Filed under Perennials and Grasses

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

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

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day–September 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. Our region is USDA Zone 4a-5b with lots of prairie breeze. Drought conditions and days exceeding 90 degrees F. have challenged gardeners to maintain annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs. By mid-September, the produce harvest has reached heights and declines near the first frost in about a … Continue reading

Find the Right Place

Now is the time in the summer to consider trying a new spot for in-ground perennials. Ones that get too much or not enough sun or are unsuitable for the site.  Plants that are moved need to establish and begin to grow more roots before the ground freezes. Around the end of August gives the … Continue reading

Garden Notes

The impact of several ninety-degree days and the earlier dark of the evening are hard to miss as you walk through the garden. Pollinators are busy early and late, resting in the heat of the day. Joe Pye Weed, a four-foot back-of-the-garden perennial, draws a variety of pollinators.  Few Monarch pollinators are around so far … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day–August 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. Drought is a challenge this growing season. Plants in a few raised beds, such as these ‘Prairie Sun’ Rudbeckia, are easier to provide adequate moisture in dry conditions. They are quite the sun catchers en masse. The plants were started from seed this season as perennials. Most native … Continue reading

First Harvest and Shade Plants

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. While hot and dry summer days challenge farmers and gardeners, we’re ready to celebrate a few garden first harvests. We’ll also consider a few ornamental shade plants that grow well here.  Sunflowers are among personal favorites that grow tended and wild and free in this region. … Continue reading

Up Close in Our Gardens

Mid-season of this busy growing year is a moment to notice how our garden plants are progressing. Zinnias, smoke bush, wildflowers, and first look at sunflowers are featured today at Plant Exchange Blog. Soil warmed slowly this spring, and direct-seeded plants such as zinnias were noticeably behind greenhouse transplants in this region. Zinnias are now … Continue reading