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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Swans in Illinois

Article ideas come to me from a wide variety of sources. This week's arrived in a phone call in the early hours before work one recent morning. My next door neighbor asked "So when did you and Chris buy a swan?" "A what?" I asked, shaking off the last remnant of sleep. "Look outside," she said. I looked out my kitchen window, and there was a very large white bird cruising around the pond that w...

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Bottle Trees

Like me, you've probably seen them in many gardening catalogs this spring, and at craft fairs and art shows in the area. They seem to be the "in" thing for the fashionable garden in the last few years: bottle trees. The concept is simple–a metal tree-like form, or even a dead tree itself is the base to hang colorful glass bottles from. The history of these garden ornaments may surprise yo...

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Container Gardening Tips and Tricks

We've had a long, cold winter, and it's finally time to get out in the garden without reservation. Mother's Day, or approximately May 15th is also considered the safe "frost free" date for the area. So annuals will continue to fly off store shelves this weekend. Choosing plants for a container can be intimidating. You may think you're not creative enough, or that you don't know enough a...

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Since 1995, the International Herb Association has designated an "Herb of the Year" to celebrate. The selection committee only considers plants that are outstanding in at least two of the following three categories: medicinal, culinary, and decorative plants The 2011 Herb of the Year is horseradish. the International Herb Association has special publications on this and other Herbs of the Year...

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Arkansas Blue Star, Amsonia hubrichtii, 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year

Each year the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) ( ) selects its "Plant of the Year". Members of the selection committee choose four perennial plants from an extensive list submitted by PPA members. Each year, the members of the PPA are invited to choose one plant among these four finalists to be designated as "Plant of the Year"....

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