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Archives for November 23, 2014

Gardening tips for the holiday season

Gardening tips for the holiday season

Gardening tips for the holiday season



Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 2:00 pm

Gardening tips for the holiday season

By Michael Potter / Horticulture columnist

Houston Community Newspapers

The busy holiday season often allows some vacation time and time for relaxation. Nevertheless, there is always a little time to devote to gardening. Here are some gardening and decorating tips for weeks to come:

1. Complete the planting of spring flowering bulbs. Tulips can be planted as late as early January. Just remember the do well if properly refrigerated and chilled 45 to 60 days prior to planting. Also remember that tulips and many other Dutch bulbs do not repeat bloom in our area. They should be treated as annuals.

2. Select and plant needed woody landscape plants. Winter planting allows the newly planted plants to become well established prior to spring growth and summer heat. Hold off on planting tropical and other cold sensitive plants that may be damaged by severe cold temperatures.

3. Provide supplemental moisture to both newly planted and evergreen landscape materials during dry winter periods. Adequate soil moisture will help prevent freeze damage. Be sure to avoid over watering. Soggy soils do more harm than good! This is also a great time to turn off the water for the lawn due to dormancy of our warm season grasses.

4. Composted fallen leaves make an excellent organic soil for spring and summer gardening. Don’t allow fallen leaves to collect on lawns. They block out light and decrease winter hardiness of the lawn. Mowing with a mulching mower will chop up the leaves and add organic matter to the soil.

5. Woody plants you wish to relocate in the landscape may be transplanted during the cold, dormant season. Prune 1/3 of top growth to compensate for root loss. Re-set the plants at their normal growing depth in well-prepared soil.

6. Keep potting soil of poinsettias and other holiday plants moist, but never extremely wet. Protect the plants from heat vents. All potted holiday plants need natural light and do best when not exposed to direct sun.

7. Some gift suggestions for gardening friends: a new gardening book, a subscription to a Texas gardening magazine, a good pair of by-pass pruners, a plant or a nice container.(Just to name a few.)

8. Order spring annual and vegetable seeds now so you will be ready to start them in the next month or so. Begin to select fruit and nut plants for a winter planting. Choose only varieties adapted to our area. Check the Montgomery County Extension web site at http://montgomery.agrilife.org for a publication on Selecting Fruit and Nut Varieties for Montgomery County or go directly to http://montgomery.agrilife.org/horticulture-gardening.

9. Right after Thanksgiving is a good time to plan, assemble and hang Christmas greenery. Many landscape plants are well suited to use for decorating. Some of those are holly, nandina, magnolia, cherry laurel, pine, Chinese photinia and others. For lasting arrangements, crush the cut ends of the stems and soak them overnight in water before displaying.

10. Make sure your faucets and irrigation systems are winterized. In addition, don’t forget to thoroughly water and then cover tender plants when temperatures drop below freezing.

11. Lastly, and one to grow on! We will be having the annual fruit and nut tree sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Montgomery County AgriLife Extension Center on Airport Road just south of the Montgomery County Airport. This sale is excellent opportunity to get well adapted varieties of fruit and nut trees specifically selected for Montgomery County and not to mention that it will be the right time of the year to plant these trees. Have a great holiday season!

4-H Pecans Available

The pecans are in and available now at the 4-H Office. They have shelled halves and pieces from this year’s crop. If you’re like most people, the squirrels and crows ate up your pecan crop without leaving as much as a thank you note! So stop by and pick up some pecans for holiday baking. Don’t wait too long because supplies are limited. Call for availability: 936-539-7823. Proceeds go to support our 4-H youth programs in Montgomery County.

Don’t forget to send your garden questions to Plant Answers at 9020 Airport Rd., Conroe TX 77303 or e-mail: mpotter@ag.tamu.edu.

on

Saturday, November 22, 2014 2:00 pm.

Article source: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cypresscreek/living/gardening-tips-for-the-holiday-season/article_d882daa0-7280-11e4-be2e-bb2bd70f3a8e.html

Gardening tips for the holiday season

Gardening tips for the holiday season

Gardening tips for the holiday season



Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 2:00 pm

Gardening tips for the holiday season

By Michael Potter / Horticulture columnist

Houston Community Newspapers

The busy holiday season often allows some vacation time and time for relaxation. Nevertheless, there is always a little time to devote to gardening. Here are some gardening and decorating tips for weeks to come:

1. Complete the planting of spring flowering bulbs. Tulips can be planted as late as early January. Just remember the do well if properly refrigerated and chilled 45 to 60 days prior to planting. Also remember that tulips and many other Dutch bulbs do not repeat bloom in our area. They should be treated as annuals.

2. Select and plant needed woody landscape plants. Winter planting allows the newly planted plants to become well established prior to spring growth and summer heat. Hold off on planting tropical and other cold sensitive plants that may be damaged by severe cold temperatures.

3. Provide supplemental moisture to both newly planted and evergreen landscape materials during dry winter periods. Adequate soil moisture will help prevent freeze damage. Be sure to avoid over watering. Soggy soils do more harm than good! This is also a great time to turn off the water for the lawn due to dormancy of our warm season grasses.

4. Composted fallen leaves make an excellent organic soil for spring and summer gardening. Don’t allow fallen leaves to collect on lawns. They block out light and decrease winter hardiness of the lawn. Mowing with a mulching mower will chop up the leaves and add organic matter to the soil.

5. Woody plants you wish to relocate in the landscape may be transplanted during the cold, dormant season. Prune 1/3 of top growth to compensate for root loss. Re-set the plants at their normal growing depth in well-prepared soil.

6. Keep potting soil of poinsettias and other holiday plants moist, but never extremely wet. Protect the plants from heat vents. All potted holiday plants need natural light and do best when not exposed to direct sun.

7. Some gift suggestions for gardening friends: a new gardening book, a subscription to a Texas gardening magazine, a good pair of by-pass pruners, a plant or a nice container.(Just to name a few.)

8. Order spring annual and vegetable seeds now so you will be ready to start them in the next month or so. Begin to select fruit and nut plants for a winter planting. Choose only varieties adapted to our area. Check the Montgomery County Extension web site at http://montgomery.agrilife.org for a publication on Selecting Fruit and Nut Varieties for Montgomery County or go directly to http://montgomery.agrilife.org/horticulture-gardening.

9. Right after Thanksgiving is a good time to plan, assemble and hang Christmas greenery. Many landscape plants are well suited to use for decorating. Some of those are holly, nandina, magnolia, cherry laurel, pine, Chinese photinia and others. For lasting arrangements, crush the cut ends of the stems and soak them overnight in water before displaying.

10. Make sure your faucets and irrigation systems are winterized. In addition, don’t forget to thoroughly water and then cover tender plants when temperatures drop below freezing.

11. Lastly, and one to grow on! We will be having the annual fruit and nut tree sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Montgomery County AgriLife Extension Center on Airport Road just south of the Montgomery County Airport. This sale is excellent opportunity to get well adapted varieties of fruit and nut trees specifically selected for Montgomery County and not to mention that it will be the right time of the year to plant these trees. Have a great holiday season!

4-H Pecans Available

The pecans are in and available now at the 4-H Office. They have shelled halves and pieces from this year’s crop. If you’re like most people, the squirrels and crows ate up your pecan crop without leaving as much as a thank you note! So stop by and pick up some pecans for holiday baking. Don’t wait too long because supplies are limited. Call for availability: 936-539-7823. Proceeds go to support our 4-H youth programs in Montgomery County.

Don’t forget to send your garden questions to Plant Answers at 9020 Airport Rd., Conroe TX 77303 or e-mail: mpotter@ag.tamu.edu.

on

Saturday, November 22, 2014 2:00 pm.

Article source: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cypresscreek/living/gardening-tips-for-the-holiday-season/article_d882daa0-7280-11e4-be2e-bb2bd70f3a8e.html

Compleat Gardener: Sicily-inspired tips to dress up gardens

Winter evenings are made for garden scheming and dreaming and here are a few ideas to steal from our recent tour of Sicily, a sun-drenched island sitting off the south toe of Italy. Our small group visited Sicily “off the beaten path” and discovered a people rich in history, wine, olive oil and a slower pace of life based on outdoor living and dining.

Use overhead timbers and wisteria vines to create quick shade in outdoor living areas.

It may not be practical to add shade trees to your own patio area close to the house or to wait years for young trees to cast a shadow. Villas in Sicily grow almost instant shade by using the foliage of robust vines such as wisteria over pergolas made from wood, stone or even metal pipe. The north or east side of a building becomes the preferred spot for an outdoor living room in a hot climate while back home in rainy Washington the sun drenched West or South side of a home would be a more practical location for an outdoor living room. Wisteria not only drips with fragrant clusters of flowers in spring and sun-blocking foliage in summer but this vine has the good sense to lose its leaves during the winter months allowing much needed sunlight into the home.

Add color with paint, tile and garden art.

Gardeners in warm climates have always looked for ways to add color that does not require a watering can. Sicilian gardens are rich with ceramic tiles, painted pots and garden statuary. Stucco walls are painted peach or pink and native stone mellows to gold to create a lovely back drops for plants. In one pool side garden at a resort in Taormina we admired colorful square pots that were made from five 12 inch by 12 inch ceramic floor tiles. A simple do-it-yourself project, each brightly painted tile was glued to the edge of a 12 inch bottom base tile and secured with construction adhesive. The result is a tile cube open at the top that can be filled with potting soil and heat loving plants such as palms, plumbago, thungbergia, sedums and citrus fruits.

Turn your balcony into a hanging garden.

Traveling the world should always make one appreciate home and visiting a country like Sicily with high taxes and higher unemployment made us very aware of our status as ‘rich Americans.’ All over Europe fewer citizens own property and can afford the luxury of a large garden. Renting a small apartment does not keep Italians from creating roof top, balcony and even alley gardens. Geraniums spill from terra cotta pots over wrought iron railings, potted palm and orange trees cast needed shade on roof top gardens and vegetable lovers harvest eggplant, tomatoes and basil from narrow alleys where containers may be as economical as recycled olive oil tins or plastic water jugs.

Visiting Sicily showed us there is no excuse not to make the world a more beautiful place by growing plants. Lack of water and money in this country did not mean a lack of gardens or passion for living.

For more information on visiting the ancient Greek ruins, active volcanoes and mountain villages of Sicily contact our excellent guide Rosa Rizza or view excursion options at sunnysicily.com.


Send your gardening questions to Marianne Binetti at P.O. Box 872, Enumclaw WA 98022, enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a personal reply. Or visit www.binettigarden.com.

Article source: http://tdn.com/lifestyles/compleat-gardener-sicily-inspired-tips-to-dress-up-gardens/article_9eaf0064-71aa-11e4-b5f7-47fc6b1c4095.html

Compleat Gardener: Sicily-inspired tips to dress up gardens

Winter evenings are made for garden scheming and dreaming and here are a few ideas to steal from our recent tour of Sicily, a sun-drenched island sitting off the south toe of Italy. Our small group visited Sicily “off the beaten path” and discovered a people rich in history, wine, olive oil and a slower pace of life based on outdoor living and dining.

Use overhead timbers and wisteria vines to create quick shade in outdoor living areas.

It may not be practical to add shade trees to your own patio area close to the house or to wait years for young trees to cast a shadow. Villas in Sicily grow almost instant shade by using the foliage of robust vines such as wisteria over pergolas made from wood, stone or even metal pipe. The north or east side of a building becomes the preferred spot for an outdoor living room in a hot climate while back home in rainy Washington the sun drenched West or South side of a home would be a more practical location for an outdoor living room. Wisteria not only drips with fragrant clusters of flowers in spring and sun-blocking foliage in summer but this vine has the good sense to lose its leaves during the winter months allowing much needed sunlight into the home.

Add color with paint, tile and garden art.

Gardeners in warm climates have always looked for ways to add color that does not require a watering can. Sicilian gardens are rich with ceramic tiles, painted pots and garden statuary. Stucco walls are painted peach or pink and native stone mellows to gold to create a lovely back drops for plants. In one pool side garden at a resort in Taormina we admired colorful square pots that were made from five 12 inch by 12 inch ceramic floor tiles. A simple do-it-yourself project, each brightly painted tile was glued to the edge of a 12 inch bottom base tile and secured with construction adhesive. The result is a tile cube open at the top that can be filled with potting soil and heat loving plants such as palms, plumbago, thungbergia, sedums and citrus fruits.

Turn your balcony into a hanging garden.

Traveling the world should always make one appreciate home and visiting a country like Sicily with high taxes and higher unemployment made us very aware of our status as ‘rich Americans.’ All over Europe fewer citizens own property and can afford the luxury of a large garden. Renting a small apartment does not keep Italians from creating roof top, balcony and even alley gardens. Geraniums spill from terra cotta pots over wrought iron railings, potted palm and orange trees cast needed shade on roof top gardens and vegetable lovers harvest eggplant, tomatoes and basil from narrow alleys where containers may be as economical as recycled olive oil tins or plastic water jugs.

Visiting Sicily showed us there is no excuse not to make the world a more beautiful place by growing plants. Lack of water and money in this country did not mean a lack of gardens or passion for living.

For more information on visiting the ancient Greek ruins, active volcanoes and mountain villages of Sicily contact our excellent guide Rosa Rizza or view excursion options at sunnysicily.com.


Send your gardening questions to Marianne Binetti at P.O. Box 872, Enumclaw WA 98022, enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a personal reply. Or visit www.binettigarden.com.

Article source: http://tdn.com/lifestyles/compleat-gardener-sicily-inspired-tips-to-dress-up-gardens/article_9eaf0064-71aa-11e4-b5f7-47fc6b1c4095.html

Singapore landscape designers eye Chelsea Flower Show prize

After scoring wins with their show gardens at Asian flower shows over the last couple of years, two local landscape designers are gunning for the biggest prize in the garden world.

In May next year, Mr John Tan, 54, and Mr Raymond Toh, 53, will head to London to take part in the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, where they will compete in the show garden category.

This is one of a few competitive categories at the show, which include floral displays. The Chelsea Flower Show is the most closely watched by the industry for trends and interesting features.

This is the first time that Singaporeans have been selected to create a show garden, though Singaporeans have taken part in other categories before.

Earlier this year, Ms Brenda Lee- Monteiro, floral designer and founder of Fiore Dorato, won the Silver-Gilt Flora award for a floral arrangement exhibit, while high-society florist Harijanto Setiawan, who runs Boenga, clinched the same award the year before.

Mr Tan, who runs Esmond Landscape and Horticultural in Neo Tiew Crescent with Mr Toh, says: “Going to Chelsea is something Raymond and I have always wanted to do, and it puts Singapore on the gardening world map as well.

“Our design skills are on a par with international designers, so this is an opportunity to show them,” adds Mr Tan who, together with Mr Toh, won the Gold Award and Best of Show in the international show gardens category at last year’s Gardening World Cup in Japan.

In London, they will be up against award-winning international designers such as British landscape duo Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam, founders and directors of Wilson McWilliam Studio, which won the Gold and Best of Show prizes in the landscape gardens category at this year’s Singapore Garden Festival. There will be 15 show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Paying homage to Singapore’s greenscape, Mr Tan’s design is titled The Hidden Beauty Of Kranji With Esmond Uniseal. He is partnering Uniseal, a local waterproofing and vertical greenery company which will provide vertical greenery for the garden. Mr Tan expects the garden to cost about $600,000, much of which would be self-funded, though he hopes to get more sponsors on board.

Bringing a bit of the Singapore countryside to London, the design features tropical plants, in particular, a large variety of orchids such as the Dendrobium Singapore Girl and the Dendrobium Tay Swee Keng Orchid slider.

These will be shipped to London from orchid growers in Kranji. Mr Tan will also visit Holland to get 5m-tall coconut trees that are grown in a greenhouse. There will also be a waterfall element in the design.

This concept was actually not Mr Tan’s initial vision for his Chelsea garden.

After submitting a design that featured more earthy and natural colours, the Royal Horticultural Society selection panel felt it better to show off Singapore with more exotic tropical plants and the country’s orchid varieties.

Mr Tan, who won Best of Show at the 2010 Singapore Garden Festival with his treehouse-in-a-garden design, says: “Working with colour is something outside my comfort zone. But as I wanted to showcase my work, I made the changes they suggested and took inspiration from Kranji, where I work.”

The father of two daughters aged 17 and 15 adds: “My friends question why I want to do this as I’ve already established myself in the industry, but this is my one and only chance to do it. It’s a huge financial burden, but creating a show garden at Chelsea is on every designer’s bucket list.”

As he and Mr Toh have scored big wins with their previous show gardens, they hope to extend their success to the biggest gardening stage in the world.

Mr Tan says: “I go into every show with the conviction to do my very best to win. I know what’s required of me, but my creation needs to be truly outstanding for people not to say that a prize is given to me because of certain privileges.”

natashaz@sph.com.sg

Article source: http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/home-garden/story/singapore-landscape-designers-eye-chelsea-flower-show-prize-20141122

Singapore landscape designers eye Chelsea Flower Show prize

After scoring wins with their show gardens at Asian flower shows over the last couple of years, two local landscape designers are gunning for the biggest prize in the garden world.

In May next year, Mr John Tan, 54, and Mr Raymond Toh, 53, will head to London to take part in the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, where they will compete in the show garden category.

This is one of a few competitive categories at the show, which include floral displays. The Chelsea Flower Show is the most closely watched by the industry for trends and interesting features.

This is the first time that Singaporeans have been selected to create a show garden, though Singaporeans have taken part in other categories before.

Earlier this year, Ms Brenda Lee- Monteiro, floral designer and founder of Fiore Dorato, won the Silver-Gilt Flora award for a floral arrangement exhibit, while high-society florist Harijanto Setiawan, who runs Boenga, clinched the same award the year before.

Mr Tan, who runs Esmond Landscape and Horticultural in Neo Tiew Crescent with Mr Toh, says: “Going to Chelsea is something Raymond and I have always wanted to do, and it puts Singapore on the gardening world map as well.

“Our design skills are on a par with international designers, so this is an opportunity to show them,” adds Mr Tan who, together with Mr Toh, won the Gold Award and Best of Show in the international show gardens category at last year’s Gardening World Cup in Japan.

In London, they will be up against award-winning international designers such as British landscape duo Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam, founders and directors of Wilson McWilliam Studio, which won the Gold and Best of Show prizes in the landscape gardens category at this year’s Singapore Garden Festival. There will be 15 show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Paying homage to Singapore’s greenscape, Mr Tan’s design is titled The Hidden Beauty Of Kranji With Esmond Uniseal. He is partnering Uniseal, a local waterproofing and vertical greenery company which will provide vertical greenery for the garden. Mr Tan expects the garden to cost about $600,000, much of which would be self-funded, though he hopes to get more sponsors on board.

Bringing a bit of the Singapore countryside to London, the design features tropical plants, in particular, a large variety of orchids such as the Dendrobium Singapore Girl and the Dendrobium Tay Swee Keng Orchid slider.

These will be shipped to London from orchid growers in Kranji. Mr Tan will also visit Holland to get 5m-tall coconut trees that are grown in a greenhouse. There will also be a waterfall element in the design.

This concept was actually not Mr Tan’s initial vision for his Chelsea garden.

After submitting a design that featured more earthy and natural colours, the Royal Horticultural Society selection panel felt it better to show off Singapore with more exotic tropical plants and the country’s orchid varieties.

Mr Tan, who won Best of Show at the 2010 Singapore Garden Festival with his treehouse-in-a-garden design, says: “Working with colour is something outside my comfort zone. But as I wanted to showcase my work, I made the changes they suggested and took inspiration from Kranji, where I work.”

The father of two daughters aged 17 and 15 adds: “My friends question why I want to do this as I’ve already established myself in the industry, but this is my one and only chance to do it. It’s a huge financial burden, but creating a show garden at Chelsea is on every designer’s bucket list.”

As he and Mr Toh have scored big wins with their previous show gardens, they hope to extend their success to the biggest gardening stage in the world.

Mr Tan says: “I go into every show with the conviction to do my very best to win. I know what’s required of me, but my creation needs to be truly outstanding for people not to say that a prize is given to me because of certain privileges.”

natashaz@sph.com.sg

Article source: http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/home-garden/story/singapore-landscape-designers-eye-chelsea-flower-show-prize-20141122

Hayden Christensen Grabs Ideas on Landscaping, Pregnant Rachel Bilson …

Hayden Christensen rocks a “Nirvana” tee while getting some landscaping ideas at Central Valley Builders Supply on Wednesday (October 22) in Van Nuys, Calif.

During the outing, the 33-year-old Canadian actor was seen chatting with his pregnant girlfriend Rachel Bilson, who sat in the car.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Hayden Christensen

Rachel looks like she is very far along in her pregnancy and could give birth to their baby any day now. We are definitely on baby watch!

30+ pictures inside of Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson dropping by Central Valley Builders Supply…

Article source: http://www.justjared.com/2014/10/22/hayden-christensen-grabs-ideas-on-landscaping-pregnant-rachel-bilson-relaxes-in-the-car/

Briefs: Grant to fund health study in transit corridor



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    A $100,000 grant will fund a yearlong study of potential health effects resulting from the development of the Gateway Corridor, the transit link being developed along Interstate 94 from the eastern end of Woodbury to downtown St. Paul.

    The grant comes from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, with funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. The study will help inform land-use changes around the Gateway Corridor’s bus-rapid transit stations proposed along the route, Lyssa Leitner, a planner with Washington County Public Works, told the County Board earlier this month.

    Gateway Corridor project leaders say the health impact assessment process will engage residents and businesses in discussions about how community design affects people’s health. The assessment is being done in concert with the Gateway Corridor Commission’s draft environmental impact study, which looks for ways the proposed transit service infrastructure may affect the area.

    Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik, chairwoman of the Gateway Corridor Commission, said she’s is excited about bringing the subjects together.

    “It’s a unique partnership — this joint effort between an infrastructure project and public health,” Weik said. “It will become more valuable as we understand more about long-term health and how it’s connected to our surroundings.”

    The assessment also has support from the Housing Redevelopment Authorities in Washington and Ramsey counties because of their focus on access to affordable housing and jobs.

    Woodbury

    Top environmental projects honored

    A church, a multifamily housing development, and a Woodbury family are the recipients of Woodbury’s seventh annual Environmental Excellence Awards. They were nominated for their efforts in the areas of innovative stormwater management, water conservation, and environmental education and awareness.

    Woodbury Community Church, 2975 Pioneer Drive, was honored for a rain garden project. It converted 35,000 square feet of high-maintenance turf grass and a ditch into three rain gardens. The project was designed to improve water quality, reduce flooding, provide attractive landscaping and educate members of the church and community about the importance of water quality. The project installation was a collaborative effort between the Minnesota Conservation Corps and volunteers from the congregation.

    Views at City Walk, a 45-unit apartment building at 375 Lake View Drive constructed by CommonBond Communities, was honored for paying close attention to water conservation in its design. Specifically, the project engineers from Loucks designed an underground rainwater harvesting system. This rainwater can then be used to irrigate the property’s landscaping.

    The John and Catherine Schoenherr family’s decision to convert their front yard to an “edible estate,” sponsored by the Walker Art Center, also was honored. The family of four worked with artist Fritz Haeg and several volunteers to create the 90-by-60-foot edible garden, which replaced the entire front yard. The goal of the project was to replace a traditional suburban lawn with an edible landscape that not only produces food, but also promotes human interaction. The second year of growing produced approximately 100 crops. Neighbors gathered on Wednesday nights to help tend to and harvest the garden.

    Food collection to aid Second Harvest

    Kowalski’s Market in Woodbury, at 8505 Valley Creek Road, has been chosen as one of four Twin Cities sites for KARE 11 TV’s Food Fight to benefit Second Harvest Heartland. The food drive takes place from 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 25. The Woodbury effort will be led by meteorologist Belinda Jensen.

    Collection boxes for food have been placed at Public Safety, City Hall, Central Park, Public Works and Bielenberg Sports Center. Monetary donations can also be made online and on site at Kowalski’s.

    All funds and food collected will benefit Second Harvest Heartland, a food bank with partner programs in 59 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including the Christian Cupboard in Woodbury. At this time, protein (peanut butter, canned tuna, canned chicken, etc.), cereal, fruits and vegetables, and complete meals (pasta and sauce) are in greatest need.

    Last year, more than 860,000 pounds of food were donated to Second Harvest Heartland as part of this event.

    For more information, visit www.kare11.com/community.

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    $1.12 million rain garden project in Port Angeles nears completion

    PORT ANGELES — A $1.12 million stormwater project in west Port Angeles to relieve flooding and improve stormwater runoff water quality is nearly complete.

    The city has installed rain gardens at eight intersections on South H, K, L and M streets, as well as a new, larger drain pipe system to relieve flood problems on South H Street.

    Rain gardens are designed to transfer surface stormwater to groundwater by providing planted “wells” for water to pool and soak into the ground, rather than entering the stormwater system, and to provide a natural filter for surface stormwater.

    Water-loving plants are used in rain gardens and provide additional water removal and filtering.

    Most of the work is complete at seven of the intersections of South H and South K streets at West Sixth and Seventh streets, at South L and West Fifth streets, and at South M and West Sixth streets, said Jonathan Boehme, city stormwater engineer.

    On Wednesday, crews finished filling the rain gardens with filter and soil materials at West Fifth and L streets, which should be planted within the next week, Boehme said.

    Completion originally was expected this month, but it was delayed by the unexpected discovery of a shallow sewage pipe and the delay of materials deliveries, he said.

    The final rain garden is expected to be complete and planted before the Thanksgiving break next Thursday, Boehme said.

    He expects the final touches to be finished in December.

    All that remains is installation of pervious paving around the new rain gardens, which can allow up to 500 inches of water to filter through the pavement per hour, and some curb and backfill work, Boehme said.

    The intersections have undergone a major change in appearance.

    The corners of each intersection with rain gardens are “bumped out” into the parking lanes to provide space for the long, narrow gardens, leaving two 11-foot driving lanes for traffic, Kathryn Neal, city engineering manager, has said.

    The project is expected to be a permanent solution for two city stormwater problems.

    The narrowed road also is expected to serve as a secondary purpose of slowing traffic through the residential neighborhood.

    Prior to 2009, the area around South H Street tended to flood during heavy rains because of a stormwater pipe that was too small, Neal said.

    She said the city installed a temporary drain system in 2009, but water runoff flowing into Port Angeles Harbor was still contaminated with pollutants such as oil from the roads.

    Most of the cost is funded by a $1 million grant from the state Department of Ecology.

    Jordan Excavating of Port Angeles won the $1,125,308 bid in June. Construction began in July.

    The new intersections feature sidewalks and Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant ramps, each connecting to existing walking areas on their respective streets, Neal said.

    Each rain garden on H Street has an overflow drain attached to the new, larger stormwater pipe, while the K, L and M streets have no additional drainage, she said.

    Killdeer Landscaping of Chimacum has lined each 3- to 4-foot-deep hole with filtration soils, leaving depressions for the water to gather.

    The plantings include 44 tupelo trees and 10 species of plants selected for their ability to thrive in the conditions at the bottom of a rain garden.

    Slough sedge, small-fruited bulrush, prairie fire and dagger-leaf rushes are planted in the deepest, soggiest portion of the rain gardens.

    In wet but less soggy areas, flowering plants were selected: common camas, violets, yellow-eyed grass and magic carpet spiraea.

    On the drier edges, kinnikinnick and wild coastal strawberries complete the gardens.

    ________

    Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

    Article source: http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20141121/news/311219968/-112-million-rain-garden-project-in-port-angeles-nears-completion

    Protect water fixtures from freeze

    Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 12:01 am

    Protect water fixtures from freeze

    Associated Press |


    For many people with backyard ponds, fountains and other water-garden fixtures, the arrival of cold weather means draining the pipes and pulling the plug.

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        Saturday, November 22, 2014 12:01 am.

        Article source: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/life/protect-water-fixtures-from-freeze/article_0fd0e05d-6747-5541-8ba1-ad27116c16a1.html