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Blog2019-06-10T15:42:20-05:00

Dig Deeper

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

5 Flower Shapes to Generate Interest

How Flower Geometry Inspires Garden Design According to Leslie Hunter, Botanical Garden horticulturist, designing a garden can be an exercise of joy and madness. Attempting to coordinate size, shape, color, bloom time, fragrance, light and moisture requirements all present unique challenges to any gardener. Another aspect worth considering is the shape of flowers and how several shapes can [...]

By |August 12th, 2019|Categories: Garden Design, Horticulture|

Plants We Love: Mangave

Mad About Mangave First, a pronunciation guide: man-gah-vay. Think agave and you’ll get it right every time. In fact this hybrid group between two genera (that’s what that little x stands for in front of their botanical names) owes half of its genes to a variety of Agave species and cultivars. The resulting 40 varieties are the product [...]

By |August 6th, 2019|Categories: Horticulture|

Turn Up the Heat on Summer Produce

Maximize Your Summer Harvest July and August come due with exhilarating freshness. The harvest is hot and weedy, but that heat is the secret to summer cooking per chef-owner Lisa LaValle of Trellis, the Botanical Garden’s acclaimed in-house café. The chef-gardener is often blessed with an overabundance of zucchinis, eggplants, peppers and carrots, all of which grill to [...]

By |July 29th, 2019|Categories: Horticulture, Recipes|

Amorphomania: Carrie the Corpse Flower

Corpse Flower Bloom: July 25, 2017 Since it arrived in Des Moines, our Amorphophallus titanum, also referred to as Titan arum and commonly known as corpse flower, grew in the Botanical Garden greenhouses until the spring of 2017, when it finally dropped its leaf and went dormant underground—often the first hint of an upcoming inflorescence (or bloom). Recognizing [...]

By |July 22nd, 2019|Categories: Horticulture|

Savory Strawberry Sauce

The Perfect Recipe for less-than-perfect Strawberries Whether they’re from the garden or grocery store, some strawberries just aren’t as plump, juicy or symmetrical as others. Show off the prettier ones in a bowl, as a cocktail garnish, or tuck them into your favorite dessert. But don’t throw out their less attractive counterparts. Turn those into a sweet-and-savory sauce [...]

By |July 16th, 2019|Categories: Recipes|

Summer Camp at the Garden: A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life of a Summer Camper The Botanical Garden offers an array of summer camps, such as Budding Chefs and Artists in the Garden. In every program, summer campers are invited to use the Garden as their classroom as they learn about the world of plants. Read below to follow a summer camper through a [...]

By |July 2nd, 2019|Categories: Youth & Family|

Textural Appeal: 8 Grasses to Add Complexity to Your Garden

8 Grasses for Texture and Complexity Grasses can accent almost any garden. But why are they just accents? If you have a lot of height in a garden, these varieties can make a great background foil that won’t clutter the rest of the vignette with obnoxious, excess foliage. At least one of these plants should be on everyone’s [...]

By |June 14th, 2019|Categories: Horticulture|

Botanical Garden Profile: David Regan

David Regan, director of retail and guest experience You made a career change from high-end retail to the Botanical Garden. What motivated the switch? I had been looking for the last 6-8 months and when this opportunity came up it kind of brought me back to moments from my childhood and being in public gardens and how that [...]

By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Botanical Garden Profile|

7 Meadow Plants We Love

Meadow Mayhem In 2017, the first annual Botanical Garden Summer Camp program took place in amid an artfully designed meadow. The square-in-square design allowed children to experience a sense of wildness, no matter how contrived. The planting also added benefit of putting nitrogen and biomass back into the soil throughout the growing season, a critical process after compaction [...]

By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Horticulture|

Purple Passion: 5 Flower Favorites

Five Striking Purple Ornamentals The 2018 Pantone Color of the Year was Ultra Violet, which just happened to coincide with the dominant color scheme throughout the espalier border in the Koehn Garden last fall. In its announcement, Pantone described its chosen color as “dramatically provocative and thoughtful,” adjectives that make a lot of sense when viewed through the [...]

By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Horticulture|

Botanical Garden Profile: Hannah Loy

Hannah Loy, horticulturist What is it about plants that made you want to pursue them as a career? There is always more to learn in the world of plants. When caring for a plant that you think you have a good grasp of, there are still so many different controls required to successfully grow it in a container. [...]

By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Botanical Garden Profile|

Cooking with Weeds: 3 Creative Uses for Garden Scraps

Cooking with Weeds Every garden has pests: the Japanese beetles that chew and munch, not to mention the weedy daggers of dandelions that pierce the verdant lawn. So why not eat them? Okay, so maybe not the Japanese beetles. But the dandelions, violets and garlic mustard cropping up in a yard near you, serve up tasty. Those three [...]

By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Recipes|