Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread


In addition to coating flatbread, hearty crackers or melba toast, this spread doubles as a dip for vegetables or a sauce for pasta or risotto.


1 8oz. jar roasted red peppers in water, drained

1 7oz. jar sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained

1 clove garlic

8 medium sized basil leaves

� tsp salt

� tsp red pepper flakes


In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until the desired consistency is reached.

Serve with crackers, flatbread or melba toast.




Like us on Facebook


Branching Out with Faith Appelquist



Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

Contact Faith at (612) 618-5244 or by email 



Landscape Design
Principles - Mass Collection 


All effective landscape designs rely on basic principles. As the design is conceived and organized, it is important to consider how order will be provided through symmetry, asymmetry, mass collection or a combination of them all.


One way to establish order is to apply the concept of mass collection. Mass collection is the grouping together of the same species of plants. Each plant is seen as part of a whole and not individually. Even large numbers of plants will be seen as one which makes for a harmonious design. Well executed design principles go along with good horticultural practices. Groups of the same plants are easier to manage in regard to irrigation, fertilization and pest management than individual plants with different requirements intermingled.


An understanding of these principles prevents the creation of ugly landscapes and fosters the creation of beautiful ones.

For more information on the Principles of Landscape Design



Mass arrangement of low growing evergreens and annuals  
create a harmonious composition


When is the Best Time to Prune?  


Although trees are quite resilient and may be pruned anytime there are both practical as well as biological reasons to prune or not prune during certain times of the year. If it is between opening up a wound to heat or opening to the cold, opening the wound to the cold is best. Optimally, the perfect window would be past February and into March. The chance of frostbite on the sensitive cambium is less, and the sap is not rising. 


When certain species are trimmed during the growing season such as American Elms or Oaks, pheromones (scents) are given off at the wound, attracting insects that can carry fungus on their bodies that can infect these trees. These are best pruned in the fall or early spring. Deadwood should be pruned anytime because it a health and safety issue. Deadwood is food for decay organisms and the quicker it is removed from a tree the sooner they can start closing the wound and preventing the spread of decay.


If the tree was planted for its spring flowers, such as magnolia, dogwood, crabapple, you want to wait until after it has flowered to prune. Otherwise you prune flower buds off and reduce the abundance of flowers that spring. For certain species such as maples and birches, I would trim these in the summer to minimize 'bleeding'. Pruning during full leaf is fine, but dormant season is probably still best for tree health.       





Some trees ooze sap from pruning wounds made in late winter or early spring. Called "bleeding", this is not harmful to the tree.   

















Making the right pruning cut is easier when the branch structure is visible  

and not obstructed with leaves.




















For more information  on pruning trees.  



Thanks for reading. Happy Planting!  


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


View our profile on LinkedIn