Watch for Fall Color

Welcome to the beginning of Fall, arriving now in our region.  In this view of the breaks along the Missouri River, deciduous trees and shrubs are beginning to change color. The thing is, this happens whether we notice or not. Trees and shrubs that lose their leaves in preparation for winter, have leaves with green pigment … Continue reading

Flowering Tobacco

One of this season’s best performing plants is Nicotiana or flowering tobacco. Once planted in spring, a little supplemental water is all that is required. Here it grows pest-free. It is an ornamental relative of N. tabacum that is grown for tobacco production. The lightly fragrant flowers bloom the second half of summer after seedlings are planted outdoors … Continue reading

Sunflowers Grow Here

Sunflowers grow naturally on this whole continent. These are sunflowers planted by nature along the Missouri River west of Yankton, South Dakota.  Historically, Native Americans in Central and North America grew sunflowers for flour, oil, and other food. Today in Canada and the Northern Plains of the United States, farmers grow them to be processed … Continue reading

Tomatoes are Ripe

Waiting for the first garden-ripened tomatoes for sandwiches is worth the anticipation! Twice this week! Plenty of bacon, lettuce, mayo, and a tomato slice that covers the bread, and extra napkins for the juice, fit the meal. Full-size tomatoes are the last to ripen fruits or vegetables in this garden. They are a versatile staple … Continue reading

Grow Sunflowers in Containers

Sunflowers and the sunny outdoors in summer go together. Sunflowers are easy to grow when direct seeded into flowerbeds. Seed catalogs advertise some sunflowers as having features for growing in containers. Plant them after the danger of frost is past. With 6-8 hours of sunlight a day, even the tallest sunflowers will mature, bloom, and … Continue reading

Harvest Your Beans

After the work of planting and weeding an edible garden, the vegetables and fruit are part of the reward. We can’t wait to taste the first tender green beans.  At Plant Exchange, near the beginning of August, beans have been producing well for a month. The bean plant produces seed, and if we harvest beans … Continue reading

On the Way to “After”

Unlike yard renovation on reality TV, some projects at home take a long time. Garden bloggers see many others’ beautiful results. As of mid-summer at Plant Exchange blog, we have a little progress here! The vision for this area of the yard came from a previous owner who installed cement steps and a wall of … Continue reading

Front Entrance–Aim for attractive and functional

By mid-July, the annual and perennial plantings are established and provide texture and color to the front entrance area. The north-facing entrance and small patio area have late afternoon shade complemented by a nearby Japanese maple tree. A bit of green space under the tree, foundation plantings, especially near the entrance, and movable planters add … Continue reading

Gardener Benefits of Staying Home

Staying home allows us the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of yardwork. It’s a pleasant morning to enjoy nature here at Plant Exchange blog and a second cup of coffee on the deck. The feel and result of the prairie breeze is a feature that second nature in this region. Grasses move in harmony with … Continue reading