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Archives for November 6, 2014

Tips for over-wintering potted perennials

Services, garage sales, pets, items for sale

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Our top tips for allergy-free gardening

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Tips: Decorate Your Home this Season for Under $100

When it comes to filling your home with fall flair and warm festive cheer, you don’t have to rely on generic décor purchased from the store, which can be pricey and forgettable. This holiday season make your home unique with a little DIY.

“You’ll be surprised how simple tools, such as good, quality painter’s tape make all the difference in DIY projects,” says Carmen De La Paz, former host of HGTV’s “Hammer Heads” and 3M spokesperson.

Queen Elizabeth opens Flanders Fields Memorial Garden

Queen Elizabeth led a dedication on Thursday of a London memorial garden created with the soil of battlefields where First World War soldiers fought and died a century ago.

The Flanders Fields Memorial Garden, located at the Wellington Barracks just outside Buckingham Palace, was created with the soil collected from 70 battlefields and First World War grave cemeteries in Flanders, where millions died in “The Great War.”

Canadian soldier John McCrae’s famous wartime poem, “In Flanders Fields” have been incorporated into the garden’s design.

The Queen, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, laid a wreath at the newly created garden, in a solemn ceremony marking 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. Belgian King Philippe, and Henri, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg also attended the wreath-laying ceremony.

Designed by Belgian architect Piet Blanckaert, the garden is inspired by the First World War Memorials and carries the insignia of all the seven Guards Regiments that fought on the battlefields of Flanders in northern France and Belgium.

The first level of soil takes the form of a rectangle that refers to the cemeteries and symbolises death. A circular soil bed represents eternity and victory over death. The words of “In Flanders Fields” are inscribed on the garden’s central circular bed.

In an interview with CTV’s Daniele Hamamdjian, Blanckaert said that there was never any doubt that McCrae’s iconic poem, considered the best and most well-known wartime poem ever written, would be featured in the garden’s design.

The “sacred soil” was ceremoniously gathered in 2013, with the support of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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W.I event in Kimberley: talk by award winning garden designer

Kimberley’s WI is hosting an open evening which will include a talk by award winning garden designer

Sue Hayward is a professional garden designer based in Breaston, Derbyshire who also lectures on garden design at Nottingham Trent University.

Sue Rowlett of the WI said: “Sue Hayward has designed many gardens for private clients including her award winning designs for Chelsea and we are all looking forward to hearing the story of the “Shetland Croft House Garden” designed for the charity Motor Neurone Desease in her talk entitled ‘A thousand miles to Chelsea’.”

Did the garden will Gold at Chelsea? Go along on Monday November 10 and find out.

The event begins at at 7.45pm Kettlebrook Lodge on Eastwood Road, Kimberley and admission is £3.

Drinks and WI homemade cakes will be available and all ladies and gentlemen are welcome.

Kimberley WI meets on the second Monday of the month. For more information please call 0115 9384676.

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Children’s Home + Aid presents Annual Holiday Showcase House Nov. 8-9

Staff Report

Children’s Home + Aid presents this year’s Annual Holiday Showcase House, located in a quaint Rockford neighborhood at 3914 Eaton Drive. Touring dates are Saturday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 9, from noon until 4 p.m.

Support Children’s Home + Aid with your entrance ticket to walk through this three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath, 2,500-square-foot ranch-style home. Features include a formal dining room, custom kitchen, master suite, upper and lower living areas, custom bar area, relaxing den area and fabulous landscaping.

Tickets are $8 in advance and are for sale at Annie’s Gifts Home Décor, Broadway Florist, For the Love of Chic, Hitched Wedding Experts, Jordan Calgaro, Interiors, O’Fallon’s, Urbane Design Studio, and at the Children’s Home + Aid administrative office, 910 Second Ave., or by calling (815) 720-2106. Tickets can also be purchased for $10 at the door on the days of the event.

The Showcase House offers an array of holiday decorating ideas for every area in and outside your home, all created by Rockford’s leading designers. This year’s designers include B Unique, Jordan Calgaro, Broadway Florist, O’Fallon’s, Interiors, Hitched Wedding Experts and Urbane Design Studio. Vendors include Annette’s Italian Specialties, Holiday Avon (Janis McDonald), Jamberry Nails, Kiki Bird Jewelry, Pineapple Peacock and The Beaded Zoo.

As a bonus, there will be a Bag Raffle with chance to win donated items. Bag Raffle ticket costs are $2 each, $10 for six, and $20 for 15, with choice of which items you’d like to place your chance. Raffle tickets are only sold on site during the event and winner need not be present to win. The tour concludes with complimentary Edward’s Apple Orchard cider and cookies.

Children’s Home + Aid Northern Region has its headquarters in Rockford and is devoted to serving the area’s most challenged communities. Services encompass the needs of the entire family, and include child and family counseling, foster care, intact family services, and MotherHouse Crisis Nursery. Children’s Home + Aid’s comprehensive, quality programs help children and families overcome the obstacles of poverty, abuse and neglect to achieve healthy family structures and self-sufficiency.

For more about Children’s Home + Aid and upcoming holiday events, visit

Posted Nov. 5, 2014

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Community Briefs: Nov. 5

The Henderson County Parks and Recreation office in Jackson Park, at 801 Fourth Ave. E., Hendersonville, has been designated as the drop-off location for all campaign signs beginning today. There will be signs in place to direct citizens to the proper area for disposing of campaign signs.

Candidates may pick up their signs at any time. For more information, contact Henderson County Parks and Recreation at 697-4884.


Hendersonville City Council will meet at 5:45 p.m. Thursday in City Hall.

The Mills River Agricultural Advisory Committee will meet at 9 a.m. Friday at Town Hall.

A quorum of Hendersonville City Council is possible at a training session at 5 p.m. Thursday in the second-floor conference room of City Hall on the new Mind Mixer site. The site allows the council and city staff to converse, generate ideas and obtain feedback from the public via the Internet. No city business nor action will be taken by the council.


The sixth annual Environmental Film Festival will take place from 6-9 p.m. Friday at Hendersonville Little Theater, 229 W. Washington St., Hendersonville. Cost is $15 general admission or $10 for students (with a valid ID) and $7 for youths under 12. Tickets are available at, the ECO office and the box office on the night of the event.

A “Bike Maintenance Basics” class will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday at REI, 31 Schenck Parkway, Asheville. Register at

The Opportunity House has a surplus of weaving equipment and accessories that will be sold from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday at 1411 Asheville Highway, Hendersonville. Proceeds will benefit future classes and events for members and friends. Info: 692-0575.

Richard Fry, a local landscape expert and co-owner of Fry Nursery and Landscaping, will demonstrate proper techniques in pruning ornamental trees and shrubs from 1-2:30 p.m. Friday at Bullington Gardens, 95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville. Cost: $12.

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Growth brings more hotels to The Woodlands

Construction has begun on the Embassy Suites Hotel at Hughes Landing in The Woodlands – one of many new options for overnight stays coming to the area.

The Woodlands Development Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Howard Hughes Corp., planned the new hotel in response to rapid growth in Hughes Landing, a 66-acre mixed-use development being built along the Waterway, offering a blend of popular retailers, dining, entertainment, multifamily residences and Class A office space.

The 205-room Embassy Suites is slated for completion in late 2015. The 172,000-square-foot hotel will also feature 3,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a business center, a 24-hour fitness center, a full-service bar and restaurant and a 4,000 square-foot rooftop pool deck that overlooks Lake Woodlands.

Work is also underway on the Westin hotel in The Woodlands.

The Westin, The Woodlands, which will be the fifth for the brand in the Houston area, is also scheduled to open at the end of 2015.

The hotel will offer 302 luxurious guest rooms, as well as more than 15,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space, an outdoor pool, workout studio and business center. There will also be a 150-seat restaurant, lobby bar and a pool bar on the second level.

Guests will be able to cross an adjacent pedestrian bridge spanning The Woodlands Waterway to access Waterway Square and other area destinations.

Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Westin Hotels and Resorts, said that the new location was the perfect place to expand the hotel’s presence in Houston.

“Our goal is to look for the right partners in the right locations to strategically grow the Westin brand across North America,” he said. “The Woodlands is a fast-growing business and entertainment hub and, we feel, the perfect location for a Westin Hotel.”

Povinelli said the new hotel should appeal to both business and leisure travelers.

“We are most excited about the design of the hotel’s public spaces which will provide a truly welcoming experience for guests and the surrounding community,” he said.

Paul Layne, executive vice president of master planned communities for the Howard Hughes Corp., said the Westin will help accommodate the growing number of travelers of all types.

“The demand for hotel rooms and conference space has increased dramatically in the last couple of years,” he said. “It’s created a shortage of hotel rooms in The Woodlands.”

Layne said that staff conducted a survey of corporate office customers, asking which hotels were their top choices.

“Westin was the No. 1 brand,” he said. “It was an easy choice.”

The Howard Hughes Corp. has also added additional hotel rooms to its 38-year old property, The Woodlands Resort Conference Center. Construction is expected to be complete in November.

The center, located at 2301 North Millbend Drive, currently houses 440 guest rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 13,500-square-foot grand ballroom, 33 meeting rooms, spa, fitness center and a water park. The project will add 184 guest rooms, a 1,000-foot “lazy river,” 60,000 square feet of renovated meeting and event space, an updated spa and a new 120-seat restaurant.

Earlier in the year, Hyatt Hotels Corp. and New Horizons Hospitality announced the opening of Hyatt Place in The Woodlands at 1909 Research Forest Drive – with 146 rooms and more than 6,100 square feet of meeting and function space.

Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, said that the new and expanding companies are increasing the demand for rooms in The Woodlands.

“With the companies we have coming in and the people who are relocations, as well as the businesses that are already here and expanding, corporate users are truly driving that growth,” he said. “We’re seeing hotel development in The Woodlands – and in surrounding communities as well.”

Greg Smith, city administrator of Shenandoah, said several projects are in the works.

The Courtyard Marriott is under construction now – and scheduled to open in November. The hotel will offer 124 rooms. Homewood Suites, also under construction, will add 116 rooms for travelers.

In addition, construction is starting on a 160-room Holiday Inn and a 120-room Staybridge Suites. In the first quarter of 2015, Smith said work will start on a 130-room Cambria Suites.

“This is in direct response to the overall growth this area has had,” he said. “The demand is here.”

In addition to new hotel rooms, Shenandoah has 43 restaurants and several shopping opportunities for guests, Smith said.

“There’s plenty to do and plenty to eat,” he said. “This is a great place to be.”

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Americans Love the English Garden: That’s Why We Still Want to Plant …

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ATHENS, Ohio, Nov. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Take a stroll down any residential block, and you might see tomatoes, squash, and other vegetables adorning front yards—a different story from even a few years ago, when it was a given that vegetables grew in backyards only. Why? The tradition stems from America’s long-lasting embrace of the English garden, which is typically associated with the lawn, but also with the kitchen garden out back.

Photo –

America’s Romance with the English Garden, an illustrated book from master gardener Thomas Mickey, now in its second printing from Ohio University Press, tells the story of how Americans fell in love with the English garden.

“We have planted vegetables in the back because the nineteenth-century garden industry sold us that kind of gardening,” says Mickey, who researched the book at Washington’s Smithsonian Institution. He suggests that Americans were seduced by the romantic English garden approach to landscaping (noted for planting vegetables out of view of visitors) thanks to the marketing efforts of nineteenth-century seed companies and nurseries to sell seeds and plants to the new suburbs spread across the country. “Though the company owners knew the French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch gardens, the English garden became the brand to sell seeds and plants in the nineteenth century,” Mickey says.

