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Archives for June 20, 2013

Council to discuss future of utility tax, 6.4 acres at retreat

More News

The Splash June 2013

The Summer Primer

Council approves go-ahead for LL Ball Fields

Trio of Council seats contested

Hillside homesteaders took on own set of prospects, challenges

Summer construction outlook

Transportation issues, ball fields lead council discussion in May

Broadwing, Courtyard grow multi-family options

Projects add to increasingly eclectic housing market

Open house sheds light on city, community resources

A Cup of Joe: From land to lake

LLSWD hire brings environmental savvy to new role

Police Report

Open house sheds light on city, community resources

Council moves closer to decision on LL Ball Fields

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Campground set to appeal to locals and travelers


23 Blog Street

You’ll find easy weekly menu ideas, recipes, craft ideas, random thoughts – and you never know what else!

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City begins looking at downtown master plan

Downtown Williston was abuzz Tuesday night as more than 70 residents, business owners and city officials came together to envision a future for the city’s historic district.

Armed with colored makers, large pads of paper and maps of the city, two planners from Midwest-based RDG Planning Design called for community engagement and urged attendees to share ideas and priorities as they kicked off a public meeting and community roundtable to discuss the Downtown Development Master Plan, which was hosted by the city’s planning department.

“You’re going to help us tonight at the beginning stages of this process developing the downtown plan,” RDG Principal Martin Shukert said. “For the next few months, we really are in a way the spokespeople for your ideas and see this project at this stage as being very much as a collaboration and partnership.”

Before attendees divided into eight small groups to let their inner planner dream big, Shukert laid out a three-prong plan for downtown Williston. The Downtown Reconstruction Project, now in engineering design, aims to rebuild infrastructure (water/sewer) and replace sidewalks, curb/gutter and street pavement on Main Street (and may include Broadway). The Downtown Streetscape Plan, prepared by Bismark-based KLJ, calls for enhancements on and above the street and sidewalk surface that includes lighting, signage and landscaping. The master plan takes a much broader approach, according to Shukert, and looks at markets, strategies, development projects, parking, connections and surrounding neighborhoods.

“Master plan looks at overall framework that deals with all of these different systems, activities, perspectives, the economics of business and land use mixes and zoning that all have something to do with what a downtown looks like and how it develops over the years,” Shukert said.

RDG Downtown Planner and Partner Cory Scott said the firm has worked in downtown communities throughout the Midwest and some of the Rocky Mountain States, with populations ranging from 900 to 400,000.

“With the oil boom, that brings a lot of interest and all eyes are on Williston — it brings a lot of opportunity. With the number of people that are coming in to town for business, what can we do to improve the quality of life and enjoyment of the city and retain some of the people that are here and find Williston their home,” Scott said.

The firm’s design concepts for communities such as Detroit Lakes, Minn., and Pella, Iowa were presented and discussed to show how downtown areas can be transformed. Because of the Dutch influence in Pella, the idea of replicating the country’s canals resulted in an mixed-use project replete with an urban canal, restaurants, a movie theater, housing and a hotel.

But for two residents of Williston, the talk smacked of broken promises and missed opportunities after the last oil boom.

“When are the people that are directly involved in this process going to feel comfortable and stand up and say what they really feel,” said Lloyd Ashton, a longtime resident and owner of Hedderichs on Main Street. “The outsiders are coming here and talking to us from all over the world. … We’ve seen all this stuff before.”

Ashton and another resident and business owner, Rex Byerly, asked who would pay for the project, concerned they and others would have to “pick up the tab,” similar to what they experienced after the last boom.

“First of all, we have no guarantees that the oil boom will stay here,” Mayor Ward Koeser said, adding the city is taking a different approach this time by not putting a lot of the tax burden on the taxpayer.

Shukert, in response to Ashton and Byerly’s comments regarding cost, said the funding sources for the master plan are currently unknown and hinge upon what grows out of the process.

“The trick and art of developing this type of plan is putting together something where the benefits are clear and the costs, to the degree that they exist, are equitably distributed among the community that’s benefiting,” he said.

Koeser said the city has told the state that it needs to be involved this time and to developers, the message is: “You have to pay your own way.”

“We didn’t do that the last go-around, so I think we’re taking actions that will protect us. We’ve got to take calculated risks, and all we’re doing today is looking at ideas and then people will process that and they’ll say ‘This is doable, this isn’t doable,’” Koeser said.

For a majority of the participants, the community roundtable allowed them to weigh in with their concerns and excitement as well.

“I really want to see it revitalized. I really enjoy doing downtown, and I want to see it expanded,” Karlyne Mickolio explained as she watched Cooks on Main owner Angela DeMaris write down comments and ideas from their group’s discussion, which included a skate zone, bike racks and lanes and outdoor movies.

Daily Addiction owners Laura and Trevor Ward came to show their support for the master plan. Laura has lived in Williston for more than a decade and said they opened their coffee on Main Street in 2009. Trevor, a native, said he wanted to “get some insight into the planning and have a voice in the process of implementation.”

After each group had an opportunity to identify issues, priorities and projects for the downtown area, the participants reconvened to share their findings. Concerns ranged from parking and the new senior location to the strip clubs and the truck bypass. Priorities included attracting more retail and restaurants (the mention of  a chocolate store elicited smiles), adding green space and enhancing the railroad park and working to make it a destination, though one resident said this may be a challenge due to the waterways and all of the goods and commodities that are transported via the railway. Project ideas such as an apartment complex, development of the downtown skyline and lighting and signage were noted by several of the groups.

Shukert said the firm is doing a lot of survey to determine the current condition in downtown Williston. In May, all of the parking spaces were counted and buildings were photographed.

“Putting together a road map results in an analysis of where we are, a concept of where we want to be in the future and a detail framework that tells us how we’re going to get there,” Shukert said. “Our entire focus is how do we make downtown Williston a strong, growing market center core for this rapidly growing community. … How do you take the historical town center of a town of about 15,000 people and adapt that to the needs of a town that’s growing and fast-forwarding to 50,000 and 60,000 people?

The process will go on for a period of eight months, Shukert said. In mid-July, development concepts will be explored over a three-day design studio and then again in August. Both Shukert and Scott urged participants to use the community engagement website at to suggest ideas, leave comments and vote for ideas.

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Vendor fair will be included in Ottawa Garden Walk

Ottawa Sunrise Rotary’s sixth annual Garden Walk will be staged with an addition from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

New to this year’s event is a Garden Faire open from noon to 4 p.m. at Heritage Harbor, 1970 N. 2753rd Road. Vendors will sell plant and garden items. The walk will showcase five garden areas of private homes in the Ottawa area, as well as the Reddick Mansion garden.

Proceeds will be used for community projects, educational scholarships and helping nonprofit organizations in Ottawa. This year’s biggest project was building the Born Learning Trail for preschoolers in Fox River Park.

Tickets are $12 and may be purchased ahead of time at SS Travel, Reddick Mansion, 100 W. Lafayette St., or from a Sunrise Rotarian. The walk will begin at Reddick Mansion where tickets will be exchanged any time after noon for a garden program and map.

Reddick Mansion Association will have costumed docents in attendance and also will offer a special “make your own Victorian hat” session.

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Historic Connecticut homes invite public to tour their gardens

What started out a decade ago as a confraternity of a few historic properties to promote their beautiful landscaping has evolved into an organization, Connecticut’s Historic Gardens, that sponsors an annual event that is greatly anticipated by garden-lovers throughout the state.

Tammi Flynn, a CHG group spokeswoman who also represents the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, said the 10th annual Historic Gardens Day will be celebrated Sunday, June 23, throughout the state at 14 noteworthy sites.

“Connecticut is home to many beautiful and unique gardens both public and private,” Flynn said.

On Historic Gardens Day, each of the sites will offer refreshments and special programming, from lectures to craft-making.

“It’s a great opportunity for the public, especially garden lovers, to plan a day trip visiting several of these magnificent gardens. How often does it happen that we say: `Gee, I’ve been wanting to do this for years, but somehow never get around to it’?

“Gardens Day will introduce many people to a variety of garden styles and time periods and to several mansions and homes that they may want to tour more extensively” at a latter date.

Hours are generally noon to 4 p.m. Grounds free; admission charged at most sites for house tours. Members are:

Bellamy-Ferriday House Garden, 9 Main St. N., Bethlehem. 203-266-7596. Special feature: formal parterre garden designed by Eliza Mitchell Ferriday between 1915 and 1918, inspired by an Aubusson rug once used in the parlor.

Butler-McCook House Garden, 396 Main St., Hartford. 860-522-1806. Special feature: 1865 Jacob Weidenmann-designed Victorian garden, where staff tell the story of its history and answer questions.

Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme. 860-434-5542. Special feature: gardens and landscape on the Lieutenant River inspired a generation of American Impressionists. Visitors are invited to paint in the garden or watch as members of the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists paint models posed in the gardens.

Glebe House Museum the Gertrude Jekyll Garden, 49 Hollow Road, Woodbury. 203-263-2855. Special feature: tours of the Gertrude Jekyll Garden are given throughout the afternoon by volunteers. It’s the only Jekyll garden in the United States designed by the woman considered by many to be the most important landscape designer of the 20th century.

Harkness Memorial State Park, 275 Great Neck Road, Waterford. 860-443-5725. Special feature: tours and talks about the garden’s history and design by Beatrix Farrand are provided free of charge from noon to 4 p.m.; tours of the mansion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; spectacular views of Long Island Sound.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., Hartford. 860-522-9258. Special feature: Victorian Gothic revival home surrounded by ever-blooming gardens.

Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington. 860-677-4787. Special feature: 1920’s Beatrix Farrand-designed garden, with guides available to answer questions. At 1 p.m., Master Gardener Lea Anne Moran gives a tour.

New London County Historical Society and Shaw Mansion, 11 Blinman St., New London. 860-443-1209. Special feature: Connecticut Master Gardeners are available to provide tours of the Shaw Mansion garden and answer questions. During the afternoon, a local croquet club will play a match and demonstrate the secrets of the game.

Osborne Homestead Museum, 500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby; 203-734-2513. Special feature: free museum and garden tours offered every 30 minutes on which visitors learn about Frances Osborne Kellogg’s passion for gardening and land conservation. At 2 p.m., actress Kandie Carle performs “The Edwardian Lady,” in which she uses authentic historic clothing to illustrate the manners, customs and etiquette of the early 1900s Edwardian period. For all ages. (Seating is limited. Reservations for the performance are requested; suggested donation $5.)

Promisek at Three Rivers Farm, 694 Skyline Ridge Road, Bridgewater. 860-350-8226. Special feature: gardens designed by Beatrix Farrand, considered one of the most important 20th century American landscape architects.

Roseland Cottage, 556 Route 169, Woodstock. 860-928-4074. Special feature: free guided garden tours on the hour; free house tours to those dressed in white. Representatives of the United States Croquet Association will be on hand.

Thankful Arnold House Museum, 14 Hayden Hill Road, Haddam. 860-345-2400. Special feature: Wilhelmina Ann Arnold Barnhart Memorial Garden features more than 50 varieties of herbs, including those used in cooking, dyeing, fragrance and medicine. Adults can make lavender sachets; children will decorate garden baskets.

Webb Deane Stevens Museum, 211 Main St., Wethersfield. 860-529-0612. Special feature: garden tours focus on the architect Amy Cogswell and the history of the gardens; discounts offered on its three-house tour.

Weir Farm National Historic Site, 735 Nod Hill Road, Wilton. 203-834-1896. Special feature: Garden Gang volunteers offer short informal talks in the Sunken Garden and Secret Garden about the gardens’ history, flowers, restoration and ongoing preservation. Once the home of artist J. Alden Weir. Watercolor supplies available at no charge from

1 to 4 p.m. Twitter: @PhyllisASBoros

Historic Gardens Day celebrated Sunday, June 23, at 14 venues around the state; garden tours and refreshments are free; admission charged at most sites for indoor tours of historic homes. 860-434-5542;

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Fantasy Fountain artist’s inspiration on landscaping tour – Record

Armando Mejorado, left, and Gary Desmond own one of the houses on the Saturday Koi Pond tour.

Photo by Andreas Fuhrmann // Buy this photo

Armando Mejorado, left, and Gary Desmond own one of the houses on the Saturday Koi Pond tour.

The artist who designed the Fantasy Fountain’s new look will provide a chance to learn about and see his inspiration Saturday.

Armando Mejorado’s koi pond will be part of the 2013 Shasta Koi and Water Garden Club’s annual tour. The owners of eight koi water gardens, which are filled with koi or goldfish and typically resemble tiny lakes, will show their creations and take questions during the tour Saturday, said Karlene Stoker, with the club.

They range from a cattle cistern filled with fish to Mejorado’s 8,500 gallon pond that contains 28 koi.

“They’re like living art,” said Mejorado.

He said he had just put in a 1,500-gallon Koi pond at his home when he was told to come up with a design for Enterprise Park’s Fantasy Fountain, which was being redone.

The colorful fish quickly became his favorite animal as he learned of, and added, more colorful varieties.

“We kept buying more and more. Pretty soon it got overcrowded,” he said.

So, Mejorado said he replaced the pond with a new one with more than five times the original’s capacity. The additional gallons also provide room for up to 80 fish.

One side of the pond is nearly 25 feet long and the pond is almost five feet deep in one spot. “People that keep looking at it, they think the new pond looks like a swimming pool compared to a round fountain that you’d see in a courtyard,” he said.

Stoker said Mejorado isn’t alone in his desire to expand his pond.

“Once you get a pond, the only thing you wish you did differently is (that) you made it bigger,” Stoker said.

Mejorado said his pond features a fountain and grasses around the water to create a scene reminiscent of nature. The landscaping has transformed his yard into another part of his home.

“We are out there everyday,” he said. “Before, it was a regular lawn you walk through to get to the door.”

It’s the first year his pond has been featured on the biennial tour, which has served as a fundraiser for the club since the 1980s.

Tour tour tickets, which come with guidebooks, cost $10. They are available at Axner Excavating, Sunset Koi, Jose Antonio’s, Wyntour Gardens and Vic Hannon Landscaping in Redding. They can be purchased at Blue Iris Quilt Shop in Palo Cedro and Kirk’s Body Shop in Red Bluff.

For more information, visit

If you go

Who: Adults, children

What: 2013 Koi pond and water garden tour

When: Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Eight properties in the north state. Directions available with tickets, which cost $10 for adults. Children 12 and under free.

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Learn From the Experts: Follow These Gardening Tips

The breeding team and horticulturists at Terra Nova Nurseries share their tips and tricks for spring and summer gardening, and a look at several new garden-worthy plants.

Kniphofia 'Lemon Popsicle' - Photo

[Press Release Distribution]

With warmer weather, birds chirping and the gardening season in full swing, now is the time to get outside and plant containers, mixed beds and borders. As an easy planting guide, the experts at Terra Nova Nurseries, a global leader in plant breeding technology, share a few of their insightful tips for growing and maintaining gorgeous gardens.

As new plant growth starts forming, it is important to ensure soils are well-fertilized. “A fertilizer with a balanced blend like 14-14-14, which is a homogeneous fertilizer for maintaining ornamental landscape plants, will push new growth strongly,” says Dan Heims, president of Terra Nova Nurseries.

Spreading mulch mid-spring into early summer in some regions is also a good tip to keep in mind for maintaining mixed beds and borders. With warmer temperatures, soils tend to dry out. To prevent this from happening, spread a thick layer of mulch. For example, use shredded wood, pine needles or compost that has been brewing throughout the fall and winter seasons. As an added bonus, mulch discourages weeds from growing in the garden.

Another gardening tip is to make bold color decisions. “Mixing and matching vibrant colors will create depth in lawns and gardens,” says Chuck Pavlich, director of new product development for Terra Nova Nurseries.

For example, here are some new plant varieties from Terra Nova Nurseries that have been bred to transcend the norm and provide better, stronger garden options. Each is the result of the company’s innovative breeding team. New flower colors, new flower shapes, fascinating foliage, and better garden performance mark these plants as must-have garden additions this year.

Carex ‘Spark Plug’ forms short, tight clumps of spiky, variegated and evergreen foliage. It is a great plant for containers, but can also be used as a blender and filler for the garden. ‘Spark Plug’ blooms from July to September, with small terminal flowers that spike in July.

Coreopsis ‘Pink Sapphire’ has stunning hot-pink flowers with white eyes. A low-growing, upright plant, ‘Pink Sapphire’ can bloom for five months of the year. Also, ‘Pink Sapphire’ is a self-cleaning plant, making it easy and ideal for mixed beds, containers and borders.

The Heuchera Little Cuties™ series features compact varieties with a strong mounding habit and flowers that have a long bloom time of May through October. All the plants in the series perform well in full sun, part shade or full shade in zones 4 – 9. These miniature varieties were bred to showcase an assortment of colors ranging from the caramel foliage of Heuchera ‘Blondie’ and the rosy and tan-brown foliage of Heuchera ‘Ginger Snap’ to the dark burgundy veins of Heuchera ‘Frost’.

Eucomis ‘Dark Star’ is perfect for containers, mixed beds, rock gardens, and other places. It has very dark, red-black foliage, which stands out when planted with contrasting silver or gold-colored foliage. In late summer, this variety produces charming pink flowers.

Kniphofia ‘Lemon Popsicle’ has sweet, lemon-yellow spikes and a dwarf habit with dramatic grassy foliage. An easy-to-grow plant, ‘Lemon Popsicle’ is perfect for mixed beds or as an upright accent. This new variety is perfect for attracting hummingbirds.

A few other new varieties from Terra Nova Nurseries include Coreopsis ‘Desert Coral’, the Echinacea Supreme™ series, Heuchera ‘Fire Alarm’, and Eucomis ‘Glow Sticks’.

Each of these varieties will be available at select garden centers in the U.S. for 2013 gardening. For a list of garden centers that stock Terra Nova Nurseries’ plants, visit the company’s retail locater by clicking this link, Retail Locator.

For more information about us, please visit

Contact Info:
Name: Dominique de Bruin


Via: MarketersMedia PR Distribution

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Tim’s Tips: Rain brings out garden pests

June 19, 2013

Tim’s Tips: Rain brings out garden pests

Tim’s Tips

Tim Lamprey
The Daily News of Newburyport

Wed Jun 19, 2013, 03:00 AM EDT

It looks like we might actually get a week with a few showers but no completely rainy days. I think even the plants are sick of the rain — I won’t tell you which ones said so.

The rainy weather has created conditions that have allowed slugs and snails to proliferate. It also would appear that the weather has led to a bumper crop of earwigs. Both of these creatures feed on your plants at night. You may notice holes in the leaves of your plants, yet you may not see any type of insect feeding on your plants. If this is the case, then slugs or earwigs are likely the culprit. There is a product called Sluggo Plus that will take care of both of these garden pests.

Speaking of garden pests, now would be a good time to treat your squash plants to prevent squash vine borer. If you have planted squash in the past, and around mid-summer you notice that the leaves wilt during the midday but appear to snap back in the evening, then you had squash borer in your garden. The eggs for this pest are laid at the base of the vine. There are many insecticides that will kill the borer as it hatches. This will prevent them from getting into the plant and causing major damage.

Caterpillars also damaging plants now, and will strike rose bushes. An application of Bt will kill the caterpillars without harming any beneficial insects.

I have talked about this in past weeks, but it does bear repeating. With all of the rain that we have had, much of the fertilizer that you have put down on your plants at the start of the season has washed away. If you want your plants to grow their best, you need to keep up with fertilizing your plants on a regular schedule. You can use organic or synthetic, granular or something you add to water. The important thing is to follow the directions on the package and keep up with a regular feeding schedule. Your plants will thank you by performing at their best.

If you have blueberry bushes or cherry trees in your yard, now is the time to put a protective netting over the plants. As the fruit ripens, the birds will get to the fruit before you get a chance to get out of bed in the morning! The berry netting, as it is called, must cover the entire plant and it must be closed at the bottom to keep the birds away. Berry netting is also useful to cover your strawberry plants. As the strawberries ripen, chipmunks and squirrels will carry it away. The sooner you put your netting over these plants, the less fruit you will lose to the critters.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

Tim Lamprey is the owner of Harbor Garden Center on Route 1 in Salisbury. His website is Do you have questions for Tim? Send them to, and he will answer them in upcoming columns.

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2013, Newburyport, MA. All rights
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MDA Design creates London’s most economic garden studio

Created for an artist and photographer living in East London, the 12 square metre garden studio has been designed by Mike Dye from MDA Design. The cuboid-shaped studio’s entire surface has been left uncoated, prompting the name ‘Raw.’

Made of a new innovative waterproof MDF material, the studio’s exterior is clad in the FSC-approved Medite Tricoya 18mm MDF available with a 50-year guarantee. The material has been used to create an experimental design that hints at the workshop-style, investigative nature of the work that the space will be used for.

The robust, pared-down structure has simple detailing throughout with all screws remaining uncovered. To reduce project costs and ease construction, the windows are attached directly to the shell of the building resulting in a building without window frames.

A light-filled space is created through large expanses of transparent, highly-insulated polycarbonate material. These elements were also economical, with the project being constructed under £4,000 and within one week.

The studio is the first stage in a series of research projects initiated to test the potential of the waterproof material, with plans for MDA to create small studio spaces suitable for tropical climates.

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Overgrown garden shed shows beauty of wild design

Near my home in Arkansas sits an old commercial greenhouse that has been vacant for years. Vines wrap and weave around and through the skeleton of the broken window frames. Every time I go by I wonder what kind of jungle-like ruins must exist inside the tangled mass of vegetation and decomposing structure. Piles of broken terra cotta pots? Coils of garden hose now lost to decomposed leaves and underbrush? The bones of a long lost gardener? The mystery!

© act_romegialli

I found myself having similar thoughts when I saw “Green Box” by Italian architects act_romegialli. While visually similar in its outward appearance, what’s nice about this design is that instead of this being another forgotten building that is slowly being taken back by nature, inside Green Box is a modern and handsome interior.

© act_romegialli

Green Box is located behind a vacation home in the Raethian Alps. It utilizes the old stone wall of an old garage with new roofing and carefully planned landscaping.

© act_romegialli

The structure is used primarily as a garden shed (!) but with an interior kitchen and ample open space, it can also be used for entertaining.

© act_romegialli

I first learned of it via Fast Co Exist, but I see now it has been featured on many design sites, including Dezeen, DesignBoom, The Rayograph, Interior Design Arcade and Inhabitat, just to name a few. When I see an idea or design featured on so many sites like this, I am always curious to about what has made it so resonate with so many people.

© act_romegialli

In this case, I think the ubiquity of the scenes of overgrowth like this make it easy to imagine having your very own wild garden shed in whatever region of the world you call home. So much in the design world is controlled and ordered that it is refreshing to see something this wild and natural, while also being so modern. It is an intriguing juxtaposition of controlled chaos on the exterior and elegantly designed simplicity inside.

While most of us won’t be fortunate enough to have a place like this of our own, I think the lesson here is to remember that good design doesn’t necessarily mean perfect symmetry or control over the elements. Sometimes letting things run a little wild can lead to beautiful results.

© act_romegialli

© act_romegialli

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