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Recreating that Vintage Garden

When it comes to old houses, it’s not often that you’ll find one with its original garden elements. Wood arbors and fences ...


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Garden Tool Maintenance

In the garden, everything has its season. Fall is the season for cleaning and preparing tools for ...


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Ark de Disaster

The ultimate definition of an optimist may very well be a person who looks out at a mass of brown, smushed foliage; twisted ...


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Scent and Non-Scents

"Stand back! I’m about to have a Proustian moment. Wait...wait. Whew! It went away. For a second I thought I was going to ...


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Polly Want a Cracker with That Suet?

When food is scarce, our little feathered friends make a beeline for the feeders. Most of the birds wear drab colors — a ...


questions

My Siberian iris ‘Gracilis’ plants have only one bloom per clump. I have five 3 to 5 year-old clumps that are 8 to 10 inches wide. They do not appear to be crowded. All are planted in a moist area. Why is there only one bloom per clump?

Is it possible to plant and grow Italian cypress in the Chicago area? Are our winters too severe for it? If they are, is there an alternative conifer that will provide a similar look?

I am growing my potted tropical hibiscus indoors for the winter. The leaves are starting to yellow and fall off. Should I give the plant iron and should I fertilize it? Do I cut it back, and if so, when?

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