Useful Gifts for the Gardener

  • Post published:December 10, 2016

  For me most holiday gifts for the gardener fall into two main categories, functional and informational. Functional gifts include the necessary tools a gardener needs. We all start out with fairly inexpensive tools, partly because as a beginning gardener we don’t really know how hard a tool will have to work. As we grow as a gardener we come to recognize sturdiness and good quality and buy, or are given, better tools. I was wandering through the…

Second Planting Season – Autumn

  • Post published:September 18, 2016

Once Labor Day is past it is time for the year’s second planting season to begin. Many garden centers and nurseries will be putting potted plants on sale. Many friends will realize they have to move plants and will have divisions to pass along. Each gardener may have her own plants to divide, to share or to move to a new location in the garden. We gardeners are lucky. We get a second chance every fall to act…

Minneapolis – Water Features Great and Small

  • Post published:July 31, 2016

My first reaction to Beverley Nichols, British gardener, author and wit, when he declared that water was an essential element of any garden was “Ridiculous!” I had seen photos of those British gardens with their rocks and rills, their reflecting pools, their gushing statuary in the topiary garden, none of which had I ever seen in real life. Of course, that showed my ignorance of British gardens, and my foolish reaction to a new idea. I should have…

Bugs and Butterflies in My Garden

  • Post published:July 23, 2016

“Chances are, you have never thought of your garden — indeed, of all of the space on your property — as a wildlife preserve that represents the last chance we have for sustaining plants and animals that were once common throughout the U.S.” Douglas Tallamy. Most of us welcome birds and butterflies to our gardens, but don’t spend much time thinking about bugs, except for pesky mosquitoes and Japanese beetles. Yet, even bugs, and there are hundreds of species…

Here’s What Permaculture Looks Like

  • Post published:July 16, 2016

Bill Mollison, considered the Father of Permaculture, said it is “. . . the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.” Nancee Bershof became interested in permaculture after her husband’s death, and her departure from medicine. She was looking for new interests and permaculture fascinated her. She took a course that led her down a new road, supplying food, and non-material needs like community…

Tovah Martin and Terrariums

  • Post published:May 21, 2016

Tovah Martin, gardener and author, has devoted a good part of her life to houseplants. Most of us have a limited view of what houseplants we might put on our windowsills, but when she found herself working at the wonderful Logee’s Greenhouse in Connecticut she fell in love with the hundreds of houseplant varieties put into her care. Over the years Martin has written books like Well-Clad Windowsills: Houseplants for Four Exposures, The Unexpected Houseplant: 220 Extraordinary Choices…

Bridge of Flowers – a Public Garden, a Public Joy

  • Post published:May 12, 2016

May 6th was American Public Gardens Day, but the American Public Gardens Association (AGPA) says official festivities continue right through Mother’s Day. The Bridge of Flowers, possibly our most notable local public garden, will not have any special festivities, but the community enjoys the festive and floriferous atmosphere every day from April 1 to October 30. The APGA defines a public garden as one “that maintains collections of plants for the purposes of public education and enjoyment, in…

Children, Seeds and New Worlds Opening

  • Post published:May 8, 2016

  It has been my privilege and joy to spend a few Thursday afternoons with Kate Bailey’s first grade at Four CornersSchool reading about, and learning about seeds. They were already quite learned. They not only knew that apples held a star in their centers, that fruit pits were seeds; they also knew that strawberry seeds were on the outside of the fruit, not inside. They are all so eager to share information about their own gardens and…

After Pollinators and Wildflowers Comes a Cocktail Hour

  • Post published:April 17, 2016

It doesn’t seem so very long ago that no one gave a thought to pollinators. People were afraid of bees and stings, but they never thought about the hundreds of bee species that kept vegetable and fruit farms producing. Perhaps that was because so much of our food came from far off places like California where we were never aware of what farms, farmers and crops needed. Nowadays, with people we are more sensible of the benefits of…

How to Start Seeds Indoors

  • Post published:March 26, 2016

It is easy and fun to start seeds indoors. Seeds are just magical - tiny bits of stuff that can turn into a delicious fruit or vegetable or gorgeous flower with only the help of a little soil, sun and rain. That magic is available to us all. All of us can plant seeds, and wave our magic wands to keep ourselves busy while we watch the magic show produced by Mother Earth, Father Sun and Sister Rain.…