Be an Advocate for the Prairie

At Dyck Arboretum, we focus a lot of our energy on spreading knowledge and appreciation for the prairie. We love Kansas’s natural landscape and we are alarmed by how little native prairie is left intact. The prairie needs more advocates – people who will stand up for its preservation and defend its value to native […]

Read More

Mindfulness in the Garden

One of the greatest experiences I have while gardening is a heightened sense of awareness.  For some reason, I notice obscure things that are happening in my landscape. I observe how our garden has changed throughout year. I notice the wildlife that it attracts, the sights and sounds of the garden.  Each day there can […]

Read More

Butterfly Hunting 101

Fall is an excellent time of year to go searching for butterflies. The late season flowers like goldenrod, asters, and maximilian sunflowers are all important nectar sources, and are usually swarming with pollinators. If you want to get the most out of your butterfly watching expedition, consider these helpful hints. Look on the Sunny Side […]

Read More

The Best Trees for Fall Color

‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.’ – Chinese Proverb   For many reasons, fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love the cooler weather and changing landscapes.  This signals the end of another growing season, but there are still a few highlights […]

Read More

10 Lessons for Urban Native Plant Meadows

I heard a great presentation this last Saturday entitled “10 Lessons for Urban Native Plant Meadows” by Katie Kingery-Page, Kansas State University (KSU) faculty member in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning. Ms. Kingery-Page was the keynote speaker at the Kansas Native Plant Society’s Annual Wildflower Weekend and her message fit […]

Read More

Caterpillar Mania – Part II

Part II of my blog series about caterpillars will cover their bodies and behaviors, and the habitats you can build for them at home. Anatomy Once you look closely, you can easily see that caterpillars are more than just a pudgy worm. They often have visible faces, charismatic coloration and interesting behaviors. Caterpillars are actually […]

Read More

Caterpillar Mania – Part I

This time of year is great for caterpillar hunting. I have been finding lots of amazing, colorful critters munching away on the foliage here at Dyck Arboretum. I am always eager to get a picture of them, if I can, so that I can properly identify them later using guides and help from the internet. […]

Read More

Let’s Talk about Mulch

It is no secret that mulch is great for the landscape.  There are so many benefits when you add mulch around your plants.  Mulch is a great insulator, because it modifies the soil temperature.  It reduces erosion, prevent weeds from germinating, retains soil moisture, provides a buffer between equipment and the trunks and stems, and […]

Read More

Cicada Killers

“Hunting, warring, patrolling, tunneling, they do more in two months–the length of their adult lives–than periodical cicadas do in 17 years.” ~Tim Heffernan, The Atlantic The insect world never ceases to amaze me. I had a new experience with insects in my yard a few evenings ago. A cicada making a ruckus landed on the […]

Read More