Tree Sale Reminder

Monroe Conservation District
March 2018

Our Spring 2018 Conservation Plant Fundraiser is about to end! Whether you need hundreds of tree seedlings for a windbreak, or a small number of shrub seedlings, fruit trees, berry bushes, or hostas and daylilies for your backyard, we can assist you. Descriptions of each species, including soil type, full sun or shade are available on our website, Www.Monroecd.org. ; Deadline is this Friday, MARCH 23!
Order forms are still available at the District Office and on the District web site, http://www.Monroe CD.org For questions about the sale, please call the District office at: (734) 241.8540 Ext. 5, or reply to this e-mail.
Tree pick up is April 20th and 21st, Friday and Saturday at the Monroe County Fairgrounds.

Two local events coming in April
Saturday, April14 – Earth Day
Monroe County Community College, Gerald Welch Health Education Building
11:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Stay tuned as more information comes in.

Saturday, April 21
Crosswinds Marsh, 27600 Haggerty Road, New Boston
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Join the Western Lake Erie Cluster for a fun family event to learn about amphibians of Southeast Michigan.
The first 30 minutes will be filled with learning activities teaching you how to identify species by call, and the last 60 minutes will consist of a field activity where during a nature hike (one mile) you will listen to amphibians and identify the species. An outdoor activity for the whole family to enjoy. For more information visit the Western Lake Erie Cluster website; http://www.stewardshipnetwork.org/clusters/western-lake-erie-cluster


Beyond the Bloom Series:
There are so many beautiful plants to enhance your garden with interesting foliage. We all are aware that color is so important in the garden. But so many of us rely on a bloom to give us that color. As important as color is at creating interest in the garden; so is texture. As much attention needs to be given to the foliage as the bloom. Well, to be truthful, probably more than the bloom. I do love the flowers; however, blooms come and go. Some annuals need deadheading to keep the blooms coming. That is more maintenance. Perennials typically bloom in one short period of time. Then what is left? The foliage is, of course. So why not make it a key factor in the garden. I want to share some of my favorites with you. Use these in the ground, or in containers. I typically jamb pack them in and use a bloom for accent. I realize you think it’s reversed; but I hope to change your mind. So I plan to introduce these wonderful foliage plants to you in a series of articles on our MCMGA Blog. Along the way I will interject some important design elements and reasons for why I think they work. I hope you enjoy it. The series begins with Coleus Let’s start!

Beyond the Bloom Series:
Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)

What is the hardest worker in my garden? That would be a coleus. It offers an amazing variety of color, texture and interest. Treat it like an annual, planting after frost has passed. An easy one to propagate; Just snap off a small piece, place it in a container of water, and watch it root. I generally just snape it off and stick it into some moist soil and it takes off. Should you decide, you may overwinter. You can dig it up, and take it indoors into a new pot; or take a cutting and put it into some water. Remember to give it a good once over to make sure no unwanted guests are included. Coleus are easy to grow and not extremely expensive. You will find them in your favorite nursery by the flat, or in a larger pot. The colors available today will delight you. Then as a bonus, you will see a great variety of texture as well.

I am never pleased with its bloom, so typically, I remove it. If you hate to discard it, then use it as a cut flower. Picking it off will redirect the energy back into the plant itself. As you can see in this photo, the bloom is not eye catching or extremely colorful. The foliage is the show stopper:

Here are some of my favorites and how they are used in my garden:

In the above photo you see a bright red called Valentine: The yellow/green with a deep maroon center and edging is called Honeybear. Paired alongside a hosta and Japanese maple you can see no blooms in site here. These offer contrast in color and texture when planted together.

I love pairing this canna (Tropicana) with Keystone Kopper coleus. One thing to note is that colors will vary some depending on the type of light it receives. I’ve used this one in an area of sun with dappled shade and it takes on a lighter color. The same plant may be darker if placed in total shade; often more red orange. This give even more interest since the same plant takes on a variety of tones. The yellow green with deep maroon center is called Henna Sun.

This coleus Flying Carpet is paired with another canna…But cannas are a whole other series on their own. Love the coordination of colors with the contrast of the foliage size, and the smooth verses ruffled edges of these two together.

There are several ruffled leaf coleus like this one called Sea Monkey Purple. It makes an impact with both texture and color along with the African daisy and sweet potato vine, which both carry the same colors in them. Here’s a closer look for colors:

The green and white is Wizard Jade, but the red center with line green is again Flying Carpet. And below, you find them yet again, because it’s important to create repetition in a garden.

As you can see I use a lot of coleus. It is my workhorse. Coleus gives me so much of what I want in the garden. I can’t begin to touch the surface of how many varities are out there. Just Google coleus and look at the numerous images you will find. Colors….textures…and a very interesting species.

Yesterday was a bit chilly, but the sun was shinning. That’s just one sign that spring is just around the corner. Hidden Lake Garden has a few more:

As you enter the conservatory you smell the hyacinths. That Sweet Smell of Spring

The daffodils were abundant

White daffodils along with the Tulips

A pathway of spring flowers, including, hyacinth, daffodils, tulips and more.

A variegated ficus takes center stage to become a focal point

Among the spring blooms we found amaryllis in many varieties.

Cyclamen in a few varieties were placed among the bounty of color as well

I know there are a lot of photos; but who can decide with such beautiful spring color which ones to eliminate. Of course you should make the trip to see these in person so that you can enjoy the sweet smells as well.

Josh Miller, from Four Star sent Jennie some PDFs with some educational opportunities and the following invitation: Beekeepers_Conference_2018x (1)


WCCCD Handout for Landscape Management – 7-18-17x

WCCCD Handouts for Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management – 7-18-17x

Master Gardener College

Mark Your Calendars: 2018 Master Gardener College, Sept. 14-15

Ready? Set? Join us on the Road to Southeast Michigan!

HARVESTING EXCITEMENT: Learning, Growing and Sharing

Master Gardener College is designed to support and enhance the research and science-based knowledge of the currently certified MSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and Trainees.

Location: Wayne County Community College District (Ted Scott Campus) 955 Haggerty Road, Belleville, MI 48111

The event will primarily take place at the Ted Scott campus. With lots of meeting space and easy access to free parking, this will serve as the event headquarters. Easily catch the bus for our day-long tours or other offsite events.

Friday: Friday features full day tours, showcasing all that southeastern Michigan has to offer or participate in one of our half-day workshops filled with critical need-to-know information! The tours and workshops will be followed by Garden Marketplace shopping, MMGA annual meeting, a delicious dinner, and an award presentation to wrap-up the evening.

Saturday: Features hot horticultural topics and information you do not want to miss for 2018. Plus earn educational credits for attending.

Keynote: Two nationally recognized horticultural experts who will share their wisdom and expertise.

Lectures: Many topics will be selected based on previous years surveys, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Workshops – Back by popular demand, Saturday will feature hands-on workshops that promise to be sell-outs.

Shopping: Visit the enhanced Garden Marketplace, sure to please any gardener! The Garden Marketplace will be open on Friday evening and include new vendors and products from the area. What a way to reward yourself as you begin plans for next year!

For more information Visit the Master Gardener College website and visit often. Updates are happening all the time as plans are confirmed! http://www.canr.msu.edu/master_gardener_volunteer_program/master_gardener_college/

The first meeting of the new Horticulture Club, February 17, had 22 new members join and a pretty full room to hear Josh Miller talk about his job at Four Star Greenhouse and some of his favorite Proven Winner plants. Some of the members plan to sign up for Taylor Conservancy’s Growing Great Gardens Program March 17, while others will return to the MSUE office that day for a different program. On March 10, some will carpool to the spring bulb show at Hidden Lake Gardens.

MCMGA President, Doris declaring this a significant marker in the master gardener program as
we welcome new members to the first meeting of the Horticulture Club.

Jennie talks to the group about our speaker planned for this meeting

Our speaker, Josh Miller, from Four Star Nursery speaks to our club about Proven Winners and Proven Selections

Answering questions from the club member about the production process, marketing and shipping of their beautiful Products.

New Horticultural members watch intently as Josh Miller shows us new introductions for this year.

New introductions include a sedum with fine foliage,and tight compact growth in a bright green named Lemon Coral, an orange Calendula called Lady Godiva, and a pink Supertunia called Hot Pink Charm. in the background

A beautiful new Dahlia is a 2018 introduction. An unusual color to the line. it’s named Delightful Crushed Crimson.

Delighfful Crushed Crimson Dahlia along with Rockin Deep Purple Salvia (who calyx or sepal is a purple color) , and a newly introduced Meteor Showers Verbena.

At the end of the presentation each of us were able to take one of these introductions home with us. I chose the new Primo Black Pearl Heuchera.

Winnie was so kind as to write a review for the Blog:

Rock Gardening by Joseph Tychonievich- Reimagining a Classic Style
Joseph is from Michigan but his book takes us all over the U.S. and
the United Kingdom showcasing rock gardens that are low maintenance,
drought resistant, time savers and also versatile.
You can begin with existing gardens or excavate and construct to
create your own personal design.
The photographs in this book are so refreshing that I’d like to just
step into them and get lost in their beauty. There are stunning photos
of larger rockscapes and pathways as well as other garden examples
that are relatively small- mostly private gardens to encourage us
gardeners with limited space. I enjoyed seeing the different plant
containers, hypertufa creations,and interesting garden accents along
with varying clips of striking color, textures,movement,and sizes of
so many plants and flowers.bn
The book features a chapter on differenet climates, and several
sources for procuring plants,seeds,and growing cuttings as well as
instructions for making hypertufa into containers or even using it as
This was a perfect book for me to sit and read through as a foot of
snow fell outside. You can request a copy at the Monroe County Library