children with chicken

“If you had told me 10 years ago that I would become a chicken lady with a 3,000-square-foot garden, I would have told you [that] you were crazy,” Emily Bretzel says. “When we bought our house, we were simply looking for a beautiful outdoor space.

Kelley and Kelley Nursery in Long Lake has been a local institution for 95 years.

The St. Paul Farmers Market has been around since 1854, with items that are 100 percent locally grown, and it is still going strong. This month, there will be a Mother’s Day event where kids can participate in a free painted flower pot project on May 13 and 14 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Behind the garage or next to the garbage can in the alleys of Macalester Groveland, an unexpected bit of beauty can surprise and delight. It might be a single pot of petunias; it could be a few pepper plants or a row of hostas along a wall.

Heidi Henderson’s garden has grown from small tinkering to a full-blown passion. How can she tell? For starters, lawn mowing. What used to take just under two hours to mow now takes about seven. While her mother was an avid gardener, Henderson didn’t have much of a green thumb as a kid.

Jessie Jacobson, owner of Tonkadale Greenhouse in Minnetonka, has advice for gardeners who want to bring some green out of the yard and into the home.

For Beginners

Bonnie Blodgett’s Saint Paul garden is lush and full, sprawling yet intimate, and everything that many aspiring gardeners want in their own yards.

Standing in the middle of Cesar Chavez Street during the Cinco de Mayo festival on Saint Paul’s West Side is like standing in the busy market streets of Mexico.

Every spring without fail, hundreds of vibrant green hosta leaves emerge from the cool soil of Saint Paul’s Rice Park. What may seem like an annual rite of springtime passage to most is actually the result of a labor of love by the women of the St. Paul Garden Club.

For the 27th year, the Friends School Plant Sale at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand will offer 2,500 varieties of plants at competitive prices. The Mother’s Day weekend-long event draws about 20,000 people each year, as one of the largest plant sales of its kind in the nation.

There’s something fairy-tale-like about Cottagewood. With its peninsula chock full of lake homes and tidy yards, the charming Cottagewood Store and hometown events, it’s a place that practically screams “Minnesota nice.”