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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

April 2014

Name-Dropping Roses

Call Before You Dig A Cut Above Cutflowers Sunbeams with Wings 2014 Perennial Plant of the Year

Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle... C

It’s Not Just Something You Have In Your Backyard, It’s About A Way Of Life! There Truly Is Something Magical In The Healing Waters Of A Water Garden Paradise.

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


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

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

First, we’ve been building and maintaining Water Gardens for over 20 years now. Over those 20 years our pond building techniques have been honed to perfection through years of hard work and fine tuning.

It’s where we specialize in backyard living and helping you do the same by creating beautiful water gardens in your backyard.

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

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

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

Learn how we use water to bring balance into our lives, our gardens and areas surrounding our home. Irrespective of the size of your backyard we can create that perfect balance with nature bringing you a lush and healthy water garden that both soothes and inspires you at the same time. There’s just something magical about the sound of water in nature. Calm sets in and nature takes over.


ake your plans today to visit Swan’s Water Gardens in 2014.

You’ll see water features you can build for as little as $895 for small patios or courtyards. We also have many more display gardens raninging in price from $2,500 up to $40,000 for more elaborate features built by Swan’s Water Gardens. For the DIYer, we provide you with everything you need for your Water Gardens. Pumps, liners, underlayment, filtration systems, hose, fish, aquatic plants, lilies, lotus and garden accessories. Come take a stroll in paradise with the pond professionals at Swan’s Water Gardens.

Not only will you marvel at the precision of the excavation of your pond but you’ll be amazed at how well your finished water garden actually blends into your existing landscape.

Watch for our new online store coming soon. New and improved products for your water garden needs delivered to your front door.

Once the excavation is complete the true artistry of the building process begins. It’s also where our secrets to building ponds that don’t leak are revealed. You can relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility your water garden provides without worry!

Swan’s Water Gardens Spring Hill, KS


Act Now ... Call Us Today And Start Living In Paradise


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

STUDY BEFORE THE TEST. 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.

TAKE THE TEST. 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.

MAKE A PLAN. 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.

raise the stakes

WITH RAISED GARDEN BEDS. 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. 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 onions, lettuce helps radishes and you help yourself. Bon appetit.



May vary, check online for your specific location



April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener



The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

The fever is upon us

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want —oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~ Mark Twain

Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Leah Berg Cindy Gilberg Diane & Doc Gover Lenora Larson Mike Moore Patrick Muir Dennis Patton Judy Pigue Phil Roudebush Ed Reese Rodney St. John Diane Swan Brenda Wrischnik 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

See our brand NEW web site:

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


here’s a riot in my head these days. What once was a quiet, low-key space has now become a chaotic mess of rowdy anticipation. The seasonal transition between winter and spring is unsettling, and has turn my thoughts from tranquil to turbulent. My attention towards gardening has become frenetic. Motivated by a few sunny spring days, my eagerness to be in the garden is uncontrollable. The review of tasks and goals this growing season race through my brain. The boxwood and holly need pruning. The liriope must be cut back. There’s fertilizing to be done. There are beds to clean, mulch to fill pathways, and that’s just the beginning. I haven’t begun to address new planting that needs to happen. The wish list grows exponentially. The more I think about the garden, the more I want to do in the garden. From expanding night lighting to adding a reflection bench,

my heady desires for improving our landscape have exceeded the budget. Isn’t that the way it goes? We have to remind ourselves that we have champagne taste with a beer budget. Such are the lives of Midwest gardeners with spring fever. Whether in our head, or in the garden center, the impulses to do more, have more, and want more ... like the Twain quote, “... it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” That’s my sentiment, exactly! In order to tame my frenzy, I’ve decided to take it slow. I’ve got to get control of myself. Let’s get organized first. Then develop an action plan. Otherwise my garden will resemble the chaotic mess in my head. And I’m sure the neighbors will wonder, “What hap-

pened to Mrs. Beth? Did she finally go crazy?” In a more deliberate effort, we have launched our brand new web site (www. We have created a resource that you’ll want in your garden toolbox. From timely articles and archived issues to up-to-date garden events and giveaways, the web site is an extension of this magazine. And if you need to find a professional for that outdoor project, KCGMAG.COM has a list for you. So check it out. Send us your feedback. We’d like to know what you think. In the meantime, I’ll be gathering my composure. Happy Spring. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue April 2014 • Vol. 19 No. 4 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 The Bird Brain ......................... 8 Pets & Plants ........................... 12 Rose Report ............................ 13 Lawn Tips ............................... 14 Powell Garden Events ............. 16 Grow Native Deer Resistant Native Plants .......................... 18 Lessons from Hoot Owl Hill ...... 19 Heirloom Tomatoes .................. 20 Name-Dropping Roses ............. 22

about the cover ...

A Cut Above Cutflowers .......... 24 The Silent Science Teacher ....... 26 Birdscaping ........................... 27 Perennial Plant of the Year ....... 28 Cacti and Succulents ............... 30 Sunbeams with Wings ............. 34 Garden Calendar .................... 37 Upcoming Events ..................... 38 Hotlines ................................. 41 Weather ................................. 41 Professional’s Corner ................ 43

This yellow beauty rose is ‘Julia Child’. Don’t you want one for your garden? See more roses starting on page 22.


20 The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

Prairie Village Earth Fair Over 50 exhibitors attend the Earth Fair, ranging from local farms selling plants to energy-efficiency experts offering advice for homeowners.


he 13th Annual Prairie Village Earth Fair is Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Shawnee Mission East Gymnasium, 75th and Mission Road. This celebration of the planet is brought to you by Shawnee Mission East High School and the Prairie Village Environmental and Recycling Committee and is open to the entire community – fun for all ages! The Earth Fair features the newest hybrid, electric, and environmentally-designed cars, MINDDRIVE with their ‘social-mediafueled’ car, 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 performances from StoneLion Puppets, Eco-Elvis, the Green Swing band, and student choir groups from Briarwood and Belinder elementary schools. Visit with owls and hawks up close and personal with Operation

Wildlife. Hold snakes, lizards, and other critters with the Shawnee Mission East Environmental Education program. Over 50 exhibitors attend the Earth Fair, ranging from local farms selling plants to energyefficiency experts offering advice for homeowners. Peruse some of Kansas City’s finest environmental products from vendors such as Greenability Magazine, Ten Thousand Villages, and Stone’s Throw Greenhouse. Learn from leading regional experts from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, MidAmerica Regional Council, and KS-State Master Gardeners, among many others. Lunch and snacks will be available for purchase from three different food trucks: CoffeeCakeKC, Prairie Fire Oven, and El Tenedor KC. Revolve Community Bike Shops will collect bicycles for all age and in any condition for reuse

in the community. Bicycle accessories (tires, tubes, tools) are also welcomed. They will also have a volunteer mechanic on hand to perform safety checks/adjustments on your bikes and provide safety tips as well. So bring your bikes! And RecycleWorks will accept your electronic waste, and documents for shredding. Surcharges will apply for LCD & CRT

monitors. What better time to clean out your home and garage for spring! The Earth Fair is free and open to the public. But bring money to shop for great products. For more information, visit, check out the Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @ PVEarthFair.

Pair the vibrant bloom color of reblooming Nantucket Blue™ with the compact, evergreen foliage of Baby Gem and double blooms of Blueberry Smoothie™ for endless interest in your garden. Ask for these Great New Plants™ from your local garden center, or contact Garden Debut® at (877) 663-5053 or Nantucket Blue™ Hydrangea

Garden Center Open Daily a great garden begins with locally grown plants edibles • roses • trees • perennials • shrubs

Baby Gem Boxwood PP21159 Blueberry Smoothie™ Althea PPAF

mulch • topsoil • compost • grass seed • fertilizer Spring Open House - April 12

FREE children’s activities, spring flowering plants including annuals, refreshments, Belgard’s mobile showroom

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Fill a Container - April 26, 9am-Noon Bring in a container and get creative!


Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton SWEET POTATO PLANT TUBER Question: Just for fun I saved a couple of the large fleshy potatoes that developed under my ornamental sweet potato plant. Now that I have them, how do I get them to grow for this year? Answer: Congratulations on your ability to over winter the tuber of the sweet potato. That is not always an easy feat. Sweet potatoes love warm weather and will not thrive under cool conditions, especially cool soils. In commercial sweet potato slip production they

will plant the over wintered tubers out in the late spring, oftentimes in sandy soil and on raised beds. These conditions warm up rapidly which results in more growth and shoots being developed. What is planted is referred to as a slip or unrooted or partially rooted shoot. I think you have two options with your tuber. One is to directly plant the tuber into your container in mid-May, slightly covering the top and let the sprouting and growth begin. The other option would be get a container and fill with sand, planting the tuber in the sand. Then set the container into a sunny location and let the plants sprout. In this method you will develop a number of slips to use in containers or give to friends. Sweet potatoes root easily so when the shoots develop simply remove the

Straight From Our Farm Stop by our Farm Direct Store this spring. We will have special low every day pricing on select plants grown at our farms. locally grown • hand picked • extraordinary selection


100 years

parent tuber and replant. They will wilt down for a few days until roots develop but then will take off for another season. EMG GARDEN TOUR Question: Is this the year for the Johnson County Extension Master Gardener Garden Tour? Answer: Thanks for asking and the answer is yes! We are excited to feature six dynamic gardens May 16 and 17. All the gardens are located in Johnson County, four in Overland Park and two in Olathe. Tickets are now available through the Extension office by mail, or we now have online ticket sales to make it easier than ever to get tickets. Tickets are $12 per person prior to May 1, and $15 May 1 and after. You can get a sneak peek at the tour gardens by visiting johnson.ksu. edu and following the link to the tour. Hope to see on the tour! GROWING STRAWBERRIES Question: Can I grow strawberries in a raised bed? I have heard they will not survive the winter. Answer: Strawberries can be grown in a raised bed and normally do not have an issue with winter survival. The issue with winter survival is more related to soil mass. I am sure you have heard of the so-called strawberry jar or planter. The barrel shaped container that has cut out holes. This is a terrible strawberry planter and they will

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I LOVE MY DOG, BUT… Question: I love my dog, but after the more stressful and drier summers that last couple of years my lawn now have paths. You can see several tracks as he exits the back door and runs to do what dogs do. Do you have any suggestions on how to repair the lawn?


of serving Kansas City

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not survive in these conditions. But the typical raised bed planter, 6 inches to a foot high should be just fine. Remember though that strawberries are a high water use plant. They have a very shallow root system and will need moisture over winter so they do not dry out. Also with this shallow root issue, it is also recommended to mulch the planting with straw after Thanksgiving to reduce the freeze and thaw effect which can push the tender crowns out of the soil and cause winter injury.

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Answer: I can fully sympathize with you as I have the same issues. The problem with dogs is a double whammy. It is the combination of soil compaction and excess traffic that causes the grass to die. The main problem though is the beating the soil takes with the footprints and compaction. Compaction occurs whether the dog is 10 pounds or 100 pounds. Of course the bigger the dog the issue is compounded. The bottom line is there is no way to prevent the traffic pattern unless you can train your dog to always take a different route into the backyard to spread out the compaction and wear. I don’t think this will be happening. So you’ll probably just have to live with the problem. The other concern is not so much about the quality of grass but the muddy mess that is tracked into the home. Here again I don’t have a great answer. You can try to mulch these paths to reduce the mud but the traffic will just kick the mulch out and you are back to mud. This is what I have personally decided. I am not going to worry about having the perfect lawn. It is part of the price I pay for being a pet owner. And sometime in the future our beloved dog will not be part of the family. Then I envision myself staring out the backyard with the runs covered with grass just wishing the paths were back so I had more time with him. CRAPE MYRTLE SPRING CARE Question: I am not for sure what to do with my crape myrtle. It has developed into a small tree

and now with the cold winter temperatures I am afraid it will be killed back. How do I know what to do this spring? Answer: We did have some of the coldest temperatures this past winter in a long time. Crape myrtles, a southern plant, were enjoying our milder winters. As a result they have not been dying back to the ground. My best recommendation is just be patient and wait. Crape myrtles tend to leaf out later in the season. Where the new growth emerges will provide the direction you will need to take in spring pruning. If the plant survived the winter expect growth up the tall tree-like limbs, but if it was too cold all the growth should emerge from the base. Once it is leafed out you will know where to make the cut. If it does winterkill to the ground the good news is you will see flowers this summer as it blooms on new wood. We have been lucky to have these plants develop into larger shrubs but they are just as beautiful smaller in the garden. ROSE ROSETTE DISEASE Question: I am losing roses to the dreaded rose rosette disease. I know there is no treatment to prevent the viral disease transmitted by a mite but are there any cultural controls that might help? Answer: Rose rosette and its spread in Kansas City has certainly been noticed and depressing for such a great plant now that we have so many hardy, resistant varieties to black spot and other issues. Then

along comes rose rosette which is a game-changer for many. While you are correct that there are no chemical controls here are a few tips to help combat this issue. The mite finds its way to your plant either on the current of the wind or by crawling from one plant to the next. The tip here is to increase the spacing between your roses so the foliage does not touch making movement harder. Traditionally we have planted beds or gardens with roses only. Another tip would be to isolate your roses throughout the garden. This separation and random planting may also help. Now for the good news, researchers are learning more about this relatively new problem. They have found that the virus does not

transmit through pruning equipment or sap with the roots as first thought. That means if you lose a rose to rosette you can replant almost immediately back into the same location but you will be assuming the same random risk. Roses deserve a place in the landscape but unfortunately need to be replaced more often. But ask this question, what other plant flowers from May through Thanksgiving and I think you will find for their bloom power they are still a keeper. 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.

Let us maintain your landscape.




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Bed Prep Made Easy

Sunday, April 13 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Lenexa Community/Senior Center Live Auction, plus $5 table Open to the Public

Orchid Society of Greater KC 7

The Bird Brain

A Welcome Mat for the Birds

Doc & Diane Gover


pril is the true beginning of spring migration and it is an amazing time in the natural world. If watched closely, everyday occurrences still create a sense of wonder. It’s time to say hello to all of the new visitors to your yard. Watch for Rubythroated Hummingbirds, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Indigo and Painted Buntings, tanagers, warblers, thrashers, grosbeaks, native sparrows and more as they stop

for a much-deserved rest on their northward movement. This is a crucial time to fill feeders with fresh seed and bird baths with fresh water. Mother Nature’s food supplies have been depleted over the winter and nectar producing flowers are not yet available. Place hummingbird and oriole feeders out on April 15th (the “FUN” part of tax day). Orioles also like grape jelly and orange halves along with the fresh nectar mix. Feeding calcium enriched bird food and offering crushed egg shells promote viable egg production and strong bones for chicks. It will help females replenish calcium loss during egg production. Simply rinse eggshells and microwave them for about one minute or so, cool and then crush. Heating the

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Place the hummingbird and oriole feeders out on April 15th. shells will kill any bacteria. Add crushed egg shells to bird food or simply offer them in a tray. Watch for increased evening feeder activity by female birds during their nesting time if you are offering egg shells and calcium-supplemented foods. A calcium-deficient adult bird may utilize the calcium from its bones, leading to brittle bones and it can even result in fewer eggs being laid. Remember these birds have been traveling long distances; some to the same areas where they have nested in previous years – some will be refurbishing their old nests and some will build new ones. Offer nesting materials in your yard, it is fun to see those materials incorporated into their nests. Have the welcome mat out for these weary migrants, as some may

decide to call your yard home. With just a little effort, you may enjoy a summer full of nesting birds, baby birds at feeders and bird baths and an all-around great show. Your yard will be alive with movement and song. Never take the “amazing” parts of nature for granted. There is always wonderment right in your own backyard if you only take the time to watch. If you have questions about any of your visitors or the foods to offer them, 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, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.


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Landscape Designers and Contractors The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

More Months. More Nutrition. Osmocote® Smart-Release® Plant Food Outdoor & Indoor. It feeds 50% longer and contains more than three times the number of nutrients as our previous formula. It’s classic Osmocote® with more! Isn’t it time you put it to work in your garden?

© 2014, All rights reserved. April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

where gardeners go to grow.


Instant Inspiration: Take Home a Bit of Powell Gardens


owell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is known for its Midwestern beauty. Beginning this spring, area gardeners will find a simple way to replicate a piece of this paradise in their own backyards. InstaGarden – a new collection of packaged plant combinations designed for homeowners and inspired by Powell Gardens – will be available exclusively at Kansas City area Price Chopper stores. Loma Vista Nursery, a wholesale grower based in Ottawa, Kansas, collaborated with Powell Gardens’ horticulture staff to create the collection, which is designed with entry-level gardeners in mind. Three combinations in the InstaGarden line will be introduced at area Price Chopper stores this spring just in time for Mother’s Day. Powell Gardens’ Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen, who

has received national awards for the plant selections in his design of the Island Garden, created the planting plans for the three combinations. InstaGarden makes it easy for home gardeners to select pleasing combinations proven to grow well in the Kansas City area. The combinations will be drought tolerant once established, are pest resistant and support the region’s ecology. Each themed combination includes trays of 10 plants, designed to fill a 3- to 4- by 5to 6-foot space, a longer linear space or for use in large containers. Multiple trays can be planted side by side or repeated to fill larger spaces. Combinations to be released for 2014 include: • Butterflies for Beginners: Contains three Lollipop Verbena, four Curly Parsley and three

Spring Plant Sale Thursday, April 24—noon to 5 pm Friday, April 25—8 am to 5 pm Prairie Plants • Perennials Woodland Wildflowers • Hosta Miniature Hosta • Butterfly Plants Annuals • Grasses • Herbs Shrubs & Trees All plants pot grown and ready to plant

Tropical Milkweed plants. Including these three easy-to-grow annuals in a garden border or planting them together in a container provides nectar and host plants

for caterpillars. The Verbena and Tropical Milkweed bloom nonstop from late spring to freeze; attracting a wide range of butterflies. Tropical Milkweed also is a host to Monarch caterpillars. Curly Parsley creates a beautiful low edging to these two upright plants and is a preferred caterpillar host of the Black Swallowtail. • Butterfly Haven: Includes two Purple Coneflowers, two ‘Walker’s Low’ Catmints, two Joe Pye-Weed, two Prairie Blazingstars (Liatris) and two Orange Coneflowers (Rudbeckia) to create a colorful haven for butterflies that reflects the natural beauty of the Midwest. • Rock Garden Rhythms: Includes three Angelina Sedum,

one Vera Jameson Sedum, two Donkeytails, two Wild Thing Autumn Sage and two Catmint plants. Inspired by North America’s longest “living” wall that winds through Powell Gardens’ Island Garden, this plant combination will work well as a linear garden to edge a driveway or walkway. “We know people who have never tried gardening can find it intimidating,” Branhagen said. “And many visitors tell us they wish they could reproduce some of our landscape design ideas on a smaller scale. Now it will be easy for gardeners of every level to dig in and plant a piece of Powell Gardens at home.” Gardening with help from the experts. Branhagen said the plants he selected mirror the design philosophy used at Powell Gardens, where durability, sustainability and providing a healthy habitat for both plants and wildlife rank high in importance. Purchasers of the InstaGarden line can visit Powell Gardens in person for more gardening inspiration. Each purchase comes with a buy-one, get-one-free admission to Powell Gardens that’s good through June 30, 2014. For more information about the plants of Powell Gardens, visit

Make plans to attend our

Annual Peony Festival in May and tour the fields of 10,000 plants. Bring your family and camera!

140 varieties of peonies

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Pets and Plants – Oleander be aware of the potential hazard

By Phil Roudebush


leander is the common name for several plants belonging to the dogbane family. The name for this group of plants is Apocynaceae, derived from the Greek words apo, away and cyno, dog. So the Latin name for dogbane literally means “dog away”, which suggests that this plant has been known to be toxic to dogs and other animals for a long time. The oleander tree (Nerium oleander) and yellow oleander (Thevitia peruviana, T. nerifolia) are commonly implicated in plant poisonings. Dogs, sheep, goats, cattle, camelids, monkeys, mice, horses and human beings have all been reported to suffer from oleander toxicosis. All parts of the oleander plant are considered toxic but dogs and other animals usually ingest dry leaves that have fallen on the ground. In dogs, ingestion of as

All parts of the oleander plant are considered toxic but dogs and other animals usually ingest dry leaves that have fallen on the ground. few as 10 to 12 leaves can be fatal. The toxic compound oleandrin is in a group of compounds called cardenolides, which include cardiac glycosides such as the drug digitalis. Oleandrin poisoning can cause both gastrointestinal and cardiac


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effects. The gastrointestinal effects consist of nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. After these first signs, the heart may be affected by abnormal rhythms, which is often fatal. Both plant and animal species appear to use cardenolides as defense mechanisms, most notably monarch butterflies. Adult monarch butterflies accumulate these compounds as larvae feeding on milkweeds. The toxic cardenolide content in the butterflies may deter vertebrate predators. Other cardiotoxic plants containing cardiac glycosides or grayanotoxins are found in nature, landscaping, house plants and flo-

ral arrangements. All these plants are potentially dangerous to dogs and other animals – they include Asclepias species (some milkweeds), Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley), Digitalis purpurea (foxglove), Rhododendron species (rhododendron, azalea, rosebay), Kalmia species (laurel), Pieris species (Japanese pieris, mountain pieris), Leucothoe species (black laurel), Kalanchoe species and Ornithogalum arabicum (Starof-Bethlehem). One side note – people may become ill (hallucinogenic and laxative effects) from eating honey made by bees feeding on some types of rhododendron and azalea flowers, since the toxins are found in the pollen and nectar. Plants with cardiotoxic compounds are ubiquitous in the garden and nature. Gardeners should be aware of the potential hazard from these plants for both animals and people. 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

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Rose Report

spring clean up, spray, and feed

Charles Anctil


know that the snow was a problem! However, it was on the ground before the cold got to us. There is no better mulch than snow to protect roses. I will never forget one vacation my wife and I took. We stopped at several rose nurseries north of Niagara Falls. Pallek Rose Nursery, the most beautiful roses I had ever laid my eyes on. They had five acres, no bugs, no diseases, and no yellow leaves. No mulching for winter. This nursery was located 38 miles north of Niagara Falls. When it snows up there, it stays all winter. Spray for prevention You should be almost finished with spring clean up, and now starting a spray program for disease prevention. Remember, it’s easier to prevent than to cure. Downy mildew is becoming more of a problem every year. Downy mildew occurs anytime

when temperatures are low (60°70°F) and moisture is high (85% humidity). Disease can appear almost overnight and a severe outbreak can take off before steps are taken to prevent. Mancozeb still has downy mildew on the label and should be available. Aliette and Compass O are available, but hard to find. Black spot – spores of this fungus are spread to immature leaves by splashing rain or irrigation water. Spores germination and infection takes place only when water remains of the leaves for periods of 6 hours or longer, and typical leaf spots develop within 5-10 days. Again, Mancozeb as well as Daconil (chlo-rothalonil), Banner Maxx, and Copper are readily available. Add spreader – sticker to your chemicals, spray the underneath part of the leaf and the ground as well. When it comes to sprayers, I use the tank type. Gilmour 1 or 2 gallon sizes are great. When I spray for bugs, I use a 48 oz. pump size because I only spray when I see the bugs. Years ago I learned that the more you spray for bugs

the more problems you will have. I only spray after the bees have gone home for the day. There is no cure for Witches Broom so keep your eyes peeled for strange and distorted leaves and blooms which can show up at any time. The canes have dark maroon color with stickers so thick you really need gloves to hold them. Your best cure is to dig the plants up and replace with new soil and new plants. Feeding I still use the same materials to feed my roses. I use 2 cups of either Milorganite or Bradfield, and then I till these in with my Little Mantis.

Two weeks later they get 1 oz. Mushroom Stuff, 1 oz. Earthright, and 1 oz. Fish. None of these products will burn. Before I feed, I clean the beds. It is easier to work with the Mantis Roto Tiller. After feeding I can remulch with new mulch if needed. The rest of the year I will liquid feed only. I will be honest with you, this year my roses will get as much care as the temperatures this summer will let me! Works for me – it might work for you. 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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Spring-Early Summer Lawn Tips By Rodney St. John If you have seeded, Water-It! If you seeded spots or the whole yard this spring, make sure you keep irrigating it. The grass seed may have germinated and probably is starting to look good, but remember it has a very short root system. That short root system is going to prevent the grass plant from reaching deep into the soil to get water. Typically healthy, mature, cool season lawns like tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass should be irrigated with an inch of water every 6-8 days in early April and every 4-5 days by late May. So spring seeded grass needs to be irrigated more frequently. No matter how mature it looks, spring seeded grass is going to need a little more tender loving care, especially with watering. Get ready to raise the mowing height. As we get into June, the temperatures and intensity of the sunlight

lems. So now, before it gets hot and dry, is the time to check or have your system inspected for any malfunctioning parts, improper application rates, or heads spraying in the wrong directions.

will increase. Raise the height of your mower up by 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. This simple action will allow the grass plant to have more leaf area to conduct photosynthesis, and will create more shade for the soil. The increased shade will help keep the soil cool and reduce overheating and root system death. The extra

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shading will also help reduce the ability of weed seeds to germinate. Typically, tall fescue lawns or tall fescue/Kentucky bluegrass mixed lawns should be mowed around 2.5-3” in the spring and 3-3.5” in the summer. Straight Kentucky bluegrass should be mowed at 2.0” in the spring and 2.5” in the summer. You do not need to raise the height of warm season grasses like buffalo, zoysia, or Bermudagrass in the summer like you do cool season grasses. Zoysia and Bermuda should be mowed at 1-2 inches. Buffalograss should be mowed at 2-3 inches. Double check your irrigation system. The spring rains can usually hide any irrigation system prob-

Follow the 1/3 rule of mowing. The 1/3 rule states that you should never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf tissue any time you mow. In other words, if you are maintaining zoysia grass at 2” high don’t let it grow more than 3” before you mow it. This has two important implications. Your mowing frequency will change throughout the year. The faster the grass is growing, like in the spring, the more often you will need to mow. (Likewise you will probably mow less often in the summer.) Secondly, shorter mowed lawns will need to be mowed more often than higher cut lawns. In other words, a 1” Bermudagrass lawns will need to be mowed more often than 2” lawns. Following the 1/3 rule is important to the health and condition of the grass plant and it creates small clippings that can be easily dispersed across the lawn, rather than bagged and collected. Dr. Rodney St. John is an agronomist at Ryan Lawn & Tree. He can be reached at 913-381-1505 or at

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Grassland Heritage Foundation to host Native Plant Sale

he Grassland Heritage Foundation is excited to host our Native Plant Sale at the Lawrence Earth Day Celebration on Saturday April 19th, 2014. GHF plant experts will be on hand to assist buyers in choosing from over 20 kinds of plants and native wildflowers that will be available to purchase. These native plants are proven survivors and great additions to home landscapes. The native plants that will be offered such as Butterfly Milkweed, Prairie Dropseed, and Cardinal Flower not only add a unique beauty to the landscape, but they are a crucial component to local ecosystems. The introduction of foreign plant species into the landscape as well as the destruction of habitat has led to a number of challenges, including a decline in pollinators and other insects, both crucial elements in keeping an ecosystem in balance. Pollinators, for example, are central to food production – one out of every three bites of food we eat was created with the help of a pollinator. By finding ways to incorporate native plants and wildflowers into local landscapes, private and public, we can help increase and sustain healthy pollinator levels. Native wildflowers and grasses are also beautiful and easy to grow. These plants evolved and thrived for thousands of years right here without any help from people (some probably just below our feet). That means that most are easy to grow, use less water, and require very

little maintenance. With any luck, native plant gardeners will spend less time tending their flower gardens and more time enjoying the wildlife that lives in them. Interested community members are encouraged to stop by the Grassland Heritage booth (information below) to learn more about the native species offered and how they can be incorporated into gardening and landscaping efforts. This will be one of the few times this year that such a large selection of native plants will be available locally. Prices will vary from $3 to $4 dollars each. GHF Members can pre-order plants for pick up at the event! All 2013 and 2014 GHF members can place their plant order ahead of time and pay and pick up at the sale. Members can also choose from a much larger plant list (about 120 species!) than those available at the event. Contact GHF for details. Non-members can join online at The Grassland Heritage Foundation is dedicated to tallgrass prairie preservation and education about our prairie heritage. For more information about GHF, prairie preservation, and the GHF Native Plant Sale, go to www. or contact us at or 785-840-8104. Grassland Heritage Foundation Native Plant Sale, Saturday, April 19, 2014, 11:30 am – 4:00 pm, South Park, 1141 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS.

Pushing the Limits With Cacti and Succulents in Cold Climates Leo Chance, Colorado Springs

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Reception 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Presentation Loose Park Garden Center 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO Leo Chance has lived in Colorado Springs most of his life. In 1978 he became interested in cacti and other succulents and has since dedicated over thirty years to studying the ability of these plants not only to tolerate, but to thrive in colder growing conditions. CACTI & SUCCULENTS FOR COLD CLIMATES Leo’s book on this subject was begun in 2006 and has been published by Timber Press. Copies of the book, along with a selection of hardy succulent plants, will be available for sale before the presentation on May 6.

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April Blooms with Color

as Powell Gardens welcomes Shakespeare, Earth Day & the Easter Bunny


owell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is THE place to experience spring this April as the Gardens bloom with color and special events. Unless otherwise noted, all activities are included in regular Garden admission. A Burst of Color Nothing says spring like traditional flowering bulbs, and a mass planting last fall will yield waves of color this spring in the Terrace Gardens surrounding the Visitor Center. More than 8,000 hyacinths, tulips and Narcissus will create vibrant blocks of color in the Terrace Garden while new plantings of Quamash, a bulb species known for its blue spikes of pale to rich blue flowers will adorn the rain garden along the Dogwood Walk.

Romeo & Juliet to Go, April 12 Join the Friends of Powell Gardens for a taste of Shakespeare among the spring beauty when the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival presents Romeo & Juliet to Go at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12. The performance takes place outside, weather permitting. Bring blankets and a lawn chair. Breakfast with the Easter Bunny & Easter Egg Hunt, April 19 Don’t miss this chance to visit with the Easter Bunny over pancakes and then join the Easter Egg Hunt on Powell Gardens’ rolling lawns. Breakfast seatings are available at 8:45, 9:30 and 10 a.m. Prices include participation in the egg hunt, which begins promptly at 11 a.m. Additional activities such as painting flower pots and face

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New plantings of traditional Dutch bulbs add an extra splash of color at Powell Gardens this spring. painting are available for a small fee. To make reservations and see full details, visit Earth Day Celebration, April 19 Want to make the world a better place? Visit Powell Gardens on April 19 to get all kinds of great ideas for small changes or projects you can do that are kind to Mother Earth. Visit the workshop space in the Missouri Barn to explore a gallery of repurposing projects that will have you dumpster diving

and diverting reusable items from the trash! You’ll find projects using everything from bottle caps to magazines to maps. Demonstrations planned for the day include how to make a Mason bee hive and more. Visitors also can learn about Powell Gardens’ Legacy Tree program and take home a free tree seedling (while supplies last). April is a perfect month for tree planting and the trees propagated through the Legacy Tree program are proven performers for the Kansas City area. Special performances especially for kids include storytelling with Ms. Fizzle of the Magic School Bus from 11:30 a.m. to noon and a performance by Eco Elvis from noon to 12:30 p.m. Orchid Weekend, April 26-27 Members of the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City will be on site from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day to share their enthusiasm and knowledge of these exotic beauties. Explore the orchids accenting the creative beauty of The “Living” Room exhibit and then visit with society members to get tips for growing your own.

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Cindy Gilberg


fter a long, cold winter we anxiously await the arrival of spring and all the glory of our flowering native plants. With spring comes the excitement of being able to be outside in warm weather and garden again. However, the excitement of spring soon wears off when we realize that our native deer population is out there, equally excited that our landscapes and gardens are filled with a smorgasbord of wonderful, edible plants. Many people garden with native plants to enhance habitat, so at first it seems contrary to want a native landscape and, at the same time, to discourage deer. However, it is possible to have a great native plant landscape and

not be in constant conflict with deer by using deer-resistant plants and understanding deer behavior. Deer are an adaptable species and we are destined to share the same territory. We often replace the original habitat with one that is a buffet of delectable, well-watered and fertilized plants. Achieve a more peaceful coexistence with deer by replacing these with a high percentage of native plants that, once established, don’t require irrigation or fertilizer and are unappealing to deer. Have some deer repellant on hand, just in case. Deer will nibble on otherwise resistant plants that are freshly planted, young and watered—the deer-resistant qualities of a plant often don’t show up until the plants are established. Deer rely, in part, on their sense of smell to find food and to determine if the area is safe. Include native plants that have strongly scented leaves, such as the licorice-scented leaves of anise hyssop (Agastache), or the minty scented leaves of bee balm (Monarda) and

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Deer Resistant Native Plants

Wild Ginger with Oak Sedge mountain mint (Pycnanthemum). Many repellants work in this way by masking a plant’s scent. Other plants are unappealing because of their foliar texture—they have leaves that are hairy, spiny, coarse or thick. This includes plants such as rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia), and lead plant (Amorpha canescens). Some other deer-resistant plants are simply distasteful or that have multiple characteristics that deer don’t like. This list includes American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and species of Coreopsis, Iris, Salvia and Viburnum. For those with shade gardens, note that native ferns are deerresistant. Try also ground covers such as golden groundsel (Senecio obovatus), wild ginger (Asarum canadense), crested Iris, and short sedges (Carex albicans, C. eburnea). Taller plants for shade that are deer resistant include columbine, wild Geranium, goat’s beard (Aruncus), and cardinal flower (Lobelia). Fragrant sumac, American beautyberry and spice bush (Lindera) are attractive shrubs that can be included in the design. Sunny sites have great plant choices as well, with low-growing plants such as grasses, sedges, Veronica and Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa) that can be combined with taller plants. False indigo (Baptisia), goldenrods (Solidago), yarrow (Achillea) and Salvia are among those. Drought-resistant coneflowers, such as Rudbeckia missouriensis and Echinacea pallida have proven to be deer resistant too, due

Senecio with Carex albicans

Oenothera macropcarpa with sporobolis heterolepis to their narrow and hairy leaves. An attractive shrub to include is winterberry (Ilex verticillata), one that produces bright red berries in winter that feed many overwintering birds. Protect freshly transplanted and pampered plants the first year with some deer repellant since it often takes a year for them to be deer resistant. Also protect young trees from damage with a tree/trunk guard—bucks will rub the fuzz off their antlers on young tree trunks, usually killing the tree. Put all this together to create an attractive landscape that can co-exist with your local deer population by making it unpleasant for them to eat anything in your landscape. They will move on to “greener pastures” since they prefer easy and tasty browsing. 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 / April 2014

Lessons from Hoot Owl Hill By Brenda Wrischnik


oving from a shade-filled, old house, small-town environment to a wide open 14-acre, sun-drenched hilltop was a dream come true for this Miami County gardener; well, kind of. As much as I longed for years to have a sunny spot for my veggies, herbs, and pollinator plants, I was not prepared to deal with the scorching winds, clay soil and brutal, direct sunlight; not to mention the hordes of various pests waiting to suck the life out of my innocent seedlings! I decided that I needed to do three things right away: 1. Start a compost pile to improve the clay soil 2. Create some windbreaks 3. Compartmentalize planting to prevent feeling overwhelmed Knowing that compost creation takes time, that task became priority number one. I was a “bag lady” of sorts, haunting my old neighborhood for those luscious, musty piles of leaves waiting to be converted to loamy gold. Every time I refreshed the chicken coop with new shavings and straw bedding, I added the manure-filled mix that I had just cleaned out of the coop to the top of the pile; all the time turning and turning. It needed some green, so back to the old neighborhood I would go, this time for grass clippings from the lawns that had not

April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

been treated with chemicals. Sometimes if I needed a compost ‘quick-start’, I would layer all of these materials on the raised beds, as if making lasagna, adding activator sprinkles and water, always beginning with wet newspapers to keep down the weeds. My kind neighbor, who has horses and cattle, thought I was crazy when I begged him to gift me his manure piles to mix in. He also owns a tree-trimming operation and has donated countless piles of wood chips for mulch, for which I will be eternally grateful, as mulching helps to inhibit moisture loss on our windy hill. After percolating over a winter and spring, my compost pile was established and had produced enough rich loam to add to my raised beds and flower beds all around. My reputation for being a scrounger for composting materials has spread and I no longer have to beg for these materials; folks now call to let me know the product is ready for pickup!

As the compost was percolating, my husband and I got to work trying to tackle the whirling dervishes decimating the landscape. We had some berms created to alter the strong flow of the wind. In addition we planted lots of grasses in what we call, “the tunnels.” Those areas seemed to be the spots where the most snow banked up in the wintertime. I just love our native Red Cedars, as they are good for creating wind breaks, so we planted 25 of those on the north property line. Our two vineyards, one planted with Frontenac Gris and one with Concord, not only beautify the landscape with interesting structure but also serve to create a wind block of sorts that slows down powerful gusts. We have placed our two antique sheepherder wagons in strategic

places to protect our bird feeding stations and tender perennials. My challenge when designing landscaping was this: how do I create a quiet, cozy environment when it feels like I’m standing in the middle of a football field? Immediately this answer came to mind in the form of a question: “How do you eat an elephant?” So, “one bite at a time”, I designed areas that would feel like rooms here and there, to break up the vastness. Garden art, well-placed rock groupings, sheltered sitting areas, and framed patios all helped to tame the space. After the areas were scoped out, plant selection became a much easier task; I didn’t feel like I had to plant up the whole football field, just a small piece of it! My approach was to pretend as if I was decorating the rooms inside my house. It worked! So if you find yourself with a wide-open space to fill, take some lessons from Hoot Owl Hill. Make some rich compost, create some windbreaks, and let the smaller “rooms” that you create dictate which plants will best “decorate” your space. Brenda and Steve Wrischnik own and operate Hoot Owl Hill, a Vineyard Bed and Breakfast and Glamping site in rural Paola, Kansas.


Heirloom Tomatoes

By Marie Bremerkamp


t seems everyone is interested in heirloom tomatoes these days. It’s not a wonder since they are best known for their sweet, rich, delicious, old-fashioned tomato taste. These tomatoes are usually grown in the home garden or purchased at a farmers’ market. Heirloom Tomatoes are classified into four categories: * Commercial Heirloom: varieties that are more than 40 years old and have been passed between commercial growers. * Family Heirloom: seeds have been saved and passed down from one generation to the next. * Created Heirloom: this tomato has been deliberately crossed with either another heirloom or a hybrid tomato in order to stabilize desired characteristics. * Mystery Heirloom: this crosspollinated or mutated variety happens in the garden. This method

popular, tasty summer goodness has produced most of the heirloom varieties known today. Heirloom tomatoes since the 1990’s have become a popular plant to grow for the home gardener. Prior to the 1990’s these plants were named for the family who shared seeds or what region of what country they came from. Some of these plants still retain those names; but some of the newer plants have been given names by commercial breeders. Some of the most fascinating names come with interesting histories. The person or community who developed the plant served as the source of its name: such as The Cherokee Purple – named after the Indian nation; or Black Krim which originated in the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine. Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter was grown and sold by a man who repaired radiators, but decided to grow tomatoes and thus was able to develop a new

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plant, and from the plant sales paid off the mortgage. Heirloom tomatoes come in many colors, shapes, sizes and flavors. Heirloom seed catalogs list the color of these plants – such as green, orange, pink, purple, red, white, yellow and striped. Each color brings a different flavor profile. Under each color of plant is listed the variety of fruit that the plants will produce. For examples: beefsteak type, grape, cherry, plum or paste. Over the last decade heirloom tomato developers have bred new extreme exotic tomato varieties. These new varieties have been developed from the older popular heirlooms, but through genetics and mutations, new improved plants have developed. Heirloom tomatoes require the same growing conditions as the traditional round red fruit tomatoes. Plant when the soil temperature reaches 60+ degrees F (mid-May in the Kansas City area). Tomato fruit grows best between a temperature range of 60 to 90 degrees F – above

90 or below 60 will slow growth, pollination and maturation. Soil pH should be neutral 6.5 to 7.0 (soil testing is helpful before planting). Prior to planting, add a complete garden fertilizer to the soil, using low nitrogen, high phosphorous and medium to high potassium (8-32-16). A tomato fruit is 95% water and will require much water to grow and develop. Overwatering will cause cracking in the fruit and frequent watering will cause a week root system. Plants should receive 1 to 2 inches per week, by rainfall or supplemental watering. The heirloom plant on average should produce a fruit weighing 7.1 ounces, and will produce an average of 13.5 pounds per plant. Average time to maturing fruit is around 86 days. The down side to planting heirlooms is that it is not disease resistant. If the soil becomes infected the plants will not grow. Grafting a non-resistant heirloom tomato to a disease resistant root stock will solve this problem. The rootstock will grow and will not pass the disease to the heirloom. The Master Gardeners will be offering for sale some of the heirloom tomatoes along with traditional tomato plants at the Annual Plant Sale on May 10 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., or until sold out at Bass Pro Shops at the corner of MO-291 and I-70 in Independence, Mo. Come early to get the best! Marie Bremerkamp, member of Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City.

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April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

7503 N. Oak Tfwy 816/994.2171 39th & Noland 816/994.2658

135th & Nieman 913/742.8804 95th & Nall 913/825.2658


Julia Child™

above Heritage™, below Popcorn Drift®

Photo courtesy of Powell Gardens.

Hot Cocoa™

below Coral Drift®

‘Frau Dagmar Hartopp’

below ‘Distant Drum’ Photo courtesy of Powell Gardens.

Photo courtesy of Powell Gardens.

above Moonstone™, below Carefree Sunshine™

above Home Run®

below ‘Zephirine Drouhin’


Photo courtesy of Powell Gardens.

Photo courtesy of Powell Gardens.

below Oso Easy® Paprika

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

Carefree Wonder™

Name-Dropping Roses Leah Berg


pril means facing hard choices while visiting the local garden centers who offer the best selections of roses. I grow a dozen different roses at home and am always considering what to recommend for others. Ongoing conversations with colleagues help narrow the final choices, with notes from annual garden tours to see what grows well in private yards as well as those displayed in public gardens. Those featured in photos here are just some of many deserving consideration. They may not all be found locally, especially the later you wait to shop. Less common varieties tend to sell out fast to those interested in something besides brands dominating supermarket-type retailers. Local growers placed orders in 2013 from out-of-state rose wholesalers to receive bare-root shipments this February. They pot and tend them, carefully timed to break dormancy and emerge from greenhouses when we may start planting here. Individuals interested in mail-ordering must consider waiting until next year as it’s unsafe to ship during warm weather. Ask ten different gardeners “What roses grow well here?” and expect to hear as many as ten difApril 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

ferent answers. But when I hear certain named varieties mentioned by at least three of the local people I trust, I add these to my list of top choices … some newer, some older. New roses may be named in honor of notable people, like Coretta Scott King. This new 2014 introduction featured on the Weeks Roses catalog cover caught my eye. Described as a “creamy white blushing coral-orange grandiflora,” I also noticed the “parentage” of this hybrid. I’ve admired chocolately-orange floribunda Hot Cocoa™ previously, which the hybridizer crossed with hybrid tea rose Moonstone™ whose large white flower petal edges are tinged with pink. Few white selections seem successful in our region, but Moonstone™ won Queen of the Show award for Glenn and Carolyn Hodges at the Kansas City Rose Society’s annual show in 2012. (Find records of past results and other information on the website Visit the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Gardens collections in Loose Park, carefully labeled and maintained by horticulturist Judy Penner and trained volunteers. American Rose Society consulting rosarians like Glenn Hodges and Laura Dickinson advise the public about rose selection, planting and care techniques. I greatly value their expertise! Glenn was the guest speaker when I attended the Johnson County Rose Society March meeting (events and resources at

Laura is also the K-State Extension Johnson County Master Gardener coordinator and horticulture assistant. She discussed several trademarked rose series performing well at home and on the extension office grounds, including compact Drift® roses and Oso Easy® roses rated for superior performance plus disease resistance and lower-maintenance qualities. Several top performers recommended by Laura and other colleagues include Oso Easy® Paprika (with 5 other colors in the series) and Coral Drift® (one of seven colors resulting from crosses between miniature and ground cover roses, with newer Popcorn Drift® to check out soon). Look for over 50 named roses itemized on maps available at the office (11811 S. Sunset Drive in Olathe, and online under the Garden Gallery listed under the Lawn and Garden section at www. Outstanding yellow shrub roses include Julia Child™ and Carefree Sunshine™ (a favorite at Powell Gardens). Home Run® seems a stronger red to my eye than many others listed as red. I still have classic red hybrid tea ‘Mister Lincoln’ plus ‘Red Ribbons ™ groundcover rose. Fans of pink should also consider somewhat less disease resistant but nearly thornless antique climber ‘Zephirine Drouhin.’ My very fragrant Heritage™ David Austin shrub rose resembles peony flowers. Rugosa ‘Frau Dagmar Hartopp’ also produces beautiful red rose hips in fall.

Introduced in 1977, pink Carefree Beauty™ stands out on the list designated Earth-Kind® roses tested for success with no pesticide applications and minimal care under harsh conditions. While some roses are RESISTANT but not INVULNERABLE to problems, all still require SOME maintenance. Renowned Dr. Griffith Buck at Iowa State University developed winter hardy and high-performing but easy care roses 1947 to 1985, long before the current demand evolved. In my yard, I love his apricot ‘Winter Sunset’ and ‘Distant Drums’ reminds me of certain iris in shades of lavender/rose aging to nearly peach. My friend Bob Mclaughlin was discouraged after removing several Knock Out® roses ruined by rose rosette disease. I convinced him to attend Judy Penner’s helpful rose maintenance classes last year and try again with ‘Distant Drums.’ Bob says it bloomed constantly in their entry courtyard where visitors often remarked about its spectacular colors and aroma. Judging rose fragrance is a personal choice similar to reactions to the “bouquet” of a certain wine, tea, coffee, or perfume. Some choices are definitely worth a little extra expense or effort to take care of these long-blooming stars of our landscapes. Leah Berg is a landscape designer with a conservation emphasis. She also teaches at MCC-Longview. To consult privately, contact her at 816-353-7170. 23

Prettiest Baskets Around! Annuals • Perennials • Garden Décor Vegetable Starts • Herbs • Seed • Trees Shrubs • Statuary • Mulch

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800 E. Walnut (Hwy 58), Raymore, MO 64083


Hours: Mon. through Sat. 9am-6pm • Sun. 10am-3pm

Photo by Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.


here’s nothing like the reward of dedicating rows in the vegetable garden or at the back of a flowerbed for the cultivation of cutflowers. Beautifying your home with distinctive blooms can set a calm and reflective mood for you and your charmed guests. And the satisfaction of saving the significant dollars that designer stems can set you back, only adds to rewards of growing your own material of the freshest possible quality. I’ve been a fan of the Kansas City florist Bergamot & Ivy since its establishment in 1993. Owner and Principal Designer Brian Morley is

proud to offer designs influenced by his deep love of gardening and knowledge of horticulture. Morley says, “The Single Mexican Tuberose, Polianthes tuberosa is a highly fragrant flower that is often thought of as an exotic import, but the tuberose thrives in the Midwest’s heat and sunshine!” The tubers grow to 12” sporting flower stalks up to 36” that appear in late summer months through frost. Tubers must be lifted and stored in a frost-free place for the winter. As with all cutflowers, Morley recommends cutting in the early morning to extend their life in the vase. While some might think of dahlias as just old-fashioned flowers, Morley says they are making quite a comeback. From the 1 1/2” pom pons to the big, bold dinnerplates to the engaging, spikey-petaled cactus type, there is a style or color for any taste. Morley says, “A very popular


‘Akita’ Dahlia

‘Cafe au Lait’ Dahlia

variety is a beautiful creamy beige with a pink glow named ‘Cafe au Lait’ that I like to use in my wedding work.” One of his other favorite varieties is ‘Akita’ which is a cactus-style in a deep burgundy red with a gold reverse to each petal that he describes as stunning. Morley says, “Be sure to cut the blooms in the morning, after a good evening soaking, so the stems will be full of water. Some people sear the cut stems, or place the freshly cut stems in an inch of boiling water to extend the vase life, but I

don’t find this necessary.” Winter treatment is similar to tuberoses. Morley and I both highly recommend Swan Island Dahlias as the best source for an extensive range of varieties. The next selection from Morley is surprising because it’s not recognized as an excellent cutflower. Lycoris sqamigera, are also known as Naked Ladies because the bare pink stems and flowers appear and bloom before the strappy foliage appears. These plants are treated like long lasting perennials. Morley

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Ready-To-Mow Mobile Maintenance Reynolds Lawn & Leisure 12902 Shawnee Mission Pkwy Shawnee, KS 66216

913-268-4288 24

‘Moulin Rouge’ Sunflower Photos by White Flower Farm.

Patrick Muir

Photo by Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Patrick’s Picks: A Cut Above Cutflowers

No need to load up your mower ... we’ll come to you!


Ask for it by name at independent Kansas City area lawn & garden retailers


The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

says, “Cut these beauties in bud, right before the first bloom opens for long lasting, exotic looking cut flowers, often with fragrance.” I learned the art of growing and showing flowers by shadowing my grandparents in their flower gardens on their farm on the edge of the Australian Outback. The most important early lesson was the technique known as disbudding where the all the side flower buds of a stem are removed so all the energy goes into the main bud creating the biggest possible bloom. There are many excellent selections of yellow sunflowers that do our State proud. But year in and year out, I always planted a few rows of the pollenless ‘Moulin Rouge’ Sunflower for its deep burgundy petals surrounding an ebony center. There simply is not a more dramatic cutflower in my book and the 3-4” blooms allow you to enthrall friends with something they’ve never seen before. Recommended by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, ‘Benary’s Giant’ Zinnias are legendary amongst generations of gardeners for their 4-6”, fully double, dahlia-like blooms on long, sturdy stems. Go to Johnny’s Seeds, my favorite seed source, for 16 individual colors including the provocative ‘Benary’s Giant Lime’ Zinnia. I have a soft spot for ‘Pampas Plume’ Celosia as I won a major award for annuals at the Jackson County Fall Rose and Flower Show many years ago. Masses of soft, feathery plumes in scarlet, orange, yellow, pink and cream produce 10-14 stems on bold 33-48” plants. Makes a fantastic filler, or as pictured here, can put on a show all amongst itself. The beauty of a field of cosmos was immortalized on film in the opening scenes of The Color Purple as the two young girls played pat-acake, pat-a-cake amongst waves of lavender flowers. For many years the ‘Sensation Mix’ Cosmos have delighted gardeners with armloads of lavender, pink, magenta and white flowers. If you ever doubted the adage “the more you pick, the more you get”, cosmos will make you a believer!

Kansas City Garden Club Spring Luncheon and Plant Sale The public is invited to enjoy two excellent garden programs, a plant sale and a delicious home cooked meal May 5, Monday, at the annual Kansas City Garden Club Spring Luncheon. Location is the Congregational Church, 7039 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, Kan. Find interesting plants including annuals, perennials, shrubs, house plants and more at the plant sale beginning at 9 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., Crystal Broadus, Kansas City Zoo Horticulturalist, will present “What’s New at the Zoo.” – the Zoo’s horticultural, environmental and conservation programs. Lunch will be served at noon. At 1 p.m. Gregory Banken, Gregory’s Fine Floral, will wow you with his creative floral designs including tablescapes put together with herbs and fresh cut flowers; a wreath made with small live potted plants and more. Contact, Cathy Moore, 913-381-6325 with questions. Tickets are $15, check payable to the Kansas City Garden Club can be sent to Cathy at 9804 Pembroke Ln., Leawood, Kan. 66206. Ticket deadline is April 21.

Friends of the Arboretum

Plant Sale

Preview Sale & Reception for FOTA Members Only Thursday evening, May 1, from 4 to 7 pm

Join Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA) at any time during the sale and receive 10% member discount.

Open to the Public Friday and Saturday, May 2 & 3, 9 am to 5 pm

JoCo Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. There is no admission fee to attend the plant sale.

This 16th Annual Spring Plant Sale features annuals, perennials, certified organic herbs & veggies, native plants, a huge variety of hostas, hanging baskets & planters—great Mother’s Day gifts!

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 on 179th Street • 913-685-3604 •

Read about five additional selections listed on Patrick Muir’s blog at where you can also subscribe. April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener


Water Gardens

More Then Relaxing and Tranquil The ‘Silent’ Science Teacher

Diane Swan


hen you have a water garden, you find that the ever-changing sights and sounds beckon you to spend time outside. You relax and unwind as you watch fish swimming, birds chirping and bathing in the stream while listening to sounds of your waterfalls and babbling brook. Through the seasons you watch your plants green up in the spring, flourish with blooms and lush greenery during the summer and slowly disappear again in the winter. All the time you and your family spend around the pond watching, listening and working, have you considered all that you are learning? It might seem like fun, but are you aware of what your water garden is teaching you about science? Biology is the study of life, and your pond ecosystem demonstrates various life cycles.

Frogs and toads lay eggs in the spring after loudly ‘croaking’ for several weeks. The eggs can be found in the pond as strings for the toads and clusters for the frogs. They hatch as tadpoles that turn into pollywogs with back legs and finally baby frogs and toads are jumping everywhere. Dragonflies dart to and fro around the pond. They skim the surface of the water laying their eggs as they go. The eggs hatch into bugs, nymphs, that live in the water up to two years before emerging, shedding their ‘shells’ and finding flight as new dragonflies. Fish lay eggs amongst the plants in clusters. You seldom see the eggs but eventually you will see real tiny fish darting around the plants. Sometimes fish start out almost black and you can watch them change colors as they grow. You even learn about microorganism with beneficial bacteria. You can’t see the actual bacteria grow and colonizing in the pond, but you can see the results of its life cycle in the form of crystal clear water and minimal algae growth. Aspects of botany are learned from your plants. You see the differences between landscape plants

and water plants. There are varied growing conditions among floating plants, oxygenators (submerged plants), marginals that need a little water (shallow water) and lilies that want more water but always have leaf pads reaching and laying on the surface. You come to understand that many aquatic plants have a need for light and photosynthesis (to convert light energy, normally from the sun, into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel) and learn which plants like shade. Ichthyology, a branch of zoology, is the study of fish. As you watch your fish swimming, you unconsciously watch the ‘breathing’ of fish through their gills. You learn their hibernation habits during the winter, and the basic characteristics of types of fish, their feeding

habits and movement through the water. You will also find that you are also learning some geology. Rocks inside and out of the pond are visible. Over time you will find out which are more solid, such as granite, and others that break up over time, such as limestone. Colors, shapes and sizes of the rocks are intriguing. How many times do you find yourself looking for unique rocks or even fossils imprinted in the rocks? Who knew learning science could be so sneaky and so much fun! 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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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

Birdscaping gardening to attract birds By Ed Reese


hat is birdscaping? It’s gardening for the birds! No pun intended. Birdscaping is the planning and working on projects that will move a landscape toward a more natural environment and one that will entice birds into that space. The best part of birdscaping is that you can plan and work on projects that will cover the basic needs of birds, year round. Spring time is a great time to start too. Before going further, let’s review bird basics. Birds require cover, food, a nesting area and water. There are also two types of birds enjoyed in this area, migratory birds, and the ones that stay year around. Hummingbirds and Orioles are good examples of migratory birds usually arriving in mid-March and staying till mid-September. The other type is the ones that stay year around. Examples of those are; Cardinals, House and Goldfinches, Chickadees, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers. Birds that are here all year primarily do so to keep their “stake” on territory. Planting perennials, shrubs, and trees to provide cover and food will certainly be a plus for birds watching over their space. While it might be difficult to find plants that will bring all the

birds you might want to have on your landscape, there are native plants that provide favored foods for certain birds. Plants can also be categorized by the time of year they flower, fruit, and seed. Plant fruiting time typically takes place during three periods, late spring to mid-summer, late summer into fall, and winter into early spring. Plants providing fruit or seed through the winter are essential, since most other food sources are usually exhausted. On the question of non-native plants, care needs to be taken because birds will vector non-native seed to other areas, especially when those non-natives

may be invasive. Russian olive, and Japanese Honeysuckle to name two, are species that you might want to avoid. Non-native species like Firethorn aren’t invasive, and provide an attractive fruit not typically found by area birds There’s a plethora of native plants/shrubs that provide a source of food for the three time periods. Here are a few that cover the respective fruiting periods. Oregon Grape Holly, and Northcountry Blueberry fruit in mid-summer. Blackhaw Viburnum and Shubert Chokeberry fruit in late summer. Flowering Crab, and Northern Bayberry produce fruit in the fall, and usually retain the fruit through winter. What about those mentioned migratory birds? Goldflame Honeysuckle is a great draw for hummingbirds. Serviceberries are

great for Orioles and make a fine addition to other plants providing fruit during mid to late-summer. In considering your Birdscape, you’ll need to first decide whether you’ll implement a plan that trends toward a complete natural look or one that works well with a full manicured look. This might well depend on exactly how much space is available. Visit with your local garden center professional for plant selection assistance. Thanks to Family Tree Nursery in Overland Park, Kan., for their assistance. For additional information please visit the Kansas Research and Extension (ksre.ksu. edu) and ( Ed and Karen Reese operate the Wild Bird House in Overland Park, Kansas. You may reach him at 913341-0700.


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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 27


he Perennial Plant Association has named Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ as the 2014 Perennial Plant of the Year™. Panicum virgatum, pronounced PAN-ic-um ver-GATE-um, carries the common name of switch grass or switchgrass. Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 10 Light: Switch grass performs best in full sun and will tolerate light shade. Soil: Panicum is famously adaptable to almost any soil. Uses: Switchgrass is a stalwart selection in the full-sun, especially native, meadow or prairie gardens. Flower arrangers find the foliage and plumes useful for arrangements. Finally, this warm-season perennial grass offers golden fall color. Unique Qualities: ‘Northwind’ is very easy to grow. It will enhance any sunny border, not just a native,

meadow- or prairie-style garden. ‘Northwind’ has a refined, gardenworthy appearance and habit. Maintenance: There are no serious insect or disease problems with Switchgrass. Plants are best divided in spring. ‘Northwind’ is not patented. It can be reproduced from divisions. Liners are available from numerous propagators, including members of the Perennial Plant Association. This warm-season perennial grass has blue-green foliage and stands more erect than is typical of the species. ‘Northwind’ is only the third ornamental grass to be named Plant of the Year™ following Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, 2001, and Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, 2009. The genus Panicum, native to North America, is a member of the Poaceae family (formerly family

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Photo by John Friel.

2014 Perennial Plant of the Year™ Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’

Gramineae). Regardless of nomenclature, members of Panicum are excellent perennial grasses for the landscape. The genus botanical name (Panicum) is thought to derive from the Latin pan, bread. One species (P. miliaceum, common millet) has been used for centuries to make flour. The origin of the common name switchgrass or switch grass is obscure. “Switch” is believed to be a variation of Middle English “quitch,” among whose meanings is “quick,” or alive, suggesting the grass is difficult to kill. Others say the name derives from the swish-

ing sound the grass makes when tossed by the wind. Roy Diblik selected ‘Northwind’ from a population of Panicum virgatum he raised using wild-collected seed from plants growing along railroad tracks in South Elgin, Illinois. In July 1983, he noticed that one plant had wider leaves and a very upright growth habit, unlike the typical arching form of the others. He gradually built up stock of the upright one. In 1992, when Northwind Perennial Farm opened, he introduced it and named it ‘Northwind’. Panicum virgatum‘Northwind’ spreads slowly to form erect clumps of slender, steel-blue leaves about five feet tall. In late summer, the foliage is topped by a haze of showy, finely-textured flower panicles that rise to six or even seven feet, and that open golden yellow and mature to beige. Deep roots make ‘Northwind’ remarkably drought-tolerant, once established. And like most ornamental grasses, Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ is seldom eaten by deer.



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The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

‘Inspirational Gardens and Plants’ April 26 Plantaholic Frolic


conifer collector and expert dares us to expand our dreams by joining him for a virtual tour of gardens and plants have inspired him. Rich Eyre owns Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery in Woodstock, Ill., near Chicago. His nursery specializes in dwarf and rare plant material specially suited for modern smaller gardens. He plans to talk about “Inspirational Gardens and Plants” as part of this year’s Plantaholic Frolic on April 26 sponsored by Gardeners Connect. Eyre will present his program and attendees will get a chance to shop from plants he plans to supply to the sale and also a selection of other plants picked to appeal to Kansas City hort geeks and garden connoisseurs. The Plantholic Frolic takes place at the Garden Center in Loose Park. Seating is limited for this event. Tickets cost $5. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the program and sale are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and go until noon. Register online at www. You also may mail a check made out to Gardeners Connect to this address:

Plantaholic Frolic c/o Brian ChadwickRobinson 6911 NW Blair Road Parkville, MO 64152 Send questions to or call 913-3024234. In 1968, the conifer collecting bug bit Rich in the Amazon jungle while he was serving in the Peace Corps in Bolivia. He found a Brooklyn Botanic Garden book on bonsai and dwarf conifers in a book locker. When he returned from his Peace Corps tour, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology and began feeding his conifer obsession. He began learning about conifers from mentors including Ed Hasselkus, emeritus professor and curator of woody landscape plant collections at Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin; Chub Harper, dwarf conifer specialist and horticulturist for whom an American Conifer Society award is named; Jerry Morris, Rocky Mountain conifer expert and propagator of new cultivars; conifer collector Joe Stupka, who has introduced many conifer cultivars; plantsman and nursery

owner Peter Girard; and Ed Rezek, one of the great conifer collectors and propagators. In 1988, Rich and his wife, Susan, began Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery Inc. This nursery is situated on 6 acres of kettle moraine about 50 miles northwest of Chicago. The nursery emphasizes dwarf plant material specially suited for modern downsized spaces. Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery has more than 50,000 trees, including with 3,500 cultivars of conifers. The nursery also has unique deciduous plants and collections of

hostas, daylilies, iris, alpines and other plants. Rich has been so active in the American Conifer Society that in 2001 he was given the Award of Merit for his support of the society. He is a past vice president of the central region of the society and served on the national board of directors for three years. Rich donates all of his speaking fees to Heifer International, which distributes cattle and agricultural and training to families in need around the world to promote self-sufficiency, and Mano a Mano International, which create partnerships with impoverished Bolivian communities that improve health and increase economic well-being. He and Suzy also donate all income from their perennial plant sales are donated to the charities. In his program, “Inspirational Gardens and Plants,” Rich plans plans to demonstrate how dwarf conifers provide enhanced spring, summer, fall and winter drama. He hopes this presentation will give us new ideas for using conifers and other plants in the landscape. Gardeners Connect, since 1958, has helped inspire and educate members of our community to become more complete gardeners.

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 April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener


Winter Hardy Cacti and Succulents Gardens in the Midwest

By Judy Pigue


rowing hardy cacti and succulents in outdoor gardens can be rewarding. Often, when I mention I have hardy cactus and succulent gardens in my yard, people conjure up a mental picture of the Missouri native, rather invasive, yellow-blooming pad cactus, Opuntia humifusca, and the clumping, white-blooming, Yucca filamentosa. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many interesting cacti and succulents that have proved to be winter hardy in this area. I grow all of my plants without overhead protection, so they are at the mercy of the Midwest weather. Location and drainage are the most important consideration for a successful garden in cold/wet winter areas. Cacti and succulents need good sun exposure in order to maintain a proper growth form, as well as to aid in the evaporation

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of excess water in the summer, and to add some heat in the winter. My current gardens are on the west and southwest side of the house. South, with full day unobstructed light is ideal. A fast draining soil mixture is a must, as soggy roots quickly lead to rotting plants. This area’s soil has a high clay content. I amend my soil with a 50/50 mix of coarse builder’s sand and gravel. I mixed in some larger gravel for additional drainage. Gardens may be raised beds filled with the mixture or in

19th Annual Spring Dig Plant Sale to benefit Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc. Thurs, May 1, 8 am–7 pm Fri, May 2, 8 am–7 pm Sat, May 3, 8 am–1pm Shawnee Presbyterian Church 6837 Nieman, Shawnee, KS RAIN OR SHINE!

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Judy Pigue is a long-time member of Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society. You may reach her at

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my case, dug out and filled. The majority of hardy cacti and succulents aren’t that picky where they’re growing. The object is to have them look as though they are growing naturally, with the same characteristic shapes and spines as plants found in their native habitats. For ideas on plant selection, start with these two new books, Cacti and Succulents for Cold Climates by Leo Chance and Pricklypears Commonly Found in the United States and Northern Mexico by Cheryl W. Green with Dave Ferguson. Opuntias are the best known winter hardy cactus plants, but only part of the genus is hardy. They are amazingly variable in shape and size, as well as flower shape, size and color. There are two basic groups of Opuntias: the platyopuntias or “prickly pears” and the cylindropuntias or “chollas”. Most of the prickly pears form clumps and are relatively low-growing. The chollas are mostly bush-like, upright-growing plants. Among the other genera that produce reliable winter hardy cac-

tus plants in the Midwest are the Echinocereus and Escobaria. These hardy genera are referred to as ball or barrel cactus. Most of them will clump but are slower growing than the opuntias, but their form and flowers make them a must for hardy garden. The star attraction of my gardens this summer is my large pinkblooming Hesperaloe parviflora. Three tall inflorescences have been in bloom all summer. Hesperaloes are considered marginally hardy, but I have had good luck with them. Early in the Spring, my Echinocereus reichenbachii were covered with large shocking-pink blooms, at times dwarfing the plant. Escorbaria missouriensis has large red-berry like seedpods from last year’s blooms and then beautiful bronze blooms starting the cycle over again. My tall white-spined Cylindropuntia spinosior and large blue Agave parryi are other focal points, as are my ground-hugging, dagger-shaped, spine-covered cyclindropuntia clava. I fill in with various Opuntias, Yuccas, Agaves, Sempervivums, and Orostachys. I like to add large boulder type rocks for interest and heat retention during the winter. I hope this article has inspired trying a hardy cacti and succulent garden in your yard.

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Peonies in the Midwest

tour beautiful peonies in bloom By Mike Moore


he Heartland Peony Society is a regional group of enthusiastic gardeners who favor the genus Paeonia from March into May. Introductions of new types and colors to the peony’s palette have gardeners seeking out these plants! Thirty years ago thoughts of peonies brought red, white, and pink, doubles to mind. Today in addition to these we have added into the mainstream beautiful yellows, salmon, corals, and several variations of purple. The heavy, full doubles, have been joined with eight inch diameter, singles, semi doubles, doubles, Japanese, amenone, and bomb forms. The bloom time can be lengthened by the types of peonies selected. There are three groups. Herbaceous are the type we are most familiar with. They are grown

from tubers (technically ‘thickened roots’, not true tubers like potatoes), and cut to one inch above the ground in the fall. A somewhat new peony to our area is the tree peony. Previously thought to be a southern United

States plant, this has been proven to not be true. Tree peonies are deciduous (they lose their leaves in fall), they are a woody shrub, and are not cut back in the fall. Tree peonies stand tall fall through winter. The buds open and the trees are

the first to flower, usually in mid to late April. The third group are Intersectional peonies, often called Itohs after the original Japanese hybridizer. Intersectionals are tree and herbaceous peony crosses. They are cut back in fall like a herbaceous peony, but have flowers and foliage more like tree peonies, with a similar color palette. To see beautiful peonies blooming this spring, the Heartland Peony Society will sponsor a tour of four member gardens, complete with lunch catered by Hillsdale Bank BBQ. The tour will be on May 3rd. We should see tree and herbaceous peonies. Join us on the motorcoach for the tour and lunch for only $25.00. Contact Mike Moore at 1-913-7834554, to reserve your seat today. For more information, be sure to visit us at

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4-5 p.m. Friday, May 2

Join the talented horticulturists of Powell Gardens to learn the secrets of creating striking hypertufa containers and filling them with pleasing combinations. The reception includes light appetizers, a cash bar and a chance to socialize with fellow members before you shop the complete plant sale beginning at 5 p.m. Please RSVP to

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

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April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener


OP Arboretum Plant Sale ...the Tradition Continues lent place to find the perfect gifts for Mom and Grandma. Bring them along and let them select their own treasures! Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and offer suggestions. These volunteers are enthusiastic gardeners who love to share their knowledge of plants and gardening with others. The Plant Sale is a fund-raiser for the Arboretum, so not only will you be stocking up for your 2014 garden, you will also be helping the Arboretum move toward its goal of building out the Master Plan (drawings on view in the Visitors Center). The Arboretum is located about 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 on 179th Street, just a few minutes south of Overland Park’s shopping areas. Bring a gardening friend and make a day of it. Check out

the spectacular 2014 Container Gardening Exhibit that opens on May 2. Photo by Carol Pratt.


his is the sixteenth year for the Spring Plant Sale at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, and what a fine reputation this sale has developed. Sponsored by the Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA), the sale features annuals, perennials, native plants, certified organic herbs and veggie plants, hanging baskets and planters, and the largest selection of hostas in the area. The sale is open to the public on Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. FOTA members receive a 10% discount. As always, a preview sale and reception is held for FOTA members only on Thursday evening, May 1, from 4 to 7 p.m. Not a member? You can join FOTA at the sale and immediately receive the 10% member discount. Held the weekend before Mother’s Day, the sale is an excel-

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Container Gardening Exhibit

The 2014 Container Garden Exhibit at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens will begin on May 2, the same day the Plant Sale opens to the public, and will run through May 18. Last year’s Container Gardening Exhibit featured a full-size canoe, a brass “raised bed,” a whimsical train, an enchanted tree, and a pair of claw foot bathtubs. All kinds of plants, from colorful ornamentals to edible herbs and drought-tolerant succulents, were featured in imaginative containers put together by various garden organizations, as well as Arboretum volunteers and staff. Again this year visitors will be able to cast a vote for their favorite entry. Let the Container Garden Exhibit inspire you as you make your selections at the Plant Sale!

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Hustler and Country Clipper Zero Turns, Toro Personal Pace and Zero Turn mowers, Echo, Maruyama, Redmax, Shindaiwa and Tanaka Trimmers, Blowers, Hedge Clippers and Chain Saws are all in stock now! All equipment assembled, serviced and ready to go when you buy it. Nothing goes out of here in a box! We service what we sell and more!

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Kansas City Community Gardens

April Horticulture Classes

offered by Johnson Co K-State Research and Extension All Times: 7–9 p.m. Fee: $10 per person Registration Requested at least one week in advance. Enrollment limited. To enroll go to and click on All Extension Classes, Horticulture

April Workshop Schedule


here is no cost for attending the workshops. Space is limited so please call Earlene Franks 816-931-3877 or email to register. See our web site ( to learn more about Kansas City Community Gardens.

All classes will be held at: Johnson County K-State Research and Extension 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500, Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 715-7000

Planting and Caring for Vine Crops Gardeners are often discouraged about the amount of produce they get from vine crops planted in their gardens. This workshop will discuss methods for increased fruit production, including variety selection, ideal planting dates and disease and insect control. April 4, Fri., noon Location: Kansas City Community Garden, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132

Monday, April 14 – Growing Beautiful Roses Anyone can grow beautiful roses! In this class you will learn the secrets of rose culture including how to choose and care for your roses, and how to respond when pest problems arise. If weather permits, we will also visit the Garden Gallery adjacent to the Extension office to view the roses and gather ideas about successful varieties and rose care.

April 7, Mon., 6-7:30pm Location: Independence Health Department, 515 South Liberty, Independence, MO 64050

April 28, Mon., 6-7:30pm Location: Bethany Community Center, 1120 Central Ave., Kansas City, KS 66102

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Growing Tomatoes, Peppers and Sweet Potatoes: Are you overwhelmed by the number of tomato varieties available? Are you confused about heirloom tomatoes? Do your pepper plants not produce as many peppers as you would like? Are you disappointed when you dig up your sweet potatoes? Come learn how to select, plant and care for tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes. April 1, Tues., 6-7:30pm Location: Rosedale Development Association, 1403 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66103

Monday, April 28 – Curb Appeal We all want our home to make a great first impression. This class takes you through the process of creating a plan, finding inspiration, and choosing materials and plants that will enhance your home’s appearance. The speaker, a trained landscape designer, will show you how to avoid costly mistakes, fix common problems and create a warm, welcoming look that sets your house apart.



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April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener


Lenora Larson


pril’s warmth and sweet showers have brought the flowers, soon to be followed by clouds of yellow and orange butterflies, the Sulphur species. These butterflies spend the winter vacationing along the Gulf Coast and migrate north as the temperatures warm up. They sip nectar from early spring flowers like Dandelions and Catmint (Nepeta species), then look for love. The pregnant females lay their eggs on Partridge Pea and/or Wild Senna, which have flowers in similar shades of golden yellow. Of course

p o t s

the perfectly camouflaged caterpillars are more interested in the foliage and will become successive generations of Sulphurs gracing your garden until late November. Even better, we gardeners can celebrate these two native caterpillar host plants because their beauty should earn them a place in any sunny garden. And the seeds are an important food for over-wintering birds. Partridge Pea Partridge Pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata, grows in poor sandy or gravely soil and hosts several species of Sulphur caterpillars such as the Cloudless and the Dogface. From July through September, the flowers create a yellow blanket across rural roadsides. The other common name, “Sleeping Pea” refers to the leaves, which fold shut at night. The showy one inch

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Photos by Lenora Larson.

Sunbeams with Wings: Sulphur Butterflies

A Little Yellow Sulphur enjoys the Catmint’s nectar diameter flowers are bright yellow with a red blotch at the base and dark red anthers and provide sweet nectar for appreciative bees and butterflies. Fall brings proof that this is a member of the Pea family with long thin pea pods filled with miniature black lima beans. These beans are poisonous to livestock if consumed in large quantities, but birds relish them, hence the name, Partridge Pea. Wild Senna The larger plant, Cassia marilandica, is a delightful native perennial appreciated by Orange and Cloudless Sulfur caterpillars. The blooms form long racemes of brilliant yellow flowers that are visited by an orchestra of humming pollinators. The attractive blue-green foliage on multi-stemmed five foot plants makes it perfect for the back of the flower bed. It dies to the ground in winter and reappears in late spring, accompanied by many seedlings if last year’s seeds were missed by over-wintering birds. Fastidious gardeners may prefer to carefully collect all of the seed pods the previous fall, but I would rather let the birds have first dibs and do the necessary weeding in spring. In the Garden The seeds of both are best sown mid-fall in a sunny spot; plants emerge late the next spring after winter’s scarification. Once established, you’ll never have to plant again because they enthusiastically self-sow. Like other plants with taproots, they resist transplant-

A Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar lounges by the Partridge Pea’s beautiful flower

Wild Senna’s racemes of yellow flowers rise above the blue-green foliage ing, but this same taproot confers drought-tolerance. Seed sources can be found on the Internet by googling the botanical name. If Partridge Pea and Wild Senna grow along highways that you travel, make a note of the yellow flowers’ location and return in October to collect the pea pods. However, be sure to first check your state’s regulations on roadside flowers before gathering. These two plants perform triple duty in your garden: beauty for you, food for Sulphur butterfly caterpillars, and sweet nectar for legions of pollinators. How could you ask for more? Planting either of these native plants will reward you with clouds of flying sunbeams from April until November. 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. The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

Make a Call to 811 part of your springtime plans


pring is finally here! With the snow melted and the ground ready for planting, eager homeowners like you are gearing up to start those outdoor digging projects. Before you reach for that shovel to start digging, remember to call 811, the national callbefore-you-dig number, to ensure that your buried utility lines are marked. The Common Ground Alliance and its 1,500 members, including Kansas 811 and Missouri One-Call, recognize April as National Safe Digging Month. Throughout April, and will be promoting National Safe Digging Month through statewide outreach and local events. For more information, visit www., or National Safe Digging Month was designated to remind Kansas and Missouri residents that our land is made up of a complex underground infrastructure of pipelines, wires and cables. Striking an underground utility line while digging can cause harm to you or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially result in fines and repair costs. A call must be placed to 811 before every digging project, from simple landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs, to building a deck or installing a rural mailbox. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. Don’t become

part of the statistic – make sure to call 811! Here’s how it works: * One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for Kansas and Missouri one call centers to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. * Call at least 2 to 3 working prior to digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly marked. In Kansas, homeowners and excavators can also call 1-800-DIG-SAFE, or go online at In Missouri, they can also call 1-800-DIG-RITE, or go online at * When you call 811, a representative from the appropriate one call center will ask for the location and description of your digging project. * Kansas 811 or Missouri OneCall will notify affected utility companies, who will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines. * Once lines have been properly marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.

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

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Tulips Toppling? Come Fly a Kite!


his is the time of year where our longing for spring becomes almost unbearable. Mother Nature is a tease, giving us fragrant breezes one day followed by howling winds the next. At the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for at least some wind for this year’s KiteFest, featured each Sunday in April from noon to 5 p.m. at the Arboretum’s Leatherwood Depot. KiteFest is fun for adults and kids of all ages. Participants can bring their own kites or purchase one at the Leatherwood Depot. There’s no charge for participating in KiteFest upon admission to the Arboretum (admission is free for Friends of the Arboretum members). There will be two levels of kite flying fields and special activities each Sunday:

April 6 – Make your own ecofriendly kite. Use our recyclable materials or bring your own to make a kite. April 13 – Make a stained glass tissue paper kite for your window at home. Supplies will be provided. April 20 – Enjoy Easter Sunday flying kites in the beautiful spring weather! April 27 – The Kansas City Kite Club will be joining us once again by popular demand, demonstrating their unbelievably massive kites. Lunch can be purchased on-site at either the Arboretum’s Garden Café or from the New York Dawg Pound (hot dogs, chips and drinks, cash only). Or you can bring your own picnic. The Arboretum is located about 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 on 179th Street. So if the wind is toppling your tulips, make the best use of it and come fly a kite!

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Landscape Maintenance • 7130 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. Garden Center • 8am-5pm Mon.-Sat. • 10am-5pm Sun. • 816-444-3403 Nursery • 9am-5pm Mon.-Sat. • Closed Sunday • 816-333-3232 36

• Archive Issues • Garden Destinations • Garden Groups • Find a Professional • Timely Articles The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014


garden calendar n LAWNS

• Apply crabgrass control by tax day for best results. • Be kind to the environment. Spot treat spring broadleaf weeds. • Mow based on spring growth, 2 – 3 inches is recommended for bluegrass and tall fescue. • Delay fertilizing zoysia until mid to late May. • Avoid fertilizing bluegrass and tall fescue in April for improved summer health. • Sharpen mower blade if not already done. • Repair mowers to reduce problems later. • Don’t bag it! Let the clippings fall returning valuable nutrients. • Be water-wise; restrict watering now for increased summer resistance.


• Plant carrots, onions, beets and other salad crops. • Thin seedlings to recommended spacing 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 if not already done. • Plant fruit crops, tree fruits, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. • Remove mulch from strawberry bed. • Prune raspberry and blackberry plantings. • Plant asparagus and rhubarb. • Save the honey bees, avoid spraying insecticides when trees and plants are flowering. • Cultivate soil to control weed growth by dragging the hoe just below the surface. • Hasten the compost pile by turning. • Fertilize vegetable gardens before planting for good growth. • Spray fruit trees on a regular basis for insect and disease free fruit.


• Prune spring flowering shrubs after bloom to promote good flowering next year. • Prune deciduous trees now for quick healing.

• Plant new trees and shrubs, but do not plant too deep. • Mulch around the base of 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. • Remove dead or dying trees promptly to control insects and disease. • Never top a tree as part of a 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 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 highest setting.


• Remove winter dust from leaves with a damp cloth or by placing in the shower. • Repot older houseplants into a 1-inch larger pot with fresh soil. • Start fertilizing for spring and summer growth. • Take cuttings of plants. • Fertilize amaryllis and keep in high light to encourage new leaves. • Do not move plants outdoors until nighttime temperatures remain above 55 degrees.

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

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April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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

• Since 1927 •

Club Meetings African Violets Club of Greater Kansas City Tues, Apr 8, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Apr 27, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 52nd St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Meeting topic is Starting Tubers. 816-784-5300

Potatoes, Onions, Herbs and Vegetable Plants arriving daily!

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

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Monday, March 31st through Saturday, April 5th!

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The Arnold’s Greenhouse Roadshow is bringing a cool selection of plants to Gardner, KS once a week in April & May! Please visit for more info!

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Arnold’s Greenhouse • 1430 Hwy. 58 S.E., LeRoy, KS 66857 620-964-2463 or 2423 Monday through Saturday , 9am til 7:30pm Always closed on Sundays

Only 1-1/2 hours from Southwest Kansas City • I-35 to Hwy 75, South 23 miles to Hwy 58, then East 1-1/2 miles (Located 4-1/2 miles West of LeRoy, KS on Hwy 58)


Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Apr 7, 6pm, presentation at 6:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64112. Non-member guests are always welcome. Contact Vince Vogel at 816313-8733 for additional questions. Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Apr 9, noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. This month we will share and trade our extra seeds, pots, and plants. Visitors are welcome. Please call 913-592-3546 for a luncheon reservation. Greater Kansas City Iris Society Mon, Apr 14, 6:30pm social, meeting and program 7-9pm; at Trailside Center, 99th & Holmes, Kansas City, MO. Meeting and program will include American Iris Society’s DVD “Show Time”. Guests welcome. Contact Shelley Clements for information. 913-226-5580 Idalia Butterfly Society Sat, May 10, 5:30pm Pot-luck Dinner, 7pm Presentation; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7700 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Free to the public. Native Pollinators: Meg Mullet. Learn the secrets to attracting huge flocks of pollinators to your garden for mutual benefit. These hard-working animals help pollinate over 75% of our flowering plants, and 70% of our crops. Johnson County Master Gardener Meg Mullett will present an introduction to several of our native pollinators, including recommended techniques we can use and plants we can grow to encourage them to live in our gardens. Questions? Contact Independence Garden Club Thurs, Apr 10, 6:30pm; at the Sermon Center, fourth floor, corner of Truman and Noland Rds. Refreshments will be served. For more information call 816-373-1169 or 816-812-3067. Visit us at our web site www.independencegardenclub. com. Johnson County Rose Society Sun, Apr 6, 2:30pm; at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO. Rose Garden Inspiration from Great Art. In lieu of its regular monthly meeting, the Johnson County Rose Society will host this special event. A docent-led tour of the Nelson’s collection of “Art in Bloom” will begin at 2:30pm. The tour is free and open to the public but space is limited, so pre-registration by Fri, Mar 28, is required. To register for the tour, go to the Johnson County Rose Society website at Those wishing to have brunch at the Museum’s Roselle Court Restaurant may do so on their own before the tour. The restaurant opens at noon. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the general public. For more information about the meetings, programs, and other activities of the JCRS, or for membership details, please visit their website at http:/ You can also visit them on Facebook at JoCoRoses. Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Apr 20, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300

Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Apr 7, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Kansas City Rose Society Tues, Apr 22, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Apr 8, 7pm; at Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence (1263 N 1100 Rd). Meets monthly to learn about herbs. We explore all aspects of an herb: growing & harvesting, historical lore, culinary virtues, medicinal merits, and aromatherapy, household, and cosmetic applications. Our gatherings are fun and educational, and jam-packed with useful information, including relevant demonstrations. 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 22, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St, Leawood, KS. The noon program will be given by Valeria Edwards, a Johnson County Extension Agent specializing in Family and Consumer Sciences. To help with de-cluttering and spring cleaning, come and learn the Four Container system to take control of the clutter in your home. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts provided. Open to everyone and guests are welcome. Call 913-642-3317 with questions or email Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Apr 8, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 SW Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Due to elections, this month’s meeting will be in the lower level of the Community Center. Guest speaker will be Rita O’Hara, her topic is “Joy of Herbs and Vegetables from Seed.” Refreshments will be provided. Visitors are always welcome. For additional information: and 816540-4036. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Apr 8, 7pm; at Lenexa National Guard Armory, Rm AB, 18200 W 87th Parkway, Lenexa, KS. A speaker will share information on garden design. Learn more at Northland Garden Club Tues, Apr 15, 7pm; at Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 N Norton, Kansas City, MO (just south and west of Penguin Park). The program will be presented by Sue Waltemath of the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City, MO on “Mental & Physical Benefits of Gardening”. Please check website for additional information: Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Apr 15, 12:30pm; touring Red Cedar Gardens at 7895 W 183rd St, Stilwell, KS. Anyone interested in carpooling, please meet at 12:30pm at the East Gate Parking Lot, 1229 E Santa Fe, Olathe. The tour begins at 1pm. Any questions, call Joan Shriver at 913-492-3566. Overland Park Gardeners of America Tues, Apr 15, 6:30pm, meet in the parking lot at 71st & Mission Rd, Prairie Village KS and carpool to the caves. We are touring Bird Botanicals, the premier orchid greenhouse located in the caves in eastern Kansas City. We will see all of the orchids that David grows in this facility as well as the cave area. Additional information, please call Sallie Wiley at 913-236-5193.

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

ShoMe African Violets Club Fri, Apr 11, 10:30am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Joint Membership meeting. 816-784-5300

Events, Lectures & Classes April Eleven Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Planters & Baskets Thurs, Apr 3, 11:30am-1pm (you’re welcome to bring your lunch); at Sunflower Meeting Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City KS. Sponsored by the Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners. Presented by KAW Valley Nursery, Manhattan KS. $5.00 fee. Registration not required. 913-299-9300 Mini Scapes Sat, Apr 5, 10am and 2pm; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Maken-take with Kristin Middleton. Class is free. Space is limited. Call 816-229-1277 to sign up. Violet Reflections African Violet Show/Sale Apr 5 and 6; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112. Park entrance is West driveway immediately South of 51st St. The Sho-Me African Violet Club will sponsor a combined Show and Sale; a nationally judged event. Members will be entering African Violets and other plants of this gesneriad family. Open to the public: Sat, Apr 5, 9am-3pm and Sun, Apr 6, 10am-3pm. During the waning days of winter, please come enjoy the beauty of African Violets and related gesnariad plants being entered in this nationally judged show. View the plants in the Show Room, then enhance your home with member grown plants being offered in the Sales Room. Club members will share their knowledge by answering any questions you may have. In visiting this event, should you find yourself intrigued, you would be most welcome to attend a meeting. FREE. 816-784-5300 The Artistic Garden Sat, Apr 5, 10am-1pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. Master Gardener and artist, Lenora Larson will present ?The Artistic Garden?. Garden art can bring both form and function to your landscape while creating beauty and disguising eyesores. This presentation assists gardeners in answering the question, ?What is art?? and defining their own artistic style. Photographs and recommendations for ?safe? usage as well as horrible examples of ?art gone wrong? will empower participants to fearlessly purchase or create man-made objects to place among their beloved plants. Handouts will provide guidelines and inspirations. Enjoy this country setting which includes a gourmet lunch prepared from the garden?s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Please call 913-271-7451 for reservations or sign up and pay for the class at The Not Too Big Vegetable Garden Thurs, Apr 10, 6:30pm; at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: “The Not Too Big Vegetable Garden” with Garden Journalist, Marty Ross. You don’t need to plant a 30-foot row of anything to have a great time growing your own vegetables. Small vegetable gardens — choose the size to suit the scale of your property and your ambitions — are really rewarding. In a plot, a pot, or a raised bed,

April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

you can harvest crops from spring through frost (and even into winter). Learn from Marty how to choose, plant, and grow vegetables you love, without a heck of a lot of work. The harvest from a small garden can be a big deal! Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door Prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456. Bird Walk - Learn, Listen & Identify the Birds Sat, Apr 12, 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 20s. 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 Mastering Your Lawn and Garden Sat, Apr 12, 9am-4pm, at 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. A Spring Garden Fair sponsored by the Douglas County Master Gardeners and Kansas State Research and Extension. Extension Master Gardeners will be on hand with information on lawn care, pest management, trees, seed starting, emerald ash borer, composting, container gardening, native plants, pollinators, family gardening, accessible gardening. Admission is FREE. There will be concessions, drawing prizes and handmade crafts for sale. Rockwall Garden Techniques Sat, Apr 12, 9am-noon, at Powell Gardens. Explore the mysteries of Powell Gardens living wall and learn living wall building basics with Caitlin the Island Gardener. Participants will learn about wall construction, soil mixing, plant selection, planting techniques, and seasonal care. This class will include the opportunity to participate in planting a section of the Powell Gardens living wall. Participants will also take home their own “tried and true” rock wall plant. Bring your garden gloves and prepare to get dirty rain or shine. $22/person, $17/Members. Registration required by Apr 7. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at DIY House Plant Bowls Sat, Apr 12, 10am and 2pm; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Maken-take with Kim Dyer. Class is free. Space is limited. Call 816-229-1277 to sign up. Spring Wildflower Walk by Ken O’Dell Sat, Apr 12, 1-3pm; at Hillsdale State Park Visitors’ Center, 26001 West 255 St. 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. For more information, please go to www.kdwpt. Orchid Sale and Auction Sun, Apr 13, 2-4:30pm; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS 66215. Wide variety of orchids suitable to grow in the KC area. Prices starting at $5. Open to the public. Proceeds to benefit the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. Spring Wildflower Walk Apr 17 & Apr 23; 10am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W 179th St, Bucyrus, KS. The Kansas City Region of the Kansas Native Plant Society is conducting two woodland walks at the Overland Park Arboretum, led by experienced botanists. Participants can expect to see over 30

(continued on page 40)

All Double Knock Out Roses on Sale for $14.99! We carry Non-GMO seeds and bedding plants! Register for Spring Classes now by calling 816-229-1277. For Advertised Sales, Web Specials & Class Info, see our website, Facebook page or call us. COMPLETE LAWN CARE SERVICES PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE & SPRINKLER SYSTEMS DESIGN

27610 East Wyatt Rd., Blue Springs, MO 64014 I-70 to 7 Hwy., South on 7 Hwy. 4.5 Miles to Wyatt Rd. Then East 3/4 Mile. Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00-6:00 • Sunday 11:00-5:00

816-229-1277 •


Shawnee Garden Club Thurs, Apr 3, 7pm; at the Town Hall of Old Shawnee Town, 11600 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS. Topic: The Inferno Hell Strips presented by Bud Smith. Is there a better way to improve that useless piece of real estate created when a sidewalk carves out a long, narrow strip of dirt between it and the street “Inferno Strips”? When planted with grass, they are impossible to irrigate without wasting water and utterly useless functionally or aesthetically. Learn how a local gardener makes something useful and beautiful from his. Public is always welcome. Door prizes and refreshments.

Find the oasis from the ordinary

Visit the water garden specialists

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


Overland Park Farmers’

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


(continued from page 39) 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. 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.

Opening Day Saturday, April 12 6:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Fresh produce *•Eggs * dairy meat•* Garden plants and much More! Sponsored by / (913) 895-6390

Water Gardens Tour 2014 21st Annual Water Garden Tour Come see 50 plus backyard water gardens of Water Garden Society members Saturday, June 28 • Sunday, June 29 9am - 5pm • Rain or Shine • Bus tours available.

Call: 913-599-9718 • 816-861-3449 Proceeds benefit construction of educational and restorative water gardens and other educational programs in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Sponsor: House of Rocks 40

Mini Scapes for Kids Fri, Apr 12, 10am; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Make-n-take with Kristin Middleton. Easter Egg Hunt. Win a Prize. Class is free. Space is limited. Call 816229-1277 to sign up. Native Plant Sale Last two Saturdays in April: Apr 19 and Apr 26, 8am-1pm each day; at the City Market, 5th and Walnut, Kansas City, MO. The Missouri Prairie Foundation will hold its annual native plant sale. A large variety of native wildflowers, grasses, sedges, shrubs, vines, and trees suitable for many growing conditions—sunny, shady, wet, and dry—will be available for sale. Plants on Apr 19 from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and Forrest Keeling Nursery will be for sale. On Apr 26, plants from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and Applied Ecological Services will be for sale. A portion of the proceeds will be used by MPF in their work to protect Missouri prairies. Contact: Doris at 816-716-9159. Scents of the Garden Sat, Apr 19, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. This class focuses on the aromas of Powell Gardens blooming flowers, as well as essential oils. You’ll learn why spending time in the garden is so important to health and well-being. An introduction to the art of aromatherapy and the benefits of choosing natural plant essential oils will be presented. Take home your own blended essential oil. $29/person, $24/Members. Registration required by Apr 14. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Grassland Heritage Foundation Native Plant Sale Sat, Apr 19, 11:30am-4pm; at South Park, 1141 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS. The sale will take place during the 14th Annual Lawrence Earth Day Celebration and will feature over 20 varieties of wildflowers and grasses native to Kansas including old favorites like Butterfly Milkweed and Spiderwort, and some more unusual plants like Rattlesnake Master, River Oats, and Cardinal Flower. GHF Members can pre-order plants for pick up at the event! All paying GHF members in 2013 or 2014 can place their order ahead of time and pay and pick up at the sale. Members can also choose from a much larger plant list (about 120 species!) than those available at the event. For more information about the sale and to receive the members-only plant list, email Kim Bellemere at or call her at 785-840-8104. Join GHF online at Plant Sale Thurs, Apr 24, noon-7pm; Fri, Apr 25, 10am-7pm; Sat, Apr 26, 10am-4pm; at Colonial Church, 71st and Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. We have ordered some spectacular plants this year and will have an area, as usual, for plants from member’s gardens. Further information please call Sallie Wiley 913-236-5193. Ozanam’s “Thyme for Kids” Annual Plant Sale Fri, Apr 25, 9am-6pm and Sat, Apr 26, 9am-5pm; at Ozanam’s main campus, Greenhouse, 421 E 137th St, Kansas City, MO 64145. To benefit the Horticultural Therapy 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. MoKan Daylily Society Spring Plant Sale Sat, Apr 26, 8am–1pm; at Cave Springs Park, 8701 E Gregory, Kansas City, MO 64133 (corner Gregory and Blue Ridge Blvd). Huge selection of daylilies available! Emporia Gardeners of America Annual Plant Sale Sat, Apr 26, 7:30am–2pm; at Anderson Bldg, Lyon Co Fair Grounds in Emporia, KS. A wide selection of annuals, perennials and vegetables will be available. Proceeds will help fund educational horticulture projects in the area. Annual Herb and Wildflower Sale Sat, Apr 26, Rain or shine we will open at 8:30. The John Wornall House Museum, 6115 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64113, will hold its 28th Annual Herb and Wildflower sale. Mervin Wallace from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery will have his product as well as the herbs from the Wornall House. The herb gardeners will be on hand to answer your questions and the herb garden will be ready for viewing. We will have our new cookbook, “Thyme on Your Hands”, for sale. It is a compilation of recipes, using herbs, from friends of the Wornall House. We will have tastes for your enjoyment. Questions please call the museum at 816-444-1858. Plant Your Junk Sat, Apr 26, 10am and 2pm; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Maken-take with Kim Dyer. Class is free. Space is limited. Call 816-229-1277 to sign up.

May Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale Fri, May 2, 9am-4pm and Sat, May 3, 9am-Noon (or as long as we have remaining inventory); at Wildcat Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1200 N 79th St, Kansas City KS. The WyCo Master Gardeners will be offering tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, herbs, and various other vegetable and fruit plants started by the members; and collections of perennials, annuals, Kansas native wildflowers, and ornamental grasses. New to the sale this year will be succulent plants, and garden miscellany (a potpourri of gently used books and gardening supplies). Master Gardeners will be on hand to help you with your selections and to answer all your gardening questions. 913-299-9300 Annual Dahlia Root Sale Fri, May 2, 1-4pm Members only preview (good reason to join for only $5/yr); Sat, May 3, 8am3pm Open to the public; at Loose Park Garden Center, 52nd St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. The Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society will hold its annual root (tuber) sale. Tough-As-Nails Succulent Dish Garden Fri, May 2, 2-4:30pm; at Powell Gardens. Learn about top succulent selections for our area and plant your own beautiful succulent garden in an 18-inch dish. 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 5pm. To join Members of Powell Gardens, call Linda at 816-697-2600 ext 209 and save on classes, too. $47/person, $39/Members. Registration required by Apr 21. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.

The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

Overland Park Arboretum Plant Sale Open to the public Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, 9 am to 5 pm, with a preview sale and reception for Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA) members on Thursday, May 1, from 4 to 7 pm. Sixteenth annual sale features native plants, annuals, perennials, certified organic herbs and veggies, hanging baskets, planters and a huge selection of hostas. Join FOTA and receive members’ 10% discount. Johnson County Master Gardeners will be on hand to help shoppers. The Arboretum is located a about 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 on 179th Street. Visit the FOTA website at www. 19th Annual Spring Dig Plant Sale Thurs-Sat May 1-May 3; 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, hostas, herbs, hanging baskets, patio planters, and tomatoes. Stop by and pick up a lovely plant for Mother’s Day. Hours Thurs and Fri 8am to 7pm and Sat 8am to 1pm. For further information 913-281-3388. Container Gardening Exhibit at the Arboretum May 2 - 18 during OP Arboretum hours, 8 am to 7 pm. Imaginative containers designed and built by various garden organizations, as well as Arboretum volunteers and staff, and displayed throughout the Botanical Gardens. Guaranteed to expand your perception of what a container garden can be. Visitors may cast a ballot for their favorite container. The first two days of the exhibit coincide with the Plant Sale. The Arboretum is located about 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 on 179th Street. Visit the FOTA website at Water-Wise Gardening Sat, May 3, 10am-noon, at Powell Gardens. Learn about drought tolerant plants and cultural strategies to minimize the watering needs of your landscape. Discover how to take advantage of natural microclimates and put the right plant in the right place. This class includes a lecture and tour to observe some of these plants and ideas in practice. Participants should wear walking shoes, sunglasses, and sun block. $19/person, $14/Members. Registration required by Apr 28. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Heartland Peony Society Tour Sat, May 3. Tree peonies should be at peak bloom when the Heartland Peony Society embarks on a tour of four member gardens. See what grows best in this area, and pick your favorites. A motorcoach will take us to each garden where society members will be on hand to answer your questions. Lunch will be provided by Hillsdale Bank BBQ at the last stop on our tour. Bring your cameras and questions, everything else will be on the bus. Cost is only $25. Make your reservations early to ensure your place. Contact Mike Moore 913-783-4554. Central Missouri Master Gardener Plant Sale Sat, May 3, 7am-12pm; Jaycee Fairgrounds Pavilion, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Huge plant sale featuring new introduction annuals, perennials, natives, hanging baskets, vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and tropicals all grown by the Master Gardeners. Free admission. Like us on facebook at facebook/central missouri master gardener plant sale or call 573-295-6263. Going Native with Perennials Sat, May 3, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Whether you want to add a few perennials to your beds or plant your whole front yard in perennials, natives are the way to go. Learn which do well in shade or sun and which are for moist or for dry areas. The class will continue at the Annual Spring Plant Sale, where you can learn while you shop for native perennials with the guidance of the instructor. $17/person, $12/Members. Registration required by Apr 28. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at

Kansas City Garden Club Spring Luncheon and Plant Sale Mon, May 5. The public is invited to enjoy two excellent garden programs, a plant sale and a delicious home cooked meal. Location is the Congregational Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Find interesting plants including annuals, perennials, shrubs, house plants and more at the plant sale beginning at 9am. There will also be opportunities to buy plants later in the day. At 10:30am, Crystal Broadus, Kansas City Zoo Horticulturalist, will present “What’s New at the Zoo.” She will tell you about the Zoo’s horticultural, environmental and conservation programs. Lunch will be served at noon. At 1pm Gregory Banken, Gregory’s Fine Floral, will wow you with his creative floral designs including tablescapes put together with herbs and fresh cut flowers; a wreath made with small live potted plants and other fabulous creations. Contact Spring Luncheon Chair, Cathy Moore, at 913-381-6325 with questions. Tickets are $15, and checks can be made out to the Kansas City Garden Club can be sent to Cathy at 9804 Pembroke Ln, Leawood, KS 66206. Ticket deadline is Apr 21. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Plant Sale Wed, May 7, 8am; 18505 W 114th St, Olathe, KS. Sale begins at 8am and goes until everything is gone! Most plants come from member’s gardens and will include perennials, annuals, shade and sun plants..a great way to increase your gardens! Herb Gardener’s Plant Sale Sat, May 10, 9am-1pm; at Wyatt Park Christian Church, 27th and Mitchell, St Joseph, MO. Annual Herb Sale presented by Herb Gardener’s Club of St Joseph. Come early for best selection of herbs, perennials, plants of every kind. Annual Spring Hosta & Shade Plant Sale Sat, May 10, 9am-2:30pm, at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St, (67th & Roe) Prairie Village, KS. Presented by Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society, featuring a great collection of lovely new hostas and other shade perennials, including but not limited to, a nice selection of Heucheras, numerous Fern varieties, Brunnera, Berginia, mini hostas and heucheras, so great for Fairy Gardens! You will not want to miss this sale! There will be a free gift for children over age 4, who are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Public is Welcome! Come and bring a friend. For info call – Gwen 816-228-9308, 816-213-0598. Container Gardening for Beauty and Convenience Sat, May 17, 10am-1pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. Master Gardener Lenora Larson will present Container Gardening for Beauty and Convenience. Do you covet those expensive nursery-made hanging baskets and pots? You can do it better! A container garden, whether in sun or shade, can provide easy care beauty from May to October if your container meets the plants’ needs. Learn how to design a lush container, using annual and perennial flowering plants and foliage. This presentation will review the basics of container gardening, then apply those principles in a handson demonstration. Enjoy this country setting which includes a gourmet lunch prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Please call 913-271-7451 for reservations or sign up and pay for the class at Loch Lloyd Garden Tour Thurs, May 22, 10am-noon, Luncheon at noon. Loch Lloyd Country Club. Come for a Scottish Holiday. Visit Six of our lovely gardens. Wander through an enchanted Fairy Garden. Visit our Tranquility Garden and Labyrinth. Enjoy some Scottish shortbread and tea while being charmed with a bagpipe serenade. Tickets for the tour: $12 at the registration desk. Lunch tickets $15. There will be raffle items, garden items, gifts and Scottish treasures at our market. Lunch will be served at the Clubhouse, lower level and patio. Reservations for lunch must be made by May 19. Call 816-322-1022. Contact Anne Watkins 816 322-1799 for further information.

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April 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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

785-843-7058;; Mon-Fri, 1-4pm


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


913-715-7050; Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm;


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


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


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


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


Weather Repor t

Highs and Lows 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

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

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

From the Almanac Moon Phases First Quarter: Apr. 7 Full Moon: Apr. 15 Last Quarter: Apr. 22 New Moon: Apr. 29 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Above Ground Crops: 2, 3, 6-8, 14, 15, 29, 30

Plant Root Crops: 15-17, 21

Control Plant Pests: 23, 24, 27, 28

Transplant: 6-8

Plant Flowers: 2, 3, 6, 7, 29, 30


Now Hiring

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

for Spring

We are looking for friendly, enthusiastic people to fill positions at our Lenexa, Overland Park and So. Kansas City locations

Cashiers Phone Operators Hardgoods Sales People Plant Sales Horticulturists Landscape Maintenance Truck Drivers, (CDL & non-CDL) Diesel Mechanic Equipment Operators Irrigation Technician

Full & Part time positions available For more information please contact our Human Resource Department phone: 816-941-4700 fax: 816-941-3838

applications available on line at

ut Check o g in umm www.h ow the 2014 bird to foll d Humming roate Ruby-th Migration.

June Insect Control, Organic & Otherwise Thurs, Jun 5, 11:30am-1pm (you’re welcome to bring your lunch); at Sunflower Meeting Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City KS. Sponsored by the Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners. Presented by Bob Baurenfiend, Kansas State University Entomologist. Before you reach for a chemical spray to kill what’s bugging your garden, come find out the best ways to control those garden pests. $5.00 fee. Registration not required. 913-299-9300 20th Annual Garden Tour and Plant Sale Jun 7-8, 9am-5pm; Hermann, MO. Two Tours in 2014: the popular Town Tour, a walking tour of gardens in downtown Hermann, and a Country Tour, a driving tour to country gardens. Each tour is $10; ticket price includes visits to at least four private gardens and the Garden Demonstration Area. Town & County Garden Tour Combo ticket for $15. Garden Tours may be spread over Saturday and Sunday and, except for groups of 10 or more, do not need to be reserved ahead of time. New garden-themed Flea Market at the Plant Sale. Special Ticket By-Reservation-Only Luncheon/Silent Auction on Jun 6 and European High Tea in a lavender garden on Jun 7. Visit the Hermann Garden Tours website at for up-to-date events, ticket prices, contact numbers and photographs. Visit the new FAQS page for answers to all your questions. Like us on Facebook at Hermann Garden Club Tours 2014. Call Hermann Welcome Center at (800) 932-8687 for questions about lodging/ restaurants or go to Evening Garden Tour Fri, Jun 13. Join us on the evening of the full moon for The Moonlight and Mint Juleps garden tour of Marla Galetti, hosted by the Northland Garden Club. Visitors will get an opportunity to tour the one acre garden which was professionally lighted by Natural Accents Outdoor Lights. Beginning at twilight, guests will be able to study the vast specimens of plants while enjoying a nonalcoholic freshly made mint julep. Automatically timed lights will lead you through the garden once darkness has descended. Additional lighting has been added by Marla to make the garden a magical place for an evening stroll. Hours are 8-10 pm. Reservations and tickets, $10 may be acquired by calling Dee West, Northland Garden

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



(continued from page 41)

of Leawood

Proudly serving Kansas City for 26 years 11711 Roe Avenue (next to Comfort Plus Shoes) • 913-491-4887 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun noon-4pm Join us and fellow birders

Club President at 816-455-4013. Check the website at for further information. Weston, MO Garden Tour Jun 20-21, Friday & Saturday, 9-4. Enjoy the gardens of Weston at the Cottage Gardeners of Weston Garden Tour. You’ll see small space, grand and walk-by gardens as you stroll around the historic district. Tickets in advance, $10. Information at or send name, address, phone e-mail, and check to Cottage Gardeners, PO Box 102, Weston, MO 64098-0102. Days of the tour, $12 at Renditions, 522 Main Street, Weston, MO 64098 Phone 816640-2300 Building Hypertufa Garden Art Sat, Jun 21, 9am-1pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. Come prepared to get your hands dirty as we discover the joys of sculpting with hypertufa, a mixture of Portland cement, coir and vermiculite. In this 4-hour workshop each person will create an embellished garden planter or sculpture to take home (or pick up the following day). Several recipes for the medium will be discussed and written instructions provided for your further explorations. Wear your grubbiest work-clothes and prepare to have fun! A gourmet box lunch will be provided. Please call 913-271-7451 for reservations or sign up and pay for the class at

July/August Moonlight and Mint Juleps Tour Jul 11. The second night garden tour of the summer sponsored by the Northland Garden Club is at the Liberty home of David and Sharon Cleveland. Tour begins at 8pm and ends at 10. Advanced tickets required and may be purchased by calling Dee West, 816-455-4013. They are $10 each and will include the dusk tour, evening tour and a cool refreshing summer drink. Check the Garden Club web site at for further information. Moonlight and Mint Juleps Tour Aug 8. The third and final night garden tour of the summer sponsored by the Northland Garden Club is at the Platte County home of Kim and Jesse Johnson. Tour begins at 8pm and ends at 10. Advanced tickets required and may be purchased by calling Dee West, 816-455-4013. They are $10 each and will include the dusk tour, evening tour and a cool refreshing summer drink. Check the Garden Club web site at for further information.

Promote your gardening events! We list them for free. Send event details to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail: Deadline for May issue is April 5.


The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

Monarch Watch

SPRING OPEN HOUSE & PLANT FUNDRAISER Saturday, May 10 – 8am to 2pm


eady to start a butterfly garden or improve the one you have? If so, come visit us at Monarch Watch for our annual Spring Open House & Plant Fundraiser. We will have more than 5,000 butterfly plants (both annuals and perennials), including seedlings of twelve milkweed varieties. These plants are ideal for starting butterfly gardens or adding to established gardens. Monarch numbers have been declining and we need to plant milkweeds to sustain the monarch migration. Modest contributions are suggested for the plants. A list of available plants appears on our web site ( http:// ).

Refreshments will be provided. There will be games for the children and they can make “seed balls” containing seeds of milkweeds and other butterfly plants that can be used to create habits for monarchs and other butterflies. They can also watch the queen bee lay eggs in our honeybee observation hive, see scary insects and spiders, or watch videos. All are welcome to tour our garden and lab space. We will have live videoconferencing demonstrations, and, of course, monarch butterflies! If you can’t make it in person, be sure to check the live feed on our web site – we plan to post photos and broadcast some LIVE video throughout the day.

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 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

Professional’s Corner

Meet Lori Gatzemeyer, growing healthy, vigorous plants for your garden. Company: Bloomers Greenhouse Location: Independence, Mo. Owner: Lori Gatzemeyer Established: 2004 The beginning: Bloomers Greenhouse is a retail garden center that was established in 2004 with Lori Gatzemeyer as its head grower. Lori’s previous growing experience encompasses 17 years starting with hardy mums and hostas for fall crops and raising annuals and designing hanging baskets for the many fundraisers she became involved with. Products: The ideal growing environment at Bloomers has allowed Lori to broaden her plant palette to include the production of exceptional quality annuals, perennials, vegetables, hanging baskets, tropicals and some flowering shrubs. Bloomers also raise hardy mums and offer kale, pansies and pumpkins for fall decorating needs. Lori says, “This fall we are growing over 11,000 mums for retail and wholesale.” Bloomers will also custom grow for large projects if needed. Uniquely Bloomers: Lori says, “We have over 18,000 sq ft of covered space bursting with color and everything is raised on the property.” Ample square footage allows the plants to have the optimum growing space needed for unparalleled quality. Lori continues, “Plus our staff is friendly and knowledgeable and always willing to help you find that perfect plant.” What customers say: Customers return year after year and the most common remark is “Wow! Are your plants on Steroids?!” It pays tribute to the plants health and vigor! Tell us about hot new plants: The new plant list is exciting, even the names are flashy. There’s ‘Cha-Ching Cherry’ Petunia, Celosia ‘Twisted’, Calibrachoa ‘Spicy’ and ‘Pomegranate Punch’. Just arriving at the greenhouse is a beautiful supply of tropicals and houseplants including a variegated ‘Tiger Fern’, Hoya ‘Hindu Rope’, and a darling weeping pussy willow. Bloomers also raised Linaria this year. Linaria is a cold loving flower that looks like a mini snap dragon that can go out early with the pansies. You must give it a try. What every gardener should know: Gardening is like painting. It’s art. We all have our own ideas of what beautiful looks like in our gardens, planters, and landscapes. Every container and flower bed is your personal canvas. Bloomers encourages everyone to create their own masterpiece with plants. Contact info: Bloomers Greenhouse, 3823 N. Cobbler Rd., Independence, MO 64058; 816-257-5523. Hours of Operation Monday – Friday 9-6, Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 10-4. 43

Spring Starts Now SHRUBS

Flowering or Evergreen


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

Arriving Daily from our own greenhouses

Super Dwarf Lo & Behold Blue Chip 18.74 Butterfly Bush #2 Reblooming Bloomerang Lilac #2 20.99


Evergreen Densiformis Yew #3-5 23.99 Ever-Blooming Knock-out Rose #2

selected varieties in our larger sizes

up to 50% off


Your lawn this April

Large Trees at

816 941 4700 for P servicing your sprinkler

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

system P mulching P regular lawn mowing

th & Wornall 135 44

(816) 942-2921

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

th & Roe 105 The Kansas City Gardener / April 2014

(913) 649-8700

KCG 4APR2014  

roses, call before you dig, cutflowers,sunbeams with wings, PPOY