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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 10 — Black Chokeberry

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 10, 2012 |

Trees and shrubs form the backbone of many gardens. Coming in a variety of sizes and often providing multiple season interest, shrubs work well in foundation plantings, perennial borders or as hedges. For a sunny to partially shady site with wet or dry soil, one of the best of the shrubs is black chokeberry (…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 9 — Foamflower

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 9, 2012 |

Foamflower (Tiarella) makes a great addition to any shady garden. In the right place, this native of the forest floor will carpet an area with intriguing foliage and provide pretty white blooms in spring. If you don’t want a trailing plant, foamflower also comes in clumping varieties, which are more inclined to stay put in…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 8 — Martagon Lilies

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 8, 2012 |

Why don’t more northern gardeners plant martagon lilies? They are the first lily to bloom each year; they are rock-solid hardy in our area because they are natives of wide swathes of Europe–from Portugal to Siberia. They are the perfect complement to hostas and other shade-loving plants. But…and this is a big but, martagons are…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 7 — ‘Karl Foerster’ Grass

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 7, 2012 |

Much of Minnesota and the Dakotas are remnants of the tall-grass prairie that once covered thousands of square miles of the North American continent. That may be why northern gardeners love prairie grasses so much in their home gardens. Prairie grasses look natural here, and covered with hoar frost or buried in snow, they provide…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 6 — Siberian Iris

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 6, 2012 |

Anytime a plant’s common name starts with the word “Siberian” you know it’s a good bet for northern gardens. Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) are among the most reliable of the plants for northern gardens. Siberian iris have narrow, grass-like foliage, with varieties ranging from a diminutive 12 inches in height to nearly 40. Like other…

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