Category archive for ‘Gardeners Forum’ rss

  • Let it snow outside and let it grow indoors

    Life can be stressful. We all experience the stress of family, money, and health. My current angst is that of being a mom of 3 teenagers. While I used to be their most loved and admired person, as they naturally grow up and away, I am now that out of touch person whose IQ level keeps decreasing as their age increases. My beloved husband has realized that a walk around the block with me will cure any amount of stress that I experience with our children.

  • To everything there is a season (and an appropriate choice of foliage)

    “Tag, you’re it. A wonderful young man disguised as a grumpy teenager it headed your way,” was the text I sent my daughter as my son’s plane took off. Christopher was headed to Kansas State University to spend the weekend with Mary.

  • Waterlogged: keeping track of plant hydration

    Our actions are often meant to achieve a specific goal. Being a former teacher, my underlying goal for each of these columns is to educate. Over time I have used humor, personal stories, and observations as a conduit for information. I have tried not to lecture or use this forum as a virtual soapbox to tell you what to do. Frankly, there are many readers of my column that have much more gardening experience than I do. Who am I to tell them what to do?

  • Lighting the way to creative lanscaping

    The leaves are turning color, the morning temperatures are cooler, and the sun is setting earlier. Fall will soon be upon us. With fall and inevitably winter, our sunlight will diminish and we will begin to rely more and more lights to help us see.

  • Late bloomers for your autumn aesthetic

    I didn’t realize how many pictures need to be hung on walls to make a house feel like a home, until I had 3 hours to fully transform 5 rooms. During the 72 hours that my husband and I spent helping our daughter move into her first college apartment, we cleaned, cried, and laughed. Then we shopped.

  • Summer is also for growing memories

    Twenty-five, a quarter of a century, 3 weeks and 4 days. No matter how you spell, say it or think it, 25 is not a very large number. When it is referring to the number of days that you get to spend with your oldest daughter in one summer, it seems even smaller. Pathetically small. Those 25 days have to hold a lifetime of summer of 2017 memories.

  • From the topsoil to the table

    My grandfather and grandmother both grew up very poor. When they were young, and into the early years of their marriage, planting a garden was done out of necessity. Raising that garden though literally grew into something that they both enjoyed.

  • Pick flowers, not favorites

    Flowers often evoke a wide variety of emotions and memories. The smell of a lilac can bring back memories of Grandma’s garden. The yellow petals of black-eyed Susans may cause us to reflect on summers past. The sound of leaves blowing in the fall, may remind of us the hours we spent raking them.

  • ‘Water’ you doing to keep your plants hydrated?

    I think in my version of an ideal world, I would be completely self-sufficient. I was raised by a mom who learned at a very early age that you have to do things for yourself in order to survive.

  • June pruning projects

    When my kids were young, I would spend a lot of time with them outside. I was quite busy the summer that no one was old enough to push themselves on the swing set. During those summer days my mind would often wander.

  • All’s fair at the Arboretum: An interview with Wojtowicz

    The Klehm Arboretum, located in Rockford, is a local treasure for all types of gardeners. Their 155 acres is filled with beautiful flowers, shrubs, and trees. One of their premier events, The Garden Fair, occurs June 3-4.

    For this article, I have asked Jim Wojtowicz to give us some insight about not only Klehm Arboretum itself, but also about their annual Garden Fair Weekend.

  • B and B with a Q & A

    While walking with a homeowner around their yard a few days ago, I spotted a butterfly. I tried to continue to be professional, but the little kid in me was so very excited to see the beautiful creature.

  • No ifs, ands, or bugs

    Stress manifests itself to varying degrees in many ways. The stress of forgetting to pick up a needed item at the grocery store is small compared to that of waiting for a test result, but both are stressful nonetheless.

  • Aromatherapy starts in the garden

    Earlier this week, my daughter Sarah and I spent two days on the campus of Purdue University. She relished the opportunity to listen presentations about Study Abroad options for Engineer majors and the experiences of recent Civil Engineering graduates. I on the other hand, found joy outside the lecture halls.

