My Northern Garden is being transplanted! I’m moving (with much help from local computer guru, Sean Hayford O’Leary) to http://mynortherngarden.com. The original site will continue to be available for some time, but the information will also be available in the new location with plenty of new posts about garden trends as well.
Phase one of the monster snow storm hitting Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest this Christmas forced the postponement of some family plans for Christmas Eve, so I spent the day snow-blowing the driveway, baking cookies with my daughters, and admiring the snow shapes that form on the plants in the yard. After the next wave of snow hits (15 to 19 inches predicted for Northfield), I may not be able to see any of my perennials or even this birdbath!
Merry Christmas to all!
With as many new plants as I have this year, I was deciding whether to put some mulch around them. No need now! We got about 8 inches of new snow (my estimate) and lots of blowing and drifting during the storm that is still marching across the Midwest. As a result, my newest bed looks to be under about 2 feet of snow, and only the tops of these coneflowers are visible. They do look good in their caps, however.
A note about mulching plants in winter: The idea of mulch is not to protect a plant from freezing. Unless it is inappropriate for our zone, the plant can handle freezing without a problem. The purpose of mulch is to protect the plant from heaving out of the ground during the thaw-freeze cycles that we get throughout the winter. While the layers of snow on my plants could certainly melt over the next few weeks, exposing the plants to the worst of Minnesota’s winter and lots of thawing and freezing, it’s not likely given we are heading into the coldest time of the year in Minnesota. While blizzards are terrifically inconvenient (although my daughter and I will get our Christmas tree up and decorated today due to the day off from school), the snow is very welcome here.
Judging by the decorations Northfield merchants are putting out for tomorrow’s Winter Walk — an annual shop, sing, meet, greet event that is enjoyed all but the city’s most Scrooge-like residents — the hot items in holiday container decorations are: spray paint, whimsy and lots of texture.
While taking photos downtown, I observed Mary Closner of Swag spray-painting away at her lovely blue and silver outdoor container. Inside the shop, she had last year’s Christmas tree on display. After it lost its needles, she had spray-painted it red. Cute! The stuffed ornaments from Sweden add a homey touch. The display outside the Northfield Historical Society also featured spray-paint as a stand-in for the snow we do not have yet.
For whimsy, how about the little packages the folks at the Hideaway Coffeehouse and Wine Bar had tucked into their usual evergreen sentinels outside the store? That’s an easy decoration idea anyone with an evergreen and some ribbon could try.
Texture is everywhere, in the mixed greens in the pot outside of the Monarch, in the rough narrow branches festooned with pink lights outside of the Glass Garden, and in the more sedate and natural-looking pots outside of Buntrock Commons at St. Olaf, where the thousands of visitors to the St. Olaf Christmas Festival will get their lefse and lutefisk this weekend.