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Welcome Back!  

In a normal year, if there even is such a thing anymore, I would wait until the end of April to begin preparing for the return of my hummingbirds. After checking this year’s interactive migration map (  however, it appears that I don’t have time to wait. Ruby throated hummingbirds, our regional species, have already been spotted across the entire state of Missouri, including a spotting right here on the Katy Trail. 

Conquering Critters in the Garden

After two very successful seasons of trapping and relocating groundhogs, I thought I had finally conquered my four-footed enemy.  Since there had been no sign of him after July, I felt confident that he was gone for good... or at least one season. So, I went ahead and put in my dream spring garden.  I planted cabbage and broccoli, spinach and lettuce, bok choy and snow peas, carrots, radishes, onions, potatoes. I even added some marigold seeds to ward off uninvited insects.  Bordered with pots of pansies, it was beautiful!  I was happy.

Why You Shouldn't Celebrate An Early Spring

Driving along Highway 70 today, I saw swaths of daffodils and tulips in bloom, groves of pear trees budding out and a warm breeze gave off that soft, earthy smell that signals spring has arrived. I should have been elated that winter was on the way out, but I wasn’t. March 4th is at least two weeks too early for springtime in our part of the Midwest. 

What's In Store in '24?

I was browsing the internet the other day, looking for inspiration when I ran across an interesting twist on the favorite January topic of gardening trends for 2024. Instead of what to do, this article described what not to do. While I appreciated the premise – there are definitely trends to let go of –  aren’t there viable alternatives? Looking for answers, I turned to the design staff at Embassy Landscape Group. 

45 Gifts Gardeners Really Want

A few close friends and I were having coffee the other morning when the conversation drifted off to holiday gift-giving and how difficult it can  be to find that exactly “right” gift for the “right” person. We started reminiscing about some of the gifts we have received through the years, usually from our husbands. Some were sweet, some were strange and some were absolutely hilarious.

For The Birds

I was absentmindedly browsing through some internet articles last night when a rather bizarre fact caught my attention. According to. BirdCast which is published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 443,900 birds crossed over Missouri the night of November 6, 2023 and a total of 5,788,600 birds were in flight. The random fact immediately sparked so many questions:  How do they know the number of birds flying across an entire state on any given day?  What kind of birds were they?  Where were they from?  Where were they going? How far does a migrating bird travel in a day? Being an avid armchair birdwatcher, I couldn’t resist digging just a little deeper to find some answers to my questions . What I found both saddened and encouraged me. 

November's To-Do List

It never ceases to amaze me how much work there is left to do in my gardens in November. Even though the blooms are long gone and the foliage is a squishy shade of greenish-gray, I need to motivate myself to bundle up, get outside and get to work. There are 10 chores that, if done now, will make my spring garden thrive.

What Is A Native Plant, Really?

Our library system periodically hosts adult Ed programs for the community. The other night there was one about turning your turf lawn into a - and I quote the presenter here - a native paradise for pollinators. Figuring he knew more than I did (ours is three years old and far from a paradise), I settled in to learn.