Our educational booth at the Minnesota State Fair is aimed at teaching fair-goers more about pollinators and their important role in our food system. There are a variety of factors in the decline of pollinators — habitat loss, diseases and parasites, pesticide use, climate change — it’s a long list. But gardeners can help pollinators…

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The MSHS booth at the Minnesota State Fair is a popular place to buy garden gifts for others or yourself. The booth features lots of books and fun garden T-shirts, but also gloves, a few garden tools and lots of artwork to display in your garden. I checked in with the staff at the booth…

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This year, MSHS is working with Save Our Monarchs to provide free milkweed seeds to up to 650 fairgoers. If you are not familiar with Save Our Monarchs, it is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization of gardeners who are concerned about monarch butterflies. Destruction of habitat and other factors have led to a dramatic decline in…

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One of the top issues with gardeners these days is the plight of pollinators — bees, other insects and butterflies. If you have gardened for any length of time, you cannot help but notice that pollinator numbers are down. Protecting pollinators has become a big issue with many gardeners. This year, the theme of the…

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The Minnesota State Fair can be a hot, dusty and crowded place, but there are places of refuge. One of them is the MSHS State Fair Garden, which is at the corner of Underwood and Judson in the southeast end of the fairgrounds. The garden is designed to show how lush a Minnesota garden can…

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The annual MSHS Minnesota State Fair Cacti, Succulent and Potted Plant Show is underway through tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 22) in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building at the fair. In addition to the folks competing for ribbons, several plant societies have displays worth a visit. The  Minnesota Hosta Society, the Upper Midwest Carnivorous Plant Society and the Minnesota…

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The Minnesota State Fair doesn’t open until tomorrow, but we’re getting everything ready to go for what is possibly the busiest two weeks of the year for the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Here’s what we have going: Our Booth near THE DIRT stage in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building offers members a chance to renew their membership.…

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One of the more unusual herbs shown at the MSHS Educational Display at the Minnesota State Fair is patchouli, a tender perennial that is often used in perfumes and is grown for its fragrant leaves. It is often associated with incenses of the 1960s and its hippie roots. Patchouli (Pogostemon heyneanus) is a member of the…

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Culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) is one of the hardiest herbs. Though not 100 percent reliable as a perennial in Minnesota, growing sage is relatively easy — and it has so many uses in the kitchen and beyond. Of course, we are all familiar with sage as an flavoring in Thanksgiving turkey stuffing, but it also…

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