‘THE SAGE’-Klein’s Online Newsletter—JANUARY 2015
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
3758 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
608/244-5661 or [email protected]
 
 
THIS MONTH’S HIGHLIGHTS:
Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo Feb. 13-15
Our ‘Mad Gardener’ Is Ready for Your Questions
Live Like a Flower and Grow New Buds
A Lavender/Lavatory Relationship?
Becoming a Master Gardener
Klein’s Favorite Seed, Bulb & Plant Sources
You Asked the Mad Gardener About Browning Leaf Tips
Plant of the Month: Indoor Ferns (Choosing & Growing)
Our Very Favorite Recipes Using Chipotle Peppers
Product Spotlight: Klein’s 2015 Seed Selection
Notes from Rick’s Garden Journal—From December 2014
–About Reversion in Plants
–An Unexpected Serenade
–A Holiday Blessing
January in the Garden: A Planner
Gardening Events Around Town
Join Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Facebook
Join Klein’s Blooming Plant or Fresh Flower Club
Delivery Information
Related Resources and Websites
Plants Harmful to Kids and Pets
 
 
 
THE MAD GARDENER
“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”
 
Ask any of your gardening questions by e-mailing them to us at [email protected]. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. We’ve also posted a link to this e-mail address on our home page for your convenience. Your question might then appear in the “You Asked” feature of our monthly newsletter. If your question is the one selected for our monthly newsletter, you’ll receive a small gift from us at Klein’s. The Mad Gardener hopes to hear from you soon!
 
Sorry, we can only answer those questions pertaining to gardening in Southern Wisconsin and we reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.
 
Please note that our Mad Gardener is not only an expert gardener, but can answer all of your indoor plant questions as well.
 
 
 
JANUARY STORE HOURS:
Monday thru Friday : 8:00-6:00
Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Sunday: 10:00-4:00
 
 
 
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
January 1–New Year’s Day. HAPPY 2015!
 
January 4–Full Moon
 
January 10 & 11The Wedding Planner and Guide Bridal Show at the Alliant Energy Center. From start to finish, everything needed for that special day is at the show with over 200 vendors offering products and services catering to your needs. Make sure to get a seat for the daily fashion show at noon and 3 pm. Open on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm, tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Visit www.wedplan.com for tickets and more information.
 
If a wedding is on your horizon, set up your free wedding consultation as early as possible. Our schedule fills up fairly quickly. Klein’s talented team of designers can make your wedding day a perfect one. Call Sue ([email protected]) or at 608/244-5661.
 
Mid January–Seeds begin arriving for retail sale. Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about spring planting. If starting your own seeds at home, some such as lisianthus, geraniums, pentas and bananas should be started now so they are ready for spring planting. Please check out our Newsletter Archive @ kleinsfloral.com/newsletter.php for everything you’ll need to know about indoor seed starting.
 
January 19–Martin Luther King Jr. Day
 
Throughout January–Ever thought about working at a greenhouse? Now is the time to stop in and ask if we’ll be hiring for spring and pick up an application. We always need temporary, part-time counter help in the spring and greenhouse production swings into gear by mid-February. If you’re interested, ask for Sue or Kathryn for the retail area or Jamie or Rick for the greenhouses. Benefits include a generous discount on all those plants you buy at Klein’s anyway. Join our team and experience first hand how we make the magic happen.
 
February 13-15Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center. Please join us. Tickets are now available at Klein’s for a lesser price than at the door. Details available at www.wigardenexpo.com.
 
February 14–Valentine’s Day. Order early for guaranteed delivery. We deliver throughout Madison and most of Dane County.
 
 
 
‘THE FLOWER SHOPPE’:
LIVE LIKE A FLOWER (Part 7): Grow New Buds
 
Some flowers go together better than others, just like people, and the best flower arrangements come from intention and creativity. Relationship expert and author of Choosing ME Before WE Christine Arylo shares her easy advice for how to live like a flower — becoming your own best friend and growing new ones.
 

  1. Grow Little Buds Into Blooming Buds.

It’s easier to grow friendships with people you already know than to start fresh. Choose friends past or present who have the potential to grow deeper and stronger, and to make your life better. Put energy here. Be proactive at reaching out. If they live farther away, send them surprise flowers just because you are grateful to have them in your life. Think of it as helping your friendship bloom as a flower blooms—steadily and beautifully.
 

  1. Be Honest About Who You Want in Your Friend Bouquet.

Be intentional with whom you want to surround yourself. Make a list of these buds (call it your friendship manifesto)—who they are, what they like to do, and how you feel when you are around them. Place the manifesto somewhere sacred (perhaps under a flowering plant to signify blooming friendships) and every so often take it out and read it, and keep your eyes out for new friends!
 

  1. Be Inspired By Others, Not Envious.

If sunflowers spent all their time trying to be roses, they would be very unhappy sunflowers. Next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, find what inspires you about that person, and tell them so! Watch how their heart opens because you’ve showered them with appreciation instead of judgment or envy, and you might just find a new friend.
 

  1. Look For New Buds That Feel Like You.

There is a universal relationship law that says like attracts like, which means people are attracted to energy on the outside that matches the energy on the inside. So if you want new friends that you resonate with and that feel good to be around, put your true self out to the world so others can see you. Think about what qualities you have to share with others and embrace this as part of your essence, so that your new buds will have an easier time finding you, and you them.
 

  1. Plant Seeds in New Fields.

Put yourself out there to new people in new circles instead of just hanging out with the same people. If your new friends were flowers, what kind would they be? Do you want to grow fun friendships (think daisies or tulips), sophisticated ones (think lilies or orchids), or calming ones (think bamboo plants or succulents)? Surround yourself with these kinds of flowers or plants in your home to remind yourself of the new friends you are welcoming into your heart and life.
 
Because there are many life lessons we can gather from beautiful, resilient flowers as they grow from seedling to stem, the Society of American Florists and Aboutflowers.com created Live Like a Flower, a series of pieces of advice from well-known experts in life and happiness. Through the easy-to-follow advice of authors, speakers, designers and more, we can learn to bloom like a flower and live life to its fullest and most rewarding.
 
Source: Society of American Florists @ www.aboutflowers.com
 
 
 
YOU ASKED THE MAD GARDENER . . .
Hi. My dracaena is getting brown/black spots on the leaves and leaf tips. What could be causing this? Dorothy
 
Hi Dorothy,
Browning spots and leaf tips are a very common problem on dracaenas and many others (peace lilies, Chinese evergreens, spider plants, et al.) during the winter months. The problem is generally caused by low humidity. The air in our homes becomes especially dry when our furnaces are running constantly. Tropical plants are happiest in their native jungles. In addition, our days are at their shortest right now. Low light levels compound the problem. Though unattractive, the browning spots and leaf tips seldom kill the plant; especially as the days lengthen and if you are able to take your houseplants outdoors in the summer. They recuperate quickly once placed outdoors. For appearance sake, trim out the worst leaves and with a scissors, trim off the browning tips being careful not to go into the green parts.
 
If the problem worsens and continues through the summer months, don’t hesitate bringing a sample leaf into Klein’s so one of our experts can diagnose the problem. Fungal problems are another possible concern; especially if overwatered or the plant is in crowded conditions with little air flow.
 
Thanks for your question,
Klein’s Mad Gardener
[email protected]
 
 
 
DID YOU KNOW. . .
. . . that most of the names of our most familiar flowers come from three main sources?
 
The first source is the English language itself. The names either describe the flower in some way (sunflower, snapdragon, goatsbeard, twinspur, bleeding heart, daylily, morning glory, strawflower) or refer to some historical reference, a belief or use for the plant (marigold, forget-me-not, foxglove, hollyhock, lungwort, honeysuckle, bee balm). Many times these original meanings have been lost to time.
 
A second source of plant names (and closely related to the first) comes directly from their Latin or Greek roots or the language from the country of origin. Using Latin and Greek made it easier for botanists to assign concise and descriptive names that would be universally used and understood. Many have been anglicized over time.
 
It’s fascinating to look at the relationship of the plant name, the classical language origin and then related modern English words: lavender, lavare (to wash) and lavatory or salvia, salvus (saved) and salve or salvation.
 
Other language sources include:
Aster–from Latin, “aster” (star)
Azalea–from Greek, “azaleos” (dry)
Calendula–from Latin, “calendae” (the first day of the month)
Chrysanthemum–from Greek, “chrysos” (gold) & “anthos” (flower)
Clematis–from Greek, “klema” (twig)
Columbine–from Latin, “columba” (dove)
Cosmos–from Greek, “cosmos” (beautiful)
Cyclamen–from Greek, “kyklo” (circle)
Daisy–from Old English, “daeges-eaye” (day’s eye)
Delphinium–from Greek, “delphis” (dolphin)
Dianthus–from Greek, “dios” (divine) and “anthos” (flower)
Geranium–from Greek, “geranos” (crane)
Gladiolas–from Latin, “gladius” (sword)
Hyacinth–character in Greek mythology and friend of Apollo
Hydrangea–from Greek, “hydro” (water) and “aggeion” (vessel)
Impatiens–from Latin meaning “impatient”
Iris–the Greek messenger of the gods
Jasmine–from the Persian name for the plant “yasmin”
Lavender–from Latin, “lavare” (to wash)
Lilac–from Arabic, “laylak” (blue)
Lupine–from Latin, “lupinus” (wolf)
Nasturtium–from Latin, “nasus” (nose) and “tortus’ (twisted)
Orchid–from Greek, “orchis” (testicle)
Pansy–from French, “pensee” (to think)
Peony–from Greek, Paeon, the physician of the gods.
Petunia–from Brazilian, “petun” (tobacco)
Phlox–from Greek, “phlox” (flame)
Poppy–from Latin, “pap’ (a type of milky food)
Primrose–from Latin, “prima rosa” (“first rose of the year”)
Rhododendron–from Greek, “rhodon” (rose) and “dendron” (tree)
Rose–from Latin, “rosa” (red)
Salvia, from Latin, “salvus” (healed or saved)
Stock–from the English word “stalk”
Tulip–from Arabic, “dulband” (turban)
Viola–from character in Greek mythology, Io
Yarrow–from Anglo-Saxon, “gearwe” (to prepare)
 
And the third origin is often directly from a person’s name (or place); usually a botanist, scientist, explorer, politician or sometimes just a friend or associate of the botanist who discovered or worked with the plant.
 
Flowers named after people include:
Begonia–French official, Michel Begon
Bougainvillea–French explorer, Louis Antoine de Bougainville
Buddleia–English rector, Adam Buddle
Dahlia–Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl
Fuchsia–German doctor, Leonhard Fuchs
Gardenia–English doctor, Alexander Garden
Gloxinia–French physician, Benjamin Peter Gloxin
Hosta–English physician, Nicolaus Thomas Host
Lobelia–Frenchman, Matthias de l’Obel
Monarda–Spanish physician, Nicolas Monardes
Nicotiana–French consul to Portugal, Jean Nicot
Poinsettia–American ambassador, Joel Roberts Poinsett
Rudbeckia–Swedish scientist and botanist, Olof Rudbeck
Thunbergia–Swedish botanist, Carl Peter Thunberg
Tradescantia–English botanists, John & the Younger Tradescant
Weigela–German professor, Christian Ehrenfried von Weigel
Wisteria–American professor, Caspar Wistar
Zinnia–German medical professor, Johann Gottfried Zinn
 
Source Material: 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names by Diana Wells (1997). Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill and illustrated by Ippy Patterson.
 
 
 
NOTES FROM MY GARDEN JOURNAL–Tips and Observations from My Own Garden by Rick Halbach.
 
ENTRY: DECEMBER 9, 2014 (About Reversion in Plants)
While watering poinsettias at the greenhouse, I noticed that a number of our Glitter (red with prominent white flecks and spots) poinsettias had branches with entirely white bracts and not a hint of red—all on the same plant. Though beautiful and unique, this is not what the plant breeder had intended. This transformation in is called ‘reversion’—a return to a previous state. In plants, this means it is returning to its origins; essentially losing the desirable trait or mutation that had been bred into it (though in the case of the poinsettia, the completely white bracts could be a mutation and not reversion at all based on the variety’s parentage).
 
Reversion is most commonly seen in green plants with variegated (white or gold patterned) leaves (the poinsettia bracts are, in fact, modified leaves, rather than flowers). Oftentimes one branch or shoot will revert back to its original green color. Reversion is a survival technique. Plain green leaves contain more chlorophyll than the variegated ones. Those branches are more vigorous than the variegated ones and can (and most often do) take over the plant over time. A once variegated plant takes on the traits of its ancestors and becomes green again. The stability of variegation depends on the type of plant can be affected by outside forces (i.e. growing conditions, stress, etc.)
 
Variegated plants are generally selected from a sport, or mutation, of a pure green plant. The variegated part is then propagated by cuttings, grafting or division to retain its features. However, the mutations within these plants are not always stable and can be prone to ‘reverting’ back to pure green shoots. Virus infections can cause a form of variegation. Very few variegated plants can be raised from seed as reversion is usually a growth disorder and not a genetic one.
 
Reverted shoots should be removed as soon as they are noticed since the all-green shoots are typically more hardy and vigorous and they can quickly overtake the variegated plant. Prune the all-green shoot back to a branch or stem that contains variegated growth and continue to monitor the plant for any additional reverted branches.
 
Source: www.rhs.org.uk
 
 
ENTRY: DECEMBER 10, 2014 (An Unexpected Serenade)
I was awakened in the middle of the night last night by something not heard very often in my neighborhood (until the past year, that is). Just outside our bedroom window, a great horned owl was hooting rather loudly; so loud that it was impossible to sleep. My neighbors and us have been aware that a great horned owl had taken up residence during the past year. Beginning about a year ago, we’ve been hearing it on a fairly regular basis. Tonight’s hooting, however, was very different than in the past. There was not only the owl just outside the window, but two others responding from somewhere in neighborhood. It was a chorus like I’ve never heard before and it lasted nearly an hour.
 
Great horned owls are relatively common throughout the Madison are; both in rural areas as well as areas with mature trees inside the city limits. Spotting one in the city is not unusual. What I find unusual about our owl(s), is that I live very near a very busy and loud Stoughton Rd. I’m glad that our owl doesn’t mind the added noise and lack of seclusion.
 
The great horned owl is the most common owl of the Americas, easily recognizable because of the feather tufts on its head. These “plumicorns” resemble horns or, to some, catlike ears.
 
Great horned owls are adaptable birds and live from the Arctic to South America. They are at home in suburbia as well as in woods and farmlands. Northern populations migrate in winter, but most live permanently in more temperate climes.
 
The birds nest in tree holes, stumps, caves, or in the abandoned nests of other large birds. Monogamous pairs have one to five eggs (two is typical), both the male and female incubate, and the male also hunts for food. Owls are powerful birds and fiercely protective parents. They have even been known to attack humans who wander too close to their young.
 
Like other owls, these birds have an incredible digestive system. They sometimes swallow their prey whole and later regurgitate pellets composed of bone, fur, and the other unwanted parts of their meal. Owls are efficient nighttime hunters that strike from above, and use their powerful talons to kill and carry animals several times heavier than themselves. Owls prey on a huge variety of creatures, including raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, domestic birds, falcons, and other owls. They regularly eat skunks, and may be the only animal with such an appetite. They sometimes hunt for smaller game by standing or walking along the ground. Owls have even been known to prey upon unlucky cats and dogs.
 
Source: www.nationalgeographic.com
 
 
ENTRY: DECEMBER 26, 2014 (A Holiday Blessing)
What a difference a month makes. After one of the coldest Novembers ever (See A Perspective of Our November Cold Snap @ kleinsfloral.com/newsletter.php in our December newsletter), we’ve been experiencing one of the mildest Decembers in recent memory. Not only have the temperatures been mild, but there’s been essentially no snowfall; after nearly 9 inches in November. The grass is green(-ish) and friends of mine were out golfing at Door Creek today. Because the roads were never slippery, holiday deliveries at Klein’s went off without a hitch. Our drivers were off the roads by dark every single day. During most holiday seasons we get a few good days, but not every day for the 3 1/2 weeks before Christmas. I read in the newspaper that Lake Monona froze over officially on December 2, only to reopen on December 16. Lake Mendota has yet to freeze. After last year’s horrible winter of prolonged cold with tons of snow, this December has been a blessing!
 
The following comes from Jeff Richgels @ host.madison.com
 
“A cold, dry end to 2014 is on tap for south-central Wisconsin, according to forecasters.
If the forecasts prove correct, December 2014 will end up just shy of the record for least snow for the month in Madison at just a tenth of an inch. There was just a trace of snow in December in 1891, 1913 and 1943, while there also was just a tenth of an inch in 1939 and 1960, according to the National Weather Service.
 
December also has been much warmer than normal, making it a great month for those who hate winter weather and a terrible month for those who love snow and cold.
 
Through Friday, the average temperature in December at the Dane County Regional Airport was 30.3, 6.6 degrees above normal and the 18th warmest December for Madison through Dec. 26. The record came in 1877 when it was 39.1 through Dec. 26.
 
In Milwaukee through Friday, the average temperature at General Mitchell International Airport was 33.1, 6 degrees above normal and the 20th warmest December for the city. The record for the month through Dec. 26 was 38 degrees, set in 1889.
 
Milwaukee had 0.5 inches of snow through Friday, 8.1 inches below normal. Milwaukee’s record for the month through Dec. 26 is a trace in 1894, 1923 and 1943.”
 
 
 
KLEIN’S RECIPES OF THE MONTHThese are a selection of relatively simple recipes chosen by our staff. New recipes appear monthly. Enjoy!!
 
Chipotle mayo, chipotle salsa, chipotle barbecue sauce – if you find the word “chipotle” in front of a dish, it probably implies that you’re in for a smokey, spicy, full-bodied kind of flavor. Chipotle has made it’s way in to the main stream of spicy food flavorings over the last decade or two – and rightfully so. It’s quite delicious. But, well…what is it exactly?
 
Pronounced “Chee-POAT-lay,” this dark red or brown dried chili pepper’s actually a jalapeño that’s been slow-smoked for hours in a smokehouse or on a low-heat grill. Fresh, green jalapeños can be used, but often Chipotles are made from fully-ripened red jalapeños. The tradition of Chipotle pepper making originated in Mexico and they’re commonly used in Mexican (and Mexican-American) cuisine to flavor sauces, soups, and a large variety of other dishes.
 
Americans most often experience chipotles in adobo sauce—a red sauce that typically contains tomato puree and a variety of seasonings such as paprika, salt, onions, vinegar, garlic and oregano.
 
CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN BEEF STEW—An easy and delicious favorite from the Wisconsin Beef Council.
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
2 x 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
4 x 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
4 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 cup cilantro
4 TBS. lime juice
lime wedges for serving
 
Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork or sharp knife and microwave individually 4-6 minutes on high until tender. Cool a bit and cut into 1/2” cubes. Brown the beef in a large Dutch oven. Pour off the drippings. Add the tomatoes, beans and chipotles and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring once. Add the cilantro and the juice. Serve with chips or over rice with lime wedges. Serves 4-6
 
PORK PICADILLO—A very simple, belly-warming recipe from Everyday Food magazine, June 2007.
1 TBS. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 tsp. chili powder (ancho or chipotle is best)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 lbs. ground pork
1 x 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with puree, cut up
2 TBS. cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
 
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven on medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic, season, and cook until softened. Add the paste, chipotles, chili powder, cinnamon and cloves. Cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add the pork and cook until no longer pink-7-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes with puree and the vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook, partially covered, until thick, about 35-40 minutes. Add the raisins. Serve in a big bowl over cooked white rice. Makes 8 cups.
 
CHIPOTLE ROASTED CHICKEN WITH POTATOES—This family favorite was taken from the Wisconsin State Journal sometime in 2004 and remains at the top of our list for sheer ease and flavor.
1 1/2 tsp. chipotle pepper seasoning
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 lbs. quartered, medium-sized red potatoes
1 TBS. oil
2 tsp packed brown sugar
6 x boneless, skinless breast halves
 
Preheat the oven to 400º. Combine the chipotle seasoning, paprika, oregano, salt and cumin in a small bowl. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil and 1 tsp. of the spice mix. Mix the sugar in with the rest of the spice mix and set aside. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Rub the chicken pieces with the spice mix. Arrange the chicken on half of the sheet and the potatoes on the other half. Loosely cover with foil. Bake 35-40 minutes and remove the foil. Stir the potatoes and bake uncovered, 20 minutes more until the chicken is done and the potatoes are tender. Serves 6.
 
CHIPOTLE PORK POSOLE—A delectable chili-like soup from Everyday Food magazine, April 2008.
2 TBS. olive oil
2 lbs pork tenderloin, halved cross-wise
coarse salt and pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
2 TBS. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 x 14.5 cans chicken broth (58 oz. total)
4 x 15.5 oz. cans hominy, rinsed
2 x 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes with the juice
1 cup chopped cilantro
lime wedges
 
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook until browned on all sides, 6-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Sate the onion and garlic in the pot until they start to soften. Add the chiles and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add the broth, hominy, tomatoes, pork and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 8-10 minutes until the pork is cooked through. On a platter, shred the pork with two forks and return back to the pot. Stir in the cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Serves 8.
 
CHIPOTLE MEATLOAF—How about this recipe for a twist on a family favorite? From Cooking Light magazine, December 2005.
 
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
2 large egg whites
2 lbs. ground turkey
 
Topping:
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 TBS. ketchup
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
 
Preheat oven to 350º. Combine 1 chopped chipotle, 1 tsp. of the adobo sauce, onion and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Place in a 9 x 5” loaf pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Pat in and bake 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients. Spread evenly over the loaf. Cover with foil and bake another 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, remove from the pan and slice.
 
 
 
NATURAL NEWS–
 
Becoming a Master Gardener
Master Gardeners are volunteers typically trained through universities or university extensions throughout the United States and Canada Once they complete their training, Master Gardeners help the Extension better serve the home gardening public by answering questions, speaking to groups, working with 4-H horticultural projects, participating in civic beautification, maintaining demonstration gardens, teaching plant sciences and horticulture, maintaining their web site, and in many other ways. Master Gardeners are willing and able to educate individuals and groups in gardening topics such as plant selection, composting, soil improvement, pest control, vegetable and flower gardening, pruning, and more.
 
The Madison Area Master Gardeners Association, located in Dane County, Wisconsin, is one of about 50 local Wisconsin Master Gardener Associations (MGAs) whose members are students or alumni of University of Wisconsin-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer training. MAMGA (Madison Area Master Gardeners Association) was founded in 1986 as a forum for Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) in south-central Wisconsin to continue professional improvement and provide service to the community.
 
Understanding MAMGA, WIMGA & Certified Master Gardener Volunteers:
 
MAMGA, the Madison Area Master Gardeners Association, is a local non-profit organization of persons who have completed the basic Master Gardener training course, or are current students. MAMGA members may or may not also be currently certified Master Gardener Volunteers. MAMGA exists to provide education, service, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Membership costs $15 per year, or $25 for two years renewed at the same time. MAMGA members receive discounts at many local nurseries, participate in educational programs and garden tours throughout the year, and are invited to social events.
 
WIMGA, the Wisconsin Master Gardeners Association, is a state-wide non-profit organization of persons who have completed the basic Master Gardener course, or are current students. Most MAMGA members also choose to join WIMGA, but doing so is not required. WIMGA membership costs $5 per year. WIMGA members receive periodic newsletters and other informational communications from the state master gardener office. WIMGA also hosts a statewide Master Gardener conference each year.
 
Certified Master Gardener Volunteers have completed the basic Master Gardener training course and have satisfied annual volunteer service and continuing education requirements. Most Certified Master Gardener Volunteers choose to join MAMGA and/or WIMGA, but are not required to do so. There is no cost to be certified as a Master Gardener Volunteer. Certified Master Gardener Volunteers assist gardeners through the local UW-Extension Office by serving as plant health advisors, answering hotline calls, tending the Teaching Garden, and performing various other activities that support the UW-Extension Horticulture Program and reach out into the community. Certified Master Gardener Volunteers also perform lots of other gardening outreach and service at places like University Display Gardens, Allen Centennial Garden, Olbrich Gardens, the UW Arboretum, churches, community gardens, and many other venues.
 
How Do I become a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer?
—Attend a Master Gardener Volunteer interview session for acceptance into the program.
—Sign the UWEX Master Volunteer Agreement and consent to the state background check.
—Attend the 16 session Master Gardener Volunteer course which runs from late Feb to the end of August. Classes are held approximately every other Wednesday morning.
—Pass the open-book take-home exam with a score of 70% or better.
—Perform the 24 hours of volunteer service by the end of the six-month course.
—Attend one MAGMA educational session, social event or garden tour during the course.
 
Master Gardener Benefits Include:
—Discounts at area nurseries and retailers including Klein’s!
—Free admission to MAMGA sponsored programs and events
—Educational programs
—Garden tours
—Service and community education opportunities
—Fellowship and social events
 
Sources: dane.uwex.edu and www.mamgawi.org
 
 
 
JANUARY’S PLANT OF THE MONTH:
 
Indoor Ferns: How to Grow & Best Choices
From Growing Tropical Indoor Ferns by Debora Brown, Extension Horticulturist at the University of Minnesota @
 
Most ferns thrive in filtered light or shady sites outdoors, but the tropical ferns we use as houseplants are poor candidates for low-light locations. Golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum), heart-leaf philodendron (Philodendron scandens oxycardium), snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), and Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum) are much better candidates for locations near north windows or other poorly lit places in your home.
 
Tropical ferns actually grow best indoors in “medium” light such as what you’d find in an east-facing window or a few feet from a west or south-facing window.
 
During our short days from November through February, ferns can be placed directly in a west or south window with no ill effects. But as days lengthen and sunlight becomes more intense, you run the risk of burning delicate foliage in such bright places, unless the light in those windows is filtered by large trees nearby, or by sheer shades or curtains, inside.
 
Without adequate light, no fern will prosper indoors, but there’s more to growing ferns than providing enough light.
 
Moisture
You’ll find that new ferns come with care tags suggesting they need to be kept evenly moist. That means the soil should never be allowed to get very dry; it doesn’t mean it should always stay wet.
 
It’s important to water ferns thoroughly whenever you water. Don’t just dribble a little water on top of the soil from time to time. Use room temperature or lukewarm water; cold water can damage tropical roots. If at all possible, avoid using softened water. Its repeated use will result in an accumulation of salts in the soil, which eventually injures the plant’s roots.
 
Water until excess moisture begins to drip through the container’s drain holes, then spill out whatever remains in the tray or saucer after a few minutes. Wait to water again until the soil surface begins to feel dry to the touch. It’s a mistake to water before that; soggy soil encourages root rots.
 
Soil
Ferns are usually potted in highly organic soil that’s porous, yet moisture-retentive. When it’s time to transplant them into larger containers, choose potting soil that contains a large percentage of peat moss.
 
Air circulation
Place ferns far enough from walls and other plants to insure good air circulation. Ferns look particularly handsome displayed on pedestals or in wicker ferneries. They’re also commonly grown in hanging baskets, but you must be careful not to display them too near the ceiling. The higher they are, the hotter and drier the air, especially during the heating season. This may cause the tips of your fern’s fronds to turn brown and die.
 
Humidity
Ferns are known for their high humidity needs. Some people still mist their ferns to increase humidity, but it’s not very effective. Unfortunately, misting also increases the likelihood of foliar leaf spot diseases; it’s better to rely on room humidifiers.
 
Because it’s difficult to improve humidity significantly indoors, it’s usually better to concentrate on proper watering to eliminate moisture stress.
 
Nutrients
Typically ferns have modest fertilizer needs; they can be damaged more easily than most houseplants if you overdo it. Over-fertilizing will result in browning and drying that begins at the tips, then works its way back into the rest of the fronds. A lack of nutrients results in foliage that pales and loses its vibrant green color.
 
Fish emulsion seems to work well, though other fertilizers meant specially for houseplants are fine, too, provided they’re mixed ½-strength and applied sparingly. Fertilize only when the plants are actively putting on new growth, or if the foliage appears a paler green than normal.
 
Keep them clean
It’s important to keep fern foliage clean. Dusty leaves may provide a haven for mites or insects. The dust also filters sunlight so less reaches the foliage. You can wash ferns with a gentle spray of lukewarm water from the sink, or swish them upside-down in a sink or laundry tub of lukewarm water to which you’ve added a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid.
 
Easy-to-grow favorites:
—Boston fern, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’ is an old-fashioned fern with long, arching fronds. A dozen or more named “sports” or mutations of the original Boston fern have all but taken its place by now. Many boast foliage that’s more ruffly or finely divided than the original. Dallas ferns are particularly notable for their compact stature and their ability to survive at lower light levels than Boston ferns and most of their descendants. Kimberly Queen ferns are another excellent choice with less leaf drop during the winter months.
 
—Rabbit’s foot fern, sometimes called Squirrel’s foot fern, Davallia fejeensis, is known for its tan “furry” rhizomes that grow down over the pot like little legs. Short, lacy green fronds sprout from these rhizomes, creating wonderful contrasts in color and texture. Because of its growth habit, this fern must be suspending in some type of hanging apparatus.
 
—Mother fern, Asplenium bulbiferum, is aptly named for the little plantlets that form on its large, feathery fronds. To propagate Mother ferns, all you need do is pluck off the little “babies,” plant them in moist, peaty potting soil, then enclose the container in a plastic bag. Keep them in bright, indirect light until they root. (Direct sunlight would overheat them while they’re still bagged.)
 
—It might be sometimes difficult to find a Holly fern, Cyrtomium falcatum, but it’s well worth the added effort. Unlike more delicate-appearing ferns, the stiff fronds on this plant are rather coarse and leathery, with an attractive, deep glossy green surface. And unlike most indoor ferns, this plant does best when temperatures are on the cool side and you allow the soil to dry between waterings.
 
—Asparagus ferns such as the Sprenger fern (sometimes sold in spring as “sprengeri”), Myers fern, and Plumosa fern are not really ferns at all. Named for their fern-like, feathery foliage, they’re actually close relatives of the asparagus we eat, and as such, grow best in full sunlight. Commonly kept outdoors in summer, they often suffer from inadequate light in winter, elongating and dropping many of their tiny leaf-like structures.
 
—Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)–leaves are wide, flat, down-covered, and resemble an elk’s antlers; slow-growing but can reach three to four feet in height; should be grown in sphagnum moss with the shield (the brown part from which the green “antlers” emerge) wired to a piece of wood or cork bark; fern is really marginal in many interiors as it needs lots of humidity; water by taking entire wood slab or cork bark and moss off the wall or wherever it is hanging, then immerse with plant shield into a pan or tub of water. A bath tub without soap suds works best. Water should be lukewarm, not hot. Allow to drain before rehanging.
 
—Birdsnest Fern (Asplenium)–one of the easiest ferns to grow; may reach 18 to 24 inches tall although in humid room like greenhouse might get to be six feet high and across; has broad, light green, leathery, undivided fronds that grow upwards, giving the plant the look of a bird’s nest.
 
—Australian Tree Fern (Cyathea cooperi ‘Brentwood’)–Need something lush to fill that empty spot? Here’s your answer. This fern’s formidable stature and upward-arching fronds say, “Look at me.” It’s a great choice for sunrooms and foyers.
 
 
 
 
AROUND TOWN:
 
For neighborhood events or garden tours that you would like posted in our monthly newsletter, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or [email protected] or Sue at [email protected]. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Events must be garden related and must take place in the Madison vicinity and we must receive your information by the first of the month in which the event takes place for it to appear in that month’s newsletter. This is a great opportunity for free advertising.
 
