Hello! I’m Mary Schier.
Some people learn gardening from their parents or grandparents. Others are like me, they stumble into a love of gardening — and learn by trial and error (lots of error). Certainly, no one who knew me growing up would guess that the bookish girl hanging out on the couch would someday love planting trees, digging compost and pruning tomatoes. Like many new gardeners, I walked into the garden through the kitchen door, and my first garden experiments included herbs, tomatoes, asparagus and other fruits and vegetables. Later I learned to love perennials, shrubs and trees.
I’ve seen lots of failure in the garden along the way, but also learned what works. My garden mantras are: plant mostly native plants for ornamental purposes, try any fruit or vegetable that has a chance to grow in our climate and never buy a plant you can’t afford to kill.
Today I’m a freelance writer and editor and a garden speaker. For 17 years, I had the privilege of editing Northern Gardener magazine and later wrote a book called The Northern Gardener: From Apples to Zinnias (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2017), which covers gardening in the North, from A-to-Z as well as some history of gardening in Minnesota. This website and blog is and my speaking engagements are where I share how-tos, plant information, recipes, book recommendations and fun. I also have a newsletter for cold climate gardeners that comes out about every six weeks.
Recently, I moved again and will be doing extreme small space gardening, growing food and flowers on a deck, patio and narrow foundation planting. Gardening is always a journey — join me on the ride!