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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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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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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This article originally appeared in the July/August issue of Northern Gardener. The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden by Karen Newcomb (Ten Speed Press  2015) is an up-to-date revision of her 1975 debut of postage stamp gardening. The author pulls together virtually everything one needs to know to begin growing organic vegetables in tiny to not-so-small gardens.…

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This article originally appeared in the May/June 2016 issue of Northern Gardener. Combining the edible with the ornamental has become the goal of many gardeners, especially those who garden next to neighbors. Vermont gardener Charlie Nardozzi calls this style of gardening foodscaping (food + landscape). In this, his fourth gardening book, Foodscaping (Cool Springs Press,…

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This review originally appeared in the March/April 2016 issue of Northern Gardener. Jewels of the Plains By Claude A. Barr University of Minnesota Press 2015 Claude A. Barr was a college-educated homesteader in early 20th century South Dakota who became an international expert on wildflowers of the Great Plains. After giving up farming for ranching,…

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Simple Flower Arranging by Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks (DK Publishing, 2014) This visually stunning book is a piece of art itself, but you won’t want to just leave it on the table. Entitled Simple Flower Arranging, Step-By-Step Designs & Techniques, this is a collection of recipes for flower arrangements from the truly simple (gypsophila…

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Edited by Lee Buttala and Shanyn Siegel; written by Miceala Colley and Jared Zystro To celebrate its 40th year of collecting, preserving and sharing seeds, Decorah, Iowa-based Seed Savers Exchange partnered with the Organic Seed Alliance to publish this detailed and beautifully illustrated volume subtitled The Art and Practice of Seed Saving. In a brief…

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This review appears in the July/August 2015 issue of Northern Gardener. If you’re tired of being told exactly how to create the most beautiful containers or the most efficient compost piles, or how to grow the biggest, newest, weirdest edibles, you might consider leafing through Cultivating Garden Style. The author, Rochelle Greayer, is a garden…

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