Page 1

The Kansas City

GARDENER A M o n th ly Guide t o Suc ce ssful G arde n ing

January 2013

Birdscaping creating a bird friendly yard

Reflection on Antiquities Not Your Mother’s Houseplants Kansas Wildflower of the Year Meet Sandy Gibson in Professional’s Corner

Attention Homeowners! If you’re considering a water garden this year, here’s why Swan’s Water Gardens should be your company of choice. Today’s Marketplace We realize that you are bombarded with many companies competing for your business. Everyone claiming to be the best or having the best products with the lowest prices. With so many companies just wanting to sell you their products for a price, then leave you alone to deal with the many mistakes that first time pond builders and Water Gardeners make.

We don’t think that’s right! When you entrust Swan’s Water Gardens with your business you get more than just the materials to build your pond. You get over 18 years of pond building experience and knowledge to go with your purchase. We are going to be here to assist you with the step-by-step pond building process from start to finish. Your end result a “Water Garden Paradise”.

In search of the ultimate Water Garden After 18 years of researching and installing water gardens we have refined our building techniques to a level that produces the most naturalistic and easiest maintenance water garden you can have built today. We call it the “Four Seasons Water Garden” for good reason. It’s the water garden for all seasons not just for Summer. It’s there to enjoy all year long. The best part of the “Four Seasons Water Garden” is it’s guaranteed from leaking for 5 full years. The longest guarantee in the industry. Why do we stand behind our work for so long? Very simple, when you hire Swan’s Water Gardens to build your water garden it’s the beginning of our relationship, not the end. So if you’re looking for a company you’ll never hear from again, then we’re probably not the company you’re looking for.

Swan’s Water Garden Center Located on 2 acres dedicated to building and maintaining water gardens. This year promises to be very exciting with the new water garden additions we have planned. You’ll be able to see water features you can build for as little as $895 for small patios or courtyards. We also have many more display gardens ranging in price from $2,500 up to $40,000 for a more elaborate feature built by Swan’s Water Gardens. We also have many exciting events scheduled for 2013 so be sure to watch for them in the upcoming issues of The Kansas City Gardener. Remember, we are a full service water garden company that carries everything you’ll need to complete and enjoy your water garden lifestyle.

Swan’s Water Gardens • 20001 S. Padbury Lane, Spring Hill, KS 66083 • Call for appointment • 913-592-2143

The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Let’s talk resolutions

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Lauren Cavanaugh Contributors Erin Busenhart Cindy Gilberg Diane & Doc Gover Nancy Nidiffer Ken O’Dell Dennis Patton 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

Join us and fellow gardeners. Become a fan.

Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 19. January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


ere it is! A brand new year. A clean slate. Optimism abounds. Another chance to get it right. Now, I’m not one to make resolutions, mostly because my track record is painfully poor. Oh yeah, I’m real good in the beginning. Enthusiastic. Energetic. Motivated. Then enthusiasm wanes, old habits creep in, and I’m back where I started. It’s an all too familiar story. Last January, I declared that I was going to participate in a triathlon. It was a commitment that would require sticking to a food plan and ramping up an exercise program. Looking back, I was largely successful. I was healthier, more fit, and finished my first triathlon. And for that I am most proud. But after the triathlon in July, my commitment ended. Reaching the goal? Mission accomplished. Maintaining the lifestyle? Not so much. Thank goodness for my garden! No resolutions. No programs. No pressure. It’s that place where pruning shrubs helps me clear my head. I can be pulling weeds and

relaxing at the same time. It’s that place where I can be alone with my thoughts or think about nothing at all. I can simply be. How about you? Do you make resolutions? Are you successful? Are you able to keep the commitment the whole year? Will you be making a resolution in 2013? After considerable thought, I’ve decided to repeat last year’s resolution, and shoot for improved results. I’ll keep you up to date as the year progresses. Recent events, though, compel me to think beyond myself. Sad news of the senseless death of 26 children and adults in Newtown, Conn., rocked the nation to its core. People everywhere were consumed with great sorrow. And as a nation, we came together and mourned with that community. In the midst of this tragedy, witnessing such public

love and support from strangers was powerful and uplifting. What if our collective new year’s resolution included more public love and support? What if our new goals in 2013 were not about getting fit, or more organized? What if our goals were focused on helping others in a real and public way? The beauty and power of hope and healing is needed in this world everyday. I believe if we all did just a fraction more for others than we did last year, our lives and theirs would be richer. My wish for your new year is a richer more fulfilling life. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue January 2013 • Vol. 18 No. 1 Ask the Experts ....................... 4 Reflection on Antiquities ........... 6 Tiny Treasures ......................... 7 MG Volunteer Training ............. 7 GN Witch hazels ..................... 8 Not Your Mother’s Houseplants ............................ 9 Birdscaping ............................. 10

about the cover ...

KS Wildflower of the Year ........ 13 Garden Calendar .................... 15 Upcoming Events ..................... 16 Powell Garden Events .............. 16 Weather ................................. 17 JoCo Horticulture Classes .......... 17 Subscribe ............................... 19 Professional’s Corner ................ 19

Plant trees and shrubs that produce berries to attract birds like this Robin. Learn about other birds and the food they eat starting on page 10.


13 3

Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton TRICOLOR BUTTERFLY BUSH Question: I planted what was labeled as a tricolor butterfly bush. The first couple of years it bloomed, white, pink and purple. The last year or so the bush is almost all white. What happened? Answer: You have experienced the age old problem with novelty plants. What the grower does is plant three different varieties of butterfly bush in the pot to create the effect. Like people not all plants are created equal. That

means some are stronger while others are less vigorous. Unfortunately in this case it is the survival of the fittest, which is the white variety. The white plant out performs and overtakes the less vigorous blue and pink. There is really not a good way to prevent this from happening except to keep cutting back the more vigorous grower. The problem is you don’t know until it is too late. WHEN TO PLANT GARLIC Question: When is the best time to plant garlic? Answer: Garlic can be planted either in the very early spring or early fall. Most garlic growers prefer the fall planting time as the results are normally better. Garlic takes a longer period to mature and prefers cooler conditions. The

Find the


WATER’S EDGE Visit the water garden specialists


Find the Oasis from the Ordinary 9th & Indiana, Lawrence, KS • 785-841-6777 Open Tues-Sun (Closed Monday) 4

If you did not fall plant garlic, go ahead and get some cloves in the ground this spring. Garlic likes well drained soil, good fertility and is ready to harvest when the top growth yellows. September planting allows for extensive root development in fall, and then come spring it is ready to get growing. Spring planting can yield good results but the length of time to establish and set a nice size bulb is reduced. If you did not fall plant go ahead and get some cloves in the ground this spring. Garlic likes well drained soil, good fertility and is ready to harvest when the top growth yellows usually in early summer. CAN CUCUMBER TASTE LIKE CANTALOUPE Question: I am new to vegetable gardening and was told that I cannot plant cucumbers next to cantaloupes as they will taste like cucumber. I have a small garden and it is not possible to separate. So how do I keep this from happening? Answer: Relax and don’t worry as you were given poor advice. A lot of people fall victim to this gardening myth. The fact is that the cucumber and cantaloupe may pollinate each other but that will not affect the flavor. The cross pollination traits will not show up until the next generation. That means you would need to save the crossed seeds, plant and then harvest the fruit to potentially have the funky flavor combination. The fruit that

results from the pollination has the traits of the seeds you planted. So a cucumber will taste like a cucumber and a cantaloupe like a cantaloupe. It is simple genetics; it is the second generation that shares the parents’ traits not the first generation. DORMANT SEEDING Question: I kept waiting for the fall rains which never arrived to seed some bare spots in my lawn. I have heard that you can dormant or winter seed. How do you do this and does it work? Answer: Keep in mind that the ideal time to seed a tall fescue or bluegrass lawn is in early September and the next best time is late winter or early spring. With that being said, small patches can effectively be seeded in the dormant period. Dormant seeding is normally done from December through February. Success really depends on how well the seeds are incorporated into the soil. There are two methods to accomplish this. First, is the traditional verticutting which slices the grooves in which the seed is placed or falls for good seed-soil contact. Second, is to allow the winter freeze thaw cycles to work the seed into the soil. The grass seed is sown when there is about an inch of snow on

The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013

the ground, or right after a winter rain. Then as the snow melts and the soil freezes and thaws small cracks open in which the seeds move. Then come spring as the temperatures and soil warms, the seeds start to germinate. The results are normally mixed and an even stand is often difficult to achieve. That is why the dormant method is probably best for small size spots and not recommended when a uniform stand is needed in large areas. In these cases fall or spring seeding would result in a nicer stand of grass. PRUNING OAK LEAF HYDRANGEA Question: I have an oak leaf hydrangea by the corner of the house and it has grown larger than anticipated. When is the best time to prune this plant? Answer: Oak leaf hydrangeas are one of my favorite shrubs for the landscape as they truly are one of the best four season plants. Wonderful spring flowers, great summer color, fall color to die for and interesting bark and winter interest. Oak leaf hydrangeas flower on old wood. That means

Oak Leaf Hydrangeas flower on old wood. That means the flowers in the spring are produced on wood or limbs that grew the past year. Pruning prior to flowering would remove the blossoms. the flowers in the spring are produced on wood or limbs that grew the past year. Shrubs that flower on old wood are best pruned after flowering. Pruning prior to flowering would remove the blossoms. When pruning shrubs such as this, just don’t shear or flat top the plant. Instead reach down into the plant and prune back to another branch

Ahmed Hassan, star of DIY Network series Yard Crashers (now in its 4th season), Blog Cabin, Turf Wars, and The Dirt On, will speak at the Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show: Friday ......1pm & 6pm Saturday ..Noon, 3pm & 6pm Sunday ....Noon & 2pm

or at a leaf node. The new growth will be produced from the node for the next year’s bloom. Keep in mind that oak leafs do best when pruning is kept to a minimum. DISPOSING PET WASTE Question: I am attempting to be a good environmental steward but I am having problems figur-

ing out how to get rid of my dog’s poop! I used to just let it stay on the grass and eventually dissolve. Then I learned that the waste can move into the water. It smells in the trash can and should not be used in my compost bin. So I am out of ideas of disposing of the pet waste. Do you have any good ideas? Answer: Here is my best idea and it works. Simply dig a hole and bury the dog feces. Find a hidden corner in the yard and dig a nice size hole then when you pick up the waste simply drop into the ground. When the hole is almost full, cover with soil and dig another hole. This is called inground composting. It is fairly simple and solves your runoff issues as well as the odor problem. As an added bonus that little spot in your garden now has a few extra nutrients and organic matter making nearby roots happy. 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.

February 8-10, 2013 American Royal Center Orchid Show!

See the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City’s largest Regional Orchid Show. Many exotic orchids for sale.

Two For One!

Buy a ticket to the Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show and see the Remodeling Show FREE (same facility & same weekend)!

For information call (816) 931-4686 or visit January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


Reflection on Antiquities Photos by Terry Blair Michel.


riving up to this 1922 bungalow in Crestwood, it becomes evident that the owners are interested in the antiquities. The front yard is surrounded by a stucco and brick wall; antique gates with shrubs and flowers interspersed are surrounded by more statues and historical sculptural pieces. Set between two large pillars separating the front yard from the drive are extremely old metal gates that glow with a patina of rust and age. They seem much oversized for the house, as are most of the objects in the garden, and yet they fit perfectly. Across from them are pleached Hornbeam trees, the type that would be comfortable in an old English garden. Moving along the drive to the stunning, secluded backyard, the garden looks more expansive than it is due to the many large mirrors along the fence and small garden pockets filled with architectural antiquities, fountains, and statues at every turn. Just entering

the back yard will stop the viewer agape in their tracks. However, it has taken 23 years to accomplish this feat after being neglected and overgrown with little or no thought to planning. The owner has said a chainsaw was needed just to break through the brambles. Fortunately, this is not the case today. The garden rooms flow from area to area making it serviceable

Grow the lawn of your dreams RYAN can help you grow a lush, deep green lawn. Call our office for a free estimate today and take advantage of our prepay discounts.

for entertaining and multi-purpose usage such as benefits, brunches, and cocktail parties which the owners frequently hold. The landscape is dotted with several water features, including many fountains that operate year-round, not only for the birds but for the sound they make. The afore-mentioned mirrors are incorporated into the structure of the backyard to capture visual space and movement. The use of reclaimed materials, some historical, and most of stone or marble, add a feeling of antiquity throughout the yard. Due to this, the garden has been photographed for many local, national, and international publications, either for the garden itself or for background use in fashion shots. The garden is a mix of everything, plant-wise. Boxwood dominates the plant life and delineates the structure and flow throughout the garden. Most of the beds are filled with colorful and/or structural plants, beginning

with the pleached Hornbeams, a weeping flat cedar, and a tall, crisply-clipped hedge that surrounds the front yard. Blue Atlas cedars provide both color and structure, while climbing hydrangeas (placed against a brick wall), herbs, begonias, clivia and coleus add color in pots or planted together in some beds. Hostas allow a color range in low light areas under several tall trees, including a Plumeria that is 12-15 feet tall. Cactus and Elephant Ears also add color and structural variety. The garden owners have managed to create a beautiful, historical garden by remembering to “Adapt, adapt, adapt!” says one of the owners. Their motto is: “Gardens just don’t grow; they evolve and change.” And they continue with the process, frequently adding new structures. This garden will be on tour with the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City 2013 Garden Tour, “Unique Gardens of South Kansas City”, June 7 and 8.

Crabgrass prevention starts early!

Colorful, creative winter green containers brighten your doorway and home; add seasonal displays of color and texture.

Winter Pruning Special Save 10% on all jobs below $299 Save 20% on all jobs above $300 Work must be completed between Jan. 1 and March 15. This discount may be applied to previous bids.

MO: 246.1707 KS: 381.1505


“The pros you know in the clean red truck.” 6

The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013

Tiny Treasures

Join fellow gardeners in a workshop to create fairy gardens and terrariums By Nancy Nidiffer


e have certainly been blessed with an unusually mild winter. I’m willing to bet, though, that our fair share of cold, gray winter days are on their way. What do you do when it’s miserable outside? May I suggest a fairy garden or terrarium? Although a lot of fairy gardens are outside, you can make a small bit of paradise inside your home as well. Almost any low, shallow bowl or container has the potential to be a “mini” garden complete with furniture, plants and even a pond. They can be as elaborate or as simple as you want - tiny plants, stepping stones, tiny mulch and of course, fairies. The only thing you need is your imagination. This is also a good way to introduce children to plants and gardening. Kids love to play in the dirt! Suburban Lawn and Garden located at 135th and Wornall will be hosting a “Tiny Treasures” workshop on Sunday, February 10, 2013 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. After a short demonstration, Suburban will provide potting soil, charcoal, gravel and other mediums at no charge. You are encouraged to bring your own containers or terrariums, a favorite seashell or colored glass or anything that has special meaning to you. Potting containers, terrarium glasses, plants, mini furniture and other accessories will be available for purchase. Our trained staff

will be on hand to assist you with your project. Pre-registration would be appreciated to allow us to plan for space and product. For more information please call Nancy or Janet at 816942-2921. Suburban Lawn and Garden is also conducting a fairy garden and terrarium demonstration on January 20, 2013 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This will be held at our 105th and Roe location. I often hear people say they don’t have room for plants. Well, you don’t need much room. Any small space can accommodate a fairy garden, terrarium or dish garden. Charming and whimsical, a “Tiny Treasure” will bring a little touch of spring to a cold, gray day. We hope to see you there.

Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program Offered in February 2013


he University of Missouri’s Extension Office and the Master Gardeners of Johnson County, Missouri are offering a Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program beginning February 5, 2013 and ending May 7, 2013. The Program will run Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Grinstead Building on the University of Central Missouri campus. The Missouri Master Gardener Volunteer Program is open to adults of all ages who are interested in learning more about gardening and sharing their knowledge with their community. The topics include lawns and landscaping, sustainable gardening, trees and shrubs, flowers and ornamental grasses, fruit trees and vegetable gardening, insects and plant diseases, and soil management. These topics and more will be presented by

regional University Extension specialists and Advanced Master Gardeners. There is no need to be an “expert” gardener to participate. However, it is a must to be interested and enthusiastic about gardening and landscaping. To be certified as a Master Gardener Volunteer, participants attend 30 hours of classroom training and then volunteer 30 hours of service during their first year of participation. The $130 registration fee per person ($225 for couples) covers all class materials, a copy of the Master Gardener Training Program manual, and helps defray additional class and speaker expenses. Deadline for registration is Tuesday, January 22, 2013. For registration forms or additional information contact Maggie Stone at 660.747.7715. This would be a great gift for your favorite inspired gardener.

Planters Seed Co. • Since 1927 •

Nancy Nidiffer is a long-time employee of Suburban Lawn and Garden, and an expert at growing tropicals.

Potted Plants Love Sure Bloom! Use Once a Month

2013 Seeds Arriving Daily!


Formula Long acting Trace Minerals, minerals and other nutrients allow for increased time between fertilizations. Soil will not become salty and conditioners help keep plants from becoming root bound. Just add 1 oz SURE BLOOM in a gallon of water and apply to soil.

Largest Selection of Flowers & Vegetable Seed in the Area More than 300 Varieties of Seed in Bulk Package Seeds Arriving Daily Grass & Pasture Seed • Thousands of Bulbs Baskets, Terracotta and Pottery Birdhouses, Birdfeeders

For help with applications of our products, your lawn care & other household needs, call Tobin Lawn and Home at 816 - 765 - 5565.

Retail • Wholesale • Lawn • Garden • Farm

Earth Right LLC • Overland Park, KS 913-492-2992

513 Walnut KCMO • 816-842-3651

January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


Cindy Gilberg


n warm winter days in late January-February, a sweet honey-like and almost spicy scent drifts on gentle breezes in some gardens and woodlands. True spring is still a couple of months away, yet follow the scent and find an enchanting small tree in full bloom—the Ozark witch hazel. Even more surprising is that, despite the wintery time of year, small native bees, moths and flies venture out on these occasional warm days to forage, and thus

pollinate, witch hazel flowers. Because of the cold temperature, Ozark witch hazel remains cloaked in its yellow, fringe-like flowers for many weeks, a plus for both insects and for the aesthetic value it adds to the winter garden scene. There are two native witch hazels in our region. Mentioned above, Ozark witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) has horizontal branches at maturity with fragrant winter flowers. In its native range, it grows along creek banks and low, wooded areas. Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) has a more upright habit and blooms in October and November. It also attracts insects, active on warm days searching for a bit of pollen and nectar before winter. This species is more widespread, with a native range from Nova Scotia to Florida and west to Missouri. Ozark witch hazel grows in wet to average garden soil and while

A WINTER OASIS FOR YOUR BIRDS. Birds need water to drink and to bathe in to keep their feathers clean, especially during the winter when most water sources are frozen. Our forest green plastic, 14” or 20” diameter dish contains a thermostatically controlled heating unit that ensures water will be available on the coldest days. The clamp-on hardware allows you to mount the birdbath easily on your deck. 4 Year Warranty.

Serving Kansas City for 25 years 11711 Roe Avenue (next to Comfort Plus Shoes) • 913-491-4887 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun noon-4pm

Photo credit to Scott Woodbury.

Native Witch Hazels

H. virginiana (Common Witch hazel)

H. vernalis (Ozark Witch hazel)

common witch hazel will tolerate very dry locations. Both adapt well to either shady or sunny sites. Growing to a height of about 12-20 feet, they are excellent options for adding color in the wintery months as well as offering habitat value for insects and for birds that come to nest in their branches. Witch hazel can be used to visually fill the vertical middle of the landscape—the space between the perennials at the ground level and the tall trees. A diversity of plant types (perennials, shrubs, small and large trees) creates not only a more interesting scene, but also provides the best habitat for birds and other wildlife. Though not a true hazel, witch hazel does have leaves that resemble our native hazelnut. The origin of its strange name is in the AngloSaxon word “wych” (bendable, supple or pliant) and the Middle English word “wicke” (lively). Early British settlers noted that Native Americans used its forked and crooked branches as divining rods to find underground water, similar to the European practice of using hazel branches. The branch would bend when it passed over a source of water. Also called dowsing, this practice remained a popular method for well-diggers into the 1900’s. Some American tribes valued the wood for making bows. The seeds produced by witch hazel are inside a hard capsule and are

shiny, black and edible with a flavor reminiscent of pistachio. Both species of witch hazel were important medicinal plants for many Native American tribes. Highly astringent due to tannins, it was used to curb bleeding, treat inflammation, and as a skin treatment for insect bites, burns, cuts, and bruises. Witch hazel is still used today as a popular ingredient in many skin lotions, soaps and in hemorrhoid cream. As with any medicinal plant, be sure to identify the plant properly, the part of the plant that is used, the proper preparation and the correct amount to be used in treatment. Or just buy it already prepared! Witch hazel plants are readily available at most garden centers and nurseries. Visit for a list of native plant suppliers. While there are also Asian species as well as hybrids and cultivars, the native species is just as showy and desirable in our landscapes. Plant them where you will be sure to appreciate them during the winter months. Horticulturist Cindy Gilberg is a Grow Native! Professional Member, owns Gilberg Design and Consulting, has worked in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden and Native Plant School at Shaw Nature Reserve for many years, and writes about native landscaping for several publications.


The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013

Not Your Mother’s Houseplants

Erin Busenhart


roblem: When the holidays are over and the twinkle lights come down, our house feels like a cold, empty cave. Solution: Buy a plant …or 2 or 3! Indoor plants are essential to good home design. They warm up a room making the space feel alive. I know there are those of you who claim to kill everything inside, but anyone can grow a plant. It simply comes down to choosing the right ones. And it’s not just a choice between a Spider Plant or Peace Lily anymore. You don’t have to sacrifice good looks for low maintenance. So, don’t try to winter over shedding ferns! And, throw away the Norfolk pine! Here’s a list of my favorite plants for inside the home.

Philodendron I’m not talking about your mother’s Philodendron! Newer varieties look nothing like the stringy plants of your youth. And these varieties have the same exceptional tolerance when it comes to owner neglect as their old-school cousins. They have the ability to be left a little wet or dry, they can tolerate low light and they’re pretty fast-growing. ‘Neon’ is a trailing variety with bright lime green foliage – a great splash of color anywhere! ‘Xanadu’, besides having a cool name, is an upright Philodendron with wavy, funkyshaped leaves. Plant the two varieties together for an easy and great looking combo! Aglaonema Commonly called Chinese Evergreens these are one of the most overlooked houseplants – they take low light and can get super dry between waterings. Unusual leaf patterns of silver and green are this plant’s signature. And while those

varieties are great, ‘Pink Sapphire’ has bright pink running through the foliage and adds a fun, fresh pop of “non-green” color. My design tip: Don’t stick Chinese evergreens up on a shelf – because of the great variegation in the foliage these plants show off the best when you’re looking down at them. Sansevieria Okay, we all know what mother-in-law’s tongue looks like and that it has been around, well … forever. But there is a reason for its steady popularity – this plant is tough! It’s probably the closest thing to fake plants you can get; it’ll take no light, won’t get pests and can practically be watered once a season. Go for the traditional green and gold (retro G-mother is back in again), but also check out the variety ‘Moonglow’ for silver, nearly white, foliage. While some plants are more tolerant of extremes, all houseplants would be happy with the following care. Place in medium to bright indirect light. This phrase “medium to bright indirect light” is used a lot. What is medium light? Think an eastern exposure window or a western exposure with shades. Allow the soil to dry 1/3 of the way down between thorough waterings. Most of us don’t water enough when we water. I know it’s harder inside and I don’t want you to ruin the carpeting either. Drag the plant to the sink or bathtub so it can drain well – the bigger the plant the more water it needs but the good news is it needs watering less often. Here are a few other favorite “can’t kill” plants: ‘Janet Craig’ Draceana ‘Lemon-Lime’ Draceana Bromeliad ‘Teneke’ Ficus, rubber plant Spider plant ZZ plant And you can always add a few strands of twinkle lights… Erin Busenhart is seasonal color designer at Family Tree Nursery, Overland Park, Kan. You may reach her at 913-642-6503.

January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Chinese Evergreens are one of the most overlooked houseplants. They can take low light and can get super dry between waterings. Try this ‘Pink Sapphire’ for a fresh pop of color.

For a great looking combo container, pair these two Philodendrons – ‘Neon’, a bright lime green trailing variety, with ‘Xanadu’, an upright plant with wavy funky-shaped leaves.

Johnson County Community College

Horticultural Sciences Day

Theme: Sustainable Horticulture


oin JCCC’s professors and leaders in horticultural sciences as they host some of the best speakers in the field. Learn about the existing and emerging career opportunities while you visit with professionals who will have information booths and activities. You’ll also have a chance to talk with reps from JCCC about career certificates and associate degree programs.

7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 JCCC’s Regnier Center 101

For more information, contact Dr. Lekha Sreedhar at 913-469-8500, ext. 3763, or visit


Above: Cardinal feeds on Black Oil Sunflower. Below: Warbler enjoys suet.

Above: Blue Jay has no trouble opening peanuts in the shell. Below cemter: Black capped Chickadee goes after a Nutty Blend.

Bottom left: House Finch snacks on Black Oil Sunflower.

Above: Berries satisfy this Cedar Waxwing. Below: Bluebird feeds on live mealworms.


The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013

Left: Robin eats berries.

Right: Red-bellied Woodpecker appreciates shelled peanuts.

Birdscaping Creating a bird friendly yard Doc & Diane Gover


hile you are slowing down after the busy holiday season, your backyard birds are busier than ever. When colder temperatures move in, birds are hard at work searching for more food options. One way you can make a difference is by landscaping with birds in mind, offering a wide variety of plantings that generously give seasonal seeds and berries. Not only do they make a statement in the winter landscape, but they also provide nutrient rich food for the birds. With assistance from Johnson County K-State Research and Extension (, we’ve compiled a list of fruit- and seed-bearing trees, evergreens, shrubs, vines and ornamental grasses in the chart below that perform well in Midwest landscapes and serve the birds. Remember that all of these natural plantings provide a food source as well as shelter and cover from predators and inclement weather. Another birdscaping method is by supplementing with alternative food sources. Add bird feeders to

the mix, allowing for quick food sources as snow and ice covers the natural food supply. Birds are looking for foods that are high in oil, fat and calories (such as seeds that are purchased as fresh as possible), suet, Bark Butter, peanuts (in and out of the shell – not salted), fruit and mealworms too. Remember these creatures are warm-blooded. They must maintain their body temperature within a normal range. This is accomplished through food consumption, found in nature and backyard bird feeders. Chickadees, titmice, cardinals, doves, finches and juncos are looking for black oil sunflower, safflower, nyjer (thistle) and white millet. Insect eating birds like robins, waxwings, bluebirds and mockingbirds also like a diet of suet and Bark Butter, as well as fresh and dried fruits. They have had to change their diet because of the lack of insects. Blue jays, woodpeckers, titmice, nuthatches and chickadees will eat peanuts offered in or out of the shell. Bluebirds, wrens, woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice and even cardinals will enjoy mealworms, alive or dried. They are loaded with protein.

January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Experienced birders know the personal joy of seeing active and energetic birds this time of year. If you’re new to the birdfeeding scene, this is an excellent time to invite birds to your backyard. Offering food that is healthy and nutritious will keep them coming back all year. Your yard will be “alive” with movement, so be sure to have your binoculars and field guide handy to identify all of your visitors. For more information about suitable plants to include in your landscape, contact the folks at

Johnson County K-State Research and Extension (www.johnson.ksu. edu), or the trusted professionals at your favorite independent nursery or garden center. If you have any questions regarding birds or their food, just stop by the store. Our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you. Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kan. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

Bird Friendly Landscape Plantings Trees

Shrubs and vines

• Birch • Chokecherry • Crabapple • Dogwood • Maple • Purple Leaf Plum • Serviceberry

• American Bittersweet • Barberry • Beautyberry • Holly • Viburnum • Virginia Creeper • Winterberry



• Eastern Red Cedar • Spruces • Pines

• Feather Reed Grass • Maiden Grass • Switch Grass

This is not a complete list. Please contact a green industry professional at your favorite nursery or garden center for advice on plant selection, planting and care.


Gardeners Connect welcomes an old friend with new information for the kick-off program for 2013.


ita Arnold, co-owner of Arnolds Greenhouse in LeRoy, Kan., plans to give us a preview of what to look forward to this spring in a program titled “What’s New for 2013.” The program is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost. Gardeners Connect expects the Lewis & Clark Room to be available for serving refreshments starting at 9:30 a.m. New introductions are the driving force and excitement in gardening every spring. Rita will offer an encyclopedic account of plants to watch for next spring. Come for all of it, or come for what you can. This will be your first and most comprehensive chance to hear what Rita has to share about plants for

2013. The Arnolds try to keep on the cutting edge with new plant selections and plan to have 295 new cultivars for 2013. Be ready to take notes. You will leave the program filled with ideas and inspiration. George and Rita Arnold have built quite a complex near LeRoy, Kan. In 1977, they built a 10- by 16-foot backyard hobby greenhouse. Their hobby grew into a business, and now there are 21 greenhouses covering 80,000 square feet of area. One of their three daughters has joined them in the business, selling a wide selection of annuals and perennials as well as trees, shrubs, conifers, herbs, vegetables and aquatics. Those of us who make regular shopping trips to Arnold’s Greenhouse are well acquainted



Plan Your Garden

Shop Through Our Garden Seed Racks BuRPee • Lake VaLLeY • LiVinGSTOn BOTaniCaL inTeReSTS • BakeR CReek

Fertilome Seeding & Cutting Starter Potting Mix Start Seeds indoors from January thru March. Get a jump on Spring! Starter Trays • Seedlings Heat Mats & Grow Lights available for better results.

7130 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. Garden Center • (816) 444-3403 8am-5pm Mon.-Sat. • Closed Sun. till Mar 1 Nursery • (816) 333-3232 9am-5pm • Closed Sunday 12


SPEAKERS’ BUREAU Need a speaker for your church, civic group or garden club? The Johnson County Extension Speakers’ Bureau have the speakers you are looking for on just about any topic like environmentally safe lawn care, or perennial flower gardening. We can adapt to meet your group’s needs, from a short 20-minute presentation to a longer format, if needed. While there are no fees for a volunteer speaker, a donation to Extension or the chosen volunteer organization is appreciated. To schedule a speaker for your group, please contact the office. For more information on this service, call 913-715-7000.

Rita Arnold will preview what to look forward to this spring. with the main retail greenhouse, which is 120 feet wide and 288 feet long. It is as big as the playing field at Arrowhead Stadium, and it has more than 3,500 varieties of plants. The roof retracts to let fresh air in, but if a shower comes along it takes only a few minutes for the roof to slide back in place to keep shoppers dry. In addition to the main greenhouse, there are 15 other greenhouses to shop. Gardeners Connect plans to bring an expert on viburnums to Kansas City for a Feb. 16, also at 10 a.m. at the Discovery Center. Also, Gardeners Connect is planning a trip to the Philadelphia

International Flower Show on March 1-4. The Philadelphia Flower Show is second only to Great Britain’s Chelsea Flower Show in size and spectacle. The theme of the Philadelphia Flower Show is “Brilliant!” The show will pay tribute to the creative genius and centuries of gardening inspiration and influence of Great Britain. Details of the trip can be found in the Gardeners Connect newsletter and online at Watch for a full schedule of programs, classes, trips and other activities sponsored by Gardeners Connect. Gardeners Connect, formerly known as the Garden Center Association of Greater Kansas City, is a nonprofit organization established in 1958 with the construction of the Garden Center at Loose Park. The Gardeners Connect board works to live up to its mission, “To educate and inspire members of our community to become more complete gardeners,” through its free speaker series, gardening classes, children’s activities, support of the Stanley R. McLane Arboretum at Loose Park and supporting its many affiliate clubs.

Koi Pond and Water Feature Designs We look forward to seeing you at the Johnson County Home and Garden Show, March 1-3 at the Overland Park Convention Center

New Installations, Remodels, Upgrades, Repairs and Maintenance Services Wendy Hix • 913.481.5416 • Tate Foster • 913.406.6804

The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013

Kansas Wildflower of the Year Little Bluestem

summer foliage

Ken O’Dell


ittle Bluestem Grass is the Kansas Native Plant Society Wildflower of the Year. Little Bluestem grows in every county in Kansas and was selected by the Kansas State Legislature as the State Grass of Kansas on July 1, 2010. With an endearing name like Little Bluestem it is easy to fall in love with this beautiful native grass. Little Bluestem is a warm season perennial bunch or clumping grass growing 2 to 3 feet tall. New growth starts in April when the soil warms

and continues as the greenish-blue leaves mature and slowly change to more blue and eventually to a stunning russet-coppery autumn color. The tiny flowers on Little Bluestem are of a fuzzy white appearance and there may be 100 or more on each bunch of Little Blue. In early autumn the fuzzy white flowers show up well with the reddish coloring of the grass stems. With these colorful stems blowing in the winter winds it is just one more reason to plant some clumps of the Kansas State Grass. The scientific name for Little Bluestem is Schizachyrium scoparium. Searching for the meaning of the word ‘schizachyrium’ it is suggested it comes from two latin words. ‘Schizein’ mean-

autumn foliage

ing to split and ‘achyron’ meaning chaff. One other suggestion is that it was actually split from the genus ‘Andropogon’ of which Little Bluestem was at one time listed and sometimes still listed as Andropogon scoparium. The name ‘scoparium’ is from the latin ‘scopa’ or ‘scopario’ meaning broom or broom like and if you cut off a thick clump of Little Bluestem at ground level, tied a string tightly around the clump and inserted a stick for a handle it would make a decent broom.

More information is on the KNPS website. Go to http://www. index.php Click on State Grass: Little Bluestem and look under Teach about Little Bluestem. Ken O’Dell is a member of the Kansas Native Plant Society and a long time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum. You may contact him on Facebook. Search for Kansas City Region of the Kansas Native Plant Society.

Country Club Tree Service Inc.

Caring for your largest “Assets” for 56 years

Disease & Insect Control Pruning • Removal • Consulting

ATTENTION: INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS! Looking to EXPAND your knowledge base? Or looking to GROW your business? The Hort NetWORK offers networking and educational opportunities for green industry professionals in Kansas City. Connect with Hort NetWORK and learn more about membership at January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Spring Fountain Special $599

Mark Young MW-103B

George Eib Chuck Brasher

816-333-7220 For Home Or Commercial Use 74th & Prospect, KCMO


January Tip:

Late winter is the time to spray Horticulture Oil on your magnolia, oak, ash or any other plant with scale, mite or aphid problems. 13

Ease Winter’s Grip with Learning at Powell Gardens

Here is the sad news, we still don’t have the new logo approved so we have to use the old one. Can you incorporate the look of the postcard anyway especially Powell From books and smoothies to bee keeping and bird watching, the cutie girl? I know this ad is smallllllll (1/4) page so Gardens offers plenty to beat the winter blahs. To register call Burton let me know if we have too much copy or you areLinda too busy get to by the tight deadline. at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Orto register online and see pictures of projects

at and follow the CALENDAR link. The Grandeur of Books Fri., January 25, 3-5 p.m. Join rare book librarian Bruce Bradley at the Linda Hall Library for a personal look at the grandeur of life as it was presented in books of science and discovery. Many of the greatest books on plants and animals that have been published since the time of Gutenberg in the 15th century will be available for viewing and discussion in the library’s Rare Book Room. $9/person, $Free/Powell Members. Registration required by January 21.

Super Smoothie: Beat the Winter Blahs Sat., January 26, 10 a.m.-noon In this class you will sample three delicious smoothies: A banana-maple-walnut smoothie chocked full of omega-3, an orange-coconut-banana smoothie to give you that antiviral edge, and a spiced-raspberry-orange smoothie packed with vitamin C. Plus, you will leave with the recipes for each smoothie blended, to make at home. $19/person, $12/Members. Registration required by January 21.

Yeah,Iʼmthinking aboutspring!

Tabletop Fountain: Feng Shui Sat., January 26, 1-3 p.m. Water flows from a “black” bamboo spout washing over black pebbles. Simple yet mysterious, intriguing yet tranquil, the Feng Shui fountain will be a focal point and a conversation piece. All materials will be provided. $55/project, $47/Members. Registration required by January 21. Honeybee Keeping – Traditional & Organic Approaches Sat., February 16, 1-4 p.m. Hobbyist beekeepers all across America – people of every imaginable occupation and background – keep bees for many reasons. Join us in this class where you will learn the basics of beginning beekeeping, including traditional and Organic approaches, equipment needed, where to obtain bees, how to manage bees, and how to harvest the honey. $24/person, $20/ Members. Registration required by February 11. Sculptured-Head Planter Sun., February 17, 1-3 p.m. Using a Styrofoam form for the base of your sculpture and

We'veexpandedthelawnandgarden areaofthisKansasCityspringtradition. Showcaseyourcompanyasanexhibitor.  LawnandGardenDesigners  Arborists  BulbandFlowerGrowersandRetailers  LawnandGardenEquipmentRetailers  SpecialtyGardenItemSellers

Friday-Sunday March22-24,2013 KansasCity ConventionCenter BartleHall Exhibitor Information | Show Map | Application 14

a new patent-pending fast drying Garden Cement™, you can make a whimsical planter. The fast-drying Garden Cement™ sculpture will be ready to take home in just over 2 hours. $55/project, $47/Members. Registration required by February 11. Birding Hike on the Byron Shutz Nature Trail Sun., February 17, 1-4 p.m. Join Sherry Leonardo and Mike Stoakes as we continue the national Great Backyard Bird Count on the Byron Shutz Nature Trail. $8/person, Free/Members. Registration required by February 13. Powell Gardens is a not-for-profit botanical garden located 30 miles east of Kansas City on Highway 50. Spring/summer garden admission is $10/adults, $9/seniors, and $4/children age 5-12. Garden hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. November-March and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April-October. Powell Gardens is open daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), year round. For more information please call (816) 697-2600 or visit us at www.

Serving the Northland for 30 years Snow Throwers in stock now:

Don’t forget our feathered friends!

Toro Electric $199.00 Single Stage from $359.00 Two Stage $999.00

Oil Sunflower 50# bag $27.59 Pennington Premium Wild Bird Food 50# bag $19.49 Suet Cakes 99¢

Troybilt SQ2100 - 21” Single Stage with electric start $499.00 Storm 2410 - 24” Two Stage $649.00

Northland Feed • 816-452-8393 4807 N. Brighton, KCMO Mon • Fri 9am-6pm • Sat 9am- 4pm

The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013


garden calendar


• Avoid walking on frozen lawns as it may injure the grass. • Rake fallen leaves that pile up on the lawn to prevent the grass from suffocating. • Tune-up the lawn mower now so it is ready for spring. • Scatter snow instead of piling up on the lawn next to drives and walks. • Talk with your lawn care service provider about contracts for the upcoming season. • If you missed fall overseeding, dormant seeding can be done following a light snow or rainfall.


• Scan nursery catalogs for new introductions. Which ones do you have to have? • Still have bulbs to plant? Get in the ground now. • Start seeds throughout the winter depending on growth requirements. • Water fall-planted perennials as needed to prevent desiccation. • Watch for signs of frost heaving and cover tender roots. • Replace mulch layers as needed. • Check stored bulbs for rot and decay and discard damaged ones. • Curl up with a good book and learn more about gardening.


• Gently brush off heavy snow from tree and shrub limbs to reduce damage. • Prune storm damaged limbs quickly to reduce damage and prevent tearing of the bark. • Allow ice to melt naturally from limbs. • Bring twigs of flowering trees and shrubs indoors for forced spring blossoms.

• Avoid the temptation to prune on a warm winter day. • Water fall-planted trees and shrubs when soil is dry and not frozen. • Watch out for rabbit damage to bark of trees and shrubs.


• Read through your favorite seed catalogs and prepare orders. • Check stored seeds for decay. Be sure to store cool and dry. • Have a soil test taken if it has been more than three years since the last soil test. • Start vegetable transplants for the garden indoors under grow lights. • Order fruit trees. • Pick up fallen fruit before spring arrives and discard. • Be on the lookout for rabbit and rodent damage to fruit tree bark.


• Wash dust off plant leaves to allow more sunlight to reach the leaves. • Water plants with room temperature water. • Insecticidal soap sprays can be used to remove pests. • Mealy bugs and scales can be wiped off with a swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. • Rotate plants to develop a well-rounded plant. • Keep new plants separated to be sure they do not harbor insects. • Reduce fertilizer use until spring when more sunlight is available for growth.


• Repair garden tools. • Sand and seal tool handles to prevent splinters. • Apply brightly colored paint to tool handles to make them easier to spot in the garden. • Keep bird feeders and water supplies filled for feathered friends.

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.


ter Delights!

Landscape design & services WWW . HE - KC . COM We construct retaining walls, patios, R ETAINING W ALLS • D RAINAGE S OLUTIONS • P ROJECT S ERVICES

outdoor living spaces, and drainage solutions. Our crews are service oriented, meticulous, and conscientious about their work.

• Rabbits, chipmunks, moles, groundhogs, mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, opossums, snakes and bats • Woodpeckers, starlings, pigeons, sparrows and geese • Repairs and chimney caps • Wildlife biologist on staff • Licensed and insured • Celebrating 23 years of service

Trust us with your project needs. 816.835.1682 . - . WWW HE KC COM


January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Wild Bird Center of Independence 4480 S. Noland Rd. • Independence, MO Call us at (816) 478-9399 VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.WILDBIRD.COM/INDEPENDENCE

NOW OFFERING: Attic Insulation & Removal GENERAL PEST CONTROL: Specializing in Termite Control and Termite Treatments. Termidor or Hex-Pro Baiting Systems.

MO 816-769-3106 • KS 913-338-3330

816-942-2TEA (2832) Inside Trendz, 151st & Nall


In Living Color exhibit brings splash of color to winter


hen Mother Nature sheds her more vibrant hues for the subtler palette of winter grays and browns, it’s easy to crave brighter colors. Starting January 12, visitors can satisfy that craving by exploring Powell Gardens’ conservatory exhibit: “In Living Color,” which continues through March 10. The exhibit is part of regular winter Garden admission of $7/adults, $6/seniors and $3/children 5-12. For the “In Living Color” exhibit the horticulture team is bringing out the brightest and most vibrant cool-season blooms to create a memorable splash that includes stunning ranunculus, vivid dianthus, bright forsythia and other favorites in every color of the rainbow. The exhibit also will explain the meaning of color according to the practice of Feng Shui and include other interesting facts about the use of color in design. Visitors also can learn how to add color to their homes and gardens during these related activities: Jan. 12-13: How to Force Blooms for Winter Color Visitors will be inspired to beat the winter blahs by adding color to their homes weeks before spring. This discovery station will show which bulbs and branches are easiest to force into an early bloom. Handouts and step-by-step directions will be available. 1-4 p.m. Jan 26-27 Blooming Hyacinth Jar Visitors can discover how to force hyacinths to bloom using a waterforcing method in this volunteer-led drop-in program. Participants can take a hyacinth ready to bloom for immediate winter color indoors, or assemble one for bloom later in winter. Free step-by-step instructions included. These make cheerful gifts for any occasion or for no reason at all! The price is $10 per jar or two for $15. Quantities are limited. New Wassailing Event Set for Jan. 19 Powell Gardens will turn an “old English tradition” into a fun new tradition on Jan. 19 when staff and visitors come together to wassail the orchards of the Heartland Harvest Garden. Wassail, which comes from the Anglo-Saxon greeting “wes hal,” means “be of good health” and is perhaps best known as a wintertime drink of spiced wine or ale. But the tradition of “wassailing” to encourage a productive apple harvest dates back at least to the 1500s. Participants will learn a bit more about this tradition before the group moves into the Apple Spiral to sing to the health of the apple trees, scare away the evil spirits and imbibe some “ole recipe wassail”—all with a goal of ensuring a more productive harvest for 2013. After the outdoor festivities, visitors will return to the warmth of the roaring fireplaces in the Grand Hall for a buffet-style country dinner featuring roast pig and traditional wassail. The price is $25 per person and space is limited. Make reservations by calling 816-697-2600 x209 or sign up online at Powell Gardens is a not-for-profit botanical garden located 30 miles east of Kansas City on Highway 50. The Gardens are open daily except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Regular winter admission (through March 31) is $7/adults, $6/seniors and $3/children 5-12.


Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see No charge. The Cave is a unique underground growing space for orchids. Call 816-252-4478 for directions and info.

Garden Shows Metropolitan Lawn and Garden Show February 8 – 10; American Royal Center

Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Jan 7, 7pm; at Colonial Church at 71st and Mission, Prairie Village, KS. Our program will be a round table discussion of growing conditions in KC 2012 and 2013. Refreshments will be served. Visitors always welcome. For additional information contact Judy Schuck 913-362-8480. Come Grow with Us.

Johnson County Home & Garden Show March 1 – 3; Overland Park Convention Center Flower, Lawn & Garden Show March 22 – 24; Bartle Hall

Club Meetings African Violets of Greater Kansas City Tue, Jan 8, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Bonsai Society of GKC Sat, Jan 26, 9:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Jan 7, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Grow healthy plants indoors using hydroponics and artificial grow lights. Kelly from Green Circle Hydroponics will speak on how to successfully grow big healthy plants using hydroponics. Louise Kendrick, a member of the Greater KC Gardeners of America, will demonstrate how to build a “grow light stand” using items that can be found at a hardware store. With this knowledge, we can all turn our homes into a tropical paradise. Guests are always welcome. Come join us and make a gardening friend! 816-941-2445. Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Sat, Jan 12, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Installation of officers and Elizabeth Cutting will introduce elderberry as the 2013 Herb of the Year. For more info and reservations call 913-592-3546. Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Jan 19, 9:30am-1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-822-1515 Independence Garden Club Mon, Jan 14, 6:30pm; at the Sermon center Noland and Truman Rd’s Fourth floor. We will start a new year learning how to and hands on gardening. Visitors are invited and refreshments will be served. www.independencegardenclub. com or call 373-1169 or 796-4220. Northland Garden Club Tue, Jan 15, 7pm; at Linden Baptist Church, 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone, MO. Program: ‘Growing Home Grown Vegetables All Year Long’ by Jim Lee. Guests are welcome. For further information contact Sue Combellick, 816-452-7485. www. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tue, Jan 15, 12:30pm; in the community room of the Bass Pro Store, 12051 Bass Pro Dr, Olathe, KS. The program will be given by Rick Spurgeon, Arborist for the City of Olathe. We will learn about ways to support, maintain, and sustain our urban forests. Time for questions is scheduled. Public is welcome. Refreshments will be served. For information Lila Courtney (913764-2494) or Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City Sun, Jan 13, 2pm; at Bird’s Botanicals (The Cave), 8201 E 23rd Street, KCMO. Beginner’s group at 1pm. Speaker: Dr. Doug Martin “The Birds, the Bees, and the Orchids,” a presentation on orchid pollination. The public is welcome.

Sho Me African Violets Society Fri, Jan 11, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300

Events, Lectures & Classes January Basic Landscape Photography Sat, Jan 12, 10am–noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $20 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Class limited to 30 people. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to take your landscape and scenic photographs to the next level, this is the class for you. Carol Fowler and Dave Shackelford, local photographers and members of the FOTA Photo Committee will focus on the basics of lighting, exposure and composition when taking photos outdoors, whether at the Arboretum or on your travels. Indoor classroom only. Register by going to and follow the prompts. Bring paid receipt to class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. 913-685-3604 Basic Flower Photography Sat, Jan 19, 10am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $20 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Class is limited to 30 people. Flower photography at its finest! Everyone wants to take beautiful pictures when visiting the Arboretum or just in their own backyard. Carol Fowler and Dave Shackelford, local photographers, will focus on teaching the basics of composition, exposure and lighting, as well as other techniques to help you take interesting and beautiful flower photographs. Indoor classroom only. Register by going to www.opabg. org and follow the prompts. Bring paid receipt to the class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. 913-685-3604. New Volunteer Orientation Sat, Jan 26, 9-11:30am; 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. You can 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. 913-685-3604.

February Bird Chat-Fun Winter Feeding Sat, Feb 2, 9:30-11am; at Ironwoods Park in Nature Center 147th & Mission. Doc & Diane Gover of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop

The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013

will discuss feeding our feathered friends during National Birdfeeding Month (February) and what high calorie foods should be offered during cold weather. They will also explain the importance of participating in The Great Backyard Bird Count. Questions will be answered and problem solving discussed during the presentation. Educational handouts will be provided. To register 913-3396700 x154 or Grow Native! Workshops Feb 8 (for professionals) and 9 (for homeowners); at Douglas County Fairgrounds, Bldg#1, 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. Friday’s workshop, Landscape Design with Nature in Mind, is geared to landscape designers, architects, nursery owners, and other land care professionals and will provide in-depth information on many aspects of native landscaping—from soils to pollinators, water management and more. Don’t miss learning from knowledgable presenters Chip Taylor, Lee Skabelund, Ted Hartsig, and Elliott Duemler! $35 for members of the Missouri Prairie Foundation/ Grow Native! $40 for nonmembers. Saturday’s workshop, Native Landscaping and Rain Gardens for Homeowners, with provide in-depth “do-ityourself” information from presenters David Dods and Elliott Duemler. $15 for members of the Missouri Prairie Foundation/Grow Native! $18 for nonmembers. Free parking. For details and registration info, visit Early Bird Registration for Gardening Seminar Feb 8. Deadline for early bird registration for the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Spring Gardening Seminar taking place Saturday, Mar 9, at Metropolitan Community College-Longview, Lee’s Summit. Registration closes Mar 1. See under Spring Seminar heading on Jan 2, 2013 for more information and an application. Steam Engines from real-life scale to model scale at the Arboretum Sat, Feb 9, 10am-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $10 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. “Kids, look, I shrunk a real railroad train to run around the Christmas Tree”! What makes a steam engine go and what is the allure of a model train? Find out about g-scale trains from some expert model railroaders. Russ Hayden, Bill Hart and Bob Pryzby, avid model railroaders for many years, will share with you their knowledge of model trains (wind-up to digital command control), conductor, engineer and/or brakemen duties, model railroad clubs and other interesting facts. You may register for classes by going to www.opabg. org and follow the prompts. Bring paid receipt to the class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604. Garden Shows Feb 8-10. The Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City will be showcased at the Metropolitan Lawn and Garden Show, with a 5,000 square foot Orchid Show in Wagstaff Theatre at American Royal Center. Show will include several artistically-arranged displays featuring the “queen of flowers,” by several local orchid growers. Hundreds of orchids, large and small, including rare species and man-made hybrids from around the world will be on display. Hundreds of blooming orchids will also be for sale by vendors from Missouri, Indiana, and Kansas. More details available at

16th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count Feb 15-18. Please take time to participate in the largest Citizen Science project on record. This is the first year for the GBBC to go GLOBAL. Learn more by visiting Exposure, getting the light right! Sat, Feb 16, 10-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $20 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Are you finding that leaving your camera on full automatic just isn’t yielding the results you want? It may be time for a class on exposure! We’ll talk about the exposure triangle, Aperture Priority, Time Priority, manual mode and special lighting situations. We’ll also investigate the mysteries of the camera’s histogram. This will be a classroom session but you are encouraged to bring your cameras and manuals to locate controls and functions we discuss in class. Class limited to 30. Register for classes by going to and follow prompts. Bring paid receipt to class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. For additional information, 913-685-3604. Invasive Tree Pests Changing our Landscape Thurs, Feb 21, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO. Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: “Invasive Tree Pests are Changing our Landscape” Rob Lawrence, Missouri Department of Conservation State Entomologist, will speak about Emerald Ash Borer as it will affect the Kansas City Metro. Other tree pests that may enter our state in the future will be discussed. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456. Fireside Tea-Looking for a warm place to go in February? Sat, Feb 23, 10am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Make a reservation for the Fireside Tea. This two part event features a tea tasting of 7 various types of teas followed by a traditional English Tea. Cost is $17 per person PLUS admission fee to Gardens on day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. You may register for this tea by going to www.opabg. org and following the prompts. Bring paid receipt to class for admission. No refunds and deadline for registration is Feb 15. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604.

March Pleasant Valley Baptist Church Garden Ministry Pancake Breakfast Kickoff Sat, Mar 2, 8-11am; in the West Wing. Giving away vegetable seeds, onion sets and seed potatoes. Guest speaker discussing “What’s Hot in Gardening” - perennials and vegetables to grow in your garden. Local nurseries, Master Gardeners and Kansas City Community Gardens will have resource tables set up during event.

Extension Horticulture Classes

All Times: 7 p.m. Fee: $10 per person. Registration requested at least one week in advance. Enrollment limited. All classes will be held at the Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500, Olathe, KS 66061. Curb Appeal January 22, Tuesday Room 1055 The summer of 2012 was brutal on the landscape as many evergreens and even some standby shrubs such as burning bush all bit the dust and died. The harsh conditions have now created an opportunity to give your home a fresh new look. Do you know that many shrubs should be replaced after 10 to 15 years of age? It is like cleaning out your closest as styles come and go. This class will cover the basics needed to spruce up the front of the home and empower you to take your abode from drab to dazzling with a few changes. Great Shrubs for the Garden February 5, Tuesday Room 1070-75 Shrubs build the foundation for a great landscape. This class will focus on some of the better


Weather Repor t

performing shrubs for the area. Based on the experiences at the Johnson County Extension Master Gardener demonstration gardens we will share plants that deserve a place in the landscape. Whether noted for spring or summer flowers, fall color, or just interesting bark and foliage, this class will send you home with a listing of great garden worthy shrubs. The Four Season Garden February 13, Wednesday Room 1060 (smaller room) Spring, summer, fall or winter, we want the garden to be of interest. This class will focus on how you can create pizazz in the garden for wonderful colors and textures year-round. The secret is to develop the bones of the garden and then build upon this yearround structure. This class will inspire you to get out in the garden and learn how to appreciate it even more all year long.

Highs and Lows Avg temp 30° Avg high temp 39° Avg low temp 21° Highest recorded temp 75° Lowest recorded temp -20° Nbr of above 70° days 0

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 10 Avg nbr of cloudy days 15


Rain and Snow

Central Missouri Master Gardener Plant Sale Sat, May 4, 7am-12:00pm; at Jaycee Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Watch for more info and see our Website: or, find us on Facebook at Central Missouri Plant Sale.

Avg snowfall 5.8” Avg rainfall 1.3” Avg nbr of rainy days 7 Source:

From the Almanac Moon Phases

Promote your 2013 gardening events!

Last Quarter: Jan. 4

This listing is FREE!

New Moon: Jan. 11

Send information to:

The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail:

Deadline for February issue is January 5. January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

First Quarter: Jan. 18 Full Moon: Jan. 26 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Above Ground Crops: 11, 12, 15, 16, 20, 21, 25, 26

Plant Root Crops: 26

Control Plant Pests: 4, 9, 10

Transplant: 25, 26

Plant Flowers: 11, 12, 15, 16


Metropolitan Lawn and Garden Show February 8 - 10


he Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show is Kansas City’s premier consumer Show dedicated to the green industry. Products and services exhibited include landscaping, power equipment, statuary, lawn maintenance, water gardens, decks, seeds, plants and bulbs, patio furniture, mulch, bird houses and baths, trees, shrubbery, fountains, gazebos, fencing, driveways, stonework, pottery, garden tools, fertilizer, water garden accessories, and ornamental outdoor decor. Meet local experts on everything from water gardens and plant care to power equipment and designing outdoor living spaces. Each year over 20,000 consumers attend the Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show to shop for the latest products and services for their gardens and outdoor lifestyles. Ahmed Hassan Returns Back by popular demand Ahmed Hassan returns to the Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show. He’s funny, charming and best of all knowledgeable. At last year’s show every presentation was standing room only. ?Ahmed is one of the Bay Area’s most sought-after young landscape designers, and has spent more than 20 years mastering the business of landscaping and home improvement. As a licensed landscape contractor and certified landscape technician Ahmed Hassan attests that a great home starts with a solid landscape. His expertise is residential design, where he leans heavily on his experience and knowledge of plant identification and soils, as well as irrigation and maintenance. He runs his own landscape consulting, installation, maintenance and irrigation business. Ahmed is host of HGTV’s Turf War and Yard Crashers. He will share his wit and wisdom multiple times on all three days of the Show. Water Gardens: Snapshots of Nature This year the Water Garden Society and House of Rocks are 18

joining together again and are planning a display that will be bigger and more dramatic than anything done in recent years. Attendees will be treated to a 3,000 square foot outdoor water wonderland. Experts will be on hand to answer your questions and help you conceive the right water garden design for your outdoor living space. Orchid Show This year, the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City will showcase a 5,000 square foot Orchid Show in Wagstaff Theatre at the Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show. The exhibit will include artistically arranged displays featuring the “queen of flowers,” by a large number of orchid purveyors including vendors. Hundreds of orchids, large and small, including rare species and man-made hybrids from around the world will be on display. This year, the exhibitors will not only be judged by their peers but by the public. So Exhibitors have two audiences to prepare for and two chances to be judged the “Best in Show”. Let the competition begin! Location The American Royal Center, 1701 American Royal Court, Kansas City, MO 64102 Show Hours Friday 10 AM to 9 PM Saturday 10 AM to 9 PM Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM Tickets $10.00 for adults Children 12 and under are free $1 off with a Price Chopper Rewards Card, Limit 2 or pick up a $1.00 off coupon at your local Westlake Ace Hardware Store. A ticket to The Metro Lawn and Garden Show will also permit attendance to The Remodeling Show for no additional charge. The two Shows are held simultaneously in different halls of the American Royal Center.

GREEN INDUSTRY NEWS Grounds and Turf Management Classes Starting Soon


o you know someone interested in developing a landscape services company or enhancing their existing business knowledge? Do you know someone who mows yards but would like to improve knowledge of ornamental plants or answer questions about various landscape problems? Did you know a state license is required to do chemical applications on someone’s property for a fee? Please contact Leah Berg at 816-353-7170 or e-mail Pam. for information on upcoming evening classes this spring offered at the Metropolitan Community College-Longview campus in Lee’s Summit, MO. They may be taken for personal enrichment, or as part of the Grounds and Turf Management certification program. Students from other colleges are welcome. Fees apply based on residency, but seniors 65 and older in-district may be eligible for waived tuition. These practical 3 credit hour classes are 2 nights a week, including: Soil Fertility & Fertilizers: Study the properties of soils and the components, formulations and application of fertilizers. How should we work with what we have? When should we amend soil and how? Instructor: professional horticulturist Dave Kriegh Jan. 15-Mar. 7, Tues./Thurs. 6-8:45 p.m. Pest Management: Learn the least toxic methods preferred to manage regional insect and disease problems. Students also prepare to pass the Missouri State exam for the Certified Pesticide Applicators License, given the final day of class Instructor: certified arborist Rusty Denes Mar. 19-May 16, Tues./Thurs. 6-8:45 p.m. Landscape Design and Maintenance: Information tailored to our region, essential aspects of site evaluation, design concepts, and methods to create scale drawings are emphasized. Instructor: designer Leah Berg Mar. 18-May 15, Mon./Wed. 5:45-8:30 p.m.

Now available oNliNe Th e Ka ns as Ci ty The Kansas City Th e Ka nsa s Ci ty

NER GAR D ENER GAR D EGARDENER h 2012 Marc g thly G A Mon u i de t o S u cces s ful Gar dening November 2012 enin ssful Garde ning to Succ essfu l Gard A Mont hly Guide to Succe A Mon thly Guid e

Beautiful Bright and uals for 2012 New Ann

May 2012

Attracting Flying Flowers

Not So Minor Bulbs Heirloom Annuals

Miniature Hosta n trees Dogwoods are fine garde Memory Gardens Soil Test Interpretations

Hangin’ Out For Winter Care for Your Newly Seeded Lawn Falling ... Into Winter Ponds The Bird Brain answers your questions

The Grand Magnolia

A Landscape With Flavor Year of the Geranium 2012 All-America Selections The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013


Professional’s Corner

Networking Event with Hort NetWORK


oin us for our annual Winter Getaway at Bird’s Botanicals. This year’s feature will be “Testing Your Horticultural Senses” and a chance to win a free orchid. Network with other industry professionals and tour David Bird’s state of the art Orchid Cave (located within the Interstate Underground Warehouse, 8201 E. 23rd St., Kansas City, MO 64129) with over 200 varieties of orchids and other unusual plants. Food and beverages provided. This event is open to all Hort NetWORK members, their guests, and all industry professionals only. Member free, Non-member / guest: $10. Not a member? Need more information? See our website for all the details,

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.

January 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Meet Sandy Gibson, who for six years, has given plants and customers the best possible care. Name: Sandy Gibson Company: Family Tree Nursery, Shawnee Team leader: As Assistant Greenhouse Manager, my team and I make sure the customers and plants are getting the best care possible! From annuals, perennials and tropicals to herbs, veggies and ornamentals, it is vitally important for us to grow healthy, attractive plants for our customers. Equally important for us is to be able to educate our customers about the plants we offer. Typical day: We start each day year round, watering in the greenhouse. Next, the team discusses the goals of the day — planting, weeding, trimming, fertilizing, repotting, seasonal displays, etc. Once those wheels are in motion, customers are the next priority, assisting as many as I can. Whether it’s finding them a house plant for their office, or building them a terrarium or succulent combo, I am passionate about introducing people to the wonderful plants and products we provide. Training: I was raised by the two best Horticulturists I know, my parents. They taught me a lot and I put that knowledge to use everyday. My mom worked in the greenhouse industry and my father owned a landscape and water garden design company. I’ve also learned so much on the job at Family Tree. I did go to school for business and personal training, but this industry is truly where my heart is. I guess you can say I have horticulture in my DNA. Favorite tropical plant: One of the easiest house plants to grow, Ficus Lyrata, commonly known as Fiddle Leaf Fig is my favorite. They handle drought and simply need a well lit spot to grow. It’s neat to watch each leaf grow as big as a fiddle. Favorite garden destination: I enjoy walking through the Overland Park Arboretum. But my heart is in my mother’s garden. When we’re together she always teaches me something new. Her garden accomplishments continue to amaze me. What every gardener should know: When it comes to tropical plants, there is always a plant for you no matter what kind of light you have. Plus, every gardener in Kansas should know about the Prairie Star list (, a compilation of annuals and perennials best adapted to the challenging prairie climate. If you weren’t in the green industry, what would you do: Probably something with personal training. I love the physical nature of the job. Contact information: 7036 Neiman, Shawnee, KS 66203; Open weekdays 9 to 6, Sunday 10:30 to 5; ph 913-631-6121; 19

Tropicals 25% Off

Tropicals & Houseplants

Lift your spirits, banish winter doldrums, re-vitalize your decor and improve air quality, too!

Don’t Forget the BIRDS Wild Delight Birdseed, Feeders Bird Baths & Heaters

10% Off Ceramic Pots

135th & Wornall


(816) 942-2921

K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy closed for winter season

105th & Roe

The Kansas City Gardener / January 2013 (913) 649-8700

KCG 01Jan13  
KCG 01Jan13  

The Kansas City Gardener