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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

January 2014

Backyard Birds

need winter care

Plan Your Native Garden Now Kansas City Garden Symposium Blue-Eyed Grass, 2014 Wildflower of the Year Check out classes, workshops and upcoming events


Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle... 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.

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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 18 years now. Over those 18 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.

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.

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.

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

You’ll see water features you can build for as little as $295 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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FEED THE BIRDS ALL WINTER LONG! TEN SIMPLE TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL WINTER BIRD FEEDING The first days of winter are a great time to start feeding birds. Once you have bird feeders, some water sources, some shrubs and trees for habitat cover you are well on your way!

1. Put out feeders with good size capacity: Try to use multiple feeders to provide ample food, especially during snow and ice storms. 2. Provide nutritious winter seed foods: For most birds these often include seed mixes of: black oil sunflower seed, hulled peanuts, niger seed and white millet seed. 3. Offer fatty food too: Birds need to burn more calories in the winter just to stay warm. Suet is considered a high energy food because it consists of fat that has 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates or protein. Peanut Butter is also popular with our flying friends but is more expensive than suet. Suet feeders are a favorite of woodpeckers and other insect-eating birds. 4. Keep your feeders full: Winter birds need to stock up on calories for those long, cold winter nights.

5. Be consistent and keep feeding through the winter: Birds grow accustomed to your feeders. 6. Remember water: Birds can become dehydrated in winter even if surrounded by ice and snow. Putting out a pan of water near the feeder on warmer days is a terrific idea. 7. Stomp down the snow below: Ground-feeding birds such as dark-eyed juncos, doves and many sparrows will be able to gather up the seed that drops from the feeders if they don’t have deep snow to try to manage. 8. Hang feeders in cat-safe locations: Think of placing the feeders ten to twelve feet from shrubs or brush piles. This gives the birds some time to react. 9. Remember feeder cleanliness: Your feeders can get a little grimy. 10. Save some money and stock up on seed: If stored properly, (in cool dry places) seed can easily last for several months, particularly seed mixes and sunflower seeds.

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January 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Garden journal entry

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Cindy Gilberg Diane & Doc Gover Ken O’Dell Dennis Patton 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 cavsgarden@kc.rr.com.

“Every gardener knows under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dreams.” ~ Barbara Winkler

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here were a few wonderful weather days last month that allowed a little more garden cleanup to continue. It was warm enough to water newly planted trees and perennials, and cool enough to plant a few pansies. Gardeners like me were elated to spend another day or two in the garden. Leaf drop seemed unceasing. As you probably experienced, no sooner were the leaves raked and composted, then came another round .... and another, and another. I kept looking up into the trees begging, “Enough already!” Why keep a tight grip on a few remaining leaves? Why can’t we have them all at once? I’d be pleased to know why leaves are released in batches like that. Even if collecting leaves was one of the chores, I was grateful for the time outdoors. The garage was cleaned out. Containers were emptied, washed, and stored. Water lines cleared. Tools put away. Firewood purchased and stacked.

Now we are braced for winter. We celebrated well through the holidays. Family and friends gathered as we celebrated two birthdays, and rang in a new year. Yep, we celebrated well. Decorations have been put away, the dust has settled, and the house is back to normal. What’s next? Winter has only just begun, so we’ve got plenty of time to plan the next growing season. So grab your 2014 calendar, and start jotting down important events and dates you don’t want to miss. Over the next couple of months the garden shows will be held. The Kansas City Garden Symposium is scheduled in February. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City are hosting their annual Spring

Seminar in March. There are workshops, classes and other events listed within these pages that are sure to inspire your next garden project. In the meantime, we’ll dream of spring and all the possibilities. As an early riser my favorite time is morning, just as the sun dresses the treetops with a golden glow. It’s a peaceful start to the day, that allows my thoughts to wander through the garden. With coffee in hand, and a cat in my lap, I watch the morning unfold. It’s quiet and calm and my imagination journeys forward to another flourishing growing season. I’ll imagine the same for you. I’ll see you in the garden!

Submit editorial questions to Elizabeth Cavanaugh at editorcavsgarden@kc.rr.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 19. 4

In this issue January 2014 • Vol. 19 No. 1 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 JoCo Horticulture Class ............ 7 GrowNative: Plan Now ........... 8 Backyard Birds ........................ 10 Blue-Eyed Grass WFOTY .......... 12 MGGKC Spring Seminar ......... 13 OPA Volunteer Orientation ....... 14

about the cover ...

Vegetable Workshop ............... 14 Garden Calendar .................... 15 Upcoming Events ..................... 16 Weather ................................. 17 KC Garden Symposium ............ 18 Professional’s Corner ................ 19 Subscribe ................................ 19

The Downy Woodpecker is a familiar backyard bird that appreciates a plentiful offering of food and water in winter months. See more birds and info starting on page 10.

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The Kansas City Gardener / January 2014


January 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton RIDDING APHIDS Question: I have an infestation of aphids after bringing a large tropical hibiscus indoors. What can I do to help get rid of this pest? Answer: There are a potential number of hitchhikers that enter our homes on plants during the winter months. Also, indoors they have no natural predators so their populations can quickly spike. The best suggestion would be use the organic product insecticidal soap. This product is a mixture that suffocates the soft bodied insect. The product works by contact so a thor-

ough spray for coverage is a must. It will also take repeated applications to keep the numbers down. Since the aphids tend to be most prominent at the tips, or point of new growth, extremely heavily infested limbs can be pruned to also help reduce the population. The goal is to keep the aphids in check until the plant can be returned outdoors in the spring. REUSE POTTING MIX Question: During summer months, I have several containers on my patio filled with annuals. I hear conflicting reports on whether to reuse the potting mix, which is expensive. What would you recommend? Answer: Of course the manufacturer would recommend purchasing new each season. This is my take. If the plants grew healthy

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then I would consider reusing the mix. If the plant was a dud for reasons you cannot explain, then I would purchase new mix. Potting soil mixes are formulated to have a balance of water and air holding capacity for good plant growth. These mixes do not contain soil but are a combination of organic products. Over time these natural products like bark and peat moss break down. The result is the structure of the mix changes, usually meaning it holds more water and less air which does not favor good root growth. Here’s what I recommend. In spring, remove potting soil from the container and freshen. I like to add about a 1/3 new potting mix. I usually dump the soil into a wheel barrow and use a shovel to break up the mass of roots and incorporate the new fresh potting mix. Adding the new mix helps keep the desired balance of air and water.

COLLECT LEAVES Question: I got lazy this past November and did not get the leaves raked up. There are some areas covered in leaves while in others I can see the grass. Do I need to go pick up leaves covering the lawn? Answer: Leaves that cover up the lawn over the winter months will cause damage. The leaves exclude sunlight and suffocate out the lawn. The result is come spring you could have dead areas from the damage. If you look over the lawn and you mainly see grass blades and a few random leaves you are good. But if you look out over the lawn and see leaves not grass then the fallen leaves should be removed. Keep in mind the longer the covering remains the more likelihood there will be damage. So my advice from your description is to hope for a warmer winter day and get busy raking!

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PECAN TREES IN KC Question: A friend from the Paola area gave me a bag of locally grown pecans. They were more flavorful and moist than what I purchase in the store. Can I grow a pecan tree and harvest the nuts? Answer: Yes, pecan trees grow in the Kansas City area. They grow best in deep, well fertilized well drained soils and can struggle in poor, heavily compacted clay. There is a second part to the question: Will they produce nuts? This is where location, location, location means everything. Pecan flowers are not always winter hardy and are prone to late spring freezes. The further south you go, your chances improve for getting fruit. For example, here in Johnson County, Kan., pecans are rarely seen in our native woodlands. But head south 20 miles or so and pecans are common in river bottom woodlands of Miami and Linn County. These counties are also just far enough south that nut set occurs usually every year. Here in Johnson County fruit set is less frequent. One more note, if you do plant a pecan tree, it will take 10 to 15 years before you start harvesting the flavorful nut.

SUPPORT LIMBS Question: I have a few shrubs that peel like a banana under the weight of snow. How can I wrap or protect the plants from splaying out under the weight of the snow? Answer: Several upright evergreens such as juniper, yews and arborvitae can be damaged by the weight of snow and ice. The best method is to support the limbs before the damage occurs. I have seen people wrap the entire plant with rope or bungee cords to help hold the plant together and keep from splitting. These wraps are applied in the fall and then removed in the spring. I have also seen people work from the inside, using a soft material to gently tie the limbs together leaving enough room so that as they expand they will not be damaged. Once the limbs are bound together the plant moves as one unit which provides a little more support. 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.

Your Gardening Personality Johnson County Extension Horticulture Class Mon., January 27, 7-9 p.m. Preregistration requested; Call 913-715-7000 $10 per person; EMGs no charge Held at Extension Offices, 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Olathe, KS 66061 January 27 – Your Gardening Personality All gardens do not look the same because all gardeners are not the same. We each garden for our own reasons, driven by our psychological needs. The gardener’s personality can also be the best starting point for designing a pleasing personal space. This presentation uses three personality assessment tools to help attendees better understand their motivations and style. Photographs of gardens designed by different personality types illustrate the psychological impact of who we are and what we do in our gardens. At the conclusion, participants should be more confident in their gardening identity—and more tolerant of those with a different gardening style. Speaker: Lenora Larson is a Miami County Master Gardener and a proud ‘science geek’ with a degree in microbiology from Michigan State University. Her interest in garden design was firmly guided by her mother, a certified landscape designer. Thirteen years as an employee of New Directions Behavioral Health has provided her with an appreciation of psychology and human behavior. A frequent presenter to gardening and community groups, Lenora combines psychology, gardening and entertainment.

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Plan Your Native Garden Now

Cindy Gilberg

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inter allows opportunities to view the subtle beauty of the garden. It is the perfect time to reflect on the past year in your garden—which plants performed well and which ones suffered or just plain died. It is a great time to investigate new plants that will help you attain your goals. Consider using more regionally native plants because of their hardiness, resilience, and to enhance the habitat value of your property. Sit by a window with a cup of hot chocolate and determine if your garden is visually exciting—are there plants with winter interest?

Are there plants that offer food and/or shelter for overwintering birds? Visiting birds add visual excitement to the winter scene. Is there a special view that would benefit from the addition of a focal point such as a small water feature? Bubblers and pondless waterfalls are simple additions that provide water for birds and small animals. Where should you start? Most people want to enhance their existing landscape—begin by putting your current landscape on graph paper, to scale. Do an assessment of where there is sun versus shade, wet versus dry and other site conditions that will help you choose the right plants for each location. Identify plants that will remain in the landscape and those that you want to remove or replace. Determine your goals: a goal can be as simple as creating a more deer-resistant landscape, enhancing habitat, reducing how much lawn needs to be mowed, or correcting

Photos by Cindy Gilberg.

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Bubblers and pondless waterfalls are simple additions attracting wildlife.

Even shrubs can be used in groupings to create a low maintenance space.

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A little planning goes a long way in creating an attractive, low-maintenance native landscape. a water issue (erosion or flooding). Often there are varying goals for different areas of the same landscape. When the drawing is done to scale it is easier to determine how many plants to buy. Start small and build on your successes. Regionally native plants are reliably hardy, enhance habitat, and can be integrated into any

landscape and design style. A plant list does not dictate the design style—it is the gardener who decides the design style and provides the maintenance to sustain it. Selling your lawn mower does not produce a native garden or habitat. The basics of good garden design apply to native plant gardens just as they do in other types of land-

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The Kansas City Gardener / January 2014


scapes. Try to blend the design style of a new garden space with the existing style in the surrounding area if possible. A little planning goes a long way in creating an attractive, lowmaintenance native landscape. Create a plant wish list for each area. Give each plant choice thorough consideration by carefully matching its cultural needs to the site by using the “right plant, right place” concept—set yourself up for success! For example, if it is a sunny spot with moist-wet soil, plan with those native plants that thrive in that condition. Masses of the small-to-medium sized plants, planted in broad “brushstrokes,” help create a lower maintenance landscape. Even shrubs can be used in groupings to create a low maintenance space. When choosing which plants to combine in a design, always keep the idea of contrast in mind. Foliar contrast prevents a planting from appearing weedy. Combine boldtextured plants with fine-textured ones alternately so that each is accentuated by its neighbor. A garden full of fine-textured plants and devoid of weeds may still appear weedy regardless simply because of a lack of foliar contrast. Once you have your design(s) on paper, see if any of the planting areas create a new bed. Fall and winter are good times to prepare the ground for new beds. The simplest and easiest way is to lay down a thick layer of topsoil with a little compost. Be sure not to add too much compost as this creates a soil that is too rich for the proper growth of the most native plants. The ideal times to plant containerized plants is spring (late March through midJune) and again in fall (late August through mid-October). If you want to provide for a larger area of habitat, such as a prairie or woodland planting, design is as simple as creating an appropriate seed list and an appropriate schedule for seeding. The area should be prepared in late summer-early fall and seeding is done in NovemberDecember. Knowing the approximate square footage of the area will help you determine how much seed to buy. Refer to the resource list below for more information on plants and their cultural requirements as well as where to buy various seeds and/ or plants that are native to our region.

RESOURCES: www.grownative.org to view the Buyers’/Resource Guide online. This site also allows you to view the plants and get more information on each species as well as offering ideas for designs of various native plant gardens. It is a wealth of information on native plant landscaping in our region.

January 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

www.shawnature.org offers online Native Landscaping Manual and classes through Native Plant School www.wildones.org to find a local chapter near you; this organization promotes native landscaping and gives guidance for achieving success www.xerces.org the society that

promotes invertebrate protection and conservation; with information on butterflies and pollinating insects, as well as good plant lists Cindy Gilberg is a horticulturist, landscape designer, and a professional member of Grow Native!, a program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

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Above: Male Cardinal; Below center: Blue Jay; Above: Male Red-bellied Woodpecker

Above: House Finch and Gold Finches

Above: Black-capped Chickadee; Below left: Bluebird; Below center: White-breasted Nuthatch; Below right: Tufted Titmouse

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The Kansas City Gardener / January 2014


Backyard Birds

need winter care

offer plenty of nutritious choices so that birds can find food easily.

Doc & Diane Gover

D

oes it look stormy outside? Is there a big snow headed our way? Just spend a few minutes observing the bird feeders. If there’s a flurry of winged friends busy at the buffet, and they linger beyond their usual “last call” time, you can bet bad weather is on the way. Birds are sensitive to atmospheric pressure, and the lows that precede a storm are a signal to stock up while the getting is good. Remember the days are short (time to eat) and the nights are cold and long. Birds are warm-blooded; this means that they maintain their body temperature within a certain range even when the temperature around them changes. The maintenance of body temperature within a normal range depends on the amount of heat the bird produces. On cold, wintry days most birds fluff up their feathers, creating air pockets which help to keep them warm. The more air spaces, the better the insulation. Some birds perch on one leg, drawing the other leg to their breast for warmth. For example, chickadees can create a buffer of more than 70 degrees from the cold winter air and their skin. To keep up their high metabolic rate, most backyard birds eat rich, high energy foods such as seeds, insects and suet. There are times, however, when birds are not prepared to cope with sudden drops in temperature or the quick onset of an ice or snow storm. In situations like these, it is especially helpful to

Winter Bird Feeding The main reason that feeder traffic takes a dramatic jump in the winter is that natural food is scarce or covered by ice and snow. The few foods that do remain are hard to find, and the birds can save

cylinder feeder, a ground tray or suet style feeder, start by making sure your feeders are clean and dry. Fill feeders with fresh seed such as black oil sunflower, stripe sunflower, safflower, white millet, nyjer, peanuts and live or dried mealworms. Do not offer any filler seeds such as milo, oats, wheat and barley. Song birds do not eat these

Male (left) and Female Cardinals considerable precious energy by zeroing in on your feeder instead of hunting for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Insects are just a summer memory, except for a stray cocoon or overwintering egg – no more easy pick-ups of caterpillars and beetles and their kin. Fruits and seeds are mostly all consumed by the time winter rolls around. This is good news for backyard birdwatchers, who will enjoy feeling really needed as the birds dine on handouts. Whether you offer food in a tube, hopper, peanut or mealworm feeder, barkbutter or

January 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

grains and they will only get kicked out of the feeders as the birds are looking for higher calorie preferences. Suet and barkbutter are like a power bar for the birds, offering high calories and high fats to the buffet. Winter Water Supply Backyard birds can miss an occasional meal, but cannot survive without water. Birding enthusiasts agree that providing a reliable water source for backyard birds is critical to their livelihood. When temperatures are above freezing on a sunny

winter’s day, birdbaths, saucers, or puddles on landscape rocks are adequate resources. However, the difficulty increases when temperatures are below freezing. Using their beaks to break the ice is doable for the birds, but expending that kind of energy this time of year is avoidable with our help. If birds have to ingest chipped ice or eat snow for moisture, their body temperature drops and that creates a vicious cycle of needing more food quickly to raise their body temperature. There are no ice preventative additives on the market safe enough to add to the birdbath to prevent freezing – they would be very harmful, even fatal to the birds. A birdbath heater for your existing birdbath or a heated birdbath is a safe and efficient way to offer liquid water to your birds. These birdbaths can easily be mounted on your deck railing offering your feathered friends a consistent water access. The cast of characters at your feeders will be a rewarding sight. Watch for cardinals, chickadees, house finches, gold finches, bluebirds, blue jays, wrens, titmouse, juncos, nuthatches, woodpeckers and sparrows. Have your binoculars and field guide handy at the window so you’ll be able to identify all of your guests – right in your own backyard. Please, if you have any questions, just stop by the store. Our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you. Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kan., serving Kansas City for 26 years. Contact them at 913-491-4887. 11


Blue-Eyed Grass

Ken O’Dell

T

he Kansas Native Plant Society (KNPS) chooses one of our native Kansas plants each year as the Wildflower of the Year. The plant chosen must be a plant native to Kansas. It may be common or rare. It need not be of horticultural interest and this may actually be a plus. It may be selected for emphasis on habitat. The purpose of selecting a Wildflower of the Year is to increase public awareness of our native Kansas plants. Blue-eyed Grass is the KNPS choice for 2014. Whether you see the

Blue-eyed Grass or the White-eyed version of this plant, early flowers of the native Kansas Blue-eyed Grass will draw your attention. Long, thin, green leaves look very much like the leaves of grass. They are not a grass but a member of the Iris family. Walking through the prairies in the spring you will notice the flowers in shades of blue and white ranging from dark sky blue flowers to light blue, slightly blue, creamy white and pure white. Blue-eyed Grass is a prairie plant that will do very well in dappled shade, as the taller prairie forbs and grasses in summer provide some shade for the much shorter Blue-eyed Grass. The plant is easily grown from seed or divisions. Chances are the seed from Blue-eyed Grass will not produce the exact color of the parent. Dividing a small clump

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Kansas Native Plant Society Wildflower of the Year 2014

will assure you of the colors you saw on that clump. These beautiful native plants are at times available at retail nurseries and at native plant sales. Kansas has four species of Blue-eyed Grass. Each has a different common name and all four of them are the Kansas Wildflower of the Year for 2014. Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium, is native in several counties in the eastern half of the state. Bright green foliage to 12” tall usually found in slightly moist areas or edges of woodlands. Light blue, violet flowers or occasionally white. Prairie Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium campestre, is native in most counties in eastern Kansas. Pale blue to white flowers in spring. Bluish-green clumps of grass-like foliage are stunning, with the colorful flowers resting on top. This species is the most common in Eastern Kansas.

The foliage of Strict Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium montanum, frequently has a bluish overcast, especially in spring and early summer. Dark blue or violet colored flowers are very showy on 6” to 10” clumps. Roadside Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium langloisii, aka Sisyrinchium pruinosum, has light green foliage and slender stems growing to 6” to 12” in length. Violet-blue to light purple flowers. Found mostly in open prairies, pastures and open roadside areas. More information on this beautiful Blue-eyed Grass and other Kansas native plants is available at www.kswildflower.org and from the Kansas Native Plant Society at www.kansasnativeplantsociety.org. Ken O’Dell is a long-time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum, a board member of the Kansas Native Plant Society, and the Kansas City Regional Leader of the KNPS.

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LARGEST SELECTION IN KANSAS CITY The Kansas City Gardener / January 2014


E

MGGKC 13th Annual Spring Gardening Seminar is Here!

ach spring in March, the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City host a Spring Gardening Seminar at a local venue featuring experts in various fields of gardening. In 2014, “Jewels in the Garden” will take place at William Jewell College in Liberty, and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. As in the past, the day will begin with a welcome, a short speech about the venue, and a keynote address. Judy Minor, landscaper at William Jewell, has used native plants to create butterfly habitats after a tornado ripped through the campus in 2004. This year’s keynote speaker, Dave Tylka, a semiretired biology professor at St. Louis Community College, will speak on “Native Landscaping for Wildlife, People and a Healthy Planet”. He has written Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People, a Missouri Conservation Department book which will be available during the seminar. The rest of the seminar consists of three, hour-long sessions that will be divided into four topics: “Beauty from the Garden”, “Natives”, “Planning and Care”, and “Edibles”. Under “Beauty from the Garden”, Kim Dyer, greenhouse manager at Colonial Nursery, presents “Seeds: Beginning to End” (hands on—expect to get dirty); and also “Picture Perfect: Succulents Framed”—a make-and-take project. The third session will be “The Art of Ikebana”, a demonstration of various types of Ikebana with expert Sue Looney.

The second topic, “Natives”, includes another talk by Dave Tylka on ”Welcome Birds with Natives”; Chris Starbuck, PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus, Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri, “Beyond Dogwoods and Redbuds: Native Understory Trees and Shrubs” on how to modify shade patterns to suit different species and what natives work in our area; and “Let Your Grasses Flow”, by Rodney St. John, PhD, ornamental grass research program at K-State Horticulture Research and Extension, speaking about ornamental grasses that thrive/survive in our local habitats. The third topic “Planning and Care”, includes Chris Starbuck speaking on “Making the Cut: Pruning Shrubs”, a skill many of us wish we knew better how to do; Steve Hess, local art educator, designer and sculptor, speaking on “Add a Twist: Keep Your Garden Surprising”, using simple how-to’s, using tools and the art elements to develop a well-designed landscape;

Green Industry Directory now available for CONSUMERS! Do you have a LANDSCAPE PROJECT and need HELP or ADVICE from an industry professional? Consider a member of the Hort NetWORK, which membership consists of professionals in all aspects of the green industry. To connect with a professional, go to

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for a membership directory. January 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

SPEAKERS’ BUREAU

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

and Matt Bunch, new horticulturist for The Giving Grove, and former Horticulturist for Powell Gardens’ Heartland Harvest Garden, “Nuts About Fruits”, a talk about the many ornamental edibles suitable to our landscapes. The final topic “Edibles” will include Cary Rivard, PhD, researcher at K-State Research and Extension Center, speaking on

the basics of growing tomatoes in the Midwest; Sherri Thomas, Edible Landscape Consultant and Kansas Master Gardener, speaking about thoughtfully incorporating edibles into an ornamental landscape in “Tasty Beauties in Your Landscape”; and Lenora Larson, Miami County Master Gardener and member of several Butterfly and Native Plant societies presenting “Feed the Children: Caterpillar Gardens”, on what attracts butterflies to your yard, what plants feed caterpillars, and why both are necessary for attracting and keeping our plants growing. Registration opens January 2, 2014, on www.eventbrite.com under “Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Thirteen Annual Spring Gardening Seminar”. Enroll early to get the best rates. For more information, email Mggkc.spring. sem@gmail.com or see the website at www.mggkc.org.

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egetable gardening is as popular as ever whether in your backyard or in one of the many community garden locations around the area. In order to help all area vegetable gardeners learn more and to be successful in the garden, a vegetable gardening workshop will be held Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 9 a.m. to noon in Olathe. The featured speaker for the session will be Kansas State University Research and Extension Vegetable Specialist Dr. Cary Rivard. Dr. Rivard will cover timely topics of watering, weed control and growing great tomatoes. Watering and weeding are always issues in achieving success and tomatoes are the most popular garden crop. During the workshop you will learn new

tips for eating fresh from the garden presented by Olathe Medical Center. There will be time allotted for questions and answers whether you are involved in a community garden or avid backyard gardener. This informative workshop is sponsored by Olathe Parks and Recreation, Olathe Medical Center, K-State Olathe and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. The workshop will be held at the Olathe Health Education Center, 21201 West 152nd Street, Olathe, Kansas 66061. Registration is $5 per person which includes refreshments. To register, contact Olathe Parks and Recreation at 913-971-8563 or www.olatheks.org/parksrec and enter code 24867.

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he Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens will be cultivating a new crop of volunteers in early 2014. Orientations for new volunteers will be held on two Saturday mornings — January 18 and February 15. According to Volunteer Coordinator Phyllis Merrick, “We always look forward to showing new people the wide variety of volunteer opportunities we offer. There is something to fit every interest, every schedule and every level of physical ability.” For instance, if you enjoy meeting new people, you could be a greeter in the Visitors Center, serve in the Garden Café, lead guided tours, or help with the many weddings held in the gardens. Bird lovers can keep the bird feeders filled and monitor the feathered population. If you enjoy working with children, you can help with the Wizard of Oz party or geocaching classes in March, or assist with Nature Crafts for Kids in the fall. Folks with limited time can assist with one of the many special events at the Arboretum, including

serving at the upcoming Fireside Tea in February, helping out at KiteFest held on each Sunday in April, or the early May plant sale. The calendar here in The Kansas City Gardener keeps up with all these events so you can choose the activities in which you’re interested. And of course there are plenty of garden tasks for those who like to dig in the dirt! Volunteers receive free admission on the days they work, and those who work at least 40 hours in a calendar year receive free admission during the following year on all days (excluding certain special events). Identical New Volunteer Orientation sessions will be held on January 18 and February 15 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the Visitors Center. Register at www.opabg.org to attend one and learn more. If you have questions, contact Phyllis Merrick at volunteercoordinator@ opkansas.org or 913.685.3604. 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 / January 2014


January

garden calendar

n LAWNS

• Avoid walking on frozen lawns as it may injure the grass. • Rake fallen leaves that pile up on the lawn to prevent the grass from suffocating. • Tune-up the lawn mower now so it is ready for spring. • Scatter snow instead of piling up on the lawn next to drives and walks. • Talk with your lawn care service provider about contracts for the upcoming season. • If you missed fall overseeding, dormant seeding can be done following a light snow or rainfall.

n FLOWERS

• Scan nursery catalogs and the Internet for new introductions. Which ones do you have to have? • Still have bulbs to plant? Get in the ground now. • Start seeds throughout the winter depending on growth requirements. • Water fall-planted perennials as needed to prevent desiccation. • Watch for signs of frost heaving and cover tender roots. • Replace mulch layers as needed. • Check stored bulbs for rot and decay and discard damaged ones. • Curl up with a good book and learn more about gardening.

n TREES AND SHRUBS

• Gently brush off heavy snow from tree and shrub limbs to reduce damage. • Prune storm damaged limbs quickly to reduce damage and prevent tearing of the bark. • Allow ice to melt naturally from limbs. • Bring twigs of flowering trees and shrubs indoors for forced spring blossoms.

• Avoid the temptation to prune on a warm winter day. • Water fall-planted trees and shrubs when soil is dry and not frozen. • Watch out for rabbit damage to bark of trees and shrubs.

n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Read through your favorite seed catalogs and prepare order. • Check stored seeds for decay. • Have a soil test taken if it has been more than three years since the last soil test. • Start vegetable transplants for the garden indoors under grow lights. • Order fruit trees. • Pick up fallen fruit before spring arrives and discard. • Be on the lookout for rabbit and rodent damage to fruit tree bark.

n HOUSEPLANTS

• Wash dust off plant leaves to allow more sunlight to reach the leaves. • Water plants with room temperature water. • Insecticidal soap sprays can be used to remove pests. • Mealy bugs and scales can be wiped off with a swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. • Rotate plants to develop a well-rounded plant. • Keep new plants separated to be sure they do not harbor insects. • Reduce fertilizer use until spring when more sunlight is available for growth.

n MISCELLANEOUS

• Repair garden tools. • Sand and seal tool handles to prevent splinters. • Apply brightly colored paint to tool handles to make them easier to spot in the garden. • Keep bird feeders and water supplies filled for feathered 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

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Metropolitan Lawn and Garden Show American Royal Center Feb 7-9

KC Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Jan 19, noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300

Johnson County Home and Garden Show Overland Park Convention Center Feb 28-Mar 2

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2014 Garden Shows

Kansas City Flower, Lawn & Garden Show Bartle Hall Mar 28-30

Club Meetings African Violets Club of Greater Kansas City Tues, Jan 14, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Bonsai Society of GKC Sat, Jan 18, 9am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Program. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Jan 6, meeting at 6pm, presentation at 6:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Guest speaker Rita Arnold, Arnold’s Greenhouse and Garden Center. Growing the business from the ground up, Rita has received most of her education hands-on. The horticulture extension specialist at KSU, Kansas Greenhouse Growers Association and the Perennial Plant Association have all been extremely helpful over the years. Rita will be sharing the exciting New Perennials, Roses, & Shrubs for 2014. New introductions is the driving force and excitement in gardening every spring. She will also present new introductions that will be available at Arnold’s Garden Center this spring. Non-member guests are always welcome. Contact Vince Vogel at 816-313-8733 for additional questions. Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Jan 8, noon; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Mary Wood will present “Art in the Garden.” For reservations and more information please call 913-592-3546. Visitors are welcome. Heart of America Gesneriad Sat, Jan 18, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 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. There will be a potluck luncheon after the meeting. Guests are welcome. 816213-0598 Independence Garden Club Tues, Jan 14, 6:30pm; meet at Sermon Center, fourth floor, Noland and Truman Roads, Independence, MO. We will have a get acquainted meeting. Please bring something

Leawood Garden Club Tues, Jan 28, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St, Leawood, KS. Noon program: “Vertical Gardening” by Merle Sharpe, Johnson County Master Gardener. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts provided. Open to everyone and guests are welcome. Call 913-642-3317 with questions or email Joan at westonsmom@earthlink.net. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Jan 14, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 S W Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO. Note, this is a new meeting address for our club. We will have a guest speaker, refreshments provided. Visitors are welcome. Visit our web site www.leessummitgardenclub.org or call 816-540-4036 for additional information. Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Jan 18, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Northland Garden Club Tues, Jan 21, 7pm; at Linden Baptist Church, 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone (69th and N Holmes). This month’s program will be presented by Dan Fuller on “New shrubs, plants & special garden features.” Please check website for additional information: www.northlandgardenclub.com. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Jan 21, 12:30pm; at Bass Pro Shop, 12051 Bass Pro Dr, Olathe, KS. The program will be on Organic or Lasagna Gardening, presented by a master gardener. The public is invited to attend. Call Joan Shriver 913-4923566 if there are questions. Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City Sun, Jan 12, 1:30pm; at Bird’s Botanical (The Orchid Cave). Speaker is David Bird, “Growing Phrags”. For directions: www.birdsbotanicals.com. Open to the public. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Jan 13, 7pm; at Colonial Church, 71st & Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS. Our speaker will be Lenora Larson, owner of Long Lips Farm in Paola, KS. Her program will be on Native plants in our landscapes. Come with questions concerning use of native plant material in your own landscape. For information, contact Sallie Wiley 913-236-5193. Sho Me African Violets Club Fri, Jan 10, 10:30am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300

Events, Lectures & Classes January Basic Flower Photography Sat, Jan 11, 9:30-11:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Class is limited

The Kansas City Gardener / January 2014


to 30 people. Everyone wants to take beautiful pictures when visiting the Arboretum or just in their own backyard. Carol Fowler and Dave Shackelford, local photographers and members of the FOTA Photography Committee, will focus on teaching the basics of composition, exposure and lighting, as well as other techniques to help you take interesting and beautiful flower photographs. Indoor classroom only. $20 class fee. Arboretum admission fees apply (FOTA members free). Enroll at www.opabg.org. No refunds for missed classes. Gardener’s Connect event Sat, Jan 18, 10am; at Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, KCMO. Brian Morley, owner of Bergamot & Ivy floral design shop, plans to share his advice and experience in a Gardeners Connect program titled “The Cutting Garden”. Come a half hour early for coffee and light nosh. Morley also plans to teach a 4-week floral design class at Loose Park. Go to GardenersConnect.org for more information. New Volunteer Orientation Sat, Jan 18, 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. Register by going to www.opabg. org and follow the prompts. 913-685-3604. Linda Hall Library: Plants in Print Fri, Jan 24, 3-5pm; at Powell Gardens. Examine the art of botanical prints, as found in the Linda Hall Library’s collection of rare botanical books at Linda Hall Library. Learn about printing techniques, from woodblocks to lithography, by examining the work of famous botanical artists such as Pierre Joseph Redouté, Elizabeth Blackwell, Sebastien LeClerc, and Walter H. Fitch. Join rare book librarian Bruce Bradley for a look at the techniques and highlights of five hundred years of plants (and birds and butterflies) in print. $9/ person, Free/Members. Registration required by Jan 20. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses.

February Attracting Backyard Birds Sun, Feb 2, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Watching colorful birds flit and jockey for position at the seed hopper is as enjoyable as it is therapeutic during the what-would-be drab days of winter. Learn the basics to attracting an array of bird species from seed selection to splashing water. Participants will mix and take home a batch of peanut-butter-based suet sure to please the most discerning nuthatch as well as a laminated, backyard bird identification pamphlet with over 100 species. $19/person, $14/Members. Registration required by Jan 27. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-

2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www. powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. 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. 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.

March/May/June 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. Central Missouri MG 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. 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.

List your garden events by sending to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail: editorcavsgarden@kc.rr.com Deadline for February issue is Jan. 5.

January 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

GKCGOA Welcomes Rita Arnold

New Perennials, Roses, & Shrubs for 2014 Our guest speaker will be Rita Arnold of Arnold’s Greenhouse and Garden Center. George and Rita Arnold built their first greenhouse in 1977 – it was a hobby-type of structure 10’ x 16’ and held 160 flats, using a shelf design. Today, almost 36 years later, their operation has 60,000 sq. ft. of covered growing space, a large garden center with a retractable roof greenhouse, which serves as the plant display area and a nursery. New introductions are the driving force and source of excitement for gardeners every spring. Rita’s presentation will highlight some of the new perennials that will be available at Arnold’s Garden Center, including: Brunnera ‘Sea Heart’ The most colorful Brunnera yet; the gorgeous foliage has thick substance! Coreopsis ‘Permathread Red Satin’ When compared to C. ‘Mercury Rising’, has finer foliage, solid red blooms, and a tighter mounding habit. Delosperma ‘Jewel of Desert Series’ Flower power that works from spring to frost! Heuchera ‘Glitter’ Can be spotted a mile away, there is nothing else like it! Leucanthemum ‘Real Dream’ and ‘Real Galaxy’ Very unique selections with HUGE flowers! Rita has about 60 other new introductions of perennials, roses and shrubs to share. Join us for all the fun as Rita unleashes the latest and greatest at the Loose Park Garden Center, Monday, January 6 at 6:30 pm! This is open to the public and free of charge, so come join us and make a gardening friend.  For additional information regarding this presentation, contact Vince Vogel of Vogel Landscaping at 816-313-8733.

January

Weather Repor t

Highs and Lows Avg temp 30° Avg high temp 39° Avg low temp 21° Highest recorded temp 75° Lowest recorded temp -20° Nbr of above 70° days 0

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 10 Avg nbr of cloudy days 15

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 5.8” Avg rainfall 1.3” Avg nbr of rainy days 7 Source: WeatherReports.com

From the Almanac Moon Phases New Moon: Jan. 1 First Quarter: Jan. 7 Full Moon: Jan. 15 Last Quarter: Jan. 24 New Moon: Jan. 30 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Above Ground Crops: 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 15, 30

Plant Root Crops: 15, 16, 22, 23

Control Plant Pests: 27, 28

Transplant: 10, 11, 15

Plant Flowers: 1, 2, 5, 6, 30

17


Kansas City Garden Symposium biennial event scheduled for Feb 21-22

A

fter attending the ninth biennial Kansas City Garden Symposium on Saturday, Feb. 22, you will come away with inspiration and information to help you embrace this symposium’s theme, “Color Outside the Lines: Developing Your Garden Style.” The Kansas City Garden Symposium is a wonderful winter respite for gardeners raring to get back to their gardens. It also is a wonderful day to share with others, as a Dutch treat adventure or as a thoughtful holiday gift for someone you know will appreciate a day of garden fun. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art again welcomes our creative gardeners to its Atkins Auditorium. The symposium is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Four speakers are coming to Kansas City for the Symposium: • Julie Moir Messervy, garden designer and 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 Saturday, Feb. 22. Friday during the day, Tychonievich will lead a work-

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Western Seville Plaza, 4309 Main St. Call 816-561-9600 to make reservations and mention you are attending the Garden Symposium to get the $79.99/night rate. The hotel is handy to all the Garden Symposium Events and next to the Country Club Plaza.

shop 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. Despite rising costs, Garden Symposium admission remains the same as the last three symposiums. Sign up before the end of Saturday, Jan. 18, and the Symposium ticket is $79, the propagation workshop is $39 and the banquet is $49. Sign up after Jan. 18 and the ticket prices go up $10 to $89 for the Symposium, $49 for the workshop and $59 for the banquet. You can 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. You may also 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 If you have questions about Garden Symposium, you may e-mail info@GardenSymposium. org or call 913-302-4234. For out-of-town people attending the Garden Symposium, rooms have been reserved at the Best

About the speakers Julie Moir Messervy plans to give a program titled “Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love.” Julie hit the international gardening scene when her first book, “Contemplative Gardens” was published in 1990 to wide acclaim. Her second book, “The Inward Garden” came out in 1995 and won the Garden Writers Association of America Gold Medal. Amanda Thomsen has been writing her blog, Kiss My Aster, for more than seven years. She has also blogged for Proven Winners and for Fine Gardening and Horticulture magazines. Amanda plans to talk about “Landscaping Questions You Forgot to Ask: Stuff You Need to Know to Grow” at the Friday, Feb. 21, banquet and at the Saturday, Feb. 22, Garden Symposium she plans to give a program titled “You Can Grow Your Own Way.” Joseph Tychonievich was featured as one of a half dozen “nextgeneration stars of horticulture” in an article in the April-May 2013 issue of Organic Gardening. Joseph plans to give a talk at the Garden Symposium titled “Hummingbirds Don’t Actually Like Red Flowers.” Kerry Ann Mendez is a selftaught gardener from east-central New York, where her garden is in Zone 5. She has authored “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.” Kerry plans to give some advice about making our labor in our gardens payoff in a program titled “High-impact, Low-maintenance Perennial Gardens.”

The Kansas City Gardener / January 2014


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January 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

Meet Brenda Rogers, with Soil Service Nursery, who has spent a lifetime with plants. Name: Brenda Rogers Company: Soil Service Nursery Job title: Perennial House Manager and General Plant Docent Career history: Began at Heifner Nursery which was established by my father, Robert Heifner in Topeka, Kan., in 1959. Then worked 17 years at Lakeview Nursery which Dad purchased in Lee’s Summit, Mo. I’ve spent the last 13 years at Soil Service Nursery. I’m a Kansas State graduate with a degree in Urban Horticulture. Growing up in the nursery business has added to my experience in the field. Retail customer questions inspire new learning each day. I have seen the industry change from only selling bareroot plants in the spring, to year round sales thanks to container plants. And by attending local, national and international trade shows, I’m able to keep up to date on new trends in the industry. Early inspiration: As a child I watched my Dad graft Pfitzer juniper cuttings, grow them and then sell the balled-and-burlapped product. The grafting amazed me. Favorite plant: This is such a hard question, since I have favorites in all genera. In perennials, I will say Heuchera, the Coral Bells. The breeding of new, Midwest hardy varieties has exploded in the past five years. The color choices are vast, from maroon to lime green. Many are bred to be quite floriferous. Most are evergreen so their use in a container or perennial garden gives yearlong enjoyment. Favorite garden destination: I’ve been fortunate to travel and see many beautiful gardens. Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island is still on my list. Locally, I enjoy Kauffman Gardens where visiting the Conservatory in winter is a green respite. This summer I traveled to South Korea. The Spirited Garden on Jeju Island is an incredible “bonsai museum.” What every gardener should know: First, know what poison ivy really looks like. Second, remember we are stewards of our planet. I love Missouri’s Grow Native program. Our nursery offers native plants. They thrive here and help our ecosystem survive. Other interests: In my spare time, I like listening to all forms of live music. Kansas City offers so many venues for that. Little known secret: I enjoy my study of Tai Chi. Contact information: Soil Service Nursery, 7125 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64131; phone 816-333-3232; e-mail ssn-brenda@ att.net 19


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The Kansas City Gardener / January 2014

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