Advertisement
Article ThumbInspiration On the Half Shell

Some people are known as “glass half full” folks and some drift towards the “glass half empty” side. Personally, I’m a “Whoops! I’m sorry I just spilled that half glass of red wine all over your white lace tablecloth” kind of guy.

I know that many gardeners look at the coming year with anticipation. By January, the unspeakable, unending string of horticultural tragedies of the previous season have been relegated to the compost pile of history, figuratively and literally. (Or is that just my experience?) They view the world – which is pretty much limited to their patios, backyards and all-season deck chairs – with fresh eyes, convinced that this is the year that the porcelain berry vine that strangled their prize affenpinscher will be vanquished, that the heptacodium tree, which died under mysterious circumstances five years ago and which now resembles a hat rack for squirrels, will finally be removed (if only by a wind storm), and that the drainage issues that had them considering creating a rice paddy by the recycling bin will miraculously be alleviated by a climate-change-induced drought that begins in April and lasts through, oh, 2023.


categories

popular

Article Thumbnail
Columns
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 …


Article Thumbnail
Blog
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 ...


Article Thumbnail
Departments
Designing Mini-gardens Using Potted Plants

Container gardening is so enjoyable because of its possibilities for creative expression.


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Take A Hint. Or Not.

One of the great things about being a columnist is that when you run out of ideas you can steal them from other people.


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Plant Identification Flow Chart

A comical plant identification flow chart from our columnist, Mike Nowak.


questions

What does it take to make a climbing hydrangea flower? Ours was planted 3 years ago and is growing energetically. It’s in a protected nook near the patio and gets very little direct sunlight, but doesn’t act sun starved. We gave it a shot of slow release fertilizer on planting, and once since. Somewhat inadvertently it gets plenty of water, since the hose spigot is nearby and leaks, but drainage does not seem to be the problem. It now fully occupies an 8-foot trellis but shows no interest in flowering. Is it youth, lack of sun, too much or too little fertilizer, bugs, lack of pruning or what? When do these plants bloom and what conditions do they like?

After my father’s tomatoes ripen on the vine, he finds when he cuts into them that there is a hard white core that extends through the fruit.

I have a dampish area with poor grass and moss that I would like to change to ground cover, but if I have only one plant, won’t it be boring? Can I get rid of the grass in winter or early spring?

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement