Color in the August Garden

August 4, 2021

Thought I’d share this view of a Tiger Swallowtail on Joe Pye Weed.

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Vacation Sprinkler Setup

Orbit Water Timer

If you need to water potted plants during a vacation, here’s a basic setup which worked for me.

You first need a timer to let it know when you want the water turned on and for how long.
I used the Orbit Timer – it’s the basic unit. It uses 2 AA batteries and worked well for my last vacation.
I’d suggest testing it ahead of time so that you get the amount of water you need for your plants.

You can see most of the pots I wanted to water, plus there are a few which are hidden that it reached also. I just moved all my pots to within range and everything was alive when I came back. You can use whatever sprinkler you have on hand.

Note – I let Mother Nature take care of my lawn and other plants, although I do water ahead of my vacation if needed.

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Memorial Garden Dedication

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St. Louis Area Resources

If you are new to the St.Louis area,
here are a number of resources to get you started.

Grow Native

Journey North – Monarchs

Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Native Plant Society

Missouri Prairie

Missouri Wildflowers – good native plant resource

Monarch Watch – information on Monarch butterflies

North American Butterfly Association – St. Louis Chapter

Shaw Nature Reserve


WildOnes – native plant group

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Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan or Rudbeckia hirta is a new flower to me which sprouted up from the free packet of seeds given away by Beautify Crestwood. What was a surprise was that the seeds were only planted on March 26th and the flowers are looking spectacular on July 6th.

This plant is usually an annual to a short-lived perennial which is why it germinates so quickly. Save the seeds in the fall since it grows so well from a spring planting. While most natives need cold-stratification, this plant grew well with just an early spring planting.

There’s a good chance we may give away more seeds in the fall, so make sure you subscribe and you’ll get a notice when the seeds are available.

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Tahiti Island Plantings

These are pictures of the Tahiti Islands which are the result of the Crestwood grant program. 
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Flowers in Whitecliff – May 24, 2021

Here are some of the early flowers in the Whitecliff Garden.

Pale Purple Coneflower
Pale Purple Coneflower
Yellow Coneflower
Coreopsis lanceolata
Maltese Cross
Ohio Horse Mint
Rose Verbena
Creeping Thyme
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City Hall Gardens

Thanks to the volunteers for planting at city hall on May 1st.

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Volunteers – Planting at City Hall – Saturday

Volunteers needed for planting flowers at city hall on Saturday May 1st at 9 a.m. 

Bring trowels, gloves and other gardening items you might have.

There is some work that could be done at the Fire House garden cleaning out some of the mint if there are extra hands and time.

Hope to see you Saturday.

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Watering Plants the First Year

One of the reasons schools and individuals have trouble maintaining their gardens is that they put the garden in, water the plants and then assume the plants will thrive on their own. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work and the plants wither.

Soaker Hose with Timer

In general, I either recommend a Timer system for schools or a dedicated volunteer who will water on a regular basis. Depending on rain, I’d recommend at least once or twice a week to keep plants happy that first year. The problem with volunteers is that they come and go and at some point the garden is on it’s own. This is a good reason to use natives, but still watering the first season is critical.

Jesse Gilbertson, Horticulture Director for U City in Bloom, doesn’t put in any new garden without a water source. Find money to get irrigation – at least a spigot. They do have a water “truck” to water containers.

Scott Woodury of Shaw Nature Reserve says, “Establishment watering is critical for any planting. The establishment period might be three months long, it might be the entire growing season….let’s call it the first growing season.

I personally use a timer on my hose with a sprinkler. It’s an inexpensive solution and only puts down the amount of water which is needed.

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