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August 2009

Director's Message
by Jerry Goodspeed, Ogden Botanical Gardens

This has been a fun year. The wet June has given way to the hot July and brought many changes to the gardens. Most are good; some are just a little challenging. I guess that's what makes gardening fun and interesting, and usually enjoyable. 

We wanted to thank the members who joined us for a great day in the mountains looking at wildflowers and the other beautiful sights found in our surrounding mountains. It was great, and I hope all those who attended felt refreshed and rejuvenated. Attached are a couple of pictures of the beauty we saw and friends we made. We hope those who missed the tour will join us next year. 

If you missed because you were not a member, well, we can fix that.  For information on becoming a member of the garden, go to


Feature Article:
Utah Botanical Center Garden Fair
by Richard Anderson

The 2009 Garden Fair celebrates five years at the Utah Botanical Center. The annual event is scheduled for Saturday, August 29 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The plant sale, which features beautiful and interesting plants well suited for Utah landscapes, is located adjacent to the Rasmussen Teaching Garden at the Greenhouse Complex (visit for directions or click here for a location map of the UBC). UBC staff members will be available to answer questions and offer advice on plant selections. 
Free advice on how-to incorporate water-wise plants into the landscape will be available at the Water-wise Landscape Design booth. All we ask is that you bring pictures and/or a site map of your home. In addition, prize tickets for a free water-wise plant package (worth approximately $200) can be picked up at the booth or from a UBC staff person. The winner will be announced at 2 p.m. on Saturday (you do not need to be present to win).

Here are a few ideas to help you shop smartly at the Utah Botanical Center's Garden Fair Plant Sale:

  • Become a Friend of the Garden member and take advantage of discounts on plant purchases.
  • Consider bringing a wagon to carry your plant treasures. The Utah Botanical Center will have flat trays to carry plants, which can be picked up at the cashier stand.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions of our friendly and knowledgeable staff and volunteers. Just look for someone wearing a Utah Botanical Center t-shirt. Be sure to ask one of them for a Plant Giveaway ticket.
  • The cashiers will accept cash, checks and credit/debit cards. Check the signs above them to see which cashiers take which forms of payment.
  • Keep the environment in mind and recycle your used nursery containers. The Utah Botanical Center will provide a recycle bin for your convenience.

Featured Perennial:
Walker's Low Catmint
by Richard Anderson

Type: perennial, clump  
Hardiness Zone: 4 (-30F)
Size: 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide
Description: Walker's Low (Nepeta x "Walker's Low') is a mounding catmint. It features loose whorls of small, prolific, two-lipped, trumpet-shaped, purplish-blue flowers that spike atop square, leafy stems with oval, intricately-veined, aromatic, gray-green foliage. Blooms, 8 to 9 inches long, appear in spring and can continue to bloom into fall under optimum growing conditions and proper deadheading of spent flower spikes. Nepetas prosper in average, dry-to-medium wet, well-drained soils in full sun. Once established, Walker's Low will tolerate hot, dry locations. Nepetas can be cut back in early spring just above the newly emerging foliage. Try this cultivar at the front of the perennial and shrub border, herb garden, naturalized planting, or even the container garden. It combines well with the spikes of Penstemons, the yellows of Coreopsis and Helenium, or gently laced and woven between the blades of ornamental grasses such as Helictotrichon or Pennisetum. It attracts butterflies and bees.

Featured Pest:
Summer Scorch
by Jerry Goodspeed

Each summer, about the time we are all enjoying a nice, hot day on the lake or patio, our trees start to show signs of heat stress. This is a common ailment of many of our large-leaved trees that struggle with moving water fast enough to cool their leaves. The leaves of such trees as maples, poplars (cottonwoods), horse chestnuts and catalpas will start to burn along the edges. This is known as summer scorch.

Our hot, arid conditions, along with our dry, southwest winds, create an environment where the trees are transpiring faster than the water can be replenished. This in turn causes the edges of the leaves to scorch. This condition is normally not fatal, but can weaken the tree making it more vulnerable to other pests. 

The best treatment is to make sure the tree is as healthy as possible and give it a deep drink every two weeks or so. Water the tree long enough to penetrate the root zone 10 to 18 inches below the soil surface. This may require allowing some water to dribble around the base of the tree for a few hours. For more information, go to

Featured Tree:
Common Horsechestnut
by JayDee Gunnell

(Aesculus hippocastanum)
Type: Large shade tree
Zone: 4 to 7 (to -30F)
Size: 40 to 50 feet tall and 40 to 50 feet wide
Description: This large shade tree provides unique flowers and foliage along with dense, summer shade. The creamy-white flowers, which appear in early-to-late May, are situated upright. From a distance, they give the appearance of multiple perched birds throughout the canopy. These flowers give way to large smooth nuts covered by thick, spiky husks. Though the nut is not edible, it is considered to be very useful to children prowling for projectiles. The large palmate (hand-like) leaves are perfect for offering deep, dense shade during the hot summer months. However, because the leaves have such a large surface area, the margins of the leaves tend to get scorched during hot/dry summers. 

Down and Dirty Question:
What's the Science Behind Fall Leaf Color?
by Dr. Larry Rupp, USU Extension Horticulture Specialist

Green and yellow pigments give leaves their shades of green. Autumn's short days and cool nights cause the green pigment to disappear, but not the yellow. Sunny autumn days and sugars in the leaves also result in new red pigments. The relative concentrations of green, yellow and red pigments give trees their fall colors. A combination of good soil moisture; short, dry, warm, sunny days; and cool nights, but no freezing, gives the best fall colors.

Upcoming Programs and Events

Sustainable Living Workshop: Food Preservation
Thursday, August 20, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Utah House
Featured speaker: Carolyn Washburn. Home food preservation is a safe, personally rewarding and economical way to preserve quality food. This evening session will provide on overview of home preservation including water bath, pressure canner, drying, freezing and information on pickles and jams, as well as hands-on demonstrations. The class is held at the Utah House at the Utah Botanical Center. The cost to participate in the workshop is $5. Contact Jayne Mulford at 801-544-3089 or to register. Visit for more information.
Dessert First: Get Ready for Fall
Friday, August 21, 12-1 p.m. at the Ogden Botanical Gardens
This class is taught by Barney Barnett, owner of Willard Bay Gardens. It will provide you with valuable information to start looking ahead to fall, plus Barney is an expert on perennials and bulbs. He will share some tips on fall preparations to bring beauty into your landscape throughout the growing season.  Plan to join us that day. All Dessert First Classes are FREE and open to the public, so no pre-registration is required. Just plan to arrive at the Education Building at noon. 

2009 Garden Fair and Plant Sale
Saturday, August 29, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Utah Botanical Center
Free advice on how-to incorporate water-wise plants into the landscape will be available at the Water-wise Landscape Design booth. The plant sale, which features beautiful and interesting plants well suited for Utah landscapes, will be located adjacent to the Rasmussen Teaching Garden at the Greenhouse Complex.

Drying Flowers to Make Botanical Cards
Thursday, September 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Ogden Botanical Gardens
Thursday, September 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Utah Botanical Center

This class is taught by Marie Kawaguchi, Weber County Master Gardener. Card-making is an enjoyable creative outlet, and being able to dry and use lovely flowers from your own landscape are a rewarding part of this process. Marie has been designing botanicals for some time and will share valuable tips and hints for selecting and drying desirable flowers to use in making your own greeting cards and stationary. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for others. Call 801-399-8201 for registration at the OBG, or call 801-451-3403 for registration at the UBC.

Sustainable Living Workshop: Sustainable Clothing Choices
Tuesday, September 8, 7-8 p.m. at the Utah House
Featured speaker: Lindsey Shirley, Ph.D., Utah State University Cooperative Extension. The number of options available to us for clothing purchases has greatly increased, just like many other consumer goods. Come to this workshop to learn about some of the impacts of traditional clothing materials and to explore some alternative materials that have a smaller environmental impact, while still providing comfort and style. The class is held at the Utah House at the Utah Botanical Center. The cost to participate in the workshop is $5. Contact Jayne Mulford at 801-544-3089 or to register. Visit for more information.

Utah Botanical Center Farmer's Market
Thursdays through October 1, 5-8 p.m. at the Utah Botanical Center
You'll find local produce, artisan foods, crafts and expert help for garden and landscape questions. Spend the evening shopping the market and visiting the gardens and the ponds. Visit for more information.

Every Tuesday, 1-4 p.m. at the USU Davis County Master Gardener Office, Davis Co. Courthouse, Farmington;
Every Wednesday, 3-6 p.m. at the Ogden Botanical Gardens

Need help with something in your landscape? Bring in a sample of a tree branch, section of an ailing plant, leaf, an insect pest, chunk of turfgrass (4-6-inches on the margin of the problem) or a weed you don't know how to handle. Just walk in and we will have someone there to help you! Leave with the problem identified and ideas for control.

Click here for a complete list of events at the Utah Botanical Center
Click here for a complete list of events at the Ogden Botanical Gardens

Get Growing Calendar

► Fertilize annuals with a water-soluble fertilizer to give them an extra boost.
► Mow the lawn 2 to 3 inches tall.
► Apply between 2 to 2 inches of water per week to the lawn.
► Apply the second application of borer control to the lower 1 to 2 feet of trunk on stone fruit trees.
► Deadhead perennials that have already bloomed.

► Keep spraying to control codling moths in apple and pear trees.
► Enter your prize-winning veggies in the county fair crops division or favorite flowers in the floral division.
► Give trees a deep-watering every couple of weeks.
► Apply dipel or thuricide to protect petunias, geraniums and nicotiana from tobacco budworm invasions.
► Pick zucchini's while they are the size of a small banana, not as big as a 2-ton truck.

UTAH BOTANICAL CENTER-801-593-8969                                                                  OGDEN BOTANICAL GARDENS-801-399-8080
725 South Sego Lily Drive                                                                                                                 1181 North Fairgrounds Drive
Kaysville, Utah 84401                                                                                                                                           Ogden, Utah 84404                                                                                          
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.
Click Here for Map                                                                                                                                                  Click Here for Map