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Archives for March 25, 2013

Sinclair looks to a greener downtown future

A significant portion of downtown Dayton could get a major face-lift if Sinclair Community College moves forward with its new master plan, which envisions eventually closing Fourth Street to create more green space, establishes a dramatic new “front door” to the grounds and addresses students’ biggest concern: parking.

Sinclair spent months and $550,000 for consultants to develop the long-term plan, which touches all areas of the 65-acre campus — from a Life and Health Sciences Building to be constructed at Fourth and Perry streets to new recreation fields that can be used by the community on the western side of campus across the Great Miami River. It suggests also Sinclair partner in establishing mixed-use districts. The districts would be adjacent to the campus in the Wright-Dunbar Village and include shops and housing to reinvigorate West Fourth Street at the new campus entrance.

“A key point is that the Dayton master plan is in draft form; no projects are finalized until they are voted upon by our board of trustees,” said spokesman Adam Murka. “Our expectation is that these projects will unfold over the next 10 to 20 years.”

The plan has been accepted by the school’s board of trustees. The 125-year-old college, which has no debt, must now decide whether to move forward on the projects, how to fund them and in what time frame.

“The plan itself is important as it becomes our road map that helps us prioritize and focus our resources and investments,” said Sinclair trustee Robert Connelly.

“What we need to do now is take those next steps in bringing this to life,” he explained at a recent board meeting.

A connected downtown

The investment will not only benefit Sinclair, it would invigorate downtown. The plan, for which nearly 100 community members offered input, looks for ways to connect the nearly 20,000 students and employees who use the campus facilities during any given week to the rest of downtown.

”They’re looking at ways to better connect the campus to downtown and downtown to the campus. That’s really critically important,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “When you get more street traffic and more people moving around, it adds just to the overall vibrancy (of downtown).”

Some ideas are likely to move forward before others, and Sinclair has identified key projects for its 40-year-old campus. Trustees Chairman Barney Wright said a top priority will be constructing a world-class Life and Health Sciences Building to bring together programs that are now scattered throughout campus. The state has already directed $4 million for the project.

Other key projects are: developing the Third, Fourth and Fifth streets mixed-use partnership districts; renovating buildings one through seven; enhancing the quality and quantity of parking by 850 spaces with surface lots or garages; designing a new library entrance; expanding the conference center; adding parking and recreation fields to west campus; creating a pathway for students through campus; and completing landscaping projects.

The idea to eliminate Fourth Street between East Perry Street and South Robert Drive is more long-term — but it already has some city leaders excited. Both Perry and Fifth streets could be made two-way because traffic volumes do not require those to be one-ways, according to Sasaki Associates, Inc., the lead the Massachusetts-based consultant firm on the master plan.

“That’s a great thing we need to talk about,” said Dayton City Commissioner Nan Whaley.

“There could be some great bikeable and walkable options,” she said. “We need to put it out to the community.”

The main entrance to campus — which does not exist right now — would be established at Fourth and Perry streets. “You’ve got a lot of exciting stuff that happens on this campus, but it’s all kind of hidden away right now,” said consultant Bryan Irwin.

The plan outlines also access “gateways” to campus for people using the theater, attending athletic events, visiting the conference center or attending classes. Additionally, it calls for buildings 15 and 16 to be demolished.

“The plan demonstrates in a very tangible way Sinclair’s ongoing commitment to downtown Day and the metropolitan core. I’m proud of that,” said trustees chairman Wright. “Sinclair has undertaken a very thoughtful and deliberate process to make sure the physical facilities are efficiently and thoughtfully laid out. We want want to make sure that the facilities provide for effective learning for the community the next 100 years in the way it has for the past 100.”

Student government vice president Amy Cotterman said she is excited about more parking, more meeting space for students and the potential for Sinclair to use more green technology.

“I’m very optimistic about what I see,” she said. “I think it’s time for Sinclair to do a little face-lift and I like the direction they’re taking.”

Article source: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/sinclair-looks-to-a-greener-downtown-future/nW2N3/

Hundreds of vendors at Seacoast Home and Garden Show

DURHAM — From bird feeders and garden gnomes, to bathtubs and gutter cleaners, the Seacoast Home and Garden Show this weekend is offering homeowners some fresh ideas for home and garden projects.

The show, coinciding with the beginning of spring, drew more than 200 booths to University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center Arena on Saturday.

