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Archives for February 18, 2014

Calgary artist Bryan Versteeg behind Mars One images

Bryan Versteeg hasn’t stopped drawing ever since he got his first crayons and left marks all over the walls as a child — all the while dreaming of someday living in space.

He still remembers that sketch books and drawing pencils were the predominant gifts on his fifth and sixth birthdays.

So began the career of the 38-year-old Calgary space artist who’s becoming known for his futuristic out-of-this-world illustrations.

Space Art Versteeg 20140215

Bryan Versteeg, seen at his home studio in Calgary, hasn’t stopped drawing ever since he got his first crayons and left marks all over the walls as a child – all the while dreaming of someday living in space. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

“I’ve always been seeking out the future of engineering,” Versteeg said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Over the years, he has been inspired by magazines like Popular Science, which he collected during the 1980s and 90s. The monthly magazine has been well known for its concept drawings of flying cars and interplanetary spaceships.

“It’s a great way to look into the future,” he added.

Warp forward to Versteeg’s recent illustrations of what a human habitat on Mars would eventually look like. His Mars One conceptual designs have appeared in thousands of articles on the internet.

Versteeg started working on the Martian space habitat after he was approached by the founders of the Mars One Foundation, which is planning a one-way mission to the red planet.

In December, the non-profit organization selected 75 Canadians to enter the second round of the mission’s selection process. The 43 Canadian women and 32 men were among 1,058 candidates selected.

Agrees with Mars One approach

Versteeg said he agreed with the Mars One approach, which involved sending up to six landers to the Martian surface before shipping up any humans.

Space Art Versteeg 20140215

Versteeg started working on the Martian space habitat after he was approached by the founders of the Mars One Foundation, which is planning a one-way mission to the red planet. (Bryan Versteeg/Canadian Press)

They would include two living units, two life-support systems and two supply units.

“If you’re going to be putting a permanent base there, you want to make sure everything is working before people get there,” Versteeg said.

“I really believe in Mars settlement and colonization as a foothold for human beings on another planet.”

Versteeg has worked in the graphics industry for more than 20 years, as a conceptual artist in the architectural and engineering fields.

In 2011, he founded in order to focus on the conceptual visualization for space exploration.

Versteeg is also a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists.

Space station with golf course

One of the other projects he has been working on for about two years is his “Kalpana One” Space Station.

It’s named after Kalpana Chawla, one of seven astronauts killed when U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart while returning to Earth in February 2003.

Space Art Versteeg 20140215

The Kalpana space station includes a golf course, football fields, farms and recreation spaces. (Brian Versteeg/ Press)

“Kalpana One” is Versteeg’s idea of what living in outer space could actually look like.

“The interior of the space station is basically a space for about 10,000 people,” he said.

“I designed the golf courses and the football fields, the farms, the recreation spaces and ponds and landscaping — it was probably 50 projects within one project.”

Versteeg’s illustrations can aptly be compared to the artwork for the iconic rotating space station in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

“They did a lot of research and they made something that was as close to realistic as possible,” he noted.

Versteeg referred to his greenery-filled “Kalpana One” space station as “2101” — 100 years after the setting of Stanley Kubrick’s science-fiction masterpiece.

“I know I’ve always wanted to live in space and so it doesn’t need to be all that incredible for me to want to live there,” Versteeg said.

“I try to create places that my wife could see herself live in.”

Art, design and interior design training

The futurist artist, who has been married for 10 years, began studying art and design in school at the age of 14.

He originally considered a career in architecture and learned interior design along the way.

Versteeg said a lot of research goes into his artwork and he’s always reading up on the latest cutting-edge technology.

“You try to limit yourself within the laws of physics and within existing concepts that we already understand because I really want to make sure it’s realistic,” Versteeg said.

“If a person looks at it and says: ‘That’s impossible’ right off the bat, then we’ve kind of already lost a bit of the audience.”

Catherine Hazin, director of arts and culture for the Canadian Space Society, has called Versteeg “an incredibly important Canadian artist.”

“He is really making the idea of living and inhabiting space accessible to the public,” she said in an interview. “It’s an incredibly important job that nobody has been able to do as effectively as he has until now.”

Founder of asteroid mining firm

Versteeg is also one of the founders of Deep Space Industries (DSI), a company that plans to mine and utilize space resources like asteroids.

NASA is currently studying a plan to send astronauts to study an asteroid and Versteeg said DSI has been co-operating with the U.S. space agency.

“Some of the DSI guys have been consulted for NASA’s designs, but exactly how NASA is planning on doing it is up in the air,” he said.

“We have our own ideas of how we can go out and prospect and analyze and target asteroids and then return them, process them and use the resources for manufacturing.”

Versteeg has even created stunning concept illustrations of what mining in space would look like.

“I have wonderful discussions with the guys I work with at Deep Space Industries who offer incredible insight,” he said. “They kind of vet my designs and tell me what could or could not happen.”

His illustrations of space mining may not be that far from reality. DSI is facing competition from another company, Planetary Resources Inc., which also has plans to mine asteroids.

Versteeg predicted that, like Ford when the company started mass producing cars, space utilization will take off “in leaps and bounds.”

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SALINE: Librarian Leslee Niethammer reaches 25-year milestone

The Community Newsroom Blog

A blog where the editor will talk and, more importantly, listen to readers. Readers will get a behind-the-scenes look into what goes on inside the newsroom, and an opportunity to share their opinion on what makes the news.

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Heritage Park: Exploring interim uses, from dog parks to pop-up retail, for …

Various governments from the feds on down poured millions into the project, to remediate the land, build housing and reconfigure the roads. A kind of senior campus has arisen on the south side of Olson highway that includes Thomas T. Feeney Manor, a public housing assisted-living complex, Heritage Commons for independent living and a senior services center offering clinic, health and rehab services.

Heritage Park is only partly baked, however. There were to be 900 housing units, about 360 of them condos or houses. So far, however, only about 90 of such “ownership units” have been built, and most of those who bought them went underwater on their mortgages after the housing market’s collapse. Many of the original tenants of the area did disperse to the suburbs and other less racially concentrated neighborhoods as part of the settlement agreement. But Heritage Park itself, while containing a mix of income levels, according to Bob Boyd, director of policy and special initiatives at the housing authority, is about 80 percent African-American.  

About 14 acres remain vacant

What’s more, four substantial parcels of land totaling about 14 acres, on the south side of Olson Highway, remain vacant. Such large stretches of nothingness can make neighborly contact difficult and lead a community to feel isolated and neglected. The housing authority had hoped to put more “ownership” housing units there, but last summer, when it convened a group of developers to try to interest them in building out the site, the response was underwhelming. The market was not ready for redevelopment and probably wouldn’t be for another four to five years, they said — or maybe even a decade.

What to do? In late January, the housing authority and the Urban Design Committee of the American Institute of Architects in an effort to be super-creative hosted a charrette — a brainstorming session — on “temporary urbanism” or “interim uses” for the empty lots in Heritage Park. The idea was to explore “how temporary uses and activities could bring life and activity to the now vacant parcels, connect to the greater community and contribute to the vitality of the neighborhood.” So said the invitation. So, on a bone-chilling Saturday morning, about 50 or participants who included community residents, architects, designers and city housing officials showed up at Heritage Commons, gobbled up Danish and spewed out ideas.

It’s not just the open land bedeviling Heritage Park. Terra B. Cole, a resident, executive director of the Heritage Park Neighborhood Association and 2012 candidate for the Minnesota House, complained, “We don’t have enough stuff here.” By stuff, she means commercial outlets, like coffee houses, flower shops, dry cleaners and grocery stores. The community very definitely does not need more pocket parks. Nobody uses them, she argued, and they wind up full of weeds and trash.

The plan created a suburb in the cities. Heritage Park looks and feels almost like a gated community (without a gate) out in Burnsville or Chaska. Like most suburban developments, it provides housing and greenery, but not much more. To buy groceries, gas or prescription drugs, residents need to use a car. And although Heritage Park was built to be walkable, there really is no place to walk to, except the park, and, Cole added, there’s not much there except bathrooms. Glenwood Avenue to the south mostly serves the light industry around it — and it’s not exactly charming. And, although the farmer’s market is a draw for residents, getting there isn’t easy. They have to trot down noisy streets and then cut under I-94 freeway, a journey that’s far from scenic.

Exploring the possibilities

To salt our minds, Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, ran through a slide show of possible interim land uses that would not require heavy cash outlays or preclude later development. He discussed setting up parks in parking spaces, creating pop-up retail outlets and turning streets into temporary plazas. All the ideas, while ingenious and interesting, seemed designed for very congested cities where space is at a premium. Minneapolis hardly needs to develop pop-up parks in parking spaces when it could rent an entire surface parking lot downtown for $100 or so. And, at issue in Heritage Park are 14 whole acres. Clearly, our group had to think bigger.

So we divided into groups and beat our brains for a while. The architects provided a kind of tracing paper to allow us to draw schematics over large maps of the street grid. One group devised plans that looked almost construction ready. My group, of course, was design-istically challenged, and our schematic looked like a bunch of blobs and scribbles. Nevertheless, participants came up with some interesting ideas  that might bring the neighborhood to life. The most notable to bubble to the top:

  •  Temporary retail. The nearby Summit Academy produces icehouses which could be used to create a pop-up shopping mall or crafts market in one of the vacant areas.
  • An entertainment venue with temporary bleachers for seating. It would show movies, sponsor open-mic talent nights, host dances, offer a stage for performing artists and provide space for community sports tournaments, like ping-pong. 
  • A weekend flea market. If pathways were made clear enough, it could attract visitors from the nearby farmers market or become a destination for Twin Citians looking for bargains and cast-off treasures. 
  • A dog park. Nothing brings neighbors together like their dogs, and one of the empty parcels could serve as a gathering place for owners. A kiosk serving snacks and coffee could anchor the site.
  • A skateboard park. Such a niche activity could draw people from around the metro. Others suggested that skate boarders could use some of the dead land underneath I-94 to perform their tricks.
  • Extreme — and not so extreme — winter sports. With a minimum of funds, berms and hills could be added to one of the vacant parcels to create an in-town snowboarding spot — for rank beginners, of course. (There’s no room for a mini-Sochi luge course.)

Themes emerge

A couple of themes emerged from this exercise, at least for me. First, it may be fortunate that some of the land in Heritage Park remains undeveloped. Those now-empty expanses may provide the space for services and activities that planners failed to think about when they came up with the original scheme — stores, for example.

Using the empty spaces, moreover, requires less building than programming. It’s fine to create a pretty park, but people won’t necessarily visit unless there’s something to do beyond sitting on a bench. One big improvement to the park, Terra Cole added, would be cooking grills to allow people to barbecue and picnic.

Finally, as she pointed out, the temporary uses “should reflect what the permanent uses should be.” That makes sense. People become wedded even to the interim. When the housing authority decides to redevelop one of the empty parcels, you just know that a group dedicated to saving the dog park or keeping the flea market will arise and battle to near-death to keep it.

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Landscaping designs from Dubai International Garden Competition could boost …

Feb 18 2014

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In This Article

Emaar Properties

Gardens reduce property selling time by 15%, as global landscapers race to enter their masterpieces before DIGC deadline
UAE, Dubai, 18 February 2014: In a sign of the overwhelming level of interest in the first annual Dubai International Garden Competition (DIGC), a higher-than-expected number of garden designs has been received before the submission deadline of February 16th. The competition is held under the patronage of Dubai Municipality, with strategic sponsorship from Dubai Tourism Commerce, Dubai Calendar and support from the venue sponsorship partner
Emaar Properties
. The first edition of the region’s most anticipated garden showcase will take place from April 3rd to 6th at ‘The Venue, Downtown Dubai’ at the foot of Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building, developed by
Emaar Properties

Dubai’s rising property prices are riding a wave of optimism in anticipation of World Expo 2020 bid, but property owners could boost their investments even further through landscaping improvements. According to a study by landscape economist John Harris, exceptional landscaping can increase a property’s value by a remarkable 28%. Even a simple upgrade from a ‘good’ to an ‘excellent’ garden can help a property’s value to appreciate by 7% and reduce the selling time by 15%, according to research by Clemson University in the US.

This lucrative opportunity has put Dubai’s property owners and real estate players on high alert, as they eagerly wait to discover awe-inspiring design concepts in the first-ever DIGC. The garden extravaganza is the brainchild of Purelife Events, Conferences Exhibitions, which has pioneered a revolutionary concept to totally revamp the world’s perception of Dubai from a dry, arid desert hub, to a green haven blooming with creativity and innovation.

Nasser Khan, CEO of the competition organizers Purelife, gave a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the preparations so far: “We have brought three judges all the way from the UK, who are celebrities within the landscaping world. We’re helping Dubai learn from the best, to become the best. We have masterminded this competition because gardens are so much more than just flowers and grass; they encourage Dubai’s population to spend more time outdoors, which greatly enhances family bonding, fitness and emotional serenity.”

Nadeem Abass of Purelife added: “We are thrilled to be ‘painting the city green’, and unleashing a shower of ‘flower power’ through these masterpieces. Dubai relentlessly pursues perfection and it’s now part of the city’s DNA to accept nothing but the very best. Hence Purelife has attracted the “best of the best” from pretty much every continent except Antarctica, and the entries have surpassed our wildest expectations.”

Worldwide, garden competitions have proved enormously successful in helping host cities to blossom – a perfect example being Liverpool, which was in rapid decline in the mid-1980s and had become a concrete jungle of abandoned industries. It then held a garden festival that attracted over 3 million visitors — putting the dying city on ‘life support’, and it was eventually selected as the European Capital of Culture.

In the same way Dubai is the Middle East’s nerve center of architecture, art, lifestyle trends, real estate and scientific innovation – hence Purelife selected it as the inaugural host of this first-of-a-kind event.

Among the globally popular landscaping trends that will possibly be showcased is recycled garden art and low maintenance gardens that use minimal water.

DEWA, AlBaddad International () and Danube Buildmart are lending their support as partners of this event. Interested landscaping organizations, businesses, community groups, architects and other participants can register or find more information on

About Dubai International Garden Competition (DIGC)
Dubai International Garden Competition (DIGC) is the UAE’s first landscaping competition that has been specially created to showcase the beauty of Dubai’s gardening masterpieces to the region and the wider world. It brings together the world’s best landscapers, architects, designers, botanists, engineers, scientists, real estate experts and other professionals. The first edition will take place from 3rd – 6th April 2014 at The Venue, Downtown Dubai at the foot of Burj Khalifa. The competition is facilitated by Purelife Events, Conferences Exhibitions, under the patronage of Dubai Municipality.

© Press Release 2014

© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.

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Gardening A to Z: L is for landscape

Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:30 am

Gardening A to Z: L is for landscape

By Deborah KrusenCorrespondent

Burlington County Times

We envy the neighborhood home which showcases a balance of pretty shrubs and trees, with pops of seasonal, colorful flowers.

Homeowners face the challenge of creating a pleasing landscape, particularly at the front of the house. Your landscaping guides are: (1) take note of those yards that you like; (2) incorporate what you are familiar with and love; and (3) keep it simple and enjoyable.

Years ago I bought a 1910 home with a 5-foot-tall hedge about two feet from the entire front of the home. A friend suggested we trim it down so the home was showcased — and because she worried that someone could lurk there while I unlocked the front door.

This laborious trimming also let me put window boxes at the windows facing the street. My lesson for you: less is more when planting shrubs because they really do get much bigger.

An important element in planning your gardens and your landscape is taking a digital photo and printing it out (or draw the outline of your home’s front).

Start with what you have. Keep favorite shrubs and small trees that balance the bulky door of the garage. Cut back bushes that block light from coming into your home. Scan your back and side yards for perennials that you can relocate.

Ask friends and relatives for overgrown plants you can divide this spring by digging up and moving to your yard (also share with them as you re-landscape).

Highlight the front door by planting a slim bush on either side, or plant showy flowers in pots. A welcoming gravel path to your front door is affordable, and reduces mowing time. Make sure to line it with edging strips or bricks so gravel stays in the walkway.

And as for lawns, seasonal maintenance will help you keep a lush, green base to your design. If, however, the grass is not up to par, consult with a local nursery about a plan of action.

Your front yard does not have to be magazine-worthy to look great. Simply stick with plants that you enjoy and that are native to your area for easy-care landscaping.

Deborah Krusen learned early how to garden from her mother. Today she grows flowers, herbs and vegetables in spite of visiting deer and an intruding woodchuck in her Burlington County backyard. Contact her with questions or comments at

More about Gardening A To Z

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  • ARTICLE: Gardening A to Z: G is for glass gardens
  • ARTICLE: Gardening A to Z” ‘E’ is for earth


Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:30 am.

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Gardening A To Z

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Frosts Landscape Construction in Woburn Sands lands TV gardening deal

Frosts Landscape Construction, based in Woburn Sands near Milton Keynes, has proudly announced that it has been selected to design and construct the gardens on the next series of ITV1’s Love Your Garden.

Love Your Garden, produced by Spun Gold Productions and fronted by RHS ambassador Alan Titchmarsh begins filming the 4th series in spring 2014. In this series the team will help eight deserving families by landscaping their gardens to improve their day to day quality of life.

Frosts Landscape Construction, part of the Frosts Group, will be responsible for designing gardens to meet the individual requirements of each chosen family and constructing them. The TV programme follows the process from start to finish and combines social interest with a horticultural and landscaping lilt. Its aim is to bring some joy into the lives of deserving families, which has been wonderful to see in the previous Love Your Garden series.

Being given the opportunity to work with a horticultural icon such as Alan Titchmarsh is creating a real buzz throughout Frosts. Ken White, Managing Director of Frosts Landscape Construction, said “Alan is without doubt one of the most recognisable personalities in horticulture. His passion and support of the industry has been tireless. This will be the Group’s first venture in to the exciting world of television with its unique set of challenges.”

The Frosts Group is made up of four Garden Centres and Frosts Landscape Construction, which offers a full range of landscape construction and maintenance services to both the commercial and private sectors.

Alan Titchmarsh said “Frosts are one of the most respected contractors in the country and I look forward to building eight stunning new gardens with them for the new series of Love Your Garden.”

Matt Young , Executive Producer, says: “Love Your Garden is the most watched gardening programme on television and this year ITV have set us the task of building eight gardens for the primetime series as well as a very different garden for an ITV special that will be broadcast in 2015. We are thrilled that Frosts, one of the best landscape contractors in the business, have accepted the challenge. When we met Ken and his team they impressed us immediately with their professionalism, enthusiasm and attention to detail. As Love Your Garden continues to go from strength to strength we look forward to working with them on what we hope will be our best series yet.”

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Plant some winter wonders in your garden

Spring is supposed to have sprung – but, thanks to the foul weather, the garden is still firmly in winter’s grip. That doesn’t mean borders have to be dull and bare, mind: take your pick from our selection of winter-flowering lovelies. . .

Golden balls

Not so long ago, crysanthemum was a dirty word in fashionable gardening circles: deemed frumpy and old-fashioned, the Asian natives were most commonly seen on petrol station forecourts, where they sat, browning at the petals, in sad, cellophane-wrapped bunches. But no longer.

‘Mums’, as they are known to their ever-increasing fans, are enjoying a renaissance. Back in favour for their bright and hardy blooms – which give colour in the greyest months of the year and have unrivalled staying power as a cut flower – new varieties are coming thick and fast.

Our favourite is the show-stopping Jayne’s Joy: a densely-petalled golden orb, which sits lollipop-like atop its stem, it’s already won praise from the National Chrysanthemum Society.

Jayne’s Joy blooms from November through to April and is available to order from Woolmans, priced £6.95 for three plants – see

Crowning glory

The amaryllis is, without rival, the queen of winter-flowering house plants. With its tall and elegant stem – topped with a crown of jewel-coloured blooms – it commands serious attention.

Hailing from sunny South Africa, the bulb likes to be kept cosy. Pot it up using a sandy soil, neck just showing, and put it on a warm windowsill and water sparingly until buds appear.

When in flower, it’s rather more high-maintenance and will need feeding weekly. It’s worth doling out the TLC, mind: look after them and the trumpet-like blooms will last for weeks.

This year we’re eschewing our usual red variety for the purple-streaked and altogether more exotic Amaryllis Papillo. We curtsey to her royal loveliness.

Priced £12 per bulb, Amaryllis Papillo is available to order at

Star performer

You’ve got to love hellebores. In the depths of winter, while most flowering plants are cosied up beneath the ground, they brave the inclement weather and venture forth – both brightening our borders and lifting our hearts with their delicate blooms.

European natives, the evergreen perennials come in umpteen varieties, with flowers spanning every shade from white to near-as-damn-it black, via green, pink and purple.

Among our favourites is Helleborus Picotee : a double type, its frilled white petals are edged with burgundy. Isn’t she lovely?

Priced £18.95 for three potted plants, Helleborus Picotee is available to order at

Tough cookie

With their diminutive stature and velvety petals, violas can appear delicate creatures.

In fact, they’re made of tough stuff: they’ll flower their way through wind, rain, frost and even snow – whatever winter throws at them. A genus of the violet family, the viola is native to the northern hemisphere and is thus unfazed by the vagaries of our climate.

With wide-open and vibrantly-coloured flowers, they’re a friendly face in the otherwise stand-offish winter garden.

Equally at home in pots, windowboxes or borders, the relatively new variety Viola Corina (Orange/Purple) is a real winner: early-flowering and long-lasting, it forms pleasing little mounds bright with colour.

Viola Corina is among a wide selection of violas available from Mr Fothergill’s in Kentford – see

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Top 5 spring gardening tips for beginners

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Advertorial Feature: Although it might not seem like it just yet, spring is almost upon us. In just a few short weeks the rain and cold will start to ease, the sun will peak out from beneath it’s cloudy duvet and (perhaps best of all) your garden will once again begin to bloom.

Taking the right steps early this spring will make your gardening a lot easier a few weeks down the line. And with that in mind, here are our Top 5 spring gardening tips for beginners:

1. Check for frost, snow ice damage. Although it hasn’t been too cold this year, we have had a few bouts of frost and ice. Check all existing plants for any signs of frost damage as soon as you get out this spring as damaged plants are a haven for insects, pests fungi. You’re looking for a blossoming English garden here, not a Australian jungle.

2. Ensure your soil is nice dry. We live in Bristol, and all know we get more than our fair share of rain. Wet soil causes clumpy, concrete-like flower beds, so it’s essential you ensure your soil is nice and dry before you begin your spring gardening. Check soil consistency by squeezing it in your hands – if it crumbles and falls through your fingers you’re good to go.

3. Use decent fertilizer. If you never made your own compost pile last year (and as you’re a beginner, why would you have?) then you’re going to have to buy a fertilizer. Look out for a fertilizer without nasty chemicals to give your plants a beautiful, au-natural effect. Almondsbury Garen Centre has a good variety.

4. Buy plants from a reputable company. It’s an unforgivable crime, but some larger nurseries neglect one or two of their plants whilst they’re on the lot – and it’s you that ends up with dry, brown shrubbery a few weeks down the line. Again, Almondsbury Garen Centre sources plants from pre-approved nurseries, ensuring you can’t go far wrong when planting.

5. Start a compost pile. You might be a gardening beginner this year, but by following our tips you’ll be at least a novice by this time next spring. So start preparing your own compost pile with this year’s weeds and off-cuts. Add equal amounts of chopped up brown and green materials and you’ll save a fair few quid on next year’s fertilizer.

Keep our spring gardening tips in mind this year and by July you’ll be out in your sunny garden, BBQ on, surrounded by colour.

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Gardening Tips For Rose Bushes

If you ask to name the most beautiful flower, the majority of people will give you the answer “a rose”. Poets, painters, nature lovers, photographers, lovers! Who is not there to adore the beauty of roses?

A rose is such a beautiful flower, and it will make your garden stunning with its beauty, fragrance and colour. Roses are the all-time favourite choice of garden lovers.

Gardening Tips For Rose Bushes

Having a rose plant in your garden will be the best thing that you can do to make your garden attractive without much effort. The most interesting fact is that, you can keep rose plants in your patio or indoor green space as well, provided there is enough direct sunlight.

Make Your Soil Naturally Fertile With These Tips!

Growing this charming flowering plant is not a difficult task if you are smart enough in following some rose gardening tips. Here, we have listed some effective gardening tips for rose bushes, which will help you in making your garden eye-catching.

Planting: The rose gardening tips that you have to follow while planting a rose depends on the method how you are planting it. While you are planting it in pots, mix the soil with organic fertilisers before planting. While on open ground, remember to keep the minimum distance between two roses. Plant only where you get direct sunlight.

Watering: It is important to provide enough water for ensuring good growth. But, remember not to pour too much water if it is in a pot. Early morning is the best time to water rose plants. During the summer, make sure that your roses are provided with enough watering schedules.

Mulching: Since roses don’t demand too much water, the best way is to use mulch. This will ensure the presence of continuous moisture in the soil and will help encourage healthy growth. Apply 2 to 4 inch layer of chopped and shredded leaves or grass at the base of your roses. Leave an inch of space from the base stem.

Fertilising: It is a good idea to quit chemical fertilizers. There are many homemade fertilisers that can enhance the growth of roses. Egg shells, vegetable wastes and tea ground are excellent choices. While using chemical fertilisers, make sure that you are using them in correct timings. Choose fertilisers that contain phosphorus.

Pruning: The ultimate aim of planting roses is to enjoy those beautiful flowers. Pruning is one of the best gardening tips for rose bushes to get maximum flowers. Pruning will help the plant grow healthy with a lot of blooms on it. Cut at an angle of 45 degrees, about 1/4 inch above an outward facing bud. Remember to remove dead, broken or diseased wood as well.

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Super Garden wants designer applications

Super Garden is back on RTÉ Television in the Spring, and the people behind the show are seeking applications from emerging garden designers.

“Amateur gardeners, student designers and start up landscapers who feel they have what it takes to become Super Garden champion 2014 should apply promptly,” says Vision Independent Productions.

Vision Independent will “provide the garden, budget and cover agreed travel expenses”.

The winner and their garden design will receive a much-coveted place at Bloom Festival 2014.

To apply, email: Closing date for applications is Thursday February 27.

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