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

First Signs of Spring

Daffodil and tulip foliage is so beautiful to see emerging from the brown of winter. Temperatures are predicted in the high 50s with maybe showers too. Peonies are beginning to grow. Hellebores, also called Lenten Roses, are budding and will be in bloom for Easter this year. Indoors, we harvest sprouts for salads and sandwiches. … 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

Grow Your Favorite Houseplant

Even with spring beginning on the calendar, it’s early to move gardening beyond last season’s sanitation outdoors. While the weather settles, a creative outlet with a favorite indoor plant is to propagate cuttings. If it works, you’ll have more plants, like this begonia, to keep or share with others. If you’ve ever included Coleus leaves … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day-March 15th

 Oh, beautiful shamrock, with deep-hued, three-parted leaves. You’re a bit of a sham, a look-alike to Irish clover shamrocks.  Native to southern South America, the perennial Purple Shamrocks (Oxalis triangularis)  may be grown outdoors in light shade above USDA Hardiness Zone 8.  As a potted houseplant, a group of the small Oxalis bulb-like corms each … 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

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

Dibbles and Bits

Topics for Plant Exchange Blog include the benefits of a clay plant container, Bayer and glyphosate, and the American Horticultural Society that helped develop hardiness and heat zone maps for gardeners. Porous pots such as clay can help maintain water flow for potted plants. Plants need adequate soil moisture, with the excess water leaving the container … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day–February 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. Nothing blooming, inside or out today. Instead, let’s pay tribute to the native sunflower in the season to come. The Sunflowers By Mary Oliver in Devotions, 2017 Come with me    Into the field of sunflowers.       Their faces are burnished disks,          Their dry spines creak like ship masks, … Continue reading