Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for January 8, 2013

Lawrenceville Main Street to host Annual Volunteer Reception on Jan. 13

This press release was provided by Executive Director of Lawrenceville Main Street Lindsey Bohra.

Did you know that behind every active non-profit organization is a band of active volunteers? And, Lawrenceville Main Street is no exception! As the Executive Director, I am the only paid employee for Lawrenceville Main Street and I only work part-time. That means that everything else that Lawrenceville Main Street accomplishes is done by loyal, tireless volunteers, including our Board of Directors, that want to help make the place we all call home a better place to live.

As a small token of our appreciation, we would like to honor a few of our dedicated volunteers at Lawrenceville Main Street’s Annual Volunteer Reception on Sunday, Jan. 13 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Fedora’s Café. Please stop by to say thank you to these tireless volunteers that help to keep our town humming all year long.

At the reception, Lawrenceville Main Street will be presenting the prestigious 4th Annual William Mayhew Dickey Award to one very special volunteer that has contributed to our organization in a substantial way over the course of many years. The selected individual exemplifies, through leadership and dedicated service, the attributes of William Dickey. “Will” Dickey was instrumental in organizing the Lawrenceville Main Street organization in 1995 as a volunteer-driven, non-profit civic improvement association and served as its first Board President. At the time, Main Street looked like a ghost town with only a handful of businesses and the post office in operation. He was also the history master at The Lawrenceville School until his retirement in 2005 and graduated from the school in 1964. The award was established in 2010 after Will’s passing in memory of Will and all of his enormous efforts in making the historic village of Lawrenceville what it is today.

Trust me, it takes a village to run loads of fun community events including the Annual Jubilee, 10 weeks of Music in the Park, Kids in the Park, Scarecrows in the Village, Night in the Village, and Holidays in the Village, to maintain landscaping along Main Street and in Weeden Park, and to initialize capital projects such as historical lampposts, awnings, and trash cans along Main Street.

Please consider becoming a volunteer! We always need extra hands and fresh ideas! Call the office at any time and leave a message – (609) 219-9300 – e-mail, or better yet, stop by to say hello! I am usually in the office Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon.

The Lawrenceville Main Street office is located at 17 Phillips Avenue, the little white house behind Maidenhead Bagel.

Article source:

Put Them To Work, No More Suspended Sentences

These articles about robberies lately got me thinking.   I know this because my ears were getting warm.   How many times are these robbers put on “suspended sentences?”  I just read about this latest gem.  He was convicted of robbery, and was put on a suspended sentence.  He then robs again.  Say it ain’t so.  I thought a suspended sentence would help this gentleman turn his life around.

In a nutshell, a “suspended sentence” means that a convicted criminal gets “sentenced” to X amount of time.  The “suspended” part means that he is “serving” this time at home, at the mall, on a street corner at 3 a.m., or with a gun in the face of a gas station clerk.   Probably playing Xbox on his stolen TV, giggling with his friends about how they plan to rob the local dollar store the next day.  To me, this does not seem like “serving” a “sentence.” 

So it got me thinking (ears still getting warmer).  Lets take these convicted criminals, and use them.  If a guy gets “sentenced” to two years suspended, shouldnt the people have this guys butt in a sling for two years?  Can he weld?  Send him to the city garage.   Does he have any landscaping experience?  Have him pick weeds at the Eastdale Rec Center.  Is he without skill?  Give him a spatula so he can scrape the gum off the sidewalks downtown.  If he doesnt like it, his other option is jail.  Why don’t we put him to work? 

We have plenty of work that needs to be done around here.  Much of it does not require a tremendous amount of skill.  I don’t know many people that can’t plant trees and sweep a sidewalk.  Not only will this instill at least an iota of dignity (a days work, what?  I’m so confused)  but may even give him some actual “work” experience.   He’s actually being somewhat productive, imagine that.  Plus, it gives him less time to plan his next heist. 

Ah yes, but this will cost money to put into play.  It’ll also cost money to manage and oversee.  It’s not perfect, and I’m just spitballing here.  I do feel however, that the money expended will be made up, with interest.  We have such an enormous resource of “convicted manpower” in this city…why don’t we use it.  It might even free up some other people for bigger and better projects. 

My ears are getting too red now.  Lets start spitballing ideas here.  We should at least start talking about possibilities other than these all too common suspended sentences.  

Lastly, I would like to encourage all law abiding folks to exercise their 2nd amendment rights.  We have a right to protect ourselves.  How many folks would think twice about jacking someones wallet when that wallet turns out to be a snub nose .38.  Stay safe Chattanooga.

Andrew Peker

Article source:

Details of Brockworth’s £200000 playground revamp to be revealed

DETAILS of the £200,000 revamp of Brockworth’s playgrounds are due to be unveiled tomorrow night.

An extraordinary meeting of the parish council will be held from 7pm in the community centre in Court Road.

It has been called so the project designers Pond Landscaping can give a presentation of their ideas.

It is 12 years since any of the equipment was replaced and most of it is tatty and outdated.

The plan is to start refurbishing two toddler play areas and one junior play area at Mill Lane Playing Field and a combined toddler and junior area at Abbotswood Road Playing Field.

A Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) is planned for Pound Farm and the outdoor gym for Pound Farm or Mill Lane.

The council also wants to install a new teen shelter at Mill Lane or refurbish the existing teen shelters at Pound Farm.

Article source:

Markham eyes sprawling Chinese garden

Diversification best defence to ash borer, Markham says

Article source:

Finding Chicago’s food gardens with Google Earth

URBANA, IL – Urban agriculture is promoted as a strategy for dealing with food insecurity, stimulating economic development, and combating diet-related health problems in cities. However, up to now, no one has known how much gardening is taking place in urban areas. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a methodology that they used to quantify the urban agriculture in Chicago.

John Taylor, a doctoral candidate working with crop sciences researcher Sarah Taylor Lovell, was skeptical about the lists of urban gardens provided to him by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“Various lists were circulating,” he said. “One of them had almost 700 gardens on it.”

On closer inspection, however, many of these “gardens” turned out to be planter boxes or landscaping and were not producing food. On the other hand, Taylor suspected that there were unnoticed gardens in backyards or vacant lots.

“There’s been such a focus on community gardens and urban farms, but not a lot of interest in looking at backyard gardens as an area of research,” Lovell agreed. An accurate map of these sites would be helpful for advocacy groups and community planners.

Taylor uploaded the lists from the NGOs into Google Earth, which automatically geocoded the sites by street address. He used a set of reference images of community gardens, vacant lot gardens, urban farms, school gardens, and home food gardens to determine visual indicators of food gardens.

Using these indicators and Google Earth images, he examined the documented sites. Of the 1,236 “community gardens,” only 160, or 13 percent, were actually producing food.

Taylor then looked at Google Earth images of Chicago to locate food production sites. This work took more than 400 hours over an 8-month period. He identified 4493 possible sites, most of which were residential gardens of 50 square meters or less, and visited a representative sample of gardens on vacant land to confirm that they were really producing food.

All the large sites and a sample of the small sites were digitized as shapefiles (digital vector storage formats for storing geometric location and associated attribute information) in Google Earth. These shapefiles were imported into Arc Map 10, a geographic information system (GIS) mapping tool, to calculate the total area.

The final estimate was 4,648 urban agriculture sites with a production area of 264,181 square meters. Residential gardens and single-plot gardens on vacant lots accounted for almost three-fourths of the total.

To map the gardens onto community areas, the shapefiles were joined with 2010 Census tract shapefiles and shapefiles of 77 community areas and neighborhoods from Chicago’s GIS portal. The tract information was subsequently joined with the Census Bureau’s 2005-2009 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates of demographic and housing characteristics.

The maps showed that garden concentration varied by neighborhood. “Chinatown, Bridgeport was kind of a hot spot,” Taylor said. Both of these neighborhoods have large Chinese-origin populations. Even outside those areas, many of the larger gardens were associated with households headed by people of Chinese origin. Neighborhoods in the northwest with large numbers of Polish and Eastern and Southern European immigrants also had a high density of backyard gardens.

