Good years for the roses

This Sunday, Lyndale Park Rose Gardens will celebrate 100 years of roses. Since 1908, the popular garden on the northeast shore of Lake Harriet has featured blooming roses. This Sunday, it'll feature music (from ballads to blues), food, art projects, nature displays, storytelling and tours of the garden, which is in full bloom.

The free festivities will spill over into the nearby gardens, including the formal gardens, border gardens and the Japanese-inspired Peace Garden.

For more information, call Mary Maguire Lerman at 612-313-7726.


Name that weed

Say you're out weeding and you come across something you don't recognize. Is it a prized volunteer or a plain old weed? Before you pull it, check out a new website by the University of Minnesota:

Under the title "Is this plant a weed?" the site lets you search not by name (heck, if you knew the name, you'd probably know whether it was a weed) but by plant type and growing habit. From there, you can use the pictures to guide you to the weed in question.

The text, though brief, contains a detailed description of each weed (a total of 56 weeds common in Minnesota), a list of plants that look similar and the best ways to control it.

Weeding may not be a whole lot of fun, but learning about weeds on this website is.


Garden book goes to pot

"Crops in Pots" (Reader's Digest Association, $19.95) is a strange book, presumably intended for rookie gardeners who don't have room for an actual garden, but want to grow fruits and vegetables in pots.

But what starts out looking like a useful guide soon deteriorates into harebrained schemes such as growing an apple tree in a pot with begonias or a pear tree in the same pot with tomatoes and radicchio.

Nowhere is it mentioned that apples need a pollinator or that potted fruit trees won't survive in cold climates. Many of the plants recommended in the book are obscure varieties that appear to be uncommon in the United States.

The book gets points for novelty, inspiring photos and little else.