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Article ThumbBeyond Violet

African violets are pushing the envelope when it comes to colors and flower forms. Ruffles, anyone?

When I was a child, I was totally mesmerized by the intense colors of the African violets that seemed to bloom continuously on my grandmother’s windowsills. I would stare in wonder at those jewel-colored blooms surrounded by collars of fuzzy leaves, fully convinced that only experienced gardeners of my grandmother’s reputation could get plants to bloom so gloriously indoors.


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Volunteer Army

Pop Quiz! (Bet you didn’t see this coming. Hurry! There’s still time to turn to another page! Oops, too late.)


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Irresistible Roses

When it comes to roses, some of us just can’t say no. Here’s the true confession of one local gardener.


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Killing Grandpa Ott

I have been trying to kill Grandpa Ott, known affectionately around here as Gramps, for twenty years. We brought him here ...


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From the Editor

For me, one moment above all others elicits that life-is-good feeling: the germination of the first tomato seed on my radiator.


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A Driveway Garden

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questions

I have a hoya houseplant that has been growing happily for eight years. It had flowers when I received it, but it hasn’t bloomed since. What am I doing wrong? Can I get it to flower?

I am interested in growing fruit trees in my suburban DuPage County yard. Can sweet cherries be grown here? Can you suggest varieties of apples, pears, peaches, apricots and plums that are hardy and disease resistant?

After a summer outside, my clivia has returned indoors. Last year it had only one puny flower. What treatment should I give it over winter to bring it into bloom?

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