The July/August 2020 issue of Northern Gardener is out now, and it includes some great summer reading as well as a new look and content in the MSHS News section. The very summery zinnia photo on the cover was taken by Tracy Walsh at the gardens of Mary Shannon in Richfield. Mary moved to the…

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Ornamental grasses of all kinds look at home in northern gardens. Their swaying seed heads in late summer remind us of the prairie past of much of Minnesota and the Dakotas. While I like many ornamental grasses, my latest favorite is little bluestem. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a native plant with a range that…

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As the first part of the vegetable garden season winds down, harvest holes may start appearing in your garden. These are the spots where you pulled a beautiful head of lettuce or where the peas have finished up and there’s a space open. How do you fill those holes? Which vegetables can you plant now?…

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This essay by Janet Favorite originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. I am a lifelong, self-educated gardener and my internal motto has always been “create beauty wherever you go.” That motto prompted me to join Cherokee Heights Garden Club several years ago. Gardening with friends has enriched my own gardening life…

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If you’ve read our May/June issue of Northern Gardener, you may have seen the article by Randy Nelson and David Zlesak about sustainable roses for our climate. Randy and David are researchers working with the American Rose Trials for Sustainability (A.R.T.S.), a group that is testing and reporting on roses that are particularly adapted to…

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Trees and shrubs are the backbone of most gardens. They provide height, structure and (sometimes) interest all year long. But if your garden is smaller—as mine is—finding right-sized shrubs is a challenge. That’s when I turn to perennials that act like shrubs. These are perennials with some height (3 feet or more) and some heft.…

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Judging by the crowds at nurseries and garden centers in May, it’s easy to think you can’t plant pollinator plants (or anything else!) after June 1. Not at all. In fact, savvy gardeners often will shop in June or July to find plants for their gardens, some of which may be on sale. Native pollinator-friendly…

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The approach of heat, humidity and regular thunderstorms signals we have hit June, and it’s time to think about June garden chores for gardeners in USDA Zones 3 and 4. Here are a dozen to get you started. 1. Enjoy your garden! You’ve done a lot of work already this season, and it’s been a…

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This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. Over the past year, MSHS has been helping create connection through gardening at the intersection of Como and Rice streets in St. Paul through our Minnesota Green program. At the Como-Rice intersection, MSHS, the City of St. Paul, the Capitol Area Architectural and…

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One of the mantras often repeated by garden designers is “think foliage first, then flowers.” Foliage lasts throughout the growing season and sometimes hangs on into winter, while flowers on trees, shrubs and perennials tend to be fleeting. In this book by Washington-state based garden designers Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, foliage is both the…

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