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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

September 2015

The Great Cottonwood Trees

In the garden at the Biltmore Goldenrods suitable for gardens Repair lawn by reseeding in fall Sumac solves landscape challenge

Fall Is The Best Time Of Year Is your backyard hot, dry and lifeless, or is there a cool and soothing Oasis beckoning for you to come outside and relax beside a cool refreshing Waterfalls, Stream and Pond? How do you want to live outdoors? Let your love of the outdoors influence your backyard design. Can you see a Mountain retreat, Japanese garden, Desert Oasis or a Tropical Island Paradise? Let your Backyard Garden be Your Personal Sanctuary where you can “Get Away From It All”.

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8/13/15 The Kansas City Gardener | September 2015


6:28 PM

editor’s notes

The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Special Anniversary

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Hannah Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Judy Archer Nik and Theresa Hiremath Lenora Larson Susan Mertz Ken O’Dell Dennis Patton Rodney St. John Diane Swan Brent Tucker Scott Woodbury Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

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


hen my husband and I moved to the Midwest in February 1996, we could not have predicted this journey of ours. With four little kids, a dog and all of our worldly possessions in a U-haul truck, we came with a dream to launch a gardening magazine. We are thrilled to recognize that this month marks the 20th anniversary of that first issue. Born out of the monthly to-do list provided by the local Extension Service, the idea was to provide a resource to gardeners for successful gardening. Let’s give them more than a to-do list. Let’s give them timely, relevant information from locals who have first-hand experience with gardening in this challenging zone. Because we aren’t horticulturists or master gardeners, we set out to find those skilled green industry professionals and seasoned gardeners to share their expertise – and share they did. From lawn care guys to garden club members, the list of contributors grew, all willing to inspire, educate and entertain. And when we approached nurseries, garden centers, and the host of Kansas City green industry professionals about supporting our

Submit editorial questions to Elizabeth Cavanaugh at

Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 27.


humidity. And sometimes Mother Nature is simply unkind. Yet, there were mouths to feed and rent to pay, so failure was not an option. We must press on. It was that unwavering commitment and overwhelming desire to make this dream a reality that energized us and kept us moving forward. We have all of you to thank – advertisers, contributors, readers, and the gardening community at large. Without your ongoing endorsement, this would not be possible. You have welcomed us into your gardens, and have expressed your sincere appreciation of our work. That is the sustaining fuel for this journey. It is my prayer that we give you fuel for your journey as well. Whether with inspiration or motivation, may these pages continue to cultivate the garden in your life. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue

See us on the Web:

Don’t Miss A Single Issue!

effort, their response was an enthusiastic YES! With support and encouragement like that from every direction, we were able to publish the first issue in September 1996. Of course, no magazine is worth the paper it’s printed on if it simply sits on the rack. Someone must pick it up and actually read it, as well as support the advertisers within those pages. You, dear reader, did that. From the first issue and every issue that followed, you emptied those racks filled with The Kansas City Gardener. For those who wouldn’t risk missing a single issue, they have subscribed so that it comes directly to their mailbox. Now that’s support! Has it been easy? The road to success is rarely easy. Just like cultivating a beautiful garden, oftentimes your reward at the end of the day is a sore back and dirty fingernails. You’re exhausted and worn out from hours in the heat and

September 2015 • Vol. 20 No. 9 Rose Report ............................ 5 Ask the Experts ........................ 6 Goldenrods ............................. 8 Plan Your Water Garden ........... 9 Tiger Eyes Sumac ..................... 11 Butterflies: Certify and Post ....... 12 Great Cottonwood Trees .......... 14 The Bird Brain ......................... 16

about the cover ...

Australian Tree Fern ................. 17 Repair Lawn by Reseeding ........ 18 At the Biltmore ......................... 20 Upcoming Events ..................... 22 Powell Gardens Events ............. 25 Garden Calendar .................... 26 Professional’s Corner ................ 27 Subscribe ................................ 27

Ken O’Dell discusses the champion Cottonwood tree starting on page 14. Photo courtesy of Jamie Boren.

September 2015 |



Rose Report

Charles Anctil


ooks like I might be winning! The Japanese Beetles are slowing down both at home and the store. The grub starts to come up in May, pupates emerge and mate in June and July. Beetles feed on foliage and fruits during June, July, and early August. Eggs deposited change to grubs late July to early August, and they will feed on grass roots in your yard. They start burrowing deeper in the ground in October, November, and December for winter. Start thinking about grub control for your yard next year! This is something I did not know! Using olfactory receptors, beetles detect volatile compounds and follow them to the plant host. Japanese beetles are gregarious. When they begin feeding, injured foliage releases an aroma that draws more beetles to the plant. As feeding continues more volatiles are released. This creates a snowball effect and beetles begin to overwhelm plants. Japanese beetles do prefer light yellow blooms, light pink, and white. I have not seen any on reds yet. Here is a strange coincidence – four people called asking about the rose Peaudouce (Elina). I have not heard that name in years. This is a Dickson Rose that came out

in 1984. Made the World Hall of Fame in 2006. It is rated 8.5 by the American Rose Society. Source – Palatine Roses; 1-905-468-8627. Here are some other varieties you might be interested in: Pretty Lady Rose: Very dark pink, old fashioned, ruffled petals, large bloom, 45-65 petals, strong peony and spice fragrance.



of Leawood Pretty Lady Miss Congeniality: White with pink picotee, blooms high centered and double, sweet pea with hint of spice. Cutie Pie: If this mini is as good as the picture I will have to get one! Peach and yellow blend blushed with dark pink, low, rounded, bushy, high center, double, 25-30 petals, slightly fruity Enough for now….see you next month! Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. If you need help, call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-233-1223.

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Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton NUTGRASS CONTROL Question: I seem to have more nutgrass than ever before. I have treated in past years and thought I was getting it under control but this summer it is popping up everywhere. Help, what can I do? Answer: Trust me; you are not alone with this problem. Unfortunately all the nutsedge is a result of our wet, cooler spring and summer. These conditions were just right for every dormant seed to sprout and come up in your lawn and gardens. Getting rid of

this unwelcome visitor is not that easy. Keep in mind that nutgrass, watergrass or yellow nutsedge is not a broadleaf or grassy plant. It is in a class all by itself called sedges. That means herbicides that target broadleaf or grassy weeds are ineffective. Controlling nutgrass is all about the right product at the right time. There are two products on the market for homeowners that target sedges. The active ingredients are either halosulfuron or sulfentrazone. Both are effective but one treatment seldom takes care of the problem. The key is repeated applications and more than likely over a several year period. Even with repeat applications when summers like this occur it seems like we are starting the battle all over again.

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Remember, they are called weeds for a good reason. JAPANESE BEETLES Question: Each year it seems that I find a few more Japanese beetles in my yard. They are mainly on my roses. But at what point should I be concerned about the grub stage damaging my lawn? Answer: You are correct, we see this insect more each season and more widespread throughout the area. Japanese beetles favorite food tends to be roses, grapes and Linden trees. But they will also feed on just about anything else that is available. The grub or larval stage can be a damaging pest of

turf. In some areas they battle not only the adult feeding but also the grub. So far we have not seen damage to lawns. The good news is that many of the same insecticides used to control our already established population of white grubs will also take out the Japanese beetle. So at this point we do not need to alter our control methods. Only time will tell if the populations build to cause turf damage. As they say, stay tuned. WHEN IS CATALOUPE RIPE Question: This year for the first time we grew cantaloupe in the garden. Besides the vines going everywhere we had success.

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But we did have one minor problem. We had a hard time knowing when the melons were ripe and ready to be picked. Do you have any good tricks to determine when a cantaloupe is ready for harvest? Answer: There is nothing better than a fully ripe cantaloupe full of flavor. So many times the melons at the store are picked green and just don’t have much flavor. There is a simple and easy trick to knowing when a melon is ready to be picked. The key is to watch for what is called “stem slip.” This simply means that when the fruit is right the stem that attaches the melon to the vine will release. It can easily be severed with a slight touch, in fact it will release on its own. In other words the melon will not need to be cut from the vine. By the way, this trick can also be used when picking a cantaloupe at the grocery store. Melons picked green will have been cut from the vine and ripe melons harvested at stem slip will have a naval or scar where the stem came off. Enjoy as this is a simple trick that works.

