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,…

The Gardening Turning Point

One of the greatest things about gardening in Zone 4, is that you get a pretty big break from it. Absense makes the heart grow fonder, and I guess I can only speak for myself, but by frost, I am ready to hang up the hoe for a while. Then comes the winter winds and…

The beauty of hoarfrost

Last Saturday was one of the most stunning exhibitions of hoarfrost, also known as white frost, that I have seen in a while. Hoarfrost is frozen dew that flocks all the trees, shrubs and plants in its path. Hoarfrost develops when a cold surface (anything outside in Minnesota in the winter!) is exposed for a…

Moose sighting in Minneapolis front yard

The elusive Minneapolis miniature front yard moose was spotted this week fleeing the crazy-driving mini-vans near a school at 4th and 47th in south Minneapolis. It is a  long-held belief that his sighting indicates the we have seen the worst of winter and spring is on its way. His sighting is a more reliable forecast…

Dare I say cabin fever…

I’ve always shyed away from using the terms cabin fever or stir-crazy to describe my January state, fearing that the naming of it would even more fully claim it.  Well, I’ve got it big time. I think it’s a worse state of affairs for those who rely heavily on digging in the dirt. I come…

Seed catalog temptation

Oh, to order or not to order. That is the question sparked by the buy $25 worth, get $25 free stickers on each. In years past, I would pile up the catalogs, making lists, even spreadsheets noting what I was ordering from each of the tomes of impulse purchasing. Then the boxes would come. Don’t…

The off-season gardening turning point

Every year I experience the phenomenon of the gardening turning point. It is that moment when I no longer love Jack Frost for bringing the season to an end (my knees were achy, my tomatoes full of blight) and I begin to get jazzed about what next season will bring. I believe the turning point…