Notes from Northern Gardener Blog

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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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Growing Together: The Fairest Garden

By Mary Lahr Schier | June 6, 2019

This article by Brenda Harvieux  appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. Former master gardener research plots at the Washington County fairgrounds have recently seen a vast expansion and reimagining. Now 13 display gardens, collectively known as the Fairest Garden, the space is a much-loved destination. “We don’t have a financial sponsor,” says…

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How Old? An Old Elm in South Minneapolis

By Mary Lahr Schier | June 5, 2019

A reader contacted me recently about her very old (and very beautiful) American elm tree. The tree, she noted, had a circumference of 17 feet and was believed by some in the neighborhood to be about 240 years old. Would I like to take pictures of it? You bet! The homeowner told me she was…

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Caring for Bulbs After Bloom

By Mary Lahr Schier | May 30, 2019

A few late tulips and daffodils are still blooming, but many spring-blooming bulbs are past their prime now. So how do you care for bulbs after bloom? Here are some tips: Deadhead. Unless you are planning to harvest seed or you want the bulbs to naturalize and spread in an area, start by removing the…

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Gear Up for Plant Shopping with Our Discount Partners

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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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Plant Profile: Phlox

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

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 | 4 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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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Contact Mary Lahr Schier, MSHS blogger, at mary@maryschier.com.