Filed under Container Gardens

Houseplants to Brighten a Winter Day

In morning winter silence on a walk by the Missouri River, water that slowed before the Gavins Point Dam lies solid. The mile and a half or so across this lake is a panorama of frozen motion. Occasional booming echoes from some fissure, some crack in eight-inch or so layer as water from upstream presses … Continue reading

Garden Winners

Who doesn’t want flower or vegetable plants that grow well with abundant foliage and flowers? When they are grown in your region of the country and compared to similar plants and still have stand-out qualities, that’s a winner. All-America Selections is a national non-profit plant trialing organization that acquaints the public with new cultivars. Impartial gardening … Continue reading

Dibbles and Bits

We’re looking at winter interest, rewilding, and season wind-down for today’s Plant Exchange.   ***Nearly mid-December, the first “shoveling” flips the landscape into contrasts we haven’t seen for a year. Now the red hues of Little Bluestem and Miscanthus appear against white snow cover. Snowcaps adorn the spent golden yarrow from summer. No wonder this is … Continue reading

For the Birds

From early December on, seeds, berries, and insects become harder to find after the growing season. Some bird enthusiasts provide supplemental feeder food that draws them closer for observation. Sometimes turkeys are the clean-up crew. While having coffee on the deck last summer, a motionless hummingbird perched on a plant container trellis for a moment. … 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

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

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

Is Gardening Worth It?

Celebrating Fall and letting go of the garden is a part of the season’s transition. Seeing for yourself a positive balance of rewards to risks makes gardening for flowers, food, and fun worthwhile. Let’s look at the evidence today that held this writer’s interest. Rudbeckia transplanted in late summer drought have healthy leaves and appear … Continue reading

Transition for Flowers and Vegetables

Mid-September is a weather transition in this region, with high temperatures bouncing from 70 – 80 degrees F. with cool evenings and a few windy or hot days. Tree leaves mostly haven’t begun to turn yet. Movable container plants for color have been versatile and easy to maintain in this drought.  Cardinal vine on the … Continue reading

More About Container Sunflowers

Sunflowers are known for the sterile yellow, red, orange, or purple ray flowers and the seed and pollen-producing disc flowers.  Helianthus annuus, in bloom as fall approaches in this region, is found in vacant lots and along road rights-of-way. Most sunflowers are annuals that may re-seed.  Sunflowers are native to the North and South American … Continue reading