Filed under Container Gardens

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day January 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog, USDA Zone 4b-5a, on the Northern Plains. It’s 10 degrees F. this morning with prairie breezes, brief snow showers, and an occasional ground blizzard. Indoors it’s warm and sunny. Our growing amaryllis is a promise of spring just as we near the midpoint of winter. Once blooming, it responds well … Continue reading

Search for Beautiful Plants that Grow Well Here

Some people like to discover their own new plants. They choose them from seed company catalogs or websites providing seeds nationwide. They read the general growing tips, choose a plant and see what happens when they grow it locally. Some people use the recommendations of regional nursery personnel who have tried many new plants. Some … Continue reading

Before We Forget Colors of Autumn

Fall color plants can be the high point of the growing season. Annuals that were stars all summer, disappear with frost, leaving space for cold-tolerant plants to take center stage. Some are easy to grow. One of many plants that display color in fall in this region is the hardy chrysanthemum. It’s a perennial commonly … Continue reading

Between Seasons

Between the stop and start of seasons is a space that gives the amaryllis time to grow and produce lily-sized blossoms. It’s the time when the blooms of last season’s Portulaca (moss rose) under the grow light finally catches your attention. Now, between seasons, the blooms of December peppers satisfy the hungry spirit more than … Continue reading

Change of Season

First frost reminds us that change of season is underway. Some leaves have fallen and others are changing colors in this last half of October. A few houseplants return directly indoors. This potted camelia already began blooming outdoors under the magnolia tree where it spent the summer. Some other kinds of camelia will bloom later and are … Continue reading

Dependable Woodland Tobacco

As the growing season ends, some plants have contributed extra for their part in the flower garden. Here, one of them is Woodland Tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris). It’s is an ornamental plant that grows as a direct-seeded annual in this region. It’s a member of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae) that contains potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. Its origins … Continue reading

Wind Down Summer Tips

What’s going on with this container garden? It could be titled “Where’s the chair?” We sat with friends on the deck and I noticed that the space between people and plants had grown much smaller since August. We have had a robust growing season for these annuals. Late July was when this plant was trimmed … Continue reading

Yard that Celebrates Summer

Paula and Dan Hicks have generated a yard that celebrates summer. Flowers turn heads from spring to fall. Many visited their yard on the Missouri Valley Master Gardener Yard and Garden Tour in June. Salmon blossoms and bright green foliage against their white-washed red brick house, red and purple petunias cascading from a décor cart, … Continue reading

Nasturtiums for Flowers and Food

Nasturtiums grow flowers and foliage until frost. You can start with a packet of seeds, grow them and enjoy their beauty, and end up with seeds for next year. They’re as easy to grow as lightly covering Alaska Mix nasturtium seeds with potting soil in a container and watering when the soil surface is dry. … Continue reading

In Season with Chef Staci

We hold outdoor times precious in the countdown to cold weather in this region. The garden is still has luscious produce. The grill is as hot as the oven for meals. Chef Staci Pederson has some easy, tasty ideas for alternative pizzas. “I love this time of year—fresh tomatoes!” said Chef Staci, executive chef at … Continue reading