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 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.
If you like daisies, this variety of perennial Shasta Daisy will wow you. A 2021 All-American Selections winner, the Sweet Daisy Birdy with 5-inch blooms of feathery pure white petals and golden centers, blooms earlier that other varieties and is a pollinator favorite. Use this medium height (18-24 inches) plant in planter containers, or in the garden as tall background or a garden highlight. Sturdy stems and contrasting dark green foliage make for a great cut flower as well!
The Sweet Daisy Birdy is available only as plants as yet. It is low maintenance, zone 3 hearty and is cold and heat tolerant. Plant in full sun, in well drained soil. Water as needed.
Article by Pam Davies MGV
Photo Credit: All-America Selections
Pepper Pot-a-peño (F1) is a 2021 All-America Selections Winner in the vegetable category. As the name says, this plant is ideal for growing in pots and would look beautiful in a hanging pot in the garden or patio so long as it gets full sun for optimal foliage and fruiting. Pot-a-peña is a warm weather annual for our region.
The beautiful bushy foliage is dark green and grows to a height of 12 to 15 inches in a compact mound. Fruit shape is conical and pointed about 3 to 4 inches in length. Fruit color starts out green and matures to red. Harvest green or red as desired. This is a jalapeño so it will be spicy when harvested green and sweeter though still spicy when harvested red. You can expect from 35 to 40 peppers from a typical plant.
It is recommended that seeds are started indoors at least 6-7 weeks before planting. For optimal germination temp should be above 70°F. Up potting is recommended in 3 to 4 weeks. Transplant outdoors when night time temps will be over 45°F and no threat of frost. For green fruit expect 45 to 50 days to harvest, 60 to 65 days for red fruit.
Seeds are currently sold out at Park Seed https://parkseed.com/pot-a-peno-pepper-seeds/p/52445-PK-P1/
One of the 2021 All-America Selection Winners in the vegetable category is the Squash Goldilocks F1, a golden orange acorn squash that is both beautiful and delicious! This is a high yield variety that is disease resistance. The lovely nutting flavor makes this one "just right!"
Goldilocks F1 is best grown in the garden or a very large container. The plant is compact and bushy with overall height at maturity of 30 inches. Fruit size is about 4 inches X 4 inches, 1 pound. The flavor is described as sweet and nutty. One plant should yield as many as 10 or more fruits. Sown seeds will reach harvest in 85 days while transplants will shorten that to about 70 days. Plants spread to about 4-5 feet so space them accordingly. This variety is tolerates Powdery Mildew.
Seeds are available through Osborne Quality Seeds https://www.osborneseed.com/ and Territorial Seed Company https://territorialseed.com/. Plant in full sun in well drained soil. Or start indoors three weeks before planting.
AAS describes themselves as "An independent non-profit organization committed to bringing you award-winning flowers and vegetables." Their mission statement: "To promote new garden varieties with superior garden performance judged in impartial trials in North America."
This All America Selections winner in the annuals category, Celosia Kelos® Candela Pink, with its profusion of bright pink spikes will dazzle in containers or as dramatic interest in garden beds or bouquets both fresh and dried. Less dense and more delicate than other varieties of celosia , expect blooms of 10 to 15 inches, with an overall plant height of 25 to 30 incles. Blooms beginning in late spring and continuing well into fall make this plant ideal as a filler or tall background or boarder plant.
Plant in full to partial sun in well drained soil. Water as needed. This celosia can tolerate dry conditions and is heat, wind and rain tolerant, and deer resistent!
Article by Pam Davies, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
This All-America Selections winner in the annuals category hasn't got the most alluring name but the Zinnia Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor is an outstanding zinnia new for this year, 2021. The outstanding feature that wowed the judges was that as the growing season progresses the colors will morph from the red/yellow to apricot, salmon, and dusty rose.
Pollinator friendly, this variety can be grown in containers, hanging baskets or beds. Use them for groundcover, low edging or as a medium-height divider. Expect compact mounds of 8 to 14 inches in height. Plant in multiple clusters to get the full impact of the range of striking colors you can expect from this winner. Bloom size is about two and a half inches.
Plant in full to partial sun. No deadheading or staking are necessary. Typical of zinnia, this variety is heat, wind and rain tolerant. If starting your own seeds, first flower will come at 60 days. Transplanted from seedlings, flowering will be at about 30 days.
Article by Pam Davies, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Have you visited our Teaching & Display Garden? This is a wonderful visit to make during this socially distant summer. Kevin Schoessow, Area Ag Development Agent, takes you on a tour of the popular pinwheel bed of the gardens. These beds have been "adopted" by Master Gardener Volunteers and reflect their different visions. Our gardens are open for self-guided tours during all daylight hours. Please follow the social distancing guidelines that are posted.
Reprinted from the Spooner Agricultural Research StationFacebook page.
Have you been out to enjoy our Teaching & Display Garden? Station staff and Master Gardener Volunteers work tirelessly every year to bring you this beautiful garden to visit and learn from. In this video, Kevin Schoessow takes you on an aerial tour of what it looks light right now. You will see some familiar beds and catch up on what's new this year. As always, our garden is open for self-guided tours at any time. We just ask that you follow proper social distancing and keep your group small so that all may feel safe while enjoying the garden.
The University of Wisconsin Extension, The Spooner Agriculture Research Station and North Country Master Gardener Volunteers will be holding their Annual Twilight Garden Tour on Tuesday Aug 13th from 4 - 7:30 PM. This is one of the region’s premier summer gardening events and will feature University speakers, demonstrations, displays, food tastings and walking tour of the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative, and organic vegetable variety research trial partnering with nationally recognized plant breeders, chefs and local growers. The venue for the Twilight Garden Tour is the award-winning Teaching & Display Garden located on Orchard Lane, just east of Spooner.
Speakers will be PJ Leisch, UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab Director; Brian Hudelson, UW-Madison Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic Director; and Brian Smith, UW-River Falls Professor of Horticulture.
Master Gardener Volunteers and invited speakers will be available to answer your gardening questions and identify plant, insect and disease samples.
The Teaching & Display Garden is an official All-America Selections (AAS) display garden featuring both flowers and vegetables and has been awarded multiple awards in the National Landscape Design contest sponsored by AAS. The garden also includes organic vegetable gardening, a children’s garden, container gardening, displays of table and wine grapes and fruit trees and the newly renovated Monarch and Pollinator Sanctuary perennial garden.
As in the past there is no charge for this educational events.
The Teaching and Display Gardens are located on Orchard Lane, 1 mile east of Spooner on Highway 70. Watch for Garden Tour signs. For more information please contact Kevin Schoessow at 715-635-3506 or 1-800-528-1914, or online at http://spooner.ars.wisc.edu or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/spoonerag.
UW-Extension provides equal opportunity in employment and programming including Title IX and ADA requirements. Please call our toll free number if you have any special needs or require special accommodations.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Extension
Spooner Agricultural Research Station
W6646 Highway 70
Spooner, WI 54801
711 for Wisconsin Relay
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Diversity in the garden