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Archives for July 2, 2014

GARDENING: Get Hot And Sweaty In The Garden This July

Summer’s here! So let’s enjoy an afternoon cider in a pub garden, BBQ’s on the beach, bronzed buff bodies, slow-mo beach volleyball, studs in Speedos, sun-kissed lifeguards – oh, who cares what’s happening the garden!!

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Check out these July gardening tips

Here is a garden checklist for July:

t’s time to check for bagworms on junipers and conifers. As most of you will agree bagworms can be found on any living plant, so check all surrounding plants if you notice some on their favorite host plant, junipers. Some recommended insecticides are Sevin, malathion, acephate, Bt, bifenthrin, spinosada and fluvalinate. Always read and follow label directions

• Plant pumpkins this time of year for harvest this fall, just in time for the holiday season. Keep plants well watered and free of insect pests. Spray every seven days, or as needed, with bifenthrin or Sevin

• Start planning for a fall garden. Make plantings of squash, tomato, beans, cucumbers, Southern peas and any other vegetables that will mature before late October

• If your tomato leaves are turning yellow with dark spots from the bottom up and defoliating, it is early blight. This is a disease that needs to be prevented before it starts. This fungus can survive in the soil for several years. If you have early blight on your tomato plants spray with chlorothalonil (Daconil) every four to five days

• Tomato blossom drop is a problem as daytime temperature hits the upper 90s and night temperature does not fall below 75. As cooler temperatures come, tomato plants will set again. If blossom-end rot is a problem, remember it is a calcium deficiency and can be minimized by keeping the moisture level constant and applying a soluble calcium called Stop Rot, Tomato Saver or Blossom End Rot Preventer. Soil test to make sure your pH is in the proper range.

• As you wrap up the harvest on tame blackberries, cut out the old canes — this year’s producing cane — to allow space for the new canes that will produce fruit next year. As the new canes reach shoulder height, tip prune to encourage side branching, which also prevents new canes from arching over and reaching for the ground

• Water shade trees before drought stress begins, because you can never play catch up on watering trees. For well established trees, water deeply once a week applying 1 inch or more of water. Newly planted trees require watering twice a week during dry weather

• Avoid heavy summer pruning. Light pruning is fine. Even small limbs in the way of the lawn mower can be removed during a hot summer

• Raise mower blades to 3 inches or more to cut a fescue lawn. Doing so will help protect grass roots from the summer heat and encourage a more extensive root system. Deeper roots will be beneficial during a drought. Water the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches every three to four days, if possible. Don’t fertilize your fescue lawn during the summer

• Spider mites can be a severe problem at this time of year, as they become very active during hot weather. Most ornamentals and vegetable crops are subject to attack. Bifenthrin, malathion or insecticidal soap are good choices to use on ornamentals and malathion, pyrellin or insecticidal soap on vegetable crops. Read label directions before use and most important follow directions on days to harvest vegetables after use

• Summer is the time to dig and divide irises. Irises do best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. High fertility encourages rhizomes to rot and fewer blooms. Fertilize lightly this fall for beds that you dig and divide this summer

• Beds overrun with bermudagrass are a maintenance headache. Use herbicides such as Fusilade, Segment, Ornamec or Envoy right over the top of selected ornamentals and as a directed spray to others to kill the invasive bermuda. These herbicides are a little costly, but it will clean up an eyesore. These are grass killers, so remember to avoid spraying your ornamental grasses. As with any herbicide be sure to read and follow label directions.

• If summer annuals look like they are tired, fertilize them with half a pound (1 cup) of 27-0-0 per 100 square feet. Watering also is important.

For information on any of the above topics, call the University of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service at 425-2335.

Here is a garden checklist for July:

• It’s time to check for bagworms on junipers and conifers. As most of you will agree bagworms can be found on any living plant, so check all surrounding plants if you notice some on their favorite host plant, junipers. Some recommended insecticides are Sevin, malathion, acephate, Bt, bifenthrin, spinosada and fluvalinate. Always read and follow label directions

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Tips for improving your garden – Stephenville Empire

Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 10:55 am

Tips for improving your garden

By Whit Weems

Stephenville Empire-Tribune

This has been a little bit of an odd spring due to the cooler temperatures and rainfall that we have been having. Well, at least compared to the last few years. Although the weather has been exceptionally nice and it has been great growing conditions for many of our plants, it has also caused a few issues.

I have received numerous phone calls about tomato plants that are wilting and the leaves curl, turn brown and the entire plant eventually dies, as well as other garden and landscape plants with issues. There are many different diseases that this could be based on, especially with the environmental conditions that we have had. Warm days, cool nights and high humidity is the perfect recipe for fungal and bacterial diseases on plants, especially tomatoes. You can visit the website at to assist you with any tomato problems you may have.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014 10:55 am.

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Pruning tips for popular garden landscaping plants

Niagara This Week – Niagara Falls

Proper landscape maintenance practices for ornamental trees and other popular plants in landscape design vary.

Pruning is an important key to keeping your plants healthy.

Earthdance Landscaping has provided landscape maintenance in Niagara since 1994.

Here are some tips on pruning techniques and pruning instructions for some of the most popular choices for hedges and shrubs in landscape design:


Boxwood evergreen shrubs are widely used for hedging in landscape design.  Because of their dense foliage, they are easily trimmed into your shape of choice.

Hand shears can be used for pruning boxwood shrubs, which encourages healthy growth. It is advised to wait until July to prune your boxwood shrub because this allows new growth to harden off.

Keep a basket with you when pruning your boxwood to keep the bushels for wreathes or flower arrangements!

Broadleaf Trees

Pruning of Broadleaf shrubs can be used to keep their natural shape and should be concentrated on the oldest branches near the ground. To rejuvenate overgrown plants, the growth near the ground should be cut over a two-to-three-year period. Shearing should not be widely used for these shrubs.


These shrubs do not require annual pruning but removing dead stems and dead blooms is necessary for the health of the plant. This can be done at any time.

Japanese Maples

Ornamental trees such as the Japanese Maple are best pruned during late autumn to late winter–while the tree is leafless. Pruning can restore this tree’s natural form. Minor pruning and thinning can also be done on the Japanese Maple during the summer.

Earthdance Landscaping’s trained specialists are at your service for landscape maintenance and care in Niagara year-round. Our workmanship is 100 per cent guaranteed!

For your landscaping in Niagara, please call us at 905-354-4723 to discuss our custom design packages and services. For more information, please visit our website.

Garden design brief blooms for Reform Creative

Pickard-Web-1A school which teaches students about garden design commissioned Manchester agency Reform Creative to plant a new brand and online presence.

The Pickard School of Garden Design, founded by multi award winning designer and former Vice Chairman of the Society of Garden Designers Christopher Pickard over 25 years ago, wanted to attract 30-50 year olds looking to re-train in design.

Creative director Paul Heaton said the challenge was to avoid referencing gardening, as Pickard do not offer a ‘how to garden course’ but instead teach a high level diploma on how to design outdoor garden spaces.

Reform Creative concentrated on the academic aspect of the course and the idea of designing outdoor space and avoided creating any impression of a horticultural school. They chose a professional, contemporary look with clean typography which would appeal to the target audience. Colours were selected to represent a professional education establishment, rather than choosing green, which is typically selected for anything garden related.

The school runs the diploma in garden design from two sites in Bristol and London and has a reputation for producing some of the country’s most talented designers.

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A gardener’s work is never done

 Maintenance, experiments and new plans make gardening an endless occupation with countless rewards.  

A gardener’s work is never done

Margaret Sheehan

At the garden club recently, we had a discussion about how a garden is never finished. We each might think that if we just do that next job, the garden will be perfect. In reality there is always another job, there will always be another change for the better, another addition, or another plant that has to be cut back or removed.
And then there are the ideas from the gardening magazines, books and newspaper articles, which lead us to a total rethink, a whole new plan for a section of the garden. In addition to our ongoing tendency for creativity, gardeners have to keep up with the seasonal jobs, the tidying and maintenance, the pruning and raking.
My garden is still young, but already evolving to encapsulate different styles in different areas of the garden. While I am primarily using a cottage garden approach, using mostly traditional perennials in an unruly fashion, I have along the way accidentally acquired a Japanese corner and a woodland area. Both of these areas require specific plants and relevant landscaping, even if on a minute scale.
My woodland area, is largely wild, encompassing some newly cleared soil and a large variety of weeds. My son was enlisted when he last returned home, and he spent a day making some steps from railway sleepers to lead into my new garden. It is always handy to have an able-bodied family member around to facilitate our creative urges.
I also have two experiments on the go at the moment. For the very first time, I am trying my hand at topiary. Using a pair of raggedy box hedges either side of a seat, I have begun to shape them into a pair of rectangles. Then I hope to buy a wire topiary frame for each hedge ‘pedestal’, to be placed on top to act as a guide for the snippers. There are some affordable and relatively simple designs available online and, while they can be quite complex designs, I am presently favouring simple duck or chicken shapes as first attempts. I will also need to invest in a good pair of topiary shears, I believe.
The second ‘experiment’ is to grow a willow arbour around a seating area. I would advise gardeners to seek out places in each garden that benefit from sunlight at different times of the day, maybe to capture morning rays, afternoon hotspots or dramatic sunsets. Each area requires a bench of some kind, from which to fully appreciate that moment.
In my front garden, I have placed a log seat just where I can see the sun go down over the mountains. Earlier in the year, I bought some willow cuttings, which I promptly placed in water meaning to plant them as soon as possible. Unlike previous (and, might I add, not very successful) attempts at growing willow, these cuttings were left in water for several weeks, during which time they developed a root system. Fortunately this appears to have aided their growth, and having made a hole for each with a stick, I planted them in a semi-circle around the back of my evening bench. With all specimens now putting on good growth, I look forward to weaving them into a shelter around my favourite evening perch.
So there you have my gardening projects for this year, and I have little doubt that you have something new planned for yours. It seems that a gardener’s work is never done, and perhaps that’s the way it should be.

Margaret Sheehan is a member of Ballinrobe Garden Club, which meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm in Tacú Resource Centre, Ballinrobe. The club is on a break for the summer, but meetings will resume in September.

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Houston firm selected to design LSU lakes master plan – The Times

SWA Group, a Houston landscape design firm headed by LSU graduate Kinder Baumgardner, was selected to create a master plan for the LSU lakes restoration project in Baton Rouge

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which raised private funds to pay for the master plan, announced Monday (June 30) afternoon that SWA, in collaboration with Alexandria landscape architect Jeffrey Carbo, had been selected from four finalists. Other finalists were Design Workshop Inc. from Boston, EDSA from Baltimore, Md., and Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture, also from Baltimore.

“All the finalists were exceptional that the committee had to deliberate for several hours before choosing SWA,” Baton Rouge Area Foundation Executive Vice President John Spain said. 

The selection committee is comprised of representatives from BRAF, BREC, LSU, the city-parish government, area homeowners, fund donors, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Louisiana Department of Transportation, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and other stakeholders. BRAF will pay the selected team $750,000 for the project, which includes engineering tasks required to dredge the lakes, designing a plan for the 45 acres surrounding the lakes and engaging East Baton Rouge Parish residents for public input. The master plan portion will cost $400,000. 

The announcement came after four finalists of the original 15 teams who answered BRAF’s request for proposals made pitches to the selection committee and members of the public during a forum at the Manship Theatre that lasted most of the day

SWA completed the Buffalo Bayou Promenade in Houston. And Jeffrey Carbo’s firm completed the Hills Farm District Master Plan at LSU and Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, Texas. 

The team will also partner with Pros Consulting, Biohabitats, ETM Associates, Sherwood Engineering, Stantec Engineering and Baumgardner suggested they would also take advantage of experts regarding the lakes from LSU. 

Baumgardner stressed during his presentation the endless possibilities his team could pursue, depending on the public’s vision of what they want the lakes destination to become. Fusing the lakes to allow for an Olympic-length crew course was one idea he floated. An LSU crew team could then row beneath a newly constructed bridge, and the bridge space could be rented out as a venue for weddings or other uses to generate revenue. But he wouldn’t commit to single idea, emphasizing it would be up to stakeholders.

To illustrate his open-mindedness, Baumgardner showed a rendering of a plan using the dredging spoils to build an island in the middle of University Lake the shape of Mike the Tiger’s head. 

Jeffrey Carbo with Landscape Architects of Alexandria, who is a team member with the SWA Group, said he wants to impress motorists exiting off Interstate 10 from Dalrymple Drive with natural looking landscaping.

“We need to hit them right in the face with, “Wow, what an incredible place,'” Carbo said. 

Because hauling material offsite is too expensive and wasteful, BRAF has asked the planning team find a creative solution to use the spoils to “improve recreation while maintaining a natural ecosystem.” Suggested ideas for the spoils including a trail system, as well as a boathouse to rent man-powered boats and bikes.  

Regarding dredging of the lakes, Baumgardner said draining the lakes then excavating the cypress stumps and spoils was the best approach. The stumps hindered the last round of dredging in the 1980s, he and others said, and though dramatic and perhaps controversial — draining and dredging would have a longterm impact. 

After the foundation negotiates and signs a contract with SGA, the team will work to complete a master plan by next summer based on a previous restoration studies and new input from the public — a key to the project’s success, according to BRAF.

“We learned from the downtown revival strategy that a master plan only succeeds if the people lead with their ideas,” Spain said.

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Tons of recycled glass collected in few short months in Las Cruces – Las Cruces Sun

LAS CRUCES GT;GT; “The enthusiastic response to drop-off glass recycling has resulted in 18 tons of glass bottles and jars collected since the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) started accepting glass at the end of April,” according to Tiffany Pegoda, outgoing recycling coordinator at the SCSWA.

Seven days a week residents are dropping in at the SCSWA Recycling Yard, 2855 W. Amador, and dropping off glass.

Tom Mollerdino and his wife Linda say they are dropping off bottles and jars about once a month, and are very glad to finally be able to recycle their glass, and have no problem separating the glass by color — blue, green, amber, and clear.

Pegoda notes, “We are finding out how rare the blue glass actually is. Out of the tons we’ve collected, so far we have not yet filled one bright yellow hopper with blue glass.”

Although the SCSWA is collecting glass, the city/county agency is not yet crushing it. The industrial-sized glass pulverizer has been ordered and should arrive on site this month; after installation the SCSWA will begin glass crushing by individual color. Then the “cullet” (crushed glass) will be offered back to the community in bins at the SCSWA Recycling Yard.

The cullet can be used in many creative mediums, as well as being melted down and reformed into art pieces and even tile for mosaics. Cullet can also be used as an additive in concrete, pavement, and other building materials like insulation, and it can be used for landscaping and as pipe bedding (instead of sand) for underground pipes.

There are two glass drop-off sites in Las Cruces: Old Foothills Landfill at 555 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd; SCSWA Recycling Yard at 2855 W. Amador Ave.

Never put glass in your blue curbside recycling bin. The list of items accepted in your blue bin is shown on top of the bin.

Encouraging new business

Carrie Hamblen, executive director of the Green Chamber of Las Cruces, said, “The Green Chamber is very focused on developing green jobs. One of the most recent ideas is encouraging someone to start a business picking up glass bottles from local restaurants and bars and taking them to the SCSWA for recycling. They would charge the restaurant for the service, but the restaurant would save money because the volume of garbage coming out of their business would drop.” Hamblen adds, “The idea is still in the early stages but if someone is interested in it, we would be happy to talk with them.”

You can reach the Green Chamber at 575-323-1575.

Green Connections is submitted by the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA), managing solid waste, recyclables, and fighting illegal dumping for residents and businesses in the City of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County. You can reach the SCSWA at 575-528-3800 or visit

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Free monthly compost giveaway draws Berkeley residents for ‘black gold’ rush

Early Saturday morning, docked boats floated calmly on still waters at the Berkeley Marina, while across the street, men, women and children of all ages quickly shoveled huge piles of what they call “black gold” into their pickup trucks — or U-Hauls for the more seasoned shovelers.

The compost giveaway comes when the clock strikes 6:30 a.m. and the calendar marks the last Saturday of any month between February and October, except for July, when it is held on the third Saturday to avoid conflicting with the Berkeley Kite Festival.

“It’s nice to get back something from all the crap you put out,” said Shaon Barman as he lined his car’s trunk with plastic. Barman said he cared more about the raw material than the vehicle.

Hundreds like him come to take part in this community event, which is organized by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, free and open exclusively to Berkeley residents with photo identification.

“The reason it’s only open to Berkeley residents is because it’s their waste,” said Safiya Lewis, one of two staff members running the event. “This comes from their recycling bins, their food scraps and things like that, and so we give back to the Berkeley residents.”

The event gives residents back what they’ve thrown away but in much better shape. The green waste produced by city residents and commercial businesses is amassed at a transfer station on Gilman Street and then taken to a compost processor about 65 miles away in Vernalis, California.

About 5 percent of the compost generated by the city comes back in finished compost form. Residents can then use this free compost for gardening or landscaping.

“This is not a common service, but Berkeley has wanted to encourage compost application to reduce water and herbicide use,” said Andrew Schneider, Berkeley’s recycling program manager, in an email.

According to Schneider, the finished compost comes back to the city for free. The event is run on a first-come, first-served basis, and partakers need to provide their own means of loading the compost. Most use shovels, buckets and their cars for transportation.

Alonzo Chess, a landscape gardener supervisor who oversees the distribution of the compost, has been helping residents for the past 20 years with their compost and recalls when the piles were much smaller than today’s supply, which has grown to about 100 cubic yards.

“We’re excited out here. It gets pretty amped up. Territorial is a good word because we call it black gold,” Chess said as he directed a flood of vehicle traffic containing Berkeley residents wanting to stake their claim. “People compete for it, but it’s a lot of fun.”

This specific service, now in its 15th year, provides the compost to not only residents but also city schools and community gardens. Those who are environmentally conscious can also use the material for organic gardening.

John Mann, manager of the waterfront division, said that the compost is usually gone by the end of each Saturday and that any leftovers are usually gone within a few days.

“Hopefully this will take care of most of the people in Berkeley,” Mann said. “We’re happy to provide the service.”

Contact Brennan MacLean at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @brennan_mac.

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7 Secrets to Creating a Country Cottage Garden

A country cottage style garden can transport you to a place of beauty and tranquility, no matter where you actually live. They look natural, not overly manicured and trimmed. Country gardens are reminiscent of a carefree field of wildflowers with their lush, full blooms and quaint rustic details. The bountiful landscaping of a country cottage garden will instantly add curb appeal to your home, and you’ll love how low maintenance country garden flowers are! Create your own county cottage garden with these seven styling and landscaping secrets.

1. Vines and Climbing Roses
Every house can be turned into a country cottage by adding some charming vines or climbing roses. Train your greenery to climb your porch columns or arch around your doorway for a whimsical, fairy-tale look! Blooming vines and climbing roses are quintessential country garden elements.

Get the Look: Country Cottage Vines via The Garden Cottage Bed and Breakfast on Hometalk

2. A Flower Filled Front Walk
Instantly beautify your whole front yard by adding lush flower beds to your front walk. Not only will the bountiful blooms add curb appeal to your home, you will love strolling past the flower garden each time you return home. Hometalk’s expert gardeners recommend adding these easy-to-maintain flowers to your front yard to get the cottage look: roses, daylilies, hydrangeas, hebe, clematis, fleabane, rose campion, and hardy geranium. Remember, you want lush, full flower beds, so why not plant them all?

Get the Look: Flower Filled Walkway via GrandParents Plus on Hometalk

3. Creative Container Gardening
Add some fun, vintage flare to your garden to give it a country cottage look. Get creative with your container gardening! Whether you stash your potted plants in an old wheelbarrow or upcycled bicycle, the thrifty repurposed look is oh so down home and country.

Get the Look: Upcycled Wheelbarrow via Empress of Dirt on Hometalk

4. Use Pergolas and Arbors
Your everyday yard can instantly become an enchanting secret garden with the addition of pergolas and arbors. Add in some lush twisty vines and you’ll create a lovely shady spot to enjoy all summer long. Attractive pergolas and arbors are also great ways to add curb appeal, or beautify your backyard.

Get the Look: Garden Pergolas via Three Dogs in a Garden on Hometalk

5. Winding Garden Paths
While building out your flower beds to resemble a charming field of wildflowers, remember to leave space for a winding, stone path. A stone paver pathway is like is like the perfect complementary frame to a masterfully painted picture.

Get the Look: Paver Garden Path via Janie B

6. Garden Fencing
There is just something about a picket fence or garden gate that adds instant country charm to every floral landscape. You can fence in your whole yard, or individual flower beds. Don’t make the fence too high, a key element to the country cottage look is the flowers overflowing the fence line.

Get the Look: Garden Fencing via Missy L

7. A Rustic and Weathered Garden Wall
Stone cottages are a homage to an age-old, pastoral style. You can capture the essence of your home’s agrarian past by using rustic stone walls in your garden. You can create one beautiful focal point with a vertical stone wall, or add extra flair to your flower beds by adding stone trim.

Get the Look: Rustic Stone Wall via Summerset Gardens on Hometalk

Looking for more ways to bring country charm into your home? Check out all the country-chic design and decor ideas on Hometalk, or find even more gardening ideas from Hometalk’s master gardeners.

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