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Columns
Harvest Schmarvest

Some gardeners are able to make graceful transitions from season to season. In my case, I find that the word “lurch” is ...


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From the Editor - MayJune 2016

I always feel grumpy when people refer to gardening as a hobby, and now I know why. This winter, garden columnist Allen Lacy …


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A Gift from the Gods

Irises are named after a goddess who delivered messages while traveling on a rainbow. Just one reason they have so many colors.


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How 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.


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Mike’s Holiday Hort Sing-Along

If it weren’t for the holiday season, we probably would have legislated the month of December out of existence long ago.


questions

I’d like to plant a white bark birch in front of my home in my sunny front yard. What can you tell me about Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii?

I have a nicely sheltered, rounded 7-foot tall Japanese red maple on the southeast corner of my backyard. Half of the tree has lost its leaves, the formerly red bark is turning gray, and a good-sized square of bark has been stripped off on the side that faces the yard. I sprayed the exposed bark with black pruning spray to close any entry for insects. I have not cut off any of the branches.

Does the winter have any effect on the tree? Should I look for some insect infestation? What should I do now?

We have a skylight in the bathroom over our Jacuzzi tub with an area around the tub that is quite large. What plants can we grow there, and what care do they need? Can we grow orchids?

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