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Archives for July 20, 2014

HGTV Offers Gardening Tips for Small Spaces

Living in an apartment often means having limited outdoor living space. HGTV is helping apartment dwellers make the most of their outdoor areas with helpful tips for starting container gardens and more. Now people can make the most of a small space and put their green thumbs to the test.

Container Gardens Offer Unlimited Possibilities

A wide array of plants can be cultivated in planters, boxes and other types of containers. Fruits, vegetables, flowering plants and shrubs all thrive in container gardens. The planters can be moved to get sun and water. Dedicated gardeners often bring the containers indoors during the harshest weather conditions.

Having an outdoor container garden often involves a bit of creativity and ingenuity. For example, HGTV suggests urban dwellers think vertically. HGTV showed how designer Dan Faires re-purposed wood beams taken from a NYC building that was going to be demolished to create a privacy wall. He added shelves filled with potted plants for a green and fresh look right in the middle of the bustling city.

Making the Most of a Rooftop or Patio

Many city dwellers have a small balcony or ledge. More fortunate ones have access to their own patio or rooftop area. If the space gets at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight daily, HGTV recommends planting dwarf, patio or mini roses in pots. These fragrant beauties bring a taste of outdoor luxury to any sunny area. Plants can also be added to the railings of a patio area to make it green and gorgeous. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, succulents are an excellent choice to plant in sunny spaces and require less maintenance. HGTV also has suggestions for shady areas, such as adding a hydrangea.

If your space is limited to a window box, it can still be put to good use. Some people fill their window boxes with an array of colorful flowers. You can also plant strawberries to use in summer salads, yogurt or to make delicious desserts such as pies and pastries. Chilies are also great to plant on a windowsill and add spice to all your favorite dishes. Herbs smell wonderful and can be used for a variety of cooking purposes. If you are going for aesthetics, flowering vines add a dash of drama to your windowsills.

Creative Containers

Urban gardeners don’t have to purchase generic or pricey planters to create a captivating container garden. Tin cans can be painted by your kids and filled with dwarf sunflowers. Galvanized containers look eye-catching when they are placed in groups and filled with plants. Tin cans with holes punched in the bottom make effective planters. Other suggestions for small spaces include hanging planters and raised garden beds.

For those who want to move their garden around, metal cans with casters and wheels help you get the job done with less time and effort. No matter what container and plants you choose, the right potting soil makes a big difference. HGTV offers additional tips about selecting the ideal potting soil. Even into the winter you can have greenery in your limited outdoor space with plants such a pansies, primrose and ornamental cabbage.

To learn more about how to create gorgeous gardens in a limited outdoor space, visit the HGTV website for an array of tips that are sure to make your outdoor areas stand out from the crowd.

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IT’S THE WEEKEND: Grow It – This month’s gardening tips by allotment blogger …

IT’S THE WEEKEND: Grow It – This month’s gardening tips by allotment blogger Sean O’Dobhain

HELPING HAND: To help the squashes set properly, take a male flower on the longer stalk, strip the petals back and dab the male anther full of pollen onto the stigma of the female flower.

HERE’S the latest column from our allotment columnist Sean O’Dobhain, from Cwmbran


LAST month we had some fine weather which really helped the allotment crops grow quickly.

The winter squashes – Butternut ‘Hunter F1’, pumpkin ‘Jack O’Lantern’ and ‘Sweet Dumpling’ – are beginning to wend their way around the beds, their long trailing stems covering ground at a remarkable rate.

The courgettes are prolific as usual, seemingly able to turn into marrows as soon as my back is turned.

Squashes tend to look after themselves, but if too many immature squashes are turning yellow and dropping off the plant, this may indicate that they are not being pollinated.

To help the squashes set properly I often take a male flower (on the longer stalk), strip the petals back and dab the male anther full of pollen onto the stigma of the female flower, which are on a shorter stem with an immature squash below the petals. This can maximize the number of squashes on a vine and can help overcome poor pollination rates due to damp weather or a lack of insects.

The Scarlet Emperor runner beans have sprinted to the top of their canes; likewise their neighbours the climbing French Beans are spiralling their way upward too.

Both are covered in flowers and are producing handfuls of long pods. I’ve already gathered in a harvest of early sown broad beans (they freeze well after blanching); another batch have already been raised in root trainers and planted out in the hope of getting a second crop before the autumn.

While June was the optimum time for planting leeks, it’s not too late to get them set out on the plot this month.

If you haven’t already raised leeks in trays from seed then buy some from a local garden centre or see if any are going spare from an allotment neighbour as most people sow too many.

Gently tease the leek plants out of their tray so their roots are showing; I trim the tops and roots a little with scissors as I find this makes them easier to handle but it isn’t really necessary.

Use a dibber to make a hole 15cm deep and drop the leek into the hole – don’t back-fill, just top up the hole with water as this will wash enough soil over the roots to get the leeks on their way.

Plant 15cm apart and protect with a frame of horticultural fleece or enviromesh as both allium leaf miner and leek moth have become a problem in recent years.

As with the leeks, this is a good time to raise or buy some winter cabbage plants. My favourite late season cabbage is Ormskirk Savoy with its dark, crinkly leaves.

Another contender for a good winter cabbage is the attractive looking ‘January King’, both will tolerate cold and frost. Get the young cabbages planted out now, protect against pests and you could be cutting them from November onward.

Other allotment jobs for July:

• Keep on top of the weeding, especially in dry weather.

• Check brassicas often for pests like white fly and cabbage white caterpillars.

• Sow turnips like ‘Snowball’ this month so they are ready in the late Autumn for winter stews.

• As gaps appear on the plot try a few rows of quick growing carrots like ‘Amsterdam Forcing’ or ‘Early Nantes’ which will be ready by September.

• Pick runner beans frequently as maturing pods will ‘switch off’ the flowering process causing fewer beans to form.

• Keep pinching out side-shoots from cordon tomatoes and feed them with an appropriate tomato fertilizer. Pinch out the growing tip too after six or seven trusses have formed.

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Hefner: Water conservation tips for the lawn and garden

Truckee Meadows Water Authority is asking residents to reduce their outdoor water use by 10 percent. What are some things you can do in your yard to accomplish this?

• Check your irrigation system regularly for breaks, split hoses or missing emitters all through the growing season. Make sure the emitters are still directed towards the intended plants. Make sure your sprinkler heads still are functioning properly and are aimed at your lawn, not the sidewalk or other paved surfaces.

• Check your hoses and hose couplings. Use washers at both ends of the hose to eliminate leaks. Use a spray nozzle at the hose end that provides a shut off. Do not let the hose run continuously while you are washing your car or hand-watering your plants.

• Don’t hose down paved or hard surfaces in your yard. If you must hose down hard surfaces, direct the wash water to your lawn or other plantings.

• If you don’t already have a drip irrigation system for your trees, shrubs, flower beds or vegetables, consider installing one. These systems can be automated with a timer to ensure adequate watering occurs and help prevent over watering.

• Direct your gutter downspouts to the landscaped portions of your yard, not a paved surface. Use what little rainwater we may get to water the plants in your landscape.

• Avoid watering your yard in the heat of the day, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and during windy conditions. Water your yard early in the morning or later in the evening. Water your lawn less often but deeply to encourage deep root growth. Sometimes, evening lawn watering can promote diseases that prefer high humidity. If you’ve had problems in the past, limit your lawn watering to early morning.

• Mow your lawn at the highest setting on your mower, ideally 3 inches or higher. Mowing high encourages deep root growth, which will help your grass tolerate heat and drought. Deep roots will enable your lawn to take up water from deeper in the soil. Mowing high also helps shade out weeds and reduces water losses from evaporation.

• Some people allow their lawns to go dormant in the heat. Lawns can survive on very little water, but when they go dormant, they turn straw colored or light brown. Some neighbors, homeowners associations and other entities don’t like to see brown lawns. But if it comes to making hard choices in your landscape, the trees and shrubs you have growing are a bigger investment than the lawn, so concentrate on watering them.

• Mulch can help reduce water losses from the soil and also reduce weeds. Apply mulch 2 inches to 4 inches thick around plants. Be careful not to pile up mulch around the stems of plants or trunks of trees and shrubs, as this can promote some insect pests and plant diseases.

• If you are designing a new landscape in your yard, this is not our first drought year and it won’t be our last. Your best bet is to design with drought in mind. Limit the turf areas. Group plants by their water needs and consider low-water use plants. Water deeply and less frequently. Install an automated irrigation system. Inspect and maintain your irrigation system regularly.

Melody Hefner is the Urban IPM and Pesticide Safety program assistant for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Have a gardening question? Ask a Master Gardener at

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Garden Care And Planting Tips For Sage Plant

Gardening has always been a favourite hobby for many people. It is always great to have a lovely garden in front of the house. It keeps us happy and cheerful. Gardening is very interesting and with the right gardening tips, it is very easy to maintain a lovely garden.

Vegetable garden is required in almost every house. A garden that will provide the most common herbs and vegetables is almost a necessity at every home. This will provide you with the best naturally produced vegetables and herbs without any chemicals added to it.

Garden Care Tips For Sage Plant

There are various types of sage plants and only a few are used as culinary herbs. They are usually used in salads and also in meat and poultry dishes. There are sages that are used for ornamental purposes also. Gardening sage plant is very simple. With proper gardening tips, you can be sure to get more than a satisfactory result.


There are many types of sage like the purple sage, golden sage and tricolour sage, which can be selected to add accent to the garden. There are various techniques and tips that need to be considered while you are gardening sage plants. The following are a few gardening tips that can be used while planting sage.

A very sunny side of your garden needs to be selected for gardening sage plants. The soil for the sage plant should be well-drained. Watering is very essential for the sage plant till it is established. It should be watered on a daily basis. A good amount of sunlight is required for this sage sapling to grow.

One of the best gardening tips for a sage plant is to grow them from high quality sages that are well-established. It can be grown from seeds also, but a well-established sage is preferred. This should be established indoors for about 6-10 weeks before planting them outside. This will help the plant in establishing itself.

Temperature / Climate
While you are gardening sage plants, care should be taken that it should be during the spring. This should be placed indoors for about 6-10 weeks. After which it should be placed in well-drained soil 1-2 weeks. For best growth, the temperature of the soil should be within 60-70 F.

One of the good gardening tips for sage plants in your garden is to place them near the rosemary, carrots and cabbage. But, they should be far from the cucumbers. This will prevent the sage from perishing quickly. Replacing the older plants from the base by digging them out every 4-5 years will help to get the best quality of sage plants. Pruning the heavier and woody stems every spring will also help.

One of the important things that need to be taken care while you are gardening sage plants is that you need to harvest them on a regular basis. This need not be done during the first year as the plant would only be establishing itself. After this, you will be able to harvest them 4-5 times in a year.

Remember these tips while planting sage and get the best out of your time and effort.

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SLIDESHOW: West Seattle Garden Tour brings beauty and benefits

SLIDESHOW: West Seattle Garden Tour brings beauty and benefits

The 2014 West Seattle Garden tour features ten locations that combine beautiful garden design and outdoor living with community service. The event runs from 9am to 5pm. Tickets are $18 and the ticket book must be presented for entry to each garden.

This year the gardens are:

Curbal Tapestry
Aficionados of Craftsman architecture will appreciate the 100 year old house with the 10 year old addition keeping the old charm and style precisely intact. Slip back into the 21st Century as you step through the purple gate into the shaded, whimsical side yard.

Asian Spirits
Expansive and steep, the beauty of this inspiring hillside belies the vision, energy and tenacity of the gardener who preserved the beautiful big leaf maples and cedars, added native species, removed a hillside of blackberries and built a winding stairway from the house to the street below. It took 10 years.

Cote d’Azur
Inspired by the warm beaches and rugged terrain of the south of France, the 2 diverse gardens of this lovely home were designed to embrace the Mediterranean experience.

A Secret Garden
On a secluded, tree-lined dead-end street is a garden gem representing many years of planning and attention to detail.

Joy in Small Things
This small 1928 cottage setting is a gardener’s jewel.

Serenity in Nature
For 40 years the owners have maintained the integrity of this serene garden. Approximately 60% of the plantings are original to the 1949 design by Oliver Ester, protégé to Fredrick Olmsted.

Natural Inspiration
One of the most popular gardens ever in our 20 year history is back again for those that missed the opportunity.

Small Spaces, Big Moments
Plant connoisseurs will appreciate this century old cottage garden in a secluded neighborhood north of Lincoln Park. A series of outdoor “rooms” flow together, maximizing entertainment and garden space as the homeowners take advantage of several micro climates.

Tranquil Outdoor Retreat
Year round attractiveness is achieved in this Northwest style garden with Asian overtones using plants that are both low-maintenance and easy to obtain.

The Barton Street Community Garden
Abundance! This word defines the Barton Street P-Patch, and a stroll through this garden will reveal why. Get up close and personal as we highlight one of this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour beneficiaries.

The 2014 beneficiaries include:


ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery is a non-profit arts organization located in West Seattle with programs in theater, visual art and education. Our Gallery, which exhibits and sells the work of local artists, is open and free to the public 5 days a week. Our Playhouse presents 5 main stage professional musicals/plays annually, employing local and regional theater talent at a Washington State standard hourly wage. Our Theater Education Program presents 3 musicals/performances annually, one for each segment of our nationally recognized education program. In 2012, ArtsWest was named one of ten National Theatre Company Grantees by the American Theatre Wing (founders of the Tony Awards). This award is given to only 10 emerging regional theaters annually. Next year we celebrate our 16th Anniversary as a cultural and economic driver for the Alaska Junction, and the communities of West Seattle.

Barton Street Community Garden

Neighbors in the West Seattle area noticed an vacant lot on the corner of Barton Ave. SW and 34th Ave SW. This was a prime spot to create open green space! West Seattle had been designated as a priority area for new community garden development, so the neighborhood has been working with the Department of Neighborhoods, the Parks and Green Spaces Levy, and the broader community to make this garden a reality.

Highline Botanical Garden Foundation

The Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden was begun by community volunteers who wanted to create a public garden while at the same time preserving an award-winning English cottage style garden which was designed and planted by Elda Behm, a SeaTac resident living in the shadow of what would become the Third Runway at SeaTac Airport. This all occurred in the closing months of 1999 and the beginning months of 2000 when over 200 volunteers moved all of her plants, trees and shrubs to North SeaTac Park where the Garden has stood for the past 13 years.

Plant Amnesty Urban Forestry Symposium

The Urban Forest Symposium is an annual one-day conference developed by PlantAmnesty and the University of Washington Botanic Garden, held at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle. Each conference has a different focus and reaches audiences from very diverse backgrounds. The 2014 Symposium emphasizes the link between Trees and Climate Change, representing key climate change issues affecting the landscapes and communities of the Puget Sound region.

Seattle Children’s Play Garden

Liz Bullard, Executive Director and the heart and soul of the PlayGarden, has worked with hundreds of children with challenges such as autism, cerebral palsy, and hearing or vision impairments. Watching as these children and and their parents work day by day to help their children succeed. Days filled with appointments, therapies and doctors. A schedule so intense, most adults would buckle under, and at the end of the day, these hard working kids deserve an opportunity to play. Children with special needs don’t have the same choices as typically developing kids. Children with cerebral palsy cannot access play equipment, even if the park itself is accessible. Children with autism don’t heed common dangers in parks that are not fenced. Parents of children with special needs often leave an outing in a park discouraged and exhausted. What can be pure pleasure for most kids can be a nightmare for families with children with special needs. The PlayGarden is a place where children of all abilities can come and play, simply play outdoors with their friends and siblings in spaces that are accommodating, nurturing, and encourage their potential.

West Seattle Bee Garden

You can come anytime, watch our bees fly in and out and read up on all the educational facts about these amazing creatures. Sit down on our benches and take in the wonderful open space of the park. Smell the flowers!

Come visit our bees in West Seattle in the High Point Commons Park at Graham 31st Street SW! The Bee Garden is on the Northwest corner of the High Point Commons Park, located next to the pea patch, playground, little hillside, old trees, basketball court, amphitheater and Neighborhood House.

West Seattle HS PTSA “Steps at Stevens”

The Steps at Stevens project creates a safe pedestrian route and strengthens connections for West Seattle High School and the surrounding community. Stairs, an accessible pathway, and a walkway east to the school building promote walking and bicycling. Landscape, signage and art enhance West Seattle High School entrances. This picturesque “path way” will honor the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted. Steps at Stevens, at 3000 California Avenue SW (and SW Stevens Street), adjacent to Hiawatha Playfield, will improve our community.

West Seattle Tool Library

Combine a book library with a community orchestra, then add chainsaws. The West Seattle Tool Library provides community access to a wide variety of tools, training, and sustainable resources.

Utilizing our diverse collection of over 1,500 tools, our membership has successfully grown entire community orchards, built mini-greenhouses, and even just mowed their own lawn. From basic tasks to brilliant innovations, the projects accomplished by the West Seattle Tool Library’s 780+ members have made all the tools in the collection proud to be working again.

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Teamwork leads to rebirth of Fresno inner-city park

Fresno has another way to improve its parks — take care of what you’ve got.

The city has invested $20,000 in a make-over of the playground at the Willow-Balch pocket park in southeast Fresno.

City Hall and PGE also are joining forces to add more trees at the 1.2-acre park on Balch Avenue, a short walk west of Willow Avenue.

“In this era of tight budgets, it’s important that we add new life to our old parks,” said Council Member Sal Quintero, who represents southeast Fresno. “That way we add new life to our neighborhoods.”

The park, added Parks Director Manuel Mollinedo, “is gleaming.”

The upgrades are simple.

Willow-Balch has a stretch of grass at the west end and a playground at the east end. City workers refurbished a weathered playground structure (the standard climb-slide-jump thingamajig beloved by generations of kids) and added a new one.

New barbecues and benches were installed. Wood chips were spread as ground cover. Youngsters whose reach exceeds their grasp need a forgiving landing zone.

PGE has donated $25,000 to the city to fund the planting of 500 trees throughout the city. City and PGE officials last week planted a young tree at Willow-Balch, a symbol of a few more to come at the park when the weather cools.

Funding for the playground remodel was just as simple. The city’s Public Utilities Department had $20,000 from a state recycling grant. DPU asked parks for ideas. The rest is history.

Using the spiffed-up park is easiest of all. Quintero told his council colleagues on Thursday that neighborhood children don’t want to leave at day’s end.

Fresno is often thrashed for its dismal inventory of green space.

This year’s budget includes funds for three new parks — Martin Ray Reilly in southeast, Universally Accessible west of Highway 99 and a small park in the Cultural Arts District.

But in a spending decision dear to City Manager Bruce Rudd’s heart, the budget also includes $1 million for improvements to Holmes Playground, a popular but time-worn park on First Street between Tulare Street and Ventura Avenue near downtown. Rudd vows to refurbish Fresno’s older parks as dollars are found.

Willow-Balch’s rebirth reflects the logic for this commitment.

Debbie Der Torosian is manager of Stoney Brook Apartments across the street from Willow-Balch. She said the complex has nearly 400 units and about 1,500 residents, most of them kids.

There are other places like Stoney Brook near Willow-Balch.

“Southeast has challenges,” said Der Torosian, who also is active in Neighborhood Watch.

Willow-Balch helps answer some of those challenges. Der Torosian said adults play soccer. Others spread blankets on the grass for picnics. The young ones head to the playground.

That’s just in the evenings, Der Torosian said. Birthday parties, cook-outs, visits — Willow-Balch hosts them all throughout the week.

Der Torosian always circles back to the youngsters: “For them to go down there and have fun — that’s cool.”

The public policy in all this, says Parks Department grant-writer Irma Yepez-Perez, is an increasingly vibrant Fresno.

“We’re doing it one small park at a time.”

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6272 or or @GeorgeHostetter on Twitter.

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Brave new gardening ideas for brave new climates

Ripping out the front lawn and its bordering rhododendrons and replacing them with a landscape of native grasses, groundcovers, succulents and rocks once seemed an unfathomable act of defiance. No longer.

As many parts of the United States grapple with drought and rising water bills, “The thought of an English garden in the Central Valley of California is sheer madness. It wasn’t meant to be, and it’s sucking up precious groundwater we need for agriculture,” said Ann Savageau, a design professor at the University of California at Davis, who recently traded in her lush green lawns for a desert look.

Instead of scoffing, neighbors stopped to ask her landscaper for his business card. Other California towns, including Sacramento and Menlo Park, have begun offering rebates to homeowners who remove their lawns.

Gardeners nationwide are feeling the effects of climate change. In the East, and other areas where heavy downpours have become more intense, a sustainable garden might include native grasses and other plants that do well in heavy rain and the dry weather that can follow.

“Awareness is changing in a way that is here to stay,” said Brian Sullivan, a vice president for landscapes at The New York Botanical Garden. “Yard by yard, region by region, the overall environmental impact of this trend, which I think is very positive, is substantial.”

Mowing and watering a traditional lawn requires a lot of time, money, water and fertilizers. Increasingly, many home gardeners want to focus instead on edible gardens, and rethink the rest of their landscaping in a more environmentally sustainable and low-maintenance way.

It’s sometimes hard to know where to begin, however, and few people have the funds or time to tackle a total garden makeover all at once.

Some strategies:


“Transitions should be made at your own pace and you do these things in small steps,” Sullivan said. “Lawn has utility. We play on it, sing on it and look at it. You can still enjoy your lawn, but cut it down by a third or half, or go with groundcovers you can walk on. They’re not the same, but it’s about shifting expectations.”

Susan Middlefield, horticulture editor for the Vermont-based National Gardening Association, said “less lawn means you’re putting less carbon into the atmosphere. Lawns are fertilizer hogs, and a lot of fertilizer also contributes to oxygen depletion in local waterways.”

Savageau retained a small circle of lush lawn about 12 feet across for her grandson to play on. It’s surrounded by agave and desert grasses.


When taking your yard in a new direction, experts say, the first step is to know your site. Do you have a slope? Is it shady or sunny?

Plants on the top of an incline will be drier and plants at the bottom will be wetter. But when the water dries up, the plants at the bottom need to be fine when it’s dry, too.


Many arboretums, botanical gardens, native plant societies and local extension services offer brochures, online help, and classes on suitable plants and landscapes for various climates and regions. Many also maintain native plant gardens to inspire home gardeners, and some communities offer incentives to homeowners making the shift toward more sustainable yards.

Melanie Sifton, vice president of horticulture and facilities at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, in New York City, suggests that homeowners start with, an interdisciplinary effort toward sustainable gardens led by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas in Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden.


Rain gardens are “a great idea for any part of the country. … You take out a small area of lawn and make a depression into which you direct the rainwater coming off your roof. Instead of rainwater running down the driveway and overwhelming sewers, it goes into an area planted with occasionally heavy downpours in mind,” explained Middlefield.

In Vermont, she said, rain gardens often include summersweet, inkberry, shrubby dogwoods and purple coneflower.

“When there’s a big thunderstorm, you know all that water will be going somewhere useful,” she said.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s new rain gardens, planted with varieties of blue star, switch grass and black gum trees, have been successful and provide stunning fall color, Sifton said.


“In areas with sufficient water, I’m not anti-lawn,” Sifton said. “Just be aware of water use, use organic fertilizers and aerate the soil a lot.”

Sustainable lawn varieties being used successfully in New York City include tall fescues mixed with Kentucky bluegrass, she said.


“Composting yard waste and putting out a bucket for rainwater are huge in their environmental impact, and are both very easy ways to start gardening more sustainably,” Sifton added.

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‘Treehouse’ offers a view of the future


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How some Omahans recreate history — in their gardens – Omaha World

Gardens grow from history Tracking down heirloom plants is just one of many challenges in replicating the look of a historical garden By Carol Bicak  World-Herald staff writer

Gardens grow from history Tracking down heirloom plants is just one of many challenges in replicating the look of a historical garden By Carol Bicak • World-Herald staff writer

A look at some of the historic gardens, including the one at the Crook House at Fort Omaha, and how they were created or restored.

Gardens grow from history Tracking down heirloom plants is just one of many challenges in replicating the look of a historical garden By Carol Bicak  World-Herald staff writer

Gardens grow from history Tracking down heirloom plants is just one of many challenges in replicating the look of a historical garden By Carol Bicak • World-Herald staff writer

A look at some of the historic gardens, including the one at the Crook House at Fort Omaha, and how they were created or restored.

Gardens grow from history Tracking down heirloom plants is just one of many challenges in replicating the look of a historical garden By Carol Bicak  World-Herald staff writer

Gardens grow from history Tracking down heirloom plants is just one of many challenges in replicating the look of a historical garden By Carol Bicak • World-Herald staff writer

A look at some of the historic gardens, including the one at the Crook House at Fort Omaha, and how they were created or restored.


Here’s some general information to get you started:

Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014 1:00 am

How some Omahans recreate history — in their gardens

By Carol Bicak / World-Herald staff writer

The Omaha World-Herald

Look out the window of what was Mary Crook’s second-floor bedroom and you’ll see four garden plots that have been precisely designed with plants and flowers in vivid colors.

The plots, called carpet gardens — beds of annuals designed to replicate the designs on Oriental rugs when seen from above — are one part of the re-created historical gardens at the General Crook House on the Fort Omaha campus of Metropolitan Community College.

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      Lush landscaping spotlighted with Rocky River ‘Bright Spot’ awards (photo gallery)

      ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Residents who spend extra effort on the landscaping around their homes were recognized recently with the Rocky River Beautification Committee’s “Bright Spot” awards.

      The focus is on gardens, interesting design and outstanding maintenance that makes the whole city look better. The awards, handed out annually, are based on front yards, but many of the winners have gone above and beyond with plantings and features throughout their property.

      This year’s program was limited to single-family homes and one community spot, the entrance to West River Estates, along Spencer Road. It was planted and cared for by Claire and Gary Pildner, coordinated by Tracy Quaiser and supported by John and Maria Patsue, along with residents along Sunnyhill Drive.

      The residential winners were:

      19543 Battersea Blvd., Julie and Merrick Murphy
      19523 Beach Cliff Blvd., Gina and Jess Wiedemer
      20756 Beach Cliff Blvd., Barbara and Ralph Daugstrup
      2740 Carmen Drive, Sanie Arifi
      3769 Delmar Drive, Colleen and John Brezine
      2731 Devon Hill Road, Jan Gilbert
      3727 Kings Mill Run, Judy and Jeff Corbacho
      2801 Kingsbury Drive, Mary Boutton and Mike Pavlak
      22135 Lake Road, Thomas Savoca
      1938 Lakeview Ave., Louise and Kathy Yarcusko
      2618 Lakeview Ave., Terri and Larry Hrovat
      19989 Laverne Ave., Mike Betts
      944 Morewood Pkwy., Denise and Kevin Cukrowicz
      1819 Northview Road, Sue and Rick Pease
      1555 Rockland Road, Heather and Mark Romanin
      19731 Roslyn Drive, Pat Patterson
      1719 Southbend Drive, Lisa and Warren George
      22320 Sunnyhill Drive, Debra and David Pierce
      2716 Tonawanda Drive., Kathy and Ed Shaffer
      2346 Valley View Drive, Debbie and Doug Clark
      1775 Wagar Road, Marge and Craig Barner
      19340 Westover Ave., Helen and Larry Dumski
      Kathryn and Scott Rieg

      The Rocky River Beautification Committee supports projects and activities that encourage residents to get involved in improving the city’s appearance. It uses fundraisers such as the Light Up River program, featuring holiday luminarias, to fund beautification projects.

      More information about the committee is available by clicking here. To see pictures of all of this year’s winners, click here

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