Showing posts from April, 2014

Strawberry Begonias is Strawberry Geranium and Saxifragea Stolonifera

A gardening friend brought some of his Strawberry Begonia plants to an event we had here for fellow gardeners. I was dubious. He has full time gardeners. We have two retired people who are doing and learning as fast as they can - us. No helpers to weed, water, fertilize, etc.

So I planted them in two locations to see if they would survive. They all did. In both locations. Without any special care or winter protection.

Their range in the US is limited to zones 6 to 9 but like Impatiens and other Begonias we plant outside for the summer, they can be dug and divided to be protected over the winter and put back outside for the summer.

From Asia originally, they prefer moist spots, spread across the ground with runners and tiny plantlets. Those delicate red runners and tiny plantlets really show off to advantage in a hanging container. Overwatering and too much sun will make Strawberry Begonias suffer so be sure the spot or pot is well-drained and out of full sun.

One way to propagate plant…

Polemonium reptans is Jacob's Ladder or Greek Valerian for shady places

Beautiful blue flowers are on the Polemonium reptans in the shade garden. Planted just a year ago, they emerged this spring a little larger than when they came out of the pots. The flowers have lasted a week so far.

They are native to MO and are seen throughout the eastern US. They are cold hardy in zones 3 to 8.

My hope is that they like where they are planted enough to make and spread seed all over that bed!

In colder zones they prefer full sun but here in zone 7 they definitely need a shady spot. Plant them in  a place that stays moist from humus rather than from being watered all the time.

Its other name, Creeping Jacob's Ladder imply that it spreads by stolons but they do not spread by underground growth.

The Jacob's Ladder name comes from the arrangement of the leaves that resemble the rungs of a ladder.

In nature they thrive in woods and along streams. While they have no insect or disease problems they can be killed if their roots stand in water or if they are not wate…

Garden Tour in Tulsa - Beth Teel's home garden

Tulsa Garden Club’s annual garden tour “Tulsa’s Treasures” Ticket $10 includes three gardens
5707 S Birmingham AV, 6770 Timberlane RD and 7626 S Marion AV Apr 26 10 to 5 Apr 27 12 to 5 Information 918­-260­-1095

Beth Teel loves to garden and loves to share her garden with visitors. Hers is one of three gardens featured on this year’s “Tulsa’s Treasures” garden tour sponsored by Tulsa Garden Club.

The proceeds from the tour are used to help fund a variety of projects at the rose garden, arboretum, and Up with Trees.
Teel, a retired special education teacher, turned to gardening several years ago and has been creating a relaxing place to appreciate plants ever since.  Her husband Paul is her help-mate in making their gardens inviting.

Probably what is most unique about Teel’s garden is that it is mostly shaded, and yet, she has found a wide variety of plants to fill the flower beds that surround the house and grounds.

“What I really love is color, texture and contrast,” said Teel. “I li…

Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, Hesston KS

Dyck Arboretum of the Plains 177 West Hickory ST, Hesston KS  $2 admission
FloraKansas Native Plant sale April 25 to 28 call for hours or check the website. Native wildflowers & grasses Arboretum hours – daily from sunrise to sunset,, (620) 327-8127
There is no doubt that a prairie garden is the ultimate low maintenance, low water usage and environment friendly choice for gardeners. But, many homeowners assume that it would mean a messy yard and landscape to look at.

“The more examples of native plant gardens people see, the more they realize the beauty of native plants,” said Scott Vogt, Executive Director of the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains.
The Arboretum was established in 1981 as a gift to Hesston College from Harold and Elva Mae Dyck when they bought 13-acres and donated it to Hesston College to be used prairie restoration garden.
Today the Arboretum is one of the largest native plant gardens in the region, featuring over a thousand va…

Mid-April Edibles in Progress! Zone 7

It's early in the spring and we have a hard freeze coming but here's a bit of what's happening in our back yard other than the daffodils and tulips -

It's a start! In the shed I've transplanted chard, kale, dill and lettuce seedlings. Most of the seedlings have only one set of leaves and are not ready to be transplanted to pots yet but they are making good progress.

April is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month

April is only half over so there is still time to participate in Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. The Bugwood Blog from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health reported the story in detail.

Here are some highlights - click the link above to read the entire blog entry - great blog!

Each year during April, USDA amplifies its public outreach about the risks that invasive plant pests, diseases and harmful weeds pose to America's crops and forests—and how the public can prevent their spread.  These non-native, destructive species can seriously harm the economy, environment, or even human health.
“Invasive species threaten the health and profitability of U.S. agriculture and forestry, and the many jobs these sectors support,” said Kevin Shea, Administrator of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).  “To protect that crucial value, USDA and its partners work hard every day to keep invasive pests and diseases out of the United States and to c…

Bartlett Arboretum - Unique Experiences Await Visitors

Robin Macy and her husband, Kentucky White, live at Bartlett Arboretum where they are stewards of a garden that was built in 1910 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Arboretum, at the corner of Highway 55 and Line Street, is at the edge of Belle Plaine, a little Kansas town south of Wichita, population 1,680.

In April and May, while the daffodils and hellebores begin to fade, the Arboretum positively shines with blooming wisteria and the 36,000 tulips lovingly planted by Macy and a team of volunteer gardeners.

An arborist who lives in the hexagon-shaped residence on the property continuously works to maintain
the 20 State Champion trees, as well as caring for the more recently planted trees and shrubs.

Macy said, “I am in the garden every moment there is daylight, except for the hours I spend writing
grant proposals, organizing group tours, doing the paperwork, speaking to promote the garden and
other things that keep the Arboretum going.”

When visitors walk th…

Tulsa Botanic Garden - April events

At Tulsa Botanic Garden visitors can stroll the Garden’s Lake trail for a self-guided tree walk.

The Garden is located eight miles northwest of downtown Tulsa just west of the intersection of W. 43rd St. N and N. 52nd W. Ave. Directions and a map to the Garden can be found at Phone 918-289-0330.

The Garden will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of October, and will
offer various programs each Saturday such as gardening talks, plant walks, and drop-in activities for families.

Suggested donation for admission is $2 for adults and 50¢ for children 12 and under. Admission is free for Garden members.

 Located on a 170-acre site, the Garden currently includes a visitor center, a 7-acre lake with a three-
quarter mile trail that includes some of the Garden’s first plantings. In 2013, garden staff and volunteers planted 1,200 perennials, tropicals, roses and shrubs to display beds surrounding the lake.

This January, they added 7,000 bulbs and e…

Invasive and Exotic Species of North America

We gardeners are responsible for leaving the invasives out of our shopping carts and removing them from our gardens, woods, ponds, etc. And, they don't just have invasive plants.

When in doubt, check out the lists

Invasive dot org

They can boast of
2,837 Invasive Species1,885 species with images58,101 images Images of Invasive and Exotic Species

Easy to Use Tree Identification -

University of Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Education site

We dig up baby trees before the first hard freeze and let them have a winter in the shed. Then, in the spring when they leaf out we have to find out what they are - compost, burn pile or planting trees.

This site worked well this morning to identify a Chokecherry tree that had leafed out in the shed.

We have so many little trees out there and most of them I've learned to pull out immediately. But, there are others that don't make as many offspring as elm! So I go searching - check this out when you need to know -

Follow the key with your tree nearby
Dichotomous Tree Identification Key
What is a dichotomous key? A dichotomous key is one tool that can be used to identify trees. This type of key is also used for flowers, animals, rocks, fish, and more! A dichotomous key contains a series of choices that lead the user to the correct name of an item. &quo…

Organic Pesticides

The alarm bells have been ringing for several years about the decline of butterflies, bees and the other pollinators that provide food for the world. Without pollination there are few grains for animals, and no pollinated flowers for the production of fruits, herbs and vegetables.

As spring gardens are getting started, the timing was perfect for Barry Fugatt, Director of Tulsa Garden Center, to bring Dr. Raymond Cloyd from Kansas State University to fill us in on the latest research. Cloyd is a professor of entomology who has spent decades studying the benefits, harm and uselessness of various products that are labeled organic pesticides. 

Cloyd said there is lots of misinformation out there about organics since there is no such thing as an organic pesticide. There are selective pesticides made of materials found in nature but most of them either cause harm to beneficial insects, birds and fish or are a waste of your money.
“The problem is that people want insects dead,” said Cloyd. “…

Midwest Weeds Identification website from Missouri State University

Here's a handy site I have never seen before with weed identification photos and names
called Midwest Weeds - I'm weeding, dividing, planting, seeding, cleaning beds so this is particularly useful.

Missouri State University > Pamela Borden Trewatha > Midwest Weeds
William H. Darr School of Agriculture Midwest Weeds (updated October 17, 2013)Turfgrass Weeds:
Click below to see a list of grass and grass-likeweeds featured on this site that are frequently found in turfgrass/lawns:common name list scientific name listClick below to see a list of broadleafweeds featured on this site that are frequently found in turfgrass/lawns:common name listscientific name listCrop and Garden Weeds:
Click below to see a list of grass and grass-likeweeds featured on this site that are frequently found in cultivated  crops and ga…