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University of Illinois Extension

Perennial flower garden design

February 18, 2013

Have you ever seen a garden that just took your breath away? You visit two months later and the garden is again in full glory and you wonder how do people do it? How do you design a garden that offers visual interest through the seasons? Rhonda Ferree, University of Illinois Extension educator, horticulture, highlights University of Illinois Extension resources that will help you create your very own eye-stopping flowerbed.

The Stepping Stones to Perennial Garden Design program has helped many gardeners create amazing outdoor spaces. Created by Martha Smith, extension educator, horticulture, this program is available online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/gardendesign/. There you'll find lessons designed to help the homeowner evaluate their landscape, select a garden site, and follow a step-by-step approach to creating a perennial garden suited to their own personal tastes. The information is free and available anytime you are ready to begin.

If you prefer a face-go-face program, don't miss this year's Garden Day on March 23rd in Jacksonville. Topics this day include Rain Gardens, Emerald Ash Borer, and Pollinator Gardens. There will also be a separate program in the afternoon that shows how to build your own rain barrel with easy to find materials.

Another popular Extension program is the 4-Seasons Gardening Telenet Series. The 2013 series begins on April 9th with "Spruce Problems" and ends October 1st with "Landscape Design." In between are programs about pollinators, tomatoes, your yard after the drought, plants for dry sites, winter garden tips, and more. These are broadcast simultaneously to Extension offices all over Illinois.

While on our website, be sure to visit my horticulture and blog pages. Rhonda's "ILRiverHort" blog provides general garden information. The "Eye-Spy on Current Plant Problems" Master Gardener page gives information on current plant issues and pests. The horticulture pages provide links to other sites. You'll also find links to Rhonda's Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Extension YouTube garden sites.

Finally, if you prefer to talk to someone in person about your plant or garden design questions, our Master Gardener volunteers covering Calhoun, Cass, Greene, Morgan, and Scott counties are happy to "Help Others Learn to Grow." You might even consider being a Master Gardener too.

More information about any University of Illinois Extension horticultural program is found on our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccgms or by calling your county Extension office at 217-243-7424 (Jacksonville), 618-576-2293 (Hardin), 217-452-3211 (Virginia), 217-942-6996 (Carrollton), and 217-742-9572 (Winchester).

Have fun designing your new garden!


Source: Rhonda J. Ferree, Extension Educator, Horticulture, ferreer@illinois.edu

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