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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On Saturday, I gave a short talk at The Common Table at the Minnesota State Fair on the Best Books for New Gardeners. Common Table is a network of designers and food people who have come together to promote local food. One of their six principles is to nurture the soil and another is to…

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Gardening by Cuisine: An Organic-Food Lover’s Guide to Sustainable Living is the latest book by Patti Moreno, proprietress of one of the top urban gardening websites, Urban Sustainable Living and a former host of PBS’s Growing a Greener World. While the subtitle oversells the book a bit, this is a great introduction to growing food…

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During our series on vegetable gardening, we suggested several books that are good choices for beginning vegetable gardeners. Edible Gardening for the Midwest is another solid option, if you are looking for a book to give you are good start on setting up and tending a vegetable garden. Published by Lone Pine Publishing of Edmonton,…

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Some plants are like the popular kids in high school, says garden designer Andrew Keys in his new book, Why Grow THAT When You Can Grow This: 255 Extraordinary Alternatives to Everyday Problem Plants. Somehow they seem more glamorous or cool than everyone else, even though they may have issues of their own. In the…

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We have all visited those awe-inspiring gardens that seem to be designed to perfection. Season after season, they offer beauty, layers upon layers of color, texture, form and interest. While it’s easy to see that those gardens are lovely, figuring out how to create such beauty in your own yard is another, much more challenging…

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I’ve been meaning to review Evelyn J. Hadden’s latest book on creating yards with less or no lawn ever since she spoke at my hometown library last spring. Beautiful No-Mow Yards is Hadden’s second book on alternatives to turf, a subject she has been promoting for years. A Twin Cities resident, Hadden has become a…

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