Oven Barbecued
Chicken Wings 

8 cups water

3 pounds chicken wings

� cup soy sauce

� cup salt


2 cups purchased barbecue sauce

1/3 cup root beer

� cup minced fresh ginger


� cup chopped fresh parsley

Sesame seeds

Dried crushed red pepper


Combine 8 cups water, soy sauce, salt and chicken wings, in large bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1-8 hours.


Preheat oven to 350. Bring barbecue sauce, root beer and minced ginger to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Pour 1/3 of barbecue sauce mixture into small bowl and set aside.


Drain chicken from marinade and transfer to foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast 30 minutes. Drain juices. Brush chicken with sauce.  


Continue roasting 15 minutes. Brush with reserved sauce. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with parsley, sesame seeds and crushed red pepper.




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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist


 Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

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


First Impressions that Sell


Paying a little attention to your home's curb appeal before listing your property will pay off. Most people make their decision whether to buy or not within the first 30 seconds. Making sure your garden looks its best from the car to the front door could lead to a higher selling price. Everybody responds to a garden; people also respond negatively to a neglected space.


First, take a look at what's already there. If it's overgrown your best investments would be in cleanup, pruning and cutting things back to make it feel more open and clean. It won't look like as much of a headache to potential buyers. Consider adding some plantings that provide the most coverage without requiring a big investment. Buy the biggest size available from the nursery so the plants have immediate impact when they go into the ground.  


For shady areas, I like Golden Glow dogwood, big yellow hostas and ferns. For the sunny garden, consider fragrant, showy things like roses and Russian sage. Annuals like impatiens and petunias are a good way to add instant color, but limit them to planters and window boxes as they can be too "commercial-looking" when they are overused.  


If you have enough time, prepare for a seasonal explosion of color to coincide with your target listing date. If you know in the fall that you are going to list your property in the spring, you should plant bulbs, snowdrops, grape hyacinths, tulips and/or daffodils.



This is a "Before" look from a customer of mine.




"After". Neatly maintained shrubs and showy containers all make for a pleasant composition. Landscape design by Tree Quality.

Visit this New York Times link, for questions and answers about redecorating before putting a home on the market 


Ornamental Grass Maintenance


A plant trend that's been showing up in many gardens is the use of ornamental grasses. Karl Foerster Feather Reed grass was the number 1 seller of ANY perennial last year, beating out hostas, and mums. Planting it is the easy part. Maintaining these grasses is another story.     


Cut back brown foliage in the spring. This should be done the first week in April, before growth starts. Cutting back or removing green foliage can weaken the plants, so don't let this date get away from you. Grasses not cut become a collection spot for litter, debris and weeds. They may have a slow start or form dead centers.


The above-ground portion of the plant dies over the winter but the roots are still alive. You can use electric hedge shears, lawn mower, hand trimmer, or string trimmer. Bundle tie tall grasses with twine or binder tie before cutting which makes it easier to toss the whole business into the compost bin. Shorter grasses can be raked or gently pull out dead portions by hand. Grasses cut back in the fall have a tendency to die over the winter. Grasses rarely need fertilization or irrigation. In fact, excess irrigation can cause the plant to fall over. Finally, divide in the spring. 


A great blog resource for more information on ornamental grass maintenance.



'Blue Heaven' outside of the U of M Stadium. Grasses left standing over the winter have a better chance of survivability.  

Photo credit: Mary Meyer



I recommend bundling sections of the grass then securing the sections with rope.   This makes cutting the grass back 4-6 inches with pruning shears much easier.   

Thanks for reading. Happy Planting!


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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