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Archives for August 2, 2016

Report: Garden designer Ryan Gainey dies in house fire

Ryan Gainey (Photo by Dan Griffin)

World-renowned garden designer and Decatur resident Ryan Gainey has died in a house fire at his second home in Lexington, Ga., according to a report from Decaturish.

The fire occurred on the evening of July 29, officials in Oglethorpe County said. His longtime friend Brooks Garcia confirmed Gainey had died in the fire after running into the home to rescue his Jack Russell terriers. The dogs did not survive, Garcia said.

Gainey operated landscape design firm Ryan Gainey Co. in Decatur. You can find out more about Gainey, his work and projects at


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CSUF’s ‘PRISE’ provides internships for future math and science teachers

Tucked away in Silverado’s Modjeska Canyon lies the Cal State Fullerton Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary.

Made up of 12 acres, the nonprofit nature preserve serves as an educational resource for the local community — including CSUF students.

This summer, three students from the College of Education are interning at the sanctuary, acquiring skills that will benefit them in their future careers as elementary and middle school math and science teachers.

The internships are part of the college’s Promoting Resources in Informal Science Education – or PRISE – program, in which students are placed at local informal science institutions for the summer.

This marks the first year the program has partnered with the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Our new standards are now directing us — which I think is great — to focus on science and engineering and how it plays out in the world,” said Maria Grant, CSUF professor of secondary education and director of the PRISE program.

The future teachers observe firsthand how wonder, interaction and engagement can be successful teaching models, she said.

Students are also taught how to properly and effectively lead educational tours of the center.

“At Tucker Wildlife, interns engage in the development of curriculum and in the outdoor classroom activities,” Grant said. “They use the real world setting of Tucker Wildlife to find ways to engage students and they see firsthand how providing kids with the opportunity to touch a real gopher snake motivates them to want to learn more.”

As part of the program, participants are required to put together a curriculum that will be used by the science institutions.

By doing this, interns gain experience in relaying the information they’ve gathered to an audience of all ages in a natural environment, Grant said.

“This is vital to teaching,” she said. “The interns learn to communicate ideas and information in an interactive and engaging way – one that allows learners to consider issues such as wildlife conservation, preservation of native species and the use of drought-resistant plants in landscaping.”

Besides those placed at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, 15 other PRISE students are working at the Discovery Cube of Orange County, the Ocean Institute, the Fullerton Arboretum and Girls Inc.

Funding for the program is provided by the CSUF Mathematics and Science Teachers Initiative and Boeing. Participating students receive stipends for their work and research.

“They come in really excited about it and they leave so passionate,” Grant said. “They develop great lesson plans and really understand what the possibilities are for learning outside of the classroom.”

Future teachers at work

Bill Guppy, 33, is one of the PRISE interns working at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary.

He graduated from CSUF in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and is enrolled in the Single Subject Credential Program for Foundational Level Math.

Guppy, who aspires to be a middle school mathematics teacher, took on the science internship because of the rising demand for math teachers to also be proficient in teaching science, he said.

“Even though I will strictly be a math teacher when I pursue a teaching position next school year, I see experiences in science as beneficial to me,” Guppy said. “The sciences rely heavily on math and much of the skills that are learned in the math classroom are applicable to the sciences.”

At the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, Guppy is working to develop an educational guidebook focusing on the animals whose tracks have been spotted in the preserve.

Once completed, the sanctuary will upload the guide to its website, encouraging visitors – especially teachers – to download and read through the guide before visiting.

The guide is made up of pages with illustrations of the animals, their scientific names, a description and facts. Guppy is also creating educational activity sheets for children filled with games like mazes and word searches.

“(Teachers) can casually use it or integrate it into a lesson. It kind of primes the students on what they will see at Tucker; they’ll have some concept about the animals that live in the area,” he said.

The experience has provided Guppy with the confidence and motivation to one day create worksheets for his own students.

“My main project as an intern thus far is developing curriculum for Tucker, which is allowing me to build some practical skills in publishing documents,” Guppy said.

“You have a concept and you can use an assortment of ways to explain that idea to someone visually,” he said.

Madison Vasquez, 22, is also a PRISE intern at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary.

Vasquez, who aspires to be a middle school science teacher, is editing and analyzing more than 600 pages of existing lesson plans at the sanctuary.

“I am helping (the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary) fine tune some of the lesson plans they are giving to teachers after they visit the sanctuary,” said Vasquez, who has been involved in the PRISE program for the past four years.

“I really like it and I think it is a very valuable experience learning how to break apart a subject matter and turn it into a lesson,” she said.

In May, Vasquez graduated from CSUF with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a minor in natural science. She is enrolled in the university’s single and multiple subject credential programs.

“I like that science allows people to tackle challenges that they would otherwise think impossible,” Vasquez said. “It breaks down complicated ideas into manageable chunks, and studying each aspect individually allows one to experience the excitement of a new discovery.”

A new partnership between two colleges

Managed by the university’s College of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary property was first purchased by Benjamin and Dorothy May Tucker in 1926. CSUF acquired the site in 1968.

In the sanctuary’s public nature center are live snakes – by far the most popular attraction during school tours – lizards, scorpions, tarantulas, geckos and frogs, as well as a taxidermy display and research area, among other informational displays.

The sanctuary additionally houses sensory and butterfly gardens, a bird-watching patio and hiking trails.

Each year about 4,000 kindergarten through 8th grade students tour the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary; overall, the site sees about 15,000 visitors annually.

Meg Sandquist, director of the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, looks forward to a continuous partnership with the College of Education.

“I am excited about this collaboration because it focuses on a joint goal: to inspire the next generation of science educators,” Sandquist said. “And it capitalizes on two of CSUF’s great strengths – the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the College of Education.”

“Working with the PRISE program allows us to increase our impact and reach, and spread our message of the importance of high-quality outdoor science education beyond the Tucker gates and beyond Cal State Fullerton,” she said.

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McDaniel stresses inclusion, improving relationships

Growing up in Hawthorne, 60-year-old Larry McDaniel remembers when industry was booming.

He recalls a place with four or five independent grocery stores, a robust farming industry with watermelon production and a turpentine industry in nearby Rochelle. He was even a part of it, working in his uncle’s business, Stitt’s Painting.

“I’ve seen it change dramatically,” he said, recalling a place where now any kind of business is hard to find.

McDaniel thinks there are ways to revitalize the area, which is part of the reason he’s running for County Commission.

McDaniel is looking to unseat incumbent and fellow Democrat Robert Hutchinson in District 3, which is mostly