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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

October 2016

Editor’s Choice


Butterfly Photography It’s Time to Prepare for Winter Proper Watering Trees and Shrubs Keys to Successful Native Gardens

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The Kansas City Gardener | October 2016


The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Opine on pin oak

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Contributors Nik and Theresa Hiremath Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Dennis Patton Judy Penner Dr. Rodney St. John 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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avanaugh gardens “palatial estate” is situated in an established neighborhood with mature trees. Anchoring the southeast side of the property is a mighty pin oak, and it’s age I cannot guess. When I say “mature,” however, I mean two adults joining hands might not be able to reach around the circumference of this oak tree. Home to plenty of wildlife, this oak tree is the stage on which we have witnessed their liveliness. Standing underneath and looking up into the canopy, you can see samples of their handiwork. Like the squirrels that have raced up, with their mouths stuffed with leaves, to build a nest before the snow flies. This is also the tree where the neighborhood hawk and owl will perch while they patiently await their prey. What goes up near the oak tree sometimes doesn’t come down. For example, kites have been snagged from the sky, as well as fishing line while attempts at casting. The remnants of 4th of July fireworks, like parachutes, now tattered and faded still dangle from high branches.

Yet a few young squirrels and birds have fallen from this tree. Notably, all survived. Recently while barefooted (ouchchee-baba) in the driveway, I discovered the acorns have started to fall from this tree. They seem to drop a few at a time, when you’re not watching. Stand beneath the tree too long, and you’ll wish you hadn’t. Like our friend Mr. George, who was here with his son to install a new patio door. They set up the table saw and other tools in the driveway, seeking shade from the pin oak. It didn’t take long for him to say, “I didn’t realize we needed hard hats while working on this job.” The acorns fell with such frequency, and pointy side down, that it caused them to move into the garage. That explains the line item on his bill that says, “difficult

working conditions.” We shared a laugh over that one. Last year we experienced a reprieve from the acorn drop, and the multitude of baby oak trees that subsequently pop up in the landscape. It looks as though this year will be different. So I’ll be diligently scooping up as many acorns as I can, and hope that the wildlife will do their part with consumption. With all hands (and paws and beaks) on deck, we might be able to keep oak tree production down to a few thousand on the Cavanaugh estate. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue October 2016 • Vol. 21 No. 10 Proper Watering ....................... 6 Ask the Experts ......................... 6 Hotlines ................................... 7 Time to Get Ready for Winter .... 8 Rose Report ............................. 9 Butterfly Photography ................ 10 Fothergilla ............................... 12 Keys to Native Gardens ............ 14

about the cover ...


Expanding the Plant Palette ....... 16 Apps for Plants and Birds ......... 17 Upcoming Events ..................... 18 Bulbs Workshop ...................... 20 Powell Garden Events .............. 21 Garden Calendar .................... 22 Subscribe ............................... 23 Professional’s Corner ................ 23

Looking for a new ornamental shrub? Look no further than Dwarf Fothergilla. Learn more beginning on page 12. Photo courtesy of


Proper Watering Trees and Shrubs DR. RODNEY ST. JOHN discusses how much, when and where we should water our prized trees and shrubs. How Much is Just Right? How much you need to water your trees and shrubs depends on several factors: plant species, current soil moisture, soil texture (sand, loam, clay), and drainage. The amount of air in the soil is as important as moisture; these must be kept in balance for optimum plant health.

It is important to water plants carefully. Too much water, or not enough water, can cause plants harm and sometimes be fatal. Only Supplement Nature if Necessary If your plants are planted in a high clay content soil (which they probably are), they should receive approximately one inch of water every week during the growing season. If nature provides this amount

there is no need to water. Water should be provided slowly and thoroughly, without run-off. If your soil texture is sandy, it will need more water more often than a clay soil. Clay soils (common in our area) have a high water-holding capacity and may only need to be watered during very dry periods. If your soil is compacted, watering will be more difficult, and soil aeration may be needed. Overwatering is a Common Problem Do not water too frequently. Watering too often is a common mistake and can be easily done with automatic sprinkler systems. Short, frequent waterings encourage absorbing roots to concentrate near the soil surface. (Overwatering does this, too, when the soil becomes saturated). Overwatering can also reduce soil oxygen and leach nutrients to below the root zone. There are some ways to help you determine when it’s time to water. Check with your arborist if you have questions. Where to Water Trees Newly Planted Trees: Provide a slow trickle near the base of the tree with a garden hose. Move the location of the hose periodically until the soil in the plant’s root zone is thoroughly soaked.

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Mature Trees: Water mature trees under the branches using a sprinkler. We recommend a rotating sprinkler or a soaker hose turned upside down. Move the location of the sprinkler periodically to prevent runoff and to reach all roots. Water until the soil in the plant’s root zone is thoroughly soaked. Do not water a mature tree at its base. Few absorbing roots are next to the base of a

larger tree, and excessive moisture there can provide a good environment for decay-causing fungi. Dr. Rodney St. John is an agronomist at Ryan Lawn & Tree. Ask Dr. Rodney your questions by e-mailing or calling 913-381-1505. You can also follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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Weeds have this ability to grow just about anywhere, even in a small dry space.

Powdery mildew on peony leaves results from rainy, humid summer.

Ask the Experts Readers share their questions about landscape issues, and DENNIS PATTON gives expert tips and advice. WEED PREVENTION Question: I have a brick patio and each year weeds grow in the cracks. Is there any way to stop this weed growth?

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Answer: Weeds have this ability to grow just about anywhere, even in a small dry space. Unfortunately the cracks between bricks collect dust particles and



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 20-minute 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.

weed seeds blow into the space. The result is all sorts of weeds from grasses to broadleaves thriving. This is just nature and it is bound to happen. I don’t know of any prevention but just handle the weeds once they appear. You do have options. Hand pulling is time consuming and back-breaking but effective. Products containing the glyphosate (Round Up mixtures) can be used as needed. Another organic approach that works is a small blow torch. This basically fries the weeds. PEONIES WITH POWDERY MILDEW Question: My peony foliage is usually healthy and green all summer long. This year after flowering a white mass covered the foliage and they looked awful. What

is wrong with my plants and will they come back next year? Answer: In my many years as a gardener, I have never seen powdery mildew this bad on peonies. This airborne disease is a result of our rainy, humid summer. Unfortunately, once the plant is infected there are no controls. Since this is not a regular occurring issue, preventative fungicide treatments are not recommended. Bottom line is live with the issue. While the mildew looks terrible it will not harm the plants that much. The disease will limit the plants ability to make energy so expect maybe a few less flowers next spring. The best defense against this issue is to remove all the dead and dying foliage to the ground this fall and trash. Sanitation will not be 100% effective in stop-

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ping the problem. As for its return, well to coin my favorite phrase, it all depends on the weather patterns next year. FRUSTRATED WITH TOMATOES Question: I think I am going to give up growing tomatoes. Between the weather and other issues I just cannot seem to pick good fruit. This year I had nice looking tomatoes but when I peeled them there were these hard white growths under the skin. What caused these issues? Answer: Tomatoes have been a challenge the last few years. The issues you are having is caused by an insect called a stink bug. This shield-shaped brown or green bug sticks its mouthpart into the fruit to feed. The result is the development of this gritty callus tissue in the fruit. While it does not harm the flavor of the fruit it does make it unappetizing. The damaged layer can be cut out which wastes a lot of the meaty tomato but there are really no other options. Control of stink bugs is not easy as repeated insecticide sprays would be needed. MORE ASH TREE TROUBLES Question: Once again this late summer my ash tree developed brown leaves and fell early. What is going on with the tree? Is this part of the symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer? Answer: Green ash trees up and down streets look really bad again this summer and fall. The issue for many of the trees is the continual spread of Emerald Ash Borer. EAB damage is seen as dieback in the canopy of the tree and sucker growth from the trunk. In this case the browning of the leaves is not a result of EAB but a foliar wind-blown disease. Seems like there is a theme in this section

of Q and A. Once again our humid conditions and rains are to blame. This foliar disease is mycosphaerella leaf spot. The good news is this disease does not harm the tree in the long run, but in the short term it sure does make it ugly. There are no practical controls to prevent this leaf spot disease. The best recommendation is to just live with it. INSECT IDENTIFICATION Question: I noticed a lot of long beetle-like insects in my garden. Most were gray in color and some had black and yellow stripes. They devoured the foliage. What were these insects? Answer: This summer we had a very big outbreak of blister beetles. Blister beetles feed on a wide variety of plants in mass. They also get there name for a good reason. They contain a caustic substance that when released can cause blisters to the skin. In fact if a large number of these get baled into hay their dead bodies can kill a horse. Since they are an adult beetle control is difficult. Many insecticide sprays will help reduce the population. The good news is since they feed late in the season they rarely harm the plant or kill it. They mainly just make it look bad. Spot spraying as needed would be the recommendation. Don’t confuse this insect with Soldier Beetles that are also active late summer. This beetle has the same shape but is yellow-gold with a couple of circular markings. This is a beneficial insect that feeds on many other insects in the garden.

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The Kansas City Gardener | October 2016


It’s Time to Prepare for Winter! Attention birders! THERESA HIREMATH provides practical tips on establishing a winter-friendly backyard.


on’t you just love the cool fall weather? Throwing on a sweatshirt and being entertained by the morning antics of your birds and other backyard wildlife? The sweet rustling of the leaves under your feet as you crunch your way to the day’s outdoor project? These lovely days will soon turn to the cold of winter, so now is a great time to winterize your habitat for your backyard wildlife. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your backyard is winterfriendly for your friends! Hummingbird feeders should stay out and filled with fresh nectar until the end of October. Stragglers migrating from the north rely on feeders even more now to give them the extra energy they need to migrate.

Clean your feeders! It is very important that feeders be cleaned on a regular basis with warm water. If your feeder has mold or is very dirty, it can be cleaned with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water or a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. Let it dry completely and check that your feeders are functioning properly before refilling with fresh seed. Cleaning the area around your feeders regularly is important also. This will eliminate the build up that can occur and keeps the mess down for ground birds that are feeding on the ground. Now is a great time to check your mounting hardware for stability and function. If poles are scratched, they can be painted with rustproof spray or replaced before the cold and wet weather sets in.

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Don’t over-manicure your yard. Leave yard waste in a bundle in a corner of your yard to provide a natural sheltering spot. Get some fresh (therefore, nutritious) seed for your birds! Depending on the blend of seed and how you store it, the shelf life of birdseed can be as little as one month, especially during the heat of summer. Check your supply of high energy bird foods (both seed blends and suet). Make sure you are offering high energy suet and seed blends that include suet snacks and fruit. This will provide much needed energy as the birds molt into their winter plumage. Nesting season is over, so clean out those nesting boxes. Remove all old nesting material and scrape and/or brush out anything clinging to the box. A 50/50 vinegar and water solution will get rid of mites and other parasitic bugs that may remain. Provide roosting pockets and leave nesting boxes out. During cold winter nights (and even days) birds will huddle together in roosting pockets and nesting boxes for warmth. Winterize your birdbaths. Put out your heated birdbaths and/or birdbath heaters. A reliable water source is key to winter survival, and as winter progresses, the birds have a difficult time finding water that isn’t frozen. Glass birdbaths

Make sure you are offering high energy suet and seed blends that include suet snacks and fruit. should be brought inside. Cement birdbaths should be flipped over or a birdbath heater should be installed to prevent ice accumulation and cracking of the bath. If you have any questions about winterizing or other backyard bird and nature topics, come visit us at the store. Our Backyard Birding Specialists would love to answer any questions you may have. 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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Rose Report Expert rosarian JUDY PENNER shares her tips for success.


his time of year we rose growers are concerned about how to get our roses through the Midwest winters. When you think of protecting your roses, fertilizing practices should not be the first thing on your mind. Six weeks before the first frost date is the last time you should fertilize your roses. Kansas City’s first frost date on average is between October 31 and November 10. The reason we don’t fertilize late into the season is so that the plant does not put on new growth. The new growth has cells that are full of water and are easily damaged by frost. I also encourage growers to stop cutting roses by mid-September. The rose’s energy goes into the rose hips instead of new soft tissue growth that could be damaged by frost. It is important to ensure your roses go into winter well watered, and usually fall rains will be sufficient. If rainfall amounts have been slim, be sure to water your roses deeply in late fall. Many gardeners remove the leaves from rose plants. This is to eliminate disease problems from overwintering and to signal the plant into dormancy. I recommend removing and disposing of the rose leaves from the rose beds. Then spray a fungicide on the rose as well as the rose bed before mulching your roses for winter. When temperatures are frosty for several days in the late fall, it

is time to cover the base of your rose with 12 inches of mulch. The mulch is put on the roses to keep the cold temperature in the ground. I use a hardwood mulch because it is easy to work with and can be spread out on the bed in the spring. Would you like to learn more about winterizing your roses? I will be presenting a rose demonstration with The Kansas City Rose Society

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Butterfly Photography For those inspired to capture butterflies digitally, LENORA LARSON shares her wisdom and expertise.


have never dared write about photography because I know nothing about cameras. When an editor told me that I must use a better camera, I simply asked an experienced friend what to buy and what settings to use. Enter the Nikon D50 with the 85mm macro lens and 900 speedlight! Fortunately, cameras have so improved that deep knowledge and deep pockets are no longer necessary. You will need a Macro-lens for the extreme close-ups required; however, most point-and-shoot cameras and newer smart phones now have this function. With the technology barrier removed, I can confidently share the fun part of butterfly photography: finding and shooting them! Butterfly Collecting Insect collections are now digital rather than pitiful specimens pinned to a board. Entomological science has been greatly improved by this easy access to images with confirmed identifications and validation of unusual sightings. And photographing adults and caterpillars in their natural environments demonstrates valuable natural history. Conversely, I encourage ‘catch and pin’ insect collecting

as a fun, educational activity for young people. This will not harm butterfly populations because loss of habitat is the killer, not school children. Step One: Finding Butterflies You’ll encounter butterflies between April and mid-October. Choose a dry, windless day with temperatures above 60 degrees, and sunny since much of the color is refracted sunlight rather than pigments. Unlike many nature photographers, lepidopterists can easily find and shoot their quarry because butterflies are drawn to nectar-rich flowers where they briefly hold still while drinking. You can also position plates of rotten bananas and melon rinds for photographic convenience since many butterflies nectar on over-ripe fruit. Even though more butterflies can often be found near their caterpillar’s host plant than on flowers, they don’t hold still while courting, mating and ovipositing. I’ve tried the recommendation of placing butterflies in the refrigerator to render them temporarily immobile, but the resulting comatose butterfly doesn’t look life-like when laid on a flower. And even though they recover, I feel guilty.

A perfect combination of factors resulted in this photograph of a Red-spotted Purple butterfly nectaring on Butterfly Bush. Butterflies quickly become battle worn so some butterfly photographers raise caterpillars in order to capture the perfection of a freshly emerged butterfly as it spreads its wings for the first time. Snapping the Shot You see a beautiful butterfly, nectaring on a beautiful flower. Photographic perfection! However, the closer you approach, the more likely it will fly away. Butterflies have excellent 360 degree vision and a strong ‘startle reflex’, which means that the slightest movement will send them flying. I’ve read the recommendation to use a tripod,

but rarely will butterflies hold still while you fumble with equipment. I use ‘auto-focus’ and snap repeatedly as I carefully, slowly move closer and closer. For the top view with glorious wings spread, I like to shoot from above, but for side views, you’ll often need to kneel for eye level images. (Try to suppress the moan of pain if you have geriatric joints like mine!) I immediately transfer all images to my computer and use a photoeditor to select, crop, refine and store the image if it’s a ‘keeper.’ Make Your Luck Many factors must align for the perfect butterfly photo: you must get within a few inches of a freshly emerged butterfly that is quietly nectaring on a sunny, windless day. The good news? The more time you spend in butterfly habitats, the more likely you are to get lucky. Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardener and Kansas Native Plant Society member, Lenora Larson gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kansas. She may be contacted at lenora.longlips@


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The Kansas City Gardener | October 2016



October 2016 |

Editor’s Choice

Photo of spring bloom, and on facing page of fall foliage courtesy of


Fothergilla welcomes spring with white bottlebrush spikes that tend to last for a couple of weeks.


eet dwarf Fothergilla, Fothergilla gardenii, an attractive three-season deciduous shrub that has been a stalwart performer in my garden for years. From the onset of spring through the conclusion of fall, she never disappoints. In early April the white, bottlebrush blooms appear with honeylike fragrance, and typically last for a couple of weeks. Then are replaced by beautifully textured green to blue-green foliage. Then fall brings a prize-winning display. During November, the frost-tolerant foliage takes on golden-yellows, bright oranges or intense reds, or combinations of all. When other fall-foliage plants have finished, fiery Fothergilla perseveres in the garden. Some say there’s fourth season interest in winter when you can see the zigzag type of branching. In my opinion, it is unremarkable. I’ve read that weather conditions greatly influence the autumn coloration each year, with the amount of sunlight, rainfall and temperatures all playing a role.

By the time the spring blooms begin to fade, blue-green foliage emerges.

For mine planted in full sun/partial shade and have been established for well over 10 years, the results have been consistently positive. She’s a slow-growing rounded shrub that will reach 3 to 4 feet tall, spreading wider if allowed. Fothergilla performs well in moist, acidic, organically rich, welldrained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants appreciate some afternoon shade especially in hot, dry summers. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Then reduce once established. If we’re in an extreme heat situation, weekly watering or more often is necessary. Use Fothergilla in the landscape as a compact specimen or accent plant. Impressive when grown in groups or massed. Shrub borders, foundations, cottage gardens, open woodland areas or native plant areas gives this little work horse plenty of utility options. Looking for a low maintenance shrub? Fothergilla is one of the best. She stays true to her

Before this shrub goes dormant, it throws one last parade of vibrant color.

dwarf label. Pruning isn’t required, except for the occasional sucker growth that appears at the base. However, I have been known to do a little selective pruning to bring branching back into shape. Any troubles with pests? Nope. There don’t seem to be serious insect or disease problems. Added bonus: deer resistant. If you need just one more reason to consider dwarf Fothergilla for your landscape, consider this: it’s a Plant of Merit. Easy to grow and maintain; not known to be invasive in our area; resistant or tolerant to diseases and insects; has outstanding ornamental value; and reasonably available to purchase. For more details about Plants of Merit, go to High praise for a favorite shrub in my landscape. She’s a sweet, sturdy one that should be included in your garden too. There’s still plenty of time to plant before winter arrives. Check with the professionals at your local nursery or garden center for healthy plant selection.

Fast Facts Name: Dwarf Fothergilla Type: Deciduous shrub Family: Hamamelidaceae Native Range: North America Zone: 5 to 8 Height: 2 to 3 feet Spread: 2 to 4 feet Bloom Time: April to May Bloom Description: White Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Flower: Showy, Fragrant Leaf: Good Fall

The Kansas City Gardener | October 2016


Keys to Successful Native Gardens


stories and some award-winning native gardens. Cluster plantings usually have 3 to 5 of the same kind of plant in an area about the size of a dinner table (15 square feet). So an 8 x 20 (160 square feet) flower bed may have 8 to 10 different kinds of plants depending on if you repeat clusters. Repetition adds interest especially in long narrow flower beds. I like to repeat star sedge (Carex radiata) in the front of a border or feathery bluestar (Amsonia ciliata var. filifolia) in the back of the border. One shrub will take up one whole dinner table. Shrubs add height and shape to the bed like beautyberry (Calicarpa americana) (mounded) or leatherwood (Dirca palustris) (egg-shaped). They also can add winter interest with berries and branch structure. Clustered plant-

o say that all native plants are weeds is a half-truth. True, there are many native plants that are overly aggressive like golden Alexander and rough-leaved goldenrod. Their use (especially in the hands of underfunded or “fairweather” gardeners) has led to the failure and removal of a number of native gardens I have known. But there is a flip side; there are many awesome native plants that stay put, are beautiful, support wildlife, and pass all municipal sniff-tests. Some examples of plants that keep a tidy appearance include littleflower alumroot (Heuchera parviflora) and Indian pink (Spigelia marylandica). Their use along with time-tested gardening practices of cluster planting, weeding, watering, and mulching (and a helping of creativity) has led to many success

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Whitmire Wildflower Garden, wild sweet William and woodland stonecrop in foreground ings also tend to be easier to keep weeded because you can see what is supposed to be where. One definition of a weed is a plant that is in the wrong place. Tree and vine weeds that invade from the neighborhood can wreak havoc in your garden and might be difficult to identify. They may attract wildlife and weed cops, but rarely attract happy neighbors. Watch out for seedlings of silver maple, boxelder, tree of heaven (exotic invasive), bush honeysuckle (exotic invasive), catalpa, pin oak, wild grape, trumpet creeper and others. I recommend removing seedlings that sprout up around the original plantings. Seedlings allowed to grow wherever they may will lead to a weedy-looking garden.

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Successful gardens are fun to be in. Build a pathway that leads to a hidden nook with trickling water that attracts both people and birds. Create a patio shaded by a pergola covered with Virginia creeper and watch the woodpeckers devour all the berries. Construct raised beds to grow your favorite herbs, native annuals, and blazingstar (voles can eat blazingstar corms when planted in the ground). Find just the right ceramic container or start a collection and plant them with whatever interests you. Right now we have horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) and water plantain (Plantago cordata) in two cobalt blue containers and a big vessel full of water and arrow arum (Peltandra virginica). When gardening in small places avoid plants that spread unless you

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S un: rose verbena, prairie pussytoes (dry), rock pink (dry). P art shade: dwarf crested iris, oak sedge, cedar sedge (dry), Robin’s plantain, trailing bush-clover, barren strawberry, wild ginger, woodland stonecrop

Whitmire Wildflower Garden, pussytoes and oak sedge in foreground need a groundcover. If you are gardening in small places, seek out plants that fit in small spaces. Like finding the perfect couch or shirt, it is important to get the right-sized plant. Right is a list of native plants for small to average gardens. These plants are clump-forming, have slow to moderate growth rates, are compact, and perform well when properly mulched, watered, and weeded. Find suppliers of these and other natives at, Resource Guide. 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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The Kansas City Gardener | October 2016


Photos by Susan Mertz.

Kimberly Queen Fern


June Spirit Hosta

Bill Malouche

Expanding the Plant Palette After a summer visit to local garden, SUSAN MERTZ shares the knowledge and inspiration gained.


t started with looking through a microscope in school and from that moment on Bill Malouche was hooked on growing things. Today, Bill is a representative for National Nursery Products and an avid gardener. His property in Prairie Village is shaded by mature trees and filled with annuals, peren-

nials, flowering shrubs and ornamental trees. Under a towering linden, perhaps a state champion, Bill and I talked about gardening and some of his favorite plants. Low maintenance, colorful foliage plants are used extensively in containers and include heucheras and hostas.

Macho Fern, mandevilla, cuphea, Majesty Palm, and a duranta tree are a few of the tropical plants making statements in large containers along walkways and in sitting areas. An easy colorful combination for a sunny spot is a duranta tree surrounded by Angel Wing Begonias. Cuphea is a favorite of

Bill’s as it attracts hummingbirds. The large ferns look great and last in the landscape through several hard freezes. Mandevilla, available in an assortment of colors, is always in bloom and prefers full sun. Throughout the landscape, borders of SunPatiens® add color. He’s found they are easy to grow

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October 2016 |

Apps for Plants and Birds W

Millenium Allium

Begonia Big paired with English Ivy

when planted in good soil, requiring limited water. Plus, insects don’t bother them. In his front landscape, Bill has turned a problem spot into a welcoming garden with four seasons of interest. A manufactured stone retaining wall is covered with English Ivy planted in a narrow strip of soil along the driveway. The ivy both climbs the wall and cascades onto the pavement. The wall is topped off with Begonia Big that flowers nonstop. Under a mature pin oak by the entrance, Bill has planted drifts of hostas, heucheras, brunnera, helleborus, ferns, and epimedium. Ivy and lysimachia trail down a slope. Bush Clematis weaves through the plantings with its blue summer flowers popping out every now and then. As we walked around his backyard, Bill pointed out some chameleon plants that were trying to invade from his neighbor’s property. Eradicating this groundcover has been a challenge. Chameleon plant is what drove Bill from his old home; it was easier to move than fight it! With this garden, he has been careful about what he plants and is fortunate to have access to new plants in the marketplace through the nurseries he represents. One of my favorites in his garden is Millenium Allium. What a great plant! It is clump

forming with glossy green foliage, drought tolerant, and showy flowers in the heat of summer. I’m tearing out the Summer Beauty Allium in my garden and planting Millenium instead. Tired of large maturing Russian Sage in my gardens, I was very interested in the Denim ‘n Lace Russian Sage that Bill is growing. It has a nice tidy size of 28” x 34”. Sun King Aralia is another perennial I fell in love with and is new to me. In part shade, it glows yellow. In shade, it is lime green. Maturing 3’ x 3’, Bill has combined Sun King Aralia with Chocolate Chip Ajuga, heucheras, hostas and yews in a beautiful, low maintenance border. Favorite variegated hostas he pointed out as we walked around are June Spirit and Autumn Frost. More plants that need to find a home in my gardens. I left there inspired and ready to dig up some turf at home and create new beds. Fortunately, the 90+ degrees brought me to my senses and I decided to make plans first and wait for cooler weather. Fall is a great time to dig, amend the soil and plant shrubs and trees. In the spring, I’ll be ready to expand my perennial palette and go shopping!

ho hasn’t seen the news reports of throngs of people walking around area parks staring at their phones? Pokemon has gotten more people outside using their phones to discover new places. But what about those that are already outside looking for nature? Is there a Pokemon app for nature lovers? There just might be! Technology has turned our phones and tablets into infinite libraries and indispensible tools in learning, reporting and teaching nature. Would you know what apps will help you ID a bird? Contribute to citizen science? Technology has opened up an

entirely new world for the nature curious. How can you use your devices camera to expand your knowledge? Document sightings or places? Even record audio? What can you do with free apps, and which paid apps are really worth the price? Join the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City as we put nature in your pocket at 6:30pm on Thurs., Oct. 20, 2016 at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO. No registration. Free, open to the public. For more information call 816-665-4456, or see

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October 2016 |

Club Meetings African Violet Club of Greater Kansas City Tues, Oct 11, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 52nd and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Bonsai Society of Greater Kansas City Sat, Oct 15, 9am-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816513-8590 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Oct 16, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816513-8590 GKC Herb Study Group Wed, Oct 12, 12 noon; at Rose Room, Loose Park Garden Center, 52nd and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Our President, Lynn Soulier, a well-known herbalist in the Kansas City area, will be instructing us on how to make Herbal vinegars and oils. We will harvest herbs from own garden here at Loose Park and the vinegars and oils will be provided. Each one is asked to bring a couple of decorative bottles with lids or corks for this fun handson experience that you will be able to take home with you. Bring a sack lunch and drink. Friends and visitors are welcome. RSVP so we know how many to provide supplies for. 816-4781640, Nancy. KC Cactus and Succulent Society
 Sun, Oct 16, 1:30-4pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. This meeting will include the club’s annual plant swap and giveaway. Visitors are welcome. Contact 816-444-9321 or for more info. Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Oct 3, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. The public is welcome. Program is “Growing Citrus for the Joy of the Senses” by Bibie Chronwall, club member and Greater Kansas City Master Gardener. Betty Bonness will discuss the Monthly Showcase that includes “In the Manner of Ikebana” and the horticulture exhibits. Fall gardening tips will be presented by Iva Stribling. Bring a sack lunch and join us after the meeting downstairs in the Fern Room for furnished drinks and dessert. 913-341-7555

Kaw Valley Herbs Study Group Tues, Oct 11, 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. Babies-in-arms and children over 10 are welcome. Information & Monthly Newsletter: Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Oct 12, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Steve Mann, of Prairie Ecosystem Management, will discuss ecological gardening and his founding of “Food Not Lawns”. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information contact Melony Lutz at 913-484-4568 or the Leavenworth County Extension office at 913-364-5700. Leawood Garden Club Tues, Oct 25, 10:30am; at Cure of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS. Cynthia Gillis, Johnson County Extension Master Gardener, will present “English Style Gardening in the Prairies of Kansas.” The meeting is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. A pot luck luncheon will be provided. For more information, please visit our website www., send an email to or call 913-642-3317. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Oct 11, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 S W Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Our speaker will be Keith Wheeler, his topic will be “Hypertufa Pots”, a video will be shown. Refreshments will be provided and visitors are always welcome. Visit our website www.leessummitgardenclub. org or call 816-540-4036 for additional information. Northland Garden Club Tues, Oct 18, 7pm; at Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 N Norton, Kansas City, Mo (just south and west of Penguin Park off Vivion). This month Mark

Samborski from Antioch Gardens will present a program on “Soil Health and Revival” including the importance of microbial activity in soil and info on several soil blends they are experimenting with. For more info, see www. Orchid Society of Greater KC Sun, Oct 9, at Lenexa Center, 13420 Oak St. Beginners Group for new growers 1:30-2:15pm. General meeting and presentation at 2:15. Glenn Decker, Piping Rock Orchids, internationally-recognized expert on Phrags and Paphs. Please join us to learn more about growing these fabulous orchids. Open to the public. Ribbon Judging of locally-grown orchids. For more on the KC Orchid Society: Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Oct 10, 6pm. Again we will try to make Hypertufa pots at the home of Holly Ramsey, 9239 Craig, Overland Park, KS. Because of weather conditions at the meeting in July, the results were not good and the pots didn’t setup right. The club will again provide the supplies but you should bring rubber gloves. The public is invited and if you need additional information, call Judy Schuck at 913-362-8480. Sho Me African Violet Club Fri, Oct 14, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816513-8590 Water Garden Society of GKC Tues, Oct 18, at Union Station, 30 W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108. We meet in the North West corner of the station, adjacent to the Planetarium. Look for the signs directing you to our meeting room. We gather at 6pm for snacks and socializing. At 6:30pm, our first speaker is Paul Mezo, the manager of Earl May Garden Center in Shawnee, Kan. Mr. Mezo will be speaking about plants and trees that are complimentary to water gardens. He will also share his experiences with award winning plants that are suitable for our weather in the Kansas City area. Roye Dillon is a longtime friend of the Water Garden Society and professional contractor, certified by Aquascape. Roye is a water garden specialist from Prestige One Landscaping. As our featured speaker, Mr. Dillon will be speaking about a sad time of year—shutting down the pond for the winter, trimming and lowering hardy lilies, and putting the lotus to bed. Membership is $35 for an individual or $45 for a 2-person household. Membership provides 12 monthly newsletters, meetings 9 months per year, tickets to the 2 day annual public tour, private member tours thought the summer and much more. Visit us at

Events, Lectures & Classes October Kaw Valley Farm Tour Sat, Oct 1, 9am-5pm; Sun, Oct 2,9am5pm. This is an opportunity to visit local farms and learn about farm practices directly from the farmer. Held the first full weekend in October each year, the tour continues to grow and offers learning opportunities for children and adults. Farms have fun activities for children and families. 32 farms along the Kaw River Auburn to Lansing Kansas. Alpacas to zucchini! A $10 carload ticket is good for both Saturday and Sunday. More Info, map, and tickets are available at Cost: $10 per carload, good for both Saturday and Sunday Native Plants of Jerry Smith Park Tues, Oct 4, 6:45pm; at the Anita B Gorman Discovery Center auditorium, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110. Kansas City Wildlands with support from Burroughs Audubon and The Westport Garden Club through Garden Club of America have sponsored several botany studies at KC Wildlands site, Jerry Smith Park. Jerry Smith Park is the only known, unplowed prairie left in Jackson County and is maintained by Kansas City Wildlands and KCMO Parks and Rec. Justin Thomas and his team have surveyed this last remnant for an inventory of plant species. The prairie once covered vast areas of North America and is now one of the least preserved, most endangered ecosystems. Justin Thomas has over 17 years of botanical field work divided between The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Department of Conservation, the National Park Service, Dunn-Palmer Herbarium, William Sherman Turrell Herbarium, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Learn about the prairie plant community in Missouri and what we have preserved in Kansas City. Prairie Village Tree Board Fall Seminar Wed, Oct 5, 7pm; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd. The speakers will be Chad Weinand with Loma Vista and afterward a Q&A session with Sarah Crowder with Heartland Tree Alliance. Storm Water Conservation Workshop Thurs, Oct 6, 11:30am-1pm; at the Wildcat Room, 1200 North 79th St (adjacent to the Wyandotte County Conservation District office), Kansas City KS. The Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners Association (WCEMGA), in collaboration with the Wyandotte County Conservation District, will be conduct(continued on page 20)

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Bulbs Workshop: Beyond the Basics

places to go, things to do, people to see

(continued from page 19)

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22


Upcoming Garden Events

ing this workshop. To register call the Wyandotte County Extension Office at 913-299-9300, between 9am and 4pm, Mon through Fri. Registration will be open Sept 1 through Oct 5, 2016.

tart with the botany of bulbs, corms, roots and rhizomes, and Fall Rose Care Class learn how and when to plant each. Rediscover garden favorites Sat, Oct 8, 10am-noon; at Loose Park like lilies, tulips and daffodils, and unearth less bulbs *1 OFFcommon Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, like allium, snowdrops and scilla. Hands-on experience dividing5E Series Kansas City, MO. 816-513-8590 5045E bulbs and starting bulbs from seed included. or and 5055E –– ORPlus, –– take home three MFWD, 2015HOWLoween models more bulbs from each of 10 varieties including Schubert’s onion! III $57/person, $49/member. Fri, Oct 14, 6-9pm; at Anita B Gorman for Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave, Registration required by Oct. financing 14. months Kansas City, MO 64110. Walk-in (all –– AND –– ext. 209. Or regisTo register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ages) HOWLoween is back and we ter online at OFF








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Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser Sat, Oct 15; Green Streets Market, 112 E Green St, Clinton, MO 64735. We will be raising money for the Truman Lake Cancer relief foundation. With the purchase of a pink mum, $5.00 will • Final Tier 4-compliant engines be donated to the foundation. We also • iMatch Quick-Hitch compatible be selling tickets for a local garden that will• 2-speed hydro transmission be on tour and all proceeds will go to the foundation. The garden features • Category 1, 3-point hitch beautiful perennial beds, a dry creek with bridge and a gazebo. The tour is from 2-4 and the store is open from 8-6 that day and we will also have refreshments and Withdrawings. purchase of660-885-3441 2 implements

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––and –– AND Apps for Birds Plants *3 Thurs, Oct 20, 6:30pm; at Kauffman for OFF $ Foundation Conference Center, § § financing months 4801 300 OFF2 $ $ Implement Bonus*2 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Gardeners of Greater Kansas City. Mary Nemecek, § § Starting at $ $ Master Naturalist, will walk us through REYNOLDS LAWN AND LEISURE, INC. a variety of technology to help with REYNOLDS LAWN AND LEISURE, INC. field identification, participation in citenhancing Lawnizen andscience and Leisure, Inc. our experiREYNOLDS LAWN AND LEISURE,Reynolds INC. ences with nature. By assisting wildlife 12902 SHAWNEE MISSION PKWY 12902 SHAWNEE MISSION PKWY identification and reporting in the field, SHAWNEE, eynolds awn SHAWNEE, eisuReKSKS66216 nc 66216 913-268-4288 mobile apps are making it easier than 913-268-4288 12902 shawnee 12902 Mission Pkwy, shawnee, ks ever to contribute to conservation. Free SHAWNEE MISSION PKWY 913-268-4288 and open to the public. No registraSHAWNEE, KS 66216 tion required. Door prizes. For further Prices and models may vary by dealer. Manufacturer suggested list913-268-4288 price at $2,499 on S240 Sport, $1,499 on D105 and $2,499 on Z235. Prices are suggested retail Offer valid August 26, 2016, until October 2016.atSubject to approved credit Plan,with a service of John Deere Financial, f.s.b. For consumer only. No prices only from and are subject to change without28, notice any time. Dealer may sellon forRevolving less. Shown optional equipment not included in the price. use Attachments downimplements payment required. 0% for 60 Available months only. Other special dealers. rates and terms may be available, including installment financing and financing for commercial use. and sold separately. at participating information call 816-665-4456 or visit Offer valid from August 3, 2016, through October 28, 2016. Offer on the purchase of any new, qualifying Gator XUV590i and XUV825i S4 Utility Vehicle models. Get $500 off *The engine horsepower and torque information are provided by the engine manufacturer be used for comparison purposes operating horsepower XUV825i S4 and $300 off XUV590i models. Savings based on the purchase of eligible equipment. to Offers available on new equipment andonly. in theActual U.S. only. Prices and savings and torque willSee beyour Refer for to the engine manufacturer’s website for additional in U.S. dollars. details. Before operating or riding, always refer to theinformation. safety and operating information on the vehicle and in the operator’s manual. Actual our website at and browse **Term limited years orbased hourson used, comes first, andtow varies by model. See the terrain LIMITED FOR NEWfactors. JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY vehicle top speedtomay vary belt whichever wear, tire selection, vehicle weight, fuel condition, andWARRANTY other environmental EQUIPMENT at and for details. green colorretail scheme, symbol and Prices and models may vary by dealer. Manufacturer suggested list price of $9,799 on new John GatorDeere’s XUV590i. Pricesand areyellow suggested pricesthe onlyleaping and aredeer subject to change Prices and models may vary byofdealer. Manufacturer suggested list price at $2,499 on S240 in Sport, $1,499 on D105 and on Z235. Prices are suggested retail without notice at any time. Dealer may sell less. Shown with optional equipment not included the price. Attachments and$2,499 implements sold separately. Some restrictions Gardeners Gathering. JOHN DEERE are trademarks Deere & for Company. apply; only otherand special rates andtoterms maywithout be available, so at seeany your dealer for details andfor other options. Available at participating the price. Attachments prices are subject change notice time. Dealer may sell less.financing Shown with optional equipment not included










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*Theimplements engine horsepower and torque information for non-Deere engines are provided by the engine manufacturer to be used for comparison purposes only. Actual operating and sold separately. Available at participating dealers. horsepower torque willand be less. Refer to the engine additional information. Deere’s greenpurposes and yellowonly. colorActual scheme, the leaping deer *The engineand horsepower torque information are manufacturer’s provided by thewebsite engineformanufacturer to be usedJohn for comparison operating horsepower A0D03KKCU2A62195symbol and will JOHN are trademarks of Deere & Company. website for additional information. and torque beDEERE less. Refer to the engine manufacturer’s A0D020DCU2A68936-00028364 **Term limited to years or hours used, whichever comes first, and varies by model. See the LIMITED WARRANTY FOR NEW JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY EQUIPMENT at and for details. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol and JOHN DEERE are trademarks of Deere & Company.




Garlic: Planting and Growing Thurs, Oct 20, 7-8pm; at Leavenworth Public Library, 417 Spruce St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Loretta Craig, a Leavenworth County Master Gardener, will give a presentation on Garlic – the how tos on planting and growing. The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information contact Melony Lutz at 913484-4568 or the Leavenworth County Extension office at 913-364-5700. Bulbs Workshop: Beyond the Basics Sat, Oct 22, 10am-2pm; at Powell Gardens. Start with the botany of bulbs, corms, roots and rhizomes, and learn how and when to plant each. Rediscover garden favorites like lilies, tulips and daffodils, and unearth less common bulbs like allium, snowdrops and scilla. Hands-on experience dividing bulbs and starting bulbs from seed included. Plus, take home three or more bulbs from each of 10 varieties including Schubert’s onion! $57/ person, $49/member. Registration required by Oct 14. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at powellgardens. org/AdultClasses. Clinton Annual Wine Stroll Sat, Oct 22; at Green Streets Market, 112 E Green St, Clinton, MO 64735. We are participating and will have a Missouri Winery food, drawings and specials. Tickets can be purchased from the Chamber of Commerce 660885-8166. We will be open 8-7 that day and the Stroll is from 2-6. 660885-3441 Garden Faire and Lilypalooza Sat, Oct 29, 9am-1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. The 7th annual Lilypalooza, the fall bulb sale presented by Gardeners Connect, offers more distinctive lilies and other bulbs than ever before. Check out the selection of bulbs online at You may order online to pick up Oct 29. Garden Faire features affiliate organizations of Gardeners Connect offering information and items to purchase. Watercolor Workshop with Diren He Sat, Oct 29, 9am-4pm; at Powell Gardens. Using fresh flowers and your own photos of gardens, you will learn to capture color temperature, control water and lead the brush. A supply list will be mailed after registration. 69/person, $60/member (add $5 for

October 2016 |


* Offer valid 2/3/2015 through 4/30/2015. Subject to approved installment credit with John Deere Financial. Implement bonus is in addition to Low Rate financing and requires the purchase of 2 or more qualifying John Deere or Frontier Implements. 1$3,000 OFF or Fixed Rate of 0.0% for 60 months and $1,000 OFF implement bonus on MFWD, 2015 model year 5045E and 5055E Tractors. 2 $1,000 OFF or Fixed Rate of 0.0% for 60 months and $500 OFF implement bonus on 1023E and

supplies to be furnished). Registration required by Oct 24. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at powellgardens. org/AdultClasses.

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 816697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at 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 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. 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 1930’s stone clubhouse overlooking the lake. Dicken’s Carolers strolling Friday evening. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted. Lake Quivira is located one mile east of I-435 on Holiday Drive. Visit us on Facebook at 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 AdultClasses.

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

Powell Gardens October Events


his month brings spectacular fall color, antique tractors, beautiful gourds and hundreds of jack-o’-lanterns to Kansas City’s botanical garden. It’s also your last chance to see the dinosaurs! Jurassic Garden: A Prehistoric Adventure 
9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Monday, October 3 Have a close encounter of the prehistoric kind! See life-sized dinosaurs in 11 different settings throughout the Gardens. But hurry—these dinosaurs will be extinct after October 3. 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. Get Up Close to Gross!
 9 a.m.-5 p.m. October 1-31 Kids of all ages can explore all things gross—from animal scat to live creepy crawlies—and discover why these gross things are so cool. Harvest Celebration & Antique Tractor, Engine & Equipment Show 9 a.m.-5 p.m. October 1-2 Antique tractors rumble back to the Gardens for this festival dedicated to our Midwestern agricultural heritage. This year’s show features Allis-Chalmers, alongside a number of other brands of antique tractors, engines and equipment collected by enthusiasts from around the region. The two-day festival also includes cooking demonstrations, a concert, Show-Me Gourd Society show and sale, daily pedal pull for kids, pumpkin painting ($4) and on Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-noon a petting zoo. See for the schedule. Festival admission is $12/adults; $10/ seniors 60+, $5/children 5-12, and free/children 4 and younger.

Native Plant Symposium: Native Edibles in the Garden 9 a.m.-4 p.m. October 8 This is the first in Powell Gardens’ new series of Native Plant School classes focusing on how to create yards and landscapes that embrace native plants. Native Edibles in the Garden is a full day of lectures, food demonstrations and a garden walk highlighting the value of native edible plants in a landscape. Speakers include Dr. Linda Hezel of Prairie Birthday Farm; Nadia Navarrete-Tindall from Lincoln University Cooperative Extension; Alan Branhagen, Powell Gardens’ horticulture director; Barbara Fetchenhier, Heartland Harvest Garden interpreter; Mark Gawron, Heartland Harvest Garden horticulturist; and Eric Wagner, Heartland Harvest gardener. Fee: $74 ($65/ member). Learn more about this and other upcoming Native Plant School sessions at powellgardens. org/NativePlantSchool. Glow Jack-o’-lantern Festival 
 6-10 p.m. October 14-15 Don’t miss the region’s largest pumpkin festival, featuring more than 700 hand-carved pumpkins! Now in its third year, the Glow Jack-o’-lantern Festival returns for two nights with a bevy of mythical creatures illuminating the one-mile walk. Scenes, created using pumpkins, range from the Loch Ness Monster to King Tut’s Tomb. This walk-through experience is pure Halloween fun, including a stop to watch local artist and carver extraordinaire Rudy Garcia create amazing pumpkin sculptures. Food vendors and a bonfire make this a great place to stop and rest along the way. (Please note: Some vendors accept cash only.) For an additional fee, visitors can also enjoy pumpkin painting and hayrides. Festival admission is $12/adults; $10/seniors 60+, $5/children 5-12, and free/children 4 and younger. Visit for details.

The Kansas City Gardener | October 2016



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 now 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 that fall on the turf to avoid winter suffocation. • 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.

• 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 and 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.



• 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.

• 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.

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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Gard for the October

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‘Tis the Season for Fall Bulb Planting


As we experience the first chilly morning and the leaves start to turn, many gardeners begin to think about next year’s garden. One of the greatest early-season thrills is seeing spring blooming flowers popping up their heads, possibly even through a late spring snow. Fall is THE time to plant spring bulbs for beautiful bursts of brightly colored flowers heralding the long-awaited spring. Read the entire article for planting tips that will help make next year’s spring garden one of your prettiest at KCGMAG.COM.

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.

Professional’s Corner

Jeanne Johnson

From the start, I want you to know: Even though I’m the only person in this photograph, Johnson Farms operates with a mighty crew at the helm—too numerous to name, and too shy for the camera.

of Johnson Farms

About Johnson Farms: We’re a multigenerational agritainment business. We started out in 2001 with 75 percent of energy and output in the greenhouse, and 25 percent in our pumpkin farm. This has now flipped. Agritourism done well is how small farms can stay profitable. At the heart of this business though is a family that takes great pride in offering quality product and customer satisfaction. Why visit Johnson Farms: For fabulous mums, U-pick vegetables, flowers, pumpkins, and fun harvest season activities for its 15th year. Whether it be for a creative afternoon date, some family time, or a little DIY grocery shopping in the fields, there are plenty of reasons to ditch the city for a day by the barns. Pumpkin picking: We have a 40-acre crop of pumpkin varieties to pick from— including jack-o-lanterns, sweet pies, rare whites, and Cinderella pumpkins—it might take a while to find your perfect selections. Activities for all ages: Bring your whole family and get lost in the 20-acre corn maze. Then grab a wagon back to the play yard for tons of large muscle group fun for kids and

the animal corral where pig races are held on the weekend. Then when spring comes around: We grow beautiful, healthy plants right here on the farm, selected because they have been proven to be strong performers. Our 1 1/2 acre greenhouse features an abundant variety of annuals, perennials, landscape ornamentals, specialty containers, and hanging baskets. Community presence: Another unknown fact about us is that Shirley Johnson (my mother-in-law) and I both work for nonprofits that help meet the nutritional needs of the less fortunate in our community: Lord of Love community meal and KC Common Table. How to find us: Johnson Farms is a short, pleasant drive to 177th and Holmes. Forget those funky, winding back roads. We’re just 15 minutes south of the Three Crossings (the intersection of I-470, I-435 and US Hwy 71/49); 17701 Holmes Rd., Belton, MO 64102. Look for the wide-open blue sky! October Hours: Monday–Friday noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; phone 816-331-1067; Find us on Facebook and our website

The Kansas City Gardener | October 2016



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