Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ogden Standard Examiner Newspaper Article About our New Addition

Here is the new addition to the Ogden Botanical Gardens.  Thanks Dennis for all your hard work and donated time to the gardens.  We truly have the best Master Gardeners in the world!

Carved bears court wedding proposals at MTC Park

By JaNae Francis

Standard-Examiner staff

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 9:38pm

OGDEN — An addition to the MTC Park in Ogden is a cute attraction as well as a monument to the volunteers who serve there each week.
A carved female and a male bear, facing each other with a bench between them, are adorned with the words “Love Hill” encased in a heart and the instructions “propose here.” Both bears have the wide eyes of those contemplating marriage.
“I thought because they are posing for pictures all the time and weddings, something romantic would fit in,” said Dennis Miller, who carved the bears and made the bench between them, then built steps up the hill to the creation.
“I didn’t want people to have to walk up the hill in the mud,” Miller said.
Miller is known for his creations throughout several Riverdale parks, which he completed when he worked for that city. But now he’s retired and spreading the love he has for carving in a place where his heart is.
“My wife and I have each put in 850 hours of volunteer work apiece,” he said. “We are master gardeners.”
Miller and his wife, Ardie, conduct plant diagnostic sessions Wednesday nights through the spring and summer months.
Miller said this work of art came to him as he studied the trees he used to create them.
“I was thinking of it all the time,” he said. “I would wake up in the middle of the night.”
Miller said whenever he makes a carved work of art, he looks at the trees or pieces of wood and they seem to speak to him, telling him what they should become.
This creation was made from two Siberian elm trees that park organizers wanted to remove.
“They really are junk trees,” Miller said. “They grow wild all over the hills, (but) they are not native to the area.”
He said when park officials decided to get rid of the two trees, he agreed to carve them.
“I’d been promising Jerry Goodspeed, when I retired I would carve something,” he said, noting that he retired in December 2010. “Last year, we decided on the trees with Jerry.”
Goodspeed is the director of the Ogden Botanical Gardens located in the park and is a Utah State University Extension horticulturalist.
Goodspeed is excited about the creation because it adds to the park and honors volunteers.
“It’s very nice to have a representative of all the volunteers,” Goodspeed said. “The (Millers) have volunteered all of this and done it on their own time.”
And Goodspeed said the carving adds a great deal to the park.
“Part of the idea of the gardens is to beautify and also create interest,” Goodspeed said.
Miller said he started his hobby out of a desire to save money.
“My wife loves bears,” Miller said, explaining how he started on his chain-saw carving hobby. “Carved bears are quite pricey.”
Miller said he took up the carving hobby in 2004 when his wife, who wanted some of the pricey masterpieces herself, bought him a how-to video and a chain saw.
MTC Park is on the east side of Monroe Boulevard at about 1800 South. The new bears are west of the easternmost bowery in the park.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jerry on Studio 5: Planting Veggies Now & Upcoming Class

Our favorite horticulturist was on Studio 5 last week.  If you missed him, here he is in all his plant glory!  Good job Jerry!  He mentions our upcoming mini workshops:
Gardening Mini Classes: Raised Beds, Planting Trees and Shrubs, Growing Perennials & Composting
Learn how to build and use a successful raised bed for vegetables, raspberries, strawberries and even fruit trees. Includes selecting and planting ornamental trees, shrubs and perennials, and composting methods.
When:  April 14th 9am - 12pm
Where: Ogden Botanical Gardens
Cost: $14 Members, $20 Public
To register click here

9am Compost Class
Get the most out of your growing space by learning the basics of composting. Compost is a rich soil amendment that will benefit your garden plants and the environment. Instructor:  Bob Saunders, Weber County Master Gardener.
10am Raised Beds Class
Learn how to build and plant a successful raised bed for vegetables, flowers, berries, grapes and even fruit trees.  Instructor:  Karen Bastow, Weber County Master Gardener.
11am Planting Trees and Shrubs
Learn how to select and properly plant the right trees and shrubs for your landscape.  Instructor: Monte Stewart, Ogden City Urban Forester

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March To-Do List

  • Clean up the yard on days when the weather is nice.
  •  Start warm-season plants indoors for transplanting in May.

  • Work organic material into annual beds as soon as they are dry enough to be worked.
  • Plant hardy vegetables (peas, onions, radishes, spinach, broccoli, turnips, rhubarb).
  • Plant bare-root plants (strawberries, raspberries, fruit trees, roses).  Go here for more information.
  • Purchase an herbicide to prevent crabgrass and spurge to apply the first of April.
  • Consider applying a lawn pre-emergent earlier to areas next to sidewalks and driveways where it warms and breaks dormancy sooner.
  • Attend pruning classes for roses, fruit trees, trees and shrubs at the Ogden Botanical Gardens, or USU Botanical Center in Kaysville.   Dates, times, locations are available here.

  • Prune fruit trees, raspberries, grapes and ornamentals that need it.  Learn how to at our free pruning classes.

  • Apply dormant oil to all fruit trees as soon as the buds swell and the first tip of color appears.  Include an insecticide with the oil, if desired.
  • Prune roses after the buds break and there is 1 to 2 inches of growth.  Learn how to at our free rose pruning demonstration here.
  • Clean up perennials by removing last years’ dead material, and transplant or divide those that are overgrown.  Learn how to at our free Pruning 101 class.
  • Plant pansies and primrose for color in the garden, if you didn’t plant them last fall. 
  • Browse through our new 2012 Event & Class calendar.  Choose a fun gardening class to take this year!
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Free Pruning Classes: Pruning 101 & More

 Here is a list of the upcoming classes we'll have during March.  Please come out and learn how from the professionals how to properly prune your trees & shrubs.
Saturday, March 17th           Fruit Pruning Demonstration
112 S. 3000 W., West Point
9 – 11am 
USU Extension experts show you the art and science of proper pruning practices so you’ll be ready to prune with confidence. The focus will be on apples, peaches, grapes and raspberries. This outdoor event is one of our most popular workshops. Dress for the occasion and come ready to learn. Cost: Free

Saturday, March 24th           Fruit Pruning Demonstration
USUBC  9 – 11 am
Prune with confidence after learning the art and science of proper pruning practices. The focus will be on apples, peaches, grapes and raspberries. This outdoor event is one of the most popular workshops.  Dress for the occasion and come ready to learn. Cost: Free
Saturday, March 31st           Basic Pruning 101: Waking Up the Landscape
OBG  9 – noon

Our garden staff and Master Gardeners demonstrate proper pruning practices to care for fruit trees, deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs and roses. Instruction includes how to clean up perennials and ornamental grasses for spring.  Pruning tools will be available to purchase. Cost: Free
Pruning Demo Flyer 2012

2012 Class & Event Schedule

2012 Class Schedule & Events Front Page
Calendar of Events Back Page

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Landscape Design Class

We will be teaching a Landscape Design Class in April.  If you are interested please call Kathy at 801-399-8201 or register here.  Class size is limited.
Landscape Design Flyer (2)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Question of the Week: Planting Bare Root Fruit Trees

"Costco is selling bare root fruit trees now and they are dirt cheap.  Is now the time to plant them and if so, how?"  I've been asked this question many times in the past few days and I'm sure many more people might be thinking the same thing.  The answer is yes, but there are some things to look for before buying a new peach, plum, apple or apricot tree:
Tips:  When to plant bare root trees?
  • Can you dig a hole in your soil deep enough for a tree?  If you answered yes then now is the time to plant a bare root fruit tree.
  • Or is your soil buried under 2 feet of snow?  Is the soil frozen? Or too soggy?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then now it is not time to plant.  You can however purchase the tree and plant it in a container and keep it in a sunny garage until your soil is not buried under snow, frozen or soggy.
Tips:  What to look for when purchasing bare root trees?
  • Make sure the buds are tight, plump, and healthy--Not open, dry, or shriveled! 
  • Examine the bark and make sure there are no injuries or deep scratches.
  • If possible, look at the root system to see if it is well balanced and  undamaged.
  •  Evenly spaced branching is another consideration. 
Tips:  How to plant bare root trees?
A side view of how to plant a bare-root tree before all of the soil has been placed back into the hole. Photo courtsey of Utah Pests News
  1. Cut off damaged roots
  2. Soak roots in 5 gallon bucket of water 3-6 hrs. before planting.
  3. Dig the hole as deep as root ball and twice as wide.
  4.  Support root ball with mound of soil.
  5. Place tree in hole making sure root flare is at ground level.
  6. Fill in soil around roots, tamp soil lightly, and water in to settle soil around roots.
  7. Stake carefully, if needed for the first year.
Have more questions?  You can find more information about buying and planting bare root fruits here, here and here.