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Archives for July 1, 2016

New designer brings immersive water garden to Hampton Court

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Garden designer Jenny Peterson to lead Farwest networking conference

Wilsonville, Oregon – The 2016 Farwest Show, August 25-27, in Portland, Ore., and its ‘Women in Horticulture’ networking event will bring women in horticulture together to establish connections, share opportunities, and encourage involvement to advance the industry. The event will celebrate the vital roles women are playing in today’s business and spotlight the life and work of featured guest, Jenny Peterson, garden designer and owner of J. Peterson Garden Design. 

The gathering takes place Friday, August 26 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in VIP Room B at the Oregon Convention Center. Women professionals from across the industry and nation will mix and mingle in a time of sharing and will have a chance to visit with Peterson and learn more about her work and life. In addition to running a successful design firm, Peterson also is a writer, author, and speaker. As a breast cancer survivor, she specializes in educating others on how gardening helps enhance the quality of life, healing from the inside out and helps to create balance and wellness.
For more information about ‘Women in Horticulture’ networking and Jenny Peterson, visit

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Hospital walled garden design to be shown

TRANSFORMERS: Walled garden project volunteers Jane Nehaul, Jan Smith, Thom Board, Angela Fry, Graham Wookey and Sundari at the site earlier this year

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Green space project progresses

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JOHN E. USALIS/Staff Photo
From left, Downtown Shenandoah Inc. (DSI) Executive Director Mary Luscavage, listens to Joseph Anczarski and his son, Joey Anczarski, about the work beng done at the green space on South Main Street near the Burger King restaurant. Trees have been planted, a fence was built and grass has been planted. The empty area behind them will be planted with flowers. The Anczarskis donated the use of their portion of the land, the rest being owned by Shenandoah borough.

SUBMITTED IMAGE A concept image of the green space was shown at meeting last year of the Downtown Shenandoah Inc. (DSI). Some small changes have been made from the concept to the existing project, but most have stayed the same. The area is located on South Main Street near the Burger King restaurant. The image was created by Joseph “Joey” Anczarski Jr.

Progress continues on the green space being developed at the south side of Shenandoah that will add beauty and a place to relax.

Downtown Shenandoah Inc. is sponsoring the project as part of its revitalization mission in the borough. The green space near the “Welcome to Shenandoah” sign on South Main Street is attracting the attention of passersby as the space is developed.

A new walkway that has been installed from Main Street to the steps that descend to South Market and East Poplar streets is being used by local residents. During a half-hour visit to the site, four people used the stone walkway where before only a dirt path existed.

Mary Luscavage, DSI executive director and Main Street manager, visited the site with Joseph “Joey” Anczarski Jr. and Joseph Anczarski Sr. to talk about the project. The estimated cost is between $3,000 and $4,000, which will be paid from a $100,000 donation made by the late John “Jack” Schwab to DSI’s capital campaign in 2013. When it was announced at that time, the donor was listed as anonymous, and was only identified as someone who was born and raised in Shenandoah, but had left the area.

“When he passed away, we were allowed to say who gave it to us, and it was Jack Schwab,” Luscavage said. “The park will be dedicated in his name.”

The idea of the green space was announced in March 2015 at a DSI meeting that included the showing of concept artwork by Joey Anczarski, who did the design using a photo of the empty lot north of the Burger King restaurant and adding graphics with a computer. The graphics includes trees, flowers, a picnic table, a bench, a light post similar to those used along Main Street and a stone walkway.

The design concept is now becoming a three-dimensional reality with a few tweaks here and there, but essentially remaining the same. Much of the property is owned by the borough, with a section owned by Joseph Anczarski, owner of Mark’s Supply Co. in Shenandoah, who has donated its use for the community project. Both Anczarskis have done most of the work on a voluntary basis.

Luscavage said Joey Anczarski has done much of the labor and deciding on what types of plants to be placed at the site.

“He’s more of the ecology person, so he’s been working on planting trees and other plants,” Luscavage said. “The trees are planted to be able to bring nature back, make it more green. We’re going to put in a park bench. It’s going to be a place to just breathe and relax.”

Joey Anczarski chose a variety of plants to beautify the area.

“We have redbuds, which is a dogwood, and we’re going to plant several other flowering plants and bushes,” he said. “It is going to be such a pretty area so people can just sit here. It’s also nice to look at as you drive into town. You see the Shenandoah sign and this area will be beautiful next to it. There is finally a walking path here. However long the steps have been here, and they’ve been here my whole life, you’d have to walk through weeds to get to the steps.”

A wooden fence has been built on three sides of a now-empty area that will have flowering plants. Large stones bordering the front came from the old sidewalks that were replaced during a streetscape project.

“When they put the new sidewalks, we had put them off to the side for us, and we were using them for the landscaping here,” Joey Anczarski said.

“This is a green space that’s going to be very green,” Luscavage said.

“The garden will be a pollinator-friendly garden,” Joey Anczarski said. “It will attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds. If the flowers are here, they’ll come.”

According to the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners Program website, a pollinator garden is attractive to bees, butterflies, beetles, hummingbirds and more, providing a variety of nectar and pollen sources, as well as host plants to support local pollinators throughout the seasons.

“We’re hoping to get a pollinator-friendly certification from Penn State,” Joey Anczarski said. “They have different requirements of flowers for different seasons so they bloom throughout the whole year. It will make this spot even more interesting for people to come and see.”

The green space may become the starting point for others in the borough.

“We were saying that maybe in the future other lots in town can be planted,” Joey Anczarski said.

Luscavage said that since much of the work is completed to date, the green space will be ready for dedication during the Shenandoah sesquicentennial week, which will be Aug. 20 to 27.

Joseph Anczarski said the plantings will make the area beautiful this year, but it should be even more so when plantings are done in the spring next year.

Joey Anczarski does landscaping as a hobby and he hopes people will enjoy his ideas.

“I hope that everyone is happy with it,” he said. “People who drive by say how nice it is.”

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Western Springs unveils plans for downtown improvements

After over a year of discussion, public hearings and feedback from the community, the village of Western Springs may soon have a new road map that will outline future streetscape improvements for the downtown area.

But while officials said a plan is in place, there is still no indication on the cost of such work, how it could be funded or a timeframe on when it could be completed.

The Village Board heard a presentation July 27 from Smithgroup JJR that outlines the plans. The firm was hired to put together a proposal based on community feedback.

Architect Randall Machelski said the main goal was to focus on the economic revitalization and vitality of the downtown area, and ideas of “bridging the gap” between Hillgrove and Burlington avenues, on opposites sides of the railroad tracks, to bring the two sides of the community together.

‘Termers’ Get a New Boss

The officer overseeing labor crews from Suffolk County’s Riverhead and Yaphank correctional facilities has made his last work-related visit to the South Fork.

Sgt. John Whitehead, who established the program with Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco, retired from the County Sheriff’s Department yesterday, three weeks shy of 35 years’ service. While he plans to take it easy for the next two months, his replacement, Sgt. Owen O’Neill, was already on the job at the American Legion Hall in Amagansett on Tuesday, as a crew performed landscaping work and washed the building’s cedar shingles.

Under Sergeant Whitehead’s watchful eye, the “working termers,” those serving sentences in county correctional facilities, have also performed work at the Springs Firehouse, Second House Museum in Montauk, the Amagansett Farmers Market, the Montauk Lighthouse, and the Amagansett Life Saving and Coast Guard Station.

“The termers usually get one-third off their sentence right from the get-go for good behavior,” said Sergeant Whitehead. “This is not any perk for them as far as getting released early, but they love it because they’re outside five days a week. We go all over Suffolk County, they eat a little better, receive a few benefits here and there.”

The crews, which typically perform such work as painting, building repair, and landscaping, have saved the American Legion thousands of dollars, Lee O’Toole, a legionnaire, said this week. Michael Cinque, the co-director of the committee charged with restoring the 1902 coast guard station, was similarly grateful for the crews, which he said brought surprisingly strong skills and enthusiasm to that project. Last summer, Mr. Cinque told The Star they had done “an absolutely amazing job” in twice-weekly visits. “There’s a guy on the crew who restores houses,” he said. “He has been coming up with some brilliant ideas, and a lot of these guys are pretty handy.”

Looking forward to retirement, Sergeant Whitehead, who lives in Shoreham, will nonetheless miss work-related visits to the South Fork now that Sergeant O’Neill has assumed his role. “I love it,” he said, standing in the sunshine outside Legion Hall. “This is the place to be.”

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Digging in: Students lend a hand with landscaping at Sandyvale (with VIDEO)

Students in grades six through 12 were busy Wednesday getting their hands dirty for a good cause.

Twenty-two youths and advisers from Uth 4 Missions were at Sandyvale Memorial Gardens in the Hornerstown section of Johnstown to offer their services by doing landscaping projects such as mulching, weeding and planting.

The event is sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“We will be here for three days,” said Ken West, an adult adviser with Uth 4 Missions. “We have groups over in Seward, several groups in Johnstown and a group at Camp Allegheny, so we have about six crews out.”

He said the group’s mission is service work in the community.

“We want the students to see that there is something bigger, and in mission you give back,” West said. “As Methodists and Christians, it’s our job to help the communities we are around because there is need out there everywhere. Hopefully, they can take this mission experience and possibly use it in their everyday life.”

Aaron Slavin, a Uth 4 Mission chair team member, a position with the conference’s Youth Ministry Team, said he was responsible for assigning students to locations and deciding what activities they would do while in town.

“We do a bunch of different service projects to help an area,” he said. “For the past six years we’ve been in Johnstown, and everywhere we go people are so nice to us.” 

Story continues below video

Diana Kabo, secretary and event/educational programming coordinator at Sandyvale, said it’s exciting to have groups come in because they are able to learn a bit about the history of Sandyvale.

“Since these students are coming from all over, they leave with a better knowledge of the history of Johnstown,” she said. “It’s wonderful for us to see young people interested in helping.”

She said the work the students are doing is vital in keeping the site respectfully maintained.

“It’s really challenging, but we have several volunteers who are here every week, and we appreciate the time that they spend.

“They really help us to keep it looking pristine,” Kabo said.

During the mission trip, the students are being housed at Pitt-Johnstown.

Work in the area will continue through Thursday.

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The many benefits of hiring a professional landscaper

The flowers are blooming, and the grass has begun to grow anew, making spring a great time for homeowners to once again turn their attention to landscaping. Those who aren’t looking forward to dusting off their lawnmowers and rethreading their string trimmers may want to hire professional landscapers to tend to their lawns and gardens.

A recent joint study by the National Gardening Association, Residential Lawn and Landscape Services and the Value of Landscaping found that homeowners spend roughly $45 billion per year on professional lawn and landscape services, as nearly 30 percent of all households across the United States use at least one type of lawn or landscape service. The rising use of lawn care services is indicative of homeowners’ appreciation of the convenience and craftsmanship professional services can provide. While the impact professional landscapers can have on a property’s aesthetic appeal is considerable, homeowners also benefit from working with professional landscapers in various other ways.

• Time savings: One of the biggest benefits of leaving lawn care to the professionals is the amount of time it will save for the average homeowner. Lawns generally need to be mowed once per week during the spring and summer seasons and, depending on the size of the property, that can take an hour or more. Add the time it takes to clean up clippings, mulch landscaping beds and edge the property, and homeowners can expect to devote a significant chunk of their weekends to caring for their lawns. Lawn services employ a few workers who make fast work of the job, leaving homeowners time to enjoy their weekends however they see fit.

• Reduced risk for injury: Maintaining a landscape is hard work, and those unaccustomed to this type of activity may find themselves winded or at risk of injury. Improper use of lawn equipment also is a safety hazard. Leaving the work to professionals can help homeowners avoid strained backs, lacerations, pulled muscles, sunburns, and any other dangers that can result when tackling landscaping projects.

• Financial savings: On the surface, hiring a landscaping service may seem like a costly venture. However, after crunching some numbers, many homeowners realize that doing the work themselves may cost more in the long run than hiring a professional landscaping service. Homeowners who decide to go it alone must purchase expensive equipment, and those lawn tools will require routine maintenance, which costs additional money. Inexperienced homeowners may incur extra fees to “fix” mistakes that occur during the learning process. Each year, new seed, fertilizer, mulch, pesticides, and other supplies also must be purchased. But professional lawn care services typically charge a set fee per month, and that fee covers the maintenance of both your property and the equipment needed to keep that property looking great.

• Know-how: Many professional landscapers know how to address lawn care issues that may arise throughout the year. They will know how to deal with dry patches of lawn or poorly draining areas, and they also can make recommendations on plants that will thrive under certain conditions.

• One-stop shopping: Certain landscaping services provide many different options for prospective customers. Basic lawn cuts may be one package, but there also may be services for seasonal seeding, weeding, leaf clean-up, and winterizing.

• Consistent maintenance: Homeowners who frequently travel or spend much of their summers away from home often find that lawn care companies are a wise investment. Established weekly schedules ensure the landscape always will look its best whether homeowners are home or out of town.

Spring is a great time for homeowners to decide if hiring professional landscaping services is in their best interests. The time and money saved, as well as impact professional landscapers can have on a property, makes landscaping services a great investment for many homeowners. GT154042

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Garden Parade Tickets Now Available

For the City Times

Tickets are now available for one of the summer’s signature events in Portage County: The annual garden parade will be held July 15 and 16.

The 19th annual parade features spectacular gardens and landscaping ideas featuring annuals, perennials, shrubs, a conifer collection, vegetables, fruit trees, water features and garden art. It offers an inside look at six residential properties in the Stevens Point-Plover area:

Sara and Tom Burch, 1810 Hamilton Court, created scalloped beds with berms and borders. Texture, fragrance, height, color and bloom time are factored into their cottage style mix of perennials. Trees, shrubs and other plants were chosen to attract song birds and butterflies. Shrubs include weigela, moptop cypress, hydrangea, forsythia, burning bush and smoke bush.

Tim and Mary Gremmer, 2231 Shadowview Circle, Plover, incorporate the entire color wheel in their yard. Perennial daises, bee balm and black-eyed Susans combine with more than 100 containers of annuals, primary impatiens. Colorful garden accessories, birdhouses and lawn furniture complement the flowers, as does a garden shed.

Jan and Bruce Pierson, 2341 Shadowview Circle, have witnessed a sunny, cleared yard gradually become shady as trees matured. Hostas, astilbe and other shade perennials are featured throughout the well-manicured yard. A brick patio, sidewalks and rock wall provide a neat border to a more natural, wooded area.

Mary and Dennis Schultz, 1150 Eighth St., have developed more than a dozen garden beds in the last 31 years. Perennials – including several brought from their family farm and home — annuals, berries, vegetables and water features provide color and variety throughout the year. They still have room to play games, swing and have fires.

Paula and Robin Spindler, 5578 Jack’s Drive, have planned, planted and pruned their way to a yard they describe as an eclectic mix of flowers, vegetables, bushes and trees. Their mix of weeping trees, specimen daylilies, more than 130 varieties of hostas and colorful container plantings fit their vision of an oasis in the pines.

Kirby and Elizabeth Ann Throckmorton, 3101 Jefferson St., have gardened this space for 40 years. Four beds of evergreens, hostas, sedum and vegetables are featured, with a river of lawn between. There’s space for woodland plants and a miniature garden. Enjoy Solomon’s seal, prairie dropseed, Echinacea, switchgrass, false cypress and Ruby Spider daylily.

Also returning this year is Art Bloom at Gallery Q, 1108 Main St. Floral arrangements are inspired by original works of art in this special display at the artist cooperative. An artist reception is 6-8 p.m. Friday, featuring the work of Kristie Cecil.

University of Wisconsin Extension Portage County Master Gardener Volunteers co-sponsor the parade, and members are available to answer questions at each garden.

The parade is 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 15, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 on parade days. They are available at several locations:

In Stevens Point, tickets are for sale at Jung’s Garden Center, 5620 Hwy. 10 East; Stevens Point Area Co-op, 633 Second St.; Gallery Q, 1108 Main St.; and the Master Gardener information table at the Farmers’ Market on the Public Square (Saturdays).

In Plover, tickets are at Village Gardens, 2811 Porter Rd.; and Shulfer’s Sprinklers Landscaping, 2430 Plover Rd.; In Amherst, tickets are at Landmark Coffee Shop, 102 S. Main St.

The garden parade also features special drawings for a quilt donated by the Piecemakers quilting group and one-of-a kind containers and garden art. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club’s “Green Thumb” summer program and the Giving Gardens Program of the Hunger and Poverty Prevention Partnership of Portage County.

For more information, contact Portage County UW-Extension, 715-346-1316.

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Master Gardeners’ July gardening tips

  • Early maturing vegetables such as leaf lettuce, radishes and spinach turn bitter and go to seed in July’s heat. Pull them up, add a little fertilizer, and replant with broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower to harvest next fall. Or, instead of vegetables, you could sow a “green manure” cover crop — clover, buckwheat, or annual rye– to keep weeds out. Then turn them into the soil in the fall, before they go to seed, to add nutrients and organic matter for next year.
  • Make a habit of deadheading (removing faded blossoms) whenever possible from flowering annuals and perennials to prevent infection by the gray mold pathogen, Botrutis. (this disease is favored in warm, humid weather typical of July and August.) Flower infections can ultimately lead to the death of the entire plant. Of course, deadheading keeps plants looking better, too, and encourages them to keep blooming.
  • Summer lawn tips:

    • Raise the height of your lawn mower blade to 3” and mow when the grass is 4 to 4 ½” tall. Water the lawn thoroughly when walking across leaves footprints that don’t spring right back.
    • Wait to fertilize until late August or September when temps cool and grass grows actively again. Dig up weeds now, but don’t spray the lawn with herbicide until fall.

    Becker County Master Gardeners are available to help answer your gardening questions at the Plant, Pest and Gardening Clinics every Monday (May-September) and Friday (June-August) from 9 a.m.-noon at the Extension Office (1120 8th St. SE, Detroit Lakes) or call 846-7328.

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