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Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog

Bed Edges

Landscape edging plays an important role in pulling the landscape together. Edging function is simply, says Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension. "It forms a clean, neat line between planting areas and turf or groundcovers." When installed properly, it should blend in with the landscape, minimize hand trimming, and help contain mulches within the bed areas....

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Vegetable Garden Alternatives

Vegetables are most commonly grown in traditional gardens in rows. Large gardens can seem overwhelming, especially during the heat of summer or after a vacation. If you don't have space for that or just want to try something different, here are some others options to try. Yet, a larger garden is sometimes needed for certain crops such as sweet corn. Still, you do not have to plant the garden i...

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club moss at fern clyffe
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Mosses…Friend or Foe

If you look at ferns, mosses, lichens, and club moss closely, they look like something right out of a fairytale. In fact, these non-flowering plants do have their very own kingdom in the plant world. Instead of reproducing by flowers and seeds, these plants use spores to multiply. There are more than 13,000 species of mosses, which are small, primitive, leafy, green plants that develop...

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Red admiral butterfly on Mexican zinnia on 9-17-12
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Butterfly Larvae Food Plants

Efforts to save the monarch butterfly are everywhere with many people pledging to plant milkweed for monarch larvae to eat. There are two different types of plants you can grow for butterflies: nectar food sources and larval food sources. Nectar sources attract the adult butterfly and many different types of flowers will serve as a nectar source. Providing larval food plants is where b...

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Havana tree planting 2015
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Tree Plantings at Havana's Riverfront Park Provide Many Benefits

On Saturday, May 9, 2015, fifteen volunteers spent the morning planting and mulching fifty trees in Havana's Riverfront Park. Volunteers included students from Havana, Peoria Heights, and Tremont, as well as staff and volunteers from University of Illinois Extension. Debbie Fluegel from Trees Forever coordinated the planting. Trees Forever, a Midwest non-profit organization, the City of Havana...

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Reunion Gardens

My son Derek graduates from University of Illinois this week with a BS in community health so it seemed like a good time to discuss reunion and school color gardens. School reunion gardens are especially nice to do using flowers in your school colors. You've probably noticed that school colors typically include bright, complementary colors. This also works to create dramatic gardens. Le...

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Cascading baskets of petunias can be seen at the home of August 2012 Bright Spot Award winners Lewis and Jennifer Kling, 657 E Elm St, Canton.
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Mother's Day

Don't forget you special Mom on Mother's Day! If you haven't bought something special for her yet, consider these ideas. You can be sure I'll get my Mom (Doris Simmons) a special horticultural gift for Mother's Day. A gift of fresh flowers always says, "I love you!" Many beautiful bouquets are available at the local florist. Options might include sending all cut flowers, a live plant, a fun ba...

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