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Archives for July 24, 2016

Malaysian garden designer wins top prize at Singapore Garden Festival

Malaysian horticulturist and garden designer Inch Lim took home one of the top prizes for his show garden at this year’s Singapore Garden Festival.

Mr Lim won the gold and best of show awards in the landscape gardens category. He also picked up the horticulture excellence award.

His 80 sq m garden, called The Treasure Box, is cocooned behind a high wall and is filled mainly with rice plants. He picked the plant for its bright green shade.

The Kuala Lumpur-based 6-year-old is participating in the show garden competition for the second time. He said: “I created a secret garden behind these high walls. Once you go in, a surprise awaits you.”

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  • Gardeners’ Cup 2016: Best Eco-friendly Garden Award goes to Fairies Wheel by North East CDC

  • Gardeners’ Cup 2016: Best Innovation Award goes to Topsy Turvy by Central CDC

  • Gardeners’ Cup 2016: Best Biodiversity Garden Award goes to Lyrical Play by North West CDC

  • Gardeners Cup 2016: Championship Trophy goes toCandy Floss by South West CDC

  • Gardeners’ Cup 2016: Best Educational Garden goes to Winter Wonderland by South East CDC

  • Gardeners’ Cup 2016: Best Innovation Award goes to Topsy Turvy by Central CDC

  • Fairies Wheel by North East CDC

  • Gardeners Cup 2016: Championship Trophy and Best Floral Garden goes to Candy Floss by South West CDC

  • Gardeners’ Cup 2016: Best Biodiversity Garden Award goes to Lyrical Play by North West CDC

  • Winter Wonderland by South East CDC

  • Minister for National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong, viewing winning entries of Community Garden Edibles Competition

  • Minister for National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong, with community gardeners at Candy Floss, which was awarded Gardeners’ Cup 2016 Championship Trophy

  • Minister for National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong, with a community gardener at World of Terrariums

  • Nature’s Resolution by Stefano Passerotti won the Gold and Best of Show in the Fantasy Gardens category.

  • Nature’s Resolution by Stefano Passerotti won the Gold and Best of Show in the Fantasy Gardens category. Ms Chicco Margaroli is beside him.

  • Silence by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam from the United Kingdom won a silver award in the landscape gardens category.

  • Their garden with rain trees, shrubs and a reflective pool is inside a curvy cement-based structure.

  • Visitors can peer into the structure through holes punched into the walls.

  • The shapes of the holes are designed as Morse code messages.

  • Malaysian horticulturist and garden designer Inch Lim won the gold and best of show awards in the landscape gardens category.

  • An Urban Jungle by British garden designer Adam Frost won the gold and best construction in the landscape gardens category at the Singapore Garden Festival 2016.

  • Japanese duo Katsuhiko Koga and Kazuhiro Kagae won gold and best indoor lighting in the fantasy gardens category at the Singapore Garden Festival 2016 for their garden, Power Of The Earth.

  • Adam Shuter, director of a boutique landscape company in New Zealand, imagines a house for Polynesian mythological demi-god Maui. The garden won bronze in the fantasy gardens category.

  • Dare to Dream by John Tan Raymond Toh won Bronze in the Fantasy Gardens category.

  • The Sugarcane Maze created by Chinese Yu Kong Jian, a globally celebrated leader in ecological planning and design.

  • The founders of Kluge LuuTomes Design, Leon Kluge and Bayley Luutomes, created a garden showing how man-made elements and nature can coexist in a harmonious and symbiotic environment.

  • Singaporean designers John Tan and Raymond Toh created their Dare to Dream garden with small pavilion, and a bench mounted on the wall.

  • Floral designer Chen Nia has set up a dining table inside a cocoon like structure for the Singapore Garden Festival 2016.

  • Held in conjunction with Singapore Garden Festival 2016 is the Orchid Extravaganza and Singapore Orchid Show. The centrepiece of Orchid Extravaganza, which is designed by Singaporean landscape garden designer Alan Tan, is a spiral display of 1,000 orchids.

