Deer resistant plants


Wed. May. 28, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Deer resistant plants

While I admire the brown-eyed beauty of the white tail deer, I do NOT admire their munching on my plants!

Deer headed toward my hosta

These 2 delightful deer were on their way to my Hosta Cafe.  There are deer “resistant” plants.  Notice I said “resistant” not “proof”!

Well, short of not feeding them, there are some plants that deer don’t particularly care for.  They include:

  • Columbine
  • Coneflower
  • Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Lenten Rose
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Foxglove
  • Heliopsis
  • Beebalm aka
 … [Continue reading]

The worker plants


Tue. May. 27, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  The Worker Plants

There are a number of workhorses for the garden if you’re someone who doesn’t like to putz with plants.  You’d like color and fragrance but no fuss.

Some folks call them invasive.  They are or can be, but that might be just what you’re looking for.

 Physostegia aka Obedient Plant

Why would an invasive flower be named “Obedient plant”?  Was it a joke?  No, it’s because the flowers are bendable!  They will stay where you put them.   … [Continue reading]

Memorial Day


Mon. May. 26, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Memorial Day and the Poppy

Garden Bite would like to thank all those who serve in the United States Military and their families.  We honor those who gave everything.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

Written in Flanders on May 3, 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short  … [Continue reading]

The dirt on plant shopping


Fri. May. 23, 2014

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When plant shopping, bigger is not always better.

Tis better to bloom in your garden than in the garden center.  If you see a little wilting it could be a sign of a root problem.  Look for plants with good color on the leaves.  Look under the leaves for any possible insects.  If you have a plant loupe, bring it with you!  You’ll look ultra cool, I promise.  😉

Seriously, in some of the big box stores where plants are  … [Continue reading]

Blueberries – Superhero/MN state muffin


Thu. May. 22, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: Blueberries – Superhero/MN state Muffin

The Blueberry is the antioxidant  superhero and Minnesota’s state muffin.  Growing blueberries in Minnesota DOES offer it’s challenges if only that the soil likely needs amending.  Ideally the pH is 5 or 6 to grow this delicious fruit.  In Minnesota, most of us have alkaline soil which has a pH level of 7.

But the University of Minnesota has created some delectable varieties for Northern Gardeners everywhere.  Just get a soil test and make amendments!   … [Continue reading]

Pollinator plants


Wed. May. 21, 2014

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Whatever all the reasons are for the bee decline or colony collapse, we can still plant for pollinators.  That includes butterflies and hummingbirds!

Planting native species is a good thing and there are plenty of nurseries that offer good native stock.   Check out my Favorite Links tab.

I talked this week about Monarda and it’s attraction to bees (as well as butterflies and hummingbirds).  Today let’s talk Echinacea.

While there is a native Echinacea aka Coneflower to our area, there  … [Continue reading]

Neonicotinoids


Tue. May. 20, 2014

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There are likely several factors for the Colony Collapse or bee decline.  That is my unscientific yet, I believe, common sense belief.

Neonicotinoids, also called neonics, are a large part of the discussion. This type of insecticide is a systemic, meaning that it is taken up into the plant itself making the entire plant toxic to insects such as aphids, and by the looks of things, bees.  Neonics attack the Central nervous system causing paralysis and death.  They were the  … [Continue reading]

Bee friendly gardening


Mon. May. 19, 2014

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The bee decline or colony collapse is real and while scientists still debate all the reasons why, we can be proactive and plant to attract bees.  Bee friendly gardening is one of the top trends for 2014 gardening.

Monarda aka Bee Balm (I know, makes sense doesn’t it?!) is one of the top bee attractors and beautiful to boot!

Monarda 'Jacob's Cline'

The above picture is my Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’.  It’s a gorgeous red that smells marvelous and, although it was supposed to  … [Continue reading]

Dirt does a body good


Fri. May. 16, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Dirt does a body good

Finally, research confirms dirt’s good for you…  even eating it is okay.  Well, so long as you don’t over indulge!

good dirt!

There’s a certain bacteria in soil that reportedly raises serotonin levels in the brain leading to a more relaxed and happy kid (or adult).

The National Wildlife Federation reports that bacteria along with parasites and viruses help build strong immune systems.  Kids that are kept in an ultraclean environment are more likely to  … [Continue reading]

Hankerin’ for Hydrangea


Thu. May. 15, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Hankerin’ for Hydrangea

Bounce down any street in Minnesota and you’ll likely meet a lot more smiles now that the weather has finally turned!  Oh, I know we could have severe weather but our bodies have been waiting for these warmer temps and our fingers itching to get into the soil!

I’ve been tempted by a couple of hydrangea.  ‘Incrediball’ is an apt name for this gorgeous arborescens.

Hydrangea 'Incrediball'

The green to white to green blooms on this baby are an  … [Continue reading]