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Article ThumbWinter Reds

In a Chicagoland winter, we may or may not have snow. With snow, any garden can look good. Without it, we must pull out a few garden decorating tricks to provide relief from a palette of sepia and stone. Adding a splash of red here and there is a fine way of generating excitement, and when the garden gods do bless us with snow, those winter reds glow and create real garden art.


Article ThumbLet It Rain

Rain gardens are hot news, but are they pretty? Here are some examples that take the concept beyond mere buzz words.

Chicagoland Gardening Editor Carolyn Ulrich swore the magazine wouldn’t run an article about rain gardens until she’d seen a beautiful one. She stood her ground staunchly – some might say stubbornly – for years. Two years ago, on a trip to Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisc., she discovered not just one, but three, lovely rain gardens. So here, at last, is the rain garden article.


Article ThumbDream of This

Yes, I know it’s a mouthful, but I love it even so. When I’m feeling tongue-tied, I can always refer to it by its common name: beautybush.

I received this shrub, Kolkwitzia Dream Catcher maybe 10 years ago as a trial plant from Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan. Actually, there were two plants, seedlings really, just a foot or so tall on a single stem. A lovely surprise since I had read about kolkwitizia but never seen it in the flesh, let alone grown it. I decided to make room for the pair under the bay window at the corner of the house, a spot where my sunny front border transitions to the semi-shady side yard.


Article ThumbIrresistible Roses

The powers that be have hit upon a wayto get me to stop talking about roses. “Write us a story,” they said, “and get it out of your system.”

It so happens that I do have quite a few roses — more than 20, I believe, although whenever I set out to do a mental count, I keep getting confused. Did I include the ‘Harison’s Yellow’ or not? And what about the Cherry Pie in the container? Oh, I think I forgot Hot Cocoa. And so I start over, and then start over again. Finally, I decide to just let it go. As I said, more than 20.

Some of these roses I bought because I dearly coveted them ...


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Columns
The Gardening Zone

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of soil, a dimension of blight ...


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Mike’s 2nd Annual Holiday Hort Sing-Along

It's been that kind of year. I've been breaking all sorts of personal rules. I don't know what came over me when I put ...


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Blog
Fit for a Queen

The juxtaposition is a little jarring at first, and then you start to smile. You’re downtown, driving along Lake Shore Drive ...


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Blog
From Garden to Table

No one wants to think about gardening when the temperatures hover in the single digits and the wind is howling, but before ...


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Blog
Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Wouldn’t life be just about perfect if roses could grow in shade? It so happens that once in a while you come across one ...


questions

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

I’d like to block an unattractive view of my neighbor’s house/yard. What are some good plant/tree choices to hide unattractive views?

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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