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For 25 great years, celebrating the joys of the garden

I just realized the other day that I have been writing this column for 25 years come this January. I don’t remember what I wrote about in that first column, and I don’t have the computer or the software that I used to write it (but it was on a computer!).

My trial column that I had to send to the Springfield News-Sun (it was only published in Springfield at the time, and not in other Cox newspapers) was on the care of Amaryllis, one of my favorite winter flowers.

Over the years I have tried not to duplicate topics and to always write a fresh article. It may have been on the same insect or disease, but from a different perspective — or, there was something new happening that year.

Over the years I have enjoyed meeting my readers. Your support has been phenomenal. Once email became mainstream, I started getting emails from you with questions and comments. I enjoy and appreciate these, even if I have not been able to respond to each one.

I love your feedback and comments. My favorite was when I wrote about how I deadhead all my coneflowers. That statement generated more email than any other. Several readers were not happy with the fact that I didn’t leave my coneflowers for the goldfinches.

I responded to you the next week, telling you why I deadhead my coneflowers. And also that I have sunflowers popping up everywhere in the garden the feed the finches. And that I have a quarter-acre prairie with coneflowers that I leave for the finches.

And that I spend a fortune each winter feeding those little buggers! Boy, do they eat a lot.

Much has changed over the years in terms of my gardening and my gardening habits — and I am sure yours have changed some as well.

The pests come and go — some years they are really bad and others you don’t even think about them.

That’s what I love about gardening and writing this column. There is always something new to learn or to share or to try in the garden.

I love hearing from readers and your experiences in your gardens and landscape. Keep the emails coming, please.

I hope you and your family have a happy holiday season and a wonderful start to the New Year! I will be back in January and thank you for being a loyal reader for all of these years!

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