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Tag Archives: garden

Garden Q&A: Are brown marmorated stink bugs here to stay?

We were inundated with disgusting stinkbugs about five years ago. Then they seemed to disappear. I saw three on the window screen recently. Are they coming back? The brown marmorated stink bug (or BMSB) never left and never will. It has already spread to 44 states, but we’ve had a …

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Garden Q&A: How do I prune hydrangea? And deal with hungry wolf spiders?

We love watching our panicle hydrangea change colors in the fall. It is enormous this year. Any ideas as to how to prune it back this fall? Hydrangea paniculata are bold in late summer-fall with huge white flower heads that segue to pink shades. If you can’t let it grow …

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Garden Q&A: What’s growing under our maple tree? A fungus called Dead Man’s Fingers

It looks like these strange-looking things are reaching up from the mulch under our maple. What are these? Dead Man’s Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha) can look like knobby arthritic fingers or a whole hand of blackened fingers, sometimes with white “fingernails.” They are a fungus, coming not from the mulch, but …

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Garden Q&A: What’s happening to my crape myrtle’s flower buds?

This year a lot of my crape myrtle’s flower buds turned white and wouldn’t open. I’ve had this crape myrtle for years and never had the problem. Is it getting old? Your crape myrtle is infected by powdery mildew. Like many fungi, powdery mildew has had a banner year with …

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Garden Q&A: What killed this tree?

These things like spaghetti pasta were sticking out of our tree that suddenly died. They crumbled when I touched them. Did they attack the tree and kill it? These are sawdust tubes pushed out by ambrosia beetles as they bore into your tree. The tubes are rarely seen this time …

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Garden Q&A: How to spice up your garden with fall perennials

What are some fall perennials to spice up my garden? I love mums, but what else is out there? Toad lily, for starters. Its speckles vary from bloom to bloom, so plant where you can enjoy its detail up close. More fall bloomers include: turtlehead, asters (a range of bloom …

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Garden Q&A: From chrysalis to Monarch butterfly

I found this on butterfly weed that I planted to help Monarch butterflies. Lots of butterfly caterpillars have been munching on the leaves this summer. Is this what I hope it is — a cocoon soon to be a Monarch butterfly? Yes. Congratulations. Soon an orange and black Monarch butterfly …

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Garden Q&A: What is this flower?

What is this flower? We love it and let it reseed every year. We call it orange zinnia, but it gets easily 6 feet tall and we suspect it isn’t really a zinnia. Butterflies and hummingbirds like it, and I think little birds eat the seeds, too. Tithonia rotundifolia, commonly …

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Garden Q&A: This vine can do permanent harm to your plants

A vine quickly grew up and over two shrubs and a perennial bed this summer. It hurts to pull these vines, but the plants below them are turning brown (what I can still see of them, anyway!) What should I do about this mess? Can I spray? This is a …

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