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Article ThumbBon Voyage

Fall is upon us but there’s no reason to put your garden to bed just yet. That’s because the show goes on with birds, thousands of which are migrating and stopping daily in local gardens for a bite to eat or a drink of water. And the activity doesn’t stop there. Monarch butterflies will be looking for nectar – a rich source of energy during their long commute to Mexico. Bees remain active and there’s an assortment of insects – praying mantis and other “beneficials” – that are present until the first fall frost about mid-October. There’s plenty to observe and enjoy.


Article ThumbA Bit about Bees

For Denise Johnston, it started at the county fair. As a child, she’d make a “beeline” to the hive observation frame in the agriculture building, where she would become mesmerized by the bees’ activity. Then, about ten years ago, she met Bob Engle, the man behind the hives, at an antique tractor show.

He asked if she was interested in a class he was teaching. Johnston signed on to a series of five 3-hour classes detailing how to start your own hives. After attending all 15 hours, she ordered her first batch of bees. Now Johnston is secretary/treasurer/newsletter editor of the Northwest Indiana Beekeepers Association, sells her own honey and teaches classes. (nwibeekeepers.com)


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Columns
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Mike’s “Bargain Basement”  Holiday Hort Sing Along

People ask me why, year after inexplicable year, I continue to crank out these bizarre little lyrics for the holidays.


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Mike’s Very, Very, Last, Absolutely Final and Never EVER to Be Repeated Holiday Hort Singalong!

Well, folks, you knew you were living on borrowed time. I didn’t realize it, but so was I. But when the FBI and Walt Disney …


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A Bit about Bees

Growing bee-friendly plants is one way to help increase the bee population. Another way is to actually raise bees.


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From the Editor - NovDec 2015

Here’s the thing about gardening: it’s never done. So now 2015 is winding down, the year in which I thought my garden would …


questions

After my father’s tomatoes ripen on the vine, he finds when he cuts into them that there is a hard white core that extends through the fruit.

What are your three favorite “all-but-forgotten” perennials that every garden should include? Why do you like them?

I’d like to plant a white bark birch in front of my home in my sunny front yard. What can you tell me about Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii?

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