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Archives for March 15, 2013

Legal setback puts Lincoln West Common skate park plans on hold

Plans to build a new Lincoln skate park on land on the West Common have been halted, though a new site may have been found.

As previously reported, the City of Lincoln Council planned to build a skate park on land near the Grandstand on Carholme Road, after positive feedback from a public consultation.

Designs were finalised, but after further investigation by the council’s legal team, it was discovered the Lincoln City Council Act 1985 would make it difficult to build, and costly to work around.

This means at present, the plans for the £200,000 skate park cannot go ahead.

Antony Angus, Team Leader for Recreation Services at the City of Lincoln Council, said in a post on the skate park’s Facebook group: “We have tried to find a way around this, but short of changing the act, which would be expensive, time-consuming and potentially fruitless, we cannot move forward on this site.

“This is a real shame and everyone concerned at the council is very disappointed. Not least myself.”

The original design for the skate park by the West Common. The new site will be more flexible.
The original design for the skate park by the West Common. The new site will be more flexible.

New home?

The City of Lincoln Council are not scrapping the idea of a skate park completely though, and have already located a potential spot on the other side of the West Common.

The council are looking at Hobbler’s Hole, off Long Leys Road next to Whitton Park, which was left to the authority by George Whitton as a place for young people to use.

Antony Angus added: “One good thing is the proposed site is less constrained than the West Common, so the design may be tailored to give the users exactly what they want.

“As well as a great skate facility, we want it to be part of a carefully landscaped project with noise mitigation, benches and planting.”

The council are now consulting the public, County Council footpath officers and local residents again, and working with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, who manage the neighbouring Newts Hollow site, regarding landscaping.

The new park will be over 100 metres away from housing to avoid any impact on the nearby houses.

Keen skating enthusiasts will also have a say on the new design of the skate park by discussing ideas on the skate park’s Facebook group.

Due to the new site, the new designs can be bigger, with more obstacles for skaters to tackle.

The final ideas will then go through planning, where anyone with concerns can have their say.

Article source: http://thelincolnite.co.uk/2013/03/west-common-skate-park-plans-dropped/

Tech-savvy ‘digger dealer’ finds a hire calling

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Article source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/tech-savvy-digger-dealer-finds-a-hire-calling/story-e6frg9df-1226597656183

SPRING into the Mountain Living Home & Garden Show!

Click photo to enlarge

It’s all happening this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, at the beautiful newly remodeled Ruidoso Convention Center in Ruidoso. This annual one-stop shopping Expo will offer free seed catalogs, gardening and landscaping information, along with plenty of exciting new products and services for the home, shop, and the small cabin in the woods. Excellent displays of John Deere tractors and equipment along with new vehicles from Sierra Blanca Motors will be showcased in the 35,000-square-foot Ruidoso Convention Center. Shoppers also can enjoy information on beauty and health care products from a variety of companies offering their special products, show-only discounts, and unique services during the weekend.

It’s always fun to redecorate or remodel as well as purchase a new piece of real estate property. Loan officers and representatives from First National Bank will be on hand to discuss the essentials of financing your dream project, purchasing a new home, or simply restructuring your current home. Local merchants and vendors from four states will offer ideas, provide free up-to-date literature and brochures, as well as schedule appointments for measuring new flooring, remodeling your old bath or kitchen, building an entire new home or barn, or even adding an elegant roomy sunroom from Four Seasons Sunrooms.

For one weekend you can take advantage of talking with experts who traveled to our area to enjoy the beautiful mountain snow and scenery as well as

showcase their newest products and special skills or services. Families will find plenty of information, contests, prizes, and delicious food. This year’s food concession will be available from The Quarters with Chef Shawn providing great beverages, hearty home-style American and Southwestern food along with favorite snacks and desserts.

Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company and their supporting vendors will amaze visitors with the latest tools, superior prices on doors, windows, decking, and cultured stone. Stop by to visit with Cesar and his team to discuss your projects, to check out all elements of building a home, and register to win great prizes and giveaways. As always they offer free estimates, free design, and stand behind products they sell.

Miller Waldrop Furniture will be showcasing its huge array of luxurious indoor and outdoor furniture, wonderful gift accessories, screens, lighting, floral and trees. Their well-trained sales and design consultants will assist you with all your personal buying decisions to achieve the special look you desire to achieve. The Miller Waldrop Furniture Store is located in Ruidoso Downs and offers the largest selection of excellent quality furniture and accessories available in Lincoln County.

When checking out the wide array of vendors stop by for professional help from the experts at Golden Yarn Flooring. Shirley and her team will showcase the newest products from this year’s market. See the latest window treatments, flooring, countertops, tile and stone design. Remember they also offer free estimates, free design assistance, and advice on the best selection of products suited to our unique mountain climate. Congratulations to Golden Yarn Flooring for being Voted Best Flooring and Window Coverings Store, Best Customer Service, Best Home Decor, Best Design, and Best Employer in Lincoln County by the readers of the Ruidoso News.

Individual mini-seminars or presentations will be on-going at individual booths with one-on-one time available to talk with reps from major suppliers of the products and services needed for building or remodeling. Hours of the MOUNTAIN LIVING HOME and GARDEN SHOW are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 17. Adult admission $5 and children younger than 12 get in free. For additional info: (575) 808-065.

Vendors Attending Show are:

DIVINE EQUINE

CHRISTIAN SERVICES OF LINCOLN CO.

DOOR TECHS, LLC

KONA COWBOY COFFEE

THE QUARTERS WITH CHEF SHAWN

WALMART

VILLAGE ACE HARDWARE

SPENCER THEATER

I SCENT YOU

HOMES DIRECT OF RUIDOSO

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS

SIERRA CONTRACTING, INC.

BULLSEYE WATERING MAT

BACKYARD HEARTHS

US FOREST SERVICE

HONORING OUR TROOPS

HOME ELEVATOR

GREAT WATER COMPANY

HONDO IRIS FARM

URBAN FETISHES

TIMBER TECH

LINCOLN COUNTY SHERIFF’S POSSE

SIERRA BLANCA MOTORS

THE LODGE AT SIERRA BLANCA

CHAMBER GREETERS

SHELF RELIANCE

MATERIAL THINGS

RDF ENTERPRISES

SW FOAM SOLUTIONS

T-ZYNES

VILLAGE OF RUIDOSO FORESTRY SERVICE

VILLAGE OF RUIDOSO FIRE DEPARTMENT

LUXURY BATH TUBS SHOWER CONVERSIONS

FOUR SEASONS SUNROOMS

HOMES LAND

SCENTSY

KRUI RADIO

MTD RADIO

RENEWAL BY ANDERSON

CAPITAL LUMBER

BOISE CASCADE BUILDING MATERIALS

HUTTIG BUILDING PRODUCTS

RUGBY ARCHITECTURAL BUILDING PRODUCTS

MI HOME PRODUCTS

SIERRA PACIFIC WINDOWS

ADOBE FARMS LLC

ELEMENTALLY GREEN

FIRST NATIONAL BANK

FOXWORTH-GALBRAITH LUMBER CO.

FUJI BIO-MAT

GOLDEN YARN FLOORING

RUIDOSO NEWS

IT WORKS! GLOBAL

JUICE PLUS/TOWER GARDEN

BRADFUTE ENTERPRISES LLC

MARY KAY

MILLER-WALDROP FURNITURE

NM WILDFIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS

THE PAMPERED CHEF

PECOS VALLEY EQUIPMENT CO.

