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Prairies to Perennials

An almanac of all things that grow in Lincoln's backyard.
Monarch ageratum
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Plant a Pollinator Pocket

Pollinators are crucial to the pollination of more than 150 food crops in the United States. Many of these being fruits, nuts and berries which wildlife depend on and humans enjoy eating. Pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, hummingbirds, flies, wasps and bats. As gardeners, we can provide pollinator-friendly gardens that provide valuable habitat to insects and wildlif...

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Bee frame

National Honey Bee Day

Posted by Jennifer Fishburn - Herbs

Happy National Honey Bee Day, August 19, 2017. In 2009, the first National Honey Bee Day was celebrated, this day continues annually on the third Saturday in August. This national day was started by grassroots minded beekeepers to build community awareness of the bee industry, through education and promotion. Most beekeepers are considered hobbyist. According to the Illinois Department...

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Monarch 2017  768x1024
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Visitor to the Demonstration Gardens

On the first day of the Illinois State Fair, University of Illinois Extension master gardener volunteers observed a monarch butterfly. This butterfly could have been the same one that emerged on August 6, but no way to know for sure. Monarchs are easily recognized by their orange and black wings. A few quick facts about monarch butterflies. Butterflies have a 3.5 to 5 inc...

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monarch  emerged
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Treasure Found in Nature's Hideaway (Part 2)

University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteers are thrilled to report the emergence of the Monarch Butterfly from the chrysalis. Volunteers have been observing the chrysalis inside the bean teepee within the Idea Garden on the Illinois State Fairgrounds! The chrysalis has been observed and photographed daily from July 29 to August 5, and we can hardly believe our good fortu...

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Bean structure
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Treasure Found in Nature's Hideaway

Treasure Found in Nature's Hideaway Nature's Hideaway is one of five "Idea" gardens within the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens in Springfield.. Nature's Hideaway encourages family gardening using readily available, inexpensive materials and seeds that are fun and easy. This garden features a bean teepee su...

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Chatham4
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Share Your Harvest

Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR)is a national program that encourages gardeners to plant and donate produce to those needing food assistance in their communities. In Springfield, the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteers have led a local effort to share fresh produce. For the past 19 years, volunteers have worked with the Central Illinois Food Bank and local food pantries....

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prairie path  2
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Including Native Plants In Your Landscape

Five years ago, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteers started a demonstration garden to feature sun-loving native plants. The Native Wildflower Garden (NWG) demonstrates the use of native plants in home landscapes and how these plants are beneficial to pollinators, particularly struggling Monarch butterflies. Fittingly, the NWG is located at Lincoln M...

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