August Articles

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July Articles

How To Make Potpourri

Put a Rainbow in the Kitchen

A Love Affair

Bringing Nature Back

 

 

 

 

Bringing Nature Back
by Sarah Marcheschi - July 2015

If you don’t have a prairie, you can make one. That’s what they did with acres of fallow land at Fermilab in Batavia.

If you’re planning to visit the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, the only U.S. Department of Energy site open to the public, you’ll need to have a photo ID ready. But once you clear the security checkpoint, pick up your map and pass through the gates, one of the region’s largest natural areas restoration projects awaits you.

The vision of Northeastern Illinois University professor Robert Betz, the reconstruction of Fermilab’s native tallgrass prairie began as a 9-acre planting in 1975 and now comprises almost 1,000 on-site acres, with more planted every year. Mowed paths cut through thick swaths of grasses and wildflowers, and trails for bicycling wind throughout the property past lakes, ponds and laboratories. The outdoor spaces teem with wildlife such as birds, deer, geese, amphibians and reptiles, even a herd of buffalo, brought in to acknowledge Fermilab’s connection to its prairie heritage.   >> read article

A Love Affair
by Adele Kleine - July 2015

No one knows why the heart beats faster when love suddenly strikes, but my heart suddenly rips and rocks when I hold a spectacular bird of paradise flower in my hand! The cut flower bears an uncanny resemblance to a bird in flight, especially when its orange wings are open and the straight blue and white stamens stand tall. This curious affinity has been part of my life since 1978 when I built my greenhouse and bird of paradise was only a name that fit my parameters as tropical and flowering. Little did I know that the flower was so long-lasting because, as petals become dry, you can slit the gray green pod open and pull another flower out.   >> read article

Put a Rainbow in the Kitchen
by Karen Atkins - July 2015

The middle of summer can come as a welcome relief to gardeners, as early season weeds have long been pulled, and the garden is resting. Garden benches – having served only as focal points – actually might see some use. But we know you, and we’re willing to bet you won’t sit still for long. So, we thought we might suggest starting a few seeds. Right now. Rainbow chard seeds, specifically.   >> read article

How To Make Potpourri
by Denise Schreiber - July 2015

Gather herbs and flowers now – while they are at their peak – for potpourri that will last through the fall and winter.

The original French term for potpourri meant “rotten pot,” referring to the moist method of pickling flowers and leaves. More common now is the dry method using flowers and leaves that are picked just as they reach maturity full of fragrance and color. It also incorporates seeds, spices, dried leaves and flowers, berries, dried fruit slices, barks, seedheads and cones to add a variety of textures to the mixture. The best potpourris have a subtle, natural scent that comes from the combination of all natural ingredients. Different ingredients contribute aroma, texture, color and bulk. Many herbs contribute fragrance as well as color and texture.   >> read article

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