  • Prune back your expenses with these money-saving gardening tips

    Mary, our oldest daughter, chose to spend her spring break at home. We all had a wonderful visit with her. Our days were filled with lunches out with friends and the evenings were spent eating dinner at home with relatives. Time was set aside for shopping with Grandma and of course attending the school musical.

  • From the cinema to the soil

    As a mom who is in the process of sending her kids out into the world, I am sincerely grateful for the community in which they grew up. I am grateful to the real estate agent who spent the summer of ’99 showing our growing family house, after house, after house.

  • Annual Sun City Annual Holiday House Walk is all heart

    On the afternoon of December 8, five Sun City residents will open their homes and hearts to us. They will share with us the beauty of their homes, their holiday traditions, and the giving spirit that is so very present this time of year through the Sun Flower Garden Club’s 7th Annual Holiday House Walk.

  • Falling into habit: readying your autumn garden for winter

    While it has been wonderful to be able to spend so much time in our living rooms watching the World Series, there is quite a bit that should be done outside this time of the year.

  • The ornamental grass is always greener (or is it?)

    At a certain point early this summer, I became very disenchanted with ornamental grasses. I was seeing so many ornamental grasses that were just not growing well. In many yards, the ornamental grasses were either small or only portions of the plants were showing any signs of life. On the other side of the spectrum, some ornamental grasses were taking over planting beds. It seemed like a no-win situation.

  • ‘Tis the season for a different kind of ornament

    Lately, the lyrics from “Turn, Turn, Turn,” the 1960s song by The Byrds, have been floating around in my head. ‘To everything-turn, turn, turn. There is a season – turn, turn, turn. And a time to every purpose under heaven.”

    I believe the term is “earworm,” and now I am passing it along.  “A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant, a time to reap. A time to kill, a time to heal. A time to laugh, a time to weep.”

  • Don’t just stand there, plant something, Part II

    There are documented health benefits from gardening. Can you give us a few examples?

  • Don’t just stand there, plant something

    I called my husband last Thursday afternoon and vented about a pattern of behavior that I had noticed in our son. While our son is innately the most caring, kind, and funny person I know (except his father of course), he had developed a pattern of behavior that needed to be addressed.

  • Water the rules for plant hydration?

    My daughter Mary and I decided to set aside a day to spend together before she went to college. Neither of us wanted to choose what to do on that day. I wanted to do whatever Mary wanted to do and she wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. We went back and forth about this for a few days, until I caved in.

  • Everything you wanted to know about hydrangeas (continued!)

    It is often said that hydrangeas are not only one of the best-loved garden plants but also the most understood. Although, I think trial and error is sometimes a better way to learn about gardening, here are a few insights into the broad category of plants called hydrangeas.

  • Everything you wanted to know about hydrangeas (but were too afraid to ask!)

    Six thousand, five hundred, and seventy days have passed with only 28 more to go. The questions creep into my mind at all hours of the day and night. They range from the somewhat inconsequential in today’s society, (‘Does she know how to iron?’) to the abstract (‘How will our family structure be affected as we all feel the loss?’), to the very serious, (‘Have I emphasized strongly enough that she needs to guard her drink at social events?’).

  • Dealing with those wascally wabbits, Part 2

    It is important to use a variety of animal repellent products. What works in someone else’s yard, may not work in yours. What works in your yard for a while, may stop working if the rabbits get used to it.

  • Dealing with those wascally wabbits, Part 1

    We all have our routines. They keep us on task and help us to remember to do certain things each day. Most routines are helpful, but some can be counterproductive. Unfortunately, rabbits have routines also.

  • An interview with Mark Dwyer, Part 2

    What types of plantings occur at the gardens annually?

  • An interview with Mark Dwyer, part 1

    The American Horticultural Society has recognized the Rotary Botanical Gardens, located in Janesville Wisconsin as one of the best botanic gardens in the Midwest. This winter I had the opportunity to attend a seminar given by Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture for the Rotary Botanical Gardens.

  • Picking the best plant combinations this summer

    We all seem to have tricks to help us remember things. “Lefty Lucy, Right Tighty’ pops into my mind each and every time I am using a screwdriver. My kids have all done really well on their eighth grade constitution test simply because they know the words to the School House Rock songs.