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Archives for May 2014

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare – Cheats, Tips and More

Plant vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is the successor of the infamous puzzle game, which has won over the hearts of both young and old.

Even though the game is not yet available on all platforms, players are already spending tons of hours playing its Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions. With addictive gameplay and playful visuals, the multiplayer shooter may seem simple at first, but is quite comprehensive in its design. That’s why this guide for cheats, tips and more exists. To help players with advanced tactics to help them achieve great victories, here are a few tips and things to look out for.

The New Abilities

Plant vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is quite different than its predecessor. Even though the basic gameplay as well as most of the characters remain the same, there are a few new abilities a player should look out for. When someone unlocks new character ability, there is always a short cut scene that shows you what it does and how to use it. For a player to use the ability at its full potential, one should take the time and learn exactly what that ability is used for. For example, the Peashooter root ability lets a player “plant” themselves and concentrate the fire on the enemies better. Although, the movement of the player is limited when using this ability, the aiming is much more precise.

Defense is The Right Offense

A player should concentrate to learn right defensive tactics in order to succeed in Plant vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. That being said, positioning the troops is an important part of the gameplay. For example, the Peashooter and the Cactus are great when used from a distance, because they are able to see enemies from afar. Setting Chomper hiding underground and waiting for a health point to spawn is also a nice tactic in the game.

The Drones are a Powerful tool

If a player is playing as a cactus in Plant vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, shooting the spikes from a distance is quite a powerful ability. However, unlocking the garlic drones in order to shoot enemies from above is quite important too. These secondary tools provide the player with the required safety, as they let them shoot enemies from the sky, while they don’t have to worry about their own health. Moreover, the drones are small enough and tough to hit from a distance. If a player learns how to use them to their advantage, the game becomes far easier.

Spend the Coins Wisely

Even though most players most probably already do this, it is worth noticing that the Plant vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare coins should be spent on expensive sticker packs. This investment is definitely worthwhile, because the more expensive packs add far more powerful units to the battlefield.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare was released in February, 2014 for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. Releases are expected for the PC in June this year and later on for the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4 in August this year.

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Garden Tips: Aphids may cause malformed leaves

“Help! My plant has curled leaves. What’s wrong?” This is a question that I often get asked, but there is no easy answer. Curled or distorted leaves can be caused by more than one thing. Aphids, weed killers and plant viruses cause malformed leaves on plants.

You might think aphids would be the easiest of these to diagnose. You just have to look for these little plant suckers inside the curled leaves. Aphids are pear-shaped, soft-bodied insects that are fairly small, ranging in size from less than 1/16 inch to more than 1/8 of an inch long.

Aphids can be green, yellow, gray, pink-purple or even black. Typically, they are found in groups on tender new growth and buds. Their numbers can quickly build up because early in the season, all the aphids are females that give birth to live females that produce more females and so forth. They don’t need males to reproduce.

Aphids feed on plants by sucking out sap with a piercing, sucking mouth, sort of like a straw in a juice box. When aphid numbers are small, they don’t do much damage to plants, but large populations can stunt growth. Some aphids also inject a toxic saliva that causes distorted growth. These curled leaves then provide the aphids with protection from some predators and pesticide sprays.

Two aphids that often cause severe leaf curling are the green peach and the wooly ash. However, when gardeners uncurl malformed leaves to look for these aphids, they may not find them. That is because the aphids have departed their early spring hosts and moved to summer hosts before they return in the fall. The green peach aphid, which attacks plums, peaches and nectarines in early spring, spends the summer on weeds and vegetable crops.

The wooly ash aphid has a body covered with waxy secretions that makes it look “wooly.” These aphids feed on new growth of ash trees in the spring and then spend the summer on the roots of the trees. They move back to the top to mate in the fall.

In the past, when gardeners encountered clusters of aphids on their plants, they would rely on chemicals to help manage the problem. Today, gardeners are encouraged to try nonchemical approaches first.

— Avoid applying high levels of nitrogen fertilizer, which promote excessive vegetative or lush, soft growth that favors aphid feeding.

— Knock aphids off a plant using a forceful stream of water, taking care not to harm the plant. The aphids will not climb back onto the plant.

— Learn to recognize and encourage natural predators and parasites that feast on aphids.

— Control ants feeding on the honeydew (sugary plant sap) secreted by the aphids. They actually protect aphids from predators.

If you decide to use a pesticide spray, avoid broad spectrum insecticides that will also kill aphid predators. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils will effectively control aphids present and visible on plant shoots and leaves. These are contact insecticides and must come in direct contact with the aphid bodies to be effective. Because many aphids feed on the bottom sides of leaves, be sure to get good coverage when using these materials.

Most aphids that feed on woody plants early in the season, such as the green peach aphid and the wooly ash aphid, are best controlled with delayed-dormant sprays in late winter just as the buds start to open.

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

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House & Garden design guides to Conran Octopus

| Joshua Farrington

Octopus imprint Conran Octopus will publish a series of books from Condé Nast’s House Garden magazine.

Octopus publisher Alison Sterling signed world rights in a deal with Julian Alexander at LAW.

The books will be curated and written by Catriona Gray, books editor at House Garden, and draw upon the magazine’s archives of photography, illustration and writing. The first book will focus on 1950s style, with Sir Terence Conran writing the foreword.

Starling said: “It is hugely exciting to have access to House Garden’s archive of iconic interiors images. We’ve worked closely with Catriona and the House Garden team to capture in the book the flair, innovative design style – and humour – of the magazine during the 1950s.”

Susan Crewe, editor of House Garden, said: “House Garden is shorthand for stylish living, and its influence and impact have been in evidence for decades. For over 65 years, the magazine has had unparalleled access to the most stylish and well-designed homes in the world. This series will reveal the best of these stunning interiors, decade by decade.”

House and Garden was first published in 1947 and has a current readership of 694,000.

House Garden Fifties House will be published by Conran Octopus at £30 hardback.

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Alzheimer’s Society garden design proves Gold medal winning

Award-winning garden designer Adam Frost has received his sixth Chelsea Flower Show Gold RHS Medal this year, after designing a garden in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society.

Entitled ‘Time to Reflect’, the Homebase Garden took almost a year to plan and, with the help of 11 Homebase Garden Academy students, was designed to celebrate the importance of memory.

As with sensory garden designs, ‘Time to Reflect’ offered the opportunity to sit and reflect in vibrant surroundings with a wide range of colours on display, being home to over 4,000 plants. A selection of sun-loving yellow, white and blue flowers were complemented by woodland plants in a scene reminiscent of springtime in England.

Celebrities Sir Michael Parkinson, Fiona Phillips and Arlene Phillips were among those impressed by the Gold medal winner – see the video below for their reactions.

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Rock Solid Landscapes Offers Incomparable & Attributive Landscape Water …

Longmont, CO — (SBWIRE) — 05/30/2014 — Rock Solid Landscapes offers incomparable and attributive landscape water features at an affordable range. Everyone needs to relax after a hectic day and needs a place to calm down. Their professionals have the ability to create a water feature that can enhance any landscape. In addition, they also offer water feature maintenance services to make sure that one gains peace with no worries. Cities like Longmont, Lafayette and the surrounding areas are in their work area for which they provide exceptional backyard landscaping ideas and designs.

A spokesperson from Rock Solid Landscapes mentioned, “Every landscape has some form of hardscape incorporated into it. Whether it be as simple as rock, pathways, dry riverbeds or boulders, to more complex items such as decorative stone patios, retaining walls, seat walls and outdoor lighting – from concept to installation, we can exceed your expectations by the use of some form of hardscape.”

Their team of professionals can help create one’s dream outdoor living area with the most attractive options. Whether it is about building a BBQ, pergola, fireplace, fire pit or even a pizza oven; they can provide many great opportunities to families for their relaxation and entertainment. Their expert hands have created the most appealing and amazing outdoor living spaces for cities like Fort Collins and Boulder, CO.

Beyond expectations, Rock Solid Landscape’s maintenance division has been providing services to commercial and residential properties for a long time. Their professional staff is highly-proficient in all the aspects of landscape maintenance. Some of the services they offer to customers are snow removal, mowing, fertilization, irrigation maintenance, irrigation winterizations and turn-ons, and aeration.

About Rock Solid Landscapes
Rock Solid Landscapes Inc. is dedicated to fulfilling the landscape dreams of their clients by adhering to the highest level of standards and detail. They are an experienced and professionally managed landscaping company having the manpower and resources to create distinctive and attractive designs for the yard. Their skilled and experienced staff has an eye for every detail, knows which design would go best in a yard, and aim to give the landscape an exceptionally beautiful look. They provide custom designs that fit the lawn, environmental conditions, and personal preferences of the client perfectly. For more information, please visit-

Contact Details:
3686 Stagecoach North, Unit A.
Longmont, CO 80504
Phone: 303-772-4736

For more information on this press release visit:

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Brainstorming at younger alternative to Mackinac Policy Conference yields plan …

HAYES TOWNSHIP, MI – There was a hydroponic demonstration bus, a mobile water park and a plan to crash a weekly neighborhood blues party, but the winning proposal was strategy already tried and tested.

About 50 people gathered on a farm at the northern shore of Lake Charlevoix this week in a younger, smaller, less expensive answer to the Mackinac Policy Conference, only they wanted to be sure to return to Detroit with imminent action as a product of their discussions.

As a result, Recovery Park — an urban farming initiative looking to provide training and employment to recovering addicts, ex-convicts and other people facing barriers to success — will hire youth and senior ambassadors in the coming weeks to help with outreach in the east-side neighborhood the group serves.

In addition to its farming and employment efforts, the organization is part of a major, federally supported stormwater retention initiative that will have bulldozers doing some peculiar green infrastructure work that may confuse some neighbors.

“The last thing you want to see is them digging up your street and don’t know why,” said Gary Wozniak, head of Recovery Park. “(Neighbors) really need to be part of how that happens.”

The group presented its outreach problem to the Assemble@Mackinac(ish) conference and asked for a solution.

(Related: Detroiters seek solutions to old-new, black-white divide in frank talks at alternative policy conference)

The crowd split into six teams and competed to develop the best idea with the help of young advertising professionals with experience facilitating brainstorming sessions.

“These people had a few hours to not only have ideas, but to package them and present them. They were stunning,” said Stephanie Pool, 28, who designed the ideas challenge with the hope that competitive spirit coupled with a commitment from Recovery Park to implement the winning plan would breed top-notch brainstorming.

“People really embraced the challenge.”

Dean Hay, 46, a landscaping architect from Dearborn who works for the Greening of Detroit, steered his team toward a strategy that his organization has used for three years to reach residents.

Forming a youth fellowship program and hiring senior neighborhood figures would best help the group spread the word on what it’s trying to do, Hay proposed.

“The message is very clear, and it travels, that this is an organization that deserves to be in the community,” he said.

The idea wasn’t as colorful as some of the others, but it was the most immediately doable, said Wozniak.

“Theirs seemed the most implementable,” he said. “They’ve got the track record of piloting and testing the process. And it’s going to create jobs in the community immediately.”

He expects to hire the first senior ambassador and youth fellow in June.

Some of the other ideas presented may also eventually be put to use, he said.

“I personally like the slip-and-slide,” Wozniak said about a plan to tour the neighborhood with a mobile water park and a diorama demonstrating the group’s upcoming work. “The kids will bring in their families.”

The competition was held in between discussions reacting to live-streamed policy talks taking place on Mackinac Island.

The group of young activists camped for four days on a farm owned by Detroit real estate developer Matt Lester.

“I want to be a change agent like them,” Lester said. “I think that this generation has changed the paradigm on how to do that.”

Follow MLive Detroit reporter Khalil AlHajal on Twitter @DetroitKhalil or on Facebook at Detroit Khalil. He can be reached at or 313-643-0527.

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Graceful landscaping adds a classic touch to the Green Music Center.

The graceful “Winged Figure Ascending,” by the late, internationally recognized sculptor Stephen De Staebler, greets visitors as they approach the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.

Inside the courtyard at the entrance to Weill Hall is a grander sculptural display: 12 16-foot-tall pieces wrought by Mother Nature over the course of 118 years.

A building as striking as the finely-tuned music box designed by renowned architect William Rawn deserves an approach that conveys venerability. That was achieved with these ancient Sevillano olive trees — six on each side of the courtyard — with their gnarled trunks of multiple branches braided together over more than a century.

The olives trees, harvested from a doomed orchard in Corning, trucked in and then carefully placed in trenches beneath the limestone pavers of the courtyard, are among the most significant features within the outdoor spaces surrounding the hall.

With its barn-style door in a concert hall that opens to terraced grass seating, the center is truly designed to offer music without walls on a fine summer day. So the grounds needed to offer the same serenely simple beauty found inside the hall itself.

Observant homeowners and gardeners can glean ideas from public spaces like the Green Music Center, taking note of anything from natural architecture like trees and plantings to pathways, lighting and courtyards such as the entry to Weill Hall.

The grounds are the work of both Bill Mastick of Quadriga Landscape Architecture and Planning of Santa Rosa and the husband and wife team, Larry Reed and Cinda Gilliland, of SWA, an international landscape architecture firm with local offices in Sausalito and San Francisco.

Quadriga came up with the overall site plan for the 52-acre Green Music Center, including the parking lot, the front of the center and the 12- to 14-foot acoustic berms that provide a sound buffer from nearby road noise.

A total of $8.55 million of the $145 million music center project went into the grounds, from the courtyard and colonnade to the west and south lawns, site grading, structural fill, berms, signage, pathways, trees, landscape plants, lighting and outdoor sound equipment.

The long delay had an unexpected upside. The first part of the project to go in back in 2000 was the parking lot, dotted with London Plane trees. By the time the center opened two years ago, they had grown into the mature shade trees Mastick had envisioned.

In fact, time has softened and cooled the whole front of the center. A long line of Chinese elm trees and blue oat grass also are maturing and helping to conceal the plain walls of the classroom wing of the center.

One of the last areas to be developed was the courtyard, made possible by the $12 million infusion from the Weills that finished off the hall and landscaping.

Old olive trees were not part of the original design for the courtyard. But Reed, whose company was brought in to finish the grounds work, said Sandy and Joan Weill pressed for these ancient trees that project an image of both old California and new Wine Country.

They and Reed hand-picked the trees from an orchard near Chico owned by Troy Heathcote of Heritage Olive Trees.

“The olive industry is really going downhill. They’re tearing out these old trees and starting to plant walnuts,” said Heathcote, who buys up old orchards before the trees are bulldozed and tries to sell as many as possible. But he figures he is only able to find homes for about 7 percent of them. Price is a big factor, with each tree costing up to $3,000 or more. Removal, shipping and planting easily double that cost.

The Semillanos are actually good for landscaping because their fruit is larger — more for stuffed olives and martinis — and thus not as prolific and messy.

The other dominant trees in the Green Music Center landscape are redwoods. The giant evergreens, purchased in 15- to 84-gallon boxes, will provide screening around the periphery of the lawns. The trees also needed to be tall, said Reed, to be in proportion to the stately Weill and Schroeder halls.

The understory plantings are natural and typical of the North Coast — anemones, pennisetum or bunnytails, rock roses.

Reed said the economic downturn also took its toll on the landscape business.

“With the economy going south, growers had to start chipping plant material because they couldn’t sell it,” he said. “These are the last of the trees of a good size that we were able to get.”

You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at or 521-5204.

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Soggy spring is brief: For garden longevity, plant a Xeriscape

Garden envy. We all have it, looking at yards that seem more glorious than ours.

If you spend your days tilling, toiling, weeding and watering, while those other gardeners have time for hobbies, entertaining and — let’s face it, a life — it’s no wonder you entertain wild thoughts of covering your yard in stone.

Don’t give up. You’re not an unworthy gardener. You just haven’t yet caught on to the secret of having a beautiful, low-maintenance Colorado garden: Xeriscape.

LAKEWOOD, CO - SEPTEMBER 26: The xeriscaped gardens at Kendrick Lake Park and Gardens in Lakewood on Thursday, September 26, 2013. (Photo By Cyrus

That term, coined by Denver Water, doesn’t mean a barren patch of rock. But it does mean recognizing that astonishingly moisture-rich springs like 2014 are rare events on the Front Range.

The low-water landscape is also low-effort. So once you’ve tried it, you’d better have a plan for using your extra time.

“My life is complicated with kids and a job. It made sense that my landscape was little work; that other type of landscaping was W-O-R-K, what with mulching and watering a lot,” said Pat Hayward, executive director for Plant Select, a program that helps develop and market water-wise plants for the intermountain West. She lives in the foothills of Masonville, just northwest of Loveland.

“When we don’t have to use as much water or work as hard,” she said, “why wouldn’t you want to do this?”

Perhaps it’s the allure of the lush, dense landscapes that national magazines flaunt in their pages. Gazing at the cool greens and tropical blossoms, it’s hard not to lust after that same look in our harsh, arid land.

“My experience is that we need to permanently shift how we think about water,” said Alison Peck, owner of Matrix Garden Design in Boulder.

In Kendrick Lake Park and Gardens, a wide range of xeric plants includeng yucca and ornamental grasses.

“Culturally, it’s the way we should go — we’re not making any more water. I understand some feel we’re being deprived” when cities restrict watering days. Instead, Peck said, “Think about Xeriscape as a way to celebrate the natural beauty of this place.”

Peck has spent the past 29 years melding her passion for conservation with a love of beauty.

“We’ve created formal Victorian, modern and native types of landscapes that are really beautiful and xeric. Lawns are pretty boring. They look the same; they don’t smell or sound good. You should get a sensual delight from the landscape, like grasses to run your hands through, flowers that are fragrant. More life, like butterflies.”

Hayward likes an aesthetic matched to its situation. Soil, sun, water and rocks all come into play in the Colorado landscape, so Hayward suggests that gardeners work with those elements.

“My 1-acre property has rocky soil, primarily sand and gravel — traditional perennials didn’t thrive. I didn’t water enough because I’m too lazy to water and I didn’t add organic matter. Rather than adapting the beds to the plants, I started finding plants that would do well in them.”

Finding what works is as easy as heading to a garden center that carries the right plants for your community. Local, often independent, stores can also help with good advice, since they know the conditions you’re gardening in.

Lead designer Chris Holthouser of Outdoor Craftsmen in Erie is seeing an increase in people wanting Xeriscape as a way to have a gorgeous landscape, but spend less time spent caring for it.

“The demand is huge,” he said. Last year, his business saw a 30 percent increase in calls requesting Xeriscaped outdoor living spaces. “There’s a design for every lifestyle someone has. You can design it to be in keeping with any style of house.”

A low-water landscape doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, a monochrome of grays and sage greens.

Instead, Hayward urges going crazy with bright colors fearlessly, knowing that they have a bright Colorado sun to compete with.

“In high summer, we have peaks of color. From Mother’s Day to Father’s Day are times of peak pastels in yellows, blues and pinks. July and August are intense reds, purples, blues, oranges and yellows. This is when these gardens come alive with hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.”

Then, during late September and early October as the weather cools, “the early summer plants have another heavy flush of blooms, and then you have the grasses.” These colors are echoed throughout the prairies and mountains, in the same rhythm of the seasons.

And the big secret no one talks about here?

We’re actually the envy of the East.

“We are so lucky to be able to grow these things,” says Hayward. With a low-water garden, “you can still do garden therapy, but it doesn’t take up your life.

“And with not as much work, you can sit back and enjoy it.”

Read Carol O’Meara on her blog

Xeric garden: 7 don’t-forget steps to water-wise beauty

Tips for going low-water

If you’re considering converting to Xeriscape, remember these priorities from Alison Peck and Chris Holthouser, both Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado members:

Pay attention to planning and design. Keep in mind how much time you want to spend on the garden. Do you want beautiful, sculptural plants or a cool seating area for entertaining?

Get a soil analysis. Understand the media on which the garden will be planted. Next to the irrigation system, soil is a crucial. “There are a wide variety of soils in the Front Range and Foothills. We can have the best plants in the best spot with the best irrigation, but if the soil is a problem or water pools, it can all fall apart,” says Holthouser.

Plant selection. You need the right plant for the right spot, so they don’t become too overgrown or suffer from wet feet. “Perennials are gorgeous but higher maintenance; most people don’t have the time. Mixed shrub beds are inexpensive, easy-care, virtually zero maintenance,” Peck says. “But it takes seven years to fill in” — grower-speak for shrubs growing up and out to become a finished landscape. Her solution: “Use a mix of colorful, quick-to-fill-in perennials near decks. Then, as you move outward in the landscape, use the low or tall shrubs that take longer.”

Plan for turfgrass. Holthouser stresses that you can have a lawn, just one of appropriate size. It cools the landscape, controls erosion, and provides a soft spot for play. But it must be in the right location; not on a slope and not 90 percent of the property.

Efficient irrigation. Proper design is crucial so you don’t end up with a problematic system that delivers too much water. Once installed, monitor your system for efficient delivery; don’t just turn it on and ignore it. Supplement it with redirected downspouts to take advantage of our infrequent rains.

Mulch. Use large-size mulches for trees and shrubs and smaller mulch in perennial gardens. Many xeric plants thrive in three-eighths-inch pea gravel.

Maintenance. “This is critical,” says Holthouser. If you want a lifestyle that includes interaction with the garden, it can be fun. But “if you don’t have the time, you should find the resources to help you,” he added.

Carol O’Meara

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West York’s Garden Girls plant seeds of success

She’s saving up for her first dump truck.

“I want to have pink dump trucks all over York County,” said Valerie Mace, owner of Garden Girls of PA in West York.

She will use the trucks to haul soil, mulch and more to a growing number of landscaping jobs throughout the region.

In its third year, the company employs about 20 women, who range in age from 21 to 36. Three of them handle most of day-to-day operations, and the other 17 assist or volunteer with landscaping work, Mace said.

The women build retaining walls, mulch, garden and do other landscaping work during the warmer months, and in the winter they plow snow.

Mace said she’s still not making much, but the company has made progress.

“I started the business with $1,500 from my income tax return and bought a beat-up F-150. It broke down every week, but we made it work,” she said.

But it was a turning point for the 31-year-old mother of three boys.

“I worked in the bar industry and got tired of being pushed around by men and looked down on by women. I was in a place in my life I just didn’t like,” Mace said.

Her passion: She thought about what she loved to do and went back to her roots — literally.

Planting gardens and being outside are a passion for the young woman who grew up on a 101-acre farm in Hanover.

“I started mowing on the side, and the business grew from there,” Mace said.

Garden Girls has often been hired by older women in the area who are no longer physically able to plant their gardens and pull weeds, she said.

Mace dreams of being able to earn enough money to help those women and other seniors in the area.

She also wants to open a Garden Girls daycare.

“My girls and I are all moms, and we’ve all had trouble finding sitters or have had trouble paying them. We know what that’s like. It would be nice to have a facility where kids could go and plant their own garden and make lunches from that garden,” Mace said.

For the kids: She came a step closer to that dream when she and her co-workers purchased a van, which is used for taking the kids on field trips.

“That’s what I want — to make sure the kids are having a good life, even if I have to work through most of it,” Mace said.

She and her team work 10-hour days, five days a week, and she also works as a bartender at a local golf course.

“It’s amazing. It’s hard. I would love for Garden Girls to be my primary job, my only job. As of now, I’m working all weekend, every weekend. You do what you have to do to grow a business,” she said.

For more information, call Garden Girls at 717-846-6966 or search for Garden Girls of PA on Facebook.

—Reach Candy Woodall at

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BR landscape architect gardens where he works

Landscape architect Jon Emerson’s office garden is such an important part of his workspace that he put the front door there.

“It’s like Savannah and Charleston,” Emerson says. “In Savannah and Charleston, you walk into the gardens first.”

The office, in an early 20th- century house in Beauregard Town, features a side garden divided into three main parts — a grove of citrus trees, a vegetable garden and an area for “trying out” new plants. A section at the back of the property contains a large circular fountain, filled with exotic fish, as well as a secluded area behind a studio and storage space.

Emerson, who retired after teaching 31 years in the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, originally owned his current office and the turn-of-the-century house next door. Beginning in the 1980s, he established the garden between the two buildings. Several years ago, he sold the older house but kept the garden.

To create a more private area, Emerson surrounded the garden with a wooden fence and planted a screen of Alphonse Karr, a special variety of bamboo that does not spread.

At least half of the side garden is filled with 14 varieties of citrus — Meyer lemons, blood oranges, Mandarin oranges, limes and kumquats — all loaded with budding fruit. Each citrus tree is planted in its own raised bed with a soaker hose and timer.

“With the raised beds, you don’t have to bend down so far to weed,” explains Emerson, who is very careful to remove all branches that shoot up in the graft area of the trees.

“The fine varieties are grafted onto very hardy stock for endurance, but the fruit on the hardy trees is not good, and the branches have very big thorns,” Emerson says. “These branches in the graft must be removed.”

Between the raised citrus beds, paths are laid with Grasscrete, a material which contains open spaces where grass can grow.

“I use it because I want to be sure the trees get enough oxygen and water from the rain,” he says.

Some time ago, Emerson made a large dirt mound as a playground for the champion Scottish Terriers he raises.

“They made such a mess on it that I turned it into my vegetable garden,” he says.

Tomatoes and green beans are planted around the edges with herbs, white eggplants and peppers in the center.

Emerson arranged pavers over the mound so he can easily access the plants at the center.

“It’s almost like a labyrinth,” he says.

A tall fence where each spring sweet peas bloom in abundance separates the citrus grove from a narrow area Emerson uses to experiment with different kinds of plants. A good part of this area is dedicated to several varieties of liguleria, one of his favorites. He is trying a black-leaf crape myrtle with dark red flowers, a yellow magnolia and several unusual irises.

“I just love plants. I love to experiment with plants,” he says. “Some make it, and some don’t.”

Emerson grew up in California, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and earned a graduate degree in landscape architecture from Harvard, where he taught for one year.

He is a man of many interests. He paints, does life sculpture and raises his champion Scotties. In 1998, one of his dogs won Best in Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

He is an award-winning landscape architect with many outstanding projects to his credit. One of his most recent is the landscaping design for the new Main Library. The project also includes his design of two rooftop gardens and the stained-glass window in the children’s section.

From the work area in his office, Emerson has a clear view of the garden.

“I come here every day,” he says. “It’s a place I love to be. I have my music and my dogs here. I design here.”

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