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Archives for March 27, 2014

This week’s gardening tips: fertilizing roses, battling buck moth caterpillars … – The Times

Fertilize roses now if you have not already done so, as well as spraying for disease and insect problems. For convenience, use a material that combines an insecticide and a fungicide in the same product such as Ortho Orthenex or Ferti-lome Triple Action.

  • Check your oak trees for masses of young, black buck moth caterpillars, and consider having your tree sprayed of you see large numbers. Don’t wait until the caterpillars start crawling down the tree trunk or falling from the branches to spray.
  • Keep your Louisiana irises well watered now while they flower and through mid-summer. Remove any developing seed pods after flowering is finished.
  • Prune spring flowering trees and shrubs any time after they finish flowering. Have a specific purpose in mind before you begin pruning, and prune carefully to accomplish it. Unless you are creating special shapes, such as clipped hedges or topiary, try to work with and preserve the natural form of the shrub when you are pruning.
  • Mark your calendar for the Spring Garden Show at the New Orleans
    Botanical Garden, April 5 and 6. The show will be from 10:00 a.m. to
    5:00 p.m. both days and includes plant and garden products exhibits and
    sales, educational programs, music, Kids Discovery Area and more.

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Forbes Living Offers Garden Decorating Tips for Spring and Summer

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Forbes Living

Find colorful, unique items for decorating outdoors and gardens areas this Spring.

Coral Springs, FL (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

The Forbes Living talk show will present a fun and informative segment on garden and outdoor decorating. The program will feature some of the best new products to make outdoor living exciting, fun and comfortable. It will cover projects everyone in the family will enjoy such as how to choose the best patio furniture, cool new pool toys, the right barbecue grill, and more. The show, hosted by Forbes Riley, will air on most cable television networks this year.

Recently named America’s Most Loved Health Fitness Innovator, Forbes Riley is known for bringing affordable, high-quality fitness, health and household products to consumers worldwide. When Riley first met “the godfather of fitness” Jack LaLanne, he changed the way she looked at health and fitness. The two soon joined forces and went on to launch one of the most successful product promotions of all time with the Jack LaLanne Juicer. Today, Riley has helped sell more than $2 billion worth of product, including her very own SpinGym which she patented and developed herself. As the co-creator, co-executive producer, and host of Forbes Living, Riley motivates viewers by informing, educating, branding and creating consumer awareness on a variety of products. Forbes boasts a huge following on her website and social media, and regularly appears on such networks as ESPN, TLC, Fit-TV, Animal Planet, ABC Family and Home Shopping Network.

About Forbes Living

Forbes Living is on the hunt for The Next Big Thing. The groundbreaking talk show puts a new spin on the format by combining the most highly recognized product spokeswoman with new and innovative products, all in a fun, informative and entertaining fashion. The show is slated to premier in July 2014 on prominent networks like WE tv – Women’s Entertainment, Lifetime Real Women, the Esquire Network, FOX, ABC and ION as well as Regional News Networks. Join the interactive fun with Forbes Living TV on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The show’s website provides a contact form that inventors and businesses can fill out to receive more information. Forbes Living TV is an FR Media production.

About FR Media

FR Media brings a superior track record of award-winning video and film background services including video and film, direct response television, commercial advertising and media planning and buying. Staffed with Emmy, Telly and Moxie award-winning staff members from the disciplines of television, DRTV, film, print, advertising and online media, FR Media studios are located in St. Petersburg, Florida. If you have a product you would like considered for the show, go to and fill out our Product Inquiry form.

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Your Garden Guy: Tips for planting dogwoods

When planting dogwood trees remember these tips:

• Plant in the shade.

• Do not dig dogwoods from the wild, use nursery grown trees.

• There are several new varieties that are resistant to the diseases that plague our native trees. Take a look at the Stellar Series dogwood trees, and Kousa.

More tips for the week:

• Now is the time to fertilize roses. Use the slow-release type of fertilizer.

• Spring is finally here! And so are the deer, eyeing your garden for their next feast. Spray today!

• Pollen will start falling in thick clouds in the next week or two. Prepare now to protect outdoor furniture with covers. Lawn and leaf bags work well.

• Spot kill weeds in beds, on paths, walks, patios and other areas around the landscape. Do this when the wind is calm to protect nearby plants from herbicide spray.

• Summer bulbs add color and interest to the garden and containers. Plant bulbs such as caladium, canna (dwarf varieties) and dahlia now.

• If you are planning to add to an existing azalea bed, now is the time to take a flowering branch to the nursery for an exact match.

• Start adding 3 inches of mulch to the flower and shrub beds. Mulch will conserve moisture during the hot months and reduce the weed populations. (I’m all for that!)

• Next week, I will give you the biggest landscape tip of the season — don’t miss it.

Todd Goulding provides residential landscape design consultations. Contact him at 478-345-0719 or

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/Spring landscaping, water features, garden design and much more! Call … – Casper Star

If you’re looking for an expert landscaper in Casper, then we’re your guys!  Call us today to discuss any of our landscaping and outdoor services!  307-266-5506

Our services include

☼ Retaining walls

☼ Soil preparation

☼ Sprinkler systems

☼ Water efficient irrigation systems

☼ Water features (fountains, ponds etc.)

☼ Water wise landscaping

☼ Snow removal

☼ Landscaping

☼ Landscape lighting

☼ Nursery

☼ Lawn care/grounds maintenance

☼ Draining and water mitigation

☼ Fertilizing

☼ Garden creation and design

☼ Grounds maintenance

Johnson Landscaping, Inc. Nursery

Serving Casper, Douglas, and Glenrock

Casper, WY 82602


Visit our Website

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Ohio State’s Mirror Lake may get vintage look

Mirror Lake could regain the island and bridges that it had more than a century ago once Ohio
State University finishes renovating it.

The university is exploring three design concepts, including a throwback to the lake of the late
1800s, when it was more serpentine and spanned by a bridge. The other concepts either would make
the surrounding area more like a grassy park or like a plaza with sprawling pavement and more

Ohio State released drawings of the concepts this month and is asking students and staff members
to weigh in online before the university moves ahead.

Renovation started late last year when workers
emptied the lake as part of a study to make it less of a fiscal and environmental
. Ohio State replenished the lake at a rate of about 50,000 gallons of water per day,
bought from the city. The study will determine whether OSU can supply the lake from

Along with the environmental study, OSU wants to give the lake a makeover.

It has taken several forms in its 150 years. The landmark started as a bog fed by Neil Run. When
it was expanded in 1895, workers added an island and lined the lake with stone. Decades later, it
got an electric pump and a fountain.

The retro update would make the lake’s outline longer and more irregular. It accents the grotto
on the north side of the lake, a feature that has been popular in survey results, said Steve
Volkmann, an OSU landscape architect.

New landscaping would rim the edge of the lake under the concept modeled after a traditional
park. The shape of the lake would stay roughly the same, but the fountain would be removed to make
it more like a reflective pool.

The plaza design creates an “urban” look, Volkmann said, circled by a wide, paved path and
sparse landscaping. It adds seating in an open space to the east and along a southern slope leading
up to Pomerene Hall. “Seating is one thing that everybody would like to see more of,” Volkmann

Ohio State plans to pay about $28,000 for the environmental study. Other than design fees, the
project to revamp the lake hasn’t cost anything yet, Volkmann said.

Online comments sent to OSU have been mixed, but many support the old look.

“We have a wonderful opportunity to restore some of its former natural beauty as well as
increase the restorative value of such a wonderful space,” one read.

“I don’t want Mirror Lake to become a concrete jungle. The more trees, grass and flowers, the
better,” another commenter wrote.

Once they gather feedback, Volkmann and a design firm plan to combine some of the most-popular
ideas into a final plan. At the same time, workers will drill near the lake to test whether
groundwater in the area can be used to fill the lake. If not, they will look for more-efficient
ways to use city water.


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March Madness at the Benson Museum

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BENSON — It’s March Madness at the Benson Museum, to be celebrated with a number of activities on Saturday.

The museum, located at 180 San Pedro St., will be featuring the works of local artists, with selections of oil, acrylic, watercolor, pencil and photography on exhibit through April. The participating artists are members of the San Pedro River Arts Council.

In addition to the art exhibit, the Quilt Gallery and gift shop will be open Saturday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Visit the shop and enjoy a bake sale while on the museum property.

Muralist Doug Quarles will be at the Benson Clean and Beautiful informational booth where he will answer questions about the mural he’s completed as well as discuss plans for future projects. Clean and Beautiful committee members will be handing out brochures of the murals, fact sheets and applications about becoming a committee member, said Lisa Hill, who chairs Benson Clean and Beautiful. Members are currently in the process of working on short and long range goals for Benson. Suggestions include the following projects: planting trees along Fourth Street and in local parks, community clean-up projects, placing benches along the “Mural Walking Tour,” cleaning up Fourth Street and adding plants in flower pots and purchasing large, non-portable ashtrays to place next to business entryways.

Hill says that Clean and Beautiful is looking for people who might be interested in serving on committees within the organization to help with such projects as membership drives, fundraisers, future murals, landscaping and community clean-up efforts as well as community awareness and publicity. “When we work together as a team, there is so much we can accomplish,” she said.

“We are asking the community at large for ideas about future projects they would like to see Benson Clean and Beautiful undertake,” said Hill. The deadline to submit ideas is March 31. Those with recommendations should call Hill at (520) 586-2516 or by going to

The community is invited to visit the Benson Museum during Saturday’s March Madness event and learn about the different projects around town. Participate in the list of activities the museum is hosting throughout the day and enjoy the exhibit by local artists.

For information, call the museum at (520) 586-3134.

If you find a correction for this story, please contact our editorial department

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There’s no place like Lehigh Valley Home Show

Along with chirping robins and budding crocuses, homeowners making treks to home improvement and hardware stores are an annual sign of spring.

So after more than 5 feet of snow this winter, the Spring Home Show at Stabler Arena and Rauch Fieldhouse in Bethlehem is apt to look like an oasis to a Bedouin.

On March 28-30, the home show will draw almost 300 vendors showing off more than 400 booths with displays on everything from kitchen renovations to landscaping, from solar panels to outdoor fireplaces.

Chuck Hamilton, executive officer for the Lehigh Valley Builders Association, which runs the show, says, “I think when you get that cabin fever and you haven’t been able to do anything around the house because of the ice and snow, it’s the perfect time to get out and get ideas and get reinvigorated on what you want to do for the summer.”

Contractors are starting to see home construction and remodeling pick up, he says. Upgrading kitchens and bathrooms continues to be popular.

“As the home values are steadily increasing, we’ve seen an increase in both new home construction and remodeling,” Hamilton says. “Home additions have been very popular as a substitute for moving to a larger home.”

Among the trends the association is seeing:

Reuse of materials or “green materials”

Ruhmel Contracting and the Design Studio at HoudenHAL will be among vendors with exhibits about using sustainable energy sources and recycled products.

Robin Ruhmel of the Design Studio at HoudenHAL says the company has seen increased demand for sustainable energy sources to heat homes. Within the last year it’s installed several solar hot water systems.

“Those are investments that they’re making in the future of their house, which will save money over the long term,” she says. “People are more concerned about the environments that they’re living in.”

HoudenHAL (Houden means “to sustain” in Dutch) is a LEED certified, “green” home built about three years ago in Weisenberg Township, just off the New Smithville exit of Interstate 78. It is powered by solar, geothermal and wind power. Design Studio also sells eco-products such as carpet and countertops made from recycled materials.

Robin is the wife of Ruhmel Contracting President Hersh Ruhmel. Ruhmel Contracting, which makes custom homes, can talk to home show-goers about ways to make their homes more energy efficient by using different types of framing materials and insulation.

Outdoor rooms

More homeowners are adding rooms outside, including fully equipped kitchens, complete with stoves, grills, refrigeration, work spaces and bars. Some are adding outside fireplaces or built-in fire pits.

Landscaping vendors can show people options for making their yards more private while adding scenic touches, Hamilton says.

“In our awards program, one of our people created a waterfall from the top of a hill, and that’s a fairly extensive job,” he says. “Coy ponds or regular ponds are popular yet.”

White on white kitchens and bathrooms

After years of homeowners opting for dark woods for remodeled kitchens, Hamilton says he’s starting to see more white cabinets, flooring, backsplashes, counters, fixtures and appliances, with just splashes of color added.

“It’s gone through transitions of real heavy cabinetry with dark woods to a nice cherry, which is still very popular,” Hamilton says. “The woods are still very popular. But I’m starting to see the white on white.”

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What to do this week in your Colorado Garden, 3/26-4/5

Last year at this time, it was snowing or about to snow. Two years, ago it was so dry and warm we were dragging hoses to water the landscape.

This year, who knows, but we’ll take whatever the weather dishes out and get the garden chores started. And we’ll like it, because we know what lies ahead: home-grown vegetables and gathering rose bouquets. Here’s what should be on your list to do, whatever the weather.


Is this the season you want or need to brush up on garden know-how and techniques? Whether you want to learn to plant peppers, an eye-catching mixed flower container, how to change a sprinkler head or how to choose border plants that bloom from spring through fall, make it happen now.

Gardening skills are easily acquired through hands on trial and error; just ask any experienced gardener. Taking classes or and attending lectures is another way to glean from the experts or enhance what you already know. Available classes range from a quick, one-hour topic to day-long seminars, workshops or higher-education degrees. In some cases, you end up with a certification of completion. Where to go:

• Garden centers and public gardens like Hudson Gardens, Denver Botanic Gardens and the Gardens on Spring Creek offer year-round garden instruction.

•The Colorado Master Gardening program through Colorado State University Extension is offered at the beginning of the year in most counties around the state. Boulder County also offers fall evening training. Check with your local extension office for registration deadlines and more information. You can now also take such courses — a few, or the whole program.

• The CSU Extension Native Plant Master Certification programs for 2014 are getting started statewide. This is the place to learn about plant identification and basic botany, Colorado native plant landscaping, invasive weed management.

• Denver Urban Gardens offers Master Community Gardening training and more at

• The City of Aurora has on-line, downloadable water-conservation instruction materials or in-person classes including landscape design, irrigation basics and growing food. More:

• Places like Front Range Community College, Metropolitan State College of Denver, University of Colorado Denver and Colorado State University have landscape design programs. More:

• And always check the weekly Denver Post Grow garden calendar for area classes/events. You can also download The Denver Post’s Garden Colorado app for many helpful articles and resources about gardening in CO, available for iPad, Kindle or Android tablet.


Grab your rake. It’s time to get those muscles out of winter dormancy. Do a few laps around your yard to warm up, followed by some easy arm stretches and waist bends to remind your body parts that they still function.

Work on days when the soil has dried out; walking on wet garden soil causes soil compaction, making planting difficult.

• With cleaned, sharpened or new tools, cut back dead foliage on perennials. Dig or pull out any remaining annuals or vegetables from last season.

• Cut ornamental grasses down to 5 or 6 inches above the crown. If the clump is dead in the middle, it will need to be divided, which can be done from now into next month, before the plant puts on lots of new growth.

• Carefully rake out remaining leaves, twigs or garbage from beds, avoiding emerging plant foliage or spring bulbs. Toss the organic debris into the compost pile or chop it up and use for mulch in the vegetable garden.

• As you cut back and clean, pull or dig those early weeds before they are out of control. Be on the lookout for noxious weeds such as leafy spurge or purple loosestrife (you may think these are pretty, but they need to go).

• Cleaned-out beds benefit from an inch or two of finished compost or amended soil. Pull back the mulch and work the soil in and around plants and shrubs.

• Add some slow-release fertilizer to the beds if bloom quality has waned over the years. And consider a soil test. More:

• Brighten the house by forcing outdoor branches to bloom inside. Cut 1- to 2-foot lengths of spring-blooming branches of apple, cherry, plum, forsythia, lilac, dogwood or honeysuckle. After bringing indoors, cut a couple of 1-inch side slits from the bottom of the stem so they will take up water. Place in a vase, add warm water and wait for bloom (2 to 6 weeks, depending on type). The closer the bloom date outdoors, the closer they will bloom inside. Change the water every few days. More:


• Indoors, start warm-season seeds of tomato, pepper, eggplant, tomatillo for transplanting outdoors later in May. If you don’t want to start seeds indoors, these plants may be purchased in May for planting outdoors.

• Hardy cool-season vegetable seeds of peas, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, radish and transplants of broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts can be planted now if soil temperatures are over 40 degrees. Use tunnels, cloches or cold frames for days and nights under 45 degrees.

Read more of Betty Cahill at

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Marian Coffin a female landscaping pioneer

Marian Cruger Coffin isn’t a name that rolls off a feminist’s tongue very often during Women’s History Month.

Her pioneering work in the field of landscape architecture hardly causes a ripple among the suffragettes and revolutionaries, but her star is fixed firmly in the horticultural firmament. As one of a handful of female landscape architects in an arena dominated by men, she made a successful living designing landscapes in the first half of the 20th century.

Coffin put her stamp on some significant real estate along the East Coast, and her associations with the du Pont family brought her to Delaware, where she influenced several of its most famous gardens.

Poll: Vote for Longwood Gardens in national contest

As a young woman, Coffin desired to be a “great artist,” but decried her lack of talent in any of the usual avenues open to women at the beginning of the 20th century – painting, music, sculpture or writing. Owing to her father’s early death, she needed to make a living and pursued a friend’s suggestion to enroll in a new course of study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Landscape Architecture.

In 1901, admitted as a “special” student, Coffin was one of two female students who joined the class of 500 men. She described her three years there as “one long grind,” having combined two years of study in one to finish early.

Her rigorous training in design, drafting and horticulture was augmented by visits to gardens and estates in Massachusetts and abroad. Family friend Henry Francis du Pont of Winterthur, who was simultaneously studying horticulture at Harvard, joined Coffin on many of these outings. Encouraged by mentors such as Charles S. Sargent, director of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, and Guy Lowell, head of MIT’s school of architecture, she emerged ready to take on the world.

In 1904, at the age of 28, Coffin graduated from MIT and became a junior member of the American Society of Landscape Architects along with only two other females, Elizabeth Bullard and Beatrix Farrand.

“We were pioneers, and moreover pioneer women in a new-old-profession and one in which all one’s ability to see and interpret beauty out of doors taxed all our resources, and we were determined to show what enthusiasm and hard work could accomplish.” Strong words soon put to action.

No one would hire her so she moved to New York City, where her mother had grown up, hung out her own shingle and went into business.

In a career that spanned five decades, she earned over 130 commissions for estate, residential and institutional landscape designs, succeeding through two world wars and the Great Depression. Her clients numbered among society’s elite and she worked on the estates of Marshall Field, Stephen Pell, E.F. Hutton, and of course, the du Ponts of Delaware.

Often, her work appeared in the pages of popular magazines like “Country Life,” accompanied by photographs and drawings. A savvy and organized businesswoman, she commanded handsome fees (in 1918, she charged $250 to $500 for preliminary drawings) and demanded strict control over her sites, from soil preparation to unveiling.

The hallmarks of a Coffin garden endure to this day: long sight lines on an axis, clearly defined entryways and paths, statuary and pools of water used as focal points, rectangular spaces closed in a semi-circle, and enclosures of stone or shrubbery. While her designs were often formal, she softened them with plant material that spilled over walls or erupted in bold splashes of color along the beds.

Marian Coffin’s designing hand is evident today in the grand staircase at Winterthur, the round pool garden at Mt. Cuba, the mall at the University of Delaware, and at Gibraltar, the property at Greenhill and Pennsylvania avenues that once belonged to Rodney Sharp.

Of all, Gibraltar is quintessential Coffin. It breathes life into her guiding principle that “simplicity is beauty’s prime ingredient.”

From the terrace overlooking the garden, three tiers roll down from the house, connected by sweeping staircases and punctuated by impressive urns. A simple rectangular pool echoes the geometry of the garden, which consists of a series of outdoor rooms connected by straight paths, ornate gates and magnificent statuary, all enclosed behind massive stone walls.

Gibraltar’s fate, however, is uncertain, since there is no formal maintenance provided for the garden and supporting organizations have disbanded.

The book, “Money, Manure, and Maintenance,” by Nancy Fleming, provides a thorough look at Coffin and the gardens she designed.

Moira Sheridan is a Wilmington freelance writer and gardener. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware’s Master Gardener program. Reach her at


• Be patient. It will eventually dry out and we can get out there and plant potatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cabbage and chard.

• Continue pruning shrubs while dormant.

• Rake out beds that are suffocating under piles of leaves and cut back any dead plant material from perennials.

• On a cool, overcast day, dig up crowded small bulbs like crocuses and snowdrops and transplant them where they can naturalize. They won’t skip a beat.

• Plant flower seeds of larkspur, poppy, bachelor’s button, and sweet alyssum directly outdoors.

• Remove mulch from vegetable beds to let the soil dry out.

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