Horticulture Display Garden News: Spring 2018

Bees, Berries and Borage

Bees need flowers and flowers need bees.  This is one of the simplest lessons of the natural world.  But Nathan Hecht, a graduate student at the U of MN, wants to know more about what this means for Minnesota food production, and is asking how we as a society might take better advantage of the natural world around us, to create agricultural landscapes that are both more productive and sustainable.  One of Hecht's research plots takes place at the WCROC with Steve Poppe, horticultural scientist.  Bees, Berries and Borage  

Welcome Rob Yost, Landscape Gardener

We are pleased to welcome Rob Yost as Landscape Gardener, to the horticulture program.  Rob has 30 plus years in planning, creating, and maintaining numerous landscape gardens for arboretums, golf courses, and casino-hotel properties.  He brings new perspective and fresh ideas to the Horticulture Display Garden and our educational programming.  Since joining the team last fall, Rob has been working on design plans for various areas of the garden, ordering plant material for the upcoming growing season, and providing early spring maintenance for our trees and shrubs.  Welcome Rob!  

Making Beautiful Containers

Making your own beautiful containers can be relatively easy and enjoyable with just a few simple steps: selection, plant, water, fertilize, and deadhead.  Making Beautiful Containers  

Renovating the Pond Garden Berm

A typical landscape planting has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years before renovation is needed.  The pond garden berm in the Horticulture Display Garden is nearly 25 years old, and was in dire need of renovation.  With a plan in hand, we began renovation last fall.  Read more about our plans for the pond garden berm.     

2018 California Spring Trials

Steve Poppe traveled to California from April 13-17 to attend a guided tour of the 2018 California Spring Trials.  Traveling by bus with 40 other horticulture professionals, the group visited major horticultural companies that breed, grow and distribute annual and perennial plant materials.  "This was an excellent opportunity for me to meet plant company representatives and breeders fafe-to-face and get excited about our WCROC horticulture plant trials for 2018," reported Steve.   

Purple Reign

Purple plants are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners, and there's prediction that purple will be the top gardening trend for 2018.  Not only are they gaining attention because of their appearance in the landscape, but also for their health properties.  Purple Reign      

Spring to-do list for Vegetable Gardening

April showers bring May flowers, but what do April blizzards bring?  April is typically the time to start seeds indoors for warm-season crops like peppers and tomatoes, prepare the soil for early cool-season crops and, weather permitting, begin planting asparagus, potatoes and onions outdoors.  Given our late spring this year, what should gardeners be focusing on now?  Spring to-do list for Vegetable Gardening

Potential of Winter Kill for Perennial Plants

Each MN winter is different from the next, which makes it difficult to determine the likelihood of winter kill for perennial plants.  A cold winter does not necessarily mean that we will have winter kill, and a warm winter does not mean we'll have less.  By looking back at historical weather data, we may be able to arrive at some conclusions regarding the potential winter kill for 2018.  Potential of winter kill for perennial plants

2018 AAS Display Garden Challenge

The Horticulture Display Garden has been an All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden since 1990, which allows visitors to view AAS winners in an attractive display.  Each year, AAS sponsors a garden design challenge and this year it's to encourage gardens to "Get Social" by using one of today's most effective communication tools: social media.  We chose to participate in this challenge, and are putting the final touches on our stunning display in hopes that visitors to the Garden will take pictures and post to social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) using the hashtag #AASWinners.  Be sure to visit the AAS Display Garden on your next visit!  

Creeping Charlie: Management and Value to Pollinators

Creeping Charlie (also called ground ivy) has been present in North American for nearly 200 years.  While some consider Creeping Charlie to be a weedy species, others consider it to be naturalized, and some seed providers will sell this flower as a form of ornamental ground cover.  Whether you're wanting to eradicate it from your lawn, or keep it around as a nectar source for pollinators, you'll find all the latest information on Creeping Charlie here.