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The Garden Scoop

Featuring weekly articles by Ryan Pankau, University of Illinois Horticulture Educator.

Boxwood Blight

Posted by Ryan Pankau -

Boxwood shrubs are perhaps one of the most planted evergreen shrubs in landscapes around the Midwest. Although they are typically fairly hardy in our area, many suffer from winter injury. In addition, there are a number of other ailments for this shrub that gardeners should be aware of including a new and very serious threat called boxwood blight. From the standpoint of functionality in...

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Many native Illinois plants  such as wild columbine  Aquilegia canadensis  and Virginia bluebells  Mertensia virginica   do well in cultivation  adding beauty and diversity to our home gardens

Native Plants and Biodiversity

A startling report on global biodiversity was release by the United Nations last week noting an alarming trend in worldwide species extinction. We, humans were pegged as the primary cause of an increase in extinction rates to the highest levels in human history. Specifically, around 25% of the species assessed are threatened, suggesting that one million of the eight million known species of pla...

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Apple Flower2

Winter Injury to Fruit Trees

Posted by Ryan Pankau -

Winer injury is a common problem among fruit trees grown in our area and this year's up and down spring temperatures resulted in damage to flower buds across central Illinois. Cold weather in some years can bring damage to many ornamental tree species as well, impacting much anticipated spring blooms. In fact, injury from cold weather is likely the most important limiting factor in plant specie...

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Photo credit  Amanda Pankau
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Spring Beauties: A True Sign of Spring

Last week the spring beauties (Claytonia virginica) in Lodge Park, near Monticello, were absolutely stunning. These tiny, ornate wildflowers adorn the forested trails at Lodge and other woodlands throughout central Illinois providing us with a sure sign that spring has arrived each year. Spring beauties are perennial wildflowers that emerge early in the year and produce tiny (1/3") flow...

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