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,…

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,…

Everyone needs a pansy or two at this time of year

The pansies have landed and are at your neighborhood nursery or garden center. Every northern gardener needs to treat their garden and themselves to a pot of pansies as early as possible in the spring. Particularly after the winter we have all just weathered. Pansies will take a little frost, which makes them the ideal harbinger of…

Peony people are a passionate sort

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of interviewing two passionate peony gardeners, Linette and David, who garden on four acres near Chaska. You know how there are some people who make you feel better about the world, even on a snowy Minnesota day? These are two of them. I am featuring them in my regular column,…

When you wish upon a shooting star…

This little Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) is as much of a late spring treat as lily-of-the-valley or lilacs. A perfect rock garden plant, it tolerates part shade but will also bask in the sun. It is hardy to zone 4. This purple variety is an eye-catching show-stopper that would be stunning en masse. Also available…