Ground plum and the constant desire for more plants!

Mon. Jul. 27, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Ground plum and the constant desire for more plants!

I can’t help it, I’m always looking for new plants. If something pops up that catches my eye, I have to ponder where I would put it. Last week, Prairie Moon Nursery sent out a note on this darling little native called Ground Plum. Latin name not quite as pretty, Astragalus crassicarpus is fabulous for bee lawns.

Ground plum blooms

 I looked in my yard and found the perfect spots! I ordered plants and got them within two days! So, shout out to Prairie Moon Nursery.

The little darlings arrived!

About the ground plum, first, it’s not a plum. It’s a low-growing, spreading legume that prefers full sun and well-drained soils. It works as a ground cover, and in rock gardens due to its short height and preference for dry soils.

ground plum new plantings July 2020

 I’ve planted mine in a raised area where I have carpet roses. They’re among the mulch! It grows to about 12 inches but that is spread out, not up. It has small pinnate leaves and, in spring, clusters of pea-like blossoms with hues of lavender, purple and white.

The ground plums will bloom before the carpet roses.
ground plum flowers

The thick-walled seed pods rest on the ground and look like plums. The Dakota and Lakota Indians ate them but I wouldn’t really suggest it.

ground plum seed pods

 Someone asked me, aren’t you ever going to be done with your garden? The answer is clearly no! One, I just love plants, two, some die, three, sometimes I get tired of them and will trade or give away plants.

This is where I place my “extras”…

I rescued a red cedar tree. I found it buried along the fence near my garage. One of those trees kids get in a plastic bag. It was about 10 inches tall and really quite healthy, so I uncovered it and it grew two feet! It’s now almost 5 ft. tall and I can’t keep it as it will grow too big, so off to a friends house.

Eastern red cedar 2019
red cedar July 25, 2020

I love that gardens are ever changing and yet remaining the same