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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening New for 2018

April 2018

Annuals add

beauty to life continued

The Trill of Spring Great Bald Cypress The Evolution of a Gardener Considering an Outdoor Patio? Arbor Day celebration honors The Giving Grove founders

Attention Homeowners! If you’re thinking of adding a water garden this year, here’s why you should call Swan’s Water Gardens.

Today’s Marketplace We realize that you are bombarded with many companies competing for your business. Everyone claiming to be the best or having the best products with the lowest price.

In search of the ultimate Water Garden

The “Water Garden Village”

After 23 years of researching and installing water gardens, we have refined our building techniques to a level that produces the most naturalistic and easiest maintenance water garden you can have built today.

Located on 8 acres dedicated to building and maintaining water gardens. Make a day of strolling through water gardens and quaint shops of our Water Garden Village.

With so many companies just wanting to sell you their products for a price, then leave you We call it the “Four Season Water Garden” alone to deal with the many costly mistakes that for good reason. It’s the water garden for all first-time pond builders and landscapers make. seasons. From the beautiful flowers of summer, to the magical ice sculptures of winter. We don’t think that’s right! The best part of the “Four Seasons Water Garden” is its guaranteed from leaking for When you entrust Swan’s Water Gardens with your business, you get more than just 5 full years! The longest guarantee in the the materials to build your pond. industry.

You’ll see container water features you can build for as little as $295, ideal for small patios or courtyards. Or take a tour through several display gardens ranging in price from $2,500 up to $40,000 for a more elaborate feature built by Swan’s Water Gardens.

You get over 23 years of pond building experience and knowledge to go with your purchase. We are going to be here to assist you with the step-by-step pond building process from start to finish, or we can build it for you. Your end result, a Water Garden Paradise.

Why do we stand behind our work for so long? Very simple, when you hire Swan’s Water Gardens to build your water garden, it’s the beginning of our relationship, not the end! So if you’re looking for a company you’ll never hear from again, we’re probably not the company you’re looking for.

We are Kansas City’s only full service water garden company that carries everything you’ll need to complete and enjoy your water garden lifestyle. Visit our website to check out the many exciting events and classes scheduled for the 2018 season as well as to find information about our featured flower of the month.

We’re Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle! “Creating Paradise ... in Your Backyard”


4385 W 247th St, Louisburg, KS April hours: Tues-Fri 9am-5pm • Sat 9am-4pm

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 2018


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

It’s never too late

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Contributors Sami Aaron Mike DeRee Jim Earnest Nik and Theresa Hiremath Lenora Larson Diana Par-Due Dennis Patton Judy Penner Ed Reese Tom Schroeder Kyle Vanderpool 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 39.


April 2018 |


hen the first day of spring arrived, it was like any other Midwest winter day–cloudy, cold and gloomy. Even through that murky veil, I was hopeful for more spring-like weather. You see, the day before was rainy, giving the landscape a much-needed soaking, and me a dose of inspiration. With a longing for sunnier, warmer days and a need for green, I await patiently. Back in December I mentioned Mr. Gardener getting in touch with his inner “Norm Abram.” He started small with building a table for his office, progressing up the scale of difficulty to a small greenhouse. What a feat! Now he’s focused on what can be accomplished inside the greenhouse. With all the essentials in place–heater, water, fans, trays, soil, and more–it is time to get growing. Our original intention was to grow fresh herbs, lettuces and tomatoes all year. Years ago, faced with varied challenges, our tomato yield was minimal in raised beds, so we surrendered. Nonetheless, the desire for homegrown tomatoes has never diminished. An addition to the list of what to grow included microgreens. Packed

with nutrients, easy to grow, and the promise of edible greens in 7 to 10 days was appealing. We also entertained the idea of growing annuals, like zinnias. With seeds in hand, it was time to plant. So there I was, sitting on the ground, a tray filled with soil between my legs, and I paused … wait, have I ever done this before? I could not remember a time when I actually planted a seed. How is this possible? Feeling like a true neophyte and inadequate, I had no reference from which to recall. Have I never held a tiny seed? In fact, when I poured the packet contents into my hand, I was surprised at their shape. That’s a seed? This was a pivotal day. In all of my years of gardening, plants came from growers. Period. Of course, when the kids were young, they would come home from school with a paper Dixie cup of dirt and a promise of a seed beneath. “We’re supposed to water it everyday, mom.” And so we did. Everything from radishes to car-

rots to grass, were trialed in our front living room window. (Then it became a keep-away-from-the-cats assignment.) Of course, I have planted bulbs like tulips and daffodils. Somehow, that does not compare. Even if I had the inclination to start plants from seed, there was no space or time for this kind of undertaking. Is it plausible that I am the only gardener in my age group who has never planted a seed? This sounds so silly reporting on this now. For a moment, dear reader, I seriously reconsidered admitting my naiveté. If I am the only gardener of age on the planet without the seeding experience, then let it be. Perhaps I’ll be an example of “It’s never too late.” In the meantime, we monitor the babies in the nursery. Even at 9 o’clock at night, Mr. Gardener heads to the greenhouse to check on them. He’s such a good dad. He always has been. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue April 2018 • Vol. 23 No. 4 Bird Facts ................................ 6 Arbor Day Celebration ............. 6 Powell Gardens events ............. 8 Ask the Experts ........................ 10 Wrens .................................... 12 Naturalizing with Wildflowers ... 14 Miami County Farm Tour ........... 17 Planning Spring Herb Planting ... 18 Rose Report ............................ 19 Annuals Add Beauty to Life ....... 20 Upcoming Events ..................... 30

about the cover ...

Considering Outdoor Patio ....... 22 Evolution of a Gardener ........... 24 Hotlines .................................. 25 Great Bald Cypress ................. 26 Shortleaf Pine ......................... 27 Monarch Predators .................. 28 Safe Digging Month ................ 30 Upcoming Events ..................... 33 Garden Calendar .................... 38 Subscribe ................................ 39 Meet an EMG .......................... 39

This new for 2018 Ipomoea ‘Solar Tower’ is sure to be eye-catcher in your garden. Learn about more new annuals beginning on page 20. Photo courtesy of Ball Flora.



Better feeding. Better eating.

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Better feeding. Better eating.

Arbor Day Celebration Honors Founders of The Giving Grove

Bird Facts ED REESE explains that familiar rat-a-tat-rappin sound of spring.


ost male birds use songs, and/or colorful plumage to attract their mates during the spring. Male woodpeckers don’t have a mating call/song per se, or striking plumage, but they sure can beat out unique drumbeats on any surface might make the loudest sound. Drumming accomplishes two things. The first goal is to attract a mate; the second is to establish territory. Dead trees are the usual target in the wild. It’s different in the suburbs. Houses having wood siding, natural or manufactured, come off as irregular shaped trees. Wood, metal siding, and even metal flashing is often a woodpecker’s choice. Usual culprits in our area are Downey, Hairy, and Northern Flicker (pictured) woodpeckers.

Woodpeckers nest in cavities and roost in them during winter, which leads to drumming in the fall before winter. Year round drumming indicates an insect infestation that a hungry woodpecker is trying to reach. There are a number of solutions home owners may use to thwart woodpecker drumming. Hang reflective Mylar tape, place bird netting under eaves, or even try using a decoy. An easy food source in your garden works too. Ed and Karen Reese own and operate the Wild Bird House in Overland Park, provisioning outdoor backyard bird lovers for over 26 years. Contact them at 913-341-0700.

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The Giving Grove founders, Ray Makalous (left), Greg Finkle (center), and Kevin Birzer (right) are honorees of the 2018 Arbor Day celebration Saturday, April 21.


he Giving Grove was founded in 2011 by Kevin Birzer, Greg Finkle and Ray Makalous. Deeply concerned for the growing number of hungry people and seeking a way to provide more sustainable, nutrient-rich food, these three began exploring the idea of creating edible tree gardens across the metro area in order to feed the hungry. The Giving Grove helps edible tree gardens (orchards) be planted in food deserts, vacant lots, next to food pantries, on school grounds and at communities of faith. In 2012 Rob Reiman was hired as executive director of The Giving Grove and one of the co-founders, Ray Makalous, became director of outreach. The first 13 Giving Grove orchards were installed in spring 2013, followed by the hiring of Matt Bunch as lead horticulturist, who formerly worked at Powell Gardens. The Giving Grove has helped orchards to be planted at 145


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Have a lawn and garden question for the Gard’n-Wise Guys? Go to Facebook and ask them your question. NOW AVAILABLE AT: Jacksons Greenhouse & Garden Center, Topeka v Doctors At the Lake, Lake of the Ozarks v Manns Lawn & Landscape, St. Joe v Gronis Hardware and Seed, Leavenworth v Clinton Parkway Nursery, Lawrence v Barnes Greenhouses, Trenton, MO v Soil Service Gdn. Center, Kansas City, MO v Loma Vista North, Kansas City, MO v Skinner Garden Store, Topeka v Full Features Nursery, Smithville v Springtime Garden Center, Lee’s Summit v Heartland Nursery, Kansas City, MO v Planter’s Seed, Kansas City, MO v Penrod’s Greenhouse, Kearney v North Star Garden Center, Liberty v Grimm’s Gardens, Atchison v Moffet Nursery, St. Joe v Suburban Lawn & Garden, Kansas City, MO


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Kansas City neighborhood sites and more than 2,100 trees have been planted. The Giving Grove launched as a program of Kansas City Community Gardens. The success in Kansas City prompted the establishment of a National Giving Grove organization. The Giving Grove expanded last fall in St. Louis, and there are plans to expand into Omaha in the spring of 2018. The Arbor Day celebration is planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 at Loose Park. The Arbor Day ceremony represents a continuing commitment of Gardeners Connect to the Stanley R. McLane Arboretum at Loose Park. To date, the contributions of 38 people have been commemorated by Gardeners Connect and Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department through their Arbor Day celebration. With the three new honorees in 2018, the total climbs to 41.


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Listen, learn and create at Powell Gardens SAGES: Tulipmania Lecture and Lunch Thursday, April 5 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Celebrate spring and spring flowers by joining us for an illustrated talk about the history of the tulip craze as depicted in Dutch works of art. This talk, presented by Powell Gardens, will feature a presentation by Rima Girnius, Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art who will share insight about the significance of the tulip in Dutch culture, trade, and art. A native Lithuanian speaker and U.S. citizen, Girnius was raised in Munich and Prague before earning a bachelor’s in art history at Notre Dame and a Masters and Doctorate in Dutch painting at Bryn Mawr College. Prior to her work at The NelsonAtkins, she was a curator at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport,

Iowa. Her favorite flower is the tulip. A box lunch will be served following the talk and after lunch, participants are invited to stroll the Kauffman Memorial Gardens with Duane Hoover, Kauffman Gardens horticulturalist. COST: $35 (members less 10%) LOCATION: Ewing and Marion Kauffman Foundation, 4800 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64110). Register at Hand Papermaking with Garden Plants Saturday, April 7 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The key ingredient to creating handmade paper is an organic compound found in all plant based materials–cellulose. Although a component to all plant material, not all plant materials are suitable for papermaking. This day long hands-on workshop, presented in collaboration with the Kansas City

Planters Seed Co. • Since 1927 •

Time to plant your Garden! Vegetable, Herb, Flower seeds and plants are here!

LOCATION: Powell Gardens, Head House (main greenhouse) Register at

Art Institute’s Fiber Department and School of Professional and Continuing Studies will provide participants with experience in identifying, growing, and collecting several local plants that can be incorporated into hand papermaking. Participants will also discuss the long history of papermaking, and create their very own pieces of paper using materials grown at Powell Gardens. COST: $124 (members less 10%)— (includes a box lunch, tuition, and materials fee). LOCATION: Powell Gardens, Education Building, Heartland Harvest Garden. REGISTRATION DETAILS: kcai website or 816-802-3333 for enrollment questions (https://lumen. cps/?page=search&s=MFI-302-21)

Matt Miles Photography Lecture and Book Signing: Missouri Wild and Wonderful Sunday, April 22 2:00-3:00 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day in nature with Rogersville, Missouri nature photographer Matt Miles for his photo program, “Behind the Lens”. During the program Miles will describe many of the rare and remarkable wildlife encounters he has captured with his camera, and also share fascinating facts about our natural world. Matt Miles is the author of Missouri Wild and Wonderful a coffee table book published in 2017 that features 142 stunning images of the Missouri landscape and wildlife. One of the goals of the book project, says Miles, is “to create a better awareness of the natural beauty and wonders we are blessed to have in Missouri. I hope after viewing the book people are inspired to get outside.” Miles will be available to sign books (available for purchase in Perennial Gifts, immediately following the presentation). Although the talk is free for members of Powell Gardens, due to limited seating, it is strongly encouraged to make a reservation in advance for this talk. Fee: members FREE, $5 adult non-member (advance reservations are strongly encouraged). Register at

Creative Container Design Workshop Saturday, April 21, Two Sessions: 9:00 a.m.-noon or 1:00-4:00 p.m. Learn to plan and design beautiful containers like a pro that will become the envy of your neighbors and house guests. Participants in this workshop will learn what elements are necessary for great container design–pot placement, soil, drainage, sun location, and container selection in addition to personal plant selection. Each participant will design a container to take home (a choice between two container styles low or upright) that will feature up to seven plants and reflect your personal style. COST: $85 (members less 10%)


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 APRIL PLANTING DATES Plant Above Ground Crops: 17, 18, 21, 22, 27-29 Plant Root Crops: 1-4, 7 • Plant Flowers: 17, 18, 21, 22 Control Plant Pests: 10, 11, 14 • Transplant: 21, 22, 27-29

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Ask the Experts Gardeners have plenty of questions about landscape issues, DENNIS PATTON answers a few of them here. PROTECT EXPOSED PLANT ROOTS Question: Over the winter the roots to my ‘Phantom’ hydrangea tree and a ‘Bobo’ paniculata hydrangea have become exposed. What should I do? Answer: Cover them up! My hunch is your planting is on a slight grade and there has been some erosion over time. Also freezing and thawing over the winter results in heaving or the pushing of roots and plant crowns out of the soil. While this could be called normal it can also damage your plants. As a rule we do not recommend adding soil over the roots of plants as it could upset the balance of air exchange in the soil. But in this case a small about of good quality soil could be added to just cover the roots. Another option would be to simply add the three-inch

mulch layer over the bed to cover the roots. The mulch will protect the roots and as it breaks down will convert to compost. One last thought, sometimes in poorly drained soils roots will work their way to the surface in search of oxygen. So you might want to look at the possibility of poor drainage compounding this problem. GROWING MICROGREENS WITH BIG FLAVOR Question: I’ve been reading about microgreens. Are they just “baby” lettuce and spinach? How do I grow them here in Kansas City? Answer: Yes. Microgreens are a trendy mix of a number of different salad crops ranging from lettuce, spinach, chard, beets and mustard greens. The mixes usu-

Sunflower Black Oil microgreens growing in a one-inch tray. ally have a range of textures and flavors to enhance a salad or meal. Microgreens are harvested at the first true leaf stage making them very tender and full of flavor. Hence microgreens. These greens can be grown successfully in Kansas City gardens. Many of the best greens are cool loving plants, so they do best in our spring and fall conditions. Summer heat can decrease flavor. Microgreen mixes can be purchased or you can create your own. Oftentimes the seeds are scattered over a small patch instead of being planted in a row. Once they are up and growing they are harvested in the early stages of development. In order to have a constant supply of greens, plant smaller patches maybe every five to seven days so that there are always fresh greens ready for harvest.

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April 2018 |

In addition to growing in the garden, microgreens can be grown indoors year round using lights for a treat. PROS AND CONS OF SAW DUST AS MULCH Question: While out walking I saw a neighbor had used saw dust as mulch on a tree. This seems like a good way to recycle materials. Is it? Answer: Well this question will get my typical “it depends” answer. While we recommend wood products for mulching, saw dust does potentially raise some eyebrows. The simple answer is yes saw dust can be used as a mulch. But there is the proverbial but. If mixed into the soil, saw dust, or any wood product for that matter, quickly robs nitrogen from the soil which can impact growth. If the saw dust is used as a

Using saw dust as mulch may not be ideal. mulch on the soil surface then there is little nutrient tie up. But if it gets into the soil issues could arise. Personally, my take would be to compost the saw dust first and then apply to the soil. But if you are not a composter then surface application as a mulch would be okay. I think I would keep the layer on the thin side to help it breakdown more quickly. Saw dust is often used in blueberry plantings as it tends to be acidic, which is also helpful in our higher pH soils. CHOOSE NATIVES TO FIT GARDEN STYLE Question: I went to a garden conference in February on native plants and really want to embrace the native plant movement. But after looking at all of the conference resource materials I’m frustrated because I can’t find anything that works in my small suburban garden. My design aesthetic is neat and tidy, not wild and rangy. How do I apply the concept of native plants and reconcile them with my preferred design style? Answer: You are not the first person to struggle with this shifting

paradigm. It is a false misconception that all native plants are wild and rangy. I have made the observation that speakers often show pictures of native plants in their range or prairie habitat. In this setting they are prairie plants and have the wilder look. Rarely have I seen a go-native presentation that pictures them in a more formal perennial garden. They always seem to be in a prairie garden setting. Personally I think this does the movement an injustice as it turns off people like you. The truth is that when planted and maintained as any other perennial they are very garden worthy. Keep in mind that all plants, even the ones we prize as native plants somewhere and in their own setting can be wild and wooly. I think the answer is to choose carefully those plants that have the size and form that fits your garden. The concern may be that some prairie plants are simply too large for a formal garden. There are smaller and more compact native plants to grace a tidy garden.

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

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TIME FOR THE JOHNSON COUNTY EMG GARDEN TOUR Question: Is it the year for your garden tour? Answer: Thanks for asking, and yes, the Extension Master Gardener Garden Tour will be held May 18 and 19. This year we have seven great gardens to visit. Discounted tickets go on sale April 1. Get a sneak peek of the gardens and find out how to purchase tickets at 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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Wrens, Carolina and House Local birding expert, THERESA HIREMATH describes the characteristics and habits of wrens.


ere in the Midwest we are lucky enough to host two wren species – Carolina Wren and House Wren. The Carolina Wren is a year-round resident, while the House Wren is here during breeding season only. Both species have small, roundish bodies, with a short stubby tail that is usually held high in the air, and a slightly curved bill. The Carolina Wren’s head and back are a cinnamon brown, they have a white throat, and their chest and belly are an orange/yellow color. The House Wren is brown all over with slightly darker coloration of its tail and wings. The easiest way to tell the difference between a Carolina Wren and the House Wren is the prominent white eye stripe on the Carolina.

House Wren While the House Wren can be more aggressive, the Carolina Wren is shy and skittish. The House Wren has no problem scolding you if you get too close to them or their nest, but the Carolina Wren will flee quickly upon your approach. Carolina Wren Carolina Wrens mate for the long-term, remain together, and

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April 2018 |

Carolina Wren forage throughout the year in permanent territories. You have likely heard the male Carolina Wren singing his high-decibel teakettleteakettle song. The widely-recognized teakettle-teakettle song is only one of several dozen he may sing. In addition to his many songs, Carolina Wrens have many calls, including the rising and falling cheer. Insects and spiders make up the bulk of the Carolina wren’s diet. They feed on or near the ground, turning over decaying vegetation in search of insects. They also will climb up vegetation exploring nooks and crannies to expose insects. They will readily come to feeders to eat suet, peanut pieces, hulled sunflower seeds in winter, dried mealworms, and their favorite at my feeder ­live mealworms. Carolina Wrens are shelf nesters. Studies have shown that although some will use bird houses with openings the same size as a bluebird entrance hole, most nest in

various unusual places, including abandoned hornet nests, mailboxes, hanging plants, broken taillights, garages, car bumpers, barns, old nests, and other shelters. I even had a pair nest in an outdoor light fixture with a tilted globe. Putting up a nesting shelf or nesting platform and keeping a brush pile in your yard is a great way to encourage Carolina Wrens to take up residence. House Wren Like the Carolina Wren, the House Wren sings prolifically, especially during nesting season. They pair off yearly for nesting and have a different mate the following year. Insects and spiders compose the majority of the House Wren’s diet, and they sometimes eat snail shells. As insect eaters, they don’t typically visit feeders, but will occasionally visit a feeder offering dried and live mealworms and suet or suet snacks.

Male House Wrens start buildspecies, they have been known to ing several nests at once in hopes take over nesting sites of Eastern of persuading a female to mate Bluebirds and Chickadees. To prewith him. He will put several twigs vent this, bluebird and chickadee in prospective nesting cavities, houses should be placed in open and the female chooses one cavareas, as the wrens rarely stray far ity after inspecting them all. from trees when nesting. She then completes the House Wrens also can The differnest by filling the cavbe aggressive and may ence between a ity with more small compete for females Carolina Wren and twigs and other nesteven after a pair has the House Wren ing materials. begun nesting. When is the prominent The best way to he is successful, he white eye stripe on attract these cute little will discard existing the Carolina. chatter boxes to your eggs and begins a new yard is to place multiple family with the female. wren boxes in various placIf you have any questions es throughout your yard to entice or would like more information them to nest and leave a brush pile about these lovely, vocal critters, for them to forage in. or any other backyard birds, call or The House Wren has a very stop by the store and have one of interesting strategy to rid their our certified bird feeding specialnests of mites and other parasites. ists help you get the most joy out of They often add spider egg sacs into your backyard this spring! the materials they build their nests from, and lab studies have shown Nik and Theresa Hiremath own that the hatched spiders devour the and operate Wild Birds Unlimited nest parasites. of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, House Wrens are aggressive Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at over nesting sites. Among other 913-491-4887.



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Summer Youth Gardening U

niversity of Missouri Extension Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City is conducting a summer gardening program for youth ages 9-13. In the Garden ‘N Grow Program, youths learn not only vegetable gardening, but also “cultivate” other science, math, and language arts skills and have fun! The goals of this program are to experience the fun of gardening, to enjoy a feeling of success, and to have the satisfaction of sharing harvested food with family and/or local food banks. The development of the whole child is emphasized as well as team building as they garden. Master Gardeners use cooperative teaching skills to educate youth about seeds, transplants, garden planning and design, site preparation, soils,

plant growth and development, costs of production, garden pests, plant health care, human nutrition, food value, food needs in the local community, and horticultural career opportunities. Each Master Gardener is trained by University of Missouri Extension specialists. The Garden ‘N Grow Program will be held on Mondays and Thursdays from 9-11 a.m. from June 4 through August 10, 2018 at Fairview Christian in Gladstone. Cost of the 10 week program is $45 per single child or 2 siblings at $70. Enrollment fees include student workbooks, games and crafts, and some vegetable garden supplies. For more information on the program contact the Jackson County University of Missouri Extension Center at (816) 252-5051.

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Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale in Paola


he Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardeners will hold their annual plant sale in Paola, Kansas, on April 26, 27, and 28. The timing is perfect for home gardeners who are itching to get outside and begin working in their 2018 gardens. The plants are locally grown,
 so buyers can be confident their purchases are right for Midwest 
clay soil and extreme weather conditions. Suppliers have not used neonicotinoids, a pesticide that is harmful to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Shoppers will find colorful
 annuals for containers and bedding; vegetable transplants for unbeatable homegrown taste; and gorgeous hanging baskets for instant beauty. Once again the sale will feature native plants, especially pollinator favorites and caterpillar host plants for butterflies. Serious gardeners will also find healthy perennials, wildflowers for the environmentally savvy, and drought-tolerant succulent plants both tender and hardy. If you have gardening questions Do you need suggestions for challenging sites like dry shade or that spot that stays wet? Do deer and rabbits consider your garden their personal buffet? Extension

Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your questions about garden design and help you make your plant selections. Expertise among these EMGs ranges from flowers to vegetable growing to butterfly gardening. Hours and location Save the last weekend in April now, and mark your calendar. Hours are: Thursday, April 26, 11 a.m. to 5 pm; Friday, April 27, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, April 28, 8 a.m. to noon. The plant sale will be held in the Family Center parking lot at 808 Baptiste Drive. Take the Baptiste Drive exit from Highway 169 and go west on Baptiste just past Hospital Drive. The plant sale is on the north side of Baptiste. Look for the colorful flowers and smiling faces. For more information, contact the Extension Office at 913-2944306.

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A Beautiful Fusion of Art, Nature, and Science


hirlwind: Art in Motion is a temporary exhibit of kinetic art opening at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens on April 21, 2018. This 18-month exhibit will run through Sept. 30, 2019 and will feature 13 different kinetic sculptures created by 10 different artists. The 10 artists are well-respected sculptors with numerous installations in private collections and public spaces around the world. Each piece will be offered for sale, with a commission retained by the Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park (ARFOP) to benefit Arboretum projects. The exhibit is curated by Rein Triefeldt. Dine outdoors with the artists during the exhibition weekend on Friday evening, April 20, to include a private viewing of the sculptures and a rare opportunity to meet the individual artists and

learn more about their inspiration and vision. A special part of the program is the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to sculptor Lin Emery, who besides her sculpture at the Whirlwind exhibit, also has permanent sculptures in Overland Park, Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas. More information about this intimate affair with limited seating can be found online at On Saturday morning, April 21, the artists will participate in a Symposium at the Hudson Auditorium in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art on the Johnson County Community College campus. Admission to the Symposium is $15 for students and $25 for all others. More information is available at

Award Winning Designs

The exhibit will officially open to the public on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. with a speech by Mayor Gerlach. Light refreshments will be provided for the first 300 visitors, and admission to the Arboretum

will be free to all during the opening reception. A museum catalog will be available for purchase. Throughout the exhibit’s tenure, the Arboretum will offer learning opportunities for children and adults in the form of classes, guided tours, and field trips. Private tours including wine and refreshments will also be available, providing a wonderful activity for corporate and social groups. A list of activities can be found at The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is located at 8909 West 179th Street in Overland Park, a half mile west of the 179th Street exit from 69 Highway. The exhibit is presented by the Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA) in partnership with the City of Overland Park.


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Miami County Farm Tour May 12-13, 2018


iami County farms will welcome visitors from across the region May 12-13 for a fun look at rural life in Eastern Kansas. This is event attracts families, young couples, retirees, aspiring farmers and just about anyone who would like to enjoy some time in the country. Three new stops have been added to the tour. Lakemary Animal and Garden Therapy Center: A sensorysensitive and wheelchair-friendly ranch located on the grounds of the Lakemary Center where the caretakers are the school’s students. Visitors can play with the mini pigs or take the goats for a walk. 
 Reed Farm: With a backdrop of antique tractors and rows of corn, Kansas City artist David Reed will present a short film on the life and death of a crop. Reed received an Andy Warhol grant to make the film. With the help of Louisburg locals, he produced this emotional look at the farm he grew up on. 
 Rocking Goat Farm: Cheese lovers will make this a must-stop. Rocking Goat cares for a herd of goats, cows, sheep, chickens and a few peacocks. Feta, chevre, valencay, cabecou and aged cheeses are made onsite and will be for sale Tesselaar April ad_Layout 1 2/12/18 4:57 PM

Visit Miami County farms May 12 and 13 for a fun look at rural life in eastern Kansas. There will be activities for the whole family at each site. in addition to raw milk and fresh eggs. All stops will be open to visitors 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Information about the tour and a map of the sites is available at 
 The farm tour offers families an opportunity to spend time outdoors enjoying the more rural aspects of Miami County. Each site offers activities for the whole family. Animals range from alpacas to Hereford cattle and horses. Most stops offer picnic and rest area amenities. Weather plays a big role in the weekend, so visitors are Page 1

encouraged to watch the forecast. Warmer weather may limit the activity level of some animals. So visitors may want to schedule those stops earlier in their day. 
 Several stops will have products for sale that may require refrigeration, so participants are encouraged to bring a cooler. Products include cheese, pecans, fresh vegetables, wine and blackberries. This self-guided tour celebrates the county’s diversity and highlights local farm products found on the back roads of Miami County. Watch for directional signs the day of the tour and visit as many of the

tour stops as you like. Parking areas will be designated at each stop. While parking is available at each site, please be aware that weather and terrain may create some physical challenges. Although this event is child friendly, each site is a working farm. Visitors are asked to encourage to respect for the farm’s operations, plants and animals. For more information about the farm tour or to receive a map of the sites please call 913-2944045. The tour’s web site, www., features a map of the sites and a copy of the tour’s brochure.

• The original no-spray “eco-rose” • Low maintenance, easy-care • A favorite with pollinators • Blooms for months The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


Planning Spring Herb Planting DIANA PAR-DUE gives advice on planning an herb garden, plant selection, and plant care.


he end of winter has arrived, and signs of spring are beginning to show from crocuses blooming to daffodil shoots. In the herb garden, all the mainstay perennials are sending out little leaves to greet the longer daylight hours and milder weather. When planning an herb garden, whether pots, planters or in the ground, it’s important to start with perennial classics as a foundation. For example, sage, thyme, oregano, and perennial lavender can be a good structure to plan around. These herbs only need be planted once and when they are established they return every year, bigger and better. What I mean by foundation is that if you plant these perennials spaced out, you can fill in the between spaces with annuals such

as basil, cilantro and rosemary each spring while giving room for the perennials to expand. In my first herb garden I planted oregano and sage near each other and that patch, to this day, is a tangled bush of the two because they were never properly spaced. So write out the perennials you think you would most enjoy, space them well and accept the bounty each year as they produce enough leaves to use through the season with plenty for drying by the end. The only care they need is a mulching once a year and a good trim when the stems and leaves have died. Thyme is wonderful for seasoning soups, breads, and meats. Sage is a classic fall flavor for favorites like stuffing but can complement eggs and browned butter cornbread

these herbs have blooms that attract pollinators that can benefit your entire garden and the environment in general and so you can see how important they are for more than our taste buds. With all the excitement for gardeners in the spring, there is nothing quite like seeing the early growth of perennial herbs that inspire our meals, our aesthetic and our biosphere. Diana Par-Due is an avid gardener who, when not raising children, raises plants. She dreams of beekeeping and chickens one day any time of year. Oregano makes when her town makes it legal. Until pizza taste like pizza and can deepthen, she spends her time writing, en the flavor of dishes like chili or reading, and studying as a mature roast chicken. Lavender blooms are student at a local college and makwonderful as cut flowers or dried ing garden plans she never actually 1/4 pg adorfor April issueAll ofofKansas City Gardener magazine for sachets arrangements. keeps.

Get inspired this Spring to grow something DELICIOUS

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Annuals • Perennials 808 Baptiste Drive, Midwest Native Plants Paola, KS 66071 Butterfly Host Plants Take the Baptiste Drive exit Hwy. 169 and turn west. Tropicals • Succulents off The sale is in the Family Vegetable Transplants Center parking lot. Sponsored by

Rose Report

Native Plant Sale April 21, Saturday, 9:30 AM–2:30 PM

JUDY PENNER, talks about black canes and cutting back.


ver the last 30 years many people have walked thru the Laura Conyers Municipal Rose Garden in March asking if most of the roses had died this year since the canes are black. I like this question because it lets me know people are paying attention and are concerned about “their municipal rose garden.” I quickly put their fears to rest letting them know that the canes were winter killed but under the mulch pile the canes are green and alive. This year there are a lot of black canes in the garden so pruning will primarily be cutting canes down to the mulch pile. The canes under the mulch pile will be green and alive. We will cut the dead wood away until we get to green wood that has white pith (the spongy tissue in the center of the cane). If the pith is dark or brown then cut until you see white and put Elmer’s wood glue on the cut. Cutting back to the mulch pile can be a bit scary but I have had years when the canes looked like stubs coming out of the rootstock and the roses have lived so don’t be too eager to dig up that “dead rose” until you give it a chance to grow. Spring freezes are one of the main reasons I plant my bud unions 2 inches below ground. In 2017 we had a late April freeze that really slowed down our garden and killed some of our roses. Late freezes can make your roses vulnerable to

Missouri Prairie Foundation will be on site for Go Native to offer a native plant sale. Missouri Wildflowers Nursery will be providing a variety of native flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees to purchase. If you wish to preorder your choices for pickup on the 21st, contact Missouri Wildflowers Nursery: 573-496-3492 or email: by the 18th. A percentage of proceeds from plant sales will benefit prairie conservation in Missouri. For more information email Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110 816-759-7300;

Black canes on rose bushes are dead and will need to be removed. damage as the weather warms up and the sap starts to flow into the canes. When the sap rises in the canes and we have freezing temperatures it can crystallize, blow up and damage the tissue of the canes. This is why I recommend keeping your mulch piles in between your roses during the spring so you can quickly cover the canes in case of a late freeze. Remember to Stop and Smell the roses! Judy Penner is Expert Rosarian at Loose Park, Kansas City, Mo. You may reach her at judy.penner@


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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


Lantana ‘Bloomify Rose’


April 2018 | Photo courtesy of Syngenta.

Photo courtesy of Ball Flora Plant.

Photo courtesy of Ball Ingenuity.

Photo courtesy of Takii.

Lantana ‘Bloomify Red’ Ipomoea ‘Solar Tower’ Black

Sunflower ‘Sunfinity’

Ipomoea ‘Solar Tower’ Lime

Petunia ‘Evening Scentsation’ Blue

Canna ‘Cannova Bronze Orange’

Photo courtesy of Ball Flora Plant.

Photo courtesy of Ball Flora Plant.

Photo courtesy of Ball Flora Plant.

New for 2018

Annuals add

beauty to life continued

Plant expert, MIKE DEREE introduces the new beautiful annuals available in garden centers this growing season.


Photo courtesy of Syngenta.

f you were inspired by “Annuals add beauty to life” that appeared last month, then hang on to your garden gloves because it’s about to happen again. This article presents five more ‘must haves’ for your flower beds and containers.

Sunflower Though breeding plants is both science and art, when the art of breeding supersedes the science, it seems the result is truly a differentiated plant from anything that has come before. Granted, this is rare in today’s breeding of plants, though ‘new for 2018’ Sunflower ‘Sunfinity’ is a prime example of a truly breakthrough sunflower for home décor. ‘Sunfinity’ sets itself apart as a continuous blooming sunflower for up to 12 weeks. Flower size is 4”-5” for most of the 12 weeks, tailing off to a 3” bloom as this plant burns up its energy late summer. Height is 28”-36” in containers, and 4’-5’ in the ground. No sunflower can claim the everblooming nature of ‘Sunfinity’, and this plant is highly recommended for out and out fun in 2018.

for the sweet potato vine to weave its magic and soon these ipomoea will stand out as one of the most interesting plants and conversation pieces in the yard. Expect these beauties to grow 4’-5’ wide and more than 8’ tall. My dream this summer is to plant the ‘Solar Tower Black’ with thunbergia ‘Lemon’ in a large pot backed up to a trellis; should be loads of fun!

Sweet potato vine Another off the wall introduction for 2018 is the climbing sweet potato vines, ‘Solar Tower Black’ and ‘Solar Tower Lime’. Or should this be considered an ‘on the wall’ ipomoea, one that easily climbs up a trellis, fence or pergola. Very little training is necessary to start the upward climb as long as the trellis, etc., has enough open space

Canna Though the canna ‘Cannova’ series has been around a few years now, the new variety for 2018 worth noting is ‘Cannova Bronze Orange’. ‘Cannova Bronze Orange’ expands this ever-popular canna series from seed with bronze foliage and bright orange flowers that work in a myriad of applications; large containers, landscape

Sunflower ‘Sunfinity’ beds, corner vignettes, and more. Long lasting, showy flowers are the hallmark of ‘Cannova’ cannas, and ‘Bronze Orange’ continues this tradition. A traditional garden favorite with new genetics, ‘Cannova’ transforms cannas from plants Grandma grows to a staple in the garden and landscapes of the early 21st century. Lantana What summer plant is better suited to Kansas City (and half the United States, for that matter) than lantana? The previous 20 years have seen huge leaps and bounds in lantana breeding, and this trend marches on with Lantana ‘Bloomify Red’ and ‘Bloomify Rose’. Bred to be infertile, these ‘Bloomify’ lantana refuse to set seed, allowing all the reproduc-

tive energy of the plant to focus on blooming. And bloom, these lantana do well. ‘Bloomify’ lantana will still attract pollinators and simply offer the best of both worlds to the ecology of pollinators and beauty on the deck or patio. Petunia Another longing in the heart of the gardener is the return of fragrance to the flower. The breeding community is listening and fragrance is once again a talking point and a sought-after attribute in breeding. For 2018, petunia ‘Evening Scentsation’ becomes a call to arms in this endeavor, and will prime the pump in what will hopefully be a continual succession of fragrant focused annuals introduced for many years to come. The clear shades of indigo flowers have a scent of hyacinth overlaid in rose and honey. ‘Evening Scentsation’ could easily be the surprise success of 2018. Now with the list of annuals complete, shop your local nursery or garden center. Their inventory grows everyday. And as a powerhouse gardener, you are eager to fill containers and garden beds with big, bold, beautiful color, to enhance your summer outdoor living experience, where joy and serenity abound. Happy Flower Growing! Mike DeRee, territory sales rep for Ball Seed Company, works and gardens in Wichita, Kan.

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


Considering an Outdoor Patio? Landscape designer KYLE VANDERPOOL identifies the factors that go into planning an outdoor patio.


custom built patio can enhance your backyard and be the envy of all your neighbors. A patio can extend your outdoor living space and provide a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere for entertaining friends and family, or just relaxing on a cool night next to a fire pit. There are many options available for a patio that will not only create the ideal backyard space, but will also increase your property value. Pavers, brick, tile or concrete are all excellent choices for materials for a patio. Paver patios are more expensive, but many homeowners use pavers in conjunction with other materials to help with cost. A patio can become a virtual work of art, as it can be designed in creative patterns to match the style of your house. Keep in mind

the style and pattern of use can also affect the cost of installation due to the intricate cutting and detail work needed to create distinct designs. There are also many colorful material choices that have rich, vibrant colors to craft your unique style.

You can dress up your patio with a water feature and night lighting, or keep it simple with a fire pit on a brick patio. There really is no limit to what you can do once you set your mind to it. The design and layout of your outdoor living space is an important first step. Before you begin your patio installation, consider enlisting the assistance of a professional landscape designer or architect who can assist you in determining the best way to use your outdoor space and make important design decisions. Proper planning will help you avoid costly mistakes and post-completion regrets – from realizing you forgot to run the electrical wire for lighting or gas line for a future fireplace. Design Checklist: 1. Overall project budget

2. Location, traffic flow, elevation and size 3. Grading, leveling 4. Existing structures (house and trees) and utilities 5. Drainage – water in/around area, make sure to include proper drainage to lead water away from patio and discourage “pooling” 6. Selection of patio materials – pavers, brick, tile (and sizes/ shapes of the materials) 7. Determine your objective for the space The success of any patio installation depends on careful planning, quality materials and proper construction techniques. Prior to installation, follow the below guidelines. Construction Checklist: 1. Plan ahead…mark all utilities (public and private)

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2. Mark the exact layout of the patio location 3. Gather quality materials (soil, fill materials, gravel, drainage pipe, leveler, cutting tools) 4. Select personal safety protection gear (safety glasses, ear plugs) 5. Final review of elevations and water conditions

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Consider any special challenges that may arise prior to installation. If your outdoor area is exposed to full sunlight or wind, find space that is sheltered from these elements. For a private patio area, design your patio in an area away from your neighbors (or plan for natural landscaping screening). If drainage may be an issue, provide proper grading, drainage and water flow. Determine how to manage traffic flow and how you will fit the particular features (fire pit, seating wall, patio furniture) in your design without crowding the space or taking away from the overall look or function. Finally, it’s always a good idea to plan around a focal point for your outdoor space: fire pit, fireplace, garden feature, pool, water feature or simply an amazing view. Once you have a general idea of the placement of the features in your design, you need to plan installation of utilities: gas lines, water lines, as well as electrical wiring prior to beginning installation. It can be costly to run utilities at a later date if these important items are forgotten. Other general principals to focus on prior to installing your patio are building a good foundation and proper compaction for stability to prevent issues down the road. Elevations for proper step heights, sitting walls and drainage are final checklist items to avoid costly blunders. Patios are perfect for outdoor entertainment, as well as creating the ideal space to relax and enjoy some quiet time. With a wellplanned design, quality materials, and skilled craftsmanship, you can build a place that can be transformed into a backyard oasis. Your outdoor living space is an extension of your home and you deserve a space where you can build lasting memories.

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


The Evolution of a Gardener


y passion for gardening has evolved over the years.

A Real Beginner My horticultural focus began when, as a newlywed, I purchased my first houseplant – a mother-inlaw’s tongue – and 45 years later it’s still going strong! I bought oodles more house plants, only slowing down after my husband’s nightmare of being chased by lanky, green monsters! Our first house had a huge back yard so we thought we’d grow some vegetables. We literally didn’t know beans about growing

vegetables, but enthusiasm won out. After innumerable backbreaking hours we ended up with three delightful (and quite tasty!) sweet peas. That was it, for the whole season. By the next year, with a new baby and a full time job, there was no time left for tending the “farm” so we mulched it over and put the shiny new swing set there. In the front, there were yews, roses, and barberry bushes in a bed of dirty white rocks. I actually washed those rocks in a big trash can of water and bleach, then spread them on a layer of fresh black plastic. I didn’t consider soil quality or beneficial insects; my

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Photos by Sami Aaron.

From early gardening days to present day, SAMI AARON chronicles her journey into gardening for nature.

Rain gardens were installed to slow runoff.

Luna moths overwinter in fallen leaves.

focus was on how it looked and, with baby #2 on the way, making sure it would be easy to maintain. I wanted welcoming, vibrant spring colors and lush autumn hues in my yard; it was all about the attraction to my human eye.

on which colors and forms caught my eye. We moved to a wooded area where I studied the wildflowers and native trees that I found in my yard. We installed a rain garden to slow runoff and absorb the chemicals from the front yard (yes, we used fertilizers and insecticides on our lawn … oblivious that bees and butterflies might fly from the backyard woods into the front yard!).

Deepening My Awareness On family trips to the Flint Hills of Kansas I reveled in its endless, meandering vistas. While studying the subtle yet glorious prairie grasses and wildflowers, I began to glimpse the relationships between plants and trees, soil and water, insects and wildlife, weather and humanity from a broader and more nature-aware perspective. This was the first step into my evolution as a gardener. Yet, I kept planting daylily, iris, burning bush, and spirea, choosing what the garden centers had, based

Chemicals Galore And then we moved to a maintenance-provided neighborhood. Talk about chemicals! By this time, I was passionate and knowledgeable about the negative impacts of chemicals in our waterways and their role in worsening the declining populations of beneficial birds and insects. We installed a native wildflower meadow as a buffer to the neigh-

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borhood storm water runoff. I delighted in the progression of bloom and color throughout the season and the shimmer of life within this garden, buoyed up in knowing that these glorious plants were preventing flooding while providing habitat for frogs and beavers. I began to give presentations about native plants, water quality, and the county cost-sharing funds that are available to help homeowners install native gardens. And then I took the K-State Extension Master Naturalist training and that is where my understanding of the symbiosis between plants, soil, insects, wildlife, air, water, and humans really took root. I learned how hybridized or non-native garden plants, bred solely for the human eye and often without nectar and pollen, are of zero benefit to our native pollinators. I learned that luna moths (are they really faeries?) overwinter in fallen leaves. (What?! Don’t rake?) We weren’t taught these things in school. A friend planted milkweeds a

few years ago and was delighted to find Monarch butterfly caterpillars happily chewing the leaves, their sole source of food. Appallingly, a well-meaning neighbor plucked the caterpillars off and squashed them all, worried that these “bugs” would destroy her friend’s special Monarch butterfly plant.

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


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We have a lot to learn. In my evolution I now get it: my garden plans could support nature – not just my human esthetic. The plants I choose could provide chemical-free benefit for all of nature’s seasons – mating, breeding, nesting, feeding, sheltering, and overwintering. The future of a sustainable humanity depends, without question, on beneficial gardens. Will you join me in gardening for nature?


Sami Aaron is a K-State Extension Master Naturalist and gardener in Olathe and offers free programs on gardening for nature. She is passionate about environmental advocacy and exploring the intrinsic relationship between humanity and the natural world.


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Ask a Rosarian;;


573-496-3492, fax: 573-496-3003 9814 Pleasant Hill Rd Jefferson City MO 65109

Open daily at our Brazito location 9 to 5, Sunday: 12 to 5. Meet us in the KC area at one of these locations. Give us your order by Tuesday before a sale, and we will bring it to the location. Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington Ave, KC MO 64132 (Swope Park), Westport Garden Club Native Plant Sale April 14, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Northwest Missouri State University, 800 University Drive, Maryville MO Grow Native - Native Plant Workshop April 14, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Workshop attendees sale 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. open to public 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave. KC MO 64110. Missouri Prairie Foundation Native Plant Sale, 816-716-9159 April 21 & May 19, 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Road, KC MO 64154, Native Plant Sale by Burroughs Audubon, Backyard Bird Center 816-746-1113. April 28, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

MAY 12-13 9A.M.-6 P.M. New and Trending Cultivars Wide Selection of Natives Resilient & Noninvasive Species Carefully Selected By Expert Staff | 816.697.2600 The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


The Great Bald Cypress Tree Enthusiastic about all trees, JIM EARNEST highlights the elements that make the Bald Cypress so interesting. Photos by Jim Earnest.


mong the oldest trees in North America is the Bald Cypress. The oldest and biggest Bald Cypress in the world was located in Longwood, Florida and known as “The Senator.” This revered tree was 3,500 years old and 125 feet high at the time of its unfortunate accidental destruction by fire in 2012. The Kansas champion is located in Dickinson County, and when measured earlier this year it stood 69 feet high and 19.3 feet around. The Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) is one of our few deciduous conifers (a cone-bearing tree that loses its leaves in the winter). The state tree of Louisiana, it is native throughout southeastern North America, including the boot heel of Missouri. While it loves the wet swampy areas and bayous of the south, it is likewise at home along creeks, ponds and rivers of inland areas. This stately tree even does quite well in drier areas such as residential yards, parks and golf courses. It is tough and resists wind and storm damage. We have groves of Bald Cypress trees at Loose Park, Linda Hall Library Arboretum and the Overland Park Arboretum. There are beautiful Bald Cypress street

Bald Cypress cones

Bald Cypress “knees”

trees along the median of Ward Parkway south of 89th Street, and numerous fine specimens in many of our Kansas City parks and green spaces. A strong healthy Bald Cypress measuring 70 feet tall and almost 16 feet around stands on the southwest side of the NelsonAtkins Museum of Art. The Bald Cypress tree has a lofty pyramidal habit and usually grows at a rate of 2 to 3 feet per year, achieving a height of 70 feet and occasionally to over 100 feet in its first century of life. The trunks are flared at the base, particularly as the tree grows older, providing an attractive and strong buttress. The reddish-brown fibrous bark peels off in long strips, and is an additional feature that provides interest to this great tree. In wetter areas the tree is known for its “knees” – upward protrusions

out of the water that many think enhance the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. “Knees” occur less often when the tree is growing in drier locations. The Bald Cypress has unique feathery light green foliage, which turns darker through the summer, looking very much like a needled evergreen. Then the leaves turn a beautiful orange to coppery-brown color in the fall before dropping to the ground with the twiglets along which they grow. The Bald Cypress is monoecious, meaning both male and female parts occur on the same tree. Male pollen cones begin to develop in late summer and early fall and grow to 4 to 5 inch long drooping panicles, providing significant winter interest after the foliage has fallen. These male cones then provide the pollen for female cones that

Bald Cypress tree at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will appear the following spring. Female cones develop in April or May and grow into green then brownish spheres about 1 inch in diameter. I collected several of these cones from Bald Cypress trees last fall. They look a lot like a small greenish-brown soccer ball, and break apart when mature into compartments with sticky irregular shaped seeds lodged inside. It would be difficult to find a more interesting and adaptable tree than the Bald Cypress. This beautiful tree wants to grow tall and live long. Jim Earnest, Education Committee, Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and Member, Kansas Native Plant Society.

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. 26

April 2018 |

Shortleaf Pine: The Original Grove Photo by Scott Woodbury.


Shooting star Photo by Missouri Botanical Gardens.

ver walk through a grove of pine trees? Inside, sounds are muffled, wind is tempered, and the smell of tree sap can take your breath away. The ground is springy and soft from years of needles piling up and slowly decaying. Wind whistles through needles in the treetops. Tree trunks stand straight, dark, tall, and at times massive, like at the Pioneer Forest original, uncut grove owned by the L-A-D Foundation along Highway 19 south of Round Spring. These towering shortleaf pine trees started growing in 1791 according to dendrochronologist Dr. Richard Guyette. But at times old shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) are demure like the old-growth grove at Dan Drees and Susan Farrington’s property near Eminence, Missouri. These 200- to 300-year-old dwarfs are growing on bedrock with a dash of topsoil. As with many living things, size relates to available nutrients. The more nutrients, the bigger the grass, the bird, or pine tree. At Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO there are a number of planted pine groves. One in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden is perhaps 80 years old. Years of pine needle decay has changed the soil pH beneath these stately white pines (Pinus strobus, not native to Missouri) from 6.4 (nearby soil pH) to 5.8, which is acidic. This is the only place in the garden where we can grow mountain azalea (Rhododendron prinophyllum) which requires acidic soil. After nearly 20 years of weeding, watering, and pine-needle mulching, five of the dozen plants growing here are mature enough to bloom. Flowers appear in the first two weeks of May and are light pink, tube-shaped, and very sweetly scented. Other native acid-loving shrubs that tolerate part shade include Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica), deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum), and leadplant (Amorpha canescens). I occasionally see shortleaf pine planted in groves around old houses. I’m impressed by the dramatic

Photo by Scott Woodbury.

Native plant guru, SCOTT WOODBURY describes the basics of mimicking a natural shortleaf pine grove.

Leadplant and Butterfly Milkweed

Pinus echinata

evergreen canopy and multiple tall dark trunks. They remind me of Ozark wilderness. Because they are narrow, single specimens can be planted in small urban spaces (but not under power lines). They grow tall and lose all of their lower branches in a short period of time so they make poor screens. They work well in groves (five to 50 planted close together) because that’s how they often grow in nature and because the multiple dark vertical trunks make a bold statement. To create a naturalistic looking grove, plant seedlings 15 to 20 feet apart in a random pattern with wide and narrow gaps. In deep well-drained soil they grow fast. One I planted by my office door is seven years old and 20 feet tall with a 6-inch trunk diameter. The soil doesn’t have to be acidic for them to grow well. They grow in soil pH 5 to 7. They also tolerate growing in poor soils as long as they are well-drained (on slopes). Beautiful companion plants for shortleaf pine that prefer dry acidic soils and half shade/half sun include cream wild indigo (Baptisia bracteata), shooting star (Primula meadia), smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum laevis), goat’s rue (Tephrosia virginiana) and zig-zag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis). Other stunning (but hard-to-find) acid-loving perennials include slender bush-clover

(Lespedeza virginica), violet bushclover (Lespedeza frutescens), and bush-clover (Lespedeza violacea). The Missouri Department of Conservation sells bundles of one-



year-old shortleaf pine seedlings online. Forest ReLeaf, a non-profit organization in St. Louis, offers them in containers. So does Forrest Keeling Nursery and Missouri Wildflowers Nursery. Larger fieldgrown shortleaf pine are difficult to find and should only be transplanted balled and burlapped. 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 27 years. He also is an advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program. Find suppliers of native plants for woodlands and more at, Resource Guide.

Learn from our knowledgeable gardeners while updating your garden with locally grown natives, including trees and shrubs, pollinater plants, perennials and annuals for sun and shade. All proceeds benefit the Arboretum. Thursday, May 3, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., members only preview Friday, May 4, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, May 6, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


Monarch Predators and Parasitoids LENORA LARSON reports on the important factors effecting the survival rate of Monarch caterpillars and adults

We Are All Our Own Worst Enemy Just as humans are mankind’s worst predators, other insects are

Photos by Lenora Larson.


e’ve been taught that consuming cardiac glycosides in Milkweeds protects Monarch caterpillars and adults. Yet their survival rate from egg to adult in the wild is a mere 5 percent! (Although that is better than other species of butterflies which average only 1 percent survival.) What is killing them? Like humans, Monarchs can die from diseases caused by bacteria, virus, protozoa and fungi. Other hazards include cruel weather, loss of habitat and the vicissitudes of migration. In Mexico, two species of birds eat over-wintering Monarchs, but here in the U.S., six- and eight-legged predators pose the greatest threat.

The larvae of Tachinid Fly will emerge from dead infected Monarch chrysalids.

A Monarch cat captured by a Neoscona (Orb-weaver) Spider.

butterflies’ worst predators. This includes the Monarch caterpillar itself. They are fine young cannibals when they emerge from the eggshell that serves as first meal. If Mom has laid additional eggs on that leaf, the first caterpillar may gobble them up, sibling rival-

ry carried to its logical extreme. To minimize this self-predation, knowledgeable butterfly gardeners plant lots of Milkweeds, scattered throughout the garden. And if hand-raising, they provide an abundance of Milkweed and do not mix sizes. A hungry mature caterpillar may devour its younger, smaller cage-mates.

2018 Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners

PLANT SALE Friday, May 4, 9am-5pm Saturday, May 5, 9am-2pm

Insect Predators When butterflies evolved from moths 65 million years ago, the changes included strategies to protect them from birds and mammals, including mimicry and sequestering plant toxins to become poisonous. Predatory insects hunt by

Extension Office, Wildcat Room, 1200 N. 79th Street, Kansas City, KS

Spiny Soldier Bugs inject digestive enzymes into Monarch caterpillars and slurp up the resulting smoothie. chemical clues, “smell”, rather than sight so clever mimicry is of no use. And insect metabolisms are unaffected by Milkweed’s cardiac glycosides, so it’s open-season on Monarchs by predatory insects and spiders. Ants, especially Fire Ants, eat all four stages of the Monarchs and are increasingly a threat as climate change pushes their range northward. The “beneficial” insects celebrated by organic gardeners, are generalist predators that don’t discriminate between Cabbage Worms, Hornworms and Monarchs. For instance, Chinese Praying Mantids, imported to the U.S. for pest control, eat both adult

SPRING OPEN HOUSE April 20–22 3 days of

Special Guests and Sales!

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Annuals • Perennials • Trees Shrubs • Grass Seed • Statuary Fountains • Bulk Material Vegetable Plants: tomatoes, peppers, herbs and more grown by our Master Gardeners for this sale Flowers: annuals, perennials and Kansas native wildflowers Cash and Checks Accepted. 28

April 2018 |

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and caterpillar Monarchs—and the occasional hummingbird! Warning: most biocontrols are harmful to Monarchs and other butterflies. Feeding their Children Adult wasps are peaceful vegetarians, feeding on nectar and pollen. However, their children are carnivores, so many species hunt caterpillars to feed their young. Typically, wasps paralyze the caterpillar, place it in their nest, and lay an egg. The wasp larva feasts on the live caterpillar until it pupates in two or three weeks, leaving behind a dying caterpillar. Paper wasps are unusually maternal, tending their young throughout their larval stage, including chewing up caterpillars and feeding the goo to their larvae! Parasitoids Tachinid Flies and Braconid Wasps lay their eggs on or inside the egg or caterpillar which is consumed alive from the inside out by their larvae. Your heart will break when a Tachinid Fly larva emerges from your Monarch chrysalis!! Wild populations of Monarchs can have infection rates over 50 per-

cent and it’s increasing because Tachinid Flies were released into the Eastern forests to control the Gypsy Moth, with the consequent decimation of butterflies along the eastern seaboard, extending now into the Midwest.


Our Story From the very beginning, Earl E. May wanted to provide his customers with the best quality seed, nursery stock, and most importantly, the best possible experience.

How Can We Protect Monarchs? Plant placement can help: instead of setting up a predator buffet in one spot, scatter Milkweeds and other host plants throughout the garden. Once the eggs are visible on the leaves, protective netting helps protect them from predators and parasitoids. Many gardeners opt for hand-raising (See KCG, June 2015). Experienced caterpillar godparents report survival rates between 85 and 95 percent. And you will have the joy of seeing your Monarch’s first triumphant flight.

Today that same passion for gardening and commitment to the customer experience continues. While our reach may seem wide, our roots are firmly planted in the small Southwest Iowa town of Shenandoah. We pride ourselves in providing our customers with product that is guaranteed to succeed in the Midwest. We grow and package many of our products at our headquarters in Shenandoah. Most of what we do not grow is sourced locally to ensure less time from grower to garden center giving you, our customers the freshest product available.

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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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


Open House & Plant Fundraiser


Saturday, May 12, 8a to 2p

eady to start a butterfly garden or improve the one you have? If so, come visit us at Monarch Watch for our annual Spring Open House & Plant Fundraiser. We will have more than 10,000 butterfly plants, annuals and perennials, including seedlings of 13 milkweed varieties. These plants are ideal for starting butterfly gardens or adding to established gardens. Monarch numbers have been declining and we need to plant milkweeds to sustain the monarch migration. A list of available plants is posted on our website (http:// Learn about creating Monarch Waystations and see the magnificent butterfly and pollinator garden maintained by the Douglas County Master Gardeners. There will be games

for the kids inside and out and they can make “seed balls” containing seeds of milkweeds and other butterfly plants that can be used to create habits for monarchs and other butterflies. They can also see lots of different insects and spiders, watch videos, or complete a variety of activities. All are welcome to tour our garden and lab space. We will have live demonstrations, and, of course, monarch butterflies! Refreshments will be provided. We’d love to see you so mark your calendars! If you can’t make it in person, be sure to check us out online – we plan to post photos and broadcast some LIVE video throughout the day ( ). Monarch Watch is located at 2021 Constant Avenue on the West Campus of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047.


ORCHID AUCTION Sunday, April 15, 2018 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Lenexa Senior Center 13420 Oak Street Lenexa, Kansas

Prices starting

at $5 A fundraiser for The Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City 30

April 2018 |

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

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 11th annual National Safe Digging Month, reminding both Missouri and Kansas residents to always make a free call three 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.

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Gardeners Connect presents

Midcentury Modern gardens offer ideas for outdoor living


idcentury Modern homes add distinctive lines and angles to the neighborhoods of Kansas City and its suburbs. The gardens designed to complement the houses blurred the line between indoors and outdoors, creating gardens for living. The Midcentury Modern Landscape is the title of Ethne Clarke’s newest book and also the title of the program she plans to present when in April she returns to Kansas City. The program is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64112. The program is a joint presentation of Gardeners Connect, a gardening education nonprofit organization celebrating 60 years

of community service this year, and the Kansas City Public Library. The Midcentury Modern Landscape is a fresh guide for gardeners and garden designers seeking bold approaches to redefine outdoor spaces or people wishing to learn about the history of Midcentury Modern aesthetics. The Midcentury Modern period is 1940-70. Ethne’s book documents the transformation of Modernism to Midcentury Modern, the impact of World War II, Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence, the spread of Bauhaus architecture on the East Coast, post-war suburbs and the rise of West Coast ranchstyle living. Ethne greeted Gardeners Connect audiences in 2011 when she presented a program at the Central Branch of the Kansas City

Public Library on “The Making of Hidcote,” which was based on her books on the famous English garden created by American expatriate Lawrence Johnston, and the Italian gardens of Cecil Pinsent. Ethne has ties to the Kansas City Area. She was a student at the Kansas City Art Institute School of Design before moving to England in 1969, where she lived in London

and Norfolk before returning to the United States in 1998. She is the author of 16 gardenrelated books on practical gardening, design and landscape history. Some of the titles of her other books are Herb Garden Design, English Cottage Gardens, The Art of the Kitchen Garden and The Gardens of Tuscany. Ethne is the former editor of Organic Gardening magazine, former garden editor of Traditional Home and contributing editor for House & Garden. She researched architectural history between the Arts and Crafts period and early Modernism, and this has been a guiding influence on the renovation of her house and garden in Colorado, a small Midcentury Modern ranch built in 1958.

Give your garden a lift this spring—plant your flowers in raised beds! We can provide you with the plans and the materials. Stop by our showroom to learn more!

4101 East 12th Terrace Kansas City • 816-241-5197 • The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


The Trill of Spring


or some, the first sign of spring is the bloom of a daffodil or the song of a Robin. For me, it is the romantic trill of the American Toad at my garden pond. On warm nights in early April, male toads emerge from their winter hibernation burrowed in the soil. They seek out areas with shallow water like a roadside ditch, the backwater of a creek, or my garden pond. The males then try to attract a female by singing their lively trill. They are always on the lookout for the larger female toads, but males will grab on to anything that looks like a toad. That might include other male toads. If that happens, the grabbed toad makes a special chirp and is promptly released. Female toads choose a male based on his call. When the female hops

Singing toad near, the male grasps her around her chest with his front legs and clings to her until she has released her eggs. They can spend several hours together. With the male clinging to her back, the female hops or swims to an area suitable to release her eggs. She lays between 2,000 to 20,000 eggs, in a coiled gelatinous strand. The male releases a fluid with sperm over the eggs to fertilize them. Then the male and female separate and hop off to live their solitary lives for the rest of the year.

Photos by Tom Schroeder.

TOM SCHROEDER, Master Naturalist, teaches about the American toad habits and how to invite them to your garden.

American toad clasping The string of black eggs hatch in 3 to 12 days, depending on the temperature. The little black tadpoles feed on algae or dead plant material. After 20 days the tadpoles develop little hind legs. After 30 to 40 days their front legs emerge, their gills get absorbed, and they start breathing using lungs. Around 60 days of life, they hop out of the pond as little black toadlets, the size of your little fingernail, and go hunting for food in the garden. Very few tadpoles survive the two to three years it takes to mature to adult toads. The toads are eaten by snakes and raccoons. The adult toads that survive hunt in your garden at night. You might have one living there and not realize it. They feed on earthworms, slugs, and small insects. They are reported to eat a thousand insects per night. Because of this, they are a nice partner to have in the garden.

It is easy to encourage American Toads to live in your garden. Allow leaf litter and garden debris to accumulate in places so they can hide under it. Place a split log or some flat rocks for them to seek shelter under. Have a diversity of plants so they have an abundance of insect food. If you have room, install a shallow garden pond so they have a place to trill and lay eggs in the spring. You will be entertained by the little tadpoles and emerging toadlets for many months. American Toads are harmless creatures that can share our gardens. Their worst behavior is urinating on themselves if you pick one up. This makes them less attractive as a meal for those creatures that would want to eat them. The trill of spring is made by the American Toad. Listen for it in your neighborhood. With little effort, you can invite this fascinating creature to your garden. Tom Schroeder is a Missouri Master Naturalist and a volunteer for Kansas City Wildlands. Visit their website at https://www.

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

Club Meetings or send an email to

African Violets of GKC Tues, Apr 10, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Apr 10, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 SW Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Program: Constanze Savysky. Topic will be Yoga for Gardeners. Refreshments provided and visitors are always welcome. Visit our website www. or call 816-914-3970.

Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, Apr 17, 9am; the group will tour the Free State Gardens (Wholesale Nursery) that grow Sunflower Sue Brand Plants. The group will car pool from the parking lot on the SE corner of Third & Cedar at 9am. After the tour the group will then drive to Kelly’s in Basehor, KS for lunch. Guests welcome. Info, contact Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Apr 8, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Regular meeting. 816-513-8590 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Sat, Apr 21, 10am; at Ozanam Children’s Home, 421 E 137th St, Kansas City 64131. Tour of the Greenhouses at Ozanam, led by Megan Sperry (Horticulturist Therapist). Megan will point out the plants being grown for the Ozanam Plant Sale. In addition, she will discuss the role of Horticultural Therapy in working with youth. Come and learn more. Non-members are always welcome. For additional information, contact Effie Mitsopoulos at 816-935-1594 or Vince Vogel of Vogel Landscaping at 816-313-8733. KC Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Apr 15, 1:30-4pm. Annual potluck picnic lunch at a member’s garden. Visitors are welcome to join the fun; please call 816-444-9321 or email evaal@ for more information. Members, watch your email for directions and other details. The next regular club meeting will be Sun, May 20, 1:30-4pm at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. We’re looking forward to a special presentation by Mr Kunso Kim of Powell Gardens. Visitors are welcome. For information on the Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society, visit: Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Apr 2, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. You are welcome to join us. The program is “Garden Wonders– The 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show” by Kansas City Garden Club member, Dianne Swann. She will share photos of many fabulous gardens, incredible plant specimens, creative plant and garden art, and much more along with the latest and greatest in the world of gardening gathered from this event that includes numerous national and international garden expert’s programs. Bring a sack lunch and join us for desserts and drinks after the meeting. 913-636-4956 Leavenworth County Master Gardeners Wed, Apr 11, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Kim Bellemere from The Grassland Heritage Foundation will present “Native Plants and the Home Garden”. Please join us as we learn about choosing and growing native plants for the home garden. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. Leavenworth Garden Club Thurs, Apr 5, 10am; in the Jahn Room at the Leavenworth Public Library, 4th and Spruce Sts. We will have an installation of our officers and presentation of the Golden Trowel Award. This award is presented to a member in recognition of his/her exemplary service to the club. For information, call Mary Sue Winneke, 913-682-7480. Come join us! Leawood Garden Club Tues, Apr 24, 10:30am; at Cure of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS. At about noon, Tracy Flowers, Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City, will present “Kauffman Memorial Garden.” The meeting and our membership is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts are provided. For more information, please visit our website www.

Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Apr 10, 7-8pm; tour the garden of Susan Mertz and her husband. They will share their experience of building cold frames and growing vegetables from seed. For more information contact the club at or Mo Kan Daylily Society Sun, Apr 29, 11:30am-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Apr 17, 12pm (weather permitting); Lake at Prairie Center Park, 26325 W 135th St, Olathe. Wildflower Walk & Talk, followed by a picnic. Visitors welcome. For information, e-mail Cathy Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Apr 9, 7:30pm, refreshments at 7pm; at Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Our guest speaker will be Craig Freeman from Kansas Native Plant Society. Everybody welcome to attend. Raytown Garden Club Tues, Apr 3, 10am; at Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church, 6429 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO. Program: “Flower Show Procedures and Changes in the NGC Flower Show Handbook” presented by Karen Barnhart, RGC Member and Master Flower Show Judge. Refreshments will be served, and visitors are most welcome. Please call 816-353-8699 or visit our website at fgcmwestcentral/raytown. Sho Me African Violets Club Fri, Apr 13, 10am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Water Garden Society of KC Tues, Apr 17, doors open at 5:30pm for snacks and socializing; at Our Lady of Sorrows, 2552 Gillham Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108. Our first speaker at 6:15pm is George Koepp, a financial advisor with Edward Jones. George will be sharing vital information on navigating the new tax laws AND investing strategies for 2018 and beyond. Our featured speaker is Jamie Beyer. Jamie has a masters degree in fish and wildlife biology, is a feature writer for Pond Trade Magazine, President of the Central Iowa Water Garden Association, owner of Midwest Waterscapes, a beekeeper and a world-renowned speaker. Tonight, his topic is” What secrets can the patina of your pond reveal.” Visitors are always welcome. See you there!

Events, Lectures & Classes April Summer Vegetable Gardening Success Mon, Apr 2, 7pm; at St Paul United Methodist Church, 3601 S Sterling Ave, Independence, MO 64502. Taught by University of Missouri Extension Horticulture Educator, Cathy Bylinowski; sponsored by St Paul Community Garden, Independence, MO. Free to the public. Questions: Sara at 816-356-6986. Herbal Health Tues, Apr 3, 4pm; at Lansing Community Library, 730 1st Terrace, Ste 1, Lansing, KS 66043. Loretta Craig, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener, will give a presentation on herbs to grow in your garden and keep in your medicine cabinet. The meeting is

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


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

Celebrating 41 years!

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

Monday, April 2nd through Saturday, April 7th!

Take the country drive to the “Gardener’s Paradise!”

10% off all instock merchandise!

The Midwest’s largest selection of homegrown plants.

FREE Cookies and Beverages FREE diluted, ready-to-use Nature’s Source Plant Food (bring an empty milk jug)

Over 2,500 varieties, including more than 300 new varieties! Our Plant List, Plant Wishbook and Gardening Class Schedule are available on our website! We hope to see you soon!

Arnold’s Greenhouse • 1430 Hwy. 58, LeRoy, KS 66857 620-964-2463 or 2423 Monday through Saturday, 9am til 7pm

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)

Baltimore Oriole, a fruit-loving bird!

FREE seed delivery of 20 lbs. or more on Wednesdays in Johnson County. Family-owned & operated since 1990.


913•341•0700 34

April 2018 |

free and open to the public. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. Keeping Backyard Chickens Tues, Apr 3, 6-9pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. An animal lover’s guide to sustainable agriculture on a small scale. Chickens provide natural bug control, as well as breakfast. Learn the how and why and what in order to avoid the perils of raising chickens on a domestic scale. Fee: $39. To enroll go to https:// or call 913-469-2323. Birding Hike Thurs, Apr 5, 8-9:30am; at Parkville Nature Sanctuary. We meet in the parking lot below the Clay County Health Building on 9 Hwy in Parkville. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website (www.backyardbirdcenter. com/parkville-nature-sanctuary-5). Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Designing Container Gardens Thurs, Apr 5, 6:30-7:30pm; at Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Parkway, Lawrence, KS. Learn how to assemble a show stopping container garden. Handouts will be provided. FREE, but Seating is limited, so please RSVP to 785-842-3081. All About Dahlias Thurs, Apr 5, 11:30am; in Sunflower Rm, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Dahlias are one of the most beautiful and underutilized flowers to add color and texture to the late summer garden. Hundreds of dahlias will grow in the Kansas City area, and they are available in red, orange, yellow, white and purple, and in a variety of heights. Please join us to hear a presentation by Dr. Bernard Lohkamp of the GKC Dahlia Society. Dr. Lohkamp is the judging chairman for the group’s shows as well as the organizer of the Dahlia Society spring tuber sale. Registration not required. Fee: $5 payable at door (waived for certified Extension MGs). For more information, call 913-299-9300. Johnson County Healthy Yards Expo Sat, Apr 7, 9am-2pm; Shawnee Civic Centre, 13817 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS 66216. Make greener choices for your yard and home at this FREE Earthfriendly lawn and garden event. Discover simple, easy practices for achieving a nice yard while still protecting our water, air and healthy soils. Features include businesses, non-profits, how-to tutorials and seminars on green ideas and services. Get a tree seedling and two native plants (while supplies last). Register for door prizes. Kids Hour, from 10-11am, includes puppet show and kids crafts. Be sure to check out the native plant sale with a large selection of locally grown plants. Johnson County residents— Get a FREE soil test. Visit or call 913.715.7000 for details.

LARGEST SELECTION of wild bird supplies in the KC area, including bird seed, feeders, houses and hardware.


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10A - 6P 10A - 5P 12P - 5P

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Lasagna Gardening: Is it for You? Sat, Apr 7, 10-11am; at Fairway Pool House, 6136 Mission Rd, Fairway, KS. It is time to pick up the final leaves from those pin oaks, clean out the shrub border, and cut down the weather-beaten perennials... But, what to do with all that material? The answer may well be to turn it all into a Lasagna Garden! A form of “composting in place”, this approach is a cost-effective way of the using materials at hand and reducing the amount of energy, time, and water required to maintain your garden space. Discard the tiller and Roundup, and join in learning a different way of gardening. Instructor: Ann Simpson, landscape designer and GrowNative professional. Cost: $10. To Register: call 913-262-0350 x3 or visit Make a Gourd Birdhouse Class Sat, Apr 7, 10-11am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St. Come and make a birdhouse to take home. Fee: $15 per project plus admission. Contact: or 913-685-3604 Watch Waterfowl Migration Sun, Apr 8, 1-4pm; at Smithville Lake, meet at the Jerry Litton Center. Spring is a great time for water-

fowl migration, we will be visiting Smithville Lake each month (second Sundays) to keep tabs on what is coming and going. We should see great diversity as the gulls, loons, grebes, ducks, geese and raptor populations constantly change during the course of this season. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website ( Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Add a Splash of Color with Summer Bulbs Mon, Apr 9, 7pm; at Johnson County Extension Office, Room 1060, 11811 S Sunset Dr, Olathe, KS 66061. Bulbs are not just for spring. Summer or tender bulbs are a great way to add more color and interest to the landscape. This session will look at those selections that either will not survive the winter or bloom during the summer. They come in a wide variety of plant types, forms, shapes and colors. This session will introduce you to these lesser-known bulbs for the garden. Proper care will be covered to help you get the most out of these garden gems. Limited to 45. $10, enroll at Missouri TreeKeeper Course Location: Memorial Park, Belton MO Tues, Apr 10, 9am–1pm; Introduction to Trees, Urban Soils and Basic Tree Biology Wed, Apr 11, 9am–1:30pm; Tree ID Field Day, Planting Thurs, Apr 12, 9am–3:30pm; Pruning, Tree Problems, Pruning & Planting Field Day. Offered by Heartland Tree Alliance, Bridging the Gap. See course details at If you have questions, please call Sarah Crowder at 816-561-1061 ext. 138 or email If you cannot attend all the sessions, you can make them up at a later date (at no charge)! Wildflower Walk Wed, Apr 11, 18, 10am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St. Explore the trails and wildflowers with a guide. Fee: Included with admission, register online. Contact: or 913-685-3604 For Flower Lovers: Tools and Tips on how to grow flowers to Cut and Share Wed, Apr 11, 7pm; at Basehor Community Library, 1400 158th St, Basehor, KS 66007. Joy Kromer, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener, will give a presentation on how to grow flowers for cutting for your home or to share with friends. She will share which cutting flowers grow best in the Kansas climate. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. Beekeeping III Wed, Apr 11 & 18, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. This class will be a fun and active way to learn how to be a successful backyard beekeeper. We will provide the basic knowledge needed to keep and manage a healthy beehive, and produce honey and beeswax. This class will cover bee behavior, hive management, diseases, pests, swarming and how to harvest honey right from your own backyard. Fee: $59. To enroll go to or call 913-469-2323. Birding Hike Thurs, Apr 12, 8-10:30am; at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, meet at nature center parking lot at 8. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website (www.backyardbirdcenter. com/burr-oak-woods-nature-center-0). Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Join us for one of our Thursday morning bird hikes! The Tomato Whisperer Thurs, Apr 12, 6:30pm; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150B NW Colbern Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. $10 fee, check or cash. Call:816-682-9725 for reservation. Perennial Gardening 101 Thurs, Apr 12, 6:30-7:30pm; at Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Parkway, Lawrence, KS. Learn what a perennial is, some easy care perennials for our area, and how to maintain them. Handouts

will be provided. FREE, but Seating is limited, so please RSVP to 785-842-3081. Starting with Shrubs: Designing for Birds Sat, Apr 14, 10-11am; at Fairway Pool House, 6136 Mission Rd, Fairway, KS. Birds are attracted to a yard that has a diversity of plantings, but the foundation of your Birdscape should be shrubbery. Shrubs provide nest sites, protection from predators, food, winter shelter, and resting spots in ways that other plants in your yard cannot. We will discuss the value of native vs. non-native species, along with the most attractive and beneficial ways of planting. Welcome this Spring season, by welcoming more birds and more bird species, to your yard! Instructor: Ann Simpson, landscape designer and GrowNative professional. Cost: $10. To Register: call 913-262-0350 x3 or visit Make Paper from PLANTS (Workshop) Sat, Apr 14, 12:30-4:30pm; Class less than 5 miles from Lawrence. Join us and learn how to turn the stem, seed and leaf fibers from native plants into unique, beautifully textured papers. The paper can be used to create artwork, notecards, bookmarks, photo mats, lampshades, and MORE! Fee: $39. Instructor is the founder of Kansas Native Plants. Pre-enrollment required to attend: Orchid Auction Sun, Apr 15, 2-4:30pm; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Fundraiser for The Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. Prices starting at $5. Tomato Gardening Mon, Apr 16, 7pm; at St Paul United Methodist Church, 3601 S Sterling Ave, Independence, MO 64502. Taught by Cory Creed, U of MO Extension Horticulturist; Free to the public. Questions: Sara at 816-356-6986. Sponsored by St. Paul Community Garden, Independence, MO. Growing Tomatoes with Flair and Flavor Wed, Apr 18, 10-11am; at Douglas Co Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St, Dreher Bldg, Lawrence, KS. Douglas County Master Gardeners Class. Presented by Jason Graves, Saline Co Horticulture Agent. Open to the public. 785-843-7058 Birding Hike Thurs, Apr 19, 8-10:30am; at Smithville Lake, meet at the Jerry Litton Visitor Center. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website ( Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Join us for one of our Thursday morning bird hikes! Raised Bed Gardening Thurs, Apr 19, 7pm; at Leavenworth Public Library, 417 Spruce St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Randy Oberlin, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener, will give a presentation on the advantages and how to of raised bed gardening. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden Thurs, Apr 19, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present our speaker is Roy Diblik, a recognized perennial plant expert, grower, designer, speaker and author. Combining his 35 years of knowledge growing traditional and Midwest native perennials, he specializes in highly aesthetic, sustainable plant communities for all seasons, while reducing maintenance through design. He believes that gardens should be thoughtful, ecologically directed, emotionally outreaching, and yet very personal. Free and open to the public. No registration is required. Door Prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456 or visit our website @ and browse Gardeners’ Gathering. Landscaping with Native Plants Thurs, Apr 19, 7pm; at Carnegie Bldg, 900 W 9th St, Lawrence, KS. Learn about important design considerations for home landscapes. This workshop will feature Patti Ragsdale, owner of Happy Apple’s Farm. She’s been growing, selling, and planting display gardens that highlight their use in home landscapes since 2014. RSVPs are encouraged. Email GHF at Go Native Free Workshop and Plant Sale Sat, Apr 21, 9:30am-2:30pm; at Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO. Workshop: learn native plant benefits; guided landscape tours and expert advice; make a native plant seed ball; activities for children; free tree seedling.

Plant sale: Missouri Prairie Foundation will offer a native plant sale with Missouri Wildflowers Nursery; a percentage of proceeds will benefit prairie conservation. Walk-in (all ages welcome). Missouri Department of Conservation,, 816-759-7300. Build a Bat House Sat, Apr 21, 10-11:30am; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150B Colbern Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Fee $25.00. Call 816-682-9725 for reservation, space limited. Tour Ozanam Children’s Home Greenhouse Sat, Apr 21, 10am; at Ozanam Children’s Home, 421 E 137th St, Kansas City, 64134. Pink flamingos will mark the trail to the greenhouse, which will be overflowing with plants grown by Ozanam residents. Megan Sperry (Ozanam Horticultural Therapist), will lead us on a tour, pointing out plants that will be part of the upcoming plant sale. There will be hands-on activities as well. Free and open to the public. This tour is hosted by Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America. For more information, contact Effie Mitsopoulos at 816-935-1594 or Vince Vogel of Vogel Landscaping at 816-289-8733. Isn’t It Time for a Rain Garden? Sat, Apr 21, 10-11:30am; at Shawnee Indian Mission, 3403 W 53rd St, Fairway, KS. With the record-setting rains we experienced last fall, a rain barrel gets filled up really fast. The answer to managing the over-flow–or to any soggy, poorly draining spot in your yard–might be a Rain Garden. Join us for a step-by-step workshop led by Fairway resident and landscape designer, Ann Simpson. We will discuss siting, construction, and planting details that will take you through this truly “green” method of managing water issues on your property. Instructor: Ann Simpson, landscape designer and GrowNative professional. Cost: $10. To Register: call 913-2620350 x3 or visit Container Gardening Mon, Apr 23, 7pm; at Johnson County Extension Office, Room 1060, 11811 S Sunset Dr, Olathe, KS 66061. Containers are problem solvers. They add so much flair to any location. This session will cover everything you need to know for success. The class will breakdown into two parts. First we will look at the science of container gardening and what it takes to grow the plants. The second part of the session will be the fun, art of container gardening including design tips and of course the great plants that add the wow factor. After attending this class you won’t be able to stop at just one pot! Limited to 45. $10, enroll at Instructor: Dennis Patton, Johnson Co K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Agent. Advanced Beekeeping – Queen Rearing Wed, Apr 25, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Queen Rearing is a highly specialized pro2018_Now Hiring.indd 1 cess and an important part of beekeeping. There are many practices, variations and processes which you will review in depth. You will learn the DooLittle and Miller queen rearing methods, as well as best practices for queen grafting and successfully raising your own queens. Fee: $29. To enroll go to https:// or call 913-469-2323. Win over Weeds with Mulch Thurs, Apr 26, 7pm; at St Paul United Methodist Church, 3601 S Sterling Ave, Independence, MO 64502. Taught by Cory Creed, U of MO Extension Horticulturist. Free to the public. Questions: Sara at 816-356-6986. Sponsored by St. Paul Community Garden, Independence, MO Overland Park GOA Plant Sale Thurs, Apr 26 and Fri, Apr 27 10am-7pm; Sat, Apr 28 10am-4pm; in the basement of Colonial Church, 71st & Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. We have ordered some spectacular annuals, perennials and herbs for this sale. We will also feature Hostas locally grown by Rob Mortko “The Hosta Guy”. Our ever-popular member grown plant selection will be even larger this year than last. For further information please call Karen Clark 785-224-7279. Plant Sale Apr 26-28; at Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Thurs 10am-7pm, Fri 10am– 7pm, Sat 9am until 3pm, unless sold out before then. Plant sale offers hundreds of varieties of locally grown plants from our member gardens as well as beautiful plants from a local nursery. Parking is free and the sale is totally indoors – held either rain or shine. Please come to back entrance of the Church.

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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

We’re getting ready for another great season! Large selection of Japanese Koi have been ordered. THE METRO’S ONLY FULLY STOCKED, DEDICATED POND STORE! With the most diverse selection of equipment and livestock, we have products for all levels of pond hobbyists and the knowledge and experience to help you create and maintain your pond paradise!

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The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


Now Hiring

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

for Spring

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

Cashiers Phone Operators Hardgoods Sales Plant Sales Merchandising Receiving Clerk Marketing Associate Human Resources Generalist

Truck Drivers, (CDL & non-CDL) Equipment Operators Landscape Maintenance Trimming, Mowing, Planting

Fax resume to 816-941-3838 Email resume to Apply in person at our Corporate office. 13635 Wyandotte // Kansas City, MO 64145 Questions? Contact Human Resources at 816-941-4700.


even private gardens will be opened to the public during the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener Public Tour, May 18 and 19. 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-


April 2018 |

Photo by Adele Wilcoxen.

Private gardens opened for Kansas City garden tour

rate into their own landscapes. Photography is encouraged. This popular event is only held every other year. Tour tickets for this springtime, rainor-shine event are $12 before May 1, and $15 after. Tickets are available beginning April 1 through Johnson County Extension and on line. 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 or call (913) 715-7000.

Annual Paola Plant Sale Thurs, Apr 26, 11am-5 pm; Fri, Apr 27, 8am-5pm; Sat, Apr 28, 8am-noon; at 808 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. Exotic indsay and unusual edible shrubs are also available. 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 913-294-4306 for more information. Birding Hike Thurs, Apr 26, 8-10:30am; Cooley Lake Conservation Area, depending on water levels, Cooley Lake can be a terrific migration spot. We will meet at the entrance road just north of Hwy 210, east of Missouri City. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website (www.backyardbirdcenter. com/cooley-lake-conservation-area-1). Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Spring Garden Studio Sale Thurs, Apr 26, 4-8pm; at From the Summer’s Garden, 8601 Barkley St, Overland Park, KS 66212. Opening Night Garden Party for Strawberry Garden Time. Refreshments, live music and lots of fun handmade garden artwork! Dahlia Root Sale Fri, Apr 27 and Sat, Apr 28; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Fri 11am-5pm; 1-4pm Member Sale; Sat 8am-4pm Public sale 8am-3pm. Thyme for Kids Plant Sale Fri, Apr 27, 9am-6pm and Sat, Apr 28, 9am-5pm; at Cornerstones of Care—Ozanam Campus, Sims Greenhouse, 421 E 137th St, Kansas City, MO. Choose from a wide variety of plants and other garden items! Houseplants, Dish Gardens, Ready-to-Go Planters, Flowering Baskets, Annuals, Perennials, Ornamental Grasses, Foliage Accents, Herbs, Vegetables, Teacher Gifts, Mother’s Day Gifts. Free to attend and open to the public! Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted. Questions? Contact Stefanie at or learn more at Annual Spring Plant and Bake Sale Sat, Apr 28, 8am-noon; at Cave Spring Interpretive Center, 8701 E Gregory, Raytown, MO. The sale will feature a wide variety of annuals, perennials, and vegetables as well as delicious homemade baked goods. Garden club members will be available to answer any questions you may have. Sponsored by Raytown Garden Club. Edible Landscaping Sat, Apr 28, 9am-12pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Increase the health benefits of your yard by learning to incorporate edible plants into your landscape design. Mix beauty with a tasty harvest. Explore designs and tips on maintaining landscapes with many colorful and productive edible annuals, perennials, herbs, shrubs and trees. Even yards with limited space and sunlight can be bountiful! Fee: $39. To enroll go to or call 913469-2323. 5th Annual Native Plant Sale Sat, Apr 28, 9am-2pm; at Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154. Once again it benefits the conservation work of the Burroughs Chapter of the Audubon Society. Native plants attract birds, pollinators and other wildlife to your yard. They supply a great food source for nesting birds in the spring and seedeaters in the fall. We will have lots of plants from Missouri Wildflower Nursery available for sale. Come early for the best selection. If you wish to place a pre-order, to have them delivered the day of the sale, please contact

Missouri Wildflower Nursery 573-496-3492 or email your order to with “Order” in the subject line. Please place any pre-orders at least a week before the sale. Questions about location, times, etc, call 816-746-1113. Spring into Your Garden Garden Show Sat, Apr 28, 9am-4:30pm; at Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. Douglas County Master Gardeners hosting. All day seminars and demonstrations such as Growing Herbs, Birds, Shade Gardening, Wake Up Your Garden, Lawn Care, Growing Tomatoes, Trees. Cooking with Herbs talks by Master Food Volunteers each hour. Other activities include: Pollinator Gardening, Plant Sale, Raffle, Local Vendors, Food Trucks, Crafts, Master Food Volunteers, Kids’ Corner, Garage Sale, Vegetable Gardening, Yoga for Gardeners, Tool Care, Accessible Gardening, Sensory Garden, Lawn Care, Composting, Plant Sale, Garage Sale, Food Truck. Free Admission. 785-843-7058

May and June Plant Sale Tues, May 1, 4-7pm and Wed, May 2, 8am-noon; at 18505 West 114th St, Olathe. Olathe Garden & Civic Club annual plant sale. Purchase annuals and perennials to enhance your garden. Public is cordially invited to attend this event. For information, email Cathy at Spring Plant Sale Thurs, May 3, 3-7pm; Fri, May 4, 9am-7pm; Sat, May 5, 9am-3pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St. Find your unique healthy plants here, and ask our experts about your garden. Free to shop. Contact: or 913-685-3604 23rd Annual Plant Sale to Benefit Cross-Lines Thurs, May 3 and Fri, May 4, 8am-7pm; Sat, May 5, 8am-1pm; at Shawnee Presbyterian Church, 6837 Nieman Rd, Shawnee, KS. The sale will be held rain or shine under a tent. New varieties of perennials and annuals along with hostas, herbs, and tomatoes will be available. There will be a large variety of hanging baskets and patio planters fur sun or shade along with succulent and flowering pots. Volunteers will be available to custom design pots for you. Bring your own or buy them at the sale. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Cross-lines Community Outreach Inc. For further information call Kelley Carpenter at 913281-3388 or email her at Birding Hike Thurs, May 3, 8-10:30am; at Martha Lafite Nature Sanctuary, meet in the Nature Center Parking Lot. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website ( Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Join us for one of our Thursday morning bird hikes! Annual Wyandotte County Master Gardeners Plant Sale Fri, May 4, 9am-5pm, and Sat, May 5, 9am-2pm; in Wildcat Rm, Extension Office, 1200 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Sponsored by Extension Master Gardeners in Wyandotte County. There will be many varieties of vegetables grown by the Master Gardeners specifically for this sale, and a large variety of annual and perennial plants and flowers suitable for our Kansas City climate. Cash and checks accepted. Sho-Me African Violet Club Show and Sale Sat, May 5, 9am-3pm; Sun, May 6, 10am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St. and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. This is the Club’s 33rd Annual Show and Sale. Let us provide a colorful gift for the coming Mother’s Day celebration! Then brighten up your own home with a variety of plants and colorful blossoms. No admission fee. Questions? Call Lynn Canning, 913-649-7334. Central Missouri Master Gardeners’ Annual Plant Sale Sat, May 5, 7am-noon; at Jaycee Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Indoor plant

sale featuring tomatoes, vegetables, peppers, herbs, annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, container plantings, natives, shrubs, and trees. Proceeds from sale fund scholarships, community garden projects, and the River City Gardens. Free and open to the public. For more information call 573-556-6650. Wyandotte County Soils & Soil Mapping Project Thurs, May 10, 11:30am; in Sunflower Rm, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. The Soil Conservation Service in Wyandotte County offers many services to residents, including soil mapping, soil erosion, pollution and storm water management. Come find out how to utilize the soil mapping information as it pertains to your own property. Presentation by Lonnie Miller, Soil Scientist. Registration is not required. Fee: $5 payable at door (waived for certified Extension MGs). For more information, call 913-299-9300. Birding Hike Thurs, May 10, 8-11:30am; at Weston Bend State Park, meet at the front gate. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website ( Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-7461113. Join us for one of our Thursday morning bird hikes! Spring Open House & Plant Fundraiser Sat, May 12, 8am-2pm; at 2021 Constant Ave on the West Campus of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047. We will have more than 10,000 butterfly plants (both annuals and perennials), including seedlings of thirteen milkweed varieties. These plants are ideal for starting butterfly gardens or adding to established gardens. Monarch numbers have been declining and we need to plant milkweeds to sustain the monarch migration. A list of available plants is posted on our website (http:// At the Open House you can learn about creating Monarch Waystations and see the magnificent butterfly and pollinator garden maintained by the Douglas County Master Gardeners. There will be games for the kids inside and out and they can make “seed balls” containing seeds of milkweeds and other butterfly plants that can be used to create habits for monarchs and other butterflies. They can also see lots of different insects and spiders, watch videos, or complete a variety of activities. All are welcome to tour our garden and lab space. We will have live demonstrations, and, of course, monarch butterflies! Refreshments will be provided. Mother’s Day Bird Hike Sun, May 13, 7-11am; at Weston Bend State Park. Not only is this a special day for Moms, it is pretty close to peak migration. We always accumulate a nice list of birds that include warblers, vireos, thrush, orioles, tanagers and more. Most years we hear and sometime see a Pileated Woodpecker and Barred Owl. Wear your walking shoes and meet at the front gate at 7am! Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, KC, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Birding Hike Thurs, May 17, 8-9:30am; at Amity Woods Nature Sanctuary, meet in the parking lot on Amity Rd just south of HWY 152. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website ( Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, KC, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Johnson County Extension Master Gardener Public Garden Tour Fri, May 18 and Sat, May 19. 9am-5pm. Rain or shine! Buy Early and Save Tickets Apr 1-30: $12; Regular Tickets May 1-19: $15. Hosted by the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardeners (EMGs), this beloved biennial event is your chance to peek inside and tour seven of the most beautiful private gardens in Kansas City. This year’s tour is a plant lover and landscaping dream. Garden owners and university-trained EMG volunteers will be available to answer all your questions. Get educational fact sheets at each garden. Photos welcomed! One-of-a-kind hand-crafted garden art and a wide selection of the newest hosta varieties will be available for purchase. Visit or call 913.715.7000 for complete details.

GHF Native Plant Sale Sat, May 19, 9am-1pm; at Trinity Episcopal Church Lawn, 1011 Vermont, Lawrence, KS. 50 species of locally-grown, neonic-free native species! This sale benefits GHF’s prairie education programs. Herbs for Beginners Sat, May 19, 9am-12pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. May is the perfect time to plant more herbs! Become more familiar with growing herbs, their many culinary and medical uses with this hands-on class. Learn which are perennials or annuals and how best to grow each in your garden. In addition, learn about medicinal uses, useful recipes for the kitchen and the many ways to preserve the herbs you grow. Fee: $39. To enroll go to https:// or call 913-469-2323. Birding Hike Thurs, May 24, 8-9:30am; at Parkville Nature Sanctuary, meet in the parking lot below the Platte County Health building on HWY 9. If you are planning on attending, please fill out the form on our website ( Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. 24th Annual Town and Country Garden Tour Jun 2 and 3, 10am-5pm; Hermann, MO. The Garden Tour includes both a walking tour of gardens in downtown Hermann and a driving tour to several country gardens. The tour is $10 includes visits to at least four private gardens and Garden Demonstration Area. Garden Tours may be spread over Sat and Sun, but Country Gardens are only open on Sat. Except for groups of 10 or more, tickets do not need to be reserved ahead of time. Ticket Sale Site is the Hermann Welcome Center on the Market Street Plaza; tickets are sold from 10-4 on Sat and 11-4 on Sun. There is also a By-Reservation-Only Luncheon/ Silent Auction on Sat, Jun 2 at the Historic Hermann Rotunda. Visit the Hermann Garden Tours website at for up-to-date events, ticket prices, contact numbers and photographs of past tour gardens. Visit the FAQS page on the website for answers to all your questions. www.

Happenings offered by Johnson County Extension Johnson County Healthy Yards Expo Sat., April 7, 9am – 2pm, Shawnee Civic Centre 13817 Johnson Drive Shawnee, KS 66216 Make greener choices for your yard and home at this FREE Earth-friendly lawn and garden event. Discover simple, easy practices for achieving a nice yard while still protecting our water, air and healthy soils. Features include businesses, non-profits, how-to tutorials and seminars on green ideas and services. Get a tree seedling and two native plants (while supplies last). Register for door prizes. Kids Hour, from 10 – 11 a.m., includes puppet show and kids crafts. Be sure to check out the native plant sale with a large selection of locally grown plants. Johnson County residents — Get a FREE soil test. Visit or call 913.715.7000 for details. Add a Splash of Color with Summer Bulbs Mon., April 7, 7pm, Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Olathe. Fee: $10. Bulbs are not just for spring. Summer or tender bulbs are a great way to add more color and interest to the landscape. They come in a wide variety of plant types, forms, shapes and colors. This session will introduce you to these lesser-known bulbs for the garden. Proper care will be covered to help you get the most out of these garden gems. Register at or call 913.715.7000.

Tallgrass Prairie Birding at Dunn Ranch Sun, Jun 3, 6am-4pm. If you want to take a step back in time and see what northern Missouri looked like before European settlement, this is trip for you. Dunn Ranch is a 3,258-acre property owned by the Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in northern Harrison County and protects the largest remaining track of unplowed deep soil, tallgrass prairie remaining that we know of. We will see a herd of genetically pure bison roaming the treeless landscape and many unique species of birds native to the tallgrass prairie. We should easily find Bobolinks, Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, Upland Sandpipers, Sedge Wrens and many, many more. Pack a sack lunch and snacks. Meet at the Liberty Park and Ride Lot just north of the Liberty Hospital at 6am. We should be back to town around 4pm. Sponsored by Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154, 816-746-1113. Leavenworth County Garden Tour Sat, Jun 9, 9am-3pm. The Leavenworth County Master Gardeners will host nine beautiful gardens in the city of Leavenworth. This event will occur rain or shine. Tickets cost $10 and will go on sale May 1 at the Leavenworth County Extension office, the Pot Rack and Homestead Greenhouse. For more information contact the Leavenworth Extension office at 913-364-5700. North Riverside Garden Stroll Wichita Kansas Sat, Jun 9, 10am-4pm. Tour 5 gardens for $5.00. Our 7th biennial tour will feature gardens large and small, shaded and sunny, and homeowners will be present to welcome you and answer questions. Proceeds support neighborhood landscape and improvement projects. North Riverside Neighborhood is just west of Wichita North High School, north of 13th Street and between the Little Arkansas and Arkansas rivers. Tickets are available beginning May 13 at Johnson’s Garden Centers, at Seasonal Decorating, 2828 W 13th, and the day of the Stroll at the neighborhood gardens.

More must-see events are posted on our website, KCGMAG.COM, and click on “Events.” Promote meetings, classes, and other gardening events! Send details to: Deadline for publishing in the May issue is April 5.

The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018



garden calendar n TURF

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


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


• Prune spring-flowering shrubs after bloom to promote good flowering next year.

• Prune deciduous trees now for quick healing. • Plant new trees and shrubs, but do not plant too deep. • Mulch around the base of young trees and shrubs to conserve moisture and control weeds. • Water newly planted trees and shrubs on a regular basis. • Fertilize young trees to promote growth. • Check pine trees for needle diseases and control. • Remove dead or dying trees promptly to control insects and disease. • Never top a tree as part of a pruning program.


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


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

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

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Please enclose your check payable to The Kansas City Gardener and mail with this form to: P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 The Kansas City Gardener is published monthly Jan. through Dec.

Meet Extension Master Gardener, Susan Weber

What first drew you to the hobby of gardening: I have gardened since I was a small child. My mother let me have a small area in her garden for myself. I could plant whatever I wanted. During the growing season we would cut flowers and bring in small arrangements for our home.

How long have you been an Extension Master Gardener: I have been a Johnson County EMG for 26 years. I am always interested in expanding my gardening knowledge. I am grateful that this program has made that possible. How long were you gardening before you became an Extension Master Gardener: Seems like I have always gardened. I have developed gardens in each home we have lived in. What is the most valuable information you have learned: Listen to others. Fellow gardeners have lots of good information and wisdom, and they are eager to share what they have learned. Also, read the information and instruction labels of products before you use them in gardening. Favorite tool: The circular long handled hoe. Makes weeding so easy without disturbing the adjacent plants. Favorite plant type: Shrub: I love Crepe myrtles, I simply fell in love with them while in Texas. Found out we can grow them here. They stand out in hot August weather when others plants tend to suffer. We have them in the front of our house. When the plant is in bloom, strangers have stopped me to ask

‘what is that plant’. Tree: Blue Spruce evergreen tree, they have such beautiful color and perfect shapes. Perennial: Any plant that returns year after year is a favorite in my book. Do you have a specialty: I am fascinated with herbs. The unending stories, historical information, and multiple uses and applications for herbs are the biggest reason why I spend so much time with them. What are you passionate about? I have been the garden chair of the Herb Garden at Shawnee Town 1929 since its inception, 26 years ago. I love working in the garden, meeting its challenges, talking to visitors and working with the best gardeners ever. What are some of the challenges you face: An aging body. Who has inspired your enthusiasm for gardening: My mother and grandmother were the most influential, I believe. They both loved to garden. My grandmother, a German immigrant, kept her kitchen food waste, vegetable peels, etc., and would walk them out each evening with her shovel and bury them in her garden. She was composting before anyone knew the meaning of the word. She could grow anything. The Kansas City Gardener | April 2018


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annuals, sunflower, canna, lantana, ipomoea, petunia, Arbor day, The Giving Grove, bald cypress, butterflies, birds, frogs, patio

KCG 04APR18  

annuals, sunflower, canna, lantana, ipomoea, petunia, Arbor day, The Giving Grove, bald cypress, butterflies, birds, frogs, patio