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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.

Daylily-- Hemerocallis

I am somewhat of a newbie when it comes to daylilies. Growing up, they were on my mom's "do not plant" list, so we never had them in our yard, and I never dared to plant any. She disliked them because the ones she knew only bloomed once, she didn't think the tall foliage was particularly attractive, and they tended to overtake areas. Since I have my own home now, I am free to plant dayl...

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Viburnum

In search of a versatile shrub for your landscape? Consider Viburnum , a diverse genus containing over 150 different species, and hundreds of cultivars. Viburnums are native to the northern hemisphere, many native to North America. Ranging in size from small shrubs under three feet tall to small trees about twenty feet tall, there is no shortage in diversity among this genus....

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Monarch Butterfly-- Danaus plexippus

The monarch butterfly is probably one of the most recognizable of all the North American butterflies. Undoubtedly most of us have seen monarchs gliding by on many a warm summer day and haven't given them a second thought. But these once common butterflies are becoming increasingly rare. In the mid-1990's, scientists estimated that there were approximately 1 billion monarchs in North Ame...

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Milkweed-- Asclepias spp.

I will admit, some of my best garden plants started out by pure luck and maybe a dash of laziness. Caring for my young son means I don't have the time to weed the garden as often as I probably should. Last summer, a large plant appeared in my garden next to our patio. Initially, I wasn't sure what it was. As it quickly grew, I realized it was common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca . My hus...

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False Indigo, Baptisia australis,

Native plants have shown increasing popularity in recent years. Since native plants are well adapted to the local climate, they tend to be great low maintenance choices for the garden. I first discovered Baptisia australis when we bought our house ten years ago. I was looking for blue-flowered plants to use for the Illini garden we wanted to plant. A friend suggested Baptisia ....

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Common Tomato Problems

It is a bit early in the season to be discussing tomato problems, but some of the common problems can be minimized or even eliminated if caught early. It helps to know what you might see in your garden this summer. Tomato problems can be divided into the broad categories of fungal, bacterial, viral, or cultural causes. Fungal Diseases: Very common during periods of wet...

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Container Gardening Tips and Tricks

In theory at least, most people have planted their annual flowers for the summer by the time June rolls around. I'm someone that tends to have a "just one more" mentality when it comes to container gardening and plants in general. So it's not unusual to find me adding another pot to my patio at any point during the growing season. Choosing plants for a container can be intimidating. You...

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