Page 1

The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

February 2013

A Collection of Cones

Lady of the Night Stock Pond Turned Lotus Garden Take Advantage of Mild Temperatures Ask the Experts: topsoil, tomatoes, pruning and more

Attention Homeowners! If you’re considering a water garden this year, here’s why Swan’s Water Gardens should be your company of choice. 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 prices. With so many companies just wanting to sell you their products for a price, then leave you alone to deal with the many mistakes that first time pond builders and Water Gardeners make.

We don’t think that’s right! When you entrust Swan’s Water Gardens with your business you get more than just the materials to build your pond. You get over 18 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. Your end result a “Water Garden Paradise”.

In search of the ultimate Water Garden After 18 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. We call it the “Four Seasons Water Garden” for good reason. It’s the water garden for all seasons not just for Summer. It’s there to enjoy all year long. The best part of the “Four Seasons Water Garden” is it’s guaranteed from leaking for 5 full years. The longest guarantee in the industry. 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, then we’re probably not the company you’re looking for.

Swan’s Water Garden Center Located on 2 acres dedicated to building and maintaining water gardens. This year promises to be very exciting with the new water garden additions we have planned. You’ll be able to see water features you can build for as little as $895 for small patios or courtyards. We also have many more display gardens ranging in price from $2,500 up to $40,000 for a more elaborate feature built by Swan’s Water Gardens. We also have many exciting events scheduled for 2013 so be sure to watch for them in the upcoming issues of The Kansas City Gardener. Remember, we are a full service water garden company that carries everything you’ll need to complete and enjoy your water garden lifestyle.

Swan’s Water Gardens • 20001 S. Padbury Lane, Spring Hill, KS 66083 • Call for appointment • 913-592-2143




HOW TO >> PELLETS: Add warm water, let them expand, then add 2-3 seeds per pellet. Cover with soil then a dome. Place in direct sunlight. Keep pellets moist, but don’t over water. Once seed sprouts remove dome & place in direct sunlight.

>> FEATURES & BENEFITS Peat allows plants to quickly develop a stronger, healthier root system

PEAT POTS OR CELLS: Best to place in water tray & add Jiffy Seed Starting Mix & mist with water until soil begins to absorb water. Add 2-3 seeds per pot, cover with soil & water again until all soil is moist. Cover with dome & place in direct sunlight. Keep soil moist, but don’t over water. Once seed sprouts remove dome & place in direct sunlight.

Jiffy systems eliminate plant shock when transplanting Pellets & pots are biodegradable

>> Harden off plants (accustomed to being outside) before transplanting to garden. Place plants outside in shade during the day & bring inside overnight. Ensure to keep the soil moist. Begin hardening off when outside temp averages over 65 degrees during the day.

WESTLAKE: YOUR BIRD DESTINATION ALL THE PRODUCTS & KNOW-HOW TO GET YOUR FEATHERED FRIENDS TO COME OVER FOR AWHILE. You love birds. We love birds. So we’ve stocked up on the seeds, feeders and accessories it takes to attract & protect them. Come to Westlake & see what we’ve got to help turn your backyard into the hottest bird destination since they started flying south.











STORE HOURS MONDAY - SATURDAY 8AM TO 9PM SUNDAY 9AM TO 6PM* * May vary, check online for your specific location

February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Winter Lessons

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Lauren Cavanaugh Contributors Leah Berg Erin Busenhart Tom DePaepe Cindy Gilberg Diane & Doc Gover Charles Hammer Terry Blair Michel Dennis Patton Diane Swan Brent Tucker Chris Veach Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

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

Join us and fellow gardeners. Become a fan.

Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 27. 4


s a transplant from the south, it’s taken me years to learn important lessons about winter survival. For example, always carry a scraper in your car, lest you destroy your driver’s license using it to break ice on the windshield. I’ve also learned to wear Yaktrax on my snow boots, or else I land on my backside while filling bird feeders. And then there’s the critical winter accessory — the scarf. It’s not only beautiful, it’s functional and a necessity when winter wind cuts to the bone. When we moved here, in February 1996, it was bitter cold and quite a shock for a family from Florida. Our kids had nothing more than lightweight sweaters, flip flops and raincoats, hardly suitable for a -5 wind chill. I recall thinking to myself, how long can this weather last, a couple of weeks? Silly me. It was more like months. Needless to say, we were off to the outlet store for winter coats and blankets. Another valuable lesson learned was that if there’s snow on the ground, the children needed snow boots. Only once did we have to hear a teary-eyed child describe at

dinner how they had to “sit on the wall” during recess because they didn’t have snow boots at school. That was a heart-breaker. Yes, surviving a Midwest winter requires being prepared. Having the proper gear makes winter another season to enjoy. I used to think that it’s too cold to ride my bike during the winter months. A dear friend, and cycling fiend, told me that it’s never too cold to ride ... you simply need to dress warm enough. At that moment, a light went on in my head. Tada! It’s not too cold. I’m not dressed warm enough. It all made perfect sense. With the proper attire, I’m able to spend more time in the garden. It’s not too cold to take care of a few garden chores. It’s not too cold to spend a few minutes sketching a

garden plan. And on a sunny winter day, I can sit with my face towards the sun, and be grateful for another day in the garden. Speaking of learning, while putting this issue together, I was impressed by the variety of workshops, seminars, and classes offered now and in the coming months. From bee keeping and turf management, to birding and building a cold frame, you will be inspired by the selection of topics to choose from. If it’s too cold for you to be in the garden, stay warm gathered with garden friends and learn something new. The days have started gaining daylight, and spring is on the way. Until then, let’s make the most of quiet wintry days. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue February 2013 • Vol. 18 No. 2 Orchids: Easy to Grow ............. 5 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 Trees Contribute to Stormwater Management ........................... 8 Urban Fruit Production .............. 9 JoCo Horticulture Classes .......... 10 Chef’s Delight .......................... 11 Gardeners Connect .................. 13 A Collection of Cones .............. 14 Resolutions for Gardeners ......... 16 Lady of the Night .................... 17

about the cover ...

Creating Themed Water Gardens ................................ 18 Take Advantage Mild Temps ..... 19 The Bird Brain ......................... 20 Garden Calendar .................... 21 Upcoming Events ..................... 22 Weather ................................. 25 Stock Pond Turned Lotus Garden .......................... 26 Subscribe ............................... 27 Professional’s Corner ................ 27

The cones on this Norway spruce (Picea abies) hang down. Learn how to identify other conifers by their needles and their cones, starting on page 14.



The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

Orchid: A Loving Gift, Easy To Grow

Erin Busenhart


s we embark on the month of love, Cupid…and overpriced roses, I wanted to present the idea of giving a living plant on the 14th. I agree that a Ficus might not appropriately say, “I love you”, but an orchid is a beautiful and elegant choice — and at least it won’t go to your hips! Scared to try giving or growing orchids? As exotic and fragile as they look, Phalaenopsis orchids are easy to care for and are the perfect orchid for even self-professed “brown-thumbs”. What’s a Phalaenopsis orchid you ask? There are thousands of species of orchids, most not acceptable as houseplants. Phalaenopsis are the most widely available orchid — you know, the ones you see advertised in all the stores around town. They have large flowers, most commonly in purple and white, and are the easiest to grow and rebloom. Phalaenopsis are pronounced (faleonopsis) and given the nickname “moth orchids” or “phales” if you

want to sound like you’re in the know! No one wants to be the giver of death, so here are the quick dos and don’ts to keep your gift looking great: (The love part is up to you.) Do wrap up your orchid before you leave the store. Cold, and especially wind, are bad for blooms. Don’t leave the plant (or any plant for that matter) in the car. Always drive your plant straight home. Don’t repot an orchid while it’s blooming. Repotting is a stress that can knock the plant out of bloom. Do buy a Phalaenopsis with more buds than blooms. Each bud will open and bloom for several weeks with the plant possibly able to bloom for months. As much as the flower shop enjoys the flowers, you are are the one purchasing the plant, and you should be the one enjoying the blooms. Do feed your orchid with a houseplant or orchid fertilizer. Ideally this should occur twice a month, but fertilizing is most important when the orchid is between bloom. Don’t overwater the orchid. I hate to give watering timeframes but a good soak once a week is usually perfect for the home. Do use a planting medium for orchids. Orchid mix is primarily bark to be very well-draining.

These are just a few of the varied bloom colors found on Phalaenopsis orchids. And do be prepared to get hooked. Once you get a taste for these exotic orchid beauties, there’s no going back! Erin Busenhart is seasonal color designer at Family Tree Nursery, Overland Park, Kan. You may reach her at 913-642-6503.

Spring is just around the corner. Add an Outdoor Accent to your garden plan. Now available in two sizes!

Kansas City’s One Stop Garden Shop Since 1934 Plan Your Veggie Garden Early! Square Foot Garden Kits & Plans Seed trays and supplies Grow Lights & Germination Mats

KC’s Best Stocked Seed Racks

Burpee • Lake Valley • Livingston Seed • TriStar

We have the BEST potting soil for all your planting needs!

7130 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. Garden Center • 8am-5pm Mon.-Sat. • 816-444-3403 Nursery • 9am-5pm Mon.-Sat. • 816-333-3232 February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Bronze • Sundials • Bird Baths • Concrete Urns • Home Decor Gazing Balls • Statuary • Fountains • Cast Aluminum • Furniture For Home Or Commercial Use 74th & Prospect, Kansas City, MO


Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton QUALITY TOPSOIL Question: I am looking at purchasing some topsoil and have heard a number of horror stories. How do I know if I am getting good quality soil? Answer: Boy, this is a great question without a simple answer. Topsoil is a scientific classification of soil that refers to the upper layer of the soil. The term topsoil really does not mean anything about the overall quality for supporting plant growth. All it pretty much means is that it is better than the subsoil, or what is below it. Here are a few

questions to ask. Where did the soil come from? Do you have a soil test report that can provide information such as pH and organic matter level and a textural test to determine the type of soil? Keep in mind that pretty much all local topsoil will be high in clay, which means it might not be any better than what is in your yard. Topsoil companies often pulverize the soil giving it a wonderful look. Actually what pulverizing does is breakdown the structure giving you this false sense that it is great soil only to compact. Here is my take. If you are filling a hole, then purchase topsoil after asking a few questions. If you are wishing to garden in this soil such as growing flowers, vegetables or a lawn, then invest a few more dollars and purchase a mix

$200 Do-It-Yourself Design Special Basic design package includes: Site Consultation, Front Landscape Design, Installation Consultation. Call 913-233-9499 for complete details and to set up your design consultation.

Award Winning Design Services

Landscape Materials

Installation ... You or Bear?


COMMERCIAL PRICING and delivered to your doorstep!

Tell us what you want to install or have installed for you. You can install the entire job … have us install just the hard parts … or have our INSTALLATION PROS install it all.

Our accolades include: • Shared in 12 Parade of Homes ‘Pick of the Parade’ winners • KCTV Concept House • Prairie Village Home of the Month • Featured in KCH&G magazine

Any or all materials for your design ... water gardens to retaining walls!


Drainage Solution Experts!

Professional Landscape Consulting

No need to worry about early green leaf growth of bulbs that may appear during mild winter weather. that has been improved with organic matter. These gardening mixes sell for a little more but you have some assurance that it is improved over plain topsoil and should be better for gardening. EARLY RISING BULBS Question: Help! My daffodils and tulips have already started to come up, some even in December. What should I do? Answer: Relax as there is really nothing that can be done. The cause is our mild December weather. Bulbs that have reached their requirements for overcoming dormancy are off and ready to grow based on weather patterns. The green growth that appears during winter is leaf growth. The flower buds are still tucked deep inside the

plant insulated by the soil. So the worst that can happen at this time is the harsh cold winter weather can brown back the lush early foliage. The concern with spring bulb emergence is when the flower buds appear. They are much less cold hardy and more likely to be damaged. Do not attempt to cover the winter growth, just let nature takes its course. In most years there is no damage. The real concern comes when the flower buds are showing color, then they are highly susceptible to harsh, lower winter temperatures. HEIRLOOM TOMATOES Question: I enjoy growing heirloom tomatoes, but to be honest, many of the varieties are just not that great and take up

Beat the rush! Get your mowers and equipment in for a SPRING TUNE UP before you need them. Tune ups include changing the oil and filter, replace spark plug, air filter and sharpening blades. Check out our line of equipment.

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

New this year! Hustler Raptor

Come see us for your lawn equipment needs!

Stop in and check out our store.

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

Visit us on the web @

913-233-9499 • 6

Northland Feed 4807 N. Brighton, KCMO


Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm • Sat. 9am-4pm Serving the Northland for 30 years

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

a lot of space. Do you have any recommendations for heirlooms to try? Answer: You are not alone with the concerns about heirloom tomatoes. One of the main problems is that many require up to 80 or 100 days for maturity so there is really no such thing as an early crop. Dr. Carey Rivard, K-State Research and Extension Vegetable Specialist, spoke to our Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners a few months ago and he recommended the following varieties of heirloom tomatoes based on his research and experience: Arkansas Traveler, Pineapple, Orange Oxhart, German Johnson, Green Zebra, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Brandywine, Prudens Purple, and Cherokee Purple. So you might want to give a couple of these varieties a try this coming summer. WHEN TO APPLY CRABGRASS CONTROL Question: I always get confused about the correct time to apply crabgrass control to the lawn. I see some lawn services applying in late February but then hear others talk about an April application. When should I put down the crabgrass preventer? Answer: Crabgrass is one of our most common lawn weeds. It is best controlled with the use of a preemergent herbicide. That is one that kills the weed seeds as it germinates and prevents its establishment. There are several products on the market commonly used for control. Extension’s recommendation is to apply the control products from early to mid-April. This allows for the products to become activated in the soil and in place prior to the normal germination of crabgrass

seeds which starts in early to midMay. Usually only one application is required. Remember for chemicals to become effective, it should be watered into the soil within 24 to 36 hours of application. TIMING TO PRUNE YEWS Question: I have a row of yews along the front of my home. They are starting to get larger than I would like. When is the best time to prune these yews? Answer: Yews, like many of other evergreens, are best pruned just after their spring flush of growth. At this time the plant has put a great deal of energy into the developing growth. Pruning within a few weeks of this process can slow the development of new growth later which reduces your pruning. The timing for this work would be somewhere in late April and May. Yews are fairly tolerant of pruning and actually can be trimmed just about anytime except during the heat of summer, early fall and the dead of winter. Yews look best when they are not sheared but left in a more natural state. Pruning for a natural look is easy to do. Simply cut back the branches at varying lengths, attempting to mimic the plant form. This involves selective hand pruning of each limb. This allows for a fuller plant with a natural appearance that will blend nicely into the landscape. Also, during the heat of 2012 yews that were sheared tended to sunburn while those pruned for a natural look withstood the harsh conditions.

Prescribed by lawn and garden professionals!

EnviroMax The Original and Proven Soil Conditioner ... Reduces soil compaction in your lawn and garden • Enhances water and nutrient penetration and absorption • Breaks up clay and hardpan layers • Drains standing water and controls run-off

EnviroLife Nature’s Way of Balancing the Soil and Environment ... Creates lush surroundings using the same bacteria found in tropical rainforests and used on organic farms

PlantMaster Grow an Award Winning Garden ... Unique formula provides key vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and micronutrients. Seeds germinate quickly. Flowers are more vibrant. • Trees and bushes thrive.

MFG. BY: ChemCraft, Inc. 913-579-3903 Overland Park, KS • Visit our WebSite at

Beautiful OutdOOr SpaceS that are

Uniquely Yours

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.

Cedar Hill Cedar Hill Landscaping, Inc. Landscaping, Inc. Kristie Schneider 913-583-9885

Personalized Services Offered

Landscape Design • Landscape Installation Paver Patios • Retaining Walls • Landscape Lighting Irrigation Installation • Landscape Maintenance February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

POnd And Water Feature DeSignS, InStallatiOn, RepairS And Maintenance

Stop by and see us at the JOCO Home & Garden Show

March 1,2 & 3 and talk to one of our professionals.

Wendy Hix 913.481.5416 • Tate Foster 913.406.6804 7

Cindy Gilberg


rees are the original multitaskers, providing a variety of benefits that go beyond aesthetics. The value of trees in our communities includes the shade they provide, their function as air filters, the carbon dioxide they absorb and the oxygen they release. These benefits can be measured in dollars—quantitatively showing that perhaps money can grow on trees. In addition to the above benefits, the role trees play in stormwater management is significant.

Environmental concerns about that can readily absorbs rainfall rather than letting it run off the surwater pollution issues focus on face. The growth of a tree depends dealing with rainfall and reducing subsequent runoff as a priwater for growth – the larger the tree, the more water it uses. All of mary method for improving water this adds up to a large quality. When trees are percent of stormwater included in a landscape that is managed on site/ with other stormwater features such as rain diverted from regional gardens, bioswales and stormwater system. Trees native to our permeable pavement, a region are quite hardy substantial reduction in and well-adapted to our stormwater runoff can be realized. soils and climate. Be Much of the natural landscape sure to note the cultural requirements of each species to help deterthat once absorbed rainfall has mine where in your landscape they been replaced by the impervious should be planted. Some prefer surfaces of development—parking lots, roadways and rooftops. The a dry soil, such as the chinkapin oak (Quercus muhlenbergii) and leafy canopy of a tree intercepts serviceberry (Amelanchier arborain, slowing it down as it falls to rescens). Other native tree species the ground. Water evaporates from are tolerant of moist soil and aid the tree’s large surface area. Tree roots contribute to soil stabilization in soaking up excess water in low areas that become saturated after and make the soil more porous, storms. Bald cypress (Taxodium allowing it to become a “sponge” distichum), swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) and black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) are prime examples of this group. Visit www. for information on where to purchase native trees, and to browse a native plant database that includes native trees. To figure the value of trees you may want to include in the landscape and for those that already exists, try some of the tree benefit calculators available online (such

Photo by Scott Woodbury.

Trees Contribute to Stormwater Management

as or www. According to one stormwater benefit calculator, a mature bald cypress can absorb almost 8,000 gallons per year and a mature swamp white oak of the same size can absorb about 11,000 gallons per year. Assess your landscape and determine how you can help be part of the stormwater solution— plant trees, rain gardens and use permeable pavement where possible. Drop by drop, it adds up to an improvement in water quality that benefits the entire community and region. Cindy Gilberg is a horticulturist, landscape designer, and a professional member of Grow Native!, a program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

Landscape Design with Missouri in Mind Grow Native! Workshops to be held in Diamond, Mo.

When: Friday, Feb. 22 (for professionals) and Saturday, Feb. 23 (for homeowners and others interested in landscaping) Where: George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road, Diamond, MO 64840 Cost per workshop: $35 for members of the Missouri Prairie Foundation/Grow Native!; $40 for nonmembers. Includes lunch and a copy of Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People. Free parking. What: Friday is geared to landscape designers, architects, nursery owners, and other land care professionals. Saturday is geared to homeowners and anyone else interested in landscaping. Both workshops will provide in-depth information on many aspects of native landscaping – from design to water management, local native plant communi ties, native trees, pollinators and more. Don’t miss learning from knowledgeable presenters coming from many parts of the state to speak! For full details and registration information, visit 8

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

Urban Fruit Production Seminar

Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society presents:

Successful Shade Gardening


n exciting program is being presented to all area shade gardeners on March 23, 2013, courtesy of the Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society. Scheduled to be our guest speaker is Ed Lyon, who is Director of the Allen Centennial Gardens at the University of Wisconsin, Madison campus. The Centennial Gardens are the public garden and outdoor teaching center for the Horticulture Department at the University. Mr. Lyon writes for several area garden publications, and was a keynote speaker at the Regional Hosta Convention in Madison, which several of us from the HH&SPS attended. His morning presentation is entitled, “Why Don’t My Plants Look like the Catalog Photo”? If your plant doesn’t look like the photo, it may not be because you did something wrong or were a poor gardener – come see why! We are delighted to announce that after a potluck lunch, he will

present a second program, “How to Build/Improve a Successful Shade Garden”. He will discuss the challenges of shade gardening to overcome, whether you are building from scratch or improving an existing condition. This talk will be truly “how to”! Plan to join us on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at the Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W. 67th St. (67 & Roe), Prairie Village, Kan. Registration and hospitality will begin at 9 a.m. After a short time for business and announcements at 10 a.m., Mr. Lyon will present his first program. Potluck will follow with the Club providing meat, drinks and table service. Attendees should bring a favorite dish to share. At 1 p.m., Mr. Lyon will present the second program. Be sure to come for one program if you can’t come for both! Visitors are always welcome! For more information, call Gwen at 816-213-0598.

February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


n Urban Fruit Production Seminar will be held at the University of Missouri Extension Center, 1106 W. Main Street, Blue Springs, Mo., on Saturday, March 23, 2013. The cost will be $45.00 per person with lunch included. 8:30 am—Registration 9 to 10:40 am—Lala Kumar, Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri Extension—Title: Evaluation of urban site for fruit production and growing apples, pears and peaches. 10:50 am to 12:30 pm—Pat Byers, Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri Extension—Title: Growing blackberries, blueberries and strawberries and its economics. 12:30 to 1 pm—Lunch 1 to 2:40 pm—Barbara Fetchenhier, Heartland Harvest Garden Interpreter, Powell

Gardens—Title: Growing uncommon fruits, berries and nuts in Kansas City area. 2:50 to 3:30 pm—Marlin Bates, Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri Extension—Title: Growing grapes in urban area. For more information and/or to register, please contact Lala Kumar, Horticulture Specialist or Cindy at 816-252-5051. Class size is limited to 30 participants.


Extension Horticulture Classes All Times: 7–9 pm Fee: $10 per person Registration requested at least one week in advance. Enrollment limited. To enroll: or call 913-715-7000. All classes will be held at the Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500, Olathe, KS 66061 February 5, Tuesday Great Shrubs for the Garden Shrubs build the foundation for a great landscape. This class will focus on some of the better performing shrubs for the area. Based on the experiences at the Johnson County Extension Master Gardener demonstration gardens we will share plants that deserve a place in the landscape. Whether noted for spring or summer flowers, fall color, or just interesting bark and foliage, this class will send you home with a listing of great garden worthy shrubs. Speaker: Dennis Patton February 13, Wednesday The Four Season Garden Spring, summer, fall or winter, we want the garden to be of interest. This class will focus on how

you can create pizazz in the garden for wonderful colors and textures year-round. The secret is to develop the bones of the garden and then build upon this year-round structure. This class will inspire you to get out in the garden and learn how to appreciate it even more all year long. Speaker: Elaine Dalgleish, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener February 20, Wednesday Growing Great Tomatoes Ah, the taste of a fresh vine ripe tomato! The last few years has been challenging to grow this delight for area gardeners. Dr. Rivard from the K-State Horticulture Research Center will help you navigate the in’s and out’s to growing great tomatoes. He will focus on the latest cultural recommendations and

Colorful, creative plantings to brighten your home.


varieties so that your garden will produce a bumper crop. Speaker: Dr. Carey Rivard March 5, Tuesday Lawn Care – Preparing for the Wrath of Summer Will 2013 be another hot, dry year like 2012? At this point nobody really knows. But there is good news in helping you prepare for what lays ahead whether hot, dry or cool and moist. The practices you apply in the spring can help prepare the lawn to cope with upcoming summer conditions. This session will look at what you need to know and be doing so that your lawn will be ready to survive another Kansas City summer. Speaker: Dennis Patton March 13, Wednesday Creating Beautiful Butterfly Gardens Many flower gardeners aspire to attract butterflies to the garden, but are you only seeing the

occasional migrating Monarch? Like all wildlife, butterflies have specific needs that must be met. This presentation will review butterfly biology and habitat requirements with an emphasis on garden design. Simply choose your resident butterflies and plant their caterpillar food. Participants will learn how to create butterfly habitats with no compromise in beauty or garden design. Handouts will provide lists of caterpillar food plants and sources of the adult beverage, nectar-rich flowers. Speaker: Lenora Larson, Miami County Extension Master Gardener and member of the Idalia Butterfly Society and Kansas Native Plant Society March 27, Wednesday Drip Irrigation – A Greener Approach to Watering Drip irrigation is an extremely efficient method of delivering water to a plant. This class will cover the evolution of drip irrigation concepts and the practical application in the home landscape. The class will include a hands-on approach to the various system components involved in the design and installation of a drip irrigation system. Speaker: Rob Mortko, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

The metro’s Exclusive pond retailer Carrying a complete line of pond supplies, liner, aquatic plants and the largest selection of domestic and imported koi and goldfish in the metro area.

Stop by now for winterizing items! Check our website and “Like” us on Facebook for up to date information on sales and events at the store! • Rabbits, chipmunks, moles, groundhogs, mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, opossums, snakes and bats • Woodpeckers, starlings, pigeons, sparrows and geese • Repairs and chimney caps • Wildlife biologist on staff • Licensed and insured • Celebrating 23 years of service

816-842-5012 • 1557 Swift Ave., NKC 10

NOW OFFERING: Attic Insulation & Removal GENERAL PEST CONTROL: Specializing in Termite Control and Termite Treatments. Termidor or Hex-Pro Baiting Systems.

MO 816-769-3106 • KS 913-338-3330

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

Chef’s Delight: Looking at the garden from a chef’s point of view


hen Cody Hogan, Chef de Cuisines at Lidia’s Kansas City, moved into his 1922 bungalow in 2001, the yard was basically a blank slate with zoysia lawns, an overgrown yew hedge that partially obscured the front of the house, and a back yard with an elevated deck, a few boxwoods and a huge walnut tree. His vision was very different: a European-style kitchen garden with all types of vegetables, both edible and ornamental, herbs, and flowers, with a structure of boxwoods and espaliered fruit trees. As with most European gardens, structure is important to the overall, year-round appeal of this garden. In the front garden a low fence, a knot hedge, a River Birch berm, rock walls, and an arborvitae hedge create a welcoming entrance. The back garden is dominated by herbs and vegetables that vary by season, divided by hand-laid pathways. Lining the central garden area are espaliered fruit trees, boxwood hedges, and wattling – a low woven fence provided by branches from the many fruit trees and also seen throughout the gardens. An ornamental pear privacy fence and another fence of bamboo line the back side of the property. Behind the garage are tiered beds of more vegetables. As a working kitchen garden and a test garden for vegetables and plants Hogan might want to use at the restaurant, the garden is kept completely organic. But Hogan

admits to fudging a little when it comes to his roses. The backyard provides more structural and relaxing elements for peaceful living and entertaining. A long, narrow fish pond designed and built by Peter Crump of Urban Stone, and full of numerous aquatic plants, lies at the back of the central garden in front of the bamboo fence and an arbor covered with grape vines. Other concrete structures by Crump include a water feature, a dining table, a sun chaise, and a faux bois planter. Water from the pond, is used to fertilize some of the plants. Another aspect of this garden is the use of materials that have personal relevance. In addition to the concrete works created by Crump, many of the building materials come from Hogan’s family ranch in Arkansas. A number of the plantings also have personal connections. Many of the hostas come from Crump’s grandmother via his mother, and most of the iris come from Hogan’s grandmother’s yard. This garden is the epitome of do-it-yourself. It showcases many techniques for maximizing limited space through the use of vertical elements and dense plantings, both of which provide visual interest

Photos by Terry Blair Michel.

By Terry Blair Michel

and structure. Visitors can see how they can, with a few basic building materials, plants, sunlight and determination, transform a lawn into a secret getaway that produces more than enough food for a small family, as well as provide a comfortable retreat from a hectic world.

Visit “Chef’s Delight” June 7 and 8, during the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City 2013 Garden Tour, “Unique Gardens of South Kansas City”. Terry Blair Michel is a member of Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City.

You’ve Got A Big Yard. We’ve Got Big Answers. Mow Like a Pro

TimeCutter SS zero-turn mowers

Promo Price $2,599.00 for 42” • 3-in-1 cutting system • Automatic braking system • Exclusive Smart Speed Control • Powerful Kohler or Kawasaki engines

Residential Recycler mowers

Solid Warranty

Starting at $379.00

• Best-in-class warranties • Features “Quick Wash”washout port • Powered by Briggs & Stratton with ReadyStart™ • Powerful Engines • Superior mulching performance

Reynolds lawn & leisuRe, inc.

12902 shawnee Mission Pkwy, shawnee, ks 66216 913-268-4288 See dealer or ( for Canadian residents) for warranty details. Product availability, pricing & special promotions are subject to dealer options.

February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener


February Gardeners’ Gathering:

By Chris Veach


Invasive Tree Pests Are Changing Our Landscape

t is hard to imagine the effect that Ash Tree losses will have on our tree lined streets and home landscapes in the next few years. It is even harder to fathom the destruction knowing that two legged pests bring emerald ash borer (EAB) and other invasive tree pests into communities with the movement of firewood. Dr. Rob Lawrence, Forest Entomologist, Missouri Department of Conservation, will discuss at the February Gardeners’ Gathering how non-native forest pests, both insects and diseases, have become established in North America at an increasing rate over the last two centuries. The emerald ash borer, which was recently detected in the Kansas City area, is only one example of several invasive species that are having huge impacts in our urban and rural landscapes. Other

major threats such as thousand cankers disease of walnut, Asian longhorned beetle and gypsy moth are not yet known to be established in Missouri. Human transport of firewood is a primary pathway by which many of these pests arrive in new locations. No North American species of ash is immune to the EAB. The beetle is capable of killing all ash trees, even vigorous healthy trees. EAB larvae tunnel under bark, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, which causes tree death within 3-4 years of the first attack. Detecting the presence of EAB is difficult during early years of an infestation because initial symptoms are similar to symptoms of tree stress due to other causes. Key indicators are D-shaped holes in the bark, S-shaped larval tunnels, and distinctive EAB larvae and adults.

One free, easy call gets your utility lines marked AND helps protect you from injury and expense.

Creative Workshops

Safe Digging Is No Accident: “Always Call Before You Dig in Kansas” Call 1-800-DIG-SAFE, or 811, or visit us at

in February and March

Creative Workshops are focused on a specific project held in the studio at From the Summer’s Garden. Sessions run 2 hours in length with most matereials provided. Open to kids and adults.

Photo courtesy of David Cappaert (Michigan State University) and

The Emerald Ash Borer has recently been detected in the Kansas City area. We can expect EAB infestations to be discovered in additional counties in the Kansas City area over the next few years, and the number of dying ash trees to increase. Recent drought conditions will aggravate the situation by weakening tree defenses even further and making EAB detection more difficult because of increased drought stress symptoms. Homeowners and communities need to be planning now how they will respond. A good first step is to identify where ash trees are present and assess their value in the residential or urban landscape. Informed decisions can then be made about tree replacement or treatment options. “We all need to be aware of the threats of invasive forest pests and take action,” Dr. Lawrence said. “One of the most important things we can do is avoid moving firewood and get it from sources near where we will burn it. Secondly, we should adopt good tree management practices that improve the health and species diversity

Photo by Rob Lawrence.

These S-shaped larval tunnels are evidence of Emerald Ash Borer. of our community’s trees so our landscapes are better prepared to respond to new pest invasions.” The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present Dr. Lawrence’s talk at the Gardeners’ Gathering, Thursday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, MO. This lecture is free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes will be given. For further information call 816-665-4456 or check the Master Gardener website at www. for all Master Gardener information. Chris Veach is a member of Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City.

Stepping Stone Workshop

Mold and take home your first cast stone.

Garden Stake Workshop

Cast your own mold into a garden stake.

Fairy Garden Workshop Create a 5 piece fairy garden.

Mosaic Bird Basin Planting flowers or a garden? Then you need to have your underground facilities marked! Missouri law requires that any person making or beginning any excavation notify MOCS. Placing a locate request is free and easy! Call 1-800-DIG-RITE (800-344-7483) or 811. For more information, visit


Mosaic glass water basin for the birds.

Garden Angel Workshop Sculpt a garden angel.

Tufa Container Workshop Cast a potin a take home mold.

Tufa Basket Workshop

Turn a basket into planting container. for times. To register call 913-579-5395 or Email:

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

Join us Feb. 16 for program on All-Season Viburnum


ardeners Connect is bringing Gary Ladman, owner of the largest supplier of viburnum in the country, to Kansas City to talk about “Viburnum – A Plant for All Seasons.” This free program is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on S a t u r d a y, February 16, in the a u d i t o rium at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, MO. Coffee and light refreshments are planned the half hour before the program in the Lewis and Clark Room. Everyone is welcome to the program, but members of Gardeners Connect will get the chance to win one of three viburnums from Ladman’s nursery, Upland, Neb.based Classic Viburnums. It is a 9-acre nursery in south central Nebraska devoted entirely to growing and selling the genus Viburnum. The nursery has more than 200 taxa in inventory. Viburnums are one of the most outstanding group of shrubs for use in the landscape. Viburnums range in size from a couple of feet tall to 30 feet. Flowers can be pink or white, and fall brings a great show from the colorful clusters of drupes in yellow, orange, pink, red, blue and black. There are more than 150 species of viburnum, which are mostly native to the Northern

Hemisphere. About 15 are native to North America. In addition to the aesthetic features, viburnums are hardy, resistant to serious pests, adaptable to a variety of soil and environmental conditions and require little pruning. They will grow in either sun or shade though, flowering and fruiting will be more profuse in a sunny situation. “A garden without a viburnum is akin to life without music and art,” wrote Michael Dirr in his encyclopedic “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants.” Ladman graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1971 with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture with an emphasis in horticulture. He has been involved in almost every aspect of the nursery and landscape industry including landscape design and installation, underground sprinkler design and installation, lawn maintenance, bedding plant production and owner of his own garden center. He decided what he really wanted to do was work the soil and grow plants. He became fascinated by the genus Viburnums because of its diversity, landscape appeal and four seasons of interest. By specializing in one genus, he figured he would be able to compete with the large wholesale growers that offer a large selection of plants but only a limited number of each genus.

Gary Ladman will present “Viburnum – A Plant for All Seasons.” Gardeners Connect is a nonprofit organization established in 1958. Its mission: “To educate and inspire members of our community to become more complete gardeners.” Besides an annual series of free programs, Gardeners Connect also sponsors trips, conducts workshops and classes, supports Loose Park and stages children’s

Viburnum dilatatum ‘Cardinal Candy’ activities. This spring, Gardeners Connect is leading a group to see the Philadelphia International Flower Show. For additional details, check out the web site at

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

Debbie’s Lawn Busters

ATTENTION: INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS! Looking to EXPAND your knowledge base? Or looking to GROW your business? The Hort NetWORK offers networking and educational opportunities for green industry professionals in Kansas City. Connect with Hort NetWORK and learn more about membership at February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Custom Designed Landscaping Installation & Maintenance

Established 1975 Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed 816-392-4433 k 816-618-3674



Winter Pruning Special Save 10% on all jobs below $299 Save 20% on all jobs above $300 Work must be completed between Jan. 1 and March 15. This discount may be applied to previous bids.

Improving our planet one customer at a time.

MO: 246.1707 KS: 381.1505

“The pros you know in the clean red truck.” 13


1 Photo #1 by Leah Berg.




Photo #3 & #7 by Alan Branhagen.

6 14


8 The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013


A Collection of Cones Leah Berg


friend needed some pine cones for holiday decorations. She wanted “bigger” cones but didn’t want to buy them at a craft store. I didn’t want to share my collection of cones in my classroom, used to help my landscape students learn to identify local conifers! So we looked for a large Eastern white pine and found plenty. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan discusses nature manipulating people to admire symmetry in forms like tulips. Most of us tend to find symmetry in nature attractive, and individual cones do look like small works of craftsmanship worthy of display. Like built-in Christmas ornaments, rounded bald cypress cones add great contrast to their finetextured deciduous needles (#2). Not all conifers are evergreen. Several interesting stages of cone growth with appealing textural and color changes add to their beauty. (#6) Overlapping like fish scales, cone “scales” protect developing seeds that provide valuable food to many birds and mammals. Conifer collector Marvin Snyder favors the Douglas fir’s distinctive cone. (#5) Summer tones of green with touches of purple and red mature to brown. Reminder: look up scientific names as well as common names, since Pseudotsuga menzeisii isn’t

a true fir but a so-called false hemlock. Confused? Look for true hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) at the Linda Hall Library Arboretum and other sites where cooler microclimates with afternoon shade protect them. (#8) When I asked what two local urban foresters regard as the most beautiful CONES (not necessarily the trees themselves), Helene Miller nominated Eastern white pine. Chuck Conner voted for Korean fir (Abies koreana ‘Aurem’ #7). Regrettably, fir and spruce prove hard to grow in our compacted clay soils, hot summers and warmer winters. At a distance, white fir and Colorado spruce resemble each other, but fir cones grow upright while spruce hang down, like the Norway spruce (Picea abies, cover photo). Some say firs “reach fir the sky.” Notice Douglas fir and pine cones appear over the entire tree; spruce and true fir cones on the upper third of the tree. Douglas fir and spruce cones hang down and are often found on the ground. Fir cones point up, and typically disintegrate before they can fall. Compare three species often seen around Kansas City (L to R, #9). Largest and longest is Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), next Austrian pine (P. nigra), next Scotch pine (P. sylvestris). Many pines do suffer here from diseases, especially Austrian and Scotch pine. None are immune. Powell Gardens has 81 species of conifers, including 24 Pinus species. Alan Branhagen reports losing all but one of the “plain”

February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

species limber pines (Pinus flexilis, #3) in the Perennial Garden at Powell Gardens to dothostoma needle blight. But he spotted several seldomseen cones on the last remaining one, noting “They have thicker cones than white pine as they have more of an edible pine nut.” Duane Hoover hasn’t seen any cones on the Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’ cultivar at the Kauffman Memorial Garden. My favorite there is Norway spruce ‘Acrocona’ (#1) for its startling fuchsia pink new cone growth in mid-April. A lady consulted me recently about some dying evergreens on her property and her next door neighbor’s. She feared his “pines” had a disease that were affecting hers and wished he’d cut them down. In reality, he had dead Colorado spruce trees. Hers proved to be yews. I said “Don’t worry, it looks like drought stress.” When in doubt, consult a certified arborist. Some people call all evergreens “pines.” Using clues to identify what’s really in landscapes results in better decisions about what might need extra care, and what to plant instead if something dies. What’s the difference between a pine and a spruce, or a spruce and a fir? Memorize several sayings: Pine needles grow in packages. Needles grow in distinct groups attached together to the stems. Notice pine needles in pairs (Scotch, Austrian, and Japanese black pines), threes (lacebark pine), or fives (limber, Eastern white, and Japanese white).

Spruce needles are single, sharp and square. Rolled between fingers, edges feel rather like wood matchsticks. Sharp tips remind us pungens means “sharp-pointed” in the name for Colorado spruce: Picea pungens. (Don’t let it poke you!) Fir needles feel flat and friendly (their blunt ends won’t poke you). Like spruce needles, fir needles also grow singly, but aren’t sharp. Flat Douglas fir and true fir needles won’t roll easily between the fingers. Unfortunately, none of these are native to our area! Duane Hoover likes the bluish-gray cones on our tried and true native junipers. Choose wisely for the site and keep record heat and drought conditions in mind. Though conifers of various heights and forms with appealing cones and needle textures add aesthetic value to our landscapes, be prepared for the commitment of proper care including watering throughout dry winter months as well as warmer months. Irrigation systems don’t run during freezing months here, so hand watering is vital with insufficient rainfall. Making a collection of cones can be simply for their beauty displayed in a bowl (#4) or in arrangements. It’s also a great way to start learning which conifer is which! Leah Berg is a landscape designer with a conservation emphasis. She teaches at MCC-Longview and is also the Agribusiness/Grounds and Turf Management department coordinator. To consult privately, contact her at 816-353-7170. 15

Resolutions for Gardeners


new year typically brings about resolutions right? Be they for losing weight, being more organized or simply an overall “being better” wish, resolutions are good goals to have. Gardeners are no exception to wishing for the better; better gardens, better planning, better record-keeping, etc. Following are five resolutions that we wish every gardener, no matter their level of expertise, will embrace in 2013: 1. I will not blame myself for gardening failures. Oftentimes, Mother Nature is not our friend when it comes to gardening. Or life gets in the way. We do not want you to despair! Simply try again and learn from experience. Your garden, and your gardening friends, are both extremely forgiving. 2. I will not be afraid to ask questions. How else can you learn? Take advantage of the experience of your neighbor, your aunt, the garden center employee or the local extension agent. If they are like

typical garden fanatics, they will appreciate your interest and be flattered that you want to learn from them. And learn you will! 3. I will try something new. This is kind of a no-brainer, right? Have you ever met a gardener who didn’t want the newest of the new, for

bragging rights if nothing else? But what about really a new growing style or completely new crop of vegetables. Cruise around on Pinterest and we guarantee you’ll find something irresistible that’s out of your usual comfort zone.

4. I will share my passion. We’ve done and seen studies that show many of today’s gardeners got their start by learning from someone else, usually a parent or grandparent. Can you be that mentor? Will you be the reason your son or daughter serves homegrown vegetables to your grandchildren? Can you be the reason your neighbor plants window boxes for the first time? 5. I will embrace nature and garden for the birds, the bees and the butterflies (and the bats too!). One of the most rewarding benefits of having a garden is being able to appreciate the beautiful creatures who visit it. So plan your flowers and vegetables with that in mind then sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Feel free to steal these resolutions for your own, we won’t mind! Let’s Go Garden! Source: National Garden Bureau.

Johnson County

Home & Garden Show Hear gardening experts from across the Metro speak hourly about getting your outdoor space in shape after the 2012 scorcher of a summer!

March 1-3 Overland Park Convention Center

Taniya Nayak/Designer and Tom Bury/Construction Manager, both from the HGTV series “Restaurant Impossible,” will speak multiple times (Tom will appear Friday & Saturday; Taniya will speak Saturday & Sunday).

Tickets: $10 for Adults; children 12 & under FREE. $1 off per ticket with a Price Chopper Rewards Card or a Westlake Ace Hardware coupon. Show Hours: Friday & Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 10am-6pm; For additional info, call (816) 931-4686 or visit 16

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

Tropical Plant Profile:

Country Club

‘Lady of the Night’ Brunfelsia americana

Tree Service Inc.

Caring for your largest “Assets” for 56 years

Disease & Insect Control Pruning • Removal • Consulting Mark Young MW-103B

Brent Tucker



his past summer I enjoyed the fragrance of a not often seen tropical shrub named ‘Lady of the Night’. A member of the night shade family, she reminds me of a gardenia with a great scent and white flowers that age to a creamy yellow. ‘Lady of the Night’ is rightly named due to her highly intoxicating perfume that is pungent mostly at night, then fades somewhat during the day. Her blooms are produced in flushes during the season blooming about once a month. The flowers last up to a week, depending on the weather. Flowers will last longer in milder weather, otherwise, only a few days in really hot weather. Speaking of heat, this tropical didn’t bat an eyelash to the heat this past summer. This elegant lady doesn’t like all day sun, but rather sun only to about midday. I water my plant when the top of the soil is dry to the touch and feed it with a fertilizer higher in phosphorous every three to four weeks during the growing season.

George Eib Chuck Brasher

February Tip:

Late winter is the time to spray Horticulture Oil on your magnolia, oak, ash or any other plant with scale, mite or aphid problems. Being a larger tropical plant, up to four feet, I won’t hesitate to trim her back when needed. She’ll need to be watched for insects like aphids, mites, and mealybug. I’ll spray with a horticultural oil spray as soon as I see a problem. During cold weather I place my plant under lights in the basement with other tropicals, but a bright sunny window would also do fine. ‘Lady of the Night’ was available in area garden centers this past season. I hope you are able to find this lovely lady to grow for yourself. Trust me, she will blow your socks off with her beauty and fragrance. Brent Tucker has been growing exotic plants for 20 plus years, specializing in orchids, ferns and begonias. You may contact him at

The Kansas City Rose Society in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting a program Sat, March 23,10 AM to 12 PM. The topic is “Easy CareRoses & How To Grow Your Best Roses in 2013.” We hope to see you there.

Mix & Match Special Now thru Thursday, February 28th

Buy four get the FIFTH one FREE! Select from any of our suet cakes, suet stackables, seed cylinders, bark butter, seed stackables and suet snacks

BUY ANY FOUR GET THE FIFTH FREE*! (*equal or lesser value)

Ask about the Flying Start Combo!

Proudly Serving Kansas City for 25 years Ponds need to be 3 ft deep for microbes to survive in the heat. CALL EARTH RIGHT AT 913-492-2992 or visit @ February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

11711 Roe Avenue (next to Comfort Plus Shoes) • 913-491-4887 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun noon-4pm BIRDSEED • FEEDERS • BIRDBATHS • OPTICS • GARDEN ACCENTS 17

Creating Themed Water Gardens and Back to the Basics

Diane Swan


his time of year was meant for dreaming and scheming a new look for your backyard in the new year. You attend garden shows. When it’s too cold outside, you watch gardening shows on TV. You even spend time with books and on the internet searching for just the right project. Eureka! That’s it ... a water garden. Now, before taking action, advance planning is critical. First, think in terms of themes. It will guide you toward a specific plan, the selection of plants and garden accessories, all to aid in achieving your new dream. What you need more than anything is the desire and foresight to picture the end result. By designing a naturalistic Water Garden with waterfalls and streams, you open up all kinds of possibilities. By doing some advance planning, you will be able to choose what is just right for the effect you want to

achieve, whether its the Colorado mountains, lush tropical foliage or regions of the country you like to visit on vacation. You can strive to mimic that region and bring it right into your backyard to enjoy every day. When creating your new water garden, you will want to stick with the basics and then embellish on them. 1.) Using 45ml EPDM fish safe liner enables you to create any size and shape of waterfalls, stream and pond desired. 2.) By rocking in the pond you not only extend the life of the liner but you provide a place for beneficial bacteria to grow and colonize which is essential for keeping crystal clear water. The pond will look more aesthetically pleasing and natural. Choose rocks for pond edges that will help create the theme. SD Granite, holy boulders, moss rock, limestone can all achieve different effects. 3.) A good, low-maintenance filtration system is essential. The lower the maintenance time, the more time you have to enjoy your new Water Garden. 4.) A proper sized high-efficiency pump will give the desired flow

of water, whether you want rushing waterfalls or a lazy stream effect. 5.) Place your water garden so it is as visible from the house as it is from your patio or deck. This will enable you to enjoy your gardens all year round regardless of the season or weather. 6.) A huge variety of Aquatic plants will fit your specific theme. Plants decorate your pond, help with filtering and shading, and soften the look of hard rock. Strive for 60-65% coverage of your pond’s surface with water lilies and lotus or lily-like plants to cut down on the amount of sunlight entering

your pond. This helps to cut down on algae growth. 7.) Fish, regardless of your pond size, shape, or theme, are an essential part of the ecosystem. They will add life and an element of fun to your water garden. Whether you choose Koi or a variety of goldfish, once you establish an ecosystem they could live indefinitely in your pond without feeding them…but feeding fish is fun! By adding a patio to sit, unwind, and enjoy; walkways to discover different areas of your gardens; arbor gateways to invite you to explore; landscaping and garden accessories to enhance the gardens, you will add greatly to your overall look and enjoyment of your gardens. Just because we cannot live in the deep recesses of the mountains, a desert oasis or on a tropical island, does not mean that we cannot create these paradises in our own backyards. (Watch future articles for water garden theme ideas.) Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-592-2143.

Dirt • Rock • Mulch • Pavers • Retaining Wall • Flagstone • Wall Stone


(816) 525-1111 or (816) 554-DIRT


1820 NE County Park Rd, East of Hwy 291 on Colbern Rd, in Lee’s Summit, MO

1/4 mi.

Like us on To Receive Specials & Sales 18

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

Take Advantage of Mild Temperatures for Landscape Cleanup


ld man winter is here, and will not be leaving for quite a while. The last few years in the Kansas City area, we have had some nice days and weekends during the winter to enjoy our landscapes. When the opportunity presents, take advantage of these nice days to prepare your landscape for the spring. Temperatures are cool, so you can work in relative comfort, and the ground is soft enough to plant hardy annuals, like pansies, for early spring color. For a big impact in your landscape, use this time to do some specific tree and shrub pruning. With leaves off many of the trees, now is a unique time for structural pruning of your smaller/younger trees. The purpose of this type of pruning is to begin to develop a strong, main central lead. This helps trees become more aesthetically pleasing, and at the same time helps prevent these trees from being damaged in future storms. The best reason for pruning these trees in the winter is that with the leaves off, it is easier to see the true defects and shape of the trees. Furthermore, dormant pruning can be less stressful on younger trees. A few common trees that tend to need

Landscape Beds Now is also a great time to give landscape beds a face lift. To start, rake out any fallen leaves or other debris from last season. Next take a step back and consider the bed, does it still have a clean edge? If not, now is a good time to rent a bed edger and redo the border. I like to use natural, wood mulch in

Hotlines for Gardeners open in March. Beginning next month, Extension Master Gardeners will be available to answer your gardening questions. Start making a list now. February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Ask About Our 5 Year Guarantee!

ROLLING MEADOWS Landscape & Garden Center

1 stronger

Full Service Landscape & Garden Center • Commercial, Residential Design & Installation • Irrigation Systems Outdoor Living Spaces • Water Features • Eco-Living

12501 W. 151st St. • Olathe, KS 913-897-9500 Visit us at

my beds. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, regulates soil temperature, may help control weeds, and can reduce the likelihood of damage from string trimmers. As with most things in life, too much of anything is undesirable. With mulch, if you already have a relatively thick layer (2 to 4 inches) a light top dressing is literally all you need. Avoid piling the mulch around the base of trees or shrubs, as this negatively affects the plant’s health.


Tom DePaepe

structural pruning are oaks, red maples, ash, and linden trees. In addition to structural pruning, rubbing or crossing branches should be removed, as well as branches hanging over your home or garage. Deadwood can also be trimmed out at this time. You can perform the “scratch” test to determine if a branch is alive or dead. Scratch the outermost bark of the tree down to the softer wood beneath. If it is green, the branch is still alive. If it isn’t, it is dead and can be removed. Many shrubs in your landscape beds can benefit from winter pruning as well. Now that the holidays are over, many people like to cut their ornamental grasses low to the ground to rejuvenate them. Roses and Spirea can also be reduced by half (or more). Many other shrubs can be reduced in size by at least one-third to keep the proportions of your landscape in check. Plants such as burning bushes, Weigela, Forsythia, Nine Bark, Viburnums, Rose of Sharon, and many others can be reduced this time of year with very little impact on the plant’s health.

Cleaning up trees and shrubs through proper pruning, and tidying up landscape beds will go a long way in making your landscape sparkle. Add in a few pansies or ornamental cabbage and you will smile every time you pull into your drive. Tom DePaepe is a consulting arborist at Ryan Lawn & Tree, and a landscape enthusiast. He can be reached at 816-246-1707 or via E-mail at

Find the oasis from the ordinary

Visit the water garden specialists

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


The Bird Brain

16th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count February 15 -18, 2013

Doc & Diane Gover


e a part of the largest citizen science project the world has ever under taken. For the first time, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will be a global event, engaging birdwatchers of all ages and abilities in counting birds. Participants are asked to count birds for at least 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the 4 day event. GBBC checklists will be accepted from anywhere in the world. It’s fun, easy, FREE and it helps the birds. Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers

at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are faring and how to protect them and the environment that we share. Bird populations are dynamic and constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time. Last year, participants turned in more than 104,000 online checklists, creating North America’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded. So as an individual, a family, a group of friends or a community, you can track birds at feeders, in the yard or even while strolling in the park. Participants tally the number of each species they see during their count period. Then numbers are entered on the GBBC

website. Each participant must set up a FREE GBBC account to submit their checklists. Go to www. to setup your account. You’ll only need to do this once to participate in all future GBBC events. To learn more about the GBBC please visit gbbc. We encourage you to participate and contribute to a worldwide citizen science effort.

Wild Birds Unlimited is very excited to be a major sponsor of the Great Backyard Bird Count. If you have questions after visiting the website just stop by the store, our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you. Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kan. Contact them at 913-491-4887.



Word List field guide

Word List binoculars





house finch

blue jay






















field guide

spotting scope











The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013



garden calendar


• Rake fallen leaves that the wind has carried into the yard to prevent lawn suffocation. • Review lawn service contracts and make changes if needed. • Get a jump on the season and tune-up and repair the mower. • Avoid injury to lawn; keep foot traffic to a minimum when soil is frozen. • Use deicers and other products sparingly to reduce injury. • Dormant seed following a light snow or rain.


• Start seeds for transplanting. • Check fall planted perennials and water as needed. • Watch for frost heaving of tender perennials and cover as needed. • Replenish winter mulch around roses and other plants. • Check bulbs in storage for decay and discard as needed. • Prepare mail orders and online purchases. • Obtain a soil test and make needed improvements. • Start planning work on bed design. • Make a wish list to aid in spring shopping.


• Check young trees and shrubs for rabbit damage. • Water fall planted trees and shrubs as needed. • Apply dormant oil for control of scale and mites. • Take advantage of warm days and begin spring pruning. • Do not prune spring flowering trees and shrubs until after bloom. • Cut branches from spring flowering shrubs and bring indoors to add a splash of color. • Carefully remove snow from limbs with a broom.

• Water evergreens if soil is dry and not frozen. • Inventory landscape needs and prepare a spring plan of action.


• Make garden layouts to assist with planning process. • Order seeds or purchase for spring planting. • Soil test. Testing is conducted at all Extension offices in the metro area. • Start broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage transplants. • Prune fruit trees—apples, pears and cherries. • Prune peach and nectarines just prior to bloom time. • Select varieties and order new fruit trees. • Check fruit trees for rabbit and rodent damage. • Apply manure or compost to garden areas and incorporate for soil improvement. • Prepare garden soil for early planting on warm days. • Do not work soil when it is wet. • Check stored seeds for germination and discard as needed. • Prune grapes, raspberries and blackberries. • Turn compost pile as temperatures warm.


• Rotate plants to produce a balanced plant. • Withhold fertilization until spring light arrives. • Check plants for insects, mites and other problems. • Remove dust from plants by placing in the shower under room temperature water. • Give a plant to a friend for a winter pick-me-up. • Repot root-bound plants in a 1-inch larger pot. • Take cuttings of plants to make new ones for friends. • Shape plants for spring growth to produce a more balanced and attractive plant.

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.

Planttasia Your Personal Gardener

Your Garden ... Made Easy! We can help:


WWW . HE - KC . COM We construct retaining walls, patios, R ETAINING W ALLS • D RAINAGE S OLUTIONS • P ROJECT S ERVICES

a time to trim shrubs, roses and deadhead perennials

outdoor living spaces, and drainage solutions. Our crews are service oriented, meticulous, and conscientious about their work.

a we can plan and plant your garden a create shade gardens, gardens for sunny areas, gardens for butterflies and hummingbirds a keep your garden weeded and maintained • 913-522-1697

816-942-2TEA (2832) Inside Trendz, 151st & Nall

February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Landscape design & services


Wild Bird Center of Independence 4480 S. Noland Rd. • Independence, MO Call us at (816)478-9399

Trust us with your project needs. 816.835.1682



Upcoming Garden Events

Missouri Organic’s


places to go, things to do, people to see

Compost Compared to “No Name” Compost

Garden Shows Metropolitan Lawn and Garden Show February 8 – 10; American Royal Center Johnson County Home & Garden Show March 1 – 3; Overland Park Convention Center

Grid Two N atu r e W is e

Benefi t Safe to handle

“N o N am e”

Free of harmful pathogens

? ?

