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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

February 2014

Patrick’s Picks: Underused Houseplants

Landscaping With Dogs in Mind Why No Butterflies? Dream of Spring and Outdoor Living Great Backyard Bird Count


Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle... C

It’s Not Just Something You Have In Your Backyard, It’s About A Way Of Life! There Truly Is Something Magical In The Healing Waters Of A Water Garden Paradise.

ome with us on an exciting journey and discover the ultimate Water Garden destination. A place where you can experience first hand what “Living In Paradise” is really like.

H

ere’s why you should have Swan’s Water Gardens build your water garden paradise in your backyard.

Located on 2 acres in southern Johnson Co. is where you’ll find Swan’s Water Gardens. A place where we live and breathe the “Water Garden Lifestyle” everyday.

First, we’ve been building and maintaining Water Gardens for over 20 years now. Over those 20 years our pond building techniques have been honed to perfection through years of hard work and fine tuning.

It’s where we specialize in backyard living and helping you do the same by creating beautiful water gardens in your backyard.

Although our ponds appear as though anyone could duplicate them, nothing could be further from the truth.

Nowhere will you find anyone more dedicated to creating paradise in your backyard with water gardens than Swan’s Water Gardens.

In reality our ponds are built to exacting standards by experienced pond builders, under the watchful eye and direction of veteran pond builder Kevin Swan.

Learn how we use water to bring balance into our lives, our gardens and areas surrounding our home. Irrespective of the size of your backyard we can create that perfect balance with nature bringing you a lush and healthy water garden that both soothes and inspires you at the same time. There’s just something magical about the sound of water in nature. Calm sets in and nature takes over.

M

ake your plans today to visit Swan’s Water Gardens in 2014.

You’ll see water features you can build for as little as $895 for small patios or courtyards. We also have many more display gardens raninging in price from $2,500 up to $40,000 for more elaborate features built by Swan’s Water Gardens. For the DIYer, we provide you with everything you need for your Water Gardens. Pumps, liners, underlayment, filtration systems, hose, fish, aquatic plants, lilies, lotus and garden accessories. Come take a stroll in paradise with the pond professionals at Swan’s Water Gardens.

Not only will you marvel at the precision of the excavation of your pond but you’ll be amazed at how well your finished water garden actually blends into your existing landscape.

Watch for our new online store coming soon. New and improved products for your water garden needs delivered to your front door.

Once the excavation is complete the true artistry of the building process begins. It’s also where our secrets to building ponds that don’t leak are revealed. You can relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility your water garden provides without worry!

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Act Now ... Call Us Today And Start Living In Paradise


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February 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Let’s do it better

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Leah Berg Cindy Gilberg Diane & Doc Gover Steve Klecan Lenora Larson Patrick Muir Dennis Patton Diane Swan 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 mike@kcgmag.com. Submit editorial questions to Elizabeth Cavanaugh at elizabeth@kcgmag.com.

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

J

anuary was relatively quiet in the garden. Other than a few arctic temps, a bit of snow, and fierce drying winds, Old Man Winter has been seasonably kind. Measurable snow allowed shoveling time with our neighbors while we watched the dogs wrestle and race. A bit of melancholy rushed in though, as I recalled the days of kids sledding the downward slope our street. Oh how we all loved snow days, children and parents alike. Before the snowfall, there were a few peaceful afternoons in the garden. Picking up sticks and collecting yet more leaves, these were ideal times to stroll and take stock. There were a number of new additions to the garden last season, and like a mother hen, I had to check in to see how they were doing. Of course, it’s hard to tell at this point. I’m simply glad to see them visibly undamaged and holding their position until spring. During one of those cleanup days, when the wind was calm and the sun was warm, my friend Polly and her pup Gracey, stopped by for a chat. Among our usual topics like weather, cute dogs and the garden, she asked if I was in training for my next triathlon. Wait,

what? My NEXT triathlon? In my mind, I was done with triathlons, and was thoughtfully seeking a different physical challenge. It was in that moment, however, I realized that was it. Yes, the next challenge is to improve. Do it better. With intention and purpose, I’m going to do it better. I won’t settle for ‘one and done’ (or two as is the case). Why not reach higher? So there. I’ve said it out loud and on paper. I will participate in my third triathlon this summer. Third time’s a charm right? I’ll let you know how it goes. The same goal applies to my garden. My early years of Kansas gardening have been trial and error. There’ve been a fair amount of success stories, and probably more failures, by comparison. Between my lack of knowledge and the unpredictable challenging conditions, I’ll be ahead of the game if I think before purchasing. I hope to learn from my misguided, impul-

sive decisions, and make this season better. No more smorgasbord containers filled with one of everything. No more planting willy nilly. This year, I’ll be focused and deliberate. What are your garden goals? Are you eager to grow your own vegetables? Would you like to have containers that make a statement? Is there a paver patio plan dancing in your head? If you have the idea, and need help making it a reality, then call a professional. (It’s easy to find one in this publication.) I do that frequently, and it offers the confidence you need to continue your plan. You’ll discover that you can likely accomplish the project on your own, or that this might need a professional team. Either way, ask others for help in bringing your garden goals to life. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue February 2014 • Vol. 19 No. 2 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 The Bird Brain ......................... 8 Landscaping With Dogs in Mind .......................... 10 Grow Native: Gardening for Habitat .............................. 12 Patrick’s Picks: Underused Houseplants ............ 14 Why No Butterflies .................. 16

about the cover ...

EAB Has Landed in KC ............ 18 Powell Garden Events .............. 20 Garden Calendar .................... 21 Upcoming Events ..................... 22 Horticulture Extension Classes ... 24 Weather ................................. 25 Dream of Spring and Outdoor Living ........................ 26 Professional’s Corner ................ 27

There are many exciting underused, under-appreciated and under-loved houseplants like Anthurium, or the Flamingo Flower. Learn more about Patrick’s Picks starting on page 14.

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18

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014


More Months. More Nutrition. Osmocote® Smart-Release® Plant Food Outdoor & Indoor. It feeds 50% longer and contains more than three times the number of nutrients as our previous formula. It’s classic Osmocote® with more! Isn’t it time you put it to work in your garden?

© 2014, All rights reserved.

February 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

where gardeners go to grow. 5


Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton REPAIR DOG RUN Question: I have an area in my back yard that has been killed out by my dog. He runs to this area and then stands and turns circles chasing birds and surveying the neighborhood. How can I repair this spot? Answer: The first question is how will you exclude the dog from this area? There is no reason to repair the area if you are going to allow the dog to return to its favorite spot. Dogs no matter how big severely compact the soil and wear

out the grass until you are down to bare soil. So if you have no plans to fence this area off permanently then my best suggestion is to just live with it and love your pet. If you are willing to modify the animal’s behavior then we can talk. The compaction must first be broken. That is best achieved by either hand spading or tilling the area as deeply as possible at least 6 inches. The next step would be to incorporate organic matter such as compost, about 2 to 4 inches and work that into the soil. These steps will revive the soil. From there you should be ready to seed or sod the area depending on timing. Just simply scratching the surface with a rake will not be enough in this case to reseed the area.

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Creative Workshops in February and March

Creative Workshops are held in the studio at From the Summer’s Garden. Sessions run 2 hours in length Open to kids and adults. Make a great group activity!

peaceinmygarden.com for more info and to enroll.

Stepping Stone/Stake

Mold and take home cast stone or stake.

Paint & Finish a Stone or Stake Finish it the way you want it.

Fairy Garden Accessories Make Fairy House and Accessories

Mosaic Bird Basin

Create mosaic water basin for the birds.

Mosaic Mini-Stake

Mosaic Owl or Flower Mini-Stake

Mosaic Stepping Stone Make your own Mosaic Stone.

More info and to enroll go to: peaceinmygarden.com , call 913-579-5395 or Email: summersgarden@everestkc.net

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Pruning ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea arborescens is easy. It blooms on new wood, so pruning is a simple one cut. Cut each shoot to the ground about 2 to 4 inches from the base. This will stimulate development of new shoots from the base, then a large white flower. CARE FOR ‘ANNABELLE’ Question: I have been planting more hydrangeas in my garden. This past summer was my first experience with ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea. I thoroughly enjoyed the large white flowers that seemed to last all summer, first white, then turning chartreuse green and finally brown in the fall. Since this is my first experience with the plant I am wondering how I should care for them come spring. Most importantly, how do I prune this plant for bigger and better flowering?

Answer: ‘Annabelle’ would be one of my must have plants for the garden. It is one of the more durable and easy to grow hydrangeas. Pruning is very easy to do, and in fact, the only way you could fail is not to prune. ‘Annabelle’ is a Hydrangea arborescens and why that is important is because this species flowers on the new growth produced in the spring. Since it flowers on new wood pruning is a simple one cut. Cut each shoot to the ground about 2 to 4 inches from the base. Removal of all of the old wood stimulates new

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shoots to develop from the base of the plant. Each new stem will terminate in a large white flower. Lack of pruning or leaving more of a stem will result in more shoots from the stem which will be smaller in size and top heavy and will flop to the ground when in full flower. Cutting back to the ground helps develop sturdy stems and large showy flowers. I know this sounds extreme but it works and is really the best and only way to prune this garden worthy plant. Trust me, I do this every year and the plant is wonderful. WAIT TO PRUNE BEGONIA Question: I brought an angel wing begonia in from my patio for the winter. It is in a west window and is flowering nicely. The plant is getting tall and the lower leaves have dropped. I have this less than attractive plant with legs and then green growth. Can I cut this plant back to revive it for the summer? Answer: I have a begonia I winter in the home to take back out to the patio come summer. So I know what you are talking about. This is what I do. I would recommend you live with the plant this winter. Once you return the plant to the patio in May I would cut it back to about 2 to 4 inches from the top of the pot. Once the top growth is removed the plant under the brighter outdoor light will develop new shoots from below the cut. This will then grow back into a nice plant with foliage from the bottom to the top. If you wish to start new plants you can also take stem cuttings from the

severed stems and root for new plants to enjoy. EVERGREEN BROWN SPOTS Question: This past fall several of my evergreens such as arborvitae and pines developed a lot of brown growth. It all appeared to be more inside the plant not at the tips. What happened and how can I prevent this in the future? Answer: You experienced a natural process referred to as seasonal needle drop. Even though these plants are evergreen, does not mean that they hold their needles forever. All evergreens at some point drop their older unproductive growth located toward the center of the plant. These needles are a year or older, being shaded by new growth, and due to age not productive in making food for the plant. As a result the plant drops this growth. In some years the seasonal drop is highly visible while in other years the needles drop without notice. This past fall it was a noticeable drop. The good news is there is no need to worry as this is just part of the natural process. SOIL TEST Question: I have been working with a landscaper on a project. He is recommending that I test my soil. I know my local extension office provides this service and you recommend this step. But here is my question; he is recommending that I test for several micronutrients in the soil such as sulfur, calcium and iron. Is this necessary?

clay soils. Yes, I did say that! Clay soils have a very high ability to hold nutrients which mean our soils are very fertile and have the nutrients needed for proper plant growth. Now the bad news, if the pH level is either too high or low those nutrients may not be available to the plant which can affect growth. So the problem is usually not a lack of nutrients in the soil but that they are bonded tightly and unavailable. My recommendation is to run a basic test for pH, phosphorus and potassium and maybe organic matter and nitrogen level. I see no need to test for the myriad of micronutrients as usually correcting the pH level fixes the problem. I have learned that some so-called experts recommend the micronutrients test as it sounds more impressive and makes them sound smarter. Well in this case tossing around big words only costs you money and usually little return on your investment.

It’s a good idea to run a basic soil test for pH, phosphorus and potassium and maybe organic matter and nitrogen level. Answer: Soil testing is an important step in helping to determine a fertility program for your lawn and garden. There are many nutrients found in the soil which are vital for good plant growth. But with that being said we rarely recommend to test for micronutrients in a landscape. Here is the good news, bad news. The good news is we have

Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit www.johnson.ksu.edu, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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The Bird Brain February is National Birdfeeding Month

Doc & Diane Gover

I

n 1994 Congress proclaimed February as National Bird Feeding Month because it is one of the most difficult months in much of the United States for birds to survive in the wild. Greater than 53 million Americans feed birds around their homes, making bird feeding the second most popular hobby in the United States following gardening. Consider that: • A typical backyard bird doesn’t weigh as much as two nickels.

• Birds spend most of their waking hours searching for food. • Birds may lose 15% of their body weight overnight; keeping just warm enough to survive cold temperatures. • They are always outside in sleet, snow, wind and frigid temperatures. Providing food, liquid water and shelter will help the birds survive. So liven up your backyard by offering fresh seed blends, suet, Bark Butter, shelled or in-the-shell peanuts and live or dried mealworms. These are all high calorie, high protein and high oil content foods that will benefit your backyard birds during harsh conditions. Offer water in a heated birdbath for drinking and bathing. Place roosting pockets and boxes in protected

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areas for shelter on a cold winter’s night. Backyard birdfeeding is an entertaining and educational pastime that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The average backyard is visited regularly by 15 or more different bird species. It provides a much needed break from today’s frantic lifestyles that pull families in every direction. Young children are especially drawn to the activities involved in feeding wild birds. It will be a lot of fun for everyone to watch bird behavior. Be on the lookout for these traits: • Birds will actually test seeds, picking up one after another, looking for the heaviest seed means making the most of trips to the feeder.

• Watch for a definite pecking order that is very prevalent in flocks of birds. • Watch for submissive posture – one bird moving out of the way for a more dominant bird to feed. • It is interesting to see which birds eat first and who waits. • Look for the birds on the inner circle of feeding and those on the outer whose job it is to watch for predators. • When a bird of prey is spotted, all birds will stay as still as statues until the danger passes or all of the birds will scatter for cover, seemingly all at once. Keep those feeders full and enjoy your time spent with the birds. Take great pride in knowing that you have helped in their survival during a stressful time. If you have any questions please contact our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists. Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

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Disease & Insect Control Pruning • Removal • Consulting Mark Young MW-0103BT

816-333-7220 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. www.countryclubtreeservice.com The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014


Sign up at GardenSymposium.org or send a check accompanied by a note with your name, phone number, e-mail address and which events you wish to attend to: Garden Symposium P.O. Box 4463 Overland Park, KS 66204

Saturday, Feb. 22 at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Four speakers you don’t want to miss

SURROUNDED BY WORLD-CLASS ART A 15-year tradition of gardening education and inspiration continues when the Kansas City Garden Symposium returns to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Julie Moir Messervy,

GARDEN SYMPOSIUM BANQUET

garden designer and award-winning author of seven books on gardening, will talk about “Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love.”

The Garden Symposium Banquet is Friday, Feb. 21, at Grand Street Café. “Kiss My Aster” author Amanda Thomsen will talk about “Landscaping Questions You Forgot to Ask.” Reservations are $59 per place setting.

Amanda Thomsen,

AN ALL-DAY REPRIEVE FROM WINTER The Garden Symposium starts at 8:30 a.m. (doors open at 8 a.m.) and is scheduled until 3 p.m. Tickets are $89.

WORKSHOP ON PROPAGATION Friday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m., Joseph Tychonievich will lead a workshop on plant propagation for the home gardener at the Loose Park Garden Center. Take the workshop for $49. The Kansas City Garden Symposium is presented by Gardeners Connect, which has been educating and inspiring gardeners since 1958. We’re a Kansas City Parks Partner.

commercial landscaper and author of “Kiss My Aster,” will talk about “You Can Grow Your Own Way” and at the Friday night banquet will discuss “Landscaping Questions You Forgot to Ask: Stuff You Need to Know to Grow.”

Joseph Tychonievich,

author of a new Timber Press book, “Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener,” will talk about “Hummingbirds Don’t Actually Like Red Flowers.” and teach a propagation workshop on Friday.

Kerry Ann Mendez,

author of “Top 10 Lists for Beautiful Shade Gardens” and “The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Top 10 Lists,” will talk about “Highimpact, Low-maintenance Perennial Gardens” and “Outrageous Foliage Carries the Show!”

Thank you to our sponsors

Thank you also to Birds Botanicals and Craig Sole Designs for table and stage decoration.

February 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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Landscaping With Dogs in Mind

Leah Berg

W

hen one or more dogs spend time in our home landscapes, we deal with special challenges relating to pet safety and health as well as pleasing plant selections and their care. Without careful landscape planning plus patiently training the pets and people involved, unfortunately some dogs end up rejected at animal shelters. Individual pet sizes and personalities vary significantly as do

many imbedded instinctive behaviors. Dogs with protective urges usually patrol fence-lines to guard the property, wearing paths in turf. It may be easier to give up that turf area than struggle against the dog’s instincts. Mulched areas provide a softer path surface for paws than river rock or gravel which can stick between paw pads but never use cocoa hull mulch since chocolate is very toxic to dogs. Bored herding or hunting breeds pace or develop destructive or neurotic behavior when confined to small suburban yards without adequate exercise. Terriers that dig or dash after rodents may damage plants in their way. Some may be trained to dig in

Spring is just around the corner. Add an Outdoor Accent to your garden plan. The Little Gardener

was originally sculpted by Sylvia Shaw Judson in 1935. An additional original was commissioned by Jackie Kennedy while she was First Lady. It was prominently displayed in the renovated Rose Garden at The White House. It remains to this date in The Jacqueline Kennedy Sculpture Garden at The White House.

Photo by Julie Orr.

address pet safety and health while selecting plants and needed care

Create strategically shaded areas to discourage laying on top of valued perennials or digging beds into cooler soil. a designated place prepared with chew toys buried by us for encouragement. My friend’s third Boston terrier had a stronger urge to chew than her previous pets. She constantly shredded plants in the back yard the previous dogs ignored. Repeated vomiting one day last May alerted her owner to a life-threatening situation. The dog swallowed iris flowers and foliage, resulting in an upsetting and expensive trip to the emergency veterinarian. Identify and remove toxic plants like iris and other lily family members (including hosta and bulbs like surprise lilies, daffodils, and amaryllis).

Mums, foxglove, castor bean, morning glories, milkweed, hellebores, and common landscape shrubs like yew, boxwood, burning bush, holly, azaleas, rhododendron and many more contain some toxic compounds. Though sometimes only problematic if ingested in significant amounts, certain plants are much more poisonous than others. Correct identification may require help if tags are missing and we don’t know the plant names or were misinformed by someone else. For example, true lilies like Oriental lilies are Lilium while daylilies are Hemerocallis. Take good-sized plant samples plus photos BEFORE emergencies

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to consult reputable garden center staff or extension agents. Take samples along with the pet if rushing to the veterinarian. Find photos, common names and scientific names of hundreds of toxic landscape plants and houseplants on the ASPCA website, or consult the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222). Minimize use of chemicals and pesticides, especially slug bait and rodent poison. Keep thorny plants like shrub roses away from where active dogs run, with special concern for their eyes. Eliminate them, or use barriers like fencing or segregate them to where dogs are never unsupervised. With training, my older dogs learned their boundaries even in the unfenced front yard. But my new dog is impacting my life and yard quite differently than my two previous dogs did. The escape artist red setter can’t be trusted off leash yet. She could jump the 1970’s era chain link fence along my neighbor’s yard. She’ll trample the herb garden and tomato plants to chase stray cats without taller raised beds and fencing strategically. My neighbor reinforced her chain link gates and bottom fence perimeter to confine two Yorkshire terriers that like to dig. Plastic fencing worked for them, but sturdier wire may be needed to secure boundaries for others. To discourage dogs trying to dig under fences, place pavers or chicken wire in the way. Some experts advise creating designated digging areas where we can encourage and tolerate digging instincts. Strategic training must support creating such areas. Don’t leave dogs unsupervised outside while teaching what area is okay

for digging while others are off limits. If budgets permit adding patios or paver paths, remember these surfaces radiate heat in summer. Dogs overheat easily and need plenty of fresh water where it won’t tip over. Create strategically shaded areas (see photo) to discourage laying on top of valued perennials or digging beds into cooler soil. Consider shelter from rain and cold to blend with the home and landscape. Dog urine often causes brown spots on turf or shrubs. Try rinsing with water right after they relieve themselves. With positive reinforcement, train dogs to use a designated section to relieve themselves. Veterinarians discourage tablets that reduce the acidic content of urine which may cause painful crystals to form in the bladder. Consult them about more digestible diets instead. We may need to modify our expectations for perfection and practice patience while working to solve problems. Dogs do not need grass to do their business. In fact, some dogs have allergies to grasses. Notice if they excessively lick paws and legs. Site evaluations should carefully address potential for pet safety and damage to the landscape as well as human aesthetic landscape preferences. Look at it from the dog’s viewpoint and consider compromises to accommodate canine friends!

Mizzou will be celebrating its 175th anniversary throughout 2014. Founder’s Day, Feb. 11, 2014, marks the official launch of the celebration at the MU Student Center.

F

ounded in 1839, MU has grown to a beautiful 735-acre botanic garden. The Mizzou Botanic Garden will celebrate this expansion through a variety of activities and contributions to campus life. The Botanic Garden will begin planting 175 trees over 2014, one for each year of MU’s anniversary. Trees will be available for sponsorship and planted throughout campus grounds. The Botanic Garden will also be celebrating its 15th anniversary on August 26th by welcoming Monticello’s garden director and Thomas Jefferson historian Peter Hatch. Hatch has been the director of the grounds at Monticello since 1977 and has written several books on his plethora of experience with gardens. A tree symposium later in the fall will interest both industry professionals and plant enthusiasts. For more information about the garden’s anniversary activities, visit: gardens.missouri.edu or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/ MizzouBotanicGarden

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“The pros you know in the clean red truck.” February 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

11


Cindy Gilberg

H

istorically, gardening focused on aesthetics – beauty has been the primary consideration. Humans tend to have an egocentric view of the world that is reflected in our traditional approach to landscaping. It has been about our desires – what is pretty or what can we eat – with little regard as to the impact our actions may have on the natural world. With pruners and pesticides in hand, humans have tried to control the natural world, often with dramatic impact on our natural surroundings and wildlife. In

his book, Bringing Nature Home, Doug Tallamy writes “… now, for the first time in its history, gardening has taken on a role that transcends the needs of the gardener … and it is within the power of individual gardeners to make a difference in our world.” We should now approach landscaping with function in mind – by using well-adapted, hardy native plant species, we have the opportunity to address and resolve issues such as biodiversity, stormwater management, and soil conservation. The use of native plants restores habitat, thus increasing biodiversity in our communities. The diverse wildlife of our region evolved with native plants and depends on them for survival. I have often seen landscapes where the only moving object is a lawn mower or irrigation equipment. An

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Gardening for Habitat Share the Garden

To find sources of native plants and native landscaping services, visit www.grownative.org, Resource Guide. At the site, there are also simple native landscape plans, a native plant database, and many other helpful resources. occasional bird or butterfly might be seen, though most likely it is lost or en route to more productive feeding grounds. The very low number of plant species represented in these landscapes (for example mowed lawn, a few trees, and pruned yews) results in a very low number of animal species. When converting landscapes to provide habitat, it is important to understand the habitat requirements of these animals. Keep in mind that diversity of plants is key to attracting a diversity of wildlife. This diversity is accomplished by choosing plants from each plant group: trees, small trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses. Include also plants that bloom, produce pollen, nectar and bear fruit/seed at different times of the year (yes, in all four seasons!).

Food Food comes in the form of either plant or animal, so those that eat plants typically become food for those farther up the food chain. Include native nut or berry-producing plants such as dogwoods, hazelnut, hawthorn, winterberry, oak, and viburnum. Eastern red cedar offers blue berry-like cones for flocks of cedar waxwings. To supply fruit in summer and fall, add plants such as elderberry, spice bush, and chokeberry. The berries of all these plants ripen to brightly colored fruit, reds, blues and purples, acting as beacons and welcoming birds to dine. Great seed-producing plants include grasses – little bluestem, prairie dropseed, and switchgrass are some of the more popular landscape choices. Include also a diver-

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Shelter and Nesting Sites The thick branching structure of shrubs and trees provides opportunities for nesting sites (primarily birds) and for shelter. Shelter is essential to protect the animals from weather and from predators. Evergreens are particularly beneficial for shelter in the winter. Even grasses and perennials provide shelter for grounddwelling animals and offer material that birds and small mammals use for making nests. Water Water can be supplied in the simplest way, such as a low basin.

Make a simple bubbler stone – drill a stone and insert a tube through which water is pumped. Water trickles out, making small pools and then recirculates. Pondless waterfalls and water gardens create places for animals to drink and bathe. Note that water should be available in the winter and will need to be kept from freezing solid with pond or bird bath heaters. Many plants provide multiple habitat services. For example, dogwoods have great flowers with nectar and pollen for insects, are host plants for spring azure butterflies, provide berries, and have great branching structure for nesting and shelter. Native plants fit into any landscape design scheme – traditional or natural design, formal or wild in appearance – it is up to the designer. Diversity is the key to a biologically rich habitat garden. You will be rewarded with a nonstop show of wildlife to observe and get to know. Cindy Gilberg is a horticulturist, landscape designer, and a professional member of Grow Native!, a program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

National Phenology Workshop

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henology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to plant and animal life and the climate. The National Phenology Network (NPN) is recruiting citizen-scientistobservers to help gather local information for the NPN’s ongoing studies. The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens has partnered with NPN and will present a workshop on Monday, February 24, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Visitors Center. Attendees will learn about phenophases, be introduced to the NPN website, and learn how to observe and report on specific plants in the Arboretum and in their own neighborhoods. Phenophases are the seasonal changes in plants and animals from year to year, such as flowering, emergence of insects, and migration of birds – especially their timing and relationship with weather and climate. The

Photo by Ken O’Dell.

sity of native perennials such as coneflowers, blazing stars, asters, coreopsis and goldenrod, not only for their abundant pollen and nectar, but also for the seed. Any plant that attracts insects will provide protein (insects!) for each year’s brood of baby birds, for other carnivorous insects and even for hummingbirds. Don’t cut back these plants before seeds ripen – they are a valuable source of winter food and shelter. Avoid pesticides since they can potentially kill creatures that live there.

Learn to observe and record, for example, budding and flowering of certain trees such as this Black Walnut (Juglans nigra). information gathered and reported through “Nature’s Notebook” at the NPN website will help scientists generate long-term data sets and monitor the impact of climate change on plants and animals in the United States. To learn more about the NPN and Nature’s Notebook, visit www.usanpn.org. Arboretum workshop participants must enroll at www.opabg.org. There is a fee of $10 (includes $3 Arboretum admission) or $7 for Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA) members. Hurry, as class size is limited to 30. The Overland Park Arboretum is located about 1/2 mile west of Hwy. 69 on 179th Street.

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The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014


Patrick’s Picks:

Healthy and Happy, Yet Underused Houseplants Patrick Muir

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he rigors of the indoor environment, including low light and humidity, can lead one to believe there are few distinctive options for healthy houseplants. But truth be told, there are many exciting underused, under-appreciated and under-loved selections for your indoor pleasure. And now is a great time to invest in some great choices and grow them outside this summer for robust plants to bring inside this fall. Brent Tucker with Powell Gardens tops his underused list with Zamioculcas zamifolia, or more easily known as the ZZ plant (photo 4). A dramatic to behold plant with large, fleshy leaves with a distinctive, bright shine, the ZZ plant performs well in both low light and bright indirect light. Tucker says, “It has an exotic palm-like look but it won’t outgrow its space because it’s slow growing and has a more short stature than true palms.” Because of the slow growth, invest in a large plant to begin with, if your budget permits. Anthurium, or the Flamingo Flower (photo 7), blooms continuously when grown in bright indirect light with individual blooms lasting for weeks. Hybrids come in a variety of colors including red, pink, white and jade green that can compliment any decor. Tucker says, “Anthurium has moderately moist water needs, so is some-

what drought tolerant for those who don’t like fussy plants. And upright or trailing philodendrons are a good companion and can be planted along with an Anthurium to create a beautiful indoor combination pot.” Also highly recommended by Tucker is the tall, exceptionally vigorous Angel Wing Begonia ‘Sophie Cecile’ (photo 3). Reaching

both include the Austral Gem and Japanese Holly ferns. Alan Branhagen, the Director of Powell Gardens, favorite choice for the best under-used houseplant is Rhapis excelsa or the Lady Palm (photo 5). Branhagen says, “The cross wrinkled and puckered fingered leaves of this palm, along with its ‘lighter than air’ fibrous stems make it a beautiful plant. It

8 up to 4’ in containers, the glossy green leaves are slashed with silver markings that provide a nice foil to the rose-pink blossoms. Prefers an east window and water when top inch of soil is dry. His other selection is ‘Phoe’s Cleo’ Begonia (photo 6) that he describes as “a nice chartreuse with black splotching in a 10-12” mounded habit”. Place in medium to low indirectly lit spot. Good companions for

February 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

is tolerant of dry air, drafts, lower light and even some cold.” David Bird of Bird’s Botanicals grows 10,000 orchids under lights in the climate-controlled caves at the Interstate Underground Warehouse east of I-435. But all you need is a sunny window and plenty of water to coax the underused South American Lady Slipper Orchid, or Phragmipedium (photo 2), into bloom twice a year. Flower col-

ors include pink, red, orange and salmon. Go to birdsbotanicals.com for more information. Erin Busenhart with Family Tree Nursery and Garden Center in Overland Park, Kan., sings the praises of the Bird’s Nest Fern (photo 8) for medium to bright indirect light locations. Busenhart says, “A fern is never my first recommendation to a newbie houseplant shopper, however the Bird’s Nest are much easier to grow than a traditional fern. They don’t require as much humidity, can dry out more between waterings and don’t shed!” Aglaonema or the Chinese Evergreen (photo 1) has always been a popular houseplant because of its super tough nature and ability to tolerate very low light situations. Busenhart says, “The standard Chinese evergreen tends to be a little bit boring but newer varieties will knock your socks off with their fantastic foliage colors and patterns! Try ‘Pink Sapphire’ for a variety with intense pink stems and variegated leaf color.” As far as care goes, Busenhart stresses to always keep your houseplant in as small a pot as possible, allow soil to dry 1/3 of the way down in between thorough waterings, and never let the plant sit in a saucer of water. Busenhart says, “If bringing the plant outside this summer always remember to acclimate slowly (so as not to give the poor plant a sunburn) and spray for insects, and again slowly acclimate it, before bringing it back inside.” Contact Patrick Muir via email at patrickmuir808@gmail.com or his blog at www.patricksgarden.com. 15


Lenora Larson

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ccasionally a gardener comes to me, “I have a sunny garden full of flowers, but rarely see butterflies. What’s wrong?” Oh dear. Every sunny garden should be full of butterflies from April to mid-November. When I walk through my certified butterfly garden, dozens of butterflies swirl around me and over 60 species call my yard their home. What’s the difference? Let’s do some problem-solving.

Possible Problem #1 No Food for the Children Faithful readers of The Kansas City Gardener know that my first question will be, “Which caterpillar

plants have you planted?” A blank stare means that we have identified the problem. Gently, I explain that all of the butterfly’s eating happens during the caterpillar stage. Adults can’t eat, they don’t even have mouths! But they do have tongues to sip nectar for refreshment as they search for love and lay eggs. So if you want the beautiful adult butterflies, you must first feed the children, the caterpillars. And the caterpillar of every species of butterfly has its own special diet, its host plant. Without those cat foods, you will only see occasional transients. To identify butterflies and learn their caterpillars’ diets, purchase Photographic Guide to Butterflies in the Kansas City Region, authored by Betsy Betros. My sad questioner may reply, “I have a Paw-paw for Zebras, Fennel for Black Swallowtails and Snapdragons for Buckeyes.” Obviously, this gardener knows how to feed the caterpillars, so why

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Photos by Lenora Larson.

Why No Butterflies?

Female Black Swallowtail nectaring on Lantana, your reward for feeding the children! She will now search out her caterpillar’s food plant to lay eggs.

Male Black Swallowtail nectaring on Angelonia, are easily attracted by planting Parsley or other herbs like Dill, Fennel and Ru.

no butterflies? My next question, “Do you see clouds of bees and other pollinators?” If not, there are two possibilities.

a Typhoid Mary spreading death, because Bt contains the spores of Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacteria that specifically kills moth and butterfly caterpillars. Many nurserypurchased plants poison pollinators because their tissues retain residues of neonicotinoid insecticides that were applied in the greenhouse. Or, perhaps your neighbors are liberally spraying insecticides on windy days. My butterfly gardening friends in a nearby city tell me that they no longer have butterflies because the city now sprays for mosquitos. Giant trucks rumble through the night, spewing poisons. Individuals should make every effort to prevent mass spraying of insecticides in their communities. Remember, your children are also at risk.

Possible Problem #2 No Nectar for the Adults While flowers are not necessary to a butterfly’s life, they are just like a bar for humans – the place where young adults gather. Would you hang out in a bar that didn’t serve beverages? Many ardent gardeners purchase only the newest hybrid flowers with ginormous blooms in dazzling colors. Their gardens (and most public gardens) are resplendent, but devoid of life because these hybrid flowers are frequently sterile. Nectar and pollen are unnecessary if all your energy has been diverted away from procreation into flashy flowers. Fortunately, adding some openpollinated flowers (the species, not the hybrids) will stock your nectar bar. Include old-fashioned favorites like Zinnia, Marigold, Cleome, Cosmos, Sages, Verbena, etc. Nectar-rich Milkweeds do double duty, also feeding Monarch caterpillars. Many hybrids have retained their fecundity and provide nectar, including the aptly named Butterfly Bush, Profusion Zinnias, and Lantanas. Also consider adding colorful natives such as Asters, Sunflowers and Coneflowers. Worst Case Scenario: Insecticides When knowledgeable gardeners with a full array of cat foods and nectar-rich flowers do not attract butterflies, the problem is usually insecticides. For instance, when you use Bt you are

Encouraging Words Most butterfly visitation problems are easily fixed because butterfly gardening truly is the field of dreams: plant it and they will come. Be patient because butterfly populations fluctuate widely yearto-year and you are waiting for a wind-blown pregnant female to find your yard. Imagine her delight at discovering her caterpillar’s host plant! With a successful brood, you will have successive generations of resident breeding butterflies. And that’s the definition of a butterfly garden. MICO Extension Master Gardener and Kansas Native Plant Society member, Lenora Larson gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kansas. Contact her at lenora. longlips@gmail.com.

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014


Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present

Alan Branhagen and the Collections of Powell Gardens

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owell Gardens is an experience that embraces the Midwest spirit of place and inspires an appreciation of the importance of plants in our lives. The gardens are comprised of a 970 acre site of mostly natural land with approximately 100 acres at its core designed and managed as a public garden. The gardens are set on a rural landscape of old fields and prairie interfaced with woodlands, a design that embraces our spirit of place on the Osage Plains. More species of trees grow wild on the property than are native to all of the British Isles! From floodplain woods along our creek to oak-hickory woodlands, successional fields and 20 acres of remnant native prairie on its highest ridges, there is a large set of native flora (and fauna) found on the site. Over 19,000 plant accessions (we are a living museum of plants) includes plants that fit each garden’s theme. The lone exception is our tall bearded iris collection which always contains 20 years’ worth of the American Iris Society’s Merit Award winners – in other words the premier varieties are on display.

The parking lot is a natural landscape that is actually a giant rain garden and its plantings are all native to Missouri and Kansas. The trees that will one day shade the parked cars are an arboretum of nearly all species of our native MoKan trees. The Visitor Center Landscape embraces the natural woodland to which the building crowns with an iconic display of flowering trees (mainly redbuds, dogwood and a renowned collection of magnolia) and other plants with winter interest around the immediate building. The building’s terraces and conservatory display seasonal plantings of mainly annuals and tropicals in ways like an artist uses paint – to create breathtaking beauty as if the plants are works of art. The Island Garden embraces water gardening and water plants as well as rock garden plants in what is considered the largest living wall in the Western Hemisphere. The Chapel, Memorial Garden and Meadow Pavilion embrace native plants including a large sweep on native prairie grasses and wildflowers that express the beauty of prairie. The Rock & Waterfall Garden

showcases shade-loving plants and the Perennial Garden depicts more

than 1,400 varieties in more than a dozen vignettes. The Heartland Harvest Garden, dubbed “America’s largest edible landscape” by Rosalind Creasy, is the signature garden and shows the world’s food plants in a beautiful and educational landscape setting. The over 2,000 varieties of permanent plantings (from herbs to fruit trees) and an additional 500 vari-

eties of seasonal plants displayed from spring, summer and fall make the garden one of the largest public displays of food plants outside a research facility. What better place to display such a collection in America’s Heartland where agriculture is king. Come experience the beauty of Powell Gardens and its extensive plant collections with Alan and remember that plants are where all your food comes from as well as being responsible for every breath you take. The importance of their beauty and bounty of nature they harbor are hard to define, but we know everyone feels better ensconced in a landscape filled with plants. Join the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City on Thursday, February 20, 2014, 6:30 p.m. at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. Free and open to the public. Door prizes. No registration required. For further information call (816) 665-4456, or see the Master Gardeners’ website at www.mggkc.org, our new blog at mggkcblog.wordpress.com, or the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Facebook page.

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Emerald Ash Borer Has Landed In Kansas City Steve Klecan

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f you’re reading this article from the comfort of your home or office I invite you to take a moment and step outside. Take a look around and notice the beauty and shade that the trees in your neighborhood provide. Now imagine what your neighborhood would look like if those trees were gone. The landscape would be drastically altered. The image I have just painted is exactly the situation that residents of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and other states have already experienced. Ash trees in the northern part of the United States have been devastated by a

tiny insect that goes by the name of the Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a dark metallic green insect, hardly the size of the head of a penny. While small in stature, the EAB can create large devastation. Unfortunately, if you have an Ash tree in your yard it can sometimes prove difficult to notice the initial stages of damage from the insect. Usually, the canopy of the ash tree will begin to thin out about 1-2 years after the beetle has lived within the tree. You may notice that new sprouts have developed near the roots, and sometimes increased woodpecker activity acts as a warning sign. Generally, after a period of about 3 years, the damage resulting from the larvae of the beetle boring through the trunk of the tree will increase the rate of damage. In some cases, the Ash tree will be dead in as few as 4 years.

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If you were to take a road trip throughout various areas in Kansas City you would find that there are entire neighborhoods and home owners associations that have used Ash trees to line the streets. While planting a consistent variety of tree does provide a very beautiful, symmetrical appearance, it also opens the door for complete devastation in situations like this. According to the Kansas City Parks Association, there are more than 4.6 million Ash trees in the Greater Kansas City nine county region. The Emerald Ash Borer was found in the Kansas City Metro Area over a year ago. Nearly every county in the area has reported finding cases of the insect’s damage already. This means that it is only a matter of time before the damage caused by the Emerald Ash Borer will change the scenery of Kansas City. If you currently have an Ash tree in your yard, there is no need to panic. Preventative treatments do exist, and they have proved extremely effective. That being said, each tree needs to be handled on a case by case basis. Not every

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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.

tree should be saved. The first thing a homeowner needs to decide is what is the current value of the tree? If the tree is improperly planted, or has been struck by lightning in the past, then it is likely not worth investing time and resources to prevent Emerald Ash Borer. In fact, the city of Kansas City, Missouri has intentionally damaged a number of cityowned Ash trees that were already stressed from outside sources. The goal of this project is to track the progress of the beetle across the city, and because EAB prefers to attack trees that are already weakened, these trees serve as a perfect window into the movement of the insect. Proper care for your Ash tree could go a long way in the prolonging of the infestation. Proper watering, mulching, and pruning are always advised, but will not prevent the Emerald Ash Borer from making your Ash tree its new home. If you love that tree in your front yard and can’t stand to see it go, it is best to meet with a certified arborist and discuss the current health of your tree, and what preventative treatments are available to keep it looking great for years to come. Steve Klecan, is an Arborist at Ryan Lawn & Tree, and can be reached at 913-381-1505. TWO PRODUCTS IN ONE FOR PONDS 3 FT & DEEPER TREATS 4X THE VOLUME OF WATER

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Gardeners, Learn to 5th Annual Orchid KC Show ‘Color Outside the Lines’ T at Feb. 22 Symposium

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inter keeps gardeners out of their gardens, but they can nourish their creative spirits in February at the ninth biennial Kansas City Garden Symposium, planned for Saturday, Feb. 22, at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The symposium is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This symposium’s theme, “Color Outside the Lines: Developing Your Garden Style.” The Kansas City Garden Symposium is presented by Gardeners Connect, a nonprofit gardening education organization created in 1958 with the construction of the Garden Center building at Kansas City’s Loose Park. Four garden-book authors are coming to Kansas City for the Symposium: • Julie Moir Messervy, garden designer and award-winning author of seven books. • Amanda Thomsen, commercial landscaper and author of “Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You.” • Joseph Tychonievich, nursery manager at Arrowhead Alpines and author of a new Timber Press book, “Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers.” • Kerry Ann Mendez, author of “Top 10 Lists for Beautiful Shade Gardens: Seeing Your Way Out of the Dark,” “The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Top 10 Lists” and “The

Smart Shopper’s Top 10 Lists: Exceptional Perennials, Annuals and More.” A workshop and banquet are planned on Friday, Feb. 21, the day before the all-day Garden Symposium. On Friday during the day, Tychonievich will lead a workshop on “Plant Propagation for the Home Gardener.” On Friday evening, the Garden Symposium banquet will be in a newly remodeled space at Grand Street Café. Thomsen, who calls herself “big, loud and fun,” will set us straight about the perils of landscaping. Ticket prices are $89 for the Symposium, $49 for the workshop and $59 for the banquet. Sign up for the Garden Symposium, workshop or banquet at www.GardenSymposium.org, where you can find information about the schedule, speakers, venues and other details. If you have questions about Garden Symposium, e-mail info@ GardenSymposium.org or call 913302-4234. Support for the Kansas City Garden Symposium comes from these sponsors: Arnold’s Greenhouse, Cripple Creek Rock Co., Earth Right, The Henrys’ Plant Farm, Friends of the Overland Park Arboretum, The Kansas City Gardener, The Greensman, Ryan Lawn & Tree, Sutherlands Lumber Co., Vintage Hill Farm and Westlake Hardware.

he Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City is sponsoring an orchid exhibit during the Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show, Feb. 7, 8, 9, 2014, at the American Royal Building. Exhibitors from the local society, along with members of area orchid groups from Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas, will bring in a wide variety of orchids in flower that will be incorporated into beautiful displays. Flowers and exhibits are awarded by judges who are accredited by the American Orchid Society. Additionally, commercial vendors of orchids will be offering plants for sale. Vendors include the local Bird’s Botanicals; Prairie Orchids, El Dorado, KS; Natt’s Orchids, Chicago; Timbucktoo Orchids, Wichita, KS. Kansas City has an enthusiastic group of people who have a passion for growing and displaying orchids. This year’s show theme is the Hawaiian Islands. So break out of the winter blues, dust off that tropical shirt, and join in the fun at the 5th Annual Orchid Show. The Lawn & Garden Show charges an admission fee, but there’s no additional charge to see the orchid show, which is in the Wagstaff Theater inside the American Royal Building.

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Add color and romance to a winter visit at Powell Gardens

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omance blooms at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, throughout the month of February, in a warm and colorful conservatory exhibit, a new wine tasting event and a wedding planning fair (see www.powellgardens.org for details). Nature lovers will not be left out as the month also brings plenty of opportunities for bird watching and trekking through the Gardens and nature trail in the quiet beauty of winter. Activities are included with winter admission of $7/adults, $6/ seniors and $3/children 5-12 unless otherwise noted. (Please note: Café Thyme is closed for the season; check www.powellgardens.org for details on its reopening in early spring.) ‘Romance in Bloom’ Conservatory Exhibit 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through March 9 The glass-topped conservatory in the Visitor Center brims with soft pinks, blues and purples, combined with fragrant favorites such as stock and paperwhites during this exhibit, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cozy seating areas designed by As Time Goes By of Greenwood, Mo., combine creative DIY ideas with gorgeous blooms, offering a space to sip coffee and watch the birds in the winter landscape. Visitors can take a bit of romance home during Make-andTake Weekends on Feb. 8-9 and Feb. 15-16. From 1 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 8 and 9, visitors can learn how to create a relaxing blend of essential oils, starting with an almond oil base. Participants can blend a mix to take home for $5 per vial. The following weekend from 1 to 4 p.m. each day, visitors will learn how to blend essential oils, flowers and herbs to make a scented sachet to add fragrance to a closet, drawer or to create an inviting aroma in any room. Sachets are $5 each. Heartland Wine Experience: A Casual Tasting of Missouri Wines 2-4 p.m. Feb. 15 Sip samples from five Missouri wineries while enjoying a taste of 20

vide invaluable information on how to set up a backyard buffet for the visiting birds. Discover which seeds and feeds will attract which birds and pick up feeding tips to take home. Attracting Backyard Birds 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2 In this class, which requires registration by Feb. 3, participants will learn the basics needed to attract an array of bird species to the yard. Participants will mix and take home a batch of peanutbutter-based suet sure to please the most discerning nuthatch as well as a laminated, backyard bird identification pamphlet with more than 100 species to help identify visiting birds. The fee is $19/person or $14/members. Register at powellgardens.org/adultclasses or call 816-697-2600 x209.

The Heartland Wine Experience on Saturday, Feb. 15, will feature samples from five Missouri wineries, plus light bites, music and gorgeous blooms in the conservatory.

Bird watching is a treat at Powell Gardens, especially through the winter months. Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen captured this shot of an American Robin sitting in a Possumhaw. spring in the Conservatory, music by Velvey Blocker and light hors d’oeuvres, including gourmet nuts by Savory Addictions. Participating wineries include Arcadian Moon Vineyards & Winery of Higginsville, Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery of Platte City, Odessa Country Winery, Riverwood Winery near Weston, and Tipple Hill Winery & Vineyard of Easton. The Heartland Wine Experience includes 10 tastings, a Missouri Wines glass to keep, light bites and music and is sponsored by the Missouri Wine and Grape Board. Tickets are $18 or $15 for mem-

bers of Friends of Powell Gardens. Order tickets at www.powellgardens.org/wine or call 816-6972600 x209. Bird Lovers Unite! The natural habitat at Powell Gardens makes it a compelling destination for relaxed bird watching or birding outings. Listed here are opportunities in February which include: Bird Feeding 101: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 1-2 For those new to the joys of bird watching, this display with take-home information will pro-

Great Backyard Bird Count 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 The annual Great Backyard Bird Count is another fun way to be a citizen scientist. Join Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen in this annual counting of the birds with a morning session around the Visitor Center and a 1 p.m. hike on the Byron Shutz Nature Trail.  After brief instruction, participants will work as a team to identify and count the wealth of birds that frequent the Gardens. Participants in the morning session will count the birds at feeders around the Visitor Center. In the afternoon, participants can join a hike on the Byron Shutz Nature Trial for a glimpse of more reclusive birds. Checklists gathered during these outings will be submitted to researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society so they can learn more about how the birds are doing and how to protect them. Participation is $8/adults or $3/ children 12 and under and free for members of Friends of Powell Gardens. Register at www.powellgardens.org/adultclasses or call 816-697-2600 x209 by Feb. 12.

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014


February

garden calendar

n LAWNS

n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Rake fallen leaves in the yard to prevent suffocation. • Review lawn service contracts and make changes. • Get a jump on the season and tune up and repair lawn mowers. • Avoid injury to the grass; keep foot traffic to a minimum when soil is frozen.

• Make garden layouts to assist with planning process. • Order seeds. • 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 for rabbit and rodent damage on fruit trees. • Apply manure or compost to garden areas and incorporate for soil improvement. • Prepare garden soil for early trees on warm days. • Do not work soil when wet. • Check stored seeds and discard old supply. • Prune grapes, raspberries and blackberries.

n FLOWERS

• Start seeds for transplanting. • Check fall planted perennials and water if needed. • Watch for frost heaving of tender perennials and cover. • Replenish winter mulch around roses and other plants. • Check bulbs in storage for decay and discard. • Prepare orders for mail. • Obtain a soil test and make needed improvements.

n TREES AND SHRUBS

n HOUSEPLANTS

• Check for rabbit damage on young trees and shrubs. • Water fall-planted trees and shrubs. • Apply dormant oil for control of scale and mites. • Take advantage of warm days and begin spring pruning. • Delay pruning spring flowering trees and shrubs until after bloom. • Twigs and branches of spring shrubs cut and brought indoors add a splash of color. • Carefully remove snow from limbs with broom. • Water evergreens if soil is dry and not frozen.

• 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.

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 www.johnson.ksu.edu, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see Guests are always welcome. Call Gwen 816213-0598 for more info.

2014 Garden Shows Metropolitan Lawn and Garden Show American Royal Center Feb 7-9 Johnson County Home and Garden Show Overland Park Convention Center Feb 28-Mar 2 Kansas City Flower, Lawn and Garden Show Bartle Hall Mar 28-30

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Club Meetings African Violets Club of Greater Kansas City Tues, Feb 11, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Bonsai Society of GKC Sat, Feb 1, and Sat, Feb 22, 9am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshops. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Feb 3, 6pm, presentation at 6:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64112. Speaker is Jeff Hawkins of Hooked-On-Ponics & Organics. Jeff’s topic will be Hydroponics 101, an introduction to indoor gardening with Hydroponics, the hydroponics industry, and the benefits of hydroponics. Jeff will also have examples of hydroponic systems and explain how to use these systems. Handouts will be provided for you to look at. Jeff will provide 50 hydroponic garden kits which will include seedling starters, a seedling water tray, a 7 inch clear humidity dome and 36 site seedling inserts for those attending. Non-member guest are always welcome. Come join us and make a gardening friend! Contact Vince Vogel at 816313-8733 for additional questions regarding this meeting. Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Feb 12, noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Sabina Green of Farrand Farms will speak on “Annuals and Perennials for the Kansa City Area.” Visitors are welcome. Please call 913592-3546 for a luncheon reservation. Greater Kansas City Iris Society Mon, Mar 10, 6:30pm social, meeting and program 7-9pm; at Trailside Center, 99th & Holmes, Kansas City, MO. Guests welcome. Contact Shelley Clements for additional information. 913-226-5580

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

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Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Mar 22, 9:30am hospitality, 10am meeting, then program; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St (67 & Roe), Prairie Village, KS. Local plant expert, Dr James Waddick will present his program, Choice and Uncommon Shade Plants Suited to Kansas City Gardens. Jim is one of the founding members of the HH&SPS, and since has led botany tours abroad, authored or co-authored several books, as well as articles in numerous publications. His own Parkville garden features many interesting and uncommon plants. There will be a potluck luncheon after the meeting.

Independence Garden Club Mon, Feb 10, 6:30pm; at the Sermon Center, fourth floor, corner of Truman and Noland Rds. Program is to be announced at the meeting. For more information call 816-373-1169 or 816-796-4220. Visit us at our web site www.independencegardenclub.com. KC Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Feb 16, 1:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Feb 11, 7pm; at Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence (1263 N 1100 Rd). Meets 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, including relevant demonstrations. 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. herbstudygroup@gmail.com Leawood Garden Club Tues, Feb 25, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St, Leawood, KS. Noon program: Dr Craig Freeman, who has an MS and PhD from Kansas State University and is a member of the Kansas Native Plant Society, will present “Native Plants in the Landscape.” There will be a potluck luncheon. Meeting is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Call 913 642-3317 with questions or email Joan at westonsmom@earthlink.net. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Feb 11, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 SW Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Note, this is a new meeting address for our club. Guest speaker, Lonnie Miller from Natural Resources and Conservation Service, the topic “Rain Barrels”. Refreshments provided. Visitors are always welcome. For information: www.leessummitgardenclub.org and 816-540-4036. MoKan Daylily Society Sun, Feb 2, 11am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-784-5300 Northland Garden Club Tues, Feb 18, 7pm; at Linden Baptist Church, 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone (69th and N Holmes). The program will be presented by Dee West on “Unusual Garden Applications from the Conservancy Tour in Chicago”. Please check website for additional information: www.northlandgardenclub.com. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Feb 18, 12:30pm; at the Bass Pro Shop, 12051 Bass Pro Dr, Olathe, KS. The program “Back Yard Designs” will be presented by Master Gardener, Debbie Adams. The public is always welcome. For details, call Joan Shriver at 913-492-3566. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Feb 10, 7pm, program at 7:30pm, at Colonial Church, 71st & Mission Rd, Prairie

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014


Village KS. Our speaker this month will be Nico Canteroro, Water Quality Specialist for the City of Overland Park. He will discuss how our use of fertilizers and chemicals affect water quality. Visitors are always welcome and refreshments will be served. Come grow with us. For additional information contact Sallie Wiley 913-236-5193. ShoMe and GKC African Violets Clubs Fri, Feb 7, 10:30am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Joint Membership meeting. 816-784-5300

Events, Lectures & Classes February Create a Beautiful Butterfly Garden Sat, Feb 8, 10am-1pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. MICO EMG Lenora Larson will discuss how to convert your current garden into a beautiful butterfly garden with no compromise in design or function. The secret? You must feed the children, the caterpillars, and ensure that you have the “right” flowers. Handouts will provide lists of caterpillar food plants and nectarrich flowers. Enjoy this country setting which includes a gourmet lunch prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Please call 913-2717451 for reservations or sign up and pay for the class at www.hootowlgardens.com. Annual Spring Sale Sat, Feb 8, 9am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64112. Sponsored by African Violet Club of Greater Kansas City. For more info: Fred & Pat Inbody, 816-373-6915, E-Mail: kskd1@ juno.com. Small Scapes Workshop Sat, Feb 8, 1-4pm; at Suburban Lawn & Garden, 135th and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. FREE. Call 816-942-2921 for information. Honeybee Keeping – Traditional & Organic Approaches Sat, Feb 8, 10am-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Hobbyist beekeepers all across America keep bees for many reasons. The first is the fascination of the hive or colony. The second is science and education as people of all ages have observed, studied, and made exhibits concerning honeybees. Lastly of course is honey production and use. Learn the basics of beginning beekeeping, including traditional and organic approaches, equipment needed, where to obtain bees, how to manage bees, and how to harvest the honey. $24/person, $20/Members. Registration required by Feb 3. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. Seed Starting Seminar Sun, Feb 9, 1-3pm; at Earl May Lawrence, 3200 Iowa St. 785-749-5082 New Volunteer Orientation Sat, Feb 15, 9-11:30am; 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 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. By participating as an active volunteer, you’ll form lasting relationships, learn new techniques, and share in the satisfaction that comes with helping the Gardens fulfill its mission and make our community a better place to live. Whatever your interests or talent,

gardener or not, we’ll explore the opportunities based on your availability to find ideal fits. Free - Requirement is 40 hours per year of volunteer time. You may register for classes by going to www.opabg.org and follow the prompts. For additional information, contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604. Fairy Garden Seminar Sat, Feb 15, 1-3pm; at Earl May Lawrence, 3200 Iowa St. Do you want to make a Fairy Garden! Sarah will show you how. Bring a friend! It’s fun and easy. 785-749-5082 Great Backyard Bird Count Sun, Feb 16, 9am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Join Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture, as we participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. After brief instruction, you will be part of a team that identifies and counts the wealth of birds that frequent the Gardens. Begin indoors and count the birds that frequent our feeders around the Visitor Center. In the afternoon, join us on a hike of the Byron Shutz Nature Trial for a glimpse of our more reclusive feathered friends. $8/adult, $3/child (12 & under), Free/Members. Registration required by Feb 12. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. Landscaping for Birds Wed, Feb 19, 1pm; at Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W 179th, Bucyrus, KS 66013. Speaker: Lenora Larson ($3.00 Admission Fee to Park if not FOA). 96% of terrestrial North American birds eat insects and raise their young on a diet of caterpillars, beetles, bugs and worms. To attract birds, you must first plant to attract the insects they feed on. And 90% of insects are specialists, feeding on the native plants they co-evolved with. This presentation will feature native insect host trees, shrubs and flowers to set a banquet for our common birds. MICO EMG Lenora Larson is the Miami County representative for Kansas Native Plant Society and maintains a certified wildlife habitat on her rural property, Long Lips Farm. She also belongs to Cornell Lab of Ornithology and participates in their Citizen Science projects. The Collections of Powell Gardens Thurs, Feb 20, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: “The Collections of Powell Gardens”. Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture of Powell Gardens has grown the different plant records at this garden to 19,000 from the 3,000 accessions when he began. Powell Gardens displays a full line of ornamental and edible plants. Major collections include native trees of MO and KS, the Genus Magnolia, conifers, Merit Award tall bearded iris which is the official flower of Kansas City and the most comprehensive display of edible plants outside a research station. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456. Gardeners Connect Garden Symposium Feb. 21-22. The Kansas City Garden Symposium is 8:30am to 3pm on Sat, Feb 22, at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. For tickets and information on a Friday workshop, Friday evening banquet and the Saturday Symposium, go to GardenSymposium.org. Fireside Tea Fri/Sat, Feb 21 and/or 22, 2-4pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Warm up by the cozy fire and experience a fresh approach to a traditional afternoon tea. Enjoy a delectable tea service, inspiring and informative presentations, along with beautiful live music. Seats

February 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

(continued on page 24)

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2014 Extension Horticulture Classes All Times: 7–9 p.m. Fee: $10 per person Registration Requested at least one week in advance. Enrollment limited.

To enroll go to www.johnson.ksu.edu and click on All Extension Classes, Horticulture All classes will be held at: Johnson County K-State Research and Extension 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500, Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 715-7000 Monday, Feb. 10 – Weeds, the Downside of Gardening Weeds are a fact of life for gardeners. In this session we will explore weeds and how best to learn to control them in the lawn and landscape. Learning more about their growth habits, prevention and options for eradicating will make life in the garden more pleasurable. Speaker: Dennis Patton, Johnson County Extension Horticulture Agent Monday, Feb. 24 – Emerald Ash Borer Update Now that this devastating insect has been found in Johnson County what’s next? Now is the time to start planning your attack and be prepared for its inevitable widespread movement. This session will cover information about the spread of EAB into the area and what can be done. EAB will likely kill thousands of ash trees in the coming years. Be ahead of its movement and learn about your options which include treatments, removal and replacement. Speaker: Dennis Patton, Johnson County Extension Horticulture Agent Monday, March 10 - Growing Herbs Herbs are a popular garden plant to grow. This presentation will offer information on selecting, growing, and cooking with herbs, as well as some simple and fun ideas to help you incorporate these useful plants into your life. Herbs reward the gardener’s effort all year long. Speaker: Linda Dunehoo, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener Monday, March 24 – Gardening for Pollinators Honeybee populations are declining every year, and many gardeners are starting to ask, “Are there any native insects that might take their place?” This informative session will introduce you to several species of pollinating insects native to the Kansas City area. We’ll learn how to identify these hard working gentle creatures, as well as things we can do and plants we can plant to encourage these pollinators to thrive in our own neighborhoods. Speaker: Meg Mullett, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener Monday, April 14 – Growing Beautiful Roses Anyone can grow beautiful roses! In this class you will learn the secrets of rose culture including how to choose and care for your roses, and how to respond when pest problems arise. If weather permits, we will also visit the Garden Gallery adjacent to the Extension office to view the roses and gather ideas about successful varieties and rose care. Speaker: Laura Dickinson, Johnson County Extension Horticulture Assistant and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian Monday, April 28 – Curb Appeal We all want our home to make a great first impression. This class takes you through the process of creating a plan, finding inspiration, and choosing materials and plants that will enhance your home’s appearance. The speaker, a trained landscape designer, will show you how to avoid costly mistakes, fix common problems and create a warm, welcoming look that sets your house apart. Speaker: Merle Sharp, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener 24

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

(continued from page 23) are limited so reservations are necessary. The fee for the tea is $22 per person for members of FOTA or $25 for non-members. You may register for this tea by going to www.opabg. org and follow the prompts. For additional information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 913-685-3604. No refunds. Vegetable Gardening Workshops Feb 20, 6:30-7:30pm: Beginning Vegetable Gardening; Feb 27, 6:30-7:30pm: Advanced Vegetable Gardening; both at Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Parkway, Lawrence, KS. FREE. Please RSVP at 785-842-3081. National Phenology Network Workshop Mon, Feb 24, 1-3pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. The Overland Park Arboretum has been named a partner with the National Phenology Network and will an Information and Training workshop for persons interested in being a citizen scientist observer. In the workshop, attendees will learn more about phenophases, be introduced to the NPN website and align with the Arboretum trail and plants and align with it. The NPN has the goal of facilitating the collection and dissemination of data on timing of life cycle events of plants and animals. This information is used by scientists and others for scientific study and long term planning. The Arboretum has agreed to provide paths on which plants (mainly trees) are identified for citizens to observe on their weekly or daily walks. Bringing one’s own laptop to the workshop is helpful but not necessary. Enrollment limited to 30. FOTA Members $7 – Nonmembers $10. You may enroll at www.opabg. org . No refunds.

March Growing Vegetables in Kansas Sat, Mar 1, 10am-1pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. MICO EMG Lenora Larson grows most of her own food and will share her experiences in “Growing Vegetables in Kansas”. Do you yearn to grow produce yummy, nutritious food for your family? Learn how to succeed, despite our challenging Kansas climate and soil. Whether you have just a patio, a small yard or a large farm, you can produce a bountiful vegetable garden. Topics range from soil health, plant selection, maintenance (AKA weeding and watering!) and insect visitors. Enjoy this country setting which includes a gourmet lunch prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Please call 913-271-7451 for reservations or sign up and pay for the class at www.hootowlgardens.com.

family to Pleasant Valley Baptist Church’s annual Garden Ministry Kickoff Breakfast in the West Wing. Enjoy three workshops: 1) New Plants in 2014, 2) Best Techniques for Vegetable Gardening and 3) Landscaping for Curb Appeal. Master Gardeners will provide workshops for the kids. Prizes and giveaways. Browse vendor tables. 816-781-5959 Roses for Kansas City Wed, Mar 12, 6:30-8:30pm; Raytown South Middle School. Contact Raytown Community Education to enroll, 816-268-7119 and for directions to classroom. Class fee: $10. Consider enhancing your landscape with some of the many great roses that do well in Kansas City. Instead of the over-planted Knock Out series, look at other varieties and sources nearby to find them. Discuss proper planting and maintenance, and where to view some mature examples in public gardens. Weather permitting, consider a separate optional free field trip to the rose gardens at Loose Park on Sat, Mar 22, 10am-noon to attend a talk and demonstration given by expert rosarian Judy Penner. Instructor: Leah Berg. Native Plant Seed Class Thurs, Mar 13, 1-2:30pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Class is limited to 20 people. Ken O’Dell will guide you step by step through the process of finding and tagging wildflower plants, and gathering, planting and growing their seed. You will see how to cut dry seed heads, handle them until it is time to clean the seed, and then how to clean and store the seed. Ken will provide seeds he gathered in September and October, some already cleaned for you to use in this class. You will learn what kind of soil to use, how much to water the pots, and how much light the seedlings need during and after germination. You will plant different wildflower seeds with a label for each pot. You may then take the flat of pots home and watch your wildflowers grow! Ken O’Dell grows all of the native plants for the Friends of the Arboretum spring plant sale each year. He is a long-time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum and serves on the Board of the Kansas Native Plant Society. Class Fee $10.00 per person plus admission fee to the Garden. Class is limited to 20 people. You may register for classes by going to www.opabg.org. No refunds. Grow Your Own Veggies Seminar Sat, Mar 15, 1-3pm; at Earl May Lawrence, 3200 Iowa St. 785-749-5082

Spring Workshops Mar 6, 6:30-7:30pm: Popular & New Tree & Shrub Varieties; Mar 12, 6:30-7:30pm: Container Gardening; Mar 20, 6:30-7:30pm: Rose Care; all at Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Parkway, Lawrence, KS. FREE. Please RSVP at 785-842-3081.

Naturescaping Workshop/Native Plant Sale Sat, Mar 15, 8am-12:45pm workshop; 12:453:45pm plant sale; at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Beautify your landscape with some of Missouri’s best natural resources, native plants! Learn how to save time, money and create wildlife habitat with educational sessions on shade-loving plants, butterfly gardening, stepping stones, wild edibles, native bees, treescaping and many more. The Native Plant Sale is open from 12:45-1:15p for workshop participants and 1:15:-3:45p for the public. 816-228-3766

Garden Ministry Kickoff Breakfast Sat, Mar 8, 8-11am; at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, 1600 North 291 Highway (I-35 & 291), Liberty, MO 64068. Bring the whole

Growing Strawberries, Sat, Mar 22, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Strawberries make an excellent edible ground cover. Learn how to grow your own and dis-

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014


cover ways to preserve your “fruit” of your labors. Sample homemade strawberry jam. Learn easy recipes and instructions for making your own. Plus, you will receive 25 plants to start your strawberry patch. Come learn how to plant and care for them, too. $29/adult, $24/ Members. Registration required by Mar 10. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. Lawn Care Seminar Sat, Mar 22, 1-3pm; at Earl May Lawrence, 3200 Iowa St. 785-749-5082

April Violet Reflections African Violet Show/Sale Apr 5 and 6; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112. Park entrance is West driveway immediately South of 51st St. The Sho-Me African Violet Club will sponsor a combined Show and Sale; a nationally judged event. Members will be entering African Violets and other plants of this gesneriad family. Open to the public: Sat, Apr 5, 9am-3pm and Sun, Apr 6, 10am-3pm. During the waning days of winter, please come enjoy the beauty of African Violets and related gesnariad plants being entered in this nationally judged show. View the plants in the Show Room, then enhance your home with member grown plants being offered in the Sales Room. Club members will share their knowledge by answering any questions you may have. In visiting this event, should you find yourself intrigued, you would be most welcome to attend a meeting. FREE. 816-784-5300 The Artistic Garden Sat, Apr 5, 10am-1pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. Master Gardener and artist, Lenora Larson will present “The Artistic Garden”. Garden art can bring both form and function to your landscape while creating beauty and disguising eyesores. This presentation assists gardeners in answering the question, “What is art?” and defining their own artistic style. Photographs and recommendations for “safe” usage as well as horrible examples of “art gone wrong” will empower participants to fearlessly purchase or create man-made objects to place among their beloved plants. Handouts will provide guidelines and inspirations. Enjoy this country setting which includes a gourmet lunch prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Please call 913-271-7451 for reservations or sign up and pay for the class at www.hootowlgardens.com.

Prairie Village Earth Fair Sat, Apr 12, 10am-3pm. Save the Date.

