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Archives for June 19, 2016

Graham and Green, Oliver Bonas and HomeSense: The best garden design for summer

Parasol, £129; Marlow corner sofa, £999; Peruvian cushion, £35; bright embroidery cushion, £35; authentic weave cushion, £12; Riya embellished cushion, £35; Peruvian birds cushion, £19.50; Flying Phoenix cushion, £25; chevron embroidered cushion, £17.50; flower tile-print cushion, £19.50; Jasmine embroidered cushion, £25; Marrakesh lantern, £29.50; Peruvian stripe throw, £75; laser-cut lantern, £17.50; medium ornate lantern, £19.50; Jaipur platter, £25; Peru kilim rug, £139, all Marks Spencer (0333 014 8000,; embroidered cushion, £22, HomeSense (01923 473561,; neon-trim fedora, £20; sunglasses, £18; metallic sandals, £45, all Oliver Bonas (020 8974 0110,; Suzani pouf, £65, Graham and Green (020 8987 3700,; pompom basket, £35, Olliella (020 7713 8668,

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Using digital devices in landscaping

“Every Summer writes its own story: Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker. Toes get sandier. Sun gets brighter. Water gets warmer. Evenings get longer. Days get hotter. Food tastes fresher. Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Friends get happier. Life happens in the sun!” Autumn Seagle.

It’s that time of the year to welcome summer. Tomorrow, June 20, is the first day of the summer season and the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere where the sun is directly above the 20 degrees northern latitude. As the earth tilts on its axis, the angle of the sun will begin its journey to directly above the equator on September 22. And we thought summer was already here, with all the high temps we have been experiencing. Pace yourself in this summer heat and don’t get too hot.

Digital gardening journals are very important in documenting items of importance in the landscape. Whether the information is about the placement of a bulb, the color of a flower, the much-wanted plant from across town, an enrichment item that you like, a particular creative design that catches your attention, the amount of rainfall last week, and so on, it is critical to realize such information to better improve how you design and maintain your landscape sites. If not recorded, then the potential for loss of such information is greater and makes your landscaping efforts more difficult! Using digital devices in landscaping is being proactive!

Digital camera: One of the best tools to assist you in documenting landscape information is the digital camera. This instrument is so useful and allows you to digitally document such information as taking pictures of bulbs, flower color so vivid this season on select plants, or photographing a plant that you have seen elsewhere and want in your garden. Also, such photos serve as a reminder about an enrichment item or garden design that catches your attention, locally or globally.

Also, taking pictures of weeds, insects or diseases for identification purposes or photographing a chemical label for your records can be priceless. Using the digital camera for recordkeeping anything and everything from A to Z is such an asset to the home gardener. Always transfer your pictures from the digital camera to an organized folder on your computer hard drive, as well as making a backup. Certain pictures may also be kept in your camera if you need to access them often for quick reference in other situations.

And keep additional charged batteries and memory cards on hand just in case you might need them at the least suspected time and place. Keep your digital camera with you at all times too (smart phones work as well).

Flowering records: An accurate assessment of flowering will allow you to maintain color throughout each season of the year, not just a single season or part of a season. If weaknesses or deficiencies in color appear within a season, such notes will allow correction for the next season or year. If too much color and confusion (smorgasbord effect) distorts the image wanted at one time, then necessary corrections are in order and can be implemented next season or year.

GPS devices: Hand held GPS devices have usefulness in the landscape as they can assist you in determining the sizes of lawn areas and landscape beds in installation and maintenance situations.

Information content: Any type of recordkeeping is an asset to the landscape gardener. The best system is the one that is most user-friendly and easy to access. Drawing sketches on graph paper and making written notes can also be digitally recorded and appropriately filed for future reference.

Planting records: Supplement these notes with plot diagrams and pictures indicating the variety and number of bulbs in each location. This exercise will assist you in estimating the success of each type and calculating the effects of the weather. Also, keep records for all herbaceous and woody planting activities.

Photograph records: Photographs make very effective records. Each photograph should include the date, time, location, special notations, etc. This type of information will become more valuable as you plan each successive season.

Pruning: You may digitally document a specific pruning style or technique on a particular plant or group of plants and share with your landscape contractor in order to achieve that shape and form in your landscape.

Pesticide records: Keep a record of all pesticides used in the landscape. Note the trade name, date, target pest, rate of application, and weather conditions at the time of application. Always follow label directions and file a copy of the label for future reference. Calculate and record the total square feet of lawn and bed areas.

