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Archives for March 10, 2016

Ramblings of a passionate garden designer – Greensboro News …

gardens Hydrangea Patio (2)_edited-1.jpg

gardens Hydrangea Patio (2)_edited-1.jpg

A patio area is nestled amid hydrangeas and other plants in this outdoor garden.

gardens Shady Places_edited-1.jpg

gardens Shady Places_edited-1.jpg

This shady space is an outdoor living area, full of life, meant to be experienced and shared with friends and family.

garden Steve Windham.jpg

garden Steve Windham.jpg

Stephen Windham



Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2016 12:00 am

Ramblings of a passionate garden designer

By Stephen Windham
Special to News Record

greensboro.com

Garden design is an art form I love. The pallet of materials, color and texture are limitless, so every creation is different.

Even more, it is alive. It changes with the seasons, then grows and evolves providing a matrix for life and emotions to mingle.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016 12:00 am.

Article source: http://www.greensboro.com/life/ramblings-of-a-passionate-garden-designer/article_0626cb3e-e6e2-5802-b762-ac0a0f10249c.html

GCA Trust to focus more on horticulture than garden design …


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Article source: http://www.hortweek.com/gca-trust-focus-horticulture-garden-design/ornamentals/article/1382769

Southwestern Idaho gardening events: Fruit trees, and more

Thursday, March 10

Companion Planting: A Home Garden: 6:30 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $20 general, $15 IBG members. Register: 343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Fruit Tree Prunning: 7 to 9 p.m. at Nampa City Hall, 411 3rd St. S. Learn the best time and way to prune fruit trees to keep them healthy, well-balanced, open to sunlight and maximize fruit production. Presenter: Jim Jenkins, CWI professor. Free. 468-5858, nampaparksandrecreation.org.

Saturday, March 12

Grapes Galore: 10 a.m. at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Free. 853-4000.

Tree Pruning: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. Free, but register at parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7700.

Raised Bed Gardening: 1 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $17 general, $12 IBG members. Register: 343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Wednesday, March 16

Small Footprint Garden Design: 5:30 p.m. at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Free. 853-4000.

Tree Selection and Planting: 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. Free, but register at parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7700.

Tried and True Trees: 6:30 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $17 general, $12 IBG members. Register: 343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Thursday, March 17

Low Water Landscaping: 7 to 9 p.m. at Nampa City Hall, 411 3rd St. S. Learn how to achieve a low-water landscape that looks great. Topics include hydrozoning, irrigation and planting design. Presenter: Dan Schults, CWI horticulture professor and certified nursery professional. Free. 468-5858, nampaparksandrecreation.org.

Friday-Sunday, March 18-20

Boise Flower and Garden Show: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 18, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 19 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 20, Boise Centre, 850 W. Front St. Shop for the latest in landscape design, garden art and decor, yard furniture, plants, decks, greenhouse, more. Also, display gardens, seminars, orchid and bonsai displays, a silent auction. $8 general, $3 children 12-17, free for under 12. gardenshowboise.com.

Saturday, March 19

Bodacious Berries: 10 a.m. at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Free. 853-4000.

Wednesday, March 23

Terrarium: 5:30 p.m. at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. $30. 853-4000.

Tree Problems: 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. Free, but register at parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7700.

Thursday, March 24

Great Grapes: 6:30 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $17 general, $12 IBG members. Register: 343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Saturday, March 26

Bountiful Blueberries: 10 a.m. at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Free. 853-4000.

Insect Hotels: 10 a.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $25 general, $20 IBG members. Register: 343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Ready Your Outdoor Pantry: Cool Season Veggies: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Learn what to get started in your garden, and the tools, timing and tricks you need to start your spring garden early and maximize your success with edibles. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Wednesday, March 30

Landscape Design: 5:30 p.m. at FarWest Landscape and Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Free. 853-4000.

Lawn and Irrigation: 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. Free, but register at parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7700.

Air Plant Workshop: 6:30 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $30 general, $25 IBG members. Register: 343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Saturday, April 2

Tree Planting and Pruning Demonstration: 10 a.m. to noon at Lakeview Park, Garrity Boulevard and 16th Avenue North, Nampa. Hands-on tree planting class to learn proper planting and pruning techniques. Presenter: Earl Moran, city forester. Free. 468-5858, nampaparksandrecreation.org.

Get the Mix Right: Best Practices for Planting, Soil Prep and Irrigation: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Learn the essentials of how to prepare your soil, what fertilizers are best for your garden and the tools you need to help make the job easier. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Wednesday, April 6

Roses and Landscape: 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. Free, but register at parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7700.

Thursday, April 7

Tree Disorders, Insects and Diseases: 7 to 9 p.m. at Nampa City Hall, 411 3rd St. S. Learn about some of the most common insect related problems found on local trees and most common problems created by people. Corrective suggestions will be given to help maintain healthy trees. Presenter: Dan Schults, CWI horticulture professor. Free. 468-5858, nampaparksandrecreation.org.

Saturday, April 9

Growing Great Pumpkins: 10 a.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $20 general, $15 IBG members. Register: 343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Rose Pruning and Care: 10 a.m. to noon at Lakeview Park, Garrity Boulevard and 16th Avenue North, Nampa. Learn basic techniques to produce beautiful, healthy roses. Presenter: Lucas Navock, Nampa Parks employee. Free. 468-5858, nampaparksandrecreation.org.

Spring Plants and Design: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Learn about the best spring plants and how to incorporate them into your garden with companion plants, bulbs, etc. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Tuesday, April 12

Color in Landscape Design: 6:30 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $17 general, $12 IBG members. Register: 343-8649, idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Saturday, April 16

Get Drought Smart: Design and Plant Now with Natives and Water-wise Plants: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Designers will guide you through the process of creating a sustainable garden to fit your gardens needs. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Saturday, April 23

Foodscaping: Innovative Ways to Grow Edibles: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Discover ways to integrate your edibles within the existing garden to maximize your space. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Saturday, April 30

Container Garden Drama: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Designers will guide you on the best practices to create a seasonal container for your patio or porch. Bring your ideas and containers. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Saturday, May 7

Vintage Vogue: Roses, Peonies and Hydrangeas: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Learn how to design with David Austin roses, peonies and hydrangeas in your garden. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Saturday, May 14

Moveable Feast: Growing Edibles in Containers: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Discover how you can create colorful and aromatic edible container gardens you will enjoy all season long. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Saturday, May 21

Growing Up: Trellis and Vines: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Discover how trellis and vines can be utilized to hide areas or create ambiance in your garden space. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Saturday, May 28

Art in the Garden: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Discover how to utilize garden art to reflect your garden style and create a focal point in your garden space. Free. RSVP: 995-2815, info@madelinegeorge.com.

Article source: http://www.idahostatesman.com/living/home-garden/article65000092.html

100 New Parking Spaces Available in the Whiteaker

Three new parking lots have opened in the Whiteaker neighborhood, courtesy of the political strategizing by the Whiteaker Community Council (WCC), which is leasing the properties with funds donated by a coalition of local businesses.

The free lots, which will remain open around-the-clock for public use, are a response to concerns that on-street parking has been overwhelmed by visitors to the Whit. “The neighborhood at large expressed a lot of concern about how bad parking had gotten just in front of their residential properties,” says WCC Board President Sam Hahn, who says the Whiteaker CarPark Project is an example of a neighborhood “controlling its own destiny.”

Formerly known by the colloquial designation “Felony Flats,” the Whiteaker in recent years has blossomed as an artsy, hip district of boutique shops, chic restaurants and homegrown microbrewers, the most famous of which is Ninkasi. In the minds of many residents, however, such popularity has lead to a massive influx of drunken chuckleheads and high-rent bourgeois tourists seeking to slum on Eugene’s wild side.

Whether this is gentrification or no, the Whit’s growth undeniably led to more cars and less available free parking in the area. The new lots — at 2nd and Van Buren, 3rd and Van Buren and 5th and Blair, located behind the 76 gas station — open up roughly 100 parking spaces.

Hahn puts the monthly cost of the combined leases in the thousands of dollars, and he notes that the WCC has the option to purchase the lot behind the gas station in April of 2017 for $100,000 — an amount for which the WCC is currently soliciting donations from the community at large. WCC board members Cathie Kapelka and Emily West are spearheading a project to beautify the lots with art and murals, and landscaping is being done by Rising Sun Custom Landscape and Danks Tree Care.

“The first plan was basically to solicit/beg the city to fix a problem that they indirectly and incidentally created,” Hahn says of tackling the Whit’s parking problem. “I was just getting led around in circles.”

WCC treasurer Dennis Ramsey says one of the original ideas of creating permitted parking zones in the Whit proved “too cumbersome” because of the data collection required. “We realized that we were going to have to solve this problem ourselves,” he adds, noting that he is pleased with the business-community partnership that resulted.

 Jeff Petry, manager of the city’s Epark Eugene division, says he’s impressed by the WCC’s solution to parking demands. “It’s kind of a unique situation, and you have a community council that’s taking it head-on and solving their own problems,” Petry notes. “It’s awesome to have neighborhood groups take the initiative and solve their problems.”

Hahn himself takes a long view of what the new lots mean for the neighborhood. “This parking project gives the residents of Whiteaker some element of control over their commercial destiny,” he says, “as well as art-related opportunities both for creating art and, down the road, affordable spaces to create art.”

For more information on the Whiteaker CarPark Project, including participating businesses and how to donate to the project, visit whiteakercommunitycouncil.org.

Article source: http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20160310/news-briefs/100-new-parking-spaces-available-whiteaker

Better Home and Better Living Show to feature HGTV designer

The Western Kansas Broadcast Center’s 41st Annual Better Home and Better Living Show this weekend features a designer from HGTV.

The show is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Finney County Exhibition Building, 409 Lake Ave.

The show features landscaping and home improvement ideas and products and services designed to improve one’s home and lifestyle, and this year, Meg Caswell, host of HGTV’s “Meg’s Great Rooms.”

According to WKBC, Caswell was one of 12 designers chosen by producers to compete in season six of “HGTV’s Design Star” television show and ultimately was chosen as the show’s next design star.

Following her Design Star ascension, Caswell starred in 18 episodes of “Meg’s Great Rooms” and either starred in or participated as a guest judge in several HGTV specials.

At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Caswell will be doing three do-it-yourself projects.

Ivaree Prewitt, WKBC office business manager, said the finished products will be given away through a drawing at the show. Caswell also will be talking to the audience and signing autographs.

In addition, WKBC will be giving away two tickets with reserve seating up front to see HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines at the Kansas City home show.

Prewitt said this year’s local show will feature around 70 vendors, who will be offering everything from home improvement to landscaping projects.

There also will be wine tasting, food samples and Palla’s Funnel Cakes will be on hand serving funnel cakes, hamburgers and hot dogs.

There will be plenty of activities for the kids, as well, Prewitt said, like climbing a rock wall or Bungee jumping on a trampoline.

“There will also be face painting,” Prewitt said.

Admission to the show is free. Donations of nonperishable canned food is suggested but not required, Prewitt said. All nonperishable food items will go to the Salvation Army’s food bank.

For more information, contact Prewitt at (620) 276-2366.

Article source: http://www.gctelegram.com/news/local/better-home-and-better-living-show-to-feature-hgtv-designer/article_6daf7901-f618-514a-b2ac-dd1f820b8e26.html

Home & Garden Expo is today through Sunday in Kalamazoo …

KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Home Garden Expo kicks off today (March 10) showcasing the products, services and skills of many of the area’s top home building, remodeling and accessorizing professionals.

The annual four-day event of the 400-member Home Builders Association of Western Michigan continues to be an occasion that allows homeowners and others to see the latest in residential products and services, and see how they can turn dream projects into reality.

“It’s the Home Expo and every year this is the place to come with ideas,” said Keith Crowell, chief executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Western Michigan. “It’s funny. You get people coming in with pages torn out of magazines they have on their coffee tables, saying, ‘This is what I want.'”

He said they often come looking for one thing and see others as they wander up and down the aisles of exhibits. The Expo is being held today through Sunday at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St.

The event will feature exhibits by 150 businesses and organizations from landscape specialists and home utility services, to furniture craftsmen and home remodelers.

The MLive Media Group is a co-sponsor of the event along with Lake Michigan Credit Union, Carter Lumber, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Welcome Home Magazine, Integrated Smart technologies, Willis Law, Consumers Credit Union, WKZO-AM 590 radio, WVFM 106.5 radio, and WIN 98.5 radio.

“We are probably seeing more lately of people who are looking to extend their living space outside,” Crowell said when asked what’s new this year. “They’ve got all this comfortable space indoors. Why not have the same thing outside? So in the past where you had a table and chairs out on the patio, people are wanting something much more now – maybe a cooking area or a more formal eating area. We’re seeing a lot of that.”

Also big this year is home automation. Crowell said that includes anything from entertainment centers and home theaters “to things you can activate with your iPhone and smartphone.”

“Home security is a growing area and in the ways of home automation also, it’s in-home theaters but it’s also ‘smart’ homes,” he said. “It’s things you can control from your iPhone or your smartphone, wherever you area. Whether it be your thermostat, your oven, really almost anything that can be plugged in, can be programmed and operated remotely.”

He said association members continue to do a lot of kitchen remodeling work — which is a huge thing – as well as bathroom remodels “and making better use of space that people already have,” he said.

The association hopes to surpass the 10,000-visitor mark it reached last year. That was a 1,000 person increase over the year before, something Crowell attributes to people looking forward to building and home improvements.

“I think there’s a lot of optimism,” Crowell said, “and I know that most of our builders, they are busy.”

He said they have told him that people should try to plan their projects a little bit further ahead, and now is the time to get on a builders’ schedule for summer projects.

The Expo will also feature daily seminars including:

–The Smart Energy Challenge: Learn More About Your Energy Use,” by Consumers Energy. It is designed to educate homeowners on effective measures they can take to reduce energy costs.

-“Feel Safe in Your Home,” by EPS Security

-“Your Landscape Problems Solved Beautifully” by Great Lakes Landscaping. It is intended to help homeowners turn a problem area into something beautiful.

Click here then scroll down for more information about the seminars.

If you go:

-General admission is $10 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center. Tickets may be purchased for $8 per person, however, at any area Harding’s location or Lake Michigan Credit Union branch. There is no admission charge for children age 12 or younger.

-On Thursday, admission is free for members of the armed forces and military veterans (with ID) and senior citizens (people 65 or older) receive a $2 discount on admission.

-Expo hours are: 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday; noon to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

-Sunday attendance was high at last year’s Expo, the first time the event was continued into Sunday.

-More information about the Kalamazoo Home Expo, as well as information on on tickets, is available at http://www.kalamazoohomeexpo.com/

MLive writer Al Jones may be contacted at ajones5@mlive.com. Follow me on Twitter at ajones5_al.

Article source: http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2016/03/home_garden_expo_is_today_thro.html

Surfrider Foundation offering landscape courses – CBS News 8 …

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – There’s still a week and a half left on the calendar, but spring has already sprung in San Diego. 

The grass is green and the flowers are in full bloom at several areas in the county. 

CBS News 8’s photojournalist Ann Marie Spaulding has the details in this photo essay. 

Article source: http://www.cbs8.com/story/31432558/surfrider-foundation-offering-landscape-courses

Home and Garden show to offer ‘spring fix’

With spring just around the corner, The Greeley Tribune’s 34th Home and Garden Show will offer homeowners a way to mark the occasion.

Starting noon Friday at Island Grove Regional Park, 501 N. 14th Ave, the show promises a weekend of “expertise, education, discovery and inspiration.”

The event is free, including parking and a complimentary parking shuttle courtesy of Greeley Mall.

Tribune event planner Emily Tilton said hundreds of vendors will be at the show to offer an extensive range of home and garden opportunities.

“We’ve got companies and local businesses that are offering everything from top to bottom, inside and outside,” Tilton said.

Maintenance, remodeling and landscaping represent just a small part of what the show will offer. Solar energy and geothermal heating vendors will give the chance for Greeley residents to go green.

While parents learn and explore, children also will have opportunities for fun. Aside from face-painting fun, the “My HG Gallery” installation at the show will exhibit children’s drawings of their homes.

Vendors also will have offerings for furry family members, such as homemade, all-natural dog treats.

Two feature gardens by DreamScaping and Greeley-based Fisher Landscaping, will spark attendees’ imaginations.

DreamScaping owner Brian Williams wanted to convey the immensity of the materials used in his company’s feature garden. He brought in 50 tons of dirt, 35 tons of granite boulders, eight yards of mulch and 1,000 square feet of sod to build his feature garden.

Fisher Landscaping owner Tammi Fisher, who has been involved with the show for more than 20 years, says the event helps break the winter blues.

“It starts getting people in the spring mood and ready to start working on their yards,” she said.

Tilton said vendors such as Eaton Grove Nursery will give people a chance to take a piece of that spring mood with them.

“We will have fresh, blooming flowers if anybody wants their first spring fix,” she said.

Though the event is free, there will be an opportunity to make a voluntary donation, which will be split between Habitat for Humanity, Boys Girls Clubs of Weld County and Weld Food Bank.

“It starts getting people in the spring mood and ready to start working on their yards.— Tammi Fisher, owner of Fisher Landscaping



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Article source: http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/21021376-113/home-and-garden-show-to-offer-spring-fix

Native plant landscaping showcased during Secret Garden Tour in Martin County

Gardener Ken Hooper, of Palm City, said he learned to embrace southern varieties and native Floridian plants. His garden is among those featured on this weekend


Wakeman garden, one of eight gardens featured on the Garden Club of Stuart's Secret Garden Tour. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY GARDEN CLUB OF STUART)


Bailey garden, one of eight gardens featured on the Garden Club of Stuart's Secret Garden Tour. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY GARDEN CLUB OF STUART)


Fillippe garden, one of eight gardens featured on the Garden Club of Stuart's Secret Garden Tour. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY GARDEN CLUB OF STUART)


Seven private gardens throughout Palm City, Jensen Beach and Stuart and a public garden at the All Saints' Episcopal Church in Jensen Beach are part of the Garden Club of Stuart's Secret Garden Tour. One of the gardens was designed by Ken Hooper, Neil Capozzi and landscape architect Mark Cain. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY KEN HOOPER)

By Patricia Strutz, Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers

STUART – Brilliant bromeliads, dappled orchids draping from majestic live oaks and pathways lined with massive ferns, this is just a sprinkling of what will be featured at the Garden Club of Stuart’s Secret Garden Tour.

Eight gardens throughout Martin County can be viewed during self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 12 and 13.

“This year’s tour brings a greater diversity of gardens. In addition to large estate gardens we’re showing several gardens where owners have done spectacular jobs all on their own without any help from professional landscapers,” said Kathy Chartier, tour co-chairwoman.

All gardens will be staffed with garden club members and certified master gardeners to answer questions. Twenty unique plants will be identified at each property.

A Stuart garden features more than 100 native plants such as Key West morning glory and Florida privet. Experts from Florida’s Native Plant Society will label many of them.

It is the first time the Native Plant Society will partner with the garden club for the event.

A Palm City garden has a life-size bronze mermaid statue surrounded by blooming bromeliads, towering macho ferns, colorful crotons, orchids, lettuces, green beans and tomatoes.

“Originally, I planted all northern varieties that I was familiar with from living up north. They all died. I’ve learned to embrace southern varieties and native Floridian plants,” said Ken Hooper, of Palm City.

“I’ve also learned to grow vegetables during the winter instead of during the summertime as we did up north. It’s too hot here from June through October for vegetables.”

Hooper and partner Neil Capozzi, along with landscape architect Mark Cain, designed and care for the almost one-acre garden.

“I secure the orchids directly to trees. Their roots cling to the trees and receive nutrients from it,” Hooper said. “They seem to prefer stringy, rough bark such as on European Fan palms.”

In addition to the seven private gardens throughout Palm City, Jensen Beach and Stuart is a public garden at the All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Jensen Beach.

“This is the oldest church in Martin County. It has beautiful woodwork and stained glass inside, but, five years ago the garden was simply hedges and invasive species,” said Louise Andrews, caretaker of the garden.

She improved the sprinkler system and added bright splashes of color.

“I planted orange bellflowers and cracker roses,” she said. “They are an old garden rose from ladies in Okeechobee that resist pests yet require minimum care.”

She thinks the easiest thing about gardening in the Treasure Coast also is the most difficult.

“It’s the soil. The sandy soil is extremely easy to dig into but you have to amend it with peat moss to improve the acidity,” Andrews said. “You also need to top it off with mulch so it holds water.”

Event organizers said visiting the gardens is a great way for people to find inspiration and ideas for their own gardens.

“In addition to focusing on native plants, one garden is adjacent to the water so the gardener grows salt-tolerant plants,” Chartier said. “Another garden showcases a 300-year old oak and a grove of rainbow eucalyptus trees which are rather rare around here.”

The biennial event is a garden club fundraiser to support community projects, including Arbor Day tree planting, youth educational programs and maintaining gardens throughout the county.

SECRET GARDEN TOUR

  • What: Garden Club of Stuart’s Secret Garden Tour, a self-guided tour through eight gardens
  • When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 12 and 13
  • Tickets: $25, available on website or at area retailers listed on website. Attendees visit one of the three starting gardens listed on the website to receive tour booklets detailing all of the featured properties.
  • Contact: www.gardenclubofstuart.org, 772-291-7782

 

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/entertainment/arts/native-plant-landscaping-showcased-during-secret-garden-tour-in-martin-county-2c0d7de3-b08f-71fc-e05-371283021.html

Gardening tips for visitors, new residents | TBO.com and The Tampa …

It’s true that we can garden all year round here. There are some trees and bushes that are bare in the winter but most are evergreens. The turkey oaks still have some red leaves and the live and laurel oaks are much thinner in the winter, but new leaves will push off the old ones during March.

Bananas look terrible in the winter even while they’re producing fruit. If we get a real freeze they look even worse and have to be cut back, but we leave them looking ugly until all threat of frost is past because the dying leaves give some protection to the trunk.

Gardens vary depending on what is growing in them. Vegetables mostly have fall and spring seasons, the latter which is just beginning. But it’s possible to have some vegetables to harvest all year round. We can now plant green beans, okra, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and melons.

Our citrus trees have suffered gravely in recent years from greening disease, but I still have some sweet kumquats, a few oranges and a large grapefruit that are still giving fruit but not nearly as much as they did a few years ago. I keep hoping next year will be better.



I have one more big bunch of bananas ripening. And we get pineapples every so often all year round.

I have plenty of flowers throughout the year. Some are dormant in winter, but the azaleas and powderpuff shrubs are blooming and so are several kinds of kalanchoe succulents, plus the sprawling torenia, ageratum, alyssum, petunias, pansies, some impatiens, crown of thorns, orange ground orchids, pentas, nasturtiums all over – even some cosmos. There is also much foliage color from crotons and ti plants. Some will need covering if we get a freeze.

For gardeners who are new to Florida, there is much frustration. I had to learn gardening all over again when we moved here from Iowa in ‘87, but you learn quickly here because of our year-round experience. I’m still learning and finding new plants.

We have upside-down seasons. Some of the plants you have grown in the summer up north will here do best from fall through spring and die out in the summer. Some of the plants we loved there will not grow here at all: peonies, most daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and lilacs. But there are 10 new plants to learn and enjoy for every one you miss. I see bulbs of plants for sale in some of the chain stores that will not grow well at all here, so check before you buy them.


Some plants that were annuals up north will be perennials down here and vice versa. We can leave the caladiums and gladiolus in the ground year round. What you have learned before will be a help as long as you adjust. Newbies to Florida have an excuse for any failure for at least five years. But you will have some successes from the very beginning. In our second summer here we had the best eggplants I’ve ever grown – before or since.

The soil here is almost pure sand and it needs much amending. A column on just that is coming soon. I co-authored with Betty Mackey the second edition of “A Cutting Garden for Florida” in 1992, and the next year she published my book “Florida Gardening, the Newcomer’s Survival Manual.” A second edition of that one came out 15 years later with many more of my mistakes that you can avoid by reading the book.

Now’s the time… to tell you that one of the best ways to enjoy and learn about Florida gardens is to go to any public garden. You can even volunteer and learn from the people you work with. Some of these gardens like the Discovery Garden at the extension office are free. USF Botanical Garden and the one in Largo are very inexpensive and excellent. I go to Eureka Springs often and learn something every time. There are wonderful public gardens all over Florida and all over the country.

Today’s pick is the arrowhead plant, a houseplant up north but a vine to control in Florida. The ones with light and different colors make good container plants for indoors or out. But I pull out all the plain green ones because they can take over, climb every tree, take the paint off the walls of your house and have no special beauty. If you have a container outdoors, be sure it doesn’t spread. The less green in the leaf, the more control and interest you can have.

Upcoming event

The Tampa Bay Orchid Society will have its annual show and sale Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Egypt Shriners Activities Building, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa. You will see hundreds of gorgeous orchids in all colors, sizes and shapes. Some are even fragrant.

For details, call (813) 368-7353 or (813) 765-9271.

Monica Brandies is an experienced gardener, freelance writer and author of 12 gardening books who can be reached at monicabrandies@yahoo.com. Her website is www.gardensflorida.com.

Article source: http://www.tbo.com/south-shore/gardening-tips-for-visitors-new-residents-20160302/