Raingardens And Beyond Workshops, Soon To Be At A Community Center Near You!

Schnazy new title, and some new information too. This year Metro Blooms’ classic Raingarden Workshops are doing just what the new title says…they’re going beyond the do-it-yourself approach to raingarden design and installation and covering topics such as simple healthy lawn care practices more in depth.  The information you’ll gain will be oh so helpful not…  Read More

Don’t Let Spring Melt The Erosion And Sediment Controls On Your Site

First published by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Erosion issues are at their worst in the spring with melting snow and lots of rain.  Before snow melt or rainfall, make sure all erosion and sediment controls on construction sites are in place and functional. Inspect and maintain: Silt fences Biorolls Mulch Erosion blankets Sediment basins…  Read More

Lake Nokomis Water Quality Survey

Metro Blooms has recently taken on its largest survey yet.  Throughout February we’ve been prepping, administering and entering oodles of data from our first ever KAP study  (KAP stands for knowledge, attitudes and practices).  The idea behind a KAP study is to survey a population, in this case 700 residents in the Lake Nokomis subwatershed,…  Read More

It’s In The Dirt! Bacteria In Soil May Make Us Happier, Smarter

This post was written by Naomi Sachs, a landscape designer and Founding Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network.    Many people talk about the restorative benefits of gardening and the reasons why it makes us feel good. Just being in nature is already therapeutic, but actively connecting with nature through gardening is value-added.  And why is that? All…  Read More


Family: Poaceae (Grasses) Scientific Name: Panicum virgatum Native warm season perennial grass favoring dry to moist habitats, especially along shores, but occurs naturally on prairies, oak and pine woodlands, and in marshes as well. Watch for: Coarse, tall grass up to 6.5 feet that grows in clumps and a beige inflorescence flower from July to…  Read More

Biography Of The Month

To kick off a new year of staff, board and volunteer biographies (that’s right volunteers, I’m coming for you next) I interviewed Bryan Pynn, Metro Blooms’ director of design and planning services.  He wasn’t super keen on the idea of having his life chronicled on our blog at first, but after some time spent reviewing…  Read More

End Of The Year Update

As the end of 2012 approaches Metro Blooms is looking back on some of the big moments we had this year.  As always we started the year out with a series of raingarden workshops throughout the metro area and Blooms Day, an educational event combined with a plant sale and garden awards.  Our Blooming Schoolyards…  Read More

Rock For Raingardens Re-Cap

Last Wednesday Metro Blooms’ Rock for Raingardens event took place at the Fine Line Cafe in downtown Minneapolis.  Metro Blooms board members and staff, friends of the bands, landscape design assistants and Metro Blooms supporters were all in attendance as Hypoxic Punks, Wild Cathedral and Postina entertained us with their upbeat and dance worthy music (and…  Read More

Rock For Raingardens

It’s that time of year again, you know, the time to dance, be entertained by good music and funny landscape architects and celebrate raingardens!  In other words, it’s time for Rock for Raingardens. Organized by Mark Pedelty, Metro Blooms enthusiast and member of the band Hypoxic Punks, Rock for Raingardens is only in its second…  Read More

St. Louis Park Patch

Grants in action: Resident becomes an active raingardener spreading the word. Watershed grants available for all income levels to install raingardens and kick stormwater pollution to the curb.

Biography Of The Month

Metro Blooms’ biography for the month of November (I know it’s really December, but only by three days!) is highlighting our executive director, Becky Rice.  Becky may be the only other person in the office right now, but she was going to be our biography of the month anyway because she has super interesting stories…  Read More

Blue Flag Iris

Family: Iridaceae Scientific Name: Iris versicolor Native emergent summer perennial favoring marshes, wet meadows, forested wetlands and shorelines. Watch for:  Large blue to blue-violet showy flowers from May to July.  Flowers often contain some yellow, green or white coloring. Leaves are long, thin, pointed and fold down the middle. Other names: Harlequin Blue Flag, Blue Flag and Northern…  Read More

Garden Awards 2012

Metro Blooms hosted their annual Garden Awards last Thursday evening at Columbia Manor to recognize those who beautify our city and protect our environment with their gardens.  The awards were a little different this year as they were a stand alone event instead of part of Blooms Day.  This allowed the awards to be a…  Read More

Hurricane Sandy Affects Water Quality

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy flood water has been contaminated with everything from raw sewage to floating debris to small ocean dwelling organisms.  You have to wonder, “where will all of this water go?”  Most of the water from the storm surge will flow back out to the ocean, but some will inevitably seep…  Read More

Biography Of The Month

Metro Blooms has been thinking, “wouldn’t it be nice if the people we work with and outreach to knew us on a more personal level so we could really connect?”  Okay, not all of Metro Blooms was thinking this, but after attending a workshop on engaging people this past week, I certainly was (nice to…  Read More

Wild Columbine

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family) Scientific Name: Aquilegia canadensis Native and hardy early spring perennial which favors a variety of habitats including dry or even low woodlands, meadows, roadsides, peat bogs and bluffs Watch for: Red and yellow downward facing flowers which have a tubular shape.  Inside petals are yellow and outward sepals are red.  Compound leaves are…  Read More

Create A Compost Pile With Your Fall Leaves

Now that our warm summer has ended and our trees have all turned yellow, orange and red, we know what inevitably comes next.  I’m sure by now you’ve wondered a time or two “what the heck am I going to do with all of these leaves?!”  Well lucky for you, I’ve got a solution that…  Read More

Star Tribune

Metro Blooms “Neighborhood of Raingardens” work in the Powderhorn neighborhood aided in getting Powderhorn Lake removed from the MPCA list of polluted waters!

A Visit To The Garden State

Sometimes it’s nice to see the flowers of another region. Nick, our MN GreenCorps member recently took a trip to New Jersey. Lucky enough, it was right when fields upon fields of Swamp Rose Mallows were in bloom! Here’s some photos of the “Crimson-eyed Mallow”. If your ever out east in August be sure to…  Read More

Compass Plant

Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower) Scientific Name: Silphium laciniatum Course, hairy perennial herb with large woody root stocks, 3 to 10 ft tall, usually with a single, unbranched stem. Likes open prairies, and roadsides in areas of mild disturbance. Watch for: Yellow, bell-shaped ray flowers in high numbers on the plant. Leaves are coursely toothed, alternate, and resemble narrow strips or…  Read More

Culver’s Root

Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figwort) Scientific Name: Veronicastrum virginicum Native, colonizing wildflower from 3-6′ tall that grows in rich woods and moist prairies. Has a central taproot as well as underground running rhizome roots. Watch for: Toothed, lance-shaped leaves, 3 to 7 whorled leaves per node, white  or pale pink flowers in dense spikes at the ends…  Read More

A Summer Of Garden Awards!

Mpls– It’s time for the Garden Awards! Nominations are being collected until August 6th: Anyone can nominate a garden on our nominations page. Everyone knows a garden or two they pass on their morning commute, lets get them collected and evaluated! You can also sign up to evaluate gardens to help us pinpoint our top award winners.…  Read More

Blooming Schoolyards

S. MPLS– This Spring, Metro Blooms has been submersed in the world of Environmental Education. To develop the Blooming Schoolyards program, we teamed up with Minneapolis Public Schools and STEM leaders with a busy schedule of curriculum planning and raingarden installations. Lessons were planned to coincide with MN vocab and science standards, STEM kit standards,…  Read More

Splash Rocks And Dry Creeks

As water flows into a raingarden, the entrance point often receives the most stress from the incoming force of water. If water is coming off the street or driveway, this is also where the most sediment builds up. This build up can be unsightly and even harm your plants if it gets too extensive. But there’s hope! An…  Read More

Prairie Smoke

Family: Rosaceae (Rose) Scientific Name: Geum triflorum Native Early Spring perennial favoring sunny, dry fields, prairies and open woodlands Watch for: Bunches of red/pink flowers bursting into a fuzz-like “smoke”. Leaves divided into 7 or more leaflets, with hairy notches at the tips. Stem also hairy and reddish brown. Other names: Old Man’s Whiskers, Three-flowered Avens,…  Read More

Cool Season Weeding

As mid-May surprises us with it’s vigor and business, so does the Spring weeds! Here’s some tips and pics for starting the year in control of the gardener’s ancient nemesis. Watch for these weeds popping up uninvited in your garden: Dandelions: If you can, trowel up the entire taproot. But at least snip the heads while they’re…  Read More

MPR News

Highlighting the Bryant Neighborhood of raingardens. Incentives and particulars of community-level raingarden projects