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Garden Center Hours

June

Monday through Friday 9 am until 6 pm

Saturday 9am until 3 pm

Sunday 11 am until 4 pm

July

Monday through Friday 9 am until 6 pm

Saturday 9am until 3 pm

Closed Sundays

Closed July 4th in observance

Sales and Specials

Father’s Day Sale- Plant a Tree for "Pop" Sale

30 % off all trees*. Also included in this sale, all perennials, buy 3 get 1 free (equal or lesser value). This will be our last big sale on trees until the fall

The Sale runs Monday, June 9th - Sunday, June 15th

Ladies Day Saturday, June 28th 10% off any item

Red, White and Blue Sale   June 30th-Saturday, July 5th   15% off all plants with red foliage, and/or red, white or blue flowers.

*30% off Sale plants are not covered under the one year guarantee


Ladies Day

Saturday, June 28th is a special day, it’s Ladies Day!

There will be coffee, muffins and treats to enjoy, along with sales and specials.

All ladies are entitled to a 10% discount on their purchases. Those that purchase $50 or more in plants and goods, receive a free pair of pink nitrile garden gloves. With each pair given away, $ .70 will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundations. Grab your girlfriends, do some shopping, have some lunch and treat yourselves, you deserve it!

Planning a Wedding?

Are you looking for a personal touch for your wedding flowers? We’ll let you in on a little secret- Sherri does wedding flowers. She’ll help you customize your flowers to reflect your personality and style of the event. Call to set up your consultation today.

Beware of Bark Volcanoes

It has become a ritual of spring, volcanic activity from Lake Huron, to Lake Michigan. We’re not talking true seismic activity here, we are talking bark, lots and lots of bark. Bark that is piled high around trees in parks, commercial areas, and some residences, and it is a serious “no-no”. MSU professors and researchers are actually running a contest for pictures of the highest bark volcanoes, and folks, this is not a contest you would want to win.

When bark is piled high around a tree, it softens the bark, creating an entryway for insects and pathogens. The bark gets depleted and weakened. Trees can become so weak, that they could actually snap in half in a strong wind, if they haven’t already succumbed to disease.

Don’t get us wrong, barking trees serves very important functions. It curbs mechanical damage from mowers and trimmers, it reduces weeds, helps moderate temperature, add organic matter to the soil, and also retains soil moisture, but think “doughnut”, not “volcano”. If bark is piled around the trunk, move it away from the trunk, so that it is not touching it. You will be doing yourself and the tree a favor

Carpenter ants, the other unofficial state insect of Michigan

Howard Russell, MSU Diagnostic Services

Vol 23, No. 7 May 23, 2008 Landscape CAT Alert


About twenty years ago, I received a call from someone who was putting together a list of state insects. This person said his research failed to find one for Michigan and would I happen to know what it was. I told him that I would have to get back to him on that. It took only a few phone calls to determine that Michigan did not have a state insect. I was embarrassed for all of us. I called him and told him what I had found out. He said no problem and then asked me to pick one. I was honored of course and without hesitation, I named the black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus. After all this time, I remain convinced in wisdom of my decision. Carpenter ants may not be gorgeous, but they are hard working – just like Michiganders. They are highly social animals – just like us. Ants are very advanced; they are at the pinnacle of insect evolution. Based on the number of phone calls I get about them, I have concluded that nearly everybody in this fine state has encountered them. I don’t know if this make them popular, but there is no doubt that many of us share our homes with them.

Carpenter ants are one of the largest and most common ants in Michigan. Most of the people I talk to about carpenter ants think they eat wood and are serious wood destroying pests. Not true, no house in Michigan has collapsed because of carpenter ants. Unlike termites, they only nest in wood and do not eat it. They will bore into wood, but the wood they chose to bore into is wet and well on its way to becoming rotted. When they nest indoors, they are a symptom of a water problem and water problems in structures are far worse than carpenter ants. One does not have to drive very far out in the county to see old abandoned houses and barns that have caved in because their roofs have rotted away because of water infiltration.

When talking about carpenter ants, the first thing I ask people is whether or not they see carpenter ants in their home during the winter months when carpenter ants are not active outside. If they see ants during the winter, it is a very strong indication that a colony of carpenter ants exists inside the building. Finding them indoors during the summer does not necessarily mean they are nesting in your house; they may just be coming in from outside. When they do nest indoors, they prefer an enclosed space that remains wet or damp, more or less, or a permanent basis. Carpenter ants are attracted to excessive moisture conditions around windows, doors, showers, bathtubs, dishwashers, leaky pipes and drains, and under leaky roof shingles or roof vents. They have also been found in dry areas such as hollow-core doors and false beams and in foam insulation.

They seem to love foam insulation. My canoe, which I store outside, is home to a colony of carpenter ants. It has foam insulation inside of both ends to keep it from sinking when it’s tipped over in the water. Every time I move it, a steady stream of foam bits sifts out of both ends. Then without fail, a parade of carpenter ants carrying eggs, larvae and pupae comes scrambling out of both ends, no doubt perturbed at me for disturbing them. My canoe is 30-plus years old I doubt that it floats anymore, thanks to my little friends.

The presence of winged carpenter ants inside the home during the summer, does not by itself, mean you have a carpenter ant nest in your home. Winged ants are the reproductive forms of the colony and usually issue from the colony in late spring. They drop their wings soon after mating and begin to search for a suitable nesting site. They commonly enter structures, but only rarely do they succeed in finding a nest site and most winged forms die before establishing a nest.

However, the presence of winged carpenter ants during the winter months means several things. It means there is a colony nesting in the house, the colony is thriving and has been there for at least two years.

The best method of controlling an indoor colony of carpenter ants is to locate the nest and treat it directly with a persistent insecticide registered for indoor use. Finding the nest can be difficult since many of the ant’s favorite nesting sites are inaccessible. Begin looking in the rooms where the greatest numbers are found, and observe where they go or come from. Carpenter ants are nocturnal and are most active at night. Carpenter ants are very tidy housekeepers and quickly remove wood shavings, food debris and dead co-workers from the nest area. In many cases, this nest debris accumulates in basements beneath the nest area, so look for accumulations of coarse sawdust and dead ants along and on top of basement walls and in spider webs. Wood shavings do not always mean carpenter ants. Once a friend of mine asked me to help an old friend of his who thought he had carpenter ants. The man showed me some piles of wood shavings on his basement floor. I looked up and noticed that some new wiring had recently been pulled through holes drilled through the floor joists. The electrician hadn’t swept up. The shavings were from the holes that he had drilled to run the wire through. Oops!

To help find the nest, try mixing some grape jelly with one teaspoon of ground up dried pet food and use this as a bait to get them feeding and carrying food back to the nest. Put a teaspoon of the bait on a jar lid or piece of foil and place it near where you see the ants. Hopefully, they will use the bait and lead you to their nest area. Keep in mind that carpenter ants are most active at night, so be prepared to do some late night ant watching. Also, carpenter ants nest located under leaky shingles are not easily detected until the old roof is torn off. Every roof that I have replaced over the years has had carpenter colonies in areas where the roof leaked.

Most importantly, be sure to make any repairs, if necessary, to keep the area dry once a carpenter nest has been located and treated. Commercially prepared ant baits are available, but I don’t know how effective they are at controlling carpenter ants. They are probably more effective in the winter when the ant’s favorite foods are not available. One internet supplier of carpenter ant baits is

Be sure to read and follow all the instructions and safety precautions found on the pesticide label before using any pesticide. http://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/carp.htm.

MSU Kellogg Bird Sanctuary Presents: Landscaping Series

Several informative courses are being offered this spring and summer. They are held at the Bird Sanctuary from 6:30 to 8 pm. Class topics and dates are listed below, with more information available at www.kbs.msu.edu/birdsanctuary or by calling (269)671-2510

Birdscaping July 22

Uninvited Garden Guests August 19

Ask Olivia

Olivia,

I love all kinds of butterflies. They make me so happy. Can you tell me what plants I should have in my garden to attract them?

Dear Friend,

Nothing makes me happier than a butterfly too! We are so lucky to have such beautiful creatures in our yards, and I would be delighted to make some suggestions for attracting them.

Some great perennials that butterflies like to get nectar from include:

- Phlox -Black Eyed Susan

-Purple Coneflower -Butterfly Weed

-Butterfly Bush -Aster -Daisies

Butterflies also need plants to lay their eggs on, so that their caterpillars have something to eat. They include:

-lupine -milkweed -holly hock

-columbine -cleome -turtlehead

-false indigo -thistle -pink clover

There are other ways to lure them to your yard. Some like the taste of over-ripe fruit. Mash up a banana, put a little sugar or honey on it (keep it away from your baby sister ) and place it in the sun. Hopefully ants won’t be the only visitors you get.

Butterflies also like a good drink of water. Make a puddle of water by placing a shallow plate or pan on the ground. Fill it with sand and water, or mud, and keep it wet. You can also add a couple of stones for them to sit on.

Our Field Reporter (and my sister) Madilyn adds:

Keep those garden plants happy with lots of water in the dry days.

Have a great summer, look for us in the Richland 4th of July parade!