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Transition for Flowers and Vegetables

Mid-September is a weather transition in this region, with high temperatures bouncing from 70 – 80 degrees F. with cool evenings and a few windy or hot days. Tree leaves mostly haven’t begun to turn yet. Movable container plants for color have been versatile and easy to maintain in this drought.  Cardinal vine on the … Continue reading

More About Container Sunflowers

Sunflowers are known for the sterile yellow, red, orange, or purple ray flowers and the seed and pollen-producing disc flowers.  Helianthus annuus, in bloom as fall approaches in this region, is found in vacant lots and along road rights-of-way. Most sunflowers are annuals that may re-seed.  Sunflowers are native to the North and South American … 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

See Some Sunflowers!

Sunflowers are blooming on our deck in containers. Since young plants are often deer candy, another option is growing them in a fenced flowerbed.  Three kinds of dwarf sunflowers are chosen to grow in 17-inch diameter re-cycled plastic pots with plenty of potting medium for hot summer days. Dwarf plants are compact and suited proportionally … Continue reading

Raised Bed Garden Tour

On a summer day, visiting a garden is a way to see some familiar favorite plants. Native Echinacea and cultivars grow well in this region. Pollinators like them too. Deer and rabbits, not so much. It’s also fun to see less typical flowers like this Gaillardia, grown from seed. Sometimes it’s fun to see a … Continue reading

Deck or Porch Gardening

Choosing container plants and gardening on the deck or porch is one way to care for some plants you like. It has these advantages that you may see on the short video.  —In the Plant Exchange region, some gardeners prefer to garden away from deer and rabbits. Fencing is an option, but this is another … Continue reading

Flowers in Hot Weather

We can hardly wait for spring in our Northern Plains region! It’s not uncommon to have lots of cool and erratic temperatures during spring, this year included. Now, as summer begins, the unseasonal sweltering days with little rain stress perennial vines like clematis. Its roots flourish with supplemental soil watering and mulch to slow moisture … Continue reading

Nature Moment with Monarda

What is attracting most pollinators at Plant Exchange today is the native plant, Wild Bergamot or Bee Balm (USDA Zone 4-8). The perennial likely will continue blooming into the summer. Wild Bergamot grows to about 4 feet tall, and the stems remain upright in windy conditions in the back of the flowerbed. According to Xerces … 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

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