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Flowers for St. Valentine

 Roses, lilies, hydrangea for Valentine'sWe are coming up on the 14th of February - a day set aside to observe love and devotion.

Since Valentine's Day is observed worldwide, this isn't just another Hallmark holiday. It is the second most celebrated holiday in the world (New Year's Day is #1). In fact, Valentine's Day goes back quite a ways - to the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as a day to honor St. Valentine (A real person! Actually, there are several saints named Valentine - possibly as many as 11). keep reading ...

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Mae Flowers

MaeBoth of us had grandparents known for their gardens and we were blessed to get to know them. We hope we may have even inherited some of their passion. For them, gardening was much more than tending plants - it was a part of life. Their gardens allowed them to share their abundance with friends and neighbors, and were not just for their own enjoyment.

Mae Holm (Gayle's grandma), passed away last May, at the age of 103. Today would have been her 104th birthday. Grandma was the original namesake for Design n Bloom - we were Mae Flowers - but, it was suggested we choose a more descriptive name. keep reading ...

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Blue is the New Green

BlueThumb.orgRecently, I attended a seminar on planting for clean water presented by the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (Dakota County SWCD), Blue Thumb and the city of Eagan. Living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and truly enjoying sitting on our deck looking out over a man-made pond each summer, we have a vested interest in how we plan and care for water management in our yards.

Just counting those with a surface area of an acre or more, there are about 200 natural lakes and wetlands in Eagan, and almost all are part of a stormwater drainage system. Adding in the man-made waterbodies, there are over 1,200. The stormwater management area shared with my neighbors "across the pond' is much smaller than that, but it supports quite a bit of wildlife. From the time the ice is out (nice and early this year) until it freezes over again in December, we watch for the returning ducks and mergansers to hatch new generations of their families, listen for the frogs to start their springtime serenades (a couple just started last night), and we smile when the turtles wake up and start sunning themselves on the big rock again.

You may not have a waterbody on your property like we do, but chances are, you enjoy time at a lake or on a river - Minnesota has the highest percentage of people vacationing in the state where they live. You've also got a roof over your heads, rain gutters and downspouts to divert water away from your foundation, a driveway, sidewalks and probably a little bit of lawn. Everyone of those contributes to runoff and adds to the stormwater management system. If we don't do a better job of restoring some of the native plantings that used to handle rainfall, more of our waterbodies will be turning green instead of blue.

keep reading ...

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Eagan Wedding Workshop 2012

Sara wanted tulips for her wedding bouquetIt's always more enjoyable when you get to know the people in your community. Eagan is a great community and there are some great local businesses, especially when it comes to wedding venues and vendors.

That's why we're excited to be participating in The Wedding Workshop, a local wedding fair being held at the Eagan Community Center on March 18 from 1 - 4 p.m.

You will be able to talk to over 30 different businesses that provide products and services for weddings - everyone from caterers to photographers to bakers to formal wear. There will even be a florist or 2 to check out.

Eagan Community Center is located at 1501 Central Parkway, near the Lockheed Martin campus just off Pilot Knob Road. Admission to The Wedding Workshop is only $2 and one of the prizes is $100 off your rental at Eagan Community Center. We'll be offering some specials, too, but you'll need to stop by to find out what they are!

I'm glad we'll be there, because we'll be able to meet some of the other businesses in Eagan that offer wedding services.


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March Madness - Gardening in Minnesota

View from our deck in EaganTypically, Minnesotans are not doing much yardwork during March, except for clearing snow off the driveways and sidewalks. Statistically speaking, March is not the snowiest month in Minnesota, but somehow we've awarded it that title. (Actually, January tops the chart for the highest average snowfall, but not by much). March is when we start to see the outdoors start to wake up, little by little - a few more minutes of sunlight every day, trees are sending out new growth and birds are starting to be more active, too.

Before we head outside for a much needed revival, there are a few things you can do to brighten up your house and home.

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