Buying Ladybugs


dsc_2487So this is the last in my series of articles on ladybugs this summer. First I talked about why ladybugs are a good idea in your garden and described their entomology. Then I shared some fun trivia and stories about them. And just a few weeks ago I shared my research on building a garden that would attract ladybugs. Continue reading

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Tomato Recipes, Now that They’re Getting Ripe


Tomatoes-on-vineHerbed Tomatoes

3 TBL olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
4 Cups cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
2 tsp chopped fresh basil
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan large enough to hold all the tomatoes in one layer. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stir gently occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to loose their firmness. Serve alone or over pasta.
(modified from a barefoot contessa recipe)

Pico de Gallo

(or fresh chuncky salsa)
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
4 medium sized tomatoes, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 TBL lime joice
2 TBL minced garlic
1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Seal in tupperware for at least 4 hours, will last for a week or more.
(modified from Coffee Cake and Cardio blog)

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Glow-in-the-Dark Garden Lighting


Enjoying the gardens and landscape well into the night is always a challenge as it gets dark. Yes I have solar lights and path lights here and there, but here a few less typical ideas to extend your evening.

Solar Bricks

solar brickThe site selling these recommends them for pathways, which would be really fun but I’m thinking they would be great around a pond or just strategically placed within a garden bed. They come in three different colors. They have to be attached to a solar power source, but are easy to install. When motion is detected, 4 bright LEDs automatically illuminates inside of each fixture. More info. Continue reading

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Building a Ladybug Friendly Garden


gift_gab-lady_bug4To build a garden that attracts ladybugs, you need to have more than lots of nasty aphids. Besides eating aphids, lady beetles depend on pollen as a food source and seek certain types of flowering plants. Most of their favorites are super easy to grow in Wisconsin and are a pretty addition to a flower or vegetable bed. Continue reading

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Growing Your Own Salad


edibles-lettuce-lThis blog article makes me a little nervous because typically I research and make sure I know the ins-and-outs of any gardening advice or know-how I pass on my thoughts. This is a case where I was feeling like growing lettuce and it worked… and it was easy, so I’ll share what I did. Continue reading

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Which daylilies should I add to my garden?


Aren’t daylilies the best? From the orange ditch lilies in front of every farmhouse in Wisconsin to the beauties cultivated by the Wisconsin Daylily Society, I love them all.

Easy to grow. Easy to maintain. And so many choices. I’d love to get your input on what to add to my gardens this year. Continue reading

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Folktales and Other Ladybug Trivia


ambitiously-ladybug-flying-above-fingersThey go by a variety of names, lady beetles, ladybirds, and ladybug. The French call the Ladybugs “les betes du bon Dieu” or creatures of God. The Swiss call ladybugs “Good God’s Little Fairy”.

There is even a myth which goes back to the medieval Europe. In the middle ages crops in Europe were plagued by pests and then the peasants started to pray to the Virgin Mary. As a result of their prayers, ladybugs appeared in the fields and ate all the pests, resulting in crops to prosper. From that time, people started considering these beetles sacred, and thus began calling them the “Bug of Our Lady” a reference to the Virgin Mary. Continue reading

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