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The Bruce Company Blog

what makes a bulb a bulb?

Are you confused when it comes to fall-planted bulbs? Lots of gardeners are. What are bulbs, and how, and when should they be planted are questions that we often hear at the Plant Desk in late summer and early autumn. Adding bulbs to your borders is simple and...

time to get houseplants indoors

October can be such a transitional time, especially for gardeners.  Our borders and beds teeter on the edge of a climatic cliff. Colors change as deep green foliage morphs into mellow butter yellow or fiery scarlet. Forms change as plants drop their leafy garb to...

the colors of autumn

As summer wanes and autumn approaches, birds congregate in the trees and on overhead wires. The air is sweetly scented with ripening fruit. The light changes, becoming more golden. Everything seems ready to burst. Not in the tender, life-is-beginning way of spring,...

bring the outdoors in

What a difference a season makes! Now that we’ve turned the calendar page from August to September, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Cooler temps. Lower humidity. And so many other reasons to love fall! But a gardener’s work is never done. There is so...

bundle up buttercup!

What a difference a year makes! The Madison area has received half the rainfall that accumulated by the end of August in 2020. We’re almost 10 inches shy of the yearly average. When you factor in the excessive heat, a few derechos and a couple tornadoes, the 2021...

somewhere over the iris rainbow

Spring isn’t the only when it’s socially acceptable to be a nosy neighbor. Many of us who work at the Bruce Company are avid gardeners and on the hunt for a few perennials to pop into our gardens in the last days of summer. And now that a smattering of spring blooming...

if at first you don’t succeed…

So many of you planted fruits and vegetables again this spring and we hope that you’ve been happy with the results. After all, there are few things more delicious then a tomato eaten right off the vine. And you may find that you’ve got some empty spots where spring...

bulbs- the ultimate delayed gratification!

Seesawing temperatures are one clue that we’re nearing the end of summer. Long-range weather forecasters predict that the weekend will bring more moderate temperatures for the next couple of weeks, giving us lots of time to plant some fall veg and late blooming...

a thousand acres of silphiums

“What a thousand acres of Silphiums looked like when they tickled the bellies of the buffalo is a question never again to answered, and perhaps not even asked.”  Aldo Leopold The hot, dry weather that is typical of late July, early August and this season, almost all...

gardening during the dog days

Even though the Dog Days began a little earlier than usual this year and will end on August 11th, I’m sure there’s still plenty of sultry summer weather in our future. Cicadas and crickets have been singing us to sleep, and those nights are still warm. It’s a fact,...
what makes a bulb a bulb?

what makes a bulb a bulb?

written by Lisa Briggs
We call them all bulbs, but bulbs, rhizomes, corms and tubers are essentially storage organs that contain flower buds. The structure feeds the developing flower as it grows to maturity and blooms.

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time to get houseplants indoors

time to get houseplants indoors

written by Lisa Briggs
We’ve got a couple of chilly nights under our belts, with the night temps as low as 45 degrees. So it’s time to get your houseplants that have spent the summer months outdoors ready for their move back inside.

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the colors of autumn

the colors of autumn

written by Lisa Briggs
When summer is dishing out heat and humidity, and winter brings us face to face with another polar vortex, we remember rich palette of autumn. Fall color typically peaks mid-October in southern Wisconsin, but many of us are too busy to do much traveling.

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bring the outdoors in

bring the outdoors in

written by Lisa Briggs
What a difference a season makes! Now that we’ve turned the calendar page from August to September, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Cooler temps. Lower humidity. And so many other reasons to love fall! But a gardener’s work is never done. There is so much to do. Let’s start by acknowledging that cold weather is coming.

read more
bundle up buttercup!

bundle up buttercup!

written by Lisa Briggs
The average first frost in the Madison area occurs in the first week of October, but we did experience a 31 degree night on October 2nd last fall. The first hard freeze didn’t occur until the 19th when the mercury dipped to a chilly 27. So it isn’t a bad idea to formulate your plan for moving houseplants and other tropical plants that have spent the summer outside, indoors for the winter.

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somewhere over the iris rainbow

somewhere over the iris rainbow

written by Lisa Briggs
The Iris is named after the Greek goddess of the Rainbow. The three upright standards and three drooping sepals are symbols for faith, valor and wisdom. It seems appropriate that the Keeper of the Rainbow is the symbol for iris because they are available in every color of the rainbow.

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gardening during the dog days

gardening during the dog days

Written by Lisa Briggs
Even though the Dog Days began a little earlier than usual this year and will end on August 11th, I’m sure there’s still plenty of sultry summer weather in our future. Cicadas and crickets have been singing us to sleep, and those nights are still warm.

read more

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