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Archives for January 23, 2016

New Nashville neighborhoods focus on wellness

Chris Ricci loves outdoor activity. His wife, Arielle Ricci, is a yoga instructor. They are looking forward to living in one of the new wellness-focused communities being developed in Nashville.

“We’ll be able to build relationships with neighbors who are like-minded,” said Chris Ricci.

The couple is on a waiting list of potential home buyers at East Greenway Park, which will have 62 cottage-style homes on 10 acres next to Shelby Bottoms Greenway in East Nashville.

“She’s going to teach yoga classes in the park. We’re really looking forward to it,” Chris Ricci said. Arielle Ricci owns Nellamoon, which provides private and semi-private yoga instruction at its clients’ locations.

East Greenway Park, being developed at the intersection of Eastland and Rosebank avenues, will be built around an outdoor gym and fitness trail, community gardens, bike racks with work stations, a dog wash stand and outdoor gathering places. A coffeehouse will be located on one corner.

On the city’s west side, Joy Harris and her fiancé, Brandon Weaver, are considering buying one of the 60 cottages that will be built on 5.5 acres at Treaty Oaks in the Nations neighborhood.

“The whole philosophy is very appealing,” said Harris.

As a nurse, she is especially attracted by the community’s commitment to creating a healthy environment. Treaty Oaks, which is being built along Morrow Road near the city’s West Park, will feature a Zen garden, bocce ball, low- or no-VOC materials and indoor air filtered with germ-killing ultra violet light.

Wells will provide water for irrigation, said developer Michael Kenner.

“We can maintain the landscaping at lower cost to the HOA and without placing any demands on the city’s infrastructure,” he said.

Homes at East Greenway Park will range from 1,250 to 2,400 square feet. Prices will range from the high $200,000s to low $500,000s. Treaty Oaks will have homes with 1,000 to 1,600 square feet. Prices will range from $250,000 to $350,000.

Harris said she and Weaver, who is a firefighter, were pleased to find an affordable new home. They had feared being priced out of Nashville.

“For people in service positions, it’s nice to live in the community and not have to move away. This will be a community of people like us, young professionals who want to buy a home but can’t afford a $500,000 house,” said Harris.

Work is under way at East Greenway Park, which is being built to LEED for Neighborhood development standards. Forty-one percent of the trees on the site will be preserved, said Britnie Turner, founder and CEO of Aerial Development Group, the neighborhood’s developer.

Interest in the neighborhood has been strong, she said.

“As developers, we have an opportunity to build a community that can positively and significantly influence the health of its residents. We’ve designed East Greenway Park to do just that by creating an environment where a diverse range of homeowners can be physically active and socially engaged,” said Turner.

Treaty Oaks developer Michael Kenner said home buyers are attracted by the idea of living in a community that promotes well-being.

At least 300 people have put their names on a waiting list for the community’s 60 homes.

“We could sell them off the list,” said Kenner, owner of MiKeN Development.

He expects to complete the first 30 homes this spring and finish the rest over the next year. East Greenway Park’s homes will be completed in phases over several years.

Kaitlyn and Mike Chow will be among the first residents of East Greenway Park, where they are buying their first house. They expect to move this fall from the Nipper’s Corner neighborhood, where they are renting.

“I’m really into CrossFit and Mike loves to bike,” said Kaitlyn Chow.

They are looking forward to walking out their door and walking to the greenway.

“We’ll be right on the edge of 800 acres” of park land, she said.

Reach Bill Lewis at 615-262-5862 or

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Sandra Mason: A fall beauty – Champaign/Urbana News


My fellow University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Martha Smith shares her thoughts about Honorine Jobert: “This white-flowering lady comes with a long history of gracing fall landscapes since having been discovered in the garden of M. Jobert in Verdum, France in 1858,” Smith said. “At a time when new plant cultivars are introduced every season, Honorine Jobert has been a fall highlight in European gardens since before the American Civil War and is still the most popular and highly sought after white anemone today. Honorine Jobert surely earns the title heirloom perennial, having remained a staple in the fall garden for 157 years.”

The Perennial Plant Association members nominate a slate of perennials every year and vote to select the Perennial Plant of the Year.

This fall beauty grows best in organically rich, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade with protection from wind. Soils should not be allowed to dry out as foliage tends to burn in hot, dry locations. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils, especially in late winter. Japanese anemone may seem slow to establish, but, once comfortable can meander.

Fall is often a neglected season in many flower gardens as the colors of spring and summer are past. It’s a welcome addition to have flowers fresh and new as others fade into fall.

Our flower gardens would be better to take a lesson from the prairies with their late season explosions. Fall weather is great for growing perennials — warm days and cool nights. Roots are actively growing, and water stress is low. The fall colors of our trees and shrubs offer fantastic backdrops to some of our favorite fall blooming perennial combinations.

Just like your favorite white shirt, Honorine Jobert goes with everything! Try pairing with grasses such as Little Bluestem and Northwind Switchgrass (POY 2014) for height, and place Purple Dome Aster in front.

Another great combination for a shady spot would be Golden Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra Aureola — POY 2009) to pick up color echoes from the yellow center of Honorine Jobert, and add the bright blue flowers of leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) with its later red fall colors for a great season extender.

“Try Honorine Jobert,” Smith said. “It’s a perennial that has truly stood the test of time, adding beauty and elegance to our fall gardens.

Gardening seminar

From 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Beef House in Covington, Ind., the annual Gardening Seminar will be held. The event is sponsored by the UI Extension and Purdue University Extension. Registration costs $20 and includes a buffet dinner. Topics will include vegetable gardening in small spaces and edible landscaping, choices and challenges.

Mason is unit educator, horticulture and environment, for the UI Extension, Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion counties. Contact her at 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign, IL 61821, call 217-333-7672, email or fax 217-333-7683.

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Meet the designer: Beverly Martin believes in power of gardening to improve life, home

Beverly Martin is proud of the love she has for nature because it follows in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who taught her to appreciate all things beautiful outdoors.

“My mother created a beautiful garden carving out beds on a heavily shaded, root riddled rocky slope,” says Martin, who lives and gardens in Newport News. She’s also the landscape design consultant for Countryside Gardens in Hampton.

“Of course we kids were enlisted to help, weeding and digging, and we each learned a bit in the process. I did not fully appreciate her efforts till I had a place to call my own.

“I made all the mistakes young homebuyers still make today. Purchasing only flowers to start out, not amending the soil, narrow beds, planting things too close together.

“While stationed in England I fell in love with the English landscapes and decided one day I would study landscape design. In the meantime I did a lot of touring and took a lot of pictures, learned about different plants and developed my own personal style while puzzling through creating my own garden.”

Back in the United States, Martin fulfilled her dream to study landscaping design, and earned a landscape design certificate at the University of Richmond. She shares her insight into successful gardens during programs she gives Feb. 12-14 at the Coastal Virginia Home Garden Show at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton —

Gardening philosophy

“I believe it is a civic duty to maintain your property in a way that is beneficial to the environment,” says Martin.

“If you can add beauty to your neighborhood and increase neighborhood pride at the same time, why wouldn’t you?”

10 landscape design tips

•Start with the basics. Make a list of your wants and assess your planting site, such as sun, shade, soil, drainage, wind, noise, existing features, utilities etc. Figure out what stays, what goes and what needs to be fixed.

•Think about “bones,” or structure in the garden — what will be there year-round such as trees, shrubs or larger structures.

•Plan a backdrop, which can double as privacy or a windbreak. This is also part of the “bones.” You can use shrubs, fencing or walls, basically anything that separates your space from the rest of the world and makes it your own.

•Pick a style and carry it throughout your yard. Geometric beds, straight beds or curving bed lines? Tight clipped shrubs, topiaries or loose natural forms? Mulched paths, wooden boardwalks or brick walks? Whatever you choose, use the same materials everywhere to create harmony.

•If you choose rounded lines, create long flowing bed lines or sweeping curves that are easier to mow around and draw you into the space.

•Address all growing issues before choosing plants — poor soil, drainage, seasonal flooding as well as wildlife such as plant-eating deer.

•In all spaces, large or small, plant flowers in masses of color. Color scattered everywhere creates disjointed gardens and poor visual impact.

•Consider your surroundings. Your neighbors’ landscape may affect yours-tree roots, drainage, shade or view. If it’s nice you can open up the view and create the illusion that it’s part of yours; If not use your landscape to hide it.

•Use focal points to catch the eye and draw you in. You can’t go wrong with a bench, birdbath or tasteful small fountain; however, too many ‘focal points’ — and by this I mean garden tchotchkes — can trash up your yard and make it look like a flea market. If you must have tchotchkes a good rule of thumb is only one should be visible from any location in the garden at a time.

•Include paths with purpose. Paths are great to get you from point A to point B in the landscape, but a path that goes nowhere is a disappointment to visitors. Put something special at the destination.

3 favorite trees

•Styrax japonica, nice small spreading shape, covered with white bell shaped flowers in spring, followed by drupes that birds love.

•Sugartime crabapple, small rounded tree has pink buds opening to white flowers in spring, half-inch fruit is green and ripens to red — pretty on the tree in winter. Birds eat the fruit in late winter when it turns black.

•Tillia cordata, or linden, a larger tree with nondescript flowers that are a great source of nectar for bees. The leaves — glossy dark green on top, light underneath — flutter in the wind, adding a touch of movement to your yard.

3 favorite shrubs

•Viburnum tinus Spring Bouquet because it’s evergreen and develops pink buds in late summer and persist through winter; buds open in spring to white flowers followed by berries

•Viburnum Mariesii, a doublefile with branches that have a unique layered look. The large white flowers line the branches in spring. It is reminiscent of dogwood when in bloom. The flowers are followed by berries that attract birds; fall foliage is stunning orange and yellow.

•Hydrangea paniculata, which can be grown as a bush or trained into a small tree; its white flowers last a very long time, and can be dried and used in arrangements.

5 favorite perennials

•Helleborus, it’s a “no-brainer.” In designs, the plant can be used as a shrub because it’s a nice small-sized evergreen that blooms January-March. Colorful bracts hang on through early summer making it look like it’s in bloom even longer. They grow best in shade but will take quite a bit of sun. Deer won’t eat them.

•Nepeta “catmint” has a nice mounding habit with lavender blue flowers that bloom all summer if regularly trimmed. Great compliment to Knock Out roses.

•Salvia guarantica Black and Blue, a tender perennial that often returns reliably. Great at back of border; dark blue flowers attract hummingbirds.

•Lavender is actually a sub-shrub, and its three-foot size works near porches and walks where the evergreen gray foliage releases fragrance when brushed against. Grosso and Fat Spike good varieties for Hampton Roads.

•Sedum Autumn Joy has a bold upright structure with flowers that add great color to the fall garden.

5 mistakes and fixes

Mistakes homeowners often make and how to correct them:

•Not having a plan leads to buying plants on a whim, which ends up wasting time and money. Start with a plan in mind.

•Not adding structure to the garden first. While it’s more fun to purchase all the pretty flowers, a landscape without structure is just a flowerbed. Start with a plan in mind.

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4 Your Garden: Easy tips for taking that perfect picture of your garden

OKLAHOMA CITY – In the winter, you may miss your garden when it is in full bloom, but experts say a photograph may do just the trick.

Photographs of your garden can help add a bit of color to your photo album, but it can also help you remember specific combinations that you love.

Gardening guru Linda Vater stopped by our studios Friday to talk about some tips for taking the best photos.

Check out Vater’s gardening pictures, ideas and recipes on her blog!

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Art: It’s anything you want it to be.


Art. The very word conjures up different definitions for different people. To some, the word invokes classic works by great masters. For others, it defines crayon scrawls displayed on refrigerators or drawn naughtily on walls. To still others, art means creative expression, music, poetry, song and dance. One of the greatest things about art is that it can mean almost anything to anyone, and it generally makes most folks happy.

To me, there is art in everything. I feel artistic right now, typing words on a keyboard and communicating with you. I feel artistic when I put on makeup, arrange a meal on a plate, or hang a calendar on the wall.

I’ve always felt compelled to express myself, and have always been attracted to artistic people, places and things. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I found many outlets for creative expression and discovered inspiration as well. Beginning several years ago, I found the utmost pleasure in what I now call my “scribblies”, abstract and colorful representations of my feelings and impressions. Over the years, this simple and relaxing activity has grown and blossomed, currently consuming a large part of my spare time and energy. I never really thought of my scribblies as anything that anybody else would find as attractive as I do, but once I was brave enough to share a few with friends and then post some for the Facebook world to see, I started to gain the confidence one gets from the approval of others. I have to say, it felt just wonderful to have others validate my work. With that little bit of self-confidence under my belt, everything changed. I started seeing my work through the eyes of others and making each piece as detailed and eye-catching as I could. I find myself eager to scribble these days, wanting to get my colorful visions on paper the second I get home so as not to lose them. I’m taking it all more seriously of late, even forming a collaboration collective known as Akumi Art Associates, with local artist Eric Wolfe. Wolfe begins a canvas with his abstract expression, hands it over to yours truly, and I and my Sharpies complete the work. Plans are even underway to show our creations both locally and in bigger cities regionally. We have lots of ideas and big fat dreams! My scribblies have become a larger part of who I am than I could ever have dreamed, and it all feels so right.

Most, if not all, of my friends are artists in some way. I believe everyone has an artistic side and there are as many different ways to express art as there are different types of people. I have found Linton to be a particularly artistic community, using my broad definition. We have painters and poets, writers and musicians, people who grow beauty from the green earth, and those who brighten our city just by living in it.

What is your artistic expression? Come on, you know you have at least one! Do you cook, make your own clothing, or do landscaping? Do you like to take pictures, wrap gifts, or sing in the shower? Do you color your hair or decorate your home for the holidays? These are all expressions of your inner artist and your creativity. Be proud of what you create and take some satisfaction in knowing that however and whatever you create, you’re making the world a more interesting place to live.

Patti is a staff writer at Greene County Daily World, and can be reached at or at 812-847-4487.

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Looking for weekend activities? Fun ideas from our friends at Arizona Parenting Magazine

January 22-24

5th Annual Carefree Indian Market Cultural Festival: Visit the Carefree Desert Gardens, live music and dance performances, hand-selected local, regional and national fine artists and crafts exhibitors, culinary vendors and food options. Free. Jan 22-24 from 10am-5pm.  Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy St.,    Carefree.

January 23

Dog’s Day in the Garden: Bring the whole family, dogs included, spend time in the doghouse where vendors of human and dog treats will have items to sample and purchase, sniff out the best dog service providers, and lap up dog-themed drinks at cash bars, go for a walk on Garden trails and stop by the Center for Desert Living for family photos, pet-friendly landscaping tips and craft activities for both children and dogs.  8am-2pm. Desert Botanical Gardens, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix. 480-481-8101.

January 23rd

Native American Story Time: Join Native American Storyteller Anthony Phillips in the lobby as he reveals the history and Native American connection and symbolism of Butterfly Wonderland’s logo and our building, including the “basket” visual, color, design and structure. Enjoy Native American art and costumes on display. 12-3pm. Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale. 480-800-3000.

Check out our updated website at!

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Control stink bugs; weeds in grass; pruning hibiscus, bougainvillea

Poinsettias thrive on bright natural daylight: at least six hours daily is recommended. Placement near a sunny window is ideal, but avoid locations where hot afternoon sun may shine directly on, and fade colorful bracts.

To prolong the bright red of the bracts, temperatures ideally should not exceed 70 degrees during the day, or fall below 65 degrees at night. Avoid placing poinsettias near drafts, fluctuating air currents, excess heat and dry air from appliances, fireplaces or ventilating ducts. Poinsettias are sensitive to cold temperatures and outside placement during the winter months is not recommended when temperatures are below 55 degrees Leaf drop will occur if poinsettias are exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees

Poinsettias do best with moist soil so water when the soil surface feels dry to the touch. Like other container plants, the best indication of a thorough watering is water begins to seep through the drain holes at the bottom of the pot. Don’t leave them sitting in water or they may suffer from root rot. It is not necessary to fertilize your poinsettias during the holiday season, however, beyond the holidays you should apply a balanced, all-purpose household plant fertilizer to promote new growth.

Poinsettias can be grown year round for lush green foliage.

March or April: When the bracts age and turn to a muddy green, cut the stems back to about eight inches in height. After you cut the plant back, it will probably look rather stark, with bare branches and bluntly cut woody stems.

By the end of May, you should see new growth. Keep the plants near a sunny window.

Around July 4: Cut branches back again about half their length to encourage bushy plants. You may place your poinsettias outdoors in indirect sun when night temperatures are warmer. Continue to water the plants regularly during the growing period. Fertilize every two to three weeks throughout the spring, summer and fall months with a complete, indoor plant fertilizer.

The poinsettia is a plant that requires a long period of darkness and is termed a “short day” (long night) plant. Short-day plants form flowers only when day length is less than about 12 hours. Many spring and fall flowering plants are short day plants, including chrysanthemums, poinsettias and Christmas cactus. If these are exposed to more than 12 hours of light per day, bloom formation does not occur.

November or December: Poinsettias will naturally bloom depending upon the flowering response time of the particular cultivar. This can be tricky to do outside of a controlled greenhouse environment, because any stray artificial light could delay or halt the flowering of the plants.

To make this work, the plants must be kept in complete darkness for 14 continuous hours each night beginning Oct. 1. This can be done by moving the plants to a dark room, or placing a large box over them. During this period, the plants require six to eight hours of bright sunlight and night temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees. This regimen must continue for about eight to 10 weeks for the plants to develop colorful bracts for the holiday season.

If this seems like too much effort, you can always support the horticulture industry by purchasing another poinsettia.

Peter L. Warren is the urban horticulture agent for the Pima County Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona. Questions may be emailed to

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