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Archives for April 30, 2014

Guilford residents say school construction cost privacy, scenery






GUILFORD Nearly two weeks after residents of the community adjacent to the site of the new Guilford High School expressed their concerns about the ongoing construction, the Board of Selectmen spent more than an hour Tuesday discussing possible solutions to the issues.

On April 17, the selectmen met with Long Hill Farm residents who were “frustrated and upset” with what they called a loss of privacy, scenery and peace and quiet as a result of the construction associated with Guilford’s new $92 million high school, according to meeting minutes.

Tuesday’s meeting served to explore how the town could address concerns from the residents and representatives from the Guilford High School Building Committee ultimately decided to take the lead in meeting with the project’s landscape architect and Long Hill Farm residents to discuss solutions to restore a landscaping buffer between the school and development.

“We’re happy the selectmen came out to our community and felt what we felt and they responded,” said Roy Smith, president of the Long Hill Farm Association. “We couldn’t ask for more support.”

“We want to work with them and not against them,” Smith added.

Mary Beeman of the Guilford High School Building Committee said she would bring the concerns of the residents to the rest of the committee and the project’s landscape architect.

“They’re essential to the process,” Beeman said of the residents.

Smith said the community’s major concern is the disruption of the “wooded barrier between the school and the community” and added that they would like their privacy restored.

Long Hill Farm residents said at the April 17 meeting that they were concerned about a drop in real estate values as a result of the construction as well as the loss of landscaping between the community and the school.

Robert Berkowitz, Long Hill Farm Association’s liaison to the building committee, indicated that residents aren’t looking to completely black out the school from the view of residents, but nonetheless would like a buffer between the school and the development.

“We’re not looking for high-end landscaping,” Berkowitz said. “I don’t think residents will mind a partial view of the building.”

Toward the end of the meeting, First Selectman Joseph Mazza urged the building committee to keep the residents informed and asked members of the committee to look into and address their concerns.

Call Sean Carlin at 203-645-9661. Have questions, feedback or ideas about our news coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the New Haven Register at AskTheRegister.com.

Article source: http://www.nhregister.com/social-affairs/20140429/guilford-residents-say-school-construction-cost-privacy-scenery

AYLESBURY MASTERPLAN: £15 million plans for restaurant quarter and new …

The first £15million stage of the redevelopment of Aylesbury town centre will focus on new restaurants, homes and open spaces – but not new shops.

Phase One of the masterplan, which is made public today, will see the area opposite the Odeon Cinema become a Mecca for restaurants, bars and flats facing a ‘new town square’.

Artists’ impressions show a grand, cloisters-style building housing eateries on the ground floor and flats above.

This is the third time plans for Exchange Street have been put forward over more than a decade, with the credit crunch shelving many of the previous proposals.

Neil Blake, who as leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council is jointly responsible for spearheading the project said: “It is quite fortunate in many ways that we didn’t go ahead with the plans when they were put forward a few years ago.

“This was when we were going to bring in an anchor department store in the redevelopment of the town centre. I think we were very lucky with the way that the economy has gone. The vision then was retail, the vision now is for less retail.

“The market has changed and people’s ideas have changed and the market for shops is not as strong.”

He added: “The success of the new Wagmama and Nandos is generating interest.

“Success breeds success and if restaurateurs see what is already going on they will want to come here.”

A planning application, which will be submitted in June this year will include around 2,250 square metres of food and beverage facilities, 3,950 square metres of residential space, 4,750 square metres of public open space and 350 square metres of community space.

The plans for phase one also include new pedestrian routes to Exchange Street and Walton Street from the town centre and enhanced landscaping around Judges Lodgings.If the application is successful the councils say that works could begin as early as spring 2015.

Martin Tett, leader of Bucks County Council, which is also responsible for the scheme together with Aylesbury Vale Advantage, said: “By utilising the assets of Aylesbury Vale District Council and Bucks County Council we can do so much.

“If more people come to live in the town centre they will use these bars and cafes, and the retail will thrive as well.

Bucks County Council has already submitted a planning application to complete the £2million groundworks for the phase one scheme.

This includes the demolition of the rear of the old county office buildings and one of the former police station buildings so that a temporary surface car park can be built. If approved the new car park will be open in late 2014. As a result of the proposed phase one project 95 parking spaces will be lost in Exchange Street surface car park.

To read other stories on the redevelopment plans, click on the links below.

Exchange Street to become boulevard with extra crossings and Hampden House to be redeveloped.

New masterplan doesn’t include any new shops for now.

How will we pay for this grand scheme?

Learn more about the blueprints here – and have your say.

Article source: http://www.bucksherald.co.uk/news/more-news/aylesbury-masterplan-15-million-plans-for-restaurant-quarter-and-new-town-square-unveiled-1-6027984

Guilford residents unhappy school construction blocking their view






GUILFORD Nearly two weeks after residents of the community adjacent to the site of the new Guilford High School expressed their concerns about the ongoing construction, the Board of Selectmen spent more than an hour Tuesday discussing possible solutions to the issues.

On April 17, the selectmen met with Long Hill Farm residents who were “frustrated and upset” with what they called a loss of privacy, scenery and peace and quiet as a result of the construction associated with Guilford’s new $92 million high school, according to meeting minutes.

Tuesday’s meeting served to explore how the town could address concerns from the residents and representatives from the Guilford High School Building Committee ultimately decided to take the lead in meeting with the project’s landscape architect and Long Hill Farm residents to discuss solutions to restore a landscaping buffer between the school and development.

“We’re happy the selectmen came out to our community and felt what we felt and they responded,” said Roy Smith, president of the Long Hill Farm Association. “We couldn’t ask for more support.”

“We want to work with them and not against them,” Smith added.

Mary Beeman of the Guilford High School Building Committee said she would bring the concerns of the residents to the rest of the committee and the project’s landscape architect.

“They’re essential to the process,” Beeman said of the residents.

Smith said the community’s major concern is the disruption of the “wooded barrier between the school and the community” and added that they would like their privacy restored.

Long Hill Farm residents said at the April 17 meeting that they were concerned about a drop in real estate values as a result of the construction as well as the loss of landscaping between the community and the school.

Robert Berkowitz, Long Hill Farm Association’s liaison to the building committee, indicated that residents aren’t looking to completely black out the school from the view of residents, but nonetheless would like a buffer between the school and the development.

“We’re not looking for high-end landscaping,” Berkowitz said. “I don’t think residents will mind a partial view of the building.”

Toward the end of the meeting, First Selectman Joseph Mazza urged the building committee to keep the residents informed and asked members of the committee to look into and address their concerns.

Call Sean Carlin at 203-645-9661. Have questions, feedback or ideas about our news coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the New Haven Register at AskTheRegister.com.

Article source: http://www.nhregister.com/social-affairs/20140429/guilford-residents-unhappy-school-construction-blocking-their-view

Now and Zen – Winston

Bill Flynn and his wife, Dawn, were looking for a house they could move into with Bill’s mother, Jean. That’s when they stumbled upon the midcentury ranch of a former dentist. Built in 1961, the home was originally designed with a separate wing for a dental office. The unique floor plan suited the Flynns perfectly.


After remodeling the office into an efficiency apartment for his mother, he turned his attention to the landscape just outside his mother’s window and began planting an English cottage garden. Creative by nature, Flynn discovered a new passion and outlet for his artistic proclivities in gardening. It wasn’t long before he became obsessed with garden design. “If there was a garden around, I wanted to go see it.”

That’s when Flynn discovered the work of John Newman, a former WFU law school graduate and local attorney turned garden designer. “I went to look at all his jobs,” Flynn recalls, “and I remember thinking, ‘There’s someone who knows what he’s doing.’”

Raised in the nearby town of Albemarle, Newman was introduced to gardening at a young age by his grandmother. He fondly recalls taking family trips to the Uwharrie Mountains and reveling in the natural beauty of the North Carolina Piedmont.

Years later as an adult, Newman visited the Japanese garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and bought a small book about Japanese gardening. He found himself immediately drawn to its design principles.

With the book providing inspiration, Newman decided to combine his lifelong love of plants with a renewed focus on design and become a professional garden designer. Now, with more than 20 years of professional experience, Newman operates with a primary goal of “bringing nature closer to people. My objective is to connect architecture with the larger environment and to integrate interior and exterior space in seamless transition.”

For Newman, working with a client like Flynn became a true collaboration. “It’s easy when you’re on the same page with someone,” Newman says. “He’s the best garden keeper in the world.”

Flynn’s penchant for all-things Asian was already a part of the home’s décor, so it was only a matter of time before that passion for the East made its way outdoors. He relocated a row of azaleas that once stood at his front door and placed them strategically in beds around the house. Each azalea was pruned to showcase the plant’s structure in a style that mimicked the art of bonsai. He also designed new stylized copper downspouts at the corners of the house which were once hidden. As one passerby put it: “This ain’t no Southern house.”

It was true, especially after Newman came in and worked his magic. The abstract and stylized ways he used exotic plants and stone not only complemented the home’s midcentury design, they distinguished it as well. “Stones are always present in my work,” Newman says. “Stepping stones, walls, borders, and landscape boulders.”

Out back, a stone planter features the work of one of Newman’s understudies, Ian Byers. After a day spent handpicking stones in Stokes County, Byers created a series of miniature compositions using groups of three rocks. Each featured one tall vertical rock with two smaller ones flanking it—a design that represents Buddha and his two attendants. “Each composition can be photographed by itself,” Newman says. “They can stand alone.”

These days, the Flynns’ home and gardens remain a work in progress, ever evolving. While the exterior of the house promotes meditation and contemplation, the interior of the home remains a veritable time capsule, immaculate and pristine in its own way.

With spring slowly settling in, Flynn is content to sit and watch his garden grow. After all, natural beauty like this is meant to be enjoyed.

Article source: http://www.journalnow.com/winstonsalemmonthly/now-and-zen/article_8039875e-cfec-11e3-92eb-001a4bcf6878.html

Around Alamo: Tour lovely gardens this Mother’s Day Weekend

The local chapter of American Association of University Women’s Annual Garden Tour has become a tradition among locals.

Each year the various gardens on tour delight guests as they meander from home to home, taking in the beautiful sights and fabulous fragrances and occasionally get intriguing ideas, perhaps, for their own backyards. Mark your calendars for May 9 or May 10 for the tour, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Member Tena Gallagher was happy to report that four of the five gardens on tour are located in Alamo, including the gardens of three AAUW members, Paula Weintraub, Luisa Hansen and Donna Brown. Tena and AAUW members encourage the community to attend to come on out and enjoy the fresh air and lovely landscapes.

“Begin your Mother’s Day Weekend by treating your mother and daughters to this self-guided tour of five of the loveliest gardens in the Alamo and Danville area. From the calm serenity of an artist’s studio garden to an exquisite entertainment garden featuring expansive lawns, terraced hillside and multiple patio areas, you will be inspired by the creative elegance of each of these unique gardens,” Tena said via email.

The homeowners of the “Serenity Garden” planted two Oak trees 50 years ago, which greet guests as they arrive. Landscape designer Bill Williams has incorporated beautiful large stones into the landscaping. A wisteria-covered patio is a notable truck shape and being drought-mindful, the owners have added realistic artificial grass to add some green and save water at the same time. There is a quiet shaded garden, however the pool welcomes the sun and is nestled in the yard by citrus trees along the fence.

The “Entertainment Garden” in Alamo boasts an expansive lawn, tennis and basketball court. Rock plantings, annuals and perennials color the landscape. A pool garden provides a place for family to gather. The “Artists Wonderland” is a place for the owner to display works of art created by this resident artist and include ceramic and metal pieces. Whimsical pieces decorate and “protect” the property. Alice in Wonderland flowers are scattered throughout, along with cast-iron Tree of Life and big Grecian urns. Don’t miss the figurines in the garden and peeking out of the shrubbery.

A hillside above Danville offers lots of privacy and a calm and naturalistic setting, making this “retreat” seem far from it all. The owner is a sculptor, displaying her work throughout her garden, among potted plants. Her studio is in her garden area and there is a lovely view of Mount Diablo from the back yard. The pool area encompasses a dining area, perfect for enjoying meals al fresco and relaxing.

The “Fun Garden” displays “garden treasures” the owner finds, which includes flower pots on the porch and a collection of bird houses and an outdoor “breakfast nook” among other clay pots. An assortment of Asian artifacts surround a stone bench, offering the perfect place to sit and ponder.

Tickets for the tour are $30 each, $25 for seniors age 65 and until May 5 and then ticket prices go up an additional $5 apiece. Tickets can be bought at East Bay Flower Company, 206 Sycamore Valley Road West in Danville in the Livery, or online at http://daw-ca.aauw.net/garden. Or mail a check payable to AAUW Funds with a self-addressed stamped #10 envelope to: AAUW Garden Tour, P.O. Box 996, Alamo, CA 94507.

Light refreshments will be provided, and all proceeds benefit scholarships, research and grants for dedicated women scholars. Another gift idea for Mother’s Day is the fun game, Mommy Tonic, created by two talented Alamo women, and is taking off by storm. Read more about the creators and how they came up with the idea in my next column. In the meantime, go to www.mommytonic.com to order Mom the game today. Wishing all moms a Happy Mother’s Day!

Contact Caterina Mellinger at around- alamo@hotmail.com.

Article source: http://www.contracostatimes.com/san-ramon-valley-times/ci_25662075/around-alamo-tour-lovely-gardens-this-mothers-day

KEEPING FIT: Tips to avoid injuries while gardening


By Wayne L. Westcott
For The Patriot Ledger


Posted Apr. 27, 2014 @ 7:00 am


Article source: http://hamilton.wickedlocal.com/article/20140425/LIFESTYLE/140427420/12456/OPINION

What Does The Harsh Winter Mean For Spring Gardening? Tips From …

After an especially harsh winter, spring has returned to St. Louis. Gardeners across the region are planting and planning for the growing season.

But the plants are still feeling the effects of the unusual cold, said Missouri Botanical Garden horticulturists June Hutson and Elizabeth Spiegel.

“It’s done its damage,” said Hutson, who is a consultant and designer for the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Kemper Center for Home Gardening. “We continue to have to monitor things to see if they’re alive or dead, it’s that critical. And so we fear that some things have really been injured and at best you’ll have to cut them down to the ground and hope they come back from the base. But other things seem unscathed, but it’s a lot of dead wood out there on everything.”

And all that dead wood means a special focus on pruning is needed. Hutson said it is best to wait and make sure branches of trees, shrubs and bushes are truly dead before pruning.

“Keep scratching [the bark] and where the green ends, that’s where it is dead and you can cut right there,” she said.

Despite the rash of extremely cold days, the spring season hasn’t been delayed by repeat frosts. That means it’s not too soon to start your planting your vegetable garden, said Spiegel. She already has peas, carrots, lettuce and beets planted. She is waiting until the night temperature stays around 55 degrees to plant her tomatoes and peppers, however.

Advice for First-Time Gardeners

One way to get a leg-up as a first-time gardener is to get your soil tested, said Hutson. That way you can find out what nutrients your soil is lacking and target your treatment accordingly. The Kemper Garden offers a soil testing service, she added. Just bring in two cups of soil in a paper bag.

Before going to the nursery, “look at your garden and see how much sunlight it gets,” said Spiegel. “Know whether the soil stays moist or dries out quickly.”

Listener Questions

Hutson and Spiegel answered numerous listener questions on how to help plants doing poorly, including azaleas, magnolias and squash. They also gave tips on the best way to handle pests ranging from cucumber beetles to lawn grubs to voles.

As chief bee keeper at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Spiegel gave advice on how to capture a swarming bee hive.

Got a Slug Problem? Find a Sweet Gum Tree.

For all of you out there with a slug problem, Hutson suggested finding a neighbor with a sweet gum tree. Evidently it hurts slugs to crawl over sweet gum tree balls.

Related Information

Missouri Botanical Garden Hotline: 314-577-5143

For more gardening tips, including information on how to build a rain garden, visit the Kemper Center for Home Gardening website.

St. Louis on the Air provides discussion about issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh.

Article source: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/what-does-harsh-winter-mean-spring-gardening-tips-horticulturists

Garden Views: Spring lawn care tips

By Ken Brennen
Master Gardener

Thinking spring often means thinking about a lush spring lawn. Here are some tips for getting the typical Anoka County lawn off to a good start. But temper your enthusiasm. Don’t work on your lawn while it is wet or you’ll do more damage than good.

Most of our lawns are cool season Kentucky Bluegrass mixes that grow with spring and fall moisture and are dormant in warm dry summer weather. The best times to fertilize are during these growth periods. In the spring it is from mid-May to mid-June. Either a drop or rotary spreader will do. The most essential nutrient for grass is nitrogen, but look for a fertilizer labeled “slow release” nitrogen. Other types will give a quickly fading burst of green while adding to the earth’s nitrogen pollution and may leave ugly burn spots in your grass.

Nitrogen is only a fraction of the weight of any fertilizer. Lawn spreaders are calibrated to give two pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Check the back of the fertilizer bag for the recommended setting for your brand of spreader. Less is better than more because excess nitrogen can cause your grass plants to grow so fast they become scrawny and susceptible to a variety of lawn diseases.

Your lawn mower is your most important lawn maintenance tool. It can help you reduce water usage, fertilize the lawn, and prevent the growth of annual weeds. Keep it sharp so it cuts, rather than tears the grass. Set your mower height to two inches, then let your grass grow to about three inches before mowing. Longer grass shades the roots reducing the need for additional water. A secondary benefit of shading the roots is it prevents the growth of annual weed seeds which require sunlight to sprout, so your lawnmower can act like a pre-emergent weed killer.

Your mower will also help you fertilize your lawn by recycling that nitrogen you worked so hard to apply. Just let the clippings fall back on the lawn. They will quickly decompose, releasing their nitrogen back to the soil. Some folks worry about forming lawn-choking “thatch” from clippings, but lawn experts tell us thatch forms from the tough stems lower on the plant, not the leaf clippings.

As dry summer weather comes on you will have to water your lawn. The recommended rate is one inch per week preferably applied in two equal applications. Water in the morning so that the grass has a chance to dry quickly and lessen the chance of disease. To determine how much water you’ve applied place a flat container like a tuna fish cane on the lawn and check the depth. Much more lawn information is available at:  http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/lawns/

The Anoka County Master Gardeners invite you to visit our web page http://anokamastergardeners.org/ Click on Hot Topics for information about our plant sale, May 20-21 at Anoka Armory Center and the Plant Diagnostic Clinics, which offer expert help with your landscape and garden problems, starting mid-May.

Ken Breenen is an Anoka County Master Gardener.

Article source: http://abcnewspapers.com/2014/04/26/garden-views-spring-lawn-care-tips/

Weather’s better, so get out there and garden. Here’re some tips

Mary Loos spent some time with local gardening expert Deby Barnhart, who is the owner of Cornell Farm, to learn some strategies for warm weather gardening.

Click the “Play Video” button to watch the story.

Article source: http://www.katu.com/news/outdoors/Weathers-better-get-out-there-and-garden-Herere-some-tips-257260641.html

Landscape designers compete in RTɒs Super Garden

Landscape designers compete in RTÉ’s Super GardenLandscape designers compete in RTÉ’s Super Garden

Jenny McGovern

Super Garden returned to RTÉ 1 last Thursday for a brand new series in which five up-and-coming designers compete to showcase their garden at this year’s 2014 Bloom Festival and this year there’s a Cavan contestant on board.
The show will follow each designer from the initial concept and design stage, to pitching their idea to the Super Garden judges, through the reality of the construction process and then the completion of their Super Garden. With just weeks to design and build a show garden, and a budget of just €5,000, the challenges that will face these promising designers will unfold throughout the series.

Homeowners’ specifications

Each garden designer works on a garden and to a brief given to them by the residents. Mindful of their budget, the designer must design a garden to the homeowners’ specifications. All five have been given similar size gardens to work with, but each has a very different brief, and certainly very different design approaches. This Thursday will see Ballymachugh native Padraig Kelly (26) grace our screens as he creates a garden, which showcases purely native Irish plants – his mission is to show the best of Irish horticulture by using guaranteed Irish plants in a woodland paradise. A landscape gardener by trade Padraig said he “thoroughly enjoyed” the experience.

Stunning location
The winner of Super Garden will be revealed in the sixth and final episode of the series, when all the designers and judges gather at the stunning location of Powerscourt House in Wicklow. The prize will be awarded to the designer voted Super Garden designer 2014, and with it the life-changing opportunity to re-create their design at the prestigious Bloom 2014 and the possibility of pursuing a career in professional garden design.

Article source: http://www.anglocelt.ie/news/roundup/articles/2014/04/29/4029888-landscape-designers-compete-in-rts-super-garden/