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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
Tropical hibiscus
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Huge Hibiscus Flowers are a Garden Standout

Have you noticed the huge hibiscus blooms this summer? Hibiscus has magnificent flowers that make quite an impressive display each summer. There are many different types of hibiscus. The rose-of –Sharon ( Hybiscus syriacus ) is a popular shrub hibiscus. Herbaceous perennial hibiscuses are available in tropical and hardy forms. Tropical hibiscus ( Hibiscus rosa-sinens...

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A tall row of elephant ears grow against the front of Becky Poindexter's home at 1028 E Chestnut, winner of the September 2011 Bright Spot award.
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Gardening with Summer Bulbs

I'm growing several summer bulbs this year. These include cannas, caladium, and elephant ears. Summer bulbs are summer-blooming plants that have some type of underground storage structure, but most of them don't look like bulbs. The vast majority of summer bulbs are not cold hardy and will not survive our winters. They are often referred to as 'tender' bulbs. These plants need to be dug...

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Sour cherries on tree
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Fruit Trees

I recently attended an Illinois State Horticultural Society summer field day at Christ Orchard near Brimfield. The day included tours of apple orchards, current pest management information, and new technologies for the fruit industry. I left the day even more impressed with the amount of work it takes to grow apples, pears, and other fruits commercially. For those that want to grow thei...

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MG grad 2016 -009

Become a Master Gardener

Master Gardeners are a special group of people who all have a common interest – a love of gardening and nature and the desire to share that knowledge with others. The Master Gardener Volunteer program is a very successful University of Illinois Extension Horticulture program. The program aim is to give intensive horticultural training to individuals who will, in turn, share this training with t...

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rain garden-friend

Rain Gardens

Rain barrels and rain gardens are becoming more and more popular by those wanting to recycle and conserve natural resources. According to U of I Extension Educator Duane Friend, when we receive rain, a lot of it falls on surfaces that cannot soak up water. Roofs and driveways create large amounts of runoff—much of which ends up in storm drains. It is estimated that water from these areas can i...

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July 2017 White Grubs Update by Dr. Phil Nixon

Issue 10 , July 5, 2017  Illinois Pesticide Review Newsletter White Grubs ShareThis This is a good time to observe the abundance and activity of white grub adults. This kno...

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