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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

July 2013

Irresistible Berries

Pets & Plants: Catnip Do Trees Have a Useful Life? Tropical Themed Water Garden Garden Blogs for Summer Reading


Swan’s Water Gardens

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First and foremost we back all our installations with a five year warranty. This is unheard in the Water Garden Industry. Most companies want to give you a three month, six month or, if you’re lucky, a one year warranty on their installation. We don’t think that’s right! We’ve seen horribly incorrect installations by many companies out there that just don’t know what they’re doing and they won’t stand behind their work. You will never have to worry about that with us. We’re in our 19th year in business and our warranty is longer than many water garden installers have been around. We don’t just dabble in the water garden business, “It’s our way of life”.

Here at “The Water Garden Center” we are committed to Research and Development. Before we ever sell a new product to our customers, it has to be tested here. Just because a Manufacturer says their product is the newest miracle on the market doesn’t make it so.

We carry only the highest quality products available and will not sell cheap inferior products just to compete on price. All of the pumps, liners, filtration systems and other pond supplies that we use in our installations are sold right here at “The Water Garden Center”. We research our competition and all the Manufacturers in the industry so we are on top of any new developments.

In today’s market place, we know you’re bombarded with everyone claiming to be the best or having the best products with the lowest prices. There’s so much misinformation out there it can be very confusing for the new and old Water Garden enthusiast. So what should you do? That’s easy. Come out to “The Water Garden Center” and we’ll walk you through the lushly landscaped water gardens or just let you stroll through at your leisure. Either way when you leave here you’ll have a good understanding on how to correctly build a water garden or maybe you’ll decide to have our experienced installation crew build one for you.

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3


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

‘I don’t plant’

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Leah Berg Rose Burgweger Erin Busenhart Cindy Gilberg Diane & Doc Gover Lenora Larson Patrick Muir Dennis Patton Phil Roudebush Larry Ryan Diane Swan 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 cavsgarden@kc.rr.com. Submit editorial questions to Elizabeth Cavanaugh at editorcavsgarden@kc.rr.com.

Join us and fellow gardeners. Become a fan.

Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 27. 4

W

hen our kids were young, the yard was a place for them to play. The smallest would be in a playpen to enjoy the scenery, while the older ones were monkeying around on the swing set. This gave Dad and me the chance for welcomed time in the landscape. When they grew older, all of them liked the process of potting up annuals. Only because that usually required the kid combo: dirt, shovels and water ... all the fun stuff. In the fall, you could get them to rake leaves, because that would result in a pile for jumping. Even more fun was when Dad initiated wheelbarrow rides. In their teen years, when we still had turf in the landscape, the two middle ones tried mowing. Again this was a novelty, something to be ‘first’ at. Certainly not a chore to volunteer for. Maybe it was the attraction to power equipment. But in truth, if it wasn’t fun, they weren’t interested. I can’t say that I blame them. Not many kids (young or old) hang around in the garden at their mother’s ankles, like her garden cats.

And we all get a belly laugh when we encounter someone who assumes that our kid(s) might be horticulturally minded. “You must know all the names of plants,” a friend would say. The kid would look at me with those eyes ... “Should I tell them, or will you?” Over the years, we’ve tried to gently educate about the differences between oak, birch and crabapple. They recognize the blooming season of peonies, roses and daylilies. We’ve mastered why, in general, plants in containers might need more water than those planted in the ground. And sometimes, if all of the stars are in alignment, someone might be able to identify a plant in a quick garden quiz. Recently, the driveway was full of plants in containers waiting to be planted. Some are samples from growers, and others are larger pur-

chases looking for their forever home in our garden. Over lunch, Hannah the youngest (now 17) was offered the chance to join her mother in a little ‘bonding time’ in the garden. “Pick out the one you like, name it, make it your own,” we said. Her straightfaced response, “I don’t plant!” Seriously? That’s it? I could understand “It’s too hot”, or “It’s too buggy out”. Or lie to me and say you have plans with friends. But I DON’T PLANT? Of course I should probably give her a break. She’s the one who, several years back, identified a garden bloomer as ‘Latunia.’ I’m never at a loss for entries in my garden journal – Kids with gardeners as parents. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue July 2013 • Vol. 18 No. 7 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 Moths That Want to be Butterflies ........................... 8 Pets & Plants: Catnip ............... 9 Tropical Water Garden ............ 10 Trees Have a Useful Life ........... 11 Sunflower Artfest ..................... 12 The Bird Brain ......................... 13 Irrestible Berries ...................... 14 Container for Butterflies ............ 16

about the cover ...

Stay for the Trails .................... 18 Grow Native Avian Adventure ... 20 Garden Calendar .................... 21 Upcoming Events ..................... 22 Rose Report ............................ 23 Powell Garden Events ............. 24 Hotlines ................................. 25 Weather ................................. 25 Subscribe ............................... 27 Professional’s Corner ................ 27

Wouldn’t be nice to have fresh blueberries in your garden? Learn more about other berry-producing shrubs starting on page 14.

9

18 The Kansas City Gardener / July 2013


Annual K-State Horticulture Center Field Day July 27

D

o you wonder how K-State Research and Extension develops its list of recommended grass, flowers or vegetable varieties? University research conducted in Olathe helps to determine what grows best in Kansas City landscapes. The K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center’s Field Day, Saturday, July 27, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., is the public’s opportunity to peek behind the scenes. Talk with the experts and learn about the latest varieties and methods for achieving success. Admission is $5 per person, which includes bottled water, seminars, classes and demonstrations. The Center conducts research in flowers and vegetables. Visitors can speak with university professors heading up the research and Johnson County Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Highlights – Flower Area • Annual Flower Trials – Companies from around the world submit their newest developments. The research trials show which flowers can withstand the Kansas City climate. The trials illustrate that not all varieties are created equal. • Container Garden Trials – New plants for patio planters and front porch use. Performance in a planter is much different than in the ground. See which flowers are best for pots and which ones are best planted in the ground.

• • • • • •

• Crepe Myrtle Trials – This southern plant is finding its place in the KC landscape. Compare a number of varieties and find the one for you. Highlights – Vegetable Area • Vegetables in Containers – Don’t have space for a garden? Come find out about growing vegetables in pots. International vegetable breeders are now busy breeding a whole new array of vegetable varieties specifically for growing in pots. In the past our only choice was to use a field or garden variety and try to control its growth in a pot. We now have choices in varieties bred to have the specific growth habit characteristics for pots on the patio or balcony of an apartment. • Grafted Tomatoes – This latest trend is breathing new-life into heirloom tomatoes. Learn more about this process see how they compare. • Backyard Garden Demonstration Garden – People are becoming more health conscious. They are moving towards a more vegetarian diet and reducing their consumption of meat. Come talk

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with Extension Master Gardeners and see what you can grow in your garden to provide plant-based protein in your diet. • Beans! – They’re high in fiber, antioxidants and protein. Studies show they can help you trim your waistline. No matter what time of year, beans are always an appropriate dish on any table. Extension Master Food Volunteers will offer exciting recipes that you can incorporate into your everyday meal plans.

Free soil tests Johnson County residents can bring their soil and get one free soil test per Johnson County address, complements of Stormwater Management. A soil test determines the nutrients in the soil. It is important to know the nutrient levels to grow healthy plants. Go to www.johnson.ksu.edu/soiltest to learn how to take a soil sample. At least 2 cups of dry soil are needed for a proper test. The Research Center is located at 35230 West 135th Street, Olathe. The entrance is approximately nine miles west of Highway 7 on 135th Street. Admission is $5 at the gate. Lunch will be available for purchase during the event. For more information call 913715-7000, or visit www.johnson. ksu.edu.

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Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton BEST TIME TO FERTILIZE LAWN Question: If I water my lawn during the summer should I go ahead and fertilize now in the summer or wait until fall? I didn’t apply any spring application to cut down on the mowing. So the last time I fertilized was the fall of 2012. Answer: That is a good question and not simple to answer. Do you really water your lawn or just occasionally water? If you water on a regular basis then I would recommend that you go ahead and

apply an application. The key to this application is to find a product with the highest percentage of slow release fertilizer. Slow release fertilizer as the name implies feeds the lawn over a longer period of time instead of being available upon application. The advantage of feeding even in the summer is that you will retain a nice, darker green color to your turf since you go to the expense of watering. The only downside of not fertilizing will be the lack of color. Keep in mind for those that do not water or sparsely water in the summer, this application would not be recommended. No matter whether you water or not, remember the most important time to fertilize bluegrass or tall fescue is in September and secondly November.

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pot and rooted into the surrounding soil. With that being said, if you stay on top of this plant it will not become invasive. I know a few gardeners that keep clumps of this plant going just so they have starts for their containers. So go ahead and plant in the urns and when you see it getting close to the soil just snip it off and If it should get into the soil, simply uncut the plant with a knife or shovel and remove. It has fairly shallow roots and runners which are easy to remove. WHEN TO DIVIDE IRIS Question: If my irises did not bloom this spring do I still need to wait until summer to transplant?

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Answer: The best time to divide and transplant irises is during late July through mid-August as they are dormant at this time which results in less transplant stress and quicker recovery. So yes, I would recommend that you wait to divide iris until the ideal time. When dividing save the biggest and strongest rhizome and make sure to

you may have too much pressure in the hose which means you are applying the water faster than the soil can absorb in this narrow band. My recommendation would be to shut down the faucet a little more which will decrease the rate of flow from the hose. This will allow the water to soak in instead of running off.

plant with the top portion exposed or above the soil level. Irises do best in full sun so avoid the shade. Once they replanted be sure to keep well watered to help with establishment. Irises have a surge of growth in the cool of the fall so good care is important in helping to develop blooms for the following year.

This may translate into longer run times to help ensure that the soil is deeply soaked. Soaker hoses have some kinks so to speak as they are not pressure regulated, which means water distribution can be uneven. It is difficult to tell when you have applied enough water. One way to help solve this problem is to dig down alongside the hose and when the soil is wet to a depth of 6 to 8 inches deep you are done for this period of time.

SOAKER HOSE Question: I use a soaker hose to water the garden but the water still seems to runoff instead of soaking into the soil. What am I doing wrong? Answer: Soaker hoses are a great way to water, but I think that

WHAT FERTILIZER TO USE ON ANNUALS Question: I saw somewhere where you said to fertilize annu-

als with high nitrogen fertilizer. Can I use my lawn fertilizer on my annuals and in containers? How much and how often? Answer: Over the years I have learned the most people do not feed their annuals enough over the summer to get the most from their investment. We all grew up as gardeners hearing if we applied too much nitrogen fertilizer we would get all green growth and no flowers. We were told to use high phosphorus fertilizers for big blooms. Simply put—those recommendations are hogwash. It is the nitrogen that develops wonderful flowers. But of course as with all things there is moderation. If the phosphorus and potassium levels of the soil are good based on a soil test then it is recommended to use a fertilizer such as 30-3-4, 29-5-4 or 27-3-3. These are basically lawn fertilizers which of course do not contain any herbicides. The first application should be made in the spring at planting. Broadcast the fertilizer at the rate of 1/2 pound or about one cup per 100 square feet. Annual flowers will benefit from additional applications for

best growth and flowering. Fertilize at monthly intervals at one-half the above rate, or for small groupings of (5 to 6 plants) annuals, spread 2 to 3 teaspoons of the fertilizer per 10 square feet and water into the soil for best results. The last application should be made in early September. Containers may benefit from a more balanced fertilizer such as 13-13-13 as oftentimes the phosphorus and potassium is at lower levels in the potting mix. In this case I would use the balanced fertilizer at the rate of 2 to 3 teaspoons per pot on the monthly basis adjusting this rate up and down based on the size of the pot. One last comment, even though the potting mix has slow release fertilizer it does not last through the season as our heat breaks down the nutrients much faster than indicated on the bag. Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit www.johnson.ksu.edu, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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Moths That Want to be Butterflies

Lenora Larson

P

ity the drab moths as they fly in the gloom of night. Who can blame them for aspiring to be beautiful butterflies, dancing in the sun and sipping the flowers’ sweet ambrosia? Indeed, butterflies evolved from moths about 60 million years ago. This transformation added butterflies to the list of pollinators that could assist the courtship of newly evolving flowering plants; however, the impetus was more likely avoidance of night-flying predators, especially bats. Some moths continue to yearn for a life in the sun. These “flower moths” fly by day (diurnal) and have tongues to drink nectar, just like butterflies. None are as brilliant or large as

our Swallowtails and Monarchs, but they are quite endearing and extremely common. The true flower moths (genus Schinia) and other diurnal moths act like butterflies, so why aren’t they so classified? Let’s review the differences between the two suborders of Lepidoptera, our only “scaly-winged” insects. Differentiating Moths and Butterflies In general, moths and butterflies differ in size, color, body shape, wing position and mating and feeding activity, but there are exceptions that challenge us amateur lepidopterists. For instance, moths typically have heavier, furrier bodies with proportionally smaller wings. However, Skipper butterflies break this rule and also distinguish themselves by resting their wings at halfmast. The perpetually camouflaged moths rest their wings outspread and use scent rather than color for species and sex recognition. In contrast, most butterflies rest with their wings held perpendicular, hiding the

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brilliant colors that display sexual messages. But some moths, like the Luna and Cecropia, are large and brilliantly colored, while some butterflies, like the Dainty Sulfur, are very drab and diminutive. Fortunately one differentiator between moths and butterflies needs no caveats: antennae. Even the smallest, drabbest butterfly has thread-like antennae with a clublike knob at the end. The threadlike antennae of Skipper butterflies always sport a jaunty terminal crook that resembles a crochet hook. Moth antennae may be feathery, comblike or thread-like but they never have a terminal club or hook.

caterpillar camouflage them on the flowers of its host plant, native and ornamental Gauras. Many of the diurnal, nectaring moth species are generalists rather than depending on a specific host plant. For instance, the caterpillars of the Corn Earworm and Beet Webworm Moths eat many plants, so their beautiful parents are frequently seen nectaring in urban and suburban gardens.

Favorite Diurnal Moths Members of our local Idalia Butterfly Society have bestowed descriptive nicknames on the Ailanthus Webworm Moth, such as Hawaiian Shirt Moth and Pajama Top Moth. The caterpillars build webby leaf nests in its host plant, the Tree-Of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). The Clouded Crimson Moth illustrates the habits and beauty of a true “flower moth”. The brilliant colors of both the adult and the

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Summary Moths still predominate in number of species and individuals over butterflies. The Kansas City area boasts over 2,500 species of moths, but less than 100 species of butterflies. However, some moths emulate the best traits of butterflies: their beauty and their usefulness as pollinators. Next time you see a small nectaring butterfly, check the antennae—you may be admiring a flower moth. MICO Extension Master Gardener, Lenora Larson, gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kansas. Contact her at lenora.longlips@gmail.com.

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Pets and Plants – Catnip By Phil Roudebush

I

t would be difficult to guess how long cats have known about catnip, but people have appreciated it for over a thousand years. Historically, teas made from dried leaves and flower heads of catnip were used to treat a wide range of ailments. According to Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, a British horticulturist in the 18th century wrote a description of cats rolling on a patch of catnip until it was flat. This was an economic hardship at a time since catnip was raised and sold for beverages or medicine. Catnip is native to Europe and central Asia but came to America early – one account mentions catnip as a commercial American crop in the late 18th century. Catnip belongs to the genus Nepata, which includes over 250 species of flowering plants in the mint family. The members of this group are known as catnip, catswort or catmint. Nepata cataria is a 2 to 3 foot tall herbaceous, perennial herb resembling mint in appearance, with greyish-green leaves and tubular white flowers mottled by fine purple-pink spots. It is usually cultivated in the garden as a drought tolerant, deer resistant ornamental plant, which attracts cats, butterflies and bees. Catnip is basically a feline aphrodisiac. A plant terpenol named

need to take an hour or two away from catnip for another response to occur. The response to catnip may be genetic or a learned behavior, since some cats do not seem to respond at all. Very young kittens and older cats also seem less likely to have a reaction to catnip. Some wild cats in zoos such as leopards, lions and tigers are reported to enjoy the plant. Grow catnip in your herb garden to attract beneficial insects, use in tea or salads and provide enjoyment for your feline companions.

Grow catnip in your herb garden to attract beneficial insects, use in tea or salads and provide enjoyment for your feline companions.

nepatolactone is the main chemical constituent of the essential oil found in catnip. It is released from bruised catnip leaves or stems and binds to receptors in the nose that transmit signals to the brain. This results in a state of temporary euphoria, which resembles behavior exhibited by cats in sexual arousal. The common behaviors when cats respond to catnip are rubbing, pawing, licking or chewing on the plant and rolling on the ground. Consuming the plant may be followed by drooling, sleepiness, anxiety, leaping about, purring, meowing or growling. The active compound is also present in the wood of tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), shavings of which can be found in some cat toys. It is smelling, not eating, catnip that does the trick. A cat may chew

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on the plant but that simply releases the compound from the damaged leaves and stems. The reaction to catnip only lasts a few minutes for most cats – they appear to acclimate to its effects and cats may

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Do you know how much water you apply with each watering? You should. Frequent, shallow watering encourages shallow rooting. Instead, water deeply, less often, and know how much you water.

Phil Roudebush is a retired veterinarian, specialist in small animal internal medicine and adjunct faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. He is an Extension Master Gardener in Shawnee County, Kansas. He can be reached at philroudebush@gmail.com.

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Tropical Themed Water Gardens

Diane Swan

T

ake a few minutes to lie back in your lounge chair or hammock outside, then close your eyes. Imagine listening to the sounds of water and happy chirping of songbirds. Smell the exotic scents of a lushly planted landscape. Feel the warmth of the sun and let it all sink in slowly. You’re in a tropical paradise and are totally relaxed and refreshed. You are ready to tackle all of your daily challenges…but later…much later. The tranquility feels too good right now. Now open your eyes and what do you see? Do you see a lot of grass with some landscaping sprinkled along the edges of your yard?

Why not create that tropical ‘feel’ by adding a few key elements. Water is the most important as it is the center of all life that all else revolves around. You will want waterfalls that tumble down to the meandering stream and flows gently into your water garden. Flowing stream invite birds to stop by to bathe and play for a while. Provide the birds with lush trees to hide and nest, such as Magnolias, Hardy Bananas, or Ornamental Peach trees, to name a few. These types of ornamental trees will help give height and add to the exotic feel of your tropical island. In the edges of the water garden and stream, you could plant Papyrus, Umbrella palms, Taros, Bluebells, Water Cannas and Water Thalias give the tropical look. Water Hyacinth can float on the surface while Lotus and Tropical lilies help shade the surface. The Tropical lilies raise their flowers high above the surface to

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show off their exotic colors in shades of blues, purples, greens, and hot pinks. These showoffs are great repeat bloomers with huge lily pads. Tropical literally bloom their little hearts out. The huge bowl-shaped leaves of the Lotus and their large scented flowers tower high above the surface in their entire splendor. You could plant a Trumpet Vine, Sweet Autumn Clematis, or even Passion Vine on an arbor to provide more shade and scents to fragrant your gardens. Elephant ears, Coleus, Impatiens, Begonias, Hostas, Ferns, and Coral Bells can be some of the plants to round out your landscape plantings surrounding the water garden. Tropical gardens feature a contrast of leaf and flower colors and textures from the big and bold to feathery and light. You can put Koi, Goldfish, Sarrasa comets and Shubunkins to

add color and movement in your water garden. These little fishies can live indefinitely without feeding them so they are easy to care for. It’s fun to feed them once in a while, though. Add a paver patio with a fire pit to provide a place to sit and relax by the water garden. The fire pit will add ambience and warmth. Summer is a wonderful time to experience a tropical water garden paradise. The turbulence of this spring’s weather is over and it’s time to simply enjoy the fruits of your labor. Lie back, close your eyes. Listen to the sounds and smell the exotic scents. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face and relax. NOW open your eyes to your own tropical paradise. Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-592-2143.

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Do Trees Have a Useful Life?

Larry Ryan

E

very time we have an ice storm, high winds or wet snow we have damaged trees, so we call professional arborists to do the cleanup. Cleaning up after storms sometimes involves removing trees completely, and the timing is usually not convenient. Removing trees or parts of trees due to environmental incidents has led me to conclude that trees have a ‘useful life.’ This does not mean homeowners should wait for trees to die or fail in storms. It does mean that different tree species have different useful lives; depending on the tree type and location, the useful life will vary. For instance, a large tree planted close to a home has a shorter useful life than the same tree planted in the middle of the yard. Species prone to fail will have short useful lives; likewise, trees that lose their attractive appearances as they age may wear out their welcome in our landscapes sooner than later. Let’s consider a Bradford pear as an example. While many homeowners love this tree, after about 10 years, it is very prone to blow apart in even moderate winds. Consider it to be a 10 to 15 year specimen. Once that time is up, either replace the tree or start reducing the crown of the tree by one third and repeat

the process every three or four years. If this idea seems radical, compare it to how you as homeowner treat the inside of your home. In 10 years, out goes the couch, the counter tops, etc. In 20 years the furnace needs replacing. In 25 years we put on a new roof. Some items you replace for appearance and others because they have worn out. Now consider the river birch. It is widely planted because it’s a striking young clump tree. Sadly, after about 15 years it loses its attractive appearance and becomes prone to fail in storms. For some people, it makes sense to remove the aging birch clump and replace it with a new, young clump. This will keep your landscape attractive and fresh looking. If you let the clump river birch live out its natural life, the branches get large and there is usually a weak stem that is prone to break in a storm. Finally, let’s look at the longlived pin oak. In many cities it was over planted, but it is still a durable, beautiful tree. At 30 years of age, it is often 60 plus feet tall with a diameter of 25 to 30 inches. This can be a nice shade tree for our urban landscape. As our neighborhood continues to age to 40 or 50 years old, this same tree might easily be 80 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 36 to 48 inches. This is a large tree, and if the tree is close to your home, it could cause major property damage if it failed. Doesn’t it make sense to give it a hazard rating because of its location? Could it also make sense for the homeowner to harvest the tree at between 30 and 50 years of age? Over the years, we have seen

The river birch becomes prone to fail in storms. a lot of large pin oak branches fail in ice storms and cause property damage. I started by mentioning that the useful age concept would depend on the tree location and type of tree. It should also depend on the wishes of the homeowner. It might seem frivolous to remove a tree that is perfectly healthy. It is only when we have lived through a few storms and seen first-hand damage

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from trees that we start looking at trees differently. I am not proposing to deforest our urban landscape. As a forester, I love trees and think most cities need many more trees than what they currently have. I’d like to see several trees planted for each tree removed. I am also not suggesting every large, beautiful specimen tree be removed just because it is big. Rather, rate the trees in your landscape and pick out those that are a bigger hazard for whatever reason. Meet with an arborist and get his or her ideas of the risk posed by the tree. Do you want to be surprised in the next ice storm when you can’t back out of your drive because your Bradford planted next to the drive failed is laying across the driveway? This may be preventable.

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Sunflower Artfest 2013 July 12-13-14 By Rose M. Burgweger

T

he Arts continue to grow in De Soto, Kansas! The De Soto Arts Council will once again host the annual Sunflower Artfest 2013. This year’s event will be held on July 12-13-14 at The Barn at Kill Creek Farm in rural De Soto. An unique weekend of fine arts festivities, live entertainment, local food vendors, outdoor children’s activities, and six varieties of Sunflowers that you can pick! This is a free event, with opportunities to support your local artists, and various community and school organizations. Amidst the fine art, you can “pick-your-own” Sunflowers for $1 a stem. There will be six varieties to choose from, with the traditional golden yellow, to lemon, orange and red varieties. All proceeds go toward De Soto Rotary’s PolioPlus

Project. These sunflowers inspired the beginning of the Sunflower Artfest, which began in 2010. There will be many professional artists booths and both seasoned and novice artists as part of the Sunflower Exhibit. Our “Plein Air” Event, where artists paint onsite, will take place from 8-11 am, Friday July 12. Both children and adults are invited to write a creative story or poem for the “Pen Air Event.” View Pendleton’s Farm’s “Sunflower Fairy House” to inspire you. This garden work of art is a dried gourd, painted and embellished creatively by Karen Pendleton. On Saturday morning the Johnson County Library will be on hand with giveaways and information about all their free resources available.

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This year’s Collector Poster is by Dick Stine, and is available for purchase at the Sunflower Artfest 2013, along with prior posters by Jim Walker (2010), Chun Wang (2011), and Michele Wade (2012). The collector Sunflower Posters sell for $20 each with proceeds funding De Soto Arts Council shows and events. Volunteers that help with the Sunflower Artfest will receive a complimentary poster (register on-line www.desotoartsks.org). The Pioneer 4H Club, will offer an educational “Farm Tour” while parents/grandparents enjoy viewing the Art Show. Kids will see livestock projects, feed chickens, look at the garden, do a craft, and enjoy a treat. (A donation is suggested). Adults are also welcome to take the farm tour. The De Soto Library will also have a display on Saturday morning. Live performances will take place throughout the event in the Sunflower Exhibit Tent. Entertainers include Friday: Ann Zimmerman, Anchovy Fisherman; Saturday: Larry and Rosie Inman, Kaw Prairie Worship Band, String Theory; Sunday: Rich Berry, De Soto High School Jazz Band and Drum Line (Please see our web site for performance times. www. desotoartsks.org) Enjoy a free sample of Grace’s Sunflower Cookies, which are produced locally in Parkville, Missouri. Other local vendors include

Max Atwell’s Freshly Squeezed Lemonade, Wanda’s Roadside Café, KC Jakes Sandwiches, and desserts from the DHS Band. A portion of sales from our vendors will go towards rebuilding The Barn at Kill Creek Farm. You may also make additional donations for The Barn at www.thebarnatkillcreekfarm.org Enjoy the Sunflower’s after our event, on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7 at the Fresh Promises Farmers Market. Continue to enjoy the art as De Soto’s Art Council develops an Arts Center in Western Johnson County for classes/workshops for students and adults of all ages. Classes will be taught by the many professional artists that reside in De Soto. An Art Gallery will also be part of the Arts Center, with monthly openings for the community and surrounding areas. For more information contact Rose Burgweger (rmbgraphics@ earthlink.net) or Diana Zwahlen (dianazwahlen@gmail.com). Our new website: www.desotoartsks. org will keep you informed of all of our events for the community and its surrounding areas. Rose Burgweger and her husband Bill, are avid gardeners. John Deere transplanted them from Moline, Illinois in 1999, where Rose discovered Kansas as her studio for her rural and inspirational cards and prints. www.rmbprints.com The Kansas City Gardener / July 2013


The Bird Brain

answers your backyard birding questions

Doc & Diane Gover

S

ummertime birdfeeding offers a unique set of circumstances for backyard birders. It is so wonderful to see young birds learn their way around the birdfeeders and birdbaths in your yard. If food and water are not offered this time of year you are really missing out on a fantastic show.

WATER Birds need water whether they are feeder visitors or not. Offering a dependable source of water is probably the most important step you can take to greatly increase the variety of birds in your yard. Water is needed for drinking as well as keeping feathers clean. Place a birdbath near shrubs or trees. The birds will feel safe and they’ll have a comfortable place to preen. Water is vitally important when it is extremely hot and a bird’s ability to regulate its body temperature becomes stressed. Birds do not sweat; they must remove excess body heat through their respiratory system. So when temperatures rise, a bird’s respiration rate increases, sometimes to the point that it can be seen panting like a dog. This activity dehydrates birds and increases

their need for a reliable source of water to replace lost fluids. Birds use water for more than just a thirst quencher; they also use it for bathing and preening their feathers. Clean feathers are important for birds’ health and optimum flying ability. Birdbaths with sloped sides permit visitors to move from shallow to deeper water and they will accommodate different sized birds to drink and bathe. If your birdbath does not have sloped sides or is deeper than 2 ?” to 3” place a rock or paver brick in the water to allow them to maneuver the water. Remember songbirds do not swim! To keep the birdbath clean, use a 50/50 blend of vinegar and water, scrub with a nylon bristled brush (never use a brush with metal bristles because if metal particles are ingested by the birds it would be deadly). Rinse the birdbath thoroughly and fill with fresh clean water. If algae growth is a problem, there are enzyme additives available that are perfectly safe for birds, wildlife, pets and plants. Open sources of water can create a potential mosquito problem. Just add a Water Wiggler, it is an agitator that creates ripples in the birdbath, announcing the water’s presence while preventing mosquitoes from laying eggs. Moving water is very attractive to birds. Birds will also use water misters or drippers. When located near foliage, misters and drippers provide birds with the opportunity to “leaf bathe”. Birds exhibiting this behav-

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Need a speaker for your church, civic group or garden club? The Johnson County Extension Speakers’ Bureau have the speakers you are looking for on just about any topic like environmentally safe lawn care, or perennial flower gardening. To schedule a speaker for your group, please contact the office. For more information on this service, call 913-715-7000.

ior will flutter against wet plants or leaves to release droplets onto their feathers. Watch the fun! SEED Keep in mind that seed is food (grain) product. Just as we take precautions with the food that we consume, bird food must also be stored properly. To keep seed fresh and to prevent seed moths, be sure

to store seed in the coolest location possible. A refrigerator or freezer is an excellent location. Never store seed in a hot garage or garden shed. Heat zaps the oil from the seed and also allows the seed moth eggs to hatch. (These are the same pantry moths that appear in flour and cereals.) So remember that if seed storage is a problem during the hot weather months, never purchase more seed than your birds will consume in 30 days. Offering fresh water and seed will add to your viewing pleasure. Have your binoculars and field guide handy – you never know who your next visitor will be. 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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Above: Black Chokeberries; Below: Blueberries.

Above: Raspberries; Below: Blackberries.

Below: Strawberries.

Above: Gooseberries; Below: Elderberries.

14

The Kansas City Gardener / July 2013


Irresistible Berries Leah Berg

S

trawberries usually peak in June in the Kansas City area, so it’s not surprising that many varieties say “June-bearing.” They evoke my childhood memories of strawberry shortcake made with thinly sliced pound cake and berries from our backyard raised beds. Last year I made two new raised beds and placed strawberries along one edge, influenced by that memory and the fantastic selections at the Heartland Harvest Garden. Visitors to this section of Powell Gardens focused on edibles get to sample all the berries and other seasonal produce at the “tasting stations” carts. Barb Fetchenheir demonstrates how to prepare and serve the harvest at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, and discusses varieties worth growing at home. Favorite mail-order sources for unusual and traditional berry plants at Powell Gardens include Stark Brothers, Nourse Farms, Indiana Berry, One Green World and Raintree Nursery. They provide some helpful growing information. With limited space, choose compact berry-producing shrubs or go vertical with containers of strawberries! Besides the June-bearing varieties, include “everbearing” strawberries producing a second crop late summer to fall, and smaller but sweet “alpine” strawberries for variety. Diversify home berry crops with some of the less common species showcased at Powell Gardens and those featured at the biennial Urban Grown Farm Tour sites the 3rd weekend in June. Read about inspiring private home gardens, community gardens and entrepreneurs supplying local restaurants and farmers markets on the www.cultivatekc.org website. July 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

I time a class field trip to coincide with sampling ripe serviceberries (or Juneberries, since they also peak by mid-June). Several varieties of Amelanchier sold by local garden centers are known for exceptional reddish-orange fall color as well as their tasty berries, easily mistaken for blueberries but easier to grow! Several friends and I grow the 3-5’ tall shrub Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’ but your space may suit the small tree form cultivars

blers, crisps, juice and berry-studded muffins may be adapted to use freshly picked berries. Experiment with berries in salsas, chutneys, compotes, and condiments. My friend Joyce described gooseberry pies made from berries gathered from the shrubs in her parents’ yard at least 25 years old and still thriving. Be sure to let the fruit fully ripen to minimize the tartness and need to drench with sugar! Popular in Europe, gooseberrries (Ribes hirtellum) are related to

Above: Juneberries, also known as serviceberry similar in size to small redbuds. Our Missouri native is A. arborea. Foraging for wild food is a hot topic among some of our region’s top chefs and bartenders keen on locally sourced produce, as well as individuals enthusiastic about their unique flavors and healthy qualities. Always ask permission for access to privately owned land. Developing “food forests” for your own family or agribusiness endeavor is a related trend, reinvented from our ancestor’s huntergatherer practices with some updating from permaculture and chic cuisine. Many people who grew up on fast food are learning to appreciate seasonal “slow food” grown at or near home and how to cook, freeze, can or dehydrate in local classes. Family recipes handed down for jams, jellies, preserves, pies, cob-

thornless American clove currants (Ribes odoratum) and other currants. Due to their thorns, choose sites carefully for ease of harvesting access but avoid placing them by sidewalks or where active children or pets play. In the Rubus genus, red raspberries are my absolute favorite, but a bit more challenging to grow in our heat than blackberries—we have thorny native blackberries and cultivars as well several thornless cultivars. Train on trellises or fences. Friendly rivalry between professional cocktail artists starring at local bars culminates annually at the “Paris of the Plains” competition in Kansas City. Creative use of berries and other plant materials flavor syrups and liqueurs for the most sophisticated tastes. Some of our grandparents made wine from native elderberries and

mulberries, and new generations have discovered wine-making as a hobby or small business. Flavor champagne, brandy, vinegar, tea or lemonade with berries. Others are exploring the health benefits of native berries like elderberries (Sambucus canadensis) higher in vitamin C than oranges, and black chokeberries (Aronia melanocarpa) are higher in antioxidants than blueberries. Health food stores market both elderberry and aronia juices. Most of these shrubs integrate well into our landscapes and please the eyes with beautiful spring flowers and attractive foliage. Remove outdated, overgrown burning bush and replace them with redorange fall foliage rivals Aronia, Amelanchier, and blueberries! Blueberries, cranberries and lignonberries (all in the Vaccinium genus) need organic-rich, welldraining and much more acid soil than our native shrubs. Prepare raised bed sites for these with peat amended soil and use the acidifying fertilizers typically applied to holly and azaleas. Solve a privacy screening problem with fast-growing elderberry shrubs! Fool someone with a Sambucus Black Lace® cultivar which might be mistaken for a Japanese maple at first glance. Of course, birds love berries and many of us plant these species to attract and help feed our feathered friends. Plant enough to share with them, too, and reserve some of the crop for people by laying bird netting over some of the shrubs. Check the extension office calendars, local garden centers, the Kansas City Community Gardens, Cultivate KC, and Powell Gardens for activities and information about berries throughout summer and fall. 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. 15


Easy-to-grow Butterfly Sanctuary

Erin Busenhart

T

he paint by number approach to container design seemed to be a big hit…there’s going to be a lot of great looking pots out there this summer! So, I decided to try the diagrams again this month with an easy and beautiful butterfly garden design. (See illustrations.) Butterfly populations are decreasing, due in part to a loss of natural habit. You can help the little winged guys out! A butterfly garden is a wonderful, and beautiful, addition to a garden and it’s easy to carve out a little space to plant some flowers and do your part to help.

All bloomers can attract butterflies, however to increase your odds of attracting these beautiful creatures, plant: • Pad-type flowers (a spot for the butterfly to land) • Host Plants • Nectar flowers • A large mix of flowers, especially those that bloom mid to late summer Growing their favorite plants is a great first step. Here are a few more tricks to bring in these beautiful fliers: Provide Shelter Butterflies want a sunny location, however site your garden in an area of the landscape that is blocked from strong winds. A Warming Stone Butterflies are dependent on their environment to stay warm. A flat stone in the sun can provide a good resting spot to dry off and warm up.

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A Saucer Provide access to fresh water. Be Environmentally Conscious Reduce your pesticide use. Pesticides kill butterflies. More butterfly plant choices Front of the Garden Short 6-12”: Ageratum • Alyssum • Marigold • Verbena Middle of the Garden Mid 12-24”: Asclepias • Coreopsis • Geranium • Fennel •

Heliotrope • Lantana • Nicotiana • Penta • Petunia • Salvia • Snapdragon • Penta Back of the Garden Tall 2’ and up: Agastache • Aster • Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) • Cleome • Cosmos • Echinacea • Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed) • Garden Phlox • Sunflower • Tithonia • Zinnia 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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Summer Happenings at Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located at 8909 West 179th Street, in Overland Park, Kansas. You may register for these events by going to www.opabg.org and follow the prompts. Bring your paid receipt for admission. There will be no refunds for missed classes. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604. Geo-Kids Tues., July 9 10 to 11:30 a.m. Hey Kids – are you ready for a treasure hunt at the Arboretum? This is a basic instruction class for children ages 7-12 on use of a compass, with a brief introduction to GPS devices and geo-caching. Includes short classroom session on how to orient a compass followed by a treasure hunt using compass and clues. $5.00 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Adult presence/participation is required. Pre-registration is required as class is limited to 15 children. Geocaching Tour Sat., July 13 10 to 11:30 a.m. $5.00 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Come learn about geocaching, a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with a

Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Welcome to the third wine tasting of 2013. Classic Cup will provide wine and snacks for this wine tasting. Registration is required. An additional wine tasting event from various wineries will be Sept. 19. New Volunteer Orientation Sat., August 17 9 to 11:30 a.m. Consider spending part of your leisure time volunteering at Overland Park’s 300-acre hand-held global positioning system (GPS device). The basic idea is to locate containers, called geocaches, hidden outdoors, by means of latitude and longitude coordinates. Geocaching is enjoyed by families and people from all age groups who have a strong sense of community and support for the environment. Wine Tasting on the Terrace Thurs., August 15 6 to 8 p.m. $25.00 per person PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of event.

Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This hidden jewel at 179th and Antioch is a great place for people to get back in touch with nature, admire the beauty of numerous flower and water gardens and become part of a wonderful volunteer experience. You can find out about volunteer opportunities such as gardening, greeters, prairie restoration, greenhouse operations, weddings, photography, birds, special events and plant sales. Free – only requirement is 30 hours per year of volunteer time.

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I

t’s pretty obvious from the name that the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens offers visitors gardens and trees. But for those who want to reconnect with their inner naturelover, the Arboretum’s trails are a secret that is getting out. According to enthusiastic Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA) member and volunteer Sonya Wright, “We’ve lived in Kansas City for eight years, and long before I had the opportunity to volunteer, I enjoyed visiting the Arboretum. “The gardens were the first draw, as I love flowers,” she says, “but then I discovered the walking trails, and I’ve spent many hours exploring the extensive wooded areas. The Arboretum is truly the hidden jewel of this area, and I’ve enjoyed watching it grow and develop!”

Photo by John Brehm.

Come for the Gardens, Stay for the Trails

Long-time volunteer Don Tetzlaff recently led a group on a tour of the Bluff Loop. Beyond the gardens—and the asphalt loop with its Chinese sculpture collection—there are several miles of wood chip paths. And, like the poet says, the woods are lovely, dark and deep.

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The Cottonwood Trail, with its majestic, eponymous trees, takes you past the bird blind, an excellent spot from which to view bird species you may never before have seen. Dedicated volunteers keep feeders filled all year, guaranteeing that this will be a wildly popular hangout for a variety of birds in every season. Cross the footbridge over Wolf Creek to the one-mile Bluff Loop, which follows the south side of the creek. Here you might notice the Leatherwood trees, from which the Train Garden’s new depot takes its name. Be prepared to be underwhelmed, however, as the Leatherwood is really a shrub, celebrated mostly for its extreme rarity. Take the one-mile Rocky Ridge Loop into a richly diverse wooded area, one of many areas in the

Arboretum where you will find masses of springtime ephemerals that go dormant and hide themselves from view in the other seasons. Watch the website for wildflower tours in spring, led by our native plant experts Lynda Ochs or Ken O’Dell. The West Trail is another onemile loop, following the north side of Wolf Creek and then circling back through a typical dryoak-hickory forest—one of eight different ecosystems within the Arboretum’s 300 acres. Aside from the absolute joy of getting away from the noise and pace of civilization, it is tempting to believe that all this beauty is the handiwork of Mother Nature alone. But be aware that staff and volunteers work very hard throughout the year to maintain the trails and remove invasive, non-native plants. All a visitor needs is a good pair of walking shoes and a spare hour or two. Trail maps are available in the Visitors Center, and there are directional signs along the way. The Arboretum is located about 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 on 179th Street in south Overland Park, Kansas, and is open until 7:30 p.m. this time of year. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for kids 6-12. Admission is free for FOTA members, and Tuesdays are free. For more information, for special events, or to join FOTA, go to www.opabg.org.

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Apply now for Extension Master Gardener program

I

f you have a passion for gardening and would like to share horticulture information with others, consider volunteering with the Johnson County Kansas Extension Master Gardeners. Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener (EMG) training program. The deadline for applications is July 15. Training begins September 17 and runs each Tuesday through November 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All classes will be conducted at the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive in Olathe. There is a $125 administration fee for those accepted into the class. Class members must be Johnson County residents. The EMG program, sponsored by Johnson County and Kansas State University Extension, is designed

to teach area gardeners about horticulture and give them the opportunity to share their knowledge through various gardening-related volunteer projects. Applicants who are selected for the EMG program will receive 54 hours of intensive horticulture-related training. In return, newly-trained recruits will be required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours of service during their first year after training, and at least 30 hours of service and 10 hours of advanced training each subsequent year in order to maintain EMG certification. On average, a typical Johnson County EMG donates more than 140 hours of service yearly. The K-State Research and Extension’s Master Gardener pilot program was launched first in Johnson County in 1980. In 2012, Extension Master Gardeners volunteered more than 47,800 total

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hours in garden related education programs in the Johnson County community. Members bring many different experience levels and interests to the program. If you are a novice gardener, do not let the title of

Extension Master Gardener intimidate you. Your love of gardening and passion for sharing your garden experience is the basis for success. If you are interested in applying for the program, or would like more information, please contact Johnson County Extension at (913) 715-7000 or visit www.johnson. ksu.edu and click on the Master Gardener link for details. Don’t live in Johnson County? Here is the good news. Every county in the metro area has an Extension Master Gardener program. All the counties on the Kansas side are now accepting applications. Just call your local Extension office for the details. Missouri side gardeners, check with your local MU Extension office as they are also beginning training in a few weeks. Come along and join the fun and learning of being an Extension Master Gardener volunteer.

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utside my window is a constantly moving and colorful avian dance. Hummingbirds are tenaciously defending their nectar sources and will do so until their departure in October. Goldfinches hang onto coneflowers as they extract the seeds they love so much. Bluebirds and Phoebes swoop down to capture various insects. As the days get shorter signaling the last hoorah of summer, a multitude of birds begin their long migrations

p o t s

southward. Our region is on a major flyway for many of these travelers who visit us for brief periods in the fall and again in the spring. Numerous other bird species are either year round residents or come to stay for the winter months. Recognizing basic needs such as food, water and shelter and providing those needs year round is important. Diversity of plants in your garden is the key to ensuring that a diversity of feathered friends will visit. Water gardens with small, shallow rivulets or waterfalls provide water and additional habitat for birds while also an exciting garden feature for the gardener. Most birds prefer natural habitat that favors their needs. The smorgasbord should include plants that provide seeds or berries and a habitat conducive to insects, a favorite food of many birds in the summer. Deadheading flowers is a common practice for many garden-

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Photos by Scott Woodbury.

Avian Adventures – for the Birds

ers, but prevents nutritious seeds from ripening. Avoid using insecticides (harmful to birds too!) and allow the birds to be part of your biological control program. After the first frost don’t be too quick to clean up. Pruning perennials to the ground not only removes both seed and cover for many birds, it can also cause crown damage or winter kill in many perennials. One of the most popular birds is the ruby-throated hummingbird. They arrive in April when the wild columbine (Aquilegia) and bluebells (Mertensia) are blooming in our woodlands. These quick-flying, diminutive gems that frequent our gardens are especially attracted to tubular-shaped red, orange and pink flowers that provide nectar. They dart about for nectar, returning again to the shelter of large shrubs and trees, so include some in your garden design. Provide favorite nectar sources such as blazing star (Liatris), beebalm (Monarda), Phlox and catchfly/pinks (Silene). Larger plants, for example, red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) and trumpet creeper (Campsis), are among other desirable nectar sources. Prairie and savanna plants appeal to a wide array of birds such as wrens, sparrows, cardinals, finches and indigo bunting. Blazing star (Liatris) is at the top of the list again, inviting numerous butterflies when in bloom and then birds that nibble at the seeds. Plant an assortment of flowers from the aster family, the most familiar being Aster, coneflowers (Echinacea), black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), goldenrods (Solidago) and sunflowers (Heliopsis/Helianthus).

Grasses add unique form and texture to the garden as well as an abundance of seed. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium), prairie dropseed (Sporobolis) and side oats grama (Bouteloua) are wonderful additions to garden designs. As autumn turns to winter, insect populations decline and many birds shift their diet to fruits, most commonly provided by shrubs and trees. Migrating birds such as orioles and tanagers search for high-fat fruits offered in fall by dogwoods (Cornus) and spicebush (Lindera). I love watching the large flocks of cedar waxwings visit our cedar trees (Juniperus) to eat the frosty blue berries. Hawthorn (Crataegus) and blackgum (Nyssa) are other welcome additions in any garden setting. To complete the garden design add some shrubs, most notably winterberry (Ilex), Viburnum and Sumac. You can find native plant and seed suppliers to purchase at www. grownative.org, the website of the Grow Native! native plant education and marketing program. There is also an extensive, searchable, native plant database at the site called the “Plant Picker.” Select “Wildlife Uses,” then “Birds” for a custom list of plants that attract birds. Incorporate any or all of these plants into a conventional sunny garden design or looser more natural design – either way you will notice an increase of avian visitors. Cindy Gilberg is a horticulturist, landscape designer, and a professional member of Grow Native!, a program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. The Kansas City Gardener / July 2013


July

garden calendar n LAWNS

• Mow bluegrass and tall fescue at 3 – 3 1/2 inches. • Mow zoysia on a regular basis at 1 1/2 inches. • Fertilize zoysia to encourage summer development. • Keep mower blades sharp; sharpen after every 10 hours of use. • Watch for development of summer diseases such as brown patch or summer patch. • Water deeply and less frequently for a drought hardy lawn, 1 – 1 1/2 inches per week. • Soil test tall fescue and bluegrass lawns in preparation for fall fertilization.

n TREES AND SHRUBS

• Water establishing plants during dry weather by soaking the soil every 7 – 10 days. • Mulch young plants to help conserve moisture and cool soil. • Continue to plant container grown plants only if willing to water frequently. • Remove suckers and water sprouts from trees. • Prune dead, diseased or hazardous trees.

n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Continue insect and disease spray programs through harvest on fruit trees. • Prop up branches of fruit trees that are loaded with fruit to prevent breakage. • Harvest fruit and vegetable crops on a regular basis for best quality. • Remove old fruiting canes from raspberries and blackberries to reduce disease. • Keep strawberries well watered, as they are shallow-rooted. • Monitor vegetables for insects and disease.

• Remove disease-infected plants from the garden. • Mulch soil to conserve moisture and control weed growth. • Eliminate weeds to reduce moisture loss and increase yields. • Fertilize for late season development. • Prepare for fall gardening by planting potatoes, cucumbers and beans. • Start transplants of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower for early August planting in the garden. • Harvest summer squash when small and tender for best flavor.

n FLOWERS

• Remove faded blossoms from annuals and perennials to prevent seed formation and increase flowering. • Remove foliage from spring flowering bulbs after it fades. • Lift spring flowering bulbs for dividing or transplanting. • Water on a regular basis and mulch to conserve moisture. • Lightly fertilize annuals to promote growth. • Fertilize roses on a regular basis for strong plants and improved flowering. • Pinch faded rose blossoms. • Continue rose spray program to reduce diseases and insect feeding. • Dig, divide and replant irises. • Stop pinching chrysanthemums for fall blooms.

n HOUSEPLANTS

• Keep an eye on houseplants that are summering outdoors; water and fertilize frequently. • Repot plants as needed to next size larger pot. • Wash dust from leaves to allow sunlight penetration. • Avoid low light levels on plants when pulling shades to keep summer sun out.

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 www.johnson.ksu.edu, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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Club Meetings African Violets of Greater Kansas City Tues, Jul 9, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Board meeting. Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Mon, Jul 15, 1-3pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO. Removing side buds to produce larger blossoms will be the meeting topic. We welcome anyone wanting to grow dahlias to attend. If additional information is needed please contact Randy Burfeind at 913-451-3488. Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Jul 1, meeting at 6pm, presentation at 6:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Our speaker is Mildred Meinke. Mildred will be speaking on Daylillies and Clematis. What are the best varieties and how to make them thrive in Kansas City. She is an avid Gardener! Her beautiful garden has been featured on many garden tours. Mildred is a member of the Mo Kan Daylily Society, Heartland Hosta and Shade Plant Society, Johnson County Rose Society, Heartland Peony Society, Gardener’s Connect and the Kansas City Garden Club. There will not be a charge, Guest are Welcome. Bring a friend, come join us and make a new gardening friend. Contact Vince Vogel for additional information at 816-313-8733 or www. greaterkcgoa@gmail.com Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Jul 10, 12pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. David Smith of Johnson County Community College will discuss “Culinary Herbs.” We welcome visitors. Please call 913-592-3546 for luncheon reservations. Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Jul 20, 9:30am-1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting.

Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Sep 14, Hospitality and Registration at 9:30am, Business and Program at 10am; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St (67th & Roe), Prairie Village, KS. Our speaker for the day will be Bob Olson, past President of the American Hosta Society and currently Editor of the Hosta Journal. Mr. Olson will be sharing his exciting experiences hunting hosta in the wild in their native Japan. The Club will furnish meat, drinks and table service for a potluck following the meeting. You may bring a dish to share. There will be door prizes and plants for sale. Guests are always welcome! Info: Call Gwen 816-2289308 or 816-213-0598. Independence Garden Club Mon, Jul 8, 6:30pm; at 7809 S Arnett, Grain Valley, Mo. Pam Mud will be our guide. For more information call 816-373-1169 or 816-796-4220. www.independencegardenclub.com Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Jul 11, 7pm; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. The first of two presentations about the History of Roses and Modern Rose Classification will be given. Laura Dickinson, ARS Consulting Rosarian and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener will tell us the fascinating story of how the first roses came to us from lands far away and how breeding helped to develop the varieties and characteristics we have come to appreciate in modern plants: disease resistance, winter hardiness, color, and fragrance. This will be followed by a program at the August meeting (details in next month’s edition) about the Classification of Modern Roses. The meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Members and guests can also take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarians Corner” for a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian about specific questions or concerns about all aspects of rose growing and care. For more information about the meetings, programs, or other activities of the Johnson County Rose Society, or for membership details, visit their webpage

The Kansas City Gardener / July 2013


at www.rsoesocietyjoco.org, or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook. com/JoCoRoses. Kansas City Cactus & Succulent Society Sun, Jul 21, 1:30-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. Kansas City Garden Club Sat, Jul 13, 12-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Show. Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Jul 22, 9am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Board meeting. Kansas City Rose Society Tues, Jul 23, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Board meeting. Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Jul 20, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Jul 16, 12:30pm; at the Bass Pro Shop, 12051 Bass Pro Dr, Olathe, KS. A program will be presented by Lynn Silvey from Hen House on Flower Arranging. Refreshments will be served. Public is welcome. Call Joan Shriver 913-782-7205 for more information. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Jul 8, 7pm; at Colonial Church at 71st and Mission, Prairie Village KS. Our program will be Jan Marie Hornack owner of Earth Right products. She will speak on the benefits of Earth Right & Mushroom Stuff vs Commercial Chemicals on the environment. Refreshments will be served. Visitors always welcome. Come Grow with Us. For additional information contact Judy Schuck 913-362-8480.

Events, Lectures & Classes July Seed Saver’s Exchange: How to Control Pollination in the Garden Sat, Jul 6, 10-11:30am; at Powell Gardens. The key to successful seed saving is maintaining varietal purity; this can be done using a number of different isolation methods such as: isolation by distance, time, or barrier. Learn from professional seedsavers of the Seed Savers Exchange.

Gardens’ admission applies. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at www. powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. Sunflower Artfest 2013 Jul 12-14, Fri 6-9pm, Sat 10am to 8pm; Sun noon-5pm; at The Barn at 9210 Kill Creek Road in De Soto, KS. (exit northeast corner of K-10 and Kill Creek Road). 7th Annual De Soto Fine Arts Show organized by the De Soto Arts Council, held along with the De Soto Rotary’s Sunflower PolioPlus Project. Three days of Fine Arts Festivities, Food and Live Entertainment, and Children’s activities. Enjoy the Artist Booths and Sunflower Art Exhibit among the many rows of Sunflowers that are available for you to pick and purchase (Sunflower proceeds to Rotary PolioPlus Project). For information: www.desotoartsks.org The Annual Garlic Event Sat, Jul 13, 8am-1pm; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150-B NW Colbern Road Lee’s Summit, MO. Free to the public event featuring recipes and samples made from our very own organically grown garlic. Come taste something new and learn how to get creative with this powerful ingredient! Astronomy: Crescents, Craters, Mountains, and Rings Sat, Jul 13, 8:30-10:30pm; at Powell Gardens. Early on this evening we will explore the waxing Moon’s “terminator” with our telescopes. See where Apollo 11 landed 44 years ago this month. We’ll also see Saturn’s magnificent rings, double stars and much more. $10/Adult, $6/Members, $6/child ages 5-12. Registration required by July 12. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. Fiesta Flower Show Sat, Jul 13, 1-3pm; at Belvoir Winery, 1325 Odd Fellows Rd, Liberty, MO. The Northland Garden Club will host a Fiesta Flower Show, judged by John Shackelford & Co., at Belvoir Winery. Belvoir Winery is located at 1325 Odd Fellows Road in Liberty, MO. Admission is free and open to all. The Fiesta Flower Show includes these don’t miss categories: Que pasa? (window box design), Bambino blooms (miniatures), Margaritaville, Hace color - designer’s choice, Mi Casa Su Casa with beautiful table top designs, Tequila Sunrise - featuring sunflowers along with specimen blooms and specimen leaves. We (continued on page 24)

July 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

July Rose Report

Charles Anctil

W

ere you able to do some spraying between the rains last month? I know the roses look great right now, but remember that black spot spores are getting ready to wake up. It is always easier to prevent diseases than to cure them. Good coverage is very important. Be sure to add Spreader Sticker to your spray material and rotate your fungicides using ones that are fresh and have not been frozen. The only insects I have seen so far (during the month of May) are aphids and two white worms (eating on the buds). Just be on the look out!

The winds were pretty nasty up here (St. Joseph, Mo.) this spring. Mostly broken canes. The potted roses at the store have never looked better. They have huge blooms on thick, strong canes, dark green leaves larger than normal, and the Floribundas and shrubs are loaded with buds. I measured the diameter on some of the H.T. blooms. Several were at 5” (Elle, Peace, Love & Peace, New Zealand, Bewitched, Dolly Parton – even the Floribunda Drop Dead Red had to show off!). Eleven blooms measured 4” on 10 plants. Do not know if this will happen again, but I am sure going to enjoy it! See you next month! Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. If you need help, call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-233-1223.

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Booms, Blooms & Summer Thrills at Powell Gardens

J

uly brings a blaze of color to Powell Gardens during one of the summer’s biggest festivals. Booms & Blooms is set for Wednesday, July 3, with daylilies near peak bloom in the Perennial Garden. Gardeners will find daylilies for sale throughout the day and an iris sale to support the Iris Society of Greater Kansas City from 1 to 5 p.m. Music starts at 4:30 p.m. with Luehrman, Shaffer & Check and continues at 7:30 p.m. when the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra takes the stage. As the music concludes, a dramatic fireworks display takes place over the Gardens’ 12-acre lake. Note: Rain date is Friday, July 5. Festival admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children ages 5-12 and includes parking and access to the trolley. For more details, visit www.powellgardens.org/Booms. Nature Connects: Sculptures Built with LEGO® Bricks Throughout July Special programming includes: The Paul Mesner Puppets, 11:30am, July 6: One of Kansas City’s most popular puppeteers returns to Powell Gardens to present “Anansi the Spider” under the cool shade of the Missouri Barn in the Heartland Harvest Garden. The show is included with regular Garden admission. Kids’ Club, 10-11am, July 13: Powell Gardens’ monthly Kids Club runs through October, and is specifically for children ages of 5-12. Each meeting features a guided tour and behindthe-scenes tours to give guests an up close look at the Gardens and all the things living in it. For the July meeting, members will create an ice cream social with handpicked berries and homemade ice cream. For more information go to www.powellgardens.org/ kidsclub. Dragonfly Day, 10am and 1pm, July 13: Get inspired by the LEGO® brick dragonfly and then learn more about the real thing from local expert Betsy Betros, who will present a slide 24

show about these fascinating insects. After the introductory show, participants will visit the pond in the Heartland Harvest Garden for a catch-and-release activity. At 1 p.m., staff will lead a hike on the short loop of the Byron Shutz Nature Trail for a dragonfly sighting expedition. All activities are included with regular Garden admission, but reservations are requested at powellgardens.org/dragonfly. LEGO Family Night, 6-9pm Friday, July 19: It’s an evening of LEGO® fun in the Gardens. Join Radio Disney for games and giveaways from 7 to 8 p.m. and all evening long enjoy a self-guided tour of the Nature Connects exhibit, a S’more stop, sidewalk chalk and LEGO® building fun! Order tickets at powellgardens.org/LEGONights. Web Weavers Discovery Station, 11am-2pm July 20-21: See what kids who like to build with LEGO® bricks have in common with spiders, who happen to be some of the busiest builders in the world. During this drop-in activity, participants will try to make a web and meet some of Powell Gardens’ eight-legged residents. The activity is included with regular Garden admission. July in Heartland Harvest Garden Fresh Bites Series: Come out to the Heartland Harvest Garden for demos covering upcycling and growing edibles. The sessions meet in the Missouri Barn and are great for visitors of all ages. Go to www.powellgardens.org for more information. Garden Chef Series: Sample delicious food created by local chefs and culinary experts at 2 p.m. Sundays in the Heartland Harvest Garden. Coming in July: * July 3 (6 p.m. as part of Booms & Blooms): Linda Duerr, Executive Chef at The River Club * July 7: Charles d’Ablaing, Executive Chef at The Raphael Hotel * July 21: Joe Spiegal, Sous Chef at The Elms Hotel and Spa * July 28: Ian Denney, Sous Chef at The Raphael Hotel

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

(continued from page 23)

will feature a live demonstration of flower arrangements and includes a raffle - you could take away a beautiful arrangement of your very own. For additional information, please check our website at: http://www. northlandgardenclub.com. To enter one or more categories listed above, please contact Marti at martiryncarz@msn.com or 816-429-6476. Supertufa™ Garden Trough Sat, Jul 14, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Using fast-drying Supertufa™, you will create a garden reminiscent of the ancient agricultural troughs of centuries past. Yours, however, will be completed in only a matter of hours! $49/person, $42/ Members. Registration required by Jul 8. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens. org/AdultClasses. Basketry: Convenient Carrier Sat, Jul 20, 10am-4pm; at Powell Gardens. This is a big basket with side handles and round-reed accents. Big, yet portable, the basket measures 15 inches long, 10 inches wide and 8 inches deep. $52/person, $45/ Members. Registration required by July 15. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens. org/AdultClasses. Basil, Basil, Basil! Sat, Jul 20, 10-11am; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150-B NW Colbern Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Evans Chigounis facilitates a workshop on one of our favorite herbs – Basil!  Learn how to grow, cultivate and cook this wonderful herb. Cost: $10.00 (Free to Gardens members) Call 816-769-0259 - leave a message to make a reservation. Watercolor: Birds and Butterflies Sat, Jul 20, 9:30am-3:30pm; at Powell Gardens. Learn techniques to paint birds and butterflies. Practice various effects including washes, dry brush, color over color, wet into wet, scraping, etc. All levels are welcome. A supply list will be mailed upon registration. $45/person, $39/ Members. Registration required by July 15. To register call Linda Burton

at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens. org/AdultClasses. Raw Sauerkraut Sat Jul 27, 10am-noon; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150-B NW Colbern Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Love Sauerkraut? It’s easy to make your own! Join Loran & Jane for their Raw Sauerkraut workshop. All attendees go home with recipes and a jar of their own kraut – ready for fermenting. Cost: $10.00 ($5 to Gardens members) Reservations Required. Call  816-769-0259  to get your name on the list.   Powell Gardens’ Annual Butterfly Count Sat, Jul 27, 9am-6pm; at Powell Gardens. Join us for the official North American Butterfly Association annual butterfly count.  At 11 a.m. there will be a catch and release for an upclose and personal look at butterflies in the Heartland Harvest Garden. At 1 p.m. there will be a 4-hour hike on the 3-mile nature trail to find butterflies restricted to the Garden’s natural habitats.  Garden admission plus $3/participant. Registration required by July 25. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. The Fall Garden: Cool Crops Are Sweeter in Fall Sat, Jul 27, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Mid-summer is the time to plan what to grow in the fall garden. Autumn in the Midwest can be  a very  productive season;  not only are all of summer’s bounty coming in, but the cooler weather means it’s time for broccoli, greens, and root-crops. $19/ person, $12/Members. Registration required by July 22. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses.

August Red Wriggler Composting Sat, Aug 10, 10am-noon; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150-B NW Colbern Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Consider a new type of composting...let red wriggler worms do the work! Stan Slaughter will bring his worms to the farm and put them to

The Kansas City Gardener / July 2013


work –eating through table scraps to produce a lovely, fertile compost. It’s an easy and compact option - even for apartment dwellers! Cost: $10.00 (Free to Gardens members) Call 816769-0259 – leave a message to make a reservation. Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society 36th Annual Show and Sale Aug 10-11; at Loose Park Garden Center, 52nd St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Aug 10, 9am-5pm, show room opens at noon. Aug 11, sale and show 11am-4pm. This Show of intriguing plants is open to the public. Take advantage of this event to either  supplement your present cactus/succulent collection or to further your interest in beginning one. Indoor plants and even some winter hardy varieties will be offered in the Sales Room. Plants will be furnished by commercial vendors as well as KCCSS members. Members will be present to answer questions and, if asked, give helpful growing tips. Free Admission. Call Eva for more information 816-444-9321.

Kensington Ave, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: “The Beanstalk Garden is for Grown Ups Too!” Ben Sharda, Executive Director, Kansas City Community Gardens, will lead a tour of the Beanstalk Garden which highlights plants grown locally as well as around the world. Adults will delight in seeing this children’s garden learning about new, common, strange and unusual edible plants. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816665-4456. Kombucha Sat, Aug 24, 10am-noon; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150-B NW Colbern Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. A funny name for a fantastic, healthy drink you can easily make yourself. Jane and Loran Van Benthusen will lead this class. **Starter Scoby available with reservation. Cost: $10.00 ($5 to Gardens members) Reservations Required. Please call 816-769-0259 to get your name on the list.

Gardeners’ Gathering Thurs, Aug 15, 6:30pm; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917

We want to help promote your gardening events!

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

785-843-7058; dgemg@sunflower.com; Mon-Fri, 1-4pm

GREATER KANSAS CITY MISSOURI AREA

816-833-8733 (TREE); Mon-Fri, 9am to 3pm

JOHNSON COUNTY, KS

913-715-7050; Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm; garden.help@jocogov.org

JOHNSON COUNTY, MO

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

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY

913-364-5700; Apr 15 thru Jul 1, Monday 10am-1pm, Thursday 1-4pm

MIAMI COUNTY

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

PLATTE COUNTY

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

WYANDOTTE COUNTY

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

July

Weather Repor t

Highs and Lows Avg temp 80° Avg high temp 89° Avg low temp 71° Highest recorded temp 111° Lowest recorded temp 51° Nbr of above 70° days 31

This is a FREE listing.

Clear or Cloudy

Send information to:

Rain and Snow

Avg nbr of clear days 13 Avg nbr of cloudy days 8

Avg snowfall 0

The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 Fax: (913) 648-4728 E-Mail: editorcavsgarden@kc.rr.com

Deadline for submissions to appear in the September issue is August 5.

Avg rainfall 3.7” Avg nbr of rainy days 9 Source: WeatherReports.com

From the Almanac Moon Phases New Moon: July 8 First Quarter: July 15

8, 9, 15-18, 21, 22

Plant Root Crops: 22, 25, 26

Control Plant Pests: 1, 5, 6, 28, 29

Full Moon: July 22

Transplant: 15-18

Last Quarter: July 29 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

July 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Plant Above Ground Crops:

Plant Flowers: 8, 9, 15-18

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Patrick’s Picks:

Best Garden Blogs for Summer Reading Patrick Muir

W

hat’s a gardener to do for inspiration in the high heat of summer on the prairie? Well of course there’s walking out the door to witness the bounty of the summer garden. But when it’s too hot for that, my prescription is to grab a Boulevard Wheat, open up your laptop and discover the world of garden blogs. Blog is short for web log or I like to think of it as an online journal a person shares with the world. I’ve been blogging for five years now, so I’d like to share with

you some of the best garden blogs I’ve discovered. The quality of the imagery and writing will astound you. Garden in a City gardeninacity.wordpress.com Chicago’s motto is Urbs Otto or Garden in a City and such is the name of one of the most infectious blogs you will find out there. Jason is the plantsman extraordinaire and his wife Judy manages the photography. With the relevance of an USDA Zone close to our own, you can rely on well written, meaty posts and it may soon become one of your favorites. Mr. Brown Thumb mrbrownthumb.blogspot.com Another guy documenting the victories and pitfalls of his Windy City garden posts under this most

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unassuming garden blogger name. Nearly 1,200 subscribers can’t be wrong about the quality of this blog. One of his fortes is showing you how to save seeds of over thirty different flowers and vegetables via detailed posts and videos. See the “Seed Saving” green tab in upper left corner of the screen. Hayefield hayfield.com Nancy Ondra is a prolific garden author and tills the earth on four full-sun acres outside Philadelphia. Witnessing the development of her garden through four seasons is like gradually getting a book of the highest quality writing and imagery in your inbox. Nan only posts twice a month including on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day where she shows what’s blooming in her garden on the 15th of each month. May Dreams Gardens maydreamsgardens.com Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is the brainchild of Indiana native Carol Michel, a Horticulture graduate of Purdue. As you uncover other blogs, there are 125 to date who participate in GBBD. The concept can become one of your favorite parts of the gardening blogosphere. Carol’s blog is well written, insightful and definitely worth your time. You Grow Girl yougrowgirl.com From the author of Grow Good Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces, yougrowgirl.com covers more than just vegetable gardening. Using some of the cheekiest language, this is a blog full of pure, inspiring fun. Reporting her journey from the hot roof of her apartment building and a strip of city land next to it, this urban

guerilla gardener has a lot to teach all of us. Garden Walk Garden Talk gardenwalkgardentalk.com One of the most prolific bloggers of the highest quality posts is Donna of GWGT with a whopping subscriber base of nearly 1,800 readers. Her enthusiasm, scope of knowledge and wit are unmatched among garden bloggers. On a link on the top bar, you will find the Niagara F a l l s Magazine that includes her Garden Bloggers Bloom Day submissions in glorious detail and much more. Patrick’s Garden patricksgarden.com This blog documents my experiences gardening at Trinity Nursing Home in Merriam and at my mother’s garden in Overland Park. Trinity highlights include a collection of windowboxes and a garden with over 70 daylilies hybridized by Johnson County Extension Master Gardener Jock Mitchell. You can also find past Patrick’s Picks columns. A rewarding element of blogging is leaving comments for the author to share compliments or ask questions. Look for the section of the blog that displays the number of existing comments at the top or bottom of the post. Click on that number or the headline at the top of each post to uncover the comment section. Garner extra insights from comments with responses from the author. Patrick J. Muir is a garden blogger who at patricksgarden.com provides area gardeners with the knowledge they need to succeed in their gardening efforts. The Kansas City Gardener / July 2013


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July 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Long-time friends and business partners, Andrew Marchael and Nick Swartz want you to be proud of your pond. Company: Royal Pond Services Owners: Andrew Marchael and Nick Swartz History: We are best friends who have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive for success. During college, we began offering our cleaning services as a springtime side job – we got to work outside in beautiful settings and help people be proud of the hard work that went into creating their ponds. When we both graduated from college, we decided to take a more professional approach. In 2008 we created Royal Pond Services in the hopes of making more people proud of their ponds and water features. Services: We are a small business (just the two of us) that specializes in water features. We are extremely hands-on with our clients. We prefer face-to-face interaction and are happy to give bids to people all over the Greater Kansas City Area. We offer cleaning and maintenance services, leak repairs, pump installs, plant potting and splitting, and water treatments. We also offer maintenance packages that include bi-weekly to monthly services and plant fertilization. Customer reviews: Our customers notice that we take pride in the services we offer and we love what we do. One customer was so happy with our cleaning, he told us it was “the best birthday present ever”. Customers understand that we go above and beyond to meet their expectations. Uniquely Royal: We truly love what we do. Our business has given us the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, and we have created some great relationships because of it. Although we specialize in cleaning water features, we also provide an assortment of other services. We take pride in our work and transforming ponds back into beautiful features for all to enjoy. Favorite water garden: We always enjoy Kansas City Water Garden Society’s yearly pond tour. Nick’s personal favorite is Wendy Hix’s (Hix and Son) water feature. Wendy has an assortment of beautiful koi that are easily seen from the deck. She has multiple waterfalls that provide a serene atmosphere. The water is crystal clear because of the state of the art filtration system she has installed. Andrew’s favorite is Jim and Gina Chappells’ water feature (OWNER of Chappells Restaurant). The Chappells’ pond is located in Gina’s beautiful garden and the atmosphere alone is enough to take your breath away. Little known secret: Andrew is a magician and Nick is an avid disc golfer. Contact: Visit our website at: Royalpondservices.com; Or email us at: royalpondservices@gmail.com; Phone: 816-560-0816 27


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The Kansas City Gardener / July 2013

KCG 07Jul13  

shrubs, berries, pets, plants, water gardens, blogs