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The Garden Scoop

Featuring weekly articles by Ryan Pankau, University of Illinois Horticulture Educator.
Master Gardener Class
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Why Become A Master Gardener?

When I am in the company of Master Gardeners I never cease to be humbled by their versatility and the sheer amount of knowledge and talent they possess. They come from all walks of life and are passionate about all aspects of gardening. Their interests cover everything from flowers and vegetables to herbs, gourds and beekeeping. There are novice and experienced gardeners in the program and all...

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Master Gardener Graduation

On Friday, April 17, 44 people celebrated graduation from the 2015 Master Gardener training. Master Gardener training began in late January. Training was held in three offices: Champaign (Champaign County), Danville (Vermilion County), and Onarga (Ford-Iroquois Counties). Over the course of 12 weeks, trainees learned everything from botany, vegetables, and fruits to organic gardening, compost,...

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Botany Dissection
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The Joys of Botany

A new class of students began Master Gardener training this month. The first class in the program is always Botany; the scientific study of plants. At first many trainees probably wonder why is this class necessary and when will we get to the good stuff like tomato diseases. Perhaps the beauty of the Master Gardener program is that volunteers from all walks of life are willing to step outside t...

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Christmas plants
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'The Twelve Plants of Christmas'

On my way up to Chicago this past weekend, I cringed when a certain well-known carol came on the radio. I immediately changed the station. It did however make me wonder as a plant lover, what are the twelve most important, can’t live without them, ‘Plants of Christmas’? Many, many miles later, I had my list. On the first day of Christmas, we bought a live Christmas tree. One of my earli...

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Horticulture Hotline CCMGs

Horticulture Hotline – How We Helped the Community

Champaign, Onarga, and Danville all closed their Master Gardener Horticulture Hotline October 31. Throughout the season Master Gardeners answered questions regarding trees, flowers, vegetables, woody ornamentals, insects, and so much more. To learn more about what questions we handle in the office, read my previous blog entry...

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Keyhole Gardens

I had never heard of a keyhole garden until this past year but I quickly became enthusiastic about a garden that does not involve lots of digging, needs less water than a conventional garden and produces its own compost. Ok –a live person actually has to feed it kitchen scraps to make the compost thing happen. So what exactly is a Keyhole Garden and where do you get one? They are the br...

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Seasonal Seed Show

By Ava Heap The transition from summer to autumn brings many joys. Gardeners appreciate the reprieve from the heat and humidity. Trees reveal their true splendor, changing their leaves to dramatic dark hues. Also, thousands of seeds, whether from plants or trees, begin their journey to be planted. The dispersal of seeds is nature's way of playing hide-and-seek. Seeds run away from their...

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Ford-Iroquois Master Gardener Plant Share

Post by Trent Hawker, Horticulture Intern On September 15 the Ford-Iroquois Master Gardeners hosted their fall plant share at the Idea Garden on the grounds of the Onarga Public Library. People from all around came to visit with the Master Gardeners, share some of the plants that had done well in their gardens this year, and take a few new things home to try out. The plant shar...

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