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Archives for October 16, 2013

Drury students present ideas for revitalized King Jack Park

Four architecture students from Drury University presented their proposed designs for a revitalized King Jack Park to about 20 community members Tuesday night, eliciting comments they’ll use in a final plan.

The designs focus on an area that is being cleaned up by the Environmental Protection Agency. Tom Reeder, Webb City parks and recreation director, said the students’ conceptualizations will help shape what happens in the park for the next 20 to 30 years.

Students created the designs based on initial input from the public at a meeting a few weeks ago. The suggestions included elements that honor the city’s mining history, water features, an expanded farmers market, native plants, trolley stops and a connection to the city’s downtown Main Street.

Mayor John Biggs praised the students’ work and noted that he particularly liked the designs that incorporate the downtown into the park. The city has hired an engineering company to do a preliminary study on whether a footbridge across Highway 171 or a pedestrian tunnel under it is feasible, and to look at three locations.

“These dovetail nicely with that idea,” Biggs said.

Eileen Nichols, who heads up the Webb City Farmers Market, said she appreciated student Eric Baldwin’s use of native plants in proposed landscaping.

“Not only is it beautiful, it’s smart,” she said. “They require very little care.”

Baldwin also incorporated four trolley stops into his plan, drawing positive comments from several in attendance.

Lifelong resident Linda Corner said she liked all of the designs, because they represent growth in the community.

“I like the idea that Webb City is going to continue to improve,” she said. In particular, she liked student Trae Johnson’s incorporation of a cafe along new walking and biking trails in his park design.

“I think it would be neat to go with a friend on a walk through the park and then stop for a coffee,” Corner said. “And I also like the idea of a fishing store in his plan near a lake. The idea that we’d get big enough to have a place to sell supplies and licenses is exciting.”

Student Alan Macejewski’s design included one of the most unusual — but perhaps most recognizable — elements: chat piles.

“I wanted to tie my plan for the park into the city’s history of mining, its roots,” he explained to a small group gathered around the easel to look at his design.

Student Miranda Middleton incorporated into her design areas in the park in which people could socialize. She also drew on the mining theme by suggesting architectural structures reminiscent of old mining tunnels. Her design included a coffee shop, as well as a bike rental shop and an amphitheater.

Elements from four plans will be streamlined into one, and students will present the result at a public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Route 66 Events Center, 21 S. Webb St.

Their teacher, Jay Garrott, said the final plan developed by the students will be presented to the city in December. It can be used as a tool to generate a final community vision for the space and perhaps to seek grant funding for specific park projects.

Track record

IN THE PAST 12 YEARS, Drury students have done 57 collaborative community projects, including a project with Webb City five years ago that looked at the potential for growth and development downtown. The collaboration involves not just residents and students, but also University of Missouri Extension.

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Red Bridge comes down

The Department of Natural Resources is beginning the process of replacing the Red Bridge with a 180-foot steel structure. The bridge will be approximately three times as long as the Red Bridge and extend further onto land east of the river.

The height between the bridge and Fish Hook River will stay at 7 ½ feet. The extra length is to make the bridge handicapped accessible.

Most of the bridge replacement will take place this fall except for the concrete decking. Because it will be late fall, the DNR will likely wait until spring to complete that part of the bridge.

City officials had been working with a committee on a location in the park to move the bridge. The east side of the park was deemed the best place for the bridge to be placed. However, the crew moved the bridge to the west side of the park.

No one with the city was notified the bridge was being moved Monday morning.

City facility maintenance superintendent Chris Fieldsend said he anticipated the bridge could be moved to the east side of the park without much trouble. Crews will be on site for a while, he said.

The city Parks Board will look at possible Red Bridge Park amenities for 2014, including possible landscaping around the old bridge and benches. Ideas will likely be presented to the city council in early 2014.

This week, the DNR will start to work on the site to prepare it for placement of the new bridge.]

The Red Bridge is now sitting on land in the park next to Fish Hook River.

Earlier this fall, construction was done on Beach Road to replace the sanitary sewer and water main through the area of Red Bridge Park.

This was the first part of the Red Bridge Park project. After the sewer and water lines were replaced, the road was restored to gravel until next spring.

After the bridge is completed, the city will finish the improvement project, which will include paving the road and parking lot, along with the trail along the north side of Beach Road.

The city received $137,000 in grant funding for the improvements. The new steel bridge is paid for by state DNR funding.

The Red Bridge replacement project is part of a larger Heartland Trail master plan. It will reroute the current trail, which goes across the trestle bridge to Highway 34. The trestle bridge is in poor condition and is posted now for a maximum of 1,500 pounds. The DNR will remove the trestle bridge as part of the project. It will not be replaced.

The trestle bridge will be removed one or two years after the Red Bridge replacement project is completed, DNR officials said previously.

The project will align with the Heartland Trail master plan, which shows the trail heading west through Red Bridge Park and along Beach Road with the final destination being Moorhead. The Heartland Trail Association and Chamber of Commerce have been a part of the planning project as well.

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Blue Hills Barn ready for weddings


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Townhome garden has excellent landscaping

Marion Cole has lived in Plant City for more than 20 years and enjoys the beauty of a quiet suburban lifestyle. Her love for plants began in North Florida as a child as she helped her parents and grandparents plant and maintain their beautiful flowers, fruit trees and vegetables.

She is both patient and adaptable and has mixed the townhome’s community plantings and her own to make a charming garden with a formal but very comfortable feeling.

Part of her success comes from the setting. While most corner lots are framed by an angle of two streets, this one is surrounded with a single street that curves around from one side of her house to the other. The excellent landscaping that came with it offers elegance and privacy.

A professional landscaping company hired by the association takes care of the lawns, sprinkler system, ground cover, trees and shrubs.

Marion keeps many of her personal plants in pots, mostly along the house, entrance way or doorway. She waters and prunes them herself. She also does a good bit of grooming in the rest of the yard. Once she starts, she says, she doesn’t want to stop.

By keeping plants in containers, she can move them around to make them happy. Marion fertilizes with Black Magic, Jungle Grow, ironite and other recommended fertilizers to keep her plants green and healthy.

Huge magnolia trees bloomed heavily this year just inside the wooden fence by the street. The trees stand in a thick ground cover of oyster plant, sometimes called Moses in a Boat, and rain lilies that grow wild and make a beautiful setting seen from the street. There is a central area of manicured, well-grown grass and all of the beds are neatly mulched. Large, red-leaved ti plants and variegated succulent stems of devil’s backbone give color year round. Near the kitchen bay window is a cluster of ruellias bloom with lavender flowers that give color to outdoors and inside.

Her own favorite plants line the walkway from the driveway to the gorgeous, etched-glass, front-entrance doors and best of all, a bench gives that special sense of not being seen but being able to see out. It has an almond bush planted in front of it, wonderfully fragrant most of the year, and a great nectar food for butterflies. A crinum lily was blooming the day I was there with a firework globe of more fragrant flowers.

Today’s pick is the foxtail or asparagus fern. Actually it’s not a fern at all because it produces seeds rather than spores and is a member of the lily family. It likes full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Its dense, small spiny leaves grow on upright stems. The roots become a mass of tubers that can crack a pot, so in containers they should be divided every two to three years.

Yellowish leaves will not turn green again, so cut them off. There are inconspicuous little white flowers in summer followed by BB-sized berries that turn from green to red. Don’t overwater this plant. It mixes well with succulents, like the round-leaved Sansevieria.

Now’s the time to tell you the majority of the monarchs started their migration to Mexico at the end of August. I could tell because the milkweed plants are growing leaves faster than the caterpillars are eating them now. Before that I had to cover some of mine to keep them from being eaten to death.

I’ve taken the cover off now. A few monarchs will stay through the winter. I’ve had six emerge recently. I haven’t seen any caterpillars for awhile, but I keep looking. There are still plenty of other butterflies around, especially the zebra longwings.

Upcoming events

• The Tampa Bay Orchid Society meets Thursdayat Christ The King Church, McLaughlin Center, 821 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. The doors open at 6 p.m., and the meeting starts at 6:30. Antonio Toscano de Brito, curator of the Orchid Research Center at Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, will speak. There will be refreshments, plants for sale and a plant raffle.

The meeting is open to the public. For more information and directions, call (813) 839-4959 or visit

• Lori Symington is opening her garden to the public this Saturday at 2317 Hamlin Court, Valrico, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. It’s full of color, flowers, vegetables and fruit. Her granddaughter Abbie will have some plants for sale. For directions or details, call (813) 352-1712.

Monica Brandies is an experienced gardener, freelance writer and author of 11 gardening books who can be reached at Her website is

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Master gardener shares tips on her Texas Eclectic landscape

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Broehm awarded October ‘Garden Of the Month’

On any given day and at just about any given hour, Sun Prairie resident Ann Broehm can be found toiling in the plants, flowers and herbs that surround her home on Blankenheim Lane.

Much of the past 41 years on her ¾-acre lot have been spent in the front and back yards, where upcoming seasons and holidays are celebrated with festive items she finds at garage, church and estate sales.

It is this dedication and the beauty it brings that the Sun Prairie Garden Club recognized by awarding Broehm the October “Garden Of the Month.”

Broehm’s first love has always been the outdoors. She learned the ins and outs of gardening and landscaping from her mother, and has spent many decades practicing and refining the art of bringing the outdoors to life.

Of the many types of gardeners that exist, from low-maintenance landscapers to retirees with hours to spare with their hands in the dirt, Broehm finds herself among the latter, seeking out the great outdoors for tranquility.

“Let me put my hands in dirt and I can hear some bad news, but it doesn’t bother me,” Broehm said. “ … I’m at peace when I’m outside.”

In October, her porch resembles a carefully done-up collage of autumn foliage, hay bales, and festive pumpkins. But there are also remnants of late summer color – punches of fuschia, gold, bright yellow, blue and red cluster in wooden and cement pots. The porch changes with the seasons, and serves as a beautiful reminder to passersby of what holiday is coming up next.

Around the back of her home is where her years of hard work are evident – the yard remains mostly open, but with a few spaced out areas reflecting her different landscape and gardening interests.

A vegetable garden in the corner grows radishes, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, beans, peas and thousands of cucumbers. This year alone, she picked and pickled 3,267 cucumbers, with the help of dill from her herb garden.

“When I can my pickles, I pick them immediately then I have my own dill so it’s all fresh,” Broehm said. “People just fight over my pickles.”

She also has a grapevine, which she uses to make concentrated grape juice.

Her backyard is host to not only her annuals, perennials and yard decorations, but to wildlife as well. She regularly attracts Cardinals, Blue Jays, Orioles, Blue Buntings, Finches, Mallard and Wood ducks, geese and foxes.

The telltale sign of her love for the outdoors and gardening? Laughter when you ask her about the time commitment.

“It could be 24/7,” Broehm said. “I just love it. I go outside thinking, ‘I have to do this one thing.’ It never is that way. I see so much that has to be done, always.”

The time she has spent outdoors has taught her a lot of useful tips for preparing her gardens.

To save money on geraniums, Broehm cuts the flowers off and puts them in her basement during the off-season. She takes seeds off flowers and holds them over to dry out, then starts growing them in a southwest facing window in her basement beginning in January.

“In saving on buying geraniums, that’s a big thing,” she said.

She also advises on the most important part of a good garden, good soil. Broehm has a compost bin in the garden, which she regularly fills with cow manure she receives from a farmer she knows and grass clippings from her neighbor.

She is also faithful to providing plenty of space for things to grow, and fertilizer.

From there, it’s all about choice.

“Just pick out some seeds that you would like … and start planting,” Broehm said.

Her talents have been recognized by countless family, friends and strangers, but it was still a pleasant surprise for the longtime Sun Prairie resident to be named the final “Garden Of the Month” of 2013.

“So many people have said, ‘With all your work and how beautiful it is, you should be the garden of the month,’” Broehm said. “I said, ‘Well maybe some day I’ll be picked.’ I was shocked and very, very surprised.”

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What to do in the Garden in October

By Carol Stocker, Globe Garden Writer…Cutting down the garden…You can postpone this until next spring to provide cover and food for birds. But always remove the top growth of disease prone plants such as tomatoes, peonies, bearded iris, hollyhocks and phlox and bag these.

Cut the garden down now in stages, removing the ugly stuff first and leaving for plants that still have presentable seed heads and foliage like ornamental grass. But eventually you will want to cut it all down because it begins to look like debris.

This is the easy way to dispose of garden debris without having to bag it and set it on the curb. Simply make a free standing three foot high pile in some unseen corner of your property (not leaning against a tree or building, which could rot). Then just let it break down and return to nature. What should you compost? Leaves, grass cuttings, chipped brush, pine needles, weeds that have not gone to seed, vegetable and fruit wastes from garden or table, perennials tops you’ve cut back, dying potted plants and annuals along with their root balls, coffee grounds, eggshells, teabags, shredded paper and cardboard, including newspaper, paper towels and paper plants and bags. Do NOT compost dairy products, meat, fat or grease, cooked foods with sauces, bones, peanut butter, mature weed seeds, kitty litter or pet manure, whole branches, diseased plants, or weeds that spread by roots and runners, including vines. I put woody branches in a different pile for burning in spring. Or you can chip them for mulch if you have a chipper.

You don’t have to rake these unless they’re thick enough to suffocate what’s underneath. Leave them between trees and shrubs and on empty planting beds, where they can serve as natural fertilizer. But rake or blow leaves from lawns and evergreen ground covers into a three foot tall pile in an out of the way spot and let nature take its course. They will decompose into a one foot tall pile of leaf compost, call leaf mold in about 15 months. Naturally weed free, this is a much better garden mulch than pine bark since it is loaded with nutrients.

Unhook and drain garden hoses completely, roll them up and store them off the ground. If you have an automatic irrigation system, shut down the timer. If the timer has a digital display, switch to “rain” on the controller. If it has a dial, like an analog clock face, or a pump is wired to the timer, turn off the power to save electricity.
Inside the house is a shut-off for each exterior faucet, usually just on the other side of the basement wall from the outside faucet. Shut off each of these from inside the basement, then open the outside faucet to drain any remaining water. Back inside, look for the vent on the bottom of each valve. Put a bucket under each and then unscrew with pliers. Remove the half inch metal cap and the “O” ring inside the bottom of the shut-off, using a pin to break the vacuum. Water will drain out from that 5-foot section of pipe between the inside and the outside faucet; otherwise it can freeze and burst inside the wall, causing damage.


Prune climbing roses and fasten them to their supports so they don’t get whipped around in winter winds. Clean and store garden furniture, stakes, cages and seasonal temporary trellises.Many pots are now good looking plastic that can survive the winter, even if they remain filled with soil. High fired stoneware will not break either. If you want to ensure the safety of expensive terra cotta pots, dump their soil in the compost pile, wash and sterilize them with a 10 percent bleach solution and let them dry in the sun before storing them (upside down if stored outdoors). Store pesticides and fertilizer in a dry, locked area that’s labeled for dangerous chemical as does not freeze.


Deer are the biggest outdoor pest in some areas. Start spraying evergreens now with a deer repellent or wrap individual shrubs in the kind of black netting used to keep birds off berry bushes. Protect young fruit trees from gnawing mice by wrapping the base of the trunks with commercial tree wrap or 18 inch tall metal tree guards. If you notice swarms of identical small white moths attracted to porch lights in early winter, you probably have winter moths. Their immature inchworms can cause a lot of damage in spring so contract now, before arborists get busy, for spraying the biological pesticide Spinosad next April.

For the Birds

Setting up a winter bird feeder in front of your favorite window is a great way to stay in touch with the outdoors while staying warm indoors. Fill it with black-oil sunflower seeds to attract pretty red cardinals.

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Tips for working safely in the garden

Working in the garden is usually considered an exercise for most people. It is just something to do over the weekend to take their minds of other things, while at the same time involving the muscles to do some actual work, instead of lying about for two days. Some people consider this a better exercise than jogging or even doing push-ups, because it involves many more muscles that these workouts.

However, some other people tend to have problems with gardening. For example, some of them will wake up on Monday morning with sore back or achy joints, while others will experience cramps due to their muscles being inactive for a long time. If you think that there is no way to prevent these minor injuries, you are mistaken. You can minimize the negative effects that gardening can have on muscles, neck and back by following a few simple tips. I will lay them down for you.

