Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for September 25, 2015

Indy Rama | Welcome from BAGI


The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis is thrilled to welcome you to our first-ever Indy Rama. This show is nothing short of spectacular, featuring five custombuilt or renovated, fully decorated and landscaped homes and townhomes in downtown Indianapolis. This showcase of urban residences will highlight some of the best Indy neighborhoods and provide a glimpse of what downtown living has to offer.These houses, built by members of the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, display all the latest trends in technology, design, outdoor living and landscaping, and much more. You’re sure to leave with plenty of ideas for your new or existing home.

During the show, the builders will be on hand to answer questions, offer advice, or discuss their uniquely built homes. Many of the designers and suppliers will also be available to provide information on their products and services.

We would like to encourage you to visit to find a builder, remodeler, or supplier or to learn about the latest trends and technology in the industry. It’s a great resource for all consumers.

Enjoy the show!

Steve Lains
BAGI Chief Executive Officer

Micah J. Hill
2015 BAGI Board of Directors President

Article source:

NFL of the Week: The ‘D’ in Big D is for ‘Dangit!’

(RNN) – The Cowboys just castled Casseled. Shout out to the chess club peoples.

The Debacle in Dallas (Dall-bacle? Let’s think on it.) is proving everything is bigger in Texas, including soul-crushing personnel losses for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. The injury of quarterback Tony Romo one week after wideout Dez Bryant went down means the team will have to go at least half the season, probably more, without its two best offensive players.

It doesn’t help that backup Brandon Weeden is 5-16 as a starter, or that his name sounds more like a landscaping company than an off-the-bench savior. The team traded for QB Matt Cassel as a backup for the backup; he has two winning seasons under his belt (’08 Patriots, ’10 Chiefs) but hasn’t done much in a while.

The positives for Big D are a 2-0 record, maybe the league’s best offensive line, a solid defense and an NFC East in worse shambles than a Rick Perry presidential run. It’s basically a cesspool of bad ideas (Philly), bad decisions (NY Giants) and Dan Snyder (Hi Washington!), so two wins may be enough to take the division.

Thursday Night Football: Washington (CENSORED) at New York Giants, 8:25 p.m. ET

The Washington (1-1) football squad won a game. Its run game looks rugged. Its O-line looks obstinate. Its D looks determined. And it’s facing a team completely out of sorts right now.

It will be interesting to see how the franchise screws this up.

Rookie running back Matt Jones showed off power and speed while stepping all over a good Rams defense, and he and Alfred Morris have the makings of a fierce power rushing attack. They could give Kirk Cousins time to develop into a competent QB in his first season as starter. Leading receiver DeSean Jackson has been ruled out for this game with a hamstring injury.

Two losses by a combined five points had nothing to do with on-field ability for the Giants (0-2). Instead, mental mistakes helped both their opponents to come from behind in the fourth quarter.

Eli Manning’s other issues aside, he is showing better decision making on this throws. Odell Beckham Jr., already among the most productive NFL receivers, may get even better in his second season, and RB Shane Vereen is an excellent pass catcher out of the backfield. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be out after a concussion, depleting a defense that needs all the help it can get.

Sunday: Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.

This is the lone Week 3 matchup between 2-0 teams. If you’re into sadness, check out the 0-2 Seahawks and the 0-2 Bears at 4:25 p.m.

The Cowboys bet in the offseason they could have a good run game with anyone when they let DeMarco Murray sign elsewhere. It could be a wager that costs too much with no Romo or Bryant to balance the offense.

Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden will get plenty of opportunity to carry the ball as Weeden settles in. Dallas’s D was the hot knife to the butter making up the Eagles’ O-line in Week 2, and it will need to keep getting behind the line of scrimmage to keep the score low.

Julio Jones – the name alone gets defenders’ brows sweating and pants wetting. The Falcons wideout has been making everyone look ridiculous, with only his own hamstring coming close to stopping him. Head coach Dan Quinn says his star is going to play.

Matt Ryan will be slinging the ol’ Wilson Official (not a euphemism, but it could be) even more than usual with RB Tevin Coleman injured. His backup, Devonta Freeman, is more of a pass catcher and should see plenty of targets, too. Speaking of …

Fantasy watch:

Devonta Freeman, Atlanta RB – If he’s still on the waiver wire (owned in 74 percent of ESPN leagues), grab him. The diminutive tailback probably won’t get 20 carries, but he can make things happen catching the ball in the flat. He also scored on a short TD run last week, so the Falcons aren’t afraid to give it to him near the goal line.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati QB – He stunk up the joint fantasy-wise last year. But he was a borderline top-five guy at the position in 2013, and he looks back in sync with all-world TD catcher A.J. Green. Owned in 36 percent of leagues.

Doug Baldwin, Seattle WR – Owned in 43 percent of leagues. The ‘Hawks have usually spread the ball around the field, but Baldwin seems to be the exception. He’s been targeted 17 times in two games and caught 14 of them, which will keep Russell Wilson looking his way.

Your weekly Hail Mary is Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore TE – Two TDs last week! He could be a one-week wonder, but Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s system was the same one that made Martellus Bennett a go-to guy in Chicago. Owned in 18 percent of leagues.

Follow on Twitter @MattQuillenRNN.

Copyright 2015 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved. 

Article source:

Growing beyond hostas: Planting ideas to enliven your shade garden

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.

Article source:

Some Super-Wealthy Angelenos Not Really Into This Whole Conserving Water Thing

The culture does seem to be changing towards a wider acceptance of the realities of drought though. Landscapers who work with wealthy clients have begun the notice an uptick in customers who are in the know about drought tolerant yards. But there still is the other, more thirsty, side of the coin. Though they could, a lot of wealthy homeowners are not leading the charge for reduced water usage. “Those who use the most water and can best afford new landscaping are not at the forefront of shifting to the needed new outdoor water use,” lamented Jon Christensen, journalist-in-residence at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Landscaper Marilee Kuhlmann sees two types of clients: “I think the world has been divided into two: the people who couldn’t care less, who think, ‘I’ll use whatever I want because I can,’ and then people who say, ‘I want to cut back,’ and they’ve cut back so far beyond what everyone else is doing,” she told the Hollywood Reporter.

Maybe some people just have so much money, they don’t need to concern themselves with drought. “There are those who seem not to care because money can buy water. One large lawn very visible on the street has a monthly water bill of as high as $28,000,” an anonymous landscaper told THR. When you spend $28,000 a year on water alone, who’s sweating a city water overage fine of merely $1,000?

Or maybe they’re just scared to change. Landscaper Jon Goldstein saw the panic one of his Beverly Hills clients went through when Bev Hills told residents they needed to drop their water use by 36 percent. “They thought they needed to get a water truck to start bringing water to their house. They were so terrified about their investment in their garden. They must have spent $1 million over the years,” Goldstein said.

Homeowners don’t want to stick their necks out on this whole drought thing, and so they drag their feet. “There’s a handful of people on our street that have started changing their gardens. I’m watching to see how it takes as I make my final decision,” one anonymous Hancock Park homeowner said. Another landscaper says his wealthiest clients “are talking about taking out their lawns, but they’re not doing it yet. Not in my circles.—Jeff Wattenhofer
· Drought Panic, Guilt, Finger-Pointing Put Hollywood to the Test [THR]
· The Kardashians Are Being Amazing Jerks About Wasting Water During the California Drought [Curbed LA]

Article source:

Blueberry bushes need to have their roots protected to survive winter – Tribune

Question: I’ve just ordered a ‘Top Hat’ miniature blueberry bush to grow in a container. How do I overwinter it? Is just putting it in my unheated, attached garage OK? Please don’t tell me that I have to leave it outdoors somewhere to shiver in the pot! If it’s in the garage, does it need to be watered occasionally? Any info would be very helpful to me.

Answer: Blueberries make excellent container plants, especially dwarf varieties like ‘Top Hat’ (available from Burpee, Wayside Gardens and other online suppliers). This variety is said to be self-fertile, meaning you don’t need another variety to cross-pollinate it (unlike most other blueberry cultivars). I’ve read, however, that having two or more of these blueberries growing in close proximity to each other will increase yields.

To overwinter your containerized ‘Top Hat,’ it’s important to know that although blueberries are extremely cold tolerant when their roots are snug in the ground, they’re a bit less hardy when grown in containers. This cultivar was bred at Michigan State University to withstand extreme winter temperatures, but it’s important to give it some extra care to protect its roots and see it safely through the winter.

Studies show that container-grown blueberry roots are nearly as cold as the outside temperatures, and though many varieties are hardy to minus-20 degrees and beyond, that’s when only the shoot system is exposed, not the roots. Your job is to either insulate the roots for the winter or move the entire plant to a protected location.

Here are a few different methods for keeping your blueberry cozy all winter long. Choose whichever is easiest for you.

1. Lug it, pot and all, into an unheated shed, root cellar or garage. Water the plant monthly and move it back outdoors when the weather breaks in early spring.

2. Sink it. Before freezing temperatures arrive, temporarily bury the entire pot somewhere in the garden (or even in your compost pile). The rim of the pot should be level with the soil’s surface. This provides adequate insulation for the roots. Pull the pot back out and hose it off in early spring.

3. Insulate the pot. If neither of the above methods will work for you because of space or labor restrictions, simply insulate the root system by either wrapping the exterior of the pot in three or four layers of heavy-duty bubble wrap or surrounding the pot with a cage of chicken wire and filling the space between the pot and the cage with shredded leaves, hay or straw. In either case, leave the shoot system sticking out of the top — you don’t want to encourage rot or breakage by covering it. Plants protected via this method can be left in place.

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

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

Article source:

Tips to help your garden flourish, even while the leaves fall off the trees

By Katelyn Doggett

Fall is officially here, bringing crisp weather and plans of bundling up inside, but many people might not know that fall is one of the best times of year for planting. VW’s Home and Garden assistant gardening center manager Mike DeLancey shares his tips for fall gardening that will make your yard look great now and help to prepare for spring.

Why plant in the fall

Fall is great for planting because the cooler weather is gentle on plants, the ground is still warm from the summer, allowing roots to grow, the days are shorter and the rain has returned so plants won’t need to be watered as often, DeLancey said. Plants that are planted in the fall will root out nicely during the winter and be ready just in time for spring. Planting in the fall often leads to being half a year ahead and ready for spring blooms, he said.

What to plant

While DeLancey said that most anything can be planted in the fall, he recommends planting fall annuals such as chrysanthemums, pansies, cabbage and kale. The best perennials to plant during this time of year are Echinacea and heuchera, which are available in a variety of colors and return year after year.

Fall is the best time to plant spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips and daffodils. Many bulbs require a chilling period, so planting in the fall before the ground freezes allows for the bulbs to be ready in time for spring. Bulbs are an easy, rewarding way to get colorful spring blooms, DeLancey said.

Control weeds

September and May are the best times to control weeds, DeLancey said. With the change of weather, weeds grow quickly due to living in new conditions. Weeds are most susceptible to weed killer now since it works best on actively growing weeds. Killing weeds now puts your yard and garden in a better place come spring.

Fertilize the yard

Lawns are depleted of nutrients from the hot, dry summer weather so it needs to be fed in order to recover. Fertilizing helps to build roots during the winter and leads to a fresh, green yard in the spring. DeLancey said if you only fertilize your lawn once per year, fall is the best time to do it.

Call VW’s Home and Garden at 360/366-3906 with any questions. VW’s is located at 8210 Portal Way in Blaine.

Posted by

Article source:

5 Investing Tips From Your Garden

By Kathryn Hauer, CFP

Learn more about Kathryn on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor

I don’t have a garden. I don’t even like to go outside much. However, I know that many people love their gardens — and hate the weeds that try to overtake them. “If you were to track every hour spent in your garden, you would probably find that you do an inordinate amount of weeding,” writes Barbara Pleasant at Well, Barbara, I’m sure you’re right and your fellow gardeners would agree.

As a financial advisor, I see many parallels between gardening and building wealth — especially when it comes to the weeds. Several ideas on how to handle weeds in a garden apply to your finances as well. Here are five keys to managing the weeds in your financial garden.

1. Patience is a virtue

Timing is everything in weed control and in portfolio management. It makes more sense to pull weeds after a drenching rain than when the soil is parched and dry. When it comes to stocks, just because you’re ready to buy doesn’t mean the timing is right to invest. Sometimes you have to be patient and wait until it is wise to act.

2. Diligence is the mother of good luck

To grow more flowers, you need to “deadhead” plants — that is, remove withered blooms. Your portfolio also grows larger when you cull the investments that aren’t compatible with your goals. Each year you should rebalance your portfolio. That means selling some of the investments that did well and buying more of the ones that didn’t do as well so you maintain the right mix to match your goals. These practices take research and time, but are worth the effort.

3. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Putting mulch around your plants reduces weeding time because it deprives weeds of light while keeping the soil moist. Be proactive in preventing financial weeds as well: If you know you could fall for dubious deals, stay away from seductive ads and the people who offer them. Or, if you know it will be hard for you to stay invested when you see volatility in the market, avoid watching too much financial news.

4. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Innovative watering techniques can deliver the right amount of water to plants while starving weeds, thus saving you time. Financial experts can do the same for you with your money. Whether you choose a Certified Financial Planner or a Registered Investment Advisor or a company like E-Trade or Vanguard, accessing expert knowledge saves you time and helps grow your portfolio.

5. Enough is as good as a feast.

In the garden, you go after the weeds that have emerged, not the seeds hidden in the ground. You barely have time to manage the obvious weeds, let alone the hidden ones. Learning about money is no different. It’s impossible to keep up with all of the financial information that’s available. Try to not flood yourself with too much noise; information overload can overwhelm even the most avid researcher. Choose a limited number of unbiased non-sales resources to rely on for financial research and information.

Reviewing your finances can be as tedious as weeding your vegetable garden. However, consistent growth in gardens and portfolios require ruthless and consistent action.

As Frances Hodgson Burnett writes in The Secret Garden, “Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” So take the time today to do a little financial weeding.

Image via iStock.

You might also like:

Will Robo-Advisors Sink Financial Advisors?

How to Stop Underperforming Your Investments

Stocks Strong? Avoid This One Common Mistake

5 Things to Know Before Exercising Stock Options

Article source:

Neil Sperry: Creating sites of passage in the garden

Landscape architects describe the various parts of our gardens as “rooms.” Each of these outdoor rooms has a function, and together they make up our overall garden design.

Carrying the analogy one step further, most of our interior rooms have doors, and so we might also want to consider some form of separation between the various parts of our landscape. These are the portals in our plantings.

You may decide that you need little more than a jut out of a planting of shrubs to mark the boundaries between rooms. They don’t even have to be tall and obscuring. A sweep of low evergreen shrubs in a curved bed may be all that is needed, especially if you’re dealing with a smaller urban lot.

I traded my old stepping stone path for a more visible walk of concrete pavers , making the ‘hallway’ between rooms more obvious.

Neil Sperry

Think of it in terms of the back of a sofa or a grouping of chairs used to define the entry into the living room. That’s not a wall in formal terms, but it accomplishes the function of identifying the boundary.

I used a passageway of that type between our front and side yards for many years. Shrubs extended toward a walkway from either side. Seen together, they acted as a visual barricade to define the two spaces. You could see and walk between them, but you knew that two distinct areas were involved.

However, one day as I was prowling around in a garden-art sales yard, I found an attractive arch made of rusty wrought iron. It looked like it would make the ideal doorway, so I bought it and brought it home. I sprayed it with lacquer to keep the rust from rubbing off on our clothes, and I set it in concrete.

I traded my old stepping stone path for a more visible walk of concrete pavers, making the “hallway” between rooms more obvious. I’ve been really happy with the results ever since.

However, my arch has no gate, so it offers absolutely no security. If that’s an issue for you in your landscape, opt instead for a fence or wall with a lockable gate. It could be attractive wooden pickets cut to any design that you want. They’re fairly easy to trim. All you need is a template.

Pressure-treated pine will last longest, but you’ll need to let it weather a couple of months before you’ll be able to paint it. There is something especially relaxing and timeless about picket fencing surrounding a garden.

Perhaps you’re not in love with the idea of having to repaint white pickets every six or eight years. It might be that a brick wall with a wrought iron gate would be better for you. In that case, there are limitless options. Just be sure the brick or stone wall is built on sound footing. So many masonry columns end up tipping after five or 10 years.

And then there is the opportunity to “go funky.” If a rustic batten-board fence is a possibility, it can add a lot of fun and whimsy to your surroundings. It can almost look like it’s been built out of recycled lumber, as long as that’s in keeping with its surroundings.

… there is a fine line between ‘fun’ and ‘odd,’ so keep your good design eye and taste about you … .

Neil Sperry

Some people carry that even further, incorporating actual house doors into their garden walls. They’ll paint them fun colors, and they’ll decorate them with all kinds of garden designs. Again, it must fit its surroundings. Sometimes there is a fine line between “fun” and “odd,” so keep your good design eye and taste about you all the while.

Perhaps you have a home or a weekend cottage down in the Hill Country. If that’s the case, you may very well have pipe fencing surrounding it, and that look can be brought right up into the landscape as well. Have a welding shop fabricate a pair of iron gates. You could have it build you a custom design into each of the gates, or you might like the look of wagon spokes radiating out from the center of each.

One such gate that I saw attached sections of red cedar branches to define and emphasize the design in the gate.

Gardening is all about having fun while you create something beautiful. How you lay out the various parts of your plantings, and how you distinguish them from one another will be a big start in how successful you are with your hobby. Take your time. Study what others have done. Take photos of ideas you like.’ Landscape planners will tell you that half the fun comes in incorporating ideas that have worked elsewhere into the new garden at hand. Fall is a great time to do so. Hopefully this has given you a few new ideas to set things in motion.

Neil Sperry publishes Gardens magazine and hosts “Texas Gardening” from 8 to 10 a.m. Sundays on WBAP/820 AM. Reach him during those hours at 800-288-9227. Online:

Article source:

Garden designers award Urbis Lily Bowl top accolade

Having trouble signing in?

Contact Customer Support at
or call 020 8267 8121, or refer to our answers to frequently asked questions.

Article source: