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Dibbles and Bits

Parks, leaf color, and busy wild turkeys are topics today at Plant Exchange Blog as Autumn transition continues. Parks may add an important nature experience because more than 83% of Americans live in a city. Brooklyn Bridge Park of 85 acres along New York City’s East River is featured in the September/October 2022 Horticulture Magazine. Landscape challenges included … Continue reading

“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

Sunflowers for a Happy Harvest

A sunflower represents the Plant Exchange Blog for several reasons: A field of South Dakota sunflowers smiles west at the end of the day. The flowers reset and face east in the morning. This plant movement is due to water pressure in cells of a stem segment below the flowerhead. Plants that move, how amazing! Annual … Continue reading

Garden Vegetables this Season

Perennial coneflowers and yellow gaillardia are having a party in the early August flowerbed.  But let’s look at the progress of plants in the vegetable garden since early June.  Beans have been bearing for about three weeks. We prefer planting several varieties of bush green beans due to unexpected pests or diseases. Fresh beans are … Continue reading

Outdoor Container Garden Nursery

Garden flowers or vegetables you plant together in a container take a little time to look their best before they are displayed. These succulents are an example. Container flowers and vegetables mature at different times, and it’s handy to have a dedicated space, a nursery, with adequate sunlight and water nearby to care for them … Continue reading

Plant Adaptations are Amazing

A friend mentioned that each of his garden corn plants has three stalks, likely because of temperature and rain fluctuations this season. Most plants are fixed in their environments but show exceptional capabilities of adaptation and procreation. Three examples come to mind. Finding the environment and methods for wildflowers to grow in native grass is … Continue reading

Another Late Bloomer

Plants like the Northern Catalpa and people who are slightly out-of-step with the crowd interest me. The catalpa leaves are among the latest to appear among deciduous trees in spring. Late enough, that in a drought spring, one wonders if the tree is still viable.  After most other trees have bloomed, the catalpa’s dramatic white … Continue reading

Thoughts on How We Landscape

A few green daffodil leaf blades point skyward in a protected area in our region. Early for flowers and pollinators, but now is an excellent time to consider how our backyards are a part of national wildlife conservation. Professor Douglas Tallamy, an entomologist at the University of Delaware, has a strong message for gardeners in … Continue reading

Winter Water Changes

Fall color and leaf drop might seem like nature’s final curtain call before seeds sprout in spring. But one of the natural winter changes that happen here on the Northern Plains by the Missouri River for all to see involves the water itself.   The Missouri River here is dammed and enlarged to a lake more … Continue reading

Garden Winners

Who doesn’t want flower or vegetable plants that grow well with abundant foliage and flowers? When they are grown in your region of the country and compared to similar plants and still have stand-out qualities, that’s a winner. All-America Selections is a national non-profit plant trialing organization that acquaints the public with new cultivars. Impartial gardening … Continue reading