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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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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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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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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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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Minnesota author Heather Holm’s latest bee guide has the detail to satisfy even the most engaged citizen scientists and the scope to give beginning gardeners ideas for creating bee habitats. Bees: An Identification and Plant Forage Guide (Pollinator Press, 2017) is a follow up to Holm’s earlier book Pollinators of Native Plants (Pollinator Press, 2014)…

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This review originally appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of Northern Gardener. Growing fresh, clean food. How hard can that be? Well, in USDA Zones 3 and 4, growing organic vegetables and berries sometimes feels like hoping for a series of miracles. In Fresh from the Garden: An Organic Guide to Growing Vegetables, Berries, and…

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With so much interest in helping bees and other pollinators, many gardeners are asking: So, what do I plant? While declines in pollinator populations are due to a variety of factors, including monocropping, pesticide use, loss of habitat, climate change and disease spikes in certain pollinators, gardeners can be part of the solution to the…

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This review originally appeared in the November/December issue of Northern Gardener. Have you ever been fumbling around, searching for the right terms to explain your latest gardening crisis to a Master Gardener so that you get usable information? Or, are you trying to decode the enthusiastic language of a garden catalog to ensure you choose…

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