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Archives for December 31, 2013

Gardeners plan third conference

In fact, bylaws for the Davidson County Extension Master Gardeners Association require members to perform a minimum number of community service hours.

Much of the group’s handiwork can be seen around town and the county. The demo gardens at the extension center’s headquarters at 301 E. Center St., for example, is a project that is pruned and tended by master gardeners.

In addition to offering a college scholarship, helping with landscaping and plantings around county buildings and such places as Boone’s Cave Park, they are also available for consulting about design plans.

The creation of the Community Garden in Thomasville, which is conveniently located near the farmers’ market, is due in large to the group.

On Feb. 12, the organization will host its third annual Gardeners’ Conference at First Lutheran Church.

Julie Dayvault, the event’s chairwoman, is emphasizing that the conference is open to anyone interested in plants and gardening, not just master gardeners.

Mark Weathington from the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh and Pam Beck, noted garden writer and photographer, will be the main speakers.

Weathington will address new and underutilized plants for distinctive landscapes. Beck will talk about garden sites in North Carolina.

There will be four other speakers at breakout sessions: Debbie Roos will talk about pollinators and other beneficial insects; Diane Demers Smith, gardening with hydrangeas; Sherry Koontz, pondscapes and hardscapes; and Madge Eggena and Jane Albe, the woodland herb garden.

Tickets are $25, with lunch included. Registration is required by Jan. 28. Local vendors will be on hand, and door prizes will be awarded.

“We have speakers from all over the state to talk and show slides of different aspects of gardening. This is for anyone,” Dayvault said.

She said the conference is held in the dead of winter because that’s when the gardeners have most of their down time.

“We try to get ideas about what people would like to hear about. We had 49 people the first year and over 60 the second year. This year we are hoping to have about 100,” Dayvault said.

As part of the Davidson County Cooperative Extension Service and a national volunteer gardening association, Dayvault and others take part in various workshops across the land.

She attended one in Alaska this past fall.

“We go through training to learn about plants and disease,” Dayvault explained. “We take a six-week course and are required to do 40 hours of community service.”

The group also has a plant sale and a tour of various gardens in Davidson County in the spring. Fundraisers are held to help with projects.

Dayvault, who writes for a gardening magazine, said being a member of the organization is a great way to be involved in the community and to meet others interested in gardening. The local master gardeners meet once a month.

Most members are retired, which allows them time to be involved in volunteer work, she pointed out.

Dayvault’s favorite plants are perennials, she said, “because they come back every year.”

She has a small yard and has planted mondo grass, which doesn’t require mowing. “You still have to spray it for weeds,” she said.

The local extension office offers free soil testing.

Dwight Davis can be reached at 249-3981, ext, 226 or at

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Money-smart resolutions: Improve your home’s value, no matter your budget – Omaha World

If you’re like the majority who responded to a recent Fidelity Investments survey, you’re about to make a New Year’s resolution related to finances. And what better financial security is out there, say area real estate experts, than a home?

For many Americans, their home is their biggest asset.

The gain in resale value from making a home improvement can vary widely, topping out at as much as 85 percent of the investment nationally and 61 percent locally — but often offering a much lower return.

So to help you make the most of your investment, The World-Herald asked a panel of local Realtors and remodeling experts to recommend ways to improve a home’s value during 2014, given various budget scenarios ranging from $500 to $50,000.

Carpeting or hardwood? It might depend on how much money you have to spend.

Here’s a sampling of responses from the two Realtors — Deda Myhre of CBSHome, president of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors, and Lisa Ritter of Re/Max Results and a past president of OABR — and the remodelers: Scott Petzoldt of Consolidated Kitchens and Fireplaces, president of the local chapter of National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Terry Hurt of T. Hurt Construction, Omaha representative to the national NARI; and Libby Pantzlaff of Creative Interiors by Libby, also a board member of NARI.

Myhre: Paint main interior areas; throw a party where friends offer free labor. Taupes and mochas are preferred tones; infuse bright accent color splashes with pillows and curtains.

Ritter: Add a “wow” factor to the kitchen with glass tile backsplash. Increase curb appeal with a new or freshly painted front door, updated lantern or lighting and potted plants at the entry.

Petzoldt: Update decorative hardware on kitchen cabinetry; paint walls. Use a quartz or granite remnant to update bathroom countertop.

Hurt: Change kitchen light fixtures, touch up cabinets with matching finish and replace handles. Or make similar changes in the bathroom and add a new mirror.

Pantzlaff: Paint a mural or headboard on the kids’ bedroom wall. A glazed copper color paint adds an old-world charm to any room.

