Filed under Trees and Shrubs

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

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

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

Unforgettable Lilacs

It’s a bouquet of lilac flowers, the lowest ones in reach, shades of lavender, the kind you bury your face in, to experience the fragrance of blossoms and sun-warmed leaves. Held with two hands with a drawing, signed in big letters, is an unforgettable Mothers’ Day. When driving by the rows of lilacs against evergreens … Continue reading

Wild Plums of Spring

Wild Plums are in bloom! These days are a great time to trek around your environs to see all the changes occurring with plants. On the Northern Plains, we wait well past the calendar date to see spring reflected in plants.  Some trees bloom first, and others leaf out before blooming. A few do both. … Continue reading

Where Do Tomatoes Originate?

Welcome to a couple of “Dibbles and Bits” at Plant Exchange blog. The first is about the origin of tomatoes, followed by what influences the Ginkgo tree to live so long. The quest for the tastiest and then largest tomato is part of the garden season lore.  Finding the “roots” of tomatoes may help in … Continue reading

Chill Outside

In winter on the Northern Plains, everything pauses in layers of snow.  Nature highlights what is hidden.  Favorite plants around us receive ornaments. In our suspended animation, tree buds swell in the promise of coming spring.  We are so fortunate to see it.

How Does a Winter-Flowering Plant Make Seed?

Camellias are introduced plants from Japan and nearby Asian countries that have adapted well in the Southeast United States for more than a hundred years. In the south, camellias bloom in the fall or winter or early spring, sometimes before bulb plants. In nature, not many plants bloom at this time. Camellias are shrubs with … Continue reading

Decorate for the Holidays with your Plants

We can create our home version of “Holiday Beautiful” with the plants around us from the growing season.  Sometimes ornamental grasses have a second life. It continues to move in the wind as a dried plant in winter. Lights add a festive look at night. Eastern red cedar boughs, some with green berries, stay fresh … Continue reading