Latest Blogs

June 28, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
Spent the end of last week literally sitting in my garden bed plucking interlopers from around intended seedlings. It's a thrill even for this old botanist to welcome nascent sprouts into the garden fold. So bright and green and full of promise. It's been a treat to truly decipher who's who as their lives begin.
I love all my germinating kids, but Rattlesnake Master is one of my favorites....
June 17, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
I've welcomed y'all into my yard as I plant and seed my way to native-ness. This is our second summer in what our kids call "the retirement home". It's a pretty standard suburban setting. My goal is non-standard, suburban plants. Native, northeast Ohio plants are my standard.
Last November I sprinkled a Milkweed Madness packet over a prepped bed. Don't tell my boss, but I'm pretty...
May 31, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
If you’re a fan of musicals, Camelot belts a tune entitled the Lusty Month of May. Granted the lyrics outline the raciness of spring and frivolity between lads and lasses. But the lines, “Whence this fragrance wafting through the air? What sweet feelings does it's scent transmute? Whence this perfume floating everywhere?” tell of the best part of May’s unfolding...
May 6, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
You're going to a family reunion. There's that one uncle, or is it a cousin, that seems a little...off. It'a a gathering filled with folks you rarely ever see and aren't exactly sure how you're all related. Dread the event or embrace the adventure, you experience your larger family in all their glory.
Why not throw a garden reunion? Invite family members beyond the usual bunch. Sure...
April 17, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
The short answer? Yes. While there is much concern to be had regarding the environment, I believe we should keep trying. I've witnessed many conservation speakers in my day. I was/am one of them. For me, a conservation speech without hope or inspiration degrades Nature's millenial message of rebirth. Sure, we've made a mess but we also made amends.
The Plain Dealer offers a small environmental...
March 4, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
Winter is fickle this year. Or is it? We northeast Ohioians treat winter like childbirth, painful then forgotten until next time. From bone-chilling cold to mid-season thaw, the scene out the window is anyone's guess. But do look out the window. Enjoy the wide artisitic style of Mother Nature's renderings.
Not long ago, I stepped along the stone OPN Seed drive headed to the barn. A...
February 22, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
I am a first-time grandma, busy watching my twin babies grow. I am also a nerdy, naturalist grandma set on dirtying my grandklds through nature fun as soon as the ground thaws. How thrilled was I when they received a toy about gardening! Needless to say, we play endlessly with this toy.
We sing the songs and harvest the vegetables, count how many times we water and chew on the trowel....
February 8, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
Throughout the year, OPN Seed (Ohio Prairie Nursery) offers information and products at a variety of events. When I staff our table, I have the pleasure of swapping garden stories, catching up with past OPN patrons and fielding queries about native plant landscaping. This series answers some of the most common questions.
That depends. The time to spread seed depends on a few things:
What...
January 23, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
Throughout the year, OPN Seed (Ohio Prairie Nursery) offers information and products at a variety of events. When I staff our table, I have the pleasure of swapping garden stories, catching up with past OPN patrons and fielding queries about native plant landscaping. This series answers some of the most common questions.
At OPN Seed (Ohio Prairie Nursery), we specialize in native species...
January 16, 2019
This year Ohio Prairie Nursery turns twenty-one, and thinks it knows everything like most twenty-one-year olds. It no longer wants us to call it Ohio Prairie Nursery and prefers OPN Seed; calls it a truer reflection of “what it is”..…..We thought about it for a while and decided, why not, so now we’re all onboard with OPN Seed.
We reminded Ohio Prairie Nursery that it reached...
January 14, 2019
By: Barb Holtz
Throughout the year OPN Seed (Ohio Prairie Nursery) offers information and products at a variety of events. When I staff our table, I have the pleasure of swapping garden stories, catching up with past OPN Seed (Ohio Prairie Nursery) patrons and fielding queries about about native plant landscaping. This series answers some of the most common questions.
Question: How Much Seed Do I...
December 10, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
As any year or event comes to a close, reminiscing teases at our minds and hearts.
One Patch, Twelve Times was deliberately designed to slow our pace, hone our vision, and focus our spirits to the dramatic and subtle gifts of seasonal change.
Enjoy this year in review as December brings us full circle in nature's ever-present reminder that she is indeed worthy of our honor, care,...
November 26, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
I could go on and on riding this goldenrod train but will bring the series to a close with Dwarf Goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis). If you're still anxious about adding goldenrod to your suburban yard, consider this plant. Its small stature supports a more traditional looking landscape.
Have that spot that bakes in the sun and dries the soil out quickly? This is the plant for you! That...
November 21, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
Patience is not a virtue many humans have. Nature, on the other hand, doesn't bat an eye at waiting. Sure, nature can sometimes throw us for a loop, but patience is the norm.
Seeds are the poster child of patience. Seems easy to drop a packet of 'yet-to-come' and expect sprouting victory. But seed germination is a process generally out of sight and out of mind. So how does the OPN...
November 14, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
I have a confession to make...November is one of my least favorite months. It's wet and cold and generally not snowy. Just muddy. Cold for no reason. These are all human-isms. It's all about me declarations. I've left nature out of the picture.
Enough about me. More about nature. The day I snapped this photo, the air was crisp, soothingly gray and muted. November reminds us there is...
October 31, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
In the spooky spirit of Halloween, here lies scary seeds to haunt your soil and bring ghoulish delight to your graveyard, I mean landscape.
Devil's Beggarticks and Blanket Flower
Devil heads and broom switches evolve into yellow blooms, less frightening than their seedy counterpart.
Broom Sedge
Scarecrow stuffing entwined in witches hair isn't easy to tear apart after an eerie...
October 19, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
Not unlike many mid-Easterners, October is one of my top three favorite months. The colors, the weather, the wooly bears, the weather, the late fall asters, the weather. It was another misty morning when I took my monthly photo but the bright, gray sky lets the earthly colors sing.
Fall is "get ready" season for nature. Seed sets, monarchs migrate, squirrels gather and roots store....
October 8, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
Goldenrod basically comes in two "flavors" - plume-topped and flat-topped. This references the inflorescence type or how the bunches of flowers atop the stems are arranged. Ohio Goldenrod (Solidago ohioensis) is the latter. The yellow blooms congregate to create a flat landing pad for pollinators to peruse. And pollinators love goldenrod!
This native Ohioan offers color to wetter areas...
September 26, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
As September rolls around, we jump into autumn thoughts of back to school, football and digging out sweaters. While Labor Day calls humans into a new season, nature is still summering. Yes, some seeds have been set and days are noticeably shorter but the prairie is far from fading.
The foggy morning I snapped my September photo certainly felt fall-ish. Many yellows and purples from...
September 21, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
When we think Goldenrod, our mind often pictures Canada Goldenrod. A beautiful, but agressive native seen in field and meadow. But Goldenrods don't have to be aggressive, tall, yellow or narrow-leaved.
Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida) is easily recognized by its wide, almost succulent looking leaves and flat-topped bottom. Reaching a mid-sized 3-4 feet, this plant thrives in drier...
September 10, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
How often have I heard, "Goldenrod! Ew! That's what causes my allergies." Sure, Goldenrod produces pollen like every other flowering plant, but it is not the main culprit of hay fever and other summer/early fall sneezing. Ragweed. Now that deserves the "Ew!"
Our native Goldenrods are garden-worthy and I invite you to consider them for your landscape. They are as varied as our garden...
August 27, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
As summer slips away, I find my keeping up with that one patch slipped away as well. So today you get a two-fer! July and August are when the prairie truly comes to life. We can settle in knowing the brightest and best will parade across the earth bringing color and form to the landscape.
The jump from June to July growth is remarkable. Tallest plants are ready to rule but the shorter...
August 10, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
Actually, I was the the traveler, not the plants. Mid-July, my husband and I skipped across the "pond" to Edinburgh, Scotland. While our main focus was a little golf outing called The Open, we took in many a site in the nation's capital. The Royal Botanic Garden is a wonderland of flora for those locals seeking respite and beauty to visitors seeking immersion in one of the world's top...
July 11, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
Early this year, I shared the downsizing move of the Holtz house. A new house, a new yard, a new gardening adventure. Here's an update on my journey to making my yard my own and a haven for native flora.
As luck would have it, the previous owner had a design blueprint supplied by the landscape company. It's great to have a map - something to write on, sketch on, dream on. Your map...
June 29, 2018
By: Barb Holtz
I have an affinity for purple blossoms. My favorite flower list is topped with blooms large and small but all purple, blue or something in between. Red is regal, yellows bright as the sun, white leaves me wanting and pink is pretty. But purple simply speaks to my soul.
The prairie palette is decidedly purple in early June. Blue False Indigo, Northern Blue Flag and Ohio Spiderwort surprise...
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