Proven Winners Advertisement
Article ThumbBringing in the Bees

I pay close attention to the plants in my garden that attract a lot of bees. I don’t know the names of all the bees in my yard, but I do know that bees hatch with the first crocus and no longer has the first species crocus opened than I see a bee hovering over it. That happens as early as late March and April.

It’s not until May that I start to see quantities of bees, and this time they’re buzzing around the catmint. I have three Nepeta ‘Blue Wonder’ and one N. ‘Six Hills Giant’. I would say that Blue Wonder is the bigger draw and it pulls in the bees all summer long. Cutting it back mid-summer encourages more bloom.


Article ThumbHow 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. Worse yet, it is our State Insect! But guess what! We can all help increase monarch numbers by finding butterfly eggs and raising caterpillars and releasing newly hatched butterflies. What??? Yes, YOU!!

To Attract and Find Monarch Eggs and Caterpillars: You’ll need milkweed plants, the only plants monarchs lay their 200 plus eggs on. Go to a garden center. You know you have milkweed when you rip off a plant leaf and it has white sap. Buy any kind of milkweed. Monarch caterpillars love them all equally. Remember common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the invasive one that travels by runners.


categories

popular

Article Thumbnail
Columns
Pathogens on Parade

Those of you who are regular readers of this column are no doubt already aware that actual horticultural content is not my ...


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Good Winter Reads

In our neck of the woods, there’s been little snow to speak of, but the temperatures finally dropped into the teens. And ...


Article Thumbnail
Columns
The 29 Steps

One of the things I've come to notice about the horticultural racket (and I'm using the term with extreme fondness, unless I'm n


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Searching for Nature (In All the Wrong Places)

You might have noticed, as you were reading through this magazine, that there are stories about the birds and the bees (which...


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Naming Rights

News alert! I have been known to be obsessed with weather, and weather reporting. Why is everybody laughing? Stop that.


questions

Last summer my neighbor told me the black spots on my peony were a blight, although my peonies bloomed nicely. What can I do about this?

I have lost four 12-15 foot tall white pine trees over the last year. All had the same symptoms, browning needles at the bottom that continued up to the top. Can you tell me what pest is killing the white pines? I am also losing an Austrian pine now. It is experiencing the same symptoms.

After my father’s tomatoes ripen on the vine, he finds when he cuts into them that there is a hard white core that extends through the fruit.

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement