• By Mary Kidnocker For the Green Valley News

National Arbor Day is a time during which individuals and groups throughout our nation are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Beginning during the 1800s in the state of Nebraska, it is now annually recognized on the last Friday of April. Founder J. Sterling Morton is quoted, “Other holi…

  • By Mary Kidnocker

It’s the season! Nearly every year about this time, we exclaim over the bright beauty of blooming palo verde trees. On the drive up the interstate toward Tucson, the richness of color tries to distract the eye from the road. Who would have realized how many official Arizona state trees grow …

  • By Mary Kidnocker

To quote renowned garden author Mary Irish, “With over 500 penstemon species, it is hardly an exaggeration to state that there are penstemons for every garden.” The first flash of seasonal penstemon bloom is just finishing along roadsides and medians, in arroyos, common areas and our own yards.

  • By Mary Kidnocker

How often are we told that we need additional exercise — to move around more, keeping ourselves fit. Your yard can be a perfect place to "move,” with some bending, lifting, walking, squatting, digging, stooping, reaching, even weightlifting (plants, buckets of water). So let's look at some b…

  • By Betty Malesky

A genealogical term I haven’t heard for ages is “daughtered out.” I’m sure it still happens and with the same frequency, but just isn’t as important as in times past.

  • By Mary Kidnocker

Horticulturists define small trees as those reaching a maximum height of 20 feet or less. Today's average lot size cannot easily accommodate anything larger without continued costly maintenance and often eventual removal. Some homeowner associations require trees be no more than 18 feet high.

  • By Donald J. Behnke

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra rode into Holy Week this season not on a simple white donkey but, as it were, behind a brace of rearing Russian Bashkirs. This Classic Concert featured Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” the composer’s best-known work and a demanding combination of orchestra and voices.

  • By Bonnie Willemssen

I’m committed to the “five days a week” lunch schedule. Each week I find a reason to escape the drudgery of housework and cooking (like I do those things) and sneak off for lunch with a friend. I have my favorite friends to call: those who will drop everything when they hear my voice, those …

  • By Mary Kidnocker

In other parts of the country, Tombstone rose is called “Lady Banks” rose, or simply “Banksia.” Reportedly the largest rose bush in the world, planted in 1885, it is located in Tombstone, Ariz. Understandably, in Arizona this plant is fondly called “Tombstone rose.”

  • By Mary Kidnocker

Each year the Green Valley Gardeners’ Spring Fair is put together for those who garden now and those who ever enjoyed digging in the earth. It is also fun for folks who are not even slightly interesting in gardening, but simply like to be “where the action is” on an otherwise quiet Green Val…

  • By Betty Malesky

Every St. Patrick’s Day my father used to sport an orange bow tie. When I was a child, I asked him why he did so, and he replied that his Irish ancestors were Orangemen.

  • By Mary Kidnocker

El Nino has brought a winter to be remembered in many parts of the country! In the meantime, our desert has been blessed with soft rains, plenty of sunshine, cool nights, crisp mornings and record high daytime temperatures. It is three weeks until spring officially arrives; therefore, time t…

  • By Donald Behnke

The audience at the recent Classic Concert of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra might well have concluded with a chant of “Mas, Mas, Señor” were that audience given to breaking out in chants, which indeed it is not. The occasion was the first appearance of the newly designated music director aft…

  • By Mary Kidnocker

Quoting from Ken Kroesen, habitat program manager of Tucson Audubon Society, “Native plants provide healthy and diverse bird food. They also provide birds with places to roost, nest and hide from predators — things that feeders cannot do.”

  • By Dr. Donald J. Behnke

Venezuelan-born Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez is the new music director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. A large crowd of symphony board members, patrons and musicians joined the media last Wednesday at a press conference heralding the announcement.

  • By Mary Kidnocker

The frost cloth covering and uncovering of cold-sensitive plants has become more than a bit monotonous the past few weeks, especially with occasional 30 mph wind gusts. However, the average last frost date in this area is March 15, so there is still time for more chilly surprises.

  • By Betty Malesky

The newest aid for genealogists that I’ve become aware of is a program called Forever, Inc. It promises to make “it easy to store, organize, share and print your family photos for generations.”

Have you ever been overcharged or undercharged at a retail store?

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