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Archives for July 23, 2016

Caversham garden designer wins RHS gold medal

A Caversham woman who made a career change from transplant nurse to garden designer has won and RHS gold medal at her first attempt.

Alison Galer, 47, won gold at RHS Tatton Flower Show this week with her garden design The Waiting List.

Her entry draws together her experiences at Royal Berkshire Hospital with her new life in gardening with a design representing the kind of hospital garden a transplant patient might wish to sit in while waiting for news of a donor.

She nurtured around 1,500 plants in her own garden in Priest hill in the run up to the Royal Horticultural Society show at Tatton Park in Knutsford near Manchester.

Her stunning achievement has been to gain a coveted gold medal at her first attempt at designing a garden for an RHS show.

Ms Galer said: “Seeing the gold medal certificate was overwhelming and I’m elated.

“I created the garden to promote the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“I was joined by Holly Shaw at the show. Holly is a happy, brave, beautiful young lady who urgently needs a kidney transplant.

“The gold medal will help raise awareness of the importance of talking to friends and family about your wishes regarding organ donation.”

The organ donation website can be found here

Article source: http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/caversham-garden-designer-wins-rhs-11648187

WATKINS: Plan ahead for low-maintenance landscaping

Some homeowners are willing to spend more time working in the yard than others, but no one wants to intentionally make the yard difficult to maintain, even those who prefer a more extensive landscape.

It requires some planning ahead and some extra work up front to make a landscape as low-maintenance as possible, but using good horticultural practices is worth it and can go a long way to making a yard easier to keep neat and healthy.

When creating new planting beds, always start with a clean slate and remove all the grass and weeds.

Glyphosate can be very useful in clearing out vegetation to create a new garden plot or bed, but for those that don’t want to use chemicals, soil solarization can help also.

To solarize the soil, just till up the area and remove as much vegetation as possible, then put down some clear plastic sheeting and use rocks or soil to keep the edges down tight. Leave the plastic for a few months during the summer and the heat will kill most everything underneath.

The next important step is plant selection.

There are many beautiful plants that can thrive here in west Texas, but there are also plenty that can’t handle our alkaline soil or climate. So plan ahead and choose the best plants — visit the website earth-kind.tamu.edu and use the Earth-Kind plant selector for some ideas of adapted plants. Choosing plants that don’t like the local conditions is a major cause for extra labor in the landscape.

After planting, install drip irrigation in the beds. Drip irrigation is healthier for plants than sprinklers, and is more water-efficient. Sprinklers can be adapted to drip tubing (just make sure the bed is on a separate zone), or drip tubing can be connect to a water faucet or hose.

Be generous with the use of mulch. While it’s possible to overdo it and apply mulch too deeply, more often than not it’s not applied deep enough. A 3- to 4-inch deep layer of mulch is ideal for most plantings and will greatly reduce the amount of weeds that come up. Replenishing mulch once a year is better than fighting weeds all year long.

Remember that several small beds are harder to maintain and mow around, so design the beds to be large sweeping curves and include tree trunks when possible. This helps reduce the amount of string trimming that has to be done.

Allison Watkins is the Tom Green County Extension horticulturist. Contact her at AEWatkins@ag.tamu.edu.

Article source: http://www.gosanangelo.com/lifestyle/columnists/allison-watkins/watkins-plan-ahead-for-low-maintenance-landscaping-37992105-1715-09d8-e053-0100007fba6f-387935042.html

Home and garden events July 23 and beyond – The Courier

Events

Homeararama: Norton Commons River Crest. Today through July 31; 5-9:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturdays; 1-6 p.m. Sundays. The show features 25 homes in Norton Commons and 9 homes in Mt. Washington showcasing custom-built new homes that are fully furnished, decorated, landscaped and feature the latest in building trends, technology and interior design. No pets allowed. $10 per person, per site; $15 for a two-day pass, free for ages 12 and younger with an adult. Tickets sold on site and ticket sales end one-and-a-half hour prior to closing times. www.homearama.com.

Lessons Learned: Monarch Waystation Certified Garden Tours. The tour features two monarch-waystation certified gardens and tours of the live butterfly house and entymology lab at Idlewild Butterfly Farm, educational activities to learn about the plight of the monarch and other butterflies and learn how to plant a butterfly/pollinator garden, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 30. Presented by the Jefferson County Master Gardener Association, in collaboration with Botanica/Waterfront Botanical Gardens, Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve and Idlewild Butterfly Farm/Entymology Solutions. For more information and tour addresses: www.jcmgaky.org; (502) 216-8950.

