Searching for a new shade-tolerant annual? Crack the wishbone flower

Shade is common among us plant lovers, especially those of us who adore and overplant trees and shrubs in our yards. Shade can be limiting, though, especially when it comes to infusing color and how many pots of impatiens and begonias can you plant, year after year, and remain enthused? So, I was excited to…

True Confession: My ‘Winnipeg Parks’ love affair

Oh, where do I begin? Shrub roses are faithful garden lovers, I have discovered. I had always sort of overlooked them — like sweet science nerds and band geeks in high school — but I designed three garden spaces at a retirement community this past summer and I fell under the magic spells they cast….

Full-frontal vegetable gardening

I’ve been suffering a garden identity crisis throughout the last few summers, craving more flowers, more beauty, more vistas, yet wanting to grow edibles in a big way. What’s a garden boy to do? Enter the full-frontal vegetable gardening approach. Now, believe me, I find a traditional, full-on vegetable garden beautiful. You know, the square…

Establish your signature garden emblem; your own personal logo

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Heidi Heiland this past year. She is a great Minnesota gardener and a profile of her and her Plymouth waterfront yard and garden will be in the May issue of Northern Gardener magazine. The issue will be online and on news stands soon. I picked up so…

Terrariums Take 2: Terrific plants make the terrarium

Check out part 1 on making your own terrarium. Read my article at Northern Gardener (it’s the sample article this month). Consider a membership or subscription while you are there. Planting the garden. When selecting your terrarium’s plants, use the same design principles you use in your outdoor garden. Look for a contrast of textures, sizes,…

My vote for clematis of the year: ‘Guernsey Cream’!

So, it’s quite early in the season, but I am already declaring the clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’ as the clematis, the flowering vine, and perhaps the perennial of the year for zone 4. Look at it and this is May 4th! Now, of course, given the year, this would probably be blooming closer to the end…

Garden art on the cheap DIY: Glass marbles in your fence

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Lake Owasso Garden Club this week. It was a full classroom of avid, fun-loving gardeners and the topic at hand was Art in the Garden. As I told the group, I think art and the garden go together like peas and carrots and as I prepped my…

What do I do for Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day everyone. What does one do on a day like today, dedicated to environmental awareness, when you are a nature-loving tree-hugger? It’s a work day, so I’m stuck with whatever I can do over my lunch hour or this evening. Or am I? The original Earth Day, April 22, 1970, had a certain…

My orchid rebloomed! Is there a blue moon?

When it comes to orchids, I’m an impulse purchaser. I see them near the register, like gum, and I have to have the regal beauties with the delicate forms and delicious colors. I always buy the Phalaenopsis variety, the moth orchid (named as such because some varieties are said to resemble moths in flight). Phalaenopsis are…

Let Mother Nature be your garden scheduler

Do you curse when rain or wind or ungodly temps or even snow thwart your gardening plans? Ever dream of an epic garden day all week, only to be washed out on Saturday? Face it, Mother Nature makes up your garden calendar and assigns you shifts and they don’t always jibe with your plans. So,…

I’m too big of a plant geek to ever have a picture-perfect garden

And I think I’m fine with that. This dawned on me last night when I was digging up a nearly dead Barberry ‘Crimson Pygmy’ and moving some Cimicifuga racemosa into its place. The tough winter nearly took out all three of the barberry in the garden, but this one was especially hard hit, with just a few…

Organic Inspiration at Earthbound Farms

Inspiration is such a big part of being a gardener — seeking it out, providing it, experiencing it, absorbing it and igniting what you see in your own garden space. When you land in a space that you connect with, you just know it. You can feel it and you start to spin with ideas…

For the love of the mad garden bramble

I read the books. I keep my eyes open. I visit pristine gardens. I try to plant in waves of odd numbered plants and I do my best to practice “right plant, right place,’ knowing that sun-loving plants pass out in the shade. But no matter how hard I try, my garden turns into a…