Posts by Mary Lahr Schier

Hot Off the Press: Creating Sanctuary

This review originally appeared in the July/August issue of Northern Gardener. In Creating Sanctuary (Timber Press, 2018), author Jessi Bloom interweaves gardening practices with those of meditation, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic medicine. Readers familiar with organic and sustainable gardening philosophies will find many common techniques in Bloom’s work. As the book’s subtitle—Sacred Garden Spaces, Plant-Based Medicine,…

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On the Lookout for Japanese Beetles

It’s that time of year where every trip to the garden involves an inspection for Japanese beetles. Are they here yet? So far, in my garden in St. Paul, the answer is no, not yet. Japanese beetles typically appear in Minnesota in late June or early July. They live for 6 to 8 weeks, creating…

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An Insider’s Look at Trends in Gardening

We’re so excited to be teaming with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on a program called “Trending Horticulture: Advancing the Art and Science of Gardening,” which will be held July 18 at the arboretum. This event is geared toward slightly more experienced gardeners and gardening enthusiasts who want to go deeper into topics and ideas and…

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Plant Profile: Penstemon

June is the month of flowers, with favorites like roses, irises and peonies in bloom. But one of my favorite June flowers is Penstemon, sometimes referred to as beardtongue because of the fuzzy growths inside the plants bloom. Penstemon is a group of plants that includes more than 250 species and most of them are…

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Growing Together: The Fairest Garden

This article by Brenda Harvieux  appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. Former master gardener research plots at the Washington County fairgrounds have recently seen a vast expansion and reimagining. Now 13 display gardens, collectively known as the Fairest Garden, the space is a much-loved destination. “We don’t have a financial sponsor,” says…

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How Old? An Old Elm in South Minneapolis

A reader contacted me recently about her very old (and very beautiful) American elm tree. The tree, she noted, had a circumference of 17 feet and was believed by some in the neighborhood to be about 240 years old. Would I like to take pictures of it? You bet! The homeowner told me she was…

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Caring for Bulbs After Bloom

A few late tulips and daffodils are still blooming, but many spring-blooming bulbs are past their prime now. So how do you care for bulbs after bloom? Here are some tips: Deadhead. Unless you are planning to harvest seed or you want the bulbs to naturalize and spread in an area, start by removing the…

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Meet Maria: New Garden-in-a-Box Coordinator

This article by Tom McKusick originally appeared in the May/June issue of Northern Gardener. MSHS is pleased to welcome Maria Brosofske as the new coordinator of the MSHS Garden-in-a-Box (GIAB) program. Maria has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and design from the University of Minnesota, and for the past 10 years has worked as a…

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What’s Blooming Now? And What Isn’t

There’s no denying this has been a cold, late spring. Last week, I talked with a very knowledgeable and experienced gardener who told me that she thought we were at least two weeks behind the “typical” Minnesota spring. (Typical is in quotes for obvious reasons, if you’ve lived in Minnesota long!) So, what is blooming…

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