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Archives for December 8, 2013

Go Green for the Holidays

By Carol Stocker…I will be back on line to answer your questions live 1-2 pm. Dec. 19…Meanwhile here are some ideas to promote a conservation minded holiday season…
1. Give a Gift Certificate for a native tree or shrub. They improve the air we breathe, provide food and shelter sources for wildlife, and help reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. As your local nursery to help with the selection.
2. Give an annual membership to a local organization such as the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Friends of the Blue Hills, The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, or The New England Wildflower Society.
3. Support our talented artisan community for a handmade gift or make something yourself – a loaf of bread, a dozen cookies, note cards or stationery, a special holiday ornament… even a simple cardboard bookmark with a child’s or a favorite pet’s photo on it.
4. Holiday Cards. Go paperless with e-cards; purchase cards made of recycled paper and vegetable based inks; look for handmade cards made from recycled materials at local art centers, art co-ops, and gift shops.
5. Holiday Lighting. LED lights can bring energy savings of up to 80%; solar-powered LED holiday lights can be found online; use timers for additional energy savings.
6. Decorating. Use natural decorations; they are inexpensive, eco-friendly, and can be composted after use; evergreens, holly, laurel, magnolia, and berries (but be sure you know you’re not using berries from invasive plants such as Multiflora Rose hips or Oriental Bittersweet).
7. Real trees vs. artificial: pesticide-free real trees are organically sound; Christmas trees are a crop, and you help a farmer with your purchase; real trees can be composted, used as mulch, or recycled. And, remember, “There’s no better season to make the most of pruning your yard.”
8. Gifts and Wrapping. Keep these themes in mind regarding gifts: recycle, handcraft, buy locally, and give experiences rather than things (“stuff”); recycle gift wrap, boxes, bags, and bows for re-use; creative alternatives to wrapping paper: leftover wallpaper, maps, posters, brown paper bags, old sheet music, scarves, dinner napkins, handkerchiefs…. Use your imagination!

And remember…Buying local is always greener. Check local newspapers for holiday open house events. And thanks to the Milton Garden Club for these tips!

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Fence Gardening Ideas For Winter

Gardening allows you to put in some creative ideas to make your yard look beautiful and appealing. There are many innovative ideas to make your garden look special during this winter. Fence gardening is one among them. Fencing will help separating your garden from a strip of land. Fence gardening is very helpful to soften and camouflage your garden along with providing a stylish theme. If you are ready to spend a little time and effort to plan your landscaping, you can make fence gardening even more attractive. Fence gardening is one of the most popular choice of those who love designer gardens.

Fence gardening will increase the aesthetic appeal of your landscape by extending your garden to your fences. If you have only limited space for making a garden, incorporate a fence garden to your landscape. This will help you go some extra lengths to make your garden as beautiful and appealing as possible. Another practical side of fence gardening is that it will allow you to save space in your garden by using your fences in a more productive way.

Fence Gardening Ideas For Winter

Here are some different types of winter fence gardening ideas for you, from which you can select the best one suitable for your garden space.

Wood fence:Fencing with wood fence is the typical and traditional way of fence gardening. This is cheap and easy, which makes it one of the favourite choices among winter garden tips. If your chief concern is creating a backyard sanctuary, wood fence will be the best choice.

Chain link fencing:Chain-link fences will be the best choice while considering cost as well as effectiveness. This will make your fence gardening special and attractive. Making chain-link fencing can be considered as one of the most useful winter garden tips to spread winter flowering plants.

Picket style fence: Picket style fences are the all-time favourite of garden lovers. White picket fence will be an excellent match for gardens of cottage style homes. Planting rich winter flowering plants near picket style fence is one of the most popular winter garden tips.

PVC vinyl fence: PVC vinyl fences are achieving great popularity in fence gardening, among designer garden lovers for its longevity and durability. This offer low maintenance and it is the best option to pet proof your garden.

Plant fence: If you want to have a continuity of green in your garden, plant fence will be the best option for you. This will give your garden a more natural look. Selecting winter friendly plants will one of the most useful winter garden tips for fence gardening.

Bamboo fence: Bamboo fence is also widely used by garden lovers. This will suitable, if you don’t have much safety concerns. Using bamboo of large diameter as horizontal sections will allow you to plant small flowering plants by making cuts in it.

Metallic fence: If you are planning to cover the complete fence with climbing plants, consider using a metallic fence. Metallic fences are long lasting and strong. The durability and ease in maintenance of metal fences makes it particularly ideal for fence gardening.

Chicken wire fence: If you are looking for a very simple option to include fence gardening, then a chicken wire fence will be the best choice. Chicken wire comes in a variety of widths and mesh sizes, which allows you to personalize your fence.

Aluminium fence: Aluminium fences are also achieving great popularity due to its cost effectiveness. You can plant winter friendly plants as a line along the fence. Spreading climbing plants on the fence is also one of the most interesting winter garden tips.

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Metropolitan Builders Association hosts Building Lifestyles show in January

The 2014 Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) Building Lifestyles: Home Building and Remodeling Show takes over the Wisconsin Center from Jan. 10 to Jan. 12, 2014. Presented by Nonn’s Design Showplace, this lifestyle show focuses on how people live in their home.

“With the spring building season right around the corner, this show offers the opportunity for consumers to identify the latest land developments in the area, talk directly with homebuilders, remodelers, and interior designers, and do the research for their next home improvement project,” said Kristine Hillmer, MBA executive director.

People who are dreaming of a new home or hoping to improve their existing home, will have the opportunity to interact with area experts in the field. They will also see the latest home products in the new Product Innovation Pavilion, attend home improvement seminars, and get delicious recipes and cooking tips from local chefs at the demonstration stage.

“Visitors can also enjoy food and beverage samples in the Marketplace Pavilions, which offer great ideas for entertaining,” Hillmer said.

The Building Discovery Cooking Stage will feature home improvement expert Lou Manfredini, host of “HouseSmarts TV” and contributor on NBC’s the “TODAY” show. There will also be appearances by area chefs, who will show off new kitchen gear and exciting new recipes.

The Seminar Stage will feature seminars by MBA industry experts that will provide consumers with all the tools to create their ideal home to fit their individual lifestyle. Visitors can get ideas on designing, building, remodeling, decorating, landscaping and entertaining as well as financial advice.

Returning this year is the Subdivision Lot Finder, where visitors can search for subdivision lots to build their dream home. Also returning is Landscape Park, showcasing the latest trends in landscaping design. In addition, the special Kids Zone by Kids in Motion returns, complete with building activities and engaging games for children.

Admission is $10 at the gate and $8 in advance at Attendees can receive $2 off the regular gate admission price when they donate two non-perishable food items at the door to help build the food house. Admission for children 12 and under is free. Visit for more information.

The show is open Friday, Jan. 10 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Metropolitan Builders Association, located in Waukesha, Wisc., is a non-profit trade association that represents nearly 1,000 companies involved in the construction, development, and remodeling of single and multifamily housing, and light commercial property in Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Jefferson, and Milwaukee counties. Collectively, its members employ tens of thousands of workers in the Milwaukee area and conduct millions of dollars of business each year. For more information, visit or the Metropolitan Builders Association’s Facebook page

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Heritage Park will tell Davenport’s story

Davenport is rich in history, with events of national significance occurring within a short radius of what is now River Heritage Park, and that is what park planners want to convey.

That history isn’t widely known among the general public.

“I give talks all over town, and I say things that I think people should know about, and all I get is a blank stare,” said George Eaton, a historian for the U.S. Army Sustainment Command on Arsenal Island and an adjunct history professor at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.

“People don’t understand how critical Davenport was to the development of the nation,” he said. “There’s a huge amount of history that we don’t know about that we could exploit.”

Perhaps the most significant history is the building of the first bridge to cross the Mississippi River — anywhere along its length — in Davenport during 1856.

Although completion of the first trans-continental railroad in Utah in 1869 is more widely known, Davenport was the point at which the railroad first leaped across the Mississippi, connecting the east to the west. This made it easier for European settlers to populate the West and for goods and natural resources to flow back to industrial cities in the East.

The bridge also “established railroads as the new technology that would replace steam and rivers as the most significant form of transportation for almost the next century,” said Stephen Warren, an associate professor of history at Augustana College in Rock Island.

“It blew canals right out of the water,” added Bill Roba, a history professor at Scott Community College.

The bridge “ensured that future and much larger numbers of immigrants would come (to America) and would go West,” he said.

The Black Hawk Treaty

Another significant historic event is the signing in 1832 of the Black Hawk Treaty in the area of what is now 5th and Farnam streets in Davenport.

In signing, the Native American Sauk and Fox ceded a strip of land 40 to 50 miles wide west of the Mississippi from Fort Madison on the south to a point just north of the Yellow River (now Allamakee County) on the north. The next year, those 6 million acres were opened to settlement.

“Davenport is a little place, but in the middle of the 19th century, it was incredibly significant,” Warren said.

“If you were a Southerner, it was the site of a Civil War prison camp (on Arsenal Island.) If you were a  Sauk or Fox, it was your homeland. If you were a member of the new Republican Party, it was where Abraham Lincoln made his name,” he said.

The latter comment refers to Lincoln’s ultimately successful legal defense on behalf of railroads against steamboat interests that argued that bridges were a navigation hazard.

The lawsuit involving the steamboat Effie Afton’s crash into the bridge “was a coming-out party for Abraham Lincoln,” Warren said. “It made him relatively prominent.”

Park features

The master plan for the seven-acre park calls for features that would explain these events — and others — to visitors. The plan drawn by Zachary Peterson, a landscape design architect in the city’s Public Works Department, is an amalgamation of ideas gathered at public meetings.

A 30-foot-high mound would be built as the landing for a footbridge from the other side of River Drive. The mound also would have a spiral walkway that would lead visitors from ground level to the top, with a series of landings with specific views and signs to explain them.

One landing, for example, might show a view of 5th and Farnam streets where the treaty was signed, while another might show the Colonel Davenport House on Arsenal Island. Signs would explain the relationships.

Steve Ahrens, the development director for the Davenport Levee Improvement Commission, calls that feature “the capstone.”

Another significant feature envisioned by Peterson is a Treaty Plaza recognizing American Indians.

It would be, in his words, “the exact opposite of what the St. Louis Arch represents.”

While the Gateway Arch trumpets western expansion and manifest destiny for European settlers, the Treaty Plaza would acknowledge that settlement robbed Native Americans of their land, their lives, their entire way of life.

The plaza would be a spot gazing backward, perhaps incorporating sculptures of Native Americans, including Sauk warrior Black Hawk, looking back at Illinois.

“It has the potential to be an extremely powerful space,” Peterson said.

Other features on the drawing board include an eagle-watching area, a playground with interactive water features and landscaping that mimics what is found along the river, from the headwaters in Minnesota to the delta in Louisiana.

What’s there now

The park will be developed over a multi-year period as money becomes available. At present, the park contains a gazebo donated by the Davenport Rotary and railing along the seawall.

The city recently received a $300,000 Iowa Department of Natural Resources REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) grant that will pay for the building of a parking lot, 400 feet of railing and a promenade.

That sidewalk, with benches, lighting and landscaping, would hug the river while the miles-long Mississippi Riverfront Recreational Trail would run behind it so that leisurely walkers and sight-seers would be closest to the river, Peterson said.

“This will be a destination point,” Ahrens said. “We will maxamize the space to tell a story, the story of us.”

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NKU gives $50000 to help beautify residence area

President Geoffrey Mearns announced that NKU plans to give $50,000 to help install new features around the village and residence halls at an Association of Campus Residence meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

According to Mearns, the choice of what will be put there will be left up to a committee of students and can be anything they would like to choose, including possible projects in landscape, signage and campus art.

Mearns got his inspiration for this new project from a past project where he approved $75,000 to renovate the main part of campus with landscaping.

“Perhaps the same energy that had been put in for the main campus could be put into the residence area as well,” said Mearns as he addressed ACR.

The only things Mearns asked, was that if the committee chose a landscape project, he would like students to be involved in the installation and maintaining the sight.

“It will create a nice tradition and you will be able to hand down the tradition of maintaining,” Mearns said.

Mearns has asked the committee to have ideas for the money by the end of January and by middle to late March to have presentations for the possible projects ready.

Though, some ideas have already started to form for staff on campus, according Arnie Slaughter, director of housing, they are “holding off” on sharing their ideas.

“I want to hold off on sharing my ideas, for students to really take ownership of the plans,” Slaughter said.

What NKU really wants students to know about the project is that it wants students to make the decisions on what will be done in the project, according to Larry Blake, assistant vice president of facilities management who will be on the committee to help students.

“Were going to be more of advisors than selectors,” Blake said.

As long as there aren’t any delays in planning. By the end of January the committee should have ideas, President Mearns will meet with the committee by mid-February to discuss ideas, and by middle to late March, the presentations will be reviewed by the committee and President Mearns.

Provided all goes to plan, NKU hopes to begin construction on the project and it should begin by the late spring or early summer of 2014 according to Slaughter.

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"Exceptional" Gavin Jones-built 30-acre garden scoops Grand Award at BALI …

06 December 2013

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ZLAC’s historic clubhouse turns 75

With its ideal bayfront location, the ZLAC Rowing Club, Ltd. clubhouse at 1111 Pacific Beach Drive. has hosted member meetings, weddings, bridge clubs and other occasions for 75 years.

This Sunday, the clubhouse will be home to another celebration “”the diamond jubilee of its grand opening on Aug. 26, 1932.

Rowing club members past and present will be heading back to the bay for the champagne reception from 4 p.m. until sundown. Sen. Christine Kehoe, the City of San Diego and the San Diego Historical Society will honor ZLAC for its historical significance as the first women’s rowing club in the United States and its preservation of the 75-year-old clubhouse.

“We like to have a celebration whenever there’s a significant benchmark,” said Nancy Perry, ZLAC president. “It allows the members of all ages to come together.”

The clubhouse was designed by architect Lilian Rice, who served as ZLAC president from 1915 to 1916.

But the building seems young compared to the club itself, which was founded in 1892 by three sisters, Lena, Agnes and Carolyn Polhamus and their friend Zulette Lamb. Their first initials form the acronym ZLAC.

The group moved to Mission Bay from San Diego Bay when the big bay became too busy with commercial traffic. The two waterfront lots at the new site had enough space for gardens and landscaping, planned by Georgie Hardy Wright and her friends, horticulturalist Kate Sessions and honorary ZLAC member Sarah Emma Jessop Scripps.

One of the club’s oldest active members at 97, Katharine “Kak” Barley, still remembers the old clubhouse, but said she much prefers the new one. Barley joined ZLAC when a friend of her father’s recommended it to the 15-year-old.

“It’s been a long and enjoyable time, and I wouldn’t trade those friends for anything,” Barley said. She emphasized that she was no longer rowing, but still competed in ZLAC bridge games.

Sally Lyons, a Pacific Beach resident, joined ZLAC in 1936 as a 14-year-old. “The new facility was my home away from home,” she said. She chose the clubhouse as the location for her 40th and 50th wedding anniversaries and her 80th birthday party.

Lyons said that one of her biggest thrills was representing ZLAC on a trip to Henley, England.

“Henley is right on the Thames and is famous for rowing, so they invited us to bring memorabilia from the first women’s rowing club.”

The clubhouse was also home “” around the clock “” to Polly Neal, who was the clubhouse manager for more than 50 years and lived in the upstairs apartment with her husband Bud. The Neals still work as guest managers on Wednesdays, and the club named a boat in Polly’s honor.

“The people were lovely, and we became very good friends with them,” Polly said. Now a Point Loma resident, Neal said she still misses waking up and looking at the water.

Rowing at ZLAC put Kelly Rickon Mitchell on a course for three Olympic teams and a silver medal in the 1984 games. Mitchell, a Point Loma resident, joined ZLAC’s junior program when she was 14 years old.

“We had a coach who took us from being mostly a social club to being junior national champions in 1975,” she said. Her cousin, Lynn Silliman Reed, was a bronze medalist on the 1976 Olympic team.

“Being around these women made me think I could do it, like what they say about see, believe, achieve,” Mitchell said. “It never would have happened without all the women who came before me. It takes a village to get to the Olympics.”

Never far from the water, Mitchell is now development director of the San Diego Crew Classic, founded by Patty Wyatt, other ZLAC members and San Diego civic leaders in 1973.

As with many members, Beverly Fritschner, immediate past president, helped make rowing a family affair. Her mother Alice Buchanan had been president, and her sister Barbara Scott joined in 1957. Fritschner came on board in 1961 and said she still jumps in a boat now and then.

“This is an amazing group of women,” she said.

She included in that group Mary Louise Glanz, who joined ZLAC in 1927 when she was 15 years old. Glanz will attend the celebration with her two daughters, who were also members. “I remember when they built the new clubhouse, and there was nothing around it but sand,” Glanz said. “I’m just so happy to see how ZLAC has grown.”

ZLAC offers rowing classes both for juniors, girls aged 13 to 18, and women aged 18 and up. For more information about ZLAC or renting the clubhouse, visit

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Trowel & Glove: Marin gardening calendar for the week of Dec. 7, 2013

Click photo to enlarge


• The Garden Society of Marin’s annual greens sale is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Marin Art Garden Center at 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Ross. Call 457-2565 or go to

• The Marin County Indoor Antique Market’s 29th annual Christmas show is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 7 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Marin Center Exhibit Hall at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael. Free. Call 383-2552 or go to

• West Marin Commons offers a weekly harvest exchange at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays at the Livery Stable gardens on the commons in Point Reyes Station. Go to www.westmarin

• Ed Rosenthal discusses “Protect Your Garden” at 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at Book Passage at 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. in Corte Madera. Free. Call 927-0960 or go to

• The Novato Independent Elders Program seeks volunteers to help Novato seniors with their overgrown yards on Tuesday mornings or Thursday afternoons. Call 899-8296.

• Volunteers are sought to help in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy nurseries from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Tennessee Valley, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Muir Woods or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays or 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the Marin Headlands. Call 561-3077 or go to

• “The Flower and the Vase,” a floral design demonstation class with MaryAnn Nardo, is from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Dec. 12 at Terrestra at 30 Miller Ave. in Mill Valley. $45. Go to floral/ to register.

• The SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) native plant nursery days are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and weekends. Call 663-8590, ext. 114, or email to register and for directions.

• The 27th annual St. John’s Tour de Noel house tour is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 at four homes in Ross. $30 to $45. Lunch is available for $15. Call 456-1102 or go to

• Marin Master Gardeners and the Marin Municipal Water District offer free residential Bay-Friendly Garden Walks to MMWD customers. The year-round service helps homeowners identify water-saving opportunities and soil conservation techniques for their landscaping. Call 473-4204 to request a visit to your garden.

• Marin Open Garden Project (MOGP) volunteers are available to help Marin residents glean excess fruit from their trees for donations to local organizations serving people in need and to build raised beds to start vegetable gardens through the MicroGardens program. MGOP also offers a garden tool lending library. Go to or email contact@opengarden

• The Marin Organic Glean Team seeks volunteers to harvest extras from the fields at various farms for the organic school lunch and gleaning program. Call 663-9667 or go to

San Francisco

• The Conservatory of Flowers, at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park, displays permanent galleries of tropical plant species as well as changing special exhibits from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $2 to $7. Call 831-2090 or go to

• The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park, offers several ongoing events. $7; free to San Francisco residents, members and school groups. Call 661-1316 or go to www.sf Free docent tours leave from the Strybing Bookstore near the main gate at 1:30 p.m. weekdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. weekends; and from the north entrance at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Groups of 10 or more can call ahead for special-focus tours.

Around the Bay

• Cornerstone Gardens is a permanent, gallery-style garden featuring walk-through installations by international landscape designers on nine acres at 23570 Highway 121 in Sonoma. Free. Call 707-933-3010 or go to www.cornerstone

• Garden Valley Ranch rose garden is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays at 498 Pepper Road in Petaluma. Self-guided and group tours are available. $2 to $10. Call 707-795-0919 or go to

• Don Landis teaches “How to De-Bitter Olives” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards at 24724 Arnold Drive in Sonoma. Free. Reservations required. Call 707-931-7575.

• The Luther Burbank Home at Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues in Santa Rosa has docent-led tours of the greenhouse and a portion of the gardens every half hour from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $7. A holiday open house is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8. $2. Call 707-524-5445.

• McEvoy Ranch at 5935 Red Hill Road in Petaluma offers tips on planting olive trees and has olive trees for sale by appointment. Call 707-769-4123 or go to www.mcevoy

• Wednesdays are volunteer days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center at 15290 Coleman Valley Road in Occidental. Call 707-874-1557, ext. 201, or go to

• Quarryhill Botanical Garden at 12841 Sonoma Highway in Glen Ellen covers 61 acres and showcases a large selection of scientifically documented wild source temperate Asian plants. The garden is open for self-guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. $5 to $10. Call 707-996-3166 or go to

The Trowel Glove Calendar appears Saturdays. Send high-resolution jpg photo attachments and details about your event to or mail to Home and Garden Calendar/Lifestyles, Marin Independent Journal, 4000 Civic Center Drive, Suite 301, San Rafael, CA 94903. Items should be sent two weeks in advance. Photos should be a minimum of 1 megabyte and include caption information. Include a daytime phone number on your release.


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