For the past three years, my cousin has been among the organizers of an unusual garden tour in Tracy, MN. The tour—officially the Tracy Area Garden Party—combines two art forms that often go together—quilting and gardening. Though I've made a few simple quilts, I'm decidedly no quilter, but many gardeners are also expert quilters and many quilters are also darn good gardeners. This year, I was able to visit Tracy for the tour and Jolynn (my cousin) took me around to see not only the six ... Read More about Quilts and Gardens Go Together
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A week ago, I visited my oldest daughter who is working in Washington, D.C. We had a great time, but because she had to work two of the days I was there, I had a chance to visit some gardens in Washington, D.C., on my own. I lived in D.C. for three years in the 1980s and have visited many times since then, but there are always new things to see in the Capital City. These are gardens that many tourists miss, but are well-worth a visit. Hillwood Estate and Gardens Located within walking distance ... Read More about Hidden Gardens of Washington, D.C.
Except for my driveway, the raised boxes I use to grow vegetables and a couple of utility beds near the house, the straight line has pretty much been banned from my garden. Our house sits near a nature area, and curved shapes seem more appropriate in a wild(ish) setting. Still, I cannot help but appreciate the discipline and beauty of formal gardens. Over spring break, my younger daughter and I visited the older girl, who is studying in Rome. With two young women in the travel group, gardens ... Read More about A New Appreciation for a Formal Gardens
I had a fun afternoon at the Minnesota State Fair Wednesday, where I worked at the Minnesota State Horticultural Society booth, selling memberships (a heckuva bargain at $55 with lots of perks and goodies) and visiting with fairgoers. The fair really is a great get-together. Not only did I talk with many readers of Northern Gardener -- always a pleasure -- I even reconnected with a fellow I knew back in college. Despite its reputation as a fried-food fest, the fair is filled with ... Read More about State Fair Gardens 2009
Japanese beetles may be the pest Minnesota gardeners love to hate the most. During my recent conversation with David Zlesak, professor and rose breeder, on the Grow it, Minnesota podcast, we talked about strategies for out-smarting Japanese beetles and he gave me some good news about the beetles in Minnesota. A New Parasite is Here That's the good news. Apparently Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) have a parasite—it's called the winsome fly and they have been spotted in the Lyndale ... Read More about Out-Smarting Japanese Beetles (And Some Good News)