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Archives for February 20, 2013

Rubbing Alcohol Uses: Ideas For Using The All-Purpose Household Cleaner

From Networx’s Chaya Kurtz:

I discovered the wonders of rubbing alcohol as a cleaning agent myself, when I tried using an alcohol pad to remove the label from a glass jar. You know the sticky goo that is left over when you remove the paper label from a glass jar? I found that rubbing alcohol took it off with minimal elbow grease.

Although it’s not perfect for every cleaning job (hello, washing dishes), rubbing alcohol is a fairly cheap and relatively environmentally-friendly solution to some tough cleaning challenges. Most people keep a bottle of it in the bathroom, and if you don’t it would behoove you to keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol in stock for cleaning tasks. One of its more attractive attributes is how fast rubbing alcohol evaporates. Although it has that initial “hospital” smell, rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly and does not leave a lingering odor, unlike vinegar. It is also suitable for cleaning surfaces that cannot be cleaned with acids, such as granite counter tops.

Although rubbing alcohol off gasses quickly, prolonged exposure to isopropyl alcohol fumes is not recommended. Bear in mind that it’s not drinkable, and should be stored out of reach of children. Also, do not use rubbing alcohol to clean near open flames or near extreme heat; it’s flammable. With all that said, here are ten ways to use rubbing alcohol around the house.

List and captions courtesy of Networx

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  • DIY Granite Cleaner

    The always charming blogger Made From Pinterest described her success making a href=””DIY granite cleaner/a out of rubbing alcohol, dishwashing soap, water, and essential oil. Since acidic cleaning agents can cause pock marks in granite, and ammonia-based cleaners can strip the seal off of them, rubbing alcohol solutions are an inexpensive, effective way to clean granite counter tops.

  • Remove Nail Polish From Wood Floors

    I am not sure how frequently people spill nail polish on laminate floors or wood floors, or how often a href=””flooring contractors/a get called to repair wood that nail polish has spilled on. Apparently it happens enough that blogger Anna Mosely posted a tip on about a href=””how to use rubbing alcohol to remove nail polish stains from wood/a or laminate floors. She claims (with pictures!) that it works better than acetone or oil-based substances.

  • Clean Garden Tools

    Plant diseases can be transmitted from one plant to the next by garden tools. Four Season Garden and Landscaping, a a href=””landscaping company in Atlanta/a, suggests a href=””disinfecting garden tools like pruners/a with rubbing alcohol when changing between plants.

  • Clean Windows With Rubbing Alcohol

    Whether you use it mixed simply with water, or mixed into a custom DIY a href=””window cleaning/a solution, rubbing alcohol cleans windows like a champ. There are more rubbing alcohol window cleaning ideas out there than I can link to. Google it and find one that looks good to you.

  • Clean Venetian Blinds With Rubbing Alcohol

    Reader’s Digest suggests a href=””cleaning Venetian blinds with rubbing alcohol/a. They say you can easily remove dirt and dust by wrapping a paint scraper in a cloth, securing the cloth with a rubber band, and dipping the cloth into rubbing alcohol.

  • Clean Your Cell Phone With Rubbing Alcohol Pads

    a href=””Your smart phone is a basically a poop stick/a. I personally clean my smart phone with rubbing alcohol pads, you know, the ones that diabetics use to prep their fingers with before doing home blood tests. Rub an alcohol pad or two over the surface of your smart phone, then let it dry. Buff off the weird white film that it will leave with a paper towel. Alcohol prep pads are very handy to keep around for small cleaning jobs like this.

  • Bust Grime And Sticky Goo With Rubbing Alcohol

    Sometimes it is enough to rub an alcohol pad on sticker goo. For bigger jobs, soak the goo-covered object in a bowl of rubbing alcohol, then scrub with a scrub pad. The label goo should slide right off.

  • Clean A Pipe

    Apparently, people still smoke pipes. If you are inclined to look and smell like Sherlock Holmes and your pipe cleaner isn’t cutting the mustard, quite a few a href=””commenters in the Pipes Magazine/a forum suggest cleaning a pipe with rubbing alcohol.

  • Remove Permanent Marker With Rubbing Alcohol

    Rubbing alcohol is a decent solvent for permanent marker graffiti. Rub a cloth saturated in rubbing alcohol on the permanent marker graffiti from wood surfaces.

  • Clean Electronics With Rubbing Alcohol

    Crunchy Betty, an experienced DIY cleaning product maker for both home and body, posted a a href=””detailed article on how to clean computers with rubbing alcohol/a. You basically make a spray of rubbing alcohol and distilled water, and you spray it onto a soft cloth and then gently wipe the screen. Never spray directly onto electronic equipment, and only use distilled water in the solution.

  • Also On The Huffington Post…

    Some of the tech gadgets we use everyday have more bacteria than a toilet seat. John Basedow has the dirty truth about our computer keyboards, cell phones and remote controls, along with what can be done to clean them up.

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UNDER THE ROOF: Mark your calendars for these upcoming events – Florida Times

Palencia Realty will host a street festival, “Spring Break at Palencia,” on March 22 from 3-8 p.m. The main street within Palencia Village will be lined with vendor booths offering flowers, plants, clothing, jewelry, art, food and much more during the street festival event. Little ones will enjoy appearances by Jaxson deVille, Smokey the Bear, and the Easter Bunny. Other entertainment will include live performances by several local dance and music groups to keep your feet moving throughout the afternoon.

Admission is free and open to the public. Proceeds will benefit Builders Care, a not-for-profit, community-based construction association whose mission is to provide home improvements to aid senior, disabled and low-income citizens in improving the quality of their life.

Palencia is located on U.S. Highway 1 North at the intersection of International Golf Parkway. The main stage of the festival is located at 605 Palencia Club Drive, St. Augustine. Palencia is a Hines Community that sits just 20 minutes south of Jacksonville and minutes north of historic St. Augustine. It offers a rare combination of environmentally sensitive and sophisticated master planning of 2,250 scenic acres along the Intracoastal Waterway. A championship golf course and magnificent clubhouse are among the numerous world class amenities.

Last year’s festival enticed 2,000 people to help support a community event. For questions, contact Sherri Bullock at (904) 810-0500.


Make plans for Home and Patio

Ty Pennington, star of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, will share design ideas and behind-the-scenes stories with guests at the Jacksonville Home and Patio Show, which runs from Feb. 28 through March 3 at downtown’s Prime Osborn Convention Center.

The highly anticipated annual consumer show will fill every inch of the facility with spectacular garden and landscaping displays, home improvement ideas, interactive seminars and the hottest new products. The 2013 spring edition also includes celebrity guest Josh Cameron from DIY Network’s Man Caves and Desperate Landscaping.

For updates, discounted tickets and more information, visit

Take a tour of Ponte Vedra homes

The Ponte Vedra Beach Home and Art Tour returns March 23. Now in its fourth year, the tour is a fundraiser for The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach.

For a $30 ticket, patrons can take an insider’s view of some of Ponte Vedra’s most fabulous homes. This year’s tour will showcase artwork at five distinct homes and how all the homeowners have incorporated art and color into the design and furnishings of their homes. Artists and interior designers will once again be on-site as special guests who will meet the public and talk about their work.

While each home will be staffed with volunteers from the cultural center, the program is a self-guided tour. Patrons will use their own transportation to get to and from each home. A map will be provided in the program for ticket holders.

For information, call (904) 280-9100 or go online to

Art festival returns to San Marco

The 14th annual San Marco Art Festival will be held April 6-7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1971 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville. The juried show will feature an eclectic mix of contemporary art by celebrated local and national artists. Admission is free and open to the public.

Learn more at or send email to

‘Parade’ through latest homes

The Northeast Florida Builders Association will again present dozens of open houses and move-in-ready properties when its Parade of Homes returns April 20-27. The 2013 inventory will be unveiled April 1 at and the official guide will be hosted online and inserted into an upcoming edition of the Times-Union.

Open Houses from coast to coast

Presented by the National Association of Realtors, the 2013 Nationwide Open House will return to the First Coast and neighborhoods across the country April 20-21. Realtors will be present at the open houses to offer expert insight into the local housing market and answer questions from consumers concerning the home buying and selling process.

Look for details at

The rites of RAP

Each spring, residents of the Riverside Avondale Historic District open their homes to guests in an effort to raise money for Riverside Avondale Preservation Inc. This year, doors will open once again for a self-guided tour April 27-28.

Look for details in coming weeks at

Get your ticket to the ‘Roadshow’

Antiques Roadshow, PBS’s highest-rated ongoing prime-time series, has announced its summer 2013 tour, including a June 8 stop in Jacksonville. Programs taped during the 2013 summer tour will make up Roadshow’s 18th broadcast season on PBS, premiering in January 2014.

Admission to Antiques Roadshow events is free, but tickets are required and must be obtained in advance. Ticket applications and complete ticketing rules are available at or by calling 1-888-762-3749. A limited number of ticket recipients will be selected at random from all eligible entries. Ticket holders are invited to bring two items for a free verbal approximation of value by experts from the world’s leading auction houses, independent appraisers, auctioneers and dealers. All ticket holders are guaranteed an appraisal.

In addition, The Roadshow Furniture Roundup is looking for large pieces of furniture within 50 miles of each tour location. Complete furniture submission rules are available online at or by calling an information line at 1-888-762-3749.

Send announcements for Under The Roof to

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Corpus Christi drought worsening; city council mulls water conservation plans

Click here to view the latest lake levels, updated daily.

Of the many words Corpus Christi Water Director Guz Gonzalez dropped Tuesday on City Council members, “proactive” may have topped the list.

Now presiding over a level 2 drought and with weather experts predicting a dry spring that may drive the city into level 3 by midsummer, Gonzalez asked the council to consider revising drought management and water conservation plans.

The city levied restrictions on water usage in early December and gave residents a couple of weeks to adjust consumption to meet the restrictions or face a $500 fine.

Then, the combined level of Lake Corpus Christi and Choke Canyon Reservoir that planners used to trigger restrictions was just above 40 percent.

As of Tuesday, Gonzalez said, the combined capacity had dropped to 38 percent. If the levels dip to 20 percent, the city will begin rationing water.

Gonzalez offered council members a new plan that would require users to curb irrigation to once per week while in drought levels 1 and 2, a stark contrast from the current plans that call for residents to limit irrigation to between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. daily.

The city now is in a mandatory drought plan stage 2, which limits users to the 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. watering window, requires large property owners to clear watering plans with the city and for nurseries to use handheld devices, drip or sprinkler irrigation systems.

Gonzalez said residents can begin saving water now, rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop.

He said the city also is considering a year-round ban on watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., regardless of reservoir levels, a measure that Mayor Nelda Martinez called a good idea.

Council members weighed in, depending on their backgrounds and expertise, on how the city might better manage water consumption.

Councilman David Loeb said businesses can tear out water-hungry landscaping in favor of drought-friendly plants. He said he knew of a commercial relandscaping project that paid for itself in less than two years.

Gonzalez said the city is working on rebate programs for customers who switch to drought-friendly landscaping and is working with property owners who need financial assistance repairing costly water leaks.

Councilman Chad Magill said the city should look at how it may switch to conservation-friendly landscaping on its own properties.

The draft restriction plan will appear before council in April, Gonzalez said.

A town hall meeting is planned Wednesday for the public to hear ideas on water conservation and an update on current water supplies.


What: Corpus Christi water forum where officials will offer tips on outdoor water conservation and water supply.

When: 4 p.m. Wednesday

Where: City utility building, 2726 Holly Road

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Michael Hofman at Janet Moyer Landscaping Earns Certification as Irrigation …

Technorati Keywords:

landscape design   landscape company   urban gardens   sustainable gardening   smart water management  

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Tesselaar Plants Suggests Gardeners Super Size Their Containers This Year

by Tesselaar Plants
Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 3:39PM EST

Lawndale, CA – As the popularity of outdoor leisure spaces explodes, designers are stressing the need for larger container gardens. Not only do bigger pieces better match the scale of surrounding trees and architecture, experts explain – they soften the harsh lines and defined spaces of hardscaping.

“We’ve seen a huge surge in container plants that aren’t just larger, bolder and more architectural, but easier to maintain,” says Tesselaar, who has responded with Tropicanna® cannas, Flower Carpet® groundcover roses, the Storm series of agapanthus, Fairy Magnolias® and Festival™ Burgundy and Burgundy Spire™ cordylines.

So how do you go about super-sizing containers? Here’s a step-by-step guide from the experts.

STEP 1: Size up the setting

First, the pros say, evaluate your surroundings.

“Groups of big planters are useful for softening edges and corners of large spaces,” explains Todd Holloway, owner of Pot Incorporated, an award-winning container and landscaping company in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Singular, large planters can be used symmetrically at the corners of spaces to add height and boundaries that define architectural elements. Large bowls are being used more frequently as focal points or as companions to seating areas in outdoor rooms. And oversized containers can add an organic element against bare walls next to outdoor gathering places.”

When used appropriately, says Holloway, large containers can also direct traffic throughout garden paths. “Framing your garden spaces with large planters,” he notes, “is also a great way of incorporating color and interest as a trick to invite guests into the area.”

How tall should you go? A general rule of thumb, says Holloway, is to keep the tallest designs around the perimeter of a space and the lower ones around furniture and gathering spaces. When it comes to the proportions of the designs themselves, he advises using the “rule of thirds” – devote one third of the height to the pot and the remaining two-thirds to the plants, or vice versa.

Dan Benarcik, a horticulturist who designs large container gardens for Chanticleer (a famous public estate garden in the Philadelphia area), likes using big designs as doorway flankers and as anchors for the corners of patios. He also likes positioning pots so that “there’s an experience with them.” For instance, he places them so they’ll be backlit by the sun, giving colorful or variegated foliage a brilliant, stained-glass glow. One of his favorites for this use is the colorfully foliaged Tropicanna® cannas.

Don’t get too worried about making your container garden “too tall,” says Benarcik: “People have more problems with achieving height than the other way around.” In the end, he says, it comes down to learning from experience and developing your own idea of what’s aesthetically pleasing.

STEP 2: Choose your plants

Next, choose at least one plant that will give you the height you need.

“When you’re going out to buy the plants to fill your containers, you really want to think in threes,” says the Massachusetts-based Dave Epstein in one of his recent Growing Wisdom how-to videos on creating containers. “You want something that spills over the sides … something that fills the center … and something that’s the ‘wow factor,’ or what some people call the ‘thriller.’”

The “thriller” is where you can bring in the height, says Epstein, choosing the colorfully foliaged Tropicanna cannas, (with white petunias as the spiller and magenta celosia as the filler).

“Tropicanna cannas are ideal for a couple of reasons,” says Epstein, also recommending taller tropical and large-leaved plants and grasses for height or volume. “First, they are very forgiving. If clients miss a watering cycle, the plants bounce back. On the other hand, they can stand wet feet to the point of being used as water garden plants.” The colorful foliage means season-long interest, he adds, although the lily-like, tropical blooms are certainly a bonus. “And since there are several leaf colors to the cannas, you can design almost any container and incorporate the canna into the middle or back of the arrangement.”

Benarcik is a fan of cannas, too: “Pound for pound, cannas are the best plants for large container gardens, and surprisingly drought tolerant,” he says. His other recommendations for big planters include cordylines, phormiums (New Zealand flax – “especially the dusty or brown tones”), bulbines (he likes ‘Hallmark’), hibiscus, brugmansia (Angel’s trumpet), chenille plant (especially ‘Inferno’), coleus, banana, alocasia, variegated cassava (tapioca) and larger bromeliads (especially the orange and burgundy tones).

In addition to cannas, bananas, alocasias and colocasias, Holloway likes using papyrus, bamboo (for a fine-textured, organic, modern feel), daturas, fuchsias and abutilon. He also loves interestingly shaped conifers, noting that large containers can be beautiful with just one plant – or as many as you feel the design calls for. “Using them in colder areas allows you to hold on to year-round interest,” he says. “Alternately, you could use deciduous trees with charming bark or branching appeal.”

Epstein, who also uses conifers, will sometimes even use just the branches to extend the height of a piece.

“And, with the rising interest in growing food,” says Holloway, “large containers can serve as an exceptional extension of your food garden to reduce just a few more food miles.” His recommendations for large-container edibles include: artichokes, twining pole beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and even squash vines. “Fruit trees and berry bushes or vines can also be used effectively in large planters,” he suggests, citing dwarf apples and pears, fig trees or raspberry plants as alternatives to ornamental plants in grandiose containers. “If you have some wall space or arbors to cover, try grape or kiwi vines in large planters.”

When it comes to mixing and matching plants, Epstein says it’s about echoing or contrasting colors and textures. In his video, he notes how the broad, flat, ovate or lanceolate leaves of Tropicanna cannas differ from the fleshy rosettes of echeveria, yet the two go together, since they’re both shades of burgundy. In that same pot, however, he notes how you can contrast the dark burgundy with either a white petunia or purplish-pink celosia. “And don’t forget the color of the pot,” he says, noting it also can coordinate or contrast with the rest of the design.

Epstein’s also a big fan of using Flower Carpet® groundcover roses and Festival™ Burgundy cordyline in large containers, for their natural pest and disease resistance, season-long interest and ability to withstand extreme climate conditions.

“If you want roses that stand up to hot, dry conditions in containers, the original Flower Carpet line is an excellent choice,” he says. “For hot, humid weather, Flower Carpet’s new Next Generation line – which got excellent reviews from the Dallas Arboretum – is your best bet.” Festival, he adds, is extremely architectural, with its graceful fountains of burgundy, glossy, straplike leaves.

Jimmy Turner, senior director of gardens at the Dallas Arboretum, loves to use the Storm™ series of agapanthus in large containers. After all, it was the only agapanthus to survive in the arboretum’s famous plant trials in intense heat, drought and humidity.

STEP 3: Pot and maintain

When it comes to larger containers, Epstein likes lightweight, synthetic pots mimicking the look of heavier materials that dry out quicker (like wood, metal or clay). If the pot doesn’t already have holes for drainage on the bottom, he adds them with a drill. For even better drainage, he then fills the bottom of the pot with rocks (or even sticks, shells and other organic matter) and then a soilless, lightweight potting mix.

After filling the pot about halfway with the mix and working in a slow-release, granular fertilizer, Epstein likes to pot the tallest plant first, first loosening its roots. (If you put the tall plant in the center, the filler can go all the way around that and the spiller all the way around that, he notes. If you put the tall plant in back, the filler can go in front of that and the spiller in front of that). After the plants go in, Epstein adds a layer of mulch on top of the soil to help hold in moisture.

Larger plants also demand larger containers that can accommodate the roots of the plants’ ultimate size, says Holloway, adding that a larger volume of soil can also hold more water, longer. “At the very least, your container’s volume should be roughly a third to a half the size of the eventual volume of the mature plants,” he says.

If your mature plants are expected to grow to 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide, for instance, your planter should be no smaller than 1 to 1.5 feet tall by 1 to 1.5 feet wide.

Epstein recommends watering in the cool of the morning (for less evaporation). “Make it part of your morning routine, like brushing your teeth,” he suggests. “Then you don’t have to think about it the rest of the day.”

First, he says, check the moisture level by sticking your finger 2 to 3 inches into the soil. Only water if it’s dry, to prevent overwatering. In addition to the slow-release granular fertilizer, you’ll also have to feed your large containers with liquid fertilizer for optimum growth and performance.

“It’s a hard truth – plants in containers do dry out quicker than those in the ground – and larger designs, especially, do require some maintenance,” says Epstein. “But with a bit of front-end planning and a few expert tricks, you’ll have magazine-worthy containers to enjoy the whole season.”

Fact sheet
Tropicanna cannas
Flower Carpet roses
Festival Burgundy cordyline
Storm series of agapanthus

Easy Tips for Growing Plants in Containers
How to Build the Perfect Container Garden featuring Tropicanna canna
Growing Festival Burgundy in containers
How to Grow Flower Carpet Roses in Containers

About Tesselaar
Tesselaar Plants searches the world and introduces new plants for the home garden, landscape and home décor markets. Tesselaar undertakes extensive research and development of its varieties. The Tesselaar philosophy is to introduce exceptional plants while “making gardening easy” for everyone, so it makes its products as widely available as possible. Tesselaar believes the more gardeners there are, the better it is for everyone.

Source: Tesselaar Plants

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RethinkWaste Launches Free Compost Giveaway Program for Schools

RethinkWaste is launching a free Compost Giveaway Program for public and private schools within its service area on the Peninsula.

Through the program, schools can receive up to five 50-pound bags of compost for a garden project, or up to 20 cubic yards of the material for landscaping projects per school year, according to RethinkWaste officials.

The compost is made from the yard trimmings and food scraps set out by residents and businesses for collection in the green CartSMART and BizSMART containers.

The Compost Giveaway Program is meant to serve as a resource for schools in alignment with the California Department of Education’s Garden in Every School initiative.

According to the state, students who participate in school garden projects discover fresh food, make healthier food choices, and are physically active, RethinkWaste officials said.

Using compost in gardens and landscaping projects helps improve soil quality, conserve water and control erosion, among others.

“We are excited to extend this program and service to all schools in our service area just in time for spring, when lots of garden activities are going to resume,” said Faustina Mututa, RethinkWaste Environmental Education Coordinator.

“We hope that schools take advantage of this opportunity and get kids involved in garden projects – closing the loop on how all their food waste and yard clippings can be reused again to grow healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables!”

Interested schools must complete a request form to receive the compost. Schools need to arrange for the pick up of the bags of compost at the Shoreway Environmental Centerin San Carlos.

RethinkWaste will arrange for the delivery of the larger quantity of loose compost through Recology San Mateo County at no additional cost to the schools.

The Compost Giveaway Program is offered through the Environmental Education Center at the Shoreway facility.

To request the compost and for more information about other programs available to schools, visit

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Jamaica woman hosts free garden workshops

Tuesday February 19, 2013

JAMAICA — The winter is only about six weeks from being over, but Erica Bowman, a garden and landscape architect as well as owner of Andromeda Designs, is going to be holding her first free garden workshop on Feb. 25 at her home office and garden facility, which she named Evernest.

“Hopefully, I’ll get some people and start to get this thing rolling this year,” she said.

Bowman told the Reformer that Evernest is “a work in progress and always will be.” It functions as a garden collection that sits on about 50 acres of land. So far, about two acres of that land have been used to cultivate her gardens.

She said that it has been a dream of hers to teach programs on gardening. Having the land for it makes the dream achievable.

“It’s something I’m trying to make happen,” she said. “I’m trying to get more people involved in gardening.”

Andromeda Designs’ first free workshop will be on the mechanics of perennial garden design. It will start at 3:30 p.m. and run until 5 p.m. The workshop will go over how to construct a planting plan, based on site evaluation and measurement to spacing and species selection.

The second free workshop will be on May 11 from 10 a.m. to noon. It will go over perennial bed preparation and planting. Participants will learn to shape, cut, de-sod, amend and double dig a new garden.

Bowman will also be teaching about basic garden layouts and planting.

She believes that with

being a gardener there’s a lot to learn and know. It takes “a lifetime of knowledge,” she said.

Bowman works as a type of mentor to people interested in planting and maintaining gardens. She specializes in many things, especially with planting and caring for perennials.

“Each plant has a different tendency,” she said. “Some to fertilize, some for the shade and some for the sun. All these things matter and contribute to whether you have a successful garden.”

Bowman has done workshops and lectures in the past. Mostly she speaks to and works with garden clubs, but she also works as a garden coach.

Working one-on-one is something she enjoys doing. Working as a garden coach, Bowman teaches how to care for plants, which entails knowing what each plant’s specific needs are. She also helps design gardens.

“Often, we start from scratch,” she said. “We put in the garden together, then I may come every week and we work together. It’s fantastic. That person gets hands-on experience. There’s only so much you can learn from a book that you can’t learn from touching the plant.”

While growing up in New Jersey, Bowman’s mother had a gardening business. Every summer, she would work with her mother. She said that it was hard work and thought she wouldn’t ever be doing that type of work again.

After graduating from college, she went back to the business. Then she went to graduate school and received a degree in landscaping architecture.

“When I moved away, I learned that I really loved gardening and flowers,” Bowman said.

She has lived in Vermont since 1991. Most of her time running her own gardening business has been done in the state, she said. Some clients come to Bowman just for the fact that she knows how to harvest plants and flowers in Vermont.

“They move from places like California, where it’s warmer and they might have been a gardener in whatever region they were from, but they need to learn about the regional plants and regional techniques,” she said.

This may require learning how to deal with snow in the winter as well as the range of plants that can be grown in Vermont.

Other clients come to Bowman because they don’t feel confident enough to create their own garden without some assistance from an expert.

“Sometimes people want something specific,” she said. “They may want a native landscape. One guy hired me and we worked together to make a garden for birds bees and butterflies, a wildlife garden.”

Bowman’s work at Evernest gets people to practice their gardening techniques. She said that dead-heading and weeding is “a huge component people have trouble doing,” because it’s difficult “identifying weeds when they’re small.”

She also teaches edging, mulching and watering.

“Some people don’t understand that if you just spray water on plants during sunny day,” said Bowman. “It can reflect the sun and burn the leaf. All these details would be details I’m teaching.”

Bowman is concerned that there’s not enough places people can go to learn about gardening and landscaping. She thinks Evernest will be a great resource for those who want to learn.

She chose February for the first workshop because of the time sensitivity of planting perennials.

“Now is the time to do that,” Bowman said. “Once you get into spring, you want to be able to get the ground prepared and get the plants in the ground.”

She thinks that by March, there is the potential for bulbs to start coming out of the ground. Last year, she said that there were some blooming at that point, especially in Brattleboro.

The workshop in February will also be helpful for those who want to plant trees and shrubs.

“Having that workshop in February allows someone the time to plan on getting those plants and getting them in the ground,” she said.

Bowman told the Reformer that people in her business prefer to have the winter full of design work and spring full of installation work.

“No matter what we do, May is a really insanely busy time for all of us, she said. “I’d love to get people to start thinking about their summer garden for everybody’s sake.”

Bowman is also really interested in helping people grow their own vegetables. She said that it doesn’t take a large amount of space like some gardeners would think. It can be done in a small space and it can be started inside.

“It’s an up-and-coming trend in Vermont,” she said. “People want to have more control over the production of their own food.”

Bowman is currently working on starting to cultivate peppers and artichokes, which she said have a really long growing season. She will start the process inside her home, then move it outdoors when the time is right.

“People who really know about gardens make it their life study. You have to, in a way, learn all the intricacies of the plants, soil and in addition to that, I continue to learn every day. It is an evolving body of knowledge.”

The spots for the workshops are limited. To register, contact Bowman at 802-688-5008 or enroll at

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