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Archives for November 2013

Garden designer Chris Beardshaw talks Eton’s new one-stop design shop

16 Nov 2013 07:30

Advertising feature: Barts Restaurant and Bar

Oh decisions, decisions! You have been lumbered with organising a night out and there is so much to consider. How will you get there, is it too far, is there enough room, what’s the food like, will everyone like it, can we just have a drink and something light, how much will it cost? Thank goodness for Barts Restaurant and Bar on the Wokingham Road.

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Article source: http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/whatson/goingout/articles/2013/11/30/95436-garden-designer-chris-beardshaw-talks-etons-new-onestop-design-shop/

Pump house restoration making progress

An effort to refurbish the historic water tower pump house in downtown Oregon is moving ahead thanks to a resident who’s spearheading the project.

Randy Glysch moved to Oregon in June and has been working with village officials and contacting landscaping businesses about donations for the first phase of what could ultimately become a restoration of both the water tower and pump house.

He plans to begin landscaping the pump house grounds on Janesville Street next spring. At the same time, Glysch would like to replace the small building’s windows and front door.

“We’re on this parallel track of fixing up the building and doing the landscaping,” he said.

Glysch said he’s contacted several local businesses – Kopke’s Greenhouse, Winterland Nurseries, The Flower Factory and Moyer’s Landscaping – and all were willing to help with donations of plants and shrubs.

“I’m amazed and humbled by how willing people are to provide stuff and help with the project,” he said. “Basically the landscaping is being donated – the whole thing. Sometimes it just takes asking people.”

Glysch has also talked with contractors about the pump house building, which was constructed in 1899 but has been neglected for years. In addition to needing a door and new windows – which will probably have to be custom built, Glysch said – the building also needs new tuckpointing.

The village has $3,300 set aside in a Water Tower Restoration fund, which Glysch said could serve as matching funds for a couple of grants he plans to apply for.

The application for a Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission grant is due in February. Oregon Historic Preservation Commission member Julia Meyers had previously applied for the grant but was unsuccessful.

Glysch has also been in touch with an official from the Bryant Foundation in Stoughton. He said the foundation typically funds only projects related to the Stoughton community, but with a nudge from Historic

Preservation Commission chairman Arlan Kay, the foundation did send Glysch an application.

“Funding is always a huge issue, and the water tower is in need of funding,” Kay noted.

Glysch said the Bryant Foundation is done accepting applications for 2013, “so we’ll submit a grant right after the first of the year.”

He also sent a letter to businesses located near the pump house to see if they’d like to make a contribution and met with the Oregon Area Senior Center, which agreed to place a donation box in the building.

“They put a nice little article in their newsletter, as well,” he said.

Glysch established the Friends of the Historic Oregon Water Tower earlier this fall and is accepting tax-deductible donations for the project through the village. He said donations can be sent to Oregon Village Hall, 117 Spring St., and will be maintained in the Preserve the Water Tower fund.

He plans to go back in January or February with a final landscaping plan for the Historic Preservation Commission’s approval, and “probably also some final plans on the windows and the door and tuckpointing.”

In an interview with the Observer on Sunday, Glysch said was “just blown away” at how his ideas were received at Moyer’s Landscaping.

He said one of the owners, Jeff Moyers, took his draft design for the landscaping “and is going to help create a very professional plan for it.” Moyers also talked about donating plants and the edging around the plants, he said.

Glysch has also applied to serve on Oregon’s Historic Preservation Commission. That appointment was on the Village Board’s meeting agenda for Monday, as was the commission’s recommendation that the board support the grants Glysch intends to submit for funding.

“If the water tower pump house wouldn’t have come along, I still would be interested in the commission,” he said. “I live in an old house, and it’s something I like and am interested in. And I’m interested in the community, as well.”

Glysch said he learned about the pump house and water tower by reading articles written by the late Joan Gefke, who served for many years on the Historic Preservation Commission.

“After I read about all the people who tried do something with this before me, I’m sort of humbled to try to carry on what they started,” he said.

Article source: http://www.oregonobserver.com/articles/2013/11/29/pump-house-restoration-making-progress

Historic St. Luke’s Church gets new executive director

ISLE OF WIGHT — Rachael Buchanan is brimming with excitement and ideas. She talks like she and the staff of the small brick church outside of Smithfield are going to revolutionize the historic tourism industry – and they just might, if Buchanan has her way.

Buchanan became the executive director at Historic St. Luke’s Church in Isle of Wight on Nov. 25, after a long career as a development director with other nonprofits, including the Red Cross and Planned Parenthood. When she first saw the opening listed this summer, Buchanan thought it was a joke. It was just too perfect of an opportunity, she said at the time. Now, she’s at the helm of one of the oldest churches in America, and she has big ideas about bringing St. Luke’s into the future.

The church has been through three major restoration efforts over the past 120 years and predates many of the area’s major historic landmarks, including Williamsburg and Jamestown. It was used as a stable for soldiers’ horses during the Civil War and has stood since the middle of the 17th century. Despite its history, St. Luke’s is still relatively little-known in the wider world.

“I’m looking forward to getting it well-known outside of Isle of Wight,” Buchanan said. “It’s Isle of Wight’s jewel, but it’s a national historic site.”

Buchanan talks a mile a minute, reeling off ideas that she hopes will get people as excited about St. Luke’s as she is — and increase donations in the process, because many of her ideas won’t come cheap.

For starters, Buchanan wants to give the site a facelift, updating signage, fences and landscaping to give the church more physical visibility, which Buchanan believes will help in her quest to raise the church’s national profile. As she puts it, “Before I go out and sell it, I want to polish it up.”

Before Buchanan can fire the starting gun on many of her big ideas, she must weather the church’s busiest time of the year – the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Many events are on the schedule, including three Christmas Eve services, and there’s an uptick in donations as people start to get into the giving spirit — not a bad problem for a non-profit to have, but one that will leave Buchanan spending a lot of her holiday writing thank-you notes.

“I don’t envy her honeymoon period,” said Charlotte Klamer, the outgoing executive director.

Buchanan received just four days of on-site training last week before Klamer handed over the keys. “It’s trial by fire. Oh, fun,” Buchanan laughed. “I like a challenge.”

The church will host its annual Christmas Open House on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, which will double as an unofficial welcome for Buchanan – by then, she will have about a week as executive director under her belt.

Klamer said the church shifted from “a sleepy little historic church” in the direction of a functional business during her more than nine years as director.

“What everybody wanted was to make it more competitive in the tourism industry,” Klamer said, noting that Buchanan was chosen to take charge of St. Luke’s in part because of her background in fundraising.

Buchanan plans to seek out corporate partnerships and government grants, which have been a major contributor to the church’s rehabilitation efforts. The church just completed a $500,000 preservation project, financed by a federal grant and a matching contribution from the Smithfield-Luter Foundation.

Buchanan said she also has plenty of grant-writing experience – she wrote her first proposal when she was 11, as a Girl Scout seeking funding for large-print Bibles for her grandfather’s church. She said fundraising is in her blood and her greatest challenge will be learning the ins and outs of preservation.

“It’s a huge responsibility to maintain the integrity of the site,” Buchanan said. “I’m intimidated by what Charlotte’s leaving me, but excitedly so.”

Buchanan’s excitement for the position was also a major reason she was chosen to fill the spot, according to Klamer.

“You could not do this job with all the time and effort it takes if you don’t have the passion,” Klamer said. “You don’t want to turn over your efforts to someone who’s not going to take it and run with it. Rachel’s going to run with it.”

Some of Buchanan’s big ideas include building a separate museum to house the church’s artifacts (an idea previously floated by board members), bettering their digital outreach, marketing the church a “historic wedding destination” for couples who want to step backward in time, and even hosting classic car shows.

“The church was here in the 1960s too. Why not? There’s a lot of places to grow,” she said. “I don’t ever want to leave the history behind, but I want to bring St. Luke’s into the future.”

Murphy can be reached by phone at 757-247-4760.

Article source: http://www.dailypress.com/news/isle-of-wight-county/dp-nws-evg-st-lukes-new-director-20131129,0,3835395.story

Ethel M botanical garden light display features 500000 lights – Las Vegas Review

Don’t forget that one of the places you can visit to see a holiday lights display is Ethel M Chocolates Botanical Garden at 2 Cactus Garden Drive in Henderson near the intersection of East Sunset and Mountain Vista.

Each year for the past 10 years employees have strung more than 500,000 holiday lights for visitors to enjoy. The facility covers more than 3 acres and features more than 300 species of plants suitable to our desert environment. It is one of the oldest and best examples of desert landscaping in the valley.

Q. With all the beautiful rain that we had recently, what should we do regarding future watering? Has it been enough water to just stop watering until after the first of the year?

A. Rains come in all forms. This one was rather unique in that it came down over a nice, long period of time giving it a chance to soak into our landscapes instead of running off the surface and into the streets.

Landscapes are supposed to be contoured to force rain off landscapes and into the streets. Once water enters the streets they act as “storm sewers” and help remove water from properties. If landscapes are not contoured correctly it is feared that water might accumulate on the landscape and flood homes, causing damage.

For gardeners who are interested in “harvesting” water on their property, this rule may seem to be counterproductive but it is meant for the “general good.” There are ways to store water and improve the effectiveness of rainfall such as dry stream beds and pools, but you must be careful when doing this. I will post some ideas on my blog as examples.

As a general rule we consider about 40 percent of our rainfall to be what we call “effective.” This means that 40 percent of the rain, four-tenths to every inch, actually gets into the soil where it is stored rather than running into the streets. This rain event however was more “effective” than most.

Another problem was that the rain was not evenly spread throughout the valley. This makes it hard to make a general statement about how long to turn off irrigation systems.

For shallow rooted plants like flowers and turfgrass they will still need a couple of irrigations the rest of this year. Deeper rooted plants, such as trees and large shrubs, can probably get by.

Unless you know your rainfall amount, I would count this rainfall as a single irrigation event, skip one irrigation and then continue irrigations unless we get more rain. The savings will still be significant.

Q. I believe you made an error last week about the Chinaberry tree. You said it “is also called Persian lilac and in the United States we sometimes call it the Texas umbrella tree.” I do not believe that the Persian lilac is related at all to the umbrella tree. We had both in our yard years ago, and they were quite different.

A. Thanks for your comment and you are right, there is more than one plant called “Persian lilac.” This is where the common names can be confusing.

The Chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach) can also be nicknamed the Persian lilac because of the perfumy flowers it produces in spring. You can Google any of these names.

There is another plant, also called Persian lilac (Syringa x persica), a hybrid lilac closely related to common and Chinese lilac, which is probably what you were growing.

We have the same problem with another plant we call mock orange. Locally, our mock orange is a Pittosporum. This is not the same mock orange known by most of the country. When I was in school, mock orange was a totally different plant with the scientific name Philadelphus coronarius, a flowering relative of hydrangea whose flowers were used for garlands because they have a strong citrus fragrance.

I do not to use scientific names in my column but common names can be confusing for this reason.

I appreciate these comments because I’m sure others were thinking the same.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.

Article source: https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/ethel-m-botanical-garden-light-display-features-500000-lights

The Changing Face of London Homes: New Urban Living Trends

London homes are changing. Cultural globalization, accelerated by a massive influx of foreign buyers in prime central locations, has helped spark new urban lifestyle trends that are reshaping the city’s real estate.

A multi segment panoramic image of the London ...

New lifestyle trends are changing the face of London homes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The way Londoners live is ever evolving: wants and needs are influenced by urban lifestyles that prioritise work and socialising, and ever increasing foreign travel experiences that inform people’s tastes,” says Robert Soning, Chief Operating Officer of real estate developers Londonewcastle.

Lateral living, where a home spreads laterally across a single storey rather than vertically across several, has been “the template for large apartments in traditional prime central London areas” for some time, according to Soning. Now, however, this style of living is becoming more widespread, as growing numbers of international and domestic buyers see the benefit of living on one floor. As a result, Soning explains, “open-plan living and lateral spaces are a desired shift away from the enclosed rooms of people’s youth. Spaces that connect living and dining with kitchen areas open up apartments and promote socialising.”

The appetite for airy spaces is also fuelling demand for glass walls and roofs. Because London is full of “tall, skinny houses with lots of small rooms”, prioritising spatial arrangement is crucial, explains Alan Waxman of developers Landmass London. “While Victorian aspects create a charming space, we believe a balance can be found especially when installing frameless glass extensions and internal glass windows.”

At Grosvenor Crescent Mews, a 10-metre waterfall and a retractable glass roof  provide light and a sense of space

At Grosvenor Crescent Mews, a 10-metre waterfall and a retractable glass roof provide light and a sense of space

The fashion for glass is closely linked to another, older trend among prime London property owners—that of digging into the basement. With stellar property prices and strict planning rules, stretching into the basement often becomes the easiest, most cost-effective way to create entertainment spaces, such as media rooms, indoor pools, bars and beauty salons. The obvious drawback is that basement rooms risk being starved of natural light—but this is neatly solved by using glass.

For example, says Waxman, “in one of our developments, Grosvenor Crescent Mews, we installed a 10-metre waterfall in an atrium with a retractable glass roof, thus providing natural light throughout the four floors. In another one, Belgrave Mews North, a retractable glass ceiling above part of the reception room with glass flooring allows light to cascade directly into the basement.”

Glass features prominently at Belgrave Mews North

A combination of glass ceiling and glass flooring brings natural light into teh basement at Belgrave Mews North

Interiors, however, have moved away from the minimalist design that was so closely associated with last decade’s open-plan spaces. “That style has been replaced by more expressive designs that focus on bringing out the richness of natural materials,” notes Soning. “For example, our forthcoming Rosebery Avenue development in Clerkenwell, which will launch in Spring 2014, will feature charcoal-painted brickwork, brushed rustic oak flooring and matt brass fittings.”

At the same time, interiors increasingly mirror the culture of austerity that permeates British society at the moment. “The retro look is very reflective of now: vintage is back in, there is a strong return to the make-and-mend culture,” says Christopher Dezille of Honky, the design consultancy that decorated the show apartments at United House Developments’ landmark £120 million Paynes Borthwick scheme in West Greenwich, which includes the regeneration of a Grade-II-listed former marine boiler factory and the development of a new residential tower.

“But vintage is not shabby-chic any more—it is that industrial kind of chic that you find in areas of London like Hoxton and Shoreditch, and now Greenwich. What I wanted to create was a less frilly vintage look: a sharper Miami meets Palm Springs – that kind of 50s cool.”

The retro look is back in fashion at the Paynes  Borthwick development

The retro look is back in fashion at the Paynes Borthwick development

Dezille believes that the industrial look is here to stay for some time. “This retro vibe is having a real renaissance, with brands like Ercol now being sold in key retailers, not only in the UK but also in other countries around the world. Our approach was to revisit that 60s vibe in a different way and, at the same time, to have a bit of fun with it. The wallpaper in the hallway, the wooden frame mirrors, the clocks, the large, colourful budgie pictures, these are the details that combine to create the look.”

Despite the notorious vagaries of the British weather, urban living is also very firmly branching outdoors. “The theme of many city gardens is to extend the living space as much as possible, with all manner of ‘indoor’ features making an appearance,” says Barry Burrows, Managing Director of Bartholomew Landscaping. “From kitchens to multimedia systems, wine fridges to retractable roofs, the inside is definitely on the move to the outside more than ever.”

For example, at One Tower Bridge, a luxury development by Berkeley Homes situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, opposite Tower Bridge, the luxurious (and rigorously open-plan) penthouses come with panoramic rooftop terraces, cutting-edge outdoor kitchens and hot tubs.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carlapassino/2013/11/29/the-changing-face-of-london-homes-new-urban-living-trends/

Growing Careers

swhysall@vancouversun.com

MARINA MCEWAN: Finding that natural fit

Marina McEwan is a 2005 graduate of the nursery production program at Kwantlen Polytechnic’s School of Horticultur e. Since graduating , 28-year-old McEwan has been responsible for growing most of the key flower crops for Amsterdam Greenhouses in Pitt Meadows, including all the tens of thousands of summer bedding plants – marigolds, petunias, impatiens, begonias, many of which get distributed to other garden centres.

“I have always liked plants,” says McEwan, who is originally from Prince George.

“It was a natural thing for me to go into horticulture.”

“One of the reasons I prefer greenhouse work over landscaping is because you are inside in the shade most of the time, out of the summer heat,” she adds.

She is also responsible for growing 30,000 cyclamen, as well as 11,000 pansies for the late-summer/early-fall market, as well as growing fuchsia patio-trees (called. fuchsia standards) for the nursery.

“I like doing this work a lot.

I can see myself staying and doing this for many years to come,” she says.

“It is fun to see the plants develop from seed and become beautiful specimens people want to buy.”

MATT VANDENBERG: All in the family

Matt Vandenberg, a graduate of the two-year horticultural diploma course in 2001 at Kwantlen School of Horticulture in Langley, is now the owner of his own landscape installation company, Vandenberg’s Landscape Design in Aldergrove.

It was natural for Matt Vandenberg to follow the footsteps of his dad and go into landscaping.

His father, Henry, had run a successful landscaping business for more than 34 years when he retired in 1998.

Matt worked for various landscapers, including Bruce Hunter, one of B.C.’s most wellknown landscape professionals. “Bruce had a big influence on me and put me on the career path I needed to pursue.”

After graduating with his horticultural diploma from Kwantlen, Matt worked for another year for Hunter before launching his own company in 2002.

Over the past 10 years, he has established himself as a topnotch landscape installer, concentrating on residential projects and garden renovation work all over the Lower Mainland, but mostly in the Tri-Cities, Langley and Surrey areas. “Our specialty is hard-landscaping – paving, walls, stonework – but we also know our plants and know where to find perfect specimens for the job.”

Matt has been a regular participant at the B.C. Home and Garden Show, producing award-winning show gardens that have helped elevate the garden content of the show.

Now a father with four children, he loves his life as a landscaper.

“I say I haven’t worked a day in my life – it is like a hobby for me. It is great when you have a job that makes you feel that way, that it is pure fun and not work at all.”

Article source: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Growing+Careers/9227439/story.html

Piano Pavilion for the Kimbell Art Museum has a beautiful transparency

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Kimbell Art Museum was cramped.

Although it wasn’t obvious – the galleries always looked lovely – the successes over the past 41 years had led to problems. The good kind, but problems nonetheless.

There was not enough room to display traveling exhibitions and the magnificent permanent collection at the same time. This often disappointed visitors who had come specifically to view the Fort Worth museum’s renowned holdings. Whenever a special exhibit was mounted, the permanent collection had to go into storage.

There were issues behind the gallery walls, as well. The growing education department worked out of a closet, and offices were being partitioned or crammed into whatever space could be claimed.

The art was being squeezed, and so was the staff.

The remedy to the Kimbell’s space constrictions has been solved. The new expansion building, the Piano Pavilion, opened to the public Wednesday.

The time between recognizing the problems and creating the fix was fraught with obstacles. The architecturally significant Louis Kahn building from 1972 was considered sacrosanct. There would have to be a separate structure built on the property. Where to put it, and who should design it, were delicate issues.

There was a vocal resistance to any change. Architects worried that the existing building and site would be compromised by any modifications, and locals who used the expansive grounds of the Kimbell feared the loss of the parklike setting.

The Kimbell board eventually chose Italian architect Renzo Piano and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop to alleviate the squeeze.

It was a good choice.

The Genoa, Italy-based Piano has become the go-to architect for museums, because he is quite sensitive to the demands of exhibiting artworks. Over the course of his nearly 50-year career, he has completed 21 museum projects, and four more are under construction.

Plus, Piano, who is 76, had worked with the late Kahn and likely would be sympathetic to the older architect’s aesthetic.

Still, there were grumblings – when the Kimbell announced that Piano had been chosen, when he presented his earliest design, and even after he produced a model that addressed the needs of the museums and the concerns of the detractors.

Three years after breaking ground, the building is finished. If there are any doubters left, they should have few complaints.

The Piano Pavilion is spectacular, and it successfully addresses the need for more galleries and an education center. And it plays very nicely with the Kahn building. They face each other across what Piano calls a lawn for conversation.

No doubt they will share the incoming kudos.

Piano was exceedingly gracious to Louis Kahn in designing a building that echoes many of the spatial allocations and proportions of the original.

Each has a tripartite facade that has two long galleries flanking an entrance lobby.

The buildings have a compatible symmetry but different personalities.

While the Kahn building is musclebound and grounded, the Piano Pavilion seems airy enough to levitate.

The Kahn is solid; the Piano, transparent.

There is a sexual tension between the two. They look like a pair of ballet dancers mirroring each other’s moves – one male, one female; one strong, one sinuous; one grounded, one taking flight.

It is an architectural pas de deux.

The Piano Pavilion is visually lighter. The walls of glass give it a transparency, and the silky titanium-infused concrete is less weighty in appearance than the travertine walls of the Kahn building.

While the original Kimbell has a procession of cycloid vaults, the Piano Pavilion has a flat roof with only the suggestion of curved roof panels, a slight nod to the cycloid vaults across the lawn.

The large beams that support the glass roof seem to hover as if they are separate from the walls. Often, the intersections of materials are invisible.

There are separations throughout the building, between interior walls and floors, between the window walls and the roof. This seeming lack of solidity makes the parts look as if they are about to float away.

There is a significant common denominator, and that is the deft handling of wall-washing light. Piano uses a clerestory and many window walls that have a double layer of shades to control the amount of light that is admitted.

The glass ceiling has louvers, and both the louvers and shades are controlled electronically to respond to the sun’s arc across the sky and to constantly adjust to the ambient brightness.

There are light wells and interior gardens walled by glass that also wash the galleries in an abundance of light.

Piano manipulates visitors’ experiences by forcing their first view of the campus on Kahn’s structure – something few people appreciated. Kahn underestimated Texans’ primal urge to park as close to the door as possible and then scurry inside.

He expected visitors to park in the lot, walk around the building, take in the gardens and landscaping, walk across the lawn, then cross a graveled plaza (death to high heels) and enter the front door.

It rarely happened.

Most people entered through what was considered the back door.

So Piano forces the visitors to gaze upon what was seldom appreciated. Entering Piano’s building from the new underground parking structure, whether by the glass-enclosed elevator or the stairs, the first thing the visitor sees is the front of the Kahn building.

It’s a great view.

The expansive lobby will multitask for receptions, educational events and parties.

Eventually, a small cafe or coffee shop will be added when the crush of the opening crowds has passed.

A gift shop just inside the African and pre-Columbian gallery will offer a more expensive mix of merchandise than that of the larger gift shop in the Kahn building.

The building includes three large galleries in the Piano Pavilion, an auditorium that seats 298, and a four-room education center. Not open to the public are offices, a library with Kimbell archives and storage facilities.

There is also an underground parking garage for 135 cars; access to it is from the south end of the old parking lot behind the Kahn building.

The Piano Pavilion has a little more than 100,000 square feet of space, compared with Kahn’s 120,000, but each square foot in the pavilion will use half the energy. New energy-efficient construction techniques, such as the photovoltaic cells on the glass roof, 36 geothermal wells, low-energy LEDs and a breathable floor that emits low-velocity cooled or heated air, should provide substantial energy savings.

For the opening celebrations, the Kimbell’s permanent collection is hung in the gallery that will display the special traveling exhibits. This was necessitated by the special exhibit from the Chicago Institute of Art that is on display in the Kahn building.

No one expected the old masters’ works to shine on the pavilion’s walls, but many pieces look better here than they ever looked across the lawn. The concrete walls have a 2 percent solution of titanium, and this silky suedelike finish makes them a more neutral background than the pitted travertine.

The Kimbell has installed its best pieces from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries against these smooth, spartan gray walls.

“We’ve seen it with modern pieces but never old master works,” says Kimbell director Eric M. Lee. “This may be the first time this has ever been done – putting old master works on concrete. And the paintings look fantastic.”

He points to four enormous 18th-century paintings by Francois Boucher.

“We’ve had these since 1972, and they are rarely seen together. We just didn’t have room,” says Lee, who pauses and slowly walks by the 9-foot-tall riotous mythologies swirling with gods and goddesses. They always looked a little much in the Kimbell – too big, too busy, too saccharine. Now, with room to breathe, they look very different.

“They have never looked better,” Lee says. “They are among the highlights of the collection.”

Having the space to pull out rarely seen works and putting the Asian, African and pre-Columbian pieces on semipermanent display will give new life to many of the Kimbell’s treasures.

“With the Piano Pavilion, we can have almost the entire permanent collection on display and host special exhibitions at the same time,” Lee says.

And now that the pavilion has shown it is a good venue for artworks of any age, it gives the museum great flexibility in mounting its collection, as well as special exhibitions.

Problem solved.

KIMBELL ART MUSEUM

3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas

817-332-8451, www.kimbellart.org

Gaile Robinson: grobinson@star-telegram.com

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Article source: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/29/5956191/piano-pavilion-for-the-kimbell.html

Holiday plants for gifts or decorating

By Carol Stocker, who will be on line live to answer your holiday decorating questions Thursday, Dec. 5 from 1-2 p.m….Many houseplants that bloom in December have become staples of holiday decorating, including azaleas, Christmas cactus, cyclamen, kalanchoe, paper whites, phalaenopsis orchids, amaryllis, and, of course, poinsettias.

Hot, dry, modern houses, however, are a trial for most houseplants, including Christmas plants, which are happier in drafty old homes with uninsulated windows. If you are going to discard the plants after blooming, don’t worry about providing ideal conditions. However, if you want to keep them long term, consider setting them up in a cool, sunny area, such as a porch or sunroom, to be brought out for display when company arrives. Don’t put plants near a radiator or on a TV set or they won’t even last through Christmas. Most have received enough feeding from the professional growers to glide through the holidays without more fertilizing. Careful watering, though, will prolong flowering.

Azaleas: Many of the Indian azaleas (Rhododendron simsii) purchased as classy decorations each holiday season will wilt and drop their leaves in a week. The usual culprit is hot, dry air. The secret of enjoying many weeks of bloom is to make sure the soil is always wet. Not just moist. Wet. Don’t despair if they wilt. Many are grown in peat that can become impermeable after it dries out. Just soak the entire pot in a sink. These plants also need a cool but bright location that is not in direct sunlight. The ideal temperature is 50 to 60 degrees. Obviously, this is cooler than most houses, but you can compensate by misting the foliage daily, removing at the same time any spent flowers.

Indian azaleas will bloom again next winter if you move them to a cool room after flowering, continue watering, and start fertilizing. Let them spend the summer outdoors in their pots and wait until October to bring them indoors to help set new buds. Then put them in a bright but cool room. When the flowers open, move them to their temporary display area. If you want holiday azaleas to enjoy now but plant outdoors later, look for the less common Japanese azaleas (Rhododendron obstusum), which look similar but are winter hardy.

Christmas cactus: Both the winter-blooming Christmas cactus and its popular cousin, the spring-blooming Easter cactus, have willing dispositions and flat arching stems that terminate in colorful flowers. They don’t need as much water as azaleas. They make the best long-term houseplants on this list, so don’t throw them out. Instead, to get them to rebloom next year, decrease moisture to almost nothing after they finish flowering so they can have a rest period. Then trim the ends of the stems to increase branching (and flowering), and move them outdoors in a shady spot from June until frost is predicted. They form buds in response to shortening daylight, so keeping them outdoors as long as possible helps set their flowering clock. Back indoors, keep them dryish and cool until they bloom again, then increase watering. If your plants have scalloped stems instead of stem margins with pointed projections, don’t expect them to rebloom for Christmas. They are Easter cactus.

Cyclamens: Most homes are too warm to keep these as long-term houseplants. With care, though, you can keep the little flowers with their elegant swept-back petals in bloom for several months. They like to be in a cool, bright, north window where they won’t get direct sunlight, and should be moist at all times. Like African violets and gloxinias, cyclamens will rot if their leaves and crowns become wet, so immersing the pots just up to the soil line in a sink or bowl of tepid water for 10 minutes is the best way to water.

Most people discard cyclamens after they bloom. To try to keep them, reduce watering and stop feeding them to induce dormancy until midsummer. Then repot them with fresh soil mixture, making sure the bulb-like corms are one-third above the soil line, and resume watering and fertilizing. Put these in a north window where temperatures remain between 50 and 60 degrees after their summer outdoors.

Kalanchoes: These long-flowering plants have large flower heads in red, white, orange, lilac, pink, or yellow that make me think of a Mexican fiesta. The palette is just too sunny for Christmas, but they tolerate warm temperatures better than most plants. After they bloom, discard them, or prune the tops and place the pots on a shady windowsill. Keep the compost nearly dry for a month and then put them in a sunny window and water normally. Growers are able to make them flower at any season, but you can’t, so if they do rebloom, it will be in spring 16 months later.

Norfolk Island pine: Often sold as miniature potted Christmas trees, slow-growing araucarias will eventually reach 5 feet and are easy to keep. They need repotting only every three years as they like to be root-bound. Water sparingly in winter, but mist them occasionally.

Paperwhites: These fragrant narcissus bulbs are usually grown on top of a bowl of pebbles covered with water that just touches their basal plates on the bottoms. This is where the roots will sprout, winding quickly through the pebbles to anchor themselves. Some people find the smell of traditional white paperwhites too strong and prefer the more softly scented yellow varieties. Give them the sunniest spot you can so they don’t grow too tall reaching for the light. They will probably flop anyway, unless you tie them up. Discard them after blooming.

Phalaenopsis orchids: These flat-faced moth orchids are the easiest orchids to grow and make tasteful gifts. All orchids need high humidity, which can be achieved by misting the leaves and placing the pots on top of large saucers filled with pebbles in water that evaporates and creates a moist, mini-climate without actually touching the roots. An east- or west-facing window is best if you have some lightweight curtains to shield them from direct sun, which will cause brown spots on leaves. They will greatly benefit from some supplemental grow lights in the winter, as they need at least 10 hours of light a day to rebloom. Fertilize them during the summer months. Well-grown phalaenopsis will bloom year-round. They have no resting period, so keep them moist at all times.

Poinsettias: These euphorbias aren’t exactly made of plastic, but they are treated with chemicals to keep them compact, and engineered to bloom for up to six months, longer than most of us would like. What we think of as flowers are really colored leaves. When buying plants, look for the true flowers, which are tiny yellow buds in the center of the flower-head. They should not be showing pollen. Let poinsettias dry out between waterings but water them immediately if the leaves begin to wilt. Misting is also beneficial.

Poinsettias should be discarded after flowering, but if you like a challenge cut the stems back to 4-inch stumps after the leaves have fallen and water them very little. In May, move them to larger pots with some new compost and increase watering and start fertilizing. Thin the new growth to five stems. They can spend the summer outdoors until the end of September. Then comes the hard part. You must cover them each evening with black polythene bags so they get exactly 14 hours of complete darkness until their unveiling the next morning. This will add a glum note to your decor, and if you forget to cover them for even one evening, your plants won’t color up. After eight weeks of this, treat them normally and they will bloom for Christmas. Without the greenhouse-applied growth retardants, they will be taller.

Article source: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/house/blog/gardening/2013/11/holiday_plants_for_gifts_or_de.html

Dubai’s Miracle Garden opens today with 45 million flowers on display

With over 45 million flowers this season, Miracle Garden in Dubailand opens its door to the public.

Click to see gallery of Dubai’s Miracle Garden in full flower

In the second season, Miracle Garden will have a UAE floral flag, a floral clock, a butterfly park, an aromatic garden and an edible garden, Akar Landscaping Services Agriculture, the developer’s of the garden, said in a statement emailed to Emirates 24l7.

“Nearly 700,000 people visited our garden during the first season (February 14 to May 18, 2013). In this new season, we are expecting the numbers to cross a million,” the company said.

A floral UAE flag

Miracle Garden will open in two phases. The first phase, opening today, will have huge structures of sunflowers, seven flower hearts, seven stars and huge stunning flowers made with 3D art design.

The garden will have seven pyramids, including a huge one with the UAE flag designed by flowers. There will be two flower arch pathways shaded by hanging flower baskets, adding a romantic vibe to the garden. Besides, there will be also an umbrella pathway, a flower tunnel, Lilium flower lamps and a birthday corner made with 3D design.

A Ferrari car with driver decorated by flowers, a vertical buried cars zone, flower apple structures, artificial animals, flower boats and an  Islamic Arch Design will also be part of phase one.

Floral clock

For the first time in Dubai, there will a floral clock, around 13 meters in diameter, made out of real plants and flowers with changeable design for every season (twice a year). The clock will have a small bird house with the bird tweeting every 15 minutes.

Colorful peacocks

There will be three colorful peacocks with two of them with a large fanlike opened tails, 12 meters in diameter, and one with closed tail, around 13 meters in length, designed with colored flowers posed on the Green floor.

Butterfly Park

Phase 2, which will open in January, will have the Butterfly Garden, which will be a round shape garden designed in 3D and decorated with flowers.

There garden will be nine domes, spread across 1,800 square meters, with each dome filled with different color, sizes and species of butterflies.

“Between these domes, we will have an alluring butterfly museum and butterfly flower park. All the designs will be built consistently on the butterfly garden theme,” the company added.

Aromatic Garden

Visitors will be able to see and smell natures most powerful aromatic and medicinal plants from over 200 countries. One can touch, smell and even make his own cup of tea, fresh from the garden.

“We will have seating areas and service counters to provide cups and seats for the visitors comfort,” according to the company.

There will be an Edible Plants Garden where visitor will be allowed to pluck vegetable or fruits. A Strawberry Garden will also be part of phase 2.

Located in Dubailand, Miracle Garden’s entrance fee is Dh20 per adult while disabled and kids three years and below will allowed free of charge.

Dubai Miracle Garden will be open all through the week – 9am to 9 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 11 pm/12 am during weekends.

Article source: http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/dubai-s-miracle-garden-opens-today-with-45-million-flowers-on-display-2013-11-28-1.529512

Dubai’s Miracle Garden opens with 45 million flowers

With over 45 million flowers this season, Miracle Garden in Dubailand opens its door to the public.

Click to see gallery of Dubai’s Miracle Garden in full flower

In the second season, Miracle Garden will have a UAE floral flag, a floral clock, a butterfly park, an aromatic garden and an edible garden, Akar Landscaping Services Agriculture, the developer’s of the garden, said in a statement emailed to Emirates 24l7.

“Nearly 700,000 people visited our garden during the first season (February 14 to May 18, 2013). In this new season, we are expecting the numbers to cross a million,” the company said.

A floral UAE flag

Miracle Garden will open in two phases. The first phase, opening today, will have huge structures of sunflowers, seven flower hearts, seven stars and huge stunning flowers made with 3D art design.

The garden will have seven pyramids, including a huge one with the UAE flag designed by flowers. There will be two flower arch pathways shaded by hanging flower baskets, adding a romantic vibe to the garden. Besides, there will be also an umbrella pathway, a flower tunnel, Lilium flower lamps and a birthday corner made with 3D design.

A Ferrari car with driver decorated by flowers, a vertical buried cars zone, flower apple structures, artificial animals, flower boats and an  Islamic Arch Design will also be part of phase one.

Floral clock

For the first time in Dubai, there will a floral clock, around 13 meters in diameter, made out of real plants and flowers with changeable design for every season (twice a year). The clock will have a small bird house with the bird tweeting every 15 minutes.

Colorful peacocks

There will be three colorful peacocks with two of them with a large fanlike opened tails, 12 meters in diameter, and one with closed tail, around 13 meters in length, designed with colored flowers posed on the Green floor.

Butterfly Park

Phase 2, which will open in January, will have the Butterfly Garden, which will be a round shape garden designed in 3D and decorated with flowers.

There garden will be nine domes, spread across 1,800 square meters, with each dome filled with different color, sizes and species of butterflies.

“Between these domes, we will have an alluring butterfly museum and butterfly flower park. All the designs will be built consistently on the butterfly garden theme,” the company added.

Aromatic Garden

Visitors will be able to see and smell natures most powerful aromatic and medicinal plants from over 200 countries. One can touch, smell and even make his own cup of tea, fresh from the garden.

“We will have seating areas and service counters to provide cups and seats for the visitors comfort,” according to the company.

There will be an Edible Plants Garden where visitor will be allowed to pluck vegetable or fruits. A Strawberry Garden will also be part of phase 2.

Located in Dubailand, Miracle Garden’s entrance fee is Dh20 per adult while disabled and kids three years and below will allowed free of charge.

Dubai Miracle Garden will be open all through the week – 9am to 9 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 11 pm/12 am during weekends.

Article source: http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/dubai-s-miracle-garden-opens-with-45-million-flowers-2013-11-28-1.529512