Bee Lawns and Beyond

bee on clover

A lush carpet of green extends in all directions at calf-height, covering what used to be a boring lawn space with a vibrant community of blooms supporting a bounty of buzzing bees, butterflies and other beautiful bugs. This is a bee lawn, a space where people and pollinators play together. The first time I installed…

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Ask a Master Gardener: Finding Neonicotinoid-Free Plants

monarch on tithonia

Hello from South Minneapolis, where we have finally gotten some rain and slight relief to our drought conditions. This month’s Ask the Master Gardener question is about neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides commonly used in the nursery industry as well as home gardens. Question: Where can I buy neonicotinoid-free plants for my yard and garden?…

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How to Build a Rain Garden

rain garden

Rain gardens collect and filter stormwater runoff from impermeable surfaces such as building rooftops and parking lots. These surfaces often contain pollutants and debris like chemicals from cars, pet waste, grass clippings, road salt, and other nutrient-heavy sediment that rainfall washes away. We can prevent these foreign particles from washing into nearby waterways by redirecting…

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Helping Endangered Monarchs

monarch on sage

Photons of light race away from the surface of Sol at 186,000 miles per second. Penetrating the atmosphere, infrared light rays reach terra firma, bouncing off a milkweed plant and directly into thousands of compound ommatidia inside the eyes of a passing monarch butterfly, the plant having no choice but to broadcast the results of…

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Ask a Master Gardener: Where Can I Recycle Plastic Plant Pots?

black plastic nursery pots

Greetings, fellow gardeners of the north. As a Hennepin County Master Gardener, I’m used to fielding questions about gardening. From “does my ash tree have emerald ash borer?” to “why do I never get any tomatoes?” I’ve been contributing columns, feature articles and photographs to Northern Gardener magazine for about three years now, and jumped…

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Native Plants for Any Garden

There is little else as satisfying in the garden as watching wildlife use the space: cardinals dashing in and out of oaks, skipper butterflies and sweat bees methodically circling coneflower blooms. What is a garden without the critical ecological function that makes the world work and brings us closer to nature? When we cultivate native…

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New Northern Gardener Available

The July/August issue of Northern Gardener will be on news stands later this week, with the pretty purple prairie clover on the cover. This issue has a focus on sustainability and includes an interview with James Calkins of the University of Minnesota on how to design (or redesign) your landscape using principles that focus on…

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