Notes from Northern Gardener Blog

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Grasses and Butterflies: A New E-Book Explains Connections

By Mary Lahr Schier | February 18, 2019

While many gardeners plant coneflowers, milkweed, black-eyed Susans and other blooming plants to help butterflies, ornamental grasses are also vital to the eco-system of these important creatures. A new, free e-book by Prof. Mary H. Meyer and Diane Narem describes the best ornamental grasses for cold climates AND which ones are most used by butterflies.…

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The Joy of a Secluded Garden

By Mary Lahr Schier | February 13, 2019

Gardeners have long known the value of a good fence or hedge. Putting a barrier between your garden and the outside world creates calm and a place where you can socialize with friends or just settle in with a good book. It also creates a distinct perimeter to design within and a cozy sense of…

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Big Change at St. Paul Home and Landscape Show

By Mary Lahr Schier | February 12, 2019

The St. Paul Home and Landscape Show (formerly called the Minnesota Home and Patio Show) is changing this year, but MSHS will be there with a variety of bulbs, plants, books, garden decor and educational opportunities. Those who are MSHS members receive free admission to the show, which will be held Feb. 15-17,  as part…

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Growing Together: Bemidji Garden Club

By Mary Lahr Schier | February 5, 2019

This article by Brenda Harvieux originally appeared in the January/February issue of Northern Gardener. Like other garden clubs, the Bemidji Garden Club has regular meetings, community plantings they tend, a spring plant sale and tours to exceptional gardens, but what stands out is the members’ commitment to the environment and local food.   At the…

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Piet Oudolf Film Celebrates Gardens

By Mary Lahr Schier | January 31, 2019

If you have ever visited Lurie Gardens in Chicago or the High Line in New York City, you have seen the work of noted landscape designer Piet Oudolf. He’s considered a revolutionary in landscape design and it’s true that his landscapes have a special feel. Whether its the stunning Salvia River at Lurie or the…

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Book Review: Gardening Complete

By Mary Lahr Schier | January 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

This review by Julie Jensen originally appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. As you plod through the gardening off-season, you may wish for the chance to hear from a variety of gardening pros on ways to develop your horticultural repertoire. Taking a class is one option (and a good one). Another is…

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Winter is the Best Time for Garden Planning

By Mary Lahr Schier | January 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

It looks like we are in a for a frigid weekend, which makes it a great time to look out the window and dream about next year’s garden. Whether you are laying out your vegetable beds or planning a major renovation with patios, paths and new trees, shrubs and perennials, a few basic steps make…

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2019 All-America Selections: Tested Garden Favorites

By Mary Lahr Schier | January 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Each November, January and July, All-America Selections, a nonprofit organization that tests new plants for home gardeners, announces its winning plants from the previous season. The plants are all new to the market and all of them have undergone extensive testing in trial gardens around the country. (One of those gardens is in Morris, Minnesota,…

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Winter Flower Show at Como Conservatory

By Mary Lahr Schier | January 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

Even though it’s felt like we live in Seattle the past — oh, maybe — four months, it is still January in Minnesota. That means short days, cold temps and a chance to escape at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park. I love, love, love the conservatory, especially in January. The air is moist,…

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Using Living Coral in the Garden

By Mary Lahr Schier | January 9, 2019 | 0 Comments

Each year Pantone names its Color of the Year. Pantone produces a line of color-matching products that are invaluable to graphic designers and others who have to get colors just right. In the recent past, the Color of the Year has included Marsala, Radiant Orchid, Greenery and Tangerine Tango. This year’s color is called Living Coral…

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