My Personal Musical Fountain

By on Sep 15, 2019 in Lake Michigan, Nature |

I could sit on the dune and watch this all day. It’s one of my favorite spots to sit and watch Lake Michigan. Listen to the music in my head as you watch the video. Crank it up and enjoy!

Butterfly tagging

By on Sep 12, 2019 in Nature |

On Tuesday September 10 we tagged more Monarch butterflies for fall release. A wonderful family and young lady named Neve came along as we were about to release the butterflies. With Mom’s permission, Neve was very interested in participating and did a great job! You can tell already at this young age she has a keen interest in nature, insects and flowers.       You can watch the video of Neve releasing the butterfly after tagging here:  

It’s Fall planting time. Let’s go nuts and throw “cashew” to the wind

By on Sep 9, 2019 in Fall |

Learn a lesson from the squirrels. They’re smarter than you think. Watch, learn, enjoy.

An Unbe-Leaf-able taste treat

By on Sep 3, 2019 in Fall |

As fall colors mesmerize us and the cool crisp air refreshes us, there is a seasonal treat that doesn’t involve apples or pumpkin. It’s Maple leaves. Yes deep fried maple leaves! Maple I can explain…… It is something I included in my book “I Just Wet My Plants” chapter 9 “Lettuce Party like it’s 1999.” It’s a Japanese snack called momiji tempura, or deep-fried maple leaves made with a sweet tempura batter. I love the tradition in the Japanese town of Minoh City where they deep fry the maple tree leaves. Minoh is known for its beautiful Japanese Maple trees ablaze in color in fall. It’s not fast food. It takes patience and about a year to prepare. Perfect yellow leaves from Maple trees are hand selected and then packed in salt and left for a year. The salt is then shaken off the leaves and leaves are individually deep fried in...

It’s not the end….It’s the second half

By on Sep 1, 2019 in Fall |

I consider September through November the second half of the gardening season. It’s not the end. The perfect time to both enjoy and improve your plot in life. If you want to establish a great lawn and landscape be out there in the fall season working on it. September to November the soil is still warm, we generally get sufficient rainfall and the air temperature cools. Plants put their effort into root establishment instead of top growth followed by the resting dormancy of winter. It’s a great time of year to plant, move plants or split your plants. When you feed landscape plants in fall even though air temperatures are dropping, soil temperatures remain warm enough for roots to benefit from nutrients giving them a jump start on next year’s growing season. Take me to your Weeder. Most people focus attention on weed killing in spring and summer. It is a good time of year for...

Tough as nails

By on Aug 23, 2019 in Houseplants |

As the day length begins to shorten, kids head back to school and the outdoor air temperature cools, we begin to think about moving plants indoors again. Without proper care these plants can feel they are under house arrest. Never fear. There are two foliage houseplants that are as tough as nails. As always some stress will reveal character and in the case of plants show how well grounded they are. Plants with fibrous and shallow roots tend to be less adaptable or easy to grow than those with tuberous, thick or rhizomatous roots. Both ZZ and Sanseveria plants have tuberous thick roots. Both are native to Africa. If you’re the type to over nurture these plants might not be for you. If you lean towards neglect they might be perfect.  Sure they need care but are a couple of houseplants that are the closest living thing to plastic known to man. The Zamioculcas zamifolia and the...

August Playground

By on Aug 13, 2019 in Summer |

The landscape is a playground in August. Prior to entering the fall gardening season the month of August puts on a show making it one of my favorite months of the year. We get the opportunity to enjoy dramatic hydrangeas and their towering panicled flowers. Blooming perennial Allium blooms are covered in bees and butterflies. The hummingbird moths are intoxicated by the Agastache. The Echinacea are brilliant and blooming. The Ornamental grasses are in their prime and dancing in the breeze, warm humid weather does not bother them one bit. The Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’ reach for the sunlight. The Sedums, Succulents and Opuntia Cactus are in their prime and loving the long hot days of summer. Yes I wait patiently for the month of August to arrive every year and when it does…..it “leafs” us just too fast. Soak in every moment. Rudbeckia laciniata...

Weed Need to Talk

By on Jul 25, 2019 in Weeds |

Weed need to talk. Those roadside weeds might look pretty from your air conditioned car at 70 mph but they have a dark side up close and personal. I was out running the other evening and noticed the finches playing and feasting in a field of wild teasel Dipsacus sylvestris. Many of those blooming weeds we see coloring our roadsides in late July have 3 common characteristics. 1) They are not native and were introduced years ago (usually from Europe). 2) They produce copious amounts of seed (thus the abundance) and 3) They have characteristics that crowd out other native species. Wild teasel or Dipsacus sylvestris or Dipsacus fullonum (which looks and sounds like a caption you would see below Wile Coyote in a Road Runner episode) has light lavender florets that bloom their way up the cone. The plant was introduced from Europe in the 1700s and can reach a height well over my head. If you...