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Archives for September 11, 2016

Literary Gardener: Dream, discover at annual garden symposium

Posted Sep. 11, 2016 at 12:01 AM

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Sedges could be next new thing

From containers and herbs to water gardens and apps, garden conference has it all

Twenty different presentations will be offered Saturday, Sept. 24, during a day-long gardening conference sponsored by Iowa State University Extension-Scott County Master Gardeners.

In addition, Kelly D. Norris, director of horticulture at the Des Moines Botanical Garden, will deliver two keynote addresses. He will begin the day with “The Joys of Fall Gardening” and, after lunch, will present “Plants with Style.”

Lunch will be provided by Panera Bread.

Here are the presentations.

Session A, 9:40-10:30 a.m. (choose one)

• The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly, by Donald Lewis, ISU entomologist.

• Year Round Container Gardening, by David Pratt, Scott County Master Gardener.

• Herbs for All Seasons, by Colleen Adrian and Rhonda Cooper, Scott County Master Gardeners.

• Wild about Water Gardening, by Nancy Gruber, a Scott County Master Gardener and officer in the Mississippi Valley Water Garden Society.

• Apps and Podcasts, Bill Brunkan, Scott County Master Gardener.

Session B, 10:40-11:30 a.m. (choose one)

• Iowa’s Latest and Greatest Invasive Insects, by Donald Lewis, ISU entomologist.

• Treat that Winter Gardening Itch, by Kay Sigardson-Poor, a Scott County Master Gardener.

• Heirloom Plants from the 1800’s, Faye Waterman, Scott County Master Gardener.

• Straw Bale and Lasagna Gardening, Tom Monroe, Scott County Master Gardener.

• Climate Change and Your Garden, Ray Wolf, science and operations officer for the National Weather Service, Davenport, and a Scott County Master Gardener.

Session C, 1:40-2:30 p.m. (choose one)

• Creating Great Gardens with Grasses and Sedges, Jeff Epping, director of horticulture, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin. 

• Lazy Landscaping, Cindy Haynes, ISU horticulture department.

 • Planting Design Tips, Lisa Olger, ISU horticulture department.

• Garden Smart, Kami Holst, occupational therapist.

• Pruning, Ray Wolf, science and operations officer for the National Weather Service, Davenport, and a Scott County Master Gardener.

Session, 2:40-3:30 p.m. (choose one)

• Shrubs for Every Season, Jeff Epping, director of horticulture, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin.

• Mastering Houseplants/Indoor Plants, Cindy Haynes, ISU horticulture department.

• Advanced Planting Design, Lisa Olger, ISU horticulture department.

• How to Make Wreaths Using Garden Materials, Margo Hansen, director of programs, Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa. 

• How to Multiply Your Plants Using Propagation, Ruth Ottesen, Scott County Master Gardener.

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New book on Southwest gardening offers inspiration, growth





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Community garden and pocket park springs up in Chino

In Chino, a community garden has opened at 5976 Riverside Drive next to Fire Station 7 as part of a pocket park of just under an acre.

All the plots were reserved before the opening and there’s a long interest list. But the site also has demonstration gardens, drought-tolerant landscaping, a Monarch butterfly habitat, open space and a Little Free Library. The previous community garden, at Fifth and D streets, is expected to sprout senior housing.

I wrote the above item recently based on information I’d turned up. A few days later, in Chino for lunch, I was driving along Riverside Drive, spotted the park and thought, oh, there it is. On my way back, I pulled into the lot, walked around and found it just as advertised, a pleasant bit of public space on a busy thoroughfare.

Also, because it’s a long drive back to our office, the restroom was a welcome sight.

Chino Chatter

• It’s too late for the real thing in Rio, but Olympic Park in Chino is nearing completion. The 5-acre facility, in the College Park neighborhood, will be accessible off Mountain Avenue. Opening ceremonies, so to speak, are planned for fall.

• Nearly 13 vacant acres on Central Avenue above Francis Street are being graded for 113 single-family homes. The development will rub elbows with Avocado House, a well-liked breakfast and lunch spot in an old house. The restaurant, its parking lot, enormous avocado tree and tree swing, will be untouched, although its out-in-the-country atmosphere will inevitably fade.

• In the Spectrum shopping center, Old Navy is leaving for the Shoppes at Chino Hills. On the plus side, an Aldi supermarket is coming in to a vacant space next to Petco, and the empty Cost Plus store will be replaced by DSW Shoes.

• Immediately north of the Spectrum, construction is visible from the 71 Freeway. What is it? A three-story Kaiser Medical Building, with 45,000 square feet of space for outpatient services for its members. A second phase will see another three-story building with another 58,000 square feet.

• The cuisine at the former Honolulu Harry’s restaurant location has gone even further west than Hawaii. It’s now Gangnam Korean BBQ. Gangnam is a fashionable district in Seoul. It’s up to you if you want to enter the restaurant prancing like a horse in true “Gangnam Style.”

Flo’s Cafe No. 2 tore out its cozy booths to replace them with basic tables and chairs, a move that has infuriated some customers. One phoned me a few weeks ago to say his beloved restaurant had been ruined. I visited for lunch the other day and could see why they might hate the starker look. On the other hand, because there’s now more seating, and less of a wait, business is up.

• Watching the digital TV subchannel Decades, reader Steve from Chino binged recently on “The Rookies,” a cop show on ABC from 1972-76 about rookie police officers working for the fictional Southern California Police Department. He says that in the opening sequence, “you can see the three primary characters running down the alley next to the Chino Post Office on the east side.”

Culture Corner

• Getting its 10th season off to a strong start, the Lewis Family Playhouse will host the comic-magicians Penn and Teller (Sept. 16) and the 1980s rock band Martha Davis and the Motels (Sept. 17) on back-to-back nights. Other musical highlights: Ozomatli (Nov. 18), Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan (Dec. 8), Aaron Neville (Dec. 10), Wilson Phillips (Jan. 7) and Lee Ritenour (April 1). This is more than Citizens Business Bank Arena has given us in recent years.

• Ontario’s Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion takes place downtown Sept. 16 to 18 and, besides some 2,000 classic cars, food vendors and conviviality, has live music, including two 1960s acts, Brenton Wood (Sept. 17) and Thee Midniters (Sept. 18). This is also better music than at the arena. Ontario predicts 200,000 people over the three days. Admission is free.

• Westways magazine’s September issue has a two-page spread on La Verne that notes that “tranquil needn’t mean boring,” spotlighting such places as Heritage Park, Warehouse Pizza and La Verne United Methodist Church, where Dustin Hoffman’s character in “The Graduate” interrupted a wedding.

• As if that weren’t enough, the same Westways issue reviewed the Sycamore Inn, calling the Rancho Cucamonga mainstay “an authentic American classic” and praising its retro look, steaks and seafood.

• A book fair spotlighting a dozen Claremont authors, including yours truly, takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Claremont Public Library, 208 Harvard Ave., sponsored by the Friends of the Claremont Library. Come meet us and maybe buy a book or two (or 12).

Online only

On my blog: what books I read in August; praise for the obscure Terra Vista 6 cinemas in Rancho Cucamonga; and meals at Combine Kitchen and the Stackz Co., both in Rancho Cucamonga. Log onto my blog from any city at

Valley Vignette

Ken Soper remembers seeing “The War of the Worlds” at the United Artists theater in downtown Pomona upon its release in 1953. Early in the film, people in line outside a movie theater witness a fireball streak across the sky and land in the distance. “It’s probably dropped halfway to Pomona,” one man cracks.

“Everybody in the audience cheered,” Soper recalled with a chuckle. “We had notoriety in a major movie.”

David Allen writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, notoriously. Contact or 909-483-9339, like @davidallen909 on Twitter.

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Fall gardening events | The Cross Timbers Gazette

by Janet Laminack, Denton County Extension Agent-Horticulture

Fall is a great time to garden in Texas. Consider trying that vegetable garden again! We have great information about how to get started in vegetable gardening in this area on the Master Gardener website. There are also many opportunities to learn more about gardening or landscaping coming up.

Saturday, October 1, is our annual Fall Garden Fest which is a free event with gardening demos, exhibits, handcrafts for sale, speakers and kids’ activities. This is held at Trietsch Memorial UMC Family Life Center, 6101 Morriss Road in Flower Mound from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Presentations include “Eating Fresh” by Chef Charles Youts of the Classic Café in Roanoke, “Edibles in your Landscape” by Master Gardener Janet Gershenfeld, and “Garden Harmony 101” by Steven Chamblee, chief horticulturalist of Chandor Gardens.

Have you ever thought about becoming a Master Gardener? Come find out more about this volunteer program on October 11, from 10 a.m. to noon at the AgriLife Extension office in the Joseph A. Carroll building, 401 W. Hickory St, Denton. This informal event will feature a social, refreshments and detailed information about becoming a Master Gardener. The deadline for applications to apply for the spring class is October 14. Classes begin January 31 and run through May 2, every Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Cost is $240.

How about all of you do-it-yourselfers? Are you interested in designing your landscape but don’t know how to get started? Join us for the “Design Your Yard with Earth-Kind Landscaping” class October 19-21. Space is limited and registration is required, cost is $50/per person or $75/couple. More information about this class is found on our webpage or by calling 940.349.2883. We will seek to provide reasonable accommodation for all persons with disabilities for our programs, please notify us in advance.

The Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council, Keep Denton Beautiful, and the City of Denton are offering the “Citizen Forester Training Program” which is six classes on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Denton beginning September 14. This class requires 25 hours of community service towards projects that involve trees on public property. The course includes classroom and outdoor learning and costs $50, which includes light breakfast, lunch and all supplies. Anyone 18 years or older can sign up. Enrollment information is available at the Keep Denton Beautiful website.

And as always, if we can help you with landscape, lawn, tree, or garden questions, please contact the Master Gardener Help Desk at 940.349.2892 or email

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HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW: Maintenance tips for suffering hydrangeas

Editor’s note: How Does Your Garden Grow is a series the Gazette will feature again this growing season, provided by master gardener Ken Oles of Wrentham. He will discuss various backyard gardening topics, and answer your gardening questions.


Q:My hydrangeas did not do well this year.  Should I prune them?  If so, when?

A: Due to the drought last year and the late frost this past spring, hydrangeas did suffer and, as a result, your plants may not have reached their full flowering potential. However, improper blooming time and technique are also a possible reason for poor blooming. 

One of the most common questions this time of year involves pruning of hydrangeas. The short answer is, “It depends.” 

Ordinarily, hydrangeas do not have to be pruned unless they have become too large for their space or have become rather unsightly and need some attention. Otherwise, simply removing dead branches and deadheading spent flowers are all that is necessary. 

When to prune hydrangeas is based on whether the variety produces flowers on old wood or on new wood.  Should you wait too long to prune hydrangeas that produce blooms on old wood (i.e. stems from the previous summer) you risk the chance of having no flowers next year. They should be pruned immediately after the flowers fade. 

On the other hand, if your hydrangea produces flowers on new wood (stems that have grown this year), its buds are set within the season.  Therefore, these hydrangeas should be pruned in early spring before any new growth develops. 

For example, Oakleaf hydrangeas, along with big-leaf hydrangeas, which include mopheads and lacecaps in various colors, bloom in early summer on old wood and, therefore, should be pruned after flowering. The ever popular ‘Annabelle’ variety with its globe-shaped flowers and the Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) such as PeeGees, bloom on new wood so prune them in early spring before new growth begins. 

As with most pruning, if you have plants that produce blooms on old wood, remove any dead branches and branches that cross each other while hydrangeas that bloom on new wood can be selectively pruned to shape them the way you want them to look. 

Finally, if you purchase new plants, be sure to save the label or record the type of the hydrangea for future reference regarding when to prune.


Ken Oles is a Wrentham resident and a life member of the URI Master Gardener Association ( He is also the coordinator for the Harvests from the Heart community garden in Wrentham that produces fresh produce for the Wrentham Food Pantry. Ken is a member of the board of directors and co-president of Masschusetts Agriculture in the Classroom. He can be reached at

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