MAY AND JUNE Central MO Master Gardener Plant Sale May 3, 7am-12pm; Jaycee Fairgrounds Pavilion, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Huge plant sale featuring new introduction annuals, perennials, natives, hanging baskets, vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and tropicals all grown by the Master Gardeners. Free admission. Like us on facebook at facebook/ central missouri master gardener plant sale or call 573-295-6263. 20th Annual Garden Tour and Plant Sale Jun 7-8, 9am-5pm; Hermann, MO. Two Tours in 2014: the popular Town Tour, a walking tour of gardens in downtown Hermann, and a Country Tour, a driving tour to country gardens. Each tour is $10; ticket price includes visits to at least four private gardens and the Garden Demonstration Area. Town & County Garden Tour Combo ticket for $15. Garden Tours may be spread over Saturday and Sunday and, except for groups of 10 or more, do not need to be reserved ahead of time. New garden-themed Flea Market at the Plant Sale. Special Ticket By-ReservationOnly Luncheon/Silent Auction on Jun 6 and European High Tea in a lavender garden on Jun 7. Visit the Hermann Garden Tours website at www.hermanngardentours.com for up-to-date events, ticket prices, contact numbers and photographs. Visit the new FAQS page for answers to all your questions. Like us on Facebook at Hermann Garden Club Tours 2014. Call Hermann Welcome Center at (800) 932-8687 for questions about lodging/restaurants or go to www.visithermann.com. Evening Garden Tour Join us on the evening of the full moon, Friday, June 13, for The Moonlight and Mint Juleps garden tour of Marla Galetti, hosted by the Northland Garden Club. Visitors will get an opportunity to tour the one acre garden which was professionally lighted by Natural Accents Outdoor Lights. Beginning at twilight, guests will be able to study the vast specimens of plants while enjoying a non-alcoholic freshly made mint julep. Automatically timed lights will lead you through the garden once darkness has descended. Additional lighting has been added by Marla to make the garden a magical place for an evening stroll. Hours are 8-10 p.m. Reservations and tickets, $10.00 may be acquired by calling Dee West, Northland Garden Club President at 816-4554013. Check the web-site at www.northlandgardenclub.com for further information.

The 17th Annual

Great Backyard Bird Count

R

February 14 – 17

bird tallies give scientists a “big emember, if you like birds picture” of bird activity. and want to help them, If this interests you, you’ll the GBBC is a FREE need to set up a FREE account world-wide event. Be a parat www.birdcount.org ticipant in the largest Citizen Science Project GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT or www.ebird.org, providing your name and ever undertaken. email and choosing a Individuals, families, personal username and friends, schools, garden password. Then you clubs and civic orgaare all set to enter your nizations are invited to count birds at bird tallies from your observations. You can begin feeders, backyards, entering bird lists at local parks and other 7am Eastern time on the first day locations. You can spend as little of the count. You will be able to as 15 minutes or as much time (4 days) as your schedule allows. explore what is happening with tallies in your area or anywhere Why count birds you ask? else in the world. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No Wild Birds Unlimited is excited to be a major sponsor of single scientist or even a team The Great Backyard Bird Count of scientists could hope to docuand to bring this opportunity ment the complex distribution to the Kansas City Metro Area. and movements of so many species in such a short time. The Have fun counting birds! 17TH ANNUAL

Counting birds is a fun, free, family-friendly way to discover and help the birds in your community.

Visit birdcount.org to learn more.

American Robin by 2013 GBBC Participant Gwen Starrett

SPONSORED IN PART BY

February

Weather Repor t

The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail: elizabeth@kcgmag.com Deadline for March issue is February 5.

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

Avg nbr of clear days 8 Avg nbr of cloudy days 14

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

From the Almanac Moon Phases

Plant Above Ground Crops: 2, 3, 7, 11, 12

First Quarter: Feb. 6 Full Moon: Feb. 14 Last Quarter: Feb. 22

Plant Root Crops: 18-21

Control Plant Pests: 23, 24, 27, 28

Transplant: 11, 12

Plant Flowers: Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

February 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

Highs and Lows

Clear or Cloudy

Promote your gardening events! Send information to:

February 14–17, 2014

2, 3, 6, 7

25


Dream of Spring and Outdoor Living Change How You Look at Your Backyard… One Water Feature at a Time

Diane Swan

I

magine, just for a moment, coming home from a long, tiring day at work. You get home, grab a cool drink from the refrigerator, go out back to your yard, sit on your small deck or patio and watch the grass grow! How relaxing and refreshing is that? The way we look at our backyards has slowly been changing through the years. People are staying home more and not taking expensive trips to find relaxation somewhere else. For many years we were conditioned to spend lots of money

and time, trimming and fertilizing our yards. Everyone was trying to out-do their neighbors with the greenest and best kept yard in the neighborhood. There were masses of green lawns, challenged with keeping dandelions from growing and spreading in summer. In the winter, there was no reason to go outside at all, unless you liked staring at brown grass. The exception about the winter landscape is that the bare bones, the lay of the land becomes visible. The contour, hills and valleys, of the landscape are evident, no matter how small or pronounced. Now, with a clear perspective, you can shape a design plan for your new backyard. Fortunately there are many options for redesigning your back-

Now Hiring

for Spring

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

Cashiers Phone Operators Hardgoods Sales People Plant Sales Horticulturists Landscape Maintenance Truck Drivers, (CDL & non-CDL) Diesel Mechanic Equipment Operators Irrigation Technician

Full & Part time positions available For more information please contact our Human Resource Department phone: 816-941-4700 fax: 816-941-3838

26

applications available on line at suburbanlg.com

yard living space. Perhaps a favorite vacation spot you’ve experienced or one you’ve always dreamed of. You may be one that looks at your yard and says it is too small to work with. There are many options with water features; there is a size for any yard and for everyone. You can choose a feature that is as little or as large as you may want. A bubbler rock, vase or small water feature with no pond may be ideal for the little space. While a double or triple falls with stream and water garden will fit perfectly in a large backyard. What’s great is that there is every size and shape in between. Just let your imagination go. Water features with no ponds are becoming more popular. They consist of a waterfall and stream with a water retention basin but no pond. This feature can be as long or as short as you have room for in your yard. The water retention basin just has to be large enough to hold sufficient water to maintain the system. But if you want the full experience of water gardening, a lowmaintenance water garden is the way to go. The beauty of water lilies and Lotus can take your breath away and the best part is you don’t have to water them. You will find yourself wanting to go outside to enjoy the sights and sounds. It is easy to get attached to your fish and enjoy watching them swimming and darting around the plants and rocks. With the addition of night landscape lighting, you extend the

viewing time each day, especially in winter when the nights are long and cold. Lights will make your pond and stream sparkle and reflect off the water, revealing another dimension of your landscape. When planning your water feature, plan for an area to sit and contemplate the beauty of your backyard. Consider a simple small path leading to a garden bench, or an elaborate paver patio and retaining walls. How about that outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted or a fireplace for those cooler nights? The beauty of it all is once you have a plan in mind, you can do it all at once or in stages. Whatever you imaged for your backyard paradise, you can have. Now imagine, just for a moment, coming home from a long, tiring day at work. You get home, grab a cool drink from the refrigerator, go out back to your yard, sit down in a cozy lounge chair on a new paver patio near the fire burning in the firepit. You can hear the gurgling and splashing of the waterfalls and stream, see the lush green landscape spotted with colorful flowers and watch your fish swimming in the pond. Now that is relaxing and refreshing! (Refer to “Simplifying Water Garden Maintenance” which appeared in The Kansas City Gardener October 2013.) Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-592-2143.

The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014


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February 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

If you have a spring project planned, Mark Hale can help you find the materials you need. Name: Mark Hale, Store General Manager Company: Lakeview Nursery & Stone Then and now: Before my career began at Lakeview, I worked at a local garden center while attending Longview Community College. As the Warehouse Supervisor, I was responsible for displaying/ organizing all fertilizers and chemicals. For the last 12 years, I have worked at Lakeview Nursery & Stone. I started as assistant store manager and my current position is Store General Manager. Daily detail: There’s never a dull moment in the nursery business. From ordering and managing inventory, to helping customers select the best suited rock for their project, the day’s duties are diverse. We have one of the largest selections of bulk landscape materials like mulch, topsoil and gravel, as well as pavers, boulders, natural stone and decorative rock. That’s a lot to track. We also are a full service nursery and carry shrubs, perennials and annuals for all your landscaping needs. If you’re planning a new outdoor living area, I’ll introduce you to our team of professionals that will bring that project to life. Favorite destination: I have been fortunate to travel to various parts of the country for work and pleasure. The Smoky Mountains have been my favorite. The pine covered mountains, creeks, streams and roaring rivers are breathtaking. Favorite landscape material: The river rock and boulders that come from Colorado have beautiful colors and shapes that are unique to the area. Inspiration: My grandmother’s love of gardening. She always had vegetable and flower gardens, where you would find me learning and helping. What every gardener should know: Know your numbers! All aspects of landscaping rely on accurate measurements. Whether ordering dirt, rock, mulch or chemicals, it’s important. Too much or too little fertilizer can wreak havoc on your lawn and environment. Other interests: In the last couple of years, I have become interested in the art of charcuterie: the curing of meat. So far I have cured sausages, bacon, pancetta and Canadian bacon. My favorite store is a butcher shop! Little known secret: I’m a huge Missouri Mavericks fan and a sucker for English Bulldogs. Contact information: If you’re thinking about dropping by, call first. Winter hours change. Randy’s Lakeview Nursery & Stone is located at 1820 NE County Park Rd., Lee’s Summit, MO 64086; ph 816-525-1111; www.lakeviewkc.com 27


Blooming

Tropicals & Houseplants

25% Off S T O P low prices regular Newnt !! me p i h S

Great Gifts FREE

Small Scapes

Spring Clean-Up Lawns, Beds Mulching Pruning

WORKSHOP

Saturday, Feb. 8 1:00-4:00 135th & Wornall Greenhouse

Suburban Lawn & Garden Maintenance 816-941-4700

105th & Roe 28

(913) 649-8700

K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy closed for winter season

135th & Wornall

(816) 942-2921 The Kansas City Gardener / February 2014

KCG 02Feb14  
KCG 02Feb14  

houseplants, birding, Great Backyard Bird Count, landscaping, dogs, butterflies