The highlight of the gardening season for master gardener volunteers in west-central Nebraska was our garden tour. This all-day event, complete with potluck, was not to show our gardens to visitors but for us to visit each other’s gardens. Our group members came from s...

Did you know that June is Iced Tea Month? June 10 is National Iced Tea Day. Let’s celebrate by learning a trivial factoid about tea:

Before World War II, about 40 percent of tea drunk in our nation was green tea. During the war supplies of green tea from China were cut...

Origanum, the botanical name of the oregano family, contains 45 species and six sub-species of perennials and sub-shrubs. They are native to the mountains of the Mediterranean and Near East. Ancient Greeks called the herb “oros ganos” meaning joy of the mountain. Legen...

Looking for a low-maintenance, problem-free, long-lived shrub? Look no farther than the viburnum. Know as “cranberry bush” in Europe, this family of over 150 species has plenty of members that are native to the woodlands of eastern North America. They are all quite col...

As my first Mother’s Day in this area approached, I was amazed by the fabulous bouquets families were bringing to cheer up hospitalized loved ones. The bouquet bearers found it odd that this nurse was unfamiliar with peonies, but I had never seen these fragrant beautie...

We may call them French or African but marigolds are native to Mexico. The Spanish who came to the Americas took them home where they flourished in North African and Iberian gardens. Eventually they arrived in England where they were called “marigolds” because they res...

I have often promoted the use of heirloom roses in the landscape. They are easy to grow, rewarding the gardener with vigorous, long-lived shrubs. Unlike most modern roses, they require little special care. There are five classes of Old European roses. These are the ele...

Milkweed is a North American native plant that is a food source for hundreds of small creatures but critical for monarch butterflies. Monarchs lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves and nowhere else.

The plant’s name comes from its milky sap which contains t...

Every gardener has an irresistible favorite flower. Mine is the lily. I buy lilies from catalogs and on impulse in garden centers. With a little planning, they can grace the garden from spring until fall.  

Native to the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, lilies...

Until 1856 when Sir Henry Perkins accidentally discovered a mauve-colored coal tar product, all dyes were from natural sources. Most (but not all) of these were plant based. Famous Tyrian purple was derived from a mollusk found in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Interes...

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