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Archives for January 26, 2014

Home show a hit with vendors, atendees

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Knox County housing permits up by 31.5 percent – WBIR

Organizers of the Knoxville Home Show said the event can be used as a way to gauge economic confidence for home buyers.

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Stumped by your yard? Let new landscaping book help

Services, garage sales, pets, items for sale

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Landscape firms shortlisted for APL awards unveiled

By Sarah Cosgrove
Friday, 24 January 2014

The Association of Professional landscapers (APL) has announced the shortlist for this year’s awards.

More than 60 entries were deliberated upon by an expert panel of judges including Richard Barnard (Hillier Landscapes), Bob Sweet (former RHS Head of Garden Judging), Sorrel Everton (Gardens Illustrated), Robin Templar Williams (Robin Williams and Associates), and James Steele-Sargent (Arun Landscapes). 

The shortlist is as follows:

Project Value Under £15,000: Garden Box Landscape Design, Living Gardens 2008, Muddy Wellies, Red River Landscapes,  The Real Garden Company, Twigs Gardens.

Project Value £15,000 – £25,000:  Arbworx, Garden House Design, MJT Design Landscapes, Tendercare Nurseries.

Project Value £25,000 – £50,000: Landspace, Oakley Landscapes, Robert Charles Landscapes, TKE Landscaping.

Project Value £50,000 – £100,000: Garden Builders, Hambrooks, The Teamlandscapers.

Project Value £100,000 – £250,000: Linden Landscapes Domestic Gardens, Millhouse Landscapes, Outdoor Space Design, The Teamlandscapers.

Project Value Over £250,000: Garden Art Designs, Stewart Landscape Construction.

Soft Landscaping: Big Fish Landscapes, Tendercare Nurseries.

Hard Landscaping:  Landspace, Liverpool Landscapes Ltd, Millhouse Landscapes, Shore Landscapes,  TKE Landscaping.

Overall Design Build: Frogheath Landscapes, Garden Art Designs, Garden Builders, Landspace, Roger Gladwell Landscapes.

Special Feature: Amenity Trees Landscapes, Roger Gladwell Landscapes, Vandenberg-Hider Landscape Design and Construction.

Young Achievers Award: Hambrooks, Wildroof Landscapes.

Judging panel chair Barnard said: “With an increase in entry numbers this year, the judging panel were burning the midnight oil to complete an intensive day judging schemes of exceptionally high standards.

“I believe the optimism in our industry over the last year has benefited the quality of schemes, which showcase the importance of awards and their value to members and the industry.”

The awards ceremony, sponsored by Bradstone, takes place on Wednesday 12 March at new venue Gibson Hall, London.

Sponsors are Andrew Plus, British Seed Houses, British Sugar Topsoil, Classiflora, Easigrass,  Greentech, and Sovereign Turf.

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Maine Gardener: See Mediterranean garden without leaving Maine

1:00 AM

McLaughlin Garden in South Paris plans lectures on a variety of topics, including Mediterranean plants that should grow here

By Tom Atwell

In the dreary days of winter, a trip to the Mediterranean sounds good.

McLaughlin Garden in South Paris can’t put you on an airplane, but it can give you a couple of hours of Mediterranean flowers at 4 p.m. Feb. 26 as part of the garden’s winter lecture series. The lecture by Harriet Robinson is actually called Mediterranean Plants in Maine Gardens, but that could be enough to give you a midwinter break.

McLaughlin Garden is offering seven programs in its series, which runs at 4 p.m. every Wednesday from Feb. 19 to April 2. Not only are all of the lectures free, if you arrive early, you can have free tea and snacks to go along with the companionship of other gardeners. Walk-ins are welcome.

Stephanie Edwards, garden operations manager, said the talks fulfill several purposes.

“We like to bring in people from local businesses, so we have a connection to them,” she said. “Part of our mission is horticultural education, so it helps with that.”

