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Posted by & filed under American bittersweet, Arboretums, Health & Wellness, Stress management, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   This article was originally published December 2018.   I have been feeling incredibly stressed lately.  Unfortunately, when I am stressed, I just shut down which, of course, increases my stress level and renders me virtually useless. My “To Do” list gets longer and my “Done” list stays blank.The only way I …

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Posted by & filed under Clay Soil, Fragrance Garden, Full sun, Rain Garden Plants, Rain Gardens, Sweetbay Magnolia, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson     This week’s pick is by Karl Hying, Landscape Designer   Sweetbay Magnolia   “The Sweetbay Magnolia, with its wonderful fragrance, blooms late May into June, long after other magnolias are done.”     Elegant is the word of choice to describe this fragrant beauty. A striking alternative for a unique …

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Posted by & filed under Adaptive Gardening, Health & Wellness, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized, Wellness Gardens

By Sandra Nelson   While wandering around the Chicago Botanic Garden last summer, I stumbled upon (no pun intended) an area dedicated to Accessible Gardening  — gardening for people with special needs or physical limitations.  Feeling my aches and pains more and more every day, the prospect of discovering ways to make strenuous gardening tasks …

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Posted by & filed under Birds, Full sun, Ornamental millet, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson This week’s pick is by Sandra Nelson,  Blog Writer   Ornamental Millet   “The vibrant color and  strong structure are hard to beat, but watching dozens of goldfinches vying to devour the seed heads in the fall is enchanting.”           What began as one of the world’s oldest …

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Posted by & filed under Arboretums, Botanical Gardens, Conservatories, Horticultural education, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   I am over it!  Six inches Wednesday and another inch or two tonight. Grey skies and more snow expected tomorrow. The trees are drooping under the weight of the snow and my early spring bulbs that were beginning to peek through the ground are once again covered over. I need a …

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Posted by & filed under Cactus, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   As unlikely as it seems, you can grow cacti outdoors in the Midwest  — as long as you recognize the fact that cacti have some particular requirements that must be met.      Cacti need excellent drainage. Heavy soils, like our typical midwestern clay soils, hold water which causes root rot …

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Posted by & filed under Cactus, Houseplant Care, Houseplants, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   Nurseries, garden centers, big box stores, grocery stores, discount centers, florists, online retailers  — they’re all offering vast displays of cacti to tempt their customers into impulsively picking up one or two to take home. Before giving in to temptation however, it’s wise to take a few minutes to do some …

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Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Butterfly Gardens, Fall color, Mid-summer gardens, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Uncategorized, Winter Landscaping

  By Sandra Nelson   This week’s pick is by Sandy Defoe,  Artistic Director.   Oak Leaf Hydrangea    “In summer, the attractive green leaves show off other plants. The flowers last all summer long and then the dried flower heads stay on through the winter.”   Long a favorite for Midwest gardens (introduced in …

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Posted by & filed under Cactus, Cactus poaching, ecosystems, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson For years I thought that succulents and cacti were two entirely different and unrelated types of plants that just happened to be marketed together. It’s only been in the last few weeks that I’ve learned the actual relationship between the two. The truth is that all cacti are succulents, but not all …

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Posted by & filed under Bees, Butterfly Gardens, Drought tolerant plants, Dry gardens, Globe amaranth, Late summer blooming plants

  By Sandra Nelson       This week’s pick by Jo Ann Prieto, horticulturist and seasonal color specialist.   Gomphrena globosa   “An interesting plant in masses, in pots it gives a nice structural interest to the pots.”     Providing a burst of blooms from summer until frost, globe amaranth is a hardy, …

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