So, who is in Illinois?

illinoisdoglover(z5IL)March 21, 2013

Looks like a nice response to "Who is in Michigan", so let's see who is in Illinois and compare notes. I am from Oswego, zone 5a. Plant addict also and must have all the perennials I can get my hands on......scary sometimes. Now I need to find a way to trade for more land,LOL. Going to add some edibles this year. Was in the 20's here last night. Is spring ever going to arrive?

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I too am into plants...but I do better at looking and dreaming and hoping...LOL So I lurk here lots and really enjoy reading all the comments. I am near Peoria, out where it's really windy and warm at the height of summer! I think it was 19 when we walked our lab early this morn, and it's 32 right now. But it was great to see the sunshine, believe me.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:37PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I am in urban Chicago close to the lakeshore, zone 6a. I have a small city lot so not a lot of room, but that doesn't stop me from cramming in the plants, lol! My main interests are spring ephemerals (especially bulbs), gardening for bees and other pollinators, and autumn flowering plants. I also grow some edibles, especially tomatoes.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Nice to meet you fellow Illinois gardeners. We will eventually get spring. Only have a couple hyacinthins coming up. Ground still frozen in many areas. Hope we will find more Illinois gardeners to compare notes. I try to grow as many perennial to this zone as I can. Have sun gardens, shade gardens and of coarse...woodlands. Hoping to add some edible plants this year, such as potatoes, tomatoes, oninions, garlic and try my luck on thornless berry bushes.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Patty W. zone 5a Illinois

Hello everyone, I'm from LaSalle located north of Peoria. My main plantings are roses, clematis, daylilies and hosta. Been slowly adding perennials back in the garden. I'd be interested in hearing what comes back reliably from winter. Tried a few of the big bang coreopsis last year. I'll let everyone know if they return this year.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 3:38PM
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Hi, I'm in an unincorporated area of Morrison (10 miles NE of Morrison) and am truly sick of the cold snowy weather! Where was this snow in Nov. and Dec. when we expect it? It is supposed to be spring.

I have lots of milk jugs planted with the winter-sowing method and nothing has sprouts yet. I guess I should be happy because if anything sprouted, it would have frozen by now. At least we are now out of the drought and I am hoping for a normal summer this year.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 3:54PM
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Nice to meet more Illinois gardeners. We had 19 last night, but slowly waming during the day. Sounds like snow expected for Sunday. I have not tried the winter sowing in jugs. Was wondering about the thawing and refreezing of the new growth in the jugs. Also do not want to worry about them blowing everywhere. We have 3 dogs that pretty much get to roam the back. The rest of the yards are taken up by flower gardens. When spring finally gets here....slowly...... perhaps that may be an indication that we will have a cooler summer....let's hope. A couple daffodils popping up.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:21PM
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growlove(zone4 Ia.)

Sounds as though you folks in Illinois are just as anxious for Spring as we here in cold Iowa. Ground is brown with no snow and still frozen. We are in a drought area so worried about the lack of moisture for growing. Was difficult last summer dragging hoses to keep things alive and also had water restrictions. I am sure I lost cimicifugas,ligularias, and astilbes. Spring can't come soon enough.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:40PM
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garden_crazy(z5 N IL)

Thanks for the post ILdoglover. -We need an Illinois forum! I'm in Crystal Lake, just so. of the WI line. Have any of you near Peoria been to Hornbakers? It is a 3 hour drive for me but it is a fun place for plant lovers! Probably good I don't live closer.

Half our yard is still under 1-3 inches of snow but the bulbs are coming up in the warmer places in the yard. This is the first year in many that I haven's prunned the grapevines on March 15. It was just too cold and rainy. I'm holding out for a 40+ degree day.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 4:20PM
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Patty W. zone 5a Illinois

I go to Hornbakers 3 times a year. Conversed with someone last year from near Chicago. We spoke about Thalictrum Splendide I believe. A very nice lady she was. I went to The Growing Place in Naperville for the first time last year. Combined it with a trip to the Chicago Botanical Gardens.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Hi folks: Glad we have received so many responses to our Illiniois forum. Thanks for everyone dropping by. I have been to Hornbakers. Last year was my first time in a few years.

With the tremedous amount high temperatures last summer, and lack of rain; I decided not to purchase as many plants as I usually do. I usually buy 3 or more new hostas while I am there each year. They stopped selling iris thru their internet and did away with their iris fields. Iris were marked down and placed in baskets on tables. Many baskets were already empty and many turned over.. By the time I went down, there were so many varities already sold. I decided to take a guess on them since many were not marked. The baskets were marked but not the actual iris rhizomes. So many people grabbing and tossing iris back into baskets, who knows what was what. Figured the discount price was right so I took a chance. Can not wait to see what I actually purchased.

Going to miss the iris fields in bloom. It was fun to walk thru them while they were blooming and you could pick out the ones you liked and pay for them in advance. When proper planting time came, you could go pick them up or you can pay for postage to have them mailed.

Hope to make it back this year. I have been to the Growing Place also. Sometimes can be pretty pricey on many things.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Howdy neighbors! Thanks Illinoisdoglover, for starting this thread. It's fun to see other Illinoisians posting, as well as folks from the near by states.

DH and I live "in the country" in south central Illinois on 19 wooded acres. If you are familiar with where I-57 and I-70 intersects in Effingham, we're about 13 miles south.

I've been gardening most of my adult life and, in the last 10 years, I've been growing mostly perennials, with varying degrees of success.

Right now I'm looking out of the window at a lot of wet snow coming down. We had "thundersnow" this morning (flashes of lightening) and thunder that rattled the windows. Fingers crossed we don't get the accumulation the weather guys are calling for. Dh and I are traveling to St. Louis tomorrow and that could get interesting. On the bright side, thank goodness it's not bitter cold.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Hi, I live in the Western Suburb area in Itasca. Last summer was just brutal. Even the Dayliles died back, the only thing unaffected was the butterfly weed.

Due to the budgetary constraint of having a kid, I am going to have to scale back this year and hope that we will get a decent summer.

Stuff are coming up for me about now even though I have a light dusting of snow.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 4:17PM
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Hi everyone: Looks like spring is arriving a little at a time. It has been in the 50's here the last couple days. We only have a few hyacinths and some daffodils popping up. Noticed mother natures did some damage to some of my iris. Ground thaw and refreezing really hurts. Hope this summer will not be as hot as last year so we will all have a better garden season. Hope we find a few more Illinois gardeners, perhaps we will find things we may want to trade amoungst each other. What are your favorite perennials for your zone? I am zone5a. How is your soil in your gardens? Let's compare notes.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 8:51PM
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I haven't posted here in ages! But spring and plants are on my mind, and I'm just a few blocks north of Chicago. Close to the lake, sandy soil.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Welcome back dirtdiver. I am about 50 miles SW of Chicago and I have absolutely wonderful rich black soil. We are fortunate to have such a probelm....LOL. Spring is just around the corner. We are patiently waiting. I am glad that are March temperatures went back to the normal though. I planted hyacinths and some minature daffs (Tete-t-tee) last year and waiting patiently to see how they do.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Hi everyone, I live just west of O'Hare airport and garden on about 3/4 acre. My beds are a mix of perennials, bulbs, and small flowering shrubs. I am totally addicted to collecting plants; whether I have a place to put them is a minor consideration.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Any of you gardeners that live close to me , are you having a spring plant sale or do you know of any coming up? I am always looking to add more to my gardens. I hope to have one In May if everything works out ok. Do you know of any local Garden club sales coming in May?
Have you checked out any of your local hardware/lumber stores such as Lowes and have you found any good deals? I have been looking for white or yellow muscari. Anyone have some?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:24PM
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sc_gardener(zone 5)

I am in St. Charles. We are in unincorporated.
Ditto on last year 's drought doing a number on the plants... I was afraid to water because we are on a well... never ran dry yet and didn't want to find out if that could happen.
This year looking forward to spring, I am noticing some deer and rabbit damage to the roses. I have many roses and iris and daylilies.
Worst problems are the wildlife: deer, rabbits and woodchucks as we live right next to forest preserve... also the not so wild: neighbor cats that p**p in the soil :(
Worst pest: japanese beetles on the roses.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Hi Everyone: Welcome Sc gardener. How is all the gardeners in Illinois doing? Have you been having any trouble with all the rain and flooding? Here is my latest riverbank and garden pictures. I can't even count the number of iris I lost, sure is a lot differnt then last years. Hope everyone is safe.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:43PM
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More pictures

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Few more feet and were at the road.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Patty W. zone 5a Illinois

