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Articles written by Mary Honrud


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  • Return To Weedtopia

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Jul 10, 2024

    It doesn’t pay to leave your garden for two weeks at the end of June. The weeds thought to act like mice do when the cat’s away. They’ve run riot out there. I’m sorry to see the plants I wanted to grow seem to not have that same desire to thrive. Don’t get me wrong: they’re all still growing, but… There’s a reason we have the saying “growing like a weed.” I missed out on seeing all my purple iris in full bloom. The Shasta daisies on the north side of the house are vigorously blooming, but the ones to the east of the yard (mostly volunteers)...

  • Making Progress

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Jun 19, 2024

    The garden is almost fully planted. Of course I'm also counting on a lot of volunteer plants out there. Those are mostly flowers from the edible flower seed packet I bought a few years ago when the school had that as a fundraiser. But there's also volunteer cilantro and dill (you only ever need to purchase those once!), husk cherries (you can find their fruit in the store now as golden berries), and moon flowers. Oh, and some asparagus. I'll move a lot of those volunteers into rows and always...

  • Got Going With Gardening - Finally

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Jun 12, 2024

    While I've had the garden space tilled for quite a while, I hadn't actually planted anything until May 31. After tilling, I procrastinated setting up the drip system for far too long, but finally got that done. Then I procrastinated some more. In fact, I did that procrastinating so well, I have to hand-weed each row before putting any seed into the ground. I find procrastination often leads to more work. May 31 dawned fair, with little wind (a minor miracle), so I hustled out there to put...

  • Righteous Rhubarb Recipes

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|May 22, 2024

    While in town last week, as I was letting myself be pampered with both a manicure and a pedicure, the marvelous lady in the next chair remarked that I should keep putting recipes in my column. I thank her for her comment as I sometimes wonder how much they are appreciated. I know they do pertain to gardening as we need to know what to do with our produce. Spring, of course, is prime rhubarb season. I have a couple new ways to prepare this delectable vegetable that we treat as a fruit. Oat and Brown Sugar Rhubarb Crisp Filling: Scant 5 C...

  • Birbs!

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|May 15, 2024

    While we live far from the ‘burbs, we do seem to live in “birb” central. I believe all our feathered friends are back for the summer. I’m really glad I talked about getting the other two bird feeders cleaned in last weeks’ column. I set them out with fresh grape jelly plus a clementine cut in half a few days ago. Two days ago, a rosy-breasted grosbeak showed up to study those feeders, and to help himself to the regular bird seed. He tried to get through the living room window to the red blossoms on the geranium. Today (Mother’s Day) we had...

  • Is It Really Spring?

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|May 8, 2024

    My spring’s work has been going in fits and starts. Every time I start, Mother Nature throws a fit! At least it’s mostly actual rain now and not snow piling up. The grass is greening up. The trees are leafing out. Perennials are shooting up lots of green in the flowerbeds. That green can be hard to see in the beds I haven’t gotten around to clearing. There are still lots of dead leaves from last fall embedded in the lawn. I’ll eventually get around to mowing and maybe by that time those leaves will be dry enough the mower can annihil...

  • Spring Time In Florida

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Apr 17, 2024

    As you know, if you read this column or are one of my Facebook friends, I'm once again in Florida. I've never been here at this time of year before. It's very unlike a Montana spring. Here there is green grass, blooming flowers, palm trees, and virtually no chance of snow. (We did have torrential rains the other afternoon.) It's pretty nice that way. My trip getting here was fraught with difficulties. The first of those was the last several miles driving into Billings on the interstate. Dennis...

  • We've Been Sprung

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Apr 10, 2024

    Maybe my constant complaints about the weather have brought the results I've been wanting. And maybe Mother Nature is busy planning another blitz attack on us all after this week of warmth has sufficiently softened us up enough that it will be extra cruel when she hits us again with some misplaced winter. She does so enjoy dashing our hopes. We aren't the only beings that are now filled with dreams of summer. The robins have returned in force. There are flashes of red all through the yard....

  • To Spring Or Not To Spring....

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Apr 3, 2024

    The weather just cannot make up its mind, can it? This last bout with trying to defeat winter brought us an icy rain. The farther north we drove last Thursday night, the more winter won. We had about two inches of heavy wet snow before arriving home. Our yard is a casualty of that battle. It's definitely wintry. There are a few nice things about this newest snow cover: 1) it covers all the dead leaves on the lawn; 2) it sparkles in the sunlight; 3) it's full of much needed moisture; and 4) it...

  • Peeves and Bugbears

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Mar 27, 2024

    This past week, while in conversation with a friend, we talked about pet peeves. I volunteered to air hers. She really wants everyone to have their headlights on at all times while driving. The lack of visible headlights in oncoming traffic, especially during snow and fog events, is not only annoying, it’s downright dangerous. You may feel you don’t need your headlights to see what you’re driving into, but they are definitely needed by the people you meet. Light-colored vehicles blend into that snow or fog. Even dark-colored vehicles can be ha...

  • Mishmash

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Mar 20, 2024

    I'm going to go on about a variety of things this week. The term "mishmash," which means 'a confused mixture of different types of things,' seemed apropos to me. Similar terms would include: hodgepodge, patchwork, mixed bag, jumble, assortment, or mess. Of course, mishmash is often used in a negative way, as if the person it refers to couldn't stay on topic. I'm okay with that, as often I am confused and disorganized. (I'm thankful that those who don't care for my ramblings don't bother to tell...

  • Family Kaffir Lily

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Mar 13, 2024

    My sister Cece, who lives in southeast Missouri and is enjoying spring flowers (and her asparagus) already, recently sent me pictures of her Kaffir lilies. The mother plant has lots of red berries on the stalks the flowers had been on. Her smaller one is just now blooming. I’ve always cut off the flower stalks once they start puffing up to make seeds. I’d thought maybe if I didn’t, it would somehow diminish the plant and prevent future blooms. But Cece says she hasn’t and it’s always bloomed again. So now I need to go look up proper care of K...

  • Tripping Again

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Feb 28, 2024

    I apologize for not writing anything last week. We were away on another trip. This one was to Nashville. Our 13-year-old grandson and his hockey team from Clearwater, Fla., were competing in a President’s Day tournament just outside Nashville, in Franklin, Tenn. They won, without suffering a single loss, although they did have one game that ended in a tie. Their trophy was a guitar. What else would you expect from Music City? (Each individual player also got a medal to take home. That guitar will go in the trophy case at their rink.) We went ea...

  • Groundhog Predictions = Bunk

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Feb 14, 2024

    I meant to open this column with some light-hearted joking about taking weather forecasts from rodents and fell down a rabbit hole. (And rabbits aren’t rodents.) Prepare yourself for a lot of useless information. It might come in handy next time you compete in Trivial Pursuit. It is true that the groundhog is a rodent. Sometimes known as a woodchuck of tongue-twister fame, these rodents belong to the group of large ground squirrels (family Sciuridae) known as marmots. Gophers are also ground squirrels, but are rather puny in size next to ground...

  • Soup Season?

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Feb 7, 2024

    Mary Honrud For the Courier Usually our minds will turn to soups as fall arrives with the cooler weather and more gloomy skies. For me, that season of soups is now. Well, really, I think soup is always good. We’ve had some really nice weather recently, but the fog and no sun is here right now. That has me wanting comfort food. Soup fills that want. First up is a hearty soup featuring wild rice and mushrooms. I combed through several variations on this theme, and settled on one that didn’t call for cream or milk. Those of you who don’t do well...

  • Weather Happens, Whether You Want It To Or Not...

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Jan 31, 2024

    Mary Honrud / For the Courier What a difference a week or so makes, huh? We've gone from bitter cold with frigid winds, to ice fog and freezing rain, to balmy spring temps in a short amount of time. And don't we enjoy northeastern Montana through all of it? But we've had enough with the icy fogs and freezing rains, don't you agree? Mother Nature could get her act together at any time. There was enough weight on the trees after that rain last Saturday night and most of the day Sunday that I know...

  • Home, Sick

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Jan 24, 2024

    Either being out in the cold (be it outdoors or inside the ice rinks) OR being in crowds of people didn't agree with me. In any case, I started feeling punk on the second day of our drive home from Minneapolis. We'd split the trip into two days, both going and coming. We stayed overnight in Fargo both ways. I'm still really glad we went, it was a great weekend of hockey. Our grandson's team ended up with bronze medals. And he and our daughter survived a cold afternoon of outdoor sledding at...

  • On The Road – Again

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Jan 17, 2024

    I think those words are in a song…Willie is a genius. This week, instead of heading to sunny Florida, we’re going to cold, snowy, blowy Minnesota. The youngest grandson, 11, has a hockey tournament in Minneapolis this long weekend. The Florida teams always seem to have tourneys scheduled in far locales every time there’s an extra day off school. (It’s not just Florida, of course.) These tourneys require the kids missing school on both sides of the long weekend as they have to travel to and from said locales. This particular tourney has 10 team...

  • Brief Time At Home

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Jan 10, 2024

    We made it safely home from Florida, but we aren't staying here long. Our youngest grandson (11) has a hockey tournament in the Minneapolis area this weekend. The team is taking advantage of the long MLK weekend, as are lots of other youth hockey teams. I believe there are 10 teams at just the 12UAA level in this one. And of course it will be such nice weather for a jaunt across North Dakota into Minnesota - NOT! Those poor deluded Florida boys think it will be "fun" to experience snow and...

  • More Florida Hockey

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Jan 3, 2024

    Our sojourn in Florida continues, as does the hockey watching. And it’s not just the grandsons we’re watching. Tonight (I’m writing this on Wednesday, Dec. 27 - early deadline due to the holiday) we are heading into Tampa proper to watch the two Florida NHL teams compete against each other. I’m speaking of the Tampa Bay Lightning versus the Sunrise City Florida Panthers. Sunrise City is near Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We expect to see some fine hockey played. (And even as I write this, we’re watching the televised World Juniors Hockey Ch...

  • Green Spaces

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Dec 27, 2023

    We have been able to watch two of the three grandsons here in Florida play hockey. The third is in college and a bit further away. The middle boy competed in two games last Saturday, and both were won fairly easily. Our boy scored three assists on the four goals his team put up, two of which occurred on the same line shift, in the first game of the day. While he didn’t score in the second game, he still made some key puck thefts and made smart passes. His team had seven goals to the two the opponents managed. Last Monday evening we watched t...

  • "Sunny" Florida?

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Dec 20, 2023

    We’re again in Florida to spend the holidays with our grandsons. Seeing our daughter and her husband as well is a nice bonus. Avoiding the Montana winter is also very much appreciated, although so far the Montana winter hasn’t been bad. However, Florida is currently cooler than we’re used to, with grey skies and winds reminiscent of home. They received a paltry 2.65” of rain yesterday. Recently, in one of my columns, I mentioned how two of our three daughters have vastly outdone me in plant acquisitions. I believe this Florida girl of ours ha...

  • Winter Flowers?

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Dec 13, 2023

    I’ve just noticed that two of my bakers’ dozen amaryllis bulbs are sending up flower stalks. Of course they are: we’re getting ready to leave on our annual Christmas trip to Florida. We do love spending the holidays with our grandsons. The beautiful non-wintery weather (and seeing our daughter and her husband) are benefits we also enjoy. Back to the amaryllis: the bulbs sold each winter because of their willingness to bloom indoors are actually cultivars of Hippeastrum, a genus with about 90 species. There are also tons of hybrids. These are n...

  • Winging It

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Dec 6, 2023

    As I'd predicted, I have not resorted to making daily notes of my accomplishments this past week. I do know myself a little. So, as usual, I'm winging it with this column. It is Sunday afternoon, after all. I have managed to repot a few plants since I last wrote. The flamingo plant (anthurium andraeanum), which is very similar to the peace lily, but with red rather than white spathes, as the "flowers" are known. The spathes are red, waxy, and heart-shaped, with yellow upright spadices. They...

  • This And That

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Nov 29, 2023

    For the second week in a row, I was asked what I'd be writing about in my next column. And for the second week in a row my answer was, "I don't know." This speaks to my mastery of the art of procrastination. I should start jotting daily notes: "What did I do today? Is it something that might remotely relate to gardening?" But I probably won't do that, either. I'll stick with my bad habits. I'll suddenly realize it's Sunday afternoon/evening, and the column still hasn't been written, and I'll...

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