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Potting Techniques - 200 Level Course

Potting Techniques - 200 Level Course

by Tony Fulmer June 13, 2017

As I was making containers yesterday I realized I'd never written a post about just that. What are some of the tips I've appropriated from others over the years, not only to make the potting process easy and fun, but to ensure the plants grow successfully?

The News on Boxwood Blight

The News on Boxwood Blight

by Tony Fulmer May 15, 2017

The Hortiholic loves to write about the many fun, positive aspects of horticulture. I like to share cool new plants or things I've learned over decades to help other gardeners become more successful. Every once in a while something comes along that isn't so much fun, but deserves attention. 

Spring Annuals.... No Non-scents

Spring Annuals.... No Non-scents

by Tony Fulmer April 10, 2017

I offer my sincere apology to Mrs. Ogden, my eighth grade English teacher, for the above double negative. More simply put, I want to share some beautiful, cold-tolerant spring annuals that also bear the gift of fragrance. Who doesn't like two for one? 

A Pansy Primer

A Pansy Primer

by Tony Fulmer March 24, 2017

If you haven't planted pansies or violas to jump start your spring garden you're robbing yourself of weeks of additional color. And no matter how mild March might be there's precious little color to be had before April in a Chicagoland garden, and that includes bulbs. Cue the pansies and violas, center stage.

Winter Warmth Woes for Plants

Winter Warmth Woes for Plants

by Tony Fulmer February 24, 2017

While 65 degree winter temperatures in Chicago, day in, day out, are cause for jogger jubilation this weather is not doing most of our plants any favors. Our perennials, bulbs, shrubs and trees are being set up for a potential world of hurt. A notable exception is the lovely, naturally early-blooming witchhazel pictured above.

Mid-Winter Houseplant Blahs

Mid-Winter Houseplant Blahs

by Tony Fulmer February 10, 2017

We're finally on the "backside" of winter. For those of us not winging off to a tropical island between now and spring that's an important psychological milestone, just as it is for our houseplants. Even the word "houseplant" sounds winter-weary and less than exciting - kind of like "leftovers". 

Spring Garden Itch

Spring Garden Itch

by Tony Fulmer January 26, 2017

Mid-winter is about the time most gardeners start getting "spring itch". For nonsufferers, it should be noted this is not a dermatological condition requiring an office visit, nor is it likely to be contagious. It's simply a longing to be back in the garden knowing full well that any activity...

2017 Landscape Resolutions

2017 Landscape Resolutions

by Tony Fulmer January 13, 2017

In a recent survey the number one resolution for the year wasn't dieting, but to be a better person. Truly admirable. Why not consider some resolutions to make your landscape better in 2017, too? The Hortiholic will happily share a few suggestions.

Winter Garden Exhibitionists

Winter Garden Exhibitionists

by Tony Fulmer December 29, 2016


(Paperwhite) Bulbs and Booze

(Paperwhite) Bulbs and Booze

by Tony Fulmer December 08, 2016

Forcing paperwhite narcissus is a holiday tradition for many families. They're easy, inexpensive, quick to grow and flower once potted, and bear a distinctive fragrance. They don't even have to be potted in soil to perform. The fact of the matter is most people "pot" them in shallow bowls with gravel, decorative stones or even marbles rather than soil. So, what could go wrong?

Holidays Without Decorating Disasters

Holidays Without Decorating Disasters

by Tony Fulmer November 20, 2016

Holidays are supposed to be enjoyable. But everyone, every family, has their personal tale of decorating gone terribly wrong. These (mis)adventures often make for side-splitting merriment when retold years later around the holiday table, disaster participants excluded. Haha. Perhaps a holiday catastrophe can be averted by considering some of these tips during advance prep.

"Winter Wear" for Your Mophead Hydrangea

"Winter Wear" for Your Mophead Hydrangea

by Tony Fulmer November 04, 2016

I just hosted my annual "Getting the Garden Ready for Winter" class at Chalet. While the range of questions is always diverse the lack of success in getting the new Hydrangea macrophylla varieties to bloom seems universal. It's a valid frustration given the assurance from growers that Hydrangea 'Blahblahblah' is the second horticultural coming, and will bloom reliably on both year-old (the previous season's) and current season's growth.