Archive for March, 2020

Weekend Walkabout

I received an email with this link from Garden A to Z. It’s a video from Janet Macunovich, talking about pruning back plants. It is a long video, but should be good for 2 hours of education. I learned much by watching, it’s sure worth the time. In the email, she asked us to share and to part of a trial. Here is the email sent along with the link:

Hello friends!
You asked to be part of our webinar trial.

We are compiling your feedback now and thank you all for taking the time.

See the recording of the March 28 Weekend Walkabout: Too Big, Too Much at

Please share this with friends.

Those who attended the live Weekend Walkabout 3/28 will notice the recording is not the same. Apologies for this. This is a trial, we expected some glitches. The 3/28 recording had serious audio-video synch problems. Yet we wish to post recordings of each Weekend Walkabout trial so we can gather as much input as possible.

So we recorded the presentation again. Differences:

Steven was not able to be there for the recording. Janet solos.

There is no live Q&A with those who attended. This loss is what we regret the most. Good questions, good conversation. Ah, well!

The screen changes size. This was our glitch, made in editing the replacement. We have no time to try a third time. Please overlook that screen size shift.

The posted video includes new information about dividing and controlling perennials. We ran out of time in the live webinar but decided to include perennials for re-viewers. To see only this new material, speed the video to the 1:35:00 mark. Perennials section follows images of birds, frogs and butterflies.

Thanks for helping us with this.
Janet and Steven


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Deb K. sent me a text with some information from Fine Gardening magazine. She sent a link to the article for sharing here. I think you will find it very interesting:

7 Important Host Plants for Pollinators

As well, she sent Jennie’s response, to her sending the article link to her. It includes which ones are in our demo gardens: Jennie’s comment:
” Interesting! Did you think of me when you saw the pawpaw flowers? We have most of those in the demo gardens. Pipevine and that genus of wild buckwheat are not native to MI, although some pipevine has escaped cultivation and “gone wild” in the state. In the demo gardens we have a relative, wild ginger, and a closely related butterfly, the spicebush swallowtail that is similar in appearance to the pipevine swallowtail. (and we have spicebush). The weed called wild buckwheat around here is in another family related to buckwheat, but as its latin name, Polygonum convolvulus suggests, it looks more like a morning glory (Convolvulus), except for the flowers. There is some of that along the chainlink fence at the demo gardens but we try to keep it down.”

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Article & Photos by Gail K.
As promised, I wanted to share the many blooms we saw. Linda’s recent talk focused on “more than the bloom” So let’s blend contrasting aspects of bloom & non bloom.
Focus on the elements of design; Texture, color, shape & form. I love blooms and purple so these caught my eye!!

In a partially shaded area, despite being slender, the color- bright fuchsia, drew our eyes up and to the forefront of the dark shaded background;

While contrasting green and white ground cover draws the eye down

Do you recall Linda speaking of the Kingwood effect when we toured her yard??
Here it is!! We were both drawn to this display of Coneflowers.

The cool vibrant colors were wild & excited our senses

However, the mass grouping of Daylilies had a calming effect; with soft pastel colors of yellow, white
& peach.

{Note how design makes the building almost disappear}

It’s always worth the time to investigate the individual in mass plantings-

Look what we would have missed if we had just walked by-

Garlic heads reach up on stiff stalks in defiance of any mid-summer breeze
resembling the graceful queen ann’s lace-as it softly sways to & fro # note to self- find and plant in my yard



Love Purple–variations of One color; look at all the contrasting in the shape, form & texture

purple or blue???

Matters not to me, I would like to have both in my garden

Note the variety of plants & elements of design

Greens do not have to be “just green” — more than the bloom—

Sharp contrast ahead!!

Soft, easy on the eye & pleasing to the nose

Before leaving-we went into the conservatory- large rooms with good variety of plants.

When I tour gardens I don’t really “study”- I hope these photos help you apply design elements in your own gardens. So get out there and explore—
Let’s all be inspired by those who have already done. gk

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Order Deadline

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Article and Photos by Gail K.
Growing weary & impatient for warmer days, I’ve resorted to looking at garden photos from summer past to thaw my frozen bones. I hope this blog entry will warm the essence of your “inner gardener.”

Last July, Linda & I enjoyed a day at the Kingwood Gardens. We had a focus on seeing a specific exhibit by Lea Gray;Linda will blog later on that. The gardens are undergoing a huge ddition;note the gray area. Please, join me as I re-visit the day thru my photos.

In addition to the construction taking place beyond the painted barrier, it was hot—

so we strolled leisurely from one garden to the next; happy to find shaded respite.

An interesting journey never follows a straight path ( Marjan van den Belt )
From sun to shade to sun.

Note how the gardens embrace all styles,from relaxed borders to defined garden areas.

As the style of gardens changed, so did the use & type of plants in the design.

Despite the time of year, there was an abundance of plants in bloom.

Stairways–leading to or away from???

What is structure for some may be chaos to another.

One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things. ( Henry Miller )

Water is always a pleasant feature in the garden for birds and people. It lends to a cooling effect and it was welcomed that day.

Which method would appeal to you for maintaining order?? Your answer might hinge around trimming when mowing???

Above: intriguing-plantings with defined borders, encircled by soft walkways of grass
Below: Archways attract me & are a favorite structural aspect; the conflict-which way do I go??

I hope you enjoyed viewing the structural & design aspects of The Kingwood Gardens….
How cool is this-Where could we most likely find such a display???

Thank you Linda for being such a valuable resource for us.
Stay tuned, will follow with a post focused on the flowers.

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Spring Wildflower Walk

Naida sent this info, sounds like fun!
Sunday, April 26 2-4pm Spring Wildflowers Along the Saline River at the Draper-Houston Preserve

578 Mooreville Road, Milan 48160 – just east of Kroger

This walk will be led by Faye Stoner, Washtenaw County Naturalist. The never plowed portions of the preserve are rich with wildflowers—Trillium, Dutchman’s Breeches, Bloodroot, Hepatica, and many more. Wear shoes/boots that can get muddy.

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Save the date for Flower Day @ Eastern Market in Detroit:
May 17, 2020 • 7am – 5pm


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post & photos by Gail K

Hey, did you hear–Gail attended the orchid show @
the Toledo Zoo???

I saw her!!! So did I.

The orchids were displayed throughout the Natural History Bldg & Conservatory.

Entry area filled with tiers of various orchids

The entire week was filled with various classes; all focused on one flower-THE ORCHID.

It was evident the orchid craze still exists…orchids, orchids and more orchids—in the walkways of the building; some hidden, tucked into the displays

I arrived early and enjoyed the extra time circling around the various displays before my class.

Talk about sensory overload–WOW

the explosion of color, shapes, smells– orchids in every possible area of the 2 story exhibit & conservatory.

So much to see- click, click ## Kodak moments I particularly loved the “slippers”

Others visiting the exhibit posed for “selfies” or group photo ops-everyone focused on capturing their favorite to be savored again at a later date–I took too many to share on the blog.

My class-focused on the flower facts of orchids.
The speaker was Ryan Walsh a staff member @ the Toledo zoo. His job is to care for the orchid collection on site; speaking at other classes, on other topics throughout the week.

Ryan offered a ton of information which covered species, hybrids, cultivation and pollination.

he shared how orchid flowers have evolved and vary to lure in specific pollinators. This one below

requires a moth with a very-very long proboscis- hence the white color to attract the night time

Did you know orchids have a different form of pollen-called Pollinia?

So much information- too much for the blog. I recommend asking Ryan to speak @ our meeting.

It was a long day-how could anyone be at the zoo and not visit the other notable features?
Mr. Polar bear says sit back and enjoy these orchid photos.

As we end our day @ the zoo—-let me share this quote by Darwin

If given an opportunity to visit an Orchid Show- I would encourage attending. Very interesting flower!!!!


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Here is a link from the Conservation District for upcoming events

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