Two Awards from the Garden Clubs of Illinois

As the Wheaton Garden club celebrates its 95th year, we are proud to announce that we are the recipients of two awards from the Garden Clubs of Illinois. The Wheaton Garden Club has won first Place in the Gloria Greene Advanced Designer Award and second place in the Planting for Pollinators Award.

The Gloria Greene Advanced Designer Award was based on the flower design workshop held for members in anticipation of the Wheaton Garden Club’s Flower Show in October 2019. Three members created designs, which were then judged by another member who is an experienced flower show judge. Seventeen members participated and left the workshop with helpful design information and an increase in confidence. I think that this quote from the award application best describes the workshop outcome:   “… to paraphrase the television commercial for VISA, ‘peace of mind obtained for new members—PRICELESS’ ”.

The Planting for Pollinators Award recognized the efforts of the Wheaton Garden Cub in promoting Monarch Waystations.  To date, five members have been recognized for creating Monarch Waystations and five other members have planted milkweed, a vital food source for monarch caterpillars, in their gardens. . In addition, the Monarch Project committee created an educational display at the Wheaton Garden Club “Pollinator Power” Flower Show on the importance of growing milkweed for monarchs.

Pollinator Power a Success!

Congratulations to our Award Winners!

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See more photos from our Standard Flower Show here.

Pollinator Power

Join us for our Standard Flower Show, “Pollinator Power”, on Thursday, October 3, 2019 12:30 – 9:00 pm and Friday, October 4, 2019 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, at the Wheaton Public Library. Admission is free.

Monarchs

Monarchs are loving the Tithonia ‘Torch’ (Mexican Sunflower)
and the Liatris ligulistylis (Blazing Star).

Enjoying many butterflies feasting in my garden.

Monarch Way Stations

Monarch in Member’s
Monarch Way Station

Four Wheaton Garden Club members have certified way stations! We are making progress on our way to reaching our goal of ten. A garden does not have to start from scratch to become a way station. Many times it only takes an addition of milkweed plants. In case you worry that milkweed is invasive, the following are not: butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa), swamp milk weed (asclepias incarnata) and purple milk weed (asclepias purpurascens).

Information on Monarch Butterfly Way Station requirements and an application form can be found on the link below. You can register online or print out the application. The Wheaton Garden Club will cover the $16 registration fee for members.

http://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/

Horticulture Report – May 2019


Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as forsythia that have already flowered.

Fertilize roses early this month or mid-month if you already fertilized last month. Use a 20-20-20 liquid solution when flower buds are set. Mulch around the plants to retain moisture.

Stake perennials before they reach 6 inches.

Pinch back fall-blooming perennials such as chrysanthemums, asters, and tall sedums once a week.

Direct growth of perennial vines on their supports.

Check peonies for botrytis blight or other fungal problems. If they had problems last year, spray when plants are 2-4 inches tall. I’m quoting: There are fungicides that can help protect your plants from Botrytis blight. You need to look for a product that says on the label that it can be used on the specific type of plant, peony, and the specific disease, for instance, Botrytis blight. There should be products with the active ingredient “Mancozeb” or some type of copper that are labeled for use on peony against Botrytis blight. In terms of where to apply the fungicide, read and follow all label directions! I don’t think it is necessary to dig out the peonies before treatment, but follow the directions above all. Fungicides should be applied to protect against Botrytis blight early in the season.

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Horticulture Report – April 2019

Take it easy!

Be sure your garden beds are not too wet. If it’s been raining or snowing and the soil is saturated, you’ll have to postpone your gardening a bit longer.

Shrubs and trees

There is still time to plant trees and shrubs. However, by mid-month it will be a little late to transplant large trees or shrubs.

The months of March, April and May are ideal for pruning evergreens. If you have juniper, cypress or conifer that need shearing or pruning, this is a good time to do it. Remove all dead, diseased, and undesirable wood. Don’t prune back into the bare wood part of the plant.

Prune forsythia after it finishes flowering.

Broadleaf and needle leaf evergreens benefit most from lightly spreading a high nitrogen fertilizer around their bases.

Perennials, annuals and bulbs

April is the month for planting summer flowering bulbs like dahlias, gladiolas and lilies. Mix bulb fertilizer, processes manure and peat moss into the planting soil. Tuberous begonias and canna should not be set outdoors until all danger of frost has passed, so wait until next month.

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Horticulture Report – March 2019

Shrubs and trees

In most areas it is still possible to do dormant spraying of fruit trees until the 15th, after that date dilute the spray by 1/2. Spraying should be done on a still day with the temperature above 40 degrees F.

Late March and early April is a good time to transplant shrubs and trees. As soon as the soil is workable, but before buds have swelled or broken open, you can move shrubs and trees.

Fertilize shrubs and trees if this wasn’t done in February. Use an acid type rhododendron fertilizer to feed evergreens, conifers, broad leaf evergreens, rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. Use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses and other deciduous trees and shrubs. If you use granular type fertilizers, be sure to water it in thoroughly.

Finish pruning fruit trees this month – before the buds swell.

Perennials, annuals, and bulbs

There is often a strong temptation to start removing winter mulches from your flower beds…. WAIT!!! Pull the mulch off gradually as the plants show signs of new growth. The purpose of winter mulch is to act as a protector from sudden changes of temperature and chilling winds, so keep in mind that it is still winter. Acclimatize your plants by removing the mulch over a period of days, allowing the light and air to reach the new growth slowly. It is much better to remove the mulch a little later than to remove it to early.

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