“A moth is a mysterious thing. You can clips its wings but you’ll never discover its secrets.” — Marty Rubin

Moths have a reputation as the scourge of our winter woolens, but only a few moths deserve a bad rap. Many are beneficial pollinators and rival butterflies for beauty. Moths are more difficult to attract since they are nocturnal. If you want to attract moths to your garden, plant nectar plants such as native milkweed or goldenrod and add some outdoor lighting and bait like fruit juice.

Night flowering plants such as columbine, flowering tobacco (Nicotiana), white morning glories, Datura four o’clocks, evening primrose, climbing hydrangea, sweet autumn clematis and mock orange are all hardy in zone 4. The reward both to moths and humans will provide a nice evening fragrance to the garden. Any white plant will entice moths to visit, but if you enjoy being outdoors on nice summer evenings, white flowers will show through the darkness.

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Rock gardens can be so much fun to create. Wisconsin has such a wide variety of rocks that can be used in a rock garden including our famous quartzite that has a beautiful pink color, shale, limestone and sandstone. By incorporating native materials to your rock garden, you will get a natural look and you will reduce your impact on the environment.

Carefully choose plants based on the conditions you have. For dry, sunny spots, plant plants like purple prairie clover or wild petunia to establish a low maintenance garden. If you have a dry, shady spot, consider Jacob’s ladder, Solomon seal or American alumroot. If you have richer soil, you could plant nodding pink onion. Many sedums are low maintenance so a rock garden of just sedum would be a good choice. A damp, shady area would be good for small and miniature hostas or ivy. You have to use your imagination but it is fun.

A new Master Gardener class will be held this fall. The cost for program that includes classes weekly for 12 weeks is $150 with a $25 rebate after you complete the certification process. This class is for gardeners and anyone who would like to be a better gardener or open to someone very new to gardening. Classes will be held on a combination of Friday evenings and Saturday mornings in Baraboo starting at the beginning of September. For more information, call 608-355-3250.

Contact Phyllis Both by email at Phyllis.both@saukcountywi.gov or by telephone on Monday mornings at the Sauk County UW-Extension office, 608-355-3253.

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