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Archives for February 28, 2015

EBMUD offers plant ideas, rebates to promote conservation

OAKLAND — For longer than most Californians would like to remember, local water districts have been promoting water conservation and the East Bay Municipal Water District is right up there with the rest, stepping up its program to guide customers during the current drought.

EBMUD is continuing its program of offering rebates for residential landscape conversions. It has also developed new WaterSmart plant tags to guide consumers looking to convert to water efficient landscaping and is working closely with area nurseries.

“The plant tags are so customers who are in the process of converting their landscapes and are trying to make better choices of plants they are putting outside can figure out easily which are the ones that are more water efficient,” said Abby Figueroa, EBMUD senior public information representative. “They’re really to guide customers toward the best plants for the climate.”

Nine nurseries throughout the East Bay are using the tags sporting the message “I’m a WaterSmart plant,” including five in Alameda County: Encinal Nursery in Alameda; Westbrae Nursery in Berkeley; Thornhill Nursery in Montclair; Ace Garden Center Grand Lake in Oakland; and Evergreen Nursery in San Leandro.

The four Contra Costa County participants are: Tassajara Nursery in Danville; Mount Diablo Nursery and Orchard Nursery and Florist in Lafayette; and Annie’s Annuals in Richmond.

Customers can scan the back of the tags for information on water-wise plants and water-saving tips.

Each nursery determines its inventory of WaterSmart plants based on certain criteria.

The plant must be listed in the EBMUD’s “Plants and Landscapes for Summer Dry Climates” guide or appear in the state plant database, “Water Use Classification of Landscape,” as a low-water-using plant.

“Hundreds of plants qualify,” Figueroa said. “Drought or no drought, we have dry summers with warm temperatures throughout most of the year, so we really want to encourage people to pick plants that are going to be efficient.”

Rebates are another conservation promotion and EBMUD is offering rebates in three areas of landscape conversion.

The slogan “get cash for grass” refers to earning a rebate of 50 cents per square foot for removing a lawn.

Installing drip irrigation earns 25 cents per square foot and rebates are also offered for installing a Smart, self-regulating irrigation control.

Single-family homes can earn up to $2,500 as a credit on their water bill. Conservation is gaining momentum and EBMUD has seen a huge jump in the number of people applying for rebates.

“Last year, at this time we had less than 50 customers in the queue for landscape rebates and this year we have more than 500 somewhere in the process of receiving their rebate,” Figueroa said.

“Customers must first apply and be evaluated by a water conservation technician before being preapproved, then they have six months to make their upgrades and submit the final paperwork for us to approve the rebate.”

California’s drought is definitely a serious situation and mandatory restrictions statewide limit outdoor watering to no more than twice a week.

Along with this restriction, the best way to conserve water is by finding and fixing leaks in irrigation systems and taking control of what is being watered.

“If folks can think ahead and do anything that will reduce their outdoor water use long term those are the best steps they can take to help out in the drought,” Figueroa said.


For more information on new plant tags:
For rebate information:
EBMUD ‘Plants and Landscape for Summer Dry Climates’ guide:
Participating nurseries: Ace Garden Center Grand Lake, 4001 Grand Ave., Oakland; Annie’s Annuals, 740 Market Ave., Richmond; Encinal Nursery, 2057 Encinal Ave., Alameda; Evergreen Nursery, 350 San Leandro Blvd., San Leandro; Mt. Diablo Nursery, 3295 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette; Orchard Nursery and Florist, 4010 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette; Tassajara Nursery, 2550 Camino Tassajara, Danville; Thornhill Nursery, 6250 Thornhill Drive, Oakland; and Westbrae Nursery, 1272 Gilman St., Berkeley.

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Think Spring at Home Show

MASON CITY | While the weather outside is frightful, the spring ideas for home and lawn care inside the North Iowa Events Center are delightful.

Billed as “A Million Ideas to Take Home,” The North Iowa Home Landscaping Show offers the latest ideas in landscaping, gardens, lawnmowers, energy-saving products, kitchen remodeling, sun rooms and gas grills.

Sandy Vanek is a landscape designer with Eastvold Landscaping, Forest City.

“Every year they come out with new paver styles and colors and textures and blends. It is so exciting. The opportunities are just never-ending,” Vanek said.

“As you can see in our booth here, we like to mix the different textures of pavers and colors and shapes and patterns. There’s lots of fun things you can do. You can create outdoor rooms with a lot of the pavers.”

Outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and fire pits are popular additions to any outdoor living area.

Vanek said raised planters, pillars, seat walls and grill surrounds are a growing industry.

White Oaks Cabinetry, Rudd, offers cabinet options including but not limited to red and white oak, maple, cherry, alder, hickory and ash in painted or glazed finishes. Countertop options include laminate, solid surface, granite, quartz and natural stone.

“A lot of people are going to the solid surface tops whether it be granite or quartz or like a Corian type top. They feel like the Corian because you can fix any scratches where as in Formica you can’t,” said co-owner Julynn Mellmann.

But Formica can be a budget-conscious option for some homeowners remodeling their kitchen. 

“Formica has a lot of nice new styles,” Mellmann said.

The Olson Building was filling up with visitors wanting to get a peak at the latest innovations.

“I like to come and see what they’ve got new,” said Don Pinkele of Clear Lake. “I look at them and think, maybe.” 

Article source:

Welcome to My Garden: Visit local gardens, gain new landscaping ideas

Citrus — Plant citrus. ‘Meyer’ lemon, ‘Marrs’ sweet orange, ‘Melogold’ grapefruit, ‘Minneola’ tangelo and ‘Nagami’ kumquat are a few varieties to try. Fertilize established citrus around the outer edge of their canopy with ammonium sulfate.

Vegetables — Sow seeds for beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, radishes and spinach. Sow seeds for cucumber, melons, pumpkin, okra, zucchini, squash, bush beans and sweet corn. Set out transplants of peppers and tomatoes.

Annuals — Sow seeds for zinnia, coneflower, sunflower, hollyhock, nasturtium, clarkia, larkspur, sweet pea and California poppy. Deadhead blossoms on annuals to encourage more flowers. Plant transplants for petunia, stock and marigolds.

Perennials — Plant verbena, vinca, sundrops, or moss verbena for groundcover. Plant chrysanthemum, Shasta daisy, statice, desert ruellia, penstemon, salvia, lantana, and delphinium. Prune any frost-damaged plants.

Bulbs and Rhizomes — Plant ranunculus, amaryllis, cannas, spider lily, tiger flower, and rain lily. Amaryllis are planted with at least half the bulb above ground, cannas are planted 6 inches below ground, and rain lilies are planted just below ground. Do not remove green leaves from bulbs that have bloomed; allow leaves to dry completely before removing them.

Trees — Plant ‘Anna Smith’ or ‘Dorsett Gold’ apples, cascalote, Texas mountain laurel, palo verde, desert willow, Texas olive, pomegranate, sweet acacia, royal poinciana, orchid tree, Mission fig and jacaranda. Plant citrus trees and nut trees. Thin fruit on deciduous fruit trees to prevent limb breakage. Leave one fruit every 4-6 inches. If you haven’t fertilized your fruit trees, fertilize deciduous fruit trees with ammonium nitrate and water well.

Shrubs — Plant bougainvillea, hibiscus, myrtle, brittlebush, wolfberry, chuparosa, butterfly bush, fairy duster, emu bush or yellow bells. Prune established perennials to a size that fits their location.

Herbs — Sow seeds or set out transplants for anise, basil, catnip, epazote, fennel, sage and lemon grass.

Roses — Fertilize established roses.

Cacti and Succulents — Plant now using a fast-draining soil mix. Cut back cholla and prickly pear if they are becoming too large for their space.

Vines — Plant passion flower, black-eyed Susan vine, cup and saucer, yellow orchid, purple coral, queen’s wreath, cross vine, or cat claw vine. Plant grapes, bare-root or container grown. If not leafed out, prune established grape vines back to four original canes, two horizontally in one direction and two the other direction (each around 8 ft. in length).

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Ty Pennington appears at Home + Garden Show

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – He might be television’s most recognized home builder, remodeler and improvement expert. From Trading Spaces to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ty Pennington’s career is bigger than ever.

Pennington joined us on KARE Saturday to preview the 2015 Minneapolis Home + Garden Show, where he’ll give a presentation on the Ace Hardware Paint Studio Lifestyle Stage on Saturday at 11 a.m.

The show is sure to inspire homeowners with its more than 1,000 experts sharing new ideas and practical advice, as well as hundreds of exhibits featuring innovative products and services. The show boasts great deals and shopping experiences all related to home, gardening, remodeling, and home decor.

Other highlights of this year’s Minneapolis Home + Garden Show:

Internationally-recognized design/build contractor and Canadian television personality, Ramsin Khachi. Sasha Andreev will present the Show’s standout innovative products. Local architect and designer Jaque Bethke. Ursula Carmona, 2015 Home Garden Trendsetter Finalist and DIY guru/blogger.

The Idea Home: “Active Living Idea Home” built and presented by Viebrock Construction. This 1,400 square foot home uses every inch of its footprint with very little wasted space.

The Warners’ Stellian Kitchen Stage: Take a seat and learn a new recipe from some of the area’s best restaurateurs and media personalities.

The Feature Gardens presented by Star Tribune: “Twin Cities Best Backyards” is the theme of this year’s Feature Gardens. Nine local landscapers will be showcasing designs from relaxing outdoor retreats to technology-driven entertaining spaces.

Spring Boutique: For the first time, nearly 30 select exhibitors will sell decor, jewelry, accessories, antiques, and floral and garden ornamentals.

Upscale Upcycling with Carter Averbeck and Omfore Design: Interior Designer Carter Averbeck works with local artists to create incredible décor pieces from the most unlikely sources and takes recycling to a whole new level.

Garden Theater Stage: Learn from some of the country’s most knowledgeable gardening experts on a variety of topics including water features, bee and pollinator protection, and edible landscaping.

The 2015 Minneapolis Home + Garden Show will be held February 25 – March 1 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Tickets are now on sale online at Minneapolis Home + Garden Show.

Article source:

The Denver Post Home and Garden Calendar, 2/28/2015


Edible Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants

March 4: Brian Elliott, author of “Handbook of Edible and Poisonous Plants of Western North America,” presents this talk about the benefits of edible landscaping, 7 p.m. The free talk is sponsored by Front Range Wild Ones. Englewood Public Library, 1000 Englewood Parkway, Englewood,

Feed Denver: Urban Farms Markets

March 3: Screening of the documentary “Soil Food Film Fest: The Greenhorns,” 6 p.m. The film “explores the lives of America’s young farming community.” Free, donations accepted. Highland Event Center, 2945 Julian St., 303-513-7548,

Interfaith Quilters of Longmont

March 6-7: Presents its 29th annual Quilt Show and Sale with a preview 5-8 p.m. March 6 (no sales) followed by the sale 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 7. Admission is $5 on March 6 (also good on March 7) and $1 on March 7. Proceeds benefit O.U.R. (Outreach United Resource) Center and the Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley. Pie and coffee will be available. First Lutheran Church, 803 Third Ave., Longmont, interfaithquilters .com

National Wildlife Federations’s Butterfly Heroes Campaign

Begins March 4: All ages are invited to join the effort to save the monarch butterfly (the population is down 90 percent) by submitting a photo of yourself making the international sign-language sign of the butterfly to the website. Participants will be mailed a free kit (while supplies last) to plant milkweed, which provides monarchs with a place to lay their eggs. More details on the website.

The Park People’s Denver Digs Trees

Extended deadline March 6: The 25th annual program to “enhance Denver’s urban tree canopy” offers free and reduced-price trees to qualifying neighborhoods. 303- 722-6262,

Classes workshops

Bear Creek Nature Center

Feb. 28: “Sustainability Series: Keeping Backyard Chickens,” 10-11 a.m. $4, $3 members. Reservations required. 245 Bear Creek Road, Colorado Springs, 719-520-6387,

Denver Botanic Gardens

Feb. 28: “Gorgeous Grasses,” 10 a.m.-noon, $30, $25 members; “Orchids 101,” 1-3 p.m. $47, $39 members; March 1: “Mountain Tomatoes,” 1-3:30 p.m. $42, $28 members; March 2-25: “Botany for Gardeners,” eight-class series 6-8 p.m. on select dates, $255, $213 members; March 3, 10 and 17: “Beginning Rocky Mountain Gardening,” 6-8:30 p.m. $90, $80 members; March 7: “New Gardener Boot Camp,” 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $80, $60 members; “Water-Wise Landscape Planning for Non-Designers,” 9 a.m.-noon, $50, $46 members; March 12: “Keys to Home Vegetable Gardening,” 6-8 p.m. $33, $28 members. Reservations required. 1007 York St., 720-865-3580,

Denver Urban Homesteading

Feb. 28: “Permaculture Introduction,” 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $70; March 7: “Basic Beekeeping,” 10 a.m.-noon, $40; “Goat-keeping in Your Backyard,” 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $40; “Chickenkeeping Urban Homesteading,” 1-3:30 p.m. $35. Reservations required. Most classes are held at Denver Urban Homesteading; off-site locations provided after registration. 200 Santa Fe Drive, 303-825-0231,

Echter’s Garden Center

March 7, 14, 21 and 28: Meet the Experts — Learn from Visiting Pros in March, 10-11 a.m.; March 7: “Growing Blue Ribbon Vegetables” with Jodi Torpey, 1-2 p.m.; “Summer Bulbs for Your Garden,” 3-4 p.m. Free. 5150 Garrison St., Arvada, 303-424-7979,

Hudson Gardens

March 7: The Denver Rose Society presents “Roses 101,” 10 a.m.- n0on. $24, $21 members. Reservations required. 6115 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, 303-797-8565 ext. 306,

Paulino Gardens

Feb. 28: “Fairy Garden Class,” 11 a.m. $35, includes basic materials to make a garden; March 7: “Bonsai for Beginners,” 10:30 a.m. $25, includes a plant. Reservations required. Paulino Gardens, 6300 N. Broadway, 303-429-8062,

Tagawa Gardens Feb. 28: “Details on Landscape Design,” 11 a.m.-noon; “Vegetable Garden 101: How to Build a Raised Bed,” 1-2 p.m.; “Companion Planting: Why Do Tomatoes Love Marigolds?” 3-4 p.m.; March 1: “All-Natural Skin Care,” 1-3 p.m. $30, reservations required; March 7: “Planning Your Vegetable Garden,” 10-11 a.m.; March 8: “Terrariums,” 1-2 p.m., this is a lecture, not a workshop class. 7711 S. Parker Road, Centennial, 303-690-4722,

Wilmore Outdoor Living Center

Feb. 28: “How to Create Your Own Cold Frame For Growing Cool Season Vegetables All Winter,” 10:30 a.m. Classes are free. 711 E. County Line Road, Littleton, 303-795-5339,


Denver Botanic Gardens

Through May 3: “Edge of the Plains: Paintings by Sharon Feder” in the Gates Garden Court Gallery. Exhibits included with admission. 1007 York St., 720-865-3500,

Loveland Museum/Gallery

Through March 15: “Xylem: Innovation in Botanic Art,” works by 14 artists. Programs and guided tours available. 503 N. Lincoln Ave.,
Loveland, 970-962-2410,

Save the date

Community Forester training

March 21, registration deadline: March 19: The Park People and Denver Parks and Recreation will again offer a series of workshops for those interested in becoming leaders in urban forestry in Denver. Courses include planting, tree biology, pruning, identification and more. Classes begin March 21. Call or visit the website for details. 303-722-6262,

Western Landscape Symposium

March 14: Features keynote speaker Karla Dakin who will present “Design with Plants in Mind” as part of the all-day program beginning at 9 a.m. Additional topics include apples, stone fruits, changing insect landscape, cacti for southern Colorado and crevice gardens. Tickets are $18 in advance, $30 for two, available at the CSU Extension-Pueblo County office, 701 Court St. in Pueblo. Tickets will not be available at the door. Fortino Ballroom at Pueblo Community College, 900 W. Orman Ave., Pueblo, 719-583-6566,

Mail info 10-14 days in advance to Home Garden Calendar, The Denver Post, 101 W. Colfax Ave., Suite 800, Denver, CO 80202; e-mail

Article source:

Launch your wildlife garden with butterflies – Tribune

Gardening for wildlife is a huge trend for the 2015 season, and hopefully, for many more years to come. Gardeners all across the country are planting specialized gardens in hopes of supporting native pollinators, like bees and butterflies. They’re also planting for songbirds and hummingbirds, and for beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings and praying mantids. It’s a win-win for all involved.

Many of these creatures have declining population numbers due to habitat loss and pesticide exposure. Thankfully, wildlife gardening is enabling them to find some small patches of welcoming habitat as thousands of gardeners across the country are discovering the satisfaction of gardening for something other than themselves.

If you’re interested in starting a wildlife garden of your own, butterfly gardening may be one of the easiest ways to start. The United States is home to some 500 to 600 species of butterflies, and many of the plants that support adult butterflies in their quest for nectar are gorgeous garden flowers that may already be at home in your garden.

Some of my favorites include zinnias, coneflowers, cosmos, Shasta daisies, bee balm, agastache, liatris, milkweeds, goldenrod, ironweed, Joe-Pye weed, sunflowers, tithonia, yarrow, butterfly bush and verbena. Be sure to include lots of these plants in your landscape.

But nectar sources aren’t the only thing the butterflies need. Nearly all species of butterflies are very specific about which plants their growing caterpillars can eat.

Because of this, it’s extremely important that your garden include as many larval host plants as possible.

Most gardeners are aware of the importance of milkweed to the monarch butterfly. It is their sole larval food source; meaning, monarch caterpillars can eat nothing else. But monarchs aren’t the only butterflies that require very specific plants to survive.

Pipevine swallowtails, for example, can only feed on less than a half-dozen different species of plants, including Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia). And the black swallowtail, a common butterfly here in Western Pennsylvania, requires members of the carrot family, such as dill, carrot, parsley and fennel for its young.

To support Eastern tiger swallowtails, who have a broader caterpillar host-food range, you’ll want to plant plum and cherry trees, as well as willows, birches, elms and maples, to name a few. The red-spotted purple needs serviceberries, hawthorns, oaks and other trees. But the meadow fritillary can use only violets as a host plant for its caterpillars. That’s a good enough reason for me to stop trying to rid my lawn of these little, purple flowers.

Last year, for the first time ever, I found a Milbert’s tortoiseshell butterfly in my garden. I was surprised to learn that, like the monarch and the meadow fritillary, it is extremely host-specific in its larval stage. The caterpillars can feed only on stinging nettles, a weed I have pulled out more times than I can count due to its painful sting. But I think from now on, I will let the nettles be and cross my fingers in hopes of seeing a few more Milbert’s tortoiseshell butterflies in my life. It will be worth it.

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners� at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control� and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.� Her website is

Send your gardening or landscaping questions to or The Good Earth, 503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor, D.L. Clark Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

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Gardening Tips: Palm trees in the wintertime

Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 11:11 am

Gardening Tips: Palm trees in the wintertime

By Matt Stevens

The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC


Once again, because of the weather, I need to start this week’s column with an announcement. The blueberry pruning workshop scheduled for Saturday at James Matthews’ Happy Acres Farm will once again need to be pushed back. We will try again to hold this workshop from 9 a.m. to noon on March 7. Also, the Master Gardener class starts Thursday, so any last minute applicants need to contact me ASAP.

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Friday, February 27, 2015 11:11 am.

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This week’s gardening tips: plant caladium tubers indoors, harvest parsley …

Harvest fall planted parsley regularly by breaking off the lower, older leaves. There is still time to plant parsley transplants now for harvest through early summer.
Keep mulches in beds next to buildings pulled back 8 to 12 inches from the foundation of slab houses and pillars of raised houses to reduce the risk of termites.

For a head start, plant caladium tubers indoors in the next few weeks. Start tubers in flats or pots covering the tubers with about an inch of potting soil. Keep evenly moist in a warm, out of the way area. They should begin to sprout in a few weeks. As the leaves appear, move the containers to a sunny window or shady area outside (if days are in the 70s and nights in the 60s). You can plant the pre-started caladiums into the garden in mid-April. Mid-April is also the time to plant tubers or potted plants you find at area nurseries directly into the garden.

Need cool-season color in a part shade area? The best choices are cyclamen, primroses, annual lobelia, pansy, viola, nicotiana, foxglove and forget-me-not. Cyclamens and primroses will even bloom in complete shade.

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Yard, Garden & Patio Show opens: Crowds form for plants, pros

Garden lovers lined up before doors opened this morning at the Yard, Garden Patio Show, which runs Feb. 27 to March 1, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

They were eager to buy rare plants, ask pros about gardening challenges and see the landscape displays.

“All of the gardens are lovely and everyone who designed and constructed them are pros,” says designer Robert Lussier of Northwest Outdoor Living and Landscape. “Bring your camera. This is the place to get ideas, whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or are looking to hire a pro.”

For the show, local landscape pros stand by their creations to explain their plant and hardscape choices and answer questions about design challenges, from elevation and pathways, to creating a greater sense of well-being and privacy.

Here are the Showcase Gardens displayed at the Yard, Garden Patio Show:

Eat, Play, Glove by Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping Garden Centers is a multifunctional space for family and friends. There is edible landscape alongside the table in the elegant open-air dining area. A playhouse and outdoor living room allows kids and adults to enjoy the outdoors. And a small, low-maintenance garden takes just a little time with a pair of gloves, pruners and a trowel to keep it in shape.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry by Showscapes Landscaping revisits mom’s good advice to “go play outside” and creates an interactive outdoor living area for people of all ages to make a meal, play Bocce Ball, pick blueberries and relax around a fire pit.

Modern Simplicity by Western Interlock is a contemporary garden design with a relaxing spa oasis, hot tub, outdoor kitchen, shower, fireplace and more.

Your Own Northwest Paradise by Northwest Outdoor Living and Landscapes is a series of outdoor rooms that will keep you from wanting to go back inside the house.

Toe dippin’…Wine sippin’…Timeless Pleasures by LMeyer Design and JP Stone Contractors focuses on garden trends suited to landscapes aging gracefully and enhancing relaxation such as an island oasis with the calming sound of water and a warming fireplace near a custom built table. Nearby are plants in a range of texture, movement, color and scents, and which are beneficial to sustaining necessary insects, bees, and birds.

A Place for Family and Friends by Matt Sander Landscape Services has a covered eating pavilion made of heavy timbers. Across the patio is a stone-and-steel fire pit. Nearby is a pond with a stone water wall and meditation areas.

Why Go Inside? by Design Resource Group (DRG) Landscaping is a multiactivity outdoor family room where guests can visit, kids can play and families can have time together daily.

In addition to Showcase Gardens, there will be seminars by well-known gardening experts on everything from urban farming and medicinal gardening to perfect plant combinations and fragrant flowers.

There will also be booths selling plants, bulbs, tools, art, books, furniture and other gardening-related items.

The Yard, Garden Patio Show was founded in 1988 by the Oregon Association of Nurseries. The 26-year-old show is now owned by Metropolitan Productions Inc.

Yard, Garden Patio Show

When: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27-28 ; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 1

Where: Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Public transit and parking: Several TriMet bus routes stop near the convention center, and MAX light rail goes right to its door. Convention Center parking lot is $9 per day and is accessible from Northeast Lloyd Boulevard or First Avenue. Other area parking lots range in price. Also on-street metered parking if you can find it.

Admission: $12 at door, $9 for those 60 and older, free for those 12 and younger; $7 in advance at Dennis’ 7 Dees while supply last.

For more information: 360-210-5275 or

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Think Spring with Tower Hill Botanic Garden


Tower Hill Botanic Garden will host the 186th Annual Massachusetts Camellia Show Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1.

By Melissa Durkee

As temperatures continue to linger in the teens, New Englanders are left dreaming of green grass, beach days, and warmer weather. While the first official day of spring is right around the corner, the mountains of snow dont seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. And after the winter New England has had, its hard not to have a little case of spring fever.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, an educational horticulture organization, is just the remedy for that. With more than 132 acres in Boylston, Massachusetts, Tower Hill boasts an extensive variety of plant species in its year-round botanic gardens. With so much to do, Marchs events calendar is a busy one.

This weekend, the Massachusetts Camellia Society, the oldest flower society in the nation, will host the 186th Annual Camellia Show at Tower Hill. Visitors will be able to stroll through hundreds of prized flower collections, including blossoms on Tower Hills Camellia trees. The show will be open Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular admission rates apply.


The Limonaia, or Lemon House, keeps a variety of non-hardy plants warm during the winter months.

Tower Hill offers docent-led conservatory tours of the Limonaia and Orangerie every Wednesday at 2 p.m. through March 25. Both are cool-temperate buildings that keep the more tropical plant varieties warm during the cold winter months.


With lots of windows and abundant natural light, the Orangerie is a mix between an 18th-century building and a contemporary conservatory.

Tower Hill also offers after-school cooking classes. Matt Landry, the head chef of Tower Hills Twigs Caf, teaches children 8 and up how to make tasty treats from pizza to pasta to breakfast foods. Cooking classes are every Thursday at 3:30 p.m., from March 5 to 26. Register online.

On March 19, Betsy Williams, an avid gardener who guides tours and teaches classes at Tower Hill, will venture into the city and lead a tour of the Boston Flower Exchange, the regions wholesale flower market usually only open to floral professionals. Online registration is required for this event.

With these and many other great activities and events, Tower Hill continues its mission of advancing the science and encouraging and improving the practice of horticulture. And, the folks at Tower Hill do it year

Great design is always at your fingertips! Read Design New England’s January/February 2015 issue online!

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