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Yard & Garden



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Prepare your plants for winter

As I sit typing this for November, I wonder what the winter months hold in store. There are rumblings from ­almanac ­writers that winter will be snow-packed and cold, just the way I remember it growing up when ­stoking the coal furnaces were the norm and air conditioning was something the city folks had. Back then, six […]

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October is apple picking time

Sometime this month we are bound to get a frost that will spell the end of most plants. There will be some that will soldier on until a strong freeze actually finishes the job. October, though, is also the month for the apples, which come into their prime during these 31 days. Granted, some apples […]

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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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