Page 1

The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

April 2013

Enduring Perennials

Decoding Plant Tags The Great Divide in Hostas April is Safe Digging Month Projects to Tame the Waiting Gardener Tale of Sister Cities: Friendship Rooted in Trees and Japanese Garden

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TILL THE FIELDS, PREP THE SOIL. Dig it up. Remove rocks and pull the weeds out. Roots, too.

raise the stakes




The benefits of raised garden beds are plentiful and delicious. Why? They: keep pathway weeds from your garden soil prevent soil compaction provide good drainage serve as a barrier to pests such as slugs and snails can create a garden any size or shape


Plus, the sides of the beds keep precious garden soil from being eroded or washed away during heavy rains.

Is your soil sandy or full of clay? Does it drain well or remain soggy? Improve it with the right type of Black and Gold® soil for a superior harvest. Different crops like different soil. What are you planting and what will they like? Acidic or Alkaline? Test it out with a soil test kit from Westlake Ace. Once you know, you can amend as needed. Sketch your garden. Then use it as a guide to lay out stakes to mark where the rows will go. Support plants, like peas and beans, with trellises or sturdy stakes. Support vine plants like cukes, squash and melons with mounds of earth.

plants are naturally nurturing

SO PLACE ‘EM SIDE-BY-SIDE. Give your crops a companion and marvel at the rewards. Asparagus helps tomatoes grow, beans help eggplant, beets help garlic, carrots help onion, lettuce helps radishes and you help yourself. Bon appetit.





*May vary, check online for your specific location

April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Garden conditions

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Lauren Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Leah Berg Erin Busenhart Cindy Gilberg Diane & Doc Gover Bryan Hobby Patricia Knott Lenora Larson Terry Blair Michel Rob Mortko Dennis Patton Diane Swan Chris Veach Scott Woodbury Sue Waltemath 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

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Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 43. 4


he snow piles have disappeared revealing a landscape littered with debris from the winter storm. Thankfully, we’ve had a couple of good rains to wash away the salt and grime, making a garden stroll a little more pleasant. With spring in its infancy and pathways cleared, it’s time for a garden assessment. I glance at the outdoor temperature, and in frustration I spew phrases like “I thought spring was here!” and “Where’s that warming trend supposedly headed our way?” That same evening Mike (publisher, husband and official dog walker) lets out his discontent with “Clearly spring has not arrived. I still need my scarf!” This time of year, weather is a popular topic of conversation among gardeners and non-gardeners (if there is such a person). We’re wondering about the highs and the lows. Who’s forecasting what, and most importantly, when is it going to warm up – and stay that way. You see, those of us transplanted from the south have a vivid recol-

lection, a requirement really, about spring temperatures. When the Spring Equinox appears on the March calendar, we expect warm weather, pull out shorts and flip-flops and head to the beach. Not so here in the land of seasons. We’re likely to need gloves and scarves when spring arrives. In the month of April, we’re lucky if we see temps in the high 60s ... consistently. Our attempts at gardening are thwarted with anticipated frost and other damaging temperature dips. When will I ever learn to accept the things I cannot change? Enough rambling about the weather, let me pull this cart back around to the topic ... garden assessment. So I bundle up to take a walk in the garden. What a mess! River birch branches are scattered. I can see pine cones that have landed in the center of boxwood shrubs. Piles of leaves and mulch have been kicked out of the beds by feeding robins.

Last fall the water company moved the main water line to our side of the street. That team was easy to work with in efforts to keep the garden intact. However, there are six daylily plants above ground that have been waiting since early December to be replanted. And at the end of the driveway, there’s an 8’ X 8’ section missing, which is nothing but gravel with a sizable dip. It’s like having a pothole in your front yard. Then there’s the ash tree in the backyard that we are in a quandary about – treat for EAB or remove? She’s a mature beauty and her value is priceless. So while we wait for the REAL spring to arrive, there’s plenty to ponder while the soil warms and becomes workable. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue April 2013 • Vol. 18 No. 4 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 K-State Open House ................ 7 Tale of Sister Cities .................. 8 The Great Divide in Hostas ...... 10 Plantaholic Frolic ..................... 11 Will Landscape for Food .......... 13 Touch of the South .................. 14 Decoding Plant Tags ................ 16 Porch Butterfly Gardens ........... 18 Enduring Perennials ................ 22 Rose Report ............................ 25

about the cover ...

Japanese Water Garden .......... 26 Grow Native Annuals .............. 30 Poplar Heights ........................ 32 The Bird Brain ......................... 34 Garden Calendar .................... 36 Upcoming Events ..................... 37 Hotlines ................................. 41 Weather ................................. 41 Powell Garden Events ............. 42 Subscribe ............................... 43 Professional’s Corner ................ 43

Solomon’s Seal is named 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year. Learn about it and other enduring perennials starting on page 22. Photo courtesy of Steven Still, Perennial Plant Association.



The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

PRIORITY: Pollinators


oneybees have been disappearing in record numbers, and they are not the only pollinators that are imperiled. Some butterflies and native bees have experienced significant population declines also, says Eric Mäder, Assistant Pollinator Program Director for the Xerces Society. It was just a few years ago that homeowners were asking what they could plant that would not attract bees. Now, the question is more likely to be, “How can I attract bees and other pollinators to my garden?” Pollinators are a diverse and fascinating group of invertebrates, and we have them to thank for beautiful blooming meadows, juicy summer berries, bountiful vegetable gardens, and colorful pumpkins and gourds. The Home Garden Seed Association, inspired by the conservation work of the Xerces Society, encourages all home gardeners to help the cause of pollinator protection by planting more flowers, an important food resource for all kinds of bees and butterflies. Every flower border, bed, and windowbox helps! Visit and sign the Pollinator Protection Pledge. You can also order a Pollinator Habitat sign for your garden. A Few Facts • Flowers clustered in clumps of at least four feet in diameter are more attractive to pollinators than scattered individual flowers. • A succession of flowering plants that lasts from spring through

Bee and Butterfly Plants Grown Easily from Seed

fall will support a range of bee species. • Flowers of different shapes will attract different types of pollinators. • Pesticides are a major threat to insect pollinators. • The value, in dollars, of pollinators’ services to our food business is estimated to be upwards of $4 billion – nothing to sneeze at! How to Grow a Pollinator Garden from Seed Now is the time to plan for a bounty of pollen plants that will help pollinators thrive from spring through fall. Early spring: Where winters are cold, pollinators rely on blooming trees in spring, but early-blooming flowering plants provide additional resources. Late spring through summer: Choices abound! Many pollinator favorites are annuals that can be easily, and inexpensively, grown from seed. Late summer into fall: Sunflowers, agastache, herbs, and marigolds supplement late blooming perennials in sustaining pollinators into the fall. Source:

EARLYBLOOMING Agrostemma Baby Blue Eyes Bishop’s Flower California poppy Chives Clover Dianthus Larkspur Lupine Mustards Osteospermum Parsley Pea Poppy Sweet Alyssum Viola Wallflower

MID-SEASON Bachelor’s button Basil Black-eyed Susan Blanketflower/ Gaillardia Butterfly Flower/ Asclepias Calendula Cilantro Coneflower/ Echinacea Cosmos Dill Feverfew Foxglove Lavender Monarda Portulaca

Squash, Pumpkin Thyme Tickseed/Coreopsis LATEBLOOMING Agastache Amaranth Cleome Dahlia Marigold Mexican sunflower Salvia Scabiosa Sunflower Zinnia




KC’s largest selection of the newest and most popular hostas Unmatched quality, selection, price and service Visit our website for complete listing and monthly specials

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April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton GRAFTED TOMATO PLANTS VALUE Question: I keep reading about grafted tomato plants. They seem to be expensive so are they worth the price? Answer: I cannot answer your question about the expense and returned value as that is a personal decision. This is what I can tell you about grafted tomatoes. They are more expensive because there is a large amount of hand labor involved in the production. There are several main advantages for grafted plants. One of the

greatest to me is for people that like to grow heirloom varieties. These old garden favorites lack the disease resistance of many of the newer hybrids. Though grafting a vigorous, disease resistant root stock may be used to graft many varieties of heirlooms onto the root. The result is a soilborne disease resistant plant with a strong growing root system. Some estimates say that yields can be increased as much as 40% over the summer. So if you like to grow heirlooms or other varieties have problems with soilborne diseases then these are a good alternative. If you feel that your yields and plant growth is just fine then you will probably not value the benefits. On the other hand, up to a 40% yield increase is pretty enticing, especially if you are selling

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extra pounds of tomatoes, then your expense is recouped very quickly. HEIRLOOM TOMATO VARIETIES Question: I like to grow heirloom tomatoes and am always on the lookout for different varieties to grow. I have mainly grown Brandywine and a few others. I would like to branch out and try a few others. Do you have any suggestions of what to grow this summer? Answer: Dr. Carey Rivard, our K-State extension vegetable specialist, spoke to our Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners last fall on the topic of growing great tomatoes. In his presentation, he gave a list of heirloom tomatoes that have performed well in this part of the country. Here are a few heirloom

suggestions to grow: Arkansas Traveler, Pineapple, Orange Oxheart, German Johnson, Green Zebra, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Brandywine, Prudens Purple, and Cherokee Purple. Heirlooms often have superior flavor to many of the newer varieties but unfortunately they are more prone to fruit cracking. These varieties for the most part are longer day types, which mean it takes a longer time to pick the first ripe fruit of the summer. For fun, try some of the grafted heirlooms to compare their performance. See the prior question for more information. BOXWOOD BROWN TIPS Question: Several of my boxwoods turned brown on the tips this winter. Is this a serious problem and how do I resolve it?

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Answer: The browning of boxwood tips can happen for several reasons. These include late fall growth that was not probably hardened off for winter, drought stress and variety differences. Of these problems, the drought stress is of greatest concern. I know in my own garden a short row of my boxwoods put out a big flush of growth very late in the season. After the first cold spell, this growth was all brown. The good news is this damage is minor. Come spring just prune off the damaged wood back to the new healthy growth and the plants should recover and look just fine when the growth occurs. There are many varieties of boxwood on the market. Some of the older varieties like ‘Winter Gem’ or ‘Wintergreen’ tend to turn a dark brown over winter. The green foliage returns come spring. Newer varieties such as ‘Green Velvet’ or ‘Green Mountain’ tend to retain their glossy green foliage over the winter. All are good varieties but just have a little different winter characteristics. As for the drought, timely watering is the fix for that problem if not provided by nature. SNOW WAS SOME DROUGHT RELIEF Question: With all the snow the area received at the end of February, how much effect did that have on the drought? Answer: Keep in mind that one or two rain or snow events will not bring us out of the drought. Drought is a result of long-term accumulation of lack of moisture. But I will tell you the rain and snow received in February was very helpful in easing the pain of the last 18 months or so. It was estimated that the nearly 2 feet of snow brought with the two storms results in at least a cou-

ple inches of rain. The slow melting also allowed the much needed moisture to soak deeply into the soil with little runoff. As a result, the 2013 growing season is starting off in much better shape because of the moisture. Only time will tell over the next few months if our rainfall returns to normal and we are officially out of a drought. ONE OR MORE SPRING FERTILIZER APPLICATIONS Question: I am applying a crabgrass control that has fertilizer. Should I put down another spring application? I do have a sprinkler system and like to keep my grass green all summer long. Answer: That is a very good question. Over fertilization in the spring can lead to excessive top growth that can deplete the food reserves and weaken the grass during the summer. On the other hand, with ample moisture the grass can run low on nitrogen and lose some color during the summer. Therefore, here is my take. If you are willing to sacrifice a little color in the late summer I would say stop with just the one spring application. If you say no, I want a dark green lawn and do not mind mowing a few more times then go ahead and apply. If you do apply, use a slow release formulation and make the application in mid-May. A slow release fertilizer slowly feeds the lawn over a number a weeks instead of making all the nutrients available at once. 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.



ansas State University Olathe invites the community to a free open house April 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 22201 W. Innovation Drive. The open house is part of the university-wide event taking place on all three campuses that day. The campus open house will feature demonstrations about food biology and chemistry; a water lab to see how clean water affects the human body and the environment; a consumer research/sensory test; a lab experience to see how the presence of bugs in water indicates its pollution level; activities for kids including face painting, tattoos and coloring; and items in the kitchen to test for acidity, sweetness and saltiness. Additionally, the campus will feature its growing list of graduate degree programs, online programs and an admissions representative will be available to answer questions for high school students interested in Kansas State University.

There is no admission fee to the plant sale

Annuals Perennials Veggies Native Plants Hostas Hanging Baskets

K-State Olathe is also partnering with the K-State Research and Extension Center-Olathe and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension to include interactive demonstrations and booths in family and consumer science, financial planning, horticulture and gardening, 4-H and more. Free tomato plants will be available to the first 200 people. Lunch from Jazz Louisiana Kitchen will be available in the Bistro from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. while supplies last. For more information, visit open-house.html or contact Kristi Northcutt at 913-307-7341 or email Kansas State University Olathe advances the K-State mission by integrating education, research, and entrepreneurship, focused on animal health, food safety and security to address the needs of a rapidly changing world.

Friends of the Arboretum

4 to 7 pm on Thursday, May 2

Preview Sale for FOTA Members Join FOTA at any time during the sale and receive 10% member discount

Open to the Public on both Friday & Saturday, May 3 & 4 from 9am to 5pm

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April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


Tale of Sister Cities: Friendship Rooted in Trees and Japanese Garden By Patricia Knott


ansas City has several Sister Cities scattered around the globe. These alliances encourage and facilitate cultural exchanges, tours by elected officials and trade groups, and visits by citizens and students seeking friends in another country. Kansas City’s Sister City, Kurashiki, JAPAN, located in Okayama Prefecture, was a relationship begun in 1972 as Kansas City’s Mayor, Charles Wheeler, Jr. and Mayor Shigeki Oyama of Kurashiki signed the Sister City pact. Ms. Miyo Wagner, Rockhurst University Japanese Language professor, Mr. Marshall Miller, Kansas City attorney, the late Mr. James Burke, Honorary Consul General of Japan at Kansas City, all contributed to the development of the agreement.

The Heart of America JapanAmerica Society (HAJAS) was the organization designated to carry out Sister City obligations for Kansas City. HAJAS was formed as an organization 10 years prior in 1962 and met monthly at Loose Park’s Garden Center. In May 1997, a Silver Anniversary celebration was held in the two cities. Twenty-five (25) Yaezakura double-flowering cherry trees were planted in the Southwest corner of Loose Park near 55th and Summit Streets. In Kurashiki, 25 Flowering Dogwood trees, the state tree of Missouri, were planted in the heart of the city in Friendship Square. It was a festive event in both cities. In Kansas City, 400 people attended the dedication ceremony in Loose Park with Ollie Gates, President of the Board of Parks


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Add an Outdoor Accent to Your Garden Plan.

Photo credit to HAJAS Life Members Tim Wagner and Jim Kanki.

and Recreation, turning the first shovel of dirt. The trees now fully matured, present a glorious shower of pink petals each April. Picnic under the trees, anyone? That is the custom in Japan during Sakura Season (flower blooming season). In 2002 to celebrate 30 years of Sister City friendship, plans were announced that Kurashiki and HAJAS would build a Tea Ceremony Room to be located on the lower level of the Garden Center and a Japanese Garden behind the Garden Center in Loose Park. Ben Oki, a California garden designer and Bonsai Master, Francis Lemery, HAJAS President

and himself, a Master Gardener and Koji Morimoto, President of a Japanese landscaping company, developed plans for the garden and tea room. They worked in cooperation with Kansas City Parks Department personnel. In late summer, 2008, huge boulders from a quarry were brought to the site and trees, shrubs and ground cover plants were chosen. A small water feature was installed and HAJAS members helped in planting the garden. To this date, HAJAS members maintain and groom the grounds. The Tea Ceremony Room in the Loose Park Garden Center lower

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Prairie Village Earth Fair Saturday, April 13 7500 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas 66208 (Shawnee Mission East High School Gym)

May 1997 planting of 25 cherry trees, left. Mature trees today, right. level was constructed in Chicago and delivered for installation at the Center. Recently new parking and walkways have been added behind the Garden Center, making entrance to the Japanese Garden (photo opposite page) more visible behind its bamboo fence entrance. On July 18, 2012, HAJAS celebrated 50 years as a not-for-profit cultural organization in Kansas City and 40th Anniversary of Sister City relationships with Kurashiki. A delegation of 34 Kurashiki city officials and citizens arrived in Kansas City to participate in the anniversary events. The Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki, arrived in Kansas City to help dedicate 24 new cherry blossom trees – a gift from the Japanese government and present a Special Commendation to HAJAS from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. These new trees have been planted in front and on the east side of the Garden Center. This gift marked the centennial anniversary of the 3,000 cherry blossom trees which are planted in Washington, DC. Mayor Pro-Tem, Cindy Circo

accepted the gift on behalf of the City of Kansas City. A Sakura (flower blooming) Celebration was held at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for 320 guests following the tree dedication. In years to come, we will be reminded of the friendship of the Sister Cities as symbolized by these beautiful trees. The maturation of the Japanese Garden will provide a perfect setting to rest on a rock and enjoy a quiet moment. Inside the building adjacent to the garden, a tea ceremony may be taking place. Patricia Knott is a HAJAS Life Member. Historical information was contributed by Tim Wagner, HAJAS Life Member.

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he Prairie Village Earth Fair welcomes the entire community to participate in a celebration of the planet. The 2013 Earth Fair is Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Shawnee Mission East Gymnasium, 75th and Mission Road and is brought to you by Shawnee Mission East High School and the Prairie Village Environmental and Recycling Committee. Now in its twelfth year, the Earth Fair features the newest hybrid, electric, and environmentally-designed cars, a large used book sale, and live animals including birds of prey, lizards and snakes. Other kid-friendly activities include craft making, scavenger hunts, and learning to bird watch with binoculars. Entertainment will include per-

There is no admission fee to the plant sale

Certified Organic Herbs Native Plants Hostas Veggies Hanging Baskets

formances from Eco-Elvis, the Green Swing Band, and student choir groups from Briarwood and Belinder elementary schools. Over 50 vendors attend the Earth Fair, ranging from local farms selling plants to energyefficiency experts offering advice for homeowners. Lunch and snacks will be available for purchase from four different food trucks. The Earth Fair is free and open to the public. Donations for two local causes will also be collected at the Earth Fair: non-perishable food items for the Village Presbyterian Food Pantry and used bicycles and bike parts for the 816 Bike Collective. For more information, visit www. or check out the Facebook page at

Friends of the Arboretum

4 to 7 pm on Thursday, May 2

Preview Sale for FOTA Members Join FOTA at any time during the sale and receive 10% member discount

Open to the Public on both Friday & Saturday, May 3 & 4 from 9am to 5pm

Free herb demonstrations at 12:30 both days

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1/2 mile west of Highway 69 at 179th & Antioch • 913-685-3604 Complete plant list at after April 1


The Great Divide in Hostas

Rob Mortko


ostas are known as the friendship plant. They are easy to grow and we like to share them with friends. The question on many people’s mind in the spring is to divide or not to divide. Do I need to divide? Unlike many perennials that lose vigor and start to decline if not divided every few years, hostas never need to be divided. In fact if your desire is a large, mature clump in the shortest possible time, then don’t go dividing the poor thing and setting it back to square zero. Sometimes the “need” to divide is disguised by the wrong hosta

planted in the wrong location. A hosta cultivar that will mature to an 8 foot spread is probably not the best choice for that narrow strip of ground between the sidewalk and the house. Better to move that monster to the proper location and start over with a smaller, more suitable sized hosta cultivar. Bottom line: hostas never need to be divided. It is always an optional exercise. Do I want to divide? This question gets into the issue of motive. What are you trying to accomplish? Most often this is a matter of simple economics. You can’t beat the cost of producing additional hostas by division - maybe to fill some empty spots in the landscape, or maybe to share with friends. Begin with a plan. A mature clump can often yield 100 divisions if you divide back to a single eye per division. You may, or may not,

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Dividing at this point, before the foliage unfurls, means you don’t have to be so careful damaging the foliage. need that many divisions. More often you will likely be taking that mature clump into half or into quarters (each with a number of remaining eyes). Keys to success Understanding a little about how hostas grow is key to successful division. Hostas are totally dormant during the winter. There is no root development during winter. In the spring hostas do not grow any new roots until the foliage has fully flushed out. That is about mid-May in Kansas City. Hostas are monocots which mean the roots rarely branch. If a root is cut, a side branch will not occur. Instead a new root must be produced back from the crown (rhizome). Given this root development cycle, it is actually optimal to divide hostas in the fall – about 6 weeks before our first freeze. Early September is a good rule of thumb for Kansas City. However most of us tend to be less enthused with gardening chores in the fall (especially following a hot, dry summer). Spring is the time when we are in the mood to be in the garden. So can hosta be successfully divided in the spring? Absolutely. In many ways it is actually easier to divide in the spring, just as the eyes (pips) are emerging from the ground. Dividing at this point, before the foliage unfurls, means you don’t have to be so careful damaging the foliage. Also at this point the plant will tend to reshape

itself as the foliage does unfurl to give a more symmetric shape. To divide a clump in half or into quarters is similar to slicing a pie. Leave the clump in the ground and use a spade to make your cross cuts. Go out a few inches from the clump with your spade (or spading fork) to gently lift the divisions from the soil leaving as much of the existing roots as undisturbed as possible. Plant the divisions at the same soil depth. At the other extreme if you want to separate every single eye from a mature clump, lift the entire clump from the ground and use a hose to wash off the soil. That way you can better see where to make your cuts. The key in this case is making sure you have a reasonable root structure on each resulting division. Replant with no more than one inch of soil over the top of the crown. Amend the soil with plenty of organic matter since hostas prefer a moisture retentive soil, but also one that drains. One final key to success. Water, water, water. Whether you divide or not, hostas like plenty of water – about 1.5 inches a week during the growing season. The key to getting a steadily increasing clump size, year over year, is not fertilizer, but water. In fact fertilizer without water can be counterproductive. Rob Mortko, along with his wife Sheri, own and operate Made in the Shade Gardens specializing in hostas and located in Olathe, Kansas. Visit their website at www. The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

Plantaholic Frolic 2013


ardeners Connect brings back its Plantaholic Frolic in April, and the focus is on vines. The event combines a lecture and plant auction and sale. This year, Gardeners Connect welcomes Dan Long, owner of Brushwood Vines specialty nursery, who plans to talk about “Grow Up! Using Vines and Climbers In Your Garden.” Plantaholic Frolic 2013 is planned for Saturday, April 27, at the Garden Center in Loose Park. In addition to a lecture by Long, there will be a sale and auction of plants to appeal to the avid plant geek and gardeners looking for something special. Vines will be highlighted in the sale items, and there will be a selection of clematis, lonicera and climbing roses from Brushwood as well as a selection of other interesting plants from specialty nurseries. Seating is limited for this event. Tickets cost $5. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the program, sale and auction start at 9 a.m. and goes until noon. Register online at You also may mail a check made out to Gardeners Connect to this address: Plantaholic Frolic c/o Brian Chadwick-Robinson 6911 NW Blair Road Parkville, MO 64152 Send questions via email to or call 913-302-4234. Brushwood Nursery grows more than 500 vines and climbers, including many native species. In some ways Brushwood is an old-fashioned nursery, since the

Dan Long, owner of Brushwood Vines, lectures on Sat., April 27. Brushwood crew propagates and grows plants. That allows them to offer rare vines and to maintain a high standard of quality. Dan Long founded Brushwood Nursery in Kennett Square, Pa., in 1998 after many years in the nursery and greenhouse trade. In 2010, Brushwood Nursery moved to Athens, Ga., the hometown of his wife, Becky, where the nursery has much more land and a longer growing season outdoors. He is a University of Delaware horticulture graduate. He used to teach at Longwood Gardens and worked with Conard-Pyle, a horticultural house based in West Grove, Pa., where he learned to propagate clematis. Whether you’re planning an expansive suburban landscape or looking for that special patio plant, there’s a place for vines in your garden, Long said. A dozen clematis will be at the sale, and you are not likely to find them at area garden centers. One is Clematis ‘Pamiat Serdtsa,’ a nonvining clematis that will scramble

around in your garden or may be trained with tying to any trellis or string. The pink 3-inch flowers bloom steadily all summer and mature with a twist that makes them appear to be dancing. A beautiful honeysuckle in the sale is Lonicera serotina ‘Florida’ which has reddish purple buds that open to reveal creamy-white flowers. It’s a hardy, easy to grow and fragrant compact plant, and it’s a steady bloomer from midsummer until fall. The Plantaholic Frolic sale also will have ‘Summer Beauty’ allium, which was touted so highly by plantsman Roy Diblik at the last Kansas City Garden Symposium, and Heuchera ‘Autumn Bride,” which creates a mound of limegreen leaves and then in September erupts into bloom with white fountains of pure white flowers that continue until frost. Gardeners Connect, formerly known as the Garden Center Association of Greater Kansas City,

There is no admission fee to the plant sale

Native Plants Hostas Annuals Perennials Veggies

     

   


    

    


 

April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

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

Certified Organic Herbs

‘Pamiat Serdtsa’ is one Clematis variety that will be at the sale. 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.

Friends of the Arboretum

4 to 7 pm on Thursday, May 2

Preview Sale for FOTA Members Join FOTA at any time during the sale and receive 10% member discount

Open to the Public on both Friday & Saturday, May 3 & 4 from 9am to 5pm

Free herb demonstrations at 12:30 both days

Hanging > Baskets Planters >

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 at 179th & Antioch • 913-685-3604 Complete plant list at after April 1


Plants for Your Replacement Garden By Sue Waltemath


fter last summer, many of you may be thinking of replacing dead plants in your garden with plants more drought/sun/heat tolerant. By looking for plants indigenous to our area such as native plants – those which can grow in our mostly clay soils and are not dependent on constant moisture – we can often find plants that have similar looks to those we lost, but can survive our climate more easily. During their upcoming Plant Sale (on May 11 at Bass Pro Shops in Independence), the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City will focus on sustainable plants for our particular climate area. Those of us who lost the most plants know that to replace mature trees and shrubs will take time. So what do we do in the meantime? One answer is to plant lots of annual plants and grasses between the smaller replacements. These need to be tolerant of those same

Zinnia Profusion


conditions in order to survive a difficult summer. For suggestions in planning your replacement garden, here is a partial list of annuals and grasses with high sun/heat tolerance and low water needs available at the Plant Sale. A complete list of plants offered will be on the website (www. on May 1.

Angelonia serena series/angelonia angustifolia/summer snapdragons: The very best annual for hot humid weather. Works great in containers or in the landscape. Reliable bloomers, need full sun. No cutting back. Angel Wing begonias: A favorite for sun or shade. Easy, very little care. Lovely shiny foliage works well as specimen planting. Coleus: Great performer, provides color in the garden/container w/o flowers. Many foliage colors. Specimen in pots, in garden borders or mixed containers. sun/shade Vinca cora/Catharanthus roseus Cora series: A workhorse in the garden, now in a creeping form. Reminder: do not plant until the soil is warm. Full sun, well-drained soil, disease resistant (resistant to the blight that commonly affects vinca) Dichondra Silver Falls: A great way to add gray to containers. Spiller. Excellent heat tolerance. Grows 3-4’ long. Santavilia/creeping zinnia: Tiny yellow zinnia-like flowers on nice

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green foliage that stays fresh all summer long. Spilanthes/peek-a-boo plant: The eye ball plant always elicits that question of “what is that?”. Add interest to your containers. Holds up in the hottest weather Penta: A Hummingbird magnet. Variety of colors in shades of white/blue/purple/red. If you want hummers try this hardy flower. Clusters. Pepper Basket of Fire: New from last year, great success in the 2012 summer gardens. Prolific fruit production of multi-colored ornamental peppers, great ‘spiller’ in containers. Zinnia profusion: These guys have been around for a while now. Variety of colors, easy care, require little water, no deadheading, spread well, great for front of the border or containers. Salvia: Victoria Blue, Summer Jewel, Pink Hibiscus Mahogany Splendor: Grown for its maple-leaf leaves that are a lovely purple. Allow plenty of room in the landscape for this fast-growing annual that resembles a Japanese Maple. Can overwinter as a house plant. Grasses offer great texture in containers and landscape. Carex/Sedge: * Fresh Look Juncus: * Javelin, * Spiralis Annual Grasses: Savannah Ruby grass, Fiber Optic Grass, Sirocco * These are new selections offe Park Seed website (www.parkseed. com) for descriptions. Sue Waltemath, Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City.

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Gardeners’ Gathering

Will Landscape for Food: What works in an edible landscape that can work for you By Chris Veach


ost people who garden do so because it is rewarding. There is a sense of satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of well being seeing the beauty and the drama that comes from the foliage and the flowers that you have helped prosper. A good day in the garden also can leave one very hungry. The question is: “How does the famished gardener accomplish the goals of feeding him/herself and making the landscape look beautiful at the same time?” If you are in amongst the buddleias, spirea, miscanthus, boxwood, and azaleas, some of those criteria have been met. If you are amongst the onions, tomatoes and squash, more of those criteria have been met. But how does one accomplish the goals of having a fulfilling garden both in gustatorial and aesthetic terms? This can be accomplished through the edible landscape. Matt Bunch, Head Horticulturist at Powell Garden’s Heartland Harvest Garden, has some answers for you. As the regional edible landscape expert Bunch asks you to probe your garden with questions. First look at the landscape as a whole, and then look at the grocery

Matt Bunch is the regional edible landscape expert, and will share advice on selection, sowing and growing edibles. list. If you buy pears, look at the ornamental pear in your yard and ask it, “Why are you not providing food for me?” Then cut it down and replace it with a real pear tree. “Hey spirea, where is your edible fruit?” Of course the answer is there is none, so replace them with blueberries, clove currents, or serviceberries. This is the general idea, but from there how does the edible landscape work from a practical standpoint?

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Plant selection and design are the keys. Knowing what selections do well and look good in our area is important, and will make your job as a gardener easier. Knowing what time of year to sow and grow annual edibles will help you maximize your harvest. Knowing what edibles can tolerate some shade will help you garden in the urban forest of the Metro area. Edible plants do require more maintenance; there are pests, diseases, soil fertility and pruning requirements to consider. But don’t forget many ornamental plants have these issues too. Edible plants also require that you harvest them. Edible landscaping may be more challenging, but it is definitely more rewarding! Use Matt Bunch’s delicious information to make your home or

There is no admission fee to the plant sale

Native Plants Annuals Perennials Veggies Certified Organic Herbs

community garden come to fruition in the 2013 growing season. Join the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City as Matt Bunch presents “Will Landscape for Food: What Works in an Edible Landscape that Can Work for You”, Thursday April 18, 2013, 6:30 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, MO. Free and open to the public. No registration required. For further information, call (816) 665-4456, or see the Master Gardeners’ website at www.mggkc. org, our new blog at mggkcblog., or the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Facebook page. Chris Veach, Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City

Friends of the Arboretum

4 to 7 pm on Thursday, May 2

Preview Sale for FOTA Members Join FOTA at any time during the sale and receive 10% member discount

Open to the Public on both Friday & Saturday, May 3 & 4 from 9am to 5pm

Free herb demonstrations at 12:30 both days

Hanging Baskets Planters Hostas >

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

10001 E. Bannister Rd., Kansas City, MO • 816-763-4664 April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

1/2 mile west of Highway 69 at 179th & Antioch • 913-685-3604 Complete plant list at after April 1


A Touch of the South By Terry Blair Michel


he first thing a visitor notices when driving up to this lovely home on the corner of two streets is that it sits in an unusual manner—on a diagonal across the lot. This configuration has allowed the owner to create three separate, but related, special gardens on the property. A curved driveway connects the two streets, passing in front of the welcoming entry area supported by columns, and creating an enclosed semi-circle in which the owner has built beds of flowers. The largest bed in the semi-circle is filled with roses, azaleas, lavender, and phlox along with other plants that one might usually see in the Deep South, but which are hardy enough to grow in this area. A large pine tree and a huge magnolia also stand in front of the house. Bordering the area between the house and the driveway are varieties of magnolias, redbuds, azaleas, crepe myrtles, sumacs, hostas

and a groundcover of ivy. An iron fence extends beyond the house and divides the front yard from a side yard that is entered from the side street. This smaller, enclosed yard—a more private entrance for the owner—is more intimate and holds a magnificent mid-sized magnolia and several cut leaf sumacs.

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Returning to the other side of the house from this small garden area is a long, dramatic dry creek bed that extends to the back of the property on the longest side of the house. From the front, the viewer sees a heavily shaded area with bamboo, hostas, heucheras, cut leaf sumacs, red buds, crepe myrtle, and multiple ground covers to keep the soil in place around the rocky sides of the creek bed. At the far end of the creek bed is a water feature and a larger open area with various groundcovers to break up the space and create a destination. Near that area is a blue-green Weeping Atlantic Cedar that is a standout among the plants along this space. Because the yard at this home is so large and covers three sides of the house, the owner has created three distinct areas, but has united them by repeating some of the plants in all three garden areas,

notably sumacs, hostas, red buds, and magnolias. Doing this has led to an overall casualness about the beds that is softening to the house and inviting, no matter which garden the visitor is in at the moment. This garden will be shown to the public during the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City 2013 Garden Tour, “Unique Gardens of South Kansas City”, June 7 and 8, 9 am – 4:30 pm. Tickets are $15 and will be available May 10 at various outlets around the Kansas City area and online via PayPal—a listing will be available on our website at that time. Children 12 and under are free. For further information about the seven gardens on this tour, visit under the “Garden Tour” heading. Terry Blair Michel is a Master Gardener with the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City.

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Decoding Plant Tags useful information for gardening success

Bryan Hobby


f I remember correctly, when I was growing up, the tags that I found in vegetable transplant pots at my local garden center were lacking in useful information. Typically, you would find the plant name and a picture. Sometimes you would even get “Days to Maturity”. That’s about it. Nothing about the growth habit, lighting requirements, or special care instructions were noted on the tags. That is no longer the case. These days, plant tags have loads of information to help you grow that plant successfully and, in some cases, how to avoid common

pitfalls. However, all of that information is useless if you don’t know what to make of it. Let’s decipher some of the information provided by modern transplant growers and garden centers via these tags. (Since tomatoes are by far the most popular plant in vegetable gardens, I’ll use them for my example.) Growth Habit Bushy, tall, dwarf and trailing are commonly understood terms, but tomatoes are often categorized into two groups: Determinate and Indeterminate. Determinate varieties generally have a more compact growth habit and stop growing when the fruit sets. The fruit all ripen within a few weeks of each other and then it’s done. They may require limited caging or staking, making them great for growing in containers. Planting

Spring Plant Sale Thursday, April 25—noon to 5 pm Friday, April 26—8 am to 5 pm Saturday, April 27—8 am to noon

Rare, unusual, and hard-to-find plants Prairie Plants • Many Perennials Woodland Wildflowers • Hosta Miniature Hosta • Butterfly Plants Annuals • Ornamental Grasses Herbs • Shrubs & Trees All plants pot grown and ready to plant

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Miami County Master Gardeners Plant Sale 2013

several determinate tomatoes in a staggered schedule can provide you with fresh produce for a longer period than planting them all at once. Celebrity, Bush, and Roma are examples of determinate plants. Indeterminate tomatoes have a more vigorous and vining growth habit. They continue to ripen and set new fruit throughout the growing season right up to frostkill. Since indeterminate tomatoes never stop growing, they require substantially more staking or caging than their determinate cousins. Early Girl, Big Boy, and most cherry-types are indeterminate. How about letters V, F, TMV, N and EB are common notations on tomato tags. This refers to disease resistance that has been bred into the plant. V - Verticillium wilt. F - Fusarium wilt. You may also see a 1, 2, and/or 3 after the F. This refers to different strains of the fungi. According to a Kansas State Extension publication, only type 1 and 2 are in this area, but type 3 is expected in coming years. TMV - Tobacco mosaic virus. N - Nematodes. EB - Early Blight. Occasionally, there is another alpha-numeric notation that is typically limited to vegetables. That is F1 and F2. This is not the same as the F1&2 seen above. In this instance it is referencing a type of tomato hybrid. F1 denotes that this plant is the result of the crossing of two distinct parents. Almost always, seeds from F1 plants are sterile. F2 plants are the result of self-pollination or inter-breeding. Lighting Lighting requirements are listed on the plant tag as a phrase like “part shade” or a picture of the Sun. A white Sun means “full sun”. While a half dark sun means “part sun”, and a solid black sun means it is a “full shade” plant.

Spacing Spacing guidelines are there for a reason and the reason is not “to take up space on the tag”. No; these are real guidelines. As a horticultural professional, I can fudge the spacing here and there with some plants. But I know when it’s ok and when it’s not. One of the times when it’s “not”? Vegetables. Proper spacing helps reduce watering issues, shading out, and all sorts of pest and disease problems. It also makes harvest easier. Take note of the spacing requirements of your vegetable transplants and stick to them. Maturity Date Maturity Date refers to the estimated time from transplant to fruiting. When it comes to estimates, these are about as rough as you can get. There are so many factors that play into plant maturity: air temperature, soil temperature, and water availability, just to name a few. Be prepared for the maturity date to be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks off. Miscellaneous Information Other information may be listed on the tag such as fruit shape, size, and/or taste. These are provided to help each person pick out varieties that suit their needs and what they can expect from the plant. There are companies that are sticking tomes of information on plant tags by using small white boxes filled with black squares, these are QR Codes. To access QR code information, Gardeners will need to use a “QR Reader” app on smartphones. QR codes lead to web pages filled with information not able to fit on smaller tags I hope this quick rundown of plant tags will help you find great plants that suit your needs. Happy vegetable gardening! Bryan Hobby is landscaping manager at Soil Service Garden Center, 7130 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. You may reach him at 816-444-3403. The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

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 cost, 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 cnter will allow the utilities to mark their underground facilities permitting your excavation to safely proceed.

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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 com-

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plete the process of notifying the utilities of your intent to dig. 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 go online to or Our

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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. 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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partment-dwelling butterfly aficionados need not miss the fun. Many nectar-rich flowers such as Dwarf Butterfly Bush, Profusion Zinnia, Angelonia, Lantana and Penta adapt well to container gardening. Of course a true Butterfly Garden must also include plants to feed the caterpillars and many cat foods also adapt well to pots. All these plants require full sun and NO INSECTICIDES! Container Construction Use any waterproof, corrosionproof container with a drainage hole. Bigger is better. Before filling your pot with a commercial soil-

snow & spring cLEAnups LowEr trEE Limb rEmovAL DigitAL DEsign

less mix, pre-moisten it and add a slow-release fertilizer. Use the ”Thriller, Filler and Spiller” design. Place the largest “Thriller” plant in the center. Surround with three to five colorcoordinated “filler” plants. Finish the rim with sprawling plants, the “spillers. For instance, the thriller could be a pink dwarf Butterfly Bush. The fillers could be a mix of Italian Parsley and pink or purple Angelonia (respectively, host plants for Black Swallowtail and Buckeye caterpillars). The pot is finished with Profusion and Mexican Zinnias, spilling over the rim. Planting for Black Swallowtails Black Swallowtail caterpillars eat attractive members of the carrot family. Florentine Fennel with its short bulbous root adapts best as the thriller. Fill in with nectar flowers such as Profusion Zinnias and Pentas. Then finish the rim with Parsley and Mexican Zinnias (Zinnia angustifolia) as the spillers.


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White Alyssum is in the mustard family and a host plant for Cabbage White caterpillars as well as a nectar source. The second container has Tropical Milkweed for Monarch caterpillars and Lantana and yellow Mexican Zinnias for nectar. The petunias are beautiful sterile hybrids— totally useless for butterflies, but good for me! Planting for Monarchs The long taproot of most Milkweeds makes them unsuitable for container growing, but the Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) easily adapts as a stunning thriller, with the added advantage of beautiful nectarrich flowers. Remember, NO INSECTICIDES, even when the Oleander Aphids envelop your Milkweeds. Just hang on and the Lady Bug larvae, those darling black and orange alligators, will gobble them up. Add a nectar-rich Orange Lantana as the filler and 5 or 6 white or yellow Mexican Zinnias as spillers to complete the arrangement. Caring for your Container Finish off the top of your container with a layer of fine mulch to conserve soil moisture. Finger-

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check every day; when the top 1” of soil is dry, add water until it drains out the bottom. Fertilize with a diluted water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks. Deadhead to keep the nectar plants blooming all season and occasionally trim the spillers to revitalize them. Summary Even though I have a huge (2 acre!) butterfly garden, I always have Container Butterfly Gardens on my sunny front porch for the joy of seeing caterpillars and butterflies up close and personal. MICO Extension Master Gardener and Kansas Native Plant Society member, Lenora Larson gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kansas. Contact her at lenora.

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

In-Depth Fruit, Vegetable Production Workshops Planned Workshops Hosted by Growing Growers are Open to Everyone


series of workshops designed for anyone growing fruits and vegetables for sale or for the serious home gardener will be held in several locations in the Kansas City area. Topics ranging from tomato grafting to irrigation methods to weed, pest and disease management and others will be covered. More information is available at “The workshops are open to the public and are appropriate for anyone interested in growing,” said Kansas State University horticulturist Cary Rivard. “We offer a range of workshops covering ‘Market Farming 101’ topics, plus a few more advanced topics. Participants typically include Growing Growers apprentices, new or experienced growers and others who are interested in the particular topic or who are considering trying to farm.” The workshops are hosted by Growing Growers – Kansas City, a collaborative effort of K-State Research and Extension, University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, the Kansas Rural Center, the Kansas City Food Circle and Cultivate Kansas City. The cost of the workshops is $15 or $30 depending on whether it is a half- or full-day program. All workshops include farm tours of nearby commercial farms using techniques relevant to the workshop topic. Workshop dates, topics and locations: • April 13 – Building and Managing Healthy Soils – Kearney, Mo. • May 13 – Post-Harvest Handling and Food Safety – Lawrence, Kan. • June 10 – Drip Irrigation and Small Farm Equipment – Olathe, Kan. • July 13 – Weed, Pest and Disease Management – Kansas City, Kan. • Aug. 5 – Successful Microclimate Modification in Difficult Climates - Olathe, Kan. • Aug. 24 – Introduction to Fruit Production – Kingsville, Mo. • Sept. 14 – Farm Business Planning and Management – Kansas City, Mo. Growing Growers also coordinates a farm apprenticeship program for aspiring growers and conducts farm tours of local farming operations. More information about Growing Growers, including specific location and registration information about the workshops, is available at www.

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April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

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Projects to tame the waiting gardener

Erin Busenhart


pring doesn’t appear to be sprinting out of the gate this year. As antsy as I am to get back in the garden and sink my hands into the dirt (or mud, maybe at this point) it will still be a week or two until we can trod full force into the garden. What’s a girl to do now…? Here are some of the projects that have been keeping me busy! Pot up Some Herbs Brighten up the windowsill with fresh green herbs! Any spot close to a window should work

fine – maybe with periodic turning. Mint is one of the best herbs inside because it tolerates lower light so well. Think mint is boring? Try Ginger Mint, the most ornamental of the mints … in my humble opinion! With super cool yellow and green variegation and a fabulous aroma, I have used this mint as a trailer in combo pots at clients’ homes – I mean, it’s easy and they can’t kill it! Mint is great fresh added to drinks (Mojitos anyone?), veggies, rice, lamb and sweets, and I assure you you’ll start using it more if it is right there for the picking! How about a Scented Geranium? Scented Geraniums were popular in the Victorian era as a way to flavor food in the pre-artificial flavoring days. They have delicately cut foliage, small pink and lavender blooms and great flavors like Nutmeg, Orange Fizz, Rose or Lemon. Use leaves to flavor teas, cookies and vinegars. Layer fresh, bruised leaves in sugar to make


Day Green Thumb Fun at the beautiful Midnight Farm Come learn how to Plan Your Garden. Create Edible Landscapes & Companion Planting. Acivities For the Kids (seed balls, fairy face painting & worm composting). Affordable Garden Plants: Herb, Flower & Vegetables. Great Food & Snow Cones. Healthy cooking demos.

your own scented sugar. Place fresh leaves at the bottom of cake pans before pouring batter for flavorful cakes. Keep a ‘Fingerbowl Lemon’ Geranium topiary next to your sink to scent your hands after cutting up your onions. Try a Terrarium Forget the image in your head of the “hippy-dippy” bottle terrariums of the 60s and 70s! Terrariums can be stylish and cool and be designed to fit in any décor! My big secret…? Don’t use any soil! Fill your cool container (look in your basement, Goodwill, HomeGoods) and add different colors and textures of moss, rock, driftwood and anything else you can think of. Pop in a couple Tillandsias (aka: air plant) and squirt some water in a couple times a week. Super easy without any mess! Best of all, they can go anywhere without worry about light conditions!   Start a Microgreen Garden I totally did this in my kitchen window and I am loving it! Use a windowbox, or even a seed tray, fill it with potting mix and sprinkle on an assortment of seeds. Keep

seed moist until germination and start harvesting once the first set of true leaves emerges. Perfect flavor added to veggies and salads. I’m practically adding it to everything but my son’s Cheerios. Makes me feel very “Food Network”! Great seeds to use are: pea, cress, basil, lettuce, chard, radish, mustard, kale, amaranth, arugula and chervil, but try anything! I bought a collection of different varieties and dumped them all together into an old glass cheese shaker and store it in my spice cabinet until I’m ready to reapply. Erin Busenhart is seasonal color designer at Family Tree Nursery, Overland Park, Kan. You may reach her at 913-642-6503.

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Photos 1, 4, 7 and 8 courtesy of Powell Gardens. Photo 6 courtesy of Missouri Botanical Gardens.



6 5



The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

Enduring Perennials Leah Berg


he Perennial Plant of the Year™ for 2013 happens to be a species I’ve grown at home in two sites about 10 years. One clump near my east foundation gets morning sun, afternoon shade. Another clump under my pin oak tree does fine in full shade. I’ll vouch for the performance as well as the beauty of variegated Solomon’s seal (cover image). It tolerates dry shade to part shade but prefers well-draining, slightly moist soils with good organic content. Diameter increases over the years to 1-3’ wide by about 1.5-2’ tall. Originally from Asia and Europe, Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ should be fairly easy to find at local garden centers thanks to this national award from the Perennial Plant Association. Gardeners and landscape designers looking for versatile perennials may consult a list of past winners at which includes images and information about each plant. North American native Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum) isn’t variegated, but both are in the lily family and develop small fragrant bell-shaped white flowers dangling under the arched stems’ leaves by late April-early May. Bluish-black fruits develop later, nicely contrasting the yellowgold fall leaf color. April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Look for variegated Solomon’s seal in the Rock and Waterfall Garden at Powell Gardens. Senior gardener Janet Heter has 19 years of experience tending and blending perennials with the woody plants here. She says she has a nice stand planted 3 years ago that should really take off now. Along this garden’s sidewalk, notice some perfect companions to set off the slender lancelike leaves of Solomon’s seal. Varieties of bishop’s hat (or barrenwort) like Epimedium alpinum ‘Rubrum’ and E. versicolor have been growing in this shady woodland area since 1998. (#6) Dainty flowers of over a dozen different species in April-May may be yellow, white, pink to reddish or purple. Their new valentine-shaped leaves often emerge reddish-pink in spring, mature to green by summer, and turn bronze-red in fall. Jennifer Barnes, senior gardener in the Perennial Garden also likes the drought-surviving qualities of Epimedium grandiflorum in her dry shade woodland area. We all agree hellebores (or Lenten Rose, or Christmas Rose) are as tough as they are beautiful. (#8) Certain varieties bloom near Christmas, others before Easter. Flowers on mine sometimes linger into summer. Their serrated palmately lobed foliage remains mostly evergreen. Helleborus hybrids deserved the 2005 Perennial Plant of the Year™ award. Jennifer reports “Helleborus orientalis has been great for both Janet and I…” with masses of them enduring more than 15 years. To weave throughout these selections and transition into sunny

areas, consider native columbine (#5). Aquilegia canadensis “selfsows nicely” for Jennifer in the Perennial Garden, and around my east-sloping back yard. It’s easy to spot and remove if desired, but mixes well with other species. Other perennials that impressed Jennifer in 2012 despite drought stress include some sun-loving old favorites like Peony ‘Karl Rosenfield’ (#7). “It’s always reliable, doesn’t flop, is extremely bright in color, and long blooming. The fuchsia red bloom is a good 8 inches across. It’s a classic peony that makes me think of my grandma.” Peonies bloomed a month ahead of schedule in 2012 due to the mild winter/early spring. The volume of snow this February may mean they’ll peak more normally in lateApril to May. Daylily foliage bursts up fast in response to moisture and warmth in March. Many blooming daffodils punctuate “the daylily walk” in April leading from the trolley stop by the Perennial Garden. Watch for budded daylily stalks rising in May. Flowers usually peak late June into July, with an annual “Booms and Blooms” festival here for the 4th of July week. Some cultivars bloom earlier than others with somewhat limited weeks of bloom, and some are repeat bloomers. A favorite of so many gardeners, Perennial Plant of the Year™ 1995 Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) makes a great backdrop for daylily hybrids like Hemerocallis x ‘Chicago Sunshine’ (#1). My “daylily driveway” border features a dozen cultivars where they are highly visible for people


passing by to enjoy, and handy to deadhead daily when blooming. Try edging medium height sun-loving perennials like 2010 Perennial Plant of the Year™ drought tolerant native blue false indigo (#2) (Baptisia australis) or related Baptisia selections with a non-vining Clematis integrifolia as ground cover. Cheery blue bellshaped Clematis flowers (#3) in the blue theme bed develop longlasting fluffy spiraled seed heads (#4) often prompting a “what’s that?” question. Between visits in person, see It’s a design challenge to arrange perennials to show to advantage from strategic viewpoints through seasonal changes. We love pretty flowers, but should also look for those with attractive foliage when NOT blooming. Most perennials have a fairly limited period of bloom, so we especially value those that bloom more than a few weeks. Pam Duthie’s book Continuous Bloom (2000) helps plan arrangements of perennial species that bloom not continuously as individuals, but overlapping sequentially by beginning late winter and running through late fall. For good maintenance practices as well as design advice, The WellTended Perennial Garden (by Tracy DiSabato-Aust, 2006) remains a gardener’s best friend. 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. To consult privately, contact her at 816-353-7170. 23

Wine Tasting on the Terrace Thursday, April 18, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens 8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, Kansas $25.00 per person PLUS ADMISSION FEE to Gardens day of event. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Welcome to the first wine tasting of 2013, provided by the Wine Barn Legends, Kansas City, Kansas – a local winery. Experience the basic steps in tasting wines: color, swirl, smell, taste and savor. Registration is required. You may register for classes by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the tasting for admission. Mark your calendar for additional wine tasting events from various wineries. The dates

are May 16, August 15, and September 19. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604.

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Create and Learn at Powell Gardens All classes listed require registration prior to attending. To register please call Linda Burton at 816-6972600 ext. 209. You may also register online at www. Make a Fairy Garden Basket 1-3 p.m. Sunday, April 21 Using a Garden Cement™ basket or cement trough, you will make the foundation of this petit garden. If you participated in the March 17th Garden Basket class, you can bring and use the cement basket you created in that class to this April session. Or, there will be premade cement baskets for use. All other ornamentation included. $62/ person, $55/Members. Registration required by April 15. Planting for Bees 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27 Discover which plants provide the best nectar and pollen for bees, where to locate these plants in your garden, as well as their growing requirements. Choose plants for your garden that provide you with an abundance of color and fragrance. Learn the benefits of pollen, royal jelly and propolis for your own health and wellbeing. $37/person, $32/Members. Registration required by April 22. ‘Tough As Nails’ Succulent Dish Garden, 2-4:30 p.m. Friday, May 3 You will plant your own beautiful succulent garden in an 18-inch dish and learn about top succulent selections for our area. Bring your garden gloves. Members of Powell

Gardens are invited to stick around after class and shop at the Members Only portion of the Spring Plant Sale starting at 5 p.m. $47/project, $39/Members. Registration required by April 22. A Forest in Your Front Yard? 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 4 Think how wonderful it would be to walk out your front door and step into a lovely forest with trees overhead and ferns and woodland flowers underfoot. In this workshop, you will learn the principles and benefits of re-creating a woodland and view slides of recommended trees, shrubs and groundcovers. $25/person, $20/ Members. Registration required by April 29. Butterfly Gardening 1-3 p.m. Saturday, May 4 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 your garden space. Plus, you will leave with a host plant of a popular caterpillar with your completed design! $29/person, $22/Members. Registration required by April 29.

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

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Caring for your largest “Assets” for 56 years

when to uncover, nurturing wimpy plants, and new varieties to try in your garden

Charles Anctil


nother growing season is upon us, and it’s time to check the roses. When uncovering my roses, I check out the “wimpy” plants first. To give them a fair chance, I will dig them up, plant in 3 gallon pots and see how they do. Often all they need is a little extra care to restart them. I use straight Baccto Potting Mix. No soil. If the mix does not look right, I will add more Perlite. Water well with Mushroom Stuff. Place the pots on the east side of the house. Sometimes I will put the pots in plastic trash bags which makes them break dormancy faster. When I uncover my roses, I keep the mulch close by in case the temperatures should get nasty one last time. Celine Porrevecchio and I discussed David Austin Roses that

she has been using in her landscaping projects. Here are some varieties for you to think about. Lilian Austin, Tess of The d’Ubervilles, Sharifa Asma, Brother Cadfael and Darcey Bussell. Winchester Cathedral will take shade and William Shakespeare loves the sun. Minimal care. I try not to walk in the beds too much so I keep a board handy. It’s about 1” think by 12” wide by 4’ long. I lay the board down where I need to walk, and it keeps the soil from compacting as much. With so many products to chose from this year, make sure to do the research. Read the labels. When it comes to diseases, you have to prevent. If you wait until you see the problem then it is much more difficult to cure. Insects; every year we are blessed with new “monsters” to provoke us by chewing on our best blooms. Japanese Beetles – they are here to stay! 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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Themed Water Gardens: The Japanese/Zen Garden “Peace and Tranquility to all who enter ….”

Diane Swan


f you are looking for a themed backyard that exemplifies a calming effect the minute you enter, then a Japanese/Zen style garden is for you. The Japanese garden provides a soothing place to relax and unwind after a hectic day. The center point of any Japanese garden is the water feature which provides the essential ingredients of sight and sound in which the rest of the gardens revolve.

Fortunately when it comes to creating a Japanese garden there are numerous books and articles on design techniques. It is relatively easy to gain knowledge and insight on how to design your garden. Some texts indicate that the first Japanese ‘Pond Gardens’ date back to around 550 AD. Surprisingly, Japanese gardens actually originated from Chinese gardens. The Japanese softened the look and added the concept of bridges over water. Buddhism is contributed for highly influencing their water garden designs. The Japanese already had a deep love of natural landscaping that incorporated hills, mountains, and rocks, so the introduction of the water features was a natural addition. When

their ponds were large enough they included islands that were fed by meandering streams and waterfalls. They strived to make threedimensional representations of

actual country sides and re-created them to provide places for quiet contemplation. Rocks are an important element in these gardens as they are used

spring Plant sale At Powell GArdens


Your one-stop place to find the best new plant introductions, tried-and-true reliable performers and hard-to-find heirloom and specialty vegetables — all hand selected by the Powell Gardens horticulture staff.

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4-5 p.m. Friday, May 3

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

in groups or as a specimen to represent hills, mountains, animals, or even humans. ‘Suisaki’ are considered viewing stones that are beautiful to just look at. When deciding on a Japanesestyle water garden design, there are three main types to choose from. 1. ‘The Water Garden’ is a pleasure garden that is rather large, and the landscape is constructed around the stretch of water so that as you go down a path at each bend of the walk you will encounter a new scene that features waterfalls, stream, or pond. You do not see all of the area at any one time. 2. ‘The Contemplation Garden’ is designed more to be viewed from the patio or deck. The water garden is close up and looks like a work of art. It is designed to reflect a spiritual nature. These gardens are usually smaller and are meant more for viewing than for wandering around. 3. ‘The Tea Garden’ is more intimate and usually enclosed by walls or hedges. Landscape plantings resemble that of light woodlands. It can contain some elements from the two larger gardens but always has a stream and pond. The waterfalls in a Japanese garden usually represent the flow of water from the mountains to the valley below. The flow of the water can be determined by the size and height of the waterfalls and the size of the pump used. Bridges are usually added to the 1.) and 3.) designs whenever possible. You could go with the traditional red bridge but a more natural wooden bridge will give it

a more neutral look and tie in with the greens of the landscape. Fish are imperative, as they add life, energy, and color to the pond. Ideal aquatic plants for the water garden consists foremost of the Lotus, which are available in small, medium and large to fit any size of pond. Hardy and tropical Water lilies, Iris, bamboos, umbrella palms, reeds or papyrus are naturals for the Japanese garden. Keep in mind that you are going more for shades of greens, with just spots of color provided by blooms. Landscape plants can feature spring flowering shrubs such as Azaleas and Rhododendrons, but the main focus is on shades of green with soft whites and yellows thrown in. Japanese Maples are a favorite draping over a waterfall or stream. You could add Japanese accents such as a Happy Buddha or Pagoda, but simple stone lanterns, turtles or other statuary could be added as points of interest. The main objective in a Japanese garden is to keep the look natural … you want to avoid loud colors and ‘silly’ accents. Japanese water gardens epitomize peace, tranquility and a sense of being in tune with Nature. Create an attractive Japanese-style garden for yourself, and experience the calming, serene effect of water and landscape. Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. See their website, Contact them at 913-592-2143.

GKCGOA 44th Annual Plant Sale April 17-20


he Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America are holding their 44th plant sale April 17-20 at Gomer’s Square, 99th & Holmes. This is the longest running plant sale in Kansas City! We’ll have a wide selection of flowering annuals, perennials and plants to attract butterflies. And we have lisianthus again this year! No sun? No worry! We’ve got a wide selection of shade plants. Bothered by deer? You won’t be with our assortment of plants that the deer won’t touch! Worried about drought? We’ll have a big selection of droughtresistant and native plants! Ready to grow your own vegetables? We’ve got tomatoes


(lots of heirlooms), peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, melons, pumpkin and eggplant. All proceeds from this sale fund horticulture scholarships at K-State, University of Missouri and JCCC, as well as grants awarded to local community gardens. Plus, come celebrate Earth Day with us on Saturday, April 20th. Buy $30 worth of plants and we’ll give you another plant for free! Support your community and grow the best garden you’ve ever had by buying your plants this year at the Greater Kansas City Gardener’s of America Plant Sale! Hours: Wednesday 1-6; Thursday 9-6:30; Friday 9-6:30; Saturday 9-2

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‘Grow Your Imagination’ Garden Tour


he Miami County Extension Master Gardeners invite you to tour inspiring gardens on May 17 and 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Tickets are $10 on the day of tour, or in advance for $8. Tickets are available online at, and at these locations: First Option Bank, Price Chopper Paola and Spring Hill, Louisburg Cider Mill, Miami County Extension office. Here’s a brief description of the gardens to whet your appetite. For

a tad more motivation, the pictures are just a hint of what gardens are like on the tour. Hursey Garden This property sits on six acres where the owners focus on culinary gardens. There are approximately two acres of vineyards, a perpetual salad bowl garden and an extensive culinary herb garden as well as a regular vegetable garden. All of these gardens incorporate flowers of different types to add a splash of

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color here and there to compliment a focal point. McNatt Garden Wow, a real horticulturist lives here, and it shows the moment you take the winding driveway with a conifer collection that sets the stage for the excitement to follow. Kousa Dogwoods, Hydrangea, Itea, roses and azaleas are just a few of the many varieties of shrubbery to get your juices flowing. Unusual architectural elements accent this garden, along with a large inviting water feature anchored by peonies and daylilies beckons you closer. Reclaimed brick and stone have been used for the patio and retaining walls and topped off with antique wrought iron. McWilliams Garden This “accidental garden,” started seven years ago, as the owners experimented with plants

they liked when visiting several nurseries, keeping in mind low maintenance. Flowering Ninebark, Wisteria, Knockout roses, Crepe Myrtles, Weigelia, Colorado Blue Spruce enhance the garden with a large selection of perennials, annuals and spring bulbs. Fountains and birdbaths are added to the large patio that overlooks the large lake behind the property. Ollenberger Garden You’ll be green with envy when you see this fabulous vegetable garden. The soil is the key to the success of the garden, as the owner followed her teachings from her grandparents when she was a child. There is whimsy and repurposed items strategically placed among the extensive flower beds that include hosta, hydrangea, daylilies, iris, perennials and annuals. Tender bulbs, geraniums, and other potted plants are brought out each spring

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few veggies mixed in. As you stroll the property there are cozy little spots and eclectic areas you won’t want to miss, like the bee hives. To finalize the tour, visit the large barn overlooking the lake where the vendors will be selling garden related wares and perennial plants for both sun and shade. and placed throughout the garden for additional color. Newcomer Garden Breathtaking views from every angle of this garden will delight your senses as you stroll around this widespread property. Consideration of sun exposure, wind, sloping of property and drainage all played parts in the placement of the hardscape and plantings. You can’t miss the dry creek bed complete with Japanese style bridge. Peterson Garden Bella Vista celebrates maximum color throughout the year with over 170 plant varieties including natives for both sun and shade. Plants in this garden can’t be invasive or require much pruning or deadheading giving the owners more time to enjoy their gardens. They are currently on a trend toward flowering shrubs rather than small plants for easier management. The passion for butterflies forbids the use of insecticides. You’ll be amazed at the diversity and vastness of this fabulous garden. Zoller Garden Fire Lake Camp is a special place to the owners who feel it’s like being on vacation every day. In the spring they open their gardens up to asparagus picking. Near the home there are flower beds full of perennials, annuals, herbs and a

Chris and Chuck’s Garden Step into this majestic garden featuring large statues and rare eclectic treasures. This expansive garden is filled with unusual plants of all kinds. As you enter the garden notice the large scale urns over flowing with color. Variety is the key here along with good taste and style. Large tropical plants, including palm trees, hibiscus, gardenia, vining jasmine, and cactus are strategically placed to compliment the garden rooms. There are several water features and a huge vegetable garden to admire.

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Peters Garden As soon as you drive up to this property it screams excitement to get your plantaholic juices flowing. Year round color abounds with easy care shrubs, perennials, grasses, vines, ground covers and all dressed up with annuals. Don’t miss the secret shade garden complete with water feature, accessed through the sun room. Bird baths and feeders from leaf castings are strategically placed around the garden for viewing from inside the home. Note the use of rain barrels and composting bins for an ecofriendly environment. For a preview of the gardens online, go to Miami County Extension Master Gardeners Facebook page (www.facebook. com/micoemg). Then click on Photos > albums. For questions, please call 913-294-4306.

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Native Annuals Color for Home Gardens

By Cindy Gilberg and Scott Woodbury


ention annuals and images of geraniums, petunias, and zinnias usually come to mind. Missouri’s native annuals are lesser known yet striking in their own right and merit attention for use in our landscapes. These plants are well adapted to our climate and, despite their delicate appearance, are heat and drought resistant. That’s because they come from Missouri’s dry prairie and rocky glade habitats. Plant trials in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in St. Louis, Missouri reveal how adaptable and showy these species are. Plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) is very showy with bright yellow and red daisy flowers that sway in the wind June through September. This 3-4 ft. tall species

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is can be reduced in height by cutting back 50% in late April or early May. This is often called a spring haircut. It is also well adapted to the extreme heat of green rooftops and gravel roadsides. Blue waxweed (Cuphea viscossisima) has diminutive magenta flowers throughout the summer.

Seedlings come back from year to year so learn how to recognize them each April as they begin to sprout. Cuphea is noted as a potential edible oil crop and is frequently mentioned as a medicinal plant. One of the showiest of our native plants is western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum). It blooms

late March through May with fragrant, clear-yellow or lightorange flowers that compliment the flowers of rose verbena, blue wild indigo, and spiderworts. Technically a biennial, this 2-3 foot tall species should be planted annually for a consistent display. The first year seedlings appear to grow flat on the

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Western Wallflower and Black Swallowtail Butterfly ground like a dandelion and in year two bolt up and flower. Narrow-leaved sneezeweed (Helenium amarum) is a mounded fine-textured plant with abundant lemon-yellow flowers all summer long. It grows to 15 inches, and is useful for the front of gardens and in containers. Look for it flowering along roadsides in southwest Missouri in the heat of summer. The zebra-like green and white flowers of snow-on-the mountain (Euphorbia marginata) are native to the hill prairies of northwestern Missouri where they grace the eastern rim of the Missouri river. In the garden plants bloom at 3-5 feet in height but can be reduced with a spring haircut. Companion plants in late summer and early fall include rose mallow (Hibiscus lasiocarpos), autumn Helen’s flower (Helenium autumnale) and rose turtlehead (Chelone obliqua). Delicate rose-lavender flowers grace palafox (Palafoxia callosa), giving it an airy appearance similar to baby’s breath. This late-summer bloomer grows 2-3 ft. tall and is a great companion to other late blooming natives such as asters. Like all native annuals, either collect seeds in the fall to sow in spring or look for seedlings that pop up on their own in spring. Seedlings are easily transplanted in April.

Red-whisker cleome (Polanisia dodecandra) is a lovely annual that resembles its garden relative Cleome but is less than 2 feet tall. Butterflies and hummingbird moths flock to its beautiful pale pink flower clusters. When the plant is brushed by the hand a distinct green pepper smell arises. All of these are excellent choices in locations with sun or part sun in the garden and in container gardens, as these gems perform well and hold their own through the heat of the summer. Plant in flowing masses or allow them to reseed and naturalize. Either way, a perpetual supply of native annual color in the garden is attainable with a minimum input of energy. Some of these annual plants are not widely known to home gardeners or to the nursery industry however they will be available at the Shaw Wildflower Market on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is held on the grounds of Shaw Nature Reserve, a division of Missouri Botanical Garden in Gray Summit, Missouri (35 miles west of St. Louis). Other native annuals that will be for sale include: marsh marigold (Bidens aristosa), snow-on-themountain (Euphorbia marginata), wild impatiens (Impatiens capensis), mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera) and widow’s cross (Sedum pulchellum). Cindy Gilberg is a horticulturist, landscape designer, and a professional member of Grow Native!, a program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. Horticulturalist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, which is also a professional member of Grow Native!

Kidz N’Roses Thurs., April 11


n Thursday, April 11, the Johnson County Rose Society invites you and any school-age children you would like to bring to attend a special meeting. The evening will revolve around “Kidz N’Roses”. The children will have an opportunity to do some hands-on activities as they learn about roses. The special guest will be The Amazing Christopher, who will make balloon flowers and animals for the children. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m., at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 MIssion Road, Prairie Village, KS. The meeting is free and refreshments will be provided. If you would like to attend with

children, please call John Riley at 913-341-2853 to let him know how many children will be with you and their ages. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarians Corner” for a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian about specific questions or concerns regarding all aspects of rose growing and care. All meetings are free and open to the general public. For more information about the meetings, programs, and other activities of the Johnson County Rose Society, or for membership details, visit their website at Also find them on Facebook at www.

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Heirloom Gardens & Activities Abound at Poplar Heights Living History Farm


eirloom vegetable gardens, a native prairie garden, broom corn grown for their own broom factory, herb garden and century old landscaping are all found at Poplar Heights Living History Farm. This 640-acre living history and nature conservancy property in Bates County, Missouri opened to the public two years ago after 12 years of restoration. The Main House and barns were built in the 1870’s and have been completely restored and furnished with original family antiques. The Seelinger Broom Factory is up and running. A 64-year-old artist’s cottage has been converted to a learning center. A greenhouse was put up 10 years ago when heirloom vegetable trials were begun. Today there

are two formal raised bed gardens featuring heirloom vegetables and flowers, a children’s garden, and field gardens for broom corn, tomatoes and melons. With the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a native prairie garden was established at the start of the walking trails with three mininative prairie gardens along the trails, one of which winds through a remnant of original prairie. Poplar Heights offers a full schedule of programs including gardening classes, children’s day camps, heritage crafts, nature programs and evening picnic events. Two major events are the Summer Living History Festival on June 8-9 featuring many demonstrators of old time crafts, free children’s activities, wagon rides, animals, food and music. Taste-The Flavors

of Yesterday on September 7 offers free samplings of a wide variety of dishes prepared from vegetables grown on the farm, fresh side pork sandwiches for sale, cucumber lemonade and other drinks and deserts. This year the children participating in Eating From The Garden class will also have a booth showing what they have learned about nutrition and samples from their garden. Custom tours can be arranged for any size group with learning sessions and lunch or desert offered, if desired. The Farm has become a popular site for weddings, class and family reunions. Special programs can also be arranged for home school groups and school field trips. The Farm is a Nature Classroom of the Missouri Department of

Conservation and school trips are eligible for grants from MDC to cover transportation costs. A full schedule of events along with more information of Poplar Heights Farm can be found at their website: www.poplarheightsfarm. org or join them on Facebook. You can also sign up to receive email notices of events. Poplar Heights Living History Farm is open to the public April - October by appointment - check the website for details. It is a program of the Marais des Cygnes Society, a charitable foundation and all donations are tax deductible. For details and more information on the Marais des Cygnes Society and their other programs visit their website at:

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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

Arboretum Plant Sale May 2-4 Photo by Carol Fowler.


he big-top tents will be back again this year at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens annual Spring Plant Sale. There is no admission fee for access to the plant sale. The Arboretum Spring Plant Sale starts Thursday evening, May 2, 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 3 and 4, from 9 am to 5 pm. The fifteenth annual FOTA sale features an enormous selection of certified organic herbs, collectors’ hostas, native plants and wildflowers, annuals, perennials, and vegetable plants, along with lush combination planters and hanging baskets that make great Mother’s Day gifts.

Photo by Mark Higgins.

15th Annual Plant Sale features special herbs, hostas and hard to find native plants

Master Gardeners will be available at all times to assist shoppers. There will be special collections of native woodland plants and prairie wildflowers, staffed by members of the Kansas Native Plant Society. Butterfly experts will be on hand to answer questions about the butterfly host and nectar plants that will also be available.

“Grow Your Imagination” Garden Tour

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 at 12:30 pm, herb expert Lenora Wuattoux will share her vast knowledge of herbs and their uses – as food, medicine and fragrance – right inside the main big top tent. These special classes are free and something you don’t want to miss.

Proceeds from the sale and FOTA memberships support many projects at the Arboretum, including ongoing construction of the Train Garden. Visit the FOTA website (www.opabg. org) to learn about all the new events and attractions that will be held throughout 2013. You can also sign up for the eNewsletter. Or check FOTA out on Facebook. The sale is held rain or shine. The Overland Park Arboretum is located 1/2 mile west of Hwy 69 at 179th & Antioch; 913-685-3604.


presented by:

Miami County Extension Master Gardeners

Friday, May 17th Saturday, May 18th 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tickets $10 on day of tour or advance tickets $8

Available online at: and at these locations: First Option Bank, Price Chopper Paola & Spring Hill, Louisburg Cider Mill, Miami County Extension office

(913) 294-4306 Preview gardens online at: click on photos > albums


has sprung and we are blooming at these locations. 2351 N. 400 Rd. • Edgerton, KS • Hours: 9am-6pm, Mon.-Sat. • Sun. noon-4pm 2 miles west of Edgerton on Hwy 56 • to County Line, 2 miles north 1/2 west Shawnee Location • 5920 County Line Rd., KCK • 913-375-1335 Nieman and County Line Rd. • Mon.-Sat. 9am-6pm • Sun. noon-4pm KCMO Farmers Market Location, 3rd & Walnut, Saturday only Stall 50 across (west) from the Arabian April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


The Bird Brain

answers your questions about Nesting Neighbors

Doc & Diane Gover


nticing birds to nest in your yard through proper habitat and safe nesting boxes is not only good for the birds but it’s also a rewarding activity for everyone in your family. Be sure to provide your birds with their four basic needs: food, water, shelter and a safe place for raising young. NESTING BOXES FOR BIRDS • Nest boxes provide nesting sites for birds that require a cavity

in which to nest. • Primary cavity nesting species (such as woodpeckers) excavate their own sites. • Secondary cavity nesters rely on pre-existing nesting cavities. Bluebirds, House Wrens, Titmouse and Tree Swallows are secondary cavity nesters. • Secondary nesters lack the ability to create their own nesting sites and will readily accept secondary housing. • Cavity-nesting birds will readily use a nest box if it is in the right habitat. • Always use a speciesspecific nest box to attract birds such as bluebirds, wrens, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, Purple Martins and swallows. • There are three types of housing categories: functional, functional decorative, decorative only

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• A side panel that opens allows for easy clean out of the nest at the end of the season which helps to keep the pest population down. • Some houses allow for viewing or photographing of the birds without disturbing them by offering a top opening panel. Drainage • Holes at the bottom corners allow for drainage. • Drainage holes in the middle of the bottom will not adequately allow for drainage. Perches • Perches are not necessary and actually allow predators a place to sit and access the hole. Fledgling Ladder • It is a good idea (especially for bluebird houses) to provide either slashes or a wire mesh ladder on the inside of the front panel to help the fledglings leave the house.

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DECORATIVE FUNCTIONAL HOUSES • Decorative functional houses are often painted or decorated. • They should perform as basic houses for people who wish to provide housing for the birds, but want a more decorative look for their yards. • They can also be used as decoration inside homes and offices. • It is important for this category of houses to fulfill the basic requirements for ventilation, drainage, cleanout and size dimensions. CHOOSING THE RIGHT HABITAT • Determine the proper height to hang or mount your nest box. Many birds prefer their nesting habitat at a certain level, and you will be more likely to attract the species you seek if you place the box at the proper height. • Find out where your specific bird likes to nest. Does the bird prefer woodlands, forest edge or open spaces? Does it like to be near water? • Place your box in your yard before birds start seeking nesting spots in February, March and April. • You can leave the box up all year, but clean it out in fall so birds can use it as shelter in the winter. • Do not place the box near bird feeders. Birds feeding may discourage nesting of birds of the same species. IMPROVING YOUR YARD’S NESTING APPEAL • Leave dead trees standing as long as they are in no danger of falling. They provide a great source of insect food and nest sites. Remove any dead limbs if necessary. • Provide nest materials such as string and yarn (4”-6” pieces), feathers, bark strips, pine nee-

dles and pet hair. DO NOT USE DRYER LINT! • Create brush piles that provide shelter for fledgling birds. • Feed high-protein foods such as mealworms, peanuts, and suet. • Feed calcium enriched bird foods and put out eggshells to help replace the calcium females lose during egg production. • Bake eggshells for 20 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, let them cool and then crush them into pieces smaller than a dime. You can also microwave egg shells for a minute or so, cool and then crush. You are heating the shells to kill any bacteria that may be present. OBSERVING YOUR BIRD FAMILY • Check nests in the afternoon when it is the warmest. Do not check after dark. • Approach the box slowly giving the adult bird a chance to leave on its own. • If the bird sits tight, lightly tap on the side of the box to give them chance to leave. • Open the box carefully to observe, but do not handle the eggs or young birds. • Limit your viewing time to about a minute twice a week. • Avoid viewing during the three days before the birds fledge. Take time to enjoy your nature area. Be sure to have your Field Guide and binoculars ready; you never know who the next visitor will be. If you have any questions 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 of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kan. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

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April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

he Miami County Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale will be held April 25, 26 and 27 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 primarily 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 8 to 5, and Saturday from 8 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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garden calendar


• Apply crabgrass control by mid-month for best results. • Mow as needed during spring, based on the growth rate. Try not to remove more than one-third of the leaf blades at any mowing. • Mow bluegrass and tall fescue at 3 inches. • Avoid fertilizing zoysia in early spring. The first application should be made mid to late May. • Check mower blades and sharpen about every 10 hours for a clean cut. • Repair mowers before the season gets into full swing. • No need to catch grass clippings if mowing frequently. • Do not water unless absolutely needed to help decrease summer water needs. • Blow or sweep fertilizer and pesticide pellets back into the lawn. • Don’t blow grass clippings into the street to reduce water pollution.


• Plant carrots, onions and beets over salad crops. • Thin seedlings to promote good growth. • Harvest asparagus until spear size decreases, about 6-8 weeks. • Harvest rhubarb leaves by pulling. Remove seed stalks from rhubarb. • Prune fruits trees. • Remove mulch from strawberry beds. • Prune raspberry and blackberry plantings. • Plant asparagus and rhubarb. • To save the honeybees, avoid spraying insecticides when fruits flower. • Cultivate soil to control weed growth. • Turn compost pile on a regular basis to hasten the breakdown. • For good growth, fertilize vegetable gardens before planting. • Spray fruit trees on a regular basis for insect and disease free fruit.


• Prune spring flowering shrubs after bloom to stimulate new growth.

• Prune deciduous trees for quick healing. • Plant new trees and shrubs in the landscape. • Apply mulch around young trees and shrubs to conserve moisture and control weeds. • Water newly planted trees and shrubs on a regular basis. • Fertilize young trees to promote growth. • Check pine trees for needle diseases, and control. • Never top a tree as part of pruning program.


• Remove winter mulch from the perennial garden. • Cut back last year’s growth from perennials. • Remove mulch layers from roses. • Prune roses. • Plant new rose bushes. • Fertilize roses to promote strong growth and good flowers. • Remove seedpods from spring flowering bulbs • Do not remove green foliage from bulbs so as to encourage good flowering next year. • Plant annuals from transplants or seed. • Divide overgrown perennials. • Improve garden soil by adding organic matter such as compost or peat moss. • Make notes of areas for planting of bulbs in fall. • Clean up ground covers by raking or mowing over the tops at the highest setting.


• Remove winter dust from leaves with a damp cloth or by placing in the shower. • Spring is a good time to repot houseplants. • Take cuttings of plants. • Fertilize amaryllis and keep in high light to encourage flowers next year.

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 Violets of Greater Kansas City Tues, Apr 9, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Gardeners Connect Tues, Apr 2, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Vege Gardening. 816-784-5300 Gardeners Connect Tues, Apr 23 and 30, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Tomato Class. 816-784-5300 Gardeners of America Mon, Apr 1, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Apr 14, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Apr 1, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Program: Herbs for Memory and Mobility. Ease into your golden years with grace, through the help of plants. Learn the herbal remedies to assist in providing comfort for tight muscles, strained ligaments, stiff elbows, hands and fingers. We will also discover those herbal allies which aid us in improving memory and focus. We’ll explore many types of plants, and also learn how to blend your own teas by choosing and combining your favorite herbs. Instructor, Lynn Johnson Soulier, herbalist. For additional information or questions, call Vince Vogel at 816-313-8733. Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Apr 10, 12-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Kelly Acock of Monarch Flower Company, Re event and Junk Mafia will speak on “Home Decor from the Garden.” Acock has been published internationally for her floral art and she has contributed to the local well known Nell Hill books by Mary Carol Garrity. Acock established Re event as a means to recycle. Her repurposing ideas are well known to Kansas City and Chicago. Acock wants her audience to know that herbs are not just for cooking. Bonnie Haupt will share her favorite herb. Visitors are welcome. A luncheon will be served. Please call 913-592-3546 for your reservation. Idalia Butterfly Society Sat, May 11, 6:45-8pm; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7700 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Potluck Dinner at 5:30pm; Beverages and table service provided. Guests are always welcome. Program: Learn to Love Spiders! (or at least appreciate them.) Hank Guarasco, PhD, Adjunct Curator of Arachnids at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, will bring live and preserved specimens for observation. He has studied the distribution of spiders in Kansas for over 30 years and will discuss their fascinating behaviors and provide insights on identification and avoidance techniques for the arachnophobic. Independence Garden Club Mon, Apr 8, 6:30pm; at Sermon Center, Noland and Truman Rds, 4th floor, Independence, MO. Our speaker will be Alane Kinn from the Master Gardener’s of KC; subject will be rain gardens. Visitors are welcome and refreshments are served. We will also be having our annual plant sale May 4 at Independence Farmers Market, corner of Main and Truman Rds, one block north of the Independence Square. Stop by and get something for Mothers Day or your home. Visit our website or call 816-373-1169 or 816-796-4220. Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Apr 11, 7pm; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Program: Kidz N’Roses. Johnson County Rose Society invites you and any school-age children to

April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Now Hiring

for Spring

attend. The children will have an opportunity to do some hands-on activities as they learn about roses. The special guest will be The Amazing Christopher, who will make balloon flowers and animals for the children. If you would like to attend with children, please call John Riley at 913-341-2853 to let him know how many children will be with you and their ages. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarians Corner” for a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian about specific questions or concerns regarding all aspects of rose growing and care. All meetings are free and open to the general public. For more information about the meetings, programs, and other activities of the Johnson County Rose Society, or for membership details, please visit;

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 Irrigation Technician

Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Apr 14, 1:30-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-822-1515 Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Apr 1, 10am, Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Program: Sue Looney, expert Ikebana designer will create beautiful floral designs using the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Bring a sack lunch and join us for drinks and dessert after the meeting. 913-599-4141 Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Apr 9, 7pm; at Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, 1263 N 1100 Rd, Lawrence, KS. We meet 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 jam-packed with useful information, including relevant demonstrations. Our April focus herbs are MUSTARD and CLEAVERS, plus we’ll learn how to make Herb Profiles from a student of herbalist 7Song and you never know what you’ll learn 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. Nursing babies and children over 10 are welcome. Leawood Garden Club Tues, Apr 23, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St, Leawood, KS. Business meeting begins at 10:30am, followed by program “Flying Flowers” by Lenora Larson, Master Gardener & member of Idalia Butterfly Society & Kansas Native Plant Society. Potluck luncheon. Desserts & beverages provided. Open to the public, guests are welcome. Contact 816-363-0925 or for further information. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Apr 9, 6:30pm; at Rolling Meadows Landscape and Garden Center, 12501 W 151st St, Olathe, KS. Hosted tour and plant information, 10% member discount. Meetings are open to the public. Membership fee is $10 for single and $15 for a couple. Those wanting to join may do so at any meeting. Contact 913-529-3204 or 913-449-6563. Mo Kan Daylily Society Sun, Apr 28, 12-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Northland Garden Club Tues, Apr 16, 7pm; at Linden Baptist Church, 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone, MO. Program: Mosaic Creations for Your Garden. Guests are welcome. For further information contact Sue Combellick, 816452-7485. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Apr 16, 12:30pm; at Bass Pro Shop, 12051 Bass Pro Dr, Olathe, KS. The program will be on pruning by a Johnson County Master Gardener. Refreshments will be served. Guests are welcome. For any questions, call Joan Shriver 913-782-7205.

(continued on page 38)

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Come see what’s blooming in Lawrence ... We have everything you need from Azaleas to Zinnias.

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see (continued from page 37) Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City Sun, Apr 7, 1:30-5pm; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Annual OSGKC Plant Auction. Auction open to public. Hundreds of beautiful and unusual blooming orchids will be sold for bargain prices. Join in the fun!


No Ordinary Gardening Adventure gorgeous plants, wonderful staff, unique garden store


1501 Learnard, Lawrence, KS • 785-843-2004


Find the oasis from the ordinary

Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Apr 8, 7pm; at The Colonial Church, 71st & Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Steve Mann, Site Developer for Cultivate KC will talk with us about the Paradise Garden, sustainable gardening for the 21st Century. Our program will be Sherri Thomas speaking on using edible plants in your landscape. Refreshments will be served. Visitors always welcome. Come Grow with Us. For additional information contact Judy Schuck 913362-8480. Shawnee Garden Club Thurs, Apr 4, 7pm; at the Town Hall of Old Shawnee on Johnson Drive. Program: Bees and Beekeeping presented by Miles Raymond. If you can garden, you can be a bee keeper. What a wonderful way to create a sanctuary for these important pollinators and enjoy the honey too. ShoMe African Violets Society Fri, Apr 12, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300

Events, Lectures & Classes April Basic Vegetable Gardening Mon, Apr 1, 6-7:30pm; at Bethany Community Center, 1120 Central, Kansas City, KS. Presented by Kansas City Community Gardens. 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. Free. Register, call Earlene, 816-931-3877.

Visit the water garden specialists

Hydrangeas for the Garden Tues, Apr 2, 7-9pm; at Johnson County Extension office, Extension Office, 11811 S Sunset Dr, Olathe, KS. $10 per person. This class was so popular last year that we had to turn people away! It’s back again this year to help you learn to grow one of the most favorite of landscape plants. This class will sort out all the confusion about growing this group of plants. We will cover the various groups and their culture along with the secrets to pink or blue flowers. You will not want to miss this crowd-pleaser favorite. Speaker: Dennis Patton. Registration requested at least one week in advance. Enrollment limited. To enroll go to aspx?tabid=20#Horticulture__Lawn_and_Garden__ Environment_ or call 913-715-7000. Woodland Wildflower Walk Wed, Apr 3, 10am-noon; 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. Class is free but admission fee to Gardens is required. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Register for this walk by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your acknowledgement receipt to the walk for admission. For additional information, 913-685-3604.

9th & Indiana, Lawrence, KS 785-841-6777 Open Tues-Sun (Closed Monday)

Spring Wildflower Walks Wed, Apr 3, 10, and 17, 10am; at Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W 179th St, Bucyrus, KS. The Kansas City Region of the Kansas Native Plant Society is conducting three woodland walks at the

Overland Park Arboretum, led by experienced botanists. Participants can expect to see over thirty species of flowers as well as native trees, shrubs and vines. The trails have steep sections and may be muddy if it has rained recently; so good boots and jeans are recommended. The Arboretum is located 1/2 mile west of Highway 69, on the south side of Overland Park. An admission fee of $3.00 is charged for entrance to the garden unless you are a member of Friends of the Arboretum. Contact: Lenora Larson 913-284-3360 Sponsor: Kansas Native Plant Society. Raised Bed Gardening Fri, Apr 5, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO. Discover the many benefits of raised bed gardening. Learn how to construct your own raised beds and how to plant in them for maximum efficiency. Free. Register, call Earlene, 816-931-3877. Wyandotte Co Lake Park Spring Wildflowers Sat, Apr 6 and 13, 9-11am; at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st St and Leavenworth Rd, Kansas City, KS. Meet up in the main parking lot by the Park office: take the left fork when you come in the 91st entrance at the South end of the Park. Spring wildflowers and maybe some wild orchids along the base of the Missouri River bluffs by the dam. Some trails may be steep and muddy if it has rained recently. Good boots and jeans recommended. Elizabeth Petroske ( and Ken O’Dell. 28th Annual Show “Isles of Violets” Apr 6-7; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. The Sho-Me African Violet Society will sponsor a combined Show and Sale. Members will be entering African Violets and other plants of this gesneriad family. While viewing the beautiful plants and interesting design entries in the Showroom, members will be present and willing to talk with persons just being introduced to the subject of African Violets. Learn about Gesneriads (Sinningia, Episcia, Streptocarpus among others) that are included in the African Violet family. Then visit the Sales Room to fill your home with your newfound treasures. The Show and Sales Rooms will be open to the Public Apr 6, 9am-4pm; and Sun Apr 7, 10am-3pm. Free admission. 816-784-5300 Essential Edible Landscaping Sat, Apr 6, 10-11:30am; at Powell Gardens. Learn what fruits, nuts, herbs and vegetables can be used in the edible landscape in your area and how to maintain the edible landscape. Discover what ornamental plants can be substituted with beautiful, edible ones. Participants will take away knowledge of edible landscaping, a sample landscape plan, assorted seeds and an edible, ornamental plant. $19/person, $12/ Members. Registration required by Apr 1. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext209. Or register online at ShoMe African Violets Society Show and Sale Sat and Sun, Apr 6-7, 9am-4pm Sat and 10am3pm Sun; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. 816-784-5300 Raised Bed Gardening Sat, Apr 6, 10am and 2pm; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 E Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. FREE. Make sure to reserve your spot. Call 816-229-1277 . Raised Bed Gardening Wed, Apr 10, noon; at Independence Health Dept, 515 S Liberty St, Independence, MO. Presented by Kansas City Community Gardens. Discover the many benefits of raised bed gardening. Learn how to construct your own raised beds and how to plant in them for maximum efficiency. Free. Register, call Earlene, 816-931-3877. Earth Fair Prairie Village Sat, Apr 13, 10am-3pm; at Shawnee Mission East Gymnasium, 75th and Mission Rd. Brought to you by Shawnee Mission East High School and the Prairie Village Environmental and Recycling Committee. This year’s theme is “It takes a village…” and will explore the many parts of a vibrant, green community. The Earth Fair is free and open to the public. Donations for two local causes will also be collected at the Earth Fair: non-perishable food items for the Village Presbyterian Food Pantry

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

and used bicycles and bike parts for the 816 Bike Collective. For more information, visit or Cultured Foods Workshop Sat, Apr 13, 10am-noon; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150 NW Colbern Rd (the historic Unity Apple Barn, 1/4 mile west of the intersection of Lee’s Summit Rd and Colbern Rd). Donna Schwenk ( will share the delicious benefits of Kefir (Kefir Soda, Kefir Cheese and Whey). Starter cultures available for purchase. Reservations required to purchase a live culture. $15.00 ($5.00 to Gardens of Unity Village members). Registration required. Call 816-769-0259 and leave a message to make a reservation. Bonner Springs and Shawnee Mission Garden Clubs Standard Flower Show Tues, Apr 16, 1-4pm, at Community Room of the Bonner Springs Library, 201 N Nettleton Ave, Bonner Springs. Theme “Extra-Terrestrial”. Free. Open to the public. For more information contact Ruth Pleak, 913-728-2806 or Sheila Miller, 913422-5191. Garden Photography Tues, Apr 17, 7-9pm; at Johnson County Extension office, Extension Office, 11811 S Sunset Dr, Olathe, KS. $10 per person. Forget about f-stops and shutter speeds as most of us own a simple point and shoot digital camera or phone. This class is designed for the point and shoot crowd to learn how to take better pictures of their gardens, family and friends. This class will cover tips for better pictures such as camera angles, lighting and framing. Bring your camera to class so you can follow along and maybe even practice a little. Speaker: Malcolm Beck, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener. Registration requested at least one week in advance. Enrollment limited. To enroll go to aspx?tabid=20#Horticulture__Lawn_and_Garden__ Environment_ or call 913-715-7000. GKC Gardeners of America Plant Sale Apr 17-20; at Gomer’s Square, 99th & Holmes. This is the longest running plant sale in Kansas City! We’ll have a wide selection of flowering annuals, perennials and plants to attract butterflies. And we have lisianthus again this year! No sun? No worry! We’ve got a wide selection of shade plants. Bothered by deer? You won’t be with our assortment of plants the deer won’t touch! Worried about drought? We’ll have a big selection drought-resistant and native plants! Ready to grow your own vegetables? We’ve got tomatoes (lots of heirlooms), peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, melons, pumpkin and eggplant. All proceeds from this sale fund horticulture scholarships at K-State, University of Missouri and JCCC, as well as grants awarded to local community gardens. Plus, come celebrate Earth Day with us on Saturday the 20th. Buy $30 worth of plants and we’ll give you another plant for free! Support your community and grow the best garden you’ve ever had by buying your plants this year at the Greater Kansas City Gardener’s of America Plant Sale! Hours: Wednesday 1-6, Thursday 9-6:30, Friday 9-6:30, Saturday 9-2. Will Landscape for Food: “What Works in an Edible Landscape that can Work for You” Thurs, Apr 18, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. Presented by The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City. Matt Bunch, Head Horticulturist at Powell Garden’s Heartland Harvest Garden will speak on the triumphs in the nation’s largest “edible” landscape despite the hot, dry summer of 2012. Use this delicious information to make your home or community garden come to fruition in the 2013 growing season. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456. Herb Gardening Thurs, Apr 18, 4-5pm; at Rosehill Garden Center, 311 E 135th St, Martin City. Fresh, home-grown herbs are fragrant and flavorful — and they add a unique touch to those special recipes. We’ll talk about selecting herbs and companion plants, and you will plant a container to take home. Instructor is Staff of Rosehill Nursery. Fee $14. Call MCC-Longview Community Education to enroll: 816-604-2030. Rain Gardens for Beauty and Function Sat, Apr 20, 10am; at Remington Nature Center, 1502 MacArthur Dr. Come learn what a rain garden can do for you and St. Joseph. The free session will cover: the benefits of a rain garden, rain garden location selection, plant selection, design, soil presentation and installation, rain garden. Prizes. Registrations

appreciated. Please sign up at Questions call 816-271-5318. Kansas City Ikebana Exhibit Sat and Sun, Apr 20-21, 10am-5pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. 816-784-5300 Perennials in the Landscape Sat, Apr 20, 10-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. This class is free. Admission fee to Arboretum applies. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Join expert Ken O’Dell for this wonderful class as he shares his experience and knowledge. Emphasis will be on placement in the landscape, selecting for sun or shade, propagation, soil preparation and maintenance. This is an indoor class. Register by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the class for admission. There will be no refunds for missed classes. For additional information, 913-685-3604. Emporia Gardeners of America Plant Sale Sat, Apr 20, 7:30am-2pm; at the Lyon Co Fairgrounds Anderson Building in Emporia Kansas. A wide selection of Annuals, Perennials, and Vegetables will be available for the home gardener to purchase. For information about the sale call 620-342-4091.

View them best on our “High Perch” hummingbird feeder. 8 oz. or 12 oz. capacity, a built-in ant moat and a lifetime guarantee!

Missouri Prairie Foundation Annual Native Plant Sale Apr 20 and Apr 27, 8am-1pm; at the City Market, 5th and Walnut, Kansas City, MO. A large variety of native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and small trees suitable for many growing conditions—sunny, shady, wet, and dry—will be available for sale. Proceeds will be used by MPF in their work to protect Missouri prairies. Contact: Doris at 816-716-9159 Spring Wildflower Walk in Miami County Sun, Apr 21, 1pm; at Hillsdale State Park, 26001 W 255th St, Paola, KS. Hillsdale State Park in Paola, KS has 32 miles of hiking trails, meandering through multiple habitats from the shore of the 5,000 acre lake, including native prairie to oak/hickory woodlands. Our first exploration will be the 1.5 mile ‘Hidden Spring Nature Trail’ (Yes, there is a hidden spring!). While the terrain is steep in places, it is well graded with steps for easy walking. We will meet at the Visitor Center parking lot at 1pm. The Visitor Center has an excellent small museum, so allow time before or after our hike to enjoy the educational displays. Directions: The Visitor Center is at 26001 West 255th Street. Turn west on the Hillsdale exit from K-7/169. Contact: Lenora Larson 913-284-3360. Spring Plant Sale Thurs-Sat, Apr 25-27, Thurs: noon-7pm, Fri: 10am7pm, Sat: 10am-6pm; at Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village KS. Sponsored by Overland Park Gardeners of America. 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 sold. Children may plant pumpkin or sunflower seeds or build a small container garden as part of our Youth Gardening Contests. Master Gardener Honey Barnekoff will be available to assemble custom containers, bring your own or choose some of ours. Bring your used nursery pots for reuse in our 2nd Annual Pot Harvest. For additional information contact Judy Schuck 913-362-8480.

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Miami County Master Gardeners Spring 2013 Plant Sale Thurs-Sat, Apr 25-27; on the grounds of the Ursuline Sisters campus in Paola, KS, 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 Thursday from noon to 5, Friday from 8 to 5, and Saturday from 8 to noon. Ursuline is located near the intersection of Wea Street and Hospital Drive. Paola is 15 minutes south of Olathe on 169 Highway. Ozanam’s “Thyme for Kids” Annual Plant Sale Fri-Sat, Apr 26-27, 9am-6pm Fri, 9am-5pm Sat; at the greenhouse on Ozanam’s main campus, 421 E 137th St, Kansas City, MO 64145. Since 1948, Ozanam has helped thousands of children, ages 12-18, with emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities reconnect with their families and communities through residential and day treatment programs, in addition to transitional living and school consultation services. The Horticulture Therapy Program offers these children an opportunity to learn to nurture and care for living things while drawing correlations to their own lives. The sale is to benefit the Horticultural Therapy

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April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

The Hummers Are Coming!

Crabgrass prevention starts early!

Bug Barrier Program We can keep ants, silverfish, crickets and other pesky insects out of your home. Call to discover how we can treat the perimeter of your house to keep uninvited guests outside.

MO: 246.1707 KS: 381.1505

“The pros you know in the clean red truck.” 39

Cultivate a Career at JCCC!

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see (continued from page 39) Program at Ozanam. The plant sale provides children involved in this program an opportunity to showcase their horticultural knowledge to the general public, and they will be on hand to answer questions and provide help.

Johnson County Community College

12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan. 66210 Bring your green thumb to JCCC for Horticultural Sciences classes: Horticultural Sciences Certificate – Designed to prepare

students for science-based careers in the “greening industry.”

Landscape Technician Certificate – Prepares students for

success in entry-level or higher positions in the landscape design and maintenance field.

Horticultural Sciences AAS Degree – Provides students

with knowledge and skills for jobs required for greenhouse operations, nursery management, landscape design and maintenance and more! JCCC has a 2+2 articulation agreement with K-State.

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

Water Gardens Tour 2013 20th Annual Water Garden Tour Come see 50 plus backyard water gardens of Water Garden Society members Saturday, June 22 • Sunday, June 23 9am - 5pm • Rain or Shine • Bus tours available.

Growing Herbs Sat, Apr 27, 10am and 2pm; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 E Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. FREE. Make sure to reserve your spot. Call 816-229-1277. Spring Plant Exchange Sat, Apr 27, 8:30-10am; at large shelter house at Oak Grove Park, 76th and N Troost. Do you have a green thumb? Is your garden growing out of control? Do you have more plants than you want or would you just like to trade some of your variety for another? Then you need to attend Gladstone’s Spring Plant Exchange. Load those extra perennials into the trunk to trade with other gardeners and make some new friends in the process. Mark your plants with their names if at all possible. No registration required. No cost. For more info, call Gladstone Parks and Recreation 816-423-4091. Mo-Kan Daylily Society Plant Sale Sat, Apr 27, 8am-1pm; at Cave Springs Park, 8701 E Gregory, Kansas City, MO, 64133. SW Corner of Gregory & Blue Ridge. Plantholic Frolic 2013 Sat, Apr 27, 8:30am-noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Gardeners Connect. Audience will be limited. This year the emphasis is on vines and climbers. Dan Long, owner of Brushwood Nursery, which specializes in clematis, honeysuckles, roses, passion vine and other vines, will talk about “Grow Up! Using Vines and Climbers In Your Garden.” In addition to his program, there will be a sale of interesting and unique plants from Brushwood Nursery as well as from other specialty nurseries. Register online at Bird Walk - Learn, Listen & Identify the Birds Sat, Apr 27, 8am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Class is free but admission fee required to the Garden. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Join Mike Stokes, a true nature enthusiast who began his birding career in his early twenties. He has been an active member of the Burroughs Audubon Society, Squaw Creek Leadership team and the Kansas Rare Birds Committee. He enjoys leading bird walks and sharing his love for the outdoors with people of all ages. Please dress appropriately (closed toe shoes and long pants are recommended). Bug repellent and binoculars are encouraged. The walk is limited to 25 adults so you must pre-register. You may register for these walks by going to and follow the prompt. For information only, 913-685-3604. Earth Day Plant Sale Sat, Apr 27, 8am-12pm; at Cave Spring Nature Center, 8701 Gregory Blvd, Kansas City, MO. Annual Raytown Garden Club plant sale. There will be a variety of perennials, annuals and herbs available. Also participating will be Southwood Garden Club and Mo-Kan Daylily Society. For more information call 816-547-9679.

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 40

Gladstone Spring Plant Exchange Sat, Apr 27, 8:30-10am; at Oak Grove Park, 76th & N Troost. Do you have an especially green thumb? Is your garden growing out of control? Do you have more plants than you want or would you just like to trade some of your variety for another? Then you need to attend Gladstone’s Spring Plant Exchange. Started in 2004 by Gladstone Parks & Recreation and City Gardener, Beth Houlihan, the plant exchange has grown each year and is a wonderful way to share your wealth with fellow gardeners. Please mark your plants with their names if at all possible. There is no registration required and the event costs nothing except a little of your time. For more info, Gladstone Parks and Recreation at 816-423-4091. Rain Gardens for Beauty and Function Sat, Apr 27, 1pm; at St Joseph REC Center, 2701 Southwest Parkway, next to Phil Welch Stadium.

Come learn what a rain garden can do for you and St. Joseph. The free session will cover: the benefits of a rain garden, rain garden location selection, plant selection, design, soil presentation and installation, rain garden. Prizes. Registrations appreciated. Please sign up at Questions call 816-271-5318.

May Overland Park Arboretum Spring Plant Sale Thurs, May 2, preview sale and reception for Friends of the Arboretum members, 4-7pm. Join FOTA and receive 10% member discount. Open to the public on Fri and Sat, May 3-4, 9am-5pm. No admission fee to attend the plant sale. Enormous selection of certified organic herbs, collectors’ hostas, native woodland plants and prairie wildflowers, annuals, perennials, and much more. Lush combination planters and hanging baskets for Mother’s Day. Free herb demonstrations both days at 12:30. The arboretum is located 1/2 mile west of Hwy 69 at 179th & Antioch. 913-683-3604 18th Annual Spring Dig Plant Sale Thurs-Sat, May 2-4; at 6837 Nieman, Shawnee, KS. Location is Shawnee Presbyterian Church. To benefit Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc. Sale will be held, rain or shine. The sale is under a tent. There will be beautiful annuals, perennials, herbs, hanging baskets, patio planters and tomatoes. Stop by and pick up a lovely plant for Mother’s Day. Hours: Thursday and Friday 8am to 7pm, Saturday 8am to noon. For further information 913-281-3388. Kansas City Garden Club Plant Sale May 3-4, 8am-5pm; at 400 W 119 Terr, Kansas City, MO. There will be a large selection of perennials for you to choose from. Easy to find location. Travel down Wornall Rd and turn west on 119th Terr and proceed 1&1/2blocks to # 400. See you there! Wyandotte Co EMG Annual Plant Sale May 3-4, 9am-5pm Fri, 9am-2pm Sat; in the parking lot at Wyandotte County Extension office, 1216 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. There will be a large selection of annuals, perennials, vegetable plants and edibles that have been specially selected for NE Kansas & NW Missouri growing area for purchase by the public. We are offering Master Gardener grown perennials, vegetable plants and herbs. Bring your own pots to our container planting station, let us help you select appropriate plants from our sale, and we’ll plant them up for you for just the cost of the potting soil used. The Master Gardener Program is a volunteer educational service with the mission of providing sound horticulture information to the residents of Wyandotte County. Proceeds from the sale will go towards the various gardens and programs sponsored by the Master Gardeners. Central Missouri Master Gardener Plant Sale Sat, May 4, 7am-noon; at Jaycee Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. This year in response to the Midwest drought, we will feature natives…natures drought tolerant plants. Visitors will learn the advantages of natives and the best way to use them in their landscapes. Customers will also find approximately 7500 Square feet of master gardener grown vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, herbs and new introduction perennials and annuals. While in Jefferson City, visit our demonstrations Garden with a beautiful view of the Missouri River and bicycle the historic Katy Trail. Website: or, find us on Facebook at Central Missouri Plant Sale. Independence Garden Club Plant Sale Sat, May 4, 7am-1pm; at the Independence Farmers market corner of Main and Truman Rd’s one block north of the Independence square. There will be many kinds of plants and flowers at bargain prices. Stop by and get something for Mothers day or for your home. For more, see website at independencegardenclub. com or call 816-373-1169 or 816-796-4220. Kansas City Garden Club’s Annual Spring Luncheon Mon, May 6, 10:30am-1:30pm; at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. “The Celebrated, the Overlooked

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

and the Notorious Native Flowers and Grasses of the Kansas City Area” will be the morning program presented by Mike Haddock. After lunch, Kay Schaefer, Florissant, Mo, a Master Floral Judge/Designer will entertain and enlighten you with “Spring Into Spring: Exhilarating, Artful Floral Designs”. Event tickets are $20 with a deadline of Apr 22nd. Make your check out to Kansas City Garden Club and mail to Kaye Vance, 4346 Lobo Court, Lee’s Summit, Mo 64064-1418. Questions, call Kaye at 816-373-9073. Annual Spring Hosta and Shade Plant Sale Sat, May 11, 9am-2:30pm; at Faith Lutheran church, 4805 W 67th St, Prairie Village, KS. Sponsored by Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society. A great collection of lovely new hostas and other shade perennials, including but not limited to, selected fern varieties; Carex siderosticha, “Banana Boat”; and Bleeding Heart, “Gold Heart”. There will be a free gift for children over age 4, who are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Public welcome. For info call Gwen. 816-228-9308 Master Gardeners of GKC Annual Plant Sale Sat, May 11, 8am-2pm, or until sold out; at Bass Pro Shops, at the corner of I-70 and MO-291 in Independence. Over 10,000 reasonably priced plants that are sustainable for our climate area, including annuals, vegetables, herbs, perennials and native plants. Come early to get the best! See our website May 1 for a complete listing of plants available: We also have a blog to answer all your local gardening questions, plus up-to-date articles about what’s going on in gardening in our area. Sprouting Workshop Sat, May 11, 10am-noon; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150 NW Colbern Rd (the historic Unity Apple Barn, 1/4 mile west of the intersection of Lee’s Summit Rd and Colbern Rd). No space for a garden? With a little know-how, you can grow your own greens even in the winter! Jerry King will facilitate our workshop on growing nutritious sprouts in trays, jars or natural fiber bags. Attendees will be treated to a tasty sprout salad. Come pick your favorite sprout and get started! $10. (Free to Gardens of Unity Village members). Call 816-769-0259 and leave a message/make a reservation. Miami County Farm Tour May 11-12. With one new stop featured this year, the Miami County Farm Tour will mark its 10th year of celebrating farm life. All of the stops will be open to visitors Saturday, May 11 from 9 am to 4 pm and Sunday, May 12 from 10am to 4pm. A new addition at several sites will be the use of QR codes. Paola High School students have been working with the five sites to create the codes and provide a more in depth look at the farm’s operations. More details next month and at Miami County Garden Tour Fri, May 17 and Sat, May 18, 9am-5pm both days. Hosted by Miami Co Extension Master Gardeners. Tickets $10 on tour days. Advance ticket sales start Apr 1, for $8, from all First Option Bank locations, Price Chopper in Paola and Spring Hill, Miami Co Extension office and online at 913-294-4306 Entertaining Gardens Home and Garden Tour Sat, May 18, 10am-5pm. Presented by the Westport Garden Club. Featured will be six private gardens in Mission Hills, Sunset Hill, Prairie Village and Fairway. Each garden will be prepared for a festive occasion to inspire other fresh-air aficionados with new ideas for their own outdoor entertaining. Patron tickets $65. General admission $40 in advance, $45 at the door. Discount coupon for neighborhood restaurants will be included. See or for complete details. Or you may call Linda Burton at Powell Gardens, 816-697-2600 x209, for tickets. Event benefits ‘Good To Grow’ education program at Powell Gardens. Northland Garden Club - Tea in the Garden Sat, May 18, 3-5pm; in a very unique garden in the Northland - near Parkville. An elegant tea menu to include delicious sandwiches, desserts, scones and several special teas. Limited seating, tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance, no later than May 1. Just for fun, hats may be worn, but certainly are not required! Tickets may be purchased by contacting: Rain date scheduled for Sun, May 19, 3-5pm. Garden Show & Plant Sale Sat, May 18, 10am-2pm; at Cedar Lake Village, 15325 S Lone Elm Rd, Olathe, KS. You’re invited

to “Put your roots down at Cedar Lake Village”, an open house and garden show event! A Master Gardener will be speaking from 10:30 to 11:30am. Vendors from around the Olathe area will be here selling plants and flowers. Check back closer to the date for more details on the speaker and topic! Please RSVP to or call Abby at 913-780-9916. 12th Annual Herb Days in May Festival May 25-26, 10am-5pm, at Evening Shade Farms Soap House, 12790 SE Hwy TT, Osceola, MO. 7 Miles East off Hwy 13 on TT Hwy, 417-282-6985. The festival includes: Artisan Handcrafted Natural & Organic Body products, heirloom flower and vegetable plants and herbs, trees and shrubs, pottery and woodworking demonstrations, custom jewelry, metal garden art, blacksmith art, hypertufa planters, photo and fiber art. Greek food and Doc’s Root beer, and much, much more. Evening Shade Farm’s famous Lemon Verbena Cake (order whole cakes ahead of time). Free Admission. 417-282-6985 Gardeners Connect presents “Gardening in Small Spaces” Thurs, May 30, 6-8 pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall. A treat is in store with a free 6:30pm program. Garden designer Lauren Mackin will share her insight into designing and enjoying our garden spaces.

June and July Douglas County Master Gardeners Garden Tour Sat and Sun, Jun 1-2, 9am-4pm Sat and 11am4pm Sun, Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. Start at the collection of demonstration gardens at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, where you also will find a plant and crafts sale. Six private gardens, each with a unique focus, will offer a bounty of ideas for landscaping design. $10 per person; children 12 and under free. Northland Garden Club Annual Garden Tour Sun, Jun 2. This year’s tour is “An Afternoon at Country Downs” and will be a walking tour of the neighborhood at Vivion and North Monroe. There will be five gardens and featured artists. $10 per person. For more info, Dee West, 816-455-4013 or check the website at Master Gardeners of GKC 2013 Garden Tour Jun 7 and 8, 9am-4:30pm. Rain or shine. “Unique Gardens of South Kansas City” showcases six diverse private gardens and one beautiful community garden in the areas south of the Plaza including Crestwood, Brookside, and Waldo. Rain or shine. Tickets on sale May 10 for $15 at various ticket outlets and online via PayPal. Children 12 and under free. See the website for ticket outlets and full descriptions plus photos of the gardens. Water Garden Tour Jun 22 and 23. Save the date. Sponsored by Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City.

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

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


Weather Repor t

Avg temp 55° Avg high temp 66° Avg low temp 46° Highest recorded temp 95° Lowest recorded temp 16° Nbr of above 70° days 12

St Joseph Water Garden Society Annual Water Garden/Pond Tour of 2013 Sat and Sun, Jun 29-30, 1-5pm. Tickets $7 for adults, kids are free under 12 with adults. Ticket books are available at Earl May, Moffets Nursery, Mann’s Nursery, Thompson’s Nursery, Westlake Hardware. Approx 12-15 ponds will be on the tour. Info on memberships or meeting dates, call 816-233-4312.

Clear or Cloudy

Fiesta Flower Show Sat, Jul 13, 1-3pm; at Belvoir Winery, 1325 Odd Fellows Rd, Liberty, MO. Hosted by Northland Garden Club. Free and open to all. For additional details, contact Marti at

Avg snowfall 0.8”

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.

Avg nbr of clear days 9 Avg nbr of cloudy days 14

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

From the Almanac Moon Phases

Plant Above Ground Crops: 12, 13, 17, 18, 24, 25

Last Quarter: Apr. 2

Plant Root Crops:

New Moon: Apr. 10

Control Plant Pests:

First Quarter: Apr. 18 Full Moon: Apr. 25 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

April 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Highs and Lows

25-27, 30 2, 5, 6, 9, 10

Transplant: 17, 18, 24, 25

Plant Flowers: 12, 13, 17, 18


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


xotic orchids mix it up with one of Powell Gardens’ funkiest conservatory exhibits indoors as the season of a million blooms kicks into high gear outdoors during April. Enjoy spring at full tilt during Bloom: A Celebration of Spring, commemorate 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. The ‘Living’ Room (through May 12) The conservatory turns into the whimsical home of the “Moss” family during The “Living” Room, an imaginative exhibit that turns ordinary household items into living works of art. From plant-padded dining chairs to a living floral quilt, the Moss family home is literally alive with color and texture. 2013 Kids’ Club: New Season Begins April 13 Guided walks, behind-thescenes tours and hands-on fun introduce children ages 5-12 to the wonders of Mother Nature. The Powell Gardens’ Kids Club meets the second Saturday of each

month from April through October. The theme for the April session is “Plant People.” Members will help plant the Kids’ Club flowerbed at the Gardens and then make a plant person to take home. For more information and to register, visit Bloom! A Celebration of Spring: April 13-14 Powell Gardens’ extensive collection of flowering trees typically hits peak bloom in mid-April and in 2013 visitors are invited to enjoy the height of the season with Bloom! A Celebration of Spring. The weekend will include a scavenger hunt for kids and opportunities for Friends of Powell Gardens to join in exclusive behind-thescenes tours of the gardens, including a greenhouse tour, a tour of flowering trees led by Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen or a tour of the nation’s largest edible landscape—the Heartland Harvest Garden. Tours begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14. Reservations are required: see for details. Weekend events culminate with a performance of Romeo & Juliet To Go (an abbreviated version of the classic) by the Heart of America Shakespeare

Festival at 5 p.m. Sunday. All visitors are invited to bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy the show. All activities are FREE for members; regular admission applies to non-members. To join Friends of Powell Gardens, visit Earth Day Celebration: Saturday, April 20 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. Each party will receive a free oak tree seedling (while supplies last) and a chance to win a free rain barrel via a raffle. Scheduled activities include:

* 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Get crafty! See how to repurpose common items from buttons to magazines into beautiful objects. * 10 a.m.: Learn how to preserve our plant world from the experts at Seed Savers Exchange, a national not-for-profit group dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. This workshop is free with regular garden admission, but does require reservations. Sign up at * 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Kids of all ages can learn how to use recycled newspaper to make tiny paper pots perfect for starting seeds and then planting right into the ground. * 2 p.m.: Join Georg Paulussen, Executive Chef in Kansas City, for a chef’s demonstration. Fresh Bites in the Heartland Harvest Garden Fresh Bites are seasonal demos covering a number of topics from growing edibles to upcycling and typically take place at 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Reservations are not needed. The sessions meet in the Missouri Barn. Check the calendar at FreshBites for details. The 2013 series begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, with “Potatoes to Know and Grow.”

3823 North Cobbler Road Independence, MO 64058 Off of 291 Hwy, South of Liberty, just North of the Missouri River Bridge

Open March 1 - thru Father’s Day Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4 42

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013


Professional’s Corner

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

NER GAR D ENER GAR D EGARDENER Marc A M ogn th l y Gu idhe 2012 to S u c c e ssfu l Ga rd e n i n g 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

May 2012

Attracting Flying Flowers

New Ann

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

NOw AVAILAbLE ONLINE • instant access to advertisers’ websites • Print out your favorite Page for the fridge • revisit inforMative articLes • review uPcoMing events

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 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Meet Kyle Douglas Company: Beautiful Outdoors Lawn & Landscape, Inc. Owner: Kyle Douglas Established: 1999 Getting started: With a Chevy Blazer and a push mower, I began my own lawn care business. A few clients and awards later, here I sit after the business paid for me to graduate from college with a degree in business management. Type of operation: Beautiful Outdoors is a full service lawn and landscape company that prides itself on excellent customer service and quality craftsmanship. Our customers are commercial and residential, with no project too large or too small. Services include design, installation and maintenance of irrigation systems; landscape design; lawn and landscape maintenance; outdoor lighting; install hardscape plans for patios, fire pits, driveways, outdoor kitchens and more; solve drainage issues; create rooftop gardens. A complete list of our services, along with photos can be found on our website. Tell us about your staff: We have an award-winning professional staff that is employed year round. They are experts in all aspects of the green industry ready to serve in any aspect of creating your ideal outdoor living space. Tips for homeowners: Creating a green yard or green garden is very tough to do in the Midwest without proper irrigation. Either with a hose or a full irrigation system, nothing grows without adequate and timely water. What would your customers say? From the initial installation all the way down to the monthly recurring service, Beautiful Outdoors has a year round service that can make any property shine. What makes your business unique? After many years in the industry, we are small enough to listen to and work with any size customer. We have grown our employees and fleet of equipment to handle any size project, from small to very large. Any new trends? Outdoor living continues to be a hot topic among homeowners, with many patios and fireplaces installed every year. Rooftop gardens and living walls are also gaining popularity. We are proud to say we installed the tallest rooftop garden space in Kansas City. Little known secret: With the proper irrigation system and plan, having a green yard and thriving landscape is easy to create. H20 in the hot months is key. Contact: Beautiful Outdoors Lawn & Landscape, 1005 S. 12th St., Kansas City, KS 66105; 913-406-8557; www.beautifuloutdoorsks. com; 43

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 Velvet Pillar, Prairie Fire or Coralburst and many more varieties now on Sale at our 135th & Wornall and K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy locations.

TREE & SHRUB SALE Up to 50% off

Shrub Roses Arriving !

Knockout, Double Knockout, Drift, Flower Carpet

SHRUBS Flowering or Evergreen TREES Ornamental or Shade

Large Trees at

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

135th & Wornall 44

(816) 942-2921

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

105th & Roe (913) 649-8700

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2013

KCG 04Apr13 issue  
KCG 04Apr13 issue  

The Kansas City Gardener