 
Bolz Conservatory Exhibit—Innovations Inspired by Rainforests
November 1, 2014 thru March 1, 2015
Daily from 10:00-4:00, Sundays 10:00-5:00
In the Bolz Conservatory
 
Have you ever wondered what inspires people to develop cool gadgets, life saving technologies, and solutions to complex human challenges? Rainforests are a treasure-trove of brilliant design and many of our best inventions are based on nature. The slippery inside of bottles and pipes mimic the slick leaves of the carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plant. Coconuts’ buoyancy inspired life preservers carried on boats and ships. Security marks on bank notes to combat counterfeiting are inspired by the iridescence of butterfly wings. All these innovations came to life with the help of biomimicry, a growing field that studies the technology of biology and emulates nature’s models, systems, and elements to solve complex human design challenges. Explore some of the ways rainforests have inspired many objects and processes that have improved our daily lives.
 
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.
 
 
28th Annual Orchid Quest 2015
Saturday, January 31, 10:00-5:00
Sunday, February 1, 10:00-4:00
 
New Location! — Marriot West Conference Center, 1313 John Q. Hammons Dr., Middleton.
 
Escape the winter blues and join orchid enthusiasts at Orchid Quest 2015. Exhibits of exotic and deliciously fragrant orchid flowers will awaken your senses and bring cheers on a winter day. In addition to many orchid exhibits, OQ will also feature florist displays, painted porcelain, art work, quilted banners and a raffle. OQ is one of the largest orchid shows and sales in the Midwest.
 
Aspiring home growers can expand their knowledge by attending orchid related educational seminars, conducted by renowned orchid experts.
 
This year’s Orchid Quest keynote speaker is Jason Fischer from Orchids Limited, Plymouth, MN. Jason has had a life-long education in orchids mainly from the opportunity to be raised in a family orchid business. Jason’s educational interests were strongly influenced by Japan with studying the Japanese language and culture for six years in high school and at the University of Minnesota. He lived in Kyoto, Japan from 2001 to 2003 and added Japanese orchid species as a new niche to the business.
 
Orchid Quest 2015 is excited and privileged to have Jason Fisher as our main speaker. He will be talking at 11:00 a. m. on Saturday about Native Orchids of Japan.
 
20+ vendors from the Midwest and East Coast will be selling their exotic blooming orchids. You will be able to find everything you need to take care of your new orchid plants including literature, growing media, fertilizer, orchid pots, and more. Come see this multidimensional show. Visitwww.orchidguild.org for more details. Tickets are $9 or $14 for the two days. Children under 12 are free. Parking is FREE at the Marriot.
 
 
22nd Annual Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo
Friday, February 13, 3:00-9:00
Saturday, February 14, 9:00-6:00
Sunday, February 15, 10:00-4:00
 
Garden Expo is a midwinter oasis for people ready to venture out and dig their hands in the dirt. Now in it’s 22nd year, this three-day event celebrates the latest trends in gardening and landscaping. Join other gardening enthusiasts to share ideas, gain inspiration and create something new. All proceeds support Wisconsin Public Television.
 
Things to do at the Garden Expo;
 
-Get your hands dirty with more than 150 educational seminars, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.
 
-Visit with hundreds of businesses, independent contractors, nonprofits and artists to share ideas and learn about the newest in gardening and landscaping equipment and services.
 
-Relax with a casual walk through the central garden—courtesy of The Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association, Madison Chapter Inc..
 
-Discuss innovative gardening techniques with experts from the UW-Extention/Cooperative Extension Horticulture Team.
 
-Purchase seeds, tools and everything else you need to be ready when the trees bud and the ground thaws.
 
Tickets cost $7 in advance, $8 at the door. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Two and three-day passes are available for added savings. Advance tickets are available at Klein’s. Visit www.wigardenexpo.com for more information.
 
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Madison, WI 53713
608/267-3976 or www.alliantenergycenter.com
 
 
Dane County Winter Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, January 3 thru April 11, 8:00-noon
Madison Senior Center
330 W. Mifflin
 
For details visit www.dcfm.org
 
 
 
JANUARY IN THE GARDENA checklist of things to do this month.
___Place your used Christmas tree in the garden for added wildlife protection.
___Inspect stored summer bulbs like dahlias, cannas and glads for rotting.
___Check for and treat for pests on plants brought in from the garden.
___Begin forcing stored elephant’s ears at the end of January.
___Keep birdfeeders full. Clean periodically with soap and water.
___Inventory last year’s leftover seeds before ordering new ones.
___Order your seeds. By ordering early, there are usually freebies & discounts.
___Start certain slow-growers like lisianthus, geraniums, pentas and bananas.
___Shop for summer bulbs like begonias, caladium, calla and elephant’s ears.
___Use the winter days to plan next summer’s garden.
___Check your garden for any plant damage from weather or rodents.
___Have trees trimmed–it’s often times cheaper and easier to schedule.
___Visit Klein’s—it’s green, it’s warm, it’s colorful—it’s always spring.
 
Some of our very favorite seed and plant sources include:
 
For seeds:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds @ www.rareseeds.com or 417/924-8887
Burpee @ www.burpee.com or 800/888-1447
Harris Seeds @ www.harrisseeds.com or 800/514-4441
Johnny’s Select Seeds @ www.johnnyseeds.com or 207/861-3901
Jung’s Seeds @ www.jungseed.com or 800/247-5864
Park’s Seeds @ www.parkseed.com or 800/845-3369
Pinetree @ www.superseeds.com or 207/926-3400
Seeds of Change @ www.seedsofchange.com or 888/762-7333
Seed Savers @ www.seedsavers.org or 563/382-5990
Select Seeds @ www.selectseeds.com or 800/684-0395
Territorial Seeds @ www.territorialseed.com or 888/657-3131
Thompson & Morgan @ www.thompson-morgan.com or 800/274-7333
 
For bulbs:
Brent & Becky’s Bulbs @ www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com or 877/661-2852
Colorblends @ www.colorblends.com or 888/847-8637
John Scheeper’s @ www.johnscheepers.com or 860/567-0838
McClure & Zimmerman @ www.mzbulb.com or 800/883-6998
 
For plants:
High Country Gardens @ www.highcountrygardens.com or 800/925-9387
Logee’s Greenhouses @ www.logees.com or 888/330-8038
Plant Delights Nursery @ www.plantdelights.com or 912/772-4794
Roots and Rhizomes @ www.rootsrhizomes.com or 800/374-5035
Wayside Gardens @ www.waysidegardens.com or 800/213-0379
White Flower Farm @ www.whiteflowerfarm.com or 800/503-9624
 
Note: To receive every possible seed, plant or garden supply catalog imaginable, check out Cyndi’s Catalog of Garden Catalogs @ www.gardenlist.com. Most catalogs are free and make for great winter reading!
 
 
 
BEHIND THE SCENES AT KLEIN’SThis is a sneak peek of what is going on each month behind the scenes in our greenhouses. Many people are unaware that our facility operates year round or that we have 10 more greenhouses on the property in addition to the 6 open for retail. At any given moment we already have a jump on the upcoming season–be it poinsettias in July, geraniums in December or fall mums in May.
 
IN JANUARY:
—This is the quietest month at the greenhouse. All 10 greenhouses in our back range have been shut down to save on energy and prep them for all the spring plants that start arriving in February.
 
—We take advantage of the warm and sunny rooms in our front range (the retail area) to do any touch up painting or construction to ready ourselves for the spring season.
 
—Thousands of geranium cuttings arrive for our 4 1/2” pots and we begin planting up our geranium hanging baskets and flower pouches.
 
—We begin stepping our tropicals into larger pots for spring sale. This early jump gives you larger and more vigorous plants than many of our competitors.
 
—We spend much of our time ordering product for next summer, from plants to pottery to garden ornaments and sundries.
 
—We begin to access our needs for spring staffing and try to have the new people in place and trained by March 1. March and April are the busiest months behind the scenes in the greenhouse and we rely on a dedicated, hardworking team to have everything ready for the customer come May 1 and the spring onslaught.
 
—Hundreds of herbs for windowsill culture are thriving in the sunny, warm greenhouses . We have chosen only the best assortment for indoor growing and winter harvest. Choose from rosemary, lavender, parsley, thyme and more.
 
—We continue to plan and prepare for Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in February by sprucing up display pieces and potting up thousands of violas, primrose, cineraria, etc. for sale at the show. This is Klein’s biggest annual event and our most important advertising.
 
 
 
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTEach month we spotlight some product that we already carry or one that we’ve taken note of and plan to carry in the near future. Likewise, if you would like to see Klein’s to carry a product that we don’t currently, please let us know. Our goal is to be responsive to the marketplace and to our loyal clientele. If a product fits into our profile, we will make every effort to get it into our store. In addition, we may be able to special order an item for you, whether plant or hard good, given enough time.
 
Seeds Available at Klein’s Spring 2015
 
We at Klein’s see the light at the end of the very long tunnel called winter, once our showrooms have been emptied of all holiday merchandise and the seed racks for the upcoming growing season begin to arrive throughout January. We’ve already received our selection of Livingston Seeds. Other companies expected to arrive shortly include Olds Seed, Olds Organic Seeds, Northrup King Seeds and new for 2015; our collection of non-GMO seeds from Botanical Interests. Madisonians are passionate about home seed starting and we are happy to offer such a broad selection to satisfy their needs. For hard-to-find and less common seed varieties, please check out our list of favorite seed sources above. Learn more about the seeds we choose to sell at Klein’s:
 
Botanical Interests High Quality Seed
At Botanical Interests our goal is to inspire and educate the gardener in you. That is why, since 1995 we have been supplying gardeners with the highest quality seed in the most beautiful and informative seed packets on the market. Today, you can find Botanical Interests seeds available at independent garden centers, hardware stores, and gourmet grocers throughout the United States. We enthusiastically signed the SAFE SEED PLEDGE: We do not knowingly buy, sell or trade genetically engineered seeds or plants.
 
Olds Garden Seed and Olds Organic Garden Seed
Olds Garden Seed is only sold through independent garden retailers nationwide. Olds is not sold by ‘big box’ stores or discount chains. While several retailers may offer our products on their web sites, we do not sell retail via the Internet or mail order. The Olds’ brand dates to 1888, when Levitt Lincoln Olds founded the L.L. Olds Seed Co. at Clinton, Wisconsin. Through the years, Olds became known for selling only the finest quality seed of better varieties, whether selling alfalfa and seed potatoes for Wisconsin farms or garden seed through a mail order catalog for 97 years.
 
Livingston Seed
Livingston Seed is a wholesale company, selling only to the trade. We have done the research to find out what our consumers are looking for in a seed company. Our packets are designed to fill these needs. Each packet showcases beautiful photographs shot in our own trial garden. Every packet contains easy to read, helpful information. Our packets are truly unique and designed with your customer in mind. Our patented window in our Bonus Packs allows customers to actually see the seed!
 
At Livingston Seed we make it a priority to be the value leader in the industry. We offer more seed in our packets at a lower price value than any other company. We are committed to independent businesses and do not sell to the “big box” stores.
 
Livingston Seed Company states that all varieties offered for sale do not contain any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). We provide seeds that are developed using traditional breeding techniques and have not undergone any genetic transformation.