Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lilacs blooming in September! | Updraft | Minnesota Public Radio

Lilacs blooming in September! | Updraft | Minnesota Public Radio

A comment from Gabby:

From the Stillwater Gazette October 22, 1870: "We received from Mrs. Geo S. Abbott who lives a few miles from the city, a twig of beautiful lilacs in full bloom, being entirely a second growth. This has been the most remarkable season ever known in this climate in this respect. We have lettuce growing in our garden, green and luxuriant, of a spontaneous second growth. We have seen several fields of wheat, where the scattered seed from the harvest, deceived by what seemed to be the gently call of Spring putting on the rankest foliage of green, is in total disregard of the eternal fitness of things"

You now have permission!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blooming Now! (Yes, in Minnesota in November)

Hamamelis virginiana or Common Witch Hazel is blooming now.  Blooming in October and November, this large shrub or small understory tree is a Minnesota native.  An excellent specimen tree for a smaller yard, Hamamelis virginiana does well in full sun or shade.  A relatively slow grower, Witch Hazel has a picturesque horizontal branching habit with a smooth gray bark and gorgeous yellow fall color.  And if that is not enough, in the fall when the leaves have dropped, it bursts with small, yellow, ribbon-like blooms.

Hamamelis virginiana has long been a favorite by European horticulturists.  In the 17th century, this plant was growing in botanical collections in London.  Known for it's medicinal value, extracts of the leaves, twigs and bark are used as a topical astringent.  The horizontal branching pattern of the twigs, made it popular for use as a "divining rod" to locate underground water sources.

Pollinated by gnats and bees, the late flowering period makes this plant attractive to pollinators, since it's some of the only nectar and pollen action the insects will have at this time of year.

Witch hazel prefers a soil rich in organic matter such as leaf humus.  Add this excellent shrub to your landscape a specimen or en masse.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I like to use only natural product in my container plantings.  Plastic and styrofoam are not only unnatural looking, but wind up forever in the landfills and in our waters.

Fan Tail Willow, Flame Willow, Rosehips