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Tales from a Plant Addict

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


One plant that did well in my garden last summer despite the extreme heat and drought is Calibrachoa , also called Million Bells, or sold under the brand name Superbells®. Up until a few years ago, I didn't really use this plant in my annual beds and containers. But the more I use it, the more I love it. Calibrachoa , like Petunia, is a genus in the Sola...

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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 . The name comes from the sound of rubbing the leaves, which are very glossy and lea...

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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. But considering Mother's Day as the starting gun for some full-blown gardening is generally a good rule o...

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I was shopping for plants with some friends, and as I nabbed some annuals I had been looking high and low for, one friend turned to me and said jokingly, "friends don't let friends buy annuals!" I challenged her to try and stop me! My friend was joking, but now and then I run into people who tell me they "only plant perennials" as if it is some mark of advanced gardening and good taste....

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