By on Aug 2, 2016 in Summer |

I was reading with great interest a British study recently that implied the gender roles in the home are being rewritten including three quarters of women happy to tackle the job of mowing the lawn previously considered a task of the man of the household. Meanwhile six in ten men would be willing to make dinner every night and clean up afterwards as well. This survey of 2,000 Brits indicates gender roles have evolved in the home and an understanding that a chore shared is a chore halved. I believe it only makes sense that when it comes to yard work, cooking, cleaning and other household chores that teamwork always beats the culturally assigned gender roles that Mom and Dad demonstrated years ago. In the turf classes I have taught with a show of hands, hands down women believe they could do a much better job of the lawn and landscape then the man in the household. Conversely this study...

July Butterfly

By on Jul 8, 2016 in Summer |

The landscape celebrates July in its own quiet way with fireworks that go KaBloom! Those floriforous fireworks draw a crowd of butterflies and hummingbirds to our warm and colorful plantings. In general bright colors attract butterflies and hummingbirds to our yards. I read a quote that said a flower is simply a leaf mad in love. How true. Colorful blooms attract pollinators and nectar lovers to our yards. Natural growing milkweed is a fragrant joy to observe during the months of June and July. A Lacecap Hydrangea is a great example with the outer ring of showy sterile blooms that attract the attention for the less showy interior blooms. The July landscape should be a playground for butterflies and hummingbirds and it all starts by selecting the right plants to accent your yard, deck and patio. Remember sunny spaces and some water help in attracting these winged performers to put on a...

Hibiscus confusion?

By on Jul 23, 2015 in Summer |

Hibiscus confusion? Cue the music and let’s meet the contestants…. Our first featured Hibiscus is from and native to the Eastern US….one native tribe in the US used it to cure inflamed bladders and Thomas Jefferson grew it at Monticello. A shrub like herbaceous perennial and vigorous grower, this Hibiscus is sure to please with dinner plate sized flowers July-September. A very colorful character say hello to Hibiscus Moscheutos. Our next featured Hibiscus hails from tropical Asia and China. Not hardy to Michigan winters this hibiscus loves to play in the sun and warm temperatures. This plant makes a bold statement when entering a room with stunning flowers….that only last for a day or two. Say hello to Rosa Sinensis.               Our final featured Hibiscus is ubiquitous and all around town. A slow starter once established blooms beautifully in July and August. Woody and...

June Blooms

By on Jun 24, 2015 in Summer |

Zip up your Plants

By on Jun 3, 2015 in Summer |

Remember not all fertilizers are created the same. Take the primary nutrient nitrogen needed to green plants and provide growth. You can get nitrogen in less expensive urea forms that are very water soluble and here today gone tomorrow activated by water and temperature. Organic, natural or more expensive advanced synthetic forms of nitrogen are slower release water insoluble fertilizers needing soil bacteria and healthy microbes or biology to make the nutrients available to the plant. In an era of need for instant “grass”-ification, often some sulfur or iron is added to fertilizer mixes to give the quick deep green we desire. The least expensive and most dramatic nitrogen for our plants is atmospheric nitrogen….the kind of green up you see all around you the morning after a nighttime lightning storm. Regardless, nitrogen is just one of 19 elements considered essential for plant...

Hot Plants never go out of style

By on Jul 26, 2014 in Summer |

Hot “Plants” Never Go Out Of Style. Hot pants were all the rage just in time for my high school years in the 70’s. Daisy Dukes cut offs inspired by the Dukes of Hazard Catherine Bach or Wonder Woman in her hot pants outfit were looks we could never imagine ever going out of style. Some people consider the 70’s the decade that taste forgot, and looking back at some of my pictures I would have to agree. In my gym class in the 70’s the guys too and the basketball team wore very short shorts. They were so short that a revolt followed the 70’s and the pendulum swung the other way until people were wearing shorts so long you didn’t know if they were short longs or long shorts. Short shorts may have gone out of style but hot “plants” never go out of style. Both Annuals and Perennials offer an opportunity to be colorful as things get steamy. August is a great time to rejuvenate our flowering...