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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
propagating holiday cactus with leaf cuttings

Clone Your Plants

Do you have an annual flower in your garden this year that you especially like and definitely want to use again next summer? You might be able to clone it using vegetative propagation methods. I have a coleus plant that I particularly like in my patio containers. Each fall I take a few cuttings from the plants and grow them in my kitchen windowsill for use next spring. If you ar...

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A tall row of elephant ears grow against the front of Becky Poindexter's home at 1028 E Chestnut, winner of the September 2011 Bright Spot award.
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Giant Elephant Ears Accent the Garden

I love the tropical feel of big leaved plants around my pool. This year I planted four different types of elephant ears in addition to nine large banana plants. Elephant ears make a statement in the garden with their larger than life leaves. In my garden, they are at one end of my pool in front of a picket fence, which is the direct line of sight from our main sitting area....

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This compost is almost ready - at GoodEarth in Peoria
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Composting: Like Making Lasagna

Do you compost? Composting is the ancient art of mixing by-products from your yard with water, air, and time. What better way to dispose of leaves in the fall, grass clippings throughout the summer, and kitchen vegetable scraps than to turn them into compost? Composting is fun and simple. Simply take by-products from your yard, and layer them thinly and uniformly; the same way lasagna i...

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Lightning Bugs on the Decline

I hear a news report about the decline of the monarch butterfly almost every day, but there are other insects in decline as well. One that is a favorite of all ages is the lightning bug, which some folks also call a firefly. As a kid I remember catching lightning bugs on warm, summer nights. We put them in empty canning jars or pickle jars, poked holes in the lids, and watched the bugs...

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Emerald Ash Borer Open House a Success

University of Illinois Extension and several other organizations answered questions about the emerald ash borer at a recent Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) event. Homeowners, tree care professionals, municipality officials, and more attended an EAB open house on Monday, August 10 at Grandview Park in Peoria where an infested tree was recently discovered. Although Peoria Park officials h...

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Shade garden on 7-13-12
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Theme Gardens are Fun!

Theme gardens are really fun and are becoming more and more popular. I've written about various themes in the past, including literary gardens, tea gardens, reunion gardens, evening gardens, and more. Theme garden possibilities are many. They could be based on the seasons, color schemes, your favorite song title, food names, and so on. You could pick out plants that have great winter interest...

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