Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for July 7, 2014

Gardening Tips: Roses & Maple Trees Oozing

Article source:

Protecting your garden from Summer heat

Protecting your garden from Summer heat. 9NEWS at 5 p.m. 07/06/14

Article source:

Garden: Tips to attract wildlife

When a garden is friendly to wildlife, the joy of their presence is not the only benefit. Food crops and flowers get pollinated and pest levels decline — though never completely vanish. If they did, the predators would seek food elsewhere. Later, pests would return in masses.

The key to a wildlife-friendly garden is avoiding pesticides and herbicides, ideally in dense areas this would be a community effort. Where gardens are tiny, if some neighbours still spray, their habits drift over and under fences into neighbouring space. Pests die — but so do beneficial insects and pollinators.

Even in tiny gardens some things help create a more wildlife-friendly setting. Container gardens could include one large pot of bee-and butterfly-friendly plants. Where space is tight, you could double the benefit and choose edible herbs such as parsley, dill and sweet cicely.

If you let these flower, hundreds of hover-flies (like tiny bees) and other pollinators gather to sip nectar. Increasing food for pollinators has benefits in later years for neighbouring gardens as well as yours.

In somewhat larger gardens, the flowers of kale and cabbages, calendula, Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) and sweet alyssum are especially attractive to bees and butterflies. So are wild plants like goldenrod, fireweed and chickory. The cover crop buckwheat is also a bee favourite.

White clover deserves a special mention. Bees love it and it flowers for long periods. It’s supplied in some grass seed because (like other legumes) it adds nitrogen to the soil where it’s grown. It can also be a substitute lawn which stays green in drought and doesn’t need frequent mowing. As a cover crop, it’s hugely nourishing but hard to remove (deep roots!).

The news that bee-killing pesticide residue has been found on some bee-friendly plants is definitely good reason to ask nursery staff the status of plants you’re considering buying.

But if staff aren’t sure (usually plants are grown elsewhere), there are ways of keeping our gardens safer.

With shrubs and perennials, removing all flowers the first year then cutting the stems back during the first winter guarantees that bees won’t visit till they’re safe. Some annuals, such as calendula, cosmos and nigella are easy to plant by loosening the soil with a rake, scattering the seed then raking it in.

Besides attractive plants, the thing that draws more wildlife to a garden than anything else is water. Tiny space means having a tiny water supply. Insects need pool margins and they’d enjoy a big saucer of water holding a flat, shallow rock tapering to water level at least on one side.

Shallow birdbaths can be used by insects too but birds get more use out of the deeper ones for drinking as well as splashing. Birds also drink from container ponds, but they do need a place to perch.

Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions via

© Vancouver Courier

Article source:

Short on space? Use these tips to create a garden anyway – Omaha World



With a little extra space, Chadd Cupit, at bottom, plants in hanging baskets and pots at his home above the Back in the Day antique store near South 25th Avenue and Leavenworth Street.

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014 12:30 am

Short on space? Use these tips to create a garden anyway

By Chris Peters / World-Herald staff writer

The Omaha World-Herald

Trying to create a garden in an apartment can feel suffocating.

Love seat-sized patios, little-to-no access to in-ground space and the fear of throwing away your security deposit make the idea of growing anything seem futile. But gardeners with a knack for invention are finding a few tricks to bringing cramped quarters to life.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.

You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login now

Not a print subscriber?


Online services

    Login now

    Not a print subscriber?


    Online services

      The World-Herald Store.

      More about Living

      • ARTICLE: What to watch: Jack tries to avoid international crisis on ’24’
      • garden1 garden1
      • garden2 garden2
      • ARTICLE: Annie, I’m 68, divorced twice and have been unwise
      • ARTICLE: You’re cordially invited to finish this Omaha artist’s paintings


      Monday, July 7, 2014 12:30 am.

      | Tags:


      Article source:

      Australian garden wins best in show at Hampton Court Palace

      Last year’s Chelsea
      Flower Show winner, designed by Phillip Johnson, featured a billabong
      was the first Australian garden to win at the world-famous flower show for
      100 years.

      The award for best conceptual garden at Hampton Court was given to Sheena
      Seeks’s ‘Quarry of Silences’ garden. Her entry in the category, which this
      year was themed around the Seven Deadly Sins, was inspired by sloth. It
      featured 150 spades studding a sandy hill, each spade representing a person
      striving or failing to reach their goal.

      Sheena Seeks’s ‘Sloth’ garden

      In the Summer Gardens category, a garden made from recycled industrial
      materials for the arts organisation Metal came first, while among the budget
      gardens, Alexandra Froggatt’s Garden of Solitude – a relaxing garden built
      for just £15,000 – was named the winner.






      Article source:

      The camaraderie is evident South Hadley Falls resident helps promote her …

      It’s a traditionally working class neighborhood with dense housing and a number of rundown buildings but Woldorf said the connections are genuine.

      “Everybody is extremely friendly. There are kids all over the place and the kids hang out at each other’s houses,” she said.

      She hopes to promote that through her work on the Rise of the Falls Facilitation Group, a town committee that’s hashing out ideas to spark economic development in the neighborhood and promote community cohesion. It is working on a proposal for a historic district. Woldorf is also a cofounder of the South Hadley Falls Neighborhood Association that has a mailing list of 50 and about a dozen active members.

      What draws her to “The Falls,” as she affectionately calls the enclave on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River south of Route 202? The dense housing and the sense of neighborliness that comes from being surrounded by families with deep local roots are high on her list.

      “Maybe we don’t have a yard as big as we want,” she said, “but we are geographically close to our neighbors as well as emotionally close to them. What struck us is how genuine everyone is. … I call it the world’s biggest small town.”

      Two years ago some of those neighbors decided to throw a block party, using the unveiling of a river- and nature-themed mural on the side of an equipment shed at Beachgrounds Park as the focal point. Last year that blossomed into FallsFest, a free one-day music showcase. It will happen again this summer on July 26, featuring a slew of local bands and national acts including Buckwheat Zydeco, which tours out of Louisiana.

      Woldorf, a psychotherapist who works in Springfield and a graduate of Amherst College, had some worries when she and her family first arrived. “We weren’t sure how as a same-sex couple we would be received,” she said, “but we were immediately welcomed into the neighborhood.”

      Her wife, Heather Reichgott, gives piano lessons in their home and is a ballet instructor. They have a 6-year old daughter.

      “This is a community where we felt very welcomed and where we wanted to put down roots.”

      Now that she is immersing herself in civic affairs, Woldorf wants to carve out an identity for the neighborhood, which is where the Town Hall, the police department, the electric department and the public library are located. Creating a solid economic base is a challenge that will require committed people like Woldorf to stay active over the long haul, according to Francis DeToma, a member of the Select Board. DeToma serves on several committees related to The Falls, including the recently created redevelopment authority.

      He and others are working on several fronts, including zoning bylaws to promote what he calls the “village environment” which is one of the area’s strengths. They are seeking a federal Community Development Block Grant to help property owners rehabilitate buildings and they are working with the state on an initiative that would require owners of particularly rundown buildings to fix them up.

      Two years ago, spurred on by Helen Fantini, an architect who is a member of the Planning Board and chairwoman of Rise of the Falls Facilitation Group, the town won a Communities by Design award from the American Institute of Architects, which brought in a “sustainable design assessment team” of six experts with experience in architecture, urban and land-use planning and economic development.

      Bonnie Crockett, a community organizer from Baltimore who was on the team, told people in The Falls that if they really wanted to see progress on all the good ideas contained in the consultants’ report they needed to form a neighborhood organization.

      Such an association would provide a central point of reference and a voice to represent the neighborhood on community issues, the consultants said.

      The idea is to keep people focused and engaged, said Woldorf.

      DeToma said that creating a vibrant neighborhood association was the first thing local people did in responding to the AIA recommendations.

      Taking action

      One of the activities Woldorf and the association are currently involved with is reaching out to the Grant Street Shelter, or Jessie’s House, which is a refuge for homeless single mothers and young families. The association is making gift baskets for the residents as they transition to more permanent housing.

      The association is also supporting the FallsFest Committee as it prepares for this summer’s event.

      “I would like to see more people coming to our meetings to inform the association on the changes they want to see happening,” said Woldorf.

      One of the neighborhood’s great attractions is that it borders the Connecticut River. Unfortunately, very little of the waterfront is easily accessible. That will change incrementally with the opening of a new public library on Bardwell Street that is nearing completion. Woldorf is an elected trustee. Not only will the library feature a view of the dam that straddles South Hadley and Holyoke, but the landscaping includes the beginnings of a park along the waterway.

      Gaining more access to the river along land mostly owned by Holyoke Gas Electric, which controls the dam, has been a challenge, said Woldorf, mainly because of the layers of government bureaucracy.

      Expanding access to the waterfront “is high on our priority list because we would like to see the river,” said Woldorf. “But in terms of making that happen quickly, we realized we are just in over our heads.”

      A project that is moving ahead is aimed at building local and regional appreciation of the history of the neighborhood, which Woldorf said was home to the first successful navigable canal in the country.

      She is part of a group putting together self-guided walking loops of The Falls.

      “We hope to finish up the planning for that in the next couple of months,” she said. This might include plaques and maps that will highlight aspects of the history and natural resources of The Falls.

      The neighborhood has suffered the impacts of economic decline since its heyday many years ago when communities like it were driven by industry and manufacturing. Commenting on the flurry of activity aimed at revitalizing an area that struggles with poverty but which, as part of its legacy, has the feel of a tight-knit community, DeToma said, “There are a great number of people working very hard to bring The Falls back. It’s going to be slow as we build a base here and get people more interested, but I think it’s on the way up.”

      Article source:

      FAU looks to Sistrunk for urban studio – Sun

      A foreclosed, falling-apart Sistrunk Boulevard plumbing supply store could get a second life showing people the way to a greener urban environment.

      The city and Florida Atlantic University are talking about teaming up to turn the blighted, city-owned property west of the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks into a “living lab” where FAU’s architecture students can turn their designs into reality.

      • Related
      • Riverwalk extension rocks Fort Lauderdale boat captains

        Riverwalk extension rocks Fort Lauderdale boat captains

      • Fort Lauderdale commissioners approve marriage-equality resolution

        Fort Lauderdale commissioners approve marriage-equality resolution

      • Dive training facility to replace Swimming Hall of Fame in new aquatic center

      • Maps
      • 221 Northwest 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311, USA

      Students would also use their projects to teach people in the area steps they can take toward a more sustainable life, possibly be reducing their energy usage, growing their own food or finding new ways to conserve water.

      “We would be at least showing the people the value of these things, so that they would be more open to them,” said Keith Van de Riet, an associate professor of architecture at FAU.

      FAU would turn the property into the School of Architecture Metropolitan Studio. While FAU has outreach programs that engage local communities with conceptual design ideas, the proposed studio would allow students to build and experiment on those ideas, said John Sandell, director of FAU’s School of Architecture.

      The building is in the heart of one of the city’s redevelopment areas, close to both up-and-coming Flagler Village condos and the poorer, historically black neighborhoods along Sistrunk.

      “The project would provide an active and highly visible link between the existing development initiatives to the east and the underserved neighborhoods to the west,” according to FAU’s project statement.

      Residents could also learn about beneficial landscaping, from plants that attract butterflies to turning limited space into vegetable gardens that don’t detract from the appearance of a neighborhood.

      “How do you actually design planters that facilitate the gardening, but still look urban and have an attractive curb appeal?” is the kind of question students would try to answer, Van de Riet said.

      And the initiative would promote ways of introducing art into the urban landscape, possibly developing murals or other projects with the FAT [Florida Art and Technology] Village across the street on the east side of the railroad tracks.

      The architecture school, based about a mile away at FAU’s downtown campus, has 230 undergraduate students in its five-year program.

