1. Published

    I don't know about you, but I've been noticing that perennial hibiscus plants are looking awesome in the landscape these past few weeks!

  2. Published

    This week's Plant of the Week immediately drew my attention while visiting the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in North Carolina last week. The interesting spines caught my eye right away! It's called Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense) and it's a member of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, which includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes.

  3. Published

    As a floral designer, this week's Plant of the Week is a favorite of mine: Asiatic Lilies (Lilium sp). While visiting the gardens on the Macon County Master Gardener Garden Walk this past weekend, I noticed several gardens with Asiatic lilies blooming in full glory.

  4. Published

    As gardeners, many of us like to relax in the backyard, taking time to enjoy our beautiful flowers, but why not bring those beautiful bloomers indoors to enjoy? Many showy flowers, grasses, and foliage are available to interplant into your existing garden beds, allowing you to harvest throughout the seasons.

  5. Published

    This week's Plant of the Week has always been a favorite of mine. Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) is a native perennial you'll find growing in prairies, fields, wood margins, open woods and along railroad tracks throughout the state. At a local garden center, you'll also find a variety of great cultivars available.

  6. Published

    Plant of the Week is back! It's been a bit of a hiatus, but I'm glad to be back sharing what plants I'm seeing that are noteworthy, growing in gardens across the state.

  7. Published

    Amaryllis flowers are one of my absolute favorites, especially during the holiday season, but many wonder what to do with the plant once the beautiful bloom is done flowering. Do you toss it? Try to rebloom it again? Extension Master Gardener Coordinator, Sandy Mason, shared some great info on her blog several years ago that may help! The longer you keep a bulb, the bigger it gets and the more flowers it produces, so the effort can really be worth it!

  8. Published

    Do you know what today is? National Poinsettia Day!

    By an Act of Congress, December 12 is set aside as National Poinsettia Day. The date marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who is credited with introducing the native Mexican plant to the United States. Poinsett was an American botanist, physician and Minister to Mexico who in 1828 sent cuttings of the plant he'd discovered in Southern Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina.

  9. Published
    You've cut those evergreens to decorate your home with, but how do you get them to last? 

    Storage Prior to Use
  10. Published

    In my opinion, nothing screams the holidays more than the fragrance of fresh cut evergreen and for many of us, we're lucky enough to have evergreens in our own yards to harvest from. Check out a few tips below for success when harvesting your evergreens:


    Which type of evergreen should I harvest?

    Of the many great evergreen species we grow in Illinois, these are a few of my favorites that are long lasting as a cut evergreen:

    Narrowleaf Evergreens

  11. Published

    If you're like me, it's a struggle to remember exactly what species or cultivars you planted in the garden. Especially by the time you have hundreds of plants in! There are some plant names I'll just never forget for some reason (hello, Solenostemon scutellarioides), but there are others that escape me right away.

  12. Published

    Flowering bulbs of all kinds can be forced indoors to create a beautiful and long lasting flower display for your home and it's something I love to do every year for the holidays!   The term forcing refers to a technique that imitates the environmental conditions that bulbs encounter outdoors, thereby tricking them into flowering earlier. Essentially, it allows you to bring the outdoor beauty of bulbs indoors!

  13. Published

    Visiting a botanic garden last week, I was reminded of the beauty of the Pineapple Lily(Eucomiscomosa)! I meant to get some planted in my garden this spring and completely forgot. Next year!

    The pineapple lily is a bulb native to South Africa that is hardy to zone 7. Meaning for us northerners, that we need to dig the bulbs at the end of the season.

  14. Published

    This week the Ligularia is blooming beautifully in my garden! Rocket Ligularia (Ligularia stenocephala),also known as leopard plant, can be grown for its nice foliage, as well as beautiful yellow flowers which just started blooming. The particular cultivar that I grow is 'The Rocket' but several are available on the market.

  15. Published

    I walked out to my garden this week to find that the lovely 6 week period where Japanese beetles are present had arrived. Oh joy! My pussy willow in particular, is just glowing with skeltonized brown leaves covering the top 1/3 of the plant.



  16. Published

    How is it the end of June already! This month has been so busy I haven't had much time to get out in the garden. The weeds are sure loving the opportunity to thrive though in my absence!

    This week's Plant of the Week is Borage (Borago officinalis).I planted Borage in one of my container gardens this year at the office for an upcoming edible flower program and I'm loving it!

  17. Published

    This week's Plant of the Week has been blooming beautifully in my garden for a few weeks now. The Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata) is a spreading, native wildflower with lovely lilac-blue flowers with 5 petals.

  18. Published

    This week's Plant of the Week is Basket of Gold (Aurinia saxitilis). While on a staff meeting trip to Galena this past week, the Basket of Gold was blooming beautifully!

    I love Basket of Gold because of it's vibrant yellow flowers! It's one of those true signs that spring is officially here and summer is upon us.

  19. Published
    I've been waiting anxiously for my hellebores to start blooming and it finally happened last week! The Lenten Rose or Hellebore, Helleborus orientalis, is one of my absolute favorite cut flowers. The muted colors are just absolutely gorgeous! I dream of spring when this flower is in season and I'm so glad I finally got some planted in my garden last spring.
  20. Published

    Spring is upon us, so it's time to get started with some plants of the week again! This morning I looked out my kitchen window to see that the buds on my pussy willow had started to break! Upon closer inspection, they looked even more beautiful with the morning rain drops gathering on them.