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Archives for November 2011

Ideas of fifth-graders will be used to design Palm Springs park

By Willie Howard

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

— PALM SPRINGS — The ideas of five fifth-graders will be used to design a new park at the south end of the village.

The student park designs were submitted as part of a contest the village organized in October to engage youths in the workings of city government during Florida City Government Week.

The students’ ideas for the park site include basketball courts, benches, playground equipment, a dog park, a jogging trail, pavilions, fishing docks and landscaping.

Each of the five park-design finalists — Kate Pinder and Vanessa Medrano from C.O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary and Isabel Garcia, Colton Martinez and Tommy Dague from the St. Luke School — will be given checks for $25 and certificates of achievement by the village council Thursday night.

Some of the students submitted detailed analyses of the cost of each feature in the park — and ideas for fund-raisers to cover the cost.

They also answered questions about who will use the park and what should be done to make it inviting to the public.

“People who are polite and caring should be the people using the park,” wrote Kate from Kirklane Elementary.

Colton from St. Luke School downloaded a photo of the Blue Ridge Mountaineer swing set he wanted to include in the park along with an itemized park budget totaling $11,127.

Tommy of St. Luke School included basketball courts, a small parking lot, fishing docks and a pavilion in his design. His park budget: $185,000.

Bill Golson, the village’s leisure services director, is expected to integrate the students’ ideas into a conceptual design for presentation to the village council later this year. The village’s capital budget will likely pay for the park facilities, though the village also is pursuing grant money.

“They were very creative and very thorough in their designs,” Golson said. “It was an eye-opening experience.”

The village council agreed to buy the lot for the park at 3702 Davis Road in August.

Village Manager Karl Umberger said the schedule for building the park has not been set. He said it’s possible the park could be developed and ready to use by next fall.

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NJ APA holds green roof seminar

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – To help planners, landscape architects, and real estate and construction professionals interested in sustainable design better understand green roofs and their many benefits, the New Jersey chapter of the American Planning Association (NJAPA) will host an educational presentation on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC) at Hackensack University Medical Center, 90 Second Street. 

The presentation will address green roof planning, design and construction, and will provide attendees with an opportunity to tour the center’s new 4,500-square-foot green roof garden and learn about its purpose and the many benefits it provides to the hospital and its patients. The tour will be followed by a session dealing with physical design, regulatory issues, urban heat island and neighborhood impacts, storm water reduction methods and tips on roof garden planning.

Using its Eco Earth Design method of utilizing only the most eco-friendly materials and practices, Midland Park-based RS Landscaping completed the cancer center’s extensive oasis last year in two phases. With the goal of providing patients with easy access to the outdoors and a place to sit among greenery, in addition to serving as a respite for visiting families and friends to spend time while their loved ones are receiving treatment, RS installed drought-tolerant green roof modules, decorative planters, shrubs and sitting areas as well as a demonstration vegetable garden.

Speakers at the presentation will include RS Landscaping President Robert Schucker; Alex Dambach, who serves as the Northeast Area Representative for the NJAPA, and is the director of policy, planning, and development for the City of East Orange; and John McDonough, a licensed professional planner and landscape architect in the State of New Jersey.
Schucker is a Green Roofs For Healthy Cities-certified Green Roof Professional and one of New Jersey’s foremost experts on green roof design and installation. Using the proprietary Eco Earth Design method, RS Landscaping provides superior quality landscape design to property owners seeking cutting-edge approaches to sustainability. For more than 26 years, RS Landscaping has offered environmentally responsible, high-end service to residential, public and commercial properties in the areas of design/build, grounds maintenance, irrigation, lighting and plant health care.
In his role with NJAPA, Dambach helps the organization support of the needs of the state’s most urbanized areas, and he also works to establish professional development and educational opportunities for planners to improve their skills.
McDonough has been a land use consultant for more than 25 years and has been recognized as an expert in land use matters before hundreds of boards and commissions throughout the State of New Jersey and in Superior Courts. In his capacity as a private consultant, McDonough has designed or planned thousands of projects in all types of land use genres, including Yogi Berra Baseball Stadium and the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
“Green roofs offer property owners a plethora of benefits that can readily be seen at the JTCC installation,” Schucker said. “We hope this informative event will open the eyes of attendees to all of the possible applications for green roof gardens at other sites.”

Attendees should park at the Cancer Center garage, use the Second Street entrance, and advise the guard they are there for the NJAPA meeting. It will be held in Conference Room #1 and will provide CM credits.

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Stunning Volcanic Landscape Captured by Intrepid Hawaii Photographer

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Hawaii Island Volcanic Activity captured by Chuck Denny

BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – For the last four years, Hawaii Kai resident Chuck Denny has been intrepid in his effort to capture photos of Hawaii Island lava fields that almost no one else has seen.

While his photos appear as stunning as any professional ones, he told Hawaii Reporter that this is a hobby for him. However, since he often hikes for miles in remote areas to get to the lava because he wants the world to see what he can see, his hobby may be more of a calling.

Lava field on Hawaii Island in November 2011 – Photo by Chuck Denny

On November 3 and 4, Denny traveled to Hawaii island to photograph the active lava surface flow expansion field that originates from the lava tube on the east flank of the Pu’u O’o vent. That is about 1 mile long and extends 3 miles to the south east of Pu’u O’o and 1.25 miles above the Royal Gardens subdivision northern boundary.

Photo by Chuck Denny

Denny said the photos were taken along the 1 mile surface flow field during visit to Jack Thompson’s lava house in Royal Gardens. This is his seventh visit there in four years, since his initial trip on January 20, 2008.

Jack Thompson is a well known animated personality on the Big Island of Hawaii. He welcomes guests to his so called lava house, where they are sure to find solitude and beauty. But as Denny said, guests must realize that somewhere nearby flows 2,100-degree lava.

Mr. Thompson’s House in Royal Gardens – Photo by Chuck Denny

“Mr. Thompson is now the only remaining full time resident in the Royal Garden subdivision of which he has resided for 28 years and in which over 180 homes have been consumed and over taken by Madame Pele,” Denny said.

Madame Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire who is said in Hawaiian culture to rule over the volcanoes, is a force to be reckoned with.

“The photos exhibit the beautiful phenomenon of Madame Pele creating new land with streaming rivers of pahoehoe lava and the creation of extending lava tubes at lower elevations as they meander down the pali toward the ocean,” Denny said.

Photo by Chuck Denny, November 2011, Hawaii island

He adds that if this current episode persists without lava stalling, the existing path is South East toward the middle of Royal Gardens where Thompson lives.

“The active terminus of lava was moving 200 yards per day and the residents of Kalapana Gardens may soon see lava high on the pali, however Madame Pele decides the direction of her ever changing landscaping project,” Denny said.

In his four years of photographing this area, he also has captured stunning active lava tubes, lava skylights along the lava tube within the Royal Gardens subdivision, surface flows that have traveled 6 miles from Pu’u O’o to the ocean, and ocean entry.


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Malia Zimmerman

Malia Zimmerman is the editor and co-founder of Hawaii Reporter. She has worked as a consultant and contributor to several dozen media outlets including ABC 20/20, FOX News, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, UPI and the Washington Times. Malia has been listed as one of the nation’s top “Web Proficients, Virtuosi, and Masters” and “Hawaii’s new media thought leader” by Reach her at

Malia Zimmerman has written
277 articles for us.

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Letter: Literally, figuratively, Rood left mark on Martin County landscape

Scott M. Fay, Hobe Sound

Letter: Literally, figuratively, Rood left mark on Martin County landscape

Roy S. Rood has left behind a legacy of strong values of faith, family, business, philanthropy and leadership. At Treasure Coast Irrigation and Landscape and Rood Landscape, we strive to continue that legacy, honoring his memory with a spirit of gratitude for the road he paved for us.

Mr. Rood was well known and respected throughout the community. He was a founding member of the Jupiter/Tequesta Kiwanis Club and American Legion, Grace Emmanuel Church, Jupiter Christian Academy, and the first bank to open its doors in Jupiter/Tequesta, just to name a few. He was very involved with the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Museum, and in 1938 he planted the ficus there that can be seen growing and prospering to this very day. He opened Rood Landscape in 1946.

A man who cared passionately for excellence, he built this company with the simple vision: “Do it right the first time.”

This vision will live on with every member of the TCI Rood family, where we share and respect his passion for the industry. Mr. Rood was a founding member of the Florida Nursery Growers Landscape Association, and received several state and national awards, including an award from First Lady Barbara Bush for landscaping the Gardens Mall.

A consistent theme to every talk given to the industry (and he gave many) was to keep learning and make this profession better than ever. He was dedicated to giving back to the community he lived and worked in, and ensured his company would continue his philanthropic efforts.

As we reflect with gratitude on the life and legacy of our founder for the strong infrastructure he built for generations to come, we look forward to carrying his memory into the future through excellence and commitment to the landscaping industry and the customers we serve.

Scott M. Fay is the CEO of TCI Rood.

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Gardening Tips, a Fry’s Complaint, and Jobs: This Week’s Tweets

Wondering what the tweet-o-sphere looks like for Campbell? We make eavesdropping easy. Take a look at this snapshot of the conversations this week.


CampbellBrewing Campbell Brewing Company beer garden… May I have your ATTENTION… our latest Seasonal is being released today….

sfbaw RT @brownbugz Just reported a hazard on State Hwy 17, Campbell, using @waze – Social GPS.

stonecollonge Smell in mens room @ #Frys #Campbell is beyond disgusting. How many people have to pee on the floor before the clean?

CampbellYards Gardening tips for November | MyHome Advice Centre Campbell Landscape

TheCoopCampbell Who is this masked super hero? She was having fun during our Halloween weekend dance party…

CampbellWomen mmmmmm…the recipes are starting to come in! Can’t wait to try some of these! Have you sent us YOURS?

Dorkenhoff Wow, dead here. Wait, were the clocks supposed to go forward or backward this morning? (@ Campbell Farmer’s Market)

dfos84 I’m at Whole Foods Market (1690 S. Bascom Ave., at Hamilton Ave., Campbell)


HRNewsJobs Technical Recruiter / Sourcer Trainee: CA-Campbell, netPolarity, Inc. is a fast growing full service contingent …

WunderlandGroup Sr UX Design Manager – Campbell, California

WunderlandGroup Art Director – Campbell, CA

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Vegetable gardening 101 – Sun

Vegetable gardening 101

South Florida’s planting season is generally from September through March. Some hardy vegetables and herbs might make it through summer, but it’s best to let the soil rest in the hottest months to prepare for the fall. Here are seven tips to get started.

Plant in above-ground beds. Free plans for a frame are available at, or you can buy resin frame kits at building supply stores, such as Lowe’s and The Home Depot. A 4-by-4-feet kit sells for less than $50 and is big enough for a garden to feed a family of four.

Line the raised bed on a garden cloth to prevent weeds and pests from taking over. Place the bed in an area that gets 4 to 6 hours of sun per day, preferably morning sun. Or fit it with a shade cloth overhead if in full sun.

Use containers if a raised bed sounds like too much work. Be sure that every container has good drainage. A five-gallon bucket will hold one or two tomato or pepper plants, or two bush beans. Buckets must be cleaned with bleach and rinsed very well. Don’t reuse them from season to season.

Fill the bed or pots with soil mixed with peat and/or manure. Consider composting if you have the room to create your own material.

Visit a local nursery that specializes in plants bred for our climate (Zone 10 on the USDA Hardiness Zone map) and soil. Or research suitable seed varieties online.

Grow only what you like to eat. Stagger planting throughout the season to harvest vegetables all season long.

Accept that every garden is different. If something works for a friend across town, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get similar results. Mother Nature is fickle that way.

—Jan Norris

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Protect garden art, containers in winter

One of the biggest disappointments in the winter garden is to lose a valued piece of garden art or a beautiful container to freeze damage. If any water is able to work itself into the concrete or wood of your garden art, a freeze could cause the water to expand and crack your work of art. The same is true of terra-cotta and glazed containers. You’ll not only lose the pot when it explodes but you might also lose the plant within by exposing its roots to freezing weather.

The easiest solution when it comes to containers is to use only pots guaranteed to be frost hardy outdoors in winter and move the rest inside under cover.

If your garden art is too big to move easily, the next best alternative is to cover it with waterproof tarps. Admittedly having a bunch of blue tarps in your garden can look just a bit tacky, so if your partner won’t go along with that idea, the only viable alternative is to apply a sealant such as Thompson’s WaterSeal. Make sure you cover every nook and cranny where water could possibly penetrate.

Unfortunately, you’ll know if you failed when your artwork self-destructs.

Keep your

drains clear

In heavy fall rains, clogged storm drains can result in flooded streets, traffic problems, difficult conditions for bicyclists and walkers, and increased pollutants in streams and waterways. It could even cause costly flooding in homes. Do your part to prevent flooding by regularly sweeping up leaves and debris that accumulate along curbs.

At the same time, keep an eye on storm drains and remove leaves whenever they form a mat that could clog the drain. While you’re at it, don’t forget to rake leaves off the stairway to your basement and to keep the drain at the bottom clear of debris.

As I found out, the only thing worse than being awakened in the middle of the night by a wet paw in the face is the sudden realization that my pooch couldn’t get out the doggy door at the bottom of the stairway because water was rushing in through it!

Give tubers

a warm umbrella

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have time to dig the gazillions of semi-hardy bulbs and tubers of dahlias, gladiolus, and colored calla lilies out of my garden for winter storage. Instead I cover the cut stems and underground root structures with evergreen fern fronds cut from our native sword fern (Polystichum munitum).

Don’t worry: Removing the fronds from these rock-tough ferns won’t hurt them. After you cut the stems of the tuberous plants as close to the ground as possible, cover the stems and the rootstocks at least 6 inches deep with the fronds.

Put a rock on top to keep the fronds from flying away. The fronds are great insulators, but even more importantly, they act as tiny umbrellas and prevent water from penetrating the cut stems or rotting the underground tubers or bulbs.

There are risks to using this strategy. Although it’s been generally successful for me over the years, I have lost some prized plants in record cold or horribly wet winters. When I think about how much time and work it saved me over the years, however, it seems worth the risk.

Ciscoe Morris:; “Gardening with Ciscoe” airs at 10 a.m. Saturdays on KING-TV.

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Composting workshop digs up gardening tips – Long Beach Press

A composting workshop will be held Saturday in Torrance to encourage reuse of green waste.

Sponsored by Los Angeles County and the city of Torrance, the workshop will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Home Garden Learning Center at Columbia Park, 190th Street and Prairie Avenue.

Composting reduces waste, saves money, conserves water and restores nutrients to the soil for a healthier garden.

Attendees will learn about ways to reduce and recycle their yard and kitchen waste by:

Composting – The natural way to replenish the soil using decomposed yard waste and kitchen scraps.

Grasscycling – Leave clippings on the lawn to add nutrients to the soil and save water.

Worm composting – Create great compost by letting worms recycle kitchen scraps.

Water-wise gardening – Reduce water use and yard trimmings by planting drought-tolerant and low-maintenance plants.

Compost bins, worms and worm bins provided by L.A. County will be available for purchase after the workshop.

For more information, call the L.A. County hotline at 888-CLEAN LA (888-253-2652), visit, call the Torrance Public Works Department at 310-781-6900 or link to

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Hosting a garden party? Here are some tips

Hosting a get-together in your garden? Here are a few tips that can make your little soirée fun and festive

First things first
Before throwing a garden party, one essential thing that needs to be looked into is whether your garden is in good shape. “The conditions of the plants and grass make a big difference to the atmosphere of the party,” says Aslam Gafoor, COO at India Grillco-Weber. “The host should ensure there are a lot of green, leafy plants and even bamboo, which adds to the whole outdoorsy feel,” he says.

So before having a party, make sure the lawn is mowed, the bushes are trimmed and the flower beds are well-maintained.

The first key element to your garden party is the furniture used. This is important not just for the overall look and feel, but also for the comfort of the guests. “Cane furniture or wrought-iron furniture are great choices as far as outdoor furniture is concerned,” says Shreen Malani of Renaissance Gallerie. “Using plastic can give a bit of a tacky look. Also, small, round tables give a nice and cosy feel and don’t take up much space. But the main idea is to keep furniture as inconspicuous as possible and do your best with what you have.”

For those who don’t have too many cane or wrought-iron furniture pieces, Aslam suggests weatherproof sofas and chairs. “You get a whole variety of garden furniture today that is both comfortable and practical. You don’t have to worry about anything getting spoilt if left outside,” he states.

“The lighting should be subdued. A good option for this is mashal lights, a few of which can be left around the lawn. They create a very ethereal atmosphere,” says Aslam If you’re looking to keep it simple, there are plenty of options to choose from as far as lighting up the party is concerned. Shreen gives us some handy tips when it comes to lighting. “I think candles and fairy lights are great. They provide good light and look pretty. Candles can be placed strategically or on every table in glass containers so that they do not get blown out.”

The food of course, is the other main focus of any party. While hosting garden parties, it’s best to keep the food simple and easy to serve. This saves you a whole lot of running around.

“A mobile bar is essential for a garden party. It makes the whole process more convenient. Also, as far as food is concerned, I think something like a barbecue is the best option. A barbecue is also an ideal cooking device for both meats and veggies, and makes sense for outdoors,” says Aslam.

Shreen agrees and says, “The food should be laid out so that people can help themselves. So a barbecue works well to maintain the whole casual atmosphere. Throw in a lot of garlic bread and salads and you’re set.” In order to minimise the mess, the food can be served in disposable areca plates, which are eco-friendly and look earthy. This also makes cleaning up post-party a lot easier.

Adding that extra touch
An easy way to add to the look of your party is to use floating candles and flowers in glass bowls. There are plenty of other interesting things you can do to add a bit of your own personal flair to the event.

“For a garden party, a guitarist playing soft music would create the ideal atmosphere,” says Shreen. “As far as the visual imagery goes, table cloths in red and white, or other bright colours give a very festive look. Also, flower arrangements and bud vases look great too. The key to an enjoyable garden party is to keep it casual and informal,” she signs off.

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Harvesting some garden tips – Sun

While most beginning gardeners don’t think of the money they’ll save on grocery bills, long-time gardener Joanne Davis, of Lake Worth, says it’s well worth it. Just expect to lose money in the first year’s outlay.

“Setting it up is expensive,” says Davis. “It’s $75 or more of materials. Then it takes $100 or $150 to fill a bed with dirt, even more if you have the soil delivered.”

But there are ways to keep expenses down. She buys her soil in bulk from a soil and mulch company, which is cheaper than buying by the bag at home improvement stores.

“Borrow a friend’s pick-up truck or rent one for $19 and go get the soil yourself,” she says. “They’ll load it for you there.”

Davis grows tomatoes, peppers and lettuces and, as a professional landscaper, helps others build gardens of both tropical plants and vegetables.

“I can show someone how to do it, or go in and set up the whole bed,” she says. She works mostly in the Lake Worth area but travels outside the county to build entire gardens.

As a cook, she uses her harvest to make stuffed peppers with ground turkey, tomatoes and rice.

“I enjoy working in it when the weather cools down. It’s not so great when it’s hot, but it’s rewarding — definitely worth the effort.”

—Jan Norris

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