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Archives for September 23, 2015

Growing Beyond Hostas: Planting Ideas to Enliven Your Shade Garden

(TNS)—Hostas are the workhorses of the shade garden. Once they’re established, they’re pretty much low-maintenance plants. They tolerate periods of drought, and they are reliably hardy in areas that freeze during winter. They often sport big beefy leaves with interesting textures and colors that range from chartreuse and gray-blue to lemon-splashed green.

But a giant carpet of hostas—especially those with solid green leaves—can be boring. So we’ve asked a horticulturist, an artist-gardener and a plant breeder to share their favorite shade garden plant combinations.

The horticulturist: “I love the cultivated forms of our native alumroots, and for me Heuchera (villosa) ‘Autumn Bride’ is one of the best,” says horticulturist Barbara Ellis, who blogs at Eastern Shore Gardener and is author of “Covering Ground: Unexpected Ideas for Landscaping With Colorful, Low-Maintenance Ground Covers” (Storey). “It forms a large clump of bold leaves and plumes of foamy flowers late in the season when not much else is in bloom. I like it with variegated knotweed (Persicaria virginiana ‘Painter’s Palette’) and hostas. This combination is great under and around shrubs as a ground cover.”

In her garden in Chestertown, Md., Ellis grows several native plants in full shade under an oak tree. “Since there are not many flowers in the fall garden, I always like to add patches of wreath goldenrod (Solidago caesia) and either white wood aster (Eurybia divaricata, formerly Aster divaricatus) or blue wood aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium, formerly Aster cordifolium).” She notes that all of these plants bloom in fall in partial to full shade, and they are beneficial for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.

“The asters self-sow and show up elsewhere in the garden, another bonus as far as I am concerned,” Ellis says. “I have this trio paired with spring-blooming wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata), another self-sower, native Allegheny pachysandra (Pachysandra procumbens), plus hellebores and epimediums. The result is a tough, hardy combination.” The hellebores and epimediums bloom in the spring and tolerate dry shady soil once they are established. And another bonus: Deer and rabbits tend to leave them alone.

The artist: Artist Mary Ann Nowak of Tinley Park, Ill., paints many of the flowers she nurtures—but getting a big floral display in shade is often difficult.

“My garden is changing—what used to be sunny is now becoming shady in spots, so right now it’s in transition,” Nowak says. One of her favorite shade plant combinations is pink-flowered turtlehead (Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’) with purple-leaved coral bells (Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’). “It’s going great,” Nowak says. “I like it because Chelone blooms later in the summer, and it stays in one spot—no spreading.”

Nowak also recommends planting Actaea simplex ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ (formerly Cimicifuga simplex) for its strikingly dark foliage and long, slender spikes of cream-colored fragrant flowers. She combines it with low-growing yellow corydalis (Corydalis lutea) or a blue-flowered variety (C. flexuosa). “The yellow corydalis bloomed longer than the blue, but blue is nice because there aren’t as many plants with blue flowers available for shade.”

The plant breeder:
Brent Horvath, plant breeder and owner of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, in Hebron, Ill., discovered one of his favorite combinations while visiting a private garden. “It was variegated Brunnera, Primula sieboldii (Japanese primrose) and Dicentra eximia (fringed bleeding heart). It was synergistic,” Horvath says. (Japanese primrose, however, may be difficult to find, though many primroses on the market can be worthy substitutes.) “I also love Primula veris (English cowslip) with Lamprocapnos spectabilis (old-fashioned bleeding heart, formerly Dicentra spectabilis)—pink and yellow together is a favorite. You can also plant Polygonatum ‘Prince Charming’ (Solomon’s seal) with anything short. It works with almost anything and has so many great attributes—fragrance, sun or shade, dry shade, purple berries and golden fall color.”

Like Ellis, Horvath also touts barrenwort (Epimedium) as an outstanding companion plant for shade. “Epimedium ‘Purple Pixie’ has great wine-colored flowers and great purple foliage,” he says. Its delicate heart-shape leaves and dangling spring flowers create an interesting contrast with hostas and ferns.

Varying degrees of shade
Knowing how much direct sunlight (if any) reaches your plants is key to matching plants to the site. Remember, too, that sunlight in spring and fall is less intense because the sun is at a lower angle in the sky.

— Full sun. Plants receive a minimum of six hours of sun each day, typically from May through August. This could be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., etc.

— Light shade. Plants receive sunlight filtered through a lightly branched tree (like a birch tree or a honey locust).

— Partial shade. Plants receive some sunlight for part of the day — a few hours in the morning, at midday or in the afternoon.

— Full shade. Plants receive no direct sunlight. Some examples include plantings under densely branched evergreens, under a sugar maple or in the shadow of a tall building or under a deep overhang.

©2015 Chicago Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Pittsburgh Maker Faire promises to be a game changer

When Maker Faire Pittsburgh unfurls its colorful banners and unpacks the bots and balloons on the North Side this October, it will be official (as if it wasn’t already): Pittsburgh will be a fully-fledged American Maker City.

Never mind that our love affair with making predates the rest of the country as forgers of glass, steel and industrial products. Advances in technology are creating new opportunities in places like Pittsburgh, President Obama said during his visit to TechShop in Bakery Square last year, and putting manufacturing power “in the hands of anybody who’s got a good idea.”

Maker Faire Pittsburgh will be a celebration of good ideas, a high-energy carnival packed with entrepreneurial, can-do spirit. More than 200 tech tinkerers, craftspeople, designers and inventors of all ages will come together for a two-day, family-friendly festival of making. Exhibitions, hands-on workshops and performances will spread out on the grounds of the Buhl Community Park and Nova Place, an urban redevelopment project in the midst of its own remaking.

“It will be one big celebration,” says Chad Elish of Hack Pittsburgh. Elish was the force behind the first three three mini-maker faires that were held in Pittsburgh over the last five years. Those venues were smaller and quieter by comparison, he says.

“We never thought in our wildest dreams that this would grow to this size when we created it five years ago,” he says. “This is a game-changer. Pittsburgh is becoming a tech hub, a Silicon Valley of the east coast.”

Maker Faire began in the Bay Area in 2006 as a showcase of makers exploring new forms and technologies on the cutting-edge; it attracted a crowd of more than 22,000. Since then, the movement has spread across the country and around the world with events in New York City, Detroit, Rome and Paris.

Donna Goyak

This will be the first large-scale, national maker Faire to be held in Pennsylvania, says Donna Goyak who is organizing the event on behalf of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. (The Children’s Museum is producing the event under a license agreement with Maker Media, Inc., in partnership with Faros Properties, Innovation Works, the City of Pittsburgh and other partners.)

Billed as the “greatest show (and tell) on Earth,” the weekend promises an interactive mix of exhibits, workshops and performances. “We expect the audience will be a highly curious lot,” says Goyak. “The making will be highly participatory, fun and informative.”

On a late summer day in September, Goyak was out surveying the event space with Jeremy Leventhal, managing partner of Faros. “Imagine this area completely filled with makers,” she said gesturing wildly to the area around her the size of two football fields. “It will be the largest showcase of making, building and creating that Pittsburgh has ever seen.”

The faire will take place between Buhl Community Park and Nova Place, an urban redevelopment project by Faros Properties adjacent to the former Allegheny Mall. Faros is infusing new life into the vacant office building, an eyesore for 10 years, and turning it into a 33-acre global campus for high tech companies.

Over the next year, Faros plans to turn the ugly sea of asphalt into a public green space with landscaping and benches. The two office buildings will provide space for companies, a workspace for entrepreneurs, called Alloy 29 and a wellness and fitness center. Radiant Hall has opened a 7,000-square-foot art studio and exhibition space, which will be open on Maker Faire day.

This is the first of many large events at the innovation complex, says Leventhal. “We’re trying to build our own microcosm of a community into an existing community and have it become a resource for the whole area.”


The Pittsburgh Maker Faire will have a distinctly different flavor than other faires in the country, says Goyak. It will reflect the people and initiatives underway in the region. Robotics, naturally, will take center stage. There will be opportunities to try driverless vehicle technologies and STEAM learning activities.

Expect lots of university research, activities that feature educational initiatives and groundbreaking local startups.

Want to operate a Ferrari Italia toy car using hand gestures and voice control? Meet pet creatures at a robot petting zoo? Learn about drones and make and buy 3D jewelry? Join tech shop teachers and build dinosaur puppets or design a giant Spirograph? Opportunities abound through make-and-take activities that use recycled materials, vinyl cutters, electronics and more.

Romibo/ Tess Lojacano and Fine Art Miracles

More than 60 indie crafters and makers will sell their wares in an open air market located near the misting fountain in Buhl Plaza. Assemble director Nina Barbuto is organizing the market and operating an exhibit that will teach youngsters how to make LED pins in the education area, she says.

“Maker Faire Pittsburgh is about making the difference, not just about making things,” says Barbuto. “People here are empowered to change the existing, create the new and showcase and share it.”

Les Gies of TechShop has watched the maker movement gain momentum and take off through the last decade. “Our history goes hand-in-hand with the technology revolution we’re seeing in the maker movement,” he says. “The pulse of the city is powerful.”


Jason Kubiak and Carnegie Mellon Racing.

The inaugural Maker Faire Pittsburgh will be held on Saturday, October 10, and Sunday, October 11, from 10 am to 5 pm. on Pittsburgh’s Northside. The event is sponsored by Chevron and Make with major support from The Grable Foundation. The event is produced by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in partnership with Faros Properties, the City of Pittsburgh, Innovation Works, Hack Pittsburgh, Assemble, Tech Shop Pittsburgh and Urban Innovation 21. To buy tickets or volunteer, click here.

This article is part of the Remake Learning initiative, a multimedia partnership between NEXTpittsburgh and WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh Magazine and WESA.  Check out their stories on Learning Innovation in Pittsburgh.

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Parade of Homes event showcases Summit County’s most interesting homes

Parade of Homes

Date: Sept. 26-27

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day

Tickets: Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online (, at select Parade homes, and Summit County locations of City Market and Bank of the West. See Parade of Homes booklet in print or online for ticket-selling homes.

All proceeds benefit The Summit Foundation (

More info: Visit


Awards were presented at the annual awards reception held Friday, Sept. 18, at the Silverthorne Pavilion. There are 16 properties represented this year. The Summit County Builders Association presented 24 awards in three categories. The homes were divided into categories by square foot. They were judged on 34 criteria to determine the best in exterior design and elevation, kitchen, master suite, interior finishes, interior furnishings, landscaping and outdoor living space, and builder concept and workmanship awards.

Category 1 included 6 homes that are 2900-3999 square feet. The homes represented in that category were:

#4 201 Shooting Star Way, Silverthorne, built by Tasseltree Construction

#3 195 Stonefly Drive, Silverthorne, built by Compass Homes Development, LLC

#2 1735 Golden Eagle Road, Silverthorne, built by McCrerey Fine Homes

#1 180 Game Trail, Silverthorne, built by Travis Construction

#7 29 Stoney Trail, Keystone, built by Pinnacle Mountain Homes

#17 380 Timberlane Circle, Breckenridge, built by Mountain Log Homes of Colorado

Winners for the following criteria were:

Exterior Design Elevation — 29 Stoney Trail

Kitchen — 29 Stoney Trail

Master Bedroom — 1735 Golden Eagle Road

Interior Finishes — 29 Stoney Trail

Interior Furnishings — 29 Stoney Trail

Landscaping Outdoor Living Space — 180 Game Trail

Builder Concept Workmanship — 29 Stoney Trail

Best Overall — 29 Stoney Trail

Category 2 included 6 homes that are 4000-4999 square feet. The homes represented in that category were:

#9 163 Rose Crown Circle, Frisco, built by Apex Mountain Homes

#5 22 E. Trade Court, Keystone, built by Crestwood Homes

#8 28 N. Fork Road, Keystone, built by Mountain Log Homes of Colorado

#11 133 Mumford Place, Breckenridge, built by WTS Construction

#12 7 Spencer Court, Breckenridge, Double Diamond Property Construction

#15 36 Boulder Circle, Breckenridge, built by Rubicon Mountain Homes, Inc.

Winners for the following criteria were:

Exterior Design Elevation — 36 Boulder Circle

Kitchen — 36 Boulder Circle

Master Bedroom — 36 Boulder Circle

Interior Finishes —36 Boulder Circle

Interior Furnishings — 36 Boulder Circle

Landscaping Outdoor Living Space — 22 E. Trade Court

Builder Concept Workmanship — 7 Spencer Court

Best Overall — 36 Boulder Circle

Category 3 includes 4 homes that are 5000 square feet and over. The homes represented in that category were:

#6 50 North Fork Road, Keystone, built by Raptor Construction

#10 220 Cottonwood Circle, Breckenridge built by New West Partners

#13 42 Luisa Drive, Breckenridge built by Pinnacle Mountain Homes

#14 65 Penn Lode, Breckenridge, built by Ethan Guerra, Avalanche Construction

Winners for the following criteria were:

Exterior Design Elevation — 65 Penn Lode

Kitchen — 65 Penn Lode

Master Bedroom — 65 Penn Lode

Interior Finishes — 65 Penn Lode

Interior Furnishings — 50 North Fork Road

Landscaping Outdoor Living Space — 65 Penn Lode

Builder Concept Workmanship — 65 Penn Lode

Best Overall — 65 Penn Lode

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Home show, plant sales and more home and garden events

A weekly roundup of home and garden classes, tours and more.

Don’t see your event listed here? You need to enter it at If you would like instructions on how to enter your event, send an email to Andrea Weigl,

Southern Ideal Home Show: Fall Edition

The Triangle’s biggest and best home and garden event features three buildings filled with hundreds of exhibitors to answer questions, help with your next building or remodeling project, decorating or landscaping your home. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 26; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 27. $9; 15 and under free. N.C. State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. 919-733-2626,

Fairy Garden Class

Create your own tiny oasis. Bring your own creative container or buy one on site and receive help with planting it after class. 11 a.m.-Noon. Sept. 26. Free. The Garden Hut, 1004 Old Honeycutt Rd., Fuquay-Varina. 919-552-0590.

Fall Faire

Celebrate the season with food, fun, beautiful plants, fall decorations, face painting, cooking demos and more. . 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 26. Free. Garden Supply Company, 1421 Old Apex Rd., Cary. 919-460-7747,

Migratory Birds

Join a bird enthusiast and learn about the area’s migrating birds. 7:30-10 p.m. Sept. 26. Free. William B. Umstead State Park, 8801 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 919-571-4170,

Encaustic Painting and Collage Workshop

Learn the basics of Encaustic painting with hot wax.This affordable workshop includes 2 ready-to-hang canvases and unlimited encaustic medium. A $40 aterials fee is due at the beginning of the workshop (check or cash). Students need to bring their own collage materials and scissors. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 26. $75. Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris Street, Durham. 919-560-2787,

Fall Plant Sale

Enhance your home garden with rare and unusual plants and bulbs, as well as some standards every Southern garden should have. A wide selection of Duke Gardens propagated plants and hand-picked material from local suppliers will be offered, in addition to free expert advice. 9 a.m.-Noon. Sept. 26. Free. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

Plant Walk Talk

Fall is the best time to plant in this area, and horticulturist Nelsa Cox will show you how. 10 -11 a.m. Sept. 26. Free. The Garden Hut, 1004 Old Honeycutt Rd., Fuquay-Varina. 919-552-0590.

Exploration Station

Explore the science of plants and animals with seasonal activities for you and your family. Look for the “Exploration Stations” throughout the gardens. 1-3 p.m. Sept. 26, Oct 3 and 10. Free. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

Pi Alpha Xi Plant Sale

This sale offers rare and unique annual, perennial, and woody ornamentals. Proceeds benefit horticultural charities, scholarships and organizations. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 27. Free. JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh. 919-515-3132,

Rebuilding Nature’s Relationships and the Living Landscape

Authors Doug Tallamy and Rick Darke explains why specialized food relationships determine the stability of the local food webs that support animal diversity and suggests ways to conserve them in home gardens.2-4:30 p.m. Sept. 27. Free. North Carolina Botanical Garden, 100 Old Mason Farm Rd., Chapel Hill. 919-962-0522,

North State Toy and Hobby Show

More than 70 exhibitors will be selling antique to modern toys. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 27. $5. North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. 919-733-2626,

The WOW Factor: Bulbs in the Landscape

Bobby Mottern will introduce you to three different types of plants and discuss strategies for combining plants for maximum impact in your garden. 10:30 a.m.-Noon. Sept. 29. $12-$15. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

Backyard Birding: Save the Garden for the Birds!

As we clean up our gardens for the year, there is a lot we can save for the birds! We’ll talk about what to get rid of and what to keep $10. Register in advance. 10-11 a.m. Oct. 3. $10. Atlantic Avenue Orchid Garden, 5217 Atlantic Ave., Raleigh. 919-878-8877,

Fall Plant Sale

NCBG’s Fall Plant Sale showcases the Garden’s sustainable and organically produced native plants of the Southeast including many plants for pollinators. 9 a.m.-Noon. Oct. 3. Free. N.C. Botanical Garden, 100 Old Mason Farm Rd., Chapel Hill. 919-962-0522,

Friends of the Arboretum Annual Plant Distribution

This event of public horticulture is where thousands of choice and rare plants are freely given away. 9-9:15 a.m. Oct. 3. Free. JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh. 919-515-3132,

Inviting Native Plants with Dale Batchelor

Explore a woodland garden while learning to identify a number of plants that are native to the Piedmont. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Oct. 3. $20. Swiftbrook Gardens, 5508 Swiftbrook Circle, Raleigh.

Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Tours

This fall tour features the fabulous gardens of Brie and David Arthur; Jeremy Schmidt, Jack Lamm and Dan Gant, Sandra Simpson, Noel Weston and Erin Weston, and John and Patty Byrne. Noon.-5 p.m. Oct. 4. $7 per garden; $35 six-pack. JC Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh. 919-515-3132,

Swiftbrook Gardens Open Day

Enjoy an afternoon stroll as the garden transitions from summer to fall. 1:30-6 p.m. Oct. 4. Free. Swiftbrook Gardens, 5508 Swiftbrook Circle, Raleigh.

Plantsmen’s Tour: Deadly Beauties

Get in the mood for Halloween with a look at some poisonous denizens of the Arboretum. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Oct. 6. $5; members free. JC Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh. 919-515-3132,

Plants of Distinction: Fall Planting in the Vegetable Garden

Learn about spectacular plants that offer both beauty and functionality. 2:30-4 p.m. Oct. 6. $7; $5 members. Duke University Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

Lecture: Spoons, Spiders other Spectacular Mums

Meet an enthusiastic mum grower whose goal is to share mums. Rediscover an almost commercially lost category of plants that have astonishing flowers potentially the size of a dinner plate. 7:30 -9 p.m. Oct. 8. $5; members free. JC Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh. 919-515-3132,

Garden Walk

Tony Avent leads a garden tour highlighting the unique, rare, and native plants displayed in the 10-acre botanic garden at Tony and Anita Avent’s farm in Southern Wake County. 10 a.m.-Noon Oct. 10. $40. Plant Delights Nursery, 9241 Sauls Rd, Raleigh. 919-772-4794,

NC State Fairground Flea Market

Each weekend, the Commercial and Education buildings, the Shoppes at Dorton, and the outside grounds are host to hundreds of dealers, craftsmen, and booths. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays. Free. N.C. State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. 919-733-2626,

JC Raulston Arboretum Sunday Tour

Join one of the JCRA’s volunteer tour docents and learn about the arboretum’s plants, people, history, future and mission in a one-hour guided walk through the JCRA’s collections and gardens. 2-3 p.m. Sundays. Free. JC Raulston Arboretum at N.C. State University, 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh. 919-515-3132,

HappymessART Open Studio

HappymessART opens its studio for relaxed art-making alone or with company. Staff will be on hand to assist and offer inspirational material. Use the studio’s supplies, tools and space., but you are welcome to bring anything of your own that you want. 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays. $25. HappymessArt, 718B Iredell St., Durham. 919-286-9763,

Free Expression Tuesdays

Bring your work crew out to Art Bar all day Tuesday for this special, relaxing, expressive, free-flowing painting experience. Wine is 10 percent off all day. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesdays. $25. Art Bar Raleigh, 6109 Maddry Oaks Ct., Raleigh. 919-307-8107,

Well Fed Community Garden

Come and work in the garden and then sit down to a shared mea. Bring a hat, bottle of water and dish to share. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays. Free. Well Fed Community Garden, 1321 Athens Dr., Raleigh. 919-833-8898,

Farmers Markets

Wake County

Apex Farmers Market

8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, 220 N. Salem St., Apex,

Cary Downtown Farmers Market

8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, 135 W. Chatham St., Cary,

Growers Market of Fuquay-Varina

3-6 p.m. Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce, 121 N. Main St., Fuquay-Varina,

Holly Springs Farmers Market

8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, 128 S. Main St., Holly Springs,

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Tryon Road Farm Stand

2-6 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 4505 Tryon Rd, Raleigh,

Knightdale Farmers Market

2-6 p.m. Saturdays (starting May 30), Knightdale Station Park, 810 N. First Ave., Knightdale,

Midtown Farmers Market

8 a.m.- noon Saturdays, North Hills Raleigh, 4150 Main St., Raleigh,

Plantation Point

9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, Plantation Point Shopping Center, 3351 Cypress Plantation Drive, Raleigh,

Quail Corners Farmers Market

8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Quail Corners Shopping Center, 5003 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. 919-876-2726,

Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays, 400 block Fayetteville St., Raleigh (City Plaza),

State Farmers Market

5 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh.

The Saturday Market at Rebus Works

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 301 Kinsey St., Raleigh,

Wake Forest Farmers Market

8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 405 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest,

WakeMed Farmers Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, 3000 New Bern Ave., Raleigh (free parking in the P1 parking deck for market patrons),

Waverly Place Farmers Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Waverly Place, Intersection of Tryon and Kildaire Farm Roads, Cary,

Western Wake Farmers Market at Carpenter Village

8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 101 Gathering Park Circle, Cary,

Western Wake Farmers Market at UNC Wellness Center

7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, 350 Stonecroft Lane, Cary,

Zebulon Farm Fresh Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Zebulon Community Center, 310 S. Arendell Ave., Zebulon,

Chatham County

Chatham Mills Farmers Market

8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 480 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro,

Fearrington Farmers Market

4-6 p.m. Tuesdays, East Camden, Fearrington Village,

Pittsboro Farmers Market

3-6 p.m. Thursdays, 287 East St., Pittsboro,

Siler City

9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 118 W. Second St., Siler City,

Durham County

Duke Medical Center Farmers Market

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays, Searle Center, 10 Searle Drive, Durham (on the green behind the Searle Center and between Nanaline Duke and Bryan Research Buildings),

Durham Farmers Market

3:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St., Durham, durhamfarmersmarket.comSouth Durham Farmers Market

8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 5410 N.C. 55, Durham,

Franklin County

Franklin County Farmers Market

9 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 103 S. Bickett Blvd., Louisburg,

Johnston County

Clayton Farm and Community Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 348 E. Main St., Clayton, (Horne Square),

Lee County

Sanford Farmers Market

9 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Depot Park, 106 Charlotte Ave., Sanford,

Orange County

Carrboro Farmers Market

3-6 p.m. Wednesdays, 7 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro,

Chapel Hill Farmers Market

3-6 p.m. Tuesdays, 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, University Mall parking lot, 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill,

Eno River Farmers Market

8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 144 E. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough (Farmers Market Pavilion).

Hillsborough Farmers Market

8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 625 Hampton Point Blvd., Hillsborough (Home Depot parking lot near N.C. 86 and I-85),

Southern Village Farmers Market

3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursdays, 650 Market St., Chapel Hill (Southern Village green),

Vance County

Vance County Regional Farmers Market

7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 210 Southpark Drive, Henderson,

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Fall gardens begin to sprout at senior living communities



Treemont resident Camella Scalise tends to the community’s pesticide-free, organic garden.

When fall rolls around, gardens begins to change, whether they are vegetable or floral. Seeing the fruits of your labor from planting the seeds, eating the fresh food or having a hand in keep the premises beautiful can all be extremely rewarding.

In’s article, “Six Unexpected Health Benefits of Gardening,” the process of being active in the outdoors with gardening has visible and invisible perks. The actions involved in gardening affect mental and physical aspects resulting in a positive outlook from the overall experience.

It starts with stress relief and self-esteem and keeps going from there.

The one obvious benefit is being exposed to vitamin D, which can boost the immune system. It also aids in decreasing heart and stroke risk while stimulating brain function. Gardeners also may see an increase in hand strength and dexterity as well as relief from depression.

Aimee Dubuisson, activities director at Treemont Retirement Community, said its Gardening Angels program produced such an abundance of peppers, tomatoes and herbs the group was able to host an official Food Demonstration in July. Diners had the opportunity to partake in bruschetta and then created an entrée created from the same dish with marinated chicken, cheese and heavy cream.

The feast was much appreciated, Dubuisson said.

“Picking the herbs and vegetables from the garden was a gratifying experience. The dishes prepared were delicious. The Gardening Angels were so proud as they enjoyed the home-grown food. Everyone commented about home-grown herbs and vegetables being so much better than those you get from the grocery store. Nothing compares,” she said.

Treemont residents already are gearing up for the fall.

In the ground, pumpkins and butternut squash are set to start growing for a seasonal touch. Adding mums for decorations completes the atmosphere.

“In the fall, an area school visits and brings pumpkins to the residents. We had a fabulous time last year. It was hard to tell who enjoyed it more, the residents or the children,” Dubuisson said.

The Buckingham residents also get to enjoy fresh vegetables from their own garden and have the chance to provide input for landscaping and flowers to beautify the grounds.

As seasons change, so does the task of Mitti Meyers and the garden committee, who are in charge of working with the landscape manager several times a year. The committee walks the grounds and collaborates on what needs to be accomplished. Together they bring vibrant flowers and beautiful landscapes to the residents.

Meyers, who “always loved to garden,” enjoys the camaraderie of friends and having the opportunity to provide feedback on flower selections knowing how it will impact residents.

“We all have balconies,” Meyers said. “We love to see the flower beds and plant perennials in all the different courtyards. I enjoy it.”

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Stand out from the crowd

Liza Lightfoot was gardening on the side while attending University of Wisconsin Madison, feeding a longtime fascination for plants by getting her hands dirty with side jobs around town. The plan, before landscaping took center stage, was to become a jazz singer.




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“But I realized that was probably not the best career choice if I wanted to survive,” Lightfoot says with a hint of a British accent. She was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and came to the U.S. in 1974. “I was starting to get my jazz vocal degree and about two-thirds of the way through, I decided that if I worked half as hard at something else, I might actually make money.”

She was already drumming up business with a partner, and an aptitude test indicated that landscape architecture would suit her talents and personality. So she switched majors. That was 30 years ago, and now Avant Gardening and Landscaping is celebrating that landmark anniversary, serving high-end clients in a market that has been generous to Lightfoot’s business over the years, she says.

Avant Gardening and Landscaping employs 21 people, seven of whom are full-time. Seventy percent of its customer base is residential, though Lightfoot is hoping to grow the commercial end this year and into the future.

The operation has expanded and grown more sophisticated over the years, and honed a client base with a taste for creative results. But what has always stayed the same at Avant is the firm’s focus on interesting design and its balance of maintenance services to ensure recurring revenue and to strike a healthy work balance.

Lightfoot has done far more than survive in this career; she is preparing to one day leave a legacy to dedicated employees. The company is now entering a new phase in its development where the focus is on giving people an opportunity to not just execute the vision but to help shape it. “We are at a growth phase now that I’m really excited about,” Lightfoot says.

Room to grow.

When Lightfoot first started her business, she was operating out of her home like many small business owners. And at the time, licensing was not required for landscape architects in the state of Wisconsin, which was a good thing since her college adviser suggested focusing on her business and she left the university 21 credit hours short of a degree.

“When the law came into effect, I had enough years of experience that I passed the test and was given my licensing,” Lightfoot says.

Right away, Lightfoot reached her target high-end residential market with the help of a client with whom she traded landscaping services for mailing lists. “He would print out mailing labels for me with people’s names on it in high-end neighborhoods, and I would send out flyers, so I was getting a lot of business,” she says.

Meanwhile, the initial partnership was dissolved, and Lightfoot moved on with the company name since she had personally invested in the business. Avant Gardening and Landscaping continued on with two new partners in the construction and maintenance divisions, while Lightfoot managed design, sales and other operations. “We had a good person in the office who was doing the bookkeeping,” she says.

During that time, Avant Gardening and Landscaping grew from a facility with a simple warehouse in town they had been renting. The city of Madison approached Lightfoot, letting her know it bought the property and she would be compensated with moving costs and five years of rent in a new location.

“They gave me the money in a lump sum, so I was able to pay off a lot of debt, buy equipment to grow and take on a higher rent for the next five years,” says Lightfoot of the move in 1990 to a larger space in town.

But Lightfoot always had her mind on property. So when an opportunity cropped up to purchase a lovely 52-acre farm on the outskirts of town, she jumped on it and signed the contract in 1997. The plan was to open a retail nursery site there, but the zoning battle that ensued with neighbors was stressful and resulted in five years of back-and-forth so Lightfoot eventually deciding to rent out the land to organic and traditional farmers.

While Plan A didn’t work out, Lightfoot says that a promising part of the company’s future growth is the bounty of perennials thriving on the property now. “We are doing some nice work there, and I think we need to find a way to market our product because we have a sizeable inventory now,” she says.

Avant Gardening and Landscaping has a nursery division but Lightfoot would like to focus on growing that department and improving its profitability as “more of a stand-alone entity,” she says.

People partnerships.

People come and go—but when good people have been on board (like now), the business has always expanded and notably improved, whether in customer retention or sales, Lightfoot says. “If I look back, every time we have good people working in the business we have a growth spurt,” she says, specifically referring to a period of about 18 years of solid growth.

“We brainstormed and developed ideas and designs together—and we took on bigger jobs,” says Lightfoot, relating that the commercial side of the business also grew during that time. The type of commercial work Avant Gardening and Landscaping does includes multi-housing residential sites like condominium communities that want landscaping upgrades, and some business properties.

But good people leave, and that’s what happened at Avant. An employee recruited one of Lightfoot’s other employees and started her own business. “We have spawned a lot of businesses here,” Lightfoot quips – perhaps a result of her relatively hands-off management style. “I try to let people do their jobs and stay out of their hair.” She looks at the experience as a challenge that she overcame and the business goes on.

One of her most valuable employees left five years ago, and Lightfoot says business did slump a bit for a year or two. She began to recruit a replacement but that’s not so easy. “I hired one guy who was brilliant, but he had a temper and that didn’t work out so well,” she relates.

What did work was bringing on a landscape design graduate from University of Wisconsin and training him to eventually take on a management role. “He grew into the position, and he has exceeded anything I ever expected,” Lightfoot says.

She has found other talented employees by recruiting through the university, and others came in the door when a larger firm downsized and good people were looking for a new home.

The strong team operating Avant Gardening and Landscaping today has made for smooth running the last five years, and stability, Lightfoot says. And now, Lightfoot feels she has flexibility to step out of the rigorous operations and design role, a 24/7 pursuit, and work on other aspects of the business like the nursery and commercial sales.

“I am really excited about the team I have and moving the business to a higher level,” she says.

Leading letting go.

The next level for Lightfoot is one where she’s not working in the business constantly, and where she steps aside, lets others lead and is even absent for some time. She has been testing this hands-off approach during winters she spends running a micro-business, Travel Learners LLC (see Growing Experiences), which involves taking students on trips to South Africa where they build playgrounds and food gardens.

While she’s away during the bitter Wisconsin months, a strong snow business is running at Avant and her team is calling the shots. Lightfoot is completely comfortable with this.

“I really like the decisions that others have made for the most part,” Lightfoot says of letting out some rope and trying new things like upgrading the company’s brand (see Polishing the Brand). “It’s great to see others take the helm and make those plans and have a vision.”

Lightfoot wants to see the business live on, even when she’s ready to step out of it – which is not anytime soon. But she recognizes that this next phase of Avant is one where she’ll focus on growing new areas of the operation, letting others take care of the core business and seeing what happens from there.

Of the team, the market and opportunities for expansion, Lightfoot says: “We are in a position where the business is healthy and we are in a good place.”

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Gardening Tips

By: Patrick Miller

Colorado State University Extension Master Gardener in Larimer County

For publication: September 26, 2015

For all of those curious gardeners out there, September’s name comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven.” This had been the seventh month of the early Roman calendar, which is why its name means “seven.” It is really the ninth month for us in modern time. So, what does this mean for us gardeners?

Well, for most gardeners it means, “Get ready for fall!” The Autumnal Equinox falls on September 23 this year, signaling approximately equal hours of daylight and darkness. Shortened day length and lower temperatures signal plants to slow-down or halt growth. Even now, plants are going through the process of getting ready for winter!

The gardening season is far from over, and below are just a few tips for gardeners to get their plants ready for this fall and beyond.


  • Bring summer vacationing houseplants back indoors while the windows are still open; check carefully for hitchhiking pests.
  • Start fall clean-up in the flowerbeds, cutting back anything that has finished blooming or is diseased.
  • Take cuttings to overwinter indoors.
  • Watch for frost warning and cover tender plants.
  • This is a great time to plant new trees and shrubs because the new roots will have plenty of time to become established before the spring.
  • Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Be sure to fertilize before the end of October.
  • Blow out your sprinkler system prior to a hard freeze.

Flowers and Other Ornamental Plants:

  • Divide and move perennials
  • Dig and store tender bulbs like: dahlias, caladiums, cannas and tuberous begonias
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs

For more gardening tips, most visit the Colorado State University Extension website at for additional suggestions and topics specific for our region.

The author has received training through Colorado State University Extension’s Master Gardener program and is a Master Gardener volunteer for Larimer County.

Larimer County is a county-based outreach of Colorado State University Extension providing information you can trust to deal with current issues in agriculture, horticulture, nutrition and food safety, 4-H, small acreage, money management and parenting. For more information about CSU Extension in Larimer County, call (970) 498-6000 or visit

Looking for additional gardening information? Check out the CSU Extension Horticulture Agent blog at for timely updates about gardening around the state.

Visit PlantTalk Colorado ™ for fast answers to your gardening questions! PlantTalk is a cooperation between Colorado State University Extension, GreenCo and Denver Botanic Gardens.

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Gardening Tips: Saving tender plants

Tuesday, September 22, 2015   by: Susan Richards

It was a beautiful day as I write this article, but it is September and we know our frost-free days are numbered.

If you hope to save any of the tender plants that you have nurtured all summer, be sure to get them indoors before that first frost hits!

Many of the plants that you grew outside for the summer can be enjoyed inside throughout the winter.

My mother always collected her geraniums and begonias, even some impatiens and coleus so that she had some plants blooming on her windowsill all winter.

These days there are so many more plant varieties that you can over-winter indoors.

Not only do you get the benefit of the winter blooms, but also, with a bit of extra work, you can use some of the plants outdoors the next spring.

There are many tropical plants you may have tried this season that are worth over-wintering indoors: Dipledinia, Passionflower, succulents and hibiscus are a few examples.

These tender plants will not tolerate any frost.

Be sure to pull them indoors before temperatures dip too low.

You may also try bringing some tender herbs indoors for the winter.

Not all types will survive the entire winter indoors, but you can enjoy them for as long as they last.

Rosemary, basil and parsley are a few you might try. (Parsley is actually a biennial, so it will return a second season if left in the garden. However, it is often bitter the second year, so is often treated as an annual.)

When bring any plant inside, follow these steps to ensure you do not bring pest or disease into the house:

1. Carefully inspect all plants you are considering bringing indoors. Discard those that are diseased or infested with bugs.

2. If you are bringing plants in, pot and all, follow these steps: slide the plant out of the pot, carefully rinse as much of the soil off the roots as possible, scrub the container well and replant with fresh indoor potting soil. Water the plant with a transplanting fertilizer to settle the roots in.

3. If plants are too large to bring in, take numerous cutting and root those to start new plants.

4. Give all foliage a shower with a solution of 1 part anti-bacterial dish soap mixed with 20 parts water and a small amount of ammonia.

5. Keep all plants in a separate room from your established houseplants. Keep an eye on them for several weeks until you are sure you have not brought any problems indoors.

6. Once they are ready to be placed for the winter, be sure to put them in an area that gets the correct light. Herbs and most flowering plants need lots of light. Plants the thrived outdoors in the shade will be happier in an east window.

Tender summer bulbs are another group of plants that need to be taken indoors to be stored for the winter.

Gladiola, dahlia, tuberous begonia and canna lily are a few examples.

Once the first frost has knocked back the foliage, dig up the bulb or tuber.

Shake off all excess dirt, cut back the foliage so that only a few inches of stock remains and set them out to air-dry for a few days. (Donít leave them out overnight if frost is predicted.)

Once the surface of the bulb is dry, store them in a paper bag or cardboard box surrounded by dry sand or peat moss and place them in a root cellar or cold room.

You need a cool, dark, dry space that doesnít freeze and stays at about 40 degrees F.

Check the bulbs a few times during the winter to ensure they are not rotting or withering up.

There is a bit of work involved when you bring plants in for the winter, however, the rewards far outweigh the effort!

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Inside, Outside: Bunny Williams Will Share Tips on Interior and Garden Design …

Photos special to the Journal

By Donna Cornelius

Interior design and gardening design have lots of similarities, said Bunny Williams, who has written books about both.

But there’s one problem you don’t have to deal with when you’re planning a room: Furniture isn’t likely to grow.

“A sofa can be bought to the scale of the room, but one of the biggest mistakes people make in gardening is they don’t anticipate how plants will look in five or six years, how big a tree will get to be,” Williams said.

The well-known designer will be at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Antiques at The Gardens to talk about her recently updated gardening book, “On Garden Style,” and about interior design. Williams will speak at noon Oct. 1 as part of the annual show’s Red Diamond Lecture Series.

Williams opened her own design company, Bunny Williams Incorporated, in 1988 after 22 years with Parish-Hadley Associates in New York. She has her own line of furniture and lighting at Bunny Williams Home.

She’s also written three design books in addition to the revamped gardening book.

“When I wrote that first book about 15 or 16 years ago, I was trying to get people to understand garden design,” Williams said. “At that time, most of the gardening books written by experts were over my head.”

She decided to update her book because “I’ve learned a lot,” she said. “And I’ve illustrated the new book in a much more sophisticated way.”

Williams said a gardening misadventure provided a good lesson – and gave her a funny story to share.

“I bought a whole garden from Wayside Gardens and put it in an old cow pasture, so it grew like crazy,” she said. “I’ve never had such big lilies in my life. But it was just a bunch of plants in the middle of a yard. With a good garden, design comes first.”

In rethinking her book, she kept modern lifestyles in mind.

“People may not want to maintain a perennial border,” she said. “They think, wait a minute – I’m not sure I want to do all that work. Less maintenance is important.”

Williams said gardens should complement the houses they surround.

“I have a traditional Federal house in northwest Connecticut, so I have a parterre garden with clipped boxwoods,” she said. “It’s an old-fashioned design but very architectural.”

She said there are two Alabama staple plants she wishes she could incorporate into her New England garden.

“When I think of Southern gardens, I think of boxwoods, crepe myrtles and magnolia grandiflora,” she said. “I can have English boxwoods but not the other two plants, which are my favorites. I think we all tend to take for granted what we can grow.”

Gardening won’t be Williams’ only topic for her program at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

“My talk will be very chatty and friendly,” she said. “It will be about freshening your house up, getting it up to date – and getting your kids to be interested in it.”

Williams said many parents bemoan their children turning up their noses at treasured family pieces.

“I hear so many people say, ‘My kids don’t want what I have,’” she said. “And the kids are buying absolute junk. I say to people, ‘Freshen your house up. Get rid of the little stuff and let your children see how pretty that antique chest is. Make it look different.’”

Her own design philosophy has changed over the years, but that’s more a reflection of dealing with the realities of everyday living than of her personal likes and dislikes, she said.

“I think what’s changed is the way people want to live today,” Williams said. “We eat in the kitchen, so do we even need dining rooms anymore? Design should fit lifestyles. We live much more casual lives, and design has to represent the person who lives there.”

Residents of Williams’ Connecticut house include not only her husband, John, but three dogs. One is a recent – and unexpected – addition.

“On my husband’s birthday, he opened the barn door and found this beautiful coonhound puppy who had been thrown away,” she said. “So as of a few weeks ago, we have a new dog. We have two other rescue dogs, terrier mixes.”

Although she’s had success training her dogs not to dig in her garden, she’s had to take more desperate measures to keep other animals from wreaking havoc there.

“We do have a deer problem,” Williams said. “We have a lot of 8-foot-high mesh deer fences attached to trees and a wooden fence on the front.

“It looks like a prison camp,” she added, laughing.

One of her favorite pieces in the Bunny Williams Home collection is a chair named after one of her dogs. It’s a solid maple reproduction of an armchair that was given to her by designer Alexander Hadley and that became her dog’s special snoozing spot.

“It’s called Charlie’s Chair,” Williams said. “We have the original in our kitchen.

“I work at one of the desks in the collection. I’m very fond of that piece. Many pieces are patterned after things I’ve found or bought. The entire collection is very personal.”

Williams’ Oct. 1 visit to Birmingham won’t be her first trip to the city.

“I love Birmingham,” she said. “I love meeting new people. And I’m always inspired by seeing different cities and the shops and houses there.”

After her lecture, Williams will greet guests and sign copies of her book at 1 p.m. as part of the Antiques at The Gardens Richard Keith Langham Reception and Book Signing Series.

For more information about the event and to buy tickets, visit ϖ

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Heroes of the Storm: Garden of Terror Tips and Strategies

The Heroes of the Storm Garden of Terror map has a knack for transformation. It goes through a day and night cycle, and is a pretty straightforward three-lane map when the sun is out. Players battle each other to control lanes and acquire mercenaries to fight on their behalf. But things become more interesting once it sets at the 1:30 mark. At that time, Heroes have two minutes to take advantage of the night.

They must leave the lanes and head into the garden area near the center of the map to hunt Shamblers, which are essentially plant zombies. Once defeated, Shamblers will drop seeds (5 each) for Heroes to collect. Meaning Heroes can acquire 15 seeds from each small group of three Shamblers, while powerful Golems provide 60 seeds each. The first team to pick up 100 seeds will spawn a giant Garden Terror by their core. A Hero has one minute to return the base to take control of the Terror, otherwise it will die.

Once a hero has control of one of these monstrosities, they gain an all-new set of powers and a significantly boosted health pool. Power include Spore Queen’s Curse, which transforms opposing heroes into small plants that can’t fight back. Overgrowth disables the opposing team’s defenses and damages their minions. Lastly, Sprint lets the Terror quickly traverse across the map.

It’s up to the team to figure out how to best utilize the terror, whether it be to gain more experience against opposing heroes, break deeper into a single lane, or spread the damage out so that the opposition has a harder time defending.

General Tips

Do Some Quick Math: There is a total of 180 seeds that are up for grabs each night – 90 on the top and bottom, comprised of a Golem and two Shambler camps. Figuring out what order to take them out is paramount to victory. Typically, Heroes will go straight for the closest monster camp or start with the smaller ones as soon as the sun sets. But, if your team can coordinate an early strike against both Golems, preferably both at once, then you have the potential to earn 120 seeds right off the bat, while opponents are stuck with 60.

The other team has probably done the same math, so your team will either need to figure out ways to quickly take down the Golems, or find fast ways to take down at least 3 Shambler camps and one Golem.

Playing the Opportunist: Keep an eye on your opponents as they fight with the Golems. If one looks severely weakened, then use that opportunity to take them out. Or dive in and take out the opposing Heroes right before a Golem is defeated. Extra skilled players might be able to swoop in and steal seeds as they erupt from a fallen Golem. It’s a risky move, but you don’t drop any seeds if you’re defeated, so it could be worthwhile one.

Have a Terror Plan: Heroes will only have control of a Garden Terror for 1 minute and 30 seconds, so make the most of that time. Keep in mind how even though the Terror deals significant single target damage, and has the ability to disable guard towers, it does not do extra damage against structures. So, it’s generally a good idea to have one or two Heroes supporting the Terror. They can deal extra damage when using Overgrowth to march deeper into enemy territory, or set up traps so that opposing Heroes can’t get away when the Terror uses Spore Queen’s Curse to transform them.

Mercenaries: Garden of Terror is a numbers game in more ways than one. It’s always good to have a little backup along when taking a lane during the daytime. Mercenaries are also very useful at night, especially when you find yourself on the defensive against the Terror. However, mercenary camps will vanish once the Garden Terror appears, unless it is being contested. So, time your battles if you intend to use them.

Delaying Tactics: If your team fails to acquire 100 seeds needed to spawn the Terror, then the next best strategy to try to prevent the opposing team from making use of it. If the whole opposing team is on the battlefield, then use every slow and hold skill or item you have to keep the enemy team from returning to their core. Be careful not to kill them outright, since they’ll be back in their base, right where they want to be, upon respawn. Trying to delay a whole team of Heroes for a full minute is a daunting task, but very satisfying if you can manage to pull it off.

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