Home & Garden

Gardener's almanac

Poinsettia tips — If you were fortunate enough to receive a poinsettia for Christmas, here's how to care for it:

* Place your poinsettia in a sunny window or the brightest area of the room, but don't let it touch cold windowpanes. The temperature should be 65 to 75 degrees during the day, 60 to 65 degrees at night. Temperatures above 75 will shorten bloom life and below 60 degrees may cause root rot. Move plants away from windows at night or draw drapes to prevent damage from the cold.

* Poinsettias don't like to be overwatered. On the other hand, if the plant is allowed to wilt, it will drop some leaves. Examine the potting soil daily by sticking your finger about 1 inch deep into the soil. If it is dry to this depth, the plant needs water. When it becomes dry to the touch, water the plant with lukewarm water until some water runs out of the drainage hole, then discard the drainage water. Yes, this means you can't leave the pretty foil on it, though you can put it back on once you're sure the water has drained out.

Spring Gardening Series — The season named in this series of classes sponsored by the Sedgwick County Extension Master Gardeners refers to when you'll be gardening — not when the classes are held. The series will be from Jan. 4 through Feb. 15 — the perfect time to study up.

The fee is $5 for the whole series, and the classes will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Extension Center at 21st and Ridge Road.

The class schedule: Jan. 4, Confessions of a Seedaholic: Starting Transplants from Seed; Jan. 11, Soil Preparation & Composting; Jan. 18, Get Growing Vegetables; Jan. 25, Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities: Building a Greener Community One Yard at a Time; Feb. 1, Using Ornamental Grasses in Your Landscape; Feb. 8, Growing and Using Culinary Herbs; and Feb. 15, Bring Your Yard Alive With Native Plants and Wildflowers.

To register for the series, call Angie Norris at 316-660-0138.

Botanica schedule — Botanica will be closed for the holidays through Jan. 3.

Terrarium workshop — Botanica is offering a workshop on making a terrarium from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 13. Kathy Scott will lead the workshop on creating a mini garden in a glass container. The fee is $30, $25 for Botanica members. Each participant will receive a glass container, rocks, charcoal, soil and sphagnum moss. The class will then caravan to Johnson's Garden Center to pick out three plants and finish the project. Register by calling Karla Jahn after Jan. 3 at 316-264-0448 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. (Botanica's offices will be closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3.)

Beginning drawing class — John Lokke will lead eight sessions on beginning drawing at Botanica from Jan. 14 to March 4. Each class will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The fee is $100, $90 for Botanica members.

Included in the course are eye-to-hand relationships and exercises and the development of quick, facile sketches, followed by more finished drawings. Basic techniques covered will include proportion, positive and negative space, line, shade, perspective, design and composition, highlights and chiaroscuro. Brief presentations of artists, styles and movements of historical importance will also be included. A supply list will be sent upon registration.

Register by calling Karla Jahn after Jan. 3 at 316-264-0448 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. (Botanica's offices will be closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3.)

Landscape Design Series — Botanica will offer a three-part series on creating a landscape design on Jan. 16, 23 and 30. Hours will be 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Three sessions. Fee is $95, $85 for Botanica members. Lectures and hands-on drawing sessions will be taught by Mark McHenry of Hillside Nursery. The course will include a textbook, "Residential Landscape Design," by Gustaaf van der Hoeven.

A list of drafting tools and supplies will be available upon registration or a supply kit can be purchased at the first workshop. Preregistration is required. Class is limited to 15 students. Register by calling Karla Jahn after Jan. 3 at 316-264-0448 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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