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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Gardening with Kids
Venus fly trap
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Plants That Move

No plants do not have legs, but they do move. Although I don't see it happen, each week my African violet leaves lean toward the light requiring me to straighten them with a quarter turn. I also don't see the prayer plants fold their leaves each night and reopen them each morning. Usually, plant movement is very subtle. Yet, there are a few plants that will move right before your eyes....

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David Robson, University of Illinois Horticulture Specialist, judges horticultural crops at the Fulton County Fair.

Horticulture at the Fair

Winning at a county fair brings great notoriety. Remember how excited Farmer Zuckerman was in the book "Charlottes Web" when Wilbur won! The county fair is meant to bring together exhibitors in many categories across the county to see who is the best. Horticulture exhibits at the fair cover everything from flowers to vegetables. Exhibitors have the opportunity to win ribbons and sometim...

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2007: C.B. Smith students explore the bounty of blooms.
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Gardening with Kids

Gardening is for everyone, but is especially important for children. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of gardening with kids. It encourages personal growth, environmental stewardship, hands-on learning, improved nutrition, community involvement, and family interaction. During my 25 year career with Extension I've attended many programs on how to garden with kids. Each time I come...

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The July 2015 Bright Spot Award goes to Dick Jones, West Vine Street, Canton, for his stunning vegetable garden. Photo by Terry Meade
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Plan Your Vegetable Garden Around Your Family

Growing your own food is easy and fun. This year I will write more spotlights on backyard food production in this column. To get us started, here are excerpts from an article written by my colleague Richard Hentschel. Richard writes that a well-planned vegetable garden is easy to care for and harvest. They are also more productive and, in the long run, less expensive that the unplanned...

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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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Fun Youth Gardening Websites

University of Illinois Extension has fun, interactive, and educational websites all about plants and gardening that are meant just for kids. Check these out. The Great Plant Escape - Help Detective Leplant and his partners Bud and Sprout unlock the amazing mysteries of plant life!...

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