Jennifer Moeller: Landscape Designer and Artist

Metro Blooms’ design team has become more artistic. When new member Jennifer Moeller is not out in the field working or in the office planning, she just might be drawing or painting. The aquarium mural in the lobby of the pediatric floor at a local hospital is her work, as are the animal murals in…  Read More

A Blooming Alley in St. Paul

Metro Blooms of Minneapolis has taken its work to make alleys greener across the river into St. Paul. Four raingardens, three areas of native plantings and a permeable pavement system are new features of the landscape in and near a Merriam Park alley that help prevent water pollution and provide more natural habitat. It’s part…  Read More

Metro Blooms at the One Water Summit

(Caption: Some people bring their best game faces to important events. Community Engagement Manager Kimberly Carpenter brought Metro Blooms’ best flower faces. Photo courtesy of Hennepin County Extension). Metro Blooms had 15 minutes of fame recently when its clean water work in the Harrison Neighborhood in Minneapolis was featured on a bus tour of innovative…  Read More

Weeds to Watch This Week

Weeds, a.k.a. Wild Urban Plants What is a weed?  Emerson said they are plants whose utility has yet to be found. From an ecological perspective, they are colonizers of disturbed soil.  Often annual, they produce impressive amounts of seed that float off to find bare soil, sites free from competing plants.  They are modifiers.  Weeds…  Read More

Metro Blooms: Seeking Environmental Justice in the Harrison Neighborhood

If Metro Blooms were a vehicle (green energy-powered, of course), the community would be the driver. The destination is always the same: clean water, habitat and a more beautiful environment. But it is a community’s residents, businesses and local institutions that decide how the journey is taken. As a non-profit that specializes in ecological landscaping,…  Read More

Reed Canary Grass: Weeds to Watch This Week

Reed Canary Grass, Phalaris arundinacea This is a plant you want to know to attack quickly if it shows up in your raingarden.  I’ve seen it invade dry boulevards where the owner thought it was just a desirable showy grass.  This grass is nearly impossible to eradicate in extensive mats.  If you see it blooming anywhere,…  Read More

Raingarden Maintenance Made Easier: Good Timing and Tools

In a raingarden, there will always be weeding, but you can make it easier on yourself if you have good timing and the right tools. That was one of the main messages at the first session of Sustainable Landcare: Raingarden Maintenance, a three-part workshop series organized by Metro Blooms’ Blue Thumb organization. The workshop was…  Read More

Curly Leaf Dock: Weeds to Watch This Week

Curly Leaf Dock, Rumex crispus This ubiquitous plant is one you want to get to know.  Here is a view of a patch on a boulevard, with seed beginning to ripen.  If you catch it early enough– plants with sufficient moisture supply and leaves recently unfurled–you can eat it!  With our recent rain I have…  Read More

Creeping Charlie: Weeds to Watch This Week

Creeping Charlie, Glechoma hederacea If you have not encountered this plant in your travels or heard a discussion about what to do with this aggressive non-native ground cover, you probably need to get out more. It seems to be everywhere. While it can be a daunting process, it is possible to weed it out. Of…  Read More

Garlic Mustard: Weeds to Watch This Week

Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata If you have ventured out walking the woods this week, you may have noticed clusters of small white flowers on stalks about knee high with triangular shaped leaves with large toothed margins. This plant is likely garlic mustard. There are no other white blooms that look similar at the point in…  Read More

A Permeable Alley in a Minneapolis Neighborhood

Lori Fewer is pleased with the new surface on the alley, just installed, behind her house. “It’s beautiful,” she says. The network of interlocking concrete pavers is much more inviting than the former patched, worn surface it replaced. Even better, it is permeable, with arched chambers in the concrete blocks and a porous layer of…  Read More

Tree Seedlings: Weeds to Watch This Week

Tree seedlings are easy to spot right now: Any woody plant with foliage emerging in a garden is probably not wanted, but very easy to pull. Get them while they are less than 6 inches tall and they can be pulled by hand. If they get any larger, use a channel lock pliers, to pull…  Read More

Choosing Turf Alternatives

If you want to change your lawn, ask yourself what you expect from your new landscape. How different do you want it to look? How much time are you prepared to spend on maintenance? How much foot traffic will it receive? Then think about existing conditions. What kind of soil do you have? How important…  Read More

Be a grower instead of mower: eco-landscaping expert joins Metro Blooms

The way Douglas Owens-Pike sees it, people can spend less time and money on their landscaping, all the while creating more beautiful, resilient yards. They can reduce their grass-cutting and their use of inputs and yet be more confident in their garden’s well-being and ability to withstand the challenges of severe weather events like record-breaking…  Read More

Metro Blooms’ Maintenance Training Pilot Program

The Sustainable Need to Weed “How many of you, if we go out to weed right now, would know what you’re doing?” Anna Bierbauer, our Metro Blooms landscape designer, asks. In a classroom at Folwell School this summer, two Wilderness Inquiry youth raise their hands. Soon after a short lecture about two species of weeds,…  Read More

Workshop Reflections

What a Twentysomething Renter Learned   I have recently experienced the effects of poorly managed stormwater: water dripped from the roof and into the spaces between my apartment walls, paint on the wall in our kitchen and common hallway bubbled and cracked, our kitchen flooring became soggy and peeled right up. My husband and I…  Read More

Sustainable Lawns: How “Green” is Your Grass?

We are a lawn-abiding citizenry. Dutifully we water, fertilize, and mow, and for our efforts we are rewarded with a lush, well-manicured carpet of grass – the thicker and more uniformly green, the better. But how “green” is our grass, really? Consider the following: • The EPA estimates that landscape irrigation nationwide accounts for almost…  Read More

Creating Climate Resilient Yards

We live in unsettled times, and nowhere is this more evident than outside our own windows. Through them, we see more extreme weather events every year. Leslie Yetka, of the Freshwater Society, has been observing these changes since childhood, when she would sail tinfoil boats down rivers of snow-melt in the street. As an adult, she…  Read More

A Year In Summary – 2016

The end of a year naturally brings about a desire to reflect on what we as an organization have achieved, what’s made us pound our heads on our desks, and what’s inspired our passion to continue the work that we do. What I find myself wondering most is “when will our next batch of Christmas…  Read More

Permeable Pavement Maintenance

You’ve got this great new permeable pavement in your driveway. Now what? As with everything we value, some level of maintenance is required in order to keep it looking good and functioning properly. Our teeth, our cars, our relationships and yes, our permeable pavers too. But before we get into how to care for this…  Read More

Collecting Native Seeds for Garden Expansion

Many of Minnesota’s native plants are seed factories. Most of our favorite species, while being fairly non-aggressive spreaders in the garden, produce large quantities of viable seed that can delight gardeners with their high germination rates. With a little help, plants that are typically well behaved in the garden can be counted on to spread…  Read More

Seasonal Garden Guide

As a landscape designer, the most common question that I get asked when walking around a yard with a homeowner is “How do I maintain all of these plants, and when do I do it?!” If you aren’t a Master Gardener or you are just a busy person and don’t have tons of time to…  Read More

Fall Maintenance for Raingardens and Native Plantings

Landscape and photo by Russ Henry, Giving Tree Gardens We often get questions in the fall regarding raingarden maintenance. One of our Landscape Designers, Andy Novak, recently shared this thoughtful information with one of our Blooming Alley participants, and we thought we’d share it with you all too since it’s very applicable to any area…  Read More

Metro Blooms Expands Monarch Conservation in Minnesota Metropolitan Area

  As we approach monarch conservation from all angles, we rely on partners who work in different arenas, with different, yet related, expertise. Focusing on restoration of native plants in the urban landscape, the MJV is pleased to welcome Metro Blooms, a Minnesota Twin Cities based metropolitan group working “to promote and celebrate gardening, to…  Read More

Art & Stormwater: Black Forest Inn Open House

City of Minneapolis Great Streets Program Recipient Metro Blooms to Unveil Unique Art Installation that Manages Storm Water Runoff Open House to take place at Black Forest Inn on Wednesday, April 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m. WHAT:              On Wednesday, April 13, the City of Minneapolis Great Streets program, Metro Blooms, and…  Read More

A Year in Summary

As I began thinking about a summary of our year at Metro Blooms, I started thinking about what excites me the most about my job.  At Metro Blooms, we couple field work with a big focus on education and community engagement.  This past year we were able to work on projects with some really amazing…  Read More

2015 Top Garden Awardees Announced

Metro Blooms is pleased to announce the 2015 Top Minneapolis Garden Awards.  These gardens represent some of the most beautiful, creative and sustainable gardens in the Minneapolis, selected by volunteer evaluators from more than 1,000 nominations. The Minneapolis Garden Awards program has been recognizing outstanding work in publicly visible gardens since 1983. Photos of these…  Read More

Grow with KARE: Best cottage garden

Take time to “smell the roses” with the first of 3 eye-catching segments with Belinda Jensen featuring a few of our 2014 top garden award-winners! Tune in the next several Fridays at 6pm or Saturdays at 9am to be awed by even more environmentally-friendly gardens! Catch the wave and learn about ‪#‎pledge2plant‬ and ‪#‎10000plantings‬.  …  Read More

Floating Islands Become Popular to Clean Polluted Minn. Lakes, Ponds

Interest in floating islands is growing as people look to clean polluted lakes and ponds. Heidi Heiland owns a floating island model on Gleason Lake in Wayzata. She helps install them for people who want to clean up unhealthy bodies of water. Full Article and