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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

October 2015

Fall planting tips for

delightful, durable

d affodils

Sweet Autumn Clematis Best Trees for Kansas City In the garden with Larry Harmon What I’ve Learned About Butterflies

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The Kansas City Gardener | October 2015


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Garden journal entry

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Judy Archer Christian Curless Tom DePaepe Nik and Theresa Hiremath Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Dennis Patton Diane Swan Scott Woodbury Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

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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

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October 2015 |


t this writing, the familiar noise of a chainsaw distracts my train of thought. Our son is here to remove a downed limb in the backyard. A few weeks ago, yet another limb from the aging ash tree landed just a few feet from the gazebo. Neither storm nor strong wind provoked the incident, yet thankfully, we avoided another close call with what we know as our backyard sanctuary. It seems to be a recurring topic when discussing the state of the landscape. “We should probably call the tree guys again for an estimate to remove the ash.” “Yeah, but wasn’t it too expensive?” “Well, it’ll be more expensive to replace the gazebo.” Such is the conversation that surrounds decisions in the landscape. So we’ll wait and see. One decision we totally agreed on was completing the plan for a perennial bed in the front. You see, due to the limited hours of direct sunlight required to yield tomatoes, peppers and herbs, Mr. Gardener and I turned our attention to less demanding crops — natives. Where there used to be raised beds to grow edibles, we have transitioned to perennials. Our selections are obvious and popular — echi-

nacea, rudbeckia and coreopsis. These easy-to-grow choices might not be unique, but they are reliable. We’ve nurtured them well, setting them on a healthy path to survive winter {fingers crossed}. Then when the iris and peonies have finished their spring display, and with just the right timing of the summer sun, our new perennial bed will come alive. Not only will we appreciate the constant color, but so will passersby … not to mention the birds and butterflies. We’ve also planted several new hydrangea macrophylla, Endless Summer® BloomStruck®. Two in the front are focal points, and seven in the back landscape are planted under the canopy of the 20-plus-foot tall blue spruce near the gazebo. Unusual, I know, to have ‘canopy’ with blue spruce, but the lower limbs died due to insufficient watering during drought conditions a couple of summers ago. So we limbed them up and made a beautiful planting area that receives part sun.

At about 24 inches tall, the hydrangea had already bloomed, withered flowers remained on the plant. What caught my attention was the red stem color. It wasn’t mentioned on the ID card as a notable characteristic, nevertheless I found it quite attractive. Certainly while I’m sitting in the gazebo on a cool spring morning before new growth begins, I’ll get a glimpse of that distinctive branching. That is, of course, if the gazebo hasn’t been claimed by the ash tree. So it goes in the garden … plans often need to change due to circumstances beyond our control. As gardeners, we do our best to cultivate our gardens to success. When unforeseen variables interfere however, we plow through and create a new plan. Call it tenacity, or patience, or just plain obstinate, if you’re like me, nothing keeps me from my garden … plan or no plan. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue October 2015 • Vol. 20 No. 10 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 Sweet Autumn Clematis ............ 8 Learned From Butterflies ............ 10 The Bird Brain ......................... 11 Powell Gardens Events ............. 12 Texas Green Eyes .................... 13 Daffodils ................................ 14 Fire and Water ........................ 16

about the cover ...

Rose Report ............................ 17 Best Trees for KC ..................... 18 In the garden Larry Harmon ..... 20 Upcoming Events ..................... 22 Weather ................................. 25 Garden Calendar .................... 26 Professional’s Corner ................ 27 Subscribe ................................ 27

Daffodils are a welcome sign that spring is on the way. Learn planting tips and more on page 14. Photo courtesy of



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or the sixth year, Gardeners Connect brings Lilypalooza back to Loose Park’s Garden Center with a new assortment of lily bulbs to buy. Lilypalooza is an online and in-person shopping experience wrapped up with a program at Loose Park. Doors open at 10 a.m. The program starts at 10:30 a.m. in the Rose Room at the Garden Center in Loose Park, 51st Street and Wornall. Stop by to catch the program, have questions answered and shop for freshly dug, exhibitionsize lily bulbs. We also are offering some pink-cupped daffodils, Globemaster alliums and two amaryllis cultivars. You can order lily and some other bulbs and prepay online at Online orders ensure you get the bulbs you want before we run out. You must pick up your bulbs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st Street and Wornall. We are offering a bonus bulb for people ordering online, spending at least $25 and picking up their pre-paid lilies at Lilypalooza. This year, the bonus bulb is ‘Royal Sunset,’ an LA hybrid lily (L. longiflorum x Asiatic hybrid).

The flowers (4-6 inches wide) are pink at the petal tips, burnt orange in the lower half of the petals and yellow in the center with some dark spots. Flowers have a mild fragrance. Blooms appear in early summer on rigid stems rising to 3-4 feet tall. This lily is a sure bet to do well in area gardens. The Lilypalooza bulb selection this year includes colorful asiatics, fragrant orientals, a fragrant trumpet and some oriental-trumpet hybrids. One of the most special asiatic is ‘Peaches on Chocolate.’ It is from a Toronto lily hybridizer. It is a tall asiatic, up to nearly 4 feet tall, with wiry dark chocolate brown stems holding golden peachcolored flowers that face up and out. The bud count is terrific, up to 28 flowers on a stem. There are two pink double orientals and one called ‘Cherry

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huge, strongly up-facing rose red flowers. The buds have a greenstripe that remains even when the bud is fully colored and ready to open. They have a lovely fragrance and a solid color. The stamens are light green, a nice accent to the petals. Grows 3-4 feet tall and blooms in July. Join the fun online and be sure to pick up your bulbs and shop what’s left at Lilypalooza on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Loose Park.

Swirl,’ which is white with red freckles and a raspberry swirl. ‘Cherry Swirl’ produces a remarkable number of buds on a stem, far above average. ‘Rising Moon’ is one of our connoisseur offerings. A trumpet, it is a newer introduction and a tall lady with luminous glowing yellow flowers highlighted with rosy pink edges. Wonderfully fragrant. One of the orienpet (orientaltrumpet hybrids) in Lilypalooza this year is ‘Sensi,’ which has

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Ask the Experts! questions from our readers tion. Fall establishment would give it a leg up come next summer. Being in a container over winter will require a little more work. Go ahead and plant, water in well and just check the moisture level over the summer, not too wet or dry. If you decide to leave in the pot I would recommend you place the container in a protected area and mulch around the pot with fallen leaves to help insulate from temperature changes.

Dennis Patton REPLANT VIBURNUM Question: This spring I dug up a small viburnum, ‘Mohawk’ that wasn’t doing well and ended up planting it in a container. It has thrived over the summer. What should I do with it this winter? Should I repot, leave it outside or drag it into the garage? Answer: Like many things in life, you have options. You could probably do any of the three. My best recommendation would be replant if you have a suitable loca-

WHY NO ENDLESS SUMMER BLOOMS Question: Why didn’t my ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea flower this spring? Answer: This series of hydrangeas is somewhat unique in the fact that they bloom on both old and new growth. The spring flow-

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ers that develop are formed on the old wood or last year’s growth. As a result of a cold snap in early November 2014 the flower buds that should have bloomed in spring were killed. Dead flower buds equal no blooms. The ‘Endless Summer’ series also develop blooms on the new growth that flowers later in summer. The best flowers are still on the old wood growth. So as a result, this spring and summer the ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas were not all that showy. Unfortunately there is really not a lot you can do to pre-

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LAWN FERTILIZATION Question: I fertilized my lawn in September and will also fertilize in November. Can I fertilize in October to “goose” the grass? Answer: I love this question as it goes right to the heart of the K-State recommendation of turfgrass fertilization. The two most important concepts of lawn fertilization are rates and timing. According to research fall is the

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best time to feed a cool season bluegrass and tall fescue lawn. The recommendation is to apply between 2 and 3 pounds of actual nitrogen during this period. We usually talk in terms of September and November applications and apply 1 to 1 ½ pounds each time. Usually fertilizer is formulated at about 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet. You would then need to apply more in September and November to reach the 3 pound recommendation, which is often difficult because you have to split a bag or simply add a third application in October. I have adopted this practice and my lawn has never looked better. It fills in dead spots quickly and looks great in the spring without all the excessive top growth of spring applications. So yes, three applications about a month apart can be part of a healthy lawn fertilization schedule as that equals about 3 pounds, which is desired for a medium to higher maintenance lawn.

as henbit, chickweed and dandelions. All germinate in the cooler conditions of fall. They continue to develop over winter and burst into flower in the spring. The hardest time to control a weed is when it is in flower. Plantain is a cool season broadleaf weed and could be treated either in the spring or the fall. I

would prefer treating in the fall as it should be actively growing. I try to discourage spring application of broadleaf herbicides as our office sees so much damage from the drifting of spring applications to non-target trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables. If you need to treat the plantains in the spring only spot spray the plants in the yard. Be sure

to keep the spray low to the ground and use larger water droplets to reduce drift. 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.

BEST TIME TO TRANSPLANT PEONIES Question: I didn’t get my peonies transplanted in September. Is it too late? Answer: Peonies are best planted, divided or transplanted in the fall. They are more or less dormant at this time of year but the roots are still active. The best time to transplant is anywhere from early September through mid-October. So go ahead and move as quickly as possible. Keep in mind peonies have thick, fleshy roots that will be cut when digging. Make sure the cuts are smooth and a nice sized division should contain about three to five eyes or buds. This will help develop a strong plant that quickly establishes. The eyes should also be planted no more than 2 inches deep for best results. Who doesn’t love a peony in the garden! WEED CONTROL Question: Extension says to spray weeds in the fall but the chemical label says to spray plantain in the spring. Since I’m spraying the other weeds, can I spray the plantain and will it kill them? I’m using a certain Weed Be Gon product. Answer: The best time to control weeds is when they are young and establishing. This is the reason for the recommendation of fall applications to control such weeds The Kansas City Gardener | October 2015


Design with Sweet Autumn Clematis Judy Archer


ecently, I was asked to design a secret garden. I like to think of cozy rooms when designing an area like this. I break space down into manageable pieces, ceiling, floor, walls and furniture. When I was observing this area, I looked up and saw the beautiful branches of a Crabapple tree softly shading the gated entrance to this small space. That would be my ceiling for this private spot. There was also an old bench sitting in the sun that needed to be relocated to that shady area, now I have my furniture.

We had already discussed the plants and the landscaping materials that we were going to use for the ground, so I already had my floor plan in mind, but I still needed something for the walls. When selecting materials for the walls, you can use vines, shrubs, taller annuals and perennials, even fencing to achieve this feeling. In this particular case I decided to use Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis paniculata) on the surrounding picket fence. This clematis grows like it’s on steroids compared to the typical clematis we all use in our landscapes. It is a vigorous, deciduous, twinning vine with rampant growth that blooms creamy, fragrant, white, four petaled blooms from August to early October. After blooming, the seed heads form a silvery, fluffy mass and will readily self seed themselves. It is

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important to use a pre-emergent herbicide in your beds to stop this from happening. In late winter, prune it back very hard, 12 inches from the ground. Since it blooms on new growth, this won’t effect its performance. It grows in zones 4 through 9 and can reach a height and a spread ranging from 15 to 30 feet. It requires medium, well drained soil, and thrives in part shade. Sweet Autumn Clematis has no serious insect or disease problems and tolerates deer and Black Walnut trees. It is great for a chain link fence or trellis, arbors, posts, pickets and when it is well maintained, it can be well behaved and a great asset to the garden. Now that my secret garden is complete with a ceiling, floor, fur-

niture and walls, the happy home owner will have a nice quiet area to escape to and reflect in, while the soft breeze blows through the branches of her Crabapple tree and the sweet scent of Clematis envelopes her senses. Judy Archer owns and operates BotaniCo Landscape. You may reach her at 816-399-9883.

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What I’ve Learned from Butterflies

Lenora Larson


started butterfly gardening in the mid-nineties after my husband caught me killing those stinky worms on my dill. OH NO! I was murdering baby butterflies!! How could I atone for such an atrocity? The answer was obvious: I must become the best possible butterfly godmother. Thus began my lessons taught by butterflies, because they know how to be butterflies, but I had a lot to learn. Lesson #1: The Children are our Future Like most people, I initially focused on the beauty of the adults, the flying flowers. Field guide in hand, I set vigil for all the butterflies the book said should be in Eastern

Kansas. Many species were flying in my garden, but where were the shimmering turquoise and black Pipevine Swallowtails? The resplendent Spicebush Swallowtails? The endangered Regal Fritillary? Clearly, I was missing a piece of the puzzle. Further reading clarified: flowers do not make a butterfly garden. Colorful blooms may provide nectar, a source of energy relished by lovelorn and migrating adults; however, to maximize butterflies, you need the unique caterpillar host plant for each species. The child, the caterpillar, does all the eating in this insect’s life and if you don’t feed the child, the adults will not exist. The addition of Pipevines, Spicebushes and Bird’s-foot Violets solved the problem. The glorious adults arrived, but only after I began loving and feeding the children. Lesson #2: Embrace Change Change is scary, that fear of the unknown. However, the only constant in life is constant change. The

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caterpillar does not know what is happening when it suddenly loses its appetite, evacuates its bowels and begins wandering in search of the perfect spot. Scientists don’t yet understand why a particular location is chosen, but the caterpillar knows and will not be dissuaded from its chosen place. It spins silken ropes to attach to the designated stick or leaf and sheds its skin one last time to become a chrysalis. Metamorphosis is the ultimate change as the wormlike crawling caterpillar becomes the beautiful flying adult. We may not know the outcome, but butterflies show us that change can be worth the risk. Lesson #3: Live in the Moment Unlike humans, the butterfly lives its life in four very different stages: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult. Each brief stage has a unique appearance, a unique purpose and unique needs. The caterpillar does not long to become an adult, it happily focuses on singlemindedly eating its favorite food. The chrysalis is all about the process of converting the caterpillar into a butterfly. And the adult lives briefly for love, then dies. Which stage would you prefer if you had a choice? Appreciate each time in your life: remember the past and anticipate the future. However, butterflies demonstrate the wisdom of focusing on the here and now.

Lesson #4: Cherish Life In retrospect, I killed so many butterflies and moths in their pupal state because I didn’t know what that strange thing was. Likewise, many garden insects perished because of my ignorance. But at least 90% of insects are harmless to people and our crops. Many are actually our gardening allies, serving as pollinators and/or soldiers in the battle against other insect pests. And most insects, indeed, most living beings, are very beautiful when viewed with respect and appreciation. Summary Butterflies see the world through wondrous compound eyes that capture every detail and many nuances of color. By imagining sight through the mosaic eyes of butterflies, I’ve learned to look and appreciate each small detail for its intrinsic value and beauty. Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardener Lenora Larson gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kansas. She may be contacted at

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ight now chickadees, nuthatches and titmice are hiding food to retrieve and eat at a later time. This behavior is called “caching.” Caching helps birds survive during bad weather and when food sources are low. These birds store hundreds of seeds a day, and each seed is placed in a different location and they generally remember where each one is even a month later. By providing an easily accessible food source, you can help your birds with their caching needs. Below is a little more detail on some of your favorite birds’ caching behaviors. Chickadees • Cache seeds (in the shell and out), nuts, insects and other invertebrate prey
• Food is typically cached about 100 feet from feeders
• Cache more during the middle of the day
• May carry off several seeds at a time, but each item is stored in a separate location
• Store food in knotholes, bark, under shingles, in the ground and on the underside of small branches Nuthatches • Prefer to cache hulled sunflower seeds, because they are easier and faster to cache; occasion-

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• Choose heavier seeds (because they are larger or have a higher oil content)
• Food is typically cached about 45 feet from feeders
• Most active caching time is early in the day
• Store food in bark crevices on large tree trunks and on the underside of branches




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Titmice • Cache sunflower, peanuts and safflower
• Food is typically cached about 130 feet from feeders
• Cache one seed at a time and typically choose the largest seeds available
• Often remove seeds from their shell (80% of the time) before hiding them What caching activity have you seen in your yard?

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Scarecrows, Harvest Celebration and a Spellbinding Jack-O-Lantern Festival=Fall Fun at Powell Gardens


owell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, kicks off its month-long celebration of the harvest season with an antique tractor show, a scarecrow display, an art gourd exhibit, sheep-herding demonstration and more on October 3-4. Wander among 100 or so tractors and machines from yesteryear, enter the kids in a pedal pull contest, munch on kettle corn and vote for your favorite scarecrow. Here’s a closer look at festivities throughout the month: Harvest Celebration & Antique Tractor, Engine and Equipment Show 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 2, Preview Day (regular admission) 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 3-4, Festival Days (festival admission) This festival of old-fashioned family fun includes an array of antique tractors, engines and other

farm equipment, hayrides, tractor parades and a children’s pedal tractor pull. Along with the tractors and other equipment, ongoing exhibits include an antique cider press, an art gourd display by the Show-Me Gourd Society, alpacas, and wool weaving and blacksmithing demonstrations.

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Other scheduled activities for Saturday, Oct. 3, include a demonstration on how to make hard cider and apple vinegar at 11:30 a.m.; a concert by the New Century Dulcimer Ensemble from 1 to 3 p.m., a sheep-herding demonstration by PHARM Dog USA at 2:15 p.m., and the Parade of Power tractor parade at approximately 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 4, the Garden Chef Series concludes for the season with demos by cookbook author Beth Bader at 12:30 p.m. and by Craig Howard, chef/owner of Howard’s, at 2 p.m.  All demonstrations and exhibits are included in festival pricing (on Saturday and Sunday): $12/adults, $10/seniors and $5/children 5-12. A three-day pass is available for $15 at the gate. GLOW Jack-O-Lantern Festival 6-10 p.m. Oct. 17-18 Powell Gardens’ newest spin on an old tradition returns for year two on the evenings of Oct. 17 and 18. GLOW Jack-O-Lantern Festival includes a self-guided spellbinding walk through the Gardens aglow with more than 700 handcarved Jack-O-Lanterns. Visitors will encounter multiple spectacular scenes such as a massive spider in its web, a school of skeleton fish and a bee hive—all reflecting the 2015 theme “Nature’s Nightmares.”  New for 2015: designer/sculptor Rudy Garcia will offer live pumpkin carving tutorials and showcase an exhibit of his work. A

master pumpkin carver, Garcia has worked with Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment and Universal Monsters, among others, and is known for his artistic and compelling carvings. He will work on site and talk with visitors throughout the evening. Indoor activities include an informal jumbo jack-o-lantern carving competition among area carving enthusiasts, designers, artists and others. Visitors can view the jumbo jacks, which weigh up to 90 pounds, in the conservatory and vote for their favorites. Also indoors is a “bat cave” for children to explore, a creepy-crawly petting zoo and related crafts such as an origami bat. The evening also includes face painting, pumpkin painting and hayrides (extra fees apply) and a variety of food and drink will be available for purchase. Festival admission applies during GLOW: $12/adults, $10/ seniors and $5/children 5-12. An online early bird discount of $2 off for adult or senior tickets is available through Oct. 5 at www. Scarecrows in the Garden 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 1-31 View the results of Powell Gardens’ annual Scarecrow Contest and vote for your favorite icon of autumn throughout the month of October. Located in the Heartland Harvest Garden, the scarecrows are created by local businesses, residents and youth groups.

Scott Woodbury


love Texas green eyes (Berlandiera texana) because they bloom steadily and attract goldfinches for nearly six months straight. The plants begin blooming in the St. Louis region in late April on fuzzy red stems and keep blooming into early October. That is unusual for a perennial. Heck, that’s unusual for any plant, even the native annuals. Annuals often have extended bloom times, but not six months, and they die at the end of the growing season. Texas green eyes is a long-lived perennial that comes back from the roots year after year. In Missouri, it is native to the Ozarks. Goldfinches are attracted to its abundant seeds in spring, summer, fall and even early winter. They seem addicted to Texas green eye seeds as they are with coreopsis and purple coneflower. As I wrote this, I watched two out the window at two working the patch on the south side of my office. The birds

landed on a sturdy branch, grabbed a flimsy flowering one with its beak, tucked the stem under a longclawed toe, then got to work pecking and ripping apart the seedheads like an eagle shredding a fish. At times they shred flowerheads too, sending yellow petals spiraling to the ground. The plants we grow in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO were originally collected in the Ozarks at Baker Prairie near Harrison Arkansas, close to the Missouri -Arkansas border. Plants there grow in a small remnant prairie along a fenced hedgerow in part shade. They have also been observed at Woods Prairie (Ozark Regional Land Trust) and Linden’s Prairie (Missouri Prairie Foundation) in southwestern Missouri. In the Whitmire Wildflower Garden it is a long-lived perennial in full sun or part shade and prefers dry to average soils. At mid-day when it is hot, petals furl up, take a siesta then unfurl in the late afternoon. Texas green eyes are also a big hit with migrating monarch butterflies. Throughout late summer, monarchs gather nectar from Texas green eye flowers to fuel their southerly migration to Mexico.

Photos by Scott Woodbury.

Texas Green Eyes Can’t Stop Blooming

Berlandiera texana In gardens, plants grow 4-6 ft. tall but the height can be reduced with a “spring haircut” in late April or early May. Simply cut off 50-60 percent of the top growth and it will come back bushier and 2-3 feet tall. Find sources for Texas green eyes and hundreds of other native plants at

Texas green eyes and Eastern Blazing Star Other common pollinators and other insect visitors include honeybees, wasps, butterflies, skippers, green metallic bees, and soldier beetles.

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


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Photos courtesy of


October 2015 |

Fall planting tips for

delightful, durable

d affodils By Christian Curless


affodils appeal to gardeners for their durability, as much as their beauty. Planted in a sunny location where the soil drains well, most daffodils will come back year-after-year. Perhaps best of all foraging deer and rodents do not bother daffodils because the flowers and bulbs contain lycorine, a bitter substance that animals won’t eat. Botanically, all daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus. Following are some of the questions my colleagues and I at www. are asked most often about daffodils.

What kinds of daffodils are good to grow in my area?

In Kansas City, the full range of daffodils can be grown, except for some of the Tazettas. Kansas City was upgraded by the USDA from Planting to Zone 6 from Zone 5 in 2012, to allow for milder winter temperatures. But either zone offers perfect conditions for growing daffodils. Like other hardy flower bulbs, daffodils are planted in the fall and bloom in spring.

Do I need to pre-chill daffodils? No flower bulbs need any type of pre-chilling treatment for planting in the Kansas City area.

What makes bulbs so heavy?

Flower bulbs aren’t seeds. They are living plants. Think of bulbs as packages. Next year’s leaves and flowers, in embryonic form, are already in the bulb when you plant it. That’s what makes bulbs all but foolproof. Plant in fall, enjoy the show in spring. That’s really all there is to it.

Are daffodils deer resistant?

We consider daffodils deerproof. Because animals – including deer and rodents – won’t eat their lycorine-laced bulbs and flowers, they are a great choice for those areas where foraging animals are a problem.

Where is the best place in the yard to grow daffodils?

The Dutch have a saying, “Bulbs don’t like wet feet.” Standing water can rot bulbs, so planting them in

soil that doesn’t drain well is one of the few mistakes a gardener can make with them. The other thing daffodils like is lots of sun. Plant the bulbs where they’ll get six or more hours of direct sunlight – even after the trees leaf out in spring. Daffodils put sunlight to use after bloom in producing the following year’s flowers.

Are bigger bulbs better?

Size matters. Larger daffodil bulbs produce more stems, up to two to three per bulb. Defining “large” is a bit tricky as some types of daffodils naturally produce larger bulbs than others. When comparing like with like, the larger choice translates to more flowers per bulb.

What do I need to do to help my daffodils come back year after year? Daffodils are what we in the trade call “good investment bulbs.” When planted in a sunny spot in soil that drains well, they can naturalize to come back year after year.

Once established, they can increase their number and multiply. Plant the bulbs about six inches deep so the roots can draw in the moisture they need during the growing season. To naturalize daffodils, we suggest that you set them out in natural-looking drifts (not in blocks or lines). Space them farther apart than recommended on the bag label (to allow room for the bulb clumps to increase in size over time). To naturalize daffodils in a lawn or grassy area, it’s important to let the foliage die back naturally after bloom for about eight weeks, without mowing. This is when the bulbs recharge for next year’s bloom. Before naturalizing daffodils in a lawn, consider whether letting the grass grow tall and unruly during this period will bother you. If not, plant away. Christian Curless is the horticulturist for, a Connecticut-based flower bulb wholesaler that sells direct to landscape professionals and home gardeners coast-to-coast.

The Kansas City Gardener | October 2015


Bring Together Fire and Water “Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty. As if Nature has been saving up all year for the Grand Finale.” ~ Lauren Destifanna

on those cooler nights. Nothing beats sitting by a crackling fire and watching the flow and splash of water. Fire and water. Two very different, opposite elements that complement each other perfectly. By implementing these two elements you can create an unforgettable place to gather with friends and family. Invite them outdoors for conversation and entertainment, while enjoying the sights and sounds of your water feature. Grill hotdogs and cook s’mores, while the fire pit heat keeps you warm and toasty. Perhaps you want quiet time — just a place to sit and relax and unwind at the day’s end. The reflections of the flames create sparkling ever-changing patterns on the water’s surface. Between

Diane Swan


nce again the world is bursting with the colors of Fall. A time of year when leaves start to blush and turn shades of red. Purple asters, orange marigolds, scarlet dahlias and yellow mums sprinkle the landscape. The sweet scent of Autumn Clematis fills the crisp, fresh air. What a delightful season to spend time by your water garden. No need to head indoors when evenings turn chilly. A paver patio with a fire pit creates a cozy setting to spend more time outdoors

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This patio brings together elements of fire and water, creating a cozy, warm setting to gather during chilly fall nights. the water and the fire’s coal you can get lost in contemplation or nothingness for hours. Fall is a great time to create that backyard getaway. Whether you choose a water garden or pondless feature, you can create the relaxing sounds of sparkling, flowing water. Bring it close enough to the house and can create a patio with seating where many could gather. You will also want to see the waterfalls from inside the house to enjoy later in the season. Install a patio large enough to have room for entertaining complete with chairs for relaxing. A fire pit can be centered or off to the

side whichever is your preference. When designing think of how you want to entertain and what is the most convenient for you. You could add sitting and/or retaining walls to offer seating for a larger crowd. Council rings are a great concept you might want to incorporate. Why sit inside when you can enjoy all the sights and sounds of the fall water garden in comfort outside. Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-837-3510.

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Rose Report

Charles Anctil


ctober – turn out the lights, the party is over for another year. Time to start thinking about putting roses to sleep for the winter. Weather permitting I try to start winterizing about mid-October. I will defoliate two to three feet high – this slows down the rose’s activity. Leaves are very active so with less leaves, the slower the roses will work. If you still want to fertilize you can use superphosphate and potash; do not use nitrogen. You can still spray for mildew and black spot. Clean your beds, spray with a copper sulphate or Mancozeb, then start thinking about mulching. Up here in St. Joseph I get a lot of wind from the northwest so I cut my roses down to 24”-30”. I do not want them whipping back and forth during the winter months and opening air pockets for the cold to get in. If you do not want

to cut them back then tie them up and stake them. If you have climbers you can wrap them with burlap. Miniatures can be mulched but use a light weight mulch like Peat Moss. You can make collars to keep the mulch from blowing away. Newspapers, cardboard boxes, chicken wire works real well. If you use Styrofoam cones, make sure you cut the top out because if you leave the top on, the temperature in those cones gets very hot. Weather permitting you might want to spray the roses a few times with a fungicide during the winter. If you have tree roses you will have to bring them in to the garage and water them to keep them alive until next spring. There is another method – call me and I will send you an info sheet on how to do it. I try to get this done by midNovember. Have fun, relax, and get ready for the holidays!

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Tree experts weigh in on best trees for Kansas City Tom DePaepe


’m passionate about nature and being outdoors. It’s why I do what I do. While each season has its beautiful displays, for an arborist, no time of year captures the majesty of trees better than autumn. (Homeowners: hold on to the images of vibrant oranges, reds and yellows so in a few weeks we can remind ourselves that all that raking is worth it, just to see a street lined with maples exploding with fall color.) While trees are in the spotlight, it is a good time to consider your landscape. Fall is a great time to

plant new trees. The soil is still warm from summer, but instead of temperatures getting hotter and hotter, they are cooling off, which reduces transplant stress on the tree and relieves some watering pressure for you. I probably get asked once a day for my opinion on what trees to plant. The answer to this question depends a lot on the personal preferences of the homeowner and what goals they have for the tree. Do they want more shade? Are they looking for a tree to add interest? Do they want fall color? Once we go through these questions, we usually arrive at a handful of trees that will work. Arborists are always happy to talk to folks about trees – trust me. But if you are looking to do your own research, start with Robert Whitman’s study of great trees for the Kansas City region, or if you

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are looking for an evergreen tree, he also did a study of evergreens that are best suited for Kansas City. Robert is a landscape architect with Gould Evans in Kansas City. In 2009, he surveyed 17 regional experts to rate almost every tree on its suitability for our area. He then took these ratings to compile his list of recommended trees. You can access both of the lists for free at Some of my favorites from this list include: Autumn Gold Ginko: This is a very disease resistant, slow growing tree well-suited to Kansas summers and winters. The real showstopper is its leaves which are fan-shaped and turn golden yellow in the fall. Sweetbay Magnolia: Sweetbays produce fewer blooms than other magnolias, but that also means less mess when the tree sheds the blooms later in season. The tree also flowers later than other spring bloomers, so it avoids the frosts that can thwart blooming. It pro-

duces red berries in the fall which are great for winter interest and it can be pruned as a tree or a shrub. Paperbark Maple: As the name implies, the most noteworthy characteristic of this tree is its ‘peeling’ copper orange to reddishbrown bark. Like other maples, it has orange to red fall color that is also stunning. Bald cypress: Great specimen trees, bald cypress are deciduous conifers. The tree grows in a pyramidal shape and its needles turn reddish or orangish-brown before dropping in the fall. It is very adaptable and will grow well in low spots that get a lot of water. Sugar Maple: No tree list is complete without sugar maples. You simply cannot beat the fall color. Sugar maples are some of the most popular trees in the United States and four states have designated it the official state tree. Tree lists are great, but one of the best ways to decide on a tree is to get out and look at landscapes in your area and see what you like. It can be difficult to see a tree at a nursery and project what that tree will look like in your landscape 3, 5, 10 years down the road. Looking at more mature trees in your neighborhood is a good way to decide if a tree will still be a good fit for you. Tom DePaepe is an ISA certified arborist with Ryan Lawn & Tree. He can be reached at 913-3811505 or at tomdepaepe@ryanlawn. com.

SPEAKERS’ BUREAU Need a speaker for your church, civic group or garden club? The Johnson County Extension Speakers’ Bureau have the speakers you are looking for on just about any topic like environmentally safe lawn care, or perennial flower gardening. We can adapt to meet your group’s needs, from a short 20minute presentation to a longer format, if needed. While there are no fees for a volunteer speaker, a donation to Extension or the chosen volunteer organization is appreciated. To schedule a speaker for your group, please contact the office. For more information on this service, call 913-715-7000. 18

October 2015 |

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F History and Use of Native Medicinal Plants


hat makes a medicinal plant medicinal? What plants did the Plains Indians use for their medicine? How useful could these plants be to modern medicine? Is the next breakthrough drug for cancer, diabetes, or arthritis growing in the field next door? At the University of Kansas, the Native Medicinal Plant Research Program is a collaboration between the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and the Kansas Biological Survey. For the past six years, it has investigated hundreds of native species, built an ongoing database with over 1500 native medicinal plants, cultivated a medicinal research garden, identified at-risk herbs in need of protection, and educated countless people on the many values of our rich natural heritage, and the need to protect it.

Join the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City as Dr. Kelly Kindscher, senior scientist, takes us on a tour of ethnobotany, pharmacology, and medicinal plants old and new. He will cover thousands of traveled miles, thousands of pounds of plant specimens, dozens of publications, ancient oral histories and modern laboratories, patent applications and conservation efforts, all in the quest for healing powers lost and found. The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday October 22nd, at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO and is free and open to the public. For further information call (816) 665-4456, or see the Master Gardeners’ website at, our new blog at, or the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Facebook page.

Fall is a great time to plant

Properly Dispose Hazardous Products

ocused on environmental responsibility, gardeners are likely to recycle garden debris into the compost pile, or leave it for pickup at the curb. But what about garden products that are unused, outdated, and considered hazardous? If you’re cleaning out the garden shed or garage, and it’s time to dispose of old herbicides, fertilizers, stains and paints, what do you do with them? There are regional household hazardous waste collection facilities and are available for residents to safely dispose their household hazardous waste. A list of these locations, along with directions and hours of operation, is available on the Mid-America Regional Council web site ( htm). Here’s an abbreviated list for easy reference. In Missouri: Kansas City: 4707 Deramus; 816-513-8400 Lee’s Summit: 2101 SE Hamblen Road; 816-969-1805 In Kansas: Wyandotte County: 2443 S. 88th Street; 913-573-5400 Olathe: 1420 S. Robinson; 913-971-9311 Johnson County: Mission; 913-715-6900 Leavenworth County: 24967 136th St., Leavenworth; 913-727-2858 Miami County: 327th Street and Hospital Drive; 913-294-4117 Many of these locations operate by appointment only, so be sure to give them a call first. Thank you for properly disposing of hazardous materials and for protecting people, animals and landscapes of your community.

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The Kansas City Gardener | October 2015


In the Garden with Larry Harmon me in contact with his friend, Larry Harmon. Located north of the river, in a maintenance provided community, lives a gardener creating a beautiful retreat. Larry and his partner Jim Kogel were among the first to select their lot when the neighborhood was developed. A large ash tree, oaks, hickory, plane tree, native redbuds and a sloped yard attracted them to the site and the house was planned with that view in mind. Their woodland view from the upper deck has changed over the years. The declining ash tree was removed several years ago opening up the landscape to a bit more light and possibilities. The slope has been tackled with a series

Susan Mertz


ushing around the counter at the nursery, a landscape designer met me at my desk to tell about a friend’s garden. “You’ve got to write about Larry’s garden,” Bill Jennings exclaimed as he told me about his friend’s approach to gardening on a shady hill. Feeling it was a space other gardeners could relate to, Bill put

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of walls allowing level space for gardens. Now, their deck looks out over a formal garden. “It’s all about squeezing in as much as you can,” Larry shared about his plantings as we walked through the garden. Yews and curved lines of boxwood with a statue as the centerpiece give the garden structure and year round visual appeal. The bright golden foliage of Gold Edger and August Moon Hostas brighten up the shady garden as does the golden coleus. A Forest Pansy Redbud and Lady in Red Hydrangeas are some of the red flowering plants included in the garden to help attract hummingbirds. The backdrop of the formal garden includes white and pink dogwoods. The dogwoods, redbuds and thousands of naturalized Ice Follies and King Alfred Daffodils help welcome spring into the landscape. As the trail winds down the hill, the mood of the garden changes from formal to naturalized. Hydrangeas are one of his favorite plants and Little Lime and Annabelles are planted in the shady areas. A sunny spot is filled with white flowering daisies, hibiscus, butterfly bush and coneflowers. Along the pathway, equally aggressive lysimachia drapes over a wall and Boston Ivy climbs the wall. The battle for space is over-

shadowed by the beauty of the contrasting texture of these two plants. Where the garden trail meets the neighborhood walking path at the bottom of the hill, the woodland floor is covered with hostas, ferns and pachysandra as growing a lawn proved futile. “Colorful mums, asters and beautiful autumn leaves are coming soon” and the garden will transition from summer to fall. Larry describes himself as “always a gardener.” As a child, Larry was influenced by a neighbor who was a retired teacher with starts of plants from her garden. More recently, Larry has been influenced by his friend Bill to try green and white flowering and foliage plants. As twilight approached while we visited, containers overflowing with white begonias and green and white caladiums glowed giving the garden a sense of peace. Larry, Jim and I sat out on their screened in porch on a late summer evening talking about favorite gardens, joking about our mutual friend and enjoying a moment in time. The setting and camaraderie was a welcome respite from the busy pace of life. Susan Mertz, Garden Writer and Director of Marketing at Loma Vista Nursery. Join her for tours and photographs of gardens at

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Sponsored by Friends of the Arboretum, the Brewfest is a great way to usher in the crisp and colorful fall season under the Arboretum’s big sky.

Botanical Brewfest at the OP Arboretum


hings will be hopping at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens on October 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. when the Botanical Brewfest makes its second annual appearance. Local bands, brewers, and food trucks will be there, creating a uniquely festive atmosphere in a beautiful garden setting. Breweries represented will include Flying Monkey Beer, Brew Lab, CLEAR10 Vodka, Granite City Food & Brewery– Olathe, Green Room Burgers & Beer, Kansas City Bier Company, and Torn Label Brewing Company. There will be local food trucks on hand, along with mouth-watering appetizer trays from area restaurants.

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Entertainment will be provided by Diamond Empire Band playing salsa, Blarney Stoned playing Irish music, Ernest James Zydeco, and Nuthatch-47, described as “Russian punk with a mean accordion.” Play games to test your skills, and check out the Porsches displayed throughout the Arboretum grounds by the KCRPCA. Tickets are $50 per person or $90 per couple ($45 / $80 for FOTA members) and can be purchased online at www. Proceeds go toward the operation of the Train Garden. The Arboretum is located at 8909 W. 179th Street, which is about half a mile west of 69 Highway, 10 minutes south of I-435.

arden Faire is a fall festival for gardeners at Loose Park sponsored by Gardeners Connect, a partner of the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department. An inaugural event last year, another daylong event is being planned. This event combines lectures, a chance to network with gardening colleagues and an opportunity to buy Bud Smith, Johnson Co. Master Gardener returns to share more of his expertise. garden books and other items. Here are some great reasons to stop by: • Monarch Watch will be bringing some of its butterflies; • Gardening programs by gardening and horticultural experts from affiliate organizations of Gardeners Connect; • Fabulous door prizes given away all day between the programs; • A chance to talk with members of the affiliate clubs and perhaps purchase items from them; • A chance to buy recycled gardening books; and • A selection of garden art from area artisans to purchase. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3. The programs are planned to start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. A tentative schedule of presentations includes a rose care demonstration by Judy Penner, director of Loose Park, as well as programs by representatives of Johnson County Master Gardeners, Heartland Hosta and Shade Plant Society, the Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group, Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City, the Cactus and Succulent Society of Greater Kansas City, the Mo-Kan Daylily Society and Powell Gardens.

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

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African Violets of GKC Tues, Oct 13, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, Oct 20, 1pm; Bonner Springs City Library, Meeting Room, 201 N Nettleton Ave, Bonner Springs, KS 66012. Presentation on “Garden Cleanup: Neatness vs Usefulness”. Johnson County Extension Master Gardener Nancy Chapman will address fall garden cleanup: what should stay, what should be removed, and whether tidiness is helpful or harmful. Her topics will include garden ecosystems, healthy soil, and what is best for wildlife. A short meeting will follow the presentation. Refreshments will be served. The meeting is free and visitors are most welcome to attend. For more information, call Ruth Pleak at 913-728-2806. Greater Kansas City Bonsai Society Sat, Oct 24, 9am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. Come visit with members. 816-513-8590

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


Club Meetings

Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Oct 18, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, in the Fern Room, Kansas City, MO. Awards will be given from our 68th Annual Loose Park show. There will also be time to answer any questions you have on growing your plants. Feel free to bring anyone else along who’s also interested in dahlias. You can find the Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society on Facebook https://www.facebook. com/pages/Greater-Kansas-City-DahliaSociety/174531619237937 or at http:// Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Oct 5, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Oct 14, noon; in the Rose Room of Loose Park Garden Center, 52nd and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Autumn breezes begin to blow this way welcoming Fall to our gardens and homes. This often finds us turning our thoughts to comfort and cozy images in the coming months. The holidays are nearing and with it gifts from our own hands. Please join us in a hands-on project meeting presenting Lynn Soulier and Charlotte Acock sharing homemade herbal vinegars and herbal oils for gift giving and holiday feasting. Please bring two empty

clear glass bottle with cork or cap such as an empty wine bottle, a empty vinegar bottle, or the like. We will take herbs from our own herb garden in Loose Park and make delicious creations you may take home. Also, show us your Autumn food favorites in a potluck lunch. Each member is asked to bring any of the following; salad, side dish, meat, or dessert dish, something to warm the tummy and put a smile on our faces. Don’t worry if there is too much pie or salad, no one went hungry from too many cookies! Check your list: a food dish and two empty bottles with tops. And we look forward to seeing you and your friends. Visitors are warmly welcomed to come to a meeting free and dine with us. Please respond to this invitation by phoning Barbara at 816-523-3702 or email Charlotte at Greater Kansas City Water Garden Society Tues, Oct 20, doors open at 5:30pm; at the Planetarium at Union Station, 30 W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108. Parking is free for members in the North West parking lot, just steps from the station. Our 6:30pm speaker will be Jessie Meadows, owner of Rolling Meadows. After such an unpredictable summer our yards can definitely use some help. Jessie will be sharing helpful tips and how-to’s for the fall lawn and garden. At 7:30pm we will turn our attention toward shutting down the water garden. Roye Dillon is the owner and operator of Prestige One Landscaping and has been certified in water gardens for 12+ years. He will be speaking with us on how to prepare the water garden for winter, over wintering and how to keep our fish alive. Bring a snack to share and visit with other members before the formal portion of the evening begins. Independence Garden Club Mon, Oct 12, 6:30pm; at the Sermon Center, 4th floor, corner of Truman and Noland Roads. Program to be announced. Refreshments will be served and visitors are welcome. For more information, please call 816-373-1169 or 816-7964220. Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society
 Sun, Oct 18, 1-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Visitors are welcome. For more information call 816-513-8590. Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Oct 13, 7pm; at Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence (1263 N 1100 Rd - Lawrence, KS) We meet monthly to learn about herbs. 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. Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Oct 14, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS. Christy Lonergan, a certified holistic health coach and an instructor of Food Not Lawns, will give a presentation on No Till gardening. The meeting is free, and visitors are welcome. For more information call Briana Terrell at 913-240-4571. Leawood Garden Club Tues, Oct 27, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St. About noon, Bob Akers, Manager at The Surplus Exchange, will present Getting the ‘Ghosts’ Out of Our Yards and Homes – The Latest on Recycling. 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 leawoodgardenclub@gmail. com or call 913-642-3317. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Oct 13, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 SW Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Our speaker will be Lenora Larson, her topic will be “Converting Your Garden for Butterflies.” Refreshments will be provided, visitors are always welcome. Visit our website or call 816-540-4036 for additional information. MoKan Daylily Society Sun, Oct 4, 11am-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City Sun, Oct 11, Beginners Group for new growers 1:30-2:15pm; General meeting and presentation at 2:15; at the Lenexa Senior Center, 13420 Oak St. For more on the OSGKC, see Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Oct 12, 7pm; at Colonial Church, 71st and Mission Rd, lower level, Prairie Village, KS. Bulbs add another dimension to perennial garden. Replanting bulbs every year can be costly and labor intensive. Wouldn’t it be nice to have bulbs that come back reliably year after year? Ever wonder how to add bulbs into an established perennial garden? Let’s talk about adding these beauties to your gardens. The public is invited to this meeting. Please join us for a very informative program done by Mae Christenson, Master Gardener. For more information, please contact Sallie Wiley 913-236-5193.