  • Monkey Face Orchid, a species of the Dracula orchid at the Orchid Extravaganza at the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay.

  • Rhyncholaeliocattleya Chyong Guu Linnet, also known as Cat Face Cattleya on display at Orchid Extravaganza, part of the Singapore Garden Festival.

  • Masdevallia Machu Pichu, also known as Kite Orchids on display at Orchid Extravaganza, part of the Singapore Garden Festival.

  • Phalaenopsis Taida Smile, on display at Orchid Extravaganza, part of the Singapore Garden Festival.

  • The Tulip Orchid from South America has a lip that rocks back and forth like a cradle as well as lemon or golden yellow blooms.

  • A monkey face orchid.

  • A dracula orchid.

  • Miltoniopsis orchids also known as Pansy orchids.

  • Alan Tan, a Singaporean garden and landscape designer, puts the finishing touches to this year’s Orchid Extravaganza,

Meanwhile, Italian landscape designer Stefano Passerotti, 53, won the gold and best of show awards in the fantasy gardens category.

In total, 15 designers and teams took part in the two competition categories.

The show gardens are the centrepiece attraction at the biennial event, which is held at Gardens by the Bay. The sixth edition of the festival, which also has other exhibits and activities, opens Saturday and runs until July 31.

The Straits Times is the festival’s official media partner.

This article was first published on July 23, 2016.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.

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Residents welcomed to enjoy the flora during annual Garden Walk

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Chit-chat on my habitat

Posted Jul. 23, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Pittsburg, Kan.

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Twin Cities gardeners, get ready for tours galore

Garden tours galore

Novice and expert growers can gather ideas on design, plant picks, koi care, pond installation and landscaping at a garden variety of tours over the next two weekends.

Ponds on parade

The Minnesota Water Garden Society’s annual tour offers an inside look at creatively designed and meticulously maintained ponds and water gardens. And this year, 11 of the 13 sites are new to the event, spanning the metro area from Bloomington to Lake Elmo.

Water gardeners have created backyard paradises with multilevel cascading waterfalls, meandering streams and ponds filled with darting koi. Get details on the latest water features, including lower maintenance pondless waterfalls, as well as bog filtration systems. Have a tiny yard? Try container water gardens or bubbling rocks. Aquatic plants will be for sale at a Maplewood site, and tour sponsor Hedberg Supply will be at four sites to offer pond tips.

But you don’t need to be a water gardener to appreciate the picturesque lush landscapes. “Poking around in other people’s backyards is fun,” said Gary De Grande, society president. The self-guided tour is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 30 and 31. Tickets are $15 at or 612-803-7663, and $20 on-site on tour days.

Go wild in your yard

Are you considering turning your yard into a no-mow all-native garden? Find out how native plants improve air and water quality, create habitats for birds, bees and butterflies and require minimal watering at two Wild Ones-sponsored tours.

The Twin Cities chapter event features four city gardens in south Minneapolis that range from prairie plantings leading to a labyrinth to eco-friendly rain gardens, which replaced concrete on a gardener’s lot.

The free tour is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 6. Pick up a map beginning Aug. 5 at Mon Petit Cheri Cafe, 2401 E. Franklin Av. Go to or call 612-293-3833.

The Prairie Edge chapter is heading to the suburbs for a tour of five native landscapes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 7. The gardens in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Deephaven highlight ways to integrate native plants in woodlands, prairies, rain gardens and lakeshore restorations. Cost is $10; tickets available tour day at 8956 Braxton Dr., Eden Prairie. For a map and descriptions, go to

Richfield in Bloom

The top 10 finalist gardens for the Richfield in Bloom award will be open for tours from 1 to 5 p.m. July 30. Attendees can vote for the People’s Choice garden. Pick up a $5 map at the Richfield Municipal Center, Richfield Community Center, Wood Lake Nature Center or Richfield liquor stores. Go to and click on “Richfield Beautiful Tour.”

BLEND is 10

If you’re a homeowner, builder or architect with a recently built house or a renovation that blends with its Minneapolis neighborhood, here’s a chance to get some recognition for your efforts. Nominate your project for a Buildings and Landscapes Enhancing the Neighborhood Through Design (BLEND) award.

The 10-year-old program continues its mission to encourage and reward projects that are innovative yet respect the privacy, light access, views and scale of neighboring properties and overall neighborhood character.

Awards include the EcoBlend Badge for incorporating eco-friendly design and building practices, but on a smaller scale than the EcoBlend Award, and the Best in Show overall award.

Any new construction, remodeling/addition and landscaping project completed since July 1, 2011, in Minneapolis is eligible. A jury of industry experts will select award winners. The cost to enter is $100; submission deadline is Aug. 5.

BLEND organizers will hold an awards ceremony Sept. 26 at Fulton Brewery. For submission details, go to

Rehab lab

Need practice and tips for removing layers of old wallpaper and prepping to paint? The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota is holding “Rehab Lab: Wallpaper and Plaster Repair” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 30 at the historic Andrew Peterson Farm, 8060 Hwy. 5, Waconia.

This beginner’s workshop introduces participants to the materials, tools and techniques to repair cracks and holes in vintage walls in the 1867 farmhouse. Learn proper techniques for removing old wallpaper, cleaning glue off walls and paint preparation.

The workshop includes demonstrations on a variety of plaster repairs. Participants will be working with original plaster and may be exposed to lead paint; no children under 18. Cost is $65 and includes a tour of the farm. Register at Click on “Services,” then “Education.”


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Walliser: Some beetles are real pests – Tribune

Walliser: Some beetles are real pests

Updated 11 hours ago

There are more than 350,000 species of beetles in the world. All have two pairs of wings. The outer wings create a shell-like covering over the membranous wings used for flight. Beetles go through complete metamorphosis, passing through life first as an egg, then a larvae, a pupae and finally an adult.

Some beetle species are decomposers, feeding on animal and plant wastes, while others feed on fungus, pollen or nectar. There are also predatory beetles, such as ground beetles, ladybugs and tiger beetles, that consume other insects.

Most beetles are harmless to people and plants. But there are a handful of beetle species that can become problematic in gardens. Here are five of the most common pest beetle species in Western Pennsylvania.

Cucumber beetles: Both common species of cucumber beetle, striped and spotted, measure one-quarter inch long. Adults are yellowish green. Striped species have three broad black stripes while spotted species have black spots. All species feed on members of the cucurbit family, including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash. They chew ragged holes in flowers and foliage, and spread bacterial wilt and cucumber mosaic virus.

Colorado potato beetles: Both the tan and black striped adult beetles and their chubby, rose-colored larvae feed on the foliage of potatoes. Severe infestations can be devastating as the beetles can quickly defoliate entire plants. Colorado potato beetles are famed for their ability to gain rapid resistance to chemical pesticides, making them difficult to control. They can go from egg to adult in a mere 21 days.

Asparagus beetles: Though this beetle has only one host, asparagus, it can cause significant damage. Adults chew depressions in developing spears, and the army-green larvae chew the maturing ferns, limiting photosynthesis and decreasing yields. Adult asparagus beetles are one-quarter inch long. They’re black with several cream-colored spots and red wing borders.

Mexican bean beetles: Adult Mexican bean beetles look a lot like ladybugs on steroids, though the absence of white markings between the head and body easily distinguishes them from ladybugs. Their copper-colored wings have 16 black spots. The larvae are light yellow and covered in bristly spines. Bean beetles skeletonize bean leaves and are often found on the leaf undersides.

Japanese beetles: Introduced to North America from Asia, Japanese beetles have become a notorious pest. Adults are metallic green with copper-colored wing covers. Their ground-dwelling larvae are C-shaped, grayish-white grubs with light brown heads. The grubs feed on the roots of turf grass while adult beetles eat a broad range of plant material.

To mitigate damage from these members of the beetle family, include lots of flowering plants in and around your vegetable garden to encourage the predatory insects who feed on the beetles.

Cover susceptible crops with a layer of floating row cover or tulle fabric to keep the pests from accessing the plants, and hand-squish any larvae and adults that become problematic.

As a last resort, in the case of severe infestations that cannot be handled by row covers and hand-removal, spinosad-based pesticides are effective against a broad range of beetle species. These products should never be used when bees and other pollinators are around, so be careful to spray only in the morning or evening, when these beneficial insects are not active. Follow all label instructions.

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio with Doug Oster. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control” and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her website is Send your gardening or landscaping questions to or The Good Earth, 503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor, D.L. Clark Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

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Take a tour of some of the top gardens in St. Louis

Winner • Donna and Steve Simon

Home • Affton

Occupation • Steve is a machinist and welder, and Donna is after-school care provider.

The garden • When the Simons moved into their home, it had a long, skinny backyard. Their neighborhood was built on old cemetery ground. They wanted to put in a garden, but they “ran into nothing but rock,” Steve said. There were softball-sized rocks in the ground covered with a little bit of soil. He dug out the rock, brought in truckloads of compost from St. Louis Composting and gathered topsoil from the nearby woods.

“I had to figure something out,” he said. He also collected rocks from the nearby woods and created a raised garden with a limestone rock border.

“It’s kind of my escape from life,” he said. It features an eclectic variety of wildflowers. He wants to make it more of a true butterfly garden. “It’s someplace for me to go hide when my wife is hollering at me,” Steve said, with a laugh.

Given that his work as a machinist requires such precision, he enjoys the creativity of letting the garden evolve over the years.

“It gives a mental escape of having to be so perfect all the time,” he said. Many of the flowers have reseeded themselves. He tries to nurture them so they survive the summer. Their golden retriever, Abby, keeps the visiting bunnies in motion, he said. The dog also leaves a fair amount of crushed flowers in her wake, he added.

Judges comments • The use of plant material fit so well with the scale of the garden. Colors and shapes were repeated, giving a restful feeling with the use of plants in broad strokes.

See all the entries in this year’s contest

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This week’s gardening tips: harvest herbs, cut back flowering perennials

This week’s gardening tips: Remember to harvest herbs, such as mints, basil, rosemary, lemon balm and Mexican tarragon, regularly to keep the plants shapely and under control. Some herbs, such as thyme, sage and lavender, tolerate heat and rain poorly and may not be doing well as a result.

A long growing season and rapid growth often leads to overgrown beds. Trim bedding plants and tropicals to keep them under control. Stake or support plants that need it.

Webworms, caterpillars that form tents of webbing at the ends of the branches of various trees (especially pecans), look bad but rarely do much damage. If control is needed, spray with a product containing BT (Dipel, Thuricide) or other labeled insecticides. Make sure the caterpillars are still present in the webs before you spray.

If your spring-planted eggplant and pepper plants are still in good condition, they can generally be relied upon to produce a fall crop. Control pests and keep the plants well-watered and fertilized as needed. Although they typically drop most flowers this time of year due to the heat, they will begin to set more fruit as the temperatures become cooler later on.

Cut back perennials when they finish flowering to keep things looking neat.


Love to read about gorgeous gardens? Sign up for’s online home and garden newsletter for Dan Gill’s latest tips and stories about local landscapes. It’s free. Click here. And while you’re at it, head over to the’s New Orleans Homes and Gardens page on Facebook.

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8 tips for summer gardening

Our long, wet spring seems to have given way, at last, to the typical hot, dry summer. Gardeners now face a whole new set of problems. Since we can’t change the weather, let’s try and help our gardeners make the best of it. What practical advice can we give them? Here are eight tips for summer gardening.

1. Begin by doing as much gardening work as possible when it’s cool. This means early in the morning and after the sun sets, but before dark. Occasionally a nearby thundershower will cool the temperature as much as 20 degrees for an hour or more. Take advantage of these occurrences.

2. Harvest vegetables that may wilt and hoe weeds in the morning. The vegetables will be crisp and fresh and the weeds will be killed by the heat of the day.

3. Watering is best done with a drip or trickle system so leaves will remain dry and foliage diseases will not be encouraged. Be sure to apply water until it soaks at least a foot into the soil and then wait several days until the soil surface dries an inch or so deep before watering again.

Wetting the soil to a depth of one foot will generally require one to one and one half inches of water if it is applied through an overhead system. It may be necessary to dig down and see how long it takes to wet the soil one foot deep with a drip system.

4. Evening is a good time to harvest tomatoes and peppers. They have their maximum vitamin content after a day in the sun.

5. Help plants to resist heat by reducing the stress on them. Control insects and diseases early by using recommended chemicals and cultural controls. Remove weeds with very shallow cultivation while they are small. Use mulches to retain moisture and reduce weed growth.

6. Sidedress vegetables with nitrogen according to university recommendations. These recommendations are contained in Publication 901, Growing Vegetables in Home Gardens.

7. Harvest okra, cucumbers, summer squash and green beans every other day or so. Fruit set of these vegetables will be greatly reduced by older fruit that remains on the plant.

8. Remove spent plants so they won’t continue to use nutrients and moisture or serve as hosts for insects and disease. This also will reduce overwintering of pests in the garden.

All of these tips seem to be just simple common sense. Yet gardeners tend to ignore them and retreat to the house in the heat of the summer. Just a little attention to the garden will maximize production at a minimum of discomfort and effort. Let’s encourage this minimum effort.

Contact Anthony Tuggle at UT Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment, offering programs in agriculture and natural resources, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences, and resource development. Cooperation and support is provided by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and county governments.

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August gardening tasks and harvest tips

“A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.” – Gertrude Stein

Where have all the Monarchs gone? I saw one in early spring but none after that. My yard is full of milkweed. My butterfly habitat is ready for larvae and no butterflies.

August is a wonderful month for a rich harvest. Sometimes it all seems to come at once and can seem like too much. Never fear, the days will be getting cooler. Now is the time to plant fall crops in the empty garden spaces. With an early August, start lettuce, radishes, Chinese cabbage, and spinach to produce in September. Before planting your fall crops, give the area a dose of 5-10-5 fertilizer to replenish the soil.

This is a wonderful year for blueberries. I can’t keep up with the picking. It is time consuming and I only have four bushes. So far I’ve made cobbler, jam, syrup and short cake. My baby ducks also love the berries. For my blueberries, I acidify the soil only every three years and fertilize with a special blueberry fertilizer that I purchase from Gardens Alive. Spring is the best time to fertilize and fall is the best time to apply soil sulfur to the area. Soil sulfur or garden sulfur is used to lower the pH of soil for blueberries or any acid loving plants. I never use aluminum sulfate since it is a temporary amendment and easily burns the plants.

The garlic harvest is about ready. Do not try and pull garlic. Dig it out carefully and wait until the greens die down at least half way. Brush off the soil and dry in a well-ventilated area until the plant has dried. This can take up to 3-4 weeks. Cut off the stem once dry and store in ventilated bags or baskets. If properly harvested and stored, your garlic should last until next spring.

If you are growing okra this year, keep a good watch on it. Harvest when they are 3-4 inches. Okra is very tough and inedible when they become too large. If they grow too big, you dry them and use them in floral arrangements for fall. A little 5-10-5 fertilizer is in order about now.

Many people don’t plant turnips anymore but they are tasty and loaded with vitamins. Most of the vitamins are in the greens. An ounce of greens has five times the amount of vitamin C than the root itself. Turnips and their greens make a vegetable soup delicious. Plant them now.

A few tips for August:

August is the time to order new spring bulbs.

Deadhead phlox. Never let phlox go to seed if you want true colors.

The middle of August is the time to divide iris and day lily. I usually don’t divide peony until the end of the month but before Sept. 15.

Take cuttings from coleus and geranium for winter. They root very well at this time of year.

Keep crops picked—especially peppers and eggplant). By regularly harvesting the plants will keep producing until fall. If you want red pepper you need to leave them on the plant but that plant won’t produce as many peppers as the plants you harvest regularly.

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