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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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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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Columns
Family Gathering

My family is in the backyard. Lordy, save me from my family. They say that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose ...


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Columns
Hometown Honeys

You may have been told that bees are beneficial and that they pollinate a lot of agricultural crops. Most of the time when …


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Features
Perk Up with Pots

In our family, my sister Chris hosts Christmas and I host Easter. Among her many talents, Chris pulls out the stops when it …


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My Greenhouse Beauty

There are a few cyclical events in my life that I look forward to: the first lazy snowflakes, the emergence of a small ...


questions

What is the best way to dig up, clean and store gladiolus and dahlias? What are the little white sacs on glad bulbs?

Do the ants on my peony flowers help buds to open, or is this an old wives’ tale? What are the extremely tiny, microscopic yellow wormy looking bugs crawling on my pink peony flowers? My peonies are beautiful, but I don’t want all these bugs.

What is the largest tree that one can plant? We are trying to replace some 7- to 8-foot trees that were recently destroyed.

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