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Archives for February 3, 2013

Boulder’s Civic Area plan may call for band shell relocation

The guiding principles for the Civic Area Master Plan call for preserving central Boulder’s historic character while creating a vision for the future of the area between Ninth and 17th Streets along Boulder Creek.

But several of the plans for the area submitted to the city as part of an ideas competition omit one historical structure, the band shell in Central Park. Some of the plans move it to a new site within the proposed civic area boundaries, while others don’t show it at all.

City planners are in the process of taking ideas from those concept plans and turning them into three or four alternatives to present to the community and the City Council.

The omission of the band shell has caught the eye of members of the city’s Landmarks Board, some of whom want to see it stay where it is, between 13th and 14th streets on Canyon Boulevard, and all of whom don’t want to see it disappear.

“Moving the building has implications,” said Landmarks Board member Mark Gerwing, who said the site was carefully chosen and is part of the historic aspect. “Once you move a building, it’s no longer eligible for the national registry, and that speaks to funding for renovations.”

Gerwing noted that the community has organized repeatedly to save the band shell, including the push that resulted in its landmark status in 1995.

“The community has spoken, though it was a long time ago,” he said.

The Glen Huntington Band Shell, named for the well known Boulder architect who designed it, was built in 1938 and dedicated to the city by the Lions Club. Denver-based city planner and landscape architect Saco DeBoer worked on the placement of the band shell and the amphitheater seating.

The band shell is a rare example of Art Deco architecture in the city and one of only a few park band shells in the state.

The band shell received landmark status from the city in 1995, partly in response to discussion about moving the band shell to make way for the historic (and peripatetic) train depot that now sits near 30th and Pearl streets.

To change anything about a landmarked structure requires getting a landmark alteration certificate and is subject to review by the Landmarks Board.

Boulder Comprehensive Plan Manager Lesli Ellis, who is co-managing the Civic Area Master Plan process, said city officials are aware of the significance of the band shell for many people in the community. The participants in the ideas competition were encouraged to think outside the box, and the final plan won’t look like any one of the submissions.

“What’s probably not on the table is any proposal to demolish the band shell,” Ellis said. “There isn’t a lot of support for that in the community. But we do see some support for moving the band shell to another location where it would be more conducive to performances and have better access.”

The site near Canyon Boulevard has a lot of traffic noise that competes with the music when concerts are held there.

Ellis said at least one of the alternatives put together by staff will show a new location for the band shell, but other ideas include improving the landscaping and adding other amenities to Central Park.

City Councilman Tim Plass, a former Landmarks Board member, said he would support moving the band shell and would like to keep it in central Boulder. He believes demolishing it would violate the spirit of historic preservation behind the landmarks ordinance and set a bad example for the private sector.

“I’m not sure it can still serve its purpose where it is on the corner of Broadway and Canyon,” Plass said. “I don’t want to see it demolished. I don’t want to see it go away. I think it might be moved so that it can better serve its purpose. It’s also a prime corner for maybe doing something else.”

Boulder Mayor Matt Appelbaum said he’s never cared for the band shell, and the way it backs up to Canyon detracts from the pedestrian experience of the street, which the city would like to turn into a tree-lined boulevard.

“We have a lot of opportunity to really re-imagine the space, and to do that, I think you have to be willing to talk about moving the band shell,” he said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Erica Meltzer at 303-473-1355 or

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Websites help with plant selection

Q: I’m looking for some helpful native foliage ideas for my yard. Any suggestions?

A: It’s difficult to make plant recommendations without knowing your site conditions: sun or shade, soil pH, landscape bed size, etc. I suggest you order a free copy of “The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection Landscape Design” at If you do not reside in one of the counties within the Southwest Florida Water Management District, you can still view and/or print this guide at the above website.

The guide contains more than 100 pages of native and non-native adaptive plants. It was created by the University of Florida IFAS, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program and Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

You also can go to the Suncoast Native Plant Society’s website for additional information at Other resources include: Native Florida Plant publications, including separate articles on annuals, bedding plants, ferns, ground covers, palms, shrubs, trees, cacti and wildflowers at; “50 Common Native Plants Important In Florida’s Ethnobotanical History” by Ginger M. Allen, Michael D. Bond and Martin B. Main at; and “Native Plants: An Overview” by Jeffrey G. Norcini at

I hope these publications will be beneficial to you. I use every day and would be lost without it! You also can stop by the Extension Service where the Wildlife Habitat Garden in our courtyard features only native plants. That may give you some great plant selection ideas, too.

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2013 Phila. Home Show brings a taste of Spring

The 2013 Philadelphia Home Show is here and the new exhibit gives a peek at the latest building, design and landscaping trends.

Ruth Hawthorne, who says she likes antiques and creative recycling, was in search of ideas for her kitchen.

“I heard there were different countertops using recycled glass and metals, so I’m interested in that,” she said.

Robin Horne brought family to get ideas they can bring back to their Birdsboro, Berks County home.

“A lot of things you wish you could have but can’t but you can always dream,” said Horne.

There’s certainly plenty to see from massage chairs, to flags to innovative home workout equipment.

After the workout, you might want a new shower or if you’re looking for a snack you can check out a ceramic grater.

Among the most alluring displays are those featuring landscaping ideas and flowers. It’s all a reminder that it won’t be winter forever.

Mike Pasquarello says the big trend for Spring is making yards a real part of the home.

“They’re trying to create outdoor living spaces – spaces where you have these rooftop structures and fireplaces to bring the feeling of the indoors out,” said Pasquarello.

Even if you didn’t make it Saturday, the show runs to Feb 10.

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Great Big Home and Garden Show Now At I-X Center

The Great Big Home and Garden Show will return to the I-X Center Feb. 2-10 with more than 650 exhibitors.

New Features and Attractions:

• A fully-constructed, 4,000-square-foot Idea Home sponsored by Sherwin-Williams and Cleveland Magazine and built by Perrino Builders will inspire visitors with ways to plan and create their dream house.  

• The fully constructed, 2,000-square-foot Dream Basement built by Chagrin Falls-based Custom Remodeling and Design.

• Fine dining at the Cambria Bistro, a full-service, white-tablecloth restaurant.

 “The Good Life” is the theme of the daily cooking sessions presented by local chefs and instructors of the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking. (

Returning Favorites from 2012:

• The Garden Showcase, sponsored by WKYC, WDOK and WQAL, and located in the South Hall. 

• On Feb. 2 at 2 p.m., Architectural Justice will host a fashion show on The Main Stage that combines Haute Couture with interior design. 

• The Celebrity Designer Rooms will be custom-designed by a Northeast Ohio design business or exhibitor with the help of a local radio or television personality. 

• Belgard Hardscapes, Inc. will feature outdoor living spaces created by two of the area’s premier landscapers – Rock Bottom Lawn Landscaping and Friberg Landscaping Construction, LLC.

• At The Petitti Gardening Stage, daily gardening seminars on landscape design, flora and furnishing outdoor rooms will be held by Northeast Ohio landscape experts. 

• The Plant Sale begins after the show closes on Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. Get great deals on the products and plant material on display in the gardens just in time for spring.

• Kids can have fun in Playground World’s KidsZone, which features slides, swings, basketball hoops and the world’s safest, fully-enclosed SpringfreeTM Trampoline. 

Home Improvement and Culinary Celebrities:

• Known as the de-cluttering and organization guy, Peter Walsh from the hit TLC show Clean Sweep will appear Feb. 2.

• The show will also feature Ohio native Chris Crary, a season nine participant and fan favorite from Bravo’s popular television series Top Chef, on Feb. 9.

• Matt Fish, owner and chef of Melt Bar and Grilled will also present on The Main Stage Feb. 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10. 

• Returning as this year’s Main Stage emcee, Matt Fox will offer home improvement knowledge and special educational presentations on Feb. 2, 3 and 5. 

Adult admission is $14 at the box office, but discount tickets are available online, at Home Depot and AAA locations. Seniors 65 and old are $10; kids 6-12 are $5, and kids 5 and under are admitted free.

Check the Great Big Home and Garden Show’s website for more information.

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Proof that gardening is good for us

Charlie Hall thinks it’s not good enough to simply tell people that gardening is a good thing to do because flowers are pretty and planting trees and shrubs makes the world more beautiful and ultimately more livable.

All of which is true. But Hall wants to prove the benefits of gardening by producing unequivocal evidence, supported by convincing research data and verifiable scientific proof.


He’s one of the most influential leaders in horticulture in North America today, famous for giving passionate, informed lectures.

An economist by training, he is a professor in the department of horticultural sciences at Texas AM University.

He has all sorts of other titles, but all you really need to know is that he is the expert everyone in the gardening industry listens to very carefully because of the detailed work he has done to nail down precise data about the benefits of gardening.

His research has unearthed compelling facts and statistics that prove being around plants makes everything better, including helping children to learn faster, improving health, reducing crime, enhancing the natural environment and greatly reducing the stress of everyday life.

I doubt you have heard of his name before today, but it is well known to all the movers and shakers in what is now known as the “green industry” – covering everything from garden centres to landscaping to the basic nitty-gritty of upkeep of parks and other community green spaces.

“You may have heard the term ‘greenwashing,’ ” he told me in a phone interview recently. “This is when a company makes a claim that it is doing something that is environmentally friendly without backing up the statement with evidence.

“The consumer is left asking, ‘What is the basis for them saying that? Where did they come up with that information?’ “

Hall says it was his desire to have facts at his fingertips rather than anecdotal experiences to back up assertions that got him to start compiling research data from a wide variety of respected sources, including many not directly connected to the horticultural industry, such as Harvard Medical School.

Over two years, he gathered more than 400 research documents showing the benefits of gardening and other aspects of the horticultural industry.

Here are just a few of his key findings:

. People are able to concentrate better in the workplace or in the home and have better memory retention when they are around plants. “Tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better with greater accuracy.”

Spending time in nature gives people an increased feeling of vitality, better energy levels and makes them feel more animated, he says.

. Children learn better when they are around plants. “Research shows that kids learn faster when they are in a green environment. Those with attention deficit disorders have longer attention spans when they are in a natural gardenlike environment as opposed to a sterile, concrete classroom,” Hall says. “You’d think it would be counter-intuitive; if you take kids to an outdoor classroom where there are all sorts of distractions, dogs barking and so on. But the opposite is true.”

. Gardening can act as therapy for people who have undergone trauma. “The act of nurturing something is a way for people to work through the issues surrounding traumatic events and improve their mental health.”

. Residents are more likely to exercise if there is a community park or landscaped area nearby. Exercise improves their health through physical fitness which can cut health care costs.

. Landscaping is one of the most cost-effective methods for changing a community. “It is a fact that neighbourhoods with beautiful parks tend to have less crime. Simply by landscaping a formerly crime-ridden park, a community can be transformed into a safe and friendly neighbourhood environment.” Hall says parks also give people a reason to come together and become a tight-knit community.

. Quality landscaping improves property values. “You get a $1.09 return on every dollar invested. It is the only home improvement that generates a greater than one dollar return for every dollar spent,” says Hall.

“Put the same dollar into a bathroom or kitchen and, according to the Home Remodelling Institute, you get 73 cents return for that dollar, but our own research shows that with every dollar put into landscaping you get $1.09 in return.”

. Businesses do better when even a little strip of landscaping is added outside their premises. “Research shows businesses sell more stuff when they have an esthetically-pleasing landscape outside. People shop longer, feel more at ease, will come long distances to shop, and are often willing to pay higher prices.”

. Beautiful parks and landscapes enable communities to reap benefits from ecotourism. “In this new green environmentally-conscious era people are becoming more interested in exploring the beauty of nature while maintaining its integrity.”

This is one reason Hall believes botanical gardens and other public gardens and green spaces should be supported without hesitation by local government. “Ecotourism is a smart way for communities to bring in revenue with relatively little cost to themselves. Walt Disney proved this to us years ago – that people will come to the swamps of Florida in the middle of summer to be in a beautiful, engaging environment.”

. Studies show that people who spend time cultivating plants have less stress. “Plants sooth human beings and provide a positive way for people to channel their stress into nurturing.”

Hall’s core message boils down to this: the green industry – gardening, landscaping, the growing and selling of flowers and plants and all the rest of it – is about much more than creating “pretty environments.” It is also about other positive factors from health to air quality to job creation to community relations, spinoffs that most people never think about.

“The message that plants are more than just pretty needs to be incorporated into the marketing message of every single business in the green industry,” Hall says.

“We need to give people the facts that prove plants are not merely an indulgence, but an essential necessity if we want to live positive, productive, healthy lives.”


Gardening columnist Steve Whysall is compiling a list of Lower Mainland spring garden club plant sales for a special plant sales calendar to appear in early March. Please sent him the details of your sale, including date, location, start and finish time, and a contact name and number for people looking for more information. Submissions should be sent to swhysall@

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At Gardens Corner, something special is sprouting at the intersection of past …

The people of Gardens Corner want their sense of place and history back.

It was lost when the state Department of Transportation improved the deadly intersection of U.S. 17 and U.S. 21 in northern Beaufort County, a junction that for centuries has been the gateway to Beaufort.

The new intersection, with its overpass and traffic circle, was dedicated two years ago.

It added safety so joyfully accepted that the B.J. Scott Choir from the Huspah Baptist Church next door sang, “Walking Up The King’s Highway” at the ceremony.

But the construction all but stripped bare a place that once burst with personality and Lowcountry beauty.

Its story includes Native American trading posts, the botanist for whom the gardenia is named, and the first command of Francis Marion — the “Swamp Fox” — a hero of the Revolutionary War.

It includes the family-like hostelries of the days before bland interstates — places with names like the Magnolia Inn and the Gardenia Restaurant.

“The chain of history was kind of broken,” said Woody Collins of Sheldon. “Everything that represented the history was gone, except for six oak trees on one side and seven on the other. To this point, they alone are its history.”

Over the past year, he has pushed for a remedy. A major step was formation of the nonprofit Friends of Gardens Corner.

What happens next may be less a history lesson than a primer on how future citizens can make lasting improvements to Beaufort County.


Beautification and historical markers became the goal after a small group gathered in Beaufort to discuss Gardens Corner in late 2011.

Collins said it included Ian Hill, historical preservationist for Beaufort County; Rob McFee, the county’s director of engineering and infrastructure; and interested citizen DeDe Passeggio of Brays Island.

From that has come a lot of study on the area’s history, meetings with the state highway department, formation of a 501(c)(3) Friends group, support from Beaufort County, support from the Beaufort Council of Garden Clubs, and dreams of what Gardens Corner may look like in a few years.

Landscape designer Frances Parker worked with the steering committee and got SCDOT involved; Bill Thompson of Buds Blooms Landscaping in Beaufort created an early conceptual plan to show at the first community meeting; Brad Hill of Beaufort Planning Group landscape architects and contractors in Beaufort is drafting a formal beautification plan to be submitted to SCDOT for approval. Collins said Lee Edwards of The Greenery has volunteered to cost out the plan.

All of this is pro-bono work.

The goal is not only new plantings, but ongoing maintenance. Collins said the planning has been well received by the highway department.

Friends of Gardens Corner, meanwhile, is working on adopting a 2-mile stretch of U.S. 17 for regular litter removal.

Cecile Dorr, president of Beaufort’s seven-club council of garden clubs, said, “We think they are doing a terrific job. They are trying to involve the whole community, trying to involve history and trying to make it special. We hope to work with them down the road on fund-raisers.”


Beaufort County administrator Gary Kubic immediately endorsed the project. The county has agreed to pay for the fabrication and installation of two historical markers, a total of $4,110.

Wording for the signs is being drafted for approval by the S.C. Department of Archives and History.

And the Friends of Gardens Corner has begun a series of lectures that will explore the rich history of the area from the Combahee to the Coosawhatchie rivers.

The organization will hold a meeting Feb. 16, with election of new officers. Initial officers are Collins, a retired shrimper and oysterman who owns property in the area, president; Deborah Johnson of Beaufort, who coordinated the Beaufort Three-Century Project, vice president; Sidney Peeples, whose father operated a store in Gardens Corner for 45 years, treasurer; and Sally Hodges, secretary.

The lecture series is designed to increase membership, and public interest.

William McIntosh III of Charleston will lecture on his book, “Indians’ Revenge — Including a History of the Yemassee Indian War, 1715-1728.”

“This project epitomizes the idea of grassroots community support being the catalyst to make something good come to fruition,” said Johnson.

“Woody Collins’ vision and tenacity has moved this forward and I think we will look back in a few years at this project as the poster child for bringing individuals, businesses, nonprofits and governmental entities together to do something amazing and something that we can all be proud of in our county.”

Follow columnist David Lauderdale at

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At last, U.S. 17/21 interchange is open

Past, present and future converge at Gardens Corner

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Clive Edwards and his tips for gardening in February

Clive Edwards says February is the time to tend your vine

FEBRUARY is a good month for preparation, so get pots ready in advance of the sowing season. Oil and grease the lawnmower and sharpen and adjust the blades in preparation for mowing.

Sunnier days may increase the temperature in the greenhouse, so take time to clean and disinfect, making sure to provide ventilation.

With any luck, we will also have a few sunny days to get outside.


Waste material from the flower beds can be gathered up and put on a compost heap rather than burned, as many of the stems are still home to insects that will crawl from the heap when they hatch.

Onion sets and seed potatoes should be ordered now. Seed potatoes need to be kept in a cool light environment while they are being chitted.

If you encourage growth too early, energy will be wasted and it is at least a month before the earliest potatoes can be put in the ground. Trim deciduous hedges before the birds start nesting.

Vines such as ivy, virginia creeper and boston ivy can be cut back to keep windows, gutters and roof tiles clear.

Divide bulbs such as snowdrops, and plant those that need planting in the green.

If you haven’t pruned the grapevines, do so immediately, as they will bleed if left too late. Once you have the framework of the primary limbs, prune laterals back to one or two buds. The same applies to wisteria, which should be pruned this month.

Buddleia and summer-flowering clematis should also be pruned reducing last summer’s growth to within a couple of buds of the old wood.

Rhubarb can be forced for an early crop – just cover a crown or two with a bucket or an upturned large pot and insulate the outside with straw or compost for added heat.

The stalks will grow in the dark.

There is still time to finish planting fruit trees and bushes, especially raspberries and other cane fruits. Early this month you can prune apple and pear trees while they are still dormant.

It’s also time to prune gooseberries and currents, with currants shorten the side shoots to just one bud and remove old stems from the centre of the bush.

Continue to feed birds as you will need them to help you with insect control later on, so top up bird feeders with high energy seed and also hang out fat balls.

Ask Clive

How do I prune a goji berry?

Since being revealed as a ‘superfood’, goji berries have become increasingly popular.

The plants do not need much pruning. Keep it to a minimum. Prune in early spring, as soon as the leaves start to emerge and take off any damaged or diseased stems. Don’t worry if you cut too much as the plant should survive.

Why has my blueberry failed to flower?

Blueberries need an acid soil so if your soil is not acid you will need to grow it in a container or outside with ericaceous compost.

Always water with rainwater, rather than tap water, and add sulphur dust to the compost each year to maintain acidity.

Ensure these thirsty plants are well watered during the growing season. It’s worth standing the pots in trays or saucers of water. Finally, take care when pruning, flowers and fruit are formed on growth made the previous year so don’t prune out these stems.

Did you know?

February 12-14 were traditionally said to be ‘borrowed’ from January. If these days were stormy, the year would be favoured with good weather; but if fine, the year’s weather would be foul.

The last three days of March were said to be borrowed from April. February was known in Welsh as ‘y mis bach’ – the little month.


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Gardener and allotment holder John Clowes with gardening tips

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