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Archives for July 15, 2014

Gardening tips

GardeningLee Skidmore gives tips on summer watering, saving seeds, drying herbs, prepping for over-winter planting and more during this call-in show.  Gardening

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Utah Man Creates Garden that Grows in a Kitchen

Utah Man Creates Garden that Grows in a Kitchen

PRWEB.COM Newswire

PRWEB.COM NewswireOrem, Utah (PRWEB) July 15, 2014

Frustrated with the short harvest time of a traditional garden, Utah native Steve Fleischer created a garden that grows on the wall in his kitchen. The hydroponics garden, known as Simply Fresh Wall Garden, grows produce year round regardless of the weather outside.

“Everyone should be able to grow fresh produce no matter where you live,” said Fleischer. “But a traditional garden only produces three months out of the year. I want my family to eat healthy all throughout the year.”

Fleischer’s wall garden design utilizes the traditional method of hydroponics growing, but adds his own flair to make a indoor garden work in any kitchen.

“Two big gardening frustrations I hear about is weeding and over watering,” said Fleischer. “My design for the wall garden eliminates both of those problems.”

The wall garden has two main components: a series of grow pods that house the plants, and nutrient-rich water that feeds the plants. The wall garden is self watering, constantly pumping nutrient-rich water to the plants, eliminating the chance to over- or under-water. Those two features make the wall garden accessible for even black thumbs.

In order to produce the wall gardens, Fleischer is raising funds through, the popular crowd-funding platform. The campaign begins Tuesday, July 15.

More information, visit the Simply Fresh Kickstarter page.

Read the full story at

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Norwood Evening Garden Club elects new officers

Posted Jul. 14, 2014 @ 12:00 pm
Updated Jul 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM

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Landscaping With Logs for a Whimsical Garden Design

Try unsplit log rounds as an inexpensive and eco-minded material for your next landscaping or gardening project. You can create borders and soil-retaining walls with log rounds. They last about as long as milled lumber, and they provide more flexibility in garden design. As an added bonus, the landscaping is easy to fix if a log rots out, plus the wood will match the natural earth tones of your outdoor space.

To begin landscaping with logs, select the best pieces you can find. If you don’t have direct access to log rounds, check with a local firewood provider. Pace your garden off and set the logs on end in your desired shape. Setting the logs into a shallow trench will add stability on flat ground, and staking each one in place will help, too.

Create spectacular color displays by using the flat tops of the rounds as pedestals for potted plants. I like to allow my tomatoes to grow over the wall to create a feeling of an old wood structure being swallowed by new growth, and to help keep the leaves and fruit dry when watering the plants.

Craig Braunschweig
Redway, California

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Australia’s first Landscape Architecture Festival announces 2014 program [Video]

Forecast—the inaugural Festival of Landscape Architecture
has announced its program for 2014, with walking tours, radio broadcasts and
keynote speakers from 16 October in Brisbane.

Hosted by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
(AILA), Forecast brings together designers, thinkers, collaborators and
innovators of the landscaping field for three days of participatory events at
the State Library of Queensland.

Outcomes through discourse and debate is the philosophy that
informs the program, Creative Directors Sharon Mackay and Di Snape say that
engagement and the exchange of ideas can lead to real systemic change.

“In the course of our diverse experiences, both on
projects we’ve done together and in our own practice, we have been testing ways
to curate engaging conversation that enables genuine exchange of ideas,” they

“The outcomes are always diverse, they are often
unpredictable, they usually involve having a lot of fun, and they inevitably
lead us immediately to devising the next project so we can continue the
conversation. Occasionally they lead to real and systemic change. Forecast
brings these experiences together to reimagine the conference for Landscape

The festival website lists 16 festival events which include an
opening party, speaker sessions and the 2014 AILA National Awards, and will run
over the course of the event.

See the Video below:

Program Highlights:

KEY CONVERSATION 6: Big Projects – Infrastructure and
Procurement, Saturday 18 October 11.00am
– 12.30pm

The conversation will discuss the idea that Landscape Architects need to
acknowledge, capture and incorporate the complexity of big projects and
infrastructure.Image: John Gollings.

