Join us this Saturday, April 2nd, from 10am-3pm at the Macalester-Groveland/Highland Home Improvement Fair. This is a neighborhood sponsored even featuring over 80 local exhibitors and 20 workshops. Field staff will be on had to talk about all things “landscaping” and answer any questions you may have. We’d love to have you stop in and say “hi”.
Big things are afoot at the Field Notes blog. We started the blog back in 2008-2009 with the intent of getting our feet wet and testing how much confidence we had in our ability to offer interesting content and reliable, consistent updates. We’ve never really publicized the blog other than in our e-mail footer and on our web-site and have soldiered along with ebbs and flows.
But we are now ready to “kick it up a notch.” We have a great new editor who will be responsible for Consistency and Reliability. And we are putting together a several month plan of updates. One thing we want to make sure is that the subject matter is pertinent and interesting. We will continue to offer seasonal “what to do in the garden” tips as well as alerts on pests and diseases. In addition, we feel it is helpful to look a little deeper at common garden approaches. There is so much bad information in the world of horticulture – we would like to help simplify it and put it in perspective (especially regarding their effect on the larger natural world).
One change that we hope causes no interruption in service is that we have changed the location of the blog from our old address of “fieldinc.net” to our new address of “fieldoutdoorspaces.com”. We are trying to phase out that old address from everything we do.
A new feature we will be adding will be called “Solutions for the Urban Yard.” This will be an on-going commentary on solutions to the common problems we all face in our urban yards.
It is also our intention to have more frequent posts of beautiful, seasonal photos capturing the sometimes fleeting moments that happen everyday in our beautiful cities and backyards.
We will also be opening up posts to comments – so let us know how we are doing. We hope you find the new and improved “Field Notes” more interesting, pertinent and entertaining.
Paul talks about the history of the greenhouse at Lakewood
By Jason RatheThe Field team toured Lakewood Cemetery this week. Paul Aarested, all-around garden and grounds guru at Lakewood, provided an amazing introduction and history to the cemetery and their operations. It was a great opportunity to gain a new perspective on this cultural icon in our community – a place we all drive by hundreds of times a year but often don’t spend time to learn about.Lakewood has a deep and interesting history. Originally, of course, the cemetery was located “outside of town.” That is why it is situated at the end of Hennepin Ave. Who would have thought that the city would grow beyond that point? The road that runs in front of the cemetery, 36th Street, was originally called Greenhouse Avenue because there were greenhouses lined all along the street with Lakewood’s being one of the large ones. In fact, the apartment building across the street is still called Greenhouse Avenue Apartments.
The grid used to plant all those tulips!
One thing often overlooked is how much cemeteries are tied to our horticultural history. Lakewood was for a long time one of the biggest greenhouses and producers of plants and that heritage continues on a much smaller scale with Paul’s work. He showed us through their greenhouses and discussed some of the interesting parts of his job making the grounds shine with seasonal flowers and displays.One of the noteworthy projects he undertakes is planting 30,000 tulips every fall. Most people in the community have probably marveled at the beautiful spring displays without thinking about what goes into it. The bed out front has 6,000 tulips in it and they have developed an ingenious way of planting, where they lay out scaffolding and work in teams to plant in a tight grid efficiently. Amazingly they are able to plant the 6,000 bulbs in three hours!
Paul shows us he's newest creation
He also shared one of his new pet projects (I hope we aren’t spoiling the surprise) – a 7′ tall topiary in the shape of a lyre. His team experimented with different construction techniques and plants – this year the topiary will be planted with creeping fig (Ficus pumila), cuttings of which he received from the Sculpture Garden Conservatory. We can’t wait to see this piece in the landscape.In the cemetery the whole show is geared to look its best on Memorial Day so if you have some time, drive through and take a look at Paul’s handiwork. You’ll be as impressed as we were.
Jason Rathe, co-owner, of Field Outdoor Spaces had the honor of being asked to contribute to our industry’s educational and informational trade show this past January. The Northern Green Expo is organized by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association and is an opportunity for those in the green industry to interact with others and enhance their knowledge.
A "winning combination"!
Jason presented during a class entitled “Winning Plant Combinations”. Showcasing the Lily, Jason demonstrated how a garden could be designed around a particular lily, using its color to tie in other annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. As mail order catalogs begin to arrive in the mailbox, take a look and see what winning plant combinations you can build around the lily. Now is a perfect time to plan for a revitalization of your garden!