Happy Thanksgiving

We share from Mary Oliver Devotions, her poem, “The Sunflowers,” in celebration of Thanksgiving for your enjoyment. The Sunflowers By Mary Oliver Come with me   Into the field of sunflowers.     Their faces are burnished disks,       their dry spines creak like ship masts,   their green leaves,     so heavy and many,       fill all day with the sticky sugars … Continue reading

PostScript to Fall

Mild Fall weather has been a treat in this region. Colors have been beautiful, including those of red maples, barberry, and prairie grasses.  More needs to be learned about the variation in Fall color in maples. The more intense the red of maple in a season may show its all-out effort to get more nutrients … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day-November 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. Our region is USDA Zone 4-5a. The lingering progression of Fall has been a treat for all, with the first killing frost more than two weeks late. Now, most deciduous leaves are falling, and indoors is where we look for plants in bloom. If we lived … Continue reading

Another Favorite Plant

A season standout at Plant Exchange Blog is two cultivars of Rudbeckia. The mother plant is native to North America. It grows well in clay soil and is tolerant of drought and deer. Blooms are at least 3 inches in diameter and, in summer and fall, form a canopy of golden blooms like their relative, … Continue reading

Dibbles and Bits

(1) This season, the maple tree shows where we are in the Fall wrap-up of outdoor gardening at Plant Exchange. The tree’s leaf color progresses to red but is not fully there yet, even with the extra time and extended mild temperatures this mid-autumn. Some leaves are red, many are yellow, and some are already … Continue reading

Beautiful Fall Day

It’s a crisp 54 degrees F. at noon; a moderate, sunny fall day on the Northern Plains, projected to reach 59. Blue sky and the Missouri River.  Cottonwood trees, aspens of Missouri River Valley, have mostly reached full color.  Walk through their golden leaves at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area and participate in the cottonwood’s … Continue reading

Not Just Another Lowly Plant

Some plants around us aren’t featured these days in greenhouses. Wind and birds may propagate them in vacant lots. We may consider them as weeds. In their understory way, they may contribute their part in ecology and sometimes have attributes that become beneficial. Amur maple may be pruned as a shrub or grow naturally as … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day–October 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange blog on the Northern Plains (USDA Zone 4b-5a). Temperatures are 59 to predicted 37 degrees F today and trending downwards, but we have enjoyed a mild beginning to Fall—no killing frost yet, but soon.  Now we take in the colors of Autumn. The photo near the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area entrance … Continue reading

Midwest Plant Breeder Hans Hansen

Flowers and foliage in yards and public spaces have been beautiful this season! Where do the new bright colors and variety of leaf patterns originate?  At Plant Exchange, we’ll focus on one plant breeder who may have introduced a yellow False Indigo, Hosta, coral Monarda, pink Phlox, or red hibiscus you have seen growing nearby. … Continue reading

A Few Extra Days of Fall

While this Northern Plains region can have mild fall days, weeks in a row has been a treat. These are rare days to enjoy the change of season before the first hard frost frenzy. Deer often like our garden variety in their vegetarian diets, and at least one has a zinnia craving–just the flowers and terminal … Continue reading