Volunteer Spotlight: Denis Derylo

Colorado Master Gardener℠ (CMG) volunteers are a dedicated group of individuals who are knowledgeable and passionate about sharing gardening, landscape and horticulture education. This month we are highlighting Denis Derylo.
"I enrolled in the Master Gardener program in 2002. Growing up in a suburb of Chicago where everyone grew vegetables in their yards, I fell in love with growing tomatoes. After moving to Colorado, I found the growing conditions here were entirely different—the soil, the lack of humidity and moisture (what was a sprinkler system? We had rain back there). I had no intention of staying with the program. I thought just taking the classes for the year would suffice, but then I was hooked with a further desire to learn more.
The Arapahoe County Plant Diagnostic Clinic
By Jeff Cole, Colorado Master Gardener
Photo: ndsu.edu
Does your crabapple tree have sick branches that look like this? This crabapple tree is showing signs of fire blight. Fire blight is a bacterial disease that affects some of the plants in the rosacea (Rose) family, especially apples, pears and crabapples. Some years, we can see large infestations of the disease in Arapahoe County. 
Small Space Gardening
By Kathi Thistlethwaite,
Colorado Master Gardener
Layering plant size adds harmony and interest to this small space. Photo: Pinterest.com
The techniques used in a small garden are the same for a large garden, with an additional consideration: scale. For example, large-leaf hostas in a small shade garden would not work as well as a small-leaf variety. Light, water, soil condition and fertilization for a particular plant need to be part of the landscape as well. Incorporate design elements such as layering plants according to height.
From the Hort Desk
The Fascinating Lives of Butterflies
The season for butterflies is upon us! I have seen a few painted lady butterflies so far, but more are on their way. Last month in the Special Edition Pollinator Garden issue, I wrote a little about butterflies, but I wanted to expand on this topic because butterflies are among the most beautiful and fascinating insects in our world.

Some basic facts about butterflies and moths:

  • Are part of the insect order Lepidoptera, meaning scale wing.
  • Are characterized by two features: 1) their wings are covered in scales which are modified hairs, and 2) they have a proboscis which is a long, tubular mouthpart.
  • Go through a full metamorphosis consisting of four life stages: an egg, larva, pupa and adult.
  • Have slight variations in each individual—just like a snowflake, no two individuals are the same, but the differences are very hard to spot in the outdoors.
Lisa Mason
CSU Extension Horticulture Agent
A painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui).
Photo: Lisa Mason
You can distinguish a butterfly from a moth a few different ways. Butterflies are diurnal, active during the day, while moths are generally nocturnal, active at night. Butterflies also tend to be more colorful, which helps them attract a mate. Moths attract mates through smell. Their dulled colors help them camouflage at night to avoid predators. In addition, butterflies generally have antennae that are club-shaped versus moth antennae that usually taper to a point or look feathery. Male moths, in particular, have large, feathery antennae.
Out of Africa, at Home in Colorado
By Paula Szilard, Colorado Master Gardener
Delospermas in all colors have become the jewels that adorn our gardens. Who could have imagined this variety of iridescent colors when we only had purple and yellow ones? The blossoms of these plants, commonly known as ice plants, open up to the sun and sparkle like precious stones.
Fire Spinner, Photo: High Country Gardens
Like so many of the subtropical garden plants we love, they hail from South Africa, from the higher elevations in the Drakensberg Mountains and the cold plateaus of the semidesert area known as the Great Karoo, an area where about 40% of all the succulent species on earth are endemic.
High Tech Gardening Help
By Donnetta Wilhelm, Colorado Master Gardener
As a child, I would run my finger across the spines of the 24-volume set of Encyclopedia Britannica books on my grandfather’s bookcase and marvel at the knowledge contained within. Fast forward numerous decades and I run my finger across the yard, garden and insect Apps on my phone—and I still marvel at the knowledge contained within. Being outdoors—whether it’s in the backyard or out in nature—has now gone high tech and with a simple click or swipe we have instant answers about what we see. We’ve compiled a list of some favorite Apps from Colorado Master Gardener volunteers, Horticulture Staff and CSU professionals: 

Free, 2013. Identify plants by snapping a photo. Photos are also collected and analyzed by scientists to better understand plant biodiversity. Works well for all plants: flowers, trees, grasses, conifers, vines, cacti and weeds.
Reader's Corner
By Martha Kirk, Colorado Master Gardener
Recommended book: Pruning Made Easy: A Gardener's Visual Guide to When and How to Prune Everything, from Flowers to Trees, Lewis Hill, Hardback, Storey Publishing, October 2016.

This authoritative guide includes more than 300 step-by-step illustrations to clearly demonstrate the correct pruning procedures for a variety of trees, shrubs, hedges, vines and flowers. Lewis Hill offers expert advice on when, how and why each type of plant should be pruned.
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