Sunday, December 6, 2009

Recent questions and answers from the OSU Extension Horticulture/Civic Garden Center Helpline

The Civic Garden Center works cooperatively with the OSU Extension office to operate the Helpline - a service for gardeners and the curious to call with plant related questions. Here are two recent questions with answers. If you have a question, give us a call at 513-221-8733.

Q: There are small black hard shell insects on the underside of my ficus tree leaves. What can I do to eliminate them?

A: Spray with horticultural oil.

Q: I have dug up some peonies; how can I store these over winter?

A: Do not wash rhizome; shake or gently break away soil.

With sterilized knife (dip knife in alcohol) cut out damaged or rotting areas.

Cut four holes in a gallon plastic bag on both sides.

Dampen peat mos, vermiculite or sawdust slightly (damp but not soggy)

Place peat moss in plastic bag, tuck in rhizome and seal bag

Store in cool dark place

Remove rhizome from bag, weekly, and check for rot

Cut off any rotting areas with sterile knife and return to plastic bag, making sure

storage material stays damp; place back into storage

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Helpline Questions & Answers

Christmas Tree Sale at the Civic Garden Center!

Our parking lot smells sooooo good! We have assorted sizes from 3-4 feet all the way to 8-9 feet tall trees. All are Fraser Firs from North Carolina with perfect tops for that Angel or Star that's been in the family for generations. Or start your own tradition and use something non-traditional as your tree topper!

We are open from 9am-6pm Monday - Friday and 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday for the tree sale. Stop in and shop our lobby for hand made pottery and CGC logo wear.

Here are some tips for taking care of that tree over the holidays.

  • Keep your tree in a cool place until you bring it into your home.
  • Make a fresh cut to remove about an inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in a stand or bucket.
  • Place your tree in warm water as soon as possible (tap water is fine to use).
  • As a general rule, provide your tree with 1 liter of water per inch of stem diameter.
  • Check the water level daily to make sure it does not go below the base of the tree.
  • Visit to find out how to properly dispose of your Christmas tree this year!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It's been a great summer for the Civic Garden Center. We've had lots of classes, a fantastic Neighborhood Gardens Tour and still more classes and events are coming up. Having the coolest July on record has made for a very enjoyable gardening month!

Here's a brief run down. For more info visit our website.
7/29 Introduction to using a rain barrel 6pm $10
8/05 Lunch & Learn: Ornamental shrubs Noon Free
8/12 Square Foot Gardening for the Fall Garden 6:30pm $10
8/13 Small Trees 6pm $10
8/16 Needle Felted Flower Pins - craft class 1pm $25
8/17 Bees in the Burbs 6pm $10
8/18 Diversity in the Landscape 6pm $10
8/29 Gourd Art - craft class 9:30am $20

September will bring us the CGC first ever Organic Wine Tasting on the patio -9/18 from 5-8pm $25; reservations required 513-221-0981.

October we have two big events planned. The first and a really fun one is our annual Flavors of Neighborhood Gardens. Come enjoy a relaxing evening on the patio while you sample the harvest of our community gardeners bounty. This is a free event and donations are welcome! 10/9 from 6-8pm, rsvp 513-221-0981.

Then we have Bulb Day on 10/10. We will have a multitude of daffodils and various other bulbs for sale with guest speakers, activities, and more. Details will follow for times and pricing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

My how time flies

Hey there bloggers. It's been more than a month that I've blogged in. As usual, there is so much going at at the CGC. Our snail mail newsletter will be arriving in homes within a week or so. If you can't wait that long, please check out our website and look for the link on the lower left side of the home page under Summer Newsletter. We've added many new classes for the summer session, so make sure you check out the classes while you're on the website.

Our next big event is our annual Neighborhood Gardens Tour on July 23rd from 5:30 - 8:30pm. For $10 dollars you get to visit three our our well established gardens, ride the big air conditioned bus, and have a refreshment or two. We will be visiting the following gardens:
Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden
Pendleton Children’s Garden
Purcell-Marion Community Garden

If you'd like to join us, please call 513-221-0981 to make your reservations.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Glorious Gardens Tour in Indian Hill

Well, we have just recuperated from a fantastic Plant, Herb, and Hosta Sale! Thanks to all that attended our Preview Party and the Sale and all of our hardworking, dedicated volunteers!
Check out our slide show:

Now we are onto our next event, our Glorious Gardens Tour. You won't want to miss this opportunity to tour three charming private gardens in Indian Hill, at your own pace, featuring an outstanding peony collection as well as themed gardens, water features, sculpture accents and an extensive variety of plants.

Check out our website for all the details: (see the side bar for Save the Dates).

There is always something going at CGC! Stop by to see how lush the grounds are, pack a lunch, and enjoy it on the patio.

BTW, we still have a few left over plants. I know there are roses, tropicals, and a few other miscellaneous plants. Come on by and buy at a discount!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Preveiw Party & Plant, Herb and Hosta Sale

The grounds of the Civic Garden Center are buzzing with activity! We have a multitude of wonderful volunteers planting, cleaning, cooking, and setting up for our biggest event of the year, our annual Plant, Herb, and Hosta Sale.

Festivities begin Friday evening at 6:00pm for our Preview Party. There will be food, libations, music, a Silent Auction and Live Plant Auction, and shopping for plants. Tickets may still be purchased by calling 513-221-0981 $35.00 until Thursday afternoon) or at the door the day of ($45.00).

