Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Archive for April 2011

Plant of the Week: Japanese Anemone

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Seasonal garden centers are beginning to pop up throughout the Cedar Valley.  And as soon as Mother Nature realizes it is supposed to be SPRING(!!), they will be filled with annuals and perennials for our gardens.  As you go about choosing your new plants, I encourage you to think about the upcoming seasons – what will be blooming late summer and autumn in your garden?

I know, I know….I should be slapped for even mentioning autumn.  But now is the best time to think of seasonal color as you begin purchasing new plants.  When autumn does roll around, you’ll be happy to see this sweet flower greeting you.

Scientific Name: Anemone hupehensis

In warmer climates, there are also spring and summer-blooming anemones.  Common spring-blooming anemones include A. blanda, A. hortensis and A. fulgens.   A common summer-blooming anemone is A. coronaria.

Common Name:  Japanese Anemone

Family:  Ranunculaceae

The Ranunculacea family also includes pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris), clematis (Clematis sp.) and larkspur (Delphinium sp.).

The photo shows a pink Japanese anemone blooming in September in the Arboretum’s Display Gardens.  This fall bloomer also comes in whites and differing shades of pink.  The hardy perennial grows 1-3 feet tall and wide and grows best in full sun or part shade.  The delicate petals with yellow center grow on slender stems above mounding foliage.  Grown in zone 4-8, Japanese anemone does best in well-drained, moderately fertile soil.

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

April 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

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Adopt a Community Garden!

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It’s time to get outdoors.  More than ever, there is a movement to partner with nature and reclaim the simple joys of life.  The Arboretum can help you do just that when you adopt a community garden plot!

The community gardens are 10 by 10-foot plots planted, nurtured and weeded by groups, families or individuals in the Cedar Valley.   It is your opportunity to be creative and enjoy the outdoors, while making the Arboretum a beautiful space for all.  And community gardens can be adopted by anyone!

2011 Community Garden Guidelines

DESIGN  ::  All plant material must be used as an annual, meaning they must be removed at the end of the season.  When shopping, consider focusing on drought tolerant, sun-loving plants.  The Arboretum is asking your garden design to stand as a work of art itself, and that no garden art be placed in your plot.  The Arboretum will provide hard-wood if desired.

MAINTENANCE  ::  Participants are asked to maintain their garden plots once a week, preferably twice a week.  Since the community gardens serve as the entrance to the Arboretum, plots must look well-cared-for and stand as a focal point.  The Arboretum will take care of watering daily.

All gardens must be installed by May 31st, with installation encouraged bythe week of May 17th.  Gardens can be cleaned out after October 1st, with completion by October 31st.

SIGNAGE ::  Consistent signage in all the community gardens is planned for this season.  Please fill out the diagram accompanying your application.  Be creative and have fun!  The signs are an opportunity for you to personalize your community garden.  Plant identification tags will be added once gardens are planted, so please keep track of plant material used.

Please email Mollie at director@cedarvalleyarboretum.org if you would like to adopt a community garden.  Plots are first come first served.

 

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

April 25, 2011 at 6:00 am

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April 23, 2011 at 6:00 am

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Happy Earth Day!

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In honor of the holiday, run over to Starbucks with your travel mug and receive a free cup of coffee.  The perfect treat on a gloomy Friday!  With warm brew in hand, check out these interesting articles about our Earth over at National Geographic: http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/.  The pictures alone are worth seeing.

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

April 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

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Sign up Today! Plant Trends with Heidi Tietz DeSilva at the Arboretum!

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Looking for a bit of inspiration for your gardens and/or flowerpots?  You won’t want to miss this class!  Heidi Tietz DeSilva (always engaging and informative!) from Petersen and Tietz Nursery will share with us what’s new in garden design, colors and containers as well as new annuals and perennials on the market.  Learn what’s hot in the world of gardening this year.

Tuesday, May 3, 20ll

6:30 p.m. in the Education Center

Plant Trends with Heidi Tietz DeSilva

$7.00 for non-members, $5.00 for members.  Registration due by Tuesday, April 26th.  Register online at www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org/registration.asp or print the mail-in registration form below.

2011 Registration Form

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

April 18, 2011 at 6:00 am

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Where did SPRING go??

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Sometimes I feel guilty cutting my daffodils for indoor bouquets – they are so happily blooming and I hate to steal them away from any passerbys!  But this blustery weather is the perfect excuse.  If you have bulbs blooming at your house, I encourage you to go out and cut a big bouquet.  They likely won’t be around much longer with this weather – the least we can do is bring spring indoors with us!

Have a good weekend!  See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

April 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm

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Pruning Dogwoods

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Was yesterday the most perfect day or what?  Sunny, warm and no wind – a gardener’s dream!  We took full advantage of the beautiful weather and got many spring tasks checked off our to-do list.  The first thing on our list was pruning the yellow and red-twigged dogwood shrubs in the Arrival Gardens.

I apologize for my lack of quality photos – these were taken with my phone because I didn’t want to take the time to hunt down my camera.  Yellow and red-twigged dogwoods (red-twigged shown above) are wonderful shrubs in the Iowa landscape.  Many varieties are hardy and disease resistant with attractive flowers and summer foliage – but they really shine in the winter, with their colorful stems against the stark white landscape.

Dogwoods are low maintenance shrubs that only need a bit of pruning each spring.  To promote new growth, dogwoods need to be pruned each year.  As you can see in the above photos, the older woody growth loses its bright red color.  Before the shrubs bud out, I like to come in and remove the oldest branches right back to the base of the shrub (never removing more than 1/3 of the shrub in one year).

Are you looking for new shrubs to plant in your home landscape this spring?  I encourage you to take a walk through the Arrival Gardens – the first garden to the east of our parking lot.  The collection of shrubs, evergreens and deciduous trees create a layered effect to showcase multiple colors, shapes, sizes and textures.  You’ll be sure to find something you like!

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

April 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

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