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Archives for January 2014

What’s Happening for FEBRUARY (Updated JAN. 31)

Send events of community interest in South Mississippi to or fax to 896-2104. Please label “What’s Happening.”


Guide to Growing Your Business Expo: 8 a.m., Knight Nonprofit Center, 11975 Seaway Road, Biloxi. Hosted by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce. Attendees will have access to various business resource partners who offer services to help start and expand businesses. Details: 604-0014.

Hancock Chamber annual membership meeting: 8 a.m., Diamondhead Country Club.

Gulfport Biloxi Regional Airport Authority meeting: 9 a.m., 14035 L Airport Road, Gulfport. Details: 863-5951.

Free Diabetes Management session: 1-3 p.m., Pascagoula Library, 3214 Pascagoula St.. Information from healthcare professionals and advice for better diabetes management. Instructor: Linda Gwaltney. Details: 769-3060.

Free Friday Night at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center: 5-8 p.m., 246 Dolan Ave., Gulfport.

Ocean Springs Elks Lodge #2501 fish dinner: 5-7:30 p.m., 2501 Beachview Drive. Cost: $10 adults, $5 ages 5-12. Details: 872-2501.

Bringing the Delta to the Gulf Coast: 6-7:30 p.m., Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center, 1600 Government St., Ocean Springs. Delta Blues Presentation by Robert Terrell with musical guest ‘Bud’ Welch. Open blues jam session. Presented by The University of Southern Mississippi.

American Legion Post 1992 Itlaian Cuisine night: 6-8 p.m., 3824 Old Spanish Trail, Gautier. Entertainment: Dave and Dee. Details: 497-6422.

“Period of Adjustment” auditions: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 and noon Feb. 1, Bay St. Louis Little Theatre, 398 Blaize Ave. Roles available for four adult males ages 20s to 60s and four adult females ages 20s to 60s. Show opens March 21. Details: 216-4906.

“The Boys Next Door”: 8 p.m. Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2 p.m. Feb. 2, 8 p.m. Feb. 6-8, Biloxi Little Theatre, 200 Lee St., Biloxi. Cost: $15, $12 seniors, students, active duty military. Details: 432-8543.

Amour Danzar dance: 8-10 p.m., 9355 County Farm Road, Gulfport. Cost: $10. Casual dress. 324-3730.

Public ice skating: 10 p.m., Mississippi Coast Coliseum, 2350 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Details: 594-3700.


TatoNut 17 mile family bicycle ride: 9:00a.m., Marshall Park, 1000 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs. Raffle and donuts. Details: 348-1635.

Long Beach Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-noon, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22, 125 Jeff Davis Ave., Long Beach. Sustainably grown, seasonal local produce, artisan breads, dairy, honey, eggs and more. Live acoustic music by the farmers market band.

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s preschool clay class: 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-1:30 p.m., Ceramic Studio. 386 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Ages 2-7, Cost: $10, Details: 374-5547.

Hope Haven second annual Oyster Throw-Down: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 720 U.S. 90, Waveland. Teams will compete in cooking categories of grilled oysters, soups and stews. Live entertainment and silent auction. Cost: $12 adults, $6 ages 8-12 and free for ages 8 and under. Details: 466-6395.

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s Mardi Gras clay class: 2:30-4:30 p.m., Ceramics Studio, 386 Beach Blvd, Biloxi. Ages 12 and older, Cost: $20, Will design masks of clay with feathers, jewels, and ribbons, Details: 374-5547.

American Legion Post 33 grand opening: 6 p.m., 1126 Judge Sekul. Biloxi.

Arts Under the Dome: 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 15th Street and 24th Avenue, Gulfport. Mithril will perform traditional Celtic music, American folk and rock, classical, East European and Middle Eastern. Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students. Details: 229-6851.

Third annual Mardi Gras Gala: 7 p.m.-midnight, Bay St. Louis Community Hall, 301 Blaize St. Featuring music by Pat Murphy The Jumpin’ Jukes of Mississippi, and Dave Mayley on DJ. Art contest, cooking, auctions and more. Benefit for the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Hancock County. Cost: $40. Tickets and details: 344-0419.

Fleur De Lis Society Club dance: 8 p.m.,-midnight, The French Club, 182 Howard Ave., Biloxi. Entertainment: Nick Mattina and the Checkmates. Cost: $8 single, $15 couple. Details: 436-6472.

Belles and Buoys Square Dance: 8-10 p.m., Lyman Senior Citizen Center, 14592 County Farm Road, Gulfport. Callers: Tony DiGeorge and Oscar Sill. Details: 596-5362.


Ocean Springs Elks Lodge 2501 breakfast: 9-11 a.m., 2501 Beachview Drive. Menu: Eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, biscuits and gravy. Cost: $6. Details: 872-2501.

Chinese New Year celebration: 11 a.m., Phu Hau Vietnamese Buddhist Temple, 8900 Daisy Vestry Road, Biloxi. Traditional dance and sing along with a dragon dance and fireworks. Details: 547-1049.


AARP Smart Driver Class: 9 a.m., Orange Grove Library. Upon completion of the for hour class, seniors may be eligible for a discount on their automobile insurance. Details: 432-7816.

Blood Drive: 1-6:30 p.m., Belk entrance, Edgewater Mall, 2600 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code EWMALL, Details:,

Fleur De Lis Society Club’s Women Auxiliary meeting: 6 p.m., 182 Howard Ave., Biloxi. Details: 436-6472.


At Ease Gang meeting: 7 a.m., Infinity Buffet, Treasure Bay Casino, 1980 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Guest speaker: Sandra Andrade, senior counselor with Department of Mississippi Rehabilitation Services. Details: 214-6018.

Second annual Diamondhead Birthday celebration: 5:30-6 p.m., 5000 Diamondhead Circle. Mayor Thomas Schafer will present the 2014 State of the City at 6 p.m. city council meeting.

Science Cafe — The History and Science of Bagpipes: 6-7:30 p.m., dining hall, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, 703 E. Beach Drive, Ocean Springs. Presenter: William Muzzy. Details 872-4213.

Thai Cooking Class: 6-8:30 p.m., Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave, Gulfport. Menu: Thai silver noodle salad, green curry chicken and dumplings in coconut milk. Cost: $30 members, $35 nonmembers. Details: 897-6039.

AARP Smart Driver workshop: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Ocean Spring library, 525 Dewey Ave. Completion of class may qualify each participant for discounted auto rates. 50 years and older, Cost: $20 nonmembers, $15 members. Details: 861-3199.

AARP Smart Driver workshop: 9:30 a.m- 1:30p.m., Pascagoula library, 3214 Pascagoula St. Completion of class may qualify each participant for discounted auto rates. 50 years and older. Cost: $20 nonmember, $15 members. Details: 861-3199.

NAACP Gulfport Branch meeting: 7 p.m., Isaiah Fredericks Community Center, 3312 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Details: 868-1268.


Gulf Coast Symphony Guild’s meeting: 10 a.m., St. John Episcopal Church, 705 Rayburn Ave., Ocean Springs. Program of vocal, piano, and violin selections by Emily and Jayne Edwards. Details: 872-2936.

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s class for seniors: 10:30-11:30 a.m., 386 Beach Blvd, Biloxi. Cost: $3. Instructor: Marge Michoud. Craft of the creations of cards, origami, envelopes, and paper. Details: 374-5547.

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s glass mosaics: 1-3 p.m., Creel House Studio, 386 Beach Blvd, Biloxi. Ages 15 and older, Cost: $145, Four week class using the Smalti technique. Learn the basics of working with mosaics, tile, design, layout, application, Details: 374-5547.

Mississippi Federation of Council for Exceptional Children conference: 5 p.m. 3k sunset walk, conference Feb. 5-7, walk begins at IP Casino Resort, 850 Bayview Avenue and ends at Mardi Gras museum, 119 Rue Magnolia, Biloxi. Details: 332-0256.


Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s Valentine clay carving: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Ceramics Studio, 386 Beach Blvd, Biloxi. Cost: $10. Details: 374-5547.

Business 101 series: 5:30-7:30 p.m., 1636 Popp’s Ferry Road, Biloxi. Topic: Think Like an Entrepreneur. Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center. Details: 396-8661.

Third annual Words and Music Community Culture Series: 7 p.m. Pass Christian Public Library, 111 Hiern Ave. Storytelling presentation “Robert Johnson at the Crossroads”. Presenters: Wendy Garrison and Rebecca Jernigan. Details:452-4596.

“Fences”: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6-8, 2 p.m. Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12-15, 2 p.m. Feb. 16, 240 Eisenhower Drive, Biloxi. Cost: $16 adults, $13 students, seniors, and military. Details: 388-6258.

FEB. 7

AARP Smart Driver workshop: 12:30-5 p.m., Moss Point Library, 4119 Bellview Ave. Completion of class may qualify each participant for discounted auto rates. 50 years and older. Cost: $20 nonmember, $15 members. Details: 861-3199.

Finally First Friday: 5-7 p.m., Rue Magnolia and Howard Avenue, Biloxi.

First Friday: 6-9 p.m., 1804 Nicholson Ave., Waveland. Food, drink and artist. Details:

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s acrylic painting: 6-8:30 p.m., Creel House Studio, 386 Beach Blvd, Biloxi. Ages: 18 and older, Cost: $35. Wear appropriate clothing. Instructor: Susan Vaughan. Details: 374-5547

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s date night: 6-8:30 p.m., Ceramic Studio, 386 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Ages: 18 and older. Cost: $25. Throw pots on the pottery wheel, keep two and instructors will glaze and fire them. Pots will be ready in two weeks for pick up. Details: 374-5547.

Ocean Springs Elks Lodge 2501 dinner: 6:30-8:00 p.m., 2501 Beachview Drive. Choice of steak or dinner. Details: 872-2501.

Belles and Buoys 36th annual Mardi Gras Festival: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7-8, Woolmarket Community Center, 16320 Old Woolmarket Road, Biloxi. Callers: John and Deborah Carroll-Jones. Cuer: Pauline Angress. Early Rounds. Details: 596-5362.

Amour Danzar Friday night dance: 8-10 p.m., 9355 County Farm Road, Gulfport. Casual dress. Cost: $10 per person. Details: 324-3730.

AARP Tax Services: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Pass Christian Library, 111 Hiern Ave. Service is free to low-moderate income taxpayers 60 years and older. Details: 452-4596.

FEB. 8

Tops of the Hops Beer Festival: Mississippi Coast Convention Center, Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Unlimited sampling of the craft beers from around the world combined with food, music and games. Cost: $35 general admission.

Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church Fifth annual Heart Walk: 8:00 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. walk, 4007 Suzanne Drive, D’Iberville. Details 392-6899.

AARP Smart Driver workshop: 9:30 a.m- 1:30p.m., St. Martin Public Library, 15004 Lemoyne Blvd., Biloxi. Completion of class may qualify each participant for discounted auto rates. 50 years and older. Cost: $20 nonmember, $15 member. Details: 861-3199.

Keep Waveland Beautiful meeting: 10 a.m., Central Fire Station, third floor Training Center, U.S. 90, Waveland. Felder Rushing will share ideas about landscaping, gardening approaches and insight on the coast with knowledge of cultivation on locally-adapted plants. Donation: $10.

Engineering is Elementary: 10 a.m.-noon, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave, Gulfport. Hands on activities and home kit provided. Recommended for third through fifth grade. Cost: $10, Details: 897-6039.

Adventure Games Day: 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., Gautier Community Center. 2101 Library Lane, Gautier. Details: 249-6782.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity annual blood drive: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., next to Belk, Edgewater Mall, 2600 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. In honor of Dr. Charles Drew. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code OMEGAS. Details:

Introductory Creative and Experimental Drawing Workshop: 1-4 p.m., Pass Christian Public Library, 111 Hiern Ave. Local artist will be teaching young adults an introduction to drawing, no experience required. $5 per person for supply costs, Class size is limited. Details: 452-4596.

Jerry Jenkins concert: 2-3 p.m, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave., Gulfport. Drummer presents West African music. Made possible by a grant from MS Arts Commission and The MS Humanities Council. Details: 897-6039.

Second Saturday Artwalk: 4-8 p.m., Bay St. Louis. Sponsored by the Old Town Merchants Association. Art, music and food. Details: 463-2688.

Dickey’s Barbecue eating competition: 5:30 p.m., 3821 Promenade Parkway,, D’Iberville. Sign up prior to the event. Details: 831-224-5615.

Mary C. O’Keefe Winter Wine down: 7-10 p.m., Gulf Hills Hotel, 13701 Paso Road, Ocean Springs. This wine tasting competition will focus on Pinot Noir. Teams will bring their favorite Pinot Noir to be entered in the competition. Cost: $140 per team of 4.

Fleur De Lis Society ladies auxiliary Mardi Gras Ball: 7:30 p.m.-midnight, 182 Howard Ave., Biloxi. Entertainment: Undercover. Proper attire/ no jeans. Cost: $10. Details: 436-6472.

The House Katz concert: 8 p.m., 100 Men Hall, 303 Union St., Bay St. Louis. Cost: $15. Details: 342-5770.

FEB. 9

“Three Generations of Paint” reception: 2-4 p.m., The Side Porch Gallery, 953-A Howard Ave., Biloxi. Featuring Abraham Frey, Herb Willey and George Rothering. The exhibit will be open for the public until March 29. Details: 374-9504.

Jazz Society Jam Session: 2-5 p.m., Gulfport Elks Lodge 978, 12010 Klein Road, Gulfport. Adults only, casual dress dance, Cost: $6 nonmembers. Details: 392-4177.

Champagne and Chocolate: 2-5 p.m., 1501 Beach Blvd., Pascagoula. Presented by the Anola Club. Silent auction, door prizes, chocolates and champagne. Money will allow the club to provide scholarships to graduating seniors from local high schools. Details: 769-6718.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Gulf Coast Alumnae Chapter 101st Founders Day Celebration: 3 p.m., Victory International Christian Center, 8401 Ocean Springs Road, Speaker: Maxine Conway. Theme: Uncompromising Commitment to Communities. Details: 596-4265.

feb. 11

Blood drive: 2-7 p.m., cafeteria, Pass Christian High School, 720 W. North Street. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code PASSHIGH, Details:

Mississippi Business Women/ Gulf Coast’s annual state meeting: 6 p.m., Gulf Coast Myofascial, 2429 W. Commerce St, Suite C, Ocean Springs. Details: 238-1529.

Chase the Valentine’s Crush cooking class: 6-8:30 p.m., Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave., Gulfport. Menu: Tastings of various olive oils and vinegars, roasted fresh gulf Shrimp, and raspberry and dark chocolate Artisan marshmallows. Cost: $30 members, $35 nonmembers. Details: 228-897-6039.

feb. 12

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s creative storytime: 11 a.m.-noon., 386 Beach Blvd, Biloxi. Instructor: Julia Reyes. Students will create Valentine’s Day cards. Details: 374-5547

Blood drive: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., bloodmobile, 1303 S. Market St., Pascagoula. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code STATEFARMPASC Details:

Fleur De Lis Society men’s meeting: 7 p.m., 182 Howard Ave., Biloxi. Welcoming new members to join French descent. Details: 436-6472.

feb. 13

Parents and Caregivers of Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities meeting: 4:30-6 p.m., Mississippi Center for Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities, 4061 Suzanne Drive, D’Iberville. For parents, caregivers, interested family members and individuals. Details: 396-4434.

2014 Gulf Coast Orchid show: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 14, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 15, noon- 4 p.m. Feb. 16, Gautier Convention Center, 2012 Library Lane. Exhibits, art competition, children’s activities, orchid class and raffle. Details: 474-2500.

Business 101 series: 5:30-7:30 p.m., 1636 Popp’s Ferry Road, Biloxi. Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center. Topic: Starting a Business- First Steps. Details: 396-8661

Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce annual banquet: 6 p.m., Gulf Hills Hotel and Conference Center Banquet Hall, 13701 Paso Road. Tickets: $35. The presentation will recognize outstanding Chamber members within the community. Awards, music and refreshments. RSVP required. Details: 875-4424.

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s oil painting class: 6:30- 9 p.m., Creel House Studio, 386 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Ages 16 and older. Instructor: Frank Janca. Six week class about the fundamentals and advanced techniques. Cost: $235, Details: 374-5547.

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s wheel throwing: 6-8:30 p.m., Ceramic Studio, 386 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Ages 15 and older. Six week class learn the basics of throwing on the pottery wheel. Instructor: Stacey Johnson. Cost: $175. Details: 374-5547.

Amour Danzar St. Valentines Day pot luck dinner and dance: 7 p.m,, 9355 County Farm Road, Gulfport. Dance will follow dinner. Bring a covered dish. Dress casual, Cost: $20 per person. Details: 324-3730.

Dinner with a Duo: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-15, Oak Crest Mansion Inn, 5267 Menge Ave., Pass Christian. Gulf Coast Symphony Guild’s fundraiser, featuring soprano Kate Sawyer and tenor Richard Sawyer. Spirits auction, raffle, dinner and concert. Tickets: $75. Details: 896-4276.

FEB. 14

AARP Tax Services: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Pass Christian Library, 111 Hiern Ave. Service is free to low-moderate income taxpayers 60 years and older. Details: 452-4596.

84th annual Valentine Silver Tea: 3-5 p.m., E. Scenic Drive, Pass Christian. Hosted by St. Monica Guild of Trinity Episcopal Church. “Trinity’s Tried and True Cookbook for Body and Soul” will be sold while tea, wine, and coffee will be served with homemade dishes featured in cookbook, cocktail attire. Details: 452-4563 or 216-4714.

“Legally Blonde-The Musical”: 7 p.m. Feb. 14, 3 and 7 p.m Feb. 15, 3 p.m. Feb. 16, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. 246 Dolan Ave. Gulfport. Cost: $13 general admission, $10 seniors and military, $7 students. Details: 897-6039.

A Valentine Evening to Remember: 7 p.m., Bay St. Louis Little Theatre, 398 Blaize Ave. Songs performed by Lex Mauffray, Jim Duggan and Larry Clark, accompanied by Cathy Henley and Soctt MacDonald. Music, poems, and readings, skits, including dinner. Gulf Coast Writers Association is conducting a love poem contest. To enter, email poem to Entries must be submitted by Feb. 10. Cost: $95 a couple. Details: 467-9024.

Dinner with a Duo: 6:30 p.m. social hour, 7:30 p.m. dinner and concert, Feb. 14-15, Oak Crest Mansion Inn, 5267 Menge Ave., Pass Christian. Featuring Kate Fleming Sawyer, soprano; and Richard Sawyer, tenor, accompanied by Michaelle Harrison, pianist. Cost: $75 per person. Details: 896-4276 or 832-4588.

feb. 15

Arbor Day disability run: 8 a.m.,-noon, Disability Connection, 700 Pass Road, Gulfport. Details: 870-7775 or 597-7000.

Blood drive: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., bloodmobile, Nutrition Solutions, 2198 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code NUTRITIONSOLUTIONS. Details:,

Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art’s Adopt-a-Bowl fundraiser: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 386 Beach Blvd, Biloxi. Art, food, pets, music pet adoptions, doggie kissing booth and games. Half price admission to museum during event. Details: 374-5547.

Soiree on the Bay: 7 p.m., Longfellow Civic Center, 122 1/2 Court St., Bay St. Louis. A live silent and live auction hosted by Holy Trinity Catholic School. Food, drinks and dancing. Details:

Fleur De Lis Society’s Saturday night dance: 8 p.m.-midnight, 182 Howard Ave., Biloxi. Music: by Nick Mattina and the Checkmates, Cost: $15 couples, $8 singles. Details: 436-6472.

FEB. 16

Blood drive: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Parish Hall, St. Clare Catholic Church. 2365 Beach Blvd., Waveland. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code STCLARE. Details:

FEB. 17

Mississippi Business Women Connections’ meeting: 6 p.m., Ocean Springs Library.

FEB. 18

Blood drive: 8 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., bloodmobile, Chris’ Beauty College, 1265 Pass Road, Gulfport. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code BEAUTY. Presenting donors will receive a coupon for a free haircut. Details;

Negrotto’s 10th annual African American Art and Heritage Celebration: 5:30-7:30 p.m., 2645 Executive Place, Biloxi. Fusion exhibit includes artists, musicians, dancers, writers, poets and others. Details: 388-8822.

Mississippi Business Women’s connections meeting: 6 p.m., Ocean Springs Library, 525 Dewey Ave. Details: 238-1529.

Seafood cooking class: 6-8:30 p.m., Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave, Gulfport. Instructor: Kenneth Jones. Menu: Barbecue shrimp, Trout saltgrass and bananas foster. Cost: $30 members, $35 nonmembers. Details: 897-6039.

FEB. 19

Blood Drive: 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Medical Office Building Atrium, Memorial Hospital, 4500 13th Street, Gulfport. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code MEMORIALGPORT. Details:

Third annual Cocktail Classic: 6 p.m., Carter Green Steakhouse, Island View Casino Resort. Presented by Gulfport Chamber of Commerce and Island View Casino Resort. Money raised support Gulfport Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business grant program and scholarships for graduating seniors. Details: 604-0014.

FEB. 20

Blood Drive: 9 a.m.- 2p.m., gym, St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School, 4321 Espy Ave., Long Beach. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code STVINCENT, Details:

Blood Drive: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., bloodmobile, Triton Systems, 21405 B Ave., Long Beach. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code TRITON, Details:

Business 101 series: 5:30-7:30 p.m., 1636 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi. Topic: How to Develop a Business Plan. Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center. Details: 396-8661.

Blossom Family YMCA’s Second annual father-daughter dinner: 6 p.m., Gulf Hills Hotel and Conference Center, 13701 Paso Road, Ocean Springs. Ages 5 and older. Reservations include buffet dinner for two, Photobooth pictures, corsage, limo ride and spa time. Cost: $55 a couple for members, $75 nonmembers, $25 additional child, Details: 875-5050.

FEB. 21

AARP Tax Services: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Pass Christian Library, 111 Hiern Ave. Service is free to low-moderate income taxpayers 60 years and older. Details: 452-4596.

Private Applicator training: 1 p.m., Harrison County Office building, 2315 17th St., Gulfport. Training for private pesticide applicators who wish to obtain certification. Must be 18, Cost: $10. Details: 865-4227.

Blood Drive: 8 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., gym, D’Iberville High School, 15625 Lamey Bridge Road. To schedule appointment, use sponsor code DIBERVILLEHS. Details:

Family cooking class; 6-8:30 p.m., Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave, Gulport. Pete the cat presents cooking with the letter ‘P’. Menu: Parmesan bread sticks, pepperoni pizza and pineapple upside down cake. Cost: $25 one parent and child, additional person $5. Details: 897-6039.

FEB. 22

Pete the cat visit: 11 a.m., Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave, Gulfport. Enjoy singing, dancing and photos with Pete the cat. Cost: $2 members and $11 nonmembers. Details: 897-6039.

Blood Drive: 2-6 p.m., bloodmobile, Papa John’s Pizza, 15258 Crossroads Parkway, Gulfport. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code PAPAJOHNS,

Mardi Gras Mayhem in the Park: 2:30 p.m. bicycle parade registration, 3:30 p.m. parade begins, 2250 Jones Park Drive, Gulfport., Family movie with refreshments and jambalaya cook-off competition. Details: 868-5881.

FEB. 24

Blood Drive: 1-6:30 p.m., Belk entrance, Edgewater Mall, 2600 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code EWMALL, Details:

FEB. 25

Greek cooking class: 6-8:30 P.m., Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave. Gulfport. Menu: Greek fried cheese, cucumber dip, beef and potato moussaka and coconut delight. Cost: $30 members, $35 nonmembers. Details: 897-6039.

FEB. 26

Blood Drive: 8 a.m.,-2 p.m., gym, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, 2226 Switzer Road, Gulfport. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code MGCCCJD, Details:

FEB. 27

Blood Drive: 8 a.m.- 2 p.m., library, St. Martin High School, 11300 Yellow Jacket Road. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code STMARTINHS. Details:

Blood Drive: 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., bloodmobile, Virginia College, 920 Cedar Lake Road, Biloxi. To schedule an appointment, use sponsor code VCBILOXI, Details:

Business 101 series: 5:30-7:30 p.m., 1636 Popp’s Ferry Road, Biloxi. Topic: Cash Flow Projections for your Business Plan. Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center. Details: 396-8661.

