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Article ThumbMoss: Rescuing Its Reputation

I’m pretty sure that in the pre-Google era most everyone who spoke of or asked about moss was trying to get rid of it. Even now googling “moss in the garden” produces five “how to kill” results before the first “how to grow.” But I recently attended a lecture at the Chicago Botanic Garden given by Dale Sievert, whose passion for and expertise about mosses made me question how anyone could contemplate mayhem against such a beautiful, ancient and eco-friendly organism. Since mosses have slowly, over the past few years, begun to colonize the damper, shadier parts of my tiny urban forest (i.e. my front yard), I was happy to be urged to encourage the process rather than fight it.


Article ThumbSuburban Subdivision Triumph

Who says that gardening on a former cornfield is doomed to fail? Certainly not Laverne and Pete Bohlin, whose garden is a happy mix of prairie, vegetables and flowers.


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.


Article ThumbTrialed by Jury

The experts looked at the evidence and gave these new plants a thumbs up. You will too. Here are our favorite new plants for 2015.


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Columns
Prune This!

My computer is trying to tell me something. About gardening, no less. That can’t be good. It’s not like pruners are some ...


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Columns
When Garden Clubs Go Bad

I had the weirdest dream last night... “Okay, kids, let’s simmer down! Hey, everybody, we only have the room until 9 o’clock.


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Columns
’Twas the Night Before Solstice

‘Twas the night before solstice, and all through the yard Not a species was stirring, not hosta, nor chard …


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Columns
Inspiration On the Half Shell

Some people are known as “glass half full” folks and some drift towards the “glass half empty” side. Personally, I’m a “Whoops!


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From the Editor - JulyAug 2016

Seen any good movies lately? One to put at the top of your list is “Greenfingers,” whose title is the English term for having …


questions

I dislike staking perennials. Is there anything I can do to avoid it?

I recently moved to Chicago from Houston and I miss fresh picked figs. Is there any way to grow figs in Chicago short of installing a greenhouse? Will sunny windows do? I’m desperate.

I have houseplants outside that I will need to bring indoors. What is the lowest temperature at which I can leave them outside?

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