Plants and Gardening

Bonsai pots hold more than plants

When looking at different bonsai trees, you might notice the stylized beauty of their shapes and textures. A lot of thought and work are put into raising bonsai trees and pruning them just so, but for many bonsai artists, their containers are just as important as the plant itself. “The pot and the soil have a relationship just as much as the tree and the pot have a relationship. The tree-to-pot relationship is aesthetic and functional too,” said Chris Baker, curator of bonsai at the Chicago Botanic Garden. 

Crop Planning

Even when snow is falling and temperatures plummet, I’m working on my backyard vegetable garden. I might not be harvesting tomatoes and zucchini yet, but I am still strategizing and prioritizing so I can squeeze the most out of the upcoming growing season.

Why you need a stinky, hairy, spineless plant now

As a long winter approaches, I’m thinking ahead about comfort plants—ones that lift your spirits. As senior horticulturist for the Regenstein Center Greenhouses at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I talk to a lot of people about indoor plants. I get that you want potted plants that are easy to take care of (hello, spider plant). But there are other reliable ones with a bit more charm to help brighten the days ahead. Here are my recommendations: