Category Archives: general nature

Bridal veil spiraea is a showy shrub that handles cold


Bridal veil spiraea (Spiraea prunifolia) is one of my favorite spring flowering shrubs and it will thrive when winter temperatures dip into the -30s. The most common type of these white spring flowering shrubs is usually referred to as Vanhoutte … Continue reading

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Great Blue Heron is the king of the wading birds


I love to watch blue herons standing motionless while waiting for prey. They are such graceful and focused hunters. They also must be quite adaptable, since they have such a large native range. In eastern North Carolina they can be … Continue reading

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Potatoes and sweet potatoes can be a genetic challenge


It’s time to cut and plant those spuds. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are different than most vegetables we eat. They aren’t propagated by seed. Plants are grown asexually, meaning they are clones. All plants in a field are genetically identical to … Continue reading

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Annual bluegrass may be the single worst turf weed


Many folks have noticed their lawn has suddenly turned green, and the grass is not coarse and ugly. However, this species of annual grass is the most difficult to control and most obnoxious weed in golf courses. The culprit is … Continue reading

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What a difference a month makes – and then another two weeks


The first five days of 2018 saw low temperatures in the teens in Elizabeth City. Night temperatures hovered in the single digits the next three nights, one of them around zero. During that stretch daytime temperatures remained in the 20s. … Continue reading

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English ivy is one of the most versatile and invasive plants around


Many people who don’t have it growing on their property want it. Those who have it usually want to get rid of it. Once established, English ivy (Hedera helix) can take over a wall, tree or forest floor. I don’t … Continue reading

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Optimists hope frigid winter temperatures might quell bugs


Whenever we have a mild winter folks complain that mosquitoes and other insect pests will be worse. This past January we had some of the coldest temperatures in several years. People have asked me if that weather might have a … Continue reading

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