Canvas and Mocktails; 6-8 p.m., Beau Rivage Casino and Resort, 875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Presented by K J Foundation and Linda Lang Ishee of Canvas and Cocktails. Money raised will go towards purchasing driving simulator to be used by Harrison County School to enhance driving education program. Tickets: $50. Details: 328-3833.

FEB. 28

AARP Tax Services: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Pass Christian Library, 111 Hiern Ave. Service is free to low-moderate income taxpayers 60 years and older. Details: 452-4596.

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center free Friday night: 8 p.m., 246 Dolan Ave. Gulfport. Details: 897-6039.

Article source:

Woodland retreat

Karin Leonard describes herself as a “guerrilla gardener,” a plant plopper whose goal in her personal outdoor space has always been simple and straightforward: To create something beautiful.

And she has succeeded, even if it has meant taking a few risks, like the Japanese maple she planted. “I knew it was a little iffy, but in a protected place, when the sunlight shines on it, it’s a peak experience,” enthuses the long-time gardener.

“I’ve always loved nature and found solace in nature. I feel so at home in nature,” says Leonard, who is self-employed. She was born in Austria, which she believes gives her a natural affinity for woodland plants. She also advocates organic gardening, and the use of native plants, which she describes as an outgrowth of being a single parent of a special-needs child. “I wanted organic everything, and it was a conscious choice not to use chemicals.”

Over the years, the landscape surrounding her home has provided an opportunity to design beds and borders that are both pretty and practical.

“Little by little over the last 10 to 15 years I’ve planted and added areas and the garden has evolved.

Leonard deliberately set out to make her garden a soothing place. “I feel so at home in the garden, and it’s such a peaceful retreat.”

Several years ago, Matthias Landscaping installed new hardscape that “looks like it has always been here.”

There are no real straight lines in the garden, which creates a better sense of flow, and there are both physical and visual transitions to keep the garden interesting. Tabletop gardens and garden art are finishing touches.

The front porch boasts a pleasant seating area that seems to invite lingering and offers a sense of seclusion.

Plants provide texture and repetition of favorite plants provide continuity. Bloodroot, with its yellow-centered white flowers, is among the first plants to bloom in spring, along with bluebells and maidenhair ferns.

Leonard is also a fan of celandine, a plant in the poppy family, and other favorites include hostas, Asiatic lilies, clematis, Chinese lanterns, cleome, ornamental grasses, Queen Anne’s lace, coleus and succulents. Some plants, such as bloodroot and Chinese lanterns, can be invasive but she keeps them in check. “If they pop up where I don’t want them, I rip them out.”

She especially enjoys the “Intensia” phlox series, and all of her plant choices are easy to care for and look attractive for weeks on end.

“That’s important because I don’t have the time or energy to always be tending it,” she confesses, smiling. “I’m an early riser, and I love being able to walk in my garden and snip flowers to bring in or to pull a few weeds. I walk around with a cup of coffee and see what needs attention.”

Article source:

Wage hike idea gets split vote in Fayetteville

Wage hike idea gets split vote in Fayetteville

Wage hike idea gets split vote in Fayetteville

Antwon Payton, who delivers for Brooklyn Pizzeria, is pleased to hear about President Obama’s push to increase the minimum wage. ‘It’s hard to pay bills if you’re making $7.25 an hour,’ Payton says.

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 7:06 am

Updated: 7:15 am, Fri Jan 31, 2014.

Wage hike idea gets split vote in Fayetteville

By Michael Futch Staff writer

From a business owner’s point of view, President Obama’s plan to boost the minimum wage on new federal contract workers would likely diminish profit levels.

But as for 21-year-old Antwon Payton, who works for Brooklyn Pizzeria, he said he’d be ecstatic to earn $10.10 an hour.

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Friday, January 31, 2014 7:06 am.

Updated: 7:15 am.

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Recycling nature: Rustic furniture from garden ‘debris’

Landscape architect David Hughes is also a skilled woodworker who salvages garden “debris” to make rustic furniture.

Bradley C. Bower/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT

Landscape architect David Hughes is also a skilled woodworker who salvages garden “debris” to make rustic furniture.

Flagstone terrace is featured that David Hughes, of Doylestown, Pa., carved out of the face of a cliff for clients in Upper Black Eddy. (Courtesy David Hughes via Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

Flagstone terrace is featured that David Hughes, of Doylestown, Pa., carved out of the face of a cliff for clients in Upper Black Eddy. (Courtesy David Hughes via Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

David Hughes created this 4-foot-tall garden gate using native Eastern red cedar and Moravian tiles. (Courtesy David Hughes via Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

David Hughes created this 4-foot-tall garden gate using native Eastern red cedar and Moravian tiles. (Courtesy David Hughes via Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

PHILADELPHIA — David Hughes, a Doylestown, Pa., landscape architect with an affinity for native flora and natural landscapes, often finds himself ripping out dead, overgrown or otherwise-undesirable plants to make way for new.

But he doesn’t haul that nasty Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese white mulberry, or Norway maple to the dump, curb or chipper. Hughes is that rare soul who prizes what other designers and gardeners despise, more so if it’s scarred by deer browsing, insect damage, or disease.

That’s because, in addition to designing ecologically responsible landscapes in the Philadelphia region, Hughes, 46, is a skilled woodworker who makes rustic furniture from garden “debris,” a kind of plant-world Dumpster diver.

“To me, it’s a nice marriage, landscaping and woodworking,” says Hughes, whose five-year-old business, his second, is called Weatherwood Design. It comprises about 70 percent landscaping and 30 percent woodworking.

Storm-felled trees and gnarly vines make good raw materials. So do pruned branches, old barn boards, and stuff plucked, with permission, from the side of the road.

An arborist friend scouts out intriguing branches and discarded trunks. Hughes helps the Natural Lands Trust and local preserves thin out invasives or dead trees. And every July 4, again with permission, he rescues unwanted driftwood from death by bonfire at a public beach on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The wood might sit for years on the 1-acre property Hughes shares with his widowed dad, Merritt Hughes, a retired English teacher. Logs, planks, oddball sticks and scraps are stacked along the driveway, in the yard, and in and around Hughes’ densely packed, unheated 8-by-12-foot workshop.

“It’s hard to throw anything out,” he says a bit sheepishly of the jars of nails, screws and bolts, the bits of this or that, and the saws, planes and other tools of his trade.

Drying wood outside is challenging. But if rain and snow are his nemeses, water is also a friend. “My best ideas come in the shower,” he says.

Those ideas — for chairs, tables and benches, garden gates and screens, trellises, arbors, railings and birdhouses — are time-consuming. A simple-looking chair can take 35 hours to make, at $45 an hour, not counting time to find and dry the wood and do research.

“It’s like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle. There are no square edges to anything,” says Hughes, who is itching for some land of his own so he can grow hedgerows of the native trees he likes to work with — alder, sassafras, Eastern red cedar, black locust, Osage orange.

He also wants to live off the grid and build native plant, meadow and woodland demonstration gardens. Four acres, at a minimum, would do it, though so much real estate would involve a lot of deer-fencing.

But fenced it must be; deer are plentiful, and Hughes has had Lyme disease 14 times since the early 1990s.

That he has worked through such a scourge reflects a lifetime of loving plants.

Growing up in Glenside, Pa., Hughes was “always out playing and getting muddy and dirty,” often in Baederwood Park. Foreshadowing the landscape architect he would become, he spent hours in the attic constructing vehicles and buildings with Legos and Lincoln Logs.

As an 8-year-old, guided by his handy grandfather, Sylvester “Cookie” Cook, Hughes built metal cladding to reinforce a toy castle, and carved sticks to support a leather-covered tepee.

Hughes is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where he knew almost instantly “I was doing the right thing” in studying landscape architecture. He also did graduate work at the University of Massachusetts.

His résumé includes jobs at plant nurseries, landscape architectural and planning firms, and the U.S. Forest Service. He has restored wetlands and woodlands and worked on suburban subdivision landscapes, meadows and residential projects, including a highly idiosyncratic Bucks County, Pa., second home belonging to New Yorkers Todd Ruback and Suzanne Schecter.

The couple’s 2½-acre property, overlooking the Delaware Canal in Upper Black Eddy, Pa., features a converted century-old barn that backs up to a gravelly 200-foot red shale cliff that was choked with exotic vines. Hughes cleared the cliff and literally carved a landscape into it, choosing wildlife-friendly plants such as Eastern prickly pear cactus, the region’s only native cactus, which grows almost exclusively along the high cliffs of the Delaware River.

“He’s not bringing in eucalyptus trees,” Ruback says. “He’s making use of what local Bucks County nature is giving us.”

And much of what Hughes takes away from Bucks County nature goes toward his rustic furniture. The results, says a mentor, Daniel Mack of Warwick, N.Y., are both sturdy and playful, and demonstrate “a poetic sensibility.”

“Nobody actually needs any of these chairs. There are plenty of chairs in the world already, thank you,” says Mack, a teacher and author. “You’ve gone beyond need, and you’re into another realm.”

It’s a realm, Mack says, that “engages us with the landscape in a way you don’t see with more anonymous furniture.”

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City Business The Green Team

Few companies can rival the Green Team’s enthusiasm for curbing pollution. The very name suggests a group of cheerleaders and the company (located at 5402 W. State St.) is gung-ho carbon-neutral, working against the grain in a field of work that is heavily dependent on  lawnmowers, pesticides, manure and other approaches that pollute the environment.

Bradley Blaeser

Bradley Blaeser. Photo by Sean Lyons.

You might call Bradley Blaeser the head greenie, the company’s CEO and president. After college, Blaeser worked with urban gardening and landscaping projects, which spurred his decision to start the Green Team in 2006. The company is an all-purpose yard-care business that uses its environmentally-friendly methods to encourage green solutions to its clients. That includes vehicles that run on biodiesel fuels, tools (such as lawnmowers) with electric motors, and organic fertilizers to cut back on pollution and lower energy costs — giving Mother Nature more room to breathe while saving money. The Green Team will also install and manage rain barrels, compost, and native gardens.

As the company goes into its eighth year of business, it now has around 20 employees (the number fluctuates with the additional seasonal work that summers provide), and enjoys steady business in Southeast Wisconsin.

From modest beginnings, Blaeser grew the business — working out of his home during the Green Team’s first year of existence.

“I told my wife that I would only be there for one year,” says Blaeser. “True to my word, I found a place — a crappy place — but a place to get out of my house.”

While the business had made a step in the right direction, Blaeser knew he needed to continue growing. He realized its future might depend upon partnering with businesses in similar circumstances. He then teamed up with Earthcare Natural Lawn and Landscapes, and Greener Roofs and Gardens, two local businesses that shared his businesses’ financial situation. One year later, Forester Tree Service also joined the partnership.

Green Team, 5402 W. State St.

Green Team, 5402 W. State St. Photo by Sean Lyons.

“Five years ago, we found a place together,” says Blaeser. “It had a shop but it didn’t have an office. So the following year, we were motivated to get a different place that combined having legitimate offices with a shop and a yard, and that’s when we officially formed the Sustainable Landscape Consortium.”

The businesses, all offering varied services in the outdoors maintenance industry, work together on many projects that surface, assisting each other with shared knowledge of the field, and by sharing employees for the varied needs of the certain jobs.

“I think we all in theory thought that would be good,” he says. “And we made it happen by renting a space and starting to work on projects and eventually, we all took advantage of sharing employees. If another business has an ebb and flow that we’re able to accommodate, we can swap employees and then everyone wins.”

With a few more years under its belt, the Green Team’s business model has proven to be successful. As it has grown, the business can now service residential, municipal and commercial projects.

“We’ve kind of been hitting our stride. We have a real diverse client portfolio. We do 30-40 percent design and installation, and the other 60 percent is maintenance — which is anything from mowing to bed maintenance, and specialized property care of any kind.”

A prime example of the company’s dedication to green initiatives is its servicing of all of the Village of Shorewood’s turf, natural lawn care and some of the its streetscape maintenance.

“They’ve had enough success, specifically with the natural lawn care portion. We’re building up the organic matter, and they’ve turned all of the turf in the Village of Shorewood chemical-free.”

All in all, the Green Team’s clean, green mantra reaps benefits for all.

“The non-sexy black-and-white mission is to reduce our company’s chemical and energy footprint — and then in turn, handing that over to our client.”

Blaeser is confident the company’s services can not only grant their customers guilt-free, pollution-free sustainability practices, but benefit them financially. “If we can save money on our overhead,” says Blaeser, “we’re going to have that ability to pass that onto our clients.”

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Classic Gardens brings out the ‘Landscape Impossible’ in Colorado

Fri, 31 Jan 2014, 06:59:03 EST
Edited by Christopher Simmons

MONUMENT, Colo., Jan. 31, 2014 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Classic Gardens Inc., in Monument, Colorado, has recently been credited for taking the missions that many other landscapers simply cannot accept. As a landscape specialist in Colorado, the company has been asked to take care of and – in some cases – fix some pretty ‘impossible’ situations for some of the largest and most intricate landscaping scenarios in Colorado – one of America’s most outdoor and scenic-oriented states.

Colorado landscaping

MONUMENT, Colo., Jan. 31, 2014 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Classic Gardens Inc., in Monument, Colorado, has recently been credited for taking the missions that many other landscapers simply cannot accept. As a landscape specialist in Colorado, the company has been asked to take care of and – in some cases – fix some pretty “impossible” situations for some of the largest and most intricate landscaping scenarios in Colorado – one of America’s most outdoor and scenic-oriented states. The company also has been known for their efforts to “take the time” to give their clientele exactly what they are looking for, by locating the necessary materials.

Recently, the company has been given the nickname “Landscape Impossible” as a result of some of these highly difficult projects. One job involved the removal of a fully grown 30-foot-tall Blue Spruce with a 90-inch tree spade, as well as the company’s ability to properly rig and lift up to 20,000 pound boulders, up to 10 feet in diameter. The company also has been utilized for the construction of several high profile features for clients such as the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Olympic Training Center, and several very large residences throughout Colorado whose amazing dynamic vistas appear as if “Mother Nature put them there.”

“The thought was to create a unique gardening and landscaping company that not only can give you the serenity of a classic English garden in a Rocky Mountain environment, but to create an environmentally concerned landscape company, that will take into consideration the existing vegetation, structure, wildlife, and water requirements,” stated Glenn Cope, President of Classic Gardens Inc. “In the state of Colorado, this sometimes requires finding a way to do the impossible – and make it seem easy.”

Classic Gardens is a full service commercial and residential Colorado landscape company serving the Rocky Mountain region since 1985. From concept to completion, all phases of design and construction are handled in-house. Their staff of highly trained employees pays strict attention to detail and quality, enabling them to becoming one of Colorado’s premier landscape companies.

If you would like to learn more about Classic Gardens Inc., or have any questions about your specialized project, please visit or call toll free at 866-597-4341.

To contact Classic Gardens Inc. directly, email

NEWS SOURCE: Classic Gardens Inc.

Send2Press® is the originating wire service for this story “Classic Gardens brings out the ‘Landscape Impossible’ in Colorado” and content is Copr. © 2014 Classic Gardens Inc. with newswire copy Copr. © 2014 Send2Press (a service of Neotrope). All trademarks acknowledged.

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Books offer ideas for gardening veggies

Planning for spring’s vegetable garden usually includes looking at a few books or online references to refresh and increase our knowledge.

There are two new ones to consider adding to your bookshelf. Both authors are women who not only garden but also invest time in observing the natural rhythms of plants and animals.

Colorado organic gardener and medical herbalist Tammi Hartung wrote, “The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Food in Harmony with Nature.” Published by Storey Publishing, the 144 page softcover book helps gardeners deal with the challenges of bugs and animals that seem determined to eat more of the garden than the gardener gest to enjoy.

Rabbits, snails, deer, moles, birds and beetles all want their share of our produce and Hartung’s point of view includes all these creatures in her wildlife-friendly plan. She observes them from various locations in the garden as well as from motion activated cameras.

Her idea is to get to know wildlife in our gardens and enlist their help rather than killing them or even engaging in battles with them.

Habitat for birds and beneficial insects are the backbone of the natural garden. Hartung’s suggestions and reminders include:

• Build the soil rather than feeding plants.

• Convert grass into growing space without digging (add a thick layer of cardboard or newspaper and plant on top of it).

• Welcome wildlife.

The recipe she provides for compost activator tea contains nettles, comfrey leaves, kelp or seaweed and alfalfa rabbit pellets. Add water, steep and pour onto the compost pile.

Her observations about companion planting include: catnip attracts ladybugs that eat aphids and whiteflies.

Chamomile, dill and fennel attract parasitic wasps that control caterpillars. Horseradish repels potato bugs.

Garlic repels aphids, tree borers, snails, flea beetles and squash bugs. Mint attracts lacewings and lady bugs as well as repels flea beetles, cabbage flies and mosquitoes.

Beautifully illustrated, easy to read and loaded with useful tips, “The Wildlife Friendly Vegetable Gardener” is a helpful resource for anyone getting started with sustainable practices.

Ira Wallace, author of “Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast,” is on the board of the Organic Seed Alliance and is the owner of the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (www.southern

The focus of the book includes Delaware to Oklahoma and all the states south.

All the familiar practices are covered: Feed the soil with organic fertilizers, conserve water, monitor soil pH, start plants from seed, and grow your own transplants.

One point Wallace makes is that healthy soil has plenty of organisms and grows plants that can withstand some insect damage. Chemical fertilizers kill beneficial microbes on contact, making plants weaker.

Phenology, the study of recurring patterns in plants, predicts the ideal planting time based on observation.

Wallace provided a useful chart of natural gardening signals. Her tips: when dandelions bloom plant beets and carrots; when daffodils bloom plant potatoes; when forsythia blooms plant peas; when redbuds bloom the flea beetles arrive, etc. The book’s focus is zones 6 to 9; we are zone 7.

In the Garden Planning section, Wallace outlines easy to grow, slightly more challenging and just plain challenging crops for home gardens. The midsection of the book, “Get Planting”, is a month-by-month to-do list. You will learn about starting plants from seed under lights as well as how to start the same plants early outside by using protective covered tunnels.

The last section is a directory of edibles and a chart of what to plant when. There is a list of resources from seed catalogs to tools and soil tests at the back.

It was published by Timber Press ( and the list price is $20. To learn more about phenology visit The National Phenology Network at

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Tips on introducing your dog to your new baby

You’ve spent nine months getting ready for the arrival of your new baby, but don’t forget about your furry family companion.

Your dog is used to being the center of attention and can have a hard time relinquishing that spot. Making gradual changes to your dog’s routine along the way can help ease the transition and before long, your pup and your baby will be the best of friends.

To help dog owners in this exciting time, the American Kennel Club offers the following tips for introducing your dog to your new baby.

n Gradually alter your dog’s routine. Start making changes to your dog’s daily routine months before your baby is born. Will his walk be in the afternoon rather than the morning? Start getting him used to what life will be like when the baby comes home.

n The nose knows. Before you bring the baby home, introduce a blanket with the baby’s scent on it to your dog. Let him sniff and become used to it.

n The first meeting. Make sure your dog is well exercised before you introduce him to the baby. Have one parent hold the baby while the other controls the dog on leash.

n Make it a family affair. Include your dog whenever you can. Make sure to give him attention and affection while the baby is around. Take your dog along with you on walks with the baby.

n Always supervise interactions between children and dogs. You should never leave an infant or toddler alone with a dog. Even the most trusted family pet can be startled by a sudden scream or cry from your child.

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Gardening Tips: Looking After Plants In Spring


Firstly, they have been inside for way too long since it was happy winters for you. So, get them ready for spring before making them grow. The first step in looking after your plants with onset of spring is dusting them. Remember, the light of sun will help them photosynthesize but how can dirty plants do that? So, clean it first as spring has sprung up.

Gardening Tips: Looking After Plants In Spring

Clean your Plants

It’s important to clean your plants before spring sets in. Dirty leaves can’t photosynthesize and hence can’t produce the food. Give them a slight shower using a sprinkler in an attempt to clean them. This process would also remove the insects from their bodies. A simple spring gardening tip is to tie a plastic bag to your plant’s base, to prevent it plant from getting over watered. This works best for your plants.

Cut Down Mineral Build-up

Despite having watered the plants, do they appear dull? There’s more you can do to look after your house plants in spring. The minerals in the water could be responsible for this happening. Rub the plants using a dry cloth to remove the minerals. You can even scrap off the minerals with your thumb. Just make sure you are not too hard on the plants. Clean the mineral off the pots too as they too can prove to be harmful to your plants


Once you have given the plants shower, let them dry. Keep them in a shaded place and allow them to dry there. Direct contact with sun can cause burning of these leaves. So, till they are not dry let them not return near the sun. Once dry, keep them on the window sill but, ensure the sill’s clean.

Feeding The Plant

Here’s an important spring gardening tip. There are house plants that don’t need feeding and then there are the flowering plants which need to be fed regularly. Give them liquid feeds regularly. If you are planning to move the plants to bigger pots, add some granules of fertilizer. Don’t over-feed the plant in anyway

Pruning Cleaning

Looking after houseplants includes this greatly. Pruning simply means removing the unwanted flowers and leaves from the plant. You can remove damaged or yellowing leaves using your thumb. Wayward branches should also be removed. Regularly clean your plants using cotton so that they remain dust free. Remember keeping them out in the sunlight can make them dirty due to the dust in the surroundings.

Trim Regularly

As mentioned spring is the season of growing for the plants. So make sure you trim the plants regularly so that they grow healthily. Do not forget this spring gardening tip – remove weeds, maverick shoots and unnecessary growths observed in the plant. Apply fertilisers regularly. Make sure the fertilisers you use are acidic soluble ones so that they don’t harm the plants much.

If the sunlight is too much, keep the houseplants a little shaded such that they get enough light but are not burnt in the process.

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Garden Tips: Gardeners have taste for heirloom tomatoes

New garden catalogs are arriving daily, telling me that it is time to start planning this year’s garden. Spring must be around the corner!

Of course tomatoes are at the top on my list of vegetables to grow. There is nothing like a homegrown tomato fresh from the garden. If you plan to grow your own veggie transplants, now is when you ought to be ordering seeds and getting ready to plant. Tomato seeds should be planted about six weeks before the anticipated date of planting outdoors.

When perusing seed catalogs, notice modern hybrid varieties, such as Burpee’s Better Boy or Big Boy, are not as popular as they once were. Today’s gardeners are clamoring for heirloom varieties because of their full flavor and attractive fruit of various colors and shapes. Specialty mail-order seed companies and even mainstream companies are offering an expanding list of heirloom tomatoes.

Modern hybrid tomato varieties were bred primarily for commercial field production. Breeders sought firm, uniform, deep red fruit and resistance to soil pathogens. They did not focus on flavor. As a result, some of the flavor we desire in a fresh tomato was lost during their development.

Heirloom tomatoes are older varieties that have been passed from one generation to another. Unlike modern hybrid tomatoes, heirlooms are open pollinated. The prime reason for the “growing” interest in heirlooms is their flavor. Many folks feel that heirlooms have more of the robust tomato taste.

Specialty mail-order seed companies that specialize in tomatoes are a good place to look for tomato varieties to grow. Totally Tomatoes ( is offering a new series of tomatoes called the “Wild Boar Series” that are new introductions from a small organic farmer and breeder. The series is the result of crosses the farmer made from his favorites among hundreds of heirlooms and hybrids, and selecting the resulting crosses for their extreme flavor, interesting appearance and coloring.

Tomato Growers Supply ( offers more than 500 varieties of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Tomato Fest ( only offers organically grown heirloom tomatoes with a list of a 600 varieties including paste, dwarf, determinant, heart-shaped and, of course red, orange, yellow, green, striped, brown, purple and even blue varieties.

Many seed companies, even the big-name seed catalogs (like Burpee), are offering grafted tomatoes. A grafted tomato is one that has been fused together via the propagation method of grafting. This involves placing a desirable variety (scion) on top the roots of a different variety (rootstock). The scion grows into the upper part of the plant and produces fruit of the desirable variety. The rootstock grows into the root system and imparts that variety’s characteristics to the roots.

While heirlooms may have better tasting fruit, the plants lack resistance to certain soil pathogens bred into most modern hybrids. Grafted tomatoes allow tomato growers to grow tasty heirloom tomatoes on rootstock that is resistant to certain soil diseases. Many of these rootstocks also improve plant vigor and productivity.

So do not procrastinate, decide what to you want to grow and order your seed or grafted plants now.

— Marianne C. Ophardt is a horjticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

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