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Archives for March 2, 2013

Poway Nursery offers selection, expert advice

By Emily Sorensen

Looking for a new fruit tree, or simply need some landscaping advice? Then Poway Nursery, 12237 Oak Knoll Road, has you covered.

Nelly Thornbury, Tim Thornbury and Mary Pitino of Poway Nursery.

Poway Nursery, owned by Tim Thornbury, has been serving Poway in its botanical needs since even before Thornbury purchased the business in 1988 from its original owners. “It’s known for being a small, hometown nursery, and giving people personal service,” said Thornbury. “The nursery has been here a long time. It started as a local, Poway nursery, and now people come here from all over [San Diego County].”

The nursery, which is run by Thornbury, his wife Nelly, and Thornbury’s sister, Mary Pitino, offers a wide variety of plants, from ornamental to fruit trees and vegetable seedlings, as well as decorative garden statues, pottery, trellises and benches.

Poway Nursery offers locally grown ornamentals like trees, shrubs and ground cover, water-wise plants, succulents, and a number of different fruit and citrus trees, as well as avocado trees. They also sell a large selection of spring and summer vegetable plants, blueberry, blackberry and strawberry plants, and herbs. “People like to eat what they grow,” said Thornbury. “People want to do their own gardening for the fresh produce.”

Of course, Poway Nursery also sells numerous flowers, including roses. “We have a wide variety of roses,” said Thornbury. The nursery also does special orders, and will help you select the best plant for your situation. “We want to make sure you’re successful with it,” said Thornbury.

In addition to selling plants and decorative garden pieces, Thornbury also offers landscaping consulting. With 35 years of landscaping experience, Thornbury is happy to consult on residential landscaping, including giving advice on the design, maintenance and irrigation, as well as answering questions and giving ideas. He also does residential relandscaping as his speciality, taking out old landscaping and putting in new.

Poway Nursery offers more to the community than just plants and advice. In the past, they have sponsored Poway Little League, and often sponsor or donate to events for Poway schools, offering donations for auctions.

Most of all, Poway Nursery focuses on providing hands-on, individual service to their customers. “It’s all about service,” said Thornbury. “Our service, and our selection, separates us [from other nurseries.]”

Poway Nursery is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For information, call 858-748-2254. The web site is

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Things going on around the Valley this weekend

MARICOPA HOME GARDEN SHOW MARICOPA HOME GARDEN SHOW Maricopa’s Home and Garden  Show starts Friday, March 1st and goes until Sunday, March 3.  You’ll find out everything you need to know about home improvement projects, from the inside and out.  Get great gardening and landscaping ideas and tips or attend a free seminar on how to refinish your cabinets or countertops.  The Wheel of Fortune of Wheelmobile will be there. Come take a spin and try to qualify to become a Wheel of Fortune contestant.  The event is at the University of Phoenix Stadium. For all the event information visit


The Heard Museum is holding its Indian Fair and Market this Saturday and Sunday.  This year’s theme is, “Weaving Worlds With Wool”.  There will be more than 700 top American Indian artists. Visitors will be able to meet artists and purchase some of their works. There will be jewelers, sculptors, painters, weavers and bead workers, plus more. The Heard Museum is located off Central Ave. and Monte Vista. For complete details visit



The city of Glendale is holding its Paris in the Spring event. It’ll be from 10am to 4pm in historic downtown Glendale.  Visitors can experience the fine food, culture and shopping with a Paris flair.  There will be an Open Air Market, and plein air exhibition.  For more details visit,



If you’re looking to adopt a new pet, then head to the 8th annual Spring Fling Pet Adopt-a-Thon, taking place at the Franciscan Renewel Center. They’re located near 56th St. and Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley. The Center is helping the Phoenix Animal Care Coalition group, host the event. PACC is a non-profit organization that helps care for pets don’t have homes. There will be over 60 animal rescue groups helping find new homes for pets.  The event starts at 10am and goes until 3pm.  For more information visit



An exhibit showcasing a lot of original artwork by John Lennon will be on display at Kierland Commons all weekend. It starts Friday, March 1 and will have signed Lithographs of Lennon, over 120 serigraphs and signed song lyrics.  The event is free and will be near the Starbucks at the Kierland Commons Shopping Center off Scottsdale Road and Kierland Bvld. in Scottsdale.



The Town of Tempe is holding its annual Great Arizona Beer Festival this Saturday. It’ll be at the Tempe Beach Park and goes from 2pm to 6pm.  More than 200 different brews will be available, from about 50 different local and regional brewers. Some of the brewers in attendance include; Four Peaks, The Phoenix Ale Brewery, San Tan, and Oak Creek Brewery. For ticket prices and other information, visit



It’s the Southwest’s premier dog show.  Visitors can watch over 10,000 dogs perform agility, conformation, obedience and rally tricks.  The event takes place from Friday until Sunday.  It’ll be at Westworld of Scottsdale, off Pima Road and the Loop 101.  Admission is free and parking is $5. All the details can be found at



Downtown Carefree will host its Fine Art and Wine Festival Friday through Sunday.  There’ll be more than 160 artists and over 5000 pieces of fine art.  Visitors will be able to look at and purchase things like pottery, jewelry, crafts, paintings and photography. The event starts at 10am and ends at 5pm, on all three days. All details can be found at



Chandler’s Ostrich Festival is here. Events kick off on Saturday with an 8am Fun/Run. It starts on Arizona Avenue at Frye Road and heads north towards Ray Road. The parade then starts at 10am on Arizona Ave., heading south from Ray Road.  Ostrich races start next weekend, March 8th, 9th and 10th. Complete details for all the week’s festivities can be found at



Participants in the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Archery in the Schools program will be competing on Saturday.  It’s the state Championship tournament. Over 300 young archers will be competing throughout the day. Competition starts at 9am and the award ceremony takes place at 3:15pm. Competition will be at the Ben Avery Shooting facility in north Phoenix, located off I-17 and Carefree Highway. 

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Home & Garden show offers great ideas for home projects

Movies reinterpreting fairy tales have existed for slightly less time than the written fantasy
genre itself. A slightly newer take on reinvented fairy tale is the kind made in the macabre style
of director Tim Burton.

Jack the Giant Slayer is the latest example. The movie, directed by Bryan Singer, darkly
revisits the classic story of
Jack and the Beanstalk.

The special effects create a world constructed differently from the fairy tale the audience
remembers from childhood. The biggest shortcoming in the film is that the script gives its talented
cast, including Ian McShane, Christopher McQuarrie and Stanley Tucci, little material with which to

“There are moments of Shrek-like playfulness in the carnival set up at the base of the stalk as
our heroes and villains climb it. But the vast array of writers…can’t find anything funny for
McShane to do or say,” Roger Moore
said in his review. “And the hilarious Bill Nighy is lost inside an expensively
animated two-headed behemoth.”

Moore’s most stinging comparison sums it up nicely: “It’s
The Princess Bride without the laughs.”



Easily offended moviegoers would probably be best served skipping
21 Over, a college-aged take on
The Hangover. Those who enjoy low-brow comedies about drink- and drug-fueled hijinks,
however, will feel right at home.

The story is cut from the same cloth as others in the category (i.e. the
Harold Kumar series,
Animal House,
Dazed and Confused and more). Two friends take a third friend on a journey for his 21st
birthday complete with nudity, drugs and booze.

If you aren’t taken aback by this type of a movie, there should be plenty to like about 21
Over, according to critic Peter Harlaub.

“Once you suspend both disbelief and the moral high ground,
21 Over is rewarding. Writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore find a nice balance
between the over-the-top high jinks and an emotional core — which unexpectedly crystallizes
relatively late in the movie, “Hartlaub
said in his review.


More reviews

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Landscape Now: Organic Landscaping + Taking Care of Soil

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Saturday, March 02, 2013

Can the principles of organic land care be used in your own backyard? From soil care to lawn care and landscaping, Frank Crandall will show you how.

The Green Movement has found new momentum the past few years, especially with the escalation of energy prices, local regulations prohibiting pesticides and chemicals on public athletic fields and school grounds and the increased awareness of the effect that excess nitrogen and phosphorus can have by polluting our fresh and salt water ponds, streams and oceans.

The resulting “Going Green” initiatives include reducing the use of pesticides, using least toxic and non toxic alternatives for insect and pest control, adopting organic lawn care, composting, recycling plastics, bottles and paper, using rain barrels and in-ground cisterns for reusing water runoff, installing landscapes with sustainable plants, brewing and applying compost tea, exploring wind, solar and alternative power sources, expanding use of bio-diesel fuels and building with nontoxic materials.