Getting comfortable is the key

It is very important that you feel as comfortable as possible while working, so get yourself in a position where nothing will bother you. Once you have found such a position, you can keep it by:

  • Working in front of you and not trying to stretch or twist your body in some weird ways. Also, keep your work close to yourself.

  • Moving your body to new working positions, if that is necessary. You do not have to be in one position or place the whole time.

  • Deciding which tools are right for the job. Not every tool is useful, or comfortable, for every gardening activity.


Tool handling

How they handle their tools is what separates a seasoned gardener from an unprepared one. A seasoned gardener will know how to handle his tools and will prepare them accordingly before any gardening activity. Here are some tips how to improve tool handling:

  • You should hold the tools loosely in your hand. Gripping tools too tightly may lead to injuries, some of which can be chronic and may not be discovered immediately.

  • If possible, obtain a wheelbarrow to help you transport things. It is much better that you leave transporting heavy things to a tool than having to lift things yourself.

  • In order to avoid having to try too hard, always keep the tools used for digging and cutting as sharp as possible.

  • Having an access platform nearby at all times will help you avoid stretching too high to reach things that are at a height. Also, it will give you a much better position for working, which goes in line with keeping all the work in front of yourself.


Setting and keeping the pace

In order to feel well and to avoid any injuries, you have to find the pace of work that suits your strength and stamina. If you set the pace too hard, you will end up with all the problems that I have listed at the beginning. However, if you set it to be too lenient, then you will not get enough work done and your body will remain neglected. Here’s some advice that might help you:

  • Always take a break when you feel tired. Working while you are tired will only increase the chance of you making some mistake.

  • If there is a lot of heavy lifting, digging and cutting to be done, do not do it all at once – that will surely tire you immensely. Instead, spread the work over a few days or weeks, whichever suits you best. Just make a plan and stick to it.

  • Do not work only one thing for the entire day. Do a little bit of everything or, at least, work a few different jobs. This way, you will avoid suffering repetitive strain injuries, which can, in time, turn into chronic injuries which might cause much trouble for you.

  • Finally, whenever you work in the garden, make sure that you are properly protected from the sun. Working under a sunscreen or wearing a hat will help block the sun. Also, drink a lot of fluids. Both hard work and the sun require you to get hydrated often, so do it – always have a full bottle of water with you.


Working in your garden can be a cause for many chronic and ordinary injures, as I have already said. If you follow the tips explained here, you will surely be able to avoid, hopefully, all of these. It is important to do your gardening safely and responsibly so that you could enjoy working in it for a long time.

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Auckland Garden Designfest Bursts Into Bloom This November

Auckland Garden Designfest Bursts Into Bloom This

For immediate release: Wednesday 16
October 2013

Celebrating Auckland’s
extraordinary landscaping, design and artistic talent

First-time gardeners, the green-thumbed and
landscaping professionals alike are invited to take part in
the second biennial Auckland Garden DesignFest 2013, on
16-17 November across the Auckland region.

Twenty-five of
the city’s most spectacular residential gardens will be
open to the public—nearly all of them for the first
time—in a celebration of the incredible landscaping,
design and artistic talent Auckland has to offer. Visitors
have the opportunity to explore the grounds over two days,
speak with each garden’s designer onsite, and gain
inspiration for their own gardens coming into summer.

Festival’s Joint Chairperson, Rose Thodey says, “We’re
proud to have so many experienced designers taking part in
this year’s Festival. Thanks to them, and the generosity
of the gardens’ owners, we’re able to show the enormous
difference good garden design can make to a property.”

“All the Festival gardens are incredible, but they
follow simple principles that anyone can use in their own
backyard, if they know how to apply them. So it’s about
showing people how easy and worthwhile it can be to use
effective garden design techniques to make their outdoor
environments more enjoyable spaces to live in.”

Some of
the Festival’s highlights include: a Lake Pupuke garden by
up-and-coming designers Matt McIsaac and
Mat Ransom which featured in the 2009 film
Under the Mountain; one of New Zealand’s most
beloved designers, the internationally-recognised
 Xanthe White presents two gardens—one a
Herne Bay property incorporating brick salvaged from the
2011 Christchurch earthquake, with a range of edible and
medicinal plantings, the other in Mt Eden, with flowery
natives and gorgeous lagoon effects; Damian
collaborates with artist Desna
on a large outdoor installation to
reinvigorate a tired Herne Bay property; Trudy
California-inspired garden next door
responds to the deco period of its landmark 1920s apartment
building; Robin Shafer’s whimsical
Balmoral garden is perfect for anyone with a romantic
sensibility, and her Sunnyhills property is a relaxing,
tropical-inspired oasis, and finally, for anyone seeking
ideas on creating small urban sanctuaries, don’t miss
Pascal Tibbits’ Parnell designs.

Unique to the Festival is the chance to explore gardens
where the professionals have combined forces. Stroll through
two properties in Freemans Bay where Trish
has worked with old friends: fellow
designer Sally Gordon who describes her new
garden as being “all I dreamt of”, before wandering
across to her neighbour, award-winning architect Pip
utterly desirably retreat.

Remuera is home to seven of the Festival’s
gardens, with sweeping, Italian-style properties such as
Ron Dkyman’s two gardens, extensive,
multi-purpose outdoor areas by Gary de
, and Fiona Kelly and Barbara
, and an awe-inspiring, historic garden by
Sue and Colin McLean, with water features,
sculptures, a potager garden and beehive. For poolside
living, see Gudrun Fischer’s sleek
creation and Jan Hart’s family garden
which won Silver Awards in last year’s Landscaping New
Zealand Awards.

The Festival was inspired by
Melbourne’s renowned Rotary Garden DesignFest and is held
in alternate years with its Auckland counterpart so
gardening and design enthusiasts have the opportunity to go
to festivals in both cities. It is the brainchild of the
Garden Design Society of NZ and the Rotary Club of

Tickets for the festival are now on sale online,
or available to pick up in person from Palmers Gardenworld
and Palmers Planet Stores throughout Auckland. Pre-purchased
tickets cost $50 for an all-garden, all-weekend pass, or $60
if bought on the day at any of the gardens. Single garden
tickets are also available for $5 each. Proceeds from all
tickets go towards children’s charities Ronald McDonald
House, KidsCan and Garden to Table.

For those looking to
see all the highlight gardens with the guidance of expert
guides, bus tours are offered and cater to a range of
interests, beginning and ending at historic Highwic in

For more information, visit


© Scoop Media

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Garden club refines floral design skills

Flower Show

Flower Show

Jan Murray, Karen O’Connor and Brenda Strange were awarded best floral design.

Flower Show

Flower Show

Barb Macbeth, Betsy Ray and Marcia Deiss won for the best representation of the selected theme.

Flower Show

Flower Show

Nora Carey, Sandy Griffin and Karen Cowperthwait were awarded most creative design.

Flower Show

Flower Show

Kathy Aquilla and Mackey Dutton won best overall design.

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:00 am

Garden club refines floral design skills

CHESTERTOWN – The Chestertown Garden Club had their second meeting of the season on Oct. 1 at Emmanuel Church. The program, Chestertown Flower Show 2013, was devoted to enhancing members’ floral design abilities.

Members were divided into small groups and designed an informal table selected from six themes: Mums the Word!, Gourd Gracious!, Summer’s Last Hurrah, Autumn Leaves are Falling, Apples Spice, and From the Pumpkin Patch. Members could meet and plan their table arrangements, but tables had to be arranged on the day of the meeting. Judging was done by secret ballots submitted by members of the club in the following categories: best floral Design, best overall design, most creative design, and the design that best represents the selected theme.

The individual table top designs were used by each group to eat lunch. The exercise helped the club members to enhance their arranging skills and to understand judging parameters at garden shows.

The winners were: best floral design – Brenda Strange, Karen O’Connor and Jan Murphy for Autumn Leaves are Falling; best overall design – Kathy Aquilla, Mackey Dutton and Chris Kirk for Gourd Gracious!; most creative design – Nora Carey, Sandy Griffin and Karin Cowperthwait for Autumn Leaves are Falling; and the design that best represents the selected theme – Betsy Ray, Barb Macbeth and Marcia Deiss for Gourd Gracious!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:00 am.

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Garden Club,

Flower Design,

Flower Show,


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