Great Grasses for Minnesota Gardens

Some time ago, a blog reader asked us to suggest ornamental grasses for Minnesota gardens. Since parts of Minnesota were once part of the “sea of grass” of the Great Plains, grasses look natural here and are well-adapted to our climate and soils. They are a great addition to most Minnesota gardens. Grasses are easy…

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Pollinator Friendly Gardens, Part 3

Many gardeners want to create pollinator friendly gardens because butterflies and bees add to the health of a garden as well as it’s appearance. Water sources and other garden features are helpful, as are garden practices that encourage rather than harm pollinators. Now, what to plant. You can find a variety of lists of plants…

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Planting for Pollinators

Some problems seem so big and complicated that you almost give up on doing anything about them. Please, don’t give up on pollinators — whether bees, Monarch butterflies or any of the hundreds of creatures that pollinate food and ornamental plants. Home gardeners can make a huge difference in how well these creatures survive and…

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Have You Tried Variegated Solomon's Seal?

Each year, the Perennial Plant Association names its plant of the year, and this year’s plant is a beautiful foliage plant for shade, Variegated Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’). It’s a lovely plant with 1- to 2-foot-long arching stems, bright green leaves and an architectural look. the Northern Gardener horticultural editor, Debbie Lonnee, says, “This…

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Five Plants More Northern Gardeners Should Grow

Don Engebretson, a.k.a., The Renegade Gardener, calls himself “the lone voice of horticultural reason.” That may be a bit of an overstatement, but Don — who also writes Northern Gardener’s By Design column — does make a lot of sense when he talks about plant choices. One of his basic points for gardeners is that…

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