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Archives for June 5, 2013

Property Trax: Annual MABA Parade of Homes begins this weekend, but few …

This year’s Parade of Homes sponsored by the Madison Area Builders Association runs 16 days starting Saturday and ending June 23.

The event, featuring 30 homes in five communities, takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The work of 24 builders will be showcased, with some building at more than one site.

But note this: in keeping with the area’s recovering but still fragile home-building market, this year’s parade includes very few homes that are actually for sale. That’s because building a home solely as a marketing tool — known as “spec building” — is still too risky for most.

“A handful of them are for sale,” said Sandi Kegebein, MABA’s member services director, on Wednesday. “But the majority of them are already sold. They were built-to-contract originally.”

Also, despite fears by some builders in early May that they might not finish their parade homes on time, due to a reported lack of trade labor such as framing carpenters and concrete masons, no such crisis ultimately occurred, Kegebein said.

Except for some landscaping work delayed by the rainy weather, she said, “Everything is finished.”

Now in its 63rd year, the parade is meant to show off local communities and introduce builders and developers to those who may be in the market for a newly built home.

But people who aren’t buying now or have no plans to build also can take the self-guided tour, to get ideas for redecorating and remodeling, organizers said, with the latest in interior design and color trends featured.

The five communities with homes in the parade include Bristol Gardens in the town of Bristol, Rivers Turn at Conservancy Place in DeForest, Savannah Parks in Deerfield, Scenic Ridge in Verona and Westbridge in Waunakee. New to the parade this year is Westbridge.

Kegebein said this year’s parade of homes offers a wide range of home sizes and price-points.

“They go from $400,000 all the way up to over $1 million,” she said.

Some features being highlighted in this year’s parade include a home in Waunakee designed to run entirely by electric solar power and one in Deerfield that is 100 percent accessible to people with disabilities.

“There are no thresholds (in the home),” Kegebein said. “Everything is wheelchair-accessible from the curb and through the house.”

As for amenities, one home to be featured in the parade in Verona comes with a pool and another one in Waunakee is “all high-tech,” Kegebein said, in which home systems such as heating and security can be run from an iPad or other mobile device.

A detailed map with exact locations of the parade sites and directions to each home is available through links at maba.org.

Tickets also can be purchased online and, as in years past, cost $12 for adults, and $6 for children ages 3 to 12 and seniors ages 65 and older. Children under 3 are free.

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Article source: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/real-estate/property-trax-annual-maba-parade-of-homes-begins-this-weekend/article_581380e6-cddf-11e2-8a78-001a4bcf887a.html

Nigel Dunnett among top line up for next month’s sustainable landscaping event

By Sarah Cosgrove
04 June 2013

Article source: http://www.hortweek.com/Parks_and_gardens/article/1184998/Nigel-Dunnett-among-top-line-next-months-sustainable-landscaping-event/

Preview: Parade of Homes house in Portage – Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO, MI — Houses from $150,000 to more than $900,000 with unique features like theater rooms, wine rooms, an even an indoor workout pool are expected to provide something for almost every homeowner or prospective home buyer to see at the 23rd Annual Spring Parade of Homes in Kalamazoo.

Parade homes of all styles and price ranges can be seen throughout Kalamazoo County,” said Scott DeLoof, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Kalamazoo, which sponsors the annual event. “This year we are taking on the theme of energy efficiency. Many of the homes will be highlighting energy efficient features.”

Home Builders logo.jpg

He said Consumers Energy is the event’s Luminary Sponsor and is working with the Home Builders Association “to educate as many people as possible about how they can save money by having an energy-efficient home.”

The nine-day Parade, which starts Friday (June 7) and continues through June 15, will feature 21 homes, including 18 newly built residences and three remodeled homes. Other sponsors include WKZO and WVFM radio, MLive Media Group, Integrated Smart Technologies and Lake Michigan Credit Union.

“This year we have a lot of unique builders and styles,” said Amanda Kuchnicki, director of marketing and social media for the HBA. She said the homes include four condominiums and three lake houses. “We are featuring the latest trends and styles for interior design, energy efficiency and technology within the home.”

Parade logo.jpg

She said people enjoy the Parade of Homes not only to see what the area has to offer in new housing opportunities (construction, architecture, landscaping and technology) but to find ideas and inspiration for their own home improvements.

Click here for a look at the homes to be showcased.

Among the homes is a custom-built house at 6199 McGillicuddy Lane in Portage designed by area home designer Phil Bonnine for the young family of his son and daughter-in-law. It is a 2,444-square-foot, single-family residence with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.

“It’s modern living,” said Jack Gesmundo of American Village Builders, which began construction of the house about 5.5 months ago in its Homestead community. “It’s casual living. It’s not a formal home.”

He said the house in functional, without a formal dining room or segregated rooms.

“The kitchen in this home is a command center,” Gesmundo said. “It’s open to the living room and the dining area.”

Its cabinetry and walls feature unique colors and finishes. And the house backs up to the Portage trail system.

Some details:

WHEN – June 7 through June 15.

WHERE
Various homes from Greater Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County. Location maps are provided with tickets.

HOURS –  6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 to 9 p.m. on Fridays; 1 – 9
p.m. Saturdays; and some homes are open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Remodeled homes area to be open from June 13 to 15 only.

COST – Admission to all of the properties is $12 per
person. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in
advance for $10 at any Lake Michigan Credit Union location or Harding’s Marketplaces in Kalamazoo.

SPECIALS
Tickets include dining deals from various local restaurants including: Asiago’s Bakery Deli, Epic Bistro, Fieldstone Grill,
Martell’s, The Union and Central City Tap House.

More information about the Parade of Homes is available by contacting the Home Builders Association at
269-375-4225 or via KalamazooHomePage.com.

Business writer Al Jones may be contacted at ajones5@mlive.com
and 269-365-7187. Follow me on Twitter at
ajones5_al.

Article source: http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/06/23rd_annual_parade_of_homes_in.html

‘A 30-year dream come true’ – Chesterhill Mayor Richard Wetzel

Anyone interested in researching his or her ancestry – or any local history projects – may want to visit the Multicultural Genealogical Center recently opened in Chesterhill. This research facility contains volumes of information pertaining to former and current families of Morgan and surrounding counties. MGC held a dedication open house June 1 to kick off the opening of its building, grounds and gardens.

The Multicultural Genealogical Center is located at the intersection of OH-SR 377 and OH-SR 555 in Chesterhill. The MGC was first organized 13 years ago. The building where the MGC Research Library is now located was originally a log home built in 1859. The present building has been under an extensive renovation for the last five years.

The building is a two-story frame Colonial Revival style house with a full basement. Many original logs were incorporated with the recently completed remodeling project.

Ada Woodson Adams, president of MGC, explained, “Well over 150 years ago, Chesterhill had a large population of Quakers. Quakers believe all men are created equal, so even though it was illegal during those times, runaways from the south, freedom speakers, and the underground railroad refugees were welcomed in Chesterhill. Today, all peoples can share this site, as originally intended.”

“About five years ago, five of us stepped out of our comfort zone and wrote a grant request for $3,000 to begin the restoration of our old building,” Adams continued. “The five sparkplugs were Dessie Workman, Nelson and Gloria Myers, Elma Stirgwolt, and Ada Woodson Adams. Also, there are many founders who have passed since the inception and completion of the MGC, that I would like for everyone to remember. It is a shame they are not here with us today at our open house.”

“Wand Hairston, from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, was the person who taught us the rope of grant writing,” she said. “Also, Dave Watson-Halloway from the Rensselaerville Institute, from New York State, worked with us on our first grant proposal.” 

“That first grant was to be used to paint the exterior of the building, but fortunately, Rev. Bob Davis of Jackson supplied the paint. Dr. James Mason of Reynoldsburg and a group of United Methodist volunteers spent three consecutive weekends in a row, scraping and painting the outside of the building,” she recalled.

Since those early beginnings, the structure has had a new furnace installed, been re-wired and re-plumbed, and it has also been made handicap accessible. The front of the building and one side has been re-sided, to look as close to period as possible, and a fundraiser is in progress to finish the rest of the siding project.

In his address to the crowd, Chesterhill Mayor Richard Wetzel commented, “This MGC dedication is a 30-year dream come true. I would like to express my gratitude to all who made this possible. A lot of people put in a great deal of time, effort and monies to promote justice and equality, here today and into the future. It is a spiritual experience when dreams become a reality.”

During the open house Saturday, Lee Gregg gave a presentation about traditional African Textiles. Gregg displayed three wrap-arounds weaved by both men and women. The men use a narrow loom to make and then weave narrow strips of cloth to each other to create a wrap-around. The women use a larger loom to make their traditional dress and baby wraps. The men do not weave as a solitary pursuit, but work together like a club or social function and occasionally sing while weaving.

“I have noticed on my trips to Nigeria, that when a group or family attend an important event together, they wear particularly colorful striped wrap-arounds, made alike,” Gregg said.

Emilie Wood gave a tour of the gardens and talked about the landscaping.

“Since the age of the house is from around the 1850’s, I tried to use roses and trees that were popular during those times. We used a bench and arbor containing four beds of roses, divided by paths,” Wood said. “Some of the species go back to President Jefferson’s time period, while others go back as far as the middle ages, and some others, possibly as old as the Roman times. We also have a Victorian fence near the front entrance, so we planted it with flowers and roses representing those early times.”

Tony Mayle talked about the underground railroad. Nancy Aiken discussed the Kate Love Simpson Branch Library in Chesterhill, which is located just across the street from MGC.

Entertainment was provided by the Celia and Charlie Lewis Band from Guysville.

 The Multicultural Genealogical Center has about 150 members, with about 70 of those being lifetime memberships.

Ada Woodson Adams expressed appreciation to everyone involved in making the project a success and to all of those attending.

Article source: http://www.mchnews.com/articles/2013/06/05/news/top_stories_and_breaking_news/doc51ae81db2b3af690174578.txt

The Dirt: Nature photography, Champlin garden tour, author appearance




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    Nature photography by Chris Linder at the arboretum.

    Photo: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum,

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    Picture perfect

    Award-winning nature photographer Chris Linder gets up close and personal when he’s shooting images illustrating climate change around the world. Linder will share many of his photos and experiences from his travels during a photography symposium, “Conservation Through the Lens,” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Oswald Visitor Center. There will also be free time to shoot on the arboretum grounds and an opportunity to take a master class ($25) with Linder. Cost is $95, $80 for members; includes lunch. Go to http://bit.ly/109A41c or call 952-443-1422.

    Charming gardens

    This year, Champlin’s Father Hennepin Festival will pre­sent free self-guided tours of six public and private gardens featuring all different sizes and styles, including sun and shade beds, a train garden, gazebos, water gardens and a back yard modeled after the Canadian North Woods. The Champlin Garden Club-sponsored event kicks off at 9 p.m. Saturday with a “nightscape” tour highlighting lit waterfalls and garden accents along winding walkways. Other gardens will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tour maps are available at Champlin City Hall, Fair’s Nursery, Lynde Garden Center and at www.fatherhennepinfestival.com. The Father Hennepin Festival is Fri.-Sun. and features a parade, rides, live music and family activities.

    Lawn chair gardening

    Environmentalist and author Dawn Pape will give a talk on her new book, “A Lawn Chair Gardener’s Guide,” share landscaping tips and answer questions, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.Hedberg’s Landscape, 8400 60th St., Stillwater. Hedberg’s recently opened a new Outdoor Living Design Center at this location. Call 651-748-3158.

    Perennial knowledge

    Have you always wanted to start a perennial garden? The Gertens Perennial Fest will offer workshops on topics such as plant selection, rain gardens, attracting butterflies and birds and growing fruit. The festival is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights. Call 651-450-1501.

    Stop invasive species

    At PlayCleanGo Day on Saturday, volunteers will explain how to “Stop Invasive Species in Your Tracks” and hand out information at six state parks. Invasive plants and animals discussed will include earthworms, buckthorn, wild parsnip and emerald ash borers. For information, go to www.PlayCleanGo.org.

    LYNN UNDERWOOD

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    Get green gardening tips at workshop

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    Wildlife Photography Tips From Simon King – Simon King shares his advice on …

    150,000+ photographers and growing. Join Today!

    Article source: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/tips-on-photographing-dragonflies--butterflies-and-garden-birds-22078

    Radical design proposals floated for new Penn Station

    Like many US railway stations, New York’s Penn Station is a shadow of its former self. With redevelopment of the station hindered by its location under Madison Square Garden, the Municipal Art Society (MAS) of New York hopes to relocate the gardens and rebuild the station for the 21st century. Last week, the MAS announced four possible designs for Penn Station and Madison Square Garden as part of its Design Challenge aimed at replacing or remodelling the current structure.

    The brief of the competition was to reimagine Pennsylvania or Penn Station as an “urban gateway” and move Madison Square Garden to a new location to allow for expansion. If realized, this redevelopment would be the most radical change to the station since the original building was controversially demolished in 1963 and rebuilt with the current Madison Square Garden on top of it.

    The competition was prompted by expiration of Madison Square Garden’s permit, which its owners wish to have renewed in perpetuity. However, the MAS, in partnership with the Regional Plan Association, formed the Alliance for a New Penn Station with the objective of renewing the permit for only ten years to prompt redevelopment of the site. The final decision on the permit will be made by the New York City Council in July and the Design Challenge is intended to help build the case for a limited permit and redevelopment.

    The Winning Designs

    Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Josh Sirefman

    Dubbed “Penn Station 3.0,” the Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) with Josh Sirefman design is presented as a city within a city and “a porous and light-­filled civic structure filled with diverse new programs that reflect the hybridity of contemporary urban life.” The designers see it as not only a transport hub, but as a destination in itself. It consists of layers divided into various activities based on time taken, from fast activities on top to slower ones below. The idea is that the structure will have a cascade effect as one descends to the trains and the layers “decelerate” in time. In this design, Madison Square Garden would be relocated to the west end of the Farley building on Ninth Avenue, with access to Eighth Avenue.

    Food court at Penn Station by DS+R Design (Image: DS+R Design)

    H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture

    The H3 Hardy design sees itself as a way to improve New York’s essential systems. In this case, these systems are seen as public spaces, entertainment, environment, transportation, education and economic development. The key to this is relocating Madison Square Garden to a 16-acre (6.4 ha) site on the west side waterfront. The project would not only involve a new Penn Station, but also an eight-track high-speed rail expansion going south, improved amenities and three-acre (1.2 ha) public park, retail complex, and two-­acre (0.8 ha) roof garden, a new Center of Education and 24 million feet (222.9 ha) of private development.

    Train Hall by H3 Design (Image: H3 Design)

    SHoP Architects

    SHoP Architects plan to expand the main hall of Penn Station to turn it into a bright, airy space that the designers see as the center of a new destination district called Gotham Gateway. Security and rail capacity would be improved and there would be new parks and amenities with a view to attracting private investment to help pay for the project, as well as a new High Line to connect with the relocated Madison Square Garden.

    Train platform by SHoP Architects (Image: SHoP Architects)

    SOM

    The SOM design wants to expand Penn Station over two more blocks with high-speed rail lines for the Northeast corridor for better commuter rail service and direct rail connections to John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International airports. The main focus would be a ticketing hall dominated by a dramatic oval skylight. A dedicated vehicular drop-off and pedestrian connections to the surrounding area would also be included. Retail spaces would be integrated into traffic areas, so that the station blends seamlessly into the city itself. Expanded train platforms would make up the lowest level.

    Cutaway view of Penn Station by SOM Design (Image: SOM Design)

    Source: MAS via The Verge

    Article source: http://www.gizmag.com/penn-station-proposals/27755/

    Olive Garden Opens in Rosemead

    Olive Garden Opens in Rosemead

    Christine Cho is named general manager of new restaurant

    Olive Garden Opens in RosemeadOrlando, FL  (RestaurantNews.com)  Olive Garden opened at 1866 Montebello Town Center Dr. in Rosemead, Calif. on Monday, May 6 at 11 a.m. — creating approximately 200 new jobs. The Olive Garden in Rosemead is the newest Olive Garden in the family of more than 800 local restaurants committed to providing every guest with a genuine Italian dining experience.

    The 7,441 square-foot restaurant can host up to 257 guests and features a design that is inspired by traditional farmhouses found in Tuscany, Italy.  Olive Garden design teams traveled to Italy to work with Italian architects Fabio and Lucia Zingarelli and the result is a restaurant design that recreates the warmth and simple beauty of a Tuscan farmhouse.

    The Rosemead Olive Garden has a rustic stone exterior, typical of the buildings in the Italian countryside, and an interior accented by Italian imports designed to make the dining experience here a tribute to the restaurant’s Italian inspiration.  Ceilings supported by exposed wood beams, stone and wood accents throughout, and terra cotta tile highlight the interior.

    In addition, the bar top is crafted from lava stone and hand-painted by artisans in Italy with a design created exclusively for Olive Garden.  Vibrant imported fabrics decorate windows and dining seats, while hand-painted plates, adorn rustic stone and stucco walls.

    The restaurant also features a number of sustainable design elements, including recycled building materials, enlarged windows to increase natural light, low-water landscaping and energy-efficient equipment.  These enhancements are part of the Sustainable Restaurant Design initiative launched by Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden’s parent company.

    “I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the Rosemead restaurant and a great team at Olive Garden,” said Christine Cho, newly named general manager.  “In addition to our Italian specialties, including signature items like our homemade soups, garden fresh salad and warm, garlic breadsticks, the menu at the Rosemead Olive Garden will feature limited time offers such as our 3-Course Italian Dinner. Guests can enjoy an abundant and delicious three-course meal for only $12.95. Guests choose from five delicious entrées, along with unlimited soup or salad, and one of three decadent desserts.”

    Cho brings extensive restaurant industry experience to her new position.  She has been with Olive Garden for seven years, most recently as general manager of the Olive Garden located at 430 E. Huntington Dr. in Arcadia.  Cho received a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from Boston University in Boston, Mass.

    Cho is one of more than 1,400 managers who have visited Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute of Tuscany in the Tuscan village of Riserva di Fizzano, which serves as the source of inspiration for some dishes on Olive Garden’s menu.  Each year, more than 100 managers visit CIT and learn about Italy, its food, wine, culture and people.  This includes learning the time-honored traditions of Italian cooking and working side-by-side with Italian master chefs.  The CIT is designed to inspire attendees to share the Italian culture of hospitality and passion with their restaurant teams and guests back home.

    To recognize Cho’s role as head of the Olive Garden family in Rosemead and to emphasize the importance the company places on its general managers, Olive Garden honored Cho by setting her name in stone.  Travertine marble imported from Tuscany was chiseled with Cho’s name and placed prominently by the restaurant’s front door.

    Olive Garden is now accepting applications for employment.  To be considered for an interview, please apply online at www.OliveGarden.com/Careers.

    About Olive Garden

    Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 90,000 employees and more than $3.5 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI), the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company. In 2013, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the third year in a row and is the only full-service restaurant company to ever appear on the list. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, the Rosemead Olive Garden will participate in the Darden Harvest program, which has donated more than 60 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country. For more information, visit www.olivegarden.com.

    Rosemead Olive Garden at a glance:

    Contact:
    Catie Jackson
    Pierson Grant Public Relations
    954-776-1999, x236
    or
    Tara Gray
    Olive Garden
    407-245-5642

    Article source: http://www.restaurantnews.com/olive-garden-opens-in-rosemead/

    New Installment of the Japanese Garden Plants e-Book Series– Japanese Moss …

    San Francisco, CA, June 05, 2013 –(PR.com)– Japanese garden designer Keizo Hayano and San Francisco-based garden designer Jenny Feuerpeil write short picture e-books about Japanese garden culture. Part 2 of their new series about signature plants of the Japanese garden (Japanese bamboo gardens, Japanese moss gardens, Japanese maples) has been released on May 31st 2013.

    The e-book titled “Moss in the Japanese Garden” has 11 pages and 45 quality pictures of famous moss gardens. It introduces 15 different moss varieties with close-up photographs for easy identification and gives advice on how to grow a moss garden.

    German Garden Designer Jenny Feuerpeil says: “Coming from Europe, I know many gardeners around the globe envy Japan’s warm and humid climate that provides the perfect conditions for establishing moss in a garden. In this e-book we give instructions on how to create a beautiful moss garden in climate zones different from Japan. There are also a lot of helpful tips on moss garden maintenance.”

    This time the design duo received support from the gardener and plant lover Anika Riedl, who currently works in a Japanese garden company near Tokyo. She researched the most popular moss varieties in Japanese gardens, wrote the instructions for establishing moss in a Japanese garden corner and identified the moss in the pictures.

    Chief Advisor of Real Japanese Gardens Keizo Hayano adds: “My recommendation for moss fans and Kyoto visitors is to visit Saiho-ji aka Koke-dera, the moss temple in Arashiyama and Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion in Higashiyama. Jenny (Feuerpeil) took the most amazing pictures of Japanese moss in these gardens. We had a hard time to select the best pictures for this e-book.”

    Currently the website www.japanesegardens.jp features basic information, pictures and directions to around 90 gardens in Japan. To date, 12 eBooks about famous, secret and private Japanese gardens have been published. Another 3 eBooks have been released about typical elements of a Japanese garden – traditional fences and gravel patterns. The first e-book in the plant category is an introduction to Japanese bamboo.

    Note to editors:
    Providing reliable information to our readers is Real Japanese Gardens’ highest priority. Before writing an e-book, the team visits the garden and takes photos of the garden and its features. Up to 80% of the research is done using Japanese resources (books, journals and interviews) to stay as close to the Japanese garden tradition as possible.

    Keizo Hayano is the owner and head designer of the Japan garden design studio Niwashyu in Shibuya, Tokyo (www.niwashyu.jp). He studied the fine arts at the Kyoto City College of Arts and loves small intimate gardens that soothe the soul. Member of the Japanese Association of Garden Designers.

    Jenny is a German garden designer who came to Japan after leaving her job at a global IT company. She studied garden design in Chelsea, London and founded the garden design label Dendron Exterior Design (www.dendronexteriordesign.com).

    In 2010, she decided to go to Japan to learn the Japanese garden tradition first hand as an apprentice in a garden maintenance company near Tokyo. She loves the rough texture of natural materials, the boldness of stone arrangements and dry landscape gardens.

    Contact Information:
    Real Japanese Gardens
    Jenny Feuerpeil
    +1-415-513-6106
    Contact via Email
    www.japanesegardens.jp

    http://www.pechakucha.org/presentations/real-japanese-gardens

    Read the full story here: http://www.pr.com/press-release/495345

    Press Release Distributed by PR.com

    Article source: http://www.watchlistnews.com/2013/06/05/new-installment-of-the-japanese-garden-plants-e-book-series-japanese-moss-gardens-in-kyoto-tokyo-and-kamakura/