Emerald Ash Borer. I asked the tree service if the chemicals used to control EAB would harm other insects that feed on the tree. He said no, but that does not seem right. Answer: The insecticides commonly used for control of EAB will also have an adverse effect on other insect species that feed on the tree. That may be good or

bad news depending how you look at it. The treatments will also kill the native borers and some of the leaf feeding insects. But it will also harm the native butterfly that lays its eggs on ash. So it is a difficult call and one that each must weigh when it comes to protecting or losing your tree as EAB continues its spread in KC. I don’t have a solu-

tion except you need to determine if the tree around out ways having a few losses. 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.

FUNGUS ON MATURE OAK TREE Question: I have a mature oak tree that was in the yard when we moved in about 20 years ago. This summer I noticed this white growth growing out of the trunk. There seems to be a cluster in a couple of areas. Other than this the tree looks healthy. What is this and how do I get rid of it? Answer: There are a number of different fungal growths that appear on trees. As a general rule these are all associated with rotting or decaying wood. The growth you see on the outside of the tree should be considered the flowering structure of the fungus which has colonized the decaying wood in the tree. These growths are not a good sign, in fact, they tell us the tree is in decline and could potentially become a hazard depending on the amount of internal decay. There is no way for you to stop this natural process. Removing the mushroom growths on the trunk does not remove the mass from inside tree. My best recommendation is to contact a certified arborist and have them investigate the amount of internal rot and determine whether or not the tree should be removed. CHEMICAL ADVERSE EFFECT Question: I am having my ash trees treated and protected from The Kansas City Gardener | September 2015


Goldenrods suitable for gardens


hould I be surprised at how advertising and the media perpetuate myths? Not really, that’s how they make money. Lots of it. Take allergy meds for instance. In a typical ad happy people walk through a field of yellow, blooming goldenrod. No runny nose, no sneezing—presumably due of the wonders of their product. The thing is goldenrod (Solidago spp.) doesn’t cause hay fever. Ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) does. They bloom at the same time, though only goldenrod flowers are visible. In addition, it is a known fact that goldenrod pollen is heavy and carried by bees, while ragweed pollen is light and carried by the


centers for a solid cover in two years. Blue-stemmed and rough-leaved goldenrod tend to naturalize in woodland gardens so expect to see it move around from seed. Blue-stemmed prefers dry woodlands, and roughleaved likes growing in moist or Blue-stemmed Goldenrod flood-plain woodgoldenrod is aggressive in gardens lands. Buckley’s and but is a good choice for areas that Atlantic goldenrods are unknown are difficult to manage or mow like species to gardening but are real steep slopes or rocky areas. winners. Atlantic goldenrod grows Many of these species will be 3-4 ft. tall and has several horizontal available for sale at the fall Shaw long flower clusters that resemble Wildflower Market at Shaw Nature fireworks. It is a dramatic, large, Reserve in Gray Summit, Missouri, clump-forming goldenrod that has Friday, September 11, 2015 from bluish stems and lemon-yellow 4-7:30 p.m., and at the Native Plant flowers. Buckley’s goldenrod is 2 Sale at the Discovery Center in ft. tall, clump-forming, and a very Kansas City on September 19—a attractive woodland goldenrod that portion of the proceeds from this tolerates very dry to average soils. sale will benefit the conservaIn the sun showy goldenrod (S. tion work of the Missouri Prairie speciosa), Riddell’s goldenrod (S. Foundation. A number of these speridellii), stiff goldenrod (S. rigida), cies are also available from many and cliff goldenrod (S. drummondii) other Grow Native! professional vie for places in the native garden. members. Find sources of goldenCliff goldenrod can tolerate partrods and hundreds of other native shade and as the name implies, it is plants at a cliff-dweller so is drought tolerant. That said, it also thrives in averHorticulturist Scott Woodbury age garden soils. Ridell’s goldenrod is the Curator of the Whitmire is a flat-topped wetland species that Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature is at home in a rain garden alongside Reserve, where he has worked with rose turtlehead (Chelone obliqua) native plant propagation, design, and orange coneflower (Rudbeckia and education for more than 20 fulgida var. umbrosa). Showy goldyears. He also is an advisor to enrod is 3 to 4 feet tall and strongly the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s upright so it a good perennial for Grow Native! program. the back of the flower border. Stiff

Photo by Scott Woodbury.

Scott Woodbury

wind. It’s no wonder gardeners shy away from goldenrod. Another myth is perpetuated by gardeners: all goldenrods are weeds. This point is founded somewhat in truth as tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima) is a pesky weed. But there are about two dozen species of goldenrods in Missouri, many of which are great garden plants and provide much-needed nectar for migrating monarch butterflies in late summer. Their foliage also feeds 115 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars according to Doug Tallamy and Kimberly Shropshire. For shade, gardeners have several species to choose from. Bluestemmed goldenrod (Solidago caesia), zig-zag goldenrod (S. flexicaulis), rough-leaved goldenrod (S. rugosa), Buckley’s goldenrod (S. buckleyii), and Atlantic goldenrod (S. arguta). Zig-zag is a groundcover that spreads moderately by underground runners, so plant them in masses on about 14- to 18-inch


Fall is Perfect for Planting We have Mums, Kale, Pansies, Trees and Shrubs

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September 2015 |

Plan Your Fall Water Garden for a backyard with year round interest anchor the flower berms edges in place. You could even incorporate a bog garden with your dry creek beds to help absorb and filter the excess water, while enjoying a beautiful flower bed at the same time. Designing now to handle the extreme conditions brought on by weather this year will enable your new backyard to handle almost any situation Mother Nature throws at you during other ‘normal’ years. You’ll enjoy year round interest and beauty as a bonus.

Diane Swan


ust weeks away from the Fall season and soon the countryside will be painted with vivid Autumn colors. The reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and burgundies of mums, asters, and black-eyed Susan will dot the landscape. Trees will add to the richness of the season with one last splash of color before Old Man Winter arrives. Fall is also an ideal time to plan and install that backyard paradise of your dreams. Cooler temperatures make working outside pleasurable. The ground is usually easier to dig. Fortunately many landscape plants are on sale this time of year. Fall rains help establish plants before winter sets in. Another advantage to creating your water garden now, is the benefit of heavy downpours of rain that we experienced this year. You may wonder how it could be an advantage after perhaps ruining many yards or gardens. You have witnessed what happens to your landscape when it rains hard and with many inches of rain in short periods of time. You were able to see how your

yard handled (or didn’t) the excessive water flow. By experiencing the extreme, you may have found where a French drain or a dry creek bed are necessary to direct the water flow. Or, possibly there’s a need for a rain harvesting water feature. You now have the opportunity to be in control of where most of the water will flow throughout your yard. Water flow can be controlled in decorative and creative ways that will enhance your backyard. Dry creek beds can direct the water flow coming into the yard, and redirected into a rain harvesting water feature complete with waterfalls and streams. The excess captured water could be used for watering the gardens later or to only run your water feature.

An overflow built into your water feature will direct the flow of excess water to where you want it to go from there. Plantings around dry creek beds and the water feature can

Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center (www. You may contact them at 913-837-3510.

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Bonfires of Autumn


he Northland Garden Club is hosting BONFIRES OF AUTUMN, October 3, 2015. This fall event features the gardens of two Missouri master gardeners and have been designed to carry the garden season into the fall through the selection of plants that perform in the late summer and early fall. Not your ordinary planting of mums, these gardens use native plants, color, lighting and design to ensure the longest possible garden season.

The Zen Habitat Garden: A monarch butterfly waystation, this garden is planted with everything to draw and host monarchs. You will learn how to attract butterflies to your own yards. Sip and stroll by the soul house designed to honor our four legged friend who have passed on. Fall bloomers in this garden include Japanese anmones, leucanthemum daisy, native grasses, asters, cannas, broom corn, beauty berry and many tropical. A Finnish fire log

Welcome Fall in Your Garden with Vibrant Hues! a Trees and shrubs~ Come see what shrubs and trees are known for their fabulous fall color and berries! a Fall vegetable transplants and seeds~ Have you ever planted a fall veggie garden? Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Radishes, Lettuce, Spinach, & more can be grown in a fall garden!

and fire pit will provide heat and light. Check out the front garden full of native plants. Also in front, you can visit the prayer flags and

angel trumpet, beauty berry and Russian sage. Sue has designed a garden wall for more interest and to create mystery. A clever twig

rub the fat buddha’s belly for good luck. Hosts: Vicki and Ken Kruse The Whimsical Garden: Just a mile or so down the street, you will find the colorful, super sunny second garden. Strawberry and cream hydrangea, Live forevers, Blackberry fence row, cherry trees that are espaliered, blue beard caryopteris, and mini veggie garden. Other fall bloomers include

wall has been constructed from a much overgrown viburnum that was being removed. Hosts: Sue and Rick Combellick The event is from 4-6 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and include a fall beverage, seed packets and creative ideas. Advanced reservations required. Call Dee West, 816455-4013. Check the website at for further details.

a The area’s best selection of home grown perennials! a Holland bulbs~ plant tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs now for a splash of color in the spring! Bulbs will be available shortly after Labor Day. The following Kansas-grown fall plants will be available by mid September: a Winter hardy pansies in vibrant and pastel hues! a Fall mums and asters in all colors! a Cool flowering kale, ornamental grasses, and other plants that feature the colors of fall!

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Sumac Solves Landscape Challenge Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’ Tiger Eyes Judy Archer


ecently a customer ask for my evaluation of their existing landscape. It was the original landscaping installed by the builder. It’s a beautiful home, all dark brick, facing East, sitting way back from the street. Most of the landscaping was over grown and in need of a good trim. Other parts needed to be removed completely. One complaint was that their home wasn’t visible at night, it was simply to dark. There are can lights mounted in the eaves at the front corners of the home. However, blocked by the Emerald Green Arborvitaes that had grown up into them, any chance of light was limited at best. My first thought was to replace them with Tiger Eyes Sumac. This allowed an opportunity for me to introduce and educate my client about this wonderful plant. Tiger Eyes Sumac, Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’ Tiger Eyes is a specimen or accent plant that has a light, airy, tropical feel. Its newly emerg-

ing chartreuse leaves, on fuzzy reddish stems, turn bright yellow with summer, and become orange/ scarlet in the fall. This Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac only grows to about 6 feet tall with an equal spread. It’s a naturally tidy shrub that seldom requires pruning. Its slow spread is due to its suckering habit, but the Tiger Eyes Sumac is not as aggressive as the species plant. Tiger Eyes does well in zones 4-8, prefers full sun to part shade and dry to medium/well drained soil. It is a disease resistant, multistemmed shrub with a delicate texture and medium growth rate. The July flower and then fruit is not particularly showy like the species plant. Tiger Eyes is great for erosion areas, dry soil, areas under Black Walnut trees (which is considered a toxic planting zone), and for areas in which you need a dramatic presence – ideal in my client’s situation. The bright leaf color against the dark brick would really lighten things up. Worth noting, Tiger Eyes is deciduous, standing leafless in the winter. This beauty more than makes up for this fact with showy colors in summer and fall. If you are looking for something a little different, that’s light and

Light, bright with dramatic presence, Tiger Eyes Sumac is showy and easy to grow. bright, with a dramatic presence, consider the Tiger Eyes Sumac. You’ll be glad you did.

Judy Archer owns and operates BotaniCo Landscape. You may reach her at 816-399-9883.


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Pond and Water Feature Designs, Installation, Repairs and Maintenance Wendy Hix 913.481.5416 • Tate Foster 913.406.6804 The Kansas City Gardener | September 2015


the unique cat food plants for each species of butterfly. If all you grow is flowers, you are not a butterfly gardener, you are a saloon keeper serving adult beverages.

Lenora Larson What Is a Butterfly Garden? NABA (North American Butterfly Association) defines a butterfly garden as “a habitat that provides the resources to sustain resident breeding populations of native butterflies.” Butterfly gardens are not just flowers for migrants, lonely spinsters and lusty bachelors. No, they are a family affair and that means that you must feed the children, the caterpillars. A true butterfly garden focuses on

Why Certify? Once you have planted your garden and the butterflies are arriving and breeding, the next step is certification and posting of your signage. I’m surprised that every butterfly gardener does not certify because it serves so many purposes. On a personal level, your commitment to butterflies is demonstrated, but certification accomplishes far more. When visitors see my signs, they ask questions. Educators call it “a teachable moment” when someone is curious and ready to learn more. The signs also document that this is a special

Roots a century deep.

Summer Clearance Sale!

Photos by Lenora Larson.

Show the World You Care About Butterflies: Certify and Post!

Eight species of Milkweeds are scattered throughout my garden. This sign is in a patch of Common Milkweed. Look at the bottom leaf being devoured by a herd of Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars! place, certainly not just a patch of weeds that puts you at risk with a Home Owners Association or city ordinance. Several of my friends have had their gardens destroyed by the weed police and when I ask, “Didn’t your sign help?” No signs, they hadn’t certified. Others have shared that the signs and an explanation of the intent and process have deescalated potential conflicts as the weed police back off. Also important, your dollars spent in certifying and purchasing the signs serve to support butterfly conservation and research. Who Certifies Butterfly Gardens? NABA has both a general certification and a specialty garden for Monarchs. Of course I have both and proudly display the signs, both

at my driveway entrance and in the garden proper. Monarch Watch pioneered certifications with their Monarch Waystation program in 1994. They now have over 10,000 certified Waystations and estimate that there are at least twice that many gardens that would qualify, but haven’t yet applied. Xerces Society offers a Pollinator Garden certification that is super easy to obtain, and National Wildlife Federation’s ‘Backyard Habitats’ would also include butterflies. Qualifications and Process Typically there is a fee to register your site, and then permanent outdoor signs can be ordered for about $25 each. The processes and forms are posted on their respective websites.

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2. Monarch Waystation certiI group my signs in one spot even though my butterfly fied by Monarch garden encompasses over two acres. Watch (http://www. January%202009.pdf) You’ll need waystations/certify. to know your native flowers and html) If you already have at least native host plants to complete this ten Milkweed plants, preferably application. two species, you will probably be able to fill out the paperwork and Summary order your sign without further Truly, when you establish a planting. habitat for butterflies, you also have habitat for the rest of the web 3. Backyard Habitat by the of life: birds, mammals, reptiles, National Wildlife Foundation amphibians and other insects. And (! Three of the gardens on Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Createthe Miami County Garden Tour, a-Habitat.aspx?) Many gardeners’ September 11 & 12, have these properties will easily meet the certifications. Come see how it’s requirements so you can immedidone! More tour information is in ately complete the application and the events section of this issue of order your sign. The Kansas City Gardener. 4. Certified Butterfly Marais des Cygnes Extension Garden by the North American Master Gardener and Kansas Butterfly Association (http:// Native Plant Society member, Lenora Larson gardens and hosts NABA%20Butterfly%20 butterflies in the cruel winds and Garden%20and%20Habitat%20 clay soil of Paola, Kansas. She may Program/Butterfly%20Garden%20 be contacted at lenora.longlips@ Certification%20Application%20 with%20Outdoor%20Sign%20 • 7130 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. Garden Center • 8am-6pm Mon.-Sat. • Sunday 10am-5pm • 816-444-3403 Nursery • 9am-6pm Mon.-Sat. • Sunday 10am-5pm • 816-333-3232



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Photo by Jamie Boren.

Cottonwood trees in Clark County, Kansas

Cottonwood seed fluff

Cottonwood leaf and long petiole Photo by Krista Dahlinger.

Cottonwood green seed

Giant Cottonwood at the War Memorial in Miami County, Kansas

Above: Giant Cottonwood near Manhattan, Kansas Below: Giant Cottonwood in The Wilderness Center Johnson Co Right: Honking Tree, NW of Wichita on K96


September 2015 |

The Great Cottonwood Trees Ken O’Dell


rowing up on a farm or ranch, many youngsters played and rested under the shade of giant cottonwood trees that had staked their claims many years before on a small part of Mother Earth. Some of these young kids were the first to move into Kansas, brought into the state when their parents moved west with the wagon trains on The Santa Fe trail. The Santa Fe trail passage started in 1821 and was in use for about 50 years, crossing Kansas from east to west. By horseback, covered wagons, or on foot, thousands of settlers traversed the hundreds of miles across the state. The giant cottonwood trees growing by streams, gullies, and ravines gave welcome shade, fuel and in many cases necessary wood to repair wagons. The great plains of Kansas were arid, deserted and not very hospitable. Cottonwood trees were a welcome sight to those who had moved from Ohio, Pennsylvania and points east, as they were accustomed to seeing large forests of tall trees. Early surveyors’ records from the state auditor’s office in Topeka frequently mention trees: cottonwood, elm, oak, walnut, hackberry, sycamore, cedar (a juniper, Juniperus virginiana), plum, redbud and others. It was obvious these giant cottonwoods were the king of the prairie, as they stood 20, 30 or even 40 feet above all the other trees on the stream banks. In 1937 the cottonwood tree was designated as the State Tree of Kansas. Our original state tree at the capitol has passed away and a new cottonwood is now growing in its place. Northwest of Wichita on K96 highway lives the large cottonwood named the Honking Tree or the Lucky Tree. They say if you honk as you pass this beloved old giant, you will have good luck.

The Wilderness Center in Johnson County, Kansas has some of the most magnificent cottonwoods you will ever see. They grew to that enormous height because of the water table deep underground. Cattle and horses take advantage of the shade cast by these giant trees on ranches and farms throughout Kansas and Missouri. In winter these same enormous cottonwood trees stand like naked beacons. The dead or dying branches and trunks of our great cottonwoods provide food and housing for birds, insects and mammals. Birds make their homes in the decaying branches. Woodpeckers make cavities looking for insects to eat or feed their young. Owls frequently nest in larger cavities of cottonwoods. As the mature trunks of the dying trees fall to the ground and decay, a world is created unlike any other, as Mother Nature makes use of every part of the tree. Cottonwood trees are either male or female. The males have colorful, two-inch long catkins that appear two weeks before the female flowers, which are similar in shape but frequently have only a light green coloring. The female flowers are pollinated by the constant Kansas wind that carries the pollen from the male trees. The wind usually blows from the west. In winter it is easy to see that the wind has formed the twigs, branches and sometimes the entire tree into a shape that points slightly east to northeast. Female trees have a white fluff in the seed pods whether they have been pollinated or not. When pollinated, this fluff contains a tiny seed, one-tenth of an inch long— about the size of the tip of a toothpick. The cottony fluff is carried by the wind and, with luck, falls near a stream or some other source of moisture. When moisture is present the seed germinates quickly. Tiny roots grow one-fourth of an inch each day as the seedling tries to anchor itself into the soil or sandbar below. If for any reason the moisture does not last three or four days the tiny seedling dies, and the spreading of the seed by Mother Nature will have been for naught. Of the thou-

sands of seeds a tree produces each year, it is rare for one to live more than a few days or weeks. It is tough out there! The bark of a young cottonwood tree is greenish-white and smooth. As the tree grows older the bark becomes gray and deeply furrowed, with two-inch wide, flattopped ridges. The bark protects the old trees from intense heat and cold, and offers some protection from fire. Autumn leaf color is an attractive golden yellow.

energy in the form of sugar (carbohydrates) to sustain the tree. The Kansas champion cottonwood tree is in Sheridan county in the far northwest part of the state between Hays and Goodland, near the town of Studley. It is 96 feet tall and has a crown spread of 127 feet. The circumference of the trunk is 35 feet. By standard champion tree scoring methods, it is awarded an impressive 553 points. More information is provided by the Kansas Forest Service at http://

Giant Cottonwood tree on a ranch in Kansas. New leaves in springtime often have a slight reddish tint and then change to a smooth light green, hanging from the twigs by flat petioles that allow the leaves to shimmer and twist in the slightest breeze. This shimmering gives more open space for sunlight to penetrate the outer branches and touch other leaves beneath. We all know that leaves produce the oxygen that we breathe every moment of our lives. Leaves take in carbon dioxide from the air, water comes up from the roots, and this interacts with sunshine. Through the magic of Mother Nature the leaves make oxygen for us to breathe and

The Missouri champion cottonwood tree is in Kessler Park in Kansas City. This big, beautiful giant is 125 feet tall with a spread of 120 feet and is awarded 499 points by the Missouri Department of Conservation. It is the state’s largest known living tree of any kind. Find more information at Ken O’Dell is a long-time volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Native Plant Society and is the Kansas City regional leader of the Kansas Native Plant Society.

The Kansas City Gardener | September 2015


The Bird Brain How to discourage Squirrels

By Nik and Theresa Hiremath


hen you feed the birds, many other wildlife species benefit as well. A primary beneficiary of backyard bird feeding is the squirrel. Depending on your point of view, squirrels may be either the cutest or the peskiest creatures that are part of your backyard nature habitat. Did you know that squirrels eat more than their body weight in food each week? They can smell food from great distances which makes it easy for them to detect bird food. Squirrels can jump from four to six feet vertically and eight to 10 feet between objects. They can cling to objects with the toes on their back feet—this lets them hang upside down and use their front paws to stuff their faces. These cute furry critters not only eat a lot of birdseed, but they also can potentially damage or

destroy your feeder. Divert squirrels from your bird feeders by giving them their own feeder. Fill it with food such as peanuts and corn, and that should keep them happy. If you want to feed the squirrels, be sure to place the food in a platform tray or nut box away from windowsills and doorways—you don’t want to invite these creatures to chew through your screens or doors. Also, keep their food away from your bird feeding stations. To discourage squirrels from eating your birdseed, there are several options:

White-breasted Nuthatches—savor safflower. Blackbirds, grackles and squirrels typically do not. Start by offering safflower gradually, mixing it with the seed or seed blends you currently provide. Over time increase the amount of safflower until you are offering straight safflower. The seed looks and tastes different from other bird seed, so it may take your birds some time to adjust. If you are feeding suet, offer hot-pepper suet. Squirrels do not like the hot flavor, but birds do not mind it.

Offer Safflower Safflower is a small, white seed that is high in protein and fat. Many favorite backyard birds— including jays, cardinals, chickadees, House Finches, doves, Redbellied Woodpeckers, titmice and

Squirrel-proof Feeders If you want to keep squirrels from devouring your best bird food, try a “squirrel-proof” feeder. Squirrel-proof feeders are designed to keep squirrels from reaching seed.

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Squirrel-resistant Setups If you want to keep squirrels from bothering your existing bird feeder setup, place a baffle on your feeder pole above or below the feeder. Stove pipe-type baffles can deter squirrels when the baffle is placed underneath the feeder, and the feeder is above 5 feet high and 8 feet to 10 feet away from other objects. Dome baffles must

be large enough to cover the feeder and keep squirrels from accessing the feeder when it is hung on a pole or in a tree. The feeder should be hung 8 to 10 feet away from other objects. Another alternative is to try a wire mesh cage around your existing feeders. Whether you like them or not, squirrels are likely a part of your backyard habitat. We can’t choose what parts of nature we want, but we can find ways to try and care for all of our wild friends. Nature already does a wonderful job of accommodating all of its creatures and so can we.

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Australian Tree Fern Brent Tucker


esides being a fanatic for orchids, begonias, and anything else tropical, I have a fancy for ferns. I grow many different perennial fern varieties in the garden, as well as tropical ferns on the front porch and back patio. I have a penchant for texture and there are many forms of texture found in ferns. One of my favorite ferns for texture is the Australian Tree fern. The Australian Tree fern is a tropical fern from, you guessed it, Australia and it is a fast grower reaching up to ten feet or more when well grown. It is called a tree fern because its stem creates a trunk as it grows upwards giving the appearance of a tree. The fronds, or leaves, can grow up to 6 feet or more in length and several feet in width. The Australian Tree fern is the perfect “statement” plant for large containers for the summer patio, sunroom, or conservatory. As it matures the fern can be under planted with flowering annuals like impatiens or begonias, as well as, foliage plants like ivy or philodendrons. Like most ferns, the Australian Tree fern prefers bright shade with some morning sun, but afternoon sun can burn the leaves. Too little light will create a weak plant. The most important factor for good

health is plenty of water. Never allow the plant to dry out completely, but with that being said don’t drown it either. If you have a well rooted or root bound tree fern it will drink water rather fast so I recommend checking it for water daily. If it dries too quickly each day a saucer can be placed underneath the pot and this saucer should be filled with water as you are watering the pot. This will help keep the root ball from drying too quickly between water applications. The objective is evenly moist soil with slight drying to the top of the root ball. With all this watering you will need to apply a fertilizer once a month. I personally use Jack’s Classic all-purpose fertilizer. If it were necessary to pot up your tree fern, especially if it dries rather quickly I would recommend potting it into a pot about two to four inches larger than it is currently in. Use a quick draining container soil such as a Pro Mix brand. This will allow the plant to not dry out too quickly until it is rooted in well again. Potting in spring or summer is best. Average summer temperatures are fine for the tree fern and in fact it will tolerate temps down into the upper 30s F in the fall. Of course when fall comes around, you’ll need to bring the tree fern indoors for winter. I have found it easiest to place the tree fern in the basement under a light (for about 12 hours) or at least an unheated room in the house by a window. It will appreciate its winter stay indoors where it’s cool. Don’t forget to check it for water every few days until you

get a feel on how quickly it dries. In winter your tree fern won’t go through as much water and you can keep it just a bit drier but again don’t allow the root ball to completely dry. Also, if your fern has many fronds you can remove up to half of the oldest ones to help keep the plant from transpiring too quickly. The only pests I have seen attracted to tree ferns are scale and mealy bugs. Using a system insecticide once a month can control these, and if a frond has a high pest

population just cut the whole frond off. Removing this population will help keep the rest of the plant from infestation. You’ll be impressed with how quickly the Australian Tree fern grows, and you’ll be the envy of your neighbors and friends. Happy growing. Brent Tucker is Horticulturist of Seasonal Displays and Events at Powell Gardens. He can be reached at

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The Kansas City Gardener | September 2015


Repair thin, bare spots in your lawn by seeding this fall Rodney St. John


e’ve had a relatively cool, wet summer, so many of our lawns are in fairly good shape. That said, there has been more active lawn diseases this year than in years past, and we have had several days of high temperatures and little rain, recently, so you still likely have a few bare spots or thin areas in your coolseason lawn. It is very important to remember that tall fescue doesn’t spread out on its own the way some grasses do. In other words, any damaged spots in your tall fescue lawn will require fresh seed this

fall so your lawn will be thick and lush next spring. Fall is the best time of year to seed cool season grasses for several reasons: 1. The soil is warm, 2. It usually rains more in the fall than in the summer, 3. Many weeds are starting to die back, 4. It is cooler than the summer, and probably the most important reason, 5. The grass has all of the fall, winter, and spring to grow and mature before the heat and stress of next summer arrives. With that being said let me share a few tips and answer some frequently asked questions for seeding success. One of the main reasons I see seeding projects fail is a lack of water. Even though it typically rains more in the fall, it usually doesn’t rain enough for perfect germination results. Therefore, we need to irrigate our seed. I see projects fail in two areas: 1. Not watering frequently enough dur-

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September 2015 |

ing the germination stage and/or, 2. Stopping the irrigation too soon after the grass germinates. Irrigate Frequently. Many times this means irrigating your seedbed one to several times a day, depending upon weather. If it is hot and dry, and your seedbed is in full sun, you may need to water it several times a day. You want the seed bed to be damp; the soil will be dark brown. You don’t want the seed bed to be so wet that there are standing water puddles. You want to stay in the sweet spot between wet enough and not too wet. Irrigate around noon to be sure the seed will stay damp during the hottest part of the day. (This is opposite from established lawns when you should irrigate in the early morning, not mid-day.) Keep Irrigating After it Germinates. The second most common mistake people make is ceasing to water after seed germinates when they see the green grass start to grow. Don’t stop the frequent irrigation, yet! Those young grass seedlings have a very small root system, maybe only an inch long. So if the top inch of soil dries up, the grass seedlings will die. As the grass gets taller and closer to being mowed, then ease up on the irrigation. Cut back to every other day, then every 3 days and so on. Mow it, Don’t Overgrow it. Lastly, I see people let the grass grow really tall before mowing it. I usually see this with people who are seeding small patches in their yards. They

lovingly water and care for the little patch, and the ‘last thing they want to do is stress it out with mowing.’ But mowing is important. It helps the grass spread out across the lawn and become thick, rather than spending all of its energy on growing upright. Once the grass reaches its recommended height, usually around 3 inches, start to let up on the watering and get out there and mow it. I could answer pages of questions about seeding, but I don’t have room today. For now, let me share the most common question I’ve received about seeding, “When do I put down the starter fertilizer?” Apply the starter fertilizer right on top of the seed before you start to irrigate. I think the confusion surrounding starter fertilizer arises from vegetable garden books and gardeners. In vegetable gardens, it is commonly recommended to refrain from applying fertilizer to young transplants, because it might ‘burn’ the transplants. This isn’t true for turf. Apply fertilizer to your grass seed bed, it will not hurt anything (when applied at the correct rate). Happy seeding. I hope your seeding projects are successful and that you enjoy the cooler fall weather. Dr. Rodney St. John is an agronomist at Ryan Lawn & Tree. Ask Dr. Rodney questions by E-mailing or calling 913-381-1505. You can also follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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Annual Sunflower ArtFest


he De Soto Arts Council will sponsor our 9th Annual Sunflower ArtFest September 25, 26 and 27 at The Barn at Kill Creek Farms with some of your favorite artists and new artists as well. A collection of fine arts designed to appeal to a wide audience will be featured that is guaranteed to appeal to the seasoned arts aficionado as well as someone just looking for that perfect piece to call their own. The visual arts will be well represented by over 30 artists from local and regional artists with art work on display and for sale. There will also be a juried Sunflower Exhibit show featuring Sunflowers in various media types exhibited in The Barn. The Adult Plein Air Event (artists creating “in the open air”) will be held Friday morning from 8 to 1, where you can watch the magic of an artist at work! The De Soto Arts Council also sponsors a booth for artists with disabilities; we are pleased to have

the JCDS Emerging Artists with us again this year. Their program was established to develop the skills of emerging artists, so they may reach their full potential and receive income through the sale of their work. Please be sure to visit their booth and see the love they put into each piece they create. As has now become a tradition, and actually was the inspiration for the Sunflower Artfest, the De

Soto Rotary has again planted a variety of sunflower seeds which are expected to be showing their glorious heads as you enter the Sunflower ArtsFest. These beauties will be available for you to pick-your-own for $1 a stem. All proceeds raised go to the De Soto Rotary’s End Polio Now Project. Bowlin Farms will also have pumpkins and flowers for sale for your Fall decorating.

There will be live family-friendly performances under the big tent just outside The Barn throughout the event. A variety of food vendors will be available throughout the weekend to delight your palette. The ever popular Sunflower Posters will be available for purchase. Proceeds help to fund the De Soto Arts Council shows and events. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy this family friendly art show this Fall, Friday, September 25th 5 to 7, Saturday the 26th from 10 to 7 and Sunday the 27th from 10 to 5 at The Barn, located at 9120 Kill Creek Road just north of Highway 10 on Kill Creek Road in De Soto, Kansas. The event is FREE of charge and open to the public. For additional information contact Linda Lane, De Soto Arts Council President and Sunflower Artfest Chair, at desotoartsks@ Follow us on Facebook for updates as well as De Soto Arts Council website


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Location: Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W. 67th (67th and Roe), Prairie Village, KS We will have an extensive selection of choice, hard to find colors, including yellow herbaceous, Japanese trees, and a wonderful selection of Chinese tree peonies. If you have ever wanted to have these plants in your landscape, the time and price will not be better.

Largest selection of peonies we have ever made available! The Kansas City Gardener | September 2015


Photos by Susan Mertz.

In the garden at the Biltmore Susan Mertz


ast summer, a friend texted me photos of a beautiful garden telling me that my husband and I needed to go there. Reading her texts and seeing the pictures, I knew then that someday my husband and I would visit the Biltmore. As it turned out, someday came rather quickly and our friends joined us for the adventure! Constructed in the late 1800’s, the Biltmore is a magnificent mansion of 250 rooms filled with art

and treasures on thousands of acres in Asheville, North Carolina. George Vanderbilt contracted architect Richard Morris Hunt to design the mansion and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design the 125,000 acre property. Olmstead, designer of New York City’s Central Park, had quite a challenge ahead of him as much of the property at the site of the estate had been clear cut. His vision of roads, streams, lakes, rolling woodlands, “natural” landscape, formal gardens, dairy farm, and timber forest was created. With millions of plants required for the property, horticulturist Chauncey Beadle was hired and managed the nursery and property. Beadle sculpted Olmsted’s design including scouring the countryside

for native plants to add to the azalea garden. Fortunately, the combined vision and hard work of this team have been preserved. While the house is filled with priceless tapestries collected over a century ago by the Vanderbilts, the property is a tapestry created by Olmsted. Walking the grounds today, it is incredible to look at the mature trees and know they were carefully sited as saplings by him. The curving pathways through the shrub garden and trails help slow down the pace of life. We realized that if there was a rock made for sitting along a trail, it was placed there with purpose. We should sit and take a few moments to appreciate the view including the different shades of green, colorful foliage and layers of the canopy

of the trees. The Biltmore Legacy of the Land tour guide explained Olmsted’s design elements of the approach road. The open curves of the three mile road to the house builds excitement as the curves in the road get sharper, the plantings, more dense all the while blocking the view of the mansion until you find yourself gasping at the breathtaking view of the home and surroundings from the front lawn. Parker Andes, Director of Horticulture, graciously spent an afternoon with us touring the gardens and telling us about the property that is now 8,000 acres and how it has evolved. The Biltmore nursery that supplied the plants for the property and to the public were washed away by a flood decades ago. The dairy farm that supplied


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manure to fertilize the gardens is long gone and the barn is now the estate’s winery. However, much remains the same. The timber forest continues with a mix of white pine, hemlock and oak and is harvested in the European tradition of three trees planted for each tree cut down. Collections of plants including vines and espaliered fruit trees are still a focus in the gardens. The beautiful walled formal gardens are changed out through the seasons with spring bulbs and annuals. The intent of the vision and design of Olmsted and garden caretaker Beadle continues as pathways are improved, colorful annuals installed, and plants in decline are replaced with new introductions. The “focus is on the guest experience,” explained Andes as we strolled through the shrub garden past Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangeas in full bloom. We paused at a spot in the garden where a massive purple foliaged beech tree installed over a century ago was in decline and was soon to be removed. What would go in its place was a discussion that ensued. Would they search for the same variety of the tree they were replacing or simply find the largest purple foliaged tree they could? How would the neighboring plantings change as sunlight filled the

now shady garden? With the guest experience always in mind, the gardens evolve. And, the horticulture staff seamlessly works its magic. The enormous planters by the mansion are changed out in a matter of minutes several times a year with seasonal plantings. A room in the conservatory full of white flowering plants is designed to be emptied out in 30 minutes to accommodate a party. Several outdoor areas on the property are transformed to welcome wedding parties and guests, complete with fireworks. During our visit, we heard from Andes and others that we should have been there in the spring to see the azaleas. That May is the time to see the rose garden in its peak. Visit earlier in June to see the show of orchids in the conservatory. Come later in the summer to see the beds of annuals in their full glory. However, I think we picked a great time of the year. After all, we got to stroll through the gardens with good friends and Parker Andes and learn about Frederick Law Olmsted’s incredible vision. 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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September 2015 |

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see Club Meetings African Violets of GKC Tues, Sep 15, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Bonner Springs Garden Club Tues, Sep 15, 1pm; members will meet at the parking lot on the SE corner of Third St & Cedar St, Bonner Springs, KS 66012. We’ll carpool to Shawnee Town 1929, 11501 W 57th St, Shawnee, KS 66203. There we will take a guided tour of the museum, including the farmhouse, truck farm garden, and garden market shed; and will tour the JoCo Extension Master Gardeners’ Herb Garden and Country Garden. 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, Sep 5, 10:30am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. Come visit with members. 816-513-8590 GKC Herb Study Group Wed, Sep 9, noon; in Rose Room of Loose Park Garden Center, 52nd and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. The Forager’s Fall menu. While the garden may be coming to a close at the end of summer, the wild outside in the backyard still brims with a bounty of herbs, herbs, roots and mushrooms. There is simply deeply satisfying and rewarding about foraging for foods in the wild. When autumn arrives, delicious discoveries abound in nature. Please join the group and forager, Elizabeth Cutting, as she introduces a menu from the wild outdoors. Each dish prepared will have ingredients in it from natures bounty and a sprinkling of herbs. Our luncheon will be a sumptuous feast and presentation sublime. Be prepared to have your senses awaken. Visitors are warmly received and invited to join us in luncheon and learning. There is no fee for lunch so visit with us and enjoy the afternoon. For any information please contact Charlotte at or phone Barbara at 816-523-3702. GKC Water Garden Society Tues, Sep 15, doors open at 5pm; at our new home at Union Station, an architectural masterpiece in the heart of Kansas City. We will be conducting our meetings in the Planetarium at the North West corner of Union Station. The adjacent parking lot will be free to all members. Bigger, better, greener and flourishing is the goal of every gardener for their own piece of heaven. The Greater Kansas City Water Garden Society has just completed a phenomenal tour season and a leap in membership. Our 6:30pm speaker will be a representative from Habitat KC, otherwise known as the Re-Store. They will be presenting examples of home and garden recycling and re-purposing projects. The Water Garden Society incorporates some recycling/repurposing ideas at Home and Garden shows. At 7:30pm speaker Leah Berg, a landscape designer, writer and educator, will be discussing the planting and care of fall perennials. Please visit us at our new home Union Station, 30 W Pershing, Kansas City, MO 64108. Heart of America Gesneriad Society Fri, Sep 25, 1-4pm Sale, Sat, Sep 26, 9am-4pm Show and Sale; at Loose Park Garden Center,

51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Show and Sale. 816-513-8590 Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Sep 12, Hospitality is planned at 9am, program to follow at 10am after a short business meeting; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St (67th & Roe), Prairie Village, KS. “Why are the Hostas on the Other Side of the Fence Always Greener & Bigger?” will be presented by Clarence (CH) Falstad, Zeeland, MI. CH has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Illinois. CH has served as President and Vice President of the American Hosta Society and AHS Scientific Chair. He has introduced over 50 hostas, including ‘Regal Splendor’ and ‘Northern Exposure’. There will be a potluck luncheon following the program, with meat and drink provided by the club. You may bring a dish to share. There will be Hellebores & Hostas available for purchase, as well as lots of nice door prizes. Guests are always welcome, come and bring a friend! Info: Gwen 816-213-0598 or 816-228-9308. Independence Garden Club Mon, Sep 14, 6:30pm; Club will hold its annual picnic. Please check at the August meeting for what to bring. For more information, please call 816-373-1169 or 816-796-4220. Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Sep 10, 7pm; at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. The summer is coming to a close and this meeting will help us know what to do to get our roses ready for their winter nap. Dr Glenn Hodges, Laura Dickinson, and John Riley, all ARS Consulting Rosarians, will lead a panel discussion of the best methods of protecting our rose bushes over the winter, and the best time to do this winterizing work. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments are provided. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarians Corner”- a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian. Bring your questions and concerns about any aspect of growing and caring for roses-you can even bring a sample of your plant! The Consulting Rosarians will also give timely tips about caring for roses “This Month In The Rose Garden”. For more information about the meetings, programs and other activities of the Johnson County Rose Society, visit their website at You can also find them on Facebook at www.facebook. com/JoCoRoses. KC 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, Sep 8, 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

Events, Lectures & Classes

Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Sep 9, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS. Briana Terrell, Leavenworth County Master Gardener, will give a presentation on Cutting Gardens: What Flowers Grow Well for Cutting. The meeting is free, and visitors are welcome. For more information call Briana Terrell at 913-240-4571.


Leawood Garden Club Tues, Sep 22, 10:30am; at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W 83rd St. About noon, Cathy Shones, Nursery Manager at the Grass Pad, will present “What’s Tried and True and New to Plant in the Fall.” The meeting is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts provided. For more information, please visit our website, send an email to or call 913-642-3317. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Sep 8, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 SW Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Our speaker will be Caitlin Bailey from Powell Gardens, her topic will be “Seed Collecting”. Refreshments will be provided, visitors are always welcome. Visit or call 816-540-4036 for additional information. Lenexa Field and Garden Club Tues, Sep 8, 7-8pm; tour of the LackmanThompson garden, Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, 11180 Lackman Rd, Lenexa KS 66219. See our website Mid America Begonia Society Fri, Sep 25, 1-4pm Sale, Sat, Sep 26, 9am-4pm Show and Sale; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Show and Sale. 816-513-8590 Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Sep 14, meal 6:30pm, program 7:30pm; at Colonial Church, 71st and Mission Rd, lower level, Prairie Village, KS. Meeting will be an indoor picnic. Members are asked to bring their favorite picnic dish to share and the club will provide smoked beef and ham as well as rolls. Public is invited to this special meeting. Operation Wildlife, the premier wildlife rescue and rehabilitation program in this area, will be presenting a program on Day and Night Raptors. We will have live birds for everyone to see and the program will be given by a staff member. Plan on a fun evening with a marvelous program. For further information, please contact Sallie Wiley 913-236-5193. Non-members are asked to RSVP so that we will have enough food for everyone. Please call 913-236-5193. Raytown Garden Club Tues, Sep 1, 10am; at Raytown Christian Church, 6108 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO. Dr Ginger Miller, Microbiology Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Instructor, Penn Valley & Blue River Community Colleges, will present the program “Making Apple Cider Vinegar”. Dr Miller will incorporate edible scientific experiments from the garden into the program. Visitors are welcome, and refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 816-257-0049 or visit our website at Sho-Me African Violet Club Fri, Sep 11, 11am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590

Dahlia Show Sep 5 & 6; at Powell Gardens, 1609 NW US Hwy 50, Kingsville, MO 64061, You can find the Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society on Facebook https:// or at Basic Food Preservation Thurs, Sep 10, CHANGE OF TIME: 6-7:30pm; at Wyandotte County Extension Office, Sunflower Room, 1208 N 79th St, Kansas City, KS. Wyandotte County Extension FACS Agent Lori Wuellner will teach food preservation techniques for our summer harvest, including a demo on canning salsa. Fee: $5. Questions? Call 913-299-9300. Flower Show Sep 10, 11 & 12. The Olathe Garden & Civic Club is sponsoring a flower show. The event will take place at Olathe City Hall, 100 E Santa Fe. This is free and we welcome entries from any non-commercial gardener. If you have a special rose, vine, vegetable, etc, we’d love for you to enter it. We can also accept floral designs in Open Class and Petites. Rules are available at both Olathe libraries or call Donna Manning 913-829-2255 or Gerry Buehler 913-894-0154. Entries will be accepted Thurs, Sep 9 7-9pm and Fri, Sep 10 7:30-9am. Please come and enjoy! We’d love to see you!

(continued on page 24)

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Native Plant Sale Sat, Sep 12, 9am-2pm; at Backyard Bird Center, 6212 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64154. Burroughs Audubon Fall Native Plant Sale by Missouri Wildflower Nursery. 816-746-1113

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Tour de Flora 2015 Marais des Cygnes Extension District Master Gardeners Fri, Sep 11 and Sat, Sep 12. This fall garden tour will take you through the rolling hills of Miami County, Kansas, to see six gardens that exemplify country living at its best. Each garden was selected to demonstrate the marriage of form and function. Ticket cost is $10 per visitor. Gardens open at 9am each day and close at 6pm on Fri and 4pm on Sat. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Paola Extension Office, 104 South Brayman, 913-294-4306. During the tour, tickets may be purchased at any of the six gardens, Hillsdale Bank BBQ and Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery. The addresses are: 903 N Broadway, Louisburg; 31622 Oak Grove Rd, Paola; 30750 Osawatomie Rd, Paola; 24975 Old KC Rd, Paola; 30133 W Maple Ln, Spring Hill; 34135 W 255th St, Paola. More information is posted on our website at, or visit us on Facebook

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(continued from page 23) ing 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, 913-685-3604

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Upcoming Garden Events

September 2015 |

Photographing Roses Sat, Sep 12, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Kansas City Rose Society presents “Photographing Roses” with renowned nature photographer Megan Wyeth. Learn various techniques for photographing roses and how to create unique photographic art from your photos. All cameras welcome, including smart phones. Costs: $15 for Rose Society members, $25 for non members. Register at Autumn Splendor Flower Show Mon, Sep 14, Kansas City Garden Club Business meeting 10am, Refreshments 11am; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Autumn Splendor Flower Show, featuring both floral designs and horticulture exhibits. The public is welcomed. Show entries will be critiqued by the judges following the judging. Flower show is open for viewing 11:30am to 1pm. 816-569-3440 Dinner on the Prairie Fri, Sep 18, 6:30-9:30pm; at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. Revel in an atmosphere of the late 1800s with horse drawn wagons, camp fires, hay bales, and an abundance of Kansas prairie grass while enjoying all of the modern conveniences which together, will create a memorable experience for all... cocktails, entertainment, fine dining and a beautiful Kansas landscape. $150 per person. Register online at, 913-685-3604 Hasta Luego Monarchs Sat, Sep 19, 10am-2pm; at the Pollinator Prairie, 320 S Blake St, Olathe, KS 66061. The Pollinator Prairie Volunteer group will host a family-friendly event to celebrate the annual migration of the Monarch butterfly to Mexico. People of all ages are invited to learn about Monarchs and other butterfly species with hands-on activities including: Demonstrations by Monarch Watch including catch and release of butterflies every half hour; Caterpillar exhibit by the local Johnson County Master Gardeners Wildlife Committee. Public invited to experience the wonderment of the Monarch migration to Mexico. This event is free and open to the public. For more info, contact Jennifer Kingston, 913-693-1905, Dahlia Show Sep 19 & 20; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania Ave, (Near 51st St and Wornall Rd), Kansas City, MO 64122. Sponsored by Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society. Open to the Public. Sat, Sep 19 from 1-4pm. Sun, Sep 20 from 11am-4pm. Find the Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society on Facebook https:// or at Pawpaws, Persimmons and Plums! Sat, Sep 19, 1-3pm; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park

Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015. Registration required at 816-228-3766 (adults). Take a hike with us and learn to identify these trees and just how to prepare delicious recipes from native fall fruits. KC Community Gardens Family Fun Festival Sat, Sep 19, 10am-3pm; The annual event is at the Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Children’s Garden, located at 6917 Kensington Ave, just north of Gregory Boulevard in Swope Park. A Free Festival for Children and Adults. Admission is free. The day’s activities include games, demonstrations, and garden foods to sample. Children can win a book at the Kansas City Public Library’s bean-bag toss, or pot a basil plant to take home. Activities include scavenger hunts, horseback riding, face painting, glitter tattoos, games with prizes, and a bug station. Lakeside Nature Center will be there with animals. Volunteers will demonstrate fruit and vegetable grilling, giving away samples of tasty treats. Although all events are free, lunch items are available for purchase along with KCCG T-shirts and a few selected garden crafts. Sales will raise money for the Beanstalk Children’s Garden, where each summer and fall children’s tour groups and families are encouraged to see, touch, smell and taste the plants as they learn about growing a garden, eating healthy foods and identifying plants and insects. Donations are welcome. The garden paths are paved and fully wheelchair accessible. For information, call 816-931-3877 or visit us at www.kccg. org. Follow us on Facebook! Monarch Tagging Sat, Sep 19, 1-2pm or 2-3pm; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015. Registration required at 816-228-3766 (all ages). Monarch butterflies are now migrating to their winter home in central Mexico, and we are ready to tag them! Become a scientist for a day by capturing, tagging and releasing monarchs and identify other unique butterflies. Butterfly Garden Open House Sat, Sep 19, Noon-3pm; Leavenworth County Master Gardeners will have an Open House at their Butterfly Garden. The Butterfly Garden is located at 500 Eisenhower Rd, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Please join us as we follow the migration of the Monarch butterflies as they continue their journey to Mexico. There will be information about Milkweed and its importance in the survival of the Monarch. There will also be activities for children. For more info, call Leavenworth Extension office at 913-364-5700, leave a message for Charlotte. The Athlete of the Bird World Sat, Sep 19, 8:30-11:30am; at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015. Walk-in (all ages). Come see a live male ruby-throated hummingbird up close! It wasn’t able to be released after its injury, and it is here to help everyone learn more about the only hummingbird that breeds in Missouri. Find out how to identify male and female hummingbirds, and learn about special adaptations that makes them the athlete of the bird world. Native Plant Sale Sat, Sep 19, 10am-2:30pm (or until sold out); at Anita B Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO

64110. Missouri Department of Conservation “Monarch Mania” Event. The Discovery Center is partnering with MPF to offer a native plant sale to benefit monarchs. Missouri Wildflower Nursery will be providing plants that are desired by monarchs (and other wildlife) and will look great in your home landscape. New England Aster, Buttonbush, Purple Coneflower, several species of milkweed, including Marsh Milkweed, along with a wide selection of other pollinator species will be for sale. Get a jump-start on your 2016 pollinator garden! Burroughs Audubon will also be giving away small plants. A portion of proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Missouri Prairie Foundation to help conserve vital monarch and pollinator habitat on its native prairies. Questions: 816-7169159. Don’t forget to preorder your choices for pickup at the event! To preorder, contact Missouri Wildflowers Nursery: 573-496-3492 or email: Concrete Leaf Sculpture Sun, Sep 20, 1-3pm, and 9-10am Mon, Sep 21; at Powell Gardens. During this class you will learn how to cast and preserve a beautiful leaf sculpture. On day two, you will clean up the edges of your leaf casting. Instructions for painting your finished leaf at home will be demonstrated in class. Please bring a dust mask and rubber gloves and dress for working with wet cement. $54/person, $47/member. Registration required by Sep 14. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. Wine & Roses Thurs, Sep 24, 5-7pm; at Rose Garden in The Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Loose Park, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64112. Fifth annual fundraiser by the Kansas City Rose Society. Tickets: KCRS members $85, $100 per person, Patron $250 per person. Go to for more information. Join Honorary Chairs Anita B. and Mr. Gorman while enjoying fantastic wines and elegant hors D’oeuvres created by Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions in the beautiful surroundings of the Rose Garden. Eat, drink and mingle with friends while being entertained by The Mike White Jazz Quartet. Full Moon Walk Fri, Sep 25, 7-10pm; at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th, Overland Park, KS. The full moon will light the paths. Star gazing, nighttime sights and sounds. Bring the family and flashlights. No registration required. Included with admission. 913-685-3604 Conifers for the GKC Landscape Sat, Sep 26, 9:30-11:30am; at Powell Gardens. Don’t miss these opportunities to learn about conifers from Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen. This is a three-part class. Part two is Saturday afternoon, and part three takes place Sunday afternoon. You may register for one or all parts. Register for all three and receive a discount. Each session: $19/person, $12/member (Register for all three $45/ person, $25/member). Registration required by Sep 23. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at Hedge Apple Day Sun, Sep 27, 12-4pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W

179th, Overland Park, KS. Come out to the Leatherwood Depot at the Arboretum and participate in nature crafts for the whole family. Included with admission. 913-685-3604

October 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 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. 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 Hwy, 10 mins 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). Purchase 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 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online at AdultClasses. 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. Open to the public. No registration required. Door prizes. For further information, 816-665-4456 or visit

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

Late summer shines at Powell Gardens


eptember brings award-winning dahlias, a last look at the Nature Connects 2 LEGO® sculpture exhibit plus opportunities to taste the harvest at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden. Here’s a look at what’s happening during September at the Gardens, located just east of Kansas City on Highway 50. Unless otherwise noted, all activities are included with regular Garden admission. Dahlias Take Center Stage Sept. 5-6 Members of the Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society bring the cream of the dahlia crop to Powell Gardens for an annual fall show. Visit the display between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 5 and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 6. A Last Look at LEGO® Sculptures See what New York artist Sean Kenney created with some 300,000 LEGO® bricks. His Nature Connects 2 exhibit includes 27 sculptures set in 14 scenes ranging from a gardener tending plants to a family of Mallard ducks and a monarch butterfly. The exhibit ends Monday, Sept. 7. Monarch Tagging Become a citizen scientist by learning the art and science of monarch butterfly tagging during drop-in sessions from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 14, 16, 18 and 20. By tagging monarchs with tracking numbers, scientists can study migration and population trends. Nets and tagging materials will be available to use during these sessions, which are included in regular Garden admission. The sessions will be cancelled if it rains or temperatures fall below 55 degrees. Chef Demonstrations and Tastings See how chefs and culinary experts use fresh food grown in the Heartland Harvest Garden on Sunday afternoons, with free samples while supplies last. Then taste what’s in season from the daily tasting station. The chef demo schedule includes: • 2 p.m. Sept. 6: Julie Kendall of Café Blackadder;

The call for entries for the 2015 Scarecrows in the Garden competition is now open! • 2 p.m. Sept. 13: Chef/Culinary Instructor Richard W. McPeake and students from the Kansas City, Kansas, Community College Culinary Arts Program; • Noon, Sept. 27: Laura and Tim Tuohy, owners of Kansas City Canning Co.; and • 12:30 p.m., Oct. 4: Beth Bader, co-author of “The Cleaner Plate Club,” and 2 p.m., Craig Howard, chef/owner of Howard’s. Under a Harvest Moon: A Farm to Table Fund-raising Dinner Now in its seventh year, Under a Harvest Moon raises funds to help children in the region learn about healthy eating by planting, harvesting and preparing fresh food. The 2015 event takes place at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, with guest chef Ryan Brazeal of Novel Kansas City. Using fruits, vegetables and herbs grown in Powell Gardens’ Heartland Harvest Garden, Chef Brazeal will create a memorable meal that follows a cocktail reception in the garden. For ticket information, visit www.powellgardens. org/HarvestMoon or call 816-6972600 x207. Scarecrows in the Garden: Call for Entries. Deadline: 5 p.m. Sept. 27 Families, school classes, scouts, garden clubs, businesses and individuals are invited to enter this salute to the icon of autumn. Scarecrows will be displayed throughout the month of October. No fee is charged to enter a scarecrow, but Garden admission applies to view them. See details at or call 816-697-2600 x208.

The Kansas City Gardener | September 2015



garden calendar


• Seed bluegrass or tall fescue lawns early in the month for best results. • Sod new lawns or dead spots for quick recovery. • Renovate bluegrass or tall fescue by verticutting then overseeding. • Core aerate cool season turf to aid in root development and thatch breakdown. • Fertilize cool season grasses with high nitrogen sources of fertilizer. • Mow turf at 2 to 3 inches and sharpen mower blade for a clean cut. • Continue to mow zoysia but do not fertilize or aerate this late in the season.


• Plant trees and shrubs, deciduous and evergreen. • Rake up fallen leaves and compost. • Prune broken and dead branches from trees. • Avoid pruning spring flowering shrubs to ensure spring flowers. • Handpick bagworms to reduce problem infestation next year.


• Plant spring flowering bulbs, tulips, daffodils and others. • Dig, divide or plant peonies. • Divide perennials, especially spring bloomers. • Remove seed heads from perennials to prevent reseeding in the garden. • Plant chrysanthemums for fall color. • Dig gladiolus as foliage begins to yellow and air-dry before storing for winter.

• Clean up garden areas to reduce insects and disease as plants dieback for winter. • Enrich soil by adding organic matter such as compost. • Soil test for the next growing season.


• Continue to harvest vegetables. • Pick apples and pears and store in a cool place to extend freshness. • Harvest pumpkins when flesh is completely orange, and avoid carrying by the stem. • Harvest winter squash when the rind cannot be punctured with your fingernail. • Plant lettuce, spinach and radishes for fall harvest. • Remove weeds from garden plantings before going to seed. • Tender herbs can be dug from the garden and placed in pots for indoor use this winter. • Remove small tomatoes to increase late development of more mature fruits. • Spade or till garden plots incorporating fallen leaves or grass clippings to improve soil. • Plant garlic cloves for next year’s crop.


• Bring plants in before temperatures drop into the 50’s. • Clean and wash before moving indoors to reduce insects. • Fertilize before winter conditions arrive and growth slows. • Poinsettias can be forced into Christmas bloom by starting dark treatment.

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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Check out the September Garden Giveaway

Professional’s Corner

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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 Tracey Youngblood, horticulturist and teacher all wrapped up as one. Name: Tracey Youngblood Company: Soil Service Garden Center, Kansas City, MO Position: Horticulturist and manager Education/experience: With a Horticulture degree from Johnson County Community College, I’ve been with Soil Service for three years. What I like most about my job: Focused on customer satisfaction, I am passionate about educating our clients about plants. Helping them find the right plant for the right place, then teaching care requirements for success in the garden, gives me a sense of accomplishment. Early influence: I grew up as an Army brat and my mother always made sure to put plants in the ground. This was so our on-post housing always looked nice and “lived in.” Favorite landscape project: The projects that are my favorites right now are ones that need a lot of TLC. Clients call needing our services because they are overwhelmed with their overgrown landscape. My awesome crew and I approach them and their garden with the same professional TLC we would give our own landscape. The joy and relief visible on their faces is priceless. Favorite plant: My favorite all-time plant is Sedum, any variety. Always so beautiful, hardy, and resilient. There are many varieties to choose from. Drought tolerant. Simply amazing. Favorite garden destination: To date, it’s the Jardin Botanique in Montreal. When I traveled there two years ago, an international design contest was happening, with many countries represented. The exhibits consisted of huge metal structures that housed landscape fabric and soil. Then they plugged plants in that would mimic the textures for whatever the sculpture was portraying. For example, there were life-size gorilla structures with grasses plugged in to mimic fur. Even had the plants brushed to indicate creases for the animal’s joints. Some structures were 80 feet high with incredible detail. One was Mother Goose, with robes and a gigantic goose that she was nurturing. It was inspiring to see these structures and how plants were used to suggest cloth, fur, skin, even food. . What every gardener should know: I’m a firm believer in buying local and knowing your grower. Plant material grown in climates and conditions different than ours can affect how well or how poorly those plants will do here. Contact information: Soil Service Garden Center; 816-4443403; 7130 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO;; Hours 8am-6pm Mon-Sat,10am-5pm Sunday. The Kansas City Gardener | September 2015



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Profile for The Kansas City Gardener

KCG 09SEP15  

cottonwood trees, biltmore, goldenrod, reseeding, sumac, birds, roses, butterflies

KCG 09SEP15  

cottonwood trees, biltmore, goldenrod, reseeding, sumac, birds, roses, butterflies