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.
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
Do you enjoy gardening or want to start gardening? Have you watched the TV show Escape to the Chateau? If you have, then you would recognize the term “potager garden”. Join us on how to Create a Potager Garden presented by Sue Reinardy, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, virtually on Zoom on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10 am to Noon as part of a celebration of National Library Week at the Sherman & Ruth Weiss Community Library. Attendees will have a chance to win a special Library T-shirt!
Potager is a French term for a kitchen garden. These gardens can include not only vegetables but herbs, fruit, berries and cutting flowers. During the presentation you will learn where to site your potager, what plants to include and how to maintain it through the growing season.
For the first 15 people who sign up, we will offer them a Take ‘N Make Kit of a Potager Starter Garden. The kit consists of a container, donated by Marketplace Foods, and seeds and a planting medium donated by Sue Reinardy.
You can register for the event by going to the following link – https://bit.ly/3rtyZq9 or by calling the library to register and to receive the link for the Zoom event. We suggest that if you don’t have the free Zoom app, download it before the program begins and go to the presentation at least 5 minutes before it starts. If you have any questions, please call the library at 715-634-2161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Carla TePaske provides tips for great bouquets in this video. For more tips, check out this handout: "Cut Flower Tips" .
Easy steps for a successful Victory Garden 2.0…(with recommendations from the 1943 Victory Garden Manual by James Burdett, adapted for today’s world.)
1. Know your growing zone!– Just enter your zip code here to find your zone.
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Diversity in the garden