Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for May 11, 2016

Organic garden re-design will mean parts shut to the public

Having trouble signing in?

Contact Customer Support at
or call 020 8267 8121, or refer to our answers to frequently asked questions.

Article source:

Super Garden: Designer transforms boring Dublin garden into a back yard oasis but is it worthy of Bloom?

The cottage style planting includes fruit trees, soft fruit bushes, aromatic scented culinary herbs, shrubs, perennials and specimen trees which will provide colour and year round interest. 

The strong lines of the patio, lawn and beds give structure, softened by the planting and lifted with colour.

Article source:

Students work to beautify school

Posted May 10, 2016 at 3:10 PM
Updated May 10, 2016 at 3:12 PM


Article source:

JP Library Lagniappe: Parla l’italiano? Learn basic language skills at the library


Article source:

Reader asks about roofing underlayment

We are in need of a new roof and following your advice we obtained three bids, requesting a separation of labor, material and product description. We also verified that tax was charged appropriately. Our question is: Subcontractor A quoted 15# underlayment, subcontractor B quoted 30# underlayment and subcontractor C quoted synthetic underlayment. Would you please walk us through the difference and what should we do?

As defined by the International Building Code: un∙der∙lay∙ment n. “One or more layers of felt, sheathing paper, nonbituminous saturated felt, or other approved material over which a steep-slope roofing covering is applied.”

There are a multitude of material types, compositions and installation techniques that are available for underlayments for roof assemblies, with felt being the most commonly used one. There is no one size fits all for the type of roofing underlayment, since the guidelines of underlayment pertain to the pitch of the roof, and the various types of roofing material. Using an example of the most common type of roof material which would be asphalt shingles and the most common roof pitch of 4/12 the underlayment requirements are using a 15# felt only.

Other types of roof covering and pitch will require increased poundage of underlayment. If the pitch of your roof is 4/12 or less, the 15# underlayment is per code and it could be that Subcontractor B was just adding a second layer for “protection.” There is not a huge cost difference for a double layer of felt vs. a single layer. Synthetic underlayment which Subcontractor C quoted can be used as long as it meets UL listing. There are advantages to using synthetic underlayment and in talking with Dave Kinion of Central Basin Roofing and Greg Barstad of Granite Basin Roofing, they only use synthetic underlayment. Felt material serves a minimum purpose and is it the best underlayment — no. Synthetic underlayment is engineered to withstand heat and weather and has a specific purpose which is better and longer protection for your roof system.

Synthetic underlayment has a much higher strength factor (will not tear around nails and requires fewer nails to hold in place); resistant to bugs, rot and fungus and can remain exposed for extended periods such as 6 to 12 months without degradation. Synthetic is promoted to be a “premium” performance upgrade for an underlayment as compared to the traditional felt products and yes, it does cost slightly more, but it has better performance and has a longer warranty. The only question I would have pertaining to your quotes would be if your roof has a higher than 4/12 pitch because if it does, you are required to have #30 felt vs. #15 pound and synthetic will work on both applications.

Home Show

Even for this YCCA girl, I must admit that starting a home remodeling project, however large or small can be a headache, a hassle, a cause of stress and a pain. We have attempted to lessen the stress because you can see the products you need side by side, in one place, so you can compare without having to drive from showroom to showroom. How do we do this? At the 38th annual YCCA Home and Garden Show — Prescott Valley Event Center, May 13-14-16, next weekend.

Hundreds of home-improvement companies will set up shop for the weekend and we want to invite you to stop by, look at materials, meet the tradesman, see how products work and learn about new ideas and “stuff” you didn’t even know existed in the marketplace.

If you have never attended a home show, put this one on your calendar for spring. Now is a great time to start a home renovation project or even go on a repair rampage around the house and the YCCA Home Show is a great place to pick up knowledge and meet the people you need to get the job done.

Here is why you should attend: You will get to meet the contractors and owners of the companies face to face. You can see, touch and feel the latest products on the market for home renovations and repairs. Are you going green? Find out how to do it affordably and in stages by talking to the contractors who work with green building materials every day.

You can comparison shop and not just for products. All contractors are not the same so it is important to narrow down your selection according to which contractor is best suited for your particular project. Some specialize in whole house renovations or elaborate kitchen makeovers. Some only do garage doors or window replacements.

Mingling with contractors at a home show allows you to skip the step of setting up an appointment with a contractor who does not even do the kind of job you need done. You will discover that you might need more than one contractor for a single project. Not all remodelers do their own painting, for instance. You will know you are meeting qualified, licensed contractors with experience and dedication. You will be in heaven if you need home repairs, decorating ideas, landscaping, screen doors, windows, spas and saunas, even boats and RV’s and quads. We have insurance companies, realtors, chiropractors and so much more. Stop by the home show and have your head filled with wonderful ideas.

YCCA and our members know that building a new home or even remodeling is a journey. Planning new landscaping or selecting paint colors is a process for personalization and what type of HVAC unit to install is a question that even a psychic can’t answer. At our home show you can meet the members of your community who can help you with the features you want to install now or later and can make your life easier.

This is the Home Show event of the year in Northern Arizona. This is a terrific excuse to stop by the Prescott Valley Event Center, walk around, meet your contractors, say hi to your neighbors and friends, and I would love to meet you!

Free admission

The hours Friday and Saturday are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We ask that you bring non perishable food items to support our community partner the Yavapai Food Bank. See You There. YCCA, your local trusted referral source — Don’t Start Without Us!

Remember to tune in and listen to Hammer Time on Saturday morning the 14th with Mike and me coming to you LIVE from the Event Center 7 a.m. KQNA 1130 AM 99.9 FM or the web See you at the home show!

Sandy Griffis is executive director of the Yavapai County Contractors Association. Email your questions to her at or call 928-778-0040.

Article source:

Washington County takes the H2Oath with new water-wise program

ST. GEORGE – Washington County, municipal and water district leaders are partnering with the Utah Division of Water Resources’ H20ath pledge campaign and inviting all Utahns to join in by signing the water conservation pledge online.

Washington County kicks off the H2Oath campaign with tremendous support from the water district and local elected officials. From left to right (back row), Ivins Mayor Chris Hart, Leeds Mayor Wayne Peterson, LaVerkin Mayor Kerry Gubler, WCWCD Board Chairman Ed Bowler and WCWCD General Manager Ron Thompson; (front row) Virgin Mayor Bruce Densley, St. George Mayor Jon Pike, Washington Mayor Ken Neilson, Hurricane Mayor John Bramall, County Commissioner Chairman Alan Gardener, County Commissioner Zach Renstrom, Apple Valley Mayor Rick Moser and Santa Clara Mayor Rick Rosenberg, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2016 | Photo courtesy Washington County Water Conservancy District, St. George News
Washington County kicks off the H2Oath campaign with support from the water district and local elected officials. From left to right (back row), Ivins Mayor Chris Hart, Leeds Mayor Wayne Peterson, LaVerkin Mayor Kerry Gubler, WCWCD Board Chairman Ed Bowler and WCWCD General Manager Ron Thompson; (front row) Virgin Mayor Bruce Densley, St. George Mayor Jon Pike, Washington Mayor Ken Neilson, Hurricane Mayor John Bramall, County Commissioner Chairman Alan Gardener, County Commissioner Zach Renstrom, Apple Valley Mayor Rick Moser and Santa Clara Mayor Rick Rosenberg, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2016 | Photo courtesy Washington County Water Conservancy District, St. George News

The initiative was announced by the Water Conservancy District Tuesday in conjunction with a statewide effort by the Utah Division of Water Resources.

H2Oath: Utah’s Water-Wise Pledge encourages water conservation efforts by families, businesses, government agencies and statewide organizations.

The H2Oath follows the recommendations of the “Slow the Flow” campaign and shows that individuals are willing to participate in various conservation measures, Karry Rathje, Washington County Water Conservancy District spokesperson, said.

Provisions of the pledge include following the irrigation guide the state publishes weekly, running washing machines and dishwashers only when full, taking shorter showers, and much more.

“It’s a pledge campaign, saying ‘we’re going to incorporate these practices,” Rathje said.

Water-wise plants are an important part of water conservation, Dixie Regional Medical Center grounds, date unspecified | Photo courtesy Washington County Water Conservancy District, St. George News
Water-wise plants are an important part of water conservation, Dixie Regional Medical Center grounds, date unspecified | Photo courtesy Washington County Water Conservancy District, St. George News

“The little things make a big difference, and so we’re just trying to adopt some of those and encourage our residents and business and home owners to incorporate those practices.”

The district has been working with mayors and county commissioners, Rathje said, to sign the H2Oath and plans to work with the public to promote their participation in the program.

“We find that Utah residents – if they say they’re going to do something, they do it,” Rathje said, “and so we think this pledge campaign will be an opportunity for them to make that pledge and start incorporating those changes.”

According to the Utah Division of Water Resources, conservation measures are needed throughout the state. Utah has been experiencing long-term drought conditions for the past several years, and Utah’s population is projected to more than double by 2060, so meeting future needs will require additional conservation. 

The Water District has a long list of ongoing conservation projects and initiatives, manager Ron Thompson said, including an education initiative for fourth-graders which has taught 40,000 school children about water conservation.

“(This week) we’ll have a couple thousand elementary students come to Dixie College and have two days of all kinds of classes and games and stuff that teach the kids about water and where it comes from and how to use it wisely and so forth,” Thompson said. “We think if the kids get trained, they’ll train the parents.”

During the last two decades, the district and its municipal partners have invested millions of dollars annually into conservation initiatives, Rathje said. Efforts include converting 1,350,000 feet of open canals to pipelines, repairing leaking pipes, installing meters, developing two water conservation demonstration gardens and hosting more than 200 free community events. More than 2,000 free irrigation audits have been performed.

The district launched its rebate program in 2005 and has distributed nearly $1 million to local businesses and residents who have installed water-efficient irrigation systems, plumbing fixtures and commercial equipment. 

In addition, the district requires its municipal partners have a conservation plan, a tiered conservation rate structure, landscaping ordinances and time of day watering ordinances to purchase water from the district through its Regional Water Supply Agreement, Rathje said.   

The district offers free community landscape workshops and a variety of rebates to help residents conserve water with low-flow toilets, high-efficiency washing machines, water-smart landscaping and much more.

Water-wise plants are an important part of water conservation, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy Washington County Water Conservancy District, St. George News
Water-wise plants are an important part of water conservation, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy Washington County Water Conservancy District, St. George News

Homeowner University is a new program set to start this summer which will help homeowners with existing landscapes get professional advice about how to economically change their landscaping to be more water-wise, Thompson said.

Homeowners will be teamed with professional landscapers to develop a plan for retrofitting an existing landscape to use less water. The class begins Aug. 10 and is free.

The water district offers a free lawn water audit each year May-September. To schedule an appointment call Julie Breckenridge at 435-673-3617.

The Water District has information including tips and techniques available on its website to help residents learn about water conservation.

The Washington County Water Conservancy District is one of the state’s four largest water conservancy districts. Together with Central Utah, Jordan Valley and Weber Basin, the districts provide water to 85 percent of Utah’s population.

The pledge

The H2Oath recommends the following practices:

  • I will water my landscape no more than is recommended by the Weekly Lawn Watering Guide found on, and posted weekly on the Utah Division of Water Resources Facebook page and Twitter account. (If everyone does it, it will save Utah billions of gallons)
  • I will not water my landscape at the hottest time of the day.
  • I will not water during or directly after a rainstorm.
  • I will adjust my sprinklers to avoid spraying sidewalks and driveways.
  • I will adjust my lawn mower to one of the higher settings to help shade roots, and reduce the need for water.
  • I will look for opportunities to add water-wise plants to my landscape.
  • I will identify and fix leaks both inside and outside of my home.
  • I will reduce my shower time by at least 1 minute per shower.
  • I will wait until I have a full load to run my dishwasher or washing machine.



Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

Article source:

Off to tour England’s great gardens

Today I am off to England to lead a 13-day tour to great gardens in the West Country and over to the Scilly Isles before returning to London to attend the Chelsea Flower Show,
This is one of the most exciting garden tours I have led and includes some of my most favourite gardens, including the great Cornish ravine gardens of Trebah and Glendurgan as well as the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the Eden Project and much more.

Trebah Garden in Cornwall

Trebah Garden in Cornwall

Handout /

Vancouver Sun

But of all the highlights on the itinerary, I must confess to being especially thrilled about one destination in particular – Tresco Abbey Garden in the Scilly Isles.
I have long wanted to visit this subtropical garden that is warmer than other parts of England because it sits in the Gulf Stream off the Cornish coast.

Tresco Abbey Garden in the Scilly Isles

Tresco Abbey Garden in the Scilly Isles

Steve Whysall /

Vancouver Sun

This allows the garden to grow all sorts of tender and exotic plants from echiums to agaves to an assortment of palms and specialties. It also just happens to be a very pretty garden.
In 2005, I bumped into Mike Nelhams, curator/director of the garden, quite by chance, walking around the BC Home and Garden Show. It was a shock to me to see him there. He had a little booth and was very quietly and modestly promoting the garden.
I was a little flabbergasted at the time to say the least to find him there. And we rushed around to get him a speaking spot at the gardener’s school.
It was then that he told me that the 17-acre garden was home to no less than 20,000 plants from 80 countries, from Brazil to New Zealand, Myanmar to South America.
So you can see I will be looking forward to saying hello again to Mike and seeing for myself what he was talking about all those years ago.

Stourhead garden, an 18th century masterpiece

Stourhead garden, an 18th century masterpiece

Vancouver Sun

But while this is the highlight of the tour what I am excited about is there are so many other fantastic aspects of this tour and it is really a case of stepping from cloud nine to cloud 10 and upwards.
Stourhead is a 1,000-acre 18th century masterpiece of landscaping – one of the most impressive estate gardens with a classical Greek theme running throughout with temples and grottoes and monuments dotted across the hillside and a beautiful Palladian bridge on a stunning mirror-like lake. It will be one of the gardens we see later in the tour. It is so beautiful it was chosen as the location for the 2015 movie remake of Pride and Prejudice.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Handout /

Vancouver Sun

We will be going to Tintinhull, the garden made famous by Penelope Hobhouse outside Yeovil, where I was a reporter back in the early 70s. We will also be popping into East Lambrook, Margery Fish’s famous garden, as well as Hestercombe, the garden that shows the beautiful work and style of Sir Edwin Lutyens, who collaborated there with iconic plant guru Gertrude Jekyll.

Sleeping Goddess at Lost Gardens of Heligan

Sleeping Goddess at Lost Gardens of Heligan

Handout /

Vancouver Sun

This tour is as much about getting a feel for the atmosphere and charm of Cornwall as it is about seeing wonderful gardens, so we will be visiting wonderful fishing villages like St. Ives and Padstow, Mousehole, Mevagissey, Mullion Cove and Fowey, but we will also take time to visit Port Isaac, the village famous for the Doc Martin TV series, and Tintagel, which is said to be the castle-site of King Arthur and the heart of Camelot.

Hestercombe Garden, Somerset

Hestercombe Garden, Somerset

Handout /

Vancouver Sun

We will be seeing other superb gardens in Cornwall including the sculpture garden at Tremenheere, Caerhays Gardens, Bonython Manor and Trewidden Garden before heading back to London.
We will get a chance to see Wisley, the RHS’s superb flagship garden, as well as Chelsea Flower Show and still have time for shows and shopping in London.

Chelsea Flower Show, always a thrill.

Chelsea Flower Show, always a thrill.

Vancouver Sun

You can follow along with us on this tour as I will be blogging as often as I can throughout with photos and updates.
I have told people coming with me on this tour that the secret to having a wonderful time is this: Keep an open mind and a willing heart throughout this trip. It is the best way to find joy in the thrill of the unexpected and delight in the magic of the serendipitous.

Chelsea Flower Show. Excellence abounds

Chelsea Flower Show. Excellence abounds

Tim Ireland /


Article source:

Garden and lawn prep: Edible landscaping and how to protect your investment – WNDU

Click Here to access the online Public Inspection File

Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station’s FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC’s online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or

Article source:

Gardening Tips: It’s all about the fragrance

I will admit it, I am a fragrance addict. I love to stick my nose into scented flowers and ‘pet’ plants with fragrant foliage. My personal favourite is Woolly Thyme; the foliage is both fragrant and incredibly soft.

The fragrance of foliage and flowers does certainly influence new additions to my garden. I planted hardy shrubs roses that have strongly scented flowers: Theresa Bugnet, Hansa and Blanc de Coubert.

There is a fragrant Northern Lights Azalea in both my front and back gardens. I placed hybrid OT (oriental/trumpet) lilies in both gardens.

I have a Summersweet shrub by the front porch beside a Minuet lilac. The lilac blooms in June and the Summersweet perfumes the air in late August into September.

That same garden has lilies that bloom in midsummer. I also have Mockange in two of my gardens. The white flowers smell like orange blossoms.

If you love lilacs, try one of the Bloomerang series of compact shrubs. They have a main bloom in June and a lighter batch of flowers in late summer. Pink Perfume is the newest addition to the lineup.

Some fragrant perennials include: dianthus, peony, carnations, bearded iris, tall summer phlox, Lily of the Valley, Sweet Woodruff and lavender.

When I choose annuals for the pots and window boxes, I make a point of including some plants in each area that will scent the air or have fragrant foliage.

There are so many to choose from: Sweet Alyssum, Heliotrope, Petunias, Nicotiana, Nemesia, Lantana (the foliage is citrus scented), Moon vine and Sweet Peas.

Another way to enjoy both fragrance and an edible component to the garden is to grow herbs. I enjoy the scent of the foliage as much as I do using them in the kitchen.

The hardy perennial types can be planted right in the gardens: onion and garlic chives, oregano, various thymes, sage, fennel, tarragon, spearmint, peppermint and lemon balm.

The last three are all members of the mint family and are very aggressive plants. If planting in the garden, give them lots of room to grow or plant them in a deep pot sunk into the ground.

Cut numerous drainage holes in the bottom of the pot and leave the lip of the pot several inches above ground level. This method will help contain the plant.

As a side note, the mint family has plants identified by their square stems. They are all pretty aggressive. The perennials Monarda (or Bee Balm) and Obedient Plant are also members of this family.

Herbs are also perfectly suited for container gardening. I always have several pot filled with fragrant foliage basking in the sun near my deck and back patio.

Be sure to choose a container with drainage holes. Use a good quality potting mix. Since you are consuming the foliage, an organic soil is a good choice.

I have found that basil always grow best by itself in pots. Remember this plant does not like the cold! Don’t put it out too early. Along with the traditional large leaved basil, there are many other types to try.

I like the Spicy Globe Basil for its abundant small leaves. Columnar Basil is another great plant and is the best variety to grow indoors on a sunny kitchen windowsill.

Keep several parsley and cilantro plants on hand so you always have a fresh supply to harvest from. Italian Parsley is best for cooking and Curly parsley is the perfect garnish.

I grow Bay Laurel in a container and take it indoors for the winter. I love making stocks, soups and stews during cold weather and can pinch off bay leaves to add flavour.

I have had the same plant for 4 years now. It goes out for the summer and sits indoors, near a sunny window, all winter.

As you can see, there is a wealth of fragrant plants to choose from.

To add a few trees to the list, consider Linden, Ivory Silk Lilac or any of the French hybrid lilac standards. They all have fragrant flowers!

Article source:

Gardening: 5 tips for growing healthy roses

Sunshine Happy Trails roses

Sunshine Happy Trails roses
Courtesy Weeks Roses

Roses are the queens of the garden. Flowering rose bushes have been cultivated for thousands of years, and the rose is the most popular flower in the world.

Just how popular are roses? In 1985, The American Rose Society successfully lobbied to have the rose declared the national flower of the United States of America. President Ronald Reagan signed the proclamation certifying the rose as the national flower in a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden in 1986.

It’s no surprise, then, that every year millions of rose bushes are planted in American gardens and throughout the gardening world. Rumors might persist that roses are fussy and difficult to grow, but rose experts tell us otherwise.

“All plants need the right growing conditions to thrive, and roses are no different,” says Chris VanCleave, a nationally known rose expert and self-proclaimed Redneck Rosarian ( “If you provide the right conditions and the right care, rose bushes will thrive in virtually any garden.”

Here are five tips for growing healthy roses. Follow these tips and you can enjoy these beautiful flowering shrubs in your own garden year after year.

1. Select the rose that’s right for your garden.

There are more than 2,000 varieties of roses — and new varieties are introduced every year. Different roses have specific needs and behavior. You might be tempted to select a rose solely based on its flower appearance, but a rose’s hardiness, disease resistance, bloom time and other factors are important to consider, too.

If your garden’s climate isn’t ideal for roses, don’t despair. Many roses thrive in containers, such as a new variety from Weeks Roses called Cutie Pie. Other roses, including the popular groundcover roses like Rainbow Happy Trails, make it possible to grow roses in surprisingly tough garden conditions.

2. Plant your rose in the right location.

The first step toward a healthy, beautiful rose in the garden is planting the right rose in the right place. A rose will never perform well if planted in a poor spot, no matter how much you pamper it.

Get your rose off to a good start by first selecting the right variety for your garden’s climate, and carefully planting it in a sunny location with good soil. Roses prefer locations that receive 6-8 hours of sunlight to produce the most blooms.

3. Prune wisely.

Some roses bloom with a great flourish and they’re done for the season. Other roses are repeat bloomers that flower continuously throughout the growing season. Once-blooming roses (such as antique rose varieties) should be pruned after they flower. Repeat bloomers can be pruned in early spring before they bloom.

“The trick to powerhouse blooms is deadheading your repeat-blooming roses after they flower,” says VanCleave. “Snipping off the spent blooms sends a signal to the plant to repeat its bloom.”

4. Water deeply and consistently.

Roses need their water, and most varieties do not tolerate severe drought well. For the healthiest plants, water your roses on a consistent basis. When you water, make sure to water deeply to encourage healthy root growth. A soaker hose or drip irrigation works well because the water is delivered directly to plant roots. Avoid watering with sprinklers or spraying the foliage with a hose, because wet leaves invite diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew.

5. Fertilize (but don’t overdo it).

A list of tips for growing roses should always include fertilizing. Roses are heavy feeders, but many gardeners use too high a concentration of fertilizer, which can damage plants. VanCleave recommends alternating between composted manure and a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer for the best results.

When growing roses in containers, or if your garden soil is relatively poor, you may need to provide some fertilizer a few times each growing season. Watch for signs of over fertilizing, which include leaf burn.

“Breakthroughs in breeding programs are producing much better rose bushes than our parents grew,” says VanCleave, whose own rose garden includes 160 rose bushes. “The leading rose breeders like Weeks Roses in California introduce new varieties every year that are beautiful and thrive in most garden conditions. My rose garden would not be the same without them.”

To see the many varieties of roses now available, visit or your local garden center.

Article source: