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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

November 2014

The Tree that Fenced the Prairie

Patrick’s Picks: Forcing Bulbs When to Say Goodbye to Trees Ask the Experts about peonies, horseradish and more

Swan’s Water Gardens Old Time Christmas Village Come Enjoy The Sights And Sounds of Our First Annual Christmas Season. We’re Busy Stringing Lights and Building Displays For The First Of Many Christmas Season Celebrations. Relax Around The Fires As You Sip On Hot Apple Cider While Listening To Your Favorite Christmas Songs. Nov. Hours Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-4pm. Dec. Hours Wed.-Thurs.-Fri. 9am-7pm, Sat. 9am-5pm.

We Invite You To Come Enjoy The Transformation Of Our New Home. Not Only Will You Find All The Water Garden Products You’ll Need For This Fall and Winter, You’ll Also Discover Many Unique Garden Accessories and Gift Giving Items For The Upcoming Holiday Season.

6 Good Reasons You Should Aerate Your Pond

• A properly sized aerator Adds Valuable Oxygen To A Pond as effectively, or better, than a typical waterfalls. • Higher oxygen levels Increases The Number Of Beneficial Bacteria in a pond, leading to healthier fish, cleaner water, and less organic buildup on the bottom of the pond. • Replaces the need to use expensive de-icer/heaters in the Winter-Aeration Releases Gases and Adds Oxygen to the pond more effectively than maintaining a hole in the ice. Also, aerators are more Energy Efficient than most deicers, saving money all Winter. • Saves Energy costs of running a waterfall pump. A properly sized aerator can aerate your pond more efficiently and effectively, helping to maintain healthy, clear water while allowing you to turn your waterfall pump off while you’re gone for an extended period of time or when temperatures are too cold to run your waterfall. • Reduces Pond Maintenance By running an aerator with your waterfalls your pond will stay cleaner and healthier. • Fish Love It! Your fish will gather above and enjoy the bubbles coming from the diffusers located on the bottom of the pond.

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are warm birds


Some flew south, while others took perch. For the ones that hunkered down, give ‘em the nutrients they need to brave cold temps. Swing by Westlake Ace Hardware for a variety of seeds & feeders so you can be generous. After all, they chose your yard over Disney World.

FEED ‘EM Like Kings





native plants provide nesting sites & natural food & shelter for inclement weather, so place feeders about 10-ft. away


Stock Up

GIVE ‘EM Shelter


Tip: insulate birdhouses with wood chips & dry grass so birds can plug cracks & holes to





retain body heat on the coldest of nights

Good Thru November 30, 2014



May vary, check online for your specific location



nov_kcgFINAL.indd November 2014 /1 The Kansas City Gardener


10/14/14 5:20 PM3

The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Tom DePaepe Diane & Doc Gover Patrick Muir Ken O’Dell Dennis Patton Phil Roudebush Diane Swan Scott Woodbury Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

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

See us on the Web:

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


Royals Fever


hat an exciting time for Kansas City! At this writing the Kansas City Royals are in the World Series, and if you weren’t a fan of baseball before, than you can’t help being one now. I have watched many of the games leading up to this championship series and have thoroughly enjoyed watching our talented team reach this place in baseball history. This is what happens when the editor of a gardening magazine jumps on the baseball bandwagon. I’m out of my mind and highly distracted. So distracted that I couldn’t cobble together a few words of gardening inspiration. So forgive me, dear reader, while I bask in a city awashed in Royal blue. I’ll be back next month when the balls and gloves have been put away, coaches and players have gone home, and Kauffman Stadium is quiet. Until then, LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}!

LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, clap, clapclapclap}!

{clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap, {clap,

LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! LET’S GO ROYALS, {clap, clap, clapclapclap}! I’ll see you in the garden!


In this issue November 2014 • Vol. 19 No. 11 Rose Report ............................ 5 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 When to Say Goodbye to Trees .................................. 8 Light up the Night .................... 9 Patrick’s Picks ........................... 10 OPA Luminary Walk ................ 11 The Tree that Fenced the Prairie ............................... 12

about the cover ...

The Bird Brain ......................... 14 Pets and Plants ........................ 15 GN: Winter to do List .............. 16 Gardeners Connect Program ..... 17 Upcoming Events ..................... 18 Free Bird Feeder ..................... 21 Weather ................................. 21 Garden Calendar .................... 22 Professional’s Corner ................ 23

Learn more about the Osage orange tree starting on page 12. Photo credit to Chod Hedinger.


16 The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

Rose Report

Charles Anctil


he gardening party for this year is almost over. Now you start thinking … what stays, what goes … do I need to do anything special for next year … was I satisfied this growing season? With rain nearly every night during July and August, I had to spray more often for mildew and blackspot. You can certainly see the difference between city water and actual rain! Wow! Roses grew much taller and wider, and had larger leaves, better quality blooms, and larger blooms. I still get many calls on when to prune roses. Most people grow the newer varieties so here is what I do. I prune or cut mine back whenever they need it. On September 21st, I cut most of mine back to about four feet. Why? What a mess! They were too tall and tangled with each other. I will cut them back for winter later. That’s when I cut them knee high, remove all the leaves, and then start mulching. I try to get done by the second week of November.

Before mulching, the beds are cleaned, and then sprayed with either Mancozeb or Copper (heavily). Blackspot spores are not easy to get rid of. I usually repeat this in the spring. When pruning back this fall, it’s a good time inventory your roses. And if replacements need to be made, there’s plenty of time over the winter to go through the catalogs for next spring. Oops, I forgot to tell you why I strip the leaves off the canes. No leaves means no activity. Loss of leaves helps roses go in to dormancy faster. Here’s a product that is rarely used – Wilt Pruf! Have you heard of it? It’s been around for years. I use it here at the nursery every fall (October) on Hollies, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Boxwoods, fruit trees, lilacs, pines, spruce, and even cut Christmas trees. It keeps your plants from drying out caused by Winter winds! Works for me…maybe it works for you! Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. If you need help, call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-2331223.

Holiday in the Tropics Terrarium Saturday, Dec. 6 2-4 p.m.


dd tropical warmth to your holiday décor with an elegant terrarium filled with bromeliads, ferns and orchids. Plant and learn to care for your own 12-inch-tall terrarium. Materials provided include potting media, jars, plants and some decorative elements. Bring your own bobbles and trinkets to add pizazz to your creation. Gardening gloves recommended. Make a second terrarium as a gift. $59/project, $52/member ($45/second terrarium). Registration required by Dec. 1. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Powell Gardens is a not-for-profit botanical garden located 30 miles east of Kansas City on Highway 50. Spring/summer garden admission is $10/adults, $9/seniors, and $4/children age 5-12. Garden hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. November-March and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April-October. Powell Gardens is open daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), year round. For more information please call (816) 697-2600 or visit us at

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Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton WHEN TO CUT BACK PEONIES Question: Should I cut my peonies back in the fall or wait till spring? Answer: Herbaceous peonies are best cut back in the fall. By cutting off the old foliage in the fall it rids the garden of foliar diseases that could overwinter and effect the growth next spring. Cut back in early fall or after a light frost. Cut completely to the ground. Once the foliage is removed a light fertilizer will help improve the growth. Apply about 1 to 2 tablespoons

of high nitrogen fertilizer such as 27-3-3 or 30-0-0 per plant. Make this application in and around the plant, not directly over the tubers in the center. That’s it; you are now ready to enjoy the wonderful blooms next spring. DORMANT SEEDING Question: I missed the window for seeding my bluegrass lawn. I hear about dormant seeding does it work and how do I go about it? Answer: The preferred method time for seeding is in September. But for those that missed the time, dormant seeding is an option depending on several factors. Most importantly seeding over the winter is not recommended for complete lawn renovation. It is best done while attempting to fill in

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While her father oversees, Hannah nervously attempts to prune the herbaceous peonies in the garden. Before getting started though, she needed to learn the difference between hedge clippers and hand pruners. Still so much to learn in the garden. small patches. Dormant seeding is best done between December and February. To be successful you still must have good seed-soil contact. Simply broadcasting the seed will not work. Here are a couple of tricks to provide for the soil contact. One is to hand rake the small spots, spread the seed and rake into the soil. Two, is to wait for light snowfall, maybe 1 inch or so. Broadcast the seed onto the snow and let the

melting and freezing work the seed into the soil. The third option is to apply after a rain when the soil is moist. Freezing and thawing will help move the seed into the soil. My personal experience with dormant seeding has been mixed with less than desirable results. Spreading the seed on the ground and letting nature work the seed into the soil does not work on a slope. All the seed washes downhill leaving bare patches and an uneven

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stand. The key is making sure the seed gets into the soil and that the patches are small for this method to be highly effective. The grass that does germinate has a limited root system so it must be watered come summer. POISONOUS PERENNIAL WEED Question: This fall I noticed a plant growing in the back corner of the yard. It was tall, over 4 feet with a purple stem and fruit. The fruit was in a cluster, small and marble-size. They were a deep purple or black. Do you have any idea what this plant might be? Answer: I am pretty sure I know this plant from your description. It sounds like Pokeweed. Pokeweed is a perennial weed that reseeds freely in our climate. Be careful with pokeweed as it is poisonous. The roots and stems are the most poisonous. Poisoning rarely happens as the plant parts are extremely bitter. Birds that feast on seeds and berries find the fruit to be tasty and enjoy eating and of course, depositing seeds. Control by digging out the plants. Even though pokeweed is poisonous early settlers would eat the tender young shoots early in the spring when they first emerge. They had to cook it twice draining the water to ensure the chemical that caused the poison was cooked out. Thankfully today we have a number of tasty greens! WHAT TO DO WITH FOUND HORSERADISH Question: We moved into a home that has a small patch of

horseradish. Can we dig and use the horseradish? Answer: Horseradish is highly adaptable to our climate. The roots are ready to dig after a hard freeze has killed the tops. Dig and harvest the larger roots allowing the small pencil size or so to remain in the ground for next year’s crop. Once dug wash off the dirt and you are then ready to process. Start by peeling the skin then chop into small pieces to fit into your blender or food processer. Place the segments in the processer with a small amount of water to blend. Keep in mind that as you chop, the plant will give off a very strong odor. It is recommended to leave the lid off the processer to avoid getting a strong whiff of the horseradish as the fumes are allowed to escape. Blend until you have a grainy texture. At this point add vinegar or lemon juice to stop the flavor compounds from developing or wait up to three minutes or so for a stronger or more pungent flavor. The vinegar or lemon juice stops the development of the compounds that create the flavor. A little salt will help improve the taste. Remember be careful and avoid breathing concentrated fumes as it will open up your sinuses. 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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When to say goodbye to trees

Tom DePaepe


s an arborist, I am very fond of trees. On vacations, I frequently take pictures of trees and point out the different varieties growing wherever we are and how they differ from trees in Kansas City. As much as I enjoy trees, however, in the urban environment there are times when the best option is to simply say goodbye and move on – some trees just aren’t worth saving. And that’s okay. Lightning strikes. Trees are especially susceptible to lightning strikes, because they are often the tallest point in a landscape. When lightning strikes a tree, sap boils, steam is generated and cells

explode in the wood. This results in strips of bark or wood being blown off the tree. You may notice damage on one side of the tree, or on both. Sometimes damage is belowground and no noticeable signs of a strike are visible on the trunk. In this case, the leaves will begin to wilt and show stress. Some trees will survive a lightning strike, but it is a game of ‘wait and see’. If the lightning strike is severe enough, the tree cannot be saved and should be removed to avoid damage to personal property down the road. Extensive storm damage. Along the same lines of a lightning strike, trees that have sustained major limb losses as a result of the high winds that accompany many Midwest storms, may not be worth saving. If more than one-third of the canopy has been compromised, it may be time to consider removal. Likewise, large trees that are leaning from the base, or have been uprooted even slightly, cannot be saved and should be removed

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promptly. It is not possible to simply right them – the trees will not heal and is a hazard. Trees that consistently grow too close to the house. In arboriculture we discuss ‘right tree, right place’ quite a bit. That’s because this is not a concept that is widespread in practice. As a result, trees that will eventually grow very large end up planted too close to a home or power lines. If you find yourself constantly fighting a tree to keep it away from your house and out of your power lines, it is best to remove the tree, and replace it with a tree or shrubs better suited for that space in your landscape. Damage to the root zone. If you recently built your house or had other maintenance work done (installing a new driveway, for instance), there could be some construction damage to a tree’s root system. If any part of the root zone has been compromised, you will need to keep a close eye on the tree for signs of decline. If the damage is significant enough, you will want to remove the tree. It can be tricky to decide when it is time to remove a tree. In some cases, it can take a tree years to die

on its own, and it will slowly show signs of decline. Other trees pose risks to homes and other personal property and should be removed promptly. If you have concerns about a tree, visit and find a certified arborist in your area who can come out and evaluate the tree. We tend to be very sentimental about our trees – the bigger the tree, the more we feel like we want to save it, no matter the cost. Instead of seeing trees as permanent fixtures in your landscape, you should view them as fluid. After all, trees are living organisms, not statuary, and all living things decline with time. That said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have a tree that is especially important to you – keep an eye on it so you can identify potential problems before they get out of hand. The sooner you react to issues, the better off your tree(s) will be in the long run. Tom DePaepe is an ISA Certified Arborist with Ryan Lawn & Tree. He can be reached at 816-2461707 or at tomdepaepe@ryanlawn. com.

