Designing with nature, braiding science with beauty

I was asked, “So, why do you want to study botany?” And I answered, “Because goldenrod and asters are so beautiful together, and I want to know why. I want to know why these stand together. Why do they grow together and look so beautiful when they could grow apart?” “That’s not science,” he said.…

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Putting Down Roots in the Prairie

The roots of the leadplant chart a course toward the center of the earth. Thirsty and longing for stability, they branch, spread and burrow further and further into the soil. Encountering a rock or a flat pan of clay, they will pause, turn, and then continue their travels laterally. In sandy soils, where rainwater is…

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Protecting Pollinators – What’s the Latest Buzz?

There are 250 native bee species in Minnesota and 140 species of butterflies.

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Condos and Townhomes Are Going Green

Working with board members from the association, landscape designer Tara Kline put together a design that replaced around 3,325 square feet of turf with native plants. The swale features “thirsty” shrubs like dogwood that soak up lots of water, as well as plants like cup plant, joe pyweed, blue flag iris, and sedges that provide both beauty and habitat.

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Join the PolliNATION

Since your own lawn is small, you might be surprised to learn that turf grass covers more acres of land in the U.S. than the eight largest agricultural crops combined. Imagine what a difference it would make if all of us converted ¼ of our lawn to native plantings that provide habitat for pollinators, birds and wildlife.

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Spring Dreaming

On Saturday, March 26, Master Gardeners in Washington County will hold a spring gardening program at Stillwater Area High School, 8am-noon. During this free workshop, participants will learn about sustainable gardening, landscape design, and landscaping with native plants.

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All about Insects

One example, wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa – also known as bee balm), is one of the best forage plants for bumble bees. Bergamot also provides nectar for honeybees, black sweat bees, mason wasps, great black wasps, eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies, silver spotted skipper butterflies, monarch butterflies, great spangled fritillary butterflies, moths, snout moths, hummingbird clearwing moths, long-horned bees, cuckoo bees, green sweat bees, wool carder bees, small resin bees, leafcutter bees, and sweat bees.

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