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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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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 3 — Northern Lights Azaleas

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 3, 2012 |

In early spring, gardeners are hungry for color, and one of the best ways to get that color is by planting spring flowering shrubs. Northern Lights azaleas are rock-solid hardy members of the rhododendron genus that were bred at the University of Minnesota. The Northern Lights azaleas come in a variety of pink, white, salmon…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 2—Black Hills Spruce

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 2, 2012 |

Winters in the North can be wimpy or wild, but no matter how severe or mild, winter will be here for a long, long time. That stretch between November and April almost requires that northern gardeners add evergreens to their landscapes to provide color and texture to the winter scene. The list of evergreen options…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 1— Peonies

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 1, 2012 |

Many gardeners look forward to November, a time when the northern garden is mostly put to bed and you can relax with a cup of tea and a sense of satisfaction about the season just finished. It’s also a time when your garden from the previous year is fresh in your mind and you can…

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How to Do a Soil Percolation Test

By Mary Lahr Schier | October 24, 2012 |

The November/December issue of Northern Gardener includes Nancy Rose’s article called “A Tale of Two Soils.” Many Minnesotans know Nancy from her years as a horticulturist at the University of Minnesota. A few years ago, she moved to Massachusetts. In her article, she talks about the difference soil makes in what you can grow and…

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