Well, we can't let this one go by. As if spring in the Ozarks hasn't been freaky enough, Friday and Saturday, May 3rd & 4th, we had sleet and snow, which set a record for the late occurrence of such gifts in the Springfield, Missouri area.
One apparent casualty, we thought, was the bowl of pansies at left. We had hopes, however, and sure enough, the low never dropped below 32 and the following Tuesday our pansies were back, as shown at right.
Another apparent casualty was an orange 'Dreamland' zinnia we'd just planted. It managed to acquire a nice cap of ice and snow and we thought it most likely a goner, as the 'Dreamland' variety of zinnia in the past has seemed especially tender, but lo and behold, it too came back, as you can see at right.
"Whew!" we say.
Our siege of cold and snow and sleet was harrowing for gardeners so eager to get going with their gardens that they'd already planted. It did, however, give us a chance to take some sort-of-interesting pictures. We just liked the tree and the circle beneath it for the photo at left.
Now, and fortunately, it seems we're past our snow, ice, and freezing temps for this year, with a real time-to-plant spring in the offing. The week-ahead forecast for the Springfield, Missouri, area calls for highs in the 60's, 70's, and even an 82 next week, with lows no lower than 43. With that, let's leave our green-ink notes this time around with a photo of the first blossom of spring on one of our very favorite lilacs.
If you like our little "Green Ink Notes", or find them a little helpful, in response to quite a few requests we've posted a whole bunch of them here.
|THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE IS OPEN!|
THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE IS OPEN!! The wonderful Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House in the Springfield Botanical Gardens is open for the season. This is the only butterfly house with Missouri native butterflies and the plants they feed on. The Botanical Gardens are at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield, Missouri. Note: Admission to the Butterfly House is always FREE.
|A New Farmers Market|
Springfield, Missouri, has a brand new farmers market. Formed by veteran market vendors, the James River Farmers Market up and running and open from 8 a.m. till noon Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. For some colorful details, click here.
|National Recognition for an Ozarks Daylily Garden|
The beautiful Daylily Garden in the Springfield Botanical Gardens in Springfield, Missouri, has been named a "national display garden" by the national daylily society known as the American Hemerocallis Society. It's a great distinction that will bring visitors from all over the U.S. to the Ozarks. For the details, including the people who made this amazing garden, click here.
|Greene County Master Gardeners Hotline Open for the Season|
All you have to do to get great Master Gardeners answers to just about all the lawn, tree, shrub, flower, or garden questions you can come up with.is dial 417-881-8909 ext. 320. The Hotline goes from 9-4 Monday through Friday. Give it a try. It works. At left, Master Gardener Liz Taylor brings good humor to the job.
|A Brand New Botanical Garden|
Katie Steinhoff, director of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and Gardens, likes the centerpiece column and memorial bench in the newest garden in Springfield, Missouri's, Close Memorial Park. The Peace Garden is a gift to the park honoring the memory of the late Joan Collins, longtime teacher and peace activist, from her friend Mariel Caldwell. Note: The Peace Garden is the 36th garden in the botanical complex at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield. Katie says that in time plants will be added to the memorial structures.
|A Very Special New Feature|
We've finally posted the Botanical Blog by Peter Longley to this website. In this remarkable feature Peter, novelist, general horticultural whiz, and gardener extraordinaire, keeps folks up to date on doings at the beautiful Springfield Botanical Gardens in Springfield, Missouri, where he serves as "horticultural interpreter." We're grateful for Peter's permission to post the Blog. You'll find it here.
|The Horticultural Library|
If it's a little botanical research you're after, or just some enjoyable reading about gardening or landscaping, we can't do better than recommend the Lois K. Boswell Horticultural Library at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, 2400 South Scenic in Springfield, Missouri. As the collection continues to grow, Director Katie Steinhoff, left, is asking for suggestions of books to add to the collection. Books can't be checked out, but all are invited to read in the Library.
|A Colorful Surprise|
Marilyn McCowan of Springfield, Missouri, was delighted to discover wild delphiniums still in flower on November 20, 2012. The scene was the beautiful Wildflower Garden in the city's Springfield Botanical Gardens. Marilyn, an avid gardener and retired commercial grower of perennial plants, was helping with the Garden's winter cleanup. She plans as soon as possible to join the Friends of the Garden, the volunteer group of more than a thousand people who together create, maintain, and improve the botanical gardens and raise funds for their support. Marilyn is more than enthusiastic about the Springfield Botanical Gardens--she believes they are "our region's greatest asset." The Gardens--and there are now 36 individual gardens altogether--are located in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park at 2400 South Scenic in Springfield. A Hot Tip: You can find out much, much more about this wonderful attraction by checking the last note below.
|Unthinkable, But True|
To many it's unthinkable, but it's happening: Greene County, Missouri, is losing elements of its Missouri University Extension program. Why? Because the County Commission has cut funding from $95,000 in 2009 to the state-mandated minimum of $10,000 per year. Support staff has already been cut and 4-H Youth Development Specialist Velynda Cameron, an educator recognized nationally, has been transferred to Polk County, a move said to greatly diminish Greene County's 4-H program, which now serves 271 young people. To see what other key services, including Master Gardener training, may be lost to the county's 275,174 residents if the program doesn't receive additional funding, click here.
|Hey, Where Are The Ads?|
As one person put it, "I like buying garden supplies online with the ads on your website, but I don't see any now. Will you have new ones?" No, we're keeping the website ad-free to encourage people to buy their seeds, plants, and other garden supplies from their local growers, nurseries, and garden centers. This helps hardworking independent local suppliers and keeps dollars in one's own community. We hope any inconvenience caused by the absence of ads here is offset by realizing the good achieved for so many when we buy locally.
We're keeping this note for a while because this canny eye and enigmatic smile belong to Kansan Cheryl Unruh, who we think is the best writer in America. She's so good that she always makes us think of William Allen White, who with his consummately sane, truthful take on the world became the voice of the midwest and to a great degree a conscience for America in the early 20th Century. White owned and edited the Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas, for which, fittingly, Cheryl writes a column today. If you love the midwest, you won't be sorry if you visit her website at www.flyoverpeople.net/news.
What does this have to do with gardening? That's easy. Cheryl's letting the Friends of the Garden use two of her photos in their campaign to create a new Sensory Garden in Springfield, Missouri. That garden is a story in itself, and we'll tell you more about it soon.
|The Springfield Botanical Gardens Story|
The Springfield Botanical Gardens and its centerpiece Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center are open and drawing thousands of visitors and you can click here for news of how it all came to be and the many benefits it brings to the Ozarks, and indeed, all of the Midwest.