They were not all growing the same kind of food. “There are distinctions between these cultural groups because the crops they select are sometimes from their home areas in addition to the suite of crops we can all grow in our backyards,” Lovell explained.

As people move across borders, they often bring seeds with them. “In a Mexican neighborhood where we were working, a lot of people grow a tropical corn that is 12 to 16 feet high,” Taylor said. “It’s grown not for the ears of corn but for the leaves, which are used to make tamales.”

He noted that many older African-Americans in Chicago who came north during the Great Migration from the south from the early 1900s to the 1970s remember farming and growing up with gardens. “They are almost reproducing in miniature in their backyards the southern landscape and gardening practices that they associated with their youth,” he said.

Garden type varied by neighborhood as well. Home food gardens are concentrated in the northwest, where people tend to live in detached houses. Vacant lot gardens are concentrated in the economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the south and west sides, as are the community gardens.

Lovell said that, in some communities, more than half of the lots are vacant, and making use of them could be a huge opportunity. Chicago has a program that allows people living next to a vacant lot to purchase it at a fraction of what it would normally cost.

The results of this study suggest that both backyard gardens and vacant lot gardens contribute substantially to Chicago’s total food production.

“Home gardens actually contribute to food security,” Taylor said. “They’re underappreciated and unsupported.” He noted that people grow not only for themselves but for their neighbors as well, which is particularly important in food deserts where fresh produce is in short supply.

“There is also potential for empowering people because they are using their own space to deal with their own food security concerns,” Lovell added.

The study, “Mapping public and private spaces of urban agriculture in Chicago through the analysis of high-resolution aerial images in Google Earth” by John R. Taylor and Sarah Taylor Lovell, published in Landscape and Urban Planning, is available online at

Article source:

Greener Gardens Reports Increasing Food Costs Brings New Trend in …

St. Cloud, FL — (SBWIRE) — 01/07/2013 — The economy may be well on its way back up, right along with employment numbers, but, unfortunately, so too are food costs at your local grocery outlet on the rise.

Fresh vegetables, in particular, are increasing in cost across the board, which in turn has heralded in a new and expanding trend in residential landscaping.

More people are turning under their front lawns and flower beds and replanting them with vegetable gardens, and finding that by doing so, they’re not only saving money, but are also enjoying the luxury of having fresh grown organic produce ready at hand right off the vine.

Check the Community Codes and Restrictions

It hasn’t come without controversy though, as more stories are making it into the news about homeowners who have ran afoul of planned neighborhood codes and standards governing what can and cannot be included into a landscaping scheme.

Rules that are all too often tucked away in the fine print of sales contracts of any home today built and sold in a planned community.

So to find out more about this new style of edible landscaping that has brought so many people a bountiful harvest of problems with local community governing boards, who better to talk to then a professional landscaper? In a recent phone interview, a customer representative for of Orlando, Florida took some time out to give us his take on the matter.

What an Expert in Orlando Has to Say

He told us that, “We’re for sure hearing about it a lot more than we used to but we haven’t received any calls yet requesting that are services be employed for this type of landscaping design scheme. What it all boils down to though, is that when you sign a contract to purchase a home in a planned neighborhood you must be aware that you will also be signing an agreement to a set list of what are called CCR’s. What these are is a list of what you can and cannot do with your home, and it not only covers landscaping but also things like styles of roofing and paint colors as well.”

“Now they aren’t laws that you can be criminally charge for breaking but all CCR contracts include a clause regarding fines that will be levied against a homeowner if they violate them. They can be pretty stiff too, and these types of contracts are drawn up to be rock solid, so they’ve been challenge in court and the homeowners have always lost.”

He went on to say that CCRs stand for ‘Community Codes and Restrictions’, and they have their purpose. They keep homeowners from deviating from a preplanned general look, which the original designers of a housing community laid out during its inception. So they aren’t all bad, because they function to support resale values.

He simply advised anybody who’s looking at any home with an eye towards buying to ask the realtor about any CCR’s, which may exist before they sign on the bottom line. They vary from community and some may allow certain plants trees and bushes that are fruit bearing.

About, based out of Orlando, Florida is one of the area’s premier recognized name in landscape design, and installation.

