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Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Named for the faint red wash on its belly, this handsome woodpecker is a delight to observe. Red-bellied woodpeckers inhabit wooded neighborhoods, tree-filled parks, and secluded woodlands, where they forage for nuts and fruits and probe tree bark for insects and larvae.

All About Growing Apples

Apples take a little effort to grow at home, but picking their tasty fruit in your own yard is a wonderful reward.

Watering an Apple Tree

Jean Siirila of Wadena, MN, writes: “The apple tree in my front yard is on a slope facing west, getting full sun. What’s the best method for watering the tree? Water usually just runs down the hill, so it seems futile.” We have the answer.

Try These Top Switch Grass Varieties

Switch grass, also known as panic grass, is one of the best native garden grasses. This statuesque, clump-forming grass changes color with the seasons—from mid-green to yellow to beige.

Video: Are Your Hydrangeas Singing the Blues?

You were drawn to that hydrangea for its blue color. So what’s up with those pink blooms? The answer’s in the ground.

Light up the Night

Imagine a row of lights sparkling in the darkness along the path to your front door. Or floodlights creating a silvery wash against regal tree trunks. Night lighting can be beautiful, and it’s also practical. It discourages intruders, helps prevent you and your guests from tripping or falling, and allows you to enjoy your landscape hours longer each day.

Watch Out for These 15 Yard-and-Garden Pests

The USDA has identified 15 highly invasive species, called “Hungry Pests,” that have cost the U.S. billions of dollars and are destroying trees, plants and crops. Here’s what you can do to prevent the spread of these invaders to your garden.

The Buzz on Bees

There is mounting evidence that bees (honey, bumble and others) are bioindicators and that their population decline indicates larger ecological, environmental and agricultural concerns. Today is National Honey Bee Day, so please think about welcoming plant-pollinating bees to your garden with the right food, water and shelter.

Video: How to Clean and Maintain Birdbaths

Birdbaths add the beauty of birds and water to your garden without all the work of building a water feature. And birdbaths have their own beauty, but they need to be cleaned and maintained so that algae, droppings and debris don’t build up. This video shows how to keep birds coming back to a good-looking birdbath.


Fothergillas are handsome native shrubs with excellent multi-season appeal.

Pineapple Sage

With its bright red flowers and fragrant foliage, pineapple sage provides a treat both for the eyes and the nose. This large, shrubby plant is clothed in bright green leaves that smell distinctly like pineapple when crushed.

Video: Get Ready for Fall Harvesting

Finally! Those potatoes and onions you’ve been babying are ready to harvest. Don’t blow it. If harvested and stored properly, you can enjoy them next winter. This video offers easy-to-follow advice about the right tools to use (forget the shovel) and what to do with your veggies after harvesting (no washing). Use the same technique for other root crops like turnips, parsnips and sweet potatoes.

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