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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.

Oriental Poppies

In search of orange-flowered perennials for my orange and blue Illini garden, Oriental Poppies ( Papaver orientale ) were a natural choice. The plants I used in my Illini garden were divided off a large clump that I planted years ago at my parents' home. I don't know the name of the cultivar, but their glowing orange petals are striking this time of year. As the name...

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There are certain fruits and vegetables that seem to elicit a very strong positive or negative response depending on the person. Rhubarb appears to me to be one of those vegetables. I mentioned to my husband that I was writing about rhubarb this week and he responded with a resounding "YUCK!" As for me, no one in my immediate or extended family cared for rhubarb, so I grew up never eating it....

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Composting is one of those topics that seems to have a bit of mystery surrounding it. There are entire books devoted to the subject which can intimidate even seasoned gardeners. If you have never tried composting, it's not necessarily a difficult endeavor. Basically, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it....

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Not the Same Old Container Garden

This Mother's Day weekend, chances are that you or someone you know will be spending time on something related to gardening. The typical frost-free date in central Illinois is approximately Mother's Day through May 15 th . Even so, no one can predict the weather with 100% accuracy— patchy frost is in the forecast this weekend. But considering Mother's Day as the starting gun for...

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Sometimes common names are frustrating, because widely different plants may share the same common name. But other times common names can be intriguing. Take the common name for the shade loving plant Bergenia —Pigsqueak. That common name alone made me take a second look at Bergenia...

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