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Tales from a Plant Addict

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


A few years back a relative asked my husband and I if we were "done" with our landscaping. I laughed because I thought he was joking. But he was serious. A lot of gardeners would argue, me and my husband included, that our landscape is never "done". There is always something to be improved, moved, or otherwise changed. There are always "projects in progress". One of the "projects in pro...

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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. Thanks to the late spring this y...

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Bay Laurel

Whether you call it a Bay Laurel, True Laurel, Sweet Bay, Laurel, or Bay Tree, they are all names for Laurus nobilis . This is the tree that is the source of Bay Leaves, commonly used to flavor soups and stews. Honestly, I never gave much thought as to where Bay Leaves came from, until I saw a Bay tree on a trip to California a few years ago. I never thought about Bay Leaves com...

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Edible Container Gardens

It's easy to get stuck creating the same container gardens year after year, especially if you overwinter plants like I do. I usually overwinter several non-hardy plants in my attached garage without any problem. But this particularly frigid and snowy winter made even my garage too cold for a few of my favorite plants. So although I didn't plan it, this year is an opportunity to create an entire...

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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. Many people have been composting without calling it compost...

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