A wide variety of hardy perennial plants do well in North Dakota. Some popular local perennials include: asters, chrysanthemums, coneflowers, daylilies, hostas, peonies and sedum. Visit www.perennialresource.com(link is external) for more information about perennials that may be suitable for your garden.  Photos by NDAREC/Clarice L. Kesler

Perennials: a Garden Gift That Keeps on Giving

If you’re thinking about planting a garden this spring, look to perennials to provide seasons of beauty, low maintenance and a good return on your investment.

What is a perennial? A perennial is a plant that regrows and lives more than two years. Unlike annuals that provide a season’s worth of blooming before they die, perennials bloom for a few weeks. After the blooms fade, the plants’ foliage remains intact until dying back after a freeze, but their robust root system stays warm underground and allows the plant to return to the garden for several more years.




Of the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world – those that produce all our food and plant-based industrial products – almost 80 percent require pollination by animals.

Pollination also helps provide more flowering plants, which help clean the air and purify water by preventing erosion through their root systems that hold soil in place. The water cycle also depends on plants to return moisture to the atmosphere.

In many ways, growing a garden that attracts pollinators benefits all of us.



Today, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the only national cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction in the United States, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives consistently rank among the highest for customer satisfaction in the energy utility sector.

This can be credited to the directors who listen to the needs of the membership and govern the cooperative based on those needs. Directors lead the cooperative while keeping local, reliable, affordable electric service at the forefront of their decision-making.

Tom Moravec, a lineworker for Northern Plains Electric Cooperative, volunteers as a firefighter for Carrington Fire and Rescue.


Callers told her flames from a fire that started in the family’s pole barn were shooting over their “shome” (a home and shop combined into one living quarters). Since the shome and pole barn were only 20 feet apart, Klocke feared she and her husband, David, would lose everything they’d worked for, including the family business, which took more than four decades to build.

From left: Together, Maxine Rognlien, director; Kristi Hoff, employee (both with Verendrye Electric Cooperative); and Leann Mellum, Norsk Høstfest marketing director, are a fine example of how cooperatives are committed to their communities. Norsk Høstfest is a Scandinavian festival now in its 42nd year, and Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives is a major event sponsor. It draws people from all over the world and is a boost for the local economy. Through the guidance of member-directors, employees work with comm


In that same spirit of unity, co-ops also cooperate with other co-ops.

A golden example is a national network called Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives. It is the co-brand you’ll often see attached to your local co-op’s logo. But what does it mean exactly?

Co-ops across the country formed this national brand in 1998. Through research with members, the name, brand and tagline were formed.

Electric cooperatives chose “Touchstone” as the name, because it means the highest or “gold” standard.