      FAU estimates it will cost about $61,000 to get the building into usable space for students to work. The city also needs to do environmental testing to see if there are asbestos or other hazards on the vacant property, which fell into the city’s hands in 2012 after foreclosure because of outstanding code violation liens on it.

      Lease details still must be worked out and the project needs the final approval of FAU administrators.

      Right now, students develop their ideas on the downtown campus, but have no outlet for the real-world experience of constructing their designs, managing that construction, and learning the governmental permitting hoops they will encounter in their future careers.

      “This adds a construction and environmental technologies experimentation dimension,” Sandell said.

      FAU is investing close to $100,000 in seed money to supply the tools and equipment that will benefit the student projects, including purchasing a thermal-imaging camera, 3-D printers and design software.

      Some of the projects would be construction involving the actual building, others would be temporary installations. The projects would be a testing ground for student innovations, a way of building upon existing techniques and trying out new approaches.

      “We would collaborate with them and the building trade industry to really make this be a signature piece of property in terms of being a place where technology and community involvement could come together,” said Al Battle, the city’s community redevelopment director. or 954-356-4556

      Article source:,0,3925330.story

      Ideas 4 Landscaping Review Introduces How to Build a Beautiful House …

      Ideas 4 Landscaping Review Introduces How to Build a Beautiful House –

      PRWEB.COM Newswire

      PRWEB.COM NewswireHouston, TX (PRWEB) July 05, 2014

      Ideas 4 Landscaping provides people with a lot of wonderful landscaping ideas and videos that help them design every corner of their own house. The program is designed by Helen Whitfield, an educator and a member of ANLA. She has spent years researching and studying to create this brand new landscaping design collection. Since Helen Whitfield released the program, she has received many positive comments from customers regarding their success. Therefore, the website tested the program and has revealed an overview.

      The detailed overview on the website indicates that Ideas 4 Landscaping shows people the basic information about an entire collection of landscaping ideas. The program is really useful for people who want to design their own house. With the program, users will find a lot of garden landscape designs with pictures and illustrations. The author provides users with many designs for backyard, front yard, and garden. Buying the program, people will receive some useful gifts such as the “How To Grow Organic Vegetable” book, the “Save On Energy Costs – Green Home Guide” book, the “Landscaping Secrets Revealed Guide” book, and the “120 Premium Landscaping” videos.

      Peter Mat from the website says, “Ideas 4 Landscaping takes people step-by-step through the process of learning how to build a wonderful house. The program provides people with detailed instructions that are easy for them to follow. Moreover, people will have 60 days to decide if they want to keep the program or get their money back.

      If people want to get pros and cons of the product, they should visit the site:

      If people want to get pros and cons of the product, they should visit the site: get a direct access to the official site.

      Read the full story at

      Top ^

      View: Mobile site | Full Site

      Article source:

      Edible yards proliferate in Vancouver neighbourhoods (with video)

      VANCOUVER — The landscaping installed by young entrepreneurs Katie Ralphs and Ruth Warren is a far cry from the patchy lawns and scruffy rhododendrons that are near ubiquitous in front yards across much of the city.

      Lush caches of rainbow chard, peas, beans and lettuce dot Vancouver’s Riley Park neighbourhood between 18th and 29th avenues, in some places as many as two, three and even four yards on a block and a half dozen yards adjacent to a city bike lane.

      Ralphs and Warren — the twentysomething proprietors of City Beet Farm — maintain 17 yard gardens all within ten blocks of each other, essential because they move themselves and their produce by bicycle.

      “We have six yards just on Yukon and another four yards on 19th, so that makes it pretty easy to get around,� said Ralphs. “We can get to 10 yards in no more than 10 minutes.�

      Similar businesses — Inner City Farms, Frisch Farms, Barefoot Farms and Yummy Yards to name a few — are converting dozens of Vancouver yards into micro-farms, paying the owners vegetables as rent.

      Inner City Farms is cultivating 21 yards in three main clusters: near the PNE, around Main and 33rd Avenue, and in southwest Vancouver. Where one yard is planted, others quickly proliferate.

      “It’s been really fascinating how it’s grown,� said Camil Dumont, head farmer for Inner City. “Those are just the locations where we got our first yards, but when people in the neighbourhood see what we are doing they get in touch or come and introduce themselves and want to get involved. So we are getting these clusters, which helps a lot with the logistics of farming.�

      Outlying properties are typically planted with crops that require less maintenance and watering — garlic, squash or potatoes — requiring fewer visits per week, he said.

      Most of the vegetables are sold to individuals and families through CSAs — Community Supported Agriculture — with a season-long subscription to weekly food baskets that cost from $330 to $460 for enough to supply two people, to around $700 for a family.

      City Beet has 45 subscribers for its small box and 15 for the large, plus they run a weekly public market every Friday at Mighty Oak Cafe on West 18th. Inner City has 40 family CSA subscribers, eight restaurant subscribers and provides each yard owner with a subscription. A rotating cast of volunteers who help mainly with harvesting are also paid in vegetables.

      Yard farming is hitting the mainstream, at least in Vancouver, according to Jennifer van den Brink, who specializes in vegetable garden installations and garden maintenance for Yummy Yards.

      “It started out that we were just doing conversions in yards that we were then going to farm, but a lot of people just wanted help starting their own vegetable garden,� she said. “So, most of what I do now is installations for people who want to grow their own food.�

      Landscape architect Senga Lindsay says almost every project she is asked to design includes a request for edible components — from condominiums with community gardens and fruit trees, to residential developments with edible walls for fences.

      “Five years ago it was a rare interest, but it’s very much the mainstream now,� she said. “People want to multi-task their space.�

      Lindsay is working on a 12-home project in West Vancouver, which includes a chef’s kitchen garden in each yard and edible components woven into the permanent landscaping.


      Article source:

      A magical return to Australia’s gardens

      In February, I returned to Australia for the first time in 27 years. I started
      off in Perth, Western Australia, where Kings Park and Botanic Gardens were
      the ideal spot to overcome jetlag. The botanical garden has a good plant
      collection, including many grevilleas, some wonderful Dr Seuss-like
      Eucalyptus macrocarpa (Mottlecah) and an ancient old bottle tree, which
      stores water in its trunk. Ironically, it was the lawns I’ll remember – as I
      sat drinking a coffee in a perfect palm-shaped shadow, screeching white
      cockatoos flying about, I just couldn’t get over the perfection of the green

      Next I headed to Melbourne. My first stop was at the city’s Royal Botanic
      Gardens. Centrally located, the gardens are used as a park by all, including
      joggers and buggy-pushing mums and dads. The design is mostly down to
      William Guilfoyle, an Australian master of landscaping, who from 1873
      onwards created feature areas such as a gully packed with tree ferns, and an
      ornamental lake, around which visitors, myself included, can enjoy a
      leisurely punt. A “volcano” at the gardens’ highest point has
      recently been revamped as part of a sustainable water management system,
      storing local storm water for use in irrigation. Its steep banks are
      fabulously planted with succulents such as agaves, echinocactus and spiky
      dasylirions, thrusting through a sea of red-flowering crassulas. The volcano
      has been successfully reinvented, but on the whole the gardens have a
      comfortable Victorian feel which should not be meddled with too much.

      The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, a 30-minute drive south-east from
      central Melbourne, by contrast, represent the new face of Australian

      The recently completed Australian Garden, designed by Taylor, Cullity,
      Lethlean landscape architects, with plantsman Paul Thompson, is core to the
      gardens and is made up of solely native plants, which is impressive in
      itself. The vast Red Sand Garden bowls you over with its level, rust-red
      sand punctuated by random-sized circles of silver foliage and dissected by a
      line of silver ground cover leading the eye into the distance. There are
      peripheral, crescent-shaped sand waves sculpted as land art. In the morning
      light, it’s beautiful and thought-provoking, for me stirring memories of
      those never-ending roads through the Outback.

      From Cranbourne, I headed further down the Mornington Peninsula past a neat
      patchwork of vineyards to Karkalla, garden designer Fiona Brockhoff’s house
      and garden.

