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Archives for April 24, 2016

City dwellers ‘should make most of balconies with nature’

Niamh Horan

Published 24/04/2016 | 02:30


DESIGNER: Leonie Cornelius favours balcony gardens. Photo: David Conachy
DESIGNER: Leonie Cornelius favours balcony gardens. Photo: David Conachy

An award-winning garden design consultant and interior architect is urging Dublin city apartment dwellers to make the most of their tight spaces by bringing a piece of nature to their corner of the world.

Leonie Cornelius, a Bloom gold medallist and Woodies judge for RTE’s Super Garden, says that even if you don’t have a backyard, with some simple plants and flowers, you can still bring a splash of life and happiness into your apartment home.

“I grew up in Germany and lived on the top floor of an apartment block. Outside on the ground level, there was a shared space for people to garden and we had lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, plants and flowers. And that is where I really developed my love of gardening.

“My mother was an avid gardener and she got me into it too. So I have always been a fan of nature.

“We moved to Ireland when I was seven because my parents fell in love with the Irish landscape and it has always been an inspiration to me,” she said.

“I would say to people living in apartments that you can still make the most of a small space on a balcony with a little bit of effort. It it very therapeutic and it’s great for your health,” she added.

“It’s lovely to be out doing something in the fresh air and, most of all, plants and flowers are beautiful for you to look at.

“They are a calm and serene alternative to just iron bars and railings.

“People don’t want to look at concrete and bars when they come home from work and nature is a simple way to bring life and vibrancy and relaxation into your home.”

The 35-year-old said she believed that Ireland’s growing city population was slowly discovering the joys of tending to their own little patch of nature.

Hanging baskets, canning jars mounted to the wall and outdoor lanterns can all bring the space to light.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Independent and Woodie’s are giving you the chance to win a fantastic competition to make over your garden to the value of €10,000. The prize will include an on-site consultation with Leonie.

The garden expert will prepare a customised garden design based on your personal style. You will then have €7,500 to spend on garden products from any Woodie’s store in Ireland.

Sunday Independent



Article source: http://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/gardens/city-dwellers-should-make-most-of-balconies-with-nature-34654173.html

Lime Stone Road Townhomes: When quality matters

Your friends at Lime Stone Road townhomes welcome you to the 2016 Spring Parade of Homes. This is a great time to look at real estate whether you are moving today, tomorrow or in 5 years. Getting ideas for your dream empty-nester home is smart planning. We have had several residents come back after seeing the original dream of Lime Stone Road townhomes 3, 4 and even 5 year later.

Since the original dream in 2009, Lime Stone Road townhomes has garnered numerous prestigious awards including Community of the Year accolades, best maintenance-provided product, empty-nester community of the year, Grand Award winner for its landscaping as presented by the Mid-America Green Industry Council and Links Magazine best golf community for convenience to city life. And now Limestone Road Townhomes can brag about its location in Platte County, the No. 1 county out of 115 in the State of Missouri for Quality of Life. Now you too can come judge for yourself the beauty of Lime Stone Road townhomes.

Once you arrive you can choose from several floor plans. Along with the numerous floor plans offered with our traditional product you can also choose from a new concept in maintenance provided. We have a limited offering of stand-alone maintenance-provided townhomes. These townhomes have no common walls and will offer an optional third-car garage.

Our current inventory offers walk out and daylight lower levels. As with our existing townhome product, the stand-alone product will offer an open feeling as you enter the front door with high ceilings, large expanse of windows, efficient living spaces with the kitchen, great room and master suite on one level. They will carry our standard finishes featuring custom cabinetry, granite countertops, hardwood floors and GE appliance packages.

The good news, as a resident of one of our maintenance provided communities, you will have time to shop and play golf because as an owner you never have to take time out of your life to paint your home, repair the roof, fix/clean gutters, mow, mulch, trim, fertilize or even remove snow from your sidewalks and driveways.

And the location, well it is second to none and is convenient to anything a resident could desire. You can shop for all your basic necessities less than 5 minutes away. Parkville Commons, a 250,000-square-foot retail center, is anchored by a Price Chopper grocery store. In addition to Price Chopper you can pick up dry cleaning at Pride Cleaners, find your everyday needs at Walgreen’s and dine at Nick and Jake’s, Rusty Horse Tavern, Jimmy John’s, Sakae Sushi and Pizza Hut. It is also home to the metropolitan area’s most active and vibrant health and wellness center, the Platte County Community Center/YMCA.

In addition to the 5-minute drive to Parkville Commons, homeowners enjoy quick and easy access to The Legends at Village West, Zona Rosa, downtown Kansas City, Kansas City International Airport and a number of other destinations within 15 minutes of the Townhomes.

Chris Powell, who markets the property for FiveStar Lifestyles, thinks with prices starting in the low $300s coupled with historically low interest rates, the Lime Stone Road Townhomes offer an unprecedented opportunity for those who want to experience The National’s active resort lifestyle.

The National

Prices: Townhomes from to low $300s up to $400,000.

Location: 5903 South National Drive, Parkville, 64152.

Hours: Model open 12-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and by appointment any time.

Contact: Chris Powell, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes, 913-890-3596.

Article source: http://www.kansascity.com/homes/article72734592.html

Creative renewal

This can be pulled off.

Not overnight. Not in a month or two. But it can be done.

This defeated house on West 21st Street, just southwest of downtown Little Rock, can be renovated.

Sure, the house’s front porch is a collection of 2-by-6-inch wooden planks laid across bricks, and random other boards prop up the porch’s roof, which has sagged for years and wants so badly to slump back into its old ways.

And there are vines growing up through the house’s almost century-old walls. And the house needs rewiring. And the chimney — where water leaks through — needs removing, the foundation needs bolstering and the yard needs landscaping. And, basically, the house needs to be stripped down to studs and concrete and rebuilt.

But this house can be restored, and made newer, better, stronger.

Chris James says so, and James is the kind of guy no

one doubts.

He’s the founder and executive director of The Roots Art Connection, a North Little Rock-based nonprofit that purchased this eyesore of a house earlier this year as part of the organization’s Buy Back the Block program.

Their dream? Rebuild the house, built in 1920, and rent it to artists. The artists will, in turn, give back to the Dunbar community where the house is and revitalize the neighborhood through their artwork, and just plain work.

James, 26, envisions a community garden nearby, after-school programs for youths in the area and artwork on boarded-up windows on other houses in the neighborhood.

“We want to go to neighborhoods that are considered the ghetto or the ‘hood and make it something beautiful by bringing art-related projects there,” James says. “That will immediately transform the community. You won’t ride through and just see plain, abandoned houses, but houses with art on them. That changes the whole look.”

The Art Connection has already purchased a second home for the program, this time “buying back the block” in the Hanger Hill neighborhood of Little Rock. But, James says, he might resell that house because a house for sale near Little Rock Central High School is a more tempting project.

James, who makes his living as an educator and teaches residencies through the Arkansas Arts Council’s Arts in Education program, sees the Art Connection purchasing two of these houses per year around Little Rock and North Little Rock. Then, the program could spread to other Arkansas cities, such as Pine Bluff, he says.

Changing a city — or cities — one block at a time is just one mission of the nonprofit, which started in 2010 and officially became known as The Roots Art Connection in 2013.

The nonprofit’s headquarters, The House of Art, is around the corner from the Argenta Drug Co. on Fourth Street in North Little Rock. The space holds open mics every Friday night, offering a variety of performing arts — poetry, hip-hop, singing, spoken word, comedy — whatever the microphone holder dares.

And the walls of the space are dotted with the visual arts of Arkansans who have never had their work exhibited in local galleries. It’s a gallery for what James calls “starving artists looking for a place to exhibit and perform art.”

Some are high school students. Others are people such as Edward Holloway, a 49-year-old artist who says in his artist statement that his art is an “expression of the world around me.”

“Everything needs a venue,” says local artist, teacher and businessman Leron McAdoo, who performs poetry under the Ron Mc moniker. “It doesn’t survive without a venue. A movement doesn’t survive without a venue, whether it’s civil rights or women’s [liberation] or whatever. Art does not survive without a venue. Venues are very important … so what Chris has done has provided a space for artists, poets, musicians, activists.”

The House of Art is also where, every third Saturday of the month, local artists and friends of the nonprofit serve a potluck lunch to people in need through a program called Starve No More.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Art Connection offers more, such as a writers’ feedback program called Poetry Saves Lives and conferences on educating people on how to purchase land and houses. There’s also a seminar titled Redefine Your Success that James says is about “how to be successful as an entrepreneur in a nontraditional way.”

“I always say The Roots Art Connection is a nonprofit organization that connects art and artists to community, education and opportunities for commerce,” James says. “We want to be looked at as the art organization that creates opportunity for the underserved artists. That’s what we are.”

Consider the Art Connection and its members as the people with bold ideas: people who see the rundown, the disregarded, the underserved and recognize worth, esteem, potential.

But then James has always been an intrepid one. He grew up in North Little Rock, across Interstate 30 from Argenta in what he calls “one of the most poverty-stricken communities in North Little Rock.” And he stuck around, even after becoming a father at the age of 16; even after two brothers went to prison the same year.

“I grew up here and my passion has always been to give back,” says James, a 2008 graduate of North Little Rock High School. “I’m really passionate about being an example for urban youth that I used to be like. Letting them know they can make it. I’m right down the street from where I grew up.”

There’s a quiet self-assurance James possesses that is catching, like when he first broached the idea of Buy Back the Block with Shawnie McCoy, a poet in the Foreign Tongues poetry collective of which James and McAdoo also are members.

“I was like, ‘It’s a really bold move. You’re talking about buying houses here,'” says McCoy, co-director of The House of Art’s open mic nights. “He always thinks big. It’s always go big or go home with him. The initial idea was ‘Wow, this is a big and bold move. You want us to buy houses and fix them up?’ But with me, any idea Chris has I’m probably his No. 1 supporter. I’ll be the first person on board with his idea, big or small.”

It didn’t take long for James’ fiancee, Sandrekkia Morning, to also be inspired by James. The fellow member of Foreign Tongues — and a senior at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway studying insurance and risk management — says James has taught her that “you can live off your art.”

“I want to own my own business, but the arts will always be a part of my life,” she says.

The list of fixes the West 21st Street house needs is so long it’s almost incomprehensible to people who are not in the business of renovating houses.

Fortunately, the Art Connection has help from La’Dell Lawson, a local contractor who owns the home-renovating company D-1 Services.

Lawson was born and bred in southwest Little Rock. He worked for Home Depot for about 10 years before entering construction about seven years ago.

He’s had help to get where he is today. Now, with his own company of five employees — and sometimes up to 25 workers on some jobs — Lawson is returning the favor.

“We need to start helping each other to get our communities back,” he says. “We see a lot of people move out of their mom’s house that they’ve had for 40 years in the family and they just let it fall apart. It’s time to start taking some of that back. I feel that way. I want to be a part of it.”

Lawson wants to teach James — and an army of the Art Connection volunteers — how to perform the non-technical renovations. He’s lending his “services, knowledge and equipment.”

Still, this West 21st Street renovation is “a pretty big job,” Lawson says. A contractor could easily charge from $75,000 to $100,000 for the remodeling work.

“But it can be done for less with people helping, with community,” he says. “With the community, you can get anything done.”

The house is a bi-level of about 1,400 square feet. The total value of the house and its less than one-fifth-acre lot was appraised in 2015 at $12,550.

The Art Connection and James paid $6,000 for the house and lot in February. Renovations started in early March. The job probably won’t be completed for six or eight months.

The bones of the home are still good. And there’s some beautiful woodwork around some inside doors.

But the rest of the house is a mess. An old Magnavox Astro-Sonic stereo record player and radio console sits forlornly in the living room. A Timex wall clock stopped just short of 11:45 hangs on a wall.

In the backyard — overgrown with weeds — the remains of a fallen tree lie about. Some of the standing trees are choked with kudzu.

In the basement, there are old tires next to one wall and an ancient refrigerator with a pet carrier on top of it.

This is a house only the baddest and boldest of the reality TV remodeling stars would tackle. Most would slink away, too scared of the effort.

Don’t count James or the Art Connection among that bunch. Fundraisers have been held for renovation funds. More will be held. Volunteers are stopping by and helping. More are needed.

Lawson plans to bring in certified plumbers who’ll move the plumbing under the house from beside it. And electricians will restore the life-giving buzz of electricity, moving the wires from under the floor to the walls.

The kitchen floor will be leveled. The roof will be redone. The house will be renovated.

When it’s finished, the Art Connection will select a group of artists to live in the house. Then, these artists will go into the Dunbar neighborhood. They’ll paint. They’ll plant. They’ll rebuild.

These artists will change the neighborhood from within. That’s the plan. That’s James’ belief.

Art injected with activism — that’s what James calls The Roots Art Connection.

“I really want to transform the community through art,” he says. “That’s what we are all about.

“The goal is to make places that are considered ugly beautiful again.”

Style on 04/24/2016

Article source: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/apr/24/creative-renewal-20160424/?latest

Popular plants this year make good eating – for humans or pollinators

Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa)Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa)

Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa)

Plants that are good for eating or good for pollinators dominate the list of new plants that nursery professionals in southern Maine are recommending as this gardening season begins. Some of the best plants are good for both.

More to plant

HERE ARE A FEW MORE plants providing food for people or pollinators that local nurseries are recommending this year.

MICHELLE MARTIN, SPRINGVALE NURSERIES 1280 Main St., Sanford, 490-5543

Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa): Small cherries that taste good, if you can keep the birds from eating them.

Steeple Jacky daylily (hemerocallis): Yellow blooms not as larger as some, but good for back of a border garden.

SUE MCINTYRE, LONGFELLOW’S GREENHOUSES 81 Puddledock Road, Manchester, 622-5965

Above and Beyond rose: Orangey buds that open into apricot. Stem hardy to Zone 3.

Clematis Claire de Lune: Compact and takes more shade than most. Only 5-6 feet tall with big, white blossoms.

Clematis Silver Moon: Bigger, up to 8 or 9 feet, with light pink flowers.

Hot Wings Tatarian maple (Acer tataricum): Only 20 feet. Seeds color up in mid-summer to a brilliant cherry red. Leaves also have good fall color.

“Lion King” Japanese iris: One of the most beautiful. Commonly get huge flowers, 7 to 8 inches across.

“Lewisia” or bitterroot: Native to the west, with little, star-shaped flowers and foliage that looks like a succulent. Low to the ground. Blooms yellow orange, peach and pink.

“Sarah’s Choice” cantaloupe: Bred by Brent Loy of the University of New Hampshire, this plant produces 3-pound fruit in 76 days and is resistant to powdery mildew.

JEFF O’DONAL, O’DONAL’S NURSERY 6 County Road, Gorham, 839-4262

Andropogon Little Bluestem Indian Warrior: This native plant grows up to 5 feet with green foliage and red to smoky purple flowers. The purple of purple mountain majesty.

Weeping redbud, Cercis Vanilla Twist: With white flowers, this plant can serve as ground cover or, if staked, take an umbrella shape.

Microbiota “Woodburn variegata”: Typical looking for the dark green species but with streaks of white.

PHIL ROBERTS, BROADWAY GARDENS 1640 Broadway, South Portland, 772-0415

Supertunia Picasso in Blue: This plant is self-cleaning, so deadheading is not necessary. Good pollinator for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Holy Moly Calibrichoa: Yellow with a dark pink stripe going down the petals, this plants grows up and out to create a “mounded” look and is attractive to hummingbirds.

JIM MASSE, ESTABROOK’S 337 East Main St., Yarmouth, 846-4398

Crocosmia “Prince of Orange”: Architectural foliage, orange color with burgundy centers. Good for butterflies, and the seed pods look great in arrangements.

Crocosmia “Walberton Yellow”: Shorter, with soft orange color.

Perovskia “Denim and Lace”: A shorter form of Russian sage, with strong stems and a dense froth of lavender blue flowers. Blooms August to September.

Meconopsis, Himalayan blue poppy (betonicifolia): Sky blue flowers in mid-summer, dark green foliage. Likes morning sun. Beautiful but challenging to grow.

Heuchera “Silver Blush”: Shiny silver foliage with prominent red veins. Blooms dainty scapes of pink flowers in June.

Thalictrum “Black stockings”: Foliage like maidenhair fern, with deep purple flowers on almost-ebony stems in mid-June. Butterflies love it.

It makes sense. Edible landscaping has been a growing trend over the past decade. And I read articles online every day urging gardeners to grow plants that help struggling bees or monarch butterflies. Garden centers make money by giving gardeners what they want. So what plants are exciting nursery professionals this year?

PAW PAW: Michelle Martin of Springvale Nurseries is pleased to be selling the native paw paw trees, which she discovered on a trip she and her husband took to the Carolinas.

“We tried the paw paws cold-hardy to this zone (Zone 5), also absolutely delicious,” she said. The tree (Asimina triloba) usually requires two different varieties to produce fruit. Martin said Springvale Nurseries is importing wild plants that are genetically different from each other, so customers can buy two of the same variety and expect fruit with two or three years.

MULBERRY: Another fruit Springvale Nurseries is selling is grafted dwarf contorted mulberry, which is native to China. The dwarf version gets only about 10 to 15 feet tall and produces a fruit that is tasty and high in antioxidants.

Above and Beyond (roses)Above and Beyond (roses)

Above and Beyond (roses)

HAZELNUT: Jeff O’Donal of O’Donal’s Nursery in Gorham is offering a red-leaved hazelnut tree that is everything gardeners could want: It is native, attractive, provides food for bees and produces fruit.

“It has purple leaves from spring into summer, but loses color later,” O’Donal said.

The tree will grow to about 8 feet tall. Of all the new offerings in this column, it is the one I am most lusting for. While the beaked hazelnuts are small and the local wildlife usually gets to them before humans find them, it just sounds like a fun plant to own. Now, to make room for it.

HYSSOP: O’Donal – who favors trees and shrubs over perennials – said his perennial supervisor recommends a new hyssop, called Tango.

“It blooms all year and is a great pollinator, which is going to be a big deal this year,” he said. “It’s short and compact with gray-green foliage and produces an array of fiery orange flower spikes.”

APPLE: Sue McIntyre of Longfellow’s Greenhouses in Manchester is high on two Colonnade apple trees, Flamenco and Polka, that get only 2 feet wide but grow 8 to 10 feet tall and are hardy to Zone 4. They are ideal for people who don’t have much room in their yard and have limited sun.

MILKWEED: For pollinators, McIntyre likes two different milkweeds – perennial plants that are prime food for butterflies, especially monarchs – depending on the type of soil the gardener has.

“In the Kennebec Valley we have clay, and more clay on top of clay,” McIntyre said. “That can be difficult to work with, but swam milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) loves it. Pink Cinderella is a new variety that we like.”

Asclepias tuberosa prefers dry soil, and it is the only milkweed that female Monarch butterflies feeds on – so Longfellow will be offering many of that variety.

Crocosmia Prince of OrangeCrocosmia Prince of Orange

Crocosmia “Prince of Orange”

Sometimes customers complain that the butterfly bushes look good for a while, but get eaten to the ground late in the season. “I just tell them, ‘That’s what is supposed to happen. They are food for the butterflies.’ ”

An Asclepias tuberosa that Jim Masse of Estabrook’s Farm and Greenhouse in Yarmouth loves is “Hello Yellow.”

“It’s a yellow form of native orange butterfly weed, an excellent food source for Monarch butterflies and great nectar source for bees.”

Supertunia Picasso BlueSupertunia Picasso Blue

Supertunia “Picasso Blue”

BIDENS: Phil Roberts of Broadway Gardens in South Portland spent some time wandering his greenhouses looking at annual seedlings before returning my call for new plants.

The Beedance biden series from Suntori, including Red Stripe and Painted Red, looked good, he said.

“They grow well with just water – you don’t need fertilizer,” he said. “The original bidens was aggressive and could take over, but these new hybrids stay more in control.”

These are just a few ideas to consider when visiting your local garden center. They are multipurpose plants, feeding you as well as bees and butterflies, and feeding the part of you that likes to look at beautiful things.

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/2016/04/24/maine-gardener-popular-plants-this-year-make-good-eating-for-humans-or-pollinators/

Yard waste to garden gold

“Never plant without a bucket of compost at your side.” — Elsa Bakalar, author, garden designer

Gardeners, flower-bed planters and lawn-care buffs across Luzerne County are benefitting from tons of compost generated locally each year.

And the best feature of the compost? It’s free or low cost, depending on the source.

The compost is created from yard wastes, the grass clippings and tree prunings that once went curbside with the week’s garbage. The organic material is returned to the earth, to aid in the creation of food that we eat and flowers we enjoy or the lawns on which we play.

Composting sites have blossomed around Luzerne County. The decisions by many municipalities to cooperate in the creation and operation of composting facilities are a win all around.

Composting facilities now exist in the Back Mountain, Pittston area, West Side and Mountain Top. The Hazleton area may be next.

In addition to the multi-municipality composting operations, there is a county-wide site run by Earth Conservancy, the non-profit agency based in Ashley. EC reclaims mine-scarred land, treats acid mine drainage and aids in commercial and industrial development. Turning organic waste into compost was a natural outgrowth of its work on former Blue Coal Corporation land.

In 2015, EC composted nearly 24,500 cubic yards of leaf and yard waste collected from 16 municipalities, Luzerne County Community College, local contractors and area residents, said Dr. Elizabeth W. Hughes, director of communications for EC.

More than 142,000 tons of material have been processed since the facility’s launch in 1997, Hughes said. EC’s operation is just north of Glen Lyon, off the Kirmar Parkway in Newport Township. It is open to all citizens and all municipalities in Luzerne County.

“It has been an important part of EC’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the local community,’’ Hughes said.

From process to product

Hughes explained the composting process begins when residents, municipalities and landscapers drop off material at the facility. Using a front-end loader, the material is combined and then run through a grinder, transforming it into a coarse mulch. The mulch is piled into long banks called windrows. The material is turned periodically to regulate temperature, oxygen and moisture content, all of which facilitate decomposition.

Compost, from page C1

After several months, the material is run through a screener to remove impurities and oversized pieces which are reground and returned to the windrows.

The same process is used in the inter-municipal operations. Front-end loaders are essential and all sites reported having loaders and grinders as basic pieces of equipment.

Depending on material type and weather conditions, the composting process can take up to eight months, Hughes said. The result is a dark, nutrient-rich compost, “excellent for gardening and landscaping.’’

Area residents, municipalities, businesses, and contractors all make use of it, she said, and EC regularly makes donations of compost to schools, local non-profits and community groups. EC also uses the compost on its reclamation projects to facilitate re-vegetation of sites.

“Local residents seem to genuinely appreciate the facility,’’ EC executive director Mike Dziak added. “ It’s a place where they can easily dispose of their yard waste, and get high-quality compost for their home projects,’’ he said.

“Moreover, all that organic debris is not being landfilled, alleviating a burden on the environment,’’ Dziak added.

The EC facility is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Contractor hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lawn clippings, leaves, tree branches and trunks up to six inches in diameter, and natural Christmas trees are accepted.

Two full-time employees handle operations. Nick Kratz is foreman.

Earth Conservancy partners with communities, too. Two front-end loaders were purchased in 2002 in partnership with Newport Township through a state grant. A grinder was purchased in 2004 in partnership with Sugar Notch Borough and a screener was purchased in 1998, in partnership with Ashley Borough.

… in the Back Mountain

Dallas Area Municipal Authority is serving thousands of people more efficiently with the new composting site that opened last year off Route 118 in Lehman Township. The facility creates compost for residents of Lehman, Dallas and Kingston townships and Dallas and Harveys Lake boroughs.

Dallas Township and Kingston Township allow yard waste drop offs in dumpsters located near the municipal buildings, or waste can be taken directly to the composting facility as is done by residents of the other towns.

Bill Feher, supervisor of the Solid Waste Division of DAMA, said compost is free to DAMA trash customers. He said 9,132 cubic yards of yard waste came in during 2015 and that waste was converted to compost for flowerbeds and gardens.

DAMA also makes compost available to the Luzerne County Fall Fair and the state Correctional Institution. Christmas trees are donated to the state Game Commission which uses them on game lands as wildlife habitat.

“When communities work together, they can do so much more at less cost,’’ Feher said.

The compost site hours are Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, closed; Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. The operation is closed to commercial haulers.

The DAMA web site advises that drop offs are accepted at Dallas Township Public Works site off Route 309 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Kingston Township Public Works Department at 225 East Center St., Shavertown, is open weekdays, 8 a.m. to sunset, and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

… in the Pittston area

The Pittston area composting facility is in its fourth year and it gets high marks in member towns, said Stanley Knick, Jr., member of Dupont Borough Council and a founder of the operation. Dupont is the host community.

Three-plus acres off Gardner Road in Dupont Borough have been fenced. Knick said a grinder and a loader are on site, purchased via a $461,000 grant from the state gaming fund.

Member towns are Dupont, Duryea, Avoca and Hughestown boroughs, Pittston City and Pittston and Jenkins townships. Knick said the compost is free to residents of the member communities. A $10 fee is charged if compost site workers use the loader to assist residents.

“The cooperation of all communities has helped advance this project,’’ Knick said.

Disposal of yard wastes had been a problem for many years in the Pittston area. Coal-land pits, fields and woodlands were dumping sites or yard waste was put out with garbage. The latter procedure adds to the cost of tipping fees at landfills.

… in Mountain Top

Three communities in the Mountain Top Area Council of Governments run a compost site in the Crestwood Industrial Park. The operation began in 2004 with Fairview and Wright Townships as participants and Rice Township joined last year.

The compost is available to residents only. A permit, costing $10, can be obtained at the respective municipal buildings. Proof of residency is required.

The compost facility opened April 2. Hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the fall.

… on the West Side

The West Side Composting Commission comprises four towns: Kingston, Exeter, West Wyoming and Jackson Township from the Back Mountain. The towns share a grinder that is stored at the Kingston public works building and rotated among the communities which maintain their own compost piles.

The towns share in the cost of insurance and maintenance of the grinder. Karen Szwast, former secretary-treasurer of the commission, lauded Adam Gober and his crew at the Kingston DPW. “They do a fantastic job of making this (project) work,’’ she said.

The Kingston operation is a model operation. Kingston collects yard waste and bundles of tree branches curb-side, separates and grinds the material and creates mulch and compost sold at $16 a yard and $20 a yard, respectively.

“We use the mulch in maintaining eight parks, Hoyt Library, the fire, municipal and recreation buildings and the swimming pool site needs,’’ Gober said. Wyoming Valley West School District buys mulch, he said, and recently took 250 yards of material for the cross-country site.

Gober serves as president of the West Side Composting Commission.

Jackson Township offers free mulch and compost, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to dark. The township web site boasts, “Free mulch/compost is now available (triple-ground). The best we have had in years. Get it while we have it.’’ West Wyoming Borough residents can drop off yard waste at the compost site. The shared grinder is used to create compost that is free to residents.

… in the Hazleton area

Dan Guydish, executive director of the Mountain Council of Governments in the Hazleton area, said council has been discussing startup of a compost operation. “We’re talking about it,’’ he said, noting that the success of other inter-municipal sites will be factored in.

Compost’s many benefits

Compost will improve the quality of almost any soil, making it an outstanding soil conditioner, according to Dr. David Orbin, a master gardener certified through the master gardener program of Pennsylvania State University Extension.

“Compost improves the structure and texture of the soil, enabling it to better retain nutrients, moisture, and air improving its ability to grow healthy plants,’’ Dr. Orbin said.

Soil structure refers to how sand, silt, and clay particles combine with decayed organic particles, he said, and soil with good structure has a crumbly texture, drains well, retains some moisture, and is easy to turn over.

Compost added to sandy soils improves their water and nutrient holding capacity. “When added to clay soils, it makes the texture lighter allowing for better drainage, and making root penetration easier,’’ Dr. Orbin said.

Gardeners who use compost notice that soil is easier to work, reducing the effort required in the garden. “The fact that it grows bigger, healthier, and more productive flowers and vegetables is an added bonus,’’ Orbin said, and compost is good for the environment, reducing the tonnage of material hauled to landfills.

For more info:

Earth Conservancy, www.earthconservancy.org

A Garden of One’s Own: Making and Keeping Your Flower Garden, by Elsa Bakalar (1919-2010).

Master Gardener Hotline … 570-825-1701

Web pages of municipalities that compost

Article source: http://citizensvoice.com/arts-living/yard-waste-to-garden-gold-1.2033343

Yard waste to garden gold

“Never plant without a bucket of compost at your side.” — Elsa Bakalar, author, garden designer

Gardeners, flower-bed planters and lawn-care buffs across Luzerne County are benefitting from tons of compost generated locally each year.

And the best feature of the compost? It’s free or low cost, depending on the source.

The compost is created from yard wastes, the grass clippings and tree prunings that once went curbside with the week’s garbage. The organic material is returned to the earth, to aid in the creation of food that we eat and flowers we enjoy or the lawns on which we play.

Composting sites have blossomed around Luzerne County. The decisions by many municipalities to cooperate in the creation and operation of composting facilities are a win all around.

Composting facilities now exist in the Back Mountain, Pittston area, West Side and Mountain Top. The Hazleton area may be next.

In addition to the multi-municipality composting operations, there is a county-wide site run by Earth Conservancy, the non-profit agency based in Ashley. EC reclaims mine-scarred land, treats acid mine drainage and aids in commercial and industrial development. Turning organic waste into compost was a natural outgrowth of its work on former Blue Coal Corporation land.

In 2015, EC composted nearly 24,500 cubic yards of leaf and yard waste collected from 16 municipalities, Luzerne County Community College, local contractors and area residents, said Dr. Elizabeth W. Hughes, director of communications for EC.

More than 142,000 tons of material have been processed since the facility’s launch in 1997, Hughes said. EC’s operation is just north of Glen Lyon, off the Kirmar Parkway in Newport Township. It is open to all citizens and all municipalities in Luzerne County.

“It has been an important part of EC’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the local community,’’ Hughes said.

From process to product

Hughes explained the composting process begins when residents, municipalities and landscapers drop off material at the facility. Using a front-end loader, the material is combined and then run through a grinder, transforming it into a coarse mulch. The mulch is piled into long banks called windrows. The material is turned periodically to regulate temperature, oxygen and moisture content, all of which facilitate decomposition.

Compost, from page C1

After several months, the material is run through a screener to remove impurities and oversized pieces which are reground and returned to the windrows.

The same process is used in the inter-municipal operations. Front-end loaders are essential and all sites reported having loaders and grinders as basic pieces of equipment.

Depending on material type and weather conditions, the composting process can take up to eight months, Hughes said. The result is a dark, nutrient-rich compost, “excellent for gardening and landscaping.’’

Area residents, municipalities, businesses, and contractors all make use of it, she said, and EC regularly makes donations of compost to schools, local non-profits and community groups. EC also uses the compost on its reclamation projects to facilitate re-vegetation of sites.

“Local residents seem to genuinely appreciate the facility,’’ EC executive director Mike Dziak added. “ It’s a place where they can easily dispose of their yard waste, and get high-quality compost for their home projects,’’ he said.

“Moreover, all that organic debris is not being landfilled, alleviating a burden on the environment,’’ Dziak added.

The EC facility is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Contractor hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lawn clippings, leaves, tree branches and trunks up to six inches in diameter, and natural Christmas trees are accepted.

Two full-time employees handle operations. Nick Kratz is foreman.

Earth Conservancy partners with communities, too. Two front-end loaders were purchased in 2002 in partnership with Newport Township through a state grant. A grinder was purchased in 2004 in partnership with Sugar Notch Borough and a screener was purchased in 1998, in partnership with Ashley Borough.

… in the Back Mountain

Dallas Area Municipal Authority is serving thousands of people more efficiently with the new composting site that opened last year off Route 118 in Lehman Township. The facility creates compost for residents of Lehman, Dallas and Kingston townships and Dallas and Harveys Lake boroughs.

Dallas Township and Kingston Township allow yard waste drop offs in dumpsters located near the municipal buildings, or waste can be taken directly to the composting facility as is done by residents of the other towns.

Bill Feher, supervisor of the Solid Waste Division of DAMA, said compost is free to DAMA trash customers. He said 9,132 cubic yards of yard waste came in during 2015 and that waste was converted to compost for flowerbeds and gardens.

DAMA also makes compost available to the Luzerne County Fall Fair and the state Correctional Institution. Christmas trees are donated to the state Game Commission which uses them on game lands as wildlife habitat.

“When communities work together, they can do so much more at less cost,’’ Feher said.

The compost site hours are Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, closed; Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. The operation is closed to commercial haulers.

The DAMA web site advises that drop offs are accepted at Dallas Township Public Works site off Route 309 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Kingston Township Public Works Department at 225 East Center St., Shavertown, is open weekdays, 8 a.m. to sunset, and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

… in the Pittston area

The Pittston area composting facility is in its fourth year and it gets high marks in member towns, said Stanley Knick, Jr., member of Dupont Borough Council and a founder of the operation. Dupont is the host community.

Three-plus acres off Gardner Road in Dupont Borough have been fenced. Knick said a grinder and a loader are on site, purchased via a $461,000 grant from the state gaming fund.

Member towns are Dupont, Duryea, Avoca and Hughestown boroughs, Pittston City and Pittston and Jenkins townships. Knick said the compost is free to residents of the member communities. A $10 fee is charged if compost site workers use the loader to assist residents.

“The cooperation of all communities has helped advance this project,’’ Knick said.

Disposal of yard wastes had been a problem for many years in the Pittston area. Coal-land pits, fields and woodlands were dumping sites or yard waste was put out with garbage. The latter procedure adds to the cost of tipping fees at landfills.

… in Mountain Top

Three communities in the Mountain Top Area Council of Governments run a compost site in the Crestwood Industrial Park. The operation began in 2004 with Fairview and Wright Townships as participants and Rice Township joined last year.

The compost is available to residents only. A permit, costing $10, can be obtained at the respective municipal buildings. Proof of residency is required.

The compost facility opened April 2. Hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the fall.

… on the West Side

The West Side Composting Commission comprises four towns: Kingston, Exeter, West Wyoming and Jackson Township from the Back Mountain. The towns share a grinder that is stored at the Kingston public works building and rotated among the communities which maintain their own compost piles.

The towns share in the cost of insurance and maintenance of the grinder. Karen Szwast, former secretary-treasurer of the commission, lauded Adam Gober and his crew at the Kingston DPW. “They do a fantastic job of making this (project) work,’’ she said.

The Kingston operation is a model operation. Kingston collects yard waste and bundles of tree branches curb-side, separates and grinds the material and creates mulch and compost sold at $16 a yard and $20 a yard, respectively.

“We use the mulch in maintaining eight parks, Hoyt Library, the fire, municipal and recreation buildings and the swimming pool site needs,’’ Gober said. Wyoming Valley West School District buys mulch, he said, and recently took 250 yards of material for the cross-country site.

Gober serves as president of the West Side Composting Commission.

Jackson Township offers free mulch and compost, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to dark. The township web site boasts, “Free mulch/compost is now available (triple-ground). The best we have had in years. Get it while we have it.’’ West Wyoming Borough residents can drop off yard waste at the compost site. The shared grinder is used to create compost that is free to residents.

… in the Hazleton area

Dan Guydish, executive director of the Mountain Council of Governments in the Hazleton area, said council has been discussing startup of a compost operation. “We’re talking about it,’’ he said, noting that the success of other inter-municipal sites will be factored in.

Compost’s many benefits

Compost will improve the quality of almost any soil, making it an outstanding soil conditioner, according to Dr. David Orbin, a master gardener certified through the master gardener program of Pennsylvania State University Extension.

“Compost improves the structure and texture of the soil, enabling it to better retain nutrients, moisture, and air improving its ability to grow healthy plants,’’ Dr. Orbin said.

Soil structure refers to how sand, silt, and clay particles combine with decayed organic particles, he said, and soil with good structure has a crumbly texture, drains well, retains some moisture, and is easy to turn over.

Compost added to sandy soils improves their water and nutrient holding capacity. “When added to clay soils, it makes the texture lighter allowing for better drainage, and making root penetration easier,’’ Dr. Orbin said.

Gardeners who use compost notice that soil is easier to work, reducing the effort required in the garden. “The fact that it grows bigger, healthier, and more productive flowers and vegetables is an added bonus,’’ Orbin said, and compost is good for the environment, reducing the tonnage of material hauled to landfills.

For more info:

Earth Conservancy, www.earthconservancy.org

A Garden of One’s Own: Making and Keeping Your Flower Garden, by Elsa Bakalar (1919-2010).

Master Gardener Hotline … 570-825-1701

Web pages of municipalities that compost

Article source: http://citizensvoice.com/arts-living/yard-waste-to-garden-gold-1.2033343

Turnpike’s Lorain County plazas to get new gardens – Chronicle

 

Motorists pulling into the Ohio Turnpike service plazas opposite each other in Lorain County will be able to gas up, get a bite to eat and, starting next month, see and walk through outdoor garden displays filled with plants native to Ohio. Each garden offers beauty and plays a part in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Featuring 17 varieties of Ohio plants and shrubs, each garden will remain indefinitely and include examples of swamp milkweed, New England aster, purple cone flowers, rattlesnake master, swamp rose mallow, northern blue flag, bee balm and Ohio goldenrod.

Lorain County’s Middle Ridge and Vermilion Valley service plazas were chosen for the Earth Day-theme project because historically they are the most frequented plazas on the 246-mile toll road, according to Brian Newbacher, public information officer for the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.

The two plazas average 4.6 million visits by an estimated 21.7 million travelers who stop at all of the Turnpike’s plazas annually, according to numbers provided by Newbacher.

The estimates are based on yearly concession sales revenue at each plaza.

“The Lorain County plazas are the closest to the mid-point of the Turnpike, and the most popular in either direction,” Newbacher said.

The gardens are slated to be installed May 20 as part of venture that sees the Turnpike partnering with Keep Ohio Beautiful, Davey Tree Expert Co., which is designing the displays, and the Lorain County Joint Vocational School, whose students will help install them.

All of the plants and shrubs in the gardens (each garden measures 2,250 square feet) are pollinating varieties, which means they naturally attract honeybees. That helps cross-pollination, which is the process that creates the seeds from which flowers and plants grow.

Between 75 percent and 80 percent of all flowering plants and staple crop plants require animals and insects to complete the process of pollination. Bees are among the more active creatures in this process, traveling from flower to flower to transfer pollen

“They attract a lot of bees,” Newbacher said of the plants being put into the service plaza gardens. “The hope is that this will ideally help bee populations, which have been struggling in recent years, if enough people plant pollinators.”

Michael Mennett, executive director of Keep Ohio Beautiful, said in a news release “our focus this year on pollinators will bring attention to their important role in Ohio’s food supply, and the delight they can bring to residential gardens.”

The types of plants to be showcased also attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Each garden will be in a green space adjacent to the service plaza buildings.

“They’ll be visible to traffic going by as well to people going in and out of the plazas,” Newbacher said.

People will be able to get a close-up look at each garden and take photos on stone walkways that bisect the displays.

Signs will identify each planting. The displays could be delayed, due to the time needed to create the accompanying signage, Newbacher said.

Preparations on the sites have begun by Turnpike landscaping crews that will keep the gardens in good shape once they are installed, according to Newbacher.

 

Article source: http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2016/04/24/turnpikes-lorain-county-plazas-to-get-new-gardens/

Turnpike’s Lorain County plazas to get new gardens – Chronicle

 

Motorists pulling into the Ohio Turnpike service plazas opposite each other in Lorain County will be able to gas up, get a bite to eat and, starting next month, see and walk through outdoor garden displays filled with plants native to Ohio. Each garden offers beauty and plays a part in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Featuring 17 varieties of Ohio plants and shrubs, each garden will remain indefinitely and include examples of swamp milkweed, New England aster, purple cone flowers, rattlesnake master, swamp rose mallow, northern blue flag, bee balm and Ohio goldenrod.

Lorain County’s Middle Ridge and Vermilion Valley service plazas were chosen for the Earth Day-theme project because historically they are the most frequented plazas on the 246-mile toll road, according to Brian Newbacher, public information officer for the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.

The two plazas average 4.6 million visits by an estimated 21.7 million travelers who stop at all of the Turnpike’s plazas annually, according to numbers provided by Newbacher.

The estimates are based on yearly concession sales revenue at each plaza.

“The Lorain County plazas are the closest to the mid-point of the Turnpike, and the most popular in either direction,” Newbacher said.

The gardens are slated to be installed May 20 as part of venture that sees the Turnpike partnering with Keep Ohio Beautiful, Davey Tree Expert Co., which is designing the displays, and the Lorain County Joint Vocational School, whose students will help install them.

All of the plants and shrubs in the gardens (each garden measures 2,250 square feet) are pollinating varieties, which means they naturally attract honeybees. That helps cross-pollination, which is the process that creates the seeds from which flowers and plants grow.

Between 75 percent and 80 percent of all flowering plants and staple crop plants require animals and insects to complete the process of pollination. Bees are among the more active creatures in this process, traveling from flower to flower to transfer pollen

“They attract a lot of bees,” Newbacher said of the plants being put into the service plaza gardens. “The hope is that this will ideally help bee populations, which have been struggling in recent years, if enough people plant pollinators.”

Michael Mennett, executive director of Keep Ohio Beautiful, said in a news release “our focus this year on pollinators will bring attention to their important role in Ohio’s food supply, and the delight they can bring to residential gardens.”

The types of plants to be showcased also attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Each garden will be in a green space adjacent to the service plaza buildings.

“They’ll be visible to traffic going by as well to people going in and out of the plazas,” Newbacher said.

People will be able to get a close-up look at each garden and take photos on stone walkways that bisect the displays.

Signs will identify each planting. The displays could be delayed, due to the time needed to create the accompanying signage, Newbacher said.

Preparations on the sites have begun by Turnpike landscaping crews that will keep the gardens in good shape once they are installed, according to Newbacher.

 

Article source: http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2016/04/24/turnpikes-lorain-county-plazas-to-get-new-gardens/

Sunset magazine’s famed gardens rise again in Sonoma

  • Johanna Silver, garden editor, sees opportunity in the new space. Photo: Linda Lamb Peters

Caption

Close


When Sunset magazine sold its Menlo Park headquarters in late 2014, the deal spelled the end of the camera-ready test gardens that had graced the publication’s pages for decades. Next month, to the relief of many West Coast plant lovers, the gardens will bloom again in a new venue and will quadruple in size.

At the invitation of Cornerstone Sonoma, the retail and event venue in the Sonoma Valley, Sunset has relocated its test gardens there. Working with Homestead Design Collective, a Bay Area edible landscaping firm, the magazine’s staff has divided an 11,000-square-foot space into five themed garden “rooms” meant to inspire visitors and generate story ideas.


“When we knew we were losing the Menlo campus, it was scary and sad,” says Johanna Silver, the magazine’s garden editor. But Cornerstone “is an opportunity to have more land than we’ve ever had and to design with intention.”

Adjoining the freshly landscaped site, which debuts at Sunset’s Celebration Weekend in May (see sidebar), is a new outdoor kitchen.

Amateur bar chefs can wander the Cocktail Garden, a showcase of container-grown herbs and specialty citrus used in botanically inspired beverages.

The Farm area houses raised beds for vegetable trials, a custom trellis for climbing vegetables and a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired greenhouse.


The Gathering Space celebrates the California penchant for outdoor living, with a table shaded by olive trees and borders dedicated to plants from the magazine’s Western Garden Collection. A Backyard Orchard highlights dwarf fruit trees that provide a harvest from spring to fall, paired with plants that attract bees and butterflies.

The Flower Room is devoted to plants that produce blooms prized for cutting.

An app-based walking tour offers a more detailed view of the garden rooms, with linked how-to videos. In collaboration with Cornerstone, Sunset’s editors are also planning a steady schedule of classes on topics like flower arranging and bee-friendly gardening.

Sunset at Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. (707) 933-3010. Gardens open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. On weekends, the gardens may close as early as 3 p.m. for special events. Call ahead for weekend hours.

Janet Fletcher is a freelance writer. Email: travel@sfchronicle.com

Sunset Celebration Weekend

Sunset’s annual Celebration Weekend, May 14 and 15, features celebrity chef demos, wine and beer pairing seminars, and presentations by garden, decorating and travel experts. Chefs on the docket include Russell Moore of Camino, Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen and Andy Ricker of Portland’s Pok Pok. This year’s highlights include an Airstream Village, with travel trailers reimagined as cocktail bars, retail shops and home layouts; and Live Fire cooking demonstrations. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.

Sunset at Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. $35 ($45 at the gate); seminars and tastes are extra. Purchase event and seminar tickets at www.sunset.com/cwor at the gate.

Parking is at Sonoma Valley Airport, 23982 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, with shuttle service to Cornerstone.

Article source: http://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/Sunset-magazine-s-famed-gardens-rise-again-in-7294867.php

Sunset magazine’s famed gardens rise again in Sonoma

  • Johanna Silver, garden editor, sees opportunity in the new space. Photo: Linda Lamb Peters

Caption

Close


When Sunset magazine sold its Menlo Park headquarters in late 2014, the deal spelled the end of the camera-ready test gardens that had graced the publication’s pages for decades. Next month, to the relief of many West Coast plant lovers, the gardens will bloom again in a new venue and will quadruple in size.

At the invitation of Cornerstone Sonoma, the retail and event venue in the Sonoma Valley, Sunset has relocated its test gardens there. Working with Homestead Design Collective, a Bay Area edible landscaping firm, the magazine’s staff has divided an 11,000-square-foot space into five themed garden “rooms” meant to inspire visitors and generate story ideas.


“When we knew we were losing the Menlo campus, it was scary and sad,” says Johanna Silver, the magazine’s garden editor. But Cornerstone “is an opportunity to have more land than we’ve ever had and to design with intention.”

Adjoining the freshly landscaped site, which debuts at Sunset’s Celebration Weekend in May (see sidebar), is a new outdoor kitchen.

Amateur bar chefs can wander the Cocktail Garden, a showcase of container-grown herbs and specialty citrus used in botanically inspired beverages.

The Farm area houses raised beds for vegetable trials, a custom trellis for climbing vegetables and a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired greenhouse.


The Gathering Space celebrates the California penchant for outdoor living, with a table shaded by olive trees and borders dedicated to plants from the magazine’s Western Garden Collection. A Backyard Orchard highlights dwarf fruit trees that provide a harvest from spring to fall, paired with plants that attract bees and butterflies.

The Flower Room is devoted to plants that produce blooms prized for cutting.

An app-based walking tour offers a more detailed view of the garden rooms, with linked how-to videos. In collaboration with Cornerstone, Sunset’s editors are also planning a steady schedule of classes on topics like flower arranging and bee-friendly gardening.

Sunset at Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. (707) 933-3010. Gardens open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. On weekends, the gardens may close as early as 3 p.m. for special events. Call ahead for weekend hours.

Janet Fletcher is a freelance writer. Email: travel@sfchronicle.com

Sunset Celebration Weekend

Sunset’s annual Celebration Weekend, May 14 and 15, features celebrity chef demos, wine and beer pairing seminars, and presentations by garden, decorating and travel experts. Chefs on the docket include Russell Moore of Camino, Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen and Andy Ricker of Portland’s Pok Pok. This year’s highlights include an Airstream Village, with travel trailers reimagined as cocktail bars, retail shops and home layouts; and Live Fire cooking demonstrations. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.

Sunset at Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. $35 ($45 at the gate); seminars and tastes are extra. Purchase event and seminar tickets at www.sunset.com/cwor at the gate.

Parking is at Sonoma Valley Airport, 23982 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, with shuttle service to Cornerstone.

Article source: http://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/Sunset-magazine-s-famed-gardens-rise-again-in-7294867.php