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Archives for June 24, 2014

Public Works: Finding Privately Owned, Publicly-Accessible Spaces


June 24, 2014 at 9:05 am

cityscape

A database in New York could help Toronto make Privately Owned, Publicly-Accessible Spaces major components of the urban landscape.

Public Works looks at public space, urban design, and city-building innovations from around the world, and considers what Toronto might learn from them.

The splash pad at the Shops at Don Mills, one of Toronto's many privately owned public spaces. Photo by kaeko, from the Torontoist Flickr Pool

The splash pad at the Shops at Don Mills, one of Toronto’s many privately owned public spaces. Photo by kaeko, from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

How should we define public space? Should it be limited to publicly owned land—parks, sidewalks, and streets managed by the city? What about private land that’s been made available to the public? Can we, as citizens of an ever-growing, increasingly crowded city afford not to make the most of accessible private space? Cities around the world, Toronto included, are working to bring Privately Owned, Publicly-Accessible Spaces (POPS) to their citizens’ attention. Since 2012, when city council approved a plan to make local POPS more visible, Toronto has taken major steps toward making these spaces an integral part of our public landscape.

On June 19, Toronto’s planning and growth management committee was presented with the city planning department’s POPS urban design guidelines. The document offers direction to the development community—including architects, planners, designers, and developers—for the creation of new POPS and the revitalization of old ones. It also explains the value of POPS in a growing city: “[POPS] are a key part of the city’s public realm network providing open space in much needed locations across the city and complementing existing and planned publicly owned parks, open spaces and natural areas.”

The City has also created an online map of Toronto’s existing and future POPS to help Regular Joes find what are often hidden-away nooks of public space. Each POPS marker on the map is accompanied by a small image and description of the space, though some are more complete than others—the low end of the spectrum being “740 Progress Avenue: A pedestrian walkway with landscaping.” It’s all pretty helpful and an encouraging step in the right direction, if not particularly extravagant.

But as far as the identification of public spaces goes, the comprehensive database of New York City POPS sets the standard. Created by Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (APOPS) and the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), the database gives users a chance to search for POPS by neighbourhood, amenities, or address. Say you are looking for a POPS on the Upper West Side—just select that neighbourhood from a drop-down menu and you’ll instantly be shown a list of 18 locations in the area, each with a photo, a baseball card–style list of vital stats, a few-hundred-words-long profile drawn from the pages of a NYC Department of Planning and MAS-penned book, a visitor rating, and a corresponding flag on a map of the city.

And you can get pretty obscure with this thing. You want a 24-hour POPS with air conditioning, public artwork, and a toilet? You got it.

So far, the database includes POPS from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, but it is very much a work in progress. Curators invite the public to contribute written profiles, photos, and ideas to the project to create the most helpful and accurate database possible. The result is a nimble, evolving resource. As Toronto implements its plans to develop and rejuvenate POPS around this city, such a resource will become vital.

Article source: http://torontoist.com/2014/06/public-works-finding-privately-owned-publicly-accessible-spaces/

Cycle lane usage confusion reigns


Cyclists use the new cycleway in Portobello Rd between Andersons Bay Rd and Portsmouth Dr. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

Changes made to accommodate a cycle lane on Portobello Rd
continue to generate complaints, but the Dunedin City Council
says it will still be weeks before the problem is sorted.

The four-lane section of Portobello Rd, between Andersons Bay
Rd and Portsmouth Dr, was reduced to two lanes earlier this
year as part of the South Dunedin Cycle Network.

That led to confusion among motorists, some of whom still
wanted to drive from Andersons Bay Rd towards the harbour in
what is now the wrong lane.

Much of the confusion, council roading projects engineer Evan
Matheson said, stemmed from the fact the two lanes that were
now a shared footpath/cycle lane still looked like part of
the road.

”We thought we’d have a relatively low-cost treatment to the
shared path area.

”That assumption was probably incorrect and that area seems
to be distracting or confusing people who use that part of of
Portobello Rd, so we need to do some changes there.

”I don’t know what the cost of that will be.”

He admitted he was fielding calls about ”a lot” of near
misses.

”Obviously it’s great people are telling us there is still
clearly a problem and we need to do some work there, even
with the changes we have made lately, including doubling the
number of arrows painted on the lanes, there’s something
there still confusing motorists.”

