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Spring Is Finally Here


It’s finally starting to feel like a real spring. Migrating songbirds can be seen (and heard rather loudly at dawn) throughout the area. Another sign of spring – the tables and shelves at garden centers are groaning with plants, potting soil, seeds and other accessories. Here are two garden events on Saturday, May 17 that you’ll want to check out:

In Joliet…
If you’re looking for something really unique (and repurposed – like antiques, gardening books, jewelry, garden art), along with plants – perennials, annuals, heirloom vegetables, shrubs – and other goodies like garden chandeliers, obelisks, stained glass and birdfeeders, don’t miss the annual Gardener’s Flea Market at the Barber Oberwortmann Horticultural Center at 227 North Gouger Road, about 1/2 mile north of Route 30 in Joliet on Sat., May 17 from 8 am-1 pm. “It’s an incredible selection and there’s something for every gardener,” says designer Patti Kirkpatrick. Dozens of vendors will be indoors and on the grounds and the flea market draws avid gardeners from throughout the southwest suburbs. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the displays in the fabulous greenhouses. You’ll find fabulous flowers, heat-loving succulents and a soothing waterfall. And, it’s free.

Gardenology Festival in downtown Geneva on Saturday, May 17 from 10 am-4 pm. Vendors will line several blocks, from the Kane County Court House down to the Metra Train Station. Gardenology advisers and vendors will bring their best ideas and garden-related products. Experts in every horticulture field including farming, landscape design, weavers, local nurseries will be on hand to answer questions. Topics include herbs, flowers, vegetables, heirloom plants and perennials. Learn about attracting birds & butterflies, wildlife control, composting, organic fertilizers and more. See who’s coming to the 2014 Speaker’s Tent!

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questions

I have two 3-year-old rose of Sharon plants, about 20 feet apart. One blooms every year. The other plant forms about 100 buds and looks healthy, but it has not bloomed in the last two years. The buds are solidly closed and look as if they are rotting from the inside out. There does not seem to be any sign of insects on the plant. What is this problem?

What are your three favorite “all-but-forgotten” perennials that every garden should include? Why do you like them?

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?

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