Contains no poultry or human waste


Lab tested for pesticide and herbicide contamination


Fine texture, less bulk

? ?

Free of weed seeds 7700 E. 40 Hwy. Kansas City, MO 64129


Planters Seed Co. • Since 1927 •

Flower, Lawn & Garden Show March 22 – 24; Bartle Hall

Club Meetings African Violets of Greater Kansas City Tue, Feb 12, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Bonsai Society of Greater Kansas City Sat, Feb 16, 9:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Feb 4, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. Guests are always welcome. Come join us and make a gardening friend! 816-941-2445. Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Sat, Feb 9, 1pm; at Family Tree Nursery, 8424 Farley, Overland Park, KS. We will be touring the greenhouse and learning how to make a Dish Garden. This is excellent opportunity to get out of the cold and enjoy the tropical environment of the greenhouse. Free event. The tour is open to the public. Bring your tropical questions and enjoy learning something new. Come join us and make a gardening friend! 813-313-8733 Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Feb 13, 12-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Lynn Soulier will speak on “Herbs of Love.” A Valentine’s Tea will be served. For more info and reservations call 913-592-3546. Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Mar 23, 9am; at the Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St (67th & Roe), Prairie Village, KS. Hospitality at 9am; Meeting and Program at 10am. Ed Lyon will present, “Why Don’t My Plants Look Like the Catalogue?”. Potluck follows, bring a dish to share, Club provides meat. At 1pm, Mr Lyon shares, “How to Build a Successful Shade Garden”. Come for one or both. Visitors always welcome. For more info, call Gwen at 816-213-0598.

2013 Seeds Arriving Daily! Largest Selection of Flowers & Vegetable Seed in the Area More than 300 Varieties of Seed in Bulk Package Seeds Arriving Daily Grass & Pasture Seed • Thousands of Bulbs Baskets, Terracotta and Pottery Birdhouses, Birdfeeders Retail • Wholesale • Lawn • Garden • Farm

513 Walnut KCMO • 816-842-3651 22

Independence Garden Club Mon, Feb 11, 6:30pm; at the Sermon Center, Noland and Truman Rds, Fourth floor, Independence, MO. Speaker will be Lynn Souiler of the Herb study group herbs for seniors and will also have a Valentine seed exchange. Visitors are invited and refreshments will be served. www. or call 816-3731169 or 816-796-4220. Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Feb 17, 1:30-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-822-1515 Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Feb 12, 7pm; at Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, 1263 N 1100 Rd, Lawrence, KS. We meet monthly to learn about herbs. We explore all aspects of an herb: growing & harvesting, historical lore, culinary virtues, medicinal merits, and aromatherapy, household, and cosmetic applications. Our gatherings are fun and educational, and jam-packed with useful information, includ-

ing relevant demonstrations. Our February focus herbs are JUNIPER and CLOVES, plus there will be a bonus presentation on HEART HERBS, and you never know what you’ll learn during our popular “Share, Show, and Tell” segment. Everyone with an interest in herbs is welcome. There is a $2 charge to cover costs (KVHSG is a non-profit group; no charge for students). No pets. Nursing babies and children over 10 are welcome. www. Leawood Garden Club Tue, Feb 26, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St, Leawood, KS. Business meeting at 10:30am, followed by program “Ask Mr Tomato Head” by Brad Lucht, President of the Greater KC Gardeners of America. Potluck luncheon: desserts & beverages provided. Open to the public, guests are welcome. Contact 816363-0925 or for information. MoKan Daylily Society Sun, Feb 3, 11:30am-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Social at 11:30, potluck at 12:30, meeting at 1:30. Visitors welcome. 816-784-5300 Northland Garden Club Tue, Feb 19, 7pm; at Linden Baptist Church, 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone, MO. Program: ‘New Perennials for 2013’ by Jim Gardener, Family Tree Nursery-Liberty. Guests are welcome. For further information contact Sue Combellick, 816452-7485. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tue, Feb 19, 12:30pm; in community room of Bass Pro Store, 12051 Bass Pro Dr, Olathe, KS. The program will be presented by Family Tree Nursery on building a terrarium. Refreshments will be served and the public is welcome. For more information, contact Joan Shriver at 913782-7205 or check us out on olathegarden. Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City Sun, Feb 3, 1:30-5pm; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Preparing to show your orchids, planning for the Lawn and Garden Show, and Mark Prout, AOS Accredited Judge: “How Orchids are Judged”. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Feb 11, 7pm; at Colonial Church at 71st and Mission, Prairie Village, KS. Our program will be Growing Herbs: Useful Plants for Year Round Enjoyment by Linda Dunehoo. Refreshments will be served. Visitors always welcome. For information contact Judy Schuck 913-362-8480. ShoMe African Violets Society Fri, Feb 8, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Sunflower Garden Club (Gardeners of America) Wyandotte County Tue, Feb 12, 7pm; at Eisenhower Community Center, 2901 72nd St, Kansas City, KS. Begin the spring planting and growing season. Guest speakers provide the program information. The public is invited to participate. Questions contact Claudeane Craig at 913-287-7045.

Events, Lectures & Classes February Bird Chat-Fun Winter Feeding Sat, Feb 2, 9:30-11am; at Ironwoods Park in Nature Center, 147th & Mission, Leawood, KS. Doc & Diane Gover of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop will discuss feeding our feathered friends during National Birdfeeding Month

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

(February) and what high calorie foods should be offered during cold weather. They will also explain the importance of participating in The Great Backyard Bird Count. Questions will be answered and problem solving discussed during the presentation. Educational handouts will be provided. To register 913-339-6700 x154 or Composition in Depth Photography Class Sat, Feb 2, 10-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $20 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Class limited to 30 people. Whether you’ve had our basic photography class and are ready to take your photography to a new level, or you’re just beginning, this class may be for you. It begins with a review of basic composition principles and then takes a more in-depth look at the art of composition. Also covered will be a section on the quality of light and how it matters in landscape photography. Question and answers at end of the class. Classroom session only but you may bring your cameras to practice what you have learned on your own after the class. Register by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. 913-685-3604 Grow Native! Workshops Fri, Feb 8 (for professionals) and Sat, Feb 9 (for homeowners); at Douglas County Fairgrounds, Bldg#1, 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. Friday’s workshop, Landscape Design with Nature in Mind, is geared to landscape designers, architects, nursery owners, and other land care professionals and will provide in-depth information on many aspects of native landscaping—from soils to pollinators, water management and more. Don’t miss learning from knowledgable presenters Chip Taylor, Lee Skabelund, Ted Hartsig, and Elliott Duemler! $35 for members of the Missouri Prairie Foundation/Grow Native! $40 for nonmembers. Saturday’s workshop, Native Landscaping and Rain Gardens for Homeowners, in-depth “do-it-yourself” information from presenters David Dods and Elliott Duemler. $15 for members of Missouri Prairie Foundation/Grow Native! $18 for nonmembers. For details and registration info, Early Bird Registration for Gardening Seminar Fri, Feb 8. Deadline for early bird registration for the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Spring Gardening Seminar taking place Sat, Mar 9, at Metropolitan Community CollegeLongview, Lee’s Summit. Final deadline for enrollment Mar 1. See under Spring Seminar heading for more information and an application. African Violets of GKC Annual Spring Sale Sat, Feb 9, 9am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. For more info, call Pat Inbody, 816-373-6915. Steam Engines from real-life scale to model scale Sat, Feb 9, 10am-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $10 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. “Kids, look, I shrunk a real railroad train to run around the Christmas Tree”! What makes a steam engine go and what is the allure of a model train? Find out about g-scale trains from some expert model railroaders. Russ Hayden, Bill Hart and Bob Pryzby, avid model railroaders for many years, will share with you their knowledge of model trains (wind-up to digital command control), conductor, engineer and/or brakemen duties, model railroad clubs and other interesting facts. Register for classes by going to and follow the prompts. Bring paid receipt to the class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. 913-685-3604. Orchids at Garden Show Feb 8-10. The Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City will be showcased at the Metropolitan Lawn and Garden Show, with a 5,000 square foot

Orchid Show in Wagstaff Theatre at American Royal Center. Show will include several artistically-arranged displays featuring the “queen of flowers,” by several local orchid growers. Hundreds of orchids, large and small, including rare species and manmade hybrids from around the world will be on display. Hundreds of blooming orchids will also be for sale by vendors from Missouri, Indiana, and Kansas. More details available at 16th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count Feb 15-18. Take time to participate in the largest Citizen Science project on record. This is the first year for the GBBC to go GLOBAL. Learn more by visiting Exposure, getting the light right Sat, Feb 16, 10-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $20 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Are you finding that leaving your camera on full automatic just isn’t yielding the results you want? It may be time for a class on exposure. We’ll talk about the exposure triangle, Aperture Priority, Time Priority, manual mode and special lighting situations. We’ll also investigate the mysteries of the camera’s histogram. This will be a classroom session but you are encouraged to bring your cameras and manuals to locate controls and functions we discuss in class. Class limited to 30. Register for classes by going to and follow prompts. Bring paid receipt to class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. For additional information, 913-685-3604. Gardeners Connect Speaker Series: Viburnum Sat, Feb 16, 10-11:30am; in the auditorium at the Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, MO. Gardeners Connect presents “There’s a Perfect Viburnum for Every Garden” by Gary and Susan Ladman, owners of Classic Viburnum nursery in Upland, Neb. This event is free and open to the public. Great Backyard Bird Count Sat, Feb 16, 9am-4pm; Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N Hwy 7, Olathe, KS 66061. It’s easy as (one-two-three). Every year biologists and researchers count on you to help them determine the health of bird populations here in North America. Join us as we count birds and contribute to a worthy cause. Stop by for as little as 15 minutes and you may see Northern Cardinals, Blackcapped Chickadees, and many more feathered friends. Learn about the birds that spend winters in Northeast Kansas from experienced birders from Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City. All Ages. Free. For more information call: 913-764-7759.

Come Experience

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens 8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, KS New Volunteer Orientation Wed, February 20, 9 to 11:30am Consider spending part of your leisure time volunteering at Overland Park’s 300-acre Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This hidden jewel at 179th and Antioch is a great place for people to get back in touch with nature, admire the beauty of numerous flower and water gardens and become part of a wonderful volunteer experience. You can find out about volunteer opportunities such as gardening, greeters, prairie restoration, greenhouse operations, weddings, photography, birds, special events and plant sales. FREE! The only requirement is 30 hours per year of volunteer time. Register by going to and follow the prompts. Fireside Tea – Looking for a warm place to go in February? Saturday, February 23, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon Make a reservation for the Fireside Tea. This two part event features a tea tasting of 7 various types of teas followed by a traditional English Tea. Cost if $17.00 per person PLUS admission fee to Gardens on day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. You may register for this tea by going to and following the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the class for admission. There will be no refunds. Deadline for registration is February 15th. For additional information, contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604.

Water Gardens Tour 2013 20th Annual Water Garden Tour Come see 50 plus backyard water gardens of Water Garden Society members Saturday, June 22 • Sunday, June 23 9am - 5pm • Rain or Shine • Bus tours available.

Great Backyard Bird Count at Powell Gardens Sun, Feb 17, 9am-noon; Join Sherry Leonardo and Mike Stoakes and take part in the national Great Backyard Bird Count at Powell Gardens. $8/person, Free/Members. Registration required by Feb 13. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at www. and follow the CALENDAR link. Beginning Beekeeping 4 Tuesdays, Feb 19-Mar 12, 6:30-8:30pm; at MCC-Longview, 500 SW Longview Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Certified beekeepers will share the background, bee anatomy, equipment and products involved with beekeeping. You will learn how to get started in becoming a beekeeper, how to manage hives safely, methods of pest management and tools and equipment used in the apiary. In addition, you will learn how to retrieve and process honey from hives. Instructors: Jolie Winer & Cecil Sweeney, Heartland Honey. Fee $49. Call MCC-Longview Community Education to enroll: 816-604-2030. New Volunteer Orientation Wed, Feb 20, 9-11:30 am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Consider spending part of your leisure time volunteering at Overland Park’s 300-acre Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This

(continued on page 24)

February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

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

Contributing Sponsor: House of Rocks 23

February Events at Powell Gardens Bird Watching, Wedding Planning and More!


ebruary is the perfect month for feeding and watching the birds from a cozy perch— but also for bundling up and exploring the quiet beauty of winter in the great outdoors. Visitors to Powell Gardens this month will find plenty of opportunities to do both, with bird watching activities each weekend and a nature hike during the Great Backyard Bird Count. Winter admission is $7/ adults, $6/seniors and $3/children 5-12. (Note: Café Thyme is closed for the season; check for details on its reopening in early spring.) ‘In Living Color’ Conservatory Exhibit 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through March 10 Color away your winter blues with a visit to “In Living Color,” a conservatory exhibit of the brightest and most vibrant cool-season blooms. Enjoy stunning ranunculus, vivid dianthus, bright forsythia and other favorites in every color of the rainbow while you learn about the meaning of color according to the practice of Feng Shui and other interesting facts about the use of color in design. Great Backyard Bird Count and Guided Hike 9 a.m.-noon Feb. 17 (count) Bring binoculars and help track the bird population around the Visitor Education Center as part of the national Great Backyard Bird Count. Both beginning and experienced birders are welcome. Free for members; $8/adults and $3/children. Register by Feb. 13 at 1-4 p.m. Feb. 17 (hike) Late winter brings the chance to see raptors like the Bald Eagle beginning their migration back north. Join birders Sherry Leonardo and Mike Stoakes on a guided hike along the 3.25 mile-Byron Shutz Nature Trail and back through the Rock & Waterfall and Island Gardens. Register by Feb. 13 at Love in Bloom Wedding Planning Fair 10 a.m-4 p.m. Feb. 23 Gather ideas for the wedding of your dreams during Powell Gardens’ annual wedding planning fair. Visit with vendors from photographers to florists, plus enjoy live music throughout the day and a presentation by Wedding Entertainer Director Ron Ruth at 1:30 p.m. Please help us plan with an RSVP to 816-697-2600 x228. Admission is $10 per person and includes trolley service.


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

(continued from page 23) hidden jewel at 179th and Antioch is a great place for people to get back in touch with nature, admire the beauty of numerous flower and water gardens and become part of a wonderful volunteer experience. Find out about volunteer opportunities such as gardening, greeters, prairie restoration, greenhouse operations, weddings, photography, birds, special events and plant sales. Free - only requirement is 30 hours per year of volunteer time. Register by going to www.opabg. org and follow the prompts. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604. Invasive Tree Pests Changing our Landscape Thurs, Feb 21, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO. Dr. Rob Lawrence, Forest Entomologist, Missouri Dept of Conservation, will speak at the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Gardeners Gathering about Emerald Ash Borer as it will affect the Kansas City Metro. Other tree pests that may enter our state in the future will be discussed. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456 or see Fireside Tea Sat, Feb 23, 10am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Make a reservation for the Fireside Tea. This two part event features a tea tasting of 7 various types of teas followed by a traditional English Tea. Cost is $17 per person PLUS admission fee to Gardens on day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. You may register for this tea by going to www.opabg. org and following the prompts. Bring paid receipt to class for admission. No refunds and deadline for registration is Feb 15. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604.

March Pleasant Valley Baptist Church Garden Ministry Pancake Breakfast Kickoff Sat, Mar 2, 8-11am; in the West Wing. Giving away vegetable seeds, onion sets and seed potatoes. Guest speaker discussing “What’s Hot in Gardening” - perennials and vegetables to grow in your garden. Local nurseries, Master Gardeners and Kansas City Community Gardens will have resource tables set up during event. Build a Cold Frame Sat, Mar 2, 10am-noon, at Powell Gardens. Assemble a portable, cedar cold frame large enough to hold four flats of seedlings to use at home or in other small garden spaces. Learn how to position, vent and maintain your cold frame to maximize its growing potential. We will even start you out with some cool season starts. $99/ project, $87/Members. Registration required by Feb 18. To register call Linda Burton at 816-6972600 ext. 209. Or register online and see pictures of projects at and follow the CALENDAR link. Bird Chat – Spring, Migration and Nesting Sat, Mar 2, 10-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $10 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Doc & Diane Gover of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop will discuss migratory arrivals and nesting habits of birds. This is one of the busiest and most crucial times in a birds life. Questions will be answered and educational handouts will be

provided. Register for classes by going to www. and follow the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the class for admission. There will be no refunds for missed classes. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604. Organic Gardening Mar 11 and 13, 6:30-8:30pm; at MCC-Longview, 500 SW Longview Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Organic gardening is one of the most exciting and important things we can do for our health and the health of the planet. Join us as we study principles and practices of organic gardening. We’ll study both the use of organic materials and the use of organic cultural practices. You can have a garden that creates oxygen, provides habitat for honeybees and otherwise improves the planet. Fee $29. Call MCC-Longview Community Education to enroll: 816-604-2030. Birding Adventure for Children Wed, Mar 13, 9:30-11am, at Overland Park Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $5 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day for class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Would you like to learn about our feathered friends, where they live and observe them in their native habitat and how they are equipped to survive? Observe them through binoculars at our bird yard. Adult presence/participation required. Class limited to 12 children ages 9 -12. Please dress to go outside and wear sturdy shoes. You may register for classes by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604. Perennials: A Closer Look Tue, Mar 12 and 19, 6:30-8:30pm; at Raytown South Middle School, room 104, 8401 E 83rd St, Raytown, MO. This two-part course takes an in-depth look at many perennials which do well in our region. We will discuss growing techniques and ways to include more outstanding and unusual perennials in your landscape. Instructor is Leah Berg. Two nights, $20. To register, please call Raytown Community Education (816) 268-7037 Geo-Kids Thurs, Mar 14, 10-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $5 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Hey Kids – are you ready for a treasure hunt at the Arboretum? This is a basic instruction class for children ages 7-12 on use of a compass, with a brief introduction to GPS devices and geocaching. Includes short classroom session on how to orient a compass followed by a treasure hunt using compass and clues. Adult presence/participation is required. Pre-registration is required as class is limited to 15 children. You may register for classes by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the class for admission. There will be no refunds for missed classes. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913685-3604. Fundamentals of Birding for a Life Long Adventure Sat, Mar 16, 10-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $10 per person for class PLUS admission fee to Gardens day of class. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Dr David Seibel will focus on birding fundamentals, such as the basics (size, coloration, silhouette, habitat, and sound) for identifying common bird species. He will discuss resources (books, websites, binoculars, etc) to learn about birds and

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

to help identify them and to share some of his experiences and photographs. Dr David Seibel is a native Kansan and lifelong birder. He holds a PhD in ornithology from the University of Kansas, is a biology professor, author, poet, popular lecturer and avid nature photographer as well as an award-winning faculty member at Johnson County Community College. He coauthored the 528 page Birds of Kansas, published in 2011, and is a founding partner of, whose photos illustrate the entire Pocket Guide to Common Kansas Backyard Birds (2012). You may register for classes by going to www.opabg. org and following the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the class for admission. There will be no refunds for missed classes. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604.

Sho-Me African Violet Club 28th Annual Show- “Isles of Violets” Apr 6 and 7; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. The Sho-Me African Violet Society will sponsor a combined Show and Sale. Members will be entering African Violets and other plants of this gesneriad family. While viewing the beautiful plants and interesting design entries in the Showroom, members will be present and willing to talk with persons just being introduced to the subject of African Violets. Learn about Gesneriads (Sinningia, Episcia, Streptocarpus among others) that are included in the African Violet family. Then visit the Sales Room to fill your home with your newfound treasures. The Show and Sales Rooms will be open to the Public Apr 6, 9am-4pm; and Sun Apr 7, 10am-3pm. Free admission. 816-784-5300

Pest Management Mar 19-May 16, Tues/Thurs, 6-8:45pm; at Metropolitan Community College-Longview campus in Lee’s Summit, MO. Learn the least toxic methods preferred to manage regional insect and disease problems. Students also prepare to pass the Missouri State exam for the Certified Pesticide Applicators License, given the final day of class. Instructor: certified arborist Rusty Denes. Fees apply. Please contact Leah Berg at 816-353-7170 or e-mail Pam.Hensley@mcckc. edu for information.


Landscape Design and Maintenance Mar 18-May 15, Mon/Wed, 5:45-8:30pm; at Metropolitan Community College-Longview campus in Lee’s Summit, MO. Information tailored to our region, essential aspects of site evaluation, design concepts, and methods to create scale drawings are emphasized. Instructor: designer Leah Berg. Fees apply. Please contact Leah Berg at 816-353-7170 or e-mail Pam. for information. Urban Fruit Production Seminar Sat, Mar 23, 8:30am-3:30pm; at Univ of Missouri Extension Center, 1106 W Main St, Blue Springs, MO. Cos $45 per person, lunch included. To register and for more information, call 816-2525051. Class size is limited to 30 participants. Urban Chicken Keeping Mar 26 and 28, 6:30-8:30pm; at MCC-Longview, 500 SW Longview Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Discover the joys and benefits of backyard chicken keeping in this educational new workshop. We’ll cover fundamentals like different breeds, what to look for in a coop, care for your backyard flock, how to raise baby chicks, health issues, city regulations and the thrill of bringing fresh eggs to your table. Instructor: Barb McKinney. Fee $29. Call MCC-Longview Community Education to enroll: 816-604-2030. Spillers, Thrillers, & Fillers - Container Gardening Basics Thurs, Mar 28, 4-5:30pm; at Rosehill Garden Center, 311 E 135th St, Martin City. Tired of the same old plant combinations in your garden containers? Load up on creatively fresh ideas to break out of the ordinary for spring. We’ll discuss plant selections, and you will plant a container garden to take home. Supply fee (varies with selection) paid to instructor. You may bring your own pot or container. Instructor is Staff of Rosehill Nursery. Fee $14. Call MCC-Longview Community Education to enroll: 816-604-2030.

Prairie Village Earth Fair Sat, Apr 13. Save The Date. This year’s theme is “It takes a village…” and will explore the many parts of a vibrant, green community. Herb Gardening Thurs, Apr 18, 4-5pm; at Rosehill Garden Center, 311 E 135th St, Martin City. Fresh, home-grown herbs are fragrant and flavorful — and they add a unique touch to those special recipes. We’ll talk about selecting herbs and companion plants, and you will plant a container to take home. Instructor is Staff of Rosehill Nursery. Fee $14. Call MCC-Longview Community Education to enroll: 816-604-2030. Spring Plant Sale Thurs-Sat, Apr 25-27, Thurs: noon-7pm, Fri: 10am-7pm, Sat: 10am-6pm; at Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village KS. Sponsored by Overland Park Gardeners of America. Hostas provided by the Hosta Guy, Rob Mortko. Large selection of annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs will be for sale. Potting soil will also be sold. Children may plant pumpkin or sunflower seeds or build a small container garden as part of our Youth Gardening Contests. Master Gardener Honey Barnekoff will be available to assemble custom containers, bring your own or choose some of ours. Bring your used nursery pots for reuse in our 2nd Annual Pot Harvest.

May Central Missouri Master Gardener Plant Sale Sat, May 4, 7am-noon; at Jaycee Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Watch for more info and see our Website: or, find us on Facebook at Central Missouri Plant Sale.

FREE! Bird Feeders February is National Bird Feeding Month and Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood is offering free bird feeders with seed to any interested schools, libraries, assisted living facilities and parks. The feeders being offered are a result of a feeder trade-in promotion held last fall. Customers traded in quality feeders knowing that


Weather Repor t

they would be given to deserving organizations. Hopefully this will allow even more people to share in the joy of backyard birdfeeding. Groups interested in receiving free feeders should stop by or call Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood for more information. The store location is 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kan. (913491-4887) Feeders will be available on a first come first serve basis.

Highs and Lows Avg temp 34° Avg high temp 43° Avg low temp 24° Highest recorded temp 80° Lowest recorded temp -20° Nbr of above 70° days 1

Clear or Cloudy


Avg nbr of clear days 8

Northland Garden Club Annual Garden Tour Sun, Jun 2. This year’s tour is “An Afternoon at Country Downs” and will be a walking tour of the neighborhood at Vivion and North Monroe. There will be five gardens and featured artists. The cost is $10 per person. For further information contact Dee West, 816-455-4013 or check the website at

Avg nbr of cloudy days 14

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 4.5” Avg rainfall 1.3” Avg nbr of rainy days 7 Source:

Would you like a FREE listing to promote your gardening events! Send the details to:

The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail:

Deadline to promote your event in the March issue is February 10. Call 913-648-4728 if you have questions. February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

From the Almanac Moon Phases Last Quarter: Feb. 3 New Moon: Feb. 10 First Quarter: Feb. 17 Full Moon: Feb. 25 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Above Ground Crops: 11-13, 16, 17, 21, 22

Plant Root Crops: 1, 2, 28

Control Plant Pests: 5, 6, 9, 10

Transplant: 21, 22

Plant Flowers: 11-13, 16, 17


Stock Pond Turned Lotus Garden By Charles Hammer Photos by Charles Hammer.


t’s not the biggest lotus garden in the world, though at 40 by 60 feet it’s no midget. Nor is it the most beautiful—an opinion actually hard to accept as you drink in the radiant pink and gold of its massed blossoms. No, Larry Parker’s is just the easiest lotus garden in the world. For 25 years he and his wife, Carol Ann, have enjoyed their 28 acres mostly of second-growth woods near Freeman, Missouri, 40 miles south of Kansas City. Larry wearied of staring at the ugly remnant of a one-time stock pond, algae choked, hardly four feet deep. “This neighbor lady had some plant in a galvanized tub set into her backyard pool,” he explains. “She complained that it had been climbing out of the tub and taking over. She left the root ball lying out on the bank for a week, but then gave it to me.” One early spring day Larry, a retired school counselor, walked

the quarter-mile path between his house and the pond carrying the raggedy tangle of roots. He chucked it as far as he could throw into the muddy water and walked back. He didn’t exactly flout the complex rules of lotus transplanting as expounded in such works as “Water Gardens” by Jacqueline Heriteau and Charles B. Thomas: “...with your fingers follow the stem down

Johnson County Community College

Horticultural Sciences Day

Theme: Sustainable Horticulture


oin JCCC’s professors and leaders in horticultural sciences as they host some of the best speakers in the field. Learn about the existing and emerging career opportunities while you visit with professionals who will have information booths and activities. You’ll also have a chance to talk with reps from JCCC about career certificates and associate degree programs.

7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 JCCC’s Regnier Center 101

For more information, contact Dr. Lekha Sreedhar at 913-469-8500, ext. 3763, or visit


to the growing tip. Follow the tuber horizontally until you have passed two or, better, three joints. You need at least two joints plus the growing tip for a successful transplant. Break the tuber off beyond the second or third joint and very carefully bring it to the surface...” Etcetera, etcetera. Far from flouting them, Larry had never heard of such important rules.

Yet that summer the lotus swept across the pond like a green tsunami, by fall completely covering the surface. It has bloomed profusely each late spring since, as many as 80 gorgeous flowers some days rising on six-foot stems. The variety seems to be Mrs. “Perry D. Slocum,” a cross between the yellow native American lotus, Nelumbo lutea, and the pink Asiatic

LOSE YOUR FAVORITE ISSUE? Th e Ka ns as Ci ty The Kansas City Th e Ka nsa s Ci ty

NER GAR D ENER GAR D EGARDENER h 2012 Marc g thly G A Mon u i de t o S u cces s ful Gar dening November 2012 enin ssful Garde ning to Succ essfu l Gard A Mont hly Guide to Succe A Mon thly Guid e

Beautiful Bright and uals for 2012

May 2012

Attracting Flying Flowers

New Ann

Not So Minor Bulbs Heirloom Annuals

Miniature Hosta n trees Dogwoods are fine garde Memory Gardens ons retati Interp Test Soil

Hangin’ Out For Winter Care for Your Newly Seeded Lawn Falling ... Into Winter Ponds The Bird Brain answers your questions

The Grand Magnolia

A Landscape With Flavor Year of the Geranium 2012 All-America Selections

NOw AVAILAbLE ONLINE • instant access to advertisers’ websites • Print out your favorite Page for the fridge • revisit inforMative articLes • review uPcoMing events The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

hybrid, Nelumbo Rosea Plena. Rich pink buds the size of a coconut open to double flowers big as a cantaloupe. In the course of two days they shade to yellow before

morphing into a truly weird green pod, the face of a many-eyed alien with seeds for eyeballs. Strangely, the lotus garden is not even the most famous attraction on the Parker place. The whole 28 acres is a pleasure park with a halfmile of circling grassy paths commanded by Larry himself at age 76, gunning his 52-inch John Deere mower full speed along them, scaring up deer here, turkey there, plus occasional coyotes and bobcats. In an airy studio building on the property Carol Ann creates prizewinning art in felt that she pounds from wool. That most famous attraction is actually another garden, this

one featuring about 500 bowling balls blooming on reinforcingrod stems across a three-acre meadow. An auto touring group has placed a GPS locator there so wandering motorists can find it. When tourists show up for the bowling balls in spring, they often get the bonus of a jaw-dropping visit to the lotuses. Nobody enjoys them more than Larry. By now they have hogged from the water so many plant nutrients that the algae is starved out. Their intensely blue-green leaves are shaped somewhat like inverted umbrellas. On a sunny morning, dew beads up like diamonds on their surface. When a light rain falls, Larry likes to walk down to the pond. “Those leaves catch some water till it pools up in them,” he says, smiling. “It gets so heavy they tip over and spill it out. They fill up again and spill it again, over and over. It’s fun to watch.” Charles Hammer is a Shawnee resident, a former civil rights reporter for The Kansas City Star and a retired journalism instructor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

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

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

For convenient mail delivery, complete the form below and send with your check for $20.00. You will receive a one-year subscription to The Kansas City Gardener. Name: Address: City, State, Zip: Phone: E-mail: Where did you pick up The Kansas City Gardener? Please enclose your check payable to The Kansas City Gardener and mail with this form to: P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 The Kansas City Gardener is published monthly Jan. through Dec.

February 2013 / The Kansas City Gardener

Professional’s Corner

Meet Steve Hess, owner of From the Summer’s Garden, which brings art to the garden through creative experience, providing ideas and showcasing the hand of the artist. Describe the genesis of From the Summer’s Garden: I have been a gardener most of my life, learning to garden with my dad and my grandma. In college I was an art major and eventually became an art teacher. Following teaching, I have had a variety of interesting design jobs. From the Summer’s Garden is a natural result of combining my artistic interests with my love of gardening. I sold my first stepping stone in the late 80s and started FTSG in 1990. Tell us about how From the Summer’s Garden works and what people can expect when they visit: I am the owner and designer at From the Summer’s Garden. I have a network of over 20 artists who join me for sales events throughout the year. I also hire area high school art students to help me. We turn both floors of my studio into an exciting retail discovery experience. Most of the time, customers visit when it works for them any time of the year, visiting my garden showroom for unique and whimsical concrete stepping stones, garden stakes, sculpture, and hypertufa planting containers and bird baths. Besides being able to find fun things for their home and gardens, customers can also learn how to make their own in our Creative Workshops and Studios. The sessions are held on both floors of the studio January through September each year. Find more information on FTSG and the Creative Workshops and Studios on the blog New on the horizon: Now I am interested in sculptural concrete and handmade paper and the combination of the two in making fun stuff for gardens and those who take care of them. Favorite tree: Geez…just one? I have to pick an apple tree. You can shape and train them and they still love you. They are magic with blossoms and bees in the spring and a wonder when they produce edible fruit in the fall. You can even climb the big ones! Favorite garden destination: Always inspiring, I often visit Kauffman Memorial Garden, where they continually change things around and put together surprising and pleasing plant combinations. Little known secret: One of the most fun and economical things a gardener can do is start your own seeds. Save loads of money and get the newest plants before stores get them! Contact information: 8601 Barkley St., Overland Park, KS 66212. Open 10am-6pm everyday during retail events. Call for appointment: 913-579-5395. Email:; Blog: 27


Tropicals & Houseplants

Lift your spirits, banish winter doldrums, re-vitalize your decor and improve air quality too! Vibrant tropical plants at a fraction of their regular low cost. 3 Orchids 3 Cyclamen 3 Cineraria 3 Bromeliads 3 Kalanchoe 3 Potted Spring Bulbs 3 Hyacinths 3 African Violets plus

25% Off regular low prices

All House Plants

Tiny Treasures WORKSHOP

Time to repot root-bound plants! Huge selection of decorative pots NOW.

Sunday, Feb. 10 1:00-4:00 135th & Wornall Greenhouse

105th & Roe (913) 649-8700


K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy closed for winter season

135th & Wornall

(816) 942-2921 The Kansas City Gardener / February 2013

KCG 02Feb13  
KCG 02Feb13  

The Kansas City Gardener