Judy Florenz, who with Becky Burke is co-chairwoman of the programs committee, said Robinson’s talk was a last-minute addition, to reach seven programs.

“She is a member of the committee and has a doctorate in archaeology, so she spends a lot of time in Greece,” Florenz said. “She said, ‘Oh, I have a lot of photos of plants, so I can put something together.’”

Other programs in the McLaughlin series, co-sponsored by McLaughlin’s affiliated Foothills Garden Club, include beekeeping by Carol Cotrill, president of the Maine Beekeepers Association, Feb. 19; Growing Cut Flowers by Cindy Creps of Meadow Ridge Perennial Farm, March 5; Garden Blogs by Jean Potuchek, March 12; Growing and Using Lavender by Betsey-Ann Golon of Common Folk Farm, March 19; Landscaping and Landscape Design by Eli Goodwin of Goodwin Nursery, March 26; and Not Your Grandmother’s Geraniums by Cindy Tibbetts of Hummingird Farm on April 2.

Merryspring Nature Center in Camden has speakers at noon Tuesdays, but not all of them are about gardening. They are free to members, $5 for non-members. Highlights (for me, anyway) include New Plants for 2014 by Hammon Buck, Feb. 25; Sedges of Maine by Matt Arsenault, March 4; Gardening for Birds with Native Plants by Sharon Turner May, 13; and Tending the Perennial Garden in June by Wendy Andresen. For a complete list go to

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has little going on for public programs until April. Lois Berg Stack, an ornamental horticulture professor at the University of Maine, will teach Soil Science for Gardeners on April 15 and 16 at $120 for members and $150 for non-members; and Brady Barber and Lisa Cowan will teach Shaping a Natural Site into a Landscaped Space on April 24-26 at $150 for members and $180 for nonmembers.

Garden clubs also offer a lot of different programs.

The Belfast Garden Club has an extensive schedule of programs, usually at 2 p.m. Tuesdays, but sometimes later in the day and not every week. Highlights include Bonsai by Aaron Bowden at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and Container Gardening with Liz Stanley at 2 p.m. April 8, both at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 95 Court St., Belfast. For a complete list go to

Longfellow Garden Club in Portland is beginning its 10th decade, so some of its programs will be on club history. Gardening programs include Gardening for Hummingbirds with Anne Murphy of Gnome Landscapes at 11 a.m. April 8 at Woodfords Congregational Church, 202 Woodford St.

(Continued on page 2)

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Feed home and garden dreams at debut Lake Conroe Home and Garden Show

The calendar and the temperatures may indicate we’re smack in the middle of winter, but it’s never to early to dream about upcoming spring home and garden projects.

On Feb. 8-9, Conroe-area residents will be able to feed those visions at the inaugural Lake Conroe Home and Garden Show at the Lone Star Convention Center in Conroe.

The show is being produced by Robyn and Jeff Cade, owners of RJC Productions which produces home shows in other areas of Houston including the Katy Home and Garden Show taking place this weekend.

They plan to take over the 56,000 square-foot Lone Star Convention Center and dedicate the entire space to home improvement, decorating and interior design and gardening.

The show promises more than 200 displays in home decorating, remodeling, landscaping, home decor and outdoor and garden products. There will also be “how to” seminars, expert consultations and product demonstrations.

Leslie Sarmiento, principal designer with Decorating Den Interiors, will be featured at the show in Booth No. 803.

Sarmiento doesn’t have a store front for her design business so she said she always likes to take advantage of opportunities like to this local home show to have her own show room, even for a limited time, so visitors can see what she has to offer.

Although she’s based in the Conroe area, her services are not limited to Conroe.

Sarmiento works with her clients by traveling to their home and giving a free consultation on the first visit. Then she can assist with everything from window treatments to furniture to accessories and wallpaper and lighting.

On her website,, she has an area to check out the 2014 Color of the Year.

This year it’s Radiant Orchid, as selected by Pantone Inc., an authority on color.

“Radiant Orchid is a color that draws us in with a magical warmth that you wouldn’t expect in a pastel hue. But this intriguing shade of purple appeals to our sensual, fantastic side,” Sarmiento writes on her website.

She said the Pantone Color of the Year dictates color patterns for weddings, fashion, graphic design, home interior and more.

“You’ll really see if in the retail market,” she said.

In the home, she because it’s a feminine color, you can make it more gender neutral by pairing it with Paloma, Sand or Gray colors from the 2014 Pantone Spring Palette for a classic, sophistocated look.

She added that because it’s such a strong color, you probably won’t keep it around for a long time and Radiant Orchid should be more prevalent in accessories that are easy to change like vases, pillows, rugs, etc.

“I wouldn’t recommend painting a piece of furniture Radiant Orchid or buying a Radiant Orchid sofa,” she said.

Other trends she sees in home design include upholstered headboards, wallpaper with large-scale geometric patterns, two-tone colors for cabinetry and increasing storage to make use of every ince of space that you have.

As a highlight of the show, the star of the DIY Network’s “Desperate Landscapes” and “Man Caves,” Jason Cameron, will be on hand at the show to answer questions. When asked what he sees in landscape trends, his answer was surprising.

“Many families are really busy these days,” Cameron stated. “Usually, both partners work so we are seeing landscapes that don’t require much time.

“For example, we’re seeing a lot of beautiful synthetic turf now. The newest lines look real and provide a solution to areas that have trouble growing grass. Also, it requires no mowing and no water, so it’s popular in areas such as Texas and Arizona.

“The only problems are that synthetic turf can get hot in the sun, hotter than natural grass, and may require washing down occasionally to maintain its appearance,” he concluded.

Another featured speaker is Lucy Harrell, an organic gardening consultant with Toadstools Lawn, Garden and Gifts in Willis.

She’ll have talks on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. covering basic organic gardening, insect and disease control and companion planting.

Harrell said the most important trend in local landscaping includes chosing drought tolerant native plants.

“You can have a beautiful garden with Texas native and well-adapted plants,” Harrell said.

Another trend is incorporating food crops into their landscapes.

“You can put food crops right in with your flower gardens and it’s beneficial for both flowering plants and food crops,” she said.

She said gardening can be easy if you just know what to do and when to do things.

She’ll be in the Toadstools booth No. 804, along with Brittany Peter where they’ll have lots of raffles, free goodies and handouts.

“It’s general information that will help people know what to do and when to do it,” she said.

For more on Toadstools, visit

Harrell has her own website,, where she welcomes questions from local gardening enthusiasts. She also has a workshop coming on Feb. 15. Visit her site for details.

Visit for more information on the upcoming event.

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Master Gardener: Try tips to keep deer from eating your hard work in the garden

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:00 am

Updated: 5:54 am, Sat Jan 25, 2014.

Master Gardener: Try tips to keep deer from eating your hard work in the garden

By BILL SEVIER Ask a Master Gardener


Q: I have a small acreage on the edge of Tulsa and cannot grow a vegetable garden or flowers due to deer eating them. What can I do to prevent this? – Jim T., Tulsa

A: The white-tailed deer is both revered and maligned. Mention deer and some people have an image of Bambi while others see a large, destructive pest. 

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Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:00 am.

Updated: 5:54 am.

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Tips For Kitchen Garden

If you are one fond of plants and believe in organic gardening, then this piece is for you! with winter waiting to bid adieu, and summer all ready to shine, you should be making plans to make your own kitchen garden.

But, are you worried that kitchen garden is something you can set up only in huge kitchen backyards? Then, you are mistaken! You can set up a kitchen garden even in a small space.

Tips For Kitchen Garden

You can grow your favorite vegetable and enjoy making sabzi’s with it! Are you finding the seed catalog’s coming directly to your mailbox, then don’t wait much. Make best use of your free time and make a kitchen garden.

CHECK THIS OUT: Pot Soil Gardening Tips

You cannot expect the lavishness of planting everything and anything in your kitchen garden. However, you can plant many things that you intend too. You can also enjoy eating fresh veggies rather than the ones you buy from the market. You can grow greens, cucumber, tomatoes, chillies and coriander in your kitchen garden.

If you plan to grow onions or potatoes, then you may need some extra space for it. Here we bring to you some kitchen garden tips, that you can make best use of in decorating your kitchen garden. Make your kitchen garden beautiful with these organic kitchen gardening tips.

A little planning is necessary
One of the kitchen garden tips if you are thinking of a kitchen garden is that plan in advance. Advance planning on what you are going to plant, where you are going to plant etc., are necessary. You should also decide on how much time you can spend for your kitchen garden. If you have only a small space then container gardens are the best choice. This is one of the organic gardening tips.

Small is beautiful
When you are new to gardening, start small. Small is always beautiful and this is one of the organic gardening tips. When you think of planting something follow the kitchen garden tips and find the right saplings to plant. Plan your kitchen garden in a way you can maintain it. This is one of the important kitchen garden tips you need to follow. There is no use getting ambitious and not maintaining it.

Productive plants
When you choose plants for your kitchen garden, then it is imperative that you choose only productive plants. Kitchen garden tips needs to be followed while choosing the plants and choose the plants that are seasonal. See what plants can be planted and what suits your garden well, plan on it and then plant those in your garden, this is one of the organic kitchen gardening tips.

Talk to others
Your friends may be experienced in setting up a kitchen garden, talk to them and get necessary kitchen garden tips. If you are looking for organic kitchen gardening tips then read some books that are available online and in stores. This is going to solve your problem of setting up a beautiful kitchen garden.

Watch the quality
When you select tools for your kitchen garden select quality tools. This is going to help you in setting up a good garden and is one of the kitchen garden tips. Don’t look for the money, look for quality if you are sure about setting up a beautiful garden.

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Landscape designer brings distinct style to the island

Fernando Wong has long been impressed with Palm Beach because of its residents’ history of interest in horticulture and landscaping.

“They take their landscapes very seriously,” said Wong, 38, who started his own landscape-design firm nine years ago in Miami Beach. ”It’s a world-class place for landscape design.”

Wong and partner Tim Johnson, who oversees the business side of Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design, recently opened a satellite office on Worth Avenue, to better handle the firm’s growing roster of clients around town, in North Palm Beach and on Jupiter Island.

Wong’s first job on the island came about three years ago, after local decorator Lillian Fernandez saw an ad for his firm, featuring a photograph of a Miami project, in a design magazine.

The look of the garden in the photograph struck Fernandez as “something new and different for Palm Beach,” the decorator said. After meeting him in Miami and seeing a few of his projects with her clients for an oceanfront house, Fernandez was sold on Wong’s aesthetic and recommended him for the job.

“What I appreciate about Fernando is his artistic sensibility and his ability to listen to what clients want,” she said. “He is also a quick study, able to conceive the landscape plan and sketch it out on the spot, and then install it without many changes. Most clients don’t like surprises. There are no surprises with Fernando. His designs are thorough, complete and workable.”

Fernandez has introduced Wong to several clients and has hired him to do work at her own home.

“Lillian Fernandez really opened the doors for us in Palm Beach,” said Johnson.

The firm is currently involved in about a dozen projects on the island and in the surrounding area. Wong also is participating in the upcoming Red Cross Show House.

Another Palm Beach decorator, Leta Austin Foster, also was instrumental in bringing Wong to the attention of Palm Beach clients. The two met in 2011 at a DCOTA event, hit it off and began working on projects together, with Foster recommending the landscape designer to her clients.

“That’s why we opened the office here,” said Johnson, who worked out of Foster’s Via Mizner office with Wong for a short time before they found a space of their own in December.

Two people work full time in Palm Beach. A staff of eight works out of Wong’s Miami Beach headquarters. Wong and Johnson plan to spend half their time working out of the island office.

On the island, the firm’s primary focus is on residential projects. Wong tailors each garden design to the architectural style of the house, as well as to the tastes and lifestyles of clients.

“I like to think of a garden as series of rooms,” he said, explaining that the style of a landscape design can range from traditional to contemporary. Scale, proportion and layering are essential ingredients in gardens, Wong said.

“I think about how the design will age,” he said.

Thus, he advocates the use of native plants because they will do better over time. “I don’t like the idea of a client having to replace plants every year.”

That idea was fully developed when Wong was hired by Karen Eggers to design the landscape at a new North End house. Eggers wished to create a so-called green home, certified according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.

Introduced to Wong through her builder, Tim Givens, Eggers was pleased with the landscape designer’s ideas and his enthusiasm for the project.

“Fernando understood the aesthetic of the house, which is Art Deco, and had a thorough knowledge of drought-resistant plants,” she said. Eggers’ home, completed last fall, received its platinum LEED certification in December. It is the only house in town that is LEED certified.

For more information about Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design, call 515-0213 or visit

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Sebastian Gunawan’s garden of designs

Renowned designer Sebastian Gunawan offers a breathtaking garden of designs in his latest collection to welcome the Chinese New Year.

The collection, under the theme “Le Jardin Chinois” (The Chinese Garden), unites influences from Europe and China, offering a highly varied bouquet of contrasting colours and textures.

“During the Louis XV era in France, the upper class really popularized the oriental style and aesthetics. They loved all things ‘chinoise’,” explained the designer, who is fondly known as Seba, of his inspiration for the

Clad in chequered jacket and bright orange bow tie for the show, he said he saw similarities between the two cultures in that era, especially in the high, demure collars of the period.

“The cheongsam-style Chinese neckline is actually really similar to the fashion of many European women at that time. So there is a kind of synergy at work here, which I have tried to explore in this collection,” he says.

His merging of these influences has certainly yielded impressive results as seen throughout the show, held at the Hotel Mulia Senayan in Jakarta.

The event offered more than simply fashion, as proceeds from ticket sales went to supporting the Lions Club Indonesia’s Floating Hospital initiative. The floating hospital is a fully equipped ship, which brings much-needed medical expertise to some of the country’s most remote and isolated parts.

In the show, Seba’s collection featured high necklines, elaborate statement collars, cropped jackets and cut-away backs, with pieces also frequently adorned with large ruffles and peplums.

The first set of designs to hit the runway was predominantly crafted from soft floral in tones of pastel pink and green.

These pieces were followed by some more edgy designs, in similar cuts but with darker, more contrasting materials. Long black dresses with copper detailing and embroidery, puffy tulip skirts crafted from layers of orange silk and black lace, all accessorized with long black gloves and elaborate beadwork.

The final set of looks featured bright and bold graphic floral prints, as well as the obligatory Imlek (Chinese New Year) red. From certain angles, the spectacular folding and ruffles made some designs look as though the models were emerging from enormous flowers.

Contrasting colors and textures were used to great effect throughout the entire show, and all models sported elaborate oriental-style makeup and butterflies in their hair, tying in nicely with the garden theme.

Seba’s depth of influences and design experience was evident, as the designs displayed huge variation in cut, from full skirts to tulips to fishtails, while remaining strongly united as a collection.

The variety, in terms of colour and cut, was intentional, Seba explained.

“I’ve used a combination of both European pastels and bright bold oriental colours to give the impression of being in a colorful garden,” he says.

Although he is always interested in fusing elements of different cultures and styles in his work, “Le Jardin Chinois” is quite different to some of Seba’s previous collections, and this is something he is proud of.

“Fashion is a movement,” said the 46-year-old designer. “It is always in motion and never static.”

The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post

Photos By JP/Nurhayati

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