Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for April 17, 2014

Delaware Spaces: A DuPont original

WILMINGTON — Hard to believe, but the semi-detached stucco house in this village-like neighborhood in Wilmington started out as worker housing – for the man in the gray flannel suit.

During the early 20th century, the young publicly held DuPont Co. was going through a historic growth spurt as it supplied explosives to the European Allies with the company’s assets quadrupling during the war years, according to Adrian Kinnane in “DuPont: From the Banks of the Brandywine to the Miracles of Science.” The company needed to import managerial and professional talent, but Wilmington was experiencing a housing shortage.

Enter DuPont, the real estate developer. The company bought a parcel called Wawaset Park at the intersection of Greenhill and Pennsylvania that had been a horse-racing track and fairgrounds. It had the advantage of being well-located between the du Pont family estates in the Greenville area and the company’s new headquarters on Rodney Square in Wilmington, according to Carol E. Hoffecker in “Corporate Capital: Wilmington in the Twentieth Century.”

“This tract of land was ideally located for white-collar employees: a street car line for quick commuter transportation downtown was within easy walking distance,” according to the nomination form for the National Register of Historic Places.

Wawaset Park, a “suburb set within the city,” was born.

As happened with the development of Rodney Square, DuPont, which was then led by the du Pont family, worked behind the scenes to buy the land that became the housing community. John J. Raskob, the right-hand man of company president Pierre S. du Pont, bought shares in the Wawaset Park Co., the landowner.

DuPont executive Frank McCormick was given the job of figuring out what company employees needed and desired in their housing, according to the national register documents.

McCormick, who had lived in Roland Park in Baltimore in a house designed by Edward Palmer, was instrumental in getting Palmer hired as the Wawaset Park architect and planner, according to the register documents. The design of Roland Park was influenced by the ideas of Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous American landscape architect who believed a design should respect what is known as the “genius of a place.”

Palmer broke with the city’s grid pattern, designing curving streets that give the community its village-like feel. The architectural styles ranged from Tudor cottages to Georgian mansions. To keep the integrity of the design, the company drew up restrictions.

“The DuPont Building Corporation retained the power to enforce the deed restrictions until 1944, despite the fact that they did not own the property,” the national register document says.

Construction began on Wawaset Park in early 1918 with the first homeowners celebrating Christmas in their new homes, according to the register nomination. Initially, DuPont planned for about 100 houses in a variety of styles and priced for middle- to upper-income buyers, according to Hoffecker.

The smallest houses went for $6,000, plus $1,500 for the lot. The big, free-standing homes sold for up to $20,000, not including the cost of the land, according to national register documents. DuPont employees were required to put 10 percent down and they were given a 10-year 5 percent mortgage.

Garages were not included, but buyers could add at an additional cost, according to the historic register documents. DuPont’s sales material was careful to point out the community was served by trolley lines and was within walking distance of stores and schools, Hoffecker said.

“Wawaset was, in effect, a suburb within the city. Yet it was more closely linked to the trolley car era than to the emerging era of the automobile,” Hoffecker writes. “The roadways were so narrow as to almost preclude the parking of cars. In all of these ways Wawaset represented not the beginning of a new era of construction, but rather the end of an old one; for by World War I, Wilmington, like the rest of America, had gone automobile-mad.”

According to the national register document, the community didn’t sell like hot cakes and DuPont dropped the prices for the first 125 sold.

The community was enhanced by hundreds of elm trees, some over 60 feet tall, according to the register nomination. Although the majestic trees were decimated by Dutch elm disease, the streets are still tree-lined with oak and other mature trees.

By 1921, nearly all the original 95 homes were sold, according to the national register. That year, DuPont sold the remaining lots to another company, which then sold off lots to local builders.

The house for sale at 1 Crawford Circle was one of the original DuPont houses, built in 1919. The three-story semi-detached home is at the end of a row of three houses. Completely renovated by the current owner, visitors might wonder what the first owner, Ferdinand Gilpin, would think of it today.

The galley kitchen has been updated to have granite countertops and 42-inch cabinets. The bathrooms were gutted and renovated. The owners turned one of the three bedrooms on the second floor into a large dressing room and closet. The master suite is on the third floor.

Patsy Morrow of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox Roach talks about the house and Wawaset Park:

Q: The houses in Wawaset are older, but it’s still very desirable, isn’t it?

A: I’ve been selling real estate for 30 years and I lived here and it’s just as popular as it ever was.

Q: Why is that?

A: It’s eclectic, almost European. There are different size houses, different ages of homeowners, winding streets, it’s a community within the city. Yet, you’re close to shopping, schools, downtown.

Q: It looks like the owners did a lot to rehab this house, including the kitchen and bathrooms.

A: It’s in move-in condition. It’s going to be perfect for a person who can appreciate that although it’s not huge, there’s a lot of space – the sunroom, the living room. Even though it’s an attached house, you don’t feel like it is.

Q: I understand the owner took landscaping courses that was important in the creation of the yard.

A: Yes, (she) took classes at Longwood Gardens and that helped quite a bit in (the) selection and location of plant material.

To suggest interesting spaces contact Maureen Milford at (302) 324-2881 or


ADDRESS: 1 Crawford Circle

SIZE: About 1,400 to 1,600 square feet


BATHS: 2 full

PRICE: $364,500

Article source:

Residents Cash In on Water Saving Landscaping


Some Santa Barbara water users are expected to pay big bills after July 1, if they don’t cut back.  The rate increase is expected to be approved in June and the goal is to encourage residents to save what’s left of the city’s supply during the serious drought.

The city says the water fees will not be a heavy burden on the lower water users, but the  rate structure will add a large increase to the monthly bill for customers who use the most water.

Leslie Levy has drought tolerant plants around her home in Santa Barbara.  She planted them a year ago and is not worried about the new rates or her water bill.  She says the plants have taken hold, and use little or no water.

In her back yard there’s a small patch of grass and some fruit trees, along with lavender and succulents.  She says it has a “soft” feel and still looks attractive.

Levy says at first the plants looked odd to her,  but they seem to “take care of themselves.”

Some ideas for plants came after a driving tour of Santa Barbara to look at other properties. “There are some wonderful plants”(in Santa Barbara and Montecito), said Levy.   

She says a landscape designer helped to pick the plants, and make the layout.

The city and many water districts locally offer a free inspection of your property to see where you can make water savings from your faucets to your landscaping.

For more information go to:

Article source:

Spring lawn care 101


If you need some ideas for getting your lawn ready for the hammock, here are some tips from H-D Landscaping – who were featured Thursday morning on Local 4 New Today.

Cleaning up – Leaves and trash

Clean up all the leftover leaves and trash that have accumulated in the landscape over the winter. Cleaning up litter removes hiding places for bugs that can attack your plants later. Add the leaves and other organic debris to your compost pile.


Plants and tree trimming

Most trees and shrubs benefit from annual pruning.  It keeps them in shape, gets rid of dead and diseased wood and encourages new growth.  But not all trees and shrubs should be pruned early, especially some of the flowering ones.  Pruning them early in the spring would mean losing some blossoms.  But sometimes it’s easier to prune when you can see the shape of the plant, before the branches are covered by leaves.  Trees and shrubs that are in need of a good shaping could sacrifice a few blooms to be invigorated by a spring pruning.


The grass

After a long winter your lawn needs to be mowed, aerated and fertilized. It’s a good time to patch in or reseed bare spots.  Walk around your yard and look for bare spots in the mulched beds. Add mulch to areas that are thin. If you have gravel mulch in your beds rake the beds to even out the gravel.


Lawn care mistakes

Failure to Have a Plan

A cleanup plan for example, Planting plan…. try to sketch a rough plan for one large area of your yard, and put all your energy into implementing that plan this year. The idea is to tackle large projects in phases. Don’t start a landscaping project without a plan. Decide on a specific theme or look and then draw it out on paper. Figure out where you want to put your plants and shrubs in relation to the shape and style of your house. Design a look when completed that fosters a  harmonious design.


Picking the Wrong Plants

Just because a plant looks pretty doesn’t mean it actually belongs in your yard. You have to take into consideration your particular backyard, with filtered light or shade, and what’s going to work best for you. If it’s a really hot, sunny spot, maybe you want to go with a succulent. Get a great landscaping book for your area to help you figure out what to plant and when, as well as how and when to fertilize.


Planting in the Wrong Place

Improper plant placement is another common mistake, you need to remember how big the plant or shrub could get and how much space they are going to need. Being shortsighted is a common problem because many people don’t know what the eventual growth of their plants will be. You need to find out how they spread, how they reproduce and what type of maintenance they require. Also think about focal points – choose something that’s going to look good year-round.


Overlooking Maintenance

Part of planning a flower garden is also planning time to maintain it. Make up a maintenance schedule and abide by it. Landscaped beds need to be weeded at least once or twice a month, at minimum. If you don’t have the time to take care of your landscaped beds, consider hiring someone to maintain them. 

Note: Spring time is a great time to evaluate your property and create a landscaping plan for  the season. Adopting these four basic principals during the spring planting season, a homeowner can create curb appeal that will look great year after year.

Article source:

APL to exhibit at new Sheffield show Garden Up

By Sarah Cosgrove
Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) is exhibiting at Sheffield’s new garden show, Garden Up, at Sheffield Botanic Gardens.

Regional account managers Andrew Dunkley and Phil Tremayne will attend the show, on June 7 and 8, to promote APL and explain to visitors the benefits of choosing an accredited landscaper and the Government-endorsed Trustmark scheme, which all APL members must sign up to.

The new design-led event was created by Sheffield-based horticulturalist and former TV producer Richard Nicolle, who has five years’ exhibition experience at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, and has also worked on the Sheffield Winter Garden and Peace Gardens.

He said: “The presence of the APL at Garden Up will help to underline the importance of qualified and creditable professionals in the gardening and landscaping industry. Sheffield is a vibrant city with a great many gardens and green spaces and we feel that to live up to its reputation as the greenest city in Britain, it needs a thriving horticultural design sector behind it.

“The Garden Up event is helping to stimulate an appetite for gardening expertise and inspire the market with innovations and skills that can be applied to our gardens and built environments.”

The presence is in addition to regular dates for the APL, including Gardening Scotland, Hampton Court, Tatton, Landscape and The Skills Show.

APL chairman Mark Gregory said: “2014 is an exciting year for the APL with the partnership with WorldSkillsUK, collaborative work with Trustmark and Your Garden, Your Budget at RHS Hampton Court. We are delighted to be able to add Garden Up to this list.”

Article source:

Kansas arboretum provides native plant landscaping aid

April 16, 2014

Kansas arboretum provides native plant landscaping aid

By Molly Day

All the Dirt on Gardening
The Muskogee Phoenix

Wed Apr 16, 2014, 11:37 PM CDT

There is no doubt that a prairie garden is the ultimate low-maintenance, low-water usage and environmentally friendly choice for gardeners. But many homeowners assume that it would mean a messy yard and landscape.

“The more examples of native plant gardens people see, the more they realize the beauty of native plants,” said Scott Vogt, the executive director of the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, Kan.

The Arboretum was established in 1981 as a gift to Hesston College from Harold and Elva Mae Dyck when they bought 13 acres and donated it to Hesston College for use as a prairie restoration garden.

Today, the Arboretum is one of the largest native plant gardens in the region, featuring more than a thousand varieties of native and adapted trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses. Eighteen more acres have been purchased for a native plains garden.

“We teach native plant landscaping classes for homeowners,” Vogt said. “Participants bring drawings of their yard, and we help them select native plants and explain how to prepare the site and arrange the plants to the best advantage.”

When class participants complete their first native plant bed, they always come back for the annual plant sale because they found that they can have beautiful gardens with less work, less water and plenty of butterflies. Vogt said they like it because it works.

“Establishing a prairie garden is not effortless,” he said. “If it were easy it would be called growing, not gardening.”

Seeds for the gardens at Dyck Arboretum were collected from within 60 miles of Hesston so they would be indigenous to the area. The plants for the gardens are grown from seed, stem cuttings and root division in the on-site greenhouse.

The annual plant sale April 25-28 will offer thousands of native woodland plants that were grown by staff and volunteers.

“We go out onto the grounds and collect seeds,” said Vogt. “Additional seeds come from companies like Missouri Wildflower Seeds (, where seeds are also hand collected.”

