Advertisement
Article ThumbBales of Fun

For vegetable gardeners, straw bale gardening may be the best innovation since sliced bread.

Straw bale gardening essentially turns a bale of straw into a raised bed. It requires no digging or soil preparation. Because you’re not planting in the ground, you don’t have to worry about soil-borne diseases, and weeding is minimal. It doesn’t even matter if your soil is crummy or if the sunniest place in your yard is covered in concrete. You can achieve optimal growing conditions for a vegetable garden in a humble bale of straw.


Article ThumbBasement Bounty

Decisions, decisions. What’s a devoted gardener to do with brugmansia as winter approaches?

For opulence and tropical splendor there’s nothing like angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia). Tall, elegant, with draping fragrant bells of bloom, it can dominate a patio, balcony or an entry way like little else.

But here’s the rub. It’s not hardy in Chicagoland. So this raises the sticky issue of overwintering. Should you just toss the plant when winter comes? Some do. Others would like to save it for another year. But how?


Article ThumbBeyond Violet

African violets are pushing the envelope when it comes to colors and flower forms. Ruffles, anyone?

When I was a child, I was totally mesmerized by the intense colors of the African violets that seemed to bloom continuously on my grandmother’s windowsills. I would stare in wonder at those jewel-colored blooms surrounded by collars of fuzzy leaves, fully convinced that only experienced gardeners of my grandmother’s reputation could get plants to bloom so gloriously indoors.


categories

popular

Article Thumbnail
Columns
’Twas the Night Before Solstice

‘Twas the night before solstice, and all through the yard Not a species was stirring, not hosta, nor chard …


Article Thumbnail
Blog
A Blast from the Past

Back in January 1906, the Gardener’s Monthly Magazine featured these women perusing seed catalogs and magazines.


Article Thumbnail
Departments
From the Editor - SeptOct 2017

There are people who say that autumn is their favorite time of year. I’m not one of them, although God knows I’ve tried. Yes, …


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Fake Gardening

I’ve been trying to characterize exactly what happens in my yard as the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder...


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Go to the Flower Show!

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show opened this past Saturday at Navy Pier and I’m here to report that it’s worth the price of ...


questions

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

Can I grow asparagus from seed? I saved the little red berries from my plants.

I’d like to know the secret to growing a decent-sized pumpkin for jack-o-lanterns for the grandkids and for decorating. My experience in recent years is that they get about as big as a basketball and then begin to rot. What am I doing wrong?

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement