Spring Is Blooming and Buzzing with Mining Bees

What signals spring louder than bird calls and azalea blooms? Green leaves on maple trees, blades of grass popping up in the zoysia lawn, oh and don’t forget several weeks of sneezing thanks to wind-blown pollen. Another sign of spring? The emergence of insects, both the pests and helpers. In…

Two Purple Flowering, Fragrant, and Aggressive Plants

On a warm day, sun shining, breeze barely lifting newly sprung leaves, the tantalizing purple odor drifts into our windows or catches in our noses as we walk through neighborhoods or city streets. Is it a tree? A vine? A bit confusing but actually two very separate plants that share…

Protecting Backyard Fruit from Frost

As edible landscapes gain in popularity, many gardeners have opted to include fruiting trees, blueberries and even strawberries in their gardens. Nothing is better than walking outside and harvesting a piece of delicious fruit at the peak of freshness. However, upcoming cold snaps could cause major frost damage to our…

(Wild) Edible Plants in Our Backyards

A sure sign of impending spring, the bright yellow flowers popping up overnight usually prompt the question ‘how do I get rid of them’? Well sure these and other “weeds” can be herbicided to death, but there are other options, one of which is to eat them!* In fact, early…

Leafy Mistletoe – The Tree Thief

Leafy mistletoe (Phoradendron serotinum) is a familiar sight on oaks and other hardwoods throughout our area, especially in the winter when our deciduous hardwoods are leafless. Oaks, maples, flowering pear, pecan and other hardwoods are commonly infected. In all, over a 100 species of native and introduced trees can serve…

And to All, a Frozen New Year

Garden topics this time of year can feel limited. Heck we’re not planting or pruning much of anything, we’ve done some cleanup in our yards and gardens, now we’re in a kind of holding pattern until signs of early Spring smack us between the eyes. However, 2017 has shaken our…

Milkweed Bugs

Recently, you may have noticed a new orange and black insect on your milkweed. Although it may resemble a boxelder bug, it is actually the large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus. Usually found in groups on the stems, leaves and seed pods, their presence may seem ominous; however, they are harmless…

What’s Eating My Rosemary?

For the last few weeks I’ve been asked what’s causing the webbing on the branches of rosemary plants brought to the diagnostic lab. The answer is the caterpillar or larval stage of the southern purple mint moth (Pyrausta laticlavia). The tiny larvae produce conspicuous amounts of webbing on leaves and…

Buying a Good Garden Hose

While it’s back-to-school for many of us, whether we’re the student or the parent, this time of year produces seasonal sales! Needing a new garden hose, one of my neighbors asked me which one was the best “deal” among options available to them. While listing any personal preferences you have,…

It’s Hot! It’s Humid! It’s Summer in the South

What do our plants “think” about this weather? Are they looking a little limp? Edging toward the door when it opens and cool comes spilling out? Or do they seem to bask in our conditions, looking more lush and sultry with each day of excess temperatures and sauna-like conditions? Much…