Planting Perennials in Fall

Fall is a great time to plant spring-blooming bulbs, tress, shrubs and, yes, perennials. While many people choose spring for planting perennials, there are some real advantages to fall planting, especially if you do it in September. Here are five reasons to be planting perennials in fall: Softer Weather. May weather is all over the…

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Goldenrod and Asters

This article by Rhonda Fleming Haye originally appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. Salt and pepper. Batman and Robin. Spaghetti and meatballs. Rhythm and blues. Goldenrod and asters. What? Allow me some alliteration when I say goldenrod and asters are a perfect pairing of powerhouse plants for pollinators. Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of…

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Plant Profile: Cardinal Flower

This article by Lynn Steiner first appeared September/October 2019 issue of Northern Gardner. Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) gets its name from the brilliant red flowers that grow in an elongated cluster atop the stems, midsummer through early fall. The tubular flowers are two-lipped, with the three lobes of the lower lip appearing more prominent than…

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Ornamental Onion Cultivars

This article by Debbie Lonnee first appeared January/February 2020 issue of the Northern Gardener.  The genus Allium (commonly known as onion) consists of several species that many northern gardeners know well, most commonly chives which have been used for eons in cooking. But, in recent years, there has been an explosion of ornamental onion cultivars.…

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Northern Natives: Whorled Milkweed

This article by Beth Stetenfeld originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. Most gardeners are aware that monarch butterflies benefit when we plant milkweed in our gardens. All species in the Asclepias genus are host plants for monarchs—they lay their eggs on the plants and the hatched caterpillars then feed on the…

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Plant Spotlight: Wild Ginger

This article was written by Beth Stetenfeld and appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of the Northern Gardener. Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) is a plant of many surprises—also many names. It is commonly called woodland ginger, Canada ginger, snakeroot, colic root, coltsfoot, namepin and sturgeon potato. In the garden or the wild it seems unassuming, but…

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Plant Profile: Eastern Red Columbine

This article was written by Beth Stetenfeld and appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of  Northern Gardener. When you happen upon eastern red columbine in the wild—with angled sun glinting on the bright red and yellow of its bell-shaped blossoms—it can be a magical moment. This plant is equally lovely in garden settings. It works…

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Best Plants for Hummingbirds

The current issue of Northern Gardener includes a column by Rhonda Fleming Hayes on easy-to-grow vines to attract hummingbirds. I’ve already planted one of them—hyacinth bean vine—in a spot where I’ll be able to watch the hummingbirds from my kitchen window. One of the MSHS Pollinator Paks™ also includes six fabulous perennial plants for hummingbirds.…

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Plant Profile: Monarda Punctata

This article by Beth Stetenfield first appeared in the May/June 2020 edition of the Northern Gardener. Spotted beebalm is a guaranteed pollinator magnet. Add it to your garden or property and you will see pollinators—butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees, hummingbird moths, hummingbirds and others. While it’s a biennial or short-lived perennial, it readily self-seeds and naturalizes when…

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Native Aster Species for Northern Gardeners

This article by Benjamin Vogt originally appeared in the September/October 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. If you’ve wandered by a native aster on a crisp autumn afternoon while the sun warms your back, then you’ve seen what this plant does for local wildlife, especially pollinating insects and bugs. From a distance, it may seem like…

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