Blog Banner

Good Growing

Keeping you growing with good ideas

April Gardening To-Do's

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

With the warmer than normal weather I know that we've all been itching to get out into the garden. So now that April is almost upon us, what garden tasks should we be doing to get our hands in the garden? April is a great time to dig up and divide perennials. You'll want to make sure to plant them again right away. With perennials such as iris, wait until they are done blooming and hold...

Read More >

Robins eating crabapples during a late winter snow.

The American Robin: Living up to its superhero image

After an exceptionally mild winter, I noted my first robin sighting about three weeks ago. During that initial observation, scores of robins had arrived in my yard. Spring is a time of year when the migratory American robin can be found scouring the earth in search of protein. Sipping on my coffee, wave after wave of robins hopped through the yard, stopping to cock their head, as if listening f...

Read More >

Butterfly Weed - Perennial Plant of the Year

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

The other day I was teaching about Ornamental Grasses to a new group of Master Gardener's and some of the grasses I spoke about had been previously selected as the Perennial Plant of the Year. This of course got me to thinking that somehow I had failed to look into the 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year. How in the world did that happen? I was thrilled to discover that the 2017 Perennial...

Read More >

Spring Tips for the Home Garden and Landscape

Spring has a way of surprising us year to year. Already my daffodils are up, and lilacs are beginning to leaf out. Crocus are in full bloom, and the forsythia are poised to start their show any day. My lawn mower hibernates in my garage, and it seems I may have to wake it early this year. Following are some tips on getting the landscape and garden in shape. Lawns:...

Read More >

Busting More Garden Myths

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

Back in 2015 I put together a program called Busting Garden Myths as part of the statewide Four Seasons Gardening webinar series. I really enjoyed filtering through all the interesting garden myths that were out there and it still intrigues me and I still continue to do so. There are a lot of them out there and with the ease of access to social media, such as Facebook and Pinterest, there is a...

Read More >

How Does Warm Winter Weather Affect Plants?

This weekend has brought about a long stretch of warm weather, which will last for much of the following week. Winter temperatures in the high 60s and even above 70 degrees Fahrenheit for some of our readers, may seem like spring has arrived. We must all keep in mind; it's only mid-February! Life in Central Illinois is accustomed to swings in winter temperatures, but 60 plus degrees for...

Read More >

Try Growing Culinary Herbs

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

I'm a foodie along with being a plant lover, I love to cook and bake and be in the kitchen. So of course there is a direct connection between the two. Gardening and cooking go hand in hand and usually that means our thoughts turn towards vegetables, but what would be a recipe without flavor from herbs? By default every year I grow basil. I'm a huge fan of fresh pesto – if you've never h...

Read More >