Snack Cake 

Lime zest adds zip to the sweet summer flavor of fresh blueberries in this moist, tender pound cake.


1 cup butter

6 oz cream cheese

1 � cup sugar

4 eggs, plus one egg yolk

2 limes, finely grated peel zest

2 1/3 cup flour

1 � tsp baking powder

� tsp salt

2 � cup fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350.

Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with non-stick spray. Dust with flour.

Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar and lime zest and beat 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Slowly add flour, salt and baking powder. Beat until smooth about 30 seconds. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake for 55 min. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto rack and let cool completely.







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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist



Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

Contact Faith at (612) 618-5244 or by email 


We Need to Get Over the  

'Natives are Best' Obsession  


Urban areas are not a native environment to planet earth, so planting "natives" only there does not really make sense. Sometimes non-native, exotic plants are deemed tougher. They are able to withstand degraded soils, pollution, salt, extreme heat and lack of water.  


But what exactly is a native plant? There are varying definitions. Because early settlers in North America brought with them a variety of native European plants, some consider the plants that were growing prior to the arrival of Europeans to be native. A broader definition that is widely accepted is that offered by the Federal Native Plant Committee: "a native plant species is one that occurs naturally in a particular region, state, ecosystem, and habitat without direct or indirect human actions."  


I am not sure there is any such thing as a native urban tree. Sometimes the best you can do is use adaptable natives, cultivars, or non-invasive exotics if you want to have something that will actually live and do reasonably well in the city. So in this sense, non-natives help increase the healthiness of our cities by cleaning our air and water, and existing in places that forest-adapted species could not survive.


In an era of coming rapid climate change, if any species are going to thrive, surely, it will be the desperadoes, stowaways, and vagabonds that have been hitching a ride around the world with humans - species that, in some respects, closely resemble us.

The 'native' landscape; St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota
before 1848

The 'man-altered' landscape; St Anthony Falls, Minnesota
as it looks today

Forest adapted species such as these pin oaks do very poorly in the urban landscape.


For more information on pristine vs. wild urban landscapes 


If You Can't Beat 'em - Join 'em   


Every year at this time, like clockwork, my garden becomes a salad bar for the Japanese beetle. Their tiny pin-head brains do make important decisions of preference however...what they like or maybe should pass on. Just like we have likes and dislikes at the salad bar, so do they. Planning ahead gives you control on replacing some beetle favorites and adding the plantings that should remain unmolested. Here is what's on my list of what they are leaving alone. Feel free to add your own. Obviously they didn't have a mother like mine who made them eat their spinach.

  • Red Bud
  • Kentucky Coffeetree
  • American Yellowwood
  • Catalpa
  • Honeylocust
  • Ash
  • Oak
  • White poplar
  • Magnolia
  • Fringetree
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Euonymus
  • Lilac
  • Spiraea
  • Smokebush
  • Boxwood
  • Mockorange
  • Dogwood
  • Hydrangeas
  • Fothergilla

Heart shaped leaves of the Redbud tree are untouched  

by the beetle


Skeletonizing of the leaves by Japanese beetles gives this Linden tree an appearance of fall color.


Japanese beetle feeding on Chokeberry (Aronia)


For more information on the Japanese Beetle, reference this"Bug of the Week" blog    


Thanks for reading. Happy Planting! 


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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