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Showing posts from December, 2008

Landscapes with Healing in Mind

Jean M. Larson, Program Manager of the Center for Therapeutic Horticulture at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
If you are a gardener, or a nature enthusiast at any level, you already know the healing power of plants. Anecdotal evidence, personal experience and common sense support the fact that being around natural environments helps most people feel better. But what does science tell us about the healing power of gardens and landscapes?


Photo 1: John Gregor
Healing Garden and Therapeutic Landscape: Defined
According to Clare Cooper-Marcus (1999, 2002) a healing garden is a general term referring to an over-all sense of well-being in a comfortable and appealing outdoor space. It is a green space that provides relief from physical symptoms and provides stress reduction. It is a secure, visible, and accessible space with ample, well-maintained greenery. A healing garden incorporates unambiguous positive design features with places for people to sit alone or in gr…

Unexpected Insect on Houseplant

Jeffrey Hahn, Asst. Extension Entomologist

Photo 1: Tobacco budworm. Jeff Hahn

You figure once you bring your houseplants in from the outside for the winter, especially if you don’t see any pests on the leaves, you are probably pest free. However, that was not the case for a homeowner that had brought in some potted geraniums during fall. In November, she noticed some chewed leaves and droppings on the foliage one of the plants (the others were uninfested). This prompted a closer inspection of the plant which led to the discovery of a caterpillar.

Photo 2: Chewing damage on geranium. Jeff Hahn
After some investigation, the caterpillar appears to be a tobacco budworm. These insects are not native to Minnesota but are occasionally found in gardens during late summer after they have ridden air currents up from the south. (see Yard and Garden News, September 1, 2007. They would not survive our winters outdoors but this individual received a reprieve when it was brought indoors. It …

Garden Calendar for January

Contributor: David C. Zlesak





Photo 1: Many local garden centers will put up their seed racks in early January. David Zlesak

Although spring seems far off with all the cold, snow, and ice, now is a great time to think about our gardens and what supplies we need. January is a great time to visit local garden centers and start perusing seed racks and getting our orders in for seeds and nursery stock from mail order suppliers. With the tightening economy, many of the mail order seed supplier have reported an almost doubling in their vegetable seed sales in 2008. Many gardeners that wanted to purchase more seed of quick growing vegetables like lettuce and radishes last fall ended up being disappointed because many suppliers were sold out. The trend for a higher demand for especially vegetable seeds is likely to continue. Getting our seed orders in early and purchasing seeds locally early this year will help ensure we get what we want.


Photo 2: Now is a great time of year to repot …