Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for April 15, 2016

Fayette County Home and Garden Show set



Submitted Photo



Posted: Friday, April 15, 2016 2:00 am

Updated: 8:53 am, Fri Apr 15, 2016.

Fayette County Home and Garden Show set

By Joyce Koballa



Spring is in the air as the first annual Fayette County Home and Garden Show comes into bloom April 22-24 with the latest ideas on home improvement, decorating and landscaping along with kids’ activities.

The three day event kicks off from 4 to 8 p.m. April 22 at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in Dunbar with free admission and parking.

Sponsors include Fast Signs of Uniontown, Samson Glass and Mirror of Eighty-Four and RBG, Park Inn by Radisson, Uniontown.

Rocco Lamanna, executive director of County Home Shows LLC of Pittsburgh, said about 100 exhibitors and vendors will be on hand with a host of exhibits, displays and seminars in 30,000 square-feet of space.

“It’s going to give local home owners and residents a free day of cool stuff to look at all in one place,” said Lamanna.

According to Lamanna, the show is a smaller version of others the company organizes across western Pennsylvania.

Also on April 22, WMBS Radio will be on hand from 6 to 8 p.m. offering games and prizes.

Republic Food Enterprise Center will have an old-fashioned farmer’s market throughout the event where people can savor the flavor of a variety of bottle and jar products containing produce grown by local farmers.

The event is geared to provide patrons with the opportunity to explore new and innovative products along with spring home show specials.

On April 23, Daddy’s Nightmare Monster Truck will be on display from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a meet and greet and photo opportunities.

Froggy will be on site from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

From noon to 5 p.m., children of all ages accompanied by their parents can experience Touch-A-Truck where they can sit behind the wheel, honk horns, and meet the people who build, protect and serve the region.

Lamanna said local businesses, municipalities and fire departments will bring in equipment such as backhoes, wood chippers, wheel loaders, dump trucks and fire trucks so kids can get a close up look at how they work.

An “Ask the Expert” seminar with home remodeling aficionado Andy Amrhein will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. as he shares advice on common home improvement projects and problems from painting and tiling to gutters and grills.

A question and answer session will follow.

The show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 24 featuring Touch-A-Truck from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Lamanna at 412-310-7781.

More about Fayette County Fairgrounds

  • ARTICLE: Harvest the Fun at 61st annual Fayette County Fair
  • Trout Unlimited gives away fly-fishing outfit Trout Unlimited gives away fly-fishing outfit
  • ARTICLE: Uniontown Beagle Club enjoys hounds and the great outdoors
  • ARTICLE: Eleven women seek crown at Fayette County Fair

More about Dunbar

  • ARTICLE: Dunbar man charged after he allegedly fled off-duty officer
  • ARTICLE: Abbey Sitko Applause
  • ARTICLE: 2 flown to hospital after head-on collision
  • ARTICLE: 2 flown to hospital after head-on collision

  • Discuss


Friday, April 15, 2016 2:00 am.

Updated: 8:53 am.

| Tags:

Fayette County Home And Garden Show,

Fayette County Fairgrounds,


Article source:

Goldmoor Inn a luxurious Galena-area retreat

The Goldmoor Inn near Galena, Ill., is reminiscent of a castle with a round turret, the owner says.

By Brian E. Clark, Special to the Journal Sentinel

After decades of work in the hospitality industry — for companies such as Westin and Starwood — and a management career that took them from their native Germany to South Africa, Denmark and ultimately the United States, Birgit and Slobo Radin decided they wanted to run their own bed and breakfast.

They found that — and a lot more — at the Goldmoor Inn, a luxurious getaway perched on a rise above the Mississippi River near historic Galena, Ill.

Tired of being repeatedly transferred, they began their quest about five years ago.

“Slobo was working in Florida, and I was commuting back and forth to Chicago every week,” said Birgit, who noted the couple moved to the U.S. in 1975 to work for Westin. “When we started our search, we literally went all over the United States looking for a place that had the right ambience and was in the right condition. We went from New York to Florida to California to Oregon to Texas. You name it, we looked there.

“What you often find with BBs, especially on the East Coast, are old Colonial houses that are in need of repair and haven’t been kept up too well. We felt we didn’t want to get involved with an endeavor like that.”

What they discovered in the Goldmoor, she said, was an inn with “lovely and expansive grounds as well as a location above the Mississippi that can’t be beat.”

It didn’t hurt that it was just down the road from Galena, which was founded in the 1820s as a mining/riverboat hub and is filled with beautiful, historical brick homes. They purchased the 21-acre Goldmoor property in 2015.

“This inn has European flair and looks like an old castle with a round turret,” she said. “But most of what you see was added in 2008-2009 under the previous ownership, so it’s actually rather new and has been kept up very well.”

The inn has 18 large suites, plus three cottages and two log cabins. All have fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs and king-size beds. Most have views of the Mississippi and the rolling hills of eastern Iowa beyond. Many have screened-in balconies, and the log cabins have outdoor seating areas.

Anything but a rustic BB, the inn also has a spa. As if that weren’t enough, gourmet breakfasts are served either in-room or in the restaurant.

The inn was once owned by a man named Jim Goldthorpe who was charmed by British history, and Birgit said many of the suites have themes and names like Arthur, Lancelot, Gwenivere and Elizabeth.

Goldthorpe also worked part of his name into the inn’s moniker. He died in 2009, and his wife ran the inn for six more years before selling to the Radins.

Birgit said she focuses her talents on guest services and hotel management while Slobo is in charge of the food and beverage side of the operation.

He’s also something of a nature buff (Birgit described herself as a “more of a city person”). When I was there, he delighted in telling me about the turkeys, deer and other critters that regularly stroll out of the woods and onto the manicured grounds — particularly around dusk. Visitors also frequently see bald eagles along with scores of birds that flock to the feeders outside the restaurant window.

“I don’t know a lot about the landscaping,” Birgit said. “But once spring arrives and all through the summer, there are lovely flowers and blooming shrubs and trees all around the property. Really, every season is beautiful around here, but the fall is the busiest for us when the colors are turning.”

Slobo said the couple was intent on “elevating the food and beverage experience for restaurant guests, enhancing the catering offerings, and working closely with meeting and corporate planners to create an exceptional guest experience.”

To do that, they hired chef Carlos Valdez in December. A native of Lima, Peru, Valdez most recently worked as the chef de cuisine at the Grillhouse in Schaumburg, Ill. Over his 20-plus-year career, Valdez has cooked for such notables as the Dalai Lama, Slobo said.

Valdez was once a professional fisherman, so on a recent visit to the Goldmoor I chose a paella dish that was brimming with shrimp, scallops, mussels and plenty of savory flavors from his native country. He told me shellfish and seafood are still some of his favorites, even though he now lives far from the ocean. Valdez explained that his interest in culinary arts was inspired by hanging around his grandmother’s sometimes “chaotic” kitchen.

Slobo said the Goldmoor’s 38-seat restaurant is open to the public for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Monday. He said it has an extensive wine cellar and craft cocktails complement seasonal, American classics including beef Wellington, plus specials infused with the chef’s favorite chiles and spices, as well as house-made desserts like pumpkin cheesecake. When I was there, the music of Billie Holiday and French singer Edith Piaf wafted through the dining area, enhancing the ambience.

Early on a chilly morning, I walked down a hill on a road between the Goldmoor and the Mississippi, past an equestrian center. Birgit said she and Slobo are in discussions with the center’s owners to possibly offer riding lessons, hay rides and bonfires. If that comes to be, I just may have to return.

More information: Rates at the inn range from $285 to $365 a night, though sometimes midweek deals for as low as $199 a night are available through websites such as

See the Goldmoor website at or call (815) 777-3925.

For ideas on other things to see and do in the Galena area, see

Getting there: The Goldmoor Inn, 9001 W. Sand Hill Road, Galena, is about 165 miles southwest of Milwaukee via I-43 and Illinois State Highways 75 and 20.

Brian E. Clark is a Madison writer.

Weekend Getaway Archive

Article source:

Police: Well-manicured yard, landscaping among tips to deter home burglars

WEST JORDAN — It’s a day Shannon Penman won’t forget anytime soon.

It was lunchtime on April 7, and Penman was returning to her West Jordan home from an hour-long trip to the park with her young son.

“I didn’t even pull into the garage before I saw the doors wide open and the wood,” she recalled. “Our side door was kicked in, and our kitchen door was wide open.”

Rather than walk into an unknown situation, Penman flipped the car in reverse, drove down the street and called police.

As officers combed through the house, they found Penman’s bedroom had been ransacked.

“They took everything out of our dresser drawers,” she said. “Everything was just everywhere.”

Penman’s husband, Ryan, arrived, and the couple determined the burglar had raided their medicine cabinet and had stolen a gun safe, iPod and money.

“Apparently, you just can’t leave for an hour,” Ryan said. “You don’t think it’s going to happen in the middle of the day when, you know, broad daylight and this is one of the busiest streets in the neighborhood.”

What happened to the Penman family may be an all-too-familiar home burglary tale, but with temperatures only climbing in these spring and summer months, more crimes of opportunity are sure to happen in unsuspecting neighborhoods across the Wasatch Front.

Photo: Steve Breinholt/KSL-TV

Still, police maintain there are a variety of steps homeowners can take to make their properties less attractive to would-be law-breakers.

Sometimes, those preventative steps can be as simple as strategic landscaping and yard care, Unified Police Det. Warren Dallof explained.

Dallof is certified in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), which takes into account strategies such as natural surveillance, access control, territorial reinforcement and maintenance to deter illegal acts.

Homes obscured by growth may invite burglars, police say. Photo: Steve Breinholt/KSL-TV

Dallof explained how the layout of one yard in Kearns was particularly problematic, covered by overgrown bushes and trees.

“Ten being the worst? [This one is] probably about a 12,” Dallof said. “Day or night, you really have very, very limited line of sight to any area of this property.”

Dallof said tall, dense shrubbery, trees and even large garbage cans can offer cover to would-be burglars.

“Your shrubs growing from the ground up should not be any higher than 2 feet off the ground, and any of your trees or overhangs should not hang any lower than 8 feet so you have a clear line-of-sight for any passersby, vehicle travel, any neighbors — they can see your entire property,” Dallof said.

Dallof said according to CPTED principles, a chain link fence is preferable to others because it allows others to see onto a property.

“It’s great to have privacy fences, but remember that if you’re private to the outside world, so is the bad guy who is coming into your yard,” the detective said.

Dallof encouraged homeowners to keep a well-manicured yard, since that suggests somebody is more likely to be somewhere inside the home.

“It creates a sense of ownership around the house,” he said. “Get a group of people that are all following the same principles, and you have that sense of ownership [in a neighborhood].”

Dallof also recommended locking all doors and windows, even if only leaving the house for a few minutes, and varying what lights are left on inside the home during times when residents are gone.

The detective said motion sensor lights, lighting on all four sides of a house and visible surveillance cameras — real or fake — are other good ideas to deter burglars.

Dallof said neighborhood watch programs are generally successful in reducing crime.

As for the break-in at the Penman house, West Jordan Police Sgt. Joe Monson said the burglary appears to have been random, and the person responsible is still on the loose.

While detectives emphasize the importance of strategic landscaping, the Penmans boast a well-kept yard.

Ryan Penman said the couple had experienced an attempted break-in the year before and had already taken some steps, including installing motion-sensor lights outside.

They were considering adding further precautions.

“You’ve got to budget protection for your family,” he said. “It’s an expense that I never wanted to take on, but now I’m heavily considering, because you can’t really put a price on it.”


li { list-style: none; position: relative; top: 0; right: 0; }

li.formDividerCd, li.formDividerCda { border-left: 2px #ddd solid; max-width: 95%; clear: both; margin: 0 0 0 6%; padding: 3% 0 0 3%; }

li.formDividerCd:nth-child(1) { margin-top: 5%; }

li.formDividerCd2, li.formDividerCda2 { border-left: 2px #ddd solid; max-width: 90%; clear: both; margin: 0 0 0 14%; padding: 3% 0 0 3%; }
li.formDividerWda, li.formDividerCda, li.formDividerCda2 { background-color: padding: 2px 2px 5px 2px; }
li.first { margin-top: 5%; padding-top: 0; }
div.formComment { border: #999 1px solid; max-width: 100%; height: 100px; margin: 0px 0px 15px 0px; float: left; color: }
div.formComment .reply { padding: 3px; }
textarea.replytext { padding: 3px; width: 100%; max-width: 100%; height: 100px; min-height: 60px; max-height: 500px; color: border: 1px solid overflow: auto; font-size: 1em; }
div.reply_div { display: none; max-width: 633px; }
div.tabBox { background-color: max-width: 100%; height: 30px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 30px; margin: 10px 0px 15px 0px; }
div.tabBox .selected { background: border: #eee 1px solid; float: left; height: 28px; padding: 0px 30px 0px 30px; }
div.tabBox .options { float: left; padding: 0px 30px 0px 30px; }
div.tabBox .options:hover { cursor: pointer; }
div.mainCount { text-align: left; width: max-100%; margin: 0px 0px 10px 0px; font-weight: bold; }
/*div.commentHeader { padding: 5px 0px 0px 0px; }*/
.commentHeader img.avatar { float: left; margin: 0px 15px 0px 0px; width: 48px; height: 48px; border: 2px solid }
.commentHeader img.feat { float: left; margin: 0px 15px 0px 0px; }
.buttonBox { float: right; position: relative; width: 100%;}
.voteHoverBox { display: none; font-size: 12px; position: absolute; border: 1px solid top: 0px; right: 0px; padding: 3px; background: color: font-weight: bold; width: 170px; text-align: center; }
.voteHoverBox a { font-size: 10px; }
#cmt_mn, #bot_add_cmt { display: none; }
.comment_bubble:hover, #cmt_top:hover { cursor: pointer; }
div.buttonBox .button, .replybutton, .buttonClicked, .buttonDiamond, .buttonDiamondClicked, .buttonDisabled, .buttonGoldClicked { width: 46px; height: 20px; color: #777 !important; background: line-height: 20px; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle; white-space: nowrap; font-size: 14px; padding: 0 10px;}
div.replybuttonsubmit {
color: #fff !important;
width: 25%;
height: auto;
padding: 2%;
float: right;
line-height: 20px;
text-align: center;
div.buttonBox div.buttonthumb { background-image: url(‘/resources/comments/thumbsup.png’); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: center; border: none; }

div.buttonBox .buttonClicked { color: }
div.buttonBox .spacer { height: 4px; }
div.buttonBox .button:hover, .replybutton:hover, .replybuttonsubmit:hover, .buttonClicked:hover { cursor: pointer; }
div.buttonBox .buttonDiamond:hover { border: 1px solid cursor: pointer; }
span.userName a { font-size: 1em; font-weight: 700; font-family: ‘raleway’, sans-serif; color: }
span.userNamea a { font-size: 1.2em; font-weight: bold; color: }
span.postTime { font-size: .9em; color: line-height: 20px; }
div.commentV26 { padding: 10px 0px 6px 0px; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.4em; font-family: ‘Verdana, Bitstream Vera Sans’, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;}
div.pagination { text-align: center; width: 100%; margin: 15px 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 18px; }
div.pagination a { color: padding: 0 5px 0 5px; }
div.pagination .selected { color: font-weight: bold; color: font-size: 20px; padding: 0 2px 0 2px; }
div.cerror { width: 99%; text-align: center; margin: 5px 0 5px 0; border: 2px solid padding: 4px; font-weight: bold; font-size: 13px; color: }
div.capprove { width: 99%; text-align: center; margin: 5px 0 5px 0; border: 2px solid padding: 4px; font-weight: bold; font-size: 13px; color: }
span.admin { margin-left: 80px; color: font-weight: bold; font-size: 15px; }
div.viewmod { clear: both; float: right; color: font-weight: bold; margin: 5px 0 0 0; font-size: 11px; }
span.rabuse { clear: both; float: right; color: font-weight: bold; margin: 5px 0 8px 0; font-size: 11px; }
span.rabuse:hover { cursor: pointer; text-decoration: underline; }
div.notaccepting { text-align: center; max-width: 100%; color: font-weight: bold; padding: 2px; border: 1px solid }
div.notaccepting a { font-size: 10px; }
div.notaccepting a:link { color: }
div.notaccepting a:visited { color: }
div.notaccepting a:hover { color: }
div.removed { padding: 4px; background-color: color: font-weight: bold; }
a.abt_cmt { float: right; font-size: 12px; color: }
.thumb, .thumbClicked { position: relative; top: 3px; cursor: pointer; }
div.reauth-box { padding: 10px; background: border: 5px solid box-shadow: 0 0 100px position: fixed; z-index:40001; border-radius: 5px; top: 36%; left: 22%; width: 300px; }
.reauth-box h3 { height: 34px; width: 300px; padding: 10px 0 0 0; margin: 3px auto 15px auto; background: border-radius: 5px; color: font-size: 1.5em; border: 1px #ccc solid; text-align: center; }

.reauth-box h3:hover {
.reauth-box h3 a, .reauth-box h3 a:hover {
text-decoration: none;
.reauth-box h2 { margin-bottom: 5px;}

div.fadeMe {
/* IE 8 */
-ms-filter: “progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(Opacity=50)”;
opacity: 0.5; background: width: 100%; height: 100%; z-index: 10; top: 0; left: 0; position: fixed; }

div.note { color: width: 100%; padding: 1em; border-radius: 5px; -moz-border-radius: 5px; -webkit-border-radius: 5px; border: #ccc 1px solid; background: }

.comment_bubble_inverted {
position: relative;
width: 2em;
height: 1.40em;
padding: 0px;
float: left;
margin: 0px 2% 0 0;

.comment_bubble_inverted:after {
content: “”;
position: absolute;
bottom: -0.30em;
left: 0.15em;
border-style: solid;
border-width: 7px 4px 0;
border-color: #fff transparent;
display: block;
width: 0;
z-index: 1;


#loadMore {
width: 100%;
padding: 2%;
margin: 5% 0;
height: auto;

.kslCommentAd {
position: absolute;
top: 0;
right: -350px;

@media (max-width: 990px) {

.kslCommentAd > div {
width: 300px;

@media (max-width: 850px) {
.kslCommentAd {
position: static;
top: 0;
right: 0;


Article source:

Don’t let desert living limit your garden

– Some people might think great gardens can’t be attained in the desert, but that isn’t the case. The Southwest is characterized by its arid and semi-arid climate — it’s a dry heat. While our backyard includes some of the hottest and some of the coldest areas in the United States, the good news is the area receives more sunlight than the rest of the country.

Despite an El Niño winter that resulted in more precipitation than usual, there is still an emphasis on water conscious gardening in Phoenix. That means a little more planning is required before you start your garden.

Consider Xeriscape

The water-efficient landscaping method, which relies on alternative landscaping materials and techniques, is growing in popularity as homeowners look to limit daily water usage. Xeriscaping doesn’t mean settling for less or eliminating anything that is living. Instead, the yard is transformed into an environmentally friendly oasis and can be incredibly well-designed with native plants and landscapes that require minimal water.

Pick your Plants

Pick native plants that are accustomed to the climate. In the Phoenix area, some popular options include begonias, zinnias, petunias, calibrachoa, echeveria and marigolds. Additionally, aeonium, a succulent shrub, is a good option for the rocky areas common throughout the region.

Prep your Plot

Prepare the area to be landscaped; that includes clearing any existing brush or landscaping that will not be a part of the final design. Check out the latest innovations from Fiskars, including a new line of clearing tools that is perfect for dividing plants, cutting root clumps, digging out weeds and edging around borders.

The size of gardens can vary, but for Phoenix, a concentrated area will help keep watering costs down. Consider raised garden beds, which are fantastic for rocky areas where it’s difficult to plant. These garden beds — basically a box built atop the ground — can result in better yields since properly enriched soil is used in creating the garden.

Wherever you plant, the next and arguably most important step is soil preparation. For in-ground beds, a soil testing kit should be used to identify the pH of the area, which will help determine what mix of soil is needed. From there, use an online calculator to determine the amount you’ll need. When it comes to selecting the soil, consider organic soils. The moisture-retaining soils include natural ingredients that provide a safe and natural way to grow fruits, flowers, shrubs and vegetables.

Vigoro is a trusted brand with organic options, and it’s been around since 1924 helping gardeners create their lawn and garden oasis for decades.

Once planted, add hardscaping elements, including stones, pavers and pebbles for seemingly limitless options of patterns and colors while protecting and enhancing your garden.

Be Smart With Water

Drip irrigation can reduce how much water a homeowner will use in the yard by an average of 50 percent — delivering water directly to the roots of plants. Install Rain Bird’s All-in-One Drip Kit with everything you need to water a garden up to 75 square feet. DIG’s Drip Irrigation Watering Kit works for larger areas up to 700 square feet.

On the high-tech side, smart home gadgets are moving outdoors to help make water-wise gardening simpler. For garden beds, plant the Edyn Garden Sensor to track soil moisture and nutrition, humidity, sunlight exposure and temperature via an app. Add in the Water Valve, and it will automatically control the water dispersal, saving up to 40 percent on monthly water.

Keep in mind, new plants take longer to create roots and require more water initially. Water in the morning when it’s cooler to ensure plants absorb water properly, while staying mindful of any local watering regulations or restrictions. Be sure to also group plants together based on how much water they need.

There is nothing standing in the way of horticultural success; it’s all in choosing the right tools and plants. For more tips and tricks, visit the Garden Club online or check out tips on The Home Depot’s online newsroom Built from Scratch. Have questions? Stop in the local Home Depot and ask an associate for more information.

Article source:

Charla Anthony: Local gardens open for tour – Bryan

Charla Anthony: Local gardens open for tour

Charla Anthony: Local gardens open for tour

“Beyond the Garden Gate,” hosted by the Brazos County Master Gardener Association, includes tours of three home gardens and a Demonstration Idea Garden.

Charla Anthony: Local gardens open for tour

Charla Anthony: Local gardens open for tour

“Beyond the Garden Gate,” hosted by the Brazos County Master Gardener Association, includes tours of three home gardens and a Demonstration Idea Garden.

Posted: Friday, April 15, 2016 12:00 am

Charla Anthony: Local gardens open for tour


The Brazos County Master Gardener Association will host its annual garden tour, “Beyond the Garden Gate,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 23. This year’s lineup offers three diverse home gardens, as well as the Demonstration Idea Garden.

Gardeners across the Brazos Valley have gleaned invaluable information through extensive training by the Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service. This event is a way of sharing their expertise in the community with the support of local businesses and individuals.

Login required

We have used your information to see if you have a subscription with us, but did not find one.

Please click the button below to Start a new print or online subscription.

Or, use your
linked account:

Need an account? Create one now.

Subscription required

We have used your information to see if you have a subscription with us, but did not find one.

Please click the button below to Start a new print or online subscription.

Your current subscription does not provide access to this content. Please click the button below to manage your account.

Manage your Account

You must login to view the full content on this page.

Or, use your
linked account:

Login required

We have used your information to see if you have a subscription with us, but did not find one.

Please click the button below to Start a new print or online subscription.

Or, use your
linked account:

Need an account? Create one now.

Subscription required

We have used your information to see if you have a subscription with us, but did not find one.

Please click the button below to Start a new print or online subscription.

Your current subscription does not provide access to this content. Please click the button below to manage your account.

Manage your Account

  • Discuss


Friday, April 15, 2016 12:00 am.

Article source:

Western Pa. garden symposium to explore new ways to landscape – Tribune

Western Pa. garden symposium to explore new ways to landscape

Updated 15 hours ago

Some horticulture and landscaping experts agree: It’s time to rethink the garden.

For Thomas Rainer and Claudia West, aesthetics isn’t the most important reason for taking another look at the makeup of home gardens, regardless of their size.

The keynote speakers at the 21st annual Garden Landscape Symposium of Western Pennsylvania at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts at Shady Side Academy in Fox Chapel, share the belief that anyone who dabbles in the dirt has an obligation to be a responsible caretaker of the land and our environment.

“We’re both advocates for gardens that not only are places of beauty and interest, but are ecologically designed,” says Rainer, a registered landscape architect, teacher and writer from Arlington, Va. He has designed public landscapes for the New York Botanical Garden, the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and more than 100 gardens from Florida to Maine.

He and West are authors of “Planting in a Post-Wild World” (Timber Press, $39.95), a new book that encourages the dynamics of aesthetics with the responsibility of ecology. At the garden symposium, they will discuss their efforts to move away from traditional planting designs to those that incorporate innovative strategies.

In addition to their keynote address, Rainer will speak on “Creative Approaches to Site Preparation, Installation and Maintenance” in one of several afternoon breakout sessions. West will present a talk on “Successful Rain Gardens Inspired by Native Plants.”

Their book proposes alternatives to the familiar methods of horticulture, of arranging flowering plants in a row or rooting a structural shrub randomly in a plot of soil. Rainer recalls his childhood to illustrate his preference for “stepping back to nature” and remembering how wild species of flowers intermingled naturally in the wooded areas he explored as a boy to form dense plant “communities.”

“In many ways, we are losing our wild spaces to parking lots and housing developments,” he says.

Their hope is that home gardeners will consider creating landscapes that are sustainable year-round through the use of natural ground covers rather than mulch, and a layering technique that includes a ground cover layer, seasonal theme layer and structural layer.

West designs ecologically friendly gardens that focus on incorporating more native plants into landscapes and on bioretention, a planting design process that removes pollutants and contaminants from stormwater runoff that are otherwise carried into streams and rivers.

She is the ecological sales manager at North Creek Nurseries, a wholesale perennial grower in Landenberg, Chester County, and has a master’s degree in landscape architecture and regional planning from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Also speaking at the symposium will be Laura Deeter, professor of horticulture at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, whose topic is “Continual Color Without Continual Hassle.” Her ideas about creating eye-catching gardens revolve around designing attractive color schemes by incorporating a variety of plants that are appealing and provide interesting shades for more than one season.

“Gardening is a very personal activity,” she says. “It’s like an art museum, where you like some paintings, others like different paintings. Landscaping is an art. You create what you enjoy.”

The fourth symposium speaker will be Kelly Norris, director of horticulture at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. His latest book, “Plants With Style,” appeals to horticulture enthusiasts to introduce “new and exciting” varieties of plants to their gardens.

Garden Marketplace

The Garden Marketplace will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 23 at the Ice Rink Arena, across the street from the Hillman Center. The marketplace, which is free and open to the public, will feature new, unique and hard-to-find perennials, annuals, fruit and vegetable plants and shrubs, garden books, tools and accessories.

Daffodil show

The Daffodil and Hosta Society of Western Pennsylvania will award up to 50 national and local ribbons for the best daffodils grown outdoors and presented in its annual Daffodil Show, held in conjunction with the Garden Marketplace. The free show will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 23.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Article source:

Joining the conversation: Facebook groups provide gardening tips

0) { %

0) { %

0) { %

Article source:

Summer gardening tips

We’ll soon be ready to start planting our summer gardens, but there are a few things to do first.

Contra Costa Master Gardener Janet Miller, manager at the Our Garden demonstration garden in Walnut Creek, offers some tips:

Location, location, location

  • One of the most important things to consider when planting a garden is location. Most summer vegetables need 6 to 8 hours of sun a day, so pick the sunniest place in your yard.

  • Having the garden close to your home will be a benefit, too. You’re more likely to venture into the garden frequently, which will help you spot issues before they become problems.

    Soil prep

    Starting a summer garden requires some prep work and planning.

  • Preparing the soil is important, too. You can’t grow healthy crops if you don’t have healthy soil. Before starting, consider doing a soil test to see what nutrients may be lacking.

  • Before planting, loosen the soil with a broad fork, rake the bed, and cover the entire bed with 4 inches of compost and add a good organic vegetable fertilizer. Work that into the top 6 inches of your soil, then you’re ready to plant.

  • The thinking on digging beds is changing with research showing that it’s best not to distrub the soil too much. Microbial life that lives 24 inches below the surface doesn’t do as well when it’s move upward, and microbial life is necessary for a healthy garden. Loosening the soil is a much better option.

  • Summer vegetables grow so rapidly and produce so much fruit that by the end of the season, the soil is severely depleted of nutrients. Before replanting for the winter, add compost and fertilizer back into the soil.

  • Never leave beds empty. Even if you decided against growing a summer vegetable garden, or pass on a winter garden, grow a cover crop in the empty beds.

  • Cover crops consist of grains and legumes. Grains improve tilth, breaking up the earth to make for a better growing medium. Legumes fix nitrogen in the soil.

  • Cover crops to consider include fava beans, rye, vetch, red clover, sunflowers, amaranth and flint corn.

  • We often only think of growing cover crops during the winter, but if you want to replenish a bed this summer, considering planting sunflowers. They have deep roots that penetrate the soil and break up the clay, all the plant material is a wonderful source for carbon in the compost pile, and the flowers will attract pollinators.

  • You can chop your cover crop and work it into the soil, or cut it down and feed it into your compost pile. Leave the roots, or at least most of them, in the ground. They provide organic material to feed the soil.

    Grains can be left in the bed until they are about ready to drop seed. Legumes should be removed when they are at about 50 percent flower. If the beans are allowed to develop, they start pulling some of the nitrogen back out of the soil.

    Planting tips

  • Choose the right plant at the right time. Vegetables are divided into two categories — warm season and cool season. With few exceptions, you can’t grow warm crops in cool weather, and vice versa. If you’ve had onions that never developed bulbs or broccoli that only grew tall flower spikes, chances are you planted them at the wrong time.

  • Just because you find the plant in a nursery, Miller says, doesn’t mean it’s the right time to plant it. Learn about plants before buying them.

  • The most popular warm weather crops include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans, cucumbers and squash, carrots and radishes.

  • Should you grow in the ground or in raised beds? It really depends on what you want to do. The advantage to raised beds is that you’ll be bringing in soil that already will be full of nutrients. The drawback is raised beds are more expensive if you factor in the cost of materials to build them and to purchase the soil.

  • There’s no reason you can’t do both. Grow big summer vegetables, such as tomatoes, squash and beans, in the ground and root vegetables and smaller plants in raised beds.

  • Whether they are in the ground or raised, a bed should be 4-5 feet wide, allowing you to easily reach into the bed without having to step inside it and compact the soil. Plants will need beds that are at least 3 feet wide to give plant roots plenty of room.

  • For decades, home gardens have been modeled on commercial endeavors, which means most of us grew up planting in rows. But, Miller says, the row method was used to accommodate horse-drawn plows and, later, tractors and harvesters — things that are not needed in a home garden.

  • Forget the rows and plant in a grid. You can fit more plants into a bed using the grid system.

  • Think about your garden plot as a chess board where you plant only in the red or black squares. Determine how much space that particular plant needs, then build your grid accordingly.

  • The benefits to grid planting is that as the plants grow, they shade the soil beneath, preventing wind and water erosion and suppressing weeds in the beds. The plants also grow in a carbon dioxide bubble, creating a rich growing environment.

  • The Old Farmer’s Almanac calculates that you only need 200 square feet of space to grow enough produce to feed a family of four in a year. Close, grid planting makes that possible, taking advantage of the space you have.

  • The important thing to remember, however, is that growing many plants in a small space takes a lot of nutrients out of the soil that then need to be replaced.

    Next week in Our Garden, Growing apples and pears. Follow Joan Morris on

    Our Garden

    Our Garden offers free classes at 10 a.m. every Wednesday from April through October. Master Gardeners are available to answer questions and a large selection of seedling are available. All produce grown at the garden is donated to the Monument Crisis Center in Concord. The garden is at Wiget Lane and Shadelands Drive, Walnut Creek.

  • Article source: