July 2011
President's Message
watanabe tour highlight
Garden Tour 2011 highlight by Nan Rochberg.




U City in Bloom's 2011 Garden Tour's committee is hard at work and making great progress on an exciting event. Committee volunteers are focused on sponsorship for the Tour Brochure, getting the word out to "friends" on our new UCB Facebook page and through our media sponsor, the University City Patch.com.

The gardens chosen for the Tour are not just among University City's loveliest private gardens, they also demonstrate the creativity shown by our community gardeners in tackling a variety of urban gardening problems. What do you do with great space in the front of your house and not so great space in the back yard? How do you develop a unique garden in the limited backyard of a duplex? And how do you recreate a garden from home when your home was in Japan? These are just some of the questions our host gardeners have had to address in creating their gardens.

We also invite tour guests to make a "stop off" at a garden of special interest - the Clemens Community Garden, the largest and most diverse of the three community vegetable gardens located in the north Loop neighborhood of Parkview Gardens. The leaders of the garden,Claudia Barahona and Steve Kroiss, and Claire Linzee, coordinator of all Loop community gardens, will be on hand to answer questions about community vegetable gardens and talk about the development of all three vegetable gardens in their neighborhood.

We will end the Tour on the lawn at City Hall and will be inviting our guests to stay for wine and cheese as well as the "Artists on the Lawn". We will also be formally installing local artist Genevieve Essen's life-size Lion in its permanent City Hall Location. More information regarding ticket sales  will be available on UCB's website, www.ucityinbloom.org , Facebook and in invitations that will be coming out in August. Or you can call our ticket line: 314-973-3541.

We, along with our Honorary Chair Bill Ruppert, look forward to seeing you on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 18 from 1 - 5:00 p.m. No rain date; if raining we encourage you to bring an umbrella.

                                                                       Judy Prange            


Director's Report


Olive garden cropped
Olive & Midland garden photo by Ed Nickels

We at U City in Bloom are pleased to announce that we have been awarded grants for two of our newest projects; the Bird Sanctuary Garden located at Centennial Commons and the revised Olive Blvd EDRST project. Our unique working partnership with the City of University City has helped make both of these dreams become realities.

We will receive a $5,000 matching grant from US Fish & Wildlife, Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds Program for the Bird Sanctuary Garden to fund a water feature to attract migratory and local birds year round, enhance habitat of the garden and provide basic signage inside the Commons on identification of migratory birds.

The Parks Foundation ambitiously and successfully submitted a grant to the Boeing Employee's Fund on behalf of the Bird Sanctuary Garden. They were awarded $2,000 to be used for placement of a park bench within the garden as well as outdoor informational signage.

A private gift was received from an anonymous donor that will enable UCB to continue to develop the Bird Sanctuary Garden over the next two years.

We are also very pleased to announce the full funding of UCB's revised proposal, Gardens for Olive Boulevard, from the University City Economic Development Retail Sales Tax (EDRST), Board. The funds will provide for the following:

Plant material and care for ten existing gardens on Olive between Skinker

and Midland (January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012)                        $16,050

John Deere ProGator to water replacement trees on Olive and 90

containerized gardens in the U City Loop                                               29,715

Care and watering of 30 new trees on Olive between Hanley and I-170

(Fall, 2011 through June, 2112)                                                               3,250

                                                               Total                                     $49,015


With the funding for the existing Olive Gardens having expired in December, 2010, securing this revenue stream allows UCB to continue its 20 year commitment to these public gardens, a welcoming front yard for the adjacent residents, businesses and passing motorists.


The EDRST Board has also approved future annual maintenance of these gardens ($10,700) and new replacement trees on Olive between Hanley and I-170 ($6,500) beginning in July, 2012.

UCB is very pleased to continue to manage the existing gardens on Olive and is delighted to expand its involvement with this district by assisting with the care and watering of Olive's public trees. It is thought that the public gardens and additional trees complement the recent installation of consistent sidewalks and the pedestrian level lighting and, in time, these elements will work together to create a more cohesive and aesthetic commercial district. UCB is pleased to be a part of improving this commercial neighborhood.

Our sincere thanks to the volunteers who worked so diligently to help secure funding for these projects! The next two years for UCB will be very busy and very challenging.


                                                                                      Mary Ann Shaw

Featured Article


Every issue of the U City in Bloom newsletter allows you to tap into the savvy of our Horticulture team as well as outside experts. We welcome your suggestions and questions.


We dedicate this column to our community gardeners. University City is full of gardeners with varying degrees of interest and passion for their gardens, no matter what the size. We recognize it's not necessary to be a professional landscaper or horticultural expert to have a lovely and/or edible garden. Our goal is to be a resource of information and experience. Just ask lots of questions and get your hands dirty.

                            GARDEN TOURS

Touring gardens is fun, and St. Louisans are lucky to have lots to choose from.  In addition to U City in Bloom's Sept. 18th tour, there are the large events such as the St. Louis Water Garden Society's  Pond-O-Rama and the Missouri Botanical Garden's St. Louis Garden Tour. Neighborhoods hold smaller tours, like the Skinker-DeBaliviere breakfast tour of private gardens. Themed tours include the Midwest Sustainable Backyard Tour and the Gateway Greening tour of community gardens all over the city of St. Louis, which you do on your bicycle.

Gardeners are creative people, and on a tour you'll probably come across innovations you haven't thought of and solutions to problems in your own garden. If you want to retain them, and come home with more than a blur of blooms and greenery in your head, you'll need a record-keeping system.

The simplest is the brochure prepared by the tour organizers. Generally, knowledgeable people have worked hard on it, and it will contain useful extras as well as the basic facts. Write notes in the margin as you go and draw arrows to features of interest in the photographs. 

As a professional gardener, I'm on a busman's holiday when I tour a garden, so I have a system that's a bit more elaborate. My approach is to take a small notebook and my basic digital camera on the tour. I make note of the name/theme of the tour and the date. Before entering each garden, I head the page with the address or cross streets. If I later give a talk and put up a slide of a garden, I want to be able to say where it is. If there's a designer, it's courteous to credit her. And sometimes I will revisit. If I saw the "bones" in March, I'll want to see the blooms in May. Or I'll check if a design that seemed promising looks shaggy once the plants have leafed out.  


It's easy enough to coordinate pictures and notes. When I see a feature in the garden that I want to remember, I turn on the camera and write down the number of the upcoming image, then make a note, just long enough to remind me later. I refrain from deleting photos to keep the numbers in sync. I save time by photographing signs rather than copying down the information.


What do I photograph and note? Beautiful plants and unusual sculptures, of course, and general garden views for the design. But I'm also interested in common plants in unusual combination, or in a practical group of water-loving plants thriving in a damp area. I keep an eye out for the mechanical as well as the botanical:

how vines are attached to walls, how wire is threaded through poles to hold an arbor up, how water is diverted or absorbed on a slope so it doesn't end up in the foundation of a house. I also take pictures of problem areas and mistakes, like a topped tree. I'll explain why in a moment.

Scott tour highlight
Garden Tour 2011 highlight by Nan Rochberg.


Back in my office, on the computer, I move the useful photos from the camera to a folder named for the garden tour (same title as in my notebook). That way I can find the image I want quickly. I use the pictures and notes for presentations or to show a garden owner what I mean when I have a suggestion for their garden. Sometimes I bring my laptop to client meetings, because a photo can be persuasive. "That plant you have crowded in? See how great it looks when given space," I'll say, or "So you want to hire a cheap, unqualified worker to top a tree? Here's the atrocity you'll end up with." I also use tour photos in ways any gardener can. A snap of a nifty hose holder or birdhouse can help me find a similar item in a catalog. A picture of a non-standard wall or custom trellis will help me explain to a craftsman what to make for me.


So take notes & enjoy!

 Claire Cain Linzee 

Kraft tour highlight
More 2011 Tour highlights by Nan Rochberg


Andre Buehler
We're grateful to all our volunteers, without whom UCB couldn't operate. As a way of saluting their generosity and capabilities, from time to time we'll spotlight remarkable-even astonishing-individuals.

Andre Buehler created the rock garden at the U. City Children's Center and the rock garden against the building along the walkway in the Bird Sanctuary Garden at Centennial Commons. When asked if he learned how to produce such beautiful works with stone by taking special classes, Andre laughed. He thought you probably could, but he never did.

He has always been fascinated by stone and rocks as well as gardens. When Andre was little, his parents lived in the woods. What he remembers best is the rock-studded creek on the property. He used to pull carrots from his parents' garden and carefully wash them in the creek.

With the help of his father Andre collected rocks from every where. As he got older he read books about Japanese gardens and the use of stone in garden design. On trips to the Missouri Botanical Garden with his parents, Andre was frequently as intrigued by the use of stone in the gardens as he was by the plants.

In the 20 years Andre has worked for U. City's Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, his interests have branched out into working with metal and wood. He learned to weld from a co-worker because it looked so "interesting." Wood working has also held his interest, despite the costs. "All it takes," he said with a sigh, "is interest, lots of tools, plenty of space and money." He credits his boss, Ewald Winker, with giving him so many opportunities to learn as much as he could on the job and put his talents to use. "He's just the best manager and person you could work for." Working with stone is what makes Andre happiest. "The timelessness of stone is really amazing if you stop and think about it," he commented.

Andre's relationship with U City in Bloom started right after his graduations from U. City High School. Sometimes he worked for UCB and sometimes he volunteered. "I worked with Mary Ann and with Harry. I learned so much from them. It was such a good experience." UCB remains a special interest for Andre - an interest he takes advantage of at every opportunity to put his two great passions to work: placement of stone and the city's public gardens.


Thanks, Andre, for your efforts and your ability to create an integral part of a garden from what the rest of us see as a "pile of rocks".  

UCB Facebook logoU Cityinbloom.org



Keep an eye on the UCB website ucityinbloom.org for its new look, its Calendar of Events and a U City Weather link! For gardeners and farmers weather is a most important topic! Thanks to our webmaster, Arno Perlow, for all of the time he's spent revising our site.


U City in Bloom now has its own Facebook page. Find us through our website, www.ucityinbloom.org . We hope you will "like" UCB on Facebook where you can keep up with UCB news and learn more about the exciting plans for the 2011 U City in Bloom Garden Tour on September 18. Please invite all your friends to do the same. Leave a message on the wall while you are there.


It is now possible to sign up to receive UCB's e-news by going to our websiteucityinbloom.org. Just click on "The Lion and the Rose." The link will take you to Constant Contact. You only have to add your name and email address.



U City in Bloom never sells or shares its email list with anyone and will not send you junk mail.

Watch for this Date
Garden tour banner 2011
Job Opportunities

Contact Information


To help in the Gardens:

Betsy Sweeny - sweenerd@sbcglobal.net 

Lorraine Gnecco - lorrainegnecco@mail.com 


Fall cleanup, flower bed preparation all year round and bulb planting need lots of hands to get the work done. We need your help working in the 325 public garden locations we have created.



 Some employers have a matching gifts program so remember to check it out. It's a painless way to increase your donation to U City in Bloom.


You want to give a friend or family member a gift, but their attics and garages are already too full of stuff. Instead, make a contribution in their name to UCB, to mark a birthday, anniversary or holiday or any other occasion. If a friend or relative has passed away a memorial contribution honors and preserves their name, and is a gift that will benefit the entire community.


We have received an anonymous donation in memory of Dan Devereaux.


Tribute donations were received in honor of Mary Ann Shaw from Penny Bush-Boyce and from Claire & Stanley Birge for Mary Ann's long & creative years of service; in honor of Betsy Sweeney from Mary M. Allen; in honor of Linda Fried, for all of her UCB work, from Nancy and Robert Baglan; in honor of Harry Asher, a great guy, from Richard Goldberg; in honor of the

 friendship of Rebecca Larson from Susan White; and an anonymous donation for the Bird

Sanctuary Garden.

Thanks to all for these thoughtful contributions


To make donating more convenient, we've made it possible for you to use MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. Go to our website, www.ucityinbloom.org , for donor information.

lion with roseWho We Are

U City in Bloom is a volunteer not-for-profit organization that plants and maintains 325 public flower garden locations throughout University City. Started in 1985 by three citizens, U City in Bloom now has over 200 volunteers and a staff of several part-time professional gardeners. Our gardens are located all over University City...in the Civic Plaza, The Loop, at all of our schools, in parks, along major streets, and in quiet neighborhoods all over our city.


The Lion and The Rose 


Editor:  Helen Fuller

Lead Writers: David and Claire Linzee

Contributing Writers: Mary Ann Shaw, Susan White, Harry Asher, Ted Slegesky

and Mary Fahey

Arborist Consultant: Norma Schechter