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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

April 2015

Early Spring Bulbs that thrive in Kansas City

Plant Sales Galore April is Safe Digging Month 2015 Perennial Plant of the Year In the Garden with Suzanne Frisse

Swan’s Water Gardens 2015

Old Man Winter Is Gone And We’re Replacing Cabin Fever With Spring Fever. Boy Do We Have The Fever Here At Swan’s Water Gardens. We’re Loaded Up With The Largest Inventory And Selection Of Pond Supplies, Aquatic Plants And Flowers In Our Twenty Year History. Weather Permitting We’ll Be Designing And Building Our Two Miniature Water Features In Front Of The Store As Part Of Our April Saturday Events. This will Be A Fun Time For All. You Won’t Want To Miss The Dividing And Repotting Class On Saturday, April 25th. Bring your Lotus or Lilies And We’ll Show You How, Or We Can Do It For You.

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4/18 Bring a Lotus or Lily Divide Day. Needing Help Dividing And Repotting Your Favorite Plants. 9am-11am

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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




The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

A new garden friend

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Judy Aull Tracy Flowers Diane & Doc Gover Lenora Larson Ryan Markway Susan Mertz Nadia Navarrete-Tindall Ken O’Dell Dennis Patton Phil Roudebush Diane Swan Scott Woodbury Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

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

See us on the Web:

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

April 2015 |


ne of the great joys of my job is meeting people, gardeners of every type, eager to share their experiences. Like all gardeners tend to do, we compare notes on what we’ve learned, we admire our successes and commiserate in the failures. On a warm day in early March, I had the unique pleasure of making a new garden friend, Sharon. We met at her home, situated in a large community filled with likeminded residents, who obviously care about landscaping too. After brief introductions, we made our way to her backyard garden. (Yes, there is plenty to admire in early March.) From a grouping of gazing balls, to the leaves of daffodils pushing up through the soil, to noting the garden structure defined by well-placed shrubs, there was oodles of garden to tour. Perhaps what struck me the most was the sense of openness. It seemed as if her garden was boundless. In fact, she and half a dozen of her neighbors do not fence their backyard. No barricades or confines of any kind – not even a split-rail fence. With each backyard joining the next, it offers a

limitless vista of gardens that seem to go on and on. Oh yes, fenceless in an area where wildlife is prevalent is challenging. Sharon says they’ve learned to embrace what is. The deer will roam your garden no matter what you plant. The raccoons, opossums and squirrels will outsmart traps and pitfalls. She says her mother reminded her that they live in an old walnut grove. So the deer return looking for their entitlement, and when not found, they’ll enjoy the salad bar that is Sharon’s garden. While many in her situation would be frustrated with so many wildlife challenges, Sharon meets it with a smile, and says, “You may as well accept them. They’re not going away.” They have discovered their best strategy is knowing what plants are deer-resistant, while avoiding toxins, traps and other deterrents.

Yes, it requires extra effort but well worth the reward. And when the rewards appear, I’ll look forward to hearing from Sharon. We’ll walk the garden again, this time with more to admire. Trees and shrubs in full foliage, and perennials breaking ground headed to their timely seasonal bloomfilled show. Possibly we’ll trade a bit of this for a little of that, gifting each other with a token of our garden life. And as this gift is nestled in with other garden treasures, we’ll remember each other and the circumstances of our new friendship. I met a new garden friend this spring. Have you? Be bold. Reach out to a neighbor, stranger or garden club member. They too, are looking for a new garden friend. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue April 2015 • Vol. 20 No. 4 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 The Bird Brain ......................... 8 Gardeners Connect Events ....... 8 Spring Seeding Success ........... 10 Pets and Plants ........................ 11 Historic Seclusion .................... 12 Nature in the City ................... 14 Safe Digging Month ................ 19 Hosta of the Year .................... 20 GN: Buckeyes, Swallowtails ..... 21 Early Spring Bulbs ................... 22

about the cover ...

Update: Monarch Butterflies ..... 24 Powell Garden Events ............. 26 Perennial Plant of the Year ....... 30 Rose Report ............................ 32 In the garden Suzanne Frisse .... 34 Upcoming Events ..................... 37 Hotlines .................................. 41 Weather ................................. 41 Garden Calendar .................... 42 Professional’s Corner ................ 43 Subscribe ................................ 43

Also known as the Snake’s Head Lily, Fritillaria meleagris are usually available in a mix that contains solid white and plum checkered bell-shaped flowers. Learn more about early spring blooming bulbs on page 22.



© 2015, All rights reserved.

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton GROWING HYDRANGEA IN A CONTAINER Question: I would like to grow a BloomStruck™ hydrangea in a large pot and I want lavender flowers. Should I add a bunch of sulfur to the potting soil so it will bloom lavender? Answer: BloomStruck™ hydrangea is the latest introduction to the Endless Summer® family of plants. Like all Endless Summer® introductions they bloom on old and new wood. According to the information, this one has more of a purple or lavender flower color when the soil is acidic instead of the traditional blue hydrangeas. All Hydrangea macrophylla varieties can struggle in the KC climate and soils. Since our pH is high we seldom see the blue flowers and most bloom in shades of pink. Even rated for our zone, they have issues with flower bud winter hardiness.

Growing in a container has some advantages as the soil can be easier to manipulate and the container can be wintered in an unheated garage and blooming is more dependable. My recommendation would be to plant in a large container with good quality potting soil and see what happens. I did some checking as I was hoping or guessing that potting soil would be neutral or slightly acidic as that is preferred by most plants. To my surprise one of the most common and widely available potting soils had a pH in the 7’s which means pink not purple flowers. Based on that information, I would plant and wait and see what flower color appears in the future. But to be on the safe side you could mix in a couple tablespoons of sulfur when planting to help lower the pH level. This year’s buds will be set when you purchase the plant so next year will be the turning point. If, or when needed, apply sulfur to help reduce the pH at the rate of a couple of tablespoons mixed and watered into the upper surface of the soil should work. Hope this helps and you have piqued my interest in trying as I have a very difficult time with macrophylla hydrangeas in the gar-

den as I do not water enough. By the way did I mention in the garden they are water hogs? FERTILIZING HOSTA Question: Do you recommend fertilizing hostas in the spring? Answer: Fertilization is good to help promote growth of plants. But often I think we overdo it. If the perennial garden soil is properly prepared and mulched the plants should get enough nutrients for good growth. Keep in mind fertilizer will not make a sick plant healthy. If the plant is not growing due to soil quality, location, maintenance, or some other issues, fertilizer will make no difference. Another way to look at this question is how is the rest of the garden growing? Are other perennials thriving needing to be divided often, or grow big and lush? If the answer is yes then there should be enough fertility in the soil for the hostas. With all that being said you could apply a tablespoon or two of a garden fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or similar per plant. This application could be made in the early spring as the plant starts to emerge and again in early September as the plants are preparing for winter.

This may help increase some size on the plants but overall health of the plant will have more influence on its ultimate size as will the genetics of the plant. WHEN CAN I START PLANTING PERENNIALS Question: How early in April can I start planting perennials? Answer: There are several ways to answer this question. How comfortable do you want to be in the garden? Are the plants available on the market? Would you prefer to wait for nicer spring conditions? Usually by the time the plants arrive at the garden center it is time to plant. But if you want more time I would say early to mid-April is a good time to start. When to stop is another question. Ideally I would like to see plants in the ground by mid-May so they

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can become somewhat established before summer. But I have also planted perennials in July and August with success but I was a slave to watering. ANOTHER ‘ANNABELLE’ BLOOM Question: If I cut off the faded flowers of my ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea will they bloom again this year? What about my ‘Endless Summer’? Answer: I have always thought of trying this but just could not bear to remove the big showy flower heads. Once ‘Annabelle’ finishes blooming it turns a wonderful chartreus color that is showy into the fall. With that being said I did cut back a floppy ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ hydrangea (the pink blooming one) in one of our demonstration gardens. It did send out new shoots and flowers. The second round of flowers was much smaller than the first. So I guess I would say cut a few back this summer and see what happens. If you get white flowers later in the summer great, if not, well you know not to do that again. As for the ‘Endless Summer’ they are touted to bloom on both old and new growth. But reports are around here they bloom best off the old wood so I don’t think removing the faded flowers would gain you much as it should already be flowering on the new spring growth. LYTHRUM IS INVASIVE Question: I see lythrum growing in the medians in Olathe and it grows short and stocky with beautiful raspberry flowers. My lythrum is tall and lanky, and the flowers aren’t as dense as in Olathe. How do I get mine to look like the ones in Olathe? Answer: I would say that you have different varieties. When I grew it my garden it was tall and

leggy while others had a more showy plant. I finally determined that mine was just a common plant not a named cultivar. Keep in mind lythrum is banned from the nursery trade in Kansas. This plant is invasive. I don’t know why but the plant can still be purchased on the Missouri side. You would think Missouri would ban the sale of the plant also. The plant has escaped and overtakes native plants in boggy areas. Since Missouri has more waterways than Kansas you would think they would want to stop the spread. But with that being said Kansans drive over to the Missouri side and bring the plant home to their gardens. Kansas did not ban the plant in the garden they just stopped sales. That idea was that people would stop growing them. That probably happened in other parts of the state but for us easterners the supply is constant from across the border. SPOT KILL BROADLEAF WEEDS Question: I want to spot kill dandelions and clover in my lawn. What product should I get that won’t kill the grass? Answer: Any broadleaf herbicide will do the trick. Removing a broadleaf weed from a grassy lawn is easy. The hard part is removing a grass from a grass or a broadleaf from a broadleaf planting. Products containing Trimec, Carfentrazone or combinations of 2, 4-D will do the trick. Be careful as these products can drift and damage nontarget plants in the spring when developing new growth. 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.

Plant Sale

Sponsored by Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City


ouldn’t it be great to find a plant sale where every perennial was dug and divided from a local Kansas City Garden and every annual, vegetable and herb was selected by experienced local gardeners for suitability to our soil and climate. Top that off with Master Gardeners on hand to help you make the right selections for your yard and you’ve described the annual Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City plant sale. It’s a one-day sale, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or sell out) on Saturday, May 9th. Look for the big white tent in the parking lot of the Bass Pro Shop, I-70 and 291 Hwy. Come early for best selections. We’ll have perennials for sun, shade, wet or dry, including lots of natives. We’ll have annuals that tolerate our heat and

humidity to make your containers beautiful all summer long. Our experts will help you select herbs based on the soil conditions they prefer and we’ll offer you the tomato varieties that we grow and love in our own gardens. For a current listing of our 2015 plant offerings, go to “Our Projects” then “Plant Sale” on our website,

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.

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816-941-2332 Spring Hours • Mon.-Fri. 9-6 • Sat. 8-6 • Sun. 10-5

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


The Bird Brain

Bird of the Month: Ruby-throated Hummingbird ‘The Jewel of the Garden’

Doc & Diane Gover


n mid-April, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrives in the Kansas City area. You can track their northerly migration at www. They have traveled a long distance to reach us. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird migrates approximately 600 miles across the Gulf of Mexico. Amazingly they make this trek twice.

Be sure to put hummingbird feeders out on April 15th (the “fun” part of tax day). It is important to keep any nectar feeder clean and filled with fresh solution. These small wonders have a very high metabolism. They can beat their wings 60 to 200 times per second. A great deal of energy is spent flying, so they must feed constantly. Hummingbirds can consume up to twice their body weight in nectar daily. They usually feed on nectar and insects. They actually lap up the nectar with their tongues. Their tongues have grooves on the side that collect nectar. When their bill constricts, the hummingbird can swallow the nectar from flowers and feeders.

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Hummingbirds are able to perch and will do so often at feeders. Because they fly so much, they have poorly developed feet. They can barely walk at all. The hummingbird is much more comfortable in flight and can fly up to 60 miles per hour. The flight of a hummingbird is amazing to watch. They are able to fly up, down, forward, backward and sideways. They can also stop in mid-air! Hummingbirds are famous for their aerial displays. Some displays are for courtship; other displays show aggression. These small wonders lack a true song. Instead, they vocalize with chirping notes. Most calls are short buzz trills and chirps. Hummingbirds’ wings “buzz” or make a whirring sound while the bird is in flight. This sound is referred to as a “wing whistle.”

They will frequently vocalize to attract a mate. Gorgets (throat area) are composed of flat iridescent feathers that flash a bright red color when sunlight is reflected at certain angles. Because hummingbirds don’t really sing, males will use their gorgets in breeding displays. They also use their gorgets as a threat to territory intruders. After mating, the female alone builds a cup shaped nest constructed with plant material and spider webs, gluing pieces of lichen to the outside of the nest for camouflage. She will lay two white unmarked eggs and will incubate them for 12-14 days. These birds will be fed by Mom alone and they will fledge the nest in 14-18 days. This entire process is usually repeated one more time during nesting season.

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Northland Feed 4807 N. Brighton, KCMO


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Frequently asked questions: Q. How much does a hummingbird weigh? A. A hummingbird weighs just tow to three grams; it takes about five average-sized hummingbirds to equal the weight of a single chickadee. Q. How can I attract hummingbirds to my yard? A.  You can attract hummingbirds by incorporating plants with red flowers, and other nectar-rich plants. See your local garden center professional for suggestions. Also, put up a hummingbird feeder. You can tie some red ribbons to the pole where the feeder hangs. Use a four-part water to one part sugar solution to fill the feeder. Use only white table sugar and NEVER honey or artificial sugars. There is no need to add any color to the nectar solution. Clean your feeder and replace nectar every three to four days. Clean feeders with warm/hot water (no soap) and a soft brush. Q. What can I do to keep ants off my feeder? A.  A quality feeder will have a built-in ant trap; all that you have to do is add water inside the trap. If the feeder does not have a built-in ant trap you can add one to the top of your feeder, again just add water and the ants can’t swim. NEVER use a poison spray to kill the ants. It is not suggested that Vaseline be used because it is too likely that the greasy substance could get onto the birds and make it hard for them to properly clean their feathers (like a mini oil spill). Remember these amazing little creatures are the smallest birds in the world. They are found only in North and South America. They can live five to six years in the wild. We hope that you will take time to enjoy them in your garden. Please let us know if you have questions. Our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you.

October 3, 2015, 4-6 p.m. Two master gardeners will host the afternoon event designed to help you extend your summer garden into the fall. Check the website at www.northlandgardenclub. com for further information or call Dee West, 816-455-4013. Details to follow.


Plants & Pumpkins

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17701 S. State Rte D (Holmes Rd.) Opening Monday, April 6. Hours: Monday through Saturday 9 am to 6 pm. Sundays 11 am to 5 pm. The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Tips for Spring Seeding Success start with thorough evaluation

Ryan Markway


t’s that time of year again. The grass is greening, but to our surprise, we may find our lawn less lush than it was last fall. Is it best to seed this spring, or wait until fall, which is the most optimal time to establish grass? Before running out to buy seed, let’s look at different factors to determine if spring seeding is the best option for your lawn. What circumstances necessitate seeding in the spring? The most common scenario is fixing damage that has occurred over the winter and early spring. This can include repairing traffic areas caused by pets, mailmen, construction, and

changes in the landscape. Also, shaded turf areas can always benefit from a spring touchup. This is a situation when fall seeding may be disadvantageous. As trees drop their leaves in the fall, it can be tough to establish grass under the dense leaf litter. Weekly leaf removal is critical under these circumstances. Highly shaded areas are not conducive to establishing permanent stands of turf grass, and need to be seeded on a regular basis if turf is desired here. Does your lawn’s condition warrant spring seeding? With a few key tips, you can achieve success. Proper soil preparation and seed cover is crucial. Cut grooves or rake the ground to provide a good seed bed and ensures the plant can root into the soil quickly. In traffic areas such as dog runs or mailman paths, you may additionally consider aerating the lawn to relieve compaction.


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Watering is the most important factor to the success of your seeding. Focus on keeping the soil surface constantly wet, as the root system is very shallow at this point. A single watering may last several days, depending on the temperatures. As the seedlings emerge, the goal is to provide enough moisture for the entire root system. Adjust your watering schedule to infrequent, longer intervals. I recommend watering 2 times a day for 15 to 20 minute periods. When the grass is tall enough to mow, reduce watering to every other day, until the weather turns hot and dry. Once summer sets in, increase your watering schedule to your lawn’s requirements. Always take the weather into consideration when planning your watering schedule-this can mean more or less time/frequency for watering recommendations. Other cultural practices with your lawn should be temporarily altered for the best success when spring seeding. Carefully consider whether to apply pre-emergent materials for crabgrass in the areas you will seed; these products may prohibit germination of grass seed. Broadleaf weed treatments should also be used with caution. Most labels state you must wait 2 weeks after an application before seeding. There may be spring weeds that pop up as the new seed matures, due to the disturbance of soil and increased watering habits. Once the newly seeded lawn has been mowed twice, you can use labor saving products to control these

weeds. Another practice to consider to ensure the survival of your newly seeded lawn is implementation of a disease control program. There are plant protection products that will protect the lawn in the summer months when disease pressure is high. Most provide 14-28 day control, and will need to be reapplied on a frequent basis if disease pressure persists. Spring seeding in the suitable scenario can be effective. Following the proper preparation, directions and cultural practices, knowing what to expect, understanding the extra attention needed during the growing season will help your spring seeding be successful. Reach out to a turf care professional for help with any of these steps. They can provide the knowledge and skills to help along the way. Ryan Markway is a turf manager at Ryan Lawn & Tree. He can be reached at 816-246-1707 or by e-mail at

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Pets and Plants: Chinaberry Tree By Phil Roudebush, DVM, DACVIM


he chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach) is a deciduous or semi-evergreen tree, also known as white cedar, bead-tree, Ceylon cedar, Texas umbrella, Cape lilac, Persian lilac, Indian lilac, and pride-of-India. It is a member of the mahogany family and native to south Asia and Australia. The plant was introduced in the southeastern United States

around 1830 and has spread widely throughout temperate regions of North America – it is considered by many to be an unwanted invasive species. The tree occurs primarily in disturbed areas such as road right-of-ways and fencerows, but has also invaded floodplains, marshes and upland woods. All parts of the chinaberry tree are toxic, although dogs are

generally poisoned from eating fruit (drupes) fallen from the tree. Toxicity has also been reported in human beings, rabbits, guinea pigs and rats – all mammalian species should be considered at risk although many birds appear resistant to toxic effects from eating fruit. Many potential toxins have been isolated with meliatoxins found in highest concentrations in the fruit. One of the toxic principles is also chemically related to azadirachtin, the primary insecticidal compound in the horticulture product Neem oil. Clinical signs usually occur within a couple of hours after eating the fruit and include nausea, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea (with or without blood), abdominal pain, excessive salivation, straining to defecate and occasionally neuromuscular signs such as wobbly gait, muscle rigidity, seizures and coma. Neurologic effects are similar to nicotine poisoning. Death has been reported in dogs due to depression of breathing. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Phil Roudebush is a retired veterinarian, specialist in small animal internal medicine and adjunct faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. He is an Extension Master Gardener in Shawnee County, Kansas. He can be reached at philroudebush@

Come see what’s blooming at Enrights ... We have everything you need from Azaleas to Zinnias. NOW BLOOMING AT THESE 3 LOCATIONS

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“The pros you know in the clean red truck.” The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Historic Seclusion

grand old house, newly renovated garden By Judy Aull


hat is the ‘story’ behind this house and garden? Well, it is a part of the history of old Kansas City and the Roanoke area at the turn of the 20th century. This grand old house and its newly designed and renovated garden are a fantastic mix of what has been and what the current owners want to leave as their own legacy. The jewel of this garden is the intimate and secluded area on the back and side of the house. As you would suspect in this garden, most of the plants are shade-lovers and perennials abound. The plants most favored are the ones that they brought with them from their previous gardens. In particular, there are many ferns and hostas that are 30-year-old transplants. Others that they deem special are Virginia bluebells, Oak leaf hydrangeas, dogwoods, Siberian spruce and a

plethora of boxwoods. The ground cover, Mazus reptans, plays an important part in the entire setting, covering so completely that little mulch is required. It loves both sun and shade and as they suggest, “It might well grow in a dark closet.” A wire herb garden keeps the bunnies away and discourages the herbs from marching through the garden. Between the stepping stones the herb, thyme, is an unusual choice but highly effective. In the words of the homeowners, “Our home is 110 years old. Six years ago we lost a huge white oak tree in the back that was planted when the house was built. That left a large empty space and changed that area from shade to shade plus more dappled sun. We added the stone wall from the original stone found in the yard, added the patio built from stone from Old St. Mary’s hospital.” The



stone wall has an attraction all its own. There are many tiny creatures tucked in its crevices---a pig, two mice, a gargoyle and other surprises. Come and see. There also is a hippopotamus hiding under a tree and several other pigs scattered throughout. A important lesson has been learned through the owners’ gardening experiences; they have stopped repeating the same plants that don’t seem happy in their garden. They try new plants and take ideas from pictures and from travel. With their choices of new plantings combined with the mature existing foliage, they have created an atmosphere of serenity and calm. Don’t miss seeing this garden during the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City 2015 Garden

Tour on June 5-6, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For further information about the gardens on the tour, visit www. under the “Garden Tour” heading. Tickets will be available May 8 at various sites in the Kansas City area. A listing of these sites will be available on the website at that time. Judy Aull is a Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City.

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

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Nature in the City Native plantings for Pollinators and other Wildlife. Part I By Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall


hen my husband, Randy, and I tell people about our “garden”, we usually have to provide a little explanation, because when we use the term, we include not only our plants, but other inhabitants that share the space with us. Our house sits in a 0.25 acre lot which gives us about 7,000 sq. ft. of yard, enough to keep us busy and create a little wildlife sanctuary. We welcome butterflies, insects, spiders, toads, passing turtles, birds, rabbits, squirrels and friends and neighbors that enjoy our ‘natural’ looking garden. To attract all this wildlife we provide lots of wildflowers, with something blooming throughout the season, water to drink year round, and bare ground and hollow stem plants for bees and other insects to nest in. Bare ground is also used by birds

Poverty grass lawn for dust baths to control mites and other nuisances. Neighbors and friends are attracted with chairs on the deck in good weather, snacks and appropriate beverages, some prepared with native plants! In a corner of the backyard, we have piles of branches and other dry vegetation where native

Spring Plant Sale in Paola

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Early spring shade tolerant ragwort and native hydrangea bees and other insects nest and hibernate, and birds find protection from weather and predators. We also have more than 150 native plants species, from poverty grass (Danthonia spicata) to persimmon (Dyospiros virginiana), and pawpaw (Asimina triloba) trees. From previous owners, we inherited several trees including a sweetgum and birch in the front yard and a pin oak, a green ash, redbud and two maples in the backyard. One of the non-native maples in the back died, so we had the crown removed, leaving a 15 ft. tall standing-stump to encourage native bees and other insects to use it for nesting. Flickers and woodpeckers are also common visitors. In addition to persimmon and paw paw, we have added other native trees like

wafer ash (Ptelea trifoliata), two deciduous hollies (Ilex decidua) – female and male – and two volunteers: a red mulberry and a red cedar (Morus rubra and Juniperus virginiana). The last three provide fruit for birds, and red cedar is great bird cover. With few exceptions, we do not encourage non-native plants in our yard because few provide nourishment for wildlife or pollinators. Invasive volunteers like bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) are not allowed, but nonnative edible perennials including a fig, two dwarf pears, a concord grape and two dwarf cherries were welcomed. Our plan is that someday our yard will be mainly native plants and edibles, leaving only a few small patches of lawn, hopefully with native grasses like

Plant choices include: Annuals, Perennials, Natives, Butterfly Host Plants, Vegetables & Hanging Baskets

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poverty grass and sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) that do well in poor and dry soils and do not need watering like non-native turf. We are passionate about growing native plants and know that if we choose the right ones for our region the chances of success are higher. Most plants we have established are perennials and have a wide range of distribution.

nurseries and institutions working with native plants, visit the Grow Native! website (http://grownative. org/). To assure your plants will adapt to your garden consult with your local native plant nurseries or horticulturists. It’s a good idea to choose plants whose seed has been gathered from nearby locations, when possible. First of 4 installments. Complete lists of plants and references will




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1023E and 1025R Early spring in our front yard With unpredictable weather patterns, most escape extreme temperatures by becoming dormant, resuming growth when appropriate conditions are again available. Unless plants are in pots we almost never water, and none of our plants are sprayed or fertilized with chemicals. There is increasing awareness of problems faced by our wildlife, especially habitat loss, and one way to help is to re-create natural connections by planting natives in our yards. There are many native plants to choose from to replace non-native ornamentals. Now more than ever, there are commercial nurseries selling natives in every corner of the state. For a list of

be included in months to come. For updates on our yard, please visit Nadia’s Backyard ( See The Kansas City Gardener website,, for Table 1: Woody species mentioned in this article with information about wildlife that visit them and something special about each plant species. Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall is the Native Plants Extension Specialist for Lincoln University of Missouri. For more information contact her at Navarrete-TindallN@LincolnU. edu or visit Lincoln University Native Plants Program on Facebook.

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Powell Gardens Spring Plant Sale


he Spring Plant Sale at Powell Gardens is a garden lover’s dream. The only plant sale of the year features more than 200 varieties of shrubs and perennials, 200 varieties of annuals and tropicals, plus 200 varieties of vegetables and herbs — all selected by the botanical garden’s acclaimed horticulture staff. The sale opens with a members-only preview 5 to 7 p.m. May 1 and is open to the public 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 2-3. New for 2015 is the chance to purchase two plants developed by Powell Gardens. Gatsby Pink oakleaf hydrangea and Red Rover silky dogwood both will become available commercially under the Proven Winners label, and good numbers of each plant will be

available at Powell Gardens’ sale. Another 2015 highlight is the new Monarch® series of butterfly bushes, which provide season-long nectar for all sorts of butterflies including monarchs. Native milkweeds (the only host plants for monarch caterpillars) and a wealth of other plants that benefit butterflies and other pollinators also will be for sale. Look for Mexican sunflowers, Verbena bonariensis, tropical milkweed and more. For a full list of plant sale offerings, visit To gain early access to the sale, join or renew at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is 30 miles east of Kansas City on U.S. Highway 50.

Farrand Farms Inc. Locally Owned & Locally Grown Since 1922

Kansas Native Plant Society Spring Wild Flower Walk in Miami County Thurs., April 16, 1 p.m. Hillsdale State Park, 26001 West 255th Street, Paola, KS Hillsdale State Park in Paola, KS has 32 miles of hiking trails, meandering through multiple habitats from the shore of the 5,000 acre lake, including native prairie to oak/hickory woodlands. Our first exploration will be the 1.5 mile ‘Hidden Spring Nature Trail” (Yes, there is a hidden spring!). While the terrain is steep in places, it is well graded with steps for easy walking. We will meet at the Visitor Center parking lot at 1:00 PM. The Visitor Center has an excellent small museum, so allow time before or after our hike to enjoy the educational displays. Directions: The Visitor Center is at 26001 West 255th Street. Turn west on the Hillsdale exit from K-7/169. Contact: Lenora Larson 913-284-3360. Sponsor: Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners Identifying Common Weeds Wed., June 17, 6:30 p.m. Paola Extension Office, 104 South Brayman, Paola KS 66071 Some define a weed as a plant growing where it is not wanted. With that definition, every plant could be a weed! Instead we will focus on annual plants that prefer disturbed soil. Some perennial and woody invasive plants will also be covered. We will work with fresh

Not only does it host Monarchs, the delightful Milkweed Spider (Misumena vitia) hunts prey from among the blossoms. specimens of plants. Everyone should bring a few specimens of weeds they would like to identify. Be sure to include the roots. Store them in a plastic bag in a refrigerator to keep them fresh. Jeff Hansen is a board member of the Kansas Native Plant Society and has been a gardener all of his life. He landscapes with native plants, makes paper from them, and leads wildflower walks around the state. His website at is an online guide to Kansas plants, both native and introduced, containing over 800 species and over 4000 images. He is an enthusiastic teacher and loves sharing his knowledge with others. Contact: Lenora Larson 913284-3360. Sponsor: Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners

Gardening is All About Discovery It’s Time You Discovered Farrand Farms! It’s different, it’s better. You’ll love the unique presentation of our healthy ‘homegrown’ Flowers, Vegetables and Herbs of all kinds. You’ll be amazed at the organization and how neat and clean the greenhouses are. Our smiling staff and easy shopping will make your visit a pleasure. Come and celebrate spring with us.

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Discover Garden Diversity and the Beauty of Water


ain or shine on Saturday, June 13, 2015, the Lake Lotawana Community Club Garden Tour will feature five stops with eight gardens that you can view either by road or by pontoon boat. You may board the boats at the Marina Galley and Grog from 10:00 am-4:00 pm. One of the lakeside gardens that is called “Naughty Gnome” has color all year long with no grass to mow designed by the owner and Vivian Pine from Flora Culture. Milkweed, lantana, buddleia, echinacea, dianthus and delosperma attract the butterflies every year. They have incorporated a small waterfall feature and fire pit into the patio that makes up part of a natural planting barrier in place of railing for an obstructed view of the lake. You will discover two metal sculptures by Fred Conlon that are slightly irreverent. There is a little path with foot bridge through the middle of the garden. The plants and trees that were there previously on the lot were moved to their oldest son’s first home. There are lilacs and lavender for smell and a purple robe tree that gives beautiful blooms that can be admired from the upper screenedin porch. Hydrangeas are growing on both sides of the house. They are training a wisteria tree to grow up a huge redbud by the lake to provide a natural trellis. They also have dogwoods, magnolias, crepe myrtle, apple and peach trees.

Across the road from this beautiful garden are two adjacent “Woodland Delights”. These gardens back up to the woods and flow into one another but still are unique in each of their designs. At our “Tea for Two” Garden, the ladies will serve tea and baked goodies to our guests. This garden is formal with magnificent hostas and a beautiful lawn area. Your Fairy Godmother would love this next garden which features the natural stone that is all around the lake. They have gorgeous native plantings and fairy gardens which they designed for their grandchildren. Each of the gardens will feature vendors such as jewelry by Norma Marshall, floral prints that have surprise components by Phillip King, hypertufa pots by Keith Wheeler, locally grown plants for sale by Cindy Moorehead of Dream Scape Landscaping and some surprises. An added attraction that morning could be sailboat races on the lake. Plan to dine at one of our local restaurants: Marina Grog and Galley, T-Bones, Russo’s, Captains, Canoe Club and Bean Counter Cafe. For more information, call 913636-4131 or go to your Facebook page and type in Lake Lotawana 2015 Garden Tour in the events tag to purchase tickets in advance for $15 plus service charge starting April 1, 2015 or cash only the day of tour at the Community Club at Gate One or any of the gardens.

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Plant Sale Features Natives and Butterfly Plants

Ken O’Dell


t’s easy to do your part to help nature get back in balance by planting native plants and butterfly host plants among your more exotic favorites. Serious gardeners are discovering the rewards of gardening with the environment in mind. Native plants evolved alongside native creatures, and as a result those creatures became dependent upon them. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs only on native butterfly milkweed. It’s the only plant their caterpillars can eat. Swallowtail species each have their own exclusive host plants. Without

those host plants, the butterflies go away and stay away. In some cases their numbers are diminishing to the point of extinction. The OP Arboretum plant sale will offer a multitude of natives, including columbine (it attracts the first hummingbirds in spring), Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild ginger, and Solomon’s seal for shade; milkweed, wild indigo, wine cups, coreopsis, purple coneflowers, sunflowers, cup plant, Kansas gayfeather, bee balm, Mexican hat, black-eyed Susan, and golden Alexander for sun. Also several varieties of buckeye, oak, wild crabapple, oakleaf hydrangea and so much more, all locally grown without harmful neonicotinoid pesticides.

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OP Arboretum Plant Sale April 30, May 1 & 2

Although butterflies are the rock stars of the insect world, it takes enormous diversity to make everything work and keep things in balance. Birds depend on an abundance of insects, particularly for raising their young, and native plants support countless insect populations. Much of what we eat depends on robust bee populations for pollination. As awareness of the growing crisis in natural diversity spreads, now is the time to plant the beautiful native species of the Midwest alongside the usual annuals and perennials from faraway places. Ken O’Dell serves on the board of directors of the Kansas Native Plant Society and is the Kansas City regional leader of the Kansas Native Plant Society. He is a longtime volunteer at the OP Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

Know what’s special about the Friends of the Arboretum Spring Plant Sale? It’s the JoCo Master Gardeners and other serious gardening enthusiasts who are always on hand to share gardening experiences, explain the importance of using native plants, and help shoppers select the best plants. There will be a preview sale and reception for FOTA members on Thursday evening, April 30, from 4 to 7 pm. In addition to hors d’oeuvres and wine, FOTA members enjoy a 10% discount. Non-members can join on the spot and receive the discount throughout the sale. The sale is open to the public on Friday and Saturday, May 1 and 2, from 9 am to 5 pm. The sale goes on rain or shine, under a bigtop tent. Credit cards are accepted. As always there will be colorful annuals, planters and hanging baskets; popular varieties of hostas and other shade perennials; daylilies, grasses and other perennials for sun; ornamental and culinary herbs; tomatoes and small fruits for the Midwest; drought-tolerant succulents; and young native trees and shrubs. The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is located about a half mile west of Hwy. 69 at 179th and Antioch. For information visit or call 913-685-3604.

Expires 4/30/15

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Missouri One Call System and Kansas 811 Promote National Safe Digging Month encouraging residents to always call 811 three days before digging


his April marks the eighth annual National Safe Digging Month, reminding both Missouri and Kansas residents to always make a free call 3 working days before any digging project. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every dig-

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ging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after a call to 811. April marks the traditional start of digging season, and the Missouri and Kansas one call systems strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging. By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists. The Missouri One Call System and Kansas 811 encourages area residents to visit www.mo1call. com or for more information about digging safely.

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Abiqua Drinking Gourd

Rainforest Sunrise

Hosta ‘Victory’: 2015 Hosta of the Year Introduce an award-winning hosta to your garden.


he AHGA is pleased to announce Hosta ‘Victory’ as the 2015 Hosta of the Year. It was registered by Mark Zilis in 2003 with the American Hosta Society and first introduced to the market in 2004. Mark has introduced well over 400 hosta cultivars and this would be considered by many to be his best. Mark discovered ‘Victory’ in his tissue culture lab as a sport of ‘Elatior’ which he had propagated for many years without observing even a single streak in a leaf. From a single culture with a few streaks Mark developed a white-margined version which he named ‘Victory’. Hosta ‘Victory’ is a giant hosta. Given its size and upright growing


April 2015 |

form it’s no surprise that it makes a great specimen plant. Maturing on average to 38 inches in height with an 88-inch spread, ‘Victory’ rivals the ever popular ‘Sagae’ and its tetraploid form ‘Liberty’ in the giant, upright, variegated category. Individual leaves of ‘Victory’ are also gigantic measuring 17 inches long and 13 inches across. The shiny, dark green center contrasts nicely with the yellow to creamy-white margin. Near white flowers are born on towering 6-foot-tall scapes in mid-summer. “Hosta of the Year” is the signature program of the American Hosta Growers Association (AHGA) – a trade association consisting of

retail and wholesale hosta growers (in the United States, Canada and Europe), hosta tissue culture labs, and hosta hybridizers. The AHGA selects the Hosta of the Year (HOTY) two to three years in advance to allow sufficient inventory buildup for what will inevitably be increased sales of the plant. The AHGA also stipulates the following criteria for HOTY selection: • The hosta should grow well in all parts of the country • The hosta should have a retail price in the year for which it is selected of approximately $15 to $20 • The hosta should be distinct and recognizable

• The hosta should be widely available in the year for which it is selected • All hostas except previous winners are eligible to be selected. That would exclude prior HOTY winners: Hosta ‘So Sweet’ (1996), ‘Patriot’ (1997), ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ (1998), ‘Paul’s Glory’ (1999), ‘Sagae’ (2000), ‘June’ (2001), ‘Guacamole’ (2002), ‘Regal Splendor’ (2003), ‘Sum and Substance’ (2004), ‘Striptease’ (2005), ‘Stained Glass’ (2006), ‘Paradigm’ (2007), ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (2008), ‘Earth Angel’ (2009), ‘First Frost’ (2010), ‘Praying Hands’ (2011), ‘Liberty’ (2012), ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ (2013), and ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ (2014).

Scott Woodbury


ike the great recession, the back-to-back summer droughts of 2012-13 were a test of mettle in the plant world. Many people lost more than hope and many garden plants suffered and even died. The grand walkway of bottlebrush buckeye, Aesculus parviflora (a non-native) at the Missouri Botanical Garden comes to mind. In 2012 it died back severely and looked like a tornado had swept through it. So did the two patches in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden. After the second knock-down of 2013 they were cut back severely

and urged to grow back with a heavy dose of TLC. Last year they began to bounce back. All the while the native red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) and Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) didn’t miss a beat. They dropped leaves early both summers like they always do, and grew and bloomed normally the following spring, yet suffered no die-back. Their triedand-true dormancy mechanism—a trick honed over the millennia— worked flawlessly, giving them the edge over the competition. If it weren’t for the will to pay for and apply copious amounts of water, bottlebrush buckeye might have disappeared from our gardens altogether. They looked awful for three years. Native red and Ohio buckeyes grow wild along creeks and rivers in Missouri, Arkansas, and southern Illinois, and so are flood tolerant and good choices for rain gardens

Photo by Scott Woodbury.

Easter’s Plucky Buckeyes and Tiger Swallowtails

and clay soils. Since they typically drop leaves early (late September or October) they are well-placed next to greener-longer small flowering trees like northern blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium), fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) or eastern witchazel (Hamamelus virginiana). Buckeyes flower around Easter when hummingbirds return and tiger swallowtail butterflies emerge from their over-wintering chrysalis. Look for their telltale yellow and

black striped colors in the woods and sipping water from mineralrich mud puddles. You might create a much-needed mud puddle in your garden or plant its favorite foods, wild cherry (Prunus serotina), wafer ash (Ptelea trifoliata), and tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). Sources for these native shrubs can be found in the Resource Guide at When April arrives get out for a hike or an early paddle. Don’t miss the swallowtails and buckeyes that grace our waterways, woodlands and gardens this Easter! Horticulturist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, where he has worked with native plant propagation, design, and education for more than 20 years. He also is an advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program.

spring Plant sale At Powell GArdens


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

Cocktails & Creative Containers A reception exclusively for Friends of Powell Gardens

4-5 p.m. Friday, May 1

Join the talented horticulturists of Powell Gardens to learn how to create striking hypertufa containers. Join us for a demo, a cash bar and a chance to socialize before you shop the sale. 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

Not yet a member? Join at

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Above: Iris reticulata; Below: Chionodoxa forbesii

Above: Fritillaria meleagris; Below: Iris reticulata Below: Fritillaria meleagris


April 2015 |

Above: Scilla Chionodoxa

Early Spring Bulbs that thrive in Kansas City

Tracy Flowers


arly spring bulbs can be the best way to ditch the winter blues that sometimes linger too long. Many tough varieties are frost-proof and sure to lift your garden spirits. Chionodoxa forbesii, Fritillaria meleagris and Iris reticulata are a great way to start the year off right by blooming just before the tulips and hyacinth. Chionodoxa forbesii Chionodoxa forbesii lives up to its common name, Glory of the Snow, by giving gardeners a long, early spring bloom. They are short in stature, but their star-shaped blue flowers seem to glow, whether there is snow on the ground or not.  Native to Turkey, Chionodoxa are related to another short spring bulb, Scilla. In full sun they reach upward to six inches tall. In part shade Chionodoxa will bloom, but the flowers are known to droop a little bit. One fun way to use Chionodoxa is to plant the bulbs a few inches

apart in an area of turfgrass. This works best in places that get low to no foot traffic. The eye-catching flowers emerge in the spring, through the grass, and last until just about the time that spring turfgrass mowing begins. Fritillaria meleagris Also known as the Snake’s Head Lily, Fritillaria meleagris can reach up to a foot tall. They are usually available in a mix that contains solid white and plum checkered bell-shaped flowers.  Fritillaria meleagris is native to the riverbanks of Europe and tolerates moist to well-drained soils. They are known to thrive in full sun as well as dappled shade.  The dark, sultry hues of Fritillaria meleagris are best highlighted when planted with other spring purples like Grape Hyacinth, creeping phlox or pansies.  Iris reticulata The common name for Iris reticulata is the Reticulated Iris. At only about six inches tall these bluish purple flowers use white and yellow stripes to catch attention in the garden.  Iris reticulata are native to Turkey, as well as the middle east

and Russia. They are tolerant of most soil conditions in Kansas City and will perform well in full sun to part shade conditions. The Reticulated Iris are among the earliest bulbs to bloom in Kansas City. Even after the flowers have faded, their grass-like, green foliage can add much needed texture to the late spring garden. You can create a dramatic look by planting Iris reticulata in large swaths around Bearded Iris (Iris germanica). The long, dark reticulata leaves create a spiky texture in front of the tall, light blue, swordlike leaves of the germanica species.  Early spring bulbs can be found at your favorite local garden center in the fall. Due to their small size and excellent ability to naturalize, it is easy to purchase hundreds of bulbs for a minimal price.  Plant these deer and rabbit resistant beauties about 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart any time from the month of October until the ground freezes. They are also not sensitive to the toxin Juglone that Walnut trees are known to produce. So if you have a problem area under a Walnut tree, feel free to plant a lovely patch of Glory of the Snow. 

Allowing leaves to die back naturally will allow you to enjoy the different textures that bulb foliage can add to the late spring garden. This technique also allows the bulbs to store energy for next year. In addition, spreading fresh compost or natural bone meal to the planting area will increase next year’s beauty. Since Chionodoxa, Fritillaria meleagris and Iris reticulata are know for being shorter flowers, they are best used in large masses and sweeping swaths of color. The fact that they are less expensive than larger bulbs makes it easier for the home gardener to let their imagination run wild, while keeping money in their pocket.  Incorporating early spring blooming bulbs in the landscape is an ideal way to extend your season from the very beginning. Throw a few varieties in your shopping basket this fall and you can start next year off with an array of exciting blues and purples that will get your gardening blood pumping. Tracy Flowers is on the Horticulture staff at Powell Gardens and she works at The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden. You may reach her at 816-932-1200.

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Update: Gardening for Monarch Butterflies dismal numbers reported in 2014. As the graph shows, Monarchs are still in trouble and desperately need our help.

Lenora Larson


ast fall we Kansas City area butterfly lovers celebrated the best Monarch migration we had seen in over 10 years. With hope overriding reality, we ignored reports of meager Monarch sightings in the upper Midwest and predicted a strong recovery for this beloved insect. Monarch populations are measured by the area covered in their overwintering pine forest near Mexico. The disappointing results have been tabulated and published by Monarch Watch™, showing only a slight uptick in the

Mandatory Milkweeds Adult Monarchs don’t eat, they merely sip nectar. Eating is the caterpillar’s job and Milkweeds are the only plants in the universe that they can eat. Milkweeds across the nation are being rapidly eradicated as prairies and farm land are converted to neighborhoods and shopping centers. Another threat: GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) technology. Farmers can now grow glycoside-resistant GMO corn and soybeans and consider Milkweed a primary target for eradication by spraying glycosides such as Roundup™. Monarchs are the unintended victims.

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The Solution: Monarch Waystations™ However, we home gardeners can make a difference. By including Milkweeds in our gardens, we can sustain the spring and summer generational migrations and ensure the Monarch’s survival. We can even establish a Monarch Waystation™ and be certified by Monarch Watch™, an educational outreach program based on the Lawrence campus of University of Kansas. The guidelines and application form are on their website, You can also purchase a sign to proudly announce your Waystation™ certification. Designing your Waystation™ My gardening friends wail, “I don’t have space or time for anoth-

er garden.” Me either! However, philosophically, entomologically, horticulturally and esthetically, the ideal “Butterfly Garden” is not a separate entity. Your garden already contains the necessary nectar rich flowers. All that is needed to convert an ornamental garden to a butterfly garden is the addition of caterpillar food plants. For the Monarch, that means Milkweeds, scattered throughout the entire garden. Milkweeds should be artfully placed to showcase their beauty and disguise their flaws—just as we do for all our plants. Choosing your Milkweeds Fortunately, many Milkweeds are supremely garden-worthy. The unique horned flowers are massed in umbels for a brilliant show of



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The Monarch’s host plant, Tropical Milkweed, also pleases gardeners and pollinators with its beauty and nectar.

A male Monarch enjoys a sip of Tropical Milkweed nectar on his way to rendezvous with the ladies in Mexico.

white, pink or purple to red, orange and yellow. Plant growth ranges from ground covers to 5 foot perennials. Be cautious if planting the Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. Yes, the pink flowers are beautiful and fragrant, but the plant is coarse-looking and aggressively spreads by rhizome and seed. The pink flowering Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, is a much better behaved native. My favorite, Spider Milkweed, Asclepias viridis. has huge cream and purple flowers dominating the diminutive 10” plant, perfect for edgings. Gardeners celebrate the vivid orange flowers of the Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa, but the caterpillars don’t share our human enthusiasm and will eat the leathery leaves only as a last resort. Plant it as a nectar source, but you need other more palatable Milkweeds for the persnickety cats.

seeking journalists. False accusations claim that the presence of Tropical Milkweed in early fall prevents Monarch migration, i.e., that the Monarchs will stay and breed rather than flying to Mexico. Ridiculous! Cool temperatures, not lack of food, triggers migration. In fact, with climate change, Monarchs need Tropical Milkweed more than ever to feed caterpillars in early fall after the native Milkweeds have gone dormant. Don’t worry about the deadly parasite, OE either, because it perishes in November’s hard freeze. The conclusion: Tropical Milkweed should continue as an indispensable plant in your butterfly garden. You can purchase Tropical Milkweed at the Marais des Cygnes Plant Sale in Paola April 23 through 25, and at Monarch Watch’s Open House May 9th.

Tropical Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica The Monarch caterpillar’s favorite food, Tropical Milkweed, has recently suffered bad press from native plant purists and sensation-

Marais des Cygnes 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. She may be contacted at lenora.longlips@

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


April at Powell Gardens

The season of a million blooms starts NOW! Celebrate Earth Day with FREE Admission Wednesday, April 22 Discover ways to make earthfriendly changes to your own little piece of the planet during Earth Day festivities at Powell Gardens on Wednesday, April 22. You’ll find all kinds of great ideas for small changes or projects that are kind to Mother Earth. Visit the workshop space in the Missouri Barn to explore a gallery of repurposing projects. 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.

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny & Easter Egg Hunt, April 4 The Easter Bunny visits Powell Gardens on Saturday, April 4, during a Chris Cakes pancake breakfast, followed by a traditional 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 painting are available for a small fee. To make reservations and see full details, visit Easter Brunch at Cafe Thyme 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. April 5 Reserve your spot for brunch with prepaid reservations at or by calling 816-697-2600 x209. Brunch price includes all-day admission to the Gardens.

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Orchid Weekend April 25-26 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, which remain on display in the tropical atmosphere of the conservatory through May 10. Fresh Bites in the Heartland Harvest Garden Visit the nation’s largest edible landscape to gather fresh inspiration for things you can grow and eat at home. Set on 12 acres, the Heartland Harvest Garden includes more than 2,000 types of food plants to show everything one can grow and eat in this region. Garden Interpreter Barbara Fetchenhier will whet your appetite during “Fresh Bites,” seasonal demonstrations that cover everything from growing edibles to upcycling.

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Mid-April typically brings peak bloom for flowering trees at Powell Gardens, including the apple trees in the Heartland Harvest Garden. These talks typically take place at 2 p.m. on Saturdays in the Missouri Barn and are included with regular Garden admission. Check the calendar at FreshBites for details.

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Springtime Back to Nature Programs Offered by Missouri Dept of Conservation

Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City MO 64110 816-759-7300 For more information, email Ever Eggs April 4 • Saturday • 10 AM–2:30 PM Walk-in (all ages) Spring is a time of renewal and one of the most common symbols is the egg. Join us as we explore eggs in nature – their different sizes, color and textures. We will also look at the different ways birds construct nests in order to protect their eggs. And finally, we’ll use natural dyes and special applications to color hardboiled eggs to take home. A fun filled day for all members of the family. Adult Speaker Series: Migration Sensations April 21 • Tuesday • 7 PM No registration required (adults; ages 14+ are welcome to attend with an adult participant) Each spring we are treated to one of the greatest and prettiest spectacles of nature. Millions of birds that have spent their winters in the tropical and subtropical regions make a perilous journey north to their breeding grounds. While we host many species as nesters in our region, the true show is put on by the wide variety of warblers, tanagers, thrushes and various other kinds of birds that stop over to feed in patches of quality habitat throughout our region. We will learn when, where and what birds to look for during spring migration.

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eringue, Merlot and Bravado all have one thing in common. So do Hot Papaya, Ruby Giant and Lucky Star. They’re all cultivars of Echinacea, also called coneflower, and they’re all on Kansas State University’s new Prairie Bloom list of recommended perennial flowers. Flowers that make the list have exhibited superior performance for three to five years or more in K-State’s bedding plant research trials in several locations around the state. The Prairie Bloom list is available online at http://www. aspx?catId=539&pubId=1307. “New this year are cultivars of peonies, crepe myrtle and forsythia,” said Robin Ruether, coordinator of the Prairie Bloom (perennial) and Prairie Star (annual) programs.

The Prairie Bloom program at Kansas State University has released its 2015 list of recommended perennial flowers that have been field tested for three to five years. Pictured is the daylily variety ‘Rosy Returns’ which is on the list. The new list is separated by those that grow best in the sun and

those that prefer shade. Such flowers as asters, carnations, daylilies,

irises, and ornamental grasses are included, as are hostas, shrub roses, and others. Each cultivar’s color, average height, width, and first week of bloom are also noted; key details needed for proper selection. Prairie Bloom is not a commercial brand or product line, Ruether said. It’s a list made up of flowering plant varieties submitted for testing in the sometimes harsh prairie climate. Those that grow well – and not all of them do – make the list. Ruether encourages gardeners to use the list to shop for specific varieties – not a generic daylily, but the daylily variety ‘Rosy Returns,’ for example. More information about the Prairie Bloom and Prairie Star Flower programs is available at


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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


2015 Perennial Plant of the Year™


eranium xcantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ is the 2015 Perennial Plant of the Year™. Geranium xcantabrigiense ‘Biokovo,’ pronounced jer-AYnee-um kan-tuh-brij-ee-EN-see bio-KO-vo, carries several common names including Biokovo geranium and cranesbill Biokovo. The plant is a member of the Geraniaceae family. Dr. Hans Simon, Marktheidenfeld, Germany, found ‘Biokovo,’ a naturally occurring hybrid of Geranium dalmaticum and Geranium macrorrhizum, in the Biokovo Mountains of the Dalmatia region of present-day Croatia. Geranium is derived from Greek “géranos”, describing the cranes bill-appearing fruit and the Latin “Cantabrigia” for “of or pertaining to Cambridge, England.” ‘Biokovo’ blooms in late spring with delightful masses of 5-petaled

white flowers, about 3⁄4” diameter. This excellent groundcover perennial reaches 6-10” high. Petals are tinged pink at the base and have darker pink center stamens. The overall effect is that of a blushing pink geranium. An interesting attraction is the flower ‘bud’ that is somewhat inflated – actually made up of the sepals which are redder than the petals. When the flower opens the lightly tinged pink flowers provide a handsome contrast to the sepals and stamens. The aromatic foliage has rounded leaf edges, is a medium green color, and is semi-evergreen in most climates. It forms an attractive mound that offers scarlet and orange fall colors. ‘Biokovo’ does well in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It is easy to grow and only requires deadheading (removing old flowers) to keep

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Photo credit to Todd Boland

Geranium xcantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’

it looking good. It forms an attractive mound that offers scarlet and orange fall colors to your garden. Cut away any dead foliage in the spring and ‘Biokovo’ is ready for the garden season. The plant tends to be deer- and rabbit-resistant. This geranium spreads by sending out runners, or rhizomes. However, not being a deeply rooted perennial, removal is not strenuous. Best garden placement is as a ground cover or in the front of the border. It also does well in rock gardens. Plant ‘Biokovo’ next to Japanese painted fern. Pick up color echoes between the pink flowers and maroon foliage tones that contrast with the silver streaks in the fern fronds. It also pairs nicely with late spring blooming penstemons such as ‘Prairie Dusk’ with clear purple flowers, or ‘Pink Rock Candy’ offering bright pink flowers on compact stems.

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8 Light: Biokovo performs best in sun to partial shade. Soil: This geranium prefers average, well-drained soil. Uses: This perennial offers beautiful brightness and delicate scent in lightly shaded, partly sunny areas at the front of borders or as a groundcover. Unique Qualities: ‘Biokovo’ showcases delicate pinkishwhite flowers in spring, that give way to beautiful reddish orange fall leaf color.

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s gardeners evolve, so do our gardens. As we mature, we must meet certain challenges. We need to be savvy about our gardening. The speaker chosen for Gardeners Connect’s April 18 program is a garden writer who has recently relocated from a 30-acre farmstead to a home and garden in the city. She has some advice to share about changing the scope of your garden. Our speaker is Jan Riggenbach, who is the author of a new book, “Your Midwest Garden: An Owner’s Manual” and has been

a longtime garden columnist and feature writer for Midwest Living magazine. Riggenbach plans to give two programs on Saturday, April 18. The first one, a free program at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, MO, is titled “A Change of Scenery: Big Ideas for Less Landscape Labor.” We plan to have coffee and refreshments at 9:30 a.m. in the Lewis & Clark Room down the hall from the lobby and auditorium entrance. After the morning program, please join us for a soup luncheon and another program by Riggenbach, this one titled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in My Garden.” Tickets for this lecture are $5 ($10 for anyone not a member of Gardeners Connect), and lunch is included. In downsizing, Riggenbach has been planting with an emphasis on drought tolerance and making every inch count. She said her goal with the new garden is

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to have more fun and less work. She is using plants that don’t need to be deadheaded or pruned as often, smaller shrubs and prairie grasses. There is hardly any turf, wso there is a lot less mowing, she said. Riggenbach has been gardening since she was a young girl. For more than 30 years, she has been writing a syndicated newspaper garden column, “Your Midwest Garden.”

Riggenbach’s new book, “Your Midwest Garden, An Owner’s Manual,” is a compilation of her columns and she has added a plant list. She also has co-authored with Ann Lovejoy the 1999 book “Midwest Gardener’s Handbook” and the 1998 book “Ortho’s All About Perennials.” Riggenbach spoke to a Gardeners Connect audience in 2006.

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Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


Rose Report

It’s all about pruning this month.

Charles Anctil


any of the canes above the mulch will be black, but under the mulch there will be a lot of green on protected canes. When you prune, go down about an inch into the green. Seal the cuts with Elmer’s Wood Glue or orange shellac. Fingernail polish works too. Pile the mulch between the roses so if we get a late freeze you can re-cover quickly. If there’s a frost, I wash the plants off with water before the sun hits them. As the weather warms, all plants start to wake up. The sap (blood) starts to flow to the canes. When we get a good freeze, the sap caught in the canes crystallizes, blows up, and damages the tissue in the canes – now you have to prune and start over again. Keep the mulch close by so you can re-cover quickly. Some years I have had to prune my roses so severely that the canes looked like the knuckles on the back of my hand. Do not be in

a big hurry to dig up a “dead” rose. Give the bud union a chance. When it comes to pruning, you need the right tool for the job…Felco! I started using Felco back in 1964-1965 and have never changed. Swiss steel…you can not beat. Treated properly they will last a long time. I have two pair over 15 years old and have replaced one blade. Use them to prune canes the size of your little finger and DO NOT use them as wire cutters. With larger canes, use lopping shears or small saws. DON’T let the neighbors borrow them and hide them from your relatives! They are expensive, but the best bargain you will ever find. Parts are replaceable. When pruning, never worry about making a mistake. It will grow back. Always start by pruning out dead wood. Why? Because it is dead, and again, you can not make a mistake! Take out weak or damaged canes. Keep 3 to 5 of your best canes, and try to keep the middle (inside) of the plant open for the best air circulation. Pruning is not just for pruning season – if you think they need pruning, do it. Last year my roses were getting so tall and lanky I got the loppers out and gave them a real good “haircut.” I brought them

down to chest high and still had blooms from mid-September to the first week of November. Since floribundas and polyanthas are mainly for garden display rather than cut flowers, you can allow more of the older canes to remain for increased flower production. Cut back about 1/3 of the year’s new growth. Leaving more canes enhances the ability of the rose bush to produce larger amounts of flowers. Most miniature roses are grown on their own roots – no bud union – no suckers. You can use hedge trimmers and trim off the tops at a foot above the soil, remove any twiggy growth, and open up the center of the plant to increase air circulation.

For garden roses and shrubs, prune only last year’s growth. Onetime bloomers should be pruned right after blooming and repeat bloomers should be pruned in winter or early spring. After a few years, however this practice makes for a very lanky bush, so each year thereafter prune back some of the oldest canes to promote basal breaks. Works for me, maybe it will 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., 816-233-1223.

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April 2015 |

A Natural Occurring Phenomena… The Nitrogen Cycle

Diane Swan


he Nitrogen Cycle is a natural phenomenon that is all around us. You can’t see it, hear it, or feel it, but it is constantly happening and makes life go on. Organic matter settles into the earth as dead plants, animals and waste products. This decaying matter is decomposed by natural bacteria and fungi. Nitrogen fixing bacteria in roots and soil makes this organic matter go through ammonification, which turns this debris into ammonia. The process of nitrification is a biological oxidation of ammonia that causes nitrites to change to nitrates. Anaerobic bacteria then uses denitrification to change these nitrates into nitrogen which is released back into the soil and used by plants as fertilizers and the rest is released as nitrogen back into the air. This whole process is made possible by natural occurring beneficial bacteria. In our water garden this process also needs to take place. We create a controlled environment when we create a water

garden, so we have to help out this process just a little. The waste products caused by fish and plants as they decay, results in ammonia in your pond, which can be toxic to your fish. But that is where your beneficial bacteria comes into play. Since a water garden is a controlled environment, bacteria doesn’t automatically show up as it does in soil. You can introduce beneficial bacteria into your pond to make this process continue on as nature intended. Bacteria needs oxygen to grow and colonize. Bacteria dines on the oxygen and ammonia making the ammonia turn into nitrites which are not as toxic as the ammonia but still can be harmful. Beneficial bacteria has many different strains of bacteria some of these continue the process of then turning the nitrites into nitrates, which are harmless chemicals. Finally anaerobic bacteria kicks in and changes these nitrates into nitrogen. Aerators and waterfalls help release the nitrogen gases out of the water and back into the air. Believe it or not, lightning causes nitrogen in the air to break up, combines with oxygen and turns it into nitrates. It enters the pond by rainwater. It is just like adding fertilizer into your pond. Adding bacteria after a hard lightning storm can neutralize these new nutrients. Your aquatic plants will also absorb the nitrates created in your

pond. Aquatic plants in floating islands, marginal plants barerooted and planted on the edge of your stream and pond work great as all their roots are exposed directly to the water. Plants use denitrification to change these nitrates back into nitrogen gas and releases it back into the air. All of this information may appear technical, but as you start to understand the nitrogen cycle the easier it will be to understand how to take care of your pond. All it really amounts to is adding a dosage of beneficial bacteria to your pond’s water once a week or so. Make sure there is plenty of oxygen in your pond. Then let Nature take its turn to do its normal nitrogen cycle. So while the nitrogen cycle in the ground naturally occurs. You can make the process continue on

into your water feature and experience crystal clear water. Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-837-3510.

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Photos by Susan Mertz.

In the Garden with Suzanne Frisse farm to table in Stilwell, Kansas

Susan Mertz


e saw a pond, she saw land. He saw fishing, she saw gardens. In 1989, Suzanne Frisse and her late husband, Dan,

purchased a passive solar house and property in Stilwell, Kansas. Inspired by Powell Gardens and with help from Dan, she created a new raised garden bed every year. Today, her colorful house is surrounded by a “crazy quilt” of flowers and produce. Tired of travelling eighty percent of the year teaching seminars and encouraged by her husband, she decided to pursue a dream. Suzanne turned her hobby garden

Overland Park

Farmers’ Market Saturdays Beginning April 18 7am-1pm

into a business. Her home and gardens have become Meadowlark Acres. It was easy for Suzanne and Dan to come up with the name Meadowlark Acres. Meadowlark is the state bird of Kansas and lived in the area when they moved to their new home. They enjoyed spotting them when they went on walks. A science teacher for 38 years, Dan was an avid birder and passed that passion onto Suzanne. He taught her what to listen for and what to watch. Suzanne always enjoyed baking bread and having friends over for dinner parties. Her farm to table adventure started with those parties. Farm to table is now her livelihood. Today, rather than teaching business skills, Suzanne teaches classes on cooking and baking. However, she hasn’t fully escaped the business world. A team building rainbow pasta class is popular with

small businesses. Small groups book her home or gardens for lunch and dinner parties. At Meadowlark Acres, ingredients from the garden are creatively transformed into breads, cakes, jams, jellies and mustards by Suzanne. Lemon basil and rosemary are two of the herbs that Suzanne grows. A few of the staples Suzanne grows and uses in her recipes are potatoes, okra, shallots, tomatoes, and moqua. Moqua? Served at a dinner at Powell Gardens, Suzanne prepared Moqua Melon Muffins with ground sugar and amaretto glaze for the feast. Native to Southeast Asia, moqua is a member of the cucumber family. Moqua was introduced to her gardens through a K-State Extension study of produce for farmers’ markets. Extension challenged growers to make something from its harvest to sell at market and report back the results.

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Join members of

Greater KC Water Garden Society Tuesday, April 21, 6-8:30 pm; at Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave KCMO Our first speaker is Steve Hess, From The Summers’ Garden, will demonstrate how to make Hypertufa flower pots and planter boxes.

Suzanne made Moqua Jelly with jalepeno peppers. She describes the flavor of the jelly as it evolves through the season as starting off sweet like apricot jelly and finishing with a bite of a hot pepper. Cucuzzi Italian Gourd is another unusual ingredient grown in Meadowlark Acre’s gardens. Though they grow quite large, Suzanne harvests them when they are small. She scrubs off the fuzzy parts and uses them in dishes as she would use squash. The flavor is similar to asparagus. Late in the season when I visited Meadowlark Acres, vines stole the show. Firecracker, corkscrew (a Thomas Jefferson favorite) and hyacinth bean vines were all in flower. Indian corn had been harvested and mums were flowering by the bench at the pond. Hyacinth bean vine is one of Suzanne’s favorites with colorful flowers and seed pods until the first frost. Suzanne’s spring favorite is morel mushrooms. The morels are harvested and used in the stuffing of ravioli. The fragrant flowers of the old fashioned 4 o’clocks, planted by a walkway, give immediate

splashes of color in the summer. The bright red fruits of winterberries are a favorite when it snows. A friend of Suzanne’s calls her gardening style “contrarian”. Perhaps so. She would probably say it is one of the lessons she learned from her husband. “Hang loose now.” After Dan died, Suzanne’s perspective softened and she isn’t bothered by a bit of chaos in the garden. Some people have tidy gardens with vegetables planted in straight rows. Suzanne plants her vegetables in the middle of the flowerbeds to protect them from deer. The piles of leaf much, grass clippings, sawdust will have coffee chaff added to them to create a compost to amend the beds in the winter. A rural setting on the edge of suburban sprawl, Suzanne’s style is a part of the wonderful ambience and farm to table experience of Meadowlark Acres (www.

Dr. Lori Bedient is a small animal veterinarian with a passion for the finned and the furry. She has additional training in aquatic medicine which incorporates her passion and lifetime hobby. Dr. Lori will be sharing keeping your goldfish and koi healthy in the water garden. She begins making house calls in May 2015. Guests are welcome. Annual dues are $25 for an individual and $35 per couple. Membership provides free tickets to the yearly 2-day greater Kansas City water garden tour and discounts at many retailers.

Save The Date Annual Plant Sale Saturday • 8 a.m. • May 9th Bass Pro Shops 1-70 & 291 Hwy, Independence, MO The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City have a reputation for offering great plants at reasonable prices. Thousands of annuals and perennials available for sale.

Susan Mertz, Garden Writer and Director of Marketing at Loma Vista Nursery. Join her for tours and photographs of gardens at

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Properly Dispose Hazardous Products

ocused on environmental responsibility, gardeners are likely to recycle garden debris into the compost pile, or leave it for pickup at the curb. But what about garden products that are unused, outdated, and considered hazardous? If you’re cleaning out the garden shed or garage, and it’s time to dispose of old herbicides, fertilizers, stains and paints, what do you do with them? There are regional household hazardous waste collection facilities and are available for residents to safely dispose their household hazardous waste. A list of these locations, along with directions and hours of operation, is available on the Mid-America Regional Council web1site ( htm). Here’s an abbreviated list for easy reference. In Missouri: Kansas City: 4707 Deramus; 816-513-8400 Lee’s Summit: 2101 SE Hamblen Road; 816-969-1805 In Kansas: Wyandotte County: 2443 S. 88th Street; 913-573-5400 Olathe: 1420 S. Robinson; 913-971-9311 Johnson County: Mission; 913-715-6900 Leavenworth County: 24967 136th St., Leavenworth; 913-727-2858 Miami County: 327th Street and Hospital Drive; 913-294-4117 Many of these locations operate by appointment only, so be sure to give them a call first. Thank you for properly disposing of hazardous materials and for protecting people, animals and landscapes of your community.

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April 2015 |

Purchase Butterfly Bushes to invite butterflies like this Red-Spotted Purple.

Buy the herb Rue for its beauty and to host Black and Giant Swallowtails.

Extension Master Gardener

Plant Sale in Paola Thursday, April 23—noon to 5 pm Friday, April 24—8 am to 6 pm Saturday, April 25—8 am to noon


uring the last week of April, Marais des Cygnes (formerly Miami County) Extension Master Gardeners will hold their annual plant sale in Paola, Kansas. Plants are locallygrown so buyers can be assured of appropriateness for our clay soil and extreme weather. Our suppliers do not use neonicotinoids, which protects pollinators and butterflies from exposure to residual insecticides. Extension Master Gardeners’ sale will again feature native plants, especially flowers for pollinators, and caterpillar host plants for butterflies. Both annuals and perennials will be available for purchase. For the first time, buyers will find bedding plants and vegetable transplants as well as hanging baskets to provide ready-made beauty for your yard.

Help for your Gardening Questions Do you need suggestions for challenging sites like dry shade or that wet spot? Do deer and rabbits consider your garden their personal buffet? Extension Master Gardeners will be on-hand to answer your questions about plant selections and gardening design. Our expertise ranges from flowers to vegetable growing to butterfly gardening. We’ve moved! Visitors will appreciate the convenience of our new location, the parking lot at 300 Baptiste Drive, former site of Heritage Tractor, just west of the Farmers Coop. Take the Baptiste Drive Exit from Hwy 169, turn right and go west 1.3 miles. The Plant Sale is on the north side of Baptiste. For more information, please contact the Extension Office at 913-294-4306.

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

into flower pots and planter boxes. He will also share other functional art ideas for the home gardener. Dr Lori Bedient is a small animal veterinarian with a passion for the finned and the furry. She has additional training in aquatic medicine which incorporates her passion and lifetime hobby. Dr Lori will be sharing keeping your goldfish and koi healthy in the water garden. She begins making house calls in May 2015. Guests are welcome. Our annual dues are $25 for an individual and $35 per couple. Membership provides free tickets to the yearly 2-day Greater Kansas City Water Garden Tour and discounts at many retailers. www

SU LIL N & PA IES SHA PL TIO SM DE Bonner Springs Garden Club PL ANT PLA ALL PER Tues, Apr 17, 2pm; at Suburban Lawn & NT FR EN Garden, 10501 Roe Ave, Overland Park, KS KE ANT S H The E UI N Friends 66207. Suburban Lawn & Garden personnel O S PH TS IAL ST RSof the GI TS OT will present a program on new plants and G OB Arboretum H E S S R A B YJ improved cultivars. Come see what’s new AN U OH AN S D UN AS S N NB T A for 2015. The meeting is free. Visitors are H RE S G T T A N HM & E E E I I A Y UA welcome. A group will be carpooling from RB NG RF VE S L L S S I Bonner Springs. For more information call H C L L BUClub N S IE AD OL S V BA LY PLA Independence Garden Ruth at 913-728-2806. A S P T OR EG SK PL Mon, Apr 13, 6:30pm; at the Sermon Center, E T AT HA TE S I AN NTS V P E G M F corner of Noland and Truman Rd,R 4th Floor, E I Garden Club of Shawnee N O E T U I GyouI like toFknow Independence, H MO. LY PL PL ALL RE L A ES S S TS HO Thurs, Apr 9, 7pm; at Old Shawnee Town EWould N R N more about growing beautiful daylilies? Then Hall, 11600 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS. Steve NN DA UN GR STA G and P AN AN FR N CO this B S plan on attending meeting. Elroy I B L T Hess, gardener, designer, sculptor and owner LO of V AS AN S TER UIT ALS UA YLIL & ASS S PE members Loreta Knoche, theEMo-Kan of From the Summer’s Garden studio will talk R S GGon KE TS HO S S Daylily Society,R will present a program about making hypertufa planters and sculpturNA LS P IES HA ES FThey EbeNgladFtoU B S H I T R daylilies. will answer quesL E U al concrete. Visitors are welcome and refreshUI N ANon S D S S GRA TAS ANG TT TIV ATI SM DE tions E regarding daylilies, andIinformation ments will be served. For more information T A R S LS areNU AY UN SS HE IN ER E P O P AL P new varieties Visitors Swill be available. about our club visit our website: www.gardenB & H AL LIL & welcome and refreshments will be For ES RB G B FLY LA LA L F U N or visit us on Facebook. SH please ANcall 816-373-1169 Tserved. more information orAT S S T SM I AD GI ER IV HA CO S V AS PLA NTS NTE PA ES 816-812-3067. Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society N A E E PL TIO SM DE LO EG KET NT HO R LL PE G B FLY Sun, Apr 12, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden P A Rose FRSocietyRE A NCounty PL LAN PL AL PE RFU GIES S S S G ST Center, Library Room, 51st and Wornall, H Johnson O T S Thurs, Apr 9, 7pm; at the Prairie Village L R Kansas City, MO. There will be a demonstraER UI G STA Center, NI KET ANT TS ANT FR EN L A DA UN RAS TSRd,NPrairie 7720 Mission tion of potting up tubers and pinching for a RCommunity S H A AS KS.SOkay, youHhave planted bushier plant followed by a short business BorUare LS S S S G OS ER UIT NIA NN YLI & S & Village, A H S about to plant those wonderful rose S NG bushes. meeting. 816-513-8590 T NA UN RA TA S H S B LS UAL LIE HA ES to E SM H Now you want beR sure you keep thoseTE AD S S I S B AN UT NA S N C S blooms! bushes healthy andOget beautiful IV & S SSale G RFL TPreview SM H& Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America E E T PL AL G Reception T P E E V S B L E Meeting How to not kill your roses. PE IV HA I A L Ftopic: Y R Mon, Apr 6, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden E O N R A A P C T RF and G Master ARS LA HOMO. NTLaura Dickinson, RE Gardener DE OL BS G B FLY E P IO Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, G SKE PLAfor RRosarian, U U Consulting will give valuable tips IE N FOTA Members E N S OR VE Membership. 816-513-8590 AS LA S ITSfertilizing, RS watering, GR TA on pruning, TS NT TS PE PL LAN NI and general G F K A R S D S AS rose care. AtHthisAmeeting, GI HO can L also sign NN ET AN Byou AY SUN G April & Group EN U Greater Kansas City Herb Study L Thursday, 30, 4 to 7 pm H E S U T S S S R U for aEhands-onN pruning workshop be TT to N Wed, Apr 8, at noon, in the Rose Room HAof Eup AL LIL AS TA NIA ANN S D S S S G R & S S A held later in April. All JCRS meetings are E I B M 52nd &D the Garden Center of Loose Park, IE andSreceive T S FOTA C open to the UA AYL UN S public.NRefreshments 10%Smember G Rare HA SE S HE LS discount FL IVEJoin Wornall Rd, Kansas City,P MO. JoinA usL in an Efree and O P V S B L A L P provided. Members EGare welcome ORand guests Easter Celebration Luncheon. A Spring isLin ASto Y P PL TI SM DE Eadvantage CO RB NAT LS P ILIE F N H R O take of the “Consulting Rosarians GI A the air and ready to refreshOand renew a R FU consultation Tus, UI – E EAR NN STof many. ESwithKET LAN ANT PL LL PER LOR S VE IVE ATI S Corner” a free individual wonderful season thatG is a favorite L T AN F S S TS S ASfoods S a Consulting EN FU GG PL O RAseasonal your questions S Rosarian. IABring A spring luncheon with delicious D N R H H B L A & T and concerns about any aspect of growing and SVisitors UN GR OS NU Y AN U are waiting for you, at no cost. are HE caring S N Rosarians ER UIT NIA L A IES ANT SE SH L T for roses! The Consulting T always warmly welcomed to partake in food, A A& Saturday, G timely tipsTabout N SMay L 1-2 & S SM A SOur R LS ILIFriday Balso will give I NG ERcaringAfor TIroses SH SSE AS H HA BU S N NU DAY fun, practical and applicable information. E D C S A S V EP “This Month In The Rose Garden”. For moreE PA President, LynnP Soulier, to us OL LbeLspeaking NG TT AT ALS L Vabout S toE5 LY BA Fprograms LA will SM A9 pm DEam E O R information the meetings, and P T E C on, “Herbs For Women.” Lynn is an Herbalist, G R F IN ER IVE I B P N S LA H knowledge T REother activities OL O PA G Rgreatof the Johnson K County Rose A F L S P who shares her O of E providing G FL IE Uof Society, AN NT PL LL ER O P E N ST throughR V visit You L L GR T B er health and well-being the power I Y S NIfind them on AN F S S TS S ASthat easeSthe painTS can also EN RFU EGG AS at PL AN AL AFacebook Dwww.faceplants. We will cover ASherbs N R H H B A T N K U I L U N AN Hmood UT S N U YL and flare-ups of arthritis, herbs for and SE ET AN N GRA OST ER ITS IAL AN ES ER A G I & T memory, as well as providing during S T S D Scomfort A L A IN City E B Garden SU RF ClubTIV LS P IES SH SSE S H HA BU S N NUA AY times of stress. In addition to our luncheon andS Kansas C G 6, at Loose Park OL E PGardenAT VMon, presentation, we will exchange seeds and garB9am-2pm; SM ADE S C ER NG TTE ATIV LS LILI N EGApr5200 AS LY Kansas Pennsylvania, City,L MO. OR Center, dening utensils. If you have any seeds, sprouts I P GI and Board. LA AN O P AL PE OLO BS V ING RF E P PA ES KE816-513-8590 FMembership or gardening utensils you no longer are using E U LA TIO TS NT TS LA L F RE RF EG BA LY S L or have extra, please bring them to exchange. P N S D Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group N UL GI SK SU HO A This is always so much fun and everyone has LA NTS A TE RU N G E Tues, Apr 14, N 7-9pm; at Unitarian Fellowship Y I E N an opportunity to take home some goodies. I S AL AN S N N 1100 LRd.) TAmileRwest ILWe of Lawrence (1263 U meet & RAS S1/2 S ofTHighway DA TS NTS We also have several prizes to win and fel69 at 179th & Antioch S A N I S S H B ESall H SE monthly to learn about herbs. We explore LS NA UA YL SU lowship abundant. Join us in some great fun HE AN AD S 913-685-3604 aspects of an herb: growing and harvesting, S and springy food. Please RSVP to Charlotte, TIV LS ILI N T R G PA CO M E historical lore, culinary virtues, medicinal E I B E or Barbara, 816-523N R TIO AL PE LO S G merits, and aromatherapy, household, and cosFL E PL PAT S 3702, so we may have an accurate count for V L R metic applications. Our gatherings are fun and the luncheon. PL FR EN RFU EGG BAS Y P AN IO educational, and jam-packed with useful inforKE LA TS AN UI NI L A IE mation, including relevant demonstrations. A Greater Kansas City Water Garden Society S T TE S LS NN DA TS NTS Everyone with an interest in herbs is welcome. Tues, Apr 21, 6-8:30pm; at Anita B Gorman R B There is a $2 charge to cover costs (KVHSG is S Discover Center, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas UT NA UA YLI SUN a non-profit group; no charge for students). No L City, MO. Our first speaker is Steve Hess from HA TE TIV LS pets. Nursing babies and children over 10 are The Summers’ Garden. He will demonstrate NG RF E P PA IES how to make a green Hypertufa mix to form TI L IN LY (continued on page 38) G PL ANT O BA AN S SK | April The Kansas City Gardener 37 T 2015 ET S S African Violets of Greater Kansas City Tues, Apr 14, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590


Plant Sale

Open to the Public

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens •

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see (continued from page 37) welcome. Information & Monthly Newsletter: Leavenworth County Master Gardeners Wed, Apr 8, 11am; at the Riverfront Community Center (in the Woman’s Waiting Room); 123 South Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Ken O’Dell, board member of the Kansas Native Plant Society and Kansas City Regional leader of the KNPS will give a presentation on plant propagations, cuttings, divisions and seedings. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information call Brianna Terrell at 913-240-4571.


p o t s

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive pest that will kill any untreated ash tree.

Confirmed in Johnson County Kansas

Leawood Garden Club Tues, Apr 28, 10:30am; at the Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St, Leawood, KS. About noon, Chris Veach will present De-Bugging Your Garden. Ms. Veach is a nature lover whose passions include tree care and pest control, beneficial insects, protecting pollinators, lasagna gardening, butterflies and birds. She is a Missouri Master Gardener Emeritus, Kansas City’s first Tree Steward, a Missouri Master Naturalist, Arborist, and she was named Master Gardener of the Year by Clay County and MGGKC. This program will teach the gardener to identify and treat harmful pests in the garden using the least toxic method. Genetic, cultural, mechanical, biological and, as a last resort chemical controls are discussed. The use and preservation of beneficial insects is emphasized. Ninety-nine percent of the insects in your garden are beneficial. The meeting is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Bring a sack lunch, beverages and desserts are provided. For more information, please visit our website, send an email to, or call 913-642-3317. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Apr 14, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 S W Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Our speaker will be Kate Stafford, her topic will be “Container Gardening/ Terrariums”. Refreshments will be provided, visitors are always welcome. Visit or call 816540-4036 for additional information. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Apr 14, 7-8pm; at National Guard Armory, Room AB, 18200 W 87th Parkway, Lenexa, KS. Dayna McDaniel will give a presentation on Seedsavers KC and saving seeds from gardens. Learn more about the club at Mo Kan Daylily Society Sun, Apr 12, 11am-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Saving Your Trees SAVES YOU MONEY! (913) 390-0033 38

April 2015 |

Northland Garden Club Tues, Apr 21, 7pm; at Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 N Norton, Kansas City, MO (just south and west of Penguin Park). The Garden Club will feature a presentation by Sherri Thomas on “Edibles & Jewels in the Garden”. Please check website for additional information: Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Apr 21, 9:30am; meet at East Gate Parking Lot, 1229 E Santa Fe, Olathe,

KS 66061. Carpool to the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden for a selfguided tour. Lunch at Arboretum Cafe at 12:30pm. Join us and learn more about gardening in our area. Questions? Contact Joan Shriver at 913-492-3566. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Apr 13, 6pm; special tour of the grounds at the Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. The tour will begin at 6:00pm and we will have a guide to show us all of the special features of this great garden. The public is welcome. Plan to meet at 5:45pm at the parking lot of the Kauffman Foundation. Anyone who wishes to carpool may contact Sallie Wiley at 913-236-5193. Any questions, please refer to the previous number. Raytown Garden Club Tues, Apr 2, 10am; at Raytown Christian Church, 6108 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO. The program will be “Birdscaping Your Yard” presented by Ed Reece, owner of Wild Bird House, Overland Park, KS. Visitors are welcome and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit our website at raytown or call 816-257-0049. Shawnee Garden Club Thurs, Apr 9, 7pm; at Old Shawnee Town Hall, 11600 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS 66203. Speaker: Steve Hess, hypertufa planters and sculptural concrete. Visitors are welcome. Sho Me African Violets Fri, Apr 10, 11am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Events, Lectures & Classes April Fairy Garden Design Fri, Apr 3, 10am; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Easter Celebration for Kids, with Kristin Middleton. Questions? 816-229-1277. Raised Bed Workshop Sat, Apr 11, 10am; at Soil Service Garden Center, 7130 Troost, Kansas City, MO. Join us for a learning workshop on why raised beds are a great way to raise vegetables. Discussion will include site selection, construction, crop selection, planting and upkeep. No registration required. 816-444-3403 KC Food Circle’s Annual Eat Local (& Organic!) Expo Sat, Apr 11, 9:30am-2:30pm; at Penn Valley Community College Gym. Do you know your farmer? Meet and buy directly from local organic and free-range farmers and vendors. Snatch up early flower and garden seedlings, fresh greens, herbs, free-range meat and eggs and get our free Directory of local organic and free range producers. Getting a subscription to a farm (a CSA) gets you top pick of the best food in town. Workshop at 10:00-10:45 am for kids of all ages: “Little Sprouts - The Joy and Wonder of Learning How Things Grow.” Admission and parking are free. Families are welcome.

Garden Club Night Wed, Apr 15, 6:30-8:30pm; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. We invite active garden club members to a private shopping event in the greenhouse as a way of saying thank you to those loyal gardeners who support this local business. It’s fun to be with other garden clubs, enjoy the refreshments and music in the greenhouse. We will offer a 25% discount to all greenhouse plant purchases that night only. This year’s demo will feature “How to plant things that don’t necessarily hold soil well.” Questions? 816-229-1277. Spring Wild Flower Walk in Miami County Thurs, Apr 16, 1pm; at Hillsdale State Park, 26001 W 255th St, Paola, KS. Hillsdale State Park in Paola, KS has 32 miles of hiking trails, meandering through multiple habitats from the shore of the 5,000 acre lake, including native prairie to oak/hickory woodlands. Our first exploration will be the 1.5 mile “Hidden Spring Nature Trail” (Yes, there is a hidden spring!). While the terrain is steep in places, it is well graded with steps for easy walking. We will meet at the Visitor Center parking lot at 1pm. The Visitor Center has an excellent small museum, so allow time before or after our hike to enjoy the educational displays. Directions: The Visitor Center is at 26001 W 255th St. Turn west on the Hillsdale exit from K-7/169. Contact: Lenora Larson 913-2843360. Sponsor: Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners Pollinators: Feel the Love Thurs, Apr 16, 6:30pm; at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, KCMO. Presented by the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City. Betsy Betros, author and active citizen scientist will talk about the birds and the bees and a thing called love. Learn about the fascinating world of pollinators and learn why and how your garden can become a safe home for the most important group of pollinators....insects! Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456. Horsing Around with Violets Sat, Apr 18, 9am-3pm and Apr 19, 10am3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd. Park entrance is West driveway immediately South of 51st St. 30th Annual Show and Sale of Sho-Me African Violet Club. First, you are invited to attend our annual Show and enjoy the beauty of African Violets and related plants competing in this Judged Show. Then visit the Sale Room which allows you to add beauty to your home by owning member grown plants. Members are open to visiting with you and answering any questions as well as learning by hearing your experiences. Free admission. 816-513-8590 Fairy Garden Class Sat, Apr 18, 10am; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Questions? 816-229-1277. Sho-Me African Violet Club 30th Annual Show & Sale Sat, Apr 18, 9am-3pm and Sun, Apr 19, 10am3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Info: Fred & Pat Inbody, 816-373-6915, Fairy Gardening Basics Sat, Apr 18, 10am and 2pm; at Ben’s Gardening Center, 1001 SW 40 Hwy, Blue Springs, MO. Join us for a Fairy Gardening Basics class. We will cover what you need to know to make your own fairy garden. Class is free but you may shop from our available fairy supplies to make your own garden. RSVP not

required but appreciated. 816-229-2684 or Medicinal Uses of Herbs Sat, Apr 18, 1-4pm; at Powell Gardens. Discover which “weeds” in your yard are edible and medicinal. Learn how to preserve collected herbs and how to use poultices, compresses, tinctures and teas for overall good health. We’ll take a short walk to identify and gather herbs and make a healing salve from our harvest. Hands-on demonstrations, samples and handouts included. $39/person, $34/member. Registration required by Apr 14. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at powellgardens. org/AdultClasses. Tropical Plants: Want to Know Session Sat, Apr 18, 11am and 3pm; at Ben’s Gardening Center, 1001 SW 40 Hwy, Blue Springs, MO. Hear growing tips for Palms, Cactus, Bromeliads and other tropicals. Ask questions about these plants you can’t wait to try. RSVP not required but appreciated. 816229-2684 or Orchid Auction Sun, Apr 19, 2-4:30pm; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS, open to the public. Prices starting at $5. A Fundraiser for the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. Emerald Ash Borer and Trees for Johnson County Wed, Apr 22, 7-8:30pm; at Sylvester Powell, Jr Community Center, 6200 Martway , Mission, KS 66202 (East of Lamar, between Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive). The City of Mission Tree Board will host a FREE educational presentation on the Emerald Ash Borer. Hear from Dennis Patton, Horticulture Agent with Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. Learn about the spread of EAB into the area and what can be done. Each participant will receive a copy of a list of trees to replace the Ash in your landscape. Light refreshments will be provided. For additional information call Kathy at 913-722-8206. Spring Plant Sale in Paola Thurs, Apr 23, noon-5pm; Fri, Apr 24, 8am6pm; Sat, Apr 25, 8am-noon. The Marais des Cygnes (formerly Miami County) Extension Master Gardeners annual spring plant sale will feature Annuals, Perennials, Butterfly Host Plants, Natives, Vegetables and Hanging Baskets. Master Gardeners will be available to answer your gardening questions. You can also pick up handouts explaining butterfly gardening. We’ve moved! The Plant Sale will be located at 300 Baptiste Dr, former site of Heritage Tractor. Take the Baptiste Drive Exit off Hwy 169 and turn right, drive 1.3 miles. Call 913-294-4306 for more information. Mo-Kan Daylily Society Spring Sale Sat, Apr 25, 8am-1pm; at Cave Springs Park, 8701 E Gregory, Kansas City, MO. A large variety of locally grown daylilies will be available for sale. Club members will be on hand to answer questions and help with selection. We encourage all gardeners to visit the sale. Interested in joining Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City? Sat, Apr 25, 10-11am; at Univ of Missouri Extension Office, 105 E 5th Street (Corner of 5th and Walnut, River Market, KCMO) Kansas City, Missouri 64105. Join us for a brief information session and learn more about the University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener volunteer program. The Mission of Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City is “Helping Others Learn to Grow”. This Master Gardener chapter is active with projects and programs in the three county – Clay, Jackson, (continued on page 40)

Fascinated with plants, the environment and sustainable landscapes? Interested in urban horticulture? Bring your green thumb to JCCC for Horticultural Sciences classes: Horticultural Sciences Certificate – Designed to prepare students for science-based careers in the “greening industry.” Landscape Technician Certificate – Prepares students for success in entry-level or higher positions in the landscape design and maintenance field. Horticultural Sciences AAS Degree – Provides students with knowledge and skills for jobs required for greenhouse operations, nursery management, landscape design and maintenance and more! JCCC has a 2+2 articulation agreement with K-State. For more information, contact Dr. Lekha Sreedhar at 913-469-8500, ext. 3763, or visit and seach for “horticultural sciences”

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

for Spring (continued from page 39)

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) Autobody Technician Equipment Operators Laborers

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Platte – region. Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City maintain demonstration gardens, community gardens, and historic gardens. They educate the public about gardening topics, sponsor a garden tour every other year, and much more! Master Gardener Training will be available locally during the fall, 2015. Call Cathy or Sara at 816-252-5051, for more information. More information is also available at these websites: http://mg.missouri. edu/; Plant an Herb Container Sat, Apr 25, 2-4pm; at Powell Gardens. Plant your own 18-inch container garden with a selection of annual and perennial herbs that will supply savory flavors for your cooking pleasure. You will also learn about caring for your herb planter and how to use herbs. Weather permitting, we will tour the herb plantings of the Heartland Harvest Garden. $44/person, $37/member. Registration required by Apr 14. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at 20th Annual Spring Dig Plant Sale Thurs-Sat, Apr 30-May 2; at Shawnee Presbyterian Church, 6837 Nieman, Shawnee, KS. The sale will benefit Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc. It will be held rain or shine 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 Mothers Day. There will be volunteers to custom design pots just for you. Bring your own pots or buy one there. Hours are Thurs and Fri 8am-7pm and Sat 8am-1pm. For further information call 913-281-3388. Friends of the Arboretum Spring Plant Sale May 1-2 from 9 am to 5 pm, with a preview sale and reception for FOTA members on Thursday evening, April 30, from 4 to 7 pm. Join FOTA and enjoy a 10% discount throughout the sale. Annuals, perennials, natives, herbs and much more. The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is located about a half mile west of Hwy 69 at 179th and Antioch. For more information visit the FOTA website at or call 913685-3604.

May Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale Fri, May 1, 9am-5pm, and Sat, May 2, 9am2pm; at Wildcat Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1200 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Available for sale: vegetable and herb plants grown by the Master Gardeners specifically for this sale; perennials, biennials, native plants, ornamental grasses, and annuals; and miscellaneous garden decorative items.


April 2015 |

herbs you can grow, harvest and use to accent your cooking in new ways. Taste several infusions and leave with a sample, recipes and preparation suggestions. $35/person, $29/ member. Registration required by Apr 27. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Central Missouri Master Gardeners 18th Annual Plant Sale Sat, May 2, 7am-noon; at Jaycee Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Follow the plant sale progress and see what’s for sale on or on our website For questions about the sale, please contact Julie Long at 573-295-6263 or by email at Annual Plant Sale Wed, May 6, 8am-2pm or when sold out; at 18505 W 114th St, Olathe, KS 66061 (just east of Grace Methodist Church on Ridgeview). Plants mainly from members’ yards - hardy to this area. Plant questions answered - advice freely given. Herbs and gardening gifts also available. Questions? Contact Debby Brewer at 913-486-2388. Ornamental Shrubs, Including Crepe Myrtle Thurs, May 7, 11:30am-1pm; at Sunflower Room of the Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Dr Cheryl Boyer, associate professor of Nursery Crops, leads the Department’s extension programming for nursery crops. She co-teaches the course “Nursery Management,” and is the first faculty member to hold her position at K-State. Eager to help increase the size of the nursery industry in Kansas, she serves the growers in Kansas as well as county horticulture extension agents through service to their Master Gardener educational programs. Her position allows her to travel across the state helping people meet their business goals and solve production problems, and teaching consumers about landscaping and woody plants. During this class, Dr Boyer will discuss the varieties of shrubs and small trees that grow best in our area, including what factors home gardeners should consider when selecting woody ornamentals for our properties. Registration is not required. Free admission to active Master Gardeners. $5.00 per person, all others. Dahlia Tuber Sale Fri, May 8, 1-4pm, member pre-sale; Sat, May 9, 8am-3pm public sale; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Presented by the Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society. Memberships are available for $5.00 at Friday’s sale which will give you the first choice of roots. Members will be available to answer any questions on growing dahlias.

Fairy Garden Design Sat, May 2, 10am; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Questions? 816-229-1277.

Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Annual Plant Sale Sat, May 9, 8am-2pm or sold out; at Parking lot of Bass Pro located at I-70 and MO 291 in Independence, MO.

Herb-Infused Vinegars, Oils & Butters Sat, May 2, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Using herbs, fruits and more, you will learn how to make flavorful infusions and how to use them in recipes. Learn about the fresh

St Joseph Herb Gardeners Herb and Plant Sale Sat, May 9, 9am-1pm; at Wyatt Park Christian Church, 27th and Mitchell, St Joseph, MO. Herbs, perennials, garden décor, plants of

every kind available for sale. Come early for best selection. Herb gardener’s club meets monthly. Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, May 9, 9am-2:30pm; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St, (67th & Roe) Prairie Village, KS. Annual Spring Hosta & Shade Plant Sale 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, mini hostas and heucheras which are great for your troughs and fairy gardens. You will not want to miss this sale! Children over age 4 who are accompanied by parent or guardian will receive their very own Blue Mouse Ears! The public is welcome! Come and bring a friend. For info call Gwen 816228-9308 or 816-213-0598. Fairy Garden Design Sat, May 23, 10am; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Questions? 816-229-1277.

June Growing Grapes in the Home Garden Thurs, Jun 4, 11:30am-1pm; at the Sunflower Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Presented by Marlin Bates, Douglas County Extension Horticulture Agent. Small fruit can be one of the most rewarding food crops to grow at home. Grapes stand out as a particularly interesting home garden prospect for several reasons. Gardeners get creative with grapevines as they train them to fit into the landscape. However, there is a science to producing high-quality grapes, whether you’re interested in table grapes or growing grapes for home winemaking. Marlin Bates joined K-State Research and Extension this year after serving as a Horticulture Specialist for University of Missouri Extension in Kansas City, Missouri. Marlin has also served as an Adjunct Professor for Johnson County Community College. In his work in extension, Marlin works toward strengthening local food systems by assisting specialty crop producers and regularly works with people who are interested in vineyard establishment. Registration is not required. Free admission to active Master Gardeners. $5.00 per person, all others. Douglas County Master Gardeners’ Tour Sat, Jun 6, 9am-4pm and Sun, Jun 7, 11am4pm, Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. Start at the Extension Office at the Fairgrounds where you will find a native plant sale on Sat, Jun 6 from 9am-1pm. You can purchase your Garden Tour ticket during those times or in advance at the Extension Office; or at local nurseries and garden centers; or at any of the private gardens on the tour. The tour consists of six private gardens plus a public sensory garden. Tickets are $10 per person. Babes in arms are free. No strollers. For more information, visit our web site at www.douglascountymastergardeners. com or like us on Facebook at douglascountymastergardeners. Hermann, MO 21st Annual Garden Tour and Plant Sale Jun 6-7, 9am-5pm. Two Tours in 2015: the popular Town Tour, a walking tour of gar-

dens 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. Gardenthemed Flea Market at the Plant Sale. Special Ticket By-Reservation-Only Luncheon/Silent Auction on June 5th. Visit the Hermann Garden Tours website at for up-to-date events, ticket prices, contact numbers and photographs of past tour gardens. Visit the FAQS page on the website for answers to all your questions. Like us on Facebook at “Hermann Garden Club Tours.” Call Hermann Welcome Center at (800) 932-8687 for questions about lodging/ restaurants or go to Dates for 2016 are June 4th and 5th. Straw Bale Gardening Sat, Jun 13, 10-11:30am; at The Gardens at Unity Village 150-B NW Colbern Rd (1/2 mile west of the Douglas/Colbern intersection), Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Come join Ellen for a “hands on” Straw-Bale Gardening workshop – an interesting option if you have limited soil and/or space (or if you just prefer to garden standing up)! Fee: $10/FREE to Garden members. NOTE: This is an “in the Garden” demonstration so wear appropriate shoes/clothes! Call 816-769-0259 and leave a message to make a reservation, check for workshop updates, etc. Save the Date: Lotawana Garden Tour Sat, Jun 13. Rain or shine. The Lake Lotawana Community Club Garden Tour will feature five stops with eight gardens that you can view either by road or by pontoon boat. More details to come. Garden Tour Sat, Jun 13, 9am-3pm. Johnson County Missouri Master Gardeners will be having their annual Garden Tour. Please contact Jennifer Bradford at 660-864-9888 or Rhonda Frazelle at 660-747-5703 for additional information. Identifying Common Weeds Wed, Jun 17, 6:30pm; at Paola Extension Office, 104 South Brayman, Paola, KS 66071. Some define a weed as a plant growing where it is not wanted. With that definition, every plant could be a weed! Instead we will focus on annual plants that prefer disturbed soil. Some perennial and woody invasive plants will also be covered. We will work with fresh specimens of plants. Everyone should bring a few specimens of weeds they would like to identify. Be sure to include the roots. Store them in a plastic bag in a refrigerator to keep them fresh. Jeff Hansen is a board member of the Kansas Native Plant Society and has been a gardener all of his life. He landscapes with native plants, makes paper from them, and leads wildflower walks around the state. His website at is an online guide to Kansas plants, both native and introduced, containing over 800 species and over 4000 images. He is an enthusiastic teacher and loves sharing his knowledge with others. Contact: Lenora Larson 913-2843360. Sponsor: Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners.

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

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

660-380-8460; Wed, 9am-noon


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Weather Report

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

Plant Above Ground Crops: 4, 19, 20, 23-25

Full Moon: Apr. 4 Last Quarter: Apr. 11 New Moon: Apr. 18 First Quarter: Apr. 25 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Root Crops: 4-8, 11

Control Plant Pests: 13, 14, 17, 18

Transplant: 23-25

Plant Flowers: 19, 20, 23-25

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015



garden calendar n TURF

• Apply crabgrass control by tax day for best results. • Be kind to the environment. Spot treat instead of spraying the entire yard for spring broadleaf weeds. • Mow based on spring growth, two to three 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 six to eight 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 gorgeous flowers. • Remove seedpods from spring flowering bulbs. • Do not remove green foliage from bulbs to encourage superior 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 55FW 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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Visit KCGMAG.COM to learn how you can win. • Archive Issues to review • Garden Destinations to visit for inspiration • Garden Groups to join • Find a Professional for your project • Timely Articles on plants and people

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 $25.00. 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.

Meet Kevin & Diane Swan, living and loving the water garden lifestyle. Company: Swan’s Water Gardens Owners: Kevin & Diane Swan Established: June 1994 History of your business/inspiration/motivation to start: Our business started long before we built our first pond. Diane and I have been avid gardeners and landscapers since we first met way back in 1976. It wasn’t until we built our first water garden that we had discovered something truly special. Something we could spend the rest of our lives doing. And that is living and loving the water garden lifestyle. Products/Services offered: We are a full service water garden company. We carry everything needed for your dream water garden. Pumps, liner, underlayment, plants, fish, filtration system, pond care products and more. If we don’t have what you need in stock, we will have it shipped right to your door. We have a full service maintenance department providing annual, monthly and even biweekly maintenance for our customers’ water gardens and features. We hear you have moved. Tell us about your new place: Our new home has 8 acres and 5 buildings, allowing room to grow. We were feeling the limitations at our previous 2-acre location. Now we can help more customers create their backyard water garden paradise. Tell us about your staff: Nowhere will you find a more friendly and passionate staff then here at Swan’s Water Gardens. We go above and beyond when it comes to helping and educating our valued customers about the water garden lifestyle. We don’t simply recite the manufacturers claims. We actually test their products and use them in our ponds and water features. What makes your business unique: Our people! Many of our customers tell us they learned more in one visit with us than they learned before. We live and breathe the water garden lifestyle. Favorite garden destination: This is tough to answer as we have been blessed with visiting so many gardens. With each one, however, we have captured ideas and inspiration to incorporate in our water gardens, as well as those of our customers. What’s hot in ponding this year: Pondless water features continue to gain popularity. Miniature water features are all the rage now too. Contact information: 4385 West 247th Street, Louisburg, KS 66053; Hours Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-4pm; 913-837-3510;; The Kansas City Gardener | April 2015


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Profile for The Kansas City Gardener

KCG 04APR15  

spring blooming bulbs, safe digging month, plant sales, perennial plant of the year, frisse, prairie bloom, hosta of the year, lawn seeding

KCG 04APR15  

spring blooming bulbs, safe digging month, plant sales, perennial plant of the year, frisse, prairie bloom, hosta of the year, lawn seeding