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Archives for May 9, 2016

Danielle Rollins: FACES of the South

If you want to learn how to throw a party — a real, grown-up, cloth napkin, dressed-to-impress party — follow Danielle Rollins’ lead. This expert of entertaining has been dazzling folks for years at her fantastic soirees, and she put all that knowledge of being the ultimate hostess to page by writing Soiree: Entertaining With Style. Those of us still having some WWDD (What Would Danielle Do) moments can visit her website and get her thoughts on design trends, fabulous recipes, lovely gift ideas and more that influence living your best lifestyle. Besides that, she also has several upcoming — and exciting — endeavors like launching her own design firm, Danielle Rollins Interiors, and working on licensing her very own collection. We sat down with our newest FACE, the ever incredible Danielle Rollins, to share a little more about her life, her brand and, most importantly, how to be the best hostess you can be.


Meet Danielle Rollins, today’s FACE of the South.

You’re originally from Dallas, went to school in Virginia and eventually landed in Atlanta by way of marriage. How does Atlanta differ from the other Southern cities you’ve lived in? What’s your favorite part about living there?

Atlanta is a modern big city with old-fashioned, small-town, Southern roots. There is still that certain amount of politeness and formality that makes for comfortable living. My favorite thing about living here is being able to have a garden — the Southern climate is great for creating fast-growing landscaping that shows quick results for the effort.

Entertaining is in your blood. Are you a natural-born hostess or have you honed your entertaining skills over time? Would you rather attend a party or host it?

I think it is an innate love and a skill that I have honed over time as well, constantly evolving and adapting to where I am in the different stages of my life. As I have gotten older, I prefer smaller, more intimate groups of friends and I think it is reflected in the way I entertain now.

That second question made me laugh, because there is most certainly that part of me that enjoys the planning, creating and directing a party to a great degree. I think some of my favorite times are quietly sitting back, almost voyeuristically, and watching others have a good time. People can be intimidated having me at a party, which I also find quite amusing because I am not in the slightest bit judgmental of others’ effort, but rather appreciative of being included.

What are three adjectives you would use to define yourself?

Determined, inventive and resilient


Danielle wrote Soiree as a way to celebrate some of the events she has thrown and to help others host just as amazing to-dos.

What’s the No. 1 rule hostesses-in-training should follow?

Focus on your guests’ comfort, enjoy yourself and keep a sense of humor follow that and you cannot go wrong.

When not in your house, where’s your favorite place to entertain in Atlanta?

I am still more old school, in that I love entertaining at home, but I do love a night of letting someone else do the work, too! I love exploring a restaurant out of the ordinary, particularly with an interesting cuisine or taking friends from out of town to the tried-and-true favorite haunts to share the Atlanta I know and love with them. It is not entertaining, per se, but I love taking friends to the Swan House and to the High Museum (of Art)  neither ever disappoints.


Danielle is the picture of classic elegance as she works to complete the renovation and design of her Buckhead home.

Your book, Soiree: Entertaining With Style, is a how-to guide to throwing and celebrating the perfect party from start to finish. Describe your process of how you go about putting together the perfect party.

I am very organized about entertaining, but I am very relaxed about it at the same time. I tend to pick a “theme” or feeling, then decide on the look, pull everything together and lay it all out well before the event. I like to do as much as I can ahead of time so it is easy and enjoyable assembling it all on the actual day of a party. My favorite part is always doing the flowers. I love going to the Peachtree Road Farmers Market for inspiration.

How do the rules of entertaining in the South differ from the rest of the country?

People in the South love their homes and love making them personal expressions of themselves. More than anywhere else, entertaining in the South is still all about “home” and inviting others into your own special world. I think there is still a hospitality mentality here with an emphasis on putting forth the effort and making things special for the purpose of joyfully sharing what you have with others.


Danielle is getting ready to launch her own design firm, Danielle Rollins Interiors, in addition to licensing her own collection.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My mother passed down the best advice given to her from my very sensible German great-grandmother: Fifty percent of the world will love you no matter what you do, and the other 50 percent will dislike you no matter what you do. Don’t waste your time trying to change the ones you can’t. Focus on the good 50 percent.


Danielle says, “The mark of a successful party is when people don’t want to leave!”

What are three things you can’t live without, excluding friends, family and faith?

I don’t know if there is anything I can’t live without, but I really enjoy fresh flowers, creating gardens and my home.

We want to thank Danielle Rollins for joining the StyleBlueprint FACES family and sharing a little insight about her life and her professional and social endeavors.

And thanks as always to Catrina Maxwell of CatMax Photography for today’s beautiful photographs.


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What do you want to see at City Pier? Workshops to collect input set this week

PORT ANGELES — Dream out loud.

Officials with the city of Port Angeles, Feiro Marine Life Center and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary want to know what residents would like to see done to improve City Pier.

What would it be? More events? Boat docks? Kayak rentals?

A new joint Feiro Marine Life Center/NOAA Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary visitor center? Other ideas?

Everyone is invited to provide input during public studio and workshop sessions scheduled Thursday though Saturday.

“We want to get as many people as possible and make sure we’re getting the most accurate public input possible,” said Nathan West, the city’s director of Community and Economic Development.

Drop-in studio

The open drop-in studio, and a presentation Saturday afternoon, will be at 104 W. First St., in the former location of Maurice’s at the intersection of First and Laurel streets.

Sessions are scheduled:

■   Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., with another workshop beginning at 6 p.m. that day.

■   Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

■   Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Saturday presentation

Consultants with Studio Cascade of Spokane, which is under contract with Feiro and sub-contracted with the city, are expected to combine public input into a concept for the pier and present it at 2 p.m. Saturday, said West and Melissa Williams, executive director of Feiro Marine Life Center, which is on City Pier.

“Now, four years since the public shared in a major planning effort to give the waterfront back to people of Port Angeles, it is time for fresh action-oriented input about the largest remaining phase of the project,” West said.

“Our goal is to inspire new public concepts that result in follow-through and completion of this very important project.”

Component of Phase 3

City Pier is one of three components of Phase 3 of the city’s $17 million Waterfront Development Project.

Phase 1 — an esplanade along Railroad Avenue and improved street surfaces for the avenue and Oak Street — was completed in September 2013. It cost $4.09 million.

Phase 2’s $2.5 million West End Park, which features two artificial beaches and a walkway, opened in September.

Phase 3 eventually will include modifications of City Pier, the Lincoln Street and Railroad Avenue intersection and Hollywood Beach.

But this week’s public input will be gathered for only the City Pier portion of Phase 3, West said.

The total cost of Phase 3 — or even of the City Pier component — has not been determined until decisions are made about what will be done.

Marine life center

Among those decisions is whether or not the public wants a bigger and better Feiro Marine Life Center combined with an Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary visitor center.

After the new facility location on Oak Street fell through in 2014, Feiro has worked with the Sanctuary and the city on the idea of possibily building a new, improved facility on City Pier, Williams said.

The vision is for a place to house visitor services and educational programming beyond the limitations of the current 3,500-square-foot Feiro building on City Pier and the Sanctuary’s 800-square-foot Olympic Coast Discovery Center located in The Landing mall.

“Essentially the idea is to design a new marine discovery center that acts as a gateway experience to learn more about the entire Olympic Peninsula Coast,” said Carol Bernthal, sanctuary superintendent.

“It would include both a living collection and hands-on exhibits, and be a modern learning center for our community and guests to our entire region.”

Information from feasiblity studies by Dave Shreffler of Shreffler Environmental of Sequim, who studied environmental permitting needs, and consultant Scott Schaffer, who considered market potential of new building, will be included in that which is presented to members of the public this week, Williams said.

Consultants have interviewed stakeholders such as the Economic Development Corporation, the North Olympic Discovery Marathon and the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe to understand influences on the look and feel of a future City Pier, she said.

The city’s portion of planning concerns such non-building aspects as pier functions, landscaping and parking, West said, while Feiro and the Sanctuary are focused on a possible building.

“We won’t make any decision until we get the results of the public survey back and see if people are interested,” Williams said.

“That will make a big difference in whether we move forward.”


Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at

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Our view: Bring this walkway to life – Winston

Posted: Sunday, May 8, 2016 8:30 pm

Our view: Bring this walkway to life

Journal editorial board

Winston-Salem Journal

The idea to revive a downtown walkway shows promise, if organizers can give more pedestrians firm reasons to use it.

The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership has presented the city with a plan to improve the walkway between Cherry and Trade streets on the south side of the downtown Marriott hotel, the Journal’s Wesley Young reported recently. While some members of our editorial board use the walkway daily, we admit that it’s currently somewhat desolate.

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Sunday, May 8, 2016 8:30 pm.

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Kennewick wants wineries to woo waterfront visitors – Tri

The reunion of Kennewick’s East Columbia Drive and the Columbia River starts May 9.

The Port of Kennewick breaks ground at 11 a.m. on the Columbia Gardens Urban Wine Artisan Village, its long-planned urban wine village, at 421 E. Columbia Drive. The $3 million project will use tasting rooms to lure visitors to an industrial stretch of Columbia Drive driven by many but visited by few.

In time, port officials hope the pioneering wineries will spark related development in the neighborhood.

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“The wineries will come in and do light industrial manufacturing. But it’s the type of production that will draw visitors,” said Tana Bader Inglima, the port’s deputy chief executive.

The first phase brings utilities to the six-acre site, which fronts gritty Columbia Drive to the south and Duffy’s Pond to the north. The pond sits on the upland side of the Columbia River levy and is crossed by walking and biking trails.

In the second phase, the city of Kennewick will add sidewalks, landscaping, trees and a system to manage the acidity of winery effluent to prevent it from affecting its waste water treatment system.

In the final phase, the port will construct three buildings it intends to lease to area wineries for tasting rooms.

The port calculates that wineries have the potential to bridge Columbia Drive’s gritty industrial nature with its prime waterfront location.

There are 800 wineries in the state of Washington. It is not the Port of Kennewick’s goal to make sure there are 803 wineries through this project.

Larry Peterson, director of planning and development

The project suffered a setback in January when bids came in about $1 million higher than expected, the result of a robust construction market and an unusual design that contractors considered too risky.

Larry Peterson, director of planning and development, said the port’s initial design called for insulated concrete walls and concrete roof trusses, energy-saving systems that are common in the Napa Valley wine industry. The design was meant to help Kennewick’s tenants market themselves as sustainable businesses to visitors from the west side.

“Seattle wine customers want to know everything, from wine to table. This would have been an operational advantage and a marketing advantage,” Peterson said.

The approach was unfamiliar to local contractors and drove costs above budget.

The port rejected the initial bids and directed its Tri-City architect Terence Thornhill to revisit the wall and roof systems.

The new design replaces concrete walls and trusses with cinder block and steel. It won’t affect the project’s appearance, but shaves about $850,000 off the cost estimates while preserving most of the energy savings.

The port will solicit new construction bids in August, and expects the buildings to be ready for tenants in April.

“We didn’t lower the bar to the simplest building possible,” Peterson said.

The port will solicit new construction bids in August, and expects the buildings to be ready for tenants in April.

The port wants to lease to established regional wineries willing to take a leap of faith on a new setting. Columbia Gardens isn’t an incubator for newcomers.

“There are 800 wineries in the state of Washington. It is not the Port of Kennewick’s goal to make sure there are 803 wineries through this project,” Peterson said.

The Port of Kennewick began amassing real estate for its riverfront redevelopment program in 2007 when it acquired the former Willows Trailer Park on Clover Island Drive. It secured the former Cable Greens near the Cable Green, a former automotive building and other properties. It controls 16 of 28 acres along the stretch.

$3 million

Amount the project costs.

The 6.7-acre Willows site, now cleared of homes, is set for mixed use development and the 3.2-acre Cable Greens site also is available to support its river-oriented vision. In the long term, it hopes the wine village development will spark private development.

“We don’t have to own it all. We think we can start tipping the neighborhood,” Bader Inglima said.

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Plant sale keeps things fresh at the Paca House

After more than 30 years, the William Paca Garden plant sale continues to raise enough money to keep one of the more picturesque Annapolis landmarks looking as good as new.

The annual sale raises close to $20,000 every year during Mother’s Day weekend — money that goes to maintaining the 2-acre Colonial garden outside the home of William Paca, one of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence and the state’s third governor.

“It’s just beautiful,” said Evelyn Carlson, who works in visitor services at the Paca House. “People come from everywhere to just experience this.”

Paula Bu made the trip from Philadelphia so she could set foot on the old land.

“I just think it’s cool to be able to walk around historical grounds,” she said.

The garden at the Paca House offers visitors an experience that is hard to come by anywhere else in the city.

“It’s the only historic property in Annapolis where the 18th-century garden has been reconstructed and is open to the public,” said Mollie Ridout, director of horticulture for Historic Annapolis.

A variety of plants were available for purchase, including wild flowers, vines and vegetable starts.

“(I come here) just to see if I can find something I don’t have,” said avid gardener Bob Bryant.

The event also has something to offer people like Ed Byrns, of St. Margarets, who is doing some landscaping work on his property.

“We’re trying to naturalize an area so they have a lot of native (plants),” he said.

Winners announced for 61st Annual May Day Basket Competition

The garden sale was an added bonus for some of those out-of-town tourists.

“I really love historical houses and we heard about the garden, so just decided to come out and look around and then we saw the plant sale,” said Whitney Viets, who was visiting from New York.

Ridout puts on the garden sale with a team of employees and volunteers. And while she described walking in the garden as “time travel,” she said it also has a modern application.

“It’s a green space for downtown Annapolis,” she said. “There are trees and shrubs out there that are helping to clear the air.”

The Paca House was restored by Historic Annapolis in 1965 and is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Guided tours of the house are a signature attraction in Annapolis. The garden was restored based on information from historic artwork and archaeological findings. It features heirloom plants, a pond with a Chinese bridge and a full-scale summer house.

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Bloomingdale dedicates garden to ‘Sunny’ Brennan

A borough resident and Passaic County master gardener who has done much to brighten the environs of the Bloomingdale Senior Center recently received the ultimate compliment for her work. The garden at the center was dedicated on April 30 as “Sunny’s Garden” in honor of Sunny Brennan.

Mayor Jonathan Dunleavy presented Brennan with the “key to the city,” and presented Sunny and the other Master Gardeners of Passaic County with certificates of appreciation for their countless hours of work at the garden.

The certificate says, “In proud recognition of your contribution of time and effort in 2015 to the Bloomingdale Senior Center Garden. Your achievement as a master gardener reflects itself in the pride of the community in making our Senior Center a pace for seniors and residents of all ages to enjoy.”

After the dedication, Dunleavy said it was important to recognize Brennan and all the master gardeners who have turned the grounds of the Senior Center into a masterpiece.

“I thought it was important to recognize Sunny and all the master gardeners for their work to beautify the Senior Center and thank them for their many hours of work. It’s impressive,” said Dunleavy.

At the May 3 Borough Council meeting, the mayor said the Senior Center garden dedication and open house had an amazing turnout. Of the 30 Passaic County Master Gardeners, only four were not able to make the dedication ceremony, he said.

The seeds for the garden at the Bloomingdale Senior Center began to take root in 2010. Back then, Brennan got wind of the Master Gardeners of Passaic County Board’s intent to initiate projects in each of the county’s 16 municipalities. Brennan set her sights on finding a suitable project for Bloomingdale.

In a July 2011 interview, Brennan explained how the Senior Center was chosen as the recipient of the master gardeners’ talents. Brennan said she happened to be having a conversation with Pat Yannacci, executive director of the Bloomingdale Senior Center, when Yannacci asked her what she had been up to lately. She told Yannacci that she was looking for a place for a community garden.

“Pat looked at me with her big brown eyes and asked if we could have the garden here (at the Senior Center). I asked her what she wanted and she said, landscaping; we have no landscaping,” recalled Brennan.

Brennan filled out the paperwork for the garden proposal and the project received approval from Master Gardeners of Passaic County. The Master Gardeners of Passaic County brought plants valued in the thousands of dollars to the site and the planting effort began. The Master Gardeners of Passaic County channeled one-third of its budget toward the community garden in Bloomingdale.

Additionally, the borough approved some funds from its ROSE (Recreation Open Space Establishment) Fund to pay for mulch, some shrubs, and gravel.

Personnel from the Department of Public Works assisted at the site, and senior citizens frequenting the Senior Center volunteer their time at the garden, which is predominately maintained by the master gardeners, she said.

Additionally, residents contribute plants such as boxwoods and irises from their home gardens. North Jersey Property Maintenance, located next door to the Senior Center, contributed a large rock to complement the plantings. Bowman Fencing gave the gardeners a discount rate on fencing. Another addition to the site is a fountain donated by Elaine and John Kovalicky.

Last Friday, Yannacci said the Bloomingdale Senior Center is lucky to have Brennan as its personal master gardener along with her colleagues who have also dedicated a great deal of time beautifying the Senior Center grounds.

Yannacci said, “Sunny has been the advisor and inspiration behind the center’s garden. Without her untiring energy and ability to lead, the garden would not have come to be and the seniors and general public would not have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings here. I am grateful to the master gardeners, who have worked in the cold, rain, and heat. They’re a great group of people – just like our Sunny.”


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Garden Tips: New shrubs offer plenty of beauty in smaller forms – Tri

Flowering shrubs were once a staple of home landscapes, but over time, they have lost their fanbase. Reasons for this loss of popularity may have been their large size and limited seasonal interest.

I can recall the Vanhoutte spirea (S. x vanhouttei) in the front of the house where I grew up. In spring, it was magnificent when covered with clusters of small white flowers, but the rest of the year, it was unremarkable except for its huge size, growing 5 to 8 feet tall and 7-to 10-feet-wide.

Today, plant purveyors are working to offer new flowering and evergreen shrubs for the home landscapes. Many are more compact and have multiseasonal interest, such as springtime flowers, bright fall color or interesting bark. Other desirable traits include prolonged or repeat bloom, remarkable foliage colors and textures, low maintenance requirements, and pest resistance. Every year, I get excited about all the new shrubs and this year is no exception. Here are just a few.

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Spring Lace Viburnum is offered by Bailey Nurseries. Viburnums are one of my favorite shrubs, but most tend to be too large for my landscape. However, I might consider planting Spring Lace because it grows only 5 feet tall and wide, has dark green leaves that turn dark red in fall and is covered with flat clusters of fragrant white blooms in spring. Bailey Nurseries says it appears to be fruitless.

I also fondly remember a yellow climbing rose that grew in my grandparents’ yard. It grew tall and bloomed only once in early summer. Ball Ornamentals is introducing a new series of climbing roses, the Starlet Beauty series, for use in small garden spaces and in patio containers. Ball describes this series as the “elegant little sister of the large-flowered classic climbing roses.” Mauve, pink, ruby or tangerine colored double blooms are produced all season long. Ball says the plants are well branched, growing 8 to 10 inches tall and 3 to 4 inches wide, and can be trained to grow vertically or horizontally on a trellis.

I am not a big fan when it comes to boxwood because of its odoriferous foliage and vulnerability to winter sunburn damage. However, its compact growth works well in more formal landscapes and gardens. Monrovia is introducing Petite Pillar Dwarf Boxwood. It is a dwarf columnar boxwood that grows only 2 to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide at the base. Monrovia notes that Petite Pillar can be used in containers, in limited space landscapes or for creating small hedges. It does not need regular shearing to keep it neat and compact.

Every year, Proven Winners introduces interesting new shrubs. This year, one new shrub is a cute little viburnum that will fit into any landscape. Lil’ Ditty is a fragrant dwarf viburnum that only grows up to 2 feet tall and wide, with a mounded form. The creamy white flowers are produced in late spring and may yield a crop of showy black fruit if a pollinator is nearby.

Speaking of small, Proven Winners also markets a diminutive forsythia, Show Off Sugar Baby. It is perfect for the smaller spaces in today’s home landscapes, growing only 18 to 30 inches tall and wide, also with a mounded form, and covered with bright yellow flowers in the spring. It does not require heavy annual pruning.

Make a visit to your favorite local nursery and see what new shrubs have arrived. I bet you will find at least one that you must have. I know I will.

Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

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