Dig Deeper

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

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|

4 Flowers Perfect for Arrangements

Making the Cut In its finest form, flower arranging is high art. In more casual settings, cut flowers adorn modern living spaces as a celebration of a garden’s ample success. These flowers are favorites at the Botanical Garden, and they happen to work well in bouquets, too. 1. Baptisia Baptisia or false indigo is stunning enough in a [...]

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

Botanical Garden Profile: Dennis Zaabel

Dennis Zaabel, Botanical Garden volunteer From helping with cacti and succulents to using his expert welding skills, volunteer Dennis Zaabel has had a hand in shaping many areas of the Garden. His craftsmanship has shown up in conservatory exhibits over the years, including a constructing notable blue rebar sculpture that anchored the acclaimed kokedama exhibit High Flight and [...]

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

Phenology: Tracking Plants in Bloom

When Do Plants Really Bloom in Des Moines? Phenology, the study of natural cycles and seasonal changes, is especially important in horticulture. While the name may sound intimidating, we are all phenologists to some extent. We know that with the coming of spring we can expect blustery tulip festivals followed by bold summer flowers and bountiful fall harvests. [...]

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

The Seeds of Social Irrigation

The Origin of the Garden's Summer Concert Series In 2015, following the Garden’s renovation and transformation of 7 acres of outdoor space, our team began asking one another, “What are your dreams for the future of the Botanical Garden?” After collecting feedback from Botanical Garden members, staff, volunteers and visitors, we received many requests related to adding educational [...]

By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Signature Event|

Buck Roses: A Midwestern Favorite

Buck Roses in the Wells Fargo Rose Garden Rosa 'Simon Estes' Dr. Griffith Buck is a legend among gardeners. His surname applied to a rose equates to a badge of honor. The former Iowa State University horticulture professor left a long legacy of hardworking shrub roses, 93 in all, for Midwestern gardens. These varieties laid the [...]

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