Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Archive for October 2010

Happy Halloween!

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Do you remember this scarecrow from Fall Harvest Festival 2009?  If memory serves me right, I think this beautiful witch was part of the “Wizard of Arb” display in the Rose Garden last year.  Every once in awhile I come across Fall Harvest Festival scarecrows when I’m visiting friends of the Arboretum in the community – thought I would share this photo with you in honor of today’s holiday!

Do you have a FHF original proudly displayed in your garden or front porch?  I would love to see photos!

Happy Halloween!  See you in the gardens.

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October 31, 2010 at 6:00 am

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Dried Flowers

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By the looks of the forecast, our beautiful days of Indian summer are quickly coming to an end.  October is bittersweet for me – I enjoy the crisp, cool air and autumn’s bright colors but the change of seasons also means snow is quick to follow!  

To help me get through the winter months (and to remind me that summer will come again!), I often dry big bunches of flowers to hang in my office, arrange in vases or even use in wreaths/holiday decorations.  This year, I have collected red gomphrena, gold celosia and a rosy-pink hydrangea.

There is no real science to drying flowers.  When the gardens are dry, I collect my favorite flowers in bunches and hang from the shelf in my office (I have found that it often works best to remove all leaves first).  If a batch starts to look bad (some flowers just don’t dry pretty!), I pitch them and try again – it’s all about experimenting!

If you are interested in learning more about drying flowers, I encourage you to read this article I found at http://www.gardenguides.com.   http://www.gardenguides.com/123-drying-flowers.html 

See you in the gardens

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October 28, 2010 at 6:00 am

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Calling All Volunteers!

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You are invited to the Arboretum for an end of the growing year luncheon, to thank you for all you have done in 2010!

As another growing season comes to an end and we are reminded of the cycle of seasons, please join us to note and honor this time. We invite you to come to the Arboretum on Saturday, October 30th at 11:00 a.m.  If you feel like some exercise, we will be doing some final garden clean up to put the gardens to bed.  A light lunch of warm soup and desserts will be served.

Whether you work in the gardens or hold a seat on one of our essential committees, we want to celebrate all our volunteers who do so many things to create and steward our beautiful gardens, so all are welcome!

Please come and enjoy a friendly visit with other volunteers on Saturday, October 30th at 11:00 a.m.

See you in the gardens.

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October 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

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Breaking Ground!

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Did you know we will soon have a new maintenance building at the Arboretum?  Over the past few years, the Arboretum has begun to feel some growing pains – our little Head House can just no longer hold all of our equipment and tools!  Now, thanks to the generous support of our funders and a dedicated (and smart!) committee, we will have a spacious new building before the holidays. 

 

The excavation crew came in last week to level the area.   We were able to use soil already on site and killed two birds with one stone — cheaper for us and we got rid of our eyesore dirt pile!

Stay tuned for more updates.  See you in the gardens.

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October 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm

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Decking the Halls: Wreath Making 101

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What better way to celebrate the upcoming holidays than coming home to a beautiful, handmade wreath on your front door?  Or better yet, what a perfect gift for family and friends!   Participants will create their own 22” wreath made from freshly cut greens to take home.  The class will also provide step-by-step bow tying lessons and new ideas for decorating wreaths, with both traditional and contemporary examples.  Please bring hand pruners and your own work gloves (if desired).  Participants are encouraged to bring ribbon (at least 6 yards) and other embellishments to decorate their wreaths.

What     Wreath Making Class

When     Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.

Where     the Arboretum’s Head House (green garage directly north of the parking lot)

Cost     $30.00 per participant (ages 16 and up) with pre-registration required.  $25.00 for members.

This class will  fill quickly so please register early!  Requires registration at least 7 days prior to the event and payment is due at the time of registration.  For questions regarding registration, please call (319)226-4966 or email office@cedarvalleyarboretum.org.  No day-of registrations will be accepted.  All registrants will be notified by 8:00 a.m. the day of class if cancelled due to weather or safety concerns.

Please complete the form below and mail to: Cedar Valley Arboretum, PO Box 1833, Waterloo, IA 50704. 

Decking the Halls – Wreath Making 101 presented by CVABG – registration form letter size

You can also register online at http://www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org/registration.asp (scroll down to find “New! Fall Class – Wreath Making 101”).

 See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

October 15, 2010 at 4:35 pm

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Indian Summer

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It’s shaping up to be another beautiful week at the Arboretum.  Even with many of the annuals pulled and trees/perennials tucked in for the winter, there is still plenty of color in the gardens.  I encourage you to visit the Arboretum soon to see for yourself.

To give you a taste of what you might see, I took some photos this morning while I was walking the grounds.  To view my photos,  please visit http://cedarvalleyarboretumphotos.shutterfly.com and click on the “2010 October” album under the “Pictures and Videos” tab.  This is a share site that you can visit to see a whole collection of great photos of the Arboretum (because posting one photo is sometimes just not enough!).  This will be a new way for me to share multiple photos with you, so please let me know what you think!     

See you in the gardens.

PS:  What is an Indian summer?  According to Wikipedia.com, Indian summers are characterized as “a period of sunny, warm weather, after the leaves have turned following an onset of frost, but before the first snowfall.”  Now you know!

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October 12, 2010 at 9:31 pm

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Just ordered!

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Each growing season, we are making great strides in our gardens at the Arboretum.  I might be biased, but I think the gardens and grounds looked better than ever this year!  The best thing about “getting our ducks in a row” (as my grandpa would say), is that we can now focus on adding some fun details.

For early season sparkle, I love adding spring flowering bulbs to my gardens.  But this is one thing you cannot procrastinate on!  Spring flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocus must be planted the previous fall for spring flowers.

I just ordered some bulbs for the Arboretum’s front gate and rose garden from Van Engelen Inc. (www.vanengelen.com), a wholesale bulb seller with great prices.  I encourage you to visit their website to see their large collection of high-quality bulbs.

Once the bulbs arrive, we’ll talk more about bulb planting and the varieties chosen – just wanted to wet your whistle first with some great photos and descriptions (all from www.vanengelen.com).

 Rose Garden Bulbs

         

(from left to right)

Narcissus ‘Misty Glen’     This stunning beauty is luminous, blue moon-white with overlapping, satin-smooth petals and a barely flared, cylindrical cup with a hazy green eye and slightly scalloped edges. Bulb size: 14/16 cm.  Late April. 16” to 18”. HZ: 3-7.  Catalog #8329

Crocus vernus ‘Jeanne d’Arc’     It is glistening white with varying degrees of purple striations at the flower’s base and at the top of its stem (ranging from none to just a little). Bulb size: 9 cm/up.  April. 5”. HZ: 4-8.  Catalog #3114

Muscari botryoides ‘Album’     Circa 1896, this pure white form of the Grape Hyacinth is a perfect companion for contrasting, white and blue plantings. Bulb size: 6 cm/up.  April/May.  6″. HZ: 4-8.  Catalog #3735

Front Gate Bulbs

    

(from left to right)

Large Cupped Narcissus ‘Fortissimo’     New! A trumpet-like naturalizer, this 5” amber-yellow beauty has a funnel-shaped, slightly frilled reddish-orange crown. Bulb size: SP 12/14 cm. Late April. 18” to 20”. HZ: 3-7.  Catalog #8811

Muscari aucheri ‘Dark Eyes’     A cross between M. neglectum and M. pallens, Dark Eyes is intensely sapphire-blue with perfectly formed, bright white floret rims. Bulb size: 6 cm/up. April/May. 6” to 8”. HZ: 4-8.  Catalog #3728

See you in the gardens.

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October 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm

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