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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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From the Editor - Jan/Feb 2015

Illinois is an agricultural state. We all know that, right? But did you also know that Illinois imports 90 percent of its food


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Blog
Spring Has Started!

For the past two weeks I’ve been charging around saying I’m willing to bet real money that when the snow melts, there will ...


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Columns
OCGD on the QT

A gardening story recently caught my attention. At which point, some of you might ask, “Hey, you’re a garden writer.


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From the Editor - Mar/Apr 2014

In a few days I will plant my first tomato seed. Planting always makes me happy, whether it’s planting bulbs in the fall, ...


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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 ...


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?

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

I purchased some pre-chilled hyacinths and tulips for forcing but there were no directions with them. Does this mean I don’t have to chill them in the refrigerator, and will they just bloom in the house any time during the winter? The last batch of bulbs became moldy in the refrigerator.

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