still an important addition to any garden, both for adding color in an otherwise drab time of year, and possibly as valuable pollen/nectar sources for visiting insects and birds. Great Blue Lobelia ( Lobelia siphilitica ) is native throughout much of Illinois and is happiest in a uniformly moist soi...

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 Pounds  Pecan
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Welcome to My Jungle - August 2018

It is amazing how just putting the emphasis on a different syllable can almost turn a normal common word to you into a foreign languageā€¦just try saying "em-PHAS-is on a different sill-LAB-ill" to see what I mean. Case in point, I just attended a fruit and nut conference that had attendees from across North America. In a setting like this, you quickly realize that some fun can be had just learni...

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My Jungle Early Spring
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Welcome to My Jungle - July 2018

What a difference the heat of late spring and early summer has on my jungle. I like a changing garden. Gone are all remnants of spring flowering plants; replaced with summer blooms, the likes of shasta daisy, bottlebrush buckeye, monarda, skullcap, oakleaf hydrangea and daylily. Everything has filled in and the entire garden has taken on the feel of secret, enclosed spaces. Gardens like...

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Douro Valley
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Welcome to My Jungle - June, 2018

Portugal is a beautiful country and I wish everyone the opportunity to visit as I did just recently. Portugal is famous for many products but probably port wine come to mind first. Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is hard to grasp the human effort over the eons that have gone into building rock walled ter...

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IMG 2403
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Welcome to My Jungle - May, 2018

With some plants gardeners are quite happy to see spread around in the garden, while others not so much. Maybe the "not so much" plants aren't as coveted, not as showy or maybe they spread a bit more than considered polite. But are the negatives overshadowing the potential benefits for some of these plants? Take our native violets for example. Many gardeners view our state flower as an aggressi...

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2018 MOBOT Wattle Fence
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Welcome to My Jungle - April 2018

Wattle is not only beautiful but also a great use of repurposed pruning materials. Even if you are unfamiliar with the term "wattle," you most likely have seen examples of fences and other structures made by weaving thin branches ("weavers") between upright stakes ("sales") to form a woven lattice. Check out the Kemper Center vegetable garden at Missouri Botanical Garden where staff are buildin...

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Transplants Lactuca sativa cv Tropicana - Standard Heat-tolerant Green Leaf Lettuce IMG 3168

Welcome to My Jungle - March 2018

Signs of spring are everywhere, but the "peep, peep, peep" of the spring peepers ( Pseudacris crucifer ) is what truly heralds its coming. These quarter-sized frogs are members in the Anura order of amphibians comprising the frogs, toads, and tree frogs, all of which lack a tail in the adult stage and have long hind limbs often suited to leaping and swimming. Spring peepers come...

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