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Article ThumbBringing in the Bees

I pay close attention to the plants in my garden that attract a lot of bees. I don’t know the names of all the bees in my yard, but I do know that bees hatch with the first crocus and no longer has the first species crocus opened than I see a bee hovering over it. That happens as early as late March and April.

It’s not until May that I start to see quantities of bees, and this time they’re buzzing around the catmint. I have three Nepeta ‘Blue Wonder’ and one N. ‘Six Hills Giant’. I would say that Blue Wonder is the bigger draw and it pulls in the bees all summer long. Cutting it back mid-summer encourages more bloom.


Article ThumbHow to be a Mother to a Butterfly, Yes, You!

If you are reading this article, you are probably already aware that monarch butterfly numbers in Illinois are way down. Worse yet, it is our State Insect! But guess what! We can all help increase monarch numbers by finding butterfly eggs and raising caterpillars and releasing newly hatched butterflies. What??? Yes, YOU!!

To Attract and Find Monarch Eggs and Caterpillars: You’ll need milkweed plants, the only plants monarchs lay their 200 plus eggs on. Go to a garden center. You know you have milkweed when you rip off a plant leaf and it has white sap. Buy any kind of milkweed. Monarch caterpillars love them all equally. Remember common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the invasive one that travels by runners.


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Milkweed For Monarchs

A new project from the Garden Clubs of Illinois is hoping to halt the diminishing numbers of monarch butterflies.


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The Dirt on … Oh Never Mind

By the time you get to this page (that is to say, if you’ve read all or most of this magazine), your brain is so crammed with …


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Five Hundred Years and Counting

The age of exploration isn’t over. The hunt continues for new and better plants continues.


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Mike’s Holiday Hort Sing Along (Again?)

Did I ever mention that in my childhood I was severely traumatized when I happened to discover two snowflakes that were ...


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I Can’t Draw, Don’t Ask Me

Do you sing in the shower? Um, I know that’s kind of personal and you don’t need to tell me what kind of soap you use but ...


questions

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

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

The foliage on our cucumber plants is starting to wither and turn yellow. They get plenty of water and I feed them regularly. What could be wrong?

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