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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

April 2016

Hydrangea for Every Garden

Safe Digging Month Butterflies Love Native Plants Time for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds The Great American Persimmon Tree

Finally! Water Garden Season Is Here... We’ve stocked our store with the largest inventory and selection of water garden supplies ever. We’ve doubled the size of our aquatic plant and flower area giving you more choices than ever before. We’ve made many changes over the last year adding new water features, paver patios, retaining walls and landscaping with more to come. New this year are sustainable landscapes using native plants that are drought tolerant and low maintenance that create gardens that are just as beautiful as the high maintenance gardens we see throughout the city. Make plans to visit our “Water Garden Village” Today.

Look For The Sign

We Aren’t Hard To Find Anymore. Located Just Two and a Half Miles East of 69 Hwy on 247th St. You Can’t Miss Our Sign.

The Water Garden Store

Pictured above are Kevin and Diane Swan standing in front of their store. They started Swan’s Water Gardens back in June of 1994 a few years after building their first water garden so they could enjoy the peace and tranquility that water brings to any environment. From their humble beginnings as a design build firm specializing in the creation of naturalistic waterfalls, streams and ponds they quickly grew into a leader in the Kansas City area serving business and residential customers with their innovative products and artistic craftsmanship. The Swan’s started their business with a commitment of transforming boring backyards into magical places by designing and building their beautiful water features. Swan’s Water Gardens has created a unique experience for all visitors. Arriving at Swan’s Water Gardens is like entering a charming “Water Garden Village” complete with bridges, scenic pathways winding through beautiful water gardens, magnificent waterfalls and peaceful streams. You’ll find everything you need to build and maintain your Water Garden. Starting with the highest quality pond supplies, aquatic plants, fish, land plants and ground covers.

We’re Just A Short Ten Minute Scenic Drive South Of Overland Park

Swan’s “Water Garden Village” At Dusk

Why Swan’s Water Gardens

We are committed to providing you with the highest quality in building standards and proven techniques used in the water garden industry. We don’t just say that to get your business, we back it up with a 5 year written guarantee that is the longest in the industry. This guarantee isn’t just for the water features but also all of our paver patios and retaining walls.

We Are Pleased to Announce “The Butterfly Lady”

Lenora Larson is coming to Swan’s Water Gardens Saturday morning April 16th from 10am-12pm. Lenora is a proud “science geek” with a degree in microbiology from Michigan State University, a career in molecular biology and a lifelong interest in wildlife. Lenora is a nationally known expert on butterfly gardening and is a frequent speaker to gardening and community groups. We are thrilled to have Lenora come and share her vast knowledge as she shares photographs of butterflies, caterpillars and their host plants illustrating the butterflies field of dreams: “plant it and they will come.” Limited seating so please RSVP to save a spot. You won’t want to miss this event.

Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle... “Creating Paradise ... in Your Backyard” April hours: Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm • Sat. 9am-4pm


4385 W 247th St., Louisburg, KS

We back our Water Garden installations with a 5 year leak free guarantee!


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 2016


editor’s notes

The Kansas City


My Garden Cat

A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Contributors Kevin Anderson Judy Archer Maureen Carroll Angela Greene Nik and Theresa Hiremath Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Ken O’Dell Dennis Patton Mary Lou Peter Judy Penner Phil Roudebush Diane Swan Brent Tucker 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 41.


April 2016 |


he scene in the garden is a riot now. Tender green foliage breaking free on tree limbs and shrubs. Spring-blooming bulbs are pushing up through the clay soil. Songbirds fill the air with territorial vocals for all to hear. There’s so much happening in the landscape, that I prolong my walk and focus, so as not to miss a thing. It’s exciting to be in the garden, especially early spring. Strolling around, I’m in search of any indication that the perennials planted last season survived. Is there any sign of the white bleeding heart? What about the few hostas that were moved to make room for the transplanted oakleaf hydrangea? (For the life of me, I can’t remember where we put them.) It goes without saying, too, that what’s growing the fastest this time of year is my hopeful anticipation – longing for the days that I’ll get lost in the garden. To be grimy, smelly, wind-blown and exhausted, all after devoting an entire day in the garden. That’s what I’m craving. Until then, I’ll maintain my assessment tour. Of course, I’m usually not alone in my walkabout. Charlie, my garden cat is with me for every step. He’s either at my heals or several

feet ahead, anticipating my next move. Being both an indoor and outdoor cat, he goes wherever I go. If I’m at my desk working, he’s there. If I go upstairs to the bathroom, he’s scratching at the door to come in. If I go outside to do some pruning, he’s laying in the shade supervising my work. During the time I maintained the island at the end of our street, I would walk down with my tools and wheelbarrow. Within a minute or two, Charlie has followed me, meowing all the way as if to say, “wait for me.” Admittedly, those events were a little nerve wracking – not knowing if he would accidentally walk across the street in front of a car. What an unbearable thought! My Charlie is everyone’s garden cat. He investigates all gardens for would-be intruders, like other male cats – nemesis number one. I’ve replaced many collars and tags due to run-ins while on patrol. Once Charlie came home with a limp, a cut on his ear and no collar.

All I could do is imagine what the other cat looked like. And upon finding the opponent’s collar, I rang up the owner to inquire about her cat, and learned that all is well. Phew! He can be seen anytime of day, any day of the week, roaming sidewalks, driveways and neighboring garages inspecting that all is well. He climbs to the top of the crabapple to show you that he’s got skills. He drinks from the birdbath to let the birds know he’s there. (True confessions, he’s never caught a bird … ever. His physique and temperament limits that kind of activity.) Recently, that lovable brut, that charming garden cat became terminally ill. It was short notice. My goodbye was brief, but my love for Charlie will be long-lasting. He was my pal, my best bud, and spring won’t be the same without my Charlie. It is my prayer that he is heaven’s garden cat. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue April 2016 • Vol. 21 No. 4 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 Be a Great Bird Feeder ............ 8 Powell Garden Events .............. 11 Earth Day Commemoration ....... 12 Pets & Plants: Hops .................. 14 Landscape Design Challenge .... 16 Private gardens tour ................ 17 Time for Hummingbirds ............. 18 Persimmon Tree ....................... 20 Hydrangea for Every Garden ... 22 New Prairie Star List ................ 26

about the cover ...

Tropical Medinilla ................... 27 Life with Water ....................... 28 Safe Digging Month ................ 29 How to Calculate Mulch .......... 30 Butterflies Love Native Plants ..... 32 Rose Report ............................ 36 Upcoming Events ..................... 37 Subscribe ................................ 41 Garden Calendar .................... 42 Professional’s Corner ................ 43 Hotlines .................................. 43

Look how this oakleaf hydrangea ‘Alice’ is ideal for this setting. Learn about other varieties and to include them in your garden beginning on page 22.



© 2016, All rights reserved.

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Ask the Experts Readers share their questions about landscape issues, and DENNIS PATTON gives expert tips and advice. CAN I GET A HEAD START ON PLANTING VEGETABLES Question: I know we are supposed to wait until the middle of May to plant tomatoes because the ground is still cold. But can I get a jump on Mother Nature by planting warm season vegetables in containers? Answer: Vegetables fall into two groups, cool and warm season. Just as the names imply some plants do better in cooler or warmer conditions. Tomatoes, the most commonly planted vegetable are a warm loving crop. Planting too early with cool spring conditions basically means the plants will set there and not grow. The timing of when to plant is based on the combination of air and soil temperatures. Gardeners usually think only about air temps and forget

the soil. Ideally the soil temperature should be above 60 degrees. Our heavy clays usually do not warm up this much until mid-May. Containers which are elevated can absorb the warm rays of the sun during the day and heat up much more quickly than in-ground gardens. This is even true of raised beds and one of their advantages. In short the answer to your question is yes, a container could gain you two or more weeks in planting. But remember it is a combination of air and soil temperatures. The soil in a container will vary greatly depending on the air temperature as there is not a lot of insulation. The best approach to planting tomatoes early is to figure ways to warm not only the soil but also the air around the plants to buffer from early spring temperature swings.

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Vegetables fall into two groups, cool and earm season plants. Tomatoes, the most commonly planted vegetable are a warm loving crop. WHEN TO PRUNE HYDRANGEA PANICULATA Question: How should I prune my Bobo Hydrangeas this spring? Answer: Bobo is a variety of Hydrangea Paniculata which means this plant flowers on new wood or growth produced this spring. Shrubs that flower on new growth are best pruned in spring just as growth is developing. One of the selling points of this plant is a compact size, under three feet with larger flowers. Pruning can be as little as removing dead,

broken and crossing limbs to a much more severe cut. My best recommendation is to cut back to about a foot or so, removing some of the old limbs completely to the ground. This harder cut will result in strong new shoots or stems that develop large flowers at the tips. Less harsh pruning will develop more twiggy growth and smaller flower heads. Personally, I like the panicle hydrangeas best when they have sturdy stems and bigger blooms as they tend to be showier.

Koi Pond and Water Feature Designs Time to plant your Garden! Vegetable, Herb, Flower seeds and plants are here!

New Installations, Remodels, Upgrades, Repairs and Maintenance Services

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

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April 2016 |

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Crabgrass is an opportunistic weed. It grows best in full sun, where turf cover is thin. HOW DO I KNOW IF/WHEN CRABGRASS PREVENTER IS NEEDED Question: My yard is part shade and full sun. Do I need to apply crabgrass preventer to the whole lawn? Do I really even need crabgrass preventer? Answer: I love this question as it is so on target. Crabgrass is an opportunistic weed. It grows best in full sun and where the turf cover is thin. Crabgrass struggles to get a foothold in dense turf and shade. The general train of thought from industry is that the entire lawn needs to be treated to prevent

crabgrass and other grassy weeds each spring. If your goal is to reduce the amount of pesticides applied in the lawn then you can spot treat instead of total coverage. Shady lawn areas can be skipped along with areas of very good grass. Crabgrass tends to be most common along walks, drives and other areas that is stressful for turf growth. One approach could be to treat only those areas. The second line of thought is why take chances as this common pesky weed is much easier to prevent than eradicate once it is up and growing. Some might call crabgrass control cheap insurance against weeds. Just like in life with insurance, the question is how much risk are you willing to accept? EASY GREEN PRACTICES FOR THE LAWN AND GARDEN Question: I’m concerned about climate change and want to do my part. What are some easy green practices I can adopt for my lawn and garden? Answer: As with all things each of us can do our part. It may

not seem like much on a global bases but it starts at home. Here are five simple ideas to incorporate. • Reduce the use of gas powered engines. One hour of operation is equivalent to driving a car 40 hours. • Compost, avoid sending lawn and garden waste off. Saves fuel and extends landfill life. • Fertilize with organic sources such as compost and manures. Local sources only. • Grow your own food, saves needless trips to the store or Farmer’s Market. • Get a clothes line and skip the dryer. Yes, I know these are prohibited in many areas. For more tips on easy green practices for lawn and garden, and to visit with fellow earth-friendly gardeners come to the Johnson County Healthy Yards Expo on Saturday, April 2 in Shawnee. More information is available on our website at COULD PAINT CHIPS HARM MY LANDSCAPE Question: My house is getting painted this month. There’s no lead in the old paint, but is there

any harm to the foundation plants from old, chipped paint? What about new paint? Answer: I would not be concerned with the paint chips or even overspray from the new paint. My main concern would be the physical task of painting. That includes ladder movement and all the foot traffic compacting the soil and movement around the plants. Good and reliable painters will tarp the plant materials to prevent spray damage. In my experience the damage comes from the falling ladders, tossed aside rotting trim and people trumping through the garden. My recommendation would be to have a discussion about the importance of the landscape to you when selecting a painter. I would suggest having concerns about landscape damage included in your contract. That way if damage does occur you have documentation that they are responsible. 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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• Apple Market on Pear • Apple Market on 36th

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• 23rd & Louisiana at Checkers Foods


• 29th & Fairlawn • Hwy 24 & Kansas Ave. • West Ridge Mall North

We are the biggest pottery dealer in Kansas, Nebraska & Missouri!

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Be a Great Bird Feeder! By Nik and Theresa Hiremath


pril is a lovely month! She periodically bestows enough warmth upon us so that we can linger outside in the garden enjoying watching our feathered friends at our feeders! Nesting activity is in full swing, and your birds are happy to have a consistent supply of quality, clean feeder food so they can concen-

trate on that all-important nesting process! In case you’re wondering, your hobby of bird feeding makes a HUGE difference to the birds! Access to abundant and healthy food supplies is important to birds … regardless of the season. Bird feeders provide a portion of these important nutritional needs for

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

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

KS: (913) 381-1505 MO: (816) 246-1707

“The pros you know in the clean red trucks.” 8

April 2016 |

your backyard birds throughout the year. Birds with access to backyard feeders benefit greatly from their ability to spend less time foraging for food and more time engaging in activities that enhance their health and safety. Did you know that over 100 North American bird species supplement their natural diets with bird seed, suet, fruit and nectar obtained from feeders? Isn’t that cool? Feeder benefits Feeders allow breeding birds to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites and constructing higher quality nests. Adults will also have more time available for protecting their nest, eggs and young from predators. Birds with access to bird

feeders will often lay their eggs earlier than those without feeders. This is significant because earlier broods typically have better rates of survival and fledging success than later broods. With abundant food accessible to parent birds, it means that more food is provided to their chicks. This extra nutrition can increase the nestling’s rate of growth and reduce aggression among nest siblings. Access to bird feeders also allows breeding females to spend less time foraging which leads to better protection of eggs from predators, earlier fledging of the nestlings and higher survival rates of the brood. The food and housing we provide for birds can make a significant difference on how well they will thrive and survive in our own

backyards. Most fledglings have a less than 25% survival rate.

and promptly discard any seed that has become wet.

Summer Feeding Feeding your birds in the summer will not make them too lazy, too dependent, or keep them from migrating at the appropriate time. These misconceptions have been dispelled by modern research and observation. Contrary to popular belief, recent research shows summer to be the most abundant season for birds to visit feeders!

Give birds more space The addition of more feeders, spread far apart from one another, will reduce the crowding of birds that is often found around a single feeder. This will reduce the birds’ stress and the potential for disease

Winter Survival When severe weather impacts wild food supplies, some species of birds will turn to bird feeders as a critical food resource. It is during these times that feeders play their most vital role. If a storm is of long duration or extreme impact, a feeding station may mean the difference between life and death for these birds, so make sure your feeders are full to give them a helping hand! It is very important to remember to feed your birds in a healthy manner. Choose feeders without cracks and crevices. These are difficult to sanitize and should not be used. Instead, focus on feeders that are easily cleaned. Some feeders are even made with a quick release bottom to make cleaning extra easy. There are also feeders which are impregnated with Silver ions, giving them anti-microbial properties which prevent growth of mold, fungus, and mildew for example, making them easier to keep clean also.

Now that you’ve got clean an filled feeders, sit back, and take a break, and let the birds entertain you! Nik and Theresa Hiremath own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.


Plants & Pumpkins

ANYONE CAN BE A GROWER! Gardening Workshops

Visit our website and sign up for

Details and sign up online or on premise. Get excited! Kids in the Garden, April 16 Get creative! Upcycled Container Design, April 23 Get active! Backyard Fun, April 30

Additional Specials Emailed directly to you.



Downtown Kansas City N W S

Highway 150

Highway 58 177th Ave.


Plants & Pumpkins

Highyway 71

State Rte D


Holmes Rd.


State Line Rd.

Clean feeders and birdbaths You should clean feeders, birdbaths and all hardware every few weeks with a 10% bleach solution (one part bleach to nine parts water). Alternatively, you can use a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. Rinse thoroughly and allow to completely dry before refilling feeders. Periodically, move feeders to new locations in the yard to avoid the buildup of waste materials and feces. Be sure to always keep the ground below and around the feeders clean. Rake and discard seed debris and bird droppings on a regular basis. Alternatively, feed a ‘no-mess’ seed blend that will leave no seed debris behind. Limit the amount of seed provided in feeders to only the amount birds will consume in one or two days,

transmission between healthy and sick birds. Also, store all bird seed in rodent and insect proof containers to avoid contamination. Nectar in hummingbird feeders should be changed frequently to prevent mold and deadly fermentation. If your nectar appears cloudy at all, discard it, clean the feeder, and provide fresh nectar.

17701 S. State Rte D (Holmes Rd.) Opening Friday, April 1. Hours: Monday through Saturday 9 am to 6 pm. Sundays 11 am to 5 pm. The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Gardeners Gathering: Vegetables Tried and True, Best of the New


ou’ve spent the winter dreaming about all the vegetables you will grow in 2016. Now planting season is upon us and it’s time to narrow the list to fit the size of your plot. Do you stick with the old reliable varieties? Try something new? It really can be dizzying because the choices are numerous

and the pressure is on to get it right for this vegetable gardening year. To quote that sage Dan Ackroyd, “Who You Gonna Call?” to help you sort out your vegetable planting options. Take this off your worry list! The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City made that call to Ben

Openhouse: A Gardening Salebration! Growing Smiles on our Kansas Farm since 1977, share in our Openhouse with savings, gift card giveaways, and more!

Monday, March 28th to Saturday, April 2nd!

10% off all instock merchandise! FREE Cookies and Beverages FREE diluted, ready-to-use Nature’s Source Plant Food

Take the country drive to the

“Gardener’s Paradise”!

Sharda. Ben is the man with the plan if you want to grow vegetables in Kansas City and he’s the featured speaker at the Gardeners’ Gathering on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Executive Director of Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG), Ben has been teaching people to grow vegetables in Kansas City for over 30 years. With Ben’s leadership, KCCG has become the creative hub for individuals and community groups to produce vegetables and fruit from garden plots located in back yards, vacant lots and community sites. The goal for Ben and his team is nothing less than to transform the food system and the nutritional habits of families in metropolitan Kansas City, one garden plot at a time. If you’ve visited Ben’s office at KCCG in Swope Park, you know that it is literally surrounded by

gardens. There are raised beds and traditional in-ground beds, ornamental gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes. Ben sits in the middle of a living laboratory of what works in Kansas City and what does not. This is your opportunity to learn from the master about the best and most reliable producers, under appreciated gems and promising new varieties. No matter what you want to grow, heirlooms or hybrids, cool season or warm season, vegetables or herbs, Ben can take you there. Join the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City for Ben Sharda’s lecture at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, located at 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Mo., and held at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs., April 28, 2016. This event is free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456.


Over 2,500 varieties of plants, including the largest selection of Prairie Star & Prairie Bloom plants recommended by K-State!


(bring an empty milk jug)

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

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


April 2016 |

Affordable weed control and fertilization programs



Weed control, fertilization, spring clean-up, full service mowing, drainage solutions, irrigation service and repair

April at Powell Gardens

With spring-like weather arriving a bit earlier this year, the season of a million blooms is well underway at the Gardens! Last Chance to See the Spring Butterfly Exhibit There are just a few days left to catch Out of the Blue: A Spring Butterfly Exhibit. Step inside Powell Gardens’ glass-topped conservatory, which has been transformed into a lush rainforest setting, to see Blue Morpho and Paper Kite butterflies fluttering about. The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through April 3 and is included with Garden admission of $10/adults, $9/seniors 60+, $4/children 5-12 and free for members. Magnolia Walk with Alan Branhagen 
 10-11 a.m. Saturday, April 2 Learn more about Powell Gardens’ nationally acclaimed magnolia collection during this tour of early flowering cultivars, led by Horticulture Director Alan Branhagen. Included with Garden admission. Space is limited; please register by calling 816-697-2600 x209. Orchid Day at Powell Gardens 
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 2 Get expert advice on caring for these exotic beauties from members of the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City from 11 a.m.3 p.m. at Powell Gardens. Included with Garden admission.

Blue Morpho on Mountain Papaya bloom Guided Hike with Alan Branhagen
 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 10 Join Alan Branhagen on a hike of the 3.25-mile Byron Shutz Nature Trail and listen for spring peepers and chorus frogs, bonding calls of the chickadees and other sounds of spring! Also look for spring’s first wildflowers, such as rare biscuitroot. Fee: $9/person or $5/member. Register by April 7 by calling 816-697-2600 x209. Earth Day Celebration (FREE Admission) 
 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 22 Admission is free for all on Earth Day, and we have a full day planned starting with the opportunity to take home one of our Legacy Tree seedlings. Powell Gardens’ Legacy Tree Program is

‘Marilyn’ magnolia bloom an initiative to propagate and preserve Greater Kansas City’s best trees as a gift to future generations. Arrive early for a chance to take home a seedling (one per party, while supplies last). At 2 p.m. Sarah Crowder, Program Manager for Bridging the Gap’s Heartland Tree Alliance, presents ‘Trees 101’—don’t miss it! Here’s the complete Earth Day schedule: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Reimagined: The Art of Upcycling 9:45-10:30 a.m. Guided tour of the Heartland Harvest Garden, the nation’s largest edible landscape

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Make and take an eco-friendly seed planting pot 10:30-11:30 a.m. Cooking demonstration by Chef Lisa Burgess and Culinary Arts Students from the Career & Technology Center at Fort Osage 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Storytelling with Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus, presented by Dawnna Morris 1-1:45 p.m. Guided tour 2-2:45 p.m. Trees 101, presented by Sarah Crowder, Program Manager for the Heartland Tree Alliance 3-3:45 p.m. Guided tour Enter our raffle for your chance to win a rain barrel or a oneyear Family Gold membership to Powell Gardens! Learn more at Save the Date: The Spring Plant Sale Is May 7-8! Two weeks before the sale, visit to download the plant list. For the best selection, we recommend shopping the members-only sale from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, May 6. Not a member? Join the Friends of Powell Gardens at powellgardens. org/join. We look forward to seeing you in the Gardens!

3823 N Cobbler Rd Independence, Mo 64058

816-257-5523 Open March 1 - Father’s Day Annuals, Perennials, Vegetables, Hanging Baskets, Patio Containers Over 18,000 sq. ft. of covered greenhouse bursting with color! “Experience the Bloomers difference” Located just south of Liberty on Hwy 291. Just north of the Missouri River bridge. The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016



2nd Earth Day Commemoration comes to Northeast KC, KS

ast April the Northeast area of KC, KS experienced something new. That new thing was the first annual Earth Day and compost giveaway hosted by the Salt of the Earth Youth Market Garden and Training Farm. SOTE was founded in 2008 by Angela Greene. The focus of the project was to train young people on how to grow produce, small fruits, herbs and flowers. Teaching how to grow food was only part of the lessons to be learned. The group would go on to be full time market vendors at the Merriam Farmer’s Market for 3 years. They also graduated from the farm training program at Juniper Gardens (2012) sponsored by Cultivate KC and Catholic Charities. The young people have participated in the Urban Grown Farm Tour (2009-2011), been featured in the KC Star, Sunflower Journeys, and America’s Heartland. They

have had many successes and even added beekeeping and vermiculture to their repertoire. Tragedy has also visited the garden when in 2014 a young man in the community was killed right next to the garden. Angela initially thought to discontinue growing, but she knew that in a food desert that was being taken over by the

FEEDER SALE 20% off Feeders

dollar store industry, denying residents easy access to healthy foods could not continue. A stand needed to be made. What is more empowering than being able to grow your own food? For years Missouri Organic Recycling provided their rich Nature Wise compost soil blend to residents of Johnson County. Angela went yearly and hauled as much as she could back to the garden in KC, KS. It occurred to her that the same thing could take place in her neighborhood. She made contact with Lydia Gibson who facilitated the connection with Missouri Organic and an Earth Day observation and compost giveaway was born in KC, KS! Other businesses and groups such as New

Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, Planters, KCCG, J-14 Farm, Bob Burns Bees, and a host of volunteers contributed to the first celebration’s success. More than 65 residents received compost on that rainy day. There were also activities for the kids, seed giveaway, beekeeping demonstration, and other resource material for the gardening enthusiast. Smiles were on everyone’s face as they filled bags, buckets, and the backs of trucks with the life giving compost. It was so positive that we are doing it again. The Earth Day observation will be held in the parking lot of the New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, 1235 Georgia (corner of 13th & Georgia, across from the garden) on Saturday, April 16, 2016. The hours will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or whenever the compost is dispensed, rain or shine. It will be open to all residents in the Northeast area of Kansas City, KS. We look forward to helping people put good food on their tables, whether there is a grocery store in the area or not. Let’s Grow! Angela Greene is director/farmer of the Salt of the Earth Youth Market Garden and Training Farm. She can be contacted at

Spring Open House

Valid April 15-25, 2016

trees • flowering shrubs • perennials • topsoil • mulch • fertilizer We’ve got them all! Seed tubes, hopper feeders, hummingbird feeders, cylinder feeders, suet logs and feeders, tray feeders and MORE!

of Leawood, KS

Proudly serving Kansas City for 28 years 11711 Roe Avenue (Under the Blue Awning) • 913-491-4887 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun noon-4pm

Join us at



April 2016 |

Locally Grown Plants for Distinctive Landscapes

Celebrate Spring at Loma Vista Nursery Spring Open House April 22-24 Join us for Specials!

5901 NE 96th St, Kansas City, MO • 1-435 & NE 96th St. Mon-Fri 7:30am–5pm • Sat 8am–6pm Sundays April 24–June 19 • 10am–4pm



Admirers will stop by all spring, summer and fall to drink in the luscious beauty of your Sonic Bloom速 Reblooming Weigela. Visit us at Sonic Bloom速 is a registered trademark of the Syngenta Group Company.

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Pets and Plants:


By Phil Roudebush

H The Butterfly Lady Shares ‘Plant it and They Will Come’


enora Larson is speaking at Swan’s Water Gardens Saturday, April 16, from 10am to 12pm. Lenora is a proud “science geek” with a degree in microbiology from Michigan State University, a career in molecular biology and a life-long interest in wildlife. Lenora is a nationally known expert on butterfly gardening and is a frequent speaker to garden-ing and community groups. We are thrilled to have Lenora come and share her vast knowledge as she shares photographs of butterflies, caterpillars and their host plants illustrating the butterflies field of dreams: “plant it and they will come.” Limited seating so please RSVP (913-837-3510) to save a spot. You won’t want to miss this event. Swan’s Water Gardens is located at 4385 West 247th St., Louisburg, KS.

• Mulch • Topsoil • Compost • Yardwaste Drop Off $5off



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lessness, anxiety, panting, vomiting, rapid heart rate, seizures and death. Malignant hyperthermia is an inherited disorder characterized by sustained muscle contractions and is usually triggered by inhalant anesthetics, or less frequently, stress or exercise. Certain dog breeds are predisposed to malignant hyperthermia and may be at increased risk for hops poisoning — greyhound, Labrador retriever, St. Bernard, pointer, doberman pinscher, English springer spaniel and northern dog breeds may be especially susceptible to hops toxicosis. Treatment is non-specific and should include oral decontamination (induce vomiting; give activated charcoal) and supportive care. Enjoy growing or purchasing your own hops for home brewing but remember that dogs are especially attracted to spent hops, which can lead to serious health problems. 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@

Save The Date Annual Plant Sale

(Kansas City, MO residents only)

Saturday, May 7th 8 a.m. until sold out

11660 North Main Street Kansas City, MO 64155 • 816-888-7945

Bass Pro Shops, 1-70 & 291 Hwy, Independence, MO

1815 Chouteau Trafficway Kansas City, MO 64120 • 816-888-7944

The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City have a reputation for offering great plants at reasonable prices.

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816.483.0908 7700 E. 40 Hwy Kansas City, MO 64129

7700 E. US Hwy 40 Kansas City, MO 64129 • 816-483-0908 This location is not free. Pay as you use. 14

ops are the female flowers (seed cones, strobiles) of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus, which is a climbing herbaceous perennial plant usually trained to grow up strings in commercial or home settings. Hops are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor. Hops are added to malt extract, which is then boiled to release the hops’ oils and resins. The extract is then clarified and filtered, leaving spent hops, or trub. Spent hops are used most frequently for horticultural purposes. They can be used as part of compost, worked directly into the soil as an amendment or dried for mulch. Hops in various forms are potentially hazardous to dogs. Dogs can be poisoned by ingesting hop plugs or hop pellets used in brewing, eating the strobiles themselves or consuming spent hops. The toxic component is unknown although it is probably associated with the plant essential oils. Problems can begin in dogs within a few hours of ingesting hops. This causes a malignant hyperthermia-like reaction where body temperatures exceed 105ºF. Clinical signs include elevated rectal temperature (higher than with a typical fever response), rest-

April 2016 |

(Rain or shine)

Annuals and perennials. Shop early!

Do you love to garden? Do you have extensive knowledge in gardening practices, a degree in horticulture, or are you a certified master gardener? Are you retired or have time to dedicate to a position doing something you absolutely love? Professional Gardener/Professional Gardener Trainer — Part time or Full time Position Overview $13-$20 per hour, holiday pay, vacation, PTO, health, 401k with match We are currently seeking a Professional Gardener to become a member of our team. Professional Gardener candidates need an awareness of plant varieties, pruning schedules and extensive knowledge in horticulture. We are also seeking a Professional Gardener trainer who would train some of our crew members on the art of gardening. These positions could be part time or full time and would be staffed with a crew member in an assistant role. Job Responsibilities • A detailed, self started approach to pruning and weeding seasonal beds and landscaping. • Ability to fill out service receipts for clients with detailed description of work performed. • Quality control: Forge relationships and lines of communication with clients to be sure the final product meets or exceeds their expectations. Qualifications • Gardening, horticulture experience. • Ability to plant flowers/shrubs, pull weeds and deadhead flowers. • Knowledge to prune/trim applicable flowers and shrubs in different seasons, weed/pest identification. • Ability to use or direct assistant crew member’s use of a tiller, hand pruners and hedge trimmers. • Trade certifications such as CLT, Certified Chemical Applicators License, degree in horticulture, Master Gardener Certification a plus but certainly not required. • Valid Kansas or Missouri DL. • Must love working with people and be a good communicator. Also hiring: Mow Crew Leads, Mow Crew Members and Landscape Crew Leads $13-$20 per hour, holiday pay, vacation, PTO, health, 401k with match For more information, please contact Scot Tolson at 913-238-9318;

Our Story I started Lawn & Landscape Solutions in 2001, as a kid out of Shawnee Mission North with no formal education or resources but with years of experience at a high end nursery and working as a personal estate gardener. I had a passion for the industry: the colors, the design, the care process for the plants and the installation of a beautiful landscape. I focused on my ability to listen to others and translate their visions for outdoor spaces into reality. I dedicated myself to hard work, staying true to my word in business dealings and forming long lasting relationships with my clients. Today, 15 years later, I remember the people who encouraged me to pull myself up by my bootstraps and become the best version of myself that I could be. I feel it is my duty to give back the direction and opportunity that was given to me. Our team works hard to celebrate individual stories of success and personal growth, encourage employees who are in college to stay in school and offer training opportunities regularly. We come to work every day and consider how to enhance the lives of our employees by instilling faith in each person that someone cares enough to invest in them. At Lawn & Landscape Solutions, we are not only building landscapes, we are building people. Sean Baxter, President The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Landscape Design Challenge When the garden is the focal point of the living room, JUDY ARCHER finds a fabulous design solution.


ecently a client hired me to design a very shallow back yard. This narrow area was soon to become the focal point of the living room, since the entire west wall of the home was a series of large windows. All of this glass allowed your eyes to focus straight outside to the narrow back yard which was

separated by a chain link fence from the neighbors. The fence was covered with unsightly vines, weed trees and overgrown shrubs. It was obvious that this area had been terribly neglected by the previous homeowner for many years. Although most of the debris had been cleared off from the fence, it didn’t fix the problem. The major-

Planting flowers or a garden? Then you need to have your underground facilities marked!

ity of this eyesore was on the other side of the property line. There was very little we could do about that situation, so our plan was to screen it from my clients view. As a designer, I am often asked to help solve problems like this. The homeowner had many wonderful ideas that I incorporated into the plan, along with a few ideas of my own. My client gave me a short list of favorite plants and some great ideas using three, black 4’ x 8’ vertical trellises for accent—an idea she found in a magazine. With these tools, I was able to create a new look for the yard. The homes interior designer had made use of texture and color. My plan was to create an outside environment that had just as much to offer, to sort of “marry” these two spaces together. As I worked on the design, I was able to layer evergreens and deciduous shrubs for subtle color changes with perennial plants and ground

covers. To add even more texture I incorporated some undulations in the beds and accented those with stacked stone. This bed has sunny and shady spots so choosing the right plants for the right locations was critical. A few of the plants incorporated into the design were David Austin Roses, China Holly, Irish Yew, Wintergreen Boxwood, Blush Pink Nandina, Lemon Thread Cypress, Sundowner Coneflower, Fern, Ajuga and Firewitch Dianthus. Now, when my client looks out her windows she will feel as if her living room extends out past her patio and up, into her back yard. Most of the neighbors eyesore will be screened off from view in time. Once again, I am pleased and blessed to be able to help out in this landscape dilemma. Judy Archer owns and operates BotaniCo Landscape. You may reach her at 816-399-9883.

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April 2016 |

Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City: Gardeners with Heart


aster Gardeners of Greater Kansas City (MGGKC) are already busy preparing for the 2016 Plant Sale on Saturday, May 7, from 8:00 a.m. until sell out at the Bass Pro Shops in Independence. Hundreds of annuals and perennials will be available that are specifically selected and grown by Master Gardeners for this region. The annuals are grown in a local Master Gardener greenhouse, and the perennials are local favorites, well suited to our soil and locally grown in the MGGKC members own yards. At the heart of the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City (MGGKC) organization is the work with community. Hands-on programs provide on-site gardening that involves maintenance, harvesting and education. MGGKC members teach by example in demonstration gardens, teach classes based on research-based practices, and work alongside community gardeners to promote the mission of the Master Gardener Program. All food produced by the volunteer plots and the Master

Gardener demonstration gardens is donated to Harvesters Community Food Network of Kansas City or to community supported programs. Examples of these projects can be found throughout Clay, Platte, and Jackson counties. Master Gardener Members complete the Master Gardener Core Coursework and commit to yearly volunteer requirements to support the organization. The organization provides a gardening Hotline at multiple locations, Speakers Bureau, training to the public via a Spring Seminar, Advanced Training sessions, bi-monthly Gardeners Gatherings, Community Projects and an annual Plant Sale. The Plant Sale provides monies to support MGGKC Projects throughout the year with the majority of the proceeds used for the Community and Partnerships gardens. The goal is to help residents and communities to become more self-sufficient. To learn more about the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City (MGGKC) and the upcoming plant sale, please visit http://www.

Private gardens opened for public viewing during popular Kansas City garden tour


ix private gardens will be opened to the public during the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener Public Tour, May 20 and 21. Kansas City’s premier garden tour is an opportunity to tour some of the most beautiful private gardens in Kansas City. Each garden is owned and maintained by an Extension Master Gardener. The homes are selected for their individual qualities and represent solutions to many gardening challenges commonly found in our area. This tour is popular because the owners are passionate about gardening and have transformed standard suburban lots into their own personal oasis. The garden owners and Extension Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to answer questions. Visitors receive information about the garden’s development, along with educational tips to take home and incorpo-

rate into their own landscapes. Photography is encouraged. This popular event is only held every other year. Tour tickets for this springtime, rain-or-shine event are $12 before May 1, and $15 after. Tickets are available beginning April 1 through

Johnson County Extension. Starting in May tickets can also be purchased at any Johnson County Hen House Market or at any of the six gardens during days of the tour. Maps and directions are provided with each ticket. To learn more, take a virtual tour, at www.johnson.k-state. edu or call 913-715-7000.

One free, easy call gets your utility lines marked AND helps protect you from injury and expense. Safe Digging Is No Accident: “Always Call Before You Dig in Kansas” Call 811, 1-800-DIG-SAFE, (800-344-7233) or visit us at

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Time for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds SCOTT WOODBURY says to have binoculars handy when red buckeye and columbine begin blooming in April.

Photos by Scott Woodbury.


t pays to look in the right place at the right time and keep a pair of binoculars handy. Recently I witnessed a hummingbird flying back and forth to a spider web near the porch where I sip my morning coffee. It was plucking insects from the web faster than you can say silk pajamas. Makes me wonder what in the world was going on. Spiders and hummingbirds have been on Earth together for 22 million years. Over time have they worked out a survival method that benefits both or do victimized spiders plot revenge? I’ve read that orb-weaver spiders can capture hummingbirds. Do hummingbirds somehow protect spiders from other prey? Is there a statute of limitations on stolen goods in the natural gar-



Red buckeye

den? Does the spider even notice or is she offering gifts? Things to ponder on the patio over a cup of coffee. The garden never ceases to amaze me. Hummingbirds have a remarkable ability to extract nectar and

pollen from the largest-flowering native plants using a two-inch long tongue. The tongue can lap nectar 13 times per second. Now that’s humming! Their favorite native plants include trumpet creeper, red buckeye, coral honeysuckle, crossvine, wild bergamot, American aloe and wild columbine. When red buckeye and columbine begin blooming in April it’s time to look for ruby-throated hummingbirds who are returning from central America. Like most people, they prefer bright red and orange flowering plants like copper iris, jewelweed, cardinal flower, Indian pink, and royal catchfly but visit flowers of other colors too. I’ve seen them on Virginia bluebells, giant hyssop, beard-tongue, soapweed and garden phlox. Keep in mind, the higher the plant diversity, the higher the wildlife diversity. Why? Native plants attract insects, insects attract birds and many bird species are in decline. Fortunately ruby-throated hummingbird populations are stable and growing. You may be lucky enough to see a nesting hummingbird so it never hurts to prepare. They use milkweed, dandelion and thistle seed fluff to line nests. Mosses and lichens camouflage the outside of the nest cup and sticky spider web strands hold everything together.

They even use pine sap to stick the nest to a branch. Gardens full of native plant diversity are usually home to garden spiders so keep an eye on webs. Hummingbirds feed their young mosquitos, yes mosquitos! They also feed on gnats, fruit flies, bees, spiders, caterpillars and aphids; all common insects that are attracted to gardens full of native plants. The other thing to keep in mind is that everything is tiny with hummingbirds so it helps to have good binoculars. I have owned a number of binoculars over the years and have been frustrated looking at wildlife until I discovered the Nikon Monarch binocular. I can see clearly now! With native plant sales popping up across the region, you won’t have any trouble finding native plants near you. Visit Grow Native! for a plant sale near you and happy gardening ya’ll!

2016 Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners

PLANT SALE Friday, April 29, 9am-5pm Saturday, April 30, 9am-2pm Extension Office, Wildcat Room, 1200 N. 79th Street, Kansas City, KS

Vegetable Plants: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, herbs and more grown by our Master Gardeners for this sale Flowers: annuals, perennials and Kansas native wildflowers Ornamental Grasses Garden Miscellany: including books, small tools, decorations 18

April 2016 |

Horticulturist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO, 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.

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


The Great American Persimmon Tree Lawn care can be a tricky thing to to in the summer KEN O’DELL clears the air and tell you

female flower mid-June


he American Persimmon tree grows wild from New England, to Florida and west through Missouri into Eastern Kansas. When growing in the open it will grow to 50 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Early spring foliage frequently have a bronze tint as

fruit late September

fruit early November


they change to light green in late spring and summer. The leaves change to a light yellow leaf color in autumn. The distinctive chunky bark is attractive in winter. The ripe fruit is delicious. Growing up on a farm, most of us convinced our little brother or little sister to eat a

persimmon that was not ripe and we grinned from ear to ear as they puckered up because of the bitterness in the not ripe fruit. Most persimmon trees are either male or female. Both male and female flowers are a light creamyyellow color hanging beneath the outer twigs and small branches after the first new leaves appear. The flowers are about 1/2 inch long, in a bell shape. The male flowers do not flare as much as the female flowers. Male flowers have a very small sepal which is usually not noticed. Female flowers have a larger sepal which will stay on as the fruit grows, matures and ripens and many sepals stay on when the fruit drops to the ground. This sepal’s main duty is to protect the tiny flower buds before they open. The flowers are pollinated by insects. After pollination the tiny fruit first appears in a light green color, grows and matures during

the summer months to a delicious fruit about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. If you have patience and wait for the fruit to ripen with the help of a few shorter days and cooler nights it will turn to a rich burnt orange coloring and has a slight sugar consistency. The fruit is edible before this time but the sweet grainy flavor is the ultimate flavoring. Some fruit hangs on the trees after the leaves drop. Cold weather does not seem to bother this late fruit on the trees as it stays edible well into December. Selections of our native persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, have been made with varieties ripening early, different coloring, larger fruit, self fertile, and slight difference in flavor. Most of these are grafted varieties and available from mail order nurseries. Persimmon have long tap roots which make them difficult to transplant if dug from the ground.

Spring Plant Sale in Paola

Thursday, April 28—noon to 5 pm Friday, April 29—8 am to 6 pm Saturday, April 30—8 am to noon Including Annuals, Perennials, Natives, Butterfly Host Plants, Vegetables & Hanging Baskets 300 Baptiste Drive, west of the Farmers Coop

Take Baptiste Drive exit off Hwy 169 and turn right. West 1.3 miles.

Sponsored by the Marais des Cygnes (formerly Miami County) Extension Master Gardeners 20

April 2016 |

Annuals • Hanging Baskets • Patio Pots • Vegetable Starts Succulents • Herbs • Tropicals • Perennials • Shrubs Bulk Seed • Garden Décor • Statuary • Mulch • Compost Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm • Sun 10am-3pm 800 E. Walnut (58 & J Hwys), Raymore, MO 64083


Many recipes for pies, cakes, bread, cookies, ice cream and preserves are available online. The persimmon leaves are picked at different times of the year to make different flavors of persimmon leaf teas. The wood of the persimmon tree is available to wood carvers and is frequently sold in small blocks. The trunk of a persimmon tree is mostly heartwood and does not have good rot resistance. Perhaps the best use for the wood is for wooden bowls or for golf club heads. Not the best ornamental tree but it is quite pest free. Persimmon grows slow and suckers frequently so if you have some acreage you may love this tree. We have several colonies of persimmon on our farm and I have found several persimmons growing at the Overland Park Arboretum. Looking south from Serenity Point at the Arboretum you can see a small colony of persimmon trees not far from bluebird house #24. Six hours or more of bright sunlight is necessary if you expect fruit on your tree. They do not tolerate much shade and usually grow in colonies in full sun or at least on the edges of wooded areas. Persimmon trees will grow in low water table areas with as little as 18 inches of rainfall per year or as much as 50 inches per year if on a slope with good drainage. They are not all that particular about the soil they grow in as long as it is not waterlogged to long. Birds and some wild animals eat the fruit. If you love raccoons you will love persimmons. Raccoons, possums, coyotes, and deers will eat persimmons. If you want to grow persimmon trees from seed, gather the seed when ripe and squishy. Squish out the hard brown seed which is flat and 1/2 inch long. Wash the seed and dry for one day and then put in a Ziplock bag with a handful of moist peat moss. Keep this in a fridge at about 34 to 38 degrees for three or four months and plant outside in the ground in the spring or in pots in a bright window. They are easy to grow and germinate and will come up early spring. Propagation is also by soft wood cuttings taken in late June and by grafting. If you have one large persimmon tree and the flowers indicate it is a female and you never get fruit, it may be from lack of pollination. Find a male tree

by looking for male flowers and cut off a couple of 6 inches to 10 inches long, 1/4 inch diameter dormant branches and cleft graft these, one on each side of the female tree. Google cleft grafting for instructions. It is not difficult. The champion persimmon tree in Kansas is in Leavenworth county. It is 68 feet tall, has a spread

of 39 feet, with a circumference of 9 feet and was awarded 186 points. (Reference The champion persimmon tree in Missouri is in Big Oak Tree State Park. It is 124 feet tall, has a spread of 40 feet and a circumference of 93 inches and was awarded 227 points. (Reference http://mdc.

Ken O’Dell is a lifetime member of the Friends of the Arboretum. He is a longtime volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden. He 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.

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#takebackyourweekends The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Little Lime

Endless Summer

(Photo courtesy of Proven Winners.)

Hydrangea for Every Garden Headliners and showstoppers of the garden growing season, SUSAN MERTZ points out her favorites.


ot far from several bars at Westport in Kansas City is an oakleaf hydrangea that I have admired for many years. No doubt, it has received substantial abuse from late night revelers wandering back to their cars after hours of fun. Yet, this plant is always beautiful with huge flowers in the summer, gorgeous fall foliage and attractive bark in the winter. Given that the conditions of my garden are much more favorable than a bar district, I decided to give it a try. Hydrangea quercifolia Pee Wee, Sikes Dwarf and Ruby Slippers are now in various places in my landscape. Easy to grow and adaptable to sun or shade and a range of soil conditions, they are thriving. The large panicle flowers open white in June and fade to pink in late summer. Ruby Slippers’ flowers turn rose-red. Oakleaf hydrangeas range in height from 2-3’ to 8’ plus. If necessary, prune immediately after flowering; oakleaf flowers on old wood. Holding on well into winter, the fall foliage is spectacular and is the main reason I have them in my landscape. 22

April 2016 |

While I prefer the smaller maturing ones, other options include the straight species and improved cultivars Alice, Gatsby Pink®, and Snow Queen. Another easy to grow group of hydrangeas are the paniculatas. PeeGee, Grandiflora, is an old time favorite. Today, Proven Winners and First Editions have numerous new varieties available through their network of growers that bloom on new wood guaranteeing beautiful blooms in a cut flower garden. Paniculatas aren’t fussy about soil pH and can tolerate a fair amount of sun. For smaller spaces, Bobo®, Little Lime®, Little Lamb and Little Quick Fire® are popular selections. Limelight is a good selection for large spaces with chartreuse-lime flowers that turn pink in the fall. Vanilla Strawberry™ and Pinky Winky® Hydrangeas have large two toned, pink and white, flowers. Native to Eastern United States, Hydrangea arborescens has large white ball shaped flowers in the summer and into fall. Annabelle and Incrediball® are two culti-

vars readily available at garden centers. Easy to grow, arborescens are adaptable to sunny spots with adequate moisture. Flowering on new wood, they are long lasting in the landscape and beautiful in cut flower arrangements. The stems of Annabelle’s are not always strong enough to hold up the large flowers and may require propping up. A peony ring works well. Incrediballs® have strong stems that help prevent the flowers from flopping over. Invincibelle® Spirit II is a hot pink blooming arborescens. Hydrangea macrophyllas, mopheads, produce large colorful ball shaped flowers. Not for the inexperienced gardener or low maintenance landscape, macrophyllas require some attention. I think they are a bit like Goldilocks in the children’s fairy tale necessitating everything to be just right. The right amount of moisture, nutrients, and light are essential. The older varieties of macrophyllas, including Nikko Blue, flower on old wood lessening the likelihood of flowers following a typical Kansas

City winter. However, the newer varieties flower on both old and new wood and Endless Summer® was one of the first in production to do this. For many of the macrophyllas, a soil acidifier is necessary to lower the soil’s pH for blue flowers. The flowers are pink in an alkaline soil. Edgy Hearts has pink flowers with white margins no matter the pH. Proven Winners’ Let’s Dance® series and Ball Ornamentals’ Next Generation series are smaller maturing mopheads. Similar in needs, serrata and lacecap hydrangeas are also lovely additions to the garden. Goldilocks type hydrangeas haven’t proven hardy in my backyard given my style of gardening. As we occasionally have loud music playing on the deck and friends and family enjoying a beverage or two, I’m sticking with the hydrangeas that hold up well in Westport. Susan Mertz, Garden Writer and Director of Marketing at Loma Vista Nursery. Join her for tours and photographs of gardens at

Pinky Winky


Ruby Slippers fall foliage

Little Lamb

Limelight up close

(All photos, except where noted, courtesy of Susan Mertz.)

Above: Oakleaf fall foliage Below: Limelight (Photo courtesy of Proven Winners.)

Above: Nikko Blue (Photo courtesy of Wayside Gardens.) Below: Gatsby Pink (Photo courtesy of Wayside Gardens.)

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Under a Blue Moon: Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction


unday June 12, 2016
 Powell Garden’s 13th annual Under a Blue Moon–Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 12th with cocktails and a silent auction featuring newly released and hard-to-find plants and other treasures. After cocktails and a silent auction featuring a variety of unusual plants selected by Powell Gardens’ Director of Horticulture, Alan Branhagen, will enjoy a delectable dinner prepared by Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions and live auction. The live auction will be composed of exclusive trips, tours and dining experiences. The dinner and auction takes place under a grand tent overlooking the beautiful lake and gardens beyond. In 2003, the Friends of Powell Gardens Board introduced, what is now Powell Gardens’ signature fundraising event, Under A Blue

Moon. To show their support of the Gardens, they have once again decided to stepup up by chairing the event as a Board. Carl and Jean Chinnery will serve as the Honorary Chairmen. Proceeds from this event allow children to learn first-hand about healthy eating by planting, growing, harvesting and preparing fresh food in our youth education garden. Powell Gardens’ youth education programs serve more than 4,500 area school children. Tickets for the event start at $200. Patron tickets are $325. Sponsorship opportunities range from $2,000 to $10,000. Sponsors will receive preferred seating, general admission and festival passes and recognition in the Garden View newsletter, auction book and Powell Gardens’ website. For more information contact Andrea Mason at 816697-2600 x207.

Kansas City Community Gardens

Spring Workshops


orkshops are approximately one hour with time for questions after. Workshops are free, but space is limited. Please call 816931-3877 to reserve your spot or register online at www.kccg. org/register. Swope Park Workshops are held at 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132 (in Swope Park by the KC Zoo) April 1, Friday, 12:00 PM Planning Your Plot for Garden Success: Find out how creating a planting plan for your garden plot can help you maximize garden space, get more of the vegetables that you love and save you time and money. KCCG has developed some great new tools to help you create a garden plan and shopping list for spring, summer and fall. April 15, Friday, 12:00 PM Tomatoes, Peppers and Sweet Potatoes — Oh My! Are you overwhelmed by the number of tomato varieties available? Are you confused about heirloom tomatoes? Do your pepper plants not produce as many peppers as you would like? Are you disappointed when you dig up your sweet potatoes? Come learn how to select, plant and care for tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes. May 6, Friday, 12:00 PM Vegetable Garden Basics: This workshop is helpful for beginning and experienced gardeners. Learn the fundamentals of successful vegetable gardening including: site selection, soil improvement and preparation, garden planning, planting techniques, variety selection, garden maintenance and harvesting.

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April 2016 |


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Ground Maintenance Shrub/Tree Trimming • Bedding Maintenance Mowing, Seeding & Aeration Gutter Cleaning • Buried Downspouts

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What’s Happening at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015

Buy Locally Grown! Specializing in Highest Quality Geraniums and Bedding Plants

816-228-3766 For more information email


Owl Prowl April 8 ∙ Friday ∙ 7:30-9:30 PM Registration required by calling 816-228-3766 (ages 5+) Who rules the forest when dusk turns to night? Our amazing owls, of course! Learn about adaptations that allow owls to be great nocturnal predators, and then join us in the forest to seek out our special guests!

APRIL SHOWERS SALE Save 10% if you come shop on rainy days 913-642-5034 Open Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm • Sun. 12-5pm

Family Stream Team Adventure April 16 ∙ Saturday ∙ 12:30-3 PM Registration required by calling 816-228-3766 (families with children 8+) Have you ever wondered what Missouri Stream Teams are all about? Join us for a hands-on program sampling our own Burr Oak Creek. We will check water chemistry, look for macroinvertebrates and explore the streambed and surrounding watershed. It is fun and science in a wet and wild way.

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Will Hike for Birds April 9 ∙ Saturday ∙ 1:30-3 PM No registration required (all ages) Our woods are hopping with feathered friends everywhere. Join our friendly, bird loving naturalists for a bird hike at Burr Oak Woods. No experience necessary.

Find the oasis from the ordinary

Visit the water garden specialists

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Some pollinator-friendly flowers make new Prairie Star list Annual flowers have performed well in Kansas trials for two years. By Mary Lou Peter


ome flowers are just born stars. Say, for instance, the glamorous-sounding “Glitterati Ice Queen” geranium. The flower, along with others that fared well in the Kansas climate for two consecutive years, has been named to the most recent Prairie Star Flower list of recommended annual flowers for Kansas. To make it to the list, plant breeders from around the world send flower seeds or rooted cuttings to a team at Kansas State University, who start them in greenhouses early in the spring. The plants are transplanted outdoors in different locations around Kansas when the weather warms. They’re evaluated throughout the growing

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season and ultimately judged on their vigor, flowers and foliage. To be on the Prairie Star list ( pubs/MF2769.pdf), a cultivar must perform well for two years, includ-

ing growing and flowering abundantly with minimal care. That’s not always easy with Kansas’ sometimes challenging temperatures, winds and rainfall, or lack of. The flowers that made it onto the newest list thrived despite difficult beginnings. “Last year was a challenging year because of the wetter-thanusual (spring) conditions,” said Robin Ruether, Prairie Star program coordinator based at Kansas State’s Horticulture Research and Extension Center near Olathe. Like many gardeners and landscapers last spring, her team had a difficult time finding conditions dry enough to get the plants in the ground. Some died, some performed okay and others thrived. The list includes flower name, cultivar or color, planting loca-


913-681-2629 We carry products from some of the country’s finest manufacturers, as well as a large number of items produced in our own facility.


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April 2016 |

Mary Lou Peter, news writer and editor at Kansas State University, can be reached at mlpeter@ksu. edu.

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14935 Metcalf • Overland Park, KS

tion such as “full sun” or “sun or shade,” and average height and width of the plant. It is also categorized into plants for flower display, plants for foliage display and plants for container gardens. When asked about trends in flowers, Ruether said pollinator friendly and drought tolerant are traits many gardeners look for. “There are a few new salvia additions to the list for 2016 that insects really love,” she said, adding that some cultivars of salvia, lantana and gomphrena, as well as the “Mojave” series of portulaca seem to like it hot and dry. Prairie Star is not a commercial brand or product line, Ruether said. It tells what cultivars to look for, for example a “Surefire Red” begonia, rather than a generic begonia, because not all begonias grow well on the Kansas prairie. Garden centers may not label plants Prairie Star, so she encourages gardeners to print the Prairie Star list and take it plant shopping. Ruether also writes the Prairie Star blog at

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Tropical Plant Medinilla magnifica Let BRENT TUCKER introduce the Philippine Orchid, a large tropical that grows to four feet in height and width.


he Philippine Orchid, Showy Medinilla, Chandelier Plant, Pink Lantern, or Rose Grape—whatever you want to call it—is a showstopper! With its large glossy leaves and pendent umbels of pink flowers under large pink bracts, it’s no wonder I hear a lot of people ask if it’s an orchid. Just as showy as an orchid this tropical curiously grows in trees like orchids. I’ve been in love with this plant for years and just recently has it become more available to the general public. In the past gardeners would have to search and search and hope that you could find a sample of this tropical. Thankfully a company out of Canada is producing this in quantities and just this past year released a “double flowered” variety of it called ‘Dolce Vita’. My experience with this Philippine tropical has been a delight. It’s easy to grow when you

grow it like orchids—particularly with its water requirements. Being an epiphyte, Medinilla magnifica, likes to dry somewhat between water applications but don’t allow it to dry to a wilt. Give it a good watering and wait until it’s near dry perhaps once a week but that depends on your conditions. I feed my plant with a weaker solution of fertilizer regularly but not in winter when the plant isn’t actively growing. I place my plant in my east window during winter where it receives morning sun for several hours and shaded the rest of the day. Once spring arrives and temperatures stay warm I place my plant out on my shaded porch. Morning sun it relishes but must be in shade by noon. While in the house for winter the humidity is low and like orchids, Medinilla magnifica, likes higher humidity. To increase humidity you can mist daily or group plants together or even place a humidifier in the room. This Showy Medinilla prefers average temperatures with lows no lower than 55 degrees F up to 85 degrees F or higher. Repotting should happen every few years or when the plant has outgrown its container. Because of its pendent flower spikes it’s best to place it in a tall container or in a hanging basket. I use a mix of 50% well drained potting mix and 50% orchid bark when repotting because Medinilla likes a free draining soil.



1 Showy Medinilla flowers last I’ve seen this for sale OFF*tropical 5E Series for months when grown well and locally and I think if you like 5045E and 5055E can virtually be in constant bloom. showy then this is the –– ORtropicals –– MFWD, 2015 mod Once the flower spike starts to turn plant for you. Good growing! for brown, simply cut off the spike to monthsis Horticulturist help encourage it to form another. financing Brent Tucker AND –– Displays and Events Medinilla magnifica is a large of––Seasonal tropical growing to about three to at Powell OFFGardens. He can be Bonus*1 four feet in height and width so in reached Implement at btucker@powellgartime might need some room. NEW S240 SPORT • Turbocharged PowerTech™ engine • Independent 540 PTO § • Category 1 and 2 compatible NEW S240 SPORT





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§ Prices and models may vary by dealer. Manufacturer suggested list price at $2,499 on S240 Sport, $1,499 on D105 and $2,499 on Z235. Prices are suggested retail 1 $150only retail bonus available with purchase of anyatnew Z535M ZTrak authorized Johnequipment Deere dealer March 1, price. 2016,Attachments through prices and are subject to change without notice any time. Dealer mayMower sell forfrom less. an Shown with optional not from included in the and sold separately. Available atofficial participating dealers. Mayimplements 2, 2016. Must present completed, Test Drive Request form to an authorized John Deere dealer at the time of purchase. Available at *The engine horsepower anddealers. torque information arewill provided by the engine be used for comparison only. Actual operating horsepower participating John Deere Retail bonus be deducted from manufacturer the purchasetoprice. Forms available atpurposes Limit of and torque will be less. Refer to the engine manufacturer’s website for additional information. one form per person per purchase. See your John Deere dealer for further details. 2 **Term to years or hours used,towhichever comes first, andcredit varieswith by model. theFinancial. LIMITED WARRANTY NEWfor JOHN TURF UTILITY Offer limited ends May 2, 2016. Subject approved installment John See Deere Fixed rateFOR of 0.0% 60 DEERE months. GetAND $500 off 1 Family EQUIPMENT at and for details. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol and § Tractors in addition to financing options and requires the purchase of two John Deere or Frontier implements. Some restrictions apply, so see your Prices DEERE and models may vary byofdealer. JOHN are trademarks Deere Manufacturer & Company. suggested list price at $2,499 on S240 Sport, $1,499 on D105 and $2,499 on Z235. Prices are suggested retail dealer forand details and other financing options. prices only are subject to change without notice at any time. Dealer may sell for less. Shown with optional equipment not included in the price. Attachments ¥ Manufacturer’s of Available power (ISO) PER 97/68/EC. and implements soldestimate separately. at participating dealers. § Prices andhorsepower models may vary by dealer. Manufacturer suggested list price of $9,799toon XUV590i.purposes Prices are suggested retail prices *The engine and torque information are provided by the engine manufacturer benew usedGator for comparison only. Actual operating horsepower A0D03KKCU2A62195only and are to change notice at anywebsite time. Dealer may sellinformation. for less. Shown with optional equipment not included in the price. and torque will subject be less. Refer to the without engine manufacturer’s for additional **Term limited to years or hours used, comes first, and varies apply; by model. Seespecial the LIMITED JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY Attachments and implements soldwhichever separately. Some restrictions other ratesWARRANTY and terms FOR mayNEW be available, so see your dealer for details EQUIPMENT at for details. John or Deere’s green andrefer yellowtocolor the operating leaping deerinformation symbol and on and other financing options. Availableand at participating dealers. Before operating riding, always the scheme, safety and JOHN DEERE are of Deeremanual. & Company. the vehicle andtrademarks in the operator’s Actual vehicle top speed may vary based on belt wear, tire selection, vehicle tow weight, fuel condition,

terrain and other environmental factors. *The engine horsepower and torque information for non-Deere engines are provided by the engine manufacturer to be used for comparison A0D03KKCU2A62195purposes only. Actual operating horsepower and torque will be less. Refer to the engine manufacturer’s website for additional information. **Term limited to years or hours used, whichever comes first, and varies by model. See the LIMITED WARRANTY FOR NEW JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY EQUIPMENT at JOHNDEERE.COM or for details. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer * Offer valid 2/3/2015 through 4/30/2015. Subject to approved installment credit with John Deere F symbol and JOHN DEERE are trademarks of Deere & Company. 1


and requires the purchase of 2 or more qualifying John Deere or Frontier Implements. $3,000 OFF bonus on MFWD, 2015 model year 5045E and 5055E Tractors. 2 $1,000 OFF or Fixed Rate of 0.0% f 1025R Tractors. 3 Fixed Rate of 0.0% for 60 months and $1,250 OFF implement bonus on 3032E and and terms may be available, so see your dealer for details and other financing options. Valid only at The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016 27 A0D03KKCU2F62253-

Life with Water Don’t wait any longer. DIANE SWAN encourages peace and tranquility in your life with a water feature.


ince day one, water is the essential element to all living substance. No human, plant or animal exists without it. Nourishing us, body and soul, we are drawn to water, whether at the ocean beach, mountain waterfalls, serene lake or a babbling forest brook. Vacations and weekend getaways often include water, like swimming, boating, fishing, and water sports of every kind. Or maybe we find a quiet place to relax at the water’s edge. Many will spend small fortunes to rent a cabin or condo near the water. Instead of a few days near water, why not bring those water sights and sounds to your own backyard to enjoy every day. Imagine for a minute, getting home from a long hard day at work

21st Annual Spring Dig Plant Sale to benefit Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc. Thurs, April 28, 8 am–7 pm Fri, April 29, 8 am–7 pm Sat, April 30, 8 am–1 pm Shawnee Presbyterian Church 6837 Nieman, Shawnee, KS RAIN OR SHINE!

Annuals • Perennials • Hanging Baskets Herbs • Hostas • Tomatoes • Patio Planters Sponsored by FRIENDS of Cross-Lines

For further information, call 913-281-3388.

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Annuals, Vegetable Plants, Herbs, Lawn Fertilizers and more. Special on 5 Steps Lawn Program Shrubs and Trees arriving daily!

after fighting rush hour traffic. See yourself walking in the door, putting your work stuff down, reaching in the refrigerator for a cold beverage. Keep walking out to the backyard, then sit down and relax in a lounger on your patio. Close your eyes and hear the sounds of waterfalls and the varied tones of a babbling brook flowing into your pond. Hear the birds chirping and splashing in the stream. Ahh! Peace and tranquility at last, as the worries and stress of the day simply melt away. The soothing sound of water has healing effects on your physical and mental health as you sit and relax. A properly installed water feature is the focal point of the overall landscape and can actually improve the property value of your home.

In today’s world environmental sustainability is becoming a bigger factor in our lives. A pond’s ecosystem is self-sustaining with very little maintenance. Other than the initial filling of the water feature, a water feature will require less water replacement due to evaporation than the same area of grass. Water will attract countless birds, butterflies, dragonflies, turtles, frogs, and other small animals, creating your own wildlife habitat. There is a water feature for every yard, no matter how large or small. You may only have enough room for a small container water garden on your patio or an area big

enough for a bubbler rock or vase, or maybe a small 5-foot pondless stream. You still can reap the benefits of water no matter the size. With more space there are more possibilities. Triple, double, or single waterfalls cascading down into a long meandering stream that twists and turns until flowing into the pond. The pond can be a low maintenance pondless feature with no fish and plants that simply ‘disappears’ or you can do a fullfledged pond with fish and aquatic plants creating a living ecosystem. The larger patio or deck by the house on the water’s edge will afford countless hours of relaxation and enjoyment. A fire pit will help keep you warm on cooler nights. Night lighting will make it all shine and sparkle at night for you viewing enjoyment. The benefits of a water feature in the landscape are endless. So bring the healing effects of water by creating your own backyard paradise, where you will enjoy a mini vacation every day. Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-837-3510.

ORCHID AUCTION Sunday, April 17 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Lenexa Senior Center • 13420 Oak St., Lenexa, KS

Prices starting at $5.00 A fundraiser for the

Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City 28

April 2016 |

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 ninth 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-

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.


Organic Micronutrients, Enzymes & Acids Professional Strength Conditioner Accept Only Original Earth Right Products for the health & beauty of your lawn & garden. Use in Beds, On the Lawn & Around Trees & Shrubs

Feed Your Garden & Containers with SURE BLOOM NATURAL or 6-7-6 ONE QUART COVERS 10,000 SQUARE FEET

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SPRING OPEN HOUSE APRIL 22-24 3 days of Special Guests and sales!

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


How to Calculate Mulch By Kevin Anderson


ulch is not just for aesthetics, mulching is a very important part of maintaining a beautiful, healthy landscape. Mulch is critical to maintaining constant soil temperature, keeping weeds under control, and maintaining correct soil moisture in hot dry conditions. Mulch comes in a variety, of colors and types, as well as Natural organic, and rock. Mulching with natural wood products will allow the composting process to take place over time adding valuable organic matter to your landscape. Rock is good for the landscape that does not require a lot of maintenance. Don’t know how much mulch you need? It’s simple. Measure the length, and the width of your landscaping beds. This does not have to be exact. Just step it off. If you have curves and rounded beds average all the spaces together. For example, if you

have a bed that is 8 feet at the widest point, and 3 feet at the narrowest point, average it at 5.5 feet. Mulch should be applied at a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Now for the Math: Length X Width X Depth divided by 27. Example 15-feet X 5.5 feet X .33 inches. (Turn the depth into a decimal, 4” = .33). = 27.22 cubic feet, divided by 27 = 1.00 cubic yard. See, Easy! Or for an even easer calculation, go to www.missouriorganic. com and click on Quick Quote. Kevin Anderson, vice president at Missouri Organic Recycling, Kansas City, Missouri, can be reached at 816-483-0908.


April Classes at Powell Gardens Healing Properties of Essential Oils 12:30-2 p.m. Saturday, April 23 Learn how the chemical properties of essential oils help with overall wellness and in treating certain ailments. Sample different oils and learn how they are used in healing settings. Take home a bottle of essential oil-based hand sanitizer (recipe included). $29/person, $24/member. Registration required by April 20. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Floral Photography 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 30 Learn to use composition and lighting for stunning images in both black and white and color. This workshop includes both in-class work and hands-on training in the field. Students need a 35mm SLR camera with full manual settings (film or digital). $42/person, $35/member. Registration required by April 25. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Spice Up the Herb Container 1-3 p.m. Saturday, May 14 Plant a zesty, herb container to “spice up” your patio garden to include some Powell Gardens’ favorites. Take a guided tour of the herbs in the Heartland Harvest Garden, and learn tips and tricks for growing tasty herbs. Bring gloves and wear comfortable walking shoes. $49/person, $42/member. Registration required by May 9. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Astronomy: Star Clusters and Nebulas 8-10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14 Join amateur astronomer James Miller under Powell Gardens’ beautiful dark skies. Observe different types of star clusters and nebulas, and discover which ones are birth places for new stars. (Evening programs will be canceled if skies are overcast or rainy.) $10/adult, $6/member, $6/ youth (ages 5-12). Registration required by May 12. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at AdultClasses.

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April 2016 |

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Go Native April 16 ∙ Saturday ∙ 9:30 AM–2:30 PM Walk-in (all ages) Are you tired of constantly watering and weeding your landscape plants? If so, try replacing those plants with native flowers and grasses. Native plants can tolerate our tough Missouri weather much better than non-native varieties. Join us for a day of learning about the wide variety of native plants that can suit your landscaping needs. While you’re here, transplant and take home some native trees, grasses or flowers to add trouble free beauty to your landscape. Native Plant Sale April 16 ∙ Saturday ∙ 9:30 AM-2:30 PM Walk-in (adults only) Missouri Prairie Foundation will be on site to offer native plants for sale. Partnering with Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, they will be providing a variety of native flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees for purchase. If you wish to preorder for pickup on the 16th, contact Missouri Wildflowers Nursery: 573-496-3492 or e-mail mowldflrs@ A percentage of proceeds from plant sales will benefit prairie conservation in Missouri. Wildflower Walk in the Woods April 19 ∙ Tuesday ∙ 6-7:30 PM Registration required by calling 816-759-7300 (adults) With wildflowers blooming, warblers singing and fogs calling, the middle of April can be the perfect time for a walk in the woods. Meet our naturalist at the Discovery Center and we will head out to explore one of Kansas City’s most beautiful forests in all of its spring glory. Transportation provided.

don’t know where to start?

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calling our Landscape Designers now! Beat the spring rush and reserve your spot today! • 7130 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. Garden Center • 8am-5pm Mon.-Sat. • Sun. 10am-5pm • 816-444-3403 Nursery • 9am-5pm Mon.-Sat. • Closed Sunday • 816-333-3232

The NEW Espoma Organic liquid plant foods are loaded with natural ingredients and millions of beneficial microbes to grow bigger, more beautiful plants. And with Espoma’s new Easy Dose cap, you’ll get a perfect pour every time. Just flip open the cap, pour the pre-measured dose into your watering can, and feed. No measuring. No mess.

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Watch our video to learn more The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Butterflies Love Native Plants Photos by Lenora Larson.

In late winter and spring, butterflies take to the sky. LENORA LARSON identifies which ones and their habits.

Natives all, a Giant Swallowtail and Bumble Bee share nectar from a Common Milkweed.


utterfly gardening is especially rewarding in the Kansas City area because we are at the intersection of two major habitats: the Eastern deciduous forests and the Midwestern prairies. The resulting diversity of native plants supports over 70 species of but-

Golden Alexanders bloom intermittently from March to November when planted in a moist, sunny spot.

terflies. If you forgo insecticides, have a sunny area, and the right native plants, you may already be an unintentional butterfly gardener! Your Existing Wildflowers You don’t need to create a separate garden for butterflies, just use

The Giant Swallowtail caterpillar feeds on native members of the Citrus family like this Hop Tree.

your existing native plantings. If you have blooms from March to October, your native flowers are already meeting the needs of adult butterflies. Early native bloomers include Rose Verbena, Columbines and Beebalms. Milkweeds are important sources of nectar for

many pollinators. Other summer favorites include Partridge Pea, Clovers, Wild Senna, and Indigo Bush. Nectar is especially important in fall for migrating butterflies such as Monarchs, Painted Ladies and Sulphurs. Our native Asters, Sunflowers and Salvias offer the

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April 2016 |

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power drinks that fuel their journeys to warmer climates. Native Plants to Feed the Caterpillars If all you offer are flowers, you are merely a nectar bar, not a butterfly garden. Planting more flowers will not bring more species and numbers of butterflies. No, you must plant to feed the children, the caterpillars. Unlike adults that can sip nectar from many kinds of flowers, most species of butterfly caterpillars eat only a specific plant. Fortunately, many native caterpillar food plants are beautiful; the following suggestions will please both gardeners and butterflies. Native Milkweeds Members of the Milkweed family are the only food for Monarch caterpillars. Consider pink-flowered Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, with its refined appearance and behavior. Spider Milkweed, Asclepias viridis, is a perfect border plant, growing only a foot tall as it blooms in May. Be cautious of planting Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, which shamelessly spreads by seeds and suckers. Remember, Monarch caterpillars do not like Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa, and eat it only as a last resort. Golden Alexanders Black Swallowtails are very common in our area because their caterpillars eat readily-available members of the Carrot family such as Dill, Fennel and Parsley. There are several weedy-looking native hosts, but Golden Alexanders, Zizia aurea, is stunning. Its leathery dark green leaves are reminiscent of a sun-loving Helleborus and the golden flowers bloom periodically from April to November.

Hop Tree A small tree of the understory, Ptelia trifoliata is known as Hop Tree, Stinking Ash and Wafer Tree. This beautiful fragrant member of the Citrus family fits perfectly in a semi-shaded moist woodland garden and hosts both Tiger and Giant Swallowtails. Additionally, birds relish the winged wafer-like seeds. If space is limited, you can whack it into a multi-stemmed shrub every February.

Spring Plant Sale

Sources for Native Plants Less than 5% of the stock at Friday May 6, 2016, 9am - 7pm & Saturday May 7, 9am - 3pm a typical commercial nursery is Stroll the Arboretum gardens for inspiration then choose your native. Fortunately, there are speplants from an impressive list of locally-grown annuals and cialty mail-order companies like perennials plus an outstanding selection of herbs. Missouri Wildflower Nursery. And Come to the Thursday evening members preview sale. many environmentally focused Join the Friends of the Arboretum and receive a groups have spring plant sales that 10% member discount! No pre-registration necessary, feature natives, which are guaranno admission fee required. teed neonicotinoid-free. Watch The Overland Park Arboretum Kansas City Gardener for listings & Botanical Gardens from Burroughs Audubon Center, 8909 W. 179th Street Missouri Wildflower Nursery, Overland Park, KS 66013 Monarch Watch and Missouri Prairie Foundation. The Extension Master Gardeners Presented by in each county also hold sales that not only include native plants but also expert advice on how to use natives in an ornamental landscape. The Marais des Cygnes Extension sale in Paola, held on Plant Sale Ad_KC Gardener.indd 1 3/8/16 April 28, 29 and 30 will feature native butterfly host plants as well as the Monarch’s favorite, Tropical Milkweed. Come early—we will sell out of favorites. Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardener, Idalia Butterfly Society 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

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In addition to laboratory analysis, each soil test is returned with unbiased, science-based recommendations specific to your own soils or production needs. With a soil test you will be better prepared to make decisions for your lawn or garden’s maintenance. The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


1:11 PM

The Treebook Project Exhibit at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens A community based art collaboration By Maureen Carroll


ave you ever looked at a particularly beautiful or unusual tree and wondered, “What tree is that?” That’s been me most of my life. I remember walking through deciduous forests as a youngster, looking at the beautiful foliage, and wanting to know the different trees names. I even spent time looking at tree identification books—the kind that includes an artist’s rendition of various trees to help explorers distinguish between them. To me, all of the trees looked alike in those books, and I never gained skill at identifying different trees until I joined with other artists in the Treebook project. What I wanted to see was a book of trees illustrated by different artists. I wondered, if each species of tree were drawn by a different artist, wouldn’t that help to make

the trees easier to distinguish than if they were all illustrated by the same artist? With this little question the Treebook project was born. The Treebook Project is a collaborative art project involving 18 area artist. I put out a call for trees, and artists produced! In addition to identifying trees, we were galvanized by our desire to aid tree conservation by increasing youths’ understanding of trees. Motivation for this community effort to create a children’s art book was also sparked by the cuts in funding to the arts and art education, particularly as it impacts children.

The artists created artwork featuring their favorite tree(s), and donated the pieces for the purpose of raising money for children’s art education. The artwork was put into The Tree Who Walked Through Time – A Tree Identification Story, a children’s book featuring realistic and fantastical illustrations of trees, including 16 different species of trees that grow in Kansas and Missouri. The artists’ different styles and mediums highlight the unique qualities of each tree, helping the reader learn to distinguish the various species shown and making the book truly a tree identification book. The most interesting part of the collaboration process, for me, was that no two artists chose the same species! Each artist had a particular inspiration for selecting their tree. Along with their biographies you’ll find in the book a brief description of why they chose the tree selected. We are looking for book readers, tree lovers, and art supporters to aid in our cause of raising money

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April 2016 |

for children’s art education. Profits from hard and soft cover books, coloring books, calendars, cards, art prints, and original art support the Mulvane Art Museum’s educational programs, including the Mulvane Art Lab, and the Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education (KSAAE), a statewide program to ensure that the arts are an integral part of the education of every pre-K to 12th grade student in Kansas. You can support this project and view many of the original artworks at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. The Treemendous Trees Art Exhibition opens April 25, just in time to celebrate Arbor Day, and runs through June 12. Copies of the book, prints of the artwork, and the original art will be for sale in the gift shop with the proceeds going to the Overland Park Arboretum’s programming, the KSAAE and Mulvane Art Museum’s educational programming. To see the entire list of contributing artists and to find out more about them, visit: Maureen Carroll offers several services to help support her writing career and to contribute to community. Services offered fall roughly into four main categories: Book Coaching, Memoir Writing Assistance, Layout & Design Assistance, and related, interactive Workshops. You may contact her at 785-843-1849.

Annuals • Hanging Baskets • Patio Pots Succulents • Perennials • Vegetables Herbs • Tropicals • Trees & Shrubs Custom Potting Voted #1 Greenhouse in Miami County 6 years in a row! 10860 W. 271 St., Louisburg, KS • 913-837-2174 Hours: 9-6 Mon.-Fri. • 9-5 Sat. • 11-2 Sun.

47th Annual Plant Sale

Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Wed., April 27, 12-7 p.m. Thurs., April 28, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Fri., April 29, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat., April 30, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Gomer’s Shopping Center, 99th and Holmes (north of I-435)

Tulip Time April 8-24 in Topeka


icture more than 115,000 tulips of multiple colors and varieties blanketing Shawnee County’s destination parks as well as downtown Topeka’s pocket parks. Visitors from across the nation celebrate spring with Tulip Time – set for April 8-24, 2016. In fact, the American Bus Association has named Tulip Time one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2016. The event got its start in the home gardens of Jerald Binkley. A member of the Topeka Beautification Association, Binkley shared his personal gardens with visitors for 22 years. He desired to create an ongoing and beautiful countywide event and Tulip Time was born. Today, visitors can find 60,000 tulips and daffodils in the 9.5 acre Ted Ensley Gardens at Lake Shawnee, 15,000 tulips and daffodils at Doran Rock Garden in

Gage Park and another 45,000 tulips at Old Prairie Town and the 2.5 acre Ward-Meade Botanical Garden. A $5 donation is suggested at both Ted Ensley Gardens and Old Prairie Town/Ward-Meade Botanical Garden. Each year, the Shawnee Parks and Recreation Foundation purchases the tulip bulbs which are planted by Parks + Recreation horticulturists, friends of the gardens/ parks groups and a host of wonderful volunteers. Once the tulips are finished blooming, the bulbs are sold to the public and the gardens are planted with summer plants and flowers. Tulip Time is made possible by the following groups: Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Foundation; Friends of Ted Ensley Gardens; Friends of Ward-Meade; and Shawnee County Parks + Recreation.

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Stop in and check out our store.

We also carry Lawn & Garden supplies, pet supplies and bird seed.

Plants that are ready to GROW! New gardeners: let our experienced club members help you choose the best plants for your environment. Enjoy visiting with fellow enthusiasts! Bothered by deer? Not with our assortment of plants the deer won’t touch! Worried about drought? We’ll have drought-resistant and native plants. Interesting assortment of shade and sun-loving flowering perennials, including clematis. And many varieties of shade loving hostas. Plants and flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. For a quick splash of color in beds or pots, try new varieties of annuals as well as old favorites, such as lisianthus. A variety of vegetables to satisfy your appetite, and marvelous culinary herbs to enhance your meals and tastebuds. Grow your own and enjoy the taste and smell of fresh. Our annual sale helps fund our Horticulture Scholarship Programs and Community Grants. For more information, call 816-942-8889.


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816-523-1760 74th & Prospect, Kansas City, MO The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


Rose Report Kansas City’s expert rosarian JUDY PENNER says timing is everything when it comes to pruning roses.


e have had a mild winter, to say the least. I had roses blooming in the garden in the middle of December and most of the canes in the 2000 plus roses I tend have had green canes all winter. I noticed the sap rising in the canes in late February … way too early! As I write this article in early March the roses at Loose Park are leafing out and as I said the sap has risen into the canes. This kind of warm weather this early in the season is great for outside activities but it makes gardeners nervous. I know from experience we can have a severe freeze in March and even April that can set back the roses. That being said I don’t recommend pulling the mulch away from your roses until the middle of April. I would also wait to

prune roses until later in March or early April (typically when the forsythia bloom). If you prune your roses too early you will encourage new growth and this can cause more damage to your roses and set them back even further, if a freeze occurs. There have been years when all the canes on my roses turned black, don’t despair if this happens to you, the canes under the mulch usually are fine. You may have only stubs on the bud union but your rose will survive and grow as long as you have mulch covering the bud union. When I prune I look for three things: dead wood, crossing canes and small canes. I remove all three. I make sure I have three to five good canes on the rose and I apply Elmer’s wood glue to all cuts

Learn more about pruning, like removing crossing canes, on May 5th at 9 a.m. in the Loose Park Garden Center. which prevents insects from entering the canes. Sanitation is very important in the spring especially after pruning. I recommend removing all canes leaves and stems from the beds and

disposing of them. DO NOT put them in your compost pile where disease could be spread. I also spray the roses and the ground with Mancozeb, a contact fungicide that will help clean up any black spot spores that have overwintered. If you would like to learn more about roses the Kansas City Rose Society Garden Groomers will hold a training session on May 5th at 9 a.m. in the Loose Park Garden Center. The training will prepare you to groom roses on Thursday mornings in the Laura Conyers Smith Rose Garden. It is a great way to learn about roses and make some friends along the way! Judy Penner is Expert Rosarian at Loose Park, Kansas City, Mo. You may reach her at judy.penner@

spring Plant sale At Powell GArdens, Kansas City's Botanical Garden™


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 6

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

Not yet a member? Join at


April 2016 |

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

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

Club Meetings African Violets of GKC Tues, Apr 12, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Bonsai Society of GKC Fri, Apr 8, 9am-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816-513-8590 Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, Apr 19, 1pm; will be taking a field trip. We will be touring The Flower Farm located at 20335 S Moonlight Rd, Gardner, KS 66030. Carpoolers will meet at the parking lot on the SE corner of Third St. & Cedar St. All guest are welcome. For further information, contact Nicky Horn at 913-441-8078. Garden Club of Shawnee Thurs, Apr 7, 7pm; Old Shawnee Town Hall, 11600 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS. Jean Tinberg of the Santa Fe Trails Garden Club will give a presentation on natural, earth-friendly ways to deal with weeds and garden pests using items you likely have in your own kitchen. Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be given away. Everyone is welcome. Please visit our website at and also our Facebook page. GKC Dahlia Society Sun, Apr 10, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. We’ll be discussing the upcoming root sale and starting tubers. Anyone interested in growing dahlias is welcome to attend! 816513-8590 GKC Gardeners of America Mon, May 2, meet at 6pm Kauffman Garden parking lot (4800 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO), guided tour begins at 6:30pm. Duane Hoover, director, will guide our tour and show us the beautiful additions to the garden. The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden draws inspiration from the couple’s journey through life and their commitment to share with others. It is an enduring gift for Kansas City that extends the legacy of a gracious couple and welcomes visitors to a vibrant landscape throughout the year. The Kauffmans’ world travels inspired the creation of a space comparable to parks throughout Europe. The garden features bronze sculptures by Tom Corbin among lush and colorful annual and perennial plantings, pruned foliage framed by stone walls, brick walkways and playful fountains. Come and learn more. Non-members are always welcome. For additional information, contact Margaret Singer at 816-942-8889 or Vince Vogel of Vogel Landscaping at 816-313-8733. GKC Water Garden Society Tues, Apr 19, doors open at 5:30pm for snacks and socializing, formal portion of the evening begins at 6:30pm; at Union Station in Kansas City, MO. Our first speaker is Nik Hiremath of Wild Birds Unlimited in Leawood, Kansas. Many birds will be returning after their winter vacation, looking for food and new homes to nest in. Hiremath will be speaking about different birds needs in the spring and summer. Our featured speaker is Roye Dillon from Prestige One Landscaping. Dillon is one of only two Professional Contractors

certified by Aquascape in the metro area. Along with ponds, bogs and streams, he has recently installed a rain water system for an organic gardener. Opening the Water garden and easy maintenance are his topics for the April meeting. We meet by the Planetarium in Union Station. If you are interested in membership, dues are $35 per year and $45 per year for a 2-person household. With membership you receive monthly meetings at Union Station from September through May, newsletters, tickets to the annual public tour, a plant exchange, discounts from our sponsors, as well as special private member only tours throughout the summer. Idalia Butterfly Society Sat, May 21, 5:30pm Potluck Dinner and 7pm Presentation; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7700 Mission Rd. Bridging The Gap™: Milkweeds for Monarchs, Courtney Masterson. Bridging The Gap™ is launching an 18-month monarch garden program that will install over 175 native plant gardens in the Greater KC Metro, in city, business and residential sites. The program will focus not only on providing these oases to pollinators but also on public education on monarchs, native plants and other pollinators. Courtney will share the progress of the project and provide monarch garden packages to Idalia Society members and friends. Courtney Masterson is the Monarch and Native Plant Program Manager for Bridging the Gap™ and has worked in prairies for eight years, focusing on invasive plant species control, plant-animal interactions and native seed collection and propagation. Free to the public.

Does your landscape need inspiration? Call today!




May 7 – Oct 8 • 7am–1pm


June 1 – Aug 31 • 4pm–7pm Fresh produce, baked goods, honey, plants, handmade arts and crafts, and more.

Weekly entertainment around 10am 5740 Merriam Drive – Johnson Dr. Exit

Visit our website:

Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Apr 14, 7pm; at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Miss Rosie says, “Choose Me”!, helping us navigate the nursery to find the right rose for our gardens. With all the roses calling for attention, it can be difficult to know which rose to select. Come to the meeting and learn about some different types of roses and hear from others which roses are their favorites. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments are provided. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarians Corner”- a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian. Bring your questions and concerns about any aspect of growing and caring for roses! The Consulting Rosarians will also give timely tips about caring for roses “This Month In The Rose Garden”. For more information about the meetings, programs and other activities of the Johnson County Rose Society, visit their website at You can also find them on Facebook at Kansas City Cactus & Succulent Society
 Sun, Apr 17, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. It’s our annual potluck picnic. Visitors are welcome to join the fun. Members, please watch your email or our website for details. Kansas City Garden Club
 Mon, Apr 4, 10am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. The program is “Planting Companions: Creating Combinations that Please the Eye” (continued on page 38)

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016


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

locally grown • hand picked • extraordinary selection

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

(continued from page 37) is Mae Christenson’s topic. She has been a Johnson County Master Gardener since 1997. Over the years she has adapted to growing with the flow, syncing the gardener’s energy, the microclimates and the plants, resulting in her garden that thrives without a lot of fuss. According to Mae, “A lonely plant is an unhappy plant. Perennial gardening that’s ecologically sound and beautiful. Is it possible? Let’s open up our mind to the possibilities!” Bring a sack lunch and join everyone for furnished drinks and treats after the meeting. The public is welcomed. 913-341-7555

Call us for your landscape and maintenance needs.

816-941-2332 Spring Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-5pm

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Farm Fresh Produce • Local Foods Live Music • Seasonal Recipies

Saturdays April 9 - Dec. 3 wednesdays may 18 - sept. 28 2016 Presenting Sponsor

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April 2016 |

Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Apr 13, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Jamie Kidd, Shawnee County Horticulture Agent, will present, “Landscape Design Made Simple”. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information call Melony Lutz at 913-484-4568 or the Leavenworth Co Ext office at 913-364-5700.

This will be an outdoor activity, so dress accordingly! If you would like to attend and are not a member, please call Joan Shriver at 913-492-3566. The club will sponsor a plant sale Wed May 4th from 8am on at 18505 W 114th St, Olathe. Most plants will be from members’ gardens. The sale can be accessed from North Ridgeview Rd, turn west on 114th St. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Apr 11, 7pm; at Colonial Church, 71st and Mission Rd, lower level, rear entrance, Prairie Village, KS. Program will be presented by Lenora Larson, Paola resident. She will be talking and showing us everything we ever wanted about growing in pots. Lenora has many years of gardening under her belt (so to speak) and she has done our programs before. So, bring your notepads and pen because she will have to much information for anyone to remember. The public is welcome to enjoy this most entertaining speaker who can be expected to be very entertaining. For any questions, call Sallie Wiley 913-236-5193.

Leawood Garden Club Tues, Apr 26, 10:30am; at Cure of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS. At about noon, Mae Christenson will present “Growing Perennials in Kansas City.” Mae has been a Johnson County Extension Master Gardener since 1997. Gardening has provided her with the opportunities to appreciate the wonders of nature and she has learned that we cannot outsmart “Mother Nature.” Over the years, she has adapted to growing with the flow, syncing the gardener’s energy, the microclimate and the plants to have a garden that thrives without a lot of fuss. We will also have our annual fund raising silent auction, with donations from local shops up for bids. The meeting is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts provided. For more information, please visit www.leawoodgardenclub. org, send an email to leawoodgardenclub@ or call 913 642-3317.

Raytown Garden Club Tues, Apr 5, 10am, at Raytown Christian Church, 6108 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO. Program is “Planting Native Plants in Our Missouri Gardens” presented by Judith Rogers, U.S. Forest Service Naturalist. Visitors welcome; refreshments served. For more information visit our website at www. are always welcome; refreshments will be served. For more information, visit our website at site/fgcmwestcentral/raytown

Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Apr 12, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 S W Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Our speaker will be Terry Shepard, his topic will be “How to Grow and Use Herbs”. Refreshments will be provided and visitors are always welcome. Visit our website or call 816-540-4036 for information.


Mo Kan Daylily Society Sun, Apr 3, 11:30am-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Northland Garden Club Tues, Apr 19, at 7pm; at Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 N Norton, Kansas City, MO (just south and west of Penguin Park). This month the Northland Garden Club will have Theresa Brosnan Denney present a program on “Herbs and Their Medicinal, Household and Culinary Uses”. Theresa has many years of experience with organically grown herbs. Please check website for additional information: Olathe Garden and Civic Club Tues, Apr 19, 12:30pm; at the home of Kim Pegel, 12924 S Summit, Olathe. Kim will lead the program “Creating your own Hypertufa.”

Sho-Me African Violet Club Fri, Apr 8, 11am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Events, Lectures & Classes

Growing Vegetables in Kansas Sun, Apr 3, 2-3:30pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. Do you yearn to grow produce yummy, nutritious food for your family? Whether you have just a patio, a small yard or a large farm, following the K-State recommended processes for planning and planting can produce a bountiful vegetable garden. Topics include soil health, plant selection, maintenance (AKA weeding and watering!) and insect visitors. Enjoy this country setting which includes light refreshments prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Email for more information, reservations. 913-271-7451 Missouri Prairie Foundation Native Plant Sales April 2016 Sat, Apr 16: Missouri Prairie Foundation native plant sale: 9:30am-2:30pm; at Anita B Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110. Missouri Wildflowers Nursery will provide a variety of native flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees to purchase at the Discovery Center’s Go Native event. If you wish to pre order

your choices for pick up at the sale, contact Missouri Wildflowers Nursery: 573-496-3492 or email: Cash, check, or credit card accepted. A percentage of proceeds is donated by vendor to benefit MPF’s prairie conservation work. Questions: 816716-9159 The Missouri Prairie Foundation will hold its Annual Native Plant Sales at City Market on Saturdays, April 23 and April 30 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day at the City Market, 5th & Walnut, Kansas City, MO. A variety of native plants, trees and shrubs suitable for shade, partial shade, sunny, dry, or moist conditions will be available. This is a great opportunity to buy native plants to provide habitat for native pollinators and birds. If you wish to pre-order plants for pick up at the sales, information is included below. Sat, Apr 23: Missouri Wildflowers Nursery will have wildflowers, grasses, sedges, vines, shrubs, and trees for sale. Plants can be preordered for pick up at the sale by contacting Missouri Wildflowers Nursery at 573-4963492 or email: Sat, Apr 30: Missouri Wildflowers Nursery will have wildflowers, grasses, sedges, shrubs, and vines and Forrest Keeling Nursery will have trees and shrubs for sale. To pre-order wildflowers, grasses, sedges, vines from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, call 573-4963492 or email: To pre-order from Forrest Keeling Nursery: trees ($20 each) and shrubs ($15 each): email Cash, check, or credit card accepted. A generous portion of proceeds is donated by vendors to benefit MPF’s prairie conservation work. Questions? 816-716-9159 Gardening for a Lifetime Thurs, Apr 7, 11:30am-1pm; Sunflower Room at the Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N, 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners are hosting Joyce Householder, MSPT. Ms. Householder will discuss how using ergonomic tools, good body mechanics, practical gardening practices and good plant choices, along with flexibility and strength, all work together to achieve the gardener’s dream of staying healthy enough to remain in our gardens for as many years as possible. Fee: $5.00, payable at the door. Registration not required. 913-299-9300

compost to the latest information on the threat of the emerald ash borer. A garden garage sale will feature gently used and repurposed garden items. Original garden crafts handmade by master gardeners will be available. Drawings for door prizes, including a handcrafted cedar arbor, will take place at the end of the day. For more details go to douglascountymastergardeners. Container Gardening with Ornamentals Sun, Apr 10, 2-3:30pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. Do you love flowers, but have no yard? Or do you wish to infuse portions of the landscape with the drama of container plantings? This presentation will review the basics of container gardening, then apply those principles to creating drop-dead gorgeous ornamental container plantings. Enjoy this country setting which includes light refreshments prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Please email for more information and reservations. 913-271-7451 Spring Wild Flower Walk: Kansas Native Plant Society Thurs, Apr 14, 1pm; at Hillsdale State Park, 26001 West 255th St, Paola, KS. Ken O’Dell will lead an exploration of 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. 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. More Info: KDWPT Hillsdale info. Sponsor: Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners

NOW HIRING SEASONAL LAWN & GARDEN HELP AT ALL LOCATIONS! Day & evening shifts available, please apply at your local Westlake Ace or forward your resume to Applications available at

Medicinal Uses of Herbs Sat, Apr 16, 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. $47/person, $42/member. Registration required by Apr 11. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at powellgardens. org/AdultClasses.Untitled-17 1

Container Gardening

African Violet Show and Sale You don’t need a yard to have a garden. Sat, Apr 16, 9am-3pm and Sun, Apr 17, Spring Garden Symposium at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st Container gardening offers10am-3pm; a myriad of Sat, Apr 9, 9am-3pm; at K-State Research St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112. and Extension, Marais des Cygnes District The park entrance is the west driveway immeplanting patio, – Paola Office, 104 possibilities S Brayman, Paola, for KS the diately South deck, of 51st St. The Sho-Me African 66071. Sponsored by the Marais des Cygnes Violet Club will sponsor the 31st Annual Extension Master Gardeners. Keynote Show and Salename -- “Violets -N- Rainbows”. balcony, windowOurbox, roof top... you Speaker, Jamie Kidd, Shawnee County This is a nationally judged African Violet Horticultural Agent, will present “Designing Members will be entering African it. And, even if you do have event. a yard, don’t your Dream Garden”. Kansas State Research Violets and other plants of the gesneriad fam& Extension faculty Dr. Cheryl Boyer and ily. Open to the public. Please come and enjoy gardening level. Lynn limit Lougharyyour will cover tree selection to and ground the beauty of the Plants African Violets and related care, the newest Prairie Star and Prairie Bloom gesneriad plants being entered in this nationreleases and go the challenges of weed control. judged show. the plants in the Show can anywhere that soil, ally water, lightViewand The $25 fee includes lunch. To register, Room, then enhance your home with member please send your check made out to the MdC plants being offered in the Sales Room. imagination canto thego.K-State grown Extension Master Gardeners Club members will share their knowledge Research and Extension, Marais des Cygnes District – Paola Office, 104 S Brayman, Paola, KS 66071. For more information or to register, call 913-294-4306.

and answer your questions. In visiting this event, should you find yourself intrigued, you would be most welcome to attend a meeting. Meetings are the second Tuesday of the month September thru June 11am at the Loose Park Garden Center. Free admission. 816-513-8590 Loose Park Garden Center; 816-510-8593 L. Ridder, Club President.

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

2351 N. 400 Rd. • Edgerton, KS • Hours: 9am-6pm, Mon.-Sat. • Sun. noon-4pm 2 miles west of Edgerton on Hwy 56 • to County Line, 2 miles north 1/2 west Shawnee Location • 5920 County Line Rd., KCK • 913-375-1335 Nieman and County Line Rd. • Mon.-Sat. 9am-6pm • Sun. noon-4pm

When choosing plants for your container, KCMO Farmers Market Location, 3rd & Walnut, Saturday only Mastering Your Lawn and Garden: a Stall 50 across (west) from the Arabian Springconsider Garden Fair the following: Sat, Apr 9, 9am-4pm; at Building 21 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St, • Light -- Most flowers are sun-lovers. If you’re decorating a shady spot,Enright try im- Gardens Lawrence, Kansas. Sponsored by the Douglas Native Plant Sale County Master Gardeners. Admission is free. Sat, Apr 16, 9am-2pm; at Backyard Bird A variety ofpatiens, displays and demonstrations Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas No care Ordinary begonias,willcoleus, browallia, fuchsia, orCity, torenia. Check plant tags Gardening Adventure provide information on topics ranging from gorgeous plants, wonderful staff, unique garden store tree planting to tool care, and soil, mulch, and page 40) and buy with your location in mind, or(continued rotateon containers to a sunny spot. The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016 • Thriller -- This is the center piece and will be the tallest plant in the container. • Filler -- These will be planted in the middle area and will fill the space around



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

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Olathe, KS (913) 780-4848 Belton, MO (816) 331-0005 The Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America would like to thank the following speakers for the wonderful programs they presented to our members over the past year. Jesse Nelson, Family Tree ~ How to Make Houseplants Thrive Mary Wood, Jackson County Master Gardener ~ How to Transplant and Relocate Existing Plants Renee Yankovich, Suburban Lawn & Garden ~ Landscaping With Organics Kent Maughan, Soil Service ~ New and Exciting Annuals Ben Simons, Catch-It Wildlife & Pest Control ~ Critter Management in the Landscape and Garden Tom & Janice Britz, Bee Merry Bee Farms ~ Honey Bees in the City Catlin Dix, Kansas City MO Recycling ~ Drought Tolerant Landscaping Vince Vogel, Vogel Landscaping ~ Winterizing Your Landscape Plants and Landscape Beds Look for our meeting announcement listed each month in the Upcoming Events section of The Kansas City Gardener. Join us at our next meeting and make a gardening friend! For more information, email or call 816-942-8889.


April 2016 |

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

(continued from page 39) MO 64154. By Burroughs Audubon. 816746-1113 Orchid Auction Sun, Apr 17, 2-4:30pm; at the Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Live auction and tables of plants for the taking for $5 and up. Phals, Cattleyas, Oncidiums, Paphs, Phrags, and more .... many in bloom. Rare opportunity to get great orchids at bargain prices. All proceeds go to OSGKC, a nonprofit organization. Open to the public. For more information about our auction and society, visit Butterfly Gardening Sun, Apr 24, 2-3:30pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. The secret to attracting butterflies is not flowers, it is all about feeding the children, the darling caterpillars. This presentation will review butterfly biology with an emphasis on garden design. Participants will learn how to create butterfly habitats with no compromise in beauty or function. Enjoy this country setting which includes light refreshments prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Please email for more information and reservations. 913-271-7451 47th Annual Plant Sale Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Wed, Apr 27, 12-7pm; Thurs, Apr 28, 9am7pm; Fri, Apr 29, 9am-7pm; Sat, Apr 30, 9am-3pm; at Gomer’s Shopping Center, 99th and Holmes (north of I-435). Plants that are ready to GROW! New gardeners: let our experienced club members help you choose the best plants for your environment. Enjoy visiting with fellow enthusiasts! Bothered by deer? Not with our assortment of plants the deer won’t touch! Worried about drought? We’ll have drought-resistant and native plants. Interesting assortment of shade and sun-loving flowering perennials, including clematis. And many varieties of shade loving hostas. Plants and flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. For a quick splash of color in beds or pots, try new varieties of annuals as well as old favorites, such as lisianthus. A variety of vegetables to satisfy your appetite, and marvelous culinary herbs to enhance your meals and tastebuds. Grow your own and enjoy the taste and smell of fresh. For more information, call 816-942-8889. Vegetables: Tried & True and Best of the New Thurs, Apr 28, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: Vegetables: Tried & True and Best of the New. Founding director of the Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG), Ben Sharda has been teaching vegetable gardening for 20 years. Here’s your opportunity to learn from the master about the best and most reliable producers, under appreciated gems and promising new varieties. KCCG does more every year to bring gardening to Kansas City and Ben will give us a glimpse of what’s coming. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816665-4456 or visit our website at and browse Gardeners Gathering.

Annual Paola Plant Sale Thurs, Apr 28, noon-5pm; Fri, Apr 29, 8am5pm; Sat, Apr 30, 8am-noon; at 300 Baptiste Dr. Take the Baptiste Exit off 169 Hwy and drive 1/3 mile west. This Marais des Cygnes (formerly Miami County) Extension Master Gardener sale includes annual bedding plants, vegetable seedlings, succulents and perennials. Native plants are featured and there will be over 20 species of butterfly caterpillar host plants, including Tropical Milkweed. All the plants are locally grown organically and are neonicotinoid-free. Extension Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions, and handouts on butterfly gardening will be available. Call 913-2944306 for more information. Dahlia Root Sale Fri, Apr 29 members only preview 1-4pm (a good reason to join for only $5/year); Sat, Apr 30, public 8am-3pm; at at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Open to the public. 816-513-8590 Raytown Garden Club Spring Plant & Bake Sale Sat, Apr 30, 8am–noon; at Cave Spring Interpretative Center, 8701 E Gregory, Kansas City, MO. The sale will feature a variety of annuals, perennials and vegetables as well as homemade baked goods. Garden club members will be available to answer your questions. Mo-Kan Daylily Society Spring Plant Sale Sat, Apr 30, 8am–12pm; at Cave Spring Park, 8701 E Gregory Blvd, Kansas City, MO. A large variety of locally grown daylilies including a selection of colors, bloom size, height, and patterns will be available for sale. Club members will be on hand to help with selection and answer any questions. 15th Annual 2016 Earth Fair Sat, Apr 30, 10am-3pm; at Shawnee Mission East High School, 7500 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Free admission. Open to the public. Sponsored by the City of Prairie Village and Shawnee Mission East High School, the theme for 2016 Earth Fair is “May the Earth be with You — Come to the Green Side.”
 Enjoy special presentations, music, fun and educational activities for the entire family. Shop the Used Book sale, for other great products and good food. For an application to be an exhibitor or presenter at this year’s fair, visit Edible Landscapes Class Sat, Apr 30, 1-2pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS 66013. What is edible landscaping? It’s integrating edible food plants into your garden in a decorative and visually interesting manner. It is not the standard vegetable garden in straight rows. If you carefully plan, you can combine your fruits, vegetables and herbs with standard garden varietals to create a beautiful yet functional garden. You will also learn how to choose plants that are productive and visually pleasing. Landscaping with edible plants allows your garden to not only be beautiful but practical. Registration is recommended. Pruning Class Sat, Apr 30, 9:30-10:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W

179th St, Overland Park, KS 66013. Join our horticulturist Anne Wildeboor for this informative talk and demonstration on how to prune your favorite trees just in time for Arbor Day. Registration is recommended, included with admission.

May and June Kansas City Garden Club Annual Spring Luncheon, Program and Plant Sale Mon, May 2; at the Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. 9-10am: plant sale; 10am: Your Garden Personality, by Lenora Larson, Miami County Master Gardener. Lenora will help you find out why you garden the way you do. Home cooked lunch by the church ladies at noon. At 1pm, Craig Sole, 32 years owner of Craig Sole Designs, will show “Fabulous and Fun Floral Designs” using flowers from Costco. Send $15.00 check made out to Kansas City Garden Club to Cathy Moore, 9804 Pembroke Lane, Leawood, KS 66206 or call 913-381-6325. Ticket deadline is Apr 20. The public is welcomed. Landscaping for Wildlife and Pollinators Thurs, May 5, 11:30am-1pm; in the Sunflower Room at the Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. As much as gardeners like birds and butterflies, we usually hesitate to include wildlife habitats, fearing a weedy mess. The goals of beauty and habitat can be achieved together, with a garden design easily including the specific plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife and pollinators while still remaining beautiful for the humans. The class will be taught by Meg Mullett, a Johnson County Extension Master Gardener and Kansas Master Naturalist, who has been gardening for 40 years. She not only grows food for her family, but also maintains an attractive landscape for wildlife using only organic methods. Sponsored by the Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners. Fee: $5.00, payable at the door. Registration not required. 913-299-9300 Central Missouri Master Gardeners 19th Annual Indoor Plant Sale Sat, May 7, 7am-noon; at Jaycee Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Follow the plant sale progress and see what’s for sale on or our website www.centralmissourimastergardeners. org. For questions about the sale, please contact Julie at 573-295-6263 or Annual Spring Plant Sale Sat, May 14, 9:30am-2:30pm; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St (67th & Roe), Prairie Village, KS. Sponsored by Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society. There will be a great collection of newer hostas and other lovely perennials, including arisaemas, great ferns and variegated Solomon Seal, plus mini hostas so wonderful for your troughs and Fairy Gardens. You won’t want to miss this sale! Some quantities are limited, so you will want to arrive early. The sale is open to the public, Bring a friend! For info, Gwen 816-213-0598.

The Tomato Whisperer, James Worley Sat, Jun 4, 10-11:30am; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150B NW Colbern Rd (1/4 mile west of Douglas/Colbern Rds intersection), Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. James will demonstrate the technique for pruning tomato plants this time of year. Also, he will discuss choosing variety of tomatoes, planting tips, picking and care of plants so you can bring fresh produce to your dinner table. You will leave with handouts after a digital presentation, questions and answers. Fee:$10.00/free for members. Cash or check only. Call for reservations: 816-769-0259, please leave a message.

Now Hiring

for Spring

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

Leavenworth County Garden Tour Sat, Jun 11, 9am-3pm; Leavenworth County Master Gardeners will host six beautiful Leavenworth County gardens. Tickets are $10, cash or check. Tickets may be purchased at the Leavenworth County Extension office starting April 1st; additional locations will be added later. This event will occur rain or shine. Please no strollers or pets. For additional information please call Melony Lutz at 913-484-4568 or the Leavenworth County Extension office at 913-363-5700. Is Seed Saving for you? Sat, Jun 11, 10-11am; at The Gardens at Unity Village 150B NW Colbern Rd. (1/4 mile west of Douglas/Colbern Rds intersection), Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Dayna McDaniel, founder of the Seed Savers-KC Seed Library will be showing you how to keep those precious seeds to save money in the future. She’ll share information from choosing the seeds to storing. Fee: $10.00/free for members. Cash or check only. Cottage Gardeners of Weston Country Gardens Tour Fri and Sat, Jun 24 and 25, 9am-4pm. Enjoy a drive through rural, Western Platte County as you visit five, beautiful country gardens. You’ll see a fairy garden, his and her’s vegetable and inspiration gardens, wide open vistas and sheltered areas. All of the gardens are reflections of their owners, as different as they can be. Come spend a day in the country and dream with us. Tickets are $10. More information at Breakfast & Blooms at the Bingham Breakfast & garden tour! Sat, Jun 25, 8am-3pm; at Bingham Waggoner Estate, Independence, MO. Between 8am to 10am, enjoy the simple pleasures of a home style breakfast – eggs, sausage, country potatoes and all the trimmings. Homemade baked goods will be available at the Bake Sale, so plan to take some home! Come hungry and leave well fed! Garden tours begin at 10. The grounds of the Bingham will look lovely and will be the start of the tour. The tour will feature private local gardens, all of which will be a pleasure to visit! Tickets for Breakfast & Blooms are $25 – this ticket includes breakfast, the garden tour and a tour of the Bingham Waggoner Estate to be used the day of the garden tour or any day by Oct 31, 2016. If you’d like to come for breakfast only, tickets are $11. For tickets please call Shireen at 816-461-3491.

Promote your gardening events! Send information to: E-Mail: Deadline for May issue is April 5.

Cashiers Phone Operators Hardgoods Sales Plant Sales Landscape Maintenance Trimming, Mowing, Planting Truck Drivers, (CDL & non-CDL) Equipment Operators Laborers

Full & Part time positions available For more information please contact our Human Resource Department applications available on line at

phone: 816-941-4700 fax: 816-941-3838


GAR G A RENEDREN E R N D E D R A G ER Beyon The K T ty K an sa Cihe s C it y a n s a s C Th e Ka ns as ity A M on

th ly G ui de to Su A Mon thly cc es Guid e to Suc October 2014 sf ul cess ful Gard Garde ning G ar de enin g to Succe ssful August 2015 ni ng A Mont hly Guide

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.

d the W ate Butterflies and Bee s Love These rlilies Spooky Plants



r Garden

for the Octobe

ity with Grasses Beauty and Divers een Not Just for HallowCall 811 Orange and Black: Lemon rd of Digth Control BeforeBiYou Daylily: Beau Park eM ty for fy Weeds for Better Identi Decis ThanBu ion Time: ShouSeeded Lawn More a tte Dayrfl onth: Blue In the bird y Ask andExpe Feeding of Newly ld You Remove YourGaAsh rdenTree Conserva rts about weed Proper Carethe with tories control, oozin g sap and more Marvin Snyder

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.

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016



garden calendar n LAWN

• Apply crabgrass preventers by mid-April for best results. • Mow based on the growth rate removing no more than one third of the leaf blade. • Mow bluegrass and fescue at 3”. • Delay fertilizing zoysia until mid to late May. • Check and sharpen mower blade. • Repair mowers before the season gets into full swing. • Grass clippings, let them fall, no need to catch. • Sweep or blow clippings back onto the lawn. • Sweep or blow fertilizer and herbicide pellets back onto the lawn. • Withhold watering unless absolutely needed to increase summer heat and drought resistance.


• Plant carrots, onions and beets over salad crops. • Thin after germination 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 fruit trees if not already done. • Remove mulch from strawberry bed. • Prune raspberry and blackberry plantings. • Plant asparagus and rhubarb. • Avoid spraying insecticides when fruits are in flower to protect the honeybees. • Cultivate soil to control weed growth. • Turn compost pile on a regular basis to hasten the breakdown. • 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 stimulate new growth. • Prune deciduous trees now for quick healing. • Plant new trees and shrubs. • Apply mulch around young trees and shrubs to conserve moisture and control weeds. • Water newly planted trees and shrubs regularly if not supplied by Mother Nature. • Fertilize young trees to promote growth. • Check pine trees for needle diseases and control if needed. • Never top a tree as part of a pruning program.


• Remove winter mulch from the perennial garden. • Cut back last year’s growth from perennials. • Remove mulch layers from roses. • Prune roses. • Plant new rose bushes. • Fertilize roses to promote strong growth and good flowers. • Fertilize spring flower bulbs before flowering. • Remove seedpods from spring flowering bulbs. • Do not remove green foliage from bulbs in order to encourage good flowering next year. • Plant annuals from transplants or seed. • Divide overgrown perennials. • Improve the 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.

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. EST.2007

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

Dig for more at GAR G A RENEDREN E R N D E D R A G E Be The K Th e Ka ns as Ci ty C ity a n s a s C Th e Ka ns as ity A M on th ly Gu id e to Su cc

A Mon thly Guid e to SuccOctober 2014 essfu l Gard Garde ning enin g to Succe ssful A Month ly Guide

yond th

es sf ul

Ga rd

August 2015

e Wate Butterflies and Bee s Love These rlilies Spooky Plants for the October

en in





ity with Grasses Beauty and Divers een Not Just for HallowCall 811 Orange and Black: Lemo rd of Digth Control BeforeBiYou n Park ly: Beau for Better WeedsDayli eM ty for More Identif Decisyion Time: ThanBu a tte Dayrfl onth: Blue ShouSeeded In the ld You Lawn bird of Newly g y Remove Ask Feedin and the YourGaAsh rdenTree Conserva Proper Care Experts about weed with tories control, oozin g sap and more Marvin Snyder


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


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

Magazine archives


• Find a Professional for the next project • See where to pick up the current issue • Weather report • Look for garden clubs • Check out upcoming events


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


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


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


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


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


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

2016 is the Year of the Carrot

While carrots are one of the top 10 most economically important crops in the world, they are also one of the most popular vegetables to grow in home gardens. Learn more at KCGMAG.COM

Professional’s Corner Philip Reyes offers indoor plants to urban dwellers. Position: As Store Manager, I handle the daily retail operations of the Crossroads Plant Exchange. What makes Crossroads Plant Exchange unique: We specialize in indoor plants that will thrive in indoor, urban environments. There is a real craving to bring green into people’s homes, but often times they are nervous about not being successful with indoor plants. We offer a great selection of plants geared for conditions in lofts and apartments, in and around downtown. Education and experience: I received a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas (rock chalk!) in 2009. I’ve been an amateur gardener and indoor plant lover all of my adult life. Most of my formal plant education has come while working at the Crossroads Plant Exchange. I research all the plants we bring in so I can properly inform customers about proper care. And of course working with the plants has been a hands-on learning experience that has really helped me develop my green thumb. What inspires/motivates you: I love when customers come back and tell me about the success they are having with the plants they got from us. People are really excited to buy a new plant for their space. I think plants are that extra something that turns a place into a home for many people, and it is fun and rewarding to share in making that happen. Favorite plant: Oh, I’m really partial to the club moss we sell. It’s so soft and inviting to the touch. I think if I had a whole bed of it, I could take the best nap ever. Favorite garden destination: The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a great day activity. I love seeing the sculpture art and varied vegetation there. It has some awesome trails that feel like you’re discovering secret gardens. What every gardener should know: I think people should remember that plants are alive, and not just decoration. They should interact with the plants, touch them, and, yes, talk to them. It’ll help you be more successful if you have a relationship with your plants rather than treating them like a chore to be managed. Contact information: 211 W. 18th St., Kansas City, MO 64108; phone 913-915-5011; hours Th/Fr 12pm-6pm (open late on First Friday), Sa/Su 10am-4pm; The Kansas City Gardener | April 2016



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