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4/8/2015
I love adding pops of spring in my home. This year I wanted to create a happy spring arrangement to welcome both our guests and the new season. I decided to do a hanging basket instead of a traditional wreath to change things up. This project was truly so simple, and it would evenbe fun to do with little ones. Here is what you’ll need: Supplies - Four faux pussy willow... More
4/3/2015
Looking for a fuss-free perennial that’s attractive, dependable, deer-resistant, multiseasonal and extremely long-lived? Meet baptisia—a prairie native whose beautiful spires are reminiscent of the beloved lupine, minus the maintenance. Baptisia (also called false indigo) provides showy 10- to 12-inch spikes of pealike blossoms in late spring and early summer followed by 2- to 3-inch... More
4/1/2015
From wintry scenes to the northern lights and the bright green of the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, our Instagram photographers captured the many moods of March. The five most-liked photos of the month: 1) The Chicago River goes green for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Fun shot by @thefirstroel (https://instagram.com/p/0P7Js0Gza8/). 2) @aud5rey captures the... More
3/25/2015
Summer squash growers, has this happened to you? One week you’re admiring a clump of sturdy green vines sprinkled with blossoms. The next week you’re looking at a heap of yellowing, wilted leaves. Squash seeds are easy to start directly in our Midwestern soils as soon as the danger of frost has passed. The problem is that by early to mid-July it’s all over for the typical... More
3/20/2015
Spring starts today, and spring blooms—frilly daffodils, dainty bleeding-hearts and statement tulips—will soon follow. Though these harbingers of the season look beautiful in the landscape, I like to snip a few from my yard to arrange in tiny vessels like teacups or drinking glasses. Try these flower display ideas inside or outside your home. They're great for Easter dinner, a... More
3/2/2015
In February, our Instagram photographers delighted in the contrasts of winter: red barns against snow, bare trees silhouetted against bright blue skies, brilliant sunsets and sunrises. The five most-liked photos of the month: #1: A rural winter wonderland near Knoxville, Iowa, by @iowablessed (https://instagram.com/p/y18RbZGzR0/). #2:  "Fiery sunset" in northwest Indiana... More
2/25/2015
Dear Spring, Although I've had a good time with winter, I'm ready to say good-bye (he's been a bit blustery and cold). I'm looking forward to greeting you ... it's been way too long. When you arrive, could you please bring: 1. Flowers 2. Electric green   3. Rain 4. Songbirds 5. Flowers 6. Farm-fresh produce 7. Tree... More
2/16/2015
Jane Fiala pulls over for barns. The self-proclaimed barn hunter regularly escapes from her suburban Minneapolis home and hits the backroads of Minnesota to capture the perfect scene of her favorite subject. “I give no thought to where I am, sometimes getting lost and needing to use GPS to find my way home," she says. "Along the way, I’ve had farm dogs chase me,... More
2/13/2015
Love may be in the air this Valentine's Day weekend, but scientists hope you'll pay attention to something else—birds. Today through Monday (February 13–16), Midwesterners can join bird-lovers all over the world to view and track bird species for the 18th annual Great Backyard Bird Count. House sparrow Participating is easy. For at least 15 minutes on any (... More
2/9/2015
My friends mean the world to me. At the risk of sounding like a Hallmark card, these are ladies I’ve road-tripped, carpooled, celebrated and vented with. That deserves a little something! 1) Set up a GNO—a Girl’s Night Over. Invite your besties to your house for conversation and cocktails. Whip up a batch of drinks, settle on the couch and catch up! Top to Bottom:... More