The Arboretum website has many educational resources. Specifically, the Spring 2014 newsletter’s “Prairie Window” link provides garden layouts as well as lists of recommended perennials, ferns, and grasses. Each entry lists the Latin and common name, flower color, plant height, bloom time, sun and soil preferences.

There are paths to walk, a two-acre pond where visitors can watch wildlife and butterflies.

“Earth Partnership for Schools Summer Institute” in June brings teachers from all over the region who learn to engage K-12 students in prairie gardening on school grounds. An outline of their Multiple Intelligences curriculum is on the website.

“When visitors see the spring native plants blooming from the end of April to mid-May, they say it was not what they expected,” said Vogt. “They are surprised by the beauty.”

Spring-blooming native plants include: Penstemon, Echinacea pallida and Zizia aurea. Summer flowers include Asclepias tuberosa, Rudbeckia fulgida and Monarda fisulosa. Fall color comes from Solidago, Asters, and Sedum (a non-native adapted plant). In the winter the arboretum is dominated by grasses such as Panicum virgatum Northwind, Schizachyrium scoparium Blaze, Andropogon gerardii Pawnee, and Sporobolus heterolepis.

Text Only

2014, Muskogee, OK. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.

Article source:

Summer Gardening Tips


Right after grabbing a cup of coffee; I make rounds in my newly established backyard garden to kick-off my day. It is a warm and pleasant sunny day here in the valley, the sun said: Hello! It’s summer time.

Proper crop management in the garden is required, especially this summer season. Here are few tips in taking good care of your backyard garden this summer.


During summer season, minimum tillage is more efficient than using the raised-bed technique in land preparation. Minimum tillage is a technique in soil cultivation that selects specific area to work with; cultivation is being done only to the immediate portion where the plant will be planted. This is usually done in cucurbits like squash, cucumber among others.

Compared to the “raised-bed”, minimum tillage technique does not necessarily require plots or beds, though some crops are more efficient in bed. Minimum tillage is suited for summer since water logging or flooding is not an issue during this season.

Lastly, with the burning heat of the sun during summer, field operation is expected to be less favorable, making the minimum tillage more efficient than raised-bed.


Mulching is the process of placing a material or mulch to add another layer above the soil surface. Mulching aims to primarily protect the soil surface and the crop.

There are two major types of mulches based on its material classification: synthetic and organic.  Synthetic mulches are materials that are readily available from industries, the common types of mulches available are: transparent plastic and polyethylene (i.e. black garbage bag). While organic mulch includes dried leaves, weeds, branches, saw-dust, and the likes.

Application of mulch during summer primarily conserves soil moisture; it serves as an insulator by blocking the sun’s radiation to directly hit the soil surface. Thus lessens the evaporation rate of the surrounding air and consequently lessens the transpiration rate of the plant.

The use of leaves such as “madre de cacao” or “kakawate” as mulch being known to contain good amount of Nitrogen, in effect it also serves as fertilizer in the soil. Any other organic material used as mulch, improves the soil profile.

Efficient application of mulch is done near the crop but not in contact with it.


Water in plant growth and development is very important.  Since rainy days are over, watering the plant regularly is a must. The warm and dry air of summer can cause artificial and permanent witling to the plants thus causing severe damage and even death.

It is highly encouraged to water the crops on a daily basis; morning or afternoon. Though there are times that watering the crops twice a day is necessary.

Though crop water requirement varies from one crop to another, but, as a rule of thumb, careful observation on the soil moisture can be a good determinant to whether to water the garden or not.

Leo XL Fuentes is a backyard gardener in Compostela Valley that advocates organic agriculture. He earned his degree in Agriculture at the University of the Philippines Los Banos.

Article source:

Garden Tips: Merciless rose pruning tips

Last weekend, I took on the project of pruning my roses, nicknaming myself “Marianne the Merciless.” I showed no mercy to my roses that had not been pruned correctly for several years because I had negligently waited too long each spring to get in there and get the job done right.

I pulled on my rose gauntlet gloves, picked up my sharpened loppers and hand pruners, and went to work. It was not an easy task. Roses grow terrifically well in our region, and mine had grown to a height of almost 6 feet last year. When I was done, I had mountains of rose prunings and bushes that hopefully will perform better this summer.

Satisfied with a job well done, I was amazed that I did not look like I had tangled with a vicious animal. I wore long sleeves and my new rose gauntlet gloves. The glove hands are made of leather and the “gauntlet” cuffs are made of canvas that reaches almost to my elbows. They kept my hands and arms free of pokes and scratches.

I purchased my pair at a local garden store, but they can also be ordered online. If you have a lot of roses or raspberries, you should consider investing in a pair of all-leather rose gauntlet gloves.

My new gloves were stiff when I started and a little tight. If you purchase a quality pair of gauntlet gloves, make sure they are the right size for your hands. Many of the companies selling quality rose gloves have size charts to guide you.

The other thing that made my job easier was having sharp pruning tools. It is difficult to cut out thick, woody old canes with dull loppers. If you know how to sharpen your tools, do it before taking on your spring pruning chores.

Rich Redekopp, one of our Master Gardener rose experts, told me about another pruning tool for taking out tough old dead wood or thick canes. Redekopp recommends the cordless Milwaukee Hackzall Reciprocating Saw fitted with a pruning blade. He pruned some roses outside our office and his saw made quick work of the gnarly old dead growth in these neglected roses.

Roses are forgiving. You can prune them incorrectly (or not at all), and they will still produce beautiful blooms. However, with correct pruning, your shrubs will not grow out of control, and the rose blooms will be bigger.

Helen Newman, Master Gardener rose expert and Tri-Cities Rosarian, notes that your goals are to remove the “dead, diseased, damaged and dinky” canes. Experts call them the four “Ds” of pruning roses. You should also remove shoots that are old and gnarled, growing in the center of the shrubs or crisscrossing each other.

— Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

Article source:

Eye of the Day Garden Design Center Sponsoring the San Francisco Flower …

Eye of the Day Garden Design Center Sponsoring the San Francisco Flower Garden Show (SFFGS)

PRWEB.COM Newswire

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) March 20, 2014

Eye of the Day Garden Design Center was recently asked to sponsor the entry display at the San Francisco Flower Garden Show (SFFGS), held at the San Mateo Event Center from March 19 to March 23. Eye of the Day is also showcasing items from its first-ever Fermob U.S. “Shop in Shop” in their booth at the show, and is hosting consumer giveaways throughout the show.

The San Francisco Flower Garden Show is a mainstream event for florists, gardeners, landscape architects, and anyone else interested in exactly that – flowers and gardens – and draws in crowds with a wide variety of backgrounds. According to the event website, the gardens at the show use more than 1,200 cubic yards of sawdust and mulch, as well as 280,000 pounds of rock for the displays. Exhibits and vendors from all over the state compose juried garden displays, and the event also hosts seminars for educational purposes.

“Eye of the Day is so excited to be sponsoring this highly respected show, especially since our containers are part of the entry area,” said owner Brent Freitas. “We are welcoming attendees with displays showcasing our European clay and terracotta pottery, and we also have a booth on the main floor as well.”

Eye of the Day, which recently updated its website, works with top manufacturers and distributors from all over the world, collecting fine pottery from Italy, Greece, and France. Collections include those of the classic and colorful Gladding McBean, as well as Greek pithari, Mediterranean oil jars, and more. Eye of the Day works with the individual residential consumer, as well as with landscape architects for commercial use, such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Bahama — both past clients.

“If you’re in the area,” said Freitas. “Drop by and say hello to us! We’ll also be giving away items, so there’s a chance you’ll be leaving with an unexpected gift or two. Also, come by and learn how to cultivate your garden with tips of the trade, like how to deal with the regional San Francisco weather.”

About Eye of the Day Garden Design Center

Eye of the Day Garden Design Center is a retail showroom that features more than an acre of high quality garden landscape products, including Italian terracotta pottery and fountains, Greek terracotta pottery, French Anduze pottery, and garden product manufacturers from America’s premier concrete garden pottery and decoration manufacturers. Eye of the Day is a leading importer and distributor of fine European garden pottery, and caters to private consumers, as well as landscape design and architecture firms from around the world.

Read the full story at

Top ^

View: Mobile site | Full Site

Article source: