Filed under Perennials and Grasses

“At My Door the Leaves are Falling”

Fall color was replaced this week by “leaf drop” of many green leaves before they turned. Rapid decreases in temperatures and drought conditions convinced trees to cut their losses. These are leaves from nature-planted woods nearby. Some trees are known for dropping many of their leaves at once in fall. We happened to walk by … Continue reading

Deciduous Tree Days

Deciduous trees and woody shrubs are dressing for their party, and we’re all invited. Mild October days in the seventy degrees and nights in the fifties and over a half inch of rain on dusty soil encouraged this Ohio buckeye to be the first to show Autumn color in our yard. Nestled among taller trees, … Continue reading

McCrory Gardens Welcomes Fall

McCrory Gardens in Brookings, South Dakota, has been in bloom for visitors this season since the tulips of spring. But in October, the native prairie flowers and maturing grasses define the 25 acres of botanical gardens in the vision of Harvey Dunn’s painting (1950), “The Prairie is My Garden.”  Dunn’s painting of the South Dakota … Continue reading

Gardening in Our Changeable Weather

Gardening with some flowers and produce return and an eye on sustainable practices keeps most of us ready to try next season, even in challenging weather conditions. Rudbeckia was last year’s blooming standout perennial. Drought bested some returning rudbeckia, and deer widened their taste palate for them this season, but some survived to bloom again. … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day–August 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains (USDA Zone 4-5a). After a summer of drought, today we received 3.9 inches of rain that fell steadily in the morning and afternoon, and we are grateful. The Joe Pye Weed that can tolerate much more moisture than it’s received is in full bloom, along with Echinacea. In … Continue reading

Native Plant Sense

Lewis & Clark Recreation Area entrance sign welcomes visitors with pup tents and large recreational vehicles. They see a field of native grasses in the distance, limestone-like visitors will see glow along Missouri River cliffs at sunrise, and native Liatris or blazing star, soon to bloom purple at the state park. When you garden with … Continue reading

Coneflowers and Cultivated Cousins

Coneflowers (Echinacea purpura) are common in flowerbeds and public spaces in this region. People find that the perennial Echinacea grows well yearly, has few diseases or pests, and requires modest maintenance once established.  As the coneflower is native here, its appearance is authentic with other successfully growing plants on the Northern Plains.  Like other native … Continue reading

What You Looking At?

What someone sees, who likes plants, and what Ms. Wild Turkey sees likely differ. After spring rains, the yellow yarrow and purple catmint begin to bloom. The lime barberry shrub accents the yellow. Most of the trees and shrubs in this region now have leaves, except for the fenced Japanese maple, which is slow to … Continue reading

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