A “Fall Garden Walking Tour” will be held on Saturday September 25 from 10 am until 11 am at the Spooner Ag Research Station Teaching and Display Garden. This outdoor walking tour and discussion is sponsored by UW-Madison Division of Extension and North Country Master Gardener Volunteers. There is no cost to attend. The Display Garden is located on Orchard Lane ½ mile east of the stop lights in Spooner off Hwy 70. Watch for Garden meeting signs.
Master Gardener Volunteers will walk participants through the Monarch and Pollinator Sanctuary Garden and explain appropriate fall clean up techniques for perennial and annual plants, seed saving and other fall gardening activities. Kevin Schoessow, Area Agriculture Development Agent will discuss protecting fruit trees from winter injuries, fall lawn maintenance, and how leaves can be turned into next year’s mulch.
For more information and contact Kevin Schoessow at the Spooner Area UWEX office at 715-635-3506 or 1-800-528-1914.
On August 24, starting at 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm; the Spooner Agriculture Research Station and North Country Master Gardener Volunteers will host their annual Twilight Garden Tour. We have now confirmed the speakers, displays and demonstrations. There will be no tastings this year as a COVID precaution.
Featured Speakers (from left to right)
Displays & Demonstrations
The annual Twilight Garden Tour returns on August 24, 2021, 4:00 to 7:30 pm. The gardens are brimming with vegetables, annuals, and perennials. Due to continued COVID concerns there will be no tastings. However, the tour continues to feature a trio of speakers and exhibits of interest to gardeners.
UW-Madison Horticulture Educator Kevin Schoessow and Master Gardener Volunteers will be available throughout the gardens to answer your questions. The exhibits confirmed so far include Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary, Horticulture Inquiry Station, How to Become a Master Gardener Volunteer, Seed to Kitchen Collaborative, Guided Garden Plots, Learn About Soils & Soil Testing, Foodwise, and Preserving Garden Produce.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, August 24.
Check http://www.facebook.com/spoonerag or http://www.northcountrymgv.org on whether the Tour is relocated or cancelled due to weather. The Tour may be relocated to the Spooner Agriculture Research Station conference room in the case of inclement weather as COVID protocols allow.
Kevin Schoessow, Area Agricultural Development Agent with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, takes you through the Teaching & Display Garden at the Spooner Ag Research Station in July 2021.
For those who are interested in an in-depth UW-Madison, Division of Extension horticulture course the new Foundations in Horticulture course will begin in September for 12 weeks. Registration deadline is August 13, 2021. This course is a pre-requisite for the Master Gardener Volunteer program. Residents of Burnett, Sawyer, and Washburn counties (and adjacent counties) are among the twenty-seven counties eligible for this initial offering. It will be offered each fall with limited enrollment.
Go to UW-Madison, Division of Extension for detailed information on this announcement.
What: Online, move at your own pace through 12+ modules with online videos, readings, activities, plus scheduled live webinars. You’ll hear from our Extension experts through our videos and Q&A with the Experts to learn decision making strategies and gardening resources. The course includes an electronic (PDF) copy of the Foundations in Horticulture training manual.
How: This is an online course that uses Canvas and Zoom. You can check if your system is compatible:
Who: This is open to the general public. It is approved curriculum by the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program as the way to get your gardening education that is required for program enrollment.
This week I encountered two instances of name confusion. One was Goats beard and the other Loosestrife. I was reminded to pay attention to botanical names because common names can be misleading. That would be the case in both these instances. And the consequences of confusing an invasive for a native plant can be dramatic.
Goatsbeard - On the golf course this week near Hayward, Wisconsin I noticed a plant in the rough. I'm very familiar with what grows in the rough because I'm a frequent visitor. I took a few pictures and later researched the plant and identified it as Yellow goat's beard (Tragopogon dubius). This plant was introduced in the 1900's from Eurasia and likes disturbed ground but is not considered aggressive. And it looks nothing like our native Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) that is an attractive perennial plant suitable as a landscape plant.
For more on these two plants, go to the University of Wisconsin Horticulture website.
Yellow goat's beard (Tragopogon dubius)
Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)
Left: Yellow goat's beard (photo Sue Reinardy), right: Goatsbeard (photo from UW Extension website)
Loosestrife - Whenever I read or hear Loosestrife I think "INVASIVE"! But learned differently when I came across a Facebook post with a picture of a plant that I have in my garden that I was having a hard time identifying. It was identified by reliable sources as Fringed Yellow Loosestrife (Lysmachia ciliata). The landscape plan that I inherited with the house identified this plant as 'Husker Red' which is a Penstemon - not at all the plant I was finding in the garden. There is a host of conflicting information in researching the Fringed Yellow Loosestrife. Some sources indicate that it is not related at all to the invasive Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). The botanical name confirms that. There is an aggressive Garden Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) that is restricted in Wisconsin according to the DNR invasive species website. No such limits on the Fringed Yellow Loosestrife which is a North America native. It is fairly aggressive in my garden but easy to control.
(For more information on these plants go to the websites below.
Fringed Yellow Loosestrife (Lysmachia ciliata) (wildflower.org)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) (UW Horticulture)
Garden Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) (DNR)
It took a bit of research to confirm the identification of these plants. As you can see they look different and the effect they can have on our landscape is important to understand to avoid invasive plants and support natives.
The annuals and vegetables are showing growth and the Monarch and Pollinator Sanctuary Garden (natives and perennials) is in full bloom. The gallery below shows what is in bloom as of July 1 and there were plenty of buds that will be blooming in the next few days. Please stop by when you are in the area for inspiration.
For Taste, we have Nasturtium Jewel Blend that is colorful and edible, and Red Russian Kale, a tender and beautiful heirloom.
For Touch, we have planted the Tickled Pink Sensitive Plant ornamental that will close when touched by children (or adults, who also cannot resist them), Bunny tail grass heirloom that will delight you when you touch the fuzzy, fun flower heads, and Tall Maximum Blend heirloom snapdragons that make exceptional cutting flowers, as well as delighting you by pressing the sides of the flower to “open the dragon’s mouth”.
For Sight, we have Penstemon Dazzler Blend, a wonderful dwarf blend of soft rose, pink, blue and purple hues, an heirloom Come & Cut Again Zinnia with vibrant colors that attracts butterflies in search of sweet summer nectar, Pacific Beauty Calendula Pot marigold that is edible and pollinator-attracting, and Profusion Zinnias. We have also placed a bird bath in this area, hoping to gain sight of the birds as well as the sound of their song.
For Smell, we have planted Nicotiana that will grow to about 5’ tall and is topped with 3-4” trumpet-shaped white blossoms at its crown. The Nicotiana flowers open in the evening and release a pleasant, sweet fragrance, Genovese Basil that is a classic Italian Variety prized by Cooks, Lemon & Tangerine marigold that have brilliant masses of dainty flowers on compact, fragrant plants with lacy foliage, Lemon Basil that allows you to breathe in the lemony aroma, and Four O’clocks. We have placed a circular picnic bench in this area, to invite you to sit down for a while and enjoy the scents that surround you.
For Sound, we have bamboo wind chimes, surrounded by Miss Jekyll Blend Love in a Mist heirloom with delightful flowers that float atop a mist of lacy foliage, and the Honesty Money Plant that is an old-fashioned garden favorite. The unusual seed pods of the Money Plant shimmer like silvery, translucent “coins”.
On the entryway Arbors into the Sensory Garden, we have planted Cardinal Climbers for the Hummingbirds. The vigorous bright cardinal-red flowers grow on vines that will climb 10-15’ tall. This should provide a beautiful, shaded entry way for you.
On the paths, we have planted coleus to guide you on your way thru the garden.
We have placed colorfully designed with a sensory image flags in each area of the garden to designate the specific section that you are visiting.
We hope you enjoy your visit and invite your friends to come along “next time”. The Teaching and Display Gardens are located on Orchard Lane, north of Highway 70 in Spooner WI.
The Sensory Garden is part of the North Country Master Gardener designs made possible by a grant from the Wisconsin Master Gardener Association.
I’m usually frustrated when I find that something has eaten a plant in my garden. Not so this week when I discovered Parsleyworms on my parsley. Adults are known as Black Swallowtail, one of our larger butterflies.
According to Jeffrey Glassberg’s Butterflies of North America, you can recognize a swallowtail when you see a large butterfly that is not orange and has a tail. His book goes on to say that most butterflies are small to medium-sized and most large non-swallowtails are orange-colored with no tails.
Back to the Parsleyworms. As you can see in the above photo, they are munching away on my parsley. They have pretty much eaten most of the curly-leafed variety leaving the flat-leafed Italian variety for a later snack. There are currently about five caterpillars on my one curly and one flat-leafed parsleys. Not much left for me, but they appear to be in the final stage of their development given the coloration so I may get some later. Next up they will crawl away to a support of a limb or post and pupate to later become a butterfly.
That’s when they will hopefully find plenty of nectar in my nearby garden from zinnias, lilies, calendula, bachelor buttons and other annuals. It might be that my parsley will have recovered enough for a second generation to be fed.
Check out this UW Extension Horticulture article on Black swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes.
Author & Photo: Sue Reinardy, UW Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
by Melinda Myers
Our lakes and waterways make Wisconsin a special place to live. If you are lucky enough to live on or near one of these bodies of water, it is easy to appreciate your role in protecting them. But even those living in spaces, large or small, away from them have an impact on our waterways’ health and beauty.
Avoid aggressive and invasive plants whether gardening along a shoreline, managing a water feature, growing a rain garden, or tending a more traditional landscape space. Not only will you help the environment, but you will reduce your workload trying to manage plants that can take over the landscape and those that invade and damage our natural spaces.
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Diversity in the garden