The Smart Gardener

The Smart Gardener is published monthly as part of the Chicago Botanic Garden's eNewsletter. Find previous articles below, or sign up for our eNewsletter today to receive The Smart Gardener in your inbox!

Title Month
Weeding, Writing, and Arithmetic October, 2021 October Garden Chores
Bon Voyage September, 2021 Autumn Migration
Digging for Black Gold August, 2021 The Joy of Composting
Gardening for Butterflies July, 2021 Gardening for Butterflies
Design Tips to Make Your Garden Pop June, 2021 Design Tips to Make Your Garden Pop
Create the Cottage Look May, 2021 cottage garden
Bungalow Gardens April, 2021 Bungalow
Seed Shopping Basics March, 2021 seed packages
Winter Photography February, 2021 Winter Photography
Brighten Your Space with House Plants January, 2021 Brighten the Winter with House Plants
Savor the Flavor December, 2020 Savor the Flavor
Feeling Grateful for Gardens November, 2020 tree with fallen leaves
Trick or Treat October, 2020 gourds and cinderella pumpkin
Perennials and Shrubs for Tough Spots September, 2020
Rain Gardens August, 2020 compass plants
Flowers for the Vegetable Garden June, 2020 Flowers for the Vegetable Garden
The Elements of Design May, 2020 Paths lead you into a garden
Your Garden as a Sanctuary April, 2020 garden benches
Create Your Own Garden Art March, 2020 Create Your Own Garden Art
Vanilla: Sweet—and Savory February, 2020 Vanilla
Ten Herbs to Start Growing February, 2020 rosemary
Growing Bulbs Indoors January, 2020 Growing Bulbs Indoors
The Garden in Winter December, 2019 The Garden in Winter
All About Mulch November, 2019 All About Mulch
Fall Lawn Care October, 2019 Fall Lawn Care
Thinking Ahead to Spring: Early Risers September, 2019 Thinking Ahead to Spring: Early Risers
Late-Summer Color August, 2019 Late-Summer Color
Weather Woes July, 2019 Weather Woes
Companion Plants June, 2019 Companion Plants
Attracting Birds to Your Garden May, 2019 Attracting Birds to Your Garden
Spring-Flowering Ornamental Trees April, 2019 magnolia
Woodland Wonders March, 2019 Polemonium reptans
Herbal Tea February, 2019 Herbal Tea
Photographing the Garden in Winter December, 2018 Photographing the Garden in Winter
Bringing Houseplants Indoors November, 2018 Bringing Houseplants Indoors
Shrubs with Great Fall Color October, 2018 Shrubs with Great Fall Color
Fall Garden Chores September, 2018 Fall Garden Chores
The Peak of the Prairie: Plants to Know and Grow August, 2018 The Peak of the Prairie: Plants to Know and Grow
Extending the Harvest: Get Ready to Sow Cool-Season Crops July, 2018 Extending the Harvest: Get Ready to Sow Cool-Season Crops
Grow a Living Fence June, 2018 Grow a Living Fence
Warm-Season Veggies: Five Faves to Know and Grow May, 2018 Warm-Season Veggies
Perennials: Time to Divide and Multiply April, 2018 Perennials:  Time to Divide and Multiply
Good Reads for Gardeners February, 2018 Good Reads for Gardeners
Garden-centric Gift Ideas December, 2017 Gifts for Gardeners
Feeding the Birds: Seeds, Shrubs, Berries November, 2017 Feeding the Birds: Seeds, Shrubs, Berries
Spooky Plants October, 2017 Spooky Plants
Time to Plant Garlic September, 2017 Garlic
Color in the Garden August, 2017 Color Wheel
Insect Pests: Is something bugging your garden? July, 2017 Bugs in the Garden
Roses: Visiting the Queen of Flowers June, 2017 Roses: Visiting the Queen of Flowers
Growing Potatoes: This Spud’s for You! May, 2017 Growing Potatoes
Wildlife in the Garden: Protecting your Plants April, 2017 Wildlife in the Garden: Protecting your Plants
Spring Greens: Success with Cool-Season Edibles March, 2017 Cool Season Edibles
The Moonlight Garden: A Composition in White February, 2017 PHOTO: White anemone.
Sowing Seeds Indoors January, 2017 Sowing Seeds Indoors
Theme Gardens December, 2016 Faerie Garden and other themed garden designs
Fresh Flowers and Foliage Set the Scene for Celebration November, 2016 Centerpieces by Molly Kobelt and Heidi Joynt
Flying Jewels: Gardening for Hummingbirds October, 2016 ruby-throated hummingbird
Ornamental grasses for fall—and throughout the year September, 2016 Ornamental Grasses
Peppers are Hot August, 2016 Pepper Harvest
Ten Weeds to Pull Now June, 2016 Garlic Mustard
I'm Afraid to Grow Vegetables April, 2016 I'm Afraid to Grow Vegetables
12 Plants for a More Fragrant Garden March, 2016 Fragrant flowers
Ready, Set, Seed Germination Test! February, 2016 PHOTO: Tomato seedlings.