      An Australia bottle tree

      The highly respected Brockhoff is an enthusiastic supporter of Cranbourne, as
      is everyone I meet. Karkalla demonstrates her light touch and pragmatic
      approach, working with nature and prioritising native planting and
      sustainability. She has tamed tough native coastal shrubs that can cope with
      the sandy soil and salt-laden winds by clipping them (or “torturing”
      them as she tells me) into comforting balls, rounded mounds and rolling
      waves. I see an underlying European influence here, especially in the
      courtyard space with its repetition of simple forms. The result is relaxed
      and flowing, and above all finds that elusive sense of place that many
      designers seek.

      Next, a whirlwind tour of the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s garden at the
      family home of Cruden Farm, near Langwarrin, an hour’s drive south east of
      Melbourne. It’s a traditional English garden charting the farm’s history,
      with a large lake, flower garden, lawn tennis court and a Dame Edna Walling
      walled garden (Australia’s Gertrude Jekyll). Of all the places I visited it
      should have been the most comforting and familiar, yet it felt alien,
      awkward and stifled.

      Nevertheless, it is still a fascinating place worth visiting. The best feature
      is the gently bending driveway straddled with stunning lemon-scented gums
      (Corymbia citriodora). Their fragrance is light, crisp and abundant. The day
      I visited, the late-afternoon sun lit the bleached tree trunks up like
      welcoming torches as I arrived. As I left, call it my imagination, but I
      felt a little as if the trees closed their ranks against me.

      Designer Phillip Johnson lives in the Dandenong ranges, east of Melbourne. His
      name may ring a bell as he
      won Best Show Garden at Chelsea 2013 for his Trailfinders garden
      with its huge waterfall, futuristic artist’s studio, and billabong. His
      focus on sustainable living means that he recycles his water and uses solar
      power. The garden’s native flora of Eucalyptus regnans – “the
      tallest flowering plant in the world,” says Johnson – have an
      under-storey of hairy tree ferns whose fronds caught the filtering light.
      After a meal and a chat, I took Johnson up on a traditional Aussie
      post-lunch offer and dived in to the exhilaratingly fresh billabong. For a
      moment I was back in my 20s.

      Phillip Johnson, who won Best Show Garden at Chelsea 2013 (PAUL GROVER)

      From Melbourne I flew to Alice Springs, a mere three-hour flight as opposed to
      the epic car journey I undertook on my first visit to the country. I visited
      Olive Pink Botanic Garden, a low-key, yet fascinating, botanical garden
      named after the formidable pioneering woman who set it up in 1956. Here,
      it’s all about the survival of the bush flora: a vast range of plants have
      adapted by shedding their bark, regenerating after bushfires, or developing
      underground root systems to store water for months on end.

      Australia’s red centre was not solely about viewing a botanical garden but
      also to do with getting out into the vast landscape once again. I joined a
      day trek at Ormiston Gorge in the West Macdonnell Ranges, taking in the
      rugged landmarks of Simpsons Gap and Ellery Creek. The five-hour trek was
      demanding, but one of the many memorable moments was a refreshing dip in a
      waterhole (we had to put our bags into bin liners and swim because the water
      was too deep to walk through).

      As we walked, the topography changed at least a dozen times and, at one point,
      white snow gums grew out of fissures in the exposed sandstone faces of the
      gully, resembling white silver birches against a rusty steel wall in a show
      garden. Nature always does it better, I thought. The breathtaking view from
      the top of the ridge was worth every single, sweaty step. The few tiny trees
      below threw black dotted shadows onto the parched red earth and the dry
      river bed snaked off into the hazy distance.

      The land’s parched colours reminded me of the indigenous Australian art I had
      seen in local galleries. As I sat looking down onto the immense landscape, I
      was aware that this moment was simply a snapshot in time dwarfed by the
      millions of years t had taken to form it.

      Useful contacts

      Botanic Gardens and
      Parks Authority

      Royal Botanic Gardens



      Cruden Farm

      Olive Pink Botanical

      Joe Swift flew Quantas

      Article source: