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Tony's Top Ten Tips to Dodge December Decorating Disasters!

Tony's Top Ten Tips to Dodge December Decorating Disasters!

by Tony Fulmer December 10, 2017

Holidays are supposed to be memorable, but memories can conjure up delight or disaster! Every family has at least one tale about holiday decorating gone terribly wrong. These debacles may provoke gales of riotous laughter in the retelling years later. If even one of the tips below prevents an epic holiday horror story for someone perhaps this is worth the read!  

Tony's Top Ten Reasons Houseplants Make You a Healthier Person

Tony's Top Ten Reasons Houseplants Make You a Healthier Person

by Tony Fulmer November 20, 2017

Whether flowering or just showing us their leafy side, plants make us happy. Three different studies have shown that people receiving flowering plants always elicit what psychologists call the Duchenne, or true, smile.

Houseplant Care 101

Houseplant Care 101

by Tony Fulmer November 10, 2017 2 Comments

I’ve heard the trembling-voiced confessions of many self-professed “plant killers” over the years. One day someone asked what technical subject intimidated me and I said, “Anything mechanical.” A blinding ray of light appeared from the heavens. I had the epiphany that houseplant care could be daunting, too. I get that now.

Chalet Live: Nature Indoors

Chalet Live: Nature Indoors

by Lawson Thalmann November 06, 2017

Indoor plants are all the rage and we’re here to help you get up to speed! As the weather gets cold and we spend more time indoors, we can bring plants into your home to add style and a slice of nature that keeps the winter blues at bay. Yes, these plants have innate health benefits when put in your home! 


Deterring Deer Damage

Deterring Deer Damage

by Tony Fulmer October 25, 2017

I knew better. I’m a veteran of this horticultural horror. After all, it was the first week of October. I was taking my leisurely stroll around “the grounds” enjoying my autumnal garden when I saw it- a pile of wood shavings at the base of my young Red oak. I looked up knowing full well what I was going to see. 

Drought - Do or Dry

Drought - Do or Dry

by Tony Fulmer October 13, 2017

There’s no way to sugarcoat this. Since August 1st we’re 5.5” deficient in rainfall. That’s Drought, capital D, and means severe, even deadly, consequences for landscape plants that haven’t received supplemental water. 

Spring Bulbs… A Case of Delayed Garden Gratification

Spring Bulbs… A Case of Delayed Garden Gratification

by Tony Fulmer September 21, 2017

Spring-flowering bulbs (tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, etc.) are perfect examples of delayed gratification. You plant the ugly duckling bulbs in October/November and forget about them until they start piercing the cold soils of late winter. Some good sense tips...

Annuals Scene, Act II

Annuals Scene, Act II

by Tony Fulmer September 06, 2017

Drama: Ball Seed Field Day       
Setting: Ball Seed, West Chicago, IL
Date: July 28, 2017
Cast: Acres of display gardens teeming with beautiful annuals and perennials!

Annuals Scene, Act I

Annuals Scene, Act I

by Tony Fulmer August 14, 2017

Drama: Cultivate17, the BIG national show for what annuals are on trend and hot for future garden fashion       
Setting: Columbus, OH
Date: July 15-18, 2017
Cast: Hundreds of horticulture professionals


It's No Cinch, but Your Lawn Might Have Chinch...Bugs

It's No Cinch, but Your Lawn Might Have Chinch...Bugs

by Tony Fulmer July 31, 2017

This July has seen record rainfall (10"+ so far) in Chicago's northern suburbs. With animals pairing up and heading for the ark you may not have been paying attention to your lawn. I should have been, wasn't, and now part of my lawn is breakfast, lunch and dinner for hairy Chinch bugs (henceforth known as CB). See typical damage. Yep, my lawn, my photos.

July Garden To-Dos

July Garden To-Dos

by Tony Fulmer July 10, 2017

July heat and humidity have descended upon our gardens. Hopefully, it goes without saying that you're applying water as needed, especially to all new plants. Mulch should be caressing the root systems of trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, veggies and roses to keep: soil moisture from evaporating, weeds at bay...

Proper Pruning Protocol

Proper Pruning Protocol

by Tony Fulmer June 19, 2017

The daily June $64,000 question for garden center horticulturists is: Why didn't my ___________________ (forsythia, lilac, hydrangea, spirea, weigela) bloom this spring? If you dropped more than one species on that blank line, read on to get a handle on what's amiss in your shrub border, and get a leg up on flowers for next year.


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