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Archives for February 7, 2015

Bentonville’s Market District to house urban lofts

BENTONVILLE — A San Diego real estate development company is looking to house its first project in the city’s Market District.

The project is the first new residential development announced for the Market District since the Southeast Downtown Area Plan was adopted in January 2014, according to Beau Thompson, city planner.

Caitlin Kelley, principal and chief visionary officer, and Emily Fierer, principal and chief executive officer of picture Real Estate Development, created the company in 2013. They plan to build 15 semi-attached townhomes known as the Tourmaline Urban Lofts at 501 S.E. D St.

Kelley and Fierer are the project’s architects and developers.

The townhomes will be just south of the downtown trail, which connects to the Razorback Greenway about two blocks to the east. Residents will have access to a planned fish market, Bentonville Brewing Company, Austin-Baggett Park and other sites within the district. They also will be within a mile from the Downtown Square.

The Planning Commission approved the rezoning of the property from medium density to planned residential development at its last meeting Feb. 3. Plans are scheduled to go before the commission Feb. 17.

“Tourmaline is a progressive residential ‘pocket community’ designed for people who want to live and work within a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood,” according to picture’s report to the city’s planning department.

The lofts will be two and three stories and will have four layouts. Some will have zero lot lines for those who don’t want the maintenance of a yard, while others will have side yards, which will accommodate those who have pets, children and green thumbs, Fierer said.

The goal is to create a living environment that inspires those who live there, Kelley said.

“The whole design is around this commons where the landscape is very dominant,” she said.

There will be a sculpture and bench to give the feel of an outdoor room. Native trees and shrubs will be planted on the property. Some will bear edible fruits and nuts that will be available for resident and pedestrian consumption.

“That landscape is not an afterthought,” Fierer said.

The lofts are designed to give residents privacy, but also allow for spontaneous interaction with neighbors and nature, the developers said.

The first floors will be open with double-height ceilings and large, expansive glass, Kelley said. They will have contemporary kitchens and open living rooms. The master bedroom will be upstairs with a sliding barn door that looks out over the living space.

The development includes features that aren’t required, which shows that Kelley and Fierer have taken ownership in the project to make it special, said Debi Havner, planning commissioner.

The outdoor sculpture and their landscaping ideas were just two that stood out to Havner.

“They have gone out of their way to make sure there’s something blooming year-round,” she said.

Joe Haynie, planning commissioner, said he likes the concept of the urban lofts and believes there will be myriad styles that emerge as the Market District develops.

“Each piece of land, because of size and topography, will have something unique built on it,” he wrote in an email. “By having condos or Tourmaline-style complexes built, you get an increased number of people that will make use of the Market District as the markets begin to appear.”

The lofts are expected to be ready for sale by this fall, according to the developers.

NW News on 02/07/2015

Print Headline: Bentonville’s Market District to house urban lofts

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Landscape lingo: We don’t build a house without a plan, so why put in a yard …

In a world of DIY stores, YouTube instructional videos and Pinterest boards, people often think they can install or build anything, without help. While I am a big fan of saving money and learning new skills, it would be considered crazy to build a home without construction plans. When it comes to landscaping, why do homeowners often “dig in” without any plans in hand?

* * *

During 23 years of marriage, three different homes and years trying to put in landscaping, my husband and I have learned a lot about our own limitations and the value of an outside design opinion. Our first home in Provo, on the river trail of Geneva and Center Street, taught us about DIY hydro seeding and the damage a few loose cows, walking your neighborhood, can do to a freshly soaked lawn.

Our second home was a traditional brick two-story in a wonderful North Salt Lake neighborhood. After the stress of putting in that first yard in Provo, we vowed we would NEVER do it on our own again! We visited a local nursery, and for a small fee, we hired a designer to come and walk through our yard. She helped us make a plan. It was great. The garden ended up in a totally different area of the yard than we had originally planned, because of her advice. With those very rough sketches and a plant list, we hired landscapers to install our yard. It turned out great.

We are now in our third house. We moved into our simple Lehi craftsman style home two days before Thanksgiving 2013. While new construction brings landscaping needs, this time around feels more complicated with slope questions and financial stressors. Questions have come up about which water-sensitive plants work best in our climate and how to use more modern design ideas. Past landscaping projects had already proven the value in having a third-party advisor help us save money and stay on budget.

Searching every Pinterest board that included the words “modern” or “landscaping” left me feeling more confused. I dreamed of a landscaping genie who could come and magically wave his yard wand, and poof, it would appear.

* * *

Did such a landscaping designer genius really exist? Yes.

The story of how Jayson King and his successful Utah-based design studio came to be, is almost as inspiring as his thousands of custom landscaping designs.

I met King, principal owner of Landform Design Group, in the stylish, urban Salt Lake City corporate office of Landform Design Group. Instantly, King’s vision and great sense of style were apparent. This talented Utah native has worked to revolutionize the landscaping industry.

Landform Design Group (LFDG) was born from King’s own childhood memories of growing up working in his father’s nursery. Landscaping and plant know-how was not only the family business but also became King’s passion. He enrolled in a landscape architectural degree program at Utah State University, graduating in 2001.

King then moved to DTJ Design in Boulder, Colorado, where he worked until 2003 gaining experience on large commercial projects and resorts. Even though the professional development was expansive, it was here Jayson realized he was missing something — the finished product. Even with the amazing experience designing for DTJ, King realized it was the completed yards that brought him the greatest joy and satisfaction. He didn’t want to just design yards, he wanted to see them born.

Landform Design Group was launched at the end of 2003 when King moved back to Utah and created the boutique landscaping design center with full-service project management for all landscaping needs, large or small. Landform Design serves clients with multi-million dollar estates to small residential homes that need yard face lifts.

I have definitely found my landscape designer genie.

* * *

Over the past decade, LFDG has perfected a seamless system of services. The studio will help clients create a clear design approach. For the client who has an older home, with a yard that needs more work than just a pair of hedge clippers, an outside designer may be essential. But it is intimidating to work with fancy landscape architects’ plans. LFDG will help you take your property beyond plants and grass so your space is livable.

King says that LFDG will help you think. He likes to say it is his job to know the answers — sometimes even before the client knows the questions. “We see the soul of a space; its potential, its promise, its place in your everyday life. And our one-of-a-kind process [helps this happen].”

The feel at LFDG’s downtown studio is comfortable yet contemporary. You get a sense when you meet with King that you are his only concern; it is a boutique experience, like searching for that one special gift, verses a big box store shopping trip. Even among King’s long list of “high-end” commercial and full-designed and managed residential projects, I never felt like I had to have a big budget for him to take me seriously. He shows the same personalized professionalism and respect to all his clients; no matter the price tag.

King has 20 years of construction management experience, so you get a lot when you work with LFDG. With 12 years of commitment to the profession of landscape architecture, King is able to create a seamless connection between the design and the build environment, while also leading a collaborative team to bring clients distinctive landscapes and memorable environments for LDFG.

* * *

After hearing King’s story and his vision for the future of LDFG, I knew I had found my landscaping genie. He listened to both mine and my husband’s thoughts. Sometimes a husband and wife will see the same space very differently, so meeting with a designer provides a third party perspective that can help create a cohesive plan before the first shovel hits the dirt. The LDFG team listens to the client and then they come to your home so the site can “speak” to them as well. After our initial meeting with King, we were confident we had come to the right place.

LDFG has three custom packages that will fit within differing client’s dreams and budgets. The process has been perfected since 2003 and can provide you with a real lifestyle plan all the way through a fully managed completed project.

The questions often asked by clients when meeting with King include, Can we do the work ourselves? Can we finish it in phases? Can you we limit the budget — to add things later? Can LDFG take care of everything?

The answer to these questions, and the millions more that come with landscaping and design, are all YES!!!

I am not sure what the future holds for our empty, Lehi yard but I am excited to see what King dreams up. Building a home without a plan would be crazy, so we won’t be going it alone while we build our yard. With a tight budget and big dreams, a plan is a must.

Take this everyday faith journey with me into the world of plants and grass. See what King creates, in the coming weeks. Things don’t always go as planned, but at least with a plan I know my dreams of an environmentally friendly, modern landscape design are now more of a possibility.

Isn’t that really what everyday faith is about — hope? With help from great designers like King we have more than hope, it is a real possibility.

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New Trends At The Home And Garden Expo

The 49th Annual Home  Garden Expo is going on all weekend at the Centurylink Center.

The 49th Annual Home Garden Expo is going on all weekend at the Centurylink Center.

Over 600 exhibitors will show off their best products and designs when it comes to home decoration, remodeling and landscaping.

Mike Mancuso is the organizer of the event. He said there are plenty of options for any type of home improvement you might be doing. Especially when it comes to being green.

“What’s really hot is energy savings and really doing something for the environment, whether it’s gardening, doing it organically,” he said.

But one of the biggest trends when it comes to improving your backyard are fire pits and waterfalls. Jake Johnson with Executive Lawn Enhancement helps install these products.

His designs aren’t the fire pits you used to take camping. These combine elaborate rock displays, or sculpture designs to add some life to your backyard.

“It’s a good way to gather, it creates ambiance.” he said. “The way we do it is the natural gas that’s super easy. You turn the key on and you turn it off and that’s how you operate it.”

Johnson added that installing something like this by yourself can be difficult and dangerous, especially when dealing with running a gas line. He recommends leaving it to the professionals.

The waterfalls are part of a continuing trend nationwide of home owners installing water gardens, usually with a small pond.

The exhibit also offered some larger landscaping items, like playgrounds, hots tubs and patios.

And the gardening aspect is just one half of the show. There’s also many ways to redecorate or remodel your home.

One way to freshen things up for spring, some new colors on the walls, or decorations, like vases and wall hangings.

Exhibitors are also offering options for remodeling the two biggest rooms in your home– bathrooms and kitchens. One update is a frame less shower door to add a clean finish to your bathroom.

Most of the products you see at the show are available to buy.

Other highlights for the show include appearances from celebrity designer Paul DiMeo, garden expert Joe Gardener, and food author Todd Wilbur.

For more information on the show include ticket prices, times and a full list of booths click the link provided with this story.

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Horticulturists to explain how to simplify Louisiana gardens at Ruston workshop

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 9:37 am

A half-day workshop Saturday at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston will show gardeners how to simplify their landscape so that maintaining it takes less time.

Greg Grant, a research associate at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Pineywoods Native Plant Center, is all-consumed by his country cottage garden in Arcadia, Texas. But he’s OK with that. He will tell gardeners to exercise discipline when they buy plants at the nursery, and to think about how the foliage will look well into the future.

“It’s the basics that most people miss — like planting an 80-foot tall tree under a 15-foot power line,” Grant said, who admits to tending to his own garden in the middle of the night during summer months. “But, putting it on paper and writing things down helps people, like a grocery list does. If it’s not on your list, don’t buy it.”

Grant will be joined by LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill, the voice of “Get it Growing” commentaries. Gill will give tips on how to reduce the amount of time it takes to maintain a home’s outdoor landscape. He suggests switching to raised beds for growing vegetables and using containers for color instead of tending large flower beds.

“The thing to look for in your landscaping efforts is when you begin to dread taking care of your landscape,” Gill said. “You don’t have time to keep it looking the way you want it to. Then you’ve done something wrong in your design and your plans, and you really need to rethink  it. Our landscape should never feel like a burden.”

The program also features Frances Davidson, staff horticulturalist at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe, La., who will speak on choosing annual color effectively.

The workshop “Wise Gardening Practices, Principles for Easier Gardening” is set for Saturday, Feb. 7, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Louisiana Tech’s Lomax Hall. More information is at The workshop is put on by the North Central Louisiana Master Gardeners.

Copyright 2015 KDAQ-FM. To see more, visit

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Master Gardener: Growing grapes in Nevada

Edible landscaping is popular right now. With the prevailing drought, homeowners want to make the best possible use of the water they use on their landscape. Grapevines can be a valuable addition to the edible home landscape. They can be consistent fruit-producers in Nevada gardens and are prized for their aesthetic beauty and long life. For successful production, though, gardeners should consider a few important factors: selecting a good site, planting appropriate varieties, and consistent care and maintenance to improve vigor.

Western Nevada, with its short growing season and late spring frosts, can be a challenging place to grow anything, but you can improve your chance of success with grapevines by careful selection of your growing site. Grapes need sun, and lots of it. Plant your vines in an area that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Usually, this means planting in a southern exposure with minimal shading from trees or structures. Planting on a slight slope can be helpful because it allows cold air to drain away from your plants and may protect from late season frost damage.

Although European grape varieties are favored for commercial wine production, the most successful cultivars for our area are the American varieties. They are more tolerant than European varieties of our cold winters and short growing season. Grape varieties differ in their color, size, flavor, texture and presence (or not) of seeds. American grape varieties are prized for use as table grapes, for making delicious juice and jam and for homemade wine. You may also want to select several varieties with different harvest dates, fruit color and fruit flavor.

You can improve your chances of successful grape production by being an observant and attentive gardener. Plant your grapevines in a wide hole with adequate drainage, and at least 5 feet from neighboring vines. Train your vines early to grow along a trellis, and prune each year to prevent tangling of branches and loss of fruiting vigor. Keep the soil around your vines consistently moist, but not wet, during the critical stage between bud break and flowering, and increase irrigation frequency during fruit development. Drip irrigation is the most efficient method for our area. Cut back on irrigation while grapes are ripening to encourage sugar and flavor development. Grapes need only moderate fertilization, and will thrive with annual additions of organic matter to the soil around the plants.

Also remember to watch for and manage pests around your plants to prevent damage to roots and leaves. Keep weeds under control by mulching around your plants, keeping mulch 1 to 2 inches away from the trunks. Pull weeds while they are still young to prevent root competition for water and nutrients. Be cautious with use of herbicides around your vines as they are easily damaged.

Heidi Kratsch is the Horticulture Specialist with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Interested in growing grapes in your yard? Come to our Growing Grapes in Nevada Workshop, jointly sponsored by Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture, Nutrition and Veterinary Science. Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, February 21 from 9 a.m. to Noon. Register online at

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Gardening Tips: More winter weeds

Matthew Stevens

Matthew Stevens

Posted: Friday, February 6, 2015 12:02 pm

Gardening Tips: More winter weeds

By Matthew Stevens

The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC


Winter weeds have a knack for sticking out like a sore thumb in the lawn and garden when most everything else is dormant. Most winter weeds are annuals that return from seed each year and they grow slowly until taking off right before spring.

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Friday, February 6, 2015 12:02 pm.

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Preparing Your Lawn And Garden Equipment For Spring: Tips From The …

(NAPSI)—Spring is on its way, and soon, home and business owners will be cleaning and preparing lawn and garden equipment.

“Many are so eager to pull out lawn and garden equipment once spring arrives that they sometimes forget basic steps to ensure the powerhouse of the equipment—the engine—is in good working order,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI.

“One challenge is that most fuel contains some level of ethanol, which contains corrosive alcohol. If you left that fuel in the tank over the winter months, you don’t want to use it in the spring. It may damage your equipment. You need to drain it and put in new fuel that is E10 or lower,” advises Kiser.

Whether it’s a mower, trimmer, blower, chain saw or pruner, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers tips to help users avoid fuel-related problems and ready their equipment to operate safely.

Check the fuel tank. If fuel has been sitting all winter long in the fuel tank, do not use it in the spring. Drain it responsibly and put in fresh fuel. Remember to dispose of this fuel properly.

Use only E10 or lower fuel in your outdoor power equipment. Do not use gas with more than 10 percent ethanol (E10) in outdoor power equipment. Some gas stations may offer 15 percent ethanol (E15) gas or other fuel blends, but this higher ethanol fuel is dangerous—and is in fact illegal—to use in any small engine equipment, such as lawn mowers, chain saws, generators, and all other lawn and garden equipment.

Don’t leave fuel sitting in the tank for more than 30 days. Untreated gasoline (without a fuel stabilizer) left in the system will deteriorate, which may cause starting or running problems and, in some cases, damage to the fuel system.

Inspect your equipment. Check for loose belts and missing or damaged parts. If you find anything concerning, replace the parts or take your equipment to a qualified service representative.

Drain out the old oil and put in fresh oil. Remove the oil drain plug in your lawn mower and catch the old oil in a container. Replace the plug and refill the engine with oil recommended by the product manufacturer. Properly dispose of the oil you drained.

Install clean air filters. Your engine and equipment will run much better with clean filters. Paper filters need to be replaced. Some foam filters can be cleaned and replaced.

Sharpen your cutting blade. Have your lawn mower’s cutting blade sharpened so you can get a clean cut on your lawn. Your lawn will be healthier and your lawn mower will operate more efficiently, too.

Clean your equipment. If you did not clean your equipment before storing it, there may be dirt, oil or grass stuck to it. Give your equipment a good spring-cleaning. A cleaner machine will run more efficiently and last longer.

Review your manual. Now is a good time to read the operator’s manual and refamiliarize yourself with the controls and what they do. Make sure you know how to stop the machine quickly if needed.

About OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show, and the creative force behind the environmental education program, OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces. For more information, visit


On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)

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Want to grow your own vegetable garden? Get tips on soil testing at UMass …

SPRINGFIELD — Interested in starting a vegetable garden this spring? First check to see the quality of your soil.

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering a free workshop on soil testing and fertility.

“We recommend this for anyone who is interested in growing their own food, from beginning gardeners to experienced urban farmers,” said Zoraia Barros, an Urban Agriculture Specialist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The workshop will focus on how to take a soil test and submit it for analysis, how to apply lime and fertilizer and more.

The “Soil Test Workshop,” will be held this Saturday, Feb. 7, from 1-3 p.m.
at the UMass Center in Tower Square in Springfield. For more information call (413)658-4278 or email Barros at

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The cat’s whiskers: Alan Titchmarsh’s tips on growing catkins in your garden

But it is for the jollity of its flowers that we grow it, and the contorted beauty of its twisted stems.

The leaves themselves are coarse, hairy and rather puckered, but they are a small price to pay for a plant that is good to look at for the other six months of the year.

It is not especially fast growing, so don’t worry that you won’t have room for it. Towards the back of a border is a good place to put it, then you will notice it in winter when its catkins unfurl.

If you have a shady wall and are struggling to find something to cover it, then you could plump for another plant that carries catkins – Garrya elliptica.

This is an evergreen shrub, which is happiest against a wall and its dark green leaves make a good background to the grey-green catkins that dangle from the shoot tips in February and March. In the variety ‘James Roof’ these catkins can be anything up to 12in long.

So bring a touch of spring to your garden now with a bunch of catkins. You’ll be cheered up in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

Don’t miss Alan’s gardening column in today’s Daily Express. For more information on his range of gardening products, visit

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