Recent content from Connie Nelson
Essays by Twin Cities area elementary school students reveal all the many things they’re doing to make a difference.
In 2014, the New York Times christened the grape salad a quintessential Minnesota Thanksgiving recipe. Now the paper has dissed the darling of the apple world — the Minnesota-developed Honeycrisp.
Hang onto your hat: There’s going to be a change in the Star Tribune’s daily comics. Jan Eliot, creator of the comic strip “Stone Soup,”…
Brian Little has had a distinguished career, teaching at Harvard, Oxford and McGill. Still, he loves what he calls “professing” so much that his postretirement…
FICTION: The dramatic life of an English family unfolds during World War I.
A guided trip through the Missouri River Breaks of Montana offers adventure and history in an unspoiled landscape.
Jason Hammerberg grew up in a typical Duluth family, the youngest son of an engineer dad and nurse mom — who loved to shop. That,…
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…
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.
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…
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.
A creative couple rely on a unique form of organic design to turn their front yard into an award-winning destination.
A passionate, learn-as-you-go gardener reaps the fruits of many years of labor in his Edina yard.
A learn-as-you-go gardener transformed a small city lot into an imaginative, innovative garden.
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…
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 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.
The Valley of the Sun’s many parks, preserves and peaks make for happy trails.
Set a fresh and family-friendly Thanksgiving table by using what you have around the house.
It’s time for your plants to get growing: The annual Greengirls garden swap happens next weekend.
It’s official: You can rake. Just ask the Greengirls, the Star Tribune’s garden bloggers, who are making their season debut.
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.
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
A series exploring Minnesota's favorite season.
Once simply a tool to manage the herd, the annual Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park has become a Wild West show.
Put down that rake. Walk away from the wheelbarrow.
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.
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…
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.
With the publication of her fourth book, a local garden writer solidifies her support for growing native plants.
The students who wrote the winning essays in the "Dare to Dream" contest have big plans for improving their communities.
Some plants are loving the heat, even if you're not.
Early spring has spared the tulips, but given them plenty to eat.
It's probably not too early to rake, but hold off on watering.
A national trendspotter sees a resurgence in remodeling and a renewed focus on nesting.
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."
A nationally known entomologist has become a vocal advocate for using our gardens as places to preserve biodiversity.
An outdated kitchen gets a contemporary update without adding square footage or moving walls.
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.
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.
A Minneapolis man decorates his home with childlike glee, a well-trained eye and two, count 'em two, Christmas trees.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We all have our favorite shelter mags. But translating those glossy pages into real life isn't easy.
All that's organic is not necessarily green, says a University of Minnesota researcher and author.
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.
Yes, you should be concerned about emerald ash borer. But don't grab for an insecticide yet.
A kitchen in St. Louis Park loses that '70s look and gets a stylish, same-size makeover.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Compost keeps yard and kitchen waste out of landfills and makes one of the best natural soil amenders.
There always are plenty of spring chores to tackle. One of the most difficult? Waiting.
Hot. Hot. Hot. That's not the forecast; that's a description of 2008's Macy's-Bachman's flower show.
You can grow your own salad if you have somewhere to put a pot and at least six hours of sun a day.
In a sign of the times, a St. Paul home and garden show adds foreclosure to its workshop topics.
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.
The annual spring flower show will return to its home on Macy's eighth floor.
Even 130 years after her death, former First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln remains inscrutable.
Interior designer Andrew Flesher built his own Little Apple atmosphere in a converted Minneapolis hotel.
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.)
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.
To get a new-to-you holiday outfit without spending a dime, invite some gal pals over and stage a temporary clothes swap.
Spending less on the holidays doesn't cheapen them. It can make your events more homespun and heartfelt.
It has been a decade since ex-Minnesotan Sarah Susanka's book sparked a revolution for "rightsized" homes.
As food-shelf inventories fall, a local food bank is recruiting volunteers to pick excess fruit and vegetables and help fill the void.
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.
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?
Storms have wreaked havoc on gardens across the Twin Cities. Here's what to do if your garden gets hit by hail.
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.
Minnesota-hardy roses with humorous Nordic names are no joke. And they're likely to sell faster than lefse at a church bazaar.