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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.


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They Died with Their Roots On

There is no better part of the year for a gardener than right now, assuming you’re reading this around March or April and ...


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A Bit about Bees

Growing bee-friendly plants is one way to help increase the bee population. Another way is to actually raise bees.


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Mike’s Holiday Hort Sing-Along

I like holiday carols. Really, I do. Honest. Don’t look at me like that. I know it’s hard to tell from the annual hit job I ...


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Garden Wars

If ever there was dark side to an avocation based on goodness and light, it is the idea of a “gardening competition.”


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From the Editor - NovDec 2016

The most memorable Christmas of my Chicago life was the year the temperature plummeted to 25 below zero and the pipes froze …


questions

I have read that purple coneflowers (Echinacea) are a good source of food for birds in the winter. Will they be okay if not trimmed back until spring? If so, how early should they be trimmed?

With all the emphasis on growing fresh vegetables, I think I should use a cold frame but I am not sure what to do or how to go about it. Any ideas?

I’d like to plant a white bark birch in front of my home in my sunny front yard. What can you tell me about Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii?

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