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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

March 2014

Patrick’s Picks: Vegetables from the Heartland Harvest Garden

Healthy Yard Expo Pets & Plants: Lilies Riding the Weather Roller Coaster Get Ready for Nesting Season Bacteria: Rockstars of the Compost Pile


Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle... C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

M

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

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

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

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

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


SPRING CONTAINER BULB PLANTING HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY PLANT BULBS: (remember, grow different varieties in different containers)

1. FIGURE OUT WHICH END IS UP

If you plant bulbs upside down or sideways, you’re asking them to waste time & energy. Examine your bulbs for room remnants at the base – the end goes down.

2. FILL YOUR POT PART WAY WITH SOIL MIX Enough so bulbs placed upright on this layer with their tops 1” below the rim of the pot. Make sure to check the bloom dates of the bulbs you are planting.

3. SPACE BULBS SO THAT THEY’RE GENTLY TOUCHING OR NO MORE THAN 1/2” APART Press the base of the bulbs into the soil to keep them standing straight. Place any larger bulbs at the center of the group.

4. FILL IN AROUND THE BULBS, BARELY COVERING THE TOPS, WITH SOIL MIX

Use a mix that’s well drained but still holds some moisture. A soil mix with starter fertilizer is adequate, or you can mix in a small amount of bulb fertilizer while planting.

5. WATER GENTLY WITH A CAN OR HOSE

Set at a trickle until the soil is fully moistened. Some spring-blooming bulbs require a special chilling period before they’ll grow & bloom.

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TIPS FOR GREAT RESULTS: Get the most color out of your planted space by planting bulbs or perennials with various bloom times. Mass planting of one color together makes the biggest impact. When the blooms are gone allow the foliage of the bulbs to yellow & dieback on its own before removing it. This is important to allow the plant to continue making food for the bulb’s next season.

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The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Escape the frustration

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Leah Berg Tracy Flowers Cindy Gilberg Diane & Doc Gover Lenora Larson Patrick Muir Ken O’Dell Peter Orwig Dennis Patton Phil Roudebush Diane Swan Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

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

Join us and fellow gardeners. Become a fan.

Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 31. 4

W

hen I embark on writing these notes to you, dear reader, it is most always the last ritual of the issue. With all other related duties complete, I focus on the realities and hopefulness of the garden, the happenings of life, and roll it all up in some sort of thoughtful message. It sounds good when I say it fast. Sometimes though it can be a challenge. I draw a blank occasionally, and wonder how to be inspiring when handicapped by the season. There is a process that has served me well, and somehow every month I’m able to scratch out a few words worthy of your time. It starts with reading a few inspirational quotes about gardening from a book on my desk and a little quiet time. If a spark doesn’t come, I’m on to searching the Internet. In my search this month, I found this: “March is a month of considerable frustration - it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away.” ~ Thalassa Cruso So true, don’t you think? Such is the life of Midwest gardeners.

Without a doubt, March is frustrating. Even though March 20 marks the first day of spring, we know too well that all elements of winter are possible through Mother’s Day (May 11). Yes, snow boots and flip flops will fill the entryway of our home until most likely Memorial Day. That’s what makes this time of year frustrating. For a temporary escape from that frustration, I did a little more research on the author of the quote, Thalassa Cruso. I had no idea of the mark she made in the the gardening world. There’s an article from The New York Times entitled “Thalassa Cruso, 88, Plant Lover Who Shared Her Passion on TV, written by Margalit Fox, on June 18, 1997. (http:// www.nytimes.com/1997/06/18/ arts/thalassa-cruso-88-plant-loverwho-shared-her-passion-on-tv. html) It was her obituary, which stated in part, “... an authority on plants who was known as ‘the Julia Child

of horticulture’ for her common-sense if often loopy gardening programs on television...” I had to read more. She had a weekly television show, “Making Things Grow” in the late 1960’s, where her wit about tending to plants was direct. That gardeners should “tend their plants with loving kindness, and to throw them in the dustbin without a backward glance if the little ingrates failed to respond.” I laughed out loud. Now that’s the kind of gardening mentor I need. If you don’t know of Thalassa Cruso, look on YouTube for one of her shows, and look for any of her books, of which I must get my hands on. She will certainly lift your spirit during this frustrating time between winter and spring. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue March 2014 • Vol. 19 No. 3 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 Bacteria: Compost Pile ............. 8 The Bird Brain ......................... 10 Water Garden Maintenance ..... 12 Rose Report ............................ 13 Rid Lawn of Weeds ................. 14 Champion Soapberry Tree ....... 15 Patrick’s Picks: Direct Sown Vegetables ............ 16 Butterflies Go Native ............... 18 Naturescape Workshop ........... 19

about the cover ...

Grow Native: Spring Woodland Flowers .................. 20 Pets & Plants: Lilies .................. 22 Weather Roller Coaster ............ 23 Garden Calendar .................... 25 Upcoming Events ..................... 26 Orchid Workshop ................... 29 Hotlines ................................. 27 Weather ................................. 27 Powell Garden Events ............. 30 Professional’s Corner ................ 31

Interested in something different for your veggie garden like these ‘Dragon’s Tongue’ Bush Beans? Patrick Muir shares his findings of those being planted at the Powell Gardens Heartland Harvest Garden starting on page 16.

8

15 The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


Healthy Yards Expo promotes green lawn and garden practices

G

et the real dirt on growing green Saturday, March 29 at the Fifth Annual Johnson County Healthy Yards Expo, a lawn and garden event that aims to help citizens make greener choices in their yards and homes. This free event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shawnee Civic Center, located at 13817 Johnson Drive in Shawnee. The expo focuses on Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities (KHYC), a program developed by Kansas State University Research and Extension. KHYC helps homeowners make wise choices on environmentally conscious lawn and garden care techniques. Johnson County K-State Research and Extension is teaming with Johnson County Stormwater Management and the cities of Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park and Shawnee to present the event. “The Expo promotes green practices and provides education so that people can help do their part for clean water, air and healthy soils,” said Dennis Patton, horticulture agent for Johnson County Extension. “What you put on your lawn and garden can end up in our backyard creeks. This water can move into our rivers, and ultimately in our drinking water.” The Healthy Yards Expo will highlight products, tips and tools that meet the program’s criteria, helping Johnson County and surrounding area residents become “greener” in their lawn and garden care.

Sign up for

Spring Clean Up and Seasonal Mowing Service

• Participate in free, fun and educational activities for children.

EXPO FEATURES The expo is a great place to get new ideas from experts. It’s a onestop learning event on green ideas, products and services. Activities are available for area kids. The popular StoneLion Puppet Theatre will present “Backyard Buggin” at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Other hands-on activities will be available to help teach children about the importance of ecology and the environment. “A lot of times it’s the children that spur parents to make changes,” Patton said. “By exposing kids to healthy practices, we hope to influence not only current behaviors but also plant the seed for change in future generations.”

dens, courtesy of Johnson County Stormwater Management. • Visit with Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardeners and local plant societies. They’ll offer expert advice on gardening and plant cultivation. • Listen to informative speakers on topics such as composting, water conservation, vegetable gardening and sustainability.

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VISITORS TO THE EXPO CAN: • Enter to win door prizes such as compost bins and rain barrel. • The first 100 visitors will receive a free tree seedling, courtesy of Overland Park. • The first 300 visitors will receive an assortment of native plants to try in their home gar-

Landscaping

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FREE SOIL TESTS This year will be an opportunity for Johnson County residents to get a free soil test, compliments of Johnson County Stormwater Management and Johnson County Extension. It is important to know the nutrient levels in order to grow healthy plants and protect the water quality in our local streams and lakes. Go to www.johnson.ksu.edu/ soiltest to learn how to take a soil sample, and bring your sample to the expo to get your free soil test (one per Johnson County household). For more information on the Healthy Yard Expo, visit www. johnson.ksu.edu or call 913-7157000.

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Ask the Experts! questions from our readers be fall planted but the overwintering success really depends on the conditions.

Dennis Patton WHEN TO PLANT PANSIES Question: How early can I plant pansies? Answer: Pansies are a cool loving plant as their flowering peaks in May and drops off as the summer heat arrives in early June. Pansies are best planted in my book anytime in March once they come onto the market. This allows them time to acclimate and flower for a couple of months before heat sets in. As you have probably guessed, I am a frugal garden and want to get my money’s worth so earlier is always better. Pansies can also

HOW TO TRANSPLANT VIBURNUM Question: I have a ‘Mohawk’ viburnum that needs relocating. Can you tell me when and how to dig it for transplanting? Answer: Transplanting any tree or shrub is best done while the plant is dormant. A plant is no longer dormant when it has broken bud, started to leaf out in the spring or still has foliage in the fall. Once a plant has entered into an active stage of growth it places tremendous stress on the root system that has been disturbed. Usually March is a good time to transplant as the harsh winter conditions are behind us and the growth has yet to begin.

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How to dig depends more on the maturity and size of the plant. A larger older shrub may need to be pruned to compensate for root loss while a younger shrub may need little or no pruning. As for how to move and how much root ball to take depends on your strength. The more you can take the better the chances of survival and less root damage. One last thought and this is very important, a new viburnum is about $30 at a garden center; sometimes it is simpler in the long run to sacrifice that plant and just plant a new one. DURABLE, UPRIGHT EVERGREEN Question: I am tired of struggling to keep an evergreen screen along my patio alive. I have been planting Emerald Arborvitae. They have taken a beating the last few

years with the heat and drought. No matter how much I water I tend to lose one every so often which destroys the even screening appearance. Do you have a suggestion for a more durable and narrow evergreen to use around my patio? Answer: Emerald arborvitae is an extremely common and inexpensive plant but it does have issues with poor heat and drought stress. Many died during the drought of 2012 and have struggled to recover. My best recommendation is a wonderful narrow upright evergreen called ‘Taylor’ juniper. The botanical name is Juniperus virginiana which is one of the most heat and drought tolerant plants that we can grow. ‘Taylor’ has an upright, columnar habit making it an excellent screen or hedge for tight areas.

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DATE TO START TOMATO SEEDS INDOORS Question: If Mother’s Day is the recommended planting day for tomatoes, when exactly should I start my seeds indoor under lights? Answer: Tomatoes are best planted after all danger of frost and the soil temperatures have warmed so that the plants can get off to a fast start in the garden. Of course last year it snowed in early May and the cool soils delayed tomato planting. Starting your plants is rewarding. The best way to start plants indoors is under ordinary fluorescent shop lights. The key is keeping the lights within about 4 to 6 inches from the plants and the lights left on 24/7 or at least 16 hours per day. Tomato plants are fairly fast growing and for most home gardeners you need about six weeks lead time prior to planting outdoors. That amount of time will depend on your home conditions such as temperature and quality of light. Most gardeners err in starting too early and then the plants become overgrown. So try about six weeks out from the first of May and then around May 1, move the plants outdoors, weather permitting to start hardening off the transplants for planting. Keep good notes and adjust as needed for future years.

WHAT KIND OF FERTILIZER FOR DOGWOOD Question: I planted a Kousa dogwood last April and want to give it some fertilizer. What kind should I use? How do I figure out how much? Do you recommend tree spikes?

Answer: Young trees in which we want more rapid growth can be fertilized once each growing season. The best time is prior to growth in late winter or in the fall after dormant. The simplest method for fertilizing young trees is to pull the mulch layer back and sprinkle 1 to 2 cups of a balanced fertilizer around the bare soil and water into the soil. As for tree spikes, they accomplish the same thing but have some pitfalls. First the ground must be moist to drive into the soil. If not, one hit with the hammer and they explode! Second pitfall is if you place them in the turf then the lawn gets a good dose of fertilizer not the tree. Third, I am a frugal gardener and the basic granular (10-10-10) fertilizer is cheap and easy. That is my kind of gardening.

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SELECTING AND PLANTING CLETHRA Question: A local garden center employee told me to plant new trees before they leaf out. Does that apply to shrubs? I want to plant a Clethra. Should I plant it in March before it leafs out? Can you tell me the most fragrant variety? Answer: This is an interesting answer from someone at a garden center as following this advice would give them a very small window to sell plants. The statement plant before they leaf out really only applies to bare root or packaged plants that do not have an established root system growing and a mass of soil. The vast majority of plants found at a garden center are container grown whether a tree or

WATER’S EDGE

The plant will grow only 3 to 4 feet wide reaching a height of about 20 feet. Because it is a juniper it will tolerate heat and drought better than any other evergreen.

shrub. These plants can be planted almost year round as their root system is intact. Balled and burlap trees and shrubs can also be planted after they leaf out as the major, or the root system is in tack. Ideal planting times are based more on our weather patterns and providing time for some establishment prior to our brutal summer heat and winter cold. As for the Clethra, the best time to plant would be lateMarch through mid-May. Clethra does require even moisture for best growth and light afternoon shade. Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit www.johnson.ksu.edu, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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Bacteria: Rockstars of the Compost Pile

Tracy Flowers

E

ven though things seem lifeless right now in the garden, there is year-round activity coming from the compost pile. We know that it brakes down organic matter and recycles it into fertilizer and a fantastic soil amendment. But what is going on in that pile of debris? What breaks it all down and how? Worms, gravity, bacteria or is it all three? You can’t even start to talk about compost without talking about bacteria. They are the rockstars of the

compost pile. They make up 80 to 90 percent of all of the microorganisms found in there and they do most of the actual decomposing using enzymes to break down organic material. There are three different and very important stages of bacteria that make your compost pile into a moving and grooving rock band. The first stage is in the form mesophilic bacteria. The term just means that they survive at a moderate temperature. Not too cold, not too hot. This first bacterial stage is the drummer for the band. They get the song going and they keep a nice steady beat. After the drum intro, this band starts to turn up the heat. In comes the guy on vocals and lead guitar. He is the thermophlilic (heat loving) bacteria. Once the enzymes in the bacteria start to break down the

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organic matter, all of that energy causes the temperatures to rise in the compost pile. Just when things can’t get any hotter (about 140 degrees F) thermophlilic bacteria comes in with a blazing guitar solo and then has to go take a break backstage. This is the time when harmful bacteria and weed seeds have been killed and the thermophilic bacteria needs to take a breather until the next “set” or the next time you add fresh organic matter to the compost pile. Lastly, comes the bass player. This stage of mesophilic bacteria comes back into the song after the guitar player (thermophilic bacteria) has tired itself out, rocking too hard. The longer that the compost stays in this last maturing mesophilic bacteria stage, the more diverse the microbial activity will be. This gives the bass player a little time to make the groove more diverse and venture into a little jazz odyssey. Once the band finishes

the song you get to enjoy the sweet music that is fresh compost for your garden. Bacteria also has an excellent stage crew and supporting staff to get the job done. Earthworms, fungi, millipedes and slugs can also be found breaking down organic matter in the compost pile. Humans also play an important role by monitoring moisture levels and keeping a good balance of the compost ingredients. Whether you compost in a small tumbler, a snazzy looking kitchen bin or just a heap in the back yard, bacteria break down our unwanted scraps and debris into fresh humus and fertilizer for beautiful spring gardens. Bacteria really rocks my world! Tracy Flowers is on the Horticulture staff at Powell Gardens and she works at The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden. You may reach her at 816-932-1200.

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The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


2014

The thornless beauty of the long-blooming Double Take™ Quince begins with enormous flowers in vivid hues and lasts for/ weeks. ForCity colorful foliage and blossoms that thrive with minimal care, choose our easy-to-grow March 2014 The Kansas Gardener Proven WinnersŽ flowering shrubs. Visit us at provenwinners-shrubs.com.

9


The Bird Brain

Are You Ready for Nesting Season? A few good sources for protein include mealworms, Bark Butter, peanuts and tree nuts.

Doc & Diane Gover

I

t may be hard to believe that spring is just around the corner, but as it begins ushering new energy to your yard, it is time to prepare for the new and returning nesters. You may be tired of trudging through snow and ice to fill your feeders and heated birdbaths, but keep up the good work. Look forward to a front row seat to view the many charming behaviors of your backyard visitors. When you place a nesting box in your yard, you’re inviting birds to raise their families in front of yours. You’ll see birds courting mates, building nests, laying eggs and feeding young. And when it’s time for the fledglings to leave the nest, they’ll likely learn to feed at your feeders and bathe in your birdbaths. Offer foods with calcium to help promote stronger eggs and healthier bones for mother birds and their babies. Protein is essential for their body and feather growth.

Selecting a Proper Nest Box There are many styles of nest boxes available, including boxes that are decorative only (no way to clean out an old nest) and those that are specially designed for the nesting requirements of a specific species. Before purchasing a nest box, one should be sure that it meets the following requirements: P designed for the species (see the chart) P wood (cedar) should be at least 3/4” thick to provide proper insulation; recycled plastic at least 1/2” thick is preferred for longevity Peasily mounted Pside or top panel that opens easily to monitor nesting activity and also to remove the nest after the birds have fledged P ventilation holes to provide release of heat build-up P drainage holes in the bottom of the house P slanted roof so water easily runs off P outside perch is not necessary

Bird house specifications for specific species Name Chickadee Titmouse Nuthatch House Wren Carolina Wren Screech Owl Wood Duck Purple Martin Woodpeckers Downy Hairy Flicker Bluebirds Eastern

Size of floor 4” x 4” 4” x 4” 4” x 4” 4” x 4” 4” x 4” 8” x 8” 12” x 12” 6” x 6”

Height of entrance above the floor Diameter of hole 4” – 7” 1 1/8” 6” – 8” 1 1/4” 6” – 8” 1 1/4” – 1 3/8” 4” – 7” 1 1/8” – 1 1/4” 4” – 7” 1 1/2” 9” – 12” 3” 10” – 18” 4”w – 3”h 1” 2 1/8”

Height above the ground 5’ – 15’ 5’ – 15’ 5’ – 20’ 5’ – 10’ 5’ – 10’ 10’ – 30’ 6’ – 30’ 10’ – 20’

Habitat preference Woods/edge Woods/edge Woods/edge Woods/yard Woods/yard Woods Woods near water Open fields near water

4” x 4” 6” x 6” 7” x 7”

8” – 12” 10” – 14” 10” – 20”

1 1/4” 1 1/2” 2 1/2”

5’ – 15’ 8’ – 20’ 6’ – 30’

Woods Woods Woods

4” x 4”

6” – 7”

1 1/2”

5’ – 6’

Fence rows and fields

Choosing the Right Habitat Determine the proper height to hang or mount the nest box (see the chart). Many birds prefer their nesting habitat at a certain height. You will be more likely to attract the species that you seek if the box is properly placed. Find out where your specific bird prefers to nest. Does the bird prefer woodland or open spaces? Does it like to be near water? It is important to put up housing now as many birds are looking for suitable nesting spots. Birds that use nest boxes are species that normally build a nest in a tree cavity. But since very few hollow trees remain in cities and suburban yards, man-made nest-

ing sites have been credited with helping to increase the previously decreasing populations of cavity dwelling wild birds. In addition to providing sites to raise young, the nest boxes also shelter the many birds which brave the winter months and/or sudden cold snaps in the early spring. If you have any questions, stop by the store, one of our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you. Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

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Maintaining a Water Garden It’s easier than you think

Diane Swan

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n creating outdoor living space, many homeowners consider the addition of a water garden. They want to create a place to unwind, a place to indulge in a bit of tranquility. One topic that causes hesitation is maintenance. Water gardens do not have to be high maintenance. No pond is maintenance free however. There are some things that are necessary to keep your pond looking nice. If you get to know your water garden and understand its ecosystem, you’ll find it needs occasional help from you. Then, it will pretty much maintain itself.

PLANTS Aquatic plants and fish are important to a living ecosystem. Aquatic plants provide shade, beautify the water garden, and soften the look of rocks. More importantly, plants feed on the same nutrients as algae. Aquatic plants do need to be divided every couple of years, some more often than others. Spring is usually the best time of the year, except for Iris. You want to divide Iris preferably, after they bloom. By dividing, you will have healthier plants. During the year, you just need to deadhead every so often to keep them looking nice. Fertilize lilies and Lotus once a month during the growing season or you can use once-a-year tablets and fertilize only once a season. FISH Fish add entertainment and life to your pond. They also are very

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Gro w i ng smi l es on o ur Ka n s as fa r m sinc e 1977

Get Your Garden Off to a Great Start with a Visit to Arnold’s Greenhouse! Choose from the Midwest’s largest selection of homegrown plants (over 2,500 varieties!), carefully selected & caringly nurtured from the moment we planted them, with your garden in mind! From annuals and perennials to trees and shrubs for luscious, living color, to veggies and herbs for REAL food with yummy flavor… you can find it all at the “Candy Store for Plant Lovers!” Coming this spring: We’ll have the “Arnold’s Greenhouse Roadshow” in Gardner, Kansas one day each week!! Each week, we’ll have a unique selection of plants available for you to shop from! Visit www.arnoldsgreenhouse.com for more info!

important to a pond ecosystem, as they eat mosquito larvae, algae and other aquatic life. Do Not Overfeed Your Fish. Fish are fun to feed, but by overfeeding you are contributing to excess waste and higher ammonia levels. In an ecosystem, fish can live indefinitely without being fed. There are algae and bugs to eat. But treat yourself to feeding a couple times a week, whatever they eat in five minutes time. They get a little extra food and you get the fun! FILTRATION An important part of the water garden is the filtration system. A good filtration system will filter the water. Using a proper-sized pump to run your waterfalls and filtration system makes a huge difference in your ponds water quality and the overall health and vitality of your fish and plants. Your pump should turn the water at least once an hour but preferably two times an hour when possible. A key element of the filtration system is introducing beneficial bacteria to the system. Beneficial

bacteria treatments once a week will keep the bacteria actively multiplying and breaking down the muck and debris on the pond bottom. Beneficial bacteria is essential for the pond ecosystem helping to keep the water clear. Keep in mind algae is Mother Nature’s way of cleaning your pond. A little algae is a sign of a healthy pond. You just don’t want it to get carried away. Remember this, a water garden is not a swimming pool. You can supplement your bacterial treatments with a flocculent water clarifier, and/or barley extract. Oxy-Cleaner, a rock algae cleaner, can help when you do get algae blooms especially on the waterfalls and streams. It is an oncontact product. Lightning storms ‘charge up’ your pond with nitrogen and phosphorous which can create an algae bloom. Add a small amount of beneficial bacteria after a heavy storm and it will help stabilize the nutrients in the water. Clean your filters sparingly as this is where you beneficial bacteria grows. Overall it may sound like a lot of work but it usually only takes a few minutes once a week or so. As you will get to know your pond, it will tell you what it needs and when. Enjoy your pond and that place for tranquility. Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-592-2143.

Life doesn’t start with the seed, it starts with the soil. Bring your soil back to life with

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Ask for it by name at independent Kansas City area lawn & garden retailers

Our 2014 Plant List and Gardening Class Schedule are available on our website! We hope to see you soon! Arnold’s Greenhouse • 1430 Hwy. 58 S.E., LeRoy, KS 66857 620-964-2463 or 2423 www.arnoldsgreenhouse.com Monday through Saturday , 9am til 7:30pm Always closed on Sundays

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888-282-2000

www.backtonaturecompost.com

The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


Rose Report

What happens when we prune? side buds out – this leaves the middle bud very happy so it will absorb more energy and give me a better bloom.

Charles Anctil

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runing is our artificial means of controlling bud break on our bushes. Early growth that promises lackluster performance can be pruned to dormant eyes that act as if the bush just woke up. Pruning can also cut away early growth damaged by late frosts. In pruning, we can select buds on one side or another or higher or lower on the cane; we can shape the bush to our wishes. Each rosebush has a preferred size based on variety and root system. A general guideline is that the plant above the ground will match the root system below. Assuming a plant is established, light pruning will result in lots of smallish flowers on short stems. A hard pruning produces thick, sturdy canes but fewer, larger blooms. When I am pruning I also check to see how many buds are breaking where I am pruning. Usually you can see as many as three buds – I take the two

Here are a few simple rules of thumb for having a good pruning season: 1. If you can, spend extra money for good pruners. I still prefer the Felco pruners. Do not lend them to anyone unless you are with them. 2. Let the way your rose grows determine how you prune. Some roses annually put out new canes from the base. You can prune these harder. 3. Always start by pruning out dead wood. Why? Because it is dead and you cannot make a mistake! 4. Take out weak or damaged growth. 5. Never worry about making a mistake. It will grow back. 6. Do not try to keep a tall rose short…it will not be happy. 7. Every now and then you will take out an old cane that no longer produces growth and blooms. Take it out at ground level and you will be amazed at the new growth you will see in spring – fresh growth equals more blooms.

Growing quality since 1969

Time to plan your garden!

Workshops and Classes are listed on Facebook, our Website and in the store.

• We have Packaged and bulk Garden Seeds. Ready to plant. • Tomatoes and Cool Season Vegetables Plants are available!

Keep your pruners sharp! If they are dull you will mash or crush the tissue at the cut. Dip your pruners in alcohol as you prune from bush to bush – just a few seconds will do fine. This also applies to your lopping shears when you cut thicker canes. Be sure to seal

the cuts will Elmer’s Wood Glue or fingernail polish. See you next month! Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. If you need help, call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-2331223.

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March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

13


Get rid of weeds in your home lawn

Peter Orwig

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re you anxious for spring like me? I couldn’t be any more ready for spring. I can’t wait to see my tulips bloom, the grass green up and the leaves once again on the branches of our trees. One thing I am not looking forward to: weeds. There is no one-size fits all approach to controlling weeds. Grassy weeds, like crabgrass and foxtail are best controlled with a pre-emergent put down in the spring. (I put it down twice – once early in the season and again about 6 weeks later.) Timing is important. Active ingredients must be watered

in BEFORE weed seeds germinate. In our area, this means we want the first preemergent on the lawn by the end of March. You can contract a professional lawn care company, or pick up a bag of preemergent at your local lawn and garden store. I recommend Barricade® (prodiamine) or Dimension® (dithiopyr). Broadleaf weeds take a different approach. These include dandelions, violets, clover, spurge and ground ivy. All of these weeds must be treated after they germinate. Post-emergent controls, like WeedB-Gone can take up to three weeks to do their job, so a little patience is key. As temperatures warm up, some weeds will start to slow their growth, so control may be more difficult to achieve in the summer. Additionally, treating broadleaf weeds at this time of year may ‘burn’ your turfgrass. A few weeds we get multiple calls on every year are annual bluegrass and nutsedge. Annual bluegrass is a fall germinating weed that generally lives for less than

A Gardener’s Destination Welcome early spring with pansies and violas, snapdragons, cool season vegetables, seed potatoes, onion plants and sets, asparagus crowns, and strawberry plants. v Over 200 varieties of bulk seed, packaged seed from Renee’s Garden and Baker Creek v Fertilome fertilizers and LadyBug Organics v Beautiful spring flowering trees and shrubs v Elegant roses and perennials v Wind chimes, pottery, urns, statuary, lanterns, wrought iron décor vBirdhouses and feeders

a year. It is almost neon green in the spring and will grow a prolific amount of seeds. It will die with the heat of summer. Nutsedge, commonly called water grass, doesn’t start to gain steam until summer. This grass-like plant grows much faster than your lawn and is light green in color. Sedgehammer, available at your local lawn and garden center, will knock it back. All of this talk of weeds has me exhausted. Effective treatment involves proper timing, knowing what type of weed we are treating, AND making sure it is not too hot – or too cold – for active ingredients to work. I want to let you in on a little secret: a properly maintained lawn is the best defense against weeds. It’s true! Love your lawn, and it will outcompete most weeds, meaning time spent eradicating every weed in your lawn can be spent enjoying those annuals in your garden. A properly maintained lawn is: Mowed at the right height. Approximately 2.5 to 3 inches for Fescue lawns as well as lawns that are a blend of Fescue and Bluegrass. Mow pure Bluegrass

lawns at 2 to 2.5 inches. Miss a mowing? Don’t make it up in one mowing – never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. Watered adequately. Lawns need at least 1 inch of water per week. More (close to 2 inches) in the heat of summer. Receives Proper fertility. At a minimum, your lawn should be fertilized once in the spring and twice in the fall. The thicker your lawn, the fewer weeds you will have. Use weed controls on the weeds you do have, and keep in mind, most people look across your lawn, so an errant weed here and there is not as noticeable as you may think. To maximize this effect, put a container on your front porch with bright colored annuals. Cold temperatures and snow have put an early ‘spring’ on hold, but warmer temperatures are surely on their way. As lawns start to flourish, weeds inevitably follow. Follow the steps above, and your weed woes won’t last long. Peter Orwig is an agronomist at Ryan Lawn & Tree. He can be reached at 913-381-1505 or peterorwig@ryanlawn.com.

Let us maintain your landscaping.

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The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


Ken O’Dell

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ansas is noted for wide open spaces, grassland prairies, flint hill flora, but not for trees. It seems unusual that the American Champion Soapberry Tree would be in the state of Kansas. What makes a Champion Tree? The circumference of the trunk is measured 54” above the ground. The height and spread of the tree is measured or estimated. Points are given for each of these. Learn more by going to Kansas Forest Service (www.kansasforests.org/about/ championtrees.shtml). Country Club Tree Service (www.countryclubtreeservice.com) in Kansas City certified the measurements of America’s Champion Soapberry Tree. America’s Champion Soapberry is a fantastic tree that has withstood the dust bowl days, extreme droughts, disease, and civilization. Soapberry is also known as Western Soapberry and Chinaberry. The scientific name is Sapindus saponaria variety drummondii. Sapindus comes from sapo indicus or Indian Soap. Saponaria also indicates soap. The variety drum-

March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

mondii is in honor of the botanist Thomas Drummond, 1780 – 1835. The giant Soapberry that is crowned as the United States Champion Soapberry Tree is located at Ridgeview and 106th Street in Olathe, Kan. The tree is growing about 40 feet behind the John Deere sign. This is a welllandscaped office complex with many native plants and trees. It is obvious that excellent care is given to this champion tree. The location is twelve big blocks north of the Johnson County Extension Office. It is easy to park in the John Deere lot and an easy walk to the tree. Just follow the new concrete sidewalk that leads right to it. Look for the plaque that labels this Champion Tree. Large clusters of creamy-white flowers in late June and early July cover the tree on every small branch. When it comes to reproduction Soapberry is polygamous, having some flowers with stamens (male parts) only and some flowers with pistils (female parts) only and some flowers with both parts. The flowers produce shiny, round, lime green fruits one-half inch in diameter. The fruits change to a shiny, metallic light golden color when ripe. At that time you can see one black seed through the seed coat. It resembles a big egg of a fish. The seed coat is nearly clear and the black seed is easy to see. The seed coat is tough and difficult

Photos by Ken O’Dell.

America’s Champion Soapberry Tree

summer flowers

mature green seeds

clean seeds

washing with soapberries

to tear with your fingers. Use clippers to break the seed coat, allowing the mostly clear gel to ooze out. This is the soap if you choose to wash your hands with it. For some, it’s reported they may be allergic to this soap. Soapberry trees are found growing in groves near hillsides, prairie ravines, and the edge of woodlands. This American Champion Soapberry tree lost one of its large limbs last year as age and weight of the branch took its toll. The maintenance crew quickly trimmed the broken limb and sealed it. Now

it looks as good as new despite the fact that mechanical damage such as this never heals. Go see this magnificent old stalwart of Mother Nature. A trunk circumference of 10 1/2 feet, a height of 60 feet, spend some time under the canopy and consider the life of this historic tree. Ken O’Dell is a long time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum, serves on the board of The Kansas Native Plant Society and is the Kansas City Regional Leader of The Kansas Native Plant Society.

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Photos 1 and 5 courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Photos 4 and 8 courtesy of Johnny’s Selected Seeds, johnnyseeds.com.

Photos 2, 3, 6, 7, 9 and 10 courtesy of Burpee.com.

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9 The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


Patrick’s Picks: Direct-Sown Vegetables from the Heartland Harvest Garden Patrick Muir

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he Heartland Harvest Garden at our beloved Powell Gardens in Kingsville, Missouri, is an unheralded tribute to the potential of a vegetable garden. Laid out on 14 acres, it is America’s largest edible landscape. I can think of no better way to educate and inspire yourself than by visiting at least three times during the growing season. While he was Horticulturist in the Heartland Harvest Garden, I asked Matt Bunch to share the best vegetable selections whose seed are sown directly in the ground. Listed here are his recommendations. Order now in time for planting after our frost-free date. For maximum production, Bunch highly recommends ‘Contender’ Bush Bean (55 days to maturity) photo 6. With a strong distinctive flavor, the 6-8” pods are reported to freeze or can with no loss in flavor. Bunch says, “For looks, flavor and production, ‘Dragon’s Tongue’ Bush Bean (60-100 days) photo 10, with its yellow and purple mottling can’t be beat.” The mottling does fade during the cooking process. Bush beans are normally sown a couple times during the growing season. www.burpee.com The ‘Chinese Red Noodle’ Pole Bean (80 days) photo 1, has done incredibly well at the Heartland Harvest Garden, especially in our blazing summers. Bunch says, “Beans are harvested when 8-12” long and have a spicy, earthiness with a wonderful crunch when eaten raw. This heirloom is a great March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

addition to curries and stir-fries.” www.rareseeds.com Another legume for your consideration is the ‘Midori Giant’ Edamame (80 days) photo 3. This selection is a wonderfully productive green soybean with a sweet, buttery flavor. Seeds are much larger than other varieties and can frequently bear up to three per pod. Edamame is a highly nutritious food source normally prepared steamed and salted as a snack, but can also be eaten raw. www.burpee.com With gorgeous, deep burgundy foliage and creamy yellow blossoms, ‘Red Velvet’ Okra (70 days) photo 7, might feel more at home behind the zinnias in your flower garden. Seeds germinate quickly in warm soil and plants perform well in high heat and drought conditions. Bunch says “Harvest continues even throughout the summer and needs to be done every other day when the fruits are 3-4” long.” Can’t you hear the gumbo calling? www.burpee.com While botanically classified as a melon, the ‘Armenian’ Cucumber, photo 2, is best harvested at 12-18” but can reach up to 3’ long. Bunch says, “Plants are robust and will take over an arbor or trellis quickly.” Skin is so soft that there is no need to peel before serving. Refrigerate after harvesting for maximum usage. ‘Suyo Long’ Cucumber (70 days) photo 9, is a long, thin, dark green and warty selection with very succulent crisp fruit. Bunch says, “The plant is best trellised and will yield dozens of 8-12” long fruit throughout the summer season.” www.burpee.com ‘Magda’ Summer Squash (50 days) photo 4, is a Mediterranean, Cousa variety with a full-bodied, tender and almost nutty flavor. High-yielding fruits range from 1-2 lbs. and are best picked at 6-8”

in length. Bunch says, “With all summer squash, make sure to sow multiple times during the growing season to ensure a constant harvest.” www.johnnyseeds.com

Tennessee’ Cantaloupe (80 Days) photo 5. It is a delicious orangefleshed fruit that can feed an army with fruit at up to 15 lbs. “Melons can be trellised, but due to the

10 A true heirloom classic, ‘Waltham Butternut’ Winter Squash (100 days) photo 8, can yield an astounding dozen or more 1-3 lb. fruit from one plant. This heirloom is cherished for its numerous culinary applications. The vining plant can be trellised, but more often is allowed to ramble on the ground. ‘Waltham Butternut’ should be left on the vine until fully mature and is excellent for storing. www.johnnyseeds.com Bunch says, “A deeply ridged melon with an uncharacteristic oblong shape is ‘Old Time

size of this one, it is best to let it ramble. Grow for the organic, gourmet foodie types in your life. www.rareseeds.com So do yourself a favor and try one of these well-proven selections in 2014. And better yet, do yourself a glorious favor and see them in action at the Heartland Harvest Garden with a Family Membership for only $60. Patrick Muir can be reached at patrickmuir808@gmail.com or visit his blog at www.patricksgarden.com. 17


Photos by Lenora Larson.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), does double duty as a cat food for Monarch caterpillars and nectar source for many pollinators, including this Great Spangled Fritillary whose caterpillars dine exclusively on wild violet foliage.

Sighting a Zebra Swallowtail verifies a nearby Paw-paw patch. (Asimina triloba)

Butterflies Go Native!

The Vital Connection Between Native Plants and Butterflies

Lenora Larson

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ardeners and butterflies share a mutual interest in native plants. Many gardeners appreciate their relatively low maintenance and beauty. Butterflies appreciate a particular native plant because their larval feeding stage depends exclusively on that plant, and no other in the universe will do. Back to the Classroom A brief biology lesson explains why butterfly aficionados emphasize caterpillar food plants rather than flowers for butterfly survival. The beautiful winged adult butterfly is only one of four stages of this insect’s life! Typically adulthood is the shortest stage, lasting only a few days to a few weeks. Adult butterflies have just one purpose: reproduction. They do not eat or grow—that’s the caterpillar’s job. Some (but definitely not all) species of butterflies sip nectar, but any nectar-rich flower, native or ornamental, with a convenient landing strip and short nectaries will do. However, unlike the adults, the caterpillars of each species of butterfly have a specific plant food. 18

Most gardeners already understand the obligatory relationship between the Milkweed family, Asclepiadacea, and Monarch caterpillars. Only selected members of the genus Aristolochia (pipevines) can be eaten by Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars. The Zebra Swallowtail caterpillar restricts its menu to just one species of plant, our native Asimina triloba, the Paw-paw. So if we lose a native plant that is an obligate host, we also lose the butterfly that depends upon it. If a female butterfly does not find the correct caterpillar food plant, she will die with a belly full of unlaid eggs. Just as well, since her babies can eat no other food and would starve to death if the eggs were to hatch on the wrong plant. Butterflies as Botanists Butterflies are superb botanists,

host. All are garden-worthy attractive plants or trees.

recognizing plants at the molecular level. They “smell” with their antennae, so when an airborne host plant molecule slams into their antennae’s chemical receptors, the butterfly is like a heatseeking missile as it follows the trail of molecules back to its caterpillar’s potential food. Male butterflies guard territories over their species’ host plant because that is where they will meet the ladies. Pregnant females “taste” the host leaf with their feet and when the chemical receptor on the foot and the plant molecule connect like a lock and key, they lay an egg. Hybrids and imported ornamentals from the same genus will also be used if they have the essential molecule that prompts butterflies to lay their eggs and prompts caterpillars to start eating. The table lists some of our common large butterflies and their native plant

Summary Imagine the clouds of butterflies in your yard if you had all these native plants! (I do!) And have you noticed that so many wild flowers are mauve (lavender- pink) or yellow? This is not a coincidence. Butterflies identify nectar plants by sight and those are their favorite colors. By planting these specific native plants in your yard, you are creating a butterfly garden that supports both the adults and caterpillars. MICO Extension Master Gardener and Kansas Native Plant Society member, Lenora Larson gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kansas. Contact her at lenora. longlips@gmail.com.

Butterfly Species

Native Plant Caterpillar Food

Monarch Viceroy Zebra Swallowtail Pipevine Swallowtail Black Swallowtails Giant Swallowtail Tiger Swallowtail Fritillaries Red-spotted Purple Cloudless & Common Sulphurs Common Buckeye American Lady White-lined Sphinx Moth (acts like a butterfly)

Milkweed family, the Asclepias (18 native in KS & MO) Willow, Cherry & Hackberry trees Paw-paws, Asimina Triloba Native (not toxic ornamentals!!) Pipevines, Aristolochia sp. Carrot family, including Golden Alexanders, Zizia aurea Citrus family, including Hoptree & Prickly Ash Cherry, Hackberry & Tulip Trees Violet family Cherry & Hackberry Trees Wild Senna & Partridge Pea Virginia Plantain (& the non-native Common Plantain) Pussy’s Toes (Antennaria species) Evening Primrose, Oenothera biennis The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


Naturescaping Workshop and Native Plant Sale Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center 1401 NW. Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015 Beautify your landscape with some of Missouri’s best natural resources, native plants! Learn how to save time, money and create wildlife habitat with educational sessions.

#TastyGardening

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bed Prep Made Easy

Workshop 8:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Scott Woodbury, Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in association with the Missouri Botanical Garden: Designing a Native Garden for Beauty and Function. Scott will also offer a presentation on Native Gardening with Deer. Presentations: Eight to choose from: 1. Native Plants from Seed; 2. Shade-loving Plants; 3. Wild Edibles; 4. Tree and Shrub Planting 101; 5. Native Bees and Solitary Bee Houses (make a bee house to take home); 6. Bird and Butterfly Gardening; 7. George O. White State Nursery; 8. Stepping Stones (make one to take home) • Registration required. Call 816-228-3766 to register. • Bee Houses and Stepping Stones: participation is limited to supplies on a first come, first served sign-up morning of workshop. • All workshop attendees will receive a free tree or shrub seedling (select from 5 species) provided by George O. White State Nursery. • All workshop attendees who turn in an evaluation at workshop’s end are eligible for the PRIZE DRAWING (including MDC publications and plants)! Native Plant Sale: We host Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, selling native perennial plants. Missouri is the genetic origin for their seed sources. They have good prices and wonderfully robust, nice-sized plants. The Native Plant Sale is open from 12:45-1:15 p.m. for workshop participants and 1:15-3:45 p.m. for the public. Adults only. No charge for workshop or materials for make and take home presentations.

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March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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www.grownative.org

Cindy Gilberg

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here better to be on a hot, summer Missouri afternoon than relaxing in a shady nook in a woodland garden. For inspiration on designing a woodland garden, go to the source—take a walk in a natural area. Soon after the first springtime chorus of spring peepers, Missouri woodlands burst with a rapid succession of woodland flowers, beautifully contrasted with unfurling fern fronds, lush green sedges, and mosses.

Begin by creating a meandering path that leads through the shady space—include a bench or chair for sitting and relaxing. Note which trees should remain and whether larger trees need lower limbs removed to allow for an understory planting of small trees, shrubs, and perennials. Always identify and remove any bush honeysuckle and other invasive species. Add small, spring-blooming trees that Missouri’s woodlands are well-known for: dogwood, redbud, and serviceberry. Both dogwood and serviceberry have showy flowers and later produce fruit for birds. Among the first signs of spring are the fragrant, yellow blossoms of vernal witch hazel that appear on balmy days in February. Their soft, sweet scent greets you long before you find the source. Another small tree to add is spicebush, which has

Straight From Our Farm Stop by our Farm Direct Store this spring. We will have special low every day pricing on select plants grown at our farms. locally grown • hand picked • extraordinary selection

Celebrating

100 years of serving Kansas City

Photos by Scott Woodbury.

Spring Woodland Flowers for Your Native Garden

chartreuse flowers, tolerates moist soils, is host plant for Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies and provides bright red berries for birds. One early-blooming spring small tree that is an excellent choice for adding habitat value is wild plum. You can partake in the bounty of fruit if you can get to it before the wildlife does. Excellent shrub choices include wild hydrangea, coral berry, and fragrant sumac. Use shrubs en masse to form tall ground cover and to visually fill the middle layer of the scene beneath the trees. Note that many of the spring blooming woodland plants are ephemeral—they emerge, bloom, and then go dormant by mid-June, not to be seen again until the next spring. Add these species later as highlights along the path. This list includes early-blooming spring

beauty, annual blue-eyed Mary, bloodroot, and bluebells. Along the path use shorter native ground cover species. Wild ginger and alum root have rounded leaves that contrast well with the spiky leaves of the short crested iris. Groundsel (Senecio obovatus) also has round leaves, is evergreen, and blooms yellow. Include wild violets for habitat value as they are host plants for the Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly. White-flowering woodland sedum is yet another choice to try. Oak sedge (Carex albicans) and cedar sedge (Carex eburnea) are fine-textured, grasslike species that add great textural contrast when combined with any of the above. Use taller perennials to highlight the scene. Pink wild geranium, lavender wild sweet William, and yellow celandine poppy are

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among favorite choices for woodland gardens. Bright red flowers of columbine and red buckeye herald the return of hummingbirds after their long, northward migration. Above the fern-like, mostly evergreen foliage of Jacob’s ladder rise flower spikes covered in blue flowers. One of my favorites— Indian pink (Spigelia)—blooms in late spring with bright red tubular flowers that open to reveal a bright yellow star. Ferns add a primeval, lush quality to the garden and a delicate texture that is unrivaled. In general, ferns thrive in more organic soil so addition of some compost may be necessary. Ferns add a finishing touch that provides a rich green foil that highlights other plants. Native ferns, sedges, and wildflowers are available from many native plant nurseries and garden centers. Consult the Resource Guide at www.grownative.org for sources. Choose and arrange plants in combinations that provide textural contrast, a key design element, in order to maintain visual interest after the plants’ flowers are just March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

a memory. Add natural elements such as mossy stones and fallen logs to create a more natural scene and for winter interest. Small water features can be included to attract birds, butterflies, and other small creatures. This can be as simple as a bubbler stone or a pondless waterfall, both of which add habitat benefit to any garden. After a long, cold Missouri winter, cabin fever heightens the need to feel a warm spring sun, see green, and watch the flowers bloom. This long-awaited time of year unfolds in our woodlands like a symphony, creating a crescendo of floral excitement. Pollinators, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife also anxiously await this time of year. Add some of these plants to your shade garden to paint a soothing picture where you can be, away from the hectic world, and take in the natural surroundings. Cindy Gilberg is a horticulturist, landscape designer, and a professional member of Grow Native!, a program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

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Daylily

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embers of the Lilium and Hemerocallis genera of plants are very poisonous to cats. Examples of hazardous plants for our feline companions include Lilium longiflorum (Easter lilies), L. tigrinum (tiger lilies), L. auratum (stargazer lilies), L. speciosum (rubrum lilies), L. lancifolium (Japanese show lilies) and Hemerocallis species (daylilies). It is important to remember that not all plants containing the name “lily” are considered true lilies. For example, lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis), peace lily (Spathiphyllum species) and calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) are also potentially poisonous to animals but are not nearly as dangerous to cats as true lilies and daylilies. The specific toxic compound in lilies has not been identified but appears to be in the water-soluble fraction of the plant. Exposure to any part of the plant is dangerous but ingestion of leaves or flowers is most common. Eating as few as 2 to 3 leaves or flower petals can cause problems and some cats are pur-

ported to become ill after grooming pollen from their hair coat after rubbing against the flowers. Lily poisoning causes acute kidney failure in cats, which is often life threatening. Clinical signs include sudden onset of vomiting, depression and loss of appetite. Early decontamination and treatment is necessary to prevent irreversible kidney damage. Interestingly, dogs only develop mild gastrointestinal signs after ingesting large quantities of lily plant material, which suggests that the cat’s unique metabolism somehow contributes to the clinical problems. Sudden onset of health problems in cats that have exposure to true lilies and daylilies should prompt immediate veterinary medical attention. Phil Roudebush is a retired veterinarian, specialist in small animal internal medicine and adjunct faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. He is an Extension Master Gardener in Shawnee County, Kansas. He can be reached at philroudebush@gmail.com.

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Riding the Weather Roller Coaster

Leah Berg

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ager for spring after a stressful winter, will our patience be tested further with more roller coaster weather patterns? Plants and gardeners don’t like roller coasters. We don’t like sudden changes from below freezing weather to 50- or 60-degree days, followed by another manic drop below 30 degrees. Concern applies to our tender perennials and woody shrubs trying to survive sudden Midwest temperature tantrums. In recent years of milder winters with the greater Kansas City area reclassified as USDA zone 6 for winter hardiness, we’ve planted many more varieties potentially vulnerable to weather damage. If we have a long cool spring certain deciduous shrubs may look dead, but possibly still break dormancy very late. People sometimes tear out plants prematurely if they can’t identify the species or understand the growth habits. To minimize damage in March, refrain from trimming shrubs as long as possible. When spring fever hits on warm days, beware indulging the urge “to tidy up.” Clipping live woody stems stimulates growth of the dormant buds. It’s fine to remove clearly dead or broken stems, so limit efforts to those until well past the risk of freeze damage. Leaving last year’s full-length stems longer protects the crowns of plants like butterfly bush, crapemyrtles, and blue mist shrub (Caryopteris) which do not bloom until summer. Once the lateral buds start responding to warmer ground and spring rains, they grow rapidly and eventually produce flowers on new growth. With an eye on the long-range forecast, I may wait until mid-April or later to cut mine back to about 6-12 inches above the ground. March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

I take a conservative approach with my roses, too, trimming only when I feel safe from risk of ice or temperatures below 30 degrees (usually early to mid-April). When early spring-blooming shrubs like azaleas and rhododendrons break dormancy gradually, we enjoy abundant flowers. Their flower buds developed and set last year, so they won’t bloom if they suffer damage due to a sudden freeze following a prolonged warm period in early spring. Likewise, if someone asks “Why didn’t my forsythia or lilacs bloom well?” it simply may be that someone trimmed them in fall or early winter. They literally cut off the dormant flowers which form on older wood, not new wood. As some re-blooming varieties of hydrangeas, lilacs, and azaleas like the Encore® series entered the market in recent years, Midwestern gardeners embraced them. The prospect of flowering on new wood as well as old wood in these tricky species led to breakthroughs in plant development, marketing and sales that have not slowed. New series of repeat blooming azaleas, hydrangeas and more flowering favorites were introduced by growers at the Western Nursery and Landscape trade show in early January, available soon at our favorite garden centers. Tested in trial gardens for years before we see them, we may use some of these along with old favorites to replace anything that did not survive a tough winter. As we wait to assess damage to landscape plants from fluctuating weather extremes including drought, we also need to pay close attention to evidence of soil shifting and settling. Retaining walls or terraced beds may not be level due to poorly prepared bases. Inspect basement foundations for cracks where water may penetrate when soaking rains begin. With the freeze/thaw effect following many dry months, some foundations may need new soil added strategically. When spring fever surges on early warm days, walk the property with a camera and start working on a To Do list. Do gutters need to

Limit efforts to prune shrubs until well past the risk of freeze damage.

Azalea buds that developed last year won’t bloom if damaged by a sudden freeze.

be cleaned, downspouts redirected or extended and buried to help address drainage problems? Which broken tree limbs are hazardous and hanging over driveways or roofs? Seek advice from qualified professionals when needed. The person who mows lawns may not be qualified or insured to trim trees or shrubs or properly advise about foundation repairs, just as the company who solves a wet basement

problem rarely has expertise with landscape plants. I like the change of seasons, with spring flowers all the sweeter after a tiresome winter…and the vision of homegrown tomatoes already in my daydreams. Leah Berg is a landscape designer with a conservation emphasis. She also teaches at MCC-Longview. To consult privately, contact her at 816-353-7170.

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Later that same morning, class attendees can learn why the Arboretum can boast of such diverse flora and fauna. Lynda Ochs will start with a classroom presentation followed by a tour through the chipped trails and explain our distinct natural areas and the wide variety of living things they support. The Arboretum has partnered with the National Phenology Network. Anyone can participate in this program as a citizen-scientist and help researchers study climate patterns. NPN information is available at the Arboretum and at www. usanpn.org. The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is located about 1/2 mile west of Highway 69 on 179th Street. To register for these classes and for more information, go to www.opabg.org and click on “Classes and Events.”

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ne of the reasons the Arboretum exists is to educate all ages about the natural world around us. Many school field trips enjoy “Outdoor Classroom” during the school year, scout troops frequently scour the woods in search of interesting plants and animals, and every day hikers explore the eight diverse ecosystems across the Arboretum’s 300 acres. There is no more beautiful “classroom” than the Arboretum in which to expand your knowledge of nature. This spring, there are a wide variety of nature classes to choose from: Ken O’Dell, a seasoned plant propagator, will lead a hands-on class March 13 featuring the propagation of native plants from seed. Participants will take home a flat of planted seeds. Lynda Ochs, wildflower expert, will lead tours down into the woods on April 16 and 23 to show participants a wide range of woodland wildflowers they never knew existed. Two nature classes will be held on May 17. Bird enthusiasts will enjoy Mike Stokes, active member of the Burroughs Audubon Society, Squaw Creek Leadership team and the Kansas Rare Birds Committee, who will lead an informative morning bird walk.

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March

garden calendar n LAWNS

• Mow as needed depending on spring growth, around 3 inches for bluegrass and tall fescue. • Avoid scalping the lawn in spring: only lower mowing height by one-half inch to remove debris. • Spot spray for early spring weeds such as dandelions, henbit and chickweed. • Tune up mower and start the season with a new or sharp blade. • Apply crab grass preventers in late March through mid-April. • Spot seed bare areas: loosen soil with a rake prior to seeding. • Avoid early March fertilization as it promotes top growth at the expense of root development. • Test your soil every three to five years to monitor nutrient needs of the lawn.

n TREES AND SHRUBS

• For maximum beauty, prune deciduous trees after flowering. • Prune spring flowering shrubs, lilacs and forsythia for example after bloom. • Fertilize young trees and shrubs. • Plant new trees and shrubs through early May for best results. • Mulch around the bases to reduce competition and protect trunks from damage. • Apply dormant oil application for control of scales, insects and mites if needed.

n FLOWERS

• Plant cool season flowers such as pansies, snapdragons and calendulas by end of month. • Prepare soil by adding organic matter for spring planting and test. • Clean up garden by removing old growth as new foliage emerges. • Start transplants under lights for summer color. • Plant new roses and when possible, purchase plants grown on their own roots, not grafted.

• Plant perennials. • Remove winter mulch when spring growth begins. • Divide overgrown perennials. • Fertilize spring flowering bulbs as they emerge. • Pinch seed pods from spring bulbs and retain foliage to encourage development for next year. • Cut ornamental grasses back to 6 inches.

n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Prepare soil for spring planting, but avoid doing so when soil is too wet and muddy. • Plant spring transplants: broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. • Plant potatoes, peas, onions and other salad crops. • Start transplants for garden plantings. • Plant asparagus and rhubarb. • Stock up on seed needs for the season. • Prune fruit trees, grapes and brambles. • Apply dormant oil to fruit crops for control of mites and scale insects. • Treat for peach leaf curl with lime sulfur or other labeled products. • Plant new fruit crops. • Turn compost pile or start a new one for the summer.

n HOUSEPLANTS

• Begin fertilization as spring sunlight arrives. • Propagate new plants from cuttings. • Give leggy plants a haircut and shape for added beauty. • Repot overgrown plants into next size larger pot, about 1 inch bigger. • Do not rush to move plants outdoors until temperatures remain about 55 degrees. • Clean plants by washing off dust in the shower or with a stream of room temperature water.

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

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Extension Horticulture Classes All Times: 7–9 p.m. Fee: $10 per person Registration Requested at least one week in advance. Enrollment limited. To enroll go to www.johnson.ksu.edu and click on All Extension Classes, Horticulture All classes will be held at: Johnson County K-State Research and Extension 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500, Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 715-7000 Monday, March 10 - Growing Herbs for Year-Round Enjoyment Herbs are a popular garden plant to grow. This presentation will offer information on selecting, growing, and cooking with herbs, as well as some simple and fun ideas to help you incorporate these useful plants into your life. Herbs reward the gardener’s effort all year long. Speaker: Linda Dunehoo, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener Monday, March 24 – Gardening for Pollinators Honeybee populations are declining every year, and many gardeners are starting to ask, “Are there any native insects that might take their place?” This informative session will introduce you to several species of pollinating insects native to the Kansas City area. We’ll learn how to identify these hardworking gentle creatures, as well as things we can do and plants we can plant to encourage these pollinators to thrive in our own neighborhoods. Speaker: Meg Mullett, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

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Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see Club Meetings African Violets Club of Greater Kansas City Tues, Mar 11, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Bonsai Society of GKC Sat, Mar 8, and Mar 29, 9am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshops. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Mar 16, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Mar 3, 6pm, presentation at 6:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64112. Guest speaker Rita Arnold, Arnold’s Greenhouse and Garden Center. Rita will be sharing the exciting New Annuals, Vegetables, Herbs, Perennials, Roses & Shrubs for 2014. New introductions are the driving force and excitement in gardening every spring. She will also present new introductions that will be available at Arnold’s this spring. Non-member guests are always welcome. Contact Vince Vogel at 816-313-8733 for additional questions. Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Mar 12, noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Visitors are welcome. Please call 913-592-3546 for a luncheon reservation.Membership meeting. Greater Kansas City Iris Society Mon, Mar 10, 6:30pm social, meeting and program 7-9pm; at Trailside Center, 99th & Holmes, Kansas City, MO. Guests welcome. Contact Shelley Clements for additional information. 913-226-5580

Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Mar 13, 7pm; at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd, Prairie Village KS. Wake Up and Plant the Roses – first program of the year will be of interest to both new and experienced rose growers. The Consulting Rosarians will give guidance on planting roses as well as how to get our roses off to a good start now for great summer blooming. Meeting is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarians Corner” for a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian about specific questions or concerns regarding all aspects of rose growing and care. The Consulting Rosarians will also give timely tips about caring for roses “This Month in the Rose Garden”. For more information visit www.rosesocietyjoco.org or at www.facebook.com/JoCoRoses. Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Mar 16, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300 Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Mar 3, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. The public is invited to learn about the many ways to incorporate vertical gardening into your own garden. Merle Sharp, Johnson County Master Gardener, and retired landscape designer, will discuss and show many beautiful garden photos using plants, structures and then giving solutions to get the most out of using vertical gardening ideas. Much of her work focuses on using vines, espaliers, trellises and plants filling nooks and crannies. For more information, call 816569-3440 or 913-599-4141.

Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Mar 15, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership meeting. 816-784-5300

Kansas Native Plant Society Wed, Mar 12, 1pm; at Schlagle Library, Downstairs Meeting Room, 4501 West Dr, Kansas City, KS 66109. Topic: Woodland Wildflowers and Trees of Wyandotte County Lake Park. Speaker: Elizabeth Petroski. A powerpoint presentation featuring the spring wildflowers and native trees that are growing in the Park. Plant lists and a map will be handed out for reference. Free to the public. Contact: epetroske@hotmail.com

Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Mar 22, 9:30am hospitality, 10am meeting, then program; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St (67 & Roe), Prairie Village, KS. Local plant expert, Dr James Waddick will present his program, Choice and Uncommon Shade Plants Suited to Kansas City Gardens. Jim is one of the founding members of the HH&SPS, and since has led botany tours abroad, authored or co-authored several books, as well as articles in numerous publications. His own Parkville garden features many interesting and uncommon plants. Potluck luncheon after the meeting. Guests are welcome. Call Gwen 816-213-0598 for more information.

Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Mar 11, 7pm; at Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence (1263 N 1100 Rd). Meets monthly to learn about herbs. We explore all aspects of an herb: growing & harvesting, historical lore, culinary virtues, medicinal merits, and aromatherapy, household, and cosmetic applications. Our gatherings are fun and educational, and jam-packed with useful information, including relevant demonstrations. Everyone with an interest in herbs is welcome. There is a $2 charge to cover costs (KVHSG is a non-profit group; no charge for students). No pets. Nursing babies and children over 10 are welcome. herbstudygroup@ gmail.com

Idalia Butterfly Society Sat, Mar 8, 5:30pm Pot-luck Dinner, 7pm Presentation; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7700 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Free to the public. Bar-tending for Butterflies: Nectar-rich Flowers. Speaker: Lenora Larson. Although they can sip nectar from many species of flowers, butterflies are highly discriminating. Favorites will attract swarms of butterflies, while other flowers, perhaps even more beautiful and fragrant to humans, will have no visitors. Learn how to be a butterfly saloonkeeper, attracting the largest number and variety of butterflies. Lenora Larson is a Miami County Master Gardener and member of local chapters of both the Idalia Butterfly Society and Kansas Native Plant Society. She maintains a 2 acre NABA (North American Butterfly Association) certified garden on her property, Long Lips Farm, in rural Paola, Kansas. Questions? Contact lenora.longlips@gmail.com

Leawood Garden Club Tues, Mar 25, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St, Leawood, KS. This will be a silent auction with items donated by area businesses up for bid. The noon program will be a special one – a presentation by Jim Hamil, well known Kansas City area artist. He developed a special interest in our American midlands – the Flint Hills, the wheat fields, the rivers, the old barns, the quaint farmhouses and busy cities that together are Kansas. His paintings can be found in numerous collections throughout the country. Jim will speak on and demonstrate painting flowers. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts provided. Open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Call 913 642-3317 with questions or email Joan at westonsmom@earthlink.net.

Independence Garden Club Mon, Mar 10, 6:30pm; at the Sermon Center, fourth floor, corner of Truman and Noland Rds. Program is to be announced at the meeting. Refreshments will be served. For more information call 816-373-1169 or 816-796-4220. Visit us at our web site www.independencegardenclub.com.

Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Mar 11, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 SW Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. We will have a guest speaker, refreshments will be provided. Visitors are always welcome. For additional information: www.leessummitgardenclub. org and 816-540-4036. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Sat, Mar 1, 1pm; at Family Tree Nursery, 7036 Nieman, Shawnee, KS. Representatives from the

The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


nursery will share new plants and garden ideas for 2014. www.lenexafieldandgardenclub.org Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Mar 15, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, in Rose Room, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Join us for a program on begonia hybridizing. All are welcome. 816-721-2274 Northland Garden Club Tues, Feb 18, 7pm; at Linden Baptist Church, 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone (69th and N Holmes). The program will be presented by Dee West on “Unusual Garden Applications from the Conservancy Tour in Chicago”. Check website for information: www. northlandgardenclub.com. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Mar 18, 12:30pm; at the Bass Pro Shop, 12051 Bass Pro Dr, Olathe, KS. The program: “Creative Yards and Gardens”. The public is always welcome. For details, call Joan Shriver at 913-492-3566. The Club would also encourage a visit to the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Olathe (Old 56 Hwy and Harrison St) when the daffodils bloom. They’ve been planting daffodils there for 4 or 5 years, and there will be 500 or more plants in bloom this year. Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City Sun, Mar 9, 1:30pm; at the Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Speaker is Mark Prout, American Orchid Society Judge, “The Basics of Growing Orchids in the KC Area”. Open to the public. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Mar 10, 7pm, program at 7:30pm, at Colonial Presbyterian Church, 71st & Mission Rd, Prairie Village KS. Our speaker this month will be Kevin Swan of Swan Water Gardens. He will be speaking about the many kinds of water features that can be placed in gardens. Meeting is open to the public and we invite you to attend. Additional info, Sallie Wiley at 913-236-5193. Shawnee Garden Club Thurs, Mar 6, 7pm; at the Town Hall of Old Shawnee Town, 11600 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS. Topic: Soil, presented by Bill Nolde. Learn how to deal with our terrible soil conditions here in the Kansas City area. Public is always welcome. Door prizes and refreshments. www.shawneegarden.homestead.com ShoMe African Violets Club Fri, Mar 14, 10:30am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Joint Membership meeting. 816-784-5300

Events, Lectures & Classes March Growing Vegetables in Kansas Sat, Mar 1, 10am-1pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. MICO EMG Lenora Larson grows most of her own food and will share her experiences. Do you yearn to grow produce yummy, nutritious food for your family? Learn how to succeed, despite our challenging Kansas climate and soil. Whether you have just a patio, a small yard or a large farm, you can produce a bountiful vegetable garden. Topics range from soil health, plant selection, maintenance (AKA weeding and watering!) and insect visitors. Enjoy this country setting which includes a gourmet lunch prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Call 913-271-7451 for reservations or sign up and pay for the class at www. hootowlgardens.com. Floral Design Class Thurs, Mar 6, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Gardeners Connect. Must RSVP at www.gardenersconnect.org. Spring Workshops Mar 6, 6:30-7:30pm: Popular & New Tree & Shrub Varieties; Mar 12, 6:30-7:30pm: Container Gardening; Mar 20, 6:30-7:30pm: Rose Care; all at Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Parkway, Lawrence, KS. FREE. Please RSVP at 785-8423081. Garden Ministry Kickoff Breakfast Sat, Mar 8, 8-11am; at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, 1600 North 291 Highway (I-35 & 291), Liberty, MO 64068. Bring the whole family to Pleasant Valley Baptist Church’s annual Garden Ministry Kickoff

Breakfast in the West Wing. Enjoy three workshops: 1) New Plants in 2014, 2) Best Techniques for Vegetable Gardening and 3) Landscaping for Curb Appeal. Master Gardeners will provide workshops for the kids. Prizes and giveaways. Browse vendor tables. 816-781-5959

Hotlines for Gardeners

Growing Orchids in the Kansas City Area Sun, Mar 9, 2pm; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS 66215. A free workshop sponsored by the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. Open to the Public. www.osgkc.org

Extension Master Gardeners are ready to answer your gardening questions.

Vegetable Class Tues, Mar 11, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Gardeners Connect. Must RSVP at www.gardenersconnect.org. Roses for Kansas City Wed, Mar 12, 6:30-8:30pm; Raytown South Middle School. Contact Raytown Community Education to enroll, 816-268-7119 and for directions to classroom. Class fee: $10. Consider enhancing your landscape with some of the many great roses that do well in Kansas City. Instead of the over-planted Knock Out series, look at other varieties and sources nearby to find them. Discuss proper planting and maintenance, and where to view some mature examples in public gardens. Instructor: Leah Berg. Native Plant Seed Class Thurs, Mar 13, 1-2:30pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Class is limited to 20 people. Ken O’Dell will guide you step by step through the process of finding and tagging wildflower plants, and gathering, planting and growing their seed. See how to cut dry seed heads, handle them until it is time to clean the seed, and then how to clean and store the seed. Ken will provide seeds he gathered in September and October, some already cleaned for you to use in this class. You will learn what kind of soil to use, how much to water the pots, and how much light the seedlings need during and after germination. You will plant different wildflower seeds with a label for each pot. Then take the flat of pots home and watch your wildflowers grow! Class Fee $10 per person plus admission fee to the Garden. Class is limited to 20 people. Register for classes by going to www.opabg.org. No refunds. Growing and Cooking Vegetables in Your Garden Thurs, Mar 13, 6-8pm; at UM Extension Office, 105 East 5th St, Kansas City, MO 64106. Practical tips for growing vegetables you can plant in cool weather. Topic: Growing, Storing and Preparing Cole Crops. $10. Register at elliottk@missouri.edu or kumarl@ missouri.edu; or phone 816-482-5850. Soil & Water Conservation Thurs, Mar 13, 6-7:30pm; at Sunflower Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1216 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS 66112. Presentation by Lonnie Miller, Conservationist, will include displays and hands-on activities for adults to learn more about conserving our water and soil resources. No registration required. $5.00 class fee. Sponsored by Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners.

785-843-7058; dgemg@sunflower.com; Mon-Fri, 1-4pm

GREATER KANSAS CITY MISSOURI AREA

816-833-8733 (TREE); Mon-Fri, 9am to 3pm

JOHNSON COUNTY, KS

913-715-7050; Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm; garden.help@jocogov.org

JOHNSON COUNTY, MO

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

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY

913-364-5700; Apr 15 thru Jul 1, Monday 10am-1pm, Thursday 1-4pm

MIAMI COUNTY

913-294-4306; Mon-Fri, 9am-noon

PLATTE COUNTY

816-270-2141; Wed, 1-4pm

WYANDOTTE COUNTY

913-299-9300; Mon, Wed, Fri, 9am-noon and 1-4pm

March Weather Repor t

Highs and Lows Avg temp 44° Avg high temp 53° Avg low temp 34° Highest recorded temp 91° Lowest recorded temp -2° Nbr of above 70° days 5

Clear or Cloudy

Free Lawn Seminar Sat, Mar 15, 10am; at Springtime Garden Center, 1601 NE Tudor Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Door prizes, refreshments. RSVP. Space limited. 816-525-4226

Avg nbr of clear days 7

Grow Your Own Veggies Seminar Sat, Mar 15, 1-3pm; at Earl May Lawrence, 3200 Iowa St. 785-749-5082

Rain and Snow

Vegetable Class Tues, Mar 18, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Gardeners Connect. Must RSVP at www.gardenersconnect.org.

Avg rainfall 2.5”

Floral Design Class Thurs, Mar 20, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Gardeners Connect. Must RSVP at www.gardenersconnect.org. Birding Adventure for Children Fri, Mar 21, 1-2:30pm; at Overland Park Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $5 per person for class plus admission fee to gardens. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Would you like to learn about our feathered friends, where they live and observe them in their native habitat and how they are equipped to survive? Observe them through binoculars at our bird yard. Adult presence/

(continued on page 28)

March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Avg nbr of cloudy days 16

Avg snowfall 3.6” Avg nbr of rainy days 10 Source: WeatherReports.com

From the Almanac Moon Phases New Moon: Mar. 1 First Quarter: Mar. 8 Full Moon: Mar. 16 Last Quarter: Mar. 23 New Moon: Mar. 30 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Above Ground Crops: 1, 2, 5-7, 10-12, 30

Plant Root Crops: 18-21

Control Plant Pests: 23, 26-28

Transplant: 10-12

Plant Flowers: 1, 2, 5-7, 30

27


Gardeners Connect presents:

‘Proven Perennials’ by Richard Hawke

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ith hundreds of new perennials being introduced every year, most of us have had high expectations dashed by disappointing results. Richard Hawke, who will present a free Gardeners Connect program at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, has given a thumbs up or the fish eye to thousands of plants as plant evaluation manager for Chicago Botanic Garden. He plans to share some of what his research has found during his program, “Proven Perennials.” Hawke plans to talk about the evaluation program he has worked with since 1988 and managed since 2000. He plans to give special emphasis to four genera: echinacea, geranium, phlox and thalictrum. The program will be held in the theater (Room 103) in the Student Union on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus. The Student Union is on the southwest corner of 51st Street and Cherry Street. It is across the street from the Linda Hall Library. Hawke is responsible for the evaluation of about 1,200 taxa of perennials, shrubs, vines and small trees. Herbaceous perennials are his strongest focus. “So many plants have a premium price, and if they don’t perform as expected, people get disenchanted,” Hawke said. “You’ll find what’s hot and new in catalogs and magazines, but I’m all about the tried-and-true. We’re here to tell the average gardener and the green industry how plants performed in our evaluations.” The herbaceous plants under evaluation are grown outdoors in side-by-side trials for at least four years. Vines and shrubs are evaluated for at least six years. 28

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see (continued from page 27) participation required. Class limited to 12 children ages 9 -12. Please dress to go outside and wear sturdy shoes. Register for classes at www.opabg.org and follow the prompts. No refunds for missed classes. Free Rose Demonstration Sat, Mar 22, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64112. The Kansas City Rose Society, in partnership with the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, will be hosting a Free Rose Demonstration. Judy Penner, the Loose Park Director/Rosarian will demonstrate how to prune and plant roses in the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden. Learn when to uncover your roses and more! Members of the Kansas City Rose Society will be available to answer questions and refreshments will be provided. Growing Strawberries Sat, Mar 22, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Strawberries make an excellent edible ground cover. Learn how to grow your own and discover ways to preserve your ‘fruit’ of your labors. Sample homemade strawberry jam. Learn easy recipes and instructions for making your own. Plus, you will receive 25 plants to start your strawberry patch. Come learn how to plant and care for them, too. $29/ adult, $24/Members. Registration required by Mar 10. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens. org/AdultClasses.

Plants are monitored regularly to assess their ornamental traits; cultural adaptability to the soil and environmental conditions of the test site; disease and pest problems; and winter injury. The four genera — echinacea, geranium, phlox and thalictrum — were selected so Hawke could give a little stronger emphasis to them and discuss them in more detail based on the comparative trials. Hawke is principle evaluator of test plants for the Chicagoland Grows plant introduction program, including all perennials from the Chicago Botanic Garden’s breeding program, trees and shrubs from The Morton Arboretum, and other plants in the program. He has been a collaborator with 10 plant introduction programs and plant breeders for the evaluation of new ornamental plants. Hawke also has participated in Chicago Botanic Garden’s plant exploration trips to South Korea and Siberia. Those of us who read Fine Gardening magazine may have seen Hawke’s byline. He also has written for The American Gardener, Nursery Management, Horticulture and other publications.

Lawn Care Seminar Sat, Mar 22, 1-3pm; at Earl May Lawrence, 3200 Iowa St. 785-749-5082 Vegetable Class Tues, Mar 25, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Gardeners Connect. Must RSVP at www.gardenersconnect.org. Floral Design Class Thurs, Mar 27, 6pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Gardeners Connect. Must RSVP at www.gardenersconnect.org. Birding for a Life Long Adventure Sat, Mar 29, 10am–Noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $10 per person for class. Class limited to 50 people. Dr. David Seibel will focus on birding by sight, sound, habitat and distinguishing between similar species. He will also emphasize more advanced birding techniques that will be helpful to birders of all levels as well as discussing photography fundamentals and equipment including digiscoping. Dr. Seibel is a nature Kansan and lifelong birder. He holds a Ph.D in ornithology from the University of Kansas, is a biology professor, author, poet, popular lecturer and avid nature photographer as well as an award-winning faculty member at Johnson County Community College. He coauthored the 528 page Birds of Kansas, published in 2011 and is a founding partner of BirdsInFocus.com, whose photos illustrate the entire Pocket Guide to Common Kansas Backyard Birds (2012). Register for classes by going to www.opabg.org. No refunds.

April Violet Reflections African Violet Show/Sale Apr 5 and 6; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112. Park entrance is West driveway immediately South of 51st St. The Sho-Me African Violet Club will sponsor a combined Show and Sale; a nationally judged event. Members will be entering African Violets and other plants of this gesneriad family. Open to the public: Sat, Apr 5, 9am-3pm and Sun, Apr 6, 10am-3pm. During the waning days of winter, please come enjoy the beauty of African Violets and related gesnariad plants being entered in this nationally judged show. View the plants in the Show Room, then enhance your home with member grown plants being offered in the Sales Room. Club members will share their knowledge by answering any questions you may

have. In visiting this event, should you find yourself intrigued, you would be most welcome to attend a meeting. FREE. 816-784-5300 Educators: Jump Start Your Schoolyard Garden Sat, Apr 5, 9am-noon, at Powell Gardens. Schoolyard gardens open up endless avenues for curriculum connections from math and science to literature and art. Plus, edible gardens allow for health and nutrition lessons, too. Teachers attending the workshop will participate in a variety of in-class and outdoor experiences designed to jump start learning around your schoolyard garden. Learn gardening tips and tricks from our trained horticulture staff and leave with a variety of seeds and themed planting plans. (Please indicate lunch choice upon registration.) $45/person, $39/Members. Registration required by Mar 31. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/ AdultClasses. The Artistic Garden Sat, Apr 5, 10am-1pm; at Hoot Owl Hill Gardens, 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola, KS. Master Gardener and artist, Lenora Larson will present “The Artistic Garden”. Garden art can bring both form and function to your landscape while creating beauty and disguising eyesores. This presentation assists gardeners in answering the question, What is art? and defining their own artistic style. Photographs and recommendations for “safe” usage as well as horrible examples of “art gone wrong” will empower participants to fearlessly purchase or create man-made objects to place among their beloved plants. Handouts will provide guidelines and inspirations. Enjoy this country setting which includes a gourmet lunch prepared from the garden’s bounty. Weather permitting, a tour of the gardens will follow. Please call 913-271-7451 for reservations or sign up and pay for the class at www.hootowlgardens.com. The Not Too Big Vegetable Garden Thurs, Apr 10, 6:30pm; at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: “The Not Too Big Vegetable Garden” with Garden Journalist, Marty Ross. You don’t need to plant a 30-foot row of anything to have a great time growing your own vegetables. Small vegetable gardens — choose the size to suit the scale of your property and your ambitions — are really rewarding. In a plot, a pot, or a raised bed, you can harvest crops from spring through frost (and even into winter). Learn from Marty how to choose, plant, and grow vegetables you love, without a heck of a lot of work. The harvest from a small garden can be a big deal! Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door Prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456. Bird Walk - Learn, Listen & Identify the Birds Sat, Apr 12, 8am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Class is free but admission fee required to the Garden. Admission fee waived for FOTA members. Join Mike Stokes, a true nature enthusiast who began his birding career in his early 20s. He has been an active member of the Burroughs Audubon Society, Squaw Creek Leadership team and the Kansas Rare Birds Committee. He enjoys leading bird walks and sharing his love for the outdoors with people of all ages. Please dress appropriately (closed toe shoes and long pants are recommended). Bug repellent and binoculars are encouraged. The walk is limited to 25 adults so you must pre-register. You may register for these walks by going to www.opabg.org. Mastering Your Lawn and Garden Sat, Apr 12, 9am-4pm, at 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. A Spring Garden Fair sponsored by the Douglas County Master Gardeners and Kansas State Research and Extension. Extension Master Gardeners will be on hand with information on lawn care, pest management, trees, seed starting, emerald ash borer, composting, container gardening, native plants, pollinators, family gardening, accessible gardening. Admission is FREE. There will be concessions, drawing prizes and handmade crafts for sale. Rockwall Garden Techniques Sat, Apr 12, 9am-noon, at Powell Gardens. Explore the mysteries of Powell Gardens living wall and

The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


learn living wall building basics with Caitlin the Island Gardener. Participants will learn about wall construction, soil mixing, plant selection, planting techniques, and seasonal care. This class will include the opportunity to participate in planting a section of the Powell Gardens living wall. Participants will also take home their own “tried and true” rock wall plant. Bring your garden gloves and prepare to get dirty rain or shine. $22/person, $17/Members. Registration required by Apr 7. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209 or online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. Spring Wildflower Walk by Ken O’Dell Sat, Apr 12, 1-3pm; at Hillsdale State Park Visitors’ Center, 26001 West 255 St. Hillsdale State Park in Paola, KS has 32 miles of hiking trails, meandering through multiple habitats from the shore of the 5,000 acre lake, including native prairie to oak/hickory woodlands. Our first exploration will be the 1.5 mile ‘Hidden Spring Nature Trail” (Yes, there is a hidden spring!). While the terrain is steep in places, it is well graded with steps for easy walking. We will meet at the Visitor Center parking lot at 1pm. The Visitor Center has an excellent small museum, so allow time before or after our hike to enjoy the educational displays. For more information, go to www.kdwpt.state. ks.us/news/state-parks/locations/Hillsdale Orchid Sale and Auction Sun, Apr 13, 2-4:30pm; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Wide variety of orchids suitable to grow in the KC area. Prices starting at $5. Open to the public. Proceeds to benefit the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. www.osgkc.org Spring Wildflower Walk Apr 17 & Apr 23; 10am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W 179th St, Bucyrus, KS. The Kansas City Region of the Kansas Native Plant Society is conducting two woodland walks at the Overland Park Arboretum, led by experienced botanists. Participants can expect to see over 30 species of flowers as well as native trees, shrubs and vines. The trails have steep sections and may be muddy if it has rained recently, so good boots and jeans are recommended. An admission fee of $3.00 is charged for entrance to the garden unless you are a member of Friends of the Arboretum. Contact: Lenora Larson 913-284-3360. Scents of the Garden Sat, Apr 19, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. This class focuses on the aromas of Powell Gardens blooming flowers, as well as essential oils. You’ll learn why spending time in the garden is so important to health and well-being. An introduction to the art of aromatherapy and the benefits of choosing natural plant essential oils will be presented. Take home your own blended essential oil. $29/person, $24/Members. Registration required by Apr 14. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at www.powellgardens.org/AdultClasses. MoKan Daylily Society Spring Plant Sale Sat, Apr 26, 8am–1pm; at Cave Springs Park, 8701 E Gregory, Kansas City, MO 64133 (corner Gregory and Blue Ridge Blvd). Huge selection of daylilies available!

May and June Central Missouri Master Gardener Plant Sale Sat, May 3, 7am-12pm; Jaycee Fairgrounds Pavilion, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Huge plant sale featuring new introduction annuals, perennials, natives, hanging baskets, vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and tropicals all grown by the Master Gardeners. Free admission. Like us on facebook at facebook/central missouri master gardener plant sale or call 573-295-6263.

Kansas City Garden Club Spring Luncheon and Plant Sale Mon, May 5. The public is invited to enjoy two excellent garden programs, a plant sale and a delicious home cooked meal. Location is the Congregational Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Find interesting plants including annuals, perennials, shrubs, house plants and more at the plant sale beginning at 9am. There will also be opportunities to buy plants later in the day. At 10:30am, Crystal Broadus, Kansas City Zoo Horticulturalist, will present “What’s New at the Zoo.” She will tell you about the Zoo’s horticultural, environmental and conservation programs. Lunch will be served at noon. At 1pm Gregory Banken, Gregory’s Fine Floral, will wow you with his creative floral designs including tablescapes put together with herbs and fresh cut flowers; a wreath made with small live potted plants and other fabulous creations. Contact Spring Luncheon Chair, Cathy Moore, at 913-381-6325 with questions. Tickets are $15, and checks can be made out to the Kansas City Garden Club can be sent to Cathy at 9804 Pembroke Ln, Leawood, KS 66206. Ticket deadline is Apr 21. 20th Annual Garden Tour and Plant Sale Jun 7-8, 9am-5pm; Hermann, MO. Two Tours in 2014: the popular Town Tour, a walking tour of gardens in downtown Hermann, and a Country Tour, a driving tour to country gardens. Each tour is $10; ticket price includes visits to at least four private gardens and the Garden Demonstration Area. Town & County Garden Tour Combo ticket for $15. Garden Tours may be spread over Saturday and Sunday and, except for groups of 10 or more, do not need to be reserved ahead of time. New gardenthemed Flea Market at the Plant Sale. Special Ticket By-Reservation-Only Luncheon/Silent Auction on Jun 6 and European High Tea in a lavender garden on Jun 7. Visit the Hermann Garden Tours website at www.hermanngardentours.com for up-to-date events, ticket prices, contact numbers and photographs. Visit the new FAQS page for answers to all your questions. Like us on Facebook at Hermann Garden Club Tours 2014. Call Hermann Welcome Center at (800) 9328687 for questions about lodging/restaurants or go to www.visithermann.com. Evening Garden Tour Join us on the evening of the full moon, Friday, June 13, for The Moonlight and Mint Juleps garden tour of Marla Galetti, hosted by the Northland Garden Club. Visitors will get an opportunity to tour the one acre garden which was professionally lighted by Natural Accents Outdoor Lights. Beginning at twilight, guests will be able to study the vast specimens of plants while enjoying a non-alcoholic freshly made mint julep. Automatically timed lights will lead you through the garden once darkness has descended. Additional lighting has been added by Marla to make the garden a magical place for an evening stroll. Hours are 8-10 p.m. Reservations and tickets, $10.00 may be acquired by calling Dee West, Northland Garden Club President at 816-455-4013. Check the web-site at www.northlandgardenclub. com for further information. Weston, MO Garden Tour June 20-21, Friday & Saturday, 9-4. Enjoy the gardens of Weston at the Cottage Gardeners of Weston Garden Tour. You’ll see small space, grand and walk-by gardens as you stroll around the historic district. Tickets in advance, $10. Information at http:// cottagegardenersweston.com or send name, address, phone e-mail, and check to Cottage Gardeners, PO Box 102, Weston, MO 64098-0102. Days of the tour, $12 at Renditions, 522 Main Street, Weston, MO 64098. Phone 816-640-2300

Promote gardening events! Send event details to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail: elizabeth@kcgmag.com Deadline for April issue is March 5. March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

Growing Orchids Workshop

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rchids are quickly becoming the number-one selling houseplant, surpassing sales of the ever-popular poinsettia. Today, there are many places to acquire blooming orchids at reasonable prices. Grocery stores, florists, hardware stores, and garden centers sell orchids. Usually the selection is limited to Phalaenopsis, with occasional offerings of Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, and Paphiopedilums. A greater variety is available through growers on the internet. After they are finished blooming, a little bit of knowledge will help you sustain and re-bloom them for many years of enjoyment. Many varieties of orchids make ideal house plants if you just tune in to their individual needs. Members of the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City grow orchids in a variety of ways, including natural light from windows, skylights, in sunrooms, or small greenhouses, as well as with artificial light in living areas, including basements. As with all plants, growing healthy, blooming orchids, is a matter of knowledge. Orchids are the largest family of flowering plants in the world, yet most gardeners in our area have little experience with them. The plant purchased at the local store, or received as a gift, blooms, fades, languishes without flowering again, then eventually makes it way to the trash bin. For most people, orchids are seen as too exotic and difficult to grow as house plants. And yet out of the 30,000 species of orchids on the planet, many

are ideally suited to live and thrive in the same environment we occupy: a comfortable temperature range of 60-80 degrees, moderate light, and good air that’s not too humid, nor too dry. A well-grown orchid can live and bloom for many, many years. On Sunday, March 9, the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City (OSGKC) is offering a free workshop, “Growing Orchids in the Kansas City Area,” 2 p.m. at the Lenexa Community/Senior Center. Mark Prout, an accredited American Orchid Society Judge and longtime member of OSGKC, will lead the workshop and cover all the basics of growing orchids that are suitable for this region. Temperature, light, how to water, fertilizer, growing media, and potting will all be covered. He will also explain why it’s not a good idea to “Just Add Ice” as directed on many plant labels being sold in stores. In addition to information on growing indoors, Mark will discuss how to take advantage of our warm, humid summers to grow orchids outside. Tips on placement and protection of plants outdoors will be covered. How would you like the pleasure of seeing a blooming orchid swinging in the breeze in your backyard under dappled light of shade trees? Society members will be displaying orchids in flower. Anyone interested in learning more about how to grow these extraordinarily beautifully plants is encouraged to attend. Bring in a plant for growing advice. For directions to the workshop: www.osgkc.org. 29


Spring season begins with return of The ‘Living’ Room at Powell Gardens

G

about the art of vertical gardening at a Discovery Station where you can pick up plans, suggested plant lists and designs to get your own vertical garden started. A demonstration vertical planter made from a wooden pallet will bring this idea to life.

et through the tail end of winter with a colorful visit to Powell Gardens, where you can see spring inside no matter the weather. This March you can take in two different conservatory displays and pick up tips for spring planting at home. Unless otherwise noted, all activities are included in regular Garden admission of $10/ adults, $9/seniors, and $4/children 5-12. Romance in Bloom (through March 9) Get a taste of spring with the colorful blooms and inspiring home décor ideas you’ll find within the Romance in Bloom exhibit, open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday, March 9. Inside this colorful space you’ll find three seating areas where you can relax and watch the birds on the surrounding terraces. As Time Goes By of Greenwood, Mo., has filled two of the spaces with all sorts of clever

home décor ideas playing off the romance theme. The ‘Living’ Room (Mar 15 – May 11) The conservatory turns into the whimsical home of the “Moss” family during The “Living” Room, an imaginative exhibit that turns ordinary household items into liv-

$200 Do-It-Yourself Design Special Basic design package includes: Site Consultation, Front Landscape Design, Installation Consultation. Call 913-233-9499 for complete details and to set up your design consultation.

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913-233-9499 • www.bearconsultingkc.com 30

ing works of art. From plant-padded dining chairs to a living floral quilt, the Moss family home is literally alive with color and texture. New for 2014 will be examples of vertical gardening, complete with living wallpaper. During opening weekend (March 15-16), you can learn more

Spuds Unearthed: March 29 March brings potato planting season and Garden Interpreter Barbara Fetchenhier is ready to share her secrets for a successful potato crop. Join her to learn the details and buy seed potatoes to take home. From 1 to 4 p.m. youngsters can make a Living Potato Head with wiggly eyes, a mouth, arms, legs and other accessories. At 2 p.m. storyteller extraordinaire Dawnna Morris will share a tale from the Amelia Bedelia series. All activities are included with admission.

The metro’s Exclusive pond retailer Our store carries a complete line of pond supplies, liner, fishes and large selection of aquatic plants. aquascape, pondmaster, Microbelift, Tetra, pondgard & more specializing in imported Japanese Koi & Fancy goldfishes Full line of aquatic plants; lilies, lotuses & marginals. Large selection of BOND garden and lawn tools. WhoLesaLe pricing! check us first before you buy at box stores! clippers, pruning shears, premium hoses, sprinklers, potting tools & much more.

Check our website and Facebook for more information.

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

www.hortnetwork.org

816-842-5012 • pondskc.com 1557 Swift Ave., NKC

for a membership directory.

You Plant, Nurture, Grow. Let us Drain, Sharpen, Fill.

Ready-To-Mow Mobile Maintenance Reynolds Lawn & Leisure 12902 Shawnee Mission Pkwy Shawnee, KS 66216

913-268-4288

No need to load up your mower ... we’ll come to you!

The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014


Equipment Shape Up

Professional’s Corner

By Paul Clouse

A

s spring approaches and your garden begins to awaken, soon it will be time for that popular weekend chore – lawn mowing. When was the last time you saw that mower? In late November when it abruptly quit while mulching piles of leaves? Don’t wait until the grass needs its first mowing to get your mower in shape. Now is the time to service your mower. First, start it up. If it fires up first time, good for you. It’ll need fresh gas at least. Then consider changing the oil, fuel filter and oil filter. Based on most manufacturer recommendations, if the mower has been used for 25 hours, it’s time for changes. When was the last time you sharpened the blade? If it’s dull,

it’ll shred the lawn, and the grass will look frayed and brown. Crisp, clean cut is the best treatment for your lawn. Next check belts and cables, safety shields, and that every nut and bolt is tight. If these tasks are beyond your capability or comfort level, schedule an appointment with your local service shop soon. An annual lawn mower maintenance check by a professional will ensure that your mower will run efficiently and safely and will not damage your lawn. Paul Clouse is service manager with Reynolds Lawn & Leisure. You may reach him at 913-2684288.

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

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

For convenient mail delivery, complete the form below and send with your check for $20.00. You will receive a one-year subscription to The Kansas City Gardener. Name: Address: City, State, Zip: Phone: E-mail: Where did you pick up The Kansas City Gardener? Please enclose your check payable to The Kansas City Gardener and mail with this form to: P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 The Kansas City Gardener is published monthly Jan. through Dec.

March 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

Meet Mike Parmley, who wants your water garden to be a “total package” providing decades of joy. Company: Anything Aquatic Inc. Owners: Mike and Michelle Parmley Established: 1998 In the beginning: After managing the fishroom at Pet World in Lawrence for 7 years, Mike’s interest in fish and aquatic plants moved out of the aquarium and into the yard with a pond and waterfall for the pet store. Interest in ponds grew rapidly and because the pet store didn’t build or service ponds Anything Aquatic was born to fill the need. Operations: Anything Aquatic is an aquascape company that designs, builds, and maintains ornamental water features in Kansas City, Lawrence, and Topeka. As a service company Anything Aquatic does not have a store front, although they provide customers with everything that is needed for a beautiful pond or fountain, including aquatic plants, goldfish and koi, and handmade custom copper fountains. Products/services: Water feature design and installation, from a small bubbling rock fountain to a 10 foot tall waterfall. Repair and remodeling of existing water features. Monthly and seasonal maintenance of water features. Copper fountains. Tell us about your staff: We have a friendly and experienced staff of four that compliment each other well. They are hard working problem solvers that are artistic with their placement of stone and plantings and are always looking for ways to improve the garden. They are definitely good at keeping our customers happy. What makes your business unique: We are very good at creating water features that look like they were created by nature and yet fill the needs of the customer. Our attention to detail means we are thinking about where the plants are placed within the rock work, where the fish will be fed and where they will hide, as well as how the lights will show the moving water best. We want the water garden to be a “total package” that will provide decades of enjoyment with minimal effort. What’s hot in water gardening: Our custom copper fountains with new “warmer” LED lighting. What every homeowner should know: Before you hire a contractor, have them show you some of their work, and talk to their customers so you aren’t surprised after they begin working for you. Little known secret: An aquatic plant filter is the best way to control algae in a pond, and can be added to existing ponds without too much effort. Contact information: 785-749-7680, www.anythingaquatic.com, mike@anythingaquatic.com 31


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(913) 649-8700 The Kansas City Gardener / March 2014

KCG 3Mar14  

vegetables, Heartland Harvest Garden, birds, nesting season, compost, pets and plants, weather roller coaster, healthy yard expo, pruning ro...