It sounded like a simple problem, he said, but it had become
more complex because of the need to guarantee access for
residents’ vehicles, rubbish trucks or emergency vehicles
across the shared path.

The priority would be to change the shared path area to make
it clear it was no longer a road, but how that was best done,
for example with landscaping or road resurfacing or other
ways, was not known.

Senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema had been charged with
finding a solution.

He said a meeting of staff was planned to discuss options,
but that would be weeks away at least, because of other
commitments.

At the moment, what was there could be described as an
interim measure.

”We’ve got to make the other side not look like a road, so
then you feel actually you are in the correct lane on the
road.”

There were plenty of ideas about how that could be achieved,
but they needed to be worked through into one staged plan.

It would be at least a couple of weeks before he started
looking at the shared path.

”It’s not unsafe the way it is, so if it sits like that for
a few more weeks I don’t believe it will an issue.”

After that, the council would revisit the actual road, to
ensure it was as clearly marked as possible.

Mr Matheson said the work was part of the first stage of the
cycle network, and was slightly over the $1.55 million
budget, at $1.6 million, not including the work needed to
define the shared path.

Any funding for that part of the work could come from other
parts of the total $4.5 million budget for the network.

He said tenders had just closed for the second stage of the
project, the construction of which will affect more
residences around South Dunedin.

The work is expected to start next month and includes making
Bellona St a quiet street, with some changes to
exits/entrances to parts of the street.

It also includes constructing separated cycle lanes the
length of Coughtrey and Richardson streets.

The company that won the tender would decide the order in
which the work would be done, but there was a communications
plan, including letter drops, for affected residents, to let
them know when work was planned, Mr Matheson said.

Plans were being made earlier for signs and markings to be
installed as soon as cycleways were built, to avoid the
confusion that had resulted at Portobello Rd, although there
were no changes in stage two as radical as those made to
Portobello Rd, he said.

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

Article source: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/307011/cycle-lane-usage-confusion-reigns

Are we fixated with a quarter-acre dream?

Barbadoes St apartment building design

NEW LIVING: Design for a Barbadoes St apartment building for property investor Liz Harris..



OPINION:

It’s great to meet positive people; their energy and enthusiasm rubs off. That is especially the case in Christchurch, a city where it is far too easy to get weighed down by seemingly intractable problems, of which there are many.

Can one or two people actually make a real difference?

Refreshingly, yes. A couple of weeks ago in this column, developer Richmond Paynter and his wife, interior designer Susie Paynter, outlined their plans for Miro apartments, an upmarket residential development on the corner of Peterborough and Colombo streets.

The Paynters are optimists who see the glass as half full with plenty of opportunity and potential for the city.

Liz Harris is also an optimist. One of Christchurch’s biggest private property investors, Harris owned a string of apartment buildings and boarding houses, some of which provided accommodation for single people, beneficiaries, and those on low incomes.

The earthquakes destroyed 19 of those buildings containing about 100 apartments and rooms.

Two months after the February 22, 2011 earthquake, Harris gave me a tour behind the cordon inside the red zone. Some tenants were hanging on; others had had to go.

Old two-storey wooden houses, villas, and an early Sir Miles Warren concrete-block building would all be demolished.

Harris had no intention of quitting, but already had plans to rebuild.

Three years later, after wrangles with insurance companies and multiple bureaucracies, she is succeeding: two apartment buildings have been completed and several more are underway or on the drawing board.

Although they are not upmarket places, Harris insists it is vital that affordable rental apartments are warm and comfortable, light and spacious feeling, with quality fittings, good kitchens, and well thought-out use of space. “If you give a tenant a nice place, they respect it more,” she says.

Although not all the developments might make economic sense, at least not straight away, Harris says she wants to put something back and rebuild her business. With any project, it helps to have an architect who shares your vision. One of the firms designing new apartment buildings for Harris is Context Architects, which has offices in Auckland and Christchurch.

The firm has strong ideas on the need for better designed high and medium-density residential buildings and housing that creates communities.

Context Architects has designed award-winning projects in Britain, and according to architects Alisdair Daines and Karen Manson, Christchurch could benefit from a new approach, too.

Architects and developers must understand what people want. It is not a case of copying overseas designs; rather it is designing buildings to suit the locality. Christchurch has lost a lot of its character and heritage, “but it’s still there in our environment,” says Daines.

Indeed. We have a fantastic natural environment and lifestyle, with views of the alps, estuary, or Port Hills, for example, but many buildings ignore it.

People want space and privacy, not shoeboxes. Landscaping is important. Without quality outdoor space, people will move on.

“A sense of ownership and community is what we need in the central city,” says Manson.

Details matter, including front doors to the street, so neighbours can say hello to each other. You can also tell a lot about the quality of a development by where the rubbish bins are stored.

Sustainable homes that are well- insulated and ventilated save energy and cut power bills. They are warmer, healthier, and more comfortable.

With use of the best materials, such as SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels), building costs can be managed.

“There’s no excuse for it being poorly designed or poorly built,” says Daines.

There is a great opportunity in Christchurch for mixed-use residential, commercial, and retail, the architects say. Some Kiwis are still fixated with the “quarter-acre dream”, says Manson, and cannot see any alternative.

This entrenched mindset is embodied by “Lawnmower Man” who insists everyone should be like him.

When I first wrote about apartments last year, I was amazed by some of the comments: “What if people do ethnic cooking?”, “What if they play loud music?”, “What if you have to see your neighbours?” Are Kiwis really that insular and narrow?

“That’s Lawnmower Man!” exclaimed Karen Manson.

Reassuringly, more Kiwis now seem open to new ideas, especially those who have travelled.

This year, people welcomed the concept of the Paynters’ apartment project. More people are seeking affordable, medium-density housing.

The market is there, but choice has been limited. Of course, the suburbs can be great, but they are not for everyone.

The idea of attractive townhouses or apartments is not new; architects Sir Miles Warren and the late Peter Beaven, among others, were designing them years ago.

Beaven was passionate about communities and humanistic architecture. Perhaps their time has come again.

Christchurch needs to embrace alternative housing options to create a sustainable future.

– The Press



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Article source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/perspective/10196047/Are-we-fixated-with-a-quarter-acre-dream

Community garden to benefit city’s youth

Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm

LIFESTYLES EDITOR

kali bolle

 

What do raised beds, tractors, vegetables and water equal? It’s Tullahoma Parks Recreation’s newest project — a community garden that will educate kids and grow vegetable to harvest.

Details as to how the fresh foods will be distributed are still being worked out, but the focus is on encouraging youth to develop healthy eating habits and at the same time providing them with healthy outdoor physical activities, according to Parks and Recreation director Kurt Glick.

Jason Waller with the Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Department tills the soil in one of the raised beds of the Tullahoma Community Garden, located at the C.D. Stamps Community Center. The garden is expected to be fully operational in the spring of 2015. -- Staff Photo by Chris Barstad

Jason Waller with the Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Department tills the soil in one of the raised beds of the Tullahoma Community Garden, located at the C.D. Stamps Community Center. The garden is expected to be fully operational in the spring of 2015.
– Staff Photo by Chris Barstad

He said as of Aug, 1, 2013, the Tennessee Parks Recreation Association (TPRA) received a Project Diabetes grant for three years to provide such community gardens.

The program is funded by the Tennessee Department of Health and the Project Diabetes grant program.

Glick said he and his staff became aware of the grant after hosting a 2014 Community Garden Workshop.

“We found out that there was a grant available through TPRA after we hosted a workshop in June at the D.W. Wilson Community Center,” Glick said. “A couple of our staff members participated in the workshop and after learning more about the program we decided to apply for the grant.”

Glick added that the grant  is a collaboration between TPRA, the state of Tennessee, and the state Department of Health. There is a limit of one grant per location in a community.

Not only will the grant focus on providing youth with the opportunity to cultivate healthy eating habits and benefit from physical activity, it will also educate kids on topics such as productivity, sustainability and conservation, food systems and community awareness.

“Our garden will be located behind the C.D. Stamps Community Center,” Glick said.  “It’s a good and spacious spot and with the fenced area behind the building it will keep deer and other wildlife out.”

The program will officially kick off for the 2015 planting and will focus on the children learning more about the growing process.

“Since we didn’t apply for the grant until after the planting season had taken place, what we decided to do was to take the money and purchase and build the infrastructure needed to get the garden ready for next spring,” Glick said.

“We are still in the planning stages of the program, but we intend to focus mainly with children and teaching them all that goes into growing a garden such as planting and maintaining. As for what we will do with the food, we are still working out those details and are looking at several possibilities.”

The garden will be under the direction of Jason Waller, who was recently hired as the Parks and Recreation program coordinator.

“Jason has a lot of background in gardening and landscaping so he is well equipped for the job and we look forward to see what he will do with the space,” said Glick.

“While we are still in the very early stages we are excited to see how it goes and how many become involved. We hope to grow and take up a large part of the fenced area with the garden.”

Article source: http://www.tullahomanews.com/?p=24859

Home Improvement Website Names 30 Best New Jersey Garden Centers

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30 Best Garden and Landscaping Centers in New Jersey

The 30 best garden and landscape centers in New Jersey have three things in common: superior selection, expertise and service. The horticultural resources available to New Jersey residents is impressive.

West Orange, NJ (PRWEB) June 24, 2014

New Jersey remodeling and renovation contractor Essex Home Improvements has published a new web article highlighting 30 great garden centers in the Garden State. “The 30 Best Garden and Landscaping Centers in New Jersey” sorts the establishments by county, and it includes reasons why each one deserves a place on the list. The article is available on Essex Home Improvements’ website as a resource for New Jersey homeowners looking for home improvement, gardening and landscaping options.

More than 1,000 NJ nurseries and garden centers were evaluated by Essex Home Improvements to find the top 30. The article includes descriptions, photos and details about each of the garden centers, including “Special Services” and “That Little Bit Extra.” According to a company spokesperson, “The 30 best garden and landscape centers in New Jersey have three things in common: superior selection, expertise and service. Each individual location also has its own unique appeal.”

Beautiful gardens, lawns and landscaping can provide much more than simple aesthetic interest. The Appraisal Institute for professional realtors reports that healthy and well-tended landscaping can add significant value to homes and businesses and also help properties to sell much quicker. The new article by Essex Home Improvements makes a handy resource for New Jersey homeowners to locate high-quality garden and landscape centers in the Garden State. The full article is available here: http://www.essexhomeimprovements.com/30-best-garden-and-landscaping-centers-in-new-jersey.

Following are “The 30 Best Garden and Landscaping Centers in New Jersey” as listed on the Essex Home Improvements website:

ATLANTIC COUNTY :

  •     Atlantic Nursery, Mays Landing

BERGEN COUNTY:

  •     Denny Wiggers Landscaping and Garden Center, Paramus
  •     Galaxy Gardens, Woodcliff Lake
  •     Willow Run Home and Garden Showplace, Cresskill

BURLINGTON COUNTY:

  •     Flagg’s’ Garden Center, Moorestown

CAMDEN COUNTY:

  •     McNaughton’s Gardens, Cherry Hill
  •     Pope’s Gardens, Waterford

CAPE MAY COUNTY:

  •     Church’s Garden Center and Farms, Cape May
  •     The Garden Greenhouse and Nursery, Clermont

ESSEX COUNTY:

  •     Fairfield Garden Center, Fairfield
  •     Orange Gardens, Orange

GLOUCESTER COUNTY:

  •     Bloomers Home and Garden Center, Washington Township
  •     Creamy Acres Farm, Mullica Hill
  •     Triple Oaks Nursery and Herb Garden, Franklinville

HUNTERDON COUNTY:

  •     Rutgers Landscape and Nursery, Ringoes

MERCER COUNTY:

  •     Kale’s Nursery and Landscape Service, Princeton
  •     Stony Brook Gardens, Pennington

MONMOUTH COUNTY:

  •     Barlow’s Flower Farm, Sea Girt
  •     Molzon Landscape Nursery, Lincroft

MORRIS COUNTY:

  •     The Farm at Green Village, Green Village
  •     Rockaway Garden Center, Rockaway

OCEAN COUNTY:

  •     Reynolds Garden Center, Manahawkin

PASSAIC COUNTY:

  •     Glenwild Garden Center and Nursery, Bloomingdale

SOMERSET COUNTY:

  •     Ambleside Gardens and Nursery, Hillsborough
  •     Bardy Farms, Warren

SUSSEX COUNTY:

  •     Gardens of the World, Andover
  •     Ideal Farm and Garden, Lafayette
  •     Kuperus Farmside Gardens, Sussex

UNION COUNTY:

  •     Hall’s Garden Center and Florist, Berkeley Heights
  •     Parker Gardens, Scotch Plains

For more information, please call 973-202-3075 or visit the Essex Home Improvements website at http://www.essexhomeimprovements.com.

