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Mark Luchtefeld

Recent Posts

Euomymus 'Blondy' vs 'Moonshadow'

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

Euonymus fortunei: 'Blondy' vs. 'Moonshadow'

This post is not about a blonde and a rather odd 1970s song by Cat Stevens.  It is, rather, a highlighting of two particular varieties under the Euonymus fortunei umbrella.  Perhaps you already know how confusing the Euonymus umbrella can be.

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Tags: Plants, Shrubs

Fall Landscaping Tips

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

Fall Landscaping Tips   

Because Spring is a busy time for those of us who work in the nursery industry, I have to wait until Fall to "play" in my yard. Well, Fall is here, and the fun has begun! 

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Tags: General, Fall

What Plants Bloom In The Fall?

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

What Plants Bloom In The Fall?

If you surveyed a large group of people and asked each to name a fall blooming plant, the majority would probably say Mum (Chrysanthemum).  When I think of fall blooming plants, the Mum comes first to my mind too.  And why not?   Mums flower naturally from August to November in many different colors and shapes.  And, at this time of year they are being sold by EVERYBODY and his brother.  Of course, Mums are great but... there ARE other fall blooming plants and some of them are very cool!  

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Tags: Plants, Fall

What is a Goji Berry?

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

What in the world is a Goji Berry? 

My first experience with the Goji Berry plant came as I walked through a Proven Winner test garden. I was attracted to a weeping plant just loaded with red berries, and I remember thinking, "If these berries are edible and beneficial, this plant has got to be a winner."  As if reading my thoughts, the tour guide pointed to the Goji Berry and explained, "The Goji Berry (or Lycium barbarum) is native to China.  Its fruit is highly regarded as a Super Berry which means it's really good for you.  Its fruit is found in 358 different food products offered in the USA." 

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs

Why Plant Oakleaf Hydrangeas?

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

Why Plant An Oakleaf Hydrangea?

When was the last time you stumbled upon a specimen Oakleaf (Hydrangea quercifolia)?

Over the years I have often been surprised by the mature Oakleaf within the landscape. It can be found in shady areas and even in full sun. The potted Oakleaf turns into the most interesting plant when added to the landscape. When grown in a pot the Oakleaf's unique features are restrained.  When planted in the ground it develops into a remarkable focal point in the landscape. It is within the landscape that the Oakleaf develops and displays its great attributes of texture, flowers, fall color and exfoliating bark.

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Tags: Plants, General, Shrubs

Best Fruit Trees For The Midwest (Reviews/Ratings)

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

Best Fruit Trees for the Midwest 

Back in the old days my brothers and I played in and around the 20 or so odd fruit trees Dad planted in our large back yard. Come spring, however, it was "watch-the-fruit time." There was no playing around Dad's trees, especially when the fruit was ripening.

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Tags: Plants, Local, Trees

Where Do I Plant My (stonecrop) or Sedum Groundcover?

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

Where Do I Plant My (stonecrop) or Sedum Groundcover?

     Which one of the many Sedums are we talking about?  My first introduction to Sedums in the landscape came 10 years back my wife and I down sized (last child gone) to a smaller, older home. Growing around a small maple tree in front was Sedum kamschaticum.  It looked good and my wife thought it was cool. Come spring the plant was covered with star shaped golden flowers. Looking around what to my wondering eyes did I see but clumps of golden yellow flowers all around the neighborhood. Somebody really likes this plant and since it is easy to grow spread it around! Here is my two cents on a couple sedums I have been watching.

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Tags: Plants, Perennials

What Are The Purposes Of Different Types Of Polyhouse Structures?

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

What are the purposes of different types of polyhouse structures?

When this topic came to me I started pondering the word polyhouse. Where did it come from? Talking to a couple of old nursery people about polyhouses they came up with words like Quonset huts, cold frames, tube house and winter storage structure. I remember the term Quonset huts from days in the Army. Army Quonsets huts looked like someone cut a large culvert in half then dropped it on the ground (forget the OD (olive drab) green paint). 

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Tags: General, Winter

What are the Benefits of Living Christmas Trees

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

What are the benefits of living Christmas Trees?

Years and years ago my dad would bring home a fresh cut Balsam fir. The fragrance in the house was great and it was really fun to decorate. Usually after 10 days or so it would start dropping needles. Naturally with 6 boys trapped in the house during Christmas vacation needle drop became an entertainment game. Whoever dropped the most needles in one flick of the branch was the winner.

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Tags: Trees, Winter