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Archives for August 2016

Natural Garden Design – Where Do You Put A Garden?

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Article source: http://www.internetadsales.com/2016/08/30/natural-garden-design-where-do-you-put-a-garden-2/

Landscape And Garden Design Ideas

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Article source: http://www.internetadsales.com/2016/08/31/landscape-and-garden-design-ideas/

Romantic garden design chosen for Hepworth Wakefield


International garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith has been chosen to design what will be one of the UK’s largest free public gardens.

The eight-time Gold Medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show was selected to create a riverside garden by a panel at the Hepworth Wakefield.

The design will be modern, romantic, and “embued with overriding naturalism”, reflecting sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s “deep connection to the landscape.”

One of the highlights of the garden, which is around the size of two-and-a-half football pitches, will be a meadow sown with purple moor grass – found in Yorkshire marshes – as well as other more colourful and exotic species.

Mr Stuart-Smith said he was delighted to be chosen: “Public commissions like these are scarce in the UK.

“I am looking forward to working with the gallery to create a beautiful public space in this riverside setting that will be treasured by residents and visitors alike.”

Four shortlisted designs went on display in garden sheds outside the gallery last October.

Chair of The Hepworth Wakefield Trust David Liddiment said they’d had a “wonderful” response from the public and had taken their views into account, including leaving sculptures on display in the garden.

He added: ““We are absolutely thrilled to be working on this project with Tom Stuart-Smith, one of Britain’s top garden designers, to create a new public space for Wakefield which we believe will enhance the experience of visiting The Hepworth and crucially, attract tourism to the city, further boosting the local economy.

“I feel confident that Tom’s designs for the site will create a cohesive and inspiring landscape that will provide a free, year-round attraction for Wakefield.”

It comes as fundraisers announced a £250,000 gift from the Garfield Weston Foundation, one of the world’s largest charitable foundations, towards the £2.2m project.

The Hepworth’s director Simon Wallis said: “Our fundraising campaign for The Hepworth Riverside Gallery Garden is already underway and I’d like to warmly thank the Garfield Weston Foundation for their major gift. Their significant support has got the project off to a really positive start.”

He added: “Gardens and the Yorkshire landscape were a hugely important part of Barbara Hepworth’s creative life and they influenced her sculpture and its settings.

“It’s fitting, therefore, that we create a natural environment that would have inspired her, and that will have a rewarding all year round dialogue with our superb building and art collection.”

There will be beech hedges in the garden, to protect sensitive plants, and large and small trees scattered throughout.

Others on the shortlist for the garden design included Christopher Bradley Hole and Brita von Schoenaich, Cleve West, and Peter Wirtz.

More details about the garden will be released early next year.

Article source: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/romantic-garden-design-chosen-for-hepworth-wakefield-1-8096052

UW-Whitewater chancellor weaves tapestry of traditions, look to future

WHITEWATER — University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper fa­shioned her State of the University address less as a formal speech and more as a tapestry that included traditions both old and new, reflections on the past and glimpses into the future, and ambitious plans and bottom-line numbers.

Kopper spoke Monday in the Young Auditorium.

Beginning with the tradition of remembering faculty and staff who passed away during the prior year, she said, “It is important that we remember those that we have lost this past year who have gone before us to really ensure our level of excellence, and to honor their legacy.”

She continued by congratulating 105 faculty and staff members in having reached the milestone of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service to UW-Whitewater, along with the recipients of University Awards for excellence in teaching, research, service, advising and student excellence.

The chancellor used the occasion to present the first “Chancellor’s Difference Makers Award” to the UW-Whitewater Landscaping Team, under the direction of Steve Bertagnolli.

“Every day when I get out of my car and I walk into Hyer Hall,” Kopper said, “I stop and I’m just in awe of the beauty. Frequently I have parents and community members who talk to me about how stunning our campus looks.”

She invited the UW-Whitewater governance leaders for the Faculty Senate, Academic Staff Assembly, University Staff Council and Whitewater Student Government to join her on stage.

“Through their leadership, and those that serve with them, we are a stronger university,” Kopper commented. “Effective shared governance certainly leads to collaborative decision-making which gives us the opportunity to make great decisions for this university, and I am deeply committed to this tradition.”

She also introduced five new campus leaders, including Susan Elod, newly appointed Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Throughout her presentation, Kopper proudly shared many of the accomplishments of UW-Whitewater faculty, staff and students during the past year, sometimes in videos.

