Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Archive for February 2011

Green Scene Annual Symposium

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Each March, I look forward to Green Scene’s annual symposium – a Saturday filled with educational sessions, interesting booths and fun conversation with some of my favorite gardening friends.  I always come away with new ideas and information.

There is still time for you to get in on the fun (and attendance counts for Master Gardener hours!).  Register by sending $20 to Green Scene, PO Box 2004, Waterloo, IA  50704.  Your registration includes your choice of sessions and lunch.

When:  Saturday, March 12, 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where:  Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo, Iowa


8:00-8:30         Registration

8:30-9:20         Kelly Conrad, registered horticultural therapist: “Plant Propagation”

9:30-10:20       Jolene Rosauer: “What Color is Your Garden?”

10:30-11:20     Dr. Michael O’Hara: “Ergonomics in Your Garden”

11:30-12:30     Lunch (pulled pork sandwiches, salads, chips, dessert bars/cookies, and beverages)

12:30-1:15       Josh Spece: “What’s New in Hostas”

1:25-2:30         Jackie Frink: “Flower Arranging”

To learn more about Green Scene, visit their website at http://www.greensceneinc.org/index.html.

See you in the gardens.


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February 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

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For the Winter Weary

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Our “heat wave” from a few weeks back has put me in total spring mode and I’m ready to get outdoors. Thankfully, my mailbox has been full of spring garden magazines – I nice distraction for the winter weary.

And as I was flipping through my early spring edition of Iowa Gardening, I found Jolene Rosauer’s beautiful peony garden showcased.  Jolene is a longtime friend of the Arboretum and a bit of a peony expert.  If you do not receive Iowa Gardening, it is worth purchasing just to see the photos of her garden.

To learn more about this magazine, visit http://www.iowagardeningmagazine.com/index.html.

Have a great weekend.  See you in the gardens.

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February 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm

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February 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

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Plant of the Week: Allysum

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I used to dislike allysum.  We always started off on the right foot, allysum and I, with her sweet blooms cheerily spreading in the spring.  But then the heat of summer would come along and the low-growing annual would almost disapear with only a few crispy leaves left to show.  To me, our growing season is just too short to mess around with finicky annuals!  Thankfully a volunteer introduced allysum to one of the flowerbeds in the Display Gardens a few years ago and I have had a change of heart.

Genus:  Lobularia

This annual’s common name comes from the genus it was formerly classified under.  Another very similar genus, Aurinia, also used to be classified under Allysum.

Family:  Brassicaceae

This family also includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, radish and horseradish.

In the Display Gardens, the allysum reseeds each season and blooms all summer long.  The delicate white flowers bloom so thick that they create a carpet effect along the flowerbed’s border.  This thickness also pushes out any weeds – wich I especially love!

Often allysum does not thrive like this all season in Iowa – so what’s the trick in the Display Gardens?  In this case it might be a bit of shading by neighboring plants that benefits the allysum.  The annual likes full sun and is drought tolerant, but in warmer summer climates like ours, allysum likes to be kept cooler (like the rest of us!).  I have also heard that the white blooming allysum is more tolerant than the purple and pink hues.  I don’t have research to back that up, but do know that a community garden last year (several yards away) included purple allysum that did not bloom mid summer.  The purple allysum also did not have any shade.

Just when you think you know a plant, it will turn around and do the complete opposite on you.  That’s the great part about gardening – there is always more to learn!  Do you have an annual or perennial that you’ve tried to grow but it never grows for you?  Do a little  asking around – find someone who grows it well and see if you can mimic those conditions in your garden.

See you in the gardens.

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February 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

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Intern at the Arboretum!

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The Arboretum is now accepting applications for a 2011 summer intern.  This is a tremendous opportunity for someone interested in horticulture, natural sciences, outdoor leisure services and/or non-profit management.  He/She will gain valuable leadership and management experience … all while working in the beautiful outdoors all summer!

If you know someone who might be interested, please pass along the below information.  Applicants must turn in a cover letter, resume and 3 references by March 15th.

Mission The mission of the Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens (the Arboretum) is to enhance the quality of life for all individuals through horticulture.  We seek to enrich life by nourishing and sharing the beauty of the natural world, the joy of gardening, knowledge of plants and the diversity of our world.

Internship Format The internship will run for 12 weeks with flexible beginning date mid May and ending date mid August.  The intern is required to work 40 hours per week, including some weekend and evening hours.  Weekly schedules are flexible within reason.  Compensation is $9.00 an hour.

The intern will work directly with the Director of Horticulture to explore the daily duties and activities of a public garden setting.  He/She will also interact daily with Arboretum volunteers and the general public.

Who can apply? Applicants must be 18 years or older and currently enrolled in school.  Experience and/or education in horticulture, natural sciences, outdoor leisure services and/or non-profit management will be given first priority.  Applicants must be able to perform physical labor outdoors in typical summer weather conditions and have a valid driver’s license.

Expectations & Qualifications The intern is expected to participate fully in the daily operations and activities of the garden with maturity, curiosity and kindness towards all Arboretum visitors and volunteers.  He/She must be self motivated and willing to work as part of a team as well as assume a leadership role when asked.

The application deadline is March 15, 2011.  Please send a cover letter, resume and three references to Mollie Aronowitz at director@cedarvalleyarboretum.org.

For more information about the Arboretum, please visit www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org.  For more information about the internship, please contact Mollie Aronowitz at director@cedarvalleyarboretum.org or (319)226-4966.

See you in the gardens.


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February 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm

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February 11, 2011 at 6:00 am

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Presenting at the Eastern Iowa Home and Landscaping Show!

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Looking for a weekend winter distraction?  Visit the Eastern Iowa Home and Landscaping Show to learn more about perennial garden design (as well as visit a variety of booths)!  I will be presenting Friday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.  and Saturday at 3:30 p.m.


General Information about the Show:


Friday, February 11, 2011 – 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Saturday, February 12, 2011 – 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Sunday, February 13, 2011 – 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM


Adults – $6.00

12 & Under – FREE

Friday Matinee – 3:00-5:00 PM – $3.00

Discount Coupons are also available at local area Kwik Star stores.

Directions to the Sullivan Brothers Convention Center (West 4th and Commercial Street Downtown Waterloo):

From east on Highway 20 take the Hwy 218 exit. Follow Hwy 218 to the Downtown/Sullivan Center exit (Washington Street). Follow the signs to the Sullivan Convention Center. From Washington Street turn right/north onto 6th Street. Sullivan Center is located between Jefferson Street and Commercial Street on 4th Street.

From the west on Highway 20 take Hwy 63 N exit. Follow Hwy 63 north to Commercial Street. Turn right onto Commercial St go east 4 blocks. Sullivan Center is on the right/south side of the street.

From the north take Hwy 63 S to Commercial St. Turn left on Commercial and go east 4 blocks. Sullivan Center is on the right/south side of the street.

Parking is around the Sullivan Center building on all sides.  A city parking ramp is located on Commercial Street between 4th Street and 5th Street.  Free parking is located 1 block south of the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center under Hwy 218 overpass off of W Park Ave or W 4th St.


Hope to see you there!

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February 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm

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