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Archives for September 24, 2014

Ansonia considers $20M organic recycling facility

ANSONIA A proposal to build a $20.5 million organic recycling and anaerobic digestion facility here, where food waste is turned into green energy, will be the subject of a public informational meeting Thursday.

Greenpoint Energy Partners, based in Brooklyn, New York, along with city officials, will host the meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The company first unveiled its proposal in January 2013 to build “the largest single-source municipal scale anaerobic digestion project in the country,” on city-owned land at 72 N. Division St., adjacent to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

According to company officials, up to 50,000 tons of pre-processed food waste from around the area would be collected annually, and decomposed at the plant in a huge, air-tight vessel. The methane gases released from the waste would be captured and used to create energy for the city to use. Officials said up to two megawatts per hour, more than enough to power the entire City of Ansonia, would be created, while the residual waste would be used to produce organic compost, and sold commercially to landscaping and horticultural enterprises.

Greenpoint Energy Partners’ representative Tom Brayman told the city back in January 2013 that the proposal is “meshed with a state initiative to reduce food waste and create energy from food waste.” The goal is to eliminate such waste from going into landfills.

Brayman had said the energy-producing process has been used in Europe “for over 40 years,” and stressed the facility “is not an incineration plant.”

State Rep. Linda Gentile, D-Ansonia/Derby, had said during the initial forum the facility would increase Ansonia’s Grand List, and generate income. She said state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials were “very excited” about the project.

Thursday’s meeting will include an introduction of the proposal by company officials, the layout and purpose of the facility, safety features and benefits associated with the facility, followed by a question and answer session.

Corporation Counsel John Marini said Tuesday that city officials are looking forward to hearing more about the project.

“Mayor Cassetti continues to perform his due diligence on this green technology project,” Marini said. “He is eager to hear from both the residents and developers at the upcoming information session and will be listening closely to what each has to say.”

Greenpoint officials need to acquire various state and local permits, including from DEEP, the Connecticut Siting Council, FEMA and Army Corps of Engineers, before the project can be built. Last September, the state’s Clean Energy Finance Investment Authority approved a loan for the project up to $4.5 million.

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Deep Ellum’s Next Boom

Sometimes simple ideas are the best ones. It’s not a path that Dallas often follows. But there are some developers who are beginning to see that maybe the best way to make Dallas a great city is by tweaking what we already have. That’s why it was encouraging—a relief, honestly—to see what developer Scott Rohrman has in the works in Deep Ellum. His company, 42 Real Estate, has bought up 27 buildings and 13 parking lots in the area, and now it has unveiled plans that will transform the look and feel of Deep Ellum not by building something new, but by stripping parts of it away.

deep_ellum_real_estate_Alley_Interior42 Real Estate’s plan for Deep Ellum uses 65,000 square feet of commercial space and adds a pedestrian alley between Elm and Main streets. The alley (through a former radiator factory) will enable better foot traffic.
Courtesy of 42 Real Estate

The 42 Real Estate plan is huge. It incorporates 65,000 square feet of commercial space and 25,000 square feet of improved surface lots located along Elm, Main, and Commerce streets between Good-Latimer Expressway and Crowdus Street. The most dramatic improvement is the addition of a pedestrian alley that will carve a path between Elm and Main streets, through a former radiator factory. Lined with eateries and sheltered by a roof with skylights, the alley will shorten Deep Ellum’s too-long block lengths and allow for better circulation of foot traffic. Similarly, an open-air corner will be carved out of an existing storefront on Main at Pryor Street, allowing for outdoor seating at a planned restaurant, as well as improving visibility to help smooth the pedestrian connection between Main and Commerce. 

Other aspects of the plan address Deep Ellum’s present-day design quirks. Some storefronts are set back awkwardly from Main, cut off by a thin parking lot. 42 Real Estate will transform that area into a public plaza, with outdoor seating and improved landscaping, creating an entryway to the neighborhood, while reconnecting the storefronts to the street. There is also a design for an urban courtyard that will take over a portion of a parking lot that creates a gap between the storefronts. 

Courtesy of 42 Real Estate

Unlike a 2007 plan for Deep Ellum that never came to fruition (thankfully), Rohrman’s plan doesn’t call for razing buildings and putting up new apartments. Instead it will restore and repurpose the area’s simple and elegant 100-year-old brick storefronts into spaces for retail, restaurants, and other services. Promoting mixed uses is key. It will help stir activity throughout the day and ensure that Deep Ellum becomes an actual neighborhood and not merely an entertainment district. Design is key, too. The 42 Real Estate plan lays out rigid restrictions—from signage types to storefront materials to vegetation—that will ensure a coherent look and feel, as well as consistent quality. Rohrman’s plans might go a little overboard on the architectural bling—awnings and porches—that lend the vision presented in the renderings a kind of sterilized, overly precious aesthetic. But these are acceptable trade-offs for a plan that respects the history and architecture of a neighborhood that might have its best days ahead of it. 

deep_ellum_real_estate_Atwell_GardenThe plan also allows for outdoor seating at a planned restaurant at Main and Pryor streets.
Courtesy of 42 Real Estate

Perhaps the most striking thing about the plan is that it reflects an understanding of what has driven the popularity of places like Klyde Warren Park and the Bishop Arts District. People in Dallas are starved for urban destinations, places where you can go and walk around, window shop, maybe grab a bite to eat. Most important, they want places where you can go and just enjoy feeling like you are out in the city without having to buy anything. To that end, Rohrman and company are building a Deep Ellum that puts the pedestrian first, instead of designing a place just intended to funnel customers into businesses. That subtle distinction—designing for people and not for consumers—is what sets these plans apart. Ironically, it is also what will likely help make the new Deep Ellum a tremendous business success.

In This Article

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St. Clair Brown Winery brings diverse offerings to Napa Valley

Napa Valley hosts more than 500 wineries, but one is distinct: St. Clair Brown Winery is a producing winery in downtown Napa, has a garden tasting room and café, is about to open a brewery – and plans to add a full restaurant.

The reason is simple. It’s within the city limits of Napa, where restrictions on restaurants at wineries don’t apply.

The only other wineries with restaurants are Etoile at Domaine Carneros, grandfathered in long ago and the Farmer the Fox at Cairdean, which also exploits an old permit for its commercial zoning.

Of course, V. Sattui has a deli as it’s also on commercially zoned land, and Charles Krug is in St. Helena.

Two resorts planned — the Auberge development at Stanley Lane in Napa and the still unnamed replacement for the Silver Rose in Calistoga — will also have restaurants and wineries as well as lodging.

But even without that distinction, St. Clair Brown is an interesting operation.

Founded by winemaker Elaine St. Clair and winery marketing executive Laina Brown, the winery clearly aims at locals with its focus on food and wine from local sources; but ironically, its modest café is rated the best of 247 restaurants in Napa by Trip Advisor (Cole’s is No. 2, closed Carpe Diem third).

A slow start

Elaine St. Clair has an unusual background for a winemaker. She studied wine and beermaking at U.C. Davis, then joined Domaine Chandon’s winemaking team, but also co-founded and made beer for Napa Ale Works for 10 years, selling it in 1998. She then joined Taittinger’s Domaine Carneros to create its pinot noir program, then became winemaker at Black Station Winery as winemaker in 2008. She met Laina Brown at Domaine Carneros.

Brown had started her career in the fashion business, then moved to wine when she settled in Napa. She worked at a distributor/importer, then was as an early employee of She joined Domaine Carneros as director of marketing and hospitality in 2000, then was founding president of Black Stallion Winery on Silverado Trail, which opened in 2007.

As St. Clair and Brown worked together, they realized they had a similar vision to create a small, local winery that combined wine and food.

They started working in 2011, and it took a year to acquire the property and get the four permits required for the operation: winery, brewery, restaurant and garden.

They bought a bankrupt machine shop for the winery, brewery and café, but the city required 17 parking spaces, so they took a long-term lease on the land across the street that is now the garden and tasting room.

They originally planned the space as just a garden with a greenhouse nursery, but when they realized it would take longer than they intended to open the restaurant, they decided to start serving food there and using it as a tasting room.

