Sunday, June 4, 2017

Clematis in Bloom

This year is looking good for my 2 year old clematis.  The blooms are a gorgeous deep purple and huge, like a saucer. I need to add some height to my current trellis so it can trail up more instead of flopping over. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Light Conditions Figured Out

I don't know about you but there is nothing more aggravating then trying to figure out the light conditions of plants via their sales tag, and then translate that into your garden. So here's a little cheat sheet on what the light conditions mean.


  • Full Sun - direct sun from dawn to sunset
  • Sun - 6 or more hours of direct sun (some sun plants do better with afternoon shade)
  • Light Shade - 2-3 hours sun
Part Sun/Part Shade
  • Part Sun - 4-6 hours of direct sun
  • Half Shade - 4-5 hours of shade with periods of sun and periods of shade
  • Part Shade - some morning sun, but afternoon shade
  • Shade - less than 4 hours of direct sun
  • Full Shade - little to no direct sun at any time

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Lenten Rose

My mother-in-law has been growing Lenten Roses in her garden for decades and I have always loved them, but she is in Zone 5 and has more varieties at her disposal. I was finally able to find a Zone 4 plant in a color I liked, so I planted this one three years ago. This is the first spring it has bloomed since planting. The deep purple color is stunning!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Clean Up...Finally

It has been a long wait for Spring to arrive...and I'm not quite sure if it is here actually. But it's spring break for the kids so I took the week off to get some stuff done and have some fun, too. Today was a 50 degree day so I decided to start the spring clean up of the flower beds. I leave some things up over the winter, like coneflowers, so birds can enjoy the seeds, and so a little bit of natural reseeding takes place for "volunteer" plants.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Plant Sale at The Minnesota Garden

Plant Sale at The Minnesota Garden

If you live in the South Metro, I am having a plant sale. Perennials for sale include Coral Bells, Phlox, Hostas, Amsonia, Beard Tongue, Coneflowers, Joe Pye Weed, Brunnera, Bearded Iris, German Iris, and Minnesota Hardy Mums (shrub). Most plants are $3.00 to $4.00.

Please let me know if you have any interest!

Here are some photos I have taken over the years of these plants:

Amsonia "Blue Star"

Beard Tongue "Huskers Red"

Coral Bells "Swirling Fantasty"


 Joe Pye Weed

MN Hardy Mum


 Bearded Iris

German Iris

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bee Balm

Bee Balm (Monarda), also known as Bergamot is a great plant for a perennial garden. A plant I had never heard of until I moved to Minnesota, I have found it to be quite striking in the garden. Not only are there varying colors, but also varying heights, so a plant can work in any sunny or partial sun garden.

I have found that Bee Balm only works in certain parts of my garden. Go figure. It doesn't always grow according to the directions. My east garden which gets all day sun refuses to let them live. I have red "Jacob Cline" growing around my bird feeders (see below), which gets more shade than sun, and it does great. It was picked because its height hides all the seeds and the metal posts of the feeders.

"Jacob Cline"

Another color of Bee Balm (pinkish red) grows in my west garden bed which gets all day sun. My friend game me the plant and it readily reseeds on it's own so I have to pull up volunteer plants every spring (you can see it spread out in the photo below). But that's OK, I love the plant...and it look great with the Coreopsis and Daisies.

West Garden Bed

The good news for gardeners in Minnesota is that the plant does well in clay soil!

Purple Bee Balm

It's also deer and rabbit resistant, and attracts hummingbirds and bees. And the leaves make a great tea, or so I've been told.

Light Lavender Bee Balm

Monday, July 6, 2015

Zinnia's - A Great Summer Annual

I'm a sucker for red. If I see it in a store, I bee-line to it because honestly, red is not the most available color for flowers. For the last few summers, I have been planting short, red Dahlias in a back garden bed. I love them, but this year I didn't get to the local garden center in time to get the quantity I need, which is usually 20+. They're also not cheap.

Looking for something else, I came across these Scarlet Zinnias. The color is perfect, and they're short too. If I can find them again next year, I do believe this is my new go-to annual.