Garden cooking DIY: Fermenting vegetables

Fermented vegetables are trendy right now, though the process is ancient and was much-loved by our grandparents. When canning and freezing techniques for preserving produce took over in the early 1900s, fermenting fell away, but recent interest in the health benefits of probiotics in aiding digestion and intestinal wellness (due to the good bacteria staying…

Craft: Garden photo wood blocks

Now that most of our garden photos are being taken digitally and tend to get stowed away in folders on our phones and computers, preserving our favorite shots is more important than ever. Plus, nothing beats having your favorite flowers surrounding you indoors in the winter. Transferring photo images onto wood is garden crafting magic…

Garden craft: Air plant wall hanging

Tillandsias are the “it” indoor plant at the moment. Commonly known as air plants, most of the species are epiphytes, which is a classification of plants that grow on other plants, without the benefit of soil, and do no harm to their host plant. They absorb water and nutrients through their leaves. A commonly known…

Pruning spirea

Pruning shrubs is pretty satisfying. Like getting your hair cut or teeth cleaned. I sort of dread all three, but it feels so good after. Every shrub has its own pruning protocol, but this past weekend I pruned my spirea and this is an easy shrub to do, especially before it leaves out. You can…

Make your own garden plant markers

Decorative plant markers may seem more fun than function, but they’re actually quite useful to have in the garden, especially in the vegetable beds where they help you track emerging seedlings. How many times have you forgotten where or what a row of budding plantlets are or worse yet, weeded them away before they’ve popped?…

The slow reveal: cutting back grasses; leaving the leaves

The garden blog is back, baby! I employ a certain slow rhythm to my spring garden clean-up. It’s not laziness, I don’t think, and certainly not a lack of enthusiasm – it’s the greatest time of year. It simply does not feel right to do it quickly or certainly, hastily. That would be akin to…

What do I do for Earth Day?

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…