Archive for September, 2019

Members Share Page

A page has been added to our Blog called Members Share (unless the group can come up with a better name). This is a private page with a password for members only. The password is the same as our members page

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Four Star Demo Gardens

Story and photo by Gail K.
Following our tour of Linda’s garden, we headed to the Four Star Demo Gardens. The Four Star plant was a standing tour when Monroe Ext. offered the Master Gardener classes. I graduated 2004 but I can’t remember ever visiting the Demo Gardens. Enjoy some highlights from our “self-guided tour.”

The roadside sign–
members use the strategically placed chart to identify plants in the area behind the sign.

Many liked the pale lavender color of the dwarf butterfly bushes planted in the sign display. (added Note from Linda: I was there yesterday with my niece and these were covered with various butterflies…but only a few Monarchs).

I really liked the arbor and the grasses along the walkway which led us around the sign garden to the larger display areas.

As we walked to the larger gardens, the Milan girls stopped to discuss which plants they could use in their Veteran garden display.

Larger display areas:

Looking back over our shoulders, you see the arbor where hanging baskets and large pots- make for an impact display of color & design.

This one caught my eye.

Migrating from area to area-we each moved at our own pace. Drawn to an area because of color, style or just because-

Despite being “self-guided” the size of our group made for group discussion which really enhanced our learning experience
and as always-Jenny was on hand to answer our questions. Below-display with ID board

(Close up of plant ID key

(individual plant ID & information marker )

In addition to the actual displays-the plants were in different settings.

The pond & waterfall: Left,back-a Lavender Chiffon Rose of Sharon. Thinking, Lavender is going to be an up and coming color

pond edge

A display of trailing begonias

( Yesterday when I visited you could hardly see the lattice. It was one beautiful vertical garden)lw
From the bridge you can see just how vast the flower displays are
The plate sized-hardy hibiscus were big hits, a dark maroon above and the pale pink one below.

Some other favorites:

mini mauvette, annabelle hydrangea

peach colored rose

I even found plants growing along the ditch bank interesting
and so did this garden favorite
Trip worth taking alone or with a group…………..Just think next year it will all be different………that’s the way of test gardens……


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Monarchs on the Move

Karen Hehl sent me this for posting:

This afternoon my husband and I were out in the garden around 5:30. He noticed several Monarchs in the air. They flew past. We kept watching, then there were a couple more. Over the next couple hours there was a steady stream of them flying over our farm, heading south. I saw more Monarchs in three hours than I have seen in the past three years. Some stopped in for a snack on the Zinnias. As the sun was going down, we noticed several flying around under the trees. I am hoping some of them will spend the night in the trees. I will be looking for them tomorrow.

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August Tour: My Garden

Photo & story by GK and a few from me.
The last tour of the summer highlights to enjoy:
Our blog editor Linda: extended an invitation to visit her garden

We have been to Linda’s garden before. An interior designer; her garden – a self reflection, never disappoints.
The front yard contains two paver resting areas surrounded by beds.

West Arbor patio area

the group in the front yard patio entry

Re-doing the front entry gardens, has been her most recent project- below, members study the succulent wall pocket placed to greet front door guests.

A closer look of the vertical succulent garden

Since the pavers take up most of the area, plantings are in various types of containers. At the entry I decided to feature a succulent garden. Here are a few of the containers and succulents.

sitting on the table is a container of various succulents

An old floor lamp converted into a container so the string of pearls could be featured

Another plant that got a lot of attention- a hydrangea. The plant produces striking color variations and per Linda,
she does not amend her soil for PH—-

This hydrangea is planted into a pot as well. It continues to produce new blooms that start off lavender, turn to the blues/lavender and then to the pink/sage color

For those of you that were interested in this variety it is an Endless Summer brand called BloomStruck (Hydrangea macrophylla).
Along with the succulents you will find 7 varieties of tree peonies as well as a few herbaceous ones. This time of year you see most green foliage. However, in Spring the blooms add much color. Here are a few of my spring photos:

This was increased in size to see into the bud where the saw flies are getting their share of pollen.

Here we discussed a bit of powdery mildew caused by lack of circulation in that spot. The mildew was concentrated by the herbaceous peony growing from the root of the tree peony

There were a few interesting plants discussed as well including the Helleborus from front yard that was a double, It’s called Helleborus Wedding Party – Flower Girl. There is a full series of Wedding Party, I have 3 in the series, but the other’s were just planted this year and won’t get blooms until this spring.

I had cut one for a spring flower arrangement.

Leaving the front; we walk around to the side yard on route to the back gardens.

Hiding in the flower bed–“a gardening angel”

On the west side of the house was an over grown area with globe arborvitae. There were 5 of these “monsters” and I made it a goal to rip the out and replace with colorful coneflowers.
Nested into the group is a delightful clematis. One of Gail’s faves from her past tours…she has a request in for a clipping. It’s name: Clematis heracleifolia, Mrs. Robert Bryden.

Linda loves using coleus to bring out matching blasts of color.
Below: Jenny shows how to propagate a coleus
What handsome owl. I enjoy matching many of my flowers to these artwork pieces in my garden. Notice the coleus next to the owl. It’s an unusual one that caught many of the gardeners eyes. I looked up my tag to include it’s name. The company that trademarks it is Dummen Orange. The trademark is Stained Glassworks and it’s name is Tilt A Whirl Coleus.

Here are more examples of Linda’s talent for bringing plants & yard art together with color
A major plant feature in Linda’s garden is a Japanese Maple
(I think I need to get one of these.)
Another feature the potting shed.

The side view

the inside from front to back

on the outside- back wall of shed, one of those wall pockets that Linda is noted for.
Below, A view of the garden from the rear of the shed.
Discussion-this plant: a HYSSOP or not ??

Grabbing a bottle of cold water before we dart off to our next stop.
Let’s take a quick peak back at her garden:
Linda, thank you, for being such a gracious host & for
sharing your garden with us!!………..

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