If you happened to walk around the Heritage Garden in late June, the unusual blue color of the Moroccan mountain eryngo (pronounced eh-RING-go), Eryngium variifolium, probably caught your eye, and its peculiar perfume tickled your nose. It was also swarming with flying insects. The odor was not lovely and sweet. I would describe it as similar to musty, … Continue reading Of Assassin Bugs and Damselflies in the Summer Garden
The harbinger of fall, for many folks, is when asters finally bloom. Their flowers look like miniature daisies and come in shades of purple, blue, white, and occasionally pink. These cool tones allow autumnal hues of yellow, orange, and red to truly pop throughout the landscape. Aster blossoms twinkle across roadsides, meadows, woodland edges, and … Continue reading Autumn Asters
We love nature here at the Chicago Botanic Garden, so we looked to the natural world for inspiration on how to enjoy the eclipse—here at the Garden, or in your own backyard. On Monday, August 21, people across the United States will be able to witness a rare event: the first total solar eclipse to … Continue reading Let Nature Be Your Eclipse Viewing Guide
I put together my top five picks for all-around Best Midwest plants after being contacted by editors at Midwest Living magazine. Polling a number of experts in the Midwest, the editors asked for recommendations of award-worthy plants and then came up with a list of great plants that gardeners can count on. (I was happy to note some of … Continue reading What Are the Best Plants for Your Midwestern Garden?
In recent years, the plight of pollinators has gotten a lot of press, and rightly so. I spoke with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune when they were investigating the well-intentioned distribution by General Mills of “one size fits all” wildflower seed packets to combat the declining populations of bees and other pollinators. The … Continue reading Take 5 steps to bring back pollinator populations