Gardens hold more than dirt and plants. They hold power. They heal.

Gardens foster community and relationships and awaken the senses while they provide hope and teach patience and fortitude.

Gardens contribute to our quality of life whether we're working in them or sitting back and taking them in.

Here we will dig deep and expose what all gardens hold, teach and reveal.

Article on Lessons Learned from Gardening

Chick here for an inspirational article on what our gardens can teach us. Hope you enjoy it!

Four Distinct Seasons Give Reason to Love Minnesota

May 2nd, 2011

It is finally May. We made it! True, we have still had some gray days with a cold, biting wind but it can't get me down because we made it through another Minnesota winter; an especially horrid one at that. And there is something to be said about our mid-western, thick-skin that gets us through sub-zero temperatures, sub-sub zero wind chills, and snow drifts taller than our four-wheel drives. Minnesota is not for the faint of heart and though we certainly have made complaining about the weather an art-form, those of us strong enough to take the cold also know that there is much more to our home state than snow and ice. We are blessed to have four distinct seasons and everyone of them, even winter, makes this a great state in which to live.

Winter gets long around here, but I often think it makes springtime all the sweeter. Those first few days when the sun finally gives warmth and there is the scent of grass and magnolia on a breeze that harbors little threat, when you hear birds still singing at 7pm and the weekend air is full of the smell of charcoal grills, when there is nothing, absolutely nothing more important than getting outside; that is a happy time and a time worth waiting for.

Then comes summer. We are a state full of summer spots worth a long drive or even a flight and I bet most of the country has no clue. Up north there are views that would make the most harden of hearts skip a beat. Minneapolis and Saint Paul have lakes, trails, and gardens of which few cities can compare. And then there is all the farm and prairie land; if you want to really get a nose full of summer smells including wild flowers, sunburned grasses, and even a tinge of farm, the Lake Wobegon Trail is a worthy destination. There are points throughout the trail where you are all but swallowed by prairie and even the far off highway sounds fall to the background as the wind running through the grass takes first chair.

I have heard many a Minnesotan say that fall is their favorite time of year and there is no wonder in that. Sometimes the best afternoon takes nothing but a car and a road anywhere that trees abound, showcasing a spectacular array of colors. Weekends make for sweet little vacations if you head to your favorite camp grounds, the fall nights seemingly made for sitting around a fire and watching the stars, then snuggling deep into a sleeping bag until dawn.

And then there is winter. Old man winter sure does like it here. But come on, so do we. We complain, we hold our lower backs and mumble about the toll the shoveling takes, we eat a bit too much, we stay inside too long, but we love it. Freshly fallen snow is a beautiful site; the hush that falls over even the larger cities, the way icicles twinkle in the a cold afternoon sun, the joy on the faces of kids as they plow through piles of snow and slide down hills.

Winter may be too long here, but if it was gone entirely, we would miss it and our state would be the lesser for it.