Yard of the Month – Michelle Giles

It was a pleasure to meet Michelle Giles at her Crestwood home recently. She and her husband Jim have created a little slice of paradise in their yards.

What impressed me was Michelle’s willingness to try new plants and designs. If something wasn’t working, she would take it out and put in something new.

Her back yard is challenging since it slopes dramatically, but they have somehow engineered a lovely swimming pool and patio area which seems more like a Hawaiian retreat than a Crestwood backyard.

Michelle has a mixture of sun and shade areas, so she has a broad mix of plants and every new view gives a new painting of colors and plants.

Some of the unusual plants in the garden are a shade loving clematis covering an arbor and a Mosquito Schocker garden to help repel mosquitoes. The mosquito repellent plant is Pelargonium crispum – scented geranium.

 

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Beekeeping 101 – June 24th

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If you have ever considered raising bees in your back yard, you won’t want to miss next Saturday’s free class.

Andy Day, a Crestwood resident has bee hives in his back yard and will show us the basics of what is involved in the process of raising bees.

The class will be held Saturday – June 24th – 9 a.m.
8750 Townhill Drive
Crestwood MO 63126

No registration is necessary.

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Did you know that Crestwood is certified as a Bee City USA? In fact, we are the first city in Missouri to receive such recognition.

 

 

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Crestwood also has a bee hive in Whitecliff Park in the maintenance area. It’s part of an Eagle Scout project created by Jonny Stadter with help from the mayor and Andy.

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Island Life-Tahiti Islands Project Part II: The South Island

Pictured above in no particular order: Josie Green, Matt Koppen, Gary Gobble, Josie P, Jackie P, Kristen P, and Carrie Gobble.  Photos courtesy of Matt Green.

It’s always island time in the Catalina West sector of Crestwood, and with the help of our neighbors and community, our southern Tahiti Dr. island is looking a little more like paradise every day!

It all started with a vision and a community coming together to raise the funds necessary to build the paradise we were envisioning.  With a Savers fundraising drive (see March 18th post on our blog), GoFundMe donation page, and anonymous donors we were well on our way.

To assist with our fundraising efforts, neighbors presented their project and willingness to dedicate time and efforts to the project by applying for a grant with Beautify Crestwood.  We put our vision for our project to pen and paper, snapped a picture of the existing location of our project, and our dedicated team members (aka neighbors) signed the grant application and submitted it to the Beautify Crestwood committee in hopes for approval.  A short time later we were awarded a matching grant from Beautify Crestwood (up to $500) and our vision began to become a reality.  If you have any visions for projects in your Crestwood neighborhood, I highly encourage you to apply for a matching grant from Beautify Crestwood.  It was quick and easy, and we couldn’t have done our project without them.

We also couldn’t have taken on this project without the help of some horticultural students at Meramec Community College in Mr. Jerry Pence’s classes.  We presented our project desires for a native plant-based garden; with plenty of color, bee and butterfly attracting flowers and plants; and plants that provide beautiful, colorful flowers in every season. May seem like a lofty goal, but Barbara Newsham, from one of Mr. Pence’s classes, rose to the occasion and delivered beyond our expectations.  Many other community garden project ideas were presented to Mr. Pence’s class as well.  He uses our projects are part of his teaching curriculum, giving the students real life projects that consider real life circumstances and conditions.

After a soil sample and quick consultation with our local advisor Ms. Gloria Elkins (with minor tweaks and subsequent approval) the island project was ready for action!  Mrs. Josie Green purchased our plant roster (listed below) from Jost Greenhouses (specializing in Midwestern plants) to begin to beautify our southern Tahiti Island. And since the southern Tahiti Island was previously populated with three Hawthorns trees, the City of Crestwood cut them down for us so we could start with a blank canvas.  Now, since the ordering of the plants was done (though no easy task), the hard part was truly about to begin.  The digging!

If you’ve ever thought island life was easy, breezy, you obviously missed out on our planting day!  With the sun, high in the sky and sweat dripping down our foreheads, many neighbors came (adults and tikes) to help dig holes and plant our new crop of beautiful flowers and plants for all to enjoy. We look forward to the variety of bees and butterflies that will come to visit our Island.  We hope all of the Catalina West neighbors and visitors will come visit and enjoy our new island life as well!

Plants Used in the Southern Tahiti Island: Dwarf Lilac, Blue Eyed Prairie Grass, Missouri Black Eyed Susan, Laura Phlox, Wild Geranium, Aster, Blue False Indigo, Columbine, Lanceleaf Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower, and an Appalachian Red Bud Tree.

Most all are native to Missouri and will thrive in our local gardens with full sun and plenty of water.  if interested in using any of these plants in your garden visit jostgreenhouses.com.

For matching grant information from Beautify Crestwood for your next project email Beautifycrestwood@gmail.com.

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Garden Tour Reminder – June 17th

Crestwood is having its first garden tour on Saturday – June 17th, from 9 a.m. to noon. It will be followed by a get-together at The Barn to meet fellow gardeners.
This is a FREE event, so we’re expecting a large crowd.
You can signup and get details by emailing beautifycrestwood@gmail.com.

You can begin the tour at any garden or if you need a map, you can get one at Tom Terrific’s Butterfly Garden at 9016 Robyn Rd – 63126

Crestwood has some world class gardeners in our community who have been very gracious in opening up their yards to show us their beautiful yards.

Included in the tour, you will see:

  • Day-lilies and Hostas
  • Native and Pollinator Plants
  • Butterfly Gardening
  • Chickens in the Back Yard
  • Perennials and Roses
  • Raised Bed Gardening
  • Shade Gardening

If you are interested in learning more about Beautify Crestwood, you can subscribe to their website at BeautifyCrestwood.org or email them at beautifycrestwood@gmail.com.
They are also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BeautifyCrestwood/.

 

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Rapp Gardens – Yard of the Month

If you would combine herbs, pollinator plants, rain gardens, micro-greens, bird feeders, butterfly gardens, ferns, ponds, raised beds, vegetables, carnivorous plants, native plants and lots more, that’s what you will find at the gardens of Steve and Nancy Rapp.

Steve and Nancy both have a passion for gardening and trying out as many different plants as possible. They love to visit different nurseries and see what each has to offer. From my visit to their gardens, they seemed to have bought just about one of everything.

The front yard is an artist pallete of pink, yellows, orange, white, reds and green. One aspect of gardening which they seem to have mastered is putting in the right sized plant in the right area. They have a number of plants up against the foundation of the house, but they are all just the right size so that they don’t cover up the front of the house.

When you go in the back yard past a rain garden and pond, you immediately notice a large number of cedar raised-bed gardens.  They are filled with all sorts of vegetables, herbs and flowers and are at an easy 18″ height for working in the bed. When they bought the house, they had a gigantic concrete basketball court pad and rather than pay lots of money to remove it, they decided to add the raised beds to cover up the concrete.

Steve and Nancy’s gardens are on the Crestwood Garden Tour on June 17th – 9 a.m. to noon. You can get more details by emailing BeautifyCrestwood@gmail.org

 

 

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Meeting plus Gardening Calendar

June 6th – Tuesday – 5:45 p.m. – Beautification Meeting at City Hall.
Anyone with questions or ideas to share is welcome to attend.

Gardening Calendar from the Missouri Botanical Garden.
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Art and Artist – Diane Wilson

Our latest Yard of the Month winner is Diane Wilson.

What impressed me about Diane was her commitment to art in the garden. You will find a candelabra which can be lowered for a small intimate dinner, a wall of light along her back border, raised curvaceous flower beds, a knight in shining armor, a water feature and even a hydrangea framed by a large picture frame.

Typical of most gardeners, when I visited, Diane was working in her back yard on a major project of removing her chain link fence.  She is opening up her back yard so that there is one continuous green space along three neighbor’s yards.

She has many varieties of hydrangeas, shrubs, a Pom Pom Bonsai tree and even a grape arbor. There are many places to sit, relax and enjoy the artistic environment.

One interesting aspect of her gardens are her use of curving berms to make ordinary flat areas into more interesting small hills in the landscape. It’s a great way to add more interest to a garden area.

She is also working on 100% green coverage so that she can reduce her annual mulching chores.

Diane is our first artist in the garden – do we have more?

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