Notes from Northern Gardener Blog

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Plant Profile: Phlox

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 22, 2019

Phlox are among the most adaptable perennials for northern gardens. Garden phlox stand tall while creeping phlox spreads along the ground. Some bloom pink or near blue, while others are bright white. One type of phlox is a sign of spring, while others hold out until summer to bloom. Most phlox are native to North…

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10 Reasons Gardens Matter

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 15, 2019

Sunday was the official National Gardening Day, a day to mark appreciation for gardeners and gardening in what is for most of the country mid-spring. For us, it’s just another day of snow melting. But gardens matter, and for so many reasons. Here are 10 we think are particularly important: 1. It’s good for your…

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Spotlight: MSHS and Bad Weather Brewery

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 11, 2019

This article by Lara Lau-Schommer originally appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. Over the past year, the event center at Bad Weather Brewing Company has been the venue for five MSHS classes. Class attendees engaged in projects such as making Valentine’s Day wreaths, Thanksgiving centerpieces and Japanese kokedamas while enjoying a complimentary…

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Spring Garden Classes: Inspiration Galore

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 10, 2019

Despite the threat of another snowstorm (blizzard???) this week, April is the time to get excited about the garden year ahead. And, we have a particularly inspiring group of classes and webinars on tap over the next couple of weeks. Whether your interest is container gardening or garden photography, we’ve got a class to enjoy.…

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See Our Arrangement at Art in Bloom

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 9, 2019

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) will host its annual Art in Bloom fundraiser beginning Thursday and running through the weekend. We hope you’ll stop by to see our entry, which is based on Francesco da Ponte’s “The Element of Water.” The painting is from 1576-77 and can be found in gallery G341 at Mia.…

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When Can We Get in the Spring Garden?

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 2, 2019 | 1 Comment

This is the time of year when Extension Service employees and garden center workers have a mantra: Stay off the grass. Stay out of the garden! It takes a long time for soil that has been as frozen as ours was this year to thaw out, dry out and be ready to handle the pressure…

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Munsinger and Clemens Gardens: Minnesota Green Partners

By Mary Lahr Schier | March 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

This article by Tom McKusick originally appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. Munsinger and Clemens Gardens, a free public garden located on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, attracts more than 350,000 visitors every year. The park consists of two distinct but adjacent gardens. Munsinger Gardens began in the…

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Rethinking Garden Beauty with Piet Oudolf

By Mary Lahr Schier | March 21, 2019 | 2 Comments

The MSHS series of showings of Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf has been extremely popular during our still chilly final days of this long winter. I attended the sold-out showing at the Riverview Theatre in south Minneapolis a week ago, and have been thinking about it ever since. Piet Oudolf is one of…

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Book Review: Vertical Vegetables

By Mary Lahr Schier | March 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Vertical Vegetables: Simple Projects that Deliver More Yield in Less Space (Cool Springs Press, 2018) by Twin Cities-based garden blogger Amy Andrychowicz describes a variety of easy projects for gardeners who have limited space but want to grow lots of vegetables and flowers. Andrychowicz is the proprietor of, a very successful website for beginning…

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Diagnose Plant Problems with Anoka County Master Gardeners

By Mary Lahr Schier | March 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

This article by Brenda Harvieux originally appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. Master gardeners in Anoka County offer plant and insect diagnostic clinics at the Bunker Hills Activities Center in Andover. On Wednesday evenings, June through August, they answer common horticulture questions and assess samples for community members, who need help identifying…

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