Soil amendments and fertilizers: Record the date, rate of application, analysis, equipment used, liming information, soil tests, results and recommendations, etc. Also, record the weather conditions at the time of application. Calculate and record the total square feet of lawn and bed areas.

Weather: Record such weather information as the last frost in the spring and the first frost in the fall each year, unusually warm or cold weather, storm information and damage, precipitation rates and dates, and very unusual weather phenomena.

Reputable ideas: Attach significant articles, notes, websites, newspaper clippings, etc. to your journal files. Select and attend appropriate seminars and short courses for increased learning opportunities. Know who and when to call for assistance. As you place more information into your records, you will gain a more valuable output through improved quality and curb appeal of your landscape.

Think in terms of native and sustainable plants in the landscape. Keep your hanging baskets and potted plants refreshed with water and food. Remember to feed and water the songbirds. Give your pets the care they need. Do not leave them unattended in a hot car or tied to a tree all day long. Also, be on lookout for children playing and bicyclists riding along the streets and roadways throughout our communities this summer. Don’t drive distracted or impaired, and don’t text while driving. Help the homeless every chance you get. Let’s keep everyone safe! Happy Father’s Day weekend!

Many thanks to all who read this column which is an effort to provide each reader with timely and useful information which is a small contribution on my part in “paying it forward” to my readers. We are preparing for a mission trip to the Andes Mountains in Peru next month and accepting donations to assist in its funding. If you would like to donate to this cause, please make a check payable to Heritage Church and mail to Eddie Seagle, Peru Mission Team, 108 Tallokas Circle, Moultrie, GA 31788. We thank you and would appreciate your prayers for a safe journey for our team.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

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Beware ticks and Lyme disease

Posted Jun. 19, 2016 at 2:01 AM

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Commercial Landscaping Ideas For Your Local Business

Do you own or operate a local business? Are you fed up with your outdated or ugly looking commercial landscape design? Here we will look at some great ideas to improve, update, and capitalize on your landscaping to improve your relationship with the community, clients, and potential customers. It is no mystery that local businesses can suffer if they have an unprofessional look or atmosphere by an outdated lawn, walkway, or lighting fixture. Let’s see some ideas.

1. New Walkway Pavers

Having a clean and inviting walkway can be one of the make or break reasons a person will enter your business. If the stones are old and cracked or the pathway is simply blocked by obstacles and overgrown, you will be hard pressed to win any business over based on looks alone. This can be a huge factor in gaining and keeping new business down the road, after all, a first impression is extremely important to someone looking to buy goods or services.

2. Commercial Lighting

Not only is the path and landscape important, but also any lighting fixtures or systems you have incorporated into your landscape as well. Many businesses are open early in the morning or at night when it is dark out, and by having a professionally installed and maintained commercial lighting, you’re able to show customers the way no matter the time of day.

3. Lawn and Garden Maintenance

Here is where you can start to get pretty creative regarding your commercial landscape design. Have a local expert plant trees, bushes, shrubs, and flowers to really enhance your commercial space. Everyone can appreciate a well designed and maintained yard and garden at home, and at your place of business is no different. Take the time and plan a new theme or design and contact a local landscaping service to see what sort of options are available to you, no matter the time of year.

No matter what design or method you choose to update your commercial landscape design, be sure to conduct your own research independently into the wide range of themes, styles, and even companies to utilize in your local area. With even just a few minutes of research you can ensure you work with a reputable company and see the best commercial design on your budget.

summary: Commercial Landscape design can make or break any business. Here we look at several options to improve your businesses outdoor decor.

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Local residents honored at gardening convention

OAGC Convention 2016, co-chaired by Kathy Schmitt, Wakeman, Ohio, Region 6 and Gisela Mattingly, Chippewa Lake, Ohio, Region 14, June 6 through 8 at Deer Creek State Park in Mt. Sterling, had lots of art and lots of succulents. There were horticulture classes for succulents, artistic designs featuring succulents, succulents for centerpieces, plus everyone went home with a potted succulent.

Recycling made its mark, also; E and J School Chair Naomi Ormes’ program ‘Contrived Containers’ was a hit and one evening’s table décor featured recycled pine cones and tin cans turned into potted zinnias. Wednesday’s speakers, Steve and Marian Moeckel delighted the members with bird photos, humor and interesting facts about birds gleaned from many years of birding. Convention photographer Jan Harmon captured it all in photos on Facebook available on a link from OAGC’s website, Check it out!

Monday evening, President Peggy Case, New London, welcomed all and introduced the OAGC Executive Board, past presidents and the current counselors. E and J Chair Naomi Ormes introduced current judges, Judges Emeriti and Master Judges. Region 10’s Jean Moore was honored as The Gladys Thomas Judge of the Year and Faye Collins McGinnis honored Louise Bennett as Designer of the Year. Several afternoon sessions were presented, including a talk about using succulents in dish gardens, terrariums, fairy gardens and topiary, given by Mary Strayer of Milan, Ohio.

Tuesday morning, OAGC Secretary Diane Daniels, OAGC Treasurer Judy Christman and OAGC President Case gave short reports. As soon as the morning business was finished, members toured several near-by gardens selected by Region 14.

Tuesday afternoon, OAGC Liaisons and Counselors were recognized; Bill Thombs talked about Mohican Outdoor School, and a special guest, Thomas Drought, from ODNR, spoke about using OAGC members in the ODNR native planting area as guides during the Ohio State Fair. Besides being guides to the area, members would be passing out literature about OAGC and encouraging garden clubs.

Tuesday afternoon, more mini sessions continued with talks about landscaping with natives, propagation and recycling. The 5 p.m. Officers’ Reception was studded with BLING, as members sported sparkles and jewels, some recycled, some borrowed and some just beloved pieces. In the evening, President Peggy Case presented a Presidential Citation and gifts to the five judges who revised and rewrote the Handbook for Exhibitors and Judges, Bonnie Allan, Myrna Cordray, Jo Ann Graham, Mary Lee Minor and Anita Roller.

Wednesday morning, bright and early, the full board met for an invitation-only breakfast with President Case who thanked all for their work during her two years in office. Special thank you cards were designed by Case’s daughter, Suzy Bacon, and featured a crowing rooster, Case’s bird emblem to go with her motto, OAGC, something to crow about! Her slogan was: Emulate the Rooster, who greets the dawn with enthusiasm, leads his flock into new ventures and struts his stuff. Gifts, hugs and appreciation were shared all around. Outstanding garden club members, outstanding amateur gardeners and outstanding garden clubs were honored in each region. During the three day convention, many door prizes were awarded, many members enjoyed shopping the vendor room, plus seeing all the design exhibits, educational exhibits, artistic flower shows and the horticulture flower shows.

The Foundation scholarship recipients were recognized by Past President Babs Sabick. They are: Incoming Freshman Scholarship winner, Josiah Grimm, Plain City, Region 16; Upper Class Dottie Bates Scholarship winner, Josiah Bale, Lewis Center, Region 7; ATI Dr. Gary Anderson Scholarship winner Rebecca Giesler, Elmore, Region 6; and the Doris Schuster Memorial Horticulture Scholarship winner, Theresa Tomczyk, Huron, Region 6.

OAGC Secretary Diane Daniels gave the results of the election: Geri Rea, President; Suzy Parker, First Vice-President; Jean Jankowski, 2nd Vice-President; Judy Christman, Treasurer; Kim Long, OAGC Secretary and Babs Sabick, Sales Secretary. Past President Pat Wells installed the new officers with teachings from a wise owl, the signature bird of President-Elect Geri Rea. Rea then presented her plans for her term as president; Convention 2017 is July 13 through 15, 2017, at Marriott North, Dublin, Ohio, with Teresa Book as convention chair. Door prizes, followed with hugs and merriment, ended another memorable convention.

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Outdoor living highlighted at garden tour

ONTARIO — The Treasure Valley Community College Foundation held its third annual Garden and Outdoor Living Tour Saturday.

Despite gray clouds, wind and scattered rain, many travelled to visit the homes in Payette, Fruitland and Ontario. In total, the tour featured seven area gardens and outdoor living spaces.

Dan and Kimi Lopez, of Ontario, were eager to welcome attendees to the yard they have been working on for two years.

The couple, who have been married for 27 years, bought the home in 2013. Since then, they have worked together to remove any previous landscaping and to rebuild a garden of their own, Kimi Lopez said.

“It’s not so much a hobby, but rather it’s about making a place that we can come and enjoy,” Dan Lopez said.

The Lopezes said they love having a place to entertain their friends.

“We also wanted a place to come home to and relax,” Kimi Lopez said. “It’s still a work in progress, but we wanted to make the outside just as nice as the inside.”

Hayley Craig, of Fruitland, whose home was also part of the tour, said she and her husband wanted something small and easy to maintain as well as an outdoor entertainment area, rather than a large yard.

Solar lights can be found in their backyard, which illuminate the place at night.

“It’s so beautiful in the summer,” she said.

The Craigs are true Oregon Duck fans, and hues of green and yellow — as well as the well-known “O” — can be found throughout their private oasis.

The Christensons’ water-saving garden in Fruitland was also one of the several homes on the tour.

Dr. Mark and Vanessa Christenson’s garden was unlike the others on the tour. Typically the plants, including the grass, get watered only once a week, Vanessa Christenson said.

She said she experienced a seven-year drought in the area when she was growing up in the 1980s. It’s a time she won’t forget, and one of the reasons she focuses on water conservation, she said.

The Christensons’ garden had a number of drought-tolerant flowers such as day lilies and sedums. Christenson said she wanted to show people that a water-wise yard can be beautiful, too.

All the money raised from the garden tour go to the Treasure Valley Community College scholarship fund, said Cathy Yasuda, executive director of the TVCC Foundation.

She added said the garden tour turned out well this year.

“We really had a variety of backyards and gardens,” she said. “Some have beautiful flowers, and some are really about enjoying the outdoor space. We appreciate all our garden hosts.”

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Mulch trees, gardens to control weeds – Herald

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Home Activities Cultivate a Pain Free Garden – 8 Tips to Avoid Back Pain…

Tis the season. No, not for hanging stockings and festive lights. It’s the season for planting, growing, tending and harvesting. For Thurston County residents, the growing season is in full swing and that means yard work – lots of yard work.

For some, it’s staying on top of the weeds in your flower beds and keeping your yard tidy. For others, it means cultivating tender spring sprouts into a full-blown harvest. Whichever category you fall into (maybe both), you’ll be working hard to reach your gardening goals. And sometimes, all that work comes with a price – an aching back and sore, stiff muscles.

The right tool, such as this small garden fork, enables gardening from a standing versus kneeling position.

Eastside Chiropractic sees their fair share of weekend warriors visiting their Tumwater office after overdoing it in the yard. Dr. Murray Smith has a few tips to offer to help reduce the pain and increase the enjoyment of a season spent in your garden. And, while some of these may seem like no-brainers, we often forget to put them into practice until it’s too late and you are calling for an appointment with Dr. Smith or to schedule a massage.

  1. Warm Up First – While you aren’t preparing to run a marathon, you are preparing to utilize muscles that may be tight. Taking a five or ten minute walk and doing a few basic stretches will get your muscles ready for the bending and reaching that will inevitably follow.
  1. Bend from the hip – Avoid prolonged flexion of the spine – bending down by curving the spine. Instead, hinge forward from the hip, keeping the spine in alignment. This will reduce the strain on the spine and prolong the time you can spend in the garden pain free.
  1. Take breaks and switch tasks – Sometime I get focused on a goal, such as finishing an entire bed of weeding, and don’t want to stop until I’ve done it. The result? I can barely stand up when I’m done. Instead of going full-speed, take breaks every 20 minutes or so. Stand and stretch. Get a drink of water. Take a walk around the yard. Once rested, attack a new task such as deadheading or watering your planters – a standing or sitting task – before returning to finish weeding that flower bed.
  1. Even if you don’t own a gardening stool or kneeler, an overturned crate or bucket makes a handy stool.

    Use the right tools for the job – There are a myriad of different gardening tools and aids on the market and choosing the right ones can be confusing. But, with the right tools at hand, gardening chores can become easier and cause less strain on your body. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Padded kneeler/stool – This can be a lifesaver in the garden. Choose one that has a padded kneeling surface as well as handles to assist you getting up and down. Most handled varieties double as a garden stool when turned over, giving you the opportunity to change your posture during your work time.
  • Long-handled tools – Purchasing trowels or garden forks with longer (up to three feet) handles limits the bending and reaching needed to get pesky weeds. Combining the long handle with a stool allows for bending at the hip, as well, and saves the back a lot of strain.
  • Ratchet or power pruners – If hand strength and weakness are an issue, invest in a ratchet style pruner or a power pruner. These tools require little hand strength yet still get the job done quickly.
  1. Long handled tools, like this hand-held rake, enables you to reach around plants and to the back of beds without awkward bending and reaching.

    Use a cart or wagon – Utilize a tool bucket or cart to keep your gardening tools at the ready. A two-wheeled garden cart or a four-wheeled garden wagon are more ergonomic ways to carry your tools and materials with you rather than a wheelbarrow or bucket. Both of the latter options can be hard on the back and require more core strength and bending.

  1. Know your limits and ask for help – This suggestion can be tough for those of us who think we can do it all. But, there comes a point when we need to ask for help. Some tasks are better left to a team – either paid professionals or willing kids, grandkids, or neighbors. Know your limits and seek help when needed.
  1. Change your task, and posture, every 20 minutes. Try a job standing upright, such as dead-heading the hanging baskets.

    Treat your body well – In all things, gardening included, a healthy, strong body will take you far. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, eat a balanced and healthy diet and exercise regularly. If your body is used to moving each day, those hours in the garden during the summer won’t feel so foreign. And, if you’d like to improve your gardening strength and stamina, seek the advice of Mike Jensen at Eastside Chiro. His gentle, custom training programs can increase strength, flexibility, and stamina – all essential for a successful day in the garden.

  1. Seek relief for aches and pains – If you overdo it a bit this season in the garden, seek relief from your pain through rest and possibly a visit to Eastside Chiropractic for an assessment, adjustment or massage.

Eastside Chiropractic
1526 Bishop Rd. SW, Tumwater


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7 tips for improving your own rose garden

June is the month of roses. The rose is still America’s favorite flower, even though the formal rose garden featuring demanding hybrid tea roses with long stems has been replaced by more disease-resistant landscape roses with a more shrubby growth.

Here are some things to know about growing roses in Western Washington:

You can grow roses in partial shade: Roses do best in full sun, but there is a dark pink, fragrant roses called Zephirine Drouhin that tolerates shade. I ordered this old-fashioned climbing rose years ago from a mail order company and it blooms each June entwined with a Nelly Moser clematis in a part of my garden that receives only a few hours of afternoon sun. As a bonus, it has a strong, sweet fragrance and — to make a painless point — this climbing rose is thornless.

You can add new roses to your garden in the summer months: Nurseries now offer more roses for sale potted up in containers and this means you can see them in bloom before you buy and transplant them from the pot into your garden all summer long. If the rose for sale at the nursery is growing in a container 5 gallons or larger, you can enjoy it as a potted patio plant all summer or transplant it into the ground any time of year.

Our cool climate is picky about petal count: Many rose varieties will list the number of petals per flower — this is because in cool, wet climates such as Western Washington a low petal count is best, to avoid balled up blooms that fail to open. In dry climates more petals are better as the bloom will last longer.

Groundcover roses will block weeds on slopes but also grow great in containers: Low-growing roses (under 3 feet tall) can spread out with enough vigor and disease resistance to block weeds and cover slopes, but these sprawling roses also do well in large containers as patio plants that will bloom for years in the same pot. The most common groundcover rose is the Flower Carpet series that is available in a rainbow of color choices. In our climate, the coral variety of the Flower Carpet line seems to do the best in Western Washington, and the soft pink variety called Apple Blossom also blooms well.

Not all roses need constant feeding: The traditional hybrid tea rose is a hungry, greedy devil and should be fertilized several times during the growing season to keep the blooms coming. Many of the old roses, the shrub roses and the species roses can thrive without annual fertilizing. All roses do best with at least one application of fertilizer each spring. A slow-release plant food such as Osmocote can be applied once in May for yearlong feeding. Dehydrated alfalfa and fish fertilizer are other options for fertilizing your roses.

You can control rose diseases with good cleanup and pruning: In our climate, black spot and powdery mildew are the fungus among us that most often infects rose plants. Pruning back old growth in early spring and raking up fallen leaves and adding fresh mulch on top of the soil is an effective way to control overwintering disease spores. In the summer, remove infected or yellow leaves immediately before they get a chance to spread spores all over the plant.

You can improve your sad or ugly roses with compost — but you don’t have to keep the divas: The secret is the soil when it comes to growing happy, healthy rose plants and you can hit the refresh button on your rose plant by piling on the compost, moo doo or old manure every spring then poking deep holes around the root zone. Compost is not a substitute for fertilizing, so feed your roses even as you improve the soil. Ugly roses can be pruned back hard — to about 2 feet tall in the early spring when you see daffodils blooming. If a sickly roses does not respond with healthy new growth and satisfactory blooms after a year of pampering, then get tough and yank the ungrateful diva out of your garden. A fresh start with a new rose plant is a great way to celebrate summer.

June is the month to visit the rose display gardens at Point Defiance park in Tacoma, the Schmidt Mansion in Tumwater or the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and look for a new variety of rose for your own garden.

Marianne Binetti has a degree in horticulture from Washington State University and is the author of several books. Reach her at

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