Summer Solstice Party!


We welcomed summer at Plant Life Designs with a summer solstice party!  Complete with a sun-inspired meal from the garden in our greenhouse, lovely party guests and sunflower party favors!

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“Inside the Window Box” Plantone Club

We had such a lovely time at our last Plantone Club event learning about new ways to plant up your window box for the upcoming growing season.  We featured a “detox box” which included a variety of sanseveria plants that are known for purifying the air in your home.  Everyone was able to pot up their own window box and take it home!  It was a great time!  They also received “How to Window Box”…a book full of inspiration for years to come!

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Potting Up Our Window Boxes

Smiles All Around!


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Creating an Urban Forest

Do you know trees actually do better with a friend?  Take a stroll through a nearby forest some afternoon and pay special attention to the placement of the trees, their proximity, and how well they are growing. The forest can be a great guide as we grow within our home landscape.   Trees planted closer together will benefit one another more as apposed to trees planted on either side of your property.

(Photo taken at Southwoods Park in West Des Moines)Bare trees and leaves on the ground

Trees have the ability to communicate with one another and can also share resources.  For example, a douglas fir tree and a birch tree can transfer carbon between them via mycelia (the vegetative part of the fungus in the soil).

To learn more, check out this Ted Talk!



“Spring Greens” Plantone Club Launch

What a beautiful evening it was for the first Plantone Club here at Plant Life Designs.  Our members enjoyed a delicious salad they prepared out of the cookbook we featured, ‘Salad for President’.  Karen Davis, our guest chef gave us some helpful kitchen tips, as well as a great way to use baby kale in a festive shamrock colored smoothie.  We also learned how to incorporate edible viola flowers into an infused water!  Everyone had a great time meeting new friends, tasting beautiful micro-greens from our local farmer at Dogpatch Urban Gardens and took home a beautiful cookbook, along with a pot of micro-greens for more salad inspiration throughout the growing season.

Become a member today for only $70/month!

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salad plate with greens and viola flowers A table set with a salad buffet A bowl of ice water infused with oranges and flowers Lunch buffet with a recipe book

New Plants for 2018!

White hydrangea
Wee White’ Hydrangea Abundant flowers, strong stems, white bloom, very compact. 2′ x 2′. Full Sun.
peach roses
Rosa At Last. Fragrant, orange blooms on glossy green foliage. Full Sun. 3’x3′.
White Dwarf Goatsbeard
‘Noble Spirits’ Dwarf Goatsbeard White airy blooms on fern like foliage. 12″x12″. Full Shade.



Lime green Hydrangea
‘Limetta’ Hydrangea. Lime green blooms. Full Sun. 3’x3′.














New Plants for 2018!


Saturday April 28th from  9am-Noon


2018 Perennial Plant of the Year

Bunch of Purple Millennium
‘Millennium’ Allium has been named perennial plant of the year for 2018. With it’s compact growth habit and long lasting purple blooms in mid summer, it is a must for every sun-loving garden and gardener! This variety will reach 12-18″ tall and 18-24″ wide, and brings in bees and butterflies to your garden. As if that wasn’t enough, it is also deer resistant! Order yours today and we will have it ready for pick up at our “Plant Pick Up Party” on April 28th from 9 am-Noon.





Millennium Allium

Two Year Anniversary



Young women with black dog in the snowThis week, I celebrate the two year anniversary of taking the leap and buying an acreage to expand Plant Life Designs, the business I started back in 2006 while I was living in a two bedroom townhouse in Ankeny, IA.  Plant Life Designs started as a design-only business and couldn’t quite gain enough traction before 2008 hit and the economy was going through a recession.  In 2008, I picked up another full time position designing and learning how to install projects with a company out of Ames, while still pursuing freelance work through Plant Life Designs.  After three years, they decided to close abruptly and pursue other opportunities.  In 2011 Plant Life Designs launched again full time as a design/install company.  After a couple years, I moved to Windsor Heights where I ran the business out of a 1936 story and a half brick home.  A few years later, I discovered a dream property that came up for sale.  3.5 acres outside of Van Meter, IA with a quaint log cabin home, greenhouse and other out buildings perfect for a growing landscape company.  Taking that leap was one of the scariest and best things I have ever done.  I have dedicated my entire adult life to the growing industry and knew I was put on this earth to be a part of a bigger picture and the plant community.  This time of year I not only reflect on the time that has gone by, but also about all the wonderful things yet to come.

As a business owner and steward of the land, I am so excited about the opportunities in the future with the Plant Life Designs property.  Ultimately I want to create a space that inspires people to want to garden more at home and enjoy their outdoor living space.  The goal is to not only educate, but also to inspire.  In the years ahead, Plant Life Designs will be continuing to add more and more to our property, with the intention of bringing people into our space, enjoying conversation, food, and friendship.  Because that my friends, is what makes this world so wonderful to be a part of.


-Tara Dudley, Plant Life Designs

“live among your plants”