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Archives for September 6, 2014

Ty Pennington In Town For Downtown Raleigh Home Show



RALEIGH (July 2014) – The new Downtown Raleigh Home Show takes over the Raleigh Convention Center for three days jam packed with home improvement ideas, inspiration and innovation products. Not sure where to begin? Here are the top 10, not-to-missed features at the show:

1.     Ty Pennington in the House. One of the most famous faces in home improvement Ty Pennington will share design tips for improvement and secrets from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Trading Spaces and his new show On the Menu. Ty appears on Saturday, September 6.

2.     Bath Crasher’s Matt Muenster. The bath remains one of the top home remodels, and the Raleigh Home Show is bringing in one of the top bath experts to provide top tips for renovation and bath home improvement. Matt Muenster from DIY Network’s Bath Crashers and BATHtastic! Series appears daily at the show.

3.     Chris “The DIY Guy” Tice. Guests can also take home great DIY ideas from ‘The DIY Guy” Chris Tice. Chris will demo projects daily that include wine bottles repurposed as a chandelier, portable AC unit made from a simple cooler and much more.

4.     Tiny Houses. Could you live in 150-square-feet? The show features a spotlight the increasingly popular tiny house movement. Check out the tiny house display from Tiny House by Wishbone, and hear Laura LaVoie, author of 120 Ideas for Tiny Living speak about her downsizing experience on the Main Stage.

5.     Outdoor Living Dream Lounge. Put yourself inside the ultimate al fresco oasis with the Outdoor Living Dream Lounge created by Luxury Living Scapes, Inc.  Guests can take a break in the outdoor oasis featuring a cabana, outdoor kitchen and fireplace built right inside the convention center.

6.     Hero Day. The Downtown Raleigh Home show is saluting the heroes in our community who keep our homes safe with Hero Day on Friday. Active duty or Retired Military and First Responders in uniform or with valid ID will receive complimentary admission on Friday.

7.     Main Stage Presentations. The Main Stage at the show features daily presentations on remodeling, home improvement, DIY, gardening, landscaping, home decor and design.

8.     Best Deals In Town. The show has curated the top home improvement experts in each category, and most of them are offering guests the best deals in the market with show only specials.  Guests can shop, compare and save all under one roof.

9.     Buy Online and Save. Everyone’s looking to save some green – show guests who buy their tickets online prior to the show save $3 off regular admission – and get to bypass the lines at the show. Go to

Triangle Gardener. Wondering what you should be doing in your garden for the fall season? Trying to turn your brown thumb green? Get easy, practical garden tips and advice from The Triangle Gardener Beverly Hurley. Beverly appears on the Main Stage Daily.

Show hours are Friday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-9 a.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets are $7 in advance online, $10 at the door for adults and free for children under 12. Advance discounted tickets and more information are available at

About MarketPlace Events

Marketplace Events creates vibrant expositions connecting enthusiasts with experts, products and services in dynamic face-to-face environments.  The company produces 39 consumer shows in the home and garden category (28 in the US and 11 in Canada) as well as the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo), a new trade and consumer show for the motorcycle industry.  AIMExpo is the first event to be produced by the company’s new Trade Show Division.  The 40 combined events attract 15,000 exhibitors, 1.5 million attendees and another 1.7 million unique web visitors annually. From 14 offices, the 110-person staff produces some of the most successful and longest-running shows in North America, including market-leading home shows in Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Orlando–some of which have thrived in their markets for more than 75 years.

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Minecraft PS4 and Xbox One Review

September 5, 2014

Minecraft has become a phenomenon over the past five years, and now the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are some of the best places to play it. Though it may look primitive at a glance, your options in this virtual sandbox world are limited only by your imagination.

Cobbling together a first home out of dirt and stone feels great; building a castle with a moat, a dining hall, and a working underground rail system feels even greater. That sense of creative progression, coupled with the inherent danger of exploring underground caverns full of monsters, makes Minecraft exciting, rewarding, tense, and one of gaming’s most expressive creative outlets.


