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                                                                                                   November 2009

Director's Message
by David Anderson, Utah Botanical Gardens

Lately I've been doing way too much complaining about the change in the weather. I really do enjoy living in northern Utah and the distinct qualities of spring, summer and fall. However, I have come to not enjoy winter so much. The important thing to remember is that winter begets spring.

I'm grateful, as I know you are, for the great bounty in our lives. We can have lively discussions about the newest variety of this vegetable or that perennial. In so many parts of the world, those discussions cannot happen, because simple survival is the constant topic of conversation.

I'm thankful for natural and manmade beauty. It enhances our lives. We learn so much by studying it, examining the intricacy and careful balance required to make nature function. It's wonderful to watch - the rebirth in the spring, the vigorous growth in the summer, the slowing and last burst of color in the fall, and yes, the restful peace of winter. I admit it, I'm even thankful for winter.

I'm also thankful for great staff members, associates and colleagues who help to make our gardens great places of learning. I'm grateful for wonderful volunteers who give selflessly to assist us. I'm grateful we were able to produce nearly 8,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for the food bank this summer - get ready for next year! And, I'm grateful for the progress we've made at both OBG and the UBC. Please enjoy this time of thanksgiving, and remember how blessed we all are.

Feature Article:
Shrubs for Winter Interest
by Richard Anderson

Designing a winter landscape that offers interest and excitement poses a unique challenge in the Intermountain West. It can be accomplished, however, by wisely placing a few colorful conifers, uniquely sculptured trees and well-chosen shrubs, perennials and grasses.

Winter gardens are best when elements such as form and texture are incorporated in the design
scheme and coupled with striking architecture or contrasts of light and dark. Any winter garden should include lots of evergreens of various sizes, forms and color. To add further interest you might consider, for example, incorporating shrubs and trees with colorful fruit and stems, exfoliating bark or weeping branches. Ornamental grasses with interesting seed heads and perennials that bloom in late winter or early spring can add even another dimension of depth and interest to the landscape.
Effective winter gardens should be situated so they become landscape vignettes viewed from the kitchen or living room window, add interest around entrances and patios and artfully play with dark and light backgrounds.

Take a look at these publications from USU Extension to help you plan your winter garden: Shrubs and Conifers for Utah

Featured Winter Tip:
Winter Stresses on Evergreens
by Jerry Goodspeed

We often think that once the outside water is turned off and the leaves have fallen, the plants are set for the winter and we do not have to worry about them until the spring.  For many plants this is true. However, for evergreens the winter can be a deadly time. 

Both broadleaf and conifer evergreens can be damaged by dry, warm winter winds.  Although their growth has slowed, they still use a little moisture.  The most susceptible seem to be laurels, evergreen euonymus, dwarf Alberta spruces, yews and boxwoods. 

If these plants play an important role in your landscape, you may want to consider some protection and give them a deep drink late in the fall and even in the winter when temperatures rise and there is no snow on the ground.  For more information, click here.

Featured Tree:
Neon Stonecrop
by Richard Anderson

Sedum spectible 'Neon'
Type:  perennial, succulent
Hardiness Zone: 5 (-20F)
Size: 8-12 inches tall
        12 inches wide
Neon is an old-fashioned, succulent perennial that offers a pink flower punch for the late summer garden. We recommend this stonecrop for gardens that are not of sufficient size to house the larger spectabile cultivars of 'Autumn Joy' or 'Matrona.' Toward mid-summer, flat, tightly packed flower heads appear just above the foliage. Each flower head opens to reveal masses of brilliant magenta flowers, which attract a host of pollinators.

Featured Tree:
Atlas Cedar
by JayDee Gunnell

Cedrus atlantica
Type:  Large evergreen
Zone:   6 (0 to -10F)
Size:    40-60 feet tall
           30-40 feet wide

Cedars have needles in tufts or clusters making them easy to distinguish from other evergreens. The Atlas cedar performs best in a well-drained soil and displays fair-to-good drought resistance in Utah. There are different colors of this species (atlantica) including blue, yellow and green. There are also different forms such as weeping, contorted, columnar and broad. Always consider the full size potential and different forms of this tree when planting.

The most common problem associated with Atlas cedars is improper plant placement. Its youthful nature of being open, thin and wispy has deceived many homeowners into planting the straight species (also known as the massive mastodon) too close to homes and other structures.

Down and Dirty Question and Answer:
How do I overwinter my carrots?

by Margaret Shao,  Salt Lake County Extension Agent
After harve
sting, trim green carrot tops about one-half inch from root.Keep carrots in the vegetable drawer in perforated plastic bags for several weeks.
Option 1: Select a sheltered spot, or dig a trench or hole about 12 inches deep, in well-drained soil where the temperature stays at 32 degrees consistently throughout the winter. Lay down about 8 inches of straw, harvest and pile carrots keeping the pile less than about 12 inches high, cover with another 10 inches of straw, then cover with additional 6 inches of soil.
Option 2: Leave carrots in ground, allowing the tops to die down.  Cover the carrots with a black polythene sheet or landscape fabric. Cover this with 12 inches of straw or similar material. Carrots will keep until spring temperatures warm up.Harvest all carrots, once temperatures warm in spring, so the energy in carrot roots do not divert into sending up new growth.

Upcoming Programs and Events

The educational building at Ogden Botanical Gardens has been closed for the winter, but the gardens themselves are still open and available for enjoyment.  If you have any yard and garden questions during the next three months, please call our Extension office at 801-399-8201.

Get Growing Calendar

► Visit the Utah Botanical Center, and Ogden Botanical Gardens to enjoy fall and winter.
► Apply 1/2 pound nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of turfgrass in early November.
►Mow the lawn between 1 1/2 to 2 inches high to prevent winter damage.
►Prepare evergreens for winter by trickling water from a hose about 2-4 feet away from the trunk, for 1 to 2 hours.
►Cut roses back to about 4 feet tall to prevent heavy snow load damage.
►Protect roses by mulching the base 4 to 6 inches above the graft union.
►Clean up perennials for winter by removing dead plant material and cutting them back to 2-4 inches high.
►Work organic matter into the garden to decompose throughout the winter. Apply nitrogen fertilizer to help break it down before tilling.
►Clean all tools and make sure they are dry before storing for winter. Sharpen and grease pruners and loppers.
►Seal and caulk openings around basements, windows and doorways to prevent spider invasions.
►Walk through crisp fall leaves and enjoy their crunch and aroma.

UTAH BOTANICAL CENTER-801-593-8969                                                                  OGDEN BOTANICAL GARDENS-801-399-8080
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Kaysville, Utah 84401                                                                                                                                           Ogden, Utah 84404                                                                                          
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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.
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