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Article ThumbSunny Disposition, Shady Needs

It is always a topic of conversation: What plants work well in sun or in shade? Or both? However, the conversation has taken on a slightly different perspective for 2014.

The plant world has been turned upside down due to a disease that has impacted one of gardeners’ favorite shade plants — Impatiens walleriana. Impatiens are the standard for any annual shade garden, and varieties belonging to this class have died in Europe, the U.K. and now, North America, from a disease called downy mildew (Plasmopara obducens). Infected plants start to drop leaves overnight and only the plant stems remain after a few days. So what can you replace them with to give color in a shaded location? Here are a few suggestions.


Article ThumbGeums Are Gems

I once had a friend tell me, “I am adding more geums to my garden – they are so lovely and delicate. And now they come in more colors than ever.” So I nodded and smiled and kept my mouth shut because I realized that I actually didn’t know what a geum was.

After searching the Internet I found that I knew these flowers well – I had seen geums a thousand times. The native Geum trifolium is what I knew as prairie smoke. But I still didn’t know much about cultivated geums, which are also called avens.


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Up in the Air

There’s a reason why tillandsias are called air plants. Just don’t call them airheads.


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From the Editor - JanFeb 2016

This is the time when the world waxes eloquent (or some semblance thereof) about “new beginnings.” Really? Is there such a thing


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Saving Dahlias

How to store dahlia tubers for planting next spring.


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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


questions

Would it help to apply a starter fertilizer on a poor green lawn in December? Will it give it a head start for spring? It hasn’t been reseeded.

Must I mulch my garden and, if so, when is the best time to apply it? What are the best materials to use?

We all seem to plant the basic herbs like basil, rosemary and parsley. What suggestions can you offer for more exotic herbs that I could add to my garden to spice things up both for cooking and adding interest/beauty to my landscape?

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