Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Archive for June 2011

Why We Must Learn to Love Weeds — WSJ Article

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It is this time of year that I really start to HATE weeds.  I weed and I weed and then turn my back for two minutes and they are back fuller and healthier than ever (or so it seems)!

My mom passed along this article from the Wall Street Journal.  Maybe it will help you have a better attitude about our unwelcomed plants:


See you in the Gardens.


Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

June 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

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Visiting the Display Gardens

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Filled with a variety of color, form, and texture, the Display Gardens enchant visitors throughout spring, summer and fall.  Each flowerbed represents a different theme – some are colors while others are a specific collection of plants.

Themes include:

  • pink and purple
  • reseeding garden
  • red, orange and yellow
  • chartreuse
  • hummingbirds
  • miscellaneous herbs
  • culinary herbs

Visit this week and these are a few of the flowers you’ll see in bloom:




See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

June 29, 2011 at 8:01 pm

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Visiting the Children’s Garden

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Have you peeked in the Children’s Garden lately?  While the garden does hold special treats for the little ones, visitors of all ages will enjoy this garden!


The Children’s Garden is a special place at the Arboretum where multi-generational families can enjoy playful and engaging educational opportunities in our natural world.  The garden includes:

The Water Channel.  This long, linear water garden is raised to seat height and allows visitors to study aquatic plant and animal life, including frogs, turtles, fish, snails and insects.

Peek-A-Boo Forest.  Upright junipers serve primarily as a windbreak to create a micro-climate for the Children’s Garden, but the plantings also serve as a “hide and seek” play element for younger children.


The Prairie Garden.  This area is multifaceted, with berms elevating prairie plants to form a maze.  The life cycles of butterflies and other insects are studied here in addition to plant identification.


The Dinosaur Dig.  This active area contains two zones, one for traditional sand box play and another to stimulate an archeological dig where bones and fossils can be identified.

Adjacent to the Children’s Garden, the R.J. McElroy Education Center hosts all children’s programming as well as Arboretum summer events. The building can be rented for private events and parties.


Also, new this year is two raised vegetable beds.  Tomatoes, carrots, peppers and lettuce are just a few of the vegetables growing.


You’ll want to make sure to check out all the pots, too.  They have special ID signs just for the kiddos to read!

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

June 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm

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Fresh Cooking

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As part of our June adult class series, Garden of Eatin’, we are celebrating garden-fresh produce.  Because whether you like to cook, garden or just enjoy eating good food, we are all connected in the appreciation of beautiful produce.

Tuesday evening’s class was indeed a celebration of fresh produce.  Crossroad’s HyVee Chef William prepared a colorful and delicious meal for us while Dietician Stephanie explained the many benefits of healthy eating.

Since the weather wasn’t cooperating, we moved the class (more like party!) into the Education Center.  Cheery bouquets brought the gardens in right along with us.

Chef William prepared our meal as we watched, with many opportunities for asking questions.  This handy food cart carried all his supplies as well as an overhead mirror so we could watch his handiwork.

Dietician Stephanie describing the many services provided at the Crossroads HyVee.  If you are interested in attending a similar class, make sure to visit Crossroad HyVee’s website at http://www.hy-vee.com/stores/detail.aspx?s=174.

And last but not least, our delicious meal.  Doesn’t that look wonderful?!  We had grilled chicken on top of veggie-filled quinoa with pineapple mango salsa.  YUM!

This is definitely a meal to make at home.  Here’s the recipe:

Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Mango Salsa:

½ cup pineapple

½ cup mangos

1 cup tomatoes

½ cup red onion

¼ cup lime juice

2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Hot sauce to taste

Directions:  Dice all fruits and veggies ¼ inch.  Mix in lime juice and seasonings.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Salt and pepper chicken breasts to taste.  Grill 5 minutes per side or until chicken reaches 165 degrees internally or until juice runs clear.  Top chicken with salsa and serve on a plate with quinoa.  Enjoy!

Quinoa with fresh vegetables:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

½ cup shredded carrots

½ cups snap peas

½ cup red cabbage

¼ cup parsley

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup green onion as garnish

Directions:  Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Bring 2 cups water or chicken broth to a boil in sauce pan.  Add quinoa, bring back to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes or until all liquid is absorved.  Remove from heat, fluff, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.  Add olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add fresh veggies (Be creative, add anything!  Dried fruits and nuts are also really good.)  Garnish plate with green onions.  Enjoy!

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

June 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm

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Wine & Scarecrows — Save the Date!

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Plans are well under way for the 3rd annual Wine & Scarecrows fundraiser, Saturday, September 17, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the Arboretum.  This is a wonderful night – truly a garden party! The event includes appetizers, a wonderful meal and of course, wine.  Deb Flammang-Roper will provide background vocals for us as we enjoy leisurely tours through all the gardens and get to know all the wonderfully creative scarecrows who will already be in place for the next day’s Fall Harvest Festival.

We’re happy to announce that welding artist Deb Ewoldt (shown above in her studio) will make a return appearance this year, in addition to other performing artists .   To learn more about Deb and her work, visit her website at http://www.blacksmithboutique.com.  The evening will also feature an Art Gallery, a silent auction of art and fine craft items.

We owe a big thanks to this year’s Artist Patrons who are making it all possible – Meyer’s Nursery, Waterloo Implement, Yantis & Associates and Technology Staff Development, Inc.

So please save the date – or better yet, purchase your tickets now at http://www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org/wands.asp.


See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

June 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm

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Garden Update: Alpine Garden

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I am in love with the new succulents added to our Alpine Garden (located on the south side of the Education Center).  This space has changed dramatically over the past few weeks —  thanks to several creative folks who volunteered to give this troubled spot a facelift.

Here are a few photos to grab your interest.  Make sure to visit this space soon!




Several of our succulents were ordered online at https://www.simplysucculents.com/.  A great source of interesting varieties!

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

June 17, 2011 at 6:00 am

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Check out information about the Arboretum at http://www.iowalivingroadway.com!


Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

June 16, 2011 at 6:00 am

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