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Sustainability

What's Bugging You Today?

  By Sandra Nelson   Wasps, as a family, have gotten a bad rap over the years. They have been branded as destructive and aggressive, working togetherĀ in mobs intent on harming every human within the reach of their seemingly enormous stingers.     While some wasps, especially social ones, are nuisance insects, a large number …

THE BEST PERENNIALS FOR A BUTTERFLY GARDEN

By Sandra Nelson  

In the last few years I have come to understand how important it is to make my garden inviting for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Pollination by bees help support the four crops that make up 90% of the world’s food production while butterflies also act as pollinators and are …

Designing For Bees

  By Sandra Nelson  

The more I read about bees and their relatives, wasps and flies, the more fascinated I become with these tiny powerhouses and the more I understand why people are so passionate about providing for them and protecting them. As we mentioned in last week’s blog, honeybees may be the most well-known bee, …

Patience is the Key

  By Sandra Nelson   One of my favorite things to do this summer is to quietly sit on my deck, watching dozens of bees and butterflies flitting through the yard enjoying the nectar buffet I’ve planted. This is the first year that I’ve had a steady stream of visitors and it feels like the …

Preparing For Pollinators

  With all the Buzz about pollinators in the news lately (sorry, just couldn’t resist it), I thought that this might be a good time to think about adding a pollinator garden to the landscape.       For the past few years, flower and gardening magazines, websites and even home improvement television shows have …

Keepin' Things Humming

By Sandra Nelson  

My neighbor two houses down routinely has 4 or 5 hummingbirds flitting around her two feeders every day. (I have to admit that I have been known to “check” occasionally.) I, on the other hand, have one diehard who comes once a day, drinks and then flies off to the neighbor’s …

Vegetable Gardening 101

By Sandra Nelson  

With the days all seeming to melt together, it’s hard to realize that today is already May 7th. In another week or so it will be time to begin planting the bulk of my vegetable garden  —  the warm season plants like tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini, and some seeds like …

Butterfly Bush: A Must Have For Your Garden

Brilliant color, delightful fragrance and easy care  — a winning combination!   Butterfly bush, also known as summer lilac, is a perfect addition to a Midwestern summer garden. Although it absolutely requires full sun, 8 hours a …