Osmocote Advertisement

From the Editor - JanFeb 2017


At Chicagoland Gardening we duly make our resolutions, chief among them our determination that 2017 will be the magazine’s best year ever. And then we get down to business.

As in years past, we begin with a cover story on the year’s new plants. Since the number of new varieties is legion, we limit ourselves to varieties that have passed the trial by fire in the well-named trial gardens at Ball Horticultural in West Chicago. Each summer we take a day to reconnoiter the grounds with Jim Nau and his aide-de-camp Katie Rotella, note the high performers, and then commission our trusty photographer Ron Capek to turn them into art.

Just as we love plants (some of us have been accused of being “plant geeks”), we also love design, and this issue offers three design-based stories. The first inaugurates a new series of features that will look at the home gardens of area professionals. For January/February we visit the garden of Jeff Epping, director of horticulture at Olbrich Botanical Garden in Madison, Wis. (Gardens of the Pros, page 54).
The second new series is Design Tips in which we take a photograph of an expertly designed garden and pull out 5 to 10 ideas that you can apply to your own spaces. In this issue we showcase a vegetable garden created by Craig Bergmann (page 18).

For the third, we reprise the clever display garden presented by Aquascape at last year’s Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Here construction manager Brian Helfrich and his staff played a game of “variations on a theme” by designing a large circle, dividing it into six equal pie-shaped segments and then showing a different design solution for each of them. One segment was left blank with just a lawn. The other five were turned into diminutive gardens, each with a water feature.

In our January/February issue we always provide charts and what-to-do outlines that will serve you through the year. Liz Holmberg, owner of Lizzie’s Garden in Naperville, for example, has compiled a blooming houseplant chart for all of you indoor gardeners. Another chart will take you through the growing season according to the needs of different layers of the garden (lawn, ground covers, edibles, shrubs, perennials and bulbs).

Think you can’t grow food in the city? Just look at the Hyde Park garden of Ron Grzywinski who grows so many vegetables that he invites the neighbors to come in and forage at will. He has grown 107 different tomatoes over the years. What’s more, he has kept notes.

What else? Bob Coultrip cultivates 250 conifers in Naperville. Landscape architect Scott Mehaffey selects 10 noteworthy garden trends, and Michelle Byrne Walsh enjoys a visit to a craft club in the western suburbs that does something nifty every month, this time demonstrating how to turn old silverware into durable plant tags. What a great winter project!

How’s that for keeping our resolutions? We believe 2017 is off to a great start.

categories

Espoma Advertisement

popular

Article Thumbnail
Columns
Mike’s 3rd Annual Holiday Hort Sing-Along

Don’t you just hate it when columnists fall into that trap of using the same old formulas year after year after year? Yeah ...


Article Thumbnail
Features
Irresistible Roses

When it comes to roses, some of us just can’t say no. Here’s the true confession of one local gardener.


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Go Pantless … er, Plantless!

If there’s absolutely one thing I’m sure of as I slog through this vale of tears, it’s that the MacArthur genius grant ...


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Prep School

January, February and March are the great equalizers of the horticultural world. This is the time of the year when I can ...


Article Thumbnail
Columns
The CRASH Test

Every day I receive letters (well, not every day, but every few days...actually, I occasionally receive letters ... okay, I ...


questions

I purchased some pre-chilled hyacinths and tulips for forcing but there were no directions with them. Does this mean I don’t have to chill them in the refrigerator, and will they just bloom in the house any time during the winter? The last batch of bulbs became moldy in the refrigerator.

I would like to start seeds under lights. When is the best time to start flower seeds? The seed packet always says to sow a number of weeks before the last frost. When is the last frost?

What is rose rosette disease? I lost two antique roses and removed a hedge of multiflora roses that were supposed to be undesirable. How bad is it?

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement