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Archives for March 9, 2014

Dig In! Tips for Gardening with Your Kids

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 60 percent of our children do not eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables they need. Gardening is an excellent way to encourage and increase your child’s consumption of these vitamin-rich foods.

Gardening is fun, plain and simple. The process involves dirt, water and digging; it yields hours of fun; a lifetime of memories; and most importantly, fresh and tasty treats that nourish growing bodies—so much more than just plants are grown in a garden. Gardening also gives your child ownership of the fruits and vegetables they consume.

Families bond and grow together working toward a common goal; children grow and strengthen gross and fine motor skills while exercising and staying active outside; the love of learning grows through this hands-on science experiment; a healthy appetite grows by watching, understanding and appreciating the process behind the food on their plate; a sense of pride, ownership and responsibility grows inside the child that is learning to appreciate nature; and most importantly, a healthy body is grown through increased activity and access to fresh, local, healthy foods.

So, how do you start a garden with your family?

Start small by planting simple seeds.  Seeds can be started in small pots or you can get creative and use lemon rinds, egg cartons or toilet paper rolls.  Planting seeds allows children to see the very beginning of a plant and get to the root of their food, literally.

Create an herb garden and experiment with flavors. A gateway to trying new foods is often experimenting with the flavors and cooking techniques of old favorites. You can plant some basics like parsley, cilantro and basil or get creative with fun tastes like stevia and mint, which are yummy to enjoy right off the stem.  Involve your child in choosing which herbs to use with your meal.

Use fun containers for your plants. Anything with drainage (you can always drill holes in the bottom) can be a planter. Old work boots, rain boots, toy boxes, wading pools, sand buckets, coffee cans, old sinks, watering cans, tires and ice cream containers are some idea of fun containers to use for your garden. Let your children get involved and get creative.

Let your child wear the overalls in the family. Allow him to choose the plants that will be grown, harvested and eaten by your family.  Encourage a variety of old favorites, new things to try and of course, a rainbow of flavors.

A rainbow garden plan includes:

Red –  Grape Tomatoes and Strawberries
Orange –  Sweet Orange Peppers
Yellow –  Crookneck Squash
Green –  Sugar Snap Peas, Lettuce, Chard and Cucumbers
Blue –  Blueberries
Purple –  Eggplant

Facilitate the fun. Give your child ownership in their garden by allowing them to lead the way. Standing back may mean you have to sneak out and help with some garden maintenance, but the pride they’ll take in the ownership of their garden is worth it.  Encourage fun in the process by allowing them to dig in the dirt, water the plants, push their own wheelbarrow, pull the weeds and even (pretend) to mow the lawn. Older children may delight in keeping a scrapbook or journal to make their progress and success. You can regularly snap some photos too monitor the progress too. The process of gardening is just as much fun as reaping its harvest.

Celebrate the work. Cook your harvests with simple preparations to bring out the fresh flavors and encourage your child to be a part of that process as well.

Cheryl Tallman is the founder of Fresh Baby (www.FreshBaby.com). For more than 10 years, Fresh Baby helped has helped parents foster their children’s healthy eating habits and proactively respond to the childhood obesity epidemic that plagues our nation. Cheryl is the author and designer of the company’s award-winning cookbooks and nutrition education products that support many stages of family life including: pregnancy, breastfeeding, introducing solid foods, and feeding toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children.

Article source: http://www.hitchedmag.com/article.php?id=1813

Boston Flower Show March 12-16

By Carol Stocker…Winter must be finally ending because The Boston Flower Garden Show runs March 12-16 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. This is a grand old Boston tradition with roots deep in the 19th century. There will be about 20 indoor gardens on display to create the illusion of spring.

I will be on the long roster of lecturers, speaking at 1:30 on Saturday. My challenging topic is: “Are We Already Seeing the Effects of Climate Change in Our Own Backyards?” I will be representing The Boston Globe’s prize winning Design New England Magazine. (Where I won a second place last year from the national Quill Trowel Awards for magazine writing for my article about Ron Flemings’ magnificent Newport Garden, “Bellevue.”)

This year’s Flower Show theme, “Romance in the Garden” will the work of professional landscape designers and nurseries as well as volunteers, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Massachusetts Federation of Garden Clubs and other horticultural organization that incorporate plants, materials and techniques representing romance, beauty and love in gardens and outdoor spaces.

On Tuesday evening, March 11, from 7:00pm – 9:30PM, The Boston Flower Garden Show and its producer, Paragon Group will partner with the Genesis Foundation for Children and radio station Mix 104.1 – featuring Karson Kennedy – to kick off the Show with a Preview Party (ticket $100) fundraiser to benefit the Genesis Foundation.

Show Highlights include

Garden Marketplace: Hundreds of retail vendors feature thousands of plants, garden tools and furnishings, landscape services, botanical décore and floral themed gifts.
Floral Competitions: The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society coordinate colorful competitions amongst the region’s top amateur floral arrangers and horticulturists, set to whimsical variations on the show theme such as “Love Songs” and “Something Old, Something New.”
Lectures Demonstrations: Danielle Sherry, Senior Editor of Fine Gardening Magazine will show “How to Fall Back in Love with Our Tomatoes” as part of a diverse lecture program featuring dozens of topics from “America’s Romance with the English Garden” to “Hydroponics 101.”
EcoTours: New this year, the Ecological Landscape Association and the US Environmental Protection Agency will team up to offer a once-a-day tour of the show’s gardens, pointing out the ecologically-sound practices on display.
Ask the Experts: Master Gardeners will be on hand to help with vexing garden issues from soil typing to insect treatments.
Little Sprouts Activity Center: Children’s activities center features arts crafts, face painting, and garden fun.

The show is sponsored by Subaru of New England and produced by Paragon Group of Needham, Massachusetts, an event marketer and producer of major events including the New England International Auto Show, The Boston RV Camping Expo and the National Golf Expo Boston.

Additional Show sponsors include, Official Print Sponsor – The Boston Globe, Official Resort Sponsor – Wynn Resorts, Official Cruise Sponsor – Celebrity Cruises, Official Wine Sponsor – Naked Grape, Official Lecture Series Sponsor – The Landscape Institute at Boston Architectural College.

Dates Hours:

· Wednesday, March 12, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

· Thursday, March 13, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

· Friday, March 14, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

· Saturday, March 15, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

· Sunday, March 16, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission:

· Adults $20

· Seniors (65+) $17

· Children (6-17) $10

· Children Under 6 Free

· NEW: Flower Show After Dark sponsored by Wynn Resorts subsidizes Evening Discount Ticket: $15, after 5pm, Wed, March 12 through Sat, March 15

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.bostonflowershow.com.

For answers to your gardening questions, email them with your name and town to stockergarden@gmail.com. I will also be on line live at boston.com at 1 p.m. March 20 to answer questions.

Article source: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/house/blog/gardening/2014/03/boston_flower_march_12-16.html

Home and garden show packed with green tips – Las Cruces Sun

LAS CRUCES Opportunities to walk “the Green Mile” and find eco-friendly ways to spruce up homes and yards lured many to the annual Las Cruces Home Garden Show on Saturday.

The show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Sunday at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave.

The show features more than 100 vendors, along with cooking demonstrations, gardening and outdoor living features, and how-to sessions conducted by experts. Symbols are posted throughout the convention center to help visitors identify green exhibitors and learn more about sustainability and green living.

“I have an older home and I’d like to make some improvements. I’m looking to see what’s out there,” said Kris Salazar of Las Cruces, checking out home spas and pools.

“We’re here just looking. We just saw tankless water heaters. People were helpful and courteous and the show is laid out well,” said Oscar Tennison of Las Cruces.

The event emphasizes an environmentally-friendly theme this year, and the experience starts with a lush, almost tropical entry way leading to a long, plant-filled corridor. Benches and garden ornaments are clustered in displays that features trees, bushes and flowering annuals.

