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

First Harvest and Shade Plants

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. While hot and dry summer days challenge farmers and gardeners, we’re ready to celebrate a few garden first harvests. We’ll also consider a few ornamental shade plants that grow well here.  Sunflowers are among personal favorites that grow tended and wild and free in this region. … 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

A Mid-Summer Flower and Salad Greens

Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) or smooth hydrangea is in full bloom at Plant Exchange Blog. The six-inch round flower head (corymb) of flowers is vase-worthy and can be dried, suspended upside down in a garage for fall arrangements. White flowers pair with other flower colors of the season. This deciduous hydrangea (USDA Zone 3-9) … 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

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day-June 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange blog, USDA Zone 4-5a on the Northern Plains. After a cool spring, we are having temperatures climbing to 90 degrees F and dry conditions lately. We’re excited to show you plants in bloom today. Just in time for Pollinator Week, our Northern Catalpa is in full bloom, attracting various kinds of bees. A … 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

Peonies for the Northern Plains

On a day more like summer than spring, peony blossoms are rescued from the heat for a few days for enjoyment indoors. The white flowers are lightly fragrant, a hint of spice. Peonies are long-lived perennials that have many magnificent flowers over a week or so in late spring. A characteristic is that the flowers … Continue reading