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Archives for December 11, 2015

Pollinator Gardens Are On The Rise, Provide Opportunities For Growers And …

Bayer’s Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., has planted a lush landscape to show visiting consumers how they can make an impact on pollinator health with even a small piece of land.

Thanks to the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, enacted in June 2015 by the National Pollinator Garden Network, scores of new pollinator gardens to be planted over the next year and beyond will provide growers with ample opportunities to produce, promote and sell plants that are ideal for pollinator forage and health. And with research underway within the industry, we’ll soon have more knowledge about which plants are the most beneficial and attractive to pollinators.

At Bayer’s Bee Care Center, the level of consumer engagement and interest in planting pollinator gardens is very high, Bayer’s Sarah Myers says. Bayer now has 73 local and industry partners and counting in its “Feed A Bee Campaign,” launched in March.

Educating consumers about what they can plant to attract bees, and the impact they can have with even the smallest amount of space, is highly important, Myers says. It’s worth explaining to them that they can plant a variety of plants in their landscapes, from the bee-attractive plants they find at their local garden center or box store, to food crops like herbs, veggies and fruit.

Research presented at the first National Conference on Protecting Pollinators in Ornamental Landscapes, held in October in Hendersonville, N.C., showed that urban gardens are just as important — if not more so — in improving pollinator health, by offering habitats and forage in areas that were previously sparse.

The new Grow Wise, Bee Smart website was recently launched as a key component of the Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative, which was created to provide leadership and guidance to the industry on pollinator health.

Grow Wise, Bee Smart currently features information on the importance of bees and pollinators, threats to their health and steps everyone can take to improve habitat and forage. Links to the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge and Pollinator Partnership further guide retail and landscape firms and their customers on how to plant and register new gardens and habitats for pollinators.

As the Grow Wise, Bee Smart stewardship program for plant production is launched, and as funded and directed research yields results and guidance, the site will feature timely new information and insights.

“Horticulture, the health of pollinators and the success of our industry are intertwined,” says Harvey Cotten, past president of the Horticultural Research Institute and a leader in the Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative. “We are the original green industry, and our plants and expertise can make a difference for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.”

Efforts To Protect Pollinators And Build Beneficial Insect Populations Help Each Other

Planting pollinator gardens presents additional opportunities for growers in that they also improve beneficial insect populations, says Suzanne Wainwright-Evans of Buglady Consulting. Because most beneficials are also pollinators and vice versa, planting diverse landscaping, focusing mostly on perennials, to provide habitat and forage for pollinators is also inviting for beneficals, including some that are not commercially available like syrphid flies.

“The adult syrphid fly is a pollinator because it flies around getting pollen and nectar from flowers and then the larval stage are predatory, especially on aphids,” Wainwright-Evans says. “In greenhouses where we’re using biocontrols, and a lot of times where we’re using aphid banker-plant systems, the syrphids get in there on their own, and then feed and lay their eggs, and with more plants in the landscape, they’ll provide double duty.”

Green lacewings also, which are readily used and commercially available, are pollen nectar feeders, but the larval stage is predatory so they’ll pollinate and control pests, also providing a two-for-one benefit, she says.

There is a tremendous business opportunity for the industry to grow plants for pollinator gardens, Wainwright-Evans says, but the industry needs to be careful not to promote plants as pollinator-friendly if they’re not attractive to pollinators.

“Just because there is a flower on it, does not mean it’s viable nutirition for pollinators,” she says. “We need to watch the research and find out what we can from it.”

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Research and Markets: Global Cordless Garden Equipment Market 2016-2020 …

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research and Markets (
has announced the addition of the “Global
Cordless Garden Equipment Market 2016-2020”
report to their

This new report predicts the global cordless garden tools market to grow
steadily at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period. The rising need to
add aesthetic appeal to residential and commercial properties around the
world is a key driver for the growth of this market.

Landscaping is believed to increase the value of a property by nearly
12%. The unfavorable weather conditions such as floods, dry summers, and
heavy snowfalls create a demand for the repair of lawns, trees, hedges,
and gardens, triggering a need for cordless garden equipment.

New trends such as hybrid lawn mowers are also expected to contribute to
the market growth during the forecast period.

North America accounted for 59% of the market share during 2015 and is
expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period. The US is
the market leader in this region. The increased production, import and
export, and consumption of wood in this region is the key driver for its
market dominance.

Key questions answered in the report include:

  • What will the market size and the growth rate be in 2020?
  • What are the key factors driving the global cordless garden tools
  • What are the key market trends impacting the growth of the cordless
    garden tools market?
  • What are the challenges to market growth?
  • Who are the key vendors in this market space?
  • What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the vendors in
    the global cordless garden tools market?
  • Trending factors influencing the market shares of the APAC, Europe,
    North America and ROW
  • What are the key outcomes of the five forces analysis of the cordless
    garden tools market?

Key Topics Covered:

PART 01: Executive summary

PART 02: Scope of the report

PART 03: Market research methodology

PART 04: Introduction

PART 05: Market landscape

PART 06: Market segmentation by product

PART 07: Geographical segmentation

PART 08: Market drivers

PART 09: Impact of drivers

PART 10: Market challenges

PART 11: Impact of drivers and challenges

PART 12: Market trends

PART 13: Vendor landscape

PART 14: Other prominent vendors

Companies Profiled:

  • Husqvarna
  • Deere Co
  • MTD
  • Toro
  • Briggs Stratton
  • Emak
  • GreenWorks Tools
  • Hitachi
  • Honda
  • Makita
  • Stanley Black and Decker
  • Textron

For more information visit

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Incredible Garden Design Ideas You Can Start Right Now

GardeningIf you are thinking about designing a new outdoor space or garden for your family, now is a good time to start. Jotting a few sketches or design ideas on paper helps you to visualise what you are hoping to achieve. There are several apps you can try too if you want to doodle on your iPad. No matter what time of year you want to start, there is always plenty of things you can get done.

Start by making a list of uses for your garden. You might want some planting for colour. If you have children, you may want a play area for a trampoline or slide. Some flat lawn to play football on is always handy for the kids too. If they are quite active, a hardstanding or paving could be ideal for bikes and scooters. For those with dogs, you may want to gate off the area to prevent doggy fouling the play area.

If you have a large garden, you may even want a swimming pool! Most of us will be content with a small pond, though. Again, this should be fenced off to avoid children or animals falling in. Kids love the garden. Gardening with your kids also offers you quality time together. It can be very educational for little ones. A small area for planting or even growing vegetables can be ideal.


Most of us love entertaining in the garden. You might want a barbecue area. An outside cooking and dining room can offer protection from the wind and drizzle. It’s a great way to get the best of being outdoors in British weather. You may choose a patio or decking area for this. Perhaps a gazebo will provide the shade.

To keep unwanted animals out and your kids in, it’s important to have a secure perimeter. Fencing should be able to stand up to the weather. You may also want a lockable gate to gain access to your property from the back. When you pick up your fencing supplies, you’ll need to check what kind of concrete you need for the posts. It may depend on the weather. It’s best to do this work when you know it’s going to be dry for a couple of days.

If you like to hang your washing outside to dry in the summer, be sure to include an area where the sun and breeze can be most effective. A rotary will need to be inserted into the ground. This can be hazardous when left vacant, so make sure you choose somewhere that the kids won’t be playing near. Steps can also be hazardous, but they are really handy for navigating multi-level gardens. Be sure to include anti-slip grips. Garden lighting should highlight their position too.

Most garden lights are solar powered these days. This means you don’t have long cables that need connecting to the mains. If you’re buying them in winter, they may not be as bright as you hoped until summer.

Designing your garden is a wonderful project to take on. Even if the weather is too bad to get started, you can sketch out your plans ready for the spring. Enjoy your wonderful garden.

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Our view: Getting the Gering plaza right

It’s been a long road for members of the Gering Downtown Development Committee. The specialized group was charged with solidifying a plan that would use a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) in April 2014.

Initially, a $30,000 grant was awarded for the purpose of hiring a professional consultant to work with the committee on what the downtown development would look like once it was completed.

From this preliminary concept, Requests for Proposals were made and received by four companies: Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc., of Denver, Colo.; Olsson Associates of Omaha, Neb.; Place Dynamics, of New Berlin, Wis.; and Urban Development Services, of San Antonio, Texas. Each company visited the community, spoke with residents, business owners and other stakeholders, before submitting recommendations to the committee.
Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. was ultimately chosen.

Consultants addressed the strip of buildings owned by Jim Prohs along O Street between 10th and 11th streets, which became a compelling point during discussions. Currently, The Atelier Art Studio, a vacant beauty shop, Panhandle Love in Action, Cleansing Flame Worship Center, Tiffany Schank Studio, Hair it Is, the Golf Shop and Oregon Trail Barber Shop all occupy space along the block.