James Langness, a UW-Whitewater student who also serves on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, joined Chncellor Kopper on stage to honor the recipients of two prestigious UW System Awards: Susan Huss-Lederman for the UW System Teaching Excellence Award and Brenda Rust-O’Beirne, representing the Department of Counselor Education, for the UW System Program Excellence Award.

Kopper told her audience that after Huss-Lederman’s and Rust-O’Beirne’s presentations in Madison, a member of the Board of Regents commented, “We talked about the fact that we were giving two out of the three awards to the same university and we decided we had to do it because, of course, they deserve to win, and then after the presentations, they certainly proved that we made the very best decision.”

For the sixth consecutive year, UW-Whitewater has received a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper “Top Workplace Award.”

“We are the only university or state agency to earn this honor in the six years that we have achieved this recognition,” Kopper noted.

She said the UW-Whitewater Foundation had raised more than $8.2 million over the past year, the most successful fundraising year in its history, adding that as state support of the university declines, “It is incumbent upon us to generate new sources of revenue.”

Kopper also credited faculty and staff for the fundraising success of the past year: “It is the work of all of you that inspire our donors and our alums and others to really give and support this university.”

Examples cited by the chancellor of how the money raised is being put to work included the Mary Poppe Chrisman Student Success Center for math and writing labs, and tutorial services; the Annette and Dale Schuh endowment for visiting artists; the Gruber Accounting Professorship; the Richard and Veronica Telfer Endowed Faculty Fellowship for the College of Education and Professional Studies; updates to football and baseball stadiums; and the purchase of former Sentry Foods building as community outreach center for business outreach, the counseling and speech clinics and the University Children’s Center.

Kopper also announced UW-Whitewater’s participation in a three-year project, Reimagining the First Year of College, spearheaded by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. UW-Whitewater is one of only 44 colleges and universities though the United States selected to be part of this project.

Provost Susan Elrod provided an update on a new strategic plan for UW-Whitewater.

“This plan is an important document because it is an articulation of the most important priorities for the campus and the actions that we will take in the coming years,” Elrod said. “We will use it as an important lens through which we will focus our efforts as well as our resources.”

She then provided a preview of the current strategic plan draft goals.

Goal 1: Improve Student Access and Success — “Increase overall enrollment in ways that reflect our access mission, regional demographic trends, and our shared commitment to improving retention and graduation rates for all students.”

Goal 2: Transform Lives and Society — “Provide an educational environment that transforms students’ lives and empowers them to build a foundation for rewarding careers and fulfilling lives that make a positive contribution to their local communities and our global society.”

Goal 3: Foster Diversity and Inclusivity — “Nurture a campus community that is diverse, inclusive and welcoming to all students, faculty and staff, as well as a culture that emphasizes cultural fluency and the development of personal integrity and social responsibility.”

Goal 4: Expand and Diversity Recourses — “Expand and diversify financial resources, optimize use of existing resources, and realize operational efficiencies in order to fully support our mission and be responsible stewards.”

Goal 5: Build Partnerships and Relationships — “Create, sustain and enhance strategic partnerships with external stakeholders, such as community and non-profit organizations, corporations, and governmental agencies in order to expand meaningful opportunities for students, staff and faculty, and to foster relationships that will contribute to the development of our state and beyond.”

Goal 6: Enhance Recognition and Outreach — “Become more known nationally and internationally for its empowering educational environment, innovative programs, outstanding faculty and staff, community engagement and partnerships, and impact on society.”

In her presentation, Kopper also focused on UW-Whitewater’s efforts in addressing some “challenging situations on campus, in the state, including Milwaukee, and the nation. As a campus, we navigated situations that were beyond our control, including the reduction in state funding … and the changes to tenure which also caused a lot of concern over this time-honored pillar of the academy.

“Let me say that tenure is alive and well at this university,” she adde. “I again want to express my support for tenure and shared governance and academic freedom because these are the tenets that are absolutely vital to our continued strength as an institution of higher learning.”

Kopper referenced “difficult conversations related to our campus culture” in the spring, and the creation of action steps to move forward, especially the creation of the Campus Culture Working Group (CCWG).

To provide insights into the CCWG, Tom Rios, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Natalie Arriaga, a senior majoring in international studies, shared their experiences with the group.

According to Rios, although originally established “to examine campus issues of race and inclusivity,” the CCWG pivoted from an exploratory group to an action group. It also organized an action forum attended by 450 faculty, staff, students to discuss, examine, racism, bias and inclusivity.

With the input of small groups discussing ways to enhance the campus environment, including recommendations and possible strategies, the CCWG identified four common themes:

1) Diversity Learning that is “relevant, speaks to the lives of students and bolsters their ability to navigate not only their time here at UW-Whitewater but to give them the skills that would endure long beyond their experience at Whitewater and into the marketplace.”

2) Capturing Students’ Experiences by “identifying efforts to keep our fingers on the pulse of student experiences.”

3) Accountability and Consequences by “developing institutional responses to racism and bias, and implementing strategies and approaches to hold people accountable and (with) consequences related to behaviors.”

4) Community based on the belief that “relationships chan­ge lives.”

The action steps emerging from the process included establishing an electronic hate/­bias reporting form and response team, enhancing instruction in the U.S.

Racial/Ethnic Diversity cour­s­es and the new student seminar, and a Campus Diversity Forum on the theme “Beyond Inclusion to Engagement” that will take place on campus Nov. 1 and 2.

Rios said one of the strengths of the CCWG is that it is structured to provide equal representation by faculty, staff and student.

“The student voice is tremendous,” he said, “because we really can’t do things in the name of students without hearing the student voice.”

Arriaga echoed Rios in stating, “There’s nothing more powerful than a student’s voice, than a student’s opinions and ideas, because once you get your ideas out there in conversation, the action can happen.

“We are the change and we are tomorrow’s future,” Arriaga continued. “Students have the power and we don’t even know it yet, but we can influence each other, and we can influence students and staff.

“We can no longer be quiet,” she added. “We have to speak up, and we have to have connections with administration though Whitewater Student Government and through Faculty Senate. We have the power in our hands, and we can definitely change and improve how we communicate.”

“Our Campus Culture Working Group has been working diligently to keep us on track,” Kopper stated. “There is still much more work to be done … I think we’ve learned important lessons along the way, and I’m very proud of the way we came together to support each other, to listen to one another and to forge ahead.”

Turning to the topic of campus safety, the chancellor noted, “In the past year, violence and unrest has rocked communities across our nation, as it did more recently in Milwaukee. … It is vital to continue to focus on campus safety.”

She reported that the campus participated in a statewide emergency management training session in June.

“While we performed very well in this exercise, I don’t think we can practice too much,” Kopper said. “During the Winterim break, we will also hold an active shooter emergency exercise.

“We make a promise to all of our parents of every student that comes to this campus that we will do everything in our power to keep them safe,” she emphasized. “We also make that same promise to each of you … and we will continue to take every step to make sure safety is a top priority.”

Stressing the importance of “being nimble” in responding to emergency situations on campus, she said, “We’ve launch­­ed an emergency app for smartphones and other mobile devices. If there’s an emergency situation on campus, this app will send you a notification as well as any critical information that you may need to know about what is going on and how to be safe.”

The download for this app is available on the UW-Whitewater website.

Kopper also included as equally important UW-Whitewater’s commitment to safety “providing a safe environment that includes preventing and responding to all forms of sexual harassment, assault and other forms of sexual misconduct. This not only is an ethical and moral obligation, and one that reflects our campus values. It also is a legal obligation under Title 9.”

This summer, she said, more than 60 employees completed a day-long Title 9 training session on the topic, and this academic year online training will be available to every student and employee.

“We will continue to face many challenges,” Kopper stated, “Yet I firmly believe that in these difficult times this campus responds in a true UW-Whitewater fashion.

“We come together as a community,” she continued. “We work together to find solutions. We support one another, and we always, always put our students first.

“We are a campus that, without question, thrives in difficult times because that’s who we are and that’s what we do, and that is simply the Warhawk way,” Kopper stressed … “We are a community of optimists and we must always focus on our mission and the noble work that you all do.”

The chancellor reported that with an estimated incoming class of 2,200 students, the largest class in history, and 750 transfer students — all admitted without lowering admission standards — UW-Whitewater is on track for its largest student enrollment in history.

Based on the most recent data available, she said that freshman to sophomore retention rate at 80 percent and the six-year graduation rate at 60 percent also are the highest on record.

Still, despite these impressive gains, Kopper admitted that there is “more work to do in closing the equity gap. As a campus that prides itself in providing opportunities for all students, the divide among our non-under-represented minority students and our under-represented minority students must be closed, and clearly closing the equity gap is a part of our strategic plan.”

The budget was the last topic that she addressed.

Focusing on this last year of the current 2015-17 biennial budget, Kopper said that UW-Whitewater’s $ 5.8 million reduction in state funding had been addressed substantially by the removal of 40 positions, reducing the deficient to about $930,000.

Offset by an increase of about $800,000 in non-resident undergraduate and graduate tuition, about $129,000 in additional campus reductions, and a budget allocation from the UW System of $666,500, the final amount available for UW-Whitewater is about $537,000 that will be disbursed to cover some fringe benefits; faculty and salary increase evenly distributed among faculty, academic staff and university staff; and retention and salary adjustments across all staff types.

Kopper also announced doubling professional development funds to $2,000 for faculty, $1,000 for academic staff and $500 for university staff.

“I understand that these steps do not make up for a pay plan for all employees,” Kopper concluded, “so I will continue to make that a top priority in my discussions with legislators, regent members, system leaders and others.”

In discussing the biennial budget for 2017-19, she said that the August, 2016 UW System Board of Regents meeting included a proposed budget to be submitted to Governor Scott Walker for $42.5 million for additional state general purpose revenue, along with a request that the tuition freeze be lifted.

“It’s time for the state to reinvest in higher education,” Kopper insisted. “This certainly includes a pay plan for employees.”

The chancellor also was pleased to announce that final approval for building a new residence hall just had come through last week, along with authorization for renovations and additions to Winther Hall, and upgrades to the steam pipes and the campus fiber optic network.

On a joyful note, she said that plans are under way for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of UW-Whitewater in 2018 “to honor our past and to celebrate our amazing future.”

Following a video showcasing a variety of faculty and staff achievements over the past year, Kopper, in her final remarks, said, “Let me close by saying that you all do amazing work, and each and every one of you, in whatever role you’re in on this campus, change people’s lives, transforms lives, and that is noble work. And you also make this wonderful university an amazing place to work, and live and learn, and I am deeply grateful for each of you.”

Article source: http://www.dailyunion.com/news/article_5357b84e-6f88-11e6-acc1-03131a3120d9.html

Is This Sustainable Village The Future Of Retirement?

Fifteen years into an unplanned second career as a real-estate developer, Steve Nygren has timed his latest project perfectly. Nygren is the cofounder and developer of Serenbe, a visionary New Urbanist community in Chattahoochee Hills, outside Atlanta. Since breaking ground in 2004, Serenbe has grown to include two villages of about 500 residents. Praised by urban planners, architects, and sustainability geeks alike, Serenbe is, by most accounts, a nice place to live. (You do have to be comfortable with a certain Truman Show vibe, though.) Homes, priced from $300,000 to more than $1 million, sell briskly. Now, with construction of Serenbe’s third village—or “hamlet” in the local parlance—Nygren aims to make Serenbe a great place to grow old. And maybe a model for a new kind of retirement community.

The 70-year-old Nygren, who founded and spent 20 years running an Atlanta-based restaurant group, came to be a developer “by default,” he says. After retiring early in the mid-1990s, he and his wife sold their big house in Atlanta, bought a farm, and opened a BB on the city’s outskirts. “I saw how the connection to nature changed us and our kids,” he says. “It changed my value judgments about what’s important.” When he discovered a large parcel of undeveloped land a half hour south of Atlanta coming up for sale, he set in motion an ambitious plan to protect the land’s distinctive rural and agricultural character, and to build something more sustainable—and soulful—than a typical suburban subdivision.

Existing zoning rules would have allowed one house per acre on the parcel, a surefire recipe for sprawl. Instead, Nygren rallied Chattahoochee Hills locals to support a zoning change, allowing him to cluster residential and commercial buildings much more closely, thereby consolidating roads and other infrastructure while preserving 70% of the land as woods, fields, and farmland. Nygren’s vision for Serenbe was modeled on the English countryside, where high-density villages are surrounded by expansive rural spaces. “The big rule is that buildings can’t follow the road out of town,” Nygren says. “There is a hard edge to development.”

Each of Serenbe’s hamlets has a walkable commercial center built around a particular aspect of what Serenbe’s marketing materials call “life well lived”: art, food, wellness, and education. (The name Serenbe was coined by Steve’s wife and cofounder, Marie. They say it means “serenity and being.”) Arts-focused Selborne, population 265, has a downtown defined by the Serenbe Playhouse, art galleries, and frequent shows and concerts that bring in visitors and locals. The Grange hamlet, which has a focus on healthy food, offers farm-to-table living with a 25-acre organic farm (run by real farmers), a seasonal farmer’s market, and a well-loved coffeehouse and locavore restaurant. Blueberry bushes and other edible landscaping line paths and sidewalks. Although homes are clustered—with front porches, not backyards, to encourage the social life of the 185 residents to spill out into shared public spaces—winding roads also allow 90% of residential units to back up to farmland.

Construction on Serenbe’s third village, called Mado, began this summer. As the two previous Serenbe villages were pilots for then-new ideas about sustainability, land use, and intentional community, the third village, Mado will pilot a new model for “aging in place”—a hot topic among senior advocates and forward-thinking builders and developers. Here’s why: The age 65-plus demographic in the U.S. will expand from 13% in 2010 to about 20% by 2030. Surveys by the AARP Policy Institute find that 89% of adults age 50-plus hoped to remain in their homes as they age; the percentage was even higher among people over age 65. If they can no longer live in their home, 85% of older adults would at least like to remain in their local community.

Mado will not be a retirement community, at least nothing resembling the socially isolating complexes your grandparents might have known. Rather, Nygren has envisioned it as an intentionally multigenerational village—an idea with precedents in Europe, but not so much here. Initially, at least, Mado’s demographics will resemble the rest of Serenbe, which Nygren says is already pretty mixed. “It’s like old towns used to be. There’s every size house, which allows for age and economic diversity.”

Mado (a Creek-Indian word for “things in balance”) is built around the theme of health and wellness, which cuts across generations. When completed, it will offer 380 housing units. These will include townhomes, cottages, and larger houses—as well and 18 rentals in a loft-style building to appeal to millennials. Older residents will have additional housing options, though, each designed to accommodate their changing needs and to provide additional levels of support on the community level. Sixteen two-bedroom, single-story garden cottages will be earmarked for buyers 55 and over. These will incorporate universal-design features to accommodate aging in place—step-less entries, multiple-height kitchen work surfaces, and wider doors, staircases, and hallways than standard homes.

Throughout, integrated electronics will enable remote monitoring of residents’ health and wellness through wearable devices, GPS, and sensors. The 55-plus cottages are grouped around a shared medicinal garden, private clubhouse, and accommodations for visiting friends and families.

Additional senior options include “green” efficiency units, an assisted-living option that allows residents to have their own bedroom/bathroom and privacy, while sharing a common kitchen, living areas, and a certified nursing assistant on staff. Finally, a long-term retirement home option will offer memory care and always-on caregivers for those who require a higher level of personalized care.

Most of Mado’s amenities—including a Montessori school for kids ages 3 to 14, a community pool and fitness center, a yoga and Pilates studio—are designed for cross-generational appeal. Mado’s commercial center will have 40,000 square feet with an emphasis on health and wellness services, Eastern and Western medical offices, and creative and professional businesses. With restaurants and other essential services rounding out the retail mix, most of a person’s daily needs will be within walking distance of home or accessible by public transportation (which is still in the planning stages).

Visually and conceptually, Mado was strongly inspired by time Nygren time spent in Sweden. “They have great fun with shape and color,” Nygren says. “Their design for seniors aims to keep the mind stimulated, the same as at the beginning of life with bright lights and colors.” Nygren was also impressed with Scandinavians’ communal commitment to building housing and infrastructure that allowed seniors to live comfortably in their communities as they age. Europe, where one in three citizens will be over age 65 by 2050, has led the way in multigenerational living experiments, including Vienna’s Miss Sargfabrik village, and Germany’s multigenerational neighborhood centers (mehrgenerationenhäuser), which combine elements of senior center, health clinic, preschool, and youth group. “It seems like a much healthier lifestyle,” says Nygren.

Nygren also got valuable input from Serenbe residents with deep experience in medicine and the corporate world, who held regular weekly meeting at the Blue Eyed Daisy coffeehouse to share ideas on the health and lifestyle components needed for aging in place. “We had people from Emory Hospital, a woman who ran WebMD, an executive from Coke, a lawyer who’s an expert on health records, someone from Kaiser Permanente in the Southeast—an array of people who came out and gave hours of their Saturday,” says Nygren. “The community here is our most valuable resource.”

Since breaking ground this summer, a third of Mado’s more than 55 garden cottages—and more than 10 building lots—have been pre-sold. Nygren, again, seems ahead of the curve, well-positioned to enjoy the commercial, and personal benefits, of a new model for aging. “Serenbe is an open lab,” says Nygren. “With Mado, we’re investigating and trying to poke at the old models, and seeing if we can usher in new attitudes about living vitally in all ages. How can we keep doing the same thing and expect different results?”

Have something to say about this article? You can email us and let us know. If it’s interesting and thoughtful, we may publish your response.

Article source: https://www.fastcoexist.com/3063268/is-this-sustainable-village-the-future-of-retirement

DFW ‘Fixer Upper’ fans discover Chip Gaines’ new love at Nebraska Furniture Mart talk

THE COLONY – Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper attracted a rowdy crowd of more than 2,000 people of all ages Tuesday night at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

North Texans showed their affection for the Waco couple with several bursts of applause and laughter during a special appearance to promote Magnolia Home Furniture by Joanna Gaines.

The couple seemed surprised by the rockstar response and standing room only audience who came to witness their personalities up close and find out what’s next.

The next big thing is a restaurant.

The Gaineses purchased Waco’s famous Elite Café in May. The 8,356-square-foot landmark restaurant closed in early February, a victim of declining sales.

It’s going to reopen in the second quarter, Chip told the crowd. 

And someone in the audience shouted out a suggested name: “Fixer Supper”

But Joanna gave away the likely dining concept: “Chip’s favorite meal is breakfast,” she said.

Chip also revealed that the fourth season of Fixer Upper, which will begin later this year, will include an Italian-styled home and he’s discovered he loves dark wood and Mediterranean design.

Customers purchased accessories almost like souvenirs at the ballpark. Only instead of miniature bats they were buying trays and decorative pieces.

Among the Magnolia Home accessories in the store are rugs, throws and pillows designed by Joanna and made by Farmers Branch-based Loloi Rugs.

Steven Loloi said the company’s orders have been “unbelievable.”

“We’ve worked with retail executives for years, and they play it close to the vest when we’re negotiating, but not with Chip and Joanna,” said Steven Loloi of the family owned and operated business. “Even the biggest buyers in the industry get giddy when they talk about Chip and Joanna.”

The standing-room-only crowd extended beyond a stage area set up next to their prominent display of Magnolia Home furniture. The bedroom, living room and dining room furniture is located in the main corridor entrance on the store’s first level in about 2,500 square-feet of space.

The couple answered questions that Nebraska Furniture Mart collected on its Facebook page from the public earlier this month.

How would you spend $1,000 on home improvements? Chip would put it outside in landscaping or new shutters. Joanna said, the kitchen or bath.

They were asked how they balance their demanding life. They don’t, Joanna said. When she’s at work, she’s all about that. But when she’s home the phone goes away and “we’re in our children’s faces.”

Once the show was a success, how did they know to move into furniture so quickly?

They started receiving so many requests from people to help them with their home remodeling projects, Chip said, they thought that furniture was a way to put some of the show’s ideas into peoples’ homes.

Magnolia Home Furniture is available at 500 stores nationwide including three Nebraska Furniture Marts.

Asked how the furniture line is doing, Chip confirmed with Standard Furniture, the Alabama-based company that manufactures the line “Texas has been the best market so far, but every other region has done phenomenal.”

Chip and Joanna may be back in North Texas soon. Their book The Magnolia Story will be released Oct. 18. Joanna said on Instagram earlier this summer that they were also recording the audio book.

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

More Chip and Joanna coverage:

HGTV’s Fixer Upper couple hints at what might be next during Texas builders talk

‘Fixer Upper’ rentals popular, except not with Chip and Joanna

‘Fixer Upper’ stars Chip and Joanna Gaines dive into magazine publishing

Here’s how to make the most of your bucket list trip to Magnolia Market in Waco

Raised in Colleyville, Chip Gaines had dreams of baseball stardom before HGTV fame

Waco is benefiting from the creative energy of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ couple Chip and Joanna Gaines

HGTV ‘Fixer Upper’ Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Home Furniture debuts at Nebraska Furniture Mart

HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have purchased Waco’s Elite Café

On Twitter:
 @MariaHalkias

Article source: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/retail/20160830-dfw-fixer-upper-fans-discover-chip-gaines-new-love-at-nebraska-furniture-mart-talk.ece

THE DIRT ON GARDENING: Rock your landscape, create interest with details

Rock gardens may occur naturally or they may be someone’s brainstorm, but no matter which, they create interest in a landscape.

Hillside landscapes may provide the perfect opportunity to create a rock garden because this type of garden may also become a retaining wall to control soil erosion and aesthetically create a layered look to ease the homeowner’s maintenance chores.

Numerous lakeside properties afford this opportunity because homes are sometimes elevated a great distance above the actual water level so layering is a natural rather than steep banks to mow or trying to contain the erosion with simply plants and shrubs.

There are so many opportunities to create these rock formations in a landscape and with a bit of artistic skill you might surprise even yourself. You see them all the time in landscaping magazines and admire them so why not design your own masterpiece.

Rock gardens, other than the rocks themselves, can contain almost anything. However, some things work better than others because they provide a more natural look. Ground-hugging plants are perfect because they like to creep into crevices as well as crawl.

An example is sedum of most any kind because it is a natural in rocky formations. Stonecrop sedum with its tiny yellow flowers or sometimes pink or white are good examples as well as Dragon’s blood sedum with, as its name implies, is a deep purple/red.

Creeping phlox is another ground-hugger that will provide a “spring flush” of colorful flowers and then retain a mounded green for the duration of the year. Some low growing junipers that get no taller than an inch or two and spread and root into cracks and crevices is another choice.

Don’t overlook individual plants that work well in a rocky setting, including ice plant with its delicate pink flowers or forget-me-nots to add a touch of blue.

Of course, everything doesn’t necessarily have to be low growing in a rock garden and shouldn’t be. Small dwarf trees like some of the Japanese maples are a good example that creates height and an interesting focal point, as well as certain ornamental grasses that can be contained without overwhelming the garden.

There are several varieties of creeping thyme that will mound and spread throughout the rocks and for more color add a wine or copper colored Huechera (Coral belle) or a bronze Japanese fern that get no taller than 2 feet.

Try to pick plants that will add interest not only through the blooming season but through the entire year. That’s why different colored foliage is important so that everything isn’t simply “green” after blooms have disappeared.

Annuals may work well as a perimeter plant, but probably not so well in the actual rock garden. It is better to use plants that are permanent in the garden itself like perennials or woody plants.

The pond that I installed in my back yard was somewhat a “rock garden” on the mounded side because I circled that side with rocks and covered the mounded area with coral rock. Plants and grasses were planted among the rock including ice plant, forget-me-nots, cardinal plant, fountain grass and crested at the top with four Little Princess spirea.

That which is tantamount when installing a rock garden is control of the weed population, especially quack grass. A selective application of weed control using a stream instead of a spray would be advisable.

Tom Yoder is a Master Gardener and can be reached by phone at 533-0172 or by e-mail at yoder.tom@gmail.com.

Article source: http://www.goshennews.com/news/lifestyles/the-dirt-on-gardening-rock-your-landscape-create-interest-with/article_486ac8cf-f34e-523a-8412-42efda989d52.html

Natural Landscaping and Harsh Municipal Code Realities

Since I wrote about the disruption of our peaceful coexistence with nature by municipal code violation, a lot has happened.

Ohio Revised Code allows municipalities to serve letters of non-compliance twice a year, in June and August. Citizens then have 10 days to comply or the municipality can come onto the property to mow and weedeat indiscriminately. Property owners can challenge by asking to meet with the authority.

Even though I was told to “Mow it or get a lawyer,” I opted for a different choice. I slowly and methodically covered my grasses so my insects would fare much better — and, they have. I see nearly as many webs on top of my straw as I saw among my grasses (see bottom photo). Unfortunately, our firefly count dropped dramatically.

Natural Landscaping Pilot Project

I covered most of my grasses, managed the others to acceptable height, and removed the noxious weeds by the next scheduled Council Meeting. I also worked up a binder for a Natural Landscaping Pilot Project proposal a nifty way out for us all. I could manage the Project with monthly updates to a binder that would stay in the Village offices and anyone complaining would see that my seemingly out-of-compliance grasses were actually managed beds of native grasses grown specifically with the wildlife in mind.

Readers of the Project binder would also learn a little about each of the plants we were utilizing in our garden, both imported and native. They would see that the native and naturalized plants support local insects, birds, and other wildlife more effectively. They might also learn how we see our plants as utilitarian and beautiful.

During this process, many of the authorities (including our Mayor, Council, Administrators, and Fiscal Officer) have continually referred to our property as ugly and as having too many weeds. I have just as continually tried to explain to them that where they see weeds, I see life-supporting plants.

There is a fair amount of chicory on our bank that may mirror to them the ditches near crops on farms outside of town. They literally see a weed to be sprayed, mowed, or otherwise removed. I see food for bees and other insects when the beautiful blue flowers are in bloom and bird feeders full of seeds once the plant goes dormant. The goldfinches now frequenting my garden are on the chicory more than their favorite coneflower (see photo above).

When I proposed the Project to Council, I took goodies (pictured below). I showed them dried “weeds” (red clover, prickly lettuce) and dried hops and mint. I explained that what they likely assumed was another noxious weed (wild mustard) was an actual cultivated mustard plant. I took along samples of homemade mustard for them to taste and showed them some of the meads that I create from my apple trees.

I spent about 15 minutes presenting my case. They agreed to delay the vote on my letter until the next month so they could come see the property I said was now in compliance.