In a three part Organic Landscape Series, I will examine the basic principles of organic land care, components of an organic lawn care program and steps you can take to become more eco-friendly in your landscape, at home and in your office, and ways you can obtain an organic education through workshops, conferences and land care programs.

Introduction to Organic Land Care

My introduction to organic land care principles began in January, 2005 by attending the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) 5 Day Land Care Training Course in Wellesley, MA. The comprehensive course; taught by experts in the fields of soil health, organic pest and disease control, composting, organic lawn care, native plants, invasive plants and numerous other topics, changed my life. I have adopted many of the Organic Principles into my business and personal life. I teach at the Land Care Courses and serve as Educational Chair of NOFA’s Education Committee. For more information about NOFA’s Educational workshops and courses go to or

Basic Organic Land Care Principles

The four basic principles are:

1. Work to improve the health of water, soil, air, plants, animals, humans and the planet.

2. Ensure that ecology, the relationship between living things; plants, animals and the environment, are in balance and working sustainably.

3. Care for social, ecological affects in our environment by doing no harm and restore and remediate disturbances.

4. Exhibit fairness in our Stewardship of the Planet Earth including our creatures, plants, environment and extending this philosophy to our employees and business philosophy.

Organic landscaping means not using any synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or soil amendments and following standards set forth by NOFA (or other organic organizations) including using only organically approved pesticides, appropriate cultural practices and landscaping for water conservation.

The Basics of Soil Health

Healthy landscapes, gardens and crops begin with fertile soil. Healthy soil is free of compaction, pesticides, toxins or excess salts and possessing a degree of organic matter, humus and balanced, available nutrients. Soil can be nourished with compost, manures, organic fertilizers and cover crops. The first step in the soil improvement process is to conduct a soil test! A basic chemical test will reveal the pH (acidity or alkalinity) of the soil, nutrient levels (phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium), the amount of organic matter and recommendations to improve your soil. For soil testing contact for specific information on how to take a soil test and mail it to UMass for results and recommendations.

Along with the soil chemistry, knowing the level of biological activity in the soil (fungi, bacteria, nematodes and protozoans) is important to understanding the soil food web. The soil food web is the community of organisms that inhabits soil including worms, insects and countless microscopic creatures like bacteria, fungi, flagellates, amoeba and other protozoans that indicate a healthy soil. Bioassay testing for living organisms in the soil is expensive but if the yard is large or the project is a commercial or public property then more detailed biological soil testing may be in order. Contact for detailed information and costs for bioassay testing.

Enhancing Soil Fertility

How do you improve soil health organically? Soil fertility is managed by feeding the soil, not the plant. Carbon, nitrogen and organic matter are added to the soil as rotted manure, finished compost, organic fertilizers and compost teas. The soil food web then breaks down the organic materials into nutrients that plants can use to grow, flower and remain healthy. Horticultural methods that short-cut this natural process by supplying synthetic nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium directly to plants can lead to damaged soils and weak root systems…leading to a greater susceptibility to insects, disease and drought. Repeated application of excessive amounts of synthetic fertilizers may inhibit the development of mycorrhizae…symbiotic fungi that help plant roots gather nutrients in the surrounding soil. (NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care, 5th edition, January 2011.)

Soil Building Program Benefits

A carefully managed soil fertility program that increases soil organic matter and humus can provide numerous benefits: It recycles nutrients, improves water retention, balances minerals, and buffers pH. Your soil is the key to successful gardens, landscapes and lawns! The first step to improving your soil is by taking a soil test and following the recommendations on the test results to enhance your soil fertility and increase your soil food web.

In the second part of the Organic Landscape Series I will detail the steps you can take to transition from a traditional lawn care program into an organic program!

“The health of soil, plant, animal and man is one and indivisible.” Lady Eve Balfour

Frank Crandall is an RI resident specializing in coastal landscaping, organic land care, small business consulting, writing, speaking and photography will be submitting articles about Landscape Solutions. With over 40 years in the horticultural field Frank will write about pertinent, seasonal landscape topics including effective solutions. Comments about Frank’s articles are welcome by contacting him at Crandall, Horticultural Solutions

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Home and Garden Show runs through weekend

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The 40th annual Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show runs Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Memorial Coliseum.

The event features more than 650 home and garden exhibitors. Experts will also be on hand, including celebrity Jeff Holper, known as “The Mole Hunter.” Jyll Everman, a 2011 Food Network Star finalist, and Erica Glasener, host of HGTV’s “A Gardener’s Diary” will have sessions throughout the weekend. Alex Babich, popular morel mushroom hunter, is also slated for a 2013 appearance.

Guests can tour various gardens and landscaping areas at the show.

Children are also welcome at the event. The kids’ area features an interactive themed “Old McDonald’s Farm” with hands-on exhibits, a petting zoo, adoptable pets, and ballet and martial arts demonstrations.

Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors (65 years and older), and children under 15 are free. Parking at the Coliseum is $4.

A $2 coupon off admission is available by clicking here .

NewsChannel 15 is a proud sponsor of the event and will broadcast LIVE from the event Thursday and Friday on First News, Noon, First at 5, and at 6. WANE-TV will also have a booth at the event with free giveaways. Make sure and stop by to meet your favorite members of the NewsChannel 15 team on Saturday and Sunday.

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Great landscape ideas to steal from the February Northwest garden shows


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By a large margin, metal mutated into the hottest trend of 2013 in all three spring garden shows. Taking shape here: A fire-breathing lotus flower in the Autumn Leaf Landscaping display at the Portland Home Garden Show.


Metal hit the mania stage at all three garden shows this year, showing up in significant ways in display after display and topping the trends for 2013.

Eight of 12 gardens at the Portland Home Garden Show included metal, including a curved, three-paneled screen of rusted steel and a stainless steel fireplace by Portland landscape architect Richard Schultz of Schultz + Long and a towering, fountain that resembled an elongated jellyfish by Southwest Landscape.

At the Northwest Flower Garden Show in Seattle, metal was ubiquitous, too. As I walked with a friend through the displays, I repeated “metal” so many times it became an inside joke.

Metal garden show

Surprisingly, edibles largely disappeared from exhibits — but not seminars, where the topic grew to 34 out of about 100 talks at the Seattle show. The only garden this year that spotlighted vegetables and fruits was the incredibly detailed, ecologically sound Urban Edible Garden at the Yard, Garden Patio Show, created by Carol Senna of Melingo Studio Landscape Design and built by Matt Sander Landscape Services.

Ann Murphy, marketing director for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, sponsor of the Yard, Garden Patio Show, theorized that show themes focus designers in a certain direction, one that may not include edibles or other trendy things. The Northwest Flower Garden Show went Hollywood this year, and the Yard, Garden and Patio Show looked at gardens through the ages, so that could be the case.

Salvage garden show

Still in the running as super trends are miniature gardens, vertical and hanging gardens and the use of salvaged materials. Choosing a color of the year is difficult; nothing rose to the top except white, which I don’t think was intentional.

Photos in this story, Tumblr and on illustrate my picks of trends and cool things. If you’ve gone to any of the three shows — or, like me, all of them — weigh in with your observations and opinions.

Kym Pokorny: 503-221-8205;;;;



Vertical show

Cool ideas: Home and garden shows

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Local nursery offers some tips and planting advice

Victory Gardens were popular during WWII when everything was scarce and rationing was enforced.

“With ever-rising food prices and today’s shrinking pocketbooks, growing your own food has made a comeback, big time,” said Dale Loy, who owns Sunnycrest Nursery and Floral along with his wife Claudia. “Growing your own food also provides a means to control our exposure to the vast number of chemicals in our food system.”

Many new gardeners, however, have never lived on a farm or developed the proverbial “green thumb,” and can find only limited guidance among the mass-produced seeds and starts at the big box stores.

Answers and quality plants can be found at the Sunnycrest, family-run store located in downtown Key Center.

“My first jobs back in junior high were weeding yards,” said Dale Loy. “I’ve always worked with plants. When Claudia and I bought the small existing nursery in 1981, it was learn or die,” Loy said.

He said he studied a complete 12 volume encyclopedia set dedicated to gardening and nurseries.

In 1983, they built their new building, which still exists and it remains a profitable business.

