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Archives for January 26, 2013

Bass Pro Shops would increase Port St. Lucie revenue, property values …

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PORT ST. LUCIE — If Bass Pro Shops dives into Port St. Lucie’s growing retail sector as expected, it could help the city reel in other large retail chains and boost property values, local officials said.

The national outdoor sports retailer’s quality fishing and hunting merchandise, its reputation as a tourist attraction and a prime location off Interstate 95 at Gatlin Boulevard — in the vacant Kohl’s building — are being cited as key factors that will lure shoppers to Port St. Lucie.

“I think there will be a positive impact and it’s reflective of the continuing development of that intersection,” City Manager Greg Oravec said. “It shows the value of the area. We expect (Bass Pro Shops’) investment in the community will attract additional investment of businesses of a similar quality.”

It’s uncertain how much sales and property tax revenue a Bass Pro Shops would generate for the city, but local officials say the company’s decision to occupy vacant retail space will increase the potential for jobs, real estate and economic activity.

Property values for the parcel and surrounding lots should increase, said Larry Pelton, president of the St. Lucie County Economic Development Council. 2012 property tax figures for the Kohl’s parcel were not available, according to Elaine Camacho, executive secretary at the St. Lucie County Tax Collector’s Office.

The vacant 100,000-square-foot building could’ve sat empty for at least another two years, Pelton said.

Bass Pro Shops has not said whether it would renovate or expand the existing building, said Katie Mitchell, company spokeswoman. Any structural improvements would be recorded and the property value would increase when the parcel is compared to similar-sized lots during the county’s annual appraisal, Pelton said.

“Not only will (Bass Pro Shops) revive interest in users in Port St. Lucie, but it could help raise the value of other retail space in the area,” Pelton said. “I assume that brokers will start getting real imaginative for existing space that’s around. They’ll start trying to figure out what kind of retailers to go after that would complement it.”

The Home Depot and a new Wendy’s restaurant are the only tenants at Gatlin Plaza, but Jonathan Cohen, vice president of Blumenfeld Development Group, which manages and leases plaza space, said there’s room to grow. There’s also been heavy interest from businesses looking to move in, he said, but wouldn’t disclose specifics.

Bass Pro Shops would be the beginning of realizing a vision that not only would enhance local tourism by promoting fishing and hunting, but would generate enough retail interest to one day construct a regional mall in the southwestern end of the city, Mayor JoAnn Faiella said.

“(Recruiting Bass Pro Shops) was one of many ideas on the table for economic development and it’s helping market the city very aggressively,” she said. “We want to attract people to come to Port St. Lucie and live here.”

That marketing tool could be known as the “drive-by factor,” said Dorothy Hudson, a Realtor and commercial manager with Alex MacWilliam Inc. Real Estate.

“It brings people to the area and bringing people to the area makes any particular area where there’s a big national tenant like that more attractive,” Hudson said.

Bass Pro Shops, which the company says attracts customers within a 45-mile radius, typically have open shopping floors, boat showrooms, marine equipment and entertainment features such as shooting and archery ranges, giant saltwater aquariums and full-service restaurants.

The company, founded in 1972, never has closed one of its more than 50 stores in the U.S., Mitchell said.

“Every time there is a good, nationally recognized commercial tenant, you’re stepping up a notch in the local economy, and I think Bass Pro Shops is very high-profile,” Hudson said. “They’re certainly well-known, and I think it’s a big plus.”

Faiella announced the company is expected to employ 150 full-time positions. It’s yet to be determined if Bass Pro Shops’ presence would benefit local service industries, like building, maintenance and landscaping, Mitchell said.

Port St. Lucie city officials announced Tuesday that Bass Pro Shops has started the approval process, but negotiations for the Kohl’s site are not complete. City officials and the company are working through the process, which is expected to be finished by March. Faiella said the new store could be open by summer.

Staff writer Eric Pfahler contributed to this report.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/jan/26/bass-pro-shops-would-increase-port-st-lucie/

3 top picks from Northland’s David Cockfield

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published
Friday, Jan. 25 2013, 8:00 PM EST

Last updated
Friday, Jan. 25 2013, 6:16 PM EST

Article source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/3-top-picks-from-northlands-david-cockfield/article7885016/

Master Gardener: Follow the plan for landscaping bliss

Q: This is the year we have
decided to make a landscape plan.
Do I need to hire a professional?
– Dave S., Tulsa

A: Although the average
homeowner can certainly experience
some anxiety with
plant selection and artistic
design, there is no one more
qualified to develop your
particular landscape plan
than you.

A landscape is more than
just the plants and trees in
your yard. It encompasses all
living and nonliving elements
of your environment. A welldesigned
landscape increases
home value and creates a
pleasing environment.

A good place to start is with
a site evaluation. You will
want to document everything
in your current landscape.

Include any structures,
driveways, sidewalks, utilities,
existing beds, trees and
shrubs. Note environmental
conditions such as amount of
sun, excessive wind and drainage
issues. Once you have
accurately recorded your site
characteristics, you can begin
to evaluate the positives and
negatives to determine what
you hope to keep and what
parts of your existing landscape
that need to be changed.

At this point it is helpful to
set some landscape goals for
your property. How do you
want to use your landscape?

Are you primarily entertaining,
or do you need privacy?

Do you need space for pets?

Are you planning to grow
vegetables? Are there any
future considerations, like
the addition of a pool? As a
family, make a list of all your
ideas and intended uses for
your space.

Once you have determined
your goals, you can start
putting your ideas on paper.

Hopefully you have been
able to create a fairly accurate
scale drawing of your
space that includes any existing
plants, trees and structures
that you plan to retain.

It is sometimes a good idea
to make several copies of
your plan so you can experiment
with different design
layouts. Some questions
to address before making
final decisions: Do you have
adequate irrigation? Do you
plan to compost? Have you
allowed sufficient space for
trash and recycling carts?

When the time comes to
actually implement your ideas,
it is advantageous to seek a
landscape designer or architect.

Their knowledge and
expertise can be an invaluable
resource. Do your homework
and select someone who values
your opinions and whose
work you admire. This is a
major investment that, if done
properly, can pay significant
dividends for years to come.

For more detailed information,
Oklahoma State Extension
Service has a series
of Landscape Design fact
sheets available at tulsaworld.com/osugardeningfactsheets.


If you have a garden-related question
for the Master Gardeners to answer
in a column, call 918-746-3701.

Original Print Headline: Follow the plan for landscaping bliss


Garden tips

Ornamental perennial grasses such as pampas grass may be cut back to 4-6 inches anytime in winter. However, because of winter attractiveness, most gardeners choose to wait until early spring to cut them back. All of the dead tops of these grasses should be removed by early spring, allowing sun to get to new growth.

Liriope or “monkey grass” – which is not a grass, but in the lily family – stays green year-round; it also benefits from trimming to 2-3 inches before new growth begins in spring. Liriope and all ornamental grasses will benefit from nitrogen fertilizer in spring when pruned.

Article source: http://www.tulsaworld.com/site/articlepath.aspx?articleid=20130126_41_D2_CUTLIN587171

LDS Church: New Provo temple to stay true to historic roots

PROVO — If you have a copy of the early rendition of the temple, scrap it. If you have copied the 3-D video from YouTube to your Facebook friends, delete it. Residents anticipating the next tidbit on what is happening at the construction site for the new Provo City Center Temple can stop holding their breath — Provo’s community development office has received official bid plans for the temple and surrounding grounds from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What is evident from a first glance into the 800 pages of descriptions, elevations, floor plans and landscaping is that the LDS Church is going to great lengths to preserve the historical nature of the old Provo Tabernacle. Thanks to modern technology, including the use of lasers, computerized censors, rebar and other devices, construction crews can bring the building up to seismic code and still keep its historical nature. City planner Josh Yost said that while no one will see some of the timbers and material being used, “it is a testament to the length the church is going for historical preservation.”

It also is obvious the church is making a large financial commitment to the temple project.

“The church is into preservation, thank goodness,” Provo commercial plans examiner Skip Tandy said.

David Hall, director of temple design services in the LDS Church’s special projects department said, “Every effort has been made to carefully document the existing elements of the Provo Tabernacle that survived the fire of December 2010, including careful study of existing historic photographs.

With the building being repurposed as a temple, it is not possible to restore the building interior in its entirety; rather significant efforts have been made to cast the new temple’s interior design consistent with the architectural styles used in the original tabernacle. Many interior features survived the fire including wood moldings, Newel posts and balustrades which allow for reproduction of the beautiful woodwork found in the pioneer tabernacle. Upon entering the new temple, it’s familiarity to the historic tabernacle will be evident,” Hall said.

According to the plans, the temple will be approximately 85,084 square feet with four floors — two below ground and two above. The main, ground-level entrance will be on the south side of the building; there also will be an entrance from the underground parking area. From ground level to the top of the middle spire is 127 feet. The statue of the Angel Moroni will be added to that.

There will be underground parking for 245 vehicles and an additional surface parking lot for 50 vehicles at the south end of the grounds. Both lots will be accessible from 200 South and 100 West.

“More than any other temple this has more extensive grounds and less surface parking,” Yost said. “It’s a smaller version of Temple Square in Salt Lake City.”

When it comes to landscaping, both temple patrons and the community will get more than the lush flower gardens, trees and grass that will be planted. A 17-foot bronze four-tiered Victorian fountain with ornamental nozzles will grace the grounds at about 100 South. The finial at the top is replicated from a stair newel post from the tabernacle’s interior banister that lead to the pulpit and stand. Scalloped shingles matching the original 1800s design will be used on the roof. The top of the fence posts will feature beehives.

“The entire temple grounds will be beautifully landscaped and will be open to the public following the temple’s operations schedule, consistent with all LDS temples. The grounds closest to the temple will have a taller fence and gates, whereas the grounds both north and south of the temple fence will have lower perimeter fencing and are not gated,” Hall added.

Public gardens with benches, shrubs, trees and grass will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the north end of the property, similar to the old tabernacle park. There also will be gardens on the west side of the temple where the current Nu Skin parking terrace is located.

According to Tandy there also will be a 5,290-square-foot, two-story pavilion about midway between 100 and 200 South, which will serve as a waiting area for non-temple patrons and a place for wedding parties to take pictures. It will connect to the underground parking via elevator.

Plans show a roundabout at the intersection of 100 West and 100 South to make post office access easier for patrons.

“This is an urban temple,” community development director Gary McGinn said. “They are going to landscape the heck out of it.”

City spokesman Corey Norman noted, “As people come downtown they’ll be able to participate in a unique experience. Pioneer Park and its fountains will be operating, Nu Skin will have its community-oriented open space and incredible building complete, the church will be done with the temple, and we have over 50 individually owned restaurants for visitors and residents to choose from.”

Views of the construction site show the temple shell being propped up by stilts while crews dig down approximately 40 feet for the two lower floors. According to Tandy even the dirt under the old tabernacle was perfect for construction crews to work with.

“The soil underneath the temple is as good as they could ask for, and it’s stable,” Tandy said. The displaced dirt will be transported to the city cemetery to help with the city’s expansion project.

The interior floors will feature the typical rooms found in all LDS temples, including the baptistry, dressing rooms, lockers, offices and a bride’s dressing room on the lower levels. The above-ground levels will include a chapel, instruction rooms, offices, lobbies and five rooms where marriages are performed.

While not included in the line drawings, interior decorations will continue with the Victorian theme.

When the temple was announced, church officials estimated that it would be open for use in early 2015, but according to Hall it depends on a number of factors.

“Excellent progress is being made on the construction, but given the complexity of working with an historic structure, it is still too early in the process to provide a meaningful date,” Hall said.

Tandy added they expect it to be a busy wedding temple with all of the photo areas that will be provided.

Mayor John Curtis said, “The City Center Temple in downtown Provo is a great example of what two committed organizations can accomplish in a public-private partnership. This has been the model on how to bring everyone to the table for a unified outcome. We’re all dedicated to having the best temple/downtown experience.”

Article source: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/central/provo/lds-church-new-provo-temple-to-stay-true-to-historic/article_6664aa71-dded-5040-865b-af18e700de52.html

Trowel & Glove: Marin gardening calendar for the week of Jan. 26, 2013 – Marin Independent

Click photo to enlarge

Marin

• West Marin Commons offers a weekly harvest exchange at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays at the Livery Stable gardens on the commons in Point Reyes Station. Go to www.west marincommons.org.

• Volunteers are sought to help in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy nurseries from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Tennessee Valley, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Muir Woods or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays or 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the Marin Headlands. Call 561-3077 or go to www.parksconservancy.org/volunteer. $5.

• Dave Phelps of Marin Master Gardeners speaks about “Pruning Fruit Trees” at 10 a.m. Jan. 30 at the Landmarks Art and Garden Center at 841 Tiburon Blvd. in Tiburon. Free. Call 473-4204.

• Growing Excellence in Marin (GEM), a program providing horticultural vocational training for Marin residents with disabilities, has a weekly plant sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays at 2500 Fifth Ave. in San Rafael. Items offered include garden plants, potted plants, cut flowers and microgreens. Call 226-8693 or email michael@connectics.org.

• The SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) native plant nursery days are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and weekends. Call 663-8590, ext. 114, or email jonathan@tirn.net

to register and for directions.

• A free Marin Bee Company workshop, “The Basics of Beekeeping,” is at 11 a.m. Feb. 2 at Whole Foods Market at 790 De Long Ave. in Novato. Call 878-0455 or go to www.marinbeecompany.com/work shops.html.

• Marin Open Garden Project (MOGP) volunteers are available to help Marin residents glean excess fruit from their trees for donations to local organizations serving people in need and to build raised beds to start vegetable gardens through the Micro-Gardens program. MGOP also offers a garden tool lending library. Go to www.opengarden project.org or email contact@opengardenproject.org.

• Marin Master Gardeners and the Marin Municipal Water District offer free residential Bay-Friendly Garden Walks to MMWD customers. The year-round service helps home-owners identify water-saving opportunities and soil conservation techniques for their landscaping. Call 473-4204 to request a visit to your garden.

San Francisco

• The Conservatory of Flowers, at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park, displays permanent galleries of tropical plant species as well as changing special exhibits from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $2 to $7. Call 831-2090 or go to www.conservatoryofflowers.org.

• The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park, offers several ongoing events. $7; free to San Francisco residents, members and school groups. Call 661-1316 or go to www.sfbotanicalgarden.org. Free docent tours leave from the Strybing Bookstore near the main gate at 1:30 p.m. weekdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. weekends; and from the north entrance at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Groups of 10 or more can call ahead for special-focus tours.

Around the Bay

• Cornerstone Gardens is a permanent, gallery-style garden featuring walk-through installations by international landscape designers on nine acres at 23570 Highway 121 in Sonoma. Free. Call 707-933-3010 or go to www.corner stonegardens.com.

• The California Rare Fruit Growers’ scion exchange is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Veterans Memorial Building at 1351 Maple Ave. in Santa Rosa. $5. Call 707-766-7102 or go to www.crfg.org/chapters/redwood_empire.

The Trowel Glove Calendar appears Saturdays. Send high-resolution jpg photo attachments and details about your event to calendar@marinij.com or mail to Home and Garden Calendar/Lifestyles, Marin Independent Journal, 4000 Civic Center Drive, Suite 301, San Rafael, CA 94903.

Items should be sent two weeks in advance. Photos should be a minimum of 1 megabyte and include caption information. Include a daytime phone number on your release.

Article source: http://www.marinij.com/lifestyles/ci_22444108/trowel-glove-marin-gardening-calendar-week-jan-26

Seeds: Food garden best started in small bites

One gardening trend has yet to wither: People want to grow what they eat.

That’s likely to be evident this weekend at Cal Expo during the annual Northern California Home Landscape Expo. More than 30,000 people are expected to turn out for this huge show, produced by Gary Brown Enterprises. Among the nearly 600 vendors and exhibits are several dedicated to home food production.

From seeds to harvest to preservation, this backyard bonanza is a popular home show topic and one gardening category that continues to mature. New products keep cropping up to meet increased demand, often from gardening novices.

The possibility of producing home-grown vegetables and fruit has created millions of new gardeners.

But will they keep gardening? Often, they get frustrated because their early harvests don’t meet their dreams or investments.

Maybe they don’t want to be full-out backyard farmers, but they’d like to squeeze in a Meyer lemon or a kumquat next to the patio.

This year’s expo is putting added emphasis on edible landscaping and vegetable gardening with new exhibits and workshops loaded with practical advice.

Jenn Hammer, a “vegetable gardening coach,” provides inspiration with her edible display garden at the expo. She repurposed a wide assortment of castoffs – from plastic bottles to an antique washtub – for a creative container garden. For folks with no room, vertical gardens get plants off the ground and onto walls.

Her display focuses on vegetables with something for gardeners of all ages. Much to the delight of youngsters, worms in the vermicompost bin demonstrate how they wiggle waste into fertilizer.

“I let people play in the dirt and give them some different ideas,” Hammer said.

At her Antelope home, Hammer gradually converted her garden to vegetable production.

“First I took out the back lawn, then the front lawn went,” she said. “All I’ve got left is a small space for the dog.”

Hammer, concerned about her family’s health, decided to grow as much food as possible. She uses what she’s learned to help others and puts out information on her blog at jennsgardeningspot.blogspot.com.

For beginning gardeners, Hammer’s advice: Start small.

Many beginners fail because they try to do too much their first season.

“A lot of people tend to start to grow big instead of starting small,” she said. “People don’t realize how much work a garden can be. They start planting too many things and get overwhelmed. Your first year: Get one tomato, two peppers and one squash (all as transplants). Then, see how you like it.”

Vegetable gardens demand attention for success. They need some coddling – and definitely weeding.

“If you’ve never grown anything before, start with herbs,” Hammer said. “They’re small. They’re easy. Then, add the tomato and the squash. Don’t start out trying to do everything at once. Build your experience.”

Hammer uses herself as an example.

“It took me 10 years to take over the whole backyard and front yard. I now can everything we grow.”

In the “start small” category, edible landscaping is a logical bridge.

Edible ornamental expert Geoffrey Wood will present ideas to squeeze beautiful food-makers into almost any landscape. His talk is set for 2 p.m. Sunday in Cal Expo’s Pavilion building.

Wood, a Sacramento County master gardener, sees many spaces for edible plants among ornamentals. Citrus can do double duty as privacy screens or hedges. Lavender and rosemary fit into low-water landscapes. Strawberries form an attractive border or ground cover. Blueberries make a pretty shrub. Chard and kale look interesting as a backdrop for marigolds, which are tasty, too.

“Edible landscaping is definitely an up-and-coming trend,” he said. “There’s so much more awareness about local food, slow food, organic farming. Edible landscaping is part of that groundswell.”

That represents a major shift, he added, and a return to roots.

“We’ve seen a change of mind-set,” Wood said. “After World War II, victory gardens were actually outlawed in a lot of communities. Just a few years ago, edibles were allowed in the front yard again.”

Wood recommends three plants to add color, form and food to sunny spots – that same beginner’s assortment: Tomato, pepper and squash. Ripening tomatoes are eye-catching, peppers come in a rainbow of colors and squash have impressive big leaves and a plentiful harvest.

“Edible landscaping combines form and function,” he explained. “In particular, I really love Thai peppers. They’re so colorful – purple, yellow, red. They fit in anywhere.”

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME AND LANDSCAPE EXPO

Where: Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today and Sunday

Admission: $7; children age 12 and under admitted free

Details: www.homeandlandscapeexpo.com

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Order Reprint

Article source: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/26/5133360/edible-landscaping-ideas-a-big.html

Let’s have a look at some easy solutions, some easy techniques and some easy …

Monday of this past week has been scientifically proven to be the most depressing day of the year.

Maybe this explains my temporary bout of laziness. Looking out the window, the garden seems vast.

When I consider the amount of jobs I have to do, even before spring arrives, well, it’s enough to send me diving back under the duvet.

So how about a few tips for lazy gardeners, or gardeners who are going through a lazy spell like me?

Or maybe I’ll be polite and say we’re going to have a look at some easy solutions, some easy techniques and some easy ways out of garden troubles.

There’s a company called Easigrass. It manufactures wonderful but, wait for it… artificial turf, and it will fit it for you too.

There’s an easy solution – no need to mow the lawn because it looks green all year round, and Easigrass really knows its business. It’s not cheap but the product is fantastic. So is that lazy or is it easy? I can’t make up my mind.

If you want the real stuff, the traditional way is to prepare the lawn, dig out the stones, clear perennial weeds, make sure the ground is firm and, once the soil heats up a bit, sprinkle seed. You can do that, but an easier way is to just roll out a new lawn.

Rolawn do this nationwide. Mind you, you will still have to put in the hard work and prepare your site in exactly the same way as before you sow seed. The best time to do this is once the frost has gone, and that will depend on what the weather is like and where in the country you live.

Spring seems a long way away right now as the country shivers in the snow and ice. But come it will and the cycle of growth will begin once more. So let’s look forward to what we can get sowing and planting when springtime rolls around.

Let me tell you about a wonderful British invention. It’s called Grobox, and it’s a garden in a box. The brainchild of horticulturist Jayne Lawton, it contains everything you need to grow plants in one box – something to grow in, nutrients and seeds. All you need to do is dig a hole, bury the box about 2 inches under the soil, water and watch the plants grow.

The boxes are made from recycled wastepaper – cardboard, old newspapers – which will biodegrade once in the soil. They are made in a variety of shapes and sizes and filled with seeds, corms, bulbs and tubers, arranged at the right depth and space. These can be planted straight in the ground, or in containers, tubs or hanging baskets. The cardboard will provide some insulation to protect your plants as they settle in. Priced at around £6, there are a variety of different selections available for spring bulbs, summer colour, and vegetable gardening.

There’s something for kids as well – a children’s summerflower garden containing sunflowers, nasturtiums, pot o marigolds and anemones. These could be a great way to introduce children to the magic of gardening. They are also ideal for the apartment dweller who only has a small balcony on which to garden and just wants to pot up some window containers.

Since the wonderful gardens at the Olympics, there has been a resurgence of interest in wild-flower meadows. These can be tricky to grow so if you want to have a fragrant English meadow, you could try using a Gromat, made by the same people as the Grobox. It’s a three-metrelong mat which you roll out on a weed-free area and then cover with compost and water. The wild-flower mixture contains around 50 different species including corncockle, sweet alyssum, cornflower, California poppy, flax, borage, lemon balm, corn marigold, poppy, love-in-amist, soapwort, white mustard, crimson scarlet, fennel, and sorrel, among others. It’s all environmentally friendly, organic and 100% British – the boxes are produced in Manchester.

Jayne works with disadvantaged groups, training them on City Guilds gardening courses and transforming urban wastelands into community gardens to grow vegetables and flowers for all to enjoy. So if you are looking for a gardening gift, or want to try a simpler form of gardening for yourself, you will be supporting an ethical and environmentally aware gardening company.

Back to our lawns… this is really cheeky and easy but it’s also expensive so it’s definitely a luxury.

I’ve played with a few robotic lawn mowers in my time but Husqvarna produces wonderful and ever-more proficient Automowers.

If you do get someone to roll out a new, ready-made lawn, why not send out a robot to take care of it for you? But first, we must wait for the sun to come out and warm up the soil!

WHERE TO BUY: WWW.GROBOXGARDENS.CO.UK OR PHONE CUSTOMER service 07908 133 602. www.easigrass.com, phone: 0845 094 8880 www.rolawn.co.uk, phone: 0845 604 6050 www.husqvarna.com

Ask Diarmuid

DEAR DIARMUID

Can you help? I’ve bought a Loropetalum and I’m struggling to find out any information about how I should look after it. Is it best to keep it in a shady or semi-shady position? It did produce one flower recently.

MARY KING ELY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE

HI MARY

 Loropetalum is related to the better known Chinese witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis.

Unlike its well-known cousin, with its spidery yellow or orange fragrant flowers on bare branches, Loropetalum has white or pink flowers, depending on the variety. It is also an evergreen.

You’ll find it does best when it’s in full sun or partial shade. Ideally, plant it somewhere that is protected from bitter winds as it can be a bit tender.

Your plant definitely won’t have liked the recent snow, so cover it up with fleece or hessian when there’s a cold snap.

Loropetalum prefers slightly acidic soil but will do well if you add humus-rich compost or manure to the soil before planting.

It usually blooms in February so hopefully the flower you saw is the first of many. A great choice for a smaller garden.

Enjoy!

Article source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/gardening/diarmuid-gavin-tips-for-lazy-gardeners-1556785

Prince Charles, Sir Elton John, King Hussein: Washington Author, British …

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Jaime Ferris
jferris@ctcentral.com

Rosemary Verey (1918-2001) is often remembered as the doyenne of 20th-century English garden design, a woman of international renown, the “acknowledged apostle of the ‘English style,’” and the adviser to the rich and famous—think Prince Charles, Sir Elton John and King Hussein. Her most famous garden design is at her home at Barnsley House in the Cotswolds of England, where she spent hours transforming the grounds into a place that still enjoys international acclaim for its beauty.

In America, she was a popular lecturer and a natural teacher who encouraged fellow gardeners “to believe that they were fully capable of creating beautiful gardens while validating their quest for a native vernacular.”

“Good bones,” she believed, “are important, so it is wise to go slowly and get your plan right before launching into a vital project.”

Verey was also a prolific writer of 18 garden books, sharing her expertise with the masses. But she embraced gardening much later in life, and wrote her first book at age 62. And though she dug into gardening late in life, she quickly achieved international acclaim, proving that there is, indeed, life after 60.

Likewise, Washington resident Barbara Paul Robinson, the first woman partner with Debevoise Plimpton and the first woman president of the New York City Bar, has started her own writing career later in life, as well as developing an interest in gardening. Mrs. Robinson and her husband, artist Charles Raskob Robinson, sought respite and bought a derelict 1750s clapboard farmhouse in Washington in 1971. While renovations were underway on the house, Ms. Robinson tackled the landscape, which, she said, ultimately “succumbed to her growing passion for plants.”

Before she knew it, she was totally immersed, so when the opportunity arrived in 1991 for her to take a five-month sabbatical from the law firm, she seized the opportunity and worked as a gardener for Rosemary Verey at her Cotswolds home.

“Rosemary was my boss—and a tough boss, let me tell you—but we ultimately became good friends,” Ms. Robinson said from her home about their 20-year friendship.

Now, Ms. Robinson, paying tribute to her dear friend, has written her first biography, “Rosemary Verey: The Life and Lessons of a Legendary Gardener” (David R. Godine), sharing with those who knew Verey—and those who did not—the extraordinary woman she was, and the remarkable gardening legacy she left behind.

According to Berkshire Style, the book “… all but channels the great Rosemary Verey herself.” Continued…

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Article source: http://www.countytimes.com/articles/2013/01/26/entertainment/doc5103da6bd99a1589126037.txt