Rain Garden & Sustainable Gardening Workshops

Early spring is the time to spruce up a home's exterior for the late spring and early summer home selling season. As I write this, the snow is melting away more quickly than expected. That mean's it is almost landscaping and gardening season. Just in time, there are some workshops to get you prepared for the planting season.

With all the rain we've been getting, naturally rain gardens would be a good topic to discuss. Do you have a low lying area in your yard where rain water flows or accumulates? It can be hard to keep plants alive in those areas. Planting a rain garden in that spot can help improve the quality of local lakes, rivers and streams. Metro Blooms is offering a series of low-cost rain garden workshops to help get you started.

For $10, learn how to plan, design, install and maintain a rain garden filled with native plants, which filter pollutants out of runoff. There are three levels of workshops: an introductory session, a design session in a small-group format, and a three-hour session that combines both introduction and design. Classes started earlier week and tey run through the end of May. They are being held throughout the Twin Cities area, from from Bloomington to Wayzata, Chaska to Chanhassen. For locations and times, visit Metro Blooms.

Along the same lines, Maplewood MN would like residents and non-residents alike to participate in the Extreme Green Makeover. Starting this month, Maplewood is sponsoring classes on rain gardens, rain barrels, low-input lawn care and sustainable yard design. Nonresidents are welcome to participate, but only Maplewood residents can qualify for the grand prize of a $15,000 front-yard makeover.

Find out more about the Extreme Green initiative at a kickoff event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 18 at the Maplewood Library. All attendees will eligible to win door prizes, which...

Community Highlights ~ Woodbury, MN

The City of Woodbury is an attractive community of cozy neighborhoods, interconnected by miles and of hiking and biking trails. Located just outside of St. Paul, life in Woodbury offers residents access to the many amenities of the city while allowing them a quieter place to escape to when the return home.

Woodbury is a well-rounded city. In addition to its great residential areas, this first-ring Twin Cities Metro suburb is home to several corporate headquarters that are major employers in the area, providing plenty of job opportunities. Woodbury also has plenty of shopping and commercial areas, making the Woodbury a shopping destination for the eastern metro area. Last, but not least, with 28 park sites and green spaces, Woodbury is filled with recreational opportunities in a variety of outdoor settings.

Most of Woodbury is served by Independent School District #833 which offers an array of excellent educational opportunities for all students. Some parts of the community are also served by #834 (Stillwater) and #622 (Maplewood-Oakdale-North St. Paul).

Though the average sale price for a single family house in Woodbury is $296,000, prices can range from $100,000 to over $500,000. Woodbury MN real estate can be within your reach!


Winter Carnival Rice Park Holiday Tree for 2008

The 2008 Rice Park holiday tree was transported to its festive destination on Saturday.  The park becomes a hub of activity during the holidays and the Winter Carnival, an annual St. Paul event. The 90-foot-tall, 27-foot-wide blue spruce is the third Rice Park holiday tree. 

There is some Minnesota local history attached to this particular, which made it perfect to serve this purpose.  Peder and Karla Christensen planted the tree in the early 1900s when they moved from Denmark to America and started a rose nursery in Maplewood.  Several generations had grown up with the tree just a short distance away from the home the Christensen family continues to own.  But now the 27,000 pound tree had overgrown its environment and posed a threat to the home should a storm ever topple it.  Because members of the family had worked with the Saint Paul Winter Carnival for over 30 years, donating the tree was the perfect solution. 

The Christensens' application to donate the tree was one of 150. Another 90-foot tree was in the running, but that owner decided to keep it. The Christensens' tree fit the bill — it was the right height and right type and the owners were ready part with it.

A 6 foot tall star stands atop the tree, which sits in a 4-foot hole reinforced by a 78,000-pound concrete...

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