Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for May 17, 2016

Middle-class white people with double-barrelled names dominate gardening, says Chelsea Flower Show’s first black …

The Brighton-based designer’s Modern Slavery Garden celebrates the passing of the Modern Slavery Act, which became law in March last year, while also reminding visitors of the estimated 13,000 people still living as slaves in the UK.

From the outside, the garden is colourful with vibrant flowers and bright front doors, but behind metal railings the centre is all black. In the middle is an English oak tree, designed to represent hope since William Wilberforce sat beneath an oak tree as he formulated plans to end the slave trade.

“It represents the hidden nature of modern slavery,” Mrs Sargeant, who studied garden design at Middlesex University, said.

“We walk through our streets every day and we have no idea that this is going on in carwashes, nail bars, restaurants – people are being held captive and forced to work against their will, so the idea of the garden is to raise awareness and for people to have their eyes open as they go about.”

Article source:

Get off your ass and help clean up the Rouge River watershed

<!– myParagraphType:
, myParagraphCount: 5 –>

click to enlarge Quicken Loans volunteers pull 103 bags of garlic mustard at last year's Rouge Rescue. - PHOTO VIA FRIENDS OF THE ROUGE FACEBOOK PAGE.

  • Photo via Friends of the Rouge Facebook page.
  • Quicken Loans volunteers pull 103 bags of garlic mustard at last year’s Rouge Rescue.

We like to spend our Saturday mornings sipping coffee and searching Pinterest for “cheap landscaping ideas” and “curvy girl fashion,” but every once and a while there’s a good reason to get up off the couch and get out of the house.

This Saturday the Friends of the Rouge are hosting the 30th annual Rouge Rescue event and it’s the perfect way to donate some free time and help make a difference (plus, let’s face it, your front yard is going to look like shit no matter what you do and nobody cares what your curvy ass looks like anyway). 

The event draws nearly 1,000 people who help clean up the river, remove invasive plant species, do trail work, weed, plant native vegetation, and remove debris at 19 different work sites in several different cities across the region including Detroit, Dearborn, Plymouth Township, Novi, Northville, Southfield, Livonia, and Beverly Hills. You can click here for a full list of clean-up sites as well as what work is happening at each site and what time the efforts begin. Some sites are family-friendly, while others are not safe for children. 

Friends of the Rouge have been hosting this event since 1986, engaging thousands of metro Detroiters and restoring the river at 20 to 50 different sites throughout the watershed. 

Article source:

City offering neighborhood grant program – Omaha World

Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 1:00 am

City offering neighborhood grant program

By Kelsey Stewart / Times Managing Editor

The Omaha World-Herald

Papillion residents looking to spruce up their neighborhoods are in luck.

The City of Papillion is again offering its neighborhood grant program to help those who have ideas on improving Papillion neighborhoods.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.

You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login now

Not a print subscriber?


Online services

    Current print subscribers

    Login now

    Not a print subscriber?


    Online services

      Current print subscribers

      The World-Herald Store.


      Tuesday, May 17, 2016 1:00 am.

      | Tags:


      Tony Gowan,





      The City

      Article source:

      New Mills Chevrolet borrows ideas from dealerships, neighbors

      Standing in the service area of the new Mills Chevrolet dealership, David Mills, president, and his wife and co-owner, Gretchen Mills, talk about the progress of the new dealership, located on the southwest corner of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Elmore Avenue, Davenport. The service area will have 24 lifts, three express service lanes and two alignment and suspension lifts.

      Article source:

      Diarmuid Gavin on planning a paving scheme

      Come and view the prizewinning cacti and succulents as part of the seventh biennial Cactus Show. It will be held in the Teak House and the judging this year will be by the Chairman of the Cactus and Succulent Society in Ireland, Kevin Whelehan. After the judging, the show will open to the public at 1pm on Saturday.

      Info: National Botanic Gardens, Dublin, Saturday May 21-22, 1pm-5pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm, Sunday

      Article source:

      Parting with privet: How to get rid of privet hedges

      (courtesy of James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, 

      By Andrew J. Baril

      Last month I spoke to y’all about our trees blooming and casting their pollen onto everything around us. Now here in May, with the pecan trees in full leaf, our trees have concluded their dance. Over the past two weeks, many in the Birmingham area still complained about their allergies. Remember all good things must come to an end, and this is true of spring pollen. The main culprit for the last two weeks has been privet hedge. You know what I’m talking about, those bushes with white flowers blooming everywhere along our highways and county roads. Most people call it privet hedge. Those who work in the natural resource arena most commonly call it Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense).

      Privet, is a deciduous shrub growing to 2–7 m tall, with densely hairy shoots. The leaves are opposite, 2–7 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, rarely larger, with a smooth leaf edge and a 2–8 mm leaf stem. The flowers in large clusters are white, and the fruit looks like tiny blue-black footballs in clusters. It has been cultivated for years as an ornamental plant and for hedges. It is still sold today. It was introduced to North America to be used for hedges and landscaping where it has now escaped from cultivation and is listed as an invasive plant in southeastern states. According to US Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis data, Alabama has 23 million acres of forestland. Also, according to this data, 1 million acres of this forestland is covered by privet. From Virginia to Florida, west to Texas, privet has detrimental effects to biodiversity and forest health.

      Studies have shown where tiny “knee-high” whips of privet existing under a hardwood forest in south Alabama before Hurricane Ivan, after the storm the privet quickly grew and took over the forest site. Personally, I have seen sites where the only thing growing under the large trees, was privet. The shade from a 15-20′ privet forest so completely shades the ground that nothing else grows under them. In a pine forest, privet will put a prescribed fire out, not allowing managers the opportunity to improve forest health.

      While the pollen/hay fever battle with privet has come to a close for 2016, the battle with this invasive continues. First, do not plant this plant. As you go to your favorite nursery, encourage them to no longer carry the plants. Second, remove them from your landscaping. Finally, get involved. There are citizen environmental groups that help “pull” privet from the woods on public land. On private property, do some pulling of your own, or better yet learn how to properly apply herbicides to kill the privet without harming the native plants. Extension has a publication on privet control. You can get this online here. 

      Garden Talk is written by Andrew J. Baril of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research-based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama AM and Auburn Universities. Email questions to, or call 205 879-6964. Learn more about what is going on in Jefferson County by visiting the ACES website, or checking us on Facebook and Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama AM and Auburn Universities), is an equal opportunity employer and educator. Everyone is welcome!

      Article source:

      Shout Out: Colleen McCarty, Arlington Heights park planner

      As a park planner for the Arlington Heights Park District, Colleen McCarty has plenty of projects keeping her busy this spring, from designing the patio landscaping at the recently renovated Arlington Lakes Golf Club, to creating a butterfly garden with milkweed plants. McCarty, 30, took some time this month to share her enthusiasm for native landscaping and monarch butterflies, which she hopes will be flocking soon to the banks of the village’s Lake Arlington.

      Q: What is a typical day like for a park planner?

      A: It’s basically a landscape architect position, combined with a project manager. At the park district, there’s me and one other park planner, and we’re in charge of all the infrastructure upgrades at the village’s 57 parks and 43 playgrounds. This involves everything from improving paths and playgrounds, to seal coating parking lots. We try to have everything re-done every 20 years, and everything is on a schedule. But if anything is old or deteriorating, we go in and replace it. We’re also in charge of making sure all the parks and playgrounds are safe and ADA accessible, and for keeping track of new construction.

      Q: I’ve heard that the park district has just received a grant to create a butterfly sanctuary. Is this something we can try at home?

      Porky and Buddy Pet Health – More Safe Gardening Tips

      Porky and Buddy

      Porky and Buddy Pet Health – More Safe Gardening Tips

      Dear Porky and Buddy,
      Last week, you talked about the dangers of cocoa bark mulch. But, what about other garden products? I am an avid gardener, but also a pet lover and I worry all the time that the “stuff” I use in my garden, even though I try to use mostly organic products and controls, might harm them.

      But they are always outside with me and roaming around and investigating every new smell and I just worry.

      Do you have any advice?


      Dear Lynn,
      Our advice is to keep worrying. Think of your pets as toddlers, actually relatively stupid toddlers, but with highly developed sniffing, digging, rolling, and climbing skills.

      So don’t stop with just worrying.

      You have to use caution in storing and using most of these products.

      · Insecticides. These are used to reduce the number of annoying and damaging insects. Some, even those that are less environmentally questionable, can be highly toxic to pets. Choose these products wisely, read your labels, and store them carefully.

      · Herbicides. These are used to reduce weed growth. Generally, most are only significantly toxic if ingested from the bag. After application to the lawn, the toxicity level is reduced. Once again, read the label.

      · Fertilizers help make lush dense lawns. They are primarily toxic if large amounts are ingested. Once the lawn or garden is fertilized, toxicity levels are quite low. Organic fertilizers are generally safer but because they are organic they may have irresistible aromas, so with all fertilizers, careful storage is a must.

      · Baits. Several gopher, vole, mole and other vermin baits are available. Most of these can be highly toxic since many contain strychnine, an extremely poisonous alkaloid.  And what’s wrong with a few moles anyway? We say leave them alone.

      · Snail and slug baits. These are frequently used, and if ingested, some can cause serious and potentially fatal tremors and seizures. Snail baits whose only ingredient is iron phosphate are much safer. We understand not wanting to leave the snails and slugs alone.

      · Citronella candles. They are used to deter mosquitoes but may cause gastrointestinal inflammation in dogs, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. And yes, you know that dogs will try to eat things like candles.

      The basic rule is to keep lawn and garden products stored in an area that your pet cannot enter.

      And during application of these products, keep your pet confined in a safe area . . . like up on the deck lounging on the furniture!

      The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

      Located at 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.

      Phone: (315) 207-1070.



      Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.

      Article source:

      Helpful tips offered at gardening workshop

      TODD DICKSON/TELEGRAPH Barbara Gilbert, who attended a gardening workshop Wednesday, May 11, at the Bethel Storehouse, carries a container nearly overflowing with plants she will take home to her garden. The Storehouse distributed plants to all who attended the workshop led by the Schwebach family, who have a farm in Moriarty.

      Article source:

      Water-smart gardening tips: Free event Saturday

      Judi Seifert is a master gardener in Clark County, a program run by Washington State University Extension. Here are her tips for watering smart, just in time for hot weather.

      If you’re like most people, about half of your household water is used on lawns and gardens during the dry summer months. It is possible to dramatically reduce your water consumption and still have a beautiful, productive garden by following a few simple guidelines.

      Plan ahead: By planning your garden, you can take advantage of the characteristics of your site such as sun, shade, wind and soil. Group plants with similar water needs. Also consider how your plants will get the water they need. Planning will save you time and water down the road.

      Do those chores: Healthy plants need less water, fertilizer and pest controls than stressed plants. By staying on top of weeding, thinning and pruning, you’ll water less frequently.

      Amend your soil: Add organic matter to your soil in the form of compost.  Chopped up leaves or composted manure will improve the texture and water-holding capacity of your soil.

      Mulch, mulch, mulch: A layer of organic mulch can cut water needs in half by blocking thirsty weeds and reducing evaporation. Organic mulches retain some water themselves and increase the humidity level around plants. Organic mulches include chopped or shredded leaves, straw, compost, shredded newspaper and grass clippings.

      Efficient irrigation:  Deliver water to the root-zone by using soaker hoses or drip irrigation that ensure that up to 90 percent of the water you apply to your garden is actually available to your plants.

      Check the moisture in your soil before you water – use a moisture meter available at garden centers or just poke your finger into the soil at the base of your plants. Deeper, less frequent irrigation will promote deeper root growth and healthier plants.

      Reduce your lawn: A turf lawn is one of the thirstiest and labor-intensive types of “gardens” you can have. Consider reducing the size of your lawn or replacing with native groundcover.

      Use free water: Clear, unchlorinated rainwater is the best choice for your plants. Use rain barrels or a cistern to collect water from downspouts. A 1,000-square-foot roof will yield more than 500 gallons of water from one inch of rain.

      If you’d like more information, join WSU master gardener Cindy Withrow as she discusses Water Smart Tips for the home garden starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday May 21, at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C Street, Vancouver, Washington. The event is free and there is no registration needed.

      — Judi Seifert

      Stay in the loop. Sign up to receive a free weekly Homes Gardens of the Northwest newsletter and join the conversation at the Homes Gardens of the Northwest on Facebook

      Article source: