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Archives for September 14, 2013

Rooted in solid design

Rooted in solid design

Saturday, September 14, 2013

© The Cairns Post


The best gardens in the world have evolved over many years but they all started with the same thing: good design.

Planning a garden makeover isn’t about heading to the nursery, filling your car with plants and simply plonking them in the ground.

You need to start with a plan and the best way to do this is to get your thoughts on paper. 

Most houses have some sort of base plan to scale, and if you get this copied you can jot down all your ideas and work out if they will work in the space you have.

It’s important to work to a scale when you do this so you have a realistic idea if certain features will actually fit in your garden.

Get yourself a scale ruler and for large gardens go for 1:100 or 1:200 and for smaller spaces 1:50.

You then need to work out what you want to get out of the space, so trawl the internet and magazines for inspiration.

A good starting point is to think “what is the purpose of this garden?”.

Is it a garden for children, an entertainer’s paradise or simply to make it clean and tidy and ready for sale?

Drawing your areas of hard landscaping (paving, pergolas, paths, etc) and making use of the space is the easy part about landscape design but it starts to get a bit tricky when you come to picking plants.

There are two very important stages of research when it comes to plant selection: the first is the easiest and it involves spending a day in the garden and watching where the sun moves around the space; and the second, digging a hole and taking a look at what soil you have.

Once you are armed with this information you can research what plants are best suited to your aspect and soil type.

Again, the internet and magazines are a great place to look to work out what style of planting you want.

Once you have your spaces and plants sorted out, you need to get into the detail of the plan: what will your paving material be? How will the deck level and the grass meet up? What will the finish be on the water feature?

Spend some time talking to as many experts as you can to ensure your garden has a high-quality look and feel to it.


Think ahead: Planning makes a good garden flourish.

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Landscaping workshop set for Thursday


“Landscape Strategies: Fall Plans for Spring Potential” will be

presented at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Grandstand Meeting Room on the

fairgrounds in Garden City.

David Coltrain, Finney County Extension agent, will discuss the

planting and caring for trees, shrubs and perennials; lawn care

considerations; the planting of spring flowering bulbs; and garden


The program is free, but pre-registration is required by calling the Extension office at 272-3670.

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2013 Lakeview East Festival of the Arts Showcases Over 150 Artists in Chicago …

2013 Lakeview East Festival of the Arts Showcases Over 150 Artists in Chicago This Weekend

The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce will host and produce the 2013 Lakeview East Festival of the Arts. The Festival, now in its ninth year, takes place today, Sept. 14 and Sunday, Sept. 15 in Lakeview, a dynamic and diversified neighborhood community rich in culture, history and the arts, from Belmont Ave. to Hawthorne Street.

The 2013 Lakeview East Festival of the Arts showcases more than 150-juried artists featuring world-class original paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry and more. In addition to the artists’ booths, the Festival features live music and beer and wine gardens, live cooking demos by FlavorCity, the Inspiration Garden by Patch Landscaping, interactive children’s area featuring a puppet show, a mosaic mural making booth and much more.

The Lakeview East Festival of the Arts asks for a $5 donation upon entrance and those donate may be entered to win round-trip tickets to any scheduled destination serviced by Southwest Airlines. The hours are Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, September 15 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visit for more information.

New to the festival this year are live, interactive cooking demonstrations led by FlavorCity, a cooking video and fresh recipe website led by chef Bobby Parrish. He teams with guest chefs from Waffles, Revolution, Bar Pastoral and Hutch on the live cooking demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. All demos will be interactive and will take place outside in a tent located at 3344 N. Broadway. FlavorCity runs regular blog posts from Parrish on great food, culinary inspiration, saving money, travel and technology to make it all easier.

The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce also welcomes back Patch Landscaping with their Inspiration Garden. Patch Landscaping will be creating an outdoor oasis filled with inspiration for the everyday gardener. From bicycles and cinder blocks being used as planters to a user friendly outdoor fire pit, Patch’s outdoor garden will have great ideas to inspire the “DIY” gardener in all of us. The garden will be located on Broadway from Roscoe to Hawthorne Streets.

Each year the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce Festival Committee selects an artist to create a featured image for the Festival of the Arts. This year’s artist selection is by Lidia Wylangowska of Riverswood, IL and named “Dragons Still Do Exist.” Her work of a tastefully nude woman in profile, adorned with a sleek tattooed rose on her leg and a mesh-like net that weaves into her long, flowing red hair that engulfs two-thirds of the painting, will be prominently displayed throughout the festival and in distribution materials. Browsing Wylangowska’s gallery will reveal artwork of similar subject matter, portraits prominently featuring the human body in fantastical clothing or none at all, all of which strike invoking poses.

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Restored 1920s mansion features a bit of a curiosity


Cameron and Mignon Fryer have done it again.

After spending several years restoring and remodeling a historic Craftsman-style house in Duluth’s Congdon Park neighborhood, they started all over again with another house just three blocks away.

“We were very happy with the other house,” Cameron Fryer said. “But I drove by and saw the ‘for sale’ sign.”

The home, designed by Frederick German, is a classic English Cotswold cottage worthy of a Thomas Kincade painting, built with stone, heavy timbers and brick and topped with an expansive slate roof.

Still, with big cedars blocking the front and more blocking the view in the back, his wife wasn’t interested.

At least, not at first.

But seven years later, after the couple’s painstaking repairs and renovations, the fairy-tale charm of this 1920s English Tudor home has been renewed, enhanced and is being celebrated.

On Sunday, the home at 2508 E. First St. will be among five homes featured in the Duluth Preservation Alliance’s annual historic house tour, just as their previous home had been eight years earlier. Tour-goers won’t just see the distinctive stone and slate house up close, but be able to stroll through the original hardscape designed by famed Danish-American landscape architect Jens Jensen and enhanced by the Fryers.

“I think it’s the only one he did here,” said Preservation Alliance treasurer Dennis Lamkin, a Jensen fan. “He used the same kind of materials in the hardscape that were in the house. That was the same technique he had done in other houses. He took whatever the architecture was in the house to make it feel very cohesive.”

That hardscape includes distinctive rock walls forming the perimeter, with a pavilion on one end and a circular staircase, concave on top and convex below a landing, that Jensen had also designed for an Edsel Ford home in Grosse Pointe, Mich.

“The house is beautifully done, very nicely restored, but the landscaping stands out to me as spectacular,” Lamkin said.

The house holds at least one mystery. A large, heavy-duty safe built into the basement is original to the house, though more suited for a bank.

Why it’s there is a mystery.

“I don’t know what they kept in there,” Cameron said.

Even though the house was built during prohibition, a safe with 2-foot thick walls and a 400- to 500-pound door more than 6 feet tall seems excessive to hide bootleg alcohol.

Not love at first sight

In 2005, when they bought the house, Mignon Fryer wasn’t eager for another challenge, not after years of stripping and refinishing woodwork and restoring her former home’s original layout and beauty.

“I wasn’t moving, we worked so hard,” she said.

Besides, she liked their spacious 1909 house, also designed by German.

“This one was dark and tired, with no landscaping and not a lot of curb appeal,” she said.

Believing they still had enough energy to tackle another project, Cameron, a retired financial securities consultant, persuaded her to see the inside. There they both saw beyond the original wallpaper that covered the walls, the faux-painted woodwork and the 30-year-old carpeting that covered hardwood floors. And they saw beyond those cedars that hid a spectacular view of Lake Superior, something their current house lacked.

“The minute we walked in the door, it had so much potential, we knew it was somewhere we could live,” Mignon said. “We were not quite ready for a big project, but we did it.”

The 4,500-square-foot house was designed by German and Jensen for the wife of William T. Bailey, who was vice president of Northern Oil Company of Duluth. The house’s Tudor cottage style was a look that was popular in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s.

It may be because of Mrs. Bailey that the house’s four bedrooms have bathrooms, the two master suites have sleeping porches and pocket doors save space throughout the home.

The house has an elevator operated by pulling ropes and a two-car, heated garage that are original to the house. A servants’ staircase leads to a linen room and the maid’s quarters. With six bathrooms in the house, many of the original tubs, sinks and fixtures remain.

The work begins

Once the sale closed, the Fryers went to work, removing wallpaper, repairing the cracked plaster and painting. It took four coats of white paint to cover the first floor’s faux-painted woodwork, including the 18-inch baseboards, which made them stand out for the first time.

They removed carpeting and refinished floors. They refinished a staircase, replaced windows, converted the fireplaces to gas and insulated the attic. Cameron made custom radiator covers that became added features in rooms.

But the most work was done in the dated kitchen, which was gutted and given a bright, contemporary cottage look, designed by Mignon, who is an interior designer.

Outside, the cedars were removed. Cameron added wrought-iron fencing, laid blocks in the curved driveway and stone for patios that appear part of the original hardscape. And he and Mignon created gardens that complete the backyard landscaping.

“Cam has taken such great pains to make sure he exposes the original landscaping and that any improvement to the site that he does reflects the original landscape plan that either didn’t happen or was lost to time,” Lamkin said.

While the Fryers did most of the work themselves, they hired professionals to do the electrical, plumbing, stone repair and make the kitchen cabinetry.

Having renovated and restored a grand home before made the second time around easier for the Fryers.

“We knew what we wanted to do, and what we didn’t,” Mignon said.

And they did it better, Cameron added.

congdon park, local, news, duluth

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What’s Hot: California Friendly Landscape Training Saturday In Santa Monica

Seven Days, Santa Monica, Gardening

Take part in California Friendly® Landscape Training this Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 am to 1 pm.

Posted Sep. 13, 2013, 9:07 am

What’s Hot

California Friendly® Landscape Training

Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 am to 1 pm

Airport Avenue Demonstration Gardens

3200 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica

Santa Monica landscapes are more California Friendly® than ever before. In just nine months, more than 130 homes have had sustainable garden make-overs saving more than 850,000 gallons of water.

They joined many residents all over Southern California that were tired of wasting water, money and time with high-maintenance gardens and switched to beautiful, sustainable landscapes.

If you’re interested in learning how to create your own California Friendly® garden, and take advantage of generous rebates currently available, then join other residents for a fun and informative free three-hour training led by local landscaping experts.

The class is free; registration and Santa Monica residency required. Class sizes are limited. Register at email; include your name, address, phone number and number of attendees, or call 310.458.8459.

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Landscape professionals find opportunities in Houston

For some landscape professionals, their careers began as neighborhood lawn-mowing businesses while they were teens looking for ways to earn spending money. For others, landscaping is a second-career opportunity that provides the freedom of working outdoors, complete with free lessons from Mother Nature.

Jeff Corcorran, owner of Landscape Manager Services Inc., was one of those kids who began his career by mowing neighbors’ lawns and later earned a degree in horticulture at California Polytechnic State University. In business for more than three decades, he said landscapers are busy.

“While we don’t have a good measurement tool, I can say activity has increased dramatically over the past couple of years,” he said, “and good people are difficult to find. “To make a landscape business work, you have to have good people because customer service is extremely important.”

Today’s landscape architects are licensed professionals who can take a patch of land or the grounds surrounding a skyscraper, hotel, office building or home, and transform it into a Garden of Eden for all to enjoy.

Landscapers plan, design and install parks, recreational facilities, highways, airports and commercial as well as residential properties, integrating hardscapes – such as rocks, borders, terraces and pathways – with plants, grasses and trees. Texas has a licensing program, and landscape architects must pass the Landscape Architect Registration exam.

Landscape architects and designers are finding plentiful work in greater Houston, thanks to few interruptions in the city’s mild climate and its extended growing season.

Mark Garfield, owner and president of Ecosystem Management Co., a commercial and residential landscape designer and installer the past 35 years, said his area of expertise has been a lifelong passion as well as the focus of his education.

“I began as a commercial maintenance company, as many landscapers do, and then moved into installation and design, mainly in the greater Houston area,” he said.

He said Houston’s landscaping business, as well as others, has been fortunate in that the local housing market and the economy, in general, did not take a huge hit in the recent downturn.

“We still have a lot of commercial building going on as well as new multifamily projects going up,” Garfield said.

Anna McGarity, communications manager for Texas Nursery and Landscapers Association, an organization representing more than 1,200 companies, said without question, the ongoing drought in Texas is taking its toll, but members from growers and horticulturalists to landscapers and maintenance professionals are saying the economy is better from a business standpoint.

“Our recent annual conference and expo in Dallas attracted a registration of more than 6,000, and our organization is partnering with the state in a program called ‘WaterSmart,’ which is educating the industry and its customers about best practices and conservation of natural resources,” she said.

Garfield described Houston’s job market for landscape architects, designers, installers and workers as “not a huge demand, but not flat, either.”

“We have large and small firms in Houston as well as freelancers and, so far, there’s enough work for everyone,” he said. “Homeowners have more discretionary income, so many are opting for landscape refreshers or at least making additions to existing designs.”

In Houston, for someone with a degree in horticulture or landscape architecture and design, the industry veteran estimated a median entry-level salary as around $40,000 to $60,000. Hourly workers can expect $11 and up, depending on the employer.

Although becoming a successful landscape business requires hard work, Corcorran said it is also very rewarding. “To be successful, I would tell any newcomer to the field to follow their hearts, work hard and never compromise your dreams and goals,” he said.

“I would tell someone who wants to work in landscaping to get an education,” he said. “Learn the science behind landscaping, like pesticides, soil quality and irrigation. Then go to work for an expert your respect and learn the ropes.”

McGarity said landscapers are in high demand for homeowners wanting to convert their traditional lawns and gardens to a more drought-resistant xeriscape.

“We are seeing more nurseries specializing in native and drought-tolerant plants as well as yuccas, cacti and other succulents,” he said.

“We’re also being requested to install drip irrigation and other water-conserving xeriscape elements, such as boulders, crushed granite and native plants into existing landscape designs,” Garfield said.

Article source:

Sunday Gardening Tips

Sunday Gardening Tips

updated: Sep 08, 2013, 4:07 PM

By Lisa Ann Kelly

I wanted to write to Edhatters and say that, if you plant only three new plants in your garden this
Spring—-these are the three I recommend highly.

First: Did you know we can grow blueberries in Santa Barbara now? This is my second crop off one
plant this Spring/Summer. Look how huge these berries are! You will need two plants, for cross-
pollination. I recommend the “O’Neal,” which you can get from Knapp Nursery. The berries are larger
and tastier.

Second: If you like to see little yellow birds in your garden, then plant a few Cosmos flowers from seed,
and let the flowers die off—leaving the flower seeds for the Lesser goldfinches to harvest. Goldfinches
go nuts for Cosmos seeds.

Third: Plant a few hollyhock flowers. With hollyhocks you will attract those huge black Carpenter bees,
honeybees, hummingbirds and, as an added plus, the WestCoast painted ladies (butterflies) like to use
hollyhocks as a host plant (for butterfly caterpillars).

Gardener’s note:
Plant blueberries in a 1/2 barrel. Be sure and add peat moss and cottonseed meal (get it at Island Seed
Feed, in bulk). Yum. Fresh, organic blueberries, warm off the plant. Let the fun begin!

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Gardening Tip – 14 September 2013

Gardening Tip – 14 September 2013

14/09/2013 , 9:19 AM by Peter Riley

We all
hate fruit flies getting into our garden. Luckily Gardening Guru John Gabriele
has some tips to help deal with them. 

Download Sept 14 Gardening Tip


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Gardening Tips: Ways to clean up your garden in the fall, prepare for winter

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 11:04 am

Gardening Tips: Ways to clean up your garden in the fall, prepare for winter

By Matthew Stevens

The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC


Fall is typically when we start looking to clean up the garden and begin to prepare for winter. This is true even for those gardeners who have gardens with many plants still in bloom up until late fall or even in winter.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 11:04 am.

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Webworms unlikely to harm trees

A ton of tent caterpillars just ate the leaves on my tree. The branches are too high for us to cut off. Will the tree die?

Your tree should be fine. The fall webworm, a caterpillar of our native tiger moth, has two generations a year. The spring population is largely unnoticed, but the late summer-fall one is bigger — and this year it was record-setting. Their webs differ from tent caterpillars because tent caterpillars build in tree crotches (in spring only), whereas webworms build nests at branch tips. Webworms feed inside their webs. Because they’re native, more than 75 species of predators and parasites (insects and birds) normally control their population. Your simplest solution is to break up low webs with a pole and let predators feast on the caterpillars. Webs can be pruned out or removed by hand, but it’s not necessary. Though webs look unsightly now, they’ll disintegrate over the winter. Late season webworm feeding should have no lasting effect on your tree, because its leaves already manufactured plenty of energy reserves during the summer.

My basil is being ruined by a fuzzy coating with black spots under the leaves. First the leaves got smaller and a washed-out pale green. Now this. Can I spray something?

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Your basil has downy mildew. You can’t solve this with spray. Harvest the symptomless leaves, then cut the plant to the base. It may have time to regrow some clean leaves. The pathogen cannot overwinter here; it comes in on infected plants or seed. If symptoms developed only recently, you had a clean plant that was infected from other basil in the area. Purple leaved varieties are most resistant. Some green varieties are more resistant than others.

University of Maryland Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center offers free gardening and pest information. Call 800-342-2507 or send a question to the website at

Plant of the Week

Ironweed, New York Ironweed

Vernonia noveboracensis

The rich glowing purple of ironweed pops against the warm autumn hues of goldenrod and mums. Depending upon its site, ironweed may reach 4 feet in the back of the perennial bed or soar 7 feet or more. This Maryland native is a butterfly favorite. Plant in full sun to slight shade. A perennial, it likes moisture and is a good candidate for a rain garden. Give good air circulation by not overcrowding or planting flat against a wall. The brown fluffy seed heads are small and spread by wind. Its name may refer to the strength of its stems or its general constitution. — Ellen Nibali

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