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Thinking about Backgrounds in the Garden

By Mary Lahr Schier | August 8, 2012 |

Like a beautiful photograph or painting, gardens have backgrounds and foregrounds, points of emphasis and the scene in which the accents reside. In our recent St. Cloud/Sartell Garden Tour, there were many gardens that used backgrounds effectively. Take a look at this photo from an urban lot in Sauk Rapids. The deep-purple colored ninebark screens…

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Preserving the Harvest: Some Options

By Mary Lahr Schier | August 6, 2012 |

As we move into August, vegetable gardeners begin to ask themselves a simple question: What was I thinking? The harvests are piling up and, as delicious as it would be, you can’t eat it all fresh.  Instead of piling buckets of berries, squash, green beans and tomatoes on your kitchen counter, consider two options for…

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The Power of Pruning

By Mary Lahr Schier | August 2, 2012 |

Pruning can change the look of so many plants, and that’s what makes it a great tool for creative gardeners. Here’s an example of how pruning can change the look of a plant to impart a different feel to the garden. We have visited several gardens recently and many of them use the newish cultivar…

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St. Cloud Garden Tour Had Wow! Factor

By Mary Lahr Schier | July 31, 2012 |

The gardens on the MSHS St. Cloud/Sartell Garden Tour this past weekend had wow! factor galore. Tour goers visited seven private gardens plus the Munsinger Gardens and the Viriginia Clemens Rose Garden in the St. Cloud area. A fantastic lunch was served in the garden of Bud and Lorna Nestel, who helped put the tour…

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Three More Bad Bugs for Northern Gardeners

By Mary Lahr Schier | July 27, 2012 |

Yesterday, we posted about three of the six insects University of Minnesota entomologist Jeff Hahn thinks northern gardeners should watch out for. So, here’s the rest of the list. Japanese beetles. Not surprisingly, this was Hahn’s pick as the baddest bad insect this year. For the past month or so, gardeners have been picking, squishing…

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