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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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Columns
Planning Commissioner

The folks in the editorial office tell me that this issue is about planning. I’m taking their word for it, since they don’t ...


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White for Fall

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It’s Your (Gardening) Thing

I don’t know the names of all of the plants in my garden. There, I said it. I’m not bragging, mind you, nor am I apologizing.


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Features
10 Great Shrubs You’ve Never Grown

Shrubs add valuable form, color and textural contrast to the garden.


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Follow the Bouncing Gall

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questions

We have a skylight in the bathroom over our Jacuzzi tub with an area around the tub that is quite large. What plants can we grow there, and what care do they need? Can we grow orchids?

What trends do you see in container plantings, such as type of pot, materials, sun or shade, foliage or flowers.

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

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