RELIANT CAPITOL, LLC

CUTCO CUTLERY

SCENTSY

THE STOVE AND SPA STORE

CULLIGAN WATER

CANNON INDUSTRIES/RUIDOSO SEPTIC

LIVE 2 SPARK – ADVOCARE

JONTEL SEPTIC

ALASKA SALMON

Smokey Bear Firewise Art Contest

Article source: http://www.ruidosonews.com/ruidoso-entertainment/ci_22792965/spring-into-mountain-living-home-garden-show

All Things Green event puts local agriculture in spotlight (Photo Gallery)

Bryson Powell, 2, of Lowell, left, pets a 10-day-old Nigerian Dwarf Goat, held by Gerald Hull of Stanton Tuesday evening at the “All Things Green” Expo at the Montcalm Area Career Center in Sidney. — Daily News/Cory Smith

SIDNEY — With freezing temperatures and a light snow falling from the sky Tuesday evening, there was little indication that spring is on the horizon in Montcalm County.

But for those who stepped into the Montcalm Area Career Center (MACC) in Sidney for the fifth annual All Things Green event, plants, gardens and landscaping products were found in abundance as more than 20 vendors gathered to promote local agriculture.

Merry Kim Meyers of the MACC FFA chapter, who organizes the event, said she the turnout for this year’s event was “by far” the best she’s seen in its short history.

“Agriculture is coming to the forefront in our county,” she said. “We’re beginning to realize more and more what we need to do to produce quality food, products that are local and take a little pride in Montcalm County.”

PHOTO GALLERY


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With the various vendors having set up shop at the MACC building from 5:30 to 8 p.m., ranging from local organizations that featured garden and landscaping, garden art, animal health, herb sales, recycling and other agriculture related items, Meyers estimated about 125 people came and browsed through the various booths.

Visitors were able to seek expert advice from green professionals, browse educational displays, tour the MACC greenhouse and purchase plants, products and services from area businesses.

Walking away from the event, Meyers hoped visitors would remember what they witnessed at the MACC.

“I hope they feel a pulse of green that tells them we are not doing this alone,” she said. “Everybody in our county has a part in this that is going to make us continue to be on the forefront of agriculture and science. Montcalm County is a local place people can turn to for their products and needs.”

One of Meyer’s students, Lakeview senior Valarie Hopkins, 18, designed and built an aquaponic food production system that was on display in the MACC greenhouse.

Aquaponics combines a traditional aquaculture of raising fish in a tank with hydroponics, cultivating plants in water, in an environment together.

“This is an aquaponic system where plants and fish help each other, it’s a mutual relationship,” Hopkins said. “People who have walked by think it’s really elaborate, they’ve been amazed watching it work.”

The fish waste is used as fertilizer for the plants. Water from the tank is poured onto the bottom level of the aquaponic system, watering a variety of plants. A sump pump then draws water from the bottom level, pours it onto even more plants above on the top level, and eventually makes its way back into the fish tank, completing the cycle.

Horizon Hydroponics Educational Director Harley Smith gave a presentation to 40 people on hydroponics, what it is and how to implement it in Michigan in one’s home.

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.

“Europe is way ahead of us in hyrdroponics,” Smith said. “Nearly 100 percent of all of the vegetables grown in northern Europe are grown in hydroponics today. We’re behind the rest of the world.”

According to Smith, 70 percent of what is grown in Canada using hydroponics is imported here into the United States.

“We are importing food from across the river, exporting money and exporting jobs,” he said. “If they can do it there, why can’t we do it in Detroit? Why can’t we do it here and feed our own children with nutritious food?”

Meyers said she asked Smith to come because she wanted an educational component related to agriculture.

“I want my students and the public to see that this is fun, but it’s fun with a purpose,” she said. “You could potentially grow parsley or basil for a local restaurant from your dorm room.”

Article source: http://thedailynews.cc/2013/03/14/all-things-green-event-puts-local-agriculture-in-spotlight-photo-gallery/

Home gardeners looking to get more for their dollar

People want more from their gardens. They want more color. They want more useful plantings. And, they want more value for their gardening investments.


“People are conscious of their dollar, and they’re wanting to get the most for their money,” said Teena Allen of P.C.’s Nursery and Landscaping on Napier Field Road near Dothan. “We’re seeing an increase in blooming shrubs for that reason.”

Annuals, which bloom only one year but typically provide more color, still have a place in the home garden, Allen said. But it’s a smaller space these days compared to blooming shrubs and perennial flowering plants that bloom year after year.

Some of the reason is the work and cost involved with replacing large sections of annuals each year. Perennials, which typically bloom and then rest, are becoming more and more popular as a result, Allen said.

“People are beefing up beds with perennials,” she said.

Required maintenance factors into many of the decisions home gardeners make when they’re choosing what to plant. And more are opting to do more potting than ground planting.

 “Every year, we do more and more containers,” Allen said. “It’s easy. It lends itself to so many applications. You can use it at entrances, throughout the garden. And older people, it makes for easier gardening.”

But getting more for your gardening dollar drives most home gardeners.

That’s why, Allen said, many people are turning to new varieties of blooming shrubs, like the Endless Summer hydrangea that blooms all summer long or azaleas that bloom five to six times a year. It’s the same reason knock-out roses are so popular – they bloom nine months out of the year, Allen said.

“You’re getting a lot for your money, and people think that’s value,” she said.

Along with watching their dollars, homeowners also are looking for options beyond traditional chemicals to care for their lawns.

Bobby Cameron of Safe Lawn Organics in New Brockton said people are searching for organic options to keep their lawns free of weeds. The company uses an organic fertilizer called Safe Tea that’s safe for people and animals to walk on immediately after treatment and does a free soil analysis to determine what nutrients are lacking.

“The soil is the key to it,” Cameron said. “You have the soil amended properly, and you’ll have the prettiest lawn you’ve ever had.”

It’s an approach, Cameron said, that is comparable to the cost of having a lawn professionally treated with chemicals, although the price does vary with the size of a lawn. Safe Lawn Organics also makes an organic compost using waste from cotton gins.

Safe Lawn customer Linda Westphal, a master gardener herself, hired the company to treat her front lawn that was full of weeds. She noticed a difference after the second treatment.

“I should be able to indentify the weeds, but I couldn’t,” she said. “It was just all kinds.”

To get even more out of their gardening landscape, people are introducing edibles into container gardens or in flower beds. Edibles like Swiss chard have brightly-colored stems of red, orange and yellow, adding more color while providing a tasty green leaf for the kitchen. Herbs and lettuces also make nice additions to containers, Allen said.

Citrus plantings are a lot of value for the cost. You get an evergreen tree and food.

Satsumas are by far the biggest citrus seller for P.C.’s Nursery, said owner P.C. Brown. The nursery also sells lemons, limes, grapefruit, navel oranges and kumquats.

Harvested in late fall and early winter, most citrus plants can tolerate cold temperatures with just a little protection work needed should temperatures get into the mid to low 20s, Brown said. Lemons and limes, however, don’t tolerate temperatures even in the 30s and are best planted in containers so they can be brought indoors, he said.

Planting citrus on a southern exposure against a building will protect it even more from the cold north-northwest wind.

“We have seen over the past five years a tremendous increase in citrus sales just in regard to the residential homeowner planting two or three trees and also in addition to people putting in smaller orchards,” Brown said.

Article source: http://www.dothaneagle.com/lifestyles/article_c2617b5c-8cbb-11e2-9b5a-0019bb30f31a.html

De La Paz among highlights of Realtors Home and Garden Show



Interior designer and TV do-it-yourself expert Carmen De La Paz is among the highlights of this year’s Realtors Home Garden Show at State Fair Park, which starts Friday.

The show offers a variety of exhibits and programs to get consumers thinking about spring.

 • Two new large-scale specialty gardens. Metal sculptor Bruce Niemi will create a sculpture of 16 pieces.

 • A Sustainable Solutions Area, by Breckenridge Landscape, that showcases environmentally friendly landscapes and energy-saving concepts.

 • Melinda Myers talking about reviving gardens and lawns in the aftermath of last year’s drought.

 • 10,000 square feet of garden, nursery, landscaping, sculpture and fountain displays.

De La Paz, will be at the show on March 23 and 24, giving three presentations each day.

The show, held in the Wisconsin Exposition Center, runs until March 24. It is closed on March 18 and 19.

Hours vary. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is open from 4 to 8 p.m. March 20 and 21, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 22 and 23. Hours on March 24 are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m..

Regular admission is $8 for adults. Admission is free for active military personnel who show an ID, and children younger than 12.






© 2013, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.jsonline.com/business/de-la-paz-among-highlights-of-realtors-home-and-garden-show-pq95i7d-198037401.html

Gardening Tips and Tricks from the Flower Bulb Pros at Longfield Gardens

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Longfield Gardens new blog shares ideas on planning, selecting, planting and caring for bulbs

We’re taking the guesswork out of gardening and giving people tips on designing beautiful outdoor and indoor spaces. Our blog shares our top experts’ advice about bulbs to give our friends confidence and be successful gardeners.

Lakewood, NJ (PRWEB) March 14, 2013

A new how-to blog aimed at educating gardeners about planting and growing bulbs has been launched by Longfield Gardens, one of America’s top purveyors of quality flower bulbs.

Longfield Gardens is no stranger when it comes to bulbs. The new blog reflects more than 80 years of experience in growing and selling Dutch bulbs and is designed to help gardeners simplify the planning process and select the best bulbs for each unique space.

“We’re taking the guesswork out of gardening and giving people tips on designing beautiful outdoor and indoor spaces,” says Hans Langeveld, co-owner of Longfield Gardens. “Our blog shares our top experts’ advice about bulbs to give our friends confidence and be successful gardeners.”

Langeveld is the third generation of Dutch-American bulb plantsmen and has a vast knowledge about bulbs. Langeveld, along with co-owners, cousin Pete Langeveld and longtime colleague Dave Strabo, strive to provide the best bulbs at the best price to their customers. With the addition of a new blog, Longfield Gardens not only educates customers with the best bulb information but it reflects the simplicity and pleasure of bulb gardening.

While Langeveld contributes the majority of blog posts, he does not do it alone. Longfield Gardens’ team of bulb experts, growers and designers also share ideas on planning, selecting, planting and caring for bulbs.

The blog includes breathtaking inspiration photography of Longfield Gardens’ creations, gardens and combinations that readers can take and implement in their own yard.

Various experts will offer tips on the blog, like those from creative director Marlene Thompson, who has 15 years of experience in the horticulture industry and product developer Jen Pfau, who shares ideas on how different bulbs look and act together in the garden. Pfau selects the ‘Perfect Together’ collections to create beautiful colored blooms and interesting foliage in the garden. Another contributor is Dave Strabo, longtime industry expert, who identifies which bulbs produce better flowering results, fuller plants and stronger stems.

“Buy with confidence. Love what you grow. That’s our approach. We’re gardeners ourselves and we want fellow gardeners to be comfortable shopping with us, knowing exactly the quality of product they will get,” says Langeveld.

Longfield Gardens is one of America’s top importers of quality flower bulbs with over 80 years of combined experience in the bulb industry. Longfield’s mission is to stretch the customer’s dollar and offer common sense planting information that is easy to follow. This simple approach to selling bulbs saves their customers time and money. The retail site offers spring-planted and all-planted product lines and has a commitment to education. For more information, visit the website at http://www.longfield-gardens.com or visit the blog at blog.longfield-gardens.com/

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Article source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/3/prweb10517516.htm

Melt away winter at the Boston Flower & Garden Show

After all that snow and nasty weather, the Boston Flower Garden Show will provide blooming, blossoming proof spring is just around the corner.

Living up the its theme, “Seeds of Change,” this year’s show at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston features more than 20 spectacular gardens, a new emphasis on ecologically sound gardening and expert advice on growing produce and herbs for year-round enjoyment and nutrition.

Running through Sunday, March 17, it will bring 200 vendors offering plants, tools, seeds, landscaping services, gifts and more. For the environmentally-minded, “The Birds and the Bees” offers demonstrations by experts who’ll show how to raise chickens and keep bees.

The show is produced by the Paragon Group of Needham, which organizes other high-profile events such as the National Golf Expo Boston, and sponsored by Subaru of New England.

Show director Carolyn H. Weston predicted the five-day event will provide new ideas, expertise and products for suburban gardeners with good-sized plots, urban gardeners with limited space and professionals looking to stay ahead of the newest trend.

“There will be demonstrations and lectures for virtually every need and taste and level of gardening experience. Visitors will learn how to make vertical gardens on their walls that will look like a piece of art. And they can learn how to re-use water in their garden to preserve vital natural resource. Or they can take a class in ‘Pruning 101’ so they can save money instead of hiring a landscaper,” she said.

Entering the show, visitors will see more than 20 landscaped gardens created by some of New England’s best known horticulturalists, landscape designers and garden centers. They’ll be able to choose from among 55 lectures and demonstrations over the five-day event.

Continuing a popular tradition, the 2013 show will feature exciting floral competitions organized by the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society which will feature submissions by the region’s top amateur floral arrangers and horticulturalists.

Need expert advice for a problem? Weston said master gardeners will be available to offer help “will vexing garden issues from soil typing to insect treatments.”

Want to get your children’s nose out of their cell phone? Specialists in the Little Sprouts Kids Corner will offer activities on the importance of organic gardening.

Several of the garden exhibitors whose work will be the show’s centerpiece hail from MetroWest, including Ahronian Landscaping Design of Holliston, La Vita Bella Garden Design of Wellesley, Bonsai Study Group of Natick and the class of 2012 of the Garden Design School USA from Wellesley.

On Sunday at noon, Trish Umbrell of Natick Community Gardens will give a demonstration on “Growing your own vegetables when you don’t have a garden plot.”

Every day they’ll be an exciting selection of talks and demonstrations on subjects as diverse as what to do about “pesky weeds” to cooking from the garden, from “the love of lavender to Japanese flower arranging.

Just some of the highlights include:

  • Friday, March 15 at 1:30 p.m.: Author Andrew Keys will discuss “Why grow that when you can grow this?”
  • Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m.: Jim Donahue will demonstrate how to build a vertical succulent garden.
  • Sunday, March 17 at 3 p.m.: Melanie Neuman will demonstrate all about container gardening.


 
The Boston Flower Garden Show

WHEN: Through Sunday
WHERE: Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston
ADMISSION: $20 adults, $17 seniors (65+), $10 children 6-17; under 6 free
INFO: www.bostonflowershow.com

 

Article source: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x930814758/Melt-away-winter-at-the-Boston-Flower-Garden-Show

Elements of good garden design include order, unity and rhythm

Just as you evaluate your landscape site, it’s important to evaluate your gardening goals and preferences.

How much time do you want to spend on maintenance? Tracy DiSabato-Aust, author of “The Well Designed Mixed Garden,” encourages homeowners to make that one of the first considerations in garden design. This can help determine the size and style of the border as well as how many “high maintenance” plants to include.

“Select at least 70 percent low maintenance plants,” said DiSabato-Aust, who spoke at the North Central Wisconsin Master Gardeners’ Garden Vision seminar in January. “It’s OK to have a couple prima donnas,” she said, such as delphinium. But unless you have unlimited time or money to contract for maintenance, lower maintenance plants keep your borders from feeling like chores.

Low maintenance plants should have at least four of these traits, she said: long-lived; insect and disease resistant or tolerant; noninvasive; minimal pruning requirements; minimal division and staking requirements; and minimal fertilizer requirements. If you want even lower maintenance, choose 75 percent or more plants with these traits.

The style of your border should reflect your style and the mood you want to create. Do you prefer a formal or informal style? Strong rectangular lines are formal; undulating curves have an informal flow.

Often landscaping is formal close to the house and progressively less formal away from the home or in the back yard. Large masses of fewer plants work well in large spaces or borders some distance from a house. They may be out of scale or boring in small spaces.

“Every site has energy associated with it,” DiSabato-Aust said. Rather than rushing to complete a garden, live in the space for a time. Observe the lighting and shadows, the style of your home, inside or out.

When determining a border’s size and shape, outline it with a garden hose or outdoor extension cord. Walk through the area, consider paths, seating areas, how it fits with the surroundings. Examine the proposed location from various angles and times of day.

Several design principles can help and are listed below. A helpful guide is to keep asking: Does it fit?

Keep scale and proportion in mind to create balance. Scale is the relative size of an element or area. Scale can be set by many things, including your house, an arbor, other structure or existing trees.

Proportion is the relationship of the elements’ sizes to each other, such as the length of a border compared to its width. A rule of proportion common in nature and taught in art schools is this ratio: 1 to 1.618. It is known as the golden mean. Using it, a bed that is 13 feet long should be about eight feet wide. This width is the minimum DiSabato-Aust recommends for a mixed border.

The golden mean can also help with placement of structural elements, such as a tree or art. Place it one-third of the way in from one end.

If building a freestanding island or raised bed, make it three times as long as it is wide, she advises. For good proportion, keep the tallest plant in this bed one-half the width of the bed. If your island bed is 10 feet wide, for example, it would be 30 feet long, and the tallest plant would be about five feet. DiSabato-Aust recommends island beds no wider than six feet so you can reach in to maintain plants without compacting the soil.

Garden design embraces three basic principles: order, unity and rhythm.

Order is the visual structure of a design. It can be achieved by symmetry, asymmetry and mass planting. Balance is the feeling that different elements of the design fit together well. Symmetry establishes balance – think of two identical trees or shrubs on either side of a front door. Balance can also be created by repeating similar colors and plant materials.

Asymmetrical balance is created by proper placement and proportion. Because a bold texture carries more weight than fine-textured plants, more fine texture is needed for balance. One large tree can be balanced by a large garden space. With colors, balance one-third intense color such as red with two-thirds lower-tone color, such as blue.

Unity is the design element that brings everything together. When unity is achieved, all elements of a composition are working in harmony.

Unity is created with a certain theme, such as color, type and size of garden bed, or materials. Using only a few colors is an easy way to provide strong unity. Consistency in lines throughout the garden and simplicity in detail add to unity.

To enhance unity, consider one dominant element as a focal point.

Repetition can unite a garden border. This may include repeating a botanical group, such as ornamental grasses or dwarf conifers or a favorite perennial through the landscape. Too often, we behave more like plant collectors than designers, creating a botanical museum. Limiting the number of different types of plants used unifies the design.

“You can still be a plant collector and designer. Plant in drifts,” DiSabato-Aust said. Grouping plants in masses or drifts creates greater impact and order. Planting in groups of three (or five or seven) or another odd number is recommended for unity.

When elements of a design are physically linked together, the eye moves from one element to another. Plants and paving materials linking planting areas together establish this interconnection.

Rhythm is time and movement in the garden. Spacing and timing of elements create patterns for movement. It can be established by repeating plants or forms. Repeating a vertical form, such as fence posts, at close intervals speeds movement. Widely spaced repeating shapes have slower rhythm. You can also alternate different repeating elements by size, shape or color.

A gradual change in one or more elements also establishes rhythm. An example is transitioning from cool to warm colors, fine to coarse texture, from low to tall forms.

Next: Color, texture and form.

Article source: http://www.pcgazette.com/2013/03/14/elements-of-good-garden-design-include-order-unity-and-rhythm/

Garden Design author James Farmer to speak at 2013 Southeastern Flower Show

It might be a time to plant that vegetable garden in Georgia, but on Wednesday the garden and design book author, James Farmer, told the Atlanta Top News Examiner that it is soon going to be a time to cook, too. And his scheduled appearance at the 2013 Southeastern Flower Show this weekend is as good a time as any to start finding out why.

In Wednesday’s interview, Farmer said that his newest book, “A Time to Cook: Dishes from My Southern Sideboard,” would be popping up all over book stores soon like flowers in the garden. (My words, not his).

