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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Spring Ahead

Spring is coming and with it one of the busiest times in the garden. Even though your last frost date may be weeks away, there are some key things you can do now so when the season kicks into high gear, you’ll feel like you’re ready ...

>> read “Spring Ahead”       #Advice
Winter Is for Reading

You don’t have to drool over catalogs with photographs of pastel petals dripping in dew, now arriving by the armloads, to feed your flower addiction in winter. Instead you can discover great, important, entertaining, informing and jaw-dropping beautiful garden books, magazines and pictures — with expired copyrights — completely free on the Internet. Everything you ever wanted to see and everything you never knew you wanted to see ...

>> read “Winter Is for Reading”    
Welcome the Birds

Have you ever wondered why you see more birds in local forest preserves than in your yard? Why some birds are seen in the suburbs but not in the city? Have you ever tried to attract hummingbirds or orioles by putting out special bird feeders, only to have them ignored? What can you do to attract more birds to your yard ...

>> read “Welcome the Birds”    
Dangers in the Garden

There are many ways to injure yourself while working in the garden. Here is a safety primer that just might prevent a trip to the ER. If you are traveling to the backyard this summer, you better make sure you’ve had your shots! You also need eye and ear protection, gloves, hard-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants, a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent ...

>> read “Dangers in the Garden”    
Build a Better Rose Garden

Roses have been cultivated for many centuries, but according to legend it was Empress Josephine who created the modern rose garden. Her ambition was to acquire every known variety, and her collection was laid out in orderly rows. Now 200 years later, many rose gardens are still planted out in this style ...

>> read “Build a Better Rose Garden”    
Standing Up to Salt

It’s no accident that a list of salt-tolerant plants reads a bit like a list of seaside plants. Without even looking at lists of such plants compiled by arboretums and universities, I can begin my own list from memory. Past walks along the coast of Cape Cod provide me with a mental image of plants that live in constant sea spray ...

>> read “Standing Up to Salt”       #Advice
Viburnum ‘Cardinal Candy’

One of the showiest viburnums for the landscape is ‘Cardinal Candy’. Its bright-red fruit creates quite a show in the fall, not to be outdone by the cream-colored flowers in spring, as well as the dark-green lustrous leaves that turn maroon and linger until November.

>> read “Viburnum ‘Cardinal Candy’”       #Hot Plants
10 Most (Un)Wanted Pests and What to Do about Them

They don’t have their photos hanging on the post office walls, but these garden pests are notorious. Here are the ‘Most Wanted’ of the Midwest garden, their rap sheets and how to bring them to justice ...

>> read “10 Most (Un)Wanted Pests and What to Do about Them”    
Millstones: Symbols of Harvest in Today’s Gardens

When it comes to collecting millstones, the maxim “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” rings true. In the late 1880s, large urban mill operators started dumping these grain and corn crushers out back as a new roller technology made them obsolete and eventually put the smaller rural mills out of business. When propped alongside an old mill, the granite wheels’ interesting patterns began to attract attention for their ornamental appeal. Others were put to use as stepping stones along a path or a stoop for the back door ...

>> read “Millstones: Symbols of Harvest in Today’s Gardens”    
Saving Kitty (and Your Sanity)

With delicate noses in the air, some persnickety cats wouldn’t even think about nibbling on a leaf, while other “grazing” felines make it impossible to allow both plant and puss into the same room. Why can’t a cat-loving scientist discover a test that would identify the PN (plant nibbler) gene in kittens? Early detection might let you know what you’re up against. Since there is still no test available, I continue to work on my two-pronged attack: The Deterrent and the Disguise ...

>> read “Saving Kitty (and Your Sanity)”       #Advice   #Health and Safety   #Poisonous Plants
Hold the Salt

Most of the harm from snow really comes from how we get rid of it. Time for a little rethink. Who doesn’t love new snow? The white blanket softens the world and makes everything look new. And it’s a good thing for the garden. Snow cover insulates the soil so it is less likely to thaw and then freeze again. Enveloping snow protects plant tissue from cold snaps and adds moisture when it melts in spring.

>> read “Hold the Salt”    
Oh No! It’s Going to Freeze Tonight!

Few things strike terror in the heart of a gardener more than a forecast for a late spring freeze. And let’s face it, with this year’s rollercoaster ride of temperatures it is hard to know what’s around the corner. But I think you’d agree that if this year’s wacky weather patterns continue, chances are good that a late spring frost could be in your garden’s future. To avoid being caught off guard, here are some tips to help you prepare ...

>> read “Oh No! It’s Going to Freeze Tonight!”    
 
 
 

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