Battle Over Noxious Weeds Continues

As the month drifted by, I continued to work in my garden keeping the noxious weeds at bay, pulling unwanted volunteers, and harvesting and processing my vegetables. As we neared the next Council meeting, I began to suspect they were going to pass on my proposal.

What I was NOT prepared for was their decision to enforce our letter of non-compliance. I was aghast. I continued to insist that we were in compliance. The only grasses we had that might be seen out of that realm were my sweetgrass (a sacred, native grass that I grow for religious practice and for sacred arting) and some newly planted Little Bluestem (another native purchased specifically for the birds, butterflies, and bees). There were no noxious weeds on our property.

I asked them why they hadn’t come by to see what we were doing. They replied that they’d driven by and had still seen weeds. That is, all of them but one had driven by. The Chair of the Committee in charge of such things hadn’t found time in the 30 days to drive by.

I insisted that there were no noxious weeds; they continued to insist there were weeds. I can only assume (since they refused to get specific even though I repeatedly asked), that they wanted me to remove the aforementioned chicory and my lamb’s quarters (which we use for food). Neither of these plants are on the noxious weeds list.

The vote of the Council was three to release us from the letter and three for enforcement — with a tie-breaker to enforce by the Mayor. I was livid. We were in compliance with the letter and the law. It had come down to opinion. Theirs against ours, tax-paying property owners. I was told that the Mayor and their legal counsel would get together to discuss enforcement in the coming week.

My husband (who was just as angry) and I visited the next day with the Mayor to see if we could convince him to show us the problem so we could remedy it. He implied that he would.

Still, every time we heard a weedeater or lawn mower over the next week, our guts would clench and one of us would run out to make sure it wasn’t on our property. There have been several times over the past couple of years (since this all started in 2014) when we literally felt terrorized. The night after the vote for enforcement, I lost 7 pounds and slept only 3 hours.

The happy ending for this season is that my husband and I challenged the vote to enforce. We insisted that the Chair of the Committee should have abstained from the vote since he hadn’t even seen the property and that the President of Council should recuse himself since he lives across the street from us. Either of those dropped votes would have changed the final result in our favor.

The added bonus is that the Mayor came to tell us the good news himself and was able to learn more about what we’re doing. I’m hopeful that he understands just a little better now. Here’s hoping for a more peace-filled future.

Blythe Pelham is an artist that aims to enable others to find their grounding through energy work. She is in the midst of writing a cookbook and will occasionally share bits in her blogging here. She writes, gardens and cooks in Ohio. Find her online at Humings and Being Blythe, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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Article source: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/natural-landscaping-and-harsh-realities-zbcz1608.aspx

Old State Capitol landscaping overhaul tied to 2018 bicentennial – The State Journal



Posted Aug. 30, 2016 at 8:44 PM
Updated at 8:45 PM


Article source: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160830/old-state-capitol-landscaping-overhaul-tied-to-2018-bicentennial

Tips For Fall Gardening

MARGARET: THE KIDS ARE OFF AT SCHOOL AND THE WEATHER IS COOLING OFF, SO IT’S A GREAT TIME TO GET OUT IN YOUR YARD. LESLIE PECK IS A HORTICULTURE AGENT AT COOPERATIVE EXTENSION, SOME GARDENING TASKS YOU CAN GOOD TO SEE YOU. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME THINGS PEOPLE SHOULD DO IN THEIR GARDENS DURING THE FALL. LESLIE: THAT IS GREAT TO TALK ABOUT. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS YOU YOU CAN PLANT SEEDS FOR YOUR GRASS, ESPECIALLY COOL SEASON ANOTHER THING YOU CAN DO AS START PLANTING YOUR FALL VEGETABLE GARDENS. LIKE LETTERS AND COLLARD GREENS. MARGARET: READY-TO-EAT SOME OF HOW CAN VIEWERS LEARN MORE ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS THEY CAN PLANT? LESLIE: THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION. WE HAD A FALL LECTURE SERIES CALLED FORKS ON FRIDAYS. THE FIRST OF SEPTEMBER 9. WE WILL LET YOU KNOW WHAT YOU CAN PLANT AND A FEW WAYS TO COLD. MARGARET: YOU SAID THIS IS THE FIRST CLASS. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT FORKS ON FRIDAYS? LESLIE: SO WE WILL HAVE A LECTURE JUST ABOUT EVERY FRIDAY IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER. IT WILL BE FROM NOON TO 1:00. BRING YOUR LUNCH, AND WE WILL GARDENING TOPICS. FOR MORE INFORMATION? LESLIE: YOU CAN CALL

Article source: http://www.wxii12.com/news/tips-for-fall-gardening/41435736