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More Recent Episodes

October 8, 2020



A Surprising Uninvited Guest in Gardens

One often sees Veronia, a.k.a. ironweed, on roadsides and in fields and ditches. The wind disperses the seeds, which explains why it is a surprise when it appears in our gardens like an uninvited guest.


October 1, 2020


Garden tools

Cut Them Back

We should cut back most perennials in the fall. They don’t look good once it gets cold, so it is best to cut them to the ground and they will come back well next spring.


September 24, 2020


Tall native plants: Joe-Pye Weed, Goldenrod, etc.

Tall Natives

Joe-Pye weed looks great next to a splash of sunshine yellow from goldenrod or helianthus.


September 17, 2020


Japanese Anemones

Late Summer Color

As summer transitions into fall, we usually rely on mums and asters to give us color as the growing season wanes. But here are some other reliable bloomers.


September 10, 2020


Surprise lily

Lycoris Does, Indeed, Surprise Us!

Surprise lilies bloom from late summer into early September, and their cool pink flowers do indeed surprise us when their pale lily-type blooms suddenly appear on their long bare stalks.


September 3, 2020


Goldenrod blooms


Goldenrod is a perennial that is native to Europe and Asia, but it has naturalized throughout Northern America to the extent that it seems as if it has always been here.


August 27, 2020


Sunflower in a field of sunflowers

Helianthus annuus

“Heli” means sun and “anthus” means flower.

August 20, 2020



No Deadheading

Many annuals need to be deadheaded to keep blooming all season. While snipping off the spent blossoms can hardly be described as hard work, it is easier not to have to remember to do this chore. For that reason, many of us try to buy annuals that do not need deadheading in order to re-bloom all season long and right into fall.

August 13, 2020


Painting of a scene from A Midsommer Night's Dream by Edwin Henry Landseer.

Shakespeare's Plants

William Shakespeare included so many botanical references in his plays that there are about 175 mentions of flowers, fruits, grains, grasses, seeds, weeds, trees, spices, herbs, and vegetables in his works.

August 6, 2020


hot & dry-xeroscaped yard

Hot & Dry

I don’t have a watering system, so I get tired of watering when there are long periods of hot, dry summer weather. Here in the Midwest when it is over 90F, potted plants need watering twice a day and beds on slopes do too. It is a chore that makes me wish I had more drought tolerant plantings.

May 7, 2020


hot & dry-xeroscaped yard

White In May

White blooms combine so well with other flowers and help make their companions pop!

April 30, 2020


Hollow stems in a jar of water.

Hollow Stems: Preparing Them For Arrangement

Flowers from bulbs are easy to arrange informally in a vase.

April 23, 2020


Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Gardening Trends

More and more gardeners are seeking information about sustainability.

April 16, 2020


White blooms of the invasive Bishop's weed.

Perennial Challenges

A novice gardener once told me that she was only going to plant perennials, as they did not need any care. If only that was true!

April 9, 2020


White Easter Lily.

Easter Lily

These trumpet lilies are fragrant, and the pure white blooms are lovely in flower arrangements.

April 2, 2020


Allum, purple blossoms

Planning Ahead for Summer Alliums

Allium ‘Millennium’ can be planted in the spring and reliably bloom in the heat of summer.

March 26, 2020


Daffodils caught in a surprise snow.


Remember the danger of sudden spring frosts and wait to set out your tender annuals.

March 19, 2020


Outdoor thermometer

Air Temps

Do not take risks by setting out your annual plants too soon.

March 12, 2020



Outwitting the Weather

Frost dates are very important.

March 5, 2020


Red clay soil

Clay is Okay

Many of us with clay soil complain loudly about it, and it’s true that gardens with clay soil can be hard to dig. Nonetheless, it has its virtues.

February 27, 2020


Pink-peachy colored coral bells plant

A New Generation of Coral Bells

Photos of this new generation of Heucheras are irresistible. I plan to order as many as I can afford for spring planting!

February 20, 2020


Deadheading a plant.

Deadheading: It Keeps the Color Coming

The whole garden looks better if plants are deadheaded, so it is a good thing.

February 13, 2020


Roses in Words

Roses in Words

In February, it is appropriate to think about roses.

February 6, 2020


The purple bloom of Iris reticulate in early spring.

Tiny but Tough

The earliest iris to bloom is the petite Iris reticulata.

January 30, 2020


Painting of the Elgin Botanic Garden (ca. 1810)

David Hosack

Hosack realized the need for a public garden as a research facility for medical scientists and their students.

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