Garden design

The Joy of a Secluded Garden

Gardeners have long known the value of a good fence or hedge. Putting a barrier between your garden and the outside world creates calm and a place where you can socialize with friends or just settle in with a good book. It also creates a distinct perimeter to design within and a cozy sense of…

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Winter is the Best Time for Garden Planning

It looks like we are in a for a frigid weekend, which makes it a great time to look out the window and dream about next year’s garden. Whether you are laying out your vegetable beds or planning a major renovation with patios, paths and new trees, shrubs and perennials, a few basic steps make…

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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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Birdbaths as Garden Art

Birdbaths are one of the easiest ways to add objects and ornamentation to your garden. And, they have the double benefit of helping wildlife. Like other kinds of garden art, birdbaths add a focal point to garden beds, giving the eye a place to rest amid the foliage and flowers. Even when birds are not…

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Purple is the New Green

It’s garden tour season, and I’ve been fortunate to attend several — with a couple more scheduled for later this week! What I love about touring gardens is you get a chance to see what others are trying in their gardens. Tours show you the real trends in garden design, and I always come away…

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Designing with Conifers

Last week, MSHS held its annual Garden Gathering and Volunteer Recognition Event at the garden of the Brennys of Anoka County. These events recognize people who have donated their time and talent to MSHS as well as those who have made significant financial contributions. What an amazing garden they saw, and one that demonstrates an…

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Garden Design Advice from a Pro

One of the best things about the home and garden shows held each year is for the price of admission you can get some great garden design advice from the pros. Friday night, I sat in on two talks. Here are three takeaways from a great talk on design from Don Engebretson, garden designer, stone…

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Creating a Cottage Garden for the North

As winter drags on, this chilly weekend would be a great time to think about garden design. A cottage garden is charming, productive and can be adapted to many house styles. If your house is tall, imposing and formal, you may want to stop reading here. A formal house almost demands symmetrical plantings, pairs of…

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Color Trends in the Garden

Each year, Pantone, a company that categorizes colors for designers, selects a Color of the Year. The selection usually gets a lot of media attention and is a good hint as to what kinds of colors you will see for the summer clothing, home decor, drapes and sheets on sale in Target and other retailers.…

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