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Central Plains Gardening 71 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: 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...
Great Design Plant: Louie Eastern White Pine
Seattle is renowned for its gray skies and seemingly endless rain, so those of us who live here seek out plants that add a Midas touch, especially to the winter garden. Trees, shrubs and perennials that offer bright...
5 Unsung Wildflowers That Thrive in Dry Shade
I know there are areas of our gardens that just, well, tick us off and create literal nightmares. (I once dreamed that the entire neighborhood came over to suggest that one small problem spot meant I was a terrible gardener whom no one should listen to.)...
8 Perennials for Great Fall Color
Out here on the prairie, trees are relegated to towns, cities and river bottoms. Stand upon a bluff overlooking the Missouri River valley in eastern Nebraska, and the tree color is stunning well into late October and early November. If you squint just...
Great Design Plant: Aromatic Aster Keeps on Blooming
I have at least a dozen species of aster in my garden, from shade lovers to sun lovers, drought tolerators and rain garden mainstays. But in my top three is aromatic aster, because it grows in even the worst soil and blooms and blooms and blooms — even...
Great Design Plant: Ironweed Fills Tall Garden Orders
I'm always on the lookout for native plants that I don't see in gardens but that I do see out in the wilderness. Ironweed is a unique plant that's as tough as nails, provides three-season interest and attracts beneficial insects in a wildlife-inspired...
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