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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

March 2017


a warm welcome in the cool season

‘Butterbird’ Garden Native Gardener’s New Year Bird of the Month: Baltimore Oriole Spring Gardening Symposium






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March 2017 |

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


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.


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.


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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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.




STORE HOURS MONDAY - SATURDAY 8AM TO 9PM SUNDAY 9AM TO 6PM* May vary, check online for your specific location VISIT US FOR GREAT TIPS, ADVICE & A LOCATION NEAR YOU! 2/17/17 3:19 PM3 The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017

The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

One spring day in February

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Contributors Judy Aull Nik and Theresa Hiremath Lala Kumar Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Nadia Navarrete-Tindall Dennis Patton Judy Penner Scott Woodbury Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

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

See us on the Web:

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


March 2017 |


t the start, you should know that I’m writing this with spring in the air. It’s February 23rd and the expected high temperature is 78°. Hasn’t this been the craziest season? If it wasn’t for the calendar, I’d swear it’s spring. There have been an unexpected number of days this month where the temperature has above normal; sometimes 30 degrees higher than normal. Such is the unpredictable nature of weather in the Midwest. Precipitation levels have been measured at the “hardly any” mark on my rain gauge. It’s so dry, that there have been warnings about cranking up the grill. These conditions–dry, warm and windy–have me hauling the sprinkler around the yard in my flip-flops and short sleeves. On the other hand, it sure beats Yak Trax and ice melt. Some take advantage now to finish a few garden chores leftover from fall, then to get a head start on a new project. Experienced gardeners know to stay away from heavy duty gardening, and to ignore the balmy seduction. The irresistible weather revs our gardening engines, even when we know more winter is yet to come.

For me, other than picking up sticks, I’m locked indoors and sitting on my hands until the “all clear,” which comes somewhere around April 15 (the last chance for frost). Temptation is everywhere. I made a trip to Soil Service recently, to replenish their supply of magazines. I knew it would be a challenge to walk in and walk out, so I intentionally left my wallet in the car. Smart move! Like a kid who’s headed in to the candy store and told “just look”, the struggle was real. The attraction was palpable even from the parking lot. The smell of fresh potting soil had a hold on me. The plants were whispering my name. I had to stay strong. So I came up with a strategy: simply walk in, drop the magazines, and run out. Well, that seems rude, and not like me at all. I probably ought to chat for a minute with the friendly folks working. So I modified my strategy, shared conversation about the weather (of course) and left

empty-handed. Mission accomplished. Distractions keep me otherwise busy–like filing my taxes on time, painting my office, and finishing the crotchet project I started months ago. Any gardening that goes on here will be in the form of maintenance and planning. For instance, we need a sketch of landscaping around the new patio/firepit. The project is nearing completion, and, it’s too soon to plant. However, it is the ideal time to prep the site and make decisions about what to plant where. That way when to gun goes off to start the race, I’ll be several lengths ahead. For now it is all about the gratitude. We are thankful that we’ve had a reprive from icy conditions when travel and mobility are concerns. How wonderful to roam about in the garden and know that in a few weeks we’ll appreciate many days of spring. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue March 2017 • Vol. 22 No. 3 Baltimore Oriole ...................... 6 Healthy Yard Expo ................... 8 Ask the Experts ........................ 10 ‘Butterbird’ Garden .................. 12 Spring Soil Testing ................... 14 ‘Butterbird’ Garden .................. 12 Spring Gardening Symposium ... 15 Pansies ................................... 16 Native Gardener’s New Year .... 18 Growing Gladiolus .................. 19

about the cover ...

Should You be a Butterfly Gardener .................... 20 Native Wild Leeks .................... 22 Spring Grass Seeding .............. 23 Rose Report ............................ 24 Inspired at Chanticleer ............. 24 Upcoming Events ..................... 26 Garden Calendar .................... 30 Subscribe ................................ 31 Professional’s Corner ................ 31

Pansies are a wonderful cool season plant, that fill containers with color while we await spring’s arrival. See more starting on page 16.



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The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017


Bird of the Month: Baltimore Oriole Attention birders! THERESA HIREMATH reveals her plan to attract these vocal birds and how you can too.


ere in Kansas City, one of the most beautiful songbirds of summer is the Baltimore Oriole. They arrive mid-April, so we need to put our Oriole feeders up by April 1st. Orioles sing from the tops of trees and their song is strong and rich, announcing the arrival of Spring. Most male Baltimore Oriole songs vary enough from one another as to be unique to each individual. It is believed females can identify and locate their mate by its distinct song. The bright orange plumage of the male is easily spotted in the uppermost branches of trees. Perhaps one of the most wonderful things about Orioles is that they are fond of fruit and nectar, as well as insects; so with a little effort, you may be able to lure them to your

backyard feeders. The Baltimore Oriole is a fairly common, yet exciting, inhabitant of suburban landscapes due to its preference for open settings that are bordered with mature trees. Orioles migrate at night, and are known to be victims of collisions with buildings and communication towers. They search for food sources in the early morning as they look for a place to rest for the day. If they don’t find food, they continue their migration northward. As such, one of the best ways to encourage Orioles to visit is to ensure bountifully full feeders early morning. They usually stay hidden in the trees eating and singing their beautiful whistling notes. They can be drawn down from their perches with foods like orange slices, grape jelly, mealworms and nec-

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March 2017 |

tar feeders. When not feeding on nectar, orioles seek out caterpillars, fruits, insects, and spiders. Unlike many insect-eating birds, Baltimore Orioles will eat spiny or hairy caterpillars, including such pest species as fall webworms, tent caterpillars, and gypsy moths. Orioles appear to be sensitive to the spraying of pesticides, with birds succumbing directly from the poison and from the loss of their insect food sources, so please avoid these products. The female Baltimore Oriole builds her nest with little or no help from her mate. Only the female incubates and broods, while both feed the young. The Oriole nest is an engineering masterpiece. They weave a hanging-basket nest with plant fibers, grasses, vine and tree bark and sometimes string or yarn placed out on the small twigs of a branch 6-45 feet in the air, often over water such as ponds, lakes, creeks, and rivers. This keeps them

SPRING CLEANUP Mulching & Mowing

safe from most predators. Orioles will lay four to five eggs anywhere from April to June. The young will fledge as late as 30 days from egg laying. Baltimore Orioles are found across much of Eastern North America in the summer. Most spend their winters in southern Mexico, Central America and the tropics, but some will stay in the southern states of the U.S., with a few reported sightings as far north as New England. Baltimore Orioles start their southerly migration as early as July, with August being the prime migration month. While in their tropical winter habitats, Baltimore Orioles feed on nectar from numerous flowering trees, which explains their attraction to nectar feeders upon their springtime return to North America. The Baltimore Oriole plays an important role in pollinating several tree species as they transfer pollen from tree to tree while eating nectar from their flowers. If you have any questions about Baltimore Orioles or other backyard birds, or would like help attracting these lovely creatures to your yard, our backyard birdfeeding experts would love to help you! Nik and Theresa Hiremath own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.


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Healthy Yards Expo

promotes green lawn and garden practices


he Eighth Annual Johnson County Healthy Yards Expo on Saturday, April 1, aims to help you make greener choices for your 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, Overland Park and Shawnee to present the event. “The expo promotes eco-friendly practices and provides education so that you can do your part for

clean water, air and healthy soils while maintaining an attractive landscape,” said Dennis Patton, horticulture agent for Johnson County Extension. “Without proper care the practices that we do to manage our landscape will have an effect on our water supply. Runoff or misapplications of products can move into our rivers, and ultimately in our drinking water.” The expo highlights many simple and easy practices that can be done to achieve a nice yard. The Healthy Yards Expo will feature businesses, non-profits and tips that meet the program’s criteria, helping Johnson County and surrounding area residents become “greener” in their lawn and garden care. The expo is a great place to get new ideas from knowledgeable experts. It’s a one-stop learning event on green ideas and services, sure to motivate you.

Visitors to the Expo can: • Enter to win door prizes such as compost bins, and rain barrels. • The first 100 visitors will receive a free tree seedling, courtesy of Overland Park. • The first 500 visitors will receive an assortment of native plants to try in their home gardens, courtesy of Johnson County Stormwater Management. • Visit with Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardeners and local plant societies. They will offer expert advice on gardening and plant cultivation. • Talk with city representatives to find out what’s going on in your

neighborhood and learn about cost share programs for establishing rain garden and rain barrels. • Listen to informative speakers on topics such as native plants, pollinators, vegetable gardening and landscaping • Attend free performances by the Stone Lion Puppets Free soil tests Johnson County residents can get a free soil test, complements 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. Bring your soil sample to the expo. Learn how to take a soil sample by visiting the website. For more information on the Healthy Yard Expo, visit www. or call 913715-7000.




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Ask the Experts Readers share their questions about landscape issues, and DENNIS PATTON gives expert tips and advice. AVOID TRAFFIC ON FROZEN GRASS Question: In January during the “ice storm” I backed out of the garage, and to avoid another car, ended up driving on the frozen grass along the edge of the driveway. Now you can see the tire track in grass. The grass is brown while the rest of yard is green. What can I do? Answer: Walking or driving over frozen grass blades can crush, rupture the cells of the plant killing the blades. The good news is the damage is usually just to the blades. The crowns or growing point of the grass plant is normally not harmed. Come warmer spring weather the plant should send up new shoots and the lawn will heal itself. The worst case would be that the weight of the car did damage the crowns. If this is the case you

may need to reseed these areas. But at this point I think you will be ok, just wait and see. This is also why we recommend reducing foot traffic on frozen grass. BULB FOLIAGE EMERGING Question: I noticed my daffodil buds are buried under mulch causing them to yellow. Should I remove the mulch? Answer: Don’t worry about the mulch covering up the emerging foliage of your bulbs. As the spring conditions arrive the foliage will elongate pushing its way up and out of the mulch. This growth will soak in the sun’s rays and quickly turn green. As long as the mulch layer measures around three inches, there will not be a problem with the mulch affecting growth. I think what happened is with warmer win-

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ter conditions the daffodils started to grow, and then stopped with the cold. This growth just developed enough to poke through the soil but not enough to reach the sunlight. The good news is the mulch will somewhat insulate the soil, slowing the bulb growth which means it is less likely to be damaged by a late spring freeze. SOIL, AIR TEMPERATURES ARE KEY Question: Can I start lettuce, carrots and radishes in the ground in March? Answer: When to start planting in the garden is based on a combination of soil and air temperatures. In the Kansas City area we usually meet the requirements for your crops in mid to late March. Planting earlier when the soils are cool slows germination or we can run the risk of a hard late freeze killing back the tender growth. We also don’t

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want to plant these cool-loving vegetables too late in the season or they will not mature before summer heat arrives. K-State Extension has a wonderful vegetable garden planning guide that gives the necessary soil temperatures for best growth or a simple handy-dandy chart that shows the range of planting dates for our most popular vegetable crops. There is a lot that can be done prior to the big planting day so you can have success and enjoy the fruits of your labor. HOSTA, IN OR OUT Question: I have a potted hosta in the garage. It starts to sprout as the garage warms in March. When should I move it outside? Answer: Well, this answer gets my patented “It depends.” It all depends on the outdoor temperature. Hostas do not tolerate cold and a frost will nip back the tender

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new foliage. My recommendation is to keep the plant on “wheels” until danger of a frost or freeze has passed. That means move it outdoors when the temps are above freezing and back indoors when they drop. The new growth will appreciate the sunny warm days while you are protecting from the damaging overnight lows. FABRIC GROW BAGS Question: I’ve noticed fabric growing bags in the garden centers. Can I grow potatoes in them by placing the dirt-filled bag in a sunny location? Answer: Grow bags are all the rage in the horticulture industry whether in the home garden or for America’s ultimate cash crop, marijuana. These portable containers make great ways to garden without expensive pots. They can be used for a number of plants including potatoes. I would caution you in the choice of the word “dirt.” Good quality potting soil will be needed to provide the needed aeration and drainage for healthy roots. The drawback is the fabric can dry out in the sun so keep hydrated.

IS DEEP GREEN TURF POSSIBLE Question: My neighbor’s grass is dark green but mine is pale. You can see the property line between our yards because our grass is so different. What gives? How do I get that deep green? Answer: Well, you know what they say? The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. There are several reasons why you can see this difference. Here are a few examples. First, it could be the turf varieties. Newer varieties of bluegrass and tall fescue tend to be darker in color than other types. Solution: plant recommended varieties with a rich color. Second, the pH level of the soil. Higher pH levels can tie up the iron which makes the green of the grass a richer green. High pH lawns sometimes have a pale green look. Lowering the pH or adding iron may help correct this problem. Third, is the lawn fertility program. Rates and timing of applications will influence the color of a lawn. Follow a recommended fertility program that bulks the lawn up in the fall months. My hunch is this distinct difference is probably more a combination of these factors and some that were not mentioned.

Naturescaping Workshop and Native Plant Sale Saturday, March 18, 8am–12:45pm

Native Plant Sale, 8am–1:15pm workshop participants only, and 1:15–4pm for the general public Missouri Department of Conservation 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. Keynote Speaker—Justin Thomas, the Director of the Institute of Botanical Training in Springfield, MO. His resume includes 17 years of botanical field work divided between The Nature Conservancy, MDC, NPS, Dunn-Palmer Herbarium, William Sherman Turrell Herbarium, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. He will present “Ecological Stability: a Native Plant Story”. Nine more awesome presentations to choose from: • Native Plants from Seed- Betty Grace, Master Naturalist • Tree and Shrub Planting 101- Wendy Sangster, MDC Urban Forester • Native Plants Are For the Birds- Michael O’Keefe, Birding Guru and BOW Volunteer • Butterfly Gardening- Paula Diaz, GardeNerd Consultants • Deer Resistant Native Plants- Courtney Madison, Prairie Ecologist • Shade-loving Plants- William Roth Gibson, Green Thumb Gardens • Secret Symbiosis: Fungi on the Prairie- Elizabeth Middleton, MDC Grassland Botanist • The Wild Edible Landscape- Burr Oak Woods Volunteers • A Spider’s Role in the Native Garden- Betsy Betros, Idalia Society No charge for workshop. Registration required. Call 816-228-3766. Native Plant Sale–Hosting two plant suppliers this year: Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and Green Thumb Gardens.

Award Winning Designs

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

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‘Butterbird’ Garden By Judy Aull


elcome to this exciting and unusual garden that was specifically designed and implemented to attract birds, frogs and butterflies for the enjoyment of the owners. Because all of the native plants are for the birds, butterflies and bees, the owners have fittingly named their garden “Butterbird” in recognition of this. The owners bought this twoacre plot of land eight years ago to ensure ample space to “flex and grow garden space.” The uniqueness of this garden is partially derived from the lay of the land. There is very little flat, level ground so planning the many types, heights and sizes of the plants was essential. The owners comment “just simply standing on a slope to perform necessary gardening work is a challenge.” While visiting the garden you will experience the mix and blend of two worlds; the shady back-

yard which features a native garden designed for wildlife and the front garden which is filled with a multitude of sun-loving perennials of every type and color. Very few annuals are incorporated in the layout. The back garden encompasses several unusual features: a hardscape walking path, several seating areas for relaxation and a centrally located water fountain which is the

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!” Our 2017 Plant List and Gardening Class Schedule are available on our website! We hope to see you soon!

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highlight of the space. There are many whimsical items throughout the gardens including homemade leaf cuttings, some from elephant ear plants. They are the proud owners of a Bear Head carving#88 made by a local artist using a chain saw. As with most gardeners, favorite plants are used profusely. Some that these gardeners enjoy are gooseberries and irises inherited from family members, Annabelle hydrangeas, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, Sum and Substance hostas, and bleeding hearts just to name a few. Trees range from Blue Atlas cedars, Japanese red maples to a newly planted tulip tree. They admit to several lessons learned while in this venture: always amend the soil which they did with their homemade compost held in three containers, each dedicated to a particular element including garbage, plants, and grass clippings; rid your garden of unwanted grass by planning ahead

March 2017 |


and covering the grass with newspapers and let it do the work; and use “Deer Out” to ward off unwanted deer. While touring the garden, several items to look for would be milkweed for the butterflies, a red buckeye shrub, a bottlebrush white shrub, a horse chestnut, lots of host plants for the caterpillars and a special fairy garden in a red Radio wagon. Join us for the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Garden Tour, June 9 and 10, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For further information about the gardens on the tour, visit under the “Garden Tour” heading. Tickets will be available May 8 at various sites in the Kansas City area. A listing of these sites will be available on the website at that time. Master Gardeners is a program of the University of Missouri, an equal opportunity/ADA institution. Judy Aull is a Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City.

Learn From Local Experts at Powell Gardens The “I Wish I had a Palm Tree” Gardener with Brent Tucker 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 11 (register by March 4) Join our resident tropical plant expert, horticulturist Brent Tucker, in our warm tropical greenhouse to learn how to care for tropical plants in the winter. Park in the staff parking area and look for directional signs to the greenhouse. $39/member, $45/nonmember

Nature Hike with Alan Branhagen 1-4 p.m. Sunday March 19 (register by March 12) Experience Mother Nature’s rhythms of change as you hike the Byron Shutz Nature Trail with naturalist and Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen. $13/member, $15/non-member

Native Plant School: Small Trees and Large Shrubs with Alan Branhagen 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 25 (register by March 18)





Redbuds and dogwoods and so much more! In this session which combines a classroom presentation and a tour of Powell Gardens’ best specimens, learn about the beautiful and diverse small trees and large shrubs native to the Midwest. Discover where your favorites grow wild, learn the details of their ornamental appeal and how you can incorporate them into your own garden or landscape. In the event of inclement weather, the tour portion of the class will become an indoor, close study of several featured specimens. Please dress for the weather. $39/member, $45/nonmember Call 816-697-2600 x306 or visit to learn more and register.

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The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017


Gardeners Connect Presents:

‘Social Climbing: New Directions for Clematis’


new book on clematis has author Linda Beutler returning to Kansas City for a free Gardeners Connect lecture on Saturday morning, March 18. Linda is curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection and author of “Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis” (Timber Press 2016). This is Linda’s second book on clematis and in it she lets loose with stronger opinions and more direct advice. Expect the same when she presents her program, “Social Climbing: New Directions for Clematis.” The program is scheduled on Saturday, March 18, 10:30 a.m., at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. 64110. Come a half hour early for coffee and socializing. A garden well decorated with clematis need not be limited to hoisting them aloft on built struc-

tures, she says. At the Rogerson Clematis Garden, which has more than 1,600 clematis in the ground, clematises are far more often partnered with roses and ornamental shrubs than grown on trellises. This presentation highlights innovative plant collaborations and using clematis as horizontal – rather than vertical – layers and even as summer-long blooming groundcovers. Up is not the only direction!

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

Linda was a professional florist for more than 20 years, and her first love in her own garden was growing flowers and foliage for cutting. Her focus changed when she purchased her first clematis as a misnamed plant. Her personal collection of this genus now numbers 300 separate species and cultivars. Her passion for clematis led to the publication of her first book,

“Gardening With Clematis” (2004, Timber Press). She followed that book with “Garden to Vase” (2007, Timber Press). Some members might remember Linda from when she presented a Gardeners Connect program in 2008. Linda has been the curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection since 2007 and in 2013 was elected the first American president of the International Clematis Society. The Rogerson Clematis Collection in Lake Oswego, Ore., was founded by Brewster Rogerson, a former K-State University professor of English. He collected hundreds of clematis and retired to the Pacific Northwest. Gardeners Connect’s mission is to inspire and educate gardeners in the Kansas City region. For more information, please visit www.


Plant Sale 2017 ANNUAL


SATURDAY April 29th 8am–2pm

(or until SOLD OUT) Call us for your landscape and maintenance needs.

816-941-2332 Spring Hours begin Sat. 3/11/17 • Mon.-Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-5pm

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The proceeds from the annual plant sale are used to fund MGGKC projects and Community/ Partnership Gardens throughout the year. MU: An equal opportunity/ADA institution


March 2017 |

Spring Gardening Symposium Saturday, April 22

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cold, heat, wind, wet and/or dry, we can bring our passion for plants home in ways that can emulate the effects of English garden design. Hardscapes in the Landscape will be covered by Jack Carson, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener. The topic will cover how to use hardscaping to enhance your garden design. “This is how hardscapes can be introduced into a landscape to enhance and benefit the overall appeal of the landscape plan. There is emphasis on garden paths and their construction.” Sherri Thomas, Johnson County Master Gardener, will present Incorporating Edibles into the Ornamental Garden, about mixing vegetables and flowers for edible beauty. “Incorporating edibles into your ornamentals can be visually appealing and good for personal health, the community, and be environmentally sustainable. Topics include: which edibles are attractive, how to incorporate them in your design, seasonal considerations, nutrient value of plant choices, and neighbors’ expectations. In the yard, ornamentals mix it up with vegetables, fruits, shrubs, trees and herbs.” The annual symposium, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will

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be held at the K-State University Research & Extension office at 104 S. Brayman, Paola, Kansas 66071. The event hall will open by 8:30 a.m. Due to limited space, pre-registration is required. The registration fee is $25, with box lunch provided. Obtain a registration form at Once printed and completed, send form and check to the KSU R&E office in Paola (address above).



urrently, the hottest gardening topic involves landscape design. The Marais des Cygnes District Extension Master Gardeners want to address the subject by dedicating this year’s spring educational symposium to the subject. GROW BY DESIGN, this year’s theme, will be a daylong series of presentations by noted local landscape authorities. Keynote will be Ania Wiatr, Powell Gardens Senior Perennials Gardener, presenting Gardens Go Native, covering garden design movements that use native plants in garden design, with focus on plants that provide year-round interest. “Many gardeners are wary of inviting “weeds” into their landscapes. Photographs illustrate how these versatile native plants can be used in different garden design styles. Attendees will learn to fearlessly use natives in their own gardens.” Presenting An English Garden on the Kansas Prairie will be Cynthia Gillis, Landscape Architect and Johnson County Extension Master Gardener. She will discuss incorporating Kansas native plants into an English Estate Style Garden. “What makes an English garden isn’t the plants…it’s how they are used. Despite our clay and extreme

Consider spending a spring Saturday learning about garden design with us. This event is open to general public enrollment, but should be of special interest to any local Master Gardener, who will receive five hours of Advanced Training credit for attending. We look forward to seeing you! If you have additional questions, please call K-State University Research & Extension office in Paola at 913-294-4306.

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The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017


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Pansies a warm welcome in the cool season


ansies are such a friendly-faced flower! But until the 19th century most people considered them a weed. Today, pansies are a hybrid plant cultivated from those wildflowers in Europe and western Asia. Much of the collection and cultivation of pansies can be attributed to plantsmen and women in the UK and Europe more than 200 years ago. For example, Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet, daughter of the Earl of Tankerville, and her gardener cross-bred a wide variety of Viola tricolor (common name “Heartsease”) and showcased their pansies to the horticultural world in 1813. Further experiments around the same time eventually grew the class to over 400 garden pansy varieties. Garden pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are a mixture of several species, including Viola tricolor. Oftentimes the names “pansy”, “viola”, and “violet” are interchangeable. However modern pansies are classified by the American Violet Society as having large-flowered blooms with two slightly overlapping upper petals, two side petals, and a single bottom petal, with a slight beard in its center.

They’re considered annual bedding plants, used for garden decoration during cooler planting seasons. Pansies come in a rainbow of colors: from crisp white to almost black, and most all colors in between. They are also a great addition to your spring or fall vegetable garden as they are edible and pair well with lettuces. They can also be candied and used to decorate sweets or other dishes. Most pansies fall into a few categories: Large (3 to 4 in.), Medium (2 to 3 in.), Multiflora (1 to 2 in.), and a new category of Trailing pansy. Some modern large-flowered pansy series are Majestic Giant Mix, Delta, and Matrix. Medium-sized pansy series include Crown and Imperial. Multiflora pansy series like Maxim and Padparadja won All-America Selections awards in the early 1990s. See for all of the award-winning pansies. New on the scene for hanging baskets and ground cover are WonderFall and Cool Wave® pansies – the makers of Wave® petunias. These Trailing pansies spread over 2 feet wide and overwinter in fall gardens. Today’s garden pansy varieties can fill any sunny space – large or

small, hanging overhead or growing underfoot – with soft fragrance and happy blooms. Space your pansies 6 to 10 inches apart in a well-drained and fertile soil location. The best location is an area that receives morning sun. Adding granular or time-release nutrition to the soil is encouraged, especially for trailing pansies as this increases their vigor and number of blooms. Offer plenty of water at planting and during their adjustment period to help establish roots and minimize stress. Mulching can help retain moisture and reduce any weeds that may compete with your plants. Pansies planted in the spring will enjoy the warm days and cool nights of the season. Most V. wittrockiana will begin to diminish or go out of flower as nighttime temperatures begin to rise in the summer. Yes, pansies are the perfect annual during late winter and early spring producing instantaneous color. Such a soothing solution to help gardeners transition into a new growing season. Article source and images by National Garden Bureau (

The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017


Native Gardener’s New Year The ‘to-do’ list grows longer during the transition to spring, but SCOTT WOODBURY says chores seem fun now. Photos by Scott Woodbury.


s warmth and humid air returns to Missouri, my skin stops itching and I find myself out in the garden tidying up, picking up sticks, pulling weeds, and thinking about carrot rows and trellises. The passing of the torch from Old Man Winter to Spry Boy Spring is a much-welcomed annual transition. I don’t know why, but it is cleansing, invigorating, and renewing, and pulls me out of winter stasis with a slap in the face like Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap. My brain cells wake up and fire ideas left and right…more wild plums, less garden phlox, better cherry pitter! Lists emerge and there begins the gardener’s New Year. In spring, overlooked and ignored chores come into focus. Dull pruners and loppers get sharpened. Mulch is delivered and thin areas are topped off. Henbit is pulled. Lone grass clumps are set afire (with a garden hose ready!). Stray and rubbing tree and shrub branches are pruned off. Sedges are mowed or cut down before their green growth emerges. Chores somehow seem ok, satisfying, and fun. Garden beds get edged and new ones are laid out with a hose. Sod

is cut and moved to fill gaps in the lawn, but most ends up in the compost pile (a little topsoil in bins makes compost decompose faster). Last year’s compost is mixed with topsoil to make a new asparagus bed. Nothing sweeter than fresh cut asparagus! Last year’s shining bluestar stalks are cut down, clumps are divided and added down the sidewalk to lengthen the hedge that keeps the neighbor’s dogs off the grass. Overly vigorous vines and shrubs are sternly controlled with those sharp loppers and hand saws with new blades. I cut willows and sumac to the ground every other year to reduce their height. Young vines are tied up and caged with rings of chicken wire to keep the rabbits away. Checking off items on the list may be obsessive.

Seed stalks of perennials are finally cut down after feeding hungry birds all winter and then are fed to the compost bin. Fence posts are shored up. Garden hoses are checked for missing rubber washers and mouse chewings. Irrigation systems are tested and repaired. Garden furniture is rinsed and washed. Lawn mowers are filled with fresh gas and fired up. Bird seed hulls are raked up from under the feeder. Flower pots are emptied and refilled with new potting soil mixed with gel crystals and creative plant combinations. Some clay pots get retired, smashed into 2-3 inch pieces (a good job for a 10-year-old) and placed in the bottom of a new favorite pot to help with drainage. And the list goes on and on and on. If you need help with land care tasks, feel inclined to buy

more natives, or want to hire a landscape designer for new native spaces, check out the Grow Native! Resource Guide to native plant products and services. There are 133 Grow Native! professionals in 2017, ready to help. Your garden will speak to you; it always does in spring. Work will get done, lemonade will satisfy thirst, and before you know it, you and your garden will be transformed yet again. Happy gardeners New Year ya’ll! Horticulturist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO, where he has worked with native plant propagation, design, and education for 25 years. He also is an advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program.

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March 2017 |

Growing Gladiolus


ommonly known as “glad” and “sword lily”, referring to its long, thin and pointed leaves, gladiolus can grow to 2-3 feet tall with graceful trumpetshaped blossoms borne in a double row along the stem. They bloom generally July until fall. Although glads are sometimes planted for design effect in the landscape, their chief value is as cut flowers. With hundreds of cultivars to choose from, wide range of color, sizes, and flower types–ruffled, waved, frilled–make them particularly useful for flower arrangements. The gladiolus “bulb” is actually a food storage structure known as a corm. The corm is a swollen underground stem. Each year a new corm is formed atop the old one, that shrivels and dies. Also, small new corms called cormels or cormlets are produced from the base. Cormels are the primary means for propagating a certain variety of gladiolus. Healthy corms are essential for producing vigorous plants with good quality flowers. The size of the plant and spike produced is directly related to the size of corm that is planted. Some gladiolus experts recommend treating them as annuals because you are more likely to get large, healthy blooms each year. Some gardeners dig up the corms, and store them to replant next season. For detailed instructions of how to do this, see the MU publication referenced at the end of this article. For home gardeners, it is suggested to purchase corms that are


one inch in diameter or more, i.e. grade 3 or above. Glads grow best in sunny locations and prefer a loam or sandy loam soil. Amend heavy, poor draining soils with compost. To maintain the fertility of the soil, apply one pound of 10-10-10 compound fertilizer to each 100 square feet of planting space. If the fertility condition of the soil is unknown, a soil test determines levels and indicate any need for improvement. In the Kansas City area, glads may be planted as early as a week after the average last frost date (April 15) and at two-week intervals thereafter for a succession of blooms. The last planting should be no later than early July if the corms are to have enough time to develop and mature before the frost. Medium sized corms (1 inch or more diameters) should be planted 3-4 inches deep and should be spaced 3-4 inches apart in rows. If there is more than one row, than the rows should be spaced 20-36 inches apart. Bigger size corms should be planted deeper and farther apart. Gladiolus need ample water throughout the growing season.

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When it’s dry, water weekly to the equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall per week. Avoid daily light watering. A layer of mulch keeps the weeds down and water in. Gladioli do not look good in the garden unless old flowers are kept picked. Since they are used primarily for cutting, the spike should be picked in their prime for maximum life indoors. Cut the spike when the first floret is showing color. To cut the spike, insert a sharp knife above the second to fourth leaf and make a slanting cut up the stem. Be sure to leave at least two, and preferably four, leaves on the plant after cutting spikes to help corms mature properly. Cut the spike in the early morning or evening for maximum freshness.

Gladioli are relatively free of insect pests. Most troublesome is the gladiolus thrip, which is small and seldom seen as it feeds in hidden places. To prevent thrips problems, dust gladioli throughout the season with an insecticide labeled for thrip control. Read the label carefully. To prevent thrips during storage, dust corms with an insecticide. Lala Kumar is the Regional Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, Jackson County. For more information, read this MU publication: http:// agguides/hort/g06620.pdf; call the Master Gardener Hotline (816554-TREE); or contact me: 816252-5051,

Use Our Natural Products All Year For Containers, Gardens, Turf Shrubs, Trees, And Ponds Join Judy Penner, Director of the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden & Jacob L. Loose Memorial Park at the Rose Garden on March 18, 10 AM till Noon. Learn “How to Prune Your Roses for Spring, to Identify the Rose Rosette Virus and Keep It from Spreading” with a 29 year old veteran of growing roses in Kansas City!

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The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017


Should You Be a Butterfly Gardener? Photos by Lenora Larson.

Let LENORA LARSON guide you through a few items to think about before you decide be a butterly gardener.

When you see a half-eaten leaf on a citrus plant like this Hop Tree, Ptelia trifoliata, it’s time to celebrate and check for Giant Swallowtail caterpillars.


ost gardeners enjoy seeing butterflies flitting from flower to flower in their garden and would like to attract more. However, butterflies have specific needs beyond beautiful

Like this Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar, you must be tolerant (or hand-crush) of other insects in your butterfly garden.

flowers. Are you willing and able to meet those needs? The first Hurdle Butterflies are insects. OH NO! Most people hate insects, and gar-


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To enjoy the beauty of this Great Spangled Fritillary, you must have violets to feed the caterpillars.

deners can be the worst, spraying poisons on any creature with more than four legs. However, if you want these flying flowers gracing your garden, insecticides are forbidden. Organic insecticides such

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March 2017 |

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as bt and neonicotinoides are just as deadly as synthetics like Sevin and Malathion. If you are a gardener who must spray at the sight of a chewed leaf, then butterfly gardening is not for you. Dancing in the Sun As cold-blooded insects, butterflies must have a sunny habitat to boost their metabolisms. They navigate by the position of the sun, so you’ll see far fewer butterflies on a cloudy day. Nectar-rich flowers also require full sun to manufacture this ambrosial liquid to attract pollinators. Bottom line: if you have only shaded gardens, then you won’t be able to attract butterflies. Of course there is a solution, the chainsaw! But few are willing to sacrifice their beautiful trees to open up their gardens. Eating and Drinking Adult butterflies don’t eat since they have no mouth. They do have a tongue and many species sip nectar, so your garden must contain nectar-rich flowers from March to November. Only flowers with a flat landing surface and shallow nectaries can accommodate adult butterflies. If you focus only on the newest hybrid flowers, which are often sterile without nectar, you may not be meeting their needs. Even more importantly, are you willing to feed the caterpillars? The caterpillar stage does all the

eating and growing for this insect. Most species of butterfly restrict their caterpillar’s diet to only a few species of plants that you must supply if you wish to attract them. Will you welcome these utilitarian plants into your garden? To my eye, most of the caterpillar host plants are attractive, but gardeners focused on flowers may not wish to devote precious space to these vital host plants. Another Issue: Caterpillars Everybody loves the beautiful adults, but some are repulsed by the crawling caterpillars. First, they are NOT worms. They have legs, faces and eyes. Calling them ‘worms’ is as rude as hurling a racial slur. Academic types may try to impress you by calling them ‘larvae’, but the North American Butterfly Association, the entity responsible for butterfly taxonomy and nomenclature, declares that the immature feeding stage of the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) is correctly referred to as a ‘caterpillar’, a name as charming as the critter itself. Gardeners may worry that these caterpillars will ravish their gardens. No! Each species of cater-

pillar only eats its specific plant, which you planted just for them. A munched leaf may signal that a pregnant butterfly has found the right host plant in your yard. For instance, the Giant Swallowtail caterpillar can only eat plants in the citrus family. If you see holes in the leaves of a Rue, Hop Tree or Prickly Ash, you should check the plant for ‘bird droppings’, the caterpillar’s clever disguise to avoid being eaten by birds. The Butterfly Gardener Butterfly gardening exemplifies the maxim, ‘plant it and they will come’. But it’s not just flowers, it’s also the caterpillar host plants that are necessary to attract multitudes of butterflies. If you can give up insecticides and plant to feed the children, then you are ready to celebrate life as a butterfly gardener. Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardener, Idalia Butterfly Society and Kansas Native Plant Society member, Lenora Larson gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kansas. She may be contacted at

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Thursday, April 13, 2017 “Why Prairie Matters–New Relevancies of a Vanishing Landscape” The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present “Why Prairie Matters–New Relevancies of a Vanishing Landscape”, Thursday, April 13, 2017, 6:30 p.m. at Kauffman Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO. Carol Davit, Executive Director of Missouri Prairie Foundation. For 50 years, the Missouri Prairie Foundation has been conserving Missouri’s prairies and other native grasslands, some of the most imperiled habitats on the planet. Carol will talk about Missouri’s tall grass prairie which once covered 15 million acres in the state. Today, less than one-tenth of one percent remains. These fragments of a mighty ecosystem continue to provide benefits we cannot afford to lose. Free and open to the public. No registration is required. Door Prizes. For more information, call 816-665-4456 or visit our website at and browse Gardeners’ Gathering.

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The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017


Native wild leeks

delicious native edibles for shade gardens


produce the leaves in spring and flowers in summer. Be sure not to plant the European ramps because they become invasive, similar to garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), another introduced species. Leaves of native ramps emerge by the end of March, are fully developed by mid-April, and wilt and die off by mid-June. Inflorescences develop from June to the end of July, producing three black round seeds per flower in the fall. In 1994, gathering ramps in the wild was prohibited in Quebec, and there is a concern by botanists and conservationists in Missouri that these plants are under threat of overharvest. To discourage any digging from natural populations in Missouri, Lincoln University Native Plants Program is conducting a study with funding provided by the Missouri Department of Agriculture through a Specialty Crop Grant and the National Institute of Food

o you like onions? Are you wild about garlic? Then this is the plant for you. It’s native, delicious and, since it is prized by many chefs, can even be grown as a cash crop! It’s the wild leek. We have two species of wild leeks, also known as ramps, in Missouri – broad-leaf (Allium tricoccum) and narrow-leaf (A. burdickii). (For some botanists narrow-leaf ramps are a variety of broad-leaf.) Of the two, broad-leaf is more common and is the largest, with bulbs from 2 to 6 cm. and leaves up to 8 cm. wide by 40 cm. long. Leaves and bulbs are edible and the best time to harvest is in April and May. They are mainly gathered from wild populations in eastern states and southern Canada. A European species of ramps or wild garlic (A. ursinum) is very similar but differs in that the flowers and leaves develop at the same time, while our native ramps

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Broad leaf wild leek leaves and Agriculture (NIFA). The main goal is to increase knowledge about growing wild leeks as a specialty crop and develop products to increase their value-added potential, as well as utilize other perennial edible plants. Propagation protocols to grow wild leeks and wild greens as crops in Missouri are under development. Wild leeks along with other shade tolerant native edibles like cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum), golden glow (Rubdeckia laciniata) and nettles (Laportea canadensis) are established in demonstration plots at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Wild leeks grow naturally in woodlands under the canopy of oak, hickory and other native trees.

Wild leeks grow slowly, a little bit like trees. You would have to wait 5 to 7 years for a full established population. Once established you can harvest the leaves, bulbs or both, being careful to do so sustainably to maintain the population. This project is important and timely because the weather has become more unpredictable in the past few years. Native plants are usually adapted to extreme weather conditions and by adopting these perennial crops, farmers can reduce costs of crop establishment and production. Some of these plants are readily available on farms already so initial cost of value-added products could be less than growing annual crops. A guidesheet is available at: We are hosting a workshop ‘Growing Wild Leeks and Other Native Edibles’ on April 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lincoln University campus. Register to participate. Send email to me or Isabel Jacome at Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall is Native Plants State Extension Specialist, Lincoln University of Missouri, available at 573-6815392, and Navarrete-TindallN@ Facebook: Lincoln University Native Plants Program.

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Spring Grass Seeding For Bare Areas


ormally, spring is not considered the ideal time to overseed a cool season bluegrass or fescue lawn because of the shorter establishment period before summer and the increased issues with weeds. However, if done properly and with attention to maintenance, spring might be a viable option. Best time to attempt spring grass seeding The best time to seed in the spring is mid-March through early April. Like fall seeding, the soil must first be prepared. The recommended method is verticutting. A verticut slices grooves in the soil that allows for the necessary seed and soil contact for germination. Simply scattering the seed on the ground usually results in a poor stand and a waste of time and money. Very small patches can be roughed up with a garden rake. Once the soil is prepared the seed can be broadcast. Then the fun of overseeding begins as the

soil surface must be kept moist through germination and into early establishment. This means light, frequent water applications applied as needed, based on weather patterns. The good news is that in the spring temperatures are cooler and more overcast, and rainy days are likely to reduce the watering demands typically found during hot September days. Grass germination times for spring seeding The length of time it will take for the grass seed to germinate will depend on the temperatures. Expect at least two to three weeks, or more, for emergence. Once the seed is up, reduce the frequency of watering to as needed. By that I mean, water when the seedling grass shows signs of stress, such as wilting or turning a bluish cast. Care after spring seed germinates Spring seeded turf has a very limited root system. My recommendation is not to even attempt

spring seeding unless you are committed to watering during the summer. Without regular summer applications the spring grass is likely to die in the dog days of summer, which means you are right back where you started and out your time and money. Spring seeded turf will also need a little more fertilizer to get it up and growing. At seeding apply a starter type fertilizer. Apply a second application about four weeks after germination using a high nitrogen source of fertilizer such as 30-0-0, and, if possible, find a formulation that contains a percentage of slow release nutrients. This helps spread out the feeding and reduces summer stress by not being under such a lush application of nitrogen. Problems with spring seed germination One of the historic problems with spring seeding has been excessive crabgrass germination. Thin turf areas and disturbing the soil results in a bumper crop of

this pesky weed. Fortunately newer crabgrass control products can help us overcome this problem. The product Dithiopyr (active ingredient) is recommended for spring seeding as it can be applied later into the season and still provide good control. This product actually works as a pre-emergent and on seedling crabgrass which has already germinated. In most seasons it can be applied in early to mid-May and still provide excellent season long control. In fact, some labels on the product indicate it can be applied as soon as two weeks after germination, or when the new grass is 2 inches tall. Now is the time to decide whether to seed this spring or just wait until fall and hope for a summer miracle. No matter what you decide, planning will lead to success as well as knowing the proper steps. Thanks to our friends at K-State Research and Extension, Johnson County for sharing this article.



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The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017


Rose Report Kansas City’s expert rosarian JUDY PENNER educates gardeners on caring for roses as we move into spring.


ow is the time to be thinking about getting ready for spring. We have had a very mild winter up to this point (I am writing this during the first week in February) and I have been watching the sap rise on the rose canes the entire winter. When the sap rises in the canes you see the rose canes starting to green up from the base of the rose indicating they are getting ready for spring. This early green up is not ideal especially if we get a deep freeze in February or even late March. I recommend you not remove the protective mulch until our temperatures stay consistently moderate, no big swings in temperature. That being said, some years ago we had serious freezing weather in April that damaged our roses. So please pay attention to the weather

and keep your mulch close by just in case. I usually remove the winter protective mulch and spread it into the rose bed. I also add additional mulch to the entire bed to help conserve water, cut down on the weeds in the summer, and keep the soil temperature cooler. April is the month for some basic and necessary pruning. Pruning not only promotes improved flowering, it is also important for good overall plant health. Timing is important. Begin pruning when dormant roses begin to leaf out in the spring. It is best to wait until temperatures moderate and wide fluctuations are not predicted before pruning your roses.

Basic pruning accomplishes several things for all rose classes — removal of damaged or dead wood, improved air circulation, improved

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Learn firsthand how to prune and care for roses on Saturday, March 18, at Loose Park Garden Center, 10 a.m.

flowering canes, and appearance. Before pruning, carefully examine the rose and identify any dead canes, which may be shriveled, dark brown, or have blackened tips. Use clean, sharpened pruners and make cuts at a 45-degree angle on outward facing buds. Large cuts can be sealed with glue to prevent cane drying or possible cane borer damage.

Remove dead or damaged canes at the base of the plant or below the point of damaged wood. Also, remove any crossing or weak canes that are smaller than the diameter of a pencil, leaving five to seven strong canes.

The class of rose will determine the extent of early spring pruning. Hybrid teas, floribunda, and grandiflora roses require fairly severe annual pruning to encourage better flowering and good plant health. Climbing and rambling roses require very little pruning besides removal of dead or damaged canes. However, flow-

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


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er production of climbers can be increased by cutting side shoots back to 6 inches. Shrub roses require very little pruning beyond the removal of dead or damaged canes, especially in the first years following planting. Come learn firsthand how to prune and care for roses, I will be giving a free rose program sponsored by the Kansas City Rose Society in partnership with the Kansas City Parks and Recreation, on Saturday, March 18 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Loose Park Garden Center (816-513-8590) located in Loose Park, 51st and Wornall. There will be door prizes and refreshments and you can meet Consulting Rosarians and Members of the Kansas City Rose Society that will be happy to share their knowledge about roses! Bring your questions and appetites for a fun informative way to learn about roses!



Update, clean, rearrange On-going bed maintenance New & existing gardens Landscape design/install Professional ser vice

Inspired at Chanticleer In the Garden, SUSAN MERTZ shares the highlights of her visit to the beautiful Chanticleer estate gardens.


Photos by Susan Mertz.

t took me by surprise. After all, Longwood Gardens is the place everyone raves about. Included on numerous lists of top botanical gardens in the United States, Longwood Gardens truly is a fabulous place. Yet, in the Pennsylvania-Delaware region of estate gardens, Chanticleer stole my heart.

Opened to the public in 1993, the Rosengarten estate, named Chanticleer, is located outside of Philadelphia. Thirty-five acres with over 5,000 plants are open to the public from late March through late October. Chanticleer’s horticulturists and staff not only design the gardens, they design and build the garden features including benches, railings, drinking fountains and bridges. This artistry and skill help make Chanticleer special. The gardens are beautiful and, yet, there is a feeling of casualness. Visitors are welcome to picnic on the lawn.

Children are encouraged to roll down a sweeping hill. It seems the kind of place where staff could dig up a bit more of the lawn to expand a garden if desired. Around the corner from the garden entrance, is an intimate courtyard garden, the teacup garden. It is packed with plants that are rearranged occasionally like furniture in a house. Plus, plantings change out through the seasons. Though formal, there is an effortlessness to this space. I loved the containers with flowers and foliage floating in water, an easy idea to replicate at home. The garden’s horticulturist passed on her tip of painting the interior of the containers a dark color to help minimize the mosquito population. Nearby, is a grand entrance to the tennis court garden with stairway railings planted in angelina sedum. I love angelina sedum! No longer a tennis court, this space is filled with color and texture from flowering trees, conifers, perennials, shrubs and ornamental grasses. The garden’s beauty evolves as the seasons change and a good reminder to consider all seasons when planning a garden. Across the lawn and beyond giant purple beech trees is the cut flower garden and vegetable garden. A weeping blue atlas cedar frames the view. And, right there, not tucked away out of site, are the cold frames. I loved seeing the small tree liners, cold crops and annuals for lining out later in the season. Sitting on a bench and taking in the view, it dawned on me that the south side of my deck would be the perfect place for a cold frame or two. I just need to convince my husband to build them. Another favorite place at Chanticleer is the gravel garden. The design and plantings really address those areas many of us of poor soil and harsh conditions. At first, the plantings seem haphazard and natural. Yet, on my third or fourth time through this garden, I

realized the beauty of the design with the echos of the colors and sweeping masses of plants. The picturesque moment was complete when butterflies fluttered by and stopped at the coneflowers. Atop a hill, the gravel garden overlooks the pond garden and serpentine planting and more gardens to see. My first visit was with a rush of adrenaline that is still with me

even as I write this. On my second visit, I was a bit calmer and able to notice the nuances of the design and plantings. There are many more moments of inspiration for you to find when exploring Chanticleer. Join garden writer Susan Mertz for tours and photographs of gardens at

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

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Bonsai Society of GKC Sat, Mar 11 & 25, 9am-noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshops. 816-513-8590 GKC Dahlia Society Sun, Mar 12, 1-3pm; at Rose Room, Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 GKC Gardeners of America Mon, Mar 6, 6pm; Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Speaker is Lorelei Tangen, who blogs on www.foodlifejoy. com. Topic is Growing Microgreens. She says: One of the coolest things about microgreens is that you can grow them year round. Microgreens are mostly easy and quick to grow (some, like beets, are a little more fussy). You do need light but not special light. A sunny window sill or the light over the sink is just fine. No special kit to grow them. Come and learn more. Non-members are always welcome. Refreshments. For more information, contact Margaret Singer, 816-9428889 or Vince Vogel, 816-313-8733.

Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Mar 18, 10am-12:30pm; at Loose Park 2/20/17 3:08 PM Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

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African Violet Club of GKC Tues, Mar 14, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

GKC Herb Study Group Wed, Mar 8, noon; Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Program: Tussie Mussies by Lynn Soulier. A quaint, endearing term from the early 1400s for small, round bouquets of herbs and flowers with symbolic meanings. Each one is personal and conveys a meaning in the old-time language of flowers and herbs. Apology, sympathy, appreciation or love (to name a few), learn the communication and influence of plants. We will each make one to take home. No supplies needed. Lunch: Sack Lunch, bring your own drink. Friends, visitors welcome. Questions: 816-478-1640, Nancy



Club Meetings

Jeff ’s Tip of the Month:

March is still a good time to dormant prune your trees, paving the way for healthy growth in the spring.

decorating a shady spot, try imr torenia. Check plant care tags ontainers to a sunny spot. 26 March 2017 | he tallest plant in the container. ea and will fill the space around

Jeff Newborn, Certified Arborist

Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Mar 25; at NEW LOCATION First Lutheran Church, 6400 State Line Rd, Mission Hills, KS. Check-in, Hospitality 9:30, Meeting 10am. Speaker Mary Ann Metz presenting “Landscape Design with Shade Plants”. After lunch Janmarie Hornack, Earth Right LLC, will present the natural solutions to plant health. Club will provide barbecue for a potluck at noon, bring your favorite dish to share. Come for great food, door prizes, raffle options. For info call, Gwen Wheeler 816-213-0598. KC Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Mar 19, 1:30-4pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Visitors are welcome. For information, call 816-513-8590. Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Mar 6, 9:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, KCMO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Kansas City Rose Society Sat, Mar 18, 10am-noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Leavenworth County Master Gardeners Wed, Mar 8, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS

66048. Joy Kromer, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener and co-owner of J and B Farms will present, “Is a Hoop House in Your Future?”, the how-tos of gardening in hoop houses. Free, visitors welcome. For more information, Paula Darling at 913-651-2445. Leawood Garden Club Tues, Mar 28, 10:30am; at Cure of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS. This meeting is our annual fundraising auction, with donations from local merchants up for sale. The Horticultural Hints presentation will be “Perpetual Perennial Propagation” by member Peg Armstrong. The meeting and our membership is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts are provided. leawoodgardenclub. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Mar 14, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 S W Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Our program speaker will be John Riley from the Kansas City Rose Society. His topic will be “How to Grow Roses in Kansas City”. Refreshments provided and visitors welcome. Visit www.leessummitgardenclub. org or call 816-540-4036 for information. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Sat, Mar 4, 1pm; at Family Tree Nursery, 7036 Nieman, Shawnee, KS 66203. Representatives from the nursery will share new plants and garden ideas for 2017. Learn more about the club at” Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Mar 18, 1-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Olathe Garden and Civic Club Tues, Mar 21; Members and guests will meet at 9am in the west end of East Gate Shopping Center Parking lot, 1229 E Santa Fe, Olathe, KS 66061 (near Sherwin-Williams). Members will carpool to Bass Pro, 7300 W Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015 for the meeting at 10:30am and lunch at noon. The program, “Owls and Bats” will be presented by a member of the Audubon Society of Missouri. Short meeting will follow. Visitors are welcome. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Mar 13, 7pm social, 7:30pm meeting; at Colonial Church, 71st and Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS, lower level. Our program will be Building Solitary Bee House, brief program about Bees and their nesting habitats. Remainder of meeting will be spent Building Bee houses. Attendees are encouraged to bring clean half gallon milk or orange juice jugs as a base for the houses. Other supplies provided. Guest of all ages are welcome. Questions, contact Karen Clark, 785-224-7279. Sho Me African Violets Fri, Mar 10, 10:30-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Water Garden Society of GKC Tues, Mar 21; 5:30pm for snacks and socializing; meeting at 6:15; at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 2552 Gillham Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108. At 6:30pm, owner James Renno, Concrete Technology Inc., will introduce a revolutionary concrete coating system that has twice the strength of normal concrete. His slide show will inspire all to plan a new project for their home. This new technology brings beauty and design to rooms inside the home or outdoor spaces such as entrances, patios, steps and driveways. Featured speaker is Steve Hess from the Summers Garden. Steve, a longtime friend to

the WGS, has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens magazine and been featured on PBS televisions’ The Perennial Garden. When not at his garden studio teaching, Mr. Hess can be found at Conception Abbey where he is the Creative Director of The Printery House. We will be learning some new creative designs for making our own fountains. See you there!

Events, Lectures & Classes March Cutting Gardens Thurs, Mar 2, 11:30am-1pm; at Sunflower Room of the Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Sponsored by Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners Association. The class will be taught by Briana Terrel, a Leavenworth County Extension Master Gardener, who raises her own cut flowers and has her own business selling at farmer markets. Fee: $5, payable at the door; waived for current active Master Gardeners. Registration not required. 913-299-9300 Growing the Perfect Tomato Thurs, Mar 2, 6:30-7:30pm; at Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Pkwy, Lawrence, KS. Learn how to successfully grow a tomato that you can brag about to your friends. FREE, but please RSVP. 785-842-3081 Fruit Tree Care and Maintenance Fri, Mar 3, noon; at Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, KCMO 64110. Sponsored by Kansas City Community Gardens. Fruit trees can be incredibly rewarding, but it takes work to get that reward year after year. Learn pruning and pest management techniques and timing for fruit trees and berries to insure a bountiful harvest. FREE. Reserve your seat at or 816-931-3877. How to Make a Boxwood Wreath Lansing Community Library: Tues, Mar 7, 6-7pm at 730 1st Terrace, Suite 1, Lansing, KS 66043. Mikey Stafford, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener will present, “ How to Make Your Own Boxwood Wreath”. Leavenworth Public Library: Thurs, Mar 16, 7-8pm at 417 Spruce St, Leavenworth KS 66048. Mikey Stafford will present, “How to make Your Own Boxwood Wreath”. Both presentations are free and open to the public. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-651-2445. Victory Garden Wed, Mar 8, 7-8pm; at Basehor Community Library, 1400 158th St, Basehor, KS 66007. Loretta Craig, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener will give a presentation on Victory Gardens. This will be a modification on her earlier Victory garden presentations. Free and open to the public. For more information contact Paula Darling at 913-651-2445. Container Gardening Tips and Tricks Wed, Mar 8, 2-3pm; at Blue Valley Recreation Center, 7720 W 143rd St, Overland Park, KS. As the weather warms up are you tempted to purchase the first colorful plants that hit the market? Johnson County Master Gardener, Mae Christenson, shares her love of container gardening with you. She’ll discuss plant selection, best potting mixes, designing containers using color and texture plus finding the right pot. She’ll also talk about creating simple fairy gardens. Informative gardening handouts will help you as you start thinking about adding these instant gardens to your existing landscape. Free. Must pre-register by calling Blue Valley Recreation: 913-685-6000. Growing & Storing Herbs Thurs, Mar 9, 6:30-7:30pm; at Clinton Pkwy Nursery, 4900 Clinton Pkwy, Lawrence, KS. Learn how to grow and store your own herbs. FREE, but please RSVP. 785-842-3081 Using Native Host Plants in the Ornamental Garden Sat, Mar 11, 5:30pm Pot-luck Dinner, 6:45pm Presentation; at Prairie Village Community

Center, 7700 Mission Rd 66208. Free. Sponsored by Idalia Butterfly Society, Lenora Larson will present Taming the Beasts: Using Native Host Plants in the Ornamental Garden. Most caterpillar food plants and many pollinator blooms are natives that may challenge a fastidious gardener. Fear of a weedy mess and/or the reaction of their Homeowners’ Association often prevents gardeners from planting for butterflies and bees. However, my garden contains the host plants for over 50 species of butterflies and there are no “weeds”. Using butterfly host plants as examples, this presentation will discuss the elements of garden design and provide multiple specific tactics to civilize any overly enthusiastic plants. Larson is a Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardener, member of Idalia Butterfly Society and Kansas Native Plant Society. Questions? Contact

Burrowing Critters Workshop Saturday, March 11, 10:30 a.m.

The Kansas City Public Library—Ruiz Branch 2017 W. Pennway St., Kansas City, MO 64108 FREE—No Reservation Required This 45-minute workshop will help you recognize signs of a burrowing critter in your yard, teach you how to identify specific digging animals, and demonstrate ways to prevent or rid your green space of unwanted underground intruders like ground hogs, moles, and chipmunks. Chris Cain from the Missouri Department of Conservation will be on hand to present and answer all your questions.

Mason Bee Workshop Sat, Mar 11, 10-11:30am; at The Gardens at Unity Village, 150-B NW Colbern Rd (1/4 mile west of the Douglas/Colbern intersection), Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. This is a hands-on experience in building a Mason Bee Habitat. Ellen will 1) introduce you to Mason Bees and 2) Dave and Roger will assist you in building a habitat to take home. Materials provided. Fee: $10, (cash or check) workshop for adults and children 10+. Call for reservations at 816-769-0259. Annual Spring Gardening Seminar Sat, Mar 11; at Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO. An all-day event offering a variety of presentations from backyard birding to everything you wanted to know about mulch. $49 including lunch. Visit for detailed information on each of the 13 presentations plus enrollment instructions. Keynote Speaker, Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture Powell Gardens will discuss his new book “Native Plants of the Midwest” and offer ideas on how to enrich your landscape with native plants. Houseplant Care 101 Sat, Mar 11, 10:30-11:30am; at Clinton Pkwy Nursery, 4900 Clinton Pkwy, Lawrence, KS. Learn how to give your houseplants a little TLC. FREE, but please RSVP. 785-842-3081 Beekeeping I Wed, Mar 15 & 22, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. This is an introductory course into beekeeping. We will review the importance of honey bees in our everyday life. Participants will learn about the life cycle of the honey bee, their history, and become familiar with today’s beekeeping techniques. Fee: $49. To enroll or to get more information call 913-4692323 and provide CRN 50597.

Questions? Contact Amy Morris, Ruiz Branch Supervisor, at 816-701-3565 Learn more about the gardening and planting resources available at the Ruiz Branch at




5045E and 5055E MFWD, 2015 models





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18.5 hp (13.8 kW, 603 cc)* 42-in. mower deck Bumper-to-bumper 3-year/ 18.5 hp (13.8 kW, 603 cc)* 200-hour warranty** 42-in. mower deck Bumper-to-bumper 3-year/ 200-hour warranty**


• 20 hp (14.9 kW, 656 cc)* • iMatch™ Quick-Hitch compatible • 42-in. mower deck • 2-speed hydro transmission • Bumper-to-bumper 2-year/ Z235 120-hour warranty** • 4WD and power steering • 20 hp (14.9 kW, 656 cc)* • 42-in. mower deck



See dealer for full warranty details. The gross horsepower of this engine was laboratory rated at 3600 rpm by the engine manufacturer in accordance with SAE J1940 or SAE J2723. As configured to meet safety, emission, and operating requirements, the actual horsepower on this class of mower will•be sBumper-to-bumper ignificantly lower than what 2-year/ may be stated on this ad.

Kick-Start Your Garden: Planting Early Spring Crops Fri, Mar 17, noon; at Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, KCMO 64110. Sponsored by Kansas City Community Gardens. Give in to your spring gardening fever and get outside to plant a spring vegetable garden. Learn about selecting, planting and caring for vegetables that thrive in the cool spring weather. FREE. Reserve your seat at or 816-931-3877.

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Beginning Vegetable Gardening Sat, Mar 18, 10:30-11:30am; at Clinton Pkwy Nursery, 4900 Clinton Pkwy, Lawrence, KS. Plan and grow a successful basic “no fail” vegetable garden. FREE, but please RSVP. 785-842-3081

(continued on page 28)

5E Series

–– OR ––

Planning a Home Orchard Thurs, Mar 16, 6:30-7:30pm; at Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Pkwy, Lawrence, KS. How to grow apples, pears, peaches, nut trees and more will be discussed. FREE, but please RSVP. 785-842-3081

Spring Woodland Wildflowers Wed, Mar 22, 1pm; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS 66013. Ken O’Dell, Kansas City Regional Leader of the Kansas Native Plant Society will give a one-hour PowerPoint pre-










See dealer for full warranty details

See dealer for full warranty details. The gross horsepower of this engine was laboratory rated at 3600 rpm by the engine manufacturer in accordance with SAE J1940 or SAE J2723. As configured to meet safety, emission, and operating requirements, the actual horsepower on this class of mower will be significantly lower than what may be stated on this ad.

Lawn and L REYNOLDS LAWN AND LEISURE,Reynolds INC. 12902 SHAWNEE MISSION PKWY eynolds l Laawn wn a& ndSHAWNEE, eisureKS nnc c. . RReynolds lLeisuRe ,, Ii66216 12902 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Shawnee, Kansas 913-268-4288 12902 M ,MISSION shawnee , ks 913-268s-hawnee 4288 ww12902 w.ission reynSHAWNEE oldP slkwy PKWY 913-268-4288 SHAWNEE, KS 66216 Prices and models may vary by dealer. Manufacturer suggested list913-268-4288 price at $2,499 on S240 Sport, $1,499 on D105 and $2,499 on Z235. Prices are suggested retail prices only and are subject to change without notice at any time. Dealer may sell for less. Shown with optional equipment not included in the price. Attachments §

12902 SHAWNEE 27 MISSION SHAWNEE, KS 6621 913-268-4288

The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017

and implements sold separately. Available at participating dealers. *The engine horsepower and torque information are provided by the engine manufacturer to be used for comparison purposes only. Actual operating horsepower and torque will be less. Refer to the engine manufacturer’s website for additional information. **Term limited to years or hours used, whichever comes first, and varies by model. See the LIMITED WARRANTY FOR NEW JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY EQUIPMENT at and for details. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol and § Prices DEERE and models may vary byofdealer. JOHN are trademarks Deere Manufacturer & Company. suggested list price at $2,499 on S240 Sport, $1,499 on D105 and $2,499 on Z235. Prices are suggested retail prices only and are subject to change without notice at any time. Dealer may sell for less. Shown with optional equipment not included in the price. Attachments and implements sold separately. Available at participating dealers. *The engine horsepower and torque information are provided by the engine manufacturer to be used for comparison purposes only. Actual operating horsepower A0D03KKCU2A62195-

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see (continued from page 27)

One free, easy call gets your utility lines marked AND helps protect you from injury and expense. Safe Digging Is No Accident: “Always Call Before You Dig in Kansas” Call 811, 1-800-DIG-SAFE, (800-344-7233) or visit us at

sentation on the spectacular spring woodland wildflowers that show their colors and splendor on the lower bluff woodlands that meander along Wolf creek at the Arboretum. This area has many of the same woodland wildflowers that grow in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozark mountains. Wild blue phlox, Turk’s cap liliies, Solomon seal, wild violets, wild geraniums, wild impatiens, mayapples, trout lilies, native columbines, Jack in the pulpits, spring beauties, ferns and many others. Ken will show slides of these and discuss how they grow, and how to gather seed and propagate. This will be indoors in the visitor center. If you are not a member or volunteer at the Arboretum there is a $3.00 fee to enter. We will have seating for 50 people. Come early and get a chair. More information at—click on events and go to Kansas City region. Pruning Fruit Trees Thurs, Mar 23, 6:30-7:30pm; at Clinton Pkwy Nursery, 4900 Clinton Pkwy, Lawrence, KS. This hands on workshop will teach you how to prune your fruit trees. FREE, but please RSVP. 785-842-3081 Woodland Walk Wed, Mar 29, 1pm; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS 66013. Jim Earnest and Ken O’Dell will lead a tour of the naturally planted woodlands along Wolf Creek in the Arboretum. This large wooded area is one of the finest natural resources in Kansas. There are 140 acres of woodlands with an estimated 4 million native trees in the 300 acre Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. We will be walking on mulched pathways as we see rare leatherwoods, giant basswood trees, hop hornbeams, coffee trees, dogwoods, hickories, bladdernuts, and thousands of pawpaw trees. Kansas has about 85 species of native trees, and half of these species grow naturally in the Overland Park Arboretum woodlands. We will meet on the patio of the visitor center. If you are not a member or volunteer at the Arboretum there is a $3.00 fee to enter.  Beekeeping II Wed, Mar 29 & Apr 5, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. This course offers an in depth review of current beekeeping practices. You will study beekeeping in the classroom and explore a beehive in the field. The course will give you hands-on-experience working a beehive. Fee: $49. To enroll or for more information, call 913-469-2323 and provide CRN 50599. Tomato Gardening Thurs, Mar 30, 7pm; at St Paul United Methodist Church, 3601 S Sterling Ave, Independence, MO 64052. Learn what tomatoes need to thrive and offer a good harvest. What challenges do tomatoes bring? What types of tomatoes are there? Presented by Lala Kumar, Univ of Missouri Extension Horticulture Specialist, who brings his vast knowledge and experience of horticulture. Sponsored by St Paul Community Garden. FREE; the public is invited. Questions: Sara at 816-356-6986.

April Pruning Made Simple Tues, Apr 4, 10-11:30am; at Blue Valley Recreation Center, 7720 W 143rd St, Overland Park, KS. The thought of pruning strikes fear in the hearts of many. Dennis Patton, Johnson County/K-State Extension Horticulture agent will cover the when, where, and how to make the proper pruning cut. After this session you will feel liberated and empowered to make the proper cut for a beautiful landscape. Free. Must


March 2017 |

pre-register by calling Blue Valley Recreation: 913-685-6000. Food Not Lawns Thurs, Apr 6, 11:30am-1pm; at the Sunflower Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City KS. Do you want to learn more about this nationwide program with an active presence in Kansas City? Would you like to grow more food in your city home lot? Plan to join the Wyandotte Co Extension Master Gardeners who are sponsoring a presentation by Steve Mann, coordinator for Kansas City Food Not Lawns organization. Fee: $5, payable at the door; waived for current active Master Gardeners. Registration not required. 913-299-9300 Planning Your Plot for Garden Success Fri, Apr 7, noon; at Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, KCMO 64110. Sponsored by Kansas City Community Gardens. Find out how creating a planting plan for your garden can help you maximize garden space, get more of the vegetables that you love and save you time and money. KCCG has developed some great tools to help you create a garden plan and seed/plant list for spring, summer and fall. FREE. Reserve your seat at or 816931-3877. Summer Vegetable Gardening Success Mon, Apr 10, 7pm; at St Paul UMC, 3601 S Sterling Ave, Independence MO 64052. Many vegetables grow well in our hot, humid Missouri summers. Learn what kinds to grow and how to grow them. If weather permits, part of the class will be hands-on. The class will be taught by Univ of Missouri Extension Horticulture Educator Cathy Bylinowski. Sponsored by St Paul Community Garden. FREE; the public is invited. Questions: Sara at 816-356-6986. Beekeeping III Wed, Apr 12 & 19, 6:30-8:30pm; at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. This class will be a fun, active way to learn how to be a successful backyard beekeeper. We will provide the basic knowledge needed to keep and manage a healthy beehive, and produce honey and beeswax. This class will cover bee behavior, hive management, diseases, pests, swarming and how to harvest honey right from your backyard. Fee: $49. To enroll or more information call 913-469-2323, provide CRN 50601. Why Prairie Matters Thurs, Apr 13, 6:30pm; Kauffman Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, KCMO. Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present “Why Prairie Matters – New Relevancies of a Vanishing Landscape”, Carol Davit, Executive Director of Missouri Prairie Foundation. Free and open to the public. No registration is required. Door Prizes. For further information call 816-665-4456 or visit website and browse Gardeners’ Gathering. Annual Native Plant Sales Saturdays, Apr 15 and May 6; Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110, 9:30am-2pm or sell out; by Missouri Prairie Foundation. Generous portion of proceeds donated by vendors to help MPF conserve vital pollinator habitat on its native prairies. A variety of native plants suitable for shade, partial shade, sun, dry or moist conditions will be available. Great opportunity to buy native plants that will look great in your home landscape and will provide essential habitat for native pollinators and birds. Many species of plants–both host and nectar plants–for pollinators, including monarch butterflies will be available. If you wish to preorder plants for pickup at the sale, call for vendor contacts. Questions? 816-716-9159. Cash, check, and credit card accepted.  

Tomatoes, Peppers, and Sweet Potatoes, Oh My! Fri, Apr 21, noon; at Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, KCMO 64110. Sponsored by Kansas City Community Gardens. Are you overwhelmed by the number of tomato varieties available? Are you confused about heirloom tomatoes? Do your pepper plants not produce as many peppers as you would like? Are you disappointed when you dig up your sweet potatoes? Come learn how to select, plant and care for tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes. FREE. Reserve your seat at www. or 816-931-3877. Spring Gardening Symposium Sat, Apr 22, 9am-4pm; at KSU Research & Extension, Marais des Cygnes District, 104 S Brayman, Paola, KS 66071. Sponsored by Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardeners. $25 Registration fee includes lunch. Pre-registration is required. Sign up registration form is at Send registration form and check, payable to: Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardeners to the KSU R&E address (above). For information, call 913-294-4306. Edible Landscaping Sat, Apr 22, 9am-12pm; Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Increase the health benefits of your backyard while enjoying the fruits of your labor. Learn to incorporate edible plants into your landscape design by mixing beauty with a tasty a harvest. Explore designing and maintaining landscapes with many colorful and productive edible annuals, perennials, herbs, shrubs and trees. Even yards with limited space and sunlight can be bountiful! Fee: $39. To enroll or to get more information please call 913-469-2323 and provide CRN 50891. How to Get Ready for the Rose Show Sat, Apr 22, 9:30-11:30am; Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Do you grow roses? Do you believe that your roses are worthy of recognition? Join the Kansas City Rose Society (KCRS) for a workshop on “How to Get Ready for the Rose Show”. You will learn: 1) How to prepare your roses to be show-ready; 2) Choose the best roses and groom them for maximum beauty and award winning potential; and 3) Understand the show entry process. The class will be taught by an American Rose Society Rose Show Judge and other KCRS members who are rose show veterans. The workshop will prepare you to enter your roses in the Kansas City Rose Show on Sat, Jun 3, 2017, and give you the confidence to add your roses to the hundreds of beautiful blooms that will grace the show tables in June. Workshop is free; pre-registration is required. For information and register for the workshop, visit KCRS website, Orchid Auction Sun, Apr 23, 2-4:30pm; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. The Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City will hold its annual fundraiser, an Orchid Auction, Sales plants will be available, starting at $5.00. For more information about our auction and orchid society, visit www. Annual Paola Plant Sale 2017 Apr 27, 11am-5pm; Apr 28, 8am-5pm; Apr 29, 8am-noon; at 300 Baptiste Dr. Take the Baptiste Exit off 169 Hwy and drive 1/3 mile west. This Marais des Cygnes (formerly Miami County) Extension Master Gardener sale includes annual bedding plants, vegetable seedlings, succulents and perennials. Exotic tropicals and unusual edible shrubs are also available. Native plants are featured and there will be over 20 species of butterfly caterpillar host plants, including Tropical Milkweed. All the plants are locally grown organically and are neonicotinoid-free. Extension Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your

gardening questions, and handouts on butterfly gardening will be available. 913-294-4306 22nd Annual Plant Sale to benefit Cross-Lines Thurs, Apr 27 & Fri, Apr 28, 8am-7pm; Sat, Apr 29, 8am-1pm; at Shawnee Presbyterian Church, 6837 Nieman, Shawnee, KS. Sale held rain or shine under a tent. New varieties of perennials, along with annuals, hostas, hanging baskets, patio planters, herbs and tomatoes. Pick up a plant for Mother’s Day. Volunteers available to custom design pots for you. Bring your own pots or buy them there. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc. For further information call Kelly Carpenter at 913-2813388 or email her at Dahlia Root Sale Fri, Apr 28, 11am-5pm (Member sale 1-4pm); Sat, Apr 29, 8am-4pm (Public Sale 8am-3pm); at Rose Room, Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Thyme for Kids Annual Plant Sale Fri, Apr 28, 9am-6pm and Sat, Apr 29, 9am-5pm; at Ozanam Campus Greenhouse, 421 E 137th St, Kansas City, MO. It’s free and open to the public! Choose from a wide variety of plants and other garden items. All things grow with love! Cash, checks or credit cards accepted. For more information, please contact Shelli Jaye at (816) 508-3606 or shelli.Jaye@CornerstonesOfCare. org;

Now Hiring for Spring

We are looking for friendly, enthusiastic people to fill positions at our Lenexa, Overland Park and So. Kansas City locations. Apply online at Cashiers Phone Operators Full and part time positions Hardgoods Sales are available. Plant Sales Truck Drivers, (CDL & non-CDL) Equipment Operators Landscape Maintenance Trimming, Mowing, Planting

May and beyond Central Missouri Master Gardeners 20th Annual Plant Sale Sat, May 6, 7am-noon; at Jaycee Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City. Follow us on Facebook:, or on our website: Admission is free and open to the public. For questions about the sale, contact Yolanda at 573619-5368.

816-941-4700 //

Annual Spring Plant Sale Sat, May 13, 9:30am-2:30pm; *New Location*** First Lutheran Church, 6400 State Line Rd, Mission Hills, KS. Sponsored by Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society. Great collection of newer hostas and other shade perennials, including Bergenia, Heucheras, Heucherellas and Cimicifuga (Actaea), plus, mini-hostas, so wonderful for your troughs and Fairy Gardens. Children older than 4 years, accompanied by a parent or guardian, will receive their very own hosta, free! You won’t want to miss this sale! Some quantities are limited, so you will want to arrive early. The public is welcome. Bring a friend! For info - Gwen 816-213-0598 23rd Annual Garden Tour, Plant Sale & Garden Art Flea Market Jun 3-4, 9am-5pm, Hermann, MO. Two Tours in 2017. Visit the Hermann Garden Tours website at for up-to-date events, ticket prices, contact numbers and photographs of past tour gardens. Visit the FAQS page on the website for answers to all your questions. “Like” us on Facebook at “Hermann Garden Club Tours.” Call Hermann Welcome Center at (800) 932-8687 for questions about lodging/restaurants or go to Master Gardener 2017 Garden Tour Sep 8-9, 9am-5pm. Sponsored by the Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners. Driving tour to visit various locations in Miami County to view amazing garden creations by our Master Gardeners. Visit us on Facebook www. or call 913-294-4306. Visit Marais des Cygnes Extension District website for more information:

Promote your club meetings, classes, seminars and other gardening events! Send details to: Deadline for April issue is March 10. The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017



garden calendar n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Prepare soil for spring planting by lightly tilling and adding organic matter such as compost to improve the soil structure. • Fertilize before planting. Use 3 to 4 pounds of a fertilizer such as 27-3-3 or 25-5-5 per 1,000 square feet, or 10 pounds of 13-13-13. Only use the 13-13-13 if a soil test indicates the need for phosphorous and potassium. • Plant potatoes, peas, onions, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage thru late March. • Plant perennial vegetables, rhubarb and asparagus. • Now is a good time to plant fruit trees, strawberries, grapes and blueberries. • Start seeds inside for tomatoes, peppers and other warm-season vegetables. • Apply dormant oil to fruit plantings to reduce scale and mite insects. • Control peach leaf curl before bud break with a fungicide. • Finish pruning fruit trees, grapes, raspberries and blackberries. • Remove mulch from strawberries when growth begins. • Avoid tilling and working wet soils as this destroys soil structure.


• Plant pansies, snapdragons, kale, nemesia, diascia and other cool-loving annuals. • Clean up the perennial bed by cutting back foliage and removing winter mulch layer. • Divide and plant perennials in the garden. • Prepare soil for planting by adding compost or other organic matter. • As growth begins, fertilize gardens. Only use balanced fertilizers if a soil test indicates the need for additional phosphorous and potassium. • Start seeds indoors under lights for transplanting to the garden. • Plant new roses. • Delay removing winter mulch from roses. • Prune roses starting in late March. • Cut ornamental grasses back to within 3 - 5 inches of the ground.

• Fertilize spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips and daffodils as foliage emerges or before blooming. • Build energy in bulbs for next year’s bloom by removing seed pods from spent flowers. • Control iris borers by destroying old foliage before new growth begins. • Unwrap mail order plants immediately and keep them cool and moist until planting.


• Spot spray for dandelions, henbit and chickweed. • Apply crabgrass preventer in late March thru mid-April for best results. • Seed thin areas in bluegrass and tall fescue lawns. • If no fall application of fertilizer was made, fertilize bluegrass and tall fescue. • Mow grass one-half inch lower than fall to remove winter debris. Do not scalp.


• Prune trees, except birch, maple and walnut, which are best pruned after leafing out. • Wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs until after they bloom. • Mulch trees and shrub plantings up to 3 inches deep, keeping mulch away from trunks. • Fertilize trees and shrubs. • Plant new trees in the landscape. • Remove tree wraps from young trees for summer growth. • Rake and clean groundcover plantings.


• Sharpen and repair garden tools. • Resist the temptation to move houseplants outdoors until the temperatures remain above 60 degrees, even at night. • Fertilize houseplants for spring growth.

Johnson County K-State Research and Extension recommends environmentally-friendly gardening practices. This starts by identifying and monitoring problems. Cultural practices and controls are the best approach for a healthy garden. If needed, use physical, biological or chemical controls. Always consider the least toxic approach first. Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000. EST.2007

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• Find a Professional for the next project • See where to pick up the current issue • Hotlines to answer your questions • Weather report and planting dates • Look for garden clubs • Upcoming events


GAR RENEDREN GAR DGEANRED ER Beyond The K T ty K an sa Cihe s C it y a n s a s C Th e Ka ns as ity A M on th ly

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Interested in cut-flowers from your garden? Come listen to Lisa Mason Ziegler, on April 1. She’s an expert on flower production who says growing cool-season annual flowers is the way to go.

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Professional’s Corner

Joel Bockelman

In the beginning: When I was 12 years old, I dug up my mother’s flower garden while she was away at work. That was the beginning of a summer long water garden installation. Justifiably, the first couple of weeks she was skeptical, but the end product changed her mind.

owner, operator of Complete Outdoor Expressions LLC

We all enjoyed that water garden, and I liked being creative and the physical work required for the project. I expanded my repertoire of skills by mowing lawns and working in neighbors’ flower gardens. Fast forward a decade when I realized a viable business opportunity that could serve the needs of those in my community and be self rewarding at the same time. In 2007 I launched Complete Outdoor Expressions LLC. Operations: We are a landscape design and installation company. We truly excel at planning and designing landscape bed space and spacial organization with regard to tree, shrub, and perennial installation. Many of our projects are complete landscape overhauls, so along with design and installation, often comes an opportunity to improve the drainage around foundations, install French drains, and address erosion issues. Inspiring design: Typically I begin a design with a nice sharp line as a foundational starting point. This could be a soft meandering garden pathway or bed edge that sets the scene for the landscape. It could also be a more crisp line that an accent retaining wall follows. A change in grade, a large shade tree, the place-

ment of a picnic table, or play set are all reasons for a line to change coarse. It is important to make sure that this line, however it flows, fits the scale of the space. Once the line is established, the rest of the landscape fall into place. Favorite garden destination: My favorite garden can be found at the edge of most any country road in summertime. Abundant wildflowers scattering a grassy pasture–spectacular! Consider this: The local urban forest is an environment that we all can impact. Often we select a fast growing tree to achieve quick screening or shade, even though the choice isn’t the most viable. Consider using stronger, more robust and long lived trees like Sycamore, Sugar Maple, or Bur Oak. Gardening trends: People are having a lot of fun being creative with container gardens. Vertical pallet gardens, galvanized feed troughs, or a repurposed chest of drawers planted with annual flowers that spill out each tier are just a few fun and whimsical ways to add a sense of their personality to an outdoor space with an accent piece. Contact: (913)669-4682; complete.outdoor@;

The Kansas City Gardener | March 2017


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KCG 03Mar17  

pansies, butter bird garden, native gardener new year, baltimore oriole, spring gardening symposium, healthy yard expo, powell gardens, clem...

KCG 03Mar17  

pansies, butter bird garden, native gardener new year, baltimore oriole, spring gardening symposium, healthy yard expo, powell gardens, clem...