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Proper pruning is an act of love young woman pruning tree with pruners

Proper pruning is an act of love

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I want to share one of my great horticulture loves with you all…pruning. I love the idea of it, the exercise of pruning, the science of it, and the potential it has for significantly improving the health and longevity of woody plant material. Since trees are large...
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A seedling surrounded by computer icons

Exploring A.I.’s Role in Gardening Advice

You may be wondering, “What does artificial intelligence (A.I.) have to do with gardening?” Let’s say you have a gardening question. Before the internet, perhaps you reached out to your Illinois Extension office for an answer. With the internet, you could search for your question but had to wade...
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How to prune flowering shrubs for more blooms. Forsythia shrub covered in bright yellow flowers.

How to prune flowering shrubs for more blooms

Have you ever seen a lilac bush that only blooms at the very top, or maybe not at all? Perhaps you’ve seen or have a forsythia bush that doesn’t bloom nearly as prolifically as it once did. This often happens due to a lack of or improper pruning. When done correctly, pruning can help flowering...
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Garden trends for the new year flower filled garden with wooden seating area stone pathway and brick element with plants draping over

Garden trends for the new year

The internet is a wild place full of an endless amount of information, ideas, opinions, advice, arguments, and more. Tangled in this web, it will come as no surprise that my favorite spaces are those that relate to plants. I’ve been known to have many, many pages open in my browser window that...
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How do insects survive cold weather? Tree branches covered in snow

How do insects survive cold weather?

Winter can be harsh, especially with the arrival of snow and sub-zero temperatures. While we often retreat indoors or add a few more layers to avoid cold temperatures, many other critters, like insects, must tough it out outdoors. While they may seem delicate, insects have developed a variety of...
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Volunteers holding crates of harvested onions

Illinois Extension: Why we serve the people of Illinois

The holidays are a time of year to refresh and reflect. It brings much-needed time away from the computer, save typing out this article! I am lucky to have a job where I can take some extra time off at the end and beginning of the year. And I intend to do just that. It is time for a recharge....
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Cultivating sunshine: Growing citrus indoors. A citrus tree with yellow fruit.

Cultivating sunshine: Growing citrus indoors

As we hunker down for winter, some of us may begin longing for summer’s warm, sunny days. Perhaps it’s the cold weather or the desire to return to gardening. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of opportunities to continue our gardens indoors. While we often associate citrus with warmer climates...
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In a stressful season, seek nature three adults walking away in a line on a snow covered trail in a evergreen woods

In a stressful season, seek nature

According to songwriters and composers Edward Pola and George Wyle, this is the most wonderful time of the year, but research indicates it may be that and more. According to the American Psychological Association, two in five adults experience an increase in stress levels between November and...
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