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January 2009
A New Year for Continued Progress
by David Anderson, Utah Botanical Center

As 2008 draws to a close, we look back on accomplishments of this past year and look forward to opportunities and growth in 2009. At the Ogden Botanical Gardens, a beautiful new water-wise perennial garden and a native plant terrace garden were completed. A membership program was created at OBG this year as well. The Utah Botanical Center celebrated the completion of Wetland Discovery Point. This new sustainable classroom will provide dynamic learning opportunities to thousands of school children in the future. The UBC also completed a new public restroom, added a unique water feature to the Rasmussen Teaching Garden, installed new fencing and earthwork near I-15, and started construction on a large new stream.

We are looking forward to continued growth and progress in 2009.  Starting with this January edition, we will be producing "The Garden View" newsletter monthly to provide you with helpful plant and gardening information. We will also be offering more public classes at both the UBC and OBG. We look forward to successful plant sales, fun family nights, the summer farmers market and other activities and events.

We express appreciation to the fine staff members of the OBG, UBC and USU Extension who put forth great effort and expertise to care for the gardens and provide great horticulture learning. We look forward to sharing information and events with you in the coming months. Happy New Year!

mantid   Feature Article:
  Wetland Discovery Point Completed

  The newest building at the Utah Botanical Center is also among  
  the most environmentally friendly structures in the state.
  Wetland Discovery Point will be the home of many education
  programs at the UBC and was designed and built to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum Certification, the highest ranking awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. There are currently just 94 Platinum certified buildings in the United States and none are in Utah.

At the November 14 dedication, Utah State University President Stan Albrecht said, "We are in turbulent times ... many of us wake up every morning wondering if we will find the bottom of all of this soon. But when we see projects like this, we see the future. We see positive things that will benefit us and our children."

Read More of this Feature

mantidFeatured Insect:
by Jerry Goodspeed

One of the most common beneficial insects is the mantid, often called the praying mantid. These insects are quite large in size and are recognizable by most people. Mantids are related to the grasshoppers and katydids. Although it is true that mantids eat other insects, they are also somewhat cannibalistic in their nature. This can reduce the amount of mantids in the landscape and make them less effective in actually controlling other pests. 

The female mantid lays her eggs in the fall in an egg case that can hold up to 400 eggs. These cases resemble a light-colored Brazil nut in shape and size, but are quite fragile. They can be found on rocks, siding, wood piles and branches. In the spring the eggs hatch, and they start to eat the first food they come in contact with, which is too often each other. 
Mantid egg cases can be bought on-line or at some nurseries. However, because of their cannibalistic nature and the fact that they may also eat other beneficial insects, they are not noted as a very effective pest control method. Erin Hodgson and Ron Patterson have just finished a fact sheet on the mantids and it can be accessed at

Featured Tree:
Giant Weeping Sequoia
by JayDee Gunnelll

Giant W
eeping Sequoia
(Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum')
Type:  Medium-large, weeping evergreen
Zone:   6 (0 to -10F)
Size:    30-plus feet talll
             Varied width
Description: While the species could be considered too large (reaching over 100'), the cultivar 'Pendulum' has merit in the urban landscape. Its unique growth habit adds a definite flare to the landscape, and much like falling snowflakes, no two are exactly the same. The upright and erratic growth of this tree conjures images of a lumbering giant more so than that of a tree. It performs best in well-drained soils, and as with other evergreens, needs even moisture during dry winters. Because of the marginal cold hardiness, it would be prudent to plant the tree in a protected area.  

Featured Perennial:perennial
Sundancer Daisy
by Richard Anderson

Hymenoxis acaulis, commonly called Sundancer Daisy, is a hardy, tufted perennial that grows naturally across vast regions of the Intermountain West between elevations of 4,000-7,000 feet. Here at the Utah Botanical Center, it has performed superbly as a low accent in both formal and naturalized plantings. In fact, it bloomed profusely until the first part of December this year. It generally will not get larger than 15" tall or wide and its yellow flowers combine nicely with other water-wise plants such as Utah sweetvetch (Hedysarum boreale), firechalice (Zauschneria garrettii), butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), beardtongues (Penstemon ssp.), sulfurflower buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum), and fringed sagebrush (Artemisia frigida). We recommend this plant for a dry, sunny area of the garden. Regular deadheading during the growing season will extend the bloom season as well as maintain a tidy appearance.

The Garden Calendar

► Plan your garden on paper using a pencil and eraser.
► For ambitious gardeners, start seeds indoors in a sunny, warm location.
► Trim back the poinsettia to just a few leaves if you plan to keep it.  Otherwise, add it to the compost pile.
► Enjoy the garden catalogs and try some new, exciting seeds.
► Sharpen the pruning equipment and get ready to prune.
► Sharpen shovels and other equipment to prepare for spring gardening.
► Be sure to use snow melt (as little as possible) to eliminate snow and ice.  Do not use fertilizer and salt on the driveway and sidewalks.
► Hope for large amounts of snow in the mountains so we will have a good water year.

utah house  Utah Botanical Center Upcoming Events

  February 11        Menu for the Future discussion group, 7 p.m. at the Utah House
  March 7               Energy Merit Badge Class, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Utah House
  March 21             Environmental Science Class, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Utah House

Ogden Botanical Gardens Upcoming Events

March 5    "Putting a Wall Together" wreath-making class with Dion Gooch, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
                  (Community classes held the first Thursday of each month. A schedule will be available soon.)
March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 16     Landscape Design Course, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
                    (Email or call 801-399-8201 to for registration information.)
March 28    Pruning Classes - Pruning fruit trees, shrubs, ornamentals and roses, 9 a.m. to noon. 
                    (Everyone in the community can select classes of interest.)
April 17     "Dessert First" Class - Grafting with Mike Pace, 12 to 1 p.m.
                    (On the third Friday of each month, "Dessert First" classes will be held with instruction by state
                    specialists. We will eat dessert first, or bring a lunch to eat first if you would like, and then receive
                    valuable educational instruction.)

UTAH BOTANICAL CENTER-801-593-8969                                              OGDEN BOTANICAL GARDENS-801-399-8080                                                                      
GARDENING HELP LINE                                                                                                                  GARDENING HELP LINE
Phone: 801-451-3204 (M,W,F) 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.                         Phone: 801-399-8080 (Mon-Fri) 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.