Signup to receive email updates

or follow our RSS feed

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
Horticulture News
Terrarium Kelly Allsup final

Build a Terrarium during the Holidays

Terrariums a century-old trend of bringing nature inside during the winter, terrarium gardening has had a revival gardeners as of late and would make an excellent gift for the holidays. The invention of terrariums is attributed to English Botanist, Dr. Nathanial Ward. He used a closed bottle filled with tiny ferns and grasses growing in soil in order to observe a hummingbird moth chrysa...

Read More >

succulent wreath 2
click image to view 3 more

Handmade Succulent Wreaths as Gifts

Homemade gifts can be extra special during the holiday season. This season, give the gift of a succulent wreath. Succulent Wreath Supplies: wreath form, Spanish moss, paddle wire, straight pins, and several succulent cuttings Moisten a sheet of moss in a bucket. Place moss in a bucket, fill with water covering the moss, and give it time to completely soak...

Read More >

November 16 phaleonopsis pink Kelly Allsup

Phaleonopsis beautiful but picky

Phaleonopsis orchid flowers have awe-inspiring and long-lasting flowers that really make them an ideal gift. Look for a plant where not all the buds are open. This means you would have the maximum amount of time to enjoy the blooms. With a little affection, phaleonopsis (moth) orchid blooms can last 6-8 weeks and become a reblooming houseplant. Water: These orchids are called epiphytic...

Read More >

Nov  23 Oranges Jenna Brasch

Horticulture Trends for a Cheery holiday

Will stringing lights, making door wreaths and decorating the tree truly make you happier? For me, it brings out the nostalgia of childhood, my creative side and allows me to promote the use of horticulture during this season. Whether you are buying a live Christmas tree, poinsettias and phaleonopsis as gifts or harvesting from the outside and bringing in, let nature be your guide to st...

Read More >

Seven teams funded to provide University of Illinois research for Illinois communities


Read More >

2  amaryllis flower Ken Johnson
click image to view 4 more

Forcing the Adored Amaryllis for the Holiday Season

Amaryllis bulbs are commonplace in decorating for the holiday because of their bold, grand, exquisite presences drawing you across the room for a closer look. My experience in growing these show stopping flowers began in the research greenhouse at the University of Illinois. I was t in charge of growing amaryllis flowers for Diane Noland's topiary lesson. The lesson was always one of the last l...

Read More >


Vegetable Gardening of the Midwest Updated Book

Are you an avid vegetable gardener or maybe you just want to know more about growing food? University of Illinois Extension has brought you this new resource that is sure to be a "garden changer" for the novice and the expert! Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest is out now and available to help you with your gardening goals.   The third edition of "Vegetable Gardening in the Midw...

Read More >

McLean County MG

McLean County Master Gardeners Receive State Awards by Brittnay Haag

  BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate the following McLean County Master Gardeners on receiving state awards at the Illinois Master Gardener Conference in Springfield this September. Barb Wells and Kathie Otto were recognized as 2018 Outstanding Master Gardeners in Illinois. The Outstanding Master Gardener State Award was established t...

Read More >

Liv  MG

Livingston County Master Gardeners Receive State Awards by Brittnay Haag

Livingston County Master Gardeners Receive State Awards PONTIAC, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate the Livingston County Master Gardeners on receiving state awards at the Illinois Master Gardener Conference in Springfield this fall. Diana McGuckin was recognized as a 2018 Outstanding Master Gardener in Illinois. The Outstanding M...

Read More >


Woodford County Master Gardener Receives State Award Honors by Brittnay Haag

  EUREKA, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate Woodford County Master Gardener, Tina Deetz for being recognized as a 2018 Outstanding Illinois Master Gardener. In her two years as a Master Gardener, Tina's volunteer services and contributions to the Master Gardener program have more than exceeded expectations for this award. The Outstanding Master G...

Read More >


Overwintering Tender Plants by Brittnay Haag

Overwintering Tender Plants Indoors Looking to save a little money on plants next spring? Have a plant that is special to you? Finally found the perfect shade of pink annual plant and want to keep it for next year? Now is the time to take action- bring your plants indoors before the cold weather returns by following a few easy tips! "Tender perennials, which are...

Read More >

Tree Planting

Tree planting this fall by Kari Houle

Fall is coming, and that means it's a great time to bring home a new tree. But before they do,homeowners should repeat the mantra"right plant, right place," according to Kari Houle, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "If you have space for a tree that can only be 30 feet tall, don't chose a tree that is 50 feet tall and hope that you can keep it pruned 20 feet small...

Read More >

click image to view 2 more

Fall is the right time to divide some perennials

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – If your garden has a vigorous perennial that has been in the garden for more than a few years, or it has started to choke out other plants and no longer looks healthy (dead centers, floppy and unable to support healthy foliage and flowers), then it may be time to divide. Dividing is also a great way for a gardener to get more of their favorite plants into their beds....

Read More >


Vegetable Swap at Heartline Hearthous in Eureka on September 14

Vegetable Swap at Heartline and Heart House in Eureka EUREKA, Ill. – It is officially go time and the season for tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, cucumbers, peppers, apples and more. Those who have chosen to grow these favorite vegetables are more than likely getting more produce then they can handle. If this is you, please join University of Illinois Extension and H...

Read More >

Bring your gardening questions to the Woodford County Master Gardeners on September 10

  EUREKA, Ill – Bring your questions to the Eureka Library on Monday, September 10 anytime between 4:30 to 6 p.m. to get your gardening questions answered by University of Illinois Extension Woodford County Master Gardeners. So far this growing season we have answered gardening questions for a plethora of Woodford County gardeners. Let Master Gardeners help you...

Read More >

armyworm larva on bluegrass Phil Nixon
click image to view 3 more

Brown spots in the lawn

Many who have been seeking out the McLean County Master Gardener help desk have been complaining of brown patches in the lawn. Unfortunately, most lawn ailments present themselves as unsightly browning in a sea of lush green. The following are some of the potential culprits. If the grass is brown across the entire lawn, your lawn mower blade may have becomes dull and ripping the grass t...

Read More >

click image to view 2 more

Already thinking Fall? Add Fall Garden Patch to your calendar!

  PONTIAC, Ill. – After five undoubtedly successful "A Day in the Garden Patch' events hosted by the Livingston County Master Gardeners, we present a new opportunity for the gardening community around Pontiac: Fall Garden Patch because after all, gardening is a yearlong endeavor. This brand new Fall Garden Patch event will feature a program on spring bulbs; fall gardening tasks and a te...

Read More >


Join us for a Pesto Party at the Yost House in Pontiac

  PONTIAC, Ill. – Livingston County Master Gardeners will be demonstrating how to make yummy, spicy, garden fresh pesto at the Catherine V. Yost House Museum from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 18. In addition, Master Gardener, Cathy Montgomery will give an informal presentation on how to grow and use a harvest from your edible landscape. "These days we no longer designate the...

Read More >

watering the strawbale

Watering All season long

I often tell people that I have a Ph.D. in watering plants. As a young professional, I spent my days deciding if I should water and then checking to see if I made the right decision. Sometimes, I spent my days racing to water before plants wilted. I would like to say it is an art, but any gardener who learns the following water guidelines can get a Ph.D. in watering. Even though...

Read More >

Pollinator Palooza

Pollinator Palooza: A Party for the Pollinators coming August 9

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Did you know that nearly 75% of the world's crops require pollination? Join University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois State University Horticulture Center as they celebrate the world of pollinators. The Pollinator Palooza: A Party for the Pollinator s will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 9 at the Illinois State University Horticulture Center, loc...

Read More >


Frank about fertilizers

Why do I need fertilizer? When? What kind? How do Master Gardeners fertilize plants? The answer to this question is easy to answer: It all depends on the plant. Now that you have been left even further mystified about fertilizers, learning some basic principles about plant nutrition can help you make a decision like a pro. Plants require nutrients in varying quantities for prope...

Read More >


Join Master Gardeners. Teach gardening in your community.

Join Master Gardeners. Teach gardening in your community. The Master Gardener program is a volunteer organization with the University of Illinois Extension that gives back to the community through gardening and horticulture education. The newest project came about one year ago at the Flanagan Public Library with an idea for a pollinator...

Read More >

Roses from Sarah s Garden

Plant Propagation Workshop at Sarah's Garden on July 28

Add a little of Sarah's Garden to your backyard landscape with exclusive Propagation Workshop BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – On Saturday, July 28 from 9 a.m. to Noon, the University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners will be conducting a Plant Propagation Workshop at the award-winning and city treasure, Sarah's Garden at the David Davis Mansion. Many of the plants pro...

Read More >

Fruit tree pruning Tip bearer Shirley Blackburn
click image to view 4 more

Woodford Master Gardeners Information Booth back at Eureka Public Library on July 2

  EUREKA, Ill. – At the Eureka Public Library Woodford County Master Gardener information booth, there has been lots of talk about rejuvenating old dilapidated apple orchards and buzzwords such as Emerald Ash borer. Even though the Illinois Department of Agriculture detected Emerald Ash borer in Chenoa in 2008 and Woodford County was part of the state of Illinois' Emerald Ash Bo...

Read More >

MG Training Graphic

Back by popular demand: Master Gardener Training in Pontiac this fall

Master Gardener Training opportunity coming to Livingston County PONTIAC, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension and Livingston County Master Gardeners invite those eager to learn about growing vegetables, landscaping, trees, insects, or community and school gardening to join their volunteer training program this fall, for a mind-blowing garden learning experience....

Read More >