From our friends at WIMGA (Wisconsin Master Gardeners Association) comes this reminder:
NATIONAL POLLINATOR WEEK June 15-21, 2015
It’s not too early to get involved — plan or participate in an event in your community! Join the Pollinator Partnership to promote protection of pollinators including bees, birds, butterflies and bats. Go to their website to add your event, get free pdfs and app, purchase materials and books, use the logos, and more!
A few years ago The Wisconsin Gardener on PBS featured the work of Jan Wos, the gifted horticulturist and then owner of Mayflower Greenhouse in Green Bay. As I watched the program I was awestruck by his knowledge of plants as well as the creative way he used the unconventional as planters like suitcases, old dressers, and an assortment of repurposed items as containers. On this particular segment I especially admired his use of picture frames as planters. Time for a visit to Mayflower! Though Jan has since passed away, you can still see his ideas and influence there today. I think gardeners delight in finding the unusual and innovative idea that will add to the beauty of his or her garden. It was picture frames for me! It was also a creative answer to bringing together my yard sale shopping and gardening interests! While at the greenhouse, my hubby studied the construction of the planter box and took some snapshots and we were out to do it ourselves. Since that time I have become the greatest admirer of hen and chicks for their versatility and easy care in picture frame plantings. Different groundcovers like ajuga are also favorites as well as moss roses which add lovely blossoms and color. Adding a touch of former home wall décor like a gold metal leaf, butterfly, or flower adds a touch of whimsy too. Every gardener can bring his or her own special touch to this artwork for a picture perfect garden spot! Plant Happy!
On May 5, we posted a photo and article by OCMGA volunteer Rich Fischer about the native plants instruction being given to the 7th graders at Seton Catholic Middle School in Menasha. A large wooded area was being cleared of buckthorn and other invasive plants, to allow the kids to plant Wisconsin natives and make the area one of beauty.
On May 12, Rich was back in Jane’s Woods supervising the planting of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. As the plants mature, we’ll continue to monitor and post pictures to show the progress made by the hard work of all of the students.
The Common Blue Violet (viola sororia) is the state flower of Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. What do all of these states know? This little beauty of spring loves the climate of Wisconsin, especially shady and moist areas. Let it spread throughout your shady areas and enjoy the beautiful little purple blooms each spring and summer.
While looking into the state flower, I thought: “What else has Wisconsin designated as being official?” Some of these are obvious, some not so much:
Comeback sauce is a dipping sauce for fried foods or as a salad dressing in the cuisine of central Mississippi.Similar to Louisiana remoulade, the base of the sauce consists of mayonnaise and chili sauce. From our own Mary Learman (our resident herb guru) comes this outstanding recipe for your summer entertaining.
Makes about 1-½ cups. The original recipe was from a Jackson, Mississippi, restaurant. There are dozens of variations, including this one.
½ T. finely chopped garlic
2 T. finely chopped sweet onion
½ cup chili sauce
½ T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tabasco pepper sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. spicy mustard
1 tsp. creamy horseradish
¼ tsp. black pepper
1/8 to ¼ tsp. red pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
Stir all the ingredients together. Cover and chill at least one hour before serving. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for one week. Makes a tasty dip, dressing or condiment for salads, vegetables and seafood.