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Archives for February 24, 2013

Home & Garden Show promises ideas, entertainment

Looking for ideas for renovating or redecorating your house? How about for the garden?

Find them at the Dispatch Home Garden Show, which runs Feb. 23 through March 3 at the Ohio
Expo Center, aka the State Fairgrounds at I-71 and 17th Avenue, north of Downtown Columbus.

It’s open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, closed Monday, and noon
to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. See the full schedule
here. And find a coupon for $1 off admission

You’ll find hundreds of professionals among the exhibitors, people who are able to answer
questions about your home projects. And there are four stages for demonstrations and entertainment
related to home-improvement, landscaping, design and cooking.

First-day events include a a discussion of how to reduce your home energy costs.

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Saratoga Home and Lifestyle Show in its 40th year; three-day Rotary event …

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Outdoor expo an ‘idea book in 3-D’

CHAMBERSBURG – The former Pab Roof Truss building was transformed into an outdoor-living “idea book in 3-D” this weekend for the Backyard Living Expo.

Shortly after the 10 a.m. opening Saturday, the expo’s second day, dozens of people meandered through the showcase of patios, outdoor living rooms, sheds, gazebos, fence displays, hot tubs, children’s play sets, water features, lawn furniture, lawn mowers, grills, outdoor flooring materials and other projects available from the 40-plus vendors.

The layout emulated the looks homeowners can achieve on their own properties. Robb Fox, owner of Chambersburg’s Fox Landscaping, was part of the group that developed the strategic design; displaying, for example, plants and hardscape materials together like they would be in a front yard promotes vision to turn an idea into a project under construction.

“(The expo) is an idea book in 3-D,” Fox said.

Scott Rosenbaum, owner of Chambersburg’s Rosenbaum’s Landscaping and lead organizer of the expo, said the event fills a need that he saw for the outdoor-living industry in the area. Only businesses serving outdoor-specific needs were brought in.

The expo’s strict focus meant that more people serious about starting a project attended.

“Here’s the neat thing, because we’re so focused on what we’re doing, we’re finding out the people who are coming, if they have a need they know if they come here they’ll be able to find the answer,” Rosenbaum said.

Jenn and Chris Wenger,

Shippensburg, were two of those people looking for answers. They have caught spring fever, Chris Wenger said, and were getting a head start on potentially building a deck.

“We’re here to get ideas to make some improvements down the road,” Jenn Wenger said.

Also thinking spring were Dave and Gina Lapole, St. Thomas. Looking to replace a shed, they went out to see what is new this year.

“We want to have ideas in mind for when the winter breaks,” they said.

Another attendee had just learned about the expo from a friend and came to find awning possibilities for his business, Cleaning Connection Inc. Glenn Lininger had checked out Incredible Awning to find out what options are available.

The focused crowd helped many vendors obtain solid leads, Rosenbaum said. Robin Musser, a representative for Kelsey Springs Landscaping, Chambersburg, said she had set up six cost-estimation appointments by the first hour of day two of the expo.

Most people were interested in patios and other hardscaping, and water features, Musser said. said. Similar trends were seen by Eldorado Stone, Chambersburg. Representative Dan Elders said outdoor kitchens and outdoor fireplaces attracted much attention.

For Flohr Pools, the expo came during the prime season for buying pools and hot tubs. Representative Kim Heck said she has not seen specific trends, and that interest among above ground pools, underground pools and hot tubs seems about equal.

Although it provides various projects for the home, Byers Home Improvements, Chambersburg, showcased outdoor rooms at the expo. Owner James Byers said rooms come in different varieties to work in some or all of the seasons. He said winter is a popular time because it allows people to feel like they are outside, but in a space much warmer than the outdoor temperatures.

Rosenbaum planned the expo for February because many vendors said March is extremely busy.

For some vendors, it was also a good start to a year when they hope to continue climbing out of the down economy. A number of vendor representatives said the economy seems to be having less and less effect on people’s decisions to start home improvement projects.

Breaking projects down and completing them in segments was a trend seen by Kelsey Springs Landscaping, Musser said. Also, homeowners who may have put improvements off are now making them a priority. They are skipping vacations and forgoing other luxuries in order to make home a more comfortable place.

Things are looking up for Flohr Pools, Heck said. Now is the time to get started on plans to have a pool by summer, and the year is off to a good start.

Sales have been rising at Eldorado Stone, Chambersburg, as the recession has gotten older.

“We had our biggest year last year,” said representative Dan Enders.

Not all industries have had much of an economic sting to come back from though. Nick Ehrhart, president of A Plus Fencing, Chambersburg, said children and pets create a consistent need for his industry.

Rosenbaum said plans are already in the works for a second annual expo. A number of this year’s vendors have signed up to be part of a committee that will provide input to improve the event.

“We see what we have now, were gonna take it up another notch,” Rosenbaum said. “We’re gonna blow the socks off, from this year to next year.”
The Backyard Living Expo continues 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today2.24 at the former Pab Roof Truss Building, 5274 Sunset Pike, Chambersburg. Admission is $3; free for children age 12 and younger.


Amber South can be reached at and 262-4771.

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March into the garden to-do list – Daytona Beach News

Things may be a bit “off track” for the spring season. Keep an eye on the local weather before doing any major pruning and renovating. There is still potential for a late frost or freeze.


March is the beginning of the spring gardening season in Flagler County, the time to get out, clean up all old and dead materials, mulch, and plant. Azaleas, pansies, petunias, dianthus, snapdragons and many other plants will be blooming.

If no rain, water once every seven to 10 days, putting down 1/2- to 3/4-inch of water each time. This is a good time to check the irrigation system for leaks, broken heads, settings and to make sure rain shut-off devices are working.


In mid-March apply fertilizer (16-4-8, 15-0-15, 10-4-10 or 8-2-12) with approximately 30 to 50 percent of the nitrogen in slow release form. Give it a light ( 1/4-inch) watering after application.

If you cut your own lawn, service your lawn mower. Change the oil, sharpen the blades and make sure to set the cutting height properly for the type grass that you have.

March is the last month that you can apply most herbicides for weeds safely. When the daily temperatures rise above 85 degrees, most of the available post-emergent herbicides can cause the grass to yellow and die. Read and follow label recommendations for proper application rates and frequency. Check the product carefully for any restrictions such as “Do not use on Floratam St. Augustinegrass,” etc.


Most gardens will produce better by amending soils with compost (organic matter). Do a soil pH test to determine acid/alkaline level.

Warm season vegetables can be planted: snap beans, pole beans, cantaloupe, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green (bunching) onions, peppers, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and watermelons. Plant any seedlings started indoors in January and February. For more information on growing a vegetable garden go to: to download a copy of the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide.


Many citrus trees bloomed early this year. Blossoms may have gotten frost damage from the freezes in February, causing them to drop prior to pollination. They may bloom again. Do not spray anything on the trees until the blossoms drop and fruit begins to form.

If your citrus trees had scab (bumps on fruit and leaves) or melanose (a black speck on the foliage and streaking on fruit) in the past year, treat the entire tree (and any surrounding citrus trees) with basic copper sulfate solution two to three weeks after blossom drop and again after an additional two weeks. Follow label instructions for proper application rates.

Citrus Greening has spread through Flagler County since 2010. It is a disease vectored by an insect called the Asian Citrus Psyllid. Once the tree is inoculated with the bacteria, over time the foliage becomes discolored and blotchy, sections of the canopy start dying, fruit becomes small, bitter tasting and misshapen and seeds are aborted in the fruit. At this point, there is nothing you can treat it with to stop the tree from declining. It is recommended to remove the tree. To obtain additional information on what to do about Citrus Greening go to: or contact your local Extension Office and request a copy of HS1131 Dooryard Citrus Production: Citrus Greening Disease.

If you suspect a tree is suffering from Citrus Greening, bring in a sample (in a sealed plastic storage bag) to the extension office to have it examined or contact the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry Citrus Health Response Program 800-282-5153 for more information.


Bedding plants which can be planted: ageratum, alyssum, amaranthus, balsam, begonia, browallia, celosia, cosmos, coreopsis, dusty miller, exacum, gaillardia, gazania, geranium, impatiens, Marguerite daisy, marigold, pentas, phlox, rudbeckia, salvia, sweet William, thunbergia, torenia, verbena, vinca, and zinnia.

Fertilize palm trees with a balanced palm fertilizer containing 4 percent magnesium. Magnesium as Epsom salts can be applied at the same time as fertilizer if you are using fertilizer with lower levels of magnesium. It is easier to get the right ratio by buying it already in the bag. Magnesium sulfate will benefit most plants and will result in deeper shades of green.

Fertilize hibiscus, azaleas, roses, and poinsettias with a fertilizer containing the minor elements with a ratio of 3:1:2 (i.e., 12-4-8 Nitrogen — Phosphorous — Potassium). Approximately 50 percent of the nitrogen should be slow release.

Prune back poinsettias once colored bracts begin to wilt to approximately 1/3-1/2 the total size of the plant. These may be planted outdoors in a well-drained, sunny area. They are sensitive to the cold, so plant them in a protected site with a southern exposure. Poinsettias are heavy feeders, so fertilize often or use a slow release fertilizer.

The chance for a freeze is generally over by mid-March. So you can finally prune back the plants that have freeze damage. It can be a little while until new growth starts on damaged plants. One quick way to determine if a stem or branch is alive is to cut the limb and see if green is present. If all the leaves have fallen off, the branch is probably alive. If the leaves have stayed on the branch, it is a sign that the branch is dead. Prune plants as needed. Limit what is pruned to one-third of the total plant canopy size. Prune all dead branches, water sprouts and crossing branches. Shape plants to give them a pleasing appearance. DON’T LEAVE STUBS. Prune branches back to an outward facing bud, cut on a 45-degree angle. For more details on proper pruning go to on the University of Florida EDIS publications website.

Did you know the Flagler County Master Gardeners wrote and published a book on gardening just for you? It is called “Guide to Successful Gardening in Zone 9A.” This book was created and geared for anyone living in zone 9A who wants to have a healthy landscape and garden. The book covers all areas of gardening and landscaping including planning a landscape, trees and shrubs, bedding plants, roses, lawns, vegetables and herbs, wildlife habitat, coastal area gardening and so much more. Each plant section has a very helpful plant list specific to zone 9A. So you know what will grow here rather than trial and error or wrong plant wrong place.

For information on where to purchase a copy, contact Ocean Publishing, 200 S. Oceanshore Blvd., Flagler Beach, at 386-517-1600 or pick up a copy at the Flagler County Extension office 150 Sawgrass Road, Bunnell, the cost is $24.95.

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Films and flowers: ‘Snow White’ scene heading to Maryland Home & Garden Show

WINFIELD — Last week, Kim Clark painted in an unusual spot.

With palette in hand, Clark toiled inside a storage room owned by Absolute Landscape Turf Services in Winfield.

Clark created backdrops reminiscent of scenes from the Disney classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” She is part of a unique partnership between artist and business creating an elaborate landscaped garden.

With Clark’s help, Winfield-based Absolute Landscape Turf Services are entering one of 16 fully-landscaped gardens based on a movie during the Maryland Home Garden Show taking place the next two weekends at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

The Maryland Home Garden Show features more than 300 home improvement exhibitors offering tips on everything from storage solutions to garden preparations for the spring. It opens from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and is also open from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. March 3, 9 and 10 and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. March 9.

The Maryland Orchid Society Show and Sale and the Bonsai Show and Sale take place during the second weekend of the Home Garden Show. More than 125 craftspeople will be on hand both weekends.

Landscape businesses were able to pick a movie to create themed gardens. Absolute Landscape chose the popular fairy tale “Snow White” and are creating a scene designed to be straight out of the Disney cartoon.

They have created the front of the cottage where the Dwarfs lived and also incorporated a fireplace, a small stream pond, stone walkways and murals painted by Clark.

The cottage is a massive undertaking, one that will need to be moved in parts from Winfield to Timonium. 

“There’s a lot more going into it than even what I expected initially,” Absolute Landscape’s Matt Sabine said. “For sure, a lot creativity is being put towards it.”

While the cottage is designed to look like a home for Snow White’s dwarfs, it’s designed with an entryway all visitors to the Home Garden show would be able to enter.

The Absolute Landscape designers wanted visitors to understand how their landscaping designs and products could apply outside their homes, Clark said.

Naturally, the landscapers will likely get competitive with their designs, hoping to outdo one another, Sabine said. 

“The Secret Garden,” “Mulan,” “Jurassic Park,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Under the Tuscan Sun” are among the movies picked out by participating landscape businesses.

“Last year we had a books theme,” Maryland Home Garden Show producer Jay Plummer said. “That went so well that we decided to go with movies. People really seemed to like that last year.”

So often in landscaping, businesses are given a specific blueprint by the customer that they must adhere to.

When creating the custom movie-inspired designs, landscapers were given a unique freedom to tap into their creativity. Setting up at home shows is nothing new for them, but the chance to focus on a specific them is unique, Sabine said.

“When you come into this arena, it’s completely different,” he said. “You’re following a theme, so you get to add onto that.”

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Gardening expo gets educational

Patrick Johnston/Times Record NewsZoe Swick (left) talks with artist Chi Chi Price about two sculptures she is working on Saturday afternoon at the Arts Alive! Home amp; Garden Show at the Multi-Purpose Events Center.

Patrick Johnston/Times Record News
Zoe Swick (left) talks with artist Chi Chi Price about two sculptures she is working on Saturday afternoon at the Arts Alive! Home amp; Garden Show at the Multi-Purpose Events Center.

Patrick Johnston/Times Record NewsA couple checks out a Wichita Valley booth with native plants and landscape ideas that are better suited for drought conditions Saturday afternoon at the Arts Alive! Home amp; Garden Show at the Multi-Purpose Events Center.

Patrick Johnston/Times Record News
A couple checks out a Wichita Valley booth with native plants and landscape ideas that are better suited for drought conditions Saturday afternoon at the Arts Alive! Home amp; Garden Show at the Multi-Purpose Events Center.

photos by Patrick Johnston/Times Record NewsA group looks through a vendor booth featuring various types of decorative art, including metal parrots and clay pots, Saturday afternoon at the Arts Alive! Home amp; Garden Show at the Multi-Purpose Events Center. TOP: Zoe Swick (left) talks with artist Chi Chi Price about two sculptures she is working on.

photos by Patrick Johnston/Times Record News
A group looks through a vendor booth featuring various types of decorative art, including metal parrots and clay pots, Saturday afternoon at the Arts Alive! Home amp; Garden Show at the Multi-Purpose Events Center. TOP: Zoe Swick (left) talks with artist Chi Chi Price about two sculptures she is working on.

Drought restrictions and approaching summer temperatures might have some Wichitans shying away from gardening, but the Wichita Falls 16th Annual Arts Alive! Home and Garden Show was alive and well this Saturday at the Multi-Purpose Events Center.

Event director and Kemp Center for the Arts Director Carol Sales said over 1,300 people flooded through the doors in the first hour of the show.

This year the theme “Roots and Wings” focused on educating people with how to deal with drought conditions and still enjoy gardening.

Every year a committee selects the theme for the show, and this year the committee wanted to have an educational year, Sales said.

“They worked from the Erma Bombeck theory that you give every child roots and wings to fly,” Sales said.

“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: one is roots, the other is wings,” the quote reads.

The event continues today with informative sessions on progressive waste solutions, vertical gardens and the Nighthawks football team is prowling through the MPEC. Beginner art classes and youth art classes offer an opportunity to learn and sticking with the theme.

Vendors at the event offer everything from lawn mowers and weed killers to exquisite landscaping options and well drilling. Of course other frilly, fun things like purses and decorations and drink mixes and food were all available as well.

The Wichita County Humane Society brought out several of their adoptable friends in their new trailer, and people took advantage of playing with the lovable pets.

Several galleries in rooms off the main room featured Mexican pottery and ironworks, furniture, antiques and a whole slew of local dealers offering their services — like handmade stained glass windows.

Betty Higgins, featured artist, painted “Red Poppies,” and she is described as not only a talented artist but generous in heart and spirit. Keeping the theme in motion, Higgins is highlighted children’s art from classes at the Kemp Center for the Arts.

“She wanted to illustrate the camps for the kids and everything at the Kemp Center,” Sales said. “This whole weekend has been an educational opportunity for the community. Everyone is trained to educate themselves about the drought situation and about recycling reuse. It’s all about doing what’s better for family life, and this is like a hometown marketplace of vendors to give them an opportunity to have an open house and an open spring.”

Sales said the drought is making people more aware of their footprint left behind, and they’re trying to do their part by educating people.

For those still eager to learn about the 2013 Home and Garden Festival, the event goes on from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the MPEC with tickets available at the door.

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Experts to offer tips on creating container gardens

Container Garden

Container Garden

The $20 fee will cover everything that goes into the pot and guests are to bring their own containers.

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 8:00 am

Experts to offer tips on creating container gardens

Isaac Garcia
Valley Town Crier – Reporter

Your Valley Voice powered by the Valley Town Crier

McALLEN– Not everyone has the space to till their backyard and start a garden of their choice. Many people live in apartment complexes, where such a thing is impossible and other folks, like Winter Texans, may not have the option due to limited space at RV parks.

Container gardens are a nice alternative for those who want to show their green thumb this spring, but don’t have the cubic land space to go the more traditional route.

So, what is a container garden? It’s pretty much just what it sounds like. Instead of growing plants directly on the ground, they are planted in containers.

Some of the more popular types of container gardens include: boxed vegetable gardens or flower beds, window boxes and flowerpots.

Quinta Mazatlan officials say that container flower gardens go great on patios and are excellent at attracting an array of butterflies and birds.

Horticulturist Ouina Rutledge will present a hands-on workshop, “Create Your Own Container Garden,” on March 2 from 1p.m. To 4 p.m..

Advance registration is required, so the center can have the appropriate number of plants on hand for the workshop.

The $20 fee will cover everything that goes into the pot and guests are to bring their own containers.

Rutledge will cover topics such as combining plants, watering, maintenance, and how to correctly plant in a container.

For more information, Quinta Mazatlan may be reached at 956-681-3370.


Saturday, February 23, 2013 8:00 am.

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20th RI Spring Flower Show thru Sunday

Get Daily discounts and offers on sporting events, plays, concerts, museums and other events around town

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Fine Living: Making the most of the garden year-round

Click photo to enlarge

EILEEN KELLY remembers the exact moment in childhood when her passion for gardening was ignited and her second career launched. It’s a career that has just seen her company, Dig Your Garden Landscape Design (, rewarded with a 2013 Houzz Best of Remodeling award, based on Kelly’s satisfied customers. Houzz is a leading online platform for remodeling and design.

“It started in Jersey City when my mother broke off a piece of succulent, a sedum, and told me to plant it in the soil,” she recalls. “Miraculously, a new plant was born and I never forgot it. To this day, succulents are one of my favorites.”

Later, as she pursued a career in advertising on New York’s famed Madison Avenue, her gardening roots were stunted in an apartment, but still emerged in the form of houseplants.

“Even in the concrete jungle, I always made sure I had something green and full of life,” she says.

Fast-forward 20 years or so and Kelly married Tom Gehrig, a fine arts painter, and purchased a San Anselmo home.

“When I came out here to glorious Marin and saw everything in bloom throughout the year, I thought it was heaven,” she says. Year-round landscapes are her company’s mainstay.

“I started working in my garden and was getting frustrated but still loving it. That’s when I started taking gardening classes,” she says.

She wishes, in retrospect, that she

had hired someone to do her landscape as she spent a lot of money making mistakes such as choosing the wrong plant or putting in the wrong place and that’s the first thing she tells potential clients.

“Hiring a professional is worth the investment,” she insists. “You save money in the long range.”

She also advises new clients to create an idea book on Houzz, one of her top resources to help them define their favorite garden aesthetic.

Here are some of her favorite garden combinations for you to try.

For sunny spots

These spring and summer blooms thrive in a sunny space:

• Penstemon heterophyllus, a California native with stunning purple/blue flowers

• Stachys byzantinia “Helen Von Stein” or “Big Ears” with large leaves that contrast beautifully with other smaller-leafed plants

• Cerastium tomentosum or “Snow in Summer” lovely white flowers and low-growth pattern

• Lavandula angustifolia “Munstead” or “English lavender”

• Phormium “Mat’s Merlot,” otherwise known as New Zealand Flax, or some other upright plant for architectural appeal and contrast

For shady spots

These late winter and early spring combinations are well-suited for shade:

• Winter Daphne (Daphne “odora” marginata), a medium-sized compact shrub with variegated foliage with small pink flowers and the most delightful fragrance

• Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) is available in a variety of flower color, is low-growing and has nice foliage when not in bloom and is also deer resistant

• Deer-resistant Tasmanian tree ferns

For high-traffic areas

These low-water, ground-cover combinations can take foot traffic:

• Replace a lawn with Dymondia margaratea, a spreading ground cover that is compact with green/gray foliage and small yellow flowers.

• Complement ground cover with other drought-tolerant plants, such as Pheasant’s Tail grass (Stipa arundinacea), Snake Plant (Bulbine frutescens “Hallmark”) with lovely orange/yellow flowers, and Wall Germander (teucrium chameadrys)

Native combos

Mix and match with these California native and non-native plant combinations:

• Combine with other non-native plants such as California Mountain Lilac (Ceanothus Concha), a large shrub with purple flowers

• Sticky Monkey Flower (Mimulus aurantiacus), which is available in orange, yellow or red flowers

• Butterfly Weed (Ascelpias speciosa), a great plant for attracting butterflies

• Flowering Gooseberry (Ribes sanguineum)


What’s Kelly’s favorite plants for every season?

“Succulents, succulents and more succulents,” she says. “They combine well with so many other low-water plants and there are so many shapes, sizes and colors to choose from. Plus, they thrive on little water, almost now care needed, and are all the rage.”

Kelly also has a few tips for maintaining the garden from late winter to spring.

• Add good quality compost to your planting beds.

• Mulch your garden beds to reduce weed growth and reduce the need for water.

• Prune roses.

• Prune back dead plant growth, but wait until the threat of frost has passed.

• Plant now, while we still have some rain, to get roots established.

• Plan vegetable beds and add compost or chicken manure for spring planting.

• Fertilize citrus and other fruiting plants.

• Check your irrigation systems to make sure they are working properly or hire someone to troubleshoot any issues.

• Experiment and have fun.

PJ Bremier writes on home, garden, design and entertaining topics every Saturday and also on her blog at She may be contacted at P.O. Box 412, Kentfield, CA 94914, or at

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