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Yard & Garden


Grand gardening ideas for August

August is the one month with no major holiday, unless you’re Canadian and you celebrate the first Monday as Civic Holiday, which is a great excuse for a three-day weekend. And who doesn’t want more three-day weekends! Unfortunately the Illinois State Fair does not qualify as a holiday. So, while other months have a holiday […]

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A rose by any other name…

Shakespeare, when trying to get Juliet to convince Romeo that she loves him and not the Montague ­family, spouted “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In other words, whether you’re William, Will, Bill, Billy or Bubba doesn’t make a difference in the grand […]

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From water famine to feast

Water in the form of rain can be a blessing or a curse. We’ve certainly seen the extremes in the last two years. Life, and in this case nature, has a way of slapping us across the face without leaving a mark, waking us up to the reality that we can’t control a darn thing […]

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Fruit or vegetable?

The mouth-watering anticipation of ­taking that initial bite of ­deliciousness from their first home-grown tomato makes gardeners antsy to work that soil. Unless you’re prepared to cover your plants when the temperatures drop, you’re probably looking at mid-May in Illinois. Tomatoes are probably the most common and popular of garden vegetables, mainly for the large […]

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Gardening perfection is too hard

I’ll be the first one to admit it—­gardening isn’t always fun. That’s probably shocking. You probably think that I live in a perfectly manicured yard, with leaves that magically disappear in the fall, ­flowers blooming from February through December, no ice storm damage and an invisible wall that runs a mile high and keeps all […]

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Just say no to free plants

You can’t argue too much with “FREE,” unless what is being offered isn’t worth much. However, one person’s “free” may be another person’s “junk” and vice versa. When it comes to plants, free plants should set off alarms like the robot on the old Lost in Space ­television show: “Danger Will Robinson,” even if your […]

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Amaryllis growing advice

After 20 years of doing this ­column, it’s tough to come up with something new and exciting for the holidays. Unlike the world of technology, the world of holiday plants doesn’t evolve quickly, if at all. So, anything that is somewhat new is worth reporting. Amaryllis are still the holiday bulb that usually ends up […]

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