A New Guide to Outside Style

With its friendly tone, practical sensibility and solid advice, Ryan McEnaney’s new book, Field Guide to Outside Style: Design and Plant Your Perfect Outdoor Space (Cool Springs Press, 2022), would be a great gift to any new homeowner or experienced gardener ready to revamp their yard. This book approaches garden design in a way that…

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Garden Zone Experiments


What’s your garden zone? Do you ever try to cheat it? Purple passion flower scales a trellis on the side of Beth’s home. I rarely do. Most of the plants I grow that belong in warmer zones have two fates: I allow them to perish with the first frost or freeze; or I place them…

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Tips and Tricks for Collecting Native Seeds 

collecting native seeds

Native plant seeds are drying and ready for collecting! First things first, always get permission from those who manage or own the site or garden. People are often happy to share seeds, but always best to ask first. This is especially true on public land, such as parks. Find the park manager or ranger to…

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Saving and Storing Dahlia Tubers

saving and storing dahlias

  Since dahlias are native to Mexico, it’s not surprising that they can’t survive our winters here. What makes them so popular with northern gardeners, however, is the fact that they grow from tubers, which we can dig up and store inside during the winter. This makes them “perennial” in some respects, because we can…

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What to Plant in October

what to plant in october

In October, many gardeners’ thoughts turn to clean-up and buttoning down for winter. But don’t scrub your trowel just yet—many plants thrive when planted in the fall, even in the North, and our weather for the first 10 days of the month looks lovely. Here are a few to add to your shopping list to…

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Ask a Master Gardener: Veggie Garden Clean Up

final tomato harvest

Hello and happy pumpkin spice season to those of you who celebrate! (I definitely do.) This summer went by quickly, but what could be better than pumpkins, hooded sweatshirts and fall colors? How about potato leek soup with frost-kissed leeks from the garden, or an entire stalk of brussels sprouts? I hope you’re savoring harvest…

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BOGO Perennials

bogo perennials

The intensely seasonal nature of the greenhouse and nursery industry in our region means that many gardeners only shop for plants in spring and early summer. Planting early in the season lengthens the amount of time a northern gardener can enjoy a plant that year, so it makes sense that most of us don’t buy…

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Shrubs to Plant Near Black Black Walnut

My massive black walnut tree has behavior issues. With the help of hordes of nut-addled squirrels, it drops a mess of debris and stains the concrete with hulls and shells. I hold my breath when people walk their dogs or kids through the alley, fearing someone will get beaned by a nut. My neighbor calls…

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Five Unexpected Fall Flowers for Northern Gardens


Some plants reliably look good in a northern fall garden. Asters, goldenrods, sedums, maybe a Russian sage and some grasses. Add a hydrangea with big blousy blooms and you’ve got a great fall garden in Minnesota. But what if you want something a little different, something with unexpected fall flowers and color? Hardy hibiscus Here…

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7 Ways to Downsize Your Garden Gently

There comes a moment in every gardener’s journey when your back really hurts. And, some time after that—maybe weeks or months or years—you think, “Maybe this is too much garden?” Deciding to downsize your garden can be an emotional decision, but you don’t have to abandon your garden to make it fit your lifestyle, your…

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