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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
A Letter From the Garden Abyss

I am writing to reach out to humanity, if there is anyone left as of May 1. If you find this note, please take it to the ...


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Columns
The Dirt on … Oh Never Mind

By the time you get to this page (that is to say, if you’ve read all or most of this magazine), your brain is so crammed with …


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Features
10 Simple Ideas to Improve Your Garden Photography

The first time I taught an adult photography class, I asked the participants to list what they hoped to gain …


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Columns
Mike’s 3rd Annual Holiday Hort Sing-Along

Don’t you just hate it when columnists fall into that trap of using the same old formulas year after year after year? Yeah ...


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Blog
Saturday Surprise

It helps to go out and look at your garden every day. After a Saturday morning spent hacking out purple violets with the ...


questions

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.

What ratio and amounts of fertilizer would you use for a perennial bed and a vegetable garden? For growing annuals in a greenhouse, should the fertilizer be fast or slow-release, organic or inorganic?

I’d like to start composting. Do you have any advice on what kind of bin to purchase/build so that it is successful in the Chicago climate?

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