Welcome to My (New) Northern Garden

After 17 years in one house and nearly 30 years in lovely Northfield, Minnesota, I’ve moved. My husband is now semi-retired and for a variety of reasons, we decided to move to St. Paul. Last May, we sold our house (and garden!) and moved to a bungalow in the city.

The last sunset I saw in my Northfield garden. This hill is one reason we looked for a smaller, flatter lot! I do miss the ponds, though.

Our new garden is smaller and flatter than our previous garden—both attributes I was seeking—and it is pretty much a blank slate. It is a work in progress, and I’m hoping to use this blog as a journal of our new garden as well as a place to share information on gardening in the North.

In our first year in the house, we did some of the big projects, mostly removing an old one-car garage, building a two-car garage and extending the brick patio that came with the house to connect to the new garage and the alley. We’ve added fences, too. In terms of plants, we removed one tree (roots threatening the foundation) and planted five more, plus a few shrubs. I’ve swapped out some perennials I don’t like (mostly daylilies and hostas) for a few I do, and I have likely ordered way too many plants for this coming season.

I know it takes at least three years to make a garden, and I’m counting this as year one.  My plan is to focus this year on designing and planting the two back garden spaces (more on those in later blog posts) and then figuring out the front next year.

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted to this blog, and many people say blogging is dead. But I’m not convinced. People still want more in-depth information than an Instagram photo or tweet can provide. The original purpose of blogs was to serve as a shared journal — and that’s what I hope this blog will be for the next few years—a shared journal of my adventures in my new northern garden. Thanks for stopping by!



7 thoughts on “Welcome to My (New) Northern Garden

  1. Mary, I was pleased to see a posting from you this morning. Being out of the loop I didn’t realize that you had moved north (zone 3 for real now? or zone 5 in the urban island?). I look forward to watching you build a new garden from scratch.

    I invite you to keep an eye on my garden in the southern banana belt at http://www.elevation922.com.

  2. Margit — Good to hear from you! We are in the urban heat island of St. Paul– much closer to zone 5 than the prairie garden we had in Northfield. Thanks for the link to your blog!

  3. LOL – After attending last year’s garden bloggers fling, I thought it was illegal to live in Minnesota and not have hostas! Good luck filling in your blank slate – I’m looking forward to watching your progress.

  4. Hi Mary,
    A blank slate, how exciting. Oh the possibilities!
    As we look forward to retiring, we are hoping to move farther out. Too much noise where we are. I too, look forward to seeing your new landscape take shape. I like blogs, and continue to look forward to reading yours.
    Best wishes.

  5. It will be fun to see your garden come together. We’re looking at moving (still in the Madison area) in the next few years, too, and I know it will be very emotional. Have fun with your new garden!

  6. thank you for posting this! i know you will build a beautiful garden. i’m on my first year of our garden as well, though different- we live at 8,000 ft. and there was a beautiful garden when we moved in- but we moved in in the middle of winter so last year i just watched and watched and waited and waited so this year i have a good sense of what to do and what more to plant and what “weeds” turn into gorgeous flowers. i am excited to see what you do with your garden! it will be beautiful!

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