Illinois River is coming up fast here. We received 6 1/2 inches of rain. Spent the day taking everything out of the basement. Yet we're luckier than so many others. What water way is in your picture? Gardens beyond soaked yet surviving better than I thought it might. Things were just coming up and the only thing I'm starting to see is foliage beginning to yellow. Would help to have the trees leaf out and take a giant drink. Oh well more rain coming Sunday. Everyone take care. Do something nice for yourself tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Hi Patti: We are on the Fox River. Rain coming tonight and tomorrow. I was out brooming the road today to try to help some of the water find its way out of my garden beds. Hope you can save things in your basement.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:06PM
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How are the gardeners doing in Illinois? Are you still flooded? We are finally drying out. Lost many plants from the water damage, but here is a picture of some happy plants that made it thru. Lets see what your gardens look like now.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:26PM
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We have the Rock Creek running through the center of our property and it flooded big time but we built our house and gardens up on the hill so weren't affected. It was fun living in 'lake front' property for a week or two though! This has been the first real spring we have had in years with regular rain and gradually warming temps.

Everything is coming up and making us very anxious to see blooms.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:25AM
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gonativegal(zone 5a)

I am in Cicero just west of Chicago. Small, city size lot but packed with lots of plants (no grass much to chagrin of my neighbors) mostly sun loving plants in the front including lots of natives and a woodland garden in the backyard.

Have had some lovely weather this past week but now soil has become a bit dry. I am hoping for rain but only a gentle steady one not an entire week like last month.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:53PM
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ripley529(z7a IL)

Hi all, late to the post here. I am from the southern tip of Il. I live in a rural setting with about a one acre yard. We started with a blank lot and I have been adding trees, shrubs and perennial flowers over the last 20 years.

We also do a little vegetable gardening.

Raining here today. I hope those of you who live near the rivers are faring well.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:16AM
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Jeepers! It's 49 out....and my freshly bought purchases are sitting out on the driveway shivering away...petunias, heleniums, chrys. paludosums, and even a Black Pearl pepper (ornamental)...I don't know whether to plant them or not in this chilly weather. We'd been having 78 degree days, sunny. Now this. Even had more rain (us farmers just love all this rain!!!!!!!) so things are pretty tacky out.
I grew up within hiking distance of the Illinois River so I know about the wonderful flooding that happens in the occasional spring. It WILL recede.
My irises are just starting to show color. If the ground squirrels leave my bleeding heart alone, I might get some pretty white hearts, but maybe not this year....
Hope it's warmer where you are; I'm getting my sweatshirts back out!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Sweatshirt weather for sure today! I have been hardening off my pepper and tomato plants outside for the last few days but think I will bring them inside tonight and tomorrow night just to make sure I won't lose them! It is supposed to be in the 30's the next few nights.

I really am ready for spring to get here and stay!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:43PM
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SPRING......did someone say spring. My plants are all wearing jackets today...LOL. 45 degrees today and yesterday was in the high 60's.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Illinois here as well. Find it harder than ever to check in on GW, but have been reading and posting here for over 10 years. Usually take a week off work in the spring just to play in the garden. Time my on-line purchases to arrive that week. As usual, I over-anticipated how much bed expansion, transplanting, clean-up, etc. I could get done ... and then rain for 4 days.
That was last week. Now the little babies that aren't in the ground yet are chilling out on the patio table.

I'm trying to achieve constant fragrance. This year hyacinths, certain fragrant narcissi and tulips started things off. The pansy pots get planted in March, and, I don't care what color they are, if I can't detect some sweetness, they don't come home with me. Pansy cousins in the ground, viola odorata, kick in. Purple petunias ... which don't like this cold ... came home during my garden vacation. (See comment on pansies about only coming home if fragrant.) The lilac is currently sweetening the air. Usually the dianthus Firewitch is blooming by now, but it'll be another week or two before she blooms.

One of my birthday presents this year was a Lonicera x heckrottii âÂÂGold Flameâ from White Flower Farm. It's a non-invasive, non-Japanese honeysuckle. I've read that it is both not that fragrant and that it is extremely fragrant -- which is what the Missouri Botanical garden web-site says --so we'll see. Either way the bees and hummers will be happy.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 11:18PM
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ripley529(z7a IL)

Made my first quest to the garden centers yesterday. I had a list in hand and was determined to stick to it. Didn't find one thing on my list, but I made impulse buys, lol

My favorite purchase was Summer Snow Beauty Berry. Love the look of this shrub. The online pictures do not do it justice. I just hope it holds up in the summer heat and humidity.

I also bought Wegelia 'Fine Wine' and 2 Wegelia 'Tango'. Now to get them in the ground :)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Hello neighbors. I am late to this forum. Thank you illinoisdoglover for starting this thread! Things have been hectic lately so finally have some time today.

I live in the northwest subs of Chicago in Lake County. Love gardening but never have enough time due to work, travel, family, etc. But I enjoy come to the forum from time to time and looking at the beautiful garden pictures posted here. I also have learned a lot from these forums. Wish I had more time.

Fortunately our house here in IL did not get flooded but lots of people in our town were impacted back in April. OUr hourse in MI was not so lucky and we had to replace basement carpet, etc. So happy this is over.

I love gardening even though I only started ~ 4 years ago. Mostly sun perennials. ~ 2 years ago I started visiting the Hosta and Heuchera Forums and got hooked with growing hostas and heucheras. I do not have a lot of shade area so summer is challenging for watering.

Most of my plants are still small due to the late spring. But the bulbs have been enjoying the cool spring weather. Here are a couple pictures from my front garden.

Here is Hosta Sagae, planted last fall as a sigle eye division. It has 2 eyes now and huge leaves and beautiful color. This will be one of my favorite.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:39PM
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Hi Illinois gardeners: How was your weather today? I woke up to 32 degrees. Is this not crazy. The wind has been a bare for the last two days. All the plants are hanging on for dear life. The bleeding hearts were the hardest hit. Hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day, if not able to celebrate Mother's day, then I hope you had a nice day!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Hi, I'm from the south side of Chicago. After last year's drought, isn't the constant rain frustrating and wonderful all at the same time. I was out weeding dandelions today and found that the soil had just the right amount of moisture (to a depth of at least eight inches) to sometimes be able to get the entire root out without breaking it off.

Chicago has had a beautiful yellow carpet of dandelions for the past few weeks. Thanks to all the rain, you can tell at a distance where there is a foreclosed or abandoned house; the dandelions have taken over the lawn. But now the seeds have started flying and any inch of bare soil will mean they have found a new home. I read on another forum how some gardeners are using tulle netting in place of floating row covers. So,I'm using it to cover soon-to-be planted areas. It will be interesting to see if the dandelion fluff will get through it.

I picked up a tiny bleeding heart plant on sale late last fall. It is absolutely breathtaking now. It must be three feet across, two feet high and loaded with blooms. If the rest of the garden responds like that, it sure will be rewarding.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:56AM
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It is absolutely gorgeous out and our farm fields have dried out enough to start planting corn (we are usually DONE by the end of April!). I have flowers sitting in my garage that I set out during the day if it's warm enough...maybe I'll start planting them in the ground later this morning after I help hubby fill the planter.
I bought a big pot of an unnamed hosta that is green with yellow. At the time I thought the leaves were just starting to grow and now I'm wondering if the leaves will stay 3 or 4 inches which is NOT what I'd intended.
Someone gave me a big pot of brown eyed susans, I'd imagine those could go in the ground now...But I'll probably wait to plant the verbena and geraniums (pinks and corally reds). And I bought some plant at Menards yesterday...nepeta and some white dianthus, but I can probably plant those now.
I'm starting to itch............

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 12:33PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

IâÂÂm in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, in Buffalo Grove. I have about ü acre. Not big, by most standards, but enough for me to handle (and often TOO much). I have mostly perennials, and do annuals for porch planters and to plug in here and there. I am at the point where if I want to plant something new, I have to kill something first.

Gonativegal, I see you are in Cicero. I have a friend who lives there! We often trade plants and give each other advice. He is a retiree with a very small yard, but crammed full.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:49PM
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Hi folks: Glad to see we are keeping this going and finding more Illinois gardeners. Hubby was out to work at 3 a.m. this morning, Monday and he had to scrape his windshield. Is it May???? Hope no one that lives close to me planted any annuals or veggies....better cover them. Now, tomorrow is suppose to be 87. Amazing. My front garden is finally drying out and recovering from the flooding, and we are suppose to have more rain and thunderstorms Thursday thru Saturday. My plants are already scared. Other parts of the gardens that were not subject to all that water actually need some rain. Go figure. Let me see some of your gardens, let's share pictures. Did anyone elses gardens flood?

This post was edited by illinoisdoglover on Tue, May 14, 13 at 1:11

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:16AM
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