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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Climbing rose on May 7, 2012.  Notice the carpet of petals forming below the plant.
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Heirloom Flowers Making a Comeback

Old-fashioned flowers and flowering shrubs like roses, hydrangeas, sweet pea, lilac, and more have always been common garden plants. Technically, an heirloom is defined as a plant that is open-pollinated. These are pollinated by insects, hummingbirds, or the wind and the resulting seed will produce plants that are identical (or very similar) to the parent plant. Heirlooms are popular fo...

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Free Summer Gardening Webinars also on YouTube

The summer series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program focuses on environmental stewardship, home gardening, and backyard food production. The first session of the series is titled, Using Essential Oils Safely. The program is offered twice –on June 27 at 1:30 p.m. and again on June 29 at 6:30 p.m. Essential oils have been growing in popularity, but some p...

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Ferree Journal Quote

Natural Journaling

Nature Journaling …Allows us to slow down and see the natural world from a different perspective, while it Offers a creative outlet for self-expression Promotes relaxation and calmness Enhances outdoor experiences Builds positive connections with nature and people What to...

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Masked chafer - adult form of white grub

Japanese Beetle Look Alikes

For pictures, go to this Minnesota Extension Factsheet PLEASE NOTE: Control recommendations for Illinois may vary than those given for Minnesota. ANNUAL WHITE GRUBS Annual white grubs, the larvae of the southern masked chafer (Cyclocephala lurida) pass through one generation each year....

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Dog Gone Lawn by Chris Enroth

How do dogs harm lawns? Chris Enroth, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, explains. First is the traffic. Very often backyard dogs will wear down paths in the grass from circling or pacing. Not only is this hard on the lawn itself but it also leads to compacted soils, making reestablishing turf in these locations even more challenging. And then you have...

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MG grad 2016 -009

Apply NOW for Fall 2017 Master Gardener Training

I am excited to announce that we are offering University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener training this fall! Traditionally this training has occurred during the winter. Fall training allows us to do more outdoor activities, as well as combine some classes with our Master Naturalist program. Master Gardeners learn how to improve home landscapes, grow their own food, care for househ...

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Mowed daylilies with severe aphid infestation.
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Daylily aphid testimonial

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Last week I noticed an unusually large number of daylily (Hemerocallis sp.) leaves turning completely yellow and dying. Upon closer inspection, I found that they have aphid feeding on the lower stems. Aphids are a soft-bodied insect with piercing mouth parts that they use to suck out the plant's sap. They multiply quickly, resulting in large populations....

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