Saving pollinators, one yard at a time

December 15, 2022

Recently I happened upon this article from the New York Times. “They Fought the Law. And the Lawn Lost” describes a Maryland couple’s fight against their homeowners’ association over their pollinator garden. Guess what happened?

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Certifiable: Why you should get a sign for your garden

November 8, 2022

People are more likely to appreciate native plantings if they recognize that they’re intentional. For this reason, experts recommend presenting unfamiliar plantings with familiar elements, called “cues to care.” 

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Inspiration for a new bed

Dig, till, smother: removing sod for a new bed

October 18, 2022

Everybody loves the idea of a secret garden, but I’m not exactly sure what one is. What makes a garden secret? How is that different from private? My husband says ours is almost a secret garden because it’s in back and passers-by don’t realize we have such a profusion of flowers and wildlife back here. That’s about to change, though.

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Pollen count: ways to beat seasonal allergies

September 14, 2022

Fall planting season is underway, and I’ve ordered a passel of plants to pick up at Saturday’s Missouri Prairie Foundation plant sale–but I can barely bring myself to think about them, I’m so tired. I have seasonal allergies. Maybe you do, too?

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Road trips: Visiting three great gardens open to the public

August 15, 2022

Our travels took us north, to cooler weather, and gave us the opportunity to visit UW – Madison’s Allen Centennial Garden, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Vail’s Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

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Bright spots in a tough week

June 30, 2022

In a week filled with big stories, today’s news from my garden is about free plants and pests—kind of a theme, come to think of it.

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Missouri whine: meet the beetles

June 17, 2022

A post about protecting a grapevine from Japanese beetles and other dangers, plus some history of Missouri’s wine-growing industry.

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Late spring topics: peonies, rogue trees, and new plants

May 21, 2022

To achieve rhythm and repetition, a garden requires many plants. Many plants require lots of money–unless they don’t.

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A deep dive into the subject of mosquito sprays

April 18, 2022

The lowdown on mosquito sprays and suggested alternatives, because nobody likes mosquitos. (But sorry, bad news for fans of the

Spartan Mosquito Eradicator.)

I don’t blame anyone for disliking mosquitos, but I wonder if my neighbors understand the objections to these sprays. They don’t just kill mosquitos, they kill all insects, including butterflies and bees. And while we may not think of that as a problem, it is one.

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Seeds for sale at a local nursery

Catching up: the new year starts for real

A miscellaneous post about various excitements: spring cleanup, seed starting, and an upcoming conference about environmental writing, Epicenter 2022

April 4, 2022

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Rabbits 101: baby cottontails and what to do about them

Strategies for keeping these pests out of the garden generally fall into two categories: repellants and barriers.


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Photo by Eric Bridiers

Rewilding: turning lawns into meadows

Landscape designer McKenzie Adkins talks about creating a micro-prairie in a suburban yard


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Is February the new March?

This is February? Brilliant sunshine, blue sky, sixty degrees? The gardener in you may be awakening, but don’t start digging yet. Instead, keep dreaming.


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How old is your tree?

Some Kansas City tree history and a formula for estimating a tree’s age


Dutch elm disease arrived in Kansas City in 1957 and wiped out the majority of the shade canopy within ten years. Most trees in our present-day landscape were planted after that time–but were any here before that? How can we tell?

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“The love of gardening is the doing, not the having”

This fall, one thing I will not be doing is raking and bagging


The title of this week’s post comes from Roy Diblik’s YouTube video Garden Design. His work has given me so many great ideas. This fall, one thing I will not be doing is raking and bagging. Leave the leaves!

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Mary Bunten
Mary Bunten

Writer and enthusiastic novice gardening in the Kansas City area, mostly with native plants.

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