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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
Gardening How-To
2015-09-28 18 53 44

Using Cut Flowers to Bring the Garden Indoors

As gardeners, many of us like to relax in the backyard, taking time to enjoy our beautiful flowers, but why not bring those beautiful bloomers indoors to enjoy? Many showy flowers, grasses, and foliage are available to interplant into your existing garden beds, allowing you to harvest throughout the seasons. The most important thing to consider when choosing a plant for a cut flower gar...

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2015-12-14 05 39 34-2

Extending the Life of Cut Evergreens

You've cut those evergreens to decorate your home with, but how do you get them to last?  Storage Prior to Use If the greens need to be stored prior to use, placing the greens in a bucket of water or in a cardboard box or bag in a cool location is the best way to prevent them from drying out quickly. Before bringing th...

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2016-12-04 16 23 10-2

Decorating with Evergreens for the Holidays

In my opinion, nothing screams the holidays more than the fragrance of fresh cut evergreen and for many of us, we're lucky enough to have evergreens in our own yards to harvest from. Check out a few tips below for success when harvesting your evergreens:   Which type of evergreen should I harvest? Of the many great evergreen species we grow in Illinois,...

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2016-10-17 09 19 08

Keeping Track of Your Cultivars

If you're like me, it's a struggle to remember exactly what species or cultivars you planted in the garden. Especially by the time you have hundreds of plants in! There are some plant names I'll just never forget for some reason (hello,  Solenostemon scutellarioide s) , but there are others that escape me right away. What I started doing a f...

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Paperwhites

Forcing Paperwhites for Holiday Decor

Flowering bulbs of all kinds can be forced indoors to create a beautiful and long lasting flower display for your home and it's something I love to do every year for the holidays!   The term forcing refers to a technique that imitates the environmental conditions that bulbs encounter outdoors, thereby tricking them into flowering earlier. Essentially, it allows you to bring the outdoor beauty o...

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Seed Starting Care

It's finally that time of year! The time to start getting seeds started indoors for transplanting into the garden this spring! I relish the anticipation of waiting for those precious seeds to germinate and the excitement when I'm finally able to plant those transplants outdoors. I'm planning to go through my seeds this weekend and make my schedule for seeding. I've come up with a few ca...

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2015-08-04 10 46 45

Creating Eye-Catching Winter Evergreen Containers

Did you miss out on one of our in person Winter Container Garden Workshops ? Don't fret! We've got a video for that! I demonstrate how to make an eye-catching winter evergreen container in this Youtube video ....

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2015-10-05 12 39 03

Get Out There and Garden This Fall!

If you're like me, by the time fall comes around, you're probably a little burnt out on gardening. It's totally reasonable, I get it. You've spent all summer maintaining and of course enjoying your garden, but you've just used up all your energy. But don't give up yet! There are lots of great fall gardening activities that can be completed and many of these will help prepare your garden for gre...

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Self Watering Containers

Self watering containers are a great solution for us gardeners who don't like to water our containers very often. There are a multitude of these types of containers available on the market, but unfortunately some can come at a steep price. I have some self watering containers as window boxes which I love, but they were a bit of an investment. To lower the costs, I've been experimenting...

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2015-05-19 18 02 30

Propagating Succulents and Cacti

Cacti and Succulents are by far my favorite group of plants. The colors, flowers, and interesting growth habits are like nothing else in my opinion. But one of my favorite things about this group of plants is the ease in which you can make more plants. Through the use of cuttings or division, you can very quickly expand your collection of cacti and succulent plants.  Stem...

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2014-03-21 13 01 11

Preventing Brown Evergreens this Winter

Last winter was a tough one on many of our evergreens. Most gardeners had severe browning on many of their evergreen trees and shrubs, and some were even killed by the cold winter winds of winter. This year, take some steps to prevent some of that damage. The problem comes when water isn't available for the evergreens to take up and cold winter winds draw too much moisture out of the pl...

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2013-02-15 16 11 48

Forcing Amaryllis for the Holidays

I'm a big fan of flowering bulbs of all kinds, especially when I'm able to force those bulbs indoors. Forcing is a technique that imitates the environmental conditions that bulbs encounter outdoors, thereby tricking them into flowering earlier. So essentially, you can bring the outdoor beauty of bulbs indoors! The key is to "imitate the environmental conditions that bul...

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2014-11-23 11 52 39

Decorating Windowboxes for the Winter

During the spring, summer, and fall my windowboxes are filled with beautiful blooming and foliage plants, but once frost hits, I pull all those plants out and my windowboxes are left bare. Very dull and boring. To make these windowboxes usable year-round, I add some winter interest to the boxes using evergreens. The process is quite simple because I can utilize the leftover soil in th...

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Seasonal Decorating with Evergreens

Evergreens are always a nice addition to the landscape. They provide a pop of green foliage in the winter when everything else in the landscape is without leaves or winter interest. But these evergreens are more than just for landscape use, evergreens can be easily cut and harvested for use indoors or outdoors as seasonal decorations. Below are some of the common evergr...

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2014-11-08 12 28 02-1

Herbal Gifts from Your Garden

Were you able to dry some of the herbs or flowers you grew in your garden this summer? If so, there are a multitude of easy gifts you can make for the holiday season using those herbs. And if you're not an herb grower, don't worry, they're just as easy to purchase at the grocery store! We made the following easy gifts at a recent fall gardening program. The first item is a Her...

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2013-09-23 16 15 57

Overwintering Perennial Patio Containers

Reading my weekly newsletters this week I came across a good article with some tips on overwintering perennials in containers. I for one love to add perennials, like Coral Bells which has excellent foliage color choices, to my container mixes, but I always remove them early enough to get planted in the ground before winter. Being able to overwinter them in the pot would be nice. Here's what Pau...

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2014-07-28 14 12 56

Home Hydroponics Part II

Earlier this week I posted about the first hydroponic setup I'm testing: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw/eb284/entry_8817/ This system is even more simple to assemble and I've had great success with both. Passive System #2- Floating Raft System In this system, instead of having th...

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2014-06-19 11 56 53

Home Hydroponic Systems

This summer I've been trying out some various hydroponic setups that one could utilize in their own home or in the classroom. I initially started the project to show teachers in the hopes that they could implement a system in their classrooms. I showed these setups at the local Summer Ag Institute for teachers and a few are going to try out hydroponics this school year! In my setup, I a...

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Amaryllis bulb growing out of container

Inspect Those Bargain Plants

Buying bargain plants at the garden center can be very tempting, but before buying that marked down plant, it's important to give it a good inspection. Usually when a plant is marked down it's either because it is towards the end of the season for that plant, or it's because there is a problem with that plant. Some of these problems may include various diseases or insects that are infec...

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Holiday Gifts from your Kitchen and Garden

Deciding what to give as gifts this season can be a challenging and expensive task. So w hy not make your own to make it easier? There are many ingredients already in your kitchen and growing in your garden that can be used to make beautiful and tasty gifts at an inexpensive cost. Herbs are one of those ingredients that you probably already have in your...

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Tree Wound Dressings: Helpful or Hindrance?

Many gardeners have experienced that awful moment when the lawn mower or weed wacker accidentally comes in contact with the bark of a valued tree in the landscape and a wound is created. No matter how careful you are, sometimes accidents happen and then you're left wondering, what you can do to help the tree repair this wound. The answer is really to let the tree repair the wound on its...

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2013-05-20 22 04 26

How to Make Your Own Rain Barrel

The drought of 2012 took a great toll not only on the plants in the garden but also on the gardener's wallet. It was tough for some gardeners to decide which plants to water and which to let survive on their own. Unfortunately, if a gardener did decide that watering was absolutely essential, they likely saw an increased water bill the next month. This year, putting in a rain bar...

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Mulching
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Proper Mulching Technique

Everyone has gardening pet peeves right? For some it's the use of dyed mulch, for others it's the use of bright white stone mulch. Improper mulching technique, specifically mulch volcanoes may just be one of mine. Mulch volcanoes are the improper placement of mulch around trees so that it literally resembles a volcano. What's wrong with that may you ask? This thick layer of mulch...

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