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Shrubs

Planting in Summer? Rough Up Those Roots!

While most gardeners like to plant in spring or fall, you can find lots of deals on perennials, shrubs and even trees during the time from mid-June to September. But planting in summer works, too. As long as you are careful to water, most plants will do just fine if planted in mid-summer. But here’s…

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Best Trees and Shrubs for Fall Color

According to the color watchers in Minnesota, this week marks the peak of fall color in central and southern Minnesota. Most of northern Minnesota is past peak already. Maples, birches and other northern-hardy trees along with many deciduous shrubs are lighting up yards and roadways around the state with their last blast of color before…

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Plant Profile: Redbud Tree

Don’t let today’s cold and rain bother you. It won’t be long before we’ll be seeing the soft pink clouds of bloom that surround the Minnesota-hardy redbuds that are so popular here in the North. Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a smallish ornamental tree (or large shrub) that can be shaped either on a single stem…

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Plant Profile: Tiger Eyes Sumac

Staghorn sumac is a large treelike shrub native to the eastern edge of Minnesota, Wisconsin and much of southeastern Canada. Tall with an umbrella habit as it matures, stagorn or cutleaf sumac is a great choice for larger, wilder landscapes. Birds love it and the fruits can be used for everything from dyes to lemonade.…

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Plant Profile: Lilac

Does any plant say spring in northern gardens quite like lilacs? With their lush scent and pretty purple or white blooms, lilacs reach their peak in late May to early June. The old-fashioned common lilac ((Syringa vulgaris) typically grows well over 10 feet tall and wide and can be grouped to form a dense hedge.…

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Plant Profile: Magic Magnolias

Magnolias are wonderful small trees or shrubs, which despite their southern connections, can work as spring-flowering plants for gardens in USDA Zone 4 — about the southern half of Minnesota, as well as areas along Lake Superior. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has a fine collection of magnolias and they are blooming right now. Magnolias for…

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Slash and Plant Shrubs

Early spring is a great time to plant new shrubs and perennials, and if you check your local nursery, you may even find some bargains. Shrubs that have been in their pots all winter are ready to go in the ground, but they need a little slashing before you plant them. Why? Most plants that…

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Garden Trend: Trees that Look Like Taylor Swift

‘Tis the season for horticulture days, spring flings and assorted other garden events. Saturday I had a chance to attend the District 7 Spring Fling, where Northern Gardener horticulture editor Debbie Lonnee discussed some of the new plants that will be introduced this year and over the next few years. (You can read Debbie’s picks…

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Where to Buy Witch Hazel

The cover story for the November/December issue of Northern Gardener is about witch hazel, a little-planted but lovely shrub. As author Betsy Danielson notes, “Witch hazels could be the poster plants for the underappreciated.” It’s unfortunate because witch hazels have plenty to offer. Their flowers bloom on the edge of the season — early in…

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Garden Trends: Woody Plants in Containers

One of the garden trends we’re hearing about for 2014 is the greater use of woody plants — shrubs and trees — in containers. Using woody plants in containers offers greater choices to those with small or patio gardens. It also gives gardeners an opportunity to try plants that may be outside of our hardiness…

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