While some garden centers close late in the fall for the winter season, many stay open–or reopen–around the holidays. Special events are held at many of the large garden centers, including Bachmans, Gertens, Mickman Bros., and Linders. Several wonderful small shops are open, too, including Squire House Gardens in Afton (I’ll be visiting them Wednesday), Tangletown Gardens in Minneapolis, and regional favorites like Buells in Hastings and Donahues in Faribault, and too many more to mention.
Today is also Winter Walk in Northfield, and many of the stores downtown carry gift items that gardeners might appreciate. It will be a beautiful night for Winter Walk, and I never come home empty-handed.
Weather permitting, I’ll be heading up to the Twin Cities on Saturday morning for the MSHS Holiday Open House. I’m especially interested in the used garden books sale, but MSHS also has garden gloves, clothing items, new books, and baked goods available at the open house. Later that day, I’m hoping to make it to the Bachman’s store on Lyndale to hear Suzy Bales talk about her book, The Garden in Winter. I received a copy a month or two ago and think it has some great design ideas in it. Many of the plant suggestions will not work in USDA Zone 4 or Zone 3, however. In an interview in the Star Tribune yesterday, Bales suggests northern gardeners decide what characteristic of a particular plant they are seeking (yellow foliage, a small size, etc.) and then ask a local nursery operator for a zone-appropriate choice. I’m interested to hear her presentation.