moving to MN from OK
I'm looking forward to moving to St Paul next summer, but I am totally inexperienced with the growing conditions there. I grew up in England, where I had no trouble growing veg and flowers. I lived in FL and didn't even try to grow anything outside. I've lived in OK since 97 and have planted a wide variety of veg and flowers at several different homes with varying success. The long growing season is great, but the summer heat and drought is crazy.
In MN, what can I grow (veg and flowers) with a reasonable chance of success?
What garden aspects should I be looking for when buying a house? South facing front yards here in OK are difficult to keep anything alive in through the summer, but I figure it'll be a different story 800 miles north. I'd like to grow flowers and evergreen shrubs in the front and veg in the back (like most people!)
Is there a sensible, practical book about MN gardening that will help me adapt and learn new skills to cope with the new location? I bought a book on Oklahoma Gardening here and they listed all kinds of plants that do not thrive here.
In the past I've enjoyed growing lavender and mums as perennials, privet, holly, sunflowers, pumpkins, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans (pole beans?), radishes, carrots. I'm not terribly ambitious, but I really do enjoy a veg garden and flowers. I want to try growing fennel too. I've planted all sorts of things, but between the ice storms, the intense summer heat and the abundant insect life, those are about the only things that worked.
I'm grateful for any advice or links or books that you have so I can have a decent idea of what to anticipate when I get to MN.