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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

November 2016

Winterberry Reds

The Bird Brain We Could Use More Fungus Expert Panel to Answer Gardening Questions Meet James Scovil in Professional’s Corner


November 2016 |

FAT BIRDS are warm birds KEEP ‘EM HAPPY ALL WINTER LONG WITH HELP FROM WESTLAKE ACE HARDWARE! 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.

FILL THEIR Feeders BIRDS BRAVE WINTER WITH FOOD, SO KEEP FEEDERS CHOCK-FULL OF DELICIOUS SEED. plants provide nesting sites Tip: native & natural food & shelter for inclement

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The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

A new garden cat

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Contributors Nik and Theresa Hiremath Susan Mertz Dennis Patton 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

A garden without cats, it will be generally agreed, can scarcely deserve to be called a garden at all…much of the magic of the heather beds would vanish if, as we bent over them, there was no chance that we might hear a faint rustle among the blossoms, and find ourselves staring into a pair of sleepy green eyes. ~ Beverley Nichols


y family knows this about me: given half a chance, I could easily be a cat lady. Not the haggard crazy one who lives in a house with no utilities and two dozen cats. Rather, I’d be the lady out in the country, with a cat ranch, situated on plenty of acreage to foster abandoned cats and kittens until they are adopted. I’ll spare you the details of my fantasy, but suffice to say it would be a dream come true. Since I live in a city that frowns upon such residential endeavors, and a husband who would “prefer” less pets rather than more, I expect it will remain my dream. (If you read one day that I’ve won the lottery, this is a hint as to how I’ll spend my fortune.) You may remember my notes in early spring lamenting the loss of my male cat. Charlie was 10 years old, had suddenly become terminally ill, and I grieved his death. That charming, lovable, brut of a cat was my garden pal, and it was weeks before I could spend

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anytime at all in the garden. Even the neighbors mentioned Charlie’s absence in the ’hood. As luck would have it, just five weeks later, Louie arrived. You see, Louie belonged to a friend of a friend. A couple of years ago, I had mentioned that I would take their cat if they were unable to find any takers close to home. They live in the northern Midwest and are moving to a drier, milder part of the country. Honestly, I never imagined that this handsome orange tabby would find his new home with me. When that phone call came, without taking a breath, emphatically I said “yes, of course, I want Louie!” Years ago, when I met Louie for the first time, I was smitten. And truth is, he like me too. We were buds from the start. For those who are underwhelmed by cats, I’ll

In this issue November 2016 • Vol. 21 No. 11 Luminary Walk .......................... 5 Ask the Experts ......................... 6 Bird Brain ................................. 8 Expert Panel to Answer Gardening Questions ................ 9 Winterberry .............................. 10 In the Garden ........................... 1 2

Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 17.

about the cover ...

November 2016 |


We Could Use More Fungus ...... 13 Upcoming Events ..................... 14 Powell Garden Events .............. 17 Garden Calendar .................... 18 Subscribe ............................... 17 Paperwhite Planting Party ......... 19 Professional’s Corner ................ 19

Learn more about Winterberry beginning on page 12. 4

stop with the details of our connection. {grin} Let’s just say I’ve never met a cat that I didn’t like. I’m a Jackson Galaxy wannabe. He is to cat lovers what Cesar Millan is to dog lovers. But I digress. When I’m in the garden, Louie is near. Laying beneath the canopy of hosta foliage, or in between the rows of liriope, he seems to appreciate quiet time. He’s young and energetic though, so when it’s time for shenanigans, you better stand back and watch the show. For the record, I have two cats. She is a 10-year-old female tortie. She’s a little skiddish, although she’s a terrific hunter of mice. Like me and cats, it is my hope that you too have essential ingredients for joy in the garden. I’ll see you in the garden!


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2016 Holiday Luminary Walk Dates Announced and Third Weekend Added


he Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Garden announces the 17th annual Luminary Walk will kick off Thanksgiving weekend and, due to popular demand, will run for an additional weekend. The Arboretum will be transformed into a wonderland of candles and lights, music and merriment from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings: Nov. 25 and 26, Dec. 2 and 3, and Dec. 9 and 10. “This is one of our most popular events of the year,” said Karen Kerkhoff, Arboretum supervisor. “The annual Luminary Walk provides an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to create lasting holiday memories.” In addition to adding a third weekend, there are some changes in store for the 2016 Luminary Walk. “The Gnome and Fairy Villages were so popular last year they caused a bit of a slowdown, so this year we are giving them their own optional loop,” said Irene Parsons, Friends of the Arboretum volunteer and Luminary Walk chairperson. “Many people saw the summer gnome homes in the Enchanted Forest, and now this will be a chance for everyone to see their winter homes.” The tour will be along the Mystical Loop and enhanced by the ethereal music of the tin whistle, performed live by Turlach Boylan or Molly McLaughlin. As is tradition, the Luminary Walk will feature thousands of candles illuminating the paths through the gardens and woods, while holiday lights brighten the trees, buildings and bridges. Lighted trains will

be running in the Train Garden, and Santa Claus will visit with children each night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in his Woodland Depot. Boy Scout Troop 222 will again be serving warm cider around the campfire, courtesy of Louisburg Cider Mill. The Serenity Trail through the quiet, candlelit woods will be another optional path, and will feature the music of Native American flute player Larry Daylight. In contrast, children will love the bright colors of the Children’s Garden and the child-size Gingerbread House. There will also be live musical entertainment in the Visitor Center each evening, with hot chocolate and treats for sale. Tickets for the Luminary Walk are $10 at the gate, but can be purchased in advance for $9 at area Westlake ACE Hardware stores and Hen House Markets, or online at Children 5 and under are free, and parking is free, as well. About the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Garden An easily accessible treasure in the Kansas City metro’s backyard, the Arboretum’s 300 acres contain beautiful gardens and wooded walking trails. It all takes on a unique nighttime beauty during the annual Luminary Walk holiday event, presented by Friends of the Arboretum, part of The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park. The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is located at 8909 West 179th Street – 10 minutes south of I-435 and Metcalf, just west of 69 Highway.

