Plant Societies

This week we kick off National Indoor Plant Week.  As an avid houseplant enthusiast I belong to a few different national plant societies.  The two national societies I belong to are the African Violet Society of America and the Gesneriad Society.  Sadly, with today’s capabilities to connect to with people around the globe membership has…

Spiny Solanums

Over the last few weeks I’ve talked about perennials and how common names can inherently hurt them.   However, this week the plant that has caught my eye and has recently become a new obsession is the porcupine tomato Solanum pyracanthos.  Unlike other plants with a misleading common name, this one delivers.  Yes this is a…

Two More Weeds

I have a soft spot for weeds.  I get asked on a weekly occurrence if a plant is a weed or a flower.  I know it is frustrating to answer a question with a question but I like to ask the client if it is growing where it belongs.  When you think about it bluegrass…

Surprise & Toad

Nothing signals the start to the end of summer like seeing the surprise lily (Lycoris squamigera) bloom.  We will start to get calls here shortly from clients asking what are those pink, naked, flowers blooming in people’s yards.  Unlike most perennials that produce leaves and blooms at the same time, surprise lilies will produce long,…

Going Native?

Hello friends – Work has been a little hectic and Its been a few weeks since I have posted my last blog.  Inspiration struck the other day when I had posted a picture of my globe thistle (Echinops sp.) in flower on a Facebook page.  Someone posted that it was pretty but it was not…

Oakleaf

Hydrangea quercifolia or Oakleaf Hydrangea is a small deciduous shrub reaching about 6′ tall about the same if not more in spread.  Growing in full sun to full shade this North America native shrub is a consistent bloomer and easy to care for.  What I find appealing to about this plant is the lack of…

Early Summer Stress

What happened to spring?  We know that Southeast Nebraska and Southwest Iowa can have some challenging weather to contend with, but this caught us all off guard.  We are getting calls asking how this will affect our landscape plants and what can be done to mitigate damage.  We experienced record heat over Memorial Day that…

Itoh Peony

Peonies are one of the longest lived perennials that you can plant for your home landscape.  Anecdotal evidence suggest that they can live for 3/4 of a century if not longer.  Currently there are about 33 recognized species of peonies with only one maybe two native to North America.  Most know only the herbaceous garden…

Fragrant Solomon’s Seal

In the last two weeks besides being asked what to do about Japanese beetles I am getting bombarded with questions about what to plant in the shade besides hosta.  True enough there are only so many different types of green hosta that you can plant in the shade and this is where Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum…

Tiny Treasure

Bitter root or Lewisia cotyledon (loo-ISS-ee-ah kot-ih-LEE-don) is a perennial evergreen native to the Pacific Northwest hardy to zone 4 (-30 °F to -20 °F).  They form small rosettes about 12″ across and flowers that range from yellow, reds and white.  Yes this little gem can grow in your perennial garden if, and only if,…