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Getting Ready for the State Fair!

By Mary Lahr Schier | August 17, 2012 |

Boxes are piled high at the MSHS offices and volunteers have been weeding and laying mulch at the display gardens at Judson and Underwood Avenues on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The fair starts Thursday, Aug.23, and is one of our biggest events of the year. Members can renew membership (or join!), and everyone who renews…

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Are You Seeing Aster Yellows?

By Mary Lahr Schier | August 13, 2012 |

We are hearing many reports from gardeners about aster yellows, a plant disease that is spread by aster leafhoppers and is highly contagious. Plants show more symptoms during times of hot weather, similar to that experienced by northern gardeners in July. The symptoms can be dramatic, odd-looking, and often cause gardeners to wonder what their…

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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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