Classes

In the Garden Program. Edibles gardener Jack Jezreel will present In The Garden – Through The Season In My Vegetable Garden, in his home garden, 10 a.m.-noon today and Aug. 20. Learn about planting, maintaining and harvesting vegetable crops as well as tips to handle pests and plant diseases from an experienced edibles gardener in his home garden. For beginning and intermediate gardeners. Reservations are required, (502) 216-8950.

Create A Serenity Garden. Louisville Free Public Library, Bon Air Branch, Library, 2816 Del Rio Place, 6:30 p.m. Monday. Jefferson County Master Gardener June Sandercock will discuss how to apply landscape design techniques and concepts, color, repetition, texture and plant selection to create a restful and rejuvenating serenity garden. Free.

New Ideas In Landscaping: Towards Sustainable and Maintainable Gardens. Louisville Free Public Library, Bon Air Branch, Crescent Hill Branch, Library, 2762 Frankfort Ave., 7 p.m. Tuesday. This program will examine the issues of climate change as it relates to gardening and design, and will show gardeners how to garden in more sustainable, biodiverse and ecologically-sound ways. Presented by Jefferson County Master Gardener Association. Free.

DIY-ers Delight – Window Preservation Class. Conrad Caldwell House, 1402 St. James Court, 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. July 30 and Aug. 27. Three-part series on window restoration led by Gary Klier Holli Nance. $35 and $30 members per class. (502) 636-5023.

Growing Ferns. Bullitt County Extension Service, 384 Halls Lane, Shepherdsville, 6 p.m. Aug. 4. Learn which ferns to use in your shade garden and how to propagate them at home. Free. Register: (502) 543-2257.

Lawn Care. Bullitt County Extension Service, 384 Halls Lane, Shepherdsville, 6 p.m. Aug. 26. Proper care to ensure a healthy lawn for all seasons. Free. Register: (502) 543-2257.

Children in the Dell. Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, 6220 Old LaGrange Road, Crestwood, Saturdays 10:30 a.m.-noon through Aug. 27. The classes give children ages 4-12 a chance to spend some time in the garden. Topics include planting and growing veggies, nature-inspired scavenger hunts and more. Parents must stay on the grounds and are invited to participate in the day’s activities. Preregistration encouraged, drop-ins welcome as space allows. Free with regular admission. www.yewdellgardens.org.

In the Garden Program. Master Gardener Terry Gibson will present In The Garden – Through The Season In My Vegetable Garden, in his home garden, 9:30 a.m. Sept. 17. Participants will learn about planting, maintaining and harvesting vegetable crops, tips to handle pests and plant diseases. For beginning and intermediate gardeners. Reservations are required. (502) 216-8950.

Farmers Markets

New Goshen Presbyterian Farmer’s Market. 12900 W. Highway 42, Prospect, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays.

Gray Street Farmers Market. 400 block of E. Gray St., 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays. (502) 852-7987.

Belknap Farmers Market. Corner of Third St. and Brandeis Ave. 3:30-6 p.m. Thursdays. (502) 852-0034.

Email items to listings@courier-journal.com. Deadline for next Saturday’s column is noon Tuesday.

Article source: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/home-garden/2016/07/22/home-garden-events-july-beyond/87430916/

7 Backyard Landscaping Ideas That Will Entice You to Come Out of the House

hikesterson/iStock

Ah, the irony of having a backyard: Homeowners pine for a green patch of land to call their own, but once they’ve got it, they very rarely visit the place.

While outdoor living spaces topped the 2015 Home Design Trends survey by the American Institute of Architects, UCLA’s “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” study showed that adults spent less than 15 minutes per week out in their yards (even kids log in just 40 minutes).

Perhaps the reason you aren’t in your yard isn’t due to laziness; it might merely be because you have nothing to do there. That’s where an infusion of landscaping ideas could help.

Please, Mr. Postman

Send me news, tips, and promos from realtor.com® and Move.

“You need a legitimate reason to go out there,” says Chad Bostick, a Huntsville, AL, landscape architect and member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. So before you start landscaping, take stock of how you like to spend your free time. If growing green things is your passion, then your yard should be filled with vegetable and flower gardens. If listening to lapping water soothes you, then a water feature is a must. If you can’t take the sun, plant shade trees. If kicking a soccer ball around with your kids is your “together time,” create a level lawn where you can play. Build a purpose into your yard and suddenly you’ll be out there. All. The. Time.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some backyard landscaping ideas to consider.

Create an outdoor room…

If you’re more of an “indoor type,” never fear. Many of the things we once thought were possible only indoors can easily be brought to the open air thanks to the latest rage of creating “outdoor rooms.” We’re talking about spaces where you can enjoy the creature comforts of, say, your living room, only in your yard. So if you love to read, create a reading nook with a truly comfy couch and ample lighting for the evenings. If epicurean pursuits are your thing, keep reading.

Bring the indoors outside

stevecoleimages/iStock

stevecoleimages/iStock

Bring the indoors outside

stevecoleimages/iStock

… or an outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are the biggest thing since the McRib. And why not? No one wants to stay cooped up inside when everyone else is living it up in the great outdoors. And while having a whole kitchen might be overboard for many folks, more reasonable options might be just to have a minifridge and countertop next to your barbecue grill.

Get cookin’

Ozgur Coskun/iStock

Ozgur Coskun/iStock

Get cookin’

Ozgur Coskun/iStock

Fire up a fire pit

Yessssss. Who doesn’t love the idea of sitting around a blazing fire pit, the (literally) hottest new addition to your yard? They’re pretty easy to build yourself, and will extend your yard’s hours by keeping the area lit and warm long after dark. Break out those marshmallows and ghost stories for a good time.

Fire pit

irina88w/iStock

irina88w/iStock

Fire pit

irina88w/iStock

Add fountains, ponds, or other water features

If you’re looking for the calming sound of running water, you can go small and install a solar-powered tabletop fountain in your garden or on your deck; or you can go all out and install a pond or pool. Remember, all water features must have either a pump, aerator, or wiggler to keep the surface moving to prevent mosquitoes and other disease-bearing insects from breeding.

An aquatic garden

WoodenDinosaur/iStock

WoodenDinosaur/iStock

An aquatic garden

WoodenDinosaur/iStock

Grow some gardens

Gardens are a no-brainer in a backyard. But ponder what you really want before you start landscaping: Do you want a four-season garden that provides color year-round? Or a cutting garden that fills vases with brilliant blooms during summer and spring? Think hard about what you want to grow, then pick an area of your yard that will be its best home. Some perennials, such as the black-eyed Susan, crave six or more hours of sun a day, while hostas that spike blooms in midsummer are happy in shade. You can even build a butterfly garden that will attract these winged creatures.

Install stone patios or decks

A deck is the perfect place to survey your yard and kick back in it without even having to put on your shoes. Plus, a deck will generally net you a 75% return on investment when you decide to sell. If you go the stone patio route instead, just know that during the summer the stone can heat to pizza oven temps. So, think about where you’re placing your patio or deck before deciding on what material you’ll use. These days, porous pavers are popular on patios because they reduce runoff by allowing water to soak through, and keep the area cooler in summer.

Plant trees

Mature and well-maintained trees can add thousands of dollars to the value of your home. Also, placed correctly, trees can keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter, saving money on energy bills. Take time choosing trees. If fall foliage is your priority, select deciduous trees like sugar maples and sweetgums. If you want a windbreak, then plant evergreens like spruce. Silver maples make great shade trees. And saucer magnolias and weeping cherries make beautiful focal points in any yard.

—————

Watch: The Features That Help a Home Sell Fastest

Article source: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/backyard-landscaping-ideas/

COLUMN: Planting something for Springfield





What do Japanese Pagodatree, Carolina Hemlock, and Hardy Rubber Tree have in common? In addition to having great names, they are all recognized as recommended “native” plants, on a list approved by Springfield Township. If you are thinking of planting or re-landscaping, you might consider native plants.

Pennsylvania is home to approximately 2,100 native plants, according to data from Penn State University. Plants are considered “native” to Pennsylvania if they grew in the state prior to European settlement.

Conversely, “non-native” plants include those that were brought to Pennsylvania from elsewhere, subsequently escaped cultivation, and now grow in the wild. Invasive plants are those that are able to spread prolifically outside their native area. Some of the native plants have European common names such as English Oak and Austrian Pine, which can create some confusion, or at least irony.

In a certain sense — no doubt for bamboo lovers in our region — “invasive” is a misnomer, used to refer to any plant that survives and beats out other plants for resources, becoming a nuisance. While this may be true in a sense, the more important point is what kind of environment we desire.

In shaping our environment, it seems reasonable to consider aesthetic, economic, and ecological factors. Native plants do well on this score. Non-native plants, particularly invasive plants, are often undesirable because they spread quickly, and they provide no nutritional or habitat value to the native species.

Native plants serve many ecological benefits to their non-native counterparts, making them a great choice for gardening and landscaping. Because they are adapted to the local climate and soil, native plants require less maintenance and less fertilizer than exotic plants. Additionally, native plants protect Pennsylvania’s watersheds.

Native plants also directly impact the health of the area’s fauna. Native plants provide pollen for insects and attract native wildlife. Pennsylvania’s insects rely on native plants for sustenance.

While promoting a robust insect population may not seem so enticing to us, bugs serve as the primary food source for local birds. This ripple effect continues all the way up the food chain, and ultimately, the plants in our gardens influence which kinds of animals can live in our state.

A list of recommended plants or plant materials is available on the Springfield Township website (see below). The list gives both scientific and common names, and identifies what can be “street trees” and “buffers along streets.” It lists “canopy trees” (at least 2.5-3 inches in caliper), “evergreen trees for buffers” (at least 6 feet tall), and “small understory trees” (at least 2-2.5 inches in caliper / 8 feet tall).

The full list of plant recommendations can be found at Springfield Township’s website. You might also consult or visit a nursery that sells or specializes in native plants. Continued…

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What do Japanese Pagodatree, Carolina Hemlock, and Hardy Rubber Tree have in common? In addition to having great names, they are all recognized as recommended “native” plants, on a list approved by Springfield Township. If you are thinking of planting or re-landscaping, you might consider native plants.

Pennsylvania is home to approximately 2,100 native plants, according to data from Penn State University. Plants are considered “native” to Pennsylvania if they grew in the state prior to European settlement.

Conversely, “non-native” plants include those that were brought to Pennsylvania from elsewhere, subsequently escaped cultivation, and now grow in the wild. Invasive plants are those that are able to spread prolifically outside their native area. Some of the native plants have European common names such as English Oak and Austrian Pine, which can create some confusion, or at least irony.

In a certain sense — no doubt for bamboo lovers in our region — “invasive” is a misnomer, used to refer to any plant that survives and beats out other plants for resources, becoming a nuisance. While this may be true in a sense, the more important point is what kind of environment we desire.

In shaping our environment, it seems reasonable to consider aesthetic, economic, and ecological factors. Native plants do well on this score. Non-native plants, particularly invasive plants, are often undesirable because they spread quickly, and they provide no nutritional or habitat value to the native species.

Native plants serve many ecological benefits to their non-native counterparts, making them a great choice for gardening and landscaping. Because they are adapted to the local climate and soil, native plants require less maintenance and less fertilizer than exotic plants. Additionally, native plants protect Pennsylvania’s watersheds.

Native plants also directly impact the health of the area’s fauna. Native plants provide pollen for insects and attract native wildlife. Pennsylvania’s insects rely on native plants for sustenance.

While promoting a robust insect population may not seem so enticing to us, bugs serve as the primary food source for local birds. This ripple effect continues all the way up the food chain, and ultimately, the plants in our gardens influence which kinds of animals can live in our state.

A list of recommended plants or plant materials is available on the Springfield Township website (see below). The list gives both scientific and common names, and identifies what can be “street trees” and “buffers along streets.” It lists “canopy trees” (at least 2.5-3 inches in caliper), “evergreen trees for buffers” (at least 6 feet tall), and “small understory trees” (at least 2-2.5 inches in caliper / 8 feet tall).

The full list of plant recommendations can be found at Springfield Township’s website. You might also consult or visit a nursery that sells or specializes in native plants.

The township’s code outlines the use of native plantings in land development and subdivision landscaping projects. While these provisions do not directly speak to the average residential homeowner, they provide useful guidance on which native plants are preferred, including Red Maples, Horse Chestnuts, Atlas Cedars, Norway Spruces, Hedge Maples, Flowering Dogwood, and many more plants with great names.

The Environmental Advisory Committee meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Library Community Room in Wyndmoor, 1200 E. Willow Grove Ave. Public participation is encouraged.

For more information:

http://www.springfieldmontco.org

http://www.iconservepa.org/plantsmart/nativeplants/

http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/fact-sheets/perennial-garden/pa-native-plants-for-the-perennial-garden

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Article source: http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2016/07/23/springfield_sun/news/doc57912ec80634c084691763.txt

Trowel & Glove: Marin garden calendar for the week of July 23, 2016



Marin

Garden exchange: The Marin Open Garden Project encourages residents to bring their excess backyard-grown fruit and vegetables to the following locations for a free exchange with other gardeners on Saturdays: San Anselmo from 9 to 10 a.m. on the San Anselmo Town Hall lawn; San Rafael from 9 to 10 a.m. at Pueblo Park at Hacienda Way in Santa Venetia; Novato from 9 to 10 a.m. at 428 School Road and from 9 to 10 a.m. at Ferris Drive and Nova Lane; Tamalpais Valley at 427 Marin Ave. from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and Mill Valley from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at 427 Marin Ave. and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Mill Valley Library at 375 Throckmorton Ave. Go to www.opengardenproject.org or email contact@opengardenproject.org.

Gardening classes: The Mill Valley Public Library offers free seasonal gardening classes most Saturdays and occasionally on Sundays. Call 415-389-4292 or go to www.millvalleylibrary.org.

Gardening classes: Armstrong Garden Centers in Novato and San Anselmo offer free classes to gardeners of all skill levels most Saturdays. Call 415-878-0493 (Novato), 415-453-2701 (San Anselmo) or go to www.armstronggarden.com.

Workshops and seminars: Sloat Garden Center has five Marin County locations that offer gardening workshops and seminars on a weekly basis. Check www.sloatgardens.com for schedule, locations and cost.

Workshops and seminars: The Marin Master Gardeners present a variety of how-to workshops, seminars and special events throughout Marin County on a weekly basis. Check www.ucanr.edu/sites/MarinMG for schedule, locations and cost.

Workshops and seminars: Marin Rose Society presents monthly lectures on growing roses and good garden practices. Check www.marinrose.org for schedule and locations.

Gardening volunteers: The Novato Independent Elders Program seeks seasonal volunteers to help Novato seniors with their overgrown yards Tuesday mornings or Thursday afternoons. Call 415-899-8296.

Nursery volunteers: Volunteers are sought to help in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy nurseries from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Tennessee Valley, 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday; 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, or 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays at Marin Headlands Nursery; or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at Muir Beach, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the Marin Headlands. Call 415-561-3077 or go to www.parksconservancy.org/get-involved/volunteer.

Nursery days: The SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) native plant nursery days are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and weekends. Call 415-663-8590, ext. 114, or email preston@tirn.net to register and for directions. Go to www.spawnusa.org for more information.

Garden visits: Marin Master Gardeners and the Marin Municipal Water District offer free residential Bay-Friendly Garden Walks to MMWD customers. The year-round service helps homeowners identify water-saving opportunities and soil conservation techniques for their landscaping. Call 415-473-4204 to request a visit to your garden.

Garden volunteers: Marin Open Garden Project (MOGP) volunteers are available to help Marin residents glean excess fruit from their trees for donations to local organizations serving people in need and to build raised beds to start vegetable gardens through the MicroGardens program. MGOP also offers a garden tool lending library. Go to www.opengardenproject.org or email contact@opengardenproject.org.

Around the bay

Landscape garden: Cornerstone Gardens is a permanent, gallery-style garden featuring walk-through installations by international landscape designers on nine acres at 23570 Highway 121 in Sonoma. Free. Call 707-933-3010 or go to www.cornerstonegardens.com.

Olive ranch: McEvoy Ranch at 5935 Red Hill Road in Petaluma offers tours, workshops and special events. Call 707-769-4123 or go to www.mcevoyranch.com.

Botanical garden: Quarryhill Botanical Garden at 12841 Sonoma Highway in Glen Ellen covers 61 acres and showcases a large selection of scientifically documented wild source temperate Asian plants. The garden is open for self-guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. $5 to $10. Call 707-996-3166 or go to www.quarryhillbg.org.

— Compiled by Colleen Bidwill

The Trowel Glove Calendar appears Saturdays. Send high-resolution jpg photo attachments and details about your event to calendar@marinij.com or mail to Home and Garden Calendar/Lifestyles, Marin Independent Journal, 4000 Civic Center Drive, Suite 301, San Rafael, CA 94903. Items should be sent two weeks in advance. Photos should be a minimum of 2 megabytes and include caption information. Include a daytime phone number on your release.

Article source: http://www.marinij.com/article/NO/20160722/FEATURES/160729940

Gardeners’ beautiful landscaping recognized as Chesapeake’s Notable Yards – Virginian

Recently, the Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council (CEIC), through the Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism Special Programs office, announced the annual winners in the 2016 “Notable Yards” contest. One winner is chosen from each of the seven school districts: Deep Creek, Grassfield, Great Bridge, Hickory, Indian River, Oscar Smith and Western Branch. This year marks the 21st annual recognition of Chesapeake residents who take pride in their homes’ outdoor landscaping.

After receiving 24 nominations from homeowners, family members, friends, neighbors and green-minded residents, four judges from the CEIC visited and evaluated each property. Rogard Ross chaired the panel of judges that included mayoral appointees Wayne Jones and Elizabeth Vaughn, and associate member Roxanne Stonecypher.

The judges assessed curb appeal, environmental practices, water usage, pest management and the use of fertilizer. They checked for diversity of plant materials, proper pruning, mulching and composting. Another important element was the placement of plants (sun, shade or diffused sunlight) and the appeal of the landscape when viewed from the street.

Each winner received a $50 gift certificate from White’s Old Mill Garden Center, a certificate from the CEIC, and signage in the yard for one month proclaiming it the best of those nominated within their school district.

In a city that prides itself on being clean and green, the bragging rights for the best in town are out.

DEEP CREEK – Carl Prevatte and Jackie Rainey, 509 Amster Lane

This impressive yard features an abundance of hydrangeas in the front and on side of the home. The shaded backyard is beautifully manicured with plenty of places to sit and read or just enjoy the day. Prevatte and Rainey have an outdoor entertainment area so as guests are waiting for their food to cook on the grill, they can soak in the sun while surrounded by a variety of blooming flowers. This area also includes a pond with six large coy fish. The homeowners have added more color to their yard by including festive lawn décor. For outdoor evening entertaining, solar-powered lights illuminate the walking path in the backyard, making it easy to enjoy this Notable Yard day or night.

GRASSFIELD – Arthur and Brenda New, 1012 Seville Drive

Adjacent to the Chesapeake Golf Course, this wooded lot is a haven for birds. The small property is surrounded by half-century-old pines and oaks. The News have made nice use of their shady environment, planting locally native flowering dogwood, wax myrtles, red-twig dogwoods (which has high wildlife value for its berries and as hosts for caterpillars), and also ornamental hostas, camelias, and other shade plants. The bird-friendly yard features bird feeders and houses, water sources and myriad nesting opportunities for birds. A small vegetable garden is included along the sunny side of a shed in the back. The small front lawn is only fertilized as needed, about once a year. The entire property is neat, attractive and nicely laid out with a brick walkway and a few strategic items of lawn décor.

GREAT BRIDGE – Tommy and Ann Smith, 513 Rebel Road

The Smiths have created a beautiful welcoming yard both in the front and back of their home. The front yard boasts multiple mulched beds with easy-to-maintain shrubs and greenery. They kept colors simple, with mostly red annuals. The large backyard is a beautiful space with plenty of tree cover and lots of natural privacy along the edges. Tommy Smith created all of the hanging flower baskets by marrying multiple flowers into the same arrangement for eye-catching displays. Creeping Jenny is prominent in the baskets, adding perfect pops of green. What was once a post for a swing has been repurposed into a stand to display multiple hanging baskets in the backyard. This couple has put a lot of love and care into their landscaping, and that is why they were selected as one of Chesapeake’s Notable Yards.

HICKORY – Vikki Barnette, 325 Windlesham Drive

The front yard is well planted and suits the style of the neighborhood. This corner-lot home has multiple views from the public right-of-way and every one of them is appealing. Landscaping includes beautiful mixed perennial flower beds with shrubs, trees, four seasons of color and interest, straw bale tomato gardening, compost, low water use, organic fertilizers, bird feeding areas, correct pruning, vegetable gardens and great use of bed layouts to break up the turf. Barnette even has the Chesapeake city tree, a bald cypress. The views make you want to visit and stroll through the gardens, or just peek in to see what’s blooming this time of the year.

INDIAN RIVER – Jayne Whitney, 310 Kemp Lane

Jayne Whitney has worked for years to transform her large, historic property into a prime example of native gardening. Practically all new plantings are native flora, including the foundation plants along the front of the house. Facing the house is a “secret garden” hidden by a screen of giant azaleas and century-old English boxwoods harboring a peaceful native garden with benches and thriving with birds and other wildlife. The back of the house faces the Indian River and the homeowner has worked with the Elizabeth River Project to install a living shoreline with more native plants along the entire, steeply banked shore. Whitney has recently installed an oyster reef with 150 cubic yards of oyster shell off the property’s shore. She is also a beginner beekeeper who just received her first bees. The property is a River Star Home, a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat, and the homeowner is a member of the local Friends of Indian River, among many other organizations.

OSCAR SMITH – Carol Curran, 724 Seagrass Reach

Carol Curran has a gorgeous front yard and recently won the River Walk Garden Club Yard of the Month. The front yard is dominated by two large hollies that are popular hang-outs for birds. The homeowner understands issues with invasive plants and tries to avoid them. There is a small lawn on which Curran uses little to no fertilizer or pesticides. The backyard is prone to flooding and has been left mostly in a natural state with decades-old pines and oaks. She has left an old snag standing for woodpeckers. She has a small herb garden and bird feeders in the backyard. She owns the land beyond her rear fence, and it remains undisturbed marsh land.

WESTERN BRANCH – Raymond and Darline Miltier, 2549 Bugle Drive West

This picture-perfect yard has beautiful curb appeal with vibrantly green grass and multiple flower beds. The Miltiers don’t have to worry about weeds because they lay five cubic yards of mulch each year. Their backyard boasts productive cucumber and large tomato gardens that deer nibble from time to time. The Miltiers are very proud of their yard and happily work on it every weekend using environmentally safe practices. This stunning Notable Yard is well-manicured with all the work done by the homeowner.

Article source: http://pilotonline.com/news/local/gardeners-beautiful-landscaping-recognized-as-chesapeake-s-notable-yards/article_31fc355e-771f-5010-b3df-4c46f7fe9f1f.html

Eliza Fournier Shares Midsummer Gardening Tips | Chicago Tonight …

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Eliza Fournier shares a bushel of recommendations to keep your garden healthy in the summer heat.

Below are five easy gardening tips for midsummer.

Get Pests Under Control

Pictured clockwise from left are a cabbage moth, cabbage moth caterpillar and Japanese beetles.

Small white butterflies are actually cabbage moths whose caterpillars can decimate greens. Apply BT (bacillus thuringiensis) – an organic spray made from a natural spore that is toxic to the moths. Another solution: Beer in a tuna can will attract and drown the bugs.

Beware: Japanese beetles are starting to hatch. The best way to get rid of them is by handpicking them from plants. Early in the morning is the best time to remove them because these beetles are especially lethargic at that time.

Prune and Deadhead Flowers

To deadhead is to pinch or cut off a flower stem below the spent flower and just above the first set of leaves. Removing spent blossoms encourages more blooms and more vigorous roots and leaves.

Also, prune spring-blooming shrubs for size, and cut back overgrown perennials like catmint and sage.

Shower Your Garden, Lawn

Water your garden early each morning unless there has been a soaking rain. Conserve water by using soaker hoses instead of sprinklers.

Grass goes through a natural dormancy phase in the summer months. Mow and water only as necessary to grow the most resilient lawn. Leave it at least two inches high and water only when starting to brown at edges.

Tend to Your Tomatoes

Cut back “suckers”—the small shoots that grow out of the joint where a branch on the tomato plant meets the stem. Removing these results in a more abundant yield.

If left alone, these suckers will grow into branches and make the plant bushier and less fruitful.

Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Bring on the butterflies with a midsummer planting.

Remember that butterflies frequent sunny, protected sites where nectar flowers abound. They avoid windy, exposed sites.

Some plants for attracting butterflies include yarrow (Achillea), butterfly weed (Asclepias), butterfly bush (Buddleja), red valerian, Centranthus), coneflower (Echinacea), globe thistle (Echinops), blanket flower (Gaillardia), gayfeather, (Liatris), beebalm (Monarda) and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia).


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Article source: http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2016/07/07/eliza-fournier-shares-midsummer-gardening-tips

Author offers gardening tips for seniors

Here are ways that older folks, or those with disabilities, can still find joy in growing their own vegetables …

Growing vegetables in a garden box makes gardening fun and easy for seniors, as Patty Cassidy and Amanda Kelley-Lopez demonstrate in this Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood community garden.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Well known for her work with the Portland Memory Garden, horticultural therapist Patty Cassidy MA, HTR, has also shared her knowledge by authoring the book The Illustrated Practical Guide for Gardening for Seniors.

On July 16, Cassidy traveled to the Ed Benedict Community Garden, just off SE Powell Boulevard on SE 104th Avenue, to teach a class she called Making Decisions about What to Grow.

“Gardeners tend to idealize what they want to grow, versus what is most appropriate – given the available space, time, and energy,” Cassidy told East Portland News.

In addition to telling how to select “user-friendly” vegetable plants, she also showed appropriate gardening tools.

Raised-bed gardening makes it easier for seniors to grow vegetables and flowers, says instructor Patty Cassidy.

Younger people don’t mind getting down on their knees, and digging in a garden bed, but Cassidy pointed out it’s hard for seniors. That’s why she focuses on helping older adults who want to learn how to do raised-bed gardening.

“Raised beds are a lot easier on the body,” Cassidy said. Many older people would rather be standing, or perhaps sitting on the side of the bed, so they don’t have to use their knees, they don’t have to be bending over.”

And, raised beds help contain the garden space, making it easier to observe; and also making not seem so vast and overwhelming a space.

Showing how to plant “spinach starts” is horticultural therapy intern Amanda Kelley-Lopez of EarthTones.

“In this garden box we have cucumbers, red runner beans, carrots, and peppers,” Cassidy pointed out. “When the carrots are ready to harvest, we can put something else in that garden space. We try to rotate the crops we put in there.”

Although it is currently the middle of summer, she was talking about planting winter crops.

“We want to eat fresh vegetables as late into the fall as we can,” Cassidy said. “So, you need to start planting, in succession, the things that you want to eat. There are some crops that are more favorable to colder weather.”

Good winter crops here in the outer East Portland area include:

  • Greens,
  • Spinach,
  • Beets, and
  • Mesclun lettuce, such as arugula.

 

Using a section of foam pipe insulation gives garden tools a cushioned handle grip.

She recommended buying lightweight plastic tools that are sturdy enough to use in a raised-bed garden, instead of using heavy implements that sap energy unnecessarily.

“I also have several examples here of adaptive tools,” Cassidy remarked. “It’s easy to modify gardening tools for a handgrip, if the gardener has arthritis. It’ll help them convert a tool into something more comfortable and easier for them to use.”

With her intern, Cassidy demonstrated how to plant vegetable “starts” that have already sprouted and have roots.

Sprinkling a handful of seeds in prepared soil is all that’s needed to grow some crops.

“I also want people to learn how to sow seeds,” Cassidy said. “Sowing seeds is more economical than using starts.

“Because I have a small space here, I’m not going to worry about putting them in rows and doing perfect spacing,” Cassidy demonstrated. “So we’re going to fluff up the soil, sprinkle in some seeds, lightly cover them over, and water them.”

Patty Cassidy rakes soil over planted seeds she’s “naturalized” – freely sown – in the bed.

Cassidy teaches other classes. Get in touch with her by emailing cassidypg@comcast.net.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

    Article source: http://eastpdxnews.com/general-news-features/author-offers-gardening-tips-for-seniors/

    Association Offers Gardening Tips – KRGV.com

    SAN JUAN – If you like working in your garden, you probably have a hundred questions about plants, soil, watering and more. Where can you get answers? You can turn to the Deep South Texas Master Gardener Association. The association is a program under the Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service in Hidalgo County.

    The master gardener association is primarily a volunteer association and most of the members are from the Rio Grande Valley. Master Gardeners enjoy sharing their knowledge of horticulture with the community.

    Ashley Gregory, the Texas AM AgriLife Extension agent for Hidalgo County, coordinates and provides leadership for the Texas certified Master Gardener volunteer program.

    The volunteers primarily conduct educational programming, presentations and events. They are setting up a special garden highlighting the five senses of touch, sight, taste, smell and sound. There is also a butterfly garden.

    Jerry Gutshall, a master gardener, moved to the Valley from Kansas. He said, “You can garden year-round here and you always have something to do. You aren’t confined for five to six months of the year.”

    The volunteers maintain a garden that is divided into different areas to showcase the different interests among gardeners. The garden is located at 509 East Earling Road in San Juan. It promotes native and drought-tolerate plants that can beautify landscapes and help attract native wildlife.

    “This garden is a really great example of what native plants can look like in landscapes,” Gregory said.

    The garden is open Monday and Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Learn more about the Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service at http://hidalgo.agrilife.org/.

    You can catch Con Mi Gente segments Tuesdays and Thursdays on CHANNEL 5 NEWS THIS MORNING and CHANNEL 5 NEWS at 5.

    Article source: http://www.krgv.com/story/32479112/association-offers-gardening-tips