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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

July 2015

Beyond the Waterlilies

Lemon Park Bird of the Month: Bluebird Butterfly Conservatories In the Garden with Marvin Snyder

Our Water Gardens Are In Full Bloom Make Plans To Visit Swan’s Water Gardens In July And See Our Gardens At Their Peak. We Have Everything You Need At Our Water Garden Center For That Dream Backyard. The Largest Inventory And Selection Of Pond Supplies, Aquatic Plants and Flowers, Including The Ever Popular Lotus, Tropical And Hardy Lilies With Too Many Varieties To List. We Carry Butterfly Koi, Regular Koi, Sarasa Comets, Shubunkins And The Ever Popular Gold Fish. We’re Out To Have The Most Fun And Exciting Water Garden Season In Our Twenty Year History. Come Join Us.

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May vary, check online for your specific location

KCG_2015_Concepts.indd 1

6/12/15 3:59 PM3 The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015

The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Blooming bounty

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Judy Archer Sipora Coffelt Diane & Doc Gover Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Jeff Newborn Ken O’Dell Dennis Patton Phil Roudebush Deb Spencer Jill Sullivan Nadia Navarrete-Tindall Scott Woodbury Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

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

See us on the Web:

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

July 2015 |


he doorbell rang late afternoon. I must have been concentrating because the sound startled me. We weren’t expecting company, so I wondered who could be at the door. My first clue was the double ding-dong. Who presses the button on anything more than once, but a child. Looking through the front door glass, I could see it was Sam, with his mom and sister. I opened the door and there he was, this darling, dirty, sweaty boy with wildflowers in his hands. “Hi Sam,” I said. “Are those for me?” He affirmed with a nod and handed the vase to me. A bit shy, yet still proud, he smiled at my elation. “Sam, can I give you a kiss?” Without hesitation, he leaned up with lips smudged with chocolate dessert, and the gift was sealed with a kiss. As Sam wandered the garden, we remained on the porch and chatted like neighbors do, discussing the events of the day. Our conversation ventured into gardening (of course) when I asked about the wildflowers, did she grow them, where they came from, etc. She shared their origin, about planting, and then the waiting. Ah, yes, the waiting.

It seems that when they first popped up as green and grey blades of grass, looking less promising than expected, there was a bit of disappointment. “They look like weeds,” Sam’s dad explained. “When are they going to flower?” She was familiar with the growth habit, and knew it might take a little time for them to bloom. Right away, she needed to protect her not-yetblooming wildflowers from the real possibility of being yanked from the garden. You see, without the blossoms, the growth does resemble a riot of weeds. And if expectations don’t match reality, it can be a real bummer. Gardeners, how many times have you planted something special, and the only thing growing was your impatience with the lack of performance? And then, when this “something special” finally does show promise, you’ve lost all interest.

I’m sort of that way ... I bring you home. I put you in the garden. Now, make me proud! Then, if you’re an underachiever, the results are unspeakable. Don’t make the grade? Out you go. Some gardeners call it “Survival of the Fittest.” I call it “I ain’t got time for fooling around with duds and has-beens.” Oh, but when beauty does arrive, with lots of fabulous foliage, oodles of blooms and color beyond belief, you remember why you planted them in the first place. You dance with delight through your garden, and gleefully share the blooming bounty with friends and neighbors. And sweeter is the sharing when it’s sealed with a kiss. Thanks, Sam! I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue July 2015 • Vol. 20 No. 7 Powell Garden Events ............. 5 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 Lemon Park ............................. 7 Perennial Go-To List .................. 8 Pets & Plants ........................... 9 The Bird Brain ......................... 10 Rose Report ............................ 12 Nature in the City Part III .......... 13 Beyond the Waterlilies ............. 14

about the cover ...

Country Gardens Celebrate ...... 17 Butterfly Conservatories ............ 18 Fertilize Trees .......................... 19 In the Garden Marvin Snyder .... 20 GrowNative: Willow ............... 21 Upcoming Events ..................... 22 Weather ................................. 25 Garden Calendar .................... 26 Professional’s Corner ................ 27

Most aquatic plants, like the lotus, are easy to grow and quite rewarding. Learn more plant varieties on page 14.



Booms, Blooms & LEGO® Brick Fun this July at Powell Gardens


uly brings blazes of blooms to Powell Gardens during one of the summer’s biggest festivals. Booms & Blooms is set for Friday, July 3, with daylilies near peak bloom in the Perennial Garden. Gardeners will find daylilies for sale throughout the day from McConnell’s Plant Land and lots of gardening inspiration—from daylilies to more than 2,000 edibles in the Heartland Harvest Garden. Music starts at 4:30 p.m. with the KC Variety Band Trio and continues at 7:30 p.m. when the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra takes the stage. As the music concludes, a dramatic fireworks display takes place over the Gardens’ 12-acre lake. Note: Rain date is Sunday, July 5. Festival admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children ages 5-12 and includes parking and access to the trolley. For more details, visit Culinary Adventures in the Heartland Harvest Garden Garden Chef Series Sample delicious food created by local chefs and culinary experts at 2 p.m. on select afternoons in the Heartland Harvest Garden. Coming in July: • Saturday, July 11: Chef Patrick Parmentier, Program Director at L’Ecole Culinaire in Kansas City, Missouri • Sunday, July 26: Charles d’Ablaing, Executive Chef at Chaz on the Plaza inside The Raphael Hotel

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July 18. Contestants will bring a LEGO build of their own design to the Gardens, where members of the Kansas City Brick Lab will judge the entries by age group. Public voting takes place from 1 to 2:45 p.m. with winners announced at 3 p.m. Participants must register by Monday, July 13. For full details, visit www.powellgardens. org/BuildingChallenge.

Do you have a favorite daylily? This one is called “Holiday Frills.” Come check out the full collection during Booms & Blooms and shop the daylily sale while you’re here. Fresh Bites Series Come out to the Heartland Harvest Garden for demos covering everything from upcycling, cooking from the garden and growing edibles. The sessions meet in the Missouri Barn and are great for visitors of all ages. Go to www. for more information. Nature Connects 2 LEGO® Brick Sculpture Exhibit —through Sept. 7 See what New York artist Sean Kenney created from more than 300,000 LEGO® bricks during this summer exhibit of 27 LEGO® brick sculptures set in 14 scenes. From a majestic bald eagle to a family of waddling ducks to squirrels at war with birds, it’s an exhibit you have to see to believe.


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LEGO Building Challenge Saturday, July 18 LEGO enthusiasts of all ages are invited to enter the LEGO Brick Building Challenge on Saturday,

Festival of Butterflies July 31-Aug. 2 and Aug. 7-9 The Festival of Butterflies returns on July 31 with an emphasis on butterfly gardening and monarch conservation. Visit www. for full details. Powell Gardens is located 30 miles east of Kansas City on Highway 50. The Gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. See more at

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Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton NO KITTY LITTER IN THE GARDEN Question: I was recently visiting family and I watched them dispose of their kitty litter at the base of an evergreen hedge. Is this a practice I just never thought about or something that is just wrong on several levels? Answer: Disposing of kitty litter by applying it to the landscape while it sounds good in theory as being green is a potential train wreck in reality. Many kitty litter products contain clay and other materials to absorb the liquids and

odors. The last thing our soils need is more clay. The other issue is that cat feces can transmit diseases to humans. The most serious is toxoplasmosis. Used cat litter should be carefully placed in a plastic bag and thrown in the trash. DIVIDED IRIS FAIL TO BLOOM Question: I have a nice planting of iris that was divided two years ago. The first year they bloomed nicely but this year no flowers. What’s up? Answer: That is interesting they bloomed nicely the first year and then struggled. The reasons iris fail to bloom include shade as they need full sun, planted too deep or disease issues. Without knowing more information it will be difficult to determine why yours failed to bloom. Make sure they are getting sun, the rhizome is planted shallow

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July 2015 |

To avoid blooming issues, iris should be transplanted in mid-July through mid-August while in summer dormancy.

PERHAPS TOO LATE TO FORCE PAPERWHITES Question: I never got around to forcing my paperwhites for Christmas. Can I still force them this late in the year? Answer: I guess this falls under the category of better late than never. But unfortunately never may be the best answer. My hunch by this point is that the bulbs have either dried out or rotted and are no longer viable. Pick up the bulbs and give them a slight squeeze. Are they dry, lightweight or spongy? If so, the best place to plant them is probably in the compost pile. If the bulbs are firm, have a healthy fleshy appearance then they may still have enough energy to force a bloom. The longer you wait to force the more likely they are toast. In other words, don’t think you can hold them because Christmas is coming.

the hotness of my peppers? I have heard they were hot due to my soil pH. Answer: The hotness of the peppers is probably not related to the soil pH. It is more likely because of the genetics of the pepper and other factors. Anaheim’s are considered mild in hotness on the Scoville Heat Index for peppers. The difference in heat from one season to the next is probably more related to the strain of Anaheim seed source. There are several strains of the popular green chili on the market so a different seed source may have a different level of heat. Also, factors such as maturity of fruit at harvest and growing conditions will cause some differences. Each season you will need to do a taste test and adjust your pepper usage to meet your taste palette. I know as I have gotten older my tolerance for heat is decreasing. I still love it hot but just not as hot. With all that being said it would be a great idea to have a soil test to help ensure that your garden has the correct pH level and nutrients needed for good growth. All the local Extension offices provide soil testing for a small fee.

ANAHEIM PEPPER TOO HOT Question: Last year I planted Anaheim peppers and they were too hot. I have planted in past years and the heat was just right. What does my soil need to reduce

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

with the upper portion showing and they have good care. Don’t remove foliage unless heavily diseased or brown. Iris should be transplanted in mid-July through mid-August while in summer dormancy. Transplanting at other times of the year can reduce flowering.

Lemon Park

A miracle in Western Kansas

Ken O’Dell


id you ever wonder how trees in western Kansas made it through the Dust Bowl days? It was mostly impossible. Western Kansas is arid and not very hospitable when it comes to a tree surviving on its own. It is tough out there. A near miracle happened in Kansas in 1920 when George W. Lemon purchased 117 acres in Pratt, Kansas, west of Wichita. He promised to later give it to the city of Pratt as a park. He hired a landscape firm to design the area and carefully followed their plan only to realize many of the trees and shrubs were not acclimated to the area. The plan was converted to create a woodland area. The park was a labor of love for Mr. Lemon. He did the landscaping and with help from family and friends gradually planted about 9000 trees. His grandson and other boys carried water from large barrels on horsedrawn wagons and poured the water on the tender young trees. 

Then in 1930 the dust bowl hit and western Kansas was right in the middle of the most epic disaster to hit the United States since the Revolutionary war and the Civil war. The real miracle is how the trees planted in Lemon Park survived the next ten years during the dust bowl days. Lemon Park is in an area where the water table beneath the young trees was within reach of the roots. Many of the trees survived as by 1930 their roots had grown deep into the soil. Today the park is alive and thriving with large 60 foot bald cypress trees, 80 foot tall black locust, honey locust, eastern red cedars, red bud, soapberry trees, a small grove of large persimmon trees and several other varieties of trees that have done very well. The giant bald cypress are really eye catching as the 24” diameter trunks had limbed themselves up to 1/4 the height of the trees. The cypress trees had been planted close together and have formed a beautiful forest. Cypress “knees” that are often found when the cypress grow in or near swamps or overly wet areas are not present in Lemon Park because of the dry soil. These knees are a way for the cypress trees to bring oxygen into the roots if the root systems are covered by water or wet muck.

Colorful, creative landscaping.

Very little water and no muck in western Kansas. Several giant cottonwood trees with deeply furrowed bark have withstood the test of time and dominate the park as the tops glisten with green shimmering leaves in the western Kansas sun and wind. Summer temps reaching 118 degrees and for the past 11,000 years the sturdy cottonwood trees have adapted and live with it. Today a trust fund from Mr. Lemon supports the park, which is alive with visitors of every age. Baseball diamonds, picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails makes this park of trees attractive to all.

Pratt is worth a stop if you are headed west. Go see Lemon Park. You will be thrilled with the giant trees at this miracle oasis. Ken O’Dell is a long time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden. He serves on the board of the Kansas Native Plant Society and is the regional leader of the Kansas City region of the Kansas Native Plant Society.

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015






Perennial Go-To List Judy Archer


s a landscape designer, I keep a preferred plant list handy. Understanding how plants grow and the ideal conditions for the best performance is valuable information when creating a plan for homeowners. Just as important is their purpose in the landscape. For instance, does

Enhance your Garden Plan with an Outdoor Accent

the garden need height, an accent, texture, or a ground cover? These are key elements to consider during plant selection. Today I would like to discuss some of my favorite perennials from a long list to pick and choose from. The five listed here are common perennials that are outstanding performers and worthy of their place in the landscape. First is Walker’s Low Catmint Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’. Nepeta flowers blue and thrives in the summer sun with minimal care. Consider using it as a medium sized border plant in the landscape. Reaching up to 2 1/2 feet

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high, Nepeta blooms from April to September with dead heading. Cheddar Pink Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch’. This Dianthus is wonderful because it forms a nice, tight, silvery–blue evergreen mat that flowers single, magenta blooms from spring to fall with a little dead heading. Use this as a border plant rather than the over used Liriope. Plantain Lily, Hosta. The multitude of Hosta varieties available now is incredible. The foliage not only adds color, but also texture. Less notable are the spiked blooms in either white, lavender or violet. Coral Bells Heuchera varieties. These too have an array of colors and sizes to choose from. Brighten a dark garden bed with unusual vivid colors. They produce clusters of pinkish blooms on thin stems in spring but are mostly prized for the colorful foliage. May Night Salvia Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’. With deep violet-blue spike-like flowers from May to June, this Salvia grows to 2 feet tall. It attracts hummingbirds

Salvia and performs well in the sunny spots of the garden. There is a huge variety of perennials to select that are suitable for your landscape. Use them to create a layering effect, diverse textures and varied bloom times. Be creative, experiment, read plant tags and use perennials that you have never used before. Just remember to plant in groupings for impact and to get the most bang for your bucks. Judy Archer owns and operates BotaniCo Landscape. You may reach her at 816-399-9883.

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Pets and Plants Glyphosphate

By Phil Roudebush, DVM, DACVIM


lyphosphate is a phosphanoglycine compound that is the most commonly used broad-spectrum, systemic, nonselective postemergence herbicide. Monsanto developed and patented the glyphosphate molecule in the 1970s and has marketed Roundup® since 1973. It retained exclusive rights in the United States until its U.S. patent expired in 2000. Currently, glyphosphate is marketed worldwide by many agrochemical companies in different solution strengths (ready-to-use sprays, concentrates) with various adjuvants and surfactants, and under many trade names. Poisoning with glyphosphatecontaining products occurs when pets accidentally walk through a sprayed area and groom themselves, or lick/eat a sprayed plant, or bite and puncture the herbicide container. Adverse effects are often seen within a few hours of exposure and are usually limited to mild and selflimiting signs of gastrointestinal upset such as excessive salivation or drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. Clinical problems are often associated with surfactants in herbicide products rather than glyphosphate itself. An important ingredient in some formulations of Roundup® is the surfactant POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine), which has been found to be toxic to animals and

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humans. Some glyphosphate formulations may also contain other herbicides such as triclopyr. If no clinical problems are present after oral exposure, treatment centers on dilution (water, milk). Rarely, moderate to severe clinical signs may require antiemetics and supportive care. Skin exposures are easily managed with a bath using typical shampoo products. Prevention of problems with glyphosphate-containing herbicides is three-pronged: use products per label directions; keep pets away from treated areas until the product is dried on the plants; and store herbicides out of the reach of pets. Phil Roudebush is a retired veterinarian, specialist in small animal internal medicine. He is an Extension Master Gardener in Shawnee County, Kansas. He can be reached at philroudebush@

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


The Bird Brain

Bird of the Month: Eastern Bluebird

Doc & Diane Gover


he Eastern Bluebird will surely bring a smile to your face. It is the state bird of Missouri. Johnson County Kansas is the bluebird capital of Kansas. The male bluebird has a dark blue head, back wings and tail, a rusty red breast and a white belly. The female shares the rusty red breast and white belly, but is grayer with a faint blue tail and wings. The juvenile is similar to the female, but with spots on the chest and blue wing markings. They also have a conspicuous white eye ring. The Eastern Bluebird breeds throughout the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada. Some Eastern Bluebirds migrate South in winter while others remain North. When and where birds remain in the north depends on the inclination of individual birds and the local abundance of food and liquid water for drinking and bathing. We are fortunate that many bluebirds remain in the

Kansas City area year round. They are a beautiful sight to behold on a cold, gray winter day. Bluebirds readily accept manmade housing. The nesting box should not have a perch and the entrance hole should be 1 ?” in diameter. It is very important that the box have an easy open for monitoring and cleaning. Side or front opening boxes are easiest to clean, but top opening boxes are easiest to monitor and take pictures. The box should provide adequate insulation from the sun as well as have ventilation and drainage holes. Mount the box on a pole 4’ to 6’ off the ground and place it in an open area facing east to southeast. Be sure to clean out the nest box after each fledge and leave the boxes up during the winter as the birds will use them as a roost. Once the site is chosen by the birds, only the female builds the nest. They will raise 2 to 3 broods each year. The young of the first brood will help raise the young of the second and third broods. Bluebirds are fruit and insect eaters. You can encourage them to remain nearby by offering them live mealworms and Bark Butter Suet Snacks. Mealworms (live or dried) and suet snacks may be offered year round. They are especially appreciated during cold win-

ter months and in the spring as natural sources are being depleted. Spring is a very stressful time as the birds are busy establishing a territory, courting, nest building, mating and raising young. A quick food source will be greatly appreciated by the bluebirds. A year round water source nearby is a must. Bluebirds really get into bathing, settling down into the water, fluttering their wings and tail so that water sprays in all directions, and even sticking their head in the water. Setting up a shallow birdbath will be attractive to them.

Interesting Facts • Eastern Bluebirds have an average lifespan of 3 to 6 years. • Eastern Bluebirds lay 4 to 5 pale blue eggs with no markings. The female incubates the eggs. Both the male and female feed the young. • Eastern Bluebird males may carry nest material to the nesting site but they don’t participate in the actual building. They spend most of their time guarding their mates so that no harm will come to them. • Eastern Bluebirds can spot caterpillars that are camouflaged and immobile from about 50 yards away, even in rough pastures and tall grass. • Eastern Bluebirds love mealworms (medium size mealworms can be taken directly to the nest to feed the young). Live mealworms are loaded with protein and fluid – just what a young bird needs. Now, sit back and watch the show right in your own backyard. Our staff is knowledgeable and passionate about feeding birds and creating wildlife habitats. Let us share our enthusiasm with you. 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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July 2015 |

Be Inspired.

Mix Irises, Photography and Show Cats

Volunteer with Butterflies

By Jill Sullivan


he contrast of the pure white standard and deep purple falls with a delicate rim of pure white is an outstanding example of a miniature tall bearded iris (MTB). ‘Among Friends’ Miniature Tall Bearded Iris grows 12-18 inches and blooms in our area from April to May. In just a few seasons, this iris will grow into a clump. MTBs grow best in a welldrained, weed-free soil and are moderately drought tolerant. ‘Among Friends’ was hybridized by Terry Varner, registered ‘Clowntown’s Shining Silvery Pearl and Among with AIS in 1999 and introFriends’ won Honorable Mention in the 2014 duced in 2002. ‘Among Friends’ American Iris Society Photo Contest. earned an American Iris Society earn that award at the Mo-Kan Honorable Mention in 2005. Cat Show at KCI Expo Center Clowntown’s Shining Silvery in Kansas City, Missouri on July Pearl is a one-year old American 18-19, 2015. Join Pearl at the show Shorthair – Shaded Silver. Pearl is and you can learn how I successa Champion show cat. She has not fully mixed photography, irises yet earned her Grand Champion and show cats! title, but with any luck, she will


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owell Gardens’ 19th annual day of the festival: 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 5:30 p.m. Festival of Butterflies flut*1 contact If interested,OFF please ters in on July 31 with 5E Series a focus on monarch butterfly Volunteer Coordinator Connie 5045E and 5 conservation. To make this fesHarclerode –– OR ––via email at char- MFWD, 201 tival a great experience, Powell Gardens needs an army of volor call for816-697-2600 x304. Indicate the date, shift, and job unteers on July 31 and Aug. 1-2 months financing and Aug. 7-9. you prefer and a second choice –– –– AND Jobs include door monitors is appreciated. Volunteers for the outdoor native butterOFF get in free to the FestivalImplement and are encouraged fly breezeway and the indoor Bonus*1 to tropical butterfly exhibit; people explore the Gardens before/after to staff the Caterpillar• Turbocharged PowerTech™ engine Room, their shift. Additional perks are Youth Education Tent and kids’ available. Volunteers must be • Independent 540 PTO 16 years old or 12-15 if voluncrafts; greeters; and valets to • Category 1 and 2 compatible teering with a parent, grandparcheck strollers and backpacks. Two shifts are available each ent or guardian.







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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


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Photo Contest Precedes Summer Exhibit at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens


hat’s that muffled clicking sound you hear all around the Arboretum? Staff and volunteers report that the place is crawling with shutterbugs. Now the world wants to see their work! Photographers of all ages and skill levels are invited to submit photos they have taken at the Arboretum in the past year (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015). Awards will be given for People’s Choice, Best in Show, and Best in Youth, as well as other awards as determined by a panel of judges. There are two categories. (1) Arboretum Feature: something seen and/or experienced only at the Arboretum. (2) Arboretum


Candid: folks enjoying the Arboretum. Along with adult entrants, there are two youth categories: 12 and under and 13-18. Youth entries must be accompanied by a parent/guardian release. There is a $5 processing fee per entry. Complete contest rules can be found in brochure form at the Arboretum Visitor Center, or online at Or email the Event Coordinator at katharine.garrison@opkansas. org. Deadline for entry is July 10 at 5 p.m., so hurry! The Arboretum is located in south Overland Park just off Highway 69 at the 179th St. exit. Summer hours are 8a to 7:30p.


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e’ve certainly had our fair share of rain, which I’m sure has caused black spot and spider mites to show up. There are two things you can do if you see spider mites. First, wash them off with a strong spray of water. Do this three times three days a part so you can break the cycle. The other option is to check your closest garden center for a good miticide. Usually when you see the webbing on plants, it’s difficult to control them. Black spot is another problem. Keep after it! Try rotating your fungicides. Fertilome Liquid Systemic Fungicide II, Rose Shield by Bonide, Fertilome Daconil Spectracide Immunox are a few that I work with. I always add Spreader Sticker (money in the bank) whenever I spray – dries faster and does not wash off when it rains. Some chemicals have their own sticker already mixed in the same container, so read the label. When you spray, try to get the underneath parts of the leaves and the soil as well.

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If you can mulch, do it! Mulching two to three inches deep keeps the water from evaporating too fast and keeps the roots cooler. I use the leftover mulch from winter. I re-shred the mulch one more time, and eventually it reverts back to soil. When I cut blooms during the summer, I leave more foliage on the plants. The more greenery, the cooler the bush. Sometimes I will “cheat” a little bit. If I see a really nice bloom coming on, oh well, it has to come in the house! The potted floribundas showed off this year – Sunsprite, Doris Day, Julia Child, Chihuly, Burgundy Iceberg, Ketchup/Mustard, Sheila’s Perfume, Drop Dead Red, and White Licorice – good looking plants and blooms! These Hybrid Tea roses were show-offs this season: Anna’s Promise, Barbara Streisand, Chris Evert, Double Delight, Firefighter, Gemini, Let Freedom Ring, Love’s Magic, Marilyn Monroe, Neil Diamond, Neptune, and St. Patrick. Consider any of these great performing plants to include in your rose garden. See you next month! Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. If you need help, call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-233-1223.

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Nature in the City Part III Protecting pollinators and other beneficial insects with native plants Photos by Randy Tindall.

By Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall

Blue Sage and Skipper in November

Leafcutter bee entering nest on stump

Leafcutter bee on Desmodium

Squash bee on Ironweed

Editor’s note: Part I and II of this series appeared in the April and June 2015 issues, respectively, and are available online at Also on the website is a list of all author-reviewed references for this series.

Why we should protect and provide food and cover for pollinators? • About 80% of all flowering plants depend on pollinators for fruit and seed production, and there are plenty of urban sites that could provide food and cover for their survival just by adding some plant diversity. To protect pollinators, we should also reduce or

trees like oak and birch with inconspicuous and odorless flowers rely on wind for pollination.

ho are the pollinators? From small mammals (rodents, bats and some monkeys in tropical regions), to birds like hummingbirds, to insects such as native bees, wasps, ants, beetles, butterflies, moths and flies in the Midwest, a wide variety of wildlife serves as pollinators. In this article I would like to discuss insects native to Missouri and surrounding states.

flower. Pawpaw is an example of a native tree pollinated by flies. • Beetles are probably the most abundant and diverse group of insects. Pollination can occur when they visit flowers to gather nectar or to feed on other insects visiting flowers. Although, not as efficient as pollinators as bees or flies because their bodies lack hairs for pollen attachment, they are still important in this regard. • Butterflies and Moths. They can carry some pollen. Larvae depend on specific host plants so adults have to find a suitable host plant for young’s survival. Nutrition and energy are obtained from flower nectar, sugar from sap or overripe fruits.

Brief description of insect pollinators • Bees. About 4000 species of native bees exist in the United States; with about 400 present in Missouri. Bees are the most efficient pollinators compared to other insects because their diet consists mainly of nectar and pollen. While they look for nectar for energy and pollen to feed their young, the pollen gets attached to their bodies and in their hind legs or under their abdomen. They have stiff branched hairs called ‘scopa’ on each hind leg or under the abdomen to carry pollen or a pollen basket called ‘corbicula’. • Flies are very diverse. They can also be good pollinators because they visit flowers to consume nectar for energy. They can be very abundant and some species with hairy bodies will transport the pollen efficiently from flower to

What do native pollinators and other beneficial insects require for survival? • Permanent cover. A layer of dry leaves or vegetation debris will protect insects from predators, from dehydration or extreme cold temperatures. In winter, standing brush from shrubs, wildflowers and grasses provides cover for hibernating insects. • Forage for all growing seasons. Nectar sources and hosts plants for butterflies and moths. In the spring, trees like oaks and other spring bloomers like woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) provide nourishment, and in the summer and fall wildflowers, shrubs and vines are important. • Nesting sites. Bare ground facing south and free of flooding for native bees, as well as shrubs and wildflowers with hollow stems all year.


Hummingbird on Royal Catchfly completely exclude pesticides from our garden or farm. For example, research to date strongly suggests that neonicotinoid pesticide residue in crops and ornamental plants may pose a risk for native bees. • Approximately 100 crops, including soybean, fruits and vegetables like cucumber, squash and tomato depend on pollinators. Even tomatoes that can self-pollinate produce more in the presence of pollinators. • If pollinators disappear our food diet would only include grains, oak acorns, pine seed (pine nuts), algae, mushrooms and mosses. The reason for this is that gymnosperms and about 20% of flowering plants including grasses and

Why native plants for pollinators? • Native plants provide food and cover for wildlife and some are species specific. Some bloom very early in the spring and some are late bloomers, ensuring pollen and nectar availability for most of the year. Some pollinators depend on certain specific native plants for their survival. • Some native bees use the hollow stems of plants like shining blue star, common milkweed, elderberry and others for nesting and to hibernate in winter. • Many native plants are tolerant to extreme temperatures and once established do not require fertilizers, irrigation or pesticides. Conclusion Native plants provide lowmaintenance, beauty and wildlife habitat to our little urban wilderness. They give us a bustling community of living things to observe and marvel at and they nourish our native insects, like the increasingly threatened Monarch butterfly. They give us much more joy than a plain expanse of exotic turfgrass would. We hope they will do the same for you. Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall is the Native Plants Extension Specialist for Lincoln University of Missouri. For more information contact her at Navarrete-TindallN@LincolnU. edu or visit Facebook page: Lincoln University Native Plants Program.

The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


Above: Forget-Me-Nots; Below: Thalia & friends

Above: Siberian Pink Cups; Below: Iris virginica

Below: Lotus Maggie Belle Slocum

Above: Pickerel Rush; Below: Parrot Feather

Above: Mini Spearwort; Below: Golden Club


July 2015 |

By Deb Spencer


Beyond the Waterlilies

he term ‘emergent aquatic marginals’ refers to a large group of plants typically used along the edges of ponds and streams. Some can be quite large and useful as dramatic specimens or as vertical accents that flank tall waterfalls. Shorter ‘growies’ are great for softening stonework, draping and spreading lush foliage that may contrast or combine with other plantings in/out of the water. Most are quite easy to grow, rewarding the gardener with opportunities to spread divisions or cuttings around the pond or into freestanding pots, extending the use of aquatics into the landscape. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera ssp) can be grown in just about any area that gets 6+ hours of direct sun per day. In ponds, on decks or patios – the unique bold foliage and stunning flowers draw attention. Hybrid lotus range in size from the small “bowl lotus” 10-16” tall to full size varieties that rise to 5’. Bloom colors include white, yellow, light to dark pink and some even change from pink to yellow during the 3-day flower life. Don’t have a pond – No worries! You can enjoy this plant in tubs or a decorative container. Lotus will bounce back each year as long as the rhizomes are kept from freezing. In ponds or in-ground tubs we drop the bottom of the pot to an 18” depth. Above ground containers should be moved to a non-freezing area for winter. Thalia dealbata aka ‘Hardy Water Canna’ is another bold plant. A regional native seen in the ditches of southern Missouri, it has dusty blue leaves and tall panicles of purple flowers that dangle over the pond throughout the summer. The standard form gets 4-6’ tall with flower stalks 2’ higher. There is a lovely little dwarf called ‘Blue Chip’ for smaller spaces. Thalia’s asymmetrical form contrasts nicely with more erect reeds and rushes and the blue color is a standout with anything dark green, red or white in the background. For a really big show, try the tropical version Thalia geniculata ruminoides – the red stems and huge flower stalks will knock you out!

Pickerel Rush (Pontederia cordata) is also a regional native. Versatile, both it and Thalia can be grown in very shallow water or to a depth of 2’ or more over the crown. The glossy green leaves set off deep purple flower spikes that occur all summer. Beware – Pickerel will rapidly fill just about any space you give it and even crawl outside its pot quite happily. Fortunately easy to divide, a chore to be planned each spring as new growth emerges. The European version, ‘Royal Pickerel’ stands a foot taller with a deeper purple flower. It winters well when kept at a depth of 12” over the crown. Aquatic Iris Many types that can be grown along pond margins and streambeds. A favorite of ours is Iris virginica ‘Purple Fan’, named for the deep purple foliage as it emerges in spring and later changes to dark green as the season heats up. This cultivar grows to 3’ and keeps good looking fans all season. The flowers and stems enjoyed in late May are are also a deep purple and the blooms smell like grape KoolAid. Very hardy, it can freeze solid in shallow water. Iris laevigata, Iris versicolor and the many hybrids of Louisiana Iris also do well in our area and extend the range of flower color and bloom season. Golden Club (Orontium aquaticum) One of the first plants to bloom in spring showing bright yellow flower spikes over glaucus green leaves. Although quite at home in sunny ponds, it also tolerates shadier sites. Best grown with 8” of water over the crown but thrives in more shallow or deeper (up to 30”) zones. Slower to grow than most aquatics, it can be propagated by division or seed. Tip: Add some peat moss to the bottom of your pot to make a more acidic mix than most marginals enjoy. A slightly bigger cultivar that sports dark red accents on stems and flower petioles is called ‘Big Red’. Underused and begging to be tried. Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum ssp) is an incredibly useful, easyto-grow, vigorous and potentially invasive plant. If you have a little, you will soon have much more!

Its attractive ferny strands emerge in spring with a reddish color that shifts to bright fluffy green as it wanders across the water or drapes over stonework. We frequently interplant it with taller marginals to fill out the area much like a ground cover is used in terrestrial gardening. Its massing habit provides spawning areas and hiding places

itself in the right setting. The waxy buttercup yellow flowers produced in late spring thru summer literally ‘pop out’ against dark green foliage like Iris or Pickerel. Great as part of a container combo or interplanted with larger marginals on edges of ponds. This hardy European native is happy in full to partly sunny locations in water depths of 1-3”.

Above: Lotus for smaller pond critters. Abundant growth is easily controlled with a bit of trimming. Great in the backyard, but please, PLEASE, do not let it loose in the natural world! Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis palustris) Nitched into stone margins or poked into stream pockets, Forget-Me-Nots flowers from late April through spring with occasional reblooms throughout the season. Very hardy and typically exhibits moderate growth but can spread rapidly in moving water where roots act like a filter and eventually dam up the flow. Carry the color outside the pond with the terrestrial form (Myosotis scirpoides) to further blend the garden. Mini Spearwort (Ranunculus flammula) A rambler and scrambler that begs for companions and/ or edges to drape over. This plant is gawky when solo, but will endear

Grows 12-24” tall and will spread moderately by running stolons. Siberian Pink Cups (Baldellia ranunculoides f. repens) Try it and be rewarded with clouds of light pink flowers all summer long. Does well in sun to part shade in water depths of moist to 3”. Another great choice for streambeds, pond margins and floating cork planters. The dense fineleaved foliage grows 3-8” out of the water with viviparous plantlets on the branches making it easy to propagate. Small and wonderful, and absolutely perfect for fairy or gypsy settings too. In Lawrence, Kansas, Deb Spencer and Susan Davis are water garden specialists, who own and operate Water’s Edge. For more information about these and more aquatic plants, call them at 785-841-6777.

The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


Annual K-State Horticulture Center Field Day July 25


ome see the hottest and newest plants while enjoying cool classes in air-conditioned comfort and icy cold water while wandering the field trials. Learn about the latest and greatest before it ever hits the garden centers. It’s all here at the K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center’s Field Day, Saturday, July 25, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. It’s your chance to peek behind the scenes, talk with the experts and learn about the latest varieties and methods for achieving growing success. Admission is $5 per person, which includes ice cold bottled water, seminars, classes and demonstrations. K-State Research and Extension horticulture research develops its list of recommended grasses, flowers or vegetable varieties through university research conducted in Olathe to determine

what grows best in our Kansas City landscapes. The Center conducts research in flowers and vegetables. Visitors can speak with university professors heading up the research and Johnson County Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Highlights – Flower Area • Annual flower trials. Companies from around the world submit their newest developments. The research trials show which flowers can withstand the Kansas City climate. The trials illustrate that not all varieties are created equal. Check out the container plantings as some annuals are only meant for use in pots. • New annual introductions – ‘Monarch Promise’ Milkweed is an ornamental with variegated foliage that enhances butterfly habitat. New to the market is Echibeckias


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July 2015 |

are a cross between Echinacea (Coneflower) and Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan) — two prairie natives which make it an appealing plant for Kansas gardeners. • Cut Your Own flower bouquet area – a cutting garden is a fun way to bring the garden inside. Learn which plants work for providing summer enjoyment. • Impatiens Downy Mildew – this disease is continuing its spread into Kansas City. See what’s new in impatiens to help fight this disease. • Year of the Coleus – come see 21 varieties, including 3 terra-cotta colored cultivars, and the Under the Sea® varieties with wildly serrated leaves. Foliage is hot.

ple berries as part of the research effort to expand the fresh season of strawberries

Highlights – Vegetable Area – Growing Local Food Come and find out what K-State Research and Extension is doing to assist local farmers support the growing local food movement. While at the research center, you will learn about many of the innovative things that local farmers are doing. Projects include: • High tunnel production systems with tomato, pepper, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, and brambles. • Vegetable grafting • Soil health and microbiology studies using cover crops and notill systems • All-America Selections Variety Trial program • “Pack n’ Cool” Mobile Produce Cooler • Off season strawberry production system, during the day sam-

Free soil tests Johnson County residents can bring their soil and get one free soil test per Johnson County address, compliments of Johnson County Stormwater Management. A soil test determines the nutrients in the soil. It is important to know the nutrient levels to grow healthy plants. Go to www.johnson.ksu. edu/soiltest to learn how to take a soil sample. At least 2 cups of dry soil are needed for a proper test.

Extension Master Gardeners Backyard Garden Demonstration Garden Vegetable gardening is as popular as ever. This Extension Master Gardener’s project demonstrates various methods of growing vegetables. Raised beds, trellises, and different planting methods are demonstrated along with a fruit garden. Featured displays include: • Incorporating native plants into the landscape • Perennial “border wars” purple and white verses red and blue • Basil, over 10 varieties.

How to get there The Research Center is located at 35230 West 135th Street, Olathe. The entrance is approximately nine miles west of Highway 7 on 135th Street. Admission is $5 at the gate. Lunch will be available for purchase during the event. For information call (913) 715-7000, or visit

Country Gardens Celebrate Early Fall By Sipora Coffelt

Explore the downhome gardens of After Hours Farm and meet the horses in their beautiful setting.


arais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners will sponsor the biennial Miami County garden tour on September 11 and 12. The theme for 2015 is Tour de Flora, decked out in autumn flowers and vegetables ready for harvest. Tour de Flora will take you through the rolling hills of Miami County, Kansas, to see six gardens that exemplify country living at its best! Each garden was selected to demonstrate the marriage of form and function. Come spend a day to see how the myriad needs of each property owner translate into practical yet beautiful garden spaces. From bees to horses, from events to art, these gardens will spur your own creativity and inventiveness. This month, we feature three gardens inside the Hillsdale Lake Watershed. AFTER HOURS FARM 34135 W. 255 St. Paola, KS Jeannie and Moe Trail will give you a peek into a live-the-dream horse farm complete with scenic pastures and riding paths. Meander through the gardens surrounding the home, which are a happy mix of country and Zen. Picturesque flower beds lead to the huge vegetable gardens, featuring pick-your-own asparagus. The Trails will offer coupons for asparagus lovers to return in the spring. If you’ve ever wondered about living on a horse farm, here’s your chance to see what it’s like! The Tour de Flora visitor will discover what it takes to manage that dream while wandering picturesque gardens in a spectacular setting. Come

Walk the brick and grassy paths of Tall T to admire graceful gardens of refined elegance.

to see the gardens and the horses! The Miami County Soil Tunnel Trailer will be on hand to provide information about soil structure and an Extension Master Gardener will discuss soil testing for your living-the-dream gardens. WILD WOODS 30133 W. Maple Lane Spring Hill, KS Susan and Bob Thompson welcome you with whimsical yard art. Giant dragonflies hover among the trees and faces peer out from tree trunks. The owners designed and constructed all the paths, walls, trellises and water garden. A canopy of 100-year old trees provides shady tranquility while containers of brilliant foliage add pops of color. The many native plants and bird feeders provide all-season food and shelter for the resident wildlife. The Wild Woods offers an unparalleled experience of how to garden successfully in harmony with wildlife. Come for the escape to an enchanted garden, one that invites the Tour de Flora visitor to breathe deeply and just be. Workshops and information about using native materials in floral arrangements will be offered. TALL T 24975 Old Kansas City Rd. Paola, KS Pat and Ron Trachsel have created the quintessential English Estate garden with tons of Victorian beauty and charm. Stroll along the stone paths flanking the manicured flower beds filled with colorful blooms. A gazebo set among the trees looks out across the elegant,

Come wander the casual gardens of Wild Woods tucked under the canopy of 100 year-old trees.

park-like lawn with vegetable beds at the edge of the woods. The babbling water garden is full of friendly koi and a pond adds to the serenity of the setting, which includes a spectacular collection of trees and ornamental shrubs. Tall T is an example of sophisticated design in a graceful setting, groomed to perfection. A one-page description of the plants in the various zones will be available. An extension master gardener will present workshops on ‘Flower Colors in Garden Design.’ HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO VISIT THESE GARDENS Ticket cost is $10 per visitor (no pets or strollers, please). Gardens open at 9 a.m. each day and close at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 11 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 12. A map of the area plus driv-

ing directions from 68 Highway and from garden to garden will be available. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Paola Extension Office, 104 South Brayman or at any of the six gardens during the tour. For a quick pick-me-up, stop at our eatery sponsors, Hillsdale Bank BBQ and Somerset Vineyard and Winery, who will also have tickets for sale during the tour. If you have questions, or need details, call the Extension Office at 913-294-4306, refer to our website at http://www.maraisdescygnes.ksu. edu/p.aspx?tabid=157, or visit us on Facebook at mdcemg Sipora Coffelt is a Master Gardener with the Marais des Cygnes Extension District and blogger at

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


Lenora Larson


ou don’t need a passport to see huge tropical butterflies, just visit one of the over 60 Butterfly Houses or Conservatories in the United States. Unlike typical zoos with confined animals, you walk among free-flying butterflies housed in a simulated tropical rainforest. New technologies have made this possible with email communication and rapid transportation of live pupated butterflies and moths from the tropics of South America, Asia and Australia. The first Butterfly Conservatory was built in London in 1980. Since then, a thriving industry has evolved with dealers who connect tropical butterfly farms with licensed customers such as zoos and botanical gardens.

Butterfly Gardens vs Butterfly Houses Lepidopterists differentiate the two: ‘Butterfly Gardens’ are openair plantings, freely populated by native butterflies. There is no need to purchase butterflies because if the appropriate caterpillar host plants and nectar-rich flowers are present, the butterflies will arrive. It’s inexpensive and simple for anyone to create a Butterfly Garden, just ‘plant it and they will come’. In contrast, conservatories or houses are walk-through greenhouses that showcase purchased tropical butterflies and moths. These faux rainforests depend on tropical Butterfly Farms to breed the adults, raise the caterpillars and ship the insects in their pupal state. The winged adults emerge once they arrive at the Butterfly House but since they die within a month, continuous re-stocking is necessary. Such facilities are expensive to build and then to maintain humid tropical climate. Butterfly houses also include decorative water features, blooming flowers,

Booms & blooms

Friday, July 3 at Powell Gardens!

Dazzling Daylilies Daylily Sale

Fun For KiDs Face painting, paint-a-pot

spiriteD Music 4:30-6:30 p.m. KC Variety Band Trio

7:30 p.m. Lee’s Summit Symphony

suMMer Flavors Homemade Ice Cream & More sizzling FireworKs At dusk over a dark country sky! No outside alcohol allowed.

Festival aDMission $12/adults, $10/seniors, $5/children ages 5-12

RAIN DATE Sunday, July 5


LEGO® Brick Sculpture Exhibit Details:




Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical gardenTM 30 miles east of KC on Highway 50

July 2015 |

nectar feeders and fruit plates and educational displays. Purchase of live specimens is limited to licensed facilities and the care of imported butterflies is strictly regulated. Ethical and A male Atlas Moth from Southeast Asia spreads his 10-inch wings Regulatory Issues in the Powell Gardens Conservatory. Butterfly houses display/exploit another living being solely for human pleasure. Whether this is ethical is part of a larger debate. Most Lepidopterists and environmentalists favor Butterfly Houses as a way to educate the public about butterflies while providing employment opportunities for the indigenous people who staff the tropical butterfly farms. Also, the farms protect Visitor Kathy Ayers admires a display at the the rainforests from clear-cutting for Powell Gardens Butterfly Festival. agriculture because the canopy must be maintained for the growth and harvesting of caterpillar food plants. Is this public display worth the risk? Escape or release of tropical butterflies into the wild may spread diseases and parasites, even if lack of caterpillar foods prevents breeding. If a suitable caterpillar food grows nearby, hybridization and competitive displacement of native White Morphos arrive as chrysalids and butterfly populations can disrupt emerge to populate the conservatory. ecology. The dangers of importing alien species demand strict regulabutterflies in the glass conservatory. tions to protect both the tropical butMonarch Watch also participates terflies and our native ecosystems. with a walk-in tent containing many species of free-flying native butterOur Local Conservatory flies and a caterpillar petting zoo! Twice a year, Powell Gardens enhances their indoor tropical forThe Value est by adding butterflies and moths. Butterfly Houses, if properly For the entire month of March, managed, offer an educational you can experience “Out of the opportunity for people to see and Blue” with Blue Morpho butterappreciate insects. With over 40 flies imported as chrysalids from million yearly butterfly house visiCosta Rica. Lucky visitors see both tors, we hope that these conserblue and white Morphos emerging vatories will stimulate interest in from their chrysalids and heading local native butterflies and protectfor the fruit plates. ing butterfly habitats. The first two weekends of August, Powell Gardens hosts the Marais des Cygnes Extension largest Butterfly Festival in North Master Gardener and Kansas America. Over 15,000 visitors expeNative Plant Society member, rience five environments: the outLenora Larson gardens and hosts door Butterfly Gardens, an enclosed butterflies in the cruel winds and ‘flyway’ housing native butterflies, clay soil of Paola, Kansas. She may the indoor ‘Caterpillar Room’, and be contacted at lenora.longlips@ the spectacular gathering of tropical

Photos by Lenora Larson.

Butterfly Conservatories

Fertilize Your Trees for a Healthy, ‘Natural’ Look

provide valuable resources needed to grow and thrive Jeff Newborn


here are two basic kinds of trees—those found in natural forests and undeveloped rural areas and trees growing in urban and suburban areas among dense residential and commercial development. There are many differences between “civilized” trees and their wild cousins, but one of the biggest—and most important—is how they obtain the resources they need to grow and thrive. Trees living naturally in the forest benefit from the truly organic nature of their surroundings. Forest soils are rich in organic matter, which is produced and replenished as leaves, fallen limbs, stumps and dead trees gradually decay. This decomposing material fills the soil with nutrients trees absorb through their root system and use as an inherent fertilizer to grow tall with healthy, leafy canopies.

In urban settings, we remove this natural material to keep our landscapes looking neat and clean. Each fall leaves are raked and hauled off site. Fallen branches are picked up and removed. Stumps are ground away. As we clear our yards of debris and hazards we deny our trees their most basic food. Fortunately, a deep-root application of a slow-release fertilizer mimics these much-needed nutrients to the soil to keep your shade and ornamental trees green and flowering. Fertilization does more than just improve the appearance and condition of your trees by replenishing the soil. A fertilizer application helps keep a tree healthy, and healthy trees can more easily fight off diseases and attacks from pests. In Kansas City, a number of pests including aphids, leaf hopper, web and bag worms and wood borers all pose a threat to the area’s various shade trees. Drought is another reason to fertilize your trees. A fertilizer application can help reduce the severity of drought injury and enable trees to recover more quickly from the effects of drought. Fertilizer causes tree roots to branch more than roots

slow-release, organic-based fertilizer is injected using a watering lance from a depth of 4 inches to 12 inches. The technique not only distributes the nutrients for more efficient absorption by the roots, but it also makes the soil more porous. Dry soils tend to become compacted and are less able to absorb water and allow oxygen penetration. One of the best, and easiest, ways to keep your urban trees healthy is to consult a certified arborist, who can help you plan a health care regimen for your trees. growing in unfertilized soils. This increase in the root system makes more water available to trees. The method of application also aids drought-stricken trees. A

Jeff Newborn, Forester, district manager with The Davey Tree Expert Company. If you have questions, you may reach him at jeff.

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


Photos by Susan Mertz.

In the Garden with Marvin Snyder “I paint with plants.”

Susan Mertz


rush strokes of blue, gold and green plants fool visitors into thinking they are simply enjoying a beautiful garden. The artistry of the design hides the fact that this is a collector’s garden. Marvin Snyder has an incredible collection of conifers, hostas, Japanese maples, peonies, carex, epimediums and many other plants. Fifty-five years of gardening at his home in Overland Park, Kansas have given him the opportunity to explore locally available plants, challenge the limits of what is believed to grow here, and search the country for new plants to try. The first home in the subdivision, Marvin and his late wife Emelie selected the lot so their house could be situated true north and south with gardens around the perimeter. Marvin, an architect and engineer, designed the house and Emelie was in charge of selecting the trees. With a sly grin, Marvin tells about how he knew Emelie was perfect for him when he found out she liked trees when they met while both were students at K-State. Together, they raised a family and created beautiful gardens. Time in the garden with Marvin is a wonderful gift. As welcoming as he is with visitors to his garden, he is as generous with sharing 20

July 2015 |

his knowledge. Like most of us, his property started with a few trees, grass, and annuals. As he learned about plants and looked for ones with winter interest, Marvin thought there must be something other than pfitzer junipers. It was in the 1980’s that Marvin and Emelie attended an American Conifer Society (ACS) meeting in Chicago and a new world of plants opened up to them. Energized from this meeting, Marvin became the representative in the Kansas City area for the American Conifer Society. “Yes, Dorothy. There are conifers in Kansas.” With this message, he quickly grew the regional group from the original three members. Later, he would serve on the board of the ACS for nine years, several as President. A visit to the nationally recognized conifer garden at Powell Gardens or a trip to a garden center, reflects the influence that he has had over the years with the appreciation and selection of conifers now available to Kansas City gardeners and landscapers. “Marvin’s Garden is a conifer enthusiast’s delight but its companion planting with a wealth of other premier perennials and shrubs are what make it a masterpiece. From its shade trees to its groundcovers, it is top notch and its plant compositions, color echoes, texture contrasts, and quality plants make it an inspiration to all that visit – and it looks great in every season!” says Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture, Powell Gardens. Marvin tells his garden visitors that he is scaling back now that he is 89 years old. Yet, he is

still collecting plants, creating new gardens, and is tackling the project of replacing the hundreds of plant tags in the garden. It’s important to Marvin that visitors can easily learn the names of all the plants. New stainless steel plant stakes will have a plant tag label applied that is then covered with a clear label. Kim Adams, treasured gardening buddy, works in the gardens with Marvin several times a year assisting with the garden chores of spring clean up, mulching, trimming, replacing plants and plant tags. Kim’s input is invaluable as they have similar design ideas and she doesn’t mind when Marvin tells her that a plant needs to be moved an 1/8th of an inch. New to the garden this year are Franky Boy Thuja, Mini Twist White Pine, and Korean Arborvitae. A living wall planter is a new project Marvin and Kim are constructing. In a garden with hundreds of cultivars of plants, how is it possible to have favorites? Marvin does. Favorite annual – tomato. Favorite perennial – Bletilla striata. Favorite conifer – Picea omorika

pendula. Most treasured plant – Chamaecyparis obtusa Emelie; named for his wife. I first met Marvin many years ago working at a nursery. Each spring he would visit the local nurseries in search of conifers to add to his collection. I would ask as many questions as I could pack into the minutes we spent together shopping for plants trying to learn about conifers. He would always politely answer my questions and correct my pronunciation as I butchered the plant names. Years later, he is still doing the same. Perhaps on my next visit to his garden, I’ll correctly pronounce thuja. Susan Mertz, Garden Writer and Director of Marketing at Loma Vista Nursery. Join her for tours and photographs of gardens at

Scott Woodbury


iceroy butterfly caterpillars eat willow leaves. So do many other showy butterfly and moth species including red-spotted purples, hairstreaks, mourning cloaks, sphinx moths, cecropia moths, and the darling underwing moths—all of which are themselves nutritious bird food. Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, states that there are 456 butterfly and moth species that lay eggs on willows, their second favorite food next to oak trees. Makes me wonder why we don’t plant more willows in our gardens. There are eleven species of willow native to Missouri. Growing at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO, in an attempt test their usefulness in gardens and make them available to gardeners, are diamond willow (Salix eriocephala), sandbar willow (S. interior), Carolina willow (S. caroliniana), silky willow (S. sericea) and both the tall and dwarf varieties

of prairie willow (S. humilus var. humilus and var. tristis) Dwarf prairie willow (S. humilis var. tristis) tops out at 2 to 3 feet in Ozark prairies and will probably grow 3 to 4 feet in gardens. Its taller cousin (S. humilis var. humilus) grows 5 to 6 feet tall in the Reserve’s Whitmire Wildflower Garden. Both varieties are woody shrubs and can tolerate drought conditions. Prairie willow is available at Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and perhaps others. Visit, Resource Guide, for a list of native plant sellers. Silky willow (S. sericea) and diamond willow (S. eriocephala) are also relatively small willows, but inhabit wetlands in Missouri and Illinois rather than prairies. In nature, silky willow grows 4 to 5 feet tall and diamond willow can reach 5 to 6 feet. They tolerate constantly saturated soils and are a good choice for poorly drained landscapes and creek areas. Carolina willow (S. caroliniana) and sandbar willow (S. interior) are big shrubs or small trees growing to about 10 to 15 feet tall with very fine-textured leaves. Carolina willow is clump-forming and sandbar willow is strongly rhizomatous. They are floodplain species that tolerate flooding and


Tour de Flora 2015

Photos by Scott Woodbury.

If you don’t eat your Willow you can’t have any Pudding!

scouring and so protect creek banks and gravel bars from erosion. Their size can be controlled in gardens by cutting back to the ground every 2 to 3 years. At the 10th anniversary celebration of the Reserve’s Native Plant School, Shaw Nature Reserve will be giving native willow seedlings away as plants last. Don’t miss this special event on October 17 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden. RSVP at Horticulturist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, where he has worked with native plant propagation, design, and education for more than 20

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

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


Miami County Garden Tour

E Friday, September 11 9 AM to 6 PM

years. He also is an advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program. The title of Scott’s article is a nod to Pink Floyd’s song “Another Brick in the Wall.”

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

Tall T

24975 Old KC Rd., Paola

Blue Door

903 N. Broadway, Louisburg

After Hours Farm

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31622 Oak Grove, Paola

Hoot Owl Hill

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

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

The Wild Woods

30133 W. Maple Ln., Spring Hill

The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


Full Service Garden Center Annuals • Perennials • Nursery Stock • Water Garden Plants Bird Seed & Feeders • Bird Baths • Herbs • Roses • Garden Accents Bulk Material • Hummert Fertilizers • Gift Certificates Fairy Garden Supplies PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE AND SPRINKLER SYSTEMS DESIGN Our knowledgeable staff is available to help with any lawn and garden questions, providing solutions, with quality products to meet your needs. Stop by today!

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Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see Club Meetings Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, Jul 2, 9:30am. The group will meet at the parking lot on the SE corner of Third St & Cedar St (Hwy 32) in Bonner Springs, KS 66012. From there we will form carpools which will leave promptly at 9:35am. We will tour Merle Schneck’s home gardens in Bonner Springs and find out what new methods and varieties our favorite horticulturalist is using this year. From there we will go to Ruth Pleak’s home in Basehor to see what’s new in her vegetable gardens and what butterfly and pollinator plants she has added to her flowerbeds. We will have our business meeting and refreshments at Ruth’s home. The meeting is free and visitors are most welcome to join us. For more information, call Ruth Pleak at 913728-2806. Visitors are encouraged to call Ruth before this date to confirm further details regarding the carpool meeting place. Greater Kansas City Bonsai Society Sat, Jul 25, 10:30am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Come visit with members. 816-513-8590 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Jul 12, 1-3pm; at Loose Park, Rose Room, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. There will be a demonstration of disbudding, which will result in stunning center bloom. A short business meeting will follow the demonstration. GKC Gardeners of America Mon, Jul 6, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Visit the water garden specialists

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

July 2015 |

GKC Herb Study Group Wed, Jul 8, noon; in the Rose Room of the Garden Center in Loose Park, 52nd & Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Wendy Pemberton, introduces us to Nature’s Healing Plants. Do you have a first aid kit on hand? Learn how to create one to care for bruises, scrapes, minor cuts and burns from nature’s medicine cabinet. We will celebrate summer with a Mexican Fiesta Luncheon. You may build your own taco plate from a grand flare of cultural delights. As always, guests are most welcome to the luncheon, it is free to members and guests. What could be a better way to enjoy a summer afternoon? Great food and wonderful information from a well known Herbalist. Please let us know if you will be joining us by responding to Barbara, at 816-523-3702 or Charlotte at Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Jul 18, 10am-12:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall,

Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Sep 12, Hospitality is planned at 9am, program to follow at 10am after a short business meeting; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St (67th & Roe) Prairie Village, KS. “Why are the Hostas on the Other Side of the Fence Always Greener & Bigger? Will be presented by Clarence (CH) Falstad, Zeeland, MI. CH Has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Illinois. CH has served as President and Vice President of the American Hosta Society and AHS Scientific Chair. He has introduced over 50 hostas, including “Regal Splendor” and “Northern Exposure”. There will be a potluck luncheon following the program, with meat and drink provided by the club. You may bring a dish to share! There will be Hellebores & Hostas available for purchase, as well as lots of nice door prizes. Guests are always welcome - come and bring a friend! Info: Gwen 816-213-0598 or 816-228-9308 Independence Garden Club Mon, Jul 13, 6:30pm; For location of meeting and additional information, call 816-373-1169 or 816-812-3067. Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Jul 9, 6:30pm; at the Loose Park Gardens, 5200 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. To celebrate 60 years of helping gardeners grow and enjoy roses, the Johnson County Rose Society will host a birthday party. The event will begin at 6:30pm with a birthday party, including, of course, cake and ice cream! A donation of a portion of a rose bed for the Laura Conyers Smith Rose Garden at Loose Park will be made to a representative of the Kansas City Rose Society in honor of the 60th birthday of the Johnson County Rose Society. This will be followed by a tour of the Rose Garden by JCRS Consulting Rosarians. The public is invited to attend. Meet at the picnic shelter in front of the gardens at 6:30pm to join in the festivities! All JCRS meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments are provided. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarians Corner”- a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian. Bring your questions and concerns about any aspect of growing and caring for roses! The Consulting Rosarians will also give timely tips about caring for roses “This Month In The Rose Garden”. For more information about the meetings, programs and other activities of the Johnson County Rose Society, visit their website at You can also find them on Facebook at www.

KC Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Jul 19, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 KC Garden Club Mon, Jul 6, 10am-12:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Jul 8, 11am; at the Riverfront Community Center; 123 South Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Rhonda Janke will give a presentation on Sustainable Agriculture. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information call Brianna Terrell at 913240-4571. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Jul 14, 7-8pm; Japanese Garden Tour. Request details at Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Jul 18, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Northland Garden Club Tues, Jul 21, 7pm; at Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 N Norton, Kansas City, MO (just south and west of Penguin Park). The Garden Club will hold their annual picnic. Please check website for additional information, Olathe Garden & Civic Club Sat, Jul 25, 10am; at The Good Samaritan Therapy Garden, 20705 W 151st St. They have donated plants for the garden for several years. They will meet for lunch and a club meeting at 12:30pm at Panera 20120 W 153rd St in Olathe. For more information, please call Joan Shriver, 913-492-3566. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Jul 13, 7pm; Garden Tour - Ed and Lee Rowe, 9200 Craig, Overland Park, KS. Lee and Ed have a wonderful collection of daylilies and we are going to tour their garden in the peak of their bloom time. The public is welcome and you may call Sallie Wiley at 913-236-5193 for further information. Bring a friend to see this great collection and the rest of their garden. Raytown Garden Club Tues, Jul 7, 10am; at Raytown Christian Church, 6108 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO. The program will be “Learning to Create Flower Show Designs” presented by Jeanette Bartles, Master Judge and Master Gardener. Visitors are welcome and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit our website at or call 816-257-0049. Santa Fe Trail Garden Club Wed, Jul 8, 4pm; at 9631 Horton St, Overland Park, KS. We will have a brief business meeting and then tour a water garden and have a talk on waters. A light

supper will be served. RSVP to Jean at 913-908-8815.

Events, Lectures & Classes July Daylily Garden Open House Fri, Jul 3 and Sat, Jul 4, 10am; at Hart‚Äôs Daylilies, 7460 W 255th, Louisburg, KS (1/4 mile east of Metcalf). Free garden tour showcasing 900 varieties of daylilies, plus a large assortment of hosta. Many Asiatic, Oriental and Orienpet lilies. 913-837-5209 Wings of Glory Sat, Jul 4, 1:30-2:30pm; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO. No registration required (all ages) Celebrate our patriotic symbol, the bald eagle, and its raptor relatives! Grasp this chance to learn how conservation has helped many birds of prey soar to a stable population that helps keep prey in check. For more information email burr.oak@ 816-228-3766 Wild Edibles: Summer’s Bounty Tues, Jul 7, 9-11am; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Registration required at 816-228-3766 (adults) Discover how to preserve summer’s wild harvest at Grable’s Farm in Atherton so you can enjoy wild edible native plants throughout the rest of the year! For more information email burr.oak@mdc. 816-228-3766

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New Volunteer Orientation Thurs, Jul 9, 8:30-10:30am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Consider spending part of your leisure time volunteering at Overland Park’s 300acre Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Whatever your interests or skills, gardener or not, we’ll explore many opportunities available. Requirement is 40 volunteer hours annually. No Fee. Register online at 913685-3604 Wine Tasting on the Terrace Thurs, Jul 9, 6-8pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Join us and Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery and Green Dirt Farm for the third wine tasting of the season. They will showcase some of their locally produced wine in our lovely garden setting. $25 per person. Register online at 913-685-3604 Hot Summer Days Fri, Jul 10, 10am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Kids can run through the “kid car wash”, use frozen sidewalk chalk, toss water balloons and more. A lot of wet fun. Dress the kids in their swimsuit and bring a towel. No registration required. Included with admission. 913-685-3604 (continued on page 24)

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


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

(continued from page 23)

Fascinated with plants, the environment and sustainable landscapes? Interested in urban horticulture? Bring your green thumb to JCCC for Horticultural Sciences classes: Horticultural Sciences Certificate – Designed to prepare students for science-based careers in the “greening industry.” Landscape Technician Certificate – Prepares students for success in entry-level or higher positions in the landscape design and maintenance field. Horticultural Sciences AAS Degree – Provides students with knowledge and skills for jobs required for greenhouse operations, nursery management, landscape design and maintenance and more! JCCC has a 2+2 articulation agreement with K-State. For more information, contact Dr. Lekha Sreedhar at 913-469-8500, ext. 3763, or visit and seach for “horticultural sciences”

Keep your trees and shrubs healthy this summer. We can keep your trees free of:

3 Bagworms 3 Aphids 3 Emerald Ash Borer 3 Other Damaging Insects Call our office for a free tree evaluation today to make sure your landscape plants are protected.

Bug Barrier Program We can keep ants, silverfish, crickets and other pesky insects out of your home. Call to discover how we can treat the perimeter of your house to keep uninvited guests outside.

MO: 246.1707 KS: 381.1505

“The pros you know in the clean red truck.” 24

July 2015 |

To Catch a Dragon(fly) Sat, Jul 11, 1-2pm; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Registration required at 816-228-3766 (families with children ages 3+) Roll up your sleeves and pant legs. We are heading to the pond in search of young dragonfly nymphs underwater, and then look to the sky to observe the adult insects eye to eye. Don’t miss your chance to meet this group of magical winged “dragons.” For more information email burr.oak@mdc. 816-228-3766 Healing Herbs and Foods in the Kitchen Sat, Jul 11, 1-4pm; at Powell Gardens. Discover how to fortify your diet by cooking with herbs. Take a walk in the garden to identify and harvest culinary herbs and return to the kitchen to taste examples of healing food. $42/person, $37/member. Registration required by Jul 7. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Homemade Pickles Can Be Easy! Sat, Jul 11, 10-11:30am; at The Gardens at Unity Village 150-B NW Colbern Rd (1/2 mile west of the Douglas/Colbern intersection), Lee‚Äôs Summit, MO 64086. Join Lou and learn how to create your own pickles using just a few ingredients and less than half an hour of your time. Only limited by your imagination pickling isn‚Äôt just for cucumbers anymore! Fee: $15/$5 to Garden members. Call 816-769-0259 and leave a message to make a reservation, check for workshop updates, etc. Quick and Tasty Herbal Jam Sat, Jul 18, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Learn how to make three tasty jams using herbs and fresh or frozen fruit without pectin. Help make one of the three recipes in class. Choices include raspberry with hints of cardamom, lavender-peach with vanilla, or double-mint blueberry. Taste them all and take a halfpint sample of one flavor and recipes to make all three at home. $39/person, $34/ member. Registration required by Jul 13. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Astronomy: Triple Conjunction Sat, Jul 18, 8:30-10:30pm; at Powell Gardens. Three solar system bodies are gathered close together this evening for you to view. Plus, Saturn is at its best viewing. You’ll also get an update on the New Horizons mission to Pluto. Join us under Powell Gardens’ dark skies for astronomy programs led by knowledgeable astronomers. (Evening programs

will be cancelled if skies are overcast or rainy.) Register three participants and the fourth person is free! $10/adult, $6/ member, $6/child ages 5-12. Registration required by Jul 16. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Healing Power of Nature Workshop Fri, Jul 24, 9am-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Discover the healing qualities of essential oils, common weeds and more. Time will be spent in nature practicing what you have learned. The program is approved for 5 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) valid in both Kansas and Missouri by the Kansas State Board of Nursing and the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. $59/person, $52/member (Add $10 to receive 5 CEUs). Registration required by July 20. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Raytown Garden Club Flower Show Sat, Jul 25, 2-4pm; at Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church, 6429 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raytown, MO. Raytown Garden Club will present “County Fair”, a Standard Flower Show. The show is free and open to the public. Relax and enjoy beautiful flowers and artistic designs! Annual Butterfly Count Sat, Jul 25, 9am-5pm; at Powell Gardens. Join us for the annual butterfly count at Powell Gardens. At 9am participants will be divided into guided groups. At 1pm there will be a 4-hour hike on the 3.25-mile Byron Shutz Nature Trail. Attend either or both parts. Wear sun protection and hiking shoes, and bring a water bottle. $3/participant. Registration required by Jul 22. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. K-State Field Day Sat, Jul 25, 8am-3pm; at 35230 W 135th St, Olathe, KS 66061. Admission: $5.00. See the latest research in flowers and vegetables at this annual event. www. The Gardens at Twilight Sat, Jul 25, 8-11pm; at Powell Gardens. Join Alan Branhagen and Missouri Master Naturalists for a twilight hike of the Gardens and the 1.25-mile loop of the Byron Shutz Nature Trail to listen to the calls early evening insects and animals. They will demonstrate blacklighting and baiting techniques to lure in nocturnal moth species. $12/person, $7/member. Registration required by Jul 22. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at

August Bim Willow Sat, Aug 1, 8-12pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Join us as we welcome Master Furniture Builder, Bim Willow, bending fresh willow into heirlooms. Come with a hammer, pruning shears and gloves and leave with a beautiful piece created by you. Class fee varies based on project selected. Regular admission applies. Register online at 913-685-3604 Wine Tasting on the Terrace Thur, Aug 6, 6-8pm; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Join us and Lukas Liquors for the fourth wine tasting of the season. They will showcase some of their specialty wines in our lovely garden setting. $25 per person. Register online at 913-685-3604 Hot Summer Days Fri, Aug 7, 10am-noon; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Kids can run through the “kid car wash”, use frozen sidewalk chalk, toss water balloons and more. A lot of wet fun. Dress the kids in their swimsuit and bring a towel. No registration required. Included with admission. 913-685-3604 Watercolor Workshop Sat, Aug 15, 9:30am-3:30pm; Powell Gardens. Learn a pouring technique and build confidence with masking and brush work. There will be demonstrations and individual instruction. Learn how to bring out the background using negative spaces along with positive rendering. A supply list will be mailed upon registration. $45/person, $37/member. Registration required Aug 10. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at powellgardens. org/AdultClasses. Critter Control for Urban Gardens Thurs, Aug 20, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: “Critter Control for Urban Gardens”. Todd Meese, Missouri Department of Conservation Wildlife Biologist, will talk about the animals we

typically encounter in our urban environment like squirrels, raccoons, and deer and he will recommend ways to manage nuisance wildlife. He will also discuss more exotic wildlife like bears and bobcats. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456. Greater Kansas City Iris Society Plant Sale Sat, Aug 22, 10am-4pm; at the Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes, Kansas City, MO. Hundreds of locally grown iris varieties for sale including many you may have admired at the Loose Park iris garden. Purchase $100 or more of plants and receive a complimentary 1 year electronic membership in the American Iris Society. Come early for best selection! For more information, visit www.kciris. org, or call 913-406-2709.

Hotlines for Gardeners Extension Master Gardeners are ready to answer your gardening questions. Get your garden growing. CASS COUNTY

660-380-8460; Wed, 9am-noon


785-843-7058;; Mon-Fri, 1-4pm


816-833-8733 (TREE); Mon-Fri, 9am to noon

Jazz in the Roses Sun, Aug 30, 4:30-6:30pm; at Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden, Loose Park, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64112. Bring your family, friends, picnics and listen to “The Grand Marquis.” Free and open to the public.




Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners Fri, Sep 11 and Sat, Sep 12. This fall garden tour will take you through the rolling hills of Miami County, Kansas, to see six gardens that exemplify country living at its best. Each garden was selected to demonstrate the marriage of form and function. Ticket cost is $10 per visitor. Gardens open at 9am each day and close at 6pm on Fri and 4pm on Sat. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Paola Extension Office, 104 South Brayman, 913-294-4306. During the tour, tickets may be purchased at any of the six gardens, Hillsdale Bank BBQ and Somerset Vineyard and Winery. The addresses are: 903 N Broadway, Louisburg; 31622 Oak Grove Rd, Paola; 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola; 24975 Old KC Rd, Paola; 30133 W Maple Ln, Spring Hill; 34135 W 255th St, Paola. More information is posted on our website at, or visit us on Facebook www.facebook. com/mdcemg

913-715-7050; Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm;


660-747-3193; Wed, 9am-noon


913-364-5700; Apr 15 thru Jul 1, Monday 10am-1pm, Thursday 1-4pm 913-294-4306; Mon-Fri, 9am-noon


913-299-9300; Mon, Wed, Fri, 9am-4pm


Weather Report

Highs and Lows Avg temp 80° Avg high temp 89° Avg low temp 71° Highest recorded temp 111° Lowest recorded temp 51° Nbr of above 70° days 31

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 13 Avg nbr of cloudy days 8

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 0 Avg rainfall 3.7”

Promote your gardening events! Send information to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail: Deadline for August issue is July 5.

Avg nbr of rainy days 9 Source:

From the Almanac Moon Phases Full Moon: July 1 Last Quarter: July 8 New Moon: July 15 First Quarter: July 23 Full Moon: July 31 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Above Ground Crops: 15, 16, 22-26, 29

Plant Root Crops: 2, 3, 6, 7

Control Plant Pests: 8, 9, 12-14

Transplant: 15, 16, 24-26

Plant Flowers: 15, 16 22, 23

The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015



garden calendar n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Harvest fruits of your labor and enjoy. • Control weed growth to preserve water and nutrients. • Fertilize vegetables to encourage plant development. • Watch for foliar disease development on lower tomato leaves and treat with a fungicide. • Prepare for fall gardening. Plant potatoes, broccoli, and other fall crops. • Spray sweet corn to control corn earworms as silks emerge. • Be on the lookout for pests of the garden and control. • Remove old raspberry canes after harvest.


• Remove faded flowers from annuals to stimulate more flowers for late summer color, and from perennials to prevent reseeding. • Keep gardens well mulched. • Cut fresh bouquets for enjoyment on hot summer days. • Lightly fertilize annuals to promote growth. • Dig, divide, and replant crowded irises. • Fertilize roses for fall blossoms. • Fertilize and water container gardens. • Complete the final pinching of chrysanthemum tips for bushier plants.

• Fertilize zoysia to encourage summer growth with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Let grass clippings fall to return nutrients to soil and grass. • Be on the lookout for summer diseases such as brown patch. • Watch for grubs. If they begin to hatch, an insecticide may be required. Apply in late July or early August. • Keep mower blades sharpened. • Replace lawn mower air filter and change lawn mower oil per owner’s manual • Prepare to control perennial grassy weeds such as zoysia, fescue, and nimblewill. • Take a soil test to prepare for fall lawn renovation. • Water deeply and less often for deep roots and a healthy lawn.


• Water newly planted shrubs and young trees (planted within the last three to five years) during dry weather. • Keep plants mulched to conserve moisture and cool roots. • Remove sucker growth from the base of trees and along branches. • Prune diseased, dead, or hazardous limbs.


• Water weekly by deeply soaking the soil. Use surface irrigation and avoid watering late at night to help reduce disease development. • Take photos of gardens.


• Mow bluegrass and tall fescue around 3 to 3 1/2 inches. • Mow zoysia at 1 1/2 inches.

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

Debbie’s Lawn Busters Custom Designed Landscaping Installation & Maintenance

Established 1975



Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed


Thru Aug 26 4pm–7pm

Fresh produce, baked goods, honey, plants, handmade arts and crafts, and more.

Weekly entertainment around 10am

July 2015 |

Since 1971

Thru Oct 10 7am–1pm


913-385-7374 • 816-923-5865


♥ 816-392-4433 ♥ 816-618-3674 ♥

Improving our planet one customer at a time.

Essential Extras, Inc.


5740 Merriam Drive – Johnson Dr. Exit

• Rabbits, chipmunks, moles, groundhogs, mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, opossums, snakes and bats • Woodpeckers, starlings, pigeons, sparrows and geese • Repairs and chimney caps • Wildlife biologist on staff • Licensed and insured • Celebrating 23 years of service NOW OFFERING: Attic Insulation & Removal GENERAL PEST CONTROL: Specializing in Termite Control and Termite Treatments. Termidor or Hex-Pro Baiting Systems.

MO 816-769-3106 • KS 913-338-3330

Over 1,000 Custom Projects in 90 Cities See more decks, screened porches, gazebos, pergolas and shade arbors at Licensed and Insured

Check out the July Web Giveaway

Professional’s Corner

Perfect for flower beds and containers. Water with ease with a

Dramm Rain Wand For a chance to win this month’s giveaway, visit



to learn how to enter.

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

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

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

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

With more than 40 years in the green industry, Debbie Bayes (left) shares her expertise with son, Billy, (right) and grandson, Brayle, (center) establishing this multi-generational business. Company: Debbie’s Lawn Busters Owner: Debbie Bayes Established: 1975 Motto: “Service from the heart.” Operations: We are a family owned and operated business, offering complete custom designed landscaping services, installation and maintenance, spring through fall. During the winter months, we focus on firewood sales and snow removal. We only use premium products, from compost amendments, mulches, trees, shrubs and flowers, to grass seed — all hand-selected by me. The family that works together: My amazing, hardworking team is always beside me. My son Billy, my husband Jack and of course my three grandsons, Toby, Brayle and Brian, are always involved learning the meaning of hard work and responsibility. At the heart: As a professional landscape designer my motivation comes from the artful way we create functional, low maintenance, colorful, textured custom designs. We work from the client’s wish list and budget to create a unique fresh updated design, giving personal attention to every detail from start to finish and beyond. Adding value to their home, and enjoyment to their outdoor living space. All our services are from the heart. What makes your business unique: Communication! When I receive a phone call, I return it promptly. The client talks to me throughout the entire process, and I listen for the details of what they want and need. With the client’s desires noted, I help them decide their best options, keeping within the budget. We work smart, doing it right the first time. We stand behind everything we do, saving them money in the long run. Our clients are encouraged to work with us through every step, and to know that they can call me anytime. What do your customers say: That I am honest, faithful, they love me, and that I am obsessively compassionate about every little detail. They appreciate that I am dependable and they consider me part of their family. Of course, they love my cute grandsons. Favorite garden destination: I love ALL gardens, professionally designed or natural. All of Mother Nature’s gardens are my favorite. I try to learn from her, following her lead. I love textures, color, smell and attracting birds, butterflies, ladybugs, and humans. Advice for gardeners: Trust your instincts. Be passionate. Get your hands dirty and have fun. Express yourself and your personality through gardening. Unleash the gardener inside. Contact information: Debbie’s Lawn Busters; 816-392-4433; 816-618-3674; The Kansas City Gardener | July 2015


SUMMER in Bloom Plant your Butterfly Garden

Fine Finishes Fairy Garden Miniatures Patio Pillows Gazing Balls Welcome Flags Wind Chimes

Garden Accents SHRUBS & PERENNIALS Daylily Coral Bells Astilbe Coreopsis Lavender Caryopteris Clethra Coneflower Yarrow Viburnum and many many more

Classic Statuary & Fountains Decorative Planters Wind Sculptures Arbors & Trellises Stone or Teak Benches

Your lawn this July call 816-941-4700 P regular lawn care P insect & disease controls

135th & Wornall 28

July 2015 | (816) 942-2921

K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy (913) 897-5100

105th & Roe (913) 649-8700

Profile for The Kansas City Gardener

KCG 07JUL15  

Lemon Park, bluebird, butterfly, Marvin Snyder, lotus, marginals, water garden, perennials, roses

KCG 07JUL15  

Lemon Park, bluebird, butterfly, Marvin Snyder, lotus, marginals, water garden, perennials, roses