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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 ThumbSuburban Subdivision Triumph

Who says that gardening on a former cornfield is doomed to fail? Certainly not Laverne and Pete Bohlin, whose garden is a happy mix of prairie, vegetables and flowers.


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.


Article ThumbTrialed by Jury

The experts looked at the evidence and gave these new plants a thumbs up. You will too. Here are our favorite new plants for 2015.


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Columns
Critter Control

I had just finished an environmental talk to a local gardening group. It was the usual advice. Don’t do an oil change on ...


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Imagine That

I was awakened recently by the sound of a pigeon rattling my bedroom window. Peeking with one cautious eye from beneath my …


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Something is in the Eye of the Beholder

You know you’ve made it in the world when you have your own Wikipedia entry. There’s something about the bracketed phrase ...


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From the Editor - May/Jun 2014

At the end of February I spent a couple of weeks in a suburb south of San Francisco, doing grandma duty while my daughter ...


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Beyond Violet

African violets are pushing the envelope when it comes to colors and flower forms. Ruffles, anyone?


questions

Which flowers can we plant that the bunnies won’t eat? My pansies and marigolds are all eaten.

What is rose rosette disease? I lost two antique roses and removed a hedge of multiflora roses that were supposed to be undesirable. How bad is it?

This past spring I planted a lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana) in full sun. As winter began, the angle of the sun’s rays has caused the tree to receive, at most, 4 hours of sun. What are sun requirements of evergreens in winter?

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