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Archives for July 5, 2013

WATER TREAT Pupils’ lesson on flooding

PUPILS at Stebonheath Primary School have had a special visit to learn about a multi-million pound scheme to tackle flooding and surface water in Llanelli.

A day of water activities and lessons was provided by Welsh Water’s education team following the start of a £15 million investment to manage surface water.

The scheme, known as RainScape, will reduce the amount of rainwater which flows into local public drainage systems and will therefore reduce the risk of sewer flooding.

Welsh Water is also developing a scheme at Stebonheath School, which will look at re-landscaping the playground to incorporate new green areas, a pond, planters and an outdoor educational area, which will all help to absorb the surface water which currently runs straight off the playground into the sewer network.

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The school children have also been involved in the redesign of their playground.

Sophie Rees, from Year 6, was one of the pupils who presented her ideas on how the school’s new green playground could look.

She said: “The day was great fun and we got to learn a lot about water and what we can do to stop it flooding houses and streets.”

Head teacher Julian Littler said: “The day with Welsh Water helped our pupils understand what happens to the water once we have used it use in our houses, places of work and schools.”

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Sullivan Architecture Of White Plains Featured In Art Exhibit

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — Sullivan Architecture of White Plains has a piece in the exhibit “Placemaking: Re-envisioning White Plains.”

The exhibit is at ArtsWestchester’s Peckham and Shenkman galleries at 31 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains through July 13. In the exhibit, artists examine one-square block in White Plains, and imagine creative public art projects for key locations.

“This invitational show was conceived as part of an ongoing conversation to reexamine the potential of downtown White Plains as a cultural destination,” said exhibtion curator Nazanin H. Munroe.

The 26 intriguing proposals represent the wide range of possibilities for public art in the city. Sculpture, landscaping, video projection and murals are among the varied ideas to animate and enliven the streetscape. The exhibition features artist renderings of the potential artwork on site, as well as scale-models.

John Sullivan discussed his firm’s piece, ” Vegetated Green Wall Information Screen:”

“The proposed transformation of the minimal facade of the four story building which is the back drop of renaissance plaza, will offer a vertical Green space to the existing hardscape plaza. As the main public gathering space in downtown White Plains, this plaza may be greatly enhanced by providing this sustaining Green texture.

The building (14 Mamaroneck Avenue) will also be offered a new facade that is more attractive in addition to the public space and pedestrian experience.
The introduction of the “media mesh” will provide community information of current and future activities, events, including city government notices, weather, etc. The “media mesh” is an energy efficient lightweight, weather durable product lit with colored LED lights for clear visibility during the daylight or nighttime.”

More information is available on the ArtsWestchester website. ArtsWestchester is also encouraging people to take an online survey about public art.

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Levy floated for Okanagan river channel-goers




Spending a lazy summer afternoon floating down the Okanagan River Channel is a little more expensive this summer.

The $2 environmental levy being implemented by Coyote Cruises is aimed at improving the channel experience for everyone, cleaning up the channel, the walkway beside it, the landing zones and maybe even some shade tree plantings.

Coyote Cruises is a Penticton Indian Band-owned company that provides both tube rentals and lake to lake bus service for people floating down the channel. Anona Kampe, one of the directors of the company, estimates that about 100,000 people from all over the world take the popular trip each summer. A majority of the people who float the river channel bring their own floatation devices, beverages and food, with the packaging from those items often winding up in the river.

The idea of an environmental levy, Kampe said, is not a new idea.

“Even before us it had been discussed, but nobody knew how to just get the ball rolling,” said Kampe. They took it first to the PIB administration and then to the City of Penticton, earning the support of both councils. Permission for a fence — intended to help collect the levy even from those not using Coyote Cruise services —- at the cruise starting point was denied.

“We had thought perhaps erecting a fence would get the traffic to go right through past the cash registers, but the fence was denied by the City of Penticton. “I understand, erecting a fence in that area might not be cosmetically pleasing.”

Kampe said they are proceeding with the levy regardless.

“I would pay $2 myself to use the stairs, for the convenience,” said Kampe, noting that the channel is not easily accessible except at their starting point.

“If people are that upset about the $2 levy for the environment and they want to jump in down the way, then so be it,” said Kampe.

Coyote Cruises understands that this initiative might be unpopular since floating the river channel has always been free for the floater, provided they use their own floatation device and transportation. However, the levy has the potential to generate a substantial amount to care for the water and the land.

“We are the stewards of the environment,” said Kampe, explaining that the funds would be used to help refresh the landscaping at the pickup points as well as keep the river channel and walking path on the western side clean.

