It’s that time again—the sun is shining, the breezes wafting. Your burgeoning yard is calling you. But to do what?
You’ve been at gardening catalogs since you turned your clocks back last fall. Armed with plans, you know what you want, precisely where you intend to set it in the earth, and what you expect to emerge.
What about the more timorous or less-knowledgeable? They see their grounds not as a challenge to be surmounted, but as a wiley foe, daring them to penetrate its legions of stones, and delve into its too-acid/too-basic earth.
Coming to the rescue, four local resources share some seasonal comments for every gardener on the circle.
Matt’s Tree Service
If you’ve got a tree emergency, Matt Dosser, owner of Matt’s Tree Service (MTS), is ready for your call, 24-7. His arboricultural team has served the Twin Cities area for more than 14 years, taking pride in a record of safety, efficiency, and environmental preservation.
Dosser, who emphasizes that, like your pets, your trees need ongoing care, attention, and supervision, points out, “They are the largest piece of landscape you own.”
The more effort you put into maintenance of your trees, the longer you will be able to enjoy their gifts of shade, beauty, and in some instances fruits.
Fully-bonded, insured, and licensed, MTS provides a full spectrum of pruning, trimming, tree and stump removal, and inspection for destructive insects.
Dosser notes, “We encourage our customers, whether current or potential, to come to us with questions or concerns about their trees. Our hotline is always open in case of emergency, and our team is ready at all times to professionally deal with any situation.”
For the heretofore-untreed, Dosser cautions, “New homeowners should look for cracks in trees or supporting cables—both signs that a tree has issues.”
One final, important caveat from Dosser for the eager digger: “Don’t plant trees near power lines.”
Matt’s Tree Service?
Tree Protection Project
Philip Klocksien, a consulting forester and owner of Tree Protection Project, is an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)-certified tree inspector who also works with urban clients.
Klocksien states, “As a DNR plan preparer, I contract to assist woodland owners in tree planting, selective tree harvest, and trail-building. Participants in the Forest Stewardship Program receive tax benefits for managing their land.”
“I diagnose insect and disease problems, and make recommendations for proper care. I assess for structural and decay issues, and recommend proper pruning to improve trees’ health.
Klocksien relates, “My biggest challenge is helping clients understand and cope with emerald ash borer, a ‘new’ insect which has found its way here from Eurasia.”
Stressing the importance of accurate information, Klocksien explains, “Often, chemicals only treat the symptom. Unless one truly understands the workings of the forest, it is impossible to understand trees in a yard context.
“Much of the metro and outstate areas are forested, and your quality of life will really suffer when trees suffer. Tree-hugger or not, we all breathe the oxygen trees provide, and you can’t get more dependent than that.”
Tree Protection Project
Nola Wagner, President of Wagner’s Greenhouses, a family-owned business now operating in the fifth generation at the same location, advises, “The beginning gardener should start small, and pick a sunny area if possible where the soil drains well. Pick good-quality plants from a reputable garden center where the personnel will suggest the correct plants for your garden’s area, light requirements, how often to water and fertilize.”
During the year, Wagner’s offers seminars on different gardening subjects: houseplants, terrariums, pots of Christmas greens, and herb gardening.
Wagner adds, “Besides your local garden center, there is a world of information online and at the library. Check and see what your neighbors are growing, too.”
Take heart, for, according to Wagner, “It is never too late to start planning a garden. The timing just suggests different plants for that time of the year. It is always good to draw a plan with dimensions, and bring it to the garden center for suggestions.”
For those who don’t have a yard, Wagner’s offers numerous indoor ivies, orchids, succulents and cacti, begonias, African violets, jade plants, and more.
Wagner counsels, “Pick what you like, and ask questions!”
Best of all, Wagner enthuses, “Gardening is great exercise, while offering a feeling of well-being. It’s wonderful therapy for the soul!”
6024 Penn Ave. S., Mpls.
Linder’s Greenhouse and Garden Center
In 1910, Albert Linder started Linder’s Greenhouse and Garden Center, providing celery and other produce. Times changed, and he introduced flowers, phasing out vegetables altogether. Today, his four grandchildren continue to hew to the family’s high standards of quality, proud of the Lindner name and place in the community.
Mark Armstead, Linder’s Assistant Manager and greenhouse grower, remarks, “Our staff are consummate plant geeks, and will typically tell you what their favorite plants are and why. We are here to pass on our passion for gardening.”
Armstead urges clients, “Bring in photos, simple diagrams, or sketches. We need to know space requirements, and where the sun flows through your yard. We also have a complete landscape service that will do anything from consulting to full-blown scale planning to full installation.”
More specifically, Armstead suggests, “Buy plants that may have a dual purpose. Maybe they attract wildlife—birds or butterflies—that you can watch all summer. Look for plants that may provide different textures. Maybe the new foliage comes out a different color, and changes as it matures.”
Founder Albert Linder would marvel at the present greenhouse’s online capabilities: “Plant Search” to stock your dream garden; “Lill’s Garden Blog”; and much more.
270 W. Larpenteur Ave., St. Paul