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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

August 2015

Butterflies and Bees Love These

Call 811 Before You Dig Daylily: Beauty for More Than a Day Decision Time: Should You Remove Your Ash Tree Ask the Experts about weed control, oozing sap and more

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7/13/15 The Kansas City Gardener | August 2015

4:12 PM


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Hydrangea blues

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Sipora Coffelt Nik and Theresa Hiremath Susan Mertz Dennis Patton Rodney St. John Diane Swan Gayle Yelenik 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

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Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 23.


August 2015 |


ot far from where we live, there’s a fabulously designed landscape that grabs my attention every time I pass. Whether on foot or in the car, and no matter the season, I am drawn to this garden. On a recent Sunday morning, driving to church, it happened again. If we had more time, I would have stopped the car in order to make a few notes and snap a couple of pictures. Instead, I made a mental note to consider this shrub for our landscape next season. The edge of the property, between the public sidewalk and the dry stack wall that borders the garden, is healthy green turf, well manicured. Just behind the twofoot wall are evergreen and deciduous shrubs, paired with blooming perennials. Something always seems to be in flower. What an inspiring scene! What caught my eye that day were the three tall, hardy hydrangea ‘Limelight’ (Hydrangea paniculata). Bold. Striking. And loaded with beautiful creamy, to bright white elongated blooms. With a little research, I discovered this hydrangea is drought tolerant, with reliable, soft green summer flowers that change to pink in fall. Good

in containers, and as a cut flower. Talk about a full season shrub. Truly impressive. ‘Limelight’ is stellar in comparison to the hydrangea in my landscape, which are Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’. In years previous, my landscape has been full of large clusters of long-blooming summer flowers in that characteristic mophead form. With so many flowers, I had the great pleasure of sharing with my neighbors. Isn’t that one of the reasons we garden – to share our treasures with others? There’s nothing quite like strolling the garden, clippers in hand, picking flowers for a friend. Whether there is plenty or only a select few, the random act of giving is your gift. And don’t get all fancy searching for just the right vase. Any sort of vessel that holds water will do. Then, the look in their eyes when you’ve presented your gift

of the heart is the sweet reward for this labor of love. I’ve missed that experience this season and last. For two years now, I have been hydrangea bloomless. I don’t know why they haven’t bloomed. They have been fed. The plants are healthy and are without outward signs of disease or pests. I’ve been patient with a “wait and see” attitude, or try to convince myself “maybe next year.” I’m satisfied with the plentiful serrate, dark green leaves that add texture to the garden. But how long must I pine for the return of my beloved blue blooms? While waiting, I’ll continue to be captured by other hydrangea varieties. When the waiting becomes unbearable, a change will be made. For without the act of giving, my labor of gardening is without reward. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue August 2015 • Vol. 20 No. 8 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 The Bird Brain ......................... 8 Ash Tree ................................. 9 Daylily Beauty ......................... 10 Butterflies and Bees Love These.. 12 Country Gardens Celebrate ...... 14 Aeration and Dead Zones ........ 16

about the cover ...

Call Before You Dig ................. 17 Upcoming Events ..................... 18 Rose Report ............................ 20 Dinner on the Prairie ................ 21 Garden Calendar .................... 22 Professional’s Corner ................ 23 Subscribe ................................ 23

Milkweed is a favorite of gardeners wanting to help Monarch butterflies . Learn more about pollinator plants for butterflies and bees starting on page 12.



Dining Wild 2015

a Native Plants Program Experience at Lincoln University in Jefferson City

Last year, Mervin Wallace (left) led participants at the LU Native Plant Outdoor Lab. Attendees enjoyed appetizers with cup plant and wild onion flowers.


he second Dining Wild experience, presented by Lincoln University Cooperative Extension’s (LUCE) Native Plants Program (NPP), will be held on Saturday, August 29 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Scruggs University Center at Lincoln University This event will include optional native plant garden tours, educational exhibits, a social mixer, a presentation and dinner. The main goal of this event is to promote native edible plants with the potential as specialty crops. Registration and exhibits start at 3 p.m. at Lincoln’s Scruggs University Center lobby located at 820 Chestnut Street. Garden tours leave from Scruggs are 3:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., followed by a social mixer from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Scruggs outdoor patio where wine samples and appetizers will

be served. Exhibits will be available during the whole event at the Scruggs lobby. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. with welcoming remarks. Immediately after presentation offered by guest speaker Dr. Linda Hezel will follow. Dr. Hezel is the owner of organic Birthday Prairie Farm who along with her husband have reconstructed prairie on their property. Prairie species are planted throughout the farm to improve soil, increase pollinators and expand food diversity. She sells native wild foods including elderberry, persimmon, paw paw, sunchokes, violets, wild greens like nettles and bee balm. Most of the dinner, appetizers and beverages will include or be flavored with native edible plants and locally grown produce and meats. Vegetarian dishes will be available.

The cost of the event is $30. Check with name and contact information should be sent to Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) c/o Shirley Downing, 900 Chestnut Street, Allen Hall Room 102, Jefferson City, MO 65101 by August 17. There is no extra charge for exhibits and native plant vendors are welcome. Parking is available at nearby parking lots located on Chestnut Street. Look for signs.

If you have any questions about this event and would like more information contact Natalie Benjamin at 573-681-5581 or email or Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall at 573681-5392 or Navarrete-TindallN@ All proceeds will be used to cover costs of event and the remaining to support the LU-Native Plants Program.

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The Kansas City Gardener | August 2015


Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton TORCH METHOD FOR WEED CONTROL Question: I have been out of the country and have returned home to find weeds taking over my flower beds. I noticed at a sustainable farm that they are using a torch to control their weeds. I do not want to use chemicals, and weeds are probably too much for me to do by hand. Do you recommend the torch method, or is there another way to control weeds without chemicals? Answer: Weed control with an organic approach is difficult espe-

cially after they have germinated and established. The torch method is very effective on younger, annual weeds. The torch burns off the growth. Of course there are a number of safety issues with using a torch method. The other common organic product is industrial strength vinegar. Like the torch method it burns the foliage on tender plant growth. I know of no local retailer selling this highly acidic vinegar. This is not the 5% vinegar in your kitchen. Neither method will control perennial weeds as the plants come back from the roots. Other options will be shading out the weeds using cardboard or black plastic. You would cover the area keeping out sunlight for a few weeks. With that being said I do not know of any product that

Sap oozing from the trunk of your peach tree is likely a problem called gummosis. would be safe to use in a highly planted area or for weeds growing at the base of the desirable plants. Vinegar, fire, or shading would damage your plants. At this point you need to hand remove the weed growth. The key is prevention of the weed growth. Unfortunately there is really no good organic preemergent product to stop weed growth. The best bet is mulching to reduce weed growth. SAP FROM PEACH TREE Question: I have a peach tree that has sap oozing out of the trunk in a number of places. What causes this and how can I treat to prevent it from happening?

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Answer: You are describing a problem called gummosis. Gummosis is a result of some type of injury or stress to the bark of the plant. Bubbles of sap develop around the stressed area. The key is to prevent this problem from developing. Avoid any type of stress on the plant such as drought, bark injury, insect or disease. Cold injury can also cause the problem. Once the tree has gummosis there is not much that can be done except provide the best culture and care possible. This is a symptom of more serious underlying issues and the tree may not survive for the long-term. I would not recommend scrapping off the sap as you could cause more damage to the tender

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Why did weigela send shoots from the base? bark of a peach tree. Cherries are also highly susceptible to this problem. Once again, prevention is the key. A happy tree is a healthy tree. WEIGELA COMING BACK Question: My weigela died to the ground this spring. Now I see that shoots are coming back from the base. What happened? Answer: Even though we had a fairly mild winter we still experienced damage. Here is what happened. We had a pleasant October and the plants continued to grow under the warm, sunny days. Then in early November the temperatures dropped into the low teens. Many plants had not gone into full dormancy and were still actively growing. Plants were not prepared for winter conditions or hardened off and experienced winterkill or dieback. Weigela was one of those plants that suffered. As a result the branches died back to the ground and new shoots emerged this spring from the roots. There is really not much to do except remove the winter damaged branches and allow the new growth to rejuvenate the plant. Honestly many older weigelas become overgrown and woody

• • • • • •

DEFINE NATIVES Question: What is a native plant? Answer: Wow, that is a great question and I don’t think I have the space to fully answer that question. Keep in mind that all plants are native plants. That is every plant that is grown is native to somewhere. But for most people a native plant is one that is indigenous to our local climate. The question is what is “local” climate and conditions. Is that a plant within 50, 100 or 200 miles? That is where the definition of a native plant gets confusing. Here is a great example. Buffalograss is often mentioned as a lawn alternative because it is a native grass. Well, buffalo is not naturally occurring or indigenous in the Kansas City region from my understanding. Buffalo is native in Kansas from about Salina west, which is more than a 100 miles to the west. So is it a native plant for Kansas City? So maybe we should not get hung up on distance or be rigid. Maybe we need to spend more energy evaluating how that plant grows and performs in our climate and have a little wiggle room on the definition of a native plant. I think I will stop my answer at this point before I offend the purist on native plants. They will not like my answer, but on the other hand it will not be the first time I have written something that offended. 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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The Kansas City Gardener | August 2015


The Bird Brain

Are you seeing Feathers in your Backyard? Fun Facts About Molting By Nik and Theresa Hiremath


olting is the process by which a bird replaces its feathers. Most backyard feeder birds molt from July through September. Some molt through October like Downy Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves and Eastern Bluebirds. American and Lesser Goldfinches can molt through December. Because it takes a lot of energy to replace feathers, molting frequently occurs after nesting or before migration. • When a bird replaces all of the feathers on its body, it is described as a full molt. A partial molt may occur between full molts for some species of birds as they replace only a portion of their feathers. An example of a partial molt is when American Goldfinch obtain their bright breeding plumage by replac-

ing only their body feathers each spring. Their body plumage, flight and tail feathers are all replaced during a full molt each fall. • Typically, birds molt feathers in regular patterns or on specific parts of their bodies, and it may take weeks or months for birds to complete the molting cycle. • American Goldfinches change all their feathers in the fall and just the body feathers in the spring where the male becomes a bright yellow – the better to attract mates. • Every molting bird needs extra proteins to grow strong feathers for proper flight and effective insulation. They need extra fats for energy to grow feathers and provide proper coloration to best attract a mate. • Feathers are over 90% protein, primarily keratins. A bird’s feath-

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ers contain 25% of the total protein found within its entire body. • It takes extra energy to grow feathers and also the right building blocks to grow them. The main ingredients in growing feathers are amino acids (protein) and lipids (fats). Birds will eat more of their daily diet and/or seek out foods high in protein and fat to satisfy both the extra energy requirements and the needed building blocks. • Lipids are substances such as a fat, oil or wax (usually from tree fruits). Dietary lipids supply energy, essential fatty acids and pigments for birds. • Like pigment dyes are used to color our clothes, colors in feathers come from different pigments found in lipids. • Red, orange, and yellows to violet colors = Carotenoid pigments • Black, brown, gray and related tints = Melanin and porphyrin pigments • Blue and white colors = Not created by pigments but by reflections of light off the structural elements of a feather

• Greens = Carotenoid and melanin pigments combined with structural feather elements • In many bird species, carotenoids are required for breeding success...poorly colored birds are less likely to breed. Carotenoids help communicate reproductive fitness to prospective mates by providing a vibrant and bright plumage...a sign of being successful at obtaining both a sufficient quality and quantity of food. • The dominance of a male Redwinged Blackbird’s depends on his bright red shoulder epaulettes being bigger than another male’s. The larger the red epaulet patch, the better he can defend a territory and attract multiple mates. • A diet low in proteins and fats may cause feathers to be improperly colored or form defectively such as being frayed or curved. If their colors are duller birds may have trouble attracting a mate. If the feathers are defective, it could seriously hinder their flying or insulation abilities. For more information about backyard birds, behavior, habitats and providing for their needs, come see our Certified Birding Specialist. Nik and Theresa Hiremath own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.


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Decision Time: Should You Remove Your Ash Tree? Rodney St. John


merald Ash Borers (EAB) have been a hot topic in Kansas City lately, with good reason. The tiny pests, about the size of a penny head, are going to kill 4 million ash trees in Kansas City in the next five years. First discovered in the United States in June 2002, the destructive borer has already destroyed between 150 and 200 million ash trees. Most of the untreated ash trees in Kansas City will be dead in the next few years. The question for homeowners comes down to whether they want to save their ash trees, or simply remove them. Protection works. Protect highly valued trees with treatment once every two years. How do you decide? First consider the health of the trees. Do you notice any dead areas in the canopy? Do the leaves look nice and green? Is the tree in a good location and add value to your home? If yes, then it may be worth treating. What makes a tree valuable? First, consider its curb appeal.

Trees that are a focal point of your landscape or provide ample shade to your home are valuable. So are trees that create privacy. Older trees may be worth saving because of their size. Young or poorly formed trees may not when considering the cost of treatment every two years for the life of the tree against the cost of removal. Online calculators like the one found at attempt to assign a value to the economic and environmental benefits individual trees provide annually. This is a fun tool that can give you some idea of what a tree may be worth, but I would give more weight to your personal feelings about the tree when considering the question of protection versus removal. It may also be helpful to consider the costs of treatment or removal against the amount of time you are planning to live in the home. Now, bear in mind, trees are replaceable. Many homeowners form attachments to trees and almost let themselves forget that they are living things with a useful life. Sometimes I find myself start to fall into this line of thinking. If you lose an ash tree from EAB, your landscape will look different. But it can be an opportunity to plant something fun and take your landscape in a new direction.

Our lawns are really a canvas for the trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials we can plant. Every once in a while I will redecorate a room in my house. I’ll give it a fresh coat of paint and maybe bring in some new furniture or artwork for the walls. Once I’m finished, I’m so happy with the way it looks and

find myself enjoying the change. If you decide to remove your ash tree, look at it as an opportunity to ‘redecorate’ your landscape. Bring in some new plants, add a fun water feature or bird feeder. If you have questions about EAB, you can visit This website has a lot of great information for homeowners, including a flow chart that may help you decide if saving your ash tree is the best decision for you. The site also has tools to help you identify ash trees and signs of EAB infestation. You can also contact an ISA certified arborist to evaluate your tree. Visit treesaregood. com to locate a certified arborist in your area. Dr. Rodney St. John is an agronomist at Ryan Lawn & Tree. You may reach him at 913-381-1505 or at

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All photos courtesy of Carl Hamilton and Gayle Yelenik.








August 2015 |


Beauty for More Than a Day By Gayle Yelenik


arly in 2013, our Mo-Kan Daylily Society was asked if we were interested in participating in a partnership project with Kansas City Parks and Recreation and Gardeners Connect to design, plant, and maintain a daylily display garden at Loose Park. In the spirit of one of our founding members, Frances Gatlin, who wrote in 1985, “You can do almost anything when you have people who don’t know they aren’t supposed to be able to do everything,” we said yes! This garden was established in May 2013. It is maintained by Mo-Kan volunteers who fertilize and mulch annually and deadhead daily during the summer bloom season. The garden is located in a sunny area with a sprinkler system adjacent to the Garden Center Building in the new circle parking area. Daylilies love sun but will tolerate part-shade conditions. They also love water. The plants have shown vigorous growth with all of the rain this spring. The scientific name for daylily is hemerocallis, which in Greek means beauty for a day. While each bloom does just last for one day, there are multiple branches and buds on each plant. Depending upon the size of the plant as it multiplies and grows each year, it’s possible to have continuous blooms and beauty for a month! There are 62 varieties of cultivars growing in this garden, all donated by club members and hybridizers. Most daylily hybridizers register their new introductions with the American Hemerocallis Society, or AHS, which is the official body for registering daylilies to ensure worldwide conformity. Registration is the process of documenting specific details about the plant. Required information includes the height of the scape in inches, branching and bud count, season of bloom, diameter of flowers, color, fragrance, blooming and foliage habits, flower form, and parentage. The cost to register a plant is $20. Each hybridizer must choose a name for the new introduction that is distinct from all other registered names. With 79,352 registered daylilies, it can be challenging to find

a unique name that isn’t already in use! AHS has divided the United States and Canada into 15 regions for purposes of connecting daylily lovers to clubs and to each other. All of the Loose Park garden’s daylilies are registered by hybridizers in Region 11 (Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma) some who are Mo-Kan members. The AHS website is an excellent source for learning more about daylilies: Here are descriptions of some of the cultivars (pictured opposite page) growing in this garden, including hybridizer, year of registration, scape height, and bloom size.

11. Topguns Arkansas Traveler Scott-B., 2004; 39/5.5; burgundy red with chalk eye above green throat 12. MoKan Prize Lenington-G., 1985; 36/5.25; rose red self with gold throat

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Gayle Yelenik is Coordinator of the Mo-Kan Loose Park plant sale. Contributors to this article were Mary Niemeyer and Carl Hamilton, Mo-Kan Daylily Society officers. You may contact Gayle at: gyel@

We hope you can visit our display garden during summer bloom time! Our annual plant sale at Loose Park is on Saturday, August 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Garden Center Building, 51st

1. Bonanza-1954 Ferrick,1954; 34/6; orange yellow self

3. Tom Collier Purdum-Collier, 2006; 25/5.5; lavender pink blend with raspberry eye and yellow halo

and Wornall Road, Kansas City, Missouri. Many of the daylilies growing in our display garden will be divided to go in the sale this year. Please check Mo-Kan Daylily Society Facebook in early August for a list and pictures of many of the plants that will be available.

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Butterflies and Bees Love These Rudbeckia

Susan Mertz


hen the butterfly fluttered by, what captured your interest? The beautiful pattern on the wings? The determination to fly on a windy day? When my son was quite small, my parents bought him Eric Carle’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It quickly became a family favorite and soon our garden included plants for butterflies. Today, the focus on pollinators is introducing butterflies, bees and gardening to people of all ages. The press and social media sites are full of posts about various threats to the monarch butterfly migration and the diminishing honeybee population. Both novice and experienced gardeners feel compelled to include plants that may make a difference. Gardeners should avoid the use of chemicals in their lawn and gardens. Gardens have trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials and annuals to provide shelter, nesting places and nectar. A shallow dish with water and rocks or a puddle is included too. Selecting a wide variety of nectar and hosts plants that do well in our region without a lot of pampering is important. Bees are primarily attracted to flowers that are bright white, yellow, blue or UV. Butterflies prefer bright colors including red and purple. Both like plants with wide, shallow landing pads. Bees also like tubular flowers. We have many plants to choose from when designing gardens that are beneficial to pollinators. Here are a few to consider: Asclepias (milkweed) is a favorite of gardeners wanting to help Monarch butterflies. A decline

of milkweed plants may be a contributing factor to the decline of the Monarch population. Female Monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed plants. Ingested by caterpillars, the toxic milkweed plant makes the adult butterflies poisonous and helps protect them from them from their prey. In addition to being a host plant, Asclepias tuberosa has bright orange flowers that provide nectar for pollinators. It can be a bit tricky to transplant and grow thanks to the long taproot but, once established, will reseed and multiply. Aster flowers late in the season, a favorite of many types of butterflies and bees and also a host plant for caterpillars. The simple purple flowers have yellow button centers. New England Aster matures large but can be kept in check with pruning in the spring or select one of the newer varieties. ‘Professor Anton Kippenburg’ is a popular selection that matures 12-18” x 12-18”. Asters prefer sites with moist soil and full sun. Buddleia (butterfly bush) has large, fragrant flowers during the summer months that attract both butterflies and bees. Lo & Behold® ‘Purple Haze’ matures 2’-3’ x 3’ making it ideal for mixed borders. ‘Miss Ruby’ and ‘Miss Molly’ both have bright magenta flowers and mature 4-5’ x 4-5’. Flutterby Petite® ‘Tutti Frutti’, also with magenta flowers, matures just 2’ x 1-2’. Flutterby® Pink is a compact variety that is sterile, non-invasive. Butterfly bushes should be cut back in late spring; they flower on new wood. Caryopteris (bluebeard) is a pollinator shrub that flowers late summer into fall, beneficial to both butterflies and bees. ‘Dark Knight’ has dark blue flowers and matures 2-3’ x 2-3’. Petit Bleu™ is a bit more compact in size. Sunshine Blue® is a good choice for a garden that receives morning sun and

afternoon shade. The golden foliage and blue flowers are a beautiful combination; matures 2-3’ x 2-2’. Caryopteris dies back in the winter, prune in mid to late spring. Echinacea (coneflower) has landing pad flowers, rich in nectar, that butterflies love. A native prairie plant, it adapts well to our soils and extreme weather. Breeders are developing coneflowers in a variety of colors and sizes though ‘Magnus’ continues to be popular. Leave the seed heads on through the winter for the birds. Eupatorium (Joe-pye weed) is a great choice for the back of the border in a pollinator garden. It matures quite large, 5-6’ tall. For smaller gardens, try ‘Baby Joe’. Maturing at 2-3’ x 1-2’ it plays nice with the other plants in the landscape and is easier to work into the design. Joe-pye weed flowers midsummer to early fall. Leave the seed heads on for winter interest. Liatris (blazing star) is another perennial native to the prairie making it easy to grow in our gardens. From the base of grass-like blades, tall spikes grow, flowering from the top to bottom. Both butterflies and bees are attracted to the nectar rich summer flowers. Liatris phychnostachya (Prairie Blazing Star) grows quite tall reaching almost 5’. ‘Kobold’ matures 2’ tall. Monarda (bee balm) grows tall and is also a bit aggressive. Fortunately, breeders have worked with it and ‘Petite Delight’ is a good choice for gardeners who would normally shy away from Monarda and would miss out on a great plant. It matures 12-16” x 12-18” and flowers mid to late summer. Monarda does best in moist, rich soil; keep deadheaded to promote a longer season of flowers. Nepeta (catmint) has tubular flower spikes late spring and summer that are a favorite of bees. Catmint is easy to grow and tolerates tough conditions of low mois-

ture and full sun. Little Trudy® is a compact catmint that matures 10-12” x 12-18”. Periodic pruning throughout the season will help keep the plant tidy and encourage repeat flowering. Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) flowers have golden yellow petals with a dark eye and are rich in nectar. The taller rudbeckias that grow in our prairies include orange coneflower Rudbeckia fulgida var. umbrosa and Rudbeckia hirta. ‘Goldstrum’ is a popular midheight variety. ‘Little Goldstar’ has disease resistant foliage and matures 15” x 15”. Birds appreciate the seed in late fall and winter. Sedum is a plant that has been passed along from one gardener to another for generations. It’s easy to grow, tolerates dry soil and loves full sun. ‘Autumn Joy’ is a traditional favorite and the flowers are open at the time of the Monarch migration. There are numerous varieties of sedums available in a range of height and foliage color with flowers that are attractive to butterflies. Solidago (goldenrod) shouldn’t be confused with ragweed. Though it flowers at the same time late in the season, the pollen of goldenrod doesn’t attack people prone to allergies. The fragrant yellow flowers are loaded with nectar and are beneficial to both bees and butterflies. ‘Little Lemon’ is a compact form that matures 12-15” x 12-15”. Powell Gardens Festival of Butterflies is July 31-August 2 and August 7-9. There will be displays, educational exhibits, a costume parade and storytelling. I bet there will be a very hungry caterpillar somewhere in the garden and butterflies fluttering by too. Susan Mertz, Garden Writer and Director of Marketing at Loma Vista Nursery. Join her for tours and photographs of gardens at

The Kansas City Gardener | August 2015


Think outside – no box required when you visit the wildly innovative gardens of Hoot Owl Hill.

Enjoy the symphony of sounds at Run Amok Farm. Only the rabbit is quiet.

Country Gardens Celebrate Early Fall By Sipora Coffelt


ark your calendars for September 11 and 12 to spend a day at the Tour de Flora, a biennial Miami County garden tour, sponsored by Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners. This unusual autumn tour promises six spectacular and unique country gardens. Animals and bees your thing? What about garden art? English estate your style? Long to visit a French vineyard? Got a yen for horses? Or

maybe you’d like to walk in the wild side. Tour de Flora has it all! This month, we feature three gardens around Paola and Louisburg. Run Amok 31622 Oak Grove Road Paola, KS 66071 In 1989, the historic Wellsville train depot was moved to this property and re-purposed as a home. Now you’ll find a special sanctuary for many animals including goats,

CLASSIC STATUARY Greater Kansas City Iris Society Plant Sale Saturday, August 22 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Hoot Owl Hill 30750 Osawatomie Road Paola, KS 66071 Already a well-known event destination, Hoot Owl Hill’s modern log farmhouse perches atop a hill overlooking vineyards, colorful flower beds and 20 raised beds of vegetables. Extensive garden art, especially Brenda’s Hypertufa sculptures, mingle with plantings, many selected for their wildlife value since this is a certified butterfly and pollinator garden. Rows of Zinnias and containers of mixed flowers and foliage add brilliant focal points throughout the gardens, which also include four wheelbarrow fairy gardens, fountains and frogs. Espaliered

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August 2015 |

be presented throughout both days and visitors can purchase Hostas supplied by Made in the Shade Gardens.

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Trailside Center 99th & Holmes, KCMO New and historic varieties of iris grown by local members will be offered for sale. Members will be available to answer questions on growing iris.

ducks, guinea fowl, chickens and pea fowl. To safeguard bees and butterflies, Run Amok is pesticidefree and certified as a Monarch Waystation, Pollinator Garden and Butterfly Garden. Plants are chosen for their medicinal and/or nectar value rather than traditional beauty, while structures and hardscapes define the property. A large fountain in the front yard and multiple outdoor entertaining areas greet visitors. An impressive newly-constructed lake invites relaxing with friends or a good book. Raised beds outline the growing areas with vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants. Whether gardening, tending the bees and animals, or just sitting by the lake with a book, Run Amok offers tranquil surroundings at one with nature. Workshops about pesticide-free gardening and beekeeping for the home gardener will


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Art rules while plants play a supporting role at Blue Door Garden. fruit trees provide more touches of whimsy with tea cup “fruits” on the structures. Nearby herbs and flowers are contained by metal trellises and bed frames. In the distance, the Glamping tents loom like pastel mountains. The gardens also convey a Zen feeling with special spots for quiet reflection. A stroll in the Meditation Meadow filled with native plants brings one closer to nature. You can purchase natural lotions and soaps crafted by Brenda and Steve on site. Butterfly gardening workshops will be offered throughout the two days. The Blue Door 903 North Broadway Louisburg, KS 66053 Would you know what to do with twenty tractor seats or an old sink? Donna knows! Art rules while plants play a supporting role at Blue Door Garden. Here you’ll see sculpture and artistic vignettes designed from wood, rusty metal, and other found objects. Brilliantly colored flowers abound: tin flowers, wooden flowers, wire flowers, flowers made from discarded paint can lids. Live flowers fill unusual large containers crafted from recycled and up-cycled objects.

Antique appliances and furniture become sculptures when Donna’s imagination and spray paint are applied. Dead trees are resurrected as bottle trees and an old pickup truck is the ultimate raised bed for flowers and vegetables. Multiple garden rooms nestle under giant sycamores, inviting nostalgic visitors to sit and admire household items from their childhood re-purposed as art. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped with Alice into a Steampunk Wonderland. Art, the ultimate focal point, adds another kind of visual enjoyment in a garden. Several yard art artists will be selling their sculptures and workshops on “Using Imagination to Create Garden Art” will be offered throughout both days. TO VISIT THESE GARDENS Ticket cost is $10 per visitor (no pets or strollers, please). Gardens open at 9 a.m. each day and close at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 11 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 12. A map of the area plus driving directions from 68 Highway and from garden to garden will be available. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Paola Extension Office, 104 South Brayman or at any of the six gardens during the tour. If you have questions, call the Extension Office at 913-2944306, refer to our website at http:// aspx?tabid=157, or visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook. com/events/1595240960755532/

Apply Now to join the Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardener Class of 2015

Master Gardener candidates do not have to be gardening experts to enter the program. Some first hand knowledge of gardening basics is helpful but not required. Extension Master Gardeners are members of this community who have traded K-State classroom training for volunteer time. The group is vast in their horticultural interests. For some they want to know how to improve their lawn, for others it’s all about the flowers or veggies. Whatever your horticultural interest.... you will find someone within the group that shares it. Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 8th thru Nov. 3rd $125 fee for MG training & resource materials Master Gardener candidates receive over 40 hours of basic horti*1 field. All are culture training. Courses are taught by the experts inOFF their 5E Series K-State Research & Extension Specialists or other qualified profession5045E and 5055E ––morning OR –– and one afternoon als. Each Tuesday’s training includes one MFWD, 2015 mod class. Contact us for a list of course topics. for Applications are available at the Wyandotte County Extension months financing Office, 1216 N. 79th Street, Kansas City, Call Lynn –– KS. –– ANDQuestions? Loughary, 913-299-9300. OFF Application deadline: September 1, 2015.Implement Bonus*1







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Sipora Coffelt is a Master Gardener with the Marais des Cygnes Extension District and a blogger at

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12902 SHAWNEE MISSION PKWY Reynolds lawn &SHAWNEE, leisuReKS , i66216 nc. www.reynoldsll.c 913-268-4288 12902 shawnee 12902 Mission Pkwy, shawnee, ks SHAWNEE MISSION PKWY 913-268-4288 SHAWNEE, KS 66216 Prices and models may vary by dealer. Manufacturer suggested list913-268-4288 price at $2,499 on S240 Sport, $1,499 on D105 and $2,499 on Z235. Prices are suggested retail prices only and are subject to change without notice at any time. Dealer may sell for less. Shown with optional equipment not included in the price. Attachments

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and implements sold separately. Available at participating dealers. *The engine horsepower and torque information are provided by the engine manufacturer to be used for comparison purposes only. Actual operating horsepower and torque will be less. Refer to the engine manufacturer’s website for additional information. **Term limited to years or hours used, whichever comes first, and varies by model. See the LIMITED WARRANTY FOR NEW JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY EQUIPMENT at and for details. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol and § Prices DEERE and models may vary byofdealer. JOHN are trademarks Deere Manufacturer & Company. suggested list price at $2,499 on S240 Sport, $1,499 on D105 and $2,499 on Z235. Prices are suggested retail prices only and are subject to change without notice at any time. Dealer may sell for less. Shown with optional equipment not included in the price. Attachments and implements sold separately. Available at participating dealers. *The engine horsepower and torque information are provided by the engine manufacturer to be used for comparison purposes only. Actual operating horsepower A0D03KKCU2A62195and torque will be less. Refer to the engine manufacturer’s website for additional information. **Term limited to years or hours used, whichever comes first, and varies by model. See the LIMITED WARRANTY FOR NEW JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY EQUIPMENT at and for details. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol and JOHN DEERE are trademarks of Deere & Company. A0D03KKCU2A62195-

The Kansas City Gardener | August 2015


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Aeration and Dead Zones Creating a Healthier Water Garden

Diane Swan


n an effort to understand more about our water garden’s ecosystem, let’s explore what dead zones are and how we can ‘fix’ them with aeration. A great designed water feature has clear water, healthy fish and looks natural in its setting. Toxic conditions caused by dead zones can ruin this effect and overall quality of your water garden. A ‘dead zone’ can be a small part of your pond or most of the pond, which is an area of the pond with very low oxygen levels. Fish and aquatic plants will stress in areas of low oxygen. Stressed fish are more susceptible to diseases and parasites. Low oxygen levels can hurt your ecosystem and the beneficial bacteria and invertebrates that live in the pond. These help to keep ammonia and nitrate levels low. High levels of ammonia and nitrate can endanger your fish. Evidence of ‘dead zones’ can be identified with:

1. Clarity of water. From pea green water caused by single-celled algae to a white/greyish sheen caused by dead matter such as bacteria and invertebrates suspended in the water. (To clarify, pea-greensoup-looking water is not always a sign of a dead zone, as it can also be simply a new pond or newly cleaned pond that hasn’t had a chance to be established yet. In this case adding beneficial bacteria can speed up the colonization and restore balance to your pond.) 2. Excess mat-forming algae. Grows in dead zones where slow moving water has excess nutrients. 3. Smelly water. This is almost like rotten eggs. The water of your feature should not have an offensive odor. It should smell like just plain water. 4. Buildup of organic matter in the bottom of the pond can deplete the oxygen as it decays. Toxic gases can accumulate in these areas. 5. Fish gasping for air. Check in the early morning as this is when oxygen levels are usually the lowest. Plants use up oxygen overnight, but they produce oxygen during the day. 6. The pump is shut off for parts of the winter. No surface oxygen is being produced by the waterfalls and/or streams during this season.


Tour de Flora 2015

Now that you have these guidelines for figuring out a potential ‘dead zone’, you’ll need a way of improving these areas. Check the circulation rate of your pump. Improve circulation by using the appropriate size pump for your water feature. Water should circulate at least once or, ideally, twice an hour. Adding aeration to these ‘dead zones’ or quiet areas will reduce these zones and improve pond clarity and ecosystem. Dissolved oxygen aids greatly to water quality. Aerators can be used all year round and in the winter, help keep an air hole in the ice. Fish and plants thrive with more oxygen. Aerobic beneficial bacteria needs oxygen to live and to decompose organic matter on the bottom of the pond. Natural aeration comprises both sub-surface and surface aeration.

Welcome to the biennial njoy your day in the country while learning about the wide variety of rural gardens. Informational workshops will be offered at each garden. Look for garden related items for sale!

Saturday, September 12 9 AM to 4 PM For information call 913-294-4306 Visit us at Like us on Facebook


August 2015 |

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


Miami County Garden Tour

E Friday, September 11 9 AM to 6 PM

Sub-surface aquatic plants such as oxygenators release oxygen into the water. Surface aeration occurs with waterfalls and streams, gathering oxygen as it falls and flows, bringing it to the pond’s surface. The fine bubbles created by the diffusers of aeration systems transfer oxygen from the bottom of the pond to the surface. These fine bubbles created add high percentages of oxygen and release most of their oxygen at the bottom as the bubbles are formed. The added benefit is that the toxic gases on the bottom of the pond are carried to the surface with these bubbles and released into the air. Airstones can be placed on the bottom of the pond and also any other place you have found that are your areas that are more prone to a ‘dead zone’. Gauge the size of the aerator to the size and needs of your pond. There are many sizes available. Introducing more oxygen will result in a healthier ecosystem for your fish, aquatic plants and all the little creatures of the pond, and rid your pond of dreaded ‘dead zones’.

• Tickets $10 per visitor • Tickets available at each garden day of tour, and at Miami County Extension Office, Hillsdale Bank BBQ and Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery in advance and during the tour • Begin your tour at any garden • Directions to the next nearest site available at each location • Wear comfortable shoes • No pets or strollers please • Restrooms available at After Hours Farm and Hoot Owl Hill

Tall T

24975 Old KC Rd., Paola

Blue Door

903 N. Broadway, Louisburg

After Hours Farm

34135 W. 255th St., Paola

Run Amok

31622 Oak Grove, Paola

Hoot Owl Hill

• Hillsdale Bank BBQ | 201 Frisco, Hillsdale | 913-783-4333

30750 Osawatomie Rd., Paola

• Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery | 29725 Somerset Rd., Paola | 913-491-0038

The Wild Woods

30133 W. Maple Ln., Spring Hill

$200 Do-It-Yourself Design Special Basic design package includes: Site Consultation, Front Landscape Design, Installation Consultation.

Aug. 11 (8/11) serves as convenient reminder for Kansas & Missouri residents to



ansas 811 and Missouri One-Call encourage people to make a free call 3 working days before digging to know what’s below. With Aug. 11 almost here, Kansas 811 and Missouri OneCall hope this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Every eight minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which will identify affected member utility companies, who will then send professional locators to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large

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or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting. “On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Max Pendergrass, Public Relations Coordinator for Kansas 811, “It really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area.” 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. Visit, www., or www.mo1call. com for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

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

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

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August 2015 |

Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, Aug 18, 1pm; at the United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, 425 W Morse Ave, Bonner Springs, KS. Donna Schneck, National Garden Clubs, Inc. Master Flower Show Judge will lead a flower arranging and floral design workshop. Bring your flowers, vases, tools, and materials (if you have them - there should be some extra materials to cover those who don’t). We will practice making floral designs. We’ll be collecting canned goods for the Vaughn-Trent food bank. The meeting is free and visitors are most welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call Ruth Pleak at 913-728-2806. Garden Club of Shawnee Thurs, Aug 6, 7pm; at Old Shawnee Town Hall, 11600 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS. This will be a birdhouse-building workshop led by garden club member Greg Hall. Visitors are welcome to come and observe. Refreshments will be served, and nifty door prizes will be given out. For more information about our club visit our website: www.gardenclubofshawnee. org or visit us on Facebook. Greater Kansas City Bonsai Society Sat, Aug 15, 10:30am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. Come visit with members. 816-513-8590 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Aug 2; join us for a field trip, 13134 Sycamore, Grandview, MO. Instead of holding a meeting at Loose Park, we will be taking a field trip! The tour was a huge hit last year and we have been invited to return! The tour will be at Bernand Lohkamp’s garden. Bernard has planted over 100 dahlias this season, and has graciously invited anyone interested in growing dahlias to the tour. If you have questions about the event please contact Bernard at 816-763-7526 or GKC Gardeners of America Mon, Aug 3, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 GKC Herb Study Group Wed, Aug 12, noon; in the Rose Room of Loose Park Garden Center, 52nd and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Herbalist, Marc Sramek, of Heartland Nursery, will be bringing several different types of lavender to show

and share his wealth of knowledge on growing and harvesting lavender. Then Elizabeth Jaeger, Young Living Specialist, will be sharing the use of lavender essential oil for our health and wellness. Our President, Herbalist and Director of Gardens of Delight, will show us how to make a lavender body mist. We know that the use of lavender improves memory, so don’t forget to mark your calendars for this free event. Members are asked to bring a dessert, (lavender if possible) for a Dessert Bar, nothing but dessert to entice the tummy. We invite you to join us in learning and enjoying some yummy desserts. Visitors are warmly received and most welcomed. Please let us know if you will be joining us by responding to Barbara, at 816-523-3702 or Charlotte at Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Aug 15, 10am-12:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Sep 12, Hospitality is planned at 9am, program to follow at 10am after a short business meeting; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St (67th & Roe), Prairie Village, KS. “Why are the Hostas on the Other Side of the Fence Always Greener & Bigger?” will be presented by Clarence (CH) Falstad, Zeeland, MI. CH has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Illinois. CH has served as President and Vice President of the American Hosta Society and AHS Scientific Chair. He has introduced over 50 hostas, including ‘Regal Splendor’ and ‘Northern Exposure’. There will be a potluck luncheon following the program, with meat and drink provided by the club. You may bring a dish to share. There will be Hellebores & Hostas available for purchase, as well as lots of nice door prizes. Guests are always welcome, come and bring a friend! Info: Gwen 816-213-0598 or 816-228-9308. Independence Garden Club Mon, Aug 10, 6:30pm; at the Sermon Center, corner of Noland and Truman Rds, 4th floor, Independence, MO. Visitors are welcome, and refreshments will be served. For more information, call 816-373-1169 or 816-812-3067. Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Aug 13, 7pm; at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720

Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. What are the different scents of roses? How can I select the best roses for my garden? Are there any secret tips for growing beautiful roses? The Johnson County Rose Society will help you find answers to these questions. The program will focus on the fragrances of roses and selecting roses for our gardens. Sharing of personal ‘tips’ will also be a topic, so members and guests are encouraged to bring special tricks they have learned about growing and caring for their roses to share with the group. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the ‘Consulting Rosarians Corner’ – a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian. Bring your questions and concerns about any aspect of growing and caring for roses! The Consulting Rosarians will also give timely tips about caring for roses ‘This Month In The Rose Garden’. For more information about the meetings, programs and other activities of the Johnson County Rose Society, visit their website at You can also find them on Facebook at JoCoRoses. KC Garden Club Mon, Aug 3, 10am-12:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Aug 12, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS. Anne Wildeboor will give a presentation about various annuals that work best in the Midwest climate. The meeting is free, and visitors are welcome. For more information call Brianna Terrell at 913-2404571. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Aug 11, 7-8pm; Garden Tour. Request details at Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Aug 15, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Aug 18, 12:30pm; at Bass Pro Shop, 119th St and I-35. The program will be on floral arrangements. The speaker will be Christina Burton Fox of the Flower Classroom. The public is encouraged to attend. Anyone interested in entering an arrangement in the upcoming flower show should plan on attending this meeting. Any questions, please call Joan Shriver at 913-492-3566.

Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Aug 10, 7pm; at Colonial Church, 71st and Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Mae Christenson, Johnson County Master Gardener, will present the program. The title is “Why Buy Organic”. Organic gardening is beyond practicing chemical free gardening; it requires knowledge and wisdom to keep nature in balance. What does “buying organic” mean to us and what impacts this decision has to our environment. Please join us for a stimulating discussion about how through gardening organically, and eating organic food, we can change the world to be better for everyone. The public is invited to join us for this interesting and stimulating program. For further information or questions, please contact Sallie Wiley 913-236-5193. Raytown Garden Club Tues, Aug 4, 10am; at Raytown Christian Church, 6108 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO. Kelsey Jeter, Nutritionist with MU Extension Services, will present the program ‘Preserving the Harvest: Jams & Jellies’. Visitors are welcome, and refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 816-257-0049 or visit our website at www.sites. Santa Fe Trail Garden Club Wed, Aug 12, 4pm; at 10720 Cedar Niles Circle, Olathe, KS. Our speaker will be Christina from Beaver Enterprises in Merriam KS, and she will give us a talk on ‘What plants to grow to save energy’. Please come join us, but call Jean Tinberg at 913-9088815, so we can plan for your attendance. A light dinner will be served.

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Events, Lectures & Classes August Bim Willow Sat, Aug 1, 8am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Join us as we welcome Master Furniture Builder, Bim Willow, bending fresh willow into heirlooms. Come with a hammer, pruning shears and gloves and leave with a beautiful piece created by you. Class fee varies based on project selected. Regular admission applies. Register online at www.opabg. org. 913-685-3604 Wine Tasting on the Terrace Thur, Aug 6, 6-8pm; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Join us and Lukas Liquors for the fourth wine tasting of the season. They will (continued on page 20)


Wendy Hix 913.481.5416 • Tate Foster 913.406.6804 The Kansas City Gardener | August 2015


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August 2015 |

(continued from page 19)

showcase some of their specialty wines in our lovely garden setting. $25 per person. Register online at www.opabg. org. 913-685-3604 Hot Summer Days Fri, Aug 7, 10am-noon; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Kids can run through the ‘kid car wash’, use frozen sidewalk chalk, toss water balloons and more. A lot of wet fun. Dress the kids in their swimsuit and bring a towel. No registration required. Included with admission. 913-6853604 Watercolor Workshop Sat, Aug 15, 9:30am-3:30pm; Powell Gardens. Learn a pouring technique and build confidence with masking and brush work. There will be demonstrations and individual instruction. Learn how to bring out the background using negative spaces along with positive rendering. A supply list will be mailed upon registration. $45/person, $37/ member. Registration required Aug 10. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Critter Control for Urban Gardens Thurs, Aug 20, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: ‘Critter Control for Urban Gardens’. Why do you garden? Why do you plant hostas and coneflowers, build fishponds, grow tomatoes? Does it ever seem that you garden merely to furnish tender greens to rabbits and deer, improve the diets of raccoons and herons or provide that one bite of a tomato before a squirrel tosses it to the ground? Do not despair, most gardeners have issues with critters. Whether it is a small animal like a mole, squirrel, raccoon or rabbit, or a large creature like a deer, animals are all around us and have learned how to eat from our yards and gardens. With so many products on the market and numerous home remedies that claim to deter everything from snakes to deer, how do we determine what really works? Nuisance wildlife is with us to stay and will continue to love our gardens as much as we do. Our best defense is to be creative and outsmart these unwelcome visitors. If you’ve tried all the standard solutions and you are still dealing with problem critters, it’s time to hear from an expert. Todd Meese,

Missouri Department of Conservation Wildlife Biologist, helps homeowners looking for solutions. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456 or see the Master Gardeners’ website at www.mggkc. org, our new blog at or the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Facebook page. Mo-Kan Daylily Society Annual Plant Sale Sat, Aug 22, 8:30am-4pm: at the Loose Park Garden Center Bldg, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. There will be hundreds of different cultivars in a variety of color, patterns, heights, bloom size and forms, including singles, doubles, spiders, and unusual forms. Plants will be sold as bare root, clumps, or potted. Pictures of the plants will be available to help in your selection. There will also be a table containing daylilies that have been introduced within the last seven years. These plants will be potted for easier identification. A new addition for sale this year will be plants that have been growing in the Mo-Kan Daylily Society display garden, at Loose Park daylily display garden. These plants will also be potted. Club members will be available to answer questions and help customers in their selection. A display will be set up to show how to plant a daylily along with planting guide handouts for buyers to take home with their purchase. We invite all gardeners and those new to gardening to visit our sale. Daylilies are a beautiful addition to any garden. Greater Kansas City Iris Society Plant Sale Sat, Aug 22, 10am-4pm; at the Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes, Kansas City, MO. Hundreds of locally grown iris varieties for sale including many you may have admired at the Loose Park iris garden. Purchase $100 or more of plants and receive a complimentary 1 year electronic membership in the American Iris Society. Come early for best selection! For more information, visit, or call 913-4062709. Jazz in the Roses Sun, Aug 30, 4:30-6:30pm; at Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden, Loose Park, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64112. Bring your family, friends, picnics and listen to ‘The Grand Marquis.’ Free and open to the public.

September Floral Photography Sat, Sep 1, 9am-1noon; at Powell Gardens. Discover techniques to turn your average images into spectacular shots. Learn to use composition and lighting for stunning black and white as well as color images. This workshop includes both in class work and hands-on training in the field. Students need a 35mm SLR camera capable of full manual – film or digital. $42/person, $35/member. Registration required Sep 7. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Tour de Flora 2015 Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners Fri, Sep 11 and Sat, Sep 12. This fall garden tour will take you through the rolling hills of Miami County, Kansas, to see six gardens that exemplify country living at its best. Each garden was selected to demonstrate the marriage of form and function. Ticket cost is $10 per visitor. Gardens open at 9am each day and close at 6pm on Fri and 4pm on Sat. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Paola Extension Office, 104 South Brayman, 913-294-4306. During the tour, tickets may be purchased at any of the six gardens, Hillsdale Bank BBQ and Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery. The addresses are: 903 N Broadway, Louisburg; 31622 Oak Grove Rd, Paola; 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola; 24975 Old KC Rd, Paola; 30133 W Maple Ln, Spring Hill; 34135 W 255th St, Paola. More information is posted on our website at, or visit us on Facebook Sketch Crawl Sat, Sep 12, 9am-12:30pm; at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Enjoy a morning of creating art in the many lovely gardens

Rose Report

at the Arboretum. Bring your own art supplies, learn from each other, share your work, and enjoy the surroundings. Included with admission. Register online at, 913-685-3604 Dinner on the Prairie Fri, Sep 18, 6:30-9:30pm; at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Revel in an atmosphere of the late 1800s with horse drawn wagons, camp fires, hay bales, and an abundance of Kansas prairie grass while enjoying all of the modern conveniences which together, will create a memorable experience for all... cocktails, entertainment, fine dining and a beautiful Kansas landscape. $150 per person. Register online at www.opabg. org, 913-685-3604 Full Moon Walk Fri, Sep 25, noon-4pm; at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. The full moon will light the paths. Star gazing, nighttime sights and sounds. Bring the family and flashlights. No registration required. Included with admission. 913-685-3604

October Bonfires of Autumn Sat, Oct 3, 4-6pm. This fall event, presented by the Northland Garden Club, features the gardens of two Missouri master gardeners. These gardens have been designed to carry the garden season into the fall through the selection of plants, who perform in the late summer and early fall. Not your ordinary planting of mums, these gardens use native plants, color, and design to insure the longest possible garden season. Tickets are $10 each, and include a fall beverage, seed packets and creative ideas. Advanced reservations required, and may be obtained by calling Dee West, 816-455-4013. Check the website at for further details.

Promote your gardening events! Send information to:

The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail: Deadline for September issue is August 5.

Charles Anctil


his is an excerpt from an article I read in the ARS magazine: Approaches to Reducing the Amount of Water for Your Roses. Water all the roses and mark the date on your calendar. Then wait and watch. When the roses start to droop, note the date, count back the number of days to when you last watered, then subtract one day. This should be how often you need to water. Repeat this occasionally and you will likely see you will need to water less and less as the roots push deeper into the earth – let the rose tell you when it’s thirsty. Here’s an update on coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are

packed with good nutrients. A guaranteed analysis from the Soil and Plant Laboratory Inc in Bellevue, Washington found that the grounds from Starbucks coffee contained 2.28% nitrogen, 0.06% phosphorus and 0.6% potassium. Magnesium and copper were also found in the grounds. To get the most benefits mix the coffee grounds into the soil. Avoid depositing thick layers on top, because coffee compacts easily and can form a water barrier. Coffee grounds reduce soil compaction, improves aeration, decreases insect breeding in the soil and increases the production of worms. Find a copy of American Rose, July/August 2014, page 65, “What Gets Ground Must Come Up”, by Jim and Starla Harding. Have fun! Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. Call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-233-1223.

Dinner on the Prairie

Fri., Sep. 18 at The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens


xperience a unique fall evening in the enchanting country side of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Join us on Fri., Sep. 18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for the second annual Dinner on the Prairie extravaganza. Revel in a late 1800’s atmosphere which includes period music, regionally crafted wine, beer, and sipping whiskey, horse drawn wagons, hundreds of hay bales, and, of course, an abundance of Kansas prairie grass. The gourmet cuisine, prepared by Relish Catering & Merriment, consists of wood-grilled pork tenderloin and free-range Amish chicken breast served with a yellow onion, green apple, and raisin chutney; grilled asparagus with lemon zest, roasted red peppers, julienne carrots, seasoned leeks, and wild mushrooms; a

side plate of pickled beets, zucchini, patty pan squash, and freshly baked biscuits and butter; and a delicious cinnamon apple crumble with caramel drizzle for dessert. Additional details of this annual event are available on our website, Purchase tickets online for $150 each at (click on the Classes and Events button). Seating is limited and tickets are non-refundable. The event is sponsored by Friends of the Arboretum and the proceeds benefit the Arboretum’s prairie restoration project. In the event of bad weather, the event will be held in the Arboretum Visitor Center. If the weather is questionable, please call Paulette Crawford, 816-888-0225, after 2 p.m. Thurs., Sep. 17, to ask for the location of the event.

The Kansas City Gardener | August 2015



garden calendar


• Water bluegrass if needed to keep green, one to two times per week, applying a total of about 1 1/2 inches. • Water tall fescue if needed to keep green, one to two times per week, applying a total of 1 inch. • Apply the last application of fertilizer to zoysia by mid-month. • Be on the lookout for grubs and apply proper control methods. • Start planning for fall renovation projects like aerating and seeding. • Check sharpness of mower blade and repair. • Mow turf as needed depending on summer growth. • Treat unwanted zoysia and Bermuda grass. • Take a soil test to determine fertility program.


• Apply 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water per week to gardens. • Divide iris and daylilies during dormant period. • Make last application of fertilizer to roses by mid-month. • Control black spot and other rose diseases. • Fertilize mums, hardy asters and other fall blooming perennials. • Deadhead annuals to encourage late season blooms. • Cut back and fertilize annuals to produce new growth and fall blooms. • Sow hollyhocks, poppies and larkspur for spring blooms. • Prepare for fall bulb planting by researching varieties and placing your orders. • Take cuttings from geraniums and begonias for wintering indoors.


• Plant a fall garden, beets, carrots, beans and turnips for autumn harvest.

• Water about 1 inch per week. • Plant transplants of broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage for fall production. • Harvest crops on a regular basis for season-long production. • Ease fruit loads on branches by propping with wooden supports. • Net ripening fruit to protect from hungry birds. • Fertilize strawberry bed for added flower bud development. • Turn compost pile and add water when dry. • Keep weeds under control to reduce problems next year.


• Water young trees every one to two weeks by deeply soaking the root system. • Prune and shape hedges. • Check mulch layer and replenish. • Prune broken, dead or crossing limbs for healthier plants. • Check young trees and shrubs for girdling wires and ropes for planting. • Avoid fertilizing ornamentals now so they harden off before winter. • Remove bagworms by handpicking.


• Water summered houseplants regularly and fertilize to promote growth. • Check plants for insects such as scales, aphids and spider mites. Treat if needed. • Wash plants to remove dust layer. • Make cuttings and repot plants before summer sun slips away.

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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• Archive Issues to review • Garden Destinations to visit for inspiration • Garden Groups to join • Find a Professional for your project • Timely Articles on plants and people

Don’t Miss a Single Issue! The Ka nsa s City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

For convenient mail delivery, complete the form below and send with your check for $25.00. You will receive a one-year subscription to The Kansas City Gardener. Name: Address: City, State, Zip: Phone: E-mail: Where did you pick up The Kansas City Gardener? Please enclose your check payable to The Kansas City Gardener and mail with this form to: P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 The Kansas City Gardener is published monthly Jan. through Dec.

Joe Zarda, Aquatic Plant Manager for Water’s Edge in Lawrence Familiar face in gardening community: Joe Zarda began working weekends and summers for Family Tree Nurseries at age 16 and continued on as a full-timer after graduating from high school. During that 15-year tenure he worked at all 3 stores, gaining a multitude of skills in customer service and retailing, along with the production and care of all kinds of plants. He has also completed several horticulture classes at JCCC. Passage to ponding: Moving to Lawrence in 2013, he joined the Water’s Edge staff but his experience with ponds and aquatic plants began long before that. He and his father built a backyard water garden when he was 12. According to Joe, they “did it all wrong”, but loved it anyway. He credits one of his early supervisors, Ed Bowers for much of his knowledge about aquatic plants. Ed had 11 water gardens in his own yard including small tubs of Lotus and Thalia. A true mentor, Ed directed Joe to numerous books on the subject and taught him the value of independent research. With this coaching Joe assumed responsibility for the purchase, display and sales of aquatic plants and fish at the FTN stores. Creative professional: One of Joe’s special talents is the ability to combine plants for beautiful displays. Whether it be a combo pot for the pond, a floating island or a free-standing container garden, his knowledge of the plant material in terms of growth habit, water depth requirements, bloom cycle and an eye for strong foliage contrast leads to gorgeous results. He also makes sure his customers understand how to care for their plants through their first season and beyond. Favorite plants include: Hydrocotyle ran. ‘Crystal Ball’ which is a new variegated pennywort that spreads nicely but is not too invasive. Marsilea mutica the four-leaf clover that brings good luck to every pool or wet spot and provides bees with an easy perch for grabbing a drink from dense lily-like floating leaves. Zephyranthes candida aka Rain Lilies which have white crocus like blooms through summer and fall peeping through short, glossy-green, grass-like foliage. Things every prospective pond-keeper should know: When adding a pond to your landscape, consider the function – especially the role of fish and plants in developing a balanced ecosystem. Before grabbing a shovel, develop a plan that supports the types of plants and critters you want. Also understand the huge role that plant material can make in overall filtration and form. Contact information: Visit Joe at Water’s Edge, located at 9th & Indiana in Lawrence, open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday), call 785-841-6777 or email The Kansas City Gardener | August 2015


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Profile for The Kansas City Gardener

KCG 08AUG15  

butterflies, bees, pollinators, milkweed, rudbeckia, aster, echinacea, nepeta, solidago, daylily, call before you dig, ash tree, birds

KCG 08AUG15  

butterflies, bees, pollinators, milkweed, rudbeckia, aster, echinacea, nepeta, solidago, daylily, call before you dig, ash tree, birds