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The Kansas City

GARDENER A M o n thly Guide t o S u cc essfu l G a rdenin g

April 2012

Land of the Giants

April is Safe Digging Month Where Plants Come From Plan for Bees in Your Garden Pushy Violets, Shy Caterpillars & Flashy Adults

Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle... Do You Have A Boring Backyard And In Search of a Backyard Paradise? If So, Here’s Why You Need To Contact Swan’s Water Gardens Today!


ere’s why you should have Swan’s Water Gardens build your water garden paradise in your backyard.

Located on 2 acres in southern Johnson Co. is where you’ll find Swan’s Water Gardens. Where we live and breathe the “Water Garden Lifestyle” everyday.

First, we’ve been building and maintaining Water Gardens for over 17 years now. Over those 17 years our pond building techniques have been honed to perfection through years of hard work and fine tuning.

It’s where we specialize in backyard living and help others do the same by creating beautiful water gardens in their backyards.

Although our ponds appear as though anyone could duplicate them, nothing could be further from the truth.

Nowhere will you find anyone more dedicated to creating paradise in your backyard with water gardens than Swan’s Water Gardens.

In reality our ponds are built to exacting standards by experienced pond builders, under the watchful eye and direction of veteran pond builder Kevin Swan.

ome with us on an exciting journey and discover the ultimate Water Garden destination. A place where you can experience first hand what “Living In Paradise” is really like.

Learn the proven ways we use everyday in caring for and maintaining our water gardens. Water Gardens built correctly are much less maintenance than the same amount of grass and they’re so much more exciting. Has anyone ever invited you to sit and enjoy the grass in their backyard. Sounds exciting doesn’t it. But wait till you see their reaction when they see a water garden in your backyard! There’s just something magical about the sound of water in nature. Calm sets in and nature takes over.


Not only will you marvel at the precision of the excavation of your pond but you’ll be amazed at how well your finished water garden actually blends into your existing landscape. Once the excavation is complete the true artistry of the building process begins. It’s also where our secrets to (building ponds that don’t leak) are revealed and the reason we stand behind our water gardens with a written five year guarantee. The longest guarantee in the industry.


ake your plans to visit Swan’s Water Gardens in 2012.

You’ll see water features you can build for as little as $295.00 for small patios or courtyards. We also have many more display gardens ranging in price from $2,500.00 up to $40,000.00 for more elaborate features built by Swan’s Water Gardens. We also have many exciting events scheduled for 2012 so be sure to watch for them in the upcoming issues of The Kansas City Gardener. Remember, we carry everything you need for your Water Gardens. Pumps, liners, underlayment, filtration systems, hose, fish, aquatic plants, lilies, lotus and garden accessories. Come shop in paradise with the pond professionals at Swan’s Water Gardens. Where we don’t just sell you products like the internet companies do, we actually show you how they work in our water gardens.

Swan’s Water Gardens 20001 S. Padbury Lane, Spring Hill, KS 66083 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm • Sat 9am-4pm • 913-592-2143

The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Will this matter a year from now?

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Lauren Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Leah Berg Betsy Betros Alan Branhagen Tom DePaepe Barbara Fairchild Diane & Doc Gover Dan Heims Kylo Heller Lenora Larson Ken O’Dell Stephen Painter Dennis Patton Mary Roduner Diane Swan Brent Tucker Bette Waldens Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

P.O. Box 8725 Prairie Village, KS 66208 Phone/Fax: 913-648-4728 For advertising information contact Michael Cavanaugh at Submit editorial questions to Elizabeth Cavanaugh at

Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 47. April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener


n Richard Carlson’s book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, he writes, “Ask yourself this question: “Will this matter a year from now?” It’s seems this question is directed towards adults. As adults, we have the advantage of perspective, the ability to look back over time and see that much happens in a year and much of it is inconsequential. When you’re 16 years old, however, you don’t have that advantage of perspective. Everything that happens is urgent and life altering. Case in point, our youngest who turned 16 in December was faced with getting a job. You see, the life plan we lay out for our children clearly states that when you turn 16, it’s time to get your driver’s license and a part-time job. Since she’s been driving with a parent for two years, getting the driver’s license was no problem. Getting a job was another story. Now before you start writing letters to me about my parenting skills or lack thereof, remember this is a gardening magazine. I don’t give parenting or gardening advice. Since I’m a novice in both areas, I leave that to the professionals. What I share is what happens in our family, and in the garden — the

successes and the failures. Of course, only time will reflect our success or lack thereof. Anyway, it seems that a faceto-face conversation with an adult other than her parent was her biggest fear. “What do I say?” “What if they say they aren’t hiring?” “How do I know who to talk to?” After a little role play, she and I worked out the kinks and she was on her way. She was gone less than an hour, and I received a text, “OMGOMGOMG. I got the job!” When she returned home, she admitted that the process of getting a job was easier than the drama in her head. And a year from now, the process will be a distant memory. I’ve had the same experience in the garden. The first time I tried to garden in the Midwest clay, I almost broke down in tears. “What do I do?” “Who do I ask for help?” “What if they think I’m stupid?” The truth is, as beginner gardeners, we all worry about getting it right. We do our research.

We ask questions. We compare notes with fellow gardeners. And sometimes we get anxious about weather, and stressed about the amount of work to be done. Then I remember Carlson’s question: Will this matter a year from now? For me, the answer is no. Success or failure in the garden won’t matter a year from now. What will matter is how I spent my time, was I kind to a stranger, did I love well, and did I share the garden bounty. Speaking of getting things right, last month we made a mistake. In Mary Roduner’s feature about Wanted Dead (March 2012, page 31), we incorrectly placed a photo of lady beetle larvae instead of aphids. Gardening can be confusing enough without us making errors like that. We apologize to Mary and to you, dear readers, for any confusion this caused. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue April 2012 • Vol. 17 No. 4 April Safe Digging Month ......... 4 Rose Report ............................. 6 Ask the Experts ........................ 8 Before You Prune ..................... 10 GN: Jacob’s Ladder ................. 11 Mulch to create WOW ............ 12 Terrariums ............................... 13 Plan for Bees .......................... 15 Aquatic Plants ......................... 18 Mole Control ........................... 22 Land of the Giants ................... 24

about the cover ...

Where Plants Come From ......... 27 Pushy Violets, Shy Caterpillars .. 28 The Bird Brain ......................... 29 Just Enough Math .................... 30 Soil Test Interpretations ............. 35 Shrubs of Sugar & Spice .......... 36 Garden Calendar .................... 38 Upcoming Events ..................... 39 Hotlines .................................. 42 Wanted Alive .......................... 43 Professional’s Corner ................ 47

See more giant hosta like ‘Brother Stefan’ starting on page 24.


36 3

April is Safe Digging Month


pring is finally here! It’s getting warm and the trees are starting to show some green, eager homeowners like you are ready to start those outdoor digging projects. Before you reach for that shovel and start digging, remember to call 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” number, to ensure that your buried utility lines are marked. Damaging an underground line can result in injuries, expensive repair costs, legal fees and outages. Landscaping your yard, installing a culvert, building a fence or even installing a mailbox requires that you call in to have the utilities marked before beginning your work. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, necessitates a call to your Missouri or Kansas One Call center. Notifying your state One Call center will allow the utilities to mark their underground facilities permitting your excavation to safely proceed.

An underground utility line is damaged by digging once every three minutes. One out of every three facilities damaged is the result of not notifying the One Call center to have the facilities marked prior to digging. Using your Missouri and Kansas One Call System is free of charge, and you can process your request 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It

only takes a few minutes to complete the process of notifying the utilities of your intent to dig.

go online to or Our operators will map the dig site from excavator information and notify the utilities that have facilities in the area. 2. The utilities will respond by marking their facilities or notifying you that they have no facilities at the dig site. The utilities will mark the facilities that they own, usually up to the meter. 3. Once all the utilities have responded, work can then safely proceed, avoiding damages. There are over 20 million miles of underground facilities buried in the United States. Never dig without knowing where the underground lines are located.

Here’s how your One Call System works: 1. 3 working days before you begin your work, place a locate request. In Missouri, call 1-800-DIG-RITE or in Kansas, call1-800-DIG-SAFE or 811 or

To place your free notification: In Missouri, call 1-800-DIGRITE or 811 or go online at www. In Kansas, call 1-800–DIGSAFE or 811 or go on-line at www.

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Family Tree Nieman A seed was planted 32 years ago with

the opening of Family Tree Nursery Nieman. In a community rich in horticultural history, they put down roots and started to grow something special. Family Tree Nursery

Nieman has worked hard to become your trusted source for gardening knowledge, plants and services.

Well, another chapter has begun; something new has emerged. An inspiring, modern

garden center built upon the tough root stock of hard work and tradition.

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April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

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Rose Report

Charles Anctil


ere is a refresher on spray programs. Very seldom do I ever get Powdery Mildew, and only in October. Sometimes, Black Spot does try to mess me up, but not as much as it used to. Cool nights, warm days, low humidity and dry leaves bring on powdery mildew. Warm temperatures, high humidity and wet leaves bring on black spot. The nastiest and meanest disease is Downy Mildew. Downy mildew occurs anytime when temperatures are between 60-70 degrees and moisture is high – 85% + humidity. Disease can appear almost overnight and a severe break out can take off before steps are taken. Often the leaves are still green and just fall off when you brush against the plants. Breezes and wind easily move spores from plant to plant, but are your best ally in preventing downy mildew outbreaks since they improve air circulation around plants. Research has shown the most effective fungicides for downy mildew include Mancozeb, Fore, Dithane and Alliette.

For Black spot and Powdery Mildew you can use Ortho Rose Pride, Ortho Garden Disease Control, Bonide Infuse, Spectracide Immunox. Rotate your fungicides – do not use the same products all the time. Diseases will build up an immunity just like insects do. Add Spreader Sticker (Gordon’s) to your spray. Also check out Indicate -5. Indicate 5 performs five basic functions for more effective spray combinations. It acidifies the spray solution, buffers (sets acidic limit) makes water wetter, is compatible with various spray combinations, and reduces drift of spray material. Messenger and Green Guard Plant Growth Stimulator are identical in every detail except the name. I checked the labels on both products to make sure, even the price is the same. Don’t forget David Austin roses as possibilities for your yard. They are good growers, hardy, heavy bloomers, require less care, and are quite fragrant. Works for me – maybe this will work for you too. See you next month. Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. If you need help, call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-2331223.

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Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton TREE PLANTING PRACTICES Question: Why are people planting trees and practically setting the root ball on top of the soil then add a thick pile of mulch around the tree including the trunk. This encourages the trees to root out in the mulch and stay on top of the ground. I have noticed this planting method in the last few years. I think they should change their way of planting. Answer: You are observant and ask a great question that doesn’t have a short answer but here are some of the reasons as I see it.

1. Honestly many people do not know how to plant trees. The industry concluded that one of the major killers of young trees was planting too deeply. So people did just the opposite, and raised the planting ball to avoid deep planting. 2. Trees are improperly grown in production. Larger trees are field grown like any other crop. During cultivation soil is thrown against the trunk, giving a false soil line. So when planting people elevate the root ball to overcome this poor production practice. 3. During periods of wet springs or wet soil conditions planting high was recommended to avoid excess moisture. Young tree roots need higher soil levels of oxygen. Planting deeply and poor drainage in our higher clay soils pretty much kills trees. Raising the planting


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most cases people don’t follow up after planting and just write a check. The only way this is going to change is to not hire these firms and stand up to their poor planting practices.

ball decreases excess moisture and increases oxygen thus helping the tree survive. 4. Lazy planting methods, it is easier, quicker and more cost effective to dig a shallow hole which equals higher profits. 5. Lastly, planting high based on the other factors above almost always ensures that the tree will outlive the warranty which means the firm that planted the tree is not on the hook for replacement cost. So there is no easy answer except to say if I hired the firm to plant trees in this manner, I would have a serious discussion. But in

LAWN TROUBLES Question: I am excited to see signs of spring and am seeking guidance to rejuvenate my Olathe yard. Several issues collide to make my backyard unattractive. The small shaded area is surrounded by a wood fence to contain my two small breed dogs. The tree roots have risen above soil level which has complicated any effort to aerate. I seed heavily and unfortunately even though I can water and get germination, the roots don’t penetrate sufficiently to withstand my playful pups. Any suggestions would be appreciated? Answer: Trust me when I say you are not alone with these problems. The biggest problem is the shade. No matter what people tell you, there is no durable shade tolerant grass for the Kansas City area. If the grass does have good shade tolerance it does not withstand our heat and drought conditions. The

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NON-FLOWERING AMARYLLIS Question: I have some amaryllis that will not flower. I have had them for a number of years and I do everything by the book. I bring them out of dormancy in late winter then move outside for the summer before returning to the basement for the winter months. But the last couple of years all I get are foliage. Any ideas of what I might be doing wrong? Answer: Sounds like you are treating the bulbs in the correct manner. Here are a couple of suggestions. One is to fertilize on a regular basis during the summer growth phase. The simplest would

be to just use a common houseplant fertilizer following label rates. The goal is to grow green leaves to make energy for the plant so a healthy diet should help. The second recommendation would be to replant. Potting soil breaks down over time. If these are healthy my hunch is there are multiple bulbs in the pot. The ideal time to divide and repot amaryllis is when bringing out of dormancy. Knock the bulb out of the pot and remove as much of the old potting soil as possible. Break off the smaller bulbs and repot separately. Amaryllis likes to be a little crowded so select a pot about 1 inch larger than the bulb. Replant with about half the bulb above the soil line. Hopefully the combination of fresh potting soil and a healthy diet will build back the energy for great flowers next spring. MINI ROSE CARE Question: After Valentine’s Day I purchased a miniature rose on sale. For weeks the plant bloomed like crazy. Now that spring is arriving can I plant it outside? Answer: Potted miniature roses are a great plant to beckon the arrival of spring. Roses grown in greenhouses for pot culture are bred for this purpose and not necessarily to survive in the outdoors. What that means is will it tolerate heat and flower dependably under real outdoor conditions. Rarely do they list a variety and any information about winter hardiness. So will it even survive outdoors over the winter? But do you really have anything to lose except a little time

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and effort. Go ahead and plant outdoors either in the ground or a container. Time will tell whether or not this is a wise investment of time. I know it is difficult for a gardener but the other option is to discard the plant as it sounds like you enjoyed your investment and maybe we should think of this plant more as a bouquet of flowers instead of a living plant. NO FALL CROP OF EDIBLE POD PEAS Question: I love growing the sugar snap or edible pod peas in my spring garden. They are so fresh and tasty that I would like to extend the harvest season. Since they like to grow in the cool of the spring can I also plant a fall crop?


end result is no grass at the end of the growing season and mostly bare soil. People overseed in the fall, get a great stand but then it slowly dies out over the summer as the tree leaves shade the lawn. In your case you have the double whammy of shade and pet traffic. Even small dogs can compact and wear out the turf. I fully understand this issue as our lovable Wheaton, Clancy, has a figure eight track in our backyard. So what to do is the question. The best answer although not popular is to give up the idea of growing grass in this shady area. My best recommendation is to cover the area with a nice 3 to 4 inch layer of wood chip mulch. The advantage of this is that it holds the soil, covers the surface roots, and has a somewhat pleasing appearance. The other options are even less palatable — those are to cut down the trees and get rid of the family dogs.

Answer: The answer is short and sweet, no. Peas are a great spring crop but due to several factors such as high soil temperatures when planting and establishing normally results in a poor crop. If you do try, I would recommend soaking the seeds overnight to start the germination process and plant them deeper in the soil. Seeding would probably be in mid-August. Many other spring salad crops such as lettuce, spinach, radishes and broccoli do great in the fall but peas and onions just won’t produce. Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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Before You Prune By Bette Waldens


he word “pruning” strikes fear in the hearts of many homeowners. For some, cutting branch off a tree or shrub feels like an amputation. Don’t let it scare you. Consider pruning to be similar to a haircut or manicure. We know it will look and feel so much better after it’s done – we has sprung and just have to have the confidence to we are blooming make a snip here or a pinch there. at these locations. And before you know it, a transformation has taken place. Just as 2351 N. 400 Rd. • Edgerton, KS • Hours: 9am-6pm, Mon.-Sat. • Sun. noon-4pm you wouldn’t decide to try a new 2 miles west of Edgerton on Hwy 56 • to County Line, 2 miles north 1/2 west hair-do by dropping into the nearShawnee Location • 5920 County Line Rd., KCK • 913-375-1335 est salon and telling an unknown Nieman and County Line Rd. • Mon.-Sat. 9am-6pm • Sun. noon-4pm stylist to just have at it, trimming a plant requires some thought, planKCMO Farmers Market Location, 3rd & Walnut, Saturday only ning and consideration of the overStall 50 across (west) from the Arabian all texture, age and basic nature of the landscape. Just as you might research a new hair style to assess whether it suits you and your lifestyle, so should you spend the time researching each plant you plan to trim with a Randy’s pair of pruners or loppers. Does this shrub bloom on new wood (the current year’s growth) or old wood? Does it bloom in spring or fall? Is it deciduous (losing its leaves in the fall) or evergreen? Does Dirt • Rock • Mulch • Pavers • Retaining Wall • Flagstone • Wall Stone it grow rapidly or slowly? Time spent learning about your plant’s traits will be time well spent. It will prevent you from making the same type of impulsive, poorly RANDY’S conceived decision that many of us have experienced with our hair.


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To avoid post-trimming remorse, pause to plan your strategy. Hair can’t be glued back on and neither can branches. And while our hair grows back, sometimes pruning too harshly and at the wrong time, can spell the death of a beautiful plant. Why must we prune our plants? We don’t live in forests or wide open prairies anymore. Our yards are mostly small plots of land that must serve multiple purposes: recreation, food production, and enhancement of “curb appeal”. Proper maintenance in the form of well-planned, regular trimming will enhance our property’s value and promote longer lived and healthier plants. The necessity for pruning can be reduced or even eliminated by selecting the proper plant for the location. Plants that might grow too large for the site, are not well-suited for the growing conditions, or that don’t age gracefully, should be avoided. However, even the most wonderful plants often require a little pruning. There are many books, websites and publications on pruning. Take your time to identify your plant and do the research needed. Know what, when and how to trim. Spend time in a hands-on class with a professional. Your plant will appreciate the care. Bette Waldens is a Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City intern.

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Grow Native! Plant Profile Jacob’s Ladder tundra. The flowers attract a variety of bees — primarily honeybees, but also bumblebees, Mason bees and several others. It also attracts various butterflies and skippers. One thing it does not attract is deer. Historically the roots have Barbara Fairchild been used for kidney troubles and as a diuretic. Other Polemonium pring is a time of glory species have been used to treat in Missouri’s woodlands. dysentery, toothaches and animal Colorful flowers carpet the bites. The scientific name may be landscape, making it come alive related to these medicinal uses, as with delicate beauty. Among these some sources say the plant was spring beauties is Jacob’s ladder named after the herbalist and heal(Polemonium reptans). Look for er Polemon of Cappadocia. Other Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation. its bell-shaped flowers (about two sources say the name stems from thirds of an inch in diameter) beginthe Greek work polemos, which summer, cut them off and new ones To find sources of native ning in April and lasting into May. means war. plants, click on Buyer’s Guide. will grow back quickly. And one The plant will be covered in blooms We don’t need to know the more tip: the plant may re-bloom that may include shades of pink, origin of the name to enjoy this in early summer if deadheaded in Barbara Fairchild is the communiblue or lavender blue in clusters on plant. We do need to know Aprilspring. cations specialist for Grow Native, sprawling stems. Fine lines run the May is the time to take a hike in For more information about a program of Missouri Department length of the petal — could they be the woods and find Jacob’s ladder native plants, visit www.grownaof Conservation. markers for bees? Bloom period is in its natural setting. If you want three to four weeks. Then flowers to create your own spring garden BALM BASIL BAY LAUREL BURNET CALENDULA CATNIP CHAM are replaced by rounded capsules and eliminate the need for a trip to OMILE CHERVIL CHIVES CILANRO CURRY DILL EUCALYPTUS containing three cells that contain the woods, consider using Jacob’s  FENNEL GALLIUM HYSSOP LAVENDER LEMON GRASS MARJOR numerous seeds. While the flowers ladder in a partially shaded area of AM MINT OREGANO PARSLEY PATCHOULI PENNYROYAL ROSE are eye-catching, it’s the leaf struca rock garden or a naturalized area. MARY RUE SAGE SANTOLINA SAVORY SCENTED GERANIUM SO ture that gives the plant its common It prefers moist, organically rich, REL STEVIA TARRAGON THYME LEMON VERBENA BALM BASIL  name. Successive pairs of opposite well-drained soil and part shade. BAY LAUREL BURNET CALENDULA CATNIP CHAMOMILE CHERVIL leaves are said to resemble a ladder It tolerates full sun with adequate  CHIVES CILANRO CURRY DILL EUCALYPTUS FENNEL GALLIUM and what ladder is better known moisture, but can melt away in hot,  HYSSOP LAVENDER LEMON GRASS MARJORAM MINT OREGA NO PARSLEY PATCHOULI PENNYROYAL ROSEMARY RUE SAG than Jacob’s biblical ladder with dry conditions. Thursday, May GERANIUM SOREL STEVIA TAR 3 | 4 - 7 pm E SANTOLINA SAVORY SCENTED  angels ascending to heaven. Another need to know: the plant RAGON THYME LEMON  VERBENA BALM BASIL BAY  LAUREL BU Preview Sale for FOTA Members In Missouri, Jacob’s ladreadily self-seeds when planted in RNET CALENDULA CATNIP CHAMOMILE CHERVIL CHIVES CILAN Join at any time during the sale - receive 10% member discount! der typically is found in rich, optimum growing conditions. This RO CURRY DILL EUCALYPTUS FENNEL GALLIUM HYSSOP LAVE moist woods and along streams could be a curse or a blessing NDER LEMON GRASS MARJORAM MINT OREGANO PARSLEY P Fri. & Sat., May 4 - 5 | 9 am - 5 pm throughout the state — except for depending on where it is. ATCHOULI PENNYROYAL ROSEMARY RUE SAGE SANTOLINA SA the far northeastern counties, which Finally, here is a tip from Mervin VORY SCENTED GERANIUM SOREL STEVIA TARRAGON THYME  are sometimes called the Missouri Wallace: If leaves wear out in LEMON VERBENA BALM BASIL BAY LAUREL BURNET CALENDUL A CATNIP CHAMOMILE CHERVIL CHIVES CILANRO CURRY DILL  EUCALYPTUS FENNEL GALLIUM HYSSOP LAVENDER LEMON GR ASS MARJORAM MINT OREGANO PARSLEY PATCHOULI PENNY ROYAL ROSEMARY RUE SAGE SANTOLINA SAVORY SCENTED G ERANIUM SOREL STEVIA TARRAGON THYME LEMON VERBENA  150 varieties BALM BASIL BAY LAUREL BURNET CALENDULA CATNIP CHAM v Three cutting edges OMILE CHERVIL CHIVES CILANRO CURRY DILL EUCALYPTUS Every herb you ever dreamed of growing  FENNEL GALLIUM HYSSOP LAVENDER LEMON GRASS MARJOR v Cuts weeds in 3 directions Free Herb Demonstrations 12:30 pm both days AM MINT OREGANO PARSLEY PATCHOULI PENNYROYAL ROSE v Kills weeds fast MARY RUE SAGE SANTOLINA SAVORY SCENTED GERANIUM SO v Protects your soil REL STEVIA TARRAGON THYME LEMON VERBENA BALM BASIL  v Better than chemicals BAY LAUREL BURNET CALENDULA CATNIP CHAMOMILE CHERVIL FRIENDS OF THE ARBORETUM  CHIVES CILANRO CURRY DILL EUCALYPTUS FENNEL GALLIUM  v Self-sharpening HYSSOP LAVENDER LEMON GRASS MARJORAM MINT OREGAN v Pays for itself quickly O PARSLEY PATCHOULI PENNYROYAL ROSEMARY RUE SAGE S 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 at 179th & Antioch v It doesn’t cost, it pays ANTOLINA SAVORY SCENTED  GERANIUM SOREL STEVIA TARRA SuperWeeder Co., Shawnee, KS 913-685-3604 • VERBENA BALM BASIL BAY  complete plant list at v Wider blade more effective GON THYME LEMON  LAUREL BURNE To order, call 913-422-5311. T CALENDULA CATNIP CHAMOMILE CHERVIL CHIVES CILANRO  CURRY DILL EUCALYPTUS FENNEL GALLIUM HYSSOP LAVENDER 11 April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener  LEMON GRASS MARJORAM MINT OREGANO PARSLEY PATCHO ULI PENNYROYAL ROSEMARY RUE SAGE SANTOLINA SAVORY  SCENTED GERANIUM SOREL STEVIA TARRAGON THYME LEMON



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Open to the Public

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Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Mulch is a simple, inexpensive way to create a ‘wow’ landscape

Tom DePaepe


othing dresses up a landscape quite like mulch. I consider it a simple, finishing touch that can make any landscape ‘pop.’ Mulching around trees and landscape beds helps define spaces in your lawn and gives your house polished curb appeal. In addition to its aesthetic benefits, mulch has many cultural benefits as well. When it comes to mulching trees and shrubs, the benefits are great. Mulch stabilizes soil moisture and soil temperature. Additionally, as

the mulch breaks down, it provides nutrients for the plants it surrounds; this process is much like what happens in a natural forest. In fact, you can think of mulch as ‘artificial forest floor.’ When mulching around trees, avoid what is called a ‘mulch volcano.’ The mulch should start at least an inch from the trunk of the tree and extend out toward the edges of the canopy. A properly mulched tree has a mulch ring that extends further out than most people think. Mulch can also be used to dress up landscape beds. Rather than just mulching around the plants in the bed, take it up a notch by ‘cutting in’ the bed. You can use a bed edger for this task, or simply a flat sided shovel. You will cut a small trench into the soil in a long arc. (Avoid cutting a bed that has a wavy edge; long arcs look much better.) Once you are finished cutting your bed,

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extend your mulch up to and in the trench. Take a step back and look at the lawn. You will notice this step really defines the boundaries of your landscape beds and gives them a finished look. In my front yard, I prefer dark brown mulch. This contrasts nicely with the green grass and really sets off the lawn. In the back yard, I had a little fun with my landscape beds. Extending roughly three feet from the back fence line, I cut a landscape bed the entire width of the backyard. Rather than planting low growing shrubs in a line, I planted a variety of trees in groups of three. I also mulched with coarser, less refined mulch from the chipper truck of our pruning department. Not only do I have to mow less, but I appreciate looking out from my patio and seeing my own little urban forest. As the years go by, I will add groundcovers and other shadeloving plants to create an understory and round out the plantings. Wood mulch can come from a variety of sources; wood pallet recycling, lumber mill recycling, land clearing and even tree pruning operations. All these processes involve recycling, so rather than taking up space in landfills these products provide better growing environments for plants. The mulch is dyed to offer homeowners variety; colors range from the traditional browns and reds, to the unique (blue). Early spring is the perfect time to add mulch to your land-


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scape, or to top dress existing mulched areas with fresh wood chips. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive landscape improvement that can have a lot of impact on how your lawn looks, while also providing some cultural benefits for your trees and shrubs. One last tip: if you have a large area you want to mulch, get unrefined wood chips from a pruning company for your base layer and top dress with one to two inches of finer, dyed mulch. You’ll save money, and no one will know the difference. Tom DePaepe is an ISA certified arborist, #MW-4838A, and consulting arborist with Ryan Lawn & Tree. He can be reached at 913381-1505.

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Terrariums: Miniature Landscapes ent (soil-less) soil mixtures can be used. Some people make their own using peat moss, sphagnum moss, perlite, ground coconut husk, and charcoal in various amounts and mixtures. A packaged soil-less conBrent Tucker tainer mix, like an African Violet mix, will work fine. At this point errariums are a popular way some people like to use a charcoal to grow and show plants in layer between the drainage layer beautiful containers to decoand soil layer. This layer is said rate the home or office. You can to help soak up impurities, but choose from a variety of containI’ve had good results without using ers, plants, and embellishments to it. So it’s up to the judgment of make your own artistic creations. the person making the terrarium of their size. Cactus and succulents sun. If condensation develops on whether or not to use charcoal. should not be used in enclosed conthe sides of your terrarium simply HOW TO BUILD YOUR TERRARIUM Step 5. Choose plants with diftainers, but rather, open ones. tilt the lid of the container and Step 1. Choose your containferent heights, colors, and textures leave ajar for several days to allow Have fun creating a natural ers. All sorts of glass or plastic to create your terrarium. Remember evaporation. This can be done after work of art! I bet you can’t make containers can be used, even old that odd numbers of plants look just one! watering your terrarium to allow aquariums. Remember, larger conaesthetically pleasing. If needed, excess moisture to escape. Feed tainers allow plants to grow and trim the bottom half of the plant’s with a very diluted water-soluble Brent Tucker has been growyou can use containers with or root ball a bit to make it fit into ing plants for 20 years. He is fertilizer only occasionally. Trim without lids. the shallow soil layer. Decide on the Tropical Plant Manager at plants when needed if they grow Step 2. Place in the bottom a the arrangement of your plants and too large. Some plants may have to Heartland Nursery and Garden one- to two-inch layer of pea gravplant them into your soil layer. Center, Kansas City, Mo. be replaced at some point because el, stones or marbles. This creates a Lightly water the plants in. drainage layer. Step 6. Decorations can now be Step 3. Trim to fit a piece of added such as driftwood, lichens, ABIQUA DRINKING GOURD ALLEGAN FOG ANN KULPA ATLANTIS A acrylic felt or fiberglass window mosses, shells, figurines, etc. UGUST MOON AUTUMN FROST BABY BUNTING BEHEMOTH BIG DAD screen and place on top of the Viola! You have createdDY BIGFOOT BITSY  a GOLD BLUE ANGEL BLUE HAWAII BLUE MAMMO drainage layer. This creates a diviterrarium. TH BLUE MOUSE EARS BLUE UMBRELLA BLUEBERRY WAFFLES BRIDE sion between the drainage layer GROOM BROTHER STEFAN CAMEO CAPTAIN KIRK CAT AND MOUSE  and the soil layer. The felt can be TERRARIUM CARE CAT’S EYE CHARTREUSE WIGGLES CHEATIN HEART CHERRY BERRY C purchased at a hobby store and the Remember that enclosed terrarHESAPEAKE BAY CHINESE SUNRISE CHRISTMAS TREE COCONUT CUST ARD COLOR GLORY CORKSCREW CRACKER CRUMBS CURLY FRIES C screen can be bought at your local iums only need occasional water. EDGE DESIGNER GENES DIAMOND TIARA DORSET BLUE DRA hardware store. Use small amounts of waterUTTING  to GON  TAILS EARTH  ANGEL EL NINO EMERALD TIARA FANTASY ISLAN Step 4. Place several inches of avoid flooding the terrarium. Place Thursday, May 3 | 4 - 7MATE FRAGRANT  pm D FIRE  ISLAND FIREWORKS FIRST  FROST FIRST  BL soil in your container. Many differin bright indirect light, but no direct Preview Sale forWILLIAMS GARDEN  FOTA Members UE FRAGRANT  BOUQUET FRANCES  PARTY GINK O CRAIG GOLD  TIARA GONE  Join atDROP GOLD  any time during STANDARD GOLDEN  the sale - receive 10% member discount! WITH  THE WIND GOODNESS GRACIOUS GRAND PRIZE GRAND TIARA GRE Fri. & Sat., May 4 - 5 | 9ANGEL HACKSAW HAD am - 5 pm AT EXPECTATIONS GUACAMOLE GUARDIAN  SPEN SAMPHIRE HALCYON HANKY PANKY HAPPY DAYZ HEART AN We have everything you need from Azaleas to Zinnias. D SOUL HEAT WAVE HEAVENLY TIARA HER EYES WERE BLUE HI HO SIL VER HOLLYWOOD LIGHTS HOLY MOLE HYUGA URAJIRO INNISWOO D IRISH LUCK ISLAND CHARM ITSY BITSY SPIDER JUNE JUST SO KAT SURAGAWA BENI KEY WEST KING TUT KOMODO DRAGON KROSSA  REGAL LAKESIDE DOWN SIZED LAKESIDE ELFIN FIRE LAKESIDE PEBB LES LAKESIDE RIPPLES LAKESIDE SHOREMASTER LAKESIDE SPELLBI DENR R NDER LAKESIDE ZINGER LANCIFOLIA LAST DANCE LIBERTY LOVE PA GA NTE E T MANHATTAN MARILYN MONROE MARY MARIE ANN MAY MIDWE C ST MAGIC MIGHTY MOUSE MISS SUSIE MISSISSIPPI DELTA MONTAN A AUREOMARGINATA MORNING LIGHT NEPTUNE NIGRESCENS NIP PERS NORTHERN EXPOSURE OLD GLORY OLIVE BAILEY LANGDON O N STAGE ONE MAN’S TREASURE ORANGE MARMALADE PANDORA’S  BOX PARADIGM PATRIOT PAUL’S GLORY PINEAPPLE PUNCH PINEA PPLE UPSIDEDOWN CAKE PLANTAGINEA APHRODITE PLATINUM  TIA FRIENDS OF THE ARBORETUM RA POPCORN POPO PRAYING HANDS PRESTIGE AND PROMISE RAI gorgeous plants, wonderful staff, unique garden store NFOREST SUNRISE RED OCTOBER REGAL SPLENDOR REMEMBER ME  RHINO HIDE RIPPLE  KLEHM ROYAL  TI 1/2 mileEFFECT ROY  west of Highway 69 at 179th STANDARD ROYAL  & Antioch 1501 Learnard, Lawrence, KS • 785-843-2004 ARA SAGAE SEPTEMBER SUN SHADY SFFAIR SIEBOLDIANA ELEGAN 913-685-3604 • complete plant list at S SKYLIGHT SMOKE SIGNALS SMOKEY BEAR SO SWEET SPILT MILK STAINED GLASS STILETTO STITCH IN TIME STRIPTEASE SUGAR AND S PICE SUM  AND SUBSTANCE SUMMER BREEZE SUMMER MUSIC SUN 13 April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener



Plant Sale

Come see what’s blooming in Lawrence ...

Open to the Public Featuring:

Collectors’ Hostas 300 Varieties Including Mini Hostas

No Ordinary Gardening Adventure

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

JoCo Extension invites gardeners to spring horticulture classes


f you’d like to reserve a spot, call us at 913-715-7000. Classes are held at K-State Research and Extension, 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Olathe, KS 66061. Fee is $10 per person per class, and you can pay when you call. Class time is 7 to 9 p.m. For more information see website April 16, Monday Hydrangeas for the Garden Hydrangeas are one of the most coveted plants to grow in the landscape as they provide bold, beautiful flowers. This class will cover the different species that can be grown in the garden. Learn how to maintain this garden gem with success. You will walk away with a new appreciation for this plant and a better understanding of how to include hydrangeas in your landscape.

April 24, Tuesday Welcoming Butterflies to the Garden Learn which butterflies and moths are easiest to attract to your garden using readily available plants. Space does not need to be an issue. Gardening to attract butterflies and moths is more than just feeding the winged beauties as it encompasses developing a habitat for all life stages. May 1, Tuesday Fabulous Container Gardens Container gardens add that special touch to the entryway or the patio. Come and learn how to create showstopper plantings that are sure to add a special spark during the summer. This class covers it all; from pot selection, soils, to summer maintenance. We’ll even provide insights for choosing the most pleasing plant combinations.

Plant an extra row for the hungry in your spring garden!


pring is here and gardeners across our region are planting fresh fruits and vegetables, which they will enjoy throughout the spring and summer. Harvesters—The Community Food Network encourages all local gardeners to plant an extra row and donate the fresh produce to Harvesters’ Plant A Row for the Hungry program. “Nutritious fresh produce is important for a healthy diet, but beyond the means of many of those in our region who are at risk of hunger,” said Harvesters’ President and CEO Karen Haren. “In 2011, Harvesters distributed 9.4 million pounds of fresh produce, including nearly 17,000 pounds donated by local gardeners who are helping to feed the hungry—one row at a time!” Gardeners are encouraged to plant fruits and vegetables that keep well, including beets, carrots, green beans, onions, peas, peppers, squash and tomatoes. Produce can be dropped off at Harvesters or at participating garden centers throughout the metro. Harvesters

will pick up the donated produce at the garden centers and distribute it to the food pantries, kitchens and shelters in Harvesters’ network, which is feeding 66,000 people each week. 2012 drop-off sites are: Family Tree Nursery • 830 West Liberty Drive, Liberty, MO; and 8424 Farley, Overland Park, KS; and 7036 Nieman Road, Shawnee, KS Heartland Nursery • 10300 View High Drive, Kansas City, MO Kansas City Community Garden • 6917 Kensington Ave., Kansas City, MO Soil Service Nursery • 7125 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO Suburban Lawn and Garden • 10501 Roe Ave., Overland Park, KS Harvesters—The Community Food Network • 3801 Topping Ave., Kansas City, MO For more information about the Plant A Row for the Hungry program visit and click on Give Food. The local Plant A Row program is a partnership between Harvesters and the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City.

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

By Betsy Betros

Planning your garden? Remember Bees!

• • • • • •

Photos by Betsy Betros.


bout 75% of all plants in the world depend on animals, especially insects, to move pollen from one flower to the other, providing for pollination which produces seeds and fruits. In fact, one in three mouthfuls of food and drink you consume is made possible by bugs! Bees are singularly the most important group of pollinators as the females intentionally do collect nectar and pollen to provide food for their young. Native bees are considered at risk worldwide due to various reasons including habitat loss. As gardeners, we can help native bees by not only limiting our use of pesticides and providing flowers for them, but also providing habitat. Our 4,000+ species of native bees in North America have a largely solitary lifestyle unlike the more familiar honey bees and bumble bees which are social insects which have a caste system with a queen which stays in the hive and lays eggs, the male drone bees, and the female worker bees which spend their days foraging for nectar and pollen. Solitary bees can be divided into two basic groups: Those that nest in the ground and those which nest in cavities such as holes in trees. Suburban and urban gardens often limit successful native bee survival because their nesting preferences are not maintained by gardeners such as dead branches with holes in them and undisturbed soil areas. A female makes the nests and then proceeds to make individual

Andrena bee on Spring Beauty, a native spring flowering plant. cells in which a single egg is laid generally on a mixture of pollen and nectar. If you are a lucky gardener, you will find leaves in your garden with perfect circles cut out of them. This is from a female leaf cutter bee which uses the leaves to line each cell of the nest. Once a nest is full, it is then sealed off and the female moves onto a making another cell. The life of a bee is truly a busy time! You can encourage nesting with bee boxes in your garden. There are plenty of references on the internet for building or buying bee boxes. Andrena bees are some of our earliest bees to be seen in the spring and it is indeed the only time to see them. Andrena bee species are many and some feed only on a single species of flower and some only on closely related species. They are also called mining bees as the females dig holes in the ground for their nests. All female solitary bees lay eggs, unlike honey bees and bumble bees which have a queen which lay all the eggs.

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April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Ed Campbell, III

Bee boxes are easy to make. Gardeners can promote mining bees by not mulching all areas of the garden and allowing bear patches of soil as well as not completely digging up a garden every year as that will destroy the nests. Also, some Andrena species like bare soil that is protected by vegetation, so try not to mulch all the bushes and shrubs in the garden. While female bees have a stinger, they are not considered aggressive. They can be defensive, as in the bumble bee if you disturb their nest. While busy collecting pollen and nectar they are seem-

ingly oblivious to you. I’ve photographed many bees and wasps, quite close up, without concern. If you are allergic to a bee sting, you must take care while around bees. Female bees are usually fairly obvious, even the tiny ones as they usually have blobs of pollen on them. As a busy gardener, take time to stop and enjoy the busy bees and other pollinators of your garden this summer! Much of the information in this article is from the XercesSociety. org. Their website is full of great information on pollinators. A great book on pollinators: “Attracting Native Pollinators, Xerces Society Guide.” Betsy Betros is the author of “A Photographic Field Guide to the Butterflies in the Kansas City Region.”



Plant Sale

Preview Sale for FOTA Members

Open to the Public Featuring:

Native Plants & Wildflowers

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Gardeners’ Gathering presents:

Dr. Raymond A. Cloyd, “Insects in the Vegetable Garden”


he Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present Dr. Raymond A. Cloyd, Professor and Extension Specialist in Ornamental Entomology/ Integrated Pest Management, Kansas State University, at the Gardeners’ Gathering Tuesday, April 3, at 6:30 pm at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center. Speaking on “Insects in the Vegetable Garden,” Dr. Cloyd will identify various insect and mite pests who feed on your vegetable garden, and present how to implement a holistic, effective pest management strategy. Of the insects in the home landscape only a very small percentage are “pests”. Approximately 97% of the insects are beneficial. Dr. Cloyd will discuss using natural enemies in the garden as well as the detrimental effect of pesticides on those natural enemies. Chemical pesticides, which many gardeners use,

Harlequin bug

Dr. Raymond Cloyd

are highly to moderately toxic to humans, but very toxic to birds, bees, reptiles, amphibians, and beneficial insects—all the good “pests” gardeners should be attracting to their gardens. Learning how to deter the bad pests can be achieved by learning the different feeding behaviors (chewers, suckers, and borers) of common vegetable garden pests, and understanding why this is so important in regard to their management. Using integrated pest management, or IPM, the least

invasive and safest methods are used first. Pest problems can be managed genetically (by choosing the right plant for the right place and choosing disease resistant varieties), culturally (by fertilizing in moderation, growing a healthy soil, and planting when the soil temperature is appropriate for the plant), and/or mechanically (by using floating row covers, using trap crops, deterrent crops, and by using crop rotation). With his humorous and engaging style, Dr. Cloyd has a talent

and passion for sharing information on combating pests in an environmentally friendly and costeffective manner. He is considered one of the most productive researchers in the country, winning extensive awards for his research in insect management, publishing over 60 scientific reference publications and over 400 trade journals on topics related to pest management, and is in high demand as a speaker from universities to garden clubs. The Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center is located at 4750 Troost Avenue, KCMO. This lecture is free and open to the public. For further questions call Debbie Johnson at (816) 396-5541, or check the Master Gardener website at www. for all Master Gardener information. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City is a program of the University of Missouri Extension service.

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Prairie Village Earth Fair Sat., April 21


he 11th Annual Prairie Village Earth Fair “Connecting the Dots” will take place Saturday, April 21 at Shawnee Mission East High School, 75th Street and Mission Road, from 10 am to 3 pm. Admission is free. You are invited to another great year of networking, interactive learning, great entertainment, organic food and environmental demonstrations. Karin McAdams, Earth Fair committee member says, “More than ever, we’ll be demonstrating that everyone can help deal with the effects of a tough economy in the face of climate change and scarce energy.” Shawnee Mission East High School environmental club and classes designed scavenger hunts and workshops for guests to help better understand how all our environmental choices are profoundly connected. Hands-on learning activities are available for kids and adults, like learning simple and useful craft skills from reused material. In an effort to further support reuse and repurposing, the fair this year will support a book fair organized by SME librarian Kathi Knop. Remember to bring a cloth bag to carry your purchases. Several returning vendors will be back this year including Master Gardeners, Door to Door Organics, Ten Thousand Villages, Friends of

the Kaw, Johnson County Transit, Greenability Magazine and Off the Cuff Designs. McAdams says, “We’re widening the scope of our fair, to show that people right here in Prairie Village can enjoy such activities as creating with repurposed materials, vacationing locally or eating fresh, local food made by Kansas City area vendors.” Food trucks will once again bring unique dining to the event, creating a festival atmosphere for the event. Vendors will have products for sale. Electric conversion cars and alternate transportation vehicles will be on display, including a 2003 KIA Sorento A/C motor and lithium batteries, two DC powered Chevy S-10s, a BMW with DC motor and lithium batteries and a DC powered Honda Civic. A production Twike 3 wheeled electric vehicle that combines human power and electric and other unique bicycle demonstrations are also a part of the event. There will be musical entertainment, characters from local performance groups, animal demonstrations and a fashion show coordinated by students at Shawnee Mission East. This year more people than ever are aware that the health of the planet is in trouble and that it’s up to them to help. The community is asking questions, and this event is designed to offer answers in educational and entertaining ways.

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816-229-1277 • April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Kansas City Garden Club’s Annual Spring Luncheon May 7th


ou are invited to enjoy two interesting, talented speakers and a delicious lunch, Monday, May 7th, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Mo. “Travels With Plants” will be Dr. James Waddick’s topic for the morning program. China is often called the “Mother of Gardens”, and Jim has travelled there extensively. Pictures and tales of collecting wild irises, peonies, and other garden favorites in addition to a few intriguing scenes will be shared by Jim. He is author of several garden magazine articles and four books. After lunch, “How to Boost Basic Floral Designs into Show Stopping Arrangements” will be a floral presentation by John Shackelford, owner of Shackelford Botanical Designs,

North Kansas City. He will show the use of floral designs in the home to fashion an inviting atmosphere to your living space in addition to demonstrating how to arrange flowers to make for elegance, drama or whimsy for a special event. Tickets for both programs and the lunch are $16 per person. Ticket deadline is April 16. Make check out to Kansas City Garden Club and mail to Kaye Vance, 4346 Lobo Court, Lee’s Summit, Mo. 64064. Telephone 816-373-9073.



Plant Sale

Preview Sale for FOTA Members

Open to the Public Featuring:

Annuals & Perennials

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Bring Your Water Garden to Life with Aquatic Plants Diane Swan


ne of the common questions asked by a new pond owner is what plants should I put in my water garden? There are a few factors to consider when choosing plants: 1. Is the pond situated in full sun, part shade or full shade? 2. How big and how deep is your pond? 3. Do you have shelves or a bog area in your pond? 4. Do you have a stream? Aquatic plants have such a large variety to choose from that there are plants suited for every situation and every pond.

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Water lilies are usually the first and most normal choice for a water garden. They provide shade on the surface of the pond. For a little variety in your pond, you will want to choose one or two tropical lilies and the rest in hardy lilies. (Night tropicals will grow in a full-shade situation.) Lotus are a great choice for your water garden as they give shading and height. Their huge bowlshaped leaves and large blooms are spectacular specimen plants. But to add interest and soften the hard look at the edges of the pond and stream, marginals are a great choice. This large group of aquatic plants love shallow water so they can be used on the top shelf of your pond, along a stream, or in a bog-type area. There are two major groups of marginals: the hardy marginals


Corkscrew Rush

Aquatic Iris

(perennial) and the tropical (annual) marginals. 1.) Hardy marginals will come back year after year and require very little care other than dead-heading occasionally and trimming off before winter. Many of the aquatic marginals plants will grow in the gravel as they take most of their nutrients straight from the water. Some of the most common hardy marginals are the pickerels, arrowheads, sedges, cattails, and the rush, especially the corkscrew rush with its unusual ‘twisty’ characteristics. Aquatic Flag Iris, in its many colors, has always been very popular for spring flowers. They can tie the landscape Iris to the water and helps naturalize the edges of the pond. They will bloom in the spring and then stay green all summer. 2.) Tropical aquatic marginals can be taken indoors to winter over and add unusual textures and colors to the water garden. Two of the most popular tropical marginals are the papyrus and umbrella palms. They are avail-

able in dwarf sizes for the smaller gardens all the way up to 4-5 feet for the larger water gardens where you would like some height. They not only have great texture but are great filtering plants, taking up more than their share of nutrients stealing it way from the algae. Taros are another popular tropical plant that boasts slender stems and large oblong leaves. They come in a variety of leaf and stem colors. They actually prefer moving water. Other tropicals are the bluebells, cannas, society garlic and so many more. Whatever you choose, these low-maintenance plants will soften the hard look of the rocks on the edges of your pond and dress up your pond and stream all the while taking up nutrients … helping filter your water garden all at the same time. Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-592-2143.

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Hours: Mon. through Sat. 9am-6pm • Sun. 11am-4pm The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City expand Hotline services


any people may not know that the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City service four counties in eastern Missouri: Cass, Clay, Platte, and Jackson. Recently they expanded Hotline services to include all four county offices. In addition to answering the phone at 816-833-TREE (8733) five days a week, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, from March 1 through September 27, each of the offices welcome walk-ins. Whenever the Master Gardeners are on duty at each office, they will answer questions; and if they are not on-duty that day, questions will be directed to the horticultural specialists in Platte and Jackson County. The Master Gardeners now also have an email address to which questions may be directed—www.mggkc. org/ask-mg.html. Following are hours at each site: Cass County MU Extension Center 102 E. Wall Street (3rd floor of Cass County Courthouse) Harrisonville, MO 64701 Office hours: 8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday Master Gardeners on duty: Wed, 9 am – Noon March 14 – Sept. 26


Jackson County MU Extension Center at Blue Springs (main office) 1106 W. Main St. Blue Springs, MO 64015 Phone: 816-252-5051(office only, not for Hotline) Office Hours: 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday Master Gardeners on duty: Mon and Fri, 9 am – 3 pm, March 2 – Sept. 28 Wednesday, 9 am – 3 pm, March 7 only Wednesday, Noon – 3 pm, March 14-28 Platte County MU Extension Center 11724 NW Plaza Circle, Suite 300 Kansas City, MO 64153 Office hours: 8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday Master Gardeners on duty: Wednesday, 1 pm – 4 pm, April 4 – Sept. 2


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Save the Date! Cottage Gardeners of Weston (MO) Country Garden Tour 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Friday & Saturday, June 22-23, 2012

Dig into Spring with Butterflies, Birding and more ‘Spring Blooms and Hilltopping Butterflies’ Hike, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 15 Hike the 3.25-mile Byron Shutz Nature Trail with Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture, naturalist and plantsman. What will you hear? Spring peepers and chorus frogs? The pair-bonding calls of the Chickadees? Sound like spring? Join us and see witch-hazels blooming, early spring bulbs and perhaps the spring’s first wildflowers like rare bisquitroot. All participants must be able to hike nearly four miles over mulched and mowed terrains. Dress for the weather and for walking. A pair of lightweight binoculars is highly recommended. $9/adult, $5/Members. Registration required by April 12. Gourmet Yardening: Garden Edging 101, 9-11:30 a.m. Friday, April 20 Beautiful, crisp, natural dirt edges are possible and practical using the technique perfected by Will Hodge, Gourmet Yardener. Once you establish your “gourmet” edge, maintaining its crisp contours will be a snap. To learn how, attend this seminar and receive your very own Gourmet Yardener’s Manual complete with directions, illustrations and 11-minute instructional DVD. Plus, learn which tools are right for any length of gourmet edging. Bring a pair of work gloves and dress for light work if desired. Hands-on training opportunity offered, weather permitting. $45/adult, $39/Members. Registration required by April 16. Birding 101, 8-11 a.m. Saturday, April 21 Can’t tell a titmouse from a towhee, or a wren from a warbler? If you have wondered who your feathered friends are, then join naturalist Craig Hensley for an introduction to the world of birds and bird identification. You’ll learn how to sort seed-eaters from insect-eaters and other basics of bird ID through a PowerPoint presentation. Then head outdoors for a walk around Powell Gardens to practice your new-found skills. Be sure to dress for the weather and, if possible, bring a pair of binoculars. $9/adult, free/ Members. Registration required by April 16. To register for any of these events, call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at and follow the LEARNING link.


eston-area country gardens will be featured on the tour this year. See what’s down those country driveways, surrounding our antebellum (and newer) homes out in the rolling hills, high above the Missouri River. You’ll see ideas you can bring home to your garden, whether it’s large or small. Proceeds will be used to beautify the Weston area, including tree plantings along new sidewalks that are making Weston a walkable town. For more information, call Marilyn at 816-640-2300.

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Arboretum Plant Sale May 3-5 14th Annual Plant Sale Features Special Herbs, Hostas and Native Plants That Are Hard to Find


magine having nearly 200 varieties of collectors’ hostas to choose from — everything from the man-size giants to the increasingly popular mini-hostas for planters and fairy gardens. Or picture 150 varieties of certified organic herbs. All in one place, under a bigtop tent, with expert gardeners on hand to answer your questions. The first weekend in May is gardeners’ nirvana at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. The Arboretum Spring Plant Sale starts Thursday evening, May 3, with a preview sale and reception for Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA) members from 4 to 7 pm. Join FOTA at any time during the sale (or online at and receive a 10% member discount. The sale is open to the public on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, from 9 am to 5 pm.


The fourteenth annual FOTA sale features an enormous selection of certified organic herbs, collectors’ hostas, native plants and wildflowers, annuals and perennials, along with lush combination planters and hanging baskets that make great Mother’s Day gifts. Master Gardeners will be available at all times to assist shoppers.

There will be a special table of host and nectar plants for butterflies, with butterfly experts on hand to answer questions. Visit the FOTA website at and download a complete plant list. All plants are container-grown by our long-time local suppliers Tim Sullivan and Ken O’Dell, along with local hosta specialist Rob Mortko.

On both Friday and Saturday from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, herb expert Lenora Wuattoux-Ray will share her vast knowledge of herb plants and their uses—as food, medicine and fragrance—right outside the main big top tent. These special classes are free. Proceeds from the sale and FOTA memberships support many projects at the Arboretum, including construction of the spectacular new Train Garden. Sign up for the FOTA newsletter at www. and come see all the new things happening at the Overland Park Arboretum. A stroll through the Botanical Gardens can’t help but inspire your own horticultural endeavors. The Overland Park Arboretum is located 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 at 179th & Antioch. Telephone 913-685-3604.


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April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener


Mole Control Stephen Painter


ell it’s about that time again. Spring, when the flowers bloom the birds begin singing and yes the moles start digging up your yard that you have spent time and hard earned money on. Moles are insectivores, meaning that their diet consists of about 98% insects. Some moles will eat small root fibers and tubers but the majority of their diet consist of insects. Most of the time moles are actually digging around the flowers and small shrubs. By doing so, they sometimes will uproot and or tear the roots to where it may appear that they are eating the roots. They are in fact simply digging looking for earthworms and other insects.

Once the temperatures start to moderate in the early spring the ground warms allowing the invertebrates like earthworms, grubs, millipedes, centipedes, slug larva, snail larva, etc., to come to the subsurface once again. And with this food source comes the moles to eat them, digging to find the high protein they require. Unfortunately, moles are active year round. They do not freeze to death in the winter nor do they hibernate. Moles start breeding in February to mid March. Typical litter consist of 1-3 moles. Once the young are weaned they are on their own around mid-June. This is typically when the action really starts to pick up. Rather than one or two moles in your yard, now you have 3-5 moles and all are very hungry. People often ask me when is the best time of year to get rid of moles. My response is always whenever you have them in your yard. Reason being is that left undone to let them do as they will, more often than not

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you will allow the moles to create a much more elaborate tunnel system in your yard. If this occurs it can be a real war trying to get rid of them for good. Although the existing population and the general habitat that surrounds your home also play a significant part of how many moles you have. The next question is usually, how do I get rid of these things. The most efficient and effective method is trapping. It’s also the most economical and green (non chemical) approach. No reason to put more toxicants within the soil. In the right hands, trapping is quick and quite easy. Most hardware stores carry the harpoon style or spear type mole traps. With a little practice they can be very effective of ridding your property of moles. Sure, some people scoff at the idea of trapping moles. Saying that the traps do not work or it is too time consuming. There are plenty of ol’ wives tales about how to get rid of moles. These myths have

been around for years, passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately, they do not work. The only thing they do is keep you occupied chasing them around your yard and raising your blood pressure. My favorite is the myth of putting chewing gum in the tunnel and the mole will eat it, choke and die. Well, it’s really not quite that simple. My first thought is why on earth would a mole be eating chewing gum? They eat earthworms, snail, slugs, termites, and ants. Why not put a rock in the tunnel and see if he’ll eat that and hope it gets caught in his little throat. I’m kidding of course. But it is silly, some of these home remedies. And there are more. The plastic flower wind mills and putting human hair in their tunnels. So we know that moles are destructive little insectivores. But they do actually have a good side also. They do actually perform a much needed service in the wild. They eat destructive insects as well as beneficial insects. They also turn and aerate the soil. This helps both the soil and plant life as well. So only you can decide if the moles should stay or go from your yard. If you decide they should go, then you might try trapping as a way to remove them quickly. Stephen Painter is President of Catch-It Wildlife Damage Control, Inc., serving Kansas and Missouri.

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10001 E. Bannister Rd., Kansas City, MO • 816-763-4664 The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Turn Your Passion for Nature into Service, Join Missouri Master Naturalist Program


o stop to listen to a bird singing in the trees? Does the movement of a caterpillar inching along a leaf catch your eye? You possess the curiosity and interest in nature that a Missouri Master Naturalist holds dear.

Missouri Naturalists often participate in Citizen Scientist projects such as the annual North American Butterfly Association’s Butterfly Count in August at Powell Gardens. Counting the number of species gives scientist clues to population trends. A joint venture between the University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Master Naturalist Program is a volunteer service organization dedicated to conservation and education of our state’s natural resources. A naturalist may serve volunteer hours helping out at any of the 17 part-

ner organizations in the Kansas City area. For example, a naturalist may help with a children’s program at the Anita Gorman Discovery Center or cut down the invasive bush honeysuckle vegetation at George Owens Nature Park in Independence. Naturalist volunteers were present recently at Smithville Eagle Days sharing knowledge of the amazing visit of the Snowy Owls with visitors. The tasks are limitless. In 2011, Master Naturalists in Kansas City volunteered over 6,100 hours toward conserving natural resources and sharing nature education. To become a Master Naturalist, after application, about 3 months of weekly training sessions prepare you with knowledge of Missouri ecology. Each member is required to serve 40 hours of volunteer service and attend 8 hours of advanced training annually to remain certified. Monthly meetings offer inspiring programs and enjoyable social opportunities with others who share your passion for nature. To start the application process, contact Stacey Davis at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center; (816) 759-7300; The Orientation Meeting is June 5, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, Mo.

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Dawn’s Early Light

Sun Power

Empress Wu

Brother Stefan

Guardian Angel

Blue Angel Blue Umbrellas

Sum and Substance Guacamole


Great Expectations

Olive Bailey Langdon

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Land of the Giants Sagae All photos courtesy of Rob Mortko.

Ken O’Dell


osta are one of the easiest perennials to grow, adding unique texture and coloring to your garden. From tiny two-inch tall miniature hosta to taller varieties that can grow to three feet, there’s a huge selection to choose from. On our farm in Miami County, Kansas we have plenty of room for giant hosta. They are stunning in size, wonderful in flower and much appreciated when they cover the ground so weeds cannot grow. I have over the years planted about 2500 hosta on our farm in a several acre wooded area. I have mulched pathways that are meandering through the wooded area with giant hosta in the background, medium size hosta and smaller hosta in front. Of the 250 varieties of Hosta I have planted in our gardens over 100 varieties are of the large and giant size, designing my own Land of the Giants. Here are a few giant hosta that you might consider planting in your garden. Blue Angel. A Paul Aden hosta. Perhaps the very best of the giant blue leaf hosta. Fast growing, with April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

large blue leaves that measure 12” wide and 16” long. Thick texture to the foliage. Mounding habit to 36” tall. Lavender flowers. Blue Umbrellas. A Paul Aden hosta. Giant hosta to 36” tall with blue to blue-green leaves that will reach immense proportions. Lavender flowers in summer on 36” tall flower spikes. Fast growth rate. A long time favorite. Brother Stefan. An Olga Petryszyn hosta. Maturing to about 22” tall, Brother Stefan appears larger because of the thick, heavily corrugated, puckered leaves of gold with a wide green margin. Near-white flowers. Dawn’s Early Light. An Olga Petryszyn hosta. Early spring foliage is bright lemon-yellow and shows up well at night or in deep shade. Leaf colors darken to a chartreuse coloring during the heat of the summer. Corrugated and ruffled leaves on a beautiful hosta growing to about 20” tall. Lavender flowers. Empress Wu. The largest known hosta available. A giant to 48” tall and a reported 96” wide when mature. Makes a tremendous focal point. Huge, thick, dark green, deeply veined leaves form a massive upright clump. Pale pinkishviolet flowers. Great Expectations. A Paul Aden hosta. We have several of these fantastic hosta growing in different flower beds around our farm. We

have amended the soil with plenty of humus and this large growing hosta has grown to about 28” tall in several of the flower beds. Great Expectations is “the attention getter”. Large leaves with creamyyellow to white centers and green jetting into the centers are very attractive. White flowers. Guacamole. A large, colorful hosta to 24” tall with very showy leaves. Fast growing. Huge, apple green leaves develop dark green margins and brighter chartreuse centers in summer. Large, fragrant near-white flowers. Guardian Angel. Large blue-green leaves are ruffled and folded, and centered with a grayish-ivory variegation pattern most intense in the spring. A large hosta to 28” tall. Sport of ‘Blue Angel’. Light lavender flowers. Olive Bailey Langdon. Beautiful round green leaves are margined in wide gold coloring. A giant hosta growing to 30” tall with near-white flowers in dense clusters on 36” tall flower scapes. Sagae. Huge, wavy, frosted grey-green leaves with yellow to creamy-white margins. Lavender flowers. A very large hosta to 28” tall. One of the “top ten” hosta of all-time. Pure elegance. Sum and Substance. This could be Paul Aden’s greatest hosta introduction. It is for sure a world wide favorite. Leaf color varies with sun exposure from light green to

chartreuse to gold. Huge leaves to 18” long and 14” wide. Highly slug resistant. Light lavender flowers. A giant hosta to 30” tall when mature. Sun Power. A Paul Aden hosta. Brilliant gold leaves are somewhat wavy and of better than average substance. Color is brightest when grown in some sum. Upright vase shape, arching habit of growth. Light lavender flowers. A large hosta to 24” tall. Visit local retail nurseries and see their giant hosta selections. You can plant hosta in April, July, November or just about any month that you can get a shovel in the ground. You’ll get best results with morning sun and dappled afternoon shade. I always mulch my hosta immediately, water them well, and use a time-released fertilizer. Not much else is needed except to enjoy them. During the Friends of the Arboretum spring plant sale May 3–5, we will have special help from Rob Mortko, Kansas City’s own ‘Hosta Guy.’ Bette Stockdale and I will be assisting Rob to show the giant hosta offered from our very own Land of the Giant Hostas. We hope you come see us. Ken O’Dell is a long time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum and a lifetime member of the American Hosta Society. 25

Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Add a Greenhouse for 2012 Plant Sale


wo years ago the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City began running their annual Plant Sale early in May independent of the Garden Tour. To expand to a size that merited an independent sale, they began in 2010 using the greenhouse at the Western Missouri Correctional Facility in Cameron. There they grew, and will again grow this year, over 10,000 vegetables, herbs, grasses and annuals with the help of a few offenders. This year they decided to rent a greenhouse so they could add more perennial plants and shrubs. Until now though, they have relied on the Master Gardeners themselves to share plants from their yards for the sale. Over 1000 plugs (small starts) from growers are now growing in one gallon pots at Riverview Garden Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Owned by Mike and Kristen Murray since 1983, Riverview has 14 greenhous-

es where the Murrays grow 98% of their own plants. They are one of the few privately owned centers with their own greenhouses in the Kansas City area. Here are some of the new perennials the Master Gardeners will be offering Saturday, May 12, 8am to 3pm, or until sold out, at the Bass Pro Shops in Independence, Missouri at the southwest corner of MO-291 and I-70 under the huge tent. Amsonia hubrechtii (Arkansas Blue Star), 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year, and a Plant of Merit, this plant features delicate ferny foliage with golden fall color, with the same flowers as our native, drought tolerant, deer resistance, and attractive to butterflies. Mature size is 3’x3’, zone 5. Amsonia tabernaemontana ‘Blue Ice’, a more compact version with darker blue flowers, it grows to 15-18” tall with narrow, willowshaped dark green foliage.

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Anemone x hybrida ‘Honerine Jobert’, a Plant of Merit, features two to three-inch wide white blooms with golden yellow centers late summer to fall, with dark green foliage that can dry out in hot sun and dry conditions. Grows rapidly to a height of 3-4’ tall, and 2’ wide in well drained soil. Tolerates full sun to part shade, zone 4. A pink cousin ‘Prince Henry’ will also be offered. Baptista variicolor ‘twilight prairie blues’ (false indigo), with unique coppery purple flowers highlighted with lemon, mature size of 36”. Grows in dry to medium soil, full sun, deer resistant, attracts butterflies, drought tolerant. Brunnera macrophylla ‘King’s Ransom’, white/green/golden col-

oring with delicate blue flowers in spring, drought tolerant, deer proof, glows in the dark. Mature size 12x12”, zone 3, part to full shade. Chleone lyonii ‘hot lips’ (turtlehead) tolerates moist soil and heavy clay, part shade or part sun. Long lasting flowers in late summer or early fall, reaching 3’ tall x 1-2’ wide. Deer resistant, hardy to zone 4. Pennisetum purpureum ‘Vertigo’, a dark purple grass with wide leaves, fast growing annual grass in full sun. Grows to about 4’ tall and 2’ wide. Otomeria-O’Premiera™ , from K-State trials in 2011. This heat/sun lover blooms red or white and grows to about 12x12”, good in containers or flower bed, full to part sun. Some other plants offered: tiarella, bergenia, hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’, epimedium versicolor sulphureum, hydrangea ‘Annabelle’, hydrangea ‘Unique’, hypericum ‘Brigadoon’, echinacea powwow wild berry and white, leucanthemum ‘Crazy Daisy’, phlox ‘May breeze’, pennisetum ‘Fireworks’, caryopteris ’Snow Fairy’ and ‘Worchester gold’. And Master Gardeners will still dig up plants from their yards! For a complete listing of plants see our website

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t’s a cool, misty day in spring. You enter the garden center and your head snaps to a display of the most amazing new plant that you’ve ever seen. Your heart races and you put the plant in your cart. “It’s MINE!” (You shout in your head.) Do you ever wonder where these plants come from? My name is Dan. I’m a horticulturist, and I’m here to help explain all of this. Rarely do plants simply found in nature evoke this “WOW” factor. Commonly it’s a convoluted tale of international intrigue, hanky-panky by a breeder, trialing by a nursery, mass-propagation, and marketing. Part of my job description reads, “You must travel the world and seek the newest perennials.” This takes me to far-flung destinations like Japan and South Africa, where I seek out botanists and plantspeople to point me to nurseries or plants in wild areas that might provide a bit of genetics that can change a mild-mannered plant into a superstar. I also seek out the breeders to see what’s cooking and help them make their plant an international item. I must admit to being a bit jaded, seeing so many plants in a year, but there are thrills to be found! It is not uncommon to drive miles up a gravel road in remote Japan and see a hundred new plants. This is what I live for. Importing plants from anywhere is, in a word, painful. Every “i” must be dotted, plants scrubbed, phytosanitary forms filled, permits issued, inspections on both sides of the puddle, customs forms filled, and CITES (endangered species) clearance ... I think you get my point.

Dan with his sensei, Dr. Yokoi in his garden of 1800 variegated plants. Dr. Yokoi wrote a number of books on variegated plants with Yoshimichi Hirose. Photo is in the Kowaguchi area of Japan. Well, the plants make it home. Eventually. We administer CPR and a warm, moist spot and if all is well, they return to life. Meetings of the breeders had already been held to decide what genera need improvement. Species were discussed that might hold the card that can make a hybrid that’s a better garden plant. Plants are found here and abroad and they are brought together by these breeders. Hybrid seed are set in controlled environments (you need to know who the parents are!) and vast numbers are planted, sometimes in the tens of thousands, to create “the one.” This plant may flower longer, be disease-resistant, have new foliage or flower colors, and hopefully be vigorous to boot! Field trials and years of testing prove the plant as it is being judged on an ocean of attributes. The winner emerges. It is then time to move to the next step. Our “winner” has to be propagated by conventional cuttings or better, through tissue-culture. This multiplication process includes test-

Photos courtesy of Dan Heims /

By Dan Heims

Where Plants Come From

Dan embracing a Quiver Tree (Aloe Dichotoma) in the Great Karoo near Namibia. ing the plant for a raft of viruses. No bacteria or mold can be on the plant either. The geometric increase of the plants can be impressive; a hundred thousand identical plants can be made in a year from a single plant! Without photography, and a proper marketing launch; you don’t have a plant. Plants must be trialed by garden writers, designers, and botanical gardens. Plants must be patented to protect your investment as well. Newspapers and magazines

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are notified and in many cases, they also get to trial the plants. Labels are made, orders taken, and thus; a star is born! Can a “magical plant” appear in your garden? Yes! This is why I’m giving you my email, Natural hybrids do occur with a little help from Mother Nature. Did you know that most “new” Hosta are the result of a sport (mutation) of a normal plant? This happens on trees and shrubs as well. Economic benefits await, but you must be patient. So. . . keep your eyes peeled, and tell this “sport” fisherman all about it! For over 35 years, Dan Heims has been deeply involved with all facets of horticulture. He is a plantsman, speaker, collector, newplant namer, and dreamer, and currently the president of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc., a company noted for its new plant introductions. For more information, visit

Planting flowers or a garden? Then you need to have your underground facilities marked! Missouri law requires that any person making or beginning any excavation notify MOCS. Placing a locate request is free and easy! Call 1-800-DIG-RITE (800-344-7483) or 811. For more information, visit

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Lenora Larson


oets praise the Violet as a delicate and shy flower. Oh please! Violets shy and retiring? Poets and other English majors should not write about plants because they rarely get it right. Gardeners know that Violets are self-sowing thugs, eager to invade a lawn or flower bed. Of course, I specialize in collaboration with self-sowing thugs since it takes that kind of toughness to survive in Kansas. My fondness for the rampant sprawl of Violets has a double reward: Violet leaves are a dependable ground cover and the only food of the Greater Fritillary caterpillars.

Speaking of shy, Fritillaries take secrecy to the extreme. The female does not lay her eggs on the host plant; rather, she conceals them in nearby debris and the newly hatched caterpillar must find its way. To further confound predators and butterfly gardeners, the night-feeding caterpillar departs the Violet to hide in leaf litter during the day. My fifteen years of active searching among the Violets have produced no caterpillar sightings despite gazillions of adults fluttering about my gardens. In Eastern Kansas, three species of Greater Fritillaries grace us: the magnificent Great Spangled, Speyeria cybole, S. Aphrodite, and the endangered Regal, S. idalia. (In its honor, the very active Kansas City butterfly association has named themselves “The Idalia Society”). Why is the Regal endangered? The host is Prairie Violet,

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Viola pedatifida, and even a plant thug cannot survive total habitat destruction. Agriculture and suburban sprawl have left less than 1% of the nation’s Tallgrass Prairie, including a small remnant only 3 miles from my farm. Violets exhibit all the highly flexible attributes of a plant bully. Over 90 species of wild Violets, plus the fancy cultivars, live in every state except Hawaii, spanning zone 3 to zone 10. (Not coincidentally, Fritillary Butterflies also live in all these states). These perennials flourish in sun to full shade and from dry prairie to moist swamp. No diseases or pests slow them down and they are enthusiastically fertile. Adding insult to injury, the waxy leaf cuticle confers resistance to most herbicides. The genus Viola also includes Pansies and many charming cultivars, but natives are always the best choice when setting out the caterpillar buffet. Native species come in shades of, well, violet, plus yellow and white. Identification of wild

Violets is tricky since individual species are highly variable and they freely hybridize with each other. In early spring, the dark green leaves emerge from the sneaky rhizomes, which can creep into tight quarters such as sidewalk cracks and among the roots of its neighbors. Spreading is further accomplished by the seeds, which are flung from the curious three-pronged pods into many unwanted locations. The caterpillars are not alone in their fondness for eating Violets. The edible flowers taste like new peas. Imagine the elegance of a spring salad of lettuce or wild greens with violet blossoms scattered across the top like jewels. Fritillaries and I agree that this bold bully’s virtues far outweigh its vices.

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

The Bird Brain

answers your backyard birding questions remember the ratio of sugar to water. A. Mix four parts water and one part ordinary table sugar to create the perfect nectar solution. Change the nectar and wash your feeder in hot water every three to four days (more often in hot weather). If you plan to store nectar in the refrigerator, boil the water first before creating and storing your nectar solution for up to two weeks. NEVER add red food coloring, honey, sugar-in-the raw or artificial sweeteners to the solution.

Doc & Diane Gover


pring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party”. After the amazing migration that many birds have made from Mexico and South America, our feeding stations are a welcoming sight. Be sure to have fresh water, nectar, fruit, seed, suet and mealworm feeders up and ready for your visitors. Migration brings the greatest opportunity of any season to attract the widest variety of birds to your feeders.

Q. Do hummingbirds only drink nectar? A. No, hummingbirds are bug eating machines and nectar is their power drink for energy. They are beneficial in the garden for controlling insects (NO pesticides).

Q. When should I put out my hummingbird feeders? A. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds usually arrive in the Kansas City area around April 15th. Depending on the weather, this date could vary. Give us a call – we always track their migration on map.html or you can track them yourself. Q. What is the recipe for hummingbird nectar? I like to make my own nectar, but can never KCG_NEWAD.pdf 1 I 3/14/12 11:55


Q. Why are hummingbird feeders red? A. Hummingbirds associate flower colors, like red, with food. They primarily feed from red flowers followed by shades of purple/ blue and orange/yellow. If your hummingbird feeder has no color, just tie a colorful ribbon to the top of it. AM

cals) and the ants can’t penetrate the barrier. This works with all hanging style feeders including fruit feeders.

Q. Why do hummingbird feeders have perches? I’ve never seen a hummingbird perch. A. Perches are a useful feature on hummingbird feeders. If a feeder has perches, the hummers will use them. Hummingbirds take frequent breaks from their energy-intensive hovering flight. One study found that they spend over 60 percent of their time perched. Q. ANTS! ANTS! ANTS! on my hummingbird feeders. How can I keep them from infesting the nectar? A. There are saucer shaped feeders available that have built in ant moats. If your existing feeder does not have this feature simply purchase an “ant moat”. This is a small plastic cup that fits between your feeder and your hanger. Simply fill the moat with tap water (no chemi-

Q. I was so lucky to see Baltimore Orioles on my hummingbird feeder last year. Is there anything special that I can offer them this year? A. Absolutely. Offer them nectar (same recipe as hummingbird nectar) in an Oriole feeder. They also enjoy grape jelly, oranges and mealworms. They are beautiful to see and magnificent to listen to. We hope that you can attract them again this year. Food should be out no later than April 15th (the fun part of tax day). Remember there is always wonderment right in your own backyard, if you only take the time to watch. If we can help you with this wonderful hobby in any way, just stop by the store. Our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you. Be sure to check out our website Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kan. Contact them at 913-491-4887.










Quality Plants for Dedicated Gardeners April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener


Just Enough Math … For Gardeners

Leah Berg


ormulas used by professional landscape designers and installers are also useful for home gardeners. Master these basics to deciding what quantity materials to buy for your projects. Vegetable gardeners love raised beds, whether framed with bricks, lumber, or simply berms with no permanent edges. We improve drainage with raised beds, and minimize some bending over to tend them. Start with the size of a new bed. It’s the same simple formula for square feet used to order new carpet: Length multiplied by Width = sq. ft.

To estimate bulk mulch or compost sold by cubic yards, start with the square feet of an area. Usually 2-4 inches deep is recommended in landscape use. A cubic yard contains 27 cubic feet. Visualize a box 3’ wide by 3’ tall (= 9 sq. ft.) by 3’ deep = 27. But it isn’t sold in boxes. For small projects, bags easily load in cars. To calculate the amount of bulk mulch or compost needed: 1) Estimate the area’s number of square feet 2) Divide 12 by the desired depth in inches 3) Divide the square feet figure by the result of step #2. 4) This gives the number of cubic feet needed. To convert to cubic yards, divide by 27. Example: If a rectangular planting bed beside a fence measures 6’ by 20’ Step 1) 6 x 20 = 120 square feet

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A handful of Math steps is all you need to know when calculating the number of plants needed in a new bed, or the amount of mulch to spread under a tree. Step 2) to calculate a depth of 3” of mulch, divide 12 by 3, which equals 4 Step 3) divide 120 square feet by 4, which equals 30 cubic feet Step 4) divide 30 cubic feet by 27 = 1.1 cubic yards (1 yard usually enough) If mulching under a tree to the drip line, use the formula for the area of a circle: multiply 3.14 by the radius squared. For example, if the branches under a mature maple extend 20’ in diameter, multiply 3.14 by the radius squared: 10’x 10’= 100, multiplied by 3.14 = 314 square feet. If 2 inches depth desired, divide 314 by 6 (step 2 is 12 divided by 2 = 6). 314 divided by 6 = 52.33 cubic feet. Now divide 52.33 by 27 = 1.93 cubic yards, or about 2 cubic yards. Since turf grass does not grow well under densely shading trees like maples and oaks (where it is

usually quite dry, too), our formulas for square feet also help estimate the number of shade tolerant perennial ground cover plants we might grow instead of turf grass. When planting Liriope, we may plant 1 per square foot and simply buy the obvious amount. But if spacing farther apart due to a tight budget, we may instead plant 1 per 18 inch intervals knowing these species spread and will fill the area gradually. To determine how many annuals fill a bed, first note the expected mature width of the varieties desired. Visualize a checkerboard where each square represents 1 square foot in the garden area. Then decide to plant 10” apart, 12” or 18” apart based on the known growing habits of the flower or vegetable. Small starter plants placed in the ground at the center of what we expect their mature size to be.

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Cultivate a Career at JCCC!

Johnson County Community College

12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan. 66210 If spaced out with a yardstick, measure from the centers of adjacent plants. Use a spacing chart to quickly calculate how many plants are needed for an area. Then note whether they are sold in a 4-pack or 6-pack or single pots. If the price is cheaper “by the flat,” calculate how many total plants come per flat. Buy a little extra in case some are damaged! Likewise, carefully space trees, shrubs, and perennials according to their expected mature size. Avoid overcrowding by including some annuals in the open spaces the first year. Beds with curves are a bit more complex than simple rectangles. Make a measured drawing and divide it into rectangles and some sections of circles. With experience, estimating mulch, soil, or plants needed is a quick process. Many just “eyeball it” the way an experienced cook can put together vegetable soup without exact measurements. Experienced gardeners enjoy helping anyone interested in growing plants. Consult the master gardeners hotlines in this issue for trained volunteer advice, or credentialed professionals.

We use examples like these with new landscape design students in the Grounds and Turf Management program at MCC-Longview campus. Readers are welcome to take classes for credit or on an audit/ not-for-credit basis! A great new class horticulture elective this summer taught by Mary Roduner of the KC Community Gardens is perfect to help you get started (see ‘Upcoming Events’ listed in this issue for details). SPACING CHART Multiply the square feet of an area to be planted by the number of plants per square foot to use based on how far apart to space them. 6” apart = 4 plants per sq.ft. 8” apart = 2.25 plants per sq.ft. 10” apart = 1.44 plants per sq.ft. 12” apart = 1 per sq.ft. 18” apart = .44 plants per sq.ft. 24” apart = .25 plants per sq.ft. Leah Berg is a landscape designer with a conservation emphasis. She teaches at MCC-Longview and is also the Agribusiness/Grounds and Turf Management department coordinator. Contact her at 816353-7170.

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Miami County Farm Tour May 12-13, 2012


ith five new stops featured this year and a record number of locations to visit, participants in the Miami County Farm Tour May 12-13 will have a diverse look at the county. All of the stops will be open to visitors Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To highlight the locally grown products, Slow Food Kansas City will have guest chefs at Casa Somerset Bed & Breakfast providing cooking demonstrations using the products produced by farm tour participants. Slow Food is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. The Kansas City group focuses on food, local growers and the food preparation prac-

Come experience the beautiful alpacas at Alpacas ‘R Diamonds.

See their patch of 1000 thornless plants at Cy and Dee’s Blackberries.

tices within different cultures. They work to highlight locally grown, seasonable fare. Several stops will have products for sale that may require refrigeration, so participants are encouraged to bring a cooler. Most stops have picnic and rest area amenities for families to enjoy. “We know living a healthier lifestyle while watching the family

budget is becoming increasingly important to families,” said Mike Martin, farm tour chairman. “Our farmers look forward to this weekend as a way to be a resource to them. We also enjoy the visits from families who just want the chance to pet a farm animal.” The weekend’s farm tour offers families an opportunity to spend time outdoors enjoying the more rural aspects of Miami County. Each site offers activities for the whole family. Animals range from emus and alpacas to Herford cattle and goats. Products include pecans, fresh vegetables, honey, wine and blackberries. This self-guided tour celebrates the county’s diversity and highlights local farm products found on the back roads of Miami County. Watch for directional signs the day of the tour and visit as many of the tour stops as you like. Parking areas will be designated at each stop. While parking is available at each site, please be aware that weather and

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Visit the production nursery at Emerald Prairie Nursery.

Pet our emu, Barney, at 4 D Acres. terrain may create some physical challenges. Although this event is child friendly, each site is a working farm. Guardians are asked to encourage their children to respect the farm’s operations, plants and animals. Almost 200 groups representing almost 700 visitors participated in the 2011 Farm Tour with representatives from five states. For more information about the farm tour or to receive a map of the sites please call 913-294-4045 or visit www.VisitMiamiCountyKS. com. Maps will also be available at each stop.

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Visit and sign up for our horticultural newsletter! The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Northland Garden Club presents



he 2012 Beautiful Madness Flower Show will again be held at the NKC Public Library on Saturday, June 23rd 2012. The library is located at 2251 Howell North Kansas City, MO. This year our Judge and Floral Designer will be Rita Mcfarland. The theme is Cottage Gardens. The show is free and open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to enter arrangements and specimens in the following categories. This year’s theme is Cottage Gardens. There are five Floral Design categories and three Specimen categories. * Petite and Precious: This Lilliputian design should have a Cottage Garden flavor. While being no taller than 6” and no wider 8”, including the container. * Collector’s charm: Gather up a selection of fresh flowers from your garden and combine with things that have a special meaning to you.

* Branching Out: Will it be Curly Willow, Birch Branches or something from your favorite shrub that you will choose to be the main focus of this design? * Arts Alive: Create your own garden, by using potted plants and a picture frame. * Green and Gorgeous: Everyone will be ‘Green with Envy’ with your design of green flowers and/ or foliage. The three Specimen categories are The Perfect Bloom, The Best Leaf and the Showiest Shrub. Entries may be checked in from 9:30-10:30. Judging is from 10:30-12:00. The entries will be on display from 12:30-2:00. There will be a floral demonstration from 12:30-1:00. For more information about details of the show, call Marla Galetti at 816-587-1556 or go to our Website at

Miami County Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale Features Hostas, from Miniatures to Giants


he Miami County Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale will be held April 26, 27 and 28 on the grounds of the Ursuline Sisters campus in Paola, KS, in the Extension Master Gardeners parking lot. This year’s sale features an extensive collection of hosta varieties, from miniatures such as Blue Mouse Ears to the giant Blue Mammoth, and everything in between. As always, native plants will be well-represented, along with perennials, annuals, herbs, and small trees and shrubs. Plants have all been selected for their suitability to our climate, and are grown in Miami County, Kansas. Proceeds of the sale go toward fulfilling the Master Gardeners’ mission of providing the public with research-based horticultural information primar-

ily through public programs, the garden hotline, consultations, newspaper articles, demonstrations and trial gardens. Expert gardeners will be on hand to assist shoppers on Thursday from noon to 5, Friday from 8am to 5pm, and Saturday from 8am to noon. Paola is 15 minutes south of Olathe on 169 Highway. Ursuline is located near the intersection of Wea Street and Hospital Drive (enter the grounds from the Wea Street entrance.) Paola is 15 minutes south of Olathe on 169 Highway.

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Private gardens open to public during popular Kansas City garden tour


ix private gardens will be opened to the public during the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener Public Tour, May 18 and 19. Kansas City’s premier garden tour is a biennial event, and the only opportunity to tour some of the most beautiful private gardens in Kansas City. It is a perfect weekend excursion for anyone passionate about gardening. Each garden is owned and maintained by an Extension Master Gardener. The homes are selected for their individual qualities, and represent solutions to many gardening challenges commonly found in our region. This tour is popular because the homes and gardens are not expensive estates that are professionally landscaped and maintained — but are average family homes. What makes them

their own landscapes. Photography is encouraged.

spectacular is the fact that the owners are passionate about gardening and have transformed average, ho-hum lots into their own personal oasis. The garden owners and Extension Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to answer questions. Visitors receive information about the gardens development along with educational tips to take home and incorporate into

This year’s six garden designs include something for everyone: • Planned to Perfection — Shawnee • Something for Everyone — Lenexa • Gardening by the Cape — Fairway • Mediterranean Marvel — Overland Park • A Japanese Experience — Prairie Village • Days of Wine and Roses — Leawood Back by popular demand, national hosta expert, The Hosta Guy, will be on hand at the Gardening by the Cape garden in Fairway with a large selection of unique and popular hosta varieties for sale. Hand-made concrete

garden leaves will be available for purchase at the Mediterranean Marvel garden in Overland Park. A newly released book written for gardeners by gardeners, “Untangled - Straightforward Ideas by Midwest Gardeners” will be available for purchase. The hosta and concrete leaves are extremely popular and sell out quickly. This popular event is only held every other year. Tour tickets for this springtime, rain-or-shine event are $10 prior to May 1 and $12 after. Tickets are available through Johnson County Extension, Johnson County Hen House Markets starting May 1 or any of the six gardens days of the tour. Maps and directions are provided with each ticket. To learn more, take a virtual tour, at www. or call 913-715-7000.


MAy 4 (MeMbers only Preview sAle & recePtion) MAy 5-6 (Public sAle)

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Powell Gardens is located 30 miles east of Kansas city on u.s. Highway 50. Admission: $10/adults, $9/seniors, $4/children 5-12 816.697.2600

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Soil Test Interpretations – pH

Kylo Heller


ast time we talked about organic matter. This time we are going to discuss pH. Soil pH is one of the most common parameters analyzed, and one of the most important to pay attention to. First let’s talk about what it actually is, then we’ll discuss why it matters, and what to do about it. Soil pH is typically measured by combining one part soil with one part distilled water which is reported on the soil test as “pH, 1:1” or by combing the soil with just enough water to saturate the sample, which is reported as “pH, sat. paste extract”. Either provides valuable information, but I prefer the saturated paste extract, as that gives a more accurate reflection of what the soil solution would be. pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) in the solution. This is important because the H+ concentration influences most solid-liquid interactions in soils. There are multiple sources of H+ in the soil solution. Soil organic matter contains reactive compounds that release H+. Also, the broken edges of clay minerals as well as the surfaces of aluminum and iron oxides will also contribute H+ to the soil solution. The H+ in the soil solution can also be impacted by the presence of or loss of basic

(e.g. calcium and magnesium) salts, and ammonium or urea fertilizer application. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, below 7 is acidic, above 7 is basic. So what does that mean to Joe Gardener? Well, it can mean quite a bit. Most common grasses, vegetables, etc., will perform best in a soil that has a pH near neutral (~6.8). However, there are some plants that prefer a more acidic or more basic soil. The soil pH can affect plants in several ways. Perhaps the greatest impact is on the availability of nutrients in the soil. Phosphorus, along with many of the secondary and micronutrients is profoundly impacted by the soil pH. These individual nutrients will often form unavailable compounds as the pH strays from neutral. Iron, for example, is often unavailable in high pH soils, causing iron deficiency in some plants. In the same manner some elements can become problematic at certain pHs. For example, in acidic soils aluminum can become available in quantities and forms that are toxic to many plants. So, what should you do about your soil’s pH? First, figure out what it should be. Ask the person whom you are buying plants from (or your local extension agent or other expert) if those particular plants prefer a certain pH. If there is no special pH prescribed for what you are growing, aim for around 6.5 - 6.8. Changing the pH is not a one size fits all process, as soils have the ability to “buffer” against changes in the pH. The degree of “buffer capacity” will vary for each soil depending

on it properties. If your pH is too low, the most common amendment used to raise it is lime. Ask the laboratory that analyzed your sample to give a recommendation for how much lime to add, as they can determine the buffer capacity and prescribe a lime rate accordingly. For reducing high soil pHs, elemental sulfur or aluminum sulfate are most commonly used. Aluminum sulfate will work more quickly than elemental sulfur. You

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he Sweetshrubs or Carolina Allspices (Calycanthus spp.) are some of our most sweet and spicy flowering shrubs we can grow in Greater Kansas City. They begin to bloom in mid-April with primordial, madder red flowers emerging along the stems. The flowers have multiple petals radiating out from the center sort of like a sea urchin or spider and the whole flower is about 2” across when in full flower. They are pollinated by a most ancient insect, the beetle and exude a most inviting elixir of aromas to entice their pollinators.

We find this aroma both sweet and spicy, most pungent in the evening or times when the flowers are fertile for cross-pollination. Sweetshrubs are denizens of the forests of the Appalachians and Southeastern United States but are hardy well beyond their native range and thrive in local gardens. They are very shade tolerant but become large and lanky under such conditions – yes, I’ve seen them as tall as 15 feet in forested conditions in the wild! In full sun (though I always recommend afternoon shade here) the shrubs are more compact but still reach an easy 6 feet in height over time with some old specimens in local historic neighborhoods as tall as 8 feet. Some shrubs sucker into an ever-advancing thicket while others seem to stay in a multi-stemmed clump. Sweetshrubs are very drought tolerant once established and prefer

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Shrubs of Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice!

Sinocalycanthus sinensis Chinese Allspice blooms in late spring. rich, organic soils. They are actually quite at home in our local soils especially in woodland areas. The leaves are usually mat green but wonderfully lustrous in the cultivar ‘Michael Lindsey.’ In autumn they turn rich shades of yellow to gold. The twigs are rather coarse and give off a very spicy aroma like a men’s cologne when broken or scratched. The flowers produce fruit that are simply weird: an inflated woody capsule which contains the rather large seeds that gradually fall out of a hole at the end opposite where it is attached to the twig. I find these seed pods rather interesting in the winter landscape.

Some sweetshrubs have outstanding fragrant flowers while others sendoff hardly a whiff. I always advise to buy a cultivar for fragrance or make sure to buy a plant in flower so you can give it a whiff to find out yourself. The cultivar ‘Athens’ has oddly-colored flowers that lack the red hue so are greenish-yellow BUT are the most fragrant of any I have encountered. This shrub is at the end of my backyard deck stairs where its pineapple-strawberry scent permeates the whole back yard on warm spring evenings for a couple weeks and more. I have one friend who hates it because she says it always



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April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Beautiful gardens almost always include roses. But what other plants will grow well with roses and give your garden a polished and harmonious look? Jim Crist will show us the ideal companion plants for roses at Johnson County Rose Society meeting at 7pm on Thursday, April 12, at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS. Mr. Crist is a Johnson County Extension Master Gardener and past Consulting Rosarian. He has special expertise in landscaping. His program will show how to use roses in the landscape and how to choose appropriate companion plants for roses. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the general public. Refreshments are provided. For more information about the meetings, programs, and other activities of the JCRS, or for membership details, please visit their website at


Alan Branhagen is Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden. See his blog at



makes her hungry! The cultivar ‘Roy’s Dark Red’ has very dark, almost black-red flowers while the cultivar ‘Edith Wilder’ has classic maroon red flowers with a scent as good as ‘Athens.’ I have these two at opposite ends of my front yard for their fragrance. The aforementioned cultivar Michael Lindsey is a fragrant one too. A close relative from China, the Chinese Allspice (Sinocalycanthus sinensis) has gorgeous 3-inch white flowers with a yellow center that unfortunately have no fragrance. We have had this shrub at Powell Gardens gracing the entrance to the Rock & Waterfall Garden’s lower deck for almost 15 years now and its nodding white flowers in late spring are always a hit – it has reached nearly 8 feet in height now and also produces the unique pod-like fruit. Hybridizers have crossed the Chinese and native Allspices to create something new: X Calycalycanthus! For a few years now, a couple of these new hybrids have been available to gardeners: ‘Hartlage Wine’ and ‘Venus.’ Hartlage Wine has large maroon, magnolia-like flowers that are much showier than the native Sweetshrub but have little or no fragrance. Venus has large white, magnolia-like flowers listed as emitting a powerful fragrance of strawberries, melons and spices. I have two Venus shrubs at home and they are rather rangy and the flowers do smell nice but not as good as ‘Athens’ does! We are excited to have the newest hybrid for Powell Gardens’ spring plant sale the cultivar ‘Aphrodite’ which is supposed to have large, bright red magnolialike flowers and be very fragrant. We are looking forward to how well it performs in the garden. So if you want a unique, American native shrub that will provide some garden ornament through every season please give the sweetshrubs a try. If you like fragrant plants as much as I do then this shrub is a must for your landscape. I like the Chinese species and the hybrids too and they can really make a woodland garden have some spring pizzaz. Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what sweetshrubs are made of!


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garden calendar n LAWNS

• Apply preemergent crabgrass control by April 15 for best results. • Remove winter debris such from lawn before first mowing. • Check mower. Change oil, clean air filter and sharpen blade. • Set mower one notch lower than normal to remove brown leaf tips, do not scalp. • Mow bluegrass and tall fescue at 3 inches, removing no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. • Let the grass clippings fall, unless piling up on turf. • Spot seed to fill in bare areas by mid month. • Avoid the temptation to mow or fertilize zoysia lawns until May. • Spot treat for broadleaf weed control. • Do not water, unless of a severe drought or applying chemicals.


• Prepare soil for spring planting, avoid working wet soil. • Soil test to determine fertility needs. • Fertilize soil and add organic matter for improvements. • Plant salad crops such as carrots, beets, onions, lettuce and spinach in early April. • Thin salad crops to add space for development. • Add perennial vegetables to the garden, asparagus and rhubarb. • Begin asparagus harvest and continue until spear size decreases. • Plant cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower early in month for best yield. • Plant beans, corn and other crops in late April. • Control weed growth in the garden with light cultivation and mulch. • Turn compost pile to increase breakdown.


• Begin fruit tree spray programs. • Prune fruit trees if task is not already complete. • Plant new fruit trees. • Plant small fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. • Prune raspberries and blackberries. • Prune grapevines. • Remove winter mulch from strawberry bed.

• Avoid use of insecticides during bloom time on fruits to protect honey bees. • Fertilize fruit planting.


• Plant new trees and shrubs. • Fertilize young plants for added growth. • Apply mulch around base of trees and shrubs. • Water newly planted trees and shrubs as needed. • Prune trees and shrubs except those that bloom early in the spring • Remove suckers and other shoots from the trunks of trees. • Mulch around young trees as the removal of grass can double the growth rate.


• Prepare soil for planting and add organic matter and fertilizer. • Remove winter mulch from perennial gardens. • Cut back last season(s growth on perennials. • Fertilize spring flowering bulbs before bloom for best results. • Remove seed heads from spring flowering bulbs. • Leave foliage on bulbs until it dies back naturally. • Plant or divide perennials. • Plant new roses. • Fertilize and prune roses. • Transplant or seed cool season annuals such as pansies or snapdragons.


• Repot, overgrown plants by increasing pot size 1 inch. • Clean leaves with warm water and a soft cloth to remove dust and improve light. • Prune plants to shape and promote new growth. • Begin fertilization for summer growth. • Keep spent leaves and flowers removed. • Start new plants by divisions or cuttings. • Resist the temptation to move plants outdoors until nighttime temps remain above 60 degrees.

Johnson County K-State Research and Extension recommends environmentally-friendly gardening practices. This starts by identifying and monitoring problems. Cultural practices and controls are the best approach for a healthy garden. If needed, use physical, biological or chemical controls. Always consider the least toxic approach first. Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see

Club Meetings African Violet Club of GKC Tues, Apr 10, 5:30-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Bonsai Society of GKC Sat, Apr 7, 9:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Apr 15, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Sat, Apr 14, 11am-1pm; at Vogel Landscaping, 10100 Raytown Rd, Kansas City, MO 64134. Topic is Supertufa! Unlike Hypertufa, this material dries within 6 hours, whereas Hypertufa takes 5-6 days. You will be able to take your creation home. Supertufa is patented, user friendly and environmentally safe. It can be used for interior or exterior projects. Lady Elaine Coleman will be here to teach us all the uses for Supertufa, such as garden pots, troughs, leaf castings, stepping stones and many other uses. The cost for the workshop is $20. All supplies will be provided along with extra material to purchase. Dress for messy creativity. Call in advance to let us know if you will be attending as we need to plan on supplies. Please note the change in day, time and location for this special meeting. Guests are always welcome. Come join us and make a gardening friend! 816-9412445. Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Apr 11, noon-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Edible Flowers presented by master gardener of GKC, Sandy Bonar. Registration required. 816-822-1515. Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Apr 12, 7pm; at Prairie Village Comm Ctr, 7720 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Beautiful gardens almost always include roses. But what other plants will grow well with roses and give your garden a polished and harmonious look? Jim Crist will show us the ideal companion plants for roses. Mr. Crist is a Johnson County Extension Master Gardener and past Consulting Rosarian. He has special expertise in landscaping. His program will show how to use roses in the landscape and how to choose appropriate companion plants for roses. At the “Consulting Rosarians Corner” members and guests will have an opportunity to have a free one-on-one consultation with a Consulting Rosarian about specific questions or concerns regarding all aspects of rose growing and care. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the general public. Refreshments are provided. www. Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Apr 15, 1-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Apr 2 and 30, 9am-1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Morning program at 10am with Jan Marie Harback talking about “Natural Products for Making Your Soil and Plants Happy”. Floral design lesson about contrasts in designs by Barbara Lauderdale. Garden Tips by Iva Stribling. Shop at the sales table for bargains. Bring a sack lunch and join members downstairs after the meeting. Drinks and sweets provided. The public is invited. 913-599-4141 Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Apr 10, 7pm, at Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, 1263 N 1100 Rd, Lawrence, KS. Our group meets monthly to learn about herbs. We explore all aspects of an herb: growing & harvesting, historical lore, culinary virtues, medicinal merits, and aromatherapy, household, and cosmetic applications. Our gatherings are fun and educational, and jampacked with useful information, including relevant demonstrations. Our focus herbs are Oregano and Dandelion. Plus, you never know what you’ll learn

April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

during our popular Share, Show, and Tell segment. Everyone with an interest in herbs is welcome. There is a $2 charge to cover costs (KVHSG is a non-profit group; no charge for students). No pets. No children under 12. For information and monthly newsletter email Leawood Garden Club Tues, Apr 24, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St, Leawood, KS. Business meeting followed by program “Clip Art: Tidying the Plants in Your Garden” by Leah Berg. Bring a sack lunch. Desserts & beverages are provided. Open to the public, guests are welcome. Contact 816-3630925 or for further information. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Apr 10, 7pm; at Gamber Center, 4 SE Independence Ave, Lee’s Summit, MO. Our special program will be a stellar presentation by Powell Gardens Anne Wildeboor on “Annuals and Design”. There promises to be excellent refreshments this month and we welcome first time guests. Call Robbie at 816-524-8757 if you have any questions and visit our website at Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Apr 10, 7-8pm; at Lenexa Senior Building, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. “Mistakes in Your Garden” by Bob Lane.; 913-541-1465

it’s Our Openhouse: A Gardening Salebration! Celebrating 35 Years

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620-964-2463 or 2423

Mo Kan Daylily Society Sun, Apr 22, 10:30am-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Northland Garden Club Tues, Apr 17, 7pm; at Linden Baptist Church, 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone, MO. Program: Gardens of Kansas City, Speaker Craig Nienaber, KC Star. Guests are welcome. For further information contact Gretchen Lathrop, 816-781-4569. www. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tour Tues, Apr 17, 9am; at the East Gate Parking Lot, 1229 E Santa Fe, Olathe, KS. Come, see and learn about plantings for this area as we tour Arnold’s Greenhouse in LeRoy, KS. You will see a vast array of plants, have questions answered, be introduced to new varieties as well as old standbys. This is an excellent time to find that “just right plant/shrub” for your yard or garden. Meet at 9am and carpool to Arnold’s, 1430 Highway 58 SE, LeRoy, KS. Contact Lila Courtney, 913-764-2494, for more information. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Apr 16, 7pm; at Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. The guest speaker will be: Bernard Armstrong. Topic is “Water Gardening 101”. Bernard has been an Extension Master Gardener for both Johnson and Miami Counties since 1992. He has worked the Hotline every Friday for many years. He is considered one of the most knowledgeable EMGs at the extension office. He lives in Bucyrus on an acreage and loves to experiment growing different and unusual plants. His words of wisdom “please don’t plant Bamboo”. He has been an avid water gardener for at least ten years. ShoMe African Violets Society Fri, Apr 13, 11am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 St Joseph Herb Gardeners Thurs, Apr 5, 6:30pm; at FCS Financial Building. With Jim Fly, certified health consultant. President: Helen Snuffer 816-279-7372. St Joseph Herb Gardeners Sat, Apr 14, at Tioga Rd, Wathena, KS 66090. Car pool out of town to the Good Acre’s garden tour with John Good. President: Helen Snuffer 816-279-7372. Sunflower Gardeners of America Tues, Apr 10, 7pm; at West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N 82nd Street, Kansas City, KS 66112. Public is invited. For more info call Claudeane at 913-2877045.

(continued on page 40) Monday through Saturday , 8am til 7:30pm

Always closed on Sundays

Only 1-1/2 hours from Southwest Kansas City i-35 to US 75, South 23 miles to K-58, east 1-1/2 miles (Located 4-1/2 miles west of Leroy, KS on hwy 58)

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for Spring

We are looking for friendly, hard-working people to fill positions for our spring season at our 3 retail locations as well as our service areas: Hardgoods Sales Plant Sales Cashiers Horticulturists Phone Operators Landscape Maintenance Truck Drivers, CDL & non-CDL Equipment Operators Laborers Mechanics, Small Engine & Heavy Equipment Full & Part time positions available For more information please contact our Human Resource Department phone: 816-941-4700 fax: 816-941-3838

applications available on line at

13635 Wyandotte, KCMO 39

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places to go, things to do, people to see (continued from page 39)

Events, Lectures & Classes April Local Artist on Display at Powell Gardens Through April. Marilyn Weimer will have watercolor paintings on display. The subjects are hummingbirds, floral and fairy paintings. The Powell Garden’s gift shop will have fairy images on laminated bookmarks for sale. Also greeting cards of various hummingbird print-outs will be available. View examples website,

• Call us for a free consultation • Spring cleanings/Fall closings • Monthly cleaning services

Sho-Me African Violet Club 27th Annual Show and Sale – “Violets Down on the Farm” Sat, Mar 31, 9am-3pm and Sun, Apr 1, 10am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Come enjoy the beauty of African Violets and related gesnariad plants being entered in this nationally judged show. View the plants in the Show Room, then enhance your home with member grown plants being offered in the Sales Room. Free admission. 816-784-5300

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Gardeners’ Gathering Tues, Apr 3, 6:30pm; at Anita B Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave, KCMO. “Insects in the Vegetable Garden”; Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Professor of Entomology, Kansas State University, will teach to recognize insect and mite pests of vegetable gardens and manage them using cultural, physical, chemical and biological methods. Presented by Master Gardeners of Greater KC. Free, open to the public. Door prizes. Questions? 816-396-5541 Woodland Wildflower Walk Wed, Apr 4, 9-11am; FREE BUT SPACE LIMITED to 30 people; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Join our two experts as they take you on a walk through the woodlands at the Arboretum to see the vast selection of native wildflowers in bloom. Ken O’Dell specializes in growing native woodland wildflowers and prairie plants. Lynda Ochs has taught at JCCC, developing courses such as Environmental Science & Natural History of Kansas. Wear sturdy shoes as you will be walking on wood-chipped trails that can be uneven and sometimes slippery, depending on weather. Register by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your acknowledgement receipt to the walk for admission. For additional information, call 913-685-3604. Early Spring Crops Fri, Apr 6, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. Give in to your spring gardening fever and get outside to plant a spring vegetable garden. Learn about selecting, planting and caring for vegetables that thrive in the cool spring weather. Presented by Mary Roduner, Beanstalk Children’s Garden Coordinator. No cost to attend. Space is limited so please call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. Earl May Girl’s Night Out Fri, Apr 6, 4-8pm; at Earl May Seed & Nursery, 3200 Iowa St, Lawrence, KS 66046. Grab your friends and join us! Featuring Food by Billy Vanilly cupcakes, Master Gardeners, Terrarium how-to, container gardening, lawn and landscape consults. 785-749-5082.

come experience spring! 311 East 135th St. • Kansas City, MO 64145 (We’re on the sunny south side between Wornall & Holmes.)

816-941-2332 Mon.–Sat. 8-6 • Sun. 10-5 40

Third Annual Hands-on Rose Pruning Demonstration Sat, Apr 7, 9am-1pm; at St James Catholic Church, 3909 Harrison St, Kansas City, MO. Sponsored by the Johnson County Rose Society and the Kansas City Rose Society. Consulting Rosarian Laura Dickinson and Master Consulting Rosarian Glenn Hodges will lead the demonstrations. Space is limited to 15 attendees at each session. Call Nancy Moylan (816-358-7360) to reserve your place. Wear long pants and long sleeves, and bring gloves and pruning shears. There is no charge, but a donation to the St James Rose Garden is suggested. Jump-Start Your Pond-The Rites of Spring Sat, Apr 7, 10:30am; at Water’s Edge, 847 Indiana St, Lawrence, KS 66044. Learn the steps and techniques

you’ll need to start up your pond for the season. We’ll review how to get pumps and filters up and running smoothly and provide some tips on keeping your fish healthy and pond water clear. Class is free. 785-841-6777 Vegetable Garden Basics Mon, Apr 9, 6:30-8pm; at Roger T Sermon Center, 201 N Dodgion Ave, Independence, MO 66050 (near intersection of Noland and Truman). This workshop is helpful for beginning and experienced gardeners. Learn the fundamentals of successful vegetable gardening including: site selection, soil improvement and preparation, garden planning, planting techniques, variety selection, garden maintenance and harvesting. Presented by Ben Sharda, KCCG Executive Director. No cost for attending the workshop. Space is limited. Call Earlene Franks at 816931-3877 to register. Tomatoes Two-session class on Apr 10 and 12, 6:30-8:30pm; presented by Garden Center Association; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. We will cover how to start your own plants from seed including planting some to take home. We will cover transplanting, pruning and giving your plants the right support to grow on for the healthiest tomato plants. Learn the differences between heirlooms and hybrids as well as diseases, pests and what all those crazy letters are after the names of hybrids and what they mean to gardeners. You will also get plans for how to build your own tomato cages and trellises at home. $25 (GCA members $18), includes class materials. Bring a flash drive to first class for a copy of all materials, including PowerPoint programs. You can register online on the GCA website,, or send your check made out to GCA along with a notation of which class you wish to attend to Brian Chadwick-Robinson; 6911 NW Blair Road; Parkville, MO 64152. “La Vie en Rose” Thurs, Apr 12, 5-7pm; at 400 E 63rd St, Kansas City, MO. The Kansas City Rose Society is Sponsoring a Spring Open House at J’adore Home & Garden. The public is invited to come shop for new Spring garden items and gifts. 10% of sales will be donated to the Kansas Rose Society, a 501c-3 not-for-profit organization responsible for funding and maintaining the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Loose Park. Members of the Kansas City Rose Society will receive a gift with purchase! www. Growing Herbs Fri, Apr 13, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. Fresh herbs are a tasty addition to your cooking. Learn the best ways to grow and preserve the most popular varieties. Presented by Mary Roduner, Beanstalk Children’s Garden Coordinator. There is no cost for attending the workshop. Space is limited. Call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. Gardening for Butterflies Sat, Apr 14, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Discover what annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs are best to use in your butterfly garden. You will design your own butterfly garden with help from the instructor, a Senior Gardener and Greenhouse Grower at Powell Gardens. Bring pictures and dimensions of the area in which you would like to create a butterfly garden. The class will include a short, guided tour of the Insectary Garden at Powell Gardens. You will leave with a host plant of a popular caterpillar along with your completed design! $24/person, $17/Members. Registration required by Apr 9. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online and see pictures of projects at and follow the CLASSES link. Jump-Start Your Pond-The Rites of Spring Sat, Apr 14, 10:30am; at Water’s Edge, 847 Indiana St, Lawrence, KS 66044. If you missed it the first time, here’s another chance. Learn the steps and techniques you’ll need to start up your pond for the season. We’ll review how to get pumps and filters up and running smoothly and provide some tips on keeping your fish healthy and pond water clear. Class is free. 785-841-6777

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Advanced Schoolyard Gardening Sat, Apr 14, 10:30am-noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. This workshop is for teachers and school staff with established schoolyard gardens that want to take their garden to the next level. Learn about fun and educational garden activities, garden expansion, how to grow more challenging crops and the benefits of adding fruit to your garden. Presented by MaryAnna Henggeler, Schoolyard Gardens Coordinator and Andrea Mathew, KCCG Program Director. There is no cost for attending the workshops. Space is limited so please call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. New Volunteer Orientation Sat, Apr 14, 9-11am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Consider spending part of your leisure time volunteering at Overland Park’s 300-acre Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This hidden jewel at 179th and Antioch is a great place for people to get back in touch with nature, admire the beauty of numerous flower and water gardens and become part of a wonderful volunteer experience. Find out about volunteer opportunities such as gardening, greeters, prairie restoration, greenhouse operations, weddings, photography, birds, special events and plant sales. Free - only requirement is 30 hours per year of volunteer time. Register by going to and follow the prompts or by calling 913-685-3604 or by emailing Spring Foraging Sat, Apr 14, 10am-noon, at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village, just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection. Presented by The Gardens at Unity Village. Take a walk on the wild side! $10/FREE for members. Please make reservations 1 week prior to workshop. Go to for enrollment forms or call 816-769-0259 for more information or visit us on FaceBook! Life’s a Pond-Get Muddy! Sat, Apr 14, 11:30am; at Water’s Edge, 847 Indiana St, Lawrence, KS 66044. Plantwork for the spring, get tips on how to divide, pot, up-pot and re-pot aquatic plants: how and where to chop, what kind of pots, planting media and fertilizer to use. We’ll get muddy while you watch. Class is free. 785841-6777 Planting Asparagus Sat, Apr 14, 1-3pm, at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village, just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection. Presented by The Gardens at Unity Village. FREE “In the Garden” activity. Please make reservations 1 week prior to workshop. Go to www.gardensatunity. org for enrollment forms or call 816-769-0259 for more information or visit us on FaceBook! Shawnee Mission NW’s High School Plant Sale Apr 14-May 2, at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, 12701 West 67th St, Shawnee, KS 66216. Open every Wed, Sat, and Sun from Apr 14 to May 2. The greenhouse will be open on Wednesdays 3-6 pm, Saturdays 9 am-6 pm, and Sundays 11 am-5 pm. We have a large variety of annuals, perennials, herbs, tomatoes, peppers and more. Vegetable Garden Basics Mon, Apr 16, 6-7:30pm; at Community Housing Wyandotte County, 2 South 14th St, Kansas City, KS  66102. This workshop is helpful for beginning and experienced gardeners.  Learn the fundamentals of successful vegetable gardening including:  site selection, soil improvement and preparation, garden planning, planting techniques, variety selection, garden maintenance and harvesting.  Presented by Ben Sharda, KCCG Executive Director. There is no cost for attending the workshop.  Space is limited so please call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. Woodland Wildflower Walk Wed, Apr 18, 9-11am; FREE BUT SPACE LIMITED to 30 people; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Join our two experts as they take you on a walk through the woodlands at the Arboretum to see the vast selection of native wildflowers in bloom. Ken O’Dell specializes in growing native woodland wildflowers and prairie plants. Lynda Ochs has taught at JCCC, developing courses such as Environmental Science & Natural History of Kansas. Please wear sturdy shoes as you will be walking on wood-chipped trails that can be uneven and sometimes slippery, depending on weather. Register by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your acknowledgement

receipt to the walk for admission. For additional information, 913-685-3604. Overland Park GOA Spring Plant Sale Thurs-Sat, Apr 19-21, Thurs: noon-7p, Fri: 10a-7p, Sat: 10a-6p; at Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, Ks. Hostas provided by the Hosta Guy, Rob Mortko. Large selection of annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs will be for sale. Potting soil will also be for sale. Children may plant pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Master Gardener, Honey Barnekoff, will be available to assemble custom containers. Bring your own or choose from selection offered. Bring your used nursery pots for reuse in our 1st Annual Pot Harvest. Tomatoes and Peppers Fri, Apr 20, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. Are you overwhelmed by the number of tomato varieties available? Are you confused about heirloom tomatoes? Do your pepper plants not produce as many peppers as you would like? Come learn how to choose, plant and care for tomatoes and peppers. Presented by Ben Sharda, KCCG Program Director. There is no cost for attending the workshop. Space is limited. Call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. Burroughs Audubon Society Native Plant Sale Sat, Apr 21, 8am-4pm; at BAS Library and Nature Center in Fleming Park, 7300 SW West Park Rd (1 block south of Woods Chapel Rd, across from the Lake Jacomo Marina). The library also sells bird seed, feeders and other nature-related items. Native plants have many advantages in your yard: they require less water and maintenance and they support a variety of birds and beneficial insects. Best of all, your purchase is tax-free and also helps to support the Important Bird Areas program in Missouri and other conservation projects for birds and bird habitat. Please come out and stock up for spring planting— just in time for Mother’s Day! For more information see or call 816-824-1074.

This is our busiest time of the year and we need your help! We are now hiring for the following positions: • Cashiers • Sales • Outside Lawn and Garden Day and evening shifts available. Please apply at your local Westlake Ace Hardware or forward your resume to Applications available on line at

Planting An Herb Garden Sat, Apr 21, 10am; at Fire Lake Camp, 29580 Lone Star Rd, Paola, KS 66071. Herb gardens bring exciting tastes to our meals and can bring comfort and Westlake Ace Hardware is an Equal Opportunity Employer. healing to our bodies. Fresh herbs are the best tasting and most nutritious. Anyone with a small patch of sunny space can have an herb garden. Learn how to get started during this hands on class and have an 2/14/12 2:59 PM herb garden of your own. After class we will strollLawn Garden Center Help Wanted BW.indd 1 through the gardens tour Fire Lake Camp and enjoy a beautiful lunch severed alfresco on our long tables created just for you by our guest chef. Lunch served Avg temp 55° at Noon. Designs will be available as well as the Avg high temp 66° highest quality herb selection for you to purchase for your own garden. Your garden experience $40 per Avg low temp 46° person. Space is very limited. Note: Our Asparagus Patch will be open for picking during your visit. Highest recorded temp 95° Sign up on the web site or Lowest recorded temp 16° 913-544-9260.


Divide and Conquer Your Aquatic Plants Sat, Apr 21, 10:30am; at Water’s Edge, 847 Indiana St, Lawrence, KS 66044. Watch and learn while we demonstrate the techniques we use to divide and repot aquatic plants. Find out how and where to chop, what kind of pots, planting media and fertilizer to use on lilies, lotus and pals. Class is free. 785-841-6777 It’s Raining Barrels! Sat, Apr 21, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Do you want lush green gardens without the high water bills? Well, we have your solution! Using rain barrels can be an easy, inexpensive way to have beautiful gardens all growing season. During this workshop you will learn why and how to use a rain barrel. Plus, you will get to make your own rain barrel to take home. Your rain barrel will be made with a 55-gallon barrel, so bring an appropriately sized vehicle to haul it home. $57/project, $49/Members. Registration required by Apr 6. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online and see pictures of projects at and follow the CLASSES link. Planting a Potager Garden Sat, Apr 21, 3pm; at Fire Lake Camp, 29580 Lone Star Rd, Paola, KS 66071. A Potager Garden is a Kitchen garden which is a beautiful ornamental vegetable garden where vegetables, herbs and flowers are chosen according to their aesthetic value as well as their edible value and are mixed together in one or more vegetable garden beds. After class we will stroll through the gardens, tour Fire Lake Camp and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and local wine selection created just for you by our guest chef. Designs will be available as well as the highest quality herb, vegetable and

(continued on page 42)

April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Now Hiring Seasonal Lawn and Garden Help at All Locations!

Weather Repor t

Highs and Lows

Nbr of above 70° days 12

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 9 Avg nbr of cloudy days 14

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 0.8” Avg rainfall 3.3” Avg nbr of rainy days 11 Source:

From the Almanac Moon Phases

Plant Above Ground Crops: 1, 6, 22, 23, 27, 28

Full Moon: Apr. 6 Last Quarter: Apr. 13 New Moon: Apr. 21 First Quarter: Apr. 29 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Root Crops: 6, 9, 12, 13

Control Plant Pests: 14-16, 19-21

Transplant: 1, 6-8

Plant Flowers: 22, 23, 27, 28


Hotlines for Gardeners Extension Master Gardeners are ready to answer your gardening questions.

places to go, things to do, people to see (continued from page 41)


flower selection for you to purchase for your own garden. Your garden experience $40 per person. Space is limited. Note: Our Asparagus Patch will be open for picking during your visit. Sign up on the web site or 913-544-9260.


Ikebana Class Apr 21 and 22, 10am-5pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Exhibit. 816-784-5300.


Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Tuber Sale Apr 21 and 22, 8am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, KCMO. 816-784-5300

785-843-7058;; Mon-Fri, 1-4pm 816-833-8733 (TREE); Mon-Fri, 9am to 3pm 913-715-7050; Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm;


660-747-3193; Wed, 9am-noon


913-364-5700; Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm


913-294-4306; Mon-Fri, 9am-noon


816-270-2141; Wed, 1-4pm


913-299-9300; Mon, Wed, Fri, 9am-noon and 1-4pm

Water Gardens Tour 2012 19th Annual Water Garden Tour Come see 50 plus backyard water gardens of Water Garden Society members Saturday, July 7 • Sunday, July 8 9am - 5pm Rain or Shine Bus tours available.

Call: 913-599-9718 • 816-861-3449 Proceeds benefit construction of educational and restorative water gardens and other educational programs in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Contributing Sponsor: House of Rocks 42

Upcoming Garden Events

MO Prairie Foundation’s Annual Native Plant Sale Sat, Apr 21 and 28, 7am-1pm; at the City Market, 5th and Walnut, Kansas City, MO. The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s annual native plant sale will be held the last two Saturdays in April. A large variety of native Missouri wildflowers, grasses and some shrubs/ small trees suitable for many growing conditions— sunny, shady, wet, and dry—will be available for sale. Proceeds will benefit MPF and will help protect Missouri prairies. Contact: Doris at 816-779-6708. Bird Walk - Learn, Listen & Identify the Birds Wed, Apr 25, 9am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $5 per person – 10 people maximum. Join Laura & John Bosnak, our bird specialists, as they take you on a walk through the Arboretum sharing their wealth of knowledge about birds and how to identify them by their songs and calls. John and Laura have traveled extensively and have been involved with the Audubon and other birding organizations for many years. Dress appropriately (closed toe shoes and long pants are recommended). Bug repellent and binoculars are encouraged. Register by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your acknowledgement receipt to the walk for admission. For information only, 913-685-3604. Miami County MG Spring Plant Sale Apr 26-28; on the grounds of the Ursuline Sisters campus in Paola, KS at the intersection of Wea Street and Hospital Dr. It will be held in the Extension Master Gardeners parking lot. Expert gardeners will be on hand to help shoppers select native plants, perennials, including a large variety of hosta and miniature hosta, and small trees and shrubs on Thurs from noon to 5, Fri from 8 to 5, and Sat from 8 to noon. Paola is 15 mins south of Olathe on 169 Hwy. Integrated Pest Management Fri, Apr 27, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. Using chemicals to control insects and diseases should be your last resort. This workshop will help you to develop multi-faceted strategies to control pests and diseases. Learn about crop rotation, disease resistance, maintenance techniques and more for a healthier garden. Presented by Mary Roduner. Free. Space limited. Call 816-931-3877 to register. Ozanam’s “Thyme for Kids” Plant Sale Fri, Apr 27, 9am-6pm and Sat, Apr 28, 9am-5pm, inside the greenhouse on Ozanam’s main campus located at 421 E 137th St, Kansas City, MO 64145. This event is free and open to the public. Visitors can shop from a variety of annuals, perennials and herbs grown by the boys and girls participating in Ozanam’s Horticultural Therapy Program, which offers these children a chance to learn how to nurture and care for living things while drawing correlations to their own lives. Handmade garden decorations will also be available. Volunteer support will be provided by the Kansas City Young Matrons. Complete listing of plants will be offered online prior to the sale. For more information about Ozanam and our plant sale, contact Laurie at 816-508-3608. Mo-Kan Daylily Society Spring Sale Sat, Apr 28, 8am-1pm, at Cave Spring Park, Gregory and Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO. Prairie Elementary PTA Annual Plant Sale Sat, Apr 28, 8am-4pm; at Prairie Elementary School, 6700 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. The sale, featuring colorful annuals, fragrant herbs, perennials,

and vegetables plants as well as hanging baskets, will help fund next year’s 6th grade trip to Wildwood. Emporia Gardeners of America Annual Plant Sale Sat, Apr 28, 7:30 am-2:30pm, at Anderson Building, Lyon County Fair Grounds, Emporia, Kansas. For more information call 620-342-4091. The Famous Raytown Garden Club Plant Sale Sat, Apr 28, 8am-12pm, at Cave Springs Park, corner of Gregory and Blue Ridge Cut-Off. Bee Attracting Flowers Sat, Apr 28, 1-3pm, at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village, just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection. Presented by The Gardens at Unity Village. Welcome back our pollinating friends! FREE “In the Garden” activity. Make reservations 1 week prior to workshop. Go to for enrollment forms or call 816-769-0259 for more information or visit us on FaceBook!

May Overland Park Arboretum Spring Plant Sale May 3, 4, and 5; at Overland Park Arboretum, 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 at 179th & Antioch. Preview sale and reception for Friends of the Arboretum members from 4-7pm on Thursday. Join FOTA and receive 10% member discount. Open to the public. Friday and Saturday, 9am-5pm, Enormous selection of certified organic herbs, collectors’ hostas, native plants and wildflowers, annuals and perennials. Lush combination planters and hanging baskets for Mother’s day. Plant list at Free herb demonstrations both days at 12:30. 913-685-3604. 17th Annual Spring Dig Plant Sale Thurs, May 3, 8am-7pm; Fri, May 4, 8am-7pm; Sat, May 5, 8am-noon; at Shawnee Presbyterian Church, 6837 Nieman, Shawnee, KS. To benefit Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc. Sale held rain or shine. Annuals, perennials, herbs, hanging baskets, tomatoes, hostas, and patio planters. 913-281-3388. Annual Spring Fling Open House and Sale May 5 and 6; at Water’s Edge, 847 Indiana St, Lawrence, KS 66044. Join the party! We’ll be cooking up brats and dogs for lunch on Sun, May 6...bring the tads- and the old bullfrog, too! 785-841-6777 Leavenworth MG Annual Herb and Plant Sale Sat, May 5, 8:30-11:30am, at Carroll Mansion Museum, 1128 5th Ave, Leavenworth, KS. This sale features a wide variety of popular and exciting herbs ready for planting, along with beautiful flowering hanging baskets, and locally grown plants for home landscapes. Leavenworth Master Gardeners will be available with printed recipes for using the herbs in cooking and suggestions on how to grow the herbs and plants in local gardens. Located on the grounds of historic Carroll Mansion, customers will be able to walk through the recently renovated Museum Herb Garden and shop at the Victorian Gift Shoppe. Visit our facebook page, leavenworthmastergardeners. Planting a Container Garden Sat, May 5, 10am; at Fire Lake Camp, 29580 Lone Star Rd, Paola, KS 66071. Just as stylish accessories bring a room to life, gorgeous planted containers are the finishing touch for every garden. So whether it’s space issues as the motive...or, if you’re like me, the shear beauty of a well done container always catches your eye, we hope you find many ideas for container gardening through this hands on class. After class we will stroll through the gardens, tour Fire Lake Camp enjoy a beautiful lunch served alfresco created just for you by our guest chef. Lunch served at Noon. Design list, and the highest quality plants will be available for purchase, if you would like to plant your container garden after our lunch we will assist you in planting your container. Containers, plants and soil will be available, you can also bring your own favorite container. Your garden experience $40 per person. Note: Our Asparagus Patch will be open for picking during your visit. Sign up on the web site or 913-544-9260. What’s New in Water Gardening Sat, May 5, 10:30am; at Water’s Edge, 847 Indiana St, Lawrence, KS 66044. Find out about recently

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Planting & Identifying Annual & Perennial Herbs Sat, May 5, 1-3pm, at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village, just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection. Presented by The Gardens at Unity Village. $10/ FREE for members. Please make reservations 1 week prior to workshop. Go to for enrollment forms or call 816-769-0259 for more information or visit us on FaceBook! Water Quality & Clarity-Things You Should Know Sat, May 5, 1:30pm; at Water’s Edge, 847 Indiana St, Lawrence, KS 66044. Get the skinny on testing and treating water conditions. Make sure your pond gets started right...or back on track! We’ll review pond planting and stocking guidelines for balancing a low maintenance garden pond. Class is free. 785-841-6777 Native Plant Sale at “Wings Over Weston” Birding Festival Thurs-Sat, May 10-12, 8am-3pm; at Weston Bend State Park on Hwy 45 in Weston, MO. This sale is sponsored by Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City and proceeds help support the Important Bird Areas program in Missouri, as well as other bird conservation and public nature education projects. Native plants have many advantages in your yard: they require less water and maintenance and they support a variety of birds and beneficial insects. For more information, see weston-bend-state-park or call 816-824-1074. Master Gardeners’ Annual Plant Sale Sat, May 12, 8am-3pm, under the bigtop at Bass Pro Shops, Southwest corner of MO-291 and I-70, Independence, MO. Over 10,000 plants: vegetables, perennials, annuals, natives and garden art. Reasonable prices. Master Gardeners on-site to help with your selections. Raffle with over 30 wonderful prizes. Rain or shine. Come early to get the best choices. Checks, cash, and credit cards accepted., or 816-252-5051. Basics of Bees Sat, May 12, 10am-noon, at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village, just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection.  Presented by The Gardens at Unity Village. With our beekeeper Rick Drake. $10/FREE to members. Please make reservations 1 week prior to workshop. Go to for enrollment forms or call 816-769-0259 for more information or visit us on FaceBook! Insects in the Garden Fri, May 18, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. Do you ever wonder whether the insects in your garden are helping or harming your plants? Learn about the common insects found in our area so that you can identify garden pests as well as the beneficial insects. We will also discuss how to control problem insects. Presented by Mary Roduner, Beanstalk Children’s Garden Coordinator. There is no cost for attending the workshop. Space limited. Call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. Citywide Seed, Plant and Bulb Exchange Sat, May 19, 9am-noon; at Anita B Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, MO. Free event open to all area gardeners. Bring all items properly labeled and everyone just goes shopping for FREE! Please no invasives or weedy type items. It is Native Prairie Plant Day at the Center so they will be giving out seedlings. Questions: Dayna 816-356-9892. Natural Insect Repellent Sat, May 26, 1-3pm, at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village, just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection. Presented by The Gardens at Unity Village. Why not make your own? It smells terrific! $10/FREE for members. Just in time for Memorial Day Picnic! Make reservations 1 week prior to workshop. Go to for enrollment forms or call 816-769-0259 for more information or visit us on FaceBook! 11th Annual “Herb Days in May Festival” May 26 and 27, 10am-5pm and 4pm Sun; at Located at Evening Shade Farms Soap House, 12790 SE Hwy TT, Osceola, MO (7 Miles East off Hwy 13 on TT Hwy). The festival includes: Artisan Handmade Soap & Body products, heirloom flower and vegetable plants and herbs, trees and shrubs, pottery and woodworking demonstrations, custom jewelry, metal

April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

garden art, blacksmith art, hypertufa planters, photo and fiber art. Greek food and Doc’s Root Beer, and more. Evening Shade Farm’s famous Lemon Verbena Cake. The Foot Stomping Bear Creek Folk Band will provide music in a beautiful relaxing country setting. Free Admission. 417-282-6985;;

June Plant Diseases Fri, Jun 1, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, KCMO. Learn about common plant diseases and how to control them. We will discuss problems such as tomato blossom end rot, septoria leaf spot, cedar-apple rust and powdery mildew. Presented by Mary Roduner, Beanstalk Children’s Garden Coordinator. Free. Space is limited. Call 816931-3877 to register. Northland Annual Garden Tour Sun, Jun 3, 1-5pm. The tour, A Day of Wine and Roses, will feature unique and beautiful private gardens in the Liberty area with the final stop at Belvoir winery for refreshment. Presented by Northland Garden Club. or call Dee West, 816-455-4013. Missouri Master Naturalist Orientation Meeting Tues, Jun 5, 6:30pm, at Anita B Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, MO. Learn about the community-based natural resource education and volunteer service organization; explanation of the mission, the training classes, the requirements and the benefits of this fun group. Contact Stacey Davis 816-759-7300 or


Beautification Contest

he Overland Park Chapter of The Gardeners of America is hosting a beautification contest. We wish to recognize those communities, organizations, businesses and homeowners whose green thumbs make Johnson County a beautiful place to live. There will be four divisions: 1. Communities or organizations (cities, schools, places of worship, HOA’s etc.) 2. Businesses 3. Home garden maintained by owner

4. Home garden maintained by professional landscapers First prize each division is $50 gift card. For complete rules and entry form please visit our website: www. Or call Karen at 913-677-4246. Entry deadline is May 10th. The Overland Park Chapter / TGOA is a fun group of people who like to get dirty. We meet at 7 p.m. the 2nd Monday each month at the Colonial Church 71st & Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kan. Visitors always welcome. Come grow with us!

Deciduous Trees and Shrubs (AGBS 106) Jun 6–Jul 27, Mon/Wed 5:45-8:30pm; at Metropolitan Community College-Longview Campus, 500 SW Longview Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Local field trips enhance studying the value & identification of regional native and ornamental plants. Instructor: Leah Berg. Fee applies. This 3 credit hour class may be taken for personal interest or by students enrolled in the Grounds and Turf Management program at Metropolitan Community CollegeLongview Campus. For more information, e-mail or call dept coordinator Leah Berg 816-353-7170. Special Topics in Horticulture (AGBS 151) Jun 7–Jul 28, Tues/Thurs 5:45-8:30pm; at Metropolitan Community College-Longview Campus, 500 SW Longview Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. This special elective taught by Mary Roduner of the Kansas City Community Gardens offers an introduction to horticulture with field trips and projects tailored to needs and interests of students, ranging from annuals and perennials, native plants, edibles in the landscape to beneficial insects. Fee applies. This 3 credit hour class may be taken for personal interest or by students enrolled in the Grounds and Turf Management program at Metropolitan Community College-Longview Campus. For more information, please e-mail or call department coordinator Leah Berg 816-353-7170.

Spined Soldier Bug

Photos by Mary Roduner.

introduced pond plants and new and improved products. Which work, which don’t and why you may or may not want them. Class is free. 785-841-6777

Podisus maculiventris


Above: Soldier bug

Country Garden Tour Jun 22-23, 9am-4pm; presented by Cottage Gardeners of Weston, Mo. Weston-area country gardens will be featured on the tour. See what’s down those country driveways, surrounding our antebellum homes out in the rolling hills, high above the Missouri River. For more information, call Marilyn at 816-640-2300.

Below: Brown stink bug

Northland Garden Club Flower Show Sat, Jun 23; at the NKC Public Library, 2251 Howell, North Kansas City, MO. The theme of the sixth annual Flower Show of the Northland Garden club is “Cottage Gardens”. 816-587-1556. St Joseph Water Garden Pond Tour Sat, Jun 23, Sun, Jun 24, both days 1-5pm. Tickets $7 each for adults. Kids under 12 free with adult ticket. Large selections of water features, all styles and sizes, many new and lots of established ones. A great value and lots of fun. Tickets available at Earl May, Moffets Nursery, Mann’s Westlake Hardware, or call 816-232-7041 or 816-233-4312 for questions or tickets. Website for pictures and updates www.

Submitted by Mary Roduner, Children’s Gardening Coordinator, Kansas City Community Gardens.

ot all stink bugs are serious pests in the garden. One stink bug, the spined soldier bug is a ravenous predator. Soldier bugs unfortunately look similar to brown stink bugs and can be accidentally removed. Look carefully: A soldier bug has very broad and sharply pointed spines on the “shoulders” and a dark brown spot on the clear base of its wings. Stink bugs have narrower “shoulders” with more rounded or almost absent spines and the wing base is solid colored. Soldier bugs feed on aphids, small larvae, and other pest insects but are rarely noticed. Take care of your soldier bug for fewer pests.

Promote your gardening events! Send information to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 Fax: (913) 648-4728 E-Mail: Deadline for May issue is April 5.

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In the Fall of 2003, a meeting was held to explore the possibility of forming an organization for the purpose of providing educational and networking opportunities for the green industry professional in the Kansas City area. The meeting included Randy Asjes of Rosehill Gardens, David Bird of Powell Gardens, Mike Cavanaugh of The Kansas City Gardener, Natalia Hamill of Clarity Connect, Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation, Bill Malouche of

National Nursery Products-KC, Liz McWilliams of Greenleaf Garden Services, Susan Mertz and Dan Simmons of Kokopelli Nursery. A steering committee was formed and as a result of everyone’s hard work, the Hort NetWORK was founded and we had our first meeting at the Western Nursery & Landscape Association’s trade show in January, 2004. Today, the Hort NetWORK is a 501c3 non-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, offering networking and

Hort NetWORK Board of Directors Niel C. Henriksen – President (2012-2013) Green Spectrum Marketing, LLC 9209 W. 145th Place • Overland Park, KS 66221 913.406.4770 • Bill Malouche – Treasurer (2007-2014) National Nursery Products – Kansas City 4502 W. 63rd Terrace • Prairie Village, KS 66208 913.362.0503 • Mary Werth – Vice President, Educational Programs and Events (2012-2014) Suburban Lawn & Garden, Inc 136th & Wyandotte • Kansas City, MO 64148 913.893.6725 • Jeff Svilarich – Vice President, Educational Programs and Events (2012-2014) Red Oak Landscaping, LLC 20978 Floyd St. • Bucyrus, KS 66012 913.533.2217 • Jason Eaton – Vice President, Membership Development (2012-2014) Audrie Seeley & Co, LLC 9300 Holmes • Kansas City, MO 64131 913.361.0011 • David Bartlett – Vice President, Membership Development (2012-2014) Bartlett Hauber Landscaping, Inc PO Box 480133 • Kansas City, MO 64148 816.943.8118 • Susan Mertz – Non-voting Communications & Marketing Administrator Loma Vista Nursery 12905 W 143rd St. • Olathe, KS 66062 913.897.7010 • 44

educational opportunities for the green industry professional in the Kansas City area. Our membership includes all aspects of the green industry with 14 corporate sponsorships and over 100 members.

For The Trade Professional

The Hort NetWORK is a 501c3 non-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, offering networking and educational opportunities for the green industry professional in the Kansas City area. Our organization is composed of professionals in all aspects of the green industry with 14 corporate sponsorships and over 100 members. Membership is open to any individual, company, allied business or organization in the Kansas City green industry. The purpose of the Hort NetWORK is to offer a unified platform for the exchange of ideas, sharing and discussing common challenges, and promoting relationships within a diverse community of green industry professionals in the Kansas City area. The Hort NetWORK strives to educate our members and to promote quality and professionalism in the green industry. Typically we meet about once a month at various locations in the city. Some of our meetings are networking socials, others are educational. The Hort NetWORK also promotes events from other green industry associations and organizations in the area. If you are a green industry professional and would like to learn more about the Hort NetWORK, please email us at; see our website at To learn more about upcoming programs, join us on Linked In.

For The Consumer

The Hort NetWORK is a nonprofit organization offering networking and educational opportunities for green industry professionals in the Kansas City area. The Hort NetWORK strives to educate our members on the latest industry trends and to promote quality and professionalism in the green industry. Through our unified platform, Hort NetWORK members can exchange ideas, share and discuss common challenges, and build relationships with other green industry professionals. This helps you, the consumer get the best quality service our industry has to offer for your residential or commercial property. Our professional green industry members consist of retail garden centers, landscape designers, landscape installation and construction services, landscape and turf management services, irrigation and outdoor lighting services, marketing specialists, and suppliers of horticultural and hardscape products. Through our networking and relationship building, Hort NetWORK members can confidently refer to the consumer our other professional members that provide a service or product their company may not offer. Our membership also consists of organizations including our local community colleges, extension specialist, and botanical gardens that help provide public, horticultural education. A membership directory is listed on the next page. Feel free to call any member listed for more information about services offered. If you would like to contact the Hort NetWORK about further information, please send an email to

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012


re you a home gardener with a project in mind, and need the advice of a green industry professional? Or, are you a trade professional looking for like-minded peers with whom you can network? Then consider the Hort NetWORK. The Hort NetWORK is a non-profit organization offering networking and educational opportunities for green industry professionals in the Kansas City area. In addition, it’s a resource for homeowners looking for professionals. Listed here are the current members. If you’d like to know more about any of these members, feel free to give them a call. Detailed information about member businesses and the Hort NetWORK is available on our Website at Service Atcheson Lawn & Landscape 1725 Northeast Rice Rd., Lee’s Summit, MO 64086 816.525.5296 Audrie Seeley & Co. 9300 Holmes, Kansas City, MO 64131 816.361.0011 Bartlett Hauber Landscaping 12917 2nd St., Grandview, MO 64030 816.943.8118 Belton Parks & Recreation 16400 N.E. Mullen Rd., Belton, MO 64012 816.331.0336 Bergstrom Growers Inc. 503 W. Court, Clay Center, KS 67432 785.632.5773 Bird’s Botanicals 8201 E. 23rd St., Kansas City, MO 64129 816.252.4478 Bonnie Barrett Johnson Gardens 12401 Delmar, Leawood, KS 66209 913.338.0104 Brickman Group 540 S. 12th St., Kansas City, KS 66105 913.371.2661 Cedar Hill Landscaping 9295 Cedar Creek Rd., DeSoto, KS 66018 913.636.0347 Container Creations 9165 W. 194th Terr., Bucyrus, KS 66013 913.302.7646 Creative Contours Lawn and Landscape LLC 23104 S. C Hwy., Peculiar, MO 64078 816.863.2928 Creative Outdoor Spaces 7135 Cherokee Dr., Prairie Village, KS 66208 913.432.1577 Down to Earth Gardening 2507 W. 98th St., Shawnee Mission, KS 66206 913.341.7502 Dr. Grow 9804 Pembroke Ln., Leawood, KS 66206 913.381.6325 Earth Expressions, Inc. 15502 Beverly Ct., Overland Park, KS 66223 913.238.4937 Embassy Landscape Group 6105 N.W. River Park Dr., Riverside, MO 64150 816.436.4194 Essential Extras, Inc. Box 16942, Kansas City, MO 64133 816.923.5865

April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Fears Design 6919 Rene Ct., Shawnee, KS 66216 913.927.2453

Next To Nature Landscape 11785 Conley, Overland Park, KS 66283 913.207.7237

Grow With Us Distribution Services LLC P.O. Box 23274, Overland Park, KS 66283 913.685.1569

Gardens by Design, Inc. 4708 Fontana, Roeland Park, KS 66205 913.831.0185

Nick’s Greenleaf Gardens 13315 E. 147th St., Kansas City, MO 64149 816.322.1614

Hermes Nursery 2000 W. 47th St., Shawnee Mission, KS 66218 913.441.2400

Gloria’s Gardening 9721 Lee Blvd., Leawood, KS 66206 913.381.3147

NiteLites of Kansas City Outdoor Lighting P.O. Box 24083, Overland Park, KS 66283 913.871.1299

Home Nursery Inc. 100 Nursery Rd., Albers, IL 62215 816.436.0212

Green Spectrum Marketing, LLC 9209 W. 145th Pl., Overland Park, KS 66221 913.406.4770

Pat Friesen & Company, LLC 9636 Meadow Ln., Leawood, KS 66206 913.341.1211

Hydrotech 11430 Carter, Overland Park, KS 66210 913.345.8222

Greenleaf Garden Services P.O. Box 7527, Shawnee Mission, KS 66207 816.916.5171

Red Cedar Gardens 7895 W. 183rd St., Stilwell, KS 66085 913.897.2286

Loma Vista Nursery 12905 W. 143rd St., Olathe, KS 66062 913.897.7010

Heinen Landscape & Irrigation P.O. Box 1617, Mission, KS 66222 913.432.5011

Red Oak Landscaping, LLC 20978 Floyd St., Bucyrus, KS 66013 913.533.2217

National Nursery Products – KC 4502 W. 63rd Terr., Prairie Village, KS 66208 913.362.0503

Hermes Landscaping 13030 W. 87th St. Parkway, Lenexa, KS 66215 913.888.2400

Richard Clayton Barrett, ASLA 7128 Nall Ave., Overland Park, KS 66208 913.362.1200

Paradise Nursery, Inc. 22385 143rd Parkway, Basehor, KS 66007 913.915.3546

Hittle Landscape Architects P.O. Box 83, Manhattan, KS 66505 785.539.7772

Simply Green Lawn Sprinklers, Inc. 4301 N.W. Gateway, Kansas City, MO 64150 816.746.6818

Plantright, LLC 30050 W. 135th St., Olathe, KS 66061 913.284.5650

Hix and Son Aquatics 2305 W. 96th St., Leawood, KS 66206 913.441.2400

Soil Service Nursery 7125 Troost, Kansas City, MO 64131 816.333.3232


House of Rocks, Inc. 1725 Merriam Ln., Kansas City, KS 66106 913.432.5990

StoneRidge Outdoor 19309 K 68 Hwy., Paola, KS 66071 913.963.3723

It’s My Nature 9629 Lee Blvd., Leawood, KS 66206 913.269.6941

Sturgis Materials 550 S. Packard St., Kansas City, KS 66105 913.371.7757

Karen Lyman Fine Gardening 9828 Sagamore Rd., Leawood, KS 66206 913.648.2787

Suburban Lawn and Garden Inc. 135th & Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64148 816.942.2921

Landworks, Inc. 9317 Woodend Rd., Edwardsville, KS 66111 913.422.9300

Summit Lawn & Landscape 12020 Grandview Rd., Grandview, MO 64030 816.215.3106

Lawn and Landscape Solutions 7001 W. 76th St., Overland Park, KS 66204 913.238.9318

Sweetbay 5009 W. 70th St., Prairie Village, KS 66208 913.486.5438

Lifestyle Landscapes ? ?

Turf Design, Inc. 25775 W. 103rd St., Olathe, KS 66061 913.764.6531

McCarter Landscape Lighting 11829 W. 138th St., Overland Park, KS 66221 913.634.3948

Water’s Edge 847 Indiana, Lawrence, KS 66044 785.841.6777

Metamorphosis Landscape Design, LLC 11730 E. 71st Ct., Kansas City, MO 64133 816.309.9383 Nancy’s Mighty Mouse Land & Stone ‘Scaping 3732 Jefferson St., Kansas City, MO 64111 913.515.5543

Distributor/Wholesale Applied Ecological Services, Inc. 1269 N. 222nd Rd., Baldwin City, KS 66006 785.594.2245

Gardeners Connect/Garden Center Association 6911 N.W. Blair Rd., Parkville, MO 64152 913.302.4234 K-State Research and Extension 3601 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Ctr, Manhattan, KS 66506 785.532.3504 Kauffman Memorial Garden 4800 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, MO 64110 816.932.1200 Metropolitan Community College-Longview 500 S.W. Longview Rd., Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 816.353.7170 Missouri Dept. of Agriculture/Plant Industries 608 S.E. Florence Ave., Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 816.524.2197 National Green Centre P.O. Box 411747, Kansas City, MO 64141 888.233.1876 Overland Park Arboretum 8909 W. 179th St., Bucyrus, KS 66013 913.685.3604 Powell Gardens 1609 N.W. US Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO 64061 816.697.2600 The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 913.648.4728


The Season of a Million Blooms & Spring Events at Powell Gardens


xotic orchids mix it up with woodland favorites in Powell Gardens’ glass-topped conservatory as the season of a million blooms kicks into high gear. Enjoy spring at full tilt during Easter festivities, celebrate Earth Day by learning sustainable gardening tips, and enjoy much more this April at Powell Gardens. Unless otherwise noted, all activities are included in regular Garden admission of $10/adults, $9/seniors, and $4/children 5-12. Orchids & Gems of the Woodland 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through May 13 A mix of exquisite orchids and woodland gems such as hydrangeas, azaleas, redbuds and dogwoods bring a welcome breath of spring to the conservatory. Visitors also can purchase orchids from

Bird’s Botanicals throughout the exhibit. Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Egg Hunt Breakfast: 9-10 a.m. April 7 Egg Hunt: 11 a.m. sharp, April 7 Meet and greet the Easter Bunny during a pancake breakfast served

by famous flipper Chris Cakes. After breakfast, gather for a traditional Easter Egg Hunt on Powell Gardens’ rolling lawn. The hunt, designed for children ages 10 and younger, is divided by age group and starts promptly at 11 a.m. The price for breakfast, including Garden admission, is $16/ adults or $9/members. The price for children, including breakfast, admission and the Easter Egg Hunt, is $9.25 for members and $11.25 for nonmembers. Reservations are essential: Call 816-697-2600 x209. The price to attend the Easter Egg Hunt only is $5 for all children, including members; adults pay regular Garden admission; adult members are free. After the hunt, take time to explore the Gardens to admire the daffodils and other early blooms and check out the spring crops in the Heartland Harvest Garden. Easter Brunch with Chef Michael Foust 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 8 Celebrate the holiday in style as Chef Michael Foust brings his Farmhouse flavors to Easter Brunch in Café Thyme. Prices for the brunch (includes admission) are: $39.95 or $34.95/members; children ages 5-12: $16.95 or $14.95/members; children 4 and under are free. Reservations are required: 816-697-2600 x209. Visit to see the menu.

Earth Day Celebration Saturday, April 21 Reduce, reuse, recycle—Powell Gardens will cover it all from a sustainable gardening perspective during Earth Day activities. Demonstrations of sustainable gardening techniques will be available throughout the day, and each family will receive a free seedling while supplies last and a chance to win a free rain barrel via a raffle. Fresh Bites Heartland Harvest Garden 1 p.m. most Fridays; 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. most Saturdays Fresh Bites are seasonal demos covering a number of topics from growing edibles to upcycling. Reservations are not needed. The sessions meet in the Missouri Barn. Check the calendar at for details. Garden Chef Series We have invited area chefs to the Heartland Harvest Garden to demonstrate recipes featuring garden-fresh ingredients. The series begins Saturday, April 21 with an Earth Day demo at 1:30 p.m. by Craig Howard, Chef and Owner of Howard’s Organic Fare and Vegetable Patch. The series continues on Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m. with a demo by Magnolia’s Executive Chef and Owner Shanita McAfee, who specializes in contemporary southern cuisine. See the schedule at

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  The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

Properly Dispose Hazardous Products


id you find garden products that are unused, outdated, and considered hazardous while spring cleaning? If you’re cleaning out the garden shed or garage, and it’s time to dispose of old herbicides, fertilizers, stains and paints, what do you do with them? There are regional household hazardous waste collection facilities and are available for residents to safely dispose their household hazardous waste. Locations are in Kansas City, Mo., Lee’s Summit, Wyandotte County, Olathe, Johnson County, Leavenworth County, and Miami County. A list of these locations, along with directions and hours of operation, is available on the Mid-America Regional Council web site ( htm). Here’s an abbreviated list for your convenience.

Professional’s Corner

In Missouri: Kansas City: 4707 Deramus; 816-513-8400 Lee’s Summit: 2101 SE Hamblen Road; 816-969-1805 In Kansas: Wyandotte County: 2443 S. 88th Street; 913-573-5400 Olathe: 1420 S. Robinson; 913-971-9311 Johnson County: Mission; 913-715-6900 Leavenworth County: 24967 136th Street, Leavenworth; 913-727-2858 Miami County: 327th Street and Hospital Drive; 913-294-4117 Many of these locations operate by appointment only, so be sure to give them a call first. Thank you for properly disposing of hazardous materials and for protecting people, animals and landscapes of your community.

Don’t Miss a Single Issue! The Ka nsa s City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

For convenient mail delivery, complete the form below and send with your check for $20.00. You will receive a one-year subscription to The Kansas City Gardener. Name: Address: City, State, Zip: Phone: E-mail: Where did you pick up The Kansas City Gardener? Please enclose your check payable to The Kansas City Gardener and mail with this form to: P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 The Kansas City Gardener is published monthly Jan. through Dec.

April 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Edy Garrison wants to be Your Personal Gardener. Company: Planttasia Owner: Edy Garrison How it began: Planttasia was born three years ago after being laid off from my job. I decided to use this opportunity to utilize my lifetime gardening skills as a way to earn a living. Now I get paid to do what I love — garden. I’m a self-taught gardener. When I was nine, my mother gave me a packet of morning glory seeds that I planted around an old outside water pump. They grew like mad and I was told I had my mother’s green thumb. I’ve been playing in the dirt ever since. Describe the operation: Planttasia is a Personal Gardening Service. As your personal gardener, Planttasia delivers the highest quality care and materials for every phase—design, installation and maintenance—of all garden types: annual/perennial, theme, window box, memory gardens, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, and shade gardens. We offer organic fertilizer options, integrated pest management and are conscientious of the safety of your family and pets. And if you are a resident whose trash collection no longer includes yard waste, we offer chipper/shredder service. Customer testimonials: Diana says: “Edy, you’re an artist. Thank you for making my yard beautiful.” Larry says: “I’m excited again about working in my yard. Thank you for the inspiration.” Planttasia delivers high quality, beauty and affordability. This success brings Planttasia repeat customers from high end estate owners to modest subdivision homes to commercial properties. We transform your home or business landscape into your vision of paradise! What makes your business unique? It’s personal. When a client doesn’t know what they want, or how they want it presented, I offer suggestions. I help them select plants and shrubs, and visualize how their yards and gardens will look. Some clients simply want it done, so I listen to their ideas then select the style and plants to make it happen. Favorite garden destinations: Two local favorites are Powell Gardens and the Overland Park Arboretum. Both provide inspiration and ideas that I can share with my clients. What’s hot in plants: New, smaller hydrangeas and soft, weeping forms of evergreens and blooming trees. New gardening trends: Many of my clients want flowers and shrubs that feed and shelter birds and butterflies. They also want pesticide- and herbicide-free yards and gardens, because if you kill the caterpillars, you’re also killing the butterflies. Contact: Call Edy today to start creating your ideas. 913-522-1697;; 47

Start Something Beautiful ANNUALS & PERENNIALS

Arriving Daily

from our own greenhouses

The BEST TIME to plant a Tree was ten years ago. The second Best Time is NOW Especially Now during Suburban’s Huge, Spring


Blossoms of white, pink or red are our cheerful harbingers of Spring. These ornamentals are perfect for small spaces in full sun. Choose from several sizes of Pink Princess, Prairie Fire or Golden Raindrops and many more varieties now on Sale at our 135th & Wornall and K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy locations.


Ornamental or Shade

Shrub Roses Arriving ! SLG Website

Knockout, Double Knockout, Drift, Flower Carpet

Flowering or Evergreen

Large Trees at

SLG Lawn Services on Facebook

135th & Wornall, also K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy

SLG on Facebook

135th & Wornall


(816) 942-2921

K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy (913) 897-5100

105th & Roe (913) 649-8700

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2012

KCG 04Apr12