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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.

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".