A New Guide to Outside Style

With its friendly tone, practical sensibility and solid advice, Ryan McEnaney’s new book, Field Guide to Outside Style: Design and Plant Your Perfect Outdoor Space (Cool Springs Press, 2022), would be a great gift to any new homeowner or experienced gardener ready to revamp their yard. This book approaches garden design in a way that…

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Book Review: The Urban Garden

City gardens can be challenging: they are generally small, often on public display, with less than ideal soil and difficult watering. But as anyone who has toured some of the wonderful urban gardens in Minneapolis or St. Paul knows, these gardens can be tiny jewels. In The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and…

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150 Tips: Garden Design and Planning Ideas

Winter is the best time to plan and design your garden, whether you’re putting together a layout for your vegetable garden or a master plan for a new landscape. Garden planning requires taking measurements and prioritizing some types of plants and projects above others. Here are five garden planning and design tips that still work…

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Book Review: New Naturalism

Horticulturist Kelly D. Norris packs a lot of ideas, information and philosophy in New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient and Ecologically Vibrant Home Landscape (Cool Springs Press, 2021). The book argues for a “nature-forward” approach to home garden design—an approach in which gardeners plant with the ecological functions of plants, the natural tendencies of…

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Tips from Garden Tours 2021

It’s been great fun to be on garden tours again in 2021 after a year off during the pandemic. As always, I’m learning a lot from the wonderful gardeners who open their yards to visitors. Here are three tips from garden tours this year: Chartreuse is a Power Color My sister and I took the…

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A Bouquet of Book Reviews for Spring

It’s spring, and along with the daffodils and spring ephemerals, it’s a time when new books of interest to gardeners emerge. Here are four mini book reviews of newer books we like. A Way to Garden (Timber Press, 2019) by Margaret Roach is a revision to the book Roach published more than 20 years ago.…

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Rethinking Garden Beauty with Piet Oudolf

The MSHS series of showings of Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf has been extremely popular during our still chilly final days of this long winter. I attended the sold-out showing at the Riverview Theatre in south Minneapolis a week ago, and have been thinking about it ever since. Piet Oudolf is one of…

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Piet Oudolf Film Celebrates Gardens

If you have ever visited Lurie Gardens in Chicago or the High Line in New York City, you have seen the work of noted landscape designer Piet Oudolf. He’s considered a revolutionary in landscape design and it’s true that his landscapes have a special feel. Whether its the stunning Salvia River at Lurie or the…

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Garden Design Advice from a Pro

One of the best things about the home and garden shows held each year is for the price of admission you can get some great garden design advice from the pros. Friday night, I sat in on two talks. Here are three takeaways from a great talk on design from Don Engebretson, garden designer, stone…

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Day 4: What to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden

For most gardeners, deciding which vegetables to plant is greatly affected by yesterday’s topic: whether they’ll be gardening in traditional beds, raised beds, or containers. You wouldn’t want to try to grow corn in a pot, and a number of other vegetables would also be impractical. But there are lots of other choices—no matter what…

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