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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Plant Profile: Ninebark

During the recent Garden Bloggers Fling, I had an opportunity to watch Sarah Nixon of My Luscious Backyard demonstrate how to make a bouquet using the flowers and foliage from typical gardens. Sarah runs a service in Toronto where she provides bouquets to homes and businesses every week during the growing season — sort of…

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Everything Looks Good Next to a Blue Hosta

  I had a chance over the weekend to travel to Toronto in Canada for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling. This three-day event involves lots and lots of touring of great gardens. When you look at a lot of nice gardens in a short period of time you start to notice things, and here is…

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Color of the Year: Marsala in the Garden

A nice glass of Marsala, anyone? Over the next year, you can expect to see more foliage and flowers boasting the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015, a wine red called Marsala. Pantone is a company that provides graphic designers, printers, and others with a systematic way to identify and label color tones. Each year,…

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Do You Have a Healthy Yard?

A while back, we came across a handout from the forestry division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In a simple four-page fold-out, the DNR offers some great ideas for creating a healthy yard. (The handout is from a couple of years ago, but it’s still available online.) The stereotypical American yard with a…

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It's Not Too Late to Renew Your Garden

We are getting toward the end of the gardening season, but there is still time to re-do a bed or undertake another garden renewal project. If watered properly, trees, shrubs and perennials will thrive, even when planted in October. The September/October issue of Northern Gardener includes a great article from Martin Stern of Squire House…

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