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Minecraft’s randomly generated worlds are composed of these big blocky cubes of dirt, stone, sand, and dozens of other materials. The blocks are colorful, distinct, and memorable thanks to simple but charming textures. What makes them great is how they enable creativity. Piece by piece you’ll rearrange and refine the pristine, primordial world into whatever you want. It could be a mountainside home, a huge tree house, a skyscraper, or any other creation you can envision. This is a power we rarely see in games, and the freedom it offers is, at first, daunting.

In Survival mode, each block must be chipped at and collected by hand from an open world. What initially feels like a tedious task becomes the basis for Minecraft’s rewarding core gameplay. I had to gather, transport, and place each piece of my home myself, so it was impossible not to feel a fierce sense of pride and ownership over it and all my other creations, big and small.

When the sun goes down, Minecraft’s bad guys come for you. They are scary and dangerous… for maybe an hour. Once you obtain the simple items needed to ward them off, they become almost completely non-threatening. This feels immediately disappointing. Why have enemies at all if they become laughable in no time?

But later, as my ambitions for building outgrew my resources on hand, my quest for new materials drove me deeper underground. Down there I realized those same enemies that are easy to defeat on the surface felt far more challenging to fight in the confines of a rocky corridor where they could ambush me. The amount of danger I was in was tied to how far from my base I roamed.

Losing everything I carried to a Creeper who got the drop on me was a heartbreaking lesson, but the excitement of exploring new places and the risk it entails provided a constant tension. All the while, gathering new blocks and items sent my mind reeling with more ideas for landscaping and home decoration.


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PORTAGE PRIDE COLUMN: Main street started as Portage’s main street

Mark your calendars. Portage PRIDE is having a meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at AmericanWay University, 602 East Albert St., Suite 1, Portage, for a Community Chat. Find out what has been happening and what’s ahead for Portage PRIDE’s future. Everyone is welcome.

I have always wondered why Main Street wasn’t the main street in Portage instead of Cook Street and why it is only two blocks long. Well, it was Portage’s main street in the 1800s

Richard Freeman Veeder, “Uncle Dick,” built a hotel in 1850 at the end of Main Street and the Canal that is East Edgewater Street todau. The hotel would’ve been between Adams Street and the old Brittingham and Hixon property. This hotel burned, but Veeder built a second hotel in 1860.

““Uncle Dick” always resented the idea that he kept a hotel. “Tavern” was the correct term in his estimation. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a tavern was a lodging house that served beverages with meals not as a main offering.

The register book from The Veeder House is now at The Surgeon’s Quarters. “Uncle Dick” had the pages ruled in columns for date, name of guest, room number, residences, destination and number of horses as they needed to be stabled and fed.

Market Square was part of this property. Veeder had always left this property vacant. “Uncle Dick” died before his wife, Winopher “Aunt Dick,” on Jan. 19 ,1879. After her death on May 27, 1897, Richard Jr. made a gift of the square to the city with the stipulation it be used as a park.

The property at that time was a wood lot or market where farmers sold cord wood, produce and grain.

On May 13, 1915, the city decided to pursue the development of a park as stipulated for the gifted land by holding a concert. This concert was held in the Opera House. This building still exists but is now empty. At one time it was occupied by Montgomery Ward then Rhymes Pharmacy.

Tickets were sold for 50 cents each to hear the famous and popular Portage Band. Among other performers was Zona Gale, who gave a reading of an unpublished story of “Friendship Village.”

Proceeds from the concert were used to purchase seats and park equipment. The park also was to provide a place for farmers to market their goods as well as make it attractive for downtown shoppers.

In the center of the park stood a bandstand covered by flowers and vines planted by citizens. The seats were placed throughout the park to form an amphitheater. Along Adams Street there was a 100-foot row of hitching posts for farmers to hitch their teams, and along Main Street across to Adams Street was a baseball diamond and public playground.

In August 1815 the city’s children helped by weeding and cutting the grass. For their work they they received a lunch of a sandwich, lemonade and cookies. Even for a while after becoming a park it was maintained by children in the city using their parents’ lawn mowers.

I find it interesting how history really does repeat itself. One of the ladies groups stated they were soliciting funds for the park for “you and yours and a more beautiful and congenial town.” The band also stated that its donated time and talent for the good of the park and town meant “more comfort for the stranger as well as yourself.” Here we are 100 years later and beautifying Portage is a the same goal of Portage PRIDE.

Landscaping, park design and layout was done by landscape artist. J.L. Noble of North Star Nursery in Pardeeville.

“You have one of the most beautiful cities in the country. You have many beauties as nature made them all and all they need is a little trimming up,” Noble said in an article in the Register-Democrat. “Why, that river drive along Edgewater Place and the Wisconsin River bridge park extending to the waterworks pumping station (now Pauquette Park) along Prospect Point (now Sunset Park) is one of the most beautiful natural drives and walks in the United States and it is too bad not to take advantage of the natural beauties here.”

Thank you to Dorothy McCarthy and Ina Curtis for the copy of July 30, 1897, Portage Weekly Democrat and for their assistance. Thank you also to all the Portage PRIDE being shown throughout Portage. I hope in another 100 years others will see what we as a community have accomplished.

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Home of the Week: A West Asheville oasis of green – Asheville Citizen

A tiny backyard of a house neighbors thought was gone for good has blossomed into a place where bees buzz between shoulder-high flowers and fish splash in a pond.

Linda Patterson, with her masterful green thumbs, has managed to pack a lot of garden in the small backyard she shares with Michelle Marshall. They live in the West Asheville Estates area, which makes Marshall laugh. There are certainly no estates in the neighborhood, she said. But the grounds of their house on the corner certainly are grand.

They’re part of the West Asheville Garden Stroll on Sept. 13 (see box on Page D4).

The stroll features a dozen gardens along Brevard Road and surrounding neighborhoods. Garden features will include a pollinator corridor, set-ups for chickens and bees, heirloom vegetables, a Monarch butterfly way station, experimental blight resistant chestnuts and garden art.

Honoring the theme of this year’s event, “Celebrating Pollinators,” Asheville-based Bee City USA will provide an exhibit on creating sustainable habitats for pollinators at the 10:30 a.m. event kickoff at Francine Delany school. Homemade bee homes for non-hiving bees will also be on exhibit.

Linda and Michelle have lived here almost a decade, in a 1920s house brought back from the dead by a skilled renovator, much to the relief of the neighbors, who had seen it go down for years. The house and the small house beside it that they also bought were wonderful, but there wasn’t much to the yard, other than weeds, grass and mud.

“Every time it rained, we had a nice red river going,” Linda said.

Having sold her landscaping business in Massachusetts, she got to work on a plot about 180 square feet. She created areas in the fenced backyard for sitting and strolling and linked them with pathways made of river rock edged with tumbled cobblestone. Sedum and thyme are filling the gaps between stone pavers.

“In the spring, the thyme flowers beautifully,” Michelle said.

In the center of the backyard is a pergola with a climbing vine and wicker furniture. Little lights in the shape of parrots add a mischievous note. Linda and Michelle will sometimes have breakfast out here, if not on the deck off the kitchen that overlooks the garden. The small second house, which they rent out, also has a prime overhead view of the space.

Coffee in the morning tastes all the sweeter when accompanied by the sound of moving water. Linda installed a 275-gallon pond liner, then surrounded it with stacked stone out of which a waterfall tumbles.

Beside the pergola is a “room” surrounded by tall zinnias that contains a steel fire pit set on a bed of river stone. Adirondack chairs make for pleasant fireside reverie. This is the sunniest part of the garden, so Linda planted many of the vegetables here.

She and Michelle grow nearly all the kale, peppers and other vegetables they eat, many growing among the flowers and dwarf dogwoods and elms. “We’ve found that, in the South, dwarfs don’t really stay dwarfs,” Michelle said, noting the trees are growing taller than anticipated.

Many more vegetables, from seeds by Sow True Seed in Asheville, grow in the raised 4- by 8-foot beds Linda built beside the rental house and buffered from the street by a tall stand of black-eyed Susans and a trellis of cucumbers. A hoop house amid the mulched space keeps things growing into the cold season.

Under a small maple about shoulder high, there is a tiny fairy garden floored in moss. It’s near the back of the garden, which basks in the shade of two massive silver maple and walnut trees. A friend who does yoga likes to meditate back here, near two deep chairs carved with the words “Dream” and “Relax.”

Back here is one of the three large tanks that Linda installed to collect rainwater. When filled, they hold a combined 760 gallons.

The garden is framed by the bamboo walls that hedge it in, walls with large empty spaces so Linda and Michelle and their neighbors can admire each others’ views. A neighbor’s hives keep the gardens pollinated.

As any gardener will tell you, this has been a busy season for Linda and Michelle, even with the tomatoes giving out toward the end of August.

They’ve been tending and watering and picking and canning and freezing like crazy.

“This winter, we’ll be so happy to have it,” Michelle said. “Gardens are a process.”

“You’re never done,” Linda added. “But for being in the middle of the city, at least we can come back here and hide.”


The Citizen-Times is beginning to line up Home of the Week features for the fall and holidays. If you decorate your home or property for autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, winter solstice or other fall and winter holidays, send a description of your decorations and a contact telephone number to Bruce Steele at


What: West Asheville Garden Stroll.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 13.

Where: West Asheville, with a kickoff ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 13 at Francine Delany New School for Children, 119 Brevard Road.

Cost: Free. Learn more online at


To nominate your house or that of a friend for this feature, contact Bruce Steele at Include your telephone number and a telephone number for the homeowner, if not you.

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Edible elements provide whimsy in the garden

Plants that do double duty in a landscape are always a bonus. So attractive, low-maintenance plants that also produce edible fruit are a welcome addition.

Vegetables and traditional berries can certainly be mixed into flower beds, and fruit trees can be used for shade, but they take some attention to keep them attractive and bearing well.

I’d like to share a few of my favorite, edible landscape varieties that require almost no attention to do their best. Most of these are shrubs, so they don’t take up large amounts of room, and most have attractive flowers as well as edible fruit.

Currants have to be at the top of any edible landscape list. There are many types, but try Crandall clove currant, native to the central United States. This shrub grows 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, has pretty, fragrant yellow flowers in spring, deep red fall color and masses of tasty, black berries in summer. A relative, Gwen’s buffalo currant is a variety of our native golden currant and is similar but has less abundant fruit many years. Both varieties are drought tolerant and tough.

Nanking cherry is another perfect plant for edible landscaping. It grows 6 to 8 feet tall and wide, has light pink flowers in spring and fruit that tastes just like pie cherries, but slightly smaller. Adapted to our soil and climate, Nanking cherries are available with the typical red fruit or white fruit that is said to be less favored by birds.

Goji berries are among the hot food trends now and are truly a superfruit. They are hardy and easy to grow here. Goji have been cultivated in China for years and are native to that area but are closely related to a southern Colorado native. Here, goji grows into a sprawling 4- to 6-foot-tall plant, blooms in early summer and produces bright red berries from summer into fall. The berries sweeten as they ripen.

While rose hips might not be a fruit you typically eat, large rose hips taste good, make a flavorful tea and are very high in vitamin C. Try the variety Hansa for its delightfully fragrant, large pink flowers through the summer and its extra-large orange hips in fall. I enjoy nibbling them straight from the rosebush, avoiding the large seeds in the middle.

Alpine strawberries are a special treat available only if you grow them yourself. European alpine strawberries and our native woodland strawberries have been confused in the trade, but look for plants that don’t produce runners for the true alpine berries. This variety blooms and fruits throughout the summer, producing the most delectable, intensely flavored, small berries imaginable. Woodland strawberries are easy to grow but spread aggressively by runners in garden conditions and don’t bear as well.

While none of these plants might produce the large, quality fruit one would realistically call a harvest, having edible plants in your yard that you and your family can browse as you stroll your yard adds another fun dimension to your landscape.

Sherry Fuller is a horticulturist with the Gardens on Spring Creek. Contact her at

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Chamber supports future hospice home

RANDOLPH | The Randolph Chamber of Commerce recently donated more than $1,250 to the Beaver Dam Community Hospitals Foundation in support of its vision of a bringing a future hospice home to the region.

The Randolph Chamber raised these funds through the generosity of seven individuals who shared their artistic creativity through their landscaping and flower gardens on Saturday, July 12, during the chamber’s biannual garden walk. The day was a great success.

The Beaver Dam Community Hospitals Foundation has been raising funds for the future hospice home and appreciates the support of the Randolph Chamber. Lisa White, director of Hillside Hospice and member of the Randolph Chamber, shared her appreciation.

“Every donation gets us closer to a much-needed Hospice Home for the community,” said White. “The garden tour was a success in raising money, and in a way connects to the values of hospice.

Each garden its own unique and individual display – just as each life we have the privilege of caring for.”

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GetAbout Columbia to offer gardening tips on free walking tour

COLUMBIA — GetAbout Columbia, in collaboration with the Community Garden Coalition and Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, will host a garden-walking tour on Monday evening.

The free tour will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom, 500 W. Green Meadows Road. It will include the CBS/Newman Interfaith Garden, Rock Bridge Christian Church Garden, and Stormy’s Meadow, a native wildflower and stormwater education site.

“These gardens were chosen for their participation with the Community Garden Coalition as well as their close proximity,” said Janet Godon, Columbia Parks and Recreation Department outreach coordinator. “We often do these tours as cycling tours where the gardens can be 3 miles apart. We decided to go for a walking tour so that people could come out after work and go for a nice walk.” 

The tour’s purpose is to “bring more awareness to the community garden program so that people know where their produce is going and how the community garden program works,” Godon said.

The tour will feature guest speakers who will “focus on how these gardens foster community and help feed the hungry as well as (discuss) gardening tips and volunteer opportunities,” according to the Community Garden Coalition’s website.

Mike Heimos, stormwater educator for Columbia, will be at Stormy’s Meadow with a demonstration garden to help explain solar water-pump use and installation.

“We are trying to educate people about conserving water and reusing rainwater as a resource,” Heimos said. “It makes people think about water usage and how we treat water overall.”

Goals of the tour are to illustrate how different organizations help with community food production and to give unique tips to novice gardeners, Godon said.

“It’s just a great opportunity for individuals who have a passion for gardening and walking to join those passions and learn about a great organization in the community,” Godon said.

Additional questions can be directed to Godon at 874-7460 or

 Supervising editor is Caroline Bauman.

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Share Gardening Tips On New Local Website

Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 8:00 am

Share Gardening Tips On New Local Website

Journal Topics Reporter

Journal Topics Newspapers

Not only do residents of Rolling Meadows have a new community garden to work with, but now they have a new community garden website where they can share gardening tips and learn how to participate.

The website address is The garden, launched in June, is located on the southwest side of Kimball Hill pond behind Rolling Meadows Shopping Center on Kirchoff Road. Ald. Rob Banger (5th) started the garden after winning approval from the city council.

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      Friday, September 5, 2014 8:00 am.

      | Tags:


      Community Garden,

      Rob Banger,

      Bailey Banger

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      This week’s gardening tips: veggies to plant now, watch out for brittle pecan … – The Times-Picayune

      include: transplants or seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, English and snow peas, Irish potatoes (plant small, whole potatoes saved from the spring crop), kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onion, shallots (plant small bulbs) and Swiss chard. Plant seeds of snap beans, beets, carrots, radish, rutabagas and turnips. It’s kind of late,…

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      On March 6, 2012, East St. John High School student Michael Chenier worked with a rake in a garden at the school in Reserve. The LSU AgCenter and Bayou Land Resource, Conservation and Development Council worked with the St. John the Baptist Parish school system to teach gardening to students at East St. John High School, Emily C. Watkins Elementary School and East St. John Elementary School. Raised-bed gardens have been constructed at each school, and students are using the Junior Master Gardener curriculum to maintain them. Among the vegetables being planted in the gardens are tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, leaf lettuce and cabbage. The garden construction and planting is being funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture administered through Bayouland.


      Vegetables to plant in September include: transplants or seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, English and snow peas, Irish potatoes (plant small, whole potatoes saved from the spring crop), kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onion, shallots (plant small bulbs) and Swiss chard. Plant seeds of snap beans, beets, carrots, radish, rutabagas and turnips. It’s kind of late, but plant tomato transplants this weekend if you haven’t already.

      Herbs to plant in September include: transplants of basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, lavender, Mexican tarragon and mints. Plant seeds or transplants of dill, parsley, fennel, cilantro, arugula, borage, chamomile and chervil.

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      Garden tip: Be heartless to help green tomatoes ripen now

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