Clemactic joys and sorrows: I need a clematis-growing support group

An editor I work with does not like her writers to use phrases like clematisaholic or clematisphile and I’m on-board with that — it does seem to make light of very real and serious issues. That said, this week alone I purchased ‘Carnaby’ (sometimes reported as zone 5) and ‘Venosa Violacea’  and transplanted Clematis Virginiana…

Hello Lilacs! The late spring isn’t looking so bad now, is it?

In my world, lilacs evoke memories like nothing else in the garden. The end of school is what what comes to mind for me. I have a specific memory of all of us first-graders bringing little bouquets for Mrs. Tews and filling her desk with them. Everyone needs a lilac bush in their yard. True,…

Garden Task: Dividing the feather reedgrass

A quick shout-out to an oft-overlooked ornamental grass that really is one of my favorites. Fall-blooming Feather Reedgrass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) can work as an anchor in your perennial border, with its graceful, arching, inverted-V form. At 4-feet tall and a spread of about 3-feet, it fills holes and pockets in your design and sits happily…

Spring Tasks: Dividing the Blue Fescue

Blue Fescue ‘Elijah Blue’ has been greeting visitors at the front border of the Garden Drama test garden for over 10 years. How does one make blue fescue  (Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’) happy? From my experience — sun, sun, sun. Bake it to get that great, matte-blue cast to its spiky blades. And really well-drained soil,…

More Garden Heidi-ology

A big part of the fun of gardening is getting to know your fellow gardening peeps. This past year, I got to get up close and personal with great gardener Heidi Heiland of Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens of Plymouth, MN. My profile of Heidi and her gardening lab and studio — which also happens to be…

A water garden in an hour

Water gardens are something I have dipped my toe into in only in the last few years. I always thought they were for someone else. They struck me as too expensive (though they can be), too involved (that can happen, too), and too high-maintenance (oh, yeah, sometimes). But, my overarching garden theory is that it’s…

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…