Stephanie Mudgett, 57, drove all the way from Berlin to attend the Home and Garden Show. She said she is working on renovating her century-old house and is looking for some ideas.

Nicole Rembisz, 31, said she came to the Home and Garden Show to look for new patio furniture and landscaping ideas, as she recently purchased a home in Lee.

Saturday morning, Rembisz was one of multiple visitors sitting comfortably in a handcrafted wood patio chair, with a foot rest, made by Big Bear Chair out of York, Maine. The company’s owner, James Taylor, said all patio and garden furniture by Big Bear Chair is Adirondack style, and is made of Western Red Cedar with waterproof glue.

“We are having a really good show, and it just opened,” said Taylor around 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Also on display Saturday were self-cleaning gutters made by Nature’s Way Gutter Systems, located in Deerfield. Owner Dan Bishop said while homeowners typically have to clean their gutters once a year, the self-cleaning gutters implement covers and a system that washes out debris with regular drainage.

“You’ll never have to clean a gutter again,” said Bishop, who was offering visitors free estimates on the self-cleaning gutter installation at Saturday’s show.

A crowd of people was seen at the Tico Art booth, which showcased handcrafted Costa Rican hardwoods, such as puzzle boxes with secret compartments, bowls, and kitchen accessories.

“Have you seen the woodworking man? Oh my God, they’re awesome,” said Manchester resident Ellen Weist about the Tico Art booth.

Weist, 49, said she came to the show because she is trying to start a community garden in Manchester. On Saturday, she was looking at items relating to plants and landscaping, as well as the solar power installation being offered by Harmony Energy Works.George Horrocks, president of Harmony Energy Works, said 60 to 70 percent of visitors who stopped by his company’s booth have signed up for a site survey of their home, for a solar assessment and cost estimate. He said since a year ago, much more people are interested in going solar. Horrocks attributed this increase to PSNH’s recent rise in rates for energy delivery, as well as federal tax credits for solar power expiring in 2016.

Those looking to get a start on gardening were also eyeing the U-Gro hydroponic garden systems, which allows gardeners to grow plants in their backyards without the use of soil.

U-Gro General Manager Jim Horne explained the system, developed in Barnstead, uses coconut fiber rather than soil, meaning that plants are not competing for nutrients. The system results in no weeds, and attracts a minimal amount of insects, he said.

The 19th annual Seacoast Home and Garden Show continues today, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Article source: http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130324/GJNEWS_01/130329641/-1/FOSNEWS

Firm ‘still committed’ to building on Leeds pub site

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    Melbourne flower show blooms


    THE Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show brought together florists, growers and flower fans last week.

    The show ran from Wednesday to Sunday, transforming the Carlton Gardens and the Royal Exhibition Building into a grower’s paradise.

    The MIFGS attracts more than 120,000 visitors each year, bringing together the cream of the nursery, landscaping and cut flower industries.

    First place in the Growers Avenue Best in Show award for floristry went to Monvale Flowers from Silvan, with second place going to TNB Tulips from Monbulk and third to Koomens Flowers, also from Monbulk.

    Helen Bye, creator of the Koomens Flowers display, said she liked this year’s creation more than last, even though last year she won first place.

    “I like the freshness and the clean lines of the greens and whites in this year’s display,” she said.

    Ms Bye utilised the crystal stands she uses for weddings to create a garden of crisp, white shrubs made of flowers.

    “I specialise in weddings and thought, why not do that? People love a bit of bling.”

    “They looked especially lovely with the exhibition lights shining through them.”

    Ms Bye goes to the Melbourne Wholesale Market three times a week to source flowers and has a workshop in Maribyrnong, Melbourne.

    Over the 30 years of her career she’s seen things people increasingly spend more money on flowers, often decorating their entire reception with flowers.

    “Because of the internet world people see what’s going on overseas and they want that,” she said.

    “People bring you more and more ideas to create and they get bigger and bigger.”

    The Floral Gift awards went to: Bernadette Curry in first place, Nici Thompson in second place and Janet Alesich third for their arrangements.

    Outside, Seasons Landscape won Best Outdoor Exhibit, with Terry Meehan and Steve Day’s garden creation of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax.

    The rest of the Seasons Landscape display was themed “Melbourne Culture”, featuring a cafe, garden art gallery, movie cinema and a mini football field.

    It was Terry’s 13th year at the Garden Show and this was his fourth gold medal in a row.

    “The inspiration was that we needed to do something different after so many years,” he said.

    “It was a little bit different to everything else at the show because we didn’t want to do anything we’d done before.”

    It took 15 people working 12 hours a day for eight days straight to create the display, which was removed as soon as the doors to the show closed last night.

    “It’s back to the parkland that it was – which is a little bit heartbreaking actually,” Terry said.

    “We recycle just about everything we use. It’s goes back to the nursery or back to storage to next year.”

    Body art was another feature of the display, with Emma Hack – who did the body art for singer Gotye’s film clip for Somebody That I Used To Know – painting Adelaide model Letitia Fitzpatrick with flowers.

    Scott Wynd and Darin Bradbury from TLC landscape design won Best in Show and gold in the Show Garden award for their urban courtyard creation, utilising bamboo and other low-maintenance foliage to introduce a bit of nature back into the city.

    “The design is based on a small, Collingwood or Fitzroy courtyard – it’s only an 8 x 8m space,” Scott said.

    “We have got the fundamentals of an outdoor kitchen or barbeque – it’s about having a lot of revenge of plant life into that space.

    “Plant life enriches life and makes you feel better, and we’re trying to bring that back in rather than the very harsh landscapes we’ve seen.”

    Article source: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2013/03/25/564298_horticulture.html

    Galleria hosts Primavera, a garden and floral celebration

    Mary Mary Quite Contrary used silver bells, cockle shells and pretty maids to help her garden grow, but Houstonians need sufficient irrigation, efficient drainage and hardy plants.

    Or do they?

    Darrin Duling, director of Mercer Arboretum Botanic Gardens in Humble, said people are often surprised to learn they can successfully plant a traditional Easter favorite – daffodils.

    “For a long time people didn’t think daffodils could make it here, but now there’s quite a selection that has proven to be completely tolerant of humidity and blooms beautifully,” Duling said.

    One such daffodil is the Tazetta, which ranges in color from rich gold to pale yellow and white.

    Duling often recommends plants that have already been around the block a few times and survived at Mercer. For shrubs, he’s particularly pleased with a new group of azaleas called “Bloom-a-thon.” Not only are they relatively compact, he said, they’re quite floriferous.

    If you’re into fauna, native mallow plants and salvias are the way to go. Drummond’s hibiscus is a particularly beautiful plant with red flowers.
    Salvias flower almost year round, Duling said, but when it comes to waiting for other plants to bloom, patience is a virtue.

    Now is the time to plant magnolias, although you won’t see the fruits of your labor until they flower, typically January through April.

    ‘They are graceful, spectacular, fast growing, very tough, and come in all sorts of colors,” Duling said.

    Whatever you dig, here’s a general rule of thumb for green thumbs.

    “Plan for the future,” Duling said. “Try to imagine how big some plants are going to be 20 years from now. If you choose something small because it will look gorgeous near the front door, 10 years later it might be eating your front door. Do a little homework first.”

    Or you can leave it to the pros. Landscape architects will design and construct something beautiful yet functional.

    Jeffrey Halper, president of Exterior Worlds, 1717 Oak Tree Drive in Houston, said there are a few steps to take before choosing plants. Is the purpose to provide screening? Shade? Backdrop beauty? The condition of a yard’s soil must also be considered, not to mention drainage and irrigation.

    “On a residential landscape job, the actual planting aspect is typically only 30-40 percent,” Halper said.

    And just because everything’s in the ground doesn’t mean the job is done. Regular and continued maintenance is necessary.

    “Landscaping is not analogous to building a driveway where you pour it, walk away, and you’re done for 20 years,” Halper said. “It changes over time. It’s a living thing, so you have to keep working on it.”

    Halper said the phrase “low-maintenance garden” is a little misunderstood, although there are several tips and tricks to pave the way. Visit the Galleria, 5085 Westheimer, for a cornucopia of information March 28-April 7during Primavera, a garden and floral celebration.

    The event is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. For more information, call 713-622-0663 or visit www.galleriahouston.com and www.facebook.com/HoustonGalleria.

    Article source: http://www.chron.com/sponsored/article/Galleria-hosts-Primavera-a-garden-and-floral-4355151.php?cmpid=gpscp

    Biz Buzz: Northland Lining offers alternative sewer line repair method

    More…

    Advertorial

    Anyone who has dealt with an old home or business knows that sewer line repairs can be a painful – not to mention costly – ordeal. Traditionally, repairing lines and pipes meant digging up lawns, landscaping and sometimes driveways and parking lots. Not to mention excavation work in the basement. But the owners of Northland Lining knew there had to be a better way to get pipes fixed.

    With 25 years experience, the specialists at Northland Lining have been fixing pipes and lines using a special cure-in-place pipe liner technology. The process is quick and doesn’t involve digging or excavation.

    Their process starts by doing a video inspection of the pipes. If it’s discovered that there is a lot of damage or corrosion, the pipe is cleaned out with a cutting tool. Next, a cure-in-place pipe (CIPP) liner is pulled through the pipe and inflated with a bladder. After a short curing period, the bladder is removed, leaving the pipe structurally sound. The whole process can take less than one day to finish. Liners have no joints, giving you a seamless pipe that will eliminate any root intrusions, and repair any cracked or damaged pipe. Importantly, home and business owners aren’t left with landscaping and repairs to deal with after the pipe repairs are completed.

    Northland Lining has used their expertise for repair projects big and small. Past clients have been homeowners, schools and even municipalities such as the City of Duluth, the City of Burnsville and the City of Minneapolis. Northland Lining has a wide service area, ranging from the Twin Cities metro area to northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.

    To contact Northland Lining and set up an appointment, call 218-393-9600. There is also an appointment contact form on their website.

    Sewer problems? Get the dirt on trenchless repairs.

    Digging up your yard, landscaping – even basement or driveway – to repair aging sewer lines is a time-consuming, sometimes costly way to make repairs.

    Northland Lining has a better way. Our trenchless repair technique means no excavating or digging. Repairs are done in less than a day and can save you time and money on landscaping and other cleanup costs.

    An assessment of the condition of your pipes is made with a video camera. Note the tree roots in the photo on the left.

    STEP ONE Any obstructions are cleared with a special cutting tool.

    STEP TWO A CIPP liner and bladder are inserted.

    STEP THREE The cured liner forms a “pipe within a pipe.”

    The cure-in-place liner being fed into the sewer through the cleanout.

    Duluth area residents and business owners – call today to schedule your

    free video camera sewer line inspection. (Offer ends November 2013.)

    If repairs are needed, you may qualify for grants that are available through the City of

    Duluth’s Private Sewer Service Grant Program. Call Northland Lining for details.

    Northland Lining

    Approved and recommended by the City of Duluth

    (218) 393-9600, northlandlining.com

    End of advertorial

    _______________________________________

    HIRES AND PROMOTIONS

  • RJS Construction Group of Superior announced the following hires.

    Angel Gotelaere was hired as office manager and will oversee

    operations at the company’s Superior headquarters. She most recently was a senior sales manager for the Radisson Hotel Duluth/Associated Hotel Group.

    Robert McIntyre was hired as a project manager for the commercial construction division. He has 30 years of experience, having worked across the country in construction project management, architectural design and business development. McIntyre’s work has included educational, correctional, hospitality, commercial, retail and housing projects. He most recently was based in Cheyenne, Wyo.

    Angie Stahnke was hired as a project coordinator in the commercial construction division. She has 10 years of construction

    coordination and office management experience in projects in the fields of health care, hospitality, transportation, office, restaurant and retail.

    Dustin Waldo was hired as a project manager for the highway/heavy construction division. He previously worked for five years as an estimator and project manager for Knife River Corp. in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Waldo has extensive experience as a heavy equipment operator.

    Laura Willoughby was hired as a project coordinator in the commercial construction division. She has 12 years of construction management experience and is certified in construction quality management for contractors by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • LHB Inc. announced the following hires at its Duluth office.

    Cassie Fulda was hired as an administrative assistant with the Public Works/Structures Group. She previously worked for Enbridge Energy supporting its compliance and risk processes.

    Mark Johnson was hired as an engineering technician with the Public Works/Structures Group.

    He has worked at LHB for the past year as a part-time engineering technician on land survey projects for pipeline and utility

    companies and public agencies.

    Jeff Roberts was hired as an engineering technician with the Pipeline Group.

    He has worked at LHB for the past year as a part-time architectural technician’s assistant providing Redicheck reviews for drawing accuracy, drawing details in AutoCAD 3D and cataloging the firm’s project library.

  • Pederson’s Gardens and Landscapes manager Jim Pederson has been named landscape consultant. He is responsible for overseeing the Landscape Department as well as doing outreach sales. He has worked for Pederson’s for 15 years and has been successful in forming the Landscape Department, expanding the client base and in promoting friendly client relationships for repeat business.

  • Jo Ann Hoag has been named the president/CEO of Lake View Hospital and Clinic in Two Harbors. Hoag had been performing the role of interim CEO at Lake View Hospital and Clinic since July 2012, and she accepted the permanent position after an offer was extended by the Lake View board of directors in February. Hoag will continue as vice president of Regional Development for St. Luke’s hospital.

    INTERNS

  • Three University of Minnesota Duluth students are serving as interns with Just Kids Dental Inc. this semester: Niki Johnson is a senior majoring in community health; Samantha Solmonson is a junior studying community health; and Rachel Senarighi is a junior studying health management.

    As interns, the students (with the help of a few puppets) teach elementary-age children how to properly brush and floss and stress the importance of consistent oral health care. The students also assist with JKD’s school clinics, where the area’s underserved children receive basic preventative oral health care.

    AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • Cope Peterson Ltd. law firm in Virginia announced Alicia L. Cope was named a 2013 Minnesota Rising Star. She started with the firm in 1998 and practices in the areas of real estate, probate, estate planning and elder law.

    Cope graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1995, and from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1998. She is a member of the MSBA, the Minnesota Real Property Council, former president of the Range Bar Association and currently is involved with numerous community organizations. She also is a frequent guest speaker concerning elder law and estate planning.

  • Chad Peterson recently received a commemorative pin for 25 years of membership in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

    Peterson has been a physical therapist for 12 years. For the past 10 years he has been treating patients at Lake Superior Physical Therapy, UMD Health Service Department and New Page Corp. He has been active in his community with coaching both boys’ and girls’ hockey teams in Superior.

  • The Cloquet Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and banquet Feb. 28 at Otter Creek Convention Center at Black Bear Casino

    Resort in Carlton. The business presented a awards during the event.

    Northwoods Credit Union was named the 2012 Large Business of the Year.

    Woodland General Agency was named the 2012 Small Business of the Year.

    Jeannie Kermeen of Fond du Lac Tribal Community College was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award.

  • Re/Max 1 of Superior announced Bill Little was named top selling agent for February, and Melissa Sundet was named top listing agent.

  • Dan and Britt Buerskin, owners of Wausau Homes of

    Duluth, announced the business was named the 2012 Wausau Homes Premier Builder of the Year during a recent annual conference. The award is presented to the builder who achieved the strongest ratings in three categories: customer satisfaction, creative marketing and share of the home-building market in their area.

    The Buerskins also earned the Voice of the Customer Award based on their customers’ positive feedback about their building experience. They scored a 100 percent approval rating among their customers in 2012. JD Power and Associates reports the national average for customer approval among home builders is 82 percent.

    Wausau Homes Duluth design center is at 2524 W. Maple Grove Road. Go to www.wausauhomes.com for more information.

  • Dennis W. Archer, a financial advisor for the Superior Choice Credit Union Retirement and Financial Advisors Program at Superior Choice Credit Union in Superior and the LifeTime Financial Services Program at Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union in Duluth, has been named to the Senior Advisor Leadership Team. This distinction is awarded to a limited number of financial advisors who demonstrate exceptional sales productivity success, leadership within their credit union and peer groups, and who have a specific seniority at the broker-dealer.

    In addition to providing sound input and a voice of the best and most senior financial advisors, Archer has the responsibility of being an ambassador for the organization and for advisors across the country.

    CERTIFICATIONS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • The Center for Continuing Education/Extension at the University of Wisconsin-Superior announced Ryan Wood of UWS and Lisa Cane of Health Care Clinic graduated from the Human Resource Certificate Program on March 14.

    The program provides training specific to Human Resource Management and involves completing eight full-day workshops (48 hours of training), which provide a base of knowledge about current law and practices, including personnel issues, human resource management and labor management

    relations.

    BOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Johnson, Killen Seiler has named new officers to lead the law firm in 2013.

    Joseph J. Roby Jr. was named chairman. He specializes in civil

    litigation, including employment law, discrimination law, business and general civil litigation and appeals in the state and federal court systems. His practice also includes management labor law.

    Alok Vidyarthi becomes president. He maintains a wide practice, with specialties in business law, corporate formations, acquisitions, real-estate law and probate.

    Robert J. Zallar is treasurer. He practices in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, estate planning and probate. He also has an extensive business and employment law practice with an emphasis on negotiation, mediation and arbitration of labor contracts and employee grievances.

    Paul W. Wojciak becomes secretary. His practice involves a broad array of litigation matters, including construction issues, business disputes, personal-injury matters and admiralty cases.

    NEW BUSINESS

  • Coach Inc., a modern classic American accessories company, is opening for business mid- to late summer in Miller Hill Mall’s Fountain Court.

    RELOCATIONS

  • The St. Louis County Auditor Service Center is reopening today in the Miller Hill Mall next to JC Penney. The Service Center — which handles transactions ranging from updating driver’s licenses and passports to purchasing license tabs and paying property taxes — has been operating out of the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth since the first of the year while the new space was renovated.

    Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Biz Buzz is a collection of business news tidbits from around the region. Send your business openings or closings, personnel changes or other news of interest in the business community to Biz Buzz, Duluth News Tribune, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802, e-mail biz@duluthnews.com, or fax (218) 720-4120.

    Tags:
    business, duluth

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  • Article source: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/262311/group/Business/

    A winter garden project, and tips to get ready for spring

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    As spring approaches thoughts turn to getting the garden ready, unless you are Kittery Master Gardener Maury Hepner.

    Hepner loves gardens all of the time but this year he didn’t wait for spring. In the fall, he began a program at Traip Academy to grow winter greens and to teach students the fine art of caring for plants.

    “We are growing things like lettuces, kale and Asian greens like mizuna and kamatsuna,” said Hepner. “What we produce is used on the school’s salad bar. Plus the kids are learning biology, botany, care of the plants, taking soil samples and how to deal with problems, like bugs.”

    Traip Academy has a really nice greenhouse that no one was using, and a grant was available to utilize the asset. Hepner was approached by a member of the School Committee to volunteer, and bring his expertise to the students at Traip and he saw it as an opportunity to teach the kids about growing their own food.

    “I have one intern who is with me all the time and I also work with special education students to raise plants from seedlings to harvest,” he said. “My program is part of a five-year plan at Traip to sort of reinvent themselves.”

    Hepner said it is not hard to grow plants all year long if you choose the right plants.

    “We are using the Traip greenhouse and doing what’s called cool gardening, meaning we keep the temperature at about 38 degrees. Some people do cold growing, which means using no heat and letting the plants freeze. They will still grow and you save energy but it takes twice as long, so for the school and in the interest of time we are using propane heaters to keep the temperature above freezing.”

    While he is enjoying the winter project with the students, Hepner is also looking forward to spring planting and said there are steps that backyard gardeners can take now to start readying their own gardens.

    “We are definitely getting to the time when people can start their seedlings indoors, using grow lights,” said Hepner. “Start onions now because they take the longest to grow.”

    Once the snow clears, Hepner said to get out and start cleaning up your garden areas. Remove fallen, dead brush and any other winter debris.

    “It’s a good time to do any necessary pruning, before buds start coming out,” said Hepner. “It’s a fine time now to prune small fruit plants and bushes, things such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Fruit trees such as apples can be pruned now, too. Cut off dead branches.”

    It’s also a good time to get your soil tested. Hepner said for a nominal fee, a soil sample can be sent to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

    “They will send back great information on getting your PH levels correct,” he said. “They will advise you on what type of fertilizer you may need to use. It’s a good time to thin out perennials and to add organic composts. Go to the ocean and get some seaweed. Gardens love it.”

    In New Hampshire, the Rockingham County Cooperative Extension offers several workshops to teach new gardeners about plants and their care, and to offer helpful tips and information to avid gardeners. A list of the current workshops is available online at http://extension.unh.edu/Agric/Agric.htm.

    The Cooperative Extension at the University of Maine also offers useful gardening information and programs. Learn more at http://extension.umaine.edu/.

    A winter garden project, and tips to get ready for spring

    By Karen Dandurant

    As spring approaches thoughts turn to getting the garden ready, unless you are Kittery Master Gardener Maury Hepner.

    Hepner loves gardens all of the time but this year he didn’t wait for spring. In the fall, he began a program at Traip Academy to grow winter greens and to teach students the fine art of caring for plants.

    “We are growing things like lettuces, kale and Asian greens like mizuna and kamatsuna,” said Hepner. “What we produce is used on the school’s salad bar. Plus the kids are learning biology, botany, care of the plants, taking soil samples and how to deal with problems, like bugs.”

    Traip Academy has a really nice greenhouse that no one was using, and a grant was available to utilize the asset. Hepner was approached by a member of the School Committee to volunteer, and bring his expertise to the students at Traip and he saw it as an opportunity to teach the kids about growing their own food.

    “I have one intern who is with me all the time and I also work with special education students to raise plants from seedlings to harvest,” he said. “My program is part of a five-year plan at Traip to sort of reinvent themselves.”

    Hepner said it is not hard to grow plants all year long if you choose the right plants.

    “We are using the Traip greenhouse and doing what’s called cool gardening, meaning we keep the temperature at about 38 degrees. Some people do cold growing, which means using no heat and letting the plants freeze. They will still grow and you save energy but it takes twice as long, so for the school and in the interest of time we are using propane heaters to keep the temperature above freezing.”

    While he is enjoying the winter project with the students, Hepner is also looking forward to spring planting and said there are steps that backyard gardeners can take now to start readying their own gardens.

    “We are definitely getting to the time when people can start their seedlings indoors, using grow lights,” said Hepner. “Start onions now because they take the longest to grow.”

    Once the snow clears, Hepner said to get out and start cleaning up your garden areas. Remove fallen, dead brush and any other winter debris.

    “It’s a good time to do any necessary pruning, before buds start coming out,” said Hepner. “It’s a fine time now to prune small fruit plants and bushes, things such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Fruit trees such as apples can be pruned now, too. Cut off dead branches.”

    It’s also a good time to get your soil tested. Hepner said for a nominal fee, a soil sample can be sent to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

    “They will send back great information on getting your PH levels correct,” he said. “They will advise you on what type of fertilizer you may need to use. It’s a good time to thin out perennials and to add organic composts. Go to the ocean and get some seaweed. Gardens love it.”

    In New Hampshire, the Rockingham County Cooperative Extension offers several workshops to teach new gardeners about plants and their care, and to offer helpful tips and information to avid gardeners. A list of the current workshops is available online at http://extension.unh.edu/Agric/Agric.htm.

    The Cooperative Extension at the University of Maine also offers useful gardening information and programs. Learn more at http://extension.umaine.edu/.

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    Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20130322-LIFE01-130329908

    Naumkeag Gardens Getting $2.6M Restoration

    The Blue Steps at Naumkeag are being restored, left, as part of a $2.6 million make over of its historic gardens.

    STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The first phase of a $2.6-million five-phase restoration effort began last month on the gardens of the hillside estate of Naumkeag.

    Visited by thousands of garden, landscape and history enthusiasts each year, the gardens are considered a masterpiece of 30 years of collaborative, creative work between former owner Mabel Choate and America’s first modern landscape architect, Fletcher Steele.

    The restoration effort is being supported in part by an anonymous donor who has pledged to match up to $1 million in donations.

    The initial work includes removal of damaged and overgrown trees, including along the Linden Allee, a pathway modeled after the wooded walks of Germany. Following the removal of the older trees, more than 250 trees of various shapes and sizes will be planted amongst the gardens, following Steele’s original tactic of overplanting to create a fuller, richer g gardenscape.

    All of the trees and plants are being removed by Mayer Tree Service, processed on site and delivered to recycling facilities and timber mills in the area.

    The 125-year-old Naumkeag — a National Historic Landmark owned by The Trustees of Reservations — is a 44-room estate designed by McKim, Mead White as the summer home of New York attorney Joseph Hodges Choate, an ambassador to the Court of St. James, and his wife, Caroline Sterling Choate, an artist and co-founder of Barnard College. Their daughter Mabel inherited the 46-acre estate in 1929.

    A recent video created by the Library of American Landscape History (below) described Naumkeag’s gardens as “a playground for the imagination which boasts some of the most vibrant, original and luminous gardens on the North American continent.”

    The gardens are about to undergo a renaissance under the preservation efforts being lead by Trustees’ Cultural Resources Program Director Cindy Brockway and Statewide Curator and West Region Cultural Resources Manager Mark Wilson, and supported by a team of staff, volunteers, artisans and consultants.

