Notes from Northern Gardener Blog


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Happy Poinsettia Day! (Care Tips Included)

By Mary Lahr Schier | December 12, 2018

Today (December 12) is Poinsettia Day! Who knew this favorite holiday plant even had a day of its own. But, today is the anniversary of the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States ambassador to Mexico and an amateur botanist (among many other things), who took a cutting of Euphorbia pulcherrima and eventually…

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Hennepin County Horticultural Society Community Gardeners

By Mary Lahr Schier | December 11, 2018

This article by Brenda Harvieux originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Northern Gardener magazine. It’s one of a series of articles about community gardens assisted by the Minnesota Green program of MSHS. The Hennepin County Horticultural Society (HCHS) has tended several gardens at the Faith-Lilac Way Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale for four years.…

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Hot Off the Press: Potted and Pruned

By Mary Lahr Schier | December 6, 2018

This review by Julie Jensen originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Northern Gardener magazine. If you’re not interested in yet another technique for making “black gold” or killing off buckthorn but want to spend a few minutes thinking about gardening, reach for Potted and Pruned: Living a Gardening Life (Gardenvangelist Books, 2017). Carol…

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Plant Profile: Elderberry

By Mary Lahr Schier | December 4, 2018

If you are considering adding a shrub to your garden next year, think about elderberry — a native plant with unusual foliage, creamy blooms in spring, and berries that are incredibly healthful. What’s not to love ? Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) is a native shrub or small tree, hardy to USDA Zone 4. It produces blue-black…

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Mark Your Calendar for Spring Garden Gala Registration

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 30, 2018

The MSHS Spring Garden Gala has been the must-attend spring event for gardeners for several years now. After a bit of tweaking, we’re going back to our original format and location — and you can reserve your seat starting tomorrow–Saturday, Dec. 1. The 2019 Spring Garden Gala will be held on Thursday, April 4, at…

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Ideas for Easy Holiday Containers

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

I love over-the-top, full of bling and greenery holiday containers, but you can create welcoming holiday containers without an art degree or spending a lot of money. This year, I’m noticing more and more containers that are simple and striking. Here are three ideas for easy holiday containers to consider: Make the Sticks the Star…

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Three Books for Grateful Gardeners

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 22, 2018 | 2 Comments

Thanksgiving is a turning point in the garden year in the North. There is no denying that the only gardens we’re likely to tend from now until April are indoors or under plastic. It’s a good time for reading, taking classes and getting back to our day jobs. While there are lots of how-to books…

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Spotlight: The Impact of Sustaining Donors

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

This article by Diane Duvall originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Northern Gardener magazine. For more information about becoming a sustaining member of MSHS, contact Diane at or see our gift webpage. MSHS supporter, Tami Gallagher, describes herself as an “organized to the core gardener.” Tami’s business, Home Sown Gardens, provides gardening…

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We’ve Got Holly, Jolly Holiday Events Planned

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

The weather may have gotten cold early this year, but we’re planning some warm, holiday events to keep your gardening spirits high. Holiday Open House and Book Sale! Our annual Holiday Open House and Book Sale will included both used and new books this year. The open house, which will be held from 9 a.m.…

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Give to Support Community Gardens

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

Thursday is the annual “Give to the Max” Day, an easy online way for people to donate to their favorite organizations, and this year, gifts to MSHS will be used to support community gardens in the state through our Minnesota Green program. Minnesota Green has been around to support community gardens for 30 years, and…

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