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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 am going to be planting five dwarf fruit trees; two ‘Bartlett’ pears, one ‘Cresthaven’ peach, and two ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. Could you give me some feedback on them?

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?

What is the largest tree that one can plant? We are trying to replace some 7- to 8-foot trees that were recently destroyed.

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