Sunnycrest sells everything garden related, from seeds to bulbs, shrubs, bushes and trees; from pots and planters to organic fertilizers, soils and garden tools; and from bird seed to pink flamingoes, gift items and whimsical stuff. They also arrange floral items for weddings, funerals, loved ones and the ever-important apology.

Loy loves plants and loves giving advice and tips on the best care, maintenance and use of plants. He even has eight bonsai trees that more 20 years old, and has a friend who is a noted expert on the popular subject.

According to Loy, popular plants this year include any food plant, the cross-bred dwarf hellebore from Holland, and the purple-leafed dwarf hydrangea. Sunnycrest has eight different grapes, for wine or table and can special order anything available.

Loy said there are no firm rules in gardening, as Mother Nature has given us frost as late as June 12 in Key Center. 

According to Loy, more sensitive plants either need to be started indoors, preferably with artificial lighting, or else wait until after the last frost. If you wait too long, then you risk not having a food crop or flowers that year, he said. Light and shade are also very important, with requirements varying for each type of plant.

For information, visit  

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Steele County Horticulture Club announces meeting

Posted: Saturday, March 2, 2013 12:15 am

Steele County Horticulture Club announces meeting


OWATONNA — The Steele County Horticulture Club will meet at 7 p.m. March 5 at the Masonic Lodge, 311 South Oak Ave. The Topic will be a DVD by Steve Brookes entitled “Great Gardening Tips” from his TV gardening show. Guests are welcome.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013 12:15 am.

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Clive Edward and his gardening tips for March

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Inspired Gardens: Joanne Dafoe Creates One-Of-A-Kind Landscape Designs

Hi, I’m Terri Higgins, Group Manager of the Calgary Home + Garden Show. When the sun is shining you can find me in my yard, either barbequing with friends, tending to my azaleas or just enjoying a good book. For many of us, our backyards are summer sanctuaries; offering an escape from otherwise hectic lives.

Yet for all the time spent enjoying this space, when it comes to design and décor, the backyard is often an afterthought.

Landscaping and gardening require a different set of skills than interior design, which can make the process intimidating.

Enter Joanne Dafoe who specializes in ‘client-inspired’ garden design. Her expertise and eye for beauty takes the unknown out of landscape design, with the result being stunning yards tailored to those enjoying them.

A backyard can, and should, be as inviting as your living room. Joanne is at the 2013 Calgary Home + Garden Show giving her tips and tricks for picking, planting and harvesting your backyard oasis.

In the meantime, let’s get to know Joanne:

Joanne Dafoe; Landscape Consultant and Designer

1. How did you get started in landscape design?

I was an accountant for many years, and took a few part time courses in horticulture and landscape design on the side. My passion grew with every class, and then one day I decided it was time to take the plunge into the industry. I’ve never looked back!

2. What inspires you when creating landscape designs?

When I see a client’s eyes light up as I am expressing my ideas it really charges me up. It frequently occurs that one particular element or view in the yard will inspire me. From there, the design will flow and evolve from that one component that struck me first.

Garden Design by Joanne Dafoe

3. What’s the best advice (creative or business-related) that you’ve ever been given?

Mike Lin – Leader in architectural rendering methodology, once said to of his classes: “Don’t hesitate, go with your gut.”

4. What are your design pet peeves?

When every landscape created by a specific designer looks the same, a designer needs to look at each project with a brand new set of eyes. Every client should know their design is a one-of-a-kind creation.

5. How would you describe your signature landscape style?

I like to call it ‘client-inspired!’ I believe that if a designer has a ‘signature style’, they have stopped growing.

Garden Design by Joanne Dafoe

6. Can you describe one of your favourite landscaping projects you worked on?

My favourite project came a few years ago and included an unlimited budget (almost!) and creative collaboration. I was allowed to DREAM BIG! The end result included a one of a kind pergola design, flowing pathways, a two story play house for the kids, a gazebo, grand entrance and dozens of planting themes.

It was truly a dream project that challenged every facet of my knowledge. Once in a lifetime!

7. What is a key tip you would give to those of us who are more ‘brown-thumbed’?

Do your research and ask lots of questions, stick with plants and products that are tried and true for your area, and don’t stress, it’s just landscaping!

8. Social media handles:



Joanne will be presenting on the CREB®Now Garden Stage at the Calgary Home + Garden Show, taking place from February 28 – March 3, 2013. For detailed stage schedules please visit

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