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Ask the Experts Readers share their questions about landscape issues, and DENNIS PATTON gives expert tips and advice. WEED TREATMENT Question: Earlier this fall I seeded bare areas in my lawn. I now have a few weeds that have germinated along with the grass. Can I still treat weeds in November? Answer: Many people reseeded this fall. It was a good season for germinating grass with the cooler temperatures and timely rainfall. Unfortunately there are several weeds that like to germinate under the same conditions as grass. These include dandelions, henbit and chickweed that really don’t show much until they burst into bloom come spring. Newly seeded grass should be mature enough before a herbicide application can be safely made. The product label will have these guidelines but most products

require at least two mowings of the newly seeded grass. November is still an excellent time to wipe out these fall germinating weeds. Applications made early to mid-November are highly effective. The effectiveness of the treatments later into the month depends on the growing season. November treatments with the cooler conditions usually result in a slower decline of the weeds. That means don’t expect wilting and death in a few days. FORCING PAPERWHITES Question: Last year I tried to force paperwhite narcissus and didn’t get any blooms. The bulbs were new. What went wrong? 
Answer: Several factors could have contributed to this problem. These range from lack of chill-

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ing requirements to too warm of temperatures while being forced. Paperwhite bulbs are usually prechilled before arriving on the market. Next time you might ask if the bulbs have been chilled to meet their internal dormancy requirements. Warm indoor temperatures can also hasten development and cause the flower to abort. Hope this helps. BLACK SPOT ON ROSES Question: I used a 3-in-1 product all spring and summer on my roses to prevent black spot but my roses are still tall sticks with few leaves at the tips. What do I have

Water’s Edge

(Last entry at 8:30)

Temperatures play key factor in success with forcing paperwhite bulbs.

November 2016 | 10/17/16 1:03 PM

to do to grow lush roses and get flowers? Answer: Black spot is a difficult rose disease to control. Many growers have started growing the more easy care varieties that are less susceptible. These roses usually don’t have as many petals and lack the beauty of a hybrid tea rose. With the rainy summer black spot was more of a problem. Control is best achieved by preventing its development early in the season. The other tip for better control is to alter fungicides throughout the summer. Each product works a little different and it spreads out your mode of action helping to reduce

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and most importantly cut or pinch back the new growth in the spring. This is akin to cutting mums back to create a short, stockier plant. When new spring growth reaches four to six inches cut back by half. Repeat this process one or more times stopping at the end of June. Cutting back, as with mums, develops bushier plants with shorter stems that tend to flop less.

There are solutions to prevent sedum from splaying out and flopping over. the issues. Using the same product all season long does not provide this protection. So in short use the so called 3-in-1 rose product but also add in another fungicide or two in the mix and spray between the monthly applications. See if that doesn’t help reduce the issues. FLOPPY SEDUM SOLUTIONS Question: My sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ was floppy and splayed open this fall. Any tips for next year? Answer: These late blooming sedums are wonderful additions to the garden as they provide color and the butterflies love to nectar. Unfortunately they are prone to flopping. Here a few tips to help make the stems sturdier. Plant in full sun locations. Lower light causes stretching and flopping. Don’t feed the plants, leaner plants are smaller and have less stem weight. Divide often as smaller clumps tend to flop less. Lastly

PROTECTING SUGAR MAPLE TRUNK Question: I have a sugar maple that I planted three years ago. Do I still need to protect the trunk from the sun in winter? Answer: That is a great question and I must give you one of my patented “well it depends” answers. Wrapping the trunk of thin and light colored barked trees such as maple is one of the best ways to help reduce sunscald injury caused by the absorption of heat from warm sun rays on a cold winter day. The recommendation is to continue to wrap the tree over the winter as long as the bark appears smooth and light colored. As the tree ages the bark becomes more textured and grooved. Once the bark is darker and appears more durable, then wrapping can stop. One last comment, when in doubt wrap as there is no harm and as they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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The Bird Brain Attention birders! THERESA HIREMATH identifies the most popular feeders among birds and birders, alike.


inter can be one of the most rewarding times to feed your birds. Summer leaves no longer obscure your view of the birds, and as sources of natural foods decline, activity at your feeders increases! To attract the most birds, birders prefer feeders like a large capacity squirrel proof feeder, a tail prop suet cake feeder, and a dinner bell feeder. Your bird feeding station should include at least one foundational feeder that does not have to be filled very often. This gives birds a reliable food source and ensures that you’ll have more birds to watch. You should keep your foundational feeder filled with fresh food that attracts local seed and nut eating birds. In addition to providing the appropriate food for your birds,

your foundational feeder should be large enough to allow many birds to feed at one time, and its capacity should be sufficient to last four days or more before refilling. If feeders are empty between fillings, the birds will not be as active as at a feeder that dependably provides food every day. It is important to place this feeder where it is easily seen from your windows and easy to reach and fill. Our favorite foundational feeder is a large capacity squirrel proof feeder, or a dinner bell feeder. In addition to your foundational feeder, it is important to provide suet for your birds. Especially during the cold of winter, suet provides a high fat, high calorie food that helps the birds survive the colder winter nights. To maintain their body temperatures, birds shiv-

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er throughout the night and lose body weight just staying warm. In fact, some small birds will lose as much as 10 percent of their body weight on a cold night. Suet is especially attractive to insect eating birds such as wrens, bluebirds, woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches. During winter, many birds will eat suet to satisfy their nutritional needs. Suet can be fed in cake, cylinder, pellet, log, or spreadable form. Our favorite feeders for suet include a tail-prop suet cake feeder, and a dinner bell feeder for suet pellets and suet cylinders. The most versatile feeder is the dinner bell feeder. You can

don’t know where to start?

feed both loose seed and seed or suet cylinders with this feeder. It is important that you change the seed in a tray feeder regularly, clean the feeder each time you replenish the seed, and prevent the seed from getting wet or growing mold or fungus. Because of the different ways and types of food that you can provide in the dinner bell, it can attract many varieties of birds including woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, finches, bluebirds, juncos, robins, cardinals, jays, sparrows, wrens, and doves. As you prepare for the cold months ahead, consider repositioning your feeders for easier access to fill and improved viewing of the birds. You might also change your feeders and food to attract the widest variety of birds and provide for their nutritional needs. With their natural food sources beginning to dwindle soon, this time of year can bring more and varied activities at your feeders if you’re prepared with your favorite feeders and the birds’ favorite foods. Happy birding! Nik and Theresa Hiremath own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

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Expert Panel to Answer Gardening Questions Saturday, Nov. 5, Discovery Center, KCMO

This is your chance to get your gardening questions answered and hear questions of other gardeners.


he free program, presented by Gardeners Connect and open to everyone, is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the Discovery Center. Coffee and some treats will be served the half hour before the program in the Lewis and Clark Room. Everyone is welcome This year we have enlisted five experts to field questions. All of them are horticulture professionals and have years of experience designing gardens, growing garden plants, and contending with our difficult growing environs: ■ Jeanne Johnson of Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins; ■ Wayne Vinyard, former owner of Longview Gardens; ■ Bill Malouche, Kansas City manager of National Nursery Products; ■ Melanie Cavender, owner of Down to Earth Gardening; and ■ Andy Wright, president of Royal Creations Architectural Landscaping Jeanne Johnson Johnson is one of the owners of Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins, which is southwest of Belton, Missouri. In the spring season you will find the 1½-acre greenhouse full of annuals and vegetable plants

along with 5,000 hanging baskets. Johnson Farms also offers a wide selection of perennials. In the fall they have an outstanding variety of mums. They also offer you-pick vegetables and pumpkins during the season along with lots of kids activities. Wayne Vinyard Majoring in floriculture, Vinyard graduated from the University of Missouri School of Agriculture in 1960. Wayne and his wife, Jan, worked at Longview Farm Greenhouse from 1962 to 1978, when that operation closed. In 1980, they established Longview Gardens on Bannister Road and operated it until 2007.

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has become an organized collection of plants, trees and shrubs.

Melanie Cavender Cavender has been owner and operator of Down To Earth Gardening for the past 30 years. While her primary focus is design and installation, frequently Melanie’s clients request the removal and redesign of overgrown, outdated plantings around their homes. She also creates seasonal container plantings. She started out trying to tame her wild yard in old Leawood. She has taken many classes from Jan Vinyard and Rikki Creamer and researched avidly on her own. Her large yard

Andy Wright Wright has been building outdoor spaces for nearly 20 years. He is responsible for the design, sales, and management of Royal Creations projects. Andy has designed several award winning projects. He has a degree in landscape architecture from Kansas State University and is a certified landscape professional. Founded in 1958, the mission of Gardeners Connect is “to inspire and educate members of our community to become more complete gardeners.” More information at

Bill Malouche Malouche studied horticulture at Kansas State University before working for several horticultural companies in the Kansas City area. For the past 24 years, Bill has managed the Kansas City office of National Nursery Products, a horticultural sales, marketing and consulting group representing regional and national wholesale growers to the green-

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‘Winter Red’


Winterberry Reds

ooking for a stunning shrub to be a highlight in the winter landscape? Winterberry is a solid contender. Ilex verticillata, commonly called winterberry, is a deciduous holly that is native to North America where it typically occurs in swamps, damp thickets, low woods and along ponds and streams. So she’s a natural for saturated areas in the Midwest like rain gardens and bioswales. Quickly recognized by the brilliant, red berries that persist throughout winter, the varieties pictured here are ideal for the residential garden. Unlike their cousins that grow to a mature height of up to 15 feet, the smaller winterberry will grow to only four to eight feet tall, keeping a round or mounded shape. She’s not fussy about soil, and grows easily in average, acidic, 10

medium to wet soils. In full sun to part shade winterberry will flourish. Adaptable to both light and heavy soils, but generally prefers organic loams. Low maintenance? Oh yes! Pruning isn’t necessary unless removing dead or broken branches, and it’s best done in late winter or early spring just before new growth appears. Winterberries are dioecious (separate male and female plants). Only fertilized female flowers will produce the attractive red berries that are the signature of the species. Generally one male winterberry will be sufficient for pollinating 6-10 female plants. You will treasure this plant as a spotlight in the garden, in mass plantings or cutting branches to use in a winter floral arrangement. Even though the fruit is not edible for humans, dozens of our

November 2016 |

favorite songbird species use hollies for food, cover and nesting. Another benefit for those that like to invite more wildlife to their garden. Also, according to the Humane Society of America Ilex berries can be toxic to pets. This is means that the plants are generally identified as having the capability for producing a toxic reaction. To see Winterberry holly (Ilex Verticillata ‘Winter Red’) growing beautifully, visit the Kauffman Memorial Gardens (4800 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, MO 64110). When selecting plants for your landscape, seek the advice of professionals at your local nursery or garden center. There’s plenty of holly information to discover at Holly Society of America, Inc. website: www., and search for this group on Facebook.

Fast Facts Name: Winterberry Type: Deciduous shrub Family: Aquifoliaceae Native: North America Zone: 3 to 9 Height: 3 to 8 feet Spread: 3 to 8 feet Bloom Time: Late spring Bloom Description: White Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Fruit: Red berries Attracts: Birds Uses: Border, hedge, container, cut flower, mass planting

Photo courtesy of

Above: Berries start out green before maturing to their signature red (below).

Photo courtesy of

Above: Male ‘Jim Dandy’ in spring bloom Photo courtesy of

Below left: ‘Little Goblin’; Below right: ‘Berry Poppins’

Above: ‘Berry Heavy’

The Kansas City Gardener | November 2016


Photos by Susan Mertz.

A Romantic Garden In the Garden, SUSAN MERTZ shares the highlights of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.


s Hurricane Matthew traveled up the eastern coast from Florida towards Charleston, I thought of our family vacation and the sites we saw in South Carolina. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, located on the banks of the Ashley River in Charleston, appeared to be in harm’s way. However, this is nothing new for the former planta-

tion. Dating back to 1671, it has survived the American Revolution, Civil War, Great Charleston Earthquake and Hurricane Hugo. First open to the public in 1872, the property today is available for weddings, events, scouting programs, campouts, and school field trips. Tours include telling the story of slavery to emancipation

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November 2016 |

and the history of growing rice. At the Audubon swamp garden, visitors can explore thousands of plants and animals. Under the canopy of live oaks draped with Spanish moss, we strolled along the garden paths and historic bridges. Knees of the bald cypress were showing along the banks of the lakes. Alligators floated by enjoying the sunny day. It was easy to feel as if we had escaped from the modern world and had gone back in time. Designed in the romantic garden style, the property has few open areas. Curved paths lead visitors from one garden room to another. Sometimes the paths end with a statue and other times with a bench or a gazebo. The spaces felt intimate, private. Fragrant flowers are a must in a romantic garden. Dating back to the 1800s, the collection of 20,000 camellias has earned Magnolia Plantation and Gardens’ designation as an International Camellia Garden of Excellence. Best grown in southern zones, Camellias have fragrant flowers from late fall through spring. Imagine how beautiful the gardens are in the spring with camellias, bulbs, dogwoods and azaleas in flower! In the 1840s, the first azaleas planted outside in a garden were at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. During our summer visit, the southern magnolias were beautiful. Cottage garden plantings included zinnias. In sunny spots along the paths, Rose of Sharons helped create the walls of the garden rooms.

Roses, hydrangeas and crape myrtles also added summer color to the gardens. I was thrilled to see a Franklinia in flower and thought about the first one the Bartrams had found growing in nearby Savannah, Georgia on one of their plant expeditions in the 1700s. Flowerdale, the first garden on the property, was planted in the 1680s. It is considered the “oldest, unrestored garden in America.” Surrounded by mature trees, the garden beds of annuals including caladiums and coleus are edged in boxwoods. I was fascinated with the Biblical Garden by the property’s entrance. From the old and new testaments of the bible, plantings include a fig, cinnamon, barley, flax, grapevine, olive and wheat. Beyond the red bridge is the conservatory with a beautiful collection of orchids and tropical plants. As I sit in my kitchen thinking about the bulbs that need planting and garden spaces yet to be created, I feel inspired by the gardens of this year’s travels. There are ideas to be explored and plants to try. I’m in awe of the properties and the gardeners who created them long ago and the ones that maintain them today. And, from a romantic garden created centuries ago, I’m inspired to add a few fragrant flowers to my garden. Perhaps, I could grow a camellia in a sunny window and see what happens. Join garden writer Susan Mertz for tours and photographs of gardens at

We Could Use More Fungus Among Us SCOTT WOODBURY discusses the gardener’s need for mycorrhizal fungi and healthy soil. Photo by Scott Woodburry.


eeing results is believing, especially when mycorrhizal fungi are concerned. Because many of these tiny soil-dwelling organisms are beneficial to plants, the horticulture team at Shaw Nature Reserve has purchased potting soil that contains one species of mycorrhizal fungi, Glomus intraradices. Most plants grow well in this amended potting soil in our production greenhouse. But even with the one species of fungi, some plants consistently turn yellow year after year, decade after decade. We used to propagate and sell about 80% of the species displayed in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO. We consistently struggled with the other 20%, many of which are common native plants like blazing star, rattlesnake master, wild indigo, slender mountain mint, and shining bluestar (these non-grass species are called forbs). Seeds germinated well and grew for several weeks, but then would turn yellow and stop growing, even after adding fertilizer, micro-nutrients or compost, which also has beneficial bacteria and fungi. Even in the Whitmire tallgrass prairie planting, the same forbs disappeared and were replaced by grasses—except in one section sown in 2003. In the 2003 section an abundance of forb species stand out including the plants listed above. There is a distinct line between the seeded sections. On one side are large amounts of flowers and grasses, on the other side an over-abundance of prairie grass. So what was different in 2003? The seed mixes have been about the same since the first prairie seeding occurred in 1992, but with one exception. Mycorrhizal fungi were added to the seed in the 2003 section, but not in any of the other sections. It took a decade or longer for this to become evident. I’ve read that there are upwards of 500 species of fungi that exist in remnant tallgrass prairie soil, as few as 5 species in fescue pasture,

and none in crop soils. When prairie plants die, so do the fungi that support them. So how does this relate to greenhouse production? On a hunch, we located the company that produced the original mycorrhizal fungi that went into the 2003 prairie seed mix, and started using it in the greenhouse. It included the one species of fungi that comes with standard potting soil plus 16 additional species. These mycorrhizal fungi come in a powder that is mixed with water and applied to the soil in pots just after seedlings germinate. Our plant production jumped this year from 80% to nearly 100% success. There were very few yellowing plants and we noticed increased vigor across the board. Greener, healthier plants filled the greenhouse and went home with happy customers at the annual Shaw Wildflower Market held every Mother’s day weekend. Now customers bring native plants plus living fungi home that spread and improve garden soil and plant health. Virtually invisible mycorrhizal fungi make a difference that I can see with my eyes and touch with my hands. But their rich diversity is not yet commonly available or known. Gardeners, landscape contractors, and nursery/greenhouse professionals can find products online and in some garden centers, but I wish we had access to the hundreds the species that grow in a remnant tallgrass prairie (all the more reason to conserve all the remnant prairies we can). I would add them to existing plants in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden. We

would sell native plants plus their specific mycorrhizal species at our wildflower markets in spring and fall. We would reconstruct acres of tallgrass prairie with them and I would even add them to my Christmas persimmon pudding if I could find a local ecotype sources! Make 2017 a year to learn and discover about the small things in life that really matter, like healthy soil and mycor-

rhizal fungi. My University of Wisconsin plant pathology professor used to say “There is a fungus among us.” I would say that we need more fungus among us. The Cooperative Extension service from the University of Alaska (yes Alaska) has a useful handout called Mycorrhizae in the Alaska Landscape. For further information I recommend looking it up online. Happy gardening! Horticulturist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO, where he has worked with native plant propagation, design, and education for more than 20 years. He also is an advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program.

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Buy locally grown! 5941 S. Noland Rd. • 816-353-2312 Easy to find on Noland Rd. between HWY 350 and HWY 40 The Kansas City Gardener | November 2016


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Club Meetings Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Nov 9, 12 noon; at Rose Room, Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Herbal Tablescapes and Mantles. Bring your dried herbs, ribbons, pumpkins, and Fall décor. We will be making some things for your Thanksgiving table. Potluck Lunch. Friends and visitors are welcome. RSVP so we can be sure to have supplies needed. Call Nancy at 816478-1640. Heart of America Gesneriad Sat, Nov 12, 10am-noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Idalia Butterfly Society Sat, Nov 12, 5:30pm Pot-luck Dinner, 7pm Presentation; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7700 Mission Rd, 66208. Free to the public. Native Plants of the Midwest & the Insects That Love Them. The Midwest is a treasure trove of native plants that not only please humans, but also support the many amazing insects that depend upon them. Alan Branhagen, Executive Director of Powell Gardens, will share his love of both plants and insects with advice on how to use natives in your garden for beauty and for attracting butterflies and other beneficial insects to your yard. The presentation will include information from Alan’s newly published book, Native Plants of the Midwest. KC Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Nov 20, 1:30-4pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. The club’s holiday potluck party is also coming up Sun, Dec 11, at noon in the Loose Park Garden Center. Besides having a yummy potluck meal, we’ll have a gardening-themed gift exchange and play bingo to win small cacti and succulents. Everybody wins at least 1 or 2 plants! Visitors are welcome at both of these enjoyable events. For more information, email Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Nov 7, 10am at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania,

Kansas City, Mo. The public is invited to attend. Susan Mertz will be speaking about one of her favorite topics, “Top Performing Perennials”. A very enthusiastic and learned gardener, Susan writes articles for “The Kansas City Gardener” magazine, and has presented programs for Gardener’s Connect and recently for the Kansas City Master Gardener’s state convention. She will also discuss growing tips and how you can add a layer of color and texture to your landscape and garden using perennials. The club will also be holding their annual bake sale where you can buy all sorts of home-made goodies including cakes, breads, cookies, honey, candies and more for very reasonable prices. Bring a sack lunch and enjoy drinks and snacks furnished by club members. 913-341-7555 Leawood Garden Club Tues, Nov 15, 10:30am; at Cure of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS. At about noon, Sara Crowder, Program Manager, Heartland Tree Alliance, will present “Status of the Emerald Ash Borer Infestation in Greater Kansas City.” The meeting is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts are provided. For more information, please email to leawoodgardenclub@ or call 913-642-3317. Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Nov 12, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Northland Garden Club Tues, Nov 15, 7pm; at Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 N Norton, Kansas City, Mo (just south and west of Penguin Park off Vivion). This month Carla Dods from Platte Land Trust will present “Partner with Nature” a program on integrating native plants into residential landscapes. For more info, see www. Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Nov 15, 11am; at the HyVee, 119th St & Ridgeview Rd, Olathe. The floral designer at HyVee will present the program on Holiday Arrangements. Lunch will be catered by HyVee for a cost of $8-$10. Public

is invited. Questions? Call Joan, 913492-3566. Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Nov 14, social 7pm, meeting 7:30pm; at Colonial Church, 73rd and Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS, lower level. Nancy Chapman, JOCOEMG is our speaker for this program – “Soil and Composting, No matter what you are growing, if you make the roots happy, the top will turn out just fine.” Fall is the best time to improve your garden soil. Mother Nature provides us with great resources of material to make compost, the very best amendment for Kansas clay soil. So get yourself ready by attending this program and learn why there is more to soil than just dirt. Visitors welcome. For more information, call Judy Schuck at 913-362-8480. Sho Me African Violet Club Thurs, Nov 10, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816-513-8590 Water Garden Society of GKC Tues, Nov 15, 5:30pm for snacks, socializing. Due to ongoing construction at Union Station, we have moved to a new location, 2552 Gillham Rd, Kansas City, MO 64118, at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. Free parking behind church. Last year topics presented varied: recycling and repurposing, how to become a certified wildlife habitat, native plants, rain gardens, natural landscaping and organic gardening. At 6pm our first speaker, B.J. Schulenburg, will discuss gardening for butterflies and moths. She will have butterfly chrysalises and moth cocoons and explain where they spend the winter. Featured speaker, Jim Payne, will talk about a new evolution in water gardening called aquaponics, a process of growing vegetables using fish waste from your pond as fertilizer. Mr. Payne is a teacher and Water Garden Society board member. He will be presenting his own process along with some successes and failures. The GKC Water Garden society is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Membership is $35 for a single person and $45 for a 2-person household. Benefits include free tickets to the annual public tour, private member tours throughout the summer, a monthly newsletter, an annual plant exchange, an opportunity to adopt koi and goldfish from the fish rescue team, as well as education and inspiration at monthly meetings. Visit us at

Events, Lectures & Classes November African Violet Annual Show & Sale Sat, Nov 5, 9am-3pm and Sun, Nov 6, 10am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Sponsored by African Violet Club of Greater Kansas City. Info: Clues in Your Mirror: Chinese Herbal Medicine Diagnostics Sat, Nov 5, 10am-Noon. Have you ever woken up feeling “off” and wondered what was wrong with you? Wouldn’t it be great if you could look in the mirror and figure out how to help yourself feel better? Practitioners of Oriental Herbal Medicine use visual clues to diagnose health conditions. This technique of assessing the face, tongue, and hands for health information has been refined and perfected over a period of several thousand years. You can benefit from this ancient wisdom! Learn to listen to the clues of your own body and empower yourself to correct minor issues before they become major issues. Cornhusk Doll Making Sat, Nov 12, 9am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Decorate your table with a beautiful, old-fashioned cornhusk doll that you make! You will make your doll from scratch and then dress her with natural items. $27/person, $22/member. Registration required by Nov 7. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Native Bees of Kansas City Tues, Nov 15, 6:30pm, at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center auditorium, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110. Who has more species of native bees on their urban, remnant habitat – Kansas City or St. Louis? Kansas City Wildlands with support from Burroughs Audubon and The Westport Garden Club through Garden Club of America have enlisted renowned bee expert, Mike Arduser, to survey bee species, populations and preferred plants on wildlands sites in the Kansas City. MO Parks district. Jerry Smith Park, a 40+ acre, never plowed prairie, and Rocky Point, a preserved and restored limestone glade in Swope Park, are the sites for the bee surveys. Midway through the season, Kansas City comes in with an astonishing (continued on page 16)

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

(continued from page 15)


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November 2016 |

75 bee species! including some very specialized bees that are found only on these undisturbed sites. The same surveys are going on in St. Louis and we are anxious for the KC wildland sites to come out on top with the most number of bee species supported. Data from these surveys will not only give us a baseline for management of these ecologically significant locations, but also determine best plant species to be included in future restoration areas. Come for the unveiling of the results – how many bee species, which bee specialists we have in the KC area and what plants the bees prefer. Backyard Wildlife Habitats Thurs, Nov 17, 7-8pm; at the Leavenworth Public Library, 417 Spruce St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Jo Domann, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener, will give a presentation about wildlife habitats in our backyards. Presentation is free, open to the public. Contact Melony Lutz at 913-484-4568 or the Leavenworth Co Extension office at 913-364-5700. Lake Quivira Holiday Bazaar Start your holiday shopping season at the 2016 Lake Quivira Holiday Bazaar from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov 18, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov 19. Sponsored by the Lake Quivira Garden Club, this holiday tradition will feature more than 50 local vendors offering a variety of boutique home decor, handmade gifts, jewelry, ladies clothing and accessories, gourmet foods, men’s and children’s gifts, and more, along with a monster bake sale. Open bar for your shopping pleasure in the community’s charming and festive 1930s stone clubhouse overlooking the lake. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted. Lake Quivira is located one mile east of I-435 on Holiday Drive. Visit lakequiviraholiday bazaar. Air Plant Terrarium Sat, Nov 19, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Learn about and select

from a variety of air plants and other materials to create your own terrarium. All materials included, but you can bring additional adornments, like drift wood and shells if desired. $45/ person, $39/member. Registration required by Nov 14. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Annual Luminary Walk The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Garden announces the 17th annual Luminary Walk will kick off Thanksgiving weekend and, due to popular demand, will run for an additional weekend. The Arboretum will be transformed into a wonderland of candles and lights, music and merriment from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings: Nov 25 and 26, Dec 2 and 3, and Dec 9 and 10. Tickets are $10 at the gate, but can be purchased in advance for $9 at area Westlake ACE Hardware stores and Hen House Markets, or online at Children 5 and under are free, and parking is free, as well. Located at 8909 West 179th Street – 10 minutes south of I-435 and Metcalf, just west of 69 Highway. Plentiful Fun, Bargain at the Holiday Garden Auction Mon, Dec 5, 10am-noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO, Fern Room. Again this year, the Kansas City Garden Club will hold their fundraiser auction. The public is welcome to attend this jolly event. A wide variety of treasures await the auction bidders including plants, dried flowers, vases, garden books and tools, boxwood wreaths, fresh winter holiday greens, home-made baked items, and many nursery, restaurant and other merchant gift certificates among numerous other items. We usually have at least 170 to 200 auction lots available for bidding, so the selection is certainly grand. For details, call 913-341-7555.

Promote garden club and society meetings, classes, seminars and other gardening events! Send all the details to: E-Mail: Deadline for December issue is November 5.

Powell Gardens November Events The fall season is a beautiful time to pay a visit to Kansas City’s botanical garden. Enjoy your favorite fall plants in spectacular colors, attend special classes and presentations, and get ready for the holidays at our very first pop-up shop featuring unique gifts by local makers.

Powell Gardens Lecture Series presents: Dr. Peter Raven, “Saving Plants, Saving Ourselves” 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., November 1 Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch Dr. Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, will speak on the importance of caring for the plants in our lives. A leading botanist and conservation advocate, he understands the threats posed by pollution, human overpopulation and consumption, as well as the importance of attaining social justice and sustainability not just for the longevity of plants, but also for ourselves. This lecture is free and open to the public. Please register at Native Plant School: Midwestern Native Shade and Evergreen Trees 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. November 5 Join Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen for the second offering in our Native Plant School series. During this class you’ll discover the best shade and evergreen trees for enhancing the beauty, sustainability, and health of your landscape. Through a presentation and walking tour of trees in the Gardens, learn best planting techniques and discover the many ornamental features of some unique varieties. Fee: $35/person or $25/ member. Learn more about this and other Native Plant School sessions at Fall Flower Fair Conservatory Exhibit 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. through November 13 Brent Tucker, horticulturist, has transformed the conservatory into a delightful fall garden with colorful mums, coleus and grasses. Shop the FreshMade Fair! 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. November 13 Experience the creative spirit of the Midwest as you shop a pop-up market in our Visitor Center that’s full of farm-fresh foods, art, pottery, jewelry and accessories, soaps, candles, home décor and more! Get a jump on your holiday shopping with unique items crafted locally by Messner Family Farm, artist Bryan Fyffe, Wild Wash Soap Co., Snake Oil KC, Lost & Found Designs, Micro Gardens and more! See the full list of makers at Book Release: Native Plants of the Midwest by Alan Branhagen Available in stores November 30 This compendium, written by Powell Gardens’ director of horticulture, is the ultimate guide to all the best indigenous plants for Midwestern gar-

dens. Containing photographs and information on 500 incredible natives, this book is a must-have for both the seasoned gardener and those looking to enhance their knowledge and landscape. This book will be available in all major bookstores for $39.95. You can also pre-order your copy at Perennial Gifts, Powell Gardens’ gift shop, and have it shipped to you or pick it up when you attend Alan’s book lecture on December 6th! RSVP for the lecture at beginning November 6.


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The Kansas City Gardener | November 2016



garden calendar n FLOWERS


• Frequent mowing or mulch mowing will allow incorporation of up to 6 inches of leaves back into the lawn. • Remove fallen leaves that cannot be mown into or cover the lawn to prevent winter shading and dieback of the turf. • Cool season lawns benefit from an application of high nitrogen fertilizer to promote root development and early spring green up. • Provide good soil moisture for a healthy winter lawn. • Continue to mow bluegrass and tall fescue at 2 to 3 inches, do not lower for winter. • Control dandelions, henbit and chickweed with a broadleaf herbicide. • Store mower for winter by draining gasoline or by using a fuel additive.


• Establishing trees and shrubs should be watered as they become dry. • Watch out for rabbits feeding on tender bark and twigs, use a tree wrap to protect. • It is not too late to plant trees and shrubs for autumn growth. • Leaves should be raked and composted. • Replenish mulch layer to 3 inches and keep away from trunk base. • Hazardous, dead branches should be pruned for the health of the tree. • Avoid pruning spring flowering shrubs or blooms will be removed. • Be a friend of clean water. Don’t blow, sweep leaves into the streets.


• Sort apples in refrigerator for long life, and check for spoilage. • Pick up fallen fruit from around trees to reduce insects and disease next year. • Prune limbs damaged by heavy fruit loads. • Record successes and failures in the garden as a guide for next year. • Start planning process for another year. • Remove garden debris and discard or compost. • Till vegetable gardens, incorporate organic matter to improve soil tilth. • Soil test if not done in last five years to determine fertility needs.

• Clean leaf litter and diseased canes from rose gardens. • Cut rose canes back to 24” to reduce wind damage. • Mulch grafted roses for winter with a mound of garden soil 6 inches deep. • Easy care shrub roses require no special care going into winter. • Do not prune roses in the fall. • Pull frost-killed annuals from the garden. • Dig and store tender bulbs for the winter in a cool, dry location. • Plant spring flowering bulbs. • Clean up the perennial garden either in fall or spring, by cutting debris to the ground. • Mulch perennials with 3 inches of loose material such as straw after several hard freezes. • Till soil where possible incorporating organic matter to improve soil.


• Locate plants away from drafts, heat vents and cold windows to prevent damage. • Watch plants for signs of insect damage. • Stop fertilizing during winter months, start again in spring. • Dust leaves with a moist soft cloth or by rinsing with room temperature water. • Bring amaryllis bulbs out of dormancy by watering for Christmas blooms. • Continue short day dark treatment of poinsettias for holiday bloom. • Water as needed, avoid letting plants set in water.


• Clean and oil garden tools, sprayers and other equipment for storage. • Drain hoses and sprinklers and store indoors for longer life. • Disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets. • Maintain compost pile or start a new one with fall debris. • Start your Christmas list for gardening supplies.

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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id e to A Mon thly Su cc Guid e to SuccOctober 2014 es sf ul essfu l Gard Garde ning Ga rd enin g to Succe ssful en August 2015 in g A Month ly Guide

d the W ate Butterflies and Bee s Love These rlilies Spooky Plants for the October




ity with Grasses Beauty and Divers een Not Just for HallowCall 811 Orange and Black: Lemo rd of Digth Control BeforeBiYou n Park ly: Beau for Better WeedsDayli eM ty for More Identif Decisyion Time: ThanBu a tte Dayrfl onth: Blue ShouSeeded In the ld You Lawn bird of Newly g y Remove Ask Feedin and the YourGaAsh rdenTree Conserva Proper Care Experts about weed with tories control, oozin g sap and more Marvin Snyder

Magazine archives

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


Fall Pruning: Think twice Determine the right season for pruning the right plant Is fall the right time to prune? Before tackling any pruning project you might want to make sure that fall (September through November) is actually the correct time to prune. Even though plants are preparing for winter, that does not mean that it is a good time to prune. Read the entire article at KCGMAG.COM.


Paperwhite Planting Party

earn a few tricks from people who for decades have celebrated the holidays by planting paperwhites at 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 19, in the Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64112. This is a hands-on workshop presented by Gardeners Connect with materials provided to take home a pot of paperwhites. The cost for this event is $20 with Gardeners Connect members receiving a $5 discount. This includes a pot, five bulbs and soil mix, and Gardeners Connect will provide a soup luncheon. Participants may purchase extra pots and bulbs online or at the event. You may also bring your own pots. Sign up online at www. or mail a check payable to Gardeners

Connect to 6911 NW Blair Rd., Parkville, MO 64152. Please include a note with the check that this is for the paperwhites workshop and specify which paperwhite bulbs you prefer. We have chosen two paperwhite bulbs for our planting party, ‘Grand Soleil D’or’ and ‘Constantinople.’ ‘Grand Soleil D’or’ (pictured here) has beautifully formed, golden yellow petals with an orange cup. It has a wonderful, delicate, sweet fragrance. ‘Constantinople’ is a double-flowered paperwhite with golden yellow accents. In the center of a platter of white outer petals is a pompon of white and bright yellow. Join us at the paperwhite planting party for homemade soup, garden banter and lots and lots of paperwhites. Plant a few and let them brighten the bleak days of winter for you.

Professional’s Corner

James Scovil

Job title and description: As the Sales and Service Coordinator, I am responsible for overseeing our plant healthcare department. I perform plant healthcare services, work with the tree pruning crew, and I provide property consultations and estimates for clients. Most

of The Davey Tree Expert Company of my education has been on the job, training plus experience. Pending application approval, I’m looking forward to attending a monthlong training program in January at the Davey Institute in Kent, Ohio where I will take the required tests to receive ISA certification. This is an industry standard for arborists. You can find more information about the Davey Institute at: Favorite tree and plant: One of my favorite trees is the redbud. With proper care and attention, a redbud can be impactful in the home landscape. When it comes to plants, my soft spot is for roses. My grandmother loved planting and attending to roses, and taught me everything I know about them. Favorite garden destination: Relating again to my grandmother’s influence when I was young, there is a rose garden in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. It’s the International Rose Test Garden, Washington Park, where there are over 7,000 rose plants of approximately 550 varieties. What every gardener should know: Every tree and shrub needs some

tending to from time to time. For example, a Pin Oak needs to be elevated and have dead wood removed every two to four years. A Boxwood can get overgrown very quickly. If you do not stay on top of trimming them, they can often outgrow their space. Spare time: Fishing for catfish on the Kansas River is one of my pastimes. It’s especially nice when I can share that time with family. Little known secret: Fort Leavenworth, a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, has nine state champion trees on site. They are Arborvitae, Cherry, Douglas Fir, Hickory, White Oak, Pawpaw (2), Pecan, and Norway Spruce. To learn more about champion trees of Kansas, visit this website: Champion%20Tree%20Report%209_6_2016. pdf. And to learn how state champion trees are decided: kansas_forest_services/championtrees.html Company information: The Davey Tree Expert Company, 15720 S. Keeler St., Ste. 200, Olathe, KS 66062; phone 913-451-8733.

The Kansas City Gardener | November 2016



Christmas TREES

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

Fall Color Winners Ginkgo Red Maple Sugar Maple Pear Prices slashed on Larger sizes

Great prices on even more selected trees and shrubs while supplies last!

Conifer Sale Large Blue Spruce Trees plus New Specimen Spruce, Pine, Fir and Cedar

Just Arrived

Large Trees at our 135th & Wornall and K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy locations

Available by Thanksgiving What Can We Do For You this month? Leaf Clean Up Fertilize Trees Winterize Sprinkler System

Call 816-941-4700


105th & Roe

913-649-8700 November 2016 |

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

135th & Wornall 816-942-2921


winterberry, birds, grow native, fungus, gardeners connect, luminary walk, forcing paperwhite bulbs, sedum, events


winterberry, birds, grow native, fungus, gardeners connect, luminary walk, forcing paperwhite bulbs, sedum, events