24 September 2016

Fall Planted Bulbs for Spring Flowers

The time to plant spring blooming bulbs has arrived along with an abundance of bulb company catalogs. 

Becky Heath of Brent and Becky's Bulbs has an article in this month's American Horticultural Society newsletter. You can read the entire article at this link.

Heath says, "There are several approaches to combining bulbs with herbaceous perennials, shrubs, and trees. Choosing combinations that will bloom at the same time creates the biggest impact, like the finale of a fire - works display. Combining plants so that they bloom sequentially with a slight over -plant tulips or lilies eight to 10 inches deep, then above them place daffodils, hyacinths, or alliums at about six inches. Smaller early-blooming bulbs—such as crocuses, anemones, and dwarf irises—can even be planted in the top three inches."

Heath's bulb-planting tips

The best time to plant spring-flowering bulbs is after the first hard frost. Before then, the soil normally remains warm from the summer heat, and early autumn rains may cause newly planted, non-established bulbs to rot.

The basic rule of thumb for planting depth is three times the height of the bulb. So if the bulb is two inches tall, then the bottom of the hole should be about six inches deep. Tulips and lilies, which prefer really cool soil, benefit from being planted even deeper—I often suggest placing them eight to 10 inches deep.

The roots of spring-flowering bulbs start growing in autumn, so after planting, water the area and add a topdressing of compost or a slow-release fertilizer that is low in nitrogen and high in potash (5–10–20).

20 September 2016

Native Plants and Their Relatives

If you watch garden center trends you have noticed that hundreds of hybrids have been developed from native plants.

The claim is that they are just as good for the environment as true native plants but have much nicer features such as form, flower color, size at maturity, disease resistance, etc.

National Wildlife magazine begs to differ from that marketing assertion, pointing out that the clones are really not as good for the environment as we may think.

Click on this link to read the entire article. Excerpts are below.

"Native plants have formed symbiotic relationships with native wildlife over thousands of years, and therefore offer the most sustainable habitat. A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without human introduction.

Exotic plants that evolved in other parts of the world or were 
cultivated by humans into forms that don’t exist in nature do not 
support wildlife as well as native plants. Occasionally, they can 
even escape into the wild and become invasive exotics that destroy natural habitat.
Native plants help the environment the most when planted in places that match their growing requirements. They will thrive in the soils, moisture and weather of your region. That means less supplemental watering, which can be wasteful, and pest problems that require toxic chemicals. Native plants also assist in managing rain water runoff and maintain healthy soil as their root systems are deep and keep soil from being compacted."

After conducting research on the topic, Doug Tallamay commented, "Changes in plant size or “habit,” such as nativars that grow more 
compactly or more upright than straight species, “didn’t seem to 
make any difference to wildlife,” says Tallamy. Neither did nativars
 that are bred for disease resistance such as the Princeton elm. 
That’s good news for the American elm  which has been devastated
 by Dutch elm disease throughout its native range in the United 
States and Canada, and also for the growing number of other 
native trees suffering from blights introduced from abroad.
While disease-resistant nativars can be a boon for a plant decimated
 by blight, others can have a less salubrious effect on the genetic 
health of a species. By definition an atypical plant, a nativar 
represents just a sliver of a species’ genetic diversity. What’s more, 
to maintain their atypical traits, most nativars are propagated 
through cloning, such as by rooting cuttings, which produces 
genetically identical plants. When mass produced and overused in
 the landscape industry, they result in less genetic diversity than 
straight species propagated from seed, and therefore provide native
 plants with less capacity to adapt to stresses ranging from disease 
to climate change."
“It is a bad idea to load the landscape with plants that have no genetic variability, says Tallamy. “I’m not a hardliner on this issue, but gardeners ought to have access to straight species. We 
have to convince the nursery industry that native plants are about 
more than just looks.”

17 September 2016

Invasive Plant Alterntives

Have you been gardening long enough to plant something wonderful that became invasive? I have!

Many plants have been introduced over the years that turned out to spread too quickly for the garden space, taking over and choking out other plants in the bed.

American Bittersweet
Cornell University published a guide to commonly planted invasives and plants that would fill the horticultural purpose that are not invasive.

One example is Porcelain Berry Vine, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata. The alternatives they suggest are: Dutchman's Pipe, Trumpet Honeysuckle, American Bittersweet, Trumpetcreeper and Fox Grape.

Black Chokeberry
Privet, Ligustrum obtusifolium, is another widely sold and planted shrub that becomes invasive fairly quickly. The suggestions for planting instead of Privet include: Boxwood, Holly, Yew, American arborvitae, and Black Chokeberry.

Click over to this Cornell link to read about more invasives and their alternatives.

13 September 2016

Butterfly Garden Tour in OKC

A free garden tour featuring butterfly-friendly plants will take place in Oklahoma City on Sunday, September 25 from 10 to 3. Eight locations can be toured at your own pace and there will be native plant vendors at all 8 sites. The gardens are listed below.
More information https://urbanagokc.org/

Explore eight diverse gardens and landscapes during
this free, self-guided tour around central-northwest Oklahoma City. From the modern Pipevine Swallow tail DSCF1952formal to the xeric perennial border to the rustic urban homestead, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Get inspired to attract these beautiful creatures to your own garden, plus ask plant questions of local experts and purchase native and prairie garden perennials from local growers!
What:    Free self-guided Butterfly Garden Tour
Where:  Eight sites in central-northwest Oklahoma City
When:   Sunday September 25, 10 am – 3 pm (Rain date of Sunday October 2)
  1. Perennial ClassicPatti Kate * Address to be published Sept. 24IMG_3229
An inspired take on the traditional, this landscape showcases water-thrifty design: a buffalograss lawn, butterfly-friendly xeriscaped border, and local stained-glass artwork. Co-designed by the homeowner and Randy Marks of Groundwork.
On-site: Wild Things Nursery 
  1. Modern TwistThe McGills * Address to be published Sept. 24IMG_3190
Love pollinators and a modern aesthetic? Check out this formal landscape with front-yard patio and driftwood art designed by JamieCsizmadia.
On-site: Jamie Csizmadia of Olthia Urban Prairie Gardens
  1. Must Love DogsRose-Shanker family * Address to be published Sept. 24IMG_3195
Rambunctious dogs and butterflies co-exist in this back-yard retreat! Features loads of art and massive oil pipelines repurposed as planters. Designed by JamieCsizmadia of Olthia Urban Prairie Gardens.
On-site: Skyridge Farm 
  1. Urban HomesteadPatton family * Address to be published Sept. 24IMG_0948

Like a more carefree vibe? Explore this slightly untamed vegetable garden, urban orchard, avian sanctuary and prairie landscape. Includes peach, apple, pecan, plum and persimmon trees. Co-designed by the homeowner and Randy Marks of Groundwork.
On-site: Oklahoma Native Plant Society
  1. Pride of the NeighborhoodSkyline Neighborhood Pollinator Garden * NW 27th & LyonsPhaeon CrescentFind inspiration at this pollinator park designed specifically to welcome butterflies and bees. Neighborhood kids delight in caring for this special community space, which was just planted this spring!

    On-site: Sierra Club, OK Cimarron Group
 6. Pollinator Playground        Six-Twelve * 612 NW 29thImageForGardenTour2
This one has everything—community garden, miniature orchard, rainwater garden, even an on-site pre-school where kids can grow (and eat) their own vegetables.
On-site: Prairie Wind Nursery
  1. Butterfly BonanzaEdith & Bill Siemens * Address to be published Sept. 24DSCF7094
These homeowners specialize in attracting the swallowtail butterfly along with a host of other buzzing friends. The site features twenty-one years of historic Oklahoma City Zoo memorabilia.
On-site: The Nature Conservancy
 8. Pollinators in ParadiseCommonWealth Urban Farms * 3310 N. Oliesage and butterfly 2
Butterflies and bees come for the flowers – but they have plenty of work pollinating the tomatoes, peppers and other veggies growing at this much-loved community vegetable and flower farm.
On-site: CommonWealth Urban Farms

10 September 2016

Northern Bayberry Shrub is Myrica Pensylvanica

Northern Bayberry Shrub is an American native that is cold hardy in zones 3 to 7. The native variety matures at 10 - 12 feet tall and wide. There are cultivated varieties/hybrids that remain smaller. 

This is a shrub that provides shelter, feeds wildlife, is tolerant of many soil types, is deer-resistant and will tolerate full-sun to part-shade.

Northern Bayberry can be great for a larger landscaped area as it will produce suckers from the root and create its own large colony over time.

They will drop their leaves in the fall and the blue-gray-toned berries that persist over the winter add interest to the winter landscape.

Ideal for woodland gardens, privacy screen, shrub borders and roadside planting, Sometimes labeled Waxmyrtle, Bayberry shrubs are easy to find in nurseries.

The leaves and berries are scented with the scent being familiar to anyone who has been around Bayberry candles.

Ohio State University mentions these compact hybrids: "‘Myda’ a heavy fruiting female and her counterpart, ‘Myriman’.  ‘Wildwood’ is a United States National Arboretum selection offering excellent cold hardiness and slightly smaller plant growing to 6 feet.  ‘Bobzam’, Bobbee™ is a Lake County Nursery introduction that we grow at Secrest Arboretum.  It is another more compact, (6 ft.) cultivar offering foliage that is much larger, glossier, and wavy."

More information: Missouri Botanical Garden and 
Ohio State Extension

07 September 2016

Plant Natives this Fall!

Fall is the ideal time to plant perennials and MaryAnn King at Pine Ridge Gardens in northwest Arkansas has lots of native plants ready for fall gardens.

Below are two of her postings: a list of the milkweed varieties a she has for your garden and a list of her nursery open days and hours for the fall

Below are some milkweeds available now.  Also attached is new plants for fall. 
Asclepias amplexicaulis
Clasping milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa                           
Orange butterfly weed
Asclepias tuberosa ‘Hello Yellow’    
Yellow butterfly weed
Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’         
White swamp milkweed
Asclepias incarnata  
Rose milkweed or swamp milkweed
Asclepias perennis                              
Aquatic milkweed
Asclepias viridis                                 
Green milkweed or Spider milkweed
Asclepias speciosa                              
Showy milkweed
Asclepias syriaca                                 
Common milkweed
Asclepias variegata                              

Red ring milkweed or white woods milkweed
Asclepias verticillata                            
Horsetail milkweed or whorled milkweed
Asclepias amplexicaulis                       
Clasping milkweed or curly milkweed

And, we have a few trays of 50 milkweed seedlings for folks that wish to do a large planting. 

Gardeners (and non gardeners who like to plant for birds, butterflies & bees)!  The weather is cooling off & it’s time for fall planting.  Our open house days are listed below.  Just remember, if none are convenient for you, just give us a call or drop an email for another time.

Open House Days for Fall 2016
Saturday, September 10th  9 AM to 4 PM
Sunday, September 11th   12 Noon to 4 PM
Saturday, September 17th  9 AM to 4 PM
Sunday, September 18th  12 Noon to 4 PM
Saturday, October 1st   9 AM to 4 PM
Sunday, October 2nd   12 Noon to 4 PM
Saturday, October 15th  9 AM to 4 PM
Sunday, October 16th   12 Noon to 4 PM
Saturday, November 12th   9 AM to 4 PM
Saturday, November 26th    9 AM to 4 PM
If you'd like to come  some other 
time, please call us at 479-293-4359
or email us office@pineridgegardens.com

MaryAnn   King
Pine Ridge Gardens

03 September 2016

Succulent and Cactus Sale

The Succulent and Cactus Society is having a fall sale Sept 17 and 18 at Tulsa Garden Center. 9 to 3 on Sat and 10 to 3 on Sunday. 

The sale will be in the Helmerich building next to the Linnaeus Garden. 

For more information contact J W Keeth by email at jwkeeth@gmail.com

30 August 2016

Monarch Celebration in Tulsa

Tulsa’s RiverParks Authority is putting on a free Monarchs on the Mountain festival celebrating the vital role Eastern Oklahoma plays in the Monarch Butterfly migration.

September 24th, on Turkey Mountain from 10:00 am, until 2:00 pm at the
pavilion area of Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area near the main trailhead, 6850 S. Elwood Ave.

The day will be filled with fun and educational activities highlighting the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly, the Great Monarch Migration and the habitat of Turkey Mountain which supports a myriad of wildlife. 

This event is hosted by: RiverParks Authority in partnership with the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, the Tulsa Audubon Society and The M.E.T. and supporters; Sustainable Tulsa, Blue Thumb, The Tulsa Zoo, City of Tulsa, Monarch Initiative of Tulsa, Westside Y and the USFWS.

For more information contact Marci Hawkins, steering committee chair at: marci.hawkins@tulsaurbanwildernesscoalition.org.

26 August 2016

Native Plant Society Events

The Oklahoma Native Plant Society upcoming events -

August 27 - SW Chapter joint meeting  with OK Archeological Society
Bob Blasing will give a talk. The title is: "How Early Great Plains Tribes Used Seasonal Travel to Obtain Resources". The meeting is booked at the Museum of the Great Plains for Saturday August 27th, at 2:00 P.M. Refreshments will be provided.

September 1st - Central Chapter meeting at the OSU-OKC horticulture building at 7pm. Marilyn Stewart will give a talk on Weird and Wonderful Natives of Oklahoma. The owner of Wildthings Nursery, her full time + job and interest is in Oklahoma native plants. She is an expert in the field; her talk should be both informative and fun. Bring a friend and come join us.

September 11th - There will be a native grass outing/ field trip at the Martin Nature Park, 5000 W. Memorial, OKC on Sunday, September 11th at 2:30. Bill Bennett, a volunteer at Martin Park, has done these walks over the years. Fall is a great time to see the native grasses in bloom and seed; should be a great outing.

September 12 - The next formal meeting of the Northeast Chapter of ONPS will be Monday, September 12, 2016 at the Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 South Peoria Avenue at 6:30 in the basement. Our speaker will be Jay Pruett of The Nature Conservancy. Dessert will be served.

September 25 - Butterfly Garden Tour 
Take a tour of some notable native plant/butterfly gardens in OKC. Details to come, but save the date! Sunday September 25th, from 10 am to 3 pm, with Sunday October 2nd, same time, as the rain date. We selected this date to avoid the Zoo butterfly festival which is on the preceding day. Although the date is a Sunday, the tour is spread over a 5-hour period which will allow everyone to attend regardless of their Sunday schedule.

October 1 - Monarch in the Park, Blanchard, OK. Details to come.

October 7 - 9. ONPS Annual Meeting
The 2016 Annual meeting is hosted this year by the SW Chapter, and will be held at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, OK. Registration forms will be mailed out to all members.

Fabulous Wildflower Fridays
Join the Northeast Chapter for 
Fabulous Wildflower Fridays, every third Friday of each month at 5:30pm at Panera Bread at 41st Street and Hudson Avenue.  Contact Constance Murray for details.

22 August 2016

Rose of Sharon is Hibiscus syriacus

The native, cold-hardy Hibiscus shrubs are blooming now and are one of the highlights of late-summer gardens. The large, colorful, cup-shaped flowers shine in pinks, purples and white against the rest of the garden.

Full-sun is usually recommended though ours bloom reasonably well with a bit of afternoon shade. The ones in full-sun produce more flowers.

Cultivated Hibiscus shrubs bloom earlier in the summer and are worth pursuing for their varied flower colors and forms. They also produce very few seedlings when compared to the native plants.

 Shrubs in the Chiffon series of Hibiscus have a ruffled center set of petals. The Blue Chiffon in our garden makes me stop and stare every time it blooms. Others in the series include: Lavender, Pink, and White Chiffon.

Satin Hibiscus cultivars have flowers with dark red centers.  They come in Blue, Orchid, Violet and Ruffled varieties.

Another Hibiscus we love in our perennial bed is Sugar Tip which is a completely seedless shrub. The diminutive flowers look like pink carnations; the leaves are variegated cream and green.

All of the hybrids listed above are available from Proven Winners brand. If you click over to this link, you'll see the ones we love plus several others they market.

If you have room for a reliable, flowering, shrub, it would be hard to go wrong with any of these outstanding choices.