Summertime Joy: Sunflowers

This article by Samantha Johnson originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. The splendiferous sunflower might not be the first plant that comes to mind when you think of your kitchen garden. But these beauties deserve a place in your edible garden for both their flowers and their seeds. Sunflowers are hardy…

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Plant Profile: Spotted Jewelweed

This article by Beth Stetenfeld originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. If you’d like to attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden, spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is a good choice. This tall, 2- to 5-foot, bushy plant can form dense colonies, but also works well as a border plant,…

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New Downy Mildew Resistant Impatiens Cultivars

This article by Debbie Lonneeand appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of the Northern Gardener. Almost 10 years ago, northern gardeners witnessed an unusual disease attack classic garden impatiens, the best-selling shade-tolerant bedding plant. Infection caused the total collapse and, ultimately, death of plantings. It moved easily by wind and rain, and would lay dormant…

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June Blooms, 2018: What’s Blooming Now?

Despite our late start this spring, many ornamental plants seem to be on schedule and the show of June blooms (peonies, irises, etc.) was spectacular. What’s blooming now? I took a walk around the neighborhood this morning to see what was blooming in the middle of June. Here’s what I saw:     Tucked amid…

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Planting Pansies: Is it Safe Yet?

As we dig out from yet another (please, please, please make it the last) spring snowstorm, gardeners can’t help but wonder: Is it safe to be planting pansies yet? Judging by the long-term forecast for the Twin Cities, it looks like this weekend may be a good time to plant pansies in your containers for…

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All-America Selections for 2018

Each year, new plants are tested at almost 200 public and university gardens around the country to help choose plants that will be labeled All-America Selections winners. These plants are considered stalwart performers either all over the United States or for a specific region, and generally an AAS label means the plant is going to…

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Plant Profile: Cleome

A few years ago, I was bored with my usual annual flowers. That’s when I heard about cleome, a tall, striking annual with a puff-ball flower and a distinctive smell — some people like it, some not so much. Cleome is large enough to look almost like a shrub — similar to a hydrangea, with…

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Should You Still Deadhead?

As we get passed the middle of August (arghh!!), it’s time to consider whether to deadhead or not. Deadheading is the practice of removing the spent flowers on plants – usually by snapping off a fading flower with your fingers or snipping off a stem with a bypass pruner. Deadheading has two main purposes. First,…

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So Many Coleus, So Little Time

The most recent issue of Northern Gardener includes a column about some of the great, recently developed coleus that you will find in garden centers. Coleus are ideal annuals for those who like foliage more than bloom. They come in a huge range of colors and sizes and the patterns they offer look especially striking…

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Easiest Annuals to Start from Seed

If you like to have a big, colorful floral display in your garden and change it up each year, there is nothing better than annual flowers. While it’s easy to find annuals in local garden centers in six packs or flats of 24, many annuals are easy to grow from seed, which can stretch your…

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