Saturday, the sale begins at 9:00am and runs until 3:00pm and on Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm. In addition to our fantastic selection of plants there will be additional vendors selling gardening related items. We also have Posy Power for sale at $7.50 per bag during the sale. This is incredible organic fertilizer consisting of compost, manure, and other beneficial ingredients.

Don't miss out on the fun!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's Almost Here!

From Terry:

We've had a bit of a tease, a warm day or two, to give us a taste of spring. It's almost here, though, and I have proof! Check out these photos of spring flowers to give yourself a taste of what's to come. The daffodils will be popping up soon, too!

A rose colored Hellebores and a white Lenten Rose (Hellebores)


Monday, March 2, 2009

From Terry

Well, I'm just tickled green about launching our new website! It's such a fresh look and I love the colors! Our webdesigner/master, Michelle Curley, has done a fantastic job in putting this together. She is very patiently working with me so that I am able to keep it up to date (more so than this blog). It's fun to learn to use new programs (okay, so I whine a bit - well, a lot, along the way).

Please keep checking on the website, as there is always something going on. Right now, it's the Home & Garden Show down at the Duke Energy Center. We had our crew there along with volunteers and students from Diamond Oaks constructing the booth last week. Hauling rock and laying bricks, building compost bins, constructing walls, sheds, and planting were all physical things that had to be done in order to get this booth ready. It looks fantastic! Stop by and see is down there.
Our next major undertaking will be the 2009 Plant, Herb & Hosta Sale. Our Preview Party is on Friday, May 1, 2009 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Tickets in advance are $35 and $45 at the door. The party is so much fun! We'll have food, beer and wine, music by Stoopid Rooster, various vendors, Posy Power and best of all PLANTS! To make a reservation give us a call at 513-221-0981. The public sale begins bright and early (it's early if you've been to the party the night before) at 9:00 am and is open until 3:00 pm. Don't worry if you can't make it on Saturday - we will be around Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Also, in May is our Glorious Gardens Tour on the 17th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. This year the tour is in Indian Hill. We are still working on the details and will keep you posted as more info becomes available.
Check out the new website and let us know what you think. Here's what I'm thinking - SPRING is starting to show it's lovely head. The Winter Aconite is blooming, there are crocus popping us and snowbells blooming. Breathe in the fresh air!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter at the CGC!

After being closed for two days due to the snow and icing that Cincinnati was hit with, I couldn't wait to get back to work. My favorite time of day is the morning and I love arriving here before anyone else. When I arrived this morning, the grounds were pristine, no human foot prints, just bunny, bird, and squirrel prints. I know the weight of the ice and snow can be damaging, but it's just so beautiful. I took a few photos to share.

Center of fountain on our patio.

It was beautiful coming into work this morning!

Topigiary blindfolded by snow.

This sparkling Serviceberry is outside the
Cottage Shop covered in ice. It looks like a
glass sculpture.

The birds were happy to have the feeders refilled. It makes it a whole lot easier to identify the birds with a white background. Today, I've seen sparrows, a tohee, junkos, doves, starlings, a downy woodpecker and cardinals.

Although, we are blanketed by snow, it's not slowing us down; we are very busy with many events and plans. Saturday 2/7 is our annual quilt tea. We are in the midst of preparing for the home and garden show. The Preview Party and Plant, Herb and Hosta Sale committees have been meeting and it's going to be great (May 1, 2 & 3). Check the website for details.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New year, new classes

We have lots of classes coming up. Please check our website ( under the education tab for details. I really want to make you aware of couple of outstanding educational opportunities with Brian Jorg, Horticulturist, Photographer, and Birder. We are offering a trip to the Smokies with Brian Jorg and CGC staff horticulturist, Paul Koloszar as your guides. The second offering is a four part photography course with Brian Jorg showing you the tips and tricks of taking exquisite photographs. The course descriptions are below. Please call to reserve your spot today - 513.221.0981.

Smoky Mountain Wildflower Photography Trip
Focus on Flowers
April 17-19

Join Brian Jorg for a wildflower photography class in the Great Smoky Mountains - one of the most florally diverse regions in North America. A pre-trip meeting will take place April 6, 7-8:30pm at the Civic Garden Center. Our trip is scheduled when we should expect to see a profusion of blooms, such as the rare and unusual Yellow Lady’s Slipper orchid, Showy Orchids, Dwarf Crested Iris, and a number of Trillium species - all in their springtime glory.

· The cost to participate in this spectacular on site photography class will be $100.00 per person
· Transportation, lodging and meals will be on your own
· A block of rooms will be reserved for our tour
· Space will be limited.

All trails will range from easy to moderate. Attendees should be able to walk over uneven ground, and be able to walk moderate distances. Please contact Brian Jorg by e-mail ( ) for questions, or call the Civic Garden Center at 221-0981 to reserve your space now!

Digital Photography Workshop
May 14 &16, June 6 &11

Join us for this four-part digital photography workshop. This class is open to all beginner photographers. The class will consist of one evening of class room instruction and three on site classes that will focus on flower/macro photography, wildlife, and cityscapes.
· The cost for this four- part class is $45. 00 per person (space limited)
· Thursday, May 14, 6-8pm: Introduction at the CGC
· Saturday, May 16, 8-10am: Animals at the Cincinnati Zoo
· Saturday, June 6, 8-10am: Flowers at the CGC
· Thursday, June 11, 7-9pm: Cityscapes (off site location TBA)

Please contact Brian Jorg at with questions, or call the Civic Garden Center at 221-0981 to reserve your space now!