Sho-Me African Violet Club Fri, Oct 9, 11am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Events, Lectures & Classes October SPECIAL EVENT! Once Upon a Time Sat, Oct 3, 1-4pm or 6-8pm; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015. Walk-in Performance tours every 15 minutes between 1-4pm and 6-8pm (all ages) By and by we see a rabbit appear on the trail in front of us. Curiosity prevails. Should we follow him? There appears to be a giant storybook on the trail in front of us. Where did that come from? And what is on the other side? We invite you and your family and friends to experience the enchanted forest as we step into the storybook to discover Elsa and Princess Anna, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Robin Hood, Snow White and many more on the other side! It doesn’t take characters along a trail or adventures within a video game to find magic! The true gift of magic in nature comes from allowing ourselves time to explore, to dream and to use our imagination! Your family will not want to miss this very delightful evening! For more information email burr.oak@mdc.; 816-228-3766 Herbs & Fire: Burning Botanicals for Pleasure, Ceremony & Healing Sat, Oct 3, 10am-Noon; Burning herbs was the ORIGINAL room freshener! Cultures around the world since prehistory have burned herbs for enjoyment, in ritual, and to enhance well-being. In this class, we will delve into the benefits of the practice and discover how to bring it into our own lives. We will explore burning loose herbs, learn to make smudging wands with fresh herbs, and practice making incense with dried herbs and resins. Learn which herbs and ingredients are ethical and safe to burn, and why you would want to burn them. Learn to grow and wildcraft your own herbs to burn. Empower yourself by choosing safe, natural ingredients and eliminate fillers. Learn the how, what, and why of Herbs & Fire. $22 + $5 materials. More info and Register: www. (Registration Deadline: Sep 3) Bonfires of Autumn Sat, Oct 3, 4-6pm. This fall event, presented by the Northland Garden Club, features the gardens of two Missouri master gardeners. These gardens have been designed to carry the garden season into the fall through the selection of plants, who perform in the late summer and early fall. Not your ordinary planting of mums, these gardens use native plants, color, and design to insure the longest possible garden season. Tickets are $10 each, and include a

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(continued on page 24)

The Kansas City Gardener | October 2015



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Rose Garden Readings


he Kansas City Rose Society is happy to announce its new partnership with The Writers Place. Nature and art have always been good companions. When you visit the rose garden in Loose Park, we want you to do more than stop and smell the roses. We want you to linger, and readings by local authors will invite you to do that. The Kansas City Rose Society (Est. 1931) is a 501 C 3 not-forprofit organization which, in partnership with KC Parks, helps to financially and physically maintain the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Loose Park. The KCRS is proud to offer several programs and events throughout the year to engage the KC Community with this lovely and historic rose garden. The Society is especially thrilled to welcome the Writers Place! The Writers Place, a nonprofit located at 3607 Pennsylvania in Kansas City, is more than a build-


October 2015 |

ing. Its programs reach out into the community, into the schools, and across the state line. The Writers Place is dedicated to providing support, resources, and inspiration for those in our region who care about the word as art. As we begin this new partnership, we plan to hold three readings per year in the rose garden or inside the garden center in the case of bad weather. Members of The Writers Place will also judge an annual poetry contest for local children in grades three to eight. The next event will be Saturday, October 17, at 3:00 p.m. Three poets – James Benger, Eve Ott, and Maryfrances Wagner – will read with novelist Stephen Roth. After the reading, the audience is encouraged to talk to the writers and to visit the garden center to buy their books and get autographs. The address is 5200 Pennsylvania. For more information, please go to

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

(continued from page 23)

fall beverage, seed packets and creative ideas. Advanced reservations required, and may be obtained by calling Dee West, 816-455-4013. Check the website at for further details. Waterfowl and Wetlands Sat, Oct 3, 10am-2:30pm; at Anita B Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110. Walk-in (all ages) Quack! Quack! Honk! Honk! Join us for a day of learning about the upcoming waterfowl migrations and hunting seasons. Bring your duck and goose calls to get some calling practice and advice from experienced hunters. Learn how to set a spread of decoys to get those birds in close this fall. Watch trained dogs demonstrate their retrieving skills and learn how to train your dog to be a more effective retriever. You can also learn about some of the waterfowl hunting opportunities available in Missouri and how to manage a wetland to attract and benefit waterfowl. For more information email; 816-759-7300 Beekeeping 301: Seasonal Management Sat, Oct 3, 10am-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Learn month-by-month beekeeping management including hive inspection and maintenance, checking for food stores, feeding bees in the winter and spring build up feeding and medication. Discover the ins and outs of the fall honey harvest, the importance of journal entries and the proper set up of the hive in the apiary. $25/person, $20/member. Registration required by Sep 28. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Botanical Brewfest Sat, Oct 10, 4-8pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, about half a mile west of 69 Highway, 10 minutes south of I-435. Local bands, brewers, and food trucks will be there, creating a uniquely festive atmosphere in a beautiful garden setting. Tickets are $50 per person or $90 per couple ($45 / $80 for FOTA members) and can be purchased online at Proceeds go toward the operation of the Train Garden. Creepy Crawly Cuisine Sat, Oct 10, 10-11:30am; at Powell Gardens. Join us as we take a look at the practice of eating insects around the world and taste test treats as we go. This is a beginning level class for the adventurous eater. You will leave with recipes to try at home. $15/person, $8/member (Add $3 per half-dozen of cricket flour

cookies). Registration required by Sep 28. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at GeoKids Sat, Oct 17, 10am-noon; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Hey kids! Are you ready for a treasure hunt at the Arboretum? GeoKids is a fun-filled activity consisting of a brief classroom presentation on maps, directions and how to use a compass, geared for young participants. Kids then head out into the Arboretum on a compass-based treasure hunt for prizes, with educational stops along the way. Ages 7-11 (adult presence required). Class fee $5 per child. Regular admission applies. Register online at 913-685-3604 Gardeners Gathering Thurs, Oct 22, 6:30pm; at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present: “The History & Use of Native Medicinal Plants.” Kelly Kindscher, PhD, author and senior scientist with the Kansas Biological Survey at KU, will share his insights into the area’s native edible and medicinal plants. Hear about old lore and the Survey’s new research, from Plains Indians ethnobotany to modern anti-cancer drugs. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information call 816665-4456 or visit our website Sketch Crawl Thurs, Oct 22, 4-6:30pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Enjoy an evening of creating art in the many lovely gardens at the Arboretum. Bring your own art supplies, learn from each other, share your work and enjoy the surroundings. Included with admission. Register online at, 913685-3604. Tangled Coasters Sat, Oct 24, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Featured Pianos on Parade artist Christine Shuck shares her love and technique of Zentangle in this special gift-making class. Tangle your favorite designs onto tiles you can display, use as coasters or give as gifts. Make four tiles with Zentangle designs complete with a felt backing and sealant. $47/person, $39/member. Registration required by Oct 19. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at A Bird in the Hand Sat, Oct 24, 10am-1pm; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center,

1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015. Walk-in (all ages) Come view our native birds in the hand! Join Missouri River Bird Observatory bird-banders as they capture, band and measure a variety of species at Burr Oak Woods backyard feeders. A special treat for kids and adults alike, visitors will be able to see many birds such as downy woodpeckers, tufted titmice, northern cardinals and black-capped chickadees up close. For more information email burr.oak@mdc.; 816-228-3766 Native and Garden Seed Collecting Sat, Oct 24, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Learn the basics of collecting, storing and starting both native plants and hard-to-find garden perennials. You will harvest seeds (weather permitting) and prep seeds for germination. Take home seeds to start for spring plus a lot of useful information. $22/person, $15/ member. Registration required by Oct 19. To register call Linda Burton at 816697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Pumpkin-Inspired Food and Drink Sat, Oct 24, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Learn how to make festive pumpkin treats and drinks. Sample pumpkin waffles, cinnamon-and-sugar-spiced pumpkin seeds, pull-apart cinnamon-sugar pumpkin bread, pumpkin-spice sugar scrub and pumpkin vodka. Recipes will be included. You will create pumpkin vodka and a sugar scrub to take home. $49/person, $42/member. Registration required by Oct 19. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Fall Bird Hiking Sat, Oct 24, 7-8am; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015. No registration required (all ages) As we near the end of the fall migration, join us on the Bethany Falls Trail for our last bird hike of the year. Meet at the Bethany Falls parking lot. For more information email;

November Watercolor Workshop: Let’s Paint Sat, Nov 7, 9:30am-3:30pm; at Powell Gardens. Learn to paint landscapes, trees, water and skies. No drawing is neces-

sary. There will be demonstrations and individual attention. We will use washes, wet into wet, dry brush and more. A supply list will be mailed upon registration. $45/person, $37/member. Registration required by Nov 2. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Bird Feeder Wreath Sat, Nov 7, 10am-noon; at Powell Gardens. Make and take your own bird feeder wreath using seed heads and dried fruit. This festive, fall arrangement will look great and feed the birds too. Leave with the know-how to replenish your wreath with treats for your feathered friends. $24/person, $17/member. Registration required by Nov 2. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at powellgardens. org/AdultClasses. Infused Libations Sat, Nov 7, 1-3pm; at Powell Gardens. Delight your friends and family with unique tastes and flavors! Learn how to make your own infused libations for a fraction of the cost of store bought. Taste test hand-crafted limoncello and spicedpear vodka. In class you will start your own ’cello to infuse at home. $57/person, $49/member. Registration required by Nov 2. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at New Moon Walk Fri, Nov 13, 5-10pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Star gazing, night time sights and sounds. Bring the family and flashlights, gather around the fire pits and make s’mores. No registration required. Included with admission. 913-685-3604 Luminary Walk Fri and Sat, Nov 27 and 28 and Dec 4 and 5, 5-9pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. This year tops off with the 16th annual Holiday Luminary Walk. This major fund-raiser features a mile of candlelit trails, holiday lights, live entertainment, Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides, a bonfire and warm refreshments. $8 per person, we encourage you to buy your tickets before arriving. 913685-3604

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

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


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


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


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Weather Report

Highs and Lows Avg temp 60° Avg high temp 69° Avg low temp 48° Highest recorded temp 98° Lowest recorded temp 17° Nbr of above 70° days 16

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 13 Avg nbr of cloudy days 11

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 0 Avg rainfall 3.0”

Promote your gardening events! Send details to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 E-Mail: Deadline for November issue is October 5.

Avg nbr of rainy days 8 Source:

From the Almanac Moon Phases Last Quarter: Oct. 4 New Moon: Oct. 12 First Quarter: Oct. 20 Full Moon: Oct. 27 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Above Ground Crops: 12-16, 19, 20, 24, 25

Plant Root Crops: 1, 28, 29

Control Plant Pests: 7-11

Transplant: 24, 25

Plant Flowers: 12-16, 19, 20

The Kansas City Gardener | October 2015



garden calendar


• Recommended mowing heights for bluegrass and tall fescue in the fall are 2 to 3 inches. • Core aerate if not already done to help loosen heavy clay soils and break down thatch. • Fertilize bluegrass and tall fescue if not already done so once this fall. • Dandelions, henbit and chickweed are easy to control in the fall, treat as needed. • Sharpen mower blade if it is not making a clean cut, or after every 10 hours of use. • Rake leaves as they fall to avoid winter suffocation on turf. • Mulch mown leaves back into the lawn as long as debris is not covering the surface.


• Fall is an ideal time to plant tulips, daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs. • Clean up faded annuals. • Trim perennial stems to tidy garden and keep disease and insects in check. • Pot bulbs for winter forcing. • Dig tender bulbs such as glads and cannas and store in a cool, dry place over the winter. • Update the garden journal for successes and failures while fresh in your mind. • Take advantage of fall sales and plant new perennials. • Divide overgrown perennials.


• Plant new trees and shrubs. • Water establishing plants over the winter during dry spells. • Seedlings of trees and shrubs can be safely transplanted once dormant. • Prune damaged and dead wood from trees and shrubs.

• Wrap the bases of young trees and shrubs to protect from rabbits. • Rake leaves and compost, or use as garden mulch. • Remove tree stakes if in place longer than one year.


• Store unused seeds in a cool, dry location. • Pick up and discard fallen fruit to reduce disease, insects for next year. • Fall planted garlic gets a jump over spring planted. • Dig sweet potatoes and cure for a week or two in a warm location then store for winter. • Harvest peanuts and roast. • Harvest apples and pears and store for winter use. • Store winter squash and pumpkins in a cool, dry place. • To prepare for next spring, till garden soil to help control insects and disease. • Make notes of successes and failures. • Soil test and make improvements.


• Begin long night treatments for poinsettia re-blooming. • Check plants for insects and treat as needed. • Wash dust from leaves by placing in a shower or wiping with a damp, soft cloth. • Reduce or stop fertilization over the winter months. • Keep plants away from hot and cold drafts of winter.


• Drain and store garden hoses and sprinklers for winter. • Spruce up the compost pile for winter by adding new materials promoting decomposition. • Clean, sharpen and oil garden tools for winter storage. • Do not rake fallen leaves into the storm gutters as they move into streams, releasing harmful nutrients that effect water quality.

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

Meet Dianna Hill, who spends her working days among the beautiful plants she cares for. Name: Dianna Hill Company: Ben’s Lawn and Garden About Ben’s: Ben’s Lawn and Garden is a family-owned and operated business in Blue Springs, Missouri. It is owned by father and son, John and Ben Scire. From garden and landscape problems,drainage and soil run off, full landscape design and installation to big and small commercial and residential landscaping services, you can count on Ben’s Lawn and Garden for knowledgeable advice, experienced landscape designers and the peace of mind of dealing with a company that’s been a trusted part of our community for over 40 years. Length of service: While I have been at Ben’s since the spring of 2012, I’ve been working in greenhouses since 1999. How did you get started in the green industry: I believe my parents set me on the garden path, by visiting greenhouses with them. They were my first teachers on the subject of plants, and encouraged my growing love of them. Fast forward to college days, when I needed a part-time job, Longview Gardens hired me. I started with seedlings, and as they grew so did my knowledge. What does a typical day look like: Watering the greenhouse, answering questions on the phone or in person, researching and ordering new plants for the next year. What’s the best part of your job: I think my favorite part is working with new gardeners. The excitement they feel as they play in the dirt for the first time is contagious. Favorite plant: I love English Roses. They are a sweet reminder of my childhood days in the garden, smell great and are usually worry free.  Favorite garden destination: I love visiting Powell Gardens. It has much to offer with every season. My only wish is that I could visit more often. What every gardener should know: Water your garden in the winter, when weather permits, of course. Watering seems to be the one thing people forget to do. Plants tend to dry out with the fierce winter winds in December and January.  Non-green industry interests: I love baking and visiting museums. Company information: Ben’s Lawn and Garden, 1001 U.S. 40 Hwy, Blue Springs, MO 64015; phone 816-229-2684;; hours Mon-Sat 8am-7pm; Sun 9am-5pm The Kansas City Gardener | October 2015



Own r u Yo ! F Pickmpkin Pu y Freecorn ! b Free Ba s for Pop Pumpkin ! the Kids

ride y a H e re

Treat Yourself to some


Great Spring gardens start in the fall. Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, and more. PLANT them NOW !



WEEKENDS in OCTOBER 11:00am - 5:00pm 135th & Wornall



C o w g ir l Ka te

*Large treeson sale only at our 135th & Wornall and K7 & Prairie Star Pkwy locations

(& Witch Hazel ) performing balloon art selected weekends see her schedule at

135th & Wornall 816-942-2921


October 2015 |

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

105th & Roe



daffodils, larry harmon, butterflies, sweet autumn clematis, trees, birds