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Archives for July 13, 2013

Glendale helps property owners irrigate efficiently

Water pipe

Water pipe

Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 2:00 pm

Glendale helps property owners irrigate efficiently


Your West Valley


July is traditionally the month of peak demand for outdoor watering in the Valley.

The city of Glendale Conservation and Sustainable Living Program is celebrating Smart Irrigation Month by helping residents save water, money while keeping their landscapes attractive.

Smart Irrigation Month is a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use. The national campaign highlights simple practices and innovative technologies to help homeowners:

• Minimize overwatering while keeping lawns, gardens, and landscapes healthy.

• Save money on utility bills.

• Help protect community water supplies for today and the future.

Homeowners typically overwater lawns and landscapes by as much as 30 percent, city officials said. By selecting and planting carefully, watering wisely, and maintaining and upgrading automated irrigation systems, homeowners can save money save water and see better results, offiicals said.

Residents can improve water efficiency in their landscape through free print and online resources, offered by the city of Glendale Conservation and Sustainable Living Program:

• Order Landscape Watering by the Numbers: A Guide for the Arizona Desert to help you determine how much water to apply and how long to run your irrigation system. Call 623-930-3535 or order online at

• Use the new on-line Water-Smart Landscape Guide to complete your landscape renovation plans, get ideas from hundreds of Glendale-area garden pictures, and find that perfect desert-adapted plant. Visit

• Participate in the landscape rebate program by removing grass and converting to desert-landscaping. Receive a rebate up to $750 by calling 623-930-3760.

• Find a Smartscape or Irrigation Association certified professional to design, install, maintain or audit your irrigation system at or

For information, call 623-930-3535 or visit


Friday, July 12, 2013 2:00 pm.

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Sidebar podcast: Columbus, City of Bros

In this episode of Sidebar,
The Columbus Dispatch‘s podcast on Columbus-focused events, movies, music, dining and

Dispatch staffers Susannah Elliott, Kevin Joy and Ally Manning discuss Columbus’
suitability as a bro haven, the city’s secession options, Columbus Documentary Week and adopting
dogs in Franklin County.

this podcast

Sidebar is also available on
iTunes and


Got something to say about Sidebar? Tweet with the hashtag #614sidebar or tweet this week’s
@kevjoy or


Links from this week’s topics:


And last but certainly not least, from the
Columbus Dispatch archives comes this story about the 1996 proposal for Columbus’ own

March 19, 1996, by staff reporter Mary Stephens:

The giant snake proposed for the Broad Street Bridge is probably dead, and Franklin County
Engineer John Circle has blue glass scales all over his boot heel.

An application for $700,000 in federal money to put artwork – either a giant, blue-glass
serpentine canopy or a series of bronze globes and cartoonish figures – on the bridge was ranked
dead last out of 34 hopefuls by a review committee of the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Only the top nine applications in the category of historical or archaeological projects were
awarded money.

Although Circle technically was the applicant for the funding, he helped put the kibosh on
the project by telling the transportation department he thought either of the proposed artworks,
but particularly the snake, would be difficult to maintain and inappropriate for the 6-year-old

A department spokesman confirmed that Circle’s reservations about the two art proposals,
chosen by a jury impaneled by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, influenced the selection
committee’s decision.

When the selection committee considered the bridge art proposal, “neither (artwork) was felt
to be compatible with the historic district” in which the bridge lies, said Howard Wood, spokesman
for the department’s Bureau of Environmental Services.

Failure to get the federal money doesn’t automatically kill the idea of art on the bridge,
but it means supporters will have to beat the bushes much harder for private donations.

Fund-raisers faced an uphill battle even if the federal funding had been approved. Initial
estimates called for the project to cost $1 million, but the two designs chosen as finalists were
both expected to cost more than $3 million.

“I’m glad that the air has been let out of this thing, ” Circle said yesterday.

While Circle supported the idea of art on the new bridge from its inception, and his office
gathered $140,000 in corporate and private donations several years ago, he wasn’t happy with the
direction taken after he turned the art selection and fund-raising over to the Arts Council.

Circle said he found plenty to love in the more than 50 artists’ ideas that had been
submitted for the bridge over the years. But when the art jury’s formal competition narrowed the
field to the snake, the bronze figures and a large lighted abstract sculpture that looked like a
ski jump, he was less comfortable.

“I was suddenly in the minority, but I couldn’t back out then, ” Circle said. “I couldn’t do
it on the basis of the art alone, because that’s not my area.”

Circle said he is obligated to spend at least the $140,000 on art for the bridge but doesn’t
have immediate plans.

Historic preservation consultant Nancy Recchie, who is coordinating the bridge art project
for the Arts Council, was disappointed and frustrated yesterday.

While the council probably will go ahead with plans for the two finalist artists to present
more-refined versions of their proposals in May, “there aren’t a lot of sources for public art
funding, ” she said.

Recchie called it “interesting” that ODOT rejected the project based on incompatibility with
the bridge’s historic district, citing the fact that historic preservationists served on the art
jury, and that the Arts Council made every effort to explain to ODOT how the project fit into the
bridge’s historic theme.

The two finalists – serpent designer Todd Slaughter, an associate professor at Ohio State
University, and New York sculptor Tom Otterness, who designed the bronze figures – were each given
$25,000 last fall by the Arts Council to refine their ideas.

Circle said he found it “atrocious” that the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation
Efficiency Act is setting aside 15 percent of highway funding for such enhancement projects in the
first place.

“It was way out of proportion, ” he said of the percentage.

The federal law was authorized for six years and generated about $13 million each year in
Ohio for such things as landscaping, bike and pedestrian paths and historic preservation, Wood

In this final round, the transportation department approved $2.43 million for historic
projects, $3.85 million for scenic improvements and $3.89 million for bikeways and pedestrian

Winning Franklin County projects include $443,885 for landscaping 1.54 miles of I-670 between
I-71 and Leonard Avenue and $710,900 for 4 miles of bike path along Rt. 745 in Dublin.


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VistaPro Offers Complimentary Consultation for Annapolis Residents

  • Email a friend



With summer around the corner, many people are now thinking about getting their outdoor spaces into order so that they can relax, unwind, and even entertain outdoors

Annapolis, MD (PRWEB) July 13, 2013

A specialist in landscaping and the creation of outdoor spaces, Annapolis based VistaPro is now offering locals the chance to benefit from a complimentary consultation with expert landscapers. With this consultation, those who are hoping to get their outdoor areas sorted out ready for the summer can speak to specialists with experience and skill in this area.

In order to arrange a free consultation, Annapolis residents can simply head on to the company website and submit an online form. A representative from VistaPro will then make contact with the consumer in order to make arrangements. By doing this, those who are looking for landscaping services can discuss exactly what they want in terms of creating an outdoor area that suits their needs.

By going onto the Annapolis landscapers website, visitors will also be able to look at the variety of services available from VistaPro, which includes the creation of custom waterfalls, the building of custom pools, masonry projects, spas, full service maintenance, hardscaping, and landscape design.

There is also a portfolio of past projects available on the website, enabling website visitors to look at photographs of work already completed by VistaPro. This is designed to provide potential customers with an insight into the quality of workmanship from the landscapers at VistaPro as well as to provide some ideas and inspiration for those who are not sure what they want. Services are available for those looking for Columbia Maryland landscapers and Easton Maryland landscapers.

An official from VistaPro said: “With summer around the corner, many people are now thinking about getting their outdoor spaces into order so that they can relax, unwind, and even entertain outdoors. With our expert services, we can help our customers to achieve the perfect results for their outdoor areas. Our free consultation makes the whole process even easier, enabling residents to discuss their needs with someone who has the experience, skill, and expertise to provide them with the perfect results.”

To arrange a free consultation with an expert landscaper, please visit

About VistaPro

VistaPro is a specialist landscape design company offering a range of additional services to help Annapolis residents create custom outdoor areas.

Contact information


Annapolis, MD 21401

United States

Phone number: 3013552175

Email a friend



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Cool garden: 14 themed areas combine fun and work

When Jerry and Lee Roberts moved into their Colerain Township home 11 years ago, the backyard was a set of three grassy terraces, a pond near the house and tall trees across the back of the 1-acre lot.

“Jerry thought that was the most beautiful yard he’d ever seen,” Lee said.

She saw something different.

“My vision,” the retired Great Oaks teacher said, “was ‘Oh my God, I can put in all these gardens there.’ ”

The self-described “messy gardener” has 14 gardens today, all named and all designed to show beautifully as the flowering season progresses from spring to fall.

The project has been a lot of hard work for Lee – and and lot of fun. She and her husband have several humorous anecdotes they love to share.

The Grave Garden

Lee bought a granite boulder at auction that weighs several hundred pounds. Workers lost control of it while moving it up the terraced backyard to where Lee wanted it. But they dropped it with the the prettier side facing down – permanently.

The couple dug out a garden bed around the stone, fashioning a long mound that faced their neighbor’s yard.

The neighbor had seen Jerry, also a retired Great Oaks teacher, pushing wheelbarrow load after load up the terraces. So when she looked out at the boulder and mound, she saw what looked like a grave site.

“The neighbor said I was trying to kill him,” Lee said. “She said ‘Now I know where you’re going to put Jerry.’ So we named it the Grave Garden.”

Florida with no panhandle

A recent addition to Lee’s collection of gardens is a long, narrow one that extends over two levels of the terraced yard. Standing on their home’s second-story balcony one day, Jerry said the garden looked “like Florida without its panhandle,” Lee recalled.

Presently, the appropriately named Florida Garden is home to two large cement statues that resemble a bishop and a knight purchased for Jerry, who loves to play chess.

“I keep moving them and asking him ‘Am I winning yet?’ ” Lee joked.

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Landscaping career a growing option – Regina Leader

Elizabeth Wheale spends winters on the ski hill and summers working outside in other people’s yards.

The 28-year-old recently finished a landscape gardener apprenticeship and started her own business, Fair Haven Landscaping. The Red Deer-based company services central Alberta, including rural areas, completing projects ranging from building retaining walls to starting flower gardens from scratch.

Landscape gardening is a red seal trade that requires a four-year apprenticeship, including a minimum of 1,200 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each year.

Wheale grew up on a farm and enjoyed working outside, including a winter job as a ski instructor. But she hadn’t considered a career in the landscaping trade until she started working for a local company.

“Originally I was actually planning to go to the United Kingdom and do a bachelor’s degree in theology and youth work,” Wheale remembers.

However the program she had her eye on didn’t start until June and Wheale’s ski instructor job had finished for the season, leaving her looking for work for a few months. She ended up at a Red Deer landscaping company, where the owner encouraged Wheale to consider an apprenticeship. “He saw the potential there and told me about the apprenticeship and said I’ll hire you for the summer, but I want you to do an apprenticeship. I hadn’t been totally sure about moving to the United Kingdom, and once

I started working it made sense to stay,” she said.

She finished her apprenticeship with top marks and earned the Top Apprentice Award in 2011 for landscape gardener.

Landscape gardeners can work for a variety of employers, including landscape architects, contractors, nurseries, tree farms, greenhouses, cemeteries, governments, garden centres and landscape supply outlets.

Others, such as Wheale, are self-employed.

“I enjoy the challenges that come from different people and their different preferences. I get bored easily so it’s nice to have variety,”

she said. Still, Wheale points out that starting a business comes with challenges.

“It’s thinking through the estimates and cost evaluations and valuing your own time and deciding what hours you’re willing to work and what type of work you’re willing to do. There’s lots of logistics you have to work through and you’ve just got to do it, and any entrepreneur is like that,” she said.

Wheale said one of the biggest challenges she’s encountered so far is getting customers to understand they get what they pay for.

“Cheap is out there, it’s just not skilled,” Wheale said.

Educating customers about the finer points of landscape gardening is something that Wheale enjoys.

“I think education is a huge thing. As the world moves more to organics and ecologically friendly practices, it’s even more important to have skilled, trained people,” Wheale said.

Laura Caddy has also made a career out of working with plants. The red seal landscape horticulturist works year-round at the Devonian Botanic Garden, southwest of Edmonton.

“I’ve been gardening since I could walk,” said Caddy, who worked in greenhouses in Red Deer after finishing high school.

“I was more interested in a hands-on approach than the university route, so I found a horticulture trade program at a school in Ontario,” Caddy said. “Our classroom was a botanical garden just outside Niagara Falls.”

After graduating from the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, Caddy challenged the red seal exam for landscape horticulturist and worked at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ont.

She has worked at the Devonian Botanic Garden for just over a year, as a horticulturist and curator in charge of the Patrick Seymour Alpine Garden. “As a horticulturist, I’m doing the hands-on, physical taking care of the plant, while as a curator I decide the direction of the garden and what goes where,” she said.

“I love being outside, I love working with my hands. I’ve always loved plants and taking care of them, and with my position it’s more than that. It’s a scientific collection. There’s a purpose to the gardens, a reason why we have plants above and beyond display.”

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HUNNEMAN: Water-wise landscaping garden at The Diamond – Press

This sign, outside the Storm Stadium, welcomes visitors to a demonstration water-wise garden project. (JOHN HUNNEMAN)

This sign, outside the Storm Stadium, welcomes visitors to a demonstration water-wise garden project. (JOHN HUNNEMAN)

One of the coolest things I’ve seen his week is also a way to save money on your water bill.

Heading to a meeting Thursday in Lake Elsinore at The Diamond Club at the Storm Stadium I came across a bit of landscaping you don’t always see at a ball park.

The City of Wildomar's garden.

The City of Wildomar’s garden.

Last summer the folks at Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District teamed up with the Storm and several cities to plant water-wise gardens next to the ball park.  The Temescal Garden Showcase Demonstration Garden is next to the sidewalk along the west side of the stadium

Lake Elsinore's demonstration garden.

Lake Elsinore’s demonstration garden.

There are actually three small gardens, one each for the cities of Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore and Wildomar,  which are now in full bloom and demonstrate just want you can do using native vegetation and a minimum amount of irrigation.

Canyon Lake has their garden.

Canyon Lake has their garden.

We’ve done a bit of this are our house it and really makes a difference in the water bill.

So check it out next time you’re at the ball park and learn more at


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Gardening Tips: Managing your pest problems

Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 11:32 am

Gardening Tips: Managing your pest problems

By Matthew Stevens

RR Daily Herald


Many gardeners think the word pest simply means insect.

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Friday, July 12, 2013 11:32 am.

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Extension horticulturalist offers tips for a ‘water-wise’ garden – Journal

STERLING — — A “water-wise” yard doesn’t happen by accident, Brian Kailey told the Sterling Rotary Club during a presentation Wednesday.

The horticulturalist with the Logan County Extension Office spoke about the “Seven Principles of Water-Wise Gardening,” which uses water efficiently to create landscapes that are both attractive and use-appropriate.

Kailey noted the importance of using water wisely. While 80 percent of Colorado’s water use happens in the eastern half of the state, 80 percent of Colorado’s precipitation falls on the western side. Statistics from the U.S. Geological Survey show in 1995, Colorado used 13.8 billion gallons of water each day. Ag irrigation accounted for 93 percent of water use;

40-60 percent of domestic water use was for outdoors, such as watering lawns and gardens, filling pools and ponds or washing automobiles.

Developing a water-wise garden requires:

• Planning and designing for water conservation, beauty and utility

• Improving the soil with organic matter so it will hold more water and minerals and allow for a deeper root system

• Creating practical turf and non-turf areas to match expectations with the actual use of the site

• Selecting plants appropriate for the climate and grouping them according to their water needs

• Watering efficiently with appropriate irrigation methods

• Mulching to reduce evaporation

• Maintaining plants with good horticultural practices

Kailey warned against “zero-scape,” which removes all or most vegetation and replaces it with rock, which then heats up the surrounding environment.

He said that grass offers benefits such as trapping dust and pollen, reducing noise and glare, cooling the surrounding environment and controlling soil erosion. However, there are places where grass may not be appropriate, such as under shade trees where it will not grow well.

He named several perennial plants that are drought tolerant and appropriate for the High Plains climate:

• Prairie coneflower

• Penstemon spp.

• Gaillardia

• California poppy

• Lilac (bush or trees)

• Sagebrush

• Rabbitbrush (“Chamisa”)

Kailey said 40 to 50 percent of water used for landscape irrigation is wasted because of poor design and maintenance and management. He said many systems were set up with little consideration of water conservation. Irrigation zones should reflect water demand, which is affected by exposure to sun, heat and wind. For example, the lawn on a southwest facing slope will typically require twice as much water as the lawn on the north side.

He recommended using drip irrigation for shrubs, flower beds, small fruits and vegetables to reduce water use by up to 50 percent. Watering in the evening or early morning hours versus overnight prevents the moisture from sitting on the lawn too long and causing mold. Organic mulch at a depth of 4 inches is ideal for promoting soil microorganism activity and controlling weeds; however, standard wood chips may blow away in northeast Colorado winds. If using “green” mulch — grass clippings — he recommends letting it dry before applying so it doesn’t block the oxygen. He also noted that mulch should be applied no closer than 6 inches from tree trunks so it doesn’t trap moisture against the bark.

Good horticultural practices will overcome failures on almost all other principles, because healthy plants are more insect- and disease-resistant, he said.

Contact Journal-Advocate managing editor Sara Waite at 970-526-9310 or

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John Humphries on informal displays

Town centres in far too many parts of Wales have become sad places squeezed by the recession and failed by some local councils not up to the challenge.

Despite the economics of degradation, some can be given a facelift at little expense with some enterprising planting as demonstrated by Newport.

But this week, much to my surprise, I came across wildflower meadows in the centre of the city.

Wild flower meadows have almost disappeared from the landscape, apart from some corners set aside by farmers with grants from the European Union.

But that was never more than tokenism to appease environmental lobbyists.

Newport’s effort, however, is inspirational.

Grass verges adjoining several busy junctions have been planted with wild flowers including cornflower annuals – corn poppy, corn marigold and corn cockle – for a stunning summer display.

While a grass verge or busy roundabout might not be the ideal spot to admire the spectacle, they are certainly uplifting for the cost of several sacks of seed.

Everyone can have a wildflower meadow or wild garden, a tradition maintained in the humble cottage garden since the rigid discipline of Victorian gardening dominated with its formal bedding displays.

The 19th century Irish gardener William Robinson, best remembered for introducing the herbaceous border, was also the champion of the wild garden.

The two concepts might seem incompatible – the herbaceous border with its heavy annual work load and the wild garden left to fend for itself.

But the real flower garden nearest the house requires constant attention to the soil and plants.

On the other hand, the wild garden or flower meadow can endure for generations if suited to the soil because it takes care of itself, a notion that should appeal to those wearied by the annual trek to the garden centre to stock up with bedding plants. 

Lawns and borders make ideal sites for wild gardens, either sown with annuals that last one summer or as a perennial meadow which is best on poorer soils because there is less competition from grasses.

Choose the meadow seed that most suits your soil, with cornfield annuals preferring richer soil.

The greatest care must be taken to use only those plants that are able to fend for themselves against considerable competition, for if too much cultivation is needed to keep the plants alive the natural effect is bound to be lost.

Once the flower meadow is established, the surface soil is not cultivated to any great extent apart from cutting grass and unwanted weeds from time to time to prevent them choking the introduced plants.

Before planting, either in March or September, spray-off existing vegetation with systemic glyphosate to remove vigorous perennial weeds, such as nettles, docks and dandelions, then dig or rotovate to make a seedbed as for a new lawn.

But don’t apply fertiliser as high fertility encourages excessive vigour in grasses that then crowd out the wildflowers.

Where soil fertility is too high for perennial wildflowers, sow a cornfield annual mix to flower within three months and again in subsequent years from self-seeding.

In this case the only maintenance necessary is to rake the site in spring to remove weeds and encourage germination.


What to do this weekend:

* Dead head all plants frequently, especially roses

* Disbud dahlias and chrysanthemums by removing all but the very top bud if you want large flowers

* Pinch out runner bans when they’ve reached the top of the cane

* Sow parsley for winter use

* Prune deciduous shrubs that have flowered

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July Gardening Tips

July 13, 2013

The heat, humidity and frequent rains of July are great for tropical plants. Gardeners, however, take a bit of a beating. Remember to keep the sunscreen, insect repellant and iced tea handy as you venture out into your garden to perform some needed summer maintenance.

A midsummer application of fertilizer is usually required, especially on annual flowers, lawns, shrub beds and vegetable gardens. This is a supplemental application, so don’t overdo it. A 15-0-15 slow-release fertilizer is a good general purpose landscape fertilizer for most plants.

Major pruning jobs should have been done earlier, but there is still some maintenance pruning that should be done. Deadhead, or clip old flowers, from summer flowering shrubs as soon as they fade to help insure an extended season of bloom. Crape myrtles, hibiscus, hydrangeas and althea are examples of shrubs that will bloom repeatedly if light, selective pruning is done.

Flowering annuals also respond well to deadheading. Snip off old flowers and flower spikes before they have an opportunity to form seed. Allowing annual flowers to set seed can shorten their blooming season considerably.

Inspect your lawn and shrub plantings frequently in order to identify pest problems as early as possible. The most severe damage from pest insects normally begins in July. Be on the lookout for chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass; spittlebugs in centipede grass; sod webworm in all lawns-especially new ones; lacebug and caterpillars on azaleas; whiteflies on gardenia and spider mites on lots of different types of shrubs.

Sod webworms often attack lawns in the summer. They eat the grass blades producing areas that look as if they have been mowed too short. Close inspection will reveal that the blades have not been cleanly cut as with a mower blade but have been chewed along their edges and tips. These caterpillars feed at night and rest during the day down among the runners and in the thatch.

Once an insect pest is found, evaluate the damage and determine if control is necessary. If it is, choose the least toxic option. If only a few caterpillars are found, hand picking might be the choice. Aphids and spider mites can often be controlled by spraying with an insecticidal soap solution. Chemical insecticides are sometimes required. Before choosing one be sure that the insect pest has been properly identified and that the insecticide is labeled for that purpose For vegetable gardeners that have problems with nematodes, soil borne diseases and extensive weed problems, July is a great time to try soil solarization.

Prepare the soil as you normally would for a vegetable garden including adding organic matter. Moisten the area and cover with clear plastic, not black plastic. Clear plastic will produce the highest temperatures. Be sure to weigh down the edges of the plastic so that it doesn’t blow up. Allow the soil to bake in the sun for four to six weeks. The sun will raise the soil temperature high enough to kill many soil borne problems.

Tip of the Week: The nice thing about tomatoes is that you have the option of harvesting when the fruit is green if needed. Tomatoes will ripen indoors at room temperature. To ensure even ripening, place the tomato with the stem up. The ideal time to harvest tomatoes is when they are fully colored but still firm.

In general, it is best to harvest vegetables early in the mornings while the moisture content is higher. The overall quality will quickly diminish as vegetables are exposed to hotter temperatures later in the day.


One Response to “July Gardening Tips”

  1. avalon on
    July 13th, 2013 8:04 am

    Good article. Anyone have suggestions about grubb worms? Apparently we’ve taken them to raise. LOL

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