Saving an heirloom zinnia

This gardening season, I adopted another unique heirloom seed to try to save from extinction.  Currently, I’m saving four dry bean varieties that are not available commercially plus my own heirloom variety of tomato. Now I’m adding the first flower to my growing collection of unique heirlooms, a variety of zinnia. It was given to … Continue Reading →

Turtlehead flowers add color to your fall garden

During an afternoon walk while visiting our daughter Robin, we came across a grouping of Chelone, more commonly known as turtleheads. We found them growing in a park planted by the city’s talented landscapers. You don’t need much imagination to see why they are called turtle heads; their flowers really resemble a turtle’s head, especially … Continue Reading →

Look-alike garden insects

This week while scouting for garden for pests, I came across an interesting coincidence. Two look-alike, but completely unrelated, insect pests showed up at the same time. They were in the same general area but on different plants in nearby gardens. The first insect I spotted was rose sawfly larvae feeding on the roses. There … Continue Reading →

Be on the lookout for tomato fruit worm

It seems like it’s been a tougher season than normal for our tomatoes. First they got a late start because of the cold wet spring. Then we had a blast of heat just when they were blooming, causing the flowers to fall off. Now insects are attacking any tomatoes that have made it this far. … Continue Reading →

Ugly vegetables

Gardeners are fortunate to have the opportunity to grow the freshest and highest quality vegetables. Even now when organic produce is widely available, it’s no match for home grown. When it comes to their own produce, most gardeners disregard one major criterion that defines quality ; that is appearance. Even ahead of taste, nutrition or … Continue Reading →

Prevent mildew on cucumbers

Powdery mildew is a serious fungal disease of cucumbers and other related plants. It can completely wipe out an entire crop in a garden if nothing is done to control it. Regular rains, warm temperatures and high humidities this season have come together to make ideal conditions for powdery mildew development. The standard method of battling … Continue Reading →

Cicada killers on the loose

A few days ago I noticed a fresh pile of dirt near one of my tomato plants. Looking closer I noticed a hole in the ground next to the pile and recognized the excavation as that of a cicada killer wasp. That’s a descriptive, but unimaginative, name for them since they really do kill cicadas. … Continue Reading →

Party at the park

It’s on! We’re going to hang out at Fletcher Field on Saturday, Sept. 8, starting at noon to welcome Fraternite Notre Dame to the neighborhood … to honor Holy Name and Shield of Faith for all they did in the community for almost 100 years combined … and to celebrate the 11th anniversary of our … Continue Reading →

Quilt Gardens tour

It’s not often in this blog that I write about places to go. Recently, we visited the Quilt Gardens, a really fun, ongoing garden tour in the Elkhart, Indiana, region. Volunteer gardeners from that area installed more than a million annuals in 18 gardens. Flowers and colorful foliage plants are arranged to reproduce quilt patterns … Continue Reading →