The pent-up spring garden

Clearly, winter has overstayed his welcome. Enough said. No more complaining from me. No more overstating the obvious. Winter is the one-night stand who wants you to cook him breakfast. Like at the dinner party that won’t end, I’ve conspicuously yawned, I’ve brought up the lights and I’ve even opened the front door. “This has been fun,…

Succulents are succulent; they make me happy

Fine Gardening magazine recently had an article on 10 outstanding succulents to try, which prompted my thinking — midst continuous snow fall and crazy temps — of how happy succulents make me. They teach us snowbunnies much about surviving the winter. They tolerate dryness by holding onto any moisture they can muster up, as best as they can. This…

Full-frontal gardening spotted in the Twin Cities

So, the title is a little racy, a little out-there, but it describes to a tee what front-yard and community gardeners do. They put it there, they expose themselves in their gardening exploits. They don’t keep it in the backyard — they bring it out front, full-front, where it can change lives and make a…

Garden clubs ignite the gardening spirit, soothe the tired winter soul

I had the pleasure of speaking at two garden club meetings this week at opposite ends of the city — the Hennepin County Horticultural Society and the Dakota Gardeners. They were both lively, spirited groups with gardening enthusiasm for days! I spoke of the winter gardening turning point in my head; that moment when you…

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,…

Meeting Betty Ann

I’m a lucky man. I love gardening and because I write about it to help pay the bills, I get to meet a lot of gardeners. I feel a kinship with most of them–and then some knock me slightly off my epicenter. This fall I have gotten to know Betty Ann Addison, a garden designer…

Basil balm for the soul: Confessions of a pesto-maker

I eat pesto like most people eat Wheaties. Out of a bowl with a spoon. That said, I try to curtail my impulses to do so, favoring a slice of cuke, zuchinni or a thin cracker to host the spread. I have grown basil for about 15 years, always overplanting, sometimes not harvesting it all…

Is the entrance to your home dark? Infuse with yellow.

As a garden writer, I get to visit a lot of garden homes and they all seem to make an impact. Yesterday, I was at the home of great local gardeners Shirley and Dick Friberg. Shirley is helping me with an upcoming article for Northern Gardener magazine on rock gardening. What struck me as I…