Filed under Trees and Shrubs

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

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

Trees for the Prairie

Greenhouses burst with alluring annuals for our gardens. If these flowers were wearable, we might consider them jewelry, and the trees that anchor our yards as fundamental as the black dress.  Trees and shrubs add a vertical shape to the area above the annuals and perennials in a yard. Trees can be the welcoming presence … 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

Dream a Garden Space

February can be the creative start to your personalized garden space. The cozy indoors with lots of photos of your landscape or a stack of gardening magazines with pictures that show aspects of spaces you are attracted to is a place to begin. Collect images that show your space as it is and the look … Continue reading

Not What You Might Think

We walked the dog this morning at a temperature of – 6 degrees F. The only one smiling was the dog. Most trees we see along the path are deciduous, dormant, and leafless, waiting for spring. Hats off to evergreens that live through the roller coaster winters on the Northern Plains. A common ornamental evergreen … 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

PostScript to Fall

Mild Fall weather has been a treat in this region. Colors have been beautiful, including those of red maples, barberry, and prairie grasses.  More needs to be learned about the variation in Fall color in maples. The more intense the red of maple in a season may show its all-out effort to get more nutrients … Continue reading