Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

The Green Heron June 18, 2014

Filed under: Bird-Watching,Birding — Paula B @ 2:21 PM
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Have you seen this pretty heron?

green heron web image

green heron

They can be found across the United States, but are declining in numbers. :(

My husband and I have spotted them at nearby lakes and rivers. They are harder to spot than the Great Blue Heron or the Great White Egret since they are smaller. They nest in scrubbier areas near the water’s edge while the Egrets and Herons make large nests at the tops of trees, which are easy to spot.

A great number of these beautiful birds have been discovered nesting in a marshy area in Louisiana.

Read more about this discovery in this Audubon article.


What to Do If You Find a Baby Bird Out of the Nest June 12, 2014

Filed under: Baby Birds,Bird-Watching,Birding — Paula B @ 9:26 AM
baby cardinal | | paula bonelli

juvenile cardinal

A hand selected article from Paula’s Garden Patch News about what to do if you find a baby bird out of the nest. We recently found a robin fledgling out of the nest too early. I’m glad to see from the graphic below that we did the right thing by putting him/her in a safe place and continued to watch as the parents fed it for the next several days.

Great infographic on the subject from Audubon Magazine


Pretty Perennial: Bee Balm June 10, 2014

I love bee balm and so do my hummingbird visitors. I have a couple of spots with this pretty perennial. Do you have it in your yard?

Read more about this perennial on the American Meadows blog: A Showy, Native Perennial: Bee Balm


Paula’s Garden Patch News

Filed under: Birding,Gardening — Paula B @ 9:27 AM
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Latest issue is online. Read Paula’s Garden Patch News.


2013 Holiday Gift Guide December 3, 2013

Filed under: Birding,Gardening — Paula B @ 2:41 PM
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I know I’ve been kind of quiet this past summer. I was pretty busy working on other projects and lacked the time for regular posts.

Now that winter is upon us, I hope that your gardens are taking a nice rest for the season. Mine is neatly put to bed until next year. ;)

While the holiday season is upon us, I thought I’d share my holiday gift guide for this year, which includes some gift suggestions for the gardener or birder in your life. Check it out here: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2013

One of the big projects I’m working on is getting my Italian food classes and small group tours launched for 2014. More on that later…

I am wishing you and yours the most blessed holiday season!



Lurie Public Gardens July 25, 2013

We recently spent a few days in Chicago to see the city and sights. We visited Millenium Park which is 5 acres of park grounds in the city. It’s absolutely beautiful and the Lurie Public Gardens sits at the south end of the park near the Loop. The gardens make up 2-1/2 acres of the park in the way of planted areas.

There are 2 main areas – one shade garden and one sun garden and features guided boardwalks and canals. It’s named for Ann Lurie who gave an endowment in the amount of $10 million dollars for the maintenance and upkeep!

This is a public garden with no plant markers and no annuals — the garden consists of all perennials; 60% native to Illinois. The garden, along with so many other things in Chicago, is a must-see if you are there. ;)

Where are your favorite public gardens?


Minnesota Hardy July 11, 2013

I was just telling my husband recently that I wished our shrub rose was ever-blooming or at least bloomed more than once during the season. It’s loaded with pretty smallish pink blossoms. It’s a heritage plant that I rescued from my neighbor’s yard when he passed many years ago. I hold it dear and think of him each year when it blooms.

shrub rose | | paula bonelli

© PaulasGardenPatch

I’m scanning gardening publications the other day and I come across an online publication that is produced by the University of Minnesota called Minnesota Hardy.  The U of M has developed just such a shrub rose, well actually 3. These three hardy shrub roses produce constant bloom throughout the summer, need little winter preparation, and are aptly named Sven, Ole, and Lena! LOL  They are hardy in Zones 3 and 4.

The other plant I love for diversity in the garden is an ornamental grass. There are very few hardy for cold climates and even fewer that tolerate shade. Well, don’t you know, The U of M has also produced a hardy grass called Blue Heaven™ (also called Little Bluestem) which landscapers and home gardeners alike have readily embraced. It does require full sun, though.

The grassy leaves of Blue Heaven are bluish-green in color and the foliage turns a gorgeous orange in the fall. It features beautiful spikes of light green flowers rising above the foliage in late summer. The indian red seed heads are displayed from early fall right through to late winter and the brick red stems add winter interest.

For the U of M, breeding such plants goes far beyond producing a hardy plant. The process also involves evaluating disease resistance, color, taste, growth habit, and uses. The results number well over 400 proven hardy varieties! Minnesota’s drive to discover has formed the foundation for over a two-billion-dollar horticultural industry, spanning the borders from Roseau, MN grass seed growers south to Lanesboro, MN vineyards.

What is your favorite Zone-hardy shrub or plant?

Source: Univ of MN publication Minnesota Hardy



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