When the weather outside is frightful, I like to research new plant varieties that I can introduce to my garden in the spring or summer. While I was exploring, I discovered that 2016 marks the Year of the Begonia. Begonias are a favorite of mine and with good reason.

Proper pruning is a must when it comes to trees and shrubs. Not only will it improve aesthetics, it will improve the structure and longevity of your woody landscape plants. Now is the time to prune.

Here are some steps to follow when pruning deciduous shrubs and trees:

Reasons for pruning:

One current garden trend is using colorful structures as backdrops, frames, or focal points. A structure can be as simple as a trellis or painted ladder or may be more complex, like a vertical garden.

Extension is hosting an upcoming workshop that may interest you. First Detector workshops bring awareness to pests and diseases that are invading our region. Space is limited, so be sure to register soon. If the south suburban (Orland Park) session is full, please contact me to learn about other regional workshops. The details are posted below.

First Detector Workshop

February 15, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Orland Park Cultural Arts Center, 14760 Park Lane, Orland Park, IL 60462 in the Exhibit Hall.

Spring has sprung and the time for gardening preparation is here. If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy way to begin a new garden bed start saving your cardboard!

The garden season has been keeping me busy and I apologize for the lack of recent posts. I wanted to maintain contact with my readers, so, I am sharing a few links regarding rose care.

Now is a good time to deadhead or remove those spent flowers on your roses. Deadheading basically tricks the plant into producing more flowers so the plant can ultimately produce fruit and seed. If you are unsure about how to prune or where to cut please refer to the link below.

Deadheading Roses

As your plants may be looking a little sad or dwindling down as temperatures cool, some of you may be wondering if you should fertilize these plants. When it comes to fertilizing trees and shrubs at this time, the answer is NO. Fertilizing woody plants (trees and shrubs) while they are still actively growing in late summer will result in a flush of growth that may not have time to harden off before the winter hits.