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Article ThumbFive Hundred Years and Counting

The age of exploration isn’t over. The hunt continues for new and better plants continues.

Ever wonder where the plants at garden centers come from? Even the typical nursery features a depth of products resembling a virtual League of Nations. In addition to the plants native to North America, many originated in Asia, Europe and even Africa. How they got here is a very long story that dates back to the days of pharaohs, kings and queens who directed explorers to bring plants back from distant continents. They sought new varieties that ranged from purely ornamental to edible to medicinal.


Article ThumbHometown Honeys

You may have been told that bees are beneficial and that they pollinate a lot of agricultural crops. Most of the time when people talk about bees, they are talking about foreign honeybees, which were brought to North America by Europeans in the 17th century.

Honeybees are fine, but many bees that we see and call honeybees are actually native bees or flies that look like bees.

There are many other bee species native to Illinois, the Midwest and North America. While they aren’t often discussed, they do a lot of pollinating.


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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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The 29 Steps

One of the things I've come to notice about the horticultural racket (and I'm using the term with extreme fondness, unless I'm n


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From the Editor - MarApr 2016

In the Merry Hall trilogy, a series that ranks high among the world’s great garden classics, the English journalist Beverley …


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Columns
Garden Un-Centered

Garden Un-Centered We all have our “happy” places–where we feel at home when we’re not at home. Some people are never ...


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Dahlia Delights

Last summer, I had the pleasure of strolling through Cantigny Park in Wheaton, where the floral displays are always spectacular.


questions

I am growing my potted tropical hibiscus indoors for the winter. The leaves are starting to yellow and fall off. Should I give the plant iron and should I fertilize it? Do I cut it back, and if so, when?

I’d like to start composting. Do you have any advice on what kind of bin to purchase/build so that it is successful in the Chicago climate?

What plants do you predict will be best sellers this year? Why?

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