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Archives for March 13, 2014

Free Mulch & Gardening Tips This Weekend

2 hours 56 minutes ago by Janine Reyes

CORPUS CHRISTI — If you have plans to spruce up your garden this spring, you’re chance for free mulch is right around the corner at the City of Corpus Christi’s Mulch Madness event.

The event will feature tips from the pros on your planting woes. They will also share water conservation tips, and of course, free mulch. Mulch can help save water, it also keeps weeds away and decreases erosion and improves soil drainage. Mulch will also protect your lawn from hot and cold temperatures.

The event is free and open to the public. Organizers just ask that you bring a tarp to cover the mulch.

You can head out to the Citizens Collection Center at the JC Elliott Transfer Station on 7001 Ayers this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the event.

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This week’s gardening tips: eggplants, lawns and garden shows edition – The Times


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Alan Titchmarsh to design show garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

By Sarah Cosgrove
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ousted RHS Chelsea Flower Show TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh will be at Chelsea this year – as a show garden designer.

The garden, which will not be put under the RHS’s rigorous judging regime, will be a highly personal design reflecting Titchmarsh’s horticultural journey from his childhood home on the edge of Ilkley Moor to his current family life on the Isle of Wight.

Working with RHS Chelsea gold medal-winner Kate Gould, with plants supplied by Kelways and built by Landform Consultants, the garden, entitled From the Moors to the Sea – a celebration of RHS Britain in Bloom will celebrate Titchmarsh’s 50 years in horticulture and also the 50th Anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom.

He said: “I can think of no better way of celebrating 50 years as a professional gardener and 50 years of RHS Britain in Bloom, than by creating a garden for the RHS at the Chelsea Flower Show. From the Moors to the Sea is a joyous celebration of our floral heritage and the people who do their bit to conserve our islands’ plants and flowers and realise the importance of beautifying our surroundings whether in village, town or city.”

Titchmarsh fronted the BBC’s coverage of Chelsea Flower show for 30 years but in November it emerged he would be replaced by Monty Don and Sophie Raworth at this year’s show.

He was invited to stay on in a less prominent role but decided to quit, saying he was concerned he would not be able to present BBC2’s “in depth coverage of horticulture – my chosen profession and area of expertise”.

Horticulture industry figures reacted with concern to the news last year.


Speaking of the decision to give Titchmarsh a feature garden at this year’s show, RHS director general, Sue Biggs, said: “Alan is one of the most powerful forces in horticulture, reaching out to and promoting gardening to millions of people. He has also been one of the biggest supporters of the RHS and, as this garden demonstrates, continues to generously support and promote horticultural campaigns that transform lives and reinforce our great position as a nation of gardeners.”

The last time Titchmarsh designed a garden at Chelsea was in 1985, when he won an RHS Gold Medal for his Country Kitchen garden.


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House to Home: Your guide to home improvement

GateHouse Ohio Media staff and contributors

Publisher, Jim Porter

Executive Editor, Therese D. Hayt

Circulation Manager, Anita Dunn

Director of Digital and Classified, Jim Speakman

Controller, Linda Andrews

Director of Operations, Kevin J. Ackerman

The Independent /

General Manager, Maureen Ater

Editor, Veronica Van Dress

Writer, Steven Grazier

Writer, Christina McCune

Writer, Amy Knapp

Photographer, Kevin Whitlock

Photographer, Glenn Dettman

The Repository /

Managing Editor, Laura Kessel

Presentation Director, Scott Brown

Local News Editor, Dave Sereno

Your Life Editor, Summer Moore

Online Editor, Dwight Kier

Chief Photographer, Stan Myers

Designer, Michael Weiss

Designer, Murphy Redmond

Video, Benjamin Duer

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Writer, Dan Kane

Writer, Kelly Byer

Photographer, Julie Vennitti

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Editorial Assistant, Angie Younessi

The Times-Reporter /

General Manager, Paul Reynolds

Editor, Melissa Griffy Seeton

Writer, Rex Huffman

Writer, Lee Morrison

Writer, Meghan Millea

Writer, Jon Baker

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Home & Garden Expo Shakes The Winter Blues

Old Man Winter is blowing another winter storm our way, but mother nature is taking over the Bayfront Convention Center.

The annual Home And Garden Expo gets underway Thursday with outdoor gardening and landscaping displays and dozens of home remodeling ideas.

This year, there are more venders than ever before.
160 different venders have set up shop at this years expo.

The Home Garden Expo runs Thursday and Friday from 2pm through 8pm.
Saturday from 10am through 8pm and Sunday from 11am through 5pm.

Admission is $7.00 for adults, children 10 and under are free and so is the parking.

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Cushman factory being razed by UNL

Once a staple of Lincoln industry, the Cushman Motor Works factory has sat mostly vacant for the past decade.

But when the University of Nebraska-Lincoln started tearing down the derelict factory this week, preservationists started to feel like another part of the city’s history is being lost and forgotten.

Cushman Motor Works, incorporated after cousins Everett and Clinton Cushman capitalized on the need for mechanized farm implements in Nebraska, has stood at 21st and X streets since 1913.

For the next 90 years, the factory and foundry manufactured scooters, golf carts, farm equipment, turf-care equipment and other service vehicles. Textron acquired the company in 2002 and announced plans to move the plant from its home overlooking Antelope Valley to Augusta, Ga.

Textron sold 17.8 acres of the Cushman property to UNL for $4.9 million in 2003, and Speedway Motors bought the remainder north of a set of railroad tracks bisecting the property.

UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said then the building could become research lab space, but those plans never came to fruition, and revitalization plans connected to Antelope Valley restoration washed through the area without touching the plant.

Part of the Cushman factory was dedicated to the university’s Online High School until about a year ago, when the school moved to a spot near 20th and Holdrege streets, UNL spokesman Steve Smith said.

The rest of the plant fell into “massive deterioration,” he said, becoming an added liability to UNL. Copper wiring valued at more than $4,800 was stolen from the empty factory in February.

“If the building were to somehow be repurposed it would be massively daunting,” Smith said.

UNL requested bids to demolish the building and its additions in September and awarded the job to Dore and Associates Contracting of Bay City, Mich., in October for $614,400, plus about $243,000 in asbestos abatement and administrative costs.

Dore and Associates is salvaging as much of the building as possible, according to the bid request for proposals.

That stipulation on the demolition bid gave Speedway Motors an opportunity to save part of the original facade and add it to the Museum of American Speed in Lincoln.

Mike Tavlin, chief financial officer for Speedway Properties, said it bought the main entryway to be displayed at the privately owned museum near about half a dozen Cushman scooters.

“We worked out an arrangement with folks doing the demo to buy some stuff as it’s being demolished,” he said. “The plan is to install that portion of the entrance with the marquee name above it inside our museum to complement our display of Cushman scooters.”

Building preservationist Matt Steinhausen said any effort to preserve the early art deco design from the 1913-14 facade is in “the 13th hour,” and Lincolnites should look to preserve a part of their manufacturing heritage.

“I do not think it’s reasonable or even feasible to save the entire factory facility,” he said. “But I think this has been done under the table without a lot of public input. It appears nothing like a historical survey or a feasibility study to save the original building façade was ordered.”

On Monday, Steinhausen asked UNL to share any such surveys, not knowing the deconstruction was slated to begin Tuesday. He said he was told no information is available.

Smith said plans to tear down Cushman were far along, and community input was sought during meetings throughout 2012 and 2013 as part of discussion of UNL’s Master Plan — the governing document outlining the next 15 to 20 years of facility and landscaping projects.

The plan, approved by the NU Board of Regents in September, doesn’t give any real indication about the future of the Cushman site. While a few potential buildings are present in the plan, Smith said there are no plans for the site.

Steinhausen said that with no plans available for review, ideas from the community wouldn’t go very far.

“When there is no plan for the site, how do you solicit future input?” he asked.

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Gargantuan greenery at SF flower show

click to enlarge

  • Courtesy photo
  • Los Gatos designer Brent Sumner, who created this fanciful dragon garden, is working on a garden inspired by the film “Avatar” for the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.

Believe it or not, the Bay Area is home to the third-largest garden show in the United States.

The 29th annual San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, which opens Wednesday in San Mateo, features a dizzying array of action in the 200,000-square-foot space.

The show’s main attractions are dazzling gardens created by garden and landscape designers; a marketplace with some 250 vendors; and 150 speakers discussing horticulture, floral arranging, urban homesteading, home gardening and more.

On Friday, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence host a floral-themed LGBT night, including a best headdress contest.

With the drought on everyone’s mind, the show is highlighting displays that exhibit cutting-edge innovation in low-water gardening and sustainable cultivation. The 200-foot-long “Grand Allee” — the main walkway to showcase garden exhibits — is planted with drought-tolerant trees, succulents and native California plants that have evolved to handle low-water ecosystems.

Other show gardens include a yurt display, a sustainable rooftop garden, a drought-tolerant shade garden, an exotic verdant paradise inspired by “Captain Nemo,” an agave plant garden, a fantasy garden inspired by the Pandora gardens in the film “Avatar” and a boatyard garden using repurposed deck wood.

Hot topics among the 150 seminars are backyard chicken keeping, urban beekeeping, DIY wedding flowers, terrarium-making, succulent management, vertical and container gardening, and farm-to-table discussions for foodies. There is even an iPhone plant photography lecture.

Known for his lush, naturalistic arrangements for Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, designer Max Gill speaks on Wednesday about using sustainable, foraged resources to make incredible flower and table decorations.

Anyone with a landscaping predicament is welcome to stop by the “Ask a Designer Booth.” For a $30 fee, individuals get a 30-minute consultation with a professional designer.

The “Distinguished Chef Series” features speakers from 1300 on Fillmore, Butterfly, Fillmore, Greens, Pisco Trail, Precita Café, Wente Vineyards and more discussing the farm-to-table movement.


SF Flower and Garden Show

Where: San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $20 per day; $30 event pass; $30 to $245 special events and workshops

Contact: (415) 684-7278,

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Eco-forum on landscaping with native plants March 13

Eco-forum on landscaping with native plants March 13

ALBANY — Join the March 13 Tin Mountain eco-forum at noon as local landscaper and artist Carol Jowdy and NRCS’s Nels Liljedahl go over the basics of landscaping with native plants at the Tin Mountain Nature Learning Center in Albany.

Driving through town on a summer day, you are likely to see flower gardens and landscapes filled with leaves, berries and blooms of exotic plants from all over the world. Although aesthetically pleasing, many of these plants become invasive, taking over the natural plant habitats for surrounding wildlife. Imagine instead your own yard as a lush green landscape speckled with brilliant native wildflowers, shrubs and trees.

What wildflowers attract monarchs and other colorful butterflies? What trees entice cedar waxwings to rest and feed during the winter months? Which fruiting plants will provide delicious treats during the heat of the summer? The reality of creating such a landscape is much easier than you would think and extremely beneficial. Landscaping with native plants allows you to beautify your yard, helps to fight invasive plants, and creates vital habitat for New Hampshire’s native wildlife including birds and butterflies.

The Tin Mountain EcoForum lunchtime lecture series is sponsored by The Flatbread Company of North Conway, and Frontside Grind Coffee. EcoForums are free and open to the public and are presented each month at the Tin Mountain Nature Learning Center in Albany.

For more information on Tin Mountain visit, friend us on Facebook, or call 447-6991.

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Brown Is the New Green

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