No bugs........with Dr. Doug @ Shepherd Glen*
         No bugs........with Dr. Doug                                                                          @ Shepherd Glen*

For Midwestern home gardeners and naturalists, just for fun!                                                               All my observations, photos, musings etc. on this website are centered on our 10 acres (named Shepherd Glen) in Jackson County Missouri, but I have found that observations (and frustrations) in our area translate pretty well throughout the Midwest.



In the news!

March 15, 2024

2024 Callery pear buyback events

Cut down your invasive Callery pear tree and receive a free native tree in return!

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Spring has sprung, and many Missouri plants and trees have already begun to bloom. Unfortunately, one invasive tree will be prominent along roadways and other open areas: the Callery pear tree. In an effort to eradicate these invasive, nonnative trees from the landscape, the Missouri Department of Conservation is partnering with the Missouri Invasive Plant Council, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, and Forrest Keeling Nursery to host a Callery pear “buyback” program April 23.

Missourians with Callery pear trees on their property have the opportunity to cut down their tree and receive a free, native tree in return.

Registration to receive a free tree is open March 15 – April 15.

For more information on the buyback events and how to register, visit


News Release from Missouri Department of Conservation



December 23, 2023

USDA Issues Revised Plant Hardiness Zone Map

For decades, the USDA plant hardiness zone map has been the "gold standard" for gardeners and other growers wanting to know if a perennial plant (herbaceous or woody) will survive the cold temperatures of a typical winter in their area. Recently, the USDA unveiled a revised version of the map, updating the 2012 edition of the document.


Available online at, the 2023 map is based on 30-year averages of the lowest annual winter temperatures at specific locations. It is divided into 10-degree Fahrenheit zones and further divided into 5-degree Fahrenheit half-zones. The 2023 map incorporates data from 13,412 weather stations compared to the 7,983 that were used for the 2012 map.


Plant hardiness zone designations represent what is known as the "average annual extreme minimum temperature" at a given location during a particular time period. In the case of the 2023 map just released, that period was 30 years. The annual extreme minimum temperature represents the coldest night of the year, which can be highly variable from year to year, depending on local weather patterns. In other words, the hardiness designations do not reflect the coldest temperature ever recorded at a specific location, but simply the average lowest winter temperature for the location over a specified time. Low winter temperature greatly influences the ability of a perennial plant to survive in a particular area.


Like the 2012 map, the 2023 version has 13 hardiness zones across the United States and its territories. Most of Missouri is in zone 6 (-10 to 0), which essentially remained the same as the 2012 map.


Credit: Adapted from an article by the USDA; via David Trinklein, Univ. of Missouri, Plant Science & Technology


February 28, 2023


Easy Pesticide Disposal


The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plans to take the hassle out of pesticide disposal by hosting four waste pesticide collection events in 2023. Collection is open to producers and home owners. Check out the following link for locations.


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