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The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

Light up the Nights

Diane Swan


here is nothing more relaxing than to come home from a stressful day and take a stroll around your Water Garden. It’s time well spent. But what about all those times when you get home too late? This

lights available are duo purpose and can be used in the water or out. A clear pond is essential to enjoying underwater lights. Keep your filtration system clean and working. By faithfully adding beneficial bacteria you will be able to maintain water clarity. In the winter, pond lights will illuminate ice sculptures, causing them to sparkle even more. Here are a few points to ponder: • Keep the water garden as natural as possible by using soft, white lights. • A light aimed at a plant or

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time of year especially, as we head into winter, the sun sets sooner, and it’s too dark to enjoy the Water Garden at the end of your day. Landscape lighting is the ideal way of lighting up your pond, plantings, walkways, and special garden features. Highlights and shadowing can give a whole new dimension to your garden that you cannot see during daylight hours. In the same respect, placing underwater lights in your pond can give a whole new perspective of plants, fish, and rocks. The interaction of water and lights yields reflection and sparkles that dance on your pond’s surface as well as the surrounding rocks and plants. Underwater lights are easy to install. Just place in strategic areas. Leave enough cord coiled around the light (for pulling out to replace bulbs) cover with a little gravel and rocks, and plug into a transformer and GFCI outlet. Landscape and underwater lights can be plugged into the same transformer. Some

accent on the edge of the pond will reflect on the surface toward the viewer. • Point lights away from where people gather to view your pond. • The closer the objects to the light, the more they are highlighted. • Underwater lights can be placed under the object to be highlighted, such as a waterfalls. • Position lights to cast a light under the leaves of water lilies. The backlit leaves and flowers display different hues as the light passes through their varying densities. • Keep lights higher in your pond for easy maintainence. Adding lights will extend the viewing time of your water garden. In the winter you will be able to enjoy the wonderful scenes of water flowing through the snow and glistening ice sculptures. Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-837-3510.

November 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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Patrick’s Picks: Extending the Season by Forcing Bulbs Patrick Muir


ust imagine witnessing gorgeous crocus opening their engaging blooms from the comfort of your brightly lit office desk in January. Yes, January! Or perhaps better yet, being greeted by the heavenly scent of hyacinths upon your return from a crazy day at the office on a snowy day in February. Yes, February! You can thank those gardeningcrazed British subjects who developed the art of forcing bulbs during ye good old Victorian times. They even invented the simple but alluring forcing vases that look beautiful displayed in your home in or out of season. You can count on Ebay to find a great selection of these kinds of vases starting at under $5.00. You can also place your bulbs in a few inches of pebbles in a clear bowl but it’s more difficult ensuring the bulbs are placed continually right above the rocks and not actually in the water where they are mostly prone to rotting.

I strongly recommend buying and displaying in multiples of three for the most effective and engaging displays in your home or office. Or better yet, start plenty to give as gifts with buds just about to bloom. The most memorable of gifts are those that keep on giving when the container is displayed all by itself. Just like bulbs planted outside, the cool temperatures stimulate a biochemical response inside the bulb that “turns on”, so to speak, the embryonic flower so it starts developing. Place bulbs in a brown paper bag and place in a refrigerator for no less than 12 weeks. Be careful not to place the bulbs near apples or pears that produce ethylene gas causing the bulbs to rot. Any crocus bought at your local garden center is a good candidate for forcing. After their prolonged stay in your refrigerator, bring some out every 10 days or so to extend the charming effect of these early glimpses of spring. Hyacinths are trickier as experts agree there are certain varieties that are the best candidates for this kind of treatment. One of the most interesting sources for these varieties is steered at the helm by one of the most intriguing personalities in horticulture today. With a master’s degree

in historic preservation, Scott Kunst was employed as a landscape historian helping museum sites and homeowners research and restore their grounds. In 1993 he founded the appropriately named Old House Gardens ( in Ann Arbor, MI dedicated to rescuing and promoting antique bulbs with the help of European sources and today relies on 22 small growers in the United States. Kunst has a special section of his website dedicated to forcing bulbs in several manners. Specifically for forcing he recommends ‘Lady Derby’ sporting a mass of soft pink florets that has been in commerce since 1875. He also recommends ‘Gypsy Queen’, a “newcomer” coming into commerce in 1927, which was described by Rand Lee

in The American Cottage Gardener as sporting “luminous apricot color with melon undertones and considerable fragrance.” When you remove the bulbs from their faux winter in your refrigerator, you have to manage a careful transition in the amount of sun they can handle. When you first take them out of the refrigerator, only expose them to subdued light for 7-10 days. Then place them in the brightest, but not direct lighting, in your house. Be sure to turn them every day or so to ensure they grow straight and don’t topple over their antique glass vase holder. Please note, the forcing process takes so much energy out of all types of bulbs, they can’t be replanted in the ground to return next spring. So do yourself a big favor and jump in head first into forcing bulbs to chase away those winter blues. In return for providing these instructions and inspiration, please share your results with us on the The Kansas City Gardener Facebook page. Patrick Muir is a former Johnson County Master Gardener. He can be reached at patrickmuir808@ and you can subscribe to his blog at


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The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

Photo by Bob Fowler.

Fifteenth Annual Holiday Luminary Walk at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens


radition! You either have holiday traditions in your family or you need to start creating them now. The annual Holiday Luminary Walk at the Overland Park Arboretum is a great place to start. Thousands of families have made the Luminary Walk the official kick-off of their holiday season. Tickets can be purchased in advance at area Westlake ACE Hardware stores and Hen House, or online at if you would like to expedite your family’s entrance. Thanksgiving weekend marks the fifteenth year of this very special event in south Overland Park. On Friday and Saturday nights, November 28 and 29, and then again on December 5 and 6, Friends of the Arboretum volunteers and staff will transform the Arboretum into a wonderland of candles and lights, music and merriment from 5 to 9 pm. Thousands of candles illuminate the pathways and trails. Holiday lights brighten the trees, buildings and bridges. Entertainment includes “Santa’s Woodland Depot,” where Santa himself appears from 5:30

to 8:30 (sponsored by Prosperity Advisory Group); carolers throughout the gardens, a bonfire, a native American flute player deep in the wooded trails, and refreshments. A brand new Gnome Village feature is sure to delight onlookers this year, in addition to the spectacularly decorated Train Garden and a child-size Gingerbread House. Tickets are $8 and include a horse-drawn hay wagon ride, courtesy of Presenting Sponsor Westlake Ace Hardware. The Luminary Walk is free for children five and under, and parking is free. The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is located at 8909 West 179th Street, about a half mile west of the 179th street exit from 69 Highway. It’s an easy drive from anywhere in the metro KC area. Often called “the hidden jewel of Overland Park,” the Arboretum’s 300 acres contain beautiful gardens and walking trails, all of which take on an enchanting nighttime beauty during this unforgettable holiday event. Make the Luminary Walk at the OP Arboretum a holiday tradition for your family!

November 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

Prairie Star Flower Blog is Award Winner


ansas State University’s Prairie Star Flower blog has been named the winner of the “Outstanding Education Materials Award” by the American Society for Horticultural Science Extension Division. The blog, found at www.prairiestarflowersblog. com, contains colorful photos, garden design tips and the latest research findings in the Prairie Star flower annual trials. Prairie Star flowers are annual bedding plant varieties tested by K-State to determine those that are best suited for the transitional prairie climate. To be included on the Prairie Star list, flowers have to exhibit superior performance for two or more years in research trials in Olathe, Wichita, Hays and Colby. The blog is written by K-State Research and Extension floriculture specialist Alan Stevens and research associate Robin Dremsa to aid gardeners at all experience levels in choosing the right plant for the right place in the landscape.

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Photos by Ken O’Dell.

Osage orange tree leaves

New Hedge apple 1/4 of mature size

Orange colored covering of Osage orange roots

Seed inside mature Hedge apple with 5� long pen for scale

Aphrodite Platko used hedge apples as holiday decoration at OP Arboretum

Old Osage orange fence post used at Indian Grass Prairie Restoration project


Above: Osage orange fruit on tree Below: Mature Hedge Apples

The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

The Tree that Fenced the Prairie America’s Osage Orange, the Greatest Tree Mother Nature Ever Produced

Ken O’Dell


efore the turn of the 19th century, the tree called Osage orange was unknown outside Native American communities. Lewis and Clark changed that. In 1804 Meriwether Lewis wrote to Thomas Jefferson about the explorers’ discovery of a new species of tree he called the Osage apple (a rare case, apparently, of “apples and oranges” being the same thing). Over the next 14 years this tree was given eight different scientific names. Today, Maclura pomifera is the accepted botanical name— Maclura in honor of William Maclure (1763-1840), and pomifera meaning “apple-bearing.” Osage orange is a tough, ragged, drought-resistant tree growing to 40 feet tall or more. Trees are male or female, with the females producing the large round fruit commonly called hedge apples. In early autumn we see the grapefruit-size fruits of their labor scattered on the ground beneath their strong, rugged limbs. At 81 feet tall, 62 feet wide and nearly 17 feet in circumference, the Kansas state champion Osage orange tree is in Olathe. This grand old tree racks up 298 points and is listed by the Kansas Forest Service (Kansas State University) “Champion Trees of Kansas” as the state champion (find out how points are determined at www. Mature trees have dark, oneinch-thick orange-brown bark. The

colorful wood is desired by woodworkers because of its dark golden heartwood, which is highly resistant to insects and decay. The straight young branches are smooth but become very crooked and irregular with age. The roots of the Osage orange have layers of a thin, papery, bright orange covering similar to the thin peeling bark of a birch tree. Thorns on the younger, smooth branches are dropped from the older branches. Split a fully mature hedge apple in half and you will find a hundred or more tiny seeds, smaller than the seeds of a grapefruit. The inside of the hedge apple has a sticky, milky juice. Seeds are a creamy-white color. Squirrels, quail, raccoons, deer, rabbits and skunks eat the seed and sometimes the pulp. There is an “old husbands’ tale” about using hedge apples to kill cockroaches. There are two ways for this to work. One is to drop the hedge apple from about four feet, directly onto the cockroach. Or throw the hedge apple as hard as you can and aim right between the cockroach’s eyes. But I digress. By 1865, a publication called The Kansas Farmer recommended planting Osage orange to create hedge rows. In 1867, the Kansas legislature gave $2 for every 40 rods of hedge (that’s 660 feet, or an eighth of a mile). Before the 1960s, Kansas was shipping as many as three million Osage orange fence posts a year on box cars to all points in America. The farmers and ranchers of the Great Plains needed fences, but so did the railroads, as the government had passed a law that the railroads must fence their tracks to keep from killing livestock. In our soil

November 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

Osage orange tree in April and climate hedge will grow about three feet a year. Cut to the ground, a sapling would produce twice as much new growth to fence post size in three years. Thus the fence post business was thriving. Livestock farmers needed to build pens that were “horse high, bull strong, and pig tight.” To do this they would sometimes plow a furrow, put a solid row of hedge apples in the bottom, and run the wagon wheels back and forth to break up the seed balls. Then they covered the furrow and waited for Mother Nature to do the rest. Hedge provided food and shelter for birds, rodents, snakes, hedgehogs and rabbits. The greatest value of all—sheltering from wind—had yet to be recognized, but the Dust Bowl of the 1930s would soon increase the planting of Osage orange to monumental numbers. Some say the Osage orange is the greatest tree Mother Nature has ever produced. Between 1865 and 1939, farmers and ranchers in Kansas planted 39,000 miles of

Osage orange hedge row. But the manufacture of steel fence posts took over the fence post business in the 1960s. I love to look at old Osage orange fence posts still standing on Kansas farms and ranches. The next time you go to the Somerset Ridge Winery in Miami County, Kansas, you may notice the Indian Grass Prairie Restoration Project done by the Kansas Biological Survey and the University of Kansas on Somerset Road just south of Highway 68. There they have used some beautiful old Osage orange posts to hang the gates. Weathered, cracked and beaten up by the glare of life, these posts are as beautiful as the tall grasses and wildflowers planted on this 40 acre plot. Ken O’Dell is a long-time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. He 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. 13

The Bird Brain

Watching for Cold Weather Visitors Tips for Ground Feeding

Doc & Diane Gover


ttract and enjoy watching a greater variety of birds near your regular feeders by providing a ground-feeding option. Use an open tray feeder, with a screen bottom, that is elevated off the ground. The elevation and screen will allow for air circulation and a drier feeding station. Fill it with a quality seed blend that has a high percentage of white

proso millet. This is a small round seed about the size of the head of a pin and is light gold in color. White proso millet is a favorite of ground feeding birds such as the Dark-eyed Junco, Mourning Dove, Cardinal, Blue Jay, House Finch, American Tree Sparrow, Whitecrowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and Harris’s Sparrow. Remember, not all sparrows are House Sparrows. Many other species will enjoy the ground feeder with the addition of fruit, suet snacks and mealworms (alive or dried). We have had a great response by Mockingbirds to over-ripe pears and grapes as an offering. Blue jays would be particularly interested in peanuts in-the-shell (raw or roasted but not

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salted). Bluebirds and Cardinals would certainly enjoy the suet snacks and mealworms. Always remember patience with a new offering as birds find their food by sight. They will hop along the ground inside, or just outside, of a protective cover area scratching and searching for food. Providing an open tray feeder allows birds to find food and also allows unobstructed views for your observation and enjoyment. Place the feeder near vegetation that allows birds a quick hiding place from predators. About 3 feet from bushes or a brush pile is far enough to expose prowling predators, but close enough for a quick flight hiding place. When birds have a water source near their food it greatly increases the chances to attract them. They


need water to drink and bathe in, especially in the winter months when most water sources are frozen. Add a bird bath heater to an existing birdbath or a heated birdbath to ensure that a dependable water source is available even on the coldest of days. Your birds are all set, now all you have to do is nestle in with your binoculars and field guide and enjoy your feathered visitors right outside your window. If you have any questions our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists are always glad to help you. Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

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The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

Pets and Plants Hazardous Bulbs

Wetland Conservation Book Signing

By Phil Roudebush, DVM, DACVIM


any common indoor and outdoor plants have bulbs, which contain a variety of toxic agents. Some of these toxic compounds occur in other parts of the plant but most occur in highest concentrations in the bulb. Dogs are exposed by eating bulbs before they are planted, digging up bulbs recently planted in the garden or consuming bulbs from indoor containers. Common plants with bulbs that can be potentially hazardous to dogs and other pet animals include daffodil (Narcissus species), tulip (Tulipa species), hyacinth (Hyacinthus species), iris (Iris species), cyclamen (Cyclamen species) and gladiolus (Gladiolus species). Toxic compounds include crystals and saponins that cause severe tissue irritation and drooling, and alkaloids that trigger nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Ingestion of large quantities of bulbs can lead to more serious problems such as increased heart rate, abnormal heart rhythms, abnormal breathing and seizures. Fortunately, many bulbs contain compounds that induce rapid, intense vomiting, which usually purges the animal of most of the dangerous plant material. Two plants of special note are the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), also known as meadow saffron or naked lady, and glory lily (Gloriosa species), also known as flame lily, fire lily, gloriosa lily, superb lily, climbing lily or creeping lily. All parts of autumn crocus

• • • • • •

and glory lily are poisonous but the bulb-like corms (autumn crocus) and tubers (glory lily) contain high concentrations of the drug colchicine. Drooling, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, liver and kidney failure, seizures and even death have been reported after animals ingested large amounts of these plants. Clinical signs may be seen immediately or can be delayed for several days. Of historical interest is use of roots from Rocky Mountain Iris (Iris missouriensis) by Native Americans. Roots of this wildflower contain the poison named irisin. Roots were ground, mixed with animal bile, put in a gall bladder and warmed near the fire for several days. Arrow points were dipped in this mixture and used for hunting or war purposes. It is reported that some warriors slightly wounded by such arrows died within several days. Bulbs from plants commonly found in the garden or home are potentially hazardous to dogs and other pet animals. Keep bags of bulbs away from pets and contact a veterinarian if bulbs or any other significant amount of plant material is consumed.

he success of Missouri’s waterfowl and wetland conservation is not an accident. Skillful execution of welldesigned plans, public and private partnerships, strong citizen support and dedicated funding have all led to the quality wetland habitats and migratory bird populations we enjoy today. A new book, Waterfowl Hunting and Wetland Conservation in Missouri — A Model of Collaboration, chronicles this success. Come learn more about the book from co-author Jeff Churan followed by a book signing. For more information, email

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Phil Roudebush is a retired veterinarian, specialist in small animal internal medicine and adjunct faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. He is an Extension Master Gardener in Shawnee County, Kansas. He can be reached at

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November 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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Photo by Scott Woodbury.

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The Grow Native! program can help you create butterfly-friendly habitats that will help monarch butterflies and other beneficial insects. Visit for a native plant database, resource guide to native plant seed and plant providers, and more resources.

In the garden of Jan and James Trager (Audubon Certified Bring Conservation Home Platinum Garden) were red salvia, snow on the mountain, zinnia, tropical milkweed, and no surprise, monarch butterflies.

My Winter To-do List for the 2015 Garden Season By Scott Woodbury


his late summer and fall I visited three gardens that had an abundance of insect diversity, most noticeably, monarch butterflies. Each had mixtures of native and non-native perennials and a variety of colorful nonnative annuals. It was terrific to see so much monarch activity after the population crash last winter in Mexico. I assume the extra milkweeds planted this year made a difference, but am sure of one thing. Monarch butterflies and many other butterflies, skippers, bees, and wasps are attracted to urban and suburban gardens that are full of flowering plants especially longblooming colorful annuals.

I noticed it first at St. Louis Community College in Kirkwood where an unusual amount of monarch butterflies were darting between non-native Mexican sunflower, purpletop vervain, and tropical milkweed. Strange as it may seem, they had more monarchs than the native Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO! Mental note for 2015: plant more colorful native annuals like rocky mountain bee plant, Helen’s flower, western wallflower, and partridge pea. I noticed the same at the St. Louis garden of Mark Kalk and Mark Lammert (National Wildlife

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Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat) who had a steady flow of monarchs getting nectar from non-native cleome, lantana, and Victoria blue salvia. They also observed several monarch chrysalises hanging on the garage gutter nearby. Mental note #2: install a horizontal board 4 to 7 feet high near milkweed patches for monarch chrysalis production. At the third garden of James and Jan Trager (Audubon Certified Bring Conservation Home Platinum Garden) were red salvia, snow on the mountain, zinnia, tropical milkweed, and no surprise, monarch butterflies. Third note: get Audubon and National Wildlife Federation native habitat certification for the Whitmire Wildflower Garden and install a Wild Ones sign that says “This garden is in harmony with nature.” All three organizations have native garden/habitat yard signs that identify native gardens. Recently my gardening friend, Linda Ellis, told me about Richard and Joan Heitzman who wrote the acclaimed Butterflies and Moths of Missouri book. They were amateur entomologists and butterfly gardeners who planted rows of zinnias, Mexican sunflowers, African daisies, and night-blooming flowering tobacco (for moths). The plantings

resembled runway strips that led to a garden full of Missouri native plants. Linda said that they brought in the butterflies with the eyecatching colors and nectar rewards and kept them there with the native plants to nest and catch prey in and lay eggs on. A list of suppliers of native plants, plugs, and seed is available in the Resource Guide at www. The Heitzmans realized that many annuals attract many butterflies—like the way my 7-year-old who can’t get enough ice cream at grandma’s house. Nearly every day he walks next door for a peek in the freezer and comes home with something delicious on his face. Final garden note: make sure the 2015 garden is full of delicious annuals. Collect seeds now, store them dry in the fridge, grow and plant liberally in spring. Happy gardening ya’ll. Horticulturalist 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 the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program.

The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

A Gardener’s Q&A O

n Saturday, November 15, Gardeners Connect has a question and answer panel planned, and quite a distinguished panel of garden experts has agreed to field questions. The free program is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. Here’s the panel of garden experts: Matt Bunch, lead horticulturist for The Giving Grove, which is dedicated to planting and arranging for stewardship of edible tree and bramble gardens. It is an affiliate of the Kansas City Community Gardens. Matt formerly managed the Heartland Harvest Garden at Powell Gardens and before that the native plant gardens at the Discovery Center; Ricki Creamer, co-owner of Red Cedar Gardens, a small, family owned garden boutique and nursery started in the late 1980s near Stilwell, Kan. They have hostas, peonies, daylilies and other interesting perennials. They also have tropical ferns, ivies and herbs for container gardening. The garden shop is filled with unique collections of terra cotta pottery, iron and cast stone urns, garden furniture and accessories for the home. Their

mature English garden, started in 1976, is open to the public. They also have classes and wonderful house, plants and accessories for fairy gardens; Dennis Patton is Johnson County’s K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent who coordinates the Johnson County Master Gardeners program. He also is chairman of the executive committee for the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Anne Wildeboor, horticulturist for Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens since January. She formerly was horticulturist for seasonal displays and special events at Powell Gardens. She began interning at Powell Gardens before graduating in 2000 with her agriculture/ greenhouse management degree from Kansas State University. She became the senior gardener for the Perennial Garden, then left Powell to work at a private estate in Kansas City and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She returned to Powell Gardens in 2008. Gather your gardening questions and your friends, and join us for this educational and inspiring event.

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November 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

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

Club Meetings African Violets of Greater Kansas City Mon, Nov 10, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-784-5300 Bonsai Society of GKC Sat, Nov 8, 9am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop/Auction. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Nov 3, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Nov 12, noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Visitors are welcome. Luncheon will be served so please call for reservations at 913-592-3546. Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Nov 15, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-784-5300 Independence Garden Club Mon, Nov 10, 6:30pm; at the Sermon Center 4th floor, corner of Truman and Noland Rds, Independence, MO. Our program will be brought by Tim Smith on Holiday Flower Arranging. Refreshments will be served and visitors are welcome. For more information please call 816-3731169 or 816-812-3067. Visit us at our website Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Nov 16, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-784-5300 Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Nov 3, 10am; at Loose Park

Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Julie Perez, Master Gardener, will speak and show photos of “Nurseries and Gardens of the Northwest USA” including Schreiner’s Iris Growers, Adelman’s Peonies and Sebright Nursery along with rainforest plants of the Oregon coast and the famous Portland Japanese Gardens. Visitors are always welcome. You will also be tempted to buy many wonderful home baked items at our annual bake sale. Bring a sack lunch. Drinks and desserts are provided. 816-5693440 Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Nov 11, 7pm; at Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, 1263 N 1100 Rd. We explore all aspects of an herb: growing and harvesting, historical lore, culinary virtues, medicinal merits, and aromatherapy, household, and cosmetic applications. Our gatherings are fun and educational, and jam-packed with useful information, including relevant demonstrations. Everyone with an interest in herbs is welcome. There is a $2 charge to cover costs (KVHSG is a non-profit group; no charge for students). No pets. Nursing babies and children over 10 are welcome. Leawood Garden Club Tues, Nov 18, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St. About noon, Bud Smith, Master Gardener, will present Outdoor Container Gardening Tips and Tricks. Mr Smith’s extensive travels and old German gardening traditions he learned from his family strongly influence his gardening style. The meeting is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts provided. For more information, please visit our website, send an email to or call 913-642-3317. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Nov 11, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 SW

The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Refreshments will be provided, visitors are always welcome. Visit or call 816-540-4036 for additional information. Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Nov 15, 1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-784-5300 Northland Garden Club Tues, Nov 18, 7pm; at Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 N Norton, Kansas City, MO (just south and west of Penguin Park). The Garden Club will feature a presentation by Betty Goodwin on “Photography in Your Garden — Year Round.” Please check website for additional information: Olathe Garden Club Tues, Nov 18, 12:30pm; at Bass Pro Shop, 119th St and I-35. The program will be a hands-on program led by our president Kim Pegel. Kim always has neat ideas and this will be no exception. For more information, call Joan Shriver, 913-492-3566. Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City Sun, Nov 9, Beginners Group starts at 1:30pm. General meeting and presentation at 2:15; at Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Joe Meisel, Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, “Introduction to the Orchids of Tropical America.” The new book will be available to purchase. Open to the public. www. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Nov 10, 7pm; at Colonial Church, 71st and Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Our speaker will be Jeff Hawkins of Maverick Sun. Jeff and his father started this company to develop grow lights. It has developed further to include lighting and gardening accessories for the home. He will be demonstrating the hydroponic garden kits that they manufacture and will have a sample with him. This should be informative for those gardeners who are beginning to suffer withdrawal with the beginning of much colder weather. All are welcome. For further informa-

tion please contact Sallie Wiley 913-236-5193. Sho Me African Violets Fri, Nov 14, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-784-5300 South Johnson County Garden Club Thurs, Nov 20, 6pm; at Rolling Meadows Garden Center, 12501 W 151st St, Olathe, KS. Meetings are relaxed, fun with a friendly group of fellow gardeners. Cost is $15 for the rest of the year. Meetings include a topic for discussion and light refreshments. Email to RSVP your spot, or call 913-897-9500.

Events, Lectures & Classes November African Violet Club of Greater Kansas City Annual Judged Show and Sale Sat, Nov 1, 9am-3pm & Sun, Nov 2, 10am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st Street and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Info: Fred and Pat Inbody, 816-3736915; E-Mail: Plants Gone Wild! Thurs, Nov 6, 11:30am–1pm; at Sunflower Meeting Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Sponsored by the Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners. Join us for an entertaining and informative presentation by Lynn Loughary, Horticulture Extension Agent, as she discusses which plants are considered invasive in Kansas, why they behave so wantonly, and what to do about them. $5.00 fee. Registration not required. Call 913-299-9300 for more information. A World of Good Holiday Sale Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Nov 7 through Dec 7, 10am-5pm; at From the Summer’s Garden, 8601 Barkley St, Overland Park, KS. This holiday shopping experience fills both floors of the studio as well as surrounding gardens. You will find unique handmade

November 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

(continued on page 20)

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Powell Gardens adds plants to the Proven Winners® collection


The second, Gatsby Pink® Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘JoAnn’), was one of two cuttings given to Powell Gardens by JoAnn Mercer, a gardening friend of Branhagen’s. JoAnn had to move and give up her garden and its cultivar name is in her honor. This oakleaf hydrangea (pictured right) has 8-inch flowers that open white but quickly change to

Photos courtesy of Proven Winners.

hen cold weather arrives and you begin dreaming of new plants for your garden, take a look at the 2015 Proven Winners catalog for some amazing plants that have their roots at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden. Plant trials happen primarily behind the scenes at Powell Gardens but make important contributions to landscapes

near and far. For the first time, Powell Gardens has secured a licensing agreement to sell two wonderful plants that originated in trials at the garden. The first, a unique “Redtwigged” Silky Dogwood Cornus oblique trademarked Red Rover™ (pictured left) was discovered by Alan Branhagen on the Gardens’ remnant prairie and is valuable for its disease resistance and colorful red stems, usually found only on northern species that struggle in the lower Midwest. It also has a phenomenal burgundy-red fall color and porcelain blue fruit. 20

pink. It also is shorter than most, growing to around 6 feet tall, and shows superior hardiness. Powell Gardens currently has six more plants undergoing the extensive Proven Winners evaluation process and also is working on obtaining a licensing agreement for a new Flowering Dogwood with huge, blush pink flowers. Stay tuned for more announcements. Finally, note that Red Rover™ and Gatsby Pink® will not be available for sale in garden centers until 2016. So add them to your wish list for planting in the future.

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

(continued from page 19)

gifts and décor for the holidays and beyond. 913-579-5395; fromthesummersgarden.blogspot. com Full Moon Walk at the Arboretum Fri, Nov 7, 8-10pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, located at 8909 West 179th St, about a half mile west of the 179th street exit from 69 Highway. FOTA members - Free; $3 non-member - Adult; $1 nonmember (6-12). The full moon will light the paths. Star gazing, nigh time sights and sounds, bring the family and flashlights. No preregistration necessary. Herbalicious Holiday Meal Sat, Nov 8, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. This year make the holidays special by incorporating fresh herbs and taking a new twist on old favorites. Bring your appetite! During this class, you will get to sample at least three dishes that will delight your taste buds and change the way you cook your holiday dinners. A handout with recipes is included. $35/person, $29/member. Registration required by Nov 3. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Herbs & Cancer Class Sat, Nov 8, 1-3pm; Good Earth Gatherings, 858 E 1500 Rd, Baldwin City, KS. Did you know the rates of cancer have increased so substantially that The American Cancer Society now says every one in two men and every one in three women will be diagnosed with it? Shocking! Lawrence Herbalist Ocoee Miller teaches about cancer prevention and supporting the body with herbs while battling the disease. She will also talk about immune boosting herbs to stay strong. You won’t want to miss this important class by a local legendary herbalist! Instructor: Ocoee Miller ($29). Information & Registration:; 785691-5914 Make a Pysanka Ornament Sat, Nov 15, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Pysanka are colorful, rich in symbolism and beautiful when used as Christmas tree ornaments! Make a pysanka ornament using an egg, beeswax, dyes and a kitska (the writing tool). All supplies, ribbon hanger and instructional materials provided. Create one pysanka egg-ornament in class, and take home the kitska so you can create more pysanka ornaments at home! $39/project, $35/member. Registration required by Nov 10. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at Herb Book Group Wed, Nov 19, 10-11:30am; Good Earth Gatherings, 858 E 1500 Rd, Baldwin City, KS. In this unique book group, you don’t need to buy another book! Members give short presentations about herb books they’ve read. You will learn about herb books, herbs, and connect with other herb-loving folks. ($2) Every 3rd Wednesday. Information: Gourd Birdhouse and Ornament (Ages 6 & up) Sat, Nov 22, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Using a dried, cleaned and pre-drilled birdhouse gourd, you will paint and decorate a perfect abode for a bird. If you want to give it as a gift, a gift bag will be included. As a bonus, paint a miniature “birdhouse” gourd to use as a tree ornament or to attach to the gift bag. Please dress for messy creativity and painting. $39/ project, $34/member. Registration required by Nov 10. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at 15th Annual Holiday Luminary Walk Fri, Nov 28 and Sat, Nov 29, and Fri, Dec 5 and Sat, Dec 6; 5 to

The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

9pm each night; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, located at 8909 West 179th St, about a half mile west of the 179th street exit from 69 Highway. This major fund-raiser features a mile of candlelit trails, holiday lights and live entertainment, Santa for the kids, horse-drawn wagon rides, a bonfire and warm refreshments. Purchase tickets online at www. or at Westlake ACE Hardware stores and Hen House.

December 2014 Horticulture Trials RoundUp Thurs, Dec 4, 11:30am–1pm; at Sunflower Meeting Room, Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Sponsored by the Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners. Every year, the horticulture specialists at the K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center in Olathe test a large variety of flowers and vegetables to determine which varieties perform best in our climate. Please join us to hear the results of this year’s trials presented by horticulture specialists Robin Dresma and Kimberly Oxley. $5.00 fee. Registration not required. Call 913-299-9300 for information.

Winter Wreath Workshop Fri, Dec 5, 6-9pm; at Rolling Meadows Garden Center, 12501 W 151st St, Olathe, KS 66062. Get some of your friends and join us for a festive Holiday get together! We will assemble a beautiful winter wreath to enjoy throughout the season. Snacks, drinks, and creative design assistance will be provided. Preregistration is required. $45 for the class; due by 11/29 to ensure your spot. Limited availability. Sign up soon. 913897-9500 Holiday in the Tropics Terrarium Sat, Dec 6, 2-4pm; at Powell Gardens. Add tropical warmth to your holiday décor with an elegant terrarium filled with bromeliads, ferns and orchids. Plant and learn to care for your own 12-inch-tall terrarium. Materials provided include potting media, jars, plants and some decorative elements. Bring your own bobbles and trinkets to add pizazz to your creation. Gardening gloves recommended. Make a second terrarium as a gift. $59/project, $52/member ($45/ second terrarium). Registration required by Dec 1. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext. 209. Or register online at

Promote your gardening events in 2015! Send details of classes, workshops, seminars and meetings to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail: Deadline for December issue is November 5.

FREE! Bird Feeders Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood is offering free bird feeders with seed to any interested schools, libraries, assisted living facilities and parks. The feeders being offered are a result of a feeder tradein promotion held in September. Customers traded in quality feeders knowing that they would be given to deserving organiza-


Weather Repor t

Highs and Lows Avg temp 44° Avg high temp 53° Avg low temp 36° Highest recorded temp 82° Lowest recorded temp 5° Nbr of above 70° days 3

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 9 Avg nbr of cloudy days 14

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 1.1” Avg rainfall 1.9” Avg nbr of rainy days 8 Source:

From the Almanac Moon Phases Full Moon: Nov. 6 Last Quarter: Nov. 14 New Moon: Nov. 22

Plant Above Ground Crops: 2, 3, 22, 25, 26, 29, 30

Plant Root Crops: 6-8, 11, 12

Control Plant Pests: 14-17

Transplant: 2, 3, 29, 30

First Quarter: Nov. 29 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

November 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

tions. Hopefully this will allow even more people to share in the joy of backyard birdfeeding. Groups interested in receiving free feeders should stop by or call Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood for more information. The store location is 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. (913-491-4887) Feeders will be available on a first come first serve basis.

Plant Flowers: 22, 25, 26



garden calendar


• Rake fallen leaves from the lawn to prevent winter suffocation. • Fertilize bluegrass and tall fescue with high nitrogen fertilizer to promote root development and early spring green up. • Provide turf with ample moisture as it goes into winter. • Control dandelions, henbit and chickweed with a broadleaf herbicide. • Mow as needed into the fall at 2–3 inches. • Drain gas or add a stabilizer to lawn mower engine for winter storage and make needed repairs.


• Water newly planted trees and shrubs during dry spells of winter. • Evergreens, whether young or old, should have ample moisture during winter. • Protect young plants from rabbit damage by wrapping or making a wire screen. • Plant new trees and shrubs. • Rake leaves. • Check mulch layers and replace with a 2–4 inch layer. • Prune dead or hazardous limbs. • Do not prune spring flowering trees and shrubs until after bloom. • Protect trees from deer damage, either by fencing or timely applications of repellents.


• Sort apples in storage and remove spoiled fruit. • Clean and remove fallen fruit from around trees to reduce insects and disease next year. • Review garden notes about successes and failures in the garden. • Start planning garden for next year. • Remove all debris from the garden. • Take a soil test and make needed adjustments this fall. • Till garden soil and add organic matter. • Mulch strawberries after several hard freezes.


• Check plants for insects such as aphids and spider mites. • Keep plants away from heat vents and cold drafts. • Locate plants away from windows approximately 1 foot to protect from winter cold. • Stop fertilizing until spring, more fertilizer does not mean more growth. • Water as needed and avoid letting roots stand in water. • Rinse to remove dust from leaves. • Continue dark treatment of poinsettias for holiday re-blooming. • Plant and water amaryllis bulbs for Christmas bloom.


• Clean up rose beds to help reduce disease next season. • Mulch grafted roses with a mound of soil 6–8 inches. • Remove frost killed annuals. • Till annual flowerbeds and add organic matter to improve soil tilth. • Continue to plant spring flowering bulbs. • Dig and store tender bulbs, cannas, glads and others in a cool, dry area. • Cut back tall rose canes to 24 inches to prevent winter breakage. • Cut back perennial stocks to 4–6 inches. • Remove peony foliage to reduce disease. • Mulch perennials after several hard freezes.


• Clean and oil garden tools, sprayers and other equipment for winter storage. • Drain garden hoses and sprinklers and store indoors for increased life. • Use fall leaves to start a compost pile. • Turn compost pile to hasten breakdown. • Start a garden wish list for the holidays.

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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Green Industry Directory now available for CONSUMERS!

Johnson County topsoil & landsCape materials, llC Topsoil • Garden Mixes

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

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for a membership directory.

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Preorder your christmas Porch Pot and get 15% off 311 East 135th St. • Kansas City, MO 64145


Mon-Sat 8am-5pm, Closed Sun Park Place, 11547 Ash St. • Leawood, KS Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thurs-Sat 10am-7pm Sun 12-4pm


Park Place Holiday oPen House nov. 1, sat. 10am-6pm

amazing store specials, hot chocolate bar, christmas carolers, mini workshops for holiday decorating

The Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

Check out the November Garden Giveaway!

Professional’s Corner

Corona hand pruners


Visit KCGMAG.COM to learn how you can win. • Archive Issues to review • Garden Destinations to visit for inspiration • Garden Groups to join • Find a Professional for your project • Timely Articles on plants and people

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

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

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

November 2014 / The Kansas City Gardener

Meet Randy White, longtime Suburban Lawn and Garden manager. Name: Randy White Company: Suburban Lawn and Garden, Lenexa location at K 7 Highway and Prairie Star Parkway History: In 1980, I started with Suburban at the 105th and Roe store. I have worked almost every area and department in garden center retail operations. I left for a while in the ’90s to pursue other interests and other aspects of horticulture. In 2005, I returned to Suburban at 135th and Wornall to manage the perennials and annuals department. New location: I was excited when asked in 2010 to help open a new Suburban store in Lenexa, as Annual and Perennials Manager. The western area of the KC Metro is greatly under served with only a few places offering plant and landscape materials. The Lenexa location fills that need. We are seeing gardeners from Leavenworth, Bonner Springs, Olathe, Gardner, Lawrence and surrounding areas. We’ve been well received and are gaining more friends each year as we continue to grow. Next year we hope to be in our new “Greenhouse” with expanded inventory and services. Creative Containers: I have a special fondness for annuals and perennials. It is exciting to see new hybrids of old favorites and new trends in garden color. I particularly enjoy creating combinations of annuals and perennials in containers that give great color, texture and impact to the porch, patio, and landscape. It allows me the opportunity to explore my artistic side. I use plants like Ivy and Heuchera that hold color and leaves through the winter giving life and color during those cold winter months. You can also make containers that will winter over by using perennials that are a zone behind us (zones 3 and 4). Favorite tree: One of the best things about being a part of our new location, is being able to work with trees and shrubs again. It is like reconnecting with an old friend. I have enjoyed helping new homeowners and first-time homeowners with their landscape needs and recommend plant material that will suit their site needs. At this time of year, the most common question I am asked is, “What is your favorite tree for fall color?” My answer is always Parrotia persica. Flowering early spring, spectacular fall color, mottled bark and the architecture of its branching habit gives this tree year round interest and beauty. Spare time well spent: I like to travel visiting other gardens and garden centers. One of my favorites is Botanica in Wichita, Kan. They have used vegetables, annuals, and perennials in combinations that I had not considered before. Another favorite garden destination is Eureka Springs, Arkansas where public gardens are on nearly every street and a source of pride for the whole city. Contact: Suburban Lawn & Garden, 9160 Hedge Lane Terr. (K-7 & Prairie Start Pkwy), Lenexa, KS;; 913-897-5100 23

Big Maples Arriving POINSETTIAS

from our Farms mid November • Autumn Blaze Maple • October Glory Maple • Red Sunset Maple • Burgundy Belle Maple

Christmas TREES

Fresh Garlands & Wreaths available at 135th & Wornall and 105th & Roe locations

Dwarf Alberta Spruce is a small, dense evergreen, widely used as an accent specimen in the landscape or as a container accent planting.

$5 off reg price 2 gal size Large Trees at our 135th & Wornall and K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy locations

Plus 25-50 % off selected shrubs and grasses

What Can We Do For You this month? Leaf Clean Up Fertilize Trees Winterize Sprinkler System Call 816-941-4700


y b e l ng b a l ivi i a Av anksg Th

105th & Roe 913-649-8700

K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy 913-897-5100

135th & Wornall

The816-942-2921 Kansas City Gardener / November 2014

KCG 11Nov14  

garden, forcing bulbs, pets, horseradish, osage orange tree, roses, trees