The consultants said, of all the real estate in Gering’s downtown, this strip of buildings holds the most promise for future retail and restaurant locations. The consultants believed the architecture to be charming, and its character inviting for potential investors. With this comment, a plaza behind the block which houses the Union Bar, Valley Bank, Gering Citizen and Main Street Appliances would support the idea of creating a space where energy, activity and vitality could funnel through to the downtown.

The breezeway between Valley Bank and Plummer Insurance which already provides entry to the shops closest to N and O streets would also give access to the businesses on the north end of 10th Street.

The idea was never fully explored. It was scrapped when a follow-up proposal had the plaza going up on what is currently the east side of the Civic Center parking lot. It must be noted the lot sits on the corner of one of Gering’s main intersections. Heavy traffic, which includes large trucks, travels down both 10th and M streets. The unattractive corner does not invite exploration of our downtown.

The committee chose to move forward with the Civic Center plaza idea.
The group’s focus then turned to what to do about parking. The committee believed an overhaul of the parking lot behind The Union, Valley Bank, Plummer Insurance, the Gering Citizen, and Main Street Appliance would resolve the issue.

Therein lies the rub.

Community members expressed strong opposition to removing any parking from the existing Civic Center lot, even if patrons of the Civic Center were asked to park north of the building across N Street. Walking to the front of the building was made an issue at the Nov. 23 meeting of the Gering City Council. It was not unfounded, given the unpleasantness of our harsh winters – snow, wind, rain, and the occasional tornado.

The committee believed its proposal had been accepted on June 8 when it passed with a motion by Councilmember Larry Gibbs, which was seconded by Councilmember Don Christensen, to approve the Plaza Site Plan 6 (Civic Center location), with noted modifications.

Gibbs, Christensen, Phil Holliday, Justin Allred, Pam O’Neal, Julie Morrison, and Troy Cowan all chanted Ayes with no nays. Dan Smith was absent.

Though the published minutes do not specify the “noted modifications,” the discussion centered on parking as a concern. In the committee’s view, the parking issue would be resolved by repaving the lot behind the strip of buildings which is bookended by Main Street Appliance and The Union Bar. However, the council readdressed the committee’s proposal on Nov. 23, this time, tabling the vote until more information could be gathered regarding the parking assessment.

Meanwhile, a change in plan may mean a rise in cost for the project.
Written in the Oct. 12 meeting minutes, the City of Gering reported paying Baker Associates $25,066.55 for the Downtown Plaza Design/Development Plans. Ostensibly, a change in plan might incurr more development costs. This project will change the nature of Gering’s downtown for generations to come, let’s get it right.

Even if we change the plan midstream and even if it costs more to develop a better plan, it’s worth due diligence. As one resident put it, “It’s better to lose the money altogether than to put the plaza in the wrong place and destroy the Civic Center.”

Though we are not in danger of losing the grant money, we agree. Gering Citizen Publisher and Owner Lisa Betz is a member of the Downtown Development Committee. For two years, committee members have worked on a plan and proposal. It would be wrong to continue with a plan which has not adequately provided answers, at least when it comes to listening to the views of others who are directly impacted.

This is something we find peculiar, leaving us to scratch our collective heads. The City of Gering must stop to consider why, at the 11th hour, so many have come forward to voice their concerns. Some community members have said they were not invited to participate in discussions.
They did not know when to attend meetings, and were caught by surprise; however, members of the public were encouraged to participate, several times.

On Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, the Gering Civic Center hosted a community meeting that saw an engaging turnout. Attendees participated in brainstorming sessions which birthed such ideas as creating a wow factor, using temporary wooden patios to expand sidewalk use, landscaping, trash cans, and the need for businesses that cater to the junior high students who walk through downtown Gering every day with money in their pockets and nothing to buy.

It was a good meeting, with an encouraging result. Valley Bank President John Stinner pledged $500,000 in low-interest matching loans for grants received by Gering.

Twin Cities Development Director Rawnda Pierce facilitated the meeting, asking those in attendance to get involved by signing up to be on the committee. Our publisher Lisa Betz signed up. From this list, interested people were contacted about future meetings. Surprisingly, few turned out for the first meeting in contrast to the huge turnout in February.

Joining the committee were Civic Center representatives Rick and Judy Keller, and Karla Needan-Streeks, Director of Gering Convention and Visitors Bureau. Others included Darlene Tagler, co-owner of Prairie Pines Quilt Shop; Brad Staman, owner of the Daily Grind; Amy Doll, marketing director for Valley Bank; Karen Anderson, Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber Director; Ben Dishman of Fresh Foods; Connie Wiedeman of Wiedeman Financial Services; and our publisher, Lisa Betz.

Where was everybody else?

George Schlotthauer, who joined later, became the committee chairman.
Throughout the planning process, phone calls were made to encourage others to join. In-person visits to business owners yielded little result for the committee’s recruiting efforts.

On Jan. 15, 2015, from 4-6 p.m., the Gering Civic Center hosted an informal open-house meeting with the firm Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) lead consultant Andrew Dane, and downtown revitalization specialist N. David Milder with DANTH, Inc. Notice of this meeting was published on Jan. 9, 2014 in the Gering Citizen and likely, other local media.

Twelve noble souls who were not on the committee showed up.

Reasonably, people must involve themselves in Gering’s better interests.
Waiting until others have labored to hammer out plans, then chiming in, is to say the least, frustrating.

The Citizen supports having a plaza behind our building. Our business does not rely on foot traffic. However, getting customers to Gering’s north end would benefit the city as a whole, revitalizing the heart of downtown, as opposed to keeping visitors at the Civic Center, where they are more unlikely to spend money on Gering’s goods and services.

We have one more opportunity to get this right. If you have an opinion, then make your voice heard and get involved. Gering’s future depends on you. The Gering City Council will meet on Monday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. to make a decision on the plaza project. Let’s make sure it’s the right one.

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Sanctuary, relocation, ‘cruelty’ pondered by Langley rabbit group

Finding a way to address the concerns of property owners in Langley has remained as challenging as trying to catch the rascally rabbits at the heart of the citywide issue.

An informal group of agencies and residents gathered for another strategy session Tuesday at Langley City Hall. Some of the ideas floated as possible solutions were: a trap-and-relocate program; the previously reported use of muzzled ferrets to ferret out the rabbits from underground tunnel systems called warrens at the middle school campus and fairgrounds; and releasing or distributing city-sponsored information about ways to repel rabbits and keep them from nesting and breeding.

“This could be solved in such a way that everybody wins,” said Mel Watson, a Langley-area resident who has championed non-lethal solutions and described herself as being a voice for the bunnies. She represented the Langley Rabbit Society, an informal group of people committed to finding nonlethal, non-cruel means of addressing the rabbit population problem.

Rabbit overpopulation grew to such proportions this year that residents regularly requested Langley City Hall take action. Mayor Fred McCarthy stepped in where previous administrations had elected to ignore the complaints by residents that the rabbits were damaging gardens, yards and landscaping. But his interest stopped well short of calling for a Langley-wide Orycolagus cuniculus (common rabbit) culling in the vein of Elmer Fudd or the fabled St. Patrick.

Meeting with other representative stakeholders and a couple of residents Tuesday, the eight members of the Langley rabbit committee focused on providing ample information about how to repel rabbits rather than any lethal solutions.

“I believe there’s a way,” Watson said.

At the other end of the debate are Langley residents like Sylvia Hollis. She described the impact to her home as having sustained “terrible damage” from rabbits rooting up her yard to defecating across her property, making it nearly impassable without caking her shoes in feces.

“They’re the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night,” she said.

Her problems were not unique.

Mayor-elect Tim Callison, who later offered to chair the committee once McCarthy leaves office at the end of the year, said his home has similarly suffered destruction from voracious rabbits.

“The damage to my yard is becoming more severe and more frequent,” Callison said, showing the members a photo of his front yard with a few dug up holes.

Opinions at the opposite ends of the discussion represent the very nature of the fight. Langley City Hall is in the middle of a battle over animal rights and property rights; of having a conscience to do no undue harm to the small, floppy eared critters commonly kept as pets, and having an obligation to address public nuisances, despite their resemblance to a stuffed animal.

Not wanting bunny blood on their hands, McCarthy and the city council have leaned toward a do-nothing approach. Langley, as a city entity, will not dedicate funds for a master hunter from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to come in and clear out rabbits for a rough cost of $100 a head.

Instead, Langley and the rabbit committee – consisting of an employee from the South Whidbey School District, Port of South Whidbey/Island County Fairgrounds, and City of Langley – will be an informational resource. By gathering information for a pamphlet or a web page, people can check with the city first. Want to know if you can shoot a bunny in your back yard (the discharge of a firearm in Langley city limits is illegal), call city hall. Wondering what repellents work best, or how much it may cost to have them removed by live traps? Call city hall.

Clearing some of the large, public properties of rabbits may not cost any of the agencies a penny. Clinton-based raptor expert Steve Layman offered to obtain and train at least four ferrets for the purpose of utilizing them in Langley. Layman has addressed small mammal overpopulation problems in other places, the most famous of which was at San Juan Island National Historic Park.

Once the ferrets drive them out of their warrens, the rabbits would either be trapped and relocated, or let loose to wander the wilds. The warren entrances would be filled in, and it’s believed that sooner or later the rabbits would learn to stay away.

“If a warren is disturbed enough, filling in the holes, filling in the holes, filling in the holes, they won’t come back,” Layman said.

One of the options, however unlikely some of the group’s members said it may be, discussed by some of the agency representatives, is the creation of a sanctuary for rabbits somewhere in town. Watson shared a pamphlet about just such a place in Sequim, which she described as a tourist attraction that takes rabbits from as far away as British Columbia, Canada. Putting one in Langley could be another draw, Watson said, just as whale watching has become.

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Elizabeth L. Jackson, former advertising executive, dies at 60

Elizabeth L. Jackson, a former advertising executive who later managed a landscaping business, died of breast cancer Sunday at her Owings Mills home. She was 60.

Born Elizabeth Lavache in Westchester County, N.Y., she was the daughter of Daniel E. Lavache, an accounting executive, and Rita L. Lavache, who worked as a Baltimore County government employee.

She moved to Baltimore in 1971, and was a 1973 graduate of Towson High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Towson University.

While in high school, she met her future husband, J. Robert Jackson. They married in 1979.

“I was in the front row and she was in the second row,” Mr. Jackson said. “I remember going over to her desk. She had beautiful long, curly hair. It was the hippie era. One day she brought me a newspaper picture of me from The Jeffersonian. The photographer shot me with Spiro Agnew at a voting booth.”

After they started dating, Mr. Jackson said, he realized they had several things in common — both of their parents owned Corvairs, both had the same Spode buttercup china pattern, and both cooked from tattered copies of Fannie Farmer cookbooks.

While working as a waitress at the old Midtown Yacht Club, Ms. Jackson got to know staff members of the advertising and public relations firm Gilbert Sandler Associates, which was later Weber Shandwick. She initially freelanced with the firm and became a production artist in 1978.

“It was clear where her talents were, and she soon became an account manager,” said a friend and colleague, Kevin O’Keefe, the former president of Weber Shandwick.

Ms. Jackson rose from account management to executive vice president, her colleagues said. She went on to run the agency’s Rockville office.

She led marketing and brand management campaigns for clients in real estate, technology, telecommunications, biotechnology, financial services, health and education.

She assisted in launching a marketing campaign for the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s schools in the early 1990s. She ran a team whose members launched and marketed Owings Mills New Town. She was also a consultant to Associated Catholic Charities, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Neighborhood Design Center.

Colleagues said her clients included the U.S. Geological Survey, Microlog Corp., the Johns Hopkins University, Hughes Network Systems, the Maryland State Highway Administration and Orbital Sciences Corp.

“She was a prodigious talent and enormously passionate about her work and her colleagues and her clients. She gave 110 percent every day,” said Mr. O’Keefe. “She truly understood what helped sell products and ideas.

“She had a great sense of style,” he said. “She was an enormously fun person to have as a friend and colleague.”

Ms. Jackson received Addy Awards from the American Advertising Federation and a Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America.

She was also honored for her work by the National University Continuing Education Association and the Bank Marketing Association. She spoke before the National Advertising Agency Network, the National Association of Community Colleges and the Greater Baltimore Committee, discussing ways to integrate communications effectively.

“Liz was one of the most wonderful, caring and smartest women I have ever known,” said friend Jay Jenkins of interior design firm Jenkins Baer Associates. “Her devotion to her husband and to her dogs was amazing. She was intelligent and well-read. She had a love for life.”

In 1999, she retired from Weber Shandwick. She then earned a degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Ms. Jackson joined her husband’s landscape design and building firm, Bob Jackson Landscapes. She did its marketing and worked in business development. She also assisted in its commercial maintenance division, whose clients include Mercy Ridge, the Cordish Cos. and Johns Hopkins at Green Spring Station.

She created ads and placed them in publications for the firm’s residential division and helped expand its business in Easton, St. Michaels and Oxford on the Eastern Shore.

“Her depth of experience made her a tremendous asset to the firm,” said her husband. “She introduced me to museums and cathedrals in every city we visited. She was a Renaissance woman.”

Ms. Jackson also led the landscape firm’s involvement in local charities and organizations, working with Hopewell Cancer Support, The Family Tree, Irvine Nature Center and Ladew Topiary Gardens.

She read widely and enjoyed spending time with her husband at their second home in Oxford on the Eastern Shore.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Glyndon.

In addition to her husband, survivors include nieces and nephews.

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