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Archives for January 31, 2013

Community ‘Incubator’ Science Lab Coming to Carlsbad

The City Council approved a proposal on Tuesday, Jan. 29, to lease the former Farmers Insurance auto claims building at 2351 Faraday Avenue to Bio, Tech and Beyond, which will manage a start-up incubator and science education center. 

The city will lease the 6,000-square-foot building for $1 a year for five years. The city will repair the building’s aging heating and ventilation system and cover the costs of gas and electricity for one year. It will also continue to pay for trash removal and landscaping for the five-year term of the lease. The incubator’s managers will pay for all tenant improvements and furnish the lab with experimental equipment and instruments valued at $250,000. They will donate their time to run the lab and counsel start-up companies for two years, after which they expect to hire staff.  The total valuation of labor and expenses over the five years is estimated at $877,000. 

The goals of the incubator project are to:

  • Create new life sciences companies and new jobs in Carlsbad
  • Become a national leader in the citizen science movement, strengthening the city’s life sciences cluster
  • Add to Carlsbad’s core technology base, resulting in new products and new patents
  • Serve as a base for regional science education outreach efforts

“Having an incubator and community lab in Carlsbad improves the entrepreneurial environment for life sciences,” said Kathy Dodson, economic development manager for the City of Carlsbad.

Carlsbad is home to a number of life sciences companies, including Life Technologies, Isis Pharmaceuticals and Genoptix.  

The proposal has strong support of life sciences organizations, including the Salk Institution’s educational outreach arm, Oxbridge Biotechnology Roundtable, the San Diego Biotechnology Network and Assay Depot, a San Diego life sciences company that has pledged a $10,000 citizen science competition at the facility. 

    The effort is being led by Joseph Jackson, founder of BioCurious, one of the country’s first community laboratories, and Kevin Lustig, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Assay Depot, a San Diego-based company whose cloud-based software products enable scientists to easily access research services and experts. Many citizen scientists have worked for months as part of an all-volunteer team behind the community lab. Lustig said the diminishing cost of equipment and technology has made a community laboratory possible, and noted that people who have ideas but need access to equipment and technology will be able to rent space in the community lab where they can run experiments and test out those ideas.

    “The incubator is about enabling citizen scientists to translate their ideas into experiments, and then to translate their experimental results into companies,” Lustig said. He said Bio, Tech and Beyond particularly will focus on serving as a resource hub for anyone interested in researching rare or orphan diseases. “Because each rare disease strikes such a small number of people, there’s little profit incentive for pharmaceutical companies to do research,” Lustig said. “In a community lab like ours, patient advocacy groups, family members and citizen scientists can actually work with the patients themselves on research that may one day lead to a cure.” 

    Jackson said Carlsbad’s position as a home to life sciences companies makes it a logical choice for a community lab. “This will be a first in Southern California,” said Jackson, who organized the BioCurious community lab in Sunnyvale. “It will offer community access to lab facilities and bring world-class members of the life sciences community into contact with members of the public.” 

    The lab will be Biosafety Level One, meaning that it won’t handle disease-causing organisms.

    The incubator plans on becoming self-sufficient by raising money through membership fees, corporate sponsorships, science challenges, crowd funding, event and course fees, and grants.

    The incubator team has a goal of launching at least eight start-up companies in the first two years, enrolling 50 paying members, and offering at least four sciences courses per year.

    –City of Carlsbad

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Green home improvements that can make a real difference in home value

Green home improvements that can make a real difference in home value

Green home improvements that can make a real difference in home value

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:00 am

Updated: 3:32 am, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

Green home improvements that can make a real difference in home value

(BPT) – What your home is worth to you is one thing; what it’s worth to someone else may be totally different. If you want to boost the value of your home for yourself and in the eyes of others, one of the best ways to do that in today’s real estate market is to make green home improvements.

Going green can mean a lot of things, and it’s easy to start with small changes like switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs and unplugging appliances when they’re not in use. Not only will you be doing good for the environment, you might end up saving on utility bills and, ultimately, increasing your home’s value when the time comes to sell. 

Green projects aren’t all necessarily in the do-it-yourself category, and making an investment to have the bigger jobs done right will pay off in the long run.

“It’s important for homeowners to consider cost-saving efficiency projects as part of their overall home renovation plans,” says RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly. “And a trained real estate agent will be able to identify the projects that cut current expenses and pay potential dividends when you’re ready to sell.”

Getting started now – even if that just means planning – is a good idea, particularly if you’re thinking about selling in a few months’ time. Talk to a real estate agent about what improvements are popular among potential homebuyers, and consider these ideas:

* Insulation: Regulating the hot air your home lets in during the summer and lets out in the winter can have a short-term impact on your heating and cooling bills. To find out whether you need additional insulation in your attic or walls, order an energy audit. Perhaps you could benefit from adding blown-in insulation to your walls. If your attic is unfinished, it’s particularly important to make sure that it’s appropriately insulated to avoid wasting energy.

 * Windows: Caulking and putting up energy-saving window film is a great start, but a more dramatic change might make a world of difference if you want to make a sale. Replacing your existing windows with high-efficiency versions can be an expensive proposition, but the return on your investment can be dramatic, particularly if you’re hoping to attract buyers.

* Landscaping: While planting isn’t always possible in the coldest months of the year, putting together a plan for energy-conscious plantings is a great idea. Consider adding trees that will bring shade to the sunniest spots, like the west side of your home, to cut summertime electric bills. Trees that lose their leaves in the fall will let light in during the winter, as opposed to evergreens which will block it throughout the year.

* Water: Take the first step by turning down the temperature setting on your water heater. For more savings, consider replacing older heaters with energy-efficient models or even solar water heaters. Adding insulation to your pipes can also make a difference in how much energy is used to heat water.

Most homeowners put a lot of effort into making their homes attractive, welcoming spaces. With green updates, you can make your home not only more comfortable and more energy-efficient, but also more appealing to buyers. Add the potential energy savings and the possible boost in home value and you have even more reasons to bring your home into the green age.

For recommendations about making your home green, talk to a knowledgeable real estate agent. Green agents at RE/MAX have a commitment to sustainability and specialized knowledge that you can tap into when making improvements. To learn more or to find an agent in your area, visit


Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:00 am.

Updated: 3:32 am.

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Avery, Watauga County Farms Among WNC Grant Recipients To Diversify Farms …

Jan. 30, 2013. Western North Carolina farmers received $148,500 in WNC Agricultural Options grants to diversify their farm businesses in the 2013 growing season. (See list of farms below.)

The 28 grant recipients celebrated Tuesday at an event at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River. The goal of the farms’ projects is to enhance profitability.

The WNC AgOptions grant program has been funded exclusively by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission since 2003.

“The Commission is very pleased to fund and support the WNC AgOptions program for another year,” said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. “We expect to see some unique projects, because mountain farmers have shown they are resourceful, innovative and committed to making their farms successful.”

Six farm businesses received $3,000, one received $4,500, and 21 received $6,000. Many of the farmers are undertaking projects that are unique to their counties, and some are leading the way in innovative agriculture nationwide.

Tester Dairy Farm in Watauga County is creating a hydroponic fodder system, which grows barley, rye and wheat from seed to sprouts in eight days so that the farmers can feed their cattle high-protein grasses daily. The fresh palatable feed is proven to enhance animals’ milk production, improve fertility and decrease respiratory issues. Thomas and Margaret Tester said they are renovating the farm so that their granddaughter Jessica Lawrence can take it over without the worries of weather, lease agreements and costs associated with row crops.

South Valley Nursery and Landscaping in Avery County is building a micropropagation lab so that grant recipient Tyler Buchanan can mass produce unique plants such as native orchids that are expensive to propagate using traditional techniques. Tissue culture requires a significant upfront investment, specialized training and a sterile environment to be able to produce new plants in vitro (in a test tube), but payoff can be significant since the demand for these rare native plants is high.

Joe Ward in Jackson County is establishing a no-till planting system in an area where few farmers use this method. In no-till fields, soil erosion and runoff decrease as a network of fibrous and tap roots grow throughout the soil profile, providing pathways for air and moisture. This method also creates a good environment for earthworms and beneficial bacteria, fungi and enzymes, all crucial for healthy crops.

The WNC AgOptions grants help sustain several significant farms, such as a 65-acre Old Fort property that the ancestors of grant recipient Alvin Lytle first acquired in the 1850′s, as well as a Bethel Valley farm that has been in the family of grant recipient Joseph Cathey for more than 200 years. As profits increase, Reems Creek Nursery and Landscaping will be able to boost employment beyond its current 25 employees while also continuing to preserve the rural quality of Reems Creek Valley. With the help of the grant, Addison Vineyard, a part of a fourth generation cattle farm in Leicester, will be on track to reaching their goal of profitability by the eighth year of wine grape production in 2016.

The grant projects help many of the grant recipients’ achieve their dreams of passing their farming operations to their children or grandchildren. Rick Walker, who is building a poultry processing facility in Cherokee County, named his farm after his four sons, Ricky, Joseph, Daniel and Joshua, who are ages six and under. “4 Sons Farm is the name I chose not only because I have four sons, but because it is for my sons,” Walker said. “I began farming to provide wholesome food for our children, to teach them an ancient and respected way of life, and to create a business legacy to hand down to them.”

N.C. Cooperative Extension implements the WNC AgOptions program and works directly with farmers as they complete their projects. “As we begin our ninth grant cycle, it is very rewarding to look back at all the successful farm operations and creative enterprises that have grown from the initial investments,” said Ross Young, Madison County Extension Director and WNC AgOptions steering committee leader. “The farmers in western North Carolina are the most vital component of the program. It is their ideas and their dedication to the success of those ideas that make it all work.”

In partnership with N.C. Cooperative Extension, the non-profit organization WNC Communities administers WNC AgOptions grants. WNC Communities is dedicated to providing a unique forum for leaders in western North Carolina to carry out innovative programs to improve the quality of life for rural communities and to enhance the agriculture economy.

“WNC Communities is delighted to serve as fiscal agent in bringing these funds to creative and innovative farmers throughout western North Carolina,” said L.T. Ward, Vice President of WNC Communities. “We are extremely appreciative to N. C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission for their long standing and continuing commitment to WNC AgOptions and the farmers of this region.”

Members of the WNC AgOptions steering committee include: representatives from N.C. Cooperative Extension, WNC Communities, N.C. Department of Agriculture Consumer Services–Marketing Division, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and other leaders in agriculture. For more information, see the following: WNC Agricultural Options:; N.C. Cooperative Extension Centers:; N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission:; WNC Communities:

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Ways to bring out hidden curb appeal

Realtors know that a great first impression can mean the difference between a quick sale and a house languishing on the market for months. That’s why improving curb appeal — that all-important first glance at a home — is crucial in a competitive housing market.

Most homeowners will take care of the basics, like mowing the lawn, weeding the garden and clearing junk from the yard. But if you really want to wow potential buyers, here are some often-overlooked aspects of curb appeal that can make or break a sale.

A New Front Door

For potential buyers, the first stop on the tour of your home is waiting to be let in at the front door. In order to make a great first impression, replace an aging door with an affordable new steel door. A recent study found that you can recoup up to 102 percent of the cost of a new steel door, which means that this home improvement will likely pay for itself. In addition to looking better, a new, solid door conveys a sense of security, a huge selling point for most buyers.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Replacing chipped and faded exterior paint with a fresh coat is pretty standard for sellers looking to move their homes in a competitive market. However, the mistake many make is choosing the wrong colors. Those bright, playful hues that catch your eye might turn off some buyers. This isn’t the time to showcase your personality. Selling a home should be all about the buyer. By choosing more muted tones, potential buyers can better imagine themselves settling in and making it their own.

This isn’t the time to showcase your personality. Selling a home should be all about the buyer.

– Adam Verwymeren

If you’ve got siding rather than paint, you can still beautify your home with a good scrubbing. Rent a power washer to strip off years of grime, which can send a signal of neglect to potential buyers.  

Low-Maintenance Landscaping  

Weeding and replacing dead plants in the garden should be one of your first steps to improve curb appeal. However, while dressing up a garden can make it look good, you can also go too far. Ornate, high-maintenance gardens can frighten away those looking for low-key landscaping. A yard crowded with flowers can also turn off homeowners who would rather use the space for entertaining friends or playing with their kids. So keep the flower beds contained, trim back the rose bushes, and make the yard look spacious.  

Your Messy Neighbors

It’s an unfortunate truth, but messy neighbors could be scaring away potential purchasers. No one wants to live next to slobs, so if the houses around you look pretty rough, it can cause buyers to steer clear of your place. While it can be a little tricky to get your neighbors to clean up their acts, a little diplomacy, and perhaps a modest bribe of freshly baked cookies, could get them to help you out. Explain your situation and offer to lend a hand. An afternoon helping your neighbor pick up trash and mow the lawn could make all the difference for you.

Brighten Things Up

Many potential buyers might come by in the evening hours, and a home with poor exterior lighting can really turn people off. To start, make sure you’ve replaced any burnt-out bulbs. To take things a step further, add new fixtures along walkways and by the front door to make the walk up seem more inviting. Finally, replace harsh flood lights with softer lighting options. While you want to give people a good look at your home, you don’t want your yard to feel like a prison yard.

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Trend-topping tiny furnished gardens enchant young and old

One of my fondest memories of my now-grown son’s childhood involves his preschool fixation with the David the Gnome cartoon show. He never missed it. One day, on a whim, I fashioned tiny furniture from twigs and hid the pieces under some backyard bushes. At an opportune time, my husband “accidentally” tossed a baseball to just the right spot under the shrubs and sent the 4-year-old to retrieve it.

“We have gnomes! We have gnomes! I found their house!” our little boy came running, yelling excitedly. I was rocked with joy.

Gnomes, elves and fairies are the stuff of entertainment going back centuries, the inspiration for folk tales, poetry, Shakespearean plays, cartoons and, now, one of the hottest garden trends going. Miniature gardens, often called fairy gardens, are in vogue, with an abundance of tiny statuary, furnishings and supplies popping up at garden shops and online sources, and a growing fan base of all ages.

The concept: pint-size plants incorporated in a themed vignette of miniature landscaping elements (such as tiny pebbles, moss and twigs), whimsical dollhouse-size furniture, decorative accessories and tiny figurines. Fairy gardening is suitable for either open-dish gardens in shallow vessels or lidded transparent containers, usually glass, called terrariums. The small scale makes it easy to manage and is key to the charm.

“It’s a resurgence of a trend from years ago,” says Josh Addison, manager of Redenta’s Garden in Dallas. “It gives people a way to bring their garden indoors when the weather is cooler. We do a lot of custom miniature gardens for gifts. It’s especially good for people who can’t get out,” he says.

Mary Wilhite, co-owner of Blue Moon Gardens near Edom in East Texas, is one of the first area retailers to carry fairy garden merchandise. “As you get older, gardening becomes more difficult. This is a way to downsize, and it is easy to maintain,” she says. “It’s a great thing to do with kids and grandkids. Children love them. It’s just their size.”

“Everyone likes cute, tiny things” says Nikki Rosen, marketing manager of North Haven Gardens. “And customers bring in girls and boys. It’s not necessarily fairy- or gnome-themed. People incorporate their interests. Kids might put in dinosaurs, action figures, Hot Wheels cars, tiny animals.”

The longtime North Dallas garden store sponsored a contest in October, inviting customers to bring their home-crafted fairy-themed gardens to the store.

“We had an amazing turnout,” Rosen says. “Both found and store-bought objects were used, and lots of different containers, including a pumpkin and a wood wine box that housed a tiny vineyard. We will definitely have a contest again next year.”

“Even if you don’t have a child to share it with, it’s a way to go back to your childhood,” says Vickie Gumz, greenhouse manager of Jackson’s Home Garden. “It’s fun to play with little things.”

She’s right. Gnome hunts kept my little boy occupied for a long time after that special day many years ago. If I had the selection of darling tiny garden decor then that is available now, I would have outfitted a whole gnome village. I look forward to round two of miniature gardening with grandchildren someday.

Valerie Jarvie is a Dallas freelance writer.


Where to buy fairy garden elements

Archie’s Gardenland, Fort Worth

Blue Moon Gardens, Chandler

Brumley Gardens, both Dallas locations

Covington’s Nursery, Rowlett

House Nursery Outlet, Kaufman

Jackson’s Home Garden, Dallas

Merry Gardens, Athens

Nicholson-Hardie Garden Center, Dallas

North Haven Gardens, Dallas

Plants Planters, Richardson (March)

Redenta’s Garden, Dallas and Arlington

Ruibal’s, Dallas Farmers Market


On the Internet


Make your own

Look for plants in the terrarium, houseplant or tropical foliage section of garden stores. Suitable varieties grow slowly to only a few inches tall or can be pruned to stay small, such as bonsai trees. Make sure to choose plants that all have the same light and water requirements and know before you purchase plants what kind of light your designated spot can provide. Succulent plants such as cacti and aloe vera need very little water. Tillandsias, or air plants, need only occasional misting (and, in fact, need no soil). Preserved moss is a dried natural product that needs no care.

