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Archives for June 24, 2016

Get garden design tips with water-wise plants

Workshop: Designing with Succulents

Where: Green Acres Nursery Supply, all locations

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, June 25

Admission: Free


Save water and have summer color, too. Learn secrets to succulent success, using these naturally water-wise plants in containers. Also get tips on combining succulents with drought-tolerant perennials in a low-water landscape.

Placer County Fair

Where: Placer County Fairground, 800 All America City Blvd., Roseville

When: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, June 25 and 26

Admission: General admission, $5; seniors (age 60 and up), $3; juniors (ages 6-12), $3; children age 5 and younger admitted free


This old-fashioned county fair celebrates Placer County’s country roots with good food, music, vendors, carnival rides and lots of family fun.

‘Medical Bag’ tour

Where: Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento

When: 10 a.m. July 2

Admission: Free


This popular guided tour of the historic cemetery and its world-famous gardens concentrates on Sacramento’s medical pioneers, who battled disease and calamities while helping to grow a healthy community.

Debbie Arrington

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Littleton:Fitness Park Idea Advances For River District

PHOTO BY ROBERT BLECHL The tree harp sculpture that for several years had been inside the lobby of the Bank of N.H. in Littleton is now perched above the Ammonoosuc River, with a plaque reflecting the names of the donors who made the project a reality.

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Hospital marketing director becomes executive directory of hospital foundation

Courtesy Photo

Jill Green is the new Executive Director of the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Foundation.

The Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Foundation, a non-profit organization created to fund projects for the hospital itself, has voted Jill Green to the executive director position. Green has worked for four years as the hospital’s public information officer and marketing director.

As the executive director, Green leads the board of directors in funding capital projects for the hospital. Started in 2006, the foundation’s board of directors is made up of 11 members from the community including Kevin Hauglie, Jay Rodne, Ryan Roberts, and Steve Weaver.

The board organizes fundraisers and events to support the projects designed to improve the hospital and is currently working on gift shop and garden project for the new building.

“As far as the projects go, we are working on a healing garden. The idea is to promote health and recovery for patients, a sanctuary where they can go outside in peace with their family members. One part we are working on is bricks that people can get engraved, whether it’s a family name or a memorial for someone,” Green said.

“The other project is our gift shop. That should be ready at the end of July. It will have things like cards, local artists. We haven’t finalized the inventory but it will have a local flair.”

While the gift shop is only a month away from completion, the garden is still in the planning phase. Green said the foundation is in talks with Absher Construction, the company that built the hospital, to design the plans. The garden was planned for development since 2014, but has taken longer than other projects to get started.

“The gift shop is a newer idea. If you think about a healing garden it involves benches, trees, landscaping, it’s not necessarily that it will take longer but it’s about getting the design and plans in place,” Green said. “I am very excited for that. It’s going to be a fantastic addition to the hospital and it’s going to be a unique draw for community members.”

Working with
the hospital

Before starting public relations work for the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, Green was the sales manager for the Issaquah Press for seven years. Through that job she found her way to Snoqualmie.

“I met with Rodger (McCollum, the former CEO of the hospital), I was his sales rep. I got to know him and he knew that I had a good work ethic and follow through,” Green said. “I have a journalism background, he told me about this new position they wanted to write articles, manage the website and handle the ad campaign. I felt this was a good fit for me.”

Balancing roles

Starting in 2012 as the hospital’s public information officer, Green worked with Fritz Ribary, who was then the marketing director. When Ribary left the position in 2012, Green was promoted to marketing director. Now she handles the marketing side of the hospital and manages the foundation.

“I manage the website, write all of the press releases, manage media relationships, come up with flyers and advertising campaigns and plan those, and maintain our branding consistently,” she said. “I thrive on being busy and the challenge of the next exciting thing, and even when I worked for the Press I was juggling 30 different jobs at the time. You have to be precise, organized and detailed. I thrive in that environment.”

When former executive director Eric Kaltenbacher left the foundation in 2014, Tom Parker, then COO of the hospital considered Green for the role. Kaltenbacher developed a five-year strategic plan for the foundation and Green worked with him to revise the plan in 2014, including a fundraising golf tournament.

“When Eric was here in 2014 he put together a five-year strategic plan,” Green said. “So there are plans to add new events and new fundraising opportunities, the healing garden and the golf tournament are the main ones they want to focus on.”

Green is very thankful for her colleagues who collaborate and work with her on her various projects.

“The great thing is the people that I work with,” she said. “I’ll have marketing meetings and they are just so willing to dive in and give me ideas on what they can see the patients need and I don’t feel alone at all, we all collaborate and work together. To make sure people know about (the hospital) and come here.”

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At Storm King, a Landscape of Stars, Rulers and Pipes

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Raleigh’s JC Raulston Arboretum celebrates 40 years, and looks to the future

A lot of plants go into the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, but they don’t all come out.

The hebe shrubs, natives of New Zealand, don’t do well – only a handful, including an enormous tapawera, survived. Fuchsias have a low tolerance for heat, cold or both, though an Angel Earrings cascading fuchsia has made it four years, arboretum director Mark Weathington pointed out during a recent tour. He stopped at an oak leaf hydrangea with a sizable flower head, an apparent success. It’s disease resistant, he said, and has been suggested to nurseries in Johnston County.

The arboretum is more than just a place to contemplate strange and wonderful plants or to learn new garden skills. It is a testing ground. If plants can make it here, Weathington said, they can survive in yards and gardens. And if they can’t? “We kill a lot of plants here,” he said.

This follows the mission of the its namesake, the late J.C. Raulston himself. When this place started as the N.C. State University Arboretum in 1976, Raulston was driven to diversify the American landscape.

Wherever he went, Weathington said, Raulston saw that 40 plants made up most of the plantings. So he traveled extensively, bringing plants to North Carolina. If they proved they could survive, he gave the plants to nurseries. It changed the industry, Weathington said. Today, even a big box store has a spectacular variety of flora, so the arboretum under Weathington evaluates new strains to see if they’ll actually grow. If test subjects die in an arboretum plot, it means suburban gardeners will be spared a similar result.

The late Raulston was a beloved N.C. State professor, a horticultural innovator and a proponent of gay acceptance and inclusion. As the arboretum bearing his name turns 40 this year, it grows and evolves in his spirit. To understand the JC Raulston Arboretum’s future, one must understand its founder.

“That little garden is just nimble and quick,” said Richard Olsen, director of the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington. At 10.5 acres, the JC Raulston Arboretum is tiny in comparison to the National Arboretum’s 446 acres, yet it has a substantial reputation nationally and internationally, Olsen said.

Personally, Olsen wouldn’t be where he is today if not for Raulston or the Raleigh arboretum that bears his name. As an undergraduate in the mid-’90s, the Raleigh-raised Olsen ended up with Raulston as his adviser. With advisees assigned by where their names fell in the alphabet, it was sheer luck of the draw. It changed his life.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing,” Olsen said.

He took classes under Raulston and worked for him at the arboretum the summer of 1996, which happened to be a rare year that Raulston did not travel the world seeking new plants. Raulston had overextended his budget, so he made a grand, sweeping vow – he was famous for his intense swings, Olsen noted – that he would not leave North Carolina for a year. Olsen had his nursery management course, but also met significant horticulturalists in an intimate setting through Raulston: When famous people visited, Raulston would invite graduate students to his house to meet with them. Olsen and a friend were the only two undergrads invited. After interacting with these luminaries and realizing that Raulston traveled the world doing science and collecting plants, Olsen knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life.

By the time Raulston died in a car crash, just before Christmas 1996, Olsen had made his decision.

For years he kept the course cancellation notices of the three spring 1997 classes under Raulston he never got to take. He brought them to Raleigh with him in March, when he gave the keynote address at the opening of the D.H. Hill Library’s J.C. Raulston exhibit, “Plan – and Plant for a Better World.”

“There are so many personal artifacts in the Raulston exhibit,” said Chris Vitiello, N.C. State libraries communications strategist. His favorite objects are an unremarkable-looking vase containing dried wheat and a bottle of crude oil. The Oklahoma-born Raulston, son of a Shell Oil worker, kept these as reminders of where he came from, and they were on his desk his entire professional life.

“It’s unexpectedly poetic,” Vitiello said.

In the exhibit are childhood drawings and travel journals, but also a display that mentions Raulston’s 1985 founding of the Lavandula Society, a support network for gay and lesbian horticulturalists. Raulston was gay and worked to create what we would today call “safe spaces.” He held the first meetings in his home, and the society grew.

“You think about the old boy attitude of agriculture. This is the world he’s thrust into,” Olsen said. Raulston took it upon himself to create a place of belonging for gays and lesbians in the world of horticulture. He was unselfish, Olsen said, a great teacher and mentor. And made an enormous impact.

“He transformed the nursery industry in the U.S.,” Weathington said. “There is a before J.C. and an after J.C.” Nowadays, and mostly due to his efforts, nurseries sell a variety of bold and exciting plants, so the arboretum that bears his name has moved away from introducing new plants. With that mission an overall success, its research has moved into analyzing what’s out there. Along the northern edge of the arboretum, for example, the research is as obvious as the beds and beds of color trials. Beyond them, Weathington said, are experimental rain gardens.

Yet the arboretum is also a public garden, and its future involves as much horticultural research as it does being as inviting and educational as possible to the public. From the road, for instance, the arboretum can be easy to miss. Its pedestrian entryway is a chain-link gate, and its sign is little different from those outside N.C. State campus buildings.

Weathington doesn’t have a date for its construction yet, but he excitedly describes plans for a new entryway.

The 19-foot stainless steel gate was designed by Greensboro’s Jim Gallucci, the sculptor behind downtown Raleigh’s oak leaves and acorn pillars. Adult education is moving away from lectures and into hands-on, multi-week workshops with recently retired N.C. State faculty and raising money for an edible landscaping garden. Children’s programs have grown by 140 percent annually, up from four summer camps last year to six, Weathington said. A new yurt, also intended for the children’s programs, is going in just past the color trial beds; nearby, a group of early elementary school kids sprinted across the gathering lawn.

“If we’re going to have children in the garden, we want them to be in the garden,” Weathington said.

Sometimes, even the director of the National Arboretum feels like a child again. When he’s around accomplished horticultural scientists, he remembers how he felt when Raulston first introduced him to the world for plants. Olsen wishes he could talk with Raulston, that he could ask his mentor how he ever got in his current position at the National Arboretum, he says with a laugh.

Twenty years after Raulston’s death, though, Olsen is still approached by people who want to talk about what the late horticulturalist meant to them. All they have to see is that Olsen went to State for horticulture in the 1990s, and they excitedly approach him: Raulston, the person, changed the nursery industry, and the humbly sized arboretum bearing his name has made an outsized impact as well.

“There is not a plant person around the world – not just professionals, but hard-core enthusiasts – that hasn’t heard of the JC Raulston,” Olsen said.

Reach Hill at

More information

Raleigh’s JC Raulston Arboretum is celebrating 40 years with several upcoming events:

Fun in the Sun Picnic

When: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. June 25

Where: J.C. Raulston Arboretum

Price: $5 in advance for nonmembers, $7 day of. Free for member families.

Details: A family-oriented picnic in the garden with cake, ice cream and outdoor games. Bring a picnic and a blanket from home and find a spot on the grass. Go to

J.C. Raulston exhibit tour with Bobby J. Ward

When: 3-4 p.m. June 26

Where: Exhibit gallery at the D.H. Hill Library, N.C. State University, Raleigh

Price: Free (see below)

Details: The tour with garden writer and Raulston biographer Bobby J. Ward is free, but space is limited. Register at The Raulston exhibit at D.H. Hill remains on display through Jan. 8, 2017.

40th Anniversary Symposium: ‘Horticultural Bright Lights: The Future of Gardening’

When: Sept. 23-24

Where: J.C. Raulston Arboretum

Details: This upcoming symposium features two days of talks by prominent horticulturalists. The focus here is the next 40 years. For more information, go to: Cost: $130-$180.

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Garden Tour This Saturday

Garden Tour This Saturday

“Buffalo Medicine Man” is one of the sculptures as yard art that attendees may see at the Huntleys’ on the garden tour.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2016 10:49 pm

Garden Tour This Saturday

By Brenda Johnson

For The Press and Dakotan


Original carved sculptures as yard art are among the features of the Tour of Lawns and Gardens on Saturday, June 25 in Yankton. Missouri Valley Master Gardeners sponsor this ninth annual garden tour.

Five host yards will show lots of flowers, vegetables, a secret garden, ponds, and plants in memory of or to honor people. Yard of Marilyn and sculptor Roger Huntley is included on the tour. Roger is a plasterer by trade. He has done restorative plaster at the Capitol building in Pierre, volunteer Mead building restoration in Yankton, and restorative statuary work in one of the local cemeteries.

Within Huntley’s backyard privacy fence is a sensory retreat that includes sound of water over stones in their pond and music of birds, motion of koi darting under lily pads, fragrance of roses, coolness of dappled shade from their stately locust tree, and sight of red, yellow and orange flowers and Roger’s sculptures.

“Every day when it’s nice out, we sit outside and enjoy the birds and squirrels,” Marilyn said. Their two-person lounger with cup holders for their favorite refreshments is positioned by the pond. Night lighting among vines on their fence, on Roger’s cast bronze fish at the pond, and on his sculptures, extend their evening enjoyment.

“Buffalo Medicine Man” and “Captives” sculptures are displayed on the either side of their yard. The pieces were selected to appear in previous years among Yankton’s RiverWalk sculptures. His “Spirit Horse” appears at 3rd St. and Capital in this year’s RiverWalk. Roger constructed the stands for the Native American theme pieces in his yard. Roger is part Dakota Sioux.

“My grandfather was born on a reservation,” Roger said. “There was a time when telling about Indian heritage wasn’t O.K.” His roots entitled him to use authentic pipestone for ceremonial peace pipes he carved and displayed with other artists through Yankton Area Arts. Now he often presents to schools on Native American Day.

“Scott Luken took me under his wing,” he said. “I have no art training. He gave me a piece of alabaster to try.” Roger likes to work with driftwood or found wood and see what his artistic vision can carve from it. His bronze fish “Escape” at the pond, came from such wood. Marilyn assists Roger at presentations. Her ear appears in several carvings after Roger took photographs to help him with its shape. Granddaughter Jaidan’s knees photo helped Roger in shaping the kneeling woman in “Captives.”

“Roger often picks flowers and places them in the (captive) other’s arms.

“This is where Roger works,” she said. It’s an open-air shade tent with carving tools on shelves. Sun filters through an old fashioned climbing rose beside the tent.

“Two years ago Roger dug out a piece from the plant out front and here it is now,” she said. The rose branch is at eye level.

“I don’t consider myself a gardener, but I love flowers,” she said. She credits NatureScaping Designs with the pond and landscaping. Marilyn’s hanging baskets of bright annuals and other plant beds highlight the yard.

“Roger knows that (I love flowers) and he brings them in. I almost always have fresh flowers in the living room.”

Garden Tour Details

“Homeowners on this tour are extremely creative,” garden tour organizer Kathy Jorgensen said of the Huntley’s and four other garden tour yard hosts. Tour participants may see many ideas to adapt for their own yards.

Garden tour tickets will be sold at Riverview Reformed Church, 1700 Burleigh St. on Saturday from 8:30AM to 11:00AM. Participants will receive a program and map for the self-guided tour in Yankton. After the tour, attendees are invited to return to the church for a salad luncheon and door prizes. A plant sale will be held at the church. Cost of the garden tour and luncheon is $10.00.

Jorgensen said that proceeds from master gardener events help with educational and community projects. This summer Missouri Valley Master Gardeners are a resource for Yankton community gardeners each Saturday morning. Master gardeners lead presentations and assist with the Yankton Seed Library. Master Gardeners assisted with the Sacred Heart Monastery flowerbeds and the design and planting of the south foundation beds at the G.A.R. Hall location of Yankton Area Arts. A plant sale is planned for September 9th – 10th at the Yankton County Extension Office and the Fall Fling will be presented on October 4 at the Avera Physician’s Office Pavilion.

  • Discuss


Thursday, June 23, 2016 10:49 pm.

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Big Homes Just Listed in the Auburn Area

Discover Heritage Homes quality in this Transitional resale on a one of a kind private lot with secluded pool, gardens, and bluestone patios. Inside presents masterful vignettes featuring the timeless elegance of renowned interior designers Cody Wolff. Extensive upgrades including new roof, new exterior stain, finished lower level with additional full bath, new landscaping and much more!

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Garden tips: Philly flowers and long-lived hydrangeas

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