Blog

‘Tis the Season for Frost Flower!

I’ve posted about this before BUT it’s worth posting again. If you’re feeling a little blue about the plants and flowers in StL going dormant as well as the cold weather that’s about to settle in, I invite you to bundle up, grab a cup of coffee/tea and a camera, and venture outdoors. There is...
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Yellow Crownbeard

This is a special blog for those who took my class on Monarch Gardening at the Shaw Nature Reserve last week. There were two plants that people had asked about and we did not know exactly what they were. The first was likely a Yellow Crownbeard (Verbesina helianthoides.) Something notable about this plant was the “wings”...
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Welcome Hummingbirds with Columbine!

Blooming mid through late April, Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a perfect welcome sign for the ruby-throated hummingbird returning to St. Louis this time of year. Sporting mostly a bright red color and a tubular shaped flower, hummingbirds just can’t pass it up. This flower is built for their eyes to see and their long beaks...
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Bradford Pear: What Can We Plant Instead?

I’ve had a number of conversations with people lately about the Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana). Many of these discussions started with someone saying to me, “There is this tree with white flowers I’m seeing along the highways right now. It’s really pretty. What is it?” Queue the discussion about what it is, how invasive it...
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Stop and Smell the Witch Hazel

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, migratory birds are showing back up at Forest Park and sending out their mating calls, and Ozark witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) is in bloom and quite fragrant. All of these are signs that spring is just around the corner (despite the upcoming cold snap this week!). Witch hazel...
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Frost Flower

Reminded by my blog post from this time last year, it turns out I saw frost flower and took pictures of it exactly the same days in 2015 as this year! So easy to miss, frost flower only lasts from early to mid-morning and can be chalked up as nothing but some shredded tissue paper...
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Video: A Moving Landscape

Something I love about many of our native plant species is their ability to go with the flow… of the wind. They move as the wind moves through them. Not only do they move, they also make noise. In the case of Baptisia australis (Blue Wild Indigo), its dry and blackened seed pods actually rattle...
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Oaks for Lepidoptera Species

Have some space in your landscape and want to attract more lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species? Some big trees that are starting to show off their fall colors (a little after many other trees have already dropped their leaves) are the oaks (Quercus spp.) The benefit of some oaks’ fall color aside, you are left...
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Take a Trip to Bellefontaine Cemetery

While we are a little further north than its native range (which extends into Southeast Missouri), I thought it worthwhile to highlight the Sweet Gum tree. Many of the Sweet Gum trees are reaching their peak in fall color. It’s worth the trip to places like Bellefontaine Cemetery if you have a chance to get...
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