KEY CONVERSATION 1: Speculation and Research on Friday 17
October 8.45am – 10.00am

This session explores the relationship between data, design
as research and how Landscape Architects can address complex contemporary urban
challenges.Image: Peter Bennetts.

BROADCAST: The Interviews Various times and locations

Forecast brings media colleagues from ‘The Plan’ and ‘The
Architects’ into the conversation to discuss their role in creating and
curating the way that Landscape Architecture is profiled. Image: Tania Davidge.

EAT THE CITY: Long Table Dinner + 2014 AILA National Awards on
Friday 17 October 5.00pm – 9.00pm.

Key Note Speakers:

  • Matt Baida from WAX Design, SA
  • Daniel Bennett, Adelaide City Council, SA
  • Pamille Berg OA, Pamille Berg
    Consulting, ACT
  • Cameron Bruhn, Architecture Media, Vic
  • Amy Grey, Meter Design, Qld
  • Penny Hall, Arup
  • Stuart Harrison, Harrison and White
    The Architects 3RRR, Vic
  • James Hayter, Oxigen, SA
  • Timothy Horton, Architects Registration
    Board, NSW
  • Anton James, JMD Design, NSW
  • Perry Lethlean, Taylor Cullity
    Lethlean, Vic
  • Matthew Mackay, Hassell, Vic
  • Dr Jo Russell-Clarke, University of Adelaide
    The Plan Radio, SA
  • Andy Sharp,Curtin University, PLACE
    Laboratory, WA
  • Rachel Smith, AECOM, Qld
  • Malcolm Snow, National Capital
    Authority, ACT
  • Yen Trihn, Queensland Museum, Qld

to learn more and to register for the event. 

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Boone to create Wellness District

Boone leaders hope to have a new set of development standards
in place for the Watauga Medical Center area by the end of the year, Boone Planning
Inspections Director Bill Bailey said.

The new code — formerly referred to as the Medical
District Overlay and now called the Wellness District Small Area Plan — would provide incentives
for redeveloping sites near the hospital according to appearance, intensity, landscaping and height
standards outlined in the plan.

Appalachian State University’s planned 200,000-square-foot,
$82 million College of Health Sciences building at the corner of Deerfield and State Farm roads is
expected to spur redevelopment in the area. In addition, the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System
has plans to expand and consolidate its offices.

“There’s a lot of potential for
redevelopment in this area,” said Bailey, noting that many of the existing buildings are old and

The town’s planning department is working closely with Appalachian State
University to develop the new small area plan, which will feature elements of a form-based code.
Form-based codes differ from traditional land use codes such as the town’s Unified Development
Ordinance by focusing less on uses in buildings and more on the massing, character and scale of the
buildings themselves, as well as the design of adjacent urban spaces.

“(Form-based codes)
describe what we want, not dictate every detail,” Bailey explained.

The Wellness District
would encompass the area bordered by Deerfield and State Farm roads and U.S. 321. Examples of
desired building features include larger building footprints, shared parking and entrances,
increased street setbacks and decreased buffering requirements to allow for pocket parks or other
amenities and mixed-use buildings with retail or offices on the lower floors and residential on
upper floors.

Bailey said he had concerns about privacy issues with regard to upper-floor
residents being able to see patients coming and going from medical offices, but those concerns could
be addressed by stepping back upper floors or screening with green roof plantings.

of incentives for redeveloping properties within the Wellness District including permitting by right
with no required hearings, an expedited review process by town planning staff, relaxed parking
requirements and increased density, except where watershed regulations apply. If shared parking
facilities such as a parking garage are utilized, developers could simply demonstrate that a certain
amount of parking is available nearby instead of having to provide a minimum number of spaces,
Bailey said.

Supporting infrastructure would include gateway features such as kiosks to
signal entrances to the district, color-coded street signs, street plantings, improved stormwater,
LED lighting and sidewalks, which are currently lacking in the area, said Bailey.

“I think
the town will need to pony up in some fashion,” he said.

The Planning Inspections
Department first presented concepts for three overlay districts — the Medical District, Downtown
District and Midtown District — in spring 2012, but completion of the district codes took a
backseat to the rewrite of the Boone UDO.

The overlay districts are part of an effort to
gradually implement land use codes requiring increased density in development within the town, one
of the “smart growth” principles in the Boone 2030 Land Use Master Plan. Smart growth seeks to curb
urban sprawl by increasing density instead of building outward.

The Boone Town Council and
planning staff initially proposed that the overlay districts be created as an alternative for
developers, who could choose to develop using the base UDO standards or the overlay district
standards with incentives. But Bailey said he now would recommend that the small area plans replace
the UDO in the three districts.

A subcommittee of the Boone Planning Commission has been
tasked with evaluating ideas for the Wellness District, including parking and residential standards.
Bailey said he expects to present a draft to the Boone Town Council within a couple of months. The
plan would then be sent to a special hearing for public input, followed by Planning Commission and
consideration by the council. Bailey said he hoped to achieve adoption of the plan by

Development of the next small area plan, the Downtown District, would begin in
January, Bailey said.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System pledged in spring 2012 that it
would donate a nine-acre tract near Watauga Medical Center to the university if ASU could secure
funding for the College of Health Sciences building by Dec. 31, 2014. ASU leaders are pursuing
public-private partnerships with medical offices as a means to fund the project.

Last year
the General Assembly allocated $2 million toward planning funding for the project, and ASU sought an
additional $6 million in planning funds this fiscal year. The N.C. Senate budget bill allocated $2
million in planning funds this year, while the House budget would allocate $4 million. However, the
two houses have yet to enact a compromise budget.

“I do feel confident that the leadership
knows the value of this project and understands this is a priority for Appalachian and the region,”
said Susan McCracken, director for external affairs and community relations at ASU.

the Legislature fail to pass a budget adjustment bill or allocate additional planning funds to the
project, the project would be delayed, McCracken said.



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Rick Santorum joins Sam Brownback for Kansas re-election rallies

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is working to energize his conservative Republican political base with events featuring former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Santorum called Brownback a warrior for conservative social and fiscal ideas during a rally Monday in Olathe. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, says the governor’s race in Kansas shouldn’t be close because of Brownback’s small government, low-tax philosophy and his opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

Santorum ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Brownback casts the race between him and Democrat Paul Davis as a choice between Ronald Reagan-style conservatism and Barack Obama-style liberalism.

The Davis campaign issued a statement saying it’s looking for moderate, common sense policies.

Brownback also faces Wichita landscaping business owner Jennifer Winn in the Aug. 5 Republican primary.

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North Middlesex school design to balance form and function

TOWNSEND — As the deadline for finalizing a design for the new high school approaches, planners are discussing ways to balance function and aesthetics within the budget.

Representatives from Symmes, Maini and McKee presented potential options for exterior plans for the $89 million school to the North Middlesex Regional School District Building Committee on July 14.

Some outside areas of the school will do double duty. Gardens can be used by students in the science, technology, engineering and math courses. Outside seating areas can be used for congregating, classes or eating.

The loading dock near the baseball field will contain areas for recycling and refuse. “There’s no such thing as back of the house anymore,” said Peter Lukacic, senior associate, manager of landscape architecture at SMMA. “We’re very mindful of what people see.”

Using a different parking lot layout than originally proposed would allow larger bioswales, landscaping designed to process storm water, said Erin Prestileo, an associate civil engineer with SMMA. Cuts in the curbing would allow for snow storage.

Construction and maintenance costs are lower than with traditional storm water management systems. Bioswales have less piping and do not need weekly mowing. Instead, they can be inspected and cleaned biannually.

The plan calls for parking lots to cover about the same amount of land as they do now but there will be larger spaces. Because the number of planned parking spaces is less than required by the town, SMMA has filed for a variance with the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Traffic islands with curbs might make plowing more expensive, said Oscar Hills, the district’s director of buildings and grounds. “We’re changing the whole game plan on what we do and the cost of snow removal,” he said.

Some parts of the parking lots might not have curbing in the final plan, Lukacic said.

The parking plans must allow access for a medical helicopter, said committee member Heide Messing.

That can be part of the discussion scheduled for next Monday with public safety officials, Lukacic said.

Hill also questioned the wall seating proposed for the plaza in front of the school. The school does not own equipment that can throw snow the distance required by the design.

A final design should not be based on what happens a few months of the year because the building should look good, said Chair Robert Templeton, “That’s just one person’s opinion.”

Outside lighting will be energy efficient LED bulbs with fixtures located in the plantings, not in the middle of the parking lots, Lukacic said. Compared to traditional lighting, the new fixtures require less maintenance and will pay for themselves in a little over a year.

New bleachers are part of the plan. A 1,200-seat aluminum bleacher with a ramp leading to the press box will be handicap accessible as required, Lukacic said. Current plans call for moving the structure closer to the track than it is now.

If the track is widened in the future, the bleachers would need to be moved back, he said. The final design could have bleachers in the same location as now, but would require an impervious surface between the bleachers and the track.

Because the school is located on a state road, the signage options allowed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is limited, said Prestileo. Flashing lights before and at crosswalks are planned to warn motorists of crossing pedestrians and bicyclists.

The proposed brick, masonry and brushed aluminum sign at the entrance would have spotlights rather than internal lighting because of town regulations, she said.

The current plans do not include a message board. An LED sign was removed from the plans in order to reduce cost. Planners would need to seek a variance to install a new sign with lighting, Lukacic said.

The planners will also look at preparing a small building for demolition before the project goes out to bid. It might not save time or money to do that, Lukacic said.

The design development deadline is Oct. 16.

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Does your yard need a tune up? Enter our 16 Curb Appeal contest – WNDU

If your yard is looking a little rough this summer you may want to enter our 16 Curb Appeal contest.

If your yard is looking a little rough this summer you may want to enter our 16 Curb Appeal contest.

NewsCenter 16 and Linton’s Enchanted Gardens have teamed up again to surprise someone with $5,000 worth of landscaping.

Tell us in 100 words or less why your front yard deserves a makeover and send us at least three pictures, including a wide shot of the entire yard and tighter shots of areas.

Click here to enter.

Or you can send it by mail to:
P.O. Box 1616
South Bend, IN 46634

The mail deadline to enter is July 24, and the deadline online is July 27.

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Olean Food Pantry gets 27 tons of topsoil from landscapers

OLEAN — After Randy and Matt Ewings read a Times Herald article in May stating the need to expand the Olean Food Pantry’s garden, they decided to help in the best way they could.

This week, the father/son team of Hillside Landscaping in Olean dropped off 27 tons of topsoil near the food pantry on Leo Moss Drive and cleared a portion of land for the garden expansion.

Scott Brook, president of the food pantry board of directors, said Randy Ewings, who is a longtime friend of his, contacted him after reading the article.

“Randy saw the article and wanted to respond to a need that he saw,” Mr. Brook added. “They have a brand new topsoil screen, so they can create their own topsoil;  they thought it would be a good plan to donate the material at this time.”

In addition, the company offered to clear the land for the expansion and grade and level the topsoil for the garden.

Randy Ewings said he and his son, who owns the company, wanted to help because of the good work the food pantry does in the community.  And after speaking with officials and visiting the food pantry, he learned of all the services the facility provides to the needy.

“When we came down here, we realized that the food pantry doesn’t just give food away, they educate (the recipients) on how to grow the vegetables in the garden,” he said. “It’s a really worthwhile program. Our part is very small compared to the volunteers who work here all day long all the time.

Mr. Brook said the expansion will help the food pantry, which harvested 900 pounds of vegetables and fruit in the garden last year, produce even more fresh produce in the future.

He noted the food pantry provides thousands of meals to the needy each year, which is more reason to expand the garden

Matt Ewings echoed his father’s sentiments on why he wanted to help the charitable organization.

“They help out the community so much that we thought it would be a nice opportunity to give back,” Matt Ewings said. “Hopefully this will put the spotlight on (the food pantry) a little bit so more people will want to help out.”

Maureen Curry, volunteer manager of the food pantry, said she was pleased the company has helped the facility.

“It’s kind of like an experiment on what can be done to help,” Ms. Curry said. “Community gardens in all the other communities across the United States are the big thing.”

She said the expansion, which will hopefully take place during the next growing season, will certainly provide more, fresh food for the needy.

“I would hope it will expand, but it will take a few dollars to do this,” she said. “But I’m telling you that this (fresh produce) is the answer to a lot of our nutritional and dietary problems.”

For more information on the food pantry, contact the facility at 372-4989.

 (Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at

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