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Article ThumbA Gift from the Gods

Iris flowers are named after a Greek goddess who delivered messages to mortals while traveling on a rainbow. Just one reason they have so many colors.


Article ThumbCriminy, It’s Crinums

My favorite plants have to meet a few important criteria. They must survive on their own because I can be a lazy gardener. Insects and diseases must be rare, so there will be no need to spray. I want plants that can grow in the water along the shoreline of my water garden; the hot, dry side yard; as well as indoors. They must have big, showy flowers to please the eyes, fragrance to please the nose, tasty would be nice, and if I could get them to make a noise, I would like that too.


Article ThumbSaving Dahlias

Big beefy dahlias with their dinner-plate-sized flowers are darlings of the garden from summer through the first autumn frosts. Although many gardeners treat dahlias as disposable annuals, it’s easy to store them over winter – and save money – for another display the following year. It’s simply a matter of digging up the tubers and roots after the first fall frost.


Article ThumbTulipa sylvestris

It’s probably been more than four years since a wild shade-loving tulip made its surprising appearance in a shady, grassy bed in my garden. Its color looked like the “before” shot in a commercial for women with faded blond hair. After a close examination on my knees, I determined it was actually a tulip. I know how long ago it was because my knees no longer permit close examinations.


Article ThumbSummer-Blooming Bulbs

Last spring my sister called to say that she had found a wonderful new anemone to add to her collection in a mixed flower border. When she described the flower, the deeply saturated color and the black center, I knew she had purchased Anemone coronaria, a summer-flowering tender bulb. She was disappointed to learn that these magnificent flowers would not overwinter in her Indiana garden and that they must be lifted in the fall and replanted each spring.


Article ThumbWeird & Wonderful Spring Bulbs

It’s like the emperor with no clothes. The crown imperial stands 3 to 4 feet tall, its Sun King-bright flowers lording it over the spring garden with the hauteur of Louis XIV, utterly unaware that its dignity is fatally undercut by the absurdity of its green bad-hair-day topknot.

Not every spring bulb has the classic sculptured grace of a lily-flowered tulip. Yet many bulbs beyond the ordinary have charms that can grow on a gardener, adding variety and interest where tulips, daffodils and crocuses may seem old hat.


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Features
Weird & Wonderful Spring Bulbs

Whether they emerge wearing crowns, sparkling like fireworks or modestly hanging their heads, these bulbs introduce surefire ...


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Blog
Birds and Beans

All the snow we’ve had recently brought many more birds to the feeders outside our kitchen window. A lone starling was ...


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Columns
Ark de Disaster

The ultimate definition of an optimist may very well be a person who looks out at a mass of brown, smushed foliage; twisted ...


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Departments
Cantigny’s Project New Leaf

Cantigny’s Project New Leaf has been all the buzz in the gardening community. I recently had the opportunity to tour the grounds


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Columns
A Driveway Garden

A couple transforms a triangle of grass into a feast for the eyes.


questions

What causes black spots on my orchid leaves?

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?

What three dwarf shrubs do you think gardeners should know about and why?

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