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Archives for November 17, 2015

Century City Real Estate Report: Home Design Ideas For A ‘Cool’ Updated Mid …

Bess Hochman is a top Westside real estate broker of more than 20 years.

Bess Hochman is a top Westside real estate broker of more than 20 years.

Classic architectural design concepts from the mid-1930’s to mid-1960’s are being revitalized with a “21st Century twist.”   

These concepts are  once again in vogue because they reflect good basic design principles  that  make day-to-day living easier  and  promote  a better quality of life. They are not just current fashion statements, but ideas that have proven the test of time.

The past era of “cool” known as Mid-Century Modernism has come back in a big way with an updated sleekness and re-envisioned use of geometric design and modern materials.

These new architectural designs focus on the creation of harmony between the structure and the environment. The key elements start with simplicity of design and connection of the  outside  to the interior. 

In keeping with the prior Century’s design strategy, homes are being built around existing landscaping bringing natural elements of the environment like trees and water features into the interior spaces through the use of tall walls of glass and other design strategies. These natural elements become focal points from inside the home or terrace.

A unique transparent pool and sleek waterfall cascades from upper-deck for Modern Beverly Hills home created by Jonathan Weston. Courtesy images.

A unique transparent pool and sleek waterfall cascades from upper-deck for Modern Beverly Hills home created by Jonathan Weston. Courtesy images.

Innovative architect Jonathan Weston who has designed modern homes in Beverly Hills and Palm Springs provides a good example of the smart adaptation of Mid-Century Modern principles. His book, “Contemporary Homes,” provides striking illustrations of these stunning designs.   

Inspired by the work of master architects of the Mid-Century Modern era, Weston designs using form to facilitate function and ease of living. A generous 90-foot veranda  in a Palm Springs home he designed functions  to help keep direct sun away from the interior while providing easy outdoor living  beside an avant garde water features a four sided infinity pool.

Weston also designed a center courtyard mirror pool to reflect the surrounding artwork and structure creating harmony between the exterior and interior. Other features reminiscent of the 1960’s era are clerestory windows to light the interior space but updated with tinted windows to avoid the heat of the sun.

Weston says despite the advent of computer designed software, he will still pull out his pencil when enthusiastic about a new idea and do his signature freehand drawing of an imagined home design sketched on a napkin over coffee. 

In another modern home Weston designed, he celebrates the past Mid-Century Modern era with the excitement of the interior of the home hidden behind a windowless façade for privacy. 

Mid-Century Modern masters of architecture are recognized for the creation of homes where the approach is private, but once entering the home there is a gradual progression from privacy to formal foyer with high ceilings leading  to the public rooms with tall walls of glass where living areas open to serene views.

A Modern home maximizes views and creates harmony with exterior with walls of glass and neutral interior colors.

A Modern home maximizes views and creates harmony with exterior with walls of glass and neutral interior colors.

The Mid-Century Modern adage of “form follows function” is still adhered to today in the contemporary homes that are reinventing and improving upon the original concept.  Good design ideas from this past era, like the importance of privacy from the street, are resurging.

The privacy of the home is maintained toward the street with the visitor’s excitement growing   as movement is made through open spaces to a pleasing aesthetic reward, whether a mountain view, pool of water or simply a beautifully landscaped back yard.    

The updated modern look generally leaves behind the dark woods and green, orange and brown color palette of the 1960’s. If used at all, these colors are used sparingly. The new look calls for neutral, muted colors with varying shades of gray a popular choice for a modern vibe. 

There are also many updated fresh takes on Mid-Century Modern geometric patterns.  The classic starburst design in mirrors and clocks is also being given an updated look with metallic finishes instead of dark wood.

Today’s Mid-Century Modern keeps to the original concept of open flow floor plans and maximizes natural light with minimal window coverings.   

Jonathan Weston designed Minimalist  home  open flow with pocket system sliding glass doors, split levels and dramatic roof geometry.

Jonathan Weston designed Minimalist home – open flow with pocket system sliding glass doors, split levels and dramatic roof geometry.

Ornamental screens, another classic element of Mid-Century Modern architecture are adapted from early versions with a fresh look incorporating updated design and high tech materials. These decorative screens serve to provide a feeling of privacy and separation from other areas without actually walling off interiors and cutting off the flow and open feeling.

These are just some ideas for bringing the Mid-Century Modern’s vision of the future into 21st Century design. 

Whether building a brand new home or renovating one, I recommend a homeowner get a detailed proposal of all the work to be done, the costs and a schedule. If remodeling for the purpose of selling, it is a good idea to understand which projects add value to the asking price of your home as not all renovations will add to the bottom line.

For a free courtesy consultation, or information regarding mortgage brokers, contact Bess Hochman, a top Westside Real Estate Broker for over 20 years. Bess is also distinguished by holding a law degree. This article expresses the opinion of the author. You are advised to consult attorneys and others experts specializing in the issues referenced in this article.

Contact Bess by phone at 310.291.4111 or email

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Look beyond the snow and cold to some spring gardening classes, walks, books

It’s almost spring — although it doesn’t seem that way when you look outside — and time to treat yourself to some of the many upcoming garden beginnings: books, classes, walks, talks and planting a few seeds.

Take a class

■ Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: The Early Spring Crops is offered as part of the Gardener’s Toolbox series and led by Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service Horticulture Agent Jamie Dockery. This free class will meet at 5:30 p.m. March 3 at the Southern States Cooperative, 2570 Palumbo Drive.

Copies of a vegetable growing guide and some easy-to-grow seeds will be provided. Space is limited; you must pre-register through the Fayette County Extension Service office by calling (859) 257-5582. For more information about this and other Gardener’s Toolbox offerings, from grafting apple trees to perennial garden tours, recommended vegetable varieties and even curing country ham, see

■ Going Green Landscaping and Green Lawn Care. Thanks to a collaboration between Lexington’s Environmental Quality Public Works department and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, two free workshops aimed at helping gardeners use environmentally sound landscape practices are being offered at 4 p.m. March 3 at The Arboretum, 500 Alumni Drive.

Going Green Landscaping will include information on establishing or renovating home landscapes, the use of storm water cisterns, choosing plants, and developing good soils. Arboretum horticulturist Jesse Dahl will discuss Green Lawn Care at 10 a.m. March 17, including ideas for lawn fertilization, mowing and turf choices. You must pre-register for these classes; see or call (859) 257-6955.

Read a book

The New Southern Living Garden Book: The Ultimate Guide to Gardening, Steve Bender and the editors of Southern Living; Oxmoor House, $34.95, 768 pp.

Weighing in at almost 4 pounds, this hefty volume contains detailed profiles of more than 8,000 plants illustrated with 2,000 color photographs. It includes a reference encyclopedia of plants for Southern gardens, coded for various sections of the South, as well as cultivation information, and also practical gardening guides with month-by-month to-do lists and creative ideas.

Garden editor Steve Bender, whose column and blog “The Grumpy Gardener” at makes a good read, consulted with a host of knowledgeable horticulturists including folks like Virginia bulb experts Brent and Becky Heath ( and plantsman Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. ( in North Carolina, to revise and update the book’s last edition published about 10 years ago. Backed also by about 50 years of Southern Living magazine know-how, the abundant advice found here is well-founded and current. Whether you’re into fruit, vegetable, tree, shrub, or flower culture, this book will keep you in the know.

Attend a lecture

■ A bit of the early history of the Bluegrass can be learned at the Friends of The Arboretum’s Founders Lecture at 7 p.m. March 26 in the Gluck Equine Center, 1400 Nicholasville Road.

M. Clare Sipple, who manages Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve ( and Janice Clark, executive director of the Jack Jouett House ( are the featured speakers.

Created in 2000, Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve in Clark County covers 240 acres on both sides of the creek upstream from its confluence with the Kentucky River. From the 1780s until the Civil War, this area was one of the largest manufacturing centers west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Captain Jouett rode through the backwoods of Virginia to warn of the approaching British troops during the American Revolution. He migrated to the Bluegrass after the war, and played a role in the Kentucky statehood convention. A kitchen garden lecture series at the Jouett House, located in Woodford County, will interest gardeners.

Admission at the door is $5, and free for Friends of The Arboretum and students with I.D. Information:, or call (859) 257-6955.

Go on a hike

The woods along streams and along the Palisades of the Kentucky River become a wonderland of delicate, ephemeral wildflowers each spring. Trout lilies, trillium, Dutchman’s breeches, and lady’s slipper orchids are a few of the “here today, gone tomorrow” bloomers you can find only in the spring.

■ Floracliff Nature Sanctuary, located in Fayette County’s southeastern corner, is a great place to go for a guided walk to see these beauties. Check out the hike offerings, which begin March 21 and continue throughout April. Pre-registration is required; email and provide your name, phone number, and the number of people you want to register. A $5 individual/$12 family donation is suggested. See for details.

■ KNPS Wildflower Weekend at Natural Bridge. The Kentucky Native Plant Society’s Wildflower Weekend will be April 10-12. Have a look at for times for field trips and evening presentations. Cost: $10/adult; $3/ages 13-17; free for ages 12 and under.

Natural Bridge State Resort Park is about 60 miles southeast of Lexington near Red River Gorge, in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Powell and Wolfe counties). See for details.

Plant some seeds

If you’ve never visited Renee’s Garden, where Renee Shepherd shares her passion for discovering, testing and marketing high-quality heirloom and gourmet vegetable, herb and flower seed, go to and have a look. From the beautifully illustrated seed packets which carry easily understood cultivation information, to the cookbooks she creates with recipes for using the produce, Shepherd’s personal touch is evident.

It’s a socially conscious business, as each year Shepherd donates seed to many organizations that work toward improving social, economic and health conditions around the world. A simple fundraising program for schools and nonprofit organizations is also available.

Two of the tempting new offerings this year are ‘Tuscan Baby Leaf’ kale and ‘Litt’l Bites’ cherry tomatoes, which are just right for container gardens.

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Public offers ideas to improve Calistoga fairgrounds

CALISTOGA — How should the Napa County Fairgrounds reinvent itself?

More than 100 people turned out earlier this months for a brainstorming session as part of the fairgrounds’ effort to create a new facilities master plan and bring in more revenue.

Anything and everything is up for consideration in making improvements to the fairgrounds, officials said. The fairgrounds hosts the Calistoga Speedway, Mt. St. Helena Golf Course, an RV Park, and an event center that includes Tubbs and Butler buildings.

Recent changes at the fairgrounds include turning the annual Fourth of July Fair and Fireworks from a five-day event to a one-day event, which upset some people. But fair officials have said that the change was necessary because of drastic state funding cuts, and lack of attendance on days other than July 4.

One speaker said it was difficult for the Calistoga fair to draw from the south county since “the people in Napa have their own (fair)” — the Town Country Fair at Napa Valley Expo — so there’s no reason for them to fight traffic to come up to Calistoga when “it’s in their backyard.”

The Napa fairgrounds is going down a similar path as Calistoga, having hired a consulting firm in October to create a master plan with new revenue options for the Expo grounds on Third Street.

Barbara Lencioni suggested the fairgrounds might be a good venue for a screening center for the Napa Valley Film Festival. The possibility was also raised by Brenda Lhormer, co-founder of the festival, during an earlier interview with The Weekly Calistogan.

Another speaker said she loved the Saturday Farmers Market, which is held at the Community Center, but felt like it was cramped in its current location and believes that it could spread out and grow bigger at the fairgrounds.

Thoughts on collaborating more with the city of Calistoga and making improvements that would entice Calistogans were countered by the opinion that since the fairgrounds is a county-owned property, there should be more focus on appealing to the entire county, not just Calistoga.

One woman suggested collaborating with groups such as Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Napa Valley Vintners to encourage them to hold events here. And with the popularity of events such as last month’s Ragnar Relay and the March Pretty Muddy run, inclusion of more sporting events could be successful, the woman said.

Collaborating with the city’s parks and recreation department or other activities and educational services could fill the event center buildings with such things as drop-in day care services, adult learning classes, and other regular events, something that worked in her former hometown, said Allison Neumeister.

Other suggestions include creating a “pizza farm” or other kind of working farm or garden, or collaborating with UC Davis or the Napa Valley Vintners to plant a classroom-use vineyard.

Kellie Anderson, owner of Depot Trading, said she saw a successful “pizza farm” at another fairground that included growing all the ingredients of a pizza. Farms or gardens provide teaching opportunities including nutrition education to children, added another speaker.

“This stuff is already going on,” countered another, pointing to the garden at the Calistoga Elementary School.

The golf course, a “hidden gem” some said, could draw events such as weddings if the Tucker Room and bathrooms were updated. And the golf shop should add merchandise for sale because people like to take a “souvenir” home from golf courses.

Race fans from Petaluma, Santa Rosa and elsewhere said they love the Calistoga Speedway and heaped praise on the improvements made recently that were funded and completed by private individuals.

“Of all the racetracks I’ve ever been to in the United States, this is by far the best, the prettiest I’ve seen,” said one race fan.

All the facilities need a face-lift, it was agreed, and all the bathrooms need maintenance and updating, something that has been deferred due to lack of money.

The RV park, which is the fairgrounds’ main revenue source, could use some greenery, especially along the fencing where it would beautify the grounds from the road as well as block the street view from inside the park. Shade would be good there, too, Anderson said.

Some local businesses may be willing to do the landscaping or other work around the fairgrounds in exchange for promotional opportunities, one speaker said.

Parking doesn’t seem to be a problem, speakers agreed, but better directional signage in town and at the fairgrounds is needed, for regular activities as well as in times of emergency use, such as when the fairgrounds was used as a shelter for Valley Fire evacuees.

The fairgrounds is considered a “lifeboat” for emergencies, and it is clear that a more formalized emergency response plan needs to be put in place, but that should come from the county level, not the fairgrounds association, some agreed.

The fairground’s CEO, Carlene Moore, took notes on everyone’s suggestions and said the board will review and discuss all ideas as they collectively create a long-range plan. Additional public meetings will be scheduled.

The studies are being paid for in part by the Napa County Fair Association’s general fund, the Napa Valley Community Foundation and a grant from the Calistoga business and lodging fund.

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Michigan Avenue median landscape crew soaks in praise, gratitude

A Michigan Avenue stroller may at times be struck by a sense of admiring wonderment.

How do those plantings in the medians stay so lush and green, through blazing summers and now into the chill of autumn? Someone must be watering them regularly.

Someone is.

“D., what you want to do? This here, or over there?” Leon Edwards called out over the roar of a generator atop a truck parked on the west side of Michigan Avenue.

From the driver’s seat, Donald Braboy waved at the median planter in front of the Chicago Cultural Center. They were off.

Edwards and Braboy are a nighttime watering crew with A Safe Haven Landscaping. They were midway through their night’s work watering the medians on Michigan Avenue between Adams Street and Wacker Drive.

It was after 11 p.m. on a weeknight. The traffic roar had dwindled to a quiet hum. The stores were closed, their lights beaming onto nearly empty sidewalks. Even with workers preparing to install the city’s Christmas tree in Millennium Park, the city was hushed as if under a blanket.

The two had started at 6 p.m. Sometimes they work until 2 a.m.; sometimes they keep watering all night, working until sunrise.

Edwards, 51, beams as he talks, which he does at high intensity, as if he can’t get the joyful message out fast enough. Braboy, 63, is soft-spoken, his enthusiasm measured and calm.

Edwards waved north, where Michigan Avenue made its glittering way into the dark.

“This time of night, it be beautiful,” he said. “You just sit here and see how beautiful the city is. You say, am I part of this?

“And yes — yes, you are.”

A Safe Haven Landscaping contracts with the city to plant and maintain the medians in the city’s central business district between North Avenue and Roosevelt Road. In February it won two excellence in landscaping awards from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association for its work on Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.

But A Safe Haven is also a social service agency. It provides housing, counseling, addiction treatment and job training and opportunities for people who are homeless or in crisis — such as, once, Edwards and Braboy.

Edwards spent 13 years in prison on drug charges. Braboy spent most of a lifetime battling addiction.

They credit A Safe Haven with transforming their lives.

“I’ve been drug-free and alcohol-free for 11 years; cigarette-free for 10 years,” Braboy said.

To say they appreciate their stable jobs beautifying the city’s front yard is an extreme understatement.

“It was a blessing” to get the position, said Edwards, who studied horticulture at Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg and has been with A Safe Haven Landscaping since 2008.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” said Braboy, who has worked with the company since 2006. “I’m very fortunate.”

For Edwards, appreciation goes beyond the job. His head, fashionably bald and gleaming, bears deep divots from where he was shot in 1991.

“I’m grateful for my life,” Edwards said. “I didn’t have to be here today. I couldn’t walk or talk. They said I was never going to walk. I got 183 stitches.

“I can’t thank God enough.”

They love the work.

“We plant the plants and get to watch them grow till they spill over the sides and blossom,” Braboy said. “Every season is a new start — new employees to train, a chance to renew what you do.”

Edwards gestured toward what looked like dirt but beneath the surface was packed with tulip bulbs.

“Right now it’s nothing. But three or four months from now, you’ll see something and you’ll say, thank God,” he said.

But to make sure those unseen bulbs pop in spring, they need water.

Edwards stood on the back of the truck, a fire hose slung over his shoulder. The hose was attached to a 1,050-gallon tank he and Braboy had filled at a fire hydrant.

Braboy drove across the empty lanes to the median, and then slowly alongside the median. As the truck moved, Edwards sent sweeping sprays of water onto the planter.

The mist lit up in the reflection of the streetlight. The hydrangeas nodded gently in the spray.

The men know the plants, their seasons, their needs. Watering must be done overnight so the plants don’t get burned by sunlight magnified in water drops. The sod on top of the soil had been laid down to protect the bulbs from critters.

“It’s a security blanket for the bulbs,” Edwards put it.

They use different size wands on the end of the hose. “For small areas we use the small wand,” Edwards said.

“So as not to hurt the plants,” Braboy said.

Working through the night, they have developed a feel for downtown’s overnight rhythms.

“The city pretty much goes 16 hours. Not quite 24,” Braboy said.

“Sixteen is good,” Edwards said loyally.

The men are fervent Chicago boosters, to the benefit of the tourists who frequently ask them for directions.

And in recent years, Braboy has been able to make comparisons. He has been traveling for the first time, taking cruises to Cozumel, Nassau and the Cayman Islands.

“That’s what the job has afforded me,” he said.

As the nights pass, Edwards and Braboy spend the long hours watering and talking. Sometimes they talk deeply about being in recovery, which they say they will be for the rest of their lives.

“The brother here, we don’t just work together,” Edwards said, nodding at Braboy. “We call each other; we support each other. We’re a family.”

“It only takes two guys to make a meeting,” Braboy said with a grin.

And two guys to work through the night to make Michigan Avenue flowers bloom.

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Your Voice – Garden club encourages wild spaces

Several committees within the garden club work on these objectives all year long. One such committee, Gardening for Wildlife, aims to encourage and aid in preserving and certifying gardens as wildlife habitats according to guidelines from the National Wildlife Federation. The committee has been instrumental in certifying residential homes, businesses and public spaces.

Many habitats are being destroyed as more homes and businesses are built in the area. The committee believes that if business, developers, residents, and public lands preserve some of their land for wildlife habitats, safe corridors can be created as passageways for wildlife.

This past year, the Gardening for Wildlife Committee helped two local businesses gain Wildlife Certification from the National Wildlife Federation. One of the certified wildlife habitats is at Hanover Center between the Hobby Lobby and Harris Teeter stores. George Jones and his landscaping company Clean Sweep developed and planted this garden with advisement from the wildlife committee. The birdhouse was donated by Wild Bird Garden at Hanover Center. The second wildlife habitat is at the ReEco Store on Oleander Avenue owned by Mary and Robert Holst. The wildlife committee planted and designed the wildlife garden here and helped them obtain certification as a wildlife habitat.

Please visit these certified habitats and enjoy all the wonders of wildlife.

The next project for the wildlife committee is to certify and create a wildlife habitat at the new Cape Fear Museum Park.

The Gardening for Wildlife committee of the Cape Fear Garden Club encourages everyone to help keep the Cape Fear region an area that is wildlife friendly. For more information, visit the National Wildlife Federation website or contact the Cape Fear Garden club – Gardening for Wildlife via Facebook

Sherry O’Daniell, is Committee Chair for Cape Fear Garden Club/ Gardening for Wildlife.

The StarNews welcomes and will consider publishing articles contributed by readers. Community Page submissions should be 300 words and accompanied by a good-quality photograph. Contact Community News Editor Si Cantwell at 343-2364 or

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Summer Garden Survival Guide Released, Enchanted Landscapes Shows How …

BOTANY, Australia, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Enchanted Landscapes, a Sydney-based landscaping company, says summer gardens don’t need to be dry and lifeless, releasing easy summer survival tips to help Australian home gardens thrive in the fast approaching summer heat.

Photo –
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Home gardeners are bracing themselves, with the next few months bound to see many Australian gardens taking a beating. Plants can burn, dry up, stop producing flowers and fruits or suffer from pests and nasty diseases when they are left unprotected. 

Brent McCann, Director of Enchanted Landscapes explains that “the heat can cause plants to go into survival mode, slowing down fruit growth and affecting foliage. Dry heat can also attract insects and pests to your garden, preying on stressed plants.”

Whilst there is not much gardeners can do about the hot weather, the right preparation can protect Australian gardens. Enchanted Landscapes draws on 25 years of residential and commercial landscaping experience to produce their top summer gardening tips.

  1. Insulate

    Mulch soil to protect it from heat and drying out. Plants will remain healthy as roots will stay cool and soil will stay moist.

  2. Water

    Water plants deeply every week, in the morning or evening to avoid evaporation and water wastage.  Watering early will help to avoid mildew too.

  3. Pest control

    Look out for pests such as spider mites, gall wasps, and termites. Treat wood and plants accordingly with non-toxic gardening products.

  4. Protect

    Put potted, delicate and new plants in semi-shade or under larger plants to protect them during peak sun. Also don’t be afraid to grow lawns longer as this will prevent them from drying out and ensure cool soil.

  5. Feed

    Add extra nutrients such as minerals, fertiliser, and seaweed to water to boost garden nutrition.

  6. Garden smart

    McCann says, “Australians shouldn’t let the heat stop them from looking after their gardens. It’s best to head outside in the morning or late afternoon when the temperature is low to avoid the heat of the day.”

He closes with, “These quick and easy summer survival tips aim to save gardens and make sure they look luscious for Australians to enjoy the outdoors in the warmer months ahead.” 

For help with summer gardening or to learn more about Enchanted Landscapes and Design, contact them through their website:

About Enchanted Landscapes

Established in 2005, Enchanted Landscapes and Design have combined 25 years of experience in transforming residential and commercial landscapes in the Sydney area. They pride themselves in providing exceptional service no matter how small or large the job. Their landscaping solutions can work with different needs and budgets. Enchanted Landscapes is a member of the Landscape NSW ACT.

Brent McCann, Director of Enchanted Landscapes and Design  
Phone: 0411 787 084

Related Links

SOURCE Enchanted Landscapes

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What to Plant Right Now For Beautiful Spring Blooms

If plants were accorded celebrity status, Allium would certainly be an A-lister. The ornamental relative of the onion is everything you want on your stage—a multitalented showstopping starlet, but a low-maintenance, hardworking starlet at that. It asks little but sun and well-drained soil, although there are exceptions to even those requirements among the 800-plus species that span the globe. Most alliums have Sputnikesque flower heads and purple blooms that range from pale lavender to a deep and luscious grape, but they also come in yellows, blues, and whites, and heights vary from the ground-hugging ‘Ivory Queen’ to the majestic ‘Globemaster,’ with its eight-inch lilac globe topping a five-foot-tall stalk.

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Gardening tips for November

Posted: Monday, November 16, 2015 12:00 am

Gardening tips for November

By Ray Ridlen


Continue to mow fescue as needed at 2 1/2 inches and water during dry conditions.

Fertilize cool season grasses like fescue according to soil test reports.

Keep falling leaves off fescue to avoid damage to the foliage.

Apply approximately 2 inches of cured manure or composted organic material under the drip line of pines and magnolias for a winter mulch. Be sure to keep the mulch away from direct contact of the stem and/or trunk.

If trees and shrubs have not been fertilized or are not in a lawn that was fertilized this summer, apply fertilizer under the drip line and further out after the first killing frost.

Tulips can still successfully be planted through the middle of November.

Continue to plant pansies, kale and cabbage.

Bulbs like hyacinth, narcissus and tulips can be potted in containers for indoor forcing.

Watch for arborvitae aphids, which tolerate cooler temperatures in evergreen shrubs.

Clean and store garden and landscape tools. Coat with a light application of oil to prevent rusting. Drain fuel tanks, irrigation lines and hoses. Bring hoses indoors.

Delay pruning fruit trees until next February or March before bud break.

Prune bleeder trees like maples, birch, elms, etc. in the earliest part of the winter. Prune only for structural and safety purposes. Nov. 15 through March 15 is the best time to prune most trees and shrubs.

Wrap the base of trees that are susceptible to rodent damage with aluminum foil or other protective coverings.

Continue to plant balled and burlapped trees.

Apply dormant oil for scale infested trees and shrubs before temperatures fall below 40 degrees F. Follow label instructions.

Gather and shred leaves. Add to compost, use as a mulch or till into garden plots.

Continue to control broadleaf weeds in well-established warm or cool-season lawns with a post-emergent broadleaf weed killer.

Leave foliage on asparagus, mums and other perennials to help insulate crowns from harsh winter conditions.

Watch birdbaths for icing conditions.

Apply Diazinon insecticide around the base of pine trees to control pine tip moth next season. May also be controlled by applying insecticides to foliage and soil in the spring.

Remember to disconnect hoses from faucets as you hear of hard freezes predicted.

Leftover garden seeds can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer until next planting season.


Monday, November 16, 2015 12:00 am.

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Add some blue to your garden, easy dead heading and quandong propagation …

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Jack Christensen’s garden tips for the week starting Nov. 14

1 Colorful displays: For garden color from now until spring, take time to plant annuals and hardy perennials. Ornamental cabbages, calendulas, candytuft, cyclamen, dianthus, forget-me-nots, larkspur, pansies, Iceland poppies, primroses, and snapdragons, stocks, and violas will sport their stuff quickly and continue through spring. Also put in bulbs, such as anemones, crocus, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. These won’t flower so quickly or as long, but you’ll be glad you planted them when they show up next spring.

2 Cool-weather veggies: Plant your winter garden soon, if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. Winter veggies include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese peas, garlic, leeks, lettuces, onions, peas, radishes, snap peas, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips. To be sure the ground is loose, friable, and fertile, add aged steer manure or other organic soil amendments as needed before planting. Replant favorites as you harvest them, anytime through early February.

3 Keep ’em cold: Refrigerate tulip, hyacinth, daffodil, narcissus and crocus bulbs before planting. They need the cold to stimulate flowering. Keep them refrigerated for about six weeks away from ripening fruits. Plant at a depth about twice the height of the bulb. Amaryllis and other bulbs may be planted as soon as you can get them, because they do not require refrigeration.

4 Even more tomatoes: In autumn, tomatoes often grow beautifully but stop producing. Here’s a way to get one more crop from them this season. First, stop watering the tomatoes and trim back the tops of the plants a few inches (not much). Then “root-prune” them by inserting a shovel its full length down one side of each plant near the trunk. This shock treatment will stimulate them to form more fruit. Water only if and when the plants wilt; and if frost comes before they ripen completely, harvest green tomatoes for cooking, or let them ripen on the counter inside.

5 Less water: If you haven’t already done this, reduce automatic sprinkler settings for watering fruit trees, roses, landscape beds and even lawns. With the weather cooling off, plants don’t need as much moisture. By early next month for most of us, automatic sprinklers can safely be turned off practically until spring. No sense wasting our precious water – or your precious money — to pay for unneeded irrigation.

— Jack E. Christensen

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