Seeing yellow

The Miami Valley/Dayton, Ohio area is well known for many things. Think: Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Charles F. Kettering, the Wright Brothers, Mike Sells Potato Chips, Marion’s Pizza and so much more. We are also known as the Birthplace of Aviation much to the consternation of North Carolinians….. Those of us who weren’t smart enough to leave the area also know it as Sinus Valley.

This is pollen - not a fancy paint job.

This is pollen on my poor Toro – not a fancy new paint job.

The photo above is what my mower looked like after mowing only the HALF of my .4 of an acre here in Washington Township. I felt like Charlie Brown’s friend Pig Pen going around the yard. I’m not sure if my White Ash (Fraxinus americana) is going into overdrive in pollen production what with the imminent Emerald Ash Borer invasion and all. Maybe it is mad that I planted a 6′ Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipfera) at its feet in anticipation of its removal when it gets the dreaded disease….

The business end of the Ash tree flowers.

The business end of the Ash tree flowers.

My only salvation will be a constant supply of sinus meds for the time being. For a change, I’m crossing my fingers for rain.

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Sales Alerts

KNOLLWOOD GARDEN CENTER: April 25-28, 20th annual Impatiens and Begonia sale. $12.99/flat.

GRANDMA’S GARDEN CENTER: Now through April 28, Spring Perennial Party, all quart-size and larger pots 25% off. Fri-Sun: Impatiens and begonia flats are $11.99.

MIAMI VALLEY HOSTA SOCIETY ANNUAL PLANT AUCTION: Tuesday, May 14, Polen Farm (5099 Bigger Road, Kettering OH 45440. Preview starts at 6 pm.

Be sure to check the EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES tab at the top for other area activities.

Some things to crow about

Hear ye, hear ye: Plant sales abound!

Hey bidder, bidder, bidder

The Miami Valley Hosta Society Plant Auction will be Tuesday, May 8. Preview starts at 6 pm, bidding starts at 6:30 pm. Polen Farm (5099 Bigger Rd., Kettering OH 45440). Open to the public. The Auction features more than plants. There will be garden art, books, tools and gardening paraphernalia too. Rare & unusual hostas, other hearty plant specimens. Contact  Gary Althaus at gjalt@aol.com or 937-833-3271 for more info.

I was thinking. I know that is a scary thought but check it out. If you are a quilter, perhaps you’ve heard of a Quilt Shop Hop; a day of shopping at various quilt or fabric shops. What if we did something like this with area Garden Centers or Greenhouses? I was thinking of just doing one to three stops in a day; you are going to need room in the car for plants! Leave me your thoughts or shop hop suggestions in the Comments section below.

Sales alerts (Remember to check the “Events” tab for more)

Greene County Master Gardener Plant Sale: Saturday, May 5, 9 am to 1 pm. Greene County Extension Office, 1000 Fairgrounds Rd., Xenia OH 45385)

Meadow View Growers:  Marigolds are on sale, Friday, May 4th thru Sunday, May 6th. Marigold flats will be buy 1 flat get 1 flat half off.

Spring Valley Gardens: Wave petunia sale. Some colors are $2.29 a 3.5″ pot. Zonal geraniums in 4″ pots are $3.99 through May 9. (1395 U.S. 42 S, Xenia OH 45385. 937-372-3943

Siebenthaler’s: 6-pack Wave petunias are 25% off through May 6.

Grandma’s Gardens: 25% off Roses, Tropicals, Flowering Shrubs and Pottery. Flowering hanging baskets are $5 off through May 13.

Knollwood Garden Center: Geraniums are on sale through May 9. 4.5″ pots are $3.99. (Excludes ivy geraniums.)

Stocklager’s Greenhouse & Garden Center: Check the Life + Neighbors section of your Thursday, May 3 issue of the Dayton Daily Newspaper for a 20% off coupon! Valid through May 31.

Anniversary Tree

Every spring I look forward to seeing my beautiful pink buckeye tree (Aesculus x hybrida) bloom. I remember purchasing it as a commemoration of our 20th wedding anniversary. It was just a little guy back then. It is about 15 feet tall and every branch tip is capped off with these gorgeous floral clumps – perfect celebration for our 35th anniversary!

Buckeye bloom close-up.

Though I haven’t seen the hummingbirds yet, these blossoms seem right up their alley.

The honeysuckle eradication and fence row clean up had great progress yesterday. We rented a commercial rototiller and went to work trying to mix up and level out some of the wonderful soil that’s been in hiding under those invasive shrub-trees. Having long served as my 100′ long ‘compost pile’ (read that: dumping ground), many treasures were found: a stray tennis ball, numerous plastic plant name tags and even a buried Time Warner cable which is now in TWO pieces. Darn thing! Thankfully, no neighbors were affected as it was an old wire laid who knows how many years ago. I refuse to credit the rototiller-ing to my back that went out later yesterday…… Here is what we look like now. Our back yard property line lies somewhere in the freshly turned soil but now it looks like it goes on forever!

Sales Opps

April 21-29: Stockslagers Greenhouse and Garden Center. Hanging basket and geranium sale.

April 26-28: Knollwood Garden Center Impatiens Flat Sale. $12.99 (save $6)

April 27-29: Meadow View Growers Petunia sale. Buy 1, get 1 half off.

April 27-29: Grandma’s Gardens Flat Sale. Impatiens and Begonias are $11.99

Saturday, April 28: Cox Arboretum Wildflower and Native Plant Sale, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (6733 Springboro Pike). Wildflowers and native plants propagated or rescued from areas slated for development. Info: (937) 434-9005, http://www.metroparks.org/Parks/CoxArboretum.

Saturday-Sunday, May 5 & 6: Wegerzyn Mayfair Plant Sale, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 5 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 6. Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton. Perennials, annuals, herbs, landscape plants, vegetables, hanging baskets. Benefits the Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation. Info: (937) 277-6545, http://www.metroparks.org/Parks/WegerzynGarden.

Saturday, June 23, MEEC Native Plant Sale, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC) at Mount St. John (Bergamo), 4435 E. Patterson Road, Dayton. All plants are indigenous to the region and cultivated on site by volunteers. Funds support restoration work. Advance orders encouraged. Info and advance order catalog: meec.udayton.edu

Saturday, May 12: Here & There Garden Club Plant Sale. May 12, from 9 am to 1 pm. 5200 Bigger Road, Kettering, OH 45440

Saturday, May 19, Our Homes Garden Club Plant Sale, 9 am to 3 pm at the Vandalia Historical Society (336 E. Alkaline Springs Rd., Vandalia, Ohio 45377

Sunday, Marvin’s Organic Gardens, Noon – 6pm. Mother’s Day Sale and Congo Fundraiser –  Marvin’s will offer a lecture on “Edible Landscapes” discussing the many ways you can create an attractive landscape including delicious edibles. Who says you can’t have your landscape and eat it too? Not Marvin! All purchases made will support Marvin’s sustainable gardening and medical efforts in Central Africa, with 5% of all sales funding their Congo Mission.

Check out this website

A product of The Ohio State University’s Extension and updated weekly during the growing season, the Buckeye Yard and Garden onLine contains some fantastic news and updates for gardeners in the Ohio area. Be sure to check it out here: http://bygl.osu.edu/

Great Southern Ohio Events

May 12, 2012 – A Late Spring Natural History Hike, sponsored by the Ohio Historical Society (OHS), will take place at Fort Hill, home of southern Ohio’s largest piece of mature forest and preserved Hopewell earthworks complex. Join OHS senior curator of natural history Bob Glotzhober on this guided nature hike along Fort Hill’s Gorge Trail. Find out about the plants and wildflower of Fort Hill, the geology of the gorge, and the six natural arches that can be found in the park. FREE. See details here: http://arcofappalachia.org/events/ohs-fh-program.html.

May 20, 2012 – Exploring the Earthworks of Fort Hill, co-sponsored with Hopewell Culture National Historical Park and the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy. This day-hike will explore the Hopewell earthworks of Fort Hill, including a guided tour with National Park Service ranger Bruce Lombardo to see both the well-known earthen enclosure on the hilltop, and the almost unknown Circle Earthwork. A catered picnic lunch will be followed by a talk by leading archaeological researcher Dr. Jarrod Burks. $15/person includes lunch. See more details here: http://arcofappalachia.org/events/exploring-fort-hill.html.

Sign Humor

Out and about yesterday and stopped by Meadow View Growers in New Carlisle. Someone there has a great sense of humor! Check out their road-side sign.

Actually I wanted to see for myself one of the more unusual sales that I’ve run across. Here is a shot of their Perennial Plug Sale flyer – it’s a very popular sale.

Spring flowers available

Knollwood Garden Center has some great spring ephemerals and native plants in supply right now. Noteworthy plants include Trillium (Trillium spp.), Virginia Blue Bells (Mertensia virginica), Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris), Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) and Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum). Their Pansy-Palooza sale (20% off all pansies) runs March 22-28.

Dayton Home and Garden Show

Don’t forget about the Dayton Home and Garden Show this weekend, March 23-25 at the Dayton Convention Center. Read more about ticket discounts and the seminar schedule from my earlier post HERE.

Nest Cams

Check out the various bird Nest Cams (links found on the right). I just added a Red-tailed Hawk cam that is hosted by  Cornell University. The Decorah, Iowa bald eagles’s first egg is set to hatch possibly this Sunday. Little Phoebe, the Allens Hummingbird in California, is on the nest again having already raised two clutches since last November.

Small Wonders

Miniature designs must be less than 5" in any direction

I had a great day in Chillicothe (OH) yesterday sharing a Miniature/Small floral design program with the Story Place Garden Club of Region 9. What is the difference between as small or miniature floral design, you ask? The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs’ Exhibitors’ and Judges’ Schools teach that a Miniature design can be no larger than 5″ in any direction. A Small design is larger than 5″ but no larger than 12″ in any direction. Getting the right scale and proportion is the most important part of creating these lilliputian beauties. Sometimes it’s not easy but it is FUN! When you get the scale right, it is hard to tell if you are looking at a five inch or a 40 inch floral design.

Lots of sales news to report:

Our friends at Bluestone Perennials in Madison (OH) is a family owned Ohio-grown mail-order business. They have many great sale offerings for spring of 2012; some up to 50% off. Check out the deals at www.bluestoneperennials.com

If you haven’t subscribed to Knollwood Garden Center’s (Beavercreek) email newsletter, you should. (Sign up on their home page.) You’ll get a heads up on the specials and also the schedule of their wonderful gardening seminars. For instance, this week email customers are being rewarded with four special days (Thursday-Sunday, March 15-18 ONLY) to redeem their Bonus Bucks. The next opportunity to redeem Bonus Bucks will be in June. They are also offering a drawing for free tickets to the Dayton Home and Garden Show (an $8 value). Don’t forget the Dayton Home and Garden Show is offering entrance discounts. Check them out HERE.

Grandma’s Gardens (Waynesville) is offering 20% off the regular price of everything Thursday-Sunday, March 15-18 in their Spring Preview Sale. They, too, have an email group for customers. Sign up HERE.

Tomorrow (March 16) is the last day to sign up for Siebenthaler’s (Centerville and Beavercreek) Frequent Gardener Card for the discounted price of $15. Starting Saturday, March 17, the price goes up to the full $25 price.

Marvin’s Organic Gardens (Lebanon) is now open weekends.