My husband and I were early adopters of Apple watches when they were first introduced in 2015. I now have a series 3, which can act independently of the iPhone, (solving what had always been a drawback). One of the basic ways I use the watch is as an activity tracker, which it does very well, including the stylish graphics you would expect from Apple. But—like other activity trackers—the watch does not acknowledge gardening as a physical activity. If you look under “other,” you can choose a wide variety of activities that are well off the mainstream, including cricket, archery, and water polo. No gardening, though it will, of course, track general exercise measurements while you’re working outside. Other devices have been known to categorize heavy gardening as “sport,” and “outdoor bike.”
Nobody reading this blog needs to be told what kind of physical work gardening is. And there are peer-reviewed university studies that have measured the bulk of gardening activity as equal to brisk w..
Jack Schultz, News-Herald photo.
There are few families in American horticulture with four generations of successful nursery crops. There are even fewer nursery legends with a story so well remembered as that of Jack Schultz, the 88-year-old Schultz family patriarch and founder of Springbrook Gardens, wholesale perennials growers, in Mentor, Ohio.
Jack’s dad, Elmer, started Wayside Gardens in 1916 as a road stand. Sales were good. J.J. Grullemans became a partner in 1920. Grullemans focused on sales while Elmer Schultz preferred production. In the beginning the business was principally wholesale. The partners shuttled back and forth between production fields in Perry and Mentor, Ohio.
Jack started pulling weeds for Wayside Gardens as an 11-year-old in 1939. He liked the work. By the age of 13 he was running a crew of 20 kids. Jack said, “ Dad told me I could get more work out of them than any man could.”
In the early days, an estimated 60% of the Wayside wholesale production was sh..
The Bug Chicks - A site for parents, teachers and bugdorks.
We have printed up a limited run of our much-loved “Bugdork” bumperstickers and some special Junior Entomologist bumperstickers, too! When you buy these, you support our work and our ability to teach people about the amazing world of arthropods.
Bumperstickers for the Holidays!
The further I get into this horticulture life the more I realize how little I know, especially of its outer edges; all that Latin derivation and categorization stuff.
That used to bother me. People forever mistake me for an expert. I’m about over it. I’m in my Old Guy Mode. Sure, it’s important that somebody somewhere in a dim, dark library put the Zanthoxylum clava-herculis in its proper referential and botanical place. I am not a willful idiot about such. I will use all nine syllables as absolutely needed.
So, let’s hear it for Carl Linnaeus, the very-interesting binomial nomenclature inventor, if not Miss Rader, my petrified high school Latin teacher, who would cringe and shake her head “No” as the jock in the back of her class tossed paper airplanes out an open window.
At my current age, however, I’d just rather someone else work out the Latin derivation. My fun now is in randomly coming across Zanthoxylum clava-herculis on page 1310 of Mike Dirr’s Ma..
Who doesn’t love spring-blooming bulbs? I love all of them (well, except for hyacinths) and used to plant a large assortment every fall. Above are shots from my former garden, where I planted tulips, yanked them out after the blooms faded and had the fun of trying new ones in the same spot the next year.
But no more. Now I ONLY plant bulbs that come back year after year and aren’t eaten by squirrels or deer. (Hooray for daffodils!)
And I’ve entirely changed how I arrange them and plant them. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but when I was a gardening newbie I planted a couple hundred full-sized daffodils (my fave was Ice Follies), one bulb per hole and spaced evenly throughout the garden. It looked ridiculous. So over the years I gradually rearranged them into clumps, masses and sweeps – which we all know look better than one-offs.
Planting bulbs too close together
And I gradually switched to planting bunches of 5-10 bulbs in each hole because I like the look and it’s SO much easier ..
