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Archives for March 13, 2016

In The Garden: Design your garden with birds in mind



Posted Mar. 12, 2016 at 9:00 PM


Article source: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20160312/NEWS/160319812

Belgard Challenge a big break for local company

A Kokomo landscaping company will participate in the Belgard Challenge during this year’s Indiana Flower and Patio Show in Indianapolis.

A retailer of Belgard products, The Backyard Gardeners was invited to set up a display at the show after another business dropped out, said Sabrina Vary, who manages maintenance contracts for the business.

“This little business is jumping into the big guns and we want to make the community proud,” Vary said.

According to Belgard representative Brock Harmon, the Belgard Challenge gives smaller businesses a chance to shine.

“We try to get up-and-comers, people on the cusp who have done very good work for us and are ready to break in,” Harmon said. “Most of the vendors in the patio show started in the Belgard Challenge.”

Harmon said the flower and patio show brings around 125,000 people through the Indiana State Fairgrounds over its eight days.

“This is a significant part of our business,” Harmon said. “The patio show does a very good job of driving homeowners to the show.”

For The Backyard Gardeners owner Misha Jefferson, being invited to create a display is a significant validation of her work.

“It’s a blessing to be able to participate with contractors from around the state who are hand-selected,” she said. “I feel we are on top of our game. Also, being a female in this industry is a little more of a challenge than normal.”

In the Belgard Challenge, The Backyard Gardeners is tasked with setting up a display in 10 days in a 1,000-square-foot space. The business will compete with two other landscaping firms to earn the most votes from visitors to the show. The winner is invited to return the following year, Harmon said, and given more display space.

“It’s also hard to be a repeat winner,” Harmon said. “We’ve only had a handful.”

In her effort to be the people’s choice, Jefferson has invested about $30,000 in materials and labor. Her display is a mix of contemporary and traditional designs and features an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and fireplace, as well as room for ample seating. Businesses back home have helped her vision come to life, Jefferson said.

Tristan Bryant helped with fabricating some of the materials, Martin Bros. from Russiaville has donated accessories, and the outdoor furniture is on loan from Robert Miller and Sons. Stahl welding and Banner Flowers helped to complete the design.

Jefferson said the Indiana Flower and Patio Show is a great place to get ideas.

“You’re not going to see anything else in Central Indiana under one roof anywhere that is going to be more inspiring,” she said. For people interested in building a backyard oasis, or simply creating more usable living space for entertaining, the show is a place to learn about current trends in outdoor spaces and landscaping.

Harmon agrees the show is worth the drive.

“I cover five states and this is hands down the best show we do,” he said. “It’s a great kickoff to spring. If you’ve never been to this show in particular, it will probably blow your mind what these guys and gals can do in a span of a week setting up.”

City editor Jill Bond can be reached at 765-454-8578, by email at jill.bond@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @Jill_E_Bond.

If you go

WHAT: Indiana Flower and Patio Show

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 12 to 20

WHERE: Expo Hall and West Pavilion on the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St. in Indianapolis

COST: General admission tickets are $14, but there $3 off tickets available on The Backyard Gardeners website at bygkokomo.com

Article source: http://www.kokomotribune.com/news/business/belgard-challenge-a-big-break-for-local-company/article_d32406a9-06d2-5d06-9ca7-3c7c1fe77f55.html

Annual event has become a harbinger of spring

By Sean Barron

news@vindy.com

NILES

Most Mahoning Valley residents likely are thrilled that Mother Nature has provided them with an earlier-than-usual taste of spring, but this time of year also can mean heavy, prolonged rains.

And that can set the stage for mold, structural damage and other basement problems.

Nevertheless, this also is the time to take preventive measures before today’s minor leaks and mildew become tomorrow’s expensive repairs, Julie Cross says.

“We educate them on what’s going on and how to prevent those things from happening,” said Cross, a showroom manager with Akron-based Basement Care Inc., who explained Saturday that a musty smell, a small amount of water in the walls and a powdery residue can be precursors for larger issues. “They should get it while it’s little.”

Cross is among the more than 100 local and regional vendors who are part of the 26th annual Mahoning Valley Home Show at McMenamy’s Restaurant and Banquet Center, 325 Youngstown-Warren Road (U.S. Route 422).

The show offers do-it-yourselfers and others a variety of merchandise, tips, designs, technologies and ideas for home-improvement, repairs and projects. Also in the mix are home-repair and cooking demonstrations.

The three-day gathering, which kicked off Friday, continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at McMenamy’s.

Cross noted that her business offers free estimates; inspects and diagnoses common basement problems such as cracking walls, water damage, moisture and mold. Some people can develop allergy symptoms, fever, shortness of breath and other health problems by unwittingly being exposed to mold spores, she said, adding that children and the elderly often are especially susceptible.

A handful of other cost-effective measures homeowners can take are sealing cracks, unplugging devices, insulating their homes and planting trees and shrubs. Adding to the savings is having energy-efficient windows, said Rich Begalla, general manager and co-owner of Canfield-based Window Depot USA of Youngstown.

“We focus on the word ‘value.’ We bring the overall best combination of quality and service for the cost,” Begalla said, adding that the local business’s windows are made in North Jackson and that Window Depot focuses mainly on residential customers.

In 2014, Window Depot, which opened in the area five years ago and is one of the show’s sponsors, received a “Most Efficient” designation from the U.S. Department of Energy. Less than 5 percent of such businesses have earned that distinction, Begalla said.

Saturday’s unusually warm weather brought out many attendees who received ideas and recommendations on everything from waterproofing basements, duct cleaning, plumbing, protecting gutters and taking care of septic systems.

Merchandise for sale includes patio enclosures and furniture, hot tubs, leaf filters for gutters, doors, cabinets, siding, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and cooling systems and flooring.

Those who wish to replace a drab and dull floor surface with something more colorful and eye-catching probably found Nature Stone Flooring helpful.

The 25-year-old Bedford, Ohio, company offers numerous granite, quartz, marble, traditional and specialized stones with catchy names such as blackberry, tornado gray, chocolate chunks, eggplant and almond.

In addition to allowing consumers to take home many ideas and incentives for replacing a roof, adding bright furniture to a back deck, installing a new shower or performing landscaping work, the Mahoning Valley Home Show offers a friendly atmosphere for attendees to share ideas and learn from one another, said Dominic Baragona, event promoter.

“We want them to feel spring,” Baragona said. “We would like them to just come away with ideas on their own homes, whether they hire someone or do it themselves.”

Article source: http://www.vindy.com/news/2016/mar/13/mahoning-valley-home-show/?newswatch

Home and garden show offers ideas for spring


Mike Martin, a senior representative for Earthadelic, explains the company's range of services during Saturday's Spring Home  Garden Show at the Knoxville Expo Center. The event, which is expected to draw 8,000 attendees over the weekend, continues from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.


Jackie Burt, owner of Appalachian Memories, peers through one of her exhibits Saturday during the Spring Home and Garden Show at the Knoxville Expo Center. Appalachian Memories sells unusual recycled handcraft items, like this rooster in a greenhouse.

By Mike Blackerby of the Knoxville News Sentinel

For Mike Martin, the old saying, “A man’s home is his castle,” has never been more true.

Martin, a senior representative for Earthadelic, waited on a steady stream of people looking to spruce up, embellish or do a complete makeover of their homes Saturday at the Spring Home and Garden Show at the Knoxville Expo Center.

“People are cocooning more,” Martin said. “They’re taking the $20,000 or $30,000 they used to spend to vacation in Europe for six weeks, and putting it into their backyards. Maybe it’s old-fashioned, but people are wanting their homes to be their favorite places.”

Earthadelic, a Knoxville-based company, offers an array of outdoor services.

Their motto is “Life’s a garden, dig it.”

Martin called the show a one-stop place for landscaping, hardscapes, lighting, and lawn and pool services.

“People don’t want to be their own general contractors,” he said.

Martin said hardscapes are on the outdoor wish lists of many people.

“We’re seeing a lot of people wanting walls, patios, fire pits and outdoor chimneys,” he said.

The two-day home-improvement fair, which includes 105 area businesses and 135 booths, continues from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“It’s anything and everything a person needs for the house — from the roof to the flooring and everything in between,” said show promoter Bill Anderson.

Admission is $3 per person or $5 per couple. Expo Center parking is free.

A highlight Sunday will be three seminars by Jim Parks, host of HGTV’s “New Spaces.”

At 1 p.m., Parks will host a session called “Update my kitchen, bathroom and closet.” Other seminars follow at 2 p.m. (“I need some curb appeal”) and 3 p.m. (“Change my living space”).

Jeff and Robin Thurston of Oak Ridge were two of the 8,000 attendees Anderson expects to visit the two-day show.

“We’ve always done a lot to the house, and we’re always looking for outdoor ideas,” Robin Thurston said.

In addition to the big-ticket items at the fair, Jackie Burt’s Appalachian Memories exhibit offered plenty of decorative items to put in the house.

“We sell recycled furniture, gifts and Appalachia-themed accessories,” said Burt, whose business is based in Andrews, N.C.

A miniature greenhouse made of old windows, housing a chicken made of tree bark and limbs and standing on a bale of cotton, was a popular head-turning item in Burt’s display.

“We have a little bit of everything,” she said.

Article source: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local/home-and-garden-show-offers-ideas-for-spring-2de121bd-8839-3788-e053-0100007f4664-371888361.html

Spring forward! Everything you need to prep your yard and garden

Whenever Brenda Maas posts new content, you’ll get an email delivered to your inbox with a link.

Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

Article source: http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/spring-forward-everything-you-need-to-prep-your-yard-and/article_252af940-837a-5158-b463-665686db0953.html

Wield the power of plants to prevent pollution

All gardeners know that plants make the world a better place. They provide food for humans and other animals; take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen; and make our yards, our neighborhoods and the earth itself more beautiful.

As if that weren’t enough, Kate Kennen, founder and president of the Boston landscape firm Offshoots Inc., asks plants to do more. She elicits their help to remove pollution from some of the 500,000 brownfields (moderately contaminated former industrial sites) across the country and to keep pollution in check at new building sites.

Kennen has worked on projects all around New England, though not yet in Maine. With Niall Kirkwood, she is author of “Phyto: Principles and Resources for Site Remediation and Landscape Design,” published last year.

Phytotechnology, the broad term Kennen prefers for the type of landscaping she does, is the use of plants to remove or control contaminants in soil or groundwater. Many people use the term phytoremediation, but that refers only to cleaning up areas that are already polluted.

“Phytoremediation works in very small amount of conditions,” Kennen said in a telephone interview. “Often a site is too toxic or the contamination isn’t well matched to the plants.”

More often, the work she does is to prevent pollution in the first place. The idea is to put in plants or other landscape features that keep pollutants from getting into groundwater.

Take, for instance, rain gardens designed in connection with big parking lots; water is directed into the rain garden, where pollutants from the cars can be filtered out. Green roofs work in a similar way.

Another example of phytotechnology? A business would plant poplars, cottonwoods, willows and fibrous-rooted plants (like grasses) in places where a reasonable likelihood of future pollution exists, say gas stations and dry cleaners.

“At a gas station, you would want a landscape that not only would clean up anything they spilled but that would also be sentinel,” Kennen said.

So she would install petroleum-sensitive plants, and if they sickened or died, the business would know that gasoline was leaking. It’s the old “canary in a coal mine” principle.

Removal of pollutants with plants is possible – if you pick the right projects, Kennen said.

For starters, organic compounds are easier to clean up than inorganic materials.

In the 1980s and 1990s some laboratory experiments showed success removing harmful metals like lead from the soil with plants, including sunflowers. But the success of those lab trials did not transfer to actual fields, Kennen said.

It turned out that while the plants could indeed pull up the lead, the lead did not decompose, so then the contaminated plants needed to be disposed of safely.

Plants can break down organic materials in three different ways, Kennen said. The roots can feed on the material, changing it in the soil. The plant can draw the organic pollutant into itself, where the pollutant breaks down when the plant dies and decomposes.

The third method depends on how plants move water from the roots through the stems up to the leaves and into the air.

“Plants move more water than all the rivers in America combined,” Kennen said, a statement I found fascinating.

Many organic materials break down more easily once they are in the air, transpired from plant leaves, so the pollution is ameliorated.

Phytotechnology is complicated, so as the saying goes, you should not try it at home. Hire a professional.

But there are exceptions.

“If you have a scientific kind of mind and make assumptions, there are certain things that are do-it-yourself,” Kennen said.

For instance, if a gardener has a brownfield where kids will not be playing, she could experiment with some of the plants listed in Kennen’s book. “But you have to be sure it is safe to fail,” she added.

With 450,000 brownfield sites in the United States, most in urban areas, making up 20 percent of the nation’s real-estate transfers, according to statistics Kennen cited, the chance that you will have to deal with them may be greater than you might think.

Safe-to-fail phytotechnology could be in your future.

Tom Atwell has been writing the Maine Gardener column since 2004. He is a freelance writer gardening in Cape Elizabeth and can be contacted at 767-2297 or at [email protected].


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Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/03/13/maine-gardener-wield-the-power-of-plants-to-prevent-pollution/

For sale: 6 houses with tropical landscaping – The Week

Sarasota, Florida. This four-bedroom house lies on a 0.9-acre waterfront lot on Siesta Key. The home has high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a two-story master suite that includes an upper sitting room with a fireplace and two private terraces.

The property features a waterfront pool with a spa, a boat dock with a lift, and access to a community beach club. $3,245,000. Joel Schemmel, Premier/Sotheby’s International Realty, (941) 308-6497.

Los Angeles. At the end of a cul-de-sac in the Studio City neighborhood, this three-bedroom house was built in 1964. The contemporary home has an open floor plan, glass walls, and a remodeled master bedroom that includes a high ceiling with skylights and an attached outdoor deck.

The property boasts a lush rear garden, privacy fencing, and a large brick patio entrance with a fountain. $1,495,000. Barry Gray, Deasy Penner Partners, (323) 822-3200.

Coconut Grove, Florida. Built in 1979, this four-bedroom house is surrounded by palms and 100-year-old oak trees. Features include floor-to-ceiling glass, vaulted ceilings with cypress beams, and a master suite with a balcony overlooking the garden.

The home is within walking distance of the bay and area marinas. $1,775,000. Riley Smith, EWM Realty/Christie’s International Real Estate, (305) 342-1623.

Hana, Hawaii. This 10.7-acre Maui estate features a 180-degree view of the mountains, ocean, and other nearby islands. The two-bedroom house has an open floor plan, eucalyptus floors, and a 2,000-square-foot lanai with views of the water.

The gardens include mature palms, fruit trees, and flowers that attract songbirds. $3,400,000. Mary Anne Fitch, Hawai’i Life Real Estate/Christie’s International Real Estate, (808) 250-1583.

New Orleans. Sitting on a verdant corner lot, this six-bedroom house was built in 1936. Interior details include wood and tile floors, historic fireplace mantels, crown molding, and high ceilings.

The kitchen and den have doors that lead to a stone terrace and a pool area. $2,550,000. Britt Galloway, Keller Williams Realty/New Orleans, (504) 250-4122.

Palm Desert, California. This two-bedroom home sits on a fairway with views of the mountains. The house has a garden entrance, 12-foot tray ceilings, and a master suite with a private courtyard.

The property has a salt patio, a built-in barbecue, a two-car garage with a golf cart storage area, and mature mesquite plants and acacia trees. $449,950. Tim McTavish, HOM/Sotheby’s International Realty, (760) 424-3024.

**Want more? Check out the 6 incredible million-dollar homes**

Article source: http://theweek.com/articles/611616/sale-6-houses-tropical-landscaping

Landscaping and Gardening Tips for your Yard

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Article source: https://bdaily.co.uk/creative/10-03-2016/landscaping-and-gardening-tips-for-your-yard/

Columbia Road flower market: 5 stallholders’ tips for London gardeners

One freezing, drizzly winter morning I got there at 8am to get the pick of the bunch and get some tips from the stallholders. Here is what I learned: 

Don’t go too early

The internet may say Columbia Road market opens at 8am, but this is rather over-egging it. Certainly in cooler months, many vans are still backing up and getting unpacked at this time. Instead, get there for 9am, and you’ll beat the crowds.

One stallholder told me that the market has started to open later because people, shockingly, enjoy a lie-in on a Sunday. Peak time is between 10.30am – 1pm-ish, so avoid that if you don’t like the crowds.  

Think seasonally

Although there are specialist stalls: one is good for herbs, another specialises in bulbs and seeds and a couple of others always have good plant plugs, the produce of all is dictated by the time of year, and many will have similar stock to that which is growing. When I was there last, it was pansies. If you go in January wanting a helleborus, you’ll be fine – but you won’t find many sweet peas. Stallholders don’t even have bestsellers: it all changes on a weekly basis.    

‘Pretty much anything will grow’

This is at least partially a sales tip, but it’s not a bad attitude to have. This chap’s reasoning was that London is warm, urban gardening spaces can be sheltered and, well, for £3 isn’t it worth a punt?  

Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardens-to-visit/columbia-road-flower-market-5-stallholders-tips-for-london-garde/

Tips for getting your garden ready for spring | Local News – KCRA …

BERG HAS THAT ITCH AND HAS A GREEN THUMB. THAN MINE. THESE GLOVES. IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR WE TRANSITION INTO SPRING. I LOVE SPRING BECAUSE IT BRINGS THE RAIN AND THOSE CHANGES TO MOTHER NATURE, WHAT WE COULD MONTHS AHEAD. MAY BE THINKING, WHAT IS GOOD TO YEAR? IF YOU DON’T HAVE A GARDEN, YOU ARE THINKING, WHERE DO I BEGIN? START WITH A GOOD SOIL. LIVE AT TO LADIES NURSERY — THE LANEY’S NURSERY. YOU WANT THEM TO BE NICE AND THE GROUND. IF YOU PLANTED SOMETHING IN AN REPLACE THAT SOIL. COMPOSTING, WHEN WHEN THE SOIL SETTLES DOWN WITH ALL THINGS IN THE GROUND. TAMARA: WHAT KIND OF SOILS DO WE HAVE HERE WHICH ARE GOOD FOR GARDENING IN GENERAL? THESE ARE COMPOSTS. YOU WILL AMEND THE SOIL YOU ALREADY HAVE. IF YOU ARE USING A DEAD, USE A POTTING SOIL. HAPPY. THIS WEEKEND. SHOULD YOU GO OUT AND PLANT IN THE DUMPING RAIN? NOT REALLY. SOME PLANTS HAVE THE PROBLEM WHERE THEY G — THE WHOLE ROOT SYSTEM WILL FALL OVER AND DIE. WAIT UNTIL THE SOIL IS STRAINED. — DRAINED. LET THEM ACTIVATE AND BE HAPPY AND READY TO GO. TAMARA: WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE THE SPRING? HAVE YOU GOT YOUR TOMATOES YET? TOMATOES HAVE ARRIVED. WE RECOMMEND YOU WAIT A BIT TO PLANT THEM. PEPPERS ARE ALWAYS POPULAR. HERBS ARE VERY POPULAR ALL THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE YEAR. BUT SPRING, PEOPLE WANT MORE. SQUASH. YOU CAN STILL DO YOUR WINTER CROPS. LETTUCE AND CHARD AND SWEET PEAS. TAMARA: WE ARE APPROACHING DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINNING. WE ARE GETTING THE LAWN SWEAT, WHICH IS A GOOD THING OR MOTHER NATURE AND PLANTING. — LAWNS WET. THERE’S THINGS YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR. TAMARA: LATER IN THE SEASON, YOUR PLANTS AT 5:00 IN THE DOWN AND LOOK UNHAPPY, PEOPLE TEND TO DON’T. LET THAT TIME OF DAY PAST I AND ONCE THE SUN HAS LEFT THEM, YOU WILL SEE THAT THEY PERK UP ON THEIR OWN. TAMARA IT WILL LOOK AT THEIR TREES AND SHRUBS IN THE ART, WHAT DO THEY LOOK FOR? IF YOU HAVE LARGE TREES WITH RIDDLE — B COMING DOWN. WITH THE HEA WINDS, THEY ARE A REAL PROBLEM. TAMARA IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, YOU CAN COME HERE, THEIR WHOLE STAFF IS GARDEN EXPERTS HERE. PLANTING DONE, ESPECIALLY

Article source: http://www.kcra.com/news/tips-for-getting-your-garden-ready-for-spring/38463422