Choosing Plants

Choosing Plants

Front Porch Containers for Fall

Give your front porch containers a fall makeover

Are you ready to toss in the towel on your overgrown, drab-looking container gardens for the year?
Unfortunately, our gorgeous summer containers are now fading due to the stress of the summer heat, possible insects or diseases, and the changing temperatures and sunlight in fall. Don’t give up! Now is the perfect time to give them a fall makeover and create a beautiful display of autumnal colors amongst the pumpkins on your front porch for a couple of months.

Top Four Spring Flowering Trees To Plant

Top Four Spring-Flowering Trees to Plant

Spring is a time of abundant blooms as well as one of the best times of year to establish new woody plants in your landscape. This year, consider adding one, or all, of my favorite Illinois native spring-flowering trees to your landscape, and you’ll enjoy spring floral displays for years to come.

Fuschia Peony

A Guide to Growing Prolific Peonies

Peonies have been cultivated for thousands of years, and for good reasons. Their massive blooms are some of the most impressive of all the spring and early summer. It doesn’t take much know-how to make these perennials happy. In fact, they’re easy to maintain and they supply ample blossoms for cut-flowers as well!

Fall Oak Tree

Why October is Renamed Oaktober

Oaks are essential to the ecosystem and in Illinois, we celebrate them the entire month of October. It’s a great time of year to plant an oak because fall planting gives the tree an extra growing season before the stress of summer. The combination of cooler temperatures and fall rain allows the newly-planted oak to

Berries on a Bush

Backyard Berries for Homegrown Fun

One of the best parts of gardening is when you get to literally eat the fruits of your labors. Growing edible fruits and berries at home provides tasty, nutritious treats and sweet rewards. Fruit-bearing plants and edibles include favorites such as apples, cherries and plums, but these four backyard berries can expand your edible landscape and your homegrown fun.

Low Maintenance Groundcover

5 Low-Maintenance Groundcovers

The right groundcover can simplify your life and beautify your landscape – all in one attractive, easy-care package. Low-maintenance groundcovers are great assets, especially when massed under trees or on hard-to-mow slopes and erosion-prone sites. You’ll love the low-maintenance magic these five favorites can bring to your landscape.

Purple Asters

Add Color with Asters

The plant can be used in many places, such as in borders, rock gardens, or wildflower gardens. Asters also attract bees and butterflies, providing the pollinators with an important late-season supply of nectar.

Shade Garden

Shade Gardening for Beginners

Shade gardening is an essential skill for homeowners who want to keep their entire property green and thriving. Most residential yards have some areas that rarely get direct sunlight and are prone to soil erosion because nothing grows there. This is especially true under spreading trees (such as oaks) which have dense foliage. Residential structures like houses and fences also tend to block sunshine and create dim spaces.

Hostas in the Garden

Care Tips for Hostas

Hosta are hardy perennials that are especially perfect for a shady garden. Reliable and very easy to grow, hosta are long-lived—and may even outlive the gardener!

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