Mark and Cathy Sackett’s backyard is teeming with life.

The hot days in August always seem to take summer annuals to a point of exhaustion.

It’s obvious the coneflower, or echinacea, with its show-stopping color, is hard to miss in any garden, but it also benefits the wildlife all summer and even into fall and winter. The coneflower is great for multiple winged species.

In the language of flowers, black-eyed Susan symbolizes justice.

When Kathleen and Rich Pomerleau moved to their Maple Grove home 38 years ago, their backyard was a blank slate.

As you approach the Straate home, you can’t help but notice the two-tier fountain, front and center of the brown brick two-story home. All four windows on the second floor sport window boxes filled with colorful trailing begonias and greenery.

The cold and frightful weather doesn’t slow this market down. The indoor market at the Maple Grove Community Center features over 20 local farmers and vendors on each market day.

What would it be like to move into a home on the Anoka sand plain where potatoes were once farmed and the sun bakes the grass and everything else?

The summer sun wanes, to be replaced by a lovely Minnesota fall, and with the approaching chill, gardening might not be the first thing on your mind.

Wendy Froistad bought her Maple Grove home 34 years ago. For the first 15 years, she focused on her family and their day-to-day activities. The family’s yard was well-kept but unexceptional, a standard landscape in a nice suburban neighborhood.