Page 1

April 2015

perennials

Ajuga

MichiganGardener.com

Your guide to Great Lakes gardening

plant focus Chokeberry

tree tips

How to plant a tree

profile

Local farming with hydroponics

little gems

Native spring ephemerals

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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

Garden Wisdom Gardens are a form of autobiography.

BL O SSO M S

—Sydney Eddison

Spring Events

To-Do List........................................................8

Classified Ads...............................................31

Ask MG..........................................................10

Subscription Form.......................................31

Getting to know: Rhododendrons..........12 Vegetable Patch...............................................14

Garden Profile: Growing with hydroponics.........................32

Tree Tips........................................................ 16

Where to pick up Michigan Gardener....35

Books for the Michigan Gardener..........18

Bulk Subscriptions.........................................35

Perennial Perspectives: Ajuga..............20

Weather Wrap............................................35

Through the Lens.......................................22

Plant Focus: Chokeberry..........Back Cover

Calendar........................................................ 24 Advertiser Index........................................ 24

TROY EVENTS Bonsai Class & Workshop Apr 4 and May 2, 1pm The Magic & Lore Of Fairy Gardens Sat, Apr 11, 10am Fairy Gardening Workshop Sat, Apr 11, 11am Miniature Garden Rehab Sat, Apr 11, 1pm Herbs And Butterflies Thurs, Apr 16, 6:30pm Gardens Of Colorful Culinary Cuisine Sat, Apr 18, 10am Vegetable Gardening Sat, Apr 18, 1pm Growing Potatoes In Pots Workshop Thurs, Apr 23, 6:30pm (Workshop Fee is $20) New Annuals For 2015 Sat, Apr 25, 10am Pizza Gardens for Children & Adults Sat, Apr 25, 1pm Every Garden Deserves A Rose Thurs, Apr 30, 6:30pm Dahlia Tuber Sale Sat, May 2, 9am-12pm, FREE Event Container Gardening Class & Workshop Sat, May 2, 10am Container Gardening With Herbs Sat, May 2, 1pm Planting A Succulent Garden Workshop Sat, May 2, 3pm

PONTIAC EVENTS Herbal Infused Oil & Vinegar Workshop Sat, Apr, 11, 10am (Workshop Fee is $20) Bonsai Class & Workshop Saturdays, Apr 11 & May 9, 1pm Carnivorous Plant Terrarium & Container Workshop Sat, Apr 11, 12pm Trough Making Workshop Sat, Apr 18, 10am (Workshop Fee is $35) Composting Sat, Apr 25, 12pm New Annuals For 2015 Sat, May 2, 10am Herbal Allergy Remedies Sat, May 9, 10am (Workshop Fee is $20) 7th Annual Containers & Cocktails Thurs, May 14, 5-8pm at Goldner Walsh

SHELBY EVENTS

Feature: Native spring ephemerals.... 28 Places to Grow...........................................30

On the cover: ‘Blueberry Muffin’ is an improved mini ajuga. It is more vigorous than ‘Chocolate Chip’ and has a profuse flowering display. Photo: Terra Nova Nurseries

To Our Readers... After another historically cold winter, we are happy to say that Michigan Gardener is back for another gardening season! Just like last year, spring sunshine and warmer temperatures will be oh-so-sweet. When you want to get out and about to gardening events, check out the calendar listings in this and every issue of Michigan Gardener. For the most up-to-date listings, bookmark our “Garden Event Calendar” on MichiganGardener.com, which we update regularly. Have you signed up for our free E-Newsletter yet? If not, just enter your e-mail address on our homepage at MichiganGardener.com. We send out a few E-Newsletters each year (we don’t bombard you with lots of e-mails), plus there are contests to win prizes! Thank you for being a Michigan Gardener reader,

New Annuals For 2015 Sat, Apr 25, 12:30pm New Perennials For 2015 Sat, Apr 25, 2pm Container Gardening Class & Workshop Sat, May 2, 1pm

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

16291 W. 14 Mile Rd., Suite 5 Beverly Hills, MI 48025-3327 Phone: 248-594-5563 Fax: 248-594-5564 E-mail: publisher@MichiganGardener.com Website: www.MichiganGardener.com Publishing schedule 6 issues per year: April, May, June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec. Published the first week of the mo. Subscriptions (Please make check payable to Michigan Gardener) 1 yr, 6 iss/$14 2 yr, 12 iss/$26 3 yr, 18 iss/$36 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, 6 iss/$22 US 2 yr, 12 iss/$42 US Copyright © 2015 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.


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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

to-do list Annuals • If your soil’s ready to be worked, remove perennial weeds and add good organic material and compost to your beds. • Fertilize with slow release, easy-to-apply fertilizers. One application lasts throughout the season. • Check out spring-flowering, cold-tolerant annuals, and get a jump start on a beautiful garden. Plant cold-tolerant annuals such as pansies, violas, snapdragons, primrose, dianthus and osteospermum. • It’s also a great time to start seeds indoors for many annual flowers. Plan to transplant them into the garden in May after the danger of frost has passed.

Evergreens • Fertilize evergreens with a slow-release, organic formula in mid April. • Trim any dead branches or winter-damaged areas.

Spring-flowering Bulbs • Daffodil, crocus, and tulip blooms are a sure sign that spring has arrived. Fertilizer is the key to healthy plants that will continue to bloom year after year. Apply a

Feature Task: Maintaining a beautiful lawn water-soluble fertilizer when leaves first emerge and then continue every week to 10 days until the foliage all dies back.

Summer-flowering Bulbs • Start cannas and other summer tender bulbs indoors to get a head start on the season. Use 6- or 8-inch pots, plant them and leave them in the basement. Water as needed. When the shoots are 2 to 5 inches tall, move them to a bright, but indirectly lit window. Take them outside as soon as you can. Don’t expose them to temperatures below 50 degrees. Fertilize twice a month until they can be transplanted into the garden.

Fruit Trees • If there have been problems in recent seasons, spray fruit trees to help prevent insect and disease issues later this year.

Shrubs & Trees • Prune summer-flowering shrubs, such as rose of Sharon, before the foliage emerges on those plants. Do not prune any spring-flowering shrubs, such as lilacs and rhododendrons. • Check tender shrubs such as hydrangea and butterfly bush for winter damage.

Caring for a lawn is the most common gardening activity for homeowners. Lush, green grass is often the foreground to a beautiful garden. It’s also a telltale sign that the home is well cared for. Getting the lawn in shape is one of the first things people want to do when the weather turns nice. Wait until the ground has thawed and is mostly dry. Walking on soil that’s too wet will lead to compaction and problems later on. If you can pick up a handful of soil from your garden and squeeze it without water dripping, you can work in the yard. Follow these few steps to keep the lawn looking great. Clean up. Start by raking and removing thatch, which is dead grass that builds up and chokes a healthy tawn and inhibits root development. Use a flexible lawn rake or thatch rake. Mow. Once the grass starts growing, give it the first cut—about 1/2 to 1 inch shorter than you normally would. Make sure the mower blade is sharp. Dull blades cause bruised and ragged leaf tips, making grass more susceptible to disease and insects. • Many early-blooming trees are about ready, or just starting to bloom. Crabapples might get an application of a lime and sulfur spray

During lawn care season, remove only 1/3 of the total leaf blade in any one mowing. Mowing too low can weaken grass plants. Avoid mowing when grass is wet. Change the mowing pattern direction regularly. Water. A healthy lawn will thrive with a thorough, even watering that reaches the entire root zone. Water only when needed. Deep watering 2 to 3 times per week is best. General watering guidelines: • Apply 1 to 2 inches of water per week. • Keep newly seeded lawns moist until established. Water lightly and frequently for the first two weeks (twice a day; more often if the weather is windy, hot or dry). • As the lawn becomes established, water deeply only as needed. • Water early in the morning to reduce the susceptibility of disease. • Use a rain gauge to accurately measure water amounts. Fertilize. Healthy lawns need fertilizer. The easiest way is a four-step approach with granular products formulated for seasonal before the tree breaks into full bud and bloom. Use it if there was a major apple scab problem in previous years.

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MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener



application. If crabgrass was a problem last year, start by applying fertilizer with a crabgrass preventer before the forsythia finishes blooming—usually in early April, but it depends on the weather. Apply the following steps at 6- to 8-week intervals. A fifth step may be desirable, particularly if you use automatic sprinklers. A good way to remember is to use the holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Fall is one of the most important applications to get the turf through the long winter. If there has been a grub problem in the past, apply a grub control product, although it’s too early for season-long control. Weeds. Stressed lawns are more prone to problems, so it’s especially important to keep your lawn properly maintained. A few weeds can be treated with spot controls. If they’ve overtaken the yard, you’ll find the best results from a granular treatment combined with fertilizer that can be applied to the entire lawn. Check with the experts at your local garden center for a customized program for your situation.

General • Remove any protective mulch from perennials and shrubs.

• April can be a tricky month; we can still have one more blast of winter. Plan your gardening activities accordingly. Generally, you shouldn’t be working in the soil unless you can squeeze a handful of dirt and no water is released. • By mid-April, check to see if protected plants have any tender growth emerging. If so, continue to protect plants from frost. If not, take down your winter protection devices, like burlap screens and rose cones.

Shrubs & Trees • Prune summer-flowering shrubs, such as rose of Sharon, before the foliage emerges on those plants. Do not prune any springflowering shrubs, such as lilacs and rhododendrons. • Check tender shrubs such as hydrangea and butterfly bush for winter damage.

Perennials • Rake leaves and debris from beds. Remove the mulch off the crowns of your plants. • Cut back any dead foliage from last year’s ornamental grasses and perennial garden. At the end of the month, put down an application of organic fertilizer around the perennial beds.

Houseplants • Nice weather is around the corner. In the

meantime, increase fertilizing to twice a month. • An application of systemic insecticide granules every six weeks will prevent bugs from infesting plants while they’re outside.

Roses • Trim garden roses back. Prune and thin the number of canes so there is adequate air flow once the plant leafs out. • Once the plant starts to develop buds and starts growing, fertilize with a slow-release organic formula. • If there have been issues in the past, apply a systemic insecticide and fungicide to prevent problems from developing.

eties until after they’ve finished blooming. • An application of slow-release organic fertilizer will get vines off to a healthy start.

Water Gardens • Clean out any debris that has fallen into the pond during the winter. • Apply spring-formulated microbes that will help keep the water clean and healthy. It’s best not to change the water in a water garden unless absolutely necessary. Provided by the professionals at English Gardens.

Vegetables • If you’re not planting directly into your vegetable garden beds this month, till in some compost to help feed plants this summer. • Sow your cold season crops directly into your garden as soon as your soil can be worked. Cole crops like cabbage and broccoli do well now, along with lettuce and peas.

Vines • Summer- or fall-blooming clematis can be cut back to within inches of the ground to promote new growth and encourage blooms later this year. • Don’t trim spring-blooming clematis vari-

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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

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

Replacing grass with native plants I would like to replace my grass with native plants, and I don’t want to have to cut. I need suggestions for low-growing, lawn replacements. I would love them to flower. My ground is clay, and shady to partly sunny. The partly sunny location is allowing a nice patch of white clover to grow. I am also interested in an evergreen lawn replacement for a different project. A.B. Calculate your square footage and map the area for the amount of sun. Be sure to check local lawn and weed ordinances to make sure you won’t be in violation. With predominantly clay soil, there is moisture retention. But it will need preparation through compost amendment. Removing the lawn removes the nutrient-rich topsoil, regardless of how careful you are. Preparing the soil is key. Natives require attention the first year to establish their root system. Once established, their deep roots demand less watering. In sunny areas, mix in low-growing junipers to add winter interest and structure. They also act as a backdrop for flowering displays. Add a few low-profile boulders.

They lend year-round interest and structure, and elevate the flat plane left by the lawn. Remember, you won’t have to steer a mower around them! Strategically placed, they draw the eye through the landscape. Michigan has a wonderful selection of lowmaintenance perennials, trees and shrubs. Landscaping with Native Plants in Michigan by Lynn M. Steiner is a bible for those wishing to switch out turf grass with native plants. Using her index of concise descriptions, you can select plants for various degrees of shade and sun, as well as maximum height and bloom time for four-season interest. Go online to www.for-wild.org and click on “Resources/Business members” for local native plant businesses. They can recommend the number of plants needed for your square footage. Mapping out the area to be planted, knowing your sun exposure, and planning some “accidentals” like boulders and shrubs will give structure and organization while still remaining low maintenance and enjoyable.

Eradicating lamium How do I control the groundcover lami-

um? It is invading everything. M.L., Rochester Hills When evergreen spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) is successful, it can easily fill in every area you want and even those you don’t. Its silver spotted leaves light up the ground in shady areas even when the spring flush of white flowers is over. Lamium spreads by surface stolons. Wherever a stem touches the ground, it roots. Although it is desirable for its toughness and tolerance for dry shade, it can be a nuisance when it runs happily over other plants. Because it roots on the surface, methodical cultivating and lifting will remove it. Where it has run between and around other plants, they may have to be lifted, the stem strands of lamium extracted from their base, and the plant reinstalled. If it gets into turf grass, the process can be tedious. Herbicides for weeds are not effective. Chemical treatment is not a recommended solution as applying chemicals can harm the soil and microbiotic system, especially when mechanical means are more effective. It can be kept in check with metal edging

and by cutting around the perimeter patch with a shovel in spring and fall, pulling those pieces that crossed the line. It will easily work through crevices in landscape pavers and cobblestone borders because of its stoloniferous habit. Patience and persistence will keep it under control once it is extricated from the desirable plants.

Restoring and replanting grass Late last fall, I had my swimming pool removed, along with a large portion of lawn due to all the heavy equipment damage. What is the best time of year to restore the lawn and what is better, seed or sod? The area demolished is in full sun. S.L., Rochester Hills First and foremost, prepare the soil properly whether you seed or sod the space. The soil needs plenty of compost worked in and water to disperse the nutrients. Both methods need a rich growing medium. Full sun is excellent for turf grass success. Watering practices also make a big impact on turf roots and lawn health. Don’t water at night and don’t water every day once established, especially with

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11

MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener

a sprinkler system. Instead of forming deep roots, turf grass will then root close to the surface since it has everything it wants in the top two inches. The pros and cons of sod versus seed are numerous. Sod is instant gratification but initially costly. It can be installed any time of the growing season and will require about 2 to 3 weeks of daily watering and be fairly established in that time. It can be placed on slopes and not wash away. However, there are limited choices of sod grasses and they might bring in hidden insect problems or diseases and weeds. Seeding is less expensive and has varieties to match yard conditions. With the right equipment, it can be sown quickly over large areas. It does demand more time, patience, and water. It takes 2 to 3 weeks of daily watering just to germinate. Optimum growing conditions for grass seed dictate when the seeding process should be done. Seeding can’t be done from late spring to midsummer and expect good results. Even after establishment, it may be necessary to spot-seed areas that won’t fill in. You face weed competition too. Depending on the space and your budget, you can get comparable estimates from most lawn services.

Benefits of catmint Can you use catmint as a tea? T.P. Catmint or catnip (Nepeta cataria) got its name “Nepeta” from the Roman town Nepeti, where catnip was highly cultivated for seasoning, medicinal properties, and mildly hallucinogenic properties when smoked. It’s used today for seasoning and as a mild medicinal herb. The leaves contain vitamin C. You can make an infusion of leaves, either fresh or dried, by pouring boiling water over them in a strainer and letting set for five minutes. Tea from dried leaves is more potent. The tea can help with colds and fevers as it induces sleep and perspiration without increasing the body temperature overall. Some people claim it helps with restlessness due to its mild sedative properties and eases colic in children. It can help with headaches and upset stomachs, much like peppermint oil and lozenges.

Green bean plant problems Last year, my green beans seemed to do fine for a while, then the stems broke and the plant fell over. It looks like something was eating the stems. What is causing this and what can I do to prevent it from happening in the future? B.P., Fraser The symptoms suggest a variety of cutworm living in the top two inches of your soil. They are generally gray, brown or black, about two inches long, and will curl up when disturbed. Surface-feeding cutworms are a common pest of young vegetables planted early in the season. One strategy would be to delay planting your vegetables to avoid the spring feeding frenzy of cutworm larvae. A single

cutworm can busily sever the stems of many young plants in one night. They hide in the soil by day and only feed at night. You can apply a commercial granular deterrent on the soil surface, such as Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) or diatomaceous earth, that will prohibit cutworms. Spent coffee grounds and ground up egg shells have also shown some effectiveness. But they are a difficult pest to control and applications may need repeating weekly. Make sure to cultivate the soil thoroughly in late summer and fall to expose and destroy eggs, larvae and pupae. You can also make inexpensive cutworm collars to put around the stem of each plant, depending on the size of your garden. They must be at least two inches tall and pressed down into the soil. Tin cans with both ends removed, yogurt and paper cups with the bottom removed, and even shortened paper towel tubes are some of the inventive ways to prevent the cutworm attack. Practice good garden hygiene in fall by removing plant debris to keep the moths from laying eggs in prime conditions. Make your garden a haven for cutworm predators such as toads and moles, for which the cutworm is a perfect snack.

Spent bulb foliage feeds the bulbs below Can Roundup be sprayed over spent tulips without hurting bulbs? J.W. Roundup is the herbicide glyphosate, which is absorbed through the foliage and translocated to the roots. It is an enzyme inhibitor, prohibiting the formation of amino acids necessary for growth. Although the tulip foliage is lying on the ground, it is still absorbing energy and feeding the bulb below. The bulb is the root; it is actively growing whether you can see it or not. Spraying an herbicide to diminish the flaccid foliage is a deadly way to cure an annoyance. Instead, you can trim the foliage to within 3 to 4 inches of the ground to eliminate the untidy look. For the future, plant other perennials nearby that will cover up the tulip foliage as it becomes limp. Answers provided by Beverly Moss, owner of Garden Rhythms.

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2nd generation, family-owned, since 1967

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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

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o you’re tired of watching your “rhotime we should select a newer, hardier varidies” slide downhill in a sad state of ety. Even if we do, it is important to underaffairs. I get it. But you don’t have to stand some do’s and don’ts. throw in the towel and vow to never plant anRule #1: Avoid overwatering in the spring other one. Surely there are ideas you haven’t and summer months. We all want our rhoyet tried or cultivars you’ve never played dies to rejuvenate quickly, but more, more and with. After all, your garden is supposed to be more water doesn’t equal success. Keep them your plant playground and on the playground moist, but not saturated. Saturation leads to we get bumped and bruised. New discoveries a lack of oxygen which begets certain nasty await those who are willing to forge ahead. microbes in the soil that destroy a plant’s Tough winters continue to remind us of root system. These microbes infect the plant the harsh climate our rhododencausing phytophthora root rot. If drons must endure. Hybridizers your rhododendrons have browned have created improved plants that leaves, then expect the root system are more durable, yet just as beautito be very weak by late summer ful. Basically it comes down to the and early fall. That is a dangerous smaller leaf size—newer cultivars thing for the plant before heading with smaller leaves are the key to seinto winter. Most plants with root lecting and trying these new varietrot infections limp along during the ies. Logically, the smaller leaf would growing season, but rarely do they be stronger since less surface area Steve survive the winter. It is vital to keep is exposed to horribly desiccating Martinko moisture levels moderate so oxygen winter winds along with subzero can exist in the soil. temperatures. When rapid water loss occurs Rule #2: Amend high clay content soils, during these conditions, the ground is quite which usually have poor drainage. Plus, the frozen, which prevents the plant from replacsoil’s pH is going to be high (alkaline) and ing any water. It could be weeks and weeks less than ideal for rhododendrons, which like before any absorption from the ground is acidic soil. Adding compost and leaf mold is even possible. It might as well be a desert duran excellent way to amend the soil. Another ing the winter, which is why it is so important good option is to feed the roots using organic to protect your plants with an anti-desiccant seaweed kelp coupled with an organic liquid beforehand. iron product, which would be readily availOnce spring arrives, we are accustomed to able to the plant for uptake. Granular iron helping our rhododendrons bounce back. Or, products also work well but they will need to as past lessons have taught us, we just give up be reapplied regularly. on many of them and replant. Perhaps this Rule #3: If your rhododendrons have signs MI Gardner ReLeaf.pdf 1 3/11/2015 10:36:27 AM of root rot, treat them using a biological fungicide. Once infected, they will not be able to cure themselves quickly enough. A natural biological fungicide contains beneficial microorganisms that attack the unhealthy miReLeaf Michigan crobes in the soil. It is important to re-treat a couple times per year for two years to make Healthy Trees, Healthy Communities sure the microbes are kept in check. The next time you go to the nursery or Order by garden center, ask them about newer rhoApril 17th dodendrons with smaller leaves. At first you Pick-up may think they are actually a ‘PJM’ but they on May 2nd aren’t. They have all the qualities of a ‘PJM’ and more. Like you, I can’t wait to open my All proceeds support Order Online plant playground this spring! tree plantings and

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education throughout Michigan. Inventory selected for Michigan conditions.

Steve Martinko is the owner of Contender’s Tree and Lawn Specialists in Oakland County, MI.


Time for a visit to THE WEED LADY for inspiration & rejuvination!

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14

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring. Is it time for something new in your garden?

Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

vegetable patch

If you want help with your garden, but don’t want a cookie-cutter design, call us. We will give you one-on-one attention and provide you with uniquely personal ideas. Give us a call and we’ll give your garden a creative boost.

Lettuce: A cool weather classic Early spring is a good time to make your lettuce garden plan

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From welcoming front entrances to relaxing backyard spaces, we create beautiful custom gardens and outdoor living areas that reflect the unique lifestyle and personality of each of our clients. Call us and we will do the same for you.

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faeries’ meeting place

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pril is upon us. The snow is melting, the soil is draining, and soon the garden will go in. Get a jump start on the gardening season with one of our cool weather crops: lettuce. With a wide variety of types to choose from and colors that range from light green to deep burgundy, you are sure to find something to please the palette and fill the salad bowl. Fairly easy to grow from seed or transplant, lettuce is a natural for the backSome good leaf lettuce choices for the Michiyard garden. gan garden include: Black Seeded Simpson, There are two basic types of lettuce: head Red Sails, Ruby, Lolla Rossa, and Oakleaf. and leaf. Head lettuce, such as iceberg, tends to be more difficult to grow, is more heat senSome lettuce seeds actually need light to gersitive, has little nutritional value, and is probminate and would only be pressed lightly into ably not the best choice for the home garden. the soil, while other seeds may be planted If you want to try growing this crisp head let1/4 inch or deeper. Also check for spacing retuce, start it from transplants. A better choice quirements. would be the butterhead and romaine (cos) Lettuce grows best in a sandy loam, but types of lettuce. These form loose heads that will tolerate a wide variety of soils— can be harvested either by cutting just incorporate plenty of organic the outer leaves or harvesting the matter. They are shallow-rooted entire head. They take longer to maplants, so be sure to provide adeture than the leaf lettuce, so plan on quate moisture and be careful when getting them in early enough to maweeding around them. Leaf lettuce ture while the weather is still fairly can be harvested whenever it apcool. Most lettuce does best in a pears large enough to use. temperature range between 45 and Some good choices for the Michi65 degrees F. gan garden include: Black Seeded Leaf lettuce is a wonderful Mary Simpson, Red Sails, Ruby, Lolla choice for the home garden. The Gerstenberger Rossa, and Oakleaf. There is a wide leaves come in a wide range of variety of leaf lettuces so it is a good idea to shapes and colors, it matures quickly, and is review the garden catalogs for what is ofthe easiest to grow. Lettuce seed germinates fered. Check for heat tolerant varieties to best when the soil temperature is 40 degrees avoid bolting as the weather warms up. You F or higher. Lettuce plants can tolerate a light can also plan your garden so that the lettuce frost. will be growing in the shade of taller plants as When planting by seed, be sure to check summer arrives. Keep an eye out for aphids as the package directions for sowing depth. well. There is little to compare to the delightful crunch of freshly picked salad greens. Whether used in a salad mix or as a refreshing addition to a sandwich, lettuce is a great call start for an early garden. You can find ad“the little gardener ditional information on lettuce here: tinyurl. that could” com/p3pj88u. 15 Years Experience at Botanical Gardens FREE Estimates

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Mary Gerstenberger is the Consumer Horticulture Coordinator at the Michigan State University Extension in Macomb County, MI. For vegetable and gardening information from MSU, visit www.migarden.msu.edu. Call the toll-free Michigan State University Lawn and Garden Hotline at 888-678-3464 for answers to your gardening questions.


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Along with the great plants and knowledgeable, expert staff, Fraleighs is now offering Biochar. A carbon sequestering soil amendment, with the added feature of lightening heavy soils and holding and delivering nutrients to the plants in your garden. Now available exclusively in the Dexter area at Fraleighs. Visit our website for more information.

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Fairy Garden “Make & Take” Workshop

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In Celebration of Earth Day a portion of our proceeds on Saturday, April 18 will benefit the Intergenerational Garden at the Chelsea Senior Center. Visit our website & Facebook page for details on these & other workshops.

110 S. MAIN • DOWNTOWN CHELSEA • 734-475-3539 • www.thegardenmill.com

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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

tree tips How to properly plant a tree

P

lanting a tree entails more than simply digging a hole and placing the tree in it. In fact, for many years there was controversy on how to properly plant trees. The nursery industry said to leave the packaging material in place and just pull back the burlap on top. The arboriculture industry said to remove all the material including the wire cage. Then, a group of professionals representing nurseries, landscapers, architects, and arborists made recommendations that were used to update the ANSI standards for tree planting, released in 2005. So now we have a consensus among experts. However, a majority of trees are still being planted using antiquated techniques that impede their establishment and cause problems later in the root systems of mature trees.

Container plants Many plants are sold in containers. While they are convenient, there is a downside: roots tend to grow in Steve a circle around the pot edges. If this Turner is the case, then shave off the outer 1 to 1-1/2 inches of the root system all the way around. While this might seem extreme when you see the pile of severed roots, a healthy plant can handle this and moreover it is essential to its long-term viability. Pruning saws or pruners are good tools for this task. If there are no circling roots, then simply rough up the soil sides with your fingers or small hand fork and tease out the roots. Once the size of the new root ball is established, measure its depth and width. Dig your hole in the shape of a saucer 1-1/2 to 2 times the root ball’s width and its exact depth or slightly less. If you dig too deep, make sure to firmly pack the soil you put back in the hole to avoid the plant sinking later. Place the plant in the hole, spread out any exposed roots so they are not circling, and begin to back fill with the native soil, stopping every six inches to hand-firm the soil. Do not overcompact the soil. You can add some water at each firming to help settle the soil and remove large air pockets. The soil texture will dictate how much water is needed; avoid creating a mud pit. If you are going to fertilize or add organic matter, they are best added in the top 6 to 12 inches of soil since that is where the roots grow. If you do use fertilizer when planting, make sure it contains minimal or no nitrogen, or use organic forms that require the soil biology to break it down over time. Too much nitrogen causes top growth, not the root development that is critical for new plants. Soil amendments of organic matter should be kept to less than 10 percent of the soil vol-

ume; roughly 5 percent is ideal. By adding too much you will alter the soil texture and cause drainage problems in the planting hole by not allowing the water to move from one soil type to another.

Balled and burlapped plants For balled and burlapped trees, follow the same instructions for the planting hole as containers—just on a larger scale. Before digging any hole for balled and burlapped plants, it is critical to establish where the root flare is in the root ball. The root flare is the outwardly curving base of the tree trunk where it joins the roots. Often the root flare is too deep in the ball. (This results from many transplantings from one container to the next size larger during the production growing process—the root flare gets buried a little deeper each time.) If the flare is only an inch or two down, simply remove the excess soil on top to expose the flare and then measure the depth of the ball to know how deep to dig the hole. If the root flare is more than four inches below the grade in the ball, you might want to select a different tree. The deeper the flare is, the less roots it will have and will be less likely to survive. When picking out trees from the nursery it is not a bad idea to bring a long screwdriver to carefully poke through the burlap a couple inches out from the trunk all the way around it to determine the depth of the large lateral roots in the ball. This will give you an idea of how far down the root flare is. Once you have determined the proper depth of the hole, place the tree in the hole and position as needed to get it straight. Now you can remove the rest of the twine and burlap. Cut off at least the top 1/3 of the wire cage, preferably the top 2/3, to ensure the roots do not grow into the wire. It takes over 30 years for the wire to rust away and by then most trees will have a trunk diameter greater than the original cage size, causing root problems or even trunk girdling. If you dug the hole properly in a saucer shape, it should be easy to access the sides of the cage and cut it away. If you struggle to get at the cage, dig the hole wider. Also cut away all the exposed burlap and remove it from the planting hole. Do not bury it in the bottom of the hole. Firm a ring of soil around the base of the ball to stabilize the tree while back filling in the same manner as for containers. When the backfilling is done there should be no new soil on top of the rootball. If you are planting in disturbed or compacted soils, it might be best to either hand dig or till 6 to

Steve Turner

This is an excellent aboveground example of what can happen underground when a plant with circling roots is taken from its container and planted without those circling roots being corrected at planting time. 12 inches deep out another 3 to 4 feet from the edge of the planting hole to ensure roots make it into the new soil easier and are not pushed to the surface due to a lack of oxygen in the soil. After the tree is planted at the proper grade, create a small circular berm at the edge of the planting hole to help with water retention. Add mulch on top to a depth of 2 to 3 inches; do not exceed 4 inches. Make sure the mulch does not contact the trunk; there should be a gap of air all around the trunk. Only stake trees if necessary and do so loosely so the tree moves naturally but won’t fall over or lean. If you stake a tree too tightly, it will seriously affect the root growth and stability of the tree, making it more likely it will fail in a storm as it matures. Properly planted trees live longer and add value to the landscape with less problems than improperly planted trees. It’s rare for me to walk into a landscape and not see at least

one tree that is improperly planted. Often, most if not all of the trees are planted this way. It is sad to see mature trees doomed because of incorrect planting. Taking the time to get it right in the beginning will save a lot of your time and money in the long run. Steve Turner, Certified Arborist, is from Arboricultural Services in Fenton, MI.