    Over the last 10 years, several of Naumkeag’s signature garden areas, including the Peony Terrace, Chinese Temple and Evergreen Garden, have been restored. But additional aspects of the garden have suffered the effects of time as well as damage from the harsh New England weather. Original plantings have aged or disappeared, trees have become unhealthy and overgrown resulting in obstructed views and certain structural and design features have deteriorated. As a result, The Trustees are increasing the pace of their restoration efforts to bring all eight landscaped acres surrounding Naumkeag back to their former brilliance and original design over the next three years.

    “Few properties in the country reflect the American transition to French Modernism better than Naumkeag,” said Brockway in a statement. “But after more than 50 years, the gardens need a refresh and a rejuvenation of the intricate details of scale, furnishings and plantings that made Naumkeag a work of fine art. By the end of the project, few landscapes in the country will have seen such a detailed restoration.”
     

    Perhaps the most dramatic restoration to occur this spring will be that of Steele’s renowned Blue Steps, one of the most famous and photographed garden features in 20th-century American landscape design and a true expression of Steele’s belief that garden design should be considered one of the fine arts. The steps be repointed, repainted and re-grouted, and the iconic white birch trees that frame them will be replaced and supplemented with the planting of 40 additional trees.

    Phase one is expected to be completed in time for a summer party to officially kick off the restoration project and celebrate the Blue Steps’ 75th anniversary.

    Other structural, cultural and natural garden and landscape features located throughout Naumkeag will also be restored, replicated and reinvigorated through a total of 16 projects, most of which will include rebuilding, and in some cases reproducing, foundational elements such as fountains and waters systems, masonry, decorative arts and original plantings. The restorations are being based on the original plans, historic photos and other documents.

    “Like our recent landscape restoration of the Grand Allée at Castle Hill, we take our responsibility as caretakers of these magnificent National Historic Landmarks very seriously,” said Trustees President Barbara Erickson. “The iconic gardens at Naumkeag are one of only a few Fletcher Steele-designed gardens viewable to the public and we want people to be able to experience them in their full and original brilliance.”

    Article source: http://www.iberkshires.com/story/43234/Naumkeag-Gardens-Getting-2.6M-Restoration.html

    Fort Edward community garden moving ahead – Glens Falls Post

    FORT EDWARD — When members of the Village Baptist Church and others in the community started discussing a community garden, it was a simple idea, aimed at giving people a place to grow fresh fruits and vegetables and to supplement the Fort Edward Community Food Pantry.

    The first dirt has yet to be turned, and the project is already becoming something larger than planned.

    “This really fits in with what we are doing,” Ed Carpenter, a village trustee, said at a meeting of the Village Board earlier this month. “The planning is going well, and we are getting ready to move forward. The site is perfect for what we want to do in the village.”

    Carpenter, one of seven members of the committee headed by the Rev. Dr. Sheldon Hurst, the church’s pastor, was referring to the village’s overall Renaissance Plan, which focuses on a series of specific zones within Fort Edward. It is designed to improve the community and bring more people downtown.

    “We’re really glad Ed came on board, and we are certainly glad the village has seen the wisdom of how this fits into their plans,” said Hurst, who noted that more details on the garden will be available after a meeting Tuesday. Initially, the committee did not know where the community garden would be, but the village offered it on West Street, near a planned farmers’ market building that is part of the Renaissance Plan.

    “The way it is set up, you wind up with a triangle, with the community garden at the municipal parking area, the farmers’ market and the waterfront park,” Hurst said. “This really seems sort of serendipitous. In the church we would call it a spirit movement. If it all comes together, it could really be a great chance for people to walk around downtown. I think it will contribute a lot to Fort Edward. This will all make Fort Edward Village a nice place to be.”

    The project does indeed seem touched with a little luck. At Tuesday’s meeting, the garden’s design will be announced. It is being out together by Bert Weber of Warren County Cornell Cooperative Extension, who is also designing community gardens in other places, including Glens Falls. His role is being funded by a grant from the Glens Falls Hospital’s “Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play” grant.

    Hurst said the garden will be designed not only for growing, but as a community destination. “It will have some design to it. It will be a place to garden and a place to sit and watch other people garden.”

    Hurst said he hopes people who live downtown will come grow their own fruits and vegetables. His church will tend a plot for the food pantry.

    “This touches so many people’s lives,” he said, “We can connect with the earth, and we can connect with other people.”

    Hurst said more specific information on the garden will be available after Tuesday’s committee meeting.

    Article source: http://poststar.com/news/local/fort-edward-community-garden-moving-ahead/article_240856ae-94b0-11e2-8a55-001a4bcf887a.html