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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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Features
Trialed by Jury

The experts looked at the evidence and gave these new plants a thumbs up. You will too.


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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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Departments
From the Editor - NovDec 2016

The most memorable Christmas of my Chicago life was the year the temperature plummeted to 25 below zero and the pipes froze …


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Columns
Behind the Curve (and losing ground)

I think I’m missing a gene. Okay, maybe two or three. This is the time of year when gardeners are told to dream, to curl up ...


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Departments
From the Editor - July/August 2015

The stars must have been aligned as we assembled our editorial calendar for this issue since it turns out that we have a …


questions

What is the largest tree that one can plant? We are trying to replace some 7- to 8-foot trees that were recently destroyed.

Do the ants on my peony flowers help buds to open, or is this an old wives’ tale? What are the extremely tiny, microscopic yellow wormy looking bugs crawling on my pink peony flowers? My peonies are beautiful, but I don’t want all these bugs.

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

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