Archive for March, 2018

Hydrangea School


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Growing Great Gardens

Growing Great Gardens was a great event. Gail, our MCMGA favorite photographer, sent me some photos with information on her first experience with this event. I, too, attended for the first time. It’s a great educational opportunity. I was to post this for Photo Friday, however that didn’t happen…So here is Photo Friday on Monday.

Gail writes the following:

This was the first time for me to attend the Growing Great Gardens seminar; hosted by the Taylor Garden Club. I must say, it was an enjoyable day and the speakers were very informative. I think many of you may want to make a point of attending at least once. To entice you to attend next year’s talks, I am attaching some photos of the day.
-I got goose bumps the minute I entered thru the doors. To my surprise, the halls were lined with loads of yard art. Yippee

Did I mention it was St. Patrick’s Day–and shades of green were everywhere.

scattered amongst the vendors were all the gardeners who came from various levels of gardening expertise….this was the 10th year and they believe they set an attendance record check out a few I encountered. Do you recognize anyone???

Karen was the lucky one. She won one of the many door prizes.

These are the morning speakers. All the speakers were very entertaining and engaging…….Did I mention all the SHOPPING and EATING????

Three rooms in addition to the hallways filled with vendors. We ended the day with 2 more speakers.
Winnie where are you??? We know you are in there!!!! There were about 12 of us from the Monroe County MG group
our leader – tried her LUCK at winning the raffle prizes.

If you liked what you saw and think you may want to attend next year-

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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