Articles filed under Gardening

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  • The wild geranium is a native Illinois wildflower of open woods and savannas.

    Wild geraniums herald the arrival of spring in Fox Valley woodsMay 29, 2014 12:00 AM
    Wild geranium is one of the highlights of the woodland flora right now, in full bloom in many forest preserves. It’s a distant cousin of the typical potted geraniums sold in garden stores.

  • Irrigation systems allow for lawns to be watered prperly without wasting water. Some systems are even connected to for more accurate water usage, said Colin Taheny of RYCO Design Group.

    Right equipment: Tools of the trade keep yard looking niceMay 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    When homeowners think of their backyards, most immediately think of the fun stuff — the flowering trees, beautiful flowers, great patio, comfortable furniture and the fire pit that gives them so much enjoyment. But it is often the basic “nuts and bolts” equipment no one sees that makes it possible for residents and visitors to thoroughly enjoy a yard.

  • A woman prepares planting beds in her personal plot at the South Whidbey Tilth Community Garden near Freeland, Wash. Gardeners can reserve a 20-foot by 20-foot space for a $50 annual fee, and must use organic growing methods and materials. The gardeners can keep what they grow but are encouraged to share in caring for the communal parts of the garden.

    No planting space? Try community gardeningMay 22, 2014 12:00 AM
    Community gardens are much more than neighboring plots. Given enough energy and enthusiasm, they morph into support groups, horticulture classes, swap meets or modest profit centers for low- and fixed-income growers. Small wonder there often is more demand than availability.

  • By planting vegetables from a different family in a problem area each year, you minimize the chances of a repeat infection.

    Reduce pest problems by rotating vegetable cropsMay 19, 2014 12:00 AM
    The easiest way to reduce pest problems and avoid using chemical controls in the vegetable garden is to rotate crops. Many insects and diseases attack a number of related vegetables within the same plant family.

  • Gradually increase houseplants’ time outside and exposure to the sun.

    Good mowing habits promote healthy lawnsMay 17, 2014 12:00 AM
    For a healthier lawn, use a mulching mower that leaves the grass clippings behind. This means less work for you since you don’t have to rake them up, and it recycles the nutrients in the clippings back into your grass plants. Rake out any wet clumps of grass that remain on the lawn to distribute the clippings.

  • Double Knockout is a beautiful shrub rose that's easy to grow.

    Don't be afraid to grow rosesMay 17, 2014 12:00 AM
    The thought of growing roses strikes fear in the hearts of many gardeners. Why? Roses are plants like any others. Give them the conditions they prefer, plant them correctly, give them proper care, and they will thrive. Follow these basic guidelines and you'll be richly rewarded with blooms like no other.

  • The flowers of Lenten roses bloom for a long time in a wide range of colors.

    Shady characters you should take homeMay 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    Take a walk around a suburban neighborhood, and you’ll probably see sweeps of pachysandra or English ivy covering the ground under mature shade trees. A few spring bulbs might poke through early in the season, and a few shade annuals might adorn the front edge in summer.

  • Franka Aguilar, 6 of Warrenville is all smiles as she holds a worm during the Morton Arboretum's “Mudpies and Stone Soup” class by adding leaves, sticks stones and water.

    Gardening teaches kids about nature, food originsMay 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    From conservation and composting to simply having fun in the dirt, gardening offers a wide range of lessons and experiences for children of all ages. Retailers are taking note, with garden centers and big-box stores boasting selections of child-sized garden gloves, hats and boots as well as trowels, watering cans and other tools made specifically for little hands.

  • Fred Llaguno of Lombard gets some tips from local lilac expert Marymae Meyer at “Lilacs 101,” which was held Friday at village hall. Meyer answered common questions about lilacs, such as bloom time and the size and shape of individual lilac plants.

    Expert presents ‘Lilac Basics’ in LombardMay 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    In the spirit of Lilac Time, the village of Lombard held an informational “Lilacs 101” class Friday at village hall. Lombard resident and lilac expert Marymae Meyer led the one-hour class, during which she answered common questions about lilacs, such as bloom time and the size and shape of different varieties.

  • Wax begonias are a good alternative to Impatiens walleriana for shade gardens.

    Color up your shade garden with begoniasMay 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    With all the talk of downy mildew on impatiens, gardeners are searching for alternatives to brighten their shade gardens. Although nothing can really match the colorful show of Impatiens walleriana, begonias come pretty close.

  • Herbs that grow best in a small or water-wise garden include basil, oregano, parsley, thyme and rosemary, says Sarah J. Browning, an extension educator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who also suggests planting radishes, carrots, peppers, zucchini and summer squash for summertime bounty.

    Tips for high yields in a small or thirsty gardenMay 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    How can you get the most yield from a garden where space is limited, and water is too? Plant smart, and pay attention to the soil. “Your garden is only as good as your soil,” says David Salman, chief horticulturist at High Country Gardens, a Santa Fe, N.M., catalog that specializes in native and low-water plants.

  • Herbs, including from left lemon verbana, cilantro and fennel found at Lurvey’s Garden Center in Des Plaines, can be easy to grow and liven up your cooking.

    Gardening allows for more healthy food choicesMay 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Homeowners are increasingly choosing to plant, carefully water and eventually harvest their own food to put on their tables. Garden centers around the area are responding to this interest by offering more and more vegetable plants and fruit plants, shrubs and trees, as well as organic seeds and other supplies to facilitate this movement.

  • Learn basics to sprout seedsMay 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. What is the difference between an heirloom seed and a hybrid seed?

  • The crown imperial is a majestic spring bulb that deserves to be more widely known and grown.

    Crown Imperial can add majesty to a gardenMay 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Crown imperial is exiting the garden after another fabulous spring show. The orange blossoms are fading, wilting and will soon drop. Then the rest of the plant will begin to dissolve back into the ground. As befits nobility, crown imperial comes and goes as it pleases, often in a fickle or unpredictable manner. Mine was planted over 20 years ago, and for its first half-dozen years refused to show more than just leaves. The flowers were worth the wait.

  • Make entertaining easy with a weather-resistant mobile bar cart when space is tight outside and can’t accommodate console tables or sideboards.

    Ask a designer: The evolving outdoor kitchenMay 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    For years, it was enough to park a barbecue grill next to a picnic table on a patio and call it an “outdoor kitchen.” But over the past decade, Americans have taken backyard cooking and dining to a new level, adding elaborate cooking islands, outdoor sinks and refrigerators, even outdoor TVs. Unless you have a really tall fence, this is the one “room” in your house that neighbors will see whether you invite them to or not, notes designer Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design for The Home Depot. That inspires many homeowners to pay extra attention to their outdoor entertaining area.

  •  The emerald ash borer has infected many trees in East and West Dundee at considerable cost to the villages.

    Dealing with the emerald ash borer in DundeeMay 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    The emerald ash borer has burrowed into thousands of ash trees in East and West Dundee, infected them, and killed them. “We still have 223 trees to replace,” said Richard Babica, West Dundee Public Works director. “It’s a labor-intensive process, and it’s costly."

  • Kathy Hendershott is the owner of Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Geneva. She also owns a Hand & Stone in Wheaton, and hopes to open one in Naperville.

    Sit back and relax at new Hand & Stone in GenevaMay 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    A new business is open in Geneva along the Randall Road corridor aimed at helping you feel and look better. Hand & Stone opened May 3 at 1416 S. Randall, in the Randall Square Shopping Center, at the intersection of Randall and Fargo.

  • Bob Olender, left, and Bob Conidi, right, chairman of the Itasca Lions Club pancake breakfast, watch a rotating hot griddle cook 48 pancakes at a time during the pancake breakfast in the Saint Luke School gymnasium in Itasca.

    Itasca Lions serve up loads of pancakesMay 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    As a hot griddle slowly turned around a motorized base, waves of 48 pancakes at a time were being flipped and made ready to serve Saturday morning during the Itasca Lions Club’s pancake breakfast. About two thirds of the Lions Club’s 90 members were on hand to help more than 400 guests enjoy a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit, pastries and juice.

  • Pears can be dried, which concentrates their flavors and sweetness. Add more variety to the family table by including fruit in your canning, freezing or dehydrating mix.

    Canner’s garden is more for the future than nowMay 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    A canner’s garden is not your typical vegetable patch. With its full-scale production, distinctive varieties and four-season harvests, it’s more for the future than the moment. “Canner’s gardens aren’t really so different in what they grow. Where they’re really different is in how much they grow,” said Daniel Gasteiger, author of “Yes You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too” (Cool Springs Press, 2011).

  • Clover could be your lawn’s secret weaponMay 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    A reader wants to know how to get rid of clover, but after reading the answer, you may wonder: "Why would you want to get rid of clover?"

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