Archive for October, 2022

Article & photos by Gail K.

August tour: Toured club member, Karen’s farm garden & saw her, Monroe County Fair, award winning flowers and veggies…

Unfortunately I missed the date but Karen & her husband Anthony, treated me to a private visit so I could take photos
for the blog………

Now how could I turn down such a warm welcome?

Won’t you come along and let’s see what’s growing down on the farm.

As I approached the driveway to the farm, it appeared as if Karen’s crop of choice is sunflowers….but look closer.

Tall as they may be, they are merely the sentries which watch over all the other plants in the garden.

Farm gardening??  Mixing vegetables & flowers withinan area to take advantage of natural pollinators.

Above, Karen holds up one of her favorite peppers- Mixing it up produces a haphazard kaleidoscope of color

Even the field corn will benefit from the pollinators in the area.

despite the many bees & butterflies the only one that would cooperate with me was this one

from zinnias

to peppers (I won’t try to name) of all kinds: sweet to hot –  all used in Karen’s homemade salsa.

pinks, purples, reds, yellow & orange no shortage of color in these neatly lined & weeded fields..

 grapes & tomatoes; pumpkins; peppers & corn.  

All of this growing down on the farm!!!

About those sentries; Karen has so many varieties & they just kind of draw your attention so here are a few close ups……

gold & pale yellow outer edges and centered with huge massive circles of brown or black seed pods……..

BOLD & Stately, demanding respect, a standout artistic specimen in the garden

 with flames of fire shooting from its center, this one is made almost translucent from the rays of the sun.

Karen also arranged for the group to visit an apple farm just across the road–what luck

it’s open so let’s pop in…..

Historically, this farm was always known as Kreps’ apple farm.

he younger family members have expanded the crops; now they grow-  Peaches  ( these smelled as good as they look)

They offer U-PICK flowers–dual purpose plants- attracting pollinators but are sold for profit….

They had a large variety of different types for any bouquet you may want to put together…….

While out exploring the flowers I came across these cuties.

However they were not for sale & I had to convince the one that my taking their photo would not bring about the apocalypse.

THEY had come to the farm for ICE CREAM!!!!

Well no way I was going to miss out on this treat….

a single scoop of Cherry Chip it is—as you can see it was deemed to be a good choice

After eating my ice cream, I said my goodbyes and hit the road—thank you Karen & Anthony-

Farms are having to change-they call it Agri-Tourism. So the next time you pass by one that says OPEN-

pop in.  You may be surprised at what they have to offer.


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Farewell to Fall

by Gail K.

Traveling to a favorite apple orchard (Kapnick’s) for fresh
cider & donuts.  I could not help but notice that some of fall’s bold colors had begun to fade….I hope you took the time to enjoy our Indian summer & leave you with this quote.


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By Linda & Gail

Back @ Four Star; for part 2 of our visit; which will focus
more on specifics.

Many discussed if this plant would be a good substitute for dusty miller or even Lamb’s ear.

Remember this one??  Anyone from the Milan group care to share-did you use this plant & how did it perform???

In the mean time, this one fascinated me – I believe it’s Supertunia Daybreak Charm. Linda

And while speaking of these Supertunia, I just have to share this photo from my yard. This one called Latte was a true winner in my yard this year. I didn’t see it in the gardens but thought it performed so well and was used in my columns . The fragrance was delightful. (below) Linda

This caught my eye & Found IT!!!  The name & specifics on the ID board.

Or maybe you would prefer this plant–.

Let’s read about it–hey this one is a perennial!!!

 a closeup–still interested???

I in turn found this board with the Playing the Blues Salvia, Linda

And her it is. A close up view and also in the background

The true blue petunia; seen here planted & also a noteworthy salmon colored flower; which combo do you prefer?

And here is the sample I got from our meeting this past winter when Josh came. I managed to keep it going during the winter inside.

Look how nice these pair together.

read it & see it; a valuable planning tool.This is what makes these gardens so unique!!

We all know we need the right plant in the right place, to enjoy success in our gardens.

Would this beauty work in your garden?  So striking!!

Here it is in a display setting

If purple isn’t your color- here is another one that was getting a lot of attention-

Found it on the list- and in a different display.

What do you think???

Here is a unique color–how could it work in your garden?

Check it out–look- it’s a filler & a spiller.

Linda couldn’t help but take some additional photos of their beautiful landscape of blooms and the stream

What a cleaver way to hang pots.

Very interested in this grass. I thought it maybe purple fountain grass. I asked because it wasn’t on the board, and sure enough it is. However, notice the green in it….I was told it was probably reverting to the original plant.

This should brighten your day!

And last, the stream. The sound of running water to relax. Beyond the flowers, I love the stream.

We have our surveys to complete, but this brings our 2022 tour
@ FOUR STAR DEMO GARDENS to an end. We hopeyou have a better understanding on the workings of these
gardens & by all means– TAKE THE TIME TO VISIT NEXTYEAR–no appt. needed; Thank You Josh. 

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Hi all friends of Milan Garden Club.  Not a very straight forward way to

vote for Milan Garden Club’s scarecrow this year and I FINALLY learned

how to do it today so I’m forwarding to many hoping they will vote once

a day for our scarecrow!

 The link below will take you to Milan Area Historical Society Album

where you will see all the scarecrows.  Click on ANY “reaction” for the

Milan Garden Club scarecrow ( like, heart ) will count as a vote. 

Reactions will be counted until October 27.  Let me know if you have any

issues with this site!

Here is the link for the album:


Thanks to you for voting!


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Four Star

Story & Photos by Gail K

Earlier this year, Josh from Four Star extended an invitation to visit.  We have enjoyed our relationship with Four Star for many, many years; so, we gladly accepted.

Today, Josh would share Four Star’s “product research “techniques & how it impacts our gardens.

Open to the public, FOUR STAR is a research-based garden& they enjoy getting feedback on their products.

When I say product-I mean product.  Rows and rows of PW pots, filled with various plants- recognized for “quality assurance”

Following his talk, he encouraged us to enjoy the gardens & share our opinions by completing a survey.

The Milan gals wasted no time in picking out one of interest; they are active in many projects. NICE choice ladies!!

Hey there Barb, what did you find??

       2022 list: so many,many to choose from & these are just the annuals……..

In smaller groups-we wandered off, looking at the various displays which sparked our interests.  Spoiler alert-I don’t do annuals, but I love to look & will share what we saw.

OK so the underlying “structures” may be but the

plantings & groupings are not–let me show you.
I love this bridge!!!

They even incorporate water ways-they want us to envision these plants & groupings in our own gardens.

Their displays whether hanging or just sitting; are planted using the filler, thriller & spiller technique.

They blend, they contrast & they highlight*
So, so many color combos!!!

Looking around-you experience “a full spectrum” in both: the types of plants & the combo of colors — the only thing left is your imagination & how YOU want to use them.

Such variety & I even spotted some that Josh brought to our meeting earlier in the year.  Hey, do ya have any extra covered bridges???

I like this display– it looks like anyone’s backyard.

Again, look at the colors!!!!

If you can see past the explosion of “IN YOUR FACE” color-

note in the background– pots, lined up in an orderly way-


to a casual grassy path softened by using just the right plants.

Looking at all these plants can be confusing.

We spotted Joan using the ID board….HEY JOAN,

whatcha’ looking for???   I hope she found it!   

                I have an idea-It’s HOT!

Many of us spent a couple of hours walking around.

Linda & I have more pictures to share; so let’s cool off &

we’ll do this in 2 parts……g & L

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Prairie Garden Tour

Photos and story by Gail K.

Spring has morphed into summer, and our garden treasures change.We take opportunity to see & learn; especially when invited by our own members.

Good afternoon, Prairie Pete!!!  He & his wife Jill (I promised not to photo)

invited us to come visit their prairie restoration project. Did you say PRAIRIE?

I guess we’re leaving-won’t you come along as we see what “Prairie” gardening is all about?

Turning onto a long drive, we pass the conifers & to our immediate left (east); the gardens open with a mass planting of native Monarda, in full bloom.  A soft sweet smell fills the air………beckoning us in

Scattered among the pale purple Bee Balm are a native favorite,

Prairies are favored by Pollinators, hence the logic behind restoring & planting such gardens. Native plantings & Native pollinators = the wellbeing of Mother Earth.

Walking beside the densely planted Monarda; the field softly opens, revealing an entirely different arrangement.

To best describe what we saw–imagine someone taking a shaker of different colors and sprinkling them all about.

Do you see the the various plants?  Look closely, use their color to help pick many of them out.

Look left, right. Face forward, turn backwards-the colors, flowers & grasses all mixed about-the view constantly changing.

Some individual close-ups of the more prominent native plants:

Pete is this a Yellow Coneflower? Little Bluestem – a colorful native Grass

Butterflies love the lowly Butterfly Weed (above); compare to the tall Culver’s Root (below).  It’s vibrant color may help them find it along roadside ditches & fields.

Above: the line where prairie meets the yard. Our hosts graciously allowed us to freely explore all their gardens……

Below: you get a feel for the expanse of the property; the Prairie left of the pond & its gazebo

The veggie garden & a good looking crop of squash–way to go farmer Pete!!!

West of the pond and veggie gardens- under the watchful eye of a wise ole owl-sits the Homestead & its various garden areas.

Various garden areas scattered about like the seeds of the prairie; intermixed with colorful & whimsical yard art.

Jill, where do you find all your yard art-how cute?

In contrast to the sunny prairie, “the yard” is under an umbrella of dappled shade, perfect for a wide variety of plantings.

some noteworthy lilies

After a short respite in the cool shade; I walk back to the sunny areas to finish my exploring.

Gardens of all types, just keep popping up-

two of the many daylily varieties

It’s time for us to let Pete & Jill get back to work.  It’s obvious; they are good stewards of the land.

side note: Pete’s mom, an artist- used canvas. Pete & Jill are artists as well-using the colors of nature as their pallet & the earth as their template.  Thank you……

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