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The Bruce Company Blog

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,...

no more strip-mined tomatoes!

Growers are introducing lots of new, and old, varieties. Designers are reworking standard tools in ergonomic ways. And information is so readily available. Many of us have planted vegetable gardens or have made room in our landscapes for fruiting plants. And at this...

no rest for the weary gardener

No one wants to be the first to say it, but here we go.  The Solstice was a couple weeks ago and even though the heat of the dog days is back after a little cool spell, summer is on the wane. Of course, there are still plenty of things to do in the garden-weeding,...

another way to feed your feathered friends

When you’re at the Garden Center choosing perennials, annuals and flowering shrubs for your yard, there are probably many factors that affect your decision. The size of the plants at maturity. The color and time of bloom. Perhaps whether or not the plants will...

the dog days of summer

The brightest of the stars in the Big Dog constellation is Sirius, the Dog Star. In the mid-summer, it can be seen rising and setting with the sun. This conjunction caused the ancients to believe that Sirius’ heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of...

the beetles are coming, the beetles are coming!

It’s June and by the end of the month, many a gardeners’ most hated day of the entire summer will be here - the annual emergence of the dreaded Japanese Beetles. And given the extra-warm weather, our bet is that they’ll emerge a little earlier than usual. Not much has...

are we in for a hot, dry summer?

Mid-summer is an especially nice time to start a garden journal. Our to-do lists have shortened and everything is just so beautiful. It can be helpful to make notes of particular diseases or pests that may haunt your yard year after year. Phenology is the study of...

twinkle, twinkle little firefly

Are they fireflies, glowworms or lightning bugs? It doesn’t really matter what you call them because one of our favorite sights of summer are those yellow-green orbs flashing against the backdrop of the garden at dusk.  Fireflies are not flies. Nor are lightning bugs,...

three cheers for june gardening

Although June usually ushers in the gentler garden, the kaleidoscopic colors of May might linger with us a bit longer. Spring temperatures seesawed up and seesawed down, but it finally feels like the weather has caught up to the calendar! Do try to be a little patient...
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
no rest for the weary gardener

no rest for the weary gardener

Written by Lisa Briggs
Even with the recent rainfall, we are still on the dry side. And temperature forecasts are climbing a bit this week. So keep on top of watering your newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials. And if we have another prolonged dry spell, please soak your established plantings as well.

read more
another way to feed your feathered friends

another way to feed your feathered friends

by Lisa Briggs
It’s hard to imagine a yard without our fine feathered friends. A key to getting birds to linger in your landscape is to give them what they want – food, water, nesting materials and cover. And in addition to feeders, another way to provide birds with nutrition is by planting seed bearing perennials.

read more
the dog days of summer

the dog days of summer

by Lisa Briggs
The brightest of the stars in the Big Dog constellation is Sirius, the Dog Star. In the mid-summer, it can be seen rising and setting with the sun. This conjunction caused the ancients to believe that Sirius’ heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather.

read more
the beetles are coming, the beetles are coming!

the beetles are coming, the beetles are coming!

written by Lisa Briggs
It’s June and by the end of the month, many a gardeners’ most hated day of the entire summer will be here – the annual emergence of the dreaded Japanese Beetles. And given the extra-warm weather, our bet is that they’ll emerge a little earlier than usual.

read more
are we in for a hot, dry summer?

are we in for a hot, dry summer?

written by Lisa Briggs
This year’s hot temperatures and hit-or-miss rainfall is surely having an effect on anything that you’ve planted in containers this season, from annuals to vegetables. Add those late May frosts and you’ve got a perfect storm for plant stress.

read more
twinkle, twinkle little firefly

twinkle, twinkle little firefly

written by Lisa Briggs
Fireflies are not flies. Nor are lightning bugs, bugs. And no one would think that a glowworm is actually a worm. These creatures are classified as beetles and inhabit areas like meadows, open woods and of course, Midwestern backyards.

read more
three cheers for june gardening

three cheers for june gardening

written by Lisa Briggs
Although June usually ushers in the gentler garden, the kaleidoscopic colors of May might linger with us a bit longer. Spring temperatures seesawed up and seesawed down, but it finally feels like the weather has caught up to the calendar!

read more

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