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Article ThumbSaving Dahlias

Big beefy dahlias with their dinner-plate-sized flowers are darlings of the garden from summer through the first autumn frosts. Although many gardeners treat dahlias as disposable annuals, it’s easy to store them over winter – and save money – for another display the following year. It’s simply a matter of digging up the tubers and roots after the first fall frost.


Article ThumbSummer-Blooming Bulbs

Last spring my sister called to say that she had found a wonderful new anemone to add to her collection in a mixed flower border. When she described the flower, the deeply saturated color and the black center, I knew she had purchased Anemone coronaria, a summer-flowering tender bulb. She was disappointed to learn that these magnificent flowers would not overwinter in her Indiana garden and that they must be lifted in the fall and replanted each spring.


Article ThumbWeird & Wonderful Spring Bulbs

It’s like the emperor with no clothes. The crown imperial stands 3 to 4 feet tall, its Sun King-bright flowers lording it over the spring garden with the hauteur of Louis XIV, utterly unaware that its dignity is fatally undercut by the absurdity of its green bad-hair-day topknot.

Not every spring bulb has the classic sculptured grace of a lily-flowered tulip. Yet many bulbs beyond the ordinary have charms that can grow on a gardener, adding variety and interest where tulips, daffodils and crocuses may seem old hat.


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Signs of Spring?

So here I am, wandering around with my nose towards the ground, scrounging for signs of spring. I’ve found a few — snowdrops ...


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Recreating that Vintage Garden

When it comes to old houses, it’s not often that you’ll find one with its original garden elements. Wood arbors and fences ...


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From the Inside Out

Good design and careful planning filled this modest backyard space with a garden that meets the needs of adults and children.


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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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Irresistible Roses

When it comes to roses, some of us just can’t say no. Here’s the true confession of one local gardener.


questions

I brought a frangipani (Plumeria) back from Hawaii last April when it was just a leafless branch. It sprouted leaves and grew over summer. Now it is losing its leaves. How can I keep it growing over winter? Will it bloom?

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?

My Siberian iris ‘Gracilis’ plants have only one bloom per clump. I have five 3 to 5 year-old clumps that are 8 to 10 inches wide. They do not appear to be crowded. All are planted in a moist area. Why is there only one bloom per clump?

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