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Article ThumbBon Voyage

Fall is upon us but there’s no reason to put your garden to bed just yet. That’s because the show goes on with birds, thousands of which are migrating and stopping daily in local gardens for a bite to eat or a drink of water. And the activity doesn’t stop there. Monarch butterflies will be looking for nectar – a rich source of energy during their long commute to Mexico. Bees remain active and there’s an assortment of insects – praying mantis and other “beneficials” – that are present until the first fall frost about mid-October. There’s plenty to observe and enjoy.


Article ThumbFlying High

If Mother Earth had a full-time assistant, it would be Kay MacNeil. For more than 25 years, the Frankfort resident has advocated and gardened for those with no voice — Eastern bluebirds, butterflies, hummingbirds and many other struggling creatures that most people take for granted.

Many of the homes in her subdivision, which surrounds the Prestwick Country Club’s golf course, sport manicured lawns and neatly trimmed shrubs. That look is a far cry from her garden, tucked away on a cul-de-sac where native wildflowers, trees and shrubs mingle with flowering vines and passalong plants from her late parents, grandmother and friends.


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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 ...


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Departments
From the Editor - SeptOct 2016

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Features
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I’ve been thinking about the difference between renovating the kitchen and gardening...


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From the Editor - Nov/Dec 2014

It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s a flash mob of garden writers! Late last summer 420 garden writers from the U.S. & Canada ...


questions

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?

I would like to start seeds under lights. When is the best time to start flower seeds? The seed packet always says to sow a number of weeks before the last frost. When is the last frost?

I’m moving to a townhouse with limited direct sunlight. I would like to put a Japanese maple in a north-facing garden but don’t know if it will do well. What are the best kinds? Also, when is the best time to plant a small tree?

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