Notes from Northern Gardener Blog

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The Donation Garden and Minnesota Green

By Mary Lahr Schier | May 14, 2019

This article by Tom McKusick originally appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. Since 2011, the Donation Garden in Long Lake has planted, harvested and delivered fresh vegetables to local food shelves. Growing vegetables on a little less than a tenth of an acre, the garden yielded more than 2,700 pounds of produce…

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Pollinator Packs for Northern Gardeners

By Mary Lahr Schier | May 7, 2019

Since our 150th anniversary in 2016, MSHS has been promoting Pollinator Packs for gardeners interested in attracting bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. The idea for the Pollinator Packs came from volunteer Mary Maguire Lerman, who thought they would be a great way to celebrate the anniversary and encourage more gardeners to care about pollinators.…

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Welcome Garden Season with the May/June Northern Gardener

By Mary Lahr Schier | May 2, 2019

The May/June 2019 issue of Northern Gardener should be on newsstands this week, and from its bright green cover to the special ads at the back, it is full of excitement for the real beginning of the garden season. The cover image is from Michelle Mero Riedel who has an article about 12 less-common annuals…

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Gear Up for Plant Shopping with Our Discount Partners

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 30, 2019

As we get into the biggest plant shopping weeks of the year, MSHS members should double check the list of Discount Partners to ensure they get the best deals possible. We have more than 100 garden centers, nurseries and specialty shops, even wineries, that support MSHS and northern gardeners through the program. Here’s how it…

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A Bouquet of Book Reviews for Spring

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 26, 2019

It’s spring, and along with the daffodils and spring ephemerals, it’s a time when new books of interest to gardeners emerge. Here are four mini book reviews of newer books we like. A Way to Garden (Timber Press, 2019) by Margaret Roach is a revision to the book Roach published more than 20 years ago.…

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Thinking about Backgrounds in the Garden

By Mary Lahr Schier | August 8, 2012 | 3 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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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