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Archives for March 3, 2015

Approved Design for Pennovation Center at Pennovation Works Site

Approved Design for Pennovation Center at Pennovation Works Site



Conceptual rendering of Pennovation Center east and north façades. Courtesy of HWKN.

The design development for the new Pennovation Center has received approval from the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees. This 58,000-square-foot, three-story facility is located in the heart of the Pennovation Works, Penn’s 23-acre site along the southern bank of the Schuylkill River and adjacent to the University campus. The Center’s design by New York-based architects HWKN (Hollwich Kushner) rehabilitates an existing industrial building once used for materials-science research, bringing it back to life as Penn’s hub for innovation, research and entrepreneurialism. 

“The Pennovation Center design creates a truly iconic landmark for Penn’s innovation ecosystem and a dynamic hub for Penn’s culture of innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “The Center is designed to bring the University’s eminent researchers and scientists along with our extraordinary students together with the private sector to foster creative exploration, entrepreneurship and new alliances and to generate economic development for the region. We are excited about the discoveries that will come out of the Center and about the kind of real societal and economic impact they will have in our region, the country and the world.”

The building’s northern façade bursts forth from the grid of the repurposed former industrial warehouse with illuminated angular panes of glass, reflecting the robust creativity and entrepreneurial activity taking place inside. It allows for natural light and unique views of the Schuylkill River, Penn’s campus and the Center City skyline. As a nod to the many startups that have previously begun in personal garages, a series of garage doors on the eastern façade open directly to studio spaces for some of the teams that will work in the building. The interior design includes a central bleacher space that organizes an open environment for events and a place for people to network and share ideas.

The Pennovation Center will house two floors of co-working space designed to support individual entrepreneurs and startups from the University and the private sector seeking affordable and flexible office space. The Center will create and host workshops, programs and professional-development resources for this community. These floors will include wet and dry labs with shared lab-support equipment, meeting rooms and social areas. The third floor will be occupied by the Penn Engineering Field Research Center, integrating computer science and electrical, mechanical and systems engineering. It is designed as a vibrant and open laboratory for promoting fundamental research and accelerating the lab-to-market technology transfer pipeline in robotics, in the Internet of Things and in embedded systems.

This first phase of development at the Pennovation Works is a $37.5 million investment by Penn and includes the Pennovation Center, site landscaping and infrastructure improvements, along with signage and branding. The site planning calls for design of the Pennovation Plaza and surrounding landscape, which establishes a connection from the perimeter inward and forms a central active outdoor hub for tenants, as well as an instrumented, outdoor lab where the design and testing of robots within a netted enclosure provides passersby with an intriguing look into the developments occurring within the upper portion of the Center.

“This Pennovation Center represents a collaborative effort and significant, highly visible leap forward in the larger vision of Pennovation Works,” said Anne Papageorge, vice president for facilities and real estate services. “The entire site—its architecture, landscape, signage and programming—will reflect the innovative, collaborative ventures taking place within.”

The creative design team which has collaborated with Penn on the project includes HWKN, design architect; KSS Architects, architect of record; landscape architects Land Collective; and consultants Bruce Mau Design. 

Completion of the Pennovation Center and the first phase of the Pennovation Works site improvements is anticipated in the summer of 2016 with the Penn Engineering lab opening in late fall 2015.

Additional information about the Pennovation Works and the Pennovation Center is available at




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UI makes list of 10 worst schools for free speech

Guests view Serhat Tanyolacar's sculpture followingUniversity of Iowa art professor David Dunlap speaksSerhat Tanyolacar speaks to guests during a publicSerhat Tanyolacar speaks to guests during a publicSerhat Tanyolacar speaks to guests during a publicSerhat Tanyolacar's art sculpture stands behind him

The University of Iowa appears on this year’s “worst of the worst” list compiled by a watchdog organization that monitors free speech on college and university campuses.

In a release Monday, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) named UI — along with seven other schools, the Kansas Board of Regents and the U.S. Department of Education — as being among nation’s “10 worst abusers of student and faculty free speech rights.”

“Our colleges and universities are supposed to be where students go to debate and explore new ideas,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said in a statement. “But too often on the modern college campus, students and their professors find their voices silenced by administrators who would rather they be absent from the often contentious marketplace of ideas. When this happens, FIRE will be there to call out these reckless censors.”

RELATED: Controversial UI sculpture part of Kirkwood forum

FIRE often focuses its criticism on institutions’ speech codes that restrict students’ First Amendment rights. UI made this year’s list, however, because of administrators’ reaction late last year to an unauthorized display of a Ku Klux Klan effigy on one of the UI campus’ most heavily trafficked area.

The organization previously had sent a letter, co-signed by the National Coalition Against Censorship, to UI President Sally Mason denouncing the university’s initial Dec. 5 response — as well as the apology Mason issued Dec. 7 — after requiring UI visiting art professor Serhat Tanyolacar to remove a sculpture he had displayed on the UI Pentacrest without requesting permission.

“In these public statements, UI has effectively announced that Tanyolacar is not protected by the First Amendment due to the discomfort it caused to some of those who encountered it,” the letter stated.

In forums and interviews since the Dec. 5 incident, Tanyolacar has said the display was intended as a provocative critique of ongoing racial violence at UI. He has criticized UI’s response for, from his perspective, inaccurately and unfairly suggesting the work itself was racist.

UI officials repeatedly have said that the decision to ask Tanyolacar to remove the sculpture was not based on the context of the sculpture, but on the fact that the artist had not followed the proper procedures and asked for permission before displaying the sculpture.

In her end-of-the-semester message last year, Mason said UI administrators are taking steps to find a healthier balance on campus between the “intertwined values of inclusiveness and freedom of expression.”

“The University of Iowa is strongly committed to freedom of expression,” Tom Rocklin, UI vice president for student life, wrote in an email. “The Pentacrest has frequently been used to exercise these freedoms and this use has been encouraged and facilitated by the university.”

Rocklin said that UI does have a policy about “the use of our shared space,” but it is used in order to be “respectful” of everyone that uses that space.

“While we don’t designate ‘free speech’ areas, anyone is allowed to speak or carry signs on campus, so long as the activity doesn’t interfere with the orderly operation of the university,” Rocklin said. “We regulate displays and rallies in public spaces for a number or reasons including; to assure that two groups don’t plan to use the same space at the same time, to protect campus landscaping and buildings, and to assure that displays don’t constitute a safety hazard or obstruct access to campus buildings and spaces.”

Rocklin also said that, in the past few weeks, UI has changed how the policy is implemented and enforced.

“Approved displays are now issued a permit (which we did not do in the past) to be attached to the display and police are empowered and prepared to remove displays that don’t have the permit attached,” Rocklin said.

The other schools on FIRE’s 2015 list include Brandeis University; California State University, Fullerton; Chicago State University; Georgetown University; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Marquette University; and Modesto Junior College in California.

As part of its Stand Up for Speech Litigation Project, FIRE also is participating in a lawsuit against Iowa State University on behalf of the university’s student chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The student plaintiffs argue that ISU officials censored the group’s T-shirts and other forms of speech based on NORML’s marijuana-related messaging and imagery.

Reach Jeff Charis-Carlson at 319-887-5435 or Follow him at @jeffcharis.

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This weekend’s Home & Remodeling show features ‘Wall Wizard,’ Inspiration …

At the 27th annual Building, Home Remodeling Show, more than 200 companies will exhibit products and services related to landscaping, home products, and building, buying or remodeling a home.

The event is set for March 6-8 at the Von Braun Center South Hall, and will feature Brian Santos, a fourth-generation painting contractor and author of best-selling home improvement books, along with the Idea and Inspiration House.

“We are excited to have ‘The Wall Wizard’ at this year’s show along with the ‘Idea and Inspiration Houses,’ seminars, and over 200 companies exhibiting their products and services. If you are looking to build, remodel, or purchase items to upgrade your home, and get ideas on outdoor living, this is your one-stop shop. You can compare various products all under one roof,” says Lynn Kilgore, director of Huntsville/Madison County Builders Association.

Santos will show event-goers how to deconstruct paint, and how to speed up painting by 400 percent. “I will also teach people how to paint from the pantry using items such as Pam, Chapstick, Saran Wrap, and other things that they have right on the shelf.”

“The Wall Wizard” says he wants people to come with an open mind. “We are going to explore the issues people have. It is not an infomercial. It really is hands-on. I literally paint right on stage,” he says.

Santos will offer a “Quiz the Wiz” class where people can ask questions about home improvement, design and decor.

He has shared his expertise on television shows, including “Good Morning America,” “Today,” and HGTV’s “Smart Solutions,” as well as on TLC and the Discovery Channel. Growing up and working in the San Francisco Bay area, The Wall Wizard’s past clients include former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Joe Montana, actress Doris Day, and Star Wars creator George Lucas.

The Idea and Inspiration House, a Craftsman-inspired style home, is a collaboration between six local companies. It will feature bath inspiration, kitchen inspiration, living and dining room inspiration, style beyond the walls, and outdoor coverings.

Products on display include windows, doors, appliances, kitchen designs, spas, decorative lighting, faux finishes/painting, closet organization, carpet and vinyl floor coverings, decorative hardware, mortgage loans, builders, remodelers, fireplaces, brick, air and water purification systems, surround systems, decorative concrete finishes, waterproofing products, and landscaping.

Show hours:

March 6 – 1 to 8 p.m.
March 7 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
March 8 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $8 for adults and free for children ages 12 and younger. A $1 discount coupon is available at

“One of the reasons I love doing home and garden shows is because it is true interactive,” Santos says. “That is truly what the Wizard’s Workshop is about – it is not YouTube, it is not Google, this is real.”

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Victoria sheriff to hire drug trafficking expert


County Commissioners also:

• Awarded bids for annual supply road materials.

• Swore in Dr. John McNeill as the public health authority.

• Approved hiring Lisa Campbell as the interim director for the Victoria City-County Health Department.

The war on drugs is waging on in Victoria County.

Victoria County Commissioners approved a funding increase Monday that will cover the salary and benefits for a new position at the sheriff's office.

In December, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program granted the county about $15,000 to support local law enforcement initiatives. Monday's increase brought the total to $75,600 to add an intelligence analyst to the department.

Victoria is included in the Houston region.

Administrative Services Director Joyce Dean said the grant fully funds the position and there is no match required by the county.

The court also approved a $19,200 contract with Better Gardens Irrigation and Services for "first-class landscaping year-round" at the downtown county properties.

The business will mow, edge and clean up the county's downtown properties 42 times a year.

The agreement does not include trimming trees and shrubs or maintaining flower beds.

Dean said the agreement will save the county money.

The position was previously included in the building department.

"We saw an opportunity to check with some local vendors and get a bid price," she said.

The business also will maintain the lawns for the justice of the peace offices.



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Chicago Flower & Garden Show to bloom with ideas

About this time of year, when most gardeners are desperately seeking signs of life, the idea of flowers and lush greens is swoon-worthy. How about ushering in spring by tiptoeing through more than 1,000 tulips — well, at least strolling around hundreds of them in a rainbow of hues? Or breathing in the intoxicating fragrance of more than a dozen varieties of hyacinths?

This year’s Chicago Flower Garden Show , which kicks off March 14 at Navy Pier, offers this and much more, blooming with ideas for planting, cultivating and revamping outdoor spaces. The theme for this year’s show, which will run through March 22, will repeat last year’s: “Do Green. Do Good.”

Winter's stark landscape lets you see yard in a new light

“It sounds oversimplified,” says Tony Abruscato, the show’s director. “But it has a lot of connotations — greening your yard for the environment. Recycling and repurposing — using found objects from antique shops or thrift stores for containers, everything from purses and shoes to old tires and a shipping pallet upcycled into a vertical plant wall.”

The idea of repurposing will be put to work for the show’s interactive butterfly garden, Santuario de la Monarca, designed by Lemont-based Premier landscaping for the nonprofit organization El Valor, which provides services to children, people with disabilities and their families. After the show, the structure will be removed and replanted at one of El Valor’s facilities, continuing to call attention to the plight of the monarch butterfly, whose population continues to decline for myriad reasons, including loss of habitat.

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Major-themed gardens will include two dedicated to roses and showcasing more than 1,000 plants — one focused on miniatures and minifloras (a cross between miniature roses and standard rose shrubs), another with large specimen roses and climbers. Ideas for outdoor living, such as rooftop gardens, patios and decks, will train the eye to pay attention to pavers, containers and accents such as rocks, boulders and stone.

For inspiration on a smaller scale, the Garden Clubs of Illinois will sponsor a window box competition with displays designed by area garden clubs; visitors can vote for their favorites.

As in previous years, the show will offer daily seminars and presentations led by garden and landscaping professionals that cover myriad topics — including designing for small spaces, growing native plants, vegetable gardening and seed saving. The educational seminars will zero in on a wide range of gardening topics, while speakers in the “How-To” presentations on the show floor will take a more DIY approach. (Most are free with admission, though a few require additional fees.)

Dying ash tree in your yard? Prompt removal is a must

Dying ash tree in your yard? Prompt removal is a must Beth Botts When an ash tree is dead or dying because it has been infested with the emerald ash borer, a saddened homeowner must confront the next step: getting it cut down. When an ash tree is dead or dying because it has been infested with the emerald ash borer, a saddened homeowner must confront the next step: getting it cut down. ( Beth Botts ) –>

For children, hands-on sessions will help them learn about bugs and creating a bug habitat, worm composting and growing veggies from seeds, as well as potting up something to keep and nurture.

“Part of our goal,” says Abruscato, “is to cultivate the next generation of gardeners.”

Here’s a closer look at a few of this year’s display gardens

Everything’s coming up roses: To help demystify roses, landscape designer Scott Mehaffey is co-designing “A Classic Rose Garden” with rosarian Nathan Beckner from Gethsemane Garden Center. The display of nearly 50 large specimen roses and climbers among more than 150 rose varieties will focus on more hardy, disease-resistant choices to attract a new wave of enthusiasts, says Mehaffey. “People seemed to be missing the color, texture, variety and romance of roses,” he says. Included in their showcase garden will be the thornless Zephirine Drouhin, an old-fashioned Bourbon rose that dates to 1868. It’s especially popular not only for its fragrance, but also because it tolerates some shade. It’s typically planted as a climber (it can reach to 12 feet) or a large shrub (up to 6 feet). The display garden will include crushed stone paths, brick edging, a low stone wall, sundial and arbors “to awaken the senses and feed the soul,” Mehaffey said.

811 N. Green Line Parkway: This display garden, designed by Christy Webber Landscapes, is subtitled “Natural Gas Safety Garden” and demonstrates the considerations that must be followed when digging near utility lines. “It’s a house (so) we wanted to give it an address,” says designer Andrew Kibbe. “And 811 is the phone number for the utility (hotline). We want to show what goes on below gardens, so there will be a see-through section for gas lines. We suggest proper distances for planting trees and shrubs.” The space touches on common outdoor fixtures — grill spaces, fire pits, space heaters. “There are two parts to the garden, one planted with sedum, SoCal landscaping, or xeriscaping. And the other a more contemporary urban prairie, with lots of alliums, heucheras, tiarellas.”

