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Archives for December 2, 2015

Landscape artist works to revamp Monarch Park in Old East Dallas

About two decades ago, Dallas landscape artist Robert Bellamy set his designs on the park next to his home.

He’d take excavated trees and excess plants from his projects and root them into city-owned land at Fitzhugh Avenue and Monarch Street in Old East Dallas. The half-acre park features Chinese pistache, Austrian pine, Mexican plum and American elm trees; holly and junipers; sage and salvia; and cinnamon bark crepe myrtles.

Bellamy designed a curved, stepped entrance that was later set off by walls with a pink, yellow and blue mosaic that celebrates bugs and nature. The city supplied benches, pecan trees, slides and a red play car with two steering wheels.

Monarch Park changed according to nature’s whims and Bellamy’s editing. Now, the garden designer with an impressive commercial following said he needs more city help.

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A “thank you” is in the works, said Jesse Moreno, who represents the area on the city Park and Recreation Board.

“We are obviously very grateful for this partnership,” he said.

Moreno expects installation soon of new lighting, which is crucial for teens at the basketball court past sunset. A few years back, thieves stripped copper from the old lighting, which Bellamy had installed. Better irrigation than Bellamy’s hose would help, too, Moreno said.

The city of Dallas boasts of nearly 400 parks. Some have trust funds, like the sprawling Samuell Grand Park. Others have tax-exempt nonprofits like Friends of Monarch Park, which Bellamy founded with supporters in 1998.

“I am a very determined person,” he said, “and why would I let that good energy go for naught?”

Bellamy has launched a rejuvenation campaign for Monarch Park, which sits in a neighborhood where new houses, townhomes and apartments sprout regularly among the modest clapboard and brick houses and run-down apartment buildings.

“Our neighborhood is changing, and even more people will use it,” he said. “It’s joyful.”

Elevating Monarch Park’s beauty is Bellamy’s passion project. The lanky landscape designer says he loves the way people of many races and ethnicities mingle and mix in the gardens, just like the trees he’s planted.

Beauty draws them, but so does necessity. Many of the neighbors live in apartments with little or no green space. According to 2013 census tract data, only a sixth of homes are owner-occupied, the median household income is about $40,000 a year, and a third of the population is foreign-born.

‘There’s a history there’

Bellamy, 62, grew up in Highland Park, where household incomes far surpass those around Monarch Park. He moved to this old Dallas neighborhood 33 years ago. It’s where his parents grew up. Eventually, Bellamy purchased enough property for almost an acre of gardens and a home behind fencing with flashes of his mosaic tile work.

“My neighborhood is important to me,” he said. “There’s a history there.”

Bellamy would like to fix a few chips in the park’s 4-foot-tall mosaic walls, work overseen in 2001 by artist Charlotte Lindsey with elementary school students and senior citizens. Lindsey created the full design by using small images made by children inspired by the nearby Asian community gardens.

Many groups and an anonymous donor were involved in the public art project, but Bellamy was essential, the artist said.

“He’s a very generous man, and none of it would be there if not for his vision and dedication,” Lindsey said.

Bellamy also wants to repair retainer walls. Pointing to what looks like a pole, he said: “That’s a native persimmon tree, and it’s never given fruit.”

Nearby, a boy strolled past Bellamy carrying his scooter through wet grass to a concrete path.

“I don’t want my scooter to get muddy,” he explained to a buddy.

Pruning and mulch

This week, his workers freshened and pruned landscaping and laid some mulch. The persimmon pole was yanked, too.

“It was worse than the Charlie Brown Christmas tree,” the landscaper said.

Through the years, Bellamy sculpted garden spots throughout the park.

“Now, I have a different energy with a dose of reality,” he said.

Reality means securing basics, like water and lights.

“It’s disheartening to come by and have it so dark,” he said.

That sits well with visitors who value communal space.

“Nice, very nice,” said Angelina Cortez, a teen visiting the park with her friend, Jose Estrella.

At the basketball half-court, an elastic 15-year-old Joshua Byrd seemed unstoppable in his flashy red shorts as he shot hoops.

“This is what we do, play basketball,” Joshua said. “It’s a daily routine.”

His pal, 15-year-old Davion Caldwell, said he has played at Monarch Park nearly half his life.

“The lights used to shine up the courts,” Davion said.

Now, he said, he dribbles by moonlight, in the shadows of Bellamy’s trees.

Twitter: @disolis

Article source: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/white-rock-east-dallas/headlines/20151201-landscape-artist-works-to-revamp-monarch-park-in-old-east-dallas.ece

Lady Orange: The city’s semi-secret garden

Q. On my way to work each day, I drive past the corner of Jamboree and Chapman. There is a banner that says “Open, Coastkeeper Garden.” What is the garden for, and where is it?

– Louise Kirste, Orange

A. Luckily, Lady Orange has visited the garden herself and can tell you a little bit about it.

If you’re heading east on Chapman Avenue past Santiago Canyon College, you might notice the banner Louise is referring to. Near the college field is a dirt driveway adjacent to some fencing.

To the average passerby, this likely looks like a college-related driveway. One might even assume it’s private.

In fact, Lady Orange made that same mistake when trying to find the Coastkeeper Garden.

But don’t be mislead. The driveway is open to the public and leads to a 2.5-acre garden full of drought-tolerant plants.

The garden is at 1560 E. Santiago Canyon Road and includes several example gardens to help those looking for landscaping ideas. It also has a play area for children.

Visitors can stop by for free during regular hours – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Or guests can attend events such as the monthly “plant share,” where neighbors share tips and tricks about their favorite plants.

More information on the garden can be found at coastkeeper.org/coastkeeper-garden.

An answer to the garlic smell

Three weeks ago, Lady Orange addressed an issue brought to her attention for a second time: a garlic smell near The Home Depot on Katella Avenue.

If you don’t remember, someone asked if the garlic smell came about from employees of the public works department putting garlic in sewers to ward off pests. The city said, “Nah” – employees don’t do that.

After the last column, Lady Orange got a lot of emails and calls about the smell.

Some residents, such as Randa Miller and Kerri Rutledge, both of Orange, thought the source could be a common plant: Tublighia violcea. It has a long, thin stem and small purple flowers and doesn’t smell so nice.

Others thought maybe it was the restaurant on the corner.

But one email settled it all when Russ Patterson pointed out that the source was a canning company.

STIR Foods is on Main Street in Orange, not even a mile from The Home Depot. And guess what some of the products they make are?

Garlic sauces and spreads.

Lady Orange called the company, and the lovely receptionist Maddy confirmed that the business does in fact produce the smell.

Patterson said he used to work in an office building adjacent to STIR Foods and contacted the South Coast Air Quality Management District about the smell. The agency said it would investigate if more people complained.

Whether the smell gives you a headache or makes you hungry for some garlic bread – it is here to stay.

Contact the writer: Contact Lady Orange at 714-704-3793 or bseipel@ocregister.com. Selected questions will be answered here and at ocregister.com/orange.

Article source: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/orange-694239-garden-smell.html

CASE, Sonsray Machinery Provide Equipment to Ahmed Hassan and Sustainable …








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Sustainable Heroes Team Members with Interfaith Community Services partners at the Astor Street Gardens project in Escondido, California.
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CASE Equipment working on the Aster Gardens project.
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<!– Paragraph before: RACINE, Wis., Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —CASE Construction Equipment and Sonsray Machinery have provided the use of a mid-sized excavator and two compact track loaders for the construction of a new outdoor landscape, edible garden and hardscape design by landscaping expert and TV host, Ahmed Hassan. The project a landscape/foodscape and outdoor living/playspace installation at the Aster Street Gardens transitional housing project is the work of Hassan’s organization of “Sustainable Heroes.” Sustainable Heroes is a freelance group of professionals including contractors, carpenters, landscapers, project managers, designers and more. The group travels the country and chooses humanitarian and sustainability projects where they feel their charitable works will make a positive impact on a particular community and/or help bring awareness to a worthy cause and organization. This particular project partners Sustainable Heroes with Interfaith Community Services of Escondido, California.

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<!– Paragraph After: RACINE, Wis., Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —CASE Construction Equipment and Sonsray Machinery have provided the use of a mid-sized excavator and two compact track loaders for the construction of a new outdoor landscape, edible garden and hardscape design by landscaping expert and TV host, Ahmed Hassan. The project a landscape/foodscape and outdoor living/playspace installation at the Aster Street Gardens transitional housing project is the work of Hassan’s organization of “Sustainable Heroes.” Sustainable Heroes is a freelance group of professionals including contractors, carpenters, landscapers, project managers, designers and more. The group travels the country and chooses humanitarian and sustainability projects where they feel their charitable works will make a positive impact on a particular community and/or help bring awareness to a worthy cause and organization. This particular project partners Sustainable Heroes with Interfaith Community Services of Escondido, California.

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RACINE, Wis., Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — CASE Construction Equipment and Sonsray Machinery have provided the use of a mid-sized excavator and two compact track loaders for the construction of a new outdoor landscape, edible garden and hardscape design by landscaping expert and TV host, Ahmed Hassan. The project – a landscape/foodscape and outdoor living/playspace installation at the Aster Street Gardens transitional housing project – is the work of Hassan’s organization of “Sustainable Heroes.” Sustainable Heroes is a freelance group of professionals including contractors, carpenters, landscapers, project managers, designers and more. The group travels the country and chooses humanitarian and sustainability projects where they feel their charitable works will make a positive impact on a particular community and/or help bring awareness to a worthy cause and organization. This particular project partners Sustainable Heroes with Interfaith Community Services of Escondido, California. 

<!– Paragraph before: The equipment a CASE CX75C SR hydraulic excavator, and TR320 and TV380 compact track loaders were used in the earthmoving phase of the project and assisted with the demolition of unwanted plant material, and the placement and planting of new trees, shrubs and hardscaping materials.

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<!– Paragraph After: The equipment a CASE CX75C SR hydraulic excavator, and TR320 and TV380 compact track loaders were used in the earthmoving phase of the project and assisted with the demolition of unwanted plant material, and the placement and planting of new trees, shrubs and hardscaping materials.

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The equipment – a CASE CX75C SR hydraulic excavator, and TR320 and TV380 compact track loaders – were used in the earthmoving phase of the project and assisted with the demolition of unwanted plant material, and the placement and planting of new trees, shrubs and hardscaping materials.

<!– Paragraph before: Hassan, a longtime TV personality who uses his blitz-style landscape makeover skills as a way of advancing charitable and humanitarian efforts, sees the Aster Gardens project as "the perfect way to give back to both the community and a wonderful organization that does so much to help the less fortunate in the community during the Thanksgiving season and year-round.”

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<!– Paragraph After: Hassan, a longtime TV personality who uses his blitz-style landscape makeover skills as a way of advancing charitable and humanitarian efforts, sees the Aster Gardens project as "the perfect way to give back to both the community and a wonderful organization that does so much to help the less fortunate in the community during the Thanksgiving season and year-round.”

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Hassan, a longtime TV personality who uses his blitz-style landscape makeover skills as a way of advancing charitable and humanitarian efforts, sees the Aster Gardens project as “the perfect way to give back to both the community and a wonderful organization that does so much to help the less fortunate in the community during the Thanksgiving season and year-round.”

<!– Paragraph before: "The capacity to pay it forward is one of our greatest human talents," says Hassan. "Aster Gardens provides women, children, seniors, vets and others with a safe place to get their lives back on track after homelessness or difficult and traumatic life circumstances the new landscape will provide their family complex with an outdoor living space and recreational area for the people who live there to relax, play and socialize, while enjoying their natural surroundings. We are grateful for the participation of companies such as CASE and Sonsray who have donated their time, coordination and these extremely valuable resources to improve this community's space."

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<!– Paragraph After: "The capacity to pay it forward is one of our greatest human talents," says Hassan. "Aster Gardens provides women, children, seniors, vets and others with a safe place to get their lives back on track after homelessness or difficult and traumatic life circumstances the new landscape will provide their family complex with an outdoor living space and recreational area for the people who live there to relax, play and socialize, while enjoying their natural surroundings. We are grateful for the participation of companies such as CASE and Sonsray who have donated their time, coordination and these extremely valuable resources to improve this community's space."

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“The capacity to pay it forward is one of our greatest human talents,” says Hassan. “Aster Gardens provides women, children, seniors, vets and others with a safe place to get their lives back on track after homelessness or difficult and traumatic life circumstances – the new landscape will provide their family complex with an outdoor living space and recreational area for the people who live there to relax, play and socialize, while enjoying their natural surroundings. We are grateful for the participation of companies such as CASE and Sonsray who have donated their time, coordination and these extremely valuable resources to improve this community’s space.”

<!– Paragraph before: "We're inspired by the work Hassan and his team does, taking the craft and skill of landscaping and turning it into something that improves the lives of others," says Jim Hasler, vice president North America, CASE. “What his team has done with Aster Gardens is remarkable, and we’re proud our equipment helped make it happen.”

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<!– Paragraph After: "We're inspired by the work Hassan and his team does, taking the craft and skill of landscaping and turning it into something that improves the lives of others," says Jim Hasler, vice president North America, CASE. “What his team has done with Aster Gardens is remarkable, and we’re proud our equipment helped make it happen.”

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“We’re inspired by the work Hassan and his team does, taking the craft and skill of landscaping and turning it into something that improves the lives of others,” says Jim Hasler, vice president – North America, CASE. “What his team has done with Aster Gardens is remarkable, and we’re proud our equipment helped make it happen.” 

<!– Paragraph before: More details and project photos can be viewed by following the Aster Gardens project on Twitter (twitter.com/STHeroesOrg/) or Facebook (facebook.com/events/1650096175269411/), and via the #AsterGardens and #SustainableHeroes hashtags. Learn more at SustainableHeroes.org.

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<!– Paragraph After: More details and project photos can be viewed by following the Aster Gardens project on Twitter (twitter.com/STHeroesOrg/) or Facebook (facebook.com/events/1650096175269411/), and via the #AsterGardens and #SustainableHeroes hashtags. Learn more at SustainableHeroes.org.

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More details and project photos can be viewed by following the Aster Gardens project on Twitter (twitter.com/STHeroesOrg/) or Facebook (facebook.com/events/1650096175269411/), and via the #AsterGardens and #SustainableHeroes hashtags. Learn more at SustainableHeroes.org.

<!– Paragraph before: CASE Construction Equipment sells and supports a full line of construction equipment around the world, including the No. 1 backhoe loaders, excavators, motor graders, wheel loaders, vibratory compaction rollers, crawler dozers, skid steers, compact track loaders and rough-terrain forklifts. Through CASE dealers, customers have access to a true professional partner with world-class equipment and aftermarket support, industry-leading warranties and flexible financing. More information is available at www.CaseCE.com.

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<!– Paragraph After: CASE Construction Equipment sells and supports a full line of construction equipment around the world, including the No. 1 backhoe loaders, excavators, motor graders, wheel loaders, vibratory compaction rollers, crawler dozers, skid steers, compact track loaders and rough-terrain forklifts. Through CASE dealers, customers have access to a true professional partner with world-class equipment and aftermarket support, industry-leading warranties and flexible financing. More information is available at www.CaseCE.com.

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CASE Construction Equipment sells and supports a full line of construction equipment around the world, including the No. 1 backhoe loaders, excavators, motor graders, wheel loaders, vibratory compaction rollers, crawler dozers, skid steers, compact track loaders and rough-terrain forklifts. Through CASE dealers, customers have access to a true professional partner with world-class equipment and aftermarket support, industry-leading warranties and flexible financing. More information is available at www.CaseCE.com.

<!– Paragraph before: CASE Construction Equipment is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). More information about CNH Industrial can be found online at www.cnhind.com.

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<!– Paragraph After: CASE Construction Equipment is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). More information about CNH Industrial can be found online at www.cnhind.com.

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CASE Construction Equipment is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). More information about CNH Industrial can be found online at www.cnhind.com.

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Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151202/292493  
Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151202/292494

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<!– Paragraph before: To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/case-sonsray-machinery-provide-equipment-to-ahmed-hassan-and-sustainable-heroes-team-for-aster-gardens-project-300186822.html

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<!– Paragraph After: To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/case-sonsray-machinery-provide-equipment-to-ahmed-hassan-and-sustainable-heroes-team-for-aster-gardens-project-300186822.html

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SOURCE CASE Construction Equipment

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Article source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/case-sonsray-machinery-provide-equipment-to-ahmed-hassan-and-sustainable-heroes-team-for-aster-gardens-project-300186822.html

Plant Questions: Gardening tips

MEN. ? LISA: CARRIE ENGEL FROM VALLEY VIEW FARMS IS HERE TO ANSWER YOUR PLANTS AND GARDEN QUESTIONS. QUESTIONS. WHAT IS YOU BRING WITH YOU? CARRIE: THEY LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR. THEY LOVE THE TEMPERATURES INSIDE. THEY’RE NOT GOING TO HANDLE A WARM HOUSE VERY WELL. THEY LIKE SUNLIGHT IN THE 60’S AT THE MOST. IT IS REALLY GOING TO GIVE YOU COLOR FROM NOW UNTIL ABOUT THE MIDDLE OF MARCH. LISA: THEY LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL, BUT IT LOOKS FAKE. CARRIE: IT COMES IN ALL BEAUTIFUL COLORS. LISA: LET’S GET OUR QUESTIONS. WE HAVE A BAY LEAF PLANT THAT WE KEEP IN A SUNROOM DURING THE WINTER. IT IS GROWING FINE, BUT SOME OF THE LEAVES ARE STICKY AND HAVE SPOTS. SHOULD WE DISCARD THOSE LEAVES? CARRIE: I CHECKED THE SIGN OF STICKINESS AND SEE IF YOU MAYBE HAVE SCALE. TAKE SOME SOAP AND WATER AND WHITE THAT OFF. IF IT DOESN’T GO AWAY, YOU MIGHT WANT TO USE QUARTER CULTURE OIL. — HORTICULTURE OIL. LISA: MY BROCCOLI TURNED OUT REALLY BITTER THIS YEAR AND I’VE NEVER HAD THIS ISSUE IN THE PAST. IS THERE A REASON WHY THIS IS HAPPENING? CARRIE: WATCH WHEN YOU ARE PLANTING IT. BROCCOLI LIKES COOLER WEATHER COULD IF YOU PLAN TO GET IN APRIL, MOST AREAS OF BALTIMORE GOOD. IF YOU ARE WAITING TILL MAY, YOU MIGHT GET BITTERNESS. THAT WILL GET THOSE YELLOW FLOWERS WHICH MEANS THAT IT HAS BOLTED. YOU WANT TO PLANT IT IN THE FIRST OF AUGUST. THE COOLER WEATHER THAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE THIS TIME OF YEAR, WE SHOULD HAVE SOME NICE DISHES. LISA: MY BRUSSELS SPROUTS GREW STRONG PLANTS, BUT NOT A LOT OF SPROUTS. IS THERE A WAY I CAN INCREASE THE YIELD NEXT YEAR? CARRIE: AGAIN, BRUSSELS SPROUTS LIKE BROCCOLI WHERE IT TAKES ANOTHER 30 DAYS. IT’S A 90 DAY PLAN. YET IT AROUND THE FIRST OF APRIL. I DO NOT THINK THERE IS TIME TO MAKE IT IN THE FALL. GET SOME FERTILIZER ON IT. THEY ARE HEAVY FEET OR SO THEY LIKE A LOT OF NITROGEN WHETHER YOU DO THAT ORGANICALLY OR SYNTHETICALLY COULD JUST GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO GET GOING. THEY USUALLY GROW PRETTY WELL AND THEY’RE FUN TO GROW ON THAT NICE LITTLE TOWER THAT THEY DO. LISA: BROCCOLI SCARES ME. I DID IT ONCE AND WHEN I COOK THE BROCCOLI, I THOUGHT I HAD RINSED EVERYTHING OUT. THERE WERE ALL THESE LITTLE GREEN ONES. CARRIE: IT’S JUST A LITTLE EXTRA PROTEIN. IT WILL BE FINE. [LAUGHTER]

Article source: http://www.wbaltv.com/news/plant-questions-gardening-tips/36499170

Roots Manoeuvres with Georgina Chaed: Choosing a designer for your garden

People sometimes wonder about having their garden redesigned, but don’t know where to start.

Here are some things to think about before selecting a garden designer.

A professional designer will do a lot more than just measure up and produce drawings for a new garden.

They will select landscapers capable of carrying out the work at the most competitive price. They will source materials, monitor the build and move heaven and earth to find the right plants.

A designer may also provide a maintenance plan to ensure the garden stays looking its best. Crucially, a designer will also check to make sure every detail is perfect before the project is completed.

Clear communication between a client and designer is essential. Therefore, be prepared to ask lots of questions. If a designer hasn’t been personally recommended, obtaining references from previous clients is a good place to start.

One question people often ask is: “What training did you receive before embarking on your career in garden design?” Most garden designers have studied for at least a year or two, and having a background in gardening or landscaping can be another string to their bow.

Also, has the garden designer won any awards? Perhaps they’ve been awarded a Royal Horticultural Society medal for a show garden they’ve designed or have scooped the top prize in a competition.

As well as having to produce a horticultural display at a very high standard, accolades such as these help demonstrate a designer’s ability to design and project manage the build of a garden.

Rather than giving an off-the-peg solution, a good designer will deliver something that’s unique to their clients’ individual requirements and style.

With clear communication and by asking the right questions you’ll be able to find the right garden designer and make your dream garden a reality.

Georgina Chahed is a garden designer and the owner of Touch Landscapes. Visit touchlandscapes.com

Article source: http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/14111512.Roots_Manoeuvres_with_Georgina_Chaed__Choosing_a_designer_for_your_garden/

Don’t let a drought dull your garden design

Dahlias add a vibrant pop of colour to any garden.

It seems that we are in for another hot and dry summer. The forecast is for something like  last year’s  drought and my garden is already depressed at the thought.

In order to avoid everyone crying over spilt milk when they return from their holiday in January, let’s try to design a garden that will withstand drought conditions for a prolonged period of time.

If hot, dry summers are the rule, here are some pointers:

The calendula is one of many drought-tolerant plants.

– Canterbury is renowned for yellow grass from mid-December onwards and to be honest, I don’t think it is a problem. It saves petrol (better for the environment) and labour for mowing (more time to enjoy your holiday). Watering a lawn is ideal if you have plenty of water, but water restrictions come into effect this time of year so budget carefully how to use available water – the lawn might just have to wait.The alternative is to design a garden that has other surfaces like timber decking, gravel, pavers etc where the sun will beat down fiercely.

– Select plants which will tough it out if it does not rain for four months like it did last year. I have a rule when I talk to my plants, and that is “you make it by yourself, or… tough!” There is no point having delicate annuals and perennials.

– Mulch! Like in everything, the secret is in the preparation. Before planting make sure you have plenty of compost in the soil, cultivate it deeply if it is a heavy clay base, and add sand if necessary to break down the clay. Use compost again on top, or bark, pea straw and even gravel as mulch. It is important to apply mulch well before the summer heat strikes. Do it in the autumn or winter so the plant’s roots will keep warm and be protected from the frost. Then in the summer they will be cool and the ground will stay moist for them. Instead of throwing it out, keep the newspaper and use it, wet, under the top layer of mulch. This will help your plants survive the heatwaves even better.

Hebe lilac is another plant that will tolerate the heat well.

– Use the feng shui principle of creating a fine balance of elements in your garden, so incorporate a flowing water feature if you can. It does not have to be big, but make sure its size is commensurate to the size of the garden and the location of the water feature within it. A reflective pool is lovely but in the summer it might need topping up regularly with water. A refreshing pool need not be of Olympic dimensions, a simple narrow and long lap pool can fit most gardens, if you have some space and are a swimmer. I am not so inclined, but cooling down is something we all need on a regular basis so it could be handy, even if just to splash your feet in it.

– Create some shade by planting trees if you have the space. Even a tiny city garden can  accomodate a small tree, for example a Japanese acer. Clever use of shade and low-maintenance plants can give you a thriving garden. You can create shade by using artificial elements such as canopies, sun umbrellas, pergolas, and sailcloths. All of which are good for you and good for the more delicate plants which won’t transpire as much as a result.

– Adopt a Mediterranean garden style as the best panacea for locations where summers are hot and dry.

– Accept that the most drought-tolerant flowers may not be in your favourite colour. They tend to be mostly yellow and orange.

Most of all

– Forget about your garden looking like the front cover of House Gardens. Remember that photographs of this kind are well prepared, with perfect manicuring moments before the shoot – the rest of the time perfection is just a dream.

Some drought-tolerant plants:

– Black-eyed Susan

– Gazanias

– Portulaca

– Hostas (in the shade)

– Coreopsis

– Asters and daisies

– Phlox

– White lilies

– Geranium

– Euphorbia

– Eryngium

– Lavender

– Choysia

– Teucrium

– Dahlias

– Pretty much any New Zealand natives (hebers, shrubs and grasses)

– Vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, beans


 – Stuff

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Article source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/74170802/dont-let-a-drought-dull-your-garden-design

Why You Should Buy A Swimming Pool In The Off-Season

Owning your own swimming pool is a luxury. Here in Southeastern North Carolina, it can also be seen as a necessity. Sure, we live a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, but even a short drive to the beach can be more trouble than it’s worth. Between loading up the kids, packing extra towels, snacks and sunblock, searching fruitlessly for a parking spot, and then battling the crowds for a spot on the sand, a relaxing day at the beach can be anything but.
 
When you have your own swimming pool, on the other hand, sunbathing, swimming and soaking up a quiet afternoon are suddenly a whole lot easier. If you’re thinking about buying a swimming pool for your own personal enjoyment but are still on the fence, there’s another perk to consider. A swimming pool can add value to your home, and make it more appealing to buyers down the road. Yes, that’s right – not only is a swimming pool something you and your family can enjoy right now, it’s also an investment in your future.
 
If you’re thinking about buying a swimming pool, you’re in luck. Fall and winter are great seasons to “take the plunge.” Here are three reasons why buying a swimming pool in the off-season can be the best choice you make this year.
 
You’ll Save Money
 
Like most products and services, the off-season is when you’ll find the best deals and discounts. For example, having a wedding in the winter will net you more savings than celebrating in June, and skis tend to go on sale as soon as the snow begins to melt. Swimming pools are no different. If you can wait, then building yours in the fall or winter months is a better idea than summer, which is prime swimming season.
 
While these savings are great, there are other costs to consider when building a pool. Because swimming pools can be a safety hazard, especially if you have young children in your house or neighborhood, putting a fence around your pool is important. If you don’t plan to fill your pool with water until the summer months, then you’ll have all winter and early spring to shop around and find the best deals on fencing material. Let’s face it – when we have time to weigh our options and browse the offerings, we almost always find better deals. 
 
Your Landscaping Will Thank You
 
Contrary to popular belief, the best time to plant trees and shrubs is in the fall and winter months. This allows the plants to focus on putting down strong roots, rather than putting their energy into making leaves or flowers. Since building a swimming pool will likely alter your backyard in some way, the fall and winter months are a better time to move existing trees and bushes and plant some new ones.
 
As far as increasing the value of your home goes, you’ll also want to make sure your swimming pool fits in with the aesthetic of your house and your neighborhood, and landscaping will help with this. Your swimming pool should blend into your backyard, not stick out like a sore thumb. By building it during the colder months, you’ll have more freedom to make sure it complements the landscape and adds to the beauty of your home.
 
You Can Spend All Winter Planning Your First Pool Party
 
The winter months can be dark, cold and downright depressing, especially once the holidays have passed. Building a swimming pool during these months will give you something to look forward to, and provide an excellent distraction from plunging temperatures, ice storms and stir-crazy kids. Daydream about playing endless games of Marco Polo, keeping an eye on the kids from the back deck, and going for a morning swim in the peace and quiet of your own backyard. Then, when summer finally arrives, you’ll be ready and raring to go, and so will your swimming pool.
 
We hope this article has helped you see the value of building a swimming pool now, rather than later. For more ideas on how to increase the value of your home and enjoy life wherever you live, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And if you’re currently looking for your dream home, contact Network Real Estate. We’re always ready to dive in.  

Neal Johnson is a CMCA, CRB, CNE and GRI-certified, licensed real estate broker at Network Real Estate, which has exclusively served a high volume of property sales and purchases in the greater Wilmington area for more than 30 years. With offices at College Road, Historic Downtown and Pleasure Island, Network’s brokers are widespread and well-versed in this marketplace, making Network a preferred real estate company for first-home buyers and beyond.
 

Article source: http://www.wilmingtonbiz.com/insights/neal_johnson/why_you_should_buy_a_swimming_pool_in_the_off-season/959

Downtown Businesses Collaborate For Discount Card

By Graig Graziosi

yo story-1CMYK

The downtown discount card raises money for Youngstown CityScape and features discounts to 20 downtown businesses.

Twenty downtown Youngstown businesses began offering year-long discounts Saturday following the release of the “Downtown Discount Card.”

Phil Kidd, associate director of Youngstown CityScape, pitched the idea at one of the organization’s fundraising meetings.

“The idea of doing something like this has floated around downtown for a few years with different organizations, but no one really did it,” Kidd said. “I joined CityScape this year and I sat down with the executive director, Sharon Letson, and we started thinking of fundraiser ideas, and I thought that this would be a really good one because no one’s done this yet and everyone seems to have thought it was a good idea.”

The card offers discounts to twenty downtown businesses, including the MVR, the Avalon and Pressed Coffee Bar and Eatery.

Mike McGiffin, coordinator of downtown events and special projects for the city of Youngstown, works as a liaison between the city government and the businesses downtown. In his view, the move toward collaboration of the downtown area is a positive sign of growth.

“The individual establishments are able to see how working together and building a cohesive atmosphere can benefit them as individuals, and it creates an opportunity for everyone to flourish,” McGiffin said. “It makes sense, and it makes us look better as a whole. It’s a simple topic of community that’s really driving this. I think it’s great.”

Proceeds from the card — which costs $10 — will go toward Youngstown CityScape’s beautification efforts.

“Every year — this year it’ll be June 4 — is our Streetscape day where we buy the materials for all the different landscaping areas — over 50 different areas throughout the greater downtown area — plus help the neighborhood groups out,” Kidd said. “So, the funds from [the discount cards] will help to support that because we have to do a ton of fundraising every single year for that event.”

Beyond providing funding to Youngstown CityScape, the cards may also draw more business downtown.

“The buyers [of the cards] that I see purchasing the cards are people who are already spending money downtown and will use it to eliminate some of their daily expenditures down there, and the other type of buyer is someone who wants to spend the money downtown and frequent downtown and uses the card as an incentive to do so,” McGiffin said.

The cards can be purchased at the MVR, OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology and both Youngstown CityScape and Youngstown Nation’s storefronts and online stores. The discounts offered are valid through next November.

Deals Offered

10% off total bill at Avalon Downtown

Free cookie with lunch (Mon-Fri)/$1 off Saturday breakfast at Café Augustine

Free fountain drink or ice tea with meal purchase at Cassese’s MVR

$5 off $20 purchase at Christopher’s Downtown

Buy one/get one free sandwich at McDonalds (5th Ave)

10% off total bill (excludes alcohol) at Fifth Floor Restaurant

10% off total bill at Friends Specialty

10% off total bill at Joe Maxx Coffee

One free service with car wash at Kingly Car Wash

Buy one/get one free admission to Arms Museum or Tyler Center

Two admissions for $14 at OH Wow! Children’s Center for Science Technology

One traditional cookie with ice cream purchase at One Hot Cookie

10% off your food order per visit at Overture Restaurant at DeYor

Receive a $10 downtown restaurant gift card with new quote at Platt Insurance

Free select baked good with purchase of large drink at Pressed Coffee Eatery

Free soft drink with entrée purchase at Roberto’s Restaurant

$3 off $15 purchase at Sandy’s Deli Catering (Downtown YMCA)

10% off total bill at The Soap Gallery

10% off total bill (excludes alcohol) at V2

$5 off purchase of $30 or more at Youngstown Nation

Article source: http://www.thejambar.com/downtown-businesses-collaborate-for-discount-card/

Castaway Cove Profits Up More Than 14000 Percent – KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now … – KAUZ

     After a rough season in 2014, the profits for Castaway Cove Waterpark are up more than 14,000 percent. The 2015 season report was released Tuesday at the Wichita Falls City Council Meeting.

     In 2014 park profits dwindled to $711.12, according to the report released by Castaway Cove Waterpark. That number was surpassed this year after ending with a profit of $100,459.82.

“It cost us about $70,000 last year to bring water to the park and that cuts off the profit,” said Steve Vaughn, Castaway Cove Park Manager. “Not having to bring the water is one of the greatest factors of why we’re at $100,000.

With the addition of the new slide Pirates Plunge, attendance is up 6.5 percent, or about 4,900 people, overall. However, within the city limits, despite the end of the drought, it fell point three percent from 2014.

“Being down, here in the city, just a touch, more people might have gotten season passes this year,” said Vaughn.

 He said Castaway Cove also had new competition this year with the addition of the new Boomtown Bay Family Aquatic Center in Burkburnett. However, despite the various factors Vaughn said these reports and surveys help them figure out how to get more people to slide into Wichita Falls.

“We have a few ideas right now and we’re going to go through the process this month and see where we’re at,” said Vaughn.

 Although a drastic increase in numbers from last year, Vaughn said these new numbers are about average for the park.

“I hope it continues and the profits are good so that we can continue to build the park up and make it a place good for Wichita Falls,” said Vaughn.

 Castaway Cove came in this year under budget this year, according to Vaughn. That’s because they did not end up having to haul in water into park.

    Park officials plan to use some of that profit to upgrade security around the park by adding cameras around the parking lot. They have also planned for landscaping, and pool repairs.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6

Article source: http://www.newschannel6now.com/story/30643018/castaway-cove-profits-up-1500-percent