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Archives for August 2015

Olive Garden servers are getting shorted on tips — and it’s the restaurant’s …


A glitch in Olive Garden’s new tablet software has been shorting servers on their tips.

The tablets, which allow customers to order and pay for their food at their tables, have been systematically miscalculating tip percentages, The Rochester Democrat Chronicle reports.

Joseph Richardson, who works at an Olive Garden in Victor, New York, said a customer pointed out the problem to him last week.

The customer had tried to leave a 20% tip for Richardson on a $40 check, Richardson told the newspaper.

The tablet calculated the tip as $5.77, when it should have been $8.

He said the issue is happening to his coworkers, as well, so he notified his general manager. The tablets were installed in the restaurant where he works about five weeks ago, he said.

Olive Garden said it is addressing the problem.

“As soon as we became aware of the issue, we immediately moved to address it,” Rich Jeffers, a spokesman for Olive Garden parent company Darden Restaurants, told Busines Insider. “A fix is in place and is being rolled out now. It’s important to note that this is not affecting all Olive Garden servers. It’s impacted half our restaurants and occurred in less than half of one percent of Olive Garden sales.” 

Jeffers said the company would also ensure that servers who were affected are not “negatively impacted.” He didn’t specify whether that means paying back lost tips.

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Garden Tips: Vegetable gardening seeing comeback

Local News

Kennewick having trouble finding qualified police recruits

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Make splashy garden accents and other keepsakes with mosaic stones – Honolulu Star

Anne Marie Price taught herself mosaic art, creating intricate designs and portraits with cut pieces of stained glass.

Recently she began balancing her usual large projects with smaller ones: She turns her mosaic touch to smooth stones that she picks up on beachcombing and mountain hikes near her Huntington Beach, Calif., home.

“I’ve always been a collector of things, of small objects, of rocks,” says Price. Now, “I’ve found a use for all those little things I’ve picked up.”

Price combines tesserae — mosaic-speak for the glass and ceramic pieces — with other materials, including pebbles, shells and glass beads. On the stones, she keeps the design simple with a single, vivid flower shape, spiral or leaf. The works can be displayed indoors or out.

Chris Emmert of Eugene, Ore., creates mosaics on a variety of surfaces, including mirrors and pendants, but primarily enjoys crafting mosaic rocks.

“I still enjoy doing it because I like the rocks. There’s never a bad rock out there,” she says with a laugh.

Emmert mostly uses Pennsylvania bluestone; it’s dense, flat and can endure both hot and cold weather. That makes it perfect for making garden art and her custom-made pet memorial stones. Emmert sells her mosaic stones at her shop, ChrisEmmertMosaic.

Garden designer Kathryn Boylston also makes mosaic stones, and sells them at Sundance by Design, a shop she manages in Evergreen, Colo.

“It’s a convenient, readily available surface that’s not going to blow away in the landscape,” Boylston says. Also, “it’s just a pretty little thing to have in your garden.”

The process may be simple — adhere glass and other pieces to the stone with a waterproof, silicone adhesive and then fill in the spaces with grout — but there’s still a learning curve.

“Don’t stress on the design. The first one is not going to be your masterpiece,” Emmert advises.

Additional tips from these experts:

» You can take a class — Emmert and Price teach them — but the process is also learnable from YouTube videos, each says.

» Assemble your supplies and clear several hours for the project. There are few tools: tile or glass nippers and protective eyewear.

» Ask for scraps at a stained-glass shop. The glass and variety are great, and it’s less daunting than buying an entire sheet of colored glass at specialty and online stores, says Boylston.

Keep an eye on Craigslist’s online classified advertisements for supplies, says Emmert, who looks for artists who are retiring. “When I find someone getting out of it, it’s a lot of glass,” she says.

» Accent your work with found objects, jewelry pieces, pebbles, glass beads and more. “Look around you and see what you have just right there,” says Price.

» Outline simple shapes with a string of small ball chain for a striking effect, says Boylston.

» When finished adhering colorful materials, outline the design with painter’s tape, leaving an eighth of an inch around the piece. After grouting, and before the grout thoroughly dries, remove the tape. This will create a clean grout line, says Boylston.

» Use an epoxy grout and you won’t need a sealer to protect stones left outdoors, says Emmert. “Once you master it, you don’t have to worry about it crumbling or cracking. It holds its color very well,” she says.

Making mosaics soon becomes soothing and feeds the creative spirit, Emmert says: “You’re creating rubble and then putting it back together again.”

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Shared slice of bliss

If you live in Audubon Park, your neighbors are probably “the people you grew up with,” says Mary Stokes, who moved there with her parents in 1941.

Stokes is 74 now, and she and other residents love the villagelike coziness of this unusual Camden County municipality.

Audubon Park is a single square mile between Nicholson Road, the Black Horse Pike, and Peter’s Creek. It has no stores, schools, or churches, and the real estate is collective property.

“There were supposed to be Audubon Parks all over America,” says Kristin M. Szylvian, whose book The Mutual Housing Experiment – New Deal Communities for the Urban Middle Class was published in July by Temple University Press.

Produced through an ambitious collaboration between labor unions and Roosevelt administration progressives eager to build low-cost, high-quality housing for defense workers as World War II loomed, Audubon Park was constructed for $1.4 million in 1941.

It is among 32 mutual housing communities that have endured nationally, a radical experiment that time has rendered almost quaint.

“It’s an old-fashioned town,” says Lisa Galiano, 48. She runs the kitchen at the Thursday night bingo games that benefit the volunteer fire company in the borough of just over 1,000 people.

Prospective residents – there’s a waiting list – who meet income and credit requirements can purchase a share in the corporation that owns and manages all 499 units of multifamily housing.

The one- and two-story attached dwellings must be painted white, which gives Audubon Park the look of a military base in a park. But many people have dressed up their homes with porches, patios, and landscaping. American flags fly everywhere.

“I love this town. It’s like a big family,” says Mayor Larry Pennock, who succeeded his father, Donald, in office (“he handed me the gavel”).

Shareholders can live in their units for as long as they pay a monthly service fee that covers such things as utility costs and property taxes; many families pass their shares/units to children and grandchildren.

Other mutual housing communities in the region include Bellmawr Park in Camden County and Pennypack Woods in Northeast Philadelphia. All were intended as “models for postwar development,” says Szylvian, an associate professor of history at St. John’s University in New York.

Plans to promote mutual housing as an option for workers ineligible for public housing but without the means to own conventional homes were doomed after the war by political squabbles and the rise of single-family suburbia.

But for generations of working-class South Jerseyans, Audubon Park has continued to provide a modest piece of the American dream: a home and a yard of one’s own, in a real community with high levels of participation in civic life.

“Where else can you live in the state of New Jersey and have what we have here, at an average monthly cost of around $900? Nowhere,” says Denise Balderama, president of the board of trustees of the nonprofit Audubon Mutual Housing Corp.

Adds Balderama, 53, who grew up in the borough: “This is an ideal utopia, basically.”

Spend time in Audubon Park and you’ll hear grumbles that utopia isn’t what it ought to, or used to, be. I was told of unhappiness with corporation and borough leaders and concerns about rising “rents,” as residents of “the Park” call them.

But at the impressively organized Thursday night bingo, where about 100 people sat at long tables in the municipal gymnasium, I heard stories like one from Charlene Lefebvre.

“My husband, Kelly, and I – he’s 92, retired from the Navy – we have a beautiful backyard and a patio with umbrellas,” says Lefebvre, 80, who worked for many years as a waitress in Atlantic City.

“Everybody walks by, and they talk to us. They bring treats for my dog,” she says, adding, “I know every place changes, but there’s just something about Audubon Park.”

Szylvian, who will speak about her book on Friday at Rutgers-Camden, says Audubon Park and other mutual-housing communities are an overlooked success story.

“We don’t have enough low-moderate income housing distributed evenly through our region,” says Natasha O. Fletcher, associate director of the Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE), which is hosting the Rutgers-Camden event.

“So I think now is the time to look at new, or revisit old, ideas of creating innovative housing opportunities and building communities.”

Why not? An old idea has been working quite well in Audubon Park for nearly 75 years.


If you go: Kristin M. Szylvian will discuss her book at 12:15 p.m. Friday in the private dining room in the Rutgers- Camden Campus Center. The event is free. For more information, contact CURE associate director Natasha Fletcher at or 856-225-6797.


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Holyoke begins school year with an air of hope

HOLYOKE — Indifferent teachers, overcrowded classrooms, academic credits lost over minor infractions — these are among the reasons young mothers gave for dropping out or being expelled from schools as they ate pizza with Stephen Zrike at the Care Center one recent afternoon.

“Some teachers don’t really care.  . . . They won’t push you to do better,” said Tania Cruz, 22, adding that she was expelled from William J. Dean Technical High School and now studies at the Care Center, an alternative education program for young mothers.

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“Describe to me the type of teacher who would make you want to stay connected to school,” Zrike said.

“Just care,” one girl responded.

Parents and teachers said such exchanges are typical of Zrike’s interactions since his appointment June 1 to spearhead the reform of the troubled public school system, designated as underperforming a dozen years ago.

Despite widespread resistance to the state board of education’s April vote to place Holyoke schools in receivership, teachers and parents interviewed last week expressed cautious optimism about Zrike’s stewardship.

As receiver, Zrike replaces both the superintendent and the School Committee and has broad powers to make changes.

‘As a profession, we don’t do a particularly good job of looking at best practices that work for some of the populations we serve.’

Stephen Zrike, Holyoke schools receiver 

He has even won the respect of Gus Morales, president of the Holyoke Teachers Association, who said he opposes any state takeover of a school district but nonetheless considers Zrike a straight shooter.

“He’s asking for input, and he really wants it,” Morales said. “Versus asking for input and then telling everybody to shut up. . . . He’s got a different approach from our previous administration.”

Morales said Zrike has fired no more than a handful of tenured teachers, although he has also declined to renew contracts of dozens in their first three years of teaching who have not yet earned professional teacher status.

Other teachers have resigned or retired, Morales said, but he attributed that to the difficult “atmosphere of the district,” not to the receivership.

“They’re definitely not feeling good,” he said. “If they were feeling good, I wouldn’t have so many resignations.”

After a series of job fairs, Zrike has hired roughly 60 new teachers, according to Mayor Alex Morse, who attended a new teacher orientation with Zrike last week.

New faces will be among a number of obvious changes when schools open Monday.

Teachers and parents have beautified schools with fresh paint and new landscaping, and summer construction projects have created space for preschool expansion in some elementary schools — a project that was in the works before the receivership vote.

Libraries will be open and staffed at all of the city’s 11 schools. Previously, some had no librarians.

There will also be full-time Holyoke Police Department school resource officers at the city’s two high schools to help ensure safety and work alongside vice principals and counselors in mediating student conflicts before they escalate.

And about 100 families also received summer home visits from teachers to help prepare for the school year.

Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe

Zrike spoke last week at the Care Center, a nonprofit alternative education program for young mothers.

Zrike will announce more ambitious changes in late September or early October, when he releases his district turnaround plan, which he said will incorporate many recommendations made by a Local Stakeholder Group as part of the receivership process.

Morse, who served on the panel, said his goals include offering universal preschool, creating a way for high school students to earn college credits and associates’ degrees prior to graduation, and establishing a program to recruit Holyoke students to become educators.

The mayor said Zrike’s eagerness to listen and his ability to speak Spanish have helped win over some who opposed receivership for Holyoke, which includes one of the largest Puerto Rican populations outside of the US territory.

“I think he’s been getting in front of those families that haven’t been listened to in a long time,” said Morse, whose Holyoke High School diploma sits on a shelf above his degree from Brown University in his City Hall office.

Vanessa Fernandez, whose eldest son attends the Kelly Full-Service Community School, said she was among a group of about 10 parents who recently met with Zrike at a restaurant.

“It seems that he wants to help the community,” she said. “He was just really listening to people — what they wanted to change, or what they needed help in.”

Holyoke teachers also had praise for Zrike.

“I am feeling very positive, very hopeful. More so than I have the past few years,” said Maureen Dupont, a Holyoke teacher for three decades. “What resonated for me was him asking us what we thought about things.”

Zrike said his turnaround plan will incorporate ideas from Holyoke teachers and families, but he is also looking to innovative educational approaches from across the country, particularly those proven effective for children from low-income families and who are learning English, two challenges many Holyoke students face.

“As a profession, we don’t do a particularly good job of looking at best practices that work for some of the populations we serve,” he said.

Enacting the plan will take years.

Mitchell Chester, the state’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education, pointed to Lawrence, the state’s only other district placed in receivership, which has seen dramatic improvements and was recently renewed for a second three-year term.

“These districts did not end up being in the shape they’re in overnight,” he said. “This has been more than a decade of low performance and dysfunction that we’ve seen in Holyoke, just like we’d seen in Lawrence. This turnaround is not going to take place in two or three year’s time.”

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@jeremycfox.

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What Agencies Can Learn From the Frenzied Creative Blitz to End California’s …

Saving Water was a 48-hour hackathon aimed at inventing solutions to hack the California drought.

The advertising and marketing community is home to some of the most imaginative minds in business. We use creativity to solve problems every day. So we decided that it was time to use that brainpower to solve an important issue facing every Californian.

In June, our invention team here at Deutsch, in partnership with USC, Hack for L.A., Global Shapers and the City of Los Angeles, put on the city’s first Futurethon—Saving Water—a 48-hour hackathon aimed at inventing solutions to hack the California drought. Saving Water was one of four tracks in L.A.’s National Civic Hacking Weekend event.

Winston Binch Illustration: Alex Fine

The turnout was impressive. The 500-person venue was standing room only and included everyone from students, teachers and farmers to advertising and technology professionals. Ages ranged from 13 to 73, and the buzz was palpable.

Mayor Eric Garcetti kicked off the day with an impassioned speech about the importance of innovation and the future of L.A. as well as the need for greater water conservation and new engineering solutions.

Our track included 60 people and 14 teams made up of students from USC and other local schools as well as professionals from Deutsch, Tiny Rebellion, TBWAChiatDay and others.

The challenge for the teams was to devise tech or marketing solutions that would do one of three things: help reduce water consumption, increase water recycling practices, or keep water consumption habits top of mind.

First prize went to a clever campaign, “Save a Californian,” which humorously pushed against the perception that Californians actually care more about themselves than the drought by asking the public to save people like Kim Kardashian because “she’s shallow” just like California. Intended to raise drought awareness, the campaign included a donation component that would put thousands of gallons of water back into the Colorado River through a partnership with nonprofit Change the Course.

The runner-up prize went to DewGood, an outdoor water condenser disguised as a solar-powered garden lamp. The lamp lowers air temperature, collects dew and waters plants in a 10- by 10-foot area. The team brought a 3-D printer to the event and built a working prototype.

The winning student idea—and USC summer fellowship—went to the team behind TerraCotta, a Web app that helps people design beautiful and sustainable landscaping solutions. L.A. has an unfortunate obsession with water-intensive landscape design. This idea seeks to give people more environmentally friendly and creative options while educating them in the process.

My personal takeaway from the event was simply make more room for social good. I was blown away by the energy and passion our people put into the event. They gave up entire weekends to make it happen, and participation was incredible. We had four mentors, 10 participants and another six help with branding, program planning and marketing.

It was a great reminder of the importance of doing things that fuel your employees’ passions around social good. According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, 55 percent of millennials choose a job because of the causes the company is connected to. Doing good is an important employee motivation and retention play. You’ll see us doing more for causes our people care about. Causal is the new creativity.

So blow up the creative department. Seriously, the best ideas are the result of divergent thinking. You get there more often by forming small teams of diverse creative makers and thinkers. The hackathon again confirmed this for me. The two winning teams were not traditional in configuration. They included strategists, engineers, designers, writers, producers and account people, and more closely resembled a tech startup than a creative agency.

Invite design and engineering to the table. Treat creativity like music and adopt a jam mentality.

The future isn’t being written, it’s being coded and moving fast. Sure, craft matters, but speed kills. I was impressed by the pace of the teams. All of the ideas need fit and finish, but the quality was better than expected—a reminder that creativity needs constraints.

We have a tendency to over-intellectualize problems, and things generally take too long. Agencies need to use intuition more and work faster. Much of what we do is about connecting emotionally with people. And with social listening tools and platforms like Facebook, it’s easy to get to quality insights quickly. We need to take notes from tech-centered companies and better operationalize fast creative. For context, BuzzFeed makes 65 videos a week. Not every one’s a hit, particularly the branded stuff. But they routinely get a million-plus views. Be prolific, not precious.

And then there is strategy. Good, quick design work went into Save a Californian, but it won because of the strategy. It was built around a funny and revealing insight about Californians and the drought. The strategic idea is everything. Creative work is only an expression of it. If you don’t have a strategy built on a truth that challenges conventional thinking, odds are that no one will pay attention.

The winning team bought into this approach, and it showed. The lesson here is get to a strategic idea that earns attention by sparking an immediate emotional response. Save a Californian got the attention of the judges by playing off of California’s vanity in a charming way.

The Saving Water event is not going to end the drought in California, but the teams got to actionable ideas and their thinking will make a difference. The winning team is in talks with Change the Course to bring the idea to life, the student concept is being incubated at USC, and we will continue to put resources against the cause.

Beyond the community benefit, the event gave our people the opportunity to work on something they’re passionate about and to make things. It also taught me what they can do when we turn them loose on a problem and get out of the way.

I’m grateful I get to work with them every day and appreciate their efforts to combat an issue much bigger than advertising. Hack the way you work and find opportunities to use your creativity for good. It’s great for the soul and your business.

Winston Binch (@winstonbinch) is Chief Digital Officer of Deutsch North America. 

This story first appeared in the Aug. 31 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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Green Gardens

The term “desertscaping” often conjures images of a barren aesthetic — a bed of decomposed granite sparsely dotted with cactus — that mimics the most arid wild desert landscape. And while a return to native planting is imperative amid California’s historic drought (some 41 percent of the state currently faces what is called exceptional drought, the worst in a five-scale rating), local horticulturists and landscape designers agree that you can still achieve “lush” with less water. “People have a mistaken idea that eco-friendly landscaping has to mean a barrel of cactus, a lantana and a boulder,” says designer Dann Foley. “But we can layer various species of desert plants in such a way that they create a lot of texture and color.” Foley, along with fellow landscape designers Gino Dreese and Troy Williams, and horticulturist Maureen Gilmer, tells us how to design our ideal desert garden — from simple and sparse to dense and vibrant.

Golden barrel cactus, cereus, cholla, agave and ocotillo are among native selections that do well in the high desert environment.

A small water feature at Mojave Rock Ranch in Joshua Tree houses water lilies, goldfish, mosquito fish, frogs and a turtle, and adds a refreshing element to the desert garden.

The high and low desert environments are vastly different, and gardening should reflect that, says Maureen Gilmer. “While the valley floor has a tropical desert, winds are very drying in the more exposed high desert, and during winter months, the temperature often drops below freezing.” Plant native trees, cactus and succulents that can withstand the harsh extremes of sun, wind, frost and snow.

At Mojave Rock Ranch, owners Troy and Gino begin planting in autumn. “Planting design should include a variety of shapes, structures, textures and colors,” says Troy, who aims to create as much dimension as possible.  They start with taller plants in the back and layer the yard with smaller plants in front. “This method looks the most natural.”

Colorful planting pots and various yard art are fun additions to a desert garden. Avid travelers Troy and Gino have collected “souvenirs” from over 50 countries across six continents, which they’ve built into the landscape as well as the interior and exterior design of their Mojave Rock Ranch home.

The first thing to consider when designing a garden, Maureen says, is what area you look at most — from inside the home or in an outdoor living space. “Use bigger, more expensive plants in places where they’re most frequently seen.” A glass wall at Mojave Rock Ranch serves as a window to the property’s vast and magnificent landscape. Monster saguaro cactus and chubby golden barrels in the side garden are hugged by bright, dancing ocotillo and layers of diverse succulents.

The low desert garden of this o2 Architecture-designed home in Rancho Vista Trail features drought- and frost-tolerant, slow growing and low maintenance plants: artichoke agave, blue cliesto, golden barrel cactus, resin spurge, and beaked yucca.

The owner of this Las Palmas home worked with o2 Architects to create a garden with drought-tolerant plants that required minimal maintenance.      Pencil cactus (fire sticks), golden barrel cactus, aloe vera, Trailing Indigo Bush, Texas sage, Sharkskin agave, wormwood, and Mexican Fence Post cactus are sparsely planted across the landscape. “Some desert plants like to be separated so they don’t compete for water,” Maureen explains.

To create a colorful garden that’s reminiscent of the Mediterranean outside their Palm Springs abode, Troy and Gino layer such drought-tolerant plants as acacia, salvia, senna, vitex and rosemary. They sprinkle in succulents like agave, aloe, pink pedilanthus and euphorbia to incorporate a “desert feel.” Dann, who specializes in lush landscape design, prefers to plant a variety of species that bloom at different times of the year, so a garden is always “alive” and colorful. Two plants he favors are lantana and Crown of Thorns.

“Lantana — which I like to use a variety of — needs room to grow and should be planted where it can spread,” he explains. “Crown of Thorns spreads quickly and flowers all year long in petals that are different sizes and colors — red, yellow, white and orange.” Flowering vines, river rock and decomposed granite in a natural color like Palm Springs Gold are other accents he often layers in a garden. “These should be used as accents and not as bedding or replacement for grass,” he says. For ground coverage, he relies on plants. “This is where lantana comes in. Succulents become shrub-like and change color — grey to green to orange — so your landscape is always colorful and changing throughout the year.” When layering green plants, be careful to vary the shade, shape, size and texture. “This blend is what makes a garden beautiful.”

While the low desert is considered a “tropical” one, it’s still not hospitable to tropical flowers like hibiscus. Stick to drought-resistant plants that produce an array of colors and add water features — such as a fountain or koi pond, as Troy and Gino did — to create a more coastal feel.

By using only native plants, you’ll save not only water (use a drip system), but also time and cost for landscaping. Desert plants require less pruning — in fact, many do best when you leave them alone to grow “wild.”

Bougainvilla, autumn sage, cape honeysuckle, desert rose (right) and pachypodium lamarei (far right) add diversity and intense color to a tropical desert garden.

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Garden Works: Learn how to create an edible landscape with ‘Foodscaping’

More than a quarter century ago, Rosalind Creasy published “The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping,” which popularized the concept of landscaping with edible plants: “a yard that is both productive and beautiful.”

Her seminal book erased the lines that separate edibles from ornamentals and ultimately changed how Americans look at fruit trees, squash vines and flowering herbs.

Many Southern gardeners embraced this concept, including the first lady of the University of South Carolina, Patricia Moore-Pastides. On a fall visit to the Columbia campus last year, I marveled at a flower bed of cool season annuals growing cheek-by-jowl with an attractive assortment of red cabbage, Swiss chard and kale.

Following Creasy’s footsteps is Charlie Nardozzi with “Foodscaping: Practical and innovative ways to create an edible landscape.” He sums up the premise of his book in the introduction: “Foodscaping is integrating edibles into your gardens without sacrificing beauty. It’s a great way to produce food for yourself and your community and still have the beauty and functionality you want in the landscape.” Nardozzi writes with a reassuring tone and gains your trust immediately. The author makes you believe that it’s possible to grow food without sacrificing beauty.

In Chapter 1, Nardozzi encourages us to re-imagine our front yards and backyards by blurring the boundaries between ornamentals and edibles. I have to admit that using edibles in foundation plantings or hedgerows seems ludicrous, but the luscious images that complement the text makes it work.

The second chapter is a crash course in designing with edibles, evaluating and retrofitting your landscape with edibles, and learning how to substitute ornamental plants with “foodscaping plants.” Nardozzi reminds the reader that edibles can taste as good as they look. His lists of “foodscape varieties with interesting leaf colors” and “foodscape plants with seasonal color interest” makes me want to venture away from the traditional backyard vegetable garden and to the front yard. If it’s a violation of subdivision covenants to integrate vegetables and herbs in my foundation plantings of coneflowers, four o’clocks, loropetalum, and milkweed, so be it.

In Chapter 3, Nardozzi discusses 43 of his favorite vegetables, herbs and flowers, edible annual flowers, groundcovers, berry shrubs, vines, and fruit trees that “taste great.” Despite the national scope of this book, Nardozzi reaches out to Southern gardeners. He writes about Southern highbush and rabbiteye blueberry varieties and muscadines. Thankfully, there’s plenty of room in the margins of each page for jotting down additional varieties and ideas for your foodscape.

Finally, when I got to the last chapter, I knew I was hooked. The author knows that as well in the first words of the first line of Chapter 4, “Now that you’ve gotten inspired.” Nardozzi covers the nuts and bolts of site selection, preplanting, planting, pruning, watering, fertilizing, harvesting and composting. I enjoyed his discussion of integrated pest management and foodscaping, rotating vegetable families, and attracting beneficial insects with vegetables and herbs.

Nardozzi admits his book is not the ultimate resource for foodscapers, so he provides a section on supplies and resources for gardeners to delve further into specific variety recommendations or cultural practices. Nardozzi’s book will help you create an edible landscape that tastes as good as it looks.

Bob Polomski is an award-winning horticulturist and author with extension and teaching responsibilities at Clemson University.

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Landscaping Talent Speaking at Wellington Home & Garden Show

International Landscaping Talent Speaking at
Wellington Home Garden Show

Leon Kluge is
a rock star in the world of landscape design. Young,
super-talented and avant-garde, his work takes him all over
the globe – which is why it’s such a coup to have him
speaking at the Wellington Home Garden Show this
September. Even better, he and his equally talented
business partner, Bayley LuuTomes, are also designing a
feature garden there.

Show organiser, Daniel Joll,
says “We’re very excited to have landscape designers of
this calibre involved with the Show. Kluge Luutomes Design
will create a display garden near the entrance of the show
and Leon will present a seminar each day titled ‘Painting
with Plants’. He will explain how gardening is like art
and give tips on how to create your own master piece, using
the endless choices that plants give us in terms of colour,
texture, size and variety. He will speak for about 45
minutes at 12.30 pm each day. “

“The Westpac
Stadium will be packed with ideas and innovations for home
improvement, so it’s a topic that fits perfectly within
that framework. Kluge Luutomes Design will also have a stand
at the show, so we think that their presence, along with all
the variety, show-only specials and the chance to win a
$25,000 custom-designed kitchen from Palazzo Kitchens
Appliances, will be a real drawcard. ”, Mr. Joll said.

To the unversed, LuuTomes launched his Landscape Design
career by winning Young Emerging Designer of the year at
Ellerslie International Flower Show in 2013. He was then
selected to be the only New Zealand exhibitor to show at
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in London that June and in
October the same year was invited to show at the Gardening
World Cup in Japan, where he and Xanthe White won silver for
New Zealand.

Kluge has earned accolades that
designers twice his age would covet. These include gold at
the Chelsea Flower Show (twice), gold at the Durban
Botanical Gardens, plus gold and Best in Show Home Garden at
the Gardening World Cup in Japan 2013. Several of his
designs beautify the homes of Hollywood ‘A’ Listers. His
speciality is vertical gardens, some of which have graced
multi-storied office buildings and one which comprised a 20
metre wide and 10 metre high living bee-hive.

duo combined forces in 2014 after competing in the same
category at the Gardening World Cup a year earlier. They
soon realised that their different strengths would
complement each other and that they worked well together as
a team. They haven’t looked back since. To date they have
exhibited in four international shows, with recent success
at the Philadelphia Flower Show, the oldest flower show in
the world. There the duo not only won gold, but were awarded
Best in Show for Landscape, being just two points shy of a
perfect score.

They both have landscape designs
published in many international coffee table books and
magazines. This is a chance to see their handiwork in the
flesh and hear their landscaping tips first hand, at the
Wellington Home Garden Show, running 25-27 September at
the Westpac Stadium.

Wellington Home Garden
25-27 September 2015
Fri Sat: 10am – 6pm, Sun:
10am – 5pm
Adults $8, Senior Special Friday $5, Under 16


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Free "Growing The Green Way" Classes Offer Gardening Tips

Growing The Green Way Gardening Classes

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