Posts by: Rosie Lerner

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butterfly milkweed

Butterfly milkweed named 2017 Perennial of the Year

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Posted on Jan 03, 2017 in Backyard

By Rosie Lerner The Perennial Plant Association has named butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), as its 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year. With much focus on pollinator habitat these days, butterfly milkweed is a terrific selection. Butterfly milkweed flowers play host to a wide range of butterflies, and milkweed foliage is the food source for monarch… Continue reading.

sage leaves

The season for sage

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Posted on Dec 01, 2016 in Backyard

By Rosie Lerner Holiday dinners filled with the fragrance of sage-dusted turkey and dressing may be an American tradition, so it may surprise you to know that the sage plant, Salvia officinalis, is native to the Mediterranean. Sage is actually a diverse group of herbs belonging to the genus Salvia, many species of which are… Continue reading.

Prepare your lawn equipment for winter hibernation

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Posted on Nov 01, 2016 in Backyard

November has arrived, and winter temperatures will be here soon. That means it’s time to put away your summer outdoor power equipment — such as lawn mowers and string trimmers — and take out the equipment you will need this winter — such as snow throwers and generators. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute offers the… Continue reading.

Pumpkins

Early pumpkins may need temporary storage

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Posted on Sep 26, 2016 in Backyard

By B. Rosie Lerner It seems that pumpkins often mature much earlier than we would like, and this year may be one of those times. Although the season got off to a slow start, the second half of summer was extremely warm and may have brought the pumpkins on in a hurry. And unfortunately, the… Continue reading.

Ask Rosie

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Posted on Sep 01, 2016 in Backyard

‘Endless Summer’ never even arrived I know you’ve addressed the ever-frustrating and puzzling hydrangeas that refuse to bloom, but I’m reaching out as a final attempt to solve the mystery of my disappointing non-bloomers. I’ve done everything I can think of, including fertilizing, researching optimum soil and light conditions, careful pruning of only old blooms… Continue reading.

Hydrangea

Say ‘hi’ to popular, confusing hydrangea

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Posted on Aug 01, 2016 in Backyard

By B. Rosie Lerner Hydrangeas are popular, but understandably confusing! There are about 25 species, though only five are primarily grown in the U.S. There are literally thousands of cultivars. Some species are classified as either mophead (all large, sterile florets) or lacecap (fertile, center florets surrounded by larger, sterile florets), depending on cultivar. The… Continue reading.

Leaves of three …

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Posted on May 01, 2016 in Backyard

By B. Rosie Lerner Most gardeners have heard the advice “leaves of three, let it be” — referring to the pest plant poison ivy. While not quite as catchy, the saying really should be “leaflets of three, let it be.” Poison ivy leaves are compound rather than simple — a single leaf is divided into… Continue reading.

Diagnosis not good for damaged trees

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Posted on Apr 27, 2016 in Backyard

Our beautiful yellow “butterfly” magnolia tree is losing bark at the base area of tree. I was desperate and sprayed it, but the damage appears to be spreading up the tree. Can you please tell us what is damaging this tree? — Edward Laughlin, Holland, Ind. It is difficult to determine the initial cause of… Continue reading.

Start your seeds

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Posted on Apr 01, 2016 in Backyard

By B. Rosie Lerner Growing your own garden transplants from seed may take some extra work, but it does have its advantages. You’ll have a much wider choice of species and cultivars since most garden centers have limited space and tend to carry primarily the plants that sell quickly. Rather than having to buy a… Continue reading.

Blue & Gold gardens

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Posted on Mar 01, 2016 in Backyard, General, Outdoors

By B. Rosie Lerner To celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial this year, the Garden Club of Indiana and the Indiana Bicentennial Commission are hoping gardeners will join the Blue & Gold garden tribute to Indiana’s state flag. It’s an easy way for all Indiana residents to commemorate the bicentennial. If you don’t have a traditional garden bed,… Continue reading.

A gardener’s glossary

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Posted on Feb 01, 2016 in Backyard, Outdoors

By B. Rosie Lerner Like many other hobbyists, gardening enthusiasts have their own jargon. Some of these terms can be confusing, especially to the gardening newcomer. Here’s a brief list of terms that all gardeners should be familiar with. Annual -— Plant that completes its life cycle from seed germination to seed production in one… Continue reading.

Pointers for poinsettias

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Posted on Jan 04, 2016 in Backyard, Outdoors

By B. Rosie Lerner The poinsettia, the most popular holiday plant, is best known as the plant with bright red flowers on a green background. But the showiest part of the poinsettia is the group of colorful specialized leaves called floral bracts that surround the small, yellowish-green structures that are the true flowers. Red is… Continue reading.