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Practical Gardening Monthly

Hello Gardening Friends!  April has arrived and spring has officially sprung!  We may be spending more time at home, but there is plenty to do both inside and outside to alleviate the boredom and ready our gardens for planting season.  I'm back this month with more gardening tips, advice, and inspiration ... especially for you.

Read on for what's new with my FlowerChick website, a handy April Garden "To Do" list, plus see what botanical gardens we've been to lately and more ...

"Mother Earth is awakening to springtime's sunlit call; as flowers paint with the wind, breathing hope once more."

Angie Weiland-Crosby

Latest Flower Chick Posts
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3 (Very) Fun & Easy Gardening Projects

Growing your own food is super rewarding and you feel better knowing it’s pesticide free. These pleasurable projects don’t take up much space, nor require any special skills. 

Perfect for the whole family to join in and experience the joy and satisfaction of nurturing plants. What are you waiting for? Time to get growing!

Explore Here
Summer Blooming Bulbs for Zone 5 / 6

Summer Blooming Bulbs for Zone 5 / 6 are flower bulbs planted in the spring which produce some of the most dramatic garden color with minimal effort on your part.

Tuck them among your perennials to create a fuller looking bed, plant them in containers for special interest, or create an interesting ‘patterned’ bulb garden to make your neighbors “ooh and ahh”!

Discover Them Now

April Garden "To Do" List:

  • Stop weeds before they start by adding a pre-emergent weed killer (like Preen) to plantings. You'll zap more weeds if you apply in early April. This dramatically cuts down on weeding chores later in the season.
  • Clip off faded blossoms when daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth are finished flowering. Allow leaves to naturally turn yellow; as they do so, they're storing food vital to next year's flower show.
  • Clean up perennials. Cut back perennials and ornamental grasses using pruners or hedge shears. Cut plants back to about 3-4 inches to avoid damaging plant crowns, which is especially important with grasses.
  • Protect emerging plants from critters. Rabbits and deer are hungry for fresh green leaves at this time of year, so  be prepared to protect plants with cages or deterrent sprays.
  • Plant cool-season annual flowers, such as pansies, violas, lobelia, snapdragons and more, about six to eight weeks before your region's last average frost date. They thrive in cool weather and tolerate frost well. Look great in pots!
  • Feed your roses. Roses are heavy feeders so begin in early spring. When you give them the food they want, you'll reap the reward of a stronger, healthier plant with more flowers.
  • Remove dandelions early.  I prefer to hand-dig, using a specialized tool designed to pry dandelion tap roots from soil. Digging is easiest after spring rains soften soil. 
  • Plant cool-season annual edibles, such as parsley, cilantro, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, Brussels sprouts, perennial herbs and more.
  • Time to assess houseplants. Check on your indoor plant friends to see if they need to be repotted. Dust their leaves and start up feeding them again.
  • Clean Out Your Garage or Shed. Throw out anything you no longer use and make a list of supplies needed for the growing season.
Travel To Midwestern Gardens

Need a little gardening inspiration? Crave a little cheer on these gray, chilly days before the weather steadily warms up?  Get inspired by the Midwest’s gorgeous botanical gardens, arboretums, and other stunning natural attractions! Join us as we visit these wonderful Zone 5 & Zone 6 sites. 

Follow along and plan your own trips … you’ll even find a guide of local attractions to enjoy in the various towns and cities. Come back often as we keep adding new posts to our Illinois Gardens , Indiana Gardens, Michigan Gardens & Wisconsin Gardens categories.

Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

This is a must see when visiting eastern Iowa! This Hawkeye state gardening Zone 5 gem features over 60 types of gardens ranging from roses, hostas, English style, Japanese, herbs and more spread among 56 acres …

Indiana Dunes & Friendship Botanic Gardens

Friendship Botanic Gardens is a local treasure … an oasis of formal gardens mixed with nature trails tucked in an old-growth forest surrounding Trail Creek in Michigan City, Indiana. 

Rockford IL the City of Gardens

My three favorite gardens in the Rockford area are Anderson Japanese Gardens, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, and Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. They all offer so much to see!

Visit The Domes in Milwaukee WI

The perfect antidote for cold weather and the winter doldrums?  Why, a visit to the indoor horticultural paradise of Milwaukee’s famous Domes!

Do you like sharing stories?

Is there a botanical garden, arboretum, or nature area you love and would like to see us feature?  Please share below ...

Tell Us About Your Favorite Garden

Did you know ... Forsythia Fun Facts

  • The flower was named after William Forsythia, a Scottish botanist
  • Forsythia belongs to the same family as the olive
  • In the spring, the flowers will appear before the leaves
  • Forsythia flowers are edible and can be used to make tea or syrups
  • Per the Victorian language of flowers, the forsythia symbolizes anticipation

Thanks for reading!!  I hope you enjoyed the April newsletter.  Take care and I'll see you in May with more tips and inspiration for your gardens. We'll be gearing up for  planting time!  Hurray - can't wait to dig in the dirt!

~ Laura a.k.a. Flower Chick

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IL 60564 United States

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