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Archives for June 9, 2014

Parade of Homes to feature new trends

Parade of Homes is a two-week event June 14-29 that showcases 27 custom homes in six Dane County neighborhoods, including two in Waunakee—Westbridge and Kilkenny Farms.

Sponsored by the Madison Area Builders Association (MABA), the Parade of Homes has been an annual Madison tradition for more than 60 years.

“Whether you’re thinking about building a new home or looking for ideas to update your existing home, you will find the latest and greatest in home design at the Parade,” said Amber Schroeder, executive director of the Madison Area Builders Association. “Also, with the housing market on its upward trend, and interest rates still fairly low, it’s a good time to consider investing in new construction.”

Advantages to building or owning a Parade home include substantial discounts or upgrades on many items that most people want for their homes, including appliances and landscaping.

“Custom details are also sometimes included at no extra charge,” added Mike Beiersdorff, owner of Northpointe Construction, which has a Parade home in Kilkenny Farms.

The other four communities in this year’s Parade are Savannah Parks (Deerfield), Legend at Bergamont (Oregon), Rivers Turn at Conservancy Place (DeForest) and Bristol Gardens (Bristol Township).

Only Minutes Away

The Westbridge community made its Parade of Homes debut in 2013. This year Waunakee has another neighborhood to show off—Kilkenny Farms. Located on Hwy. Q, this new neighborhood occupies scenic, rolling terrain just south of downtown Waunakee.

Both Westbridge and Kilkenny Farms are the vision of developer Don Tierney.

“These communities have parks, trails, streams and beautiful open spaces,” stated Bryan Sipple, chief operating officer for Classic Custom Homes of Waunakee, which has Parade homes in Westbridge and Kilkenny Farms. “Future plans for expansion in Kilkenny Farms include office/retail space off Hwy. Q, which will offer the community some incredible retail opportunities.”

“Westbridge has gorgeous views of the golf course, a neighborhood pool, and a state-of-the-art park, with a super-fun zip line,” added Jenny Acker, vice president of Acker Builders in Waunakee, which also has Parade homes in Westbridge and Kilkenny Farms. “Although Westbridge is close to downtown Waunakee, it still provides a feeling of being in the countryside.” 

Acker Builders’ Westbridge Parade home offers an open-concept main floor, with living areas that still maintain their own unique feel. The kitchen is outfitted with quartz countertops, a separate beverage refrigerator, glass subway tile and surround sound. The screened porch is also equipped with surround sound and a flat-screen television.

Four bedrooms occupy the second floor, as well as a laundry room, loft with built-in desk and bonus room. The basement is ideal for entertaining with a walkout to the patio, a contemporary wet bar, media room and fifth bedroom for guests.

Classic Custom Homes of Waunakee’s Westbridge Parade home provides “the best in everyday living without being over the top,” stated Sipple. “Everything is thoroughly thought-out to provide the most efficient use of space for the family.”

Design highlights include white cabinets, grey hues and a stone-and-slate fireplace. In Classic Custom Homes of Waunakee’s Kilkenny Farms Parade home, features include custom-designed cabinets, stairways, columns, built-ins and theater room, with plenty of space for relaxing.

Meet the Builders

One of the biggest benefits of attending the Parade of Homes is getting quality one-on-one time with the builders and their staff. They make it a point to be there to greet visitors and they love to talk shop—ask them a building-related question and they will have an answer.

“The Parade of Homes is a wonderful way to see new building trends/techniques and get fresh ideas in design,” said Sipple. “It’s also a great way to follow your favorite builders and speak with expert personnel to create ideas for your next building venture.”

“Be sure to take pictures, makes notes and don’t forget to ask questions,” commented Nicole Hartmann, job operations manager for Classic Custom Homes of Waunakee. “We staff our Parade homes with employees who know our company, our process and our home. Even though it may not be about one of our Parade homes, we are never too busy to talk with you about your project.”

The Parade of Homes is open June 14-29. Monday to Friday hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit for more information on MABA and the Parade of Homes, ticket prices, locations/directions and the latest updates.

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Updated concept plan unveiled at Rosemary Imagined

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the fifth-floor Sky Lounge of the Greenbridge development gave Rosemary Imagined meeting attendees a bird’s eye view of their beloved downtown — and from the windows, community members could point a finger right where they hope to see change.

On Monday, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the town of Chapel Hill hosted a community review meeting to look over a revised draft plan for the downtown Rosemary Street corridor –– a stretch of Rosemary Street that goes from South Merritt Mill Road to Henderson Street.

The last meeting, another community review session, was held on April 10.

Megan Wooley, a housing and neighborhood services planner for the town, and Meg McGurk, the executive director of the Downtown Partnership, presented the revised Rosemary Street Vision and Implementation Plan to a room of roughly 40 members of the community.

The plan has been revised since the last meeting in April, after McGurk and Wooley held stakeholder meetings around the community and interacted with downtown residents.

The concept map included in the implementation plan identifies potential redevelopment sites downtown, locations of parks and green spaces and pedestrian and bicycle connections. 

One of the questions McGurk said she and Wooley have tried to consider is, “Is (the plan for Rosemary Street) reflecting what the community wants?”

Wooley pointed out a few areas that specifically changed since the community last gathered. 

The alley parallel to Lindsay Street in Northside raised questions from the community, she said.

“There are concerns about having an alley back there,” said Wooley. “There are concerns about loitering, trash, noise. We are instead proposing a green landscaped buffer. This would provide a buffer between the neighborhood and the commercial uses.”

Buffers of greenery and landscaping would be used in many other places in the redevelopment of Rosemary Street, Wooley said, especially in areas where neighborhoods and potential development sites are right next to each other.

Wooley also said there was interest in increasing the number of connections between Rosemary Street and Franklin Street. 

“People walk and they bike and they find the little ways to go, and we want to make those little ways to go safe, well-lit, well-signed so that people know they’re there,” she said.

According to the implementation plan, three proposed areas where connections could be made possible if they realigned North Roberson Street, Kenan Street and Mallette Street. These areas would begin as pedestrian walkways and in the long run could become car passageways.

“There’s the possibility of becoming car connection if the public wants it,” Wooley said.


The implementation plan broke the re-development of Rosemary Street up into 21 “visions” for the downtown corridor, organized based on themes that came out of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan. 

The themes include: A Place for Everyone, Community Prosperity and Engagement, Getting Around, Good Places New Spaces, Nurturing Our Community and Town and Gown Collaboration

The plan lays out all 21 visions for downtown Rosemary Street, breaking them down by who will lead the vision’s implementation, who will partner with the leader, what the next steps will be and what some ideas are for seeing the vision to fruition.


Wooley said there is no rhyme nor reason to the numbers assigned to the Rosemary Imagined implementation plan’s “visions”. The numbers won’t affect what gets done when or what is most important to the team, she said.

“There’s no prioritization,” Wooley said. “The way it’s organized is based on the themes of the (Chapel Hill) 2020 plan. The numbers are kind of random within the themes.”

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Teen puts politicians to the test

By Sara Feijo

Posted Jun. 9, 2014 @ 2:00 am


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Hidden no more: Glorious gardens showcased on Westport Historical Society tour

From a Greens Farms cul-de-sac to the center of Greenfield Hill, a few hundred garden lovers admired the greenery — and an artist’s palette of colors — in the landscaping of five properties featured Sunday on the Westport Historical Society’s 23rd annual Hidden Garden Tour.

The properties in Westport and Fairfield ranged in size from a quarter-acre to nearly three acres, from full sun to largely shade, from professionally landscaped to managed by the homeowners. At each location, the visitors got an eyeful of beauty and a bounty of landscaping tips.

Allison and Rob Wussler of Westport said they came looking for ideas of what shade plants to purchase for her garden. “We have a garden that needs TLC. I can only plant so many tulip bulbs,” Allison Wussler said.

She found inspiration at a house in the Gorham Avenue Historic District near downtown Westport where the owners have a mix of sun and shade. They planted hostas, peonies, climbing roses and a screen of pear trees in the small yard that they maintain themselves. They also keep bees.

Deanna Davis of Westport, who took her 10th Hidden Garden Tour on Sunday, said the Gorham Avenue gardeners had “a lovely selection of plants for the property. Very well done.”

“The color variation was very pleasing,” added Paul Davis, Deanna’s husband.

At a two-acre property on Summer Hill Road in Westport the owners divided their formal garden into three “rooms,” one with free-form flower beds, one called their Zen Central, and a white garden by the pool and patio area. The plantings were inspired by the New York Botanical Garden. It was a 25-year project done in several phases.

“There’s so much thought and artistry that’s gone into this,” said Margery Silk of Westport.

Margaret Yingling of Westport, who has taken the tour every year almost since it started, said she needed ideas for her own garden and she found “almost every idea you can think of” at the Summer Hill property.

The tour included a true hidden garden at the Cross Highway property where the current owner, Edward F. Gerber, president of the Westport Historical Society, unearthed a secret garden behind the studio used by a former owner — artist George Hand Wright, when he discovered “a mysterious brick stairway that seemed to go nowhere.” Gerber displayed some of Wright’s artwork throughout his gardens.

Gerber’s property featured fieldstone walls, old apple trees, newer cherry trees, specimen plantings including a Japanese katsura, Zelkova elm, Norway maple and star magnolia, and a flower bed he calls his remembrance garden dedicated to people dear to him. Growing in that perennial garden are bleeding heart, yarrow and spiderwort “which is a weed, basically.” Then again, someone pointed out, “One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower.”

Roma Fanton’s 2.7-acre property on Meeting House Lane in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield has an English garden designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of New York’s Central Park, with a pond, stone walls, boxwood hedges and a border of vinca vine. As people wandered the grounds they listened to three flutists who performed from Fanton’s terraced stone patio.

Scott Ogilvy of Fairfield performed from atop a rock garden at a nearly 1.5-acre property on Inwood Road in the Stratfield section of Fairfield. It earned praise from visitors for the owner’s thoughtful use of the natural features to create a landscaped oasis that includes numerous flower beds, a pond with a fountain, two outdoor fireplaces, a dense canopy of old-growth trees, and a terraced spring-fed in-ground swimming pool.

“I loved it. This was especially wonderful,” Mary Lou Graether of Trumbull said about the Inwood Road gardens, “but they were all nice. I do the house tours but I’ve never been on a garden tour,” she said.

“I enjoy the beauty and love to see other people’s ideas,” said Sally O’Brien, a master gardener from Fairfield.

The event, a fund-raiser for the Historical Society, concluded with a Garden Party on Veterans Green.

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Six gardens featured on local garden tour



Pond and grief relief gardens are among landscapes visitors will see during this month’s Third Annual Town Country Garden Tour of Pulaski County.

The tour, sponsored by Friends of the Pulaski County Library and New River Valley Master Gardener Association, will be held Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The theme of this year’s tour is “Gardens to Visit and Lessons to Learn.” Proceeds are equally split by the sponsoring organizations.

The gardens will include annuals and perennials, wildflowers, theme gardens and other landscaping features. Brochures with addresses and directions to each garden are available to those purchasing tickets.

Tickets are $10 for the full tour and can be purchased at Pulaski County Library on 60 Third St. in northwest Pulaski or the Charles and Ona B. Free Memorial Library at 300 Giles Ave. in Dublin. Tickets also are available at each garden tour stop on the day of the event.

Purchased tickets will be entered into a drawing that will be held June 30. Winners will be notified by telephone.

For more information, visit or call Mickey Balconi at 980-3952.

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LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences Hosts Green Home and Garden …

Environmental stewardship can begin in a back yard or right under the roof of one’s house. Learn how to create a more sustainable residence this Saturday, June 14, at the “Wonderful Green Homes and Gardens of LBI” workshop at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

From 9 a.m. to noon, various experts – chosen specifically for their local knowledge – will address small groups of attendees. The interactive sessions will run about 45 minutes, and will “repeat so people can attend three out of four sessions,” a brochure for the program explains.

At 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., Angela Andersen, co-chairwoman of the LBIF Science Committee, will present the how, why, when and where of rainwater collection, regulations and water bills. Bay Avenue Plant Co. owner Tom Scangarello Jr., meanwhile, will explain what a homeowner should know when speaking with a landscaper, and he will discuss landscape and garden design, maintenance and reconfiguration. And Liz Moritz from Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Ocean County Master Gardeners will describe how to most effectively and environmentally combat weeds and pests.

Also at 11 a.m., Loveladies homeowner Bill Clarke and engineer J.P. Brokken will use Clarke’s home as a model to explain the feasibility and design steps of energy and water conservation.

Professionally prepared take-home materials will be available at each session.

“Well-conceived buildings and responsible gardening and landscaping can help to improve the bay by reducing the amount of environmentally harmful things that go into it,” the program brochure states. “Responsible design and building can conserve energy and improve quality of life.”

Call 609-494-1241 to register. The fee to attend is $10.

The LBI Foundation, located at 120 Long Beach Blvd. in Loveladies, is sponsoring the program along with ReClam the Bay, Alliance for a Living Ocean and the New Jersey Agricultural Station, Rutgers Cooperative Extension. —J.K.-H.

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Tips for getting garden jobs under control

June 9, 2014

Tips for getting garden jobs under control


The Press Republican

Mon Jun 09, 2014, 03:26 AM EDT

The gardening season has gotten off to a slow start but things will catch up.

This year more than ever busy gardeners find themselves on the few days when the weather is decent and they have some time, wondering where to begin. Of the many tasks to do out there, which are the most important to get done first? Here are some suggestions relating to vegetable and flower gardens to help you decide.


Our growing season is short so most seeds should be in by now. If you didn’t get a chance to get that packet of seeds in the ground consider buying transplants from a local garden center for a quick result. Transplants are an investment so make it a priority to keep them well watered to keep them growing full speed ahead. Transplant shock can set them back, so pay a little extra attention to those new plants until they’re established and putting out new growth.

There is still time to plant a variety of crops from seed such as lettuce, bush beans, carrots, basil, parsley, cilantro, dill and beets. For flowers you can still plant bachelor buttons, cosmos, dwarf marigolds and calendula for late summer blooms.


The least popular task in gardening is staying ahead of the weeds, but it’s one of the very most important. In keeping with today’s theme of deciding what needs to get done first, where do you begin?

You finally have a day off. Your perennials are growing fast and so are the weeds in that rich soil you’ve been building up over the years. Over in your vegetable garden the lettuce is sizing up, the onions are small but pushing out some new leaves and the carrots are just barely visible. Do you start with the foot tall dandelions in your perennial garden or the barely visible weed seedlings in your vegetable garden?



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New York Botanical Garden spotlights historic women

Occasionally, landscape gardening goes well beyond flowers and shrubbery to encompass questions of national identity, culture, even social change. The era from 1900 to 1930 in America was one of those times, thanks to several enterprising and unsung women.

Well before American women could vote, these college-educated few rose to the pinnacle of their fields as garden designers, writers and photographers. Declaring American gardens to be distinct from those in Europe, they took as their mission the beautification of America, whose cities were polluted and whose residents were suffering from decades of grinding income disparity and rampant industrialism.

The New York Botanical Garden — itself a creation of that Progressive “push-back” between the height of the Gilded Age and World War I — explores these women and their work in “Groundbreakers: Great American gardens in the 20th century and the women who designed them,” a suite of exhibits on view through Sept. 7.

“Groundbreakers” explores the work of garden designers Marian Coffin, Beatrix Farrand and Ellen Shipman, and garden photographers Jessie Tarbox Beals, Mattie Edwards Hewitt and Frances Benjamin Johnston.

It combines original hand-tinted glass “magic lantern” slides and the hefty photographic equipment used to make them; detailed drawings of some of the greatest estate gardens of the time; gardening journalism and literary writing; and breathtakingly colorful flower gardens — most notably one evoking the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller garden in Seal Harbor, Maine (complete with Ragtime musical accompaniment).

“These women were the leading lights in their fields. And in a broader cultural sense, the work they did helped elevate the quality of life for many people across America through these landscapes and their photos and writing,” said Todd Forrest, the botanical garden’s vice president of Horticulture and Living Collections.

“This brief Progressive era is especially important to look at now as historians ask themselves how, in our present gilded age, we’re going to get this kind of momentum again,” explained Sam Watters, the historian whose “Gardens for a Beautiful America” book (Acanthus Press) helped inspire the show, and who curated its photographic segment.

Among the nation’s first specialized career women, the women highlighted in the show not only designed gardens for private estates but educated and informed the public through lectures, writing and photos, Watters said.

Their work helped inspire the construction of landscaped parks and gardens across the country, the expansion of tree-lined streets, and the widespread planting of the lush lawns, bordered by flowers and ornamental shrubs, that remain emblematic of American yards today.

“Garden club women, inspired by the garden photos they saw, started going to prisons. They put a rose garden in the courtyard of Sing Sing. A big formal garden with a fountain was put in a prison in Michigan. And they planted gardens around train stations across the country,” Watters said.

“It really was landscape gardening as social activism.”

On the great estates, the cutting edge of landscape design at the time, photographs were commissioned and schoolchildren brought in, with the edification of the masses in mind.

Whereas 19th-century American gardens replicated gardens in Europe, these new gardens combined Asian architectural elements, English-style flower borders, European ideas of space and distinctly North American settings for a unique sensibility. And before there was color photography, the lush hand-tinted coloring of Johnston’s lantern slides awed and inspired home gardeners.

The show is ambitious and sprawling, and experiencing it in its entirety requires the better part of a day. Although the exhibits can be viewed in any order, the story flows best by beginning in the garden’s Mertz Library Rotunda with “Gardens for a Beautiful America: The women who photographed them,” curated by Watters. Along with photos, books, magazines and journals of the period, the exhibit features examples of the era’s imposing wooden camera equipment — gardening photography required serious biceps — along with a few original lantern slides.

Two of Farrand’s masterpieces are on view in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden and in “Mrs. Rockefeller’s Garden,” a dazzlingly colorful indoor horticultural exhibit. Shipman designed the garden’s Ladies’ Border, and Coffin designed the Montgomery Conifers Collection.

The show also includes a “Poetry Walk,” featuring poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, many inspired by her garden in Austerlitz, New York; a section on “Groundbreaking Women in Science”; a series of concerts, films, lectures and poetry readings; a free iPhone app with previously unpublished photos; and a section for kids on the science and art of landscape photography.



New York Botanical Gardens, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, New York, through Sept. 7


All-Garden Pass weekends through June: $25; $22, student/senior; $10, children 2-12;

weekdays weekends through Sept. 7:$20;

$18, student/senior; $8 children, 2-12

INFO: or 718-817-8700

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