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Archives for April 20, 2014

Committee launches Economic Vitality Award

Did you repaint your building and plant flowers out front? Have you upgraded your software reducing customer wait time by 15 minutes?

Are you a new business that chose Lompoc as the ideal location for your start up? Is your company an example of how to do business in our town for over 10, 20, even 50 years? Well let’s tell everyone!

The Economic Development Committee recognizes that you are making strides toward delivering a better business to Lompoc. We would like to recognize these improvements or examples of good business in our community on a regular basis and have created an award to do just that. This month we will begin awarding our new Economic Vitality Award, or the EVA as we like to call it.

You may submit suggestions to the committee via email at or to any committee member. Winners will be awarded twice a month and published in the Lompoc Record on the second and fourth week of the month. All businesses will be considered and if not awarded this month will be part of the ongoing bimonthly awards selections reviewed.

The parameters for consideration will include both the obvious as well as the “hidden” changes made to a business. For instance, has a business modernized through new technology, improved service or new business approach and changed for the better? Were improvements made to the physical appearance of the business such as new paint or awnings, fresh landscaping, repair or addition of illuminated lights, or new upholstered booths? Is there a new business that has relocated to Lompoc, re-vamped its structure, filled an empty building, or is a new industry to our community?

Has a long-time Lompoc business shown itself to be an economic leader in the community by weathering the local downturns, contributing to the success of other businesses, or been the first to the community with new industry? Is there an established industry, such as the agricultural, wine or aerospace areas, which exhibits a business leader in the community?

Be sure and look for the certificate and award’s decal in local businesses as they are awarded. Watch the paper for the photo and announcement of the bi-monthly winners starting next week. Nominate businesses for the award! Compliment them on their new look or improvements. If the change it is not obvious ask what they received their award for and discover how local businesses are launching Lompoc into the 21st century.

Don’t forget the tagline submission deadline is May 1! We are looking for the community’s insight and creativity to help update the tagline for the city of Lompoc.

The committee seeks a tagline that does not name particular industries or cultural aspect of the city but rather a description of the city’s personality or positive feeling that promotes a desire to be in Lompoc, whether as a resident, guest or to attract a business.

Some great examples are Colorful Encounters (St. John’s, Newfoundland); Keep Austin Weird (Austin, Texas); and Livable, Lovable Lodi (Lodi).

Show your creativity and share your ideas by sending tagline suggestions to

Building the Future Today is a new column by the Lompoc Economic Development Committee. The column will run on the first and third Sundays of each month. To contact the committee, email

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Volunteers keep White Haven cemetery going

When Martin Quinn first tended to the Laurel Cemetery in White Haven, his rate for cutting grass with an old-fashioned push mower was 15 cents per hour.

“And we didn’t get paid until Labor Day,” he said of the job he held as a teenager.

Decades later, Quinn, of White Haven, doesn’t collect a cent for the work he does at the cemetery bordering Church Street. At 94, he is in his 20th year of volunteer service – and says he has no plans of quitting.

“He’s here every Saturday,” said Bruce Dodson, of Mountain Top, another cemetery volunteer.

“I’m the oldest guy. The rest of them are all kids,” Quinn said, as he motioned to fellow volunteers.

There’s Dodson, a White Haven native, who’s the youngest at 60. Next-youngest is Daniel Jones at 76; then comes Bert Schafer, at 84, and finally, there’s Peter Herbener Jr., at 87.

Herbener is the president of the Laurel Cemetery Association’s board of directors; Jones and Schafer serve on the board. Quinn resigned from the board but continues to volunteer in other capacities.

With the help of other directors and volunteers, the men maintain and plan the future of the 32-acre cemetery.

“We come here every Saturday from April to October,” said Herbener, of White Haven.

During their visits, they cut grass, tend to weeds and rake leaves.

“We do whatever needs to be done,” added White Haven native Schafer, who lives in Freeland.

On Saturday, the men sat on lawn chairs inside a shed to map out their day.

Jones, of White Haven, talked about cutting grass at the cemetery.

“It takes 15 hours,” he said. “There is a lot of grass.”

There are obstacles, too.

“I had to memorize all the cornerstones,” he said.

Jones doesn’t mind the work. Neither do the others.

“We’re all retired and it gives us something to do,” Jones explained.

Work isn’t limited to landscaping. The volunteers make repairs where needed and discuss ideas to preserve history, Herbener said.

According to historical documents, the first burial at the site was in 1790, when the cemetery was known as the White Haven Public Burial Ground. In 1862, the Laurel Cemetery Association was established to ensure the cemetery would be cared for in years to come, explained Dodson.

A copy of the charter is displayed at the cemetery’s old office, a small wooden building located near one of the entrances.

“We painted this last year,” Herbener said. Volunteers also reenforced its windows and plan to renovate the interior.

And when volunteers noticed that an old cemetery vault’s windows were cracking, they installed thick cuts of Plexiglas over them.

“One guy doesn’t run this place,” Herbener said. “If anybody has an idea, we all talk it over and decide what needs to be done.”

Most recently, the association voted to purchase a new lawn tractor with donations. An office was also built to house cemetery maps and files. Inside the office, drawers hold index cards organized by last name, and show burial sites for more than 3,000 people.

Part-time caretaker Corey Phipps, one of the association’s two paid employees, thumbed through a book containing receipts, including one for a lot purchased in 1884 for $6.36.

“We’ve got so much history in this cemetery,” Herbener said, as he looked at a book of minutes from the association’s first meeting. Phipps’ wife, Debbie, a part-time secretary, keeps the books and ledgers organized in filing cabinets.

Folks often stop by the cemetery to find tombstones of loved ones.

“They come here with a white sheet of paper and a piece of charcoal” and take rubbings of the names engraved on the markers, he said.

Herbener loves to see visitors. A few years ago, he said, a scavenger hunt was held in the cemetery. Others have been directed there as they geocache, or use a GPS unit to find marked coordinates.

Those who visit might stumble upon tombs of Civil War soldiers, or recognize names of some of the borough forefathers.

While he shows no sign of slowing, Herbener doesn’t know when he will step down as board president. He and the board want to see younger volunteers.

“I hope somebody in the future takes care of this place like we do,” Herbener said.

Anyone wishing to support the cemetery, which is not affiliated with any church, can send donations to Laurel Cemetery Association, 160 Church St., White Haven, PA 18661.

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Lucky homeowners get landscaping makeovers

Last summer six readers were chosen as winners in our “Get Your Summer On” outdoor makeover contest, submitting essays about the sad states of their yards and how they could use some ideas and help to update and enhance them.

Calamities or life, in general, had gotten in the way of the best intentions and plans of most of them and, unfortunately, their yards had suffered.

Enter to win: Get Your Summer On!

What you could win: Backyard improvement package

How to enter: Submit a photo of your boring backyad and tell us why you want to have it spruced up.

Submit online:

Deadline: Monday, April 21

Jenny Kendall of Palatine was the winner of our “Patio Make-Over” package and JoAnn Lee of Arlington Heights was the winner of our “Entryway Make-Over” package. Each package is worth $10,000. Four runners-up also received packages worth varying amounts.

Kendall and her husband moved into their Palatine home four summers ago. She recalled being excited about having a blank canvas with which to work in their relatively empty backyard, hoping for a pond, a lovely garden and a fireplace around which to gather in the cooler weather.

None of that had happened by this time last year, however, thanks to a storm that first summer that flooded their basement. Costly repairs depleted money set aside for the yard, the Kimball Hill School program assistant explained.

Cathy Richardson, senior landscape designer with RYCO Landscaping of Lake in the Hills, worked with Kendall on the redesign of her patio, which suffered a lengthy setback because of zoning issues. An extra wide driveway, installed by the former owners of Kendall’s home, had taken them to the limit on their impervious surface allowance so RYCO’s expansion plans for the backyard patio were out of the question.

The Kendalls are still waiting for the final approval on their new plan, which involves installing Belgard patio pavers on top of the existing concrete patio to dress it up, along with adding two small, free-standing seat walls and a small auxiliary paver patio with a firepit.

“The Kendalls have applied for a variance to add that very small area of pavers which won’t affect their ground water runoff, which is what the village is concerned about,” Richardson said. “We are also planning to add some fresh new plants to infuse the yard with color. We expect this to be one of the first projects we install this year.”

“It is going to be awesome,” said Kendall. “I am looking extra forward to summer this year because of this new patio. It will really be special. I already have our dinner club and my book club scheduled to meet out there. Having that extra space in the summer will be really enjoyable. My kids are particularly excited about the fire pit. And once the patio is installed, we are looking forward to shopping for the new patio set we also won.”

Northwest Metalcraft of Arlington Heights will give them a new patio set to replace the former owners’ set that they have been using. In addition, Northwest Lighting and Accents of Mount Prospect will provide the Kendalls with path and accent lighting to highlight RYCO’s installations and Gordon Food Service and Binny’s will provide some extras for one of those gatherings that Kendall has planned.

The other winner, JoAnn Lee, is a licensed day care provider in her Arlington Heights home, so her backyard is littered with swing sets, slides, sandboxes and the other tools of her trade. Since it is the place where her young charges frolic, it isn’t exactly a good place for her and her husband to relax in the evenings and on the weekends.

Consequently, before winning the contest, they carved out a little space next to their front door for a small bistro table and that was where they sat in the evenings when there were no children around.

“I have often thought of building a small deck in this area for our little table and chairs,” she wrote in her application, “maybe removing a small tree for more space and adding some flowers, but I really have no ideas on how to do this myself and finances right now will not allow it.”

Everything changed last fall when RYCO did their makeover.

RYCO’s Richardson transformed the area for the Lees by giving it more of a courtyard feel with a larger Belgard paving space to match their flagstone-look paver driveway and a small curved seat wall to one side, along with some attractive flowering shrubs and perennials for color and height. They removed an unsightly tree to make the improvements.

The Lees also got landscape lighting, a post lamp and lights along the seat wall from Northwest Lighting and Accents in Mount Prospect.

“It turned out really well and now it is a great entryway for her guests. It made a big impact since it is in the front of her house,” Richardson said.

Lee agreed. “It is absolutely gorgeous! The things they added I just could never have imagined on my own. The lighting took my breath away when I saw it at dusk the first time. I would never have done anything this grand on my own.”

In addition to the design work, pavers and lighting, the Lees received a bistro patio set from Viking Patio and Ski in Barrington, a new mailbox from Northwest Metalcraft in Arlington Heights and goodies from GFS and Binny’s.


Amy and Scott Bell of Mount Prospect won a major improvement to the “mud pit” their backyard had become when they jack hammered out an old, nonfunctioning concrete pond with the intention of replacing it with a pond-less waterfall and some plantings.

They never got to make those improvements on their own, however, because their sewer pipe collapsed in the front yard and they had to spend the money they had allotted for backyard beautification on front yard sewer pipe replacement and landscaping repair instead.

To help them, “Get Your Summer On” gave the Bells an allowance from Aquascape Designs of St. Charles and Lisle, as well as a Toro lawn mower from a local Toro dealer, a gift card from Viking Patio and Ski for outdoor furniture and goodies from Binny’s and GFS to help them celebrate when the work was complete.

“We love the finished product,” Amy said late last summer. “They gave us just the right-sized pond-less waterfall next to our L-shaped deck. It is really a beautiful and there was truly an art to building it. It took three guys from Aquascapes all day to put those rocks together like a puzzle. They also helped us plant some small trees and other landscaping around it and we have been enjoying it almost every night ever since.”

“They will be surprised by the birds and butterflies that will come to their yard now,” said Brian Helfrich, construction manager for Aquascape Designs. “And they will find the sound of the water soothing and extremely relaxing. It will help them to retreat from their hectic lives and they will be able to later dress it up with creeping plants and other things that look nice with a water feature like Japanese maples.”

“We also love the furniture we got from Viking when they had their end-of-season sale. We got a fire table, love seat and two side chairs. It is really comfy furniture so we find that we want to be out there all the time,” she said.

Rose Waber of Wheaton was another winner. She received a conversation table with an umbrella and four “very comfortable” Adirondack chairs in a tropical lime green from Hearth and Home in Mount Prospect, as well as goodies from Binny’s and GFS.

“Our backyard is the reason we bought our house. It backs up to a meditation meadow that provides a sense of peace and opportunities to observe wildlife in the middle of the suburbs. Little did we know that we would need to dedicate our available time and money to rehabbing the house. Our backyard has remained only an opportunity to dream and plan,” she had written to the GYSO committee.

After she got her prize from Hearth and Home last summer, Waber said, “We couldn’t be more pleased with our new furniture. We used to have a traditional patio set. But this table and these chairs give a more relaxed feeling because they are at a conversation level. So we want to be out enjoying our yard much more often now.”

Amy Dawes of Aurora loves the Kamado Joe slow cooker she won from Northwest Metalcraft in Arlington Heights, admitting she had forgotten how good food could taste when cooked outside on a grill.

Last fall she showed off both the slow cooker and her new round Meridian patio set with chair cushions from Viking Patio and Ski in Barrington when she held a pot luck dinner for her fellow teachers in Naperville District 204, using some of her food prizes supplied by Binny’s and GFS.

“We are entertaining more now because these prizes have once again made being outside fun for us. We have family over all the time to enjoy our elegant new yard, and my husband, Carl, is cooking outside again,” Dawes said. “We were so happy to be able to replace our rusty old patio set and grill.”

For her townhouse patio, Cindy Parcher of East Dundee won a Solaire infrared grill from a local Solaire dealer and a bubbling urn water feature, set off by stone and larger rocks, from Aquascape Designs, as well as some do-it-yourself LED landscape lighting from Northwest Lighting and Accents in Mount Prospect. She also received goodies from Binny’s and GFS.

“Fountains give the homeowner the soothing sounds of water, which is very relaxing,” said Helfrich of Aquascape Designs.

“I am loving my new space,” Parcher said last fall, confirming Helfrich’s prediction. “I had a fire pit before, but had nowhere to place it. I now have incorporated it into my new outdoor space. I plan to spend tonight sitting outside with a small fire.”

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Landscape firm win spot at top flower show

Hambrooks landscapers in Fareham win place at RHS Hampton Court Palace show

Landscape firm win spot at top flower show

A HAMPSHIRE landscaping firm has won a place at a prestigious flower show this year.

Hambrooks, in Fareham, has been chosen to build a garden for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show after submitting a winning design for the Your Garden Your Budget project.

Hambrooks garden designer Stuart Towner, created the winning design called Halo, which was selected for the £13,000 budget category.

The Mediterranean- themed garden with arid planting, traditional crazy paving and paths is based on the imagery of a classic Greek island with a contemporary interpretation of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Norman Hambrook, managing director, said: “This idea of presenting gardens to visitors at the prestigious Hampton Palace Court Flower Show that are within a certain budget is an excellent way of demonstrating the fact you don’t have to spend a fortune on gardens to have something really quite spectacular – you just need great garden design.”

The show takes place between July 8 and July 13.

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Utilities Connection: Lush & Lean — Workshops teach gardening techniques – Las Cruces Sun

If you haven’t made it to Lush Lean yet this year, you are missing out. Presenters have offered many helpful water-wise gardening and landscaping pieces of information.

Jackye Meinecke of Enchanted Gardens of Las Cruces recently shared key principles of achieving success in your gardening endeavors.

“At Enchanted Gardens, we are not all about sales; we want to help make successful gardeners,” Meinecke said.

Meinecke can tell you what edible plants work best for this area, and what grasses are most drought tolerant.

“To be a successful gardener, you have to have the right plants in the right places,” explains Meinecke.

It’s good to have different “zones” in your landscape, she says, in which you place plants with fellow plants that need the same type of nurturing.

Peppers and other Mediterranean plants are the best edible plants for this area because they are conditioned to similar climates.

“Plants that need more water can go in an ‘oasis’ zone closer to your home where they are less exposed to the heat,” said Meinecke. “Those requiring less water can go into an outer zone. Your yard does not have to be restricted to rock and cactus; you can have blooming plants native to this area or from similar climates.”

Plant placement in the yard matters if you want your garden to flourish.

“Even in your own yard, you have micro climates,” said Kathryn Hovey, who attended Meinecke’s Lush Lean workshop. “It takes time to learn what they are and to get used to those micro climates. Jackye emphasized our responsibility to use the water that we have wisely; in order to do that we have to choose the right plants.”

All Lush Lean workshops start at 6 p.m. on Thursday evenings at the Women’s Improvement Association Building, 340 N. Reymond Street at W. Court Avenue, on the east side of Pioneer Park.

For information, visit or the City Water Conservation website at

The next workshop will be April 24 with Dr. Natalie Goldberg explaining how to diagnose and manage plant disorders in ornamentals, vegetables and turf grass.

In the meantime, Meinecke is always happy to help with any planting questions you may have when you visit Enchanted Gardens, 270 Avenida de Mesilla.

You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 575-528-3511 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides gas, water, wastewater and solid waste services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents.

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Seeds: Garden tours show Sacramento’s links to waterways

We are a community built on waterways. That sense of place not only inspires major public gardens, such as the new Anderson Healing Garden at Mercy General Hospital, but our own backyards.

That river-friendly theme can be seen, from very different perspectives, next Saturday during two garden tours. One offers a rare glimpse into a beautiful private garden along Carmichael Creek. Another explores the possibilities of living within our water limitations while being kind to our waterways.

Pauline and Irv Faria have nurtured their 1-acre woodland sanctuary in Carmichael for more than 50 years. Nicknamed “Pauline’s Garden” after the woman who does the work, their oasis was featured last November in The Bee.

“We still continue to receive requests for garden visits,” Irv Faria said. “The public response has been appreciated and motivating.”

Each spring, the Farias open Pauline’s Garden for one day to the public. Visitors can wander among scores of graceful Japanese maples and blooming azaleas in the shade of massive heritage oaks.

“I don’t know why, but the garden has never looked better in spring,” Faria said. “It was probably that heat spell we had, followed by a lot of rain. The azaleas are magnificent right now. The dogwoods are all out. The foxgloves are 4 feet high. Everything else is just blooming out of this world.”

Don’t be surprised if a bevy of quail scurries out from under a rhododendron or a wild turkey salutes with a loud gobble from an oak perch. This garden is a Certified National Wildlife Habitat, and the Farias welcome many animals and birds to share. Deer are regular visitors, too.

“Through the garden, we have attempted to satisfy our need to stay in touch and exist in harmony with wild nature,” said Faria, a retired university professor, when we toured the garden. “It has been our fortune to have a garden sanctuary set apart from the everyday world. It’s our private world we enjoy sharing with others.”

If you visit, wear sensible walking shoes; the property is steeply sloped along the creek sides. Eight terraces offer places to sit and view wildlife, or just relax amid the fragrant flowers. Whimsical wind sculptures and bronze statuary decorate the winding paths.

The sound of water provides a steady and relaxing soundtrack. Among the many water features are large frog ponds, a hillside waterfall and cascading fountains.

Water keeps flowing in the creek, too. “It’s fed by two other creeks,” Faria noted. “It’s mainly runoff, but it just hasn’t stopped.”

The Farias usually open Pauline’s Garden later in spring, Irv noted. “But everything is coming out (into bloom) so much, we were afraid to wait any longer.”

So far, the garden has survived the drought very well, he added. “We’ve cut back a lot in our water use, but it’s holding up really well. We have so much shade; that helps.”

So does mulch. “I brought in a truckload of shredded cedar bark and spread it all over,” Faria said. “That’s helped tremendously.”

‘Greener Gardens’ tour

Saving water while helping waterways is the focus of the Elk Grove Greener Gardens expo and garden tour, also next Saturday. This all-day event includes hands-on demonstrations, vendors, industry experts, plants sales and more at a do-it-yourself expo in Elk Grove’s Miwok Park. Master gardeners will staff a plant clinic and solve garden mysteries; bring your questions (and examples of pests or problem foliage in a sealed plastic bag).

“The free expo is designed to teach the public how to incorporate sustainable and river-friendly principles into their own landscapes,” explained organizer Soleil Tranquilli. “Our free garden tour showcases several local residential landscapes featuring lawn conversions, drought-tolerant landscaping, river-friendly landscapes and water-conserving landscape designs. Two special ‘all-star’ gardens will be revisited this year. (Labeled) plant names help you identify favorites for your own garden.”

Also on the tour are three public gardens: Elk Grove Rain Garden Plaza, the River-Friendly Inspiration Garden and the Elk Grove Community Garden.

See a virtual tour of gardens featured on previous tours online at Via the website, you also can register in advance for this year’s tour and get the map to homes.

The current drought will prompt many people to see these attractive examples of water-wise, mostly lawnless landscapes. But even in rainy years, this low-water philosophy offers dividends, Tranquilli noted.

“Landscape watering accounts for over 50 percent of residential water use, largely spent on watering lawns,” she said. “According to the American Water Association, converting a 2,500-square-foot lawn to low-water-use plantings saves 372 gallons of water per day during the growing season. In just one year, a homeowner who converts their traditional landscaping can save 44,640 gallons of water.

“Water conservation is just one piece of the ‘Greener Gardens’ mission,” she added. “By encouraging river-friendly landscapes, we aim to conserve water, protect our local waterways from flooding and contamination from the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers, and contribute to recharging groundwater.”

It all links back to those rivers and creeks, those waterway ties that bind us together.

“Even when a local stream cannot be seen visually, all areas are watersheds and thus connected,” Tranquilli said. “We know that personal landscaping choices do affect local waterways. Showing this connection is the first step to making positive changes.”

•  Events calendar: More garden tours, events

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

• Read more articles by Debbie Arrington

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7 Gardening Tips For Neem Tree


The seeds, bark and leaves of the neem tree are mostly used to produce medicinal, cosmetic and insecticidal products. Apart from their leaves and bark, even the fruit from the tree is used for medicinal purposes. It is a well-known fact that neem leaves have been used as an antiseptic and also to treat acute skin problems. Many practitioners use the leaves of the tree to treat ailments ranging from skin rashes to diabetes. The leaves are also made into shampoos, soaps and skin care products.

Interestingly, even neem oil obtained by pressing the fruits and seeds of the tree offers many benefits. It is mostly used for treating fungal diseases like black spot, needle rust, mildew and scab, anthracnose and rust. Here are some simple gardening tips to grow the medicinal neem tree.

7 Gardening Tips For Neem Tree

Purchase a young plant
If you have decided to grow a neem tree in your garden, then make sure to purchase a young tree or order seeds from a good seed company. There are plenty of sources available online to purchase seeds.

All types of soil
Neem grows in almost all types of soil. Growing neem tree is simple as it can be grown in any type of soil which includes clayey, saline, black cotton soil and alkaline soils.

Place your pot in a warm temperature
It is definitely better to cover the seeds with about one inch deep soil in a nursery. Even if you want to grow multiple trees, start your seeds in small pots. The most remembered gardening tip to grow neem tree is to begin cultivating it in spring as the temperature at that time is best suited for germination. Seeds usually take about three to four weeks to germinate.

Avoid sunlight
There is also a way to grow young neem tree in a large pot with drainage holes but make sure to use the best potting mix. Potted neem tree can be kept in natural sunlight and an outdoor environment from spring to late summers, however try to keep the tree indoor after the arrival of fall. Never place the tree in the hot sun for long hours when the young tree starts to show signs of growth. It is also good to provide fluorescent light for several hours during the dark winter months as this helps the tree to respond positively and to continue its growth.

Apply organic fertiliser
Next plant the tree after digging a hole that is larger than the pot size or root system. Make sure to plant the tree deeply to cover the total root ball. Try to grow the neem tree by filling the hole after you set the plant into it.

The most important gardening tip is to water young trees once a week with an organic fertiliser like liquid fish emulsions. Be careful to follow the instructions before applying the fertiliser. You need to apply one-half strength dilution of fish emulsion with 1 gallon of water. It is important not to fertilise the tree during winter.

Soil needs to dry
Remember to water the young tree if you want it to retain the moisture in the soil.

Prune your plant
It is better to prune your young tree during spring if you want to maintain a manageable size. You can also prune during late summer.

These are some of the gardening tips that you need to follow for growing a neem tree.

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Etter’s Greenhouse: New owner ready with flowers, gardening tips

April 19, 2014

Etter’s Greenhouse: New owner ready with flowers, gardening tips


Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:00 AM EDT

The new owner of the former Buchanan Greenhouses in Tazewell County is hoping to carry on a tradition that has been in the community for more than 25 years.

Stewart Etter, 28, of Witten Valley in Tazewell, Va., has bought the Buchanan Greenhouses and is excited for what this spring holds.

“I am hoping to be able to put my own touch on the greenhouse this year,” Etter, a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in agriculture economics, said.

Etter changed the name to Etter’s Greenhouse when he bought the business from Mac Buchanan, who owned the greenhouse more than 25 years.

“He approached me about buying it and wanted to see it carried on,” Etter said. “It is nice to see young people in the community taking over businesses that have been in business for a long time. It’s like carrying on a tradition.”

Etter, who also owns and operates the Pisgah Pumpkin Patch, is excited to be expanding more into the agriculture business.

“I like agriculture in all forms,” Etter said.

All seven greenhouses at Etter’s Greenhouse are packed with a variety of flowers, trees and vegetables.

“I am interested in being able to help first-time gardeners as well the experienced gardeners,” Etter said. “I love seeing young people coming out and getting involved in growing their own gardens.”

Etter is knowledgeable about all types of plants and will be able to provide information on how, when and where to plant your flowers or gardens.

“I hope for a good season and I hope to be able to expand in the future,” Etter said. “I appreciate the support from the community and I am excited to be able to provide flowers and vegetables to everyone,” Etter said.

Etter’s Greenhouse is located at 214 West Pine St., Tazewell, Va.

Check them out on Facebook at Etter’s Greenhouse for hours and information about your gardening needs.

— Contact Anne Elgin at

Text Only

Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.

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April 26: Get gardening tips at open house

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Do this, plant that: Productivity tips in the garden

Here are a few of my favorite tricks for getting a little bit closer to a garden nirvana.

Soaker hoses: Keeping up with watering can rob many hours of precious free time. An easy way to cut down on this time consuming event is to make sure your plants are getting water right where they need it by using soaker hoses. These porous hoses allow water to seep out slowly and deeply. Roots have time to absorb the moisture and there is less risk of over-watering.

Automatic timers: Simplify watering duties even more by using automatic timers. Use these in conjunction with soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems and put your watering woes on autopilot. The timers can be set to come on automatically from several times a day to once a week. Then, whether you leave home for weeks or want more carefree time in the hammock, you won’t have to worry about your plants or lawn not getting watered.

Mulch: Usually the most dreaded task in any garden is the weeding. One simple solution to cutting down on the amount of weeds your garden will have is to use mulch. A three-inch layer will block the sunlight most weed seeds need to germinate. The added benefit of mulch is that it keeps your soil cooler, cuts down on moisture loss and helps suppress disease. It even looks great and really shows off the plants.

A garden mailbox: Even the most organized gardeners find themselves running back to the shed or garage for that must-have tool for the job at hand. Placing a mailbox or similar storage box in the garden can eliminate those unnecessary trips back to the tool shed. Fill the mailbox with your most important small tools and you’ll always have them close at hand. Consider adding a trowel, plant labels, waterproof pen, twine, scissors, pruners, insect spray and bottled water. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Plants To Plant

When it comes to high-impact, low-maintenance plants, here are three of my favorites. Just keep in mind, even the least demanding plants deserve our attention every now and then.

Knock Out roses: This is the un-fussy rose. If you’ve been intimidated by growing roses in the past or are tired of the work necessary to keep them disease and pest-free, this is the rose for you. Knockout roses are prolific bloomers and are very resistant to black spot and mildew problems typical of so many other roses. Provide full sun and well-drained soil and this rose will reward you with months of carefree beauty.

Daylilies: They’re so easy, you can practically lay a daylily on the ground and watch it grow. Daylilies are beautiful and deer resistant with thousands of varieties in a rainbow of colors. They bloom all summer and return the next year thicker and fuller than before. The only work you’ll have to do is to divide them every 3 to 5 years.

Hostas: If you’re looking for a showstopper for the shade garden, hostas are it. From miniature to massive, these plants known for their bold foliage are available in thousands of varieties. Hostas offer many shades of green, from lemon-lime to blue-green and every shade in between. The bonus with this easy care plant is that some are highly fragrant and all do well in containers. Unfortunately deer resistance is not one of its strengths.

Joe Lamp’l is the host and executive producer of “Growing a Greener World” on national public television, and the founder of The joe gardener Company, devoted to environmentally responsible gardening and sustainable outdoor living.

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