Sep 17 2014

News from Kruse

Filed under Kruse House

As summer is winding down and the coneflowers, daisies and day lilies are fading, we’ve been dead heading, but leaving some seed heads for the birds.  Many flowers are still brightly blooming including sweet pea, moon flowers, black-eyed susan, caryopteris and sunflowers.  The hosta Royal Standard, planted last year, produced numerous white blossoms that are incredibly fragrant.

Double False Sunflower

Double false sunflower (Heliopis hilianthoides ‘Asahi’) a mid-sized,  bushy clump of dark green leaves and golden yellow fully double daisy flowers; height 24–36 inches; soil – moist/well drained; blooms July, Aug, Sept.

Check out this sunny specimen located between the tool shed and the pond.

Monarch Butterfly

This Monarch was spotted mid-August in the garden.  Did you know in their larval stage, monarch caterpillars feed almost exclusively on milkweed and as adults get nutrients from the nectar of flowers? Monarchs that live east of the Rocky Mountains will migrate to Mexico while monarchs that live west of the Rockies migrate to southern California.  The number of monarchs has significantly declined, so please help protect these beautiful little creatures and plant milkweed in your gardens.


Angie’s philosophy of weeding is “when in doubt, toss it out”.  Billie prescribes to the rule of “use your soil knife to dig out the root”.  Kerry is learning not to micro-manage weeds, but to be ruthless – dig them out!  Tom’s favorite gardening tool is a sharp hoe that works well for weeds with very shallow roots. The best time to remove weeds is when the soil is damp and moist.

Lively Conversation

As we tend the Kruse garden, conversation goes in all directions or down many paths.  Pulling pig weed led to recalling a TV episode of Julia Child guiding a pig through the woods searching for morel mushrooms.  Then, Tom was reminded of the phrase “even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while”. That led to the derivation of curious expressions.  Join us; not only is weeding fun, but the chatter is too.

A Rose is a Rose is a Rosa

A frequent debate among gardeners is whether we should call plants by their common name or their botanical names.  A plant’s botanical name is its only positive identification.  Master gardeners use the botanical names or what some refer to as real names.  Have at it…it’s fun to learn new languages, especially the language of flowers.

-Kerry, Billie, Angie and Tom

Aug 13 2014

News from Kruse

Filed under Kruse House

Mush Mummies: During the last part of July and most of August, picking mush mummies is a common garden task. “What’s that” you say? Well, some of the ‘Krusies’ hadn’t heard this term before either, so as all good reporters strive to do, we will share this nugget of horticultural knowledge. The past blooms of Hemerocallis (Greek term meaning beautiful for a day), commonly known as daylilies, are called mush mummies. A reference describes them as “wet globs of tissue paper, slimy creatures” and recommends daily dead-heading. It was noted that “they are especially troublesome when the flowers are purple and leave grape juice stains on your hands”. We aren’t as diligent as recommended, in the Kruse garden, but we did pick a few mush mummies and Tom kept asking “what are these called again?” And now I’ll leave this fascinating subject with a tongue twister: Mummies munch much mush.

Bushel Baskets: Hurray!!! We now have 3 new wooden bushel baskets for collecting our weeds and deadheads! June Luther donated two and Barbara Carlisle donated one. Thank you very much! No more excuses for strewing. Just go get a basket!

Ice Cream Social: The Historical Society will hold its annual fund raiser Sat. September 6th. The home baked cakes and pies along with the ice cream are an exquisite treat and the silent auction offers a host of desirable items. It’s also another chance to see the garden. We’re making an extra push for it to look nice. That’s a challenge at this time of year but we’re up for it! See you there!

Angie: We have been without our leader for a time due to Angie’s illness. It doesn’t always go so well when the boss is gone, but we limped along. By the time you read this we trust she will be well on the road to recovery. Good thing. We can’t do it without you Angie!

Perennial Ageratum: We finally have some of this plant established in the garden and are looking forward to its cheerful August and September blooms. Marion, thanks for yet another wonderful donation! Eupatorium coelestinum, also known as Mistflower, looks like the annual argeratum, grows 2 feet tall, likes sun but tolerates shade. It needs virtually no care. It comes up late in the Spring, which is why you don’t see it at our Plant Sale. The only complaint I’ve heard of, is that for some, the seedlings are a problem. I’ve had the plant in my garden over 5 years and have nothing but praise for it. It combines well with Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ or ‘Viette’s Little Suzy’ or better yet, with pink Japanese Anemone. It’s an old standard for gardens since its introduction in 1850.

Well, that’s about it for all the news that isn’t. Enjoy the last days of summer. See you at our monthly meeting.

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