Page 1

Your guide to Great Lakes gardening a July 2012 a


garden profile Gator Garden Club plant focus Sanvitalia feature New Shrubs for 2012 weed watch Queen Anne’s Lace perennials A sizzling summer grouping

Please thank our advertisers in this issue

Summer Color Year after Year All Perennials

20-30% OFF

Our entire selection of flowering perennials, hostas, ferns, ornamental grasses, groundcovers and vines. Aquatic plants and starter perennials not included.

July In-store Presentations

FREE In-store Presentation Creating a Water Garden Sat., July 7, 2012 at 10 a.m. All Seven English Gardens Stores

FREE Kid’s Workshop Leaf & Flower Prints

Tues., July 10 at 10 a.m. All Seven English Gardens Stores

FREE In-store Presentation Caring for Your Summer Garden Wed., July 11, 2012 at 7 p.m. All stores except Ann Arbor & Brighton Sat., July 14, 2012 at 10 a.m. All Seven English Gardens Stores

FREE In-store Presentation All About Hydrangeas

Wed., July 18, 2012 at 7 p.m. All stores except Ann Arbor & Brighton Sat., July 21, 2012 at 10 a.m. All Seven English Gardens Stores

FREE In-store Presentation A Shady Situation

Wed., July 25, 2012 at 7 p.m. All stores except Ann Arbor & Brighton Sat., July 28, 2012 at 10 a.m. All Seven English Gardens Stores

For more information on these presentations or to sign up for the Kid’s Workshop:


Brighton 810-534-5059

A Michigan Family Business Since 1954 Clinton Township Dearborn Heights Eastpointe 586-286-6100 313-278-4433 586-771-4200

Royal Oak 248-280-9500

West Bloomfield 248-851-7506

Award-Winning Landscape Services: 248-874-1400

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter

2012 Daylily Exhibition Show

Held at Bordine’s in Rochester Hills

Saturday, July 21st Join us for the Southern Michigan Daylily Society’s Daylily show held at Bordine’s in Rochester Hills. This is the largest Daylily show in Michigan! If you appreciate Daylilies, this show is definitely for you! Show hours are from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Go to to find incred summer valuible es!

Go to and click on Calendar of Events for more details!

Visit our website for store hours!

w w w. b o r d i n e s . c o m ROCHESTER HILLS................... 1835 S. Rochester Rd .................. 248-651-9000 CLARKSTON ............................. 8600 Dixie Highway ..................... 248-625-9100 GRAND BLANC ......................... 9100 Torrey Rd .............................810-953-1111 BRIGHTON ................................ 6347 Grand River Ave ...................517-552-9300


In July, perennial gardeners are just getting started. At Telly’s, there is always something fresh to add color to your summer garden. Come see why we are a favorite summer destination for so many Michigan gardeners.

Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

contents July 2012

Clippings.....................................................................6 To-Do List...................................................................8 Ask MG.....................................................................10 Vegetable Patch.....................................................12 Healthy Lawns........................................................14 Books for the Michigan Gardener.................15 Thyme for Herbs...................................................16 Perennial Partners................................................18 Echinacea 'Raspberry Truffle'

'Purple Haze' Butterfly Bush

Places to Grow......................................................20 New Shrubs for 2012...........................................21 Calendar...................................................................24 Where to pick up Michigan Gardener...........26 Advertiser Index...................................................26 Classified Ads........................................................27

Cohen Propagation Nurseries

Subscription Form...............................................27

Plant Focus: Sanvitalia.........................22

Weather Wrap......................................................27 'Huckleberry Candy' Daylily

Heuchera 'Georgia Plum'

Profile: Gator Garden Club...............................28 Weed Watch..........................................................31

On the cover: Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ explodes with massive blooms.

Janet’s Journal.....................................Back Cover

Photo: Jonathon Hofley/Michigan Gardener

Garden Wisdom Praise a large estate, but cultivate a small one. —Virgil

Hibiscus 'Summer Storm'

'Dimension' Lily

25% OFF ALL Ceramic Pottery Excludes bonsai pots • Sale ends July 31, 2012

Publisher/Editor Eric Hofley Design & Production Jonathon Hofley Advertising Eric Hofley Circulation Jonathon Hofley

TROY 3301 John R–1/4 mile north of 16 Mile

Editorial Assistant Carrie MacGillis

248-689-8735 SHELBY TWP 4343 24 Mile btwn Dequindre & Shelby Rd.

248-659-8555 Summer Hours (both locations): Mon-Sat: 8am-9pm Sun: 9am-6pm

find us on

Contributors Karen Bovio Cheryl English Mary Gerstenberger Julia Hofley Rosann Kovalcik Janet Macunovich Steve Martinko Beverly Moss Steven Nikkila George Papadelis Sandie Parrott Jean/Roxanne Riggs Jim Slezinski Lisa Steinkopf Steve Turner Joseph Tychonievich

16291 W. 14 Mile Rd., Suite 5 Beverly Hills, MI 48025-3327 Phone: 248-594-5563 Fax: 248-594-5564 E-mail: Website: Publishing schedule 7 issues per year: April, May, June, July, August, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec. Published the first week of the mo. Subscriptions (Please make check payable to Michigan Gardener) 1 yr, 7 iss/$15 2 yr, 14 iss/$28 3 yr, 21 iss/$37 Back issues All past issues are available. Please send your request along with a check for $3.00 per issue payable to Michigan Gardener. Canadian subscriptions 1 yr, 7 iss/$22 US 2 yr, 14 iss/$42 US Copyright © 2012 Michigan Gardener. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or used in any form without the expressed, written permission of the publisher. Neither the advertiser nor the publisher will be responsible for misinformation, typographical errors, omissions, etc. contained herein. Michigan Gardener is published by Motor City Publishing, Inc.

TIRED of messy sprays from your tree & shrub care company? Tree sprays drifting all over your yard and your neighbors! • Devastating the population of beneficial insects! Marginal results with no real improvements! • Monthly treatment schedules can be costly! Rhododenrons, Azaleas & Hollies barely survive through the winter season!

What you get with Contender’s: ✔ NEW! Control of Needlecast Disease (general thinning) on Spruces (fungicide injection provides control for 1 year) ✔ Control of Anthracnose (premature leaf drop) on Sycamores, Maples and Oaks (fungicide injection provides control for 1 year) ✔ NEW! Protection of Nematodes (helps prevent premature death) on Pines (insecticide injection provides control for 3 years) ✔ NEW! Control of Verticillium Wilt (Example: help prevent branch death in Japanese Maples) ✔ Control of Applescab Disease (premature yellowing of leaves) on Crabapple trees (fungicide injection provides control for 1 year)

✔ NEW! Control of Diplodia Tip Blight (browned tips of needles) on all Pines, especially Austrian and Scotch (fungicide injection provides control for 2 years) ✔ NEW! Control of Phytophora Root Rot (Example: scraggily-looking Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Hollies)

Spring 2008: Untreated Austrian Pine

✔ NEW! Control of invasive Calico Scale (sticky honeydew raining down on cars, patio furniture, and more) using an enzyme blocker (100% control with 1 application) ✔ NEW! Chlorotic Oaks – Deep-root organic feeding formulation turns sickly yellow leaves to green (Results occur in weeks, not months)

Flower bed weed control • Deer repellents Mole control • Organic lawn fertilizing


August 2009: Austrian Pine treated in August 2008

Discover the difference! Call or e-mail us today for a FREE estimate!


May 2010: Austrian Pines since August 2008 treatment (NO sprays)


Get inspired with new ideas & practical tips for your garden.

• Two keynote speakers • Garden Marketplace • Plants for sale • 12 workshops to choose from: - Herbal First Aid - Dividing Perennials - Green Side Up – Plants on Rooftops - Garden Sized Trees - Native Plants & the Modern Land Ethic: The Power of Community - Rain Gardens – Clean Up Our Rivers, One Garden At A Time - Floral Design From the Vegetable Garden - Hostas, Hostas, Hostas - Organic Gardening Essentials: Composting & Effective Weed Control - Horticultural Therapy - Cultivating Creativity in the Garden - The Garden-Kid Connection: Experience the Magic Location: Cost:


Friday, August 3, 2012, 8am-4pm

Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

clippings Brightmoor Garden provides opportunities to Detroit youth

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Stephanie Cohen: “Cutting Edge Perennials-No Bandages Provided!” Stephanie Cohen has written several popular books, including Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer, a bestseller. She has expressed her love of herbaceous perennial plants on popular TV shows and has received many prestigious awards for her work. She is full of energy and a barrel of laughs! This nationally-known “perennial diva” tells it like she sees it. Prepare to watch the dirt fly!

Jessica Wright & Val Albright: “Quick Tips and Tricks for Getting Herbs from Garden to Table” Val Albright and Jessica Wright turn up the heat as they teach tips and tricks to get kitchen herbs from the garden to your table. In previous years, this mother/daughter team has had standing room only for their workshops. This year they take center stage to share their knowledge, recipes and tasty samples!

Evening Garden Walk & Reception with Stephanie Cohen! Join Stephanie Cohen, best-selling author and perennial design extraordinaire, for an exclusive tour of the MSU Horticulture Gardens. She will teach and tell her own special stories about plants and gardening. In this small group setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the “Perennial Diva” herself! Tour Begins at 5pm. Hors d’oeuvres reception to follow in the MSU Garden Conservatory. Fee: $100.00. Space is limited to 25 participants. Register at

MSU Horticulture Gardens & the Veterinary Medical Ctr in East Lansing $75 for 2012 MSU Garden Members, $85 for non members, and $95 for all registrations sent in after July 22. Registration includes two workshops, two keynote addresses, parking, lunch and materials! Website: E-mail: Phone: 517-355-5191 x1339

As part of the nonprofit group called Neighbors Building Brightmoor, the Youth Garden is an opportunity for kids in one Detroit neighborhood to run a community garden and sell the produce at local farmers markets. Located on the west side of Detroit, this is a neighborhood with almost 70 percent vacant land. The Brightmoor Youth Garden has helped organize the neighborhood, spreading to several sites in the area since 2006. Brightmoor Youth Garden has volunteer adults who train youth to grow vegetables, harvest them, and sell them at markets. The youths share the profits while they learn many invaluable skills. In 2011 they grew over 1500 pounds of 25 varieties of vegetables and herbs. They sold the harvest at the Northwest Detroit Farmers Market and through the Greening of Detroit’s “Grown in Detroit” market gardeners’ co-op. The program trains 12 to 25 children each summer, preparing beds, planting seedlings, weeding, Specializing in Hybrid Daylilies watering, and harvesting and storing vegetaHuge selection of daylilies, hostas, bles. The children are trained and given the ferns, perennials, grasses, vines, herbs, opportunity to sell their products at markets, groundcovers & Felco pruning tools interact with customers, educate people about ~ Garden art & accessories ~ vegetables, handle money, and work as a team. Going “Up North” for the weekend? The group’s mission statement is to “seek Check the Michigan Gardener calendar to use market gardening as a vehicle to proor our website for special events vide youth, ages 9 to 18, with the opportunity Open May 1 - Oct. 13 Mon-Fri 10-6 Sat 9-4 to obtain and build skills, knowledge, and exor by chance or appointment perience necessary for a healthy, prosperous, 3740 West Willford Rd. purposeful, and sustainable life.” Visit the Gladwin, MI 989-426-2919 Brightmoor Youth Garden Facebook page for more information.

Stone Cottage Gardens

Pick out new pots. Plan a garden party. Give a pot of herbs to a friend. Find the right bench. Think water in your garden. Try a topiary.


Detroit Garden Works is proud to present the fifth annual Garden Cruise, a tour of gardens designed, planted and/or inspired by Deborah Silver. The landscapes themselves are varied in style and approach, but all reflect an ownership for whom the beauty of a garden is an important part of life. Our most serious mission as a business is to foster the idea of stewardship of the environment—a duty The Greening of Detroit embraces every day. All proceeds will benefit the planting and educational programs of The Greening of Detroit.

Date Sunday, July 22, 9am-4:30pm Purchase tickets Tour only: $35/person Tour & Cocktail Reception: $50/person In-store or by phone: Detroit Garden Works 248-335-8089 Online (processing fee applies):

Learn more, including garden descriptions at 248-335-8089 1794 PONTIAC DRIVE, SYLVAN LAKE 48320 One block west of Telegraph Rd. on the north side of Orchard Lake Rd.




Now offering: Fairy Gardening Classes

Selection! Selection! Selection! 2000+ varieties of Annuals, Perennials, Vegetables, Trees & Shrubs!

p p li e r

es, s u o H rden a G y r i Fa s& e i r o s s Acce ure Plants Miniat r eg i o n

e st s u ’s l arg


Sign up NOW!

july 12 & aug 14: kids class: $1299 adult class: $2299

734-944-8644 • 6400 E. MICHIGAN AVENUE, SALINE 48176

Excellent quality at low, northern prices! Come relax and enjoy spring by our waterfall with a free bag of popcorn! Washington Rd. EXIT

Wadsworth Rd.

Janes Rd.


Outer Dr.



Holland Ave.

3500 Wadsworth Rd • Saginaw 989-752-5625 At the corner of I-75 & I-675 Open 7 days a week

SINCE 1982

Quality Plants for Dedicated Gardeners

Annual Daylily Dig & Garden Party YOU PICK ‘EM, WE DIG ‘EM – Thousands to choose from

July 14-15, July 21-22, July 28-29

Perennials, Hostas, Hydrangeas & Peonies

Wh ites , Ye llow s, Pi nks, Reds, Oranges & Purples

20% OFF

Open 9-6 Daily

Perennials, annuals & herbs...our outdoor-grown plants are acclimated to Michigan’s weather for better performance in your garden

Back By Popular Demand…Daylily

Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22, 9am-5pm

Walk the field and choose your favorite daylilies! Our staff will dig and package your plants for you. You’ll find nearly every color of the rainbow, including gorgeous bicolored and eyed varieties. Potted daylilies and perennials of all types will also be available.

1pm Presentation: Dividing Daylilies At 1pm each day, gather under the tent for owner Karen Bovio’s presentation, Dividing Daylilies. Karen will discuss the how’s and why’s of dividing daylilies. She will explain and demonstrate tips and techniques so that you will have a clear understanding of how to properly divide daylilies in your own garden.

Open House Hours: 9am-5pm, Presentation at 1pm on both days PRESENTATIONS ARE FREE OF CHARGE M-59 (Highland Rd.)

Golf Club Rd. Specialty Growers

Gra nd Riv er A 96 ve.

Hughes Rd.

Laston Rd.

Pinckney Rd.

Visit MichM errittscap

4330 Golf Club Rd. ~ Howell 517-546-7742 find us on Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am - 5pm Sundays 10am - 4pm

Also visit us at the Brighton Farmer's Market May 5 - July 28, Saturdays, 8am-1pm

5940 Cooley Lake Rd • Waterford • 248-681-7955


Our complete catalog is now online!

10% OFF

your entire plant purchase valid at the nursery only — July 1 - July 20, 2012


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

to-do list Bulbs



Fairy Gardens


A Fantasy Garden you can Have and Hold!


We also sell fairy garden accessories

• 1000’S OF HOSTAS!!


Piechnik’s Greenhouse 13172 MCCUMSEY RD, CLIO, MI 48420







• Support tall-growing plants like dahlias, lilies, and gladiolas with stakes. Remove faded blooms from plants to encourage reblooming. • The foliage from spring-flowering bulbs can be removed as it dies back. These bulbs can also be divided and replanted now, or wait until the fall.

Vegetables & Herbs • Continue fertilizing, following the manufacturer’s directions for frequency and application rates. Applying more fertilizer or more frequently won’t help plants grow any better or faster. • The biggest issues now are weeds and bugs. Check the underside of plants at least every week for signs of bugs, but don’t worry if you find them. Bring a sample to your local garden center and go home with an appropriate cure. There are many options, including organic ones, to nip the problem in the bud. • Remove weeds promptly. A good layer of

mulch makes weeding easier and helps prevent soil compaction between the rows. When watering, water deeply and let the soil dry out a couple inches down before watering again. This gets oxygen into the roots and helps keep roots cool in the heat.

Annuals • If annuals aren’t looking fabulous, the problem is usually water, light or fertilizer. Make sure annuals planted in the garden receive at least an inch of water a week, either from rain or supplemental methods. Fertilize every other week with a watersoluble fertilizer. If both of those are happening and they still don’t look good, check to see that annuals are getting at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Most annuals need at least that much sunshine to thrive. • Container gardens need water every day, and some may need water more often than that. Be sure to water thoroughly, so a little water runs out the bottom of the container. If plants are drying out too quickly, move them into just a little bit more shade. If you’re going on vacation and nobody will be watering, give the plants a good soaking and move them into the shade. It’s not a perfect solution, but it may keep them alive until your return.

Expires 7-31-2012 • Not valid for Gift Cards & soils. Cannot be combined with other offers. Must be presented at time of purchase.

Feature Task: Soaker hoses and drip irrigation

Come and browse our excellent selection of

Collector’’s Host Hostas os as ost

❖ NEW Hosta varieties: Autumn Frost, Hudson Bay, Rainbow’s End, Rhino Hide, Regal Supreme, Seducer and Wheee! ❖ David Austin English Roses ❖ Floribunda, Hybrid Tea, Climbing and Shrub Roses ❖ Perennials ❖ Clematis, Vines ❖ Annuals ❖ Geraniums ❖ Hanging Baskets ❖ Flower Pouches ❖ Native Plants ❖ Alpine Plants

Home of The Weekender WATER-SAVING Hanging Basket

From the rare and unusual to the preferred & popular

FA M I LY O W N E D & O P E R AT E D S I N C E 19 57

34075 Ryan Rd (between 14 & 15 Mile) Sterling Heights 586-979-2409 Mon-Sat 8:30-8 Sun 8:30-6

Proper light, fertilizer, and water are the keys to making sure your garden performs its best. Ensuring plants get the right amount of water is one of the trickier aspects of plant care. We can’t rely on Mother Nature to provide the right amount of rain for our precious plants. Supplemental water from an irrigation system, sprinklers, or even watering cans may be necessary from time to time. Many in-ground irrigation systems were set up to water the lawn, not taking into account garden beds filled with annuals or perennials. It may not be practical to set up sprinklers to reach these areas that are close to the house. Hand watering with a hose can be timeconsuming. Consider installing soaker hoses or drip irrigation to help save time. Soaker hoses are ideal for vegetable, annual or perennial gardens. Lay the hoses down at the beginning of the season and plants will grow up around them. Hoses can be connected end to end to achieve the appropriate length, and placed wherever water is needed. End caps and connectors with shut off values make it easy to connect the water source with a series of hoses. Drip irrigation is ideal for container gardens on a deck or patio. Kits are available with everything needed to water many pots from a single faucet. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses need half the water sprinklers do—there’s no evaporation before the water hits the ground. Follow these easy steps to set up a sys-

tem in your garden: 1. Determine the areas where you’ll install soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system. Soaker hoses work best on the ground, while drip irrigation is designed for containers. 2. Determine how much hose you’ll need. For a garden area, the hose will need to wind around the base of plants to adequately provide enough water. The hose is filled with tiny holes all around, which spray water directly into the ground and up a few inches into the air. 3. Determine how you’ll connect the soaker hose to the water source. Typically it’s with a regular garden hose stretched across the lawn and connected to the soaker. It’s best to connect the hoses (without the water running) and position the soaker into place. That way you’ll be sure you have enough hose to connect them together, and you’ll have the right ends to connect. 4. Plan to leave the soaker hoses in place all season. Simply connect the hoses, turn on the water, and leave it running until the ground is thoroughly saturated. 5. A drip irrigation watering system will typically consist of a connector that hooks to the faucet or hose, plastic tubing, drippers to be inserted into the pots, and stakes to hold the drippers. Installation is similar to a soaker hose in the garden. A pre-packaged kit is easy to install and contains everything you’ll need. | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener

• Water deeply to promote deep root growth, and pinch off spent flowers on the plants, such as geraniums, to encourage new flower development.

Perennials • Several varieties of plants, like hardy mums or asters, need to be pinched back starting in early July to produce shorter and fuller plants. • A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around plants will help reduce weeds and decrease the need for watering. Be sure to water deeply to help keep the roots cool and plants happier. Organic fertilizer is great for perennials because it helps improve the soil over time. • Make notes in your gardening journal about plants that might need to be moved or divided this fall or next spring. Regular dividing will keep many varieties healthy and blooming.

Lawn • Apply the third lawn fertilizer treatment in early July, or 6 to 8 weeks after the last treatment. If weeds are a problem, simply spot treat with a liquid weed killer. Remember that a healthy, properly fertilized and watered lawn is thick enough to crowd out weeds. • Mow the lawn properly, never taking off more than 1/3 of the blade at a time. Remove too much at one time and the crown of grass plants will be exposed and they’ll sunburn. These weakened plants will soon be overcome by weeds just waiting for their chance to take over. • Keep the mower blade sharp. Using a dull blade rips the grass blades, leaving jagged edges which are prone to disease. • Grass can actually wilt, especially during hot, sunny days. If you walk across the lawn and leave flattened footprints, that’s a sig-


nal the lawn needs water. Generally lawns need one inch of water each week, spread out over a couple of applications. Use a rain gauge to accurately measure how much water the lawn receives.

Houseplants • Houseplants will benefit greatly by spending the summer outside. Even if you keep them indoors, they’ll like the longer days and more humid conditions. • Plants outside will probably need water every day. The inside ones won’t need to be watered quite as frequently, but more often now then in the winter. • Maintain a regular fertilizing program so they’ll grow strong and healthy. With frequent watering, nutrients are being washed out of the soil. • Use a granular systemic insecticide every 6 weeks to protect your plants from pests during the growing season and prevent them from coming into the house this fall. • Prune houseplants back into shape. Re-pot plants if they’re root-bound.



1. Hydrangea ‘Preziosa’ Gorgeous pink summer flowers fade to a rich crimson. Part sun to light shade. 4’ tall & wide.

2. Dahlia ‘Thomas Edison’ Deep purple flowers up to 8 inches wide. Full sun. Bush is 3-1/2' tall. Stunning!

3. Sorbaria ‘Sem’


Pinkish-red fern-like foliage in spring. Creamy white flowers in summer. Beautiful low hedge or specimen. Easy to grow. Part to full sun. 4’ tall & wide.

4. Samaritan Dogwood A small specimen tree, 20’ tall & wide. Variegated green and white foliage turns pink in fall. Creamy white flowers. Part sun to part shade.

Water Gardens • Test the water regularly for pH, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels, especially if there are fish. • Clean the pond regularly of string algae, and add beneficial microbes to maintain pond health. Floating pond plants provide cover for fish and help keep algae blooms down. • Fertilize pond plants with tablet fertilizer specifically designed for water garden plants. • To help control mosquitoes, introduce fish into the water or add mosquito dunks to prevent eggs from being laid. Provided by the professionals at English Gardens.

5. Aralia ‘Sun King’ Bright foliage for the shade. Emerges mid-spring with bright gold leaves. With a few hours of sun each day, leaves will remain bright gold in summer. 4’ tall, 3’ wide.


Proudly serving Metro Detroit for over 80 years

20815 Farmington Rd. (1 blk N of 8 Mile) Farmington Hills / 248-474-2925


find us on

of Michigan

Call us for a FREE Consultation!

There’s No Place like Home...

Paver Patios & Walkways • Fireplace & Fire Pits • Retaining & Sea Walls Water Features • Outdoor Kitchens • Paver Restoration • Landscape Renovations

810-632-7775 948 N. Old US 23, Brighton 1 Mile South of M-59

July hours: M-F: 8-7 Sat: 8-6 Sun: 10-4

Water Features Don’t Have to be Complicated

Pondless water features are popular because they are a great way to add the sight and sound of water to your property.

Come Tour Over 40 Display Water Gardens

Pond Supplies • Gold Fish & Koi Water Plants • Water Treatments Pumps • Fountains Installation • Service

10% OFF

1 item • Exp 7-31-12 • Restrictions apply • MG


Vanishing Vase


248-889-8400 3505 W. Highland Rd. (M-59), Milford 48380

Our Online Store, is Always Open!


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

ask mg

Have a question? Send it in! Go to and click on “Submit a question”

Tree roots near house

save $5 off a purchase of $10 or more! save $5 off a purchase of $10 or more at the stores listed below* *Valid on new purchases only, of regularly-priced items. One discount per purchase. Excludes sale items, consignment, DSC membership, and gift cards. Valid until 7-31-12 only at the stores listed below.


Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop Canton: 41816 Ford Rd. • 734-983-9130 Grosse Pointe Woods: 20485 Mack Ave. • 313-881-1410 Novi: 47760 Grand River Ave. • 248-374-4000 Royal Oak: 28558 Woodward Ave. • 248-548-2424

We have trees, at least 10 years old, planted close to our condominium. I am concerned about the roots’ continued growth and eventual damage to our basement walls. Are there companies that specialize in situations like this? B.L., Novi, MI Different species have different root systems. Some, such as maples and pines, have very shallow roots, growing in the top two feet of the soil base. Others, like native redbud and oak trees, have a significant tap root. As all trees continue to age, their lateral roots will spread outward past the drip line of the leaf canopy. A root is flexible and will follow along a hard surface like a basement wall rather than try to penetrate it. It is seeking moisture and nutrients from the soil, not home entry. At 10 years old, the trees are still young enough to be moved professionally by a tree company that uses either a mechanical tree spade or specializes in hand-digging to relocate. Contact those near you, find out what methods they use, what they charge per tree, and what they would advise for your situation. If you want to relocate the trees further away from the building, then the sooner the better. Often times commercial and residential landscaping is installed without thinking about the long-term growth habits of trees and shrubs. The payoff is in the immediate curb appeal and not what the tree or shrub will look like in 10 or 20 years. It often leads to compromising the plant’s profile with abortive pruning, having to relocate the plant as you may be doing, or even having to remove the plant all together and start over.

Dealing with common reed grass I have created 3 small ponds with plantings and stonework over the past 20 years. When I started, there were cattails in the area which provided a perfect accent to the landscaping. Over the past 5 years the cattails and the entire area have been taken over by a plant that I have now identified as the common reed (Phragmites). Attempts to physically remove it have been unsuccessful, and the phragmites is spreading wider, deeper, and taller. I understand burning is one method of trying to eradicate them, but my local fire marshall will not allow burning. Any suggestions? D.P., Bloomfield Twp. Common reed (Phragmites australis) is a perennial, wetland grass that can reach a height of 15 feet. There is also a common reed that is native to Michigan. Before you attempt to eradicate it, you need to know whether it

is the native plant or the invasive, non-native variety that is becoming a widespread threat to the ecological health of our wetlands and coastal shoreline. The invasive variety creates a dense, tall stand which degrades the wetlands by crowding out native plants and animals. It spreads rapidly because it has vigorous rhizomes that can grow more than six feet a year and 60 feet in length. New plants grow readily when the rhizomes are fragmented. The plant has no known predators for biological control. Burning is one method of control, but because the reeds are so combustible, many communities will not permit burning. The State of Michigan recommends control through herbicide treatments and mechanical methods. Glyphosate and imazapyr are two non-selective herbicides that have been effective in controlling phragmites. Phragmites should be treated in early to late summer using imazapyr or late summer using either glyphosate or a glyphosate/imazapyr mixture. There are a number of methods used to apply these herbicides depending on the size of the stand and the site conditions. The herbicide can be applied to scattered plants or isolated plants stands by injecting the stems, hand swiping or selective hand spraying. The use of a licensed or certified applicator is recommended to ensure safety requirements and minimize the damage to other plants. Two weeks after the herbicide is applied, removal of dead plant material is recommended by hand pulling or mowing. A brush cutter is recommended for large, dense stands, but hand-cutting can remove individual plant stems in small stands. Mowing at the wrong time can actually stimulate growth and contribute to further spread of these invasive plants. The blade of the mower should be set higher than four inches to prevent damage to small animals and native plants. All dead plants should be immediately removed and disposed of properly (not composted) because seeds can survive the herbicide treatment. Answer provided by Michele Dunham

Pressure-treated lumber in the landscape I used Wolmanized lumber to box in a tree and now I can’t get grass to grow around the box. It is bare about a foot or so out from the wood and I was wondering if the lumber has something to do with it. R.P., Novi, MI “Wolmanized” lumber is a brand name for pressure-treated lumber. Originally, lumber was treated with chromated copper arsenate | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener

to reduce its decomposition (fungicide) and susceptibility to insects (insecticide). It is the arsenate, a form of arsenic, that has proven to be a carcinogen. In December 2003, the EPA mandated chromated copper arsenate no longer be used for preserving wood for residential or general public use. The wood industry voluntarily stopped using this chemical and went to alternative preservation products. Treated lumber is still saturated with a fungicide. The fungicide is applied to the wood under high pressure so that there is little movement of the fungicide out of the wood. However, some leaching is possible. There are two camps of thought. The chemicals that do leach out of the wood become bound to soil particles in all but very acidic soils (pH 4.0 or lower). So even when leaching does occur, the chemicals are not likely to be taken up by a plant’s root system in quantities sufficient to harm plants or people. The second camp suggests staying away from any treated lumber in the residential landscape. Alternatives such as cedar or redwood are recommended. It is possible the treated lumber is responsible. However, if your tree has roots close to the surface, like a maple, grass will be difficult to grow under it anyway. Secondly, as the tree canopy matures, grass is shaded out from the light it needs to thrive. Examine your tree roots and canopy, as both may be contributing. Lastly, remove the treated wood and replace with one of the alternatives.

Messy bird seed What is the best way to deal with oiled sunflower seed shells dropped from a bird feeder on an upper deck down onto a path and the plants below? We love the variety of birds that come to our feeder, but I would like to minimize the mess below. The cost of pre-shelled or “clean” seeds is too high to be practical for the quantity of seed we use. A.S., Ann Arbor, MI If changing seeds is not an option then consider adding a seed catch tray to your bird feeder. Duncraft and Droll Yankee are two well-known brands that specialize in wild bird feeding. Check their product lines for a retrofit tray for your feeder which will help reduce the amount of dropped debris. You may need to replace your feeder with one that has this feature built in. Your current feeder may be too open, allowing birds to throw seed everywhere in their search for the perfect meal. Some birds will pick seeds and take them elsewhere to eat. Others will discard a seed simply because it is cracked. Make sure your source for large quantities of oiled sunflower seed maintains good storage for their unpurchased product. Birds can smell tainted seed and will quickly cast it aside. If you only have one large feeder, consider having two or three of slightly smaller capacity. This offers different species alternate feeding locations. Too many birds all trying to feed at one station can throw seed unnecessarily. During the growing season, when for-


aging food is plentiful, fill your feeders only twice a week to encourage them to search your yard for alternatives. They won’t forget your feeders are there. Plant shrubs and small trees that provide berries. Offer suet feeders which all birds like, and which produce little to no mess. Use a variety of methods to reduce debris and supply additional food stations, and your feeder activity may actually increase.

Weeping giant sequoia Does weeping giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum ‘Pendulum’) grow and survive reliably in Southeastern Michigan? L.M., Huntington Woods, MI Weeping giant sequoias are hardy to zones 6 through 9. The USDA has recently revised the Hardiness Zones Chart for the U.S. Your location is now zone 6, indicating a warming trend of the general climatic conditions. The weeping sequoia needs regular weekly watering—even more frequently in high heat. Watering is key to this plant developing a strong root system. Once established in one to two years, water needs are reduced. Feed with a general-purpose granular fertilizer in spring before new growth starts. If properly protected and cared for with mulch at the base and consistent water, this weeping sequoia should survive. It is a slow grower, originating in the Pacific Northwest in areas where moisture is seldom an issue. It enjoys all the conditions of a rainforest, like part-sun to part-shade, and acidic, well-drained soil. They have the added benefit of being nearly pest free. Considered a specimen tree, plant it where its growth needs are readily met and provide protection from desiccating winter winds which rob the needles of moisture. This is important for any conifer. If you locate the tree wisely, allowing enough space for its eccentric weeping habit, and provide the growing conditions it likes, a weeping giant sequoia will provide a unique focal point in your garden for many years. Unless otherwise indicated, answers provided by Beverly Moss, owner of Garden Rhythms.


n Renovation Specialists n Ornamental Pruning n Maintenance & Redesign n Garden Coaching

Certified Master Gardeners & Designers


Custom-made filtration systems Liners • Pumps • Bulk Fish Food • Fish & Plants

Brenda’s Butterfly HaBitat - nOW OPen! Will have all the native butterflies for this area. Also all the host plants of these butterflies. You will be able to observe their complete life cycle. Come experience the enchantment of these winged beauties! HABITAT HOURS: Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sun: 1-5p Sat: 11a-5p Mon & Wed: Closed

Beautiful stone houses for Miniature & fairy Gardening

6414 N. Merriman • Westland, MI Located between Ford and Warren

734-421-5959 •

find us on

The trees around your home might be 25, 50, or even over 100 years old. Give them the care they deserve.

All tree care companies are not alike. In fact, there is a tremendous range in the skills and services they offer. We offer what few other companies can: • We use a scientific approach to diagnosis and recommendations: site analysis, soil sampling, decay evaluation, prescription fertilization, pruning and plant health care work based on current research, etc. • Low impact work. We have mastered climbing and rigging techniques that enable us to tread lightly on your property (no lawn ruts from trucks, no grass divots from wood, no broken or damaged plants, etc.). • Safe work practices. All our work conforms to the industry’s standard for safety (ANSI Z 133.1). • We tailor plant health care and monitoring programs to each tree and each client, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all, vague spray program. • We utilize our experience in root invigoration and soil amending: air spading, organic matter additions, improvements in the chemical, biological, and physical properties of soil, and more. • Client care—Our clients are family. We stop by our clients’ properties and check back with them to make sure we’re taking care of their tree care concerns.

Pruning • Removals • Cabling • Lightning Protection Fertilization • Root Care & Soil Management • Planting Insect & Disease Management • Tree Risk Assessment



Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

vegetable patch • Huge stones • Sculptures • Fountains • Asian decor • Found artifacts • Garden Décor M-59


Complete Landscape Design & Build Services

Rd. Square Lake

d Ave. Woodwar

d. ke R s La Cas

ard ch Or

Te PONTIAC le gr ap h . Rd d R . ke La Middlebelt Rd.



2629 Orchard Lake Rd. Sylvan Lake, MI 48320 248-738-0500 Starting May 20: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm Sun 10-4

Featuring The Pond Houze—Supplying Houze—Supplying you with all of your equipment and service needs for your pond or fountain


High quality plants & service for your garden success since 1964.

Evergreens • Shrubs • Trees Perennials • Garden Art Fertilizers • Mulches & More!

Summer vegetable garden maintenance With the dog days of summer upon us, it’s insects can simply be handpicked off the plant important to keep a good eye on our vegetable to control leaf damage. Chemical sprays are the gardens. Watering, fertilizing, and weeding last choice and should always be checked to see are necessary to maintain plant vigor. Moniif they are meant to control the problem you are toring for pests and diseases should be done treating. If your vegetables have a problem and regularly. Harvesting as crops ripen will enyou are not certain what it is or how to treat it, courage further production. Planting for the take a sample to the local MSU Extension office fall season should be underway. for diagnosis and recommendations. It is never Watering the vegetable garden is always a a good idea to spray a broad range pesticide that primary concern. Too much or too little crecould harm beneficial insects. Know the speates problems. On the average, vegetables need cific problem and treat accordingly. about one inch of water per week. Adjust your Many crops are bearing or beginning to watering to accommodate any rainfall and do bear fruit in July and August. Harvesting frethe watering early in the day. Deep watering quently will encourage continued production. less frequently is better than shallow watering Harvesting as fruits ripen will usually provide daily. Consistent watering to keep the greatest flavor and highest nutrisoil moist, but well drained, will help tional value as well. After harvesting Mary control problems such as blossom the central head of broccoli, allow the Gerstenberger end rot of tomatoes or cracking from plants time to produce side heads for sudden growth spurts. Consider usan extended harvest. ing mulch to help retain soil moisJuly into early August is also a ture and keep down weeds. good time to sow more of the cool Nitrogen fertilizer can be applied weather crops or do a last planting of in early July, but wait for peppers, early-maturing, warm weather crops. eggplant and tomatoes to set some There is still time to sow carrot, bean, fruit before fertilizing them. Nitrogen beet, radish, lettuce, kohlrabi, and applied at the wrong time can lead to turnip seeds. Transplants of cabbage, an overabundance of greenery and cauliflower, and broccoli can still be not as much fruit development. Always follow set. Many of the cool season crops will still be package directions when applying fertilizer. harvestable into October and November. Weeding should be done regularly to reAs the summer progresses, keep a record of duce competition. If using a hoe, cut through your garden: what you have planted and where, the weed plants near the surface to avoid how well it grew, and what you liked or disliked damaging vegetable roots. While out weedabout the vegetable. Keeping good records will ing, check the soil around carrots, potatoes help when you make plans for next year. and onions. If their “shoulders” are exposed, Mary Gerstenberger is the Consumer Horcover them with soil or mulch to prevent ticulture Coordinator at the Michigan State green color from developing. University Extension in Macomb County, MI. Keeping your vegetable plants healthy is a For gardening information from MSU, visit major step in helping to control pest damage and diseases. Watering early in the day and close to the ground to avoid splashing on leaves can help Call the toll-free Michigan State University reduce fungal problems. Keeping tools clean Lawn and Garden Hotline at 888-678-3464 will help prevent spread of disease. Natural for answers to your gardening questions. predators help control unwanted pests. Some

~ Summer color plants ~ Over 18 varieties of Hydrangeas, all reliable bloomers

Garden Videos Enjoy your lovely garden for years to come!

Need help with landscape design? Bring in pictures of your area, and let our trained staff help you. We also have on-site appointments available. 3820 West Auburn Rd (2 blocks E of Adams) • Rochester Hills • 248-852-2310 Mon-Fri 8-7 Sat 8-6 Sun 10-5

Nursery & Garden Center 2781 Scio Church Road Ann Arbor • 734-665-8733

Greatt Gif ! Idea

Betty Ditzik • 734.482.6864

Summer Garden Sensations! Over 900 Varieties of Perennials Potted annuals for instant summer color Hanging Baskets, Accent Plants, and Unique Combination Planters


1525 Bogie Lake Rd. ~ White Lake

July Hours: Mon-Fri 8-6 Sat 9-5 Sun 11-3 1-1/2 Miles S. of M-59 • Across from Lakeland H.S.

Your Outdoor Pleasures Await at

Tropical Treasures

Complete Line of Pond Supplies Firestone EPDM Liners Energy Efficient Pumps • Filters Medicines • Lighting • UV’s Food • Kites & Windsocks Bonsai Trees & Supplies Wide variety of pond fish including: Japanese Koi, Chinese Goldfish

Come see our well-stocked Pond Store!

Pond Critters: Turtles, Tadpoles, Snails & Clams Pond Plants: Marginals, Lillies, Lotus & Oxygenators

34190 S. Gratiot (14-1/2 Mile) • Clinton Township 586-791-6595 July hours: Mon-Fri 11am-8pm Sat 9am-8pm Sun 9am-5pm


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

healthy lawns Tips for mowing your grass While the weekly chore of cutting your March or early April. Simply lower the mowgrass is rarely on the Top Ten list of fun er one level from your normal setting for the things to do, it remains an essential part of first cut and then raise it back up to the higher caring for your lawn. Furthermore, try not settings for the rest of the season. cutting the lawn for 2 or 3 weeks and see How tall to mow. One of the most comwhat your neighbors say, not to mention how mon mistakes people make when mowing much work it is to cut the next time! their lawn is to cut it too low. The kinds of How much of the grass blade to remove. grasses found in Michigan lawns are meant The general rule you should follow is to be cut at heights of 3 to 3-1/2 to not cut more than 1/3 of the grass Steve inches tall at all times. If they are blade at any one time. If you cut the Martinko routinely cut lower than that, they lawn each week, that guideline is will not be as healthy and may beusually met. However, at times of gin to thin out, thus becoming more peak growth, such as in the spring, vulnerable to damaging diseases you may need to cut every 4 to 5 and even dying. Set your mower at days. Only cut with a sharp blade. either the highest or second highest The blade of your mower should be setting available to achieve the corsharpened at least once each year, if rect height of cut. not more. If the tips of the blades of Fall mowing. While everyone grass are frayed after you mow, the gets tired of mowing the lawn by the blade of the mower needs to be sharpened. time fall rolls around, proper mowing in the fall Early spring mowing. The earlier in the will help the lawn look even better the followspring you can make the first cut of your ing spring. The turf grass plant ideally needs lawn, the sooner the lawn will green up. Exthe full length of the leaf tissue to conduct perience has shown that the lawn will look photosynthesis and maximize energy storgreener quicker with an early cut in late age to survive the winter and prepare for next

spring. If the grass is cut too short in the fall, the plant will take energy out of the root system to re-grow, thereby depleting critical reserves it will need. After a few hard frosts, however, the lawn will stop growing and that makes it an ideal time to lower your height for the last mowing to 2 inches. If left taller over the winter, the grass blades tend to fold over, resulting in areas that need to be raked out in the spring to encourage new grass to grow easily. Taller winter grass blades can also contribute to mold. Grass clippings. Finally, allow the grass clippings to remain on the lawn. Between the restrictions on yard waste disposal and

the great benefits your lawn will receive, allowing clipped grass blades to stay on the lawn makes good sense. The blades will not contribute to thatch because they all decompose within about six weeks, adding beneficial microorganisms and about seven percent more fertilizer to the soil. The key to the ideal mulching, or “grass-cycling,” is to cut your lawn a little more often (roughly every 5 days) to keep the grass clippings smaller and neater. Steve Martinko is the owner of Contender’s Tree and Lawn Specialists in Oakland County, MI.


Potted Hardy Lavender • U-Pick Gift Shoppe • Refreshments • Fresh Eggs Admission $3 • Children 12 & under free

OPEN MID-MAY – AUGUST: 10am-4pm FEATURING: Guided Farm Tour: 10am • English Tea or Luncheon Tea: Friday only by reservation • Soprano Yana Levovna sings July 14, 7-9 pm • Herbalist Jim McDonald returns July 21, 1pm: FREE • Iris’ Weekend Workshops: Fri & Sat 1-2 pm: FREE • Harvest & Tea: July 10 & 17, 9-Noon: FREE

Special Events Opera in the Twilight July 14 Topical Plants, Potions and Poulti July 21

Yule Love It Lavender Farm • 248-628-7814 • 960 Yule Road • Leonard, MI 48367 – N of 32 Mile Rd, 1 mi. E of Rochester Rd.


Confused or overwhelmed by your pond? Or just need supplies and friendly advice? STOP IN—WE CAN HELP. We will answer your questions and put you on the road to success!

Pond, Fountain & Water Garden Supplies and Service 248-922-7759 • 9355 DIXIE HWY, CLARKSTON, MI Just minutes from Great Lakes Crossing and 1 mile north of Bordine’s in Clarkston




10% ��� one item

In-store purchases only / Some restrictions apply | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener


SUMMER ROCKS! JULY 28 & 29, 11am-5pm Celebrate summer with Arrowhead Alpines! We'll be hosting great rock dealers, and as always, wonderful rare plants for our annual Summer Rocks Party! Perfect for fairy gardens, miniature landscapes, and rock gardens. 1


Designing with Conifers: The Best Choices for Year-Round Interest in Your Garden by Richard L. Bitner Designing with Conifers (Timber Press, 296 pages, $34.95) is about using conifers as garden plants and selecting them for their habit, foliage, and color. It helps readers make better choices when selecting conifers for landscapes or integrate them into mixed borders. Since conifers are commonly misused in gardens and landscapes, homeowners can end up with plants squashed against a house or rows too close to sidewalks. When used correctly and creatively, conifers can be beautiful, long-lasting plants. Chapters of the book cover shape, color, choosing a location, and soil conditions. Conifers can be used near front gates, as hedges and screens, in shade gardens, and in specialty gardens like bonsai, Asian, or miniature railroad gardens. A useful appendix lists conifers for various problems and conditions, like areas plagued by deer and the best plants for Christmas trees.

1. Asarum / 2. Tricyrtis 'Kohaku' / 3. Oenothera Kunthiana / 4. Magnolia sieboldii


4 • 517-223-3581 • Wed-Sun 11-5 Closed Mon & Tue Take I-96 to the Fowlerville exit, go south 100 yards to Van Buren Rd, turn west on Van Buren and go 1 mile to Gregory Rd. Turn left (south) on Gregory and travel 1.75 miles to #1310 (long driveway).

The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds by Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds (Storey Publishing, 320 pages, $24.95) shows you how to collect, save, and cultivate the seeds from more than 300 vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, trees, and shrubs. The authors thoroughly explain every step in the seed-saving process. Descriptions of seed biology; tips on how to select plants for the best seeds; and advice on harvesting and cleaning, proper storage and care, and propagating and caring for new seedlings are all presented with easy-to-follow instructions. Chapters dedicated to individual plants contain species-specific directions and detailed information. The chapters organize the information based on the types of plants. An appendix covers the history of seed saving and selling in North America. The book concludes with several resources for the reader to connect with others who save seeds. Gardeners of any experience level will find information they need to extend the life of their favorite plants to the next generation and beyond.

What’s Wrong With My Vegetable Garden: 100% Organic Solutions for All Your Vegetables, from Artichokes to Zucchini by David Deardorff & Kathryn Wadsworth Vegetable gardeners deal with a variety of common problems, including bugs, diseases, and other mysterious ailments. What’s Wrong With My Vegetable Garden (Timber Press, 252 pages, $24.95) offers help by teaching the reader how to keep vegetables healthy so they are less susceptible to attack, and when problems do occur it explains how to recognize them and find the right solution. Highlights of the book include information about how to team with nature to create the best growing conditions for vegetables, portraits of the most commonly grown vegetables, illustrated problem-solving guides, and discussions of the most effective organic solutions. The vegetable portraits provide growth habit, plant seasons, temperature, soil, light and water requirements, best garden uses and planting techniques, along with color photographs of each. The problem-solving guide is in a table format and refers the reader to various pages within the book for solutions regarding water and light, soil, insects, and fertilizers.


State Crushing L A N D S C A P E S U P P LY

Full line of organic products • Same day delivery service We specialize in natural wood mulches Hello gardeners! Our “wood fines” and “red pine bark” products are a gardener’s dream. Very finely shredded, you can mix them in with your existing soil to create an excellent amended soil for planting. You’ll also love our premium compost and cedar bark mulch.

Yard Waste Recycling Big yard clean-up? Got lots of garden debris? Bring it in! We accept many types of yard waste.

2260 Auburn Rd. • Auburn Hills • 248-332-6210 • Hours: Monday-Friday 7-5 Saturday 7-1


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

Fresh from the garden: Making your cucumbers into delicious pickles When you have cucumber plants that are super productive, here are a few ideas on how to use them. They are so very tasty and easy— two of our favorite words in recipes. We included one green bean recipe too. For the last couple of summers we have indulged in making refrigerator pickles. These are easy to make since there is no big canning hassle, and they taste so good with summer dishes. And since more and more markets are now carrying “salad cucumbers” and bunches of fresh dill, you can make the pickles year round. We now have lots of experience, so let us share some of the best tips and our favorite recipes with you. We quarter the dills for spears and slice the sweets with a mandolin slicer to readily tell one from the other. Wash the jars, lids, measuring cups, and spoons in hot soapy water, or in a dishwasher. Since these are not being canned in a canner, they must be refrigerated. They keep for four or five months. We always use new lids.

Dill pickles

All the materials needed for making sweet pickles. We have tried these with fresh dill heads, The best dill pickles fresh dill weed (the leaves of dill), and dried This is our favorite dill pickle recipe, with dill heads and weed. Fresh is best, dried dill our comments and adjustments. You will need: heads aren’t bad, and dried dill weed is not so • 1 dozen pickling cucumbers, cut into quargood. Whole dill seed is pretty good too. We ters. Makes about 2 quart and 3 pint jars. found that gently pounding the dried heads Wide mouth jars are easiest. and dill seeds released a lot of good flavor, and • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic in each jar we even gently pounded the fresh dill weed for • 1 grape leaf for each jar (not essential, but more flavor. We did this step right in the jars, traditional for crisper pickles) so as not to lose any of the flavor. We have used • 2 heads of dill for each jar, both cider vinegar and plain plus seeds and weed if dewhite vinegar, and really canJean & Roxanne Riggs sired. If you just have dill not taste much difference in weed, use at least 10 goodflavor. sized stems. Dill is an easy-to-grow Pack each jar with cucumherb in the home garden. It bers, garlic, grape leaf, and grows in patches, in rows, dill. in planters, and in window Next, boil together: boxes from seeds. It is an an• 2 quarts water nual and the plants only last • 1 cup vinegar about 3 months or until the • 1/3 cup kosher salt first frost. There are several varieties, includ• 1/4 cup sugar ing one that is slow to bolt to seed and thus Stir until everything is dissolved and there produces lots of “weed,” as well as tall varietis a good rolling boil. Remove from heat. Pour ies and short ones that are really good grown Materials for dill pickles. solution, slightly cooled, into jars to comin pots. The flower heads with seeds that are pletely cover cucumbers. Cover with lids and not quite ripe produce the best dill flavor for • 7 or 8 pickling cucumbers, sliced allow to cool completely before placing in the pickles, in our opinion. Every recipe we read Simmer together: refrigerator. They are ready in a couple of said to avoid using the seedless varieties so • 1 cup vinegar days to eat. popular in supermarkets. We found a lot of • 1-3/4 cups sugar recipes, and in the end we adjusted the best The best sweet pickles • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt ones for us. Our favorite sweet pickle recipe is sort of a • 1 teaspoon celery seeds cross between sweet pickles with a touch of Add vinegar mixture to jars to cover cubread and butter pickles. Our family is especialcumbers and onions. Put on lids. Cool comP h oto g r a p h s by ly fond of the onions in this one. Pack into jars: pletely. Refrigerate for a couple of days and J e a n a n d R ox a n n e R i g g s • 1 or 2 large sweet onions, sliced then enjoy!

Sweet pickles in jars.

Dilly beans These are really wonderful on a mixed relish tray, or as a “wow” factor in martinis or Bloody Mary’s! You will need: • About 2 pounds straight green beans or mixed green and wax beans, washed and trimmed and packed into jars. • 2 heads of garlic, peeled. One clove into each jar. • Small chile peppers, if desired. 1 into each jar. | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener


MI Gardener 2005_1-4 pg


4:37 PM

Page 1

Landscape Lighting is our only business.

We Are Award-Winning Landscape Lighting Specialists.

Award Winning Landscape Lighting: Named “Michigan Contractor of the Year -1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 • and 2004” by

Lighting designed and installed for Safety • Security • Beauty

Lighting for Accentuate the features •ofSafety your property - excellent return on investment. • Security your living space • Extend Beauty…

after sunset - enjoy your landscape like never before.

Enhance the appearance Trust of yourour property technical with an excellent expertise, attention to detail return investment. andon years of experience.

Schuman Schuman Landscape Lighting

Landscape Lighting, Inc. , Inc.

Dill growing in a pot, and in the dill weed stage of growth. • 2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns. 1/4 teaspoon into each jar. • Dill heads and weed. 1 head and few dill sprigs into each jar. Boil together: • 6 cups vinegar • 2 cups water • 1/4 cup Kosher salt • 1/4 cup sugar Pour into packed jars to cover beans. Put on lids. Cool completely. Refrigerate for a couple of days and they are ready! None of these recipes took more than an hour, start to finish. We were usually done in less than 1/2 hour. We tried several other vegetables, but these were our favorites.

Residential • Commercial

specialists. 248We |are761 | 9377 Landscape Lighting

(248) 761-9377

is our only business.

2012 Schuman MichGard Ad.indd 1

4/4/12 12:55:13 PM

Your Patio & Landscape Stone Specialists for over 50 years!


We now have premium hardwood mulch—Low prices & fast delivery!

Jean and Roxanne Riggs operated Sunshine Farm and Garden in Oakland County, MI and now enjoy retirement in northern Michigan.

Dill pickles done and packed in jars, now in the cooling process.


Residential - Commercial

Enjoy your landscape for a consultation asCall an extended living space after sunset.


Updated and Redesigned! • See current garden events in our Event Calendar • Sign up for our FREE E-Newsletter


“the little gardener that could” 15 Years Experience at Botanical Gardens

• Check out Website Extras, bonus material to our print magazine features

FREE Estimates

• And much more!

The print edition of Michigan Gardener is still your exclusive source for gardener profiles, features, how-to articles, Plant Focus and much more.

586-214-9852 Pat

THE AREA’S LARGEST SELECTION OF UNIQUE NATURAL STONE Cut & Tumbled Bluestone Wallstone Flagstone Boulders Ledgerock Stone Pavers

3975 S. Rochester Rd. (Just South of M-59)

Rochester Hills


• Do-It-Yourself instructions from our staff of EXPERTS! • Brick Pavers and Maintenance Supplies • Water Garden Pumps & Filters • Garden Walls & Edgings Prompt, Courteous Delivery Available

3600 Lapeer Rd.


(across from Palace of Auburn Hills)

Auburn Hills

July Hours: Monday-Friday 8-6


Saturday 8-4


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

perennial partners A sizzling summer combination—Midsummer is the time of year when color explodes in the garden I always marvel at nature’s use of color through the seasons. Spring brings soft, gentle colors: pea green, pale yellow and soft blue, the subtle colors that just begin to waken the senses. June, the month of romance and weddings, gives us lavender and pink aplenty, accented by white and blue. In July, the brightest colors come on the scene, celebrating our joyful mood and the boisterousness of high summer. It’s easy to have a riot of color in your backyard now, without a lot of fuss or trouble. Phlox, the-old fashioned type called garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), is a plant most of us remember from childhood. Nothing evokes summer memories better than the distinctive, sweet scent of phlox. Fragrant, easy to grow, and prolific, this is a plant that belongs in every garden. Phlox comes in Karen nearly all the colors of Bovio the rainbow: pink in all its shades, lavender, purple, near-blue, white, red, salmon, coral, and some with eyes of contrasting colors. The only color not wellrepresented is yellow— no loss, as other summer bloomers drench us with sunny yellow flowers! Phlox performs best in full sun to partial shade, with moist, well-drained soil. If rain is lacking, keep phlox watered in order to avoid moisture stress, which predisposes the plants to unsightly powdery mildew. The best defense against this disease is assuring sufficient soil moisture and plant nutrition, plus good air circulation. This can be achieved by thinning the number of shoots in the phlox clumps each spring. Simply remove half to two thirds of the stems, by cutting them off right at ground level during early May. This seemingly brutal tactic is effective in reducing disease incidence, with the added benefit of increasing the size of the flower heads. Recent breeding efforts in phlox emphasize mildew resistance, so it’s smart to check for this trait when choosing phlox for your garden. Most older phlox varieties reach a height of about 3 to 3-1/2 feet tall. This height works well in large perennial borders and is the perfect size for combining with summer bloomers like bee balm, Shasta daisy, false sunflower, daylily and Oriental lily. Newer, more compact varieties, anywhere from 18 inches to 2 feet tall, are also plentiful. These shorter plants work well in smaller gardens or in the mid-section of big borders, and also make

Eric Hofley / Michigan Gardener

Clockwise from top left: anise hyssop, garden phlox, bee balm, and Shasta daisy weave together to create a colorful summer scene. nice additions to potted combinations. Bee balm (Monarda) makes a fine companion to phlox because it prefers the same growing conditions. And like phlox, it comes in a wide range of colors and heights. Red is probably the most popular color because people associate it with attracting hummingbirds. Truth be told, hummingbirds will also visit the other bee balm colors (pink, lavender, purple) because they are primarily seeking tubular flowers. Any brightly colored tubular flower will attract them and that includes phlox, which has a narrow, funnelshaped center that perfectly accommodates their narrow bills. Like phlox, bee balm has enjoyed a lot of attention from plant breeders working to impart better mildew-resistance and shorter

stature. These goals have been achieved, and in addition to your favorite tall types (3 to 4 feet), it is now possible to enjoy bee balm as a dwarf border plant. Look for the Petite series (12 to 15 inches) and the new Grand series (15 to 28 inches depending on the cultivar). In addition to dwarf or compact habit, these varieties also exhibit good mildew resistance. Our luscious summer scene is completed by two perennials, Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum) and anise hyssop (Agastache), which provide a cool contrast to the two bold stars of the show. White is always the peacemaker between disparate colors, and classic white daisies are effective in any style of garden. Look for the tall varieties ‘Becky’ or ‘Brightside,’ which rebloom when deadheaded. Anise hyssop deserves wider use, and is

just starting to gain popularity due to its long, June-through-frost bloom time. For a traditional border such as this one, be sure to choose non-xeric varieties, such as ‘Blue Fortune’ (shown), ‘Black Adder,’ or ‘Purple Haze.’ These varieties are hybrids of Agastache rugosa and/or A. foeniculum, which are hardy and long-lasting in southern Michigan, being more tolerant of moisture-retentive soils and high humidity. Cultivars deriving from the Southwestern U.S. species Agastache aurantiaca, A. cana, and A. neomexicana (usually orange, pink or sunset shades) require very sharp drainage and typically do not live long in wet, humid climates. Karen Bovio is the owner of Specialty Growers in Howell, MI.

The Best Quality Products—Period!

Gardening Soils Mulch • Boulders Sand • Brick Pavers Top Soil & Peat • Flagstone Driveway Gravel • Stone

We have Michigan’s best supply! We deliver in bulk • Rich, organic soil • 99.9% weed free Use it to improve your soil or mulch your beds

Fresh pine BarK mulch in bulk! This finely ground pine bark is a great way to improve clay soils. It is hard to find and the supply is limited—call us today to order this premium product. Your soil and plants will thank you!

Serving Metro Detroit

Or 10 ga 0% ni c

Plantskydd ® Granular 1lb • 3lb • 7lb • 20lb

Repels rabbits, voles and small critters Sprinkle Plantskydd ® throughout your garden. It couldn’t be easier! #1 Most Effective #1 Longest Lasting #1 Most Tested

Go to to see our HUGE selection & valuable coupons.

For testimonials and independent research results, visit our website:

Available at Saxton’s Garden Center in Plymouth • 734-453-6250 NEW this year: Miniature gardening! We have many plants & accessories!

Bonsai – We are Michigan’s largest bonsai nursery with over 2,500 indoor and outdoor bonsai trees!

Indoor: Ficus, Fukien Tea, Bougainvillea, and many more. Outdoor: Maples, Junipers, Korean Hornbeam, Dawn Redwood, Larch and many more.


Call us now! We Love What We Do!

We have something for everyone: From $3 starter plants up to $6,000 very mature, exceptional bonsai trees • Japanese & Chinese pots • Tools • Wire • Soil • Mud Men • Ongoing classes

Complete Landscape Design & Installation Services Residential-Commercial • Free Estimates • Landscape lighting • Annuals & perennials • Weeding • Lawn maintenance • Holiday lighting

WATER GARDENS Hardy & Tropical Aquatic Plants: Water Lilies • Bog Plants Pond Supplies: Filters • Pumps Pond Liner • Fish Food Fish: Shubunkins • Fantails • Domestic Koi • Imported Koi From Japan • Crawfish & Tadpoles

8930 South Custer Rd. (M-50) Monroe, MI 48161

1-year warranty on landscaping (plants & trees)


4-year warranty on new brick paver installation

s e g d Ho Y E A R S



To repel deer and rabbits, use Plantskydd ® liquid spray Deer Repellent

Gordon’s Landscaping

2 4

Listed for


248-960-4000 • 960 Ladd Rd • Walled Lake Quality Landscape Products When You Want Them!

• Brick paver patios & walkways • Paver power wash/reseal • Pond & waterfall design & installation • Tree/Shrub Planting

from deer, rabbits, and small critters


SphagnuM peat

Protect your GARDEN


Say no to stale, box-store bagged mulch. Say YeS to our fresh bulk mulch! Call us today!

an io d Pl tect teeney o n o pr ara r m k u c Guor yo ba

Mention thiS ad and receive 5% oFF your order



s Detroit’


5 mi E. of Cabela’s on M-50 • M-F 9-5 Sat 9-4

See our Bonasi and Water Garden photo gallery at




eale D y l n O aru-





Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

Columbiaville, Davison

Bay City, Clio, Gladwin, Midland, Roscommon, Saginaw

North Branch


Emmett Imlay City

Flushing Lennon

Port Huron

Hadley Dryden

Grand Blanc


Bancroft, Owosso






Clarkston Hartland

White Lake Highland



East Lansing, Fowlerville, Grand Rapids, Haslett, Lansing, Mason, Williamston


West Bloomfield

Walled Lake Wixom Brighton

New Hudson South Lyon

Whitmore Lake

Novi Northville

Rochester Hills

Auburn Hills Bloomfield Hills Birmingham

Canton Wayne

Sterling Hts.

Southfield Oak Park Ferndale

Dearborn Dearborn Heights





Romulus Brownstown Twp.

Southgate Trenton Grosse Ile

Rockwood, Monroe

A collection of stores and gardens to shop and visit. Please call ahead for hours, as they may vary from season to season. h Denotes MG Advertiser Addison Twp H Yule Love It Lavender Farm Almont American Tree Ann Arbor H Abbott’s Nurs Ace Barnes Hardware Downtown Home/Gard H English Gardens 155 N. Maple Rd, MI 48103 734-332-7900 HillTop Greenhse/Farms Lodi Farms H The Produce Station Turner’s Greenhse/Garn Ctr Wild Birds Unltd Auburn Hills Drake’s Landscp & Nurs H Haley Stone H State Crushing Bancroft Grand Oak Herb Farm Bay City H Begick Nursery & Garden Center 5993 Westside Saginaw Rd., MI 48706 989-684-4210

Clinton Twp.


New Boston Tipton


Livonia Redford


Belleville Banotai Greenhse Gardeners Choice Pinter Flowerland Zywicki Greenhse Berkley Garden Central Westborn Flower Mkt Bloomfield Hills Backyard Birds Birmingham H Blossoms 33866 Woodward Ave, MI 48009 248-644-4411 Plant Station Tiffany Florist Brighton H Beauchamp Landscp Supp H Bordine’s Brighton Farmer’s Mkt Cowbell Lawn/Gard H English Gardens 7345 Grand River, MI 48114 810-534-5059 Grasshopper Gardens H Meier Flowerland Brownstown Twp Elegant Environ Pond Shop Ruhlig Farms & Gard

New Baltimore



Ann Arbor


St. Clair Roseville Shores Madison Royal Oak Heights Warren


Cement City, Chelsea, Jackson, Stockbridge

Shelby Twp.


Farmington Hills Farmington




Sylvan Lake Howell


Oakland Holly White Lake Waterford

Higgins Lake The Greenhouse Highland Colasanti’s Produce/Plant H Fragments H Highland Garden Ctr One Stop Landscp Supp Holly H Rice’s Garden Ornaments Howell H Howell Farmer’s Mkt Penrose Nurs Howell

Addison Twp.




Canton Canton Floral Gardens Clink Nurs Crimboli Landscp/Nurs Keller & Stein Greenhse H Wild Birds Unltd Cement City H Hallson Gardens Chelsea H Garden Mill The Potting Shed Clarkston H Bordine’s Country Oaks Landscp I Lowrie’s Landscp H The Pond Source Clinton Twp H English Gardens 44850 Garfield Rd, MI 48038 586-286-6100 H Tropical Treasures Clio H Piechnik’s Greenhouse Columbiaville Hilltop Barn Commerce Twp Backyard Birds Zoner’s Greenhse Davison H Wojo’s Gard Splendors


Grosse Pointes Dearborn Fairlane Gardens Westborn Flower Mkt Dearborn Heights H English Gardens 22650 Ford Rd, MI 48127 313-278-4433 Detroit Allemon’s Landscp Ctr Dexter Gardens H Fraleigh’s Landscp Eastpointe Ariel’s Enchanted Gard H English Gardens 22501 Kelly Rd, MI 48021 586-771-4200 Semrau Gard Ctr Farmington Backyard Birds Farmington Hills Angelo’s Landscp Supp Farmer John’s Greenhse Loeffler Stone Ctr H Steinkopf Nurs Fenton Gerych’s Flowers/Gift H Heavenly Scent Herb Farm Ferndale Casual Modes Home/Gard Green Thumb Gard Ctr Flushing Flushing Lawn/Gard Fowlerville H Arrowhead Alpines Gladwin H Stone Cottage Gard Grand Blanc H Bordine’s H The Weed Lady 9225 Fenton Rd, MI 48439 810-655-2723 Grosse Ile H Westcroft Gardens Grosse Pointe Allemon’s Landscp Ctr Meldrum & Smith Nurs Grosse Pointe Woods H Wild Birds Unltd Hadley H Le Fleur Décor Hartland H Deneweth’s Garden Ctr Haslett H Christian’s Greenhse H Van Atta’s Greenhse

H Specialty Growers 4330 Golf Club Rd, MI 48843 517-546-7742 Imlay City Earthly Arts Greenhse Jackson The Hobbit Place Schmid Nurs/Gard Lake Orion Lake Orion Lawn Orn H Orion Stone Depot H Wojo’s of Lake Orion Lapeer H Iron Barn Gard Ctr Lennon Krupps Novelty Shop Livonia Bushel Mart Superior Growers Supp Westborn Flower Mkt Macomb Altermatt Greenhses Boyka’s Greenhse H Deneweth’s Garden Ctr H Elya’s Village Gardens Landscape Source Joe Randazzo’s Nurs Wade Nurs H Wiegand’s Nursery 47747 Romeo Plank Rd., MI 48044 586-286-3655 Madison Heights Green Carpet Sod Manchester McLennan Nurs Mason Wildtype Nurs Metamora Gilling’s Nurs Milford One Stop Landscp Supp Milford Gardens H The Pond Place Monroe H The Flower Market New Baltimore Meldrum Bros Nurs New Boston H Gorham & Sons Nurs Grass Roots Nurs Mums the Word New Hudson H Milarch Nurs North Branch H Campbell’s Greenhse Oldani Landscp Nurs Northville H Gardenviews Novi H Dinser’s Greenhse Glenda’s Gard Ctr Stone City H Wild Birds Unltd Oak Park Four Seasons Gard Ctr Oakland Goodison Farms Daylilies Ortonville Country Oaks Landscp II H Wojo’s Greenhse Owosso H Everlastings in Wildwood Oxford Candy Cane Xmas Trees Oxford Farm/Gard

Plymouth Backyard Birds Graye’s Greenhse Lucas Nurs H Plymouth Nurs Plymouth Rock Rock Shoppe H Saxton’s Gard Ctr Sparr’s Greenhse Pontiac H Goldner Walsh Gard/Home Ray Van’s Valley Greenhse Redford Pinter Flowerland Seven Mi Gard Ctr Rochester H Fogler’s Greenhse H Haley Stone Sherwood Forest Gard Ctr Rochester Hills H Auburn Oaks Gard Ctr 3820 West Auburn Rd, MI 48309 248-852-2310 H Bordine’s H English Gardens Patio Shop Shades of Green Nurs Wild Birds Unltd Rockwood H Marsh Greenhouses Too 31820 W. Jefferson, MI 48173 734-379-9641 Romulus Block’s Stand/Greenhse H Kurtzhals’ Farms H Schoedel’s Nurs H Schwartz’s Greenhse Roscommon The Greenhouse Roseville Dale’s Landscp Supp World Gardenland Royal Oak H Billings Lawn Equip H English Gardens 4901 Coolidge Hwy, MI 48073 248-280-9500 H Wild Birds Unltd Saginaw H Abele Greenhse Saline H Nature’s Gard Ctr 6400 E. Michigan Ave., MI 48176 734-944-8644 Saline Flowerland Shelby Twp Diegel Greenhses Eden Gard Ctr H Hessell’s Greenhse Maeder Plant Farm Potteryland H Telly’s Greenhouse 4343 24 Mile, MI 48316 248-659-8555 South Lyon Hollow Oak Farm Nurs Southfield 3 DDD’s Stand H Eagle Landscp/Supp Lavin’s Flower Land Main’s Landscp Supp Southgate H Ray Hunter Gard Ctr St Clair Shores Hall’s Nurs Soulliere Gard Ctr Sterling Heights Decor Statuette H Eckert’s Greenhouse Flower Barn Nurs Prime Landscp Supp Stockbridge Gee Farms Sylvan Lake H AguaFina Gardens Intrntl H Detroit Garden Works Taylor H Beautiful Ponds & Gardens 20379 Ecorse, MI 48180 313-383-3853

H D&L Garden Ctr H Massab Acres H Panetta’s Landscp Supp Tecumseh Mitchell’s Lawn/Landscp Trenton Carefree Lawn Ctr Troy Maeder’s West H Telly’s Greenhouse 3301 John R Rd, MI 48083 248-689-8735 Tom’s Landscp Nurs H Uncle Luke’s Feed Store Utica Dale’s Landscp Supp Stone City Walled Lake H Suburban Landscp Supp Warren H Beste’s Lawn/Patio Supp Garden Ctr Nurs Young’s Garden Mart Washington Landscp Direct Rocks ‘n’ Roots Waterford Hoffman Nurs H Merrittscape Wayne Artman’s Nurs West Bloomfield H English Gardens 6370 Orchard Lake Rd, MI 48322 248-851-7506 H Planterra Westland Artman’s Westland Nurs H Barson’s Greenhse Bushel Stop Panetta’s Landscp Joe Randazzo’s Nurs White Lake H Bogie Lake Greenhse Mulligan’s Gard Sunshine Plants Whitmore Lake H Alexander’s Greenhses Williamston H Christian’s Greenhse Wixom Brainer’s Greenhse Angelo’s Landscp Supp Milford Tree Farm Ypsilanti Coleman’s Farm Mkt Lucas Nurs Margolis Nurs Materials Unlimited

Gardens to Visit Ann Arbor H Matthaei Bot Gard/Nichols Arb Bloomfield Hills H Cranbrook Gardens Dearborn Arjay Miller Arboretum at Ford World HQ Henry Ford Estate Detroit Anna S Whitcomb Conservtry Dryden Seven Ponds Nature Ctr East Lansing H MSU Horticultural Gardens W.J. Beal Botanical Gard Emmett H Sunny Fields Botanical Pk Flint Applewood Grand Rapids Frederik Meijer Gardens Grosse Pointe Shores H Edsel & Eleanor Ford Hse Lansing Cooley Gardens Midland H Dow Gardens Novi Tollgate Education Ctr Royal Oak Detroit Zoo Tipton H Hidden Lake Gardens | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener


Oregon Association of Nurseries

Little Rascal Improved Holly

My Monet Sunset Weigela

This small holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘MonNieves’) provides excellent, low-growing bright green foliage to gardens. The spiny foliage matures to a burgundy red in fall. Its diminutive stature makes it valuable to gardeners with small gardens needing an evergreen shrub. Little Rascal Improved is excellent for shrub borders and foundation plantings. Use in irregular groups for a natural look or line up for an informal, low hedge. 3 feet tall and wide. Full to part sun.

This dwarf weigela (Weigela florida ‘Sunset’) has attractive gold foliage in spring and summer, changing to beautiful red tones in the fall. Grown primarily for its colorful, variegated foliage, it will occasionally produce soft, rosy pink flowers. Plant it in the front of beds and borders for multi-season color. 1 to 1-1/2 feet tall, 1-1/2 to 2 feet wide. Full sun.

Little Lime Hydrangea A dwarf form of the popular ‘Limelight’ hydrangea, Little Lime sports the same great flowers and coloration as ‘Limelight’ but in a more compact plant. As a result, this new Hydrangea paniculata can be used even in small gardens. It is excellent for both mixed borders and foundation plantings. Summer flowers open soft green and turn pink and burgundy in fall. 3-5 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide. Full to part sun.

Little Devil Ninebark

Lo & Behold Ice Chip Butterfly Bush

For those of you who love the colorful look of ninebarks but don’t have room for their large size, say hello to Little Devil (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Donna May’). This compact shrub features deep burgundy foliage throughout the season and small white-pink clusters of flowers in June. Little Devil is a versatile choice because of its smaller size. It is a great addition to perennial, mixed, and shrub borders. This low maintenance plant keeps its compact shape without pruning. 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. Full sun to part shade.

This dwarf, wide-spreading butterfly bush (Buddleia ‘Ice Chip’) has pure white flowers that combine nicely with a backdrop of silvery foliage. The fragrant flowers attract butterflies. This shrub is not only seedless, it’s also continuous-blooming and requires no deadheading. Its neat, low-spreading habit makes it an excellent ground-covering plant. 1-1/2 to 2 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide. Full sun.

Bailey Nurseries


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

Ball Horticultural Co.

‘Tsavo Golden Yellow’

Ball Horticultural Co.

‘Tsavo Yellow Ice’


‘Sprite Orange’

Ball Horticultural Co.

‘Tsavo Double Gold’

Cohen Propagation Nurseries

‘Solaris Compact Yellow’ | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener

plant focus



have a plant list on my computer at home. I have given it a few different names but perhaps the most fitting one is “high performance annuals.” I am often asked to create landscape designs in situations that require low maintenance, high impact annuals. I go to my list and start eliminating options until I create the best combination for the site. My list contains about 45 annuals for sun and about 20 annuals for shade. One of my favorite options for the sun is Sanvitalia, also known George as creeping zinnia. Papadelis Sanvitalia produces a myriad of small (about 3/4 inch across) yellow to gold flowers resembling tiny zinnias; even the leaves resemble those of zinnias. It usually grows about 6 to 10 inches tall and spreads 14 to 18 inches wide, with the flowers positioned perfectly above the foliage. It is native to the hotter parts of North and South America so it thrives in sunny, hot locations. Plants that are offered today are typically grown from cuttings. They root easily in about 4 weeks and are almost always offered in 4-inch pots along with other annuals that are usually used in container combinations. In containers, sanvitalia can be used as a spiller. Like fan flower (Scaevola), verbena, and trailing petunia (Calibrachoa), it will trail or “spill” over the sides of a container. And like these, sanvitalia makes an excellent bedding plant as well. It is low maintenance— plants do not require the removal of the spent flowers. They are also very heat, sun, and drought tolerant once established. They will thrive in well-drained, organic soils but will also tolerate less fertile or sandy soil. Plant them in spring, after the last frost date and they will flower effortlessly until fall’s first frost. I have used them in many high profile sites where they have repeatedly received rave reviews. The readily available cultivars include ‘Tsavo Yellow Ice,’ ‘Solaris Compact Yellow,’ and ‘Sunbini.’ These are quite similar, producing bright, yellow petals on flowers with green centers. ‘Tsavo Double Gold’ has multiple rows of gold petals and more brownishcentered flowers. It performs just as well as the single-flowering varieties. There are some seed-grown sanvitalia but the plants are rarely offered in garden centers. They are, however, worth trying if you like to grow your own plants from seed. Sanvitalia ‘Sprite’ is a series that includes ‘Sprite


Ball Horticultural Co.

‘Tsavo Yellow Ice’

Sanvitalia Botanical name:

Sanvitalia procumbens (san-vih-TAL-ee-ah) Common name: Creeping zinnia Plant type: Annual Plant size: 6-10 inches tall, 14-18 inches wide Habit: Low-growing, creeping mat Flower color: Yellow, gold, orange Proven Winners Flower size: 3/4 inch wide ‘Sunbini’ Bloom period: Summer to early fall Light: Sun Soil: Well-drained; can be moderately to less fertile Uses: A “spiller” for containers; annual bedding plant Companion plants: Upright plants to contrast sanvitalia’s low-growing habit Remarks: Low maintenance—does not require the removal of spent flowers. Very heat, sun, and drought tolerant once established. Orange,’ ‘Sprite Yellow,’ and ‘Vanilla Sprite’— an orange, a yellow, and a creamy white respectively. They all have a double row of petals and brown centers. They are a bit delicate as seedlings but will grow beautifully once

established in the garden. You are probably asking yourself, “Why aren’t sanvitalias more popular?” There are two reasons. First, they only come in shades of yellow. Not everyone needs a low-spread-

ing, high performance yellow annual. Second, 4-inch annuals grown from cuttings are typically sold for $4 or more. This makes it financially impractical for mass plantings on a budget. I can’t tell you about sanvitalia without mentioning an incredibly similar plant in an entirely different genus. Zinnia maritima ‘Solcito’ resembles a “creeping zinnia” so much, that I would argue most gardeners could not tell the flowers apart. The 3/4-inch, single gold flowers have brown centers and flower profusely all summer long. They grow about 10 to 12 inches tall and 18 to 20 inches across. The good thing about ‘Solcito’ is that it is grown from seed. As a result, I have seen it offered in flats of 18, thus making it a more economical alternative to sanvitalia for mass plantings. If you are thinking about making your own list of high performance annuals, you can start with sanvitalia. And don’t forget it’s nearly identical relative Zinnia maritima ‘Solcito.’ George Papadelis is the owner of Telly’s Greenhouse in Troy, MI.


Visit us during Sounds & Sights Every Thursday night throughout the summer: 6:30-8:30pm

Unique Garden Features Hand Crafted by Artisans Chimes • Fountains • Birdhouses, baths & feeders Planters • Wrought iron arbors, trellises & topiaries

10 OFF


any $50 purchase with this ad

Cannot be used with any other offer. Cannot be used to purchase gift certificates Expires July 31, 2012

110 S. MAIN • DOWNTOWN CHELSEA • 734-475-3539 •

Major Sponsor

Howell’s Sunday Farmers’ Market May 6 through October 28 9am-2pm

Media Sponsor

Located in Downtown Howell at State and Clinton Streets, adjacent to the historic Livingston County Courthouse.

Over 60 booths • Weekly live entertainment In Partnership with howell

Take I-96 to exit 137. Go north to Grand River Avenue. Make a right one block to State Street. Hosted by the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce 517-546-3920

Large Selection of Fountains


Rice’s Garden Ornaments

variety of NEW items coming in early July!

Producers of Quality Concrete Statuary

Hundreds to choose from • All of Enriched Cement • Unique Selection • Low Prices Many new & old world finishes including permanent colors

10510 N. Holly Rd. • Holly • 1-1/2 Mile S. of I-75 May-July: Mon-Sat 9-6pm August–April: Mon-Sat 9-4:30pm

Baldwin Rd. 1 Mile County Line Rd.

N. Holly Rd.


I-75 exit 108

Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

calendar July / August H Denotes Michigan Gardener advertiser H 4th of July Festival Wed, Jul 4, 10am-5pm, Hadley. At LeFleur Decor. Artists, vendors, garden walks, more. 810-797-4745, www. Pavers, Walls & Steps Sat, Jul 7, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www. H Sunrise in the Garden Sat, Jul 7, sunrise, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. Tour, collect plants, propagation tray, $100.517-431-2060, H Daylily Show Sat, Jul 7, 11am-5pm, Grand Rapids. Displays, Q&A, children’s projects., 616-957-1580. H Creating a Water Garden Sat, Jul 7, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At all English Gardens locations. FREE. Tea Thyme in the Garden Sun, Jul 8, Lapeer. By Lapeer Master Gardener Association at Display Gardens on Suncrest. 810-667-1994. Clematis Care, Culture & Companions Mon, Jul 9, 6:30-8:30pm, Novi. At MSU Tollgate Education Center. $20. 248-858-0887, Learn About Herbal Teas Mon, Jul 9, noon, Mt. Clemens. By Mt. Clemens Garden Club at Mt. Clemens Library Community Room. $5, register: 586-226-0124. H Fenton Garden Tours Tue, Jul 10, 11am-1pm, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. 1 hour tour, lunch, discounts, $26.75., 810-629-9208. H Leaf & Flower Prints Tue, Jul 10, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At all English Garden locations. FREE kids workshop. Register: H Harvest & Tea Tue, Jul 10, 9am-noon, Leonard. At Yule Love It Lavender Farm. FREE. 248-628-7814, Northville Garden Walk Wed, Jul 11, 9am-4pm, Northville. By Country Garden Club of Northville at Mill Race Village & 6 gardens. $10. Clarkston Garden Walk Wed, Jul 11, 12-7pm, Clarkston. By Clarkston Farm & Garden Club. $18. H Caring for Your Summer Garden Wed, Jul 11, 7pm, Metro-Detroit. At five English Gardens locations. FREE. H Gardens ‘n Glass Troy Garden Walk Wed, Jul 11, 9:30am-3pm & 5-8pm,Troy. By Troy Garden Club at 6 Troy gardens. Hat contest, plant sale, raffle, art exhibit, boutique at Troy Historical Village. H Music in the Gardens Thu, Jul 12, evening, Bloomfield Hills. At Cranbrook Gardens. 248-645-3149,

For information about Public Gardens, please visit Click on "Resources" then "Public Gardens." H Fairy Gardening Thu, Jul 12, Saline. At Nature’s Garden Center. Kids: $12.99, Adults: $22.99. 734-944-8644. Pavers, Walls & Steps Sat, Jul 14, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www. H Daylily Dig & Garden Party Sat, Jul 14, 9am-6pm, Waterford. At Merrittscape. You pick ‘em, we dig ‘em. 248-681-7955, Summer Photo Safari Sat, Jul 14, 1-3pm, Ann Arbor. At Leslie Science & Nature Center. Guided hike through woods and gardens to find wildflowers, fungus, animals. Bring camera. Register:, 734-997-1553. Romeo Garden Walk Sat, Jul 14, 10am-5pm, Romeo area. By Friends of Romeo District Library. 9 gardens, speaker: Nancy Szerlag at Graubner Branch Library 12:30-2pm. Livingston County Garden Tour Sat, Jul 14, 9am-4pm, Livingston County. By LACASA. 9 gardens, $20. 517-548-1350, H Caring for Your Summer Garden Sat, Jul 14, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At all English Garden locations. FREE. H Brick Paving & Retaining Walls Sat, Jul 14, 11am, Orion. At Orion Stone Depot. Do-ityourself seminar by Unilock. 248-391-2490, www. H Shelby Garden Walk Sat, Jul 14, 10am-4pm, Shelby Twp. By Shelby Gardeners Club. Rain or shine, 7 gardens, $10. shelby_gardeners_club.jsp, 586-739-7848.. * Art in the Garden Sat, Jul 14, 1-4pm, Metamora. Visual, culinary, performance & healing arts in elite garden estate. $15. Info: Stone Covered Projects for Yard & Garden Sun, Jul 15, 11am, Highland. By Garden Angel Art Works at Colasanti’s Market & Greenhouse. Register: 248-8870012, Fenton/Holly Garden Tour Sun, Jul 15, 10am-5pm, Fenton/Holly. By Open Gate Garden Club at 7 area gardens. H Harvest & Tea Tue, Jul 17, 9am-noon, Leonard. At Yule Love It Lavender Farm. FREE. 248-628-7814, continued on page 26

Grange Hall Rd.

Promote your events! Send us your information! Website: Go to and click on “Garden Event Calendar” E-Mail: Upcoming Issues & Deadlines: Issue

August 2012 Sept/Oct 2012

Deadline July 15, 2012 August 15, 2012

TRoy GARdEn Club’S 38Th AnnuAl GARdEn WAlk

Gardens ’n Glass

Orion Stone Depot Your one stop to beautify your home!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 Rain or shine: 9:30am-3pm & 5-8:30pm Wear your favorite garden party hat! Visit our web site for hat contest & other details: OR call 248-540-4249 6 private gardens featuring Plein Air Artists painting in the gardens & custom botanical glass by Furnace Design Studio, Dearborn Activities at Troy Historic Village, 9am-7pm: Arts & Crafts Boutique, Plant Sale, Fabulous Finds Sale, Raffle, Student Art Exhibit Ticket pre-sales: Auburn Oaks, Uncle Luke’s, Telly’s Greenhouse, Troy Historic Village Ticket price: $10 in advance. $12 on day of walk (at the Village only)

Stop in and attend of our brick Stop in and attend one of ourone do-it-yourself do-it-yourself brickseminars paving by andUnilock®: paving and retaining wall April 24, 11am retainingSaturday, wall seminars by Unilock®: Saturday, May 8, 11 am Saturday, July May 22,14, 11 am Saturday, 11am 9 varieties of premium mulches decorative stone • flagstone • wallstone • topsoil • sand • gravel brick pavers & retaining walls • natural stone pavers • slabs & steps • boulders

4888 Joslyn Road - Orion, MI 48359 (1/2 mi North of I-75.)


Come, step into our garden EXCEPTIONAL flowers, artistically arranged Weddings & Special EVENT FLOWERS Scented CANDLES • Lifelike SILK flowers Decorative ACCESSORIES

(248) 391.2490 Orion

Uncle Luke’s featuring

33866 Woodward at Adams • Birmingham 248.644.4411 •

Hidden Lake Gardens BOTA N IC A L G A R DEN & A R BOR ET U M


Saturday, Aug 11, 10am-4pm Nature crafts, food and fun activities for the entire family

755 Acres of Gardens and Natural Areas

Flower Gardens • Plant Conservatory • Hosta Hillside Dwarf Conifers • Picnic Area • Lake • Hiking Trails Weddings and Tours by appointment

6214 Monroe Rd. (M-50) in Tipton • 8 Miles W. of Tecumseh 517-431-2060 • • OPEN DAILY

stone depot


Soil amendments & Fertilizers

Fresh, local produce arrives frequently—Come visit often! t t t

Natural pest & disease control products WIDE variety of bagged soils & mulches Dog, cat & pet supplies: Food, accessories & more!

t t t

Cocoa mulch (great price!) Complete outdoor bird feed & supplies Backyard chicken and livestock feed & supplies

Uncle Luke’s Feed Store 6691 Livernois, Troy • (1/4 Mile S. of South Blvd.) 248-879-9147 • Mon-Fri 9-6:30 • Sat 8-6 • Sun 9-5 Visit our 2nd location in Flushing: Flushing Lawn & Garden • 810-659-6241


Look for Allen Park ACO Hardware Almont American Tree Ann Arbor H Abbott’s Landscp Nurs Ace Barnes Hardware Downtown Home & Gard H English Gardens HillTop Greenhse & Farms Larry’s Mower Shop Lodi Farms H Matthaei Botanical Gard Nicola’s Books H The Produce Station Turner’s Greenhse/ Gard Ctr Whole Foods Wild Bird Ctr Wild Birds Unltd Auburn Hills ACO Hardware Drake’s Nurs H Haley Stone H Oakland Community College H State Crushing Belleville Banotai Greenhse Gardeners Choice Hollow’s Landscp Supp Pinter Flowerland Zywicki Greenhse Berkley Garden Central Birmingham ACO Hardware H Blossoms MT Hunter Neighborhood Hardware H Plant Station Tiffany Florist Watch Hill Antiques Bloomfield Hills ACE Hardware Coastal Outdoor Living Space Brighton H Beauchamp Landscp Supp H Bordine’s H English Gardens H Grasshopper Gardens Main’s Landscp Supp H Meier Flowerland Brownstown Twp Ruhlig Farms & Gard Canton Canton Floral Gardens Clink Landscp & Nurs Crimboli Nurs Keller & Stein Greenhse H Wild Birds Unltd Chelsea H Garden Mill The Potting Shed Clarkston ACE Hardware ACO Hardware H Bordine’s Country Oaks Landscp Supp I Lowrie’s Landscp The Birdfeeder H The Pond Source Weingartz Clawson ACO Hardware

at these fine locations: Clinton Twp ACO Hardware English Gardens H English Gardens Michigan Koi MSU Extension-Macomb Cty H Tropical Treasures Clio H Piechnik’s Greenhse Commerce Twp Backyard Birds @ ACE Hardware Zoner’s Greenhse Davison H Wojo’s Garden Splendors Dearborn ACO Hardware Fairlane Gard Dearborn Hts ACO Hardware H English Gardens Detroit Detroit Farm & Gard Detroit Gard Ctr Dexter Dexter Gard H Fraleigh’s Nurs Eastpointe H English Gardens Farmington ACO Hardware Farmington Hills ACO Hardware Farmer John’s Greenhse H Steinkopf Nurs Weingartz Fenton Gerych’s H Heavenly Scent Herb Farm Ferndale Casual Modes Home & Gard Green Thumb Gard Ctr Fostoria H Iron Barn Iron Work Fowlerville H Arrowhead Alpines Gladwin H Stone Cottage Gardens Grand Blanc H Bordine’s H The Weed Lady Grand Rapids Meijer Gardens Grosse Ile H Westcroft Gardens Grosse Pointe ACE Hardware Allemon’s Landscp Ctr Meldrum & Smith Nurs Grosse Pointe Shores H Edsel & Eleanor Ford House Grosse Pointe Woods H Wild Birds Unltd Hadley H Le Fleur Décor Hartland H Deneweth’s Gard Ctr Haslett H Van Atta’s Greenhse Highland ACO Hardware Colasanti’s Produce & Plants H Fragments Holly H Rice’s Garden Ornaments

Advertiser Index Abbott’s Landscape Nursery..........12 Abele Greenhouse & Garden Ctr....7 Aguafina Gardens International....12 Arrowhead Alpines..............................15 Auburn Oaks Gard Ctr........................12 Barson’s Greenhouse...........................11 Beauchamp Lawn & Landscape.....9 Blossoms...................................................25 Bogie Lake Greenhouses...................13 Bonide.......................Inside Back Cover

Howell H Howell Farmer’s Mkt Penrose Nurs H Specialty Growers Imlay City Earthly Arts Lake Orion Lake Orion Lawn Ornaments H Orion Stone Depot H Wojo’s of Lake Orion Livonia ACO Hardware (5 Mi/ Middlebelt) ACO Hardware (6 Mi/ Newburgh) Bushel Mart Superior Growers Supp Macomb ACO Hardware Altermatt’s Greenhse Boyka’s Greenhse H Deneweth’s Gard Ctr Elya’s Village Gard Landscape Source Olejnik Farms H Wiegand’s Nursery Madison Hts Green Carpet Sod Midland H Dow Gardens Milford ACO Hardware Milford Gardens One Stop Landscp Supp H The Pond Place Monroe H The Flower Market New Baltimore Meldrum Bros Nurs Van Thomme’s Greenhses New Boston H Gorham & Sons Nurs Grass Roots Nurs Mums the Word New Hudson H Milarch Nurs North Branch H Campbell’s Greenhses Oldani Landscp Nurs Northville Begonia Bros H Gardenviews Novi ACO Hardware H Dinser’s Glenda’s Gard Ctr Tollgate Education Ctr H Wild Birds Unltd Oak Park Four Seasons Gard Ctr Ortonville Country Oaks Landscp Supp II H Wojo’s Greenhse Owosso H Everlastings in the Wildwood Plymouth Backyard Birds Lucas Nurs H Plymouth Nurs Plymouth Rock & Supp Rock Shoppe H Saxton’s Gard Ctr Sideways Sparr’s Greenhse Pontiac H Goldner Walsh Gard/Home

Bordine’s...........................................Page 3 Contender’s Tree & Lawn....................5 Detroit Garden Works.........................6 Eckert’s Greenhouse.............................8 English Gardens........Inside Frt Cover The Flower Market................................19 Garden Mill............................................. 24 Garden Rhythms.....................................11 A Garden Space......................................17 Garden Videos........................................12 Gordon’s Landscaping........................19 Guardian Tree Experts.........................11 Haley Stone Supply...............................17

Ray Van’s Valley Grenhse Redford Pinter Flowerland Seven Mi Gard Ctr Rochester Casual Concepts H Fogler’s Greenhse H Haley Stone Sherwood Forest Gard Ctr Rochester Hills ACE Hardware ACO Hardware H Auburn Oaks Gard Ctr H Bordine’s Bordine’s H English Gardens Patio Shop Shades of Green Nurs Wild Birds Unltd Rockwood H Marsh Greenhses Too Romulus Block’s Greenhse H Kurtzhal’s Farms H Schoedel’s Nurs H Schwartz’s Greenhse Roscommon The Greenhouse Roseville Dale’s Landscp Supp World Gardenland Royal Oak ACO Hardware Billings Lawn Equip H English Gardens English Gardens Frentz & Sons Hardware La Roche Manus Power Mowers H Wild Birds Unltd Saginaw H Abele Greenhse & Gard Ctr Saline Junga’s ACE Hardware H Nature’s Gard Ctr Saline Flowerland Shelby Twp Diegel Greenhses Eden Gard Ctr H Hessell’s Greenhses Maeder Plant Farm Potteryland H Telly’s Greenhse Third Coast Garden Supp South Lyon ACO Hardware Hollow Oak Farm Nurs Southfield 3 DDD’s Stand ACO Hardware H Eagle Landscp & Supply Lavin’s Flower Land Main’s Landscp Supp Southgate H Ray Hunter Gard Ctr St Clair Shores ACE Hardware ACO Hardware (Harper/13 Mi) Greenhouse Growers Hall’s Nurs Soulliere Gard Ctr Sterling Hts ACO Hardware Decor Statuette H Eckert’s Greenhse Flower Barn Nurs

Hidden Lake Gardens.........................25 Hodges Subaru.......................................19 Howell Farmer’s Market.................. 24 Merrittscape..............................................7 MSU Garden Day....................................6 Nature’s Garden Ctr...............................7 Orion Stone Depot...............................25 Piechnik’s Greenhouse........................8 The Pond Place.........................................9 The Pond Source...................................14 Rice’s Garden Ornaments............... 24 Saxton’s Garden Center.....................19 Schuman Landscape Lighting.........17

Prime Landscp Supply Stockbridge Gee Farms Sylvan Lake H AguaFina Gardens Interntl H Detroit Garden Works Taylor H Beautiful Ponds & Gard H D&L Garden Ctr H Massab Acres H Panetta’s Landscp Supp Tipton H Hidden Lake Gardens Trenton Carefree Lawn Ctr Keck Hardware Troy ACO Hardware Maeder’s West H Telly’s Greenhse Telly’s Greenhse The Home & Gard Shop Tom’s Landscp Nurs H Uncle Luke’s Feed Store Utica Dale’s Landscp Supp Stone City Weingartz Warren H Beste’s Lawn & Patio Young’s Garden Mart Washington Landscape Direct Miller’s Big Red Greenhse Rocks ‘n’ Roots Waterford ACO Hardware Breen’s Landscp Supp Jacobsen’s Flowers Waterford H Merrittscape Wayne Artman’s Nurs West Bloomfield H English Gardens H Planterra Whole Foods Westland ACO Hardware Artman’s Westland Nurs H Barsons Greenhses Bushel Stop Joe Randazzo’s Nurs Panetta’s Landscp Supp White Lake H Bogie Lake Greenhse Mulligan’s Gard Ctr Sunshine Plants Whitmore Lake H Alexander’s Greenhses Williamston H Christian’s Greenhse Wixom Angelo’s Landscp Supp Brainer’s Greenhse Ypsilanti Coleman’s Farm Mkt Lucas Nurs Margolis Nurs Materials Unlimited Schmidt’s Antiques

Specialty Growers...................................7 State Crushing.........................................15 Steinkopf Nursery...................................9 Stone Cottage Gardens.......................6 Suburban Landscape Supply...........19 Telly’s Greenhouse................................4 Tropical Treasures.................................13 Troy Garden Club..................................25 Uncle Luke’s Feed Store.....................25 The Weed Lady.....................................10 Wiegand’s Nursery..............................13 Wild Birds Unlimited...........................10 Yule Love It Lavender Farm.............14

Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

continued from page 24 H All About Hydrangeas Wed, Jul 18, 7pm, Metro Detroit. At five English Garden locations. FREE. Traverse City Garden Walk Thu, Jul 19, noon-8pm, Traverse City. By Friendly Garden Club of Traverse City. 989-995-0282. Master Gardener Garden Tour Sat, Jul 21, 9am-5pm, Swartz Creek. By Genesee County Master Gardeners at gardens in Swartz Creek area. $10/ adults, $2/children. Watergardens & Ponds Sat, Jul 21, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www. H Frogs & Salamanders Sat, Jul 21, 6-9pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $12/ adults, $10/children. 517-431-2060, Lapeer Garden Tour Sat, Jul 21, 9am-5pm, Lapeer. By Lapeer County Master Gardener Association at N of I-69, between M-15 & M-24. 10 gardens, including 2 public, $10. 810-664-8317. H Daylily Dig & Garden Party Sat, Jul 21, 9am-6pm, Waterford. At Merrittscape. You pick ‘em, we dig ‘em. 248-681-7955, Livonia Pond Tour Sat, Jul 21, 10am-5pm, Livonia, Garden City & Westland. By Michigan Koi & Pond Club & The Pond Place. Self guided tour of 10 gardens. $10. 734-646-7607, www. Tollgate Gardens Open House Sat, Jul 21, Novi. By MSU Tollgate Volunteers. 20 gardens, presentations, master gardeners, quilt exhibit, refreshments, FREE. 248-347-3860 x251, Genesee County Garden Tour Sat, Jul 21, 9am-5pm, Genesee County. By Genesee County Master Gardeners. Rain or shine, $10. www. H Daylily Exhibition Show Sat, Jul 21, 9am-5pm, Rochester Hills. By Southern Michigan Daylily Society at Bordine’s. www.midaylilysociety. com. H All About Hydrangeas Sat, Jul 21, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At all English Gardens locations. FREE.

H Daylily Dig Sat, Jul 21, 9am-5pm, Howell. At Specialty Growers. Walk the field & staff dig/package plants for you. 1pm: Dividing Daylilies FREE presentation, Karen Bovio. 517-546-7742, H Tropical Plants, Potions & Poulti Sat, Jul 21, 1pm, Leonard. At Yule Love It Lavender. Herbalist: Jim McDonald, FREE speaker. 248-628-7814, www. Belleville Area Garden Walk Sun, Jul 22, 11am-4pm, Belleville. By Belleville Library at gardens in Belleville. $12, theme: The Decorated Garden., 734-699-3291. What You Need to Know About Invasives Tue, Jul 24, 6:30-8:30pm, Novi. By MSU Extension Oakland County at MSU Tollgate Education Center. www., 248-858-0887. H A Shady Situation Wed, Jul 25, 7pm, Metro-Detroit. At five English Gardens locations. FREE. Pavers, Walls & Steps Sat, Jul 28, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www. Detroit Garden Tour Sat, Jul 28, 10am-4pm, Detroit. By Grandmont Community Association Garden Club at Douglas Ramsey Playground. Rain or shine, $10. 313-585-2499. H Daylily Dig & Garden Party Sat, Jul 28, 9am-6pm, Waterford. At Merrittscape. You pick ‘em, we dig ‘em. 248-681-7955, H Summer Rocks Sat, Jul 28, 11am-5pm, Fowlerville. At Arrowhead Alpines. Rock dealers, rare plants, more. 517-223-3581, www. H A Shady Situation Sat, Jul 28, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At all English Gardens locations. FREE. Bonsai Workshop Sun, Jul 29, 2pm, Troy. By Four Seasons Bonsai Club of MI at Telly’s Greenhouse. Beginners & experienced welcome. Insect ID Thu, Aug 2, 6:30-8:30pm, Novi. By MSU Extension Oakland County at MSU Tollgate Education Center. www., 248-858-0887.

Get more of a great thing Sign up today for our FREE e-newsletter! Visit and simply enter your e-mail address at the top of the page next to the Michigan Gardener logo. By doing so, you will receive occasional e-mails containing handy tips, events, expert Q&A, contests and much more— all conveniently delivered to your inbox. Don’t miss the contest in each issue. Just e-mail us your answer and you can win FREE items like Michigan Gardener apparel, books and more! | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener

H Garden Day Fri, Aug 3, 8am-4pm, East Lansing. At MSU Horticulture Gardens & Veterinary Medical Center. $85 by 7/22, workshops, keynotes, lunch, materials, marketplace, plant sale, more., 517-3555191, x1339. Pavers, Walls & Steps Sat, Aug 4, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www. H Sunrise in the Garden Sat, Aug 4, sunrise, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. Tour, collect plants, propagation tray, $100.517-431-2060, H Arranging Garden Flowers Sat, Aug 4, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At four English Garden locations. FREE. Pavers, Walls & Steps Sat, Aug 11, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www. Farmington Garden Walk Sat, Aug 11, 10am-4pm, Farmington. By Farmington Garden Club & Steinkopf Nursery. $10 donation, rain or shine. 248-477-3854, H Children’s Garden Day Sat, Aug 11, 10am-4pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. Nature crafts, food & fun. 517-431-2060, H Attracting Birds & Butterflies Sat, Aug 11, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At seven English Garden locations. FREE. H Fairy Gardening Tue, Aug 14, Saline. At Nature’s Garden Center. Kids: $12.99, Adults: $22.99. 734-944-8644. H Gee Farms Tour Thu, Aug 16, 10am, Stockbridge. By Association of Professional Gardeners at Gee Farms. 8-acre arboretum, thousands of plants, $5., 248-727-2978. Cobblestone Bench/Table Class Sat, Aug 18, 10am, Davison. By Garden Angel Art Works at Wojo’s Splendors Greenhouse. Register: 248-6589221, Watergardens & Ponds Sat, Aug 18, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www.


Ypsilanti Garden Tour Sat, Aug 18, 12-5pm, Ypsilanti. By Ypsilanti Garden Club at Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. H Preserving the Harvest Sat, Aug 18, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At seven English Garden locations. FREE. Eating Fresh from the Garden Mon, Aug 20, 6:30-8:30pm, Novi. By MSU Extension Oakland County at MSU Tollgate Education Center. www., 248-858-0887. H Owl Prowl Tue, Aug 21, 7:30-9:30pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $12/adults, $10/children. 517-431-2060, www. H Summer Herb Faire Sat, Aug 25, Sat, 10am-5pm & Sun, 11am-5pm, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. Lunch, Q&A, greenhouse, artisans, for all ages, $1. www.heavenlyscentherbfarm. com, 810-629-9208. Pavers, Walls & Steps Sat, Aug 25, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www. H Dahlia Show Sat, Aug 25, 11am-5pm, Grand Rapids. Displays, floral arrangements, Q&A., 616-9571580. H Plants for Screening Sat, Aug 25, 10am, Metro-Detroit. At seven English Garden locations. FREE. Bonsai Auction Sun, Aug 26, 2pm, Troy. By Four Seasons Bonsai Club of MI at Telly’s Greenhouse. Plants, pots, tools, lunch. www. Dahlia Conference Sat, Sep 1, 12-5pm & Sun, Sep 2, 10am-4pm, Ann Arbor. By Michigan Dahlia Association at Morris Lawrence Building. Sale: Sun, 3pm. 734-753-5336. Pavers, Walls & Steps Sat, Sep 1, 10am, Washington. At Rocks ‘n’ Roots. www. Rhubarb Leaf Concrete Bowl with optional Fountain Class Sat, Sep 8, 10am, Ortonville. By Garden Angel Art Works at Wojo’s Greenhouse. Register: 248-627-6498, www.

Classified Ads ART IN THE GARDEN – Saturday, July 14, 2012. An afternoon of visual, culinary, performance, and healing arts in one of Metamora’s most elite garden estates to support Gallery 194, the Lapeer Center for the Arts. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the event. For more information, and for tickets contact Gallery 194 @ 810-667-1495 or visit LIKE US on facebook. NEED A HAND IN THE GARDEN? Planting, weeding, garden maintenance. Jenny: 248.219.3976 or email jennishelton10@gmail. com.

MICHIGAN GARDENER E-NEWSLETTER - Sign up for our free e-newsletter! Go to Michigan and simply enter your e-mail address. DO YOU ENJOY SCRAPBOOKING? Then pick up a copy of Michigan Scrapbooker magazine. It’s free! Visit for more info and to sign up for the free Michigan Scrapbooker e-newsletter. Join the conversation at NEED A HAND? Call “The little gardener that could.” 15 yrs experience at Botanical Gardens. FREE Estimates. Pat: 586-214-9852,

HYBRID DAYLILIES – Thousands of varieties, all colors, sizes, shapes. On M-15 2 miles north of Goodrich. Call for hours 810-444-9333. POISON IVY – We get rid of it! That’s all we do. Call us—we are experts at identifying and removing poison ivy from your property, from single homes to large parks. Licensed and Insured. Poison Ivy Control of Michigan. 248-842-8095.

Need help? Have help to give? Big event coming up? Have some items to sell? Need a costeffective way to promote your business? Use Michigan Gardener Classified Advertising to let readers know! Go to and click on “Classified Advertising.” Deadline for the August 2012 issue is July 20.

Find a garden in your mailbox. Subscribe for convenient home delivery of Michigan Gardener 7 issues (1 year) – $15

14 issues (2 years) – $28

Precipitation May 2012

Detroit Flint Lansing

Normal Monthly 3.38 3.08 3.36

Actual Monthly 1.72 7.04 2.28

May 2011 Deviation from Normal -1.66 +3.96 -1.08

2012 Year to Date: Jan 1 - May 31

Detroit Flint Lansing

Normal Yr. to Date 12.54 10.99 11.57

21 issues (3 years) – $37 BEST VALUE

Actual Yr. to Date 11.73 14.18 11.22

Normal Monthly 3.38 3.08 3.36

Actual Monthly 5.38 7.61 6.81

Deviation from Normal +2.00 +4.53 +3.45


2011 Year to Date: Jan 1 - May 31

Deviation from Normal -0.81 +3.19 -0.35

Normal Yr. to Date 12.54 10.99 11.57

Actual Yr. to Date 19.73 20.61 18.20

Deviation from Normal +7.19 +9.62 +6.63

Temperature May 2012




Would you like to receive our free e-newsletter? Please indicate your e-mail address:

May 2011

Detroit Flint Lansing

Normal Avg. High 69.9 68.5 68.8

ACTUAL Avg. High 76.4 74.9 74.3

Deviation from Normal +6.5 +6.4 +5.5

ormal N Avg. High 69.9 68.5 68.8

ACTUAL Avg. High 69.8 69.2 68.4

Deviation from Normal -0.1 +0.7 -0.4

Detroit Flint Lansing

Normal Avg. Low 49.4 55.2 46.7

ACTUAL Avg. Low 54.2 50.9 51.0

Deviation from Normal +4.8 -4.3 +4.3

ormal N Avg. Low 49.4 55.2 46.7

ACTUAL Avg. Low 51.6 49.5 49.8

Deviation from Normal +2.2 -5.7 +3.1

Data courtesy National Weather Service


where did you pick up mg?

michigan gardener is published in april, may, june, july, august, sept/oct & nov/dec Canadian subscriptions: 1 year, 7 issues for $22.00 USD / 2 years, 14 issues for $42.00 USD

please enclose your check (payable to michigan gardener) & mail to: Michigan Gardener 16291 W. 14 Mile Rd., Suite 5 Beverly Hills, MI 48025-3327


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

Atwood Elementary looks like any other school, with low, sprawling buildings and a large parking lot out front. But wait, look a little closer. A keen eye may notice several gardens around the school buildings maintained by the Gator Garden Club, named for the school’s mascot. Remarkably, members of this garden club are only in second through fifth grade (about 7 to 10 years old). They wield trowels and clippers like seasoned gardeners. Planting, pruning, deadheading, and mulching—they understand what these terms mean. Just ask Sandy Paratore, current garden coordinator, volunteer for seven years, lecturer, and Master Gardener. After she used the term “dirt,” one of the children reminds her, “You said dirt is what comes out of a vacuum.”

Getting established


Parrott A school Brownie Troop inspired Atwood’s gardens by planting bulbs in the fall of 2005. The principal was so excited about the garden that she encouraged its expansion. Over the winter some planning occurred and mom volunteer Jean Persely started the Gator Garden Club in the spring of 2006. She was also responsible for much of the original planning, grants, rules, teaching, and organization of the club for the first five years. She has since moved, but still helps with grants, composting, and volunteering when needed. The club is for second through fifth graders and meets September though June every Wednesday after school. There is also an informal summer class that meets mostly to weed and water. If the weather is good, the P h oto g r a p h s by S a n d i e Pa r r ot t

children and volunteers work outside. In bad weather and through the winter, garden classes are held inside or sometimes in their new teepee. Things like safety issues and insects are covered on classroom days. Paratore calls one classroom lecture “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her favorite is the bee and she dresses like a bee for the talk. “The kids usually say bees are bad bugs and they are afraid of them. I talk to them about how cool bees are. I love bees!” Paratore exclaimed. “My dream is to be a beekeeper.” “The club is limited to 30 members and is so popular there is a long waiting list. We send out a letter annually inviting the children to join through their parents. Previous year students get priority each year,” explained Paratore.

James Dignan (5th grade), Drew Osad (5th grade), Eva Paratore (3th grade), Taylor Fanning (3rd grade), Mia Osad (3rd grade), Janeann Paratore (5th grade), and April Garcia (5th grade). Who can pull the biggest weed or the longest root?

The school gardens The youth gardeners have created several gardens. The first year they created butterfly, victory (vegetable), “A”maze, teepee (for vines), and red, white, and blue “We Salute You” gardens. Over the last few years they have added more vegetable gardens, a monarch way station, native gardens, ABC garden, and a sunflower house. The gardens are for learning and fun, like the ABC garden located by the kindergarten building. Paratore is proud that they keep the alphabet in order and identified. Some examples are fuzzy, touchable lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) for “L,” marigolds for “M,” and eggplants for “E.” The maze garden is a gi-

Three-year-old Charlie Wicker loves hauling a wagon “train” to the work site to pick up soil and woodchips. Some younger children come with their parents and learn to be helpful in the garden. | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener


“This is our teepee—our outdoor classroom for the garden club, and a classroom during the school day for math, social studies, music, science, English, reading, etc. It holds a classroom full of kids and protects them from the outdoor elements,” said Garden Coordinator Sandy Paratore.

Leah DeBruyne (2nd grade) and Taylor Fanning (3rd grade) head to the compost bin with a bucket of weeds. Note the vegetable gardens in the background.

A brief history of school gardens

Master Gardener Mary McIhargey, with perennial sunflowers in the background. ant “A” with two entrances at the bottom of the A. Pathways through all the gardens fascinate club members and other classes when they come out for “field” trips. The education isn’t just about gardening; it includes math. “We weigh the produce we pick daily, figure out and define the perimeter for new gardens, calculate how many plants are needed for a space. One student told me he couldn’t understand perimeter from a piece of paper, but this way he got it,” related Paratore. No chemicals are used in the gardens. They pile on all the compost they generate,

Julia Carpenter (1st grade) found a worm. “We took this opportunity to teach the gardeners that worm tunnels allow air to enter the soil. Worms break through the muddy soil after rain which allows root systems to grow and plants to be successful,” explained Paratore. and utilize solar smothering and hand-pulling for weeds. Their biggest struggle has been watering and a local groundhog. They have to drag the hoses and return to the school several times in summer to water. Now the new soaker hoses are on timers thanks to grants from United Way, Macomb County MSU Extension, and the Atwood Parent Advisory Committee. The groundhog eats some of the produce, but Paratore said, “If the groundhog gets it, it gets it—so far we’ve been lucky.” continued on next page

by Sandie Parrott The first school garden in America was installed in 1891 at George Putnam School in Roxbury, Massachusetts by Henry Lincoln Clapp, after visiting several gardens at European schools. By the early 20th century, school gardens or farms were very popular in America. They were initially introduced in urban schools for aesthetic rather than educational reasons. Van Evrie Kilpatrick, Director of the School Garden Association of New York wrote, “School gardens should be maintained by the city. The city owes it to the children whom it has deprived of breathing places and beauty spots through want of foresight.” The school gardens across America declined over the years until Victory Gardens (also called War Gardens) were planted for a short time during and after World War II. They were meant to reduce the pressure of the war on the food supply and also provide a morale boost by showing that schools and homeown-

ers could contribute to the war effort. The school gardens declined again until the birth of the “environmental movement” and the “war on poverty” provided a surge from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. They declined again in favor of playgrounds and parking lots until the 1990s. The American Horticultural Society held its first youth gardening symposium in 1993, titled “Children, Plants and Gardens: Educational Opportunities.” The goal was to demonstrate ways in which school gardens could support educational studies. With the latest “green movement” in the United States, school gardens are once again experiencing a resurgence. Adapted from “Garden-Based Learning in Basic Education: A Historical Review,” published in the Monograph, Summer 2002, University of California, Davis by Aarti Subramaniam, M.A. Graduate Research Assistant, 4-H Center for Youth Development.


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

April Garcia (5th grade) and Kayla Fanning (4th grade) deadhead black-eyed Susans. In back, Emma Semlow (3rd grade) deadheads the perennial sunflowers in the ABC garden. continued from previous page

Current and future projects The Gator Garden Club donates all their produce to the Well Church, to be given directly to needy families or for dinners served to the community. The children alternate delivering food and sometimes help in the kitchen doing tasks like cleaning trays. “It is good for them to see the cabbage they grew and picked to be used in a corned beef and cabbage dish served to the community,” stated Paratore. The parents and volunteers have put up a shed with grant money, added pathways through the vegetable gardens so the children have easier access to the plants, built a compost area, and erected a large teepee in the courtyard. Speaking of parents, they must commit to provide drinks and ensure the children will attend meetings weekly. Parents must provide appropriate clothing for possibly dirty, wet, or cold gardening, support for extra gardening days if weather affects the garden and assist one week in summer to water the garden. They are requested to help with fundraisers, Wednesday gardening tasks, and supervision of the children. Some of the early gardening was ambitious, with limited time and help from parents, so Paratore said they need to renovate some of the gardens. Sunflowers for the sunflower house have crept away from their foundation and must be moved. Pallets in the

V Website Extra Go to and click the “Website Extras” department for: • More photos of the Atwood Elementary garden

Dakota Bartell (3rd grade), Emma Semlow (3rd grade), and Alexis Carlson (3rd grade) are in the ABCs Garden cutting back the “O”regano.

Katie Paratore (8th grade mentor) and Emma Semlow (3rd grade). “Katie gives lessons on deadheading our perennial sunflowers. They are as tall as our middle schoolers!” exclaimed garden coordinator Sandy Paratore. compost area have deteriorated in the elements and need to be rebuilt. Native beds will be weeded and thinned. Paratore wants to label everything in the gardens and make some sit-upon cushions for the teepee. The garden club recently had a salsa party, inspired by Señor (Dan) Francis, their Spanish teacher. They had to find a recipe, shop for ingredients, make the salsa, and compete for a prize. The judges were the principal, Señor Francis, and the children. Store-bought salsa was introduced, but the children weren’t fooled. This year will be a time to renovate some of the gardens and add a pizza garden planted in a gigantic truck tire. Mary McIhargey (Master Gardener, personal gardener extraordi-

Sandy Paratore, Jordan Walsh (8th grade mentor), and Leah DeBruyne (2nd grade) pull weeds in the ABCs garden, by the “U”nicorn plant (unicorn rush, Juncus effusus ‘Unicorn’). naire, and volunteer—her grandkids will go to Atwood) and Paratore found the truck tire by the side of the road and lugged it to the school. Paratore enthused, “One of the best things that we see happening connected to the garden club is the children and parents are planting vegetable gardens at their houses. We

think that is great—that the garden experience is spreading to the families.” Sandie Parrott is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and Advanced Master Gardener living and working in Oakland County, Michigan. | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener

Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) is a non-native (from Europe), biennial herb that is common throughout the U.S. and most of Canada. It is found in disturbed areas, meadows, pastures, and along roadsides (photo 1). In some areas it is considered an invasive plant. Today’s carrots were probably cultivated, in part, from this plant. The fleshy root can be eaten, but make sure you are really eating it rather than water hemlock (Cicuta Steve maculata) which is very Nikkila similar in appearance and one of the most deadly plants in North America. As it is a biennial, it has basal leaves in the first year (photo 2) and then blooms, produces seeds and dies in the second year. It will grow from 1 to 4 feet tall and has alternate leaves with a hairy, hollow, and stout stem. Small white flowers create a white lacy disk called an umbel (photo 3) at the tip of a stem. Each individual flower has 5 petals and the plant produces thousands beginning in May and continuing until frost. It reproduces only by seed and is a prolific seed producer. In its single blooming year one plant may produce up to 40,000 seeds. The seeds are small (1/8 inch or less), brown, and ribbed with bristly hairs that attach themselves to animals and people to help spread the plant around. There is a fleshy, long, and slender taproot and secondary fibrous roots (photo 4). Queen Anne’s lace attracts many bees and other insects to its flowers. The Eastern black swallowtail butterfly’s caterpillar eats the leaves. Some gardeners plant it because it can help bring predatory insects to a garden. Aphids and other pests attack Queen Anne’s lace, then predators like green lacewing appear to feast. They will stay around for the plentiful pollen and nectar and perhaps help control pests on other plants. Hand digging and pulling is the best way to control this plant (photo 5). The time to pull it is before seed production. Use gloves when handling this plant because some people develop a rash when handling it. Chemical control is possible with general use herbicides. Always read the label and follow directions if applying a pesticide. Text and photos by Steven Nikkila, who is from Perennial Favorites in Waterford, MI (E-mail:








Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

Janet’s Journal continued from back cover

Very Valuable Variables Factors you can change, in order of impact: Light, water, soil type, acidity, and exposure.

Light: The most important factor Count the hours of sun the failed plant received each day. Don’t guess. Observe the spot throughout a sunny midsummer day. Alternatively, stand in that spot and look over to the sunrise location, up to noon and then over to sunset. From that position, count only the hours during which you can see unobstructed sky. Increase or decrease that amount by at least an hour, by setting the new plant into a different bed, pruning to remove overhanging tree limbs, etc. Move toward the objective stated in plant encyclopedias for this plant. Full sun...............6+ hours of cast-a-shadow sun per day Part sun..............4-6 hours of sun Shade...................2-4 hours of sun Dense shade......less than 2 hours of sun per day Sunlight is energy for a plant. Without the level of energy requisite for its species, a plant slides or plummets downhill. Some species need all the light a growing season day can deliver, others need a more limited amount and may burn out if the sun strikes them full on for more than a certain number of hours. If the plant receives too little energy, growth slows or stops. It will be stunted, with small, pale, widely spaced leaves and may die back if it has too little energy to sustain its nursery size. Meanwhile, its counterpart receiving too much energy may be a burn-out with pale or scorched leaves and woody parts that die over winter.

Water: Substance and raw material Plants consist of water—it accounts for more than 90 percent of their mass. Only water can carry minerals into a plant, and only water can supply the atoms needed to combine with air to create carbohydrates. Carbs become new cells and the sugars that fuel dark-time operations. Provide too little or too much water, deny roots an airy dry break, or let them remain dry too long, and essential processes in the plant are disrupted. Many plants require consistently moist soil around and just beyond their root tips. For those, moisture in the ground should be topped up as it is depleted. Other plants require dry-down periods. Reference books or online databases such as Missouri Botanical Garden’s plant data describe each species’ moisture needs, or you can learn them by testing. Feel the soil to gauge moisture. If it’s cool,

Certainly daylilies will grow in shade. However when you observe the same daylily planted in more (left) and less light (right), it’s clear that even one extra hour of sun per day produces more flowering stalks, each with a higher flower bud count. smaller-grained “fine” soil for its richness and moisture: clay. Wet your fingers and feel the soil to differentiate between sand’s grit and clay’s slickness. Then, look for or create a bed with the type of soil prescribed for this species. Replace or modify the soil to an 18inch depth, using “sharp” or “builder’s” sand if that ingredient is needed.

it’s moist. If it feels warm, it’s dry. Water your garden and then check the moisture level daily, both where the plant failed and around the replacement. Keep the new plant more or less moist by changing the frequency of watering or mulching, or switching methods such as from occasional overhead shower to gradually applied trickle. The depth of the moist soil layer makes a difference, too. How well water moves down and through an 18-inch depth of soil is called drainage. Well drained: An 18-inch deep hole in the bed, filled with water, empties in 12-24 hours. Excessively drained: An 18-inch deep hole in the bed, filled with water, empties in less than 6 hours. Poorly drained: Water remains more than 24 hours in the 18-inch hole. Most plants require good drainage. Check the drainage at the spot where a plant failed. If it is not well drained, improve it or find a spot with better drainage. Break up compacted subsoil, install drains or raise a bed to correct poor drainage. Add organic matter to slow water loss in excessively drained soil.

When water drips through an acid soil, some minerals that would not otherwise be released dissolve into the water and become available to plant roots. Some plant species cannot maintain their health unless they are growing in an acid soil, with a pH below 6.5. Test and amend your soil to alter the pH. Michigan State University offers inexpensive soil testing through the County Extension offices (visit MichiganGardener. com and click on “Resources” for a list of offices), and some garden centers sell testing kits or services. You might alter pH by mixing granular soil sulfur into the bed, spreading acid-reaction mulch such as coffee grounds over the plant’s roots, and using fertilizers for acid-loving plants.

Soil type


Some plants prefer large-grained “coarse” soil for its warmth, airiness and flex around root tips—that’s sandy soil. Others prefer

Some plants need wind, others cannot tolerate it. There are species adapted to grow where the temperature changes


rapidly at sunrise and nightfall, others that need protection so the warm-up and cool down is more gradual. Quite a few plants cannot set flower buds if nights are regularly over 70 degrees F, or if the night’s darkness is interrupted by artificial light. Chemical warfare can come into play when an established plant of a type that produces growth-inhibiting substances has roots in the same soil to be occupied by a species sensitive to those toxins. Black walnut (Juglans nigra) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides) trees are known for this effect but there are probably many other plant-toplant antagonisms. If you are certain a plant has correct light, water and soil, then evaluate the exposure to wind, weather and antagonistic plants at the site where a plant failed and look for a new site with a difference. You might find or create the difference. Useful in this regard: Windbreaks, moves away from heat sinks such as enclosed courtyards, baffles placed in front of heatradiating walls, and temperature-moderating covers such as frost cloth (floating row cover), overarching tree limbs or pergolas, etc. Regarding exposure to antagonistic plants: If you suspect this, consider all plants adjacent to or branching above the failed plant, and locate the new trial well beyond the root zone of those species. | July 2012 | Michigan Gardener


The usual suspects—resolved

Rose. Sure, hybrid tea roses are inherently unreliable. Yet poor drainage and infertile soil can speed the plant’s demise so look more closely at those conditions and possible changes the next time you replace a rose.

Hydrangea. Mophead and lacecap, blue and pink hydrangeas. In non-coastal USDA hardiness zones 5 and 6, cold during winter and spring frosts frequently kills the branch tips. When that happens, it eliminates or greatly reduces that year’s bloom. Foliage grows but blooms don’t develop. Buy several small hydrangeas and place them where they might have natural protection in winter and spring, then observe which have live branch tips the following May. Or plant two side by side then treat one to special protection to judge the difference. Enclose and bury one in a leaf-filled cage for winter, uncover it as spring growth begins and keep a frost blanket at hand to cover it on any cold night.

Heath (Erica) and heather (Calluna) form evergreen flowering mats in the sunny, hilly wetlands called moors in the Old World. Some species and varieties are cold hardy (zone 5) but particular about many other site aspects. Drought or sudden cold in winter, as well as summer heat can damage them. In a continental climate, airy mulch during winter plus mid-afternoon shade in summer may help. Aim for 6 hours of sun. On moors they are rarely dry as water continually works its way downhill through the well-drained, acidic, sandy peat.

Lewisia. Specialty alpine plants. Many high altitude natives have no problem with cold winters but also need cool summers, very well-drained soil that is mostly gravel and sand, and steady moisture. Imagine rocky rubble on a hillside wetted by a near-constant trickle of water from melting snow. Lewisia is one that requires that moisture, great drainage, and also the warmth of gritty rock or coarse sand beneath its leaves.

Daphne. The fragrance of a rose daphne (Daphne burkwoodii) often turns it into an impulse purchase. The buyer then finds out the hard way that it’s tough to maintain it in the hot humid, alkaline Midwest. The plant is partial to cool conditions and moist, acidic, well-drained soil. So move your next try away from heat sources such as pavement and brick walls—maybe you have a spot next to the stream leading to a garden pond? Be sure the soil is very well-drained. Install a weeper hose that drips throughout the growing season. Mulch with cocoa hulls or coffee grounds.

Meconopsis. The unbelievable but true blue of Himalayan blue poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia), plus its position on plant lists as “challenging to grow,” has spurred many a collector’s urge. Cool nights during the growing seasons are essential to its health and flowering. Good luck figuring how to meet that essential need in the middle of a continent.

Lawn. It’s no jest. Lawn may be the most frustrating, oft-replanted item in a landscape. Operating on it may also bring us as close as we ever are to that nutty gardener designation, as we plop the same plant into unchanged conditions time and time again. Instead, try this: In the sun, check and improve the drainage in just a portion of one space, and loosen the soil well in another before reseeding or sodding. Perhaps when the next lawn renovation project comes up, the difference between the areas will provide direction for a more lasting fix. Over dead grass in shade, prune trees to lighten one area. Later, decide if that netted enough improvement in grass growth, or if it signals that it’s time to replace that turf with shade-loving groundcover. continued on next page


Michigan Gardener | July 2012 |

continued from previous page Crape myrtle. Many northern gardeners visit the South, admire crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica, left), hear that there are varieties marginally hardy in zone 5, and add the tree to their wish list. It’s as common in the South as crabapple is in the North, for good reason—if the site’s well drained and sunny, it’s amenable to everything else. In zone 5, planted where it’s very well protected in winter, its branches may survive some winters. More often, it’s killed back like a butterfly bush. So the dedicated gardener may see it bloom in a zone 5 garden, but its beautiful, multicolored bark (right) won’t be a feature.

Foxglove, lupine, larkspur. Self sowers, including biennial lupine, left, (Lupinus polyphyllus), biennial foxglove, right, (Digitalis purpurea), and annual larkspur (Consolida ambigua), choose their own places, since they establish showy colonies only where their seed can sprout and survive. Frustrated gardeners should probably start with seed sown in place. If the seed sprouts and seedlings thrive, that site’s a winner.

Lady’s slipper. Acidity may be the prime factor toward success with yellow lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus), which occurs in a variety of soils and moisture conditions in part shade as well as dense shade. So keep track of the sand-peat mixture you plant it into, and what measures you use to keep the soil acidified (soil sulfur dressing, coffee grounds mulch, etc.).

Delphinium is adaptable in many ways but intractable in one: it longs for great drainage and cool weather, day and night. Once weakened by hot weather, it falls prey to leaf and stem diseases that become entrenched in the crown. Thus it may be best treated as a biennial—replaced every two years—and disease recurrence held to a minimum by always planting where delphinium has not recently grown.

Umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) is from a cloud forest—partway up a mountainside among fog and clouds. Water condenses on the plants and drips to the ground almost constantly. So if you tried to grow it and failed, try another with drip irrigation, regular misting, and perfect drainage.

Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) has been outlawed in Wisconsin for its invasiveness. What a surprise, then, to hear from a Michigander: “I’ve planted it four times. It just disappears!” What do we say in reply? “Picky plant!, or Nutty gardener!”

Yard and garden insect controls Natural or synthetic...your choice

effective insect control

Easily control hundreds hun of different types p of insects

It’s better er than Sevin. Eight brand insect control lasts for up to 4 weeks and kills over 100 different types of insects on vegetables, fruits, roses, flowers, trees, shrubs and lawns.

SCAN HERE for your free

garden problem solving APP

For organic gardening, choose Captain Jacks to control dozens of damaging insects on fruits, vegetables, berries, citrus, nuts and ornamentals.

to find a participating garden center near you visit

| July 2012 |

janet's journal

Never Say Die: Plants we keep trying Let’s not live up to the reputaover and over. Janet tion we have among some non-garHere’s some help to remain on Macunovich dening circles—that one summed the heroic rather than hysterical up with a roll of the eyes and the side as you make this year’s attempt words, “Nutty gardener!” to grow what’s eluded you. Where we come close to fulfillSmart moves for the second ing this judgment is, ironically, in (or twenty-second) time around the course of doing what can also When a planting fails, there are be admirable. It’s when we refuse times when it makes sense to simply to give up, when we try, try again to replace the plant. If the first plant had grow what’s failed. an obvious physical defect from the This year, you will almost cerstart or met with a singular, unusual accident, tainly walk that line as you pursue some spethen it’s reasonable to take the failed plant out cial flower, wonderful scent, collector’s item, and drop the new plant into the same hole. or grower’s challenge. As you do, steer clear In all other situations, make a change. (See of the behavior that defines insanity: don’t exthe sidebar on page 32, “Very Valuable Varipect different results as you do the same thing

ables.”) If possible, change just one variable so you have a better chance of pinpointing the critical factor and increasing the value of information you pass on to others. To test a number of variables, find that perfect place, or finally rule the plant out of your gardening life, buy several new plants and give each a situation with just one changed condition. Then, compare the lot. Start with the smallest plants you can find, as they tell tales most quickly. If it had 10 leaves at planting time you will probably not miss an improvement to 12 or a decline to 8, whereas you may not recognize the downhill slide of a hundred-leaf plant until it’s lost half its leaves. One last thing. Note the replanting date

Rhododendron species (including azaleas), Japanese andromeda (Pieris) and mountain laurel (Kalmia) need at least a half day of sunlight to bloom well, but can’t tolerate wind, dry soil, alkalinity, and big temperature swings in winter and early spring. If you garden in a place like the UK, where summers are cool and winters mild, you might expect to grow them in the open as you see here. Otherwise, place them as if they were Japanese maples, where tree branches overhead provide air-conditioning. Acidify the soil, improve its drainage, and keep it steadily moist.

Japanese maples do not grow well when exposed to big, rapid temperature changes in winter and spring, or midday summer heat. Leaves scorch, twigs die back, and the bark on the sunward side splits and dies. Better to place it where larger trees act as a natural pergola, retaining ground warmth in winter and buffering summer heat. Do as done here and place it under a big, highbranched tree in the open. Spare it life within a courtyard where it would be surrounded by walls which absorb heat all day and radiate it through the night.

P h oto g r a p h s by S t e v e n N i k k i l a

in your calendar, journal or on a refrigerator magnet. Seasons are so fluid in a garden that tests have a way of stretching on for two or many years. All it should take is twelve months or less, and then you will know if your experiment has succeeded. continued on page 32 Janet Macunovich is a professional gardener and author of the books “Designing Your Gardens and Landscape” and “Caring for Perennials.” Read more from Janet on her website

July 2012  

Garden Profile: Gator Garden ClubPlant Focus: SanvitaliaFeature: New Shrubs for 2012Weed Watch: Queen Anne’s LacePerennials: A sizzling summ...