Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for September 22, 2013

Mundy Township gets aggressive with 20-year plan to change Hill Road corridor – The Flint Journal

HillRoad2045.JPGTraffic passes along Hill Road between Fenton and Torrey roads on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. 

MUNDY TWP., MI — What Miller Road is to Flint Township, Hill Road is about to become to Mundy Township.

Officials here have started the clock on a 60-day comment period for plans to establish the Hill Road Corridor, a 2-mile stretch of land that’s intersected by both I-75 and US-23; that’s already anchored by Meijer, Home Depot and five hotels; but that planners say lacks uniformity and an identity — something they’re prepared to spend millions of dollars to change.

The proposal calls for the creation of a special taxing district from Fenton Road to just west of Torrey Road, something that’s allowed by a 2005 state law, in which the township could capture property taxes for the area as values increase beyond current levels and dedicate the money soley to improvements in the corridor.

That windfall can be used to develop vacant township-owned land in the area, improve roads and street signs, and build walking and biking paths as well as parks and recreation space.

“I think if you drive up the Hill Road corridor now, there’s a hodgepodge … ” of business uses, said Township Supervisor David Guigear. “It could be a destination for people (if we have) an inviting place (but) if you’re driving up US-23 now, you may just want to keep on going.”

The township’s development and tax increment financing plans for the district project a capture of $2 million in property taxes in the first year, increasing over the 20-year life of the corridor authority to $59 million by 2033.

The money will be needed for an already crowded to-do list that includes road improvements at a cost of $3.7 million; streetscape improvements and signs, $2.5 million; “entryway improvements,” $1.5 million; US-23-Hill Road interchange improvements, $1.2 million; non-motorized paths, $850,000; property acquisition, $500,000; marketing program and promotional materials, $125,000.

Long-term improvements could also include better lighting, landscaping, walking paths, trails and new signs.

“Much of the change in the corridor will occur over a long period of time, comprised of many smaller steps along the way,” according to the township’s development plan. “Each site plan, driveway, facade improvement, building construction … will add up to an improved Hill Road corridor if the vision of this plan is implemented through enhanced and streamlined zoning regulations.”

The plan says a series of amendments to the township’s zoning districts and says future land use maps will be needed.

Alan Himelhoch, chairman of the county Planning Commission, said the plans for the Hill Road Corridor are among the most ambitious he’s seen from a community for a specific area.

“It’s one of the most aggressive approaches we’ve seen in this area for some time,” Himelhoch said.

That effort to put the best face on the township’s most important road has won support from some businesspeople, who said making the area needs to put its best foot forward as it competes for residential and commercial growth.

“I’m absolutely all for what they are doing,” said Andy Yuroff, owner of Thompson Creek Turkey Farm, which operates an outlet on Hill Road within the boundaries of the corridor district.

“When I first came out here, I thought — This is going to be the next Miller Road,” Yuroff said. “Somebody has to take the bull by the horns” and make changes.

“If we do nothing, we end up the same way.”

The township formed its Hill Road Corridor Improvement Authority in 2012 and started the process of creating the special tax-capture district. The process has included an open house and a public hearing just last week.

Winfield L. Cooper, president of Cooper Commercial, which has properties listed for sale on Hill Road, said its difficult to gauge the effect of proposed changes in the corridor because there has been so little commercial activity anywhere in Genesee County during the last five years.

“I think what they are trying to do is pro-active, and I think there’s potential on Hill Road,” Cooper said. “It’s really a wish-mash there right now (and) there’s some properties that could be in better shape.”

Cooper said senior citizen housing — a building block in the proposal for township-owned property near the Home Depot store — “makes the most sense” to focus on now.

The latest corridor plan for Hill Road isn’t the only recent idea for the optimum use for property in the area.

A proposal to build an $8.5-million convention center at Hill and US-23 was identified as the township’s top priority in an economic development plan just three years ago.

Guigear, who supported that convention center project, said there’s enough flexibility in the corridor plan to allow for a large-scale project like an arena to be incorporated into it as other improvements are made.

“This location lends itself to those type things (and) I’m not ruling out those type (of ideas),” he said.

The township’s plan identifies Hill Road as the “central transportation artery of Mundy Township, and one of the area’s fastest-growing corridors” but says the improvement plan for the area allows for building on recent non-motorized  improvements including wide pedestrian walkways on the bridge over US-23 and modern crosswalks at Holly Road.

“It is recommended that sidewalks be provided on both sides throughout the corridor with the exception if the area crossing I-75” — sidewalks wide enough to accommodate walkers and bikers, the plan says.

Article source:

51 ideas to make Greensboro stronger

Here are summaries of the ideas proposed in the 51 letters of intent submitted for the city of Greensboro’s Strong Cities Strong Communities program.

• Alfred Worley, Community economic development technical consultant, Bronx, N.Y.

Intent: Using “place- and people-based approaches” to enhance commercial, retail and housing markets; align workforce delivery systems; leverage community wealth-building plans; improve residents’ ability to own assets and anchor jobs; and improve housing.

• The Merrick Group , Higher education professionals with expertise in business and leadership, Greensboro.

Intent: Create a nonprofit that helps students create unique academic programs that meet the needs of local employers by combining courses from the seven area colleges and universities.

• Arden Thoburn, Greensboro.

Intent: Turn War Memorial Stadium into a baseball and football museum for baseball and a home for the N.C. Tennis Hall of Fame, with a tennis stadium and 21 hard-surface tennis courts as a possible host site for the Atlantic Coast Conference tennis tournament.

• Barbara Peck, Greensboro.

Intent: Build a glass-blowing studio as a draw for tourists and a resource for local schools, supplemented with a large commercial kitchen for use by producers of small-batch gourmet food; a craft distillery for making spirits; and small manufacturing site to make high-end custom clothing.

• Bryan Toney, project team leader, director, N.C. Entrepreneurship Center at UNCG.

Intent: Create a downtown Global Opportunities Center to stimulate global entrepreneurship in the region, working with local colleges, corporations and others.

• Carol Pedigo, Winston-Salem.

Intent: Start a retail business that sells only “Made in the USA” products.

• Tia C. Cromartie , location not given.

Intent: Create a team with one lawyer and five others to assist in marketing a plan for a business mentoring program.

• Dan McIver , Greensboro.

Intent: Establish a behavioral merit incentive rewards program in schools, working with police officers, to increase academic values and decrease discipline issues.

• David Aderholdt, lead participant, Greensboro.

Intent: Create a sustainable wine “Tasting Trail” in downtown Greensboro to showcase and promote the emerging North Carolina wine industry.

• Derrick Giles, Greensboro.

Intent: Activities to create local economic impacts that support the growth of small businesses.

• Shachi Pandey, Urban Matrix, an architecture and urban design firm, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Intent: Research and analyze Greensboro’s urban environment, including transportation, connectivity, land use and zoning, and historic development to position the city competitively in the local and regional economy.

• Don Kirkman, principal, Kirkman Economic Development Consulting, Greensboro. Kirkman is former president and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership.

Intent: Create a national advertising and marketing campaign to promote available buildings and sites in Greensboro to companies in advanced manufacturing, distribution and logistics to attract new companies.

• Rhonda White, lead participant, Greensboro.

Intent: Through the Intelligent FUNdamental Foundation and Destiny Christian Center, help Triad youth be trained by members of “our knowledge community” in career, personal and skill development skills, while encouraging good citizenship.

• Dottie Cooke, lead participant, Greensboro.

Intent: Identify business areas within neighborhoods and revitalize them through landscaping, streetscaping and business consulting with area universities; revitalize long-neglected areas of the city by involving small businesses and residents; and engage churches, schools, garden clubs and other nonprofit organizations to help.

• Sylvester Caraway Jr., Greensboro.

Intent: Establish an educational, media development, broadcasting and employment center that provides hands-on experience as well as connects to local, state, national, military and international media to further the center’s students.

• Dustin Lester, Fairfax, Ohio.

Intent: Work to create a nanoGreensboro brand to establish a strong and marketable identity for the city, building off the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, with goal of recruiting, retaining and expanding business in aviation, life sciences and innovative manufacturing.

• Helen K. Rogers, APD Urban Planning and Management, lead participating business, Atlanta.

Intent: Develop a strategy, working with partner firms, to promote job growth and business expansion, enhance quality of life and provide a vision for future growth.

• Imani N. Johnson, clinical social worker, Sanford.

Intent: Rehabilitate vulnerable populations, including disconnected youth, and the surrounding community holistically, empowering participants to become and remain productive, self-sufficient leaders of society through caring for the spirit, mind and body, vocational training and culturally sensitive education.

• John Hannon Martin, lead participant, location not given. Submitted on behalf of Triad Electric Vehicle Association.

Intent: Develop an electric drive campus and develop prizes for green challenges.

• James P. Wilson, lead participant, Strategonomics Global Network, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Intent: Review strategies aimed at creating tech/biotechnology clusters in greater Greensboro that will attract people, businesses and investment downtown; and capitalize on universities and colleges.

• Jerome Valentine , Greensboro.

Intent: Recommend an economic progress solution for Greensboro that uses the transportation industry to draw more businesses to the area and methods to retain companies already here.

• Channelle D. James, entrepreneurship professor at UNCG, and Doug MacNair, technical director at Cardino ENTRIX in Raleigh.

Intent: Propose strategy that includes both traditional development approaches and socially focused. Example: Create a social venture lab where college students work alongside economists, entrepreneurs, community organizers and local politicians to implement solutions with potential to thrive in the marketplace.

• John Merrill, Gateway University Research Park, Greensboro.

Intent: Create a Gateway Aerospace Materials Testing Center, working with the Gateway University Research Park and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

• John R. Dykers Jr., lead participant, Siler City.

Intent: Manufacture and sell a patented meat tenderness tester. Market “John’s Score” as the standard marker of meat quality, supplementing the USDA quality grade.

Intent: Manufacture and sell the Dykers Ring, a urological device for managing male urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Intent: Make a device to accurately call balls and strikes without disrupting the flow and ambiance of baseball games.

• Justin Streuli and Zack Mohorn, Open Ledge, Greensboro.

Intent: Create a downtown “startup accelerator” to invest in local companies or attract promising startups; build a co-working space conducive to innovation and creativity; connect entrepreneurs with Greensboro’s largest companies to solve problems and fill voids at the companies.

• Justin Streuli, Open Ledge, Greensboro.

Intent: Create a “climate action plan” to turn Greensboro into a carbon-neutral city by 2050.

• Keith Bunch, lead participant, Greensboro.

Intent: Make the city healthier through incentives to reduce the body-mass-index score of its residents.

• Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro , United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Intent: Create a task force to work on increasing the number of adults with college degrees to create a funding collaborative to invest in employer-driven career advancement for workers and to connect resources to improve job opportunities.

• Kimberly Brown, president and CEO, KimBees, Greensboro.

Intent: With the Carolina Coffee Roasting Co., open a manufacturing facility to make tea, coffee and packaged baked goods.

• Richard Canady Baxter, former Davidson County health director, and Elizabeth H. Stephens, retired public health administrative consultant, state of North Carolina.

Intent: Promote Greensboro through an “if you build it, they will come” theme by uncovering and enhancing the city’s artistic and historic identity through citizen involvement and public pride.

• Patricia Green, consultant, Smyth Co.

Intent: Market and brand Greensboro through numerous activities, including creating a downtown factory outlet mall; buy businesses such as Twinkies and move them to Greensboro; create a reality TV show set in Greensboro; attract a major league sports team or a casino; improve services to help the poor and homeless; and open more charter schools.

• Marlando D. Pridgen, lead participant, Greensboro.

Intent: Created an International Center for Educational Advancement with additional economic growth ideas and strategies.

• Michael Stumpf, principal, Place Dynamics, Milwaukee.

Intent: Promote the growth of small businesses and sole proprietorships. Example: develop a culture and support system for entrepreneurship and microbusiness growth.

• Michelle Dennard, navigational thinker and general counsel, Thinkspot, lead participating company, Tallahassee, Fla.

Intent: Emphasize collaboration and commitment from business, independent and government stakeholders to advance meaningful change, through stakeholder alignment, shaping a plan based on specific goals and developing an integrated marketing communication plan.

• Kori Ann Edwards, senior vice president of operations, LSI Business Development, Layton, Utah

Intent: Create partnerships between the universities and colleges in greater Greensboro and the private sector.

• Pramod and Varsha Vyas, Greensboro.

Intent: Create a recycling program involving local waste disposal companies and various businesses.

• Rob Bencini, certified economic developer; Mark Kirstner, land-use and transportation planning professional; Meryl Mullane, Mullane Public Relations; Sam Funchess, president, Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship; Bob Powell, assistant professor at N.C. AT, Greensboro.

Intent: Increase the capacity of residents to “self-generate” income through up to a dozen different projects that help citizens re-engage with the workplace. Example: Provide training in 3-D printing.

• Robert Aldin Lee, Lilburn, Ga.

Proposal: Take concrete and persuasive steps to lure a division of an existing organization with up to 2,000 jobs to the city.

• Sam Casella , Belleair, Fla.

Intent: Undertake a coordinated effort to develop technically skilled workers for Greensboro’s target industries with emphasis on a well-balanced workforce and with emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

• Sam Funchess, president CEO, Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, Greensboro.

Intent: Expand the Entrepreneur Assistance Support and Education Program services at the Nussbaum Center. The program has staff or interns who provide hands-on assistance to entrepreneurs and their companies.

Intent: Create an entrepreneur capital fund to help growth companies when other sources of funding are not available, to fill the gap between bank and venture capital funding.

Intent: Expand business incubator services at the Nussbaum Center, to address reductions caused by the economic downturn.

• Orachut Leoviriyakit, president, SSC Engineering, Haddon Township, N.J.

Intent: Propose the economic development strategy that will transform Greensboro into a “sustainable compact city” and promote a vibrant and healthy lifestyle, based on strengthening collective efforts, leveraging the city’s history and cultural assets, and redefining it as the focal point of academic excellence.

• Sumner Fineberg, Jamestown.

Intent: Unite Triad cities by building a system used of limited-access roadways used only by buses for nonstop transport to terminals in each city. Later, add electric-powered buses.

• Teresa Lynch, lead participant , principal, Mass Economics, research and consulting firm, Cambridge, Mass.

Intent: Develop strategy for Greensboro in the global economy with focus on creating cluster specializations, assets and linkages to translate the city’s strong export base into near- and long-term employment and income growth.

• Tom Philion, president and CEO, ArtsGreensboro.

Intent: Promote arts-driven economic development through such additions as a glass-blowing studio and education center powered by landfill methane gas in east Greensboro; an updated Cultural Center Campus downtown; an environment for producing commercially viable theater, mixed media, art, music and national residency projects; and a community-sourced creative campus on South Elm Street.

• Veronica Foster, accredited bridal consultant, Behind The Scenes, Greensboro.

Intent: Use public locations and small businesses such as photographers, design companies and caterers to inform those getting married or having parties and corporate meetings about what Greensboro can offer. Proposal: Hold a grand reopening of Greensboro to generate revenue for small businesses.

• Victoria Kiechel, lead participant, School of International Service, American University, Washington.

Intent: With students from American University and New York University, develop a strategy to improve the environment, equity and economy of Greensboro. Projects will focus on infill development in urban and outlying areas and on the role of public space.

• Vision Tree Community Development Corp.

A collaboration of the Guilford County public health department, N.C. AT, Greensboro Housing Authority, Cooperative Extension, N.C. Center for Environmental Farming Systems, Farm Incubator Project, Community Transformation Project, Interactive Resource Center, Guilford County Sheriff’s Prison Farm and UNCG’s Communication Department.

Intent: Eliminate “food deserts” in Greensboro to increase access to healthy food, improve the health of the community and reduce chronic disease; and provide job training. Target audience is the 5,000 local households that receive help under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

• Wayne E. Sharpe, Greensboro.

Intent: Build a facility at the “under-used White Street Landfill” to create alternative fuel using organic methane byproducts to power city operations.

• William Graves, lead participant, associate professor economic geography, UNC-Charlotte.

Intent: Market Greensboro globally to firms and “human capital” as the hub of a commuter-rail transportation network connecting research clusters in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and the Triangle, while touting the low cost of doing business and living in the city.

Article source:

Ideas abound for fall landscaping projects

Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013 5:00 am

Ideas abound for fall landscaping projects

By TYLER BUCHANANMessenger staff journalist

The Athens Messenger

For some people, the fall season can be a time to wind down outside activities like landscaping and gardening. For others, the task of beautifying one’s land has just begun.

There is more than enough time to get going, be it with planting flowers or working. Here are some fall landscaping ideas to keep you busy in the coming months.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.

You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



Or, use your
linked account:

Choose an online service.

Current print subscribers

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



Or, use your
linked account:

Choose an online service.

Current print subscribers


Sunday, September 22, 2013 5:00 am.

| Tags:














Article source:

Garden Club Honors Local Businesses

SOUTHBURY — The Southbury Garden Club recently announced the winners of its 2013 Landscaping and Beautification Awards to local businesses and corporations.

The winners have designed and maintained gardens and landscaping which improve the overall beauty of Southbury and enhance the shopping experience in the town’s commercial areas.

Club president Faith Moss and civic committee co-chair Kathy Lerner presented this year’s Plazas and Corporate Offices category certificate to the Southbury Plaza.

Mary Ann Gatto of Gatto Development Company accepted the award. She and her husband, Rudy, manage the plaza and maintain beautiful garden areas even in this summer’s extreme weather conditions.

Mrs. Gatto praised the hard work of Maintenance Supervisor Dezelal Tela and his dedicated landscape crew for the beautiful landscaping throughout the plaza.

In the Continuing Excellence category, Lake Wine and Spirits on Main Street South was recognized again for its beautiful plantings and landscaping.

Proprietor Jeff Raether takes great pride in his rose trees, hanging baskets, fountain and ever-expanding plantings. Mr. Raether spends at least six hours a week maintaining the garden himself.

The Independent Business certificate was given to Subway at 14 Oak Tree Rd., operated by Michael Candido.

Subway customers are greeted by lush planters and well manicured gardens.

Employee Amber Murray from Oxford accepted the award. The employees lovingly tend the planter throughout the growing season.

The Southbury Garden Club presents these awards annually to encourage local businesses to beautify their locations with quality plantings and landscaping. The overall aim is to make Southbury a more attractive place to live, work and shop.

The Southbury Garden Club meets at the Southbury Public Library on the first Friday of the month from March through December. The club sponsors speakers, design workshops and field trips to destinations of special interest to gardeners.

Members participate in many local civic activities, including a major project at the Ballantine Pool House which included donating a large stone walkway, planting and designing two environmentally friendly gardens, two wood and wrought iron benches and two large planters; planting a vegetable garden at the community garden and donating the harvest weekly to the Southbury Food Bank; making garden therapy baskets for Safe Haven residents; providing holiday decorations for Southbury public buildings and maintenance of public gardens at several town parks..

Prospective members are welcome.

Further membership information is available from Eleanor Cea at 203-262-4166 or at

Article source:

From Gardens Installed to New Hardscape, call Londrigan Landscaping for the … – Glens Falls Post

From gardens installed to new hardscape, we offer everything you could ever need to maintain develop a perfect landscape. And with over 20 years of experience and skilled craftsmanship, we can guarantee you will be very happy with your results.

Londrigan Landscaping

Serving Queensbury Surrounding Areas

Call us at: 518-792-4128

View Our Website

Article source:

Landscape Now: Upgrade Your Landscape With A Water Garden

Email to a friend

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A water garden can add visual interest to your landscaping, and it’s something you can do with the right planning.

Throughout history people have been fascinated with bringing water into their landscape and gardens…fountains, birdbaths, water gardens and ponds. The calming sounds of a gentle waterfall, the sight of Koi swimming in a small water garden or a variety of birds visiting a birdbath create a peaceful setting, bringing nature into your landscape. In this age of crazy schedules, little down time and high stress having a piece of nature in your yard where you can go to relax, contemplate and unwind is extremely important! How can you create this little piece of paradise? Let’s look at 7 tips to designing, building and maintaining a backyard water garden.

1. The Design Comes First

Whether you are building a house, installing perennial gardens or constructing a paver patio, the design must be completed first…water features are no exception. Mistakes that result from the lack of a detailed plan can cause the water garden to experience problems with leaking water, unhealthy water quality and expensive repairs! Will your garden be formal or natural? Choose a location that is visible from your house or patio and in a mostly sunny location. Site will dictate what type of water falls, filtration system and whether the water garden will contain plants, fish or is pond less. Locating sources for electric, plumbing and low voltage lighting will be necessary before digging the hole! Consult local garden centers, building officials, and area landscape contractors for advice, plans, permits needed and estimates before you undertake the project.

2. Site Selection

If you desire fish you will need plants that will require at least 6 hours of sun each day. Try to avoid placing a water feature under a tree and low areas that will collect excess water during rain storms. Keeping grass clippings, mulch and lawn chemicals (another reason to use organic lawn treatments!) out of your pond will keep it clean and balanced to sustain fish and plants. Flat areas can support a waterfalls by using the excess soil from excavating the pond to create a mound and stream leading to the main pond. Be sure to test the area for rocks and boulders before digging to save you extra work to deal with impediments.

3. Water Garden Construction

Once you have your water garden marked out you can dig the pond by hand or hire a company to excavate the pond with a mini excavator or backhoe. If the pond is a natural, free hand shape be sure to include stakes and lines indicating the pond level. The pond must be level at the top so the water will not seep out at one end! A line level or transit will be essential to determine the top of grade and water level. Ponds typically are 3‘ deep so fish can survive winter conditions and are a safe depth for children that might wander in. Creating shallow ledges around the edges of the pond are important for water plants, to hold stones from sliding and pond access.

4. The Liner Comes Next!

After completion of digging the water garden it is recommended to smooth the sides, bottom and ledges with a soft sand or clay to provide a clean surface for the liner and underlayment. If you plan to have the water feature for many years a 45 mil EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) liner will be a great choice since it adjusts to a wide variety of conditions, remains flexible, contains no plastics and is certified fish and wildlife safe. Because of the shape of a pool, the ledges and depth it is important to measure the size of the liner carefully…better off with a little extra than too little! Contact a supplier with your pond dimensions and they can calculate the size liner you need.

5. Filtration and Skimmers

In the past 10 years water garden filtration has improved tremendously…by mimicking nature. Gardens installed with natural bio filters and skimmers are able to cleanse the water naturally, without a heavy dose of chemical treatments. Equally important to maintaining a balance in your garden are the use of aquatic and shallow wetland plants along with fish which completes a natural cycle…providing oxygen for the fish and the natural breakdown of wastes creating an equilibrium for plant and fish survival and water clarity.

6. Plants and Fish for Your Water Garden

If you want to have fish (Koi, goldfish) you will need to have aquatic plants to provide oxygen in the water, shallow, ledge plants for fish protection and possibly an aerator to create oxygen if the water plants are not effective enough. Equilibrium will only be achieved with the correct balance of both fish and plants. One new type of water feature is the pond less feature that involves a water fall, deep basin and crushed stone. This feature can circulate water without having a pond, filter or fish!

7. Maintenance

The amount of maintenance you will have to perform will depend on the complexity of your water garden, where it is located and whether you have been able to create the equilibrium needed for a natural, sustainable water feature. There are chemical treatments that can be used to clean up a murky pond, but that can be better corrected by finding out what is causing the imbalance…not enough fish or plants, pond located in too much shade, insufficient infiltration or an imbalance of chemicals. In southern New England, if the pond is 3’ or so in depth, fish will survive frozen conditions. Place a small rubber ball or bundle of straw in the water before it freezes over to allow the escape of gases from the fish. Although water falls can run all winter long (except when the temperatures get near zero) it is safer to pull the pumps in late fall and blow out pipes so they will not freeze if the electric goes off. Water features are not maintenance free, however, with the proper design, location, balance of plants and fish they can provide many enjoyable hours in your yard as you bring nature, relaxation and peacefulness into your life!
In my next article I will discuss why fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs and transplant plants in your landscape!

“Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine.”
Slovakian Proverb

Frank Crandall, Horticultural Solutions. Frank is a R.I. resident specializing in coastal landscaping, organic land care, small business consulting, writing, speaking and photography and will be submitting biweekly articles about Landscape Solutions. Frank just published his third book, Creating a More Peaceful, Happy and Successful Life!. You can read more about his book on his website, Comments about Frank’s articles are welcome by contacting him at

Related Articles

  • Landscape NOW: 10 Landscape Tips To Get Through Summer Drought
  • Landscape Now: 10 Low-Maintenance Trees For Your Yard
  • Landscape Now: 5 Tips For Landscape Lighting
  • Landscape Now: Beautiful Window Boxes
  • Landscape Now: Do Your Own Rain Garden This Summer
  • Landscape Now: Fall Is The Time to Restore Your Lawn
  • Landscape Now: How + When To Water Your Yard
  • Landscape Now: Low-Maintenance Shrubs For Your Yard
  • Landscape Now: Organic Landscaping + Taking Care of Soil
  • Landscape Now: Organic Lawn Care
  • Landscape Now: Upgrade Your Landscape With A Water Garden

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Lawn Care

Get Daily discounts and offers on sporting events, plays, concerts, museums and other events around town

Article source:

GARDENING TIPS: Repairing Yard Damage

Posted on: 4:42 pm, September 21, 2013, by

This summer has been a rough one for many people’s yards.  Earl May’s gardening experts are offering tips to liven up dried out yards and gardens. Whether you want to give your yard some extreme love or are just looking to put a band-aid on the damage from the summer, there are tips and tricks for all yards.

Article source:

How to make your garden a hedgehog haven

For the last two nights I have sat in my mum’s garden, wrapped in a blanket, waiting for a hedgehog. It comes at around 10.30, snuffling through the border to eat the leftover cat food my mum puts out.

It’s a tiny little thing. I want to weigh it to see if it will survive hibernation but, so far, I’ve failed. The first night it came and ran away as soon as I dashed inside to get the scales, and the second night it didn’t show up – perhaps because it was raining, or maybe because there was a strange figure sitting on the garden bench in the rain, wrapped in a blanket.

Recently voted Britain’s national species in a BBC Wildlife poll, the hedgehog is declining rapidly (a 2011 report suggested a decline of 25% in 10 years). There are numerous factors linked to its demise, including a loss of habitat in the countryside and use of pesticides. Many are killed by motorists each year, and others drown in ponds, burn in bonfires, are injured by strimmers or poisoned by slug pellets in our gardens.

Yet, with a little effort, our gardens can be real refuges for hedgehogs. As long as there are holes under fences for them to travel through, and ponds are made safe, bonfires are checked before lighting and long grass is checked before strimming, they have every chance of survival. A leaf pile, log pile or compost heap can make the perfect nest site or hibernaculum, and wildlife-friendly slug pellets (or, preferably, no slug pellets at all), can ensure hedgehogs aren’t poisoned while they eat our slugs.

It’s also worth keeping an eye out for small ones in the run-up to winter, especially if you see any outside during the day. Hedgehogs typically hibernate between October and March, and before entering hibernation they build up their fat stores so they have enough reserves to keep them going without food until spring. Sometimes they have difficulty putting on enough fat in time – there can be many reasons for this, including bad weather – but a few are born so late in the year that by the time they leave the nest there is no natural food available for them to eat.

I don’t think the one visiting my mum’s garden is a baby, but I’ll weigh it anyway and then if it still looks small in a month I’ll weigh it again and check in with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) to see if it needs help. It’s only September, so in the meantime I’ll make sure mum keeps leaving food out until it’s no longer taken, but if it’s injured or looks unwell then I’ll call the BHPS for advice.

If hedgehogs visit your garden regularly, now is the time to give them an extra helping hand. Providing supplementary food and water can dramatically increase their chances of surviving hibernation, especially if you feed them again in spring, when their fat reserves are low and they have little energy to find food.

Meaty dog or cat food is readily taken (apparently hedgehogs prefer chicken or turkey flavour), and don’t forget a dish of water. Never give them bread and milk as this can make them ill.

Why not team up with your neighbours and become a Hedgehog Champion as part of the Hedgehog Street campaign? And if you do see a hedgehog out in the day, or find one that appears injured or is still very small, then call the BHPS for advice. You could save its life.

Article source:

Designing A Pollinator Garden

PHOTO: A hummingbird hovers near hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea).

As I write, the first rain of the fall season (which coincidentally begins according to the calednar on Sunday the 22nd with the Autumnal Equinox) is cheering up the forecast. The whole North State seems to breathe a sigh of relief. The color green will begin to slowly return (naturally) to our fields and hills. For gardeners, the longed for fall planting season is finally here.

PHOTO: A yellow-faced bumble bee gather pollen on late-summer blooming asters.

While there are a whole handful of things to keep in mind when considering planting a new garden, or overhauling or adding to an existing garden, an upcoming day-long class offered by the Friends of the Chico State Herbarium encourages us and more importantly will provide in-depth knowledge to attendees on how to take our region’s native pollinators – butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, moths, flies, beetles and more – into consideration when planting – this fall or anytime. Instructors for the course Adrienne Edwards and John Whittlesey, assure us that creating a garden is about beauty, about a place of refuge and wonder, about flowers and fruit and shade and walkways, and that by gaining that extra bit of knowledge and taking that extra bit of time to understand a little more about the plants that you choose and about the needs of beneficial pollinators, your garden will be all that you want it to be, simply with more life, and more health.

PHOTO: Mirror image of nectaring wasps on silver mint. Photo courtesy of John Whittlesey.

Adrienne refers to the many beautiful and colorful pollinating creatures as the “flying flowers” around us.

PHOTO: A bright yellow pollinator (wasp or fly?) stands out cheerfully against the saturated purple of verbena bonariensis. Photo courtesy of John Whittlesey.


Pollinators are essential for reproduction in a majority of plants worldwide – plants provide food, fiber, medicines, and beauty. Yet pollinators quite often are rare in our modern urban and suburban landscapes.

PHOTO: A tiny green bee covered in the pollen of native hibiscus.

Learn how to design a garden to encourage native pollinators by a) using plants that provide overlapping nectar, pollen, and larval food resources, b) providing pollinator nesting habitat, and c) eliminating the use of pesticides that kill non-target pollinators.

We will discuss the various pollinators (and associates) that can be encouraged in our gardens through thoughtful planning. We will also visit some pollinator-friendly gardens to discuss plant selection, placement and care of a garden that cultivates a thriving habitat for a wide range of pollinators and insect life, enriching the color, diversity, and health of your garden!

PHOTO: A yellow swallowtail hangs from the mellow mauve of a joe-pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum) flower head. Photo courtesy of John Whittlesey.

The instructors for this workshop are John Whittlesey, founder and owner of Canyon Creek Nursery, outside of Oroville, until recently Horticulture Chair of the Mount Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, and part-time instructor for the California School of Landscape Design, outside of Auburn, and Adrienne Edwards, Adjunct Faculty at Chico State, botanist, ecologist, and arborist. Both are board members of Friends of the Chico State Herbarium.

The workshop will meet Saturday, September 28, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to around 3:00 p.m., starting in Holt Hall room 129 at CSU Chico, and later car-pooling to garden sites. Registration is $100.00 personal, $90.00 for members of Friends of the Herbarium, $40.00 student (only 2 seats available at the student price). Please register in advance; class size is limited to 25 participants, class cancelled without a minimum of 8 participants. For more information about workshop content please contact John Whittlesey at or Adrienne Edwards at For information about workshop registration please contact the Biology office at (530) 898-5356 or

Adrienne and John are both native plant experts, active members of the Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, and both involved in the design and construction of several regional public gardens, including a Native Plant Pollinator Garden at Gateway Science Museum in Chico.

PHOTO: Squash bee gathering pollen. Squash bees are important specialist native solitary bees of two genera, Peponapis and Xenoglossa. Females forage at the flowers of squashes, pumpkins and gourds, their sole pollen hosts. Photo courtesy of John Whittlesey.

Adrienne is an ongoing advocate for educating children about the fun and wonder of native plants and healthy eco-system based gardens and landscapes. John is the co-creator of a traveling exhibit on the native pollinators, “Pollinators: Keeping Company with Flowers”, which was on display at Gateway Science Museum from April to December of 2012. Between them, Adrienne and John have years of experience and more passion for this subject than you’re likely to find in any one room.

PHOTO: A healthy vibrant home-garden designed by Bernadette Balics of Ecological Landscape Design in Davis. This garden is outfitted with plenty of food, water and shelter for visiting pollinators.

A few keys things to keep in mind, they both emphasize, when working to welcome pollinators into your garden, include:

1. Pollinators have the same needs that we have: food, clean-fresh water, shelter.
2. Pollinators have these needs at all stages of their lives, when they are eggs, whey they are caterpillars (if this is one of their life stages), when they are dormant and/or not eating, and when they are at their maturity and reproducing. They eat different things at each stage of their life and so knowing what some of your favorite pollinators eat at each stage of their lives will support them that much more.
3. Pollinators have these needs year-round. With this in mind, if you can provide 1 – 3 different pollen/nectar sources in your garden in bloom from January – November, not only will you have a full-season garden, you will also be more fully supportive of our pollinator populations.
Photo: Photo courtesy of John Whittlesey.
4. Not all flowers provide the same level or quality of pollen and nectar. When choosing among the flowering plants you love, choose ones that provide a good amount of both. Some plant families, and some individual plant species are just better at supporting a wide range of pollinators.
Photo: Photo courtesy of John Whittlesey.
5. A wide range of flower color and form will bring a wider range of pollinator types.
6. A consistent source of clean fresh water is essential. This can be an elaborate pond or fountain or as easy an element as a drip-rock or bird bath that is flushed regularly with an irrigation hose attached to it.
7. If you want to welcome pollinators, pesticides have no place in your garden. If you feel you must use one, choose carefully, read the instructions carefully and apply carefully so as not to harm more than you intend to.

8. Don’t be too tidy – a garden that welcomes pollinators will have sites for nesting and resting – small debris piles, some dead branches or twigs, good duff on some of the ground, some bare soil in other areas.
9. Have fun with it. You want your garden to be an oasis for you – it will be that much more lively and lovely if it is also an oasis for birds, bees, butterflies, flies, moths and more.

Follow a North State Garden on Facebook – Like us today!

To submit plant/gardening related events/classes to the on-line Calendar of Regional Gardening Events, send the pertinent information to me at:
Did you know I send out a weekly email with information about upcoming topics and gardening related events? If you would like to be added to the mailing list, send an email to

In a North State Garden is a weekly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California. It is made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum – Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell – all rights reserved In a North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time.


Leave a Response

Cancel Reply


Article source: