Bring on the frosty nighttime hours, the apple cider, the bright red berries and leaves, and the falling and blowing snow. This is a busy time for man and beast. Dried foliage in the garden spurs reflection...with perhaps a wistful memory of summer. And, as we can or freeze our harvest or dry herbs and flowers, we remember the pleasures of being in the summer garden and the social and family pleasure that will bring us as we enter the season of sharing meals and gratitude.

Questions or comments are always welcome.  We'll try to get right back to you right away.  

Email us, Cathie Draine and Brad Morgan, at gardeners@blackhillsgarden.com


Free educational webinars..open to the public! Read on...

Those who wish can join us at the West River Ag Center classroom, 1905 Plaza Blvd.  They do not need to pre-register, but should come ½ hr before the webinar if possible. Please note the times given below areCentral TimeWe are one hour earlier!!

Growing Conifers in Home Gardens Using IPM from 11:30 AM-1:00 PM Central Time (10:30 - 12:000 Mountain Time) on Jan 29, 2015 with Bert Cregg, Michigan State; Michelle Grabowski and Vera Krischik U of MN.  To REGISTER:  https://umn.webex.com/umn/onstage/g.php?d=749757208&t=a 

Growing Apples in Home Gardens Using IPM from 11:30 AM-1:00 (10:30 1 12:00 Mountain Time) PM Central Time on Feb 3, 2015 with Rhoda Burrows, SDSU; Celeste Welty Ohio State and Karl Foord, U of MN.  To REGISTER:  https://umn.webex.com/umn/onstage/g.php?d=741586109&t=a

Seed catalogs.  Ask a gardener, “What do you look forward to in the winter?” and the answer probably is “The arrival of the seed catalogs!” While I do my share of superficial skimming through the stash of seed catalogs that are bathroom literature in our house, I reflect that I ended the year wanting very much to activate a year-end Digs thought: think globally and act locally.

                 I didn’t have to look far to find like-minded activists and passionate seed growers. An article in the December issue of Mother Earth News, “Sourcing Truly High-Quality Garden Seeds” by Margaret Roach (check her website at AWAYTOGARDEN.com) makes several important and easily summarized points. Seeds are alive, albeit in paper envelopes, and where they were grown and how they were fed (organic seed or fertilizer-infused) will affect their growth and ability to produce. Gardeners have every right to expect this information on seed packets. more

Birds & Blooms Day at the Jolly Lane Greenhouse, east Hwy. 44 and Jolly Lane. It will be on Saturday January 24th from 10-4.  Visit with parrots from around the world, poultry of all kinds, the raptors from the Black Hills Raptor Center and meet Duane Reichert Rodeo clown and his famous chicken. For more information ask for Barb B. at Jolly Lane.  The event is sponsored by Jolly Lane Greenhouse, Mt Rushmore Birds, and the Black Hills Poultry Society.

Jolly Lane will be having their houseplant sale at the greenhouse from January 19-31.

For more information about Birds and Blooms, please call 605-388-3925 or 787-7788.

The Hill City Evergreen Garden Club is sponsoring free garden seminars January-April on the 4th Wednesday at 1:00 in the Super 8 Motel Conference room. Seminars are free and the public is invited.

Alert!! There is information about the 6 week gardening short course, Gardening in the Black Hills, as well as the annual spring gardening event, Spring Fever, on the Upcoming Events page (or click on the Welcome tab!) Plan NOW to attend.

And don't forget that March 7th is Spring Fever.  more 

Soil and Civilization. Something old is a careful reread of Soil and Civilization a comprehensive history of the treatment of soil by numerous civilizations published in 1952 by British author Edward Hyams. 

      New to me is Hyams’ categorizing man as a parasite on the soil – striking an iffy balance between the health of the soil and the crops produced; categorizing man as a disease organism of the soil – vigorous and now regarded as stupid misuse and destruction of the Oklahoma soils leading to the Dust Bowl; and, happily, man as a soil maker – cultures that understood the need for manuring the soil, rotating crops and allowing some fields to fallow.  more


The planet is a global garden.  What’s happening in the atmosphere, in the oceans, across the land – whether called climate change or global warming or weird weather – affects us all.  more



Winter dreams and garden impermanence.  Our “weather memories” are often short term and inaccurate which allows all of us, including me, to redefine “autumn.” Beautiful foliage and bountiful harvests aside for the moment, I think of autumn primarily as a time of CHANGE.  more

Gardening Is Doorway to Mindfulness.  Fall is the time of gathering-in, of vegetables, of seeds, or of ideas. It was those latter that I gathered in during the recent annual state-wide Master Gardener Update in Yankton. more

January gardening tip.   See January gardening tips on green tab above.  One is to "Add garden record keeping to the list of New Year's resolutions. Make a note of which varieties of flowers and vegetables do best and which do poorly in your garden."  A journal will draw you deeply into the heart of your garden, especially if you incorporate drawing and watercolor.  Yes, anybody can do this, even with dried plants like zinnias still in their pots (waiting for seed collection). You learn by doing and get better with practice. more