Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Archive for February 2012

Seeking Presentation Opportunities

leave a comment »

Can you help us spread the word about the Arboretum’s top-notch education programs, free summer events and volunteer opportunities?  It is an exciting time at the Arboretum and I am looking for speaking opportunities to help market the Arboretum.

Presentations about the Arboretum and/or gardening topics are free to all community organizations with weekday and evening scheduling available.

To learn more or schedule a presentation, please contact me at director@cedarvalleyarboretum.org or call (319)226-4966.

See you in the gardens,

Mollie

 

Advertisements

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

February 29, 2012 at 6:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Gardening Basics by ISU Extension — Perfect for new gardeners!

leave a comment »

Hey All – Just in time for spring!  I wanted to share this great opportunity for newbie gardeners —  ISU Extension is organizing a March and April session to introduce gardening basics.   Don’t wait too long to register.

See you in the gardens,

Mollie

 

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering beginning gardening classes for novice gardeners.  These family-oriented programs have been designed to be simple and hands-on.

 

Session I is called “Introduction to Basic Gardening” and will be held on Sunday, March 4 from 2 to 4 pm at the Black Hawk County Extension Office, 3420 University Avenue, Suite B in Waterloo.  Participants will learn to start seeds at home, when and how to plant seeds, benefits of direct seeding and transplanting, and how to read a seed packet.  Registration deadline is March 1.

 

Session II is called “Spring Planting Workshop” and will be held on Sunday, April 15 from 2 to 4 pm at the Dick Young Greenhouse, 1505 Logan Avenue in Waterloo.  Participants will learn the basics of planting such as light requirements and spacing and receive seeds to plant at home.  Registration deadline is April 12.

 

Pre-registration with payment is required.  Cost to attend both sessions is $12.  To register or for additional information, contact Bryan Foster, Consumer Horticulturist at fosterbd@iastate.edu or by calling 433-2516.

 

Click on the following link to see the full brochure for this great opportunity: Beginning Gardening 101 (2-12)

 

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

February 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2012 Green Scene Symposium Announced!

leave a comment »

I always know we have almost survived another Iowa winter when I start to hear information about Green Scene’s Annual Symposium.    If you have not attended this wonderful education event in the past, I encourage you to sign up this year.

This year’s symposium is on Saturday, March 10th at the Waterloo Center for the Arts in downtown Waterloo.  The event starts at 8:30 a.m. and runs to 2:30 p.m.  Speakers for the event have not been announced yet, but the planning committee always chooses engaging speakers who are experts in their field.  I always come away from the symposium energized for the growing season and educated about new plant material, maintenance techniques and garden design.

Registration is $20.00 per person and includes lunch.  To register, mail your check to:

Green Scene

PO Box 2004

Waterloo, IA  50704

To learn more about Green Scene, please visit their website at www.greensceneinc.org.  This organization heavily supports the Arboretum each year through plant material and volunteers as well as grant money to purchase trees.

See you in the gardens,

Mollie

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

February 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Kumquats

leave a comment »

Hey All – I wanted to share this article with you about Kumquats.  After visiting Florida and seeing these citrus trees up close, Pat McGivern, a View co-editor, shared the below article in our January edition.  A fun (and informative article) just in time citrus season – I just saw kumquats in the grocery store yesterday!

If you do not receive our monthly e-newsletter, the View, you can sign up at http://www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org/newsletter.asp.

See you in the gardens,

Mollie

 

Kumquat is the common name of a group of small fruit bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae.  They are native to south Asia and the Asia Pacific region.  They were introduced to Europe in 1846 by Robert Fortune, and shortly thereafter to North America.  Kumquats are commonly classified as the genus Fortunella (in honor of Robert Fortune), but some authorities believe they should be included in the Citrus genus.  The leaves are dark glossy green, and the flowers white, as are other citrus flowers. They need hot summers, but are hardier to cold temperatures than oranges. The edible fruit, also called a kumquat, looks similar to an orange, but is smaller and more oval.

I was introduced to kumquats on a recent trip to Central Florida when a friend pulled a handful off a neighbor’s tree.  The fruit is considered ripe when it has reached yellowish orange and shed the last tinge of green.  The rind is sweet and the juicy center is sour.  Kumquats are often eaten raw, either whole to savor the contrast, or only the rind is used.  I loved to cut in half, remove the few large seeds, and eat whole.  The flavor  is described as citrusy, spicy, woody.  I can testify that ripe off the tree is wonderful, and plan to check out the citrus shelves of local stores.

To say these fruits are plentiful in Central Florida is an understatement.  Owners are urged (tongue in cheek), to pick grocery bags full to hang on neighbor’s doorknobs as a gift and run.  Apparently their excess is the equivalent of Midwest zucchini.  However, they are rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium.  In addition to enjoying them raw, or sliced and added to salads, they are commonly used for preserves, marmalade, and jelly.  They can be added to muffins, or used as a martini garnish.

Looking at our Iowa snow, I can only dream of having a fresh bag of tree ripened kumquats left on my door….

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

February 10, 2012 at 6:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Terra Cotta Pots Needed!

leave a comment »

Was one of your resolutions for the new year to clear clutter from your garage and basement?  If so, the Arboretum will take the extra terra cotta pots you no longer use!  The Arboretum is looking for terra cotta pots of all sizes (saucers welcome, too) for the 2012 growing season.

Donated terra cotta pots must be:

  • 9 inch diameter or bigger.
  • Free of cracks and chips.
  • Solid terra cotta free of design and color.

If you have terra cotta pots to donate,  please contact me at director@cedarvalleyarboretum.org  or call the office at (319)226-4966.

Please pass this message to your friends and neighbors.  Thank you for your help!

See you in the gardens,

Mollie

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

February 9, 2012 at 6:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Miniature Roses

leave a comment »

Hey All – looking for something a little different for your special Valentine this year?  Rita Lynn, a View co-editor, wrote this great article on miniature roses in honor of our upcoming holiday.

Miniature roses can be found in most flower shops and make the perfect present – beautiful flowers in February and then can be planted outside in May!

If you do not receive our monthly e-newsletter, the View, you can sign up at http://www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org/newsletter.asp.

See you in the gardens,

Mollie

At this time of year, we look for something to brighten our days and put a little life into our homes.  Fortunately, local stores have displays of delightful miniature roses (Rosa chinenses ‘Minima’) right when we need them.  Many cultivars of these plants are available, and they come in just about every flower color except blue.  Plant sizes range from 3 to 18 inches, and their flowers, by definition, are 1 ½ inches or less in size.  They look delicate, but with a little care, they can be amazingly hardy and provide months, if not years, of pleasure.

Like all roses, the miniatures require 6 hours or more of direct sunlight a day to thrive.  They prefer temperatures of around 70° during the day and 60° at night, and they do best in a loose, porous, acidic soil.  They need consistent soil moisture and appreciate applications of a complete fertilizer about once or twice a month when flowering.  Good ventilation helps reduce the likelihood of their developing fungal disease.  Finally, they prefer humidity of 50 to 55%.  For most homes, this means using a humidifier or other means of adding moisture to the air, such as fine, regular misting.

Miniature roses are susceptible to the same insect pests and fungus diseases as other roses.  Both spider mites and aphids can be controlled with a strong spray of water or a soap and water solution.  If soap is used, the residue should be washed off the next day to allow the leaf pores to function.  To control fungus, plants can be dipped in a systemic fungicide solution every seven to ten days.  Such treatment may also help keep insects in check.  If you use these chemicals, however, don’t forget to read and follow instructions to prevent contamination of yourself and the environment.

Given this good care, your miniature rose can give you months of enjoyment indoors and even continue to flourish outdoors when spring arrives.  When moving them outdoors, they will first need to be acclimated to outdoor conditions.  Then they can be put into containers or planted directly in the ground. When you transplant them, they should be set slightly deeper than they were in the pot, since they grow on their own roots and don’t have bud unions.  If they are to grow in containers, the pots should be at least 6 inches deep.  (This, I have been told, is one of the reasons that the plants we buy at the store in small pots fail to survive, since the small pots do not allow enough depth for the plant’s root system to develop adequately.)  Surprisingly, when planted in the ground, they are hardier than hybrid tea roses and rank with shrub roses for winter hardiness.  In fact, they readily survive zone 4 winters when lightly mulched.  Mulch should be removed in late spring to promote a new season’s growth.

As to pruning, faded flowers need to be removed back to the first five-leaflet leaf, and faded leaves or dead branches should also be snipped off.  Cutting back weak or spindly canes allows more light and air into the inner parts of the plant.  If your minis are planted outdoors, trim them to about 4-6” in October.  Or, at the end of dormancy in late March or early April, cut the stems back to the lowest outward-facing growth eyes.

Given the same care that you would expect to give full-sized roses, miniature roses can reward you with masses of tiny blossoms throughout the growing season.  On special occasions, drop a miniature rose plant into a decorative container and use it as a table decoration.  You might also look for appropriately tiny containers – medicine bottles, espresso and sake cups, even thimbles – to create sweet cut-flower arrangements for individual place settings, or for small spaces such as on the bathroom vanity or by your computer.

Knowing that miniature rose plants are not as delicate as they look makes them enticing additions to our collections, especially at this time of year.  Maybe you’ll pick up a few for special people – including yourself – for Valentine’s Day!

Resources

“Miniature Roses,” www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/RG321.pdf

“Miniature Roses: Versatile Plants – Indoors or Out!,” www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Flowers/Roses/minirose.htm

“Growing Miniature Roses Indoors,” www.ars.org/?page_id=3075

“Calgary Rose Society – Miniature Rose Care,” www.calgaryrosesociety.ca/MiniInstructions.htm

“Creating Arrangements Using Miniature Roses,” www.ars.org, then access article by entering title in “Search ars.org” box

Additional Interest:

“Fragrant Miniatures,” also at www.ars.org, then access article by entering title in “Search ars.org” box

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

February 7, 2012 at 6:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Announcing 2012 Summer Internships!

leave a comment »

The Arboretum is now accepting applications for 2012 student interns.  This is a tremendous opportunity for someone interested horticulture, natural sciences, education, outdoor leisure services and/or non-profit management.  Interns will gain valuable leadership and management experience … while spending the summer outdoors!

Two internships will be available for the 2012 season.  To learn more about each, please click on the following links:

2012 Cedar Valley Arboretum Internship Program — EDUCATION INTERN

2012 Cedar Valley Arboretum Internship Program — HORTICULTURE INTERN

The application deadline is March 15, 2012.  Please send a cover letter, resume and three references to Mollie Aronowitz at director@cedarvalleyarboretum.org.

 

Please contact Mollie Aronowitz at director@cedarvalleyarboretum.org or (319)226-4966 with questions.

 

See you in the gardens,

Mollie

 

PS: The Arboretum opens for the season in less than two months!  WOOHOO!

 

 

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

February 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized