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Articles filed under Gardening

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  • Going on vacation? Prepare your garden first Jul 30, 2014 5:45 AM
    We pamper our gardens all year but then desert them to go on vacation during what’s often the hottest, driest time of the year. A little planning can soften the blow. Ideally, a neighbor or fellow gardener could handle watering and other tasks while you’re away. But if that’s not possible, here are some easy ways to keep your plants and flowers alive while you sip Mai Tais on the beach.

     
  • Attract hummingirds to your garden Jul 27, 2014 1:01 AM
    How to attract hummingbirds to your garden, turning your grass into a small prairie and saving your sedum plants from dying out.

     
  • Brave new gardening for brave new climates Jul 27, 2014 1:01 AM
    Mowing and watering a traditional lawn requires a lot of time, money, water and fertilizers. Increasingly, many home gardeners want to focus instead on edible gardens, and rethink the rest of their landscaping in a more environmentally sustainable and low-maintenance way.

     
  • Plant your landscape pretty in pink Jul 26, 2014 1:01 AM
    This weeks 'Art in the garden' column by The Planter's Palette tells you how to plant your landscape pretty in pink.

     
  • An elusive summer perennial named hyssop Jul 29, 2014 6:11 AM
    One of the things a gardener misses about the spring is the vibrant color of young leaves. The lime greens of certain hostas, deutzias and Japanese maples add accents of vitality so emblematic of April, a month that now feels distant in the sullen lushness of summer. In northern gardens, these colors remain as strong echoes; in round-the-clock heat they are much fainter cries. A few, sited with just enough light or shade, remain strong. Now settled from their spring planting, the five hyssops are robust, upright and, at 4 feet and growing, twice the height they were six weeks ago.

     
  • Small is sometimes better in the vegetable world Jul 25, 2014 6:00 AM
    There’s no arguing that tiny vegetables are more fun and convenient to eat. Of course, tiny vegetables’ main draw is their perceived gustatory superiority. And it’s true: Many vegetables are most delicate, tender and tasty at this stage.

     
  • Plant undemanding clematis and enjoy the show Jul 24, 2014 6:00 AM
    Clematis are simple to grow; they are available in a broad range of colors, forms and sizes; and they boast one of the longest periods of bloom of any garden perennial. They are also among the least demanding plants.

     
  • Check your magnolia trees for signs of scales Jul 23, 2014 6:04 AM
    This is the time of year to check closely for magnolia scale, which can stress a magnolia tree and cause an overall thin condition. The scale insect is about the size of a pencil eraser and is typically found on the underside of magnolia tree branches.

     
  • Easy tips for tending to summer plants Jul 25, 2014 10:35 PM
    Keep your summer garden looking fresh and neat by removing yellowing foliage and spent flowers.

     
  • Four finalists battle for best curb appeal in Des Plaines Jul 22, 2014 3:54 PM
    Des Plaines residents have a week left to choose who, among four of their neighbors, has the best looking front yard in town. Here’s a closer look at each of the finalists in the best curb appeal category of the Curb Appeal Challenge.

     
  • In search of natural hues? A garden ‘to dye for’ Jul 18, 2014 5:30 AM
    Homegrown botanical dyes are in, part of today’s shift toward more natural and organic living. And you don’t need a degree in chemistry to create your own hues for scarves, sweaters or even Easter eggs. All it takes is a garden plot or a few pots and a kitchen.

     
  • Tricks for bringing up summer spinach Jul 17, 2014 5:30 AM
    Popeye ain’t the only bloke who’s gotta have spinach. Some gardeners also crave it, freshly picked. This isn’t spinach season, though. Spinach is sensitive to cycles of night and day, and summer’s short nights induce the plants to send up flower stalks, set seed and then die, instead of growing the succulent, broad leaves they do in spring and fall. Hot weather also plays a role in inducing flower stalks.

     
  • There’s still time to plant zucchini Jul 22, 2014 2:59 PM
    Q: Every year I plant zucchini, and every year I have the same problem arise with them. After a month or so of growing, I notice that the stems seem to start rotting right where they come out of the ground. After a few weeks of this, the plant dies. What could cause this, and how do I fix it?

     
  • Courtyard garden at Inverness parish is a labor of love Jul 16, 2014 1:47 PM
    Henry Smogolski owes his inspiration for the garden at Holy Family Parish to the memory of his wife, Isabel, but the entire church community finds peace and reflection come more easily there.

     
  • Garden Conservancy Open Days features area gardens Jul 13, 2014 6:00 AM
    Horticultural delights like hydrangeas producing both pink and blue blooms, a grass labyrinth, a bed of Italian figs and even a tunnel of petunias are just a sampling of the sights to be enjoyed when six breathtaking private gardens in the area will be open as part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program.

     
  • Agastache plants star as a summer perennial border Jul 13, 2014 6:15 AM
    Let me introduce a star of the summer perennial border — Agastache — a group of plants in the mint family. They all have lovely scented foliage. Most are upright plants with sturdy stems that rarely need staking. They are rarely bothered by pests or diseases.

     
  • Pruning, watering will help keep your yard looking sharp Jul 12, 2014 6:00 AM
    Prune shrubs as needed to keep them in the proper scale for your garden. New stems and branches that grew this spring will be mostly hardened off in early July, so pruning them now should not stimulate much new growth.

     
  • It takes many clovers to make a meadow Jul 7, 2014 6:01 AM
    There’s a whole world of clovers out there. Each kind is useful, and each is pretty in its own right. The next time you walk in a field, look around and you’ll surely see a clover or two. Here are some of the varieties you'll find locally.

     
  • Tips for saving your plants from common garden ailments Jul 6, 2014 6:00 AM
    Looking for ways to keep your plants healthy this year? Try these tips from Tim Johnson, director of horticulture at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

     
  • Easy-to-grow herbs are beautiful and delicious Jul 5, 2014 9:39 AM
    For beginning gardeners, herbs are a perfect introduction to gardening. They are easy to grow, whether you begin with small plants or seeds. They need little special care and are generally resistant to the pests and diseases that target more temperamental plants.

     
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