In their richly printed catalogs—which had become possible thanks to advances in printing, and with mass mailing—made possible by cheap paper and railroad transportation, these businesses sold not only plants and seeds, but an image, a landscape style that evoked a pastoral vista and country life.

Publisher’s Weekly said, “Mickey has thoughtfully woven together an American landscape design history with a critical examination of how commercial interests and mass media shape our preferences, even in our humble backyards.”

The paperback edition ($26.95) features more than 40 illustrations and is available through, Amazon, and elsewhere. Check out the Ohio University Press website about the book for images, reviews, interviews, and more at:’s+Romance+with+the+English+Garden, and Mickey’s blog “American Gardening, with a love for the English Garden” at:

Media Contact:

Ohio University Press
Samara Rafert
(740) 593-1168

SOURCE Thomas Mickey


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CVS application to build in Metairie denied by Jefferson Parish Council – The Times-Picayune

CVS’ application to build a drug store at Transcontinental Drive and West Esplanade Avenue in Metairie was denied Wednesday in a 6-0 vote by the Jefferson Parish Council. Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng, whose district includes the site, led the opposition to the pharmacy chain’s request to consolidate and rezone five lots that currently house a gasoline station, a uniform store and a parking lot, for a 24-hour drug store.

Lee-Sheng expressed concern for six residential lots that abut the site. “At the end of the day I think it’s just too big of a development for that corner,” she said. “I have to take into consideration the very surrounding lots that are very close to it. I think that’s a big deal to have a (residential) lot next to commercial.”

Residents who opposed the project lined up at the council podium, as they have at a series of meetings of the Planning Advisory Board, to air worries over increased traffic, late-night noise and the changing character of their neighborhood. 

“We’re beautifying this important corner,” said attorney Mike Sherman, a spokesperson for the project. “We’re doing high-quality design.”

The Planning Department recommended the project, noting that it sits on major arterial roads. The Planning Advisory Board opposed it, citing a lack of buffers for nearby properties.

The proposal before the council had been amended slightly since those recommendations, to address neighborhood concerns about commercial encroachment onto residential lots. A previous draft included rezoning a residential lot on the site’s eastern edge on West Esplanade, but Sherman said that was off the table.

The only zoning change that the new proposal required was for two residential lots currently used for parking by a uniform store. “The only commercial encroachment is on a commercial parking lot, which we believe is no encroachment at all,” Sherman said.

Civil engineer Casey Genovese said the newest plan included landscaping to take up 20 percent of the site. A petition put forward by CVS showed 200 residents in support of the project, 91 of whom lived in the nearby subdivision, Sherman said.

But Lee-Sheng said the opponents appeared to live nearby. “I think the support is not as close to the development as the opposition is, and that weighs heavily in my mind,” Lee-Sheng said.

While proponents spoke of the amenities that the CVS would provide, opponent Willie Patin said he lives nearby and already has easy access to multiple drug stores. “I live within one mile of seven drug stores. I don’t need another drug store.”

Another neighbor, Trudy Schmidt, described how CVS already owns a lot at 4650 West Esplanade with the increased parking and easy access that proponents praised at the Transcontinental site. “We don’t deserve to have one square of ground interrupted because CVS can’t get their act together … to determine where they really want to be.”

Robert Lakey, director of the Pontchartrain Gardens Civic Association, said he was concerned that the Planning Department is underplaying the effect of stores open around the clock. “You got it wrong if you think any 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation is light-intensity commercial,” he said.

Lee-Sheng said that if CVS had proposed a smaller neighborhood store, it would have been an easier choice for her. “I could support it because I think it’s a good-looking store,” Lee-Sheng said. “That corner, it’s a very busy corner. I’m all about improving a corner.”

But Susan Schiro Deris, who owns the uniform store and would have sold her property to CVS if the plan had been approved, said she thinks neighbors would turn down any new commercial project on the site. “I have been very conscious of the neighbors,” she said. “I don’t understand how you can deny this. It’s such a good project.”


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