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Mary Jane Breitling

Breitling is a longtime West Fargo resident and avid gardener.

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Fall gardening involves preparing plants for winter

Now that we have had our first frost, it is time to appreciate the survivors and to begin preparation for winter. It is also a good time to take notes about our successes and failures of the past season.


Home & Garden: Garden art uniqueness integrated into natural appeal

When Ginger and Howard Kalm moved to West Fargo 34 years ago, she was not happy with the backyard of their new home Ginger has always been a gardener, with inspiration from her mother. She studied the landscape and removed one large shrub after another until she was able to create her idea of a garden. Now the Kalm garden is filled front and back with a wide assortment of plants. The uniqueness comes from Gingers utilization of yard art.


Home & Garden: Flowering groundcovers provide great gardening variety

Since this past winter was so mild, it will be interesting to see how it has affected our perennial plants. I lost many of the spring blooming ground cover plants. I believe it was because of the lack of snow cover.


Home & Garden: Spring garden seminars provide nice winter break

I had the opportunity to meet my favorite garden author at the Green Thumb Gardeners Expo recently. I have had Melinda Myers’ ‘Month by Month Gardening in Minnesota’ for a few years and more recently her ‘Gardening in the Dakotas’.


Home & Garden: Caring for houseplants good for the soul

The obvious value of houseplants is their use as decorations, but they also create coziness. There are scientific studies showing that living plants make people feel calmer, satisfied and more efficient.


Home & Garden: Fall Bulb Planting, still plenty of time for tulips, lilies

As we clean up the flowerbeds for the winter, it is time to think of adding bulbs to bloom next spring.


Perfect time to enjoy midsummer gardens in full bloom

Midsummer is peak time for flower gardens. Take time to visit and enjoy as many as you can.


Home & Garden: Water gardening in containers way of achieving soothing effect

Water features give a sense of coolness and a serene beauty to the landscape. Those that include fountains or waterfalls tend to draw people to the soothing sight and sound of trickling water.

Home & Garden: Rain gardens help with run off, add splash of beauty

With all of the recent rains, we have had to modify our rooftop drainage and I decided to investigate rain gardens. One of the articles asked these questions. Do you worry about pollutants such as fertilizer and pesticides going into our lakes and rivers? Do heavy rains collect in areas of your yard?

Home & Garden: Nice selection of annuals that can take the heat and like it

It may be cool now, but certainly, by August we will experience some very hot weather. In mid to late summer, it is sometimes difficult to keep things blooming. Plan ahead to include annuals that can take the heat and like it. Fortunately, there is a good selection of these plants.


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Mistletoe and Holly colorful Christmas decorations

Evergreen trees and Poinsettias are our favorite Christmas decorations. According to Burl Ives, it’s time for Mistletoe and Holly, but we see little of them in this area.


Chrysanthemums provide last impression of fall colors

Chrysanthemums, or Mums for short, are the last bright splash of color before winter arrives. However, there are two kinds of mums, garden and florist, which allow you to enjoy them year round. Mums are second only to roses for cut flowers.


Dave Forester’s gardens not so ordinary

If there was a ’Green Thumb’ award I would nominate West Fargoan, Dave Foerster. At first glance, his front yard looks much like others in the Goldenwood development. However, a tour around to the back reveals another world. Dave and his dog, Digger have been in this home for 7 years and he has been collecting plants and finding places for them ever since. Many of the specimens are from friends, relatives and his church.


Corner gardening twice the work of normal yards

Anyone who owns a corner lot knows what a big job it is just to keep up with the lawn not to mention tending shrubs and gardens. There is one such lot in West Fargo that is just a showstopper. In fact, both pedestrians and motorists stop to admire and praise Ken and Mary Hansen’s yard.


The height of gardening, climbing plants thrive

I recently visited the garden of Corrine Bakken who has taken gardening to new heights and is reaping the benefits. After retiring 23 years ago, Corrine and her husband moved to West Fargo to be near their family. Retirement didn’t last long for Corrine, however, as for the past 20 years she has been working 40 hours a week as an aide on the West Fargo Public School buses. Even her 11 grandchildren and 22 great grand children are not enough to use up Corrine’s energy.


A garden in the shade perfect backyard setting

Gardening in the shade presents problems to many homeowners, especially if you want color.


Create a garden sanctuary

Spring has arrived, and as we look around all we see is the work that it entails.


Cacti and succulents make great dish gardens

It is popular these days to create dish gardens with a combination of succulent plants.


Gardening truly is a Neugebauer family venture

Eighteen years ago, Brian and Kathy Neugebauer moved into their dream home along the Sheyenne River. The large lot only had trees along the river and a row of evergreens on one side. Over the years, they planted 150 trees and shrubs, starting with little saplings. Today the lot has an abundance of mature maples, birch, dogwoods, spruce, viburnums and numerous other woody plants. Even so, they left a large green area to be used by their three sons, Mark, John and Karl for play and sports.


September’s beauty reaching peak, bring outdoor plants in

Our gardens have reached their peak and are almost more beautiful than they were all summer. Sadly, this always occurs just before a killing frost. The median first frost in Cass County is September 16-30, with the average date on the 24th.