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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August Garden To Dos

I normally adopt a dry farmer’s attitude—I get plants established and then let the rain do the rest. But not this year. Keeping up with watering needs has been a challenge. There was a span of a couple of days where I watered, it rained, I watered some more and by the end of the…

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Planting for Pollinators

Planting for pollinators… the concept was just a blip on the radar a few years ago. Now it’s a nationwide trend, only growing in popularity. When we think about pollinator conservation, we often look at restoring large swaths of habitat by adding native prairie plants—the vibrant collections of flowers and native grasses insects rely on…

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Celebrating National Pollinator Week

celebrating pollinator week

Planting for pollinator habitat as our climate changes is so important—we have the opportunity to adapt our cultivated environments to make room for more native pollinators. Researchers are learning more every day about how these essential creatures survive and thrive. During this National Pollinator Week, we’re shining a bright spotlight on this important work and…

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7 Plants to Attract Bumble Bees to the Garden

bumblebee on coneflower

Honey bees get a lot of attention and credit as hardworking pollinators, and we all understand the benefits of keeping a hive or two of honey bees near the garden. But amidst all the buzz about honey bees, we sometimes overlook the contributions of the humble bumble bee to the success of our gardens. There’s…

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Growing Together: Kandiyohi County Master Gardeners

Kandiyohi County University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners want to help gardeners take care of the environment, and their annual Fall Presentation Night addresses some big issues and solutions based on University of Minnesota research. The event, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17 at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center…

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Do You Have a Healthy Yard?

A while back, we came across a handout from the forestry division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In a simple four-page fold-out, the DNR offers some great ideas for creating a healthy yard. (The handout is from a couple of years ago, but it’s still available online.) The stereotypical American yard with a…

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How to Create a Bird Friendly Garden

Not too long ago, we came across a pamphlet from the Saint Paul Audubon Society on sustaining songbirds and other wildlife in your garden. It’s not a long booklet, but is full of great ideas for creating bird friendly garden that benefits native insects and other critters, too. The key to sustaining songbirds and other…

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Gardeners and Earth Day

It’s been almost 45 years since the first Earth Day, which will be marked tomorrow with celebrations, conferences and lots of educational events. One of the best ways to help the Earth all year is to keep a garden. Gardens reduce waste, food miles, provide habitat for insects, birds and other creatures and they also…

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Gardening for Birds (and Bees and Everything Else)

Gardening for birds, bees and other wildlife is not difficult — and it definitely does not mean your yard will look messy. The next issue of Northern Gardener (out in a week or so) includes a great article from Susan Davis Price about the National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Habitat program and several Minnesota gardeners who…

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