“This took a long time to do. We started Thursday and finished Friday night. There are tons and tons of materials here. We got a lot of people who worked really hard,” said Richie Rubio, director of operations for Halal Landscaping.

“It adds a lot more life and action to the show. It was a group effort, a collaboration, with a lot of contributions from different vendors,” said the Green Mile’s designer, Max Bower of Red Mesa Landscaping and Design.

Master Gardeners of Doña Ana County are offering spring gardening advice and showcasing displays of native plants and succulents that do well in high desert climates.

“People are asking a lot of questions and taking information,” said Velma Noland, who’s been with the group who do volunteer work for three years.

“They want to know what is good to grow in raised beds, where to get composting, and how to analyze soil. And there are a lot of questions about what needs to be planted now, and we have guides to give them,” said Noland, handing out spring planting charts and Master Gardener Hotline information (call 575-525-6649 for landscaping and pest control questions).

For those who like it hot, the New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Institute booth has the goods.

“We have live chile plants, several varieties of seeds, books and brochures and hot chile brownie mix,” said Erica Trevino, program specialist with the Chile Pepper Institute.

Venders offered information on everything from roofing and insulation to solar heating and water purification systems, custom made vigas and latillas and ornamental steel railings.

Michael Orta, with Casa Mexica, said there is a lot of interest in both traditional hand-crafted tiles, available in colorful Mexican and Southwestern motifs, and in tile that mimics wood flooring.

“We were the first to import it from Italy five years ago, and it’s really big now. A lot of people are interested. It looks like wood, but it’s easy to maintain, like tile,” Orta said.

Today’s schedule includes presentations from Doña Ana County Extension Service experts. Jeff Anderson will speak on container gardening at 11 a.m. and “Tree Selections for Southern New Mexico” at 2 p.m. Dr. Scott Bundy will present a program on “Insects and Kids in Your Backyard” at noon, and Karim Martinez presents “Fruits and Veggies for Your Health” at 1 p.m.

Admission is $5 and free for children under age 12. For information, contact the Las Cruces Home Builders Association at 575-526-6126, email office@lchba.com, or visit lchba.com and LasCrucesHBA on Facebook.

S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at 575-541-5450.

Article source: http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-opinion/ci_25304304/show-offers-tips-eco-friendly-home-garden

“Tips On How to Plan a Garden”, New Article On Vkool.Com, Teaches People …

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how to plan a garden review

how to plan a garden

The article introduces to people simple yet unique tips on how to plan a garden that allow them to become a professional gardener.

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) March 08, 2014

The new “Tips On How to Plan a Garden” report on the website Vkool.com delivers innovative tips to plan garden effectively. At the beginning of the report, people will get to know basic rules to plan a garden. The author reveals to people tips on planning their foundation plantings. Foundation plantings are the small trees and shrubs planted around the perimeter of the house. People should choose trees and shrubs that will look good year-round. Moreover, they should also avoid competing elements that detract from the main entrance and the house in general. Besides, the author also indicates that tall plantings placed at the corners of the house can soften its edges and tie in into the landscape. They could also give an illusion of extending a small house, making it appear larger.

After that, the article points out that trees and shrubs shelter wildlife and filter the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. There are different shrubs to choose from. Gardeners should measure their shrub’s root-ball and dig a hole as deep as the root-ball and twice as wide. Like trees, shrubs are classified as either evergreen or deciduous. Next, in the report, people will discover that ground covers require less maintenance than a lawn. Therefore, they should use these plants in areas that get little traffic. In warm areas, ground covers could be planted basically any time. However, spring and fall are the ideal. In colder areas, spring is the good time to plant ground covers as fall plantings are likely to have a hard time surviving alternate thawing and freezing of the soil. Actually, different ground covers have different cultural requirements as well as growth habits. This report also uncovers some easy-to-grow ground covers, such as bugleweed, kinnikinnick, juniper, wintercreeper, and juniper. In addition, readers will discover many vegetable garden growing tips. The writer advises readers that they should keep cutworms away from seedlings. In fact, moth caterpillars often creep along the soil surface, eating tender stem bases of young seedlings and cutting sprouts off at the roots. After the “Tips On How to Plan a Garden” report was launched, a lot of people can improve their understanding about gardening issues quickly.

Mai Pham from the site Vkool.com says that: “The “Tips On How to Plan a Garden” report is actually helpful and includes various techniques and ideas on how to plan a garden easily. Additionally, the tips delivered in this post are easy-to-apply for most people.”

For more information from the whole “Tips On How to Plan a Garden” report, visit the website: http://vkool.com/how-to-plan-a-garden/.

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About the website: Vkool.com is the site built by Tony Nguyen. The site supplies people with ways and tips about a variety of topics, such as fitness, health, business, and lifestyle. People can send their ideas to Tony Nguyen on any article through email.

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Article source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/how-to/plan-a-garden/prweb11652127.htm

Local experts offer tips for planning spring garden projects

With spring 11 days away, Domenick Voce, the owner of Atlantic Nursery in Mays Landing, knows his customers will soon stop by his place looking to improve their backyard gardens.


Voce said the most valuable first step is to come up with a plan before any work is done. In creating plans, homeowners need to think about the architecture of their homes, their personal styles and their wants and needs.

“Make sure you have made your garden space large enough to accommodate the plantings you would like to install. Making your garden space too small and not allowing room for growth will make your garden overcrowded quickly. Bring the dimensions of your garden along with pictures when you visit the nursery. The staff will be better equipped to help you,” Voce said. “Buying insufficient amounts of one variety of a plant and instead buying one of everything you like can make your garden look hodgepodge with very little consistency.”

Colleen Dunne, landscape designer at At-lantic Nursery with 25 years of experience, said when redoing anything in a garden, homeowners should take in consideration the sun, wind, drainage and soil condition of their property.

“People may want a patio, but if you have a western exposure, you will receive the full afternoon heat of the sun, which may not be a good idea. You may want a meadow garden, but if you have poor drainage, there will be some needs you will have to deal with,” said Dunne, who added Atlantic Nursery offers the “we plan, you plant” service. “In southern New Jersey, people tend to use a lot of native plants that attract wildlife. You can start with seeds indoors, move the plants outdoors after

May 15 and have flowers in the summertime.”

Mona Bawgus, a certified master gardener and consumer horticulturist with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County, said there is a master gardener helpline in effect

9 a.m. to noon on weekdays at 609-625-0056.

Bawgus, who writes the Green Thumbs column for The Press, said one thing homeowners want to avoid in making changes to their backyard gardens is adding harmful invasive plants, such as English ivy, the wisteria vine and purple loosestrife. People who live on barrier islands might want to skip planting arbor vitae shrubs because shrubs don’t like saltwater, Bawgus said. Round beds of plants and flowers are more aesthetically pleasing than straight beds, and gardeners don’t want to make their beds too narrow because then mowing will be difficult, Bawgus said.

“Summersweet is good for the area,” said Bawgus, who mentioned the plant that is often found in wetland areas and is attractive to hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

Tessa Goldsmith, past president of The Little Gardens Club, said a garden should be designed to meet homeowners’ needs while also keeping in mind their ability to maintain it. Otherwise, it will become a chore, the Mays Landing woman said.

Goldsmith, said more people have been adding water features to their gardens whether they are foundations, waterfalls or ponds.

“It depends on how adventurous you want to be,” said Goldsmith, who added ideas for next year’s gardens can come from taking The Little Gardens Club tour on July 13. “A garden never stays still. I know people who completely change their garden every few years.”

Contact Vincent Jackson:

609-272-7202; VJackson@pressofac.com

Article source: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/life/local-experts-offer-tips-for-planning-spring-garden-projects/article_064d4189-9e32-5e60-a765-b8a55e285a83.html

Curb appeal unearthed at Canada Blooms

Guelph Mercury

Curb appeal? I haven’t seen a curb in months, other than the odd one unearthed by a rogue snow plow, and it was hardly appealing. And yet curbs will be just one of the attractions at Canada Blooms this year. It starts on March 14 and runs until March 23. That’s 10 days where we can feel like spring is all around, even if it is indoors, unlike a couple of years back when it was warm and sunny outdoors … remember warm and sunny?

As for the curbs, they’ll be sort of featured in a contest called Curbalicious Delight. It’s an opportunity for homeowners to win a professionally designed landscaping makeover for their property. Two examples of a beautifully designed front yard with curb appeal will be on display to welcome visitors to the show.

In addition, there will be 24 feature gardens on display, each one unique. For me, this is the main attraction at the show. I’m not much of a shopper, unless I’m looking for plants I have no room for or trying out tools I don’t need, but shopping is all part of the show.

Each one of the display gardens is unique. In addition to being visually appealing, many incorporate practical uses, especially where space is limited and different needs must be provided for, but a dinosaur preserve? I have enough trouble dealing with rabbits, let alone a clomping great brontosaurus. The concept, Earthscape Ontario, however, is designed to capture the imagination of visitors, as I’m sure it will. I’m looking forward to seeing this one especially as it’s by a local company based in Wallenstein.

Another specialty garden is the Otium Exercise Garden, a concept first introduced at last year’s show. This is a garden designed to incorporate an exercise circuit within it. I get enough exercise chasing rabbits, but I can see how this will appeal to the fitness enthusiast who prefers to work out in nature rather than be surrounded by the steel and plastic of a formal gym. Definitely more fragrant, too.

Record Gardens/Jardins de Métis from the Gaspé Peninsula returns to Canada Blooms with another thought-provoking design. This year, the garden will explore the wild and the sacred. In their words: “Sacre potager leads the visitor into a poetic fiction of the sacred side of garden and culinary heritage.”

A garden of special interest has to be the one by the town of Goderich. Gardens there took an awful beating from the hurricane in 2011, but the town has recovered and will be at the show with a garden to represent the countryside and shore of Ontario’s west coast.

Each day a dozen or so education sessions take place covering practically every possible topic. Learn about green living walls, edible gardens, new perennials, new annuals, and get lots of new ideas you can put into practice in your own garden. How about Dancing with Wildflowers? It’s a presentation described as a wildly floriferous user’s manual by Miriam Goldberger. Miriam wrote the book on wildflowers — really. It’s called Taming Wildflowers and in it she teaches how to create a garden with native plants and how to use them to design wildflower bouquets.

For the budding photographer with a garden that doesn’t look quite as good in their photos as the ones in garden magazines, there’s a perfect opportunity to learn more from Theresa Forte with her presentation: The Art of Garden Photography.

There’s so much to see, so much to do and not a snow bank in sight at Canada Blooms. For more information, particularly on speaker schedules, visit the website at canadablooms.com

David Hobson gardens in Waterloo and is happy to answer garden questions, preferably by email: garden@gto.net . Reach him by mail c/o Etcetera, The Record, 160 King St. E. Kitchener, Ont. N2G 4E5

Five ideas – Regina Leader

To help you look for a summer job

With many Canadians suffering through one of the coldest winters in years, we’re all looking forward to summer. That is, unless you’re a student under pressure to find a summer job. Well, here are five things to keep in mind when you’re looking to make some money this summer:

1Plan for an unpaid internship. If you need to work for free to break into the job market, budget accordingly. “Have a handle on what money is coming in, if anything, and understand that if there isn’t money coming from the internship, is there an opportunity for something part time or a couple of evenings a week so you have something to live off of,” says Melissa Jarman, director of student banking at RBC.

Work for yourself.

2 Consider selling your skills or manpower to create income. Start a landscaping, painting or tutoring service. Make sure you put some money aside over the next few weeks for startup costs and do your market research to know how much you should be charging. “Create a small business plan. Are you going to have any startup costs? How are you going to build your client list? Can you work a network?” In Ontario, if you are between 15 and 29 years of age, you could get up to $3,000 from the government to help you start.

3 Get an early start. Big companies that have internship programs are often recruiting as early as January. If you have a “dream” company in mind, find out what their deadline for job applications is. Troll online databases and job banks. Use social media. Ask friends and family if they know of any openings. Apply across the country. Write a kick-butt cover letter.

4 Make the most of your paycheque. Once you are making some money, make it work for you. “The most classic piece of advice we give is, ‘Pay yourself first,’ ” Ms. Jarman says. “If my paycheque goes into the bank on Thursday, I’d have the money come out right away on Thursday. You don’t really notice it. It also forms a really good habit.”

5 Don’t dismiss jobs that are not in your field.

“Anything that can build up your resumé in the future is going to be a benefit,” she says. “Whether it’s lifeguarding or working in a grocery store, those jobs are not necessarily in a field that postsecondary students aspire to. But you have the choice between earning an income and not earning an income and you’ll pick up a lot of soft skills.”

mleong@nationalpost.com Twitter.com/lisleong

Article source: http://www.leaderpost.com/business/Five+ideas/9595631/story.html

Home show offers chance to get out of the house and get ideas for spring

MASON CITY | Eugene and Linda Knecht of Algona didn’t know about the Home and Landscaping Show at the North Iowa Events Center when they drove to Mason City Saturday.

They were just planning to get out and do some shopping after being “cooped up” for so long this winter, Linda said.

They saw the sign advertising the home show when they got to town.

“We decided to pull in for landscaping ideas,” Linda said.

The couple just put in a new garage at their acreage this fall, and want to do some landscaping around it.

“This is right up our alley,” Eugene said.

The home show was crowded on Saturday as other North Iowans looked for ideas for sprucing up their homes and yards.

Bryan and Alicia Navarette, of Mason City, came to the home show because they want to build a new patio.

They brought their three children with them.

“I saw a patio that I really liked,” said Romey Navarrette, 8. “It had a waterfall coming out of it.”

She said the waterfall had lighting in it that changed colors.

“It was really pretty,” Romey said.

The patio also had a brick oven that could be used to bake pizzas, she said.

Romey and her brother, Peter, 5, and sister Riley, 6, got a lot of freebies at the show, including pencils and plastic construction hats.

Gary Stemmerman, of Mason City, was looking at sun rooms for his mother’s house in Hampton.

He stood inside a model of a four-season room from Midwest Construction.

“It’s kind of nice,” he said. “You feel like you’re right out in the open.”

Sarah Banchs, of Lu Verne, came to the home show to “get out of the house and get some ideas.”

Banchs, who used to live in Mason City, also enjoyed talking to others at the show.

“I’ve seen quite a few people I know and met some new people,” she said.

Article source: http://globegazette.com/news/local/home-show-offers-chance-to-get-out-of-the-house/article_fa33d409-cff2-5b37-9e6a-d4ebfa60c522.html

Around the House 03/08/14 – Leader

Posted: Saturday, March 8, 2014 12:00 am

Around the House 03/08/14

ROSE ENTHUSIASTS: The Chippewa Valley Rose Society will hold its annual meeting at noon Wednesday at Oakwood Mall.


This is an open gathering for rose enthusiasts, including group members and nonmembers.

People are invited to buy lunch at the food court restaurant of their choice and meet up at tables closest to the windows.

Those with questions about the society can call Gene Schindler at 715-723-9089.

LANDSCAPING LECTURE: The grounds supervisor for The Florian Gardens conference and event center will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at the Dunn County Master Garden Association meeting.

Melissa Burke will make the hourlong presentation on landscaping and plant placement in Room 25 of the Dunn County Government Center, 800 Wilson Ave.

Burke supervises 3 acres of gardens at the venue that hosts weddings and other large gatherings on Eau Claire’s south side.

She has been interested in plants and started gardening when she was a child. Burke holds a bachelors degree in fine arts from UW-Eau Claire, but also spent time studying wildlife ecology and conservation biology at UW-Stevens Point.

TOUR BENEFIT: A guided tour of four Historic Randall Park Neighborhood homes on Sunday, March 30, will raise money for a local church’s effort to help an African village.

The tour will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and begin at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 310 Broadway St.

Tickets are available at the church at $10 for adults and $5 for ages 7 and older. The cost of a box lunch is included with the ticket price.

Children younger than 7 are invited to stay at the church during the tour for supervised activities, a movie and lunch.

The church will give all proceeds to the Okora Sustainable Community Project, which will help with education, agriculture, sanitation and sustainable living for a village in Uganda. Call the church at 715-834-2668 for more information.

From staff reports

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Saturday, March 8, 2014 12:00 am.

Article source: http://www.leadertelegram.com/features/home_garden/article_6671f95a-efc2-5377-9357-c876b8d3c18b.html

Garden Views: The language of flowers

It’s been a long cold winter. By February we are all looking for some relief, some sign that spring will arrive as promised. Sometimes it’s a simple bouquet of fresh flowers that can change the entire day. But after learning about the language of flowers, you may see them differently.

The language of flowers is sometimes called floriography. It sprung from the Victorian period when it was still forbidden to verbally express ones romantic feelings to another. Flowers were a means of sending messages in code. Lovers made use of flowers, their colors and their numbers to articulate their passions and certain feelings. The language of flowers was as important to people as being well dressed. This was said to be the start of attaching meanings, particularly feeling and emotions, to flowers.

Messages were often sent in floral arrangements, usually small bunches of flowers called tussie-mussies. These were small bouquets of flowers wrapped in a lace doily and tied with satin. Tussie-mussies were generally very well-liked gifts. The intrigue of secret messages sent this way became a popular pastime.

Flowers adorned almost everything including hair, clothing, jewelry, gowns, men’s lapels, china, and stationery. A young man could either please or displease a lady by his gift of flowers. Flowers could convey messages of love or dislike depending upon which ones were given, their sizes, how they were held, or even how they were grouped together. They had a silent meaning of their very own and could “say” what was not dared to be spoken. Even the manner in which flowers were sent had a special meaning. Handing over flowers with the right hand meant “yes”, while with the left meant “no.” For example, if a beau gave red roses to a young lady, she might reciprocate by plucking one and handing it back with her right hand to reciprocate and say yes, or send him away with a bud from her left hand. Flowers were also inverted in arrangements, which represented the opposite of the flower’s usual meaning.

Floriography was a complex language of love. Thankfully we’re no longer in the Victorian era and we can pretty much say whatever we want, whenever we want. But to this day, flowers and plants continue to be symbolic of other messages. You may want to give your sweetheart a bouquet of heliotrope conveying devoted affection. Deep red roses still denote utmost love, white flowers imply purity and innocence, while yellow flowers remain to be used for tokens of friendship, appreciation and respect. Arrange a bouquet of acacia for a secret love or peonies to say I’m shy, but I like you a lot. Hydrangeas personify passion while ranunculus declare the receiver to be radiant with charm. Welcome house guests with a bouquet of starwort or present tulips as a house warming or hostess gift. Research your favorite flower to find its meaning. Random acts of kindness can be expressed through flowers. What they symbolize can go beyond what words might convey.

The Anoka County Master Gardeners invite you to visit our web page http://anokamastergardeners.org/ Click on “Hot Topics” for information on Gardens of the Night –  just one of many offerings at the Home Landscaping and Garden Fair. There also is information on the plant sale (hundreds of plants at reasonable prices) and plant diagnostic clinic, expert help with your landscape/garden problems.

Nancy Helms is an extension master gardener in Anoka County.

Article source: http://abcnewspapers.com/2014/03/08/garden-views-the-language-of-flowers/