For a dish garden, a flat, shallow, waterproof ceramic dish or a wood box 3 to 4 inches tall works well. Drainage holes are necessary if the dish garden will be outdoors most of the year. Indoors, with careful watering, you can get by with a container without drainage holes if moisture seepage underneath is a concern, utilizing activated charcoal to deter mold.

You also can create your garden in an enclosed glass container with a lid, a terrarium, which can be opened to vent moisture.

Select accessorizing furnishings and figurines made from waterproof materials, especially for outdoor gardens.

To assemble, start with a 1/2-inch layer of small gravel, tiny colored stones or decorative crushed glass. Place landscaping cloth or a coffee filter cut

to fit over the rock layer to prevent soil from sifting into the rocks, tucking the edges under so it does not show. Include more layers of rock in different colors and texture, if you wish, using the cloth or filter between each layer. Next, spread a fine layer of activated charcoal to absorb moisture and prevent fungus or mold growth. Last, add 2 inches or more of potting soil before planting and arranging furnishings and landscaping features.

Water and fertilize the plants only as needed. With care, miniature gardens can be maintained for many years.

Published in 2012, Fairy Gardens: A Guide to Growing an Enchanted Miniature World by Betty Earl (B.B. Mackey Books) contains 103 colorful photographs along with information on building or buying accessories for these trendy fantasy gardens.

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2013 Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show Details Revealed

Dogwood Arts sets the stage for a spectacular House Garden Show with features sure to inspire everyone!  This year’s show, selected as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for 2013, will take place Friday, February 15 and Saturday, February 16 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and Sunday, February 17 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The 2013 House and Garden Show, presented by the Knoxville News Sentinel, will feature more than 200 exhibits sure to spark the imaginations of home and garden enthusiasts.   Attendees can lose themselves in the Grand Gardens, a showcase of more than 10,000 square feet of landscapes constructed by the region’s top designers, and find themselves inspired by interior designers showcasing innovations for the home.   The Flower Markets will offer virtually everything colorful and green that can brighten a garden.  Artists will have artwork on the show floor to bring personality to your home and garden.  The How-To Stage will present eleven shows throughout the weekend.  The House and Garden Show is definitely the ticket to spring!

Dogwood Arts is excited to showcase: the Green Living Pavilion, a Cooking School, the third annual fundraising raffle, and artists!  

  • The Green Pavilion is a sustainability initiative that emphasizes energy efficiency and conservation.  Green Living vendors will educate attendees about new energy-efficient technologies, products and services, while providing resources focused on greener and cleaner homes, gardens, and overall lifestyles
  • A Cooking School, sponsored by locally-owned-and-operated, Avanti Savoia, will be providing thirteen cooking demonstrations focused on home-made Italian cuisine, throughout the weekend
  • The third annual fundraising raffle will give visitors 18 years and older the opportunity to win one of five amazing prize packages including:
    • Enter for a chance to win $2,500 to customize your own furniture from the HGTV HOME Design Studio at Bassett. Donated by Scripps Networks Interactive.
    • Cook like Food Network chefs with $750 worth of kitchen products from Kohl’s. Donated by Scripps Networks Interactive.
    • Building materials for a 15′ x 60′ patio to include a fire-pit – valued at $7,500. Donated by ACME Block Brick.
    • Two (2) Telescope Casual Momentum Deep-Seat Arm Chairs; One (1) Telescope Casual Solid Surface Coffee Table; and One (1) Big Green Egg, Nest, and Mates – all valued at $4,450. Donated by Prism Pool and Backyard.
    • Invisible Fence Silver Package to include a control panel with one (1) surge protector, one (1) computer collar, one (1) power cap battery plan, professional installation for up to a half-acre, and two (2) training sessions from a certified trainer – value: $1,099. Donated by Invisible Fence.
  • Artists – furniture makers, custom tile makers, faux painters, fine art painters, and more!

Celebrity speakers will be on-hand throughout the weekend on the Entertainment Stage as they educate and entertain audiences.  Among others, Matt Muenster, host of DIY Network’s Bath Crashers will present “Bathroom Design for 2013 Beyond!”; Leigh Anne Lomax from Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville will present “Cheekwood’s Dynamic Dogwoods: Building an Exemplary Collection”; and Alison Victoria, host of DIY Network’s Kitchen Crashers will present “Alison’s Five Best Kitchen Tips.”

 Participating artists include: Alex Smith, Art by Nick, Cadman Cummins Studios, Charles Pinckney Designs, Jill Stone Studio, Michelle Monet Creations, The Clay Horse, and Tufa Garden Art.

 Participating Landscape Designers include: Ecoscapes, Forever Green, Landscape Outfitters, Mark W. Fuhrman Complete Landscape Services, Petey’s Landscaping, Pleasant Hill Nursery, Proscapes, Reno Land Design, Stuart Row Landscapes, The Lawn Butler, and Willow Ridge Garden Center Landscaping.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (over 65), and $5 for youth (6-12 years old).  Children under 5 are admitted free.  Tickets purchased at any local ORNL Federal Credit Union will receive $1 off the ticket price from January 28 through February 14.  All proceeds benefit Dogwood Arts.

For more information on the House Garden Show, visit

 Dogwood Arts is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote and celebrate our region’s arts, culture, and natural beauty.  The Dogwood Arts House Garden Show is a major fundraising event that supports this mission and the Festival in April.  ORNL Federal Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of the Festival.  For more information, visit or call [865] 637.4561.

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Growing Green: Tips for starting a vertical garden

Talk about it

    In doing research for some recent classes, I have become hooked on the idea of vertical gardening. As I explore this type of gardening further, I am blown away by all the innovative and exciting ideas I have found.

    Gardening “up” has always made sense to me, and I have included all sorts of trellises and poles to support vines in my garden, but I have been limiting myself in my narrow definition of vertical.

    Here are some exciting new ideas I have found that you might want to try in your garden this year.

    Pockets: Many companies sell special garden “pockets” to assist in vertical gardening. Fill these pockets with soil, plant your seedling and hang on a vertical wall. But why not try shoe pockets? (You know, the kind that hangs over doors?)

    Many of these are made of porous material and would work very well for all sorts of cascading plants. Try blue lobelia for cooler sites. Calibrachoa comes in many glorious colors for sunny sites, and many herbs and vines also have a trailing habit.

    Planting trays are a great way to display your succulents. These trays have redwood sides, a waterproof bottom and a wire top. Fill the tray with a good quality soil and push your succulent cutting through the wire with a pencil.

    Water them in and keep them horizontal for about a month to allow the roots to develop and the plants to stabilize. Once the plants are secure, hang your living picture on an exterior or interior wall.

    For more information on this type of vertical gardening, check out succulent gardens at (Don’t miss their YouTube videos!)

    Found objects make excellent vertical gardening containers. If you have some left over rain gutter, paint it, hang it and plant herbs. An old wooden pallet can be painted, hung on a wall, and pots filled with colorful annuals can hang from the slats with hooks.

    How about old animal feeders, tires, planters? Stack them in an eye-pleasing display, and fill them with color and texture to brighten up an otherwise dull spot in your yard.

    Vegetable gardens lend themselves to vertical growth as well. Trellis vining crops that otherwise would take up a lot of space in your garden. Pumpkins, squash and cucumbers can all be trained vertically.

    For heavier fruits, provide nylon “hammocks” to support the weight. Plant tender greens and other cool loving crops in the shadow cast by these trellised veggies to protect them from the harsh afternoon sun.

    For more information on vertical gardening, visit

    Until next time, happy gardening!

    country, extension, gardening

    More from around the web

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    Caesarstone unveils Nendo-designed Stone Garden installation

    Dubbed ‘Stone Garden’, the installation comprises 222 table-like elements made out of seven different pebble shaped quartz surfaces and nine different stone colours, each supported by a simple metal rod and secured by an overlapping design. The elements are clustered together to form a seemingly floating landscape.

    According to Oki Sato, founder and chief designer of Nendo, “The installation also explores the boundary between ‘furniture’ and ‘non-furniture.’ Tables that aren’t quite tables form a cluster, creating a new kind of ground surface like a garden floating in the universe, far beyond the scale of individual tables. The unique variety and quality of natural colours and textures of the Caesarstone surfaces are perfect to be arranged in a composition like the stylized landscape of a Japanese rock garden.”

    The simplicity of the design reflects the minimalistic approach of Nendo and the quality, functionality and creativity of Caesarstone. The installation showcases the versatility of Caesarstone’s surface designs that can complement any space like the different shapes, depths and directions of overlaps forming this installation.

    Interior Design Show was held on 24-27 January 2013 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Central Lounge.

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    Homes & Gardens events in Oregon for Feb. 2-9


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    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: “Morning in the Garden.” In the weekly calendar we are featuring a photo that was an entry in our 2012 photo contest. The winners ran in the Dec. 22 weekend edition of Homes Gardens of the Northwest.


    Events are free unless noted. Fees usually include materials; call to confirm. All area codes are 503 unless noted.



    Mary’s Peak Orchid Society Annual Show and Sale: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibits and judging. Receive expert advice, and bring your own orchids to be repotted for a fee. Garland Nursery, 5470 N.E. Highway 20, Corvallis; or 541-753-6601

    Gardener’s Winter Guided Walk: 11 a.m.-noon. Garden curator Courtney Vengarick leads a walk to view blooming plants. Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 S.E. 122nd Ave.; or 823-9503

    SUNDAY, FEB. 3

    Open House: 1 p.m. Kym Pokorny — garden writer for Homes Gardens of the Northwest — will review the best gardening books for kids and veggie growers as well as books that have given her insight and spurred her imagination as a Northwest gardener. Garden Fever, 3433 N.E. 24th Ave.; or 287-3200

    MONDAY, FEB. 4

    Therapeutic Garden Volunteer Information Sessions: 1-2 p.m. Get information on how you can help with garden maintenance, planting projects, clerical work and other volunteer opportunities in the Legacy Health System Horticultural Therapy Program. Registration required; meeting details given at that time. Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, 1015 N.W. 22nd Ave.; or 413-7012


    Clark County Master Gardener Foundation: 7 p.m. Mark Hallenbeck on “Bees and the Trees.” CASEE Center, 11104 N.E. 149th St., Brush Prairie, Wash.;

    Washington County Master Garden Speaker Series: 7:15 p.m. Penny Durant on the challenges and rewards of growing olive trees in Oregon and pressing olives for oil. First Baptist Church, 5755 S.W. Erickson Ave., Beaverton;


    Fort Vancouver Rose Society: 7 p.m. James Pestillo on old garden roses. Clark County Genealogical Society, 717 Grand Blvd., Vancouver; 360-281-7270


    African Violet Sale: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sale, display and demonstrations. Sponsored by the Portlandia Violet Club. Portland Nursery, 9000 S.E. Division St.; 761-7861



    Fruit-tree Pruning: 9-11:50 a.m. Demonstrations and practice of pruning methods for a variety of fruit trees. Home Orchard Society Arboretum, 19600 S. Molalla Ave. (north corner of Clackamas Community College campus), Oregon City; $10; or 594-3292

    Hidden Habitats: Nesting Birds on Your Land: 9 a.m.-noon. Learn how to take care of your land while avoiding harming birds during critical nesting periods. Sauvie Island Grange Hall, 14443 N.W. Charlton Road; or 238-4775

    Gardening for the Birds: 10 a.m. Discover what plants are essential for wild-bird food and shelter at various times of the year and learn how to get your garden certified as a backyard bird habitat. Dennis’ 7 Dees Garden Center, 10455 S.W. Butner Road, Beaverton; $5; or 297-1058

    Small Fruits and Berries: 10 a.m. Al’s Garden Center, 1220 N. Pacific Highway, Woodburn; or 981-1245

    Starting From Seed With Success: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tips and technique for indoor seed-starting, lighting and fertilizing requirements, hardening off seedlings, amending planting beds and more. Registration required at the website. Portland Nursery, 9000 S.E. Division St.; or 788-9000

    What to Do in the Garden in February: 11 a.m. Registration required. Tsugawa Nursery, 410 E. Scott Ave., Woodland, Wash.; or 360-225-8750

    Four-patch Mosaic Lap Quilt: Noon-3 p.m. Make a 33-by-38-inch quilt that could be used as a wall hanging, lap quilt or baby quilt. This is the first of three classes that complete this quilt. Registration required. Next classes are noon-3 p.m. Feb. 23 and March 2. The Wade Creek House, 664 Wade St., Estacada; $45 series; or 630-7556

    Integrating Edibles: 1 p.m. Learn to think beyond the separate raised vegetable bed, and grow edibles throughout your garden. Portland Nursery, 5050 S.E. Stark St.; or 231-5050

    Landscape Design Concepts: 1-2:30 p.m. Registration required at website. Portland Nursery, 9000 S.E. Division St.; or 788-9000

    SUNDAY, FEB. 3

    Planning Your Year of Vegetables: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Learn about cool- versus warm-weather crops, keeping a garden journal, the basics of successive planting and crop rotation, and other tips for a well-planned garden. Registration required at website. Portland Nursery, 9000 S.E. Division St.; or 788-9000

    Make Your Own Terrarium: 1 p.m. Registration required. Al’s Garden Center, 1220 N. Pacific Highway, Woodburn; $25, includes supplies; or 981-1245

    Naturescaping Basics: 1-5 p.m. Design a low-maintenance chemical-free landscape that conserves water and minimizes pollution while saving time, money and energy. Offered through East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. Registration required. Tualatin Hills Nature Park, 15655 S.W. Millikan Way, Beaverton; or 222-7645

    Winter Garden Design Ideas: 1 p.m. Get ideas for designing or redesigning your yard with a mix of conifers and evergreens. Registration required. Farmington Gardens, 21815 S.W. Farmington Road, Aloha; or 649-4568

    Winter Pruning: 1 p.m. Brent Ward explains many of the things that should (and should not) be pruned around this time, and how they should be pruned to improve structure and health. Portland Nursery, 5050 S.E. Stark St.; or 231-5050


    Urban Pest Management: 8 a.m.-4:50 p.m. Workshop covers pest control on ornamental plants. Registration required. In Gregory Forum. Clackamas Community College, 19600 S. Molalla Ave., Oregon City; $75-$85; 541-737-3541

    FRIDAY, FEB. 8

    Rain Gardens: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Workshop on designing and engineering rain gardens in Clark County. Offered through the Watershed Stewards program of WSU Clark County Extension and Clark County Environmental Services Clean Water program. Registration required. Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver; $15; 360-397-6060, ext. 5705


    Naturescaping Basics: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Design a low-maintenance, chemical-free landscape that conserves water and minimizes pollution while saving time, money and energy. Offered through East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. Registration required. Greater Gresham Baptist Church, 3848 N.E. Division St., Gresham; or 222-7645

    All About Sunflowers: 10-11 a.m. Kids ages 5-10 get a tour of the Robinwood Garden kids bed, learn how sunflowers are grown and get samples of foods containing sunflower seeds. Robinwood Station, 3706 Cedaroak Drive, West Linn; $5;

    Inviting Mason Bees to Your Garden: 11 a.m. Registration required. Tsugawa Nursery, 410 E. Scott Ave., Woodland, Wash.; or 360-225-8750

    Nuts and Bolts of Landscape Design: 1-2:30 p.m. Class covers design layout, hardscaping, material selection and how to create a finished garden plan. Registration required at website. Portland Nursery, 9000 S.E. Division St.; or 788-9000

    Working With Water: 1 p.m. Learn what it takes to integrate stormwater into your landscape with dry creekbeds and drywells, swales and other techniques. Portland Nursery, 5050 S.E. Stark St.; or 231-5050

    Click for public gardens.

    Calendar items run on a space-available basis. Please submit notices at least one month before the event to Homes Gardens Listings Desk, The Oregonian, 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201; or by email (send as a plain text file, with Homes Gardens in the subject line) to Except for cancellations and corrections, notices cannot be accepted by phone.

    Article source:

    Gorgeous Gardens and Inspiring Design at annual Home & Garden Show

    Hollytree display

    Hollytree display

    One of the many landscaping displays at the 2012 Home and Garden Show in Grove.

    Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:36 am

    Updated: 7:13 pm, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

    Gorgeous Gardens and Inspiring Design at annual Home Garden Show

    Staff Reports

    Grove Sun – Delaware County Journal

    Don’t miss your opportunity to turn your home and garden dreams into reality at the 15th Annual Home Garden Show.

    Each year hundreds gather at the show to see ways to refresh and renew their homes and the Home and Garden Show is ready to deliver with expert solutions.

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    More about Grove Sun

    • ARTICLE: Sheriffs department participating in Toys for Tots program


    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:36 am.

    Updated: 7:13 pm.

    | Tags:

    Grove Sun,

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