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Let This Be the Year

For however democratic a lawn may be with respect to one’s neighbors, with respect to nature it is authoritarian.  Under the Toro’s brutal indiscriminate rotor, the landscape is subdued, homogenized, dominated utterly.  I became convinced that lawn care had about as much to do with gardening as floor waxing or road paving.  Gardening is a […]

How Does One Learn About Native Plants?

How does one learn about native plants? Their names, their habitat?  How tall do they grow?  When do they bloom?In what kind of soil do they grow best–wet, medium, or dry?  Do they grow in Prairie, Savanna, or Wetland?  Do they like sun or shade? Pioneering prairie restoration made by St. Charles High School students […]


  My liking for gardens to be lavish is an inherent part of my garden philosophy.  I like generosity wherever I find it, whether in gardens or elsewhere.  I hate to see things scrimp and scrubby.  Even the smallest garden can be prodigal within its own limitation.      V.  Sackville West   Wild Ones Walk […]


FALLEN  LEAVES PART II   A few weeks ago, a friend sent out an e-mail to a long list of people, asking what we could do to mitigate global warming in addition to the other things we had already done:  change our light bulbs, drive less, turn down the thermostat and the water heater, eat […]

I Love Sedges

I Love Sedges! “And what,” you may ask, “ is a sedge?” A sedge is a grass-like plant that has solid triangular stems as opposed to the round, hollow stems of grasses.  “Sedges have edges” is a popular aphorism, that cleverly describes the difference.   It is not always true, but it is often enough […]

If you are not quite ready to go all the way…

If you aren’t quite ready to go all the way… is my most popular power point program with Garden Clubs.  The subtitle is …mixing native plants with your existing perennial gardens. The titillating title catches the eye and the sub-title closes the deal.  Members of Garden Clubs already have gardens and to tear them up […]

Prairie Dropseed

If you want to start a prairie garden, I recommend that you first plant Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis). If you have a perennial garden, place Prairie Dropseed between the plants. It grows in whorled, arching mound, 2-3′ tall and around. In late July-early August, delicate, fragrant, airy panicles of flowers begin to emerge on stiff […]