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Rhonda J. Ferree

Rhonda J. Ferree
Former Extension Educator, Horticulture

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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog

Drink Your Garden

This month's 2014 garden trend is "Drink Your Garden" Coincidentally I also just bought a new book called The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart. Intrigued? Simply put, there are many different plants that you can grow to make your own delicious drinks. I suggest getting started with something simple (and non-alcoholic) like a smoot...

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Garden Day Events

Learn more about gardening by attending a garden day event this spring. Garden day events are sponsored by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and are held all over the state. You can find a garden event to attend on almost every Saturday between late February and early April. I am scheduled to speak at three garden day events this year. My garden day circuit begins March...

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Pothos (Devil's Ivy)
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Philodendron or Pothos

I am so fortunate that I had opportunities during this cold, snowy winter to visit two tropical locations. I went to Costa Rica in December to pick up my son from his semester of studying abroad and I just returned from my husband's employee reward trip to the Dominican Republic. Obviously I enjoyed the warm, sunny weather in both locations, but I also love seeing the tropical plants th...

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Garden Catalogs

My Dad and I are planning some of our garden catalog orders together this year. This serves many purposes. We inspire each other to begin planning and some catalogs offer discounts or free shipping for larger orders. Now is the time to plan your purchases from garden catalogs. I recommend you try to place most of your orders as soon as possible. However, with the myriad of catalogs available,...

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floral arrangment Ferree

Valentine Flower Care

Following a few suggestions can prolong the beauty of flowers given on Valentine's Day and other special occasions, says a retired University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Whether you are giving roses, carnations, mums, or some other type of flower, you want them to last," says James Schuster. "Start with buying young flowers. Young rose buds have just their outer petals...

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Winter Pruning

I am hoping for some warmer weather so I can do some winter pruning. Winter is a perfect time to prune most trees and shrubs. Correct pruning is an essential maintenance practice for ornamental trees and shrubs. However, most homeowners regard pruning with considerable apprehension. Pruning is not difficult if you understand the basics and learn why, when, and how to prune. Ther...

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Super Foods, Super Models

As promised I'm writing each month about a 2014 garden trend. Trend two from the 2014 Garden Media Group report is "Super Foods, Super Models." Let me try to explain what that is. My interpretation is that the trend is to grow your own highly nutritious food (super foods) using nontraditional methods (super models). The main reasons people state for growing their own food is taste, nut...

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