Arbor Day Coffee Misc Rain Forest Rescue Replanting Our National Forests
This Cyber Monday Shop The Arbor Day Foundation For Free Shipping
By Brianne Bayer | November 23, 2017
Cyber Monday is a great day! Why is it great, you ask? I’ll tell you! It is the one day out of the entire year you can sit in the comfort of your chair, sip your cup of coffee, and have great deal after great deal available right at your fingertips. Ten years ago the Monday after Thanksgiving was coined as “Cyber Monday” – in short, Cyber Monday is like Black Friday but you get to avoid all the crowds and cold weather and shop from the comfort of your computer. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a great day to me.
The Arbor Day Foundation has unique holiday gift options that give back. We offer Earth-friendly gifts for everyone on your list. Whether it’s tree planting in honor of a loved one, rain forest-saving coffee and chocolate, or an individually packaged evergreen, a gift from the Ar..
The Bug Chicks - A site for parents, teachers and bugdorks.
When we were researching interesting species to find in the Amazon Rainforest, Jess learned about the Blue Morpho Dragonfly. This thing IMMEDIATELY went on our Top 5 List. Most people know or have seen pictures of Blue Morpho butterflies, as they are some of the most beautiful and visible ambassadors of New World tropical forests. But we had NO IDEA that there was a dragonfly that shared those famous iridescent blue wings. The article Jess found also had some really interesting information about how the wings of this insect may be made of living tissue. For the most part, insect wings are dead (like our hair or fingernails once grown out of the cuticle or follicle) but scientists recently found what looks like a tiny respiratory system on the wings of blue amorphous dragonflies by using an electron microscope.
The underside of the wings are dark, but the tops are an incredible metallic blue. Male dragonflies are extremely te..
In (somewhat) better days
Trees are suffering. First, there are the pests; among the most current are the emerald ash borer, the mountain pine beetle, and the wooly aldegid. Then there are the ravages of fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters; it was awful to see the defoliation in the Caribbean earlier this year (though growing conditions there should promote faster replacement than we’d see in Buffalo). And then there are the always-ongoing threats of bad planting and bad maintenance.
One of only two trees on our actual property—we are surrounded by trees we don’t own—was just cut down last week, the last in a series of must-do pre-winter tasks. A big sugar maple, it had been weakening over the past five years, and now posed a serious threat to neighboring structures. We think it’s many decades old, but aren’t sure of the exact age. During garden tours, visitors have always been surprised to be seeing such a large tree in an urban courtyard garden; it grew directly against ..
Tree of the Week
Littleleaf Linden: Tree with a Past
By James R. Fazio | November 21, 2017
Few of our street trees have a heritage as rich as the littleleaf linden. We enjoy this transplant from Europe for its pleasing shape, dense canopy, and super-fragrant flowers, but to the ancients it was much more.
Littleleaf linden is one of some 30 species of lindens native to the northern hemisphere, including our native forest tree, basswood. In Europe, littleleaf dominated the woodlands of England after the Ice Age and today it is the linden that stretches farthest north into Scandinavia. This was such a valued tree that there is evidence of it being planted and used for social purposes as early as 760 A.D. The special qualities of littleleaf and its kin evoke things romantic. Youths and maidens are said to have “danced wildly” around the village lindens. This probably was because in the Germanic and Norse countries, at least, the tree was special to Freya, the g..
These days we’re all paying more attention to beneficial wildlife in our gardens, and to that end, looking for good native plants to grow. But which ones? Those official lists of state or regional natives don’t really help the aspiring eco-gardener make their choices. So many of the listed plants aren’t even in the trade! Instead, I always recommend asking experienced gardeners.
Gardeners like me, for instance. In this short video I gush about the 10 best-performing native plants I’ve ever grown, and by that I mean they look great and are easy-care. No fertilizers or fungicides needed. And except for the Oakleaf Hydrangea, no regular watering after the plants are established.
They are: Black-Eyed Susans, Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower, Spiderwort, Joe Pye Weed, Golden Groundsel, Amsonia, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Crossvine, and Redbud. And in the video description on YouTube I add three “bonus plants” that aren’t in the video for lack of decent photos of them: Ninebark, Penstemon and Little B..