Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for September 1, 2015

Five pro tips to help you prep the garden for fall

Visit this Fall Forecast Guide to the Season for the Fall Forecast, Winter Weather Preview and more.

loading video…

Monday, August 31, 2015, 8:50 PM – Seeing snow in August is a sure sign that fall is around the corner. It’s time to do some autumn yard and garden tasks.

Although it may seem like your plants are fading away, there is a lot you can do to make the garden ready to embrace cooler temperatures and flourish in spring.

Horticulturalist Ken Brown of Whitby, Ont., has been dallying in the dirt for most of his life. He has 5 hacks to get ahead as we transition into fall.

1) Fertilizing the lawn

  • Late October when the ground starts to freeze is a great time to fertilize the lawn. The grass crowns will store the fertilizer, increasing the chances for growth in the spring.

2) Soaking evergreens

  • As the sun shines on evergreen trees in the spring, they wake up and ask the roots for water. If there is no water, the foliage will often turn brown. Soaking your evergreens in the fall will help prevent this from happening. Just like gardening guru Ken Brown says, “The cold doesn’t kill the evergreens, the bright sun kills them when they can’t replace the water.”


3) Plant perennials

  • It may not seem like a good time to plant perennials, but the beginning of September is great because the plants often go on sale. Perennials have a month-and-a-half to establish themselves in the ground, according to Brown.

    “I watch the signs go up and when they say half off, I rush in,” says Brown. “Plant them at the best time of the year, at the best possible price.”

4) Plant bulbs

  • Here’s a trick you may not be aware of. September is bulb planting month and unfortunately they serve as the ultimate meal for squirrels. To keep squirrels away, Brown suggests purchasing a product called “Active Soil.” Sold at your local greenhouse, it is pelletized poultry manure. Squirrels can’t stand the smell of it. Spread this over your garden and most of them will stay away.

5) Get great garlic

  • Plant garlic in the fall for the best taste. It works as a bulb, Brown explains. It grows a bunch of roots in the fall, springs up in the summer and continues growing. Separate the cloves and plant each one about five cm deep, spacing each clove about 15 cm apart. 

Watch More: How to make your garden the envy of the entire neighbourhood

Compromise reached in veggie garden dispute. See how These pro tips will remove your fear of digging in the dirt Green indoors – plants that improve air quality Five photos: Even more fall colours

Article source:

Your garden in September: Sean Murray’s latest tips for North East gardeners

Cut flowers can be expensive so have a bash at growing your own.

As I design with plants I am always mindful of how to include all-year-round interest into my planting plans whether it be from flowers, leaves, stems or bark.

This often extends to providing cut flowers from the borders. I like a bit of thrift and nothing distills my thoughts more than planning how to grow flowers for cutting on a budget.

Constance Spry, the renowned Royal florist’s first book A millionaire for a Few Pence of 1957 describes how to use flowers from your garden with thrift firmly in mind in post-war recessional Britain.

In the same vein I have made a cutting garden at my allotment.

It’s a 6m x 4m plot of good soil that has been enriched with well-rotted manure, garden compost and grit. It’s sited in an open sunny spot sheltered from strong winds and provides us with ample flowers for the home.

On a recent trip to visit German allotments I noticed at least 75% of the space on each was used to grow flowers.

Sow or plant your flowers in blocks or straight lines as this is easier to maintain when weeding, watering and harvesting your efforts.

Must haves for me every year include annuals, Mollucella Laevis (Bells of Ireland) for their vivid green bell-shaped calyces on long, twisted stems and Amaranthus viridus (Love lies bleeding) for its lime green tassels, both great for combining with the hotter shades of cactus dahlias, sunflowers and zingy shades of zinnia.

Increase the yield of your plot by growing sweet peas up some trellis. Spencer mix provides high yields of long-stemmed beauties for constant picking from July to the first frosts.

Selection of flowers from Sean Murray’s allotment

From a packet of seed cut-and-come again crops such as Clarkia Pulchella, Calendula Art shades and Nigella Damascena Albion Black Pod are amazing value for money.

Try edging the area with herbs such as sage, rosemary and oregano. These are ideal to mix with your flowers.

Create a small hand-tied or Tussie mussie as used by Tudor gentry to mask unpleasant street smells as they walked amongst the common man.

Extend your season with bulbs such at Tulipa Early Glory Sugar pink and Paul Scherer almost black. They make fantastic cut flowers and last for 10 days when picked straight from the garden.

For a riot of autumn picking try Dahlia Black Fire, a small dark crimson decorative or Raffles, a mix of colours. Spray chrysanthemum Froggy is green and a good cutter, as is orange Allouise.

I think nothing beats a handful of your jewels picked from your own efforts and brought indoors.

Try arranging them in a container filled with crumpled chicken wire. Here I’ve used a £5 charity shop find, just the type of thing Constance Spry would have used in her early days.

True to her words I’ve found that for the price of a packet of seeds and a bit of effort you really can feel like a Millionaire for a Few Pence.

Sean Murray runs garden design company based in Ashington, Northumberland.

Article source:

Garden tips for the graying green thumbs

by Donna Tatting

Chisago County Master Gardener

On Sunday August 23, garden writer Rhonda Hayes wrote a very informative piece in the Star Tribune about those of us who are aging gardeners. She stresses that though we are far from giving up on gardening, most of us can see a time in the future when we may need to make some changes in our gardening style and routine. Now, as a 63-year-old avid gardener with insanely huge perennial gardens, I read on with interest.
I never saw a garden center I didn’t want to visit, and I almost never saw a perennial I didn’t want to own. Rhonda makes a practical suggestion that much of the perennial garden maintenance can be reduced by replacing those plants with shrubs, both flowering and non-flowering. A few years ago, I began this very practice by choosing shrubs in a newly created garden that was originally intended for more hostas (you can never have too many hostas). The location was part sun/shade, and I had no trouble finding shrubs that would do well in that area. Wood mulch is used as a ground cover helping keep the weeds at a minimum. The result: far less work and much easier on my back and knees.
Speaking of knees, one of the most beneficial tools I own are four kneeling pads. As Rhonda says, “By the time your bones are creaky, your brain has acquired a wealth of wisdom.” She suggests using soft kneelers, two at the same time, and shuffle them as you go to avoid unneeded ups and downs. And for the smaller hands of women, there are many ergonomically-proportioned tools with some having padded handles for avoiding blisters and it’s more comfortable for folks with arthritic fingers as well.
Five years ago, I had to move my vegetable garden because the area had become too shaded from our neighbor’s hedge. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We built two raised beds, 8 feet long by 4 feet wide by 16 inches high, and placed them in a sunny location with a 6-foot-tall fence covered in plastic web fencing to keep out the deer. Now when I tend my veggies, I kneel down, on the kneeling pad of course, and barely have to bend to work in those gardens. It’s very comfortable, and I can use the edge of the raised bed to balance myself as I get up.
Above all, Rhonda says to use common sense no matter what age gardener you are. She suggests staying hydrated, keeping an eye on the heat index, working in the early morning hours when it’s cooler, and save shaded garden work for the hotter part of the day. In addition, she says to keep hoses and other tripping hazards stored away from your work area, keep current on your tetanus shots, and though gardens are a great place to get away from it all, carry a cell phone just in case it’s needed for assistance.
Now, at 63 years old, I really feel pretty darn good and I know I’m a workaholic in the garden and an overall very busy person, but there are days when I get reminded that this body isn’t always as limber and flexible as it used to be. So, I’m heeding Rhonda’s suggestions and looking forward to decades of more gardening.
The Chisago County Master Gardeners will present a class on growing garlic on 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at the North Branch Senior Center. Call 651-277-0151 for more information and to register. Class size is limited.

Article source:

Top tips from garden desgner and ‘master of illusion’ George Carter

Although George’s style is architectural and reflects his passion for 17th-century formal design, he is not precious about how it can be recreated.

•Dan Pearson reveals his plans for the London Garden Bridge

He makes the ordinary extraordinary by using everyday materials such as plywood, footballs and plastic drain pipes to create urns, orbs, trellis and containers, all of which could look equally at home in Versailles as in your own garden.

George’s new book Garden Magic is based on his own two-acre garden, at Silverstone Farm in Norfolk, which he has created over the past 25 years.

George’s designs at Silverstone Farm (Picture: Features Scan)  Photo: Features Scan

It epitomises his style: clean and green, with strongly proportioned spaces and vistas. The spaces are based on green architecture with hedges, allees and trees forming the boundaries.

His obelisks, temples, pavilions and urns are placed throughout to great effect. He shows how to make many of these features in his book.

In the early days George made most of the artefacts himself, now he has two helpers.

•Inspiring garden ideas from the Society of Garden Designers

Favourite materials include lead, which is maintenance-free and develops a wonderful patina. He often uses code 4 lead (a thin sheet that can be cut with tin snips). He uses it for many items, including a trellis-type adornment for timber containers, fixed in place with roofing nails.

George Carter adds a flourish to an ordinary garden shed (Picture: Features Scan)  Photo: Features Scan

Festoons often feature in George’s work. He creates these by making ribbons from thin lead and adding wooden leaves carved using a jigsaw. The finished article may embellish a window box or decorative panel.

George also likes plywood – he often uses “shuttering” ply, which is cheap, long lasting and has a rougher texture than more expensive plywoods.

Using a jigsaw, he can fashion the ply sheets into a range of intricate shapes – such as a back for a baroque-style seat with curves and scrolls. This is painted with Farrow and Ball’s French Gray and placed in front of a green background, such as a hornbeam hedge, to show off the shape.

•How to design a garden on a shoestring budget

Roofing battens, durable and cheap, are another favourite, especially for making trellis. George’s trellises are all simple designs, but better than any bought off the peg at a garden centre, and probably cheaper.

The fields around Silverstone Farm are full of flints. George collects these to form into obelisks, piers and the like using this simple method: the dry flints are placed good side down into a box or mould in the shape he requires.

He applies cement to the backs, in effect making precast panels of flints the exact size he needs. The mortar is barely visible; he uses Ciment Fondu, which is strong and quick-drying.

Robust plants

George prefers robust plants that are structural and clip well. His top plant is Phillyrea latifolia, the green olive.

This was highly popular in England in the 17th century, but for some reason is seldom sold now. Some say it is not hardy but George has grown it for many years in Norfolk where it has withstood -17 degrees C.

Even in wet positions he finds it still thrives. I am a fan, too. It moves well and is good for containers as it tolerates drought. I use it more and more.

•Conceptual garden design for beginners

Few nurseries stock it, though Architectural Plants ( has a good range. Italian buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus) is another stalwart of George’s but is difficult to get hold of, unlike the more ubiquitous variegated version.

Italian Buckthorn (Picture: Getty Images)

For hedging and topiary George uses hornbeam frequently. Unlike beech, it is extremely tolerant of a wide range of conditions. It also transplants well and is especially useful for clipping into tall, thin shapes. Yew and box are two other favourites.

•Young garden designers at Tatton Park

George does not use a lot of colour, though he has recently reworked the double long (84m or 275ft) herbaceous borders at Penshurst Place in Kent.

Herbaceous border Penshurst Place (Picture: Andrew Crowley)

He has divided them up with bays of grass and, taking the lead from Gertrude Jekyll, he used hot colours in the foreground, fading to blueish tones beyond.

He is also keen on greys, choosing plants such as Teucrium fruticans, which has silver leaves and periwinkle blue flowers. These he often clips into balls. As a child, he used to go with his parents to Mrs Desmond Underwood’s nursery near Colchester, which was full of silver and grey leaved plants.

•Why gardening hero Getrude Jekyll should be on the new £20 note

They have intrigued him ever since. Santolina, silver thymes and Hippophae rhamnoides frequently appear in his gardens.

George keeps Silverstone pristine; the hornbeam hedges are cut three times a year. His best investment is a 3.6m (12ft) Japanese tripod ladder, he says.

And I love his favourite quote from Abraham Cowley to John Evelyn in 1666: “That I might be Master at last of a small House and large Garden, with very moderate Conveniences attached to them, and there dedicate the remainder of my Life only to the Culture of them, and the study of Nature.” I couldn’t agree more.

Garden Magic by George Carter (Double Barrelled Books, £25). To order your copy for £20 call 0844 871 1514 or visit

Article source:

Designers Announced for Auckland Garden Designfest

Designers Announced for Prestigious Auckland Garden

Organisers of the Auckland Garden
DesignFest have aptly chosen the first day of spring to
announce their much anticipated designer line up. The 2015
event will showcase 20 gardens representing the design
skills of 16 designers over two days on 14 and 15

The festival is jointly organised by the Rotary
Club of Newmarket and the Garden Design Society of New
Zealand, (GDSNZ) and this will be the third time the
biennial charity event has taken place.

Joining Chelsea
Flower Show Silver Medalist, Xanthe White and TV and radio
gardening personality, Tony Murrell at the DesignFest are
talented New Zealand designers; Trish Bartleet, Nigel
Cameron, Trudy Crerar, Barbara Garrett, Joanna Hamilton,
Phillip Millar, Bryan McDonald, Sue and Colin McLean, the
design duo of Mark Read and Richard Neville, Murray Reid,
Robin Shafer and Karen Wealleans.

Designers were required
to submit gardens which were then reviewed by a panel of
experts from the Garden Design Society of New Zealand. All
of these gardens have not previously been open to the public
and many may not be again. There will be a diverse range of
gardens on show, in terms of both size and style and the
talented designers will also be onsite to talk to visitors
about their designs.

GDSNZ, Joint Chairperson, Rose
Thodey, says; “We are absolutely delighted to have such an
array of brilliant designers at this year’s festival. The
gardens they have created are outstanding and we can’t
wait to share them with visitors in November.”

from the festival will go to Ronald McDonald House, Garden
to Table and children’s charities supported by the Rotary
Club of Newmarket Charitable Trust.

“We have such
wonderful sponsors onboard this year who really share our
passion for garden design and we thank them for their
support. A huge thank you also to the garden owners who will
very kindly open up their private gardens to the public.
Without these generous people and thousands of volunteer
hours, the festival simply would not happen,” says

Barry Thom, Director, Unlimited Potential Real
Estate, the Premier Sponsor of the event, says; “Every day
we see the value that well thought-out design can add to a
property. We jumped at the chance to champion this event and
showcase New Zealand’s outstanding garden design talent
whilst supporting some incredible charities.”

Howett, CEO of Ronald McDonald House, says; “We have been
one of the charity partners for this event since it was
founded in 2011 and we continue to be grateful for the
generosity not just of Aucklanders, but the many other
visitors from around New Zealand and even Australia who
attend what has become a great weekend for garden and design

Tickets for the Auckland Garden DesignFest
are on sale at iTICKET, plus various garden retailers (see
website for details) and also at the garden gate. Visitors
can choose from a $65 all garden ticket or single garden
access for $10 each. Discounted Earlybird tickets are also
available until 30 September. Group discounts are also

For more information and updates about the
Auckland Garden DesignFest visit or follow
them on


© Scoop Media

Article source:

Merchants, city plan to revitalize Traffic Way area

By Jackie Iddings

Ideas presented included returning the farmers’ market, offering free community events, and landscaping with ‘parklets’

– Traffic Way merchants have joined with the City of Atascadero for a plan to bring more shoppers to their district. Merchants discussed ideas during a meeting at city hall on Aug. 19. Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish and Alfredo Castillo of the Community Development Department, assured attending merchants that the city could help once the plan is developed.

David Wilson, co-owner of Grape Encounters Emporium and KRUSH Radio personality, suggested that a plan to revitalize Traffic Way could be a model benefiting businesses on Entrada, and surrounding streets.

Bobbi Nunez, owner of the ARTery, sees Traffic Way as an after-work and weekend destination. “But, we need a cohesive vision,” she said.

Traffic Way is a mix of locally-owned businesses: A barber shop, hair salon, and nail salon mingle with food, art, wine, the Book Odyssey for new and used books, and Socrates Coffee House.

From left, bothers Michael and Nicholas Campbell, owners of Socrates Coffee House. Photo by Heather Young

Socrates serves locally roasted coffee, pastries, beer, continental breakfast, and breakfast burritos from Fig Good Food. In the two-and-half months it has been open, Socrates has become a hot spot for local folk music.

At the North-end of Traffic Way is the ART! cooperative and the Grape Encounters Emporium in the El Paseo courtyard. Businesses along the way include Woody’s Old Time Barber Shop, Atascadero Sewing and Vacuum, Musicians Unlimited, the Atascadero Art Association where Tisha Smith teaches art classes, Fig Good Food and the 805 Boardshop.

Fig Good Food, a popular local restaurant run by Chris Dillow, delivers food to neighboring businesses so patrons can enjoy a meal with coffee and music at Socrates or with wine at Grape Encounters. Dillow’s willingness to provide this service adds to the charm of the district. “The Fig” as it is known locally, is also a dining destination for Carlton Hotel guests.

Ideas presented at the city hall meeting included returning the Farmer’s Market to Traffic Way, free community events, and landscaping with parklets along Traffic Way. Parklets are small green belts with public seating, usually installed over parking spaces.

Fig Good Food owner Chris Dillow takes customers’ orders one afternoon in her Atascadero restaurant. Photo by Heather Young.

According to Bill Arkfeld of the ARTery, parklets work well in front of coffee shops, book stores and restaurants. He has seen parklets in the Bay Area and says they invite people to hang out and encourage pedestrian traffic. He feels that the loss of street parking would be minor, as Traffic Way area is near two large parking lots.

Parklets are gaining popularity across the country and the National Association of City Transportation Officials includes them in their “Urban Street Design Guide.” Parklets in Pismo Beach are successful, and despite removing their first parklet, the Morro Bay City Council remains committed to the idea.

Local resident, Liza Neville-Olson frequents Traffic Way and says parklets would encourage her to visit more and stay longer. Tara Polizzi, also a local, says Traffic Way businesses meet many of her needs. “I get strings for my violin at the music store, art supplies from the ARTery, and dinner from The Fig. Socrates has a great atmosphere and live music. I’ve heard the barber shop is great for an old fashioned shave and hair cut.”

Share this:

  • More

Article source:

For Naturephiles Only: A Typeface Made Of Trees

Irish artist Katie Holten’s new book About Trees is not just a book about trees—it’s written in Trees.

Utilizing 26 different tree species to represent the different letters in the Roman alphabet, the texts in About Trees range from Jorge Luis Borges and Ursula K. Le Guin to contemporary writers like Robert McFarlane and architect Natalie Jeremijenko (who helped design London’s TREE x OFFICE).

On one page, the text appears in English (Holten uses the font Walbaum because baum is German for “tree.”) On the opposite page, the text has been translated into the Tree typeface, which Holten designed with the help of designer Katie Brown especially for the book.

“It’s almost like a children’s book,” says Holten, or an illustrated Morse code. The reader only needs to refer back to the key to translate one of Holten’s typographic forests back into English, though shorter texts are easier to translate than longer ones.

“Essentially, the tree typeface is four times the size of the normal font,” Holten says. “The designers thought it would be incredibly boring to have thousands of pages of trees, so that’s when the idea of the forest came about. We condensed it [to fit on one page].”

But it’s more than just symbolic translation. The ways in which trees sprout and grow in nature is also manifested in the type layout. “If it’s a small text, they’re all legible and visible. If it’s a large text it’s all overgrown and wooded as a forest would be anyways,” Holten says.

In practice, the short selection from Borges’s Funes, In Memory is only a sparsely wooded landscape, while Jules Verne’s What Is This? is a dense pine forest. In homage to Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, Holten translated an excerpt from Sketch of the Analytical Engine first into binary code and then into twigs, which correspond to the 0-9 digits.

Each story looks different—sparse, thick, twiggy, wooded—when its translated into its own unique landscape using Tree. As Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG suggests, the opposite is also possible: we could conceivably use Holten’s tree font to translate landscapes into text. Our forests could grow into encrypted messages or our backyards could tell our favorite short story (I’d choose Borges’s Garden of the Forking Paths and hope it turned out a labyrinth). The political resistance movements of the future could communicate secret messages with trees—and go down in history as the slowest revolution ever.

Holten is in full compliance with these plans, and actually has a few ideas of her own. “I was reading about the Obama library today. Their budget is something like $1 billion. I immediately was thinking, ‘I wonder if they are thinking about landscaping the garden and need some sort of typographic forest?” she says with a laugh. “I feel like this is just beginning, there’s a lot more to come. More volumes—and I want [the typeface] to be planted in real life, too.”

Until then, you can get your own copy of Holten’s About Trees by pre-ordering on her website. The book is out September 2015.

Sign up to learn more about Fast Company’s Innovation Festival in November


function _formFail ($form, error) {

if (!$form) {

// Use message from server response
var message = JSON.parse(error.responseText);
if (message.response message.response.message) {
message = message.response.message;
// Error message not provided
} else {
message = ‘Please enter a valid email address.’;

var $parent = $form.parent(‘div’);

// Remove other errors first
var $errors = $parent.find(‘.alert-box’);

if ($errors) {
$errors.fadeOut(300, function() {

if (message (message.code === -100)||(message.code === 220)) {
message = ‘Please enter a valid email address.’;

// Append new errors
$form.find(‘input’).prop(‘disabled’, false);

Article source:

Sarpy County’s Future Is In Your Hands

<!– Test info: story.storySidebarDisable: false | cms.hierarchyField("storySidebar"):


Sarpy County planning officials are asking residents to weigh-in with ideas for the future during a public meeting tonight from 6:30 – 8:30 in Papillion at Papillion La Vista South High School.

The meeting is an informal workshop where residents and officials can discuss ideas for the Sarpy County Comprehensive Plan and the Platteview Road Corridor.

Sarpy County has received national acclaim as home to some of the best and fastest-growing suburbs in the country. From Papillion to Gretna to Bellevue, the area is experiencing a development boom.

WOWT 6 News spoke to several Sarpy County residents today who said they hope the area continues to thrive as development spreads further south.

Continued southward development will mean Platteview Road will eventually become an important suburban artery. Officials are working to determine how to improve it, with options ranging from widening it into a multi-lane surface street to possibly transforming it into a fast-moving freeway.

Bruce Fountain, Sarpy County Planning Building Director, told WOWT 6 News that public input is vital as the county grows. He said: “It’s roads, transportation issues, parks and trails, land use, what types of land use are coming in. How do we buffer residential from more intense types of land use? What types of landscaping should we be looking at and providing?”

Sarpy County officials plan to hold several meetings in the months to come as the Comprehensive Plan is solidified.

Article source:

From scrub-covered lot to sweeping English garden (photos)

Landscape architects have a chance to create a living legacy.

Specify the right tree to a properly prepared site, and it can become an admired landmark. Design a garden based on classic – and practical – principles and no right-minded owner would feel the need to alter it to follow trends.

What makes a landscape designer a legend? Ask anyone fortunate enough to have worked with Wallace Kay Huntington.

Over his long, respected career, the architectural historian and landscape architect designed inviting private gardens and terraces across the region.

He also worked as a master-planning consultant for the Pittock Mansion in Portland, Sam Hill’s Maryhill Museum of Art overlooking the the Columbia River in Washington and other historic sites open to the public.

At the dedication of the central Bosque plaza Huntington created at The Oregon Garden in 2000, he was honored for his deep-rooted design work, his writings and lectures about Northwest landscapes and architecture, and for helping to establish Oregon’s preservation movement.

Huntington died in his Portland home in February at the age of 88. Friends and colleagues mourned, and clients vowed to pay tribute to him by caring for the landscapes he left behind.

One of his most unforgettable gardens, which he designed with homeowner Gwyneth Gamble Booth, will be on the Portland Garden Tour West from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13.

The fundraising event, a benefit for the Ainsworth Elementary School PTA,  will have five private Southwest Portland gardens representing the work of its designer on the self-guided, self-pace tour. Tickets ($30) are available online and select garden centers.

Booth, an elegant, self-confessed “flower freak,” worked with Huntington over 40 years to transform her scrub-covered lot into a sweeping English garden.

Her four children once built forts in the bramble and had a baseball diamond on the flat parts of the otherwise sloping site. Today, the expansive-looking garden on 3/4 of an acre in the Southwest Hills is designed into rooms, different themed spots. “Gardens need special places to go,” she says.

Even in the summer heat, leafy canopies and recirculating water features keep the garden cool. There is a swing under an arbor, a wooden bench to look at the back of a storybook gazebo and seating across the winding, gravel path from a waterfall.

“We lived in the house for seven years before we could think of doing anything,” says Booth, who bought the 1890 Queen Anne-style farmhouse in 1969, with her first husband, the late Ted Gamble. “The design evolved as the children grew older and as our needs evolved.”

Without a grand plan, Booth and Huntington slowly created another part of Huntington’s legacy. “I love this garden and I loved Wally,” she says.

Mirza Dickel and Wallace Huntington 

Landscape architect Steve Koch lives in Huntington’s former residence, the William Case House, a 1859 red farmhouse with a long veranda and acres of gardens in Aurora.

It is here where Huntington and his wife, interior designer Mirza Dickel, spent more than 30 years restoring the historic property and creating a series of native and ornamental gardens among old trees and shrubbery.

For their work, the couple received the preservation award from the Oregon Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1979.

After Dickel died in 2012, Huntington spent the last years of his life in a home behind the Northwest Portland studio of the Huntington Kiest landscape architecture firm he founded with Craig Kiest.

The last garden he designed was his own with a chic terrace and gate. He and his wife are buried side by side in a pioneer graveyard, a few miles from the Case House.

The Huntingtons’ rural home became a gathering spot for designers and design appreciators.

Landscape designer Rick Younge says, “Wallace had great influence on my career. We would stroll his gardens with a gin and tonic, and enjoy his latest plant find. When it came to larger specimens, he said, ‘I’m no longer planting acorns.'”

Another friend of the Huntingtons, Bette Sinclair asked them to design a garden, terrace and studio office at her Portland residence.

“Wallace and Mirza’s design sense was impeccable,” she says. “They were traditionalists with whimsy. Every day I love and honor the garden and design features they created in our home.”

At Booth’s house, Huntington designed a fence and gate in the front yard that echoed the curves of the Queen Anne-style exterior and its front door. “That theme has been carried through to the backyard,” she says.

As one of the first houses built off Vista Avenue in Portland Heights, 19th century carriages used to approach by coming up the hill and around Montgomery Drive to the front door. When developers later made Booth’s street a cul-de-sac, a new entrance was created and the original front door now opens to a long, wide deck Huntington designed in the backyard.

The deck has containers filled with white geraniums since Booth says they glimmer at night. “I find them lovely,” she says. “Wally loved the affect and approved of my choice. The garden reflects his influence.”

From this vantage point, you can see some – but not all – of the tiered landscaping. To experience it all, you need to take a loop from the deck down to the pool and gazebo, then farther down the slope to the cutting garden, around to the waterfall and then up to the swing.

Huntington incorporated old stepping stones excavated from the property into the gravel path. “It’s a part of the property’s history,” says Booth.

On your journey, you will see a bronze Thomas Hardy pelican fountain resting in a pond Huntington designed. “It’s natural looking, as if it’s always been in the yard,” says Booth, adding that splashing water is a buffer against street sounds.

Cutting through 36 feet of what would be lawn is a narrow swimming pool, its sides and bottom dark to make it look like a reflecting pool. Nearby is a gazebo with a old-fashioned pitched roof and fishtail-like wood siding. “I wanted a gazebo since I was born 100 years too late,” she says.

Descend rustic wooden steps to the lower garden, where Booth worked with Paul Knopp of Northwest Floral Culture to replace the shrubs with cutting beds brimming with roses, mums, lavanderia and lilies.

Every inch of the garden, it seems, has flowers. Booth arranges her cut flowers and depending on the seasons, displays hydrangeas in her living room, peonies in the foyer and marigolds in the dining room.

The knot garden, made of boxwood, looks like an oriental rug when seen from the second-level of the house. She replaced the shrubs that succumbed to boxwood blight with impatiens and other brightly colored flowers. “I think the beds look pretty but I loved the boxwood coving,” she says.

Large beds of yellow marigolds also have space in her garden. “They make my heart sing and make the upper garden cheery,” she says.

As you wind near the edge of the property, stop to enjoy a waterfall Booth asked Huntington to design that cascades down the hill and recirculates.

Booth surprised her second husband, Brian Booth, with the waterfall for his birthday years ago. The couple would sit on a hidden bench across the path from the cascading water and talk about their day.

“He was a very busy lawyer,” Gwyneth Booth says her husband, who was a founding partner at the Tonkon Torp law firm in Portland who also started Literary Arts and, with his wife, created the Oregon Book Awards and Oregon Literary Fellowships.

Brian Booth died in 2012.

“He didn’t have a strong hand in the day-to-day working of the garden,” says Gwyneth Booth, “so it was a real surprise when he saw this waterfall.”

Sentimental signs lead the way along the winding path to more themed gardens. There is a swing shaded by a trellis where she read to her grandchildren. “It’s another room,” she says.

From there, you are back to the upper garden near the deck.

You, like the garden that never had a grand plan, have come full circle.

“Wally and I never knew where we were going with this, but we never had a disagreement,” says Booth. “I learned so much working with him over the years. I miss him.” 

— Janet Eastman

Article source:

University greenhouses power the flowers in Princeton’s gardens

Grounds Foreman John Wisniewski tends to flowers at the Princeton University greenhouses. Most flowers planted in campus gardens, such as Prospect Gardens, are grown in the University’s greenhouses and nursery. The Campus Grounds staff (part of Facilities Organization) maintains the greenhouses and gardens.

Photo by Christopher Lillja,Facilities Organization

  • All Featured Stories
  • |
  • Previous Featured Story
  • |
  • Next Featured Story

University greenhouses power the flowers in Princeton’s gardens

Visitors to Princeton University’s Prospect Gardens may be familiar with the cheerful orange marigolds, pops of pink petunias and bunches of begonias blooming around the lush grounds. What they may not know is that most flowers planted there and in other campus gardens get their start just down the road in the University’s greenhouses.

Princeton is one of a handful of non-agricultural universities to have its own greenhouses and nursery, which are located off main campus behind Windsor and Rickerson fields. The Campus Grounds staff (part of the Facilities Organization) maintains the greenhouses and campus gardens.

“Most of what you see planted on campus originates at the greenhouses,” said Devin Livi, assistant director of grounds and landscaping. “I don’t think people even know this exists and how much work we do behind the scenes for the gardens on campus.”

The video below provides a look inside the greenhouses this spring as annual flowers were blooming before being planted on campus for the summer and fall. About 6,000 annuals were grown this year.

“No one dictates what [flowers and plants] we need to use, so it’s a really great environment to be able to try different things,” said Grounds Foreman John Wisniewski, who oversees greenhouse operations and the gardens at the Graduate College, Lowrie House, Palmer House, Prospect House and Wyman House.

Wisniewski has worked at the greenhouses for 40 years.

“My favorite part is growing the plants from seed or plugs and then planting them in the gardens and watching people enjoy them throughout the summer,” he said. “We have groups that come from all over during the summer to tour the gardens, horticulturalists, and they’ll make comments on how we use the different plants. I think it’s appreciated.”

Between 12 and 14 Campus Grounds staff work at the enclosed greenhouses and outdoor nursery depending on seasonal needs.

“It’s a great environment for people who are coming into the University to learn about plants in general,” Livi said, adding there are also opportunities for other Facilities staff to volunteer at the facility and learn new horticultural skills such as planting and pruning trees.

This video shows the Princeton University greenhouses this spring as annual flowers bloomed before being planted on campus for the summer and fall. About 6,000 annuals were grown this year. (Video by Danielle Alio, Office of Communications)

The University has its own greenhouses and nursery thanks to Beatrix Farrand, Princeton’s first landscape architect. Farrand argued the University could save money, gain new plant varieties and acclimate plants to the New Jersey environment by growing them in-house. The facility started in 1935 with one greenhouse located between what is now Roberts Stadium and Faculty Road, according to Livi.

As greenhouse operations expanded over the years, sustainability also became an important aspect ofcampus landscaping practices.

The University has its own greenhouses thanks to Beatrix Farrand, Princeton’s first landscape architect. Farrand argued the University could save money, gain new plant varieties and acclimate plants to the local climate by growing them in-house. (Photo by Christopher Lillja, Facilities Organization)

“We’re using native trees and shrubs when possible,” Livi said. “And we’ve changed Prospect Gardens a bit throughout history,” noting that there used to be more annual plantings, and now more perennial plants are in place. There is also less need for watering and maintenance. “So really the history of the garden has kind of come along with the history of campus, where we’re trying to do things more sustainably than we once did,” Livi said.

The University also recycles about 98 percent of vegetative products (for example, fallen leaves and trees or excavated soils) to make mulch, compost and soil used in the gardens and other landscaping projects. The materials are stored at a compost and mulch yard near the greenhouses.

“It allows us to keep everything on campus,” said Robert Staudt, grounds planner. “We are recycling everything and we don’t need to purchase topsoil or mulch. It’s a cost savings and energy savings and it’s sustainable.”

Grounds Planner Robert Staudt stands in front of the University’s compost and mulch yard. The University recycles about 98 percent of vegetative products, such as fallen leaves, to make mulch, compost and soil used in campus gardens. (Photo by Christopher Lillja, Facilities Organization)

Back in the gardens, sustainability is also considered when the University mixes traditional favorites like spring tulips and summer impatiens with new varieties.

“Historically we use certain plantings that we like and know will do well, but we also try different varieties that may come online,” Livi said.

Lantanas and scaevolas are two examples. While not native to this region, each flower does well in hot and dry conditions.

“It saves us so much by not having to water all the time and the beauty we get all summer,” Wisniewski said. “Every year we try a few different varieties of plants just to see what does well at Princeton.”

Pink dahlias (dahlia hybrida) are one type of annual flower planted in Prospect Gardens. (Video still from Danielle Alio, Office of Communications)

African daisies (osteospermum speciosa) can be seen on campus at Prospect Gardens, Maclean House and the Elm Drive guard booth. (Video still from Danielle Alio, Office of Communications)

Orange marigolds (tagetes erecta) can be seen on campus in Prospect Gardens and at the circle in front of Prospect House, and also are planted near some athletic fields. (Video still from Danielle Alio, Office of Communications)

Lantanas (lantana camera) are an annual flower planted in Prospect Gardens and the Wyman House garden. Wisniewski says they are a carefree plant because they like the sun, do not need much water and will bloom in Princeton through the summer and fall. (Video still from Danielle Alio, Office of Communications)

Back To Top

Article source: