Find your favorites at ArtPrize9, through Oct. 8

From downtown streets, museums, restaurants, bars and churches to the post office, police department and parks, Grand Rapids is overflowing with art this fall, courtesy of ArtPrize9. Some pieces even are installed in the Grand River and are visible from nearby bridges,  promenades and buildings. Running through Oct. 8, the city’s annual phantasmagoria of art … Continue Reading →

The Wonder Years

Even now, I find it hard to believe that such an incredibly diverse, dedicated coalition could come together — both on the ground and virtually through social media — to do so much good in a community that many others left for dead. Heck, some of it doesn’t even seem possible or real anymore. But … Continue Reading →

Autumn dogbane

When I was around 10 years old, back when all kids were free-range, I spotted spotted a plant during my wanderings that impressed me so much that I’m intrigued by it to this day. I didn’t know what it was called at the time. It wasn’t until later, when I was in college, that I … Continue Reading →

Lots of spots on maple tree

In many cases, diagnosing plant problems requires an in-person look at the plant in question. Too many disorders look similar when all you have is a photo to go by. Earlier this week someone sent me a photo asking about spots on a valuable tree they have in their front lawn. That was an easy … Continue Reading →

Keep an eye on your grapes

According to my records, my grapes are about 10 days ahead of last year at this date. Every growing season is different and any particular year doesn’t necessarily line up with seasonal average growing conditions. Ten days is a long time when it comes to grapes. I covered the grapes with netting last week to … Continue Reading →

Sycamore trees losing leaves

The stretch of dry weather we had took its toll on some sycamore trees planted in a less than ideal spot this season. Although sycamores can grow in dry areas, they thrive in moist soils. That causes a bit of a problem since the best spot to build a structure is on a high and … Continue Reading →

Monet Garden of Muskegon

A couple of weeks ago while traveling in the west side of the state, we had some extra time on our hands so we decided to turn off the highway and do a little bit of sightseeing. We turned on Google maps and it made a suggestion for us based on our location. All it … Continue Reading →

Sunflowers can cause problems in the garden

Plants have developed a number of different survival techniques that can give them advantages over other plants competing for the same growing space. For example, some plants have roots that produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of other nearby plants of other species. It’s a process known as allelopathy. Black walnut trees are probably the … Continue Reading →

Attracting beneficial insects to your garden

As mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, I planted a fairly large plot of buckwheat adjacent to our vegetable garden this spring. The main idea behind planting buckwheat was to provide forage primarily for honeybees and for any other pollinators that might be around to take advantage of it. As it turns out … Continue Reading →