Planting variations Please note there are several variations of these techniques to address soil types, slopes, and berms. They are similar but have slight variances in planting height and hole size to best suit the situation. This link is the best example I have seen of these techniques: tinyurl.com/oqrj9gt.


Uncle Luke’s

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featuring

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Bedding plants Perennials Herbs Seed potatoes, onions, High Mowing Organic Garden Seeds, Renee’s Garden Seed, Bulk garden seed Complete outdoor bird feed & supplies

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

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ARBOR DAY TREE PLANTING CEREMONY Friday, April 24, 2pm

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Come celebrate Arbor Day with staff, volunteers and members as we commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Hidden Lake Gardens with a tree planting dedication. Offering a wide selection of choice plants reflecting our collections. Annuals, Conifers, Hosta & companions, Native Plants and “Woodies” (Trees & Shrubs).

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18

Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

Join us for our

Spring Open House Sat, April 25, 9am-5pm & Sun, April 26, 10am-5pm See NEW varieties for 2015! • Refreshments

Spring Seminar Series

Where Do I Start? – Saturday, April 11, 11am Come with your questions! Our staff at Bogie Lake is ready to answer questions from both rookie and veteran gardeners. Fairy Gardening Comes to Life – Sunday, April 12, 1pm Patty Watkins, owner of Bogie Lake Greenhouses, gives tips on growing your own fairy garden. The class is based on The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Baker. Annual Container Garden Weekend - April 18, 11am & April 19, 1pm Saturday covers the basics of container gardening including container choice, plant selection, and general planting ideas. Sunday carries on Saturday’s ideas, but also includes container gardening with succulents and unique foliage plants. You will be invited to plant your own creation after both discussions. All classes are FREE!

248-887-5101

1525 Bogie Lake Rd. White Lake, MI 1-1/2 Miles S. of M-59, Across from Lakeland H.S.

April Hours: Mon-Fri 8-6 Sat 9-5 Sun 11-3

www.bogielakegreenhouses.com

Tropical Treasures Complete line of pond supplies Integra EPDM Liners • Filters Energy Efficient Pumps • UV’s Medicines • Lighting • Food Wide variety of pond fish including: Japanese Koi, Chinese Goldfish Pond Critters: Tadpoles, Snails & Clams Pond Plants: Marginals, Lillies, Lotus & Oxygenators

Plants & Fish available when weather permits— please call or visit our website! 34190 S. Gratiot (14-1/2 Mile) Clinton Township

586-791-6595 tropicaltreasuresfish.com Mon-Fri 11-8 Sat 9-8 Sun 9-5

Gardening in Miniature by Janit Calvo Get ready to journey into the world of growing small. In Gardening in Miniature (Timber Press, 255 pages, $19.95), award-winning miniature gardening expert Janit Calvo shows you how to craft your own beautiful tiny gardens with lush plantings, stylish accessories, functioning water features, and perfect pathways. The author helps readers choose the best plant varieties, learn the secrets of scale and illusion, and design and create a miniature world. Color photos show off every detail, from Adirondack chairs to the tiniest container plants, and everything in between. Calvo’s mini gardens come to life with tiny versions of the things that grace our own gardens everyday: birdhouses for feathered friends, rubber muck boots, and more. Whether you want to build a miniature empire in your garden bed or design a private garden with a pebble patio for an indoor centerpiece, this book is a guide for creating your own tiny, living world.

Garden-pedia: An A-to-Z Guide to Gardening Terms by Pamela Bennett and Maria Zampini So, you think you’re a knowledgeable gardener? What’s the difference between hardpan and hardening-off? A cold frame and a cloche? A native and a nativar? Even the most educated garden folk have trouble keeping all those terms straight. “Hort experts” Maria Zampini and Pam Bennett fill the need for a clear, concise book of useful terms for the layman gardener with Garden-pedia: An A-to-Z Guide to Gardening Terms (St. Lynn’s Press, 160 pages, $16.95). In a friendly, conversational style, the authors introduce you to the what, when, why and how of gardening with over 300 of the most common terms that you will encounter, presented with entertaining sidebars, useful tips, and color photos throughout. Say goodbye to confusing terminology. This reference offers simple explanations and helpful graphics as well. Up to date and authoritative, this book is helpful for new or experienced gardeners, master gardeners, and green industry professionals alike.

Growing Urban Orchards by Susan Poizner Thinking of planting a fruit tree? You’d think growing fruit trees would be easy. You just plant them, water them and wait for the harvest, right? Well, that’s not quite the case. Fruit trees are delicate and need hands-on care, especially when planted in a challenging urban environment. In her book, Growing Urban Orchards (Orchard People, 111 pages, $19.95), community orchardist Susan Poizner teaches readers everything they need to know to grow fruit trees in the city, from choosing the right tree, to pruning, feeding and protecting their trees from pests and diseases. The author gives gardeners advice on choosing the correct organic matter and mulch for their specific soil needs and explains the pros and cons of various products. Growing Urban Orchards devotes a chapter to pest and disease control, including eradication tips for previously infected trees. Learn the dos and don’ts of fruit tree care and try some in your own yard, whether it is urban or suburban.


Auburn Oaks GARDEN CENTER

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

Spring Open House Fri-Sat, April 24-25, 8am-6pm Sunday, April 26, 10am-5pm New Products • Discounts • Gifts Refreshments • Closeouts Plants • Information Lunch served Fri & Sat, 11am-1pm

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Gleaners Food Drive

Receive a $5 OFF Coupon when you donate 3 nutritious canned or dry goods

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20

Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

perennial perspectives

Ajuga, commonly called bugleweed or carpet bugle, is generally thought of as a nononsense groundcover: a plant that serves the utilitarian purpose of covering ground in places with less than ideal growing conditions. Gardeners often seek out groundcovers to grow in areas that are too shady for colorful flowering perennials. In that respect, the older varieties of ajuga such as ‘Bronze Beauty,’ are a great choice. They spread rapidly, growing and flowering well in moderate to deep shade and, to the annoyance of gardeners and groundskeepers, will also compete with lawn grasses. With its stoloniferous habit, bugleweed roots at the nodes, creeping along at a pretty good pace. The species Ajuga Karen Bovio reptans and the older cultivars have plain dark green to brownish-green foliage which is not terribly exciting. ‘Burgundy Glow,’ another older variety, stole the thunder from ‘Bronze Beauty’ and others of its era by virtue of its gorgeous tricolored foliage of cream, pink and burgundy, accented with nearly true-blue flowers. This variety enjoyed great popularity during the 1970s and 1980s and is still widely available at garden centers. However, the fancy foliage came with a price: it is fussier about soil and light conditions and has a slower growth rate. In short, it’s not as competitive as the plain-leafed types, and hence not as long-lived in the landscape.

www.BluestonePerennials.com

‘Purple Torch’

Terra Nova Nurseries

‘Toffee Chip’ www.PerennialResource.com

‘Burgundy Glow’

New varieties introduced The exact quality that makes the old-fashioned bugleweed a good groundcover is also the very quality that some gardeners find a nuisance. During the 1980s and 1990s, plant breeders worked actively to create varieties that were more clumping than running, thus only moderately spreading in habit. These varieties are well-suited for use as focal points, as additions to containers, and in smaller gardens. The miniature ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’ is probably one of the best known. With tiny, chocolate brown oval leaves, the name is quite fitting. Three colorful variegated cultivars followed (‘Vanilla Chip,’ ‘Dixie Chip,’ and ‘Toffee Chip’), but having less chlorophyll, they are not as vigorous and appear to

www.PerennialResource.com

‘Black Scallop’

www.PerennialResource.com

‘Golden Glow’


MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener



21

Recommended ajuga cultivars ‘Black Scallop’ – Nearly black crinkled foliage, dense habit. Produces short runners, suitable for front of border or use in containers. ‘Blueberry Muffin’ – Improved mini ajuga; more vigorous than ‘Chocolate Chip,’ with a profuse flowering display. ‘Burgundy Glow’ – Multi-colored foliage of cream, rose-pink, burgundy and green. Short spikes of true-blue flowers. Groundcover habit with moderate growth rate. ‘Caitlin’s Giant’ – Big, glossy burgundy leaves; exceptional large flower spikes. Good groundcover variety that is also very ornamental. ‘Chocolate Chip’ – Small oval, dark brown leaves, plants only 2 to 4 inches tall. Great in containers or as a small-scale groundcover. ‘Dixie Chip’ – Same small oval leaves as ‘Chocolate Chip,’ but variegated white, pink, burgundy and green. Great accent plant. ‘Golden Glow’ – Unique color combination of gold, green and pink. Best in shade. ‘Metallica Crispa’ - Very glossy, crinkled foliage looks almost metallic. Arguably ugly, yet a desirable garden plant at the same time. A unique cultivar. ‘Purple Torch’ – Grown primarily for its large 12-inch spikes of pinkish lavender flowers. Dark green foliage, very good groundcover habit.

Eric Hofley / Michigan Gardener

‘Chocolate Chip’

Eric Hofley / Michigan Gardener

Terra Nova Nurseries

‘Blueberry Muffin’ be more prone to root and crown rots. The relatively new ‘Blueberry Muffin’ looks like it will be a winner. Although not variegated, it is a mini-leaved variety that is supposedly a stronger grower than ‘Chocolate Chip,’ with a thick, dense habit. A heavy bloomer, it bears loads of blueberry-blue flowers on 8-inch stems in May. Giant-leafed ajugas have also been de-

veloped, with ‘Caitlin’s Giant’ and ‘Jungle Beauty’ creating quite a stir when they first appeared in nurseries. The leaves of the giant cultivars can attain a size of 6 inches long by 3 inches wide, bearing sturdy flower stems up to 8 inches tall, with large, showy blue flowers. The best foliage and flowering effects are achieved with some sun. My own ‘Caitlin’s Giant’ has been a good grower in a full sun

Eric Hofley / Michigan Gardener

‘Metallica Crispa’

‘Caitlin’s Giant’

area with medium to moist soil. Their large, glossy burgundy leaves are also useful in container arrangements. Most recently, the newest varieties trend toward compactness and highly ornamental foliage, expanding the use of ajuga to frontand-center specimen plants and container mixers, rather than space-fillers relegated to the perimeters of the property. ‘Black Scallop’, introduced in 2005, is a top seller and with good reason. This is the blackest, most crinkle-foliaged variety to date, surpassing the older ‘Metallica Crispa’ by virtue of its non-fading burgundy-black color, extreme ruffling, and dense mounding habit that is only mildly spreading. The foliage is blackest when given some sun. ‘Golden Glow’ is another restrained grower with fantastic foliage. It forms a neat carpet of green and golden variegated leaves, taking on rose tones in cool weather. It is best in partial to full shade; full sun can burn the leaf margins.

Growing tips Most ajugas are happiest when grown in moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. In general, the dark, crinkled-leaf types prefer the most sun and the variegated ones need more shade. All varieties produce two-lipped flowers (usually blue) on short spikes for 2 to 3 weeks during May. Although not a native plant, the flowers are highly attractive to bees of all sorts and are a prime nectar source for skippers, fritillaries, and other butterflies. Ajuga is listed as hardy through zone 4, but sometimes does not make it through the winter. Poor drainage, accompanied by root and crown rot, is the most usual cause of die-out. Winter desiccation can also be a problem in harsh but snowless winters, particularly in exposed sites. Ajuga is not bothered by insect pests, and is deer and rabbit resistant. Karen Bovio is the owner of Specialty Growers in Howell, MI.


A wave of white tulips makes a bold statement.

through the lens Photographs from Michigan gardeners at home and traveling

Forsythia, hosta & hydrangea team up for a great spring combo.

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The sights and scents of lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) signal warmer temperatures on summer’s doorstep.

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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

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Spring Bug Hunt Registration Fri, Apr 3, Dearborn. By Friends of the Rouge at UMDearborn Environmental Interpretive Ctr. Help find stoneflies, mayflies & other aquatic insects on April 18. Register: www.TheRouge.org. H Pruning Tips Sat, Apr 4, 1pm, all locations. At English Gardens. FREE. Keep the garden healthy by regularly dividing perennials & pruning trees & shrubs. www.EnglishGardens.com. H Bonsai Class & Workshop Sat, Apr 4, 1pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Herb Study Group Mon, Apr 6, 7pm, Ann Arbor. At Matthaei Botanical Gardens. FREE. Starting an Herb Garden with herbs that are annuals, perennials & biennials. 734-647-7600. Go for the Gold Mon, Apr 6, 7pm, Bloomfield Hills. By Hardy Plant Society at Congregational Church of Birmingham. $3. Julia Hofley shares golden foliaged & needled plants for your garden. 248-693-0334. Special Arrangements for Special People & Occasions Mon, Apr 6, 1pm, Farmington Hills. By Farmington Garden Club at Spicer House. Making one-of-a-kind arrangements. 248-477-3854, fgc1932@gmail.com. Bonsai & Ikebana Workshops Wed, Apr 8, 10am-2:30pm, Southfield. By Ikebana International Detroit Chapter at Southfield Unitarian Universalist Church. $10. www.ikebanadetroit.com, 248-684-2460. H Bluebirds & More Thu, Apr 9, 7pm, Tipton. By Master Gardener Association of Lenawee County at Hidden Lake Gardens. FREE. Photos, stories & more. hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu. Let’s Heat It Up with Container Gardening Thu, Apr 9, 7pm, Ferndale. By Ferndale Garden Club at Kulick Community Ctr. Presented by Heather Glenday of Bordines. Guests are welcome. 248-398-6283. Spring Garden Tips Sat, Apr 11, 11am, Southgate. At Ray Hunter Florist & Garden. FREE. Get the best performance from your lawn, flowers & vegetable garden. 734-284-2500. H Miniature Garden Rehab Sat, Apr 11, 1pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Spring Inspiration Sat, Apr 11, 10:30am-12:30pm, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. FREE. Tips to make any garden space shine! Demos & appetizers. www.HeavenlyScentHerbFarm.com, 810-629-9208. Detroit Garden Works Spring Fair Sat, Apr 11, 9am-5pm & Sun, Apr 12, Noon-4pm, Sylvan Lake. At Detroit Garden Works. Great plants for spring from many vendors. www.DetroitGardenWorks.com, 248-335-8089. H Fairy Gardening Workshop Sat, Apr 11, 11am, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Stick It Where The Sun Don’t Shine Sat, Apr 11, 1-2pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $5. Explore your options when struggling with shady locations. Register: 810-688-3587. H Second Saturday Sunrise Series Sat, Apr 11, 15 Minutes before sunrise, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $10. Share 755 acres before the day begins. Limited space. Register: 517-431-2060.

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT PUBLIC GARDENS, please visit MichiganGardener.com. Click on "Resources" then "Public Gardens." Landscape Design Sat, Apr 11, 9am-4pm, Bloomfield Hills. By Hardy Plant Society at Congregational Church of Birmingham. $3. Rick Lazzell shares his best landscape design tips. 248-693-0334. Pollinator Gardens & Native Plantings Sat, Apr 11, 10am-Noon, Ann Arbor. By Project Grow at County Farm Park. $5. Explore developing pollinator gardens & native plantings. Register: projectgrowgardens.org. Growing Heirloom Tomatoes & Peppers Organically Sat, Apr 11, 10am-Noon, Ann Arbor. By Project Grow at Leslie Science & Nature Ctr. $5. Discover the best cultivars plus tips to ensure a bountiful harvest. Register: projectgrowgardens.org. H Where Do I Start? Sat, Apr 11, 11am, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. Come with questions! Rookie & veteran gardeners welcome. www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com, 248-887-5101. Wake Up Your Garden Sat, Apr 11, 10-11am, Rochester & Clarkston. At Bordine’s. FREE. Pruning to fertilizing & everything in between. www.Bordines.com. H Spring Pond Cleaning & Start Up Sat, Apr 11, 10-11am, Milford. At The Pond Place. FREE. Clean-up options, dividing water plants, water treatment & fish health. Register: www.PondPlace.com. H Nature Hike Sat, Apr 11, 10:30am, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $5. Enjoy a family-friendly hike on Hidden Lake Garden’s many rolling & wooded trails. Register: hiddenlakegardens.msu. edu. H The Real Dirt on Composting Sat, Apr 11, 10-11am, Noon-1pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $5. Recycle your household waste into enriching compost. Register: 810-688-3587. H Bonsai Class & Workshop Sat, Apr 11, 1pm, Pontiac. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248689-8735. H The Magic & Lore of Fairy Gardens Sat, Apr 11, 10am, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-6898735. H Carnivorous Plant Terrarium Sat, Apr 11, Noon, Pontiac. At Telly’s $5. Register: 248689-8735. H Make It & Take It Workshop: Magical Fairy Garden Sat, Apr 11, 2:30pm, all locations. At English Gardens. We provide everything to plant a fairy garden to take home. $29.99. Sign up in-store or on-line: www.EnglishGardens. com. H Gardening in Containers Sat, Apr 11, 1pm, all locations. At English Gardens. FREE. Enjoy plants & flowers on your deck, patio or wherever you need a spot of color. www.EnglishGardens.com.

Minimum $250 / Expires 5-31-15

248-922-7759

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We help gardeners become professionals. H Herbal Infused Oil & Vinegar Workshop Sat, Apr 11, 10am, Pontiac. At Telly’s. $20. Register: 248689-8735. H Fairy Garden “Make & Take” Workshop Sat, Apr 11, 11am-Noon, Chelsea. At Garden Mill. $25. Build a beautiful garden any fairy would be thrilled to call home. www.thegardenmill.com. Register: 734-475-3539. H Designing Jewelry from Nature Sat, Apr 11, 10:30am, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $40. Create a unique piece of jewelry. Register: www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu, 517-431-2060. H Fairy Gardening Comes to Life Sun, Apr 12, 1pm, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. Class is based on “The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies.” www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com, 248-887-5101. New Varieties for 2015 Sun, Apr 12, 1-2pm, Rochester & Clarkston. At Bordine’s. FREE. www.Bordines.com. H Kids Making Memories Sun, Apr 12, 2-3:30pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. FREE. Open to children 12 & under, accompanied by adult. Kids will create a 10” hanging basket to take home. Register: 810-688-3587. Tykes Preschool Program: Nature Detectives Tue, Apr 14, 9am-11am, Ann Arbor. And 4/21 & 4/28. At Leslie Science & Nature Ctr. $38/child. 3 week series. Ages 4-5 will use microscopes, stories, & games to decode the week’s clue. 734-997-1553. H Wine & Design: Spring Swag Thu, Apr 16, 6:30-7:30pm, Haslett. At Van Atta’s. $30. Bring your own beer or wine & we’ll provide everything you need to create a beautiful take-home project. Register: 517-339-1142. Earth Day Celebration Thu, Apr 16, 6-8pm, Gladwin. By Gladwin County Master Gardeners at Gladwin High School. FREE. Learn about oak wilt, ash decline, maple tar spot & other diseases. 989-709-5149. H Behind the Scenes at Hidden Lake Gardens Thu, Apr 16, 6:30pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $5. Bring your questions & learn a few tips from HLG’s Managing Director, Paul Pfeifer. www.hiddenlakegardens. msu.edu. H Herbs & Butterflies Thu, Apr 16, 6:30pm, Troy. At Telly’s Greenhouse. $5. Learn which herbs can attract butterflies. Register: 248-689-8735. H ReLeaf Michigan Tree & Shrub Fundraiser Fri, Apr 17, by ReLeaf Michigan. Hardy, bare-root trees for sale for annual fundraiser. Help restore Michigan’s tree canopy. Order by 4/17, pick up 5/2 at 7 locations. Online ordering: www.ReLeafMichigan.org. 734-718-2702. H Containers & Cocktails Fri, Apr 17, 7-9pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $25, plus cost of supplies. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres & gardening. Register: 810-688-3587. H Cranbrook House Tour & Lunch Fri, Apr 17, 10:45am-1pm, Bloomfield Hills. At Cranbrook House & Gardens. Tour, Lunch & Piano Performance. www.HouseGardens.Cranbrook.edu, 248-645-3149. H Annual Container Garden Weekend Sat, Apr 18, 11am & Sun, Apr 19, 1pm, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. FREE. Class covers the basics of container gardening. www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com, 248-887-5101. H Gardens of Colorful Culinary Cuisine Sat, Apr 18, 10am, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Nature A-Z Preschool Classes Sat, Apr 18, 10:30am, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $8. Children ages 3-7 are invited to explore the natural world through songs & crafts. Register: 517-431-2060. H Growing the ‘Pear’fect Orchard Sat, Apr 18, 1-2pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $5. Local expert Jerry Swoish covers planting & general care of fruit trees & berries. Register: 810-688-3587. H Trough Making Workshop Sat, Apr 18, 10am, Pontiac. At Telly’s $35. Register: 248-689-8735.

H Spring Pond Cleaning & Start-Up Sat, Apr 18, 10-11am, Milford. At The Pond Place. FREE. Clean-up options, dividing water plants, water treatment & fish health. Register: www.PondPlace.com. H Magical Miniatures Sat, Apr 18, 3-5pm & Sun, Apr 19, 10am-Noon, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $5, plus cost of materials. Construct your own magical fairy scene. Register: 810-688-3587. H Garden Dahlias Sat, Apr 18, 3-5pm, Troy. By SE Michigan Dahlia Society at Telly’s Greenhouse. How to successfully grow Dahlias in the garden. 248-475-8945. H When to Trim Your Hedges, Trees, & Shrubs Sat, Apr 18, 10-11am, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $5. Stan Picarski guides you through proper trimming techniques. Register: 810-688-3587. H Vegetable Gardening Sat, Apr 18, 1pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. Spring Rose Care Class Sat, Apr 18, 11am, Southgate. At Ray Hunter Florist & Garden. FREE. Get the most out of these beautiful garden gems. 734-284-2500. H Seminar Day Sun, Apr 19, Westland. At Barsons. 1pm: Pond Opening How-To. 3pm: Prepping Vegetable Gardens. www.Barsons.com, 734-421-5959. Ann Arbor Area 44th Annual Earth Day Festival Sun, Apr 19, Noon-4pm, Ann Arbor. At Leslie Science & Nature Ctr. FREE. Displays, live animals, activities, product & toy testing, live entertainment & more. www.lesliesnc.org. Intro to Organic Vegetable Gardening Sun, Apr 19, 1-3pm, Detroit. At Detroit Farm & Garden. FREE. Get a basic understanding of how to grow your own food. 313-655-2344. H Plant Food: From A to Z with Eric Grant Wed, Apr 22, 6-9pm, Troy. By APG at Telly’s Greenhouse. $15. Get the best performance out of your plants with plant foods. www.AssociationOfProfessionalGardeners. org, 248-375-9233. H Growing Potatoes in Pots Workshop Thu, Apr 23, 6:30pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $20. Register: 248-689-8735. H Arbor Day Events Fri, Apr 24, & Sat, Apr 25, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. See website for details: hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu. New Gardener Shindig Fri, Apr 24, 6-8pm, Ann Arbor. By Project Grow at Leslie Science & Nature Ctr. Introducing new gardeners to community gardening & Project Grow. Register: projectgrowgardens.org. Shoreline Educator Training Fri, Apr 24, 8:30am-4pm, Harrison. By MSU Extension at Mid Michigan Community College. $75. Protect inland lakes with natural shoreline landscaping. Register: 989-539-7805. H Containers & Cocktails Fri, Apr 24, Fri & Sat, 7-9pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $25, plus cost of supplies. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres & gardening. Register: 810-688-3587. H Spring Open House Fri, Apr 24, & Sat, Apr 25, 8am-6pm & Sun, 10am-5pm, Rochester Hills. At Auburn Oaks Garden Center. New products, plants, discounts, closeouts & more. www.AuburnOaksNursery.com. H Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony Fri, Apr 24, 2pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. Come celebrate Arbor Day with staff, volunteers & members as we commemorate 70 years of Hidden Lake Gardens. www.HiddenLakeGardens.msu.edu. Great Gardens of New Zealand Fri, Apr 24, 9:15am, Rochester. By Meadow Brook Garden Club at Meadow Brook Hall. $5. Julia Hofley presents the public & private gardens of New Zealand’s islands. 248-364-6210. H Planting a Catastrophic Vegetable Success Sat, Apr 25, 1-2pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $5. Learn to take advantage of every inch of space & choose vegetables that benefit each other. Register: 810-688-3587. continued on next page

Join us to see how to turn your passion into a business. We are dedicated to promoting the business of professional gardening. Member benefits include access to best gardening practices through participation in educational programs and tours.

Plant Food: From A to Z, with Eric Grant Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 6-9pm At Telly’s Greenhouse (3301 John R, Troy, MI 48083, 248-689-8735) Eric will explain how to get the best out of the plant foods we use. Ultimately, our customers will get the best performance out of their plants, all season long. Topics will include both chemical & organic foods, the importance of trace nutrients often overlooked, and recent scientific developments that should change how we think about feeding.

Mark your calendar: Tour of Bader Acres in Howell Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 10am

Non-member fee: $15. Please contact us for more information about our substantive lectures and programs, as well as membership. Web: www.associationofprofessionalgardeners.org Email: suegrubba@sbcglobal.net Phone: Sue Grubba at 248-375-9233

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Advertiser Index A-1 Organic Lawns....................................26 Abbott’s Landscape Nursery.............. 25 Aguafina Gardens International.........19 Alison in the Garden...................................9 Assoc. of Professional Gardeners..... 25 Auburn Oaks Gard Ctr.............................19 Barson’s Greenhouse.............................. 27 Beauchamp Lawn & Landscape............5 Bloom! Garden Ctr..................................... 17 Blossoms........................................................ 15 Bogie Lake Greenhouses........................18 Bonide.............................Inside Back Cover Campbell’s Greenhouses........................ 11 Contender’s Tree/Lawn Specialists....7 Cranbrook House & Gardens.............. 27 Detroit Garden Works...............................9 Earthly Arts..................................................26

English Gardens.................................Page 3 Espoma........................................................... 12 The Flower Market....................................19 Fraleigh’s Landscape Nursery.............. 15 The Garden Company.............................14 The Garden Mill.......................................... 15 Garden Rhythms......................................... 11 A Garden Space..........................................14 Guardian Tree Experts.............................10 Heavenly Scent Herb Farm....................14 Hidden Lake Gardens............................... 17 Howell Farmer’s Market........................26 Meier Flowerland........................................ 11 Michigan Nursery/Landscp Assoc... 17 Milarch Nursery......................................... 23 Organimax....................................................19 Orion Stone Depot..................................... 17

Osmocote....................Inside Front Cover Piechnik’s Greenhouse........................... 23 Plymouth Nursery..................................... 13 The Pond Source.......................................24 Proven Winners Color Choice...............6 ReLeaf Michigan......................................... 12 Schuman Landscape Lighting............. 23 Schwartz’s Greenhouse......................... 27 Shades of Green Nursery....................... 15 Specialty Growers...................................... 13 State Crushing............................................. 13 Steinkopf Nursery........................................8 Telly’s Greenhouse......................................4 Tropical Treasures.....................................18 Turner’s Landscp & Gard Ctr................ 12 Tuthill Farms & Composting................26 Uncle Luke’s Feed Store.......................... 17 The Weed Lady........................................... 13

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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

continued from previous page H New Annuals for 2015 Sat, Apr 25, 12:30pm, Shelby Twp. At Telly’s $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Using Brick to do the Trick Sat, Apr 25, 2-4pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $5. Learn the basics of installing your very own brick paver patio & fire pit. Register: 810-688-3587. H New Perennials for 2015 Sat, Apr 25, 2pm, Shelby Twp. At Telly’s $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Spring Open House Sat, Apr 25, 9am-5pm & Sun, Apr 26, 10am-5pm, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. See new varieties for 2015! www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com, 248-887-5101. H Plymouth Nursery Spring Open House Sat, Apr 25, & Sun, Apr 26, 11am-4pm, Plymouth. At Plymouth Nursery. Gift card give-aways, sales, demos & more. www.PlymouthNursery.net, 734-453-5500. Pollination Paradise Lecture Sat, Apr 25, 11am, Southgate. At Ray Hunter Garden & Florist. FREE. Mike Sautter speaks on bee keeping & honey production & what we can plant to help. 734-284-2500. H Composting Sat, Apr 25, Noon, Pontiac. At Telly’s $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Farm to Table in 60 Minutes Sat, Apr 25, 11am-Noon, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $14.75. Learn to utilize fresh herbs & veggies from the farm. www.HeavenlyScentHerbFarm.com, 810-629-9208. H Build a Fantastic Basket, Not a Casket! Sat, Apr 25, 10-11am, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $15. Create a winning combination for your beautiful dream basket with Linda Nebel. Register: 810-688-3587. Gardening & All That Jazz–Innovation & Sustainability For Your Garden Sat, Apr 25, All Day, Waterford. By Master Gardener Society of Oakland Co. at Oakland Schools Conference Ctr. Educational Gardening Conference featuring keynote speakers Will Allen, Kerry Ann Mendez & Matthew Benson. Includes breakfast & lunch, a garden market, door & raffle prizes & live jazz. www.mgsoc.org. H New Annuals for 2015 Sat, Apr 25, 10am, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Seminar Day Sat, Apr 25, Westland. At Barsons. 10am: Pond Opening How-To. 1pm: Pond Opening & New Construction. 1pm: Butterfly Gardens, with Brenda Dziedzic. 3pm: Vegetable Gardening: How & Why. www.Barsons.com, 734-421-5959. H Pizza Gardens for Children & Adults Sat, Apr 25, 1pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Bringing Native Plants Home Sun, Apr 26, Noon-1:30pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $15. Instructor: Cheryl English, Advanced Master Gardener. Register: www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu, 517-431-2060. H Herb Friendly Recipes Sun, Apr 26, 1-2pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $5. Learn to harvest, dry & use your herbs in mouth-watering recipes. Register: 810-688-3587. H It *IS* Easy to be Green Sun, Apr 26, 2-3:30pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $15. Instructor: Cheryl English, Advanced Master Gardener. Register: www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu, 517-431-2060. H What’s New for 2015 Mon, Apr 27, 7pm, Troy. By Metro Detroit Hosta Society at Telly’s Greenhouse. Presented by George Papadelis. Hgold2843@comcast.net. H Spring Lake Fish Day Wed, Apr 29, Milford. Stock your pond or small lake. Order by phone by Noon, 4/29 & pick-up 5/2, 1-2pm at The Pond Place. 248-889-8400. www.PondPlace.com. H Every Garden Deserves a Rose Thu, Apr 30, 6:30pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. Annual Elizabeth Kuhlman Lecture Thu, Apr 30, 10:30am, Detroit. By DIA Friends of Arts & Flowers at DIA Museum. $30/lecture & $25/lunch. David Monn shares floral design skills & anecdotes. 313-8334005.

May H Cranbrook House Tour & Lunch Fri, May 1, 10:45am-1pm, Bloomfield Hills. At Cranbrook

House & Gardens. Tour, Lunch & Piano Performance. www.HouseGardens.Cranbrook.edu, 248-645-3149. H Planting A Succulent Garden Workshop Sat, May 2, 3pm, Troy. At Telly’s $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Can You Dig It? Sat, May 2, 8am-4:15pm, East Lansing. By The MSU Horticulture Gardens at Plant & Soil Sciences Building. $79. Vibrant presenters enlighten & inspire. www.hrt.msu.edu/spring-program. H Container Gardening with Herbs Sat, May 2, 1pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Container Gardening Class & Workshop Sat, May 2, 10am, Troy & 1pm, Shelby Township. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H May Day Sat, May 2, 10am-5pm & Sun, May 3, 11am-5pm, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $1 admission. Activities, storytelling, crafts & more. www.HeavenlyScentHerbFarm.com, 810-629-9208. South Lyon Plant Exchange Sat, May 2, 9am-11am, South Lyon. By Four Seasons Garden Club at Witch’s Hat Museum park area. Come swap with other local gardeners. 248-437-0154. H Annual Dahlia Tuber Sale Sat, May 2, 9am-Noon, Troy. By SE Michigan Dahlia Society at Telly’s. Dahlia Tubers, cuttings & growing plants at prices much lower than can be found in catalogs. 248-475-8945. H Algae & Weed Control for Large Earthen Bottom Ponds Sat, May 2, Noon-1pm, Milford. At The Pond Place. FREE. Workshop will focus on the methods of controlling algae in small lakes & large ponds. Register: www.PondPlace.com. H New Annuals for 2015 Sat, May 2, 10am, Pontiac. At Telly’s $5. Register: 248-689-8735. H Herb Study Group Mon, May 4, 7pm, Ann Arbor. At Matthaei Botanical Gardens. FREE. Vanilla, the history & uses. 734-647-7600. Design Your Own Container Garden Tue, May 5, & Wed, May 6, 6-7pm, Rochester & Clarkston. At Bordine’s. $20, plus materials. Register: www.Bordines.com. Springfield Garden Club Fashion Show Wed, May 6, 11:30am, Lake Orion. By Springfield Garden Club at Olde World Canterbury Village. $28. Proceeds to WNF&GA 4-H. Reserve tickets by 4/24: 248-634-1680, djmcd1@aol.com. Make Your Own Magical Fairy Garden Thu, May 7, 6-7pm, Rochester & Clarkston. At Bordine’s. $10, plus materials. www.Bordines.com. 50th Anniversary Ikebana Celebration Fri, May 8, 1-3pm, Southfield. By Ikebana International Detroit Chapter at Southfield Unitarian Universalist Church. FREE demo. Register: www.ikebanadetroit.com, 248-684-2460. 5th Annual Plant & Flower Sale Fri, May 8, 3-8pm & Sat, May 9, 9am-5pm, Lake Orion. By Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County at Culver’s. Annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, trees & more. 248338-1843, ext.303. Chelsea Area Garden Club Plant Sale Sat, May 9, 8am-Noon, Chelsea. By Chelsea Area Garden Club at Chelsea Comm. Fairgrounds. Rain or shine. Proceeds support civic beautification, grants & scholarships. 734-475-9748. H Bonsai Class & Workshop Sat, May 9, 1pm, Pontiac. At Telly’s. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. Ikebana Ikenobo Workshops Sat, May 9, 9am-3:30pm, Southfield. By Ikebana International Detroit Chapter at Southfield Unitarian Universalist Church. $45/workshop. Register: www.ikebanadetroit. com, 248-684-2460. H Herbal Allergy Remedies Sat, May 9, 10am, Pontiac. At Telly’s $20. Register: 248-689-8735. H Hidden Lake Gardens Plant Sale Sat, May 9, 10am-2pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. Wide selection of choice plants. www.hiddenlakegardens. msu.edu, 517-431-2060. Michigan All State Bonsai Show Sat, May 9, & Sun, May 10, Grand Rapids. At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Displays, sale, workshops, demos & more. www.MeijerGardens.org. Working with Vines & Climbers Mon, May 11, 7pm, Bloomfield Hills. By Hardy Plant




MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener

June Welcoming the Summer Get-Together, Auction & Plant Exchange Mon, Jun 1, 7pm, Bloomfield Hills. By Hardy Plant Society at Congregational Church of Birmingham. Get to know your fellow gardeners, share secrets & bid/exchange great plants. 248-693-0334. Hypertufa Toadstools Sat, Jun 6, 10am-noon, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $62.75. Create 2 whimsical hypertufa toadstools. Dress for mess. www.HeavenlyScentHerbFarm.com, 810-629-9208. H Pond & Waterfall Design Sat, Jun 13, 10am-noon, Milford. At The Pond Place. FREE. Workshop will address the key issues associated with designing & building your own pond. Register: www.PondPlace.com. Pond Construction Sat, Jun 13, 1-3pm, Milford. At The Pond Place. FREE. Optional hands-on experience building an 11’ x 16’ pond with stream, waterfall & bog. Register: www.PondPlace.com. H Second Saturday Sunrise Series Sat, Jun 13, 15 Minutes before sunrise, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $10. Share 755 acres before the day begins. Limited space. Register: 517-431-2060. H Willow Workshop 2015 Sun, Jun 14, Haslett. At Van Attas. $45-$300. Sign up to make anything from a plant stand to a willow bench with many projects in between. Register: 517-339-1142. H Wine & Design: Herb Pallet-Planting Thu, Jun 18, 6:30-7:30pm, Haslett. At Van Atta’s. $35. Bring your own beer or wine & we’ll provide everything you’ll need to create a beautiful take-home project. Register: 517-339-1142. H Pond Maintenance Sat, Jun 20, 10-11am, Milford. At The Pond Place. FREE. Workshop will focus on keeping optimal water quality in water gardens & koi ponds. Register: www.PondPlace. com. H Faerie Clay Pot House Garden Sat, Jun 20, 10am-noon, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $89.75. Create a faerie house out of a 20” clay pot. www.HeavenlyScentHerbFarm.com, 810-629-9208. H Landscape Design Sun, Jun 21, 1-3pm, Detroit. At Detroit Farm & Garden. FREE. Learn useful planting tips to help you create a beautiful & sustainable plan. 313-655-2344. Crocker House Garden Walk & “All about GMOs” Garden Breakfast Sat, Jun 27, 9am-4pm, Mt. Clemens. At Crocker House. $15. Breakfast talk with Stephen Hulbert $10 with advance reservation. www.CrockerHouseMuseum.com. Register: 586-465-2488. MGAGC Garden Tour 2015 Sun, Jun 28, 10am-5pm, Genesee County. By MGAGC at 9 local gardens. Self-guided garden tour starting in Flint & ending in Davison. GCgardentour.weebly.com, birdieball@aol.com.

43rd Annual

Spring Plant Sale

May 12, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm | May 13, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm s Wildflower Nat ive Pla nts

es bl ta ge Ve

H Farm to Table in 60 Minutes Sat, May 23, 11am-Noon, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $14.75. Learn to utilize fresh herbs & veggies from the farm. www.HeavenlyScentHerbFarm.com, 810-629-9208. Annual Plant Sale in Charlevoix Sat, May 23, 8:30am-Noon, Charlevoix. By Charlevoix Area Garden Club at Ferry Beach Pavilion. 100’s of perennials, herbs, succulents & more. skswmd@yahoo.com, 989-280-1033. H The Master’s Garden: Gardening in Harmony with Nature Sat, May 30, 8:30am-4pm, Bloomfield Hills. At Manresa Jesuit Retreat House. Learn eco-friendly tips & tricks & earn MG credits. Marketplace, speakers & more. www.manresa-sj.org. H Family Class Series: Fairy Gardens Sat, May 30, 10:30am, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $30/family. Use natural materials & fairy-sized plants to create inviting spaces for inside or outside. Register: hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu. Iris Show Sat, May 30, & Sun, May 31, Grand Rapids. At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Grand Valley Iris Society members on hand to answer questions & give tips. www.MeijerGardens.org. H Wildflower Walk Sat, May 30, 10:30am-Noon, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $5. Rain or shine. Hike lead by HLG staff. Register: hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu.

Herbs

Society at Congregational Church of Birmingham. $3. Kim Roth focuses on plant vines & climbers in your landscape. 248-693-0334. H 43rd Annual Spring Plant Sale Tue, May 12, 10am-7pm & Wed, May 13, 10am-2pm, Bloomfield Hills. At Cranbrook House & Gardens. Herbs, Annuals, Perennials, Vegetables, Wildflowers & more. 248-645-3149. Growing Roses in your Garden Thu, May 14, 7pm, Ferndale. By Ferndale Garden Club at Kulick Community Ctr. Presented by Tom & Ellie Kressbach. Guests are welcome. 248-398-6283. H 7th Annual Containers & Cocktails Thu, May 14, 5-8pm, Pontiac. At Goldner Walsh. $5. Register: 248-689-8735. Spring Plant Sale Thu, May 14, 9am-5pm & Fri, May 15, 9am-3pm, Waterford. By Waterford Garden Club at Waterford Senior Center. Perennials, herbs & more. www.WaterfordGardenClub.org. Henry Ford Estate Spring Plant Sale & Garden Market Fri, May 15, 10am-3pm & Sat, May 16, 9am-1pm, Dearborn. At Henry Ford Estate. Perennials, wildflowers, shade loving plants, herbs, hanging baskets, water plants & much more. 313-701-2240. H Pond Construction Sat, May 16, 1-3pm, Milford. At The Pond Place. FREE. Optional hands-on experience building an 11’ x 16’ pond with stream, waterfall & bog. Register: www.PondPlace.com. H Garden Favorite Herb Sale Sat, May 16, & Sun, May 17, Ann Arbor. At Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Master Gardener Madolyn Kaminski on hand to answer questions. www.mbgna.umich.edu. H Wildflower Walk Sat, May 16, 10:30am-Noon, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $5. Rain or shine. Hike lead by HLG staff. Register: hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu. Willow Greenhouse Expo Sat, May 16, 10am-4pm, South Lyon/Salem. By the Four Seasons Garden Club of South Lyon at Willow Greenhouse. FREE. Janet Macunovich & other speakers. Pruning, fairy gardens, beneficial insects, attracting birds, kids projects & more. www.WillowGreenhouse.com. H Dahlia Planting, Staking, Tying & Fertilizing Sat, May 16, 3-5pm, Troy. By SE Michigan Dahlia Society at Telly’s. Specifics of Dahlia Growing to produce beautiful flowers. 248-475-8945. St. Joseph Church Perennial Plant Sale Sat, May 16, 10am-6pm, Dexter. At St Joseph Catholic Church. Large assortment of hardy perennials. Covered pavilion to shop in. flobeck@hotmail.com. H Pond & Waterfall Design Sat, May 16, 10am-Noon, Milford. At The Pond Place. FREE. Workshop will address the key issues associated with designing & building your own pond. Register: www.PondPlace.com. H Nature A-Z Preschool Classes Sat, May 16, 10:30am, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $8. Children ages 3-7 are invited to explore the natural world through songs & crafts. Register: 517-431-2060. H Customer Appreciation Day Sat, May 16, 9am-6pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s Greenhouses. Sales, music, refreshment & more. www.CampbellsGreenhouses.com. 810-688-3587. H Raised Bed & Container Gardening Sun, May 17, 1-3pm, Detroit. At Detroit Farm & Garden. FREE. Learn creative ways to recycle materials & grow things on patios, porches & stoops. 313-655-2344. H Wine & Design: Build & Plant a Natural Vine Patio Pot Thu, May 21, 6:30-7:30pm, Haslett. At Van Atta’s. $35. Bring your own beer or wine & we’ll provide everything you’ll need to create a beautiful take-home project. Register: 517-339-1142. H Behind-the-Scenes: Bonsai Collection Thu, May 21, 6:30pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $5. Bring your questions & learn a few tips from HLG’s Managing Director, Paul Pfeifer. Register: www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu. H Wildflower Walk Sat, May 23, 10:30am-Noon, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. $5. Rain or shine. Hike lead by HLG staff. Register: hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu. H Making More Plants Sat, May 23, Noon, Howell. At Specialty Growers. FREE. Owner Karen Bovio shares tips & techniques for growing more of your own plants. No specialized equipment necessary. 517-546-7742.

27

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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

Little gems: Native spring ephemerals

The Plants

Part 1 of 2

to be woodland natives that emerge, bloom and photosynthesize to recharge their bulbs Many Michigan gardeners look to their dafor corms before the deciduous canopy fills in fodils, tulips and hyacinths as harbingers of for the year. Often, the only evidence of these winter’s end. These exotic garden favorites, plants later in the season is their seed heads. and many others, can be classified as “spring Interestingly, many of these plants’ seeds ephemerals”—plants that emerge early in the include a structure called an “elaiosome” growing season to flower, photosynthesize which contains high-calorie oils, an attractive and then go dormant (in most instances) until food source for ants. The ants carry the seeds they perform the same feat the following year. to their nests (thereby dispersing the seed What many gardeners do not know is far beyond the plant’s own means), that we have our own, native spring harvest the elaiosome, and discard ephemerals. In many cases, they are the seed itself on the colony’s waste diminutive little gems that brighten heap: rotting organic matter, the up native woodlands before going to perfect germination medium! sleep for the rest of the season. If you have planted or transplantDespite the fact the two groups ed woodland wildflowers and they of plants have evolved the same seem to have disappeared, be paseasonal rhythm, their reasons for tient—many have an the habit of godoing so are vastly different. Most Cheryl M. ing dormant for a season (or so) when of our exotic bulbs are from the English disturbed, so just give them time to Mediterranean basin and the Causettle in. And be sure to purchase casus Mountains; regions characterized by your plants from a reputable grower—woodcool, moist springs and hot, dry summers. By land wildflowers are among the most poached “sleeping” through the lean times and wakspecies in our native flora. Many are protected, ing when conditions are ideal, they can cope so unless doing so on your own property, do more efficiently with the extremes of their not touch them unless you have been given homes. This is also why they typically don’t permission by the property owner; never disdo well in wet conditions, where they tend to turb them on public lands. rot. In contrast, our spring ephemerals tend Editor’s note: Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Little gems: Native spring ephemerals” in the May P H OTO G R A P H S BY D O N S C H U LT E 2015 issue of Michigan Gardener.

Named for the third President of the United States, twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla) is among the most ephemeral of the ephemerals: each flower lasts only a day—a risky strategy, as it is also one of the earliest flowering of woodland wildflowers, opening well before most pollinators are active and while severe frost damage is still a real possibility. Delicate, white, bloodroot-like flowers are followed by a helmeted capsule that pops open to reveal elaiosome-bearing seeds. Its epithet (diphylla) refers to the paired, wing-like leaves that rise like so many butterflies just above the woodland floor.

Cheryl M. English owns Black Cat Pottery and gardens professionally in Detroit, MI. An Advanced Master Gardener and Master Composter, she speaks on numerous gardening topics and is a Wildflower Association of Michigan board member. Her typical urban lot has over 50 varieties of Clematis and almost 200 species of native plants. She runs a Clematis Pruning Workshop on April 25, 2015. She opens her garden to the public twice a year at her Annual Spring/Summer Garden Tours. 2015 dates: May 30 & August 15. The tours are free; no pre-registration is required. Contact Cheryl to speak at your next meeting or event: cenglish@blackcatpottery.com. Follow Cheryl’s blog at BlackCatPottery.com and follow along at Facebook.com/BlackCatPottery. Don Schulte is an avid gardener and enjoys interpreting Michigan wildflowers and other garden favorites through his photography. Don and Cheryl have been working together to document the clematis, other traditional garden favorites, and native plants in her garden. See more of his work at NotableGreetings.com and DonSchulte.com.

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) is probably one of our best known and loved native wildflowers. The unusual, leaf-like spathe shields the spadix where the actual flowers are found. Once the plant has been pollinated, it forms a club-like fruiting body consisting of a cluster of red berries, similar to its relatives, green dragon (Arisaema dracontium) and skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). The berries can be scattered on the ground once the fruit begins to rot.


MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener



29

Cheryl M. English

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) is another seemingly robust woodland native that fades away to obscurity as the season progresses. As with trout lilies, only plants with at least two leaves will flower; in this case, a shy, white, slightly nodding blossom with 6 to 9 petals. The plants are colonizers and not self-fertile, so fruiting is often sporadic. Although the plant may grow 12 to 15 inches tall, they fade away in drought but can persist into fall where the soil remains moist. Despite the common name, the flower—not the plum-like fruit—appears in May.

Another woodland favorite, Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), appears early in the season with purple-stained, coiled leaves concealing sturdy flowering stems. Although the buds emerge pink, the flowers change to sky blue, blooming sequentially as the stems continue to grow above the foliage. The leaves quickly yellow once the plant is finished flowering and fade into complete dormancy until the next spring. The best time to transplant is early fall, so mark them before they become invisible!

Many gardeners may already have a Dicentra species—a group of plants that includes several bleeding hearts as well as our own, less poetically-named, Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) and squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis). The delicate flower stems rise from basal rosettes of finely cut, ferny foliage. Dutchman’s breeches refers to the flowers’ resemblance of a pair of trousers hanging upside down on a clothesline. Squirrel corn refers to the small, yellow-clustered bulblets from which the plant sprouts.

Trout lilies (Erythronium) are less common, but lovely spring ephemerals. Common names also include: fawn lily, which, like trout lily, reflects the plants’ mottled leaves; adders’ tongue, relating to the flower head’s appearance as it goes to seed; and dog-tooth violet, reflecting the plants’ tooth-like bulbs. Two species—yellow (E. americanum, above) and white (E. albidum, below)—are native to southeastern Michigan, the yellow being more common. The white-flowering species is, however, quite abundant on Detroit’s own Belle Isle. These plants have the curious habit of pulling themselves deeper into the soil. To discourage this, and encourage flowering, plant them over a piece of flagstone or a flat paver recessed 10 to 12 inches below grade.


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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

A collection of stores and gardens to shop and visit. Please call ahead for hours, as they may vary from season to season.

Columbiaville, Davison

Bay City, Burton, Clio, Gladwin, Midland, Saginaw

North Branch

Lapeer

Emmett Imlay City

Flushing Lennon

Port Huron

Hadley Dryden

Grand Blanc

Flint

Bancroft, Owosso

Lakeport

Metamora

Michigan Koi H Tropical Treasures

Almont

clio

Fenton

Oxford

Ortonville

H Piechnik’s Grnhse & Garden Ctr 13172 McCumsey Rd, MI 48420 810-686-9211 www.cliogreenhouse.com

Addison Twp.

columbiaville

Orion Clarkston Hartland

Holly White Lake Waterford

White Lake Highland

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

Commerce

New Hudson South Lyon

Whitmore Lake

Novi Northville

Bloomfield Hills Birmingham

West Bloomfield

Westland

Ann Arbor

Dearborn Dearborn Wayne Heights

Ypsilanti

Taylor Romulus

Saline New Boston

Tipton

Sterling Hts.

Detroit

Belleville Manchester

Clinton Twp.

Troy

Livonia Redford

Canton

Tecumseh

Want to advertise your local business in Places to Grow? 2 options: You have 2 options: enhanced listing 4-line listing with your: • Business name • Address • Phone • Website or E-mail

premium listing 4-line listing PLUS highlighting: • Business name • Address • Phone • Website or E-mail

please contact us for info: publisher@ MichiganGardener.com 248-594-5563

Brownstown Twp.

Southgate Trenton Grosse Ile

H Denotes MG Advertiser American Tree

ann arbor H Abbott’s Nurs Downtown Home/Gard H English Gardens 155 N. Maple Rd, MI 48103 734-332-7900 www.EnglishGardens.com H HillTop Greenhse/Farms H Lodi Farms H The Produce Station H Turner’s Greenhse/Garn Ctr Wild Birds Unltd

bancroft Grand Oak Herb Farm

bay city H Begick Nursery & Garden Ctr 5993 Westside Saginaw Rd. 989-684-4210 www.begicknursery.com

belleville Banotai Greenhse Gardeners Choice H Pinter Flowerland H Zywicki Greenhse

berkley Garden Central

bloomfield hills Backyard Birds

auburn hills

birmingham

Drake’s Landscp & Nurs

H Blossoms 33866 Woodward Ave, MI 48009 248-644-4411 www.blossomsbirmingham.com

H Haley Stone 3600 Lapeer Rd., MI 48326 248-276-9300 www.haleystone.net H State Crushing

Eastpointe

Grosse Pointes

brighton H Beauchamp Landscp Supp Bordine’s Brighton Farmer’s Mkt Cowbell Lawn/Gard Leppek Nurs H Meier Flowerland H Nature’s Home & Garden Ctr

brownstown twp Bruce’s Pond Shop Raupp Brothers Gard Ctr Ruhlig Farms & Gard

burton La Salle, Monroe

almont

New Baltimore

Utica

Southfield Oak Park Ferndale

Plymouth

Cement City, Chelsea, Grass Lake, Jackson, Stockbridge

Shelby Twp.

davison

Macomb

St. Clair Berkley Roseville Shores Madison Royal Oak Heights Warren

Farmington Hills Farmington

Dexter

commerce twp Zoner’s Greenhse

Auburn Hills

Walled Lake Wixom Brighton

Rochester Hills

Pontiac

Milford

Hilltop Barn

Ray

Rochester

Sylvan Lake Howell

Washington

Oakland

Plant Station Tiffany Florist

H Walker Farms & Greenhouse 5253 E. Atherton Rd., MI 48519 810-743-0260 www.walkersfarm.com

canton

H Wojo’s Gard Splendors 7360 E. Court St., MI 48423 810-658-9221 www.wojos.com

dearborn Fairlane Gardens

dearborn heights H English Gardens 22650 Ford Rd, MI 48127 313-278-4433 www.EnglishGardens.com

detroit H Detroit Farm and Garden 1759 21st St., MI 48216 313-655-2344 www.detroitfarmandgarden.com H Eastern Market

dexter H Bloom! Gard Ctr 1885 Baker Rd., MI 48130 734-426-6600 www.bloom-gardens.com Dexter Mill H Fraleighs Landscape Nursery 8600 Jackson Rd., MI 48130 734-426-5067 www.fraleighs.com

eastpointe H English Gardens 22501 Kelly Rd, MI 48021 586-771-4200 www.EnglishGardens.com

Canton Floral Gardens Clink Nurs Crimboli Nurs H Wild Birds Unltd

Semrau Gard Ctr

cement city

farmington hills

Hallson Gardens

Angelo’s Landscp Supp Farmer John’s Greenhse Loeffler Stone Ctr H Steinkopf Nurs

chelsea H Garden Mill 110 S. Main St., MI 48118 734-475-3539 www.thegardenmill.com The Potting Shed

chesterfield Van Thomme’s Greenhses

clarkston

fenton Gerych’s Flowers/Gift H Heavenly Scent Herb Farm 13730 White Lake Rd., MI 48430 810-629-9208 heavenlyscentherbfarm.com

Bordine’s Country Oaks Landscp I Lowrie’s Landscp H The Pond Source

ferndale

clinton twp

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H English Gardens 44850 Garfield Rd, MI 48038 586-286-6100 www.EnglishGardens.com

Casual Modes Home/Gard

flat rock Masserant’s Feed Store H Flushing Lawn & Garden Ctr 114 Terrace St., MI 48433 810-659-6241 www.unclelukes.com

fowlerville

macomb

H Arrowhead Alpines

Altermatt Greenhses Boyka’s Greenhse Deneweth’s Garden Ctr H Elya’s Village Gardens Landscape Source Joe Randazzo’s Nurs Olejnik Farms Wade Nurs Wiegand’s Nursery

gladwin H Stone Cottage Gardens 3740 W. Willford Rd., MI 48624 989-426-2919 www.stonecottagegardens.com

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grosse pointe Allemon’s Landscp Ctr Meldrum & Smith Nurs

grosse pointe woods

manchester McLennan Nurs

mason H Wildtype Nurs

metamora Gilling’s Nurs

milford Milford Gardens H The Pond Place

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new baltimore H Meldrum Bros Nurs

new boston H Gorham & Sons Nurs H Grass Roots Nurs Mums the Word

H Wild Birds Unltd

new hudson

hadley Deneweth’s Garden Ctr

H Milarch Nurs 28500 Haas Rd., MI 48165 248-437-2094 www.milarchnursery.com

haslett

north branch

Le Fleur Décor

hartland Christian’s Greenhse H Van Atta’s Greenhse

H Campbell’s Greenhouses Oldani Landscp Nurs

highland

northville

Colasanti’s Produce/Plant Fragments Highland Garden Ctr H One Stop Landscp Supp

Begonia Brothers Gardenviews H Willow Greenhouses

howell

novi Glenda’s Gard Ctr H Wild Birds Unltd

H Howell Farmer’s Mkt Dntwn Howell @ State & Clinton St. 517-546-3920 www.howell.org/19.html Penrose Nurs H Specialty Growers 4330 Golf Club Rd., MI 48843 517-546-7742 www.specialtygrowers.net Wilczewski Greenhses

imlay city

oak park Four Seasons Gard Ctr

oakland H Piechnik’s Garden Gate 1095 N. Rochester Rd., MI 48363 586-336-7200 www.cliogreenhouse.com

ortonville Country Oaks Landscp II

The Hobbit Place

H Wojo’s Greenhse 2570 Oakwood Rd., MI 48462 248-627-6498 www.wojos.com

lake orion

owosso

Lake Orion Lawn Orn H Orion Stone Depot

H Everlastings in Wildwood

H Wojo’s of Lake Orion 559 S. Lapeer Rd, MI 48362 248-690-7435 www.wojos.com

oxford Candy Cane Xmas Trees Oxford Farm/Gard

H Earthly Arts Greenhse

jackson

lapeer H The Iron Barn

lasalle Fowler’s Gift Shop

lennon Krupps Novelty Shop

livonia Bushel Mart George’s Livonia Gard Superior Growers Supp Valley Nurs

plymouth Backyard Birds Graye’s Greenhse Lucas Nurs H Plymouth Nursery 9900 Plymouth Rd., MI 48170 734-453-5500 www.plymouthnursery.net Plymouth Rock & Supp Rock Shoppe Sparr’s Greenhse

pontiac Goldner Walsh Gard/Home


MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener



31

Classified Ads H Telly’s at Goldner Walsh 559 Orchard Lake Rd., MI 48341 248-724-2300 www.tellys.com

southgate

westland

H Ray Hunter Gard Ctr

H Barson’s Greenhse 6414 North Merriman Rd. 734-421-5959 www.barsons.com

st clair shores

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Greenhouse Growers Hall’s Nurs Soulliere Gard Ctr

redford

sterling heights

ray

H Pinter Flowerland Seven Mi Gard Ctr

rochester Fogler’s Greenhse Sherwood Forest Gard Ctr

rochester hills H Auburn Oaks Garden Ctr 3820 W. Auburn Rd, MI 48309 248-852-2310 www.auburnoaksnursery.com Bordine’s H Haley Stone 3975 S. Rochester Rd., MI 48307 248-852-5511 www.haleystone.net H Shades of Green Nurs H Wild Birds Unltd

romulus Block’s Stand/Greenhse H Kurtzhals’ Farms H Schoedel’s Nurs H Schwartz’s Greenhouse 30705 Sibley Rd., MI 48174 734-753-9269 www.schwartzgreenhouse.com

Decor Statuette H Eckert’s Greenhouse 34075 Ryan Rd., MI 48310 586-979-2409 www.eckertsgreenhouse.com Flower Barn Nurs Prime Landscp Supp

stockbridge Gee Farms

sylvan lake H AguaFina Gardens Intntl. 2629 Orchard Lake Rd., MI 48320 248-738-0500 www.aguafina.com H Detroit Garden Works

taylor H Beautiful Ponds & Gardens 20379 Ecorse, MI 48180 313-383-8653 www.skippysstuff.com D&L Garden Ctr H Massab Acres H Panetta’s Landscp Supp

tecumseh Mitchell’s Lawn/Landscp

roseville

trenton

Dale’s Landscp Supp World Gardenland

troy

royal oak Billings Lawn Equip Button’s Rent It 1126 S. Washington Ave., MI 48067 248-542-5835 www.buttonsrentit.com H English Gardens 4901 Coolidge Hwy, MI 48073 248-280-9500 www.EnglishGardens.com H Wild Birds Unltd

saginaw H Abele Grnhse & Garden Ctr 3500 Wadsworth Rd., MI 48601 989-752-5625 www.abelegreenhouse.com

saline H Nature’s Garden Ctr Saline Flowerland

shelby twp Diegel Greenhses H Hessell’s Greenhse Maeder Plant Farm Potteryland H Telly’s Greenhouse 4343 24 Mile, MI 48316 248-659-8555 www.tellys.com

south lyon Hollow Oak Farm Nurs Mike’s Garden Stone Depot Landscp Supp H Tuthill Farms

southfield 3 DDD’s Stand Eagle Landscp/Supp Lavin’s Flower Land Main’s Landscp Supp

Carefree Lawn Ctr H Telly’s Greenhouse 3301 John R Rd., MI 48083 248-689-8735 www.tellys.com H Uncle Luke’s Feed Store 6691 Livernois Rd., MI 48098 248-879-9147 www.unclelukes.com

utica Dale’s Landscp Supp Stonescape Supp

walled lake H Suburban Landscp Supp

warren Beste’s Lawn/Patio Supp Garden Ctr Nurs H Young’s Garden Mart

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waterford

Bushel Stop Joe Randazzo’s Nurs Merlino’s Bushel Ctr Panetta’s Landscp

white lake H Bogie Lake Greenhouses 1525 Bogie Lake Rd., MI 48383 248-887-5101 www.bogielakegreenhouses.com H Mulligan’s Landscp & Gard Ctr Sunshine Plants

whitmore lake H Alexander’s Greenhses

williamston Christian’s Greenhse

wixom Angelo’s Landscp Supp H Brainer’s Greenhse Milford Tree Farm

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Gardens to Visit ann arbor H Matthaei Botanical Gardens/ Nichols Arboretum 1800 North Dixboro Rd., MI 48105 734-647-7600 www.mbgna.umich.edu H Cranbrook Gardens 380 Lone Pine Rd., MI 48303 248-645-3147 housegardens.cranbrook.edu

dearborn Arjay Miller Arboretum at Ford World HQ Henry Ford Estate

detroit Anna S Whitcomb Conservtry

dryden Seven Ponds Nature Ctr

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Cooley Gardens

west bloomfield

novi

Planterra

MICHIGAN GARDENER E-NEWSLETTER Sign up for our free e-newsletter! We send out a few each year, and there are contests to win prizes as well. Go to www.MichiganGardener. com and simply enter your e-mail address. ADVERTISING SALES REP – Michigan Gardener has a part-time opportunity available. Advertising sales experience is preferred. Please forward your resume to: publisher@ MichiganGardener.com. GARDEN SPEAKER AVAILABLE for your club or group. Well-traveled garden writer does garden presentations & travelogues. This active collector gardener can speak on many subjects. Experienced to present at Garden Ctr open houses & conferences. For presentation list, biography, fee & references, contact Julia Hofley at Julia@juliasbiglife.com. 248-4972674. Find me on Facebook. DO YOU ENJOY SCRAPBOOKING? Then pick up a copy of Michigan Scrapbooker magazine. It’s free! Visit MichiganScrapbooker.com for more info and to sign up for the free Michigan Scrapbooker e-newsletter. Join the conversation at facebook.com/MichiganScrapbooker. DON’T LOOK. Oops, you looked. And so will 70,000 potential customers. Advertise in Michigan Gardener. Call 248-594-5563 or e-mail publisher@MichiganGardener.com.

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bloomfield hills

Breen’s Landscp Supp Hoffman Nurs H Merrittscape

H English Gardens 6370 Orchard Lake Rd. 248-851-7506 www.EnglishGardens.com

PROFESSIONAL GARDENER NEEDED Deer & Gardens, based in Milford, is a professional gardening service. We are seeking a passionate gardener to assist with garden maintenance and installation. Master Gardener certification or participation in a horticulture education program is preferred. Standard gardening skills needed. An opportunity exists for team leader position. Flexible hours and good contractor pay available. To apply, please send resume and/or a brief summary of your gardening history, education and proficiencies to deerandgardens@aol.com. Visit our website at www.deerandgardens.com. VANS VALLEY FARM MARKET & Greenhouse (586) 752-6002. 66745 Van Dyke Rd., Romeo, Michigan. 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. Call Toll-Free 844-IVY-GONE (489-4663). www. poisonivycontrolofmichigan.com. NEED A HAND? Call “The little gardener that could.” 15 yrs experience at Botanical Gardens. FREE Estimates. Pat: 586-214-9852, agardenspace.com.

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royal oak Detroit Zoo

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Bulk Subscriptions • Great for clubs and retail stores outside our regular circulation routes. • Have Michigan Gardener delivered in bulk and give copies to your members and customers. • These copies are sent directly to the address you specify. • The cost per copy is much lower than the individual subscription price. • It’s a great way to provide another benefit to your members and customers. The order form is available at MichiganGardener.com or please contact us for an order form: publisher@MichiganGardener.com • 248-594-5563


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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

Starting and growing plants in water A local farmer is using hydroponics to extend the growing season

T

ranslated literally from its origins, the word “hydroponics” means “working water.” Simply put, it is the art of growing plants without soil. According to simplyhydro.com, when most people think of hydroponics, they think of plants grown with their roots suspended directly into water with no growing medium. Encouraged by his son Andrew, local grower Vern Scott and his wife Cheryl began thinking about growing hydroponically. Vern recalled, “In the spring of 2012 we began talking about hydroponics because we were looking for a way to grow vegetables year-round.” According to Vern, there are advantages and disadvantages of growing hydroponically. “It is a better way of growing because

you have more control of the water, nutrients and climate. You can produce longer in the season—we grow year-round—and you aren’t at the mercy of the weather. Some of the disadvantages are heating and electrical costs.” They try to keep their greenhouses between 70 and 80 degrees during the day and Sandie no lower than 50 degrees at night. Parrott This can be difficult with frequent power outages—the power company knows Vern on a first-name basis. “Another challenge we have is controlling the amount of sun coming through the greenhouse. If there is too much, the lettuce will bolt,” said Vern. This occurs when the

plant prematurely tries to bloom. It becomes very bitter and long stemmed. Planting slow-bolt varieties and controlling the light can help this problem. The path to where the Scotts are now was paved with information, intention, and a bit of trial and error. “We watched online webinars. Andrew and Cheryl took a class at CropKing, a hydroponic system manufacturing company with a test greenhouse in Ohio,” explained Vern. “We bought our first greenhouse in the summer of 2012 and started growing lettuce and tomatoes in late spring 2013. We had our ups and downs. The weather and power out-

ages in December 2013 caused a big problem (and losses). We also had some startup issues, such as getting the right size holes in the foam board for the starter plants in the flood tables, and getting the right size lines for water flow in the drain and fill system. Now we are growing things the way we want them to be,” said Vern. The Scotts added another three greenhouses in the fall of 2014. One is dedicated to tomatoes and the other two split the rest of the vegetables. Their method is to plant seeds in one-inch cubes made of rock wool medium, water and P H OTO S BY S A N D I E PA R R OT T unless otherwise noted


MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener



33

Seed is set into small cubes of rock wool insulation. After roots form, the cube is suspended in holes in one-inch thick insulation board, which is placed on a float table.

These lettuce roots are about 21 days old. Growing in nutrient-rich water provides superior disease and pest resistance versus conventional soils.

Vern and Cheryl Scott are surrounded by romaine, spring mix and red leaf lettuce. Their favorites for growing are romaine, buttercrunch and spring mix because they mature in about 45 days. place them in a 100-plus degree hot box with lights on 24/7. Plants germinate in about 24 hours and they are left in the box for about three weeks or until they have three leaves. The cube is then set into whatever system is chosen. The cubes may be set into holes in a floating, insulation-like material on a flood table that is 8, 10 or 12 feet long, 4 feet wide, 6 inches deep, and elevated to a standard table height. Roots are in water all the time with an air flow system circulating the water. Another method is to set the cubes into 2-1/2- to 5-gallon buckets of hydrocorn (clay pebbles). Water is pumped into the buckets for 15 minutes, then drained for 30 minutes and continually repeated. This is called fill and drain.

There are also systems of 2- by 3-inch tubes and 2-inch mesh baskets that hold the plant cube. Water with nutrients is pumped through the tubes continuously. The plant roots take up the nutrients needed. The Scotts grow lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, Swiss chard, and green beans. They have tried watermelon, but it hasn’t matured properly, requires a larger area with a shelf to sit on, and more water and nutrients. “We are experimenting with root crops also, but these are more difficult because they must be held in place to properly form the tuber,� said Vern. Maintenance involves daily checks of wacontinued on next page

This year-round aquaponic system has tilapia fish in the big tank. Water is pumped from the bottom of the tank to the rear plant bed and flows back into the tank. Plants use the fish excretions for fertilizer. A low maintenance system: feed the fish, sell the fish when they become large, add more fish, and clean the tank every ten months.


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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

continued from previous page ter, pH, pest, and nutrient levels, while air temperatures are monitored several times a day. Temperature is controlled by fans, heaters and lights. Planting and harvesting is ongoing in a year-round growing season. They

use lady beetles to control aphids, their biggest pest problem. A single lady beetle can eat 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. The Scotts built most of their systems themselves because of the high cost to purchase ready-made systems. “It just took a little bit of creative thinking to build our own after seeing

a commercial system,” noted Vern. Besides the advantage of growing yearround, Vern claims the vegetables are better than conventionally grown. “Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are sweeter, and have less acid and seeds. Lettuce tastes about the same, but it lasts longer after harvesting.”

The Scotts are excited about their progress and they are betting that hydroponics has a future in farming. Sandie Parrott is a Master Gardener who writes, blogs and gardens in her corner of Oakland County, Michigan.

Chuck & Bethany Goodman

Workers pinch the strawberries to promote a better yield.

Chuck & Bethany Goodman

One of the five-level strawberry stackers utilized on the Goodman strawberry farm. Water and nutrients trickle down through the pots.

Chuck & Bethany Goodman

Applying these frost covers is labor-intensive, but it can extend the growing season by a few weeks. They must be removed and reapplied as required; otherwise the plants can overheat.

Growing hydroponic strawberries in Traverse City by Sandie Parrott Most people assume hydroponic gardening must be done in a greenhouse. That isn’t necessarily true. On their cherry farm in Traverse City, Chuck and Bethany Goodman grow strawberries hydroponically outdoors on sloping terrain, with no greenhouses. The family farm was originally purchased in the 1950s by Bethany Goodman’s parents. Bethany and her three siblings worked on the farm, which included fruits and chickens. Chuck and Bethany purchased the farm in 1996. “Strawberries were always a well-known and desired crop in the area. We wanted to grow the crops using organic methods as much as possible. Growing strawberries hydroponically in a stacked method made it much easier to control pests, add nutrients, and harvest the

fruit. The berries are also kept dirt free,” noted Chuck. “Also, hydroponically-grown strawberries are basically everbearing, sometimes called day neutral. This means they continue to bear fruit until shut down by cold weather.” Chuck likes the variety ‘Seascape.’ The stacked method is a series of five-level, stacked pots within a trellis system of piping. The growing medium can be a combination of vermiculite, perlite, coir or pine bark that allows the liquid to drain at a reasonable rate. Chuck described, “The feeding system is fully automated with nutrient tanks and pH balancing set to deliver liquid through underground and overhead pipes to the top of each planter stack to filter through the planters. The feeding nutrient is delivered through pipes with automated timers, valves and pumps. The formula can be adjusted easily by altering the mixtures in the tanks. A second set of pipes and tubing are

affixed to the trellises and used as needed to spray plants with organic pesticides and foliar nutrients.” There are a number of challenges to growing strawberries hydroponically. Chuck explained some of them: “It is expensive to set up initially, it still needs significant amounts of daily labor, some pots are more durable than others, and weather can still be a negative factor.” He recommends extra research for pots that withstand winter (many of his cracked) and possibly adding a hoop house or greenhouse. Chuck discussed the climate in detail. “Weather can vary significantly from year to year. We had one year with production into mid-November, but usually we are hit with significant frosts in early to mid-October. This can be extended slightly with the slope of the land and frost cloth, but it is more labor, and must be removed every morning.”

Chuck & Bethany Goodman

A young strawberry plant in the loose, soilless mixture. All it takes is scissors to harvest the strawberries. No bending required and the berries stay clean.


MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener



Look for Allen Park • Ace Hardware Almont • American Tree Ann Arbor H Abbott’s Landscp Nurs • Ace Barnes Hardware (Washtenaw Ave) • Ace Barnes Hardware (West Stadium) • Dixboro General Store • Downtown Home & Gard H English Gardens H HillTop Greenhse & Farms • Larry’s Mower Shop H Lodi Farms H Matthaei Botanical Gard • The Produce Station H Turner’s Greenhse/ Gard Ctr • Wild Birds Unltd Auburn Hills • Ace Hardware • Drake’s Nurs H Haley Stone H Oakland Community College Auburn Hills H State Crushing Belleville • Banotai Greenhse • Gardeners Choice H Pinter Flowerland H Zywicki Greenhse Berkley • Garden Central Beverly Hills • Ace Hardware Birmingham H Blossoms • Plant Station Brighton H Beauchamp Landscp Supp • Leppek Nurs H Meier Flowerland H Nature’s Home & Gard Brownstown Twp • Raupp Bros Landscp Supp • Ruhlig Farms & Gard Canton • Canton Floral Gardens • Clink Landscp & Nurs • Crimboli Nurs • Wild Birds Unltd Chelsea • Heim Gardens & Florist H The Garden Mill • The Potting Shed Chesterfield • Van Thomme’s Greenhses Clarkston • Ace Hardware (Dixie Hwy) • Ace Hardware (Sashabaw) • Country Oaks Landscp Supp I • Lowrie’s Landscp • The Birdfeeder H The Pond Source • Weingartz

35

at these fine locations: Clawson • Ace Hardware Clinton Twp H English Gardens • Michigan Koi • MSU ExtensionMacomb Cty H Tropical Treasures Clio H Piechnik’s Greenhse Commerce Twp • Zoner’s Greenhse Davison H Wojo’s Garden Splendors Dearborn • Ace Hardware • Fairlane Gard Dearborn Hts H English Gardens Detroit • Ace Hardware H Detroit Farm and Gard • Detroit Gard Ctr Dexter H Bloom! Gard Ctr • Dexter Mill • Earth Art H Fraleigh’s Nurs Eastpointe H English Gardens • Semrau Garden Ctr Farmington Hills • Ace Hardware • Saxton’s Flower Ctr H Steinkopf Nurs • Weingartz Fenton • Gerych’s H Heavenly Scent Herb Farm Ferndale • Casual Modes Home & Gard Flat Rock • Masserant’s Feed Store Fostoria H The Iron Barn Fowlerville H Arrowhead Alpines Gladwin H Stone Cottage Gardens Grand Blanc H The Weed Lady Grand Rapids • Meijer Gardens Grosse Ile H Westcroft Gardens Grosse Pointe • Allemon’s Landscp Ctr • Meldrum & Smith Nurs Grosse Pointe Shores H Edsel & Eleanor Ford House Grosse Pointe Woods H Wild Birds Unltd Hadley • Le Fleur Décor Hartland • Deneweth’s Gard Ctr Haslett H Van Atta’s Greenhse Highland • Ace Hardware • Colasanti’s Produce & Plants

