Category

Insects
About 15 years ago, MaryJo and Charlie Skemp started noticing unusual activity in a hosta planting that runs along the back side of their home. Beginning each spring, the garden would become an energy-filled flurry of what appeared to be bees, or perhaps wasps or hornets, hurriedly flying in and out of anthill-like holes in...
Read More
Next time you visit your favorite garden center, you may want to contemplate some of these purchases:
Read More
It’s hard for many gardeners to resist “cleaning up” their gardens in the fall or spring. But many moths and butterflies overwinter as caterpillars, pupae, and even adults in the soil surface, leaf litter, dead plants, twigs, and other hiding places in the garden. Other insects such as native bees, beetles, and more, need “messy”...
Read More
Goldfinch on meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis). Many areas in the Twin Cities are located within an Important Bird Area (IBA). The goal of an IBA, according to the National Audubon Society, is to ensure the survival of wild bird populations through the identification and protection of their most important habitats. (photo credit: Travis Bono)
Living Next Door to the Avian Superhighway Those who live near rivers in our metro area are fortunate to live alongside one of the world’s most amazing bird migratory routes: The Mississippi Flyway. Every year, over 325 bird species migrate from their breeding grounds in Canada to their wintering grounds in the Gulf of Mexico,...
Read More
Throughout the millennia, the astounding beauty of the butterfly has inspired the imagination, the arts, literature, and poetry. Attracting these magnificent creatures into our own yards requires just three basic ingredients:larval host plants, nectar plants, and sheltering habitat.
Read More
Seen here sipping nectar from wild bergamot, the great spangled fritillary butterfly is a welcome visitor to our gardens. Great spangled fritillary caterpillars hatch in the fall and immediately go dormant without eating. When they awaken hungry in the spring, these offspring search for violets to eat. Without violets, the great spangled fritillary caterpillar will...
Read More
After World War II, suburbs sprang up across America. These new landscapes often included Chinese and European ornamental flowers, trees, and shrubs that were (and still are) available at local garden centers. Unfortunately, because these plants came from afar, they contributed very little to local foodwebs. The backbone of all foodwebs is native plants. Think...
Read More