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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.


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Rex Begonia: Garden Detective

Something was wrong. I could sense it. How? That’s my job. My name is Begonia. Rex Begonia. I’m a detective. A garden ...


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Time to Plant Those Bulbs

There’s a nip in the air — I wouldn’t yet call it a chill — that prompted me to rummage through the box on the back porch ...


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From the Editor

In this issue our primary focus is on perennial gardens – beautiful perennial gardens.


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Up in the Air

There’s a reason why tillandsias are called air plants. Just don’t call them airheads.


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Attack of the Killer Asparagus

I had one of those horticultural dreams the other night. You know what I’m talking about. The ones where you’re being ...


questions

I have read that purple coneflowers (Echinacea) are a good source of food for birds in the winter. Will they be okay if not trimmed back until spring? If so, how early should they be trimmed?

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 thought that purple coneflowers were insect proof, but now I see some aphids at the bud and tiny flies. What is wrong?

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