"Please join us for ‘Sunflower+ Sunday’ this Sunday, July 26, 5:30 – 7:30 for a very casual gathering at the garden - 51xx Delmar. Thousands of Sunflowers are BLOOMING! Bring the kids and neighborsto help us celebrate. Bring a lawn chair if you have one… we’ll have some beverages and light snacks…. And you can cut some flowers to take home and enjoy.
If you can help support with the mowing & maintenance clickgofund.me/rx6u2jg A HUGE Thank you to those of you who have already helped out!!
You are welcome to come even if you were not able to volunteer! This is all about ‘making it better’.
Hope to see you Sunday!!
Thanks to all of you, the Land Lab, Washington University, St Louis City, Mo Botanical Gardens, Mo Dept of Conservation, and Bowood Farms !!
Many thanks from the “Delmar Sunflower Team”.
Richard Reilly – Missouri Botanical Gardens
Don Koster – Washington University School of Architecture
If the weather has thrown you off your gardening game, here are some quick container ideas from Lizzy McPheeters, proprietor of Bowood Farms. With her suggestions, perhaps you can get started on or add to what should have been finished six weeks ago, if it hadn't for this crazy mixed-up weather. Is this really July?
A few things to keep in mind while you're pondering possibilities: To get the best results use as big a pot as you can - more soil volume = less watering, though one would have to wonder if we will ever have to water again. It's important to consider whether the container will be viewed from all sides, or just from the front. Are you partial to flowering plants or all foliage. If, when you get to Bowood Farms, you are overwhelmed by the choices, find one plant you love and ask the experts on staff for advice about what would work well with it.
A cheery combination that likes heat and full sun can be viewed in front of Bowood Farms, shown above. The container's focal point is a Texas Sage topiary, $45 in 10" pot, $22 in 6". Surrounding the sage are lantanas, 6" pots, $8.95, and moss roses, 4" pots, $4.95.
An eye-catching combination for a shady spot includes from top, Fairy Coral Queen Flowering Maple, $4.95, Heuchera Georgia Plum, $14.95, impatiens, $4.95, and vinca, left, or ivy, right, $4.95. This will last into fall.
When it's the typical hot and dry St. Louis weather and you're really busy and don't water very often, try this combination of hardy sedums: Sun Sparkler, top, $5.95, and Album Superbum, left, $3.95, shown with moss rose, right, $4.95.
In your pot will be located in full sun and you like a more traditional, in Lizzy's words, "preppy" container, consider mini coleus, petunias, and lemon licorice, right, $4.95 each. This combo will flower all summer long.
The last three suggestions are shown with single plants meant for smaller containers. Add three to five additional plants to larger pots. In hot weather, check to see if the pots need to be watered twice daily. And finally, the nursery will be getting fresh supplies of 4" plants from now into the fall, so check in often.
Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive, Monday to Saturday 9 to 6, Sunday 9 to 5, (314) 454-6868.
Earlier this month I stopped to visit Diana Gualdoni, a resident of Laclede Avenue whose been managing the Boyle Laclede Community Garden for the past few years. She and 8 other volunteers were in the process of expanding the community garden's footprint from 16 to 20 beds to accommodate a long-standing wait list of residents anxious to lease a plot. Once funds for the expansion were approved by the West Pine Laclede Neighborhood Association, the group got to work.
Funds were used to purchase lumber to construct the additional beds and a special blend of soil made for raised beds by St. Louis Composting. When the garden started approximately 6 years ago, both Gateway Greening and the City of St. Louis were valuable resources. The city tapped into a main in the street and provided a source of water for the garden which is turned on in the spring and off in late fall.
The garden, located in a cul-de-sac at the intersection of Laclede and Boyle, is perfectly aligned with the Arch, visible in the distance above.
The east side of the garden is filled with perennials, mostly Missouri natives. Since the group's interest is focused on vegetables and herbs, Diana is actively looking for someone to help maintain the perennial garden. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Diana (see end of post for info).
Diana, in grey hat above right, assumed the leadership role from Liz Wright-Jin, who started the garden and managed it for 3 years until she became too busy with her first baby and defending her thesis. Diana had just retired from the business office of the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at W. U. and had the time and passion to take over. Since the system was already set up and working well, she said it was easy to step into the role.
Another resident that has had an immense impact on the design of the garden is realtor Erv Janko, a talented woodworker who built the gazebo, the arbor, picnic tables, trellis entries, fencing, and with the recent funding from the association, wood frames for the new beds.
Plots are 4 x 4 or 4 x 8' and lease for $15 or $30 a year. Garden rules are posted at the entry and include the line, "If you didn't plant it, don't pick it." Diana said that people seem to respect the rules and they haven't had much problem with poachers, of the two-legged variety anyway.
Members also planted an herb garden that is located outside the fenced area and is available for everyone in the immediate neighborhood to enjoy.
There is an extensive composting system, partially visible to the left.
Not surprising that tomatoes are the most popular plant, followed by Swiss chard, carrots, garlic, and in cooler weather, lettuce.
Dan Gualdoni is the resident arborist and tends the nectarine, peach, and cherry trees as well as the grapevines growing on the arbor. He is currently devising a strategy to deal with whatever critter stripped the trees bearing almost-ripened fruit one night last summer.
This is a view of the expanded garden a few weeks after work was completed. Newer gardeners learn how many vegetables will fit in their plot by using the square-foot gardening system (see strings in top garden). The temptation at first is to crowd the plot, and laying out the grid helps.
At the end of August there is a community pot luck featuring bounty from the garden. By October the garden is winding down. The last work day takes place in November. At the end of January current members are asked to reserve spots, and then, if there are vacancies, word goes out to the neighbors.
Diana says that the garden is many things to many people. Members, of course, have the satisfaction of growing their own vegetables, but in addition, people walking by will stop and rest in the garden. Last summer she met a woman who came there every day while her husband was undergoing treatment at the Siteman Cancer Center. She told Diana the setting brought her peace and tranquility at an extremely difficult time.
If you have questions about the garden, or would like to help with the perennials, please contact Diana Gualdoni at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author events at Left Bank Books 7 p.m. Weds. Madelon Spengnether: Great River Road & Solstice; 7 p.m. Thurs. Rachel Spangler: "Heart of the Game"; 10:30 a.m. Sat., Carolyn Swartout Klein: "Painting for Peace in Ferguson," 399 N. Euclid.
On View at CWE Galleries Paintings by Metra Mitchell at Houska Gallery, 4728 McPherson; "Jefferson, NY" at Philip Slein Gallery, 4735 McPherson; "Into the Woods," Duane Reed Gallery, 4729 McPherson; "Battle of the Board," at World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland, New Work by Andy Leicht at The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson.