What’s Doing the Blooming? Sedum!

Sedum ‘Neon’

It is with great anticipation that this week’s “What’s Doing the Blooming?” is finally doing just that! Watching the sedum come into bloom is like watching the stars come out. Large, dense clusters of buds appear in August atop the sedum’s strong and sturdy stems. By

Sedum ‘Red Cauli’

late August their crowded flower clusters begin to burst open. First one perfect starry flower, then a star cluster appears. Before you know it, it’s a virtual sedum flower galaxy! All through spring and summer the upright sedum have been patiently filling our garden beds and landscape borders. Their beautiful clean, succulent foliage provides texture and fullness that is unparalleled.

Sedum ‘Carl’

Many are familiar with the ever popular Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and ‘Autumn Fire’. This week I would like to highlight five “allstar” sedums that are lesser known. ‘Carl’, ‘Red Cauli’, ‘Neon’, ‘Lemonjade’ and ‘Lidakense’ are fantastic plants that deserve space in your sunny

Sedum ‘Lemonjade’

beds or borders. All sedum prefer well-drained soil and full sun. They are hardy in zones 3-9. They make excellent cut flowers and in winter, their thick stems and seed heads add texture and interest. Sedum grow well with ornamental grasses, rudbeckia and asters. They make a stunning late summer display that will take you through fall and right into winter!

Sedum ‘Lidakense’

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Categories: Businesses

My Woodland Garden – August 25th

Quickfire Hydrangea

If I had to pick one type of plant right now in our gardens, it would have to be the hydrangeas.  We have many hydrangeas, both in shrub form and tree form.    The Quickfire Hydrangea shrub form has such great upright standability.  We have two in one of our beds – one on each end – and they are such good “anchors” for this bed.

Quickfire Hydrangea

One has more sun than the other so it blossomed sooner, consequently, it is turning pink now where the one with the more shade, is still pretty white.  Quickfire Hydrangea will grow to about 5 to 6 feet tall and wide.

Tardiva Hydrangea

In the main perennial / annual bed we have our Tardiva Hydrangea Tree.  This tree has graced this bed now for more than a dozen years and is beautiful.   Hydrangeas – both tree and shrub form – are best pruned in the late fall.  Once the blossoms have lost their beauty, prune them off.  We learned this the hard way several years ago.  Our Tardiva was full of blossoms and with the late fall / early winter hoar frost that grabbed onto each of the many flower petals, put a considerable amount of weight on the tree branches.  Well, sadly the main branch in the tree broke.  Leif pruned it out and we were heartsick in that our perfect Tardiva now was a little misshapen.  It took about 3 years, and it filled in and we continue to prune it each fall religiously.  This past fall he was a little more aggressive with his pruning and I told him that it didn’t look very good.  He told me to have faith and wait until the end of the summer.  Well, it is once again a beautiful tree.  A little skinny but next season – it will be more full.   Be sure to prune your hydrangeas in the fall.

Flower of the Plantingea ‘August Lily’.

Now for the perennials that are impressing me this week.  More hosta blossoms are getting my attention as is the Turtlehead.  This perennial is a great shade garden plant.  It has such a deep green color and it starts to blossom in


late August and will sport flowers most of September when most of the other perennials have done their job.  A nice clump reaching about 20-24 inches tall and about 18 inches wide.  We have them planted in among our hostas and heuchera.

Just a quick update on my hardy hibiscus in a part-sun – part shade environment.  The plant has now reach more than 5 feet tall and has blossoms opening up daily now.  Other hibiscus plants have been blossoming for a few weeks, and that is the trade-off for not being in the full sun.  However – mine is just as beautiful!

Hardy Hibiscu

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Categories: Businesses

Miyabei Maple – Outstanding & Different

I’m always searching for better trees varieties for our Minnesota landscape.  In recent years, Miyabei Maples have caught my attention as an outstanding alternative to many of the more commonly planted maple varieties.  Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple and State Street Miyabei Maple are two excellent varieties, and both will produce a beautiful well-behaved, structurally sound, and winter hardy tree.

State Street Miyabei Maples have been available for a number of years, and produce a tree of medium size at 35′ tall x 20-25′ tall. This size may be a better choice for small areas, or where you have plenty of space, but don’t want a tree that dominates the area.  I’ve noticed that State Street Miyabei Maple and Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple, both have excellent branch angles that form very strong attachments with the trunk and will  be very resistant to storm damage.  Leaves are medium size and a very deep and handsome green color, thick so they resist leaf tattering in heavy winds, and stay fresh looking right up until they turn a nice soft yellow in autumn.

Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple has a nice feature of displaying a more pronounced set of corky bark ridges at an early age that adds a nice texture, and bit more winter interest.  Like State Street Miyabei Maple, the Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple has a nice, somewhat shiny lustre on the dark green and thick leaves.  From a distance, both varieties present a dense rounded form that stays neat and well-behaved with less pruning than many other varieties of shade trees.

For best results, plant Miyabei Maples in soils that are properly drained, slightly acidic, and dense enough to have good moisture retention.  The more sunlight you give Rugged Ridge or State Street Miyabei Maple the better they will perform, although a half a day of direct, unfiltered sunlight will be enough to keep the trees healthy.  If you live in a wide open spaces, Miyabei Maples should be able to perform really well in these fairly harsh conditions.  We planted some along a highway right of way, ad they appear to be doing quite well.

We currently carry Miyabei Maples in #7 and #15 containers.  Pictures here are of the Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple and are courtesy of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Nursery, Boring, Oregon.

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Categories: Businesses

What’s Doing the Blooming? Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’

Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’

This week’s “What’s Doing the Blooming?” is full of a classic grace. It is none other than Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ and has been awarded the prestigious title, “The Perennial Plant of the Year” by the Perennial Plant Association.  Each year, the PPA is presented with approximately 400 perennial nominations for this award. This year’s selection has impeccable timing! Anemone are commonly called Windflower.  Honorine Jobert produces lush, dark green plants with clean, attractive textural foliage from spring through fall. As our summer bloomers begin to fade, strong, wiry stems appear and rise up sporting delicate buds with a slight blush. The buds unfold to pure white, 2-3” petaled flowers, surrounding rich golden centers. The stems sway and nod gracefully in the late summer breeze, above that beautiful blanket of dark foliage that I mentioned before.

Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’, The Perennial Plant of the Year 2016

Anemone performs best in partial shade but can tolerate full sun in the right soil conditions. They require moist, well drained, organic rich soil. Too wet or too dry, and your plants will quickly lose vigor. When in bloom, Honorine Jobert reaches heights of as much as 3-4′. This historic plant has graced gardens around the world for centuries and made its way to America via England before the American Civil War. Its popularity has grown along with it. You can’t go wrong with a classic selection such as this.

Windflower ‘Honorine Jobert’

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Categories: Businesses

My Woodland Garden – August 18th

Mulch washed across the rock path

Mother Nature was not kind this past week in my Woodland Garden. We received over 7 inches of rain during the storms of last week with 5 1/2 of those coming within a short 3 hour window on Friday afternoon.  It was a time when I said I was sure glad we lived 130 feet above the Cannon River.

Mulch in the lawn

The land to the east of us is slightly uphill meaning that with this large amount of water, it all runs through our yard on its way to the

river below.  One of our flower beds was washed out.  I lost about a third of the flowers which I assume are floating down the Cannon somewhere and the others I had to replant.  There was a lot of mulch from our landscape beds that washed into the driveway, down into the ravine and out in the yard.  We have a few areas left to rake.

We will have to apply another few yards of mulch, and about a yard of soil to the one annual bed and sit back and just sigh.  It is still a beautiful place to live – in the woods with the peace, quiet and all of the wildlife.

Rudbeckia Goldstrum

The Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan) is blooming prolifically and is just awesome.  You can see from the picture that this is now almost in full shade.  My Cole’s Prostrate Weeping Hemlock which is now almost 12 years old in this spot sits to the right of the Rudbeckia.  This slow growing shade evergreen just creeps out over the boulders in the wall.  There is really no maintenance to it other than to take the leaf blower in the fall and blow the leaves away.  The shrub on the bottom is one of our Golden Yews which is has a little more dull cast of yellow later now in the season.

Hosta Flower

Yesterday, after the rain from the night before, I marveled at the droplets of rain that cling to the hosta flowers and the dew that clings to the spider webs.  Stop and look around your garden at all of the unplanned pleasures.  I guess Mother Nature wasn’t so bad after all!

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Categories: Businesses

Working with an Architect and a Contractor

Northfield Construction Company - Sun, 08/14/2016 - 8:22pm

As a homeowner in the midst of a new construction, it is nice to know that you are not alone on your journey. Along the way, the people who are there to help you are also the people who are making your dream home a reality. It is important that there is a relationship built […]

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Categories: Businesses

What’s Doing the Blooming? Fall Blooming Mums!

Copper colored Fall Blooming Mum

It is with great joy that this week’s, “What’s doing the blooming” blog, is about fall blooming mums. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to let summer go! I have a great fondness for tan lines, lightning bugs, kids running through the sprinkler, and red, sun warmed tomatoes, fresh off the vine.

Yellow Fall Blooming Mum Red Fall Blooming Mum Fall blooming mums in a mixed planter.

But, no matter what the season, the thought of lengthening afternoon shadows, high school football, having a seat on a straw bale, and our Minnesota Grown fall blooming mums fills me with a warm apple cider feeling. Once again, we will offer both decorative and Minnesota hardy mums in all your favorite colors. While the decorative mums are perfect for refilling your tired annual planters and baskets, the hardy mums are a great choice in perennial beds and landscape borders where an end of summer or fall pop of color is what you need. As many of you have learned in the past, we carry the good stuff! Our mums are grown in 8.5” pots, they are full and loaded with buds! They will go quickly so stop in soon for the best color selection.

Rust Fall Blooming Mums

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Categories: Businesses

Immunity to Emerald Ash Borer

Mountain Ash berries

The threat of Emerald Ash Borer to our native and urban forests has been in the news a great deal in recent years, and the threat is real and growing.  Only time will tell how devastating Emerald Ash Borers will become, and if efforts to control this destructive insect will help at least to some degree.

While the list of counties with infestations of Emerald Ash Borer has been gradually growing (not yet found in Rice County, but verified in Dakota County), we are able to sell a lovely tree that carries the ash name, and is resistant to the Emerald Ash Borer.  Our Minnesota native Showy Mountain Ash produces beautiful white flowers in late spring and by late summer, displays loads of colorful, orange/red berry clusters that are long lasting, and a favored food for a number of wild bird varieties.

The catch here is that Showy Mountain Ash is immune to the Emerald Ash Borer because it is a member of a completely different genus of trees than the Green Ash, White Ash or Black Ash currently being killed by the Emerald Ash Borer.  Showy Mountain Ash belongs to the genus ‘Sorbus’, while the White, Green and Black Ash trees are part of the ‘Fraxnus’ genus of trees.  Emerald Ash Borers do not attack the Showy Mountain Ash trees.

Showy Mountain Ash trees grow to modest heights of 20′-30′ in most cases which makes them an excellent choice for smaller spaces when a full sized shade tree might be too big.  For best results plant the Showy Mountain Ash tree in well-drained soil, and avoid compacted, poorly drained areas.  Showy Mountain Ash prefer 1/2 day to full day sun.  The colorful clusters of orange berries decorate the tree throughout the winter, or until they are eaten by hungry birds.  Showy Mountain Ash have become one of my favorite Minnesota native trees.

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Categories: Businesses

My Woodland Garden – August 9th


Today was maintenance day!  I prepared myself for the mosquitoes and grabbed my pruners and began.  The hostas all bloom at different times and I’m starting to prune off the spent flowers.  It makes such a difference and takes just a little time.


I’m still waiting for the late season hosta bloomers to start to blossom.  My Irish Luck hosta which is right next to these, is full of tight blossoms which will hopefully be open within the week.



My Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart has now entered dormancy.  It is always a sad time as it is signaling  that Fall is fast approaching.    I clipped it down and applied a light coating of mulch.  I moved a planter of begonias over and it now anchors this bed of annuals.    There were two large toads hiding under the bleeding heart whom now have to find a new home.  They disappeared over under some of the hydrangeas.

Before After








About six weeks ago, our resident doe had eaten the tops, including the blossoms, off of my Garden Phlox in our main perennial bed.  Don’t tell her that they set more blossoms are now absolutely beautiful – and so fragrant.    I was surprised that they set so many new blossoms, but my guess is that it was early enough in the season that there was plenty of time.

Garden Phlox

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Categories: Businesses

Green Ideas for Homes

Northfield Construction Company - Sun, 08/07/2016 - 8:51pm

These days, the amount of resources available for helping a home be more eco-friendly are plentiful, but they may not be obvious. This list covers a few ideas for making your home a little bit greener. Rain Barrels Used for storing and harvesting rainwater, rain barrels prevent rainwater run off pollution and provide a source […]

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Categories: Businesses

Just Food Board of Directors Names New General Manager

Just Food Co-op - Fri, 08/05/2016 - 2:50pm

The Just Food Co-op Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jerry Huddleston has been hired to be the next General Manager of Just Food Co-op. His first day of work at Just Food will be September 1. He replaces Pat Neily who moved back to New Hampshire last January for family reasons and now works for the Manchester Food Co-op.

Jerry comes to Just Food after 15 years at Ozark Natural Foods Cooperative in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Jerry served as ONF’s Human Resources Manager for all 15 of those years while also serving as the Marketing Manager for more than four years and as the Front End Manager for nearly a year. As is often the case in co-ops, Jerry has also had the opportunity to wear many other hats, stepping in throughout the store as needed to assist with the work of the co-op. He worked closely with his longtime GM, providing advice, writing the business plans and policy monitoring reports, and getting an insider’s view of the work of the GM.

Jerry is a passionate advocate both for everybody’s right to have access to healthy food and for supporting our local foodshed and working closely with local farmers. He is committed to supporting and empowering all staff in a healthy and joyful workplace. He has seen first-hand the effects of new competition on a formerly thriving co-op, which informs his understanding that co-ops need to increase their skill sets, improve their operations, and find new ways to remain relevant in the face of ever-increasing competition.

In August Jerry will complete his MBA in Leadership and Ethics from John Brown University; he also has a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from JBU. Prior to his work at ONF, Jerry was Director of Production at Athletic World Advertising in Fayetteville for six years.

Jerry and his wife, Kim, are excited to move to Northfield. Jerry says, “From day one we fell in love with your community, and I hope that what we can offer will help Just Food Co-op achieve the next stage of its incarnation.”

The Board of Directors also recognizes Sherri Meyers, our Center Store Manager, who has served as the Interim General Manager during the past six months. She provided steady and exemplary leadership during this transition to a new GM. Just Food Co-op is very fortunate to have Sherri as part of our management team.

Please join us in welcoming Jerry to Just Food Co-op. We believe that exciting opportunities are ahead for Just Food.

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Categories: Businesses

What’s Doing the Blooming? Ornamental Grasses

‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reedgrass

Ornamental grasses in bloom? Yes indeed! It’s easy to forget that the attractive seed heads of the ornamental grasses are the result of flowers! Ornamental grasses add a soft texture and grace to our beds and borders from late summer through winter. Grasses are the anchors of our late summer bloomers, such as, coneflower, black-eyed-susans, and hydrangea. With the crisp air of autumn, their graceful stems and foliage take on vivid golds, purples and reds, providing the perfect accent to fall blooming mums, asters and sedum. Then against winter’s snow, ornamental grasses provide much needed interest with their persistent seed heads hanging on well into winter.

Each grass possesses a unique beauty and habit all it’s own. Feathery plumes of flame grass, airy blooms of switch grass, nodding tufts of the native little blue stem and the ever popular wheat colored spires of feather reed grass. These are just a few of the many beautiful varieties of ornamental grass that could grace your garden.

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Categories: Businesses

My Woodland Garden – August 3rd

Delight and despair.  All winter long we feed the birds (and not intentionally) the squirrels from multiple feeders.  I pull the weeds in the spring from the seed that spills and I missed a sunflower that was coming up in among my hosta.  This week, we had a beautiful yellow sunflower reaching toward the sun.  It just makes you smile.

We have been fighting the battle of the moles/voles for years now.  This year with all of the moisture, there have been very few problems.  I assume that its because there are plenty of grubs elsewhere in the woods.  I was out watering the baskets and planters and right by our deck there was a mole mound.  I am not happy.  I flattened it out and raked it flat.  We have a dog and cats so we don’t use traps or poison – just put up with it for now.

Hillside Creeper

We have this absolutely gorgeous Hillside Creeper in the front of the house.  It’s been there for years.  True to its name – it continues to creep.  There are a few blades of grass that have migrated into the shrub and yesterday, I gently parted the branches and stepped in and did the weeding.  I adjusted a few things – and was pleased with the work.  Refer to the paragraph above about the mole hill.

When I got home from work yesterday, I noticed a mound right underneath the edge of the Hillside Creeper.  I pulled apart the branches and stomped on it and silently cursed the moles.  BUT it wasn’t moles.  It was an underground bee nest.  Bees swarmed around my feet – fortunately I jumped and didn’t get stung.  We haven’t had this happen  for several years.    The hole you see in the middle is where the entrance to the underground hive is.

This morning, Leif got out the wasp spray and aimed it at the hole.  Tonight – it is silent.  I am thankful that when I was cleaning up the bed yesterday, that I didn’t step in this area.  I was on my knees weeding and wouldn’t have been able to quickly get out of the way.

Gardening – always an adventure,

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Categories: Businesses

Draftsman vs. Architect

Northfield Construction Company - Sun, 07/31/2016 - 8:45pm

In the world of construction, two terms that commonly get thrown around are Draftsman and Architect. Most of us have heard both of these titles before, and some of us even clump them together. In the grand scheme of things, they are pretty much the same, right? Well, actually, that is wrong. Draftsmen and Architects […]

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Categories: Businesses

How To Encourage Customer Reviews

Brand Yourself Consulting - Tami Enfield - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 2:05pm

You know you do good work for your customers. Heck, you spend half your day making sure they’re happy. But how do you convince potential customers that you really walk the walk when it comes to knocking their socks off? Step One: Get some amazing reviews from past and current customers.

How to encourage great customer reviews via @brandyourselfmn.
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Here are a few methods to encourage your customers to write about you: Email

Follow up with a customer at the end of a project or contract via email. Customize the introduction based on your brand and voice, then give them one (or several) options to submit a review:

Custom Form

Create your own online review form, where you can collect information privately. This is good if you want to see how specific employees are performing, or ask for sensitive information. You can include a checkbox asking if the review can be shared publicly.


Send customers straight to your Facebook reviews page. Simply link to this page in your email, asking customers to click the link and write a review.


Ratings on Google are surprisingly important, as they can influence your search rankings. First, get your Google+ page verified so you can respond to reviews. Then, let your customers know how to submit a review of your business on Google.

 Offer Guidelines

Sometimes, your customers will have great things to say about you, but they don’t know how to word it. Give them some examples or guidelines to help get the ball rolling. MindShare Consulting has a great post to get you started.


Some industries or clientele are a bit more old-school. If your customers simply aren’t the type to leave online reviews, send them a letter with a pre-addressed return envelope, asking them to submit a review.

Ask In Person

Nothing beats a face-to-face interaction, even in the days of social. Host a party for your clients, or simply bring it up at your next meeting. You can either ask for a verbal review, or follow up the conversation with a personal email.

Extra Note:

While all of your customers are probably equally awesome, you want to be sure your reviews are reaching the right audience. Seek a range of reviews and testimonials so you can find your sweet spot. SumoMe has you covered in this post.

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Categories: Businesses

Safety Tips for Homeowners During Construction

Northfield Construction Company - Sun, 07/24/2016 - 8:43pm

Whenever we start a new project here at Northfield Construction Company, we are thrilled to witness how excited our clients become with the process of building them their dream home. Though it can be tempting to want to be around the project as much as possible, it is crucial that we remember job site safety […]

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Categories: Businesses

Lakeville Kitchen Remodel

Northfield Construction Company - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 1:45am

Thanks to a referral, we met a client in Lakeville, Minnesota with a dream for their kitchen. Our team worked alongside the homeowner to achieve their vision, selecting materials and design together. We expanded the kitchen into the adjacent den, which involved tying structurally into joist system. You can see all the project photos on Houzz. […]

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Categories: Businesses

Hastings Estate Sale -April 15 & 16

Kuhlman Auctions - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 7:49am

We will be conducting an estate sale for the Carol Glade estate on April 15 & 16 in Hastings.  The sale will run from 9:00AM to 4:00PM both days.  Numbers will be given out starting at 8:00AM.  The address for the sale is 1141 Zweber Lane in Hastings.  There is an exceptional collection of fine furniture, glassware, primitives, rugs, clocks, artwork, and antique lighting.  Please come and see us at the sale.

Marble topped mirrored buffet, Walnut bed & dresser w/round (Knapp) dovetails, double oak china cabinet,Victorian loveseat & upholstered chairs, oak fireplace mantle, spinning wheel, Amish quilt, bracket lamp, double kerosene angle lamp, hanging kerosene lamp, GWTW style lamps,  spinning wheel, loveseat, carved shelves, vintage metal purses, Terry Redlin artwork, inlaid table, Windsor type chair, fancy lamp table, wicker buggies, Dionne Quints picture, Miss America butter dish, vintage pictures, handpainted plates, pressed & cut glass, wall clocks, mustache cup and shaving mug collection, primitives, antique wedding dress, rugs, lots of décor, collection of Seraphim Classics angels, tools, household, yard & garden, 17′ redwood canoe,  beer can collection, and lots more.
View full details and see more pictures at EstateSales.NET: https://www.EstateSales.NET/MN/Hastings/55033/1146588

Categories: Businesses


Grand Event Center - Wed, 04/27/2011 - 10:50am

It’s Northfield’s Annual Girls Nite Out…Friday, May 6th.  After an evening of shopping and dining join us at The Grand for entertainment by The G.N.O. Dancers and live music by Sweet Stache.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at The Rare Pair, Sisters Ugly, Fine Threads, Anna’s Closet,  Rooms by Tagg 2 or the Eclectic Goat.  For more info  call 507-645-2376.

Categories: Businesses

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 7:00pm

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