Usually when we write these plant profiles it’s about a plant we think makes a great addition to northern yards and gardens. Garlic mustard—not so much. But this is a plant that you should know so you can identify it when it enters your yard—and get rid of it ASAP. To Learn More If you…

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Last year, when the City of St. Paul removed 33 ash trees from the two blocks around my house, they planted a variety of trees to replace them. Some ginkgos, a few crabapples, a few others, but the largest number of trees planted were swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor). It’s a great choice for an…

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If you enjoy watching hummingbirds in the garden or seeing lots of pollinators on your plants, be sure to plant some annual salvias next year. Salvia is an enormous genus of plants with more than 1,000 species, including those that are annual, perennial or shrubs. The herb sage (Salvia officianalis) is also a salvia. Note:…

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What winter-bound northern gardener doesn’t love a tree that grows indoors? That may explain the popularity of Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla), an easy to care for, textural plant that can grow to indoor-tree size over several years. Many people get Norfolk Island pines as a holiday gift because they have the look of a…

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Walking in the neighborhood this week, I noticed the beautiful red berries of winterberry on several shrubs planted around the foundation of one of my favorite houses. These folks have a beautiful landscape filled with hardy and native plants that look just right in our northern climate. For winter interest and bird-feeding beauty, nothing beats…

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Douglas Tallamy, the scientist who wrote the best-seller Bringing Nature Home, says that if you want to plant a tree for pollinators, birds and other wildlife, plant an oak, particularly a native oak. Oaks support more than 500 types of pollinators by providing shelter, food and habitat. They also bring in birds galore. The northern…

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There’s been a lot of conversation recently about the most resilient trees to plant in the North to endure climate change. One that is always on the list is the Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba ), which is a tough urban tree that can handle salt, has the right height and shape to be a boulevard…

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June is the month of flowers, with favorites like roses, irises and peonies in bloom. But one of my favorite June flowers is Penstemon, sometimes referred to as beardtongue because of the fuzzy growths inside the plants bloom. Penstemon is a group of plants that includes more than 250 species and most of them are…

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Each November, January and July, All-America Selections, a nonprofit organization that tests new plants for home gardeners, announces its winning plants from the previous season. The plants are all new to the market and all of them have undergone extensive testing in trial gardens around the country. (One of those gardens is in Morris, Minnesota,…

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Today (December 12) is Poinsettia Day! Who knew this favorite holiday plant even had a day of its own. But, today is the anniversary of the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States ambassador to Mexico and an amateur botanist (among many other things), who took a cutting of Euphorbia pulcherrima and eventually…

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