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2 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Gardening 29 TREASURE VALLEY

30 19

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Fun and helpful local resources 3 Tomatoes, irises, extension offices and more

Deter cats and get a handle on pests 14 Baffle the kitties; look out for bad bugs

Mix edibles with your landscaping Tips from Toby Mancini, horticulture manager at the Idaho Botanical Garden

Pullout and save gardening calendar 15 Events, plant sales and other news

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Tips for starting plants from seed 8 fromAdvancedMasterGardenerElaineWalker How to propagate shrubs and vines 10 from columnist Margaret Lauterbach

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Waterwise plants for your garden 12 Ideas from Idaho Botanical Garden botanist Ann DeBolt

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Monthly to-do list When to plant, what to watch out for

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Picture-perfect gardens Nine local gardeners share their stories

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Inspiring photos from Seattle The Northwest Flower & Garden Show

29

Best things for gardeners Tools, books and other cool stuff

30

WANT A CALENDAR?

Thismagazinefeaturesstoriesabout ninegardenerswhowerefeaturedinour TreasureValleyGardenscalendar (seestory,page19)—andit’snottoo latetogetaTreasureValleyGardenscalendarfilledwithgardeningtipsandinformation.Buyoneforhalfprice($2.50 eachortwoormorefor$2each) at1200N.CurtisRoadinBoise.Find moreinformationatwww.idahostatesman.com/promotions. Informationabouthowtoenteryourgardeninour2014calendar contestwillbeincludedinStatesmanLifesectionslaterthisspring.

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SIGNUPFOROURONLINEGARDENINGNEWSLETTER " IdahoStatesman.com/Gardening You’ll get expert advice from local gardeners Margaret Lauterbach, 634731-01

Elaine Walker and Amy McIntyre each Thursday in your inbox. There is also information about local gardening events and more.

On the cover: De and Mike Zborowski’s Boise Bench backyard is full of color and whimsy. Story, page 22

Photo by CHARLIE LITCHFIELD Special to the Idaho Statesman


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 3

Satisfy your yen for plants

Here are some fun local resources for everyone who likes gardens BY CHEREEN LANGRILL

SPECIAL TO THE IDAHO STATESMAN

TOMATO INDEPENDENCE PROJECT

What if 20 percent of the food consumed in the Treasure Valley came from a local source? The Treasure Valley Food Coalition, a nonprofit organization that works on raising awareness about our local food system and collaborating with other groups to increase the amount of food grown and consumed locally, hopes to reach that goal by

2020. To nudge that along, it launched the Tomato Independence Project this year. According to the coalition, research shows that the average American eats more than 90 pounds of tomatoes each year. Getting folks to enjoy tomatoes grown locally made sense, and encouraging them to grow their own was even more exciting. The project kicked off in January and February with a series of free seed starting classes at local nurseries. Representatives from the coalition talked tomato growing basics before giving participants the seeds for four varieties of tomato plants — Mortgage Lifter, Early Girl, Sun Gold and Tumbling Tom Red. Around 300 people attended the classes at Edwards Greenhouse, FarCONTINUED ON PAGE 4

Photo by JENNIFER MILLER / Provided by the Treasure Valley Food Coalition

ABOVE: Janie Burns, a local farmer and chairwoman of the

Treasure Valley Food Coalition, introduces the Tomato Independence Project to a crowd at Edwards Greenhouse in January. AT RIGHT: You can buy TIP seed packets at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center, Edwards Greenhouse, North End Organic Nursery and Franz Witte.

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4 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

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West, Franz Witte and the North End Organic Nursery, according to Jennifer Miller, a board member with the coalition. Miller, who describes the community’s response to the project as “amazing,” says there is already talk of doing the project again in 2014. This year’s focus is fresh tomatoes. Next year people will learn how to make their tomatoes last far beyond the season through different methods of preservation. “We wanted people to discover how great a tomato can taste when it is right off the vine,” Miller says. Fresh tomatoes can be enjoyed in this area during July, August, September and sometimes into October (depending on weather). The coalition will post ongoing activities such as tomato tastings on its website (treasurevalleyfoodcoalition.org) and Facebook page. And a talk from author Barry Estabrook is scheduled for Oct. 2. Estabrook is the author of “Tomatoland: How Modern Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.” The location has not been determined yet but will be announced in the coming months (along with other details) on the coalition’s website. Those who missed out on the seed starting classes can still get involved in the Tomato Independence Project. Here’s how: Æ Purchase seed starts or plants from local growers at area nurseries or farmers markets. (Plant starts of the featured varieties will be available at Edwards Greenhouse, North End Organic Nursery and Franz Witte.) Æ Encourage area businesses to sell locally grown tomatoes; ask for them at restaurants and at grocery stores. Æ If you already grow tomatoes, share some with neighbors who haven’t had the chance to taste a locally grown tomato. Æ Purchase a Tomato Independence Project T-shirt at the North End Organic Nursery or Edwards Greenhouse. In addition to the Tomato Independence Project, the Treasure Valley Food Coalition offers many opportunities for people to learn more about eating locally grown food, including Taste 208, a Thursday night series that puts the spotlight on various food/beer/wine pairings, and the Grow Your Own Food series that features discussions on how to plant in various climates and conditions. For information, visit http:// treasurevalleyfoodcoalition.org/?cat=11

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1325 N. Hesse Lane, Eagle (between Eagle and Ballantyne roads off Floating Feather) www.joannsirisgarden.org JoAnn Burrell is an iris fan, and that statement stands on its own once you see her labor of love in Eagle. There are nearly 400 irises to admire when her garden is in full swing, including tall bearded irises and rebloomers. Look for new varieties this year in addition to those favorites. Irises can be purchased for $4.50 each,

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JoAnn’s Iris Garden in Eagle is a floral delight.

and she also sells gift certificates. It’s easy to get excited as the days get warmer in the early spring. And Burrell understands that excitement and anticipation. But she has stopped posting an opening date on her website because it depends on weather, and it can vary wildly. In the past, she has counted on opening for Memorial Day weekend, but she doesn’t make promises anymore. “I never know for sure because of the weather,” Burrell said, “so I always tell people when they see irises blooming in their neighborhood, we will be opening.”

U-PICK FARM (HILL ROAD GARDENS)

5600 Hill Road, Boise www.hillroadgardens.com/Hill_Road_Gardens/ Home.html There is an acre of produce growing off Hill Road, and the community is invited to pick vegetables during U-Pick days starting in early June and continuing through the end of the growing season. Bring your own bag and pay $5 to fill it up with produce from the farm; children can fill a bag for $2.50. U-Pick days begin June 1 and are offered weekly on Saturdays from 1:30 to 6 p.m. until the end of the month (note that the dates are subject to change). U-Pick days and hours change in July, August and September. Visitors are invited to have a picnic on the farm during U-Pick days. Visit the official website for more information and an updated schedule. Want the experience of planting vegetables but lack the space to do it at home? Visit the farm for a U-Plant workshop, where participants learn how to plant seeds and then get a voucher to return for a UPick day. Workshops are held at 5 p.m. on Sundays throughout the spring and summer; the first workshop is April 7. Sign up on the Hill Road Gardens website.


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 5

ADA AND CANYON EXTENSION OFFICES ARE VALUABLE RESOURCES If you need answers to gardening and food preparation questions or pest and pesticide questions or want to take a master gardener class or other food- and family-related classes, you should check out a local University of Idaho Extension Office for help. Visit an extension office: Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Æ Ada County: 5880 Glenwood St., Boise, 287-5900, email: ada@uidaho.edu Æ Canyon County: 501 Main St., Caldwell, 459-6003, email: canyon@uidaho.edu Visit them online at www.uidaho.edu/ extension/ada and www.uidaho.edu.extension/canyon or try web.cals.uidaho.edu/idaho gardens and www.extension.uidaho.edu/ youthfamilyhealth.asp. The county extension offices provide a wealth of information through their websites. There is a lot of Idaho-specific information for landscaping and gardening as well as links to information from across the nation. For example, link to a site where you can download the USDA complete guide to home canning for free.

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Take a class: There are courses in master gardening, food safety, canning and other food preparation and more. For instance, the Master Food Safety Advisor program starts April 23. Learn about food preservation so that you can then teach and help others. The class is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays for seven weeks from April 23 through June 4. Call Sue Schultze at 287-5900 for an application or information. Keep an eye on the websites for more information and class options.

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No time (or space) to enjoy a garden at home? No worries. There are many community gardens around the Valley that allow folks to participate in the gardening experience. Here are just a few to consider:

MERIDIAN COOPERATIVE GARDEN

Julius Kleiner Memorial Park, 1900 Records Ave., Meridian; meridiancoopgardeners@gmail.com Free gardening space is available for anyone to use in this community garden. Use the space the way you would at your own home: Plan to do your own planting and maintenance. The main restriction is that you can’t sell anything you grow here. Any excess crops are donated to the Meridian Food Bank.

BORAH COMMUNITY GARDEN

Borah Park, 6643 W. Cassia St., Boise borahgarden@gmail.com This popular garden space, located in Borah Park, is utilized by a broad variety of people in the community. Although some live in the Borah neighborhood, others travel across town to maintain their garden plot here. Space is occasionally available (for an annual fee). Email borahgarden@gmail.com to inquire about space availability for 2013.

DOWNTOWN TEACHING FARM

On the corner of 12th and Fort streets, Boise downtownteachingfarm@gmail.com Students and teachers from Boise High School manage this urban farm, and community members are encouraged to pitch in to help maintain the space and learn more about gardening. To see a list of current

needs and activities, visit http://downtownteachingfarm.blogspot.com. Æ Visit Let’s Move Boise online for a list of other community gardens: www.letsmoveboise.com/?page_id=125. Æ Many community gardens provide food to area pantries. Learn where to donate fresh produce through Let’s Move Boise’s pantry distribution list: www.letsmove boise.com/wp-content/uploads/ 2012/09/20120905133212598.pdf.

GROW A ROW

www.letsmoveboise.com Let’s Move Boise and the Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS) developed Grow a Row, now in its second year, to encourage families to develop healthier eating habits and to help fight community hunger by donating some of the produce they grow to local food banks. Get started by picking up a packet at one of the following locations: Æ Boise Urban Garden School, 731 N. 15th St. Æ Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road Æ Healthwise, 2601 Bogus Basin Road Æ Boise Parks & Recreation Administration Office, 1104 Royal Blvd. Grow a Row participants get six packets of seeds, planting and gardening tips, a seed planting guide and a distribution list for local food pantries and community centers. Partners for the Grow a Row project include the Boise Urban Garden School, Idaho Botanical Garden, Healthwise, The Idaho Foodbank, Boise Parks & Recreation and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.

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6 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Landscapes you can sink your teeth into

As you clean up outside, don’t forget the inside!

Lush gardens can include herbs, vegetables, fruits

E

dible gardens are a fascinating and fun way to landscape your home. They perform double duty, not only providing a bountiful harvest, but also creating a distinctive and beautiful aesthetic. These gardens can be narrow in focus or broad and diverse with lots of color, texture, shape and size. Although edible landscaping has recently increased in popularity, these gardens have been around for some time. Historically, they have been referred to as Victory Gardens or French potager. Today, there are countless sensational plant varieties that make it even easier to blur the lines between traditional landscapes and productive gardens. Here are some ideas to enhance or completely renovate your current landscape. FOUNDATIONS FOR SUCCESS

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ders and mixed containers. Fragrant basil loves our heat and is available in a huge vari1.Tostart,shifttheparadigm ety of flavors, colors, textures byrejectingthatvegetablesand and sizes. Lemon verbena, otherediblesneedtobeinrows. versatile in cooking and salads, Edible flowers, herbs and vegis a must-grow. It can be grown gies can mingle with shrubs in a pot and overwintered inand trees in the landscape. Let Creative landscaping side. And then there is the exthem blend together in free flowing, yet thoughtful pairings ceptional variety of colorful TOBY MANCINI Horticulture manager at to create an interesting design. and tasty tomatoes, peppers, the Idaho Botanical Garden Flowers encourage pollinators lettuces, cabbages and squash (imperative for fruit producthat make up our seasonal gartion) and add color and texture. Visualize dens. To add whimsey, incorporate purple flowing forms, textures and colors that begin broccoli or chartreuse cauliflower. low at the bed’s edge and rise up and away. Perennials:Many herbs come from this cat2.Developaplan.Determine your objecegory and can provide foundation and structives for both production and aesthetics. It ture in our otherwise seasonal gardens. Lavender and sage (Salvia officinalis) come also helps to think of different areas around in silver gray, golden variegated, tricolor and your home landscape as “rooms,” both in purple. Lemon balm, oregano, chives, strawterms of entertaining or playing, as well as berries and mints are also strong performers. the “crops” you want. As you plan, don’t forShrubs:These provide structure and help get to allow space for plants as they grow. define one space from another by screening 3.Lookdown.Every gardener, researcher, or creating barriers. For something unique, educator and horticulture professional will incorporate currants or gooseberries. Curagree that a great garden starts with healthy, rants not only provide fruit, but are attractive living soil. This is especially true for edibles and drought-tolerant. Raspberries, blackberthat provide us with nutrients. Poor soil? No ries and grapes are also great performers for problem — go up! Use containers and raised multiseason interest. Acid-loving blueberries beds to provide good soil for your edibles to typically struggle in the Treasure Valley’s althrive. Also be sure you have access to clean kaline soils; try growing them in containers water and that the sun exposure matches where the soil chemistry can be controlled. your plants’ needs. Fruittrees:Apples, plums and other fruits offer shade, structure and an abundance of WHAT TO PLANT flowers and fruit. If space is limited, grow Below are some of my favorite plants for three-way espaliered apples, which are graftan attractive and productive edible landed with complementary pollinating varieties scape. of three types of apples. For improved proAnnuals: Two types of amaranth, Red Leaf duction and fruit quality, prune peaches and Giant and Love Lies Bleeding, are stunning cherries with open centers. Notable performplants remarkable in their size, foliage and ers are Mount Rainier, a beautiful self-fertile flower. They provide a large focal point, cascading flowers and edible leaves and seed. “white” cherry, and Asian pears, which are Parsley gives a ferny, soft texture to beds, bor- prolific in our climate.


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 7

TOBY MANCINI / Special to the Statesman

To contain prolific spreaders like chives, Mancini grows them in planters. Also pictured here is one of his five blueberry bushes growing in a half wine barrel.

RESOURCES TO GET STARTED As always, the Idaho Botanical Garden is here to answer questions and provide you with ideas and inspiration. Visit us at 2355 Old Penitentiary Road in East Boise (idahobotanicalgarden.org) to see how we incorporate edibles into our gardens. Here are some additional resources to begin your own landscaping journey:

Design ideas Æ www.pinterest.com: search gardening, gardens, edible landscaping Æ RosalindCreasy,www.rosalindcreasy.com Æ Organic Gardening, www.organic gardening.com Expertise of local greenhouses There are many in our area, including Edwards Greenhouse (www.edwardsgreen house.com), Franz Witte Nursery (www.franzwitte.com), FarWest Landscape and Garden Center (www.farwestgarden center.net) and North End Organic Nursery (www.northendnursery.com).

TOBY MANCINI / Special to the Statesman

In the spring, colorful flowers dominate this bed in Mancini’s garden, but it also includes herbs and vegetable transplants. Look below for a later view.

Soil and pest issues, tips on plants for our area Æ Ada County Cooperative Extension Service, www.uidaho.edu/extension/ada Æ Canyon County Cooperative Extension Service, www.uidaho.edu/extension/canyon (See page 5 to learn more about Extension Offices) Other resources: Æ The American Gardener January/ February 2013, “A New Era for Currants” Æ “Edible Landscaping”by Rosalind Creasy, Sierra Club Books, 2010 Æ Organic Gardening magazine Æ Mother Earth Living magazine Æ Zone 4 Magazine

By late summer, you can see tomatoes, squash and other vegetables maturing in the same raised bed. TOBY MANCINI / Special to the Statesman

Amaranth offers lovely blooms as well as a tiny but tasty high-protein grain. MCT file


8 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Some tips to get plants started from seed

T

tive to warmer parts of the he tomatoes I grew last Gardening world with much longer summer were eaten long ELAINE WALKER growing seasons. The Treasago. So I turned to the AdvancedMasterGardener ure Valley has the warmth in grocery store for more. the summer to grow these The tomato pictured on plants, but not in the spring. Even the plants this page is one that I bought. That “blemish” wasn’t there when I chose it at the store. we grow for flowers may need a head start It appeared days later, and I watched it grow by germinating indoors. Starting seeds indoors also gives as it sat on the countertop. Do you know what’s causing the blemish? seedlings protection from things like hunSince the tomato sat in the warm kitchen gry slugs, snails, bunnies, etc. Indoor germinear a south-facing window, filled with its nation also keeps seedlings safe from spring own juice, the seeds had the perfect medifloods, late frosts, hail and more. um to sprout. And one of them did just that! It’s been fun watching it grow under its par- GETTING STARTED ent’s skin. In the photo on the left, you can To start plants indoors, you’ll need a see the root at the top and the two green planting medium (sterile potting soil, but leaves. You can see the emerging plant in never garden soil), enough light, warmth the photo on the right. and moisture. You’ll also need pots. The seeds we buy don’t have that advanA lot of things can be used for pots, but tage. They’ve been extracted from their per- some things shouldn’t be used. Good pots fect growing medium, dried and kept in cool are any plastic containers that are deeper conditions until we humans decide when to than they are wide, like yogurt cups or some let them grow. sour cream tubs. A wider container is hardWhy do we start seeds indoors, anyway? er to keep warm in the center where the The No. 1 reason is length of growing seaseed is. A shallow container doesn’t allow son. Most of the vegetables we grow are na- roots to grow deep.

Provided by Elaine Walker

Sometimes, you don’t even have to plant a seed to get it to sprout. That’s what happened to a seed in this grocery-store tomato. Some people like to use old egg cartons, containers labeled as “peat” pots or newspaper formed into cups. With these types of containers, the roots tend to grow into the sides. To keep from tearing off tender root tips when removing the plants from those containers, instead plant the container, seedling and all. Just be sure to tear off any part of the rim of the pot that sticks out of the ground, or it will act as a wick and cause

the soil around the transplant to dry out.

READ THE SEED PACKET

Most seed packets will have information on the back regarding seed planting depth, days to germination, spacing the plants in the garden, sun and moisture requirements and the eventual size of the plant. Vegetable seed packets may indicate when you can expect a harvest.

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Trays of seedlings get plenty of light in a greenhouse, which also offers protection from frosty spring weather. If you are growing seedlings indoors, you may need supplemental lighting. Grow-lights are sold locally and online, and the Internet also offers a variety of DIY solutions. Look at the size of the seeds in the packet and note how deep they should be planted. You’ll find that most seeds should be planted three to four times the width of the seed. Large seeds such as melons or gourds should be planted 1-inch to 1 1/4-inch deep and small seeds like lettuce or carrots should be about 1/4-inch deep. Knowing the number of days to germination is helpful because if a seed doesn’t germinate — sprout — by the last day of the range, it’s unlikely to do so at all. Often that’s because the planting medium was kept either too wet or too cool; most vegetable seeds won’t germinate unless the soil is at least 65 degrees. You can try replanting or use that space for a different variety of seeds. Room temperature is good enough for most seeds to germinate, but using a heating pad and light bulbs that generate heat will give extra warmth. Be extra careful to keep hot light bulbs far enough above the seedlings that the leaves don’t get burned.

PLANT AND ROW SPACING OUTSIDE IN YOUR GARDEN

I have a packet of carrot seeds in front of me. It says to plant the seeds 2 inches apart in the row and the rows should be 12 inches apart. Why can’t the seeds be planted 2 inches apart in all directions? They can. The packets say to plant the rows 12 inches apart for harvesting purposes. If you’re going to plant carrots in long rows, you’ll need to leave space to get in there and harvest them. If you plant in a 4-foot-wide raised bed as I do, you can plant rows of carrot seeds 2 inches apart. That’s the basic principle of “square-foot” gardening.

LIGHT IS CRUCIAL

For best results with your seedlings indoors, you’ll need a light source that can be lowered to sit right above the pots and raised as the seedlings grow. Putting them in a window is OK but won’t give you optimal results. Using a light source that is too weak

or too far from the seedlings will cause them to grow too tall too fast. These seedlings will soon fall over because their stems are too stretched out and weak. The seedlings will never reach their optimum growing and producing capacity. Most of the vegetables we grow need to be in full sun outdoors. Will a 12-inch-tall plant get enough sun if it’s planted on the north side of corn or other tall plants? The height of the mature plant is important for garden planning purposes. Place taller plants to the north of short ones.

‘HARDENING OFF,’ TRANSPLANTING

In years when we have cool temperatures into early June, you may need to transplant seedlings into larger pots to keep them growing and healthy until they can be hardened off and planted outdoors. The process of hardening off gets the plants used to the outdoors after having been coddled in perfect indoor conditions from Day One. Start the process on a warm, not too windy day. Put the seedlings in a shady, protected area outdoors for about two hours. Then bring them back inside under lights. Each day, increase the time outdoors in the shade. After a few days, put the seedlings in full sun for two hours. Then put them back in the shade so the tender leaves don’t get burned. Each day, increase the hours in full sun. Soon you’ll leave them out overnight, but bring them in if the weather turns frosty. When the weather finally warms up for good, the plants can go in the garden. That’s usually around Memorial Day, but watch the weather. If frost is forecast after you have set transplants out, you may need to cover them with Hot-Kaps, row cover or plastic milk jugs with their bottoms removed.

Questions? Email Elaine at highprairielandscape design@yahoo.com. And read her column online every other Thursday at the Statesman’s website, www.IdahoStatesman.com/gardening.

TM

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10 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Propagating shrubs is fun and economical

M

GENIE ARCANO / garcano@idahostatesman.com

After dipping the cut end in rooting hormone, place the stem cutting in vermiculite or another sterile planting medium.

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planting mix, out of direct ost of us think of sunlight for a day or two. planting seeds to Then you may tent the pot grow plants, but containing the new cutting there are other ways, and with clear plastic wrap that spring is the best time to doesn’t touch the cutting. start. I’ve had best luck with One of the most satisfycuttings no more than two ing methods of getting new Gardening or three inches long, with plants is from cuttings. at least a couple of small Spring is the best time to MARGARET leaves at the upper end. It’s root herbaceous cuttings — LAUTERBACH tempting to take a longer lengths of pliable new stem cutting, but remember there are no roots yet growth. You can easily grow a new tree, to feed the plant, so long cuttings easily fail. vine or shrub from such a start, and it will I use a powdered rooting hormone called be identical to the “parent.” Rootone and flick off excess before putting a Say, for instance, you have one shrub and cutting into a hole created by a large chopyou want two of that exact kind. After spring growth starts, you’ll notice that at the stick or pencil. There’s no expiration date on Rootone end of a woody branch, part of the branch is green and flexible. Cut, pinch or break off and perhaps other brands of rooting horthat green part, use a single-edge razor mones, but I’ve been told the hormone is blade to trim it so the cut isn’t ragged, dip it only viable for about six months. in rooting hormone, then place it in damp Some folks don’t use a rooting hormone,

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months, but the site where you cut into the branch should grow roots. After rooting begins, you can cut the branch loose from the mother shrub, and plant the new little shrub or vine in a new location.

LEAF CUTTINGS

Some plants, such as begonias, peperomia and African violets, may be propagated using just a leaf and part of the stem thrust into a sifted grit and peat mix at a shallow angle. Grit alone also works. A computer friend in the East babied seeds and cuttings

Margaret Lauterbach’s gardening column appears every Friday in the Statesman’s Life section. To contact Margaret, email her at melauter@earthlink.net or write to Gardening, The Idaho Statesman, P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.

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Another propagation method for shrubs is layering. Take a pliable branch that’s near ground level and slice into it (but not completely through) on an angle on the bottom of the branch. Then peg the branch tightly to the ground so the cut part makes contact with soil. Better yet, put the branch into a small trench and cover it with soil. It may take a few weeks or even a couple of

of plants she wanted to reproduce, failing to get growth. Then at the edge of her gravel driveway, she spotted volunteer seedlings of the plant she’d been trying to grow from seed in rich potting soil. I think grit is sold by farm supply stores as “chicken grit” or “turkey grit.”

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but instead use water that willow or forsythia cuttings have recently soaked in, since they contain a natural hormone for propagation. I’ve had the best luck using Rootone, however. I don’t use the plastic wrap tent, but many people do. Watch closely for mold to develop and give the planting air and sun if that happens. I give a new cutting dappled light or indirect sunlight for a few weeks until a gentle upward tug on the cutting indicates it has started to form roots. Don’t let the planting mix dry out completely, but don’t drown it either. It needs a little moisture to remain viable, but you shouldn’t create an environment for mold. If someone has a shrub or vine you’d like a cutting MARGARET from, good manners (and leLAUTERBACH’S gality) require you ask for UPCOMING BOOK and receive permission to obtain a cutting. Some Margaret, who has been plants are patented, so takthe Statesman’s gardening ing a cutting for anyone but columnist since 1993, is the owner would be illegal, working on a book that will or the plant owner may have help Treasure Valley already promised too many gardeners with everything cuttings to others. from composting to choosing plants right for our area to dealing with WOODY CUTTINGS those harmful bugs and Propagation is also possiother garden pests. Much ble with woody cuttings, but of the book is composed of that’s usually best done durMargaret’s best columns ing the dormant season, from over the years, but when cuttings may be plantthere will also be new ined in a box of sand to root, formation as well as lists of or in the site you want that vegetables and other woody plant to grow. plants that grow well in our Folks usually use a horiValley. Be on the lookout zontal cut for the bottom of for more information the cutting and a slanted cut about the book in Marfor the top end for both the garet’s weekly column. hardwood and softwood cuttings. It’s very easy to confuse “up” and “down” on a cutting, and it’s a fatal (to the cutting) mistake. Some multiply grape vines using cuttings obtained in February when they prune. All cuttings should be at least the diameter of a pencil, and contain two or three nodes shorter than about seven inches that will develop leaves or branches. A former extension agent from the University of Idaho, Tony Horn, advocated rooting grape prunings by burying them vertically upside down for a few weeks before setting them upright in pots of planting mix. By putting them upside down to begin with, growth hormones would move to the upper end in a couple of months. Those cuttings would then have the active hormone at the true bottom to stimulate rooting. When we had our back fence replaced, we had to severely cut back a grapevine given to me by my late friend, Ross Hadfield. It had been lightly pruned in February and hadn’t yet leafed out, but I made cuttings and thrust them into my garden soil in full sun. All four cuttings rooted and grew.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 11

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12 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

WATERWISE PLANTS that will work in your garden

There are many wonderful droughttolerant plants available for our southern Idaho gardens. Some of the plants included here are native to Idaho, while others are not. All are commercially available, sun-loving and easily grown. For more suggestions on waterwise landscaping choices, visit the Idaho Botanical Garden at 2355 Old Penitentiary Road in Boise or the Idaho Native Plant Society online at www.idahonativeplants.org.

Sulfur buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) grows in every Western state. It is tremendously variable in terms of flower color, leaf shape and size.

Rocky Mountain penstemon (Penstemon strictus) is native to a variety of habitats in the middle and southern Rocky Mountains. Plants bloom in June and July on 2-foot-tall stalks and grow best in full sun with low to moderate amounts of water. There are many types of penstemon to choose from. Rocky Mountain penstemon (Penstemon strictus), pineleaf penstemon (P. pinifolius), Venus penstemon (P. venustus) and sulfur buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) add color to this sunny landscape in Boise’s North End.

Xeric gardens ANN DEBOLT

Botanist at the Idaho Botanical Garden

Believe it or not, this Texas native known as Texas red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) is easy to grow in Boise, as long as soils are reasonably well-drained. It thrives in sunny dry locations in our area.

Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) is a Southwest native shrub or small tree that flowers from July until first frost. In the Treasure Valley, there may be some winter die-back, which can be pruned away in June as the plants begin to grow.

This Southwest native, Colorado four o’clock (Mirabilis multiflora), grows best in full sun on well-drained soils. It flowers prolifically from July through September.

All photos by Ann DeBolt

Lewis’ mock-orange (Philadelphus lewisii), sometimes known as syringa, is Idaho’s state flower and a commonly available shrub for our region. Flowers perfume the air with their orange blossom-like scent in early to mid-June.

The Water Conservation Landscape along Old Penitentiary Road on the approach to the Idaho Botanical Garden is watered by drip emitters. This type of irrigation conserves water and minimizes weeds. United Water provided grant funds for this demonstration garden, which includes catmint (Nepeta faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’), lavender cotton (Santolina sp.), sunset hyssop (Agastache rupestris) and sumac (Rhus aromatica ‘Grow Low’).


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 13

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14 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Cats digging in your garden? BY GENIE ARCANO garcano@idahostatesman.com © 2013 Idaho Statesman

Nothing is more attractive to kitties than soft, fine soil, and it’s super annoying when they disrupt a carefully planted row of carrots or upend the pansies I have just stuck in the ground. This is not to mention the smelly mess that’s left behind. Over the years I have discovered a few of what I like to call “cat baffles.” Æ Lay row cover over newly planted seed beds (this also deters insects). Or use chicken wire or cheap lightweight plastic fencing (about 3-4 feet high or wide) sold at big box garden centers. Secure with rocks or garden staples. When the sprouts are big enough to defend themselves, remove the row cover or fencing. Usually by then, the soil around the plants is firm enough to be less of a temptation to cats. Æ Use inexpensive folding wire edging — the kind about a foot high — placing it over the row of seedlings or newly planted seeds in a tight zigzag pattern. This also offers

some support to the plants as they grow. Æ Put up a temporary chicken wire or plastic fence about 3 or 4 feet high around justseeded patches. I’ve found most cats won’t bother trying to jump even a flimsy barrier. Æ Use plastic milk jugs with the bottoms cut off to cover transplants. Remove when the plants are well established. You can also use plastic or wax paper cups. Mound enough soil around the base of the cover to prevent it from blowing away. These also protect the plants from hot sun and wind. Æ If these inexpensive solutions don’t work for you, many garden supply catalogs sell motion-activated “scarecrow” devices that hook up to a hose and spray a strong jet of water at invading critters. They’re a bit pricey, but you can move them around the yard and train cats (and dogs, deer and other animals) to stay away. Æ Finally, if your yard is big enough, look for an out-of-the-way place that doesn’t get regular water where you can loosen the soil and just leave it to the cats. And remember, firm wellmulched ground is not that attractive to them.

Valley has its share of plant pests © 2013 Idaho Statesman

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Here are a few of the critters that commonly plague our gardens. Borers kill black locust, ash, mountain ash, white-barked birch and stone fruit trees such as peach. Scale insects are also destructive. Both are mainly controlled with systemic poisons, obviously inappropriate for fruit trees. Scale insects can be smothered by oilbased sprays, but borers cannot. Box-elder bugs gather in hordes in the spring on south sides of buildings and fences. They suck nutrients from box elder and maple trees but do little damage to them. You can vacuum them and empty the bag into hot soapy water or spray them with insecticidal soap. Earwigs are startling and annoying, and although they’re partly beneficial, feeding on aphids and even flies, they’re also destructive, chewing on plants and jumping out of flowers into gardeners’ sinks. Trap them in corrugations of cardboard and shake them into a bucket of hot soapy water each morning. Aphidsare another spring pest, which may reproduce rapidly until stems of plants are thickly covered. The worst thing about aphids is that they can and do transmit diseases. Some folks plant chives among roses to repel aphids, others blast them off with a jet of water from the hose. Most aphids cannot fly and die before walking back onto a plant. Wasps devour them, and then the other beneficial insects such as lacewing and lady beetle larvae arrive to feast on aphids. Cabbage loopers, the green larvae of small white butterflies, dine on broccoli and other

JAPANESE BEETLES This is one pest Idaho has not had to worry about — up till now. Late last summer, a state Department of Agriculture survey detected a total of 56 Japanese beetles in Idaho, 51 of them in Ada County. The state immediately set traps to determine the extent of the infestation and plans further trapping and pesticide treatments as needed this season. At both the larval and adult stages, Popillia japonica is a highly destructive pest of lawns, foliage, flowers and fruits. It is a widespread problem east of the Mississippi. For more information, contact the ISDA Division of Plant Industries at 332-8627. cole crops. You can keep the butterflies from laying eggs by covering the plants with agricultural fleece; organically approved sprays containing Bacillus thuringiensis kill the larvae but not other insects. Slugs are a major pest especially of foliage plants such as hosta, acanthus and, yes, lettuce. Iron phosphate baits are effective and allegedly pet safe. Diatomaceous earth kills them but has to be reapplied after watering. Slugs feed at night, when they can be handpicked or sprayed with a mixture of half household ammonia and half water. Margaret Lauterbach and Genie Arcano


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

YO U R H A N DY P U L L O U T & S AV E

Gardening BOISE FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW

When: Friday through Sunday, March 22-24 Where: Boise Centre Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 22, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 24 Admission: Adults $8 for adults, $3 for ages 12 to 17 and free for children younger than 12 Information: www.gardenshowboise.com Breathtaking displays, seminars, food and music and plenty of information will be part of the 17th annual Boise Flower & Garden Show. A few highlights: Æ Check out the lobby garden designed by Sterling Landscape. Æ Don’t miss the orchid sale and display to learn more about care and maintenance. Æ Visit the Buy Idaho Pavilion to sample made-inIdaho products. Æ Bid on a container garden at the silent PotLuck Auction (benefiting the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Lunaria Grant Program).

NATIONAL PUBLIC GARDENS DAY When: 9 a.m. to dusk Friday, May 10

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 15

Indulge your passion with these events, plant sales and more Where: Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise Information: www.idahobotanicalgarden.org Celebrate National Public Gardens Day with free admission to the Botanical Garden.

2013 GARDEN TOUR

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 23 Cost: $20 for Idaho Botanical Garden members; $25 for non-members. Tickets and details will be available online at www.idahobotanicalgarden.org or from the Idaho Botanical Garden. This year’s tour will focus on gardens in the East End of Boise, including homes on Warm Springs Avenue and Ciscoe the Table Rock area. There will be six Morris private gardens and a tour of the firewise garden at the Botanical Garden. In addition, the tour features a special guest: Ciscoe Morris, a popular Seattle-area gardening expert, who hosts a weekly radio show and appears on cable’s Northwest News Channel. Morris will visit the tour stops throughout the day.

Provided by the Idaho Botanical Garden

The Boise gardens of Jack and Pamela Lemley will be part of the 2013 Garden Tour on June 23.

THE GARDEN TABLE Where: Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise (www.idahobotanicalgarden.org) When: Idaho Botanical Garden has combined two events (Uncorked and The Garden Plate) into one monthly series that begins June 25. The Garden Table combines wine tasting and cooking demonstrations, and the focus is on items that can be prepared with food directly from the garden. The event

is held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month in June, July, August and September. No signup is needed. Cost: Free for Idaho Botanical Garden members; non-members pay general admission prices (general admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and ages 5 through 12 and free for children ages 4 and younger). MORE EVENTS ON PAGE 18

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MARCH

or trunk. Leave an inch or two ring open around stem or trunk, lest you create ideal conditions for crown rot. ❏ Rake leaves from flower beds to keep them from matting and directing moisture away from plants. ❏ Cover strawberries with pine needle straw or other straw not contaminated by herbicides. ❏ Make holiday wreaths or holiday decorations of conifers or other evergreens.

JANUARY

❏ Read catalogs and dream. Order seeds early, taking care not to order if you still have viable seeds from last year. ❏ Check stored vegetables frequently, removing those that have rot or other spoilage indicators. ❏ If you haven’t already, cover compost pile with tarp to prevent rain and snow from leaching nutrients out of the pile. ❏ Plant onion and shallot seeds indoors.

CICERO

you have everything you need.”

RALPH RANSOM

You sow in tears before you reap joy.”

You plant before you harvest.

“Before the rewards there must be labor.

❏ Harvest parsnips, kale, beets, turnips, leeks and carrots after a moderate frost or light snow. Flavor will be sweeter then. ❏ Check trees and shrubs for weak or broken branches that may be felled by snow later. You can remove these now, sparing your tree or shrub damage that might admit disease. ❏ Once the ground freezes, mulch perennials, taking care not to pull mulch tightly around the main stem

“If you have a

NOVEMBER

FEBRUARY

❏ Inventory holdings in freezer so you can plan what to include and how much to plant in your veggie garden this year. ❏ Inspect garden tools. Remove any rust. Sharpen spades. ❏ Check the “bones” of your landscaping for visual appeal, and make plans to improve it with added shrubs or hardscaping. ❏ Plant seeds of broccoli, cabbage and other cole crops indoors; prune trees/shrubs, except for spring bloomers such as forsythia and lilacs.

❏ Spread last half of lawn’s annual fertilizer allotment in two sessions, a week or two apart. ❏ Use power mower to vacuum and shred leaves for use as winter mulch or as additions to compost. ❏ Plant spring flowering bulbs after soil temperature drops below 60 degrees. (Buy your bulbs earlier in the season if you want a better selection. Keep in a cool, dry place or refrigerate.) For winter cheer, buy bulbs for forcing indoors.

garden and a library,

OCTOBER

❏ Average killing frost is about Oct. 9. ❏ Plant wildflower seeds that need stratification (freezing and thawing). ❏ Later in the month, plant garlic and shallot cloves. ❏ Remove long canes of roses that could damage other canes by wind whipping. Give trees deep drinks of water. ❏ Start cleaning garden. Disconnect hoses. Have sprinkler system blown out in early October.

CASSANDRA “MRS.GREENTHUMBS” DANZ

AUGUST

ECCLESIASTES 3:1

season ...”

“To everything there is a

❏ Fertilize roses for last time this season. Most gardeners stop fertilizing roses by Aug. 15. ❏ Prune maple and birch trees, removing crossing and weak branches. ❏ Harvest peppers to stimulate further production. Harvest and dry or freeze herbs. ❏ Divide crowded and nonblooming bearded iris. If you’re going to divide Oriental poppies, do it during summer dormancy. ❏ Collect, dry and label seeds from nonhybrid plants. ❏ When corn silks turn brown and dry, start checking for ripeness (ear ends inside husks should be rounded instead of pointed).

MAY

❏ Deadhead (remove spent blossoms from) tulips, daffodils and crocuses. Don’t remove foliage until it’s yellow or brown. ❏ Continue pruning spring-flowering shrubs immediately after they have bloomed. ❏ Local lore says that when the snow is melted off Shafer Butte north of Boise, it’s safe to plant most annuals outside. May 9 is the average last date of frost in the Treasure Valley. ❏ If you haven’t fed your roses, do it now. ❏ In mid-May, direct seed corn; in late May, cucumbers, beans, squash, other warm-weather vegetables and melons. ❏ Feed your lawn with 1/4 of its annual fertilizer allotment, unless you’re using a mulching mower. ❏ Plant annuals to fill in perennial beds and conceal yellowing foliage of springflowering bulbs.

summer fall

DECEMBER

❏ Plant fast-growing lettuce and Asian vegetables early in the month for harvest before winter. ❏ Plant spinach and mache for early spring crops. ❏ Pot up frost-tender herbs and peppers for wintering indoors. ❏ Divide peonies, if you feel you must. They can grow for many years without being divided. ❏ Feed lawn 1/4 of its annual fertilizer requirement. ❏ Harvest winter squash when a thumbnail won’t penetrate the skin; cantaloupe when it dislodges easily from the vine, when ants appear, or when your cat/dog takes a bite; and watermelon when the belly is yellow and the vine tendril nearest the melon is brown and dry (or when it sounds hollow when you thump it). ❏ Harvest basil if temperatures are predicted to fall below 38 degrees.

SEPTEMBER

“The difference between

❏ If tomatoes get brown papery bottoms or peppers get brown papery sections on the side, it’s usually because of a calcium deficiency caused by uneven watering. As long as temperatures are predominantly under 100 degrees, deeply water in-ground tomatoes once a week. Higher daytime temperatures mean you need to water every four or five days. Container plants need more frequent — even daily or twice-daily — watering in very hot weather. ❏ Harvest shallots and onions when tops die back. Harvest garlic.

gardening and housework

JULY

❏ Plant short-season beans, beets, carrots, collards, radishes, cabbage, broccoli and similar plants for second harvest in fall. Plant spinach later. ❏ Make sure you are watering trees deeply. ❏ Thin fruit and do summer pruning to correct shape of shrubs and trees. Pruning now will encourage the least unwanted growth. ❏ Watch for destructive insects, and hand-pick or blast off with water, if possible.

leaves develop. Mulch will conserve moisture and help prevent weeds. ❏ Cover seedlings and transplants with agricultural fleece to protect from birds. ❏ Expect roller-coaster temperatures. Don’t get impatient and plant outside too early. ❏ Plant bare-root roses and trees. Arrange drip irrigation of new plants and mulch to within about 2 or 3 inches of trunks. ❏ Divide overgrown perennials except for peonies, lavender, Oriental poppies, Siberian iris and bearded iris.

❏ Shear back groundcovers and wake up your flower beds with a general fertilizer. ❏ Prune roses when forsythia blooms. Fertilize. ❏ Protect tender plants from frost. ❏ Whentheforsythiablooms,usecrabgrasspre-emergentchemicaloracornglutenmealtreatmenttopreventcrabgrass. ❏ Plant conifers, trees and shrubs. Also plant summer bulbs: alliums, cannas, hostas and daylilies. ❏ When daffodils bloom, plant parsnip seeds. ❏ Prune buddleias, shrub dogwoods and caryopteris. ❏ Prune lavender to shape as it shows signs of new growth. ❏ Begin hardening off indoor seedlings to acclimate them to outdoor life. Shelter tender seedlings from wind. ❏ Watch for aphids and knock them from plants with a blast of water. Beneficial insects will take over soon. ❏ Set up supports for peonies, delphiniums and other “floppers.”

APRIL

A seasonal to-do list to keep you on track

is that when you dust, the furniture doesn’t grow and the kitchen floor doesn’t bloom.”

❏ Plant out seedlings of peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and basil. Watch for late frosts. ❏ Stop feeding trees by June 15, to allow them to progress toward winter dormancy. ❏ Tackle weeds regularly and frequently so you keep a handle on the situation. Remember, mulch also keeps weed seeds from germinating. ❏ Feed roses about every three weeks. ❏ Monitor lawn. When it gets a bluish cast and footprints don’t bounce back readily, water deeply. ❏ Keep your eye out for destructive insects; if necessary, use the least toxic controls first.

JUNE

❏ If you haven’t already, begin seeding tender plants such as eggplants and sweet peppers indoors. Plant tomatoes indoors at the end of the month. ❏ Outdoors,plant potatoes, peas,spinach, lettuce,beets,onions and Asiangreens. ❏ Transplant or direct-seed cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. ❏ Start adding compost to your soil. ❏ Remove protective winter mulch from perennial beds, trim out old foliage and apply mulch for summer as soon as true

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Gardening

TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 16-17 • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

spring

winter


MARCH

or trunk. Leave an inch or two ring open around stem or trunk, lest you create ideal conditions for crown rot. ❏ Rake leaves from flower beds to keep them from matting and directing moisture away from plants. ❏ Cover strawberries with pine needle straw or other straw not contaminated by herbicides. ❏ Make holiday wreaths or holiday decorations of conifers or other evergreens.

JANUARY

❏ Read catalogs and dream. Order seeds early, taking care not to order if you still have viable seeds from last year. ❏ Check stored vegetables frequently, removing those that have rot or other spoilage indicators. ❏ If you haven’t already, cover compost pile with tarp to prevent rain and snow from leaching nutrients out of the pile. ❏ Plant onion and shallot seeds indoors.

CICERO

you have everything you need.”

RALPH RANSOM

You sow in tears before you reap joy.”

You plant before you harvest.

“Before the rewards there must be labor.

❏ Harvest parsnips, kale, beets, turnips, leeks and carrots after a moderate frost or light snow. Flavor will be sweeter then. ❏ Check trees and shrubs for weak or broken branches that may be felled by snow later. You can remove these now, sparing your tree or shrub damage that might admit disease. ❏ Once the ground freezes, mulch perennials, taking care not to pull mulch tightly around the main stem

“If you have a

NOVEMBER

FEBRUARY

❏ Inventory holdings in freezer so you can plan what to include and how much to plant in your veggie garden this year. ❏ Inspect garden tools. Remove any rust. Sharpen spades. ❏ Check the “bones” of your landscaping for visual appeal, and make plans to improve it with added shrubs or hardscaping. ❏ Plant seeds of broccoli, cabbage and other cole crops indoors; prune trees/shrubs, except for spring bloomers such as forsythia and lilacs.

❏ Spread last half of lawn’s annual fertilizer allotment in two sessions, a week or two apart. ❏ Use power mower to vacuum and shred leaves for use as winter mulch or as additions to compost. ❏ Plant spring flowering bulbs after soil temperature drops below 60 degrees. (Buy your bulbs earlier in the season if you want a better selection. Keep in a cool, dry place or refrigerate.) For winter cheer, buy bulbs for forcing indoors.

garden and a library,

OCTOBER

❏ Average killing frost is about Oct. 9. ❏ Plant wildflower seeds that need stratification (freezing and thawing). ❏ Later in the month, plant garlic and shallot cloves. ❏ Remove long canes of roses that could damage other canes by wind whipping. Give trees deep drinks of water. ❏ Start cleaning garden. Disconnect hoses. Have sprinkler system blown out in early October.

CASSANDRA “MRS.GREENTHUMBS” DANZ

AUGUST

ECCLESIASTES 3:1

season ...”

“To everything there is a

❏ Fertilize roses for last time this season. Most gardeners stop fertilizing roses by Aug. 15. ❏ Prune maple and birch trees, removing crossing and weak branches. ❏ Harvest peppers to stimulate further production. Harvest and dry or freeze herbs. ❏ Divide crowded and nonblooming bearded iris. If you’re going to divide Oriental poppies, do it during summer dormancy. ❏ Collect, dry and label seeds from nonhybrid plants. ❏ When corn silks turn brown and dry, start checking for ripeness (ear ends inside husks should be rounded instead of pointed).

MAY

❏ Deadhead (remove spent blossoms from) tulips, daffodils and crocuses. Don’t remove foliage until it’s yellow or brown. ❏ Continue pruning spring-flowering shrubs immediately after they have bloomed. ❏ Local lore says that when the snow is melted off Shafer Butte north of Boise, it’s safe to plant most annuals outside. May 9 is the average last date of frost in the Treasure Valley. ❏ If you haven’t fed your roses, do it now. ❏ In mid-May, direct seed corn; in late May, cucumbers, beans, squash, other warm-weather vegetables and melons. ❏ Feed your lawn with 1/4 of its annual fertilizer allotment, unless you’re using a mulching mower. ❏ Plant annuals to fill in perennial beds and conceal yellowing foliage of springflowering bulbs.

summer fall

DECEMBER

❏ Plant fast-growing lettuce and Asian vegetables early in the month for harvest before winter. ❏ Plant spinach and mache for early spring crops. ❏ Pot up frost-tender herbs and peppers for wintering indoors. ❏ Divide peonies, if you feel you must. They can grow for many years without being divided. ❏ Feed lawn 1/4 of its annual fertilizer requirement. ❏ Harvest winter squash when a thumbnail won’t penetrate the skin; cantaloupe when it dislodges easily from the vine, when ants appear, or when your cat/dog takes a bite; and watermelon when the belly is yellow and the vine tendril nearest the melon is brown and dry (or when it sounds hollow when you thump it). ❏ Harvest basil if temperatures are predicted to fall below 38 degrees.

SEPTEMBER

“The difference between

❏ If tomatoes get brown papery bottoms or peppers get brown papery sections on the side, it’s usually because of a calcium deficiency caused by uneven watering. As long as temperatures are predominantly under 100 degrees, deeply water in-ground tomatoes once a week. Higher daytime temperatures mean you need to water every four or five days. Container plants need more frequent — even daily or twice-daily — watering in very hot weather. ❏ Harvest shallots and onions when tops die back. Harvest garlic.

gardening and housework

JULY

❏ Plant short-season beans, beets, carrots, collards, radishes, cabbage, broccoli and similar plants for second harvest in fall. Plant spinach later. ❏ Make sure you are watering trees deeply. ❏ Thin fruit and do summer pruning to correct shape of shrubs and trees. Pruning now will encourage the least unwanted growth. ❏ Watch for destructive insects, and hand-pick or blast off with water, if possible.

leaves develop. Mulch will conserve moisture and help prevent weeds. ❏ Cover seedlings and transplants with agricultural fleece to protect from birds. ❏ Expect roller-coaster temperatures. Don’t get impatient and plant outside too early. ❏ Plant bare-root roses and trees. Arrange drip irrigation of new plants and mulch to within about 2 or 3 inches of trunks. ❏ Divide overgrown perennials except for peonies, lavender, Oriental poppies, Siberian iris and bearded iris.

❏ Shear back groundcovers and wake up your flower beds with a general fertilizer. ❏ Prune roses when forsythia blooms. Fertilize. ❏ Protect tender plants from frost. ❏ Whentheforsythiablooms,usecrabgrasspre-emergentchemicaloracornglutenmealtreatmenttopreventcrabgrass. ❏ Plant conifers, trees and shrubs. Also plant summer bulbs: alliums, cannas, hostas and daylilies. ❏ When daffodils bloom, plant parsnip seeds. ❏ Prune buddleias, shrub dogwoods and caryopteris. ❏ Prune lavender to shape as it shows signs of new growth. ❏ Begin hardening off indoor seedlings to acclimate them to outdoor life. Shelter tender seedlings from wind. ❏ Watch for aphids and knock them from plants with a blast of water. Beneficial insects will take over soon. ❏ Set up supports for peonies, delphiniums and other “floppers.”

APRIL

A seasonal to-do list to keep you on track

is that when you dust, the furniture doesn’t grow and the kitchen floor doesn’t bloom.”

❏ Plant out seedlings of peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and basil. Watch for late frosts. ❏ Stop feeding trees by June 15, to allow them to progress toward winter dormancy. ❏ Tackle weeds regularly and frequently so you keep a handle on the situation. Remember, mulch also keeps weed seeds from germinating. ❏ Feed roses about every three weeks. ❏ Monitor lawn. When it gets a bluish cast and footprints don’t bounce back readily, water deeply. ❏ Keep your eye out for destructive insects; if necessary, use the least toxic controls first.

JUNE

❏ If you haven’t already, begin seeding tender plants such as eggplants and sweet peppers indoors. Plant tomatoes indoors at the end of the month. ❏ Outdoors,plant potatoes, peas,spinach, lettuce,beets,onions and Asiangreens. ❏ Transplant or direct-seed cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. ❏ Start adding compost to your soil. ❏ Remove protective winter mulch from perennial beds, trim out old foliage and apply mulch for summer as soon as true

YO U R H A N DY, P U L LO U T A N D S AV E

Gardening

TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 16-17 • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

spring

winter


18 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

TREASUREVALLEYLAVENDERFESTIVALS When: Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14 Where: Lakeside Lavender in the Nampa area, The Lavender Merchant in Kuna, River Ridge Farm and Silver Fox Farm in the Emmett area Information: Check the websites at http://thelavendermerchant.net; www.lakesidelavender.com; http://silverfoxlavender.com; http://riverridge lavender.blogspot.com. There will be U-pick lavender opportunities, lavender products, food, crafts and more.

20TH ANNUAL KOI&GOLDFISH SHOW When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 Where: Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise Cost: There will be more than 24 display tanks and more than 100 koi and goldfish at the show, plus other exhibits, family activities and entertainment. Free admission to the show and botanical garden. Some other Idaho Water Garden & Koi Society events: Æ 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23, Overland Road Zamzows. “Koi Ponds and Water Gardens 101.” Free. Æ The society is holding a Treasure Valley Pond Tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21. Information: For more details on these events or to find water garden and koi pond resources, visit www.iwgks.org.

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

PLANT SALES

Saturday,April27: 9 a.m.-noon Hilda Packard, 1917 N. 9th St., Boise (between Brumback and Ridenbaugh) Saturday, April 27: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Idaho Native Plant Society, MK Nature Center, 601 S. Walnut, Boise. For information, visit idahonativeplants.org. Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4: Idaho Botanical Garden Plant Sale. Members only from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday (free with membership), and then open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (general admission pricing). Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Information: www.idaho botanicalgarden.org/index.cfm This event features plants grown by horticulture students and Idaho Botanical Garden staff members. Saturday, May 4: 8 a.m.-noon Ada Gardeners, 10608 Cruser Dr., Boise (southwest corner of Five Mile and Franklin). May 9 and 10 (8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) and May 13 and 14 (11 a.m to 3:30 p.m.): Eagle High School botany class sale, 574 N. Park Lane, Eagle. (Greenhouses behind the school. Park in the faculty parking lot. The first turn into the school off State Street. Follow the signs to the back.) Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Idaho Horticulture Society, 1211 S. Owyhee St., Boise Saturday, May 11: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Hidden Springs Memorial Garden, Hidden Springs Saturday,May18: 9 a.m.-plus, Long Valley Gardeners, Valley County Fairgrounds, Cascade (south side) Saturday, May 18: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wacky Weeders Garden Club, 624 Los Luceros Circle in Eagle; also

selling other gardening resources and materials Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19: 9 a.m.-plus, Golden Garden Club, 10305 Harvester Dr., Boise Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Owyhee Garden Club, Homedale (hardware store parking lot, U.S. 95) Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26: 9 a.m.2 p.m. Owyhee Garden Club, Marsing High School Agricultural Greenhouse, Marsing

GARDENING CLUBS & PROGRAMS Many of the above clubs in the plant sale list welcome new members. Google “Idaho garden clubs” for more information and to find clubs and organizations. The Idaho Horticulture Society (idhort.com) and Idaho Native Plant Society (idahonativeplants. org) also welcome new members. Learn about being a Master Gardener at www.extension.uidaho.edu/mg.

VALLEY GARDENING CLASSES Public libraries, the Idaho Botanical Garden, the Foothills Learning Center, most area gardening/landscaping stores, the Ada and Canyon Extension Offices (related information, page 7) and others have classes for every level. For instance, the Foothills Learning Center and FarWest Nursery are presenting a series of three classes to teach adults about organic gardening. Although the first class has already occurred, there is still an opportunity to attend the other two classes. 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 1: How to prepare a summer garden. The focus will be selection of heat-

A HEARING AID THAT

CAN DISAPPEAR?

loving crops, companion planting, transplanting and protection, and dealing with pests and diseases organically, and 9 a.m. to noon, Sept. 21: Garden management in the fall. This class will focus on harvesting and storage of summer crops, introduction to seed saving methods, fall crop selection, cold protection and preparing the garden for winter. The classes are at the Foothills Learning Center, 3188 Sunset Peak Road. Cost is $16 for Boise resident; $24.25 for non-resident. To register online, see parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7680. See the Statesman gardening calendars in Friday’s Life section and in the online gardening newsletter and store/organization websites for more information. Many gardening store websites are also full of good plant information.

MORE RESOURCES Some other website resources that haven’t been mentioned elsewhere in this special section: United Water Co.: conservation resources online; tour a low-water demonstration garden at its headquarters at 8248 W. Victory Road in Boise. www.unitedwater.com Boise Urban Garden School: gardening programs for kids and more. www.boiseurbangardenschool.org Idaho Capitol grounds: good place to get xeriscape ideas. www.capitolcommission.idaho.gov Compiled by freelance writer Chereen Langrill and Idaho Statesman staff

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FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 19

PHOTOS FOR THE 2013 GARDENS CALENDAR BY CHARLIE LITCHFIELD / Special to the Idaho Statesman

Purple coneflower blossoms in the yard of Diana and Charles Parenteau on the Boise Bench. Read more about the Parenteaus’ garden on page 23.

gardens BY CHEREEN LANGRILL SPECIAL TO THE IDAHO STATESMAN

Passion. Patience. Adaptability. Gardening comes in many forms, but for these nine Valley gardeners those three principles are at the root of it all. As Idaho slowly awakens from its long winter slumber, area gardeners wait for the snow to disappear from Shafer Butte, signaling the unofficial start to the 2013 gardening season. In the meantime, these gardeners share their secrets to success. And if these gardens look familiar, you aren’t mistaken. They were featured in the 2013 Treasure Valley Gardens calendar published by the Idaho Statesman. CONTINUED, PAGE 20 ›› WANT A CALENDAR?

It’s not too late to get a 2013 Treasure Valley Gardens calendar. Buy one for half price ($2.50) at 1200 N. Curtis Road in Boise. More information at www.idahostatesman.com/ promotions. And be on the lookout for information about how to enter your garden in our 2014 calendar contest.


20 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Joanneand MikeLechner

Warm Springs Mesa Make the most of it. That’s the idea behind the garden of Joanne and Mike Lechner. Their home on the Warm Springs Mesa includes large, old trees that provide heavy shade in parts of the yard. A shade garden has become a serene space with pathways and contrasts of color, texture, shapes and sizes. But the sun still beats down on some areas. A xeriscape garden makes the best of its dry surroundings with a lovely slab stone path bordered with lavender and a raised box containing a massive rhubarb plant. Joanne Lechner’s gardening skills come from her father, who was considered the family gardener at their Los Angeles home. He would line one side of their long driveway with calla lilies and the other with dahlias. “My introduction to gardening was deadheading those callas,” she says. Each year he would plant a 10-foot-long wall of sweet peas, and he would let his daughter cut as many as she wanted. That experience was an early lesson in the joy gardening can bring to others. “The older women in the neighborhood all welcomed my frequent gift bouquets and corsages,” Lechner says. “Sometimes I got homemade cookies.”

Lechner now watches her granddaughter enjoy the garden the way she did as a young girl. Because of a change in elevation in their yard, a set of winding stairs leads to an upper garden. It’s an ideal place to view the rest of the garden from a different perspective while sitting on the meditation bench. “It’s a call to be still, listen to the birds and experience the sway of the plants nearby, tuning into one’s own reflective inspirations,” she says. “Looking down there is a patch of ground with a basket of small rocks that can be used to design or build. Our 8 1/2-year-old granddaughter prefers to create spirals.” She wonders if those playful spirals could eventually become a miniature labyrinth for whoever owns the home someday. My garden must have: Time. Lechner insists on having enough time to spend in her garden because of how it makes her feel. “I need time in the garden because it refreshes my soul,” she says. “Concerns of life seem to be left in the house as I venture out to discover what is new, changed or surprisingly present.” When people visit their home (it was featured on the 2012 Boise Garden Tour), they often say the garden gives them a sense of peace, Lechner says. She considers it an outdoor chapel. “Whether I am planting, pruning, harvesting, resting I can find the spirit of life which draws me to reflect and pray,” she says. My go-to source for inspiration is: “Anything and everything,” she says. She often turns to books to learn more, and in 2012 she read about how to integrate vegetables with flowers and shrubs. But at the end of the season they had nearly 40 spaghetti squash plants, so this year they plan to have more watermelon plants instead. Inspiration also comes from color. Last year she decided to incorporate one color throughout the garden. She introduced a red patio umbrella and pops of red with blossoms and strawberries as well as on some pots and bamboo style arbors and even a few birdhouses. It was such a success she plans to do it again this year. If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to work in my garden: For Lechner, time is rarely an issue. “At age 72, I am usually blessed with unlimited time, so I do prioritize my work, not according to time, but need,” she says. “I am thankful that I need the experience of our garden chapel.”


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

BrentStewart North Boise

“Whimsy” is the first word Brent Stewart thinks of when he describes his garden. It’s an eclectic mix of found or repurposed objects (like the toilet that now serves as a planter), chickens, flowers and serenity. However, usually Stewart lacks the time to enjoy the serenity he works so hard to create for others. “If I had the time I’d like to just sit back and enjoy it,” he says. “That would be the ultimate.” Stewart admits his own enjoyment (and serenity) comes while working in the garden. It’s a collaboration with friend Robyn Yraguen that began years ago after Yraguen purchased a greenhouse from Costco. Stewart had more space than she did, so he offered to put the structure on his property. Now they work together — along with Robyn’s daughter Katie — to keep the garden thriving. The garden is also in the same space as the family business: Stewart’s Gem Shop. Stewart grew up in the business and is still deeply involved. But when he isn’t working, he is tending to his garden. His love of gardening is an extension of the joy he feels as a result of eight years of sobriety (he is a former methamphetamine addict). “My life went from dark and dull to one filled with color and beauty,” he says. My garden must have: Good soil. Stewart goes to great lengths to have quality soil in his garden. He recently drove to Payette to purchase high-quality compost and also hauled in three yards of topsoil to prepare the garden for the 2013 planting season. My go-to source for inspiration is: Nature. “I find beauty everywhere, but being around rocks and nature all the time ... that gives me inspiration.” If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to work in my garden: Water is the first priority. Stewart waters twice a day in warmer months. “If you miss one water, it really shows,” he says.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 21


22 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

Mikeand DeZborowski Boise Bench

Their combined interests seem like a natural fit for gardening: Mike Zborowski loves building, while De is a floral designer and has always loved flowers and plants. They have lived in their Bench home since 1973, and their first outdoor project was a gazebo with a built-in barbecue, followed by three small buildings on a deck they call the “Harbor.” It has developed into a magical oasis over the years: A huge maple tree (planted in 1955) features a tree house (it was even equipped with electricity) and a large deck with a greenhouse and bar. And they host crab and lobster boils near the deck at their backyard “crab shack.” The backyard is filled with shade, and De Zborowski has adapted by seeking shadeloving plants. “I love potted plants and flowers. I have around 20 to 30 potted containers,” she says. Those potted plants need extra attention, and Zborowski has a solid system to manage them. “My best hint for container gardening is wash your clay pots, use systemic pesticide and a time-release fertilizer,” she says. She also believes in quality potting soil (don’t use soil from your garden when potting plants). And she waters in the morning rather than at night. She gets creative with resources to give her garden interest and personality: Window boxes have a waterfall effect (using ivy to cascade over the edge) and get added color with alyssum. Charm comes from old objects she repurposes around the garden, including old doors, bikes, garden tools, crates and benches. “We love texture and contrast in decking, concrete, and brick, and lots of ivy,” she says. Mike focuses on adding lots of detail into his buildings for the garden (right down to moldings) and De’s specialty is adding elements of color.

My garden must have: Dragon wing begonias. Her color of choice? Red. My go-to source for inspiration: Greenhouses, garden magazines, Pinterest and more. “Our inspiration comes from traveling, visiting greenhouses and garden parties,” she says. “Disney has always been an inspiration (because of) their grouping and nonstop performing flowers.” If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to work in my garden: Water, deadhead or fertilize. Because Zborowski is often limited for time, she has learned to make the most of it.

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 23

Dianaand CharlesParenteau Boise Bench

Diana Parenteau describes her garden as “a work in progress.” They moved to Boise in 1992 and had a blank canvas of a backyard: Concrete sidewalks, concrete patios, unhealthy grass and two dying locust trees. Their first challenge was to tame their concrete jungle. “We started getting serious about developing the yard 12 years ago when we had the concrete removed,” Parenteau says. Year after year since, they have made additional changes: removing sod, adding new plantings, incorporating hardscaping features and more. They hired contractors for heavier work like adding landscaping boulders, retaining walls and a water feature. The Parenteaus do the rest themselves, a little at a time. The big picture? Developing the yard into sections she refers to as “rooms.” Parenteau grew up watching her father in the garden, but even though he was an avid gardener she didn’t pick up the interest until later in life. “Now it is my recreation, exercise and therapy,” she says. Our garden must have: Color and texture. “We also strive for year-round interest; the goal is to have something blooming or ‘making a spectacle’ almost every week of the year. Conifers (blue, green, and yellow) are anchor plants for every season but especially important in the winter,” Parenteau says. My go-to source for inspiration is: “Everything!” she says with enthusiasm. Some of their favorites include local nurseries, local home and garden shows, friends’ yards, magazines and davesgarden.com, a website that features gardening tutorials, advice, forums and resources. If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to work in my garden: Parenteau makes the most of her

time by doing a little bit of everything. “Enjoy walking the pathways, pinching a deadhead, tossing a ball for the dogs, assessing water and fertilizer needs, listening to birds sing, talking to the plants, smelling flowers, scolding any weeds I might see and pulling them, watching insects, laughing at squirrels and feeding my soul,” Parenteau says. Her self-described “workouts” are typically done in 30 to 60 minutes, and something she enjoys frequently. “I can easily tidy a room in 30 to 60 minutes (water, weed, deadhead, trim), which improves manageability and gives me a feeling of accomplishment,” Parenteau says.

Many of the photos on these pages were taken by freelance photographer Charlie Litchfield as he worked on the 2013 Treasure Valley Gardens calendar. These pages also include many photos provided by the garden owners as well as their friends and family.


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 25

SallyThomas West Boise

When it comes to gardening, Sally Thomas is all about color. Thomas has lived in her home for 20 years and has redone the yard three times. Her main focus? Hundreds of colorful flowers ranging from bulbs to perennials and annuals. There are also tomatoes, zucchini, radishes and herbs. And she enjoys a koi pond and turtles. In the winter, when the koi and the turtles are dormant, her yard remains vibrant because of the colorful artificial flowers she “plants.” As she develops her garden in the spring, Thomas continues to use artificial flowers to fill in bare areas. She had artificial turf installed in 2012 to re-

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duce maintenance and continue the theme of year-round color. As a nature lover and outdoor enthusiast, Thomas views her garden as a sanctuary. “I think it’s a place where you can feel closer to God,” she says. Thomas grew up in Southern California, where she developed her interest in gardening. She remembers helping her grandmother work in her garden in her home in Hollywood as a child. She credits gardening for her youthful energy. “I am 74 years old and I could easily pass for someone in my 60s,” Thomas says. “I feel like I have the energy of a 55-year-old, and I really believe it’s from gardening. I can’t stop. I’m a high-energy person.” Mygardenmusthave:Trees. Although Thomas admits she loves bursts of color, she also loves the way trees make her yard look lush and alive, even in the winter months. My go-to source for inspiration is: Magazines and the Butchart Gardens in Canada. The famous gardens, which are loaded with colorful flowers, were once part of a favorite vacation. She continues to draw upon its breathtaking images as a source of inspiration. If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to work in my garden: Weeding comes first. Thomas believes in the importance of basic maintenance and turns to weeding as the first and most critical step in keeping her garden gorgeous.

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26 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Karenand WayneForrey Southwest Boise

The Forreys moved into a brand-new home 12 years ago, and that gave them the chance to make the garden their own from the very beginning. The centerpiece is a fountain with heavy rocks that allow water to cascade down. Planters are filled with flowers and vegetables because it’s an efficient use of space and also creates more interest, Forrey says. “If you punch in something with a different shape or texture, that’s what draws your attention,” she says. Their former home was on a half-acre, and they moved to downsize. Because the new backyard was around 1,200 square feet, they set out to make the most of it. Over time Forrey has learned that a smaller yard doesn’t have to limit a garden’s potential. She takes advantage of vertical space for vegetables like cucumbers and squash (it’s a method common in Japan where garden space is limited, she says). It’s all about making the most of whatever space is available. Grapes and raspberries grow along the side of the yard, and she plants herbs among her flowers to help fight off insects. Forrey grew up in Twin Falls and was part of a family that loved to garden (her grandmother had a front yard filled with roses), and her own interests have grown as an adult. She is an advanced master gardener, but many of her principles stem from common sense. Don’t make it too laborintensive or you won’t enjoy it, for example. And remember that nothing has to be permanent.

“As a gardener, it’s important to know that you can always tear something out and start over,” she says. My garden must have: Good soil. “Your garden can have anything, but without good soil it won’t grow,” she says. Forrey makes her own compost and adds that a good watering system is also key. My go-to source for inspiration is: Books and magazines. Forrey still uses books that were handed down from her grandmother and mother, and one of her longtime favorites is

the Sunset “Western Garden Book.” “That was my bible when I started gardening,” she says. While she appreciates websites dedicated to gardening, she finds more value in printed material because when she finds an idea she likes, she can take it with her to a nursery. If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to work in my garden: Take inventory. Forrey will deadhead flowers, cultivate soil or inspect for insects. “Sometimes I just stand back and look to see what I might need to add,” she says.


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 27

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Kathyand RobertYoshida Southeast Boise

Know yourself. It’s the basic truth behind the garden of Kathy and Robert Yoshida. While they admit to enjoying time outdoors, the Yoshidas also know they don’t want to be burdened with hours of maintenance. And Kathy Yoshida isn’t a big fan of grass or flowers. Several years ago they turned to the expert advice of landscape architect Kecia Carlson, owner of Madeline George Garden Design, to develop a better plan for their outdoor living space. Carlson put together a plan based on their interests and how they planned to use that space, and today they have a garden worthy of admiration (it has been featured on the annual Boise Garden Tour). It includes lush bamboo, a water feature and a tea house where the couple can enjoy warm evenings with a glass of wine. Yoshida knows that patience isn’t her strength. But Carlson has persuaded her to choose smaller plants that will grow into her space rather than purchasing fully developed plants that satisfy her immediately. The bamboo plants that now threaten to tower above their fence and tea house were just a couple of feet high when they were introduced into the yard in 2006. Bamboo grows fast and can easily spread. Carlson knew that mature plants would be too unruly within a few years, even if it wasn’t evident to Yoshida. “She sees the bigger picture,” Yoshida says. My garden must have: Water. The water feature in the Yoshidas’ yard is a source of tranquility as well as a favorite hardscaping element. “It really does drown out a lot of

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362-0246 noise,” she says. “It gets rid the outside noise and just helps you relax.” My go-to source for inspiration is: Kecia Carlson. Yoshida turns to Carlson for advice and loves to visit Carlson’s nursery to take in the beauty and get new ideas (Madeline George Garden Design Nursery is located at 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway). Carlson also provides a much-needed reality check when Yoshida feels the urge to make an impulsive decision about her garden. “The easy thing is to jump in there. I want the quick fix,” she says. “Her solution is more green, more thoughtful and usually less expensive. It’s a fix that is common sense.” If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to work in my garden: Yoshida goes for the clean sweep: raking. “It’s like if you’re having company, you vacuum,” she says. Running the rake through the yard helps clean up debris and gives it a clean, neat look. When the Yoshidas’ daughter, Kelly, got married in their garden in September 2011, a windstorm swept through the Valley the night before the ceremony. Yoshida had about one hour to clean up debris from the storm, so she grabbed a rake and when she was done, it was good as new.

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TonyMontes

Southwest Boise When Tony Montes purchased his home in 2008, it was a plain Jane with grass and one tree. Since then he has brought it to life by adding paths, waterfalls, ponds, numerous trees and flowers, and other elements like rocks, a bridge, an arbor, fountains, benches and a fire-pit. And he continues to add new features. “I enjoy flowers and try to plant them so that I have a succession of color from early spring through fall,” Montes says. “It is truly a labor of love for me.” Montes, who is in his 50s, has been interested in landscaping and gardening since his 20s. He is a self-described nature lover and he strives to demonstrate that passion in his garden. “I constantly observe how rocks become arranged by nature and how rocks enhance the beauty of plants when they share the same canvas,” he says. “I try to mimic nature in my own landscapes and seem to have a knack for placing rocks so that they become interesting and not just a rock.” My garden must have: For Montes, it is a difficult choice between water and rocks. “I love both and always try to have them in my landscapes,” he says. “I love the soothing

sound of water and love the way it captures light. Rocks are necessary to define boundaries as well as create backdrops, focal points, and even create sounds when you add water.” My go-to source for inspiration is: Nature. “In my garden I always want rocks and plants to look as though they might have occurred that way naturally,” he says. If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to work in my garden: Get rid of those weeds. “This is not much fun but very necessary if you want your garden to look healthy and to give your rocks and plants the ability to stand out,” Montes says.

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IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM • IDAHO STATESMAN

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 29

Great ideas from Seattle’s big garden show PHOTOS BY GENIE ARCANO garcano@idahostatesman.com

“The Silver Screen Takes Root: Gardens go Hollywood” was the theme for the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show in February. While few people really want a Tinseltown vibe in their yards, details of the displays created by Seattle-area professionals were as inspiring as ever.

You probably don’t want the Tin Woodman or Dorothy Gale in your garden — but how about a mass planting of fragrant spring bulbs?

Lettuce grows in shallow plastic planters hung from the eaves of a shed in this garden showing ways to mix edibles and ornamentals.

A 6-foot fountain, one of three in this display garden, is made of concrete pipe and drips water onto a pebble pool. Having three adds impact, as does grouping seven glass lollipops, below. Sometimes, more is more.

The children’s “Swiss Family Robinson” garden featured three ground-level “treehouses”: small log pergolas connected by ramps that create an airy, shady place to play.

OK, I’d love my garden shed to look like this Hobbit dwelling, complete with a plant-covered roof and round door. The repetition of large pots tiled with rounded stones looks great, too.

A waterfall that makes this deck look as if it’s straddling a brook shows how to have falling water in a flat yard. (Get more inspiration at this weekend’s Boise Flower and Garden Show, DETAILS,PAGE15)

Nice lighting for an evening party: A lightweight chandelier holding votive candles hangs from a cloth-covered pergola.

This garden inspired by “Zorba the Greek” features a pebble mosaic “stream” and weathered logs nestled among succulents — two nice touches for a xeric garden.


30 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

IDAHO STATESMAN • IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Things

TheBest

Taking a cue from the Statesman’s Life section’s ‘Best Thing’ feature, we wanted to share a few of our favorites ‘The Drunken Botanist’

“Given the role they play in creating the world’s great drinks,” writes Amy Stewart, “it’s a wonder there are any sober botanists at all.” Whether you’re interested in horticulture, drinking, or cultural history — or all three — you’ll find a lot to like here: Stewart’s research is impeccable, her style is breezy and she even offers recipes for cocktails and homemade cocktail ingredients using plants you can grow yourself. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, retail price $19.95.

Local knowledge

Boisean Mary Ann Newcomer co-authored the “Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook” with John Cretti. (Cold Springs Press, retail price $24.99).

When to water?

Check your soil’s moisture with a water meter. This three-way meter by Bond will also check ph levels and light. We found this one for $13.99 at FarWest. Moisture meters can be found in many styles and price points.

Garden garb

Keep all your tools handy with an apron. This one by Dramm is $29.99 at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center on State Street in Boise.

Seeds

Northwest seed companies — such as Ed Hume from Washington state — sell their products in many area stores. The pollinator mix and the gourmet-blend basil are two of our favorites.

Hauling

Everybody needs a good tub. This 7-gallon Tuff Tote is $16.99 at FarWest.

Paper pot-maker

Use this wood mold, available in many garden centers and catalogs for about $15, to make free seedling pots from strips of newspaper. At transplant time, put the pot and all into the ground. Want bigger pots? You can also use 15-ounce food cans as a mold.

Nutrient boost Zamzows’ Thrive all-natural fertilizer delivers a punch of growing power to anything in your garden. $24.99 at Treasure Valley locations. For more information, visit zamzows.com.


FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 • TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING 31

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The ScareCrow sprinkler — triggered by a motion detector — will keep critters at bay. We found ours for $87.99 at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center. Visit Contech-inc.com for more information.

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This quarter’s issue of the Rocky Mountain region’s gardening and food publication features a story about Edwards Greenhouse and its florist, John Carpenter. Zone 4 is an exhibitor at the Boise Flower & Garden Show from March 22-24 at Boise Centre. The magazine is sponsoring a miniature garden contest, which will be on display during the show. (Zone4magazine.com, $6.95 at area newsstands).


32 TREASURE VALLEY GARDENING • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

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Treasure Valley Gardening - March 2013