Filed under Perennials and Grasses

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

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day July 15th

I am drawn to flowers because tending them is a chance to be outdoors. Warm seasons are short here in South Dakota. Colors and shapes of flowers and foliage are also enticing. Trying to grow a variety of plants beginning with seeds is a fun challenge. Seeing the results each growing season satisfies and also … Continue reading

Peonies for the Northern Plains

On a day more like summer than spring, peony blossoms are rescued from the heat for a few days for enjoyment indoors. The white flowers are lightly fragrant, a hint of spice. Peonies are long-lived perennials that have many magnificent flowers over a week or so in late spring. A characteristic is that the flowers … Continue reading