Category Archives: general nature

Planning your home garden can be complicated


Designing a productive and aesthetically pleasing garden can be complicated. Doing it correctly involves more than placing a seed in the ground, watering it and watching a corn plant come up. We must determine what our goals are. If you … Continue reading

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Pencil cactus is an interesting but poisonous houseplant


I get a lot of questions about poisonous plants. Many species, both interior, and exterior can contain poisonous chemicals. Most aren’t a major concern. In fact, many of our common houseplants are considered poisonous, but they are found everywhere. Often, … Continue reading

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Apple cider vinegar has a big following for many reasons


Popup adds online, infomercials, junk emails and many other sources bestow the wonders of apple cider vinegar. Obesity, diabetes, heart problems, skin and hair maladies are just a few of the issues apple cider vinegar use is claimed to combat. … Continue reading

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Loropetalum is a semi-evergreen that can bloom anytime


Most shrubs have a certain season where they are most attractive. Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense) is one that can be pretty during any season. We have one at school near our greenhouses that has a few blooms and many buds right … Continue reading

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Leyland cypress is the mule of landscape material


We all know what a mule is. It’s a cross between a female horse (Equus caballus) and a male donkey (Equus asinus). Since the parents are different species the mule is sterile. Leyland cypress is a lot like that, except … Continue reading

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Cormorants are gluttonous birds unpopular with almost everyone


Sportfishermen hate them. Aquafarmers see them as a threat to their livelihood. Property owners watch them threaten the beauty and value of their property. Cormorants have insatiable appetites for fish. A single bird will consume over a pound of fish … Continue reading

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Newer apple varieties are out there, but often hard to find


Last week I wrote about apple cultivars we see in the supermarkets. Most have been around for a long time. Many have drawbacks that we’d like to see changed. The problem is that it takes time to get new apples … Continue reading

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We all have our favorite apple


There are thousands of apple cultivars worldwide. It seems everyone has a favorite. Some favor the pretty varieties like ‘Red Delicious’, while others like the sweet ones like ‘Fuji’, ‘Honey crisp’ or ‘Gala’. ‘Gala’ and ‘Honey crisp’ fruits are early … Continue reading

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Reblooming azaleas are popular and easy to maintain


Azaleas and nearly all spring-flowering shrubs and trees need to be pruned soon after flowering. A new fold has developed in recent years. Reblooming azaleas bloom in spring and fall. So what do we do? First of all, any necessary … Continue reading

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Wood ducks adorn our swamps and creeks


Wood ducks (Aix sponsa) are by far my favorite duck species. They’re beautiful and I love to listen to them in flight. I can close my eyes and tell the males from the females. Males whistle and females make a … Continue reading

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