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Anne M. Hanchek

Why do people visit the grounds of a botanical garden or arboretum? What draws them to that “experience of nature”? What can we do as horticulturists, landscape architects, and educators to make garden areas more appealing and fulfilling to visitors? The Prairie Interpretive Committee of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum asked these questions in 1991 as it convened to analyze the current and future status of the Arboretum's Bennett/Johnson Prairie. To understand visitor usage and needs, Arboretum members were surveyed about frequency of visits, reasons for visiting, specific visitor services, and suggestions for improvements. Among the 151 responses, the major reasons for visiting were the pleasures of walking, observing, and being at peace. “Open”, “wild,” and “natural” were common key words. There was keen interest in native plants and their historical role as well. Sitting areas, maps, path markers, plant labels, and self-guided tours were the primary requests for improvement. A high percentage found the demonstration area interesting and useful. The Interpretive Committee used this research to guide the landscape architect, create a brochure, and develop an integrative master plan for the prairie area.

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Anne M. Hanchek

In 1991, a suburban city in Minnesota found its lawn and nuisance weed ordinance the center of controversy as a citizen sought to develop a naturalized landscape that contrasted greatly with her neighbors' mowed lawns. This decision case study presents that situation as faced by the city policymakers and, when presented in a class setting, provides an opportunity to explore real options in a real issue of today. The case objectives are to prepare policymakers to deal with similar issues, and to broaden the outlook of students based in plant and environmental sciences to include the social factors of people-plant interactions. Group problem-solving skills also can be enhanced by this exercise. The abridged teaching note provides guidance for classroom and extension use.

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Anne M. Hanchek and Arthur C. Cameron

The effect of harvest dates between September and December on regrowth after storage of field-grown Coreopsis grandiflora Hogg × Sweet `Sunburst' and `Sunray', Geum quellyon Sweet `Mrs. Bradshaw', Gypsophila paniculata L. `Snowflake', Iberis sempervirens L. `Snowflake', and Dicentra spectabilis (L.) Lem. crowns was determined. After 0 to 7 months of storage at 0C, stored crowns were repotted and grown in a greenhouse. Plants from later harvests were of higher quality than those from earlier harvests, showing higher rates of survival after longer storage periods, less mold development in storage, and stronger regrowth after storage. Late field harvest is recommended for optimum storage quality.

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Julia L. Bohnen and Anne M. Hanchek

The Legislative Commission on Minnesota's Resources funded a two year research project to promote expansion of the native wildflower and grass seed industry in Minnesota. Production of seeds and plants for landscaping and restoration is a growing sector of the horticultural industry, yet documentation of production techniques is sketchy due in part to the large number of species. The species Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily), Phlox pilosa (prairie phlox), and Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass) were selected for further analysis of germination requirements. These species were noted by producers as having poor and/or unreliable germination. Cold moist stratification and gibberellic acid (GA) treatments were applied Total percent germination and mean days to germination were calculated and analyzed after 30 days under greenhouse growing conditions. Stratification improved total percent and mean days to germination in L. philadelphicum. P. pilosa responded to treatment by both stratification and GA. Four weeks of stratification may be the best method for decreasing mean days to germination while obtaining adequate total percent germination for S. pectinata.

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Mary Hockenberry Meyer and Anne M. Hanchek

The Master Gardener (MG) program operates in conjunction with the cooperative extension service in most states. The training, management, and administration of these volunteers vary widely from state to state. This paper presents a 4-year analysis of the initial cost of training Minnesota MGs and their volunteer hours contributed to the Minnesota Extension Service. The average training cost was $89/person (based on the total number of volunteers certified 2 years after the training) with an average of 59 ($711 at $12/h) and 40 ($474) hours volunteered or paid back over the first and following years, respectively. In all years, hours volunteered exceeded program expectations of 50 hours the first year and 25 hours thereafter.

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Julia L. Bohnen and Anne M. Hanchek

Production of native seeds and seedlings for landscaping and restoration is an expanding horticultural industry in Minnesota, but seed yields of many species from wild stands are often small and vary widely in quality. In this work, we document phenological development and seed yield in cultivated and prairie-grown plants for Tradescantia ohiensis Raf. (Ohio spiderwort), Dalea purpurea Vent. (purple prairie clover), and Spartina pectinata Link (prairie cordgrass) at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. For T. ohiensis, seed yield under cultivation was significantly greater than in the prairie both seasons, with 2.5 g of seed recovered per plant in 1993. Under cultivation, seed yield of established D. purpurea was triple that of the prairie, yielding 34 seeds per inflorescence. S. pectinata grown under cultivation from seedlings or rhizome divisions produced seed in the first and second seasons, respectively, while plants in the prairie remained vegetative. Two-year-old seedlings produced 38 seeds per spike. Field cultivation of these native plant species resulted in increased seed yield and improved growth, while allowing phenological monitoring and the use of species-specific harvest practices.

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Kenneth O. Doyle, Anne M. Hanchek, and Julia McGrew

Flowers communicate information and emotion. When people were asked what messages they associated with given floral arrangements, they reliably connected six meanings with particular arrangements. When similar people were asked which floral arrangements they would choose to convey given messages, they reliably associated three arrangements with particular messages. These findings are consistent with previous studies of the psychology of personality and color; with further elaboration, they should be useful in floral advertising and marketing, advertising, and marketing in other fields, and communications research.