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Archives for April 28, 2013

Saltwater pools and other backyard trends

There is a growing inclination among pool owners toward saltwater pools. Jeff Fanara, owner of Bella Pools and Yardscape in South Yarmouth, elaborated on what is popular in the world of pools on Cape Cod.

Fanara said that saltwater pools have been around for 20+ years and are becoming more popular because they require fewer chemicals and are cheaper to maintain. Saltwater pools are “softer on clothes, skin, and hair, and less irritable to the eyes” according to Fanara. These are the only pools that Bella Pools installs, although the company will work on non-saltwater pools.

These pools are run off of a device called a cell which produces chlorine through electrolysis. The only thing owners need to put into the cell is NaCl (sodium chloride), which is more commonly known as table salt. The salt levels in the pool are generally kept low and are undetectable to most. According to Fanara, the pools require 600-800 pounds of salt per year.

If owners need to add more chlorine to their pool, Fanara said there is a setting on the cell called “super chlorinate” which slowly shocks the pool over 24 hours, allowing people to continue to use the pool through the process.

This setting also eliminates the need to buy and store 3” chlorine tabs, which – if improperly stored – can release dangerous fumes and corrode metal because of how caustic chlorine is.

Saltwater pools are also safer for the environment because the chemicals don’t leach out. There has also been some conjecture that saltwater pools may be better for swimmers health (it has been posited that chlorine pools may raise health risks).

Fanara said that his company also converts pools to saltwater, a process that takes about two hours and is considered a service call. Fanara said that while his company has converted many private pools, his company has not converted any commercial pools.

This is because public pools have hard to predict bathing loads, so it is easier to control bacteria levels in public pools by maintaining higher levels of chlorine, according to Fanara. However, some hotels on the Cape have switched to saltwater pools.

There are pros and cons to saltwater pools. Saltwater pools do not impart upon swimmers the red eye, hair discoloration, and other annoyances of chlorinated pools. The pools also have lower maintenance costs. Saltwater pools are also less prone to problems with algae.

Saltwater can corrode metal though, so owners need to be aware of that. The saltwater can also cause calcium deposits on the surface of the pool. Owners may need to add more stabilizers and acid to the pool. Lastly, the pump for the saltwater generator needs to be run at all times, so that can raise utility bills.

Fanara said that aside from working with the saltwater pools, his companies do other things that can really amp up an outdoor living area.

In the pool domain, Bella Pools installs waterfalls and spillover spas, as well as deck jets. Spillover spas are hot tubs that either connect to the pool or constantly recycle the pool water to the hot tub through use of a waterfall. Deck jets are arcs of water that enter the pool from the surrounding structure, creating a sense of elegance.

Fanara said that his company does not install waterslides or diving boards because of liability purposes (he added that diving boards are also quite unsightly).

Another popular trend for pools is gunite pools instead of vinyl-liners because they can be made to look like natural ponds. However, Fanara said that the most common installation performed by his company is vinyl-liner pools (2-3 gunite installations per year versus 8-10 vinyl-liner installations).

Each type of pool structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. While vinyl-lined pools are cheaper in the short term, the lining tends to need to be replaced every ten years or so because they are less durable. Gunite pools are more expensive, but they are very durable and can be built in any shape or size.

Fanara said that owning a pool company and a landscaping business is beneficial because all the work (masonry, landscaping, and pool) can be done by one of his businesses, which keeps costs manageable and keeps projects timely by eliminating the need for outside contractors.

A lot of customers, according to Fanara, want other work done when they have pools installed or rehabbed. Some times, Fanara said, the landscaping can cost more than the pool work.

Popular outside additions are firepits, shrubbery, and pool houses. Firepits are great for entertaining. Fanara said that customers will even get things like outdoor bars installed by the pool. Depending on the nature of the get-together planned, there are a plethora of ideas that people have and Bella Pools is quite accommodating.

Customers will occasionally get a pool one year and then wait until the next year to get the landscape design done to space the cost.

Fanara said that the cost of the pool installations depend on the size and type of pool. Many customers, according to Fanara, get custom designs so they can make their outdoor living space truly their own.

If you are interested in having your own saltwater pool, visit Bella Pools in South Yarmouth, 508-398-4277. Summer’s coming–wouldn’t you enjoy a dip in your own saltwater pool? For pool and outdoor living design ideas, see the Bella Pools photo gallery.

(Above photos: customers are encouraged to choose a custom design that will reflect their tastes and fit their outdoor living space. Photos courtesy of Bella Pools.)

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University of Kentucky developing new master plan for growth in next decade

The University of Kentucky is an urban, landlocked campus where every decision about building or planning can ripple into the community for years to come.

So as UK planners work on a new master plan to guide campus growth in the coming decade, the questions are both general and specific: How can UK protect and expand green space while constructing more buildings? How will new student housing patterns affect Lexington traffic? What if Rose Street were closed and turned into a pedestrian space?

“We focused to a large extent on UK within the broader community,” said Bob Wiseman, UK’s vice president for facilities.

UK hired Sasaki and Associates, an architecture firm from Boston that has worked on master planning at campuses all over the country. They called UK’s issues particularly complicated, given its location in central Lexington.

“It’s been a very complex plan because there are so many different components,” said Mary Anne Ocampo, an urban designer with Sasaki, who got her undergraduate architecture degree at UK.

The master plan, which still includes a variety of options and alternatives, is posted online and will continue to change in coming months. Administrators hope to bring most of its major ideas to the UK Board of Trustees this fall, presenting a blueprint that focuses on new construction, new green space and opportunities to save many old buildings rather than tear them down.

The proposals incorporate building plans already underway, such as new dorms on Cooperstown Drive, Euclid Avenue and Huguelet Drive; a renovated business school; and a new science building on Rose Street. Those projects have been financed and are either under construction or in design phases.

Other proposed ideas include:

■ Closing or restricting traffic on Rose, which dead ends just short of South Limestone and gets a great deal of foot traffic from students.

The plan also looks at significantly slowing traffic on South Upper as it merges into South Limestone, possibly by closing part of South Upper near where the future Newtown Park Extension will connect with South Limestone.

■ Enhancing pedestrian pathways that already naturally exist on campus. For example, Ocampo pointed out a natural but unmarked corridor through campus between Memorial Coliseum and Funkhouser Hall, both buildings designed by Ernst Johnson, the UK architect who designed many of the school’s most iconic buildings between 1938 and 1950.

“It is a walkway that could be strengthened” with trees and other low-cost landscaping, she said.

Another pedestrian walkway could be created between Memorial Hall and the W.T. Young Library, turning a small parking lot into green space.

■ Accommodating fewer surface parking lots with expanded bus service and a new transit center at Commonwealth Stadium, where many students and employees already park.

■ Creating a new road that would skirt a new complex of student housing known as Cooperstown. The road would start at Woodland Avenue near Columbia Avenue, curve around the housing complex, and empty onto Cooper Drive by some of the athletic facilities, or possibly continue behind Commonwealth Stadium to Alumni Drive. This would allow the university to reduce or eliminate traffic on Woodland and Hilltop Avenue in front of the library.

■ Replacing fraternities on Hilltop with a south campus student center. A new “Greek Park” could be located on Rose Lane, which is already home to many fraternities and sororities.

“We love the concept,” said Woodford Hoagland, vice president of the UK Interfraternity Council. “We want to see it happen because a lot of fraternities that deserve houses don’t have them, and it would be more centralized, with people in a community. Moving closer together would be a perfect solution to everything.”

■ Building a new high school, possibly behind the Taylor Education School near the intersection of Upper and Limestone. Plans are already under way for the school, a joint venture between UK and the Fayette County Public Schools.

“We have been looking for a home for the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) on or adjacent to the campus for several months and had asked for this to be put on the UK plan as a possibility depending on the outcome of our search,” said Fayette schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall. “We appreciate UK setting aside land in the master planning process for our exciting new partnership. We are still in the very early stages of planning and determining a permanent location.”

The school district would pay for construction.

■ Extending campus farther north of Euclid closer to downtown. The proposal shows new housing, retail and other developments stretching along South Limestone from Maxwell Street to High Street. For example, a hotel and conference center might someday occupy the land where Good Samaritan Hospital now sits, but not until construction of UK’s new medical complex is finished.

“We want to keep Limestone active from UK all the way to downtown,” Wiseman said.

Last year, the city commissioned urban planner Omar Blaik to do a study of town-gown possibilities, focusing on commercial corridors that link downtown with UK, Transylvania University and the Bluegrass Community and Technical College, which is moving to the old Eastern State Hospital site at Fourth Street and Newtown Pike.

UK declined to hire Blaik for its master plan, but Sasaki’s plan would move UK’s growth further north into downtown, a key recommendation made by Blaik.

Derek Paulsen, the city’s commissioner of planning, said he has put money into his budget to bring Blaik back to further study the best ways to accommodate students and residents along Limestone and Euclid.

A major strength of those streets is that businesses along them are supported by townspeople when students leave for the summer, Paulsen said.

“For the Limestone and Euclid corridors, if they’re going to survive they have to work for neighborhoods and students,” Paulsen said. “That’s not in UK’s expertise, and that’s what we want to get Omar to talk about.”

Neighborhood tension

Given constant tensions between UK and its nearby neighborhoods, UK administrators have tried in recent months to include a wide variety of perspectives in the master plan process. They have held 50 meetings so far with neighborhood associations and other interested groups, in addition to conducting a survey of the UK community.

“UK is making an unprecedented effort to reach out to the public and incorporate public opinion,” said Dan Rowland, a retired UK faculty member and longtime neighborhood activist. “That’s a step forward.”

City officials also have played an active role in the process.

“I am at least happy they’ve given us a seat at the table,” Paulsen said. “We’re so close together, there’s a lot of potential that hasn’t been tapped.”

Regarding ideas within the plan, Paulsen said any road closures would have to be studied and discussed by city traffic engineers before they could be enacted.

“I think closing Rose makes a lot of sense, it’s so heavily trafficked with students,” Paulsen said. “The one that would be more interesting would be Woodland,” which many people use as a cut-through across UK’s campus.

As for a new road around Cooperstown, “it’s a big jog around, and a bigger discussion, but we will be happy to talk.”

Hollywood Terrace resident Amy Clark is not so sanguine.

She said the university should not approve a “massive increase” in the number of students living along Cooperstown without first working with city traffic planners to make the area safer for pedestrians.

“My neighbors and I are very concerned about the Cooperstown Bypass,” said Clark, noting that the road would empty onto Woodland near an existing stoplight at Columbia.

It is “hard to picture how you could safely have two intersections and all their turning options there with the many pedestrians and cyclists,” she said.

Clark and others also are concerned about student housing in general, which has always been a big issue at UK. With limited student housing on campus, many surrounding neighborhoods have transformed as student renters replace families.

UK is trying to address that issue by increasing the number of beds on campus from 5,000 to 9,000. But Clark is concerned that newly built dorms will be too expensive, sending more students into neighborhoods.

“Tearing down our older dorms to build new is too expensive,” she said. “Only affordable campus housing will relieve overcrowding in the neighborhoods nearest UK.”

Next school year, a room in a newly built dorm will cost from $3,325 to $4,988 per semester, the same as other “premium” dorms. Annual rate increases in the new dorms would be limited to 3 percent.

Wiseman said community meetings on the plan will continue through the spring and summer; for example, he’s doing a walking tour of campus with a group of historic preservationists next week.

Learn more

Information on the process and the plan can be found at

Linda Blackford: (859) 231-1359.Twitter: @lbblackford.

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Bristol University to share ideas and research

Some of the UK’s leading experts in ecology, landscaping and the environment will be guest speakers at a ground-breaking one-day workshop at the University of Bristol on July 18.

They will be tackling issues including pollinating insects, environment change, sustainable landscapes and low maintenance grasses.

There are still places available for delegates at the event, which will bring together various sectors of the landscape industry to discuss sustainable landscape research, design, and management.

“We intend this very special day to be an opportunity for those involved in specific aspects of the groundcare and landscaping industry to share new ideas and research information,” says Howard Wood, environment and sustainability consultant for Grass Engineering and Top Green.

“Discussions will be held between researchers working in the landscape industry looking at future research ideas and opportunities and the workshop is intended as an academic event, not an open platform for commercial activities.”

Among the leading speakers at the event, supported by Top Green, will be Professor Jane Memmott, a leading expert on environmental change, biodiversity and pollinating insects at the University of Bristol.

Her work includes looking at the various ways of attracting pollinators through the use of the right flower planting.

She is a close associate of Dr. Katherine Baldock at the University of Bristol, who is a leading researcher into interactions between plants and their pollinators.

Other confirmed speakers are Professor Nigel Dunnett of the University of Sheffield, Stephen Alderton, of Top Green and Euroflor, landscape architect Kym Jones, soil scientist Tim O’Hare, Rob Donald of Green Global Solutions and leading personalities from local government, including Bristol City Council.

Topics of most seminars will be released shortly but Howard Wood has announced he will be talking about creating sustainable landscape maintenance for Lyon City Parks Department in France, while Stephen Alderton will be explaining carbon sequestration and low maintenance grasses from the grass breeder’s point of view.

As well as the main workshop event, taking place between 9.30 and 4.30pm on Thursday July 18 at the University of Bristol Wills Hall Conference Centre, there will be an optional networking opportunity for delegates staying in Bristol for the evening.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. With demand for places high, potential delegates should register by the end of the first week in June.

for further information :-

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Mary Palmer Dargan’s ‘Lifelong Landscape Design’: Spring’s ‘must have’ book

On April 26, students from the University of Tennessee were contemplating what to do with their upcoming three months of freedom from school, with one student confessing he would be spending his time in Georgia doing landscaping, according to the Daily Beacon. Mary Palmer Dargan knows all about that, as her and her husband Hugh’s landscaping firm in Buckhead is open year round.

Doing landscaping is a lot of hard work and I usually start at like 6 and the heat is crazy, especially in Georgia, but seeing the job done at the end of the day makes it a success,” Cameron Larose said.

Mary Palmer Dargan would likely agree with the UTK student because she’s worked for 40 years in the field of landscape architecture, and a majority of that time has been spent in Georgia. Dargan’s designs populate many of the grounds of the homes in the Atlanta community as a result. But she designs landscapes beyond Buckhead too.

As an author, the expert landscape architect seeks to educate the homeowners she has not had the pleasure of working with, giving them the tools they need to design their own special utopia. And she accomplishes that with her latest book, Lifelong Landscape Design, and its predecessor, Timeless Landscape Design.

Mary says “no one is born knowing how to garden,” and that it is through experimentation that we each come to design our personal outdoor places.Designing those spaces, however, is usually motivated by changing needs, hence the reason for the first word in the title for her book: lifelong.

This “lifelong” endeavor of developing a utopia for the home landscape might start as a herb garden on the balcony of an apartment as a single adult, according to Mary. Yet as we change and grow, so too does our landscapes, typically following progressions as singles living in apartment buildings to families living in a suburban setting. But that’s not always true, of course, with many families living in urban settings instead.

And that’s why Mary Palmer Dargan seeks to help every person create their own “master plan” for developing a utopia setting from the landscape they already have. Her book provides as many as 200 landscape patterns to choose from, or to serve as inspiration. And the photos depicted give readers a visual representation of the landscapes presented.

Dargan talks of how to create rain gardens, the importance of creating feeding stations in the landscape for your pets, and how much a beautiful and calming landscape can help reduce stress in daily living.

The Atlanta-based landscape architect believes that gardening is therapy in addition to providing healthier foods for the table, and she says the fragrance provided by blooming flowers in your own oasis is an aromatherapy experience you don’t have to buy from someone else.

Designing your own utopia at home should include lifelong landscape activities in addition to special places, according to Dargan. And that can include activities like growing a vegetable garden in a pot or doing stretching exercises on the grassy green lawn.

Strolling through a flower garden or swimming a couple of laps in a lake or pool within the home landscape qualify as lifelong landscape activities too, although the former might be the wiser for those seniors with physical challenges. And that brings the subject back to the focus of Dargan’s landscaping book: creating utopian landscapes based upon the stage of life.

Those interested in a landscape design book that covers everything a homeowner needs to know about developing their site for the maximum in healthy living and enjoyment can find it in Mary Palmer Dargan’s Lifelong Landscape Design.

The hardcover book is available online at for approximately $22.50 based on April pricing. It is also available in a Kindle edition for half that price.

© Radell Smith

All rights reserved.

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California State Historical Resources Commission To Consider Thirty-Three …

April 26, 2013 – California State Historical Resources Commission will consider thirty-two nominations for federal historic designation and one nomination for state historic designation. Nominations and photographs of properties under consideration are available at

Hotel Rosslyn Annex – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County 
Constructed in 1923 the Hotel Rosslyn Annex is associated with the early Twentieth Century development of downtown Los Angeles and also exhibits the distinctive characteristics of the Beaux Arts style of architecture. 

Plummer Park Community Clubhouse – West Hollywood – Los Angeles County 
West Hollywood’s 1938 Community Clubhouse is historically significant for its association with the Works Progress Administration and as an excellent example of Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture. 

Vallejo Old City Hall – Vallejo – Solano County 
Historically significant as the center of politics and government in the City of Vallejo from 1872 to 1927. 

Vallejo Old Masonic Temple – Vallejo – Solano County 
Significant for its association with the Freemasons’ fraternal organization and the role the Freemasons played in the social and cultural development of Vallejo. The building is also one of the outstanding examples of Classical Revival architecture in Vallejo. 

Women’s Twentieth Century Club of Eagle Rock – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County 
Built in 1915, an excellent example of Craftsman Architecture in early suburban Los Angeles. The Club House is also a local representation of the attention to women’s education, political development, and philanthropy exemplified by the women’s movement in America at the turn of the Twentieth Century. 

Boyle Hotel – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County 
As the last remaining commercial building from the early development of Boyle Heights in the 1880s, the Queen Anne style masonry building represents the late nineteenth century transition of Los Angeles from a small city surrounded by farmland to a burgeoning city center surrounded by suburban neighborhoods. 

The Case Study House Program, 1945-1966 Multiple Property Submission Multiple Cities Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura Counties 
This multi-year program of experimental housing utilized a vast array of traditional and new construction methods, materials, floor plans, fixtures, finishes, furnishings, landscaping, and ways of living under the unifying banner of Modernism as interpreted by John Entenza, editor of Arts + Architecture magazine. Case Study houses embody the distinctive characteristics of residential architecture associated with the Modern Movement in California, and the Case Study program in particular. Whether of wood-frame or steel-frame construction, the houses share the modern qualities of flat roofs, deep overhangs, open floor plans, extensive use of glass, indoor/outdoor flow, and concrete slab foundations. The designs reject applied ornamentation or historical references. Many of the program houses were built of modest size in keeping with the original tenets as presented in 1945. In addition, all of the houses were designed by master architects, many of whom became nationally known because of their pioneering work within the program. The historic properties associated with this Multiple Property Submission may be nominated for their association with events and architecture under the context: Experimental modern residential architecture of the Case Study House Program in California: 1945-1966. 

Case Study House #1 – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County 
Influenced the evolution of the program by introducing plywood walls, a concrete slab foundation, flat roof, sliding glass walls open to the outside for easy indoor/outdoor access, and an open floor plan. The property, completed in 1948, represents the work of master architect Julius Ralph Davidson, one of the European émigrés who jump-started California’s modern architecture movement. 

Case Study House #9 – Pacific Palisades – Los Angeles County 
(Entenza House) was designed for Arts + Architecture publisher/editor John Entenza. He entertained frequently, so the largest portion of the 1,600 square foot interior was devoted to an oversized bi-level living area originally overlooking the meadow-like grounds and the Pacific Ocean. 

Case Study House #10 – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Was designed and built between 1945-1947 by a father and son team of architects, Kemper Nomland and Kemper Nomland Jr. The house was added to the Case Study House program after completion in 1947 due to delays in the construction of other houses in the program and because the house exemplified a number of program goals, including the use of new building materials and techniques, affordability for the average American, simplicity of construction, economy of materials, and integration of indoor and outdoor living. 

Case Study House #16 – Bel Air – Los Angeles County 
Was the first of three program houses designed by Craig Ellwood, a contractor who designed this residence in 1952 with no formal architectural training. The house was innovative in its use of exposed steel structural framing, and floor-to-ceiling glass walls took advantage of spectacular views. 

Case Study House #18 – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County 
Was built by Rodney A. Walker with wood framing set at three-foot intervals, which assisted in economy and efficiency in the building process. Notable in the living room is the strong presence of the large copper-sheathed brick fireplace and the raised roof with clerestory windows. 

Case Study House #20 – Altadena – Los Angeles County 
(Bass House) was designed for industrial and graphic designer, Saul Bass, and his wife, biochemist Dr. Ruth Bass. The post-and-beam wood construction on a concrete slab foundation features a complex roof arrangement employing prefabricated plywood barrel vaults, flat stressed skin panels, and 12-inch hollow box beams that span 16 feet and form a series of 8-foot bays. 

Case Study House #21 – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County 
Was Pierre Koenig’s first Case Study house and an experiment in on-site assembly of a steel frame dwelling. It also introduced to the program the concept of using water pumped over a steel roof as an innovative means of cooling a small residence. 

Case Study House #22 – Los Angeles – Los Angeles County 
(Stahl House) was designed by Pierre Koenig for the Stahl family and completed in 1960. As one of the most recognizable contributors to the Case Study House program, Stahl House is an architectural statement in steel and glass cantilevered over the broad expanse of Los Angeles. 

Case Study House #23A – La Jolla – San Diego County 
The three adjacent single-family residences of the Triad grouping were intended to be the pilot project for a large tract of houses in La Jolla, but only this Triad was ever built. The houses were designed in relation to one another, and individualized by floor plan, landscaping, and treatment of exterior sheathing. House A, the largest of the Triad, features a redwood clad exterior and a concrete step entry path across a reflecting pond. 

Case Study House #23C – La Jolla – San Diego County 
The Triad houses also related to each other through the use of common materials, detailing, and form. House C is the simplest of the three houses; its plan is a rectangle bisected by the entry hall. 

Case Study House #28 – Thousand Oaks – Ventura County 
Was the last single-family house built under the auspices of the Case Study program. At 5,000 square feet, it is also among the largest. Completed by Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman in 1966, the house is of steel frame construction, sheathed in face brick tempered through the extensive use of glass walls. 

Mount San Jacinto State Park Historic District – Idyllwild – Riverside County 
The district contains buildings, structures, objects, and landscape improvements representative of the cooperative work among the National Park Service, Civilian Conservation Corps, and California State Parks. The first period of significance, 1934 to 1942, is associated with the largest cooperative effort between state and federal governments to improve publicly owned parks throughout the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The second period, 1947 to 1965, is associated with California State Parks’ state-wide effort to improve its parks in response to increased postwar demands. 

University Heights Water Storage Pumping Station Historic District – San Diego – San Diego County 
The city-owned district’s most visible contributing resource is an elevated water storage tower known as the “Tin Man” among local residents. At over 127 feet tall, the 1.2 million gallon capacity steel tank was reportedly the “world’s tallest” at the time of its construction in 1924, and due to few multi-story buildings in the neighborhood, remains visible from as far as three miles away in any direction. 

Historic Designed Gardens in Pasadena, 1873-1975 Multiple Property Submission – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Establishes a common historic context for designed gardens and landscapes in Pasadena, including landscapes associated with early settlement, landscape design from Arts and Crafts through California Modern, and public parks of the inter-war and postwar eras. Associated property types include resorts and estate gardens, residential gardens, garden apartments and municipal parks. 

Richard Mary Alice Frank Garden – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Is a private residential designed garden built in 1957 to a design by Garrett Eckbo. The garden is divided into three components: an entry garden, a pool area, and the connecting space between these components. 

Herbert Hoover Jr. Margaret Watson Garden – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Was designed in 1962 by landscape architect Thomas Church, and includes a plant house built in 1965. The garden was designed for Herbert Hoover Jr., son of U.S. President Herbert Hoover. 

Batchelder/Dean Garden – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Is a private residential garden built in 1910 designed by Francis Dean of the landscape architecture firm EDAW. 

Herbert Coppell Garden Water Feature – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
A component of Pasadena summer home Mi Sueno is a component of a former designed garden built in 1916 to a design by landscape architect Paul Thiene. The 83 foot long water feature is the only surviving element of the garden. 

Ira Margaret Byner Garden – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Is a 1928 private residential garden designed by Florence Yoch and Lucile Council. The garden is asymmetrical in plan and includes a fountain, lawn area, gazebo, rose garden, and terraces of Arroyo stone and concrete retaining walls. 

La Pintoresca Park – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Is a 1925 public park designed by Ralph D. Cornell and Theodore Payne, incorporating features of an 1888 hotel that formerly occupied the site, the Painter Hotel (also known as La Pintoresca.) 

Reynold, Kenyon Patricia (Pfitzer) Garden – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Is a private residential garden designed in 1928 by Katherine Bashford on a triangular-shaped lot. The gardens are asymmetrical in plan and designed as English gardens to correspond to the Tudor Revival architecture of the house. 

Upper Busch Gardens Cultural Landscape Historic District – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Is a group of single-family residences that have remnant features of extensive botanical gardens built on the estate of Adolphus and Lily Busch. 

Lower Busch Gardens Historic District  – Pasadena – Los Angeles County 
Is a group of single-family residences that have remnant features of extensive botanical gardens built on the estate of Adolphus and Lily Busch. The Lower Gardens were developed at different times and were of different visual character than the Upper Gardens. 

George Hansen House – Anaheim – Orange County 
Also known as the Pioneer House of the Mother Colony, it is a hall-and-parlor folk house constructed in 1857. The building was relocated in 1928 and has served as a house museum interpreting the early history of Anaheim since its relocation. 

John Woelke House – Anaheim – Orange County 
Is an 1896 Queen Anne house designed by George Franklin Barber. It was relocated to its current site adjacent to the Hansen House in 1949, and serves as a house museum. 

California Point of Historical Interest nominations scheduled for action include: 

San Juan Elementary School – San Juan Capistrano – Orange County 
The first elementary school in Orange County, established in 1850. A series of school buildings were constructed on the site, the most recent in 1965. A 1947 teachers’ residence and a bronze bell, formerly mounted in a Mission Revival style school building on the site, are contributing features of the property that marks the site of the school. 


Anaheim Muzeo 

WHEN: 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2013 

WHERE: Downtown Anaheim Community Center 
A Hall 
250 East Center Street 
Anaheim, California 92805 

The public may present oral statements at the hearing at the appropriate time. Written comments about any subject on the agenda may be submitted to Carol Roland, State Historic Preservation Officer, Office of Historic Preservation, Post Office Box 942896, Sacramento, California 94296-0001. Inquiries may be directed to Recording Secretary Twila Willis-Hunter by phone at (916) 445-7052, by fax at (916) 445-7053 or by mail to the State Historical Resources Commission, Post Office Box 942896, Sacramento, California 94296-0001. Notices and agendas for the Commission’s workshop and meeting are available at ten days before the meeting. 

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Make sure your garden is getting the correct amount of water

The Lake County UF/IFAS Extension had a successful Landscape and Garden Fair last weekend, despite the rainy weather. We are planning to make it an annual event.

Make sure your garden is getting the correct amount of water by placing short cans, like tuna cans, out for 24 hours on an irrigation day to capture the water. The next day, look in the can and see if you are providing 1/2- to 3/4-inch, the proper amount to apply, or if your irrigation needs tweaking.

Tweaking may be as simple as moving a mist head so that it is not blocked by overhanging leaves, altering the length of time the irrigation set runs, or cleaning out the emitter/filter. Replacing irrigation heads and lines is more complicated but is important for saving water and money.

As the temperatures heat up, annuals that can take the heat include salvia, torenia, wax begonia, coleus and ornamental peppers. Vegetables for the summer garden that can be planted now include okra, southern peas and sweet potato. We planted some peanuts in the Discovery Garden’s vegetable garden this year so we can harvest for boiling in August. Get your peanuts in before mid- month, as late plantings will not amount to much.

Warm weather means the insects are becoming active too. The lubber grasshoppers are starting to eat our lilies. The young grasshoppers are black with a red/orange stripe but will eventually become large multi-colored beasts. It is best to control them now with hand-picking (put them in a bucket of soapy water or trash bag) or chemicals.

Insecticides that will kill young lubbers include carbaryl, bifenthrin, cyhalothrin, permethrin and esfenvalerate. This is the active ingredient on the label, not the brand name, and it usually has to be applied right on the grasshopper to kill it. Be careful to follow label directions — most of these chemicals are toxic to fish and if used on food crops may have important restrictions.

Once they are large, nothing will stop lubbers short of a brick. They are toxic to most other animals, so don’t expect the birds to take care of them for you. Small mammals may vomit and remain ill for several hours after eating one. When you pick them, they may spit “tobacco juice,” a semitoxic liquid that can stain clothes. Just make sure to wash your hands like your mother always told you.

Programs this month include “Green Industry Best Management Practices” on May 22. This is a day-long program that can result in a fertilizer license. The license will be required for all people applying fertilizers for hire, starting in 2014. The program teaches about responsible use of irrigation, chemicals, fertilizers and cultural practices for landscaping.

A class for natural areas pesticide applicators that will include presentations about new invasive species, easily confused native and invasive species, and how to choose the right treatment for the site will be held May 29. If you are a homeowner interested in saving money on your landscape, a lunch- time webinar on May 23 called “Saving Strategies: Your Home Landscape” will provide the information you need to utilize sustainable landscaping principles.

The Area D 4-H horse show is May 3-5 at the Clarecona Horse Park in Ocoee. The public is welcome to cheer on riders from Central Florida as they compete to attend the state 4-H horse show in July.

Visit the Discovery Gardens and our plant clinic with your plant problems and questions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays, at the Ag Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares.

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Royal Wedding Florist at MFA’s Art in Bloom

By Carol Stocker
Globe Correspondent

British royal wedding floral designer Shane Connolly is the star of this weekend’s Art in Bloom, the annual flower festival which runs through Monday at the Museum of Fine Arts. He holds a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales, making him an official supplier of flowers for royal events, including Prince Charles’ 2005 wedding and Kate and Will’s 2011 nuptials. He also doesn’t believe in using Oasis, that green stem gripping sponge employed by most florists since the 1950’s.

Q; What was your role in the Royal Wedding?
A: Confidentiality is a very big part of it. Shane Connolly and Company provided flowers for the church, the bride and bridesmaids, the reception at Buckingham Palace and dinner there that night. We had a team of 15 in total.

Q: Describe it.
A: It was a green and white color scheme. Live growing trees were very noticeable. The bridal bouquet contained lily of the valley, sweet William and hyacinth with myrtle from Queen Victoria’s wedding. Myrtle is a symbol of a happy marriage.
Q: You literally used cuttings from the very same myrtle plant used in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet in 1840?
A: Yes. The cuttings were from the same plant which is at her favorite former residence on the Isle of Wight.
Q: What will you be doing at the MFA for Art in Bloom this weekend?
A: I will be teaching two master classes to 24 people (sold out) and giving a lecture.

Q: What are the current trends in flower arranging?
A: I am an anti-trend person. My work has to reflect the individual, and be respectful of the environment. It excludes material that cannot be composted, such as Oasis. That makes you more inventive. You have to chose flowers that work with your containers. The flowers actually last longer with nice fresh water around the stems.
Q:How is flower arranging different in Britain?
A: It’s considered a craft, whereas in America floral arranging is considered more of an art form. The fact that flowers are brought into the museum (where they are used to interpret artistic masterpieces) shows that. In England floral design is a craft equated with home cooking. If someone makes a painting of one of my arrangements, the painting is considered a work of art. But my arrangement is not.

Q:How did you get into this profession?
A: I am a native of Belfast and I have always enjoyed gardening, though I read psychology at university. I started helping with flowers for friends in the business when I was 23. Then I decided it would be nice to be paid.
Q: You were at Art in Bloom ten years ago. How did last week’s bombing affect your attitude toward the event this visit?
A: It made me more determined to come. Beauty is part of life and there is no better memorial than that life continues. I was in Japan the year after the sunami. It was a different kind of disaster. But the people were hungry for beautiful things again. Beauty makes people feel hopeful

Art in Bloom runs through Monday, April 29. Some 50 works of art from across the Museum’s encyclopedic collection will be interpreted in flowers, including John Singer Sargent’s iconic painting The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, the recently conserved sculpture of the Roman goddess Juno, and contemporary artist El Anatsui’s sculptural work Black River.

Drop-in Ikebana floral demonstrations and gallery tours will be offered during Art in Bloom on Saturday, April 27, followed by a Member’s Night from 6–9 p.m. that evening. On Sunday, April 28, the MFA will host a Family Day featuring family-friendly programming, art-making activities, storytelling, and live entertainment. Additionally, local artist Robert Guillemin (“Sidewalk Sam”) will be at the MFA collaborating with visitors to leave their mark on the Museum’s steps using sidewalk chalk. This year’s featured speaker will be Shane Connolly, who received worldwide acclaim for the elegant and inspired floral décor he created for the 2011 royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Connolly will conduct two master classes with hands-on floral instruction on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28. He will also present a lecture and demonstration on Monday, April 29, at 10:30 a.m., followed by a book signing. All presentations by Connolly are ticketed events. Daily events include continuous demonstrations of floral arranging for the home, outdoor walking tours exploring the architecture and neighboring gardens of the MFA, and free gallery tours highlighting the floral arrangements throughout the Museum.

Also included is a ticketed “Elegant Tea” available Saturday through Monday in the newly renovated William I. Koch Gallery, one of the Museum’s grandest spaces. Guests at the afternoon tea, hosted by Cunard Line—operator of the famous ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth. The full schedule of events is listed below.


Ticketed Events

· Shane Connolly Master Class I

Saturday, April 27, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Hands-on floral arranging with one of Britain’s renowned floral designers. Tickets are $200.

· Shane Connolly Master Class II (advanced)

Sunday, April 28, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Hands-on floral arranging for advanced students. Tickets are $200.

· Shane Connolly: A Year in Flowers

Monday, April 29, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Connolly presents a floral demonstration and lecture, followed by a book signing. Tickets are $55.

· “Elegant Tea” in the William I. Koch Gallery

12:30 and 2:30 p.m. daily

Reservations required

Adult tickets: $30; children 12 and under: $10

Famed for its legendary white-gloved afternoon tea services, the renowned Cunard Line will host “Elegant Tea.” Guests will enjoy the finest teas and canapés during a traditional British-style afternoon.

Special Events

Free with Museum admission, no reservations required. Museum admission is free for MFA members.

· Ikebana Floral Demonstrations

Saturday, April 27, 3–4 p.m.

Each of the three Ikebana design schools will present one floral creation.

· Members’ Night

Saturday, April 27, 6–9 p.m.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

A members-only viewing with tours, shopping, and dining.

· Family Day

Sunday, April 28, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Art-making activities and performances for children of all ages.

· Gardens of New York

Sunday, April 28, 3–4 p.m.

A presentation by Maureen Bovet, who lectures on world gardens.

· Designing a Garden for All Seasons

Monday, April 29, 3–4 p.m.

A presentation by Suzanne Mahler, a recognized garden writer and lecturer.

Daily Events

Free with Museum admission, no reservations required. Museum admission is free for MFA members.

· Art in Bloom Gallery Tours

10 a.m.–3 p.m.

A tour of the collections and floral arrangements throughout the galleries.

· Designing with Flowers

Noon–3 p.m.

Continuous demonstrations of flower arranging for the home.

· Outdoor Walking Tours

1–2 p.m.

The MFA’s architecture and neighboring gardens are among the highlights of this tour.

· Enter-to-Win a Cunard Line Tour

Cunard will offer Art in Bloom attendees an enter-to-win opportunity for a private tour and luncheon for one winner and three guests aboard Queen Mary 2 during one of the ocean liner’s future Boston visits.


Art in Bloom is free with Museum admission. Advance ticket purchase is required for the Shane Connolly lecture and master classes and “Elegant Tea.” Tickets may be purchased at, by calling 1-800-440-6975, or in person at the MFA ticket desks. For the full event schedule, visit

Join the conversation about the about the MFA on Twitter: and Facebook:, and watch MFA-related videos on YouTube:

Art in Bloom originated at the MFA in 1976 and since then has been replicated at museums throughout the country. The three-day event attracts more than 15,000 visitors, and is one of the most highly attended events at the Museum. It is organized by the Museum’s volunteer group, the MFA Associates, an organization of 75 members formed in 1956, who contribute more than 40,000 volunteer hours to the Museum annually. In addition to presenting this annual event, their activities include funding MFA grants and School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) scholarships from Art in Bloom proceeds, providing assistance at the Sharf Visitor Center Desk, leading daily gallery tours, creating regional membership outreach programs, organizing events, and arranging flowers in the MFA’s public space.

Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 9:45 p.m. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger on weekdays after 3 p.m., weekends, and Boston Public Schools holidays; otherwise $10. Wednesday nights after 4 p.m. admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). MFA Members are always admitted for free. The MFA’s multi-media guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

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Getting your garden ready for summer: Some expert tips

TORONTO, Ont. – Gardeners unite! Your time has come.

While the calendar has shown spring for the past five weeks, the weather hasn’t been anything like it – until this weekend.

With temperatures forecast in the upper teens – the warmest temperatures in 2013 yet – accompanied by plenty of sunshine, gardeners will be getting their green thumbs ready.

“I’m going to do some planting outside here. I’m going to put down some topsoil,” one man told 680News, out for a stroll near Yonge and Bloor.

“I do a little bit of a vegetable garden, some flowers,” said another man.

However, an expert says, certain species should not be planted, just yet.

“Anything that deals with frost or cold soil temperatures – and what I mean by that is anything that could suffer from severe frost, so we have things like tomatoes, pepper plants,” City’s Frankie Flowers tells 680News.

Good vegetable crops to begin growing at this time of year include carrots, radishes or spinach. As for flowers, Frankie recommends pansies for some colour inspiration, and hanging plants which can be brought indoors on chilly nights.

It’s also a good time of year to put down grass seed.

But before planting, a clean-up is a must.

“Any broken branches, you take care of any of that. Any debris sitting around the garden – get rid of it. Any annuals from last year that have died,” Frankie says, but be careful.

“Some plants that bloom in spring – like a lilac -if you prune them right now, goodbye to your blooms. They’re gone.”

And don’t forget to fix the dirt.

“Remember your garden’s only as good as the soil it grows in.”

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Gardenfest2013! Spring Gardening Tips and To Dos




When purchasing bedding annuals this spring, choose properly grown plants with good color. Buy plants

with well-developed root systems that are vigorous, but not too large for their pots, and lots if unopened

buds. Plants that bloom in the pack are often root bound and can be set back for several weeks after

being transplanted. Plants not yet in bloom will actually bloom sooner, be better established and grow



Plan to attract hummingbirds to your garden this year by planting red or orange flowers. Monarda

(beebalm) is a good perennial to provide nectar for these small birds.

For hot-weather color, select one of the following: Gloriosa Daisy, Madagascar Periwinkle, Ornamental

Peppers, Mexican Zinnia or Amaranthus ‘Joseph’s Coat.’ Plant only after all danger of frost is past and

plan for color until winter arrives.

Make a plot layout of your flower borders. This is an essential, but often neglected task. With an accurate

plot plan, you will know where to locate the spring flowering bulbs you plant next fall. Also, it will make

your spring and summer gardening easier. You will be able to correctly identify the plants in your border

and plan for continuous blooming by setting young annuals between bulbs and early flowering perennials

after their blooms have faded.



Begin to plant seedlings of warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. You can

also start your pumpkin seeds now

Sow beets, beans, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, sweet corn and radishes

Plant herbs such as thyme, sage, parsley, chives and basil

Sod or sow new lawns, and overseed damaged older lawns

Start planting out warm season annuals such as impatiens, marigolds, petunias, sunflowers, zinnia,

lobelia, allysum

Finish planting summer-flowering bulbs like tuberose, gladiolus, dahlias, and callas

Plant chervil, coriander, dill, rosemary, and summer savory outside after the last spring frost date for your

area. Your Extension agent should be able to give you the date.

Now is a good time to start a cactus garden. Cacti may be started from seeds or from cuttings.


The cool weather of April is perfect for pansies.


Plant dahlia tubers as soon as the danger of frost is passed. Stake at the time of planting to avoid injury

to tubers.

Plant clematis in locations that receive at least six hours of sunshine a day. Use an organic mulch or

ground cover to shade roots and keep them cool. Plant in rich, well-drained loam.

Hydrangea is one gift plant that transplants well into the garden after its flowers fade. When the weather

warms, plant in well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Don’t be surprised if the next year’s flowers

are a different color than the first year. Blue or pink hydrangea color is dependent on the pH of the soil.

Alkaline soil produces pink flowers; acidic soil produces blue flowers. White hydrangeas are not affected

by soil pH.


Many gardeners plant annual and perennial flowers to attract hummingbirds. Woody plants can also be

added to the yard to provide nectar for our smallest native birds. Some common trees visited by

hummingbirds are buckeye, horse chestnut, catalpa, apple, crabapple, hawthorn, silk tree, redbud and

tulip poplar. Shrubs include azalea, beauty bush, coralberry, honeysuckle, lilac, New Jersey tea, Siberian

pea shrub and red weigela.



Frost tender plants such as citrus, fuchsia, geranium, hibiscus, mandevilla, and bougainvillea can go

outdoors when all chance of frost is gone

Start feeding potted plants every two to three weeks with half-strength liquid fertilizer

If plants like citrus, camellias, gardenias, and grapes are chlorotic (have yellowing between green leaf

veins), spray leaves with a foliar fertilizer containing chelated iron

Mulch soil to save water, smother weeds, keep soil cooler. Spread 1-3 inches (2.5-7cm) of bark chips,

compost, wood shavings, or other organic material under shrubs trees, annuals and vegetables.


Thin vegetables that were sown too thickly, like basil, carrots, green onions, or lettuce

Prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees after bloom is over

Fertilize everything right now, but do not feed spring-flowering shrubs like azaleas, camellias, and

rhododendrons until after they have finished flowering. Use an acid based fertilizer. They also should be

pruned after blooming

Now is also the time to divide mint, chive, tarragon, and creeping thyme.

Control lawn weeds now through late May before they get large.


The lawn mower blade should always be sharp so as not to tear the grass. If you sharpen the blade at

home, be sure to balance it, too. Place the center hole of the blade on a screwdriver handle held upright

in the vise. Check to see if it balances. If not, sharpen the heavier side some more until the blade

balances on the handle.


Lawn grasses do best if mowed at the correct height: For mowing heights and specific information about

specific Grass Types go to our website:


To determine if soil is ready to work, squeeze a handful into a tight ball, then, break the ball apart with

your fingers. If the ball of soil readily crumbles in your fingers, the soil is ready to be worked. If the soil

stays balled, however, it is still too wet to work. Use this test in another week to determine if the soil is

ready to be worked.


Lift, divide, and replant chrysanthemums as soon as new shoots appear. Each rooted shoot or clump will

develop into a fine plant for late summer bloom. Pinch out the top when the plants are about 4 inches (10

cm) high to thicken the plant.

Don’t throw out the little gladiolus cormlets you dug out with the larger corms last fall. Plant them in a row

in the garden this spring, and in two years, they will reach blooming size.

When iris leaves appear thin and limp, check for borers. These grub-like insects can ruin an entire

planting if not detected and eradicated early.

April is a good time to clean up plants and flower beds. Pick out dead leaves and twigs and prune dead


Label the clumps of daffodils that are too crowded, as overcrowding inhibits blooming. Dig up and

separate in July.

Cut flower stalks back to the ground on daffodils, hyacinths and other spring flowering bulbs as the

flowers fade. Do not cut the foliage until it dies naturally. The leaves are necessary to produce strong

bulbs capable of reflowering.


Buy a hose-end shut-off valve; these are available separately or as part of a watering wand. This allows

you to turn off the hose as you move around the yard. Also, when you are through watering, you can shut

off the water immediately, rather than let the hose run while you hurry to turn off the main spigot.

Once new growth begins on trees and shrubs, cut back to green wood any twigs affected by winter kill.


Weed and Pest Control

Keep and eye out for aphids and get them before they take over your plants Use either a strong stream of

water or use safer soap products. Keep after the slugs and snails! Read How To Organically Control Snails and Slugs – go to our


The Watershed Post’s News from Local Businesses column carries news from local businesses in our directory. Visit this business’s page:

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Weather Garden Tip: Repairing areas of dead grass

This is a good time of the year to repair grass damage. These spots of dead grass could be caused by grubs, last year’s drought, or a few other reasons.  

Now is a good time to repair any dead areas in your lawn.

There are dead areas showing now. The causes can be numerous, but the big two are grub damage and drought kill from last year’s hot summer.

You definitely want to get those dead areas covered with grass. If you don’t plant and grow grass in those dead areas, weeds will grow there.

The best way to avoid weeds is thick, healthy grass.

So here are some tips to succeed in repairing the dead areas in your lawn.

First you have to decide if the dead areas are large enough that you need to replant your entire lawn.

Here I’m going to deal with just the splotchy areas of dead lawn, like in the picture above.

The video I shot shows you all of the steps.

First, you need to get some soil exposed so the grass seed can get into the soil.

Even in dead spots, there may be dead grass that will prevent the new seed from getting into the soil.

View full sizeUse a hard tine rake or cultivator to break up the dead grass and loosen up the soil 

So get in there with a straight tine rake or a forked cultivator like I’m showing.

Use some elbow grease, break up the old grass layer, and loosen about an inch or two of soil.

You don’t need to work the soil deep, like you would when planting flower or vegetable transplants.

Just loosen the soil enough so the small, new roots of the baby grass plant will be able to grow down into the soil.

View full sizeThe quality and mix of seed is important. The cheaper seed will have more weed seeds in it. 

What type of seed?

This is one detail that is important.

The cheaper the seed, the more weed seeds that will be in the mixture. And the varieties of grass may not be the most attractive.

Having said that, if you have the normal “mixed grasses” lawn, a general mix of a few ryegrass, bluebrass, and fescue varieties will do the trick.

If you are really picky about your lawn, you better try to match the type of grass.

Generally, if it’s a very nice lawn, it’s a bluegrass lawn.

It could also be a very uniform, fine fescue lawn. Those blades would be real fine and generally in a more shady lawn.

If you are concerned about the type of grass, take some to your favorite golf course. They always know about grass types.

How much seed?

You want to plant enough seed so when it germinates it covers the bare soil.

How much is a hard thing to explain. Watch the above video if you can to get a good idea.

Otherwise, cover the soil about 50 percent with seed.

If you don’t get enough on it, the new grass will spread. So don’t sweat it too much.

View full sizeA very important step is how deep to cover the grass seed. Don’t cover it much at all. In fact, I just very lightly rake over the seed so it has contact with the soil. 

Most important – covering the seed

If you fail, it will probably be because of how you covered the seed.

The seed needs to be in contact with the soil, and planted VERY shallow.

You don’t really cover the seed with soil. You just lightly rake it into the top one-quarter inch of soil.

Yes, that is shallow. It means no pressure on the rake, and just drag it across the soil.

Watering the seed

This is real important too.

The soil doesn’t need to be soaked, but rather just kept moist.

That usually means watering briefly with a nozzle on your hose, or five to ten minutes with a sprinkler.

Do that a few times a day to keep the soil moist.

A quick watering before you go to work, and a quick watering after you get home should do it.

It will take 7 to 21 days for seed to sprout. Stick with the watering and don’t give up unless you don’t see any grass within three weeks.

After the grass sprouts

Stick with the often and light watering even after you see grass germinate. You still have more seed to germinate. Bluegrass seed will take up to 21 days to germinate.

After you are satisfied with the amount of germination, change your watering to a deeper, less frequent schedule.

In other words, water longer but only every other day.

Keep the grass watered into summer. The roots are tiny until next fall, and will dry out quickly.

It’s a downer when you get good germination, and then the grass dries out and dies.

Also, you can’t spray the new grass areas with broadleaf weed killer until you’ve mowed the new grass four times.

If you have any lawn questions, ask me here!

Mark Torregrossa has been the Chief Meteorologist for three television news stations in Michigan. A resident of the state for 20 years, he is also a master gardener and avid hunter. Email him at and find him on Facebook at and Twitter @weathermanmark

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