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ILRiverHort

Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Silver maple flowers in the spring.

Allergenic Plants

If you are an allergy sufferer, spring often brings sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes. One culprit is pollen from flowers of trees, shrubs, grasses, and weeds. Though most of these bloom for just a short period each year, something is almost always blooming. In early spring, the trees and shrubs are blooming. In summer the main pollen source is from flowering grasses. In late summer and fall, w...

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Sedge as a lawn alternative

Lawn Alternatives

Do you tire of mowing grass or want to add more diversity to your garden? Lawn alternatives are a growing garden trend. It seems that every trade show, conference, and symposium I've attended this winter includes reference to various plants we can use instead of traditional grass. The most commonly mentioned plant is sedge. There are many different types of sedge. Some grow in deep shade while...

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Pergola and water garden on 4-30-12

Garden Structures

G ardens include much more than just plants. Garden structures add functionality, purpose, and beauty to a garden. However, garden structure terms and definitions can be confusing. Here is a listing of popular garden structures with their definitions. Pergola – I love my pergola at the back of our house. A pergola is an open structure, usually on regularly spaced posts or colum...

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Spring bloomers.
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The Pre-Spring Garden

Signs of spring are slowly emerging all around us. The grass is getting greener, bulbs are starting to emerge, early flowering plants are blooming, and tree buds are swelling. Even some of the winter annual weeds are starting to grow. Early flowering shrubs include witchhazel and forsythia. Witchhazel's colors vary from yellow and orange to red and most flowers open in February. When red, the...

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Burning Bush
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Burning Bush Becoming Invasive

Burning Bushes are very common landscape plants grown mainly for their intense fall color. Unfortunately, burning bush are becoming a plant of concern for many of us as we watch it reseed and invade nearby natural areas. I have two very large burning bush in my yard that were planted by the previous owner. The one growing in full sun usually turns a bright red in the fall, while the other one...

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thyme
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Herb Gardens

If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that I love to grow and use herbs. Herbs are easy to grow, beautiful, fun, and rewarding to use. Most of them are as easy to grow as common vegetables. Whether you use them in formal herb gardens or interplanted with your vegetables or landscaping, you can always find space in a garden for a few herbs. Botanically speaking, an herb is...

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JP CDL 3-27-10 Easter Lily Source University of California Extension

Easter Lilies Signal Spring

Easter is just around the corner. Have you purchased you Easter lily yet? If not, be sure to choose an Easter lily with lots of unopened buds for longer bloom enjoyment. The popular Easter lily is the Christian symbol of purity, innocence, and chastity. But this particular lily has been popular for eons. In the Semitic world, it is the symbol of motherhood. It was the flower of Aphrodite, the...

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