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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

May 2015

Local Public Rose Garden Grows Top Performers

Year of the Coleus Summering Houseplants Outdoors In the Garden at Bartlett Arboretum Hedges Add Structure to a Natural Garden

It’s Water Garden Season!

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

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Name Brand Submersible Pumps – Aquasurge, Shinmaywa, Easy Pro, Tsurumi, Pond Master and More. Pond Care Products – Microbe Lift, Winston Crystal Clear, Pond Balance, and Our own Private Label. If You Need A Certain Product That We Don’t Have In Stock, Let us Know and We Can Have It Shipped Directly To You Within 24-48 Hrs From Our Centrally Located Warehouse.

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TILL THE FIELDS, PREP THE SOIL. Dig it up. Remove rocks and pull the weeds out. Roots, too.

STUDY BEFORE THE TEST. Is your soil sandy or full of clay? Does it drain well or remain soggy? Improve it with the right type of Black and Gold® soil for a superior harvest.

TAKE THE TEST. Different crops like different soil. What are you planting and what will they like? Acidic or Alkaline? Test it out with a soil test kit from Westlake Ace. Once you know, you can amend as needed.

MAKE A PLAN. Sketch your garden. Then use it as a guide to lay out stakes to mark where the rows will go. Support plants, like peas and beans, with trellises or sturdy stakes. Support vine plants like cukes, squash and melons with mounds of earth.

raise the stakes

WITH RAISED GARDEN BEDS. The benefits of raised garden beds are plentiful and delicious. Why? They: keep pathway weeds from your garden soil prevent soil compaction provide good drainage serve as a barrier to pests such as slugs and snails can create a garden any size or shape Plus, the sides of the beds keep precious garden soil from being eroded or washed away during heavy rains. plants are naturally nurturing

SO PLACE ‘EM SIDE-BY-SIDE. Give your crops a companion and marvel at the rewards. Asparagus helps tomatoes grow, beans help eggplant, beets help garlic, carrots help onions, lettuce helps radishes and you help yourself. Bon appetit.



May vary, check online for your specific location




The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

The wait is over

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Judy Aull Tom DePaepe Diane & Doc Gover Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Ken O’Dell Dennis Patton Judy Penner Diane Swan Brent Tucker 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

I, too, have been waiting, longing to start on our garden renovation project. I’ve tried to stay busy with cleanup, pruning, weeding, and such. But what I really want is dirty-fingernailsand-muddy-knees kind of gardening. I’m waiting for the kind of day where exhaustion feels good, and aching muscles are a joy. Here’s the agenda. Where we once had raised beds for tomatoes and herbs, we have established a large perennial bed. The goal is to witness a garden in continuous bloom. After 15-plus years gardening in the Midwest (I know, that’s not very long), we FINALLY have been able to pinpoint what we really want: color and texture from early spring until the first frost. The list of possibilities are endless. When we make our selections and start planting, I’ll let you know. Our sunny hours are limited, due to wonderful tree canopy throughout. What full-sun area we

Submit editorial questions to Elizabeth Cavanaugh at

In this issue

See us on the Web:

May 2015 • Vol. 20 No. 5

Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 43. 4


ur oldest daughter and her family live in southwestern Kansas. We traveled there recently to witness the First Holy Communion of our oldest granddaughter, a second grader. We made our way to their beautiful church, through the thunderstorms, all of us sharing one umbrella. (Note to self: Carry more than one umbrella in the car.) After the ceremony, we dodged puddles and raindrops to make our way to the reception. While many were huddled in line for cake, I overheard a couple of gentlemen discussing the weather. “Boy, I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer; the rain is perfect.” “You mean you got your corn in before the rain?” “Yep.” “I wish I had. Now I’ve got to wait until some of this water disappears.” I suspect he didn’t have to wait long. The next week, at our local breakfast eatery, the waitress tells of the garden prep happening at her place. “He’s got the soil tilled and the garden is ready to plant. All he does now is stand at the back door longingly looking at the beautifully tilled soil. He waits, and waits, and waits.”

May 2015 |

Ask the Experts ........................ 8 The Bird Brain ......................... 10 Rose Report ............................ 11 Japanese Serenity .................... 12 On Being Black and Blue ......... 14 Landscape the Water Feature .... 15 Year of the Coleus ................... 18 Hedges Add Structure .............. 20 Local Public Rose Garden Grows Top Performers .............. 22

about the cover ...

have will be perfect for attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and their cats. The two columnar boxwood that flank the entrance to the garden at the street, need to be moved. It seems dogs like to stop here and “make a little yellow rain.” Boxwood plants are not dog urine resistant. They burn up! So the plants will be replaced with large containers that we’ll fill with seasonal combinations. I suppose those containers should be resistant to the damaging effects of dog urine. Ugh! And so it goes. Now, thankfully is the time to proceed with our plan without hesitation. Thankfully, indeed! Finally, and with much excitement, the wait is over to meet our newest grandchild. He was born the day this column was written, so forgive me if my column is ... well, a little less than par. Love got in my eyes. I’ll see you in the garden!

Summering Houseplants .......... 26 A Dream Realized .................. 32 Milkweed for Monarchs .......... 33 Bartlett Arboretum .................. 34 Powell Garden Events ............. 36 Upcoming Events ..................... 37 Weather ................................. 41 Hotlines .................................. 41 Garden Calendar .................... 42 Professional’s Corner ................ 43

With so many roses to choose from, how do you know which ones will perform well in our area? Find out from local rosairan Judy Penner starting on page 22. The cover picture is ‘Heritage.’ Photo courtesy of Judy Penner.



© 2015, All rights reserved.

Plants don’t get to choose, but you do. Osmocote® Smart-Release® Plant Food Flower & Vegetable feeds continuously and consistently for up to 4 full months. If you grow your own, grow with Osmocote®.

where gardeners go to grow. The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


Annual Union Hill Garden Tour See breathtaking landscapes of downtown oasis


esidents of the historic Union Hill neighborhood would like to invite you to attend their 20th Annual Garden Tour Sunday, June 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This lovely downtown oasis is tucked away between Crown Center and Hyde Park and filled with beautiful Victorian and turn of the century homes dating from the 1870’s.

Gaura Belleza Dark Pink

Neighbors take pride in creating and maintaining a variety of breathtaking landscapes throughout our neighborhood. Begin the tour at 31st & Grand Ave. Spend the afternoon winding your way around historic Victorian homes, as well as brand new infill homes, which evoke the charm and ambiance of 19th century Kansas

Coreopsis Bengal Tiger

City. Gardeners and volunteers will be along the route to help navigate and answer questions. Free parking is available in the KCPT lots at the corner of 31st Street and Grand Avenue. We will again offer raffle gifts from area businesses and garden centers. Garden related merchandise will also be offered for sale. Admission

Hosta Big Daddy

is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors over 60. Children under 12 are free. Half of this year’s proceeds will benefit the neighboring historic Union Cemetery, Kansas City’s oldest public cemetery. For more information, please visit us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook. com/unionhillgardentour or email

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Best Solutions for home, lawn & garden The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton HOW TO APPLY SOIL SULFUR Question: How do you apply soil sulfur to existing shrubs and trees like rhododendrons, hydrangeas and dogwoods to lower the soil pH? Answer: That is a great question and the answer is to do the best you can. The ideal way to lower the pH of the soil is to work the needed sulfur into the root zone 6 to 8 inches deep. But we don’t always get the opportunity. So the next best option is to just slowly

spoon-feed the soil the sulfur so as not to harm the plants. The normal recommendation is to broadcast about one-half pound of sulfur over 100 square feet. It is best to apply the sulfur directly to the soil surface and then work into the soil where possible without damaging the roots. At this lower rate an application can be made in the spring and fall. Repeat for three to five years then retest the soil to monitor for changes and the need to continue. While not as quick acting, over time the sulfur will slowly work its way into the soil for a more acidic pH. WATER RUNOFF Question: When I run my garden soaker hose it seems the water runs off onto the patio instead of

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soaking into the soil around the plants. What gives? Answer: Your soaker hose is simply applying the water faster than the soil can absorb, thus runoff. You might want to practice what is called soak and cycle. Turn on the soaker hose until the water starts to run off, then stop for an hour or so and allow the water to soak into the soil. Then turn it back on until it runs off again. Just repeat this cycling until the area is thoroughly watered and you are good to go. The other option is to find a soaker hose that oozes water at a slower rate. ROOTED CUTTING; WATER OR SOIL Question: While potted geraniums were over-wintered, a branch broke off. I stuck it in water to root. Now that it has roots, what’s the next step?

Answer: The simple answer is just plant the rooted cutting in the ground or a pot. But here is a little secret for all those that have rooted cuttings in water. This practice has been done forever and people have been successful. With that being said, there is a “but.” Roots that form in water are different from those roots that develop in a soil mix. Water roots don’t survive in the soil and soil roots don’t survive in the water. When plants are rooted in water they must form new soil loving roots. As a result the plant does not grow as rapidly and will possibly decline. If the goal is to grow your cutting in a soil mix, then root in a soil medium. If the new rooted plant will remain in a water solution than go ahead and root in water. I realize many may not agree with this statement but it is the truth. My grandmother rooted in water and

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the width. The berm should have a very gentle slope. For example, for about every 1 foot in height the berm should be at least 5 feet wide. So, a 2-foot deep berm should taper off to a finished width of about 10 feet. A good way to design a berm is to take the garden hose and lay out the design until it just looks right for the location. Now I am sure this is as clear as mud but it should give you some ideas for the project.

the plants grew but it is really best to start the new plant off in the mix that it will spend its life in. CREATING A BERM Question: I am going to plant a large tree from a 30-gallon container into a berm. How high and wide should the berm be? How do I keep the soil from eroding? Answer: The planting of the tree really does not have anything to do with the berm dimensions. The tree should be properly planted no matter the location. The hole for planting a tree should be dug no deeper than the depth from the base to the root flare on the trunk. The width of the hole can be as wide as you like. Once a proper hole is dug backfill and water to settle the soil. Now your real question is about berm construction. Much of what you asked depends on your location. The size of the berm should be in size and scale to your property. In other words, it should look more natural and freeform following the contours of your lot. It should not look like someone buried grandma! The depth or height of the berm to reduce erosion really depends on

CROP ROTATION Question: I read that you’re supposed to rotate your crops but I have a small yard with limited full sun. Is it okay to keep planting tomatoes in the same spot? Answer: Crop rotation is a good thing to practice if you have space. But in today’s smaller gardens it is not always practical. Crop rotation helps to reduce the spread of insects and disease and maintain healthy soil. In a container you have the simplest form of crop rotation; wash the pot and use new soil. You can replace the soil each spring, or if the plant was healthy, you could simply refresh the potting mix with about a one-third new soil and replant. So there you have it — oldfashioned crop rotation with a new twist. Keep on planting those homegrown tomatoes, as they are the best. Just simply change up the soil every few years and practice sanitation. Isn’t that what a good gardener already does?

Experience the joy and excitement of gardening, with a visit to Arnold’s Greenhouse this spring!

Get your garden and flower pots off to their best start ever with your choice of 2,500 varieties of homegrown plants! Arnold’s grows Kansas tried-and-true plants, so you’ll have beautiful flowers and a prolific vegetable garden this year!

Arnold’s Greenhouse growing smiles on our Kansas farm since 1977!

Take the country drive to the

“Gardener’s Paradise”! Over 2,500 varieties of plants, including the largest selection of Prairie Star & Prairie Bloom plants recommended by K-State!

Arnold’s Greenhouse • 1430 Hwy. 58 S.E., LeRoy, KS 66857 620-964-2463 or 2423 Monday through Saturday , 9am til 7:30pm Always closed on Sundays

Only 1-1/2 hours from Southwest Kansas City • I-35 to Hwy 75, South 23 miles to Hwy 58, then East 1-1/2 miles (Located 4-1/2 miles West of LeRoy, KS on Hwy 58)

Planters Seed Co. • Since 1927 •

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.

Large selection of certified organically grown Vegetable & Herb plants!

Giving Gardens organic garden install fruits, vegetables, herbs maintenance option customized for you locally owned/operated 816-898-9110

Boston Berry Farm local grower of Native plants, trees and shrubs “Edible” landscape selections and unusual perennials

Open evenings and weekends by appointment. See us on the Miami County Farm Tour Mother’s Day weekend. e-mail:

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Largest Selection of Flowers & Vegetable Seed in the Area More than 300 Varieties of Seed in Bulk Grass & Pasture Seed • Thousands of Bulbs Baskets, Terracotta and Pottery Birdhouses, Birdfeeders Best Selection of “Locally Grown” Bird Seed! Retail • Wholesale • Lawn • Garden • Farm

513 Walnut KCMO • 816-842-3651 The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


The Bird Brain

Bird of the Month: Baltimore Oriole

Doc & Diane Gover Fun Facts About Orioles v Orioles are insect and fruit eaters. They usually stay hidden in trees eating and singing their beautiful whistling notes. They can be drawn down from their perches with foods like orange halves, grape jelly, mealworms (live or dried) and nectar feeders. v When not feeding on nectar, orioles seek out caterpillars, fruits, insects and spiders. v 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. v 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. v The Oriole nest is an engineering masterpiece. They weave a hanging-basket nest with plant fibers, grasses, vine, tree bark, string and yarn. It is constructed out on the small twigs of a branch (generally overhanging water) anywhere from 6 to 45 feet in the air. This keeps them safe from most predators. v It takes as many as 12 days for an Oriole to weave its nest. One Baltimore Oriole was observed spending 40 hours building a nest

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with about 10,000 stitches and the tying of thousands of knots, all with its beak. v The female Baltimore Oriole is the primary engineer and fabricator of the nest. Males occasionally play the role of foreman, supplying materials and conducting inspections while the nest is under construction. v While modern day Oriole nests are made primarily of plant fibers, Oriole nests collected in the late 1800’s, before the age of the automobile, were made almost exclusively of horsehair. v Only the female incubates and broods, both female and male feed the young. v Orioles will lay 4 to 5 eggs anywhere from April to June. The young will fledge as late as 30 days from egg laying.

v The Baltimore Oriole is a common inhabitant of suburban landscapes due to its preference for open settings that are bordered with mature trees. v The oldest banded Baltimore Oriole recaptured in the wild had lived 11 years and 7 months. If you have questions about Baltimore Orioles or any of your backyard birds, just stop by the store. Our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you. Our staff is passionate about feeding birds and creating wildlife habitats. Let us share our enthusiasm with you! Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

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Rose Report Time to feed and spray

Charles Anctil


ow that the cleaning up has been completed, we start thinking about feeding and spraying our roses. There are so many fertilizers out there that trying to decide which one to pick can drive you nuts. So I stay with what works for me. I am from the old school; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When I am done with the clean up, the roses will get 2 cups of milorganite per plant. Oops! Better stop right now! I have a vacuum/shredder. I vacuum and shred the beds again, then I add the milorganite! The Little Mantis comes out and I put it to work. It mixes the mulch and milorganite, and helps to loosen the soil all at one time. If your roses are mixed in your flower beds, just sprinkle the milorganite in the beds. Water if you want to, but it is not needed. One of the best kept secrets to help your plants grow…they help open the soil and do not cost anything…you CAN buy them if

they are available…to feed them is very inexpensive…FISHING WORMS…and they love coffee grounds. Now is the good time to get friendly with the restaurants, coffee shops, McDonalds, etc. Think of all the coffee grounds that are thrown away every day. Coffee grounds will not change the pH of your soil. No, I do not know how much to use. I doubt you can over apply. Bonide has a new product called Rose Shield. This is a concentrate that you mix with water. This is a systemic and disease protection for roses, flowers and ornamentals. It is rain and waterproof in 60 minutes or less. Early applications are the most effective. Insect control lasts up to 30 days; for disease control, re-apply in 7-14 days. It kills insects by contact and ingestion. When you spray, make sure you spray the underneath parts of the leaves too. New regulations are coming out this year concerning Bees. So do not be afraid to ask questions. Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. If you need help, call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-233-1223.

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Japanese Serenity landscape concept creates peace, balance, unity By Judy Aull


one-of-a kind garden sitting right in the middle of Ward Parkway! It’s a splendid example of Japanese artistry. The current homeowners discovered this jewel a decade ago and felt that its Japanese influence spoke to them in a way the traditional homes hadn’t. During the renovation of the home, they also redesigned the front and back gardens to reflect different visual spaces in keeping with Japanese customs. Nature’s sculptures (specially chosen boulders) were carefully installed as were a number of trees and other plants to create visual interest and intrigue. The use of water features includes a waterfall and koi pond. Their concept was to create a sense of peace, balance and unity with nature. As a special personal touch, an American flower garden in memory of a dear relative was planted along the back path to the

teahouse. This garden features a variety of irises and peonies. To enhance their home’s Asianinspired appeal, the homeowners have a wide variety of favorite plants. They enjoy them in the various seasons. In early spring, their front yard is adorned with weeping cherry trees, the earliest of flowering trees. The azaleas and blooming irises quickly follow in both the front and backyards. In summer, the lotus flower, so loved by the Asian culture, grows in the east end of the pond. At the same time at the front of the house, the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Garden lightly shaded by magnolia trees beckons to butterflies of several varieties. In the fall, Tiger Eye sumac and a Japanese maple take center stage. Throughout all of the four seasons, bamboo, evergreens and pines are enjoyed for their individual qualities. Two spruces

in particular are noteworthy: the Weeping Norway Spruce, and then Skyline Spruce with its unusual slightly yellow needles. The story, symbolism, and its unique, visually intriguing appeal are what draw people to this garden. If you would like a lesson in the beauty of a Japanese garden, then take this journey through the Tiger Stroll Garden, strolling by the Smiling Tortoise Island, the Flying Crane Island, and the Crouching Tiger Island. See the Waning Moon Stone, the Three Spirit Kings Grouping, the Dragon Gate Water Fountain, and the Rising Phoenix Cloudlike Stone. It is a trip well worth the effort. Don’t miss seeing this garden during the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City 2015 Garden Tour on June 5-6, 9am to 4:30pm. For further information about the six gardens on the tour, visit www. under the “Garden Tour” heading. Tickets will be available May 8 at various sites in the Kansas City area. Judy Aull is a Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City.

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The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


On Being Black and Blue

Lenora Larson


began butterfly gardening in 1991 with a field guide marked to indicate which butterflies live in Eastern Kansas. Many appeared that first year because my farm has abundant native plants; however, no sign of the black and blue Pipevine Swallowtails. Believing the adage: “plant it and they will come,” I added Pipevines to my garden. Now Pipevine Swallowtails are by far my most numerous butterfly. When I walk past my Pipevines in June and July, they are so covered with caterpillars that I can hear the munchy-munchy sounds of their chewing.

Pipevines, the Aristolochia Pipevines are in the Birthwort family, so-called because the flower looked like a human fetus to the medieval eye. To us, the Pipevine flower looks like a Dutchman’s Meerschaum pipe, hence the name “Dutchman’s Pipe” for the New England native, Aristolochia macrophylla. Native choices flourish throughout most of the United States, including our Midwestern native, Woolly Pipevine, Aristolochia tomentosa. All Pipevines contain a deadly poison, aristolochic acid, a kidney toxin and probable carcinogen. Pipevine caterpillars incorporate this poison into their little bodies as a defense against predators, becoming the most poisonous of our native butterflies. If you ate a plateful of them, you would likely die of kidney failure! Note: if you Google Pipevines, you may find the beautiful and even more poisonous tropical Pipevines, but do not be tempted to purchase them for your

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May 2015 |

Photos by Lenora Larson.

be aware of the imitators

The beauty and refinement of the Dutchman’s Pipe (A. macrophylla) make it this gardener’s choice.

The c-shaped orange spots on the under hindwing differentiate the Pipevine Swallowtail from its many imitators.

garden. Tropical species of Pipevine Swallowtails can eat them, but our native caterpillars will die. Gardening Tips May-blooming Pipevines are twining perennial vines and require a very stout trellis. Clay soil should be augmented with well-rotted manure plus mulch to hold moisture. My first Pipevine, New England’s Dutchman’s Pipe, promptly died in the intense heat of a Kansas summer. The next year, its replacement thrived in partial shade with large, tropical-looking leaves relished by the caterpillars. I also purchased Woolly Pipevines and after a slow start, they eventually flourished with such vigor that even large herds of caterpillars can’t harm them. If I knew Then What I know Now Occasionally a gardening magazine mentions Woolly Pipevines and the next issue contains furious letters to the editor warning of thuglike suckering. Smugly, I declared, “mine don’t sucker.” True until their tenth year when suddenly they turned on me like a rabid beast! They are as rambunctious as that other fearsome thug, Passion Vine. Meanwhile, my Dutchman’s Pipe continues as a refined and welcome member of my garden. In retrospect, I should have been true to it because my Woolly Pipevines have declared world domination as their goal and require constant vigilance and pruning. Total eradication is not an option since they are such a reliable cat food.

A deadly poisous female Pipevine Swallowtail shimmers in the sunlight. Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery Dozens of black & blue swallowtails flutter in my garden, but they are not all Pipevine Swallowtails. Imitation is the best compliment and females of several other species of butterfly mimic the coloration of the Pipevine Swallowtail to take advantage of predators’ learned distaste. For instance, male Tiger Swallowtails are always yellow with black stripes; however, females may be black and blue. Likewise, the male Black Swallowtail is black with a yellow band but the female is black and blue. Male Spicebush Swallowtails are sage green and black, but the females have a blue shimmer. Even non-swallowtails like the Red-spotted Purple copy the black and blue of the Pipevine Swallowtail, proving that black and blue not only looks beautiful, it can be a survival strategy. Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardener and Kansas Native Plant Society member, Lenora Larson gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kansas. She may be contacted at lenora.longlips@

Landscape the Water Feature install IN the water garden, not out

Diane Swan


f you think of it, you normally associate the landscaping as part of the land or the outside of your water feature. When you plant your water garden you are actually landscaping the inside of your pond. You will want to take in consideration where the pond lays in relation to your house and your patio or deck. Tall growing marginals will work best on the far side of the pond so they do not obstruct your view. They also stop your view from going past the pond and makes you see the wonders of the water garden. Marginals are plants that love shallow water and bogs. They provide both shelter and food for aquatic life and help cleanse the water by absorbing nutrients to grow and thrive. Some of the most common hardy (perennial) marginals you could use for height are reeds, cattails, yellow iris and horsetail.

For unique foliage and colors, you could use tropical marginal (annuals) such as Water Cannas, Water Hibiscus, Thalia Dealbata Canna, Papyrus and Umbrella Palms. Taros are a wonderful group of plants that will give you airy height on thin stems with big leaves ranging from almost black to mottled dark shades mixed with green, green with white spots to solid green. Sprinkle midsize plants among the tall marginal and work your way to the front side of the pond. Dwarf versions of the papyrus and umbrella palm will work nicely with the larger version or change it up by adding color with purple pickerel, blue bells, cardinal flowers and Iris for their Spring flowers. Proceed to the part of the pond closest to the sitting area with smaller aquatics such as, bloody dock, society garlic, chameleon, arrowheads… they are too numerous to name all the wonderful choices available. You could also put in a floating island which will give a little height to the inside of the pond. Use a taller plant in the middle and surround with creepers that will cover the foam and spread onto the pond’s surface. Floating islands take all their nutrients from the water, give shading and a place for your fish to hide.

Lotus, a truly majestic plant that rises high above the water will stand out. There is no chance for these plants to get lost in the landscaping. Use as a specimen plant. Finish off your pond with water lilies to shade and decorate the center of the pond. Choose hardy lilies in shades of white, red, pink, peach, and yellow. Save a spot for a Tropical lily in shades of purples, blues, and more unique colors. They will hold their heads high above the water surface. The day bloomers will bloom later in the day than hardies and then at least a month later in the season. Night bloomers will start blooming in the evening and stay open into the late morning hours. If your pond is full to partial shade these night bloomers are a perfect choice as they do not need sun to bloom. Don’t stop with the pond itself if you have a stream. A stream gives

the opportunity to spot some height with sweet flag, Iris or Taros. All of these plants like moving water. Add a few creepers to naturalize the edges of the stream. Forgetme-nots, bog bean, creeping jenny, blue moneywort, lemon bacopa, and many more to choose from. Simply bare root and plant directly in the gravel on the edges. They will help filter the water going down the stream. Just remember there is a huge variety on the market today and it would be easy to get carried away. Start conservatively and add as you go. You will want to see your fish and water when you are done. So have fun landscaping your water feature. You will enjoy it for many years! Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-837-3510.

3823 North Cobbler Road Independence, MO 64058 Off of 291 Hwy, South of Liberty, just North of the Missouri River Bridge

Open March 1 - thru Father’s Day Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4 The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


2015 Garden Tour

Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners


he 2015 Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners’ Garden Tour is planned for Saturday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, June 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you attend the tour on Saturday, start at the Extension Office at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence, Kansas, where you will find a huge sale of neonicotinoidfree native plants. The sale is on Saturday only from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The plants will be $4 apiece or 3 for $10. The various gardens on the tour all show what homeowners can do with inspiration and hard work so bring your cameras because you are sure to come away with a lot of great ideas to inspire your own gardens. Three of the gardens on the tour belong to Master Gardeners. One is a kid- and pet-friendly, all organic

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garden that not only contains play areas and fairy gardens but also incorporates herbs and vegetables with a large variety of grasses, trees and ornamentals. Another transitioned from a shade to a sun garden after the loss of numerous Austrian Pines to pine wilt disease. After 30 years of “puttering”, it has come to resemble a


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May 2 – Oct 10 • 7am–1pm


June 3 – Aug 26 • 4pm–7pm Fresh produce, baked goods, honey, plants, handmade arts and crafts, and more.

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May 2015 |

mini estate with its open green space, island gardens, meandering borders and elegant water feature. The third EMG garden is also impressive, having creatively used potted plants and garden rooms to create a bird sanctuary containing as many as 40 feeders. But, the remaining gardens on the tour prove that you don’t have to be a “Master Gardener” to have a beautiful space. One garden has been carved from a steep slope into terraces; creating raised beds in both sun and shade that are filled with metal folk art and thriving plants. Here, the garden areas are linked by meandering pathways and the homeowners have cleverly positioned both hardscape and plants to channel water to a creek. Another garden has incorporated a variety of unusual trees – tamarisk, Black gum, Japanese lantern, weeping Norway spruce, Sevensons and Persian ironwood – into a

• • • • • •

handsomely landscaped sanctuary that was perfect for the setting of their daughter’s wedding. Our last garden owner was a garden consultant for his property before he became the homeowner. This garden is a show stopper from its prairie-invoking use of tall grasses and perennials to its beds packed with color and form. As a bonus, its backyard is deeply shaded by the largest bur oak in Douglas County. You may purchase tour tickets at the plant sale on Saturday morning, in advance at the Extension Office, online at, at local nurseries and garden centers, or at any of the private gardens during the tour. Tickets are $10 per person. Carried infants are free. No strollers. For more information, visit our website at or like us on Facebook at

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Missouri TreeKeeper Workshops

his year, Heartland Tree Alliance is offering a condensed, day-time Tree Keepers course (perfect for City employees, landscape providers, Master Gardeners, students and retirees). Cost is $50 pp – includes manual and handouts. All sessions will be held at Burr Oak Woods (1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015) and the field sessions will take place on the same grounds (all tools will be provided). If you cannot attend all the sessions, you can make them up at a later date (at no charge)! Tuesday, June 2: 9am – 1:30pm Introduction to Trees | Urban Soils and Basic Tree Biology Tuesday, June 9: 9am – 1:30pm Tree ID Field Day | Planting Tuesday, June 16: 9am – 3:30pm Pruning | Tree Problems | Pruning & Planting Field Day The goal of Tree Keepers is to provide a corps of trained volunteers as a resource for local municipalities, school districts, and neighborhood associations in our region. Tree Keepers lead tree planting, pruning, and maintenance projects in our communities. It has been said that it requires five years to plant a tree: one hour to actually plant it, and the remain-

der of the time to ensure that it becomes properly established. Research has shown that the average street tree lives less than ten years due to the harsh conditions of the urban environment. While local municipalities are responsible for the preservation, protection and maintenance of all city trees, economic realities have limited the ability of some communities to provide adequate attention to young trees. Small and newly planted trees have the highest mortality rate and therefore need the most help; committed Tree Keepers are able to address these needs. Tree Keepers receive training in environmental awareness and basic arboricultural principles. Through twelve hours of classroom time and six hours of outdoor training, participants learn about tree identification, site suitability, proper planting techniques, after planting care and pruning. Upon completion of the course, Tree Keepers are asked to give 24 hours of volunteer time to the Heartland Tree Alliance for municipal tree care projects around the Kansas City metropolitan region. If you have questions, please call Noelle Morris at 816-561-1061 ext. 115 or email Noelle.Morris@ To learn more, treekeepers/

Idalia Butterfly Society presents

Integrated Pest Management: Dr. Raymond Cloyd, KSU Saturday, May 9

5:30 PM Pot-luck Dinner & 7 PM Presentation Prairie Village Community Center, 7700 Mission Rd. 66208


his presentation will redefine Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as “Protecting your Plants” rather than focusing on killing insect visitors. By understanding the biology and behaviors of insects, including the many beneficial pollinators and predators, both plants and bugs can flourish together. Management practices such as sanitation, cultural, physical, pesticidal, and biological controls will be discussed. Be sure to bring any specimens and questions. Audience participation will be required. Entomologist Dr. Cloyd teaches and conducts research at Kansas State University and is the extension specialist in horticultural entomology for the state of Kansas. Free to the public. Questions? Contact

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Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society


Annual Spring Hosta and Shade Plant Sale



• Landscape Design and Installation • Irrigation Installation, Maintenance, Repairs • Mowing, Fertilizing, Shrub Trimming • Bed Cleanups, Mulching • Hardscape Patios • Firepits, Fireplaces, Retaining Walls • Drainage Solutions • Water Features • In-ground Dog Fences

Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Faith Lutheran Church 4805 W. 67th St. (67th & Roe), Prairie Village, KS Featuring a great collection of lovely new hostas and other shade perennials, including but not limited to, a nice selection of Heucheras, numerous Fern varieties, Brunnera, mini hostas and heucheras, so great for Fairy Gardens! You will not want to miss this sale! Children over age 4, who are accompanied by a parent or guardian will receive their very own Blue Mouse Ears. The Public is Welcome! Come and bring a friend. For info call – Gwen 816-213-0598.

CALL FOR FREE ESTIMATES TODAY! 913-897-9705 WWW.HANDRLAWN.COM The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


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Get Ready to Garden: 2015 is the Year of the Coleus!


ith the continued emphasis on foliage in our gardens, the wide and exciting range of coleus varieties available should nicely augment one’s planting palette. Chosen as the annual for the National Garden Bureau’s 2015 program, coleus is a durable plant with very significant gardening potential for almost all gardeners and their garden situations.

History Coleus has gone through various phases of popularity over the past couple of centuries. This member of the mint family comes in a wide range of coloration, leaf texture and plant form. Considered an herbaceous perennial in its native range, coleus are used primarily as annuals. Previously grouped into different species or classified as hybrids, coleus (formerly Coleus


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blumei and Coleus hybridus) are now all placed under Solenostemon scutellarioides (2006). As of 2012, taxonomic authorities consider the correct name for the coleus to be Plectranthus scutellariodes. While modern coleus breeding focuses on new color combinations and foliage characteristics, other considerations such as sun tolerance, delayed flowering, more prolific branching and an emphasis on more compact and trailing forms have become more prominent. Coleus Basics The primary ornamental feature of coleus is the foliage which can be green, pink, yellow, orange, red, dark maroon (almost black), brown, cream and white. This plethora of colors and combinations lends itself to the other common names for coleus of painted nettle or flame nettle. While some gardeners will leave the small flowers, it’s recommended that you pinch these back to a leaf node to encourage more energy into stem and foliage growth and not flowering. Coleus left to

flower may lose vigor as the plant puts energy into seed production. The variability in patterns is truly amazing with solid colors, splashes, blotches, streaks, flecks, margins and veins. Color intensity may be affected by sunlight, heat sensitivity and other conditions. The term “sun coleus” refers to selections that tolerate more direct sunlight. Darker cultivars tend to tolerate more sun while lighter varieties benefit from some degree of shade to minimize leaf scorching. Morning sun and dappled afternoon shade tends to maintain consistent foliage coloration. Too little light will encourage a weakstemmed, less vigorous plant without optimal coloration. For sunny areas consider these varieties: any of the Stained Glassworks varieties, the Wizard, Versa and Marquee series, or any variety with the word sun in its name. Coleus leaf texture can be quite variable with large, small, twisted, elongated, scalloped, lobed, fingerlike, “duck’s foot” (webbed feet), etc. Leaf texture for coleus should

be a serious consideration when selecting and using coleus as the visual contribution is significant. Coleus can be grouped into three basic plant forms including upright, rounded and prostrate/ trailing. Frequent snipping, pinching and trimming can help modify form although the trailing forms have great value at the edge of a container, in a hanging basket or as a groundcover becoming a colorful, living mulch. Planting & Proper Care Coleus has long been considered a shade plant but their best leaf coloration is achieved with morning sun and some degree of afternoon shade. Many varieties do well in both shade and part sun, such as the ColorBlaze, Fairway, Superfine Rainbow, Main Street and Kong series. Some varieties can take quite a bit of sun as long as they are not allowed to dry out. Coleus are quite tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions. Coleus enjoy the heat and cold, overly damp soils can result in leaf drop and encourage disease. Plant coleus after any danger of frost has passed when soil temperatures have warmed sufficiently and evening temperatures are above 60 degrees F. Light fertilization is recommended, particularly in containers. To maintain plant form, pinch back most varieties every few weeks to prevent flower formation. This directs the plant’s energy into additional branching and foliage creation instead of flowering, thereby creating a fuller plant. When pinching off flowers, do so

throughout the entire summer to create a full, lush plant. Pinch just above a set of leaves or branching junction for the best appearance (don’t leave a stub!). Designing With Coleus Solid color coleus varieties such as Redhead and Lime Delight Premium Sun (both bred for the sun) can be very impactful and make a statement in the mixed border while those with variable coloration may become “color echoes” for neighboring plants with similar (or contrasting) flower and/or foliage colors. The repetition of certain coleus colors and form can lend unity and harmony in the garden. While a solitary specimen can add a “punch” of color, consider the impact of mass planting as well. Foliage with lighter coloration can provide illumination in shadier locations while dark colors (for example, any coleus with Chocolate its name) in the same setting will create depth and contrast. Consider coleus just one of many available tools in your gardening “toolbox.” Summary The consideration of easy-togrow coleus in the landscape is prudent for all gardeners as they consider the potential merits of this plant in the mixed border and container. Low-maintenance coleus can make a huge impact in the garden and the wide range of available selections assures a promising future! Source: National Garden Bureau,

Go Native: From Plain to Prairie Restored Prairie Tour Saturday, May 30 (June 6 rain date)

8:45 am – 12:00 pm

Hosted by the Grassland Heritage Foundation and the Douglas County Conservation District

Join us as we tour two properties in Douglas County that have restored prairies that range in size, year since establishment, and plant species composition. Tour participants will view small tracts of prairies that were restored 9, 12+, and 21 years ago and for comparison purposes the Guess Prairie, an unplowed, prairie hay meadow. The tour leaders will discuss their prairie establishment goals, seed mixes used in their restorations, and strategies to manage their prairies. They will also review (and you will see first hand) how their prairies compare to the Guess Prairie. The tour sites occur on two properties found less than a mile apart on the same country road so this is a great opportunity to see several distinctly different, restored prairies without traveling a long distance. We will meet at the SE corner of the Wal-Mart parking lot at 6th and Waukarusa in Lawrence at 8:45 am and carpool to the first site, arriving at 9:00 am. An RSVP is required to Kim Bellemere, GHF Education Coordinator, at grasslandheritage@ If we have to postpone because of inclement weather, we will contact participants via email either the night before or very early on the morning of May 30.

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4385 W 247th St., Louisburg, KS Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm

The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


Scott Woodbury


few years ago I was asked to intervene when a native gardener got slapped with a weed ordinance notice. Clean up the garden or we will the ticket said in a manner of words. I’ve visited a number of gardens like this over the years and have come to realize two basic things. Home gardens in neighborhoods require design structure and care. Design structure comes from thoughtful planning before planting with the following elements in mind: balance, line, repetition,

contrast, texture, form, color, and function. Care is everything you do after the garden is created: mulching, weeding, watering, raking, trimming, digging, and dividing. The gardens in violation of weed ordinances typically have little design structure or care, or sometimes lack both. Hedges (using shrubs) or modified hedges (using perennials) are one landscape tool of many that gardeners use in neighborhoods to add structure and make the native garden more of a garden and less of a target for weed cops. Modified hedges don’t necessarily require shearing or pruning, but must be cut to the ground in late winter because the above-ground stems of perennials die annually. Here are some examples: Shining bluestar (Amsonia illustris) flowers in late April or

Photos by Scott Woodbury.

Hedges add Structure to a Natural Garden

Solidago drummondii early May at about 24 inches in height, but then grows up to 4 feet in height by mid-summer. By cutting it back just after blooming and again in summer, it can be maintained as a modified hedge at 24 inches or less all summer and will prevent flopping that may

occur when fruits are fully mature and weighing down the branches. The foliage looks similar to boxwood or holly though it isn’t evergreen, and previous-year’s stems should be cut to ground level in February or early March. I have planted shining bluestar in a line

Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City presents

Water Gardens 2015 22nd Annual Water Garden Tour Saturday, June 27 • Sunday, June 28 9am - 5pm • Rain or Shine • Bus tours available. Call: 913-599-9718 • 816-861-3449 • Buy early to plan your personal driving tour of 50 plus gardens in Greater Kansas City and nearby communities. There are a variety of private gardens and Water Garden Society constructed educational water gardens for schools and nature centers. Tickets are $10 per person (ages 14 and older). A tour book with maps, driving directions, and host written descriptions of the gardens are included. Proceeds benefit construction of educational and restorative water gardens and other educational programs in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Tickets available the first of June at these locations. KANSAS

Kansas City, House of Rocks Lawrence, Water’s Edge Leavenworth, Homestead Nursery Leawood, Suburban Lawn and Garden Lenexa, Suburban Lawn and Garden Overland Park, Family Tree Nursery Shawnee, Earl May Garden Center Shawnee, Family Tree Nursery


Blue Springs, Colonial Nursery Blue Springs, Roberts Nursery Independence, Wild Bird Center Lee’s Summit, Randy’s Lakeview Nursery Liberty, Family Tree Nursery Kansas City, Brothers Fish Kansas City, City Pets & Ponds Kansas City, Heartland Nursery


Kansas City, Kansas City Pond & Water Gardening Kansas City, Planters Seed Co. Kansas City, Soil Service Garden Ctr & Nursery Kansas City, Suburban Lawn and Garden Kansas City, Union Station Kansas City, Van Liew’s Kansas City, Waldo Grain Company Martin City, Rosehill Gardens

Raymore, Creekside Market Smithville, Full Features Nursery Spring Hill, Swan’s Water Gardening

Tickets also available at all Hen House Markets, all Westlake Hardware stores and all Grass Pads. 20

May 2015 |

Amsonia illustris to frame a natural grassy prairie planting along a garden path. The row of mounded bluestar contrasts with the free-flowing little bluestem grass, providing structure. If planting in straight lines, space 24 inches apart. In three growing seasons plants will be 5 feet wide without shearing or pruning. You may shear to your desired shape and size. Another useful plant to grow as a modified hedge is aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius). Plants typically grow 2-3 feet high depending on soil fertility in full sun or part shade. Their size may be reduced by shearing or pruning back by 30-60% in late April or May. This technique is often called a spring haircut and should be used only on late summer- and fall-blooming perennials including turtlehead, ironweed, sunflower, garden phlox,

obedient plant, aster, and goldenrod. Aromatic aster is fine-textured and contrasts well with coarsetextured groundcovers like jumpseed (Polygonum virginianum) in part shade or orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida) in full sun. Plant aromatic aster 18 inches apart when planting in rows. Plants grow to 3 feet wide at maturity in two to three years without pruning. Rows can be planted to define walkways, driveways, or garden edges. Other native plants under two feet tall that can be used as modified hedges include slender mountain mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium), cliff goldenrod (Solidago drummondii), an annual called red whiskers (Polanisia dodecandra), prairie alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii), palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis), feathery buestar (Amsonia ciliata), and blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis). Native plants between three and four feet tall (trimmed) that can be used as hedges include wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), leatherwood (Dirca palustris), virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica), and winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata). Sources for these plants can be found in the Resource Guide at

Participate in annual Rose Show and Rose Day Celebration The 2015 Kansas City Rose Society (KCRS) annual Rose Show will be held at the Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64112, on May 30 & 31. All rose growers are invited to bring roses to the show between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 30th. You do not have to be a member of the KCRS to enter roses in the show. And, there is no entry fee. There will be a Youth Class for exhibitors 17 years-old and younger. There will be a Novice Class for any exhibitor who has never won a blue ribbon in a rose show. This year the public will be asked to vote on the “Most Fragrant Rose” entered. The show will be open for viewing to exhibitors and members of KCRS from 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 30th in the Garden Center. Sunday, May 31st, the show will be open to the public between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Rose Day celebration and activities will be held in the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden at 3:00 p.m. The Kansas City Youth Ballet will perform. The rules of the show and schedule will be available online after May 1 at Entry tags will be available after May 15th at the Loose Park Garden Center. For more information: contact: Sandy Campuzano, 913-381-5915 or Dr. Glen Hodges, 913-888-0957

Horticulturist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, where he has worked with native plant propagation, design, and education for more than 20 years. He also is an advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program.

Save The Date Annual Plant Sale Saturday • 8 a.m. • May 9th Bass Pro Shops 1-70 & 291 Hwy, Independence, MO The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City have a reputation for offering great plants at reasonable prices.

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The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015




Photos 1 and 6 courtesy of ŠWeeks Roses.

Photos 2 and 12 courtesy of Judy Penner.


3 Photos 10 and 11 courtesy of Jackson & Perkins.





9 22

10 May 2015 |


Local Public Rose Garden Grows Top Performers Judy Penner


uring the ’80s, my first job was in Westport for The Flower and Garden Magazine as Garden Coordinator. There I was responsible for 200 roses plus other plantings. Then I took the coordinator job at Loose Park, where the collection of roses was more than 3,000 in the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden. Kansas City’s municipal rose garden in Loose Park, just south of the Country Club Plaza, is the realization of a dream that began in 1931, when a group of citizens under the leadership of Laura Conyers Smith established the Kansas City Rose Society. The society membership continues its care and support of this impressive display. Although responsibilities vary in my position, it is ‘Keeper of the Roses’ that I am the most passionate. In my 28-year career, I have seen many roses come and go much like the fashion industry. Newer roses that promise to be bigger and better replace many really good roses in the quest for newer and exciting varieties. If you’d like to include roses in your garden this season, here are some of the roses that perform well in the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of the best roses for our area. Chrysler Imperial (photo 1) is a dark red Hybrid Tea with a strong fragrance and uniform bushes that bloom all summer long. The height is 2 1/2-6 ft., width is 2-4 ft. The parentage is Charlotte Armstrong

x Mirandy. The buds look like they came from a florist and the color is spectacular. This is also a good rose if you want to dry the petals since it keeps its red color. Heritage (photo 12) is a light pink David Austin shrub rose with a lemon fragrance. It has 26-40 petals with a cup form in clusters. The height is 4-4 1/2 ft., width is 4 ft. The parentage is seedling x Iceburg. In our garden I have found this rose very disease resistant with a tolerance to growing in partial shade. Memorial Day (photo 4) is a medium pink Hybrid Tea with a damask fragrance. It has large blooms containing 41 plus petals. The bloom form is old fashioned and blooms in flushes all season long. It is a healthy rose in our garden. The height is 3-4 ft., width is 3-4 1/2 ft. and it has dense foliage. The parentage is Blueberry Hill x New Zealand. Quietness (photo 5) is a Buck shrub rose with a strong fragrance. The blooms contain 41 plus petals growing in clusters. The height is 4-5 ft., width is 3-3 1/2 ft. It blooms in flushes all season long and tolerates partial shade. This rose also stays green all winter long and does not require mulching for winter protection. Cinco De Mayo (photo 9) is a russet colored Floribunda with 20-25 petals. The height is 3-4 ft., width is 3-4 ft. The parentage is Topsy Turvy x Julia Child. This rose is in bloom constantly, and seems unbothered by summer’s heat. Daybreaker (photo 8) is an orange blend Hybrid Tea with 17 to 25 petals in small clusters of bloom. The height is 2 1/2-4 ft., width is 3-4 ft. The foliage is glossy which makes it look healthy and refreshing even in the heat of summer. Polonaise (photo 7) is a deep pink Buck shrub rose with 17-25

petals in clustered flowers. The height is 4 ft., and the width is 4 ft. and it has a very upright growth habit. The parentage is San Francisco x Prairie Princess. Tahitian Sunset (photo 6) is an apricot blend Hybrid Tea with an anise fragrance from the New Generation Roses Collection. The height is 5 ft., and the width is 3-4 ft. The parentage is seedling x Sun Goddess. This rose consistently grows to be 5 ft. tall in our garden and has beautiful bur-

seedling x Amber Queen. This is a very strong, disease resistant yellow rose. Rosarium Uetersen (photo 3) is a deep pink large flowered climber with an apple fragrance. The bloom contains 41 petals. The height of this climber is 6 feet, and can mature at 12 feet. The parentage is Karlruhe (hybrid Kordesii, Kordes) x seedling. This rose blooms all season. Soaring Spirit (photo 2) is a pink blend large flowered climber

12 gundy (new growth) foliage, which contrasts nicely with the apricot bloom. Veteran’s Honor (photo 11) is a dark red Hybrid Tea rose with a slight raspberry fragrance. It has 17-25 petals with a mostly solitary bloom form. Height is 4-5ft., and the width is 3-4 ft. The parentage is seedling x Royalty. This rose blooms in flushes all season long. The blooms are large, colorful and well shaped. Walking on Sunshine (photo 10) is a yellow Floribunda with an anise fragrance. The blooms grow in small clusters with a ruffled edge. The height is 4 ft., and the width is 3 ft. The parentage is

with pink and yellow stripes. It has a single bloom with 4-8 petals in clusters. The parentage is Berries & Cream x Fourth of July. This climber blooms all season long and grows 6-8 feet on a chain. If you like single blooms this one will not disappoint. Most of our roses bloom all season, but the climbers are at their peak from the last week in May to the first week in June. Remember to stop and smell the roses this summer at Loose Park! Judy Penner is Expert Rosarian and director at Loose Park, Kansas City, Mo. You may reach her at

The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


Don’t Be Afraid to Take Drastic Measures on Old Trees

Tom DePaepe


y wife and I recently moved into a new house. First on the agenda was to remove a Bradford Pear. Our realtor, an avid gardener herself, couldn’t understand this, especially as bloom time approached. I explained that the tree was getting older, looking a little rough, and had simply run its course. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy trees. I spend all day looking at trees, diagnosing tree problems, and recommending pruning. When vacationing, I take pictures of trees.

I have found, generally speaking, that arborists like myself are actually less attached to specific trees than the average homeowner. That’s because we understand that trees are a part of nature, and they are replaceable. Some trees can live for decades and still look good, while others are really only look good in the landscape for twenty years or so. Don’t be afraid to remove trees. Removing trees can be expensive, especially large trees. However, removing a tree is never cheaper than it is today. If you feel a tree has outgrown its space, is a hazard to your home or just doesn’t look right in the landscape anymore, have it removed. You will feel refreshed once it is gone. Then you’ll have a blank canvas to landscape how YOU want. When planting trees, instead of putting all of your money into


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one really big tree, plant a cluster of three or four. This is how trees grow in nature. Down the road, if you need to remove one from the bunch, it won’t leave a void in your landscape. As always, when planting, make sure you consider the mature size of the tree(s). Don’t plant large trees too close to your house or power lines. I have a client who had a redbud planted next to her front door, in front of a bay window. When it was first planted, I’m sure it looked great, especially when it was blooming. Flash forward 15 years, and she is constantly fighting to keep it pruned away from her house. In this situation, I recommend removing the tree and planting something that won’t grow as big. I’ve heard some landscapers say they plant/ design landscapes for the next five years. I’ve certainly seen the proof of that when I am visiting with clients. Landscapes that have looked great for the last 5-10 years need rehabbed, simply because plants have outgrown the space. If you have trees that are special to you, make sure you take care of them accordingly. Frequently clients say, “This tree is why I bought the house.” If you identify with this statement, make sure you have an arborist visit and recom-

mends pruning regularly – every 2-3 years. Prune out dead and hanging limbs and make sure it is structurally sound. If it’s a tree that is susceptible to disease or pest pressures, have it treated. Water it during dry conditions. Trees seem big and tough, but they need extra moisture when Mother Nature isn’t providing enough. Trees that are stressed due to disease, pest infestations or lack of water are going to age faster than trees that get regular TLC. If you have a tree that is important to you, it is worth the time and effort to take good care of it. I love trees. As an arborist and outdoorsman, there is nothing like spending time in nature or on my back deck hearing leaves rustle in the wind. If you find yourself in a similar situation, pause in your reverie and realize trees are a part of nature; they are living, breathing organisms that have a useful life. If a tree is past its prime, take it out and plant something new. You don’t have to feel bad about it! You are simply renewing your landscape for its next season. Tom DePaepe is an ISA Certified Arborist with Ryan Lawn & Tree. He can be reached at or at 913381-1505.


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Interested in Becoming a Master Gardener?


ave you always been interested in gardening, learning more about the environment and best practices in horticulture? Are you interested in helping others to do better gardening? Why not become a Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City? Missouri Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who receive 16 weeks of intensive horticulture training as well as orientation to the volunteer programs and projects of the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City (MGGKC). Master Gardeners help educate the public by providing research-based horticulture information for our region’s climate and soils. The University of Missouri Extension will offer in-person Master Gardener Training this fall, 2015, starting August 12, 2015 through November 11, 2015. This year classes will be offered in the evening, 6pm to 9pm, at the downtown, River Market MU Extension office, at 105 East 5th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. Two classes are scheduled for Saturday mornings to accommodate field work. The classes are taught by University of Missouri Extension horticulture staff and regional experts. The cost is $175. (If you are taking the course for personal enrichment only, the cost is $350.) After completing the training, MGGKC Master Gardener volunteers are required, in Year One, to provide 45 hours of volunteer participation in local Master Gardener

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Gardening is All About Discovery activities. In the second year of volunteering, Master Gardeners do 25 hours of service and 6 hours of continuing education. Master Gardener In-depth training includes the following topics: • Basic Plant anatomy and physiology • Maintaining Healthy Soil • Fruit and Vegetable gardening • Tree and shrub care • Lawn Care • Beneficial Garden insects and insect pests • Organic Gardening If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please contact Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Educator, bylinowskic@missouri. edu or Sara Hill, Receptionist and Secretary,, University of Missouri Extension, 1600 NE Coronado, Blue Springs, MO 64014, 816-252-5051. They can send or email an application for 2015 Training to you. Applications are due by June 15, 2015. Join us in helping others learn to grow.

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The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


Summering Houseplants Outdoors

Brent Tucker


hen Mother Nature decides to bring us warmer weather in the spring, I begin prepping my tropical houseplants for summering outdoors. Summering houseplants outdoors can rejuvenate and improve vigor since our summers are tropical like with high temperatures and humidity. There are a few things that I can do in spring to make their stay outdoors more enjoyable. Firstly, I trim back any long, lanky stems that grew over the winter or those stems or leaves that have long since died. I keep the shape of the plant in mind and trim back by a third. For my Angel wing Begonias, I might cut back by half

or more and keep the tips to start more plants to share. But remember, it all depends on what type of plant you have when you determine how much to trim. Now, take the time to pop the pot off to see how root bound the plant is. Spring typically is the best time to repot plants, whether it’s potting up or potting down they’ll love having fresh soil to grow new roots in. Some plants are very vigorous and these I like to pot up into larger pots so that they have plenty of room to grow and to give them a chance to bloom their best. Sometimes I have a plant that’s just not happy and wants a smaller home, especially if it’s staying too wet for its liking. Then there are those plants that I just don’t want to allow to grow too big or they are just happy to be in the same size pot. These types are the plants that get a nice root trim and replaced back in the same size pot, if not smaller. I like using a serrated knife for most of my root trimming because it cuts through

Rose Garden Celebration Kansas City’s official

Rose Day

to honor the completion of the Rose Garden restoration

Sunday, May 31, 2015 3:00 p.m. Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden Jacob L. Loose Park, Kansas City, MO Dance and musical performances by The Kansas City Youth Ballet Members of the St. Andrew’s Pipe and Drum Juried Rose Show • Refreshments • Open to the Public

Join us and enjoy the beauty of one of Kansas City’s public treasures. 26

May 2015 |

roots and soil easily. However, there are times when a saw might be needed for those heavy-duty jobs. Here again I trim the root ball by a third and I try to avoid trimming large roots while taking off from the sides and bottom of the root ball. My favorite container soil is one that is peat moss based with plenty of perlite added for good drainage. I never use garden soil or topsoil to grow my tropicals in because it’s far too heavy a soil for them to grow happily. I’ve started using a brand that adds beneficial mycorrhizae fungi to its soil and this seems to have given a lot of my plants an extra boost in the growth department. I tend not to use brands of soil that have added fertilizer, as some of my tropical houseplants like different types of food. I like to add fertilizer as a top dressing whether it’s a slow release pellet or a natural based granule. When temperatures are reliably staying about 55F to 60F or higher, then it’s time for me to bring them outdoors. Some plants might have to be hardened off to the outdoors where temperatures fluctuate and winds can be harsh. Placing

plants outdoors in the shade for a few hours at a time will help them acclimate. You will want to gradually increase the amount of time they stay outdoors and the amount of sun they receive during this time. It’s important to know how much sun your plants can take since a fair amount of tropical houseplants don’t want much sun or none at all. I always shake my head at my neighbors when they put their plants out in direct sun and by the end of the day the leaves are scorched. Not all plants want direct sun, this can set plants back heavily or even kill them when they are badly burned. This is why acclimating your plants to the outdoor environment is important. Now that my plants are cozy in their new homes and ready for a good season of growing I keep in mind that they’ll need to be watched over for insects. Aphids love fresh new leaves and flower buds and populations can explode before you notice it. This is true of a lot of insects, but with periodic scouting you can keep infestations down by acting quickly with an appropriate mode of action. By spraying them off with water or using a pesticide most pests can be kept under control easily. I always enjoy spring because it’s a fresh new start of happy plants and a good growing season. I’m glad to help my plants along so that I can enjoy their bounty of growth and bloom. Brent Tucker is Horticulturist of Seasonal Displays and Events at Powell Gardens. He can be reached at

Best Hanging Baskets in Town! Annuals • Hanging Baskets • Patio Pots • Vegetable Starts Succulents • Herbs • Tropicals • Perennials • Trees & Shrubs Bulk Seed • Garden Décor • Statuary • Pottery • Mulch • Compost Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm • Sun 10am-3pm 800 E. Walnut (58 & J Hwys), Raymore, MO 64083


Turn Passion for Nature into Service as Missouri Master Naturalist Attend Open House and orientation meeting June 2 from 6-8 p.m. at MDC Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., in Kansas City.


May Activities at the Arboretum

pring has sprung at the Arboretum, and there are lots of fun activities for garden lovers this month! May kicks off with two exciting events – the annual spring plant sale and container garden exhibit. The plant sale will be held May 1 and 2 with preview night for Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA) members on April 30 from 4-7 pm. FOTA members will also receive 10% off throughout the sale, and memberships can be purchased onsite. The container garden exhibit returns for its third year May 1-24. The imaginative creations of various organizations and gardeners will be on display throughout the gardens. Come out for inspiration and ideas for creating your own container magic – and for additional ideas, register for the container garden class conducted

by the Arboretum’s horticulturist Anne Wildeboor on Saturday, May 2 from 9-10 am. While visiting the Arboretum, be sure to check out the recent enhancements – the pergola over the Haake Celebration Terrace and the new deer fencing around the botanical gardens (to keep the flowers in and the forest friends out). Whether you love flowers, trees, water, birds, art, walking trails, or just the peace and serenity of nature, the Arboretum has something for everyone. Plan a visit sometime soon! The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is located at 8909 West 179th Street just a half mile west of 69 Highway. Summer hours are 8 am to 7:30 pm every day. More information and registration for summer events is available at

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Are you the kind of person that stops to listen to a bird singing in the trees? Does the movement of a caterpillar inching along a leaf catch your eye? If so, you have the curiosity and interest in nature that a Missouri Master Naturalist holds dear. A naturalist may help with a children’s program at MDC’s Anita Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City, or cut down invasive bush honeysuckle vegetation at George Owens Nature Park in Independence. The opportunities are limitless. To become a Master Naturalist, after application, about three months of weekly training sessions prepare you with knowledge of Missouri ecology. For all the details, to apply and for more information, contact Stacey Davis at the Discovery Center at (816) 759-7300, or


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Show support for native wildlife and the Grassland Heritage Foundation attend Annual GHF Native Plant Sale May 16th


he Grassland Heritage Foundation is excited to host the 3rd Annual Native Plant Sale at the Lawrence Public Library Lawn, 707 Vermont St., Lawrence, Kan., on Saturday, May 16, 2015, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. GHF plant experts will be on hand to assist buyers in choosing from over 30 species of native wildflowers and grasses that are great for home landscapes. Native Plants are beautiful, easy to grow, and they are food factories for local wildlife! The introduction of foreign plant species into the landscape as well as the destruction of habitat has led to a number of challenges, including a decline in native pollinators and other insects,




w ne

MAY 2 Sept. 7

both crucial elements in keeping an ecosystem in balance. For example: • Pollinators are central to food production – one out of every three bites of food we eat was created with the help of a pollinator. Our native pollinators like bumblebees bees depend on native plants for supplemental food. • Over 96% of North American birds feed insects to their newly hatched chicks. This includes birds we don’t normally think of as insect eaters like finches, hummingbirds, and even hawks, owls and other raptors. Our insects need to eat native plants because they can’t digest the foreign, introduced plants that we buy at the garden center. Fewer native plants mean

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fewer insects which means fewer birds. • Even larger mammals like foxes, possums, and raccoons depend on insects for food. Fewer native plants and fewer insects mean less food for them, too. By finding ways to incorporate native plants and wildflowers into home and business landscapes, we can help increase and sustain healthy pollinator levels and feed the wildlife all around us Native wildflowers and grasses are also beautiful and easy to grow. These plants thrived for thousands of years right here without any help from people (literally just below our feet). That means that most are easy to grow, use less water, and require very little maintenance. With any luck, native plant gardeners will spend less time tending their flower gardens and more time enjoying the wildlife that lives there. GHF will also have information available on what to plant and how to plant it and there will be activities for the kids! Bring the whole family and learn about our native ecosystem together. The sale will feature more common native plants like BlackEyed Susans as well as some more unusual species like Purple Prairie Clover. We’ll also have a variety

of milkweeds, grasses, and shade tolerant plants. This will be one of the few times this year that such a large selection of native plants will be available locally. Plants will be $3.00 - $4.00 each. The Grassland Heritage Foundation is dedicated to tallgrass prairie preservation and education about our prairie heritage. All proceeds from the sale will be used for prairie preservation and education efforts. For more information about GHF, prairie preservation, and the GHF Native Plant Sale, go to or contact us at grasslandheritage@ or 785-840-8104. EST.2007



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MGGKC Annual Plant Sale

t will be six years ago that the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City began running their annual Plant Sale early in May independent of the Garden Tour. Our Plants are being grown in some of our very own Master Gardeners’ greenhouses. Again this year over 10,000 vegetables,

Euphorbia polychroma herbs, grasses and annuals are being grown by our very own. Besides the vegetables, herbs, grass and annuals, Our Master Gardeners dig from their very own yards to provide perennial plants to our customers. So you know the plants are conditioned to our local climate and not imported from out of state greenhouses. Here are some of the perennials the Master Gardeners will be offering for sale:

Amsonia tabernaemontana ‘Blue Ice’, a more compact version with darker blue flowers, it grow to 15-18’ tall with narrow, willowshaped dark green foliage. Amsonia hubrechtii (Arkansas Blue Star), 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year, and a Plant of Merit, this plant features delicate ferny foliage with golden fall color, with the same flowers as our native, drought tolerant, deer resistance, and attractive to butterflies. Mature size is 3’x3’, zone 5. Chelone lyonii ‘hot lips’ (turtlehead) tolerates moist soil and heavy clay, part shade or part sun. Long lasting flowers in late summer or early fall, reach 3’ tall x 1-2’ wide. Deer resistant, hardy to zone 4. Euphorbia polychrome, (cushion spurge), Zone: 4 to 8. This wonderful perennial is yellow with yellow to chartreuse bracts. It tolerates rabbits, deer and drought. Plus the Plant Sale always has plenty of your favorite daylilies, irises and hostas. For other plants offered, a complete listing of plants can be found on our website our-projects/plant-sale Come join us May 9, 8am to 2pm or until sold out, at Bass Pro Parking Lot, under the huge tent on the southwest corner of I-70 & 291 Hwy, Independence, MO.

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Gardeners Connect presents

An Evening Garden Party


ardeners Connect is trying something a little different with its annual Garden

Party. This year, the Garden Party will be an evening event, from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 in the Lenexa, Kan., garden of Kathy and Dick Kasper (pictured right). This is the second day of the Greater Kansas City Master Gardeners biennial garden tour. After tromping through the tour gardens, come join us for refreshing drinks, light hors d’ouevres and social time. The address is 7812 Twilight Lane; Lenexa, Kan. 66217. The event is free to members of Gardeners Connect, and nonmembers may pay $10 to view the garden and share in the libations. Let’s start with just one vignette in the garden to describe it. With advice and help from her husband,

Kathy makes many of the plant decisions in the garden. Here she has chosen to place a ‘Bluebird’ rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) with blue phlox and with a red wine-colored sedum that picks up the color of the throat of the ‘Bluebird’ rose of Sharon. You might say the sedum and phlox each echo the color of the shrub. Using “color echoes” has been a guiding principle in this garden. “That should be my middle name, shouldn’t it? Color echoes?” Kathy said. “Color Echoes” is the title of a book by Pamela J. Harper published in 1994. Kathy has let the

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PLANT SALE Friday, May 1, 9am-5pm Saturday, May 2, 9am-2pm Extension Office, Wildcat Room, 1200 N. 79th Street, Kansas City, KS

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May 2015 |

principles laid out in that book guide her garden design. Repeating colors in a garden can create unity, serenity, interest and charm in a garden, Harper wrote. You can see the idea at work in the Kasper garden, w h e r e despite the large area and many plants there is a sense of cohesiveness. The Kaspers use blues, violets and pinks for the main colors of the garden with highlights of yellow. “It’s calming when you see colors repeated throughout a bed,” Kathy said. “When you have a lot, you don’t want it to look like a jumbled mess.” A grand example in the Kasper garden of the use of color echoes is a dry creek bed they created after dirt was disturbed when a spa was installed in 2007. Here a similar color note is struck by compact globe blue spruce, Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), ‘Blue Dune’ lyme grass (Leymus arenarius ‘Blue Dune’) and river-rounded slate-blue rocks scattered on the bed or brown river rock. Mazus reptans in early spring creates a pool of vivid blue, like a pool of water, in one area. In another area, Centranthus ruber (red valerian or Jupiter’s beard) is mated with a ruby-pink daylily flower and the wooly gray leaves and pink flower spikes of lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina). The gray of the lamb’s ear leaves gives the garden a sort of infrastructure, tying colors together. “These are the listeners at the party, the pacifiers, the buffers between colliding colors,” Harper writes. In a front bed, Kathy uses burgundy-colored perilla (Perilla frutescens) to fill in and help tie together the colors of her butterfly garden. It is an annual with reputation of seeding around, though it pulls up easily. In this garden, it

has served two purposes: as a color echo and as a deer deterrent. “I used to have tons if it in the back yard,” she said. “Before they culled the deer at Shawnee Mission Park, I planted this around because the deer don’t like it.” This garden has many conifers, providing focal points and interesting backdrops, not to mention year round interest. A program by conifer enthusiast Marvin Snyder, area resident and former president of the American Conifer Society, opened her eyes to the potential of conifers in the garden, she said. The front yard has two wonderful ‘Blue Atlas’ cedars gracing it, the blue foliage echoing the color of blue globe spruces and the powder blue leaves of ‘Blue Shadow’ fothergilla in other parts of the garden. This garden is full of many plants and interesting settings, with paths to follow and new things to see just around each of many corners. Over the last 17 years, many plans have been made and many plans changed. What could seem chaotic in fact doesn’t. Repeating colors have been a glue holding the garden as a whole together. Think about color echoes and how they might help your garden’s design.

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eady to start a butterfly garden or improve the one you have? If so, come visit us at Monarch Watch for our annual Spring Open House & Plant Fundraiser. We will have more than 5,000 butterfly plants (both annuals and perennials), including seedlings of twelve milkweed varieties. These plants are ideal for starting butterfly gardens or adding to established gardens. Monarch numbers have been declining and we need to plant milkweeds to sustain the monarch migration. Modest contributions are suggested for the plants. A list of available plants appears on our website, www. Refreshments will be provided. There will be games for the children and they can make “seed balls” containing seeds of milk-

weeds and other butterfly plants that can be used to create habits for monarchs and other butterflies. They can also watch the queen bee lay eggs in our honeybee observation hive, see scary insects and spiders, or watch videos. All are welcome to tour our garden and lab space. We will have live videoconferencing demonstrations, and, of course, monarch butterflies! We’d love to see you on Saturday so mark your calendars! If you can’t make it in person, be sure to check us out online – we plan to post photos and broadcast some LIVE video throughout the day. Monarch Watch is located on the West Campus of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. See for directions.

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Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm • Sat. 9am-4pm Serving the Northland for 32 years The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


Restoration of Historic Civic Treasure A Dream Realized All are invited to celebrate project completion


he public Rose Garden in the Jacob Loose Memorial Park has been the primary focus of the Kansas City Rose Society since 1931. As stewards of the Rose Garden, the Society has sought to preserve and promote this historic civic treasure for the enjoyment of the public. In recent years the Society has recognized the deteriorating condition of the garden and in the year 2000, the Board of Director’s developed a strategic plan for the total restoration of all aspects and structures in the garden. A second goal was identified as restoring the rose garden to reflect the original design developed by the Kansas City firm of Hare and Hare in 1931. The timeline was identified as four phases with 10 to 15 years

for completion. The total cost estimates would exceed $1,000,000. The restoration project required partners and those became the major foundations and trusts in the Kansas City area. In addition hundreds of individuals, neigh-

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May 2015 |

bors, associations, garden clubs and Rose Society members supported the project. Local businesses provided in-kind donations of expertise, products, materials and services to ensure the success of the project. In 2014 the restoration project was completed with all goals accomplished at a cost in excess of $2,000,000. The project management and capital campaigns were led by members of the Society. The details of these accomplishments are published on The Kansas City Gardener website, In September 2014 the American Rose Society presented the nomination of the Rose Garden to the World Federation of Rose Gardens as one of the “best rose gardens in the world.” There are only five such gardens recognized as such in the United States. Awards will be announced in June 2015.

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The Rose Garden as an integral part of Loose Park plays an important role in impacting not only the neighborhood, but the public at large. Loose Park is considered the “most peopled park “in the greater Kansas City Park system. The Rose Garden as an integral part plays host to thousands of visitors annually. The public is invited to celebrate the completion of this restoration project. “A Rose Garden Celebration” will be held in Loose Park, on Sunday, May 31, at 3:00 p.m. Come see the Kansas City Youth Ballet perform and hear the members of St. Andrew’s Pipe and Drum. Refreshments will be served. Join us to enjoy the beauty of one of Kansas City’s public treasures. To learn more about the Kansas City Rose Society, visit their website

Monarch butterfly and Monarch caterpillar on Asclepias incarnata

Photo credit to Ken O’Dell.

Photo credit to Micky Louis.

Photo credit to Linda Williams.

Photo credit to Ken O’Dell.

Asclepias tuberosa flowers

Asclepias viridiflora flowers

Asclepias hirtella flowers

Milkweeds for Monarchs Ken O’Dell


onarch butterflies and milkweed plants not only go hand in hand but they are tied together forever. Female monarch butterflies lay an egg one at a time on milkweed plants only. These milkweed plants are the only food a monarch caterpillar can eat. With twenty species of native milkweed in Kansas and even more species native in Missouri we should find two or three species that we would love to add to our gardens. Six hours of sunlight each day is sufficient but all day sun is the best. On our farm in Miami County we have ten native species growing wild. We gather seed from these

and plant the seed in areas where the soil and conditions are also suitable for the seed to germinate and grow into beautiful plants. The seed is brown when mature, each is attached to soft, fluffy, silky hairs that float away on the wind. We have Meads milkweed, Asclepias meadii, in two of our prairies. Flowers on meads milkweed is the least showy of all but it is so droopy in appearance it seems like it must be given some extra love. After all I am after the monarchs, not just the flowers. Purple milkweed, Asclepias purpurascens, is in one of our prairies so I moved some seed to an area near our house. The flowers on purple milkweed are stunning. The plant is frequently four feet tall with several flowers open at one time. The large green leaves have tints of purple in their veins and this adds to the charm of this native plant.

The favorite for many is the orange butterfly milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa, with magnificent flowers of a dramatic orange coloring. The Kansas Native Plant Society Wildflower of the Year for 2015 is the spider milkweed, Asclepias viridis, a low growing, multi stem beauty to 18” tall and as wide. Greenish-white flowers with tiny bits of dark purple mixed here and there in the blooms. Spider milkweed gets its name because of a small harmless long legged spider that hangs around the flowers. If you are fortunate enough to see the spiders they are actually more colorful then the blooms. Here is a list by scientific names of the ten native milkweed species we have on our farm in eastern Kansas: Asclepias hirtella, Asclepias incarnata, Asclepias meadii, Asclepias purpurascens, Asclepias sullivantii, Asclepias syr-

iaca, Asclepias tuberosa, Asclepias verticillata, Asclepias viridiflora, Asclepias viridis. You can see photos and descriptions of these ten plus eight more species of native Kansas milkweeds if you go to http://www. a great website by Mike Haddock at Kansas State University. Open the site, then click on scientific names and go to Asclepias and you will see the colors. Monarch Watch http://www. offers information and plants to get us off to a good start as we need more host plants for the dwindling monarch population. Ken O’Dell serves on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Native Plant Society and is the Kansas City regional leader of the Kansas Native Plant Society. He is a long time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum.


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Like us on To Receive Specials & Sales The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


In the Garden at Bartlett Arboretum

Susan Mertz


he journey began with a wrong turn. In 1997, Robin Macy was on her way home after

performing at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas and took a wrong turn. She ended up at the gates of the Bartlett Arboretum where a for-sale sign caught her eye. The property had fallen into disrepair and needed some love. Robin was captivated by the site. In 1910, Dr. Walter Bartlett purchased the 15-acre property, a former dump. The creek was dammed up and a pond created. Trees were planted and a baseball

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June 5 & 6 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Rain or Shine Tickets are $15. Children 12 & under free. Cash and checks only at the gardens. Tickets available May 8th at various outlets and online via PayPal. See website for more information.


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May 2015 |

diamond for the community was built along with a grandstand. The property was called Bartlett Park and the public was welcome. The love of trees was passed on to the next generation with his son, Glenn Bartlett, who would become a landscape architect and horticulturist. Glenn and his wife, Margaret, expanded the collection of trees, created islands, formal gardens and built bridges. And, time honored traditions such as Tulip Time got their start. Bartlett Park became Bartlett Arboretum. When Robin bought the property, the once lovely bridges had fallen into the lake. The gardens were overgrown. The trees were in need of an arborist. The arboretum had been closed for a couple of years and the lack of care showed. The daughters of Glenn and Margaret, who had continued running the arboretum after their parents’ pass-

ing, were pleased that Robin came into their lives. Daughter, Mary Bartlett Gouray, says of Robin “fortunately, this cute little blonde elf came knocking at the door. We didn’t lose an arboretum, we gained another daughter.” Fortunately, for all of us who love gardening and trees, Robin had no idea of what she was getting into! After all, she was a musician and teacher, not a gardener. If she knew, this story might have had a much different ending. “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead Today, with the help of about 20 volunteers, Soil Sisters, Bartlett Arboretum is again a place of beauty. The celebration of spring starts with Tulip Time, a tradition going back 100 years, with tens of thousands of bulbs in flower. On Easter

Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City

Regional Orchid Show Loose Park Garden Center

Sat., May 2 and Sun., May 3 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission Spectacular Orchid Displays Plants for Sale from Area Vendors

morning, Robin greeted the visitors as they entered the arboretum and graciously thanked them for coming to see the gardens. In between watering plants with her husband, Kentucky White, and making certain the preparations for the day were complete, she took pictures of families in the tulip-filled gardens. Later in the day, she would be on stage performing with the Cherokee Maidens. In early April, the gardens are filled with the flowers of dogwoods, magnolias, redbuds, lilacs, quince, flowering almond, crabapples, springtime perennials, and many varieties of bulbs. Behind the 1879 Santa Fe train depot, an edibles garden was recently installed. The orchard includes apples, peaches and cherries. Preserving the history and planting for the future is a part of the mission of the arboretum; Bartlett Arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Throughout the property, some planted nearly a century ago, is a diverse collection of trees. The Biltmore Ash, a white ash collected decades ago from the Biltmore property, is on a treatment program to prevent it

from succumbing to the Emerald Ash Borer. Many of the trees are state champions – Japanese Maple, Shortleaf Pine, Loblolly Pine and River Birch. Newly planted trees include Emerald Sunshine Elm, Crimson Sunset Maple, Willow Oak, Royal Raindrops Crabapple, Oregon Trail Maple and Golden Weeping Willow. The beauty of the property changes through the seasons. Robin and a group of thoughtful people changed a bit of the world in the small town of Belle Plaine, Kansas. You should stop in for a visit and listen to a little bluegrass under the canopy of the majestic trees. Robin will probably be by the gate to welcome you. Bartlett Arboretum, Belle Plaine, Kansas. Open only during the Tree House Concert Series, special events, educational programs, and private events including weddings. www.bartlettarboretum. com Susan Mertz, Garden Writer and Director of Marketing at Loma Vista Nursery. Join her for tours and photographs of gardens at

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Join us on MAY 31 in The Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden! CHRYSLER IMPERIAL in the foreground is always a good bloomer. MARIJIKE KOOPMAN, the pink rose in the background, has had very strong canes and great bloom. Go to Earth Right website for details on how to use Earth Right products on roses.

On Rose Day enjoy the beautiful garden, activities, attend the Rose Show and talk about your roses with Rose Society members and Park Director Judy Penner. Hope to see you there - 51st Street and Wornall. For those who would like to volunteer in the rose garden, contact Loose Park at 816-513-8590. Volunteer training is being conducted May 14th and May 21st. SUPER STUFF Accept only Original Often Copied Earth Right Products NEVER for the health and DUPLICATED beauty of your lawn and garden! Earth Right Products proudly supports The Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden. In the rose garden all of our products have been applied (including our professional products). We hope you have as much fun in your garden as we have at the park. MADE IN THE HEARTLAND! To have Earth Right products applied at your location: Tobin Lawn & Landscape (816) 765-5565 or Sonshine (816) 525-7111


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Get Growing this May at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden


owell Gardens brims with inspiration for gardeners throughout the month of May. Admission, unless otherwise noted, is $10/adults, $9/seniors, and $4/ children 5-12. Members-Only Plant Sale Preview & Reception; 4-7 p.m. May 1 (Reception at 4 p.m.; plant sale open 5-7 p.m.) Members of Powell Gardens’ acclaimed horticulture staff will demonstrate how to put together creative containers during the plant sale preview reception from 4 to 5 p.m. At 5 p.m. sharp, the membersonly sale begins with an assortment of perennials for sun and shade, annuals, herbs, vegetables, trees, shrubs and more. See the full list at Powell Gardens’ Spring Plant Sale 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 2-3 Don’t miss Powell Gardens’ only plant sale of the year, where

shoppers will find a wide range of perennials, annuals, herbs, vegetables, trees, shrubs, seeds and some of Powell Gardens’ own best performers. Powell Gardens’ knowledgeable horticulture staff will be on hand throughout the sale to help with selections. Garden admission applies: $10/adults, $9/seniors and $4/children 5-12. See for details. Nature Connects 2 Opening Weekend 9 a.m.-6 p.m. May 2-3 Be among the first to see Nature Connects 2 at Powell Gardens. This new exhibition includes 25 new LEGO® brick sculptures by New York artist Sean Kenney, whose first Nature Connects exhibit appeared at Powell Gardens in 2013. The exhibit also includes the iconic hummingbird and flower shown in the inaugural exhibit. In all, the exhibit includes 27 largerthan-life sculptures using more than

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300,000 LEGO® bricks! See for details. National Public Gardens Day Celebration 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, May 8 Celebrate the importance of America’s public gardens with a visit to Kansas City’s botanical garden. Take a free guided tour of the Gardens at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., see the Nature Connects 2 LEGO® brick sculpture exhibit and more. Check for details. Iris Weekend at Powell Gardens 9 a.m.-6 p.m. May 9-10 and16-17* Stroll through the Gardens to “Iris Hill,” where hundreds of multi-colored award-winning irises await. Garden admission applies: $10/adults, $9/seniors and $4/children 5-12. *Mid-May is usually peak bloom time for irises, but it does vary—check powellgardens.

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Visit Our Website

Photo Galleries, Resource Guides, Plant Lists

Visit Our Nursery

Vegetable plants, Herbs, Bulk Garden Seeds, Annual Flowers, Perennials, Pathways, Fruit Plants, Pre-planted Containers, Hanging Baskets, Trees, Shrubs, Ornamentals, Potting Soil, Top Soil, Peat, Compost, Manure, Mulches And Much More

MO: 246.1707 KS: 381.1505

“The pros you know in the clean red truck.” 36

Mother’s Day Performance & Brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 10 Powell Gardens celebrates Mother’s Day with a reservationonly brunch in Café Thyme and a live outdoor concert by Brookside Brass on the lawn from 1 to 3 p.m. To make brunch reservations for 11 a.m. or 1 p.m., call 816-6972600 x209 or visit powellgardens. org/MothersDay. Brunch prices include admission to the Gardens: * Non-members: $30/adults and $14/children 5-12 (free for kids 4 and under) * Members: $25/adults and $12/children 5-12 (free for kids 4 and under) Visitors also may bring picnics to be enjoyed in the performance area only. See details at Garden admission applies: $10/adults, $9/ seniors and $4/children 5-12.

s Greenhouse ’ d ro and Garden Center

n e P

Insect Control Program

org for updates or call 816-6972600 before you head out.

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

Club Meetings

water gardens and other educational programs in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.

African Violets of Greater Kansas City Tues, May 12, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, May 16, 10am-12: at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, May 19, 1pm; at Bonner Springs City Library Meeting Room, 201 N Nettleton Ave, Bonner Springs, KS 66012. We will have a brief business meeting at the Library. Then we will carpool to Stephen’s Orchard in the Bonner Springs area. Walt Stephen, local beekeeper and owner of Stephen’s Orchard, will give a program “Beekeeping 101” which includes general information on the environmental needs of bees, their queens, their hive structure, and preferred habitat. We will observe the hives Mr Stephen has at his bee-pollinated orchard. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome and refreshments will be served. For more information call Ruth at 913-728-2806.

Independence Garden Club Mon, May 11, 6:30pm; will go on tour to a beautiful suburban home and garden. We will meet there at 6:30pm. Visitors are welcome and refreshments will be served. For more information, call 816-373-1169 or 816-812-3067.

Garden Club of Shawnee Thurs, May 7, 7pm; at Old Shawnee Town Hall, 11600 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS. Master Gardener Bud Smith will give a presentation on composting. This meeting also will be our semi-annual plant, bulb, and seed exchange. Visitors are welcome and refreshments will be served. For more information about our club visit our website: or visit us on Facebook. Greater Kansas City Bonsai Society Sat, May 16, 9am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816513-8590 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, May 4, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Our speaker is Steve Painter of Catch-it Wildlife. We will learn how to keep animals from dining on our gardens, trees and flowers. We tolerate lots of critters, but we can also learn how to prevent damage. Steve will give us lots of good advice. Come and learn more. Non-members are always welcome. For additional information, contact Betty Faye Waterson at 816-561-5308.

Mid America Begonia Society Sat, May 16, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Northland Garden Club Tues, May 19, 7pm; at Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 N Norton, Kansas City, MO (just south and west of Penguin Park). This month the Club will hold their annual Plant Exchange. How it works – bring a plant and exchange for a plant. Also, plants will be available for sale at very reasonable prices. More information, see Raytown Garden Club Tues, May 5, 10am; at Raytown Christian Church, 6108 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO. The program will be “Growing Orchids & Other Exotics” presented by Iva Stribling, Master Gardener and Orchid Society member. Visitors are welcome and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit our website at or call 816-257-0049.

(continued on page 38)




Highway 150

Highway 58 177th Ave.

Visit our website and sign up for


Plants & Pumpkins

Highyway 71

Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, May 12, 7-8pm; Spring tour of Kauffman Memorial Garden, 4800 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO.


State Rte D

Leavenworth County Master Gardeners Wed, May 13, 11am; at the Riverfront Community Center; 123 South Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Alicia Ellingsworth will give a presentation on Urban Farming. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information call Brianna Terrell at 913-240-4571.


Holmes Rd.

Greater Kansas City Water Garden Society Tues, May 19, 5:30pm; at Anita B Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, KCMO. May is our annual members’ plant exchange. We usually have a bounty of water garden plants such as, lilies, lotus, rush, cattails, iris and bamboo. In the past we have had perennial flowers, shrubs, cannas, iris, day lilies and a host of others for your flower beds. Be sure to bring trash bags and flower pots to transport your plants. Membership costs $25 for individuals and $35 for a couple. With your membership you have the opportunity to receive free fish from the fish rescue team, plants at the exchange and free tickets for the 22nd annual public water garden tour. Proceeds benefit construction of educational and restorative

KC Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, May 17, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590


State Line Rd.

Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, May 13, at noon, Garden Center of Loose Park, 52nd & Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Join us in a fun afternoon field trip to Cockrell, MO. Never been? You don’t know what you are missing. Just east on 50 Highway is a quaint little secret village nestled among five buildings. A general mercantile, a home store, Fiesta Ware Store, Baker’s Haven and gardener’s shop. Each store is filled with fabulous finds and one of a kinds. Please meet with us at the Garden Center of Loose Park at 52nd & Wornall Rd. at noon for a very short business meeting then we will carpool to Cockrell, MO, only thirty minutes away. Becky Glaze, Proprietor, of Cockrell Mercantile Company is sharing information on herbal teas, jams, sauces and preserves that are sold in the store. Bring a brown bag lunch, drinks will be provided and meet with Becky in her huge beautiful gazebo for lunch and presentation. There will be time for shopping after and to enjoy the gardens and grounds. Not a member? No problem, make a lunch and join us, visitors are always warmly welcomed. Come on along, think of it as a ‘day outing’ plus learning about some yummy and healthy foods. Need more info? Charlotte, or Barbara, 816-523-3702.

Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, May 14, 7pm; at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Showing Roses … The In’s and Out’s; the Do’s and Don’t’s. Your roses are blooming and you are looking at them and wondering, “Would these blooms win a prize in rose show?” The May meeting of the Johnson County Rose Society will help you answer that question! Dr Glenn Hodges, an ARS Accredited Horticulture Judge (and a veteran judge of many rose shows), ARS Master Rosarian, and Johnson County K-State Extension Master Gardener, will describe the ins and outs, as well as the do’s and don’t’s, of showing roses. He will explain how roses are judged and what the judges are looking for. His presentation will help us take a judge’s look at our roses and also to prepare them for their best showing in up-coming rose shows. The meeting will also focus on the continuing care and maintenance that will be needed for our roses in the next couple of months. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments are provided. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarians Corner” – a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian. Bring your questions and concerns about any aspect of growing and caring for roses! The Consulting Rosarians will also give timely tips about caring for roses “This Month In The Rose Garden”. For more information about the meetings, programs and other activities of the Johnson County Rose Society, visit You can also find them on Facebook at

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MORE FLOWERS FOR LESS DOLLARS just 15 minutes south of I-435 & Holmes Rd. 17701 S. State Rte. D, Belton, MO

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816-331-1067 The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


Now Hiring

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

for Spring (continued from page 37)

We are looking for friendly, enthusiastic people to fill positions at our Lenexa, Overland Park and So. Kansas City locations

Cashiers Phone Operators Hardgoods Sales People Plant Sales Horticulturists Landscape Maintenance Truck Drivers, (CDL & non-CDL) Autobody Technician Equipment Operators Laborers

Full & Part time positions available For more information please contact our Human Resource Department phone: 816-941-4700 fax: 816-941-3838

applications available on line at

Events, Lectures & Classes May GKC Gardeners of America Plant Sale April 30, May 1, May 2; at 99th and Holmes, KCMO. Looking for sure-thing veggies for the Kansas City climate? Want to add pops of color to your flower beds? Hoping to attract butterflies – especially Monarchs – to your garden? Planning to invest in perennials? There’s no better place than our annual sale for all your needs. We will have vegetables, annuals, perennials, sun-lovers, shadelovers, wild flowers, butterfly plants and hanging baskets. For additional information, contact Betty Faye Waterson at 816-561-5308. 20th Annual Spring Dig Plant Sale Thurs-Sat, Apr 30-May 2; at Shawnee Presbyterian Church, 6837 Nieman, Shawnee, KS. The sale will benefit Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc. It will be held rain or shine under a tent. There will be beautiful annuals, perennials, hostas, herbs, hanging baskets, patio planters and tomatoes. Stop by and pick up a lovely plant for Mothers Day. There will be volunteers to custom design pots just for you. Bring your own pots or buy one there. Hours are Thurs and Fri 8am-7pm and Sat 8am-1pm. For further information call 913-281-3388. Friends of the Arboretum Spring Plant Sale May 1-2 from 9 am to 5 pm, with a preview sale and reception for FOTA members on Thursday evening, April 30, from 4 to 7 pm. Join FOTA and enjoy a 10% discount throughout the sale. Annuals, perennials, natives, herbs and much more. The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is located about a half mile west of Hwy 69 at 179th and Antioch. For more information visit the FOTA website at or call 913-685-3604.

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Enright Gardens No Ordinary Gardening Adventure

gorgeous plants, wonderful staff, unique garden store 38

May 2015 |

Methodist Church on Ridgeview). Plants mainly from members’ yards - hardy to this area. Plant questions answered - advice freely given. Herbs and gardening gifts also available. Questions? Contact Debby Brewer at 913-486-2388. Annual Plant Sale Wed, May 6. Sale will take place from 8am ‘til most are gone; at 18505 W 114th St, can be accessed from north Ridgeview Rd. Olathe Garden & Civic Club will have lots of perennials from members’ gardens. Free advice! Ornamental Shrubs, Including Crepe Myrtle Thurs, May 7, 11:30am-1pm; at Sunflower Room of the Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Dr Cheryl Boyer, associate professor of Nursery Crops, leads the Department’s extension programming for nursery crops. She coteaches the course “Nursery Management,” and is the first faculty member to hold her position at K-State. Eager to help increase the size of the nursery industry in Kansas, she serves the growers in Kansas as well as county horticulture extension agents through service to their Master Gardener educational programs. Her position allows her to travel across the state helping people meet their business goals and solve production problems, and teaching consumers about landscaping and woody plants. During this class, Dr Boyer will discuss the varieties of shrubs and small trees that grow best in our area, including what factors home gardeners should consider when selecting woody ornamentals for our properties. Registration is not required. Free admission to active Master Gardeners. $5.00 per person, all others. Dahlia Tuber Sale Fri, May 8, 1-4pm, member pre-sale; Sat, May 9, 8am-3pm public sale; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Presented by the Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society. Memberships are available for $5.00 at Friday’s sale which will give you the first choice of roots. Members will be available to answer any questions on growing dahlias.

Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale Fri, May 1, 9am-5pm, and Sat, May 2, 9am-2pm; at Wildcat Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1200 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Available for sale: vegetable and herb plants grown by the Master Gardeners specifically for this sale; perennials, biennials, native plants, ornamental grasses, and annuals; and miscellaneous garden decorative items.

National Public Gardens Day Fri, May 8, 9am-6pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Tours will be provided by our knowledgeable volunteers and staff, no reservation needed, but space at each tour is limited. Meet at the admission kiosk and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Arboretum. Included with admission. www.opabg. org, 913-685-3604

Regional Orchid Show Sat, May 2 and Sun, May 3, 10am-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, KCMO. Hosted by Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. Admission is free. Spectacular Orchid Displays. Plants for Sale from Area Vendors.

What’s Really Bugging You? Insects in the Garden Fri, May 8, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. Do you ever wonder whether the insects in your garden are helping or harming your plants? Learn about the common insects found in our area so that you can identify garden pests as well as the beneficial insects. We will also discuss how to control problem insects. Free. Register at or call 816931-3877 (Space is limited).

Container Gardening Class Sat, May 2, 9-10 am; at the Spring Plant Sale at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Join our resident horticulturist, Anne Wildeboor, to learn how to create a beautiful container garden for your home. She will discuss containers for both sun or shade. Learn helpful design and care tips that are tailored to our region. No fee. 913-685-3604 Fairy Garden Design Sat, May 2, 10am; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Questions? 816-2291277. Central Missouri Master Gardeners 18th Annual Plant Sale Sat, May 2, 7am-noon; at Jaycee Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Rd, Jefferson City, MO. Follow the plant sale progress and see what’s for sale on www. or on our website For questions about the sale, please contact Julie Long at 573-295-6263 or by email at Annual Plant Sale Wed, May 6, 8am-2pm or when sold out; at 18505 W 114th St, Olathe, KS 66061 (just east of Grace

Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Annual Plant Sale Sat, May 9, 8am-2pm or sold out; at Parking lot of Bass Pro located at I-70 and MO 291 in Independence, MO. St Joseph Herb Gardeners Herb and Plant Sale Sat, May 9, 9am-1pm; at Wyatt Park Christian Church, 27th and Mitchell, St Joseph, MO. Herbs, perennials, garden décor, plants of every kind available for sale. Come early for best selection. Herb gardener’s club meets monthly. Bird Walk Sat, May 9, 8:15am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Trent Reed, Arboretum volunteer and all around birder, will lead this walk to look for and listen to the birds that live at the Arboretum. Nearly 100 different species of birds have been identified at the Arboretum, giving you plenty to look forward to. Included with admission. Register online at, 913-685-3604.

Gardening with Your Family Sat, May 9, 10am; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. Bring your family to this hands-on workshop featuring easy gardening methods that involve every member of the family. As you visit several demonstration stations, you will learn how to make a garden in your own back yard, select seeds and plants that kids love to plant, pick and eat, test out some kid-friendly recipes made with garden produce, and make some garden art. Bring your kids! Fun for the whole family! Free. Register at or call 816-931-3877 (Space is limited). Ecosystems Walk Sat, May 9, 10am-noon; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Lynda Ochs, a resident expert on the Arboretum’s ecosystems will begin with a presentation in the visitor center, followed by a walk on the mulch trails. Wear walking shoes, insect repellent and sunscreen for maximum enjoyment of this hike. Included with admission. Register online at www. 913-685-3604 Beauty of Monarch Butterflies Sat, May 9, 10:30am; at The Kansas City Public Library—Ruiz Branch, 2017 W Pennway St, Kansas City, MO 64108. Free. Space is limited. As a sixyear-old child, local artist and gardener Dean Bracy observed what seemed like hundreds of monarch butterflies feeding on a butterfly bush and then roosting in a nearby tree. This fascinating experience began a life-long interest in butterflies for Dean — including painting them, raising them, growing host and nectar plants, studying Monarch migratory patterns and life cycles, and investigating causes for the dwindling butterfly population. Come listen to Dean’s fascinating presentation about these beautiful and delicate creatures while checking out some of his original artwork. Afterward, stay and help us plant seeds for the beginning of a butterfly garden right here at the Ruiz Library. Participants should dress for casual gardening. Learn more about the gardening and planting resources available at the Ruiz Branch at kclibrary. org/seedlibrary. Questions? Contact Amy Morris at 816-701-3565 or Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, May 9, 9am-2:30pm; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St, (67th & Roe) Prairie Village, KS. Annual Spring Hosta & Shade Plant Sale featuring a great collection of lovely new hostas and other shade perennials, including but not limited to, a nice selection of Heucheras, numerous Fern varieties, Brunnera, mini hostas and heucheras which are great for your troughs and fairy gardens. You will not want to miss this sale! Children over age 4 who are accompanied by parent or guardian will receive their very own Blue Mouse Ears! Come and bring a friend. For info call Gwen 816-228-9308 or 816213-0598. Rose Garden Grooming Training Thurs, May 14 and 21, 9am; Rose Garden at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64112. Learn about rose care and enjoy the fellowship of the other groomers. Contact John Riley at 913-341-2853 or For more information about the Kansas City Rose Society go to Plant Share Fri, May 15, 8am until 10:00am, in Liberty, at Rotary Plaza, corner of Gallatin and Franklin Streets, one block west of the Liberty Square. The Liberty Town and Country Garden Club is sponsoring a Plant Share for area residents. Garden club members will share plants from their personal gardens with the community. Area gardeners are also encouraged to bring their own divided perennials, shrubs or annuals to share. No early birds please. The plant share is an annual community service provided by the Town and Country Garden Club which has been in existence in Liberty since 1947. Keep Out! Best Practices for Deterring Animal Pests Fri, May 15, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO 64132. How do I keep the squirrels out of my tomatoes? Voles out of my sweet potatoes? Although there are no sure-fire solutions to keep pesky pests out of your garden, this workshop will discuss best practices for deterring animal pests. Free. Register at www.kccg. org/register or call 816-931-3877 (Space is limited). Bird Walk Sat, May 16, 8:15am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Mike Stoakes, Arboretum volun-

teer and all around birder, will lead this walk to look for and listen to the birds that live at the Arboretum. Nearly 100 different species of birds have been identified at the Arboretum, giving you plenty to look forward to. Included with admission. Register online at 913-685-3604 Get Growing: Water Mon, May 18, 6pm; at Independence Health Department, 515 S Liberty, Independence, MO 64050. Water is essential for healthy, productive crops. Learn the science behind the water needs for your plants and hear about the different ways farmers and gardeners are accessing water throughout the city. We will talk about rain water catchment systems, water meters, and water conservation. Free. Register at or call 816-9313877 (Space is limited). Master Gardeners of Johnson County MO Spring Plant and Garden Art Sale Sat, May 16, 9am-1pm; at Blind Boone Park, located on West Pine Street, South of Business 50 Hwy in Warrensburg. Watch for signs that day. This annual sale features a variety of plants including perennials, house plants, herbs and more. Hyper tufa, stepping stones, and concrete leaf castings will also be available for sale. Proceeds from the sale will go to a horticulture scholarship at UCM and maintenance of community gardens. In addition to the sale, Master Gardeners will have information on composting and plant care. While you are there, enjoy the wildflower garden that has been planted and maintained by JOCO Master Gardeners. GHF Native Plant Sale Sat, May 16, 10am–1:30pm; at Lawrence Public Library Lawn, 707 Vermont St, Lawrence, KS. Native wildflowers and grasses are beautiful, hardy, and can thrive in home landscapes - and pollinators love them! Support GHF as we sell a variety of wildflowers and grasses that would be great for your yard! Talk to the Experts! Landscape and prairie experts will be on hand to help you choose your plants and give advice on how to plant them. We’ll have fun children’s activities, too! Astronomy: Dark Sky Delight! Sat, May 16, 8:30-10:30pm; at Powell Gardens. With no moonlight to interfere, the Gardens’ dark skies will be perfect tonight for viewing planets, star clusters, constellations, moons of other planets, galaxies, shooting stars and more. Join us under Powell Gardens’ dark skies for astronomy programs led by knowledgeable amateur astronomers. (Evening programs will be cancelled if skies are overcast or rainy.) Register three participants and the fourth person is free! $10/adult, $6/member, $6/child ages 5-12. Registration required by May 14. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Sketch Crawl Wed, May 20, 9am-12:30pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Enjoy a morning of creating art in the many lovely gardens at the Arboretum. Bring your own art supplies, learn from each other, share your work and enjoy the surroundings. Included with admission. Register online at, or call 913-685-3604. Fairy Garden Design Sat, May 23, 10am; at Colonial Nursery, 27610 East Wyatt Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Questions? 816-2291277. Wine Tasting on the Terrace Thurs, May 28, 6-8 pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. The second wine tasting of the year features local company Aubrey Vineyards and their locally produced wines. The Arboretum is a lovely place to sample a variety of wines and enjoy the view. $25/ FOTA members, $28/non-members. Register online at 913-685-3604 Bioswale Design & Maintenance with Native Plants - A Workshop for Professionals Fri, May 29, 8:30am-3pm; at George Owens Nature Park, 416 West Maple, Independence, MO 64050. At this native plant and water management workshop for municipalities, engineers, architects and designers, participants will learn: detailed information for managing water to reduce runoff; considerations for working with green infrastructure rating systems; best practices for project documentation; design approaches for ongoing maintenance; how to move beyond gray infrastructure with native plants and

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To GROW A Better Garden, Shop With A STAR Ted Bergman Willow Landscaping Mark Brakhane Pleasantview Landscaping Bob Call Longfellow’s Garden Center Jeff Coffey Jeff Coffey’s Landscaping Cynthia Collins Hartke Nursery Mike Curran Summer Winds Damon Doherty Hillside Landscaping Steve Dorrell Carson’s Nursery Janet Dueber Longfellow’s Garden Center Susan Ehlenbeck MO Dept. of Agriculture Doug English Kristopher Fuller Full Features Nursery & Landscape Center Matt Hagemann Dowco Enterprises

Staci Hentges Longfellow’s Garden Center Sandra Hillermann McDonald Hillermann Nursery & Florist Aaron Jung Horticultural Impressions Glenn Kristek Wickman Garden Village Joe Krygiel Baxter Gardens West

Anne McKinstry McKinstry Plant Sales Rain Miljan Hillside Landscaping Michael Mills Springfield Greene County Parks Nikki Pettit Wickman Garden Village James Prinster A. Waldbart & Sons Nursery

Gregg Larsen Gregg Larsen Landscaping

Don Sherman Hillermann Nursery and Florist Inc

Roland Lenzenhuber Forest Lawn Nursery

Kevin Sir Bowood Farms

John Logan Logan Landscape & Design

Arlene Trombley Summer Winds

Alice Longfellow Longfellow’s Garden Center

Jim Van Valkenburg Sherwood’s Forest

Eric Lovelace Forrest Keeling Nursery

Donald Walls Hartke Nursery

Kim Lovelace-Young Forrest Keeling Nursery

David Wehmeyer Hillermann Nursery & Florist Inc

Henry McCormick Carson’s Nursery

Lynn Young Baxter Gardens West

Missouri Certified Green Industry Stars is a Missouri State certification program designed to: • Raise the standards of the state’s Green Industry’s Professional Horticulturists • Assist the public in identifying Certified Green Industry Horticulture Professionals who have been tested on Basic Principles of Horticulture, Environmental Stewardship Ideals and Best Management Practices as they apply to the state of Missouri.

To locate and shop with a Missouri Certified Green Industry Star, consult the Membership Directory at: The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015


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May 2015 |

(continued from page 39) water management; resources to ensure successful project completion. For more details and to register, go to GeoKids Sat, May 30, 10am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Hey kids! Are you ready for a treasure hunt at the Arboretum? GeoKids is a fun-filled activity consisting of a brief classroom presentation on maps, directions and how to use a compass, geared for young participants. Kids then head out into the Arboretum on a compass-based treasure hunt for prizes, with educational stops along the way. Ages 7–11 (adult presence required). Class fee $5 per child. Regular admission applies. Register online at 913-685-3604 Raingarden Design & Maintenance with Native Plants - A Workshop for Homeowners Sat, May 30, 9am-3pm; at George Owens Nature Center, 416 West Maple, Independence, MO 64050. At this native plant and water management workshop for homeowners and other native landscaping enthusiasts, participants will learn: where to start when planning a raingarden for your home landscape; detailed information for managing water with raingardens and native plants; how to plan for easy maintenance; what native plants work best for your location; how native plants meet the needs of pollinators; easy ways to increase the biodiversity of your home landscape; resources to ensure successful project completion. For more details and to register, go to events.

June/July Herbarium Practicum Sat, May 30, 9am-noon & Sat, Jun 20, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. In part one you will take a guided tour of our Norlan C Henderson Herbarium and participate in a guided hike to the Byron Shutz Nature Trail to identify and collect plants. Learn how to press, dry and voucher each as a permanent record of our native flora. In part two you will learn how to mount, glue, record and file your collected, pressed plants to take home or file in the Norlan C Henderson Herbarium. $37/person, $32/member. Registration required by May 18. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Growing Grapes in the Home Garden Thurs, Jun 4, 11:30am-1pm; at the Sunflower Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Presented by Marlin Bates, Douglas County Extension Horticulture Agent. Small fruit can be one of the most rewarding food crops to grow at home. Grapes stand out as a particularly interesting home garden prospect for several reasons. Gardeners get creative with grapevines as they train them to fit into the landscape. However, there is a science to producing high-quality grapes, whether you’re interested in table grapes or growing grapes for home winemaking. Marlin Bates joined K-State Research and Extension this year after serving as a Horticulture Specialist for University of Missouri Extension in Kansas City, Missouri. Marlin has also served as an Adjunct Professor for Johnson County Community College. In his work in extension, Marlin works toward strengthening local food systems by assisting specialty crop producers and regularly works with people who are interested in vineyard establishment. Registration is not required. Free admission to active Master Gardeners. $5.00 per person, all others. Hot Summer Days Fri, Jun 5, 10 am to noon; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Kids can run through the “kid car wash”, use frozen sidewalk chalk, toss water balloons and more. A lot of wet fun. Dress the kids in their swimsuit and bring a towel. No registration required. Included with admission. 913-685-3604

Douglas County Master Gardeners’ Tour Sat, Jun 6, 9am-4pm and Sun, Jun 7, 11am-4pm. Start at the Extension Office at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence, KS where you will find a huge sale of neonicotinoid-free native plants on Sat, Jun 6 9am-1pm. Purchase tour tickets at the plant sale on Sat morning, in advance at the Extension Office, online at, at local nurseries and garden centers, or at any of the private gardens during the tour. The tour consists of six private gardens plus a public sensory garden. Tickets are $10 per person. Carried infants are free. No strollers. For more information, visit website at or like us on Facebook at Backyard Chicken Keeping Sat, Jun 6, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. It’s the latest suburban adventure – keeping laying hens in your own backyard! Come and meet our favorite hen, Little Miss Crankyfoot, and learn about the basics of good chicken care, behaviors and benefits. Four half-dozen cartons of eggs will be given away in a drawing. $37/person, $32/member. Registration required by Jun 1. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Hermann, MO 21st Annual Garden Tour and Plant Sale Jun 6-7, 9am-5pm. Two Tours in 2015: the popular Town Tour, a walking tour of gardens in downtown Hermann, and a Country Tour, a driving tour to country gardens. Each tour is $10; ticket price includes visits to at least four private gardens and the Garden Demonstration Area. Town & County Garden Tour Combo ticket for $15. Garden Tours may be spread over Saturday and Sunday and, except for groups of 10 or more, do not need to be reserved ahead of time. Garden-themed Flea Market at the Plant Sale. Special Ticket By-ReservationOnly Luncheon/Silent Auction on June 5th. 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 Dates for 2016 are June 4th and 5th. Straw Bale Gardening Sat, Jun 13, 10-11:30am; at The Gardens at Unity Village 150-B NW Colbern Rd (1/2 mile west of the Douglas/Colbern intersection), Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Come join Ellen for a “hands on” Straw-Bale Gardening workshop – an interesting option if you have limited soil and/or space (or if you just prefer to garden standing up)! Fee: $10/FREE to Garden members. NOTE: This is an “in the Garden” demonstration so wear appropriate shoes/clothes! Call 816769-0259 and leave a message to make a reservation, check for workshop updates, etc. St. Joseph Pond Tour Jun 13 & 14, 1-5pm. Sponsored by St. Joseph Water Garden Society. Tickets are available at St. Joseph only nurseries. Mann’s Nursery, Earl May, Westlake Hardware. Also available in Savannah MO at Thompson Nursery. $7 each. For more information, call 816-233-2026 or 816-364-3942. Springfield Water Garden Tour Jun 13 & 14, 9am-6pm. 20th anniversary of the Springfield Watergarden Society and will be the 20th public tour conducted by SWS. Gardens will be located in Springfield, MO and surrounding area. Tickets may be purchased starting May 17 at the Springfield Botanical Center, Garden Adventure’s, Maschino’s and Wickman Gardens. Tour booklets will give specific directions to each garden. Tickets are $10 per person covering both days. SWS members will have free admission. (Yearly membership fee is $15 per family.) Lotawana Garden Tour Sat, Jun 13. Rain or shine. The Lake Lotawana Community Club Garden Tour will feature five stops with eight gardens that you can view either by road or by pontoon boat.

Painting with the Sun Sat, Jun 13, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. In this hands-on class, you will use botanical elements and solar-activated dye to create unique designs on fabric. Create a solar-dyed canvas tote bag in class. You may bring one cotton shirt to dye, as well (white or light colored, recommended). Wear walking shoes and dress for messy creativity. $29/person, $22/ member. Registration required by Jun 8. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Garden Tour Sat, Jun 13, 9am-3pm. Johnson County Missouri Master Gardeners will be having their annual Garden Tour. Please contact Jennifer Bradford at 660-8649888 or Rhonda Frazelle at 660-747-5703 for additional information. 3rd Annual Renditions Polish Pottery Festival Sat, Jun 13, 10am-5pm; at Short & Main in downtown Historic Weston, MO. The only festival of its kind outside of Boleslawiec, Poland. Visitors will be immersed in all things Polish and Eastern European. Free admission. Performers will include folks dancing and the popular The Alpen Spielers, a dynamic and energetic polka band from the Kansas City area. Local and regional artisans will be demonstrating and selling their art. Always popular, is the Polish Pottery Exchange. Traditional Polish food such as pierogi, golabki, bigos and kielbasa, as well as, assorted traditional breads, cakes and desserts. Whether you are a true Polonia or just Polish at heart, Renditions Polish Pottery Festival is an exceptional celebration of the food, music, language, customs, tradition and the culture that is uniquely Polish and Eastern European. It is a perennial favorite. Come have fun with us!; 816 640 2300 Tree Walks Sponsored By Powell Gardens and Grow Native! Sun, Jun 14, 1-3pm; Union Cemetery, 227 E. 28th Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64108. Meet at the main entrance. Led by Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens. Union Cemetery has premier examples of old growth native white oaks, and its champion trees include Kentucky coffeetree, hackberry, and sassafras. This “Central Park” of Kansas City dates back to 1849 and is an unexpected greenspace of spectacular trees with a backdrop of high rises at Crown Center and downtown to the north. The site is 27 acres and will require the least amount of walking of the tree tours. Port-a-potty facilities. Designed to cover approximately two miles so guests should wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather. Identifying Common Weeds Wed, Jun 17, 6:30pm; at Paola Extension Office, 104 South Brayman, Paola, KS 66071. Some define a weed as a plant growing where it is not wanted. With that definition, every plant could be a weed! Instead we will focus on annual plants that prefer disturbed soil. Some perennial and woody invasive plants will also be covered. We will work with fresh specimens of plants. Everyone should bring a few specimens of weeds they would like to identify. Be

sure to include the roots. Store them in a plastic bag in a refrigerator to keep them fresh. Jeff Hansen is a board member of the Kansas Native Plant Society and has been a gardener all of his life. He landscapes with native plants, makes paper from them, and leads wildflower walks around the state. His website at is an online guide to Kansas plants, both native and introduced, containing over 800 species and over 4000 images. He is an enthusiastic teacher and loves sharing his knowledge with others. Contact: Lenora Larson 913-284-3360. Sponsor: Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners. Secret Garden Tour - Fort Scott, KS Sat, Jun 20, 9am-3pm, rain or shine, $10. Six diverse gardens are featured. These include a country garden that borders a native prairie, an established garden that compliments a Victorian house, and small scale patio gardens with big impact. All gardens focus on plants that flourish in our demanding Midwestern climate. Tickets are available at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce and at Country Cupboard, both in downtown Fort Scott. For more information, check or call the Chamber of Commerce at 800-245-3678. All You Need to Know About Roses, But Were Afraid to Ask! Sat, Jun 27, 10am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, KCMO. The Kansas City Rose Society presents a seminar on how to grow beautiful roses! Topics will include: the best roses for Kansas City, how to plant and maintain terrific roses, how to identify and treat common pests, and choosing great companion plants for roses in your landscape. Free and open to the public. Registration required. Please call 816 803-5653 or register online at Refreshments and snacks will be served. Rhyme in the Roses Sat, Jun 27, 4-5pm; at the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden at Loose Park, 5200 Pennsylvania, KCMO. A Poetry Reading in the Rose Garden sponsored by the Kansas City Rose Society. Free and open to the public. Please see for more information. Daylily Garden Open House Fri, Jul 3 and Sat, Jul 4, 10am; at Hart’s Daylilies, 7460 W 255th, Louisburg, KS (1/4 mile east of Metcalf). Free garden tour showcasing 900 varieties of daylilies, plus a large assortment of hosta. Many Asiatic, Oriental and Orienpet lilies. 913-837-5209 Homemade Pickles Can Be Easy! Sat, Jul 11, 10-11:30am; at The Gardens at Unity Village 150-B NW Colbern Rd (1/2 mile west of the Douglas/Colbern intersection), Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Join Lou and learn how to create your own pickles using just a few ingredients and less than half an hour of your time. Only limited by your imagination - pickling isn’t just for cucumbers anymore! Fee: $15/$5 to Garden members. Call 816-769-0259 and leave a message to make a reservation, check for workshop updates, etc.

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Weather Report

Highs and Lows Avg temp 66° Avg high temp 75° Avg low temp 55° Highest recorded temp 102° Lowest recorded temp 26° Nbr of above 70° days 23

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 8

Promote your gardening events!

Avg nbr of cloudy days 14

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 0” Avg rainfall 4.5” Avg nbr of rainy days 11

Send information to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208


From the Almanac Moon Phases Full Moon: May 3

E-Mail: Deadline for the June issue is May 5.

Last Quarter: May 11 New Moon: May 17 First Quarter: May 25 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Above Ground Crops: 1-3, 17, 18, 21, 22, 28-31

Plant Root Crops: 3-5, 8, 9

Control Plant Pests: 11, 15, 16

Transplant: 1-3, 28-31

Plant Flowers: 17, 18, 21, 22

The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015



garden calendar n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Plant tomato, pepper, and eggplant transplants in early to mid May. • Seed sweet corn, cucumbers, squash, beans, and other warm season vegetables. • Lightly cultivate soil with a hoe to control weed growth. • Mound soil around potato plants to encourage tuber formation. • Harvest fresh asparagus until the spear size decreases. • Remove rhubarb seed stalks to encourage leaf growth. • Plant kitchen herbs for summer use in dishes or food preservation. • Treat fruit trees with needed pesticides to control insects and disease. • Thin heavy fruit set on apples to increase fruit size and next year’s crop.


• Plant annual flowers for summer color. • Continue to plant and divide perennials. • Mulch perennial and annual gardens for weed control and moisture retention. • Begin pinching chrysanthemums for bushier plants. • Do not remove foliage from spring bulbs until it dies down naturally, this develops stronger blooms for next year. • Plant container gardens and hanging baskets using a good quality potting mix. • Keep a garden journal for permanent reference.


• Reduce thatch layers from zoysia by verticutting or core aerating. • Sod or sprig zoysia lawns to fill in bare areas. • Fertilize zoysia lawns with high nitrogen to promote green up and summer growth. • Mow zoysia at 1 to 2 inches tall.

• Apply slow release nitrogen fertilizer to bluegrass and tall fescue to promote summer growth if watering during the summer. Lower maintenance lawns skip this application. • Mow bluegrass and tall fescue at 3 inches. • Spot treat broadleaf weeds. • Withhold early summer watering until needed to promote more drought tolerant lawns.


• Plant new trees and shrubs. • Prune spring flowering shrubs after bloom to shape plant and encourage flowers next year. • Mulch around young trees and shrubs to conserve moisture and control weed growth. • Water young ornamentals as needed. • Remove tree wraps for summer growth. • Remove tree stakes that have been in place more than one growing season. • Fertilize trees to help increase growth rates. • Caution, use line trimmers around trees and shrubs so as not to damage tender bark.


• Move plants outdoors for summer by gradually increasing their exposure to sunlight. • Fertilize plants to promote summer development. • Rotate plants to develop a well-rounded plant. • Wash dusty leaves in the shower under room temperature water. • Four to six inch cuttings are a great way to start new plants, root in potting mix under low light. • Repot plants into a 1-inch larger pot. • Check for insects.

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

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

Alex Bryant wants to create a unique organic edible garden especially for you. Company: Giving Gardens Owner: Alex Bryant Established: November 2014 Inspiration: As a child I was always involved with gardening, playing in the dirt, planting seeds, or picking worms out of compost. I loved when my mom would send me out to the garden on a summer evening to pick a few tomatoes or cucumbers to add to our salad for dinner. I have always been a “healthy eater” – loving anything that you can grow from the ground and enjoy as a part of a well-balanced meal. That is what inspired me to start this company. I want people to be able to know exactly what is going into their body when they eat and what better way to do that than to grow your own food, in your own backyard. Services offered: Do you dream of having a garden, but don’t know where to start? Would you love to grow herbs and tomatoes, but you’re limited on space? Giving Gardens specializes in installing and helping customers maintain organic edible gardens in their own backyards or on their apartment patio. Every garden is unique reflecting the customer’s vision, allowing them to enjoy the fruits, vegetables and herbs that they love. Our services vary for every customer and that is what I love about my company. We are proud to offer an affordable way to live and eat healthier. What’s hot in edibles: In my opinion I think that ornamental vegetables are the “hot” things this year. I love growing plants that look a little less traditional. You can still get everyday use out of them, but with an added flair. My personal favorite now is lemon cucumbers (pepino lemon), which have a unique sweet flavor. Favorite garden destination: Before getting into edible gardens, I had an interest in starting my own vineyard. That’s when I discovered Pirtle Winery in Weston, Missouri. When it comes to gardens overseas, I would have to say that Cairns Botanic Garden in Australia is my favorite. I studied in Australia along the East coast for a month before I attended college. Little known secret: I’m writing a book. As a gardener and fitness instructor, I’m passionate about people knowing what is going into their bodies and how to stay healthy. This is what inspired me to start a book on healthy living and gardening. This is a work in progress, but I am excited to see the outcome in the near future. Contact information: Giving Gardens, 816-898-9110, alex@, The Kansas City Gardener | May 2015



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roses, coleus, houseplants, bartlett arboretum, hedges, natives, birds