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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

July 2017

ambrosia for butterflies

Butterfly Bush

blooming shrub for the garden

Building for Butterflies The Glory of Nasturtiums Garden Mistakes Present Opportunity Birdfeeding Makes a Difference

Topical lilies from left to right: Antares (night-bloomer), William McLane (day-bloomer), Trudy Slocum (night-bloomer), Bull’s Eye (day-bloomer)

Tropical water lilies offer prolific color impact While hardy water lilies bloom in a range of colors from white to yellow, pink and red, their tropical cousins add to the color range with exotic blues and purples. Tropical lilies offer bigger, more prolific blooms and a choice between day or night blooming. Day blooming tropicals open in the morning like hardy lilies and remain open later into the evening. Night bloomers open in the evening and remain open until 1011:00 in the morning. Night bloomers also bloom under shady conditions, which is a bonus if you’re looking to incorporate a lily in your shaded garden.

Hardy lilies will overwinter in the pond here in the Midwest. Tropicals will not and must be removed from the pond at the first frost. Trim off the foliage, remove the bulb from the soil and clean it, storing it in damp sand in a cool dark spot for the winter. In February, restart the tropical lily inside, in water on a sunny southern window sill.

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017 6/19/17


5:52 PM

The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening


Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Contributors Nik and Theresa Hiremath Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Diana Par-Due Dennis Patton Judy Penner Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

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

How deeply seated in the human heart is the liking for gardens and gardening. ~ Alexander Smith


he classic Midwest summer is well underway, complete with heat and humidity not fit for man nor beast. There were a couple of long stretches without rain, which meant lots of watering, especially the newly planted. The new plants are part of a significant backyard project. Last year, in spring, we reluctantly removed the ash tree from the backyard. The decision to cut it down in large part was due to the eminent infestation of the emerald ash borer. No doubt this majestic tree was more than 60 years old, and was at the center of the landscape. Her expansive canopy established a shade–part shade planting space, where hydrangea, fern, and hosta grew. Now that she’s gone, the backyard is a full sun zone. A large patio with fire pit has been installed, setting into motion a new landscape plan. From plant selection to installation, it’s been quite a job. Mr. Gardener has even tackled tearing out the old dry stack wall (that he built 15 years ago) and has installed a new one. With more stamina and determination than men half his age, he has surpassed all expectations. That’s my guy!

July 2017 |

and plant in containers. Then place or hang the pots on the front porch to watch them grow. One created a personal garden of manageable size right outside the front door. A few annuals for color, and tomatoes ’cuz there’s nothing better. One sends a picture via text of something that looks like a tulip. Is this a tulip? Should I do anything with it? It was growing in the middle of the lawn where they rent. Lastly, there’s the one who coined the plant name “Latunia”. While working in the garden center, she asks, “Can succulents grow in the house?” Whether nature or nurture, or maybe it’s crafted in our DNA– however we came to appreciate gardens and gardening matters not. The love that grows in the garden is what matters. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue July 2017 • Vol. 22 No. 7 Ask the Experts ....................... 6 A September to Remember ....... 8 Building for Butterflies .............. 10 Rose Report ............................ 11 Butterfly Bush .......................... 12 Garden Mistakes Present Opportunity ............................ 14 The Glory of Nasturtiums ......... 15

about the cover ...

Bird Feeding Makes a Difference .............................. 16 Upcoming Events ..................... 18 K-State Hort Ctr Field Day ........ 21 Garden Calendar .................... 22 Professional’s Corner ................ 23 Hotlines .................................. 23 Subscribe ............................... 23

Butterfly Bush First Editions™ ‘Funky Fuschia’ blooms all summerlong and continues on into fall. Learn more varieties beginning on page 12. Photo courtesy of


While he manhandles stone, I’m in charge of watering. With plenty of sprinkler options in the garden toolbox, I prefer to water by hand. Sprinklers are useful, though wind and heat can reduce the amount of water that actually reaches the soil. Using my favorite hand sprayer, I can easily direct the water around the roots, knowing for sure the plant is getting watered. There is a personal motive at play as well. Hand watering allows quiet time too. This is my opportunity to be among the flowers and foliage, to soak in the beauty of the garden. Here I let my mind wander, and dream. It came to me recently, during one of these times, that all of our children appreciate gardens and gardening. Not sure why that surprised me. Perhaps it’s because in their growing years, they wanted nothing to do with plants. It always seemed like work to them. Now that they are adults, gardens and gardening are in their lives. One is married with children, where it’s a family affair to select



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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017


Ask the experts Readers share their questions about landscape issues, and DENNIS PATTON gives expert tips and advice. HOW AND WHEN TO FERTILIZE TOMATOES Question: I planted my cherry tomatoes in late May. I worked a large amount of my own compost made from fall leaves and a little bit of old leftover 5-10-5 fertilizer into the soil before I planted. Not very scientific. Should I follow up with more fertilizer? If so, what kind and how much? Answer: Fertilization is important for good growth, but it is not always easy knowing how much to apply. Homemade compost is a wonderful soil amendment. The problem is that most backyard compost especially made from leaves has very little nutrients and is usually higher in pH. I realize that flies in the face of thoughts about compost being a rich and fertile mix. The compost improved

the soil tilth but added little nutrients. The application at planting may be sufficient, but to be on the safe side, make a follow up application of a couple of teaspoons per plant in early July. That should be enough for a good crop. CONSIDER BARRENWORT FOR SHADE GARDEN Question: I’m thinking of adding Barrenwort to my hosta shade garden for textural interest. Does it do well here? Are there any particular varieties that you would recommend? Answer: Barrenwort or Epimedium is one of my favorite shade perennials and is under planted and over looked by most gardeners. It does great in the shade as it is a slow spreading clump that grows about six inches or so

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Epimedium ‘Sulphureum’ tall. Beautiful heart-shaped leaves appear in the spring and remain late into the fall. In the spring dainty flowers appear above the foliage. The most common variety on the market is ‘Sulphureum’ which has pale yellow flowers. Yes, I recommend planting this in the garden as it will do well in the same conditions where hostas thrive. IN SEARCH OF CONSISTENT LAWN Question: We’ve been in our house nine years. Each year in September we’ve seeded bare or thin spots in the yard with a particular blend of bluegrass seed purchased from the same garden center that has done well. But the sunnier, older sections of the yard have a different, coarser variety of grass that burns out in the


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

heat of summer. Should we make plans for late August to overseed the whole yard using our favorite blend so that we have a more consistent yard next year? Answer: You will need to answer that question yourself. The desired quality and look of the lawn is in the eye of the beholder. This is what I read into your statement. You are really not happy with the appearance of your turf. Overseeding the entire lawn with the same blend may help even out the appearance. But it also sounds like you have some old clumps of K 31 Fescue in the lawn. This grass will not be removed by overseeding and could still make its appearance. If you really want a uniform stand in texture you will first need to remove the older course clumps

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Clematis and then overseed. Then you may have the stand you desire. If you are not looking for the picture perfect lawn than maybe live with the appearance. The goal is not to have to overseed every year. WILL CLEMATIS REBLOOM WITH PRUNING Question: My clematis were beautiful this spring. Will pruning them back encourage rebloom later this summer? Answer: This question gets my patented “it depends” answer. It depends on a number of factors such as the variety, summer weather patterns and care. Many clematis will repeat bloom with good care and with good soil moisture. Deadheading may also help encourage reblooming. With all that said, I would expect a few blooms on and off during the summer, but nothing like the spring flush of color we saw back in May. But don’t prune. It will stress the plants. BOXWOOD REACT TO SHEARING Question: I sheared my boxwood hedges in May and they

turned a papery pale color. Did I do something wrong? Answer: You did nothing wrong; it was just a reaction to the shearing. This off color often develops for a couple of reasons. One is that once the growth is removed, the underlying foliage is now exposed to the sun. Under the right conditions, you can get a sunburn effect. Two, this discoloration often happens when electric hedge trimmers are used. The pulsating scissor action burses or crushes the tender foliage resulting in the browning. That is why many gardeners will only use hand shears as they make a cleaner cut. In both cases the plant will usually recover and grow through the less than attractive stage. COLOR CHANGE OF CREEPING JENNY Question: My creeping jenny was a pretty limey color when I bought it. Now it’s yellow. I wonder, does Lysimachia suffer from iron chlorosis? Answer: The hue of the plant will vary with the intensity of the sunlight. Under more shade this plant is greener, limey and with more light yellow tones appears. My guess is your plant turned yellow as it is receiving more sunlight or greater intensity than in the spring when it was grown under lower light levels. This plant is very adaptable to our local soils so I don’t think that is the issue. It is related to sun exposure. I have also seen the charthouse colored revert back to just plain old green which is not as attractive. 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.


Annual Water Garden Tour July 8 and 9


and everything in between. They all have three things in common; moving water, plants, and gold fish or koi. A water garden is its own living and breathing ecosystem, combining gardening, fish keeping, bird watching, nature, and habitat restoration. One of the greatest pleasures of being outdoors is embracing the unexpected gifts that these breathtaking ecosystems can provide. Tickets for the tour are $10 per person 14 years and over, and can be purchased at garden centers throughout the community as well as Hen House and Westlake Hardware in the Kansas City area. Proceeds benefit construction and maintenance of educational and restorative water gardens and other educational programs in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Purchase your tickets early to plan your driving tour. For groups and bus tours visit us at

he Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City proudly presents its 24th annual self-directed water garden tour in Kansas City, Missouri and surrounding metropolitan communities, including Lawrence, Sat., July 8 and Sun., July 9. There are 44 ponds on tour; 10 of which have never been on tour before, and 7 sites with garden trains. Residential gardens dominate the tour offerings, along with Water Garden Society built educational ponds at schools and non-profit agencies, including The Kansas City Zoo. Enjoy the colorful sights of water lilies, lotus and fish, along with the babbling sounds of moving water in these creatively designed gardens. Our 2017 public tour theme is the “Tour of Fountains, Fish, Frogs & Flowers”. A water garden can be as simple as a bubbling barrel with a catch basin or as exquisite as a multi-tiered backyard swimming pool/pond

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A September To Remember Garden Tour Sept. 8 & 9


he Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners will soon be holding their 2017 garden tour from Paola to Louisburg. This year’s tour includes six private gardens and two public gardens, featuring butterfly gardens, water features,

hardscape usage, unique natives, edibles, flowers, fruits and heirloom plants, and works of art. This month and next, we will describe three private gardens – their intended uses, their focal points, even their histories. Please join us and enjoy driving through

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the rolling hills of Miami County. Experience these amazing, diverse educational gardens and savor the great outdoors. Casa de Mariposa Owners: Sondra and Tom Dela Cruz, MdC Master Gardeners Sondra began this urban butterfly garden in 1994 in a spacious backyard surrounded by wonderful, mature trees. She experimented, learning to grow and nurture shade loving plants. Numerous hostas blossomed here which she divided and shared with family and friends, who blessed her with many “starter” plants in return. Sondra was inspired by a Miami County garden tour and strived

to create a small garden pond and a cozy urban feel. She dug her own pond and added a waterfall with lighting. The gardens evolved into a butterfly haven. Her interest became a passion, and her colorful butterfly garden was born. Butterfly bushes were easy to grow and are true favorites in this yard, now a certified monarch butterfly waystation. “Butterflies are like gardens with wings.” Sondra tries to plant a new host plant each year to entice ever more butterflies and encourages others to plant their own butterfly garden, as her own grandchildren have done. The ‘House of Butterflies’ offers different varieties of milk-

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Boston Berry Farm Owners: John & Denise Johnson This three-acre sanctuary of garden rooms stimulates all of your senses, inviting you to linger, touch, smell, and taste. Wander through the garden rooms taking in cottage gardens with grandma’s old fashioned favorites (antique roses), native gardens and southwest cacti garden. It is the kind of place that the grandchildren can Long Lips Farm explore – picking flowers, chasOwner: Lenora Larson, MdC Master Gardener ing butterflies and watering their Long Lips Farm is well-known favorite plants. locally and nationally as a certified You’ll discover edible gardens butterfly garden because the owner, and pollinator gardens incorporatLenora Larson, writes extensiveing repurposed garden art throughly about butterflies for numerous out. Stroll grassy pathways and publications, including The hear birds chirping, bees Kansas City Gardener. buzzing and butIt is a beautifully terflies flutterdesigned two-acre ing. Wildlife garden in the is welcome English Estate in these landscape style pesticidewith 18 rooms free gardens. and 500+ speNatives and Audrey Hepburn cies. Hardscaping pollinator functions as the plants as well as cohesive structural elefruiting and thicket ment with raised beds and type plants are gifts for pathways defining the garden’s the birds. design. John and Denise want their It is a North American Butterfly garden to have history and tell a Association (NABA) Certified story. They have integrated heirButterfly Garden and is certified loom plants from grandparents’ as Monarch Waystation #875, a farms, some going back four genWildlife Habitat by the National erations, and use old tools such as Wildlife Federation (NWF), and as grandma’s sheep shears for garden a Pollinator Garden by the Xerces art. The owners took an empty Society. Because Lenora is also slate and created wind blocks, garan artist, the garden also funcden rooms and natural borders for tions as an outdoor gallery with privacy, turning a farm field into a numerous colorful art objects to park-like atmosphere. ensure four-season interest. Water Be sure to check out the assortfeatures entertain and nourish the ed and unique edibles, white strawabundant wildlife. It demonstrates berries and herbs used as groundthat native plants and wildlife can covers, mass plantings of colorful be welcomed to an ornamental garannuals, brick patios, a fire pit and den without having to compromise water feature, and a wooden arbor beauty or function. completely covered by massive The garden includes over 50 musk roses. species of butterfly caterpillar host While in Paola, you may want plants, primarily natives, nestle to make a quick stop at the public among ribbons of purple, chargardens maintained by the Marais treuse and silver foliage. Continuity des Cygnes Master Gardeners at is accomplished through the repthe Miami County Court House, etition of four perennials: Golden 120 S. Pearl St., and the K-State Mound Spirea, Purple Smoketree, Extension office, 104 Brayman St. Catmint and Artemesia ‘Powis Tickets are $10. For more informaCastle’. Brilliantly blooming flowtion, visit www.maraisdescygnes. ers feed the pollinators with or ites including old-fashioned selfmdcemg. sowing annuals such as Balsam, Please stay tuned for our next Cosmos, Cleome, Celosia and installment featuring three priMarigolds plus Butterfly Bush and vate gardens located around the Lantana. Louisburg area. weed (for Monarch butterflies) and dill, fennel, rue, pawpaws, sedums, and pipevine (for Swallowtails), providing an annual challenge to add new and varied host plants to attract new and different butterflies. Sondra has added colorful, sun loving perennials including giant caster beans. A variety of coneflowers continue blooming through the fall.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

Swan’s Water Garden Festival July 8th & 9th In coordination with the Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City’s annual Pond Tour Days, Swan’s Water Gardens will be celebrating our annual Water Garden Festival. Make a stop along the tour route at Swan’s and enjoy 20% off all tropical marginal plants and tropical water lilies in stock! Come on Saturday and lunch at KC Deeyas, Louisburg’s premier food truck, serving up uncommonly delicious Mexican dishes. They will be serving up smiles from 11:00am to 3:00pm, Saturday, July 8th. 4385 W 247th. St. Louisburg, KS 66053 913-837-3510

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017


Building for Butterflies


e butterfly fans constantly search for more ways to attract lepidopteran visitors to our gardens. Caterpillar host plants and nectar-rich flowers from March to November are the necessities. However, crafty butterfly lovers can also build structures for them. What about Butterfly Houses? When I announced my interest in butterflies to my family, my next birthday present from my mother was a darling butterfly house. In theory, the boxes serve as a hibernation habitat for adult butterflies. Over the years, it has been a haven for wasps and spiders, but no butterflies. Members of NABA, North American Butterfly Association, unanimously report the same negative result. And in 1995-97,

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the Entomology Department of Pennsylvania State University monitored 40 butterfly houses over a two-year period. They recorded spiders in 26 of the boxes and wasp nests in seven, but not a single butterfly. Certainly you can place a butterfly house in your garden, but realize that it’s for you and the spiders, not butterflies. There’s a Butterfly in the woodpile! Butterflies are drawn to woodpiles rather than fancy houses. The crooks and crannies can serve as a home for all four stages of this insect’s life. For instance, adult butterflies may use it as refuge from rainstorms and caterpillars may crawl into the pile to form their chrysalis or to hibernate over the winter. To build, find a sheltered spot such as the southeast

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side of a dense yew or juniper. Plan on dimensions of about 3 by 4 feet. Start with a 6-inch layer of dead leaves, then start building a structure by stacking alternating rows of small logs, strips of bark, brush and grasses. The logs should be nontreated hardwood of varying diameters, 1” to 8”. Top with a waterproof cover or tarp. On warm February days, A puddling Giant Swallowtail prepares his love gift for you may even see his bride. Commas, Question Marks and Mourning by ammonium salts such as urea, Cloaks coming and going! you can increase its effectiveness by peeing on it once a month. This A Puddle for the Boys is most easily performed by a male You have likely noticed flocks friend. of butterflies slurping on moist NOTE: Long Lips Farm will ground after a rain. These are all be open to the public as part of males gathering minerals to incorthe Miami County Garden Tour, porate into their spermatophores, September 8th and 9th. Come meet their nuptial gifts for each of their Lenora and the butterflies! More many brides. You can easily build a information in Upcoming Events of puddling spot to attract these lovethis magazine, and at www.maraislorn bachelors. In a sunny area, set a shallow plate even with the soil surface. Or, scrape away a small Marais des Cygnes Extension depression in the soil and line it Master Gardener, Idalia Butterfly with plastic. Fill either with sand Society and Kansas Native Plant or pea gravel and keep the contents Society member, Lenora Larson moist. In summer, this will require gardens and hosts butterflies in the daily dampening, preferably with cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, rain water rather than tap water. Kansas. She may be contacted at Since male butterflies are attracted

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Butterflies have no interest in those cute decorative houses, and LENORA LARSON discusses the alternatives.

Rose Report JUDY PENNER reminds rose growers to pay attention to watering habits, and to watch for rose rosette.


he hot days of July require attention to watering habits. Watering should be done once to twice a week instead of daily or every other day. Water deep instead of shallow and your roses will perform better during the heat of summer. I recommend 1 to 2 inches of water per week as needed to keep your roses going during our typical hot summers. Watering early in the day is best so the water does not evaporate right away. If water gets on the rose leaves, it will dry by evening reducing the spread of blackspot disease.

July is also a good time to inspect your roses for the disease called Rose Rosette. Rose Rosette is a virus that is spread by a very small eriophyid mite. The mite travels with the blowing wind for up to a mile away. Currently, there is no cure for Rose Rosette so early detection

and removal of the entire infected rose plant is critical to keep it from spreading. Spraying a miticide during June and July can be helpful to keep down the mite population which spreads the disease. Inspecting your garden is necessary to make sure you do not have the disease. If you find the disease in your garden, you must remove it carefully by placing a trash bag over the rose then dig it out, roots and all. The plastic bag gives you some protection from spreading the mite. Do not compost the diseased rose. Keep it in the trash bag and throw it away. Rose Rosette symptoms show up as increased vegetative growth that is more succulent (pictured left). The leaves will often become crinkled, deformed and brittle with a reddish color. As the disease progresses you will see the leaves become very small and the new growth will have more than normal amounts of thorns and a reddish color on the rose leaves. When inspecting your roses make sure that you see all the symptoms on the rose since new normal rose growth can have a reddish look. Make a check list 1.  The rose shows symptoms of thickened, succulent stems 2. Most lateral buds grow producing short reddish shoots

3. A larger than normal amount of thorns are on the canes 4.  Reddish deformed leaves appear that look similar to herbicide damage

Monday, August 21st at the Loose Park Garden Center. Check out the details for this workshop online at Remember to stop and smell the roses!

Early detection and removal are your best defense against Rose Rosette disease. The Kansas City Rose Society will be holding a Rose Rosette Disease Workshop on

Judy Penner is Expert Rosarian at Loose Park, Kansas City, Mo. You may reach her at judy.penner@

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Above: ‘Funky Fuschia’

Above: ‘Purple Haze’

Above: ‘Black Knight’; Below: ‘Miss Pearl’


July 2017 |

Above: ‘Blue Chip’ Above: ‘Miss Ruby’

Above: ‘Miss Molly’; Below: ‘Miss Violet’

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

U ambrosia for butterflies

Butterfly Bush U blooming shrub for the garden


an you guess which plant tops the list of “Best Plants for a Butterfly Garden”? Its name is a huge hint. Of course, Butterfly Bush Buddleia (also Buddleja) reigns Number One. This sun-loving shrub produces nectar-filled blooms that always seem to be the most popular among butterflies. If by chance there might be a gardener who couldn’t care less about butterflies (is that even possible?), this shrub is a suitable option for a full-sun spot in the landscape. Read on. Butterfly bush is a deciduous shrub noted for its bushy habit, fragrant blooms and vigorous growth. In order for this shrub to thrive, select a full-sun location. That means eight hours of bright sunlight; no less than six hours. When planting, keep the crown of the plant just at or above soil surface. Also, don’t mulch all the way up to the crown. Leave a little space between the mulch and the center stem of the plant. The most important requirement concerning soil is that it must be well draining. Butterfly bush will need regular watering during the first year. Once established, it is drought tolerant. However, to encourage continuous blooming through the hot, dry summer months, water weekly or when the soil is dry to a depth of two to four inches. Signs of overwatering include weak stems, fewer flowers, and dieback. Keep in mind that butterfly bush does not like wet soil, especially winter and early spring, which may lead to root rot. Flower power? Yep, this plant is hard to beat. Flowers are plenty and

come in an array of rich, summerready colors that won’t disappoint. Along with butterflies, bees and hummingbirds enjoy the nectar of butterfly bush. It’s a popular fresh cut flower, too. When most blooming shrubs have reached their peak, butterfly bush keeps churning out blooms until fall. Generally, no deadheading is needed. However, prompt removal of spent spikes during the growing season likely will encourage more blooms. Whether to deadhead depends on the variety. Read the plant tag to confirm. Pruning is easy. Avoid pruning until new growth is underway in spring; do not prune before winter. To avoid being remiss, I need to share this. While writing this article, the term invasive came screaming into my brain, causing an abrupt halt to my work. It came to me that Buddleja has gained a negative reputation in some circles for its invasive nature. In my brief research, I found plenty to support the ban of buddleja in some parts of the country. Despite that, there is no lack of local gardeners planting buddleja in their gardens. In fact, when I inquired with the K-State Research and Extension Johnson County office in Olathe, extension agent, Dennis Patton reported that “this is not an invasive issue for us [Kansas City gardeners], and I still recommend the plant.” Patton also confirmed my findings that growers have developed sterile types, that are available at local nurseries and garden centers. If you are concerned about which to include in your garden, talk with the local plant experts at your favorite nursery or garden center.

The inspiration for writing about butterfly bush came from the half dozen ‘Miss Molly’ butterfly bushes recently installed in my garden. Created by the removal of our magnificent ash tree, what had been a shady space became a fullsun garden. When considering what to plant, buddleia was at the top, and here’s why. ‘Miss Molly’ has gorgeous sangria-red flowers that are fragrant. Bloom time is from early summer to late fall. A plus, especially when the garden starts to look a little weary toward season’s end. She’s heat and drought tolerant, and grows in a mounded habit that will stay compact. The six we planted are impressive. Mature size 48-60 inches, smaller than other buddleia varieties. We only discovered that she’s non-invasive after planting. Like Patton, it was a non-issue for us. Naturally, there are others to consider. New in garden centers this season is butterfly bush ‘Miss Pearl’. Her crisp, clean, pure white flowers are perfect accent for any landscape, from a cottage-style garden to a more formal garden. Like her sister, she’ll give droves of honeyscented blooms until fall, and will stay compact. Pair this white with any of the sisters to create an eyecatching garden display. Others in the “Miss” series are ‘Miss Ruby’ and ‘Miss Violet’. Characteristics and growth habits are mostly the same, only the flower colors differ. First Editions® ‘Funky Fuchsia’™ butterfly bush has a more rounded to upright habit. Allow more room for this one that matures to six to eight feet. The

reddish-pink inflorescences are very upright and quite fragrant. Flowers average six to eight inches long and up to ten inches long on vigorous shoots. ‘Black Knight’ has deep purpleblue, almost black, flowers in elongated clusters on arching branches to ten feet tall if not cut back, and half that size if cut back. The professionals at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, indicate “This shrub will naturalize, sometimes aggressively, by self-seeding (seed dispersed by wind), particularly in areas where it does not die back in winter. Where self-seeding is a potential problem, remove spent flower clusters prior to formation/ disbursement of seed.” Lo & Behold® ‘Blue Chip’ is a real charmer. This butterfly bush as all the other wonderful qualities as those listed here, yet stays between 18 and 30 inches. Non-invasive. Lo & Behold ‘Purple Haze’ is a low spreading beauty. Has uniquely horizontal branches that produce an abundance of fragrant dark purple-blue flowers. The flowers radiate outward and downward like a pinwheel. Grows 24-36 inches, and spreads 36-42 inches. Noninvasive. It’s hard to beat butterfly bush for sheer flower power – these sunloving plants are some of the longest blooming shrubs you can find. Easy to grow and once established are fairly low maintenance. There are more selections to check out like miniature and dwarf collections. Discover the perfect choice for your garden. Elizabeth Cavanaugh, editor and lifetime student of the garden.

The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017


Garden Mistakes Present Opportunity Every plant does not flourish in the garden, SUSAN MERTZ shares what she’s learned from common mistakes.


ouldn’t it be great if every plant in the garden flourished? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that way. At least, not in my garden. Johnson County K-State Research and Extension recently had a program on ten ways to kill a plant. Just ten? That’s good news! I’m pretty certain that I’ve mastered all ten and am relieved I don’t have to learn any new ways. Now, it’s time to get better at gardening and not make the same mistakes year after year. My top three mistakes: Mistake #1 Water plants when they look dead, not before As I was taking stock of my gardens on a nice winter day, I realized a couple of Little Henry® Iteas had called it quits in the garden. They needed supplemental water last year since they weren’t yet established and had struggled. Water from the overhead sprinkler didn’t reach the itea through the canopy of a mature tree to give them a thorough soaking from time to time. I had selected itea in hopes of having white flowers brighten up the shady area. Looking at the new gap in the landscape, I realized that variegated hostas will

When Alliums finish flowering, I cut off the flower globes and spray paint them. Back in the garden they go. actually do a much better job than itea. The colorful show will last spring through fall rather than just spring. And, the nice thing about this garden is the neighbor’s cat likes hanging out there and will keep the rabbits away. Mistake #2 Planting rabbit food Years ago, when I read Purple Loosestrife was considered an invasive weed in Kansas, I was surprised. Before it went on the naughty plant list, I had tried it several times in a corner garden.

Welcome to the 2017 Miami County Garden Tour Sponsored by the Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners

Featured Gardens _ Casa de Mariposa 105 East Miami St, Paola _ Long Lips Farm 27995 Plum Creek Rd, Paola _ Boston Berry Farm 27750 Normandy Rd, Louisburg _ Green’s Natural Creations 12071 K68 Highway, Louisburg _ Spring Valley Farm 14485 West 303rd St, Louisburg _ Wood Gate Hill 5280 West 263rd St, Louisburg 14

July 2017 |

Lythrum was just the plant I needed to make a statement. I love the tall, bright rosy-red flower spikes. Unfortunately, so do the rabbits. Every time the plants got bushy and there was hope of a flower spike, a hungry rabbit would stop by. It would be nice if the neighbor’s cat guarded this spot in my yard. But, it doesn’t and I’m on my own. Now, I plant something rabbits don’t like – alliums! When they finish flowering, I cut off the flower globes and spray paint them. Back in the garden they go, adding rabbit-proof color.

A September to Remember Garden Tour Visit unique gardens in Miami County

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Mistake #3 Not appreciating how hot the afternoon sun can be I believe there’s a difference between full sun and afternoon sun. The afternoon sun can be harsh and brutal. Especially, when accentuated by pavement or stones. In a garden on the west side of my house, divided in two by a sidewalk, I’ve learned the value of tough plants the hard way. Not every plant tagged full sun can handle afternoon sun. Some died, others got moved just in time. A variegated weigela was much happier when I moved it to the east side of the house. Russian sage, coneflowers and catmint are perfectly content with the unforgiving afternoon sun. After years of experience, when a plant dies, I try not to let it defeat me. Being a fan of Monty Python and their song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” I prefer to think of a dead plant as an opportunity for growth. It means it is time to consider something new and take a fresh approach to a landscape. Susan Mertz is owner of and board member of Gardeners Connect.

Tour tips and details _ Tickets $10 per visitor (cash or check). _ Tickets will be available at each garden on the days of the tour or can be purchased in advance at the Marais des Cygnes Extension District Paola Office or online at _ Begin your tour at any garden. _ Bring your picnic to enjoy on the lovely patio at Wood Gate Hill. _ Wear comfortable shoes. _ No pets or strollers, please. _ Look for garden related items for sale! _ Restrooms available at several locations. _ Sign up for the raffle at Green’s Natural Creations. _ Gardens maintained by Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners: • Miami County Courthouse 102 South Pearl St, Paola • Marais des Cygnes Extension District Office 104 South Brayman, Paola

The Glory of Nasturtiums Passionate about herbs, DIANA PAR-DUE reminds us of how easy it is to grow nasturtiums.


asturtiums are life enriching. They have almost water lily leaves, blooms so brightly colored your eyes almost cannot process it, and are edible as well. There are plenty of benefits to planting nasturtiums all over and the visual is just one part of that. Their visual affects bugs as well. The yellow blooms attract beetles and therefore can be planted away from your garden. The orange blooms deter some beetles and aphids so can be planted within your garden. They are a good companion plant for cucumbers, cabbage and root vegetables because of this and can also add some wonderful texture. Bright red, yellow and orange are not the only choices. Deep red, salmon and bicolor are also in the

mix of different leaf shades like creamy green, deep bluish green and variegated. Growing nasturtiums could not be easier. They can grow in many soil conditions and do not require any fertilizers, amendments or soil preparation. If you only have pots, they will thrive in pots. If you have part shade or full sun or full shade, they will find a way to flourish! They also reseed and you may find

a few plants the next year where you planted one. Don’t worry, they’re not invasive. The nasturtium is entirely edible. The leaves have a slightly peppery flavor and work wonderfully in salads, on sandwiches, or slivered on top of a meat dish. The blooms are gorgeous as garnishes on cakes, salads or hors d’oeuvres and also have a very mild pepper taste but barely noticeable and not

overpowering. Why not include a few leaves in a summer salad? Hummingbirds are likely to visit too. In your garden or on your patio, having a luxurious cascade of nasturtiums in full bloom all summer long is delightful for your eyes, taste buds and garden plants. It is one of the more stunning herbs and should not be passed over for your garden. Diana Par-Due is an avid gardener who, when not raising children, raises plants. She dreams of beekeeping and chickens one day when her town makes it legal and until then spends her time writing, reading, and studying as a mature student at a local college and making garden plans she never actually keeps.

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Bird Feeding Makes a Difference Local birding expert, THERESA HIREMATH outlines why bird feeding matters, even this time of year.


oward the end of spring, customers ask when should they stop feeding birds for the summer. I always tell them to be sure to stop feeding as soon as they no longer experience joy and wonder of the birds’ and other creatures’ funny antics. After all, the joy we get from watching the birds is why we feed them in the first place! Beyond the incredible joy bird feeding brings, new research confirms that a constant and reliable source of supplemental bird food helps improve the overall health and body condition of wild birds. This game-changing information confirms that backyard bird feeding is beneficial for wild birds! The food and housing we provide throughout the entire year can make a significant difference on

how well birds will thrive and survive in our backyards: • Summer Feeding – Feeding birds in the summer will not make them too lazy, too dependent, or keep them from migrating at the appropriate time. These misconceptions have been dispelled by modern research and observation. Contrary to popular belief, recent research shows summer to be the most abundant season for birds to visit feeders. • Winter Survival – When severe weather impacts wild food supplies, some species of birds will turn to bird feeders as a critical food source. It is during these times that feeders play their most vital role. If a storm is of long duration or extreme impact, a feeding station may mean the difference between life and death for these birds.

Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City Presents

Water Gardens 2017 24th Annual Water Garden Tour Saturday, July 8 • Sunday, July 9 9am - 5pm • Rain or Shine Tickets are $10 per person (ages 14 and older). A tour book with maps, driving directions, and host written descriptions of the gardens are included.

• Urban Survival – Bird feeders can play an important role in maintaining some populations of birds in urban areas where less natural food is available. In addition, bird feeding provides many of the following benefits for birds in our yards: • The key to the conservation of bird populations is to be found in providing the habitats needed for their natural reproduction and sustained survival. Interaction and education are the ultimate keys to conservation, because we must know something before we can

love it…and we try to protect what we love. If we learn about birds through the joy and excitement of attracting them to our yards, then we are sure to grow in our desire to protect them. • Over 100 North American bird species supplement their natural diets with bird seed, suet, fruit and nectar obtained from feeders. • Access to abundant and healthy food supplies is important to birds, regardless of the season. Bird feeders provide a portion of these important nutritional needs for your backyard birds throughout the year.

Call: 816-305-5963 • 816-861-3449 Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City

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• Birds with access to backyard feeders benefit greatly from their ability to spend less time foraging for food and more time engaging in activities that enhance their health and safety. These activities can include: • Nesting – Feeders allow breeding birds to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites and constructing higher quality nests. Adults will also have more time available for protecting their nest, eggs and young from predators. – Research studies have shown that birds with access to bird feeders will often lay their eggs earlier than those without feeders. This is significant because earlier broods typically have better rates of survival and fledging success than later broods. – When abundant food is accessible to parent birds, it means that more food is provided to their chicks. This extra nutrition

can increase the nestling’s rate of growth and reduce aggression among nest siblings. – Access to bird feeders allows breeding females to spend less time foraging which leads to better protection of eggs from predators, earlier fledging of the nestlings, and higher survival rates of the brood. • Preening – Less time spent foraging, especially during harsh weather, allows more time to keep feathers in top flight condition to avoid predators, and to insulate themselves from the elements. • Being less vulnerable to predators – Birds are vulnerable to predators while searching for food. Foraging distracts from focusing on dangers and threats of predators. Less time spent foraging means more time of vigilance in spotting a predator in order to successfully evade it. • Molting – Molting takes tremendous energy and nutrient resources for birds. The lack of an abundant and healthy food supply may result in the impaired ability to obtain the proper pigmentation for molting feathers and can lead to defects in feather formation such as being weak, frayed or curved. Go ahead, keep feeding your birds year round! It’s good for them, and brings great joy to you. If you have questions, our backyard bird feeding experts would love to help you!

Rose Rosette Workshop presented by the Kansas City Rose Society

Monday, August 21, 2017

12:00-4:00 pm Jacob Loose Memorial Park--Garden Center Kansas City, MO Registration fee: $25

The American Rose Society has identified rose rosette disease as the greatest threat to the future of commercial and recreational growth and enjoyment of roses. The Kansas City Rose Society, in conjunction with the Mid-American Green Industry Council, will present and informational workshop which will feature three nationally recognized experts in the study of the disease in order to provide attendees with the most current research and management practices on rose rosette. Speakers are: • Dr. Mark Windham, University of Tennessee at Knoxville--Plant Pathologist whose research focuses on rose rosette epidemiology and management. • Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University--Entomologist and Extension specialist in horticultural entomology who has written and presented extensively on rose rosette. • Dr. David Zlesak, University of Wisconsin at River Falls-Horticulturalist whose research focuses on woody plant pathology and breeding regionally adapted plant cultivars. The workshop fee covers all materials and a box lunch. One hour of Consulting Rosarian credit will be given for CR’s in attendance. For further information and to register visit: or contact Rob Gray at 816520-3291 or for more information.

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017


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Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, Jul 18. Will be touring the Antioch Park Gardens. Carpoolers will meet at 9am at the parking lot on the SE corner of Third Street and Cedar Street, Bonner Springs. We will visit the Helen Cuddy Rose Garden, Xeriscape Garden and the Antioch Park Memorial Arboretum. We will eat lunch at Panera Bread at 75th and Antioch before returning to Bonner Springs. All guests are welcome. For more information call Nicky Horn at 816-807-5170. Gardeners of America Mon, Jul 3, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Greater Kansas City Bonsai Society Sat, Jul 22, 11am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Mini Exhibit. 816-513-8590 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Jul 9, 1-3pm; at Rose Room, Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Meeting and demonstration. There will be tips and tricks demonstrated on growing dahlias. Members will be available to answer any questions on dahlias. 816-513-8590

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July 2017 |

Greater KC Herb Study Group Wed, Jul 12, 12pm; Rose Room at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Program This Month... Meeting at Member’s Garden in K.C area. If you would like to attend, please call for information. Lunch: Bring a side dish or dessert, main course will be provided. Don’t forget to join us on Facebook; Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Friends, visitors are welcome. Questions: Nancy, 816-478-1640 Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Jul 15, 10am-12:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Sep 9, Hospitality beginning at 9am and a brief meeting, followed by the Program at 10am; at First Lutheran Church, 6400 State Line Rd, Mission Hills, KS. Matt Evans, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, will be presenting on the symbiotic relationship between small trees and shrubs with perennial garden plants. There will be a potluck with the society furnishing the meat and members bringing a dish to share. There will be a second chance sale of lovely hostas. A raffle will be conducted and there will be door prizes! Come and bring a friend, everyone is

welcome! For more information, call Gwen 816-213-0598. KC Cactus & Succulent Society Sun, Jul 16, 1:30-4pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Coming in August also at the Loose Park Garden Center, the 39th Annual Show and Sale on Sat, Aug 12, 9am-5pm (Judged show opens to the public at 11am. Sales open at 9am.) and Sun, Aug 13, 11am-4pm. Both events are free and open to the public. Contact 816-444-9321 or for more information. Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Jul 10, 9:45am-12:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Jul 12, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Join us as we present Leavenworth County Master Gardeners Fabulous Road Trips. We will have a presentation and slide show covering the Master Gardeners two road tripsMay 2016 and April 2017. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information, contact Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. Leavenworth Garden & Civic Club Thurs, Jul 6, 10am; at 2800 S 14th St, Leavenworth, KS. We will have a speaker and a light lunch will be served. For more information, contact Mary Sue Winneke at 913-682-7480. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Jul 11, 7-8pm; at Lackman Thompson Barn, Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, 11180 Lackman Rd, Lenexa, KS. Susan Mertz, regular contributor to the KC Gardener, will present a program on the Philadelphia Flower ShowInspired Design. For more information, contact the club at or Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Jul 15, 1-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Jul 18, 12:30pm; at the Bass Pro Shop, 12051 Bass Pro Dr, Olathe, KS 660061 (I-35 to 119th, West on 119th to Renner, South on Renner, to round-about; Bass Pro will be visible on the East). A program on Flower Show Judging will be presented by Flower Show Judge, Donna Schneck, followed by a flower arrangement demonstration by Gerry Buehler. Visitors and prospective flower show participants are welcome to attend.

For further information, please contact Karen Ragland at 785-766-4678 or Caren Burns at 913-764-2061. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Jul 10, 7pm social, 7:30pm meeting; at Colonial Church, 71st & Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS, Lower level. Speaker will be Ian Fannin-Hughes, Manager of environmental programs and compliance for the city of Overland Park. He will be presenting on the Stormwater Treatment Cost-Share Program of Overland Park, and what residents can do at home to be environmental stewards in improving water quality in our region. Sho Me African Violets Fri, Jul 14, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Events, Lectures & Classes July International Lily Show Fri, Jun 30, 2-5pm, Sat, Jul 1, 9am5pm, and Sun, Jul 2, 9am-3pm; at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, 191 Westport Plaza, St Louis. A spectacular Lily Show sponsored by North American Lily Society is free and open to the public. For more information, go to http:// Plant Hunter Coming to Missouri Botanical Garden Sat, Jul 1, 1:30-2:30pm; at the Missouri Botanical Garden, 1344 Shaw Blvd, St Louis in the Shoenberg Theater. A free lecture by Dr Peter Zale, a modern-day plant hunter. The North American Lily Society is inviting the public to this keynote address “Lily Species Around the World and in Cultivation” as part of the NALS 70th Lily Show and Symposium. Dr Zale is the Curator and Plant Breeder at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Go to for more information and to for directions and admission fee to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Daylily Flower Show Sat, Jul 1, 10am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Flower show presented by MoKan Daylily Society. 816-513-8590 Daylily Open House and Tour Sun, Jul 2 and Mon, Jul 3, 9am-1pm both days; at 7460 W 255th, Louisburg, KS (1/4 mile east of Metcalf). Hart’s Daylilies annual open house. Over 800 varieties of daylilies on display. For information 913-837-5209.ˇ Swan’s Water Garden Festival Sat, Jul 8 and Sun, Jul 9, 9am-5pm both days; at Swan’s Water Gardens, 4385 W 247th St, Louisburg, KS. In coordination with the Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City’s annual Pond Tour Days, Swan’s will be celebrating our annual Water Garden Festival. Make a

stop along the tour route at Swan’s and enjoy 20% off all tropical marginal plants and tropical water lilies in stock! Come on Saturday and lunch at KC Deeyas, Louisburg’s premier food truck, serving up uncommonly delicious Mexican dishes. They will be serving up smiles from 11am to 3pm, Sat, Jul 8. www. 913-837-3510 Water Garden Tour 2017 Sat, Jul 8 and Sun, Jul 9; 9am-5pm rain or shine. Buy early to plan your personal driving tour of 40 plus gardens in Greater Kansas City and nearby communities and Lawrence. There are a variety of private gardens and Water Garden Society constructed educational water gardens for schools and nature centers. Tickets are $10 per person (ages 14 and older). A tour book with maps, driving directions, and host written descriptions of the gardens are included. Purchase tickets at all Hen House Markets and Westlake Hardware stores. www.kcwatergardens. com Fall Vegetable Gardening Wed, Jul 12, 7pm; at Basehor Community Library, 1400 158th St, Basehor, KS 66007. Loretta Craig, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener, will present “Fall Vegetable Gardening”. Now is the time to get organized for a fall vegetable garden. Many Kansas gardeners agree it is easier to grow vegetables in the fall, so come learn some of the tips and tricks to getting an abundant harvest. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. Sick Plant Clinic Sat, Jul 15, 10am-3pm; at Fairlawn Plaza Mall, Topeka, KS. The Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners will host a free, sick plant clinic. Kansas State University and local experts will provide diagnosis and treatment advice for your specific lawn and garden problems. For information on how to properly collect plant and pest specimens, pertinent questions to answer and information on our experts, please visit our lawn and garden link at: The Greens of Summer Tues, Jul 18, 9-11am; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015. Registration required beginning July 1 by calling 816-228-3766. (adults) Do you despair because you cannot seem to win the war against those pesky weeds that grow during the heat of summer? A wise philosopher once stated, “If you can’t beat them, join them!” Discover the usefulness and tastiness of purslane and other summer plants. You will never look at “weeds” in your own backyard the same way again! For more information email 816228-3766 Raised Bed Gardening Thurs, Jul 20, 7pm; at Leavenworth Public Library, 417 Spruce St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Randy Oberlin, a Leavenworth

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Workshops offered at Kansas City Community Gardens Growing and Cooking with Fresh Herbs Fri, Jul 7, noon Fresh herbs are a tasty and healthy way to enhance your cooking. Learn the best ways to grow and preserve the most popular varieties of herbs. We will cook with several easy-to-grow herbs. Bring your appetite! The Ins and Outs of Fall Gardening Fri, Jul 21, noon Gardening doesn’t end with tomatoes and zucchini. Don’t miss Kansas City’s bountiful third gardening season. You can plant in July and August for a delicious fall garden harvest! Learn the details of what and when to plant for best results. Extending the Garden Season Fri, Aug 4, noon Harvest from your garden through the fall and into the winter. This workshop will discuss season-extension techniques, such as row covers and cold frames. We will also discuss how to get your garden started earlier in the spring. All classes held at Kansas City Community Gardens, 5917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. All workshops are FREE. We do ask that you let us know you are coming. Reserve your seat at or 816-931-3877.

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The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017


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

(continued from page 19)

County Master Gardener, will give a presentation on the advantages of raised bed gardening. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. Love to Garden but hate Back Pain? Low Back Pain & Sciatica workshop/ class Sat, Jul 22, 10-11am; at Elite Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, 13157 State Line Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145 (133rd & State Line behind Starbucks). Biagio Mazza, PT will show you how to protect your back and treat low back pain/sciatica. The workshop is free and open to the public. Please register at 816-941-2550. K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center Field Day Sat., Jul 29, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Walk and talk with university experts, tour plant trials and learn about the latest varieties and methods for achieving growing success here in Kansas City’s challenging growing conditions. Urban and cultural gardening will also be showcased. Admission is $5 per person at the gate, which includes ice cold bottled water, seminars, air conditioned classes and demonstrations. The Research Center is located at 35230 West 135th Street, Olathe. The entrance is approximately nine miles west of Highway 7 on 135th Street. For a list of classes and seminars call (913) 715-7000, or visit www.

August Gardening for Bees and Butterflies Thurs, Aug 17, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present “Gardening for Bees and Butterflies” presented by Heather Holm, Author of “Pollinators of Native Plants”. Learn how to attract, observe and identify pollinator and beneficial insects with native plants. The top native plant species for different habitats will also be highlighted for both bees and butterflies including butterfly host plants. Heather Holm is a landscape designer and consultant specializing in pollinator landscapes and native landscape restorations. She studied horticulture and biology at the University of Guelph in Canada, and for the past 20 years she has worked as a horticulturist and landscape designer in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions. She is a passionate advocate for the use of native plants to attract and support pollinators, beneficial insects, and wildlife. Heather is an environmental educator and frequent presenter at conferences in the Midwest and Northeast. Free and open to


July 2017 |

the public. No registration required. Door Prizes. For further information call 816665-4456 or visit our website at mggkc. org and browse Gardeners’ Gathering. Missouri State Fair Dahlia Show Aug 18 and 19. The Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society is hosting the Missouri State Fair’s Dahlia Show. This public event is at the fairgrounds Floriculture Building, Sedalia, MO. Bring your dahlia blooms to the show or drop by to see the range of colors and shapes of dahlias on display. See for entry and show details. Greater Kansas City Iris Society Plant Sale Sat, Aug 19, 10am-3pm; at the Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes, Kansas City, MO. Hundreds of locally grown iris varieties for sale Including TB, BB, IB, SDB and MTB. Don’t know what these designations mean? Come visit us and find out or check out the American Iris Society website: or the GKCIS website: Come early for best selection!ˇ Rose Rosette Workshop Mon, Aug 21, noon-4pm; at Jacob Loose Memorial Park Garden Center, Kansas City, MO. Presented by the Kansas City Rose Society. The American Rose Society has identified rose rosette disease as the greatest threat to the future of commercial and recreational growth and enjoyment of roses. The Kansas City Rose Society, in conjunction with the Mid-American Green Industry Council, will present and informational workshop which will feature three nationally recognized experts in the study of the disease in order to provide attendees with the most current research and management practices on rose rosette. Registration fee: $25. The workshop fee covers all materials and a box lunch. One hour of Consulting Rosarian credit will be given for CR’s in attendance. For further information and to register visit: www. or contact Rob Gray at 816-520-3291 or rgray@hoerrschaudt. com for further information. Beekeeping I Wed, Aug 23 & 30, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. This is an introductory course into beekeeping. We will review the importance of honey bees in our everyday life. Participants will learn about the life cycle of the honey bee, their history, and become familiar with today’s beekeeping techniques. Fee: $49. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-4692323.

Four Season Harvests Sat, Aug 26, 9-11:30am; Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Growing nutritional edibles during the dreary fall and winter months has many advantages. Less watering, fewer bugs and weeds! Plus the bonus of fresh produce in your winter diet! Discuss the science, methods and some simple structures that work well for a small scale home garden. Learn which plants do well in the cold. Leave excited about growing in an unexpected yet productive season. Fee: $39. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-469-2323.

September thru November Beekeeping II Wed, Sep 6 & 13, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. This course offers an in depth review of current beekeeping practices. You will study beekeeping in the classroom and explore a beehive in the field. The course will give you hands on experience working a beehive. Fee: $49. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-469-2323. Master Gardener 2017 Garden Tour Sep 8-9, 9am-5pm. Sponsored by the Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners. Driving tour to visit various locations in Miami County to view some amazing garden creations by our Master Gardeners. Visit us on Facebook or call 913-294-4306. Visit the Marais des Cygnes Extension District website for more information www. Easy to Grow “Super Foods” Sat, Sep 9, 9am-12pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Growing your own “superfoods”, those considered to be powerhouses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals, can offer you super health benefits. Discover which plants are the easiest and hardiest to grow in our midwest climate. Learn which garden choices are highly nutri-

ent dense and even medicinal. Discuss methods to preserve them for year-round health benefits. Fee: $39. To enroll or to get more information please call 913469-2323. Beekeeping III Wed, Sep 20 & 27, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. This class will be a fun and active way to learn how to be a successful backyard beekeeper. We will provide the basic knowledge needed to keep and manage a healthy beehive, and produce honey and beeswax. This class will cover bee behavior, hive management, diseases, pests, swarming and how to harvest honey right from your own backyard. Fee: $49. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-469-2323. Advanced Beekeeping, Pests and Diseases Wed, Oct 4, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Explore the greatest challenges in today?s beekeeping world. You will do an in-depth study and review of beekeeping diseases and pests. Learn how to identify pests and diseases in the early stages and the best practices for treatment alternatives. In addition, review new regulations and laws that impact our bees. Fee: $29. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-469-2323. The Local Food Movement: Then and Now Sat, Nov 11, 9am-12pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Did you know Johnson County’s leading industry once was dairy farming? Now JoCo is part of Kansas City’s active food and farmer movement. Explore our farming roots and discover the myriad of resources that connect us to our local food growers including farmers? markets, farm to table, organic, urban and local trends. Learn about organizations collaborating to feed our city and the key programs that are training our next generation farmers and chefs. Fee: $39. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-469-2323.

Promote club meetings, classes, and other gardening events! Send details to: Deadline for August issue is July 7.

Annual K-State Horticulture Center Field Day July 29


hile urban gardening continues to rise in popularity, another new hot trend has appeared on the horizon — cultural gardening. Urban gardening uses containers, patios, balconies and raised beds on smaller city homes or suburban lots to satisfy peoples’ desire for home-grown fresh vegetables. With cultural gardening, many of these same gardeners are embracing their heritage through plants and creating themed gardens centered around that heritage. The K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center’s will feature these two trends along with the newest exciting horticulture introductions at their Annual Field Day Saturday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each year this research facility opens its doors to the public and invites everyone to come see the hottest and newest plants while enjoying cool educational classes in air-conditioned comfort. You can enjoy ice cold water while wandering the field trials, learning about the latest and greatest before it ever hits the garden centers. You’ll be able to talk with the experts and learn about the latest varieties and methods for achieving growing success here in Kansas City’s challenging growing conditions. 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. What you’ll see The Center conducts research in flowers, turf, and vegetables. Visitors can speak with university professors heading up the research and Johnson County K-State Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Highlights – Flower Area • Annual flower trials – Companies from around the world

submit their newest developments. This year over 500 cultivars have been planted for evaluation. 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. • Dwarf Cannas and Coleus – bigger is not always better. These hot new introductions are great for in-ground gardens but also shine in containers. Returning All Stars include Canna ‘Cannova’ and ‘Under the Seas’ Coleus. • Pollinator friendly plants – more annuals are being introduced for attracting and sustaining butterflies and pollinators. See what’s new to help be pollinator friendly. 
 • Vegetables to eat or admire – to meet the demands of urban/ suburban dwellers, 
researchers are studying vegetables suitable for small spaces and containers. The Center’s research concentrates on tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. One new interesting plant is an Ornamental Oregano ‘Kirigami.’ There will also be new ornamental peppers, corn, millet, etc. 
 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: • All-America Selections Variety Trial program – see what’s new in varieties and the trend of using more vegetables as ornamentals. Combine edibles and ornamentals for that “foodscaping” element. 
 • A shade vegetable garden demonstration and a 20-foot “home-built” high tunnel that provides environmental protection and season extension for growing produce in a back yard. 
 Highlights – Turf Area Research continues to evolve in the turf area. Growing thicker, darker and greener grass with less inputs is one focus. The K-State turf specialist will be on hand to answer your questions. • New this year – turn your backyard into a putting green or athletic field. While there join the fun! See if you can get a hole-in-one. Participate in a chipping contest, foot golf course and a simulated soccer field. Grass is more than just to look at. Find out how to grow your own playing “field.” Highlights – 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 from raised beds, vertical gardening and a new spin on the square foot concept. The garden also features a wide variety of herbs, a colorful flowering cutting garden and extensive fruit plantings. They will have the answers to your gardening questions. Cultural gardening – discover vegetables commonly used in Mexican/Hispanic, Asian, Italian and Deep South USA cuisine. Also featured are herbs commonly used in those cultures. Observe plants commonly grown in an early 1900 Kansas farmstead
garden (potatoes, beans, corn, rhubarb, peas, squash – all the old-time regulars). Be sure and check out the bee hive demonstrations and sample the fresh comb honey. Other attractions: • Fresh produce market stand from veggie research, they don’t get any fresher than this! 
 • Call Hall Ice Cream for sale. A Kansas State University Wildcat tradition! 
 • Friendly people to help you grow as a gardener and more. 
 Free soil test 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.k-state. edu to learn how to take a soil sample. At least two cups of dry soil are needed for a proper test. 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

The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017



garden calendar n Turf

• Mow bluegrass and tall fescue at 3 to 3 1/2 inches. • Mow zoysia at 1 1/2 inches. • Fertilize zoysia to encourage summer growth with a high nitrogen fertilizer. • Let grass clippings fall to return nutrients to the soil. • Be on the lookout for summer diseases such as brown patch; treat areas where it has been a problem. • Sharpen mower blades. • 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.


• Remove faded flowers from annuals to stimulate more flowers for late summer color. • Deadhead perennials to prevent seeding and encourage crown growth. • Replenish mulch layers. • Cut fresh bouquets for enjoyment. • Lightly fertilize annuals. • 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.


• 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.


• 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 in the garden and control. • Remove old raspberry canes’ after harvest.


• Keep compost pile moist for fast processing and turn occasionally. • Take photographs of the garden to document success and for future planning.

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

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Professional’s Corner

Lara Justesen

Job description: Landscape Architect offering design and consultation services; head of the lavender and cut flower division known as Swan River Farms Education, experience: Home gardener to nursery employee to plant health technician

Landscape Architect, Swan’s Water Gardens

led the path to obtaining a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and professional career in the landscape industry. Spent the first 12 years providing design and consulting work at one of Kansas City’s largest landscape architecture firms specializing in native landscapes. Now, with industry experience approaching 25 years, I am thrilled to be back to where I first gained a love of the garden, in the middle of more personal landscapes and hands-on with the plants I adore. Favorite water garden plants: While exotics don beautiful blooms, I love hardy marginals, many of which are native to our area. These plants can be tucked bare-root into rock crevices of the water’s edge and soften up the hard edge of the rock lining. They look great, filter the water, provide wildlife habitat, all with the bonus of coming back every year. What every gardener should know: The more closely we follow the patterns and methods of nature, the more successful we will be at gardening. Choosing the right plant for the right place, putting to work natural materials for weed suppression, fertilizing with compost and other natural forms of

soil enrichment are some of many keys to getting more enjoyment out of our gardens. Personal interests: When I’m not on mission in the landscape, I am on mission in the world, traveling to the continents of Africa and Asia as God allows, to help people and groups in need. I spend my Fridays studying French to help me communicate better in Francophone countries of West Africa. Little known secret: Swan’s Water Gardens is one of the best kept secrets of Kansas City. Nowhere else can one find the competitive pricing on items such as liner and underlayment, nor will they find the incredible wealth of knowledge available at Swan’s. The installation team is dedicated to creating unique, reliable, and visually stunning masterpieces for every client, with cheerful courtesy. And you’ll find the same devotion to our customers at the retail center. It’s an honor to work alongside these folks. Contact: 4385 W 247th St, Louisburg, KS 66053. Hours: Mon-Fri 9am–5pm, Sat 9am– 4pm; 913-837-3510;;; The Kansas City Gardener | July 2017


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