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Archives for June 16, 2016

Why build the garden bridge when we could plant trees on Blackfriars?

When is a garden bridge not a garden bridge? When it’s a bridge garden, according to Allies and Morrison, the Southwark-based architects who have come up with a cheap and cheerful alternative to the eye-wateringly expensive, contractually dubious proposal by Thomas Heatherwick and Joanna Lumley for a floating forest across the Thames.

Rather than spending £175m on installing two gargantuan copper-nickel plant pots in the middle of the river, in a public-private business model that could burden the taxpayer for years to come, they have realised we could simply plant some trees on a bridge that already exists. But which one?

Blackfriars bridge, which lands just a few hundred metres from the Allies and Morrison office, stretches up to 40 metres wide between its stately stone piers, carrying four lanes of traffic and a generous pavement on either side. With a bit of rejigging, the pavements could be consolidated into one 14 metre-wide, tree-planted park, while leaving enough room for cars, buses and a separated cycle lane.

Blackfriars Bridge Garden … a green garnish for Joseph Cubitt’s Victorian road bridge.
The railway bridge to the right is covered in solar panels to power nearby Blackriars station. Illustration: Allies and Morrison

By contrast, proposals for the garden bridge suggest bikes would be banned. The controversial crossing, whose campaigners have already spent almost £40m of its £60m public funding before construction has even started, would also be shut at night and closed several days a year for corporate events – part of a shaky business plan that also expects bridge users to donate £2 per crossing.

Large groups will be encouraged to register their visits in advance, phone signals will be tracked in a bid to deter protesters, while a list of draconian rules will prohibit playing musical instruments, flying kites and taking part in a “gathering of any kind”.

Cross-section of the Blackfriars bridge garden, showing a 14m-wide garden with traffic and a cycle lane. Illustration: Allies and Morrison

Freed from the burden of a huge debt and the demands of corporate sponsors, the Blackfriars bridge garden could be a truly public space. Constructed by engineer Joseph Cubitt in 1869, the structure has a built-in generosity emblematic of the days of Victorian civic pride. It already incorporates charming stone seating nooks above its five bastions, which would be incorporated into the park: “riverside alcoves for a sandwich at lunchtime, a break from a jog or a place for families to gather,” as the architects put it, “a garden for morning commuters as well as the quiet moments of urban life”.

The proposal is the latest, and perhaps the most feasible, in a series of alternatives to the costly vanity project, which was championed by Boris Johnson and remains supported by London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan, whose odd defence is that cancelling the scheme would cost twice as much as completing it.

It follows the satirical Folly for London competition, whose winner proposed constructing an eternal bonfire on the Thames. Fuelled by trees felled from London’s parks, usefully freeing up land for private development, it would be “an eternal flame dedicated to 21st-century planning departments and developers”.

Other entries to the contest included a “Scrotopolis” of bulging pink scrota and the Jesus bridge, an invisible crossing that would allow commuters to walk on water – a dream as probable as the idea that Heatherwick’s scheme could ever get this far.

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Third appearance at Hampton Court for Huntingdonshire garden designer

12:05 16 June 2016

Stephan Hall, from Upper Dean, is designing a garden for flower show


Huntingdonshire garden designer Stephen Hall is preparing to showcase his latest creation at the Hampton Court Flower Show.

Mr Hall, of Upper Dean, near Kimbolton, has designed a Scandinavian-themed garden on behalf of show sponsors Viking Cruises, complete with turf-clad stone cottage, lake, and fisherman’s boat.

Mr Hall has been designing gardens for 25 years and this year’s appearance at the Hampton Court show will be his third.

Mr Hall, 54, said: “It really is hard work, particularly finding the right plants to use in themed gardens like ours, which can be rare and hard to locate.

“Getting all the elements to the show and keeping them looking good is also a challenge, and in some cases some plants don’t make it so you have to have a plan B.”

Putting the garden together, from the initial invitation through to the finished design, has taken more than six months and it will require a whole team to construct and maintain during the course of the show.

Mr Hall has won nine awards for his work at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea and Hampton Court shows.

His garden will feature a rowing boat resting on a pebble beach where large boulders will be placed. A gravel path will lead visitors to the door of a house which will nestle into an earth mound covered by meadow grass sparsely colonised with wildflowers. The design will also feature plenty of sedges, ferns and grasses, while native trees and shrubs provide the backdrop.

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will run from July 5-10. For further information or to buy tickets, visit the RHS website at

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Zaha Hadid, Gensler, and more, vying in Sunset Strip billboard competition

Design by JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Limited. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Limited. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Limited. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by Outfront Media, Gensler, MAK. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by Outfront Media, Gensler, MAK. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by Outfront Media, Gensler, MAK. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by Orange Barrel Media, Tom Wiscombe Architects, MoCA. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by Orange Barrel Media, Tom Wiscombe Architects, MoCA. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by Orange Barrel Media, Tom Wiscombe Architects, MoCA. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by Orange Barrel Media, Tom Wiscombe Architects, MoCA. (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by TAIT Towers Inc.(Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by TAIT Towers Inc.(Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by TAIT Towers Inc.(Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Design by TAIT Towers Inc.(Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

The Sunset Strip, a 1.5 mile stretch of West Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, has established a reputation for eye-catching billboards. Attempting to magnify this, city authorities issued a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) for “The Sunset Strip Spectacular Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign” on 8775 Sunset Boulevard. Subsequently, a select number of teams were solicited to “design a technologically advanced, engaging, one-of-a-kind, billboard structure… The Sunset Strip Spectacular should inspire a 21st century vision with contemporary digital and interactive technologies, media and multi-dimensional graphic design.”

The Sunset Strip in 1979 by Robert Landau who spent much of his life photographing billboards in the area  (Clare A was W / Flickr)

From this, nine applications were submitted and four were selected for further deliberation: JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Ltd.; Orange Barrel Media/Tom Wiscombe Architecture/MoCA; Outfront Media/Gensler/MAK Center; and Tait Towers Inc. The proposals feature a range of ideas from kinetic design to viewer engagement through social media platforms and strategy for an adjacent multi-use public square.

In Hadid’s design, titled The Prism, the billboard becomes a civic gateway operating as a an “innovative, captivating hybrid environment.” The sculptural brushed aluminum form, in classic Hadid style, twists elegantly as it rises into the air. Nearby, a public plaza uses shaded seating, drought-tolerant landscaping, and various lighting techniques to create a tranquil environment.

Gensler, working alongside Outfront Media, have put forward an “unfolding sunset.” Its series of moveable panels create an illusory experience that blends adverts with art, performance, and social media, coalescing into a single image as viewers travel toward and past the billboard.

Tom Wiscombe, on the other hand, aims to reinterpret the classical billboard of old. “Our design is a vertically-oriented, three-dimensional media monolith, in contrast to the ubiquitous flat, horizontal billboards of the strip,” the design team said in their proposal. Using LED technology, high-resolution systems, and an array of lighting devices, social media content will be displayed while the billboard promotes events and shows art curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA). Interestingly, only one quarter of the billboard’s surface area will be used to display commercial content.

TAIT’s design (Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

Finally, the most unique design is the aptly named Spectacular by TAIT. It features a rotating billboard that’s meant to mimic the bow-ties worn at the Sunset Strip’s infamous black-tie clubs of the 1930 and ’40s. The billboard is set to display both static and animated content using multimedia commercials.

Design by TAIT Towers Inc.(Courtesy City of West Hollywood)

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Medway: PEDB hears landscaping, aesthetics ideas for Exelon expansion

Posted Jun. 15, 2016 at 6:46 PM

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Upcoming garden events in Snohomish County and nearby

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French Art Colony hosts garden, tasting tour

GALLIPOLIS — Historic and public gardens throughout Gallipolis will be on display during the French Art Colony’s fourth annual Garden and Tasting Tour on Saturday.

Eight sites around town will be featured on the tour, including five private residence gardens and three public sites.

Adding to the beauty of the gardens, now in full splendor, will be a local restaurant offering tastings of their specialties, as well as regional artists creating original works and musicians performing live. Garden sites are situated within just a few blocks, making the self-guided tour easily walkable. The sites may be visited in any order, and at a leisurely pace between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Tour visitors are encouraged to return to the French Art Colony for a closing reception between 2:30-4 p.m. in the FAC’s Thaler Memorial Gardens, grounds and new pavilion with additional tastings and samplings of wine and iced teas. The artworks created during the day by the participating artists will also be available during silent auction, with a portion of the proceeds serving as a fundraiser for the French Art Colony, non-profit arts organization.

Tour sites for the 2016 French Art Colony Garden and Tasting Tour include: 414 Fourth Ave., 155 First Ave., 81 State St., 541 Fourth Ave., 525 Third Ave., The French Art Colony Gardens, Bossard Memorial Library and The Our House Museum Gardens.

The styles of the private gardens span a wide variety of unusual features including everything from a Japanese-inspired retreat with bonsai and rock garden to a freeform cottage garden with a pond. Landscapes vary from new installations to established gardens with a story to tell. The Our House Museum, originally built as a tavern for the historic French settlement, features a colonial, brick-walled, summer kitchen garden. The French Art Colony’s gardens showcase statuary, a koi pond, and plantings in formal arrangements, while Bossard Memorial Library offers brand new landscaping as a result of recent structural additions.

Participating restaurants for the tour include Tuscany Cuccini, Honey Creek Barbecue, Guinther’s Custom Cuts Inc., Lorobi’s Pizza, Crossroad Bistro, Laurel Valley Creamery and Pip Hud’s.

Participating artists and musicians include Paul Brown, Barbara Delligatti, Katie Dovyak, Joy and Ryan Duffy, Niles Elliott, Maria Hampton, Josh LaBello, Marcus Moore, Jeff Musser, Carrie Napora, Ben Roach, Ashton Saunders, Leslie Shoecraft and Linda Sigismondi.

Tickets may be purchased the day of the event, beginning at 10:30 a.m., or in advance at the French Art Colony, 530 First Ave., Gallipolis. Tickets are $20 and include all tastings, tour visits and the closing reception. Identification may be required for wine samplings. Bidding for the artwork created during the tour and offered in silent auction will close at 3:30 p.m.

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund FAC with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Call the French Art Colony at 740-446-3834 for more information or visit

Staff Report

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Garden tour in apple pie country – The Register

Historic and quaint Brownsville, where pioneer history lives on and where townsfolk joke that, sooner or later, everyone gets to be mayor, has a special day planned for everyone.

Five creative home landscapes, and even the yesteryear town itself, will highlight the 2016 Brownsville Garden Tour on Saturday, June 25. Tickets cost $15 and may be purchased on tour day only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brownsville Senior Center, 345 N. Main St.

Meandering garden paths set apart this tour, as all of the home landscapes are large — anywhere from 1 to 14 acres. Guests also will get a map for touring Brownsville’s special attractions on foot, passing heritage trees, an art center and old brick storefronts.

“Imagine an entire community rolling out the welcome map to people who love gardening,” says Linda Scronce-Johnson, who’s helping to organize the tour as a Brownsville Garden Club member. Proceeds will benefit both the garden club and Calapooia Food

Each garden has its own, homegrown style in keeping with the tour’s slogan, “Explore the Garden Path Less Taken”:

True-blue farmer’s garden

Karen and Leroy Spurlin had little landscaping beyond sheep pasture after moving into their 19th-century farmhouse in 1987.

For shady respites from long, hot days farming 3,000 surrounding acres, they planted trees such as weeping birches — now tall and elegant in the wind — along with willows, aspens and sundry others.

Dense flower beds now swathe the “big box” farmhouse in color. “My goal is to not see the bark,” Karen says.

Mixed beds include roses, self-seeded hollyhocks, rhodies, dahlias and hostas, some nestled around “rusted and icky” old farm implements with ancient gray wood and big metal wheels.

Pink roses dating to 1952 line the front fence; ancient big-leaf maple trees testify to the home’s pioneer heritage.

Life’s work landscape

People cringed when Bob and Cyndi Anderson, newlyweds at the time, bought one of Brownsville’s most rundown landmark homes in 1979. The so-called Howe bungalow, built in 1921, was uninhabitable, and blackberries smothered the property.

Today, people come to see a town treasure. The Andersons renovated and expanded their bungalow to BB quality. And in place of blackberries, they have one imaginative garden and leisure realm after another on the sloped 1-acre-plus parcel.

The couple consulted with Eugene landscapers Buell Steelman and Rebecca Sams, owners of Mosaic Gardens, on a perennial flower oasis interspersed with maple, magnolia, dogwood and other ornamental trees.

Walking paths step down to a big, covered country porch with sink, loo and raised spa. Next comes a flagstone patio with masonry pizza oven and shaded “dove garden” accented by ferns, hydrangeas, primera and old roses on a trellis.

A big raised-bed vegetable garden includes a greenhouse. Chickens and one lone duck inhabit coops. A pergola laden with wisteria invites rest with sitting area and hammock.

Other paths lead uphill to a sweeping weeping willow with pond underneath; fruit and nut trees; and arbor with six varieties of grapes. An old railroad brakeman’s shed — rolled atop logs onto the couple’s property — bears hobo engravings.

River runs around it

It may seem gentle as a lamb passing through Brownsville during summertime, but the Calapooia River can roar like a lion at flood stage. Just ask Dee and Kathleen Swayze, who have literally nestled into their 14-acre property for living and gardening on the river’s terms.

Long dirt berms from a city excavation project not only redirect Calapooia floodwater around the Swayze home, but serve as lush landscape gardens with colorful year-round foliage.

The pair of ceramic artists mix domestic and native plants in their perimeter gardens, which run from shaded areas replete with hellebores and flowering currant to a rock garden, heirloom apple orchard and flower beds. Rustic Victorian-esque structures, called follies, harbor leisure beneath wisteria and other climbing plants.

Sky-high trees, mostly cottonwoods, rim the property’s wild side. On a side note, the couple are working with local watershed officials to restore riverbank trees and vegetation lost to severe flooding in 1996.

Edibles, flowers, art, whimsy

Twenty-two years in the making, Rhoda Fleischman’s homespun country haven buzzes with bees and hummingbirds, glimmers with ceramic flowers and green gin bottles between two rusted wagon wheels, stirs with koi in a small pond, sways with flowers and buds with fruit.

In fact her 9-acre property with 1.5-acre fenced vegetables, fruit trees and whimsies will be a unique stop on the Brownsville Garden Tour, with no admission required. Events include pottery firings in her studio; games for kids; food; and a field of ceramic flowers, among other art displays.

Fleischman repurposes salvage items for her “Cozy Rose” garden, including a big greenhouse and creative glass artworks. Her planting schemes for deterring deer include lavender tulips within rosemary and lavender.

Proceeds from art sales at the garden will benefit an at-risk youth arts education program at the Corvallis Art Center.

DIY innovators

When hands-on landscapers Shelly Ellingson and Rick Krause take on a project at their country home near Brownsville, it’s often pretty unique.

Their bubbling, 4-foot-deep koi pond is a case in point.

Made of split-face concrete blocks, the curved pond meshes right against the wood of a back deck. If the water inside seems unusually clear, it’s due to an anoxic filtration system that incorporates kitty litter, of all things.

Shelly learned of the low-cost filtration technique through an online koi forum. “Laterites in the kitty litter pull the nitrates and the nitrites out of the water,” she says. “It’s a very inexpensive way to filter it.”

With various other landscape projects underway, including a new fire pit, the couple don’t relax much these days. “But when we do,” Shelly says, “it’s nice to sit there (by the pond). I find something very relaxing about just watching the fish, and watching the lily blooms reach the surface and open up.”

The grounds also include a vegetable garden, and on tour day guests may stroll down to the Calapooia River.

Home Garden editor Kelly Fenley can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter: @KFenleyRG.


Read more #(##class(csp.rg.assets.methods.category).catName(gStory.story.subCategoryId))# articles here.


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2016 Gardening and Interior Design Tips and Trends From Wave® Petunias and HGTV’s Kelly Edwards

To celebrate gardening season, Wave Petunias partnered with Chelsea Garden Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a petunia-planting party and meet-and-greet with HGTV star Kelly Edwards. Claire Watson of Wave Petunias taught guests container gardening tips, incorporating seasonal trends for small space gardening.


  1. To start gardening with Wave, first pick your planter to create a foundation that reflects your personal style. I love bold patterns or pops of color to brighten up the space. Another way to spice up your planter is by incorporating texture into the design. Many trendy planters incorporate ridges and other designs to create a unique look. Remember to look for containers with a drainage hole at the bottom so your plants don’t get waterlogged. Your planter is the base of your container gardening creation, so have fun with it and express yourself!
  2. Once you have selected your planter, add potting mix to your container and fill it up to the top, leaving about one inch of space. If you have a large container (14 inches or more) but want to keep it lightweight, you can always add a few small empty plastic water bottles or non-biodegradable Styrofoam packing pieces to the bottom of the container to take up some space.  
  3. One of the most enjoyable parts of the process is adding the plants to your container. Mix and match different colors to create a certain mood with your container. New shades from Wave for 2016 include Yellow, Silver, Pink Passion, and Red Velour. Add in textural items or height elements to break up the flowers and add dimension. I recommend sticking to the rule of three when designing your planter. For instance, plant three of the same plant in different colors or three different plants of the same color scheme. Your container will look chic and beautiful. Once you have planted all your plants the soil should be almost to the top of the container
  4. To keep your plants healthy and blooming, regular water and full sunlight is needed. Make sure the soil stays moist but not waterlogged. To test this, put your finger down two inches into the soil and see if it’s dry beneath the surface. Water near the soil as opposed to the flowers or leaves, because plants absorb water at their roots.  
  5. To keep your hands clean, invest in a pair of gloves or a no-chip manicure! You don’t need to sacrifice your hand’s sense of fashion for your container gardening.
  6. Think about your outdoor lighting as much as you think about the inside. Strung lights on a patio or balcony can completely change the look of your space.
  7. Mix styles. Wicker furniture paired with a modern coffee table or a modern plant stand can make the look more interesting and less expected.
  8. The best gift to give a hostess this summer is a gorgeous plant that they can put on their porch or balcony. It’s the gift that that keeps on giving.

For video tutorials, how-to guides, and even more inspiration for your garden this year, Wave provides you with all the tools you need to make the neighbors stop and take notice. Visit

ABOUT WAVE: The Wave Family has provided gardeners with easy-spreading color since the introduction of Wave petunias in 1995. The five series of petunias — Original Wave, Tidal Wave, Double Wave, Easy Wave and Shock Wave — offers dramatic color, exceptionally long bloom time, and fantastic mounding and trailing habits for garden beds and containers. Joining the Wave Family in 2012, Cool Wave pansies provide the same vigorous spreading and trailing habits with the addition of hardiness and vibrant color during the cool seasons. For more information, visit

ABOUT KELLY EDWARDS: Lifestyle Expert Kelly Edwards is best known for hosting the successful HGTV series, “Design on a Dime” as well as STYLE Network’s “Tacky House”. In addition to being seen weekly on television, Kelly has been the design expert for Shelter Pop, host of EDITOR AT LARGE and currently the host and home design expert for THE DESIGN NETWORK’S new series “DIY House Call”. The celebrity designer offers dwellers with decorating dilemmas distinctive design tips, bargain-decorating projects, and total home makeover transformations inspired by her personal style and popular trends. Kelly is well known for her knack in re-purposing everyday items into extraordinary collectibles, creating accessible design while working within budget constraints, and crafting recipes for cleaning solutions. Currently, Kelly resides in sunny California and has a design book out called “Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home” that has topped Amazon’s best sellers list.

For more information, please contact:
Brigid Parr; 312-943-0333


To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE Wave Petunias

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Tips for controlling Japanese beetles

Japanese beetles are attacking many of the roses and other plants in my garden this year. Here are some options to control these pests.

▪  Hand pick by pushing the beetles into a mayonnaise jar half full with a soap-and-water solution.

▪  Use traps for Japanese beetles.

▪  Use an insecticide. Try one of the new environmentally-friendly insecticides.

Here’s more tips for your home and garden this week.

▪  Check for lacebugs on azaleas. The top of the leaf will have speckling. The underside will appear to have brown dirt on it, which is actually the eggs. Spray with pesticide labeled for lace bug control on azalea. Azaleas are a shade shrub, so those grown in sun will have more disease and insect problems.

▪  Encourage crape myrtles to bloom a second time by pruning faded blooms now.

▪  Grow moss on a cement statue or flower pot. Here’s how: Paint it with buttermilk or yogurt. Place the item in a shaded location and mist with water every other day until moss forms.

▪  Now is the time to begin cutting herbs for drying. Cut herbs in the morning after the dew has dried. Rinse thoroughly. Never use pesticides or herbicides on or around your herbs. Use herbs in soup, sauces and teas.

▪  Fertilize container gardens with liquid fertilizer this week. Use half the recommended strength.

▪  Be sure to stake plants such as gladiolas, dahlias and lilies. Use some twine to secure these plants to twigs and branches collected from pruning around the garden.

▪  It’s hot outside. Enjoy a Popsicle, and then use the sticks as plant markers. Use a pen to write the plant variety on the stick.

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