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Spring Gardening: Help Grow Your Green Thumb

There may be no controlling Mother Nature, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your garden to cooperate. But keeping your gardening blossoming instead of browning is easier said than done.

Don’t worry. Wednesday on Up to Date, we’ll help you “green-up” your thumb for springtime gardening. Steve Kraske talks with Alan Branhagen, director of horticulture at Powell Gardens about tips and tricks to keep things alive and sprouting.  We'll also take a look at how Kansas City’s unseasonably warm winter and spring impacted your plants.

Plus: a look at a new water quality program the city of Lenexa launched this month. Can rain gardens and barrels really help? Mandy Stark, marketing and outreach specialist for the City of Lenexa talks about her city's Stormwater Cost Share program, which reimburses Lenexa and other Johnson County residents for a portion of the costs associated with installing a rain garden, a rain barrel, and native plants.

Alan Branhagen is an expert naturalist who specializes in garden design, edible landscapes, native plants and landscape design for wildlife (especially birds and butterflies). He has been director of horticulture at Powell Gardens since 1996. Branhagen's design work at Powell includes the Island Garden, the Visitor Education Center landscaping, and the Heartland Harvest Garden planting plan, which he put together after studying the Oxford Dictionary of World Food Plants for many nights. He is the author of The Gardener's Butterfly Book.

Stephen Steigman is director of Classical KC. You can email him at <a href="mailto:Stephen.Steigman@classicalkc.org">Stephen.Steigman@classicalkc.org</a>.
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.