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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Gardening in the North Woods

Native Plants for a North Woods Garden | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Hi Guys! The snow still has not melted (because it’s a total jerk), but typically this would time of year would be the beginning of the gardening season. Not only am I excited to get into my garden at home in Minneapolis, but this will mark the first season of gardening in the North Woods of West Wisco!

Because our cabin is in the middle of a pine forest, I’d like to landscape in keeping with the surrounding woods. I already noticed last summer that we have lots of native perennials growing amongst the trees, and I will likely try and incorporate the Trillium, Maiden Hair Ferns, Jack in the Pulpits, and Wild Iris I see on the forest floor. Besides that though, I’d like to include a few other native plants to grow along the side of the house.

I found a few websites that specialize in growing native plants. I’ll be purchasing most of my plants via Prairie Nursery – they even have starter packs for those of you who are unsure about what plants to pick. A few of the others I found at TN Nursery, I even ordered some moss since it’s impossible to grass with this soil. There’s lots of moss already growing at the cabin, but I think it would be a fun project to see if I could get some more to grow in a path like way between the deck and the fire pit.

Besides being generally awesome, having a garden would help to define spaces. As you can see in the animation above, we have a fire pit area, a deck, and a dirt driveway all sharing the same space. The easiest way to give these spaces definition is using landscaping. I’d love for a garden to help soften the side of the cabin, and then meander it’s way around the fire pit. Eventually, adding pavers – I love a hexagon style like this – would really help create cohesive spaces that are well defined. Anyone with a lead on pavers – let me know!

Anyways, this is will be my first time gardening with native plants in a zone that is even colder than the one I am in now. I think I’ll probably take some hosta from my garden at home, but besides that I’ll be keeping it simple at the cab. Below you will see a list of what I’m ordering for this first season of gardening at the cabin. So stoked!

Native Plants for a North Woods Garden | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Wild Geranium

BLOOMS: May, June
SIZE : 1 – 2 feet
SUN : Full sun, partial shade
SOIL : Sand, Loam

Native Plants for a North Woods Garden | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Heuchera Villosa

BLOOMS: Aug, Sept, Oct
SIZE : 1 – 2 feet
SUN : Partial, shade
SOIL : Sand, Loam

Native Plants for a North Woods Garden | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Wild Iris

BLOOMS: June, July
SIZE : 2 – 3 feet
SUN : Full Sun, Partial
SOIL : Sand, Loam, Clay

Native Plants for a North Woods Garden | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Lupine

BLOOMS: May, June
SIZE : 1 – 2 feet
SUN : Full Sun, Partial
SOIL : Sand

Native Plants for a North Woods Garden | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Penstemon

BLOOMS: June, July
SIZE : 2 – 3 feet
SUN : Full Sun, Partial
SOIL : Sand, Loam, Clay

Native Plants for a North Woods Garden | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Canada Anemone

BLOOMS: May, June, July
SIZE : 1 – 2 feet
SUN : Full Sun, Partial
SOIL : Sand, Loam, Clay

Native Plants for a North Woods Garden | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Black Cohosh

BLOOMS: June, July, August, Sept
SIZE : 4 – 6 feet
SUN : Partial, Shade
SOIL : Sand, Loam, Clay

23 comments
in gardening, Outdoor, The Cabin




23 comments… add one
  • Felicia April 20, 2018

    Your animation is amazing! Your garden is going to look absolutely beautiful and I’m excited to see the after photos. :) We are going to paint our house this year and are working on our backyard garden as well. We are so stoked for it! We are figuring out how we are going to make our garden path, I would love brick but that takes time and money, so maybe down the road!
    -Felicia
    http://www.casalibrablog.com

    • Scoops April 27, 2018

      I hope so. It’s always an experiment. Keep your eyes peeled on craigslist, I’ve stumbled upon large rocks and pavers for my garden there in the past. Good luck!

  • Jeanette April 20, 2018

    Do you know if those are deer resistant?

    • Scoops April 27, 2018

      I don’t know! I guess I’ll find out. I should’ve looked!

  • Lori April 20, 2018

    Oh, man, I am really curious to see how this goes. It’s been, holy crap, 15 years since I had a garden in Wisconsin. I do help my friends with their gardens when I go back and visit, but I’ve never had to deal with the amount of shade you have. I think the geraniums are a sure bet, guessing the usual suspects like bleeding heart, variegated solomon’s seal, and astilbe are primo deer snacks? What about bulbs? I remember trilliums were amazing naturalizers in the uber cold forest of NE WI. Also wood violets! And native columbine! Kinda shocked to see no comments on this post so far, because I am HERE FOR THIS.

    • Scoops April 27, 2018

      Yes, trilliums grow all along the floor of the woods, so I was thinking I’d try and replant some in the garden. I will have to check out wood violets, they sound sooo pretty. I wish that I considered deer resistant plants before I ordered, I was solely focused on color, bloom time and finding native plants. I’ll have more garden posts real soon :)

  • Tom Allen April 21, 2018

    Awesome Alison. Beautiful.

  • Becky April 22, 2018

    I planted wild geraniums at our cottage that is surrounded by giant pine trees and they are the first thing that has done really well! Acidic soil can be such a bugger! How windy is it–our cottage is on a point jutting out into the lake and the wind is killer.
    We have those anemones at home and they spread like crazy–and they bloom early (Mother’s Day here in Ottawa) Good luck! I’m rooting for you–it takes a certain kind of crazy to try and really garden at the cottage/cabin.

    • Gillianne April 23, 2018

      So glad you mentioned how enthusiastic those anemones are about procreation. I spent literally years trying to remove them from places they wanted to go where I didn’t want them. They won. But they’re delicate and pretty and if anyone has open spaces to fill, they’d be champs.

      • Kristin April 24, 2018

        Yes! I totally agree about the anemones. Please be extremely careful about planting anything non-native that will spread. My family has had a cabin not far from Cable, WI for 20+ years and we have never been able to conquer the snow-on-the-mountain that the previous owners planted :( I will also say that hosta transplants never lasted an entire summer for us – the deer absolutely love them!

        • Scoops April 27, 2018

          Hey Kristin, Thanks for the tips on this. I may just plant the Aneomones in a pot for the season, and then call it a day. I had no idea that they could be so invasive. My mom used to have me pull creeping charlie when I was a kid, so I totally get it! I have a little hope for the Hostas, the neighbors have some and they do well. I also have heard that the dear don’t like the super dark blue hosta that much, so I was going to start with that. Not sure if that’s true or a rumor though ;) PS, we’re neighbors! Our cabin is in Hayward!

      • Scoops April 27, 2018

        Hey Gillianne, I had no idea bout the Anemones, like I mentioned in another comment, I have never been able to get them to grow in Minneapolis, so I figured that I wouldn’t have much luck at the cabin. I think we definetley have space for them, like maybe over near the kid trampoline zone, but I am very cautious now, maybe I won’t plant them at all. Thanks for the tip :)

    • Scoops April 27, 2018

      That’s so great to hear about the wild geraniums because they are the thing I might be most excited about! I know that growing things in a pine forest can be difficult. Alright, so in Minneapolis I haven’t been able to get an anemone to make it through an entire season without perishing, so I figured my efforts in Wisco would be futile. I had no idea they were known for spreading. I will make sure to put them in a place that won’t choke out other plants and has room for spreading. Thanks for the tip!

  • Libby April 23, 2018

    Can I ask where you plan to purchase or if you are starting from seed? I want to borrow all of the great ideas from your post and the comments, but I have struggled to find some of these locally.

    • Libby April 23, 2018

      Oh my gosh, how did I miss your link to the nurseries before!? Sorry about that. Thanks for sharing those cool sources. I think my mind literally missed that paragraph, which is nuts because I also have been trying to transplant moss along a paver pathway.

      • Scoops April 27, 2018

        How is your moss transplanting going? I’d really like to make a soft path for the kids to walk on. I have never ordered from the nursery I mentioned before, but I like their angle. I’ll let you guys know how everything looks when it arrives – my plants are supposed to be showing up Mid-May.

  • Lynnie April 25, 2018

    I saw “garden” and was excited to see what you planted, I guess because I’m so consumed with mine. I’m in Alabama and my garden consists of vegetables! It’s gonna be beautiful when you’re finished.

    • Scoops April 27, 2018

      I’m so jealous, you probably have such a long growing season for your veggies. It’s always nice to hear from another gardener – I am big time into perennial gardens, and have been doting on my at-home garden in Minneapolis for years. I love it sooo much. I have had a veggie garden for years too, but have decided to turn it into a perennial bed because it never produces much and now that we have the cabin I don’t think I’ll have the time it deserves.

  • Shawna April 28, 2018

    Hello! Fellow northern gardener here (in North Dakota). There’s a great new-ish book out by a local gardener, Eric Bergeson, that you should check out! Eric highlights plants, shrubs, and trees that work in a northern garden. It’s also an entertaining read, as Eric is completely hilarious.

    https://www.amazon.com/Successful-Gardening-Northern-Prairie-Bergeson/dp/1642554863/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524895545&sr=8-1&keywords=Successful+Gardening+on+the+Northern+Prairie

  • The Furnshop May 24, 2018

    This is lovely. I like gardening. Thanks a lot for sharing this post.

  • Kim June 4, 2018

    Hey. Have you checked out the Winter Greenhouse in Winter, Wisconsin. I don’t know how far it is from your cabin but it’s about half an hour east of Hayward and worth the drive. I just found your blog today and I live in Minnesota as well and I’m in the process of purchasing a cabin in NW Wisconsin.

  • Kara B July 5, 2018

    Love your adirondack chairs – more modern looking than most – did you find them somewhere in the Minneapolis area? Thanks!

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