Rita Arnold: What’s New for 2017

Part of the Gardeners Connect Free Speaker Series.
Brought to you in part by members like you. Thank you.

Rita and George Arnold
Rita and George Arnold

Saturday, January 21, 2017
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Anita B Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
4750 Troost
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

New introductions are the driving force building excitement in gardening every spring.

Rita Arnold, co-owner of Arnold’s Greenhouse in LeRoy, Kansas, plans to present most of the new introductions that will be available at their garden center and others this spring, including new annuals and vegetables, during a free lecture Saturday morning, January 21.

Rita’s program, ‘What’s New for 2017?” is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 21, in the auditorium of the Discovery Center, 4750 Troost. The free program, open to everybody, is presented by Gardeners Connect.

Coffee and refreshments are planned to be presented before the program at 10 a.m. in the Lewis and Clark Room down the hall from the lobby and auditorium entrance.

Rita will offer an encyclopedic account of plants to watch for this spring. Come for all of it, or come for what you can. This will be your first and most comprehensive chance to hear what Rita has to share about plants for 2017.

Be ready to take notes and leave the program filled with ideas and inspiration.

arnolds_greenhouse_logoArnold’s Greenhouse has become a large retail and wholesale garden center operation. The Arnolds offer more than 2,500 cultivars of plants.

George and Rita Arnold entered greenhouse growing business in the 1970s. George filled free time during evenings when Rita was a registered nurse at a hospital near LeRoy by building his first greenhouse with his father. It was 10 feet by 16 feet and could hold about 160 flats of plants.

George sold a few hundred of dollars worth of cabbage, broccoli and various other vegetables to the local Duckwall’s store. His hobby business grew, and by the 1980s George and Rita were selling a wide variety of plants to wholesale markets. In 1997, they built the 60- by 80-foot steel building and attached 120- by 288-foot greenhouse that is now the centerpiece of Arnold’s Greenhouse.

The mission of Gardeners Connect, founded in 1958, is to “educate and inspire members of our community to become more complete gardeners.” 



Six New Lilies Announced for LilyPalooza

We are offering six additional lilies for this year’s LilyPalooza that will be available only at LilyPalooza on Saturday, October 29th, beginning at 9 a.m. until they are sold out.

You can still order the rest of the LilyPalooza line up online until Wednesday, October 19th.

These lilies were last minute additions we snagged from our suppliers. Most are either really new, like ‘Roselily 1050,’ which doesn’t even have a true name yet, or not widely available in the trade. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring them in. We hope you agree.

RoseLily 1050
RoseLily 1050

Rose Lily 1050
$5 or 3/$13.50

You can be one of the first to have this gem in your garden. It is so new it still has its trial name ‘Roselily 1050’ while it awaits its true name to be approved. Its fully double clear pick flowers with pale creamy green centers are sure to delight. It is very fragrant, and it only gets 12-18 inches tall. You can put this lily at the front of your border or in a small nook and enjoy its splendor without blocking your view of the rest of your garden.

Magny Cours

Magny Cours
$5 or 3/$13.50

A must-have for any Lily enthusiast, Magny Cours’ unique blooms are deep pink with pure white borders. Like most Oriental lilies, Magny Cours is wonderfully fragrant and makes for amazing bouquets. A smaller variety, growing to be about 16inches tall, we recommend planting this summer beauty in a border, small space, or even a container garden.

Freckle Face

Freckle Face
$5 or 3/$13.50

Bright white upfacing flowers generously spotted with maroon spots. Grows 2-3 feet tall.


$5 or 3/$13.50

Deep purple-red flowers appearing nearly black at times are held upright on 2-3 foot stems. This lily will take your garden to a new dimension in color. Best grown were the flowers are shaded from the hottest of afternoon sun.


$5 or 3/$13.50

Apricot flowers with coral highlights in the center and darker dots radiating out. Downward to outward facing recurved petaled flowers nod in the breeze on stems 3 to 4 feet tall. Stems are dark and set off the foliage and blooms.

Golden Flash

Golden Flash
$5 or 3/$13.50

Up facing clear sunny yellow flowers with light spots in the throat are born on sturdy stems. As you can see from the photo, each stem has a multitude of flowers giving you a large and extended bloom.

Gardeners Q&A

Part of the Gardeners Connect Free Speaker Series.
Brought to you in part by members like you. Thank you.

QA-Saturday, November 5, 2016
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Anita B Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
4750 Troost
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

This is your chance to get your gardening questions answered and hear about all the questions gardeners like you have.

A panel of experts plan to answer our questions about gardening on Saturday, Nov. 5. at the Discovery Center; 4750 Troost; Kansas City, Mo. 64110.

The free program, presented by Gardeners Connect and open to everyone, is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the Discovery Center. Coffee and some treats will be served the half hour before the program in the Lewis and Clark Room. Everyone is welcome.

This year we have enlisted five experts to field questions. All of them are horticulture professionals and have years of experience growing garden plants and contending with our difficult growing environs.

  • Jeanne Johnson of Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins
  • Wayne Vinyard, former owner of Longview Gardens
  • Melanie Cavender, owner of Down to Earth Gardening
  • Bill Malouche, Kansas City manager of National Nursery Products
  • Andy Wright, president of Royal Creations Architectural Landscaping

Here is some more information on our experts.

Jeanne Johnson

Jeanne Johnson is one of the owners of Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins located southwest of Belton, Missouri. In the spring you will find the 1 and a half acre greenhouse full of annuals and vegetable plants along with 5000 hanging baskets. They also offer a wide selection of perennials. In the fall they have an outstanding variety of mums. They also offer you pick vegetables and pumpkins during season along with lots of kids activities.

Wayne Vineyard

Wayne Vinyard graduated from the University of Missouri School of Agriculture in 1960, majoring in floriculture. He and his wife, Jan, worked at Longview Farm Greenhouse from 1962 to 1978, when that operation closed. They established Longview Gardens on Bannister Road in 1980 and operated it until 2007.

Melanie Cavender

Melanie Cavender has been owner/operator of Down To Earth Gardening for the past 30 years. Her primary focus is design and installation. Frequently clients requests the removal and redesign of overgrown, outdated plantings around their homes. She also creates seasonal container plantings. She started out trying to tame her wild yard in old Leawood. She has taken many classes from Jan Vinyard and Rikki Creamer and researched avidly on her own. Her large yard has become an organized collection of plants, trees and shrubs.

Bill Malouche

Bill Malouche studied horticulture at Kansas State University before working for several horticultural companies in the Kansas City area. For the past 24 years, Bill has managed the Kansas City office of National Nursery Products, a horticultural sales, marketing and consulting group representing regional and national wholesale growers to the greenhouse grower, retail garden center and landscape professional.

Andy Wright

Andy Wright, president of Royal Creations Architectural Landscaping, has been building outdoor spaces for nearly 20 years. He is responsible for the design, sales, and management of Royal Creations projects. Andy has designed several award winning projects. He has a degree in landscape architecture from Kansas State University and is a certified landscape professional.

Paperwhite Planting Party

time-to-plant-paperwhites-stonegablelbog Join us for a morning of potting up paperwhites for the holidays.

Saturday, November 19, 2016
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Loose Park Garden Center
5200 Pennsylvania
Kansas City, Missouri 64112
(located within Loose Park at 51st and Wornall)

$20 (Gardeners Connect Members receive a $5 discount.)


Learn a few tricks from people who for decades have celebrated the holidays by planting paperwhites, like how to keep your paperwhites from being tall and floppy.

thinkstock-91828970_forcing-bulbs-paperwhites_s4x3_lgThis is a hands-on workshop with materials provided to take home a pot of paperwhites. This includes a pot,  5 bulbs and soil mix and also Gardeners Connect will provide a soup luncheon.

The cost for this event is $20 with Gardeners Connect members receiving a $5 discount.

Participants may purchase extra pots and bulbs online or at the event. You may also bring your own pots.

Sign up online below or mail a check made out to Gardeners Connect to 6911 NW Blair Road, Parkville, MO 64152. Please include a note with the mailed check that this is for the paperwhites workshop and specify which paperwhite bulbs you prefer.


Paperwhite ‘Grand Soleil D’or’

Paperwhites Are Not Always White.
We have chosen the paperwhite bulbs for our planting party, ‘Grand Soleil D’or.’

‘Grand Soleil D’or’ has beautifully formed, golden yellow petals with an orange cup. It has a wonderful, delicate, sweet fragrance.

The bulbs of are super premium sized 17+ cm bulbs. Each bulb of will produce three or more stems per bulb and each stem will have five or more flowers.

Due to massive crop failures in the Netherlands, we were only able to secure one bulb choice this year. We hope you will venture something new for a holiday tradition.

Thoughtful Gifts
Paperwhites can be planted in almost any container, from ones with drainage holes like flower pots to containers without drainage holes, which are often preferred as they provide a reservoir of water to keep your plants from drying out between watering and keep any surfaces you place them on dry. All you need is 3-4 inches of depth for the roots to anchor in and keep your plants upright. Bowls, vases, even that old gravy boat you never use all make good planting containers.

paperwhites_morePlant up paperwhites to give to family and friends as gifts. A pot will brighten anyone’s day. Even think about tailoring the planter to the recipient. A candy dish filled with bulbs for that sweet tooth you know or how about a pint beer glass from your favorite local Kansas City brewery planted with even a single bulb. We know quite a few people that would enjoy the sentiment of a crazy gardener that plants up everything.

Join us at the paperwhite planting party for homemade soup, garden banter and lots and lots of paperwhites, plant a few and let them brighten the bleak days of winter for you.

Shop LilyPalooza Bulb Sale

The LilyPalooza bulb sale is no longer available online for advance ordering. Bulbs will be available at LilyPalooza on Saturday, October 29, 2016. If you want to see what we will have available the day of the sale you can still peruse our online catalog. If the bulb is not available anymore it will say “sold out” across its photo. All other out of stock messages relate to the bulbs no longer being available to purchase online.

We also have six exclusive bulbs for the day of sale. Check them out here.

We do offer discounts if you purchase in quantities of 3 of each variety on most lily bulbs.

Happy shopping and any questions or problems please contact Brian Chadwick-Robinson at 913.302.4234.


Bulbs must be picked up at LilyPalooza on Saturday, October 29, 2016. If you are not able to pick up your order at LilyPalooza advance arrangements must be made by emailing info@gardnersconnect.org.


Garden Getaways

Gardeners Connect has been putting together Garden Getaways since March of 2007. The trips are open to members of Gardeners Connect and travel to places close to home and far away but always centered around our collective love of gardening.

Garden Getaways allow the gardener to venture out in a structured environment where everything is planned and guided by our Executive Director, Brian Chadwick-Robinson. We strive to make each trip unique and something that the gardeners could not easily easily put together themselves. These are not your average tours where you just see the same stuff every other tourist can see. We use our network to get guided tours by the people in the know and behind the scenes peaks that the general public doesn’t see. We not only tour public gardens but also private gardens when we can as well as find the best of the local nurseries and garden centers to shop for unusual plants and gardening must haves.

The trips are very popular and sell out very quickly with many gardeners having gone on multiple trips and clamoring for information about the next one.

Past Garden Getaways

2007 Wichita Garden Show (March)
2011 Carmel, Calif. (May 12-15)
2012 St. Louis (June 22-24)
2012 Arrowrock, Mo. (Sept. 8)
2013 Philadelphia International Flower Show (March 1-4)
2013 Arnold’s Greenhouse (May 11)
2014 Philadelphia International Flower Show (Feb. 28-March 3)
2014 Seattle (Aug. 8-12)
2015 Northwest Flower & Garden Show (Feb. 12-15)
2015 Berkshires (June 18-23)

The Stanley R McLane Arboretum

In 1972, the Jacob L. Loose Park became the home to the Stanley R. McLane Arboretum.

History tells that William Bent owned this acreage during the Battle of Westport, part of which was fought on these grounds Oct. 21-23, 1864. Later, under the ownership of Seth Ward from 1871-1926, the land was leased to the Kansas City Country Club for the use as a golf course. In 1926, Ella C. Loose purchased the land from the Ward estate, and in 1927 she deeded the 75 acres to Kansas City to be used as a park in the memory of her late husband, Jacob L. Loose.

In 1947, landscape architects Hare and Hare mapped out an arboretum in which they envisioned trees such as oaks, lindens, buckeyes, black walnuts, maples, ash and more.

Stanley R. McLane (1894-1971) served as the landscape supervisor for the J.C. Nichols Company for 44 years beautifying the Country Club Plaza and his company’s many residential communities. As a community service, McLane identified and tagged trees in Loose Park. Additionally, he compiled a list of trees that, in his opinion, needed to be planted in the park. That list served as guidance for further acquisitions in the arboretum. McLane was also one of the founders and early leaders of the then Garden Center Association of Greater Kansas City, fore-bearer of today’s Gardeners Connect. A year after McLane’s death, the arboretum was dedicated in his name.

Throughout the last 39 years, the arboretum has continually received support from dedicated individuals such as George Eib and Addie Ward; from various foundations; from Eagle Scouts; from citizens of the greater Kansas City area; from the Kansas City Department of Parks and Recreation; and, from Gardeners Connect. Each in his/her own way has helped the arboretum thrive.

George Eib, also known as “Mr. Tree, retired in 1994 as superintendent of forestry and landscaping for Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department after a 34-year career. Building from McLane’s suggested list of trees, Eib not only established his own list of “needed trees” but also planted many of these trees during his career.

Tree donors select from Eib’s list along with additional suggestions by KC Parks and Rec Forester Kevin LaPointe, and by Judy Penner, director of Loose Park.

As he did during his career, Eib continues to administer and participate in Kansas City’s Arbor Day tree planting ceremony in the arboretum every April. A vast number of trees have been added and maintained in the arboretum through the very generous philanthropy of Addie Ward. In 2011, a Babylon Weeping Willow was dedicated to Ward at the Arbor Day tree planting ceremony.

Four boy scouts have improved the arboretum by developing and executing Eagle Scout projects. In 1976 under the leadership of Eagle Scout John Douglas Dietrich and from donations from the citizens of Kansas City, eight Battle of Westport informational boards were erected at the south end of the park by the Civil War canon.

In the summer of 2011, scouts Gregory Wiedeman and Anthony Mendoza and each of their crews mulched 75 trees in the arboretum respectively, thus earning an Eagle Scout designation for both boys. Recently on the Labor Day weekend, Alex Albright completed his Eagle project by supervising the installation of 13 plaques identifying trees in the arboretum by their botanical and common names. (Note: plaques are embedded in the ground on the east side of the trees. Not all trees in the arboretum have plaques.)

Thank you to former Gardeners Connect board member and Arbor Day recipient Jo Missildine for researching and compiling this information.