When I first moved to Minnesota, all I knew was that I was going to be living further north than I ever have. I had no clue on what type of wildlife lived here, nor did I know what type of plants I could grow. For the previous 6 years, I had lived either on the Pacific Ocean, or the Gulf of Mexico and not had what I call "real" grass.
My mission when I started my garden was to attract butterflies, so I researched what would grow in Zone 4, the garden zone for central Minnesota. I have planted coneflowers, butterfly bush, sedums, blazing star, joe pye weed, and more. So far, the Joe Pye Weed has grown the quickest and was seven feet tall this year. It was also the big butterfly magnet this year, at one time having a dozen Monarchs and Viceroys feasting on the nectar. The photo to the right is of a Monarch on my Joe Pye Weed taken a month ago.
With my garden, I started a garden blog, to document what was going on and what grows and works in Minnesota. I am amazed how many people find the blog and send me messages. As a real estate agent, my growing knowledge of plants in Minnesota actually has helped a few clients prepare their homes for sale, and give them better curb appeal. It just goes to show you that blogging can not only build the knowledge of readers, but of the author herself.