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Archives for October 7, 2015

Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary in the Pattern Art of Dan Funderburgh

Jungle NYC. Noctural / Diurnal patterns for Brooklyn based Garden and Landscaping co., Jungle Images courtesy the artist

Patterning is as ancient an art as noticing patterns in nature; from the tessellations of the Egyptians, to the pre-geometry of the Pagans and Gnostics, a certain sacredness pervades in the art of repetition, rotation, and realignment—one every bit as profound as painted on the walls of the pyramids as it is placed in today’s premium cable. Who among us can forget the impermanent beauty of the Buddhist mandala built and brushed away in House of Cards? Or even the psychedelic kaleidoscope freakout of The Big Lebowski

It is with this same adoration that The Creators Project brings you the work of Dan Funderburgh. Since his move to New York in 2001, the Brooklyn-based artist, designer, and illustrator has been decorating the world with his new-ideas-meets-old-school approach to patterns and ornamentation. He’s worked with brands from Brooks to The Paris Review, and homes and hotels, from here to Miami, have been wrapped in his idiosyncratic wallpapers. 

In essence, he’s the kind of hybrid artist/designer who keeps tradition thriving while pushing its eternal effects into the future. The Creators Project reached out to Funderbergh to talk inspiration, ideation, and turning the mundane objects of today into timepieces charting a course towards tomorrow.

City Park. Screenprinted Wallpaper, available at Flavor Paper

The Creators Project: First off, can you tell me about a few of the childhood experiences that led to your illustrations? 

Dan Funderburgh: I’m still trying to figure that one out exactly. The closest thing to a childhood influence would probably be the TinTin comic books. Hergé paid a lot of attention to cultural and architecture detail in his drawings. I cannot get enough of that guy. 

Flat Circle Print. Printed by Haven Press, Variable Edition of 75

Who are some of your visual influences? How about cultural?

Visually I’m drawn to so many different styles. I obviously love historical ornament — almost anything at the Metropolitan Museum, but I’m also drawn toward utilitarian and ergonomic shapes. Lately I’ve liking Siberian folk art and Indonesian/Javanese weaving and embroidery, but could be anything. Walking around in New York City must be a factor as well because I keep finding chainlink and milk crates in my work. 

Selação. For How Beautiful It Is 2014. Digital Print 24″ x 36″, Available at Kemistry Gallery London

Your patterns have an almost mystical quality, marrying sacred geometries and configurations with the mundane (forks, paperclips). How do you find the meeting place between a pattern and an object?

Thank you for saying so! I spend a lot of time thinking about tools and household objects. Partly because I appreciate the form, and in part because by embellishing I hope to add mystery to something that may have been overlooked otherwise. 

Everything feels so meticulous, precise, and planned out in your pieces. What is the role of experimentation in your work? 

I don’t experiment as much as I should. I have great admiration for work that seems spontaneous, but it’s hard for me to think that way.  Wallpaper and the kind of detail I like take a long time to do properly.

Elysian Fields, Screenprinted Wallpaper. Available at and Printed by Flavor Paper

Can you tell me about a place in the world where you’ve found particular inspiration?

Cairo stands out to me—not just because of the architecture and history which are amazing obviously, but because it made me feel foreign, which is a weird and important way to be sometimes. It’s a good check on one’s ego and cultural assumptions. 

What’s the role of ornament in a world of stick-on ads and wheat pasting?

Same as ever? To embellish and beautify? Not sure. I’m in favor of all of it.

Unwound. Screenprinted Silk Scarf. Designed for Hugo Marie, Edition of 75

Can you tell me about the piece that’s taken you the longest?

I’ll always take as much time as is available, though it doesn’t necessarily make things better. Emails probably take me the longest. 

What’s next for you, work-wise? 

I belive in October my installation for the MTA will finally go up. A series of aluminum rose windows for the Fordham rail road station in the Bronx. I’m super excited about this. 

Chinatown Flat Ball. Letter Press and Screenprint. Printed by The Arm, Edition of 75

Click here to visit Dan Funderbergh’s website. 


How Patterns Connect Our World

Projected Arabesque Textiles Adorn a Middle Eastern Waterfront

Mirrored Light Sculpture Probes The Cosmic Mysteries Of Geometry

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Fruita taps locals to help design entryways


Fruita taps locals to help design entryways

People often say they want to make their community a better place to live.

Fruita’s leaders are taking that message to heart, letting residents decide how they want to design the city’s doorstep.

Design packets are available at a number of eateries around the city, at Fruita’s Civic Center and on the city’s website, The project is officially called the Fruita Gateway Enhancement Project.

The idea is to put citizens in the driver’s seat, as the city seeks their input on designing the Interstate 70 overpass that includes the double roundabouts.

“We keep trying to brainstorm how to get more people involved,” Fruita’s City Manager Mike Bennett said. “The more feedback, the better.” Anyone can participate in the design process because entries are not limited to Fruita residents. The only identifying information the survey asks is for participants’ zip codes.

Fruita leaders are seeking input on which design aspects people feel are most important for the area. That could mean better landscaping in the roundabouts, sculptures and art, improved crosswalks, more separation or railings for pedestrians and bicyclists or other design elements.

Information in the design packets help walk designers through the process. It asks some questions, shows some samples of roadway improvements and offers space for designers to sketch their ideas.

Packets are due back to the city by Oct. 30 and can be delivered to the Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave., or to the Fruita Community Center, 324 N. Coulson St.

Bennett said the city has secured about $35,000 in matching grants from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for a design phase of the interstate overpass entryway. After design elements are finalized, a professional agency will draw up the plans. After that work is done, the city will work to obtain another DOLA grant for construction costs to complete the vision, Bennett said.

Bennett said the idea to put the design work in citizens’ hands may be a more creative way to gauge input than hosting yet another public meeting.

“Most people don’t feel comfortable in public meetings,” he said. “Ever since I’ve been here I’ve been hearing that the roundabouts are so plain, or we’ve been looking at doing some improvements to the railings on the crosswalks. Why don’t we look at designing the whole gateway?”

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Thousands of drug inmates approved for early prison release

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drug criminals once described by prosecutors as unrepentant repeat offenders are among those poised to benefit from new sentencing guidelines that are shrinking punishments for thousands of federal prisoners, according to an Associated Press review of court records.

Many defendants cleared for early release starting this fall fit a more sympathetic profile: small-time dealers targeted by a draconian approach to drug enforcement. But an AP analysis of roughly 100 court cases also identified defendants who carried semi-automatic weapons, had past convictions for crimes including robbery and assault, moved cocaine shipments across states and participated in international heroin smuggling.

One inmate whose punishment was cut was described in 2012 as a “calamity waiting to happen.” Another was caught with crack and guns while awaiting sentencing in a separate drug case.

Supporters of lighter drug sentences say there’s no evidence that lengthier sentences protect public safety, and there’s bipartisan determination to cut spending on a bloated federal prison system. Nonetheless, the broad spectrum of defendants granted early release, including some who prosecutors just a few years ago branded community dangers and raised dire warnings about, underscores the complex — occasionally risky — decisions confronting the government as it updates a drug sentencing structure many see as overly harsh and expensive.

“I’m a career prosecutor. I’m a law-and-order girl, and I believe that you need to send dangerous people to prison for a very long time,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

“But,” she added, “I think that we need to be smart about deciding who are those dangerous people.”

Guidelines set by the U.S. Sentencing Commission provide judges recommended minimum and maximum terms for federal crimes. The independent commission voted last year to reduce ranges for drug offenses, then applied those changes to already-imprisoned convicts. Since then, prisoners have sought relief from judges, who can reject those they consider public safety concerns. About three-quarters of requests had been granted as of August.

The first wave, some 6,000, is due around Nov. 1, with most released from halfway houses or home confinement. Others will be released to immigration authorities for deportation. Federal officials say roughly 40,000 prisoners will be eligible for reductions in coming years.

Though the commission has repeatedly amended the guidelines, including narrowing the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences that resulted in disproportionately long penalties for blacks, the latest revision is its most sweeping because it covers all drug types.

“Nothing to date comes close to what this shift is likely to produce over the next decade or so, starting this year,” said Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project, an advocacy group.

The action is part of a national effort to rethink punishments for a drug offender population that comprises roughly half the federal inmate count. In addition to an Obama administration clemency initiative and directives against mandatory minimum sentences, new bipartisan legislation aimed at reducing spending on a prison system that sucks up nearly one-third of the Justice Department budget would give judges greater sentencing discretion and ease penalties for nonviolent criminals.

Supporters call the commission’s move a modest dialing-back of punishments that were too harsh to begin with and wouldn’t be imposed today. The new policy on average would pare two years from sentences and in many cases just months. They say the beneficiaries would be coming out of prison soon anyway, and cite studies showing inmates released early aren’t more likely to commit new offenses than those who serve their entire sentence.

“There is a strong research consensus at this point that longer lengths of stay cost taxpayers a tremendous amount but don’t add any additional crime-control value,” said Adam Gelb, a Pew Charitable Trusts criminal justice expert.

But absent foolproof formulas, judges are grappling with balancing cost against public safety.

A Washington, D.C., judge recently rejected bids from two organizers of a once-thriving 1980s-era cocaine trafficking operation. Though both were sentenced in 1990, the judge declared them to be continuing threats and chastised prosecutors for appearing to dismiss the pair’s involvement in violent and calculating crime.

Willie Best got luckier.

The one-time D.C. drug dealer whose sentence was already cut under crack guideline changes had another month taken off and is due out in 2016.

Prosecutors in 2008 said Best helped run a drug-dealing organization, shot at someone he believed had stolen from him and, after fleeing, was found in a stolen car with an assault rifle. His lawyer described him as the product of a troubled, impoverished upbringing. Best, in an interview from prison, called himself a loving father who bears no resemblance to his past self.

“It’s been a long time coming. Eight years is a long time,” he said. “I came in one way. I’m coming out another.”

Others with shortened sentences are defendants prosecutors said had squandered repeated opportunities.

Regis Payne is due out in 2017 after his 82-month sentence for selling PCP in D.C. was cut to 60 months. Before his 2012 sentencing, prosecutors called him a “calamity waiting to happen” with a “horrendous” record, undeterred by past convictions and arrests. Roscoe Minns was cleared for release in November, though prosecutors in 2012 highlighted prior assault and theft convictions in pursuing stiff punishment.

Even for a prison system that annually releases tens of thousands, the change has required significant preparation. The commission, addressing public safety concerns, delayed implementation by a year to allow time to weed out inappropriate candidates and so those eligible this fall could be moved to halfway houses.

Though some released early will reoffend, the majority, statistically speaking, will not, said Ohio State law professor Doug Berman.

“Mark my words: The sky will not fall,” added Julie Stewart of Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

Tuan Evans, who trafficked in pistols and sold cocaine to undercover officers, had nine months shaved off his 107-month sentence. He wrote from prison that he’s acquired haircutting skills and hopes to start a landscaping business, and mentor children, once he’s freed. Records show a 2018 release date.

“You don’t have to lock us up and throw away the key when we make a mistake,” he said.

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Japanese Garden Designer to Present on Tea Gardens

Tea gardens will be the topic of a Thursday evening presentation by Takuhiro Yamada, president of Hanatoyo Landscape of Kyoto.

The presentation, “Tea Gardens – Observe the Tradition,” will take place at the Hawai’i Japanese Center on Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

Hanatoyo Landscape celebrated its 150th anniversary in business six years ago, and Yamada is the fifth generation in his family to head the company.

Yamada has continued traditional landscaping skills, but has begun to integrate green industry techniques in rooftop garden and green waste recycling. In addition, the company is ISO14001, which means the company meets the set criteria of an environmental management system.

With a portfolio of designed and installed gardens in Paris, London, and Honolulu, Yamada is also the designer of the tea house garden at The Huntington Japanese garden, installed for the garden’s centennial in 2012. He is also a tree doctor and is a pioneer for new tree treatments in Japan.

The presentation is open to the public free of charge, with sponsorship by Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens, Urasenke Hilo, and the Hawai’i Japanese Center. Light refreshments will be served.

To learn more, contact the Hawai’i Japanese Center at 751 Kanoelehua Avenue in Hilo or the Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens at 895-8130.

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St. David’s Foundation creates gardens for Round Rock seniors – Austin American

Members of AGE of Central Texas’ Round Rock Adult Day Health Center will have the chance to improve their green thumbs or discover gardening for the first time now that organic gardens have been installed at the facility.

The Health’s Angels service group, a part of St. David’s Foundation, hosted a garden grand opening event at the center Oct. 6. New garden beds were installed in the front and back of the center for seniors to plant organic vegetables and flowers. Resolution Gardens, an Austin-based landscaping company, created the gardens and will help maintain them as the vegetables grow.

The garden is the first of its kind funded by St. David’s in Williamson County, said Early Maxwell, CEO of St. David’s Foundation. It is the eighth garden built by the foundation at various senior centers in Central Texas, he said.

“Research shows that when people are involved in activities like music and gardening — normal everyday things — that it really helps their status, their cognitive skills, just their sense of well-being,” said Joyce Lauck, executive director of AGE of Central Texas.

The center specializes in respite and short-term day care for the elderly and adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, Lauck said.

She said the gardens not only improve the appearance of the center but also provide a new activity for members to enjoy.

Members of the center took part in the gardening grand opening by planting vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, broccoli and okra. The center will start a gardening club for members that will take care of the gardens, learn about plants and the cultivation process.

“It will enrich the whole program,” Lauck said. “It’s another teaching moment and opportunity, and a lot of time it’s also more of a remembrance.”

For example, if a member used to make a certain special dish with tomatoes and they plant the vegetable in the garden, it will provide a chance to recall memories about that old meal they used to cook, she said.

St. David’s will fund the upkeep of the gardens and send a gardener to visit the center throughout the year to assist in the process, she said.

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Zoo wins awards for tiger exhibit landscaping


The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens walked home with two accolades for its Land of the Tiger exhibit at the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association awards.

The recognitions included Landscape Award of Excellence for a New Public/Institutional Installation and the FNGLA Floriculture Award, which is given to the entry that showcases the most effective use of plant material creating color and texture.

The landscape was designed and planted solely by the Zoo’s Horticulture Department.

“The landscape at the Land of the Tiger is designed to immerse our guests in a lush tropical forest, which gradually opens up to an Asian savanna surrounded by towering cliffs” said Bob Chabot, Director of Facilities, Horticulture and Exhibits. “This gave us an opportunity to introduce several new plant species to our collection. We are honored that FNGLA has voted to recognize us once again with these prestigious awards.”

The zoo received honors for the Gardens at Trout River Plaza in 2010 and Asian Bamboo Gardens in 2012. Both gardens won Best New Public/Institutional Installation during those years and are popular venues for weddings at the zoo.

The zoo changed its name to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in 2004 and created a botanical garden master plan. The first garden, Savanna Blooms, was planted in 2005 near the Giraffe Overlook.

“We create an atmosphere. An experience. And I think people are appreciating that plants are as important as any single exhibit, any animal” said Tony Vecchio, Executive Director of JZG.

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Top tips for your garden from Sprowston Manor’s head gardener

08:21 06 October 2015

Head Green Keeper at Sprowston Manor Hotel’s golf course, Martyn Anthony

The man who keeps the greens green and the roughs rough at one of Norfolk’s golf courses is celebrating 25 years on the job and sharing some tips.

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Martyn’s top garden tips

• Aerate your lawn: By putting holes in your lawn, it allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This will produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.

• Avoid leylandii hedges: While they look nice and are often seen as a great way to fence off areas of a garden, they will suck up moisture which will ultimately stop any kind of vegetation growing around it.

• Plant deep rooting trees instead of surface rooting trees: Much like leylandii hedges, surface roots will soak up any moisture around it.

• Plant flowers to attract butterflies and bees: Not only will this add to the overall atmosphere of the garden, but it is also excellent for the environment too.

• Grow your own vegetables: As a gardener there is nothing more satisfying than eating something that you have grown yourself. Plus, they really do taste better.

Martyn Anthony has been head green keeper at Sprowston Manor Marriott hotel and country club since 1990 and looks after the 18-hole championship golf course on the site, as well as the 140 acres of land surrounding it.

In his 25 years at the site, he has shared his expertise with a number of fellow gardeners, including his own son, who is also a gardener at Sprowston Manor.

Mr Anthony said: “Even after all this time, no two days are the same, but that is why I love this job. I am lucky that my passion has become my career and I am able to spend each day doing something I love.

“I am completely self-trained, but have been lucky enough to practise and perfect my craft within Sprowston Manor’s beautiful setting. As well as training myself, I am now responsible for a team of six, which includes my son, Ross.

“For me, helping young people grow in their careers is one of the best parts of the job.”

Ross is not Mr Anthony’s only son working at the property. His other son, Danny, previously worked in the hotel’s restaurant.

Mr Anthony said: “My boys deciding to work here is testament to how important the hotel is to me and my family. We all take pride in what we do and this is part of the ethos of the hotel.”

He added: “The most rewarding part of my job has to be maintaining a golf course where people choose to spend their free time, allowing them to enjoy a game that they love.

“It takes a lot of work and dedication, but it is well worth it when you see golfers coming off it having enjoyed a great game.”

Brad McLean, director of golf at Sprowston Manor, said: “For 25 years, Martyn has been a major part of Sprowston Manor.

“From the moment you start the journey down the driveway you can see Martyn’s contribution to the property, no matter what the season our gardens are exceptional all year round.

“We are hugely grateful that he has worked here for so long and dedicated so much time and effort to the maintenance of our grounds and golf course – it is something that guests and visitors constantly compliment us on and something we are extremely proud of.”

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Gardening Tips: Plant now for a beautiful garden

Fall is also a good time to plant perennials, trees and shrubs. The soil is warm and the air cooler, so plants are less stressed and establish more quickly. Select plants suited to the growing conditions and be sure to give them plenty of room to reach their mature size.

Plant trees so the root flare, the place where the roots curve away from the trunk, is even with the soil surface. Dig a hole, the same depth as the rootball, and two to five times wider. Roughen the sides of the hole and backfill with the existing soil. Water thoroughly and spread a two to three inch layer of mulch over the soil surface, keeping the mulch away from the tree trunk.

Follow a similar planting procedure for shrubs. Plant these so the crown, the place where the stems meet the roots, is even with the soil surface. And be sure to keep the mulch away from the stems.

Plant daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs in fall for extra color next spring. Set the bulbs at a depth of two to three times their height deep. Then cover them with soil and sprinkle on a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, like Milorganite.

Start planting spring flowering bulbs after the nighttime temperatures hover between 40 and 50 degrees. Be patient – waiting until the soil cools reduces the risk of early sprouting that often occurs during a warm fall.

Plant a few short season vegetables in your garden for fresh-from-the garden flavor this fall. Count the days from planting to the average first fall frost to determine how many growing days are left in your area. Select vegetables that will mature and can be harvested in that amount of time. Leaf lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, radishes and carrots are fast growing, cool-weather tolerant vegetables.

Get these vegetables off to a good start with a side dressing of low nitrogen fertilizer. Incorporate it into the soil prior to planting or sprinkle a narrow band along the row of plants. This organic nitrogen will provide needed nutrients without damaging the tender seedlings.

• • •

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more than 20 gardening books. For more information, visit

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Garden designer would be handy

HANDYMEN in the area are being invited to design a garden for a new leisure cabin.

A log cabin at Keeper’s Cottage in Ledbury is set to benefit students and residents at Salter’s Hill Charity when a pool table, interactive TV and other leisure facilities are installed, but the area around the building is in need of a green-fingered touch.

Staff at the charity are inviting a landscape designer to help improve the area and make it more attractive and practical for the people who live there, while getting them involved in the process.

Key features which could be incorporated into the design include an old water pump and a stone watermill wheel.

Rob Woolf, finance officer at Salter’s Hill said: “The students are talented in woodwork, agriculture, horticulture and skilled in a number of other fields.

“They are very keen to work on the project and the new leisure cabin creates an environment in which to flourish and achieve what is important to those individuals who use it.”

Call Salter’s Hill Barn on 01531 671080 or email for more information.

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‘Ditch Dull Gardens’ – Online Garden Design Workshop for Amateur Gardeners

In the workshop, Rachel promises to teach in just one hour what most colleges take a whole year to teach! She will demonstrate a really simple method that anyone can use, to transform any garden, in any country, in a cost effective way.

The garden design workshop will cover the three essentials of garden design and reveals the secret of how to avoid the number one mistake most people make with their garden.

To demonstrate the design method works anywhere, Rachel will design different size and shape gardens from four countries, including the UK and New Zealand. Gardens from the USA and Africa will also be featured.

The full workshop can be viewed for free from the 17th to 31st of October. There are two short videos that are available to view now. These videos will show people where to start with their garden and how to prepare for the workshop.

The aim of the workshop is to show the importance of design when landscaping a garden. A well-thought-out design plan makes a tremendous difference to the end result. As Rachel says, “The average garden can and should be so much more than average.”

The last garden design workshop from Rachel received rave reviews from attendees all around the world. Rachel promises that after attending this garden design workshop, complete amateurs will be able to successfully design their garden.

To view the workshop, go to:

About Rachel Mathews

Rachel Mathews has been an international garden designer for over twenty-two years. She has designed gardens extensively in the UK, USA, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

She has written seven best-selling garden design Kindle books and teaches garden design to homeowners and landscape professionals at Successful Garden Design.

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