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Archives for May 29, 2014

Planting native roots

RIDGELY — Chris Pax is so excited about her involvement in the new Native Landscape Design Center at Adkins Arboretum that she’s moving from Frederick County to Annapolis to be closer to it.

Pax earned a master’s degree from George Washington University in sustainable landscape design. She is a master gardener and has taught at Anne Arundel Community College and Carroll Community College, has offered master gardener state training courses in a number of counties and continues to teach at Adkins.

Adkins first planted the seed in Pax.

“In 2000, I took the very first docent training program at Adkins, and that is when I fell in love with native plants,” she said. “This career got born here, but then I took it further.”

Launched in April, Pax and other experts at the Native Landscape Design Center can guide gardeners toward their green goals. From vision to concept design and planting, Adkins can help. They can also offer sound advice to homeowners dealing with Critical Area concerns.

Green thumbs can easily be overwhelmed when gardeners get to gardening.

There are many concerns to consider — weather, weeds, water, proper plant placement, soil and upkeep. Besides the usual issues that come with landscaping, Eastern Shore property owners in the Critical Area often have to plant native species because of environmental codes.

The new center builds on Adkins’ many resources like the Native Plant Nursery, education programs, lectures, workshops, garden walks, and the arboretum’s 400-acre campus.

“It is rounding out our offerings here so that we have a comprehensive package to help homeowners achieve their landscape dreams,” said Ellie Altman, Adkins Arboretum executive director. “They can take a workshop, become more familiar with native landscapes just visiting the arboretum, shop at the nursery throughout the growing season, then move on up to participate in this new venture.”

Two classes hosted at Adkins in spring and fall — the Landscape Design Workshop and Designing for Waterfront Landscapes — offer advice for beginners and novices. Participants are asked to bring pictures of areas they wish to landscape and ideas about how they would like the areas to look. The next Landscape Design Workshop will be held Oct. 12 at Adkins.

“Our classes are very popular and they always fill, but sometimes at the end of the class, there’s a little bit of a feeling that they didn’t quite get enough,” Pax said. “I often hear from people, ‘I wish I could take you home with me.’”

Now Adkins’ members can take Pax home. The Native Landscape Design Center’s centerpiece is one-on-one consulting from the Native Landscape Co-Design Service, Pax’s brainchild.

The co-design service includes four sessions and takes about four to five weeks to complete, Pax said.

“The first meeting is located at the homeowners’ home,” she said. “We walk through the property, assess the situations there. The homeowner tells me what they’re working with — what their challenges are, what their goals are, what their hopes are for their landscape. Then the next three meetings are here at Adkins Arboretum.”

Soil samples are collected during the first session as well, Pax said. The second session is the concept phase.

“We start working on paper to develop how the gardens are going to flow together — where the paths are going to be, if there’s going to be a patio or a deck, any hardscaping,” Pax said. “We figure out where all that’s going to go. So the whole thing will be according to a plan based on how people are going to be using the space and how we can support wildlife (like birds and butterflies) in using the space.”

In the third phase, homeowners select native plants with Adkins’ expert guidance. The Native Plant Nursery at Adkins has a broad selection to choose from.

Pax said the fourth phase is less glamorous, but essential.

“The fourth meeting is perhaps the most underrated but most important of all. This is where we figure out the phases,” she said. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are budget limitations and energy limitations that most homeowners face. So this is where we figure out which parts to do first and the logistics of how to get it all installed and how to maintain it — how to make the maintenance manageable. … In many ways it determines the success of the whole thing.”

The co-design service is offered to members only, and is meant to be a hands-on experience for property owners. A basic membership fee is $50, and the service is $500. Plant costs are not included in the service charge.

The co-design service can be especially helpful to homeowners facing Critical Area forest mitigation.

“The native plant nursery already deals with a lot of mitigation work,” said Joanne Healey, manager of the Native Plant Nursery at Adkins Arboretum. “I handle a lot of homeowners that come to me. Sometimes they have a plan. Sometimes they don’t have a plan. The nursery supplies everything on the mitigation list.”

Adkins’ members facing mitigation who take advantage of the co-design service can visit the nursery with confidence in a comprehensive plan.

“Very often, (mitigation) is a homeowner’s first introduction to native plants,” Pax said. “They hear from the county that they have to plant X number of native plants for their mitigation plan. And their next question is ‘OK, what’s a native plant?’ That’s where we can really help. We can show them that there are wonderful ways to incorporate these plants into their landscape, and that there are so many beautiful native plants that are very landscape worthy.”

With the spring planting season coming to a close, Pax hopes homeowners will plan for fall.

“The message we want to get out this summer is plan during the summer for fall planting,” Pax said. “Fall will be upon us before you know it.”

For more information about Adkins Arboretum’s programs and events, call 410-634-2878, email or visit

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Outdoor reading space under construction at Oelwein Library

Library project

Library project

Kyle Bouska, an employee of StewartScape, Inc., is using an impactor to tamp down the rock foundation of the library landscaping project. D

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 11:46 am

Outdoor reading space under construction at Oelwein Library


OELWEIN — A new outdoor feature is being added at the Oelwein Public Library. Passersby have been witnessing a transformation of the area just west of the building, where local landscaper Jared Stewart of StewartScape, Inc., is developing an outdoor green reading space.

Library Director Susan Macken explained landscaping plans for the area west of the library have been in the works for more than five years, since the former railroad right-of-way was acquired in 2008. Last year library board member Mike Kerns, with approval from the board, contacted area landscaping businesses to get some ideas for the space. Stewart responded and came up with a design that incorporates historic references and artifacts with native plantings for a great outdoor reading/relaxing experience.

The space is outlined with large limestone blocks salvaged from the Chicago Great Western diesel shop demolition, and serve as a point of local historic reference. A large boulder at the front of the project lays claim to the space in another way.

Read more of this story in the Daily Register.


Thursday, May 29, 2014 11:46 am.

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Gardener plants green, saves green – Las Vegas Review

When Charlotte Schnur retired to the valley from Massachusetts she knew there would be an adjustment period. The summers were a fair trade for the East Coast winters, and the 300-plus days of sunshine seemed like a great added value. But the former art history professor had a hard time adjusting to one thing: desert landscaping.

“I had a true English garden (in Massachusetts),” she said. “My backyard was a showplace. I came here and said ‘Oh my!’ ”

Schnur moved into a home in Henderson’s Sun City Anthem and knew the existing landscaping left much to be desired. We’ve all seen these homes — a yard full of pebbles and a few shrubs randomly planted, all in the name of water conservation.

So Schnur called Mat Baroudi, owner of An English Gardener Landscaping. Baroudi transformed her front yard with jasmine, rosebushes, a trellis and a bevy of wildflowers. It’s now a vibrant space that has even brought a water bill savings and got the neighbors talking too.

“I met half my neighborhood because of Mat,” Schnur said with a laugh. “One of my neighbors hired him too.”


Baroudi has been designing local landscapes for the past eight years but has literally been gardening and landscaping since his youth. He grew up on a farm in England, tending to crops, livestock and wildlife.

After years in marketing and sales for a variety of companies, Baroudi finally decided to strike out on his own in 2006. The idea to go into the landscaping business was stirred when — after purchasing a home in the Silverado Ranch area — he hired landscapers for his backyard.

“A company came in, put in grass and a couple trees. … Once I saw that and what was going on around other places, I said ‘We’ve got to do landscaping because we can be so much better than what’s on offer,’ ” he said.

Baroudi dove into his business selling himself as both an artist and educator. He was an informant of sorts on why a tree in a yard was dying while another was thriving or why roots were uprooting a foundation, and plenty of other topics. He’s also tuned and programmed his share of irrigation systems and timers in the past eight years.

“He is a great teacher. Whenever he came out to work on my yard, I stopped what I was doing and went out there because I knew I would learn so much,” Schnur said.

Greening and conserving

A common approach Baroudi takes to adding color to a landscape is bringing together clusters of different plants into an area, like, for example, to the base of a tree. Here he will add colorful low-growing flowers such as daylilies or other wildflowers such as alyssum.

In many cases, the single irrigation line going to an area can easily water several flowers without needing more lines, he says. Those added touches also bring hummingbirds and butterflies.

“You can bring that beauty and still be cognizant of water issues,” he added.

Baroudi’s home has become what he calls his “test kitchen” and “showroom.” He prefers to meet clients in his small backyard to demonstrate how the outdoor space can be so rich and lively. In his yard there’s tons of colorful plants, a sitting area, tortoise habitat, aboveground pool, fountain and fruit trees, all for a monthly water bill of $30.

The yard took first place at the 2013 SNWA Landscape Design Awards. It was the first year Baroudi had entered the contest. Since then, he has been featured on KNPR, a European gardening channel, and will have his yard filmed by PBS in June for a segment of “This Old House.”

“This is our showroom, our proof,” he said. “We are conserving, but we still have all this green, lush landscaping around us. We don’t have to put desert landscaping necessarily (to conserve). … For me this is an artistry as opposed to a landscaping company that shows up and asks ‘what do you want?’ then puts in a cactus here or there and goes home.”

Beyond aesthetics

Baroudi also loves to create a space that invites use. Integrating sitting areas and walkways into shaded areas near plantlife can truly make a useful space for homeowners to entertain friends or relax, Baroudi said.

“To see a backyard or front yard not used and just wasted, that really burns me. That’s part of your property. You should be using it,” he added.

Martin Greenbaum, a Henderson resident, used Baroudi’s company to redesign his front yard. With the front of the home enjoying a good amount of morning and afternoon shade, Baroudi suggested a sitting area made with pavers near the home in addition to adding plenty of green. Greenbaum now finds himself using the space instead of ignoring it as he did in the past.

“He created all these levels. It’s a really natural look and he extended the living area,” he said. “At the end of the day, when the job comes out better than you thought it would, it’s great.”

The future

Baroudi also has spent the past eight years assembling a crew that brings his attention to detail to the job. An admitted perfectionist, the pro is often found working side by side with his team to make sure what is built is exactly as he envisioned.

To help customers better see his artistic view of their property, he is now using fully animated 3-D CAD software that allows the client to better envision the job with the help of video before the first shovel hits the dirt.

Just as Baroudi tests out new ideas and design approaches in his backyard, he’s always on the lookout for new products. He recently signed on with a new fountain provider whose product stands up better to the desert heat, is eyeing an outdoor pizza oven company’s offering, and recently began selling a new 100 percent organic fertilizer product made of fossilized minerals from the ocean floor called Bioyodal.

With Bioyodal, Baroudi’s own fruit trees have already produced up to 10 times what they had in the past and other plants are thriving too.

“Its primary use is for farming and crops, but what we’ve seen locally with plants and trees is amazing,” he said.

Baroudi also hopes to incorporate education into his future, doing seminars and teaching classes on gardening and landscaping to locals. For more information about Baroudi’s company, visit or call 702-496-7326.

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Amanda Stone: Why hide? Veggie gardens look great in front yards

May 29, 2014

Amanda Stone: Why hide? Veggie gardens look great in front yards

By Amanda Stone

Globe Columnist
The Joplin Globe

Thu May 29, 2014, 01:25 PM CDT

All plants are beautiful. So why not bring the edibles to the front yard? Front yard gardens make a lot of sense, especially if you lack space.

Many homeowners associations don’t allow a vegetable garden. Make an outlaw garden in the front by mixing edible plants in with your perennials and shrubs.

Tuck in lots of bright annual flowers and no one will be the wiser. Marigolds and nasturtiums are perfect; they offer pretty pops of color while drawing beneficial insects. Bonus: The flowers and leaves of nasturtiums are totally edible, so throw them in your salad.

Use your flower beds and landscaping to their highest potential. Work with what you have and keep with a simple design. Taller veggies go in the back, and small plants stay up front. You could even use lettuce as a border and strawberries as ground cover.

A trellis is lovely full of vining green beans and sugar snap peas. Rhubarb and asparagus are perfect for a front yard garden — they are perennial, so there will be no danger of them being tilled under in the vegetable garden.

Kale, broccoli and small peppers would be great for medium height veggies. There are many varieties of kale in a rainbow of blues, greens and purples.

Hot peppers such as jalapenos, serranos and habaneros produce tons of brightly colored little peppers. There’s also a small variety of sweet peppers that would be a vibrant pop of color. In the heat of summer, cool weather crops such as broccoli can be removed to make room for plants that are growing and using more space.

Herbs are an ideal addition to a front yard garden. Thyme, chocolate mint and oregano are yummy ground covers. Lavender is pretty and smells fantastic. Sage and purple basil are beautiful together. Lemon balm and lemon grass help keep away mosquitoes, and you can snip them for tea or cooking.

Your front yard garden will be beautiful. Mulch with wood chips as you normally would in a pretty landscape, and keep the edibles watered. You’ll feel better about watering all summer when you’re watering food instead of just ornamentals.

The neighbors will want to know what you have going on — you’ll show them, you’ll chat and you’ll share your bounty. Maybe next year they’ll do the same, and you can swap veggies.

Try these recipes with foods that would look great up front.





Text Only

The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.

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Bowie to host annual beautification awards program

The city of Bowie and Soroptimist International of Bowie-Crofton will host the city’s 18th annual Beautification Awards Program and is seeking nominations until June 20.

The program is a way for Bowie to recognize the yards, gardens and landscaping that add to the city’s aesthetic, said special events coordinator Matt Corley.

“We’re looking at those homes that help beautify Bowie,” he said. “You can nominate your own home or someone else’s. You can also nominate a school or business.”

Entries will be judged by the Landscape Design Critics Council of the National Capital Area Garden Clubs in early July, and winners will be selected in several categories, including “Distinguished Whole Yard,” “Distinguished Specialty Garden” and “Distinguished Wildlife Habitat.”

Winners in the residential categories will receive yard signs, while winning schools and businesses will receive plaques, Corley said.

For nomination forms or additional information, contact Matt Corley at

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Tour homes, gardens in 3 North Bay locations

If you thought you missed the spring home and garden tour season, don’t despair. There’s a triple feature coming up June 7 and 8 with dueling garden tours in Marin, western Sonoma County and Sonoma.

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Garden Days moves to Marin County on June 7 with a chance to visit four gardens in Belvedere, San Rafael and Tiburon.

Admission is $5 per garden, with tickets sold at each garden. Information about each garden, hours they will be open and directions can be obtained at or by calling 888-842-2442.

On June 8, Food for Thought hosts its 19th annual Western Sonoma County Home Garden Tour featuring eight gardens.

This year’s lineup includes homes and gardens with intriguing features like old-growth redwoods, edible landscaping, a labyrinth and garden art.

Cost of the self-guided tour, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is $45 and includes a booklet with descriptions of the homes and gardens and a map. Tickets can be ordered online at or by calling 887-1647. Gourmet box lunches from Cottonwood Catering can be pre-ordered for $12.50 and will be available for pickup on the day of the event at Food for Thought, 6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville.

If you prefer to go east, the Sonoma County Master Gardeners hold their biennial Bloomin’ Backyards Garden Tour on June 8 in the Sonoma Valley.

This is a tour that offers a chance to learn, with expert advice and demonstrations on growing low-water-use vegetables, replacing lawn, nurturing the soil, using mulch for moisture retention and weed control, composting, drip irrigation, backyard vineyards, beneficial insects and bees, and more.

The event includes a garden craft market of birdhouses, mosaics, succulent wreaths and garden art as well as a plant sale featuring only low-water-use plants and succulents, all propagated by Master Gardeners.

Cost for the 9 a.m.-to-4 p.m. tour is $35 in advance and $40 the day of the event. Tickets may be purchased online at, or can be obtained at the UC Cooperative Education office, 133 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa; Copperfields Books’ four Sonoma County stores; Readers’ Books in Sonoma; or by calling 565-2608.

SONOMA: The art of planting in partial shade

Trees are a prized feature in any garden, but once they start spreading their branches, that shade comes at a price.

Longtime Sonoma County garden designer and educator Maile Arnold will give a talk June 5 before the Valley of the Moon Garden Club on how to plant an attractive and water-wise garden in partial shade.

Arnold will talk about which trees allow for plantings under their canopies and which don’t. She will offer a PowerPoint presentation showing photos of sample plantings in her own Sebastopol garden.

Arnold, a strong proponent of organic, no-till gardening, has been featured in Sunset magazine, taught classes at the San Francisco Botanical Garden and done notable design projects, including at The Lodge at Sonoma.

The public is invited to the 7 p.m. meeting for a cost of $5, which can be applied to a $20 membership. The meeting features refreshments and drawings for plants. 126 First St. W., Sonoma. 337-3415.

PETALUMA: Workshop focuses on water-wise gardens

The Sonoma County Master Gardeners wrap up their free spring library workshop series May 31 with a talk in Petaluma on planning a low-water-use garden. Linda King discusses swales and berms and the right plant in the right place, all to use water wisely on the home front. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. For information on the program or help with your backyard gardening questions, call 565-2608 or visit

You can direct Home and Garden news to, or call 521-5204.

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Planting tips: Straw Bale Gardening is convenient & economical

Straw Bale Gardening is a convenient, economical method that uses bales of straw as raised beds to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers. Last year’s bales are ready to plant. New bales must be “conditioned” first.

Planting tomatoes and peppers is a Memorial Day ritual for many gardeners. Tomatoes are stronger if planted in a trench while peppers should be set just as deep as they were in the pots they came out of.

After spring flowering bulbs finish flowering, they need some after care to prepare for next year’s show including deadheading, ripening and fertilizing.

You can head to the Milwaukee County UW-Extension Horticulture page for more gardening information.

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Gardening tips from a local garden veteran

Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 9:42 am

Gardening tips from a local garden veteran

Here are some gardening tips from Bob Both, a veteran gardener in Lostine, who eats produce from his garden year-round:

• “The most important tool you can have in your garden is a good hoe, because you can stand up and weed all day.” That said, Both admits that at times during his gardening career he’s spent long days – from dawn to dusk – on his knees pulling weeds from the middle of his wide carrot rows.

© 2014 Wallowa County Chieftain. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 9:42 am.

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Tips for planting in your local Mediterranean microclimate

Q: My buddy in Morro Bay has trouble growing tomatoes, but it’s easy for me at my house in Atascadero. He claims it’s because of the summer fog, but I think it’s how he takes care of them. Who’s right?
— Bill, Atascadero

A: Your friend happens to live in a microclimate that is not ideal for growing tomatoes. His climate is substantially cooler than yours in the summer and almost all standard tomatoes need nighttime temperatures above 55 degrees F to set fruit.

We all hear about how we live in a Mediterranean climate and we do, but there are smaller microclimates within San Luis Obispo County.

Finding your own microclimate zone will make it easier for you to plant a successful garden.

The USDA has developed 11 hardiness zones across the U.S. based on high and low temperatures. A more comprehensive mapping that takes into account multiple ecological factors has been provided by Sunset Western Garden Handbook. San Luis Obispo County can be divided into a few of these smaller microclimates.

Area 7 covers inland North County from Atascadero to Paso Robles and east. It has hot summers and mild but distinct winters. Plants that require marked seasons such as flower bulbs and deciduous fruit trees grow well here.

Area 14 includes Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo, and features a mild climate described as having chilly winters with year-round maritime air influences. Most nontropical plants do fine in this area.

Area 16 encompasses the coastal mountains. It gets more heat in the summer than area 17, but it still has maritime influences.

Area 17 covers the coastal towns of Cambria, Cayucos, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Los Osos, and west Nipomo. These areas have cool summers with fog and wind and mild winters. Heat-loving plants don’t do well in this zone.

Begin by determining your zone and follow the maxim: right plant for the right place; choose plants that are adapted to your zone. For more information on growing tomatoes, click this link to a free UC publication: Growing tomatoes in your home garden. And as always, the Master Gardener Helpline is ready to take your call and help with your gardening questions.

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Farmer Teresa Retzlaff to give garden tips at Seaside library

Teresa Retzlaff

Teresa Retzlaff

Teresa Retzlaff, owner of 46 North Farm in Olney, will present “Seed to Plate: Edibles for North Coast Gardeners to Grow and Cook” at the Seaside Public Library.

If You Go

‘Seed to Plate’

1 p.m. Saturday, May 31

Seaside Public Library

1131 Broadway, Seaside


Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 10:00 am

Farmer Teresa Retzlaff to give garden tips at Seaside library


SEASIDE — Jump into the growing season at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 31 with “Seed to Plate: Edibles for North Coast Gardeners to Grow and Cook” at the Seaside Public Library. The event will be presented by local organic farmer Teresa Retzlaff of 46 North Farm and the North Coast Food Web.

An opportunity to pursue her passion for organic farming led Retzlaff to the Oregon Coast in 2003, where she and her husband, Packy, joined an emerging community of growers and local food enthusiasts. For six years they operated a small farm in Seaside, and in 2009 they started 46 North Farm on 18 acres of land they purchased in Olney, where they grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers.

Retzlaff’s commitment to a healthy local food economy along the coast led to her become a founding member of the North Coast Food Web, an organization that builds connections in the local food landscape.

If you are having trouble growing vegetables in the North Coast’s short and cantankerous growing season, you can find some tips at this talk – Retzlaff will share her expertise on the subject. She will also provide appetizer examples of locally grown edibles and sell her plant starts.

Drop that shovel, put the hoe back in the shed, and bring your questions to the Seaside Public Library, at 1131 Broadway, for an afternoon of gardening delight. For more information, call 503-738-6742 or visit

© 2014 Coast Weekend. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 10:00 am.

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Teresa Retzlaff,

Seaside Public Library,

Seed To Plate,

North Coast

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