About

Good day!!

This blog will be focusing on the diverse, horticultural environment that is called the Midwest, specifically zone 5.

I am very curious about everything that goes on within my Midwestern island (and sometimes beyond), that I will post other topics that have piqued my interest whether it be odd, new, outrageous, or just nothing I’ve ever seen before! We’re 4 seasons here… Winters are long ( I also tend to get a bit loopy…) not much is happening in the horticultural department!

Our little family also loves to explore (Geocache, kayak, tube, hike) and camp, which usually produces some interesting stories to write about. We hope to travel wherever there are roads to take us in the future.

Fine Print:

I am pretty opinionated and tend to get a bit over-excited at times… I may need to apologize now! =-O However, if you’re looking for a blog to follow that is 80% Midwestern Plant information and 20% utterly crazy observations that will either keep you in stitches or piss you off enough to un-follow me. You’re in the right place!!

FOLLOWS: For me to be able to fully enjoy and comment on the blogs I do follow, I must keep my follows to a comfortable level for daily reading. Bloggers do come and go quite quickly IMHO, tho. I do enjoy comments, I tend to flip-flop follow chatty bloggers over the LIKE hit & runners.

I also don’t really have time for awards. After you’ve done 4-5 and the likes are four stars each, it got old for the amount of time I shoveled out. I prefer to give back to my FOLLOWED blogs in different ways.

Things I hang on my wall regarding Horticulture:

I live in Lake County, Illinois with my artist/plumber husband & 2 Border Collies. I grew-up tending flowers with my Mother and veggies with my Father. I earned my Degree in Horticulture (Natural Areas Management), a Certificate in Landscape Maintenance, Urban Forestry Management and obtained my Arborist license from the International Society of Arboriculture. I have my pesticide applicator license, but practice IPM (integrated pest management – i.e. I try to be organic). My desire to help others drew me to the University of Illinois Master Gardener program, where I volunteered for a time, answering the public’s gardening questions. Currently, I work for a well-known, high-end landscape firm as an estimator, designer & plant buyer.

….Yet I dream to be viewing the country via my toy-hauler, writing environmental and animal grants…

If you have any questions, please ask!

I will be happy to address any questions.

Enjoy your day!

Ilex Farrell ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

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129 Comments

129 thoughts on “About

    • Thanks for the follow & right back at cha! You’re blog is what I aspire mine to be 🙂 We should be able to bounce some plant ID off each other, as sometimes I post pix of plants that I don’t know, figuring someone can help me out. See ya in the reader!

      Like

      • Thanks for the comment. Even though I have grown a lot of different plants have several websites and books to help with plant ID, sometimes I still can’t figure them out. I have sent emails to some “professionals’ for help. Most of them reply but some do not. Maybe I get lost in the spam or something. I still have a succulent I haven’t figured out and I have had it since 2009.

        Like

  1. This blog, the detail, your knowledge and experience is simply astounding. Take pride! My mother has had a “black thumb” her entire life (she claims), and for the first time ever I bought a beautiful hydrangea (I decided to pot) and a potted tropic braided hibiscus tree. We live in Indiana. May I ask you a few questions as to how to keep them alive through the winter instead of hoping the random internet source is a reliable one?

    Like

    • Thanks so much for the compliments! 🙂
      I’d be more than happy to help you out. What kind of hydrangea did you get? If you don’t know, email a pix. I’m familiar with the hibiscus. You can either answer me here or email me: midwesternplantgirl at yahoo.com
      I can write a post about ‘Overwintering Tropicals’ which would help you out.

      Like

  2. That’s an impressive background you have. Though I’ve lived in many of the states (even Wisconsin as a kid), we’re a year in Illinois now, SW of Chicago (Aurora). We have a big 1600 square foot community garden that we’re growing by permaculture methods. I could probably learn a lot about midwest plants from you. =D

    Like

    • Thank you for commenting 🙂
      We ARE close neighbors, welcome to Illinois! The land where you turn around and the weather has changed. Lake Michigan has her ways of messin’with the poor weatherman’s predictions. Ha! I do use permiculture techniques in my own personal garden, so I’d love to bounce ideas, etc. with you. This whole GMO thang has me planning a large expansion of the garden next spring. Nothing beats going ‘shopping’for supper veggies in your own yard! 🙂

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      • I’ve put my permaculture adventures at my blog too. GMOs, unreliable produce, even the expensive organic stuff, juicing and eating a raw foods diet for half a day, every day in summer, is what drove me to want to grow my own food. I’ve been pretty amazed at the taste and quality differences from truly fresh and organically grown food! I’m hooked =)

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  3. Hi – I need to use a photo from your blog for an old article I want to put on the Indiana Daffodil Society website. I see your citation, Ilex Farrell – The Midwestern Plant Girl – midwesternplants.org,, but do I need to get your permission too? Or just beg your forgivemess? 🙂

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  4. I miss the loopy long winters of Wisconsin (she says as she types and stares out the window at the five fresh inches of snow falling at the end of March in Virginia). The environment is changing, and I guess we need to find ways to adapt as well.
    I plan to follow along for the ride, and intend to soak up as much as I can from your terrific blog, Ilex. Here’s to spring – whenever it arrives! 🙂

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    • I sent snow that special delivery! Ha! It dusted snow here this AM also. So, Zone 7ish? Nice. I would sure take that. Maybe with the rate of climate change… I’ll see zone 7 in the Midwest before I’m plant food. =-) I’m looking forward to enjoying your blog also! Hopefully, I can keep the drool from frying out the keyboard…

      Like

  5. Pingback: More About Ilex… | Midwestern Plants

  6. Awesome content, I feel like I have to move to the midwest with all of my plant knowledge from your front page! Thanks for checking our our Appalachian Trail posts, keep it up!

    Like

    • Thanks for the compliment! I would love to plan a trip like you’s are doing. We also have furry friends we’d have to adjust for, but I think for the most part, people like dogs. I might as well just give you a follow, so I don’t miss anything!! =-)

      Like

  7. Thanks for visiting my blog! Your’s is very interesting….I am not much of a plant person, but just try and keep the little patch I have here in SA as green as possible 🙂

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  8. Great blog! Great About page. I live on the southwest side of Indianapolis. My wife is a flower guru and most of my pics come from about 40 yards or less from where I am sitting.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and the ‘like’. I have gone through some of your horticulture posts. I will check some of the other stuff out as I go. I am following.

    Come by again anytime. We always have the welcome mat out.

    Like

    • Thanks for the compliment, comment and follow! :mrgreen:
      I wish I could say the same about the range of my flowers. .. I have a great shadegarden, however, the rest I have to hunt down.
      I love to comment and of course love to get them…
      “I may not follow many blogs, however, when I do. I like to comment. ”
      See you in the reader!

      Like

  9. Thanks for dropping by my blog, Ilex. I will enjoy perusing yours especially as I grew up in Minnesota and also spent time in Wisconsin and Michigan. It’s a joy to see some of those familiar flowers once again.

    Like

  10. Hi, thanks for liking my post, Furbabies are Children. My grandma was always an excellent gardener. I don’t think I have a green thumb. Though, I do hope to be better at it, since, my husband & I would eventually like to have a vegetable garden, fruit trees, besides, chickens & goats.

    Like

  11. Glad you’ve liked some of the videos on my blog. I live in Canberra, Australia, where the winters are pretty cold (rarely any snow) and the summers hot and dry. More challenging gardening here than in the sub-tropics where I used to live. Like you, I prefer to garden organically. I’m also one of those people who can’t bear to kill anything, including snails. I leave it to their natural predators to do that and there are plenty of them in my garden. Anyway, will be signing on as one of your followers. Cheers, BM 🙂

    Like

  12. Very happy to see you still on WordPress. I am an old familiar face using an alias for the time being… But, I will soon return and unveil the mask… Keep up the good work and GET DIRTY! P.S. I don’t have a mustang and my name isn’t Henry.

    Like

  13. Hi Ilex, I was born and raised in Lake County, Illinois–lived in Wadsworth and Zion most of my life, now I live in Portland, Oregon. I still am a Midwesterner at heart, although I am glad to have left the Midwestern weather behind. Oregon’s climate is much milder.

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  14. You have been following me for a while now and have helped me with some of my flower photos. I was wondering if you would like to carry on the Five Photo, Five Stories Challenge? You are not required to but I do enjoy your photos and knowledge of plants. I do hope you take up the challenge. Thank you.

    “The rules of Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo (It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph) and then nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command.”

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    i’m hoping that each of these pictures is self explanatory … this is the back yard of our cottage. sure doesn’t get much sunlight but i hate to cut any of the beautiful trees down. of course, moss likes it dark, right?

    Like

  16. oh my — it continues to amaze me — this indigenous Return Policy within the blogging world — as in you stop by and Like my Spring Harvest, I follow on over to your site, and discover the most amazing connections! And a great blog too, I might add! I hail from Waukegan, Illinois — that’s Lake County if my midwestern memory serves me. Small small world. I also attended the University of Illinois, but only for a one week cheerleader camp in the mid-sixties and several debate tournaments during the late sixties as well. Love the photo on your profile — my mother had a huge bed of these in our back yard. Love all your photography!
    So nice to meet you over my second cup of coffee this morning. Hope you’ll meander on by again 🙂
    lillian

    Like

    • Welcome! It sure is a small world 🌎 <– small world!
      I’m just on the other side of Lake County and was raised in Cook. Crazy city folk 😉
      As you can see from my profile, the blanket flower is my fav. I have two drop dead, must have flowers in my yard and it’s this blanket flower and my bleeding hearts (the feature photo on my page).
      I returned your follow and hope I can share photos that reminds you of here and I’ll get to read some of your wonderful stories! 😀 win-win!

      Liked by 1 person

      • hmmmmm should have mentioned, look in my Nature heading and there’s a series of three haikus together that personify flowers: the lilac, the lily of the valley (of course you realize it’s named after me:) ), and the bleeding heart. Think you would like the pics and the sentiment. Still a midwesterner at heart….loving the moniker that we’re from the Heartland!
        have a great weekend!
        lillian

        Like

  17. I’m glad I found you! I just move south, and will cherish having another Midwest connection. Never had much success growing things, so hopefully I’ll learn something too.

    Like

  18. Cool blog! I’m in Seattle where gardening (for me) is largely a spring and summer thing. Late fall I put my garden to bed for the winter and forget about it. But I do love to grow my own fruits and veggies. I focus on perennial edibles, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, etc., and blooms for my local pollinators and hummingbirds. I’m one of those organic folks – no GMO’s, no chemical pesticides and only organic fertilizers. Looking forward to reading your posts!

    Like

    • Thanks!
      Mmm, berries. I need to add more of those to my yard also. Getting some raspberries plants from the neighbor in a few weeks.
      It’s almost time to say goodnight to all the plants here. I get a tad sad. .. but in the winter, I can catch up on all the chores I put aside to garden! Yeah? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Making a point on this last day of the year to connect with fellow bloggers who have taken to the time to visit my blog. A friend wrote a comment after reading the Know Your Oaks FB post- he wrote “Oakay!” Happy New Year. And my parents were from Illinois and met at U of Ill and married in 1939, yes a long time ago. We always had annual car trips to Illinois to visit the grandparents and relatives. (Just thought you’d find that interesting.)

    Like

  20. Hi MPG (Ilex),

    Tis a long time since I’ve passed by, but I’m liking the revised blog layout. Also, Thanks muchly for the recent like at naturestimeline.

    Best Wishes and take care now.

    Tony Powell

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome Tony! Thanks for stopping by.
      It has been a long time, however sometimes life gets in the way 😉
      I’m glad to read you’ve been busy with paying gigs. A problem most writers want! I’ll get there one day…
      Keep trying to save the earth!
      She needs you 🌏

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Hello, I’ve seen your Gravatar image on a multitude of sites and thought I’d finally check you out – glad I did. It is a pleasure to meet you.
    (any tips on how to keep a basil plant alive?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good day! I also see you around, especially on John’s Story Book. My dad would love your blog, he was in the AF, but during a ‘peace time’. He’s a retired aircraft mechanic now.
      With regards to your basil… What’s going on with it?
      Typically, they are considered annuals and were only ment to live a year. That doesn’t mean they can’t live longer under supervised circumstances.
      Instead of writing this all down, I found a great site that gave the most info (IMO) about the proper care of basil. I hope it helps! Thanks for stopping by!
      http://www.almanac.com/plant/basil

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Thanks for visiting my blog – fiesta-siesta.net. I enjoyed looking at your blog and am a gardener and fellow plant lover, as well as an Ohio native. I look forward to visiting more of your articles. (The tarot card info is very interesting)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you thank you!
      I just followed you as well. 😎
      Having a herd of dogs must be a blast! I would be a “dog lady” if it weren’t for my husband. I applaud all the lives you’ve saved. Who cares if you’re a foster failure… 😉 I’m glad you’re here for these fuzz faces!!

      Like

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