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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
seed catalog

Seed Catalog Lingo

Now is the time of year when we prepare our seed catalog orders for spring. Seed catalogs can tell you a lot, provided you understand the "lingo". Greg Stack, Retired Horticulture Extension Educator, provided the following information before he retired to help people better understand the lingo of plant seed catalogs, such as F1 hybrids, determinate and indeterminate, monoecious, gynoecious, gy...

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Mother in Laws Tongue houseplant (Sansevieria)
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A Houseplant Anyone Can Grow…Mother-In-Laws Tongue

If you have trouble growing houseplants, the Mother-in-Laws tongue is for you. The Mother-In-Laws Tongue ( Sansevieria trifasciata ), also known as snake plant, is one of the most durable houseplants and is a plant that anyone can grow. This plant is extremely easy to grow, tolerates neglect and a wide range of temperatures. I don't know how it got the name Mothe...

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Just What Is Flax?

Do you sometimes wonder where some of the foods we eat came from? Rhonda Ferree, extension educator in horticulture, says that she is fascinated by the multitude of newer foods on the market, including flax seed. Flax is thought to be native to the Mediterranean region of Europe. Early uses utilized the plant's fiber to make linen cloth. Linen cloth was found in Egyptian tombs and commo...

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JP CDL 2-6-10 Redbud flowers
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Plants of the Year

Many different organizations select plants of the year and this year I plan to spotlight them each month in this column. Let's start with the Garden Club of America. According to their website at , they were founded in 1913. The Garden Club of America is a volunteer nonprofit organization comprised of 200 member clubs and approxima...

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2015 Garden Calendar Available

A 2015 Garden Calendar is now available. Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, created a calendar that provides garden tips for each month. "People often ask me what garden tasks they should be doing at various times of the year," says Rhonda. "I used information from University of Illinois and Purdue University sources and created lists that are ap...

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Celosia on 7-13-12
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This year's New Year's Day Rose Parade once again featured many beautiful floats decorated entirely of organic material. I always watch the parade carefully and try to figure out what organic materials are being used. Amaranth is one of those plants and is used in many ways on floats. In 2004 the Children Learn and Grow with Music float by NAMM featured a scene from Sesame Street with...

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JP CDL 3-13-10 Sharon Spangler and Grandson Ryan Spangler visit a vendor booth at 2010 Gardeners   Big Day   Both are interested in horticulture
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Learn Something New in 2015

I'm really excited about all the great gardening programs we have available here at University of Illinois Extension in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties. Here are just a few examples. Our Master Gardener program provides the most comprehensive educational opportunity for gardeners. "Those who complete Master Gardener training will provide 60 hours of volunteer service in a two year...

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