50 New Year's Resolutions for Gardeners January, 2016 2016 Pantone colors of the year!
Handmade Wreaths by Ever-Creative Staff December, 2015 Handmade wreaths.
Five Reasons to Raise a Hoophouse November, 2015 Hoop houses
Building Your Soil, Part 2 October, 2015 Soils, Part 2
Drop by Drop: How Honey Happens September, 2015 PHOTO: Honey jar.
After 'Annabelle' August, 2015
Tall, Dark & the Garden July, 2015 Sambucus 'Black Lace' elderberry
Pruning Mature Roses? June, 2015 PHOTO: Rosa 'Queen Elizabeth'
Building Your Soil, Part 1 May, 2015 PHOTO: building your soil.
Marsala: The "It" Color of the Year April, 2015 PHOTO: Pantone Chip: Marsala, Color of the Year, 2015.
Plan Now for a Gorgeous Fall Garden March, 2015 PHOTO: Sedum 'Firecracker'
Use Them or Lose Them: The Plants in your Spice Cabinet January, 2015 Cinnamon
O, Tannenbaum: Cone-Shaped Conifers for Your Front Yard December, 2014
Parsing Parsnips November, 2014
Fall's deepest, darkest secret: purple foliage October, 2014 purple foliage
Curating the Aging Garden September, 2014
Picture-Perfect Waterlilies August, 2014
Terrific Trios July, 2014
Underused Shrubs June, 2014
Plant a Pollinator Strip May, 2014 Monarch butterfly on sedum
In Praise of Mini-Daffodils April, 2014
Sow Your Spaghetti Sauce Now March, 2014 PHOTO: Seedlings in pots.
An Orchid FAQ: How to Repot February, 2014 PHOTO: Bulbocodium Chrissy Compton 'Mary Pizza'
Orchids in Your Living Room? January, 2014 PHOTO: orchid.
Fresh All Winter: Grow Herbs Indoors December, 2013 Click here to read article.
Plant Now, Applause Later November, 2013 Narcissus 'Antique Lace'
Striking Gold October, 2013 Read article.
The Secret to a Successful Garden Next Year? Document It This Year! September, 2013 Journaling is your friend!
Zinnias: The Hardest-Working Flower in the Summer Garden August, 2013 PHOTO: Zinnia
How to Water Wisely this Summer July, 2013 PHOTO: watering can
Your Garden Can "Bee" Attractive to Pollinators July, 2013 PHOTO: bee in sunflower
Top 5 Reasons to GYO (Grow Your Own) Fruit Trees May, 2013 PHOTO: Smyrna quince flower blossoms.
Daffodils: Plan Now, Plant Later April, 2013 PHOTO
Rethink your first salad of the year March, 2013 PHOTO: a spring salad of mizuna and daikon
Which witch hazel should be in your yard? February, 2013 Witch Hazel
Better Than Googling January, 2013 PHOTO: Library files full of seed catalogs from specialty nurseries
Tracks in the Snow December, 2012 PHOTO: Deer mouse. Copyright 2006, Bev Wigney
Good Form: Holiday Crafts from the Garden November, 2012 PHOTO: Lotus pod Wreath
The Big Orange (and White and Blue) October, 2012 Pumpkins
Native Asters Shine in the Garden September, 2012 aster-symphyotrichum-novae-angliae
Comeback Kids July, 2012 bee balm
A Tomato of a Different Color May, 2012 PHOTO: heirloom tomatoes
Getting Started with Starting Seeds February, 2012 Getting Started with Starting Seeds
Smart Learning January, 2012 Smart Learning
Keep evergreens ever safe and happy December, 2011 Macedonia pine (pinus peuce)
Bring your garden to the celebration! November, 2011 Berry Wreath
The Color Red October, 2011 Red Leaves Maple
Toad Lilies September, 2011 Tricyrtis formosana
Handling the Harvest August, 2011 Different Heirloom Tomatoes
Phlox Cultivars July, 2011 Eva Cullum phlox
Peppers June, 2011 Sangria hot pepper
Viburnums May, 2011 Korean spice viburnum
Early Spring Crops March, 2011 peas
Irresistible Houseplants February, 2011 Houseplants
Holiday Plants...That Keep on Giving January, 2011 Kalanchoe-blossfeldiana
Tempting Topiaries December, 2010 Topiary
Redbor Kale November, 2010 Brassica oleraceae ‘Redbor’
Anemones, Fall-blooming September, 2010 PHOTO: Fall anemone 'Honorine Jobert
Terrific Tomatoes July, 2010 Tomatoes
Fritillaria Fritillaria
Successful Seed Starting: When, Why, How Successful Seed Starting: When, Why, How