Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for December 31, 2012

Ideas start to turn into more for Vision 2020 – Post

Austin’s Vision 2020 effort is taking shape, with projects ranging from adding a fishing spot to building more high-speed Internet infrastructure.

In April, the top 10 ideas for the community project were announced from a pool of more than 4,000 that were submitted by community members.

The Vision 2020 process is an open, all-inclusive community visioning process designed to keep our community vibrant and growing.

Once the ideas were revealed, citizens had the chance to be part of the different idea committees. Those committees have met regularly to figure out the specifics of the vision statements, which are just guidelines. Committees have looked into the where, when and how of the ideas.

Here are the 10 ideas, along with updates from the committees:

Revitalization of Austin Utilities building.
The group is working on a business plan, looking into grant funding and has formed subcommittees for potential building tenants.

Business-friendly environment.
They have scheduled an entrepreneurship exchange event for January, where a speaker and local entrepreneurs have been invited.

Article source:

WBN Nightcap: Will UK Fans Hear Sirens in ’13?

Nov 17, 2012; Lexington , KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Raymond Sanders (4) runs the ball against the Samford Bulldogs at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky fans can’t wait for football time in the bluegrass thanks to new coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown. Brown is bringing the very popular Air Raid offense back to Lexington points are expected in bunches. Most fans expect to hear that Mumme-Era Air Raid siren go off when the Wildcats score but that seems unlikely. While there is a decent chance that UK has kept the equipment, such a system is surely out of date. Also, several of the neighborhoods surrounding Commonwealth Stadium filed complaints about the siren and general gameday noise through the years. The university will likely want to avoid court. (Although it makes no sense to move into a house near a football stadium then complain that said stadium gets noisy, thus is the nature of college football stadiums.)

It may be an option to utilize a siren sound using Commonwealth’s new audio system, perhaps at a volume that will allow for celebration but stay closer to the stadium. Combining the siren with UK’s current use of fireworks (which the neighbors have also complained about) would be a nice touchdown celebration. Someone has even suggested using a differentiating siren sounds for the defense, an example being the siren from the Silent Hill video game/movie franchise. It sounds like a great idea as long as the 2 sirens are easy to tell apart.

Other suggestions include a cannon, though this idea has been done to death and has no cultural significance to Kentucky. A wildcat screeching to celebrate big plays would be a nice addition, although already in use at seemingly random intervals. Perhaps finding a way to play off of The Call to the Post could be implemented. Such as at the beginning of offensive drives or on 3rd downs defensively. We all love My Old Kentucky Home but it really belongs at the end of ballgames exclusively. It pumps no one up.

When it comes to creating an experience, the show is only half of the equation. The venue is equally important. Does Commonwealth Stadium need a new press box? Badly. Luxury suites? Yes. A proper Ring of Honor or equivalent celebration of former Wildcats? Sure. But from the fans perspective, Commonwealth really isn’t that bad. It has nice video boards and audio equipment. The restrooms, food, seats etc. are on par with other venues. The place just needs a little sprucing up is all.

There are certain aesthetic aspects of CWS that can’t be changed, such as the fact that it was built in the middle of a giant parking lot on the very edge of campus. Not exactly scenic. But with Bluegrass Community College leaving their building adjacent Green Lot, upgrades could be made. The BCTC campus could be converted to a grove sorts for UK fans to interact and mingle. Perhaps it could be the new home for the Ring of Honor. Once upon a time a fan talked to me about created a shrine out of limestone or coal with plaques honoring the Wildcat greats. I love the idea. The grounds around the stadium in general could use some better landscaping even. Of course the actual construction projects will depend on the state.

These are all just ideas to be thrown at the wall, as Kentucky seeks to improve the gameday experience for fans. Surely the new regime will decide what traditions to embrace and which to move on from. What would you like to see done? Feel free to leave comments, I’d love to hear ideas.

Topics: Football, Kentucky Wildcats

Article source:

New San Diego Landscaping Ideas from – Virtual publishes new design ideas on San Diego landscaping. The site offers consumers updated design ideas and pictures of completed landscaping projects throughout the San Diego area.

Calimesa, CA (PRWEB) December 20, 2012

New landscape design ideas from, help consumers find the perfect landscaping style for San Diego area homes. A new collection of design articles and photos feature updated San Diego landscaping designs and ideas for coastal properties.

With a number of tourist attractions, like Sea World, the San Diego Wild Animal Park and others, San Diego has long been one of the country’s premier destinations not just for visiting, but for living. This coastal Southern California area provides the perfect climate for dream homes, along with optimal landscaping opportunities.

San Diego landscapes are as unique as the attractions one will find in the area. Landscape styles range from sleek and modern designs to old-world Mediterranean looks. The Landscaping Network offers an extensive photo gallery featuring San Diego landscapes that include popular Spanish designs, Mediterranean, tropical, modern styles, and many more.

Also, the site offers an updated collection of articles detailing landscaping ideas and designs perfect for San Diego properties, including front yards and backyards. Get details on popular San Diego design styles, planting design, and local climate information.

For this information, and more on San Diego landscaping, and to find local San Diego landscapers, visit

Photos courtesy of Promised Path Landscape Inc in Chula Vista, CA.

About works with a team of professional landscape designers and writers to bring together the very best landscaping resources and information available. Homeowners, landscape designers and architects, builders and more can also stay up-to-date through the site’s extensive collection of articles, landscaping photos and videos on landscape design ideas, products and more.

For consumers ready to turn their landscaping design dreams into reality, the site offers an easy-to-use Find a Contractor directory to find local landscape contractors and designers throughout the United States and Canada.

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

Article source:

Capital’s landscaping to be done on modern lines: CDA chief

ISLAMABAD (APP): The soft landscaping of the capital city would be transformed on modern lines and new varieties of flowers would be introduced to help enhance the beauty of the federal capital, said Chairman Capital Development Authority.
“Flowers are the most attractive gift of nature, which make the life of individuals charming and depict the aesthetic of the residents,” Syed Tahir Shahbaz said this while addressing at recently organized Autumn Flowers Show – 2012 arranged by CDA in collaboration with Islamabad Horticultural Society.
He said the green character, beautiful landscape, and colourful flowers are the hallmark of Islamabad, which make it unique in the modern capitals of the world. The CDA chief said the flowers are the part and parcel of our life as they add beauty and fragrance to our gardens, homes as well lives. Tahir Shahbaz directed the Environment Wing of the Authority to increase the number of sapling of flowering plants during spring and monsoon tree plantation campaigns.
He also stressed for focusing on indigenous species of trees, as it will further beautify the city in harmony with the climate condition of the city.
The chairman said the Authority was endeavouring to plant environment friendly new indigenous varieties of flowers and trees on the highways, roads, bridges and green areas.
He said that the increased participation of the private sector in the flowers exhibition reflects the efforts of the people from different walks of life who really care for the environment.

Article source:

$38bn UAE construction industry surge to drive garden and landscape sector …

The launch of Outdoor Design Build Supply reflects a strong government commitment to develop the UAE‘s natural outdoor landscape.

Taking place from 25-27 March 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the event has been given extra significance by a report from research specialists, Ventures Middle East, which says that $38bn worth of new construction contractor awards are expected in the UAE in 2013.

The exhibition’s organisers, Streamline Marketing Group, estimate that at least 10 per cent of this figure, or $3.8bn, will go towards new landscaping and garden projects in the Emirates.

“All signs point towards a lucrative future in the UAE and wider GCC garden and landscape sector,” said Thea Skelton, Project Manager for Outdoor Design Build Supply, which is presented by Dubai Municipality and supported by Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and Al Ain Municipality.

“The UAE construction sector is making a comeback, with a score of large projects going ahead, and more to be announced in the coming months. These will in turn generate new opportunities for the landscaping sector in the UAE, and as an industry guideline, we expect that about 10% or more of the construction sector investment will be allocated for gardens and landscaping.”

Added Skelton: “We are also seeing a marked growth in investment into green open spaces, especially leisure destinations such as sports stadiums, family attractions and golf courses, and the booming construction outlook along with strong governmental support will continue to drive this forward.”

Outdoor Design Build Supply is the only dedicated event in the Middle East to address the use of outdoor space in construction projects, providing support to developers, landscape architects and designers working to create outdoor spaces including public parks, hotels, private and palace gardens, green areas within urban communities, major residential and commercial projects, sports stadiums, golf courses, hospitals, irrigation and landscaping.

The dedicated event has already attracted big players such as Terraverde, Orient Irrigation, Greenworks LLC, Toscana Landscaping, Fitco Irrigation, and the UK based wood chipper manufacturer Timberwolf, which is looking to tap into the re-emerging landscape sector in the Middle East.

“Timberwolf has laid out an aggressive expansion strategy for the Middle East region,” said Patrice Love, Director of Marketing HR, Timberwolf. “We have created a three-year strategy to grow our export business from 18% to 40%, and Outdoor Design Build Supply will provide us with the platform to source a distributor, with the UAE as a starting point.”

Visitors to the event will include government and urban planning officials, corporate project managers and horticulture experts who will give exhibitors the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships while putting them in front of a targeted market.

Outdoor Design Build Supply is supported by the Emirates Society of Landscape (ESLA), Garedenex, and the UAE Society of Engineers.

Article source:

Landscaping the doors of perception in Japan

Although the term zen-tei (Zen garden) exists in Japanese, its usage is a largely Western one, first coined by the American garden scholar Lorraine Kuck in the 1930s. In the work of designer Shunmyo Masuno, a fully ordained Buddhist priest, we encounter landscapes that endorse Daisetz T. Suzuki’s view that the stone garden embodies “the spirit of Zen.”

News photo

Masuno, who practices meditation as a first step toward design, may conceivably, be the last of Japan’s ishitate-so, or “stone-setting priests,” a body of semiprofessionals once tasked with assembling gardens, although his responsibilities for creating design and overseeing the construction of his ideas far exceed the brief of those humble ecclesiastical gardeners.

Things are never quite what they seem in the Zen garden. Emptiness might best be described as empowered space, an energized vacuum; what the writer Donald Richie referred to as the “nourishing void.” Masuno emphasizes the need to familiarize himself with the project site, to “listen” to the request of stones and to sensitize himself to the forces flowing through the landscape.

In his work, compositions are never imposed on space, the sites to some degree dictating design and stone placement. Design of this transcendent quality is rare, issuing from a combination of kankaku (sensitivity) and kunren (practice and discipline). When the two are fused, as they manifestly are in Masuno’s work, spatial design ascends to the level of art.

Masuno’s work bears some comparison with the gardens of iconoclastic landscape designer Shigemori Mirei, whose highly original concepts and use of materials split the garden establishment into detractors and devotees. Like Mirei, Masuno is a traditionalist with a modernist vision, possessed of an extraordinary wellspring of ideas and design approaches that are evident in the diversity of his projects and the pliability required to adjust to each commission. The book accordingly showcases designs for temples, a retreat house, science research center, prefectural library, private residence, golf club, hotel, crematorium and more.

Like finely crafted musical instruments, gardens can improve immeasurably with age. The risks, of course, of creating gardens for commercial entities rather than time immemorial temples or villas protected by their Important Cultural Property rankings, is that they are subject to market fluctuations that can force radical land transformation.

Mira Locher’s concisely organized text and painstaking research into her subject steers the layman through a potentially Byzantine web of principals and design concepts. Given the close relationship between Japanese gardens and structural forms, Locher, a practicing architect of high repute, is well placed to comment on the subject of landscape design.

Unlike ancient gardens, with their embedded meanings, contemporary designers are generally quite comfortable spelling out the meaning of their work. Thus, we know unequivocally that Masuno’s ryumonbaku (“dragon’s gate waterfall”) at Gion-ji Temple, represents the idea of Zen training toward enlightenment, or that the name of its courtyard garden invokes the theme of water, analogous to knowledge and teachings trickling down through the ages. Locher doesn’t give away too much, however, leaving enough concealed to stimulate reader inquiry.

This finely illustrated and written work reminds us that the Japanese garden is an organic form that is constantly evolving. So much so that the garden writer Yang Hongxun has opined, “China could make use of many of these Japanese standards to modernize her own garden construction, which has fallen behind in recent times.”

The book includes a number of landscapes created for foreign clients. Examining these overseas creations, we realize that with careful consideration to climate and plant environments, the Japanese garden is a truly transcultural art.

Article source:

Masterful Gardener: Tips for becoming a frugal gardener

Have you ever looked at your landscape and decided the displays of herbaceous perennials should be larger and the borders should contain mass displays of annuals?
Then you looked at the balance in your checkbook, sighed and accepted the status quo. Don’t despair. A little energy, a little patience, a little ingenuity and resources already at hand can make your landscape more like you believe it ought to be. I will leave the quest for patience, energy and ingenuity to you and discuss the sources of plants available.

Annuals from seed

Growing annuals from seed is inexpensive and easy. A packet of seeds costs less than a single potted plant from a nursery or garden center. Once upon a time, packets of seeds cost 25 cents, and the packet contained a generous quantity of seeds. Seed prices have risen, and the quantity in the packet has shrunk. There are good reasons for the increase and decrease. However, seeds are still a bargain.

A single packet of seeds will generally provide all the plants of the chosen variety you will need for your project. The quantities of seed in some packets may seem disappointedly small. The packet of hybrid geraniums I use in containers contains only five seeds and cost approximately a dollar a piece. There are less expensive varieties of geraniums available. A packet of cosmos seeds contained more seeds than I could count and provided plants for three seasons. It cost $1.25. The seed count is usually printed on the seed packet and is part of catalog descriptions. Check them, and you won’t be unpleasantly surprised.

Another plus for propagation from seeds is the large variety of plants available. The number of plant varieties available in a garden center is limited because potted plants take up a lot of space, they require daily maintenance and they are perishable. Varieties available in seed racks and seed catalogs number in the hundreds. One of the catalogs I receive each spring claims it lists approximately 2,000 varieties. I have never counted.

Starting plants from seed can be accomplished with a minimum of equipment. Required are adequate light, potting mix, seed flats and a reasonably warm environment. A south facing window sill provides adequate space for small number of plants. Florescent lights provide light for a larger area. A shop light fixture is adequate for a beginning project. Makeshift flats and pots can be a nuisance. Purchase items made for the purpose. They are inexpensive and make the experience more pleasurable.

Seeds for plants like geraniums, which require a substantial period of growth before they bloom, should be started as early as January. You will find information about growth periods on the seed packet, along with other important instructions. Read the instructions. Seedlings must be hardened off before setting them into the garden. That is garden-speak for gradually moving them outside.

Some seeds may be planted where they are to grow after the soil warms. Marigolds, cosmos and zinnia are examples of these plants. This information is printed on the packet and is part of the catalog description.

Many annuals will reseed themselves. Most of these volunteers may be easily and successful transplanted. If you grow heirloom or open pollinated varieties you can save seed for planting next year.

Herbaceous perennials from seed

Herbaceous perennials are slightly more difficult to propagate from seed than annuals. To compensate for that, they can be started in midsummer, eliminating the need for plant lights and a heated environment. Herbaceous perennials from seed usually do not bloom the first season.

Herbaceous perennials from divisions

Division of herbaceous perennials is usually done in late summer or early spring. Perennials, like day lilies, are best divided in September so they can develop new roots before the ground freezes. Grasses should be divided in the spring. Divide a perennial by digging up the entire clump. Using two garden forks inserted into the clump back-to-back, pry the plant into sections. Discard weak or dead sections and replant the new divisions.

Masterful Gardening, a weekly
column written by master
gardeners with the Penn State
York County Cooperative
Extension, appears Sundays in
Home Source. Frank Sommer can
be reached at 840-7408 or

Article source:

Summer gardening tips

APM Monaco SA

Find the Perfect Christmas Jewellery Gift

Article source:

MASTER GARDENER: Tips that will improve your gardening

When I was a little boy, my dad gave me some tips on sports. He said: “Never bet against the New York Yankees, Notre Dame or Joe Louis.”

I know what you are thinking. Joe Louis? How old is this writer? Well, I have seen a lot since I received that advice, but it still applies today. Notre Dame is playing for the National Championship on Jan. 7.

Article source:

Plot your year in the garden with our beginner’s guide to growing vegetables

If you don’t already grow your own veg, now is the time to convert – at the beginning of a new year.

In the past, it was widely accepted and widely practised. If you had a bit of garden or an allotment in wartime or post-war Britain then you would almost certainly have grown some of your own food. My grandad not only had an allotment but also turned over the greenhouse behind their home to tomatoes.

There was a whole border full of rhubarb, too – a worthwhile, easy and productive crop and a great place to hide when you are really little.

What was a necessity for lots of people back then has now become a trend – but one that is increasingly important in these times of austerity.

I’m not suggesting Mr Osborne should start a Feed Yourselves campaign – that would be far too sensible. But once you’ve tasted your own home-grown produce, supermarket vegetables come a very poor second.

When Neil and I moved from London to Glebe Cottage 34 years ago, one of my ambitions was to grow vegetables. Though neither of us had any previous experience, within a couple of years we had a thriving patch and by the time our daughters came along there was plenty for everyone. Eventually, raising herbaceous plants for my nursery and for flower shows had to take priority.

Some gardeners are apprehensive about growing their own, but there’s no reason to be. People have been growing their own food from the very moment they decided to stay in one place and put down roots. When you sow your first beans or plant out your potatoes you are joining a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of civilisation.

Seeds want to grow. Plants want to produce leaves, roots, flowers and seeds. All we have to do is give them the conditions they need, weed them, water and nurture them and harvest and eat them. What could be easier?

Make the space

One of the major drawbacks many of us envisage is not having enough space to accommodate anything worth growing or eating.

But even a tiny patch, managed imaginatively, can provide fresh vegetables throughout the year.

A 10ft x 10ft patch, especially if it’s a deep bed, can produce something fresh right through the season. So whatever the size of your garden – and even if you don’t have a garden – growing your own is a viable option.

The more limited your space, the more important it is to grow the vegetables you like best. So make a list of your ­favourites, work out how they could grow together and get sowing.

Find the time

Most of us have busy lives and may have misgivings about how much time our vegetables are going to need. But the hard work is in setting up the plot – and you can think of that as great post-Christmas exercise. After that, it should be plain sailing.

There are very few fussy crops, most of the time it’s a question of raking the soil, sowing seed and keeping the plot watered and weeded.

Spring tends to be busiest although, if you are growing successionally there will be veg to sow and transplant all season.

Sometimes, working out a plan takes as much time as executing it.

Try to fit the size of the area under cultivation to the time you have. There is no point taking on a huge space, full of perennial weeds, if you have only a — couple of hours each weekend to knock it into shape. Vegetables don’t need much fussing over, but they do need consistent attention – half an hour after work each day should be enough. You’ll probably find yourself still there much later, though. Growing veg is moreish.

Enjoy the rewards

When you are beginning, success is all important, so concentrate on easy crops that will give you rich rewards, such as runner beans and courgettes, onions from sets, salads and potatoes. Delay setting up an asparagus bed or growing dwarf French beans, cauliflowers or fennel if you feel a bit diffident.

Any sort of gardening is good for you: it’s physically active, all fresh air and freedom. But as well as the exercise, it is therapeutic in other ways.

Dealing with the soil, plunging your hands into it and enabling seed to grow into mature plants that you can then harvest and eat, has to be one of the most rewarding activities.

Growing your own is good for the soul – it’s real. What’s more, if you grow organically, the vegetables you harvest are as nutritious as they could be, packed full of vitamins and minerals, bursting with goodness and absolutely fresh.

Carol’s 10 Golden Rules

1. Look after your soil – put back what you take out.

2. Concentrate on growing what you like to eat.

3. Sow successionally to avoid gluts and ensure constant supply.

4. Pick vegetables while they are young and in their prime.

5. Rotate your crops to avoid disease and maintain vigour.

6. Interplant using catch crops (a quick-growing crop) to use space to the maximum.

7. Grow for taste rather than yield.

8. Make sure your plot is in full light for as long as possible.

9. Sow green manure – plants grown for a specific period and used to feed the soil – on vacant ground.

10. Enjoy yourself and encourage the whole family to join in.


Hedge your bets on a bushy beech

We want to grow a hedge, preferably evergreen, between us and our neighbours’ garden. We know Leylandii are a bad idea and don’t like privet. Any ideas? Kathryn Jones, Leeds

CAROL: Beech hedges usually retain their lovely, russet foliage right through the winter, although they are not evergreen. You could mix in other native trees too. These hedges are much more exciting than their evergreen counterparts and better for wildlife.

Washing old trays drives me potty

Do I have to wash out old pots and seed trays before reusing them? Tom Bates, by email.

CAROL: Yes. It is great that you’re recycling your old pots – and giving them a good scrub with warm water plus a drop of detergent or bleach will ensure you’re not passing on pests or disease.

You answer..

Last week Mrs Rogers was concerned a mushroom-like growth on her peach tree could be putting it in danger.

CAROL: If the tree cropped well that’s a good sign. Appearances can be deceptive – not all funghi are harmful. Keep an eye on the tree. If you spot another growth remove it before it matures.          

Colin Power from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, says: I’d keep dosing the growth with fungicide until it disappears for good.

Michelle Billing, by email, says: If it’s an old tree, it might just be that its age is making it susceptible to illness. You could try giving the tree a good prune and feeding it well to help build up its resistance and make it stronger.      

? Can you help Emily? What’s the difference between hardy annuals and half-hardy annuals? We would like to know if we can grow either inside our nice, bright glass porch. Emily -Gabitas, Cambridge

What we’re doing this week here at Glebe Cottage

Good intentions: Everyone makes resolutions about how things are going to be different next year.

It’s a bit academic to record weather conditions and doesn’t really change things anyway, so I’m resolving to keep a record of anything that works well in the garden – especially successful combinations of plants – in order to repeat or to build on them.

Some of this will be written, but if I can get out there every day with a camera and take just a couple of snaps, who knows where it may lead? The crucial word is “if”!

Trunk call: Neil and I are going to have a tree-planting ceremony. New Year seems a good time to do it and since we don’t know any royalty, we’re planning on planting the tree ourselves. It’s an apple, James Grieve, given to us years ago by lovely friends. The only place we’ve got room is as part of our native hedge. It should be really happy there.

Offer of the week:

Rose Black Baccara is a wonderful and highly fragrant HT Rose, chosen for its unique colour. It has an upright habit of 90cm and a spread of 40cm. The buds and young flowers are the deepest maroon, becoming lighter and lighter as the beautiful flowers age.

You can buy one Rose Black Baccara for £7.99 or buy two for £15.98 and receive another free.

To order by debit/credit card, call 0844 811 6716 quoting SMG18017 or send a cheque made payable to MGN SMG18017 to Rose Black Baccara (SMG18017), PO Box 64, South West District Office, Manchester, M16 9HY or visit to order online.      


Article source: