Best Books for Bird Gardeners

Are you a “bird gardener?” Many gardeners love the natural world and also enjoy it by hiking, biking, fishing or watching birds. As a home gardener, you are in a great position to nurture birds in your area. While setting up a bird feeder helps, the plant choices and design decisions you make can also…

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Plant Profile: Bee Balm

We’ve written about bee balm (Monarda) on this blog before because, frankly, it’s such a star in the summer garden. It seems that every year during garden tour season, I spot stands of bee balm that just stop me in my tracks. This year has been no different. Check out this beautiful stand of bee…

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Best Plants for Butterflies

Purple coneflower — a classic plant for butterflies for sunny, loamy sites. Friday’s post on the best plants for bees and other pollinators has been very popular, so we wanted to follow up with this post on Heather Holm’s suggestions for the best plants for butterflies. Heather is a Minnesota gardener and expert on pollinators.…

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Best Plants for Bees and Other Pollinators

The gardening adage that you should put the right plant in the right place applies to gardening for bees and other pollinators as well. During the District 7 Spring Fling last Saturday, author Heather Holm offered a helpful list of which are the best plants for bees and other pollinators, depending on the soil and…

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Gardeners and Pollinators

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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Save Our Monarchs: Minnesota State Fair Partner

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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Protecting Pollinators at the Minnesota State Fair

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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Hot Off the Press: Pollinators of Native Plants

This review originally appeared in the May/June 2014 issue of Northern Gardener. If you are serious about native plants and pollinators, this is the book for you. Entitled Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants, the first three chapters provide an exhaustive course in all things pollination,…

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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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Pollinator Friendly Gardens, Part 2

Having the right features in your garden will help attract pollinators, but the gardening practices you follow will make sure they stay there and do all the wonderful pollination they were born to do. Here are a few garden practices to employ to create pollinator friendly gardens. 1) Pick native plants. While some pollinators are…

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