Peonies of Spring

Peony flowers are eye-catching in bloom in the yard and as cut flowers. The perennial is long-lived in this region if given adequate growing conditions and requires minimal care. Some pay respects to relatives that have passed with a visit to the cemetery about this time of year. Growing on a gentle slope by a … Continue reading

Columbines and Spring

Columbine flower is an example of spring beauty in its delicate flower detail. Yet the hardy columbine genus Aquila is Latin for “eagle” and was so named for the spurs behind the petals that may bear a resemblance to eagle’s claws. Seventy species of columbine give lots of choices for color and form. Columbine blooms … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day May 15th

Spring is here! Leaves and flowers emerge at Plant Exchange Blog. We’re USDA Zone 4-5a in this region, probably the last frost is past, and temperatures are warming. Trees and perennials seem to think so. The Japanese maple tree now has leaves, and miniature blooms are gone. Japanese maple is edge-of-zone for this region, and … Continue reading

Lilacs in Spring

Have you ever experienced a bouquet of fragrance lilacs held tightly in the arms of a child to present as a gift, maybe on Mother’s Day? Lilacs are a commonly grown, low maintenance shrub or small tree of the Northern Plains. Long abandoned farmsteads still have lilacs that bloom in early spring. Some associate the … Continue reading

A Star of Spring

Right now, the uncultivated star of spring that unfolds here on the Northern Plains is the plum. After a few warm days and promise of more, deciduous trees nearby are beginning to leaf out. The plum’s blossoms glow white early and late in the quiet of the day. Like many of us needing haircuts with … Continue reading

Little Spring Moments

Naturalized plums, some planted by birds or left at the edges of farmer’s fields, are just beginning to bloom, with native grasses beyond. Hellebores have had two snowfalls and several nights of frost since blooming. Today they get a visit from bumblebees, a first sighting this spring. The greenhouse is filling with flower and vegetable … Continue reading

Dancing with Daffodils

Here at Plant Exchange Blog, the snow is mostly gone today, frosty days and nights appear to be declining, and daffodils are in bloom. As with Wordsworth, our hearts also dance with the yellow daffodils! Daffodils are members of the amaryllis family that are native in southern Europe. The bulbs were planted in ancient Greece … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains! Our region is USDA Zone 4-5a and spring is in arrested development after heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. Instead of what’s blooming here, let’s look at flowers at the United States Botanic Gardens in our nation’s capital. The Washington, D.C. area has had a mild spring. … Continue reading

Spring Arrives Each Year

Moments of spring shake us from all that swirls around us. A perfect daffodil blossom survives a frosty night. Not quite here, but in mind from last season, the redbud tree, northern magnolia, and native plum will soon display again. There is so much we do not know. Ginkgo trees are not native here but … Continue reading

Our One-of-a-Kind Garden

Gardening is sustainable when it supplies the irreplaceable taste of sun-ripened tomatoes at your place this summer. As well as yielding other benefits, gardening is also a creative expression. Even planting a seed catalog pre-planned garden where no flowers grew before! Our own creative garden, no matter its form or size, expresses something about us. … Continue reading