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Archives for April 15, 2013

Conservancy plots plan to clean up Bates Street in Pittsburgh

Bates Street carries 90,000 cars in and out of Oakland every day, and Eugene Myers drove one of them consistently for weeks when he took his wife to physical therapy in the South Side a few years ago.

Dr. Myers, a distinguished professor and emeritus chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was disturbed by how ugly the corridor looked.

“I kept telling myself, ‘I wish it wasn’t so ugly,’ ” he said. “I had always contributed to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and I thought, wouldn’t it be great if they would get interested in Bates Street?”

As serendipity would have it, the conservancy had just completed a study to provide ideas to the Oakland Planning and Development Corp. for greening opportunities, and Bates, “a crucial corridor with huge visibility,” was one of them, said Judy Wagner, the conservancy’s senior director of community gardens and green space.

Dr. Myers proposed to the conservancy “a pilot project to organize a rehabilitation of the slopes [along Bates] so it doesn’t look so awful,” he said. He made a contribution to get the work started and talked the project up to representatives of Pitt and UPMC, both of which donated to the cause.

As a result, the conservancy got the bulk of what’s needed for a $150,000 project to remove invasive plants and replace them with beneficial, native trees; shrubs, and ground plants. Conservancy workers already have spent four months removing plants, including Japanese honeysuckle, said Mark Hockley, a conservancy forester.

The Oakland Planning and Development Corp. is recruiting volunteers to continue eradicating nuisance plants and to plant the first 45 new trees May 8 and 9. To volunteer, email or call 412-621-7863, ext. 24.

“We went to the university and UPMC because it wasn’t just about ugly slopes,” Dr. Myers said. “Bates is an important corridor” that connects Oakland to the Eliza Furnace Trail and the South Side. “There are patients at UPMC who stay in hotels on the South Side,” and dozens of international doctors each year who come to Pittsburgh for training that Dr. Myers and others provide.

The project will take three years and move in phases, with plantings at intervals between treatments to kill invasives, Ms. Wagner said.

Oakland Planning and Development is looking for additional funding, contacting property owners adjacent to the work sites and organizing volunteers, who will do much of the ongoing maintenance, said Elly Fisher, assistant director of the planning and development nonprofit.

She said the Bates intersection with the Boulevard of the Allies has been a focus area for the community group and that through the stretch that connects with Bates, the boulevard itself could stand a little love.

“The question of how to turn the boulevard into a real boulevard,” with traffic islands in the middle, pedestrian-friendly features and large trees, “is something we have heard from the community for a number of years,” she said. “It’s a larger vision we’d like to get to, and Bates Street is one step into that vision.”

The city owns much of the property along Bates and has granted access. Duquesne Light gave the conservancy permission to work around its substation, said Joe Vallarian, spokesman for Duquesne Light.

Ms. Wagner said the slopes along Bates are “a horrific tangled mess” made more challenging by the foundations of fallen homes and bad soil.

On the steeper side, with little room to work in, “we will look for ways to add fresh vegetation as a screen,” she said. New plantings on the other side will include tall trees and an “understory” of trees, with ground-level shrubs and plantings below that.

“We’re working so as not to interfere with any future reconfiguration of the road,” Ms. Wagner said. “We’re only redoing landscaping to offer a visual impact.

“Pittsburgh has a lot of places like this,” with bad soil, old foundations and invasives choking out beneficial trees, she said. “We think this could be a prototype project.”

Dr. Myers said he plans to join the volunteers and is excited to have sparked the project.

“I think it’s another example of how private citizens can get involved in things that the city can’t afford or hasn’t gotten around to doing,” he said. “By making an investment, you can leverage others to do more to make our city as pleasant to live in as possible.”

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Expo offers water conservation ideas

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SIERRA VISTA — Resource conservation groups, businesses and government agencies teamed up to inform the public of an array of water conservation options available at the Water Awareness Month Water Expo at the Mall at Sierra Vista on Saturday.

Visitors were encouraged to think of water conservation at home by signing a pledge to save a gallon of water a day.

As they hoped to lure a variety of different people with different water habits to the event, so did the expo feature a number of ways in which residents could reduce water use.

Ranging from pamphlets outlining tips like not leaving the faucet on while shaving and a listing of grants and rebates available for various water-related projects, to more permanent solutions like low water use washing machines, rainwater harvesting and low moisture landscaping plants; there were plenty of ideas of varying degrees of commitment to help get residents started thinking about conserving water.

“We’re hoping that people leave knowing what’s available in this area for them,” said Cado Daily, coordinator for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Water Wise program. “There’s just a wonderful array of many different ways that people can save a gallon a day. That’s the whole idea, to ask them to be more aware of their water use and then give them the resources to do that.”

Jim Koweek is the owner of Arizona Revegetation Monitoring Co. Based in Santa Cruz County, Koweek said his grass seed mixtures and flowers he sells are all native to the high deserts of the Southwest, and come with a range of benefits for residents, including water conservation.

“Because these things have evolved to meet our specific conditions, they’re drought tolerant, wind tolerant,” Koweek said.

When he first got into the business, Koweek said it wasn’t uncommon for new residents in the area to attempt to bring the plants and landscaping from wherever they came from with them.

“People would try to make their house look like California or back east,” he said.

Most of his customers, however, have since traded their old environment for a more ecologically-sound one that requires fewer resources and effort to maintain.

“They’re not trying to make this look like the old homestead in Kentucky. They want to keep it natural. That’s partly because it works, partly because of water usage, and it’s partly because it’s a lot easier to maintain and deal with,” he said.

Using native grasses not only means that the vegetation will thrive, but can help prevent erosion and runoff when it rains.

“It keeps it on the property and eventually a chance to get back into the aquifer,” he said.

Members of the Hereford Natural Resource Conservation District were also on hand at the expo to help educate those with problems like erosion and drainage on their personal-sized plots of land.

“We just try to put information out, and help people that have questions about what they can do for conservation, deal with erosion on their own property,” said John Lohse, director of the Hereford NRCD.

Their work also includes informing residents of grants and other financial support available to them to help shoulder the costs of these and other conservation efforts, he said.

Nearly two hours into the expo, more than 50 people had signed Water Wise’s pledge to reduce water use by a gallon a day, but Daily was aiming much higher.

“We’ve brought 500 of the fliers, so we’re off to a good start.”

If you find a correction for this story, please contact our editorial department

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Water features, garden displays to inspire

CROWN POINT | Chainsaw carvings, wind twirlers, stone bird houses, and fire rock candles are just a few of the many new exhibits that guests will find at the 12th annual Waterscape Weekend Garden and Pond Expo, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27 and 28 in the Industrial Arts Building at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S. Court St.

Sponsored by the Illiana Garden and Pond Society, the expo aims to inspire visitors to take backyards and landscaping to the next level and mesmerize others with incredible displays showcased by water features, lighting and garden experts.

“This show is a real destination for outdoor enthusiasts from all over the Midwest,” said Illiana Garden Pond Society Expo Chairperson Kathy Bartley. “Visitors to our show learn how to turn their backyards into their own sanctuaries. They might just want to add a few beautiful plants or a small koi pond, or build a meandering stream, but all of their resources are here, right under one roof.”

Other new exhibits featured this year include garden inspired jewelry, glass and copper dragonflies, yard art from recycled materials and hand crafted patio benches.

Water gardeners and aquarium hobbyists are invited to participate in a federally-funded research survey for the IL/IN Sea Grant to develop a campaign to protect the Great Lakes of aquatic invasive species.

Vendors will also sell fish, equipment for the water gardeners, plants including aquatics, garden decor, ironworks, gourd decor, lighting and irrigation options, hot tubs, and anything related to gardens and outdoor living enhancements.

In addition to vendors, visitors can connect with many local nonprofit organizations that will be exhibiting, including garden clubs that will be advertising their upcoming garden walks and rescue groups that will hold fundraisers.

Lake County Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions and give away seed packets daily to the first 500 visitors to the booth. Many educational seminars and workshops will be available.

Adult admission is $5, while children 14 and younger attend free. Parking is free.

More information is available at, or call Bartley at (219) 789-6207.


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Petersburg garden tour blooms next week

PETERSBURG – If it’s spring, then it’s time for the annual Historic Garden Week.

Once a year, the owners of several of Petersburg’s private historic homes open their front doors and gardens for public tours. The 2013 Historic Garden Week – in its 80th year – is sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia and the Petersburg Garden Club and will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23.

Properties showcased on the Petersburg Historic Garden Week Tour span four centuries of American architecture, history and landscape design. This year’s theme, “Blooming Through the years,” features a variety of residences – from historic properties to stately brick homes to an architectural studio and gallery with sustainable elements. Enjoy admiring the interior furnishings, architecture, or take a stroll through the colorful gardens.

In addition, the Centre Hill Mansion Museum, a historic Federal style brick house, will be open. This home was visited by two of our country’s presidents, Abraham Lincoln and William H. Taft.

Featured on the Petersburg Garden Tour are:

– 2001 Woodland Ave., owned by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas. Located in Petersburg’s Walnut Hill District, this brick Williamsburg-style home built in 1954, was purchased by the current owners in 2012. They have completely revamped the property’s exterior. The walks and driveway were reconfigured and landscaped. The exterior of the home has been repainted in traditional Williamsburg colors. The backyard now holds Virginia flagstone, a stone fireplace and water feature. The interior of the home features dentil, crown and chair rail molding throughout, as well as plantation shutters, a large formal dinning room and a wood paneled library, and is finely and uniquely decorated. Open for the first time for Historic Garden Week.

– 1578 Westover Ave., owned by Mr. And Mrs. Wright. Visitors to this brick home will have the rare opportunity to see on display originals from The Petersburg Garden Club’s Lee Park Herbarium collection, including the famous watercolors by Bessie Niemeyer Marshall. The collection also includes pressed and dried specimens of Virginia wildflowers. This home is a perfect setting of showcasing the collection, with many nature inspired arrangements and elegant botanical art. Watercolors painted by Mrs.. Wright are featured throughout, as well as a collection of porcelain fruits and vegetables by Pamela Vieuxtemps Tidwell, This love of nature continues to the backyard retreat, containing a glorious English shad Garden.

– The Marie Bowen Garden, Fairfax, Arch Street and Arch Circle. While in Walnut Hill, walk inviting paths of the Marie Bowen Garden, filled with flowering shrubs and trees that are nestled in this neighborhood. The Raleigh Parish Garden Club named this garden in honor of Marie Bowen, who along with club members and neighbors, tamed this area by working over 1,000 hours to propagate and establish native plants.

– 131 Franklin St., owned by Conard A. Kruger and David F. Toth. Built in 1899, this clapboard Victorian-style home was originally used as the parsonage for the 3rd Street Baptist Church. In 2008, the house was purchased and completely remodeled. This included a large modern gourmet kitchen, with marble floors, a six-burner stove, a dishwasher built into the wall, floor to ceiling black cabinets and a granite-topped island. Design elements include inlaid hardwood floor patterns and multiple elaborate fireplaces. Another informal garden features flower beds throughout. This home historically marked by the city of Petersburg is open for the first time for Historic Garden Week.

– Centre Hill Mansion Museum, 1 Centre Hill Ave. As a Garden Club of Virginia restoration site, Centre Hill exemplifies the benefits received from the Historic Garden Week, notably in landscaping restoration. Centre Hill, steeped in its own history, was recently featured in Steven Speilberg’s movie “Lincoln.” This year, there will be a special anniversary display covering the Petersburg Garden Club’s long history of participation in Historic Garden Week, and its own restoration efforts. The Petersburg Garden Club’s Herbarium Committee will also have their publications and prints available.

– 109 Bank St., owned by Ann Adams and Terri Ammons. This historically marked building, built in the 1820s, was former headquarters for the first daily newspaper, The Petersburg Intelligencer. Until 1854 it was used as the press room and editorial office of notable newspaperman, John Syme. Various other commercial businesses have occupied it through the years. The current owners purchased the building in 2006 with intention of creating a model for the use of historic properties. The building is a showcase for preservation. It illustrates a new concept in restoration by intergrating urban living needs and historic preservation. This eclectic urban living quarters are both satisfying and inspiring. This home is historically marked by the City of Petersburg and is open for the first time for Historic Garden Week.

– 235 Market St., owned by Studio Ammons and Terri Ammons. Renovated in 2004, this facility features a lobby/gallery space, meeting rooms and a large open studio space. Sustainable design elements include the use of a waste oil furnace for heat, natural lighting, and vegetable gardens. A special display of the Studio’s work will be on site for viewing. Open for the first time for Historic Garden Week.

– 319 High St., The Taylor Goodwin Sanctuary Gardens owned by Zelma Taylor and Gordon Goodwin. Renovation of this garden began in 1993, the day after Petersburg was decimated by a large tornado. The organic garden is a haven for birds, bees, and butterflies and features plants with berries, pollen and blooms to attract a wide variety of fauna. The garden’s large amount of undergrowth continues to provides a natural habitat for ground-nesting birds. Expect to see woodland phlox, ferns, trillium, double-bloom bloodroot, Virginia bluebells, yellow primrose, quince and spring camellias to be in bloom. The owners bee hives will be open for demonstration on the lower lot in the afternoon.

Visitors will be greeted by hostess guides at the properties open. Tour houses will feature fresh flower arrangements created by Petersburg Garden Club members with emphasis on colorful seasonal flowers and plants native to the area.

Proceeds from Historic Garden Week ticket sales continue to support the Garden Club of Virginia to help restore the grounds of Petersburg’s Centre Hill Mansion Museum. Centre Hill Mansion Museum was recently featured in Spielberg’s movie, “Lincoln.”

The members of Cockade City Garden Club will be offering a luncheon (Cost: $12) Thursday, from 11:30 to 2 p.m., at Historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 110 N. Union St.. The luncheon will include a fashion show by SHE CHESTER of Chester. Blooming geraniums in a variety of colors will be available for purchase at the lunch site. Geranium and luncheon sale proceeds will be donated to Historic Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg to help repair the tombstones and ironwork.

Historic garden tours have been held annually since 1929, except during a period during World War II when members of the Virginia Garden Club took time off to tend their Victory Gardens.

Pricing for the tour is $20 for advance tickets. Tickets the day of the tour will be $25 and can be purchased that day at any of the properties open. The tour will be held, rain or shine. For tour house descriptions and how to obtain tickets, go to and search for Historic Garden Week in Petersburg.

Funds from Historic Garden Week tours are used to restore gardens and grounds of Virginia’s most prominent historic figures, including those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James and Doley Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Robert E. Lee, and Woodrow Wilson. These and other fine properties are also open to the public.

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Gardening Exercises and Back Care Tips

Back Pain Free Gardening

For National Gardening Week Hertfordshire Chiropractor Chris Pickard has ‘dug out’ some top tips and exercises for pain free gardening

( – April 13, 2013) Potters Bar, Hertfordshire — Gardening can provide a great workout, but more often than not it consists of prolonged poor posture, broken up with awkward bending, twisting, reaching and pulling.

The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all the major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb. By performing the following simple stretches before undertaking any garden task will help prevent injuries, pain and stiffness.

Pre Gardening Exercises

o Before stretching, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Breathe in and out slowly throughout each stretching exercise until the muscle is stretched to its furthest point. At that point, hold your breath in. When you relax, breathe out. Stretch gently and smoothly. Do not bounce or jerk your body in any way and stretch as far as you can comfortably. You should not feel pain.

o Stand up and prop your heel on a back door step or stool with your knee slightly bent. Bend forward until you feel a slight pull at the back of the thigh, called the hamstring. You may need to stabilize yourself by holding onto a garage door handle or sturdy tree branch. Hold the position for 20 seconds, then relax. Do it once more, then repeat with the other leg.

o Stand up and put your right hand against a wall or other stable surface. Bend your left knee and grab your ankle with your left hand. Pull your heel toward your buttocks to stretch the quadriceps muscle at the front of your thigh. Hold that position for 20 seconds, relax and do it again. Repeat with the other leg.

o Weave your fingers together above your head with your palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds to stretch the side of your upper body, then reverse. Repeat two or three times.

o “Hug your best friend”: Wrap your arms around yourself after letting your breath out and rotate to one side, as far as you can go. Hold it for 10 seconds. Then reverse. Repeat two or three times.

