Filed under Perennials and Grasses

Planned, Wild, and Free

Many herbaceous and woody perennials are growing again. It’s a time to celebrate plants that have broken dormancy in the fall and winter drought conditions. Likely, we will find gaps in the flowerbeds, and local greenhouses have many options. Don Engebretson, design writer for the Northern Gardener magazine, is quoted in an article in the June issue … Continue reading

Peonies’ “Repeated Refrains of Nature”

We’re watching our perennials begin to grow this slow-to-warm spring. Peonies (Hardiness Zone 3-8) are among the earliest herbaceous perennials to emerge from winter. We saw their red stems about the time daffodils bloomed.   Green leaves unfurl later as the warming sun shines several days in a row and rains fall. Finally, the plant … Continue reading

Plant Markers of Spring–May 15th

Lilacs have leafed out and are reaching full bloom as spring conditions improve, quite a remarkable plant sustainability trait. Lilacs line the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area along the Missouri River near home in a USDA 4-5a hardiness zone. Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog in South Dakota. Fall planted spring bulbs such as daffodils and … Continue reading

Black-eyed Susans and other Rudbeckias

Black-eyed Susans grow in lots of yards in this USDA zone 4-5a region. The perennial, full-sun, yellow flower mounds appear by summer and bloom into fall. Their bold color and easy maintenance make them attractive for borders.  Black-eyed Susans and other Rudbeckias are featured this week as attractive, hardy North American native plants with large … Continue reading

Spring is Busting Out All Over

Even after cold winds and low moisture in the region, we are glad that spring has arrived. Here are some findings on a walk around the yard.  Leaf buds of this Ohio Buckeye/ Hawthorn tree show the energy of spring. Trees that flower before they leaf out, such as maples, have bursting buds. Recurring daffodils … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day- April 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. Lately, the high temperature has been in the high 40’s with an Arctic wind. Warmer days earlier; erratic spring. Perennial plants wait patiently for favorable weather to bloom, leaf out, and begin attracting pollinators. Lenten Roses (Hellebores orientalis) are in bloom here, along with greening cool-season grasses, and … Continue reading

First Signs of Spring

Daffodil and tulip foliage is so beautiful to see emerging from the brown of winter. Temperatures are predicted in the high 50s with maybe showers too. Peonies are beginning to grow. Hellebores, also called Lenten Roses, are budding and will be in bloom for Easter this year. Indoors, we harvest sprouts for salads and sandwiches. … Continue reading

Goals for the Garden Season

Before the daffodils bloom and the first turn of the soil, I consider a shortlist of what I aim for this gardening season.  Add More Native Plants   They are more adapted to the environment and thrive year to year, require less watering once established, and are more likely to benefit pollinators and other wildlife. More … Continue reading

Last Bittersweet Days of Winter

The ending of winter can be a bittersweet transition to spring. Maybe these days are a chance for uninterrupted reading opportunities, time to think about new season plants or time to prepare. For now, let’s think about bluebells, other blue flowers, a podcast, and bittersweet vine. Virginia bluebells grow on the Northern Plains! The striking blue … Continue reading

Tree Bark-Wrinkles in Time, and Other Winter Details

Last season’s yarrow reappears after snow on this below-zero day. Today we’ll look at end-of-winter visages in nature that we missed until now. Evergreen needles show fine detail. Ready-made snowballs—free. There are so many bark details to re-discover this winter while trees remain undressed. An easy way to see a variety of trees growing in … Continue reading