Cemeteries Offer Park-like Settings and Much More

Some of the largest planted and managed landscapes in our communities are cemeteries. Though they’re not used for recreation or other large—or even small—public events, they’re historical, necessary and deeply valuable both personally and community-wide. Even more, they have to continue into the future and in some cases are already centuries old. They are extremely... Continue Reading →

Summer Gathering for a Winter’s Day

Bob Henrickson, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, plantnebraska.org Many gardeners plant “everlastings,” flowers and herbs that maintain their color and form when dried, specifically with the idea of using them in craft projects. Included in wreaths or other displays, they extend the beauty of summer’s bloom. There are many plants that hold their shape and color well,... Continue Reading →

Blazing Star is a Summer Showstopper

Most gardeners are purposeful in their planting. The priorities vary from one person to another, but we want things like hardiness, beauty, drought-tolerance, focal points, food for pollinators, multi-season interest. From late July on into fall, blazing star or Liatris offer all that and more… including usage as dramatic, long-lasting cuts. In the landscape, people... Continue Reading →

Plants for Wet Sites

Written by Christina Hoyt, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum With Nebraska’s weather extremes, many of us have spots in our landscapes that need to tolerate periods of wet feet as well as periods of drought… quite a challenge! The type of wet conditions also varies. A wet, poorly drained site is different than a moist site with... Continue Reading →

Wildflowers to Love

Who doesn’t love wildflowers? Viewing or even imagining a natural area with an abundance of wildflowers in various shapes, colors and forms is a pleasing activity for most people. But do we ever stop to think about what a wildflower actually is? In the simplest sense, a wildflower is just that—a flower that is wild,... Continue Reading →

Don’t Overthink Outdoor Play

It’s finally summer, time to enjoy the great outdoors, but how do we get kids outdoors when there are so many distractions? As adults we recognize the therapeutic quality of unstructured time spent in nature but that’s not a convincing argument to a kid on summer break who would rather be playing video games. This... Continue Reading →

Plants to Grow Confidence

If you want to learn how to garden, plants are the best teachers and the best way to start is to just go ahead and plant. Choose your space carefully, you will want to plant it where you will visit often and where you will enjoy working. Observation throughout the year is a good way... Continue Reading →

Layering the Landscape for Wildlife Appeal

Justin Evertson PHOTO: Native Juneberry bears blueberry-like fruits in June that are a favorite of birds as well as humans.          With native habitats shrinking, our home landscapes are increasingly important for sustaining wildlife, including birds, amphibians, pollinators and other beneficial insects. In terms of year-round value, the backbone of wildlife habitat is our native... Continue Reading →

Spring Pollinators

In early winter, pollinators are often the last thing we expect to see in the landscape. But as the days start to warm our native bees and moths come out and stretch their wings. On days over 40°F many species of bees, moths and wasps emerge from their winter homes ready to forage. Flowers can... Continue Reading →

The Plants of Our Past – Spring

“Is there any garden that doesn’t cast a backward glance, gather meaning to itself by allusion to the places in our past” Michael Pollan January is a time for a glance back. Colder weather, the end of holiday busyness and a lull in home and work activities offer time for reflection. It can be useful... Continue Reading →

Conifers Drop Their Leaves too

Justin Evertson, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum          Although most conifer trees are considered to be evergreens, all of their needles eventually fall just like deciduous trees. What makes them evergreen is that their leaves/needles persist more than one year before falling. Since new needles are added every year, there is always an overlap between green needles... Continue Reading →

Workers in the Soil

When discussing beneficial critters, it’s easy to forget about the ones we don’t see, especially those below ground. Yet the soil is where it all starts, so they deserve recognition and admiration too. From cycling and retaining nutrients to improving structure, suppressing disease and moving and holding water, air and carbon, soil fauna do an... Continue Reading →

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