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  • February 07, 2019
    stephanie

    Surviving Winter

    It’s cold outside today…like, really cold. And while our solution to keeping safe in these temperatures is simply not to engage, our plants just don’t have that option. From the cozy warmth of my insulated home, I gaze out at my perennial garden and think about the lush green plants that will begin to pop up in the spring. Year after year, they endure freezing temperatures and still manage to emerge in all their glory when the time is right.

    Part of the joy of planting native perennials is knowing that they are cold hardy to our climate zone. In Illinois, our cold hardiness zone is 6 for the northern part of the state and 5 for the southern half and the small area surrounding Lake Michigan. Native plants of our region have evolved to survive the harsh winters in these zones, but how exactly do they do that??

  • October 02, 2017
    kelsay

    Small Window: Using Natives vs Cultivars for Pollinators

    Several months ago I was talking to a friend of mine from the east coast, and we were discussing pollinators and the plant lists that seem to be leaping from every corner of the web from all kinds of sources. We both agreed that the whole idea of gardening for pollinators is a good thing and that the use of natives were improving, along with understanding of native plant needs and importance. But many of the sources included or were dominated by non-natives or cultivars.

  • April 19, 2016
    tristan

    What's That Pretty Weed?

    In 2003, I purchased my first money pit, a.k.a my home. I made it clear to my realtor that the house was secondary to the yard.  It had your normal cookie cutter landscape. You know, the kind with the circle and square shaped plants. The only plant left aone was a lovely white birch, which was a great selling point for me. I knew right then and there I could plant anything I wanted. Being the offspring of Connor Shaw, my first move was to bring nature back to earth.

  • March 04, 2016
    stephanie

    Monarchs, Milkweeds and the Rest of the Pollinator Story

    When I first started as the Greenhouse Manager at Possibility Place Nursery, I learned one lesson very quickly: produce as much milkweed as possible.  There are great reasons for this, both economic and environmental. For decades, monarch butterfly populations have been on a major decline, and educated native plant enthusiasts have realized they can help by planting milkweed.

  • February 20, 2016
    kelsay

    Ode to Yellow Birch

    One of my favorite trees for winter interest is Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis). The bark is not white like its brother, or even yellow like the name would suggest, but cherry which exfoliates to copper and gray, dappled with white lenticels. The bark becomes brown and platy as it gets older.

  • June 01, 2015
    kelsay

    The Birds Are Coming...

    Spring is but a fridge date on the calender, but it is coming and so are the birds. All over Illinois, the landscape is changing due to homes, roads, removed wind rows and a general toppling of habitat and food sources for our welcomed feathery friends. Now for those of us that are a bit lucky and have habitat existing in our yards, a simple addition of key species and water will do the job. But those that have to start from scratch are in a tricky spot: “Where do I begin???”

  • June 24, 2013
    terry

    Protect Your Planting From Animals Large and Small

    We often have customers and most recently, bloggers who are planning landscaping projects but wonder how they’ll keep their large breed companions from destroying all their hard work.  I’m not an authority, but I would like to share some ideas that work for Lucy and me.

  • December 05, 2012
    kelsay

    Possibility Place vs Conventional Planting with H.O.P.E.

    In November of 2012 we had students from the H.O.P.E. (Horticultural Occupational & Professional Experience) program visit Possibility Place. To help them understand why Possibility Place is unique in the industry, we decided to hold a tree-planting contest!

  • October 20, 2012
    kelsay

    Weather Adds to the Challenge

    Some of you may have read my post last winter about collecting acorns and all the idiosyncrasies of the different types of oaks as well as the other consumers I have to contend with to get my job as propagator done. Well, here I am starting my fourth year at Possibility Place Nursery and I have another set of circumstances to make my job more challenging and interesting: a too-mild winter followed by one of the driest springs and hottest summers on record.

  • March 22, 2012
    kelsay

    Down and Dirty: Learning isn’t always tidy!

    This April 14th from 8:30 AM to Noon we are having another of our hands-on learning experiences. It's not one of those mamby-pamby classes, either—we’re sticking you out in the weather under the same conditions that we work in every day! It will be dirty, possibly wet and loads of fun for those of us that love plants. You’ll even go home with two flats of plugs! So if you’re interested please CALL the office at 708-534-3988 to sign up. The flier is posted below and cost will be $60.00 per person. Not a bad price for a lot of learning and plants (and a donut or two)!

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