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Archives for April 24, 2013

Spring set in motion

As the weather warms (or pretends to), I’m starting to assemble my outdoor to do list. Last summer was our first with a yard of our own and I was decidedly ambitious about what I thought could be done, especially given the brown colour of my thumbs. As a result, I spent a lot of time weeding and cultivating the best way I know how, and an even more significant amount of time being annoyed with how everything looked.
So, I’m here to admit to you that I am going on a garden strike, or partial strike at least. I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t do any of it well, and in the end, my gardens and flower beds just make me sad and stressed when they’re in disrepair. Call me lazy … call me uninspired if you must, but I’m planning to do what I think is best, both for my curb appeal and my sanity.
Step #1: Two beds are going bye-bye. I need to practice a little more restraint and focus on smaller portions of the yard. Rather than big messes, I think these areas will be much more suited to grass.
Step #2: Figure out what all the plants are, then move or dispose of as necessary. I like some of what’s there already, so I plan to use those things elsewhere.
Step #3: Make everything prettier. This will start with some edging, some patio stones and bricks or decorative rocks … or whatever those things are called.
My main plan is to look at other people’s yards and copy their ideas. Sort of like Pinterest for landscaping.
What do you think? Please comment with your thoughts and ideas. I’ll be sure to post before and after photos as my lawn dream becomes a reality.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Chronicle Herald Weekend this Saturday, which features Herald Homes. Starting this week, I’ll be sharing my experiences and interviews with experts in a new column called The More You Know, which will help to educate first-time homeowners like me on a bevy of house-related topics. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to your feedback at lbunin@herald.ca.

Article source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/homesnews/1125081-spring-set-in-motion

Prairie boulevards among suggestions for Huron

HURON Landscape architecture students at South Dakota State University are recommending that the city of Huron create more appealing walkways along Dakota Avenue with prairie boulevards, offer cultural understanding with a new center and place an emphasis on biking with specific on-road lanes.

Nine students presented their ideas at the Monday luncheon of the Huron Sertoma Club, four months after starting the project with an on-site visit.

They inventoried all of the green spaces the city offers with its parks, school playgrounds and special use areas like the state fairgrounds, and evaluated neighborhood sidewalks in terms of their appeal and safety.

The overall goal is to suggest ways the city can create a more attractive environment for residents and visitors.

Student recommendations are included in a report that is available at City Hall.

They said the main crosstown thoroughfare, Dakota Avenue, has a lack of plant life and an abundance of concrete. In some places there are no sidewalks, and those on foot must walk through parking lots.

The students are proposing prairie boulevards of plant life grown between the sidewalk and the avenue, using native flowers and buffalo grass. Benches and trash receptacles could also be added.

Huron is a prairie town and creating such an atmosphere along the citys busiest street would preserve that heritage, they said.

Establishing a cultural center would provide an opportunity for cultural learning and understanding.

It could be a place for classes for cultural integration and allow the Karen people to have a memorial for friends and family members left behind.

The students suggested acquisition of a large vacant building adjacent to the railroad tracks on Dakota Avenue, or upper level space in a downtown building.

Funding sources could be donations, a public-private partnership, a small temporary sales tax or grants from the National Trust Preservation fund.

But the students conceded that funding would be a major challenge and that the community needs to come together if it wants to move forward on their ideas.

For the city parks, they recommended sustainable landscaping for Riverside Park because of its presence in the flood plain. They suggested some kind of green buffer between Winter and Campbell parks, and have sustainable landscaping in the downtown area. The city should consider establishing new parks in the newly developing areas, such as near Wal-Mart and near Ravine Lake in northeast Huron.

They define active transportation as any mode of travel other than motorized vehicles. Huron already has five miles of trails and they recommended that effort continue with multi-use trails and bike lanes.

Having specific on-road bike lanes in the downtown area would mean the elimination of parallel parking, and that would be a hard sell for business owners, they agreed.

For the complete article see the 04-23-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-23-2013 paper.

Article source: http://www.plainsman.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=72&story_id=19527

William Murchison: Beyond Bush Library hoopla, what will count are energy, ideas

I’ll be astounded if the new George W. Bush Presidential Center stimulates major reappraisals of our hometown. I don’t think presidential centers, even those like Jimmy Carter’s augmented with a sense of mission, achieve much lodgment in the public imagination.

Yes, yes, the camera crews and the tour buses will

Article source: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20130424-william-murchison-beyond-bush-library-hoopla-what-will-count-are-energy-ideas.ece

Most spectacular start to spring you’ll ever see: Enchanting tour of the world …

By
Damien Gayle

07:48 EST, 24 April 2013


|

09:24 EST, 24 April 2013

More than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths will make a spectacularly British display at the largest spring garden in the world.

The 80-acre exhibition near the town of Lisse, south-west of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, known as Keukenhof, is described as one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

This year the theme is ‘The United Kingdom – Land of Great Gardens’.

Rite of spring: Keukenhof, the world's largest flower garden, has opened for its 64th consecutive year of spectacular flower shows

Rite of spring: Keukenhof, the world’s largest
flower garden, has opened for its 64th consecutive year of spectacular
flower shows

Bloomin' lovely: The 80-acre exhibition near the town of Lisse, south-west of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, is described as one of the most beautiful gardens in the world

Bloomin’ lovely: The 80-acre exhibition near the
town of Lisse in the Netherlands, is described
as one of the most beautiful gardens in the world

Purple haze... and pink, and green: The garden was established in 1949 to present a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids

Purple haze… and pink, and green: The garden
was established in 1949 to present a flower exhibit where growers from
all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids – and to
help the Dutch export industry. The Netherlands, known for its tulips, is the world’s largest exporter of flowers

Tulips: More than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths have been planted for the Keukenhof show this year

Tulips: More than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths have been planted for the Keukenhof show this year

The beautiful tulip filled park

The beautiful tulip filled park

The Garden of Europe: The Keukenhof site plays host to flowers of many different varieties

Keukenhof – also known as the Garden of Europe – is the world’s largest flower garden and has exhibited every spring for 64 years.

This year it was decided to dedicate the garden to the UK, raise attention to the significance Britain as a gardening nation and as an export market for flower bulbs.

The centrepiece of the flower show is a blossoming mosaic of blooms made up of 60,000 bulbs showing London’s iconic landmarks Big Ben and Tower Bridge.

Paul Arkwright, British ambassador to the Netherlands, last October planted the last of the bulbs to complete the mosaic, which will measure 13 by 33 metres when budded.

The ambitious work is a co-production with Britain’s world-famous Royal Horticultural Society.

'The United Kingdom - Land of Great Gardens': The centrepiece of the flower show this year is a blossoming mosaic showing London landmarks Big Ben and Tower Bridge. You'll have to visit to see it in its full glory

‘The United Kingdom – Land of Great Gardens’: Britain has been chosen as the theme for this year and the centrepiece of the flower show is a blossoming mosaic of
blooms made up of 60,000 bulbs showing London’s iconic landmarks Big Ben
and Tower Bridge. You’ll have to visit to see it in its full glory

Tourist attracting: Some 70,000 British garden lovers are estimated to have passed through Keukenhof's gates last year

Tourist attracting: Some 70,000 British garden lovers are estimated to have passed through Keukenhof’s gates last year

The beautiful tulip filled park

The beautiful tulip filled park

So much to see: The sprawling site also hosts an exhibition of statuary curated by Dutch artist Ansèl Sandberg

Full of the joys of spring: Two women leap in the air amid the fields of tulips at Keukenhof

Full of the joys of spring: Two women leap in the air amid the fields of tulips at Keukenhof

Gardeners' world: In addition to over 32 hectares of flowers, the spring garden offers 30 inspiring flower shows, seven amazing inspirational gardens and 100 wonderful works of art

Gardeners’ world: In addition to over 32
hectares of flowers, the spring garden offers 30 inspiring flower shows,
seven inspirational gardens and 100 works of art

Famous: Keukenhof has been the world's largest flower garden for over fifty years. It opened to the public on March 21 and continues for eight weeks

Famous: Keukenhof has been the world’s largest flower garden for over fifty years. It opened to the public on March 21 and continues for eight weeks

Floating along: Visitors can also tour the expansive fields of flowers by guided boat tour

Floating along: Visitors can also tour the expansive fields of flowers by guided boat tour

From the air: Keukenhof, which means kitchen garden in Dutch, is situated on 15th century hunting grounds which also served as a source of herbs for Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut's castle

From the air: Keukenhof, which means kitchen
garden in Dutch, is situated on 15th century hunting grounds which also
served as a source of herbs for a local castle

The Juliana Pavilion will house the
exhibition ‘My Great Garden’, showing the various aspects of British
gardening and landscaping. Pictures, light, sound and setting will
result in a striking experience, organisers say.

Some 70,000 British tourists are estimated to have passed through Keukenhof’s gates last year.

In
addition to over 32 hectares of flowers, the spring garden offers 30
inspiring flower shows, seven amazing inspirational gardens and 100
wonderful works of art curated by Dutch artist Ansèl Sandberg.

Keukenhof, which means kitchen garden in Dutch, is situated on 15th century hunting grounds which also served as a source of herbs for Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut’s castle.

The garden was established in 1949 to present a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids – and help the Dutch export industry.

The Netherlands, known for its tulips, is the world’s largest exporter of flowers.

Keukenhof has been the world’s largest flower garden for over fifty years. It opened to the public on March 21 and continues for eight weeks.

The comments below have not been moderated.

What truly beautiful pictures, I am so jealous I would love to go there one day.

Sparky11
,

Beverley, East Yorkshire,
24/4/2013 22:18

In 2002 I got lost there. HUGE place! Left by the wrong exit, thereby couldn’t find my transportation. No one spoke English. Had forgotten how frantic I was until I saw all those beautiful flowers. It was the bonsai they have there that is truly unbelievable.

Grammy
,

Igo,
24/4/2013 21:37

i would love to visit there ~ it looks a stunning place

Angie
,

bury st edmunds, United Kingdom,
24/4/2013 21:00

Aerial shoo?

Mel
,

Home,
24/4/2013 20:55

Sorry Britgirl but the hard work was all done in the picture archive. We were there last week and there’s hardly anything to see yet because of the weather. Don’t rush over until the weather heats up for a few weeks at least.

Oscar
,

Glasgow, United Kingdom,
24/4/2013 20:54

Swiftly moving on to my garden which has three narcissi and a crocus… But hey spring is here!

nomen est omen
,

London,
24/4/2013 19:49

beautiful, stunning flowers. Must be hard work to get them looking so good with the horrid weather Europe has had. Kudos to all that work there.

Britgirl
,

Ex-Londoner now in LaLa Land, United States,
24/4/2013 18:15

The picture with the women jumping is not at de Keukenhof. And those flowers are not tulips. Nice piece of journalism.

Suzy
,

Amsterdam,
24/4/2013 18:13

Truely beautiful place. Can’t wait to visit again.

Maltese Mike
,

QAWRA, Malta,
24/4/2013 18:07

Nature at it’s best.

Old Jake
,

North Yorks,
24/4/2013 17:52

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2314027/Seven-million-bulbs-bloom-mark-beginning-spring-worlds-largest-flower-garden.html

Bloomingdale’s Glenwild Gardens Keeps It Green

If you live in or near Bloomingdale, you surely are famiiar with the sight of Glenwild Garden Center. The business, which focuses on organic growing, got its start 85 years ago.

That’s a lot of history: Three generations of the MacKenn family, starting with A.J. MacKenn, have served families in the Tri-Boro and beyond, offering gardening supplies, growing and landscaping advice and more.

And while the center has been in business for a very long time, the information its staff shares is as modern as it gets. With Earth Day just past and the public’s growing concern with everything green, organic and sustainable, Glenwild Gardens’ knowledgeable staff is poised to have its finger on the pulse of what’s happening right now—just by focusing on the principles that Jodie MacKenn Bross’ granddad promoted eight decades ago.

Bross was kind enough to help us out with a few questions so that we could shine our Patch Tri-Boro spotlight on a business dedicated to keeping the planet beautiful, healthy and green.

1. How did Glenwild Gardens get its start and become such a respected organic garden center?

My grandfather started his landscape business in 1928.  He and my grandmother added the retail business in 1956 at this location where their nursery was already in place. My father and brother are still here now too.  I deeply believe in living sustainably and doing our part to understand the damage all the chemical use in the past  60 or 70 years has done to our planet and soil (as well as air and water).  By gardening organically, or as naturally as possible, we can help reduce the usage of chemicals and make ourselves healthier.  I try to hire people who believe in the same things, so we can all help educate our customers, and each other, about these issues.  We try new products and use them ourselves.  When they don’t work, we say so and get rid of them.  We never try to force people, either.  Change takes time—I’m patient, and not a fanatic.

2.  How has the economy affected business there? Do people grow more or less when finances get dicey? 

The economy has certainly affected the business, the landscaping side more so, but not as much as the weather!  In harder times, people become more interested in edible plants, rather than ornamental.

3.  What difference does “organic” make? 

That would take a longer time to answer completely than what we have here.  However, briefly, I believe that growing plants organically helps to reduce chemical runoff and pollution (at the farm level and at home).  Chemicals kill the soil and the ecosystem contained in it.   Eating organic plants helps to reduce the chemical buildup in our bodies.  Encouraging composting instead is great for the soil and reduces waste.

4.  Any quick tips for home gardeners preparing for spring and summer? 

Stop in often and ask questions! New things are in bloom every couple of weeks, so see what looks good and try it out.  Invest in your soil—it’s the most important thing in your garden.  Take it slowly, enjoy the process, and don’t be too anxious about the final ‘look’  It’s all beautiful.  It’s all good.

5. Why the Tri-Boro? 

History!  I can’t imagine being anywhere else.  I love seeing the house my dad grew up in every day and walking the property my grandparents and great grandparents walked. I love that people come in and talk about being here as kids. We may not have the most ideal location (like on the highway), but we love our community and neighborhood.  Our family all lives in town, and I like to think we are contributing as a business as well as personally and making Bloomingdale a better place.

Article source: http://triboro.patch.com/articles/bloomingdale-s-glenwild-gardens-keeps-it-green

LandscapeGardens.Org Delivers Top Value to Gardeners and Landscapers

Ted Williamson
Email | Web

Follow Taig Online Solution:

Article source: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/landscapegardensorg-delivers-top-value-to-gardeners-and-landscapers-242084.htm

Gardening tips to help Bracknell blossom

Alexandra Gregg • Published 24 Apr 2013 12:30

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Growing campaign: Representatives from Bracknell organsations pictured launching Bracknell in Bloom in Binfield last year.

THE town looks set to blossom as Bracknell in Bloom kicks off its 2013 campaign.

This year the initiative will start by showing members of the public how easy it is to grow fruit and vegetables almost anywhere.

Residents are invited to an Incredible Edible Hanging Basket event this Saturday, April 27, from 10.30am-1.30pm, at Easthampstead and Wildridings Community Centre, in Rectory Lane.

Participants will get the chance to make a free basket, speak to local experts and exchange seeds.

On Friday, May 3, members will hold a ‘Lunch and Learn’ session between noon-2pm at the bandstand in Bracknell High Street, to give shoppers information on growing edible plants.

Bracknell Your Gardens – the annual public horticultural competition for Bracknell residents, businesses, schools and community groups – will also be launched at this event.

Visitors will be able to pick up an application form for Your Gardens on the day.

They will also be available from the Bracknell Town Council offices, in Brooke House, from that date.

Allan Moffat, chairman of the Bracknell in Bloom committee, said: “2013 is an exciting year for Bracknell in Bloom and we hope as many people as possible will get involved with this year’s campaign. We are looking forward to spreading the word about how easy it is to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables almost anywhere.”

Bracknell in Bloom has also been selected from more than 1,000 entrants to represent the Thames and Chilterns in the RHS Britain in Bloom Finals 2013.

The town will compete in the ‘small city’ category alongside Bath, Bury, Colchester, Derry City, Grimsby and Shrewsbury.

Judging will take place in July and August.

For more information about the Bracknell in Bloom campaign or to get some handy horticultural tips, see www.facebook.com/BracknellInBloom

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Article source: http://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2013/04/24/88747-gardening-tips-to-help-bracknell-blossom/

SPRING LAWN AND GARDEN SPRINKLER TUNE-UP TIPS

The experts at Rain Bird encourage every homeowner to get the warm watering season off to a great start with the following tips. 

Make Sure Spring Has Sprung…

Although all signs might be pointing to the arrival of spring, the soil beneath the landscape is always the last to thaw.  Starting the sprinkler system while the ground is still frozen can result in damage to the pipes.  Use a shovel to make sure that the soil is frost-free 12 inches deep.  If it is still solid as a rock, then wait another week and test it again before starting the sprinkler system.

Regain Control…

Run a check of the irrigation controls and programs. This includes dusting away the cobwebs on the timer, making sure the date and time is correct, and that the settings are appropriate for the landscape’s watering needs. Replace the back-up battery in the timer/controller every 6 months, and keep a copy of the watering schedule nearby.

Unobstructed Flow…

Check for rocks, dirt, sand and other types of debris that may block the even flow of water from sprinkler heads. Uneven distribution can lead to too much water in some areas and not enough in others, both resulting in an unhealthy landscape and wasted water. Inspect spray heads and make sure they haven’t become buried and debris has not accumulated around them during the winter.

Out with the old…

Nozzles and sprinkler heads are designed to withstand normal wear and tear of irrigation, but are no match for rogue lawn mowers, the neighbor’s dog or overzealous snowplows. Replace cracked, chipped or worn components, such as sprinkler heads, nozzles, valves or pipes.  A broken sprinkler can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens, and water bills, so it is important to check and replace them periodically.

The Heart of the System…

Valves are the heart of any irrigation system. They regulate the distribution of water throughout the entire system. A leaky valve will waste water, and increase the water bill.  Visually inspect each valve to make sure they are operating properly. Before turning on any water to the system, make sure all manual drain valves are returned to the closed position.  Overly wet areas in the lawn, resulting in muddy and/or barren patches, may be a result of a leaky valve.

Keep The Hammer in The Tool Chest…

Water hammer is a high-pressure surge that occurs when a valve is first opened.  An initial pressure surge can result in pipe bursts and damaged valves. When restoring water to the sprinkler system, open the main water valve slowly to allow pipes to fill with water in a gradual and controlled manner, thus preventing a water hammer and costly damage.

Pressure Check…

When you first turn the main water valve back on, it is important to make sure the water pressure is at a safe operating range for sprinkler systems.  A system with too much pressure will result in cracked pipes, busted valves, sprinkler head leaks and inefficient watering.  Invest in a water pressure gauge that can be used to measure water pressure in your home and yard.  These devices typically connect to a hose faucet and give you a good idea of the pressure in your irrigation system.  If the pressure is above the suggested operating range (typically 40 -65 PSI), a pressure regulator may be required to prevent damage to the sprinkler system or undesirable results.  For example, if water is “misting” out of your sprinkler heads, your pressure is too high and should be reduced.

 For more information and tips on saving water in the lawn and garden, please visit www.RainBird.com.  Follow Rain Bird on Twitter, @RainBirdCorp, and “Like” Rain Bird on Facebook at Facebook.com/RainBirdCorp.

Article source: http://rainbird.pressdoc.com/44220-spring-lawn-and-garden-sprinkler-tune-up-tips

South Yorkshire schoolgirl’s grand design clinches gardening title

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  • Article source: http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/south-yorkshire-schoolgirl-s-grand-design-clinches-gardening-title-1-5608350

    Eco-friendly, 15-acre rose garden designed around Presidential Center

    One of the most talked-about features at the George W. Bush Presidential Center has quickly become the Texas Rose Garden—a 15-acre park just outside the steps of the center’s full-scale replica of the Oval Office.

    Despite the name, the garden’s design, in which former First Lady Laura Bush played an active role in, will not showcase a majority of roses. Rather, the focus has been placed on wildflowers native to Texas and many specific even to Dallas.

    Project manager Herb Sweeney IV of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. told the Dallas Morning News that wildflowerswill be rotated seasonally and the colors schemes will match the essence of each season.

    The garden will also utilize eco-friendly irrigation by collecting and reusing rainwater. The Bush Center itself earned the Platinum classification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is the “highest level in the U.S. Green Building Council,” as explained on the Bush Center website.

    According to the project description by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, “the landscape…contributes to the Presidential Center’s ambitious sustainability objectives,” citing specifically the factors of “biodiversity, restoring native habitat, reducing the need for irrigation, and employing an organic maintenance program.”

    The Texas Rose Garden joins the Bush Center as another cohesive facet that will be officially unveiled Thursday.

    Article source: http://www.smudailycampus.com/news/eco-friendly-15-acre-rose-garden-designed-around-presidential-center-1.3034465