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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Illinois Audubon Society birding adventure
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Birding Equipment…how to use binoculars

We are enjoying watching the birds at our feeder this winter. They add action and color to an otherwise static winter scene. Bird watching is a popular hobby in America. According to a 2016 US Fish and Wildlife Service survey, more than 45 million people watch birds around their homes and away from home. If you aren't already, you too can be a birder. All you need is the will and some b...

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June 2013 BRIGHT SPOT at neighboring homes of Gerald and Bonnie Fidler and Jim and Brenda McKee. See at 1321 E Chestnut and 1313 E Chestnut.

New Year's Day Rose Parades of the Past

As most of my readers know, one of my favorite activities of the year is watching the New Year's Day Rose Parade. Every year I am amazed by the amount of work that goes into creating the floats using only natural materials. I've been writing about various plants in the rose parade floats since 2002, and this year I'm pulling some of my favorite excerpts from those articles. My first art...

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African violet
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YouTube Videos Show How to Care for Houseplants

Houseplants add life and beauty to a home. My new YouTube videos provide simple tips on houseplant care. After watching these short videos, even those with "brown garden thumbs" will know how to have healthy houseplants throughout their home. Over watering house plants is very common. Watering Houseplants teaches you how to know when to water and how much to water your...

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Fulton/Mason County Master Gardener Greenery Workshop
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Holiday Cones

Each year the Fulton and Mason County Master Gardeners hold a greenery workshop during their last meeting of the year. Attendees bring greenery and other decorations to use in their arrangements. I brought boughs of pine, cedar, and bayberry and pinecones, ribbon, and lights for decorations. This year I was fortunate to have my sister Lynn Miller and Mom Doris Simmons join me. They brought heml...

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Rhonda Ferree pulls sugarcane through a press in Costa Rica.
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Sugar-n-Spice and Everything Nice

Sugar and spice make everything nice, especially Christmas cookies. But, do you know where your sugar and spice come from? The sugar we use comes from two different plants: sugar beets or sugarcane. Worldwide, 70 percent of our sugar comes from sugarcane. Sugarcane is a tall grass that grows in tropical areas. In a tropical setting like Hawaii and Jamaica, it grows in fields and looks s...

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Sunflower
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Grow Your Own Birdseed

Feeding and watching birds has become one of America's favorite pastimes. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, nearly half the households in the United States provide food for wild birds. The most commonly used birdseed are sunflower seeds, with black-oil sunflower seeds being the most popular. It's small size and thin shell make it easier for small birds to eat. Striped sunflow...

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2018 Garden Calendar

2018 Garden Calendar Available

My 2018 Garden Calendar is now available. It provides garden tips, a calendar of events, and a picture each month spotlighting University of Illinois Extension volunteers and programs. New this year are hyperlinks to information on various topics in the monthly tips. Just click on the underlined-blue links while viewing the electronic copy and it will take you to the connecting ILRiverH...

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