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Archives for May 13, 2014

TALK TO TINA: SCW residents weigh in on community’s ‘new look’

RCSCW new look

RCSCW new look

Kris Floor with Thinking Caps Design discusses the proposed new look for the R.H. Johnson Recreation Center Friday, May 9, 2014 during the governing board workshop.

RCSCW new look

RCSCW new look

Proposed plants are shown for the new look at R.H. Johnson Recreation Center Friday, May 9, 2014 during the governing board workshop.

Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014 5:00 pm

Updated: 7:46 pm, Mon May 12, 2014.

TALK TO TINA: SCW residents weigh in on community’s ‘new look’

BY Tina Gamez, Daily News-Sun

Your West Valley

As the Recreation Centers of Sun City West look to modernize the dated look of R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, the governing board, staff and residents got a firsthand look last week on the proposed changes.

There is a new logo and color palette with changes in the buildings, landscape, parking lot, new lighting and signage as well as shaded courtyard spaces.

During the workshop Friday, residents weighed in on what they think about it.

“Do it,” said James West, a resident who attends most meetings. He said he likes the “modern new look,” shade and color. He likes the “welcoming view of the whole thing.”

Richard Brown said “it looks very interesting that we would try and stay updated on everything. Some of the transitions, that come from a dark area onto the bright sunlight, is really quite interesting that they’re finally addressing an issue like that.”

He added that they’re taking the small factors and modifying them and also changing the big things.

“It’s a good time to blend in with Fry’s,” and he likes what he sees so far.

His wife, Dede Brown, said she likes the colors. “I think they’re very modern and it’ll update the whole community eventually, especially when they do all the other rec centers. I’m excited about it.”

Dr. Barry Pines said the new logo reminds him of a military ordnance signal such as a flaming bomb. He said he doesn’t care for it. “It’s not vibrant enough for this community.”

He said he wouldn’t approve anything until he knows what the “total cost will be. That really has to be addressed before you start anything.”

Pines added: “Knowing the cost before you enter, I wouldn’t remodel my house unless I knew exactly what it was going to cost.”

Nancy Pines agreed with her husband. She said she’s not sure about the logo or colors. “Brighter, but I’m not sure if it’s quite there. I like the shading and the trees. I like most of it. I like that they’re still in the beginning process.”

Judy Reed said it looks wonderful.

Governing Board Director Kay Williams said she loves it. “I think they’ve done a quality job. I think it’s going to give us what we want without a drastic change that will be difficult for some of the residents to accept.

Williams, the chairperson of the Properties Committee, said when the committee did a walk-through of the rec centers last fall, they talked about the paint colors and old look.

“Signage has been an issue for some time because our directional signage here is not good — and the lighting — and the landscaping,” said Williams.

“They listened, they worked well with staff and I was on the committee that was dealing with them. I think they’ve done a very good job.”

The board drawings with the proposed ideas are on display in the R.H. Johnson Library.


Monday, May 12, 2014 5:00 pm.

Updated: 7:46 pm.

Article source:

Asheville area community calendar – Asheville Citizen

GET LISTED: Share events at at least two weeks in advance of publication.

May 13

Shag lessons and dancing: Every Tuesday with Mountain Shag Club at Showtime Saloon, 97 Underwood Road, Fletcher. Free lesson 6:30-7 p.m. No partner needed. Rotating DJ’s 7-10 p.m. $5 cover charge.

“Echoes of the Cotton Club”: 5 p.m., Laurel Ridge Country Club, Cupp Lane, Waynesville. Musical salute to the roots of jazz and the Big Band era. By WCU Catamount Singers and Electric Soul. $30 includes entertainment, small plates and desserts. For tickets, call 452-0545, ext. 131.

AARP Smart Driver class: 1 p.m., Hunter Volvo, 252 Patton Ave., Asheville. Classroom-only course offers tips for remaining safely behind the wheel, coping with inevitable changes in reaction time as well as increased hazards on busy roads. Come 15-30 minutes early to register and receive materials. $15 AARP members, $20 non-members. Call 299-0069 to register.

“Postpone Nothing” authors to speak: Lynne and Tim Martin speak at 7 p.m., Malaprop’s, 55 Haywood St., Asheville. In 2011 they sold their home, disbursed their belongings, and set out on a journey that took them across several continents. The “postpone nothing” mantra has since become the subject of Lynne’s best-selling book “Home Sweet Anywhere.”

May 14

Asheville Mushroom Club: 7 p.m., WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. membership $20 per year, family $25. Learn about and collect all kinds of fungi and eat edible mushrooms we gather in the forest. Others cultivate fungi in their gardens. Hear from experts. A number of forays (field trips) around Western North Carolina. Some are day trips while others are camping adventures.

Shred Day for Hendersonville residents: 9-10:30 a.m. in parking lot of Patton Park, 59 E. Clairmont Drive, Hendersonville. American Security Shredding will have their shredding truck available to allow residents to dispose of sensitive materials. Bring up to two boxes (or 50 pounds) of paper items. This is not for businesses. The public can simply drop their documents off or stay and watch. Bring food and toiletry items to donate to The Storehouse and IAM. 697-3088.

Blue Ridge Orchestra open rehearsals: Community orchestra directed by Milton Crotts holds rehearsal at 7 p.m. at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center. Free. 251-6140 or

“Bird Feeding Myths Facts” program: 3 p.m., Mills River Library, 124 Town Center Drive, Mills River. Do hummers stop migrating if you leave your feeder out too late in the season? Is there really a “no-mess” bird food? Can a bird choke on peanut butter? Free. 697-4725.

Asheville Lions Club benefit horse show: 6:30-9:30 p.m., WNC Ag Center’s Morris McGough Arena, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher. Saddlebred horse show to raise funds for Asheville Lions eye clinic. Free but donations accepted. 665-2982 or

May 15

Ignite Asheville Big Idea Competition: 3-5 p.m., The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave., Asheville. Asheville is a creative hub for entrepreneurs with bold ideas that enhance our quality of life and transform how we live, work, and play. Speakers from 10 high-impact ventures will share insights during five-minute lightning rounds about their big ideas and how they embrace challenges through ingenuity and collaboration. Get inspired by these success stories in technology, outdoor apparel, natural performance foods and other Asheville innovations. $12 Asheville Chamber members, $15 non-members. 258-6118 or

WNC GM Alumni Club: 11:30 a.m., Hendersonville Country Club. Judith Long, executive director of The Free Clinics of Hendersonville, will be the speaker. 684-8488.

May 16

God and Country Wagon Train: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. May 16, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. May 17, worship service 9 a.m. May 18 at Madison County Fairgrounds, U.S. 25/70, Marshall. Modeled after the wagon trains associated with our nation’s earliest development and a chance to revisit our Christian heritage. Dinner, bonfire, barrel race, rodeo. Free unless participating on train ($10 per wagon or horseback rider) or attending rodeo for $6 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. 545-4560 or

Book sale: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. May 16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 17, Polk County Public Library, 1289 W. Mills St., Columbus. Hardback, paperback, CD’s, some free material. 894-6339.

Poetry seminar and workshop: 1-3:30 p.m., Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St. Poet and teacher Tina Barr will conduct “Fighting For Your Writing.” $35. To register call 669-0930.

Community shredding day: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Ave. American Security Shredding will have their mobile shredding truck on site. Area residents and businesses are welcome to bring up to three boxes or 50 pounds worth of material for shredding. Free.

Ballet “Cinderella”: 7:30 p.m. May 16, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. May 17, Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Sq., Asheville. Presented by Asheville Ballet. The full length ballet of the maid turned princess, set to Prokofiev’s timeless music. $40/$30/$20, students $15 and age 12 and younger. 257-4530 or

Joara Pottery Festival: Dinner and sale 5:30-9 p.m. May 16 and main event 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 17, Old Armory Building, 306 W. McDowell St., Morganton. Preview and purchase pottery, enjoy dinner, spirits and live music with advance ticket-$40. Doc Welty, of Leicester Valley Clay, and Julie Calhoun-Roepnack, a potter from Asheville, will exhibit their work. $5 on May 17, free age 12 and younger.

May 17

Lake James cleanup: 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Black Bear Access Area at Lake James State Park, N.C. 126, Nebo. Volunteers and boats needed. Free lunch and t-shirts while supplies last. To volunteer, call Gloria at 652-7121 or e-mail

“Spring into Wellness” health fair: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Opportunity House, 1411 Asheville Hwy., Hendersonville. Demonstrations and conversations about health and wellness to find better balance in your life. Demonstrations including hula, Silver Sneakers, therapeutic yoga and open art studio rooms where you may see potters in action and how gems are created in our lapidary room. Free. 692-0575 or

Barbecue fundraiser: 2-7 p.m., Camp Stephens, Clayton Road, Arden. Hosted by Boy Scout Troop 26. $7, $25 for family of four. 651-9227.

Yadkin Valley Wine Festival: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Elkin Municipal Park, 399 Hwy. 268 W., Elkin. Wine, crafts, music, food, fun. The park is accessible off I-77 from exit 85 coming from the north or exit 83 coming from the south. $20 advance, $25 at the gate. 336-526-1111 or

Sustainable living workshop-permaculture: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at a private home in Hendersonville. Permaculture designer Chuck Marsh will provide an open consultation on transforming a conventional yard into an abundant and thriving edible, energy and water conserving home landscape. Rain or shine. Location given upon registration. $15. Call 692-0385 or visit to register.

QuickDraw art event: 4:30-9:30 p.m., Laurel Ridge Country Club, 49 Cupp Lane, Waynesville. Fine art, food, fun. Watch as artists race to create ready to hang art in just 60 minutes. Bid to win a piece of art in live and silent auctions. Hors d’oeuvres buffet. Benefit for art education in Haywood County schools. $50 in advance. Visit or call 456-6584.

Free mountain/lap/Appalachian dulcimer workshop: Beginner level at 2:30 p.m. at a private home at 105 Eastmoor Drive, Asheville. Taught by Janet Parkerson, experienced multi-instrumentalist and teacher. By reservation only. Call 298-1090.

Yard sale and bake sale: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Avery’s Creek United Methodist Church, corner of Brevard Road and Glen Bridge S.E., Arden. Sausage biscuits for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch.

Gorges State Park family fun day: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free admission. Vendors, speakers, display of emergency response team vehicles and equipment, kid’s activities, hikes to Rainbow Falls. “Invitation to Falconry” at 2:30 p.m. with red-tailed hawks. Waterfall film at 4 p.m. Music by Sliding Rockers Bluegrass Band 5-7 p.m. 966-9099. Take U.S. 64 to N.C. 281 in Sapphire, then one mile to park entrance on left.

Edible landscaping workshop: 10 a.m. at a private home in Hendersonville. “Envision and Manifest Your Abundant Home Landscape” by local permaculture designer Chuck Marsh. Participants can see firsthand how the process develops. $15. Register at or call 692-0385. Location provided upon registration.

Square dance: Southern Lights Square and Round Dance Club “Hearts and Roses” dance at 6 p.m., Whitmire Activity Center, 301 Lily Pond Road, Hendersonville. Callers: Jerry Biggerstaff and Stan Russell. Cuers: Lou and Al Krech. 697-7732 or 625-9969.

“Farm Dreams” workshop: 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Buncombe County Extension Office, 94 Coxe Ave., Asheville. Discover if sustainable farming is the next step for you and prioritize your next steps toward your farming goals. $55. Bring your lunch. Visit to register.

Artist studio tours: 9:15 a.m. May 17-18, meet at Asheville Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Ave., to ride together in a van. Art Connections will visit destinations in the Celo community in Yancey County May 17 and in Asheville May 18. Eight art studios featuring the work of 12 artists. The tours give participants the opportunity to interact with the artists and give art lovers and collectors opportunity to have one-on-one discussions. One- or two-day tour option. Call 779-6808 or visit for details.

May Wild Walk-WNC Nature Center behind the scenes tour: 1:45-3:15 p.m., WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. Go behind the scenes at the black bear habitat, predator area and more in this staff-guided tour. $25 for Friends members, $30 adults, $15 age 16 and younger. No strollers. Register by contacting or 259-8092.

Article source:

Vice President Biden coming to Cleveland to promote transit program the GOP …

Vice President Joe Biden will visit Cleveland Wednesday to promote expansion of a transit program that House Republicans would rather cut. The program is helping to pay for an RTA project near University Circle.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – When Vice President Joe Biden visits a Cleveland rapid transit station on Mayfield Rd. Wednesday, he’ll promote a form of federal spending that in its broadest outlines has few opponents.

Roads need paving. Bridges need fixing. Nearly everyone agrees.

But exactly what else counts as necessary for federal transportation spending, including a Red Line rapid station in Cleveland, is another matter.

If House of Representatives Republicans prevail, there could be much less money in the future for projects like the new Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station, which is scheduled to open in 2015 and Biden will highlight Wednesday.

Biden’s Cleveland visit is part of a broader, week-long lobbying effort by the White House to draw attention to a desire to keep spending on improving infrastructure. The overarching issue – keeping the nation’s roads and bridges open and safe – has wide consensus.

Even the biggest pro-business lobbying groups in Washington, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, are spending the week much like Biden and his boss, President Barack Obama. They’re holding forums and other events to tell Congress that it’s time for a major new transportation bill.

The current bill expires Sept. 30, and the Highway Trust Fund, which provides the money, could run short a month earlier.

Obama is going to the construction site of the new structure that will replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, spanning New York’s Hudson River, the same day as Biden’s visit to the new Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station.

But first, Biden today will go to St. Louis and highlight a pedestrian bridge being built over a highway that separates residents and tourists from the Gateway Arch.  And on Friday, the White House says, Obama will meet with workers to discuss infrastructure around Washington, D.C.

The White House says that 65 percent of the nation’s major roads are rated as being in “less than good” condition and one in four bridges require significant repairs or cannot handle today’s traffic.

But agreement on need is not the same as agreement on where to get the money, or on how to spend it.

Most current federal transportation projects, including money that gets funneled to state highway departments, are funded through a tax on gasoline (18.4 cents per gallon) and diesel fuel (24.4 cents per gallon). Those taxes have not been raised since 1993, although from 1993 to 1997, 4.3 cents of the gasoline tax was used for deficit reduction before being redirected to transportation projects.

The static tax is just part of the problem. Cars also get better gasoline mileage since the last hike, and with inflation, the money doesn’t buy as much steel and asphalt. 

So Obama would replace the expiring transit bill, called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, with a $302 billion, four-year bill. Obama’s bill would supplement the gas tax with money from closing certain corporate tax provisions, including one that the White House and Democrats say has led to companies sheltering income overseas.

Republicans such as House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster have their own ideas — both for annual transportation appropriations, which last a year at a time, and for a longer-term road-and-bridge improvement program.

“While Chairman Shuster respects that the Administration has put forward its own detailed proposal, the first time it has done so, he will not agree with it on all the details,” said Justin Harclerode, Shuster’s spokesman. “Thus far, the chairman has not elaborated on any potential differences or areas of agreement as the Transportation Committee continues to develop its surface transportation proposal.”

The last big highway bill, MAP-21, authorized $105 billion over two years, marking the first agreement on a large highway bill since 2005. A series of Band-Aid approaches, as the White House had put it, sufficed in the interim.

Many supporters, including Ohio Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, say that spending on roads helps the American economy, not only by providing road-building jobs but also by keeping the economy moving.

“Road and bridge projects don’t just mean safer and less congested roads and construction jobs – they also help attract new employers and economic development,” Brown said in an email this week.

Brown said that more than 8 percent of Ohio’s bridges require major repairs or replacement. He also noted the better known projects awaiting funding, such as Route 8 in Akron and the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati. 

Federal highway spending, however, has become a boondoggle in the eyes of some fiscal conservatives. This is where ideological groups split with those who have interests to protect.

Emily Goff, a transportation and infrastructure policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, noted that MAP-21 funds go not only to build roads and bridges but also to build recreation trails and bicycle paths. These are important to groups pushing for transportation alternatives, but they siphon money that could go for even more roads and bridges to ease considerable traffic congestion, Goff says.

Yet MAP-21 requires states to set aside money for these kinds of alternatives, Goff says, to the tune of $27.5 million this year in Pennsylvania and $78.9 million in Texas.

“Identifying a connection between these activities and a federal highway program concerned with interstate highway system construction and maintenance proves difficult,” Goff wrote in a recent Heritage blog post. “Indeed, there is nothing federal or highway about bicycle paths, landscaping, or any of these local activities.”

The RTA station in Cleveland is a project that could raise a similar question, with its emphasis on meshing light rail with development around University Circle and Little Italy. The existing station, on Euclid Avenue at E. 120th Street, is considered functionally obsolete, so the new station will be placed several blocks south, at Mayfield Road at E. 119th Street.

About $8.9 in funding comes from highly competitive U.S. Department of Transportation grants, according to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

The grant money did not come MAP-21. Rather, it came from a program created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or the recession-era stimulus act. The transportation component of the stimulus act, called Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), gets money appropriated annually from Congress — $3.5 billion so far for 270 projects nationwide, including $600 million this year, the White House says.

The TIGER program will end soon, too — unless Obama and Biden get their way.

In that case, TIGER would become permanent, greatly expanded to $5 billion over four years. The Obama White House wants to fold it into the next iteration of a four-year road-and-bridge bill.

House Republicans are unlikely to go along. The House appropriations subcommittee for transportation on May 6 recommended a lower sum of $100 million for TIGER in 2015, and the GOP-led panel would further restrict TIGER grants to “projects that will address critical transportation needs, such as road, highway and bridge construction and improvement.”

In other words, while money for the Little Italy-University Circle RTA station appears secure, future projects like it could go unfunded.

That is apparently why Biden is coming to Cleveland: to highlight what the money has helped build and point out what would have happened were it not there.

The White House would not comment on this in advance of the vice president’s trip. In an email, White House spokesman Keith Maley said, “Members of both parties have put forward their own ideas on the Hill, and the most important thing is that we pass a long-term bill that creates jobs and provides certainty for cities, states, and businesses. It’s time to get the job done.”

Article source:

Community in bloom

Myra and Mike Ryan bought a house with a garden in Riverton, and picked up the landscaping where the previous owners left off. For the last 35 years, the couple has tended to their outdoor oasis, which has evolved as new elements were created and plants added or removed.

The result is a private space with a shaded patio, low stone walls, a rose garden, a running fountain and cherub statues. There’s also a wide variety of flowers, trees and shrubs, including the garden’s original rhododendrons.

The private space is one of eight gardens opening to the public Friday and Saturday through a tour hosted by the Porch Club in Riverton. The bi-annual Garden Tour boasts seven homes, including one in neighboring Cinnaminson, and the grounds of the Free Library of Riverton.

The tour runs 4-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15, and can be purchased in advance on Main Street at the Riverton Library and New Leaf Gift Shop; and on Broad Street at Orange Blossom Café and Beneficial Bank.

“It’s a spring garden tour, and it’s all about spring,” said Pat Brunker, co-chair of the tour’s organizing committee with Pat McDermott.

Coinciding with the tour is a public reception 6-9 p.m. Friday, with snacks and beverages at the Porch Club’s headquarters at Fourth and Howard streets, and a luncheon on Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The club is requesting $10 donations at the door for entry into the Friday reception. A tour with luncheon ticket is $25.

The Porch Club also will have information pertaining to gardens, provided by environmental organizations and tree experts. Garden-related items will be available for sale, including plants and books. Meanwhile, artwork created by Riverton School students in grades K-6 will be on display at the Porch Club and on easels at tour stops.

The education, sale and artwork reflect the event’s theme: Bees.

“We will be emphasizing the importance of bees in our gardens,” said Brunker, whose home also is featured on the tour.

Although none of the event locations feature bee hives, each is unique.

The gardens vary in their landscape design and style, the types of plants and their colors, personal touches and purpose. Some homeowners have created outdoor spaces for entertaining guests, while others sought serenity, such as a classic English garden. One location features an indoor solarium, and there are garden plots for producing vegetables and herbs.

The location structures add to the stops’ diversity. According to the co-chairs, the private homes range from a historic dwelling on the banks of the Delaware River to a modern ranch house. At a home on Lippincott Avenue, a garden shed designed to look like a small house adds a heavy dose of charm.

On Seventh Street, homeowner Jeffrey DiFrancesco is preparing to share his water-inspired landscaping. A grassy path mimics a meandering river on the side of his home, and he has created a rain garden that allows water runoff to drain more easily into the soil and nourish the area.

An outdoor dining area is the focal point of the back yard, where visitors can find evergreen and birch trees, as well as growing herbs and vegetables.

Back at the Ryan’s house on Highway, McDermott noted the crabapple and double bloom cherry trees, ornate potted plants and an oak leaf hydrangea.

She and Brunker also pointed out the colors bursting around the garden. They said Myra Ryan’s work as a professional artist shows in her yard.

“I think the garden reflects her color sensibility. She’ll pick up combinations that are unusual,” said Brunker.

Article source:

ANGIE’S LIST: Landscaping on a budget – WREX

April showers bring May flowers, and since may is finally here, it’s time to prune those gardens and get landscaping.

“We’re redesigning the entire yard on this older home,” says homeowner, Bryan Nester. “We’re accentuating some features that the home has, like these mature trees, as well as covering up some cosmetic issues that have been creeping up through the years.”

Bryan Nester isn’t alone. Whether you’re just moving in or you’ve lived at your home for years, landscaping is a great way to add value to your home.

“We’re not talking that you have to do big elaborate projects,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “It’s sometimes just the simple, basic things, well-manicured flower beds, a nicely done lawn. Adding trees to your property can really give you a nice return on investment.”

Landscaping can be pricey, but to design on a dime, do it in phases. Maybe add the outdoor kitchen one year and the fire pit the next. When it comes to caring for your plants, landscaping contractor, Ken Hyatt, says not to care too much.

“Some of the common mistakes that I see homeowners make is either over watering or under watering in this area,” Hyatt says. “In fact, a lot of times, when we install a new landscape, they try to take too good of care of them and they wind up over watering.”

And for quick outdoor facelifts without breaking the bank, you can do a wonders with just $50.

“Install mulch in the beds, and that’ll insulate the soil and hold in water,” Hyatt says. “That’ll also cut down on the amount of weeds. Another great thing in the springtime is to install flowers.”

Investments in landscaping can add up to 14% to the value of your home.

Article source:

Delaware Botanic Gardens to present on Center for Horticulture May 17

Lenny Wilson will present “An Overview of the Delaware Center for Horticulture, and Oddly Native and Under-used Plants” from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at the Lewes Public Library. Wilson will provide a look at the center’s history and new direction, as well as his role as president of the Board of Directors for Friends of the Goodstay Gardens. Then Wilson will discuss oddly native and under-used plants for use in gardens, parks, traffic medians and other public landscape applications. The program is free to Delaware Botanic Gardens members and $15 for nonmembers.

Wilson graduated in 1982 from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in English. After attending a leather trade school in London, England, in 1988, he began his horticultural pursuits in Wilmington working for a local landscape designer in estate gardens. In 1992, Wilson joined the grounds department at Swarthmore College as garden manager. During this time, he assisted with the development of several new gardens at the Scott Arboretum and learned the satisfaction of public gardening.

In 1999, Lenny joined the staff at the Delaware Center for Horticulture and is now associate director of horticulture and facilities. In this role, he manages the DCH headquarters and gardens, and manages several elements of DCH’s main fundraising event, The Rare Plant Auction. DCH is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Delaware’s diverse communities through horticulture. Resourcefulness and artful conservation are key practices of DCH’s philosophy. DCH buildings, gardens and public landscapes are masterworks of recycling and sustainability.

Wilson lives in north Wilmington where he gardens in a naturalized landscape around his suburban home which features a rustic arbor, antique ironwork and a new rain garden.

There will be a drawing for a $50 gift certificate from Lord’s Landscaping Inc., Millville,

This lecture is one of a series sponsored by the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, whose mission is to create a world-class, inspirational, educational, and sustainable public botanic garden in southern Delaware for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. For more informatin go to


Article source:

Gardening: Tips to keep your Mother’s Day gift alive

AFTER the ball or party is over there is always the next day when we reflect on the fun and sometimes there is work to be done.

AFTER the ball or party is over there is always the next day when we reflect on the fun and sometimes there is work to be done.

In the case of Mother’s Day, while gift wrapping many different plants, it occurred to me that many mums might need some help.

Caring, possibly, for a plant they have never had before could indeed be a chore, mainly so that their family see their gift flourishing when they visit.

Once again, this year cyclamen were the most popular potted flowering plant and, with a little tender loving care, they will continue to bloom until the warmer weather arrives.

If displayed close to a warm fire or heater the flowers will drop quickly.

A handy hint for maintaining a healthy cyclamen is to place the pot outside at night in a sheltered spot in the cool night air.

Cyclamen can be sensitive to over watering, they are prone to root rot if the soil is constantly kept saturated.

Never keep this beautiful plant sitting in water and after watering allow the excess water to drain off.

Regular feeding will prolong flowering – I use African Violet food or Flourish.

The old reliable chrysanthemums, no doubt were given to grandmas.

Their care is fairly simple. Cut off any dead blooms that will encourage new buds and water under the leaves and flowers.

Once chrysanthemums have finished flowering they can be planted out in the garden where they will multiply and flower again at this time next year.

Anthurium were chosen by the knowledgeable plant lovers who recognise the value in these spectacular indoor plants.

They prefer good natural light and free draining soil that should be watered thoroughly when the soil is dry to touch.

Anthuriums can be grown on verandahs or even in the garden in a sheltered spot but not exposed to direct sunlight.

Orchids, both cymbidiums and phalaenopsis, were in high demand.

Understandably so, as both species are so easy to maintain, producing their beautiful blooms from one season to the next.

Cymbidiums can be displayed inside until they finish flowering, but then should be given a shady spot outside and regularly fed with a specific orchid food.

Phalaenopsis can easily be maintained indoors in a well-lit spot.

It does help to mist the exposed roots that develop and don’t be surprised if they flower more than once from the same spike.

Article source:

Adult summer camp for gardening tips set for June in Jacksonville – Florida Times

A four-part gardening topics “Camp Florida Friendly” for adults only will be held in June by the Duval County Extension service at its office at 1010 N. McDuff Ave. in Jacksonville.

The classes run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday June 18; Friday June 20; Wednesday June 25 and Friday, June 27. Each class is $5 per person. An extra $40 is charged to make a rain barrel, with $10 more to make a worm bin or $5 to make a bee house.

The topics for June 18 are: Does your yard speak Florida Friendly?; Propagation Made Easy; Hands-on with Recycled Materials; and Citrus 101.

The June 20 topics are: Learn to Compost; Vermicompost; Do you know your insects?; and How to Attract Beneficial Insects.

The June 25 topics are: Rain Gardens: Reduce the Runoff: Updates on Fertilizer and Irrigation; and Make and take rain barrel.

The June 27 topics are: Bring on the Pollinators; Make and Take Bee House; Let’s talk Invasive Plants; and Heat Tolerant Edibles and Cover Crops.

To register with credit card, go to, or email for a registration form to return payment by mail.

Article source:

Top Ten Bee-Friendly Tips: #3-Plant an Herb Garden and Let Half of It Bloom



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    In the Yard

    Top Ten Bee-Friendly Tips: #3-Plant an Herb Garden and Let Half of It Bloom

    Posted by: Rhonda Hayes

    Updated: May 12, 2014 – 12:38 PM

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    For years I’ve been saying that herbs are the best plants anyone can grow. They’re easy and forgiving. They’re tasty and fragrant. They’re beautiful. And one more thing, they’re great for bees.

    Plant an herb garden and let it grow for a while. Pinch and pluck the leaves for any number of uses, like cooking or cosmetics, eat the flowers, eat the foliage, go for it, because most herbs love to be sheared and pruned; the act of harvesting actually makes them grow fuller and bushier.

    Then do something for the bees. Stop snipping and picking half of the herbs, or more if you’re feeling generous, and allow them to bloom. Herbs are always trying to bloom, you’ll see their stems start to lengthen like in the case of oregano or sometimes the leaves grow smaller and even change shape, as does basil or mint. Pretty soon the flowers will be covered with bees.

    Bees love herb blooms because many consist of lots of little florets, perfectly shaped for browsing and foraging. When bees can work over a large number of blooms in a small area, it helps them to save energy while increasing the amount of nectar they can consume. Herbs save them from making extra trips back to the hive and that’s a good thing.

    Bee on fennel flowers

    Yes, herbs are easy to grow. But some gardening publications will say they thrive on neglect. It is true that established plants can survive without much attention, but whether planted in the ground or in containers a new herb garden needs care at first; lots of sunlight, well-drained soil and adequate water. (And no matter what you see on Pinterest, you can’t grow herbs in Mason jars. Without a hole for water to drain, they will quickly rot.)

    Here’s a list of herbs to start your bee-friendly garden. Get bzzzzy!

    Lemon balm                              


    Anise hyssop
















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    7 Tips for Creating a Low-Maintenance Garden

    Gardens are supposed to relieve stress and be a place of refuge – a place where you unwind and recharge, not a place that creates more stress. But, you might be short of time, short of space, or have other issues that prevent you from starting the garden you want. This does not have to be the case. There are plenty of low maintenance options that still provide a beautiful garden. It just takes a bit of planning.

    But, remember: there is no such thing as a “no maintenance” garden. Plants, trees and shrubs are living things, and they need at least basic care to thrive. Here are some tips to make gardening easier while still having a great looking garden.

    Plan out you garden. Think about your entire area, your yard or balcony, not just the plants, flowers, and veggies but what else you have now, or might want in your garden. This includes play areas, sitting areas, lawns, dining areas, and even storage areas. Once you know all of the elements you want, try to plan your garden to provide easy access to planting areas via pathways or in specific areas of the garden. Only choose a small area or a small part of your landscape, then put in these other features that require little to no maintenance.

    Use low maintenance plants. Choose plants that are pest-resistant, disease-resistant, and drought-tolerant. You will likely never find a plant that is perfect and meets all of your needs, but choose plants that have no known pest problems, have a slow or moderate growth rate, and that don’t produce messy pods or fruits, or shed many leaves or branches. See: 10 Easiest to Grow Vegetables

    Group plants with similar needs. If you plant water-thirsty flowers with those that like it dry, you will end up with nothing but conflicts and will create more work for yourself. Research the things you are thinking about planting and find out if they need the same amount of water, grow in the same type of soil, or the same amount of sunlight.

    Choose the right plant for the right location. This might seem like it’s unnecessary to say, but think about it. If the site you have doesn’t have the right light intensity and duration, sun availability, or soil type, not only will your plants struggle, but it will require more maintenance.

    Choose native plants. They are better adapted to your local area which means they require less overall care, less water and fertilizer. Natives are especially useful in an area that that has “high” needs such as poor soil or limited access to a water source.

    Plant more perennials than annuals. They come back year after year, so you don’t have to replant every year. Some easy, low maintenance perennials include coneflower, daisies, daylilies, hosta, peonies, salvias and yarrow.

    Use More Hardscape. Replace lawns with pavers in lawn areas or high traffic areas or to create a new patio area. Aside from pavers, you can use gravel or stone to reduce the amount of weeding you need to do.


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