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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.


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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, …


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Departments
From the Editor - MarApr 2018

I often worry that my neighbors think I’m lazy. Yes, they may see me on my hands and knees, covered with dirt, and they may ...


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Columns
Lawn Chaney’s Turf Talk

Editor’s Note: Though he acknowledged that it is bad form for a writer to miss a deadline, especially when it is only ...


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Columns
Follow the Bouncing Gall

There are two kinds of bets going on among my readers. The first is whether I will follow the tried, true and now fairly ...


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Features
10 Great Shrubs You’ve Never Grown

Shrubs add valuable form, color and textural contrast to the garden.


questions

What is the best time to plant a tree in northern Illinois?

What is the best way to dig up, clean and store gladiolus and dahlias? What are the little white sacs on glad bulbs?

We have a skylight in the bathroom over our Jacuzzi tub with an area around the tub that is quite large. What plants can we grow there, and what care do they need? Can we grow orchids?

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