Michigan Gardener - April 2017

Page 1

April 2017


Your guide to Great Lakes gardening

Plant Focus


Perennials Wild ginger

Tree Tips Street trees

Garden Profile A family garden

Vegetable Patch

Getting started with fruit trees

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Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

Garden Wisdom The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.


Spring Events TROY EVENTS


Bonsai Workshop - $35 Saturday, April 1, 1pm

Terrarium Workshop - $39 Saturday, April 1, 10am

Six Steps to Jump Start Your Roses - $10 Saturday, April 8, 10am

Bonsai Workshop - $35 Saturday, April 8, 1pm

Queen Victoria's Herb Garden (Presented by the SE Michigan Herb Society) Saturday, April 8, 1pm

Succulent Container Workshop - $49 Saturday, April 22, 10am

Magic & Lore of Fairy Gardens (Presented by Carol Czechowski) Saturday, April 22, 10am (followed by workshop)

Fairy Gardening Workshop Saturday April 29, 10am 9th Annual Containers and Cocktails Thursday May 18, 6-9pm

Fairy Gardening Workshop Saturday, April 22, 11am Every Garden Deserves A Rose - $10 Thursday, April 27, 6:30pm New Annuals for 2017 - $40 ($45-$60 value) Includes samples of 10 new annuals Saturday, April 29, 10am New Perennials for 2017 - $50 ($70-$90 value) includes samples of 10 new Perennials Saturday, April 29, 11:15am Container Gardening Workshop Saturday, May 6, 10am Container Gardening with Herbs (Presented by the SE Michigan Herb Society) Saturday, May 6, 1pm

SHELBY EVENTS New Annuals for 2017 - $40 ($45-$60 value) Includes samples of 10 new annuals Saturday, April 29, 1:30PM

—Chinese proverb

To-Do List........................................................8 Ask MG..........................................................10 Getting to Know: Root rots, lichens, and mushrooms...........................................12 Vegetable Patch.......................................... 14 Tree Tips........................................................ 16 Books for the Michigan Gardener....... 18 Garden Profile: A family garden..........20 Calendar........................................................ 24 Subscription Form..................................... 26 Advertiser Index........................................ 26 Places to Grow........................................... 28

Classified Ads.............................................30 Where to pick up Michigan Gardener....30 Weather Wrap...........................................30 Through the Lens........................................31 Perennial Perspectives: Wild ginger.....36 Plant Focus: Eastern redbud �������������������������Back Cover On the cover: ‘Forest Pansy’ is a popular redbud that displays rich burgundy leaves.

Photo: Eric Hofley / Michigan Gardener

To Our Readers... As we all gear up for another season in the garden, here are just a few tips on how to make Michigan Gardener one of your valuable garden tools: Planning a local road trip to visit garden centers? Turn to our “Places to Grow” directory—in every issue of Michigan Gardener—to help plan your route and stops. Want to know the current garden events that are happening in your area? Go to MichiganGardener.com and click on “Garden Event Calendar.” Like contests or winning garden prizes? Sign up for our E-Newsletter, where there is a contest in every issue. Go to MichiganGardener.com and enter your email address (no spam, just some e-newsletters during the garden season). Best wishes to you and your garden for a wonderful spring!

New Perennials for 2017 - $50 ($70-$90 value) includes samples of 10 new Perennials Saturday, April 29, 3:00PM

Visit tellys.com for more event information & online registration Class fee $5 unless otherwise noted (materials not included). Registration required— Please call 248-689-8735.

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

TROY • 248-689-8735 3301 John R • 1/4 mile north of 16 Mile Rd.

Editorial Assistant Anna Doman

SHELBY TOWNSHIP • 248-659-8555 4343 24 Mile • Btwn Dequindre & Shelby Rd.

PONTIAC • 248-724-2300 559 Orchard Lake Rd (at Goldner Walsh) Between Telegraph & Woodward

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Contributors Brian Allnutt Karen Bovio Cheryl English Emaline Fronckowiak Mary Gerstenberger Julia Hofley Rosann Kovalcik Janet Macunovich Steve Martinko Beverly Moss 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 © 2017 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 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

to-do list Feature Task: Open your garden for the season

Annuals • Everyone wants color this time of year, but it’s too early for tender annuals, like impatiens and begonias. There are, however, many other options that will withstand cooler spring temperatures. Pansies, primroses, cabbage, and kale will be available in April. Plant directly in the garden if the soil’s not too wet, or plant up containers for your porch or patio.

Spring is here and we’re eager to get outside and start gardening! It’s time to get ready for the season. Weather dictates when to start your actual work in the garden. Avoid standing on garden soil when it’s too wet. This can lead to soil compaction, which is harmful to a plant’s root growth. When it’s time, start with a general clean-up of flower beds. Remove debris left over from last year, and see how plants fared during the winter. Take note of any perennials, trees or shrubs that need to be replaced. Prune plants, such as roses and summerflowering shrubs and trees. Avoid pruning spring-flowering plants because you would be cutting off their flower buds. Remove any winter protection and apply a new layer of mulch. Wait for leaves to appear on shrubs, trees, or perennials before fertilizing. A time-release, slow-acting organic product can be applied

Spring-Flowering Bulbs • If you want to move any bulbs around this fall, mark them this spring so that you can find them after they’ve gone dormant. • Stake and secure tall flowers on springblooming bulbs.

Summer-Flowering Bulbs • To get blooms sooner in the season from dahlias and cannas, start them indoors. Sunlight from a bright north or east window is suitable for the bulbs once growth starts to emerge. Keep them inside until temperatures are above 50 degrees. Then harden plants off by gradually exposing them to outdoor temperatures before planting in the ground. Keep fertilizing all season.

General • Devise a plan for your garden and landscape. Review notes from last year and assess any gaps that you might want to fill with spring bulbs that will emerge next year. Make notes to purchase and plant in the fall. • Check your tools—sharpen mower blades, pruners, spades, and shovels. Use a stiff wire brush to remove any rust on blades and use a light machine oil to help prevent further rust from starting. • Inspect the wooden handles on your favorite tools. Use sandpaper to smooth away any splinters or rough spots and apply boiled linseed oil to seal the wood.

Evergreens • Prune any obvious winter damage. All damage may not yet be visible, so continue to prune as other damage reveals itself.

Garden Beds • Freshen up garden beds with a layer of mulch. Keep mulch away from plant stems. Mulch neatens up garden beds and is great for the plants. As it breaks down, it provides organic matter for the soil. It also helps regulate the temperature of the soil, and helps keep the soil moist. • Remove weeds from beds, then apply a weed deterrent to prevent further weeds from germinating.

Lawns • If there has been a grub problem in the past, apply a grub killer, although it’s too early for season-long control.

earlier since it will not release in the soil until there is consistent heat and moisture. Start planning your vegetable garden and annual beds. Most of these plants require warm soil temperatures (at least 50 degrees) and frost-free nights before planting. This is usually mid-May in Michigan. Get a head start by planting flower and vegetable seeds indoors. Time these plantings so tender seedlings will be at the right stage of development when it’s safe to transplant them outside. Before planting in the ground, be sure to expose them to a hardening off period by gradually moving them outside for longer periods of time each day. The most important consideration for your spring garden is soil preparation. Whether you have a flower or vegetable garden, preparing the soil before you plant is key to your success. A rich, loamy soil amended with organic materials will yield healthy plants and

• If you had a crabgrass problem last year, put down a pre-emergent treatment with your first fertilizer application. You won’t need the crabgrass preventer if there wasn’t a problem last year. If you need to re-seed bare areas, be sure to get a treatment that will let your new, desirable grass grow. Some pre-emergents stop both crabgrass and the new seed you’ve just sown from germinating. You can also use a broadleaf pre-emergent to help prevent weeds like violets, plantains and dandelions.

Perennials • Spring is a great time to divide perennials. It’s often easier to do this before the plants get too large. Dividing helps rejuvenate plants and control their size. When possible, divide perennials on a cloudy day, or after the garden has received a few days of soaking rain. Be sure to replant any divisions as soon as possible, and water thoroughly after planting.


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• Prune roses so that all canes and stems are headed toward the outside of the plant. Branches pointed toward the inside or crossing branches should be pruned out. Canes should be pruned to green growth or to pencil thickness, whichever is closer to the ground. Help protect your plants against rose cane borer by sealing the pruning cuts with pruning sealer. • If necessary, apply the first treatment for black spot when the forsythias bloom. Spray both the rose canes and the ground about one inch around the plant.

loads of fruit or flowers. For sandy soil, add peat moss or compost for more texture and water-holding properties. To break up clay soil, add soil conditioner (pine bark fines). Adding cow manure, compost or other organic materials every year will help soil maintain healthy properties that contribute to a beautiful garden. Apply the amendments to the soil surface. Then begin at one end of the bed. Turn the soil with a spade or fork working in one direction. Repeat the process once more in the opposite direction. You will have the optimal soil conditions and your plants will thrive. Lastly, a soil test will help determine what nutrients should be added to the soil. Remember, everything doesn’t have to be done in one weekend. A few things done each day will ensure you’re not too overwhelmed. These preparation steps set the stage for a glorious garden season!

Shrubs & Trees • For the best healing when pruning trees, cut back to the branch collar, the slight swelling where the branch meets the tree. Healing is delayed if you leave stubs or cut back flush to the trunk.

Vegetables • Many seeds, such as lettuce, peas, radishes, and carrots can be sown directly into the ground. Start these now and plant a few rows every few weeks for a longer crop. • Start some seeds indoors and direct sow others this month. Start these this month and plant a few rows every few weeks for a longer crop. Peas, lettuce, cabbage and other cole crops like the cooler temperatures; tomatoes and peppers do not.

Vines • Different varieties of clematis need to be pruned at different times. For summerblooming clematis, prune them back to 2 or 3 fat, healthy buds per stem. Wait to prune spring-blooming and repeat-blooming clematis until after they’ve finished blooming. • Other flowering vines will benefit from a good pruning to promote growth and fullness. Only take off 1/3 to 1/2 of the summer-flowering vines, no more, or there will be too much green growth and too few flowers otherwise. • Monitor vines for emerging new growth and prune out any dead wood. Provided by the professionals at English Gardens.

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Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

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Kentucky tall fescue In the fall a couple years ago, I reseeded a full sun lawn with rye. It grew in well and looked good until July last year, but then it turned brown and the roots looked dead. I tilled and pulled that grass, and then aerated the entire lawn. I then reseeded in late September with a Kentucky 31 tall fescue. I included some Milorganite and covered it with peat moss. It came in very full and green. The roots appear to be stronger. Any tips for this season? T.P., Rochester Hills You were correct to remove the other lawn grass. Rye and fescue do not have similar needs. They also have very different appearances and do not blend well together in a unified lawn. K31 (Kentucky 31) tall fescue was originally introduced into this country from Europe in the 1800s. It became established in livestock grazing pastures as a forage grass and then migrated into ornamental lawns. However, due to naturally occurring endophytes (a fungus that protects the grass from insects and diseases), which caused digestive issues for cattle and horses, farmers stopped using it as forage. It is now used primarily for lawn grass applications. It has attractive green color, is very drought tolerant, handles traffic well, is more heat tolerant than other varieties, and is easy to establish, while being economically priced. It is ideal for the average lawn use, being very tolerant of full sun. It responds well to spring, mid-season, and fall fertilization, and requires less irrigation than the Kentucky bluegrass varieties. K31 is naturally more robust and tolerates lower maintenance. When mowing, keep the mower height high at about 3-1/2 to 4 inches, as its coarser texture and durability have a better appearance when left longer.

Apple tree planting

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root system developed. Avoid planting trees in frozen or water-saturated soils. Some growers have experimented with fall planting, but this method has risks associated with subjecting young trees to severe winter temperatures. The Michigan Apple Committee has a “sliding sweetness” scale for deciding which apple variety suits your tastes best. There are 16 Michigan favorites to choose from (www. michiganapples.com/about/varieties). Pollination is a crucial part of growing quality apples because they require cross-pollination—bees moving pollen from a pollendonating tree to the receiving tree. A pollendonating tree must be a compatible cultivar that has been planted in reasonable proximity. White blossom crabapple trees that have been interspersed within the apple cultivars will also work as cross-pollinators. Purchase apple tree stock from a reputable nursery or grower, and talk to the nursery staff. They can advise you which selections will crosspollinate the best.

Hosta leaves turning brown I have light green hostas with white edges. The leaves are thinner versus the thicker green hostas. Every year they start out looking great and then they get brown areas on the leaves. It appears like they need water, but they don’t. C.C., Pinckney The lighter green hostas with white edges or even the new varieties that are mostly white, such as ‘Filigree’ and ‘White Feather,’ have far less chlorophyll in the leaves to photosynthesize. That chlorophyll adds substance to the leaf and gives more plant machinery to make food. You noted the leaves are thinner, and therefore, they need more protection from direct sun. These lighter leaf cultivars do best with dappled morning sun and shade from afternoon sun. The brown splotches may be occurring from increased overhead watering during the summer months to keep the soil moist. The soil should be kept evenly moist all season, approximately one inch of water per week. For best results, weave a soaker hose among the hostas, several inches from their base. This helps avoid scalding the leaves with overhead watering. Check to see if your overhead tree canopy has changed, providing less shade and protection. Make sure that mulch is pulled back from the leaf stems so it does not trap moisture directly next to the plant, encouraging conditions for leaf rot.

MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener


2nd generation, family-owned, since 1967

Dyed mulch

Creeping bentgrass

Is dyed mulch safe for plants and soil? L.W. Dyed mulches can be aesthetically pleasing and make landscape plants and beds stand out, but not all dyed mulches are safe or healthy for plants. Most colored mulches are dyed with harmless dyes, like iron oxide-based dyes for red, or carbon-based dyes for black and dark brown. Some cheap dyes, however, can be dyed with harmful or toxic chemicals. Generally, if the price of dyed mulch seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t good at all. Spend the extra money for better quality and safer mulch. While most natural mulches, like double or triple shredded mulch, cedar mulch or pine bark, are made directly from trees, many colored mulches are made from recycled wood—like old pallets, decks, crates, etc. These recycled bits of treated wood can contain chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Using CCA to treat wood for residential use was banned in 2003, but many times this wood is still taken from demolitions or other commercial sources and recycled into dyed mulches. It can be harmful to people spreading this mulch and animals who dig in it. In general, dyed mulches are not beneficial for the soil. They will help retain soil moisture and help protect plants during winter, but they do not enrich the soil or add beneficial bacteria and nitrogen, like natural mulches do. Dyed mulches break down more slowly than natural mulches. Better alternatives to dyed mulches are pine needles, natural double- or triple-shredded mulch, cedar mulch or pine bark. Because these mulches are not dyed, they will also not fade as quickly as dyed mulches and will not need to be replenished as often.

After I mow bentgrass, will the creeping stolons be dead after drying for several days on the mower? B.C., Lowell If you don’t want to risk infecting your lawn with the invasive bentgrass (Agrostis), then hosing off and cleaning the mower blades of the creeping stolons is advisable after mowing. Hygiene is your biggest defense and protection against spreading any viable pieces into other turf lawns. Homeowners can spot the bentgrass invasion from its signature light green and round patches sprouting in their coarser Kentucky bluegrass. It only takes a stolon or two to take root and begin the hostile takeover of your lawn. If possible, use a separate mower for bentgrass areas, and do not use it on any other grass types. Bentgrass is preferred for golf course putting greens, tees and fairways because of its tight, carpet-like nap. It needs plenty of irrigation to survive since it is a cool-season grass. This is why it turns brown in the middle of summer when the heat turns up. If its invasion goes unnoticed, you will certainly notice it in summer—the removal of the patches can be time consuming. Using a spade shovel, remove the patches with as many stolons as possible, going beyond the obvious perimeter. Replace the lifted soil with fresh topsoil and seed with the turf grass that matches the lawn. If you can only use one mower, the aggravation and expense of the removal and repair far outweighs the cleaning of the mower after it is used on bentgrass.

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Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

getting to know... Root rots, lichens, and mushrooms Questions related to rots, lichens, and may penetrate into them and start to rot them. mushrooms are some of the most asked of arThere is no fungicide treatment option that borists because folks want to know what they will control armillaria root rot. The only apshould be concerned about and what they can proach is trying to keep the tree as healthy as do to prevent major problems. Although unipossible by proper pruning, occasional fertilversity websites provide a wealth of informaization, and watering during drought condition, it can take hours to extract the right feedtions. Ensuring very good drainage is vital back, assuming you have correctly identified when trying to slow the spread of armillaria. the problem from the start. Here are a few of To improve a tree’s life expectancy, arborists the most common natural tree problems you can also employ vertical mulching and air will encounter. spading (where a tree care professional uses Bacterial wetwood, often called slime a large air compressor to safely remove soil flux disease, is a major bole rot of the trunk from the tree’s base to expose the root flare and branches of hardwood trees. A tree with and diagnose the situation). slime flux has water-soaked patches and Sulfur shelf fungus is a large yellow and “weeps” from visible wounds and even from orange fruiting structure that appears in healthy-looking bark. Most often, wounding overlapping formations. These mushrooms of the tree causes the problem. A healthy tree appear above ground, often high on the tree. will usually overcome slime flux. The mushrooms do not appear until well afSoil compaction plays a significant role and ter the fungus has attacked the tree, so precan exacerbate slime flux. Foot and vehicle determining its condition is very hard to do. traffic reduce the soil’s oxygen levels. If the This damage is caused by organisms that live soil becomes heavily compacted, consider off of dead or decaying wood. They attack drilling two-inch holes in a grid-like pattern the heartwood of oaks and sometimes other extending throughout the tree’s unhardwood trees. These organisms derstory. After drilling, backfill the are opportunistic so it is important holes with a light mixture of comto prevent wounding of the trees. post combined with very fine wood This brightly colored mushroom mulch. This process helps the roots should not concern you like armilbreathe. Many arborists provide this laria root rot. It sometimes takes deservice, which is known as “vertical cades for a tree infected with sulfur mulching” or “vertimulching.” They shelf fungus to succumb to death. can offer refined products and siteHowever, depending on the severity, specific solutions. there could be a markedly increased Steve Lichens are a fungus/mold that Martinko risk of falling limbs, which could grows externally on the bark, not raise property damage and human from within. This type of mold is not consafety concerns. sidered to be a real threat to plant health and Managing your woods doesn’t require removal unless you deem it There are some property owners who benecessary—it is purely an aesthetic issue. A lieve they should rake up all the loose sticks suggested method would be to gently scrub and debris in the woods around their home. off the branches and trunk using a soft bristle Conversely, others feel it’s best to leave nabrush and a solution of baking soda (one tature alone. Whose philosophy is correct? blespoon in a 12-ounce spray bottle). Are we supposed to interrupt nature or Trees infected with armillaria root rot manage it? lose vigor as they lose root mass. Leaves may To a certain extent, the answer is both. turn yellow and twigs and branches may die. The best guideline might be to do what’s In severe cases, especially on smaller trees, horticulturally correct. It is best to leave the the entire plant may die in a relatively short ground floor alone so leaves and debris can period of time. Also, live trees may be more replenish the soil, thus improving microbial subject to falling over in wind or ice storms. activity and aerating the soil profile. In other The problem intensifies when the rot situations where recent development or activdecides to start attacking live tree tissue. ity has caused a negative impact on a healthy Armillaria spreads by structures called rhizostand of trees, it is important to monitor and morphs, which move out into the surrounding determine which trees might be threatening soil from rotting stumps. They look like black the health of others. shoestrings and protrude from the trunk so prolifically that people sometimes think the Steve Martinko is the owner of Contender’s Tree tree is becoming hairy. If this fungus comes and Lawn Specialists in Oakland County, MI. into contact with the roots of nearby trees, it

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Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

vegetable patch

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here seems to be a growing interwood, which usually produces better quality est in adding fruit trees to vegetable fruit than older branches. gardens. Many home gardeners with Depending on the age of the tree when larger yards are looking to add fruits to their planted, it may take several years before there harvest, and what sounds better than a nice is good fruit production. Once the tree is fresh apple or peach right off the tree? While bearing, then there is the need for protecting it may sound like a simple thing to do—just the developing fruit from insects and fungal plant a tree and get some fruit—there is actuproblems. This may mean an ongoing spray ally quite a bit of work that goes into managschedule, along with maintaining good hortiing fruit trees for a quality harvest. cultural practices such as pruning, fertilizing, The first thing to consider when plangood sanitation, weed control, etc. ning to plant a fruit tree is whether it is selfConsider the productive life of the fruit pollinating or not. Apple, pear, tree as well. Peach and nectarand sweet cherry usually require ine may be productive for 10 to 15 cross-pollination from a different years, while a standard apple tree cultivar. It is possible to find some may produce for 60 years. The pear self-fruitful cultivars (such as yeltrees I remember from my grandlow delicious apples or Bartlett parents’ home are still producing pears), but be sure to check before fruit and they are at least 70 years purchasing a fruit tree if it is selfold. If you are planting the fruit fruitful or not. trees in your yard, consider how Once you decide on the type of long you plan to live there. Mary fruit tree you want to plant, conLastly, if you don’t harvest the Gerstenberger sider the mature size of the tree. fruit and know how to store it, you Almost all fruit trees are grafted, may be dealing with spoiling fruit mainly to control the size of the tree. Trees on the ground. If fruit is left lying, you can may be labeled dwarf, semi-dwarf, or stanlook forward to visits from very happy yellow dard, but always check what the mature jackets and European paper wasps, who will height of the tree is considered to be. A be sampling the fallen goods! Good sanitation strongly dwarfing rootstock can still prois important to reduce these visitors as well duce an 8- to 10-foot tree, while a full-sized as prevent other fruit-damaging insects from or standard apple tree can be 35 feet or taller. finding harbor below the trees where they Fruit trees also need regular pruning to conmay reproduce and reappear the following trol their size and shape, increase their vigor, season. and encourage the development of young Growing and harvesting fruit can be a very rewarding experience, but it is not for the faint of heart. Be sure to research the needs of the fruit tree and consider the amount of time and effort you want to put into growing it. More information on growing backyard call fruit can be found at the MSU Extension “the little gardener “Gardening in Michigan” website: www.mithat could” garden.msu.edu. 15 Years Experience at Botanical Gardens

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Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

tree tips Street trees How to select trees for the difficult growing sites along streets


treet trees are an important part of a city’s infrastructure. They do, however, have their own unique set of challenges that can work against them and significantly reduce their potential lifespan. The same could be said of boulevard and parking lot trees, as they face similar stresses and obstacles to reaching maturity. As we try to balance the tree’s needs with those of the infrastructure around them (wires, curbs, and sidewalks above ground and buried utilities like sewer and water lines below ground), there are going to be future conflicts that can be difficult to mitigate. More often than not, the tree is the loser. It is no wonder that the average age of a street tree is only 25 years even though they have the potential to live way beyond that. When choosing a street tree, there are sev-

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cubic feet. If you have a typical easement area between the sidewalk and street that is 8 feet wide and 30 feet long, that is 240 square feet. Multiply that by 3 feet to account for the depth of soil used by the root system. That gives you 720 cubic feet, which is slightly less than what you will need for a tree that will have a 15-inch diameter at maturity. Keep in mind that the tree doesn’t know it is only supposed to grow in this area and that these are minimum requirements. The tree is going to exploit any volume of soil it can find—even around your sewer lines that often run under the roots on the way to the main lines under the street. You can see where the conflicts begin. Driveways crack, sidewalks heave, and curbs get swallowed up as trees grow. In order to fix any of these issues, you will need to cut or grind roots and damage the tree. In some cases, this leaves them unstable and more prone to failure in storms.

Soil structure

Steve Turner

This is very important because it affects the volume of usable soil for tree roots that we discussed above. It also helps determine which tree species will survive in those conditions. The easement areas are often disturbed soils that are usually compacted and have low oxygen levels in the soil. Not all tree species can tolerate this, but species that grow in low or wetland areas are adapted to tolerate these conditions when they are flooded. So it is no coincidence that many of the best street trees are lowland species like swamp white oak, red maple, sycamores, hackberry, elms, and many others. That said, even these trees will have a hard time penetrating heavily compacted soil. So, prior to planting, breaking it up to a depth of 2 to 3 feet throughout the entire potential root zone can dramatically reduce the chances of surface roots forming in the future and reduce damage to the surrounding cement. A little extra work up front can save lots of money in the long run.

Environmental conditions Street trees face several stresses your backyard trees will never see, including reflected heat from hard surfaces, salt and other contaminates in their root zones, salt spray coating them if they are on busy roads with high-

er speeds, getting run into or over by vehicles, greater exposure to air pollutants, and more.

Selecting the right street tree Taking into consideration everything discussed above, we now have to narrow down the choices and decide what are the best options. Road salt. The presence of road salt eliminates quite a few trees, such as sugar maple, hornbeam, and most evergreens. Root disturbance. Eliminate trees that have sensitivity to root disturbance since we know the chances that there will be digging within the root zone are very high. Trees like beech, cherry and sassafras don’t tolerate much root disturbance and won’t do well if damage occurs. Mature size. Make sure the mature size will fit both the above and below ground space available. Don’t plant an oak in a space that will only support a crab tree. Diversity. Look around your area and make sure you are not planting the same trees that all your neighbors have. Diversity is crucial and the last thing you want is all of, or too many of, the same species on one street. Branching habit. Don’t plant low-spreading trees like dogwoods and redbuds too close to sidewalks or roads, as they will have to be pruned back to fit the space, leaving a misshapen eyesore of a tree in a very visible location. While each planting site needs to be evaluated to pick appropriate trees, these are generally some good choices for street trees: swamp white oak, ginkgo, catalpa, yellowwood, tulip tree, black tupelo, zelkova, American hophornbeam, lacebark elm, and American elm (the new varieties bred to be resistant to Dutch elm disease). There are many other great options as well. As you can see, picking the perfect street tree is a little more complicated than just finding one that looks good to you. There is no one tree that fits every situation, so you will need to ask several questions based on your specific site. If you take the time to make a good choice, you can enjoy the benefits of that tree well into the future. Steve Turner, Certified Arborist, is from Arboricultural Services in Fenton, MI.

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Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

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Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | www.MichiganGardener.com

Incorporating sentimental plants and family mementos, Steve and Nancy Hansen lovingly tend to their garden

From inside the house, the view of the koi pond is exceptional. This window is what convinced Steve Hansen he could leave his previous garden. When wife Nancy showed him the house, he could picture the koi pond from this window.

MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener


hen Steve Hansen was introduced to his wife Nancy’s father, he was also introduced to gardening. You could say he found his two loves at the same time. That was over 20 years ago. He started gardening in a big way, so when Nancy decided she wanted to move to a different school district preferable for their daughter, it took some convincing to get Steve to leave his garden. When Nancy showed him the new house, he decided he could live there because of a large window looking out into the back garden. He looked out the picture window and knew he’d found the perfect Lisa Steinkopf spot for his koi pond. The window frames the pond and is now the centerpiece not only of their garden, but of their home. The waterfall of the koi pond faces the house so it can be enjoyed inside as well. What a great idea! The koi are mesmerizing as they swim calmly around the pond. They are kept in the pond all year, since it is deep enough. The lily pads are cut back and dropped to a lower shelf in the pond to overwinter. In the spring, Steve empties the pond so he can power wash the liner and rocks. He then fills the pond, adds the proper biologicals, returns the fish, and they are happy and healthy. There is a lot packed into this suburban Wayne County yard. One side of the house is a large area of grass for their rescue dog, Cee Lo. He loves it! The garden along the fence is only two years old. It contains hibiscus brought from Nancy’s parent’s garden, continuing the legacy from her dad. The contain-


ers hanging on the fence are estate sale finds, and give the fence added dimension and interest. Shopping at estate sales is a great way to pick up unique containers and statuary for your garden at affordable prices.

The back garden As you round the corner to the backyard, the difference from the expanse of lawn is jaw dropping. Your first clue of what is to come is the brick patio with a comfortable seating area and table and chairs. Every inch of the yard is packed with gorgeous plantings and paths leading you through the gardens. The sound of the waterfall splashing into the koi pond is soothing. The small building in the back corner of the yard was built for their daughter. continued on next page

Nancy and Steve Hansen relax on a bench overlooking the koi pond in their shade garden.

This golden dawn redwood replaced a full-size blue spruce and was just a sapling when planted. Seven years later, it is looking good!

Before and After

The front of the house before Steve and Nancy started their garden.

Today, with a lush and healthy front garden, the view has certainly changed for the better.


Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

continued from previous page Now that she is a teenager, the playhouse has been turned into her art studio. Surrounding the studio is a beautiful shade garden containing hostas, hellebores, azaleas, hydrangeas, and other shade-loving plants. Japanese maples are a large part of the back garden, providing dappled shade for the pond and surrounding plants. There is even a small Japanese maple on the side of the house that started as a seedling from Nancy’s father’s tree. It is lovingly taken care of; at this stage it has a cage surround to make sure a P H OTO G R A P H S BY L I S A bunny doesn’t nibble on S T E I N KO P F it. The ‘Butterfly’ variegated Japanese maple is a beautiful specimen tree reflected in the pond. A bench placed in the shade is a perfect place to stop, relax, and listen to the waterfall and the birds brought in by the many birdfeeders. As you walk by the pond, be sure to look down. Their daughter has created a magical fairy garden.

The front garden Continuing through the garden, you exit the backyard by way of the side yard, where there are many gorgeous perennials and shrubs. As an added bonus, Nancy has used this small, often unused space to mix in some vegetable plants, like tomatoes and cucumbers. Because they are growing among the landscape plants, you barely even notice the veggies, until you see the ripening tomatoes. Make your way through the arbor covered with a beautiful clematis and you are in the front garden filled with hydrangeas, boxwood hedges, and annuals. After cutting down a large blue spruce, Steve replaced it with a small sapling of his favorite tree—golden dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Gold Rush’). The neighbors could not believe he took out a huge tree and replaced it with a tiny little stick. He told them it would grow fast and it has. Now, the beautiful tree is a testament to his vision that the neighbors could not see. How does everything grow so well in the clay soil Steve and Nancy have to work with? Steve top dresses every bed with his own mix of 25 percent dehydrated cow manure, 25 percent topsoil, and 50 percent peat moss. It takes him two weeks to finish all the garden beds. He doesn’t use traditional mulch on his gardens, but on the back bed against the

V Website Extra Go to MichiganGardener.com and click on “Website Extras” for: • More beautiful photos of the Hansen garden

A closer look at the front porch bed reveals that it is filled with colorful hydrangeas and bold hostas.

This small area in the side yard has shrubs, but also has Nancy’s veggies mixed in. In the foreground is a support used for cucumbers. The Japanese maple is a seedling from Nancy’s parent’s garden and is being caged to protect it from hungry rabbits.

The side yard has a small border of plants and the rest has been left as grass so that their rescue dog has a place to run and play.

MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener


This miniature garden was created by the Hansen’s daughter. The small piece of railroad track and rail cars pays homage to her grandfather.

The scene across the pond is framed with Japanese maples on both sides—stunning. fence, he does use pine bark mulch to preserve moisture. The Hansen garden is filled with many sentimental plants, arbors, and accessories from family members. Continuing that theme, they have plans to put in a garden railroad this year using Nancy’s father’s train. Incorporating family mementos and plants from previous gardeners is a wonderful way to keep their memories alive. This garden is beautiful, serene, and obviously lovingly tended. Steve and Nancy look forward to continuing building this garden for many years to come.

The Hansens take advantage of the rainfall and collect it in a rain barrel. Watering cans are close at hand to use the bounty.

This cute, elevated cottage was formerly their daughter’s playhouse, but now that she is a teenager, it serves as her art studio.

Lisa Steinkopf is The Houseplant Guru. Check out her newly updated website and blog at www.thehouseplantguru.com. Contact Lisa to speak at your next club meeting or event (houseplantgurulisa@gmail.com or 734-7481241). Follow her on Facebook (Facebook.com/ HouseplantGuru), Twitter (@houseplantguru), and Instagram (houseplantguru).


Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

calendar The Best Solution for Problem Lawns With an N-P-K of 15-0-7, Grass Magic contains primarily organic materials with a small addition of urea to allow for a quick green-up in the spring. Unlike most lawn fertilizers, it also contains kelp, seaweed, and beneficial soil microbes to help grass plants better absorb the nutrients. Grass Magic lasts for 12 to 16 weeks, so its nutrients continue to be effective for much longer than water soluble fertilizers, which release their nutrients in a brief spurt after water is applied. This often causes stress to the grass by forcing growth at the expense of root development and plant vigor. In addition, the insoluble nature of Grass Magic is far less susceptible to leaching and run-off than soluble fertilizers.



—Nancy Szerlag, Detroit News Garden Writer

Ask for GRASSMAGIC at your local independent garden center! FOR MORE INFORMATION: CALL 248-760-9342

Au Naturale!

April / May / June April H Foolish for Fairies with HVCA Sat, Apr 1, 11am, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com. H Terrarium Workshop Sat, Apr 1, 10am, Pontiac. At Goldner Walsh. $39. www.tellys.com. 248-724-2300. H DIY Wreaths Sat, Apr 1, 2-4pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $40/person. www.campbellsgreenhouses.com, 810-688-3587. H Garden Party Weekend Sat, Apr 1, & Sun, Apr 2, all locations. At English Gardens. Informative gardening & decorating seminars. Details & complete schedule: www.EnglishGardens.com. H Pollinator Paradise Sat, Apr 1, 11-1pm, Southgate. At Ray Hunter Florist & Garden. FREE! Vendors, Master Gardeners & garden clubs on hand. Cheryl English presents “Beyond Birds & Butterflies.” 734-284-2500. H Bonsai Workshop Sat, Apr 1, 1pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $35. 248-689-8735. www.tellys.com. H Fairy Gardening Comes to Life Sun, Apr 2, 1pm, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. FREE. www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com. 5th Annual Slow Food Huron Valley CSA Fair Sun, Apr 2, 1-4pm, Ypsilanti. At Ypsilanti Farmers Marketplace. FREE. Meet your local farmers & make your local food match! slowfoodhuronvalley@gmail.com. Colonial & Native Gardens Mon, Apr 3, 1-2pm, Farmington Hills. By Farmington GC at Spicer House. Ed Blondin, Hortulus Gardens, discusses what the discovery of America did for gardens worldwide. 248-477-3854. Basic Lawn Care Tue, Apr 4, 6:30-7:30pm, Clinton Twp. By MSU Extension Macomb at 21885 Dunham. Learn how to prepare & care for your lawn from MSU lawn expert, Kevin Frank. 586-469-6440. Michigan Garden Clubs District IIB - Spring Conference Tue, Apr 4, 8am-4pm, Bath. At Eagle Eye Banquet Center. Mulching Do’s & Don’ts Tue, Apr 4, 6:30pm, East Lansing. By Capital Area Master Gardeners at MSU Plant & Soil Science Bldg. Tips on what to use for mulch & proper techniques. mgacac.wordpress.com. The Spring Garden Tue, Apr 4, 1-2:30pm, Warren. By MSU Extension Macomb at Max Thompson Family Resources Ctr. Get your spring gardening going & growing. 586-469-6440. Build a Native Bee Hotel Wed, Apr 5, 3-5pm, East Lansing. At MSU Horticulture Gardens. $35. Join us for this hands-on workshop to build & customize your very own native bee hotel. www.hrt.msu.edu. H Creative Container Gardens Sat, Apr 8, 10am, all English Garden locations. Enjoy a spot of color anywhere by growing plants & flowers in containers. FREE. www.EnglishGardens.com. African Violets Display & Sale Sat, Apr 8, 10am-4pm, Ann Arbor. By Michigan State African Violet Society at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Hands-on growing workshop at 11:30. LynnAllen0413@comcast.net.

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT PUBLIC GARDENS, please visit MichiganGardener.com. Click on "Resources" then "Public Gardens." H Queen Victoria’s Herb Garden Sat, Apr 8, 1pm, Troy. Presented by SE MI Herb Society at Telly’s. $5. 248-689-8735. www.tellys.com. H 6 Steps to Jump Start Your Roses Sat, Apr 8, 10am, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. 248-689-8735. www.tellys.com. H Bonsai Workshop Sat, Apr 8, 1pm, Pontiac. At Goldner Walsh. $35. www.tellys.com. 248-724-2300. H Pollinator Gardens by Claire Lannoye-Hall Sat, Apr 8, 10:30am, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. FREE. www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com. H Spring Fair Sat, Apr 8, 9am-5pm, Sylvan Lake. By Detroit Garden Works. Topiaries, herbs, flowering bulbs, cut flowers, spring containers, annuals & perennials. 248-335-8089. H Creating a Bee Friendly Habitat Sat, Apr 8, 10-11am, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $7. From gardening practices to plant choices, you can make your yard a bee haven. www.CampbellsGreenHouses.com. H Spring Inspiration Sat, Apr 8, 10:30-Noon, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. FREE seminar. www.heavenlyscentherbfarm.com. H Bonsai Demonstration by Kurtis Smith Sun, Apr 9, 1pm, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. FREE. www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com. Sunrise Side Master Gardener Association Meetings Sun, Apr 9, 2nd Tue of mo., through Dec 7, Iosco County. At Iosco County Medical Care Facility. Speakers, garden tours & volunteer opportunities. www.ssmga.com. Fireside Fun: A Good Old-fashioned Campfire Circle Sun, Apr 9, 6:30pm-8pm, Ann Arbor. At Leslie Science & Nature Ctr. FREE. Bring your family, camp chairs & s’mores fixings. We’ll provide a blazing outdoor campfire & marshmallows. Butterflies by Mary Ellen Vanslembrouck Mon, Apr 10, 7pm, St. Clair Shores. By Yardeners at St. Clair Shores Library. FREE. Identify butterflies, host plants for caterpillars & nectar plants for butterflies. scsyardeners@gmail.com. How to Garden With Comfort, Ease and Simplicity Mon, Apr 10, 7pm, Bloomfield Hills. By Hardy Plant Society at Congregational Church of Birmingham. Low maintenance, affordable & practical tips for your garden. Presented by author Jan Coppola-Bills. Info: julia@juliasbiglife.com. Rain Gardens Tue, Apr 11, 10am, Ann Arbor. By Good Thyme Garden Club at Zion Lutheran. Add beauty, recharge our groundwater, & help prevent pollution/flooding. www.GoodThymeGardenClubAA.org.

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


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MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener

Orchid Basics Tue, Apr 11, 6:30-7:30, Mt. Clemens. By MCMGA at Mt Clemens Library. $5. What it takes to grow & flower orchids: temperatures, humidity/air flow, feeding, & more. West Bloomfield High School Literary Garden Wed, Apr 12, 11:45, Troy. By Troy Garden Club at Big Beaver United Methodist Church. $7. Includes lunch. Jennifer McQuillan tells the story of how her students created a garden using plants featured in works of literature. infoandideas@aol.com. Growing Vegetables Thu, Apr 13, 7pm, Ferndale. By Ferndale Garden Club at Kulick Community Center. Presentation by Bernie La Frambois. Guests welcome. 248-541-6427. H Basics of Pruning Sat, Apr 15, 10am, all English Gardens stores. Keep the garden maintained by pruning trees & shrubs. We’ll tell you what needs to be done & when. FREE. www.EnglishGardens.com. Nuisance Wildlife in the Yard Tue, Apr 18, 6-7:30pm, Clinton Twp. At MSU Extension Macomb. Had trouble with wildlife in your yard? Come & learn how to handle this problem. 586-469-6440. The Right-Size Flower Garden Tue, Apr 18, 7pm, Grand Rapids. At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Speaker Kerry Ann Mendez reveals how to achieve a “right size” flower garden. RSVP: 616-975-3144. The Milkweed Community Wed, Apr 19, 7pm, Westland. By SEMBA at Nankin Mills Interpretive Ctr. Speaker Don Drife, “The Michigan Nature Guy.” www.sembabutterfly.org. H Get Ready to Garden Thu, Apr 20, 4-7pm, all locations. At English Gardens. FREE. An evening of workshops & gardening inspiration. Pre-registration required. Details at EnglishGardens.com. H Auburn Oaks Spring Open House Fri, Apr 21, & Sat, Apr 22, 8am-6pm; Sun, Apr 23, 10am5pm, Rochester Hills. At Auburn Oaks. New products, plant info & more. www.AuburnOaksNursery.com. H Containers & Cocktails Fri, Apr 21, & Sat, Apr 22, 7-9pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $25/person. An evening of cocktails, hors’ d oeuvres, & of course gardening! 810-688-3587. H Container Gardening Weekend Sat, Apr 22, 1pm, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. FREE. Class covers the basics of container gardening. www.BogieLakeGreenhouses.com, 248-887-5101. H Plants for Screening Sat, Apr 22, 10am, all locations. At English Gardens. Neighbors a little too close for comfort? Create privacy in your yard & hide any unsightly views. www.EnglishGardens.com.


H 2017 Educational Gardening Conference: Instruments for Great Design Sat, Apr 22, Waterford. By Master Gardener Society of Oakland Cty. 5 hours of MG Education credits. Presentations, market, garden art, live jazz & more. $80 after Mar 14. www.mgsoc.org. H Grow the BEST Tomatoes! Sat, Apr 22, 11am, Southgate. At Ray Hunter Garden Ctr. Free Class. Paul Rodman shares his expertise. 734-284-2500. Clean-up Day at Heritage Park Sat, Apr 22, 10am-1pm, Taylor. By Taylor Garden Club at Heritage Park. Join us in cleaning up the gardens. Lunch provided & 3 hours of comm. service credits. www.taylorgardenclub.com. H Hanging Basket Workshop Sat, Apr 22, 10-11am or 2-3pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $20/person. Plant your own 10" Combo Hanging Basket. We’ll keep it warm/watered until May. www.campbellsgreenhouses.com. H Succulent Container Garden Workshop Sat, Apr 22, 10am, Pontiac. At Goldner Walsh. $49. www.tellys.com. 248-724-2300. Victorian Tea Sat, Apr 22, 12:30pm, Fenton. At Gerych’s Conservatory. $32. Join us in our conservatory for a luncheon reminiscent of an era gone by. Live music. Register: 810-629-5995. Miniature Garden Workshop Sat, Apr 22, 1-2:30pm, Niles. At Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve. $25. Create a miniature garden. BYO 14”-16”x 6” container. Register by 4/20: 269-695-6491. H Growing Herbs & Herb Garden Care Sat, Apr 22, 11:30-12:30, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $7. Get beauty & fragrance in the garden, abundant flavor in your kitchen & even some nice flowers. campbellsgreenhouses.com. H Magic & Lore of Fairy Gardens Sat, Apr 22, 10am, Troy. Presented by Carol Czechowski at Telly’s. $5. Workshop to follow at 11am. 248-689-8735. www.tellys.com. H Growing & Cooking with Herbs, Part I Sat, Apr 22, 10am-1pm, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $29.75. Learn tips on growing & incorporating herbs into cooking. 810-629-9208. H Hydrangea 101 Sat, Apr 22, 10-11am, North Branch. At Campbell’s Greenhouse. $7. Morgan Temple from Spring Meadow Nursery covers the basics of growing hydrangeas. campbellsgreenhouses.com. H Plymouth Nursery Carnival Spring Open House Sat, Apr 22, & Sun, Apr 23, 11am-4pm, Plymouth. At Plymouth Nursery. Gift card give-aways, sales, demos & more. www.PlymouthNursery.net, 734-453-5500.

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Advertiser Index Abbott’s Landscape Nursery............. 25 Assoc. of Professional Gardeners..... 16 Auburn Oaks Gard Ctr.............................15 Barson’s Greenhouse..............................10 Blossoms...................................................... 24 Bogie Lake Greenhouses....................... 19 Bonide............................ Inside Back Cover Campbell’s Greenhouses.......................13 Contender’s Tree/Lawn Specialists... 7 Cranbrook House & Gardens...............12 Detroit Garden Works..............................9 English Gardens................................Page 3 Espoma........................................................... 11 Fraleigh’s Landscape Nursery..............15 The Garden Company............................14

The Garden Mill...........................................8 Garden Rhythms...................................... 26 A Garden Space.........................................14 Grass Magic................................................ 24 Haley Stone..................................................10 Heavenly Scent Herb Farm...................14 Hidden Lake Gardens............................. 25 Howell Farmers’ Market........................ 16 Lake Orion Lawn Ornaments..............27 Meier Flowerland.......................................13 Michigan Nursery/Landscp Assoc... 11 Milarch Nursery......................................... 19 Natural Community Services...............12 Organimax................................................... 19 Orion Stone Depot.................................... 18 Osmocote................... Inside Front Cover Piechnik’s Greenhouse........................... 19

Plymouth Nursery.....................................17 The Pond Place/Beauchamp................ 5 Preferred Landscapes..............................13 Proven Winners Color Choice..............6 Schuman Landscape Lighting..............15 Specialty Growers..................................... 18 State Crushing.............................................17 Steinkopf Nursery.......................................9 Telly’s Greenhouse.....................................4 Turner’s Landscp & Gard Ctr................ 11 Tuthill Farms & Composting............... 25 Uncle Luke’s Feed Store........................ 25 Van Atta’s Greenhouse..........................27 Van Thomme’s Greenhouses..............17 Warmbier Farms........................................15 The Weed Lady...........................................13 Wojo’s..............................................................17

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continued from page 25 H Van Atta’s Spring Open House Sat-Sun, Apr 22-23, 12-4pm; Haslett. At Van Atta's Greenhouse. New product info, sales & hot dogs. www.vanattas.com. Miller Woods Spring Wildflower Walk Sun, Apr 23, 2-4pm, Plymouth. By Friends of Miller Woods. FREE. Explore this historic Beech/Sugar Maple forest, learn about native wildflowers & the Miller Family history. 734-459-7666. Earth Day Festival Sun, Apr 23, Noon-4pm, Ann Arbor. At Leslie Science & Nature Ctr. FREE. An afternoon of celebrating the Earth through entertainment, education, exploration, & fun. a2earthday.org. H Caring For Roses Sun, Apr 23, 10-11am, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $7. Discuss various rose species, proper pruning timing & techniques, fertilizing/watering needs, & more. www.campbellsgreenhouses.com. H Advanced Container Gardening Sun, Apr 23, 1pm, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. FREE. BYO container or purchase one of ours. 248-887-5101, www.bogielakegreenhouses.com. H What’s New for 2017 Mon, Apr 24, 7pm, Troy. By Metro Detroit Hosta Society at Telly’s. Presented by George Papadelis, owner of Telly’s. Guests are welcome. Hgold2843@comcast.net. 50 Ways to Decorate Your Garden Tue, Apr 25, 7:15pm, Trenton. At Westfield Center. $5. A talk by Scott Stokes of Southern Exposure Herb Farm in Battle Creek. Register: 734-281-6504. Michigan Herb Associates Annual Conference Wed, Apr 26, Bath. By Michigan Herb Associates at Eagle Eye Conf Ctr. Keynote speaker Holly Bellebuono. www.miherb.org. The Southwest Michigan Daffodil Show Wed, Apr 26, 1-5pm & Thu, Apr 27, 10am-5pm, Niles. At Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve. Free with Fernwood admission. FREE program Thu, 1-3pm. www.fernwoodbotanical.org. H Containers & Cocktails Thu, Apr 27, & Fri, Apr 28, 7-9pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $25/person. An evening of cocktails, hors’ d oeuvres, & of course gardening. 810-688-3587. www.campbellsgreenhouses.com. H Every Garden Deserves a Rose Thu, Apr 27, 6:30pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $5. Telly’s rosarian discusses selecting the right rose for your gardening style. Register: 248-689-8735. The Beauty of Woody Ornamentals Throughout the Year Fri, Apr 28, 10am, Rochester. By Meadow Brook GC at Meadow Brook Hall. $5. Speaker Charles Martin, Senior Horticulturist at The Dow Gardens & garden journalist. H Spring Beauties: Native Wildflowers For The Woodland Garden Sat, Apr 29, 11am-12;30pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $10/person. Tired of tulips? Explore some native alternatives for the Spring garden. www.campbellsgreenhouses.com. H New Perennials for 2017 Sat, Apr 29, At Telly’s. Troy: 11:15am; Shelby: 3pm. $50. Includes samples of 10 perennials. Register: 248-689-8735.

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Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com



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Creativity in Bloom Sat, Apr 29, 8am-4pm, East Lansing At MSU Horticulture Gardens. $80. Featuring Janet Macunovich, Art Cameron & Daedre McGrath. www.hrt.msu.edu/our_gardens/curious_gardener. H Small Space Vegetable Gardening Sat, Apr 29, 1-2pm, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $7. With a little creativity & planning you can create highly productive vegetable gardens in small spaces. campbellsgreenhouses.com. Lily Hybridizing in America Sat, Apr 29, 10am, Birmingham. By Michigan Regional Lily Society at Birmingham Unitarian Church. Featuring nationally recognized lily hybridizer Warren Summers. 313-929-9203. H New Annuals for 2017 Sat, Apr 29, At Telly’s. Troy: 10am; Shelby: 1:30pm. $40. Includes samples of 10 new annuals. Register: 248-689-8735. H Fairy Gardening Workshop Sat, Apr 29, 10am, Pontiac. At Goldner Walsh. $5. www.tellys.com. 248-724-2300.

H Flowering Vines To Love (And Avoid) Sat, Apr 29, 9-10:30am, North Branch. At Campbell’s. $10. Learn about plant selection, care & culture to succeed with this rewarding range of plants. www.campbellsgreenhouses.com. H Bogie Lake Spring Open House Sat, Apr 29, 9am-5pm & Sun, Apr 30, 10am-5pm, White Lake. At Bogie Lake Greenhouses. 248-887-5101. Children’s Miniature Habitat Sat, Apr 29, 10am, Fenton. At Gerych’s Greenhouse. $25. Kids 5+ create a terrarium-like arrangement. Glass bowl with live plants & bugs. Register: 810-629-5995. H Growing & Cooking with Herbs, Part II Sat, Apr 29, 10am-1pm, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $29.75. Learn tips on growing & incorporating herbs into cooking. 810-629-9208. H Barsons Open House Sat, Apr 29, Westland. At Barsons. 10am: What Vegetables Do I Plant & Why; 1:30pm: Pond Opening & Maintenance. Come see what’s new for 2017. www.barsons.com. Miller Woods Spring Wildflower Walk Sun, Apr 30, 2-4pm, Plymouth. By Friends of Miller Woods. FREE. Explore this historic Beech/Sugar Maple forest, learn about native wildflowers & the Miller Family history. 734-459-7666.

May Gardeners on the Go! Tue, May 2, 7pm, Grosse Pointe. At Grosse Pointe Library War Memorial. $10. Julia Hofley shares her secret list of favorite public gardens & garden centers in SE Michigan. gpgardencenter@outlook.com. Herbs in Containers Tue, May 2, 1-2:30pm, Clinton Twp. At MSU Extension Macomb. Great beginner class for herb growing, harvesting & use. 586-469-6440. Don’t Let your Oak Wilt Tue, May 2, East Lansing. By Capital Area Master Gardeners at MSU Plant & Soil Science Building. $3. Learn about oak wilt & what to do. mgacac.wordpress.com. Toledo Plant Exchange Sat, May 6, 8:30-10am, Toledo. 8:30 is plant drop off, 10 am is distribution of plants. Bring labeled plants & gently used garden items. All attendees will receive free plants. 419-578-6783. Clematis Pruning Workshop Sat, May 6, 10am, Detroit. At Black Cat Pottery. 1 hour of instruction & 1 hour of demo/hands-on supervised practice. Register: www.blackcatpottery.com. H Rose Care & Culture Class Sat, May 6, 11am, Southgate. At Ray Hunter Florist & Garden. FREE. Paul Rodman will reveal how to grow beautiful & healthy roses. 734-284-2500. Chelsea Area Garden Club Plant Sale Sat, May 6, 8am-Noon, Chelsea. By Chelsea Area Garden Club at Chelsea Community Fairgrounds. Rain/shine. Perennials, wildflowers, daylillies, ornamental grasses. 734-475-9748. H Container Gardening with Herbs Sat, May 6, 1pm, Troy. At Telly’s. $5, plus materials. Design & assemble a unique combination of fragrant & useful herbs. Register: 248-689-8735. H Container Gardening Lecture & Workshop Sat, May 6, 10am, Troy. At Telly’s. $5, plus materials. The staff will dissect the process by which beautiful container combinations are created. Register: 248-689-8735. H Dahlia Tuber Sale Sat, May 6, 9am-Noon, Troy. At Telly’s. Hundreds of tubers & cuttings for sale. Most tubers $4-5. www.SEMDS.org. 248-652-9059. H Faerie May Day Festival Sat, May 6, 10am-5pm & Sun, May 7, 11am-5pm, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $1. Fun, lore, treats, workshops & plants. www.HeavenlyScentHerbFarm.com. South Lyon Plant Exchange Sat, May 6, 9-11am, South Lyon. By Four Seasons Garden Club at Witch’s Hat Museum Park area. Come swap with other gardeners. 248-437-0154. H Organic Gardening Sun, May 7, 1pm, Westland. At Barsons. Seminar presented by Malibu Compost. www.barsons.com. Growing Roses Mon, May 8, Noon, Dearborn. By Dearborn GC at 1st Presbyterian Church. Jennie Somers shares her expertise & experiences growing roses in an urban setting. www.gardenclubdearborn.org.

MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener

Wonderful Woodlanders Mon, May 8, 7pm, Pontiac. By Hardy Plant Society at Goldner Walsh Garden & Home. Presented by Glen Pace. Info: julia@juliasbiglife.com. Founding Fathers, Green Thumbs Thu, May 11, 7pm, Ferndale. By Ferndale Garden Club at Kulick Community Center. Presentation by Virginia Froehlich. Guests welcome. 248-541-6427. National Public Gardens Day at Fernwood Fri, May 12, 10am-5pm, Niles. At Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve. FREE admission coupon: www.publicgardens.org. Guided walk: 2:30pm. 269-695-6491. Succulent Planter Box Fri, May 12, 6pm, Fenton. At Gerych’s Greenhouse. $75. Plant a variety of hardy succulents in a handcrafted wood tote w/handle. Groups welcome. Register: 810-629-5995. Habitat for Humanity Flower & Plant Sale Fri, May 12, 3-8pm & Sat, May 13, 9am-5pm, Auburn Hills. By Habitat for Humanity Oakland County at Culver’s. Annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs & much more. 248-338-1843. H Painted Daisies on a Vintage Window Sat, May 13, 10am-Noon, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $74.75. www.heavenlyscentherbfarm.com, 810-629-9208. Michigan All State Bonsai Show Sat, May 13, & Sun, May 14, 9am-5pm, Grand Rapids. At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. See bonsai small enough to fit in your hand & some too heavy to lift. 616-957-1580. H Hidden Lake Gardens Plant Sale Sat, May 13, 10am-2pm, Tipton. At Hidden Lake Gardens. Free with admission. Wide selection of choice plants. www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu, 517-431-2060. Perennial Exchange Sat, May 13, 9-10:30am, Romeo. At Romeo Village Park. Share your love of gardening with others. Exchanges only, no sales. 586-752-6543, www.rwbparksrec.org. Fun with Lavender Mon, May 15, 6:30-7:30, Mt. Clemens. By MCMGA at Mt Clemens Library. $5. Karen Burke will show all of the wonderful things that we can do with our lavender. H Cranbrook’s 45th Annual Spring Plant Sale Tue, May 16, 10am-7pm & Wed, May 17, 10am-2pm, Bloomfield Hills. At Cranbrook. Find a discount coupon in the Michigan Gardener ad. housegardens.cranbrook.edu. Herbs in Containers Tue, May 16, 1-2:30pm, Warren. By MSU Extension Macomb at Max Thompson Family Resource Center. Don’t have much space for a garden? We’ll help you find the space. 586-469-6440. Toward Harmony with Nature, Native Plants, & Natural Landscapes Wed, May 17, 7pm, Westland. By SEMBA at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center. Movie viewing: The value of having native plants in our yards by Doug Tallamy. www.sembabutterfly.org. Meadow Brook Garden Club Perennial Plant Sale Thu, May 18, 8am-2pm, Rochester Hills. By Meadow Brook Garden Club at Meadow Brook Hall. Many plants from the MBH gardens. 248-364-6210, MBGCmembers@gmail.com. Waterford Garden Club Spring Plant Sale Thu, May 18, 9am-5pm & Fri, May 19, 9am-3pm, Waterford. By Waterford Garden Club at Waterford Senior Center. Perennials, herbs & more. www.WaterfordGardenClub.org. Backyard Habitats that Attract Colorful Birds Thu, May 18, 7-9pm, Taylor. By Taylor Garden Club at Ford Senior Ctr. Monthly meeting with snacks & presentation from LuAnn Linker. Guests welcome. www.taylorgardenclub.com. Meadow Brook Greenhouse Plant Sale Thu, May 18, 9am-6pm, Rochester. At Meadow Brook Greenhouse. Yearly plant sale featuring annual flowers, vegetables & herbs. Benefits the restoration of the greenhouse. 248-364-6171. Henry Ford Estate Plant Sale & Garden Market Fri, May 19, 10am-3pm & Sat, May 20, 9am-1pm, Dearborn. At Henry Ford Estate. Unique perennials, wildflowers, heirlooms, pollinator-attracting, shade-loving plants & more. 313-668-3195. Frogs of Michigan Fri, May 19, 10am, Rochester. By Meadow Brook Garden Club at Meadow Brook Hall. $5. Gordon Lonie, naturalist, will talk about a variety of Michigan frogs. 248-364-6210.


H Customer Appreciation Day Sat, May 20, North Branch. At Campbell’s. Sales, music, hot dogs & refreshments. www.CampbellsGreenhouses.com. Rouge Rescue Project: Pulling TogetherGarlic Mustard Removal Sat, May 20, 10am-Noon, Dearborn. At Henry Ford Estate. Participants will be removing Garlic Mustard, an invasive plant, from the Henry Ford Estate grounds. Register: 313-668-3193. Dexter Green Day & Plant Sales Sat, May 20, 9am-2pm, Dexter. By Dexter Garden Cub. Perennial plant sale, vegetable seedling sale, bagged compost sale & much more. www.dextergardenclub.org, 734-646-7335. Willow GreenHouse Expo Sat, May 20, 10am-4pm, Salem Twp. By Four Seasons Garden Club at Willow Greenhouse. FREE. Speakers, vendors, projects & more. www.WillowGreenhouse.com. Pre-Order Deadline for Yardeners Plant Sale Sat, May 20, Noon, St. Clair Shores. By Yardeners. Forms at City of St. Clair Shores Website or contact us: scsyardeners@gmail.com. Spring Garden Festival & Plant Sale Sat, May 20, 10am-4pm, Niles. At Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve. Celebrate spring at this one-ofa-kind horticultural event. 269-695-6491, www.fernwoodbotanical.org.

Lake Orion Lawn Ornaments

25% OFF ALL IN-STOCK ITEMS Plus: Large DISCOUNT area, up to 50% OFF! Sale Ends 9-30-17

Gardener’s Paradise! Over 800 different items on display

Concrete Benches • Tables • Fountains • Planters Saucers • Birdbaths • Statues • Religious Statues • Rails Animals • Ballisters • Oriental Lanterns • Pier Caps

62 W. Scripps Rd., Lake Orion • 248-693-8683 Corner of M-24 (Lapeer Rd) & Scripps Rd. - 4 mi N. of The Palace of Auburn Hills

www.lakeorionconcrete.com • Call ahead for hours

Plant & Garden Art Sale Sat, May 20, 9am-2pm, Taylor. By Taylor Garden Club at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Annual plant & garden art sale. www.taylorgardenclub.com. Exotic Flavors: Capture the World in Your Garden Tue, May 23, 6-8pm, East Lansing. At MSU Horticulture Gardens. $25. Learn to grow plants in your garden that will lend exotic flavors in your kitchen. www.hrt.msu.edu. Iris Show Sat, May 27, 11am-5pm, Grand Rapids. At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. See historic favorites & the newest varieties. 616-957-1580, www.meijergardens.org. Decorative Stepping Stone Tue, May 30, 1pm, Fenton. At Gerych’s Greenhouse/Events. $35. Sky is the limit with the embellishments available for this concrete garden stone. Register: 810-629-5995.

June 9th Annual Spring Garden Tour Sat, Jun 3, 10am-2pm, Detroit. At Black Cat Pottery. Register: www.blackcatpottery.com. Perennial Plant Exchange Sat, Jun 3, 8:30am, Clarkston. By The Clarkston Farm & Garden Club at Clarkston Village Parking Lot. Rain/Shine. Pot & identify your plants. 248-625-2644, www.clarkstongardenclub.org. Secrets of the Shade Tue, Jun 6, East Lansing. By Capital Area Master Gardeners at MSU Plant & Soil Science Building. $3. Focus on hostas, the queen of shade. mgacac.wordpress.com. H Growing Hydrangeas & Perennials Sat, Jun 10, 11am, Southgate. At Ray Hunter Garden Center. FREE. Expert advice from Master Gardener Paul Rodman. 734-284-2500. H Stained Glass Tree Sat, Jun 10, 10am-12:30pm, Fenton. At Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. $89.75. Create an inspirational piece of art for your garden. Bring wire cutters, gloves & needle nose pliers. 810-629-9208. Yardeners Native Plant Sale Sat, Jun 10, 9am-Noon, St. Clair Shores. By Yardeners at St. Clair Shores Public Library, Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum. Pre-Order by 5/20. scsyardeners@gmail.com. 2017 Franklin Garden Walk Wed, Jun 14, 10am-4pm & 6-9pm, Franklin. By Women’s National Farm & Garden Association at 6 private gardens. $15. Artisan Market. Tickets: 2017franklingardenwalk. eventbrite.com, franklingardenwalk@gmail.com. Trenton Garden Walk Sat, Jun 17, 10am-4pm, Trenton. Enjoy 7 gardens in the quaint city of Trenton. Glenda Albright: 734-281-6504. PCMGA Garden Walk Sat, Jun 24, 9am-4pm, Valparaiso. By Porter County Master Gardeners Association in & around Valparaiso. pcgarden.info or Porter County Master Gardeners Facebook page.

Make us your Destination.

Spring Open House

Sat - Sun, Apr 22-23, 12-4p New products, sales & hot dogs!

Van Atta’s has one of the largest selections of garden accents, trees, garden toys, annuals, shrubs and perennials in Southeastern Michigan.

We grow an enormous variety of perennial species and cultivars. There’s a good chance we have that one plant you’ve been searching for or the garden ornament that will set your yard apart. Come on out and stroll our grounds. You’ll be amazed any one item at what you’ll find, as well as the friendly Offer valid through May 31, 2017 Not to be combined w/other offers service and expert advice you will receive.

10% OFF

Van Atta’s Greenhouse & Flower Shop Family owned and operated since 1980

9008 Old M-78 • Haslett, MI • 517-339-1142 www.vanattas.com • Open year round

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

Mt. Pleasant


Bay City


Saginaw North Branch Clio Columbiaville




Imlay City


Owosso St. Johns


Burton Grand Blanc




Port Huron





Grand Rapids Fenton


Ortonville Grand Ledge


East Lansing







White Lake



Grass Lake



DearbornDearborn Wayne Heights


Taylor Belleville


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

Saline New Boston


Southgate Trenton Brownstown Twp. Grosse Ile

Tecumseh Monroe

Cement City

La Salle

H Denotes MG Advertiser almont American Tree

ann arbor H Abbott’s Nurs & Garden Ctr 2781 Scio Church Rd., MI 48103 734-665-8733 www.abbottsnursery.com H 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 & Garden Ctr 4431 South Wagner Rd., MI 48103 734-663-7600 www.turnersannarbor.com Wild Birds Unltd

auburn H Warmbier Farms 5300 Garfield Rd., MI 48611 989-662-7002 www.warmbierfarms.com



Grand Oak Herb Farm

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

bay city H Begick Nursery & Garden Ctr 5993 Westside Saginaw Rd., MI 48706 989-684-4210 www.begicknursery.com


Tiffany Florist


auburn hills

Banotai Greenhse Gardeners Choice H Pinter Flowerland H Zywicki Greenhse

H Beauchamp Landscp Supp Bordine’s Brighton Farmer’s Mkt Leppek Nurs H Meier Flowerland

Drake’s Landscp & Nurs


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

Garden Central

brownstown twp

H State Crushing

New Baltimore


Ann Arbor



Holly White Lake Waterford

Plymouth Chelsea


Rochester Macomb Rochester Shelby Twp. Highland Pontiac Hills Utica Auburn Hills Sylvan Lake Clinton Twp. Commerce Milford Bloomfield Troy West Sterling Hts. Hills Bloomfield Birmingham Walled Lake St. Clair Berkley Wixom Madison Roseville Shores Heights Brighton Warren Royal Oak New Hudson Eastpointe South Lyon Novi Farmington Southfield Hills Oak Park Farmington Ferndale Whitmore Northville Grosse Lake Pointes Livonia Redford Hartland


Want to advertise your local business in Places to Grow? 2 options:

Addison Twp.



bloomfield hills Backyard Birds

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

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

canton Canton Floral Gardens Clink Nurs Crimboli Nurs Wild Birds Unltd

cement city H Hallson Gardens 14280 US-127, MI 49233 517-592-9450 www.perennialnursery.com

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

MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener




H Van Thomme’s Greenhses 32385 23 Mile Rd., MI 48047 586-725-3708 www.vanthommesgreenhouses.com

H Flushing Lawn & Garden Ctr 114 Terrace St., MI 48433 810-659-6241 www.unclelukes.com

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



Bordine’s Country Oaks Landscp I Lowrie’s Landscp Backyard Oasis Pond & Gard

clinton twp H English Gardens 44850 Garfield Rd, MI 48038 586-286-6100 www.EnglishGardens.com Michigan Koi H Tropical Treasures

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

columbiaville Hilltop Barn

H Arrowhead Alpines

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

grand blanc Bordine’s H The Weed Lady 9225 Fenton Rd., MI 48439 810-655-2723 www.theweedlady.com

grass lake H Designs by Judy Florist & Greenhse 3250 Wolf Lake Rd., MI 49240 517-522-5050 www.designsbyjudyflowers.com

commerce twp

grosse ile

Zoner’s Greenhse

H Westcroft Gardens 21803 West River Rd., MI 48138 734-676-2444 www.westcroftgardens.com

davison 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 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 Guthrie Gardens

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

grosse pointe Allemon’s Landscp Ctr Meldrum & Smith Nurs

grosse pointe woods Wild Birds Unltd

hadley Le Fleur Décor

hartland Deneweth’s Garden Ctr

haslett H Christian’s Greenhse H Van Atta’s Greenhse

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

howell H Howell Farmer’s Mkt Dwtn 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

H Lake Orion Lawn Orn H Orion Stone Depot

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

ferndale Casual Modes Home/Gard

flat rock Masserant’s Feed Store

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


H AguaFina Gardens International 2629 Orchard Lake Rd., MI 48320 248-738-0500 www.aguafina.com

McLennan Nurs

mason Wildtype Nurs

metamora Gilling’s Nurs

milford Milford Gardens H The Pond Place

monroe H The Flower Market

new baltimore H Meldrum Bros Nurs

Krupps Novelty Shop

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

redford H Pinter Flowerland Seven Mi Gard Ctr

rochester Fogler’s Greenhse Sherwood Forest Gard Ctr

rochester hills H Auburn Oaks Garden Ctr 3820 West Auburn Rd, MI 48309 248-852-2310 www.auburnoaksnursery.com Bordine’s

Gorham & Sons Nurs H Grass Roots Nurs Mums the Word

H Haley Stone 3975 S. Rochester Rd., MI 48307 248-852-5511 www.haleystone.net

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

north branch H Campbell’s Greenhouses 4077 Burnside Rd., MI 48461 810-688-3587 www.campbellsgreenhouses.com H Oldani Landscape Nurseries 2666 Tozer Rd., MI 48461 810-688-2363 www.oldanilandscapenurseries.com

northville Begonia Brothers Gardenviews H Willow Greenhouses

novi Glenda’s Gard Ctr Wild Birds Unltd

oak park Four Seasons Gard Ctr

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

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

owosso H Everlastings in Wildwood

oxford Candy Cane Xmas Trees Oxford Farm/Gard Backyard Birds Graye’s Greenhse Lucas Nurs



new boston

lapeer Fowler’s Gift Shop

Decor Statuette




sterling heights

H Heritage Oaks Van’s Valley Greenhse

Lansing Gard H The Iron Barn

H Bogie Lake Greenhouses 1525 Bogie Lake Rd., MI 48383 248-887-5101 www.bogielakegreenhouses.com


Country Oaks Landscp II

farmington hills

white lake

Greenhouse Growers Hall’s Nurs Soulliere Gard Ctr

sylvan lake

jackson lake orion

st clair shores

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


The Hobbit Place

H Rock Shoppe on Gotfredson 6275 Gotfredson, MI 48170 734-455-5560 www.rock-shoppe.com Sparr’s Greenhse

H Earthly Arts Greenhse

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


Plymouth Rock & Supp

H Plymouth Nursery 9900 Ann Arbor Rd W, MI 48170 734-453-5500 www.plymouthnursery.net

Wild Birds Unltd

romulus Block’s Stand/Greenhse H Kurtzhals’ Farms H Schoedel’s Nurs Schwartz’s Greenhouse

roseville Dale’s Landscp Supp Flower Barn Nurs Sea World

royal oak Billings Lawn Equip Button’s Rent-It H English Gardens 4901 Coolidge Hwy, MI 48073 248-280-9500 www.EnglishGardens.com Wild Birds Unltd

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

saline Nature’s Garden Ctr H Saline Flowerland

shelby twp Diegel Greenhses Flower Barn Nurs 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

southgate H Ray Hunter Gard Ctr

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

stockbridge Gee Farms

H Detroit Garden Works 1794 Pontiac Dr., MI 48320 248-335-8089 www.detroitgardenworks.com

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


H Mulligan’s Landscp & Gard Ctr Sunshine Plants

whitmore lake H Alexander’s Greenhses

williamston H Christian’s Greenhse

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

ypsilanti Coleman’s Farm Mkt Lucas Nurs Margolis Nurs Materials Unlimited H Sell Farms & Greenhouses 7200 Willis Rd., MI 48197 866-296-3090 www.sellfarmsandgreenhouses.com

Gardens to Visit ann arbor


H Matthaei Botanical Gardens/ Nichols Arboretum 1800 North Dixboro Rd., MI 48105 734-647-7600 www.mbgna.umich.edu

Carefree Lawn Ctr

bloomfield hills

tecumseh Mitchell’s Lawn/Landscp

troy H Telly’s Greenhouse 3301 John R Rd., MI 48083 248-689-8735 www.tellys.com

H Cranbrook Gardens 380 Lone Pine Rd., MI 48303 248-645-3147 housegardens.cranbrook.edu

clinton twp

H Uncle Luke’s Feed Store 6691 Livernois Rd., MI 48098 248-879-9147 www.unclelukes.com

Tomlinson Arboretum



Stonescape Supp

walled lake H Suburban Landscp Supp

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

washington Landscp Direct Miller’s Big Red Greenhse H Rocks ‘n’ Roots H United Plant Ctr


dearborn Arjay Miller Arboretum @ Ford World HQ Henry Ford Estate Anna S Whitcomb Conservtry

dryden Seven Ponds Nature Ctr

east lansing H MSU Horticulture Gardens W.J. Beal Botanical Gard

emmett H Sunny Fields Botanical Park 5444 Welch Rd., MI 48022 810-387-2765 www.visitsunnyfields.org


Breen’s Landscp Supp Hoffman Nurs H Merrittscape Oakland County Market


west bloomfield

Edsel & Eleanor Ford Hse

H English Gardens 6370 Orchard Lake Rd., MI 48322 248-851-7506 www.EnglishGardens.com Planterra

westland H Barson’s Greenhse 6414 North Merriman Rd., MI 48185 734-421-5959 www.barsons.com Bushel Stop Joe Randazzo’s Nurs Merlino’s Bushel Ctr Panetta’s Landscp

grand rapids Frederik Meijer Gardens

grosse pointe shores lansing Cooley Gardens

midland Dahlia Hill Dow Gardens

novi Tollgate Education Ctr

royal oak Detroit Zoo

tipton H Hidden Lake Gardens 6214 Monroe Rd. (M-50), MI 49287 517-431-2060 www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu


Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

Look for at these fine locations: Precipitation February 2017

NORMAL Monthly 2.02 1.48 1.47

NORMAL Yr. to Date 3.98 3.11 3.12

Detroit Flint Lansing

ACTUAL Monthly 1.90 2.42 2.63

February 2016 DEVIATION from Normal -0.12 +0.94 +1.16

NORMAL Monthly 2.02 1.48 1.47

2017 Year to Date: Jan 1 - Feb 28 Detroit Flint Lansing

ACTUAL Yr. to Date 4.73 5.55 6.28

ACTUAL Monthly 2.02 2.21 1.71

DEVIATION from Normal — +0.73 +0.24

2016 Year Total: Jan 1 - Dec 31


DEVIATION from Normal +0.75 +2.44 +3.16

Yr. to Date 33.47 31.37 31.77

ACTUAL Yr. to Date 34.74 30.74 35.45

DEVIATION from Normal +1.27 -0.63 +3.68

Temperature February 2017

February 2016

Detroit Flint Lansing

NORMAL Avg. High 35.2 32.8 32.6

ACTUAL Avg. High 47.4 43.6 44.0

DEVIATION from Normal +12.2 +10.8 +11.4

ORMAL N Avg. High 35.2 32.8 32.6

ACTUAL Avg. High 39.0 38.2 36.3

DEVIATION from Normal +3.8 +5.4 +3.7

Detroit Flint Lansing

NORMAL Avg. Low 21.0 16.9 15.4

ACTUAL Avg. Low 28.5 25.3 27.0

DEVIATION from Normal +7.5 +8.4 +11.6

ORMAL N Avg. Low 21.0 16.9 15.4

ACTUAL Avg. Low 23.5 21.4 21.1

DEVIATION from Normal +2.5 +4.5 +5.7

Data courtesy National Weather Service

Classified Ads LAKE ORION FLOWER & ART FAIR - Fri, May 12, 11a-8p & Sat, May 13, 9a-6p. The 17th Annual Flower & Art Fair has 70+ vendors selling flowers, food, garden art & home improvement items. You’re sure to find something you like, plus the perfect gift for Mom! www.downtownlakeorion.org NEED A HAND? Call “The little gardener that could.” 15 yrs experience at Botanical Gardens. FREE Estimates. Pat: 586-214-9852, agardenspace.com. POISON IVY & BUCKTHORN – We get rid of it! That’s all we do. Call us—we are experts at identifying and removing poison ivy and buckthorn from your property, from single homes to large parks. Licensed & Insured. Poison Ivy Control of Michigan. Call TollFree 844-IVY-GONE (489-4663). www. poisonivycontrolofmichigan.com. HARDY PLANT SOCIETY: GREAT LAKES CHAPTER - Join us at our upcoming events: Mon, Apr 10, 7p: “How to Garden with Comfort, Ease & Simplicity,” by Jan CoppolaBills, at Congregational Church of Birmingham. Mon, May 8, 7p: “Wonderful Woodlanders,” by Glen Pace, at Goldner Walsh Garden & Home in Pontiac. Guest fee: $5. Visit us on Facebook.

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Send us Your Photos!

through the lens Photographs from the gardens of Michigan gardeners

“By midsummer, it is a challenge to find the right mix of flowers that will grow in limited sun, but the native coneflowers and the balloon flowers do quite well and make such a pleasing color combination!” — Linda Andress

“A monarch butterfly draws nectar from a lantana tree.” —Chris Woityra

1. E-mail us 1 or 2 of your best garden photos. Be sure to e-mail the full-resolution file. 2. Please include your full name and a caption describing the scene and the plants. We are looking for photos of your garden, both wide-angle and plant close-ups. If your photo is published, we’ll give you a free one-year subscription to Michigan Gardener. E-mail your photos to: photos@MichiganGardener.com.

A spring clematis photographed by Donald Jones.

A massive trumpet flower vine covers an arbor in Tammy Joyce’s garden.



Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

Bright magenta to lavender-pink clusters of buds and flowers occur along dark, leafless stems and branches of redbud trees.

The weeping ‘Covey’ makes a dense umbrella of foliage. continued from back cover Green, smooth, heart-shaped leaves, thin and papery, grow alternately along the branches. Ranging in size from 3 to 5 inches, the leaves color up into a light yellow for a pleasant autumn show. The flat, brown and slender bean pod-like fruits occur in clusters. These 2- to 3-inch seed pods remain throughout the winter, clinging to the branches and stems. At times, in productive flowering years, these pods are so numerous they literally rival the number of leaves during the growing season. Considered either ornamental for winter interest or alternatively obnoxious and unsightly, these pods fall off in late winter or early spring. The bark on young trees and old branches is dark, even black, when wet—a great contrast to the flowers in the spring. Attractive older tree bark becomes brown and scaly with ridges and pinkish to maroon patches.

How to grow Not tolerating wet or water-retentive soils, redbuds will thrive in sandy to clay soils with adequate drainage. Full sun to partial shade will render substantial flowering on the trees aged 4 to 6 years from a seedling size. Organic soil amendments and mulches insure proper establishment of newly planted trees. Spring and early summer is the best time for planting. Fall planting is discouraged, as a long period of warm soil is necessary for good root growth. Redbuds will grow in protected locations into zone 4 and thrive in zone 5. Some varieties selected from southern regions may only be successfully grown from zone 6 southward. Redbuds are relatively trouble free of pests and diseases. Fertile soil, an open growing

‘Floating Clouds’ shows off striking green and white variegation, and is better suited to sunnier locations than other variegated forms.

site, regular watering, and watchful pruning will insure healthy growth, free of pests. In poor growing conditions, verticillium wilt and stem cankers can occur rarely. Other occasional insect pests like scales and tree hoppers can be controlled with horticultural oil sprays. Redbuds can be long-lived trees and surprisingly tolerant of the toxic roots of

black walnut trees. Redbuds can be propagated by nicking the iron-hard seed coat with a file and soaking the seed in warm water overnight. Scarifying with an acid is not easily done by amateurs. Cold stratification of 5 to 8 weeks breaks dormancy for good germination. Most selected cultivars will not produce their ornamental

traits if grown from seed. Seeds from whiteflowering cultivars will produce typical pinkish flowers in the progeny. Likewise, the seedling trees from weeping or variegated varieties will generally exhibit standard redbud trees with typical flowers and foliage. Selected varieties are professionally budded or grafted onto regular seedling tree rootstocks.

MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener


The hybrid ‘Ruby Falls’ inherited its weeping habit from the weeping green ‘Covey,’ and its ruby-purple leaf color from ‘Forest Pansy.’ miniature foliage. A dwarf tree with crinkled leaves describes the variety ‘Little Woody.’ While the rosy-pink flower color is the norm, there are also white-flowering forms. These are referred to as “whitebuds” or “white redbuds.” The latter name is quite the oxymoron! When it comes to the proverbial white, ‘Alba’ is the original. ‘Royal White’ is by far the superior form—vigorous growth, larger and plentiful flowers, and better cold hardiness give it high ranks of desirability. ‘Dwarf White’ is a smaller tree.

Jim Slezinski

‘Forest Pansy’ has become a classic rebud (above), with rich burgundy foliage (below).

Redbuds for foliage

Jim Slezinski

Seedpods are often retained on mature tree trunks just as they are on the branches.

This is evident when suckers (long, vertical, whip-like stems) appear from the base of grafted cultivars. These should be removed, preferably by tearing them off to kill the eye of the bud to prevent further sucker growth. When pruned off, multiple suckers will often reappear at a later date.

Redbuds for flowers Redbud connoisseurs, plant geeks, and collectors will be overjoyed with the plethora of selected varieties now available. Those with typical form, flower and leaf color include ‘Appalachian Red,’ having darker, reddish purple buds with electric pink flowers. ‘Wither’s Pink Charm,’ ‘Pinkbud,’

and ‘Tennessee Pink’ all sport various shades of rosy-pink flowers. The latter has excellent form and branching. ‘Pauline Lily’ has pale, blush pink flowers while ‘Rubye Atkinson’ boasts diminutive pink flowers. The cultivar ‘Flame’ shows off with the same colored double flowers, rated as a zone 6 tree producing few seed pods. Smaller in stature and form with typical flower colors are ‘Ace of Hearts’ at 10 to 12 feet tall and ‘Tom Thumb’ with

There are also desirable redbud varieties with decorative foliage and typical flower color. ‘Silver Cloud’ has distinctive white and green variegated foliage. A newer form, ‘Floating Clouds,’ also with the same variegation, is better suited to sunnier locations without possible leaf scorch. Continuing along the foliage gamut are these with knockout burgundy to purple coloring—real winners! ‘Forest Pansy’ is a front runner, having brilliant upper leaf surface color, while the underside a greenish tone. Good color retention through midsummer is another trait. Burgundy Hearts offers improvements with entire leaf color, lasting longer into the fall and extremely heart-shaped leaves. Turning to another direction in leaf color, ‘Hearts of Gold’ and The Rising Sun both show off with new foliage emerging in bright yellow to golden hues. The latter is often flecked in orange overtones. continued on next page


Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

‘Hearts of Gold’ makes a bright statement with new foliage emerging in bright yellow to golden hues. continued from previous page Lastly, with striking weeping branching, these cultivars complete the roster. Discovered in Ohio, ‘Covey’ (aka Lavender Twist), makes a statement as a contorted, umbrellalike tree. Two additional weepers shine with more bells and whistles: ‘Whitewater,’ with white and green variegated leaves, and ‘Ruby Falls,’ dressed in burgundy foliage. A compact, densely branched subspecies, Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis), has appeared on the landscape scene. Native to Oklahoma and Texas with zone 6 hardiness, three varieties are of high note. Having exceptional ornamental value, all have glossy, waxy, and thicker leathery leaves, which are wavy margined and more blunt than pointed. Topping off are the benefits of heat and drought tolerance. ‘Oklahoma’ flowers are a sparkling rosy, wine-red color. This cultivar will thrive in very sandy soil in full sun. I can

vouch for this, with first-hand experience growing ‘Oklahoma’ in Lake Orion, Michigan (zone 5-6). Another selection, ‘Traveller,’ with similar flowers and foliage, grows with a broad, mounding form and a wide-spreading profile. ‘Texas White,’ is a white-flowering form of ‘Oklahoma.’ As small trees, redbuds are excellent specimens for lawns, landscape shrub borders, and perennial beds. Groups or small groves of several trees can impact the edge of a natural woodland garden. In turn, these will provide needed shade for groundcover plants as well as shade-loving perennials. The cultivars that are compact or have pendulous branches are ideal for planting in courtyards and atriums. Corners of buildings, patios, and decks are great focal points in siting a lovely redbud. Jim Slezinski is the Vice President and Senior Landscape Designer/Horticulturist at Goldner Walsh Garden and Home in Pontiac, MI.

‘Traveller’ is a selection of Texas redbud with thick, glossy, and leathery leaves. It grows with a broad and mounding habit.

MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener

As a small tree, a redbud is an excellent focal point for the corner of a home or specimen for a lawn.


‘Whitewater’ is a hybrid descendant of the green weeping ‘Covey’ and the variegated ‘Silver Cloud.’

Eastern Redbud Botanical name: Cercis canadensis (sur–sis kan–ah–den–sis) Plant type: Small deciduous tree Plant size: 15 to 30 feet tall, 18 to 20 feet wide Growth rate: Fast growth when young, moderate when older Habit: Flat topped, rounded crown, often multi-stemmed, zigzag horizontal branches Hardiness: Zone 5. Some varieties only zone 6. Flowers: Pea-like, 1/2- by 1/2-inch in clusters, reddish-purple buds, rosy-pink flowers, edible Bloom period: Early to mid spring Fruit: Flat, slender brown seedpods (pea-like) in clusters, 2 to 3 inches long Leaves: Green, smooth, heart-shaped, 3 to 5 inches long and wide, yellow fall color Full sun to partial shade Light: Soil: Not particular; sand to clay, provided it has good drainage with organic amendments No supplemental needed, grows with normal precipitation, Water: better dry than too wet Uses: Specimen lawn tree or in natural groves on edge of woodland. In gardens: patio, deck, or corner of building; areas where shade is desired. Remarks: Deer resistant, walnut tree root tolerant; needs some hot direct sun for good flowering; prune by thinning branches for good health; easily naturalized and spreads from seedlings, not invasive. Partial shade is a good spot to highlight the variegated leaves of ‘Silver Cloud.’


Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

Wild Ginger

A superb foliage plant for your shade garden


ild ginger (Asarum) is a genus of low-growing ornamental plants used in shade gardens or as groundcovers. These asarums are referred to as wild gingers, but they are not related to the true ginger (Zingiber officinale), a tropical plant whose roots are the source of the spicy culinary seasoning. Asarums got their common name because their roots have a taste and scent similar to the true ginger. They have been used in the past in folk medicine. But because asarums contain aristolochic acid, a known carcinogen, they should never be used in cooking. The wild gingers are members of the family Aristolochiaceae, which is also home to the Dutchman’s pipe vine (Aristolochia macrophylla). Most have heart-, kidney-, or arrowhead-shaped foliage, which may be

matte-textured, glossy, or variegated. Although asarums are not typically grown for their flowers, many of them do possess uniquely shaped and colored blooms that add to the collector-worthiness of the group. Asarum flowers are typically jugor cup-shaped, quite fleshy, and positioned low to the ground to Karen accommodate the beetles and ants Bovio that pollinate them. Many asarum species have mycorrhizal associations in their native habitats. A mycorrhiza is a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and the roots of a plant. The presence of mycorrhizae improves transport of minerals and nutrients in the plant because the fine filament network of the fungus is more efficient in obtaining nutrients than are

Canadian wild ginger makes an excellent groundcover, spreading by shallow rhizomes in shaded sites with moist soil. A native plant, it is a great choice for a shady garden.

the roots. The relationship is mutually beneficial—the fungus receives sugars that are manufactured by the plant through the process of photosynthesis. The presence of mycorrhizal associations may very well have an impact on gardeners’ success or lack of success with wild gingers, particularly those species that are not native to our region.

Canadian wild ginger Hardy to zone 3, Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense) is native to all states east of the Mississippi River except Florida, and north into Canada. It makes an excellent groundcover, spreading by shallow rhizomes in shaded sites with moist, somewhat acidic soil. It will wilt and suffer in dry soil, and can-

not tolerate full sun. Leaves emerge glossy in spring, but quickly take on a matte finish as the heart-shaped leaves expand to a width of 5 to 6 inches across. It is an excellent choice for Michigan gardeners who would like to use a native plant in the shade garden. Like its relative the Dutchman’s pipe, Canadian wild ginger is a host plant for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly. The red-brown flowers look like the proverbial little brown jug, but you might need to get down on hands and knees to see them. The flowers are crosspollinated by insects or may self-pollinate, resulting in seed formation. The seeds are fertile, but need to be exposed to six weeks of moist, warm conditions, followed by a long period of cold temperatures (in Michigan, that’s called winter!) before germinating the following spring. But it is a lot faster

MichiganGardener.com | April 2017 | Michigan Gardener


European wild ginger leaves are smaller than those of our native wild ginger. The growth habit is also more refined; it grows in dense, compact mats.

The heart-shaped, matte leaves of Canadian wild ginger expand to a width of 5 to 6 inches.

Additional unique wild gingers Asarum arifolium (aka Hexastylis arifolia) – Native to the Southeastern U.S. Dark green, arrowhead-shaped leaves. Generally clump forming, but a selection called ‘Silver Spreader’ is a running form with silver-flushed leaves. Evergreen foliage. Zone 6. Asarum asaroides – Elongated heart-shaped leaves, up to 6 inches long, with misty white patches. Grows 4 inches tall. From Japan, hardy to zone 5b. Asarum forbesii – A Chinese ginger, with green, 3-inch, heart-shaped leaves. Resembles the native A. arifolium, but hardy to zone 5a. Asarum nipponicum – Rounded, silver-speckled leaves. Reportedly one of the hardiest of the Asian wild gingers. From Japan, zone 5a. Asarum takaoi – Diminutive species from Japan with several cultivars available. Small round leaves, variously patterned, on tight clumps only an inch or two tall. Zone 5.

and more efficient to propagate this relatively fast-growing plant by digging, dividing, and replanting pieces of the rhizomes.

European wild ginger Equally easy for Michigan gardeners is European wild ginger (Asarum europaeum). Although asarums are usually thought of as shade plants, I have seen European ginger thriving in sites that receive up to six hours of sun per day, as long as the soil is moist. The foliage is highly ornamental: deep green, highly glossy, and heart shaped. The leaves are smaller than those of our native wild ginger, reaching 2 to 3 inches across. The growth habit is also more refined, with dense compact mats as compared to the more wandering habit of its North American counterpart. It is easy to divide European wild ginger


to propagate it, but it is also quite likely that you will find occasional seedlings that can be allowed to grow or transplanted to another location. One spring I was delighted to find a 6- by 6-inch mass of seedlings, which, when transplanted, yielded over 200 individual plants! This clump of seedlings was found growing several feet from an established planting. I am assuming that grounddwelling insects (or maybe a chipmunk?) carried those seeds from the mother plants and stashed them—a cache for later consumption. For germination, the seed of European continued on next page

European wild ginger foliage is highly ornamental: deep green, heart shaped, and very glossy.


Michigan Gardener | April 2017 | MichiganGardener.com

European wild ginger is a beautiful foliage plant for the woodland garden.

The tight growth habit of European wild ginger makes it a good candidate for an edging plant.

Chinese wild ginger is one of the most striking species of Asarum. continued from previous page wild ginger has the same need for moist warmth followed by cold. This time-consuming germination requirement is perhaps a disincentive for nurseries to grow it. Why else would such a beautiful and undemanding groundcover be so hard to find in nurseries?

Other wild gingers Granted, European wild ginger may be hard to find, but even rarer are the many exotic species which hail from Japan, China and Korea. The best way to obtain them is through specialist nurseries or online. Be aware that most of these are not as easy to grow as Canadian or European wild ginger. Even though many are hardy in zone 5, they suffer in the hot, humid, sometimes droughty Midwestern summers because their native

environs are the moist, high mountainous regions in Asia. Many of the unique species of asarum are pricey; site them carefully so you don’t lose money on your investment!

Chinese wild ginger This Asian species (Asarum splendens) has found a happy home in Midwestern gardens. It is one of the most beautiful species, with dark green, glossy, arrowhead-shaped leaves, variously spotted with silver. It has a fairly rapid growth rate, spreading by rhizomes. Like all of the wild gingers, it is deer resistant. Chinese wild ginger makes a beautiful companion for other shade plants like ferns and hostas. Fortunately, it is becoming more available in the nursery trade. Karen Bovio is the owner of Specialty Growers in Howell, MI.

Chinese wild ginger boasts dark green, glossy, arrowhead-shaped leaves, which are variously spotted with silver.

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plant focus

Eastern redbud T

outed by many as one of the most beautiful native American flowering trees, the redbud glows with its flowers, ushering in spring during April and May. Throughout our woodlands and fields, the colorful pea-like flowers announce the onset of warm weather in most of the eastern United States, southeastern Ontario, and spreading its range westward into Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma, its state tree. The redbud’s botanical name, Cercis canadensis, comes from the Greek word kerkis (shuttle) due to the seedpods mimicking a Jim weaver’s shuttle. And Slezinski the species name, canadensis, ironically comes from the Canadian location, the smallest area of the entire range of this tree!

The flowers Black, 1/8-inch flower buds form during late fall and spend the winter on branches. The outstanding spring display of bright magenta to lavender-pink clustered buds and flowers along the dark, leafless stems,

Jim Slezinski

A group of redbud trees provides a stunning spring display along the edge of a natural woodland garden. In turn, they will provide needed shade for groundcover plants as well as shade-loving perennials.

Jim Slezinski

The flowers of ‘Oklahoma’ redbud are a sparkling rosy color.

branches, and even the trunks of this deciduous tree is unforgettable. In naturally occurring groves, this is especially so. As the individual 1/2- by 1/2–inch flowers expand, they become rosy-purple and pink gems, hugging the stems. The common name redbud is misleading as there are no true redcolored flowers. Pollinator bees and earlyarriving hummingbirds feed on their nectar. These showy flowers, being in the legume family, are edible. Eaten by Native Americans, fresh or boiled and fried, they are also a delicacy served by Mexican chefs. The flowers contain anthocyanins, strong and beneficial antioxidants. With the taste of peas, they are a perfect addition to a spring salad.

P H OTO G R A P H S BY E R I C H O F L E Y/ M I C H I G A N G A R D E N E R (unless otherwise noted)

The tree Redbud grows as an understory tree in mixed hardwood forests and in full open sun with a distinct zigzag branching pattern. A relatively fast grower, it can attain heights of 15 to 30 feet, spreading with a rounded top from 18 to 20 feet. The growth of young trees can be so vigorous that some stems and branches can shoot up to 10 feet vertically in one growing season. Considered a small tree, many times ap-

pearing multi-stemmed in nature, the mature form is densely branched. When in full leaf, older redbuds cast a heavy shade if the branches are not thinned out. With such a dramatic and graceful architectural structure to the branching, mature redbuds create “living sculptures” in the landscape when in bloom. Residents of the Appalachian Mountains use the green twigs when cooking to season venison and wild game. So colloquially, redbuds are referred to as “spicewood” trees. For the most part redbuds are deer resistant; only seldom do deer browse on the flowers. Leaves, twigs and seedpods are left intact. continued on page 32