He’s very excited about its second creative book effort, and hopefully will have some on hand this weekend for his eager fans, since it is supposed to hit books stores in March thanks to his Gibbs-Smith Publishers.

It is also that season right now in which gardeners around the country–especially the South, like Georgia, where Farmer hails from–start playing with the dirt and getting their seeds ready to put in the soil. And that’s where James Farmer’s “A Time to Plant,” book comes into the picture.

Time to Plant: Southern-Style Garden Living,” is his earlier book, the one that will be the focus of his guest lecture on Sunday, March 17 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. And Farmer shared how he came up with the title.

It was ecclesiastical. That was the first inspiration,” he said, referring to Ecclesiastes 3:2 in the Bible, which refers to the fact that there is a time for every season.

“The verses there [in that book] point to the fact that timing is everything, including in the garden,” he said.

In light of his answer, we asked if the landscape design and gardening expert had a spiritual side, and he acknowledged that he most certainly did.

He also admitted he has a soft spot in his heart for the Georgia Rural Medical Scholarship Program (GRMSP), which was the benefactor of the proceeds raised by the Lock, Stock and Barrel fundraiser held at the Shepherd Farm in early March of this year. He was in attendance, of course.

Farmer, along with Gena Knox, a landscape architect and author, provided participants of the event with beautiful tablescapes and prepared the food served, using their creative skills to help raise funds that will be used to house and assist medical college student scholars.

It is an organization that I really enjoy, and really respect,” he said, sharing that his father had been one of the scholars at one time.

The Georgia native also respects and enjoys being a part of the American Camellia Society, where he currently serves as the groups national spokesperson. His participation with this floral-loving group serves to remind him of a tie he has with his great grandmother, due to her love of the Camellia flower, which he adopted, it appears.

With the headquarters being close to home, when I think of Camellia’s I think of places like my great grandmother’s garden and the beautiful Camellia’s there. There just a part of, not only my home’s legacy in Middle Georgia, but my legacy as well. I think of how they bloom, and how my grandmother decorated with them. They’re just very sentimental,” he said.

The sentimental cooking and garden design enthusiast not only revealed his spiritual, romantic and compassionate sides during the course of the interview on Wednesday; he also revealed something else about himself: How he wishes for his friends and acquaintances to think about him.

James Farmer III wants everyone to realize what an “authentic” man he is, and that authenticity is “who I am, to the core.” He also wants people to realize that he “truly lives and works and relishes the southern lifestyle.” And it is likely few with disagree with that self appraisal given his success in the southern garden and design field, just watch this Today Show clip if you have any doubts.

When asked to reveal any future dreams he might have which has not been realized yet, the landscaping expert emphasized a desire to influence his generation to garden and then to use the harvest as food and for home decor purposes.

Talk turned back to the Southeastern Flower Show coming up this weekend and he offered up these planting tips for Georgians right now:

Late spring and early summer crops such as greens, like salad greens, as well as early spring herbs, like parsley and chervil and mint could be planted now. And then I’d wait to Easter to plant thinks like basil and tomatoes,” he said. (Chervil is an herb often used in French cuisine. It has a mild flavor with a hint of liquorice).

A treat for those who attend the Southeastern Horticultural Society lecture by Farmer on Sunday will be the opportunity to see a slideshow presentation of some gardens he has designed in the state.

He plans to talk to lecture guests about how understanding the time to plant your crops can help take the quandary out of the equation when it comes to determining the right time to prune and harvest their gardens to.

And he admitted that he can remember attending the flower show when he was younger (he’s only 30 now), and thinking that “one day maybe I’ll be here. And, now, guess what, I get to.”

Tickets will be available for purchase at the flower show event for Farmer’s lecture at noon on Sunday, but it is on a first-come, first-served basis, with limited seating. So be sure to purchase it when you pay for admission. Tickets are $28 for one-day flower show admittance, with the cost of attending Farmer’s lecture included.

Article source: http://www.examiner.com/article/garden-design-author-james-farmer-to-speak-at-2013-southeastern-flower-show