There is a wealth of information out there about gardening. Whether or not it’s valuable, however, is dependent on a wide variety of factors – knowledge, research, which hardiness zone one lives in, and amount of time to spend on gardening, to name a few. With this in mind, here are a select few (we could go on all day!) gardening resources that are highly recommended by Tonkadale Greenhouse staff.
Mary – Garden Center Manager
One of Mary’s absolute favorite resources is Minnesota Gardener Magazine. She is always bringing in articles, excited to discuss the beautiful gardens and great tips. Another favorite resource is the Variety section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune because “there’s always helpful hints.” But for inspiration and information Mary thinks outside the printed box, and most enjoys visiting other gardens. “I love trial gardens,” she reveals, “and I like going to other garden centers – we’re all in the same zone.”
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Auxiliary Garden Tour is prime “inspiration for gardens,” and local “farmers markets are good inspiration” for edibles. Mary likes to visit several as each one offers edibles from different ethnic backgrounds.
Dana – Design Manager
Dana is passionate about container design and it shows! Mostly, he is inspired by “just looking” at things he sees from day to day. However, he does have one resource he likes in particular.
“I like Fine Gardening,” he said “They put out a container issue a couple times a year. I like these issues.”
Lisa T. – Office Manager
Lisa T. is a big fan of “Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs” by Michael Dirr because “it gives good descriptions of trees and how they grow.” She knows not everything about gardening is sunshine and rainbows, though. Problems will occur, and to combat issues in the garden Lisa recommends the “Ortho Home Gardener’s Problem Solver.” “I think all homes should have this. It gives simple identification of diseases, (pest) insects, and solutions.” For beautiful, inspiring pictures and general information on different gardening topics, she recommends Audubon Society books.
Megan – Perennial Lead
I love talking with my colleagues, like those above. But when I can’t access their knowledge I turn to several other resources. I use the University of Minnesota Extension site on a regular basis. The information is research-based and it’s for our area, so I know it’s relevant. I also love Northern Gardener magazine (a Minnesota State Horticultural Society publication) because it’s about great gardens and knowledgeable gardeners in Minnesota.
A few of my favorite books include “Edible Landscaping” by Rosalind Creasy, “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden” by Roy Diblik, “The Layered Garden” by David L. Culp, and “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” by Edward C. Smith. Seed Savers Exchange is an excellent vegetable seed catalog, especially for heirloom varieties, and their website is very informative, too. And even though it’s not always relevant for our area, I love Pinterest for inspiration and a bit of whimsy!
At Tonkadale, we’re all passionate about gardening and improving our gardening skills. We love to share what we know and learn whenever we can. Ask us anytime about our favorite plants and our favorite resources. Ask us tomorrow and the list will probably change! Feel free to share with us your favorite gardening resources, too!