Notes from Northern Gardener Blog

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Hot Off the Press: Creating Sanctuary

By Mary Lahr Schier | July 19, 2019

This review originally appeared in the July/August issue of Northern Gardener. In Creating Sanctuary (Timber Press, 2018), author Jessi Bloom interweaves gardening practices with those of meditation, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic medicine. Readers familiar with organic and sustainable gardening philosophies will find many common techniques in Bloom’s work. As the book’s subtitle—Sacred Garden Spaces, Plant-Based Medicine,…

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Japanese Garden, Summer Bulbs, Shed DIY in New Northern Gardener

By Mary Lahr Schier | June 30, 2019

The July/August 2019 issue of Northern Gardener is on newsstands now and includes articles on a fabulous Japanese garden in St. Paul as well as recommendations of summer bulbs to plant and step-by-step instructions on how to build a shed of your own. It’s a fun issue and we hope you will love it. I…

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On the Lookout for Japanese Beetles

By Mary Lahr Schier | June 27, 2019

It’s that time of year where every trip to the garden involves an inspection for Japanese beetles. Are they here yet? So far, in my garden in St. Paul, the answer is no, not yet. Japanese beetles typically appear in Minnesota in late June or early July. They live for 6 to 8 weeks, creating…

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An Insider’s Look at Trends in Gardening

By Mary Lahr Schier | June 20, 2019

We’re so excited to be teaming with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on a program called “Trending Horticulture: Advancing the Art and Science of Gardening,” which will be held July 18 at the arboretum. This event is geared toward slightly more experienced gardeners and gardening enthusiasts who want to go deeper into topics and ideas and…

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Plant Profile: Penstemon

By Mary Lahr Schier | June 10, 2019

June is the month of flowers, with favorites like roses, irises and peonies in bloom. But one of my favorite June flowers is Penstemon, sometimes referred to as beardtongue because of the fuzzy growths inside the plants bloom. Penstemon is a group of plants that includes more than 250 species and most of them are…

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Three Bad Bugs in Northern Gardens

By Mary Lahr Schier | July 26, 2012 | 0 Comments

At the recent Upper Midwest Master Gardener conference at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, entomologist Jeff Hahn led a session called “Watch out for These Insects.” In it, he highlighted the top six insects that threaten gardens in the Upper Midwest. Here are three of them — tomorrow we’ll highlight three more. Some of these guys…

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Terry Yockey's Northern Garden

By Mary Lahr Schier | July 23, 2012 | 3 Comments

Terry Yockey’s Red Wing garden has been profiled in Midwest Home and Midwest Living magazines, as well as the subject of a some of Terry’s many articles for Northern Gardener. Terry is a Master Gardener in every sense of the word — extremely knowledgeable and generous with her time and talent. Her garden was recently…

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A Garden Writer's Garden

By Mary Lahr Schier | July 14, 2012 | 2 Comments

  This weekend, Meleah Maynard’s garden was part of the Hennepin County Master Gardener’s annual garden tour. Many of you may know Meleah (pronounced Me-Lee-ah) from her Perennial Favorites column in Northern Gardener, her feature stories or her book with Jeff Gilman, Decoding Garden Advice: The Science Behind the 100 Most Common Recommendations (Timber Press,…

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How Big? Planting the Right Size Shrubs

By Mary Lahr Schier | June 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

It’s happened to many gardeners and homeowners. You plant a trio of cute little shrubs in front of your house. Three years later, you’re hacking your way through the brush to get to the door. What happened? Nothing. You’re shrubs just grew to their intended size, and like children that go from pint-sized to six-footers…

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How to Find Your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

By Mary Lahr Schier | June 25, 2012 | 0 Comments

North America is divided into 10 cold-hardiness zones by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (It’s also divided into 12 heat zones, but those are not usually a concern in northern climates.) The hardiness zones are based on the lowest low temperature an area is likely to experience. So, if you live in Rochester, Minn., your …

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