Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

Finding inspiration in fall

Posted by: Mary Jane Smetanka under Perennials, Trees Updated: September 16, 2013 - 11:27 AM
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
With the garden winding down, there’s no better place to visit to get ready for next year than the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
On Saturday, I went to look at trees I am considering for my backyard once a giant silver maple is removed. the specimen trees at the arboretum are labeled so you know exactly what you’re looking at. Looking at the mature versions of the saplings I’d seen in garden centers, I realized that I needed to change my plans and aim at smaller evergreens than I’d planned. And when a tree that was planted in 1974 is eight feet tall, I knew I needed to choose something else unless I’m willing to wait for my landscape to look its best when I’m in my 90s.
 
I wandered around the gardens, too. While I don’t have the space for the big displays that they have at the arb, the gardens are a good reminder of basic garden design. Massing plants for maximum impact is good. And paying attention to issues like contrasting colors and textures yields interesting results.
Here’s some pictures from my Saturday visit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The tree at center is Picia abies “Acrocona,” a Norway spruce that looks like a Dr. Seuss plant to me. It gets raspberry red cones on branches in the spring. While this little one was cute, the mature version is a shaggy giant that I realize will overtake my small yard.
And this is grapeleaf anemone:
Maybe I will look for this plant for next year's garden.
Have you started planning for 2014 yet?

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