University News

Horticulture Professor's "Garden Gate" Blog Highlights People and Plant Interactions

April 30, 2012

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MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University professor of horticulture and landscaping has started a new blog that highlights the interactions of people and plants.

Mari Loehrlein, a faculty member in Western's School of Agriculture, said she started the blog "Garden Gate," because she wanted to reach a larger audience. She noted that she is interested in the interactions of people and plants, including cultural, historical and social perspectives.

"For several years, I have authored and published newspaper articles on topics ranging from creating a backyard wildlife habitat to the history of black pepper," she said.

Recently, Loehrlein published her first e-book, "Beyond the Garden Gate," with Kindle. "Beyond the Garden Gate" is a collection of essays on plants and people and is comprised of articles she originally published in local print media.

Loehrlein teaches classes in horticulture and landscaping at Western. Currently, she is in the process of publishing the textbook, "Greenscaping: Sustainable Practices in Landscaping." In 2006, Loehrlein published the textbook, "Home Horticulture: Principles and Practices." She also authors and maintains a website on sustainable landscaping practices at

Loehrlein's first blog post, "To Bee or Not to Bee," covers the plight of bees, as well as the intersection of bees as pollinators in the agriculture industry and the effects of human impact (such as pesticides and habitat loss) on bees. Read Loehrlein's "Garden Gate" blog at

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