Volunteering at Kingwood

By MacKenzie Cole

Though the snow-covered landscape surrounding us tries to deny it, Spring is coming. With its arrival, Kingwood will begin another exciting season filled with beautiful gardens, informative workshops, and exciting events. With so many activities to plan and so many plants to care for, you may wonder how Kingwood manages to keep it all together and maintain its serene, yet ever changing, atmosphere.  The answer? One big group of some seriously dedicated volunteers!

This group of volunteers prepares the trial beds for a beautiful annual display

This group of volunteers prepares the trial beds for a beautiful annual display

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Service Building Addition, A Critical Prelude

By Chuck Gleaves

It is exciting times at Kingwood Center Gardens right now. We are breaking out of our chrysalis to create a vastly enhanced visitor experience with our first ever visitor center accompanied by new gardens and expanded parking in a garden setting. Construction is scheduled to begin in March of 2019. As a prelude to all of that and to make it possible for us to manage our dramatically larger and better public attractions we will first make a large addition to our service building.

The Service Building in 1966 shortly After completion. (The new wing will be about where the cars are parked.)

The Service Building in 1966 shortly After completion. (The new wing will be about where the cars are parked.)

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Tech in the Garden: The Top 3 Free Horticulture Apps

By Doug Schuster

Those of us who enjoy the outdoors and gardening tend to downplay screens and technology in our lives. We also tend to encourage others to put down the devices and experience what’s in front of them. At some point, they’ll hopefully move from a casual experience of the natural world to wanting to know what type of tree they are looking at, why a particular plant is good or bad, or just connect with other gardeners. Here are three free apps for your phone or tablet that will enhance your experience with horticulture but not consume you.

Apps for Gardening

Apps for Gardening

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Catalogs

By Chuck Gleaves

Winter is the time for gardeners to read, study, and plan. Inevitably, interesting planting ideas come up and the question arises, “where can I get the necessary plants”. If you wait to see if your area garden centers will be offering them you may be disappointed at a time that is almost too late to order through the mail. The search for each perennial offers a different challenge. For example, I have long admired the giant red stalks of Angelica atropurpureagrowing in a field along my drive home from work, and I recently decided this is the year I am going to grow them in my own garden. As a native plant that is rarely cultivated I assumed I would have to look at native plant specialists. One of my favorites is Prairie Moon Nursery in Winona, Minnesota. They offer bare root Angelica for only $4.00 each. I’ll take five please. Prairie Moon Nursery is also one of the rare retail nurseries that sells flats of plants. So often in modern planting styles, scores of plants are needed. Conveniently they offer flats of 38 plants at a very reasonable price (for retail). Last year I ordered a flat of the native Geranium maculatum. Booming Designs Nursery in Auburn, Georgia is another retailer who sells perennials by the flat. I just discovered them recently and hope to place my first order with them this year.

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Houseplants in Winter

By Carly Hatfield

Albert Camus said, “In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Ohio winters seem to challenge my usually sunny disposition as well as the health of my houseplants. I am determined however to fight the cold Ohio winter until spring arrives. I like to pass the time by caring for my many houseplants. For every window in my house, there is a plant, or two or three.

HP1    HP2

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Wintertime in the Greenhouse

By Holly VanKeuren

As wintertime surrounds us, it is a wonderful time of year to be in the greenhouse.  Entering this world on a frozen, snowy day brings relief, if only briefly, from the tundra that chills us outside.  A deep breath within the welcoming doors brings the smell of humidity, soil, and the delicate perfumes of the plant life held here, safe under a layer of glass from the arctic blast outside.  This is the time of year for reflection upon the world outside, from the safe comfort of our inside worlds.  At this time of year I can look upon my wins or fails of my garden, and begin to dream again about the new life that will come with the spring.  Here in the greenhouse we are busy with the cultivation of this new life.  Here is where tiny seedlings are coaxed and fussed over, where new life is bursting forth one tiny leaf at a time.

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In the Holiday Spirit

By Glenna W. Sheaffer

Botanicals used in alcoholic spirits have been around since probably prehistory.  Beers, wines, aperitifs, digestifs, bitters, liquors, and liqueurs were one way to get people in the old days to drink medicinal bitter aids to the digestive system and get important vitamins and minerals in the body.  Aperitifs were often dry vermouth, gin or dry white wine with herbals added to aid digestion and stimulate an appetite.  The herbs commonly used were gentian root, barberry, angelica and seeds of cardamom and fennel.  Aperitifs are low in sugars and dryer with a more bitter flavor.  Digestifs are like a tonic to aid after dinner digestion and include brandy, port, sherry and liqueurs.  Port is a dark red wine from Portugal is made from specific small, dense, grapes with concentrated flavors.  Sherry is a white wine from Spain from their indigenous grapes.  Brandies and liqueurs are from grapes and other fruits.  Bitters are added to cocktails for their healthful flavoring often from bitter or sweet oranges, rhubarb, mint, thyme, and marjoram.

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Pansy Seeding

By Laura Mast

It’s that time of year again when everyone is thinking about the holiday’s and what they’re going to have for the meal and what gifts will be bought. It’s also the time of year in the greenhouse when we begin seeding for spring our early spring crop. That’s right! We start pansies during December so they are ready to sell and be planted in April for the first crop of the year.

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