Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weigum’s Great Plains Landscape Arboretum

In late May, I was invited to do a garden presentation for the Weigum’s Great Plains Landscape Arboretum.  In 1989 Jeanne Weigum started the Arboretum in Mobridge South Dakota. The gardening zone for this garden is zone 4, an area that gets very cold in the winter and very hot, dry and windy in the summer. Visiting this garden will help people realize that having a “green thumb” starts with choosing the right plants for the right location.  Jeanne pointed out that so many times novice gardeners shop for plants from big box stores, bringing home plants that may or may not  grow and flourish in our area.  A walk through this lovely garden shows us that we have many beautiful choices that will thrive in cold regions.
The Arboretum is set up with a pond and collections of lilac, roses, flowering shrubs, daylilies, asiatic lilies, spireas, viburnums, hostas, mugus, penstemons, grasses  and the most amazing collection of peonies and more.
The morning we were there the lilacs were in full bloom and full fragrance!  A Wedgewood Blue Lilac, next to the pink Marie Francis and the smaller size Wonderblue Lilac. 
Purples, blues and pinks!
An Artic willow, Salix integra Hakuru is one of those specimen trees that would shine in most gardens.
Canada Red Cherry is striking!
The peonies collections are brilliant. There are 4 collections: Herbaceous peonies, herbaceous from the 1800s selected for stiff stems (Old-time peonies often flop over in the rain and wind), Tree peonies, and Itoh peonies which are a hybrid cross between tree and herbaceous peonies.
How gorgeous is this!!

In late May, the peony display was just starting! The Weigum’s Great Plains Landscape Arboretum is a jewel of a garden. A test garden with a purpose. 


  1. Beautiful Gloria, and how true that is that sometimes we pick plants that are very marginal in our areas. I can only think of the original Knockout Rose that was marginal in zone 5 but they are still selling them like crazy.


  2. Hi, Gloria! Oh how I miss the lilacs and peonies!!! Two of my all time favorites that don't grow in the tropics. Thank you so much for sharing so I can at least enjoy them here!!!

  3. Hi Eileen - so true!

  4. Hi Kimberly - Lilacs and peonies are also my favorites. This year they have been beautiful. Last year we had 5 hail storms that really slaughted some plants

  5. I am so jealous. Such beautiful lilacs must remain only in my dreams. How true that plants adapted to our area will be best, and natives will be much easier to care for.

  6. Hi Deb, The lilac with its scent is one of the plants that after a cold winter is a reward.

  7. Gloria, The right plant in the right place may be one of those truisms that all gardeners have to learn from experience. I can't even begin to list all the plants I killed in my early gardening efforts, before I learned which plants were the right plants for my conditions. So nice to re-visit the lilacs and peonies, all gone now until next year. -Jean

  8. Hi Jean, your comment reminded me of all the plants I helped come to an early death. I call it trowel and error, but I like your right plant for the right condition!