Blog Banner

The Garden Scoop

The Garden Scoop is a collection of reflections about the Master Gardeners in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion.
Master Gardener Pat Sollars in DACC Greenhouse
click image to view 15 more

Celebrate Spring with Garden Day Workshop-Keynote Speaker Doug Tallamy

Posted by Jenney Hanrahan -

The landscape is drab and we impatiently await the first tulip. But hang in there, because the University of Illinois Extension Garden Day Workshop and Spring Festival is right around the corner! For over a decade, local gardeners have celebrated the arrival of spring by attending this yearly event. Garden Day features everything plant lovers enjoy: speakers who entertain and educate, a wide va...

Read More >

Yellow Forced Tulips

Why I Force Bulbs

Posted by Jenney Hanrahan -

Winter in Illinois is long for gardeners and by late February I start looking outside -desperate for any sign of plant life. Tired of waiting for the first crocus to appear, I have become somewhat addicted to forcing bulbs. It's not difficult and you can enjoy hyacinths, tulips and daffodils from late January thru March. It makes those months significantly less dreary and you will enjoy every p...

Read More >

IMG 2364

Why Become A Master Gardener?

When I am in the company of Master Gardeners I never cease to be humbled by their versatility and the sheer amount of knowledge and talent they possess. They come from all walks of life and are passionate about all aspects of gardening. Their interests cover everything from flowers and vegetables to herbs, gourds and beekeeping. There are novice and experienced gardeners in the program and all...

Read More >

wine making beginners
click image to view 8 more

Making Fermented Beverages at Home

Posted by Jenney Hanrahan -

One of the more recent trends in gardening is fermentation gardens. The practice of fermenting food and drinks is nothing new. Archeologists tell us humans have been making beer and wine for thousands of years. My Italian grandfather made zinfandel wine every autumn. His wine press sits in my basement. When he was alive I was too young to appreciate his talent. Some day I hope to try and recrea...

Read More >

Leaf Cast Garden Day 2016
click image to view 3 more

Learn to Make a Leaf Cast

By the end of summer the perennials, shrubs and trees in your yard may have produced some Jurassic sized leaves. When you look out the window in January those leaves will be a distant memory. Fortunately, there is a creative way to preserve what nature has created and enjoy it for years to come. Leaf casts make unique and beautiful garden art. They also provide great gifts and also make...

Read More >

Watermelon Water with Rosemary
click image to view 8 more

Using Fresh Herbs

Posted by Jenney Hanrahan -

What is it about herbs that the mere word gets our attention? Is it the food connection? When I hear basil, rosemary, tarragon, oregano or thyme delicious images come to mind. Maybe it's aromatherapy? Herbal scented candles, bath salts, potpourri etc. Many gardeners enjoy growing lavender, lemon verbena, mint, bee balm and others merely for the fragrance you get by touching their leaves and flo...

Read More >

thumb DSC 2355 1024

Garden Destinations

Posted by Ava Heap - Pollinators

On Saturday, June 18 Champaign County Master Gardeners hosted their 24th annual Garden Walk featuring 10 eclectic and exquisite gardens. Gardeners of all ages and stages were able to connect with one of the gardens. The theme "Garden Destinations" was elected as each garden was a retreat. Each garden held peaceful caveats allowing a person to stow away their troubles and ponder the day away. If...

Read More >