“The pickup point is pretty shabby looking, the one at the very end near Skaha, the asphalt is coming up in the parking lot. The weeds are out of control down there, the landscaping itself just looks run down,” said Kampe. “When you are first coming into Penticton from that side and people are driving by, it looks pretty run down. We want to update the landscaping and beautify the area, and also in the halfway point as well.”

They will be looking into bag dispensers to try to deal with the large amount of dog feces on the walking path as well as talking with a local diving club to help clean up the channel bottom. Kampe would also like to see some trees planted at locations along the west bank as the city has done on the east, which would provide shade areas for spawning salmon and kokanee.

“These are all the ideas we are throwing around,” said Kampe, who added they still need to lay out a strategic plan and consult with stakeholder groups, like the PIB, the City of Penticton or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “We’ve got all these great ideas and it is just a matter of getting them done now.”

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Waterloo Gardens closing Exton store

WEST WHITELAND — After more than 71 years in business, Waterloo Gardens in Exton is closing its last remaining location.

“We want to thank our customers and our wonderful employees for supporting our business over the past 70 years. We have such a connection to this community and are very saddened to have to close,” Bobby LeBoutillier, president of Waterloo Gardens, wrote in a statement. “We hope customers take advantage of the sale event, which will feature extraordinary savings on all our products.”

The West Whiteland store at 200 N. Whitford Road sits on 50 acres and features 150,000 square feet of retail space, 94 percent more than the previously operated Devon location. The location also offered more parking, and because of its large retail space, a more diverse and expansive inventory of gifts for the home and garden, patio furnishings, as well as flowers and plant materials. There is also a fully planted 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden on the premises that is maintained to produce a summer harvest used to stock the Lord’s Pantry of Downingtown.

The business contains a large selection of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, outdoor furniture and more including garden supplies, garden accents, gifts, home decor and collectibles.

The business also is home to a landscaping design and build service, Waterloo Landscaping Inc. by Design.

The company was founded in 1942 when James and Anna Paolini opened the first Waterloo Gardens on two acres in Devon. The husband and wife would grow the business throughout the next 30 years before opening the West Whiteland location in 1959 which was purchased to grow nursery stock for the Devon store, according to the company. The garden center would open at the location in 1970 and the Paolinis would sell the company to their daughter two years later.

The family-run company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June last year, citing economic pressures from its bank as reasons.

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Landscaping Collective Builds Backyard Railway Gardens

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the Minnesota summertime, it’s all about gardening, but if you’re in a rut when it comes to landscaping, there’s a new trend families can get on board with.

The Minnesota Garden Railway Society builds backyard railways, and its members are growing; there are now 130 people across the metro area tinkering with trains — small trains.

What Garden Railway Society president Mark Schreier doesn’t like, is if someone calls the tiny trains by the C-word.

“There’s nothing cute about railroading,” he said. “I would like my horn to be as loud as a real train, but I don’t think the city or my neighbors would like that.”

He started The Minnesota Garden Railway Society with just a plot of dirt in his backyard.

“My first bridge I built looked beautiful, and I went to run a train through and it was about 2 inches too narrow and I had to rip it apart and redo the bridge,” he said.

It took him three times to get it right. Now, with his club numbering well over 100 people, backyard railway enthusiasts are all learning from each other.

Jim Shaver of Minnetrista says his specialty is bridges and trusses. His yard layout started as a love of woodworking, and has turned into an entire town.

“My railroad is called the Gopher, Pug and Badger,” he said.

With membership fees of $15, joining the club isn’t pricey, but collecting the materials can be.

“An engine goes for about $200,” Schreier said. “But if you want to add sound so you can honk the horn, that’s another $150. If you want a remote control so you can honk the horn, that’s another $150.”

If you don’t have the space money or time to make one of your own, a number of the members come to the Wayzata depot and open up the landscape to everybody. Schreier says it’s open for view 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

Kids light up when they see the only public layout garden railroad between Chicago and Denver, because these small scenes are still big to little ones.

“The younger they are the more they want to go up and grab it and knock it off the track,” Shaver said.

But don’t worry about the damage. Those who tinker with the trains know that sometimes the best laid plans get derailed.

For the $15 membership, you get access to open houses featuring Garden Railroads throughout the Twin Cities. As for what happens in the winter, only the electronics get pulled inside. All the other materials are able to withstand the elements.

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July Gardening Tips

It’s July and gardens are full of colour. There is still plenty to do, but don’t forget to sit down and enjoy them during the long summer evenings.July Gardening Tips

Remember to take care when working outdoors in the sun for long periods. Make sure you have plenty to drink and take regular breaks. Plants also need to be protected from the heat, ensure they get the water they need, in particular hanging baskets and bedding plants as well as trees and shrubs planted during the Autumn and Winter. The best time to water plants is early in the morning or evening when it is cooler.

Early flowering shrubs such as, philadelphus and weigela should be pruned into shape as their flowers fade if this was not done last month.

Roses can be deadheaded to lengthen their display or prune back to a bud in a leaf axil to encourage new growth and prolong the display from July into the Autumn.

New growth on Wisteria should be cut back this month to within five or six buds of the main stems.

Throughout July rim conifer hedges to keep them under control and encourage a strong thick growth.

Keep removing weeds from beds and borders to stop them going to seed.

For more information please check out our Monthly Garden Planner at

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Marianne Ophardt : Tips for buying a garden hose

Garden hoses can be vexing things. They are heavy and a nuisance to haul around the yard, plus they can kink. Nevertheless, they are an essential gardening tool. Last year when we needed a new one, I did not do much research and bought what seemed to be a long-lasting quality hose. The problem was that it weighed a ton and became a chore to move.

I should have taken more time to do my homework. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Garden hoses typically come in two diameters, 5/8 inches and 3/4 inches. You even can find hoses that are one inch in diameter. Many gardeners find that a 5/8 inch hose is adequate for their purposes. The 3/4 inch hoses tend to be more expensive and heavier.

Garden hoses also come in different lengths, from 25 to 100 feet long. Of course, the longer the hose, the heavier and the more costly. (Notice the trend?) The longer the hose, the lower the volume of water per minute that it delivers. To calculate this, go to:

The material a hose is made out of also greatly influences its price. As with any garden tool, the better the quality, the higher the price.
Rubber and PVC reinforced hoses generally are more expensive and more flexible. High-end reinforced hoses are more resistant to abrasions, punctures and bursts. You also will find that the more a hose is reinforced, the higher the cost and the heavier the hose. The best-quality hoses will have hexagonal or octagonal brass couplings.

There also are coiled hoses. These are typically 3/8 inch diameter and usually come in 25- or 50-foot lengths. They are made out of polyurethane. They are lighter, easy to get out and use on the patio for watering containers, but they tend to kink when extended and often tangle when coiled.

Quality garden hoses can be pricy. To keep your hose in good condition, here are some tips:

1. Store your hose where it will be protected from degradation by ultraviolet light.

2. Don’t leave the hose where cars or bikes will run over it.

3. Don’t let your hose kink, causing a spot that will be weak.

4. Drain and coil your hose after every use, coiling it into loops about 24 to 36 inches in diameter. Store the coiled hose flat and off the ground in a container like a hose pot. Hanging a hose from a single hook can damage the walls of the hose, so use an arched hose rack.
There are also hose reels that can be used to coil and store hoses.

5. Drain the water from the hose before it freezes in the fall and then store it in your garage or storage shed over the winter.

Safety note

Many garden hoses, especially older types, have been deemed unsafe for use for drinking water because of harmful chemicals and heavy metals that they contain. While many of the new hoses today are labeled as safe for drinking water, it’s still best not to make a practice of drinking from them because germs, molds and bacteria can build up inside.

Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

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GCFM Meets; Summer Garden Tours

By Carol Stocker

At the recent annual meeting of the GCFM in Mansfield, outgoing President Heidi Kost-Gross was lauded for her efforts championing the fight against electronic billboards. She reported that the 13,000 membership of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts was up slightly from last year.There were also reports on efforts to stem the Asian Long Horn Beetle South of Worcester and about its top notch Flower Show School.

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program will host the opening of several private gardens new to the tour, including five in Bristol County, Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. These are the Coolidge-Goldman Garden, 340 Barneys Joy Road, Dartmouth, The Meadows, 189 Smith Neck Road, The Meadows at 191 Smith Neck Road, both in South Dartmouth, Anne Almy’s Garden 1100 Horseneck Road, Westport, and Penny Garden, 246 River Road, Westport.

The Meadows was designed in 1910 by Warren Manning for ambassador Alanson B. Houghton and his brother Arthur and their families. In 1937 The North House garden was redesigned by the celebrated Ellen Biddle Shipman and is currently being restored by the present owners. James O’Day has written a new book about the estate.

There will also be an Open Day program Saturday, July 20, 10 4 p.m. in Middlesex County, which will include Glenluce Garden, 18 Marlboro Road, Stow, A Secret Garden at 19 Washington Ave., Sterling, Rock Bottom Garden, 47 Marlboro Road, Stow, Maple Grove, 16 School Street Boylston, and the must-see Brigham Hill Farm, 128 Brigham Hill Road, North Grafton.

For more information on all of these, visit and

The Boothbay Region Garden Club of Boothbay Harbor in Maine will host its Home and Garden Tour July 26 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce (207-633-2353).

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Garden ornamental tips for the month of July



* If your hosta and azalea stems have a white powder covering them, it is probably the waxy coating of planthopper insects. They don’t do much damage, but can spread diseases. Spray with garden insecticide if unsightly.

* Keep pinching back mums to keep them blooming longer and make them bushier.

* Lamb’s ear tends to have their lower leaves die after a heavy rain. This forms ugly mats that will rot stems and roots. Pull away the yellow leaves to keep up airflow.

* Fertilize crape myrtles, butterfly bushes, and hydrangeas with 1 Tablespoon of 10-10-10 per foot of height. 20944_4.PDF Fruits and Vegetables

* Before you spray an insecticide on your vegetables, check the label. Each insecticide has a waiting period after application before you can harvest.

* Although tomatoes are self-pollinating, they need movement to transfer pollen. If it is hot and calm for several days, gently shake plants to assure pollen transfer and fruit set. Hot temperatures can interfere with blossom set.

* Water stress in sweet potatoes can result in cracked roots. A potassium deficiency causes long, slender roots. Too much nitrogen reduces yield and quality. www.caes.uga. edu/applications/publications/files/pdf/C%201023_1.PDF

* Most fertilizer recommendations are for 100 square feet, so keep your garden’s square footage a simple fraction of that. For example, a 4 X 12 foot garden is exactly 50 square feet and would require exactly one half the fertilizers required by a garden of 100 square feet.

* Okra pods get tough if allowed to grow too large. Pick regularly.

* Mulch strawberries heavily to protect them from heat and drought.

* The time of day vegetables are harvested can make a difference in the taste and texture. For sweetness, pick peas and corn late in the day; that’s when they contain the most sugar, especially if the day was cool and sunny. Other vegetables, like lettuce and cucumbers, are crisper and tastier if you harvest them early in the morning before the day’s heat has a chance to wilt and shrivel them.

*Start a fall crop of Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale indoors. Outdoors, sow pumpkin, beans, squash, cucumbers, and crowder peas. Plant carrots mid-month. C%201023_1.PDF

* Pick squash regularly to keep up production. If the vines wilt, check the base of the stem for “sawdust”. This means the plant has squash bores in the stem. Remove infected plants (thus removing the bores) and plant new seeds. It is good to change your planting location to hopefully prevent the new plants from being attacked.

* Sunflowers are ready to harvest when the back of the head turns brown.

* Keep an eye out for tomato hornworm. They can do enormous damage overnight. They also attack Nicotiana. When you see damage, check under leaves and stems to find them. Hand -pick to dispose of them.

* Don’t plant all your beans at once. If you stagger the plantings every two weeks you will have fresh beans longer. Soak bean seeds overnight before planting for faster germination.

*Use bamboo poles to form a large teepee-like structure. Use twine to create a trellis though all but one section of the teepee. Plant pole beans along the twine. Watch the beans grow into a house that kids love to play in. The section that was not tied with the twine is the entrance to the bean teepee.


If you keep your houseplants indoors all summer, keep them out of the draft of the air conditioner. Plants react to an air conditioner’s cool air in various ways. Some drop their leaves, others don’t bloom well and some fail to bloom at all. Information about Extension Solutions for Homes and Gardens can be found on the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension website at or by contacting the Cherokee County Extension Office at 100 North St., Suite G21 in Canton at (770) 479-0418. The Georgia Extension Master Gardener Program is a volunteer training program offered through county offices of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

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Edible forest designed for 6th Ward Park

Helena is the first city in Montana to design an edible forest garden, which will be located at the 6th Ward Park.

This coming week Dave Jacke, a national leader this type of garden design and author of “Edible Forest Gardens,” will lead a Helena workshop, July 9-14,  with 33 people from around the country who will help design the new park.

Edible forest gardens mimic the structure and function of forest ecosystems through all their stages of development and grow food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizers, ‘farmaceuticals’ and fun.

Jacke gives a public talk 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. The cost is $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

To register go to

Jacke’s talk will introduce the vision of forest gardening with scientific background and a sampling of useful perennial edibles you can grow in your garden.

The 6th Ward Park is a 1.1-acre piece of land behind the HATS Bus Station on Montana Avenue, between Gallatin and Bozeman avenues.

St. Paul’s is located at the corner of Cruse and Lawrence.

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