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Article ThumbMoss: Rescuing Its Reputation

I’m pretty sure that in the pre-Google era most everyone who spoke of or asked about moss was trying to get rid of it. Even now googling “moss in the garden” produces five “how to kill” results before the first “how to grow.” But I recently attended a lecture at the Chicago Botanic Garden given by Dale Sievert, whose passion for and expertise about mosses made me question how anyone could contemplate mayhem against such a beautiful, ancient and eco-friendly organism. Since mosses have slowly, over the past few years, begun to colonize the damper, shadier parts of my tiny urban forest (i.e. my front yard), I was happy to be urged to encourage the process rather than fight it.


Article ThumbA New Twist on Terrariums

They’re back, just in time for holiday decorating and gift giving! Terrariums, that is. They’ve recently made a big comeback with a new twist and a few new favorite plants.

If you were gardening in the 70s, you probably planted up an old aquarium, apothecary jar or any clear glass container with an opening large enough to squeeze through a plant. Many of us used long handled tools to strategically place plants and decorative items in containers too small to accommodate our hands. The containers were then covered with some kind of glass lid to increase the humidity.


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From the Editor - NovDec 2017

In the world of fashion, styles change rapidly. All of a sudden this summer, women started walking down the street with their …


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Newsletter
Bales of Fun

For vegetable gardeners, straw bale gardening may be the best innovation since sliced bread.


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Columns
Searching for Nature (In All the Wrong Places)

You might have noticed, as you were reading through this magazine, that there are stories about the birds and the bees (which...


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Columns
10 Years After

I’m not sure whether I should be celebrating or apologizing. Let me explain. The 700 or so words on this page mark my tenth ...


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Blog
Butterflies in February?

On a sunny winter day a few years ago, I strolled into our Palos-area garden looking for signs of snowdrops


questions

Besides mums, what are a few other plants you would recommend for containers for fall color?

What are your three favorite “all-but-forgotten” perennials that every garden should include? Why do you like them?

I have a nicely sheltered, rounded 7-foot tall Japanese red maple on the southeast corner of my backyard. Half of the tree has lost its leaves, the formerly red bark is turning gray, and a good-sized square of bark has been stripped off on the side that faces the yard. I sprayed the exposed bark with black pruning spray to close any entry for insects. I have not cut off any of the branches.

Does the winter have any effect on the tree? Should I look for some insect infestation? What should I do now?

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