###

About: Essex Home Improvements is a premier remodeling, renovation, landscaping and home improvement company in the Garden State of New Jersey, featuring professional, experienced and courteous contracting services at affordable rates.

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Article source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11960078.htm

Tour local gardens this Saturday

HOT SPRINGS – Keep Hot Springs Beautiful presents its first garden tour, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 28. The five featured local gardens provide a wide variety of plantings and landscaping. Gardens range from well-established to fairly new, but all show the owners’ love for gardening. Master Gardeners and garden owners will be available at each location to answer questions.

Tickets are available at each garden on the day of the tour, or they may be purchased in advance at the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce office located in the Muller Civic Center. These tickets have a map of the gardens, but if you wait until the day of the tour, signs will help you find the gardens.

Participants should wear sturdy shoes and no pets are allowed on the tour. The following gardens will be featured.

Riverside Hideaway Garden, 531 Bear Avenue, Hot Springs

This garden offers a cozy hideaway for the owners. It is located along the river and has a lovely creek that flows on the edge of the property. Sit and enjoy the river from the natural bench that is made from slate and tree stumps. The vegetable garden is topped with screening to protect from hail and is watered with a drip system. Only one flower bed is hand watered. A wide variety of grasses, succulents, trees and flowers will be enjoyed in this garden.

Brand Spanking New Garden, 305 N 19th Street, Hot Springs

This property was overgrown with lilacs and junipers trees three years ago when these gardeners moved into this property. Now there are walkways, raised gardens and landscaping. Hybrid irises are abundant throughout the garden along with hostas, delphiniums, hydrangeas, Rose of Sharon plants, and a wide variety of other plantings. Enjoy the archway with newly planted honeysuckle vines and the trellis with morning glories. Ask the owners about the future plans for this garden in progress.

Bird and Butterfly Garden, 445 S, 17th Street, Hot Springs

As you drive up to this property you will notice two May Day trees in the front yard along with day lilies, midnight salvia, red twig dogwood, blue spirea, potentillas and barberry. Then enter into the wonderful backyard oasis for birds, bees and butterflies. The 62-year-old apple tree has been grafted with two types of apples; one provides pink blossoms while the other provides white blossoms. This garden has little flower oases in the center of the yard with lovely plantings along the outer edges. There is a wide variety of plantings for your enjoyment including creeping thyme, dogwood bush, butterfly plants, false sunflower, Russian sage, peonies, mums, black eyed Susans, asters, poppies and tiger lilies and petrified rock just to name just a few. Ask about “Priscilla’s Garden.”

Garden Along the River, 13168 Fall River Road (2.7 miles east of Taco John’s or 1.6 miles west from Maverick Jct)

This garden oasis provides many, many interesting features and plantings. A petrified moss hill, swinging bridge, walkways and a root cellar with shelves made from old bleachers from the Bison Football stadium.

The property has a variety fruit trees which include two pear trees that were the first fruit trees to be planted in Fall River in 1898. Mature Globe willows from Palisades, CO enhance the back of the property, along with wild asparagus and black berries. Look for unusual plantings such as pregnant onions, fern peonies, grapes, and a corkscrew willow. The walkway down to the river provides a variety of sedum, tulips, daffodils, burro tails and peonies. The old highway into Hot Springs runs through the back of this property.

Rain Garden on a Hill, 13196 Fall River Road, (3.0 miles east of Taco John’s or 1.3 miles west of Maverick Jct; a pink flagstone building is just west of the driveway)

This garden is a little hard to get to, but well worth the trip to see this unusual garden and to enjoy the view.

As you enter the property peonies that have been relocated from previous places where the owners have lived and from their parents and grandparents line the driveway. Enjoy the circular rain garden that is located in the center of the yard.

Plantings in the compressed area in the center are those that require the most water. Water for this area is provided by rain runoff from the house and garage roofs. Plantings on the outer edge of the area are those that require less moisture.

This property has 9 to 10 year old peach, pear, cherry, plum, apricot and apple trees which supply the owners with a wide variety of fruit. Individual areas include an onion and popcorn garden, a berry and rhubarb garden and a vegetable garden. The vegetable garden is watered by drain tile and has a screened outer fence to keep the snakes out. These owners are very environmentally minded gardeners.

Article source: http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/communities/hot-springs/community/tour-local-gardens-this-saturday/article_e240f4c8-fafd-11e3-a28b-001a4bcf887a.html

Gardening tips on orchids, potatoes and bluebells

Question: I’ve sent you a picture of my phalaenopsis orchid, which I’ve had since 2013. There are still new shoots growing with flower buds, but part of the roots is coming over the edge of the pot and drying out. It looks as if it needs to be replanted. The soil is mostly moss. How soon should I move it into another container?

David Chia,

Burnaby

 

Answer: Phalaenopsis orchids normally grow new roots outside the pot. This is because in the wild they grow on trees and are used to very humid air around their roots.

But in arid house temperatures, these exposed roots do tend to dry out and eventually need shelter in a pot. Meanwhile, those roots would love to be misted at least once a day.

Every second year is the best timing for repotting. By then the old roots down in the pot are decayed and the moss/bark mix they’re in is probably decayed also.

But, you can’t know whether your orchid was newly repotted when you bought it. If it was, then it may not be due for repotting just yet.

It might be helpful to lift your orchid out of the pot and check whether there are decayed roots down there. Also check whether the potting mix is in good shape or brown and in a state of soil-like disintegration. Spring is the best time for repotting, after your phalaenopsis has bloomed.

So if the photo of your phalaenopsis is recent and it is blooming now – and depending what you find when you check the deeper roots, it might be best to transplant now as flowers fade.

If the potting mix doesn’t look ready, you could wait until after the next bloom cycle. Garden centres sell special orchid mixes for phalaenopsis.

 

Question: I planted seed potatoes in a vegetable garden along with other vegetables and the potatoes are thriving, but now their leafy heads are blocking sun over the bed. Could I cut back some of the foliage off the top of the plants to allow more light to the other vegetables, such as cucumbers?

Gill Edwards,

Vancouver

 

Answer: It all depends which crops you value more. Removing leaves from any plant weakens it. The more leaves you take, the fewer potatoes you’ll get and they could be smaller, too.

But maybe you like eating cucumbers better than you like potatoes. Also potatoes are usually less expensive than cucumbers.

If your cucumbers are vining ones, they may be able to escape into the sunshine away from the potatoes. So if the cucumbers are showing signs of developing vines, why not cut just enough leaves to encourage the young cucumber plants, then begin guiding the vines out into the light.

Cucumbers and squash can be guided by moving their young vines in desirable directions and thrusting short sticks into the soil either side of them to make sure they stay guided away from other crops.

 

Question: If I can’t dig bluebells up, can I just cut the leaves to the ground right now and keep doing so each year in the hopes that the plant/bulbs will stop growing?

Helen,

Vancouver

 

Answer: Yes, if you cut the foliage to the ground immediately and frequently, all bulbs will lose vigor. But it might take a long time to eliminate bluebells.

 

Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to her via amarrison@shaw.ca.

© Burnaby Now

Article source: http://www.burnabynow.com/community/gardening/gardening-tips-on-orchids-potatoes-and-bluebells-1.1154981

No room for a garden? Local expert gives tips on patio planting

There’s nothing like eating the fresh veggies and herbs that you tenderly cared for and grew in your own garden, but for some homeowners, a lack of space makes constructing a garden out of the question.

Robin Simmen, community horticulture specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, said that shouldn’t stop them from growing food in their own backyards. Instead, she suggested that they use their backyard patio as a canvas for a garden.

“There are so many benefits to gardening,” said Simmen. “There is of course, exercise, but also a connection with food — especially for kids so they can learn where it comes from and about nutrition.”

Another reason to plant your own garden, no matter how small, is the knowledge of where your food comes from. What better way to ensure that pesticides haven’t tainted your fresh tomatoes or peppers than growing them yourself?

But at the top of Simmen’s list on why to dig into the soil and plant a garden is the health benefit.

“There have been a lot of studies that show that gardening reduces blood pressure and is good for breathing,” said Simmen.

To start a small patio garden, Simmen recommends purchasing a variety of colorful pots in difference sizes, especially some deeper ones for your tomatoes, as well as seeds or pre-started patio plants that are available at local nurseries.

“Tomatoes are great to grow in pots and there are a number hybrid cherry tomatoes varieties available that are perfect for patio gardens,” said Simmen.

Keep in mind: tomatoes need deep pots and will also need to be staked.

Aside from tomatoes on your patio, Simmen suggested planting veggies that flower and feature beautiful colors to make your patio garden aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

For example, she said peppers are very beautiful, as are eggplants and cucumbers — all of which need to be staked like tomatoes.

And for the kids, be sure, she said to plant beans of any variety since they are very easy to grow.

“Think vertical for a patio garden,” said Simmen.

Aside from veggies, Simmen said herbs are also perfect for a patio garden.

“Herbs are fabulous to put in pots and containers,” said Simmen, who recommended planting everything from basil to oregano, parsley, thyme and sage.

To keep your patio producing food, even in the winter, Simmen also suggested planting both kale and cabbage.

“Kale is very beautiful to grow and overwinters well. Cabbage is the same and it will give you a big burst of a flower come spring,” said Simmon, adding, “It is wonderful to see the cycle of these greens that you can live on throughout the winter.”

Once your garden is planted, Simmon said you will need to care for it by watering it daily. She recommends using a hose or a watering can to thoroughly water your veggies and herbs between midnight and before noon, but the optimal time, she said is around 5:30 a.m.

Article source: http://southoldlocal.com/real-estate/real-estate-news/no-room-for-a-garden-local-expert-gives-tips-on-patio-planting

Take A Stroll Through Lake Gardens

A love of art and goes hand in hand with beautiful flowers as evidenced in the Michael and Rebecca Kubacki garden on Syracuse Lake. This garden features sculptures of musicians as well as unique Frank Lloyd Wright sculptures. See it and three other lake front gardens during the Syracuse-Wawasee Garden Walk, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 28.

A love of art and goes hand in hand with beautiful flowers as evidenced in the Michael and Rebecca Kubacki garden on Syracuse Lake. This garden features sculptures of musicians as well as unique Frank Lloyd Wright sculptures. See it and three other lake front gardens during the Syracuse-Wawasee Garden Walk, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 28.

Let lake breezes caress you while strolling through four lovely summer gardens on the Syracuse-Wawasee Garden Walk. It will take place between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 28, with three Lake Wawasee lakefront gardens and one on Syracuse Lake.

The annual walk is sponsored by the Syracuse-Wawasee Garden Club with proceeds going to support its philanthropic endeavors. The garden tour is offered to encourage ideas for garden design and enjoyment.

Tickets can be purchased until Friday, June 27, at Teghtmeyer Ace Hardware, Creative Fish Art Gallery, Absolutely Apparel and Gifts, and Beth’s Designs, all in Syracuse, and at Clayton’s Garden Center, North Webster.

They can also be bought the day of the walk at any of the gardens. Each ticket has a map and must be presented at each garden.

Those without a ticket on Saturday should start the walk at St. Martin’s de Porres Roman Catholic Church, 6941 E. Waco Drive, just off SR 13 about 1 1/2 mile south of Syracuse town limits. A free shuttle will deliver you to the gardens in that area. Parking is free in the St. Martin’s lot.

Each garden is unique and features the personality of the homeowners. The theme of the Monica and Larry Weigand outdoor living area at Ideal Beach on Lake Wawasee is relaxing and having fun at the lake. A flagstone patio provides ample space will colorful annuals in containers scattered about add color. The Annabelle hydrangeas compliment the view of the water.

Color plays an important role in the Marie and Joseph Hinrich garden design. It is landscaped into a more formal boxwood garden in the front. The bushes divide it into six quadrants emulating a stained glass window. Both perennials and annuals offer a riot of color all around the home and containers add even more pops of brightness.

The Donyel Byrd garden is beautifully planted but its emphasis is on family lake living with various gathering spots. All around the garden, window boxes and elegant containers add life and vigor to the quiet and secluded Johnson Bay location on Lake Wawasee overlooking wetlands and emphasizing the view. Even the pump house brings joy to the surroundings.

A love of art is evident in the Rebecca and Michael Kubacki garden on Syracuse Lake. Unique Frank Lloyd Wright sculptures are dotted around the garden with annual plantings making the exclamation point. Blue hydrangeas sweep around the edges of the garden drawing the eye and bringing continuity. On the lake front, the outdoor living spaces are set up for entertaining and just enjoying the lake life.

Article source: http://www.staceypageonline.com/2014/06/24/stroll-through-lake-gardens-caressed-by-warm-summer-breezes/