Kansas

Stacking the Deck – Heat Loving Perennials for Summer

Its hard to think about the hot, dry summer days of July and August when the temperatures outside are in the teens and twenties. But those days will come as surely as the weather changes in Kansas and Nebraska. We live in one of the harshest growing climates in the United States-it co
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Harbingers of Spring

The winter months can be trying for any gardener, both old and new. With long, darkened days, frigid temperatures, and snow-covered landscapes, there is sometimes little for the gardener to do. We watch the birds, look through seed catalogs, and read. Looking forward to the first flow
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Holiday Traditions

As Thanksgiving comes in, we begin to look forward towards Christmas and New Years, often overlooking Thanksgiving altogether. What does Thanksgiving really mean to most Americans? Since I was little, all I ever heard about was food, football, and family. I agree with the food and fam
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What is With All the Butterflies?!

Recently, here in Northeast Kansas we were seemingly swarmed by millions of butterflies. Along nearly every road and blacktop surface, butterflies swooped and landed and were struck down by passing cars. No matter how many died, more took their place. I have been asked multiple times
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Birds are for the Bugs!

That first sweet bite of peach in the hot July sun, off of your own tree in your own yard, makes you wonder about the truly good things in life. For my family and I it was about a move 3 years ago to where we are now, bringing a plethora of landscape plants and trees with us. The peac
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Watch Out for Japanese Beetles!

They have arrived!? Like a horror scene from an 80’s alien feature, the Japanese Beetle has descended upon my landscape. I hoped it would never happen, but living off a highway with frequent traffic between croplands and the industries of Kansas City has increased my likelihood
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Hawthorns

I have been working as a landscape maintenance professional now for more than 10 years and each year get more exciting. One thing that never changes is how my customers feel about their hawthorn trees. They love them! And I am not surprised at all. Hawthorns in Kansas seem to embody t
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Redbuds in Northeast Kansas

The soft creep of green across the landscape has begun here in northeast Kansas. Along with it comes a flush of gentle colors among the trees and shrubs-the fluffy whites of flowering pear, American plum, and old fashioned spirea, the brilliant reds of quince, and the lavender hues of
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Delightful Switchgrass

As far as Kansas native grasses go, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is one of the most recognized and most utilized. Little bluestem is the Kansas state grass, but switchgrass is much more used in landscapes. Switchgrass can be used for screening, specimens, massings, and is even utili
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The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers…

Is tiggers are wonderful things. When I was a kid, my favorite TV show was the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Disney played this show every Saturday morning and my brother and I watched it. We learned the values of friendship, helping others, hard work, and truthfulness. My broth
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5 Shrubs for Shade

  My shade garden keeps developing, year to year. Since we bought our house in the woods, my wife and I have relished those large shade trees-but they make life interesting for a landscape designer. I have begun trialing plants in my garden to make recommendations for what we sel
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Rhizosphaera Needle Cast of Spruce

Every year it amazes me how much information our brain can hold. The more landscapes I go to see, the more things I realize I have yet to learn. This past summer I started consulting in Atchison, KS after we added a garden center there. One of the first jobs I went to had a spruce tre
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Kentucky Coffeetree

Growing up in North Central Kansas, I developed a love for large, tough shade trees to give rest from the intense summer heat. Although originally a prairie, my grandparent’s land is dotted with trees they collected seed for in their travels across America. They had me identify and ca
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Winter Blooms

I asked my teenage daughter what she would want to read about if she were a gardener and her first response was: “What blooms in winter?” What does bloom in winter? In Kansas and areas north, very little to nothing at all. Winter is defined as a period of time between solstices, from
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Diversifying for Pollinators

It is very interesting how insects, birds, and plants can coexist naturally and amazingly, without killing each other off the planet entirely. Insects are around us, literally everywhere. While I can generally identify some 50 species of insects or more, there are another 200 lurking
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