Emerald isle: Paddy Conway of Palos Hills-based Cotswold Gardens, who is designing the show’s “Irish Heritage Garden,” is excited about a new natural Black River stone paving from Unilock, which he says is very similar to the black rock he grew up with in Kilkenny in southeastern Ireland. It is more difficult to recreate an Irish garden than an English one, he says: “It’s like a moment, serenity, an aura. It doesn’t need flowers. It’s stone and ferns, ivy and mosses. And you attach that to hardscapes, like furniture. It’s more of a mood.”

Soothing water: “For the first time, we’re doing a very formal, minimalistic look,” says Brian Helfrich, chief designer at west-suburban-based Aquascape Designs of the show’s “Water For All the Senses” exhibit. “Not thousands of plants, (but) more Zen-like, with clean, sharp edges … more of a reflecting pool.” Fountains will be among the other water-oriented options featured, as well as a focus on smaller spaces, because, Helfrich says, “not everyone has a giant footprint for a giant koi pond with huge waterfalls.”

Trees with dramatic impact: Richard Eyre, owner of Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery in Woodstock, is passionate about conifers and rare trees; he’ll be focusing on weeping specimens for the “Garden of Weeping Wonder” exhibit. “I personally like abstract forms in design,” says Eyre. “I call specimen trees ‘garden makers.’ They expand the palette with which you can paint the landscape — with color, texture and form.” He’ll include what he calls a rare “weeping wonder” ginkgo, and a soft-needle weeping larch, a deciduous conifer that has some yellow color in the fall, he says. Eyre’s garden will be studded with complementary plantings, a small water feature and a pair of stone chairs made by a sculptor buddy from Detroit.

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Home & Garden: Landscaping: Plant & Protect

Smith Mountain Lake is one of the cleanest bodies of water on the East Coast, but development around the lake and nearby watershed areas is putting the lake’s water purity at risk. Fortunately, there is much local homeowners can do to protect this valuable resource.

According to the Smith Mountain Lake Association, an organization that advocates for best practices related to the lake’s watershed, one of the major sources of SML pollutants is water runoff from gardens and farms. Fertilizers and other garden chemicals used by the thousands of people who live within the lake watershed area, as well as silt and animal waste, all leach into the lake. The problem is intensified when homeowners strip the land along their shoreline of all or most of its natural vegetation – often planting a lawn right down to the water’s edge in its place.  

Lawns extending to the shore are bad for the lake for several reasons. Keeping it lush and green requires fertilizer, which exacerbates potential pollution. And because grass roots are relatively shallow, they are not very effective at filtering unwanted chemicals.  

In contrast, a buffer planting of trees, shrubs and perennials along the shore will have a positive effect on the lake water quality. The SMLA website explains: “The buffer [planting] acts as a filter for runoff, catching sediment, debris and pollutants before it reaches the water. The plant roots hold the soil, slowing erosion and thus helping water clarity and protecting aquatic habitat. Trees and shrubs near the water’s edge help shade the water, keeping temperatures cooler and improving the habitat for amphibians, fish and other aquatic life. Buffer landscaping provides food and habitat for wildlife. Blooming plants and seasonal color attract butterflies and birds while adding to the beauty of the waterfront view.”

Some may balk at the idea of planting trees near the water because they may obscure an uninterrupted water view. In fact, trees are wonderful because, if positioned well, they frame the view and add an additional dimension and depth to the scene, actually enriching the view line. In addition, trees provide privacy. Looking at the lake through a filter of trees is wonderful; being fully exposed to every boater who happens by is not so nice.

What to Plant
The best choices for shoreline plants are those native to the region. They tend to be deep-rooted (as much as 3-8 feet) so they are superb filtering agents and also help to stabilize the shoreline, serving as living rip-rap. In general, native plants require less maintenance and supplementary water once established, so they are easy to care for. However, any plant, whether foreign, national or native, is better than lawn. If roses and daylilies are your thing, plant them.

The palette of available native plants, including many that have showy flowers, is extensive and attractive, so a buffer garden does not have to look like a weedy mess. Nor should it block your view to the water. Create a design so the buffer planting frames your water view, adding depth and ever-changing seasonal interest. On a level lot, there may be a tree or shrub that obscures a portion of the view, but that can enhance the overall effect, creating patterns, silhouettes and filtered glimpses of water.

A diversity of plant materials both adds to the beauty and interest of your property, as well as reduces the risk of a pest or disease infestation. Opportunists, diseases and pests will gravitate to monocultures, such as a mass planting of spreading juniper, where they can feast uninterrupted.    

Low-Maintenance Beauty
The great benefit of growing natives is they require a minimum of maintenance. They don’t want to be fertilized, and once they’re established, all you’ll need to do is tidy up dead vegetation in spring and pull the occasional weed. However, for the first two years, you must be vigilant about seeking out and pulling weeds so the desired plants can get a firm hold. Check every two weeks and pull any weeds you see. Also, provide supplemental water the first year until the root systems are well established. A weekly deep watering is more beneficial than frequent shallow splashes because shallow watering trains roots to stay near the surface. A good layer of mulch between the plants will help restrain weeds and keep moisture in the soil.

Invest now in a lakeside buffer planting for the long-term benefits of a beautiful landscape that requires less work than the traditional suburban garden, attracts desirable wildlife and promotes a cleaner lake.

There are many beautiful, flowering plants that are suitable for a lakeside buffer garden. Following are a few native choices.

Perennials, shrubs and vines
Asclepiasspecies (milkweed, butterfly weed)

Aster laevis (smooth aster)

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)

Liastris spicata (blazing star, gayfeather)

Lonicera sempervirens (coral or trumpet honeysuckle)

Penstemon digitalis ( beard-tongue)

Phlox subulata (creeping phlox)

Tradescantia virginiana (spiderwort)

Wisteria frutescens (native wisteria)

Chelone glabra( turtlehead)

Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh)

Eupatorium coelestinum (hardy ageratum)

Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)

Eupatorium purpureum (Joe Pye Weed)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Ilex verticillata (winterberry)

Iris versicolor ( blue flag iris)

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)

Lobelia siphilitica (blue cardinal flower)

Veronica noveboracencis (ironweed)

Dichanthelium clandestinum, syn. Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)

Panicum virgatum (switch grass)

Schizachrium scoparium, syn. Andropogon scoparius (little bluestem)

Chasmanthium latifolium, syn. Uniola latifolia (wild oats)

Bouteloua gracilis( blue gramma)

Flowering understory trees that don’t grow too tall
Amelanchierspp. (serviceberry)

Cercis Canadensis (redbud)

Chionanthus virginicu s(fringe tree)

Cladrastis lute a (yellowwood)

Halesia Carolina (Carolina silverbell)

Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)

Magnolia Virginiana (sweetbay magnolia)

Oxydendron arboretum (sourwood)

The Smith Mountain Lake Association will host a community learning event focusing on improving your property and SML’s water quality. The event will take place on April 12  from 1 to 4 p.m. at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center, 775 Hermitage Road, Wirtz. Call (540) 719-0690 for more information.

On hand will be experts to discuss:
•    Buffer landscaping

•    Wildlife habitat

•    Permeable hardscaping
    (to help absorb excess water runoff)

•    Native plants in Virginia

•    Preventing water pollution

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Yardsmart: 6 tips for growing vegetable seeds indoors

Local News

Manatee County students will wrestle with writing exams

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Spring gardening tips: plant those cool-season veggies now

Spring is approaching (and may appear to have already arrived for some, depending on where you are in B.C.), and many gardening enthusiasts are keen to get cultivating. UBC horticulture instructor Egan Davis has some tips for those who are wondering how to set up their spring garden.

1. Plant those cool-season veggies now

Davies says any vegetable where you’re eating the leaves, such as spinach, arugula or kale, are considered cool-season plants. They can be planted outdoors now.

“Then anything you eat the fruit from, like tomato or any of the squashes, those plants are warm-season,” he said in an interview with North By Northwest‘s Sheryl MacKay.

“Even if you’re starting them inside, those plants need heat and it won’t warm up in most parts of the province until April or May, so you might start them off in April, and plant them out in May.”

2. Don’t over-water if you’re starting with containers

With plants growing in containers, you have to make sure they dry-down in between waterings, or things like soil fungus can grow, Davies said.

“The best way to know when to water is to lift the container and feel how heavy it is,” he said.

“So water it, and then lift it to see what that feels like, and everyday, just pick it up and lift it and you can see how heavy it is and you’ll notice it starts to get really light. Most plants really can wait until the pot is really, really light.”

3. Use a cold frame to extend the season

Davies says he helped construct a cold frame at UBC last October, which has allowed them to grow vegetables throughout the winter.

“It just means you don’t have to turn the season off,” he said. 

Home gardeners can build a cold frame out of irrigation pipes, wood, or even cinder blocks, said Davies. They can then cover it either with poly or a salvaged window, and the structure will utilize solar energy and insulation to create a micro-climate.

To hear the full interview with Egan Davies, click on the audio labelled: Spring gardening tips from Egan Davies 

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A guide to gardening with Pinterest


Lifestyle blogger, Lou Archell of Little Green Shed has over 255,000 followers on Pinterest and shares some of her top tips.

Get the pin it button on your toolbar

I have the pin it button on my toolbar, so when I am on a website and I want to remember something, or feel inspired by something, I click this pin it button and it brings up all the images from that web page. I click on the image and add to it my board.

The view of the Pin Button on The Telegraph Gardening website

Be Specific

Don’t pin items to a general board. If you are interested in growing house plants, then make a board titled house plants. Be specific with your boards. This way you will gain a following of people who are interested in your content.

Be consistent

I’ve just reached over quarter of a million followers. I think this is due to having consistent looking boards that are full of inspiring images and great content.


Lou Archell of Little Green Shed

Lou Archell’s etheral “bloom 2015” Pinterest board

Lou Archell’s boards are carefully curated in a muted palette, with whites and pastels creating a soothing and dreamlike online space. Her gardening focus is on flowers and seasonality.

The Royal Horticultural Society

The RHS Pinterest board for March gardening tasks

The RHS is both visually pleasing and a source of practical information for gardeners. Boards include lovely photography from their gardens and flower shows, alongside gardening tasks sorted by month.

Judith Sharpe

Judith Sharpe’s Pinterest account with boards on furniture and garden designs

Garden designer Judith Sharpe has a phenomenal following of over 140,000 “Pinners”. She now uses Pinterest rather than portfolios to show clients, “I now set up ‘mood boards’ for each new project I get. This is a huge help as not everyone is good at visualising and clients can get a real feel of what I’m trying to do. They can also ‘pin’ things they like so I get a better idea of their taste.”

David Domoney

David Domoney’s delightful board full of English country gardens

Garden designer and TV personality, David Domoney is a frequent pinner with boards on seasons, growing your own and water features. His board “Inspirational Garden Design” has a wealth of ideas on how to design your garden, with an emphasis on English country flowers.

Nete Holjund

Net Holjund’s well designed steel and concrete in the garden board

Nete Holjund brings her design experiences in both interiors and gardening to create wonderfully put together boards. Her boards are more niche with themes such as purple in the garden and the use of steel and concrete.

The Telegraph Gardening

The Telegraph Gardening Pinterest boards

We have now launched our very own Pinterest account, follow us for information on how to grow vegetables and garden inspiration.

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