In addition to the 1/3-acre garden, they intend to terrace the slopes around the winery building and plant edible crops and trees for landscaping, an innovative idea that took some selling to the city. Brown says, however, that the city was very accommodating and great to work with.

The year they started – 2010 – was also a challenging time to raise money for the project, so it has stretched out longer than they planned. It looks like the restaurant might be two years off, for example.

Wine was first

St. Clair started making wine in 2010 at a friend’s winery to build up inventory, and now offers pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay for whites, a syrah rosé, zindandel, syrah, merlot and cabernet reds plus a sweet muscat from a Bruno Solari’s famed vineyard in Calistoga also used for Heidi Barrett’s dry Muscat Azul.

All are in lots of 200 cases or fewer.

While many Napa wineries emphasize reds, she makes a lot of white wine due to customer demand.

She buys grapes except for those from her syrah vineyard. St. Clair works closely with growers; she contracts for specific rows in vineyards and specifies management.

St. Clair’s winemaking philosophy is a bit at odds with some trendy fads like single-vineyard wines. She sources grapes from different areas, all in Napa County, to blend and create her wines. “The idea of a single-vineyard wine sounds appealing,” she admits. “But few vineyards can give you exactly what you want.”

As an example, she gets cabernet from Atlas Peak, Oak Knoll and St. Helena. “The mountain fruit has big tannins, Oak Knoll softens the blend and St. Helena contributes berry nuances.”

Just started brewing

St. Clair installed a pilot brewing line, but her first batch of beer was destroyed by the earthquake, and she says it will be a few months before they get into production.

To start, she’s trying out recipes, and plans to invite club members to beer-hall type tastings. She’s a little evasive on whether they might include sausages and sauerkraut, however.

St. Clair is making craft beer using local hops and secondary fermentation in the keg for carbonation, unlike producers who simply carbonate the beer like Coca-Cola. It will be packaged only in kegs to be served onsite.

The first beers will be wheat ale, Scottish brown and oatmeal stout, but she plans to produce many variations. “I have more ideas than time!” she complains.

Among those ideas are garden summer suppers starting next spring.

Food options

The restaurant St. Clair and Brown plan will eventually have 60 seats, some outside. Until then, the garden café and tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and offers both tastes of wine and light bites like salads, cheese and nuts, soups and cookies, from $5 for marinated olives to $12 for duck confit potato salad. Much of the produce comes from the extensive and growing garden.

A sampler of four wines costs $20, and you can buy wines by the half glass for as little as $4, glasses from $7 to $16 for the cabernet and $19 for the sweet muscat. Bottles are $18 to $65.

As the focus is direct sales, they haven’t pursued restaurants and stores, but Rutherford Grill and Jax White Mule Diner do serve some of their wines. “We don’t want to spend a lot of time traveling,” Brown admits, and St. Clair added, “There’s a special energy that comes when you’re here with customers.”

St. Clair Brown is at 816 Vallejo St. in Napa. Phone (707) 255-5591 or visit

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Meeting to include tips for planting in Lake Michigan climate

By Staff report

Posted Sep. 23, 2014 @ 11:33 am
Updated at 11:09 AM

Holland, Mich.

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Santa Rosa gives water-saving demonstration garden green light

Santa Rosa has been encouraging people to conserve water and protect creeks from harmful runoff for years.

Now it’s moving forward with a $1 million project to show them how it’s done.

The Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday signed off on plans to rip out two large lawns at City Hall and replace them with demonstration gardens designed to save water and special landscaping features meant to cleanse stormwater runoff.

“This garden is a great way to show people that there is a choice,” Vice Mayor Robin Swinth said. “They don’t have to choose between green and brown; they can actually make a third choice that is beautiful and great for the community.”

The city has many programs to encourage residents to reduce their indoor and outdoor water usage. The outdoor programs include paying people to remove water-thirsty lawns, giving rebates for gray water reuse systems and rainwater harvesting systems, and educating people and businesses about “water wise” gardens.

It has also required developers of new homes to install water efficient landscaping and design their projects to minimize stormwater runoff and improve the cleanliness of water that does run into creeks.

The City Hall project has been many years in the making and will allow the city to “walk the walk” when it comes to the water conservation and stormwater measures it requests of residents and requires of developers, said Utilities Director David Guhin.

He called the project “a success story” for the way city staff had been able to secure state funding for the project.

The city has received $806,174 in grant money for the project, and will spend $226,256 in matching ratepayer funds on it as well for a total cost of just over $1 million.

As part of the grant requirement, the city must agree to spend the money necessary to maintain the garden for the next 35 years. That cost is estimated to be $15,000 per year.

There are three areas of the City Hall campus that will be renovated.

The north lawn, facing First Street, will be removed, and replaced with a variety of low water-use plants in a demonstration garden. Rainwater captured from the roof will be retained in a large tank that will be used to irrigate the gardens. Excess water will be directed through a bio-swale meant to slow runoff and give water time to seep into the ground, a process that allows the soil and plants to remove pollutants.

“Previously none of this water received any treatment before entering into the creek,” said Heaven Moore, an engineer in the city’s utilities department.

Santa Rosa Creek runs under City Hall in a culvert and emerges again on the west side of Santa Rosa Avenue.

There will also be signs discussing sustainable management practices and picnic tables that can be used by city staff or for public workshops.

The west lawn, facing Santa Rosa Avenue, will also be removed and replaced with a similar demonstration garden and bio-swale.

The east parking lot will also get a stormwater makeover, replacing planter strips with new trees and plants that act as “bio-retention areas” that remove pollutants and sediment from the stormwater before it enters the creek. No park space will be lost, Moore said.

The city will perform water testing before and after the project to confirm water quality improvements, Moore said.

Final design is expected to be completed by the end of the winter 2015, with construction starting in the spring of 2016.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or On Twitter @srcitybeat.

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QA Garden Club observes 80th anniversary

Blue Star landscaping

Blue Star landscaping

A recent example of the Garden Club’s work is the landscaping around the Blue Star Memorial Highway sign that was relocated to the grounds of the American Legion Hall in Centreville.

May Mart 1963

May Mart 1963

A scene from the Garden Club’s 1963 May Mart on the grounds of the Queen Anne’s County Courthouse.

Christmas decoration

Christmas decoration

Decorating and landscaping around the Queen Anne’s County Courthouse is among the work of the Queen Anne’s County Garden Club. This is one of the club’s Christmas decorations on the courthouse door.

Christmas workshop

Christmas workshop

Members of the Queen Anne’s County Garden Club are pictured at a Christmas workshop in 1962. The arrangements went to the Perry Point VA Hospital. Pictured, left to right, are Mrs. David Williamson, an unidentified member, Bobbie Friel, Mary Helen Friel, and an unidentified person.

Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 12:15 am

QA Garden Club observes 80th anniversary

By Jack Shaum

My Eastern Shore, Maryland

CENTREVILLE — When the Queen Anne’s County Garden Club holds its annual flower show on Tuesday, Sept. 30, it will be marking a major milestone.

That’s because 2014 is the 80th anniversary of the club’s founding and the show will include exhibits reflecting that long history in addition to the many floral arrangements that will be on display.

The show runs from 1 to 4 p.m. in the parish house at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Centreville.

“We’re doing an exhibit on the 80 years called ‘From White Gloves to Garden Gloves’,” said Garden Club President Nancy Layfield. “We’ve got 27 boxes of information to draw from, including yearbooks, and banners from shows over the years.” There will also be old photographs of the club’s operations since its founding in 1934.

Founded in January 1934, the club held its first flower show in September 1934 at the home of Mrs. Thomas Marsalis. Three years later, it held its first Garden Club tour in the county, an event that is now held every three years, according to Layfield.

Civic plantings also began in 1937 with the planting of flowers at the Millstream Bridge at the entrance to Centreville. Over the years the club was responsible for landscaping the old Matapeake Ferry Terminal, landscaping on Kent Island for the opening of the first Bay Bridge, maintaining the boxwoods at the courthouse, maintaining the gardens at the historic Tucker House and Wright’s Chance in Centreville, dedicated the first Blue Star Memorial marker on Route 301, and took Christmas flower arrangements to the Perry Point Veterans’ Hospital after World War II.

Earlier this year the club landscaped the Blue Star marker at its new location on the grounds of the American Legion Hall in Centreville.

In 1949 it began providing weekly flower arrangements at the Queen Anne’s County Free Library, a practice that continues today. It also held an annual May Mart from 1953 through the 1980s.

The club has hosted over 20 House and Garden Pilgrimages showcasing historic homes like Bowlingly, Penderyn, and others around Centreville. Thousands of dollars in scholarships have been awarded over the years. A scholarship of $1,500 is given annually to a Queen Anne’s County High School senior for the study of horticulture and environment.

It also sponsors trips to various flower-related locations. “The trips have an emphasis on education” for the members, according to Layfield.

The club draws its members from all over the county, Layfield said, adding that anyone who loves flowers can join. Many of the members come to the club to learn about flowers and flower arranging in club-sponsored workshops, she said. “They have a good time and learn a lot,” she said.

Affiliated with the Garden Clubs of Maryland and the National Garden Clubs of America, the club has up to 50 members.

The Sept. 30 flower show is free and open to the public and there will be some things available for purchase, Layfield said. It is preceded by a luncheon that begins at noon. The cost of the box lunch is $10, she said.

Persons interested in learning more about the Queen Anne’s County Garden Club or who would like to join can contact Nancy Layfield at 410-827-5505.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 12:15 am.

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Record Observer,

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Gardening tips: How to grow the perfect lawn

Once leaves start falling from your trees and bushes it pays to rake them up regularly, so you are not left with big heaps to deal with in one go.

Leaves left on your lawn stops the sunlight getting to it so you may end up with weak patches of grass that soon get taken over by moss – so don’t leave them to settle for more than a few days.

Dead leaves are also the perfect winter hiding place for slugs and snails, so rake them out of your borders and from under trees then compost them.

A rake with flexible plastic teeth is useful for borders – you don’t want to rake out your plants too – and I can recommend Fiskars new Garden Leaf Rake range.

There are two sizes available, but both are light-weight with wide paddle-like heads to scoop up maximum numbers of leaves and plastic teeth that manage to be both flexible and efficient at the same time.

Next you will need to scarify your lawn either with a springbok rake that has metal tines or a rolling lawn scarifier that has steel blades.

Both will clear away the thatch – dead grass, moss and other debris – from the top of the lawn so that light and air can get to the roots.

Rolling lawn scarifiers take much less effort than springbok rakes though, especially if your lawn is quite big.

Darlac makes a very good, lightweight scarifier that is easy to use and while it is pulling up the thatch it is also creating aerating holes in the lawn.

If you are happy with your rake, though, you can always create aeration holes with a border fork.

Just plunge the fork into the ground and wiggle it about a little – repeating as often as your arms can manage over the whole of the lawn.

These holes will also help drainage, moss prevention and reduce compaction in the soil caused by a summer of children playing in the garden or you just walking over it.

When soil is compacted it reduces the amount of air getting to the micro-organisms and worms that keep the soil healthy.

Nest, top dress the lawn with a 50/50 mix of sand and fine compost that will go down the aeration holes to top up the soil.

Feeding your lawn after a summer of mowing – which takes nitrogen out of the grass – is also important.

In autumn you need to use a special low-nitrogen feed because you don’t want to encourage soft lush growth.

Westland Horticulture has a new Aftercut Autumn All In One range that not only feeds the grass but also kills moss.

Of course, several other companies produce similar things, but this comes with a neat plastic Even-Flo spreader that allows you to spread the granules easily by hand.

Refill packs are available and you can use the plastic spreader with other lawn products, such as Westland’s Patch Fix – a blend of hard-wearing grass seed for fixing patchy lawns.

Yes, that’s the next thing on the list…

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Fall clean-up tips for your lawn and garden tools

Fall clean-up tips for your lawn and garden tools

Fall clean-up tips for your lawn and garden tools

Published: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 4:00 am

Fall clean-up tips for your lawn and garden tools

Brandpoint (BPT)


As the temperature drops, your lawn and garden will start settling into a dormant state. As you prep your landscaping and garden for a winter’s slumber, it’s a good idea to review the tools you used all summer. Taking care of this task now will ensure they’re in good shape come spring when it’s time to use them again.

From sharpening edges of blades to making certain the tool is still doing the job it was designed to do, put all your lawn and garden tools through a thorough fall cleaning. Here are some tips:

* Lawn mowers – Check your owner’s manual for information about sharpening the mower deck blades and what to do with any unused gasoline before putting the mower into storage. It’s a good idea to keep the mower in a dry location where moisture won’t collect and potentially rust the blades.

* Hand trimmers – Hand clippers, tree trimmers and saws all take a beating during the summer. Check these tools to make certain the handles are still secure, the cutting blades are sharp and the locking mechanisms all work. If anything isn’t up to par, replace the tool so you have it ready for the first sign of spring.

* Chainsaws – These heavy machines get put through their paces, and they can be taxing on people, too, after extended use. If you’re ready to upgrade your chainsaw, the Husqvarna low-weight 436Li is quiet, easy to operate and has the same power as gas machines. The 536LiXP and the T536LiXP models are also available, and they come with low maintenance and high-performance delivery. All battery-operated chainsaws come with two rechargeable batteries that can be interchanged with any Husqvarna hand tools you might already have in your collection. The batteries have a 40-minute charge time, helping to keep the tools lightweight and quiet.

* Weed trimmers – These tools are invaluable for keeping the grasses and weeds trimmed around trees and garden edging. In the fall, be sure to replace the string so you’ll have a fresh spool come spring. Also check the air filter on the tool. If it is dirty, replace the filter to allow your machine to perform at its best.

* Hoses – When it’s time to store your hoses for the winter, check all the connections to make certain nothing leaks; replace the connectors if you notice water spraying or dribbling from a connection. And if the hose itself is leaking, put it on your list to be replaced. Make certain you’ve drained all the water out before putting the hoses away for winter. If you have a hose cart, roll up the hose neatly without any kinks. Otherwise, you can just roll the hose into a neat pile of loops for storage in a dry place.

With all of your lawn and garden tools safely stored for the winter months, you’ll know they’ll be ready the minute you need them in the spring.

© 2014 Ellwood City Ledger. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 4:00 am.

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Smith to share garden tips

Bevan Smith

Gardeners, cooks and combinations of the two are sure to enjoy meeting Bevan Smith when he’s in town for Nelmac Garden Marlborough, reports Sonia O’Regan .

Bevan Smith is a dab hand at making the most of fresh, seasonal produce for his acclaimed Riverstone Kitchen near Oamaru.

Great news then that he’s coming to Marlborough to share tips that home gardeners can take directly into their own kitchens.

Bevan will lead two workshop/tours titled Fork to Fork during Nelmac Garden Marlborough in early November.

The workshops sound like the perfect day out for foodie gardener types, combining touring others’ gardens and eating a lunch including produce sourced from those gardens.

Bevan’s Riverstone Kitchen was Cuisine Magazine New Zealand Restaurant of the Year in 2010, and the fruit and vegetables prepared in the restaurant are grown on site.

The kitchen garden is tended to by two full time and two part time gardeners.

Chatting on the phone this week, Bevan says early spring brings the addition of tarragon and purple sprouting broccoli to his ingredient list.

He is looking forward to incorporating rhubarb into the desserts in a couple of weeks before the new season’s produce kicks in properly.

Bevan was born in Northland and trained as a chef in Christchurch.

He has worked in London at Terence Conran’s Le Pont de la Tour and Michael Caine’s Canteen, and then moved to Australia where he became head chef at Philip Johnson’s acclaimed e’cco bistro in Brisbane.

He and his wife Monique established Riverstone with its vegetable gardens and orchards in 2006, after moving home to start a family.

Bevan says he is looking forward to his quick trip to Marlborough, his workshops are on a Thursday and Friday, and he flies back on the Saturday and will drive directly to the restaurant for the evening shift. He’s a fan of craft beer so hopes to fit in visits to Marlborough craft breweries, and catch up with friends while here, but mostly his focus is on helping to create a wonderful experience for those who sign up for his workshops.

Bevan Smith Fork to Fork workshops at the Nelmac Garden Marlborough event from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Thursday, November 6 and Friday, November 7. Cost $150. The gardens on the tour are: Wendy and Richard Batchelor’s garden featuring an orchard with hazelnuts, raspberry, feijoa and cranberry hedges, raised beds and an asparagus bed; the Marlborough Vintners’ Hotel garden where Bob the gardener will talk about their restaurant vegetable garden, and citrus and olive trees and Neville and Sharyn White’s garden, the home of Heaven Scent produce, which Marlborough Farmers’ Market goers will be familiar with. This property uses organic and biodiversity methods, and techniques of composting, propagation and the use of tunnel houses will be explained.

Over lunch, Bevan will discuss his culinary philosophy at Riverstone Kitchen and demonstrate some of the techniques he uses to coast the best out of the produce of his garden.

– The Marlborough Express

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Great Gardens: Graphic designer Ed Pessolano’s eye offers unusual perspective … – The Republican

SPRINGFIELD – As a graphic designer, Ed Pessolano sees the potential for other uses in everyday objects which the average person might overlook.

That perspective has turned into a bonus for the gardens at his home in the Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield.

Take for instance an old metal swing set which sat on the property when he and his wife, Theresa, moved in 25 years ago. Instead of tossing it in a metal scrapheap, Pessolano used the frame and hooks that once held the swings and hung a potted plant, wind chimes and a bird feeder from them.

Or, consider the stretch of improvised fencing he created using the foot of a metal bedframe that was too small for a twin bed.

“I don’t like to throw things away. I look at things differently and I know I could use them somehow,” said Pessolano, owner of Design Advertising Associates.

Pessolano’s passion for gardening began as a young boy when he would help his late grandfather, John Vignone, water his fruit and vegetable gardens at his home.

“I sit at a computer day, night and weekends because I have my own business so the gardening is my escape,” he said. “My love for gardening has continued since I was a kid.”

For Pessolano, it’s not just about planting flowers. He takes pride in locating unusual items not traditionally found in a garden and modifies them to match colors or textures and to compliment a wide variety of plants and flowers.

A go-to destination to find such treasures is the Brimfield Antique Show, a twice-annual pilgrimage of his. He also sprinkles his backyard with inexpensive decorative pieces that he alters with paint that come from stores such as Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.

One of Pessolano’s favorite design ideas for the garden is to bring a bit of the interior of the house to the outside. Antique stained-glass windows from England which he bought at Brimfield show up in a number of places in the backyard. He also took an old chair with the cane seating missing and placed a potted plant in the empty space.

There are also a few water features in the backyard. At one spot, a stream of water comes out of the mouth of a gargoyle into a small pond and is attached to the base of a giant oak tree, which had been destroyed in the October 2011 snowstorm. Surrounding the base of the tree are a wide variety of vines that have grown up the tree and plants and sun-loving flowers, such as Persian shield and sunset begonias.

Pessolano built a bigger pond about 12 years ago in another area in the yard made from rocks which once formed a wall in the yard of his parents’ home. The pond, which is filled with goldfish, is accented with a statue of a stork he found at Brimfield.

Near the middle of the yard, surrounded by flowers, is a 7-foot long stretch of fencing that once stood at the former Springfield Trade High School, where Pessolano took graphic arts in the early 1970s. When Trade was torn down to make way for the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, Pessolano also obtained rectangular ornate metal supports from the ends of the school’s auditorium seating, which he painted a copper color and placed in various locations in his yard. A year ago, Pessolano was hired to design nine panels depicting the history of Trade all the way to the opening of Putnam Technical.

With thousands of square feet of yard on his property, Pessolano’s canvas seems endless.

“Every year I say I am going to cut back on the gardens but I always find more to do,” he said. “When frost comes that’s the worst part of my gardening days. It’s so sad to see everything die.”

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