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Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 102: Garden Stores

The best nurseries and plant shops for the gardening-challenged

It may snow here five to seven (😱) months out of the year, but from mid-April to October—look out world, the Twin Cities are a gardening paradise.

Back in Brooklyn, we rented a railroad apartment with two windows at either end. We had exactly one houseplant, which thrived despite our laughable light situation and negligent parenting. When we moved to Minneapolis and found a house with more than four windows, we swore we’d be better plant parents — and sought out some terrific gardening shops to help us along the way.

These days we have about 50 houseplants and counting, which we picked up from Tangletown Gardens (pictured at the top of this post), Mother Earth Gardens, Bachman’s Garden Center, Mother Co., and plant-loving vintage stores such as Carousel + Folk and SouthSide Vintage & Quality Goods. The staff and shopkeepers at each spot know their greenery inside and out and help us choose the exact perfect philodendron, snake plant, spider plant, air plant, dracaena, cacti, etc. for every swatch of light (or lack thereof). They ask all the right questions and school us on watering schedules and soil maintenance. Playing Mother Earth’s Plantasia’ by Mort Garson on repeat is our own doing.

Alas, not every plant has survived our black-thumb tendencies — but we’re getting better! Exterior landscaping, on the other hand, remains a next-level mystery. We’re just keeping the grass mowed and hoping the neighbors don’t kvetch about us on NextDoor.