• Five Star Ace Hardware • Fragments H One Stop Landscp Supp Howell H Howell Farmer’s Mkt H Specialty Growers • Wilczewski Greenhses Imlay City H Earthly Arts Lake Orion • Lake Orion Lawn Ornaments H Orion Stone Depot H Wojo’s of Lake Orion Livonia • Ace Hardware (5 Mi/Middlebelt) • Ace Hardware (6 Mi/Newburgh) • Bushel Mart • George’s Livonia Gard • Superior Growers Supp • Valley Nurs Macomb • Ace Hardware • Altermatt’s Greenhse • Boyka’s Greenhse • Deneweth’s Gard Ctr H Elya’s Village Gard • Landscape Source • Olejnik Farms Midland • Dow Gardens Milford • Ace Hardware H The Pond Place Monroe H The Flower Market New Baltimore H Meldrum Bros Nurs New Boston H Gorham & Sons Nurs H Grass Roots Nurs • Mums the Word New Hudson H Milarch Nurs North Branch H Campbell’s Greenhses • Oldani Landscp Nurs Northville • Begonia Bros • Begonia Bros (near downtown) • Gardenviews H Willow Greenhses Novi • Ace Hardware • Glenda’s Gard Ctr • Wild Birds Unltd Oak Park • Ace Hardware • Four Seasons Gard Ctr Oakland H Piechnik’s Garden Gate 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 • Sideways • Sparr’s Greenhse Pontiac • Goldner Walsh Gard/Home Ray • Heritage Oaks Design Redford H Pinter Flowerland • Seven Mi Gard Ctr Rochester • Casual Concepts • Fogler’s Greenhse • Sherwood Forest Gard Ctr Rochester Hills • Ace Hardware H Auburn Oaks Gard Ctr H Haley Stone H Shades of Green Nurs • Wild Birds Unltd Romulus H Kurtzhal’s Farms H Schoedel’s Nurs H Schwartz’s Greenhse Roseville • Dale’s Landscp Supp • World Gardenland Royal Oak • Ace Hardware • Billings Lawn Equip H Button’s Rent It H English Gardens • Frentz & Sons Hardware • La Roche • Manus Power Mowers • Wild Birds Unltd Saginaw H Abele Greenhse & Gard Ctr Saline • Junga’s Ace Hardware H Nature’s Gard Ctr • Saline Flowerland Shelby Twp H Diegel Greenhses H Hessell’s Greenhses • Maeder Plant Farm • Potteryland H Telly’s Greenhse South Lyon • Ace Hardware • Hollow Oak Farm Nurs • Mike’s Gardens • Stone Depot Landscp Supp Southfield • 3 DDD’s Stand • Eagle Landscp & Supp • Lavin’s Flower Land • Main’s Landscp Supp Southgate H Ray Hunter Gard Ctr St Clair Shores • Ace Hardware (Harper/Martin) • Ace Hardware (Harper/13 Mi) • Circare • Greenhouse Growers • Hall’s Nurs • Soulliere Gard Ctr

Sterling Hts • Decor Statuette H Eckert’s Greenhse • Flower Barn Nurs • Prime Landscp Supp

Precipitation

Stockbridge • Gee Farms

Detroit Flint Lansing

Sylvan Lake H AguaFina Gardens Interntl H Detroit Garden Works Taylor H Beautiful Ponds & Gard • D&L Garden Ctr H Massab Acres H Panetta’s Landscp Supp Trenton • Carefree Lawn Ctr • Keck Hardware Troy H Telly’s Greenhse • The Home & Gard Shop H Uncle Luke’s Feed Store Utica • Dale’s Landscp Supp • Stonescape Supp • Weingartz Warren • Beste’s Lawn & Patio • Garden Center Nurs H Young’s Garden Mart

February 2015

NORMAL Monthly 2.02 1.48 1.47

NORMAL Yr. to Date 3.98 3.11 3.12

ACTUAL Monthly 1.35 0.87 0.90

2015 Year to Date: Jan 1 - Feb 28 Detroit Flint Lansing

ACTUAL Yr. to Date 2.80 2.17 2.25

ACTUAL Avg. High 23.2 22.2 21.0 ACTUAL Avg. Low 5.0 0.5 1.8

Williamston • Christian’s Greenhse Wixom • Angelo’s Landscp Supp H Brainer’s Greenhse Ypsilanti • Coleman’s Farm Mkt • Lucas Nurs • Margolis Nurs • Materials Unlimited • Schmidt’s Antiques

DEVIATION from Normal +0.80 — +0.29

2014 Year to Date: Jan 1 - Dec 31

NORMAL

DEVIATION from Normal -1.18 -0.94 -0.87

Yr. to Date 33.47 31.37 31.53

DEVIATION from Normal -12.0 -10.6 -11.6 DEVIATION from Normal -16.0 -16.4 -13.6

ORMAL N Avg. High 35.2 32.8 32.6 NORMAL Avg. Low 21.0 16.9 15.4

ACTUAL Yr. to Date 39.90 32.63 41.46

DEVIATION from Normal +6.43 +1.26 +9.93

February 2014 ACTUAL Avg. High 26.9 25.6 24.7 ACTUAL Avg. Low 11.9 6.3 8.6

DEVIATION from Normal -8.3 -7.2 -7.9 DEVIATION from Normal -9.1 -10.6 -6.8

Data courtesy National Weather Service

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West Bloomfield H English Gardens • Planterra • Whole Foods

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ACTUAL Monthly 2.82 1.48 1.76

Monthly 2.02 1.48 1.47

February 2015 NORMAL Avg. High 35.2 32.8 32.6 NORMAL Avg. Low 21.0 16.9 15.4

Detroit Flint Lansing Detroit Flint Lansing

Waterford • Ace Hardware • Breen’s Landscp Supp • Jacobsen’s Flowers H Merrittscape

White Lake H Bogie Lake Greenhse H Mulligan’s Gard Ctr • Sunshine Plants

NORMAL

Temperature

Washington • Landscape Direct • Miller’s Big Red Greenhse H Rocks ‘n’ Roots • United Plant Ctr

Westland • Ace Hardware H Barsons Greenhses • Bushel Stop • Joe Randazzo’s Nurs • Merlino’s Bushel Ctr • Panetta’s Landscp Supp

February 2014 DEVIATION from Normal -0.67 -0.61 -0.57

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Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

Plant Focus continued from back cover Showy and numerous, five-petal flowers in clusters grow along the vertical branches. In May the mostly pristine white flowers appear; they can also be tinged light pink. These are great attractants for butterflies and other pollinators. Completing the floral picture, a fresh spring fragrance permeates the area of bloom. After flowering, green, immature fruits develop during the summer. Early autumn heralds the berry coloring: red and black. The somewhat oval, very finely toothed leaves on the red species measure 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide. Black aronia foliage is similarly shaped, but shorter in length. One can easily distinguish the red from the black when in leaf. While both have smooth surfaces on their upper sides, the undersides hold the key to identification. The foliage of the red is slightly fuzzy underneath, while the black is smooth, just like the top side. A fiery feast for the eyes is in store during the fall. Bright red, scarlet to burgundy leaves shine on both species. The weather conditions dictate whether the foliage show is brilliant or less spectacular in pastels of pink and salmon tones. However, always colorful and dependable is the red chokeberry cultivar ‘Brilliantissima.’ Likewise, ‘Autumn Magic,’ a desirable black chokeberry cultivar, provides striking foliage color. Both are readily available at garden centers and nurseries.

Dr. Charles A. Brun

The red chokeberry cultivar ‘Brilliantissima’ has leaves with dependable and striking fall color.

Spring Meadow Nursery

Clusters of white flowers are displayed in May, like on this ‘Autumn Magic’ black chokeberry.

Bailey Nurseries

Iroquois Beauty black chokeberry is more compact than the species.


MichiganGardener.com | April 2015 | Michigan Gardener



37

Chokeberry Botanical name: Plant type: Plant size: Habit: Hardiness: Growth rate: Flowers: Bloom period: Leaves: Light: Soil: Water: Uses: Remarks:

Red: Aronia arbutifolia (uh-ROH-nee-uh ar-bew-tih-FOH-lee-uh) Black: Aronia melanocarpa (uh-ROH-nee-uh mel-an-oh-CAR-puh) Deciduous shrub Red: 6 to 12 feet tall; Black: 3 to 9 feet tall Loosely branched, upright, somewhat leggy, open, and natural. The black chokeberry suckers heavily, but is not invasive. Zone 3 or 4 Slowly upright; side suckers grow at a faster rate Small, white, 5-petal clusters May 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long, 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide; glossy green on top; underneath, the black is glossy, while the red is fuzzy Full sun to partial shade Average garden loam, very adaptable Drought tolerant, will tolerate wet soils as well Plantings for wet areas, natural settings, informal hedges; ideal for outdoor planters Underused ornamental shrubs; both red and black should be more widely planted for their flowers, fruits and foliage color; edible fruit crop in the black, which may be future source for beneficial human health and medical cures.

Jim Slezinski

Depending on the weather, fall foliage can be shades of scarlet or have salmon tones.

Spring Meadow Nursery

Chokeberry’s amazing foliage is evident on ‘Brilliantissima’ as its deep green leaves transition over to brilliant reds. Additionally, ‘Morton’ is a black cultivar introduced by the Morton Arboretum in Illinois. Later trademarked as Iroquois Beauty, this selection is more compact than the species. All other ornamental features of the black complete this desirable shrub.

Using the fruits

Jim Slezinski

Beautiful fall chokeberry color echoes with the oakleaf hydrangea in the foreground.

Several other varieties of black chokeberry have been selected primarily for their “orchard fruit” qualities as well. Europeans and Canadians have long grown and experimented with the black chokeberries for their fruiting

productivity and use for agricultural crops. Science has uncovered the fact that blackpigmented fruit skin and pulp contain dense concentrations of beneficial chemicals for human health (iron, polyphenols, anthocyanins, etc.). Ongoing research continues on these black fruits for possibly lowering blood cholesterol and hypertension, as well as reducing gastric, liver and eye maladies as well as several cancers. Juice from the berries is currently used as a flavoring and coloring agent in jams, jellies, beverages and yogurt. Lithuania produces a chokeberry wine, while in Poland dried berries are blended into herbal teas and baked into a soft bread. Berries can be used like elderberries in making jelly. A German-selected cultivar, ‘Nero,’ is touted as a healthful and large-fruited shrub. This variety is listed as winter hardy to -35 degrees F. ‘Viking’ was also developed in Europe and is considered an edible ornamental, adding to the list of black varieties. ‘Nero’ and ‘Viking’ exhibit all other ornamental traits of the species.

How to grow chokeberries Chokeberry shrubs are undemanding and grow easily in ordinary, loam garden soil. Adaptable to heavy, wet soils (as long as they are improved with some soil amendments initially), they can be planted bare root or from containers. Aronias can provide the “shrub” element in rain gardens, being drought tolerant as well. Sunny sites are ideal for the best flowering, fruiting and autumn foliage color. continued on next page


38

Michigan Gardener | April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

continued from previous page Partial shade yields satisfactory performance. Being remarkably cold hardy to zone 3, overwintering is never an issue. In fact, this trait makes chokeberry the ideal candidate for growing in an outdoor container for our Michigan winter climate. Rock-hard, frozen soil has no effect on growth from year to year in a winter-weatherproof planter. Aside from growing the black varieties for the edible fruit, other uses for both species include plantings along lakes, ponds and streams, naturalizing in woodland settings, creating informal hedges, designing borders with mixed perennials, and highlighting container plants for patios, decks and porches. A show-stopping scene that can liven up your autumn garden is the white-flowering Japanese anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ in front of chokeberries. The anemone’s bright white flowers contrast and highlight the chokeberry’s glossy red leaves. A simple method of propagating chokeberries in early spring is to cut off dormant sucker side shoots with a spade and replant them bare root. Soft-wood cuttings taken in early summer root very well, while a threemonth, cold-temperature stratified seed will also successfully sprout. Chokeberries exhibit good pest and disease resistance, which additionally contributes to successful growth. As a relative in the rose family, herbivores (deer, rabbits, mice and voles) will browse on twigs, stems and the leaves, so repellents are necessary if these critters are around. Occasionally, they will also take the black berries like the birds do. Consider planting these “giving” shrubs in your garden—they have so many uses and are so easy to grow. Jim Slezinski is the Vice President and Senior Landscape Designer/Horticulturist at Goldner Walsh Garden and Home in Pontiac, MI.

Dr. Charles A. Brun

Birds avoid eating the red chokeberry fruits, which are very bitter, so this colorful feature persists through the winter.

Spring Meadow Nursery (2)

Like other chokeberries, ‘Viking’ has deep green, glossy leaves (left) and fiery fall color (right).


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| April 2015 | MichiganGardener.com

plant focus

P

erhaps the odd name “chokeberry” could be one reason for this Michigan native plant being uncommon as a landscape shrub. However, chokeberry (Aronia) has been cultivated in gardens since its introduction to horticulture in 1700. Alphabetically, aronias are found at the front of gardening books. They should not be at the back of the book for popular use! Both well-known species (red and black chokeberry, Aronia arbutifolia and Aronia melanocarpa) are indigenous to swamps, bogs, moist thickets, and the edge of woodlands from southeastern Canada into northeastern America to Jim Minnesota and south Slezinski into Missouri, Tennessee, and Georgia.

The berries Chokeberries are members of the rose family, but are completely thornless, with smooth branches and twigs. Dormant branches have long-pointed terminal buds. The color-named species arise from their soft fruits, which are blueberry size, hanging in clusters. Aronia berries (fruits) are edible, but so bitter, tart, and astringent that some processing of the black ones is necessary for comfortable and nutritious human consumption. Forget about tasting the red berries unless you want a puckering mouth, unfit to blow a bugle! Birds will also avoid eating the red ones during the winter and then only as a last resort if starving. Hence, the persistent red berries provide a decorative winter feature in the garden. The black berries, colorful and very abundant in late autumn, finally shrivel and drop before cold winter weather.

Dr. Charles A. Brun

Chokeberry shrubs have an upright, loosely branched, and natural growing habit.

Shrub characteristics and varieties Aronias are deciduous and self-fruitful. Red chokeberry shrubs can range 6 to 12 feet in height and can become “leggy” with age. Being generally shorter at 3 to 9 feet, the black tend to readily sucker at the ground level and in time create colonies. That said, neither of these shrubs are invasive; they spread from 3 to 5 feet in ideal growing conditions. continued on page 36

Bailey Nurseries

Chokeberry’s white flowers can also be slightly tinged with pink.

Jim Slezinski

Chokeberry shrubs grow slowly in an upright habit.

April 2015  

Perennials: Ajuga, Plant Focus: Chokeberry, Tree Tips: How to plant a tree, Profile: Local farming with hydroponics, Little Gems: Native spr...

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