Dig Deeper

A blog by the staff of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Botanical Garden Holiday Gift Guide The holidays are officially here, which means the search for unique and memorable gifts is in full swing. The good news is that your local, one-stop shop for botanically inspired, locally crafted gifts is right here at the Botanical Garden! The Garden Shop is open Tuesdays-Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but [...]

By |November 24th, 2020|Categories: Garden Shop|

Orchids: Planting and Care Tips

How to Plant and Care For Orchids Tropical orchids are not like most houseplants. They are epiphytes, which means they do not grow in soil but by hanging on to the bark of trees. This unique growing environment means they will not survive the same soils and watering regimens as your typical houseplants. For orchids to thrive in [...]

By |November 2nd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Amaryllis: Planting and Care Tips

How to Plant and Care For Amaryllis When planting your amaryllis bulb, it is best to choose an unglazed terra cotta pot with a drainage hole, that is about two inches bigger around than your bulb. This should allow about one inch of space all around your bulb once planted in the pot. Fill the pot about halfway [...]

By |November 2nd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Overwintering: Ways to Protect Native Bees

Protecting Native Bees with Ecological Horticulturist Ryan Drake Earlier this summer, I cut a dying bloom from Ipomopsis rubra (Texas plume) in the Dorothy and Max Rutledge Conifer Garden. Not long after, I noticed that a Ceratina sp. (Small Carpenter bee) took up residence in the cutting and started a brood nest to lay eggs in. Fall is [...]

By |October 22nd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Fall Gardening Tips: Houseplants, Bulbs and More

Fall Gardening with Senior Horticulturist Leslie Hunter Learn how to protect your gardens—and your houseplants— from the cold temperatures while encouraging the best possible spring blooms. Roses At this point in the season, you can leave your roses alone and allow the blooms to form rose hips while growth slows. Typically, we do not cut back roses at [...]

By |October 21st, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Alliums We Love: 7 Picks for Constant Blooms

7 Alliums for Blooms All Season Long As plants that afford wild, contemporary style with clean, formal geometry, alliums have surged to raging levels of popularity in recent years. The Botanical Garden collection features 66 species and cultivars, with the number growing steadily with each year. During the full span of the growing season in Iowa, you can [...]

By |October 1st, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Foster Nature Appreciation with Sit Spots

Sit Spots: What They Are and How to Use Them For many parents, getting children to spend time outside with stimulating, educational activities can feel intimidating—not to mention securing the materials, supplies and knowledge needed to teach them about the environment. Luckily, sit spots require little to no equipment or prior nature knowledge, and your child will grow [...]

By |September 15th, 2020|Categories: Youth & Family|

The Native Annuals Project

Native Annuals with Ecological Horticulturist Ryan Drake A walk through the Botanical Garden reveals dynamic, complex plantings around every corner. But there is more to those lively blooms and varying textures than aesthetic appeal. This summer, in the Dorothy and Max Rutledge Conifer Garden and Lauridsen Savanna, Ecological Horticulturist Ryan Drake is conducting an experiment. Ryan has been [...]

By |September 3rd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Annual Plantings: 4 Steps to Dynamic Designs

Garden Design with Senior Horticulturist Leslie Hunter Although designing annual gardens is a creative process, I have a clear framework that I follow each time. These are the four steps I use to create dynamic garden spaces that will generate interest throughout the season. 1. Determine a Theme The first step is to start with an overall theme. [...]

By |August 19th, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Fall Perennial & Bulb Market: 5 Plant Highlights

Fall Perennial & Bulb Market Preview We're excited to bring back our bulb market in 2020 along with a selection of perennials that are perfect for fall planting, too. Below you'll find five plants to watch for at the Fall Perennial & Bulb Market, from the very first blooms of the season to selections that carry on well [...]

By |August 17th, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Pollinator Plant We Love: Goldenrod

Gardening in August Despite the heat and humidity, August is an important month for observing life in the garden, perhaps one of the most valuable gardening activities. I carve out time to putter often around my home garden, a 5,000 sq. ft. meadow and prairie-inspired garden that surrounds the frontage of my house. And all this puttering usually [...]

By |August 10th, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Celebrating Silphiums

Plant Birthdays and Silphiums After reading Aldo Leopold’s book A Sand County Almanac in college, I have tried to keep his words close to heart and mind. In the essay titled "Prairie Birthdays," Leopold shares an appreciation of plants coming into bloom. He writes, “Tell me of what plant birthday a man takes notice, and I shall tell you a good deal about his [...]

By |July 23rd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|
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