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Connie Nelson

Senior editor | Lifestyle
phone: 612-673-7087
Connie Nelson is the Senior Editor for features coverage at the StarTribune. During the growing season, she produces how-to videos and is part of the Greengirls and Homegirls blogs.
Recent content from Connie Nelson
Minneapolis shirt designer wants guys to lift their style game

Minneapolis shirt designer wants guys to lift their style game

Jason Hammerberg grew up in a typical Duluth family, the youngest son of an engineer dad and nurse mom — who loved to shop. That,…

A wet spring sets Minnesota gardens up for growth – and potential problems

As a Minnesotan, I feel a tad guilty for complaining about the weather — unless it’s 20 below. But I have to admit that our…
Day trip to Pepin, a star on Wisconsin's 'West Coast'

Day trip to Pepin, a star on Wisconsin's 'West Coast'

Pepin offers a day’s worth of adventure — from four-star food and wine to quaint museums and art-inspired stores. Though it’s less than 70 miles from the cities, the Wisconsin village can seem a world away.
Twin Citians, grab your rakes and go to it

Twin Citians, grab your rakes and go to it

Knowing when to rake is part art, part patience. “If you rake too early, you can harm the tiny grass plants,” said Sam Bauer, a…
Architects: Invest wisely in your nest

Architects: Invest wisely in your nest

Who doesn't want to feel at home in their home? Regional architects weigh in on how to make choices you'll be happy with for the long haul.
Couple display the art of gardening

Couple display the art of gardening

A creative couple rely on a unique form of organic design to turn their front yard into an award-winning destination.
Back-yard bounty

Back-yard bounty

A passionate, learn-as-you-go gardener reaps the fruits of many years of labor in his Edina yard.
St. Paul city garden is front and center

St. Paul city garden is front and center

A learn-as-you-go gardener transformed a small city lot into an imaginative, innovative garden.

How to shop the Home + Garden Show

  You’ve always been able to pick up a chili dog and, say, a bottle of hot sauce, some jewelry cleaner or a ShamWow at…
Meet the community builders

Meet the community builders

In their winning United Way-Star Tribune essays, Minnesota students show us the simple, often sweet ways they've changed their worlds for the better.
Winter's early arrival puts a chill on home chores

Winter's early arrival puts a chill on home chores

Winter’s surprise arrival caught many of us with a “to do” list that wasn’t quite “done.” But there are very good reasons to tackle some chores, no matter how unsavory the thought of battling the cold, snow and ice might be.
In Phoenix, a hike a day

In Phoenix, a hike a day

The Valley of the Sun’s many parks, preserves and peaks make for happy trails.
Spruce up your holiday table

Spruce up your holiday table

Set a fresh and family-friendly Thanksgiving table by using what you have around the house.
Star Tribune Greengirls host a plant swap May 18

Star Tribune Greengirls host a plant swap May 18

It’s time for your plants to get growing: The annual Greengirls garden swap happens next weekend.
Greengirls are back online to talk about gardens

Greengirls are back online to talk about gardens

It’s official: You can rake. Just ask the Greengirls, the Star Tribune’s garden bloggers, who are making their season debut.
'Rhymes With Orange' comes to the Star Tribune's comics pages

'Rhymes With Orange' comes to the Star Tribune's comics pages

Starting today, “Rhymes With Orange” by Hilary Price will be featured in the daily paper. Her punchline-driven panels (which she refers to as a “gag strip”) also will appear on Sundays.
Who needs these 20 things when you have a smartphone?

Who needs these 20 things when you have a smartphone?

The smartphone era has lightened our loads. Here’s a quick look at 20 things we no longer need to lug around thanks to smartphones
Summer in the Cities: Heavens above

Summer in the Cities: Heavens above

A series exploring Minnesota's favorite season.
Dances with buffalo in South Dakota

Dances with buffalo in South Dakota

Once simply a tool to manage the herd, the annual Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park has become a Wild West show.
Itching to be in the garden? Wait!

Itching to be in the garden? Wait!

Put down that rake. Walk away from the wheelbarrow.
Harriet: Jewel in the crown

Harriet: Jewel in the crown

It's the gem in Minneapolis' sparkling chain of lakes, mixing big-city splendor with small-town charm. An added bonus: It has its own little elf.
Do It Now: Rake those leaves

Do It Now: Rake those leaves

If you have a thick layer of leaves, don't let them stay on the lawn. They can mat down over the winter and cause your…

Living Green

What exactly is being “green?” And if it’s so good, why aren’t we doing more of it? Here's how we all can live greener -- and why we should.
The accidental prairie advocate

The accidental prairie advocate

With the publication of her fourth book, a local garden writer solidifies her support for growing native plants.
They dared to dream of a better world - and won

They dared to dream of a better world - and won

The students who wrote the winning essays in the "Dare to Dream" contest have big plans for improving their communities.

Record heat is putting on the growth

Some plants are loving the heat, even if you're not.
Bunnies aren't pestering gardens, yet

Bunnies aren't pestering gardens, yet

Early spring has spared the tulips, but given them plenty to eat.
Grab a rake, stow the sprinkler

Grab a rake, stow the sprinkler

It's probably not too early to rake, but hold off on watering.

What's in, what's out in kitchens and baths

A national trendspotter sees a resurgence in remodeling and a renewed focus on nesting.
Sex-up gardening? This Aussie is trying

Sex-up gardening? This Aussie is trying

Garden design has never been a sexy subject. But a horticultural hottie is poised to change all that. This year, he launched yet another venture: a new HGTV show, "The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie."
Gardening for the general good

Gardening for the general good

A nationally known entomologist has become a vocal advocate for using our gardens as places to preserve biodiversity.
Before & After: Kitchen

Before & After: Kitchen

An outdated kitchen gets a contemporary update without adding square footage or moving walls.
Seeding the future

Seeding the future

George Ball is bullish on gardening. But then, he ought to be. Ball is the chairman of Burpee Seed, one of the nation's largest seed, plant and supply companies. We talked to Ball - in English with a smattering of French - about "catalog creep," our hunger for new plants and the explosive growth in gardening.

Como show features flowers on film

Denise Rouleau and Mark D. Roberts weren't intending to mark the end of an era. They just wanted to put together an exhibition of photos of Como Park's Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, one of their favorite places to shoot.
Dec. 2008: Minneapolis man double-decks the halls

Dec. 2008: Minneapolis man double-decks the halls

A Minneapolis man decorates his home with childlike glee, a well-trained eye and two, count 'em two, Christmas trees.
The end is near!

The end is near!

You can see the end of the gardening season from here. Here's what with three top gardeners in the Twin Cities are doing to get their gardens ready for winter.
New film reveals the power of plants

New film reveals the power of plants

Writers cringe when you say, "I saw your story," because it means you didn't actually read it. But I can say -- with a clear conscience -- that I saw Michael Pollan's book, "The Botany of Desire," because his 2001 bestseller has been brought to the small screen in a two-hour documentary.
Explaining the forest through the trees

Explaining the forest through the trees

Jeff Gillman, a research scientist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, is known for his myth-busting books. His latest explores the complex relationship between trees and humans.
The fall five

The fall five

Instead of including the 40 or 50 things you should do, we've zeroed in on the five chores you really need to do to put your yard and garden to bed. Nightie night!
Subscribe to style

Subscribe to style

We all have our favorite shelter mags. But translating those glossy pages into real life isn't easy.
Guru busts organic myths

Guru busts organic myths

All that's organic is not necessarily green, says a University of Minnesota researcher and author.
Julia Cobbs: Sofa, so good

Julia Cobbs: Sofa, so good

Julia Cobbs has made a name for herself - well a first name, anyway - as one of the girls of gossip on the popular drive-time show "Lori and Julia." We talked with the impish, energetic and talkative talk-show host about her Sundays at home, why she downloaded Led Zeppelin and what's stuffed under her sectional.
Ash borer treatment is not yet necessary

Ash borer treatment is not yet necessary

Yes, you should be concerned about emerald ash borer. But don't grab for an insecticide yet.
Before & After

Before & After

A kitchen in St. Louis Park loses that '70s look and gets a stylish, same-size makeover.
Window dressing

Window dressing

Use the bounty of nature - and your own back yard - to create picture-perfect window boxes that will last from harvest to the holidays and beyond.
Read it & reap

Read it & reap

You don't need to wait until the harvest moon to start harvesting fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs. Our quick-hit guide will help you get the most from your garden.
'Pandora' frees power of story

'Pandora' frees power of story

A rip-roaring adventure story that moves from pre-World War I England to the Congo. Populated with eccentric characters, this lively novel is practically a parody of itself -- and that's a good thing.

'Freya' discovers self, Iceland

BOOK REVIEW The discovery of a family secret sends a reclusive Icelandic woman on a journey to the past. While well-written and entertaining, the book is not without flaws.

Set for plant swap? What to know before you go

Most of us get the bulk of our plants at garden centers. But you can save a few bucks and spice up your shopping by going to one of the many plant sales or swaps.
One of easiest ways to go green

One of easiest ways to go green

Compost keeps yard and kitchen waste out of landfills and makes one of the best natural soil amenders.
What not to do in your yard and garden right now

What not to do in your yard and garden right now

There always are plenty of spring chores to tackle. One of the most difficult? Waiting.
2008 show: Hot, hot, hot

2008 show: Hot, hot, hot

Hot. Hot. Hot. That's not the forecast; that's a description of 2008's Macy's-Bachman's flower show.
Project in a pot

Project in a pot

You can grow your own salad if you have somewhere to put a pot and at least six hours of sun a day.

A new version of 'house keeping'

In a sign of the times, a St. Paul home and garden show adds foreclosure to its workshop topics.

Home shows don't need big-name stars to draw DIY crowds

When the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show got its start 75 years ago, it featured beauty pageants, vaudeville acts and big-name stars -- Liberace, the Lennon Sisters, even Frank Sinatra.
Macy's annual spring flower show rises to occasion

Macy's annual spring flower show rises to occasion

The annual spring flower show will return to its home on Macy's eighth floor.
Mary will remain a mystery

Mary will remain a mystery

Even 130 years after her death, former First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln remains inscrutable.
A New York state of mind

A New York state of mind

Interior designer Andrew Flesher built his own Little Apple atmosphere in a converted Minneapolis hotel.

Inexpensive gestures are often priceless

Use old photos atop your traditional wrapping. Find an old photo (the kids with Santa, your parents kissing under the mistletoe), scan it and enlarge it to fit the package. (If you don't have a scanner, use the original photo.)

Readers share ideas for recycling cards, food or gifts

Penelope Johnson of Hopkins: When you receive an attractive greeting card, clip off the side of the card with the artwork, then attach it to plain cardstock. Just write your personal greeting on the inside, and you've made a beautiful new card.

Savings abound, from party wear to tableware

To get a new-to-you holiday outfit without spending a dime, invite some gal pals over and stage a temporary clothes swap.
Holidays on a budget: Here's how

Holidays on a budget: Here's how

Spending less on the holidays doesn't cheapen them. It can make your events more homespun and heartfelt.
Architect marks 10 'Not So Big' years

Architect marks 10 'Not So Big' years

It has been a decade since ex-Minnesotan Sarah Susanka's book sparked a revolution for "rightsized" homes.
Garden excess can go to help the hungry in Minnesota

Garden excess can go to help the hungry in Minnesota

As food-shelf inventories fall, a local food bank is recruiting volunteers to pick excess fruit and vegetables and help fill the void.
Putting a stamp on wildlife art

Putting a stamp on wildlife art

A new exhibit at the Bell Museum of Natural History celebrates duck stamps, the art form that's all too often associated with basement dens and hunting clubs.
Contain yourself

Contain yourself

Once your perennial gardens are established, they look pretty much the same from year to year -- give or take a few winter kills. So what do you do if you develop a sudden hankering for the color purple? Or fall for the latest Wave petunia?
Healthy, established plants probably will weather hail

Healthy, established plants probably will weather hail

Storms have wreaked havoc on gardens across the Twin Cities. Here's what to do if your garden gets hit by hail.

Spring chore checklist

It's finally spring. And in Minnesota that means it's time to roll up your shirtsleeves and dig into the job jar. There are plenty of tasks you can get a jump on right now, but there are quite a few things you'd be wise to wait to do. We've put together our spring chore checklist to help you sort out the two.
Three new hardy roses with Nordic names

Three new hardy roses with Nordic names

Minnesota-hardy roses with humorous Nordic names are no joke. And they're likely to sell faster than lefse at a church bazaar.
Living large (in a small space)

Living large (in a small space)

Sarah Nettleton walks her talk. The architect and author, who joined the battle for simplicity with her book "The Simple Home," lives in a modestly sized, "Leave It to Beaver"-style house in Minneapolis. We talked with Nettleton about throwing big parties in a small house, her concept of the luxury of enough and borrowing dogs.
What's in store at flower show

What's in store at flower show

Women's shoes is Mexico. Head down the cosmetics aisle and you're in Central America. And handbags? That's Brazil.

Crate & Barrel ready to open

It's not likely to generate the rock-star welcome that ushered Ikea into the Twin Cities, but the new two-story Crate & Barrel is certain to create a buzz when it opens today in Edina's Galleria.
Splendid tableau

Splendid tableau

Famous foodie Lynne Rossetto Kasper -- known for her lush voice, enchanting stories and ready laugh -- reveals that she has iceberg lettuce in the fridge and pricey Spanish tuna in the cupboard. We caught up with the native New Yorker in her St. Paul home.

Stay out of the garden

Home and Garden Editor Connie Nelson teams up with blogger Green Girl to dish about what not to do in your garden right now.

Take care of your shrubs in heavy snow

Home and Garden editor Connie Nelson offers up some tips about taking care of your shrubs when heavy snow weighs them down.
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