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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

June 2017


still king of shade plants and easy for every gardener to grow

June is Family Time for Birds Hellebores for the Garden Basils for Every Occasion Designing to Keep History Alive

From left to right: Eric, Riley “the dog”, Brock, Kevin, Miguel, and Adam

Introducing Kansas City’s premiere “Pond Squad” Twenty-three years of research and refinement of building techniques, maintenance methods and care for your water garden have resulted in a team of highly efficient, well skilled pond builders. Experience the in your water garden lifestyle and create

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We realize that you are bombarded with many companies competing for your business. Everyone claims to be the best or the only fully stocked retail center with the best products and lowest prices. Many companies just want to sell you products and leave you to deal with the mistakes that first time pond builders and water gardeners often make. We don’t think that’s right. When you entrust Swan’s Water Gardens with your business, you get more than just the materials to build and maintain your pond. You get over 23 years of pond building experience and knowledge to go with your purchase. We are going to be here to assist you with the step-by-step pond building process from start to finish. Your end result? A water garden paradise. Years of researching and installing water gardens has refined our building techniques to a level that produces the most naturalistic and easiest to maintain water garden you can have built today.

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May 30th through June 10th The tropicals are in and Running Wild BBQ will be here to help us celebrate on June 10th! Come choose from the best selection of tropical water garden plants and enjoy some BBQ from 11:30 - 1:30pm.

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The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Garden friends

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Contributors Judy Archer Dan Heims Nik and Theresa Hiremath Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Rob Mortko Dennis Patton Judy Penner Diana Par-Due Judy York 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.


June 2017 |


or those who’ve followed this column, you might remember my driveway friend, Phyllis, who moved away a few years ago. She moved to an assisted living apartment in South Dakota, and to be closer to family. She was healthy and happy with her surroundings and the staff who made her feel special. They prepared the meals, handled the laundry and cleaning. From manicures and pedicures, to having her hair done, it was just the right place for her glory days. In fact, she often said, “I only wish I had moved here sooner.” That’s quite a testimony. We both attempted to stay in touch across the miles. We sent greeting cards and notes for those special times of celebration. We traded voicemail messages when we must. And when we were lucky enough to find each other available at precisely the same time on the phone, we connected like forever friends do. We talked about the kids, the weather, our health, the neighborhood, and how much we miss our chats. I fondly remembered our ritual recently while working in the garden. From her house across the street she could see me out in the garden. With impeccable timing (just when I needed a break),

Phyllis would open the garage doors, bring two white plastic chairs to the driveway, and sit to watch me do my thing. As if on cue, I would glance her way and she’d shout, “You’re working too hard. Come sit down and rest for a minute.” To her pleasure, and mine, I’d walk across the street to share a few minutes of driveway chat. Of course, the dog and cats came too, especially to get sweet loving attention from Phyllis. I miss those days. Sadly, Phyllis passed away early last month at the age of 96, after a brief illness. Hearing this news, I was heartbroken, and the grief hit me with a jolt. It was in that moment I realized Phyllis was more than my driveway friend. She was so much more. We were neighbors for 20 years. At first it was our duty and responsibility to care for our community, especially the elderly, and Phyllis was part of that effort. My son reminded me of his responsibility when he was a teen. Every week before garbage day, he helped her take the garbage down to the curb. Of course in her gentle

and spirited way, Phyllis insisted that he take the handful of coin she offered. “Mom, look,” he said. “She made me take it.” With huge smiles, we learned of her generosity. As time marched on, we spent more time together and our relationships grew, she became part of our family. And we loved her as such. We shared flowers from the garden, which naturally brought a smile to her face. We celebrated birthdays and holidays, and of course never missed a monthly outing for lunch. For me, she was a source of kindness and appreciation. Our time together was easy and simple. Phyllis was a maternal well of simple, uncomplicated love. I am eternally grateful for our friendship and that love we shared. I like to think of Phyllis sitting in her chair on the driveway to heaven, inviting those on their journey to come sit down and rest for a minute. Comforted they will be. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue June 2017 • Vol. 22 No. 6 Rose Report ............................ 6 Ask the Experts ........................ 8 June is Family Time for Birds ................................. 10 Hellebores for the Garden ........ 12 Hostas .................................... 14 Much Loved Gardens ............... 16 Gardeners Gathering ............... 17 Basils for Every Occasion ........ 18

about the cover ...

Attracting Butterflies ................ 19 In the Garden Vaile Mansion ... 20 Designing with History ............ 21 Upcoming Events ..................... 22 Apply for the MG Program ...... 25 Garden Calendar .................... 26 Professional’s Corner ................ 27 Hotlines .................................. 27 Subscribe ............................... 27

Hostas are simple to grow, and make an eye-catching garden with plenty of color and texture. Learn more starting on page 14.



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Better feeding. Better eating.

Rose Report When it’s time to spray your roses, JUDY PENNER points out reminders for properly and safely spraying roses.


et’s brush up on some of the basics of spraying your roses. First consider the weather. If you always spray on Wednesday and the forecast calls for rain on Thursday, you should spray on Friday. Wind speed is also a consideration. If the wind is blowing like crazy then you need to pick another day to spray in order to get good coverage. Early morning while the temperature is usually cooler, and the bees and beneficial insects are not as active, would be the best time to spray your roses. Early morning is also a good time since it allows the leaves to dry before evening and last but not least, water your roses well the day before spraying so the roses will be less susceptible to leaf burn. Clothing for spraying should be long sleeves and long pants

along with rubber boots, neoprene gloves, eye protection, and a chemical respirator if you spray a lot of roses. Also a hat such as a construction hat that does not allow the chemical to penetrate is a good idea, if you have a lot of climbers and are spraying above your head. Read the label on the chemical and follow all instructions. The “more is better” theory could burn your roses. Purchase measuring cups and spoons designated for chemicals and keep them with your chemicals. When you figure out the amount of chemical you need for your garden make a chart with the amount of chemical you need per sprayer this will save time. Use spreader-sticker. It is a soap-like product that breaks the water tension and permits spreading and adhesion of the spray mate-

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Early morning while the temperature is usually cooler, and the bees and beneficial insects are not as active, would be the best time to spray your roses. rial on and to the rose foliage. Commercial products are available at your local garden centers. Mixing the chemicals is the most dangerous process, since the product is in concentrate form and splashing is possible when mixing. Wear your protective gear before you begin the mixing process to eliminate possible exposure to the chemical. I pour the chemical in the tank and then rinse the measuring cup by filling the cup with water and pouring that into the tank. I repeat this three times. Get good coverage on your roses by spraying the undersides of the leaves and then the top side of the leaves to the point of run off. Even though the wind should be low when you spray, always spray downwind away from your body

so the overspray blows away from you. When you finish spraying your roses use any leftover spray on your azaleas, lilacs or other plants (after reading the label of course) you want to make sure the tank is empty and clean. When you put the tank away, make sure the lid is on it so dirt doesn’t get into it and cause clogs. Also keep your chemicals up high away from children or better yet locked up in a cabinet. Stay safe this summer and remember to stop and smell the roses! 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 | June 2017


Ask the Experts Readers share their questions about landscape issues, and DENNIS PATTON gives expert tips and advice.


PROBLEMATIC PERENNIALS Question: How do I get rid of Miss Lingard phlox that keeps coming up everywhere? I pulled out the main plant two years ago. Argh! Dennis, what are your top 10 perennials not to plant? Answer: I feel your pain as my phlox issue is the old fashioned purple that is a pass-along plant. My grandmother grew it and now I have it everywhere. I have resorted to hand digging, pulling and Round Up. But it reseeds or suckers. I just want one or two clumps no more. It is an endless battle. As for the question which plants to avoid, this is probably a personal answer. However, based on my years of experience, here are some spreaders that may never leave your garden. Some of you will disagree with these 10 or you


might have your own to add. In no particular order: Chameleon plant (Houttuynia), Russian Sage (Perovskia), Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysimachia), Liriope spicata, Ribbon grass (Phalaris), Bishop’s weed (Aegopodium), Mints, Lamium, Garlic Chives, and Northern Sea Oats. STEPPING STONE FILLER SOLUTIONS Question: I have a path with stepping stones. What can I grow between them besides weeds and sporadic tufts of grass? I see Irish and Scott moss at the nursery. Will either of these work? The area gets full sun. Answer: Finding that right plant to fill in these small planting spaces is difficult. You see these examples work beautifully in magazines, yet it is difficult to replicate

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Creeping Jenny used as ground cover between stepping stones. in our Kansas City climate. I am not a big fan of the mosses mentioned. Our climate tends to be too dry and the sun will burn them up. Surely readers will have more ideas, but here are two quick plant selections that come to mind. The herb creeping thyme may be your go-to plant in the sun. There are a number of varieties that hug the ground and can take the sun. My other quick thought is mazus. This little known ground cover has pretty light blue flowers in the spring and then remains green over the summer. It will require moisture for best growth while the thyme will be a little more drought toler-

ant. Other thoughts, but not my first choice would be low growing sedums or Lysimachia or creeping Jenny. HOPEFUL ABOUT TOMATOES Question: My tomatoes haven’t done diddly-squat the past two years. Is it me or something else? Answer: Well diddly-squat sums up the backyard tomato crop for most of us the last couple of years. The issue has all been weather related. It is a combination of something; too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry. Gardeners are eternal optimists so let’s hope there will be a bumper crop this summer.

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Dig up daffodils as soon as foliage yellows. DAFFODIL TRANSPLANT Question: Can I dig daffodils as soon as the foliage dies down or do I need to wait until fall to transplant? Answer: My recommendation is to dig the clump as soon as the foliage yellows. This lets you know where the clump is located and gets the project underway. As for replanting you can either hold in a cool dry location and plant in the fall or immediately find them a new home in the garden. When replanting it is a good time to divide and sort. Plant group by common size. About six to eight bulbs makes a nice clump for next year and should be fine for a number 
of years without dividing again. WEED TREATMENT AND CONTROL Question: I didn’t get my weeds sprayed this spring. Can I still spot treat this summer? I see Round Up now makes a weed killer for lawns. Do you recommend it? Answer: Two questions in one. As for treating weeds, yes you can spot treat this summer. Remember that a weed must be actively growing. Many spring weeds will be dormant or their season will be over. Spot treating is the best way to control weeds as it limits the amount of herbicide. Remember it is always right product for the right weed.

As for the Round Up for lawn products; I have looked at the label and it contains excellent herbicides for local weeds. My concern is someone will see the Round Up name and use the Glyphosate product (kills all actively growing plants) and treat their lawn with desired outcomes. Dead spots will be the result. Be sure to read the label and get the correct formulation for the task at hand. If you read and follow the label then it should do the trick for weed control. DOWNEY MILDEW Question: Is downy mildew air borne or soil borne? If I plant impatiens in containers will they escape the fungal infection? Answer: Yes, downy mildew are air and soil borne. The disease comes into the garden on infected plants. The spores then remain for years in the soil just waiting for the next crop. The spores move either by a splash of water short distances or they blow longer distances on air currents. Unfortunately a raised container will probably not prevent an infection if the weather patterns are conducive. Downy mildew effects the Impatiens walleriana, the common bedding plant. New Guinea Impatiens or other species are not affected by this nasty disease. Since you are planting in containers and like impatiens I would use one of the resistant types such as the New Guinea or Sunpatiens. They are more costly but will thrive in the containers and provide a nice display. 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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The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017


June is Family Time Fledglings abound, with adult birds in full parent mode. THERESA HIREMATH describes what to watch for.


une is a great month to look for baby birds at your feeders. Many of your backyard birds have had their first brood and might even be working on their second this time of year. If you’ve noticed some different looking birds or behaviors at your feeders, you’re witnessing new families bringing their fledglings out into the world! Here are some characteristics and behaviors to look for when watching these fledgling birds as they begin to leave the nest: Fledglings are about the same size as adults, but often their plumage color is muted and similar to adult females. Fledglings sometimes also sport a quite rumpled appearance. In some species, fledglings’ tails are shorter than the adults’, because the tail feathers are still

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growing. A recent research study demonstrated that supplemental bird feeding provides a direct nutritional benefit that supports higherquality feather growth for birds like these fledglings. Baby birds beg by flapping their wings and squawking loudly with wide open beaks. Unlike many other species, you can recognize Downy and other woodpecker fledglings by their fresh and dapper plumage, whereas that of the adults is worn and dusky from their repeated trips in and out of the nest hole. Chickadee fledglings follow their parents to the bird feeder and perch nearby as the parents go to get food. They either wait, looking like they are waiting to be served, or they call incessantly “teeship teeship” and flutter their wings until fed. After one to three weeks, the parents stop feeding their fledglings and may even peck at them if they persist in begging for food. During nesting season, adult birds need high energy foods to help them keep up with the demands of their youngsters. Some foods are better than others for new fledglings. Insects are highly favored, so live mealworms are attractive to parents feeding young. Spreadable suet and suet bits are also excellent food choices as they are highly nutritious, easily carried, and easily swallowed. As nest-

Woodpeckers love suet with fruit added for extra energy. ing season progresses, continue to offer suet that contains calcium and consider switching to “no-melt” suet doughs as the summer temperatures kick in. Mockingbirds, cardinals, and woodpeckers love suet with fruit added for extra energy. You can also feed fresh fruit by itself to your birds. Tanagers, orioles, woodpeckers and grosbeaks love oranges and apples, and may bring their babies to your feeder. Robins, starlings, and waxwings prefer dried fruit. Black oil sunflower is also an excellent feeding option, with its

high oil and fat content. Adult birds often crack open the black-oil sunflower shell and feed the meat inside to their young. If you don’t want any sprouting or the mess of shells in your yard, use sunflower chips or a no-mess blend that has a high percentage of black oil sunflower chips. Shelled nuts are great to add to your mix of birdseed, but woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches may come more often to a feeder offering only shelled nuts. Adult woodpeckers will bring their young to your nut feeders, and will break peanuts into little pieces for their baby, who is impatiently clinging to the side of a tree. Baby woodpeckers often make a lot of noise to encourage their parents to feed them, so listen for their chatter. If you haven’t already done so, keep your birdbaths filled with fresh water, and add an agitating device to keep the mosquitos at bay. This is an interesting and exciting time of year for bird watching as you observe both parenting and juvenile antics at your feeders, so take the time to enjoy the show! If you have any questions, our backyard birdfeeding experts would love to help you! Nik and Theresa Hiremath own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

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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 Bus tours available. 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. Proceeds benefit construction of educational and restorative water gardens and other educational programs in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Call: 816-305-5963 • 816-861-3449

Tickets available NOW at all Hen House Markets, Westlake Hardware stores and Grass Pads, and at the following locations: at all Hen House Markets, all Westlake Hardware stores, and all Grass Pads

Brothers Fish and Pets, Kansas City, MO City Pets & Ponds, Kansas City, MO Colonial Nursery, Blue Springs, MO Creekside Market, Raymore, MO Earl May Garden Center, Shawnee, KS Family Tree Nursery, Shawnee, KS Family Tree Nursery, Overland Park, KS Family Tree Nursery, Liberty, MO Full Features Nursery, Smithville, MO

Heartland Nursery, Kansas City, MO Homestead Nursery, Leavenworth, KS House of Rocks, Kansas City, KS Kansas City Pond & Water Gardening, KCMO Planters Seed Co., Kansas City, MO Randy’s Lakeview Nursery, Lee’s Summit, MO Rosehill Gardens, Martin City, MO Soil Service Garden Ctr & Nursery, KCMO Suburban Lawn and Garden, Leawood, KS


Suburban Lawn and Garden, Kansas City, MO Suburban Lawn and Garden, Lenexa, KS Swan’s Water Gardening, Louisburg, KS Van Liew’s, Kansas City, MO Waldo Grain Company, Kansas City, MO Water’s Edge, Lawrence, KS Wild Bird Center, Independence, MO

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Leave a response card at any tour stop, and you’ll automatically be entered in drawings. Prizes supplied by Union Station and House of Rocks.

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The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017


Hellebores for the Garden


ellebores are a great group of perennials that are bestknown for their large, early flowers, ease of culture, and great deer-resistance. While needing decent drainage, they are not fussy plants and will continue to grow and produce more flowers over time. Most varieties are quite tolerant of shade, but would do much better having a few hours of morning sun and protection from the hot Kansas sun in the afternoon. Most hellebores available today are from the Helleborus hybridus group, which includes single and doubleflowered forms in an exciting color range that runs from snow-white through pale-yellow, pink-spotted and picoted-edge forms to slateblues and near-blacks! In the garden, these plants provide an evergreen groundcover that

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June 2017 |

‘Onyx Odyssey’ can even bloom in the snow. While needing some water in summer, they are relatively drought-tolerant and seem to adapt to growing amongst tree roots in darker corners of the yard. They flower in step with the first crocus and daffodils and can be an important source of pollen and nectar for the early-

Photos courtesy of

Expert DAN HEIMS promotes the characteristics of Hellebores, that offer color and texture to the landscape.

‘Peppermint Ice’ emerging pollinators. Varieties of another species, Helleborus niger, also called the Christmas Rose, bloom on shorter plants that can actually bloom around Christmastime. These are typically white-flowered and can fade to pink like trilliums. New hybrids form a third group originating in Germany, the U.S. and England that are quite exciting with major vigor, huge blooms, and interesting foliage that can be mottled with a silvery white or even a metallicred. Helleborus ‘Honeyhill Joy’, H. ‘Anna’s Red’, H. ‘Penny’s Pink’, and H. ‘Winter Moonbeam’ are four examples of great plants available by tissue culture. Sterility is a factor that keeps these plants vigorous and less weedy. In containers, hellebores give a great show in the

earliest pots of the season, bridging the gap between Christmas and spring. The following are four varieties of Helleborus hybridus bred by masters Ernie and Marietta O’Byrne of Northwest Garden Nursery and the late Jim Metzger. Helleborus x hybridus WINTER JEWELS™ ‘Peppermint Ice’ These large, double, pink-edged picotee flowers are so sweet! The flowers are a fluffy, light-pink color with a rim of darker-pink edging. Strong, evergreen foliage and early flowers make this a delight in the winter garden. While it can take full sun, it is also quite shade-tolerant and deer-resistant! These plants increase in width with more flowers each year. Plants will

‘Honeyhill Joy’

‘Golden Lotus’ produce seeds that will not produce identical plants. Tatty foliage can be removed in winter or spring. Seed heads can be removed to minimize seedlings and put their energy into next year’s leaves and flowers. Helleborus x hybridus WINTER JEWELS™ ‘Onyx Odyssey’ This plant is a dark voyage into the world of doubled-slate, purple and black flowers. Longlasting bloom color, which doesn’t fade to green, makes this strain a better value in the retail store and the landscape. We have seen the outer tepals persist even into the summer months! One of the world’s top hybridizers, Marietta O’Byrne, has created this wonderful WINTER JEWELS™ Strain. It is a delight in the winter garden and is deer-resistant! Pair this with

Primula ‘Gold-laced Selections’ and Dicentra (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) ‘Gold Heart’ for a stunning, spring garden bed. Helleborus x hybridus WINTER JEWELS™ ‘Golden Lotus’ Charming, cool-gold, lotus-like flowers adorn this vigorous plant. Many of these double yellows will have red-picoted edges and red streaking on the backs as well. Maintenance is similar as with H. ‘Peppermint Ice’, as this is a prodigious seeder. It looks amazing when paired with Corylopsis spicata (Winter Hazel) and Lysismachia nummularia ‘Aurea’–the Golden Moneywort.

tered, white flowers over vigorous, shiny, blue-tinged foliage. Plant ‘Honeyhill Joy’ at your entry to enjoy the exceptionally early, long show of marvelous, late-winter blooms. Foliage is exceptionally weather-resistant, almost like plastic! It blooms early, after its first winter, in a 4” pot and tolerates full sun or shade. This was selected from hundreds of seedlings for vigor and ease of culture. New, clean-looking foliage eventually

covers the old flowers. Great plant at an entry or in the landscape. Dan Heims, president of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc., has been deeply involved in all facets of horticulture. He has taught horticulture courses, wholesaled exotic plants, run his own design-andinstallation landscape business, and currently writes and speaks at venues both domestic and international.

Helleborus x nigercors ‘Honeyhill Joy’ This hybrid from Honeyhill Farms is exceptional for its quantities of large, outfacing, cream-cen-

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The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017



still king of shade plants and easy for every gardener to grow Local expert, ROB MORTKO discusses all things hosta, especially the keys to success in growing hostas.


June 2017 |

done for the world of giant hostas. New to hostas? Not a problem. Visit our website for the top 25 most popular hostas as voted annually by the American Hosta Society membership. These are all easy to grow and perform well across the country. The top two in popularity – ‘June’ and ‘Sagae’ – have remained in the number 1 and 2 slots for many years for good reason. Keys to Hosta Success – location, soil prep and water, water, water In the overall plant kingdom, hostas are easy for every gardener to grow and enjoy. It is important to stress that, while they tolerate shade, they prefer more light than most realize. For optimum growth locate your hosta where they will get some morning sun and then are shaded from the hot afternoon sun. While solid green and blue colored hostas will perform well in full shade, variegated cultivars especially those with a substantial amount of white in the leaf really need some morning sun to survive. And gold or yellow hostas will always be a brighter color with some morning sun. Besides planting location, the two keys to success for growing hostas in KC are good soil prep and adequate moisture. Unlike many perennials, hosta never need to be divided so good soil prep in advance of planting will pay huge dividends for years to come. Hostas like plenty of moisture, but not wet feet. Good drainage is the key. Our

typical native clay soil holds moisture, but doesn’t drain well. That’s where organic matter (compost, sphagnum, etc.) is the key. Be liberal in incorporating organic matter into your beds. While rain has been plentiful this spring, we will most likely be praying for rain in another month or so. Hostas like 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week during the growing season. When July and August brings the invariably hot and dry weather, get out the hose to provide the additional moisture. Hostas rarely wilt and don’t give us the warning sign that they need water. Unfortunately, we don’t Photo by Jane Deckert.

Why Hostas Hostas continue to reign as the king of shade plants. In fact, they remain the top selling perennial in the country, surpassing the everpopular daylily by a factor of two in sales volume. Hostas tolerate shade where many plants do not. But why are hostas so popular? How many of you grow a perennial for that 2 week period where you can enjoy the flower blooms, and then simply tolerate the plant the rest of the season? With hostas it’s just the opposite. You can tolerate the flowers for 2 weeks (although even that is changing), but you get to enjoy fabulous foliage the entire growing season. Imagine a range of hosta sizes from a single leaf measuring 1” across to a giant measuring 28” across; clump sizes ranging from 6” tall minis to 50” tall giants that may spread up to 10 feet; leaf shapes ranging from very narrow and elongated, to completely round; foliage colors of solid green, yellow and blue, and then adding white and cream for variegated combinations; and flowers that are fragrant with many cultivars. And, if that isn’t enough, the latest in hostas – red and orange colored leaves and red and yellow flowers add even more options. Among the 7000 or so named cultivars there is a hosta for every location in your garden. In recent years, the most popular hosta selections have gone to the two extremes – mini and giants. What ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ did for the world of mini hostas, ‘Empress Wu’ has

see the effect until the following spring when they emerge smaller, not larger. While fertilizer can push growth, fertilizing in the spring can be counterproductive if hosta are not watered well during the summer. If you do opt to fertilize, make a commitment to water all summer long to support the additional growth. Rob Mortko, along with his wife Sheri, own and operate Made in the Shade Gardens specializing in hostas and located in Olathe, KS. Visit their website at www.

Opposite page: ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ Below: Differing colors and textures are complimentary in this hosta bed.

Above: Empress Wu Photo by Walters Gardens, Inc.

cap the Friday evening activities. Saturday June 24th will include a wide variety of hosta gardens in the Johnson County area. You will also get a tour of the only hosta tissue culture lab in the area with the hot hostas of tomorrow on display (yet-to-be-released new introductions from the country’s top hybridizers) plus two featured Master Gardener demo gardens. The convention includes three banquet meals at the hotel – all catered by the fabulous Grand Street Café. Registration also includes an exclusive convention only plant – aptly named Hosta ‘Ahhhs’. For more details and to register, visit the convention website at: www.2017KCHostaConvention. com. We hope you will join us. Beware though, hostas can be addictive. But at least you will be in good company, surrounded by hostaholics from across the Midwest.

Above: June; Below: Sagae Photo by Rob Mortko.

Want to learn more about hostas? You are in luck. For the first time ever, hosta enthusiasts will come together this summer in KC for the Midwest Regional Hosta Convention. The general public is welcome to register for the event. The theme of the convention is appropriate – “Hostas in the Land of Ahhhs”. The three-day event is scheduled for June 22–24 at the brand new Hyatt Place Lenexa Convention Center located at 87th and I-435. You would expect an event organized and hosted by the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardeners to be fun and educational along with some great food. There will be seven speakers on June 22nd. A Hosta Show allows you to enter your best hosta leaves and container grown hostas that will be judged and ribbons given to the best entries. There will be some incredible garden tours in the Topeka area on Friday June 23rd. A rare hosta and plant auction will

Photo by Virginia Skaggs.

Regional Hosta Convention Coming to Kansas City

The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017


Much Loved Gardens By Judy York “Colorado Home” Garden If you want to see a garden like nothing else in the Metro area, come to near Parkville to find a little pocket of Colorado–right down to the pines, aspen, a mountain creek, and mama and baby bears. Really. You won’t find a more peaceful mountain lodge scene unless you drive hundreds of miles to the mountains. The garden owners once dreamed of retiring to Colorado, but with generational family in the metro area and five children scattered across the U.S. and France,

they decided to stay put to make coming-home visits more manageable for the kids. Still, the heart wants what the heart wants, so what could they do but bring Colorado to Missouri? First, they planted aspens and pines in the front and back yards. Second, they planted columbine everywhere because it’s Colorado’s state flower, and for that they’re rewarded with a beautiful blanket of columbine blossoms every spring. Third, they planted wildflowers, daisies, and selected annuals for summertime pops of color.

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They note that the columbines and some butterfly bushes are perennial favorites of theirs. Trees and plants were a grand start, but they weren’t done. Next came a lovely mountain stream, then a bubbling boulder fountain, and finally, the crowning touch– bears!–at least the safe kind. They added a large bear silhouette plus statues of a mama bear and her babies near the stream. A landscaper had suggested finishing off with a backyard creek, and they were instantly hooked on the idea after he showed them a finished creek at another client’s home. Now the picture was complete. Nothing says Colorado like wildlife near a mountain stream nestled among aspens and pines. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing from day one, and the garden owners say they are still learning. They had wanted to leave the backyard forest mostly natural, but the sheer numbers of stick-tights and burrs on their dogs convinced them to clear away pathways and make room for annuals. Growing

as many pines as possible is still an enduring goal, but unfortunately, some pines have had to be replaced over the years. They say the experimenting goes on, and they continually look for new plants for the front and back yards. “My Happy Place” Garden The garden owner considers this her therapy garden and has aptly named it “My Happy Place”. “A labor of love” defines this garden completely. Not everyone is visionary enough to fashion a shady landscape from a nearly full-sun yard with just two trees, but the garden

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owners were. They began by planting more trees and upgrading the landscape beyond the strip of plants in front of the house. Because their space is rather confined, they had to pair beauty with practicality. To camouflage a white gas pipe, they added a berm. To keep mulch from washing and blowing, they added rock walls and paths. To minimize upkeep, they planted smaller plants that need minimal trimming. To add interest, they used fencing to support their lilies and irises. If a plant needs a different setting, out come the shovels, because the right plant in the right place makes all the difference. Why let a plant languish if it could thrive elsewhere? Just hearing them describe their cherished plants makes a person smile. They love their magnificent Magnolia; they love-love-love their multiple trunk River Birches; they’re excited about their Oakleaf Hydrangea and hope it’s happy under the ash tree. They enjoy the Althea (Rose of Sharon) and all of the flowers as they bloom throughout the summer. The Fire Chief Arborvitae are cute and the Amur Maple makes them happy. The dwarf fountain grass is an all-time favorite. Of course, practical considerations matter, too. They like the easy maintenance that comes along with a slow-growing mugo

The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City will guide you through a “Garden and Pioneer Home Tour of Atkins-Johnson Farm” in Gladstone, Thursday, June 15, 2017, 6:30 pm. The farm is located at 6607 NE Antioch Road, Gladstone, MO 64119. Once home to many people from 1824-2004, this small family farm stands as a wonderful reminder that farms of the past are still present and will always have stories to share. Discover a home that began as a single-room log cabin with a half-story sleeping loft. Enjoy the beautiful acres of preserved farmland, walk the trail to the historic Big Shoal Cemetery and look for wildlife along the way. Explore what’s growing as you visit the heirloom garden, apple orchard, or pumpkin patch. Free and open to the public. Registration for this event is required. For further information call 816-665-4456 or visit our website @ and browse Gardeners’ Gathering.

pine. They can’t wait for the shade that their Red Oak tree should provide by the driveway now that it has been moved and has taken off in its new location. Their reward is a lovely, quaint garden. Neighbors surely appreciate that it is located right by the neighborhood entrance because it provides a neat, appealing welcome to the community Join us for the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Garden Tour, June 9 and 10, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For further information about the gardens on the tour, and where to purchase tickets, visit www. under the “Garden Tour” heading. Master Gardeners is a program of the University of Missouri, an equal opportunity/ ADA institution. Judy York is a Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City

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The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017


Basils for Every Occasion Passionate about herbs, DIANA PAR-DUE reminds us to look deeper into the ever-popular varieties of basil.


e’re all familiar with sweet basil. The tender, light green leaves that top the caprese salads and margherita pizzas tasting lightly of anise and reminding us immediately of summer. I’m not here to downplay that beautiful relationship with basil but ask only that you look deeper into this herb to experience the many colors, textures and flavors at your fingertips. First, let’s explore the functionality of basil in your herb garden. When looking for flavor alone, there are many fun varieties of basil to enjoy in your pesto, salads, sandwiches and teas. Genovese, lettuce leaf, purple ruffle and aroma all fall under the sweet basil category with slightly different leaf shapes and sizes. Flavored basils like lemon, lime and thai are also wonderful for

Thai Basil Siam Queen

Greek Columnar Basil

Genovese Basil

eating and are a dynamic addition to dishes. Basil doesn’t stop there! Ornamental varieties like Magical Michael have bright green leaves and deep purple blooms. Boxwood has tiny leaves and a compact shape that works well as a border in your garden but also thrives in pots. Holy basil is aromatic in a way unique among basils which makes for wonderful tea when dried.

Another big part of your garden that can benefit from basil is that it attracts bees and other pollinators which is important in creating a strong pollinator presence. Without them you cannot grow fruits and vegetables. making your garden a pollinator haven benefits more than just your plants but supports a broader ecosystem as well, especially now that bees are endangered. Cultivating basil can be easy as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. Don’t plant basil too early. It will not survive a frost but even temperatures below fifty degrees Fahrenheit will damage the delicate leaves and stunt growth. Keep the soil moist as basil is sensitive to drought and harvest the leaves before the plant begins to flower. You can delay the blooms

by cutting stalks down mid season or by growing Greek columnar basil which does not go to flower. Some basils reseed on their own. However, if you want to grow most varieties from seed, they must be started indoors a few weeks before moving them outdoors in warmer weather. More than 30 varieties of basil can be enjoyed and are available to grow here in zone 6. Try something new this year!

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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. 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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Attracting Butterflies: Beyond Flowers LENORA LARSON teaches gardeners how to attract those butterflies that prefer fruit and sap.

Nectar-feeders Across the U.S., experienced butterfly gardeners report little to no success with store-bought butterfly feeders and artificial nectar. However, many butterflies will readily come to sponges and plastic pot scrubbers soaked in sports drinks and set out on a plate in a sunny spot. Keep the sponges moist, but not sopping wet since butterflies are like felines, they hate to get their feet wet. Fruit Plates Installing a plate at the sunny edge of a path or on a porch railing allows easy access for re-filling and viewing. Popular butterfly choices include partially rotted citrus fruits sliced crosswise and melon rinds, especially watermelon. Peeled bananas can be softened by freezing them. When thawed, they are black and mushy, perfect for a butterfly’s tongue. Occasionally spritz the rotting fruit with water to keep the surfaces moist. Remember, the butterflies are not eating, they are drinking so gooey is good. Alan

Photo by Kathy Ayers.

Photos by Lenora Larson.


ou’ve planted a wide array of caterpillar food plants and have nectar-rich flowers blooming from March to November. Butterflies swirl among your sun-drenched garden all summer long. Is there anything else you could do to attract even more butterflies? Yes, several very flashy butterflies do not drink nectar and never visit flowers. They prefer running tree sap, rotting fruit and/ or the ambrosial liquid on the surface of a fresh turd. A turd would be unattractive and unsanitary, but you can provide fruit and sap substitutes. Even nectar-drinkers will flock to these alternate beverages, but be forewarned, the butterflies will not be drinking alone. A variety of beautiful flies, bees and wasps will come to the nectar substitutes. Since these insects are focused on food, they are not aggressive and if watched without prejudice, they too are charming.

A Viceroy joins the Goatweed Leafwing on a fruit plate. Branhagen laughs as he describes visitors’ complaints about Powell Gardens’ conservatory serving only rotten fruit to the tropical butterflies! But of course that’s what butterflies like, and if the fruit ferments into an alcoholic beverage, the butterflies do not complain. The Banana Hook Impale a partially peeled banana on a hook, even a coat hanger can be twisted to perform this duty. I hang mine from a tree branch, positioned for easy photography of the many visitors. However, Rocky Raccoon also likes rotting fruit, so set the dangle out of his reach. Mung, a Sap Substitute This sticky mixture can be painted as bait on tree trunks or dispensed as a small puddle on the fruit plate. The recipe is easy: ½ cup molasses, a peeled banana and enough beer to make a thin liquid. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth and let ferment at room temperature for 5 days. I store mine for months in the refrigerator, using a squeeze bottle for easy dispensing. Better Bartending Your flowers are the butterflies’ saloon. By adding alternate beverages to the menu, you open the door to non-nectar drinkers like Goatwing Leafwings and Hackberry Emperors. Because you can locate the feeders for your convenience, opportunities for viewing and photography will be greatly improved.

Red-spotted Purples gathered for slurping rotten apples.

Commas, Question Marks and Common Wood Nymphs crowd this hooked banana.

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The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017


In the Garden at Vaile Mansion Arboretum There’s a newly-designated arboretum in Independence, and SUSAN MERTZ shares her experience when last visited. from England cared for the estate’s topiaries. Annuals were grown in the greenhouse. Designated a Level 1 arboretum by the ArbNet Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, the property is now five acres owned by the City of Independence. Charlotte Olejko, Parks Recreation and Tourism Horticulturist, and Ted Lange are part of the team that led the effort of the property receiving the arboretum designation. Comprised of volunteers, the Arboretum Committee (City Tree Commission and Vaile Landscape Committee) is dedicated to the rejuvenation of the property and adherance to the criteria of the arboretum designation. A community effort, boy scouts help with mulching and the Heartland Tree Alliance has assisted with pruning trees.

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Eighty-six trees are on the property, including a red buckeye, crabapples, redbuds, Crimson King Norway maple, sugar maples, little leaf lindens, Concolor fir, Black Hills spruce and the state champion smoketree. A Liberty elm from the Elm Research Institute was planted in 2002 near the front entrance. The shrubs and perennials on the property are representative of the plantings of the 1880s and 1890s. Bridal wreath spireas mark the edge of the property on one side of the house. Quince is planted on either side of the gate at the entrance. As the landscape is rejuvenated, old postcards are reviewed to be certain the original plan for the property is taken into consideration. There are times when it is more appropriate to use newer cultivars with the new plantings. Rather than use common purple lilacs, Miss Kim lilacs have been planted along the fence at the front of the property. Annabelle hydrangeas are planted in front of the house. In celebration of receiving the arboretum designation, an Arbor Day Photo by Susan Mertz.


he towering sugar maples are a good reminder that the journey to becoming an arboretum at the Vaile Mansion began in the 1880s. It was then that Colonel and Mrs. Harvey Vaile built a three story estate in Independence, Mo. In the Second Empire architectural style, their 31 room home was unlike any other in the area. Perhaps, the entire Midwest. Features include marble fireplaces, painted ceilings, gas fixtures and running hot and cold water made possible with a 6,000 gallon water tank. Thousands of trees were planned for the expanse of the property. North of the house was a spring fed lake with an island, boat house, bridges and fairy grottoes. Ten acres around the house, planted out in a European manner, were kept manicured by four gardeners. A gardener

program is planned for June 3 in conjunction with the Vaile Mansion’s annual Strawberry Festival. Free trees will be given away along with a drawing for larger trees. Chuck Connor, certified arborist, will present both the Tree City USA and Tree Line USA designations. Information will be available on the “right tree, right place” and demonstrations on how to plant a tree, mulch and prune. Strawberry Festival activities include vintage cars, antiques, collectibles and, of course, strawberry treats. Join garden writer Susan Mertz for tours and photographs of gardens at

Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Present

2017 Garden Tour “Beautiful Gardens Of Southern Platte County”

June 9 & 10 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Rain or Shine Tickets are $15. Children 12 & under free. Cash and checks only at the gardens. Tickets available May 8 at various outlets and online via PayPal. MU: An equal opportunity/ADA institution Proceeds benefit Master Gardener community projects.

Designing to Keep History Alive A design approach with family heritage and natives in mind, JUDY ARCHER reveals her recent project.


hen I’m hired to design a client’s yard, I start by asking a lot of questions. It helps me to see their vision and what type of style they lean towards. Are they avid gardeners, what colors do they prefer? Do they have kids, dogs, an active lifestyle? What is their goal? The same approach was used when my mother- and father-inlaw asked me to design their home landscape in southeast Kansas. I quickly learned that they wanted to keep the design very similar to the heritage of the area. They told me that in 1865, Sergeant James Thomas Archer with the 7th Tennessee Regiment of Calvary was discharged to Nashville, Tenn. from the Civil War. He married Sarah Jane and they started a family. In 1882 they loaded up the covered wagon and headed west to buy land. Sarah and James settled in southeast Kansas, Cherokee County, just outside of Galena. They bought 116 acres of farm land and began raising cattle and row crops. To this day, that land is still in my husband’s family. Five generations of Archers have called this land their home. Now my inlaws live there and also raise cattle within a few hundred yards from the original homestead. The Archer Farm has been recognized by the Kansas State Board of Agriculture as a Kansas Traditional Farm because it has been farmed or lived on by members of the same family for more than 100 years. My goal was to keep the history alive since this region is part of the Tennessee Prairie, which has seen many changes in the last 135 years. With that in mind, I chose to use native perennials. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a drought tolerant perennial in the Sunflower family. It is a popular plant, perfect for small gardens or large prairie meadows. It blooms light purple for up to two months in late summer. Butterflies, bees and hum-

Black-eyed Susan

New England Aster

mingbirds love it. Once blooming is complete and it goes to seed, it will attract goldfinches and other birds. The seeds of this easy to grow perennial are often used in larger land restoration projects. Plants of the Echinacea genus were used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. You can still buy this at the pharmacy today. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is also in the Sunflower family and can be found growing naturally in all 48 states. It produces large, black eyed, daisy like yellowish-golden blooms. It flowers in late summer into early fall and attracts bees and butterflies. Growing up to 3 feet in height, Buckley Beardtongue (Penstemon buckleyi) blooms pale blue to lavender spikes in April and May. It holds a special value to native bees. Pollination ecologists indicate this plant as attracting large numbers of native bees. Rose Verbena (Glandularia canadensis), blooms May to August and can reach up to 1 ½ foot tall. It’s a clumping and sprawling plant that can spread rather quickly. The bloom is rose pink to rose purple, in flat-topped clusters. Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), is the Kansas Native Plant Society 2017 Wildflower of the Year. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and has yellow blooms with a reddish brown center. It blooms from June through September. New England Aster (Aster symphyotrichum novae-angliae), bluepurple to lavender-pink blooms in

late summer to fall with yelloworange centers. It provides a nectar source for pollinators, especially Monarchs before they head off to Mexico. Bees and butterflies are attracted to this plant. This Aster can grow up to 6 feet. Kansas Gay Feather (Liatris pycnostachya), bees, butterflies and

birds love this plant. It has a violet/ lavender purple bloom spike, that can reach anywhere from 2-4 feet in height. Deer and rabbit resistant. I will be using all these natives throughout their acreage and throw in a few native grasses also. I can’t forget some of those childhood memories of peonies, white bearded iris and morning glories too. There are so many new perennials to use along with the natives. Mixing the old with the new will hopefully help keep all the old memories alive but also add new ones for the grandchildren who, someday, will be the 6th and 7th generation on the homestead. Judy Archer, Landscape Designer and Sales Manager at Complete Outdoor Expressions. You may reach her at 913-669-4682.


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Straight From Our Farm

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

Stop by our Farm Direct Garden Store early summer. We will have special low every day pricing on select plants grown at our farms.

locally grown • hand picked • extraordinary selection

Club Meetings African Violet Club of GKC Tues, Jun 13, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590

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June 2017 |

Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, Jun 20 meeting will be a tour of four gardens in the Lawrence, Kansas area. We will leave at 9am from the parking lot at the SE corner of Third St and Cedar St in Bonner Springs to carpool. Everyone is welcome. The group will have lunch in Lawrence and return mid-afternoon. Non-members contact Nicky Horn at 816-807-5170 if you would like to join us. Greater Kansas City Bonsai Society Sat, Jun 10, 9am-12pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816513-8590 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Jun 11, 1-3pm; at Rose Room, Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Meeting and demonstration. There will be a demonstration on getting your dahlias off to a good start. Members will be available to answer any questions on dahlias. 816-513-8590 Greater KC Herb Study Group Wed, Jun 14, 12pm; Rose Room at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Program: Herb Garden Work Day. Wear your favorite gardening hat, dress for some light gardening, bring gloves and your favorite hand tools. After the business meeting and lunch, we will head out to our Herb garden at Loose Park for some quick maintenance and planting. If you have some extra herbs from your garden, or want to purchase some to donate, that would be very helpful. This is a great opportunity to learn to identify herbs, experience their fragrance and see them growing. Many people enjoy our garden as a part of the beautiful park. Lunch: Sack lunch; bring your own lunch and drink. Don’t forget to join us on Facebook: Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group. Friends, visitors are welcome. Questions: Nancy, 816-478-1640 KC Cactus & Succulent Society
 Sun, Jun 18, 1:30-4pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Visitors are welcome. For more information, contact Eva at: 816-444-9321

or Visitors and members alike are also encouraged to check out the KCC&SS’ newly restored hardy cactus bed just southwest of the Garden Center in Loose Park. Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Jun 14, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Kim Criner, Education and Outreach Coordinator with University of Kansas Center for Sustainability, will talk about the sustainability program at the University of Kansas. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. Leavenworth Garden & Civic Club Thurs, Jun 1, 10am; in the garden at 820 4H Rd, Lansing, KS. There will be a speaker and a light lunch will be served. For details, contact Mary Sue Winneke, 913-682-7480. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Jun 13, 7-8pm; will tour the garden of Irma and Fernando Starr, Kansas City, MO. Irma Starr, worldrenowned potter, will have her pottery on display as well. For more information, contact the club at lenexa. or www. MOKAN Daylily Society Sun, Jun 25, 1:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Our speaker this month is Susan Mertz. Her topic will be “Visiting National and International Gardens”, which will include a wonderful slide presentation. Everyone is welcome. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Jun 20. Members and guests will meet at 9:30am in the East Gate Shopping Center parking lot, 1229 E Santa Fe, Olathe, KS 66061 (near Sherwin-Williams). Members will car pool to Washington Creek Lavender Farm, 858 E 800 Rd, Lawrence, KS 66047 for the meeting and lunch. Karen Ragland will lead a tour of the farm. Visitors are welcome to attend. For further information please contact Karen Ragland at 785-766-4678 or Caren Burns at 913-764-2061. Orchid Society of GKC Sun, Jun 11, 1:30-4:30pm. Special meeting at Bird’s Botanicals, in “The Plant Cave”. A fascinating speaker, Leon Glicenstein of “Glicenstein’s Monsters”, some of the unusual hybrids made at Hoosier Orchids and

later. Come join the fun. See us on the web at, and find us on Facebook! Raytown Garden Club Tues, Jun 6, 10am; at Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church, 6429 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, Mo. Program— “Kansas City, Missouri’s Youth and Community Gardens” presented by Shea Bergman, Manager. Refreshments will be served. Visitors are always welcome. Please call 816-353-8699 or visit our website at com/site/fgcmwestcentral/raytown. Sho Me African Violets Fri, Jun 9, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590

Events, Lectures & Classes June Lotus Days May 30-Jun 10; at Swan’s Water Gardens, 4385 W 247 St, Louisburg, KS. The tropicals are in and Running Wild BBQ will be here to help us celebrate on Jun 10. Come choose from the best selection of tropical water garden plants and enjoy some BBQ from 11:30am-1:30pm. 913-837-3510 Pests, Keep Out! Fri, Jun 2, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens Office in Swope Park, 6917 Kensington, KCMO 64132. Best Practices for Deterring Animal Pests: How do I keep the squirrels out of my tomatoes? Voles out of my sweet potatoes? Although there are no sure-fire solutions to keeping pesky pests out of your garden, this workshop will discuss best practices for deterring animal pests. FREE! We do ask that you let us know you are coming. Reserve your seat at workshops or 816-931-3877. 23rd Annual Garden Tour, Plant Sale & Garden Art Flea Market Jun 3-4, 9am-5pm, Hermann, MO. Two Tours in 2017: the popular Town Tour, a walking tour of gardens in downtown Hermann, and a Country Tour, a driving tour to country gardens. Each tour is $10; ticket price includes visits to at least four private gardens and the Garden Demonstration Area. Town & County Garden Tour Combo ticket for $15 includes 8 or more gardens. Garden Tours may be spread over Saturday and Sunday, and, except for groups of 10 or more, do not need to be reserved ahead of time. Special Ticket By-Reservation-Only Luncheon/Silent Auction on Fri, Jun 2 at the Historic Hermann Rotunda. Visit the Hermann Garden Tours website at for up-to-date events, ticket prices, contact numbers

and photographs of past tour gardens. Visit the FAQS page on the website for answers to all your questions. “Like” us on Facebook at “Hermann Garden Club Tours”. Call Hermann Welcome Center at (800) 932-8687 for questions about lodging/restaurants or go to

Save Your Trees!

Native Plant Sale Sat, Jun 3, 9am-2:30pm; at the Extension Office on the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper, Lawrence. Go native in your garden. Douglas County Master Gardeners are having a native plant sale. There will be a large selection of neonicotinoidfree (safe for pollinators) native plants. Plants are $4 each or three for $10. Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners’ Garden Tour Sat, Jun 3 and Sun, Jun 4. Come get some inspiration for your garden at this tour. It includes seven beautiful gardens that demonstrate a variety of gardening styles. The gardens are open on Sat, Jun 3, 9:30am to 5pm and on Sun, Jun 4, 11am to 5pm. Tickets are available at the Extension Office at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper, Lawrence, or online at http:// KCRS Rose Day Sun, Jun 4, noon-5pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. 816-513-8590 Beekeeping 101 – Grades 8-12 Fri, Jun 9 & 16, 8am-12pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. You will be introduced to the fun and exciting world of beekeeping. In today’s world, there are many beekeeping opportunities and challenges. Gain a good understanding about beekeeping and learn about the many products that come from bees, like honey, pollen and wax. You will also visit the JCCC Bee Yard and explore a working hive. Identify the honey, baby bees, pollen and find the Queen! This course is for students entering grades 8-12 fall 2017. Fee: $99. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-4692323 and provide CRN 51167. Spring Home & Garden Tour ~Featuring Historic Roanoke Park Neighborhood Sat, Jun 10. The tour features 6 historic homes and gardens including the Thomas Hart Benton Home and the Frank Lloyd Wright designed, Sondern-Adler home. For tour hours and more information, use the url to our website and eventbrite page for tickets sales. (https://www.eventbrite. com/e/spring-home-garden-tour-june10th-2017-tickets-33563021902) (continued on page 24)

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913-422-9300 The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017


Upcoming Garden Events

Spend the growing season

With Us!

places to go, things to do, people to see

(continued from page 23) • • • • • •

Vegetable Plants • Herbs Bulk Garden Seeds • Annual Flowers Perennials • Fruit Plants • Ornamentals Pre-planted Containers • Trees • Shrubs Hanging Baskets • Potting Soil Top Soil • Compost • Manure • Mulches

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SECRET GARDEN TOUR June 17th | 9am-3pm | Fort Scott, KS Presented by

Five gardeners will open wide their garden gates for the 2017 tour.


Available for purchase at: • Country Cupboard, 12 N. Main • Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce, 231 E. Wall

For more information: Martha Scott, 620.224.9924 Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce, 620.223.0532


June 2017 |

Herbs for Beginners Sat, Jun 10, 9am-12pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Become more familiar with growing herbs and their many culinary and medical uses. Learn which are perennial or annuals in our region and how best to grow each in your garden. In addition, share medicinal uses, useful recipes for the kitchen and ways to preserve herbs. Fee: $39. To enroll or to get more information please call 913469-2323 and provide CRN 51829. Garden Sampler Tour Sat, Jun 10, 9am-5pm. Presented by the Garden Club of Shawnee, rain or shine. Featuring 6 beautiful and unique gardens, all located in Shawnee. Proceeds fund our grant program which supports gardening projects in the community. Tickets are $10 and are available on our website: www.gardenclubofshawnee. org, at the Shawnee and Overland Park Family Tree Nurseries, Wild Birds Unlimited, Hartman & Sons Hardware, and Earl May, all in Shawnee. They can also be purchased the day of the tour at any of the gardens. Visit our website for more information and photos. Cooking with Spring’s Greens Tues, Jun 13, 5:30pm; at Ivanhoe Community Center, 3700 Woodland, KCMO 64109. Everyone is talking about super foods - kale, collards and other leafy greens - but not everyone knows how to prepare them. Come learn some easy and delicious recipes as well as how to put together simple salad dressings. We will focus on whatever produce is ready to harvest. Come sample some delicious foods. Raised Bed Gardening Wed, Jun 14, 7pm; at Basehor Community Library, 1400 158th St, Basehor, KS 66007. Randy Oberlin, a Leavenworth 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. Fruit Tree, Small Fruit Maintenance Thurs, Jun 15, 6pm; at Blue Hills Community Services, 5008 Prospect, KCMO 64130. All fruit plants require some sort of maintenance, from pruning to thinning to pest management. Learn what to do, why to do it and when to do it. The site features peaches, apples, pears, Asian pears, bush

cherries, raspberries and blackberries all planted in 2013. The workshop is recommended for those with young fruit trees. This workshop will take place in Prospect Community Garden and Orchard on the west side of BHCS. Please park on Wabash. Lyme Disease and Other Things That “tick” Thurs, Jun 15, 7pm; Leavenworth Public Library, 417 Spruce St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Dr Mary Brothers, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener, will give a presentation about ticks and Lyme disease. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-240-4094. Garden and Pioneer Home Tour of Atkins-Johnson Farm Thurs, Jun 15, 6:30pm; The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City will guide you through a “Garden and Pioneer Home Tour of Atkins-Johnson Farm” located at 6607 NE Antioch Rd, Gladstone, MO 64119. Once home to many people from 1824-2004, this small family farm stands as a wonderful reminder that farms of the past are still present and will always have stories to share. Discover a home that began as a single-room log cabin with a half-story sleeping loft. Enjoy the beautiful acres of preserved farmland, walk the trail to the historic Big Shoal Cemetery and look for wildlife along the way. Explore what’s growing as you visit the heirloom garden, apple orchard, or pumpkin patch. Free and open to the public. No registration required. For further information call 816-665-4456 or visit our website @ and browse Gardeners’ Gathering. Little Sprouts Visit the Garden Sat, Jun 17, 10-11am; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150b Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Join our gardeners for a tour of the garden. See how all the vegetables are growing. Maybe pick a few. Are the tomatoes ready to pick? Beans? Squash? Fee: $5 for one child and $10 for 2 or more. 816-682-9725 Secret Garden Tour in Ft Scott
 Sat, Jun 17, 9am-3pm. The Bourbon County Garden Club gardeners who are opening wide their garden gates this year are: Terry and Gwen Chance, A Magical Country Garden; Bob and Cassi Farmer, Hidden Happiness; George and Sandy Areu, My Mother’s Garden; Dave and Janet Irvin, The Painted Lady Garden; Fort Scott Community Garden, Visioning A

Healthier Bourbon County; and Bobby and Denise Duncan, Vineda del Alamo Vineyard. Tickets will go on sale May 20 and will again be $10.00 and will be available at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, 231 E. Wall or Country Cupboard, 12 N. Main. For more information, contact the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, 620-223-0532 or Martha Scott, 620224-9924. Raytown Garden Club Flower Show Sat, Jun 17, 2-4pm; at Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church, 6429 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, Mo. Raytown Garden Club will present “Once Upon A Time”, a Standard Flower Show. The show is free and open to the public. Relax and enjoy lovely flowers and artistic designs! Pollinator Prairie to host Pollinator Event Fri, Jun 23, 10am-2pm; at Pollinator Prairie, 320 S Blake St, Olathe, KS 66061. The Pollinator Prairie will host a family-friendly event at the garden in Olathe in conjunction with National Pollinator Week. This event is free and open to the public. People of all ages are invited to learn about pollinator species with activities including: Caterpillar Petting Zoo, Bat Exhibit, Caterpillar and Butterfly Exhibits, Birds of Prey Exhibit, Native Bees vs Honey Bees, Building Native Bee Houses, Reducing or Eliminating Chemicals in the Home Garden, Live Music, “Get Your Fingers in the Dirt”, Arts & Crafts, Games, Coloring Books (Fido, Friend or Foe?) and much more. Contact: Jennifer Kingston 913-6931905 or Marilyn Jordan 913-693-1906 It Ain’t Easy Being Green – What Makes Your Garden Grow? – Grades 8-12 Fri, Jun 23, 10am-4pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Learn the knowledge and skills required to grow plants from seeds, cuttings, leaves, runners and slips. Propagation techniques such as airlayering and serpentine layering will be covered. Additional hands-on activities will include growing microgreens and herb gardening indoors. You will study basics of setting up hydroponic and aquaponic systems and observe existing systems in the Horticultural Sciences Center at JCCC. You will also learn about soilless growing media, potting methods, liners, fertilizers, plant growth regulators and much more. This course is for students entering grades 8-12 fall 2017. Fee: $79. To enroll or more info please call 913469-2323 and provide CRN 51150.

Freeze! Your Garden Produce Fri, Jun 23, noon; Kansas City Community Garden Office in Swope Park, 6917 Kensington, KCMO 64132. Freezing is one of the easiest, cheapest and safest ways to preserve many crops harvested from your garden, including beans, peppers, tomatoes, collards and corn. Find out which of your garden’s crops store well in the freezer. We will demonstrate best methods for some of the most popular and abundant crops. Workshop is FREE! We do ask that you let us know if you are coming. Reserve your seat at workshops or 816-931-3877. Sustainability Leadership – Grades 8-12 Fri, Jun 30, 8am-3pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Do you want to make a difference at your school and in your community? Learn best practices for starting a small and manageable recycling, composting, gardening and farming program. Ideas for mitigating storm water runoff and planting bio swales will also be discussed. In addition, discover how easy it is to implement alternative energy options while enjoying bike blender smoothies and solar s’mores. This course is great for students in environmental clubs, scouts, etc. This course is for students entering grades 8-12 fall 2017. Fee: $79. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-4692323 and provide CRN 51179. 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. 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 mdcemg or call 913-294-4306. Visit the Marais des Cygnes Extension District website for more information

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

Apply now for K-State Extension Master Gardener program


f you enjoy gardening, working with others and having fun while sharing your passion then the Extension Master Gardener (EMG) program may be just the opportunity for you. Applications are now being accepted for the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener 2018 training program. Application deadline is July 14. An informational meeting will be held Wednesday, June 28, from 1–3 p.m. at the Extension office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Room 1060, in Olathe. Projects and program guidelines will be outlined. You are encouraged to attend this meeting if you have questions about the EMG program or would like more information prior to completing your application. Only 30 applicants are accepted into this prestigious program. The EMG program, sponsored by K-State Research and Extension, is designed to teach area gardeners about horticulture and give them the opportunity to share their knowledge through various gardening-related volunteer projects. Applicants who are selected will receive intensive horticulture-related training from university experts. In return, newly-trained recruits will be required to volunteer a minimum of time each year. EMG volunteers get involved in a variety of projects including maintaining demonstration gardens, staffing a gardening hotline and giving

presentations through the speakers’ bureau. Youth programs are also another avenue for volunteer participation. Applicants are selected on the basis of gardening and volunteering experience, ability to attend training sessions and volunteer activities, and, most importantly, willingness to commit long term to the annual requirement of volunteer service. Gardeners who join the program bring many different experience levels and interests to the program. If you are a novice gardener, do not let the title of Extension Master Gardener intimidate you. Your love of gardening and passion for sharing your garden experience is the basis for success. Training sessions are Tuesdays, September 12 through November 14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. All classes will be conducted at the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500 in Olathe. There is a $125 administration fee for those accepted into the class. Class members must be Johnson County residents. If you are interested in applying for the program, or would like more information, please contact Johnson County Extension at (913) 715-7000 or visit www.johnson.k-state. edu and click on the Master Gardener link for details.

The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017



garden calendar n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Plant squash, cucumbers, sweet corn, green beans and other summer vegetables. • Tomato leaf disease reduces yield, treat with a fungicide if needed. • Mulch to conserve moisture and control weeds. • Harvest spring vegetables until the end of the season then remove. • Pinch herbs to keep bushy and fresh with new growth. • Squash bugs multiply rapidly, watch for development and control. • Keep garden evenly watered, apply 1 inch per week if there is no rain. • Continue a regular fruit disease and insect control program. • Fertilize strawberries regularly to promote new growth. • Renovate June bearing strawberry beds. • Treat peach trees for borers. • Remove sucker growth from the base of trees and along branches. • Turn compost pile and keep moist to hasten breakdown.


• Pinch chrysanthemum tips for development of bushier plants. • Remove (deadhead) spent flower blossoms to keep plants flowering. • Remove flower stalks from peonies and irises. • Fertilize roses and trim spent blossoms. • Check plants for insects. • Remove dead foliage from spring bulbs. • Water and fertilize container plantings regularly to encourage growth and flowering. • Maintain a 2 to 3 inch mulch layer to reduce moisture loss, control weeds and cool the soil. • If there is no rainfall, water about 1 inch per week.


• Mow bluegrass and tall fescue 3 to 3½ inches to improve drought stress.

• Avoid fertilizing tall fescue and bluegrass during summer. • Mow zoysia to a height of 1 to 2 inches all season. • Fertilize zoysia with a high nitrogen fertilizer such 27-3-3, one to two more times this summer. • Repair dead spots and bare areas in zoysia by sodding or plugging. • Core aerate zoysia to control thatch and improve water and nutrient uptake. • Spot treat for summer broadleaf weeds. • Fertilize naturally by letting grass clippings fall. • Water the turf sparingly to increase drought tolerance during the heat of summer. • Begin grub treatments with preventive type insecticides. • Keep mower blade sharp for a clean cut.


• Check for bagworms and control. • Prune elongated new growth of pines and spruces to shape and control size. • Prune spring flowering shrubs. • Water newly planted trees and shrubs. • Check for spider mite damage by shaking branch over white paper. Mites look like small dots. • Clip hedges to maintain shape. • Maintain mulch ring around young trees and shrubs. • Prune dead or damaged limbs to correct structure and maintain health.


• Water and fertilize on a regular basis to promote summer growth. • Repot overgrown plants, shifting up to a 1 inch larger pot. • Rotate pots to provide sunlight on all sides, which produces a balanced plant. • Prune and shape plants.

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. EST.2007

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

816-380-8460; Wed, 9am-noon


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816-833-8733 (TREE); Mon-Fri, 9am-noon; River Market, 105 E 5th St, KCMO, 1st and 3rd Sat, May-Sep, 8am-noon


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


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913-364-5700; Apr 4 thru Sep 29, Mon 10am-1pm, Thurs 1-4pm


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Professional’s Corner

Randy and Melissa Penrod

Company: Penrod’s Greenhouse Location: Kearney, Missouri Established: 1962 Family Owned…Family Grown: Penrod’s Greenhouse is owned and operated by two generations of the Penrod family.

Penrod’s Greenhouse provides quality plants and supplies to area gardeners in Excelsior Springs, Gladstone, Holt, Kearney, Liberty, Kansas City and Smithville area. History: This is the classic story of one man’s entrepreneurial spirit sparked by community support. My parents, Ralph and Twila Penrod, purchased the farmhouse in the early ’60s. It was so old, it did not have indoor plumbing or an indoor bathroom! In the midst of those humble beginnings, a greenhouse was built on the back of the house. That was the foothold from where the business of selling plants began. As our customers asked for more, we increased our products. The business has grown to include an acre of greenhouses that grows a full line of plants. Products: Penrod’s specializes in growing high quality vegetable and flowering plants from seeds and unrooted cuttings. Springtime in the greenhouse brings herbs, vegetable plants, and annuals. We also offer perennials, trees, shrubs, bulk garden seed, and all things lawn and garden. You’ll also find TORO lawn equipment for sale, along with parts and service. In the fall we have mums, we grow

of Penrod’s Greenhouse

over 16,000 poinsettias for Christmas which we start from unrooted cuttings in June, and over 2000 Easter Lilies that we plant before Christmas. Uniquely Penrod: Not only do we grow most of our crops from start to finish, we also offer a great selection. Our customers come to us for hard-to-find plants, and have come to rely on advice from our knowledgeable staff. We are here year round to help our customers! What every gardener should know: Resist the urge to rush the season. Understand what to plant and when to plant it. Trending: Containers are still hot, as well as an increased interest in growing your own vegetables. Penrod’s can help you with plant selection for both. Little known secret: Our plants are grown in soil that we’ve mixed ourselves. Contact information: Come see us at Penrod’s Greenhouse, located at 14820 Jesse James Farm Rd., Kearney, Missouri 64060. Call for open hours, as times change during the season. Phone: 816-628-6011.; Find us on Facebook; email The Kansas City Gardener | June 2017


Summer Oasis NEW ITEMS

Unique Fountains Large selection of fountains, statuary and garden decorations.

Colorful Hibiscus Choose from our fabulous selection of exotic tropical plants to bloom on your deck or patio this summer.


Our Largest Selection Ever! Ceramic pots, both outdoor and indoor, a variety of colors, 28 Junein2017 | sizes and styles.

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KCG 06Jun17  

hosta, hellebores, basil, birds, landscape design, roses, butterflies, tours, events

KCG 06Jun17  

hosta, hellebores, basil, birds, landscape design, roses, butterflies, tours, events