Ryan Pankau

Ryan Pankau

In the Garden | Spotting boxwood blight

Boxwood shrubs are perhaps one of the most planted evergreen shrubs in landscapes around the Midwest. Although they are typically fairly hardy in our area, many suffer from winter injury. In addition, there are a number of other ailments for this shrub that gardeners should be aware of, including a new and very serious threat called boxwood blight.

In the Garden | Wacky weather taking its toll

Winter injury is a common problem among fruit trees grown in our area, and this year's up and down spring temperatures resulted in damage to flower buds across central Illinois.

In the Garden | A true sign of spring

This week, the spring beauties (Claytonia virginica) in Lodge Park, near Monticello, were absolutely stunning. These tiny, ornate wildflowers adorn the forested trails at Lodge and other woodlands throughout central Illinois, providing us with a sure sign that spring has arrived each year.

In the Garden | The war on weeds

For gardeners, weeds represent one of our biggest challenges each growing season. These formidable foes are relentless in their quest to invade spaces and rob the plants we love of precious water and nutrients. Left unchecked, they are equipped to out-compete and shade out our garden plants and veggies, consuming the space for themselves.

In the Garden | A living monument in Trevitt/Finch Park

In many communities, there are iconic trees that nearly everyone recognizes and admires in passing during daily life. The spreading, stately tree at the corner of University and Prospect avenues in Champaign is certainly a historic and interesting specimen.

In the Garden | Strategic plantings

Now that March has gone out like a lamb, these warmer days are really motivating me to get out into the garden and set things in motion for the 2019 growing season.

Right now is a perfect time to direct seed many of our cool-season vegetable crops, but don't go too wild with planting or you may wind up with more to harvest than your family and some lucky friends can consume.

In the Garden | In fire renewed

This past week, many folks around Champaign-Urbana and surrounding areas may have noticed plumes of white smoke gently rising in the distance or caught the scent of what seems to be the well-known smell of a campfire.

In the Garden | Early risers

Nothing signals the coming of spring quite like a daffodil (Narcissus psuedonarcissus) in full bloom. After winter slumber as bulbs beneath the ground, these tiny plants emerge very early in the year to put on a spectacular flowering display each spring.

In the Garden | Keeping an eye on invasives

It's beginning to feel more like spring, and I know that many of us are anxiously awaiting the awakening of the plant world.

In the Garden | Let it rain

Rain gardens are one way for homeowners to use garden design as a means to mitigate storm runoff by capturing and detaining water before it leaves our properties.