Dig Deeper

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

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|

5 Tips to Combat Plant Blindness

What is Plant Blindness and How Can I Overcome It? People often lament “not seeing the forest for the trees,” fearful of becoming too consumed with minor details to see a situation in its totality. But scientists and plant lovers are troubled by the opposite scenario: We worry that people might not see the trees for the forest. This [...]

By |July 13th, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Pollinator Plant We Love: Liatris

July is for Pollinators It’s July and your garden is thriving, perhaps only with weeding and occasional watering to keep you busy. But this is the gardener’s sweet spot—the time of year when you can sit outside and reap the rewards of seeds sown earlier.   This month is the time to savor your garden and the fauna who admire and appreciate it, especially pollinators. A great [...]

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

Tips for Growing Healthier Tomatoes

Three Tips for Healthy Tomatoes The late-spring months of May and June provide ideal temperatures and conditions for planting tomatoes in Central Iowa. Whether you've grown food in your garden for decades, or if this season is your first attempt at growing your own crops, tomatoes are a great place to start. These easy-to-grow plants will reward you [...]

By |May 20th, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Botanical Tableau: A New Perspective

Viewing the Garden in a New Way During our extended closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Botanical Garden team has used social media to share what’s growing and flowering in the Garden from week to week as spring progresses. Director of Horticulture and Education Kelly Norris created this botanical tableau on April 16 before the [...]

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

Roses: Garden Design and Pruning

The Wells Fargo Rose Garden If you've visited the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden between spring and fall, you were first greeted by the dynamic, colorful Wells Fargo Rose Garden. We carefully design and organically maintain this garden to challenge the definition of traditional rose gardens—you'll find more than roses here! As the first impression that guests see [...]

By |April 16th, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

5 Tips for Healthier Houseplants

Tips for Healthy, Happy Houseplants Houseplants are known to offer a host of benefits to their owners. Aside from adding bright, colorful décor, they also purify the air in your home and can boost your mood. Although the conditions in your home may seem stagnant throughout the year, houseplants need specific care throughout the seasons to keep them [...]

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

Safe Spring Cleanup

Spring Cleaning with Pollinators in Mind With warm weather and sunshine this early in spring, many gardeners are beginning their cleanup. While it can be exciting to finally be back in your garden after a long winter, the timing of these tasks is important for our native insects. Native solitary bees, such as the Small Carpenter Bee, are [...]

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

4 “Emblems” of Spring

Spring Emblems When I submitted the manuscript for my last book, Plants With Style, my editor wondered what exactly I meant by emblems, the title of the third chapter. Maybe it was March excursions into the woods north of my family’s home or the June hikes into the prairie down the road from grandma’s farm. Along those routes [...]

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

Trellis Café and Racoon Forks Farms

More than Fresh Produce Trellis Café's Lisa LaValle insists on local, organic ingredients whenever possible. That’s why she purchases farm-fresh brown eggs from Raccoon Forks Farms near Redfield, Iowa. Raccoon Forks Farms started raising pastured, cage-free chickens and growing chemical-free produce for community-supported agriculture (CSA) in 2009. In the decade since, environmentally friendly practices have remained at the [...]

By |March 2nd, 2020|Categories: Bloom Extra|

Botanical Garden Profile: Garden Hosts

Connecting Guests to the Garden Stationed inside the conservatory or outdoors during events, our volunteer Garden Hosts welcome guests and enhance their Botanical Garden visits every day. They may help with wayfinding, provide a clue to an elusive scavenger hunt quest, point out a plant of interest, mention an upcoming concert to a music lover or share educational [...]

By |February 14th, 2020|Categories: Botanical Garden Profile, Horticulture|

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