garden

From the ground up: Go crazy for coneflowers

When the heat of midsummer hits, and rain becomes more sparse — my favorite flower must be the native echinacea, commonly known as the purple coneflower. This tried-and-true Iowa native is loved by butterflies, caterpillars and birds, and w [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Showcase lilies in your garden

Many plants called “lily” aren’t lilies at all. Day lilies, lily of the valley and peace lily aren’t members of the lily family. True lilies are in the genus Lilium and they grow from fleshy bulbs with overlapping scale [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Moisture problems often to blame for mildew and mold

With summer activities in full swing it is easy to ignore the garden and hope everything is doing OK without your constant surveillance. However, excess moisture can create problems in the form of plant diseases.

The most common high moistur [...]

continue »

Cultivating cooperation: Community gardens flourish in Eastern Iowa

Employees in the University of Iowa’s International Programs department bond over vegetables.

Specifically, over the vegetables they’re growing together in a plot at Earth Source Gardens, a community garden run by the New Pione [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Maintaining your yard in summer

Summer marks the season when your lawn can look its best — if you know how to maintain it properly. Here are some tips from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach on how to keep your lawn looking sharp during the year’s hottest [...]

continue »

Bountiful bouquets

During the peak gardening season of May and June, Janis Russell estimates she spends 30 hours a week tending her flowers.

So it makes sense that she likes to take a bit of her garden to work with her.

A receptionist in the radiology de [...]

continue »

Atkins home garden easy to access

Julia Himmelsbach, 59, hopes she’s gardening for decades to come.

“I told my husband, if I’m in a wheelchair, I’ll wheel out here and keep working,” she says. “I love to garden, and I’ll neve [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Clematis can reach new heights with the right care

Clematis are beautiful, versatile vines, often referred to as the queen of flowering vines. There are more than 250 species of clematis with several hundred cultivars. Not all of these will grow in Iowa, but many are hardy here. Clematis offer a w [...]

continue »

Berry good season

One day each summer my family and a few good friends pile into the car, prepped with sunscreen and bug spray. We trek north from Cedar Rapids just past Independence, down a gravel road, signs along the road guiding us until we pull up in fr [...]

continue »

From the ground up: How much water does the garden really need?

With the lazy, hazy days of summer, gardens are in full stride, and we want to make sure they have enough moisture — but, how can we conserve water at the same time? Generally, we hear that plants, lawns, and trees/shrubs need 1 inch of wat [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Pretty peonies create spectacular blooms

Peonies are a tradition in many Iowa flower gardens. Though their blooms come only once a year and last for a short time, they are so spectacular as to be worth the wait.

We’re talking about the herbaceous perennial peony that everyon [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Tips on caring for spring bulbs after blooms are gone

Once spring flowering bulbs are done blooming you can remove the flower heads as soon as the flowers fade. Removing the flowers keeps flowers producing next year. But don’t remove the foliage until it has died and turned brown; cutting off [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Garden decisions: Keep or Tos

By now, you should have a good sense of what survived our tough winter. It’s easy to make a snap judgment early in the season, but many plants don’t really start to bud out and show whether they lived or die until well into spring. A [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Create a planter that attracts attention

Q: I don’t have a large garden, but I love seeing birds. How do I attract them to my garden?

A: Birds are always fun to watch [...]

continue »

From the ground up: Divide, conquer perennials for better blooms

If your perennials are declining, failing to bloom as often, dying out in the center or taking over your flower bed, it’s time to divide. Division rejuvenates plants, controls size and increases air circulation, which helps fight against di [...]

continue »