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Archives for December 18, 2015

It’s not too late to visit Bryan’s Demonstration Idea Garden

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DIG members



Posted: Friday, December 18, 2015 12:00 am

It’s not too late to visit Bryan’s Demonstration Idea Garden


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The Demonstration Idea Garden — aka The DIG — is a free, public access garden adjacent to the Brazos County AgriLife Extension Service offices in Bryan. Since Bryan-College Station has yet to experience a hard freeze this fall, there is still time to visit.

The garden demonstrates an Earth-Kind approach to landscaping by using native and adapted plants, as well as water-efficient design and maintenance practices. Earth-Kind practices are proven through research to provide maximum enjoyment while still preserving and protecting the environment. For example, chemical products are not regularly used at The DIG. Instead, well-adapted, pest-resistant plants are grown that are well-suited to this area. Other practices demonstrated are rainwater capture and composting.

Before planting, all the landscaped beds were amended with large amounts of compost. Now, regular applications of mulch decompose into compost providing fertilizer to plants. A drip irrigation system below the mulch allows for even watering throughout the garden with minimal loss of water to evaporation. The garden is also home to many species of insects, including those that are beneficial.

About two acres in size, the garden is composed of “mini-gardens” leading from one to the other. In the butterfly garden, spy a butterfly and identify it with the butterfly wheel. In the rose-perennial garden, enjoy the fragrance of Earth-Kind roses and companion perennials and herbs. See Texas Superstar plants that can withstand virtually anything Texas has to offer in the way of soil and climate.

You will see plants for different needs, including drought-tolerance, color, full-sun and shade. There are perennial flowers, vegetables and succulents. The garden also contains many passed-along plants that have been lovingly rescued and welcomed to a new place to grow. Many of the plants are labeled with common and Latin names.

Wondering what tree to plant in your yard? The Brazos County Arboretum is adjacent to The DIG. In it are some of the best trees for our area. Planted in 2009 and 2010, the arboretum is funded by a gift from local businesswoman Janis Atkins, in memory of her parents, Ira Lee and Mary Dewees, to recognize their life-long dedication to gardening and preservation of nature.  

Located at 2619 Texas 21, West in Bryan, the garden is open seven days a week. It is made possible by Extension’s Master Gardeners and funded by their plant sale, garden tour, community donations and in-kind support.

Come walk through our garden and learn what plants grow well in this area and when they are in bloom. Expand the possibilities for plantings in your yard after seeing the wide variety of plants, thriving in ours.

  • Charla Anthony is the horticulture program assistant at Texas Agrilife Extension Service, Brazos County, 2619 Texas 21 W., Bryan, Texas 77803. Email her at gardening@theeagle.com.

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Article source: http://www.theeagle.com/news/gardening/it-s-not-too-late-to-visit-bryan-s-demonstration/article_2d5d3c02-a550-11e5-a417-1b02aca011f5.html

Tom Karwin: Do some ‘indoor gardening’ with these fun and useful websites



We have entered into a fairly normal rainy season, apparently, and we are expecting extraordinary rainfalls beginning in a few weeks. Avid gardeners will need ways to enjoy their horticultural pursuits without getting wet.

One form of indoor gardening involves surfing the Internet for interesting and informative websites about plants, landscaping and related topics.

There are many websites that meet this broad standard. A web search for “garden” yields 1,570,000,000 URLs to consider. In this universe, it would be tempting to list 50 or 100 websites for gardeners, but I have just three to suggest as worth visiting.

Dirtier … The Every-So-Often Garden Memoir

(www.diannebbest.com/dirtier-blog)

This individual effort reflects Dianne Benson’s enthusiasm and hands-on knowledge of style in gardening, drawing on the principles of fashion: form, pattern, shape, color, textures and layers.

The author’s commercial website includes this blog, which presents her observations and comments in a well-designed, one-window scroll, illustrated with personal snapshots. The result is a low-key wander through Dianne B.’s most recent gardening adventures in East Hampton, which is on the south shore of New York’s Long Island.

Gardening practices must relate to the garden’s location, but the appreciation of gardens and gardening is universal.

Peony’s Envy

(www.peonysenvy.com)

I remember the peonies in my mother’s garden, and the ants that crawled over the flower buds in search of nectar. Peony blossoms are among the most appealing of all flowers, and this website presents them very nicely.

The website is beautiful, very well-designed and clear in its helpful advice on peony varieties and cultivation. Browse through the site’s major sections — Peony Care, Plan a Garden and Bloom Sequence — and you’ll soon be well-informed and ready to add peonies to your landscape.

My garden includes a couple of tree peonies and a couple of intersectionals, which are created by crossing an herbaceous peony and a tree peony. Herbaceous peonies, which are also gorgeous, need more winter chill than the Monterey Bay area provides.

Pinterest

(www.pinterest.com)

Pinterest is a photo-sharing website described as a “catalog of ideas,” rather than as a social network, that inspires users to “go out and do that thing.” The site is a vast trove of snapshots provided by a large number of participants with ideas to share.

The site includes photos on many, many topics, including images about gardening and landscaping. The casual user should enter this site with a strategy in mind to avoid getting entangled its in temptations, which could consume your otherwise productive time before you realize you’ve been caught.

When you have a specific topic to explore, enter it in the search window at the top of the Pinterest homepage and see what pops up. Try a particular category of plant (e.g., rose, dahlia, orchid, succulent) or a topic (e.g., pruning, garden irrigation, propagation).

We should still have cold and sunny days between spells of rain, but when the rains come, the Internet has much to offer to keep your gardening spirit in vigorous growth.

Tom Karwin is president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and a Lifetime UC Master Gardener (Certified 1999-2009). Visit gardening@karwin.com.

Article source: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/lifestyle/20151217/tom-karwin-do-some-indoor-gardening-with-these-fun-and-useful-websites

Gardens on Spring Creek expansion stalls

Supporters of enlarging the Gardens on Spring Creek will have to wait until next year to learn if an expansion plan will move forward.

The Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board voted late Thursday to continue its hearing on a proposal to develop 5 acres of city-owned property with new gardens and a “great lawn” that could serve as an outdoor concert venue south of the Colorado State University campus. The board is expected to take up the matter again in February.

Board members said they want city staff to meet with neighbors who oppose the music-performance element of the plan to see if they can address their concerns, including noise and the number of people attending concerts.

“I don’t necessarily think there has to be 100 percent agreement between the applicant and the neighbors,” said board member Gerald Hart. “But what I would like to see is a good-faith effort to try and resolve some of the outstanding issues: That’s the bottom line.”

The design for the expansion is “beautiful,” said board member Emily Heinz, but the compatibility of a concert venue with the nearby neighborhood is a problem. The city needs to take “one more” step to address and mitigate neighbors’ worries, she said.

The proposed $2.5 million project would complete a long-held vision for the Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave. Plans for the facility originally were approved in 2001.

The Great Lawn would transform an open alfalfa field into a venue for events currently held at the facility, including the popular holiday light display, educational programs and weddings, said Michelle Provaznik, director of the Gardens on Spring Creek.

The lawn also would have a stage for concerts, which would be ticketed and limited to eight per year. Attendance would be limited to 1,500; the music would end by 8 p.m.

Original plans for the gardens called for a maximum of 350 people at musical events, said city planner Jason Holland.

Residents of the Windtrail on Spring Creek and the Wallenberg Drive neighborhoods to the west of the gardens said they are already affected by noise from the facility. Concerts would only make things worse, they said.

Stacy Poncelow, who lives on Gilgalad Way, said she loves the gardens but opposes the concert venue. Sound already “bounces” around the neighborhood because it sits in a basin. Noise barriers proposed for the concert venue aren’t likely to make much of difference, she said.

The neighborhood is already being adversely affected by noise from The Grove student housing development and is likely to be affected by the new stadium at CSU, she said.

“We don’t have any guarantees that someone is going to answer the phone and turn down the sound for us,” she said. “We’ve tried that before and it hasn’t happened.”

Musical acts likely to perform at the venue would be similar to those that play at the Denver Botanic Gardens as part of its long-running summer concert series, supporters said. Audience members would likely be their 50s and 60s.

FORT COLLINS: Neighborhood complaints shut down SE community garden

City officials conducted a neighborhood meeting more than a year ago to share plans for the expansion. Changes were made to the plan, including moving the stage and adding more sound-baffling walls and landscaping, in response to neighbors’ concerns.

But planning board members suggested city staff meet again with neighbors and possibly form a committee that would look at operational aspects of the concert venue.

Supporters of the expansion have raised $1.9 million toward the project. Funding has come from the Bohemian Foundation, the Woodward Charitable Trust and numerous individuals, Provaznik said.

If plans are approved, construction would begin in spring and take about six months.

Kevin Duggan is a Coloradoan senior reporter covering local government. Follow him on Twitter, @coloradoan_dugg.

Article source: http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2015/12/18/gardens-spring-creek-expansion-stalled/77557736/

Dennis Patton: Holiday decorating tips from your own garden

Decorating the home for the holidays has been a tradition for generations. The use of fresh greenery started as a southern tradition in colonial days and eventually moved north. Southern churches decorated with elaborate garlands of holly, ivy, mountain laurel and mistletoe. Herbs such as lavender, rosemary, bay and rose petals were used to scatter the scents throughout the display.

Today decorating for the holidays with fresh greenery is a continuing tradition. Fresh pre-made wreaths and garland can be purchased and used to add a festive touch to the holiday décor. Purchasing these items is not always necessary as a fresh cut supply of holiday greenery may be as close as your backdoor. Many locally grown plants can be made and used in holiday decorating.

Gathering greenery

The first and best place to look is in your landscape. Greenery gathered from the garden is as fresh as it gets. When you gather branches and bows remember that in reality you are pruning your plants. Consider carefully which branches to cut and which ones to leave. Make the proper cut and prune evenly around the plant to preserve its natural look.

Hand pruners are all that will be needed for cutting the limbs. Before heading to the yard think about your needs and how the greenery will be used. This will help determine the length and number of pieces needed for the decoration. If you are holding the materials before decorating place cut stems in water and store in a cool, shady location outdoors to reduce drying out.

What to collect

Evergreens are the backbone of the decorating. But don’t overlook deciduous twigs and plants with berries to add even more interest to a design. Some of the more common plants include:

▪  Pine: great needle retention and fragrance.

▪  Juniper: fragrant, short green or silver foliage, oftentimes with outstanding blue berries.

▪  Arborvitae: bright light green color and unique form to add to the arrangement.

▪  Spruce: stiff branches and short needles, blue spruce adds another color element.

▪  Yews: nice shiny green foliage to add texture.

▪  Boxwood: small rounded leaves that provide a different plant form. Note: some boxwood can have an odor.

▪  Magnolia: the southern types have very large course, shiny leaves that make a statement.

▪  Holly: traditional holiday green that may have bright red berries.

▪  Nandina: this shrub can have large hanging red berries resembling a cluster of grapes.

▪  Viburnum: various colors of red or blue berries may be snipped and added for interest.

▪  Crabapples: some varieties have persistent fruit, which means they hang into the winter.

Other landscape plants to use would include acorns, bittersweet, hydrangea blossoms, lotus pods, pine cones, pyracantha, and sweetgum balls.

These are just a few examples. Let your imagination flow. There are many dried seed heads or pods that can also be used to create a wreath, garland or arrangement. Purchased items either fresh or man-made can supplement your design. A little spray paint might also bring a splash of color to the décor.

Let your creative side take over and have fun. You say you’re not creative? Then search the Internet or holiday magazines and borrow their ideas using your homegrown materials. What fun would it be to be home for the holidays surrounded by your own creations from the garden?

Article source: http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/kc-gardens/article50249540.html

Garden tips: Funnel ants; Dorrigo waratah; moth orchid; mulch

Enabling Cookies in Internet Explorer 9

  1. Open the Internet Browser
  2. Click Tools (or “gear” icon at top right hand corner) Internet Options Privacy Advanced
  3. Check Override automatic cookie handling
  4. For First-party Cookies and Third-party Cookies click Accept
  5. Click OK and OK

Enabling Cookies in Internet Explorer 10, 11

  1. Open the Internet Browser
  2. Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.
  3. Click the Privacy tab, and then, under Settings, move the slider to the bottom to allow all cookies, and then click OK.
  4. Click OK

Article source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/home-design/gardening/garden-tips-funnel-ants-dorrigo-waratah-moth-orchid-mulch/news-story/f7f6b83c45bd89a2d3b018c817e78c36

Tips to protect your garden from nuisance deer

Dear Carol: I am a life-long resident of the east side in the City of Syracuse and I have a deer issue. Do you have any advice on how to deter the deer from eating my garden and scraping the bark from my trees? — S.K., via email.

Dear S.K.: As a longtime resident, you have seen the increase in conflicts between people and deer over the years. It’s expensive and aggravating for farmers and gardeners, possibly worse for drivers. Deer tick borne Lyme disease appeared locally in the last decade or so. 

However, thus far, most people who make public policy have been unable or unwilling to take the time or spend the money that would be needed to work on some answers. It is a lose-lose proposition for them, because there is no easy solution that will make everyone happy. Hunting is the primary management tool. New York State’s strategy is here.

So it’s better to take steps on your own. Here are some tips.

Grow plants deer don’t eat. They don’t like chives. There are lists online. Hungry deer will eat almost anything and herds differ in their preferences. Trial and error is required. Grow plants that recover easily from browsing. Ornamental grasses are excellent choices.

Protect individual plants. That includes young trees that the bucks rub up against. Use plastic netting or a cylinder of wire fencing up to browse height.
Fence garden areas that are especially vulnerable. If you want to grow roses, or tulips, or hostas or other deer favorites, the deer have to be excluded. Fencing suggestions are here. We used to say grow those things near the house, but I’ve seen enough deer up on the front porch munching on the bedding plants to scoff at that idea.

Try repellents. There are many commercial and home remedies. They may have to be reapplied frequently as they wear off and as the plants grow. They are mostly good for ornamental plants, not for fruits and vegetables during the growing season. Switch products every so often, just to keep the deer confused.
Learn what is being done at “Deer and Deer Management in New York State,” a series of two webinars on Wednesday evenings, Jan. 20 and Jan. 27 from 7 to 8:15 pm. There is no cost to attend either at home or on-site at the following locations:

Cayuga County, Aurora, NY – Wells College, Room 212 Zabriskie Hall Seneca County, Waterloo, NY – Seneca County CCE Office, 308 Main Street Shop Centre Tompkins County, Trumansburg, NY – Village of Trumansburg Office, 56 E. Main St. Register to attend online

The series is sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Cornell’s Human Dimensions Research Unit.

Carol Bradford gardens in Syracuse. Send your questions and location to her at bradfordgarden@gmail.com.

Article source: http://www.syracuse.com/living/index.ssf/2015/12/how_to_protect_your_garden_from_deer.html

Homework: ‘The Art of Gardening’ a bright spot in fall – Tribune

Pay no attention to those gray skies and crumpled brown leaves.

On the pages of “The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques From Chanticleer� (Timber Press), candy-colored tulips soar above soft yellow clouds of euphorbia, lime-green succulents bask in the summer sun, and grasses glow red and gold in the fading light of a perfect fall day.

Chanticleer, an innovative 22-year-old public garden in Wayne, Delaware County, has a reputation that outstrips its age and acreage. (It originally was the early 20th-century country estate of Philadelphian Adolf Rosengarten Sr. and his wife, Christine.) It’s one of 25 gardens featured in Tim Richardson’s “Great Gardens of America,â€� and earlier this year, the North American Garden Tourism Conference named it one of the “Top 10 North American Gardens Worth Traveling For.â€�

The book provides a great escape for a winter’s day: In addition to the beautiful color photos and history of the gardens, it also offers insights from the gardeners who design — and redesign — the series of interlocking gardens that make up the 35-acre whole.

Christmas tree update

Carrie Brown, owner of the Jimtown Store in Healdsburg, Calif., shows how to use household items — from pretzels to bike reflectors — as decorations that don’t scream “theme-of-the-momentâ€� in “The New Christmas Treeâ€� (Artisan, 2015).

Here’s her advice on getting a smarter, more stylish tree this year:

Embrace a new style: There are new styles in food, clothing and interior design. So why not have the tree evolve too? Have fun, be playful and whimsical.

Definitely theme it: You’ll have a better chance of making a successful, cohesive design statement, and it’s more fun. If you go willy-nilly, it won’t have the same degree of charm. Think about color — maybe, everything in blue around the house.

Make it all yours: Make a statement by choosing something that means something special to you. If you love nature, celebrate it by bringing attention to the honeybee. Or, if you love to recycle, repurpose objects you have.

Ditch the ornament aisle: Look around your house first. Then, go to the grocery store and buy all kinds of wonderful edibles such as dried pasta for garlands, lemons you stud with cloves and walnuts you paint silver or gold.

Don’t overdo it

Trees, shrubs and vines may need a little help getting ready for winter’s frigid temperatures, but not too much.

Don’t prune, don’t fertilize, don’t water. Any of those three could awaken parts of the plants at a time when they should be shutting down.

Of course, there are exceptions to this do-nothing approach. Late-season watering is called for only if winter survival is chancy because a plant is crying out from thirst. Evergreens, especially young ones, are an exception to the no-watering rule because they have limited root systems and lose water through their leaves all winter, so they need watering during extended periods of dry weather.

Send Homework items to sjones@tribweb.com.

Article source: http://triblive.com/business/realestate/9605983-74/gardens-winter-design

‘The Artist’s Garden’ offers gardeners a special treat – Winston

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“Snow Shadows,” 1914, by Henry Asbury Rand.

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“The Home at Montclair,” 1892, by George Inness.

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“Blue Jays in Winter,” c. 1905-09, by Abbott Handerson Thayer.

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“Snowbound,” c. 1895-1900, by John Henry Twachtman.

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“Snow,” c. 1895-96, by John Henry Twachtman.

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“Winter at Ipswich,” c. 1908, by Theodore Wendel.

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“My House in Winter,” c. 1911, by Charles Morris Young.

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Richard Emil (or Edward) Miller (1875-1943), “The Pool,” c. 1910, Oil on canvas, 32 x 39 7/16 in. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1988.13. Photo: © Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago.



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Posted: Friday, December 18, 2015 12:15 am

‘The Artist’s Garden’ offers gardeners a special treat

By Amy Dixon Special Correspondent

Winston-Salem Journal

A self-described unrefined art lover, I know how to appreciate beauty on canvas, although I often need a little help interpreting what I see.

But I found that “The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement 1887-1920,” on display at Reynolda House Museum of American Art through Jan. 3, is the perfect exhibition for a gardener like myself: The paintings often speak for themselves, allowing the artist and gardener to become one.

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If you have a gardening question or story idea, write to Amy Dixon in care of Features, Winston-Salem Journal, P.O. Box 3159, Winston-Salem, NC 27101-3159 or send an email to her attention to gardening@wsjournal.com. Put gardening in the subject line. Find Amy Dixon on Facebook at https://www. facebook.com/WSJAmyDixon.

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Article source: http://www.journalnow.com/home_food/home_garden/garden/the-artist-s-garden-offers-gardeners-a-special-treat/article_b5c231ea-b5ee-5828-b994-8f8fe3f32547.html

Giving pollinators the right of way


First Energy teamed up with OSU Mansfield to incorporate a Monarch Right of Way project under an existing utility right of way on campus. (Farm and Dairy file photo)

MANSFIELD, Ohio — Orchards, vegetable growers and many other producers need pollinators to help their plants thrive. But in recent years, the U.S. has experienced a significant drop in pollinators from honeybees to Monarch butterflies.

“Right now we are seeing a decline of pollinators, including monarch butterflies and honey bees,” said Marne Titchenell, wildlife program specialist at Ohio State University. “Ohio has seen a 50 percent decline in Monarch population.”

The Monarch Right of Way: A pollinator demonstration plot, will show landowners how they can turn unused plots of land into attractive spaces and help the pollinator population. (Catie Noyes photos)
The Monarch Right of Way: A pollinator demonstration plot, will show landowners how they can turn unused plots of land into attractive spaces and help the pollinator population. (Catie Noyes photos)

In an effort to combat a steady decrease in pollinator populations, Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus is implementing a Monarch Right of Way, pollinator demonstration plot, right in the heart of campus.

“We want these plots to attract the community programs and arborists,” said Denise Ellsworth, program director, Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education at Ohio State University. “We want people to come and learn as we learn.”

The project is a collaborative effort between Ohio State Extension, First Energy, Ohio Prairie Nursery, Arnold’s Landscaping and Davey Tree. The plot, a quarter of an acre of land, sits under First Energy utility lines that cut across campus.

Planning the plot

Planning and conversations about what could be done with the space have been going on for a couple of years. The idea for the plot itself was introduced by First Energy, explained Titchenell. “First Energy was looking for different ideas to offer landowners who have electrical right of ways on their property,” she said.

The ground below an electrical right of way has minimal options for what can be planted there. The lower growing plants of the pollinator plot will only reach a maximum of six feet, making them a good option for the plot.

Using the right of ways on the Ohio State Mansfield campus tied in well with the campus getting ready to launch a new environmental program next fall explained Brian White, project manager at Ohio State Mansfield. “It will be part of an Ecolab that promotes environmental and ecological research and outreach. It’s the first partnership under the Ecolab to do a research plot.”

Marne Titchenell, wildlife program specialist at OSU, John Makley, Arnold’s Landscaping, and Brian White, project manager for OSU Mansfield, rake remaining grass and weeds from plots that were killed down with herbicide to make way for a frost seeding in early December. The native plant seeds that will be spread will attract native pollinators to the area as a part of the Monarch Right of Way Project.
Marne Titchenell, wildlife program specialist at OSU, John Makley, Arnold’s Landscaping, and Brian White, project manager for OSU Mansfield, rake remaining grass and weeds from plots that were killed down with herbicide to make way for a frost seeding in early December.

Preparing the plot

In order to get the area ready for planting, herbicides were applied to the ground to kill grass and weeds in different patches where the plants would be growing. The team had planned to begin frost seeding in November, but Ohio’s unnaturally warm and wet weather late in the season set the planting back.

In early December, volunteers seeded the plots with a variety of seed mixes donated by Ohio Prairie Nursery. Seed mixes included a Rain Garden mix, Eastern Great Lakes Native Pollinator Mix and Fall Pollinator Fuel mix. Titchenell said, they did not alter any of the mixes, so if anyone wanted to replicate what they see in the garden, they could look up the mix and get the exact same seeding.

Frost seeding is a common way to seed native flowers and grasses, explained Titchenell. After clearing the herbicide treated ground of any remaining grass and weeds, seeds were spread out over the plots using drop seeders. “Then we cross our fingers and walk away until spring,” said Titchenell. As the ground naturally freezes and thaws over the winter months, the seeds will work their way into the ground.

Three varieties of seed mixes filled with native grasses and pollinator plants were dispersed over the pollinator plots.
Three varieties of seed mixes filled with native grasses and pollinator plants were dispersed over the pollinator plots.

How it will look

What looks like a plot of dead, brown oblong shapes now, will soon be filled with blooming native flowers and colorful grasses and shrubs. Flowers like Echinacea, purple clover, Asters, goldenrod, purple coneflower and more will bloom at different times throughout the year.

“We won’t see the full potential of the plot for a couple years,” she explained, some of the native flowering and nectaring plants take time to establish a root system. “But we should see some cool season grasses coming up in the spring.”

Titchenell and her team envision the area to be a place where both students and the community can come to learn more about the pollinators in our area. Signs will be stationed at each plot to describe what is growing there and what kinds of pollinators it attracts.

“It’s going to be a really beautiful plot and homeowners can take an eight of these plots and create something at their own homes,” said Titchenell. “Once (a plot) is established it is easy to maintain.”

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Article source: http://www.farmanddairy.com/top-stories/giving-pollinators-the-right-of-way/304755.html

Gift ideas for the gardener



When you think of gardening, you reach for the usual tools like pruning shears, rake or shovel and head for the yard. While these basics will always be the staples in the gardening shed, there are a number of useful and unusual gadgets out there to make gardening chores easier and more fun. Here are some last minute gift ideas for the gardener in your life.

Oscillating hoe: This hoe has many nicknames, stirrup hoe, Appalachia hoe, hula hoe, etc. This classic design garden tool is great for small to medium weeds. The stirrup-shaped blade is sharpened on both sides so it cuts roots just under the top soil on the push and pull stroke. The blade angle and 54″ handle allow you to stand practically straight making it easier on your back to weed.

The great adjustable rake: This will become one of your favorite tools. The rake’s width is adjustable from 7″ to 23″ with just a pull of the handle. At its smallest size use it under and between plants, around rocks or between garden rows. Adjust the size up for raking the yard or other large areas.

Garden tool sharpener: A beveled grinding-wheel that attaches to your electric drill. A nylon backplate holds the mower or tool blade against the rotating wheel at the proper angle. Sharpens hoes, spades, weeders, edge and mower blades and more.

Cut and hold flower gatherer: This tool is 31″ long, but weighs only 14 ounces. The stainless steel blades reach up, down or over to gather blooms or remove old flower heads without stepping on your flower bed. Use it for light pruning of your climbers, hanging plants, etc.

Firm grip weed puller: Designed to grip and pull the most obstinate weeds with one hand operation. Overall length is 34″ and it is lightweight yet robust.

Long-handled grass shear: Use these shears to trim the grass your mower misses around trees, walkways or walls. Or prune plants in the middle of your flower or herb garden. Height is 35.”

Soil moist granules: Stores over 100 times its weight in water, releasing a steady supply of moisture as your plants need it. When mixed with soil, the crystals soften and swell as water is absorbed. When the soil begins to dry, the water is released to the plants so you don’t need to water as often. Soil moist is an environmentally safe super-absorbent copolymer which lasts several seasons; encourages root penetration; helps reduce soil compaction and minimizes transplant shock. These granules are great in your annual flower beds.

Spray pal big wheel pro: A convenient five-gallon sprayer on wheels. It’s great as an outdoor sprayer or an indoor watering cart. The nozzle adjusts from a stream to a fine spray. The large 8″ rubber tires let you roll it up and down stairs or across rough terrain, even with a full tank. The wagon-like handle acts as a lever making it easy to tilt the sprayer onto its wheels.

Thorn sleeves: Made of strong yellow waterproof vinyl, these sleeves protect your skin and clothes when pruning roses, bougainvillea or other thorny shrubs. They are18″ long and gathered at each end. When worn with a pair of tough gloves you’re protected from thorns, briers and even poison ivy.

Bug baffler shirt: This shirt is mosquito netting that you wear. A jacket made of mesh fine enough to keep out even no-see-ums. It’s lightweight and comfortable with good ventilation.

The pocket chain saw: This handy pocket saw is ideal for the homeowner, hiker, or camper. It trims branches and limbs, clears heavy brush, removes tree roots and much more. Cut a 3″ diameter limb in under 10 seconds. The saw is 28″ long with 124 bidirectional cutting teeth. It can be used by one or two people. Comes with wooden handles and weighs just 5 ounces.

All of the above gardening tools and many more are available at the Walt Nicke Company in Massachusetts. You can get their catalog by calling 978-887-3388.

Happy shopping!

 

Eileen Ward and her husband Peter own and operate a lawn maintenance and landscaping company.

Article source: http://www.naplesnews.com/community/marco-eagle/gardening-gift-ideas-for-the-gardener-270627ae-0e56-3344-e053-0100007f107a-362658721.html