Friday, April 1, 2016

Five Things to Know About Minnesota Gardeners

When your winters are long, you make your gardens big.

Those of us on the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling planning committee are so excited to introduce bloggers around the country to our beautiful part of the world, but there are a few things you need to know before you come.

1) Gardeners here are ENTHUSIASTIC! Spending six months or more surrounded by snow does not quell the desire of Minnesotans to grow things. The gardens you will see are lush and layered. Community gardening is huge in the Twin Cities and we will be visiting one of the most unusual of these neighborhood gardens. It's on what is essentially a "bike freeway" through Minneapolis. Did you know Minneapolis, despite its climate, is rated the No. 3 best biking city by Bicycling Magazine?

2) All those things Garrison Keillor says about Minnesotans -- kind of true. "All the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children above average." At least, we think so. While Lake Woebegone is not a real place, it is based on one that is -- and I can tell you a very Keillor-esque story about the real place. Or, you can visit it, if you decide you want to extend your stay to explore Minnesota. And, that accent the Coen brothers made famous in Fargo? Yep, we got it.

Snow on May 2? Yep, it happens. Not it July.
3) Our winters are cold, but our summers are not. In fact, they are gorgeous. Be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater for the Fling, just in case we get a breeze. But also pack warm-weather clothing, a good hat and plenty of sunscreen. July can be warm.

Sunset on Lake Minnetonka
4) Land of 10,000 Lakes? Minnesota really has more lakes than that, and we will be visiting some gardens that are located on or near lakes. Having water in your backyard makes everything more beautiful, don't you think?

Rose trial garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, where roses are tested for hardiness.
5) Plant breeding is big here. Honeycrisp apples? Bred in Minnesota. Hosta breeder Hans Hansen? Got his start in Minnesota. Oso Happy® Smoothie™roses? Bred in Minnesota. Plant breeders in Minnesota have worked hard to develop grapes for the North, grasses for the North, chrysanthemums for cold climates, and fruits and berries of all kinds -- all suitable for cold-climates. Are you catching a theme here?

There are still spots open for the Minneapolis Fling, click here to register today! We hope you will join us!