Checklist before leaving on vacation tomorrow:
- Pack for all weather possibilities but hopefully WARM weather, woo-hoo.
- Put houseplants in bathtub with instructions for hubby to water.
- Get Henry dog bathed and take him to "boarding school" to learn better impulse control (not going ape-crap around unfamiliar people and pets) and general manners reminder. More peaceful and safer (ice ice baby) dog walks to follow, yea.
- All that other pesky pre-trip stuff
- Write that book review for my blog.
This book is targeted for Minnesota...HOWEVER I'm going to share some of the valuable non-regon specific advice it contains for those of you that don't live "up north".
First let me recommend this book to Minnesota and cold climate gardeners already growing or thinking about growing native plants. "Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota" (second edition) by Lynn Steiner is a thorough but easily digestible volume with lots of great information that identifies Minnesota's native plants and plant communities while showing home gardeners how to use them effectively.
Lynn Steiner is a longtime gardening editor,writer and photographer with more than twenty years of extensive gardening experience. She knows her stuff.
Landscaping with native plants has often been regarded as a messy, lazy method of gardening; looked down upon by neighbors and city councils alike. Lynn's tips can help you to design a landscape that is pleasing for humans and habitat. Here are a few...
- Maintain at least a small area of turf
- Use a buffer of grass or mulch between planted areas and sidewalks/streets so plants don't flop onto paved areas, making visitors uncomfortable
- Add embellishments such as sculpture and benches to make it look more like a garden and less like a field of weeds
- Use natives that are "more controllable" in their growth habit; these tend to be the clump-forming plants rather than spreaders.
- (Natural gardens have curvy lines, yet) Install some straight edges, either around garden beds or in the form of fences and paths
Along with real-world landscape photos (one of my friend's gardens is in the book) and comprehensive plant profiles with instructions for cultural and maintenance requirements, the book includes ideas for landscape placement and design concepts often lacking in other books on the subject.
If you've been hesitant to work with native plants or if you're just starting to flirt with the idea...I highly recommend Lynn's book. If you already garden with native plants...send a photo, and I'll try to use it with a follow-up post.
Here's a few favorite natives from my garden...
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) The Garden Buzz
Large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) The Garden Buzz
Serviceberry tree (Amelanchier laevis) The Garden Buzz
Wild ginger (Asarium canadense) The Garden Buzz