Greener Gardens
5275 Rambling Rd
St. Cloud, FL 34771
Office: (407) 892-9795
Fax: (407) 892-3332

Article source:

January Gardening Tips

This is a perfect month to transplant mature or established trees and shrubs.  With the weather cool and the plant dormant, there will be much less stress than if you transplant in the spring. 

Make plans now for spring gardening.  Flower and vegetable catalogs make great reading on those dreary, cold winter days, so spend some time dreaming about your ideal garden.  Time spent now on planning will translate into gardening success, come spring planting time.

Sow seeds in flats or containers to get a jump on plant growth before hot weather arrives. Petunias, begonias, and impatiens should be sown in early January, but warm season plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, and periwinkles, should be started in late January or early February.

Apply a light application of fertilizer to established pansy plantings. Use one-half pound of ammonium sulfate per 100 square feet of bed area. Repeat the application every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on rainfall. Dried blood meal is also an excellent source of fertilizer for pansies.

On warm winter days you can begin to prepare beds and garden areas for spring planting.  Till the soil and add any manure or compost at this time so that when spring arrives, your bed will be ready.

Select and order gladiolus corms for February/March planting. Plant at two-week intervals in order to prolong the flowering period.

Check junipers, cypresses and other narrow-leaf evergreens for bagworm pouches. The insect eggs overwinter in the pouch and start the cycle again by emerging in the spring to begin feeding on the foliage. Hand removal and burning of the pouches are ways of reducing the potential damage to trees this spring.

The life of holiday gift plants can be prolonged with proper care. Keep the soil moist, but provide drainage so that excess moisture can flow from the pot, especially if the pot was wrapped in some type of foil for decoration.  Keep the plant out of range of heating ducts, away from heating units, and in a cool room at night, preferably at 60 to 65 degrees F.

Don’t fertilize newly set out trees or shrubs until after they have started to grow, and then only very lightly the first year.

When buying plants, the biggest is not always the best, especially when dealing with bare-root trees and shrubs. Medium to small sized plants (4 to 6 feet) usually establish much more quickly and are more effective in the landscape than larger plants.

Established rose bushes may be pruned from mid-January to mid-February.  Always use good, clean pruning shears that will make clean cuts.  Remove all dead, dying, and weak canes, but leave four to eight healthy canes and remove approximately one-half of the top growth and height of the plant. 

Don’t forget, climbing roses should be pruned after they bloom in the spring, not in the winter as other roses.  You may train climbing roses now by weaving long canes through openings in trellises or arbors and tying them with jute twine or plastic/wire plant ties. Securing canes now prevents damage from spring winds and contributes toward a more refined look in the garden once the roses begin to bloom.

Winter is an excellent time to select and plant container-grown roses to fill in those bare spots in your rose garden.

When pruning shrubs, first prune out any dead or damaged branches, then thin the plant out by removing about one-third of the oldest canes or stems at ground level.   Lastly, shape the rest of the plant, but do not cut all of the stems back to the same height.

Article source:

Garden clubs offer tips for horticulture, design

All three found what they were looking for — in Oklahoma garden clubs.

Treat is a member of the Apogon Iris Garden Club, Oklahoma City’s oldest. Smathers serves as president of the Viola Garden Club in Oklahoma City, which she joined five years ago. And Lawson participates in several — the Flora Belle Garden Club in Norman, the Gladiolas Garden Club in Cushing and the American Begonia Society.

The three gardeners recently intersected at the “Christmas in the City Holiday Flower Show” on Dec. 15 at Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36. The standard show was presented by the Oklahoma Council of Nationally Accredited Flower Show Judges and led by Treat, an accredited judge and grand master gardener.

“I have a passion for working with flowers and plants, and love floral design,” said Smathers, who takes advantage of many of the design workshops, which are taught at the center every month and offered free to the public.

Along with wreath-making, Smathers said she’s learned how to create an ikebana Japanese style dish garden and condition plant material before making flower arrangements so they last longer.

She’s also taken advantage of the Oklahoma City Council of Garden Clubs’ periodic plant sales, in which members share plants from their yards. “We enjoy helping each other improve our own yards and also beautify the community,” Smathers said.

Article source: