FARGO — Diamonds are high-priced and chocolates add calories. That's why flowers and Valentine's Day go together like Martha Stewart and color-coordinated garden hose. On Valentine's Day, flower shops are filled with floral arrangements elegant enough to give even Martha a run for her money. Speaking of money, there's a way to enjoy a nice floral arrangement from the local florist, even if you're on a tight budget.
FARGO — Martha Stewart's Christmas gift list once again includes items "perfect for the gardener on your holiday list." Topping the list is a pair of gold-plated earrings in the shape of large, dangling string beans for $125. I'll try not to look disappointed, but what I really want is a new pruner instead. It's fun to give Christmas gifts that you'd enjoy receiving yourself. Most gardeners would appreciate unique gifts that are sturdy and useful. In past years, my suggestions for gardeners have focused on things found locally.
FARGO — You'd think gardeners who are passionate about their lawns, flowerbeds and landscapes would be weeping hysterically at season's end. But there's an unspoken gardening truth that we quietly acknowledge. We relish the growing season with gusto, but we're secretly OK with it pausing for a while. The key word is pause, not end. We might be resting from weeding, mulching and mowing, but our minds are already planning to make next year's tomato crop the best ever, and we need the eye-popping perennial we saw on last summer's garden tour.
Q: I'm being attacked by yellowjacket wasps every time I step out my door. I've set out traps that work especially well but have not found a hive. The trap uses a homemade recipe containing six ounces of vinegar, two tablespoons sugar and one teaspoon salt. I've emptied the trap several times, but there seems to be an unending amount. I'm concerned that they're attacking our huge apple crop. - Laura, Glyndon, Minn.
Q: Can you identify the plant with the red berries in the photo? Royce Aardahl, Sauk Rapids, Minn. A: The plant goes by several common names including highbush cranberry, American cranberrybush and American cranberrybush viburnum. Its botanical name is Viburnum trilobum, now possibly updated to Viburnum opulus americanum. Although smaller landscape viburnums have been developed, the native highbush cranberry easily grows eight to ten feet high and wide.