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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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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 5 — Ligularia

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 5, 2012 |

If you have a damp garden or a pond and you want a plant with impact, you cannot do better than ligularia. Several species of ligularia grow well in the North, providing interest with their large, kidney-shaped leaves and tall spikes of yellow flowers. Ligularia bloom for several weeks in the mid to late summer, but…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 4 — Turtlehead

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 4, 2012 |

Turtlehead (Chelone) gets its name from its unusually shaped flowers, which resemble the head of a snapping turtle. There are several species of turtlehead, including Chelone glabra, a Minnesota native wildflower with white flowers and deep green foliage and Chelone lyonii, sometimes called pink chelone, which is not native to Minnesota. Turtlehead grows best in…

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