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.

Posts about Books and resources

Ah, sweet mysteries of life and other fun surprises

Posted by: Martha Buns Updated: June 8, 2011 - 12:16 PM

 

A friend of mine asked me the name of this spiny-stemmed shrub with sweet pea-like flowers. It's growing in the yard of the St. Paul home she moved into over the winter. It wasn't one I was familiar with, but the University of Minnesota Extension site came to the rescue with the name: Rose acacia, a native to the southeastern United States that's usually listed as hardy to zones 5 or 6, forms of which are adapted for our more brutal winters. It's not likely to be something you'll run across in local garden centers, so who knows how it got there. Read more about the plant here blog.lib.umn.edu/efans/ygnews/2009/07/rose_acacia_-_a_shrub_with_sho.html

 

 

Chances are most of us have been there at least once, new homeowners in spring time wondering what the heck that plant is that previous owners put in (only later do we sometimes wonder WHY they did so), whether that unfamiliar green shoot is a weed or a desirable as-yet-unknown treasure. The latter scenario repeated itself in my garden for a few years, as I seemed to suffer plant amnesia over the long winters and couldn't remember what was where.

 

What unknown treasures or out-of-zone oddities have you run across in your acquired gardens? And what references do you turn to for identification? I like plants.usda.gov/java/ and the websites of catalog companies such as Klehm's Song Sparrow www.songsparrow.com/ or Whiteflower Farms www.whiteflowerfarm.com/. On the weed front, I like the U's "Is this plant a weed?" feature: www.extension.umn.edu/gardeninfo/weedid/index.html. (In my case, there's a pretty good chance it's a weed, just not one I know.)

Do any of you have rose acacia and have any advice for my friend on her colorful new plant? Should she pull any suckers to avoid spreading? Does it need annual trimming?

And on an unrelated note: Is this a magnificent year for peonies or what? All the office gardeners were gushing this morning that this is the most wow peony year they've had.

 

 

 

Goodbye Greengirls, welcome Homegirls!

Posted by: Updated: November 18, 2009 - 9:52 AM

By Connie Nelson

Every year about this time, we throw in the trowel on our garden blog.  It always feels a little sad, just like when you pull the last of your annuals or bury your roses in a pile of leaves for the winter. But by the time the holidays roll around, most of us have turned our attention indoors. 

That's what we're doing, too.

Today, we launched a new blog, Homegirls. Until Greengirls return in the spring, we'll take up indoor topics that you're interested in -- everything from home decorating to home improvement. We'll share entertaining tips, give you inside information on the hot new colors (Did you know that black is the new black?) and we'll give you our picks and pans of new products, local stores and upcoming events. We're eager to get your opinions and your how-to tips, too.

So c'mon and join the conversation at www.startribune.com/homegirls.

 

Awards for awe-inspiring gardeners

Posted by: Updated: October 22, 2009 - 9:59 AM

By Connie Nelson

You probaby know plenty of gardener who have toiled in obscurity for years. Well, here's your chance to give them more than 15 minutes of fame. The Minnesota State Horticultural Society is looking for nominations for its annual State Awards. The awards recognize "gardeners who have made outstanding contributions to greening efforts in public gardens or community projects."

They're looking for individuals, garden clubs, neighborhood groups or other organizations who've made our world a little more beautiful. Read more about it here.  And get your nominations in soon.

 

New magazine might be right up our alley

Posted by: Updated: September 21, 2009 - 10:23 AM

What are you planning to do with your garden this week? Are you still getting tomatoes or thinking about putting things to bed? 

Between harvesting honey and making pasta sauce, fall is busy at the farmette. But even as the warm sun feels endless, I know if I just jump ahead a month, the weather and the world I see outside will be very different than what's out the window today. The urge to nest is coming on strong.

One of my favorite things to do when not stirring the plum butter on the stove is plan my winter reading. I just saw that the folks who publish two of my favorite magazines "Hobby Farm" and "Hobby Farm Home" have started a new magazine that I bet Greengirls readers will want to know about.

"Urban Farm" magazine promises to "promote the benefits of self sustainability and to provide the tools with which to do it on any size property."  Editors say they want to reach out to those in the city and suburbs, those who are inspired by the local food movement and who want to start raising chickens and growing food for themselves, supporting local agriculture and living more sustainably.

I saw a preview in one of the other magazines I get, and liked it, but I haven't read the whole magazine yet. Anyone seen it? What do you think? You can find more info at www.urbanfarmonline.com. Major bookstores should have the first issue on sale now or you can order it online here. If you Twitter, you can also follow Urban Farm on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UrbanFarmMag.

 

New magazine might be right up our alley

Posted by: Updated: September 21, 2009 - 10:23 AM

What are you planning to do with your garden this week? Are you still getting tomatoes or thinking about putting things to bed? 

Between harvesting honey and making pasta sauce, fall is busy at the farmette. But even as the warm sun feels endless, I know if I just jump ahead a month, the weather and the world I see outside will be very different than what's out the window today. The urge to nest is coming on strong.

One of my favorite things to do when not stirring the plum butter on the stove is plan my winter reading. I just saw that the folks who publish two of my favorite magazines "Hobby Farm" and "Hobby Farm Home" have started a new magazine that I bet Greengirls readers will want to know about.

"Urban Farm" magazine promises to "promote the benefits of self sustainability and to provide the tools with which to do it on any size property."  Editors say they want to reach out to those in the city and suburbs, those who are inspired by the local food movement and who want to start raising chickens and growing food for themselves, supporting local agriculture and living more sustainably.

I saw a preview in one of the other magazines I get, and liked it, but I haven't read the whole magazine yet. Anyone seen it? What do you think? You can find more info at www.urbanfarmonline.com. Major bookstores should have the first issue on sale now or you can order it online here. If you Twitter, you can also follow Urban Farm on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UrbanFarmMag.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT