Sherri's View from the Garden

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1 Green Thumb The Newsletter for the Polk County Master Gardeners ISU Polk County Extension 1625 Adventureland Drive, Ste A, Altoona, Iowa Phone Sherri's View from the Garden Ode to the Zinnia: Zinnias, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. If Elizabeth Barrett Browning were to wax eloquent on the topic of my favorite flower, she would have plenty of material. Zinnias are extraordinary flowers - gorgeous, bright, and happy. The more you cut them, the more they bloom. The hotter it gets, the better they perform. They grace the garden from May until October in vivid color. Some look like daisies, while others resemble dahlias; some are low-growing, while others soar to five feet. They make beautiful and long-lasting cut flowers, and look charming mixed with herbs such as lavender and thyme. Zinnias are easy to grow from seed, and the next year's seeds are simple to save - just let the flower dry on the stem, collect the seed heads, and store in a cool, dry place until spring. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love zinnias, and bring lovely movement and life to the garden as they flutter and buzz. This winter, I promised a friend I would make sixteen zinnia bouquets for her late-july wedding. I was nervous all summer, wondering if my beloved flowers might fail me and not produce enough blooms. The day after the wedding, I looked at the garden and I couldn't tell that I'd cut a single flower. Beauty, variety, and abundance - what's not to love? If you're not a zinnia fan yet, try them next spring. Our own Master Gardener plant sale carries beautiful and unusual varieties. You may not be moved to write a sonnet, but trust me - you'll fall in love with the zinnia. Have a wonderful September! Sherri Soich, Steering Committee Chair or Thanks for everything It has been a good stretch and I've enjoyed working with all the great volunteers in Polk County. Thanks Mary Farlow Demonstration Garden Summer may be winding down, but we still have much to look forward to this fall in the Demo Garden. In September, we will begin in earnest to harvest the fall apples and pears for donation to local food pantries. Watch "This n That" for notice of specific harvesting needs, or stop by on any Monday night, beginning around 5 p.m. Even if the apples aren't quite ready, we usually have plenty of dropped apples to clean up. And hey, it's great for the waistline!

2 Our fall fundraiser will take place on Sunday, September 18th, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., featuring perennials and gently used garden items for sale. Everyone is welcome to stop by and snag an end-ofseason bargain and enjoy some time in the fall garden. Note: Anyone wishing to donate items for the sale may drop them off between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, the 17th. Or you may contact one of the co-chairs to make arrangements to drop off at a different time. And finally, we want to extend our gratitude to Mary Farlow for all she has done over the years to assist the demo garden and all of the PCMG projects. Happy retirement, Mary. Co-Chairs, Ruth Doxon, Sandie Sydnes, and Diane Ackerman Discovery Garden The fair is over and the Garden was a BIG hit with fairgoers. They liked the new pathway, thought all of the flowers were beautiful, and were really interested in how the path drains all of the water. So kudos to all of the gardeners, who worked very hard to get the gardens ready. A big THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who did shifts "hosting" during the fair, enduring rain, heat, and humidity, but all survived. We could not be a success without your assistance. Congratulations to Mary Smith and Jen Firzlaff, for winning ribbons for their entries, Mary entered fruits and Jen did arrangements. All of us,at the Garden, want to wish Mary Farlow congratulations on her retirement and thank her for her many years of service to the PCMG. We are sure you will enjoy this newest phase of your life. It is starting to feel like Fall, so have a great September. Co-Chairs: Dean Brand tel: , Jean Roe tel: Patrick Schmitt tel: , Cheree Tilton tel: The would like to invite you to our 4th Annual Fall Fundraiser and Garden Gathering scheduled for Sunday, September 11th from 1-4 PM. We will have perennial plants, arts and crafts, garden produce, jams and pickles, baked goods and garden-related flea market items for sale. This is the perfect opportunity to come out and enjoy a beautiful late summer afternoon and support the! Regular work nights will continue on every Tuesday as long as the weather is good. Please join us any time after 5:00 PM for fun, food and fellowship in the garden. Thanks again to all of our volunteers that help to make the garden beautiful. EG Co-Chairs: Sandie Hamilton, Paula Winslow, Christine Barker & Sharon Schoonover. Education Opportunities Fall Master Gardener Training Classes will be starting September 13 on Tuesday evenings at 6:15 at the Extension office. As in previous years, we'll have the full schedule on the PCMG page soon and you are welcome to audit a class that interests you for a refresher. If you stay for the entire lecture, it counts at 3 hours MG education. You are welcome to bring a beverage or snack for yourself but, just like other intern classes, we ask that you leave the treats (and the seats at tables) for those who are seeing the material for the first time. Farmers Market We completed our fourth appearance of the season on Saturday, August 20. Our feature topics were Ornamental Grasses and Canning/Preserving Produce. As usual, we answered lots of gardening

3 questions from Market patrons and gave away plenty of free seeds. September 24 will mark our final appearance this season. (Please note the change from our earlier scheduled date-september 17.) We'll be giving away seeds for Big Blue Stem, Little Blue Stem and Indian Grass. Our feature topics will be Native Grasses and Fall Planting for Spring Color. If you have suggestions for future feature topics at our Farmers' Market booth, please contact one of the co-chairs of our Committee: Matt Doré Sherri Soich or Randy Campbell Matt Dore, FM Co-chair Directory Changes Patricia Reeves has moved to 2208 Hillside Avenue, West Des Moines, IA and dropped her landline phone so use cell or Have you moved, changed phone, changed recently? We'll be updating directory sometime in Sept so please any changes to BEFORE All-Iowa MG Art Show Now on Exhibit Come see the fabulous and unique Art Show at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden's North Gallery, now through October 16. There were 68 entries on exhibit at the reception from 27 artists representing Polk, Jasper, Decatur, Boone, Black Hawk, Story and Ringgold counties. The judges placed the pieces as follows and selected 31 entries to hang in the North Gallery, which includes or represents a piece of art from each artist. Drawing: Laura McInerney, First Place; Shirley Wallace, Second Place; Linda Wilkinson, Third Place Painting: Jane Reitz, First Place; Mary Rolfes, Second Place; Elsie Monthei, Third Place Photography: Deborah Shannan, First Place and Third Place; Margo Hutcheson, Second Place Mixed Media: Lindy Smith, First Place; Margaret Caldwell, Second Place; Robyn Hofland, Third Place Ceramic: Nancy Eichmann, First Place Metal: Dennis Zaabel, First Place Repurposed: Shirley Wallace, First Place; Patricia Reeves, Second Place; Marilyn Moon, Third Place Best of Show: Lindy Smith People's Choice Award: Vicki Tow Do you use Facebook? If so, please check the various PCMG project Facebook pages regularly and "like" them so you can s hare news of upcoming events with thos e who see your posts. You can s earch for them on name on Facebook Polk County Mas ter Gardeners PCMG Garden Tour Polk County Mas ter Gardeners Annual Plant Sale Dis covery Garden - Polk County Mas ter Gardeners Demons tration Garden Polk County Mas ter Gardener Greenhous e PCMG Demons tration Garden An easy way to find any of the Facebook, webpages, or Volunteer Spots for PCMG gardens or projects is to start at the Polk County Mas ter Gardener main web page. Here you will find information about each PCMG garden and "project" and can connect to their s eparate social media sites: CLICK HERE to visit the Polk County Master Gardeners web page. Community Requests/Updates Hubbell Elementary is looking for an enthusiastic individual to continue a long standing, gardening program with our students. Needed is someone that could run bi monthly meetings, lasting no more

4 than 2 hours total. The program has been in place and functioning for over 6 years. We service the entire school population with a fun and educational program. Due to job change our previous organizer had to leave, but will be available for advise/consultation. The program can be modified according to what the new gardener sees as beneficial to the school, students or program. Please contact the school office at or ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FEDERATED GARDEN CLUBS OF IOWA (FGCI) GARDENING STUDY SCHOOL, COURSE IV - SERIES 11 IOWA ARBORETUM, MADRID, IOWA HUGHES EDUCATION CENTER September 15-16, 2016 Open to the Public SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 (Thursday) A New Garden for Iowa- the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden 1.0 hr Stephanie Jutila, President and CEO, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden TECHNIQUES FOR GROWING FRUIT Diana Cochran, Dept. of Horticulture, ISU HOME IRRIGATION SYSTEMS Daniel Strey, Research Associate/Turfgrass Specialist, ISU LUNCH (Please bring sack lunch) TREE IDENTIFICATION and OUTDOOR IDENTIFICATION OF PLANTS Presentation and Exam following Tivon Feeley, Forest Health Program Leader, DNR SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 (Friday) TECHNIQUES FOR GROWING WOODY ORNAMENTALS, Brandon Miller, Graduate Assistant, Dept. of Horticulture, ISU SPECIALIZED STYLES OF GARDENING Lynnette Carpenter, Horticulture Educator 12:15 LUNCH (Please bring sack lunch) 12:45-3:30 EXAM For full details and registration, click here or ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Agape Garden has a real need for volunteers to help gather and bag sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes grow in clumps close to the surface, so this is not as hard as it sounds. We need people to help with forking them out, gathering, bagging, and weighing. OuOr work times are Tuesday and Thursday 6:00 to 8:00 pm and Saturdays 8:00 to 10:30 am. Andrea Boughton Kudos So far this year PCMG have made some major contributions to local food pantries. Demonstration Garden We've doubled our vegetable harvest over last year - with many thanks to both vegetable gardens now producing aplenty, as well as our expansion into the perennial vegetable garden area (squash!) And there will be more as the apple harvest continues. so far, 590 pounds from the vegetable garden and 117 pounds from the orchard. As of August 23 there have been 313 pounds of produce donated to Altoona Food Pantry Forest Avenue Outreach 729 lbs. of food donated from 8 raised beds (each bed is 20' x 4'). Produce is donated to St Vincent de Paul & Children and Family Urban Movement who distribute through their food pantries. We also have 22 other raised beds leased out to refugees from Lutheran Services of Iowa as well as 4 active bucket garden plots. We distributed 400 veggie plant through St Vincent de Paul food pantry, Abundant Buckets Community Garden, Crestview Elementary School Garden, Forest Ave Outreach's 3 Community gardens and Moulton Elementary School Garden. Not quite a ton but a lot of fresh food and they aren't done yet!!

5 Discovery Garden Renovation Ribbon Cutting late July enjoyed by many before and during the fair Photos from Dr. Schrock, Renee Leppert, Nancy Bodine, and snitched for Dean Brand's posts to Discovery Garden Facebook page. Welcome The Fall 2016 training class will start in early September. Please welcome the 37 newest PCMG!! Extension programs are available to all without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability.