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The good news for Iowa gardeners is that there are many orchids that flower indoors in the winter, after spending a typically warm and humid summer outdoors, “charging their batteries” as surely as solar panels gather and store energy.
As I write this first day of 2014, the temperature outside is frigid and there is a mantle of new-fallen snow. Spread on the dining table are dozens of packets of seeds, each magically programmed by its DNA. I've ordered them online from the good people who perennially send their colorful catalogs, which leads me to my first manifesto.
As part of our green initiative at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, we release beneficial insects to control our pest problems, including mealybugs, spider mites, white flies, fungus gnats and thrips. Though they do good, these beneficial avengers of plant health use some truly vicious methods of attacking their prey.