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Book Reviews

Book Review: Hydroponic Gardening, The Very Easy Way

Larry Cipolla is a well-known Twin Cities University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener and garden speaker, who tends a wonderful garden in Edina. It combines a Japanese garden with an abundance of water features with innovative vegetable-growing strategies. He’s taken one of his special interests—hydroponic gardening—and provided a detailed discussion of how home gardeners can…

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Book Review: Searching for Minnesota’s Native Wildflowers

As spring creeps up on us, eager lovers of wildflowers will soon begin exploring Minnesota’s forests and natural areas looking for rue anemone, hepatica and Canada mayflower. They will be out again in summer to look for white prairie clover or horned bladderwort; and in fall, searching for signs of white rattlesnake root and heath…

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Book Review: Garden Builder Inspires Your Inner Carpenter

Gardeners like to work with their hands—planting, digging, weeding, watering, creating the perfect container display, sometimes even building things for the garden. To satisfy your inner carpenter, check out Joann Moser’s new book, Garden Builder: Plans and Instructions for 35 Projects You Can Make (Cool Springs Press, 2018). Joann’s book is the first of five…

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Book Review: Homegrown Pantry

Who among us has not accidentally planted six zucchini plants—only to be buried in summer squash come August? Or, harvested a huge number of potatoes and later found them soft, growing something strange from their beady little eyes? In her new book, Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener’s Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties and Planting the…

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Book Review: Succulents

Succulents have been having a vogue for the past several years, as everything from bridal bouquets to interior walls have been covered with these water-wise, geometric plants. Succulents include all plants that have a fleshy appearance and conserve water, including such northern favorites as hens-and-chicks and sedum. But many of us think of succulents as…

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Gift Ideas: Garden Book Division

Yesterday, we listed some garden gift ideas from our November/December issue of Northern Gardener magazine. Today, I wanted to suggest some options you might consider for your favorite gardeners who enjoy a garden book from time to time. We’ve written a few times about my new book of garden wisdom, based on the files of…

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Cool Plants for Cold Climates—Book Review

This book review first appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Northern Gardener magazine. Facing another Minnesota winter, it’s comforting to know that it could be worse. We could be gardening in Alaska, right? But Brenda Adams’ delightful new book, Cool Plants for Cold Climates, A Garden Designer’s Perspective (University of Alaska Press, 2017) makes gardening…

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Spirit of Stone Book Review

As the leaves fall, the structure of a garden emerges again. Elements such as walks, walls, seating and decorative pieces stand out as plants move into their quieter winter mode. In our formerly glacial landscape, stone is one of the best materials for creating these garden structures. Designer Jan Johnsen’s newest book, The Spirit of…

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Hot Off the Press: Planting in a Post-Wild World

This book review originally appeared in the May/June issue of Northern Gardener magazine. Don’t reach for Planting in a Post-Wild World if you’re looking for reassuring recommendations for what to plant later this spring. Despite its lush color photos, relaxed layout and elegant styling, these people are calling for revolution—one that is bound to be controversial…

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