In a few days I will plant my first tomato seed. Planting always makes me happy, whether it’s planting bulbs in the fall, dividing and moving perennials or putting in shrubs. But nothing holds more mystery and promise than a seed. It’s so small. How can it possibly contain the wherewithal to develop into a 5-foot-tall plant? And tomato seeds are big enough to be easy. When it comes to foxglove or ‘Crystal Palace’ lobelia, I never expect the truly teeny seeds to germinate and so always plant far too many and end up discarding many seedlings (these seeds, too, are actually easy). I never learn.
This is our “Ideas Issue,” designed to be a keeper, although of course we hope you keep all of our issues. So to get this new year off to a rousing start, we’ve created an issue that’s chock full of ideas for everything.
Every January and February, we get the garden ball rolling with Jim Nau from Ball Horticultural offering his appraisal of the year’s new plants. This issue we’ve tweaked that concept a bit in order to focus on plants for sun and ideas for shade, including shade-loving alternatives to the disease-prone common impatiens. There are newbies, but also a few golden oldies (well, not that old but definitely golden).
There’s Nothing Like Loam for the Gardener (Sung to “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays”) Oh, there’s nothing like ...
“Hey, Gerry.” “ Morning, Al.” “ Where’s Carey?” “ They moved him to the front this morning.” “ No kidding. Think we’re next?
A comical plant identification flow chart from our columnist, Mike Nowak.
Thank you, doctor, for agreeing to see me on such short notice.” “Not at all. My pleasure. I had a cancellation and it worked …
Illinois is an agricultural state. We all know that, right? But did you also know that Illinois imports 90 percent of its food