Myhre: Replace door knobs and other hardware in main areas and kitchen with rubbed bronze or brushed nickel. Unique shapes, including currently popular long cabinet handles, can be found at home improvement stores. Replace flooring in main areas. “Carpet is still king.”

Ritter: Install quartz, granite, or concrete (yes, concrete) countertop in kitchen. Re-face cabinets, update hardware, plumbing fixtures and (if any cash is left) buy nicer appliances. Alternately, replace bathroom tile, fixtures and vanity and add multijet shower system.

Petzoldt: Switch kitchen countertops to quartz or granite. Switch wood fireplace to less-hassle gas insert fireplace, and update the surround.

Hurt: In kitchen, change counters and backsplashes to granite, quartz or laminate; replace hardware, faucet and sink and get new appliances. Paint walls and refinish cabinets. Bathroom alternative: retile shower and floor; put new fixtures on toilet, sink and shower.

Pantzlaff: Change outdated golden oak kitchen cabinets by painting to trending colors of cream, neutral gray or black. Techniques such as distressing and glazing work well on oak grain (tune in to Houzz and HGTV websites for other ideas). Replace cabinet hardware.

Myhre: Upgrade kitchen counters, cabinet hardware and appliances. Paint the exterior; replace front door and deck. Change to vinyl windows.

Ritter: Update outdoor living area by adding a flagstone or painted concrete patio and a fire pit. If interior is priority, refinish floors of the main living areas — hardwood is preferred.

Petzoldt: In addition to new kitchen cabinets, countertops, backsplash, sink and faucet, change to linear-style fireplace and broaden the granite or natural stone surround to cover the entire wall rather than just a section.

Hurt: Revamp cabinetry to allow for double oven and larger refrigerator; replace countertops and backsplashes. Update flooring to engineered wood, modernize lights and plumbing. Or could completely remodel bathroom with new tub, sink, vanity, toilet and shower heads.

Pantzlaff: Create large, open kitchen as a social hub with upgraded appliances, countertops and backsplashes. Surface options are vast, including hammered copper, brushed metals, butcher block, concrete, painted and etched glass and granite.

Myhre: Full kitchen remodel, including new maple or birch cabinets. In main bathroom, tile the floor and install walk-in shower. If the interior already looks good, create an alluring outdoor living space.

Ritter: Finish off the basement with an additional bedroom, a wet bar for entertaining, a wine cellar. Cover the patio and add an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, water feature and landscaping.

Petzoldt: Total kitchen renovation that moves walls to increase size, as kitchens are the social hub. Add an island. Replace cabinets, counters, plumbing, floor and lighting.

Hurt: Open up kitchen walls; new appliances, counters and custom cabinetry with rollouts and a walk-in pantry. Add a second sink and undercounter lighting; specialty finishes on walls. Or, to the bathroom, add heated tile floors and towel racks and a walk-in shower; expand closets and TV locations.

Pantzlaff: Remodel basement, with wet bar and theater room. Think 3-D murals on the ceiling and paint doors and walls to reflect a favorite movie. Natural slate or stamped concrete floor adds pizazz.

Remodeling jobs are expected to increase nationally by about 5 percent in 2014, according to real estate media firm Hanley Wood. But certain improvements are gaining more traction than others.

Craig Webb, editor of Hanley Wood’s Remodeling Magazine, said that 61 percent of remodeling companies surveyed anticipate growth in kitchen projects next year, up from 56 percent who said the same in 2013.

Dropping to No. 2 in the latest growth survey was bathroom remodels. Fifty-eight percent of companies said they expect to see more bathroom renovations next year, down slightly from 61 percent in 2013.

Thirty-six percent of respondents foresee growth in small additions and 29 percent anticipate growth in decks and patios, reflecting the same expectations as the last survey.

According to Hanley Wood’s residential remodeling index, the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area is busier than average. Of 366 metro areas, the Omaha area recently ranked 14th “hottest” when considering activity and size, Webb said. The Omaha area was doing 15 percent better in the remodeling arena than it was doing at the industry’s national 2007 peak, Webb said.

Webb and cited top national remodeling trends for 2014:

Modern kitchens with white or gray cabinetry, simple countertops, glossy finishes and minimalist designs.

Brass accents — rustic, dull and hammered.

Bathrooms with resort-style features such as large walk-in showers, multiple shower heads and heated floors.

Vibrant colors such as green flash, lemon zest, rouge red.

Sustainable materials including bamboo, energy-efficient appliances and designs that consider the local climate.

“Aging in place” features that accommodate older and disabled residents.

Multigenerational elements that allow grandma to co-exist comfortably with toddlers.

Technology upgrades including remote devices that control lights, door locks, even window shades and the coffee pot. — Cindy Gonzalez

Considers average job cost and resale value for midrange-priced home.



Source: Remodeling 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, Hanley Wood

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Laurel asks community to dig in on landscaping project

For at least a decade, Laurel residents living near Laurel Lakes’ upper lake have complained about overgrown vegetation blocking the water view. Now, the city is asking community members who snubbed the shrubbery to pool their creative ideas for a new landscaping project that will restore the lake’s appearance.

In July, the city will partner with the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources to dredge the west forebay of Laurel Lakes and remove silt and buildup.

So, it seemed like an ideal time to give the landscaping a makeover, said Mike Lhotsky, director of the Laurel Department of Parks and Recreation.

“We’re looking for something that would be a little more manageable, as far as how tall and how the plant would spread,” Lhotsky said.

Other factors the department will consider are erosion and weather-related issues.

The city began taking requests Dec. 23. Lhotsky said he is hopeful for a large response.

“I think we’ll get a fair amount of input for this — just from the amount of people who live around the lake,” he said. “There are a lot of people who walk the lake.”

It is fairly common for the city to consider community input when taking on projects, such as when it held a public meeting to discuss a new dog park on Van Dusen Road, Lhotsky said.

The county’s Department of Environmental Resources will oversee dredging of the lake, Lhotsky said.

Lester Louis, 54, who has lived near the lake for more than 20 years, said he would like the tall trees currently surrounding the water replaced with short bushes.

“All those trees are basically blocking the lake,” he said. “It used to be real, real pretty. That was one of the things that attracted me to move here.”

Tanya Hill, 47, Louis’ neighbor, moved to the area in 1990. She said she hasn’t been able to see the water from her house in years.

“I thought I was getting waterfront property, and that’s not what I got,” she said.

Hill said cherry trees planted near the lake would look good, but would not block the view.

The Parks and Recreation department has not set a deadline for when landscaping ideas must be submitted, but will discuss any input with officials and project managers, Lhotsky said.

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Tod’s Crossing to expand garden program

WARREN – National Church Residences Tod’s Crossing, 1330 Blakely Circle SW, Warren, was awarded the “People’s Garden Grant” which will provide funds to expand the gardening program that was started this year.

Barbara Mascio, property manager at Tod’s Crossing, said in a news release the Tod’s Crossing received news that the grant had been accepted.

She said growing food will be an empowering step towards self-reliance and improved health with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Mascio and Beverly Hall, the assistant manager of Tod’s, learned of a grant facilitated by the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation who in 2011, was awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, People’s Garden Grant Program to provide micro grants for the establishment of new gardens.

Trumbull Neighborhood Project is providing education for the seniors that have never grown food from a seed.

TNP will help to build the raised beds and provide guidance through the entire process. At harvest time, TNP is providing a chef who will come to Tod’s and teach a class in food preservation.

Good Natured Landscaping Service donated three apple trees, a cherry and a peach tree so that, in time, the seniors at Tod’s will have fresh fruit from their very own orchard, the release states.

Mascio said a donated chest freezer will be used to store some of the food grown year-round.

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Tragic and innocuous highlight 2013

Dylan’s parents, Mark Redwine and Elaine (now Elaine Hatfield), were divorced, and she lives in the Colorado Springs area. Dylan, by court order, was to spend the 2012 Thanksgiving break at his father’s house three miles north of Vallecito Reservoir. He arrived Nov. 18.

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Landscape Ontario Congress held Jan. 7-9

Toronto, Ont. – Innovative products featured in the New Products Showcase at Landscape Ontario’s Congress 2014 will help landscape designers, contractors and average gardening buffs achieve their visions and improve the value of their projects. Landscape Ontario’s Congress Trade Show and Conference will be held January 7 – 9, 2014, in the south building of the Toronto Congress Centre.

As one of North America’s largest horticultural, lawn and garden trade shows, Congress 2014 is the ideal place for landscape construction, design, and maintenance business owners to see what new, efficient and cost effective tools, equipment , hard and soft landscaping products are coming to market that will help improve their services, set new trends and inspire customer interest throughout the 2014 season.

“Congress covers every facet of the lawn and garden industry. From several Ontario college and university students demonstrating their skills in the feature gardens to multinational vendors showcasing the latest equipment, plants and products , an ever popular New Product Showcase and an outstanding conference program, green industry professionals will achieve their personal and professional goals when they attend this year’s show.” says Heather MacRae, Director of Events and Trade Shows.

The New Product Showcase offers up a wide variety of innovative products. There is something of interest for everyone. Congress is a full service horticultural, lawn and garden trade show offering a broad range of equipment, live goods and services to help green industry professionals run their businesses more effectively, efficiently and profitably. From new technologies to green gardening products, business owners and public green space managers will find new and innovative products that will help them grow and prosper.

Here are a few examples of products being presented in the New Product Showcase:

For those looking for Green products:
– Rubber Venture Corporation – Enviro-Mulch – Booth 268
    – Rubber mulch made from 100% recycled tire rubber, coated with non-toxic UV table pigments. Enviro- Mulch will not compact or decay and will retain beauty for many years.
– Eco-flex – Eco-flex Rubber Multi Brick – Booth 409
    – Eco-Flex Rubber Multi Brick Mats are made from recycled rubber material with a unique over/under lap link system designed to prevent shifting. The installation process is very easy and quick providing an instant, anti-sip surface when completed. They also offer the durability required to withstand equestrian, pedestrian and vehicular traffic, allowing acceptance into any location regardless of climate.

For those looking to beautify their backyard:
– Greenstar Plant Products – Colourful Hanging Baskets – Booth G39
    – Decorative coloured hanging baskets; 12″, 14″, 16″. Wire baskets in 6 different colours: red, yellow, pink, orange, green and black.
– Molnar Metal Art – Custom Metal Art, Garden Gates, Signs and Gift Ideas – Booth 1352
    – Molnar Metal Art specializes in creating very special custom garden and interior gates, signs and decorations from metal. They also create custom one-off decorative screens and panels from sketches or drawings.

For those that like Cool Tools:
– CORE Outdoor Power – Power LokTM – Booth 1848
    – The Power Lok landscaping system couples a unique GasLess Power Drive Unit, which houses the intelligent electronic controller, with quick swapping interchangeable attachments. Each attachment is powered by its own state-of-the-art CORE motor. CORE motors produce the highest energy factor per pound of any existing motor at a fraction of the size and weight.
– Bannerman Limited – Riding Seeder Machine – Booth 236
    – A new way of seeding areas that are too small for tractor operated seeders.

Show Dates and Hours:
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, January 9, 2014
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

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“Home Gardening Tips,” A New Article On Vkool.Com, Gives People Typical …

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home gardening tips review

home gardening tips

The article introduces to people simple yet unique home gardening tips that allow them to maximize their harvest dramatically. Is it trustworthy?

Seattle, Wa (PRWEB) December 29, 2013

The new “Home Gardening Tips” article on the website is divided into two main parts covering comprehensive home gardening pitfalls and tips. In the first part of the article, people will discover eight common mistakes people often make when gardening. The writer recommends people to prepare the soil carefully before planting any tree. “It is the best foundation for your garden. It will give your plants the essential nutrients without overloading them with chemical fertilizers which may deplete the microbial activity needed for healthy plant growth.” says Lisa Benter Rich, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. The author indicates that overwatering is the most popular pitfall beginner gardeners make. Overwatering drowns plants’ roots, causing them to rot. After that, this article also points out that planting too large a garden is a mistake that could place a heavy workload on a gardener and lead to frustration and burnout. “A great gardening strategy is to start small in the first year and plant just a few of your favorite veggies. It can help you garden successfully and have a greater feeling of accomplishment.” says Ivette Soler, a Los Angeles-based garden designer and writer of The Germinatrix blog. Next, this report teaches people how to plant a tree properly. In general, the large the seed is, the deep it prefers to be planted. Planting too deeply may cause seeds to fail to sprout or tire out the young seed sprout before it is able to receive needed sunlight.

In the second part of the writing, this author takes people through a process of discovering seven useful gardening techniques. Firstly, the article reveals underground secrets for growing abundant crops of fruits and vegetables. Secondly, gardeners also get to know ways on how to improve the soil of their home garden with organics. People will learn how to protect their precious baby plants from weeds, bugs, disease, and animals. Lastly, in this report, readers also explore the secrets to deal with climate issues. After the “Home Gardening Tips” article was released, a lot of people can improve their gardening productivity with a few simple steps.

Mai Linh from the site says that: “This is really an informative writing that contains tips to enhance their flexibility and mobility to help people do gardening effectively. Furthermore, the report also provides people with simple steps to promote their physical health safely. Additionally, the tips this article delivers are simple-to-follow for most people regardless of their age, their gender, and their gardening experience.”

If people wish to gain more details from the full “Home Gardening Tips” article, they could visit the website:


About the website: is the website developed by Tony Nguyen. The site delivers to tips and e-books about various topics, such as business, health, entertainment, and lifestyle. People could send their feedback to Tony Nguyen on any digital products via email.

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