Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

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

Creating a Yard That Attracts Wildlife September 23, 2014

red-bellied_woodpecker_photo_collage | | paula bonelli

red-bellied woodpecker

Any effort you make to add plantings to your yard will attract all sorts of wildlife. When we bought our small town lot 20+ years ago, there was no landscaping of any sort — no trees, shrubs, or flowers.

Slowly over the years, we’ve added beds, trees, shrubs, and flowers and have been amazed at what comes to our yard! We’ve had small animals like a woodchuck, raccoon, and baby skunk. We’ve also attracted many varieties of birds from woodpeckers to hummingbirds. All in town on a small little lot.

So go ahead, add some plants and flowers even if you add them in pots around a balcony or deck — see what comes to visit! 😉

Check out the latest issue of my online paper Paula’s Garden Patch News and find tips for creating a habitat in your own backyard that will attract all kinds of wildlife.


Lots of Veggies August 7, 2014

We have been harvesting several things in recent weeks from our yard pots — cherry tomatoes, flat leaf parsley, sage, and soon basil (it’s a little slow growing in our shaded yard!).  We also belong to a CSA farm and have lots of colorful items in our boxes each week — summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, peppers, snap peas, and lots of greens.

I never tire of using these fresh veggies in all kinds of dishes that are perfect lunches or al fresco suppers.

Go to Paula’s Garden Patch News to check out what American Meadows has been harvesting in their gardens. Yum!

What have you been harvesting and enjoying this time of year?



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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