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                                                                                                   December 2009

Director's Message
by: David Anderson, Utah Botanical Center, and Jerry Goodspeed, Ogden Botanical Gardens
This year has simply flown by.  We have had some fun in Ogden and Kaysville and were able to build and grow some new gardens. Next year promises to be bigger and better. We can't wait.

We wish everyone a very happy holiday season and say thank you for making 2009 so successful. Some of you volunteered your time, talents and energy to help us and the people we serve. Many of you became members of the gardens this past year, and helped support our programs and demonstration gardens.  We invite you to consider giving a garden membership as a gift this holiday season.  We have many new workshops and events planned for the coming year, more plant sales, and a members-only sale with a special eve
ning of music, food and friends in the garden.
Memberships help us develop more gardens and green space for the future, so you can consider them gifts that keep growing. Again, we appreciate all your support and help, and wish everyone a merry Christmas  and prosperous new year.
Feature Article:
Caring for Your Poinsettia
by Maggie Shao, Extension Horticulture Agent

To care for your poinsettia, remember that these plants are grown in high relative humidity and high light intensity.  The plants do well when you can try to match these conditions. Tips for poinsettia care:
  • Place the plant in a location where it will have the most available sunlight. 
  • Keep the room temperature between 65-70 degrees during the day.
  • Remove foil wrap around pot when watering to prevent roots from sitting in water. Keep plants well watered, but not continually wet.
  • Grouping plants together on a pebble tray will help raise humidity around the plants themselves.
  • Avoid placing plants near doors or heating vents, as extremes of hot and cold will cause leaf drop.
Gift Ideas For Your Favorite Gardener

Gardener Gift #1
by Richard Anderson

A gardening book is a fantastic way to cheer up all of your gardening friends who suffer from the winter doldrums. Landscaping on the New Frontier is a practical, must-have
volume for any home or business owner wishing to landscape with native, drought-tolerant plants from the Intermountain West. The 256-page book is filled with full color illustrations and photos, and includes detailed descriptions of over 100 native plant species.
Help your friends learn how to use natural landscapes to inspire their own designed landscape. Landscaping on the New Frontier thoroughly discusses elements of landscape and irrigation design, shares practical ideas and provides examples of what other home and business owners have done to live in the context of their surroundings.
Landscaping on the New Frontier is available for purchase at the Utah Botanical Center for the price of $25.00. You can order the book by calling 801-593-8969.

Gardener Gift #2

by Dave Anderson

I'm a fan of my friend Owen Mortensen's work. He creates pieces of art from pressed leaves, seeds and flowers. He arranges them in beautiful patterns and abstract arrangements. I have a great piece in my office called "Forest Floor" that is a collage of maple, sumac, oak and aspen leaves and seeds, all arranged in a random pattern. Many of his works are more formally arranged, and all of them are beautiful.  I would wish for anything from Owen's shop. See his great web site by clicking here.

Gardener Gift #3
by JayDee Gunnell

Trees and shrubs are fast asleep, and any thoughts of pruning should be at least two to three months away from any gardener's mind. One of my favorite gift ideas for the holidays would have to be a nice set of hand pruners. I would consider this a staple accessory for any backyard gardener. A well-known truism is that the ease of the job at hand is directly correlated with the quality of the tools being used.

When purchasing hand pruners, keep in mind that there are two types:  anvil-type pruners have a sharp blade that presses down against a flat area (think of a knife and a chopping block), which crushes more than cuts and bypass pruners which are far superior and work much like scissors. These pruners make cleaner cuts and make it easier for the plant to seal the wound (example of a bypass hand pruner shown at left).  Without endorsing any particular brand or company: Felco, Fiskars and Corona are all readily available at local nurseries and garden centers.

Gardener Gift #4

by Jerry Goodspeed

My dream gift is a trip to New Zealand for a two-week excursion to examine the native flora and gardens of this island country.  However, since that is not in the near future (nor really possible for most gardeners) I would love to receive a lar
ge painting pad and some pastels or water colors.  I am not much of an artist, but I have found that most gardeners who love to work with their hands and create beauty outdoors also enjoy creating a little beauty through painting or, in my case, some elaborate doodling.  This helps get me through those dark days of winter.  Of course, a new set of golf clubs is always welcomed...
Down and Dirty Question and Answer:
How can I discourage deer from dining in my yard?

by Jerry Goodspeed, Utah State University Extension horticulturist

  • Plants most adversely affected by deer are shrubs and fruit trees. Since gardeners keep fruit trees low to the ground to be sprayed, pruned and harvested, this makes them a perfect target for deer looking for a snack. Shrubs are also at the right level for most deer. Other plants, such as trees and perennials, are either dormant or have died back to the ground during the winter, so they are usually safe from deer. 
  • Trees need to be protected most when they are small. A physical barrier on the tree will usually protect them. Once a tree reaches about 10 to 12 feet tall, it can normally withstand a little winter munching. Because of their height, shrubs are more difficult to protect from deer. 
  • There are many unusual remedies for keeping deer out of the yard including hanging hair from branches, placing bars of soap in the shrubs, playing a tape of dogs barking and soaking plants in cougar and bear waste. However, more conventional and easier-to-obtain repellants are available at local nurseries and garden centers. They must be re-applied on a regular basis, but they can be effective in reducing deer damage when applied according to label directions.  
  • The best protection against deer damage is a tall fence or wall. Most deer can jump shorter fences 5 to 6 feet tall. With a little snow on the ground, they can almost walk over some fences.  An electric fence can work, but it can be an eyesore for most landscapes. Fences generally work in deterring deer, but they are not always practical or aesthetically appealing. 
  • The best way to deter deer is to select plants that are low on their list of favorite foods.  A hungry deer will eat almost anything, but these plants should make them move swiftly to your neighbor's plants: Serviceberry, Spirea, Barberry, Cotoneaster, Elderberry, Laurel, Juniper, Lilac, Viburnum, Daphne, Firethorn, Forsythia, Heath, Kerria, Oregon Grape Holly, Redtwig dogwood, Sweet mockorange and Weigela.
Keep in mind that deer will sample almost any plant, but using these varieties can keep grazing to a minimum and reduce landscape damage during the winter.
Extension Holiday Links

Christmas Tree Selection and Care
Holiday Plant Care

Utah-Grown Christmas Trees

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.

The Utah House at the Utah Botanical Center is open for tours and sustainable living tips each weekday from 1-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The house will be closed for the holidays on December 24, 25, 26, 31 and New Year's Day.

UTAH BOTANICAL CENTER-801-593-8969                                                                  OGDEN BOTANICAL GARDENS-801-399-8080
725 South Sego Lily Drive                                                                                                                            1750 Monroe Boulevard
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.
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