In the Garden | Poinsettias: A holiday favorite

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are the most popular holiday plant in U.S. households. It is estimated that more than 30 million are sold each year around the holiday season, accounting for about one quarter of all flowering houseplants sold in the U.S., year-round. That is a staggering statistic, making it the highest-selling potted plant nationwide.

In the Garden | Fresh ideas for Christmas trees

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect Christmas tree. While I am not a person who picks the proverbial "Charlie Brown Tree," I have certainly felt pity for the less-attractive trees on the lot in years past.

In the Garden | Mimicking nature indoors

Nothing symbolizes the holiday season to a horticulturalist like a holiday cactus in full bloom.

These fascinating plants are cacti, but not at all like the full-sun, desert-loving specimens we commonly think of.

Instead, these plants hail from the treetops of forests in Brazil, which is quite different than the desert ecosystems associated with other species of cacti.

Entertainment listings, Nov. 22-29, 2018


This weekend


What: Urbana High School Student Senate hosts a dinner with all the trimmings for those who are in need of a warm, comfortable environment to spend their Thanksgiving. Reservations are not needed, but call before 3 p.m. Nov. 20 for a ride.

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 22.

In the Garden | Make your own 'black gold'

One of the single best things you can do to improve your garden soil is to add organic matter. By adding significant amounts of organic matter, you are putting fuel back into the nutrient cycle, which naturally adds plant nutrients to our soil and lessens (or eliminates) the need for fertilizer.

In the Garden | Live horticultural advice

The world of horticulture is ever changing with an increasing interest among plant lovers for more and more digital media.

Entertainment listings, Nov. 8-15, 2018


This weekend


What: Featuring the work of Craft League of Champaign-Urbana's artists exhibiting new, original works in basketry, ceramics, fiber, fiber/batik, glass, jewelry, painting/printmaking, photography and woodworking.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 10 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11.

In the Garden | Helping feathered friends on their long haul

Autumn is not only a time of brilliant fall colors, but also a time to observe the annual bird migration that spans our continent.

Many of our feathered friends travel amazingly great distances to reach warmer climates with abundant food for winter. This lengthy journey spans thousands of miles, requiring birds to expend a ton of energy in the effort.

Entertainment listings, Nov. 1-8, 2018


This weekend


What: A Klose Knit Fashion Show — Where Knitting Meets Passion. Silent auction and raffle. Presented by Imbibe Urbana.

When: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

Where: held in the back hallway of Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, behind Common Ground Food Co-op, 300 S. Broadway Ave., #166, downtown Urbana.

In the Garden | Other fall colors

Most of us think of tree leaves when we think about beautiful fall foliage, but many ornamental grasses provide wonderful fall color that often extends well into the winter season.

Right now is an excellent time to observe these grasses in the landscape and consider how we might integrate them into our own gardens.