For the rest of this article and more gardening exercises go here: Gardening Exercises


Further Information

Name: The Pain Relief Centre

9 Bradmore Green, Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Al9 7QW

Phone: 01707 662 704


Media Contact Name: Chris Pickard (Director)


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UNL Tips For Successful Gardens

The time has come to get vegetable gardens ready for planting, and the ongoing drought could mean more work to prepare soil.

Thorough and even soil moisture could make all the difference in a successful garden. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator David Lott recommends testing the soil and maximizing water transport to ensure that the soil will yield healthy crops.

“When we think of vegetable crops, we have critical periods that we have to have adequate moisture,” he said. “So we have to be thinking about a two to three week period before harvest and then right at harvest.”

This time is critical for plant and vegetable crop development and maturity, Lott said. If the soil moisture is inadequate, produce may not develop correctly or uniformly. Expected size, uniformity and taste may not be achieved. In some cases, inadequate moisture can lead to the drop of blossoms and early developing produce.

Before making any changes, gardeners can test the moisture in their soil with spades, screwdrivers, rebar or other similar items. Insert the item into the soil and mark the level at which it hits dry soil. If the ground is moisturized at a minimum of six inches deep, it should be ready for planting. Lott said that moisture at levels as deep as one foot would be even better in most soils.

“People think they’ll just let the water run everywhere for a few minutes and they’re good,” Lott said. “But the big thing is infiltration level.”

Lott said it is crucial to get moisture moving through garden soils, particularly following a year as dry as 2012. Sandy soils or clay do not transport water efficiently, so gardeners should incorporate some organic matter such as compost or decomposed hay or straw with a spade or potato fork. In clay soils, adding this material will break up the soil’s density and increase drainage. It will also increase the water holding capacity of sandy soils.

Consistent and even watering is also key to healthy vegetables. Too much variation in soil moisture throughout the garden can result in disease like blossom end rot in tomatoes. Refer to NebGuide G1752, “Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes,” available at a local UNL Extension office or online at, for more information on preventing this disease.

For soil that is sufficiently saturated, mulch or row covers can cut down on weed pressure and moisture loss. Gardeners should also pay attention to the spacing of their plants.

“We want to maximize growth but also have a decent plant canopy because that will reduce soil temperature and moisture loss,” Lott said.

Recommended spacing for lettuce, for example, is 10 to 14 inches within a row and 16 to 24 inches between rows. For potatoes it is six to 12 inches within a row and 30 to 42 inches between rows. Lott suggests referring to “Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable Growers” by Donald Maynard and George Hochmuth for spacing recommendations

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Time saving garden tips – North Shore News

SOME days there’s just not enough time to get everything done let alone keep everyone happy and on those days the garden takes last place on the to-do list.

To help anyone else who has my sort of time crunch, here are a few of my tips and tricks designed for the out-of-time gardener.

Tip 1: Weeding has to be the least enjoyable and most time consuming task in garden maintenance. To avoid weeding I keep all of the soil in the garden mulched year-round. I even mulch my containers to avoid having to weed them which also help to prevent drought stress. I use wood chips for mulching which I obtain from my friendly neighbourhood arborist.

When wood chips are unavailable, I use leaves from my own trees or those found during fall in the nearby city park. The trick is to make sure that every last inch of earth is covered with a thick layer of mulch so weed seeds cannot germinate.

Tip 2: Lawn cutting for some people is a form of therapy. For me lawn cutting is work. So I have eliminated the time most people spend cutting lawn down to zero. How? I killed all of the lawn in the front yard and installed planting beds interwoven with a bluestone patio and walkway. In the backyard, there’s a small patch of lawn that I refuse to cut, so my wife cuts it. The trick is to change the design of the garden to a less labour intensive style and if that does not work, then delegate.

Tip 3: I like growing veggies but much of my garden is dedicated to hardy ornamentals, so I grow veggies in containers. Veggies grown in pots take half the time to plant and maintain because there are no veggie planting beds to maintain. I can also change my veggie selections each year and move them around the yard as desired. Yes I do need to obtain or grow new soil for my veggie pots each year but that is what compost piles are for. When planting veggies in pots, bigger and deeper pots are best to provide a deep, cool root run. A pot the size of a washing machine is ideal but hard to find. Try upcycling or repurposing a pot from some other sort of container. One tip for planting pots, do not add shreds of foam, broken pots or any other manner of shrapnel to the bottom of the pot for drainage. Adding shrapnel to the bottom of the pot is a myth and those pieces simply perch the water table higher and deny plants the full depth of soil.

Tip 4: Solving pest or disease problems can be difficult, time consuming and often the problem persists from year to year. Some plants are important and worth fighting for, some are not. To avoid pest and disease problems I use the following pest and disease strategies: Firstly, avoid the use of chemical fertilizer because it forces soft lush growth that predisposes plant to pest and disease attack.

Secondly, choose the right plant for the right place, not the right plant for the place I want it to grow. Thirdly, plants that have a chronic pest and disease problem are ruthlessly ripped out and thrown into the compost or green waste bin. A case in point, I recently found that thrips were overwintering on my hellebores. Thrips are tough, persistent and cannot be killed in one year by any means. So I dug out all of my hellebores and tossed them in the green waste bin. The tip: a good gardener knows how to kill plants as well as he or she grows plants.

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Kidderminster-built spiral staircase has garden designer in a spin

Kidderminster-built spiral staircase has garden designer in a spin

Stairway to Malvern: Paul Taylor with the staircase.

A CAST iron spiral staircase made by a Kidderminster company in the 19th century will be the centrepiece of a show garden at a major event next month.

The staircase, produced by F Bradley and Co, will feature as Paul Taylor recreates a notable Cornish garden for the Malvern Spring Gardening Show.

Garden designer Mr Taylor is building Room for a View, a valley garden inspired by Trebah,near Falmouth in Cornwall, for the show, which runs from May 9 to 12 at the Three Counties Showground.

The late 19th century staircase was found in a reclamation yard.

Interested in its provenance, Mr Taylor, of Alchemy Gardens, Storridge, near Malvern trawled the internet and now believes the artefact is the original staircase from the old Kidderminster Library, opened in 1894.

The library was demolished in the 1990s and its staircase went missing. No-one, it seemed, knew of its whereabouts, until now.

Mr Taylor said: “Cornwall’s Trebah garden is a personal favourite and is rated one of the finest gardens in the world. It is a sub-tropical paradise in a Cornish valley, which cascades down to a secluded beach on the Helford River.

I was looking for a centre-piece to give height to the design and the feeling of Trebah’s spectacular vista, which meanders downhill to the beach below.

“The staircase was the perfect find but it wasn’t until I took a closer look at the maker’s stamp and did a bit of research that I realised just what I was working with.

“Bradley Co made two staircases – the other still stands at Kidderminster railway station. It is a beautiful piece of cast iron, which will enhance my garden, and I am pleased to be bringing a unique piece of county history back into the spotlight again.”

The Malvern Spring Gardening Show is likely to attract around 90,000 visitors.


Boot Boi !!


9:45am Mon 15 Apr 13

If this is the staircase from the library then it was supposed to have been saved.
Though we never heard any more about it or the other pieces to be rescued.
WCC having a clear out ??
Bewdley Toll House, Goodwin Fountain, Horsefair Clock also spring to mind.

Boot Boi !!



9:55am Mon 15 Apr 13

How many other local Historic items such as this staircase, have been sold off for profit in this way !!

Comment now! Register or sign in below.


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Winners of Tucson garden-design challenge – Arizona Daily Star

A multipurpose living space that looks out on a Zenlike desert garden won the Growdown competition at Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Janis and Phil Van Wyck, owners of Van Wyck Projects, won the judge’s award last Sunday at the gardens’ first such event, subtitled “The Great Tucson Garden Design Challenge.”

Four landscape designers had three days to build gardens based on submitted plans on the theme “Small Gardens, Big Ideas.” Each contestant worked with 300 square feet of space, about the size as two spaces in a parking lot.

The gardens are on exhibit at the botanical gardens at least through April.

Everything in the Van Wycks’ “A Room With a View” entry was made for this garden, including the sloped metal roof of the three-walled “room” and a fountain in which water flows from a small boulder in a trough.

The soil-cement wall exposes embedded rock, while a mature palo verde soars above the “room” to provide shade for agaves and salvias.

A planter inserted into a pony wall sparkles with jewel-toned succulents.

The wood floor and benches with upholstered cushions allow for a variety of uses: yoga, sleeping, relaxing and entertaining.

“We wanted an outdoor, protected space that’s easy to maintain,” Janis Van Wyck says.

Scott Calhoun won the people’s choice award for his colorful border-inspired patio.

The design by the owner of Zona Gardens includes more than 30 ceramic pots filled with silver cacti, rust-colored steel wall panels with circular cutouts and pot shelves, and a matching chiminea with a grill.

He adds vibrant color with tangerine and teal walls and plastic-piping chairs and ottomans, along with old Sonora, Mexico, license plates as hanging artwork.

Here are what the other designers did:

• Ezra Roati of REALM, an Urban Organics Company, flanks a water-harvesting and planted arroyo with a dog play area and edible plants in containers of corrugated panels.

A concrete bench in “An Urban Arroyo” allows a good view of both sides.

• Christine Jeffrey’s “Modern Desert Garden” combines gabion seating, a shade sail, purple dagger yucca and a block wall with shrubs planted in the top bricks.

The designer with LJ Design Consulting adds color with baby blue- and terra cotta-hued tiles forming small squares in the sandy stone floor.

If you go

• What: Growdown exhibit of four small gardens by local landscape designers.

• Where: Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

• When: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through April.

• Admission: $13; discounts available.

• Information: 326-9686,

To-do list for April

There’s April work to be done in the yard, according to the Tucson Botanical Gardens’ horticulturists.

• Clean and repair your drip irrigation system and adjust it for warm-weather watering.

• Prune frost-damaged shrubs.

• Finish spring planting and start summer veggies, including melon, squash, cucumber, eggplant and okra.

• Fertilize roses, irises and container flowers.

Contact Tucson freelance writer Elena Acoba at

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Owner of Eye of the Day Garden Design Center Invited to Milan Design Week

Brent Freitas, owner of Eye of the Day Garden Design Center, has been invited to attend Milan Design week. The annual furniture exhibition is the largest trade fair in the world where internationally famed vendors and designers gather to showcase the latest trends and designs.

Santa Barbara, CA (PRWEB) April 14, 2013

Owner of Eye of the Day Garden Design Center, Brent Freitas, has been invited to attend the Design Week Fuori Salone, Milano in Milan. Freitas will be attending the event from April 9 to 14 and will be attending with Eye of the Day partners Terrecotte San Rocco and Angelo Grassi.

The annual furniture exhibition, also known as Milan Design Week, is the largest trade fair in the world. Internationally famed vendors and designers attend from around the world to showcase innovative furniture and other designs, including lighting, home furnishings, and garden pots and décor.

“I’m really excited to have Eye of the Day work with Terrecotte San Rocco and Angelo Grassi,” said Freitas. “Our Italian terracotta pots are popular buys for customers looking for a luxe outdoor look. It’s a real experience to attend the fair with the best of the best in the industry, and to see what other products are trending.”

Milan Design Week was established in 1961 and the trade show mainly focused on Italian furniture. Now, the show features more than 2,500 vendors in a 2,500,000-square-foot venue, and close to 300,000 attendees are expected from more than 150 countries.

“I want people to know that garden design isn’t just a potted plant placed here and there. We work with clients like Tommy Bahama and Ralph Lauren to create aesthetic environments to take outdoor décor to an entirely different, eye-pleasing level.”

Eye of the Day Garden Design Center is located in Santa Barbara, and offers more than an acre of high quality garden landscape products, including Italian fountains and terracotta pottery. Eye of the Day is a leading importer of fine European pottery, and works with customers ranging from private consumers to landscape and design firms from around the world.

About Eye of the Day Garden Design Center

Eye of the Day Garden Design Center is a retail showroom that features more than an acre of high quality garden landscape products, including Italian terracotta pottery and fountains, Greek terracotta pottery, French Anduze pottery, and garden product manufacturers from America’s premier concrete garden pottery and decoration manufacturers. Eye of the Day is a leading importer and distributor of fine European garden pottery, and caters to private consumers and landscape design and architecture firms around the world.

To see what Eye of the Day Garden Design Center offers, visit

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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