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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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Columns
Attack of the Killer Asparagus

I had one of those horticultural dreams the other night. You know what I’m talking about. The ones where you’re being ...


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Columns
MacGregor Redux

"Hey, where's Stinky?" "Mmmphrgbl?" "Stinky!" "Phbbmmrrggnndr." "Didn't your mama ever teach you not to talk with your mouth ...


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Gardening for Your Taste Buds

In a few weeks, we can start planting tomatoes and peppers as well as sowing seeds of squash, eggplant, beans and other ...


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Take A Hint. Or Not.

One of the great things about being a columnist is that when you run out of ideas you can steal them from other people.


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Go to the Flower Show!

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show opened this past Saturday at Navy Pier and I’m here to report that it’s worth the price of ...


questions

Now that bedding impatiens (I. walleriana) are not recommended because of impatiens downy mildew, what are three good annuals for shade?

I start ‘Dragon Wing’ begonia from seed under grow lights. What other begonias can I use to cross-pollinate with the ‘Dragon Wing’ so I can collect my own seeds?

We moved into a house with a lovely azalea that didn’t bloom. We thought it might have been over-pruned. Last fall we did not prune it and now it still hasn’t bloomed. I was hoping to transplant it this year, but it looks rather sickly. Shall we prune it again and give it another year? Can I still transplant it?

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