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Central Plains Gardening 75 Ideabooks

I’m a teacher, and school always starts in August — way too early. In the Central Plains, that means you’ve got about a month of sweating in your casual dress outfits and being totally confused as to what season it is, especially when your students are wearing shorts and sunglasses. But this seasonal...
Great Design Plant: Sensitive Fern Shows Its Strengths
Ferns elicit primal human emotions, which is why many gardeners, including myself, are drawn to them. They mentally transport us to another place and time. Just five minutes in my fern garden can be the antidote to one of my busy and stressful days, and...
Great Design Plant: Wild Bergamot, Friend of Foragers
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is one of the most resilient North American native plants and is a delight for bumble bees and butterflies. It can be used in a variety of situations, including butterfly...
Be Your Own Wildflower Nursery
My garden just turned 6 years old. For years, I kept buying new plants to fill in the gaps — even after I had no gaps left. It got to the point where if I was near a nursery while running errands, I’d poke my head in and nab a few things — especially...
6 Overlooked Asters for Tough Spots
Asters are one of the most diverse groups of flowering plants out there, and how I love planting underutilized native asters. With shrinking pollinator numbers and habitat loss, it’s more important than ever to plant natives. And the late summer-fall...
Great Design Plant: Pale Indian Plantain Stands Tall and Proud
Pale Indian plantain is the most asked about plant in my Minnesota landscape whenever I host an open house. Visitors are enthralled with its size, large flower heads, pale purple flower stalks, blue-gray leaves and overall presence in the landscape. There...
Great Design Plant: Dwarf Blue Indigo Offers Carefree Beauty
I’m a big fan of Baptisia. There are many species, most underutilized, but the most common one you’ll see for sale — as either a hybrid or straight species — is Baptisia...
Great Design Plant: Anise Hyssop Delights Licorice Lovers
If you love black licorice, as I do, then you will want to include anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) in your landscape; crushing the foliage releases an anise (licorice) scent that smells wonderful to a licorice lover but helps keep deer and...
Autumn Joy: How to Get 3 Months of Fall Flowers
I’ve become a bit of an aster hound. There are just so many asters out there that we never hear of or that nurseries don’t sell. And I’m talking native species asters...
Great Design Plant: Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris Ligulistylis)
One morning several years ago, before the monarch butterfly populations crashed in 2012 and 2013, I was looking out of my window at the garden, admiring the splendor I’d created. Suddenly a far corner lifted off in a splash of orange, then another splash,...
Great Design Plant: Butterfly Milkweed, a Beacon in the Prairie
Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a magnet for bees and butterflies in early spring — often providing an important source of nectar when other sources are scarce. What other perennial can rival its bright orange flowers,...
Great Design Plant: Canadian Milkvetch Draws Bees and Birds
I’ve been walking my local prairies and meadows looking for plants that seem to be thriving in various conditions. My hope is that if they do well out in diverse natural settings, they ought to do fine in my garden. Of course, I’m also looking for...
Great Native Plant: Rattlesnake Master for Unique Interest
Looking like a yucca but a member of the parsley and carrot family, rattlesnake master is a unique plant not used nearly enough. While it’s in bloom, the flower heads are insect magnets, and it hosts the rare rattlesnake-master...
Great Design Plant: Blackfoot Daisy for Prettier Dry Ground
Daisies will brighten up any landscape, and blackfoot daisy is no exception. Despite its fragile appearance, this low-growing perennial flourishes with little water in areas that experience bitter-cold winters, while also thriving in hot, dry desert...
10 Native Wildflowers to Beautify Your Winter Garden
Hopefully you leave up your fall and winter garden, because the benefits are enormous: seeds and cover for wildlife, litter for overwintering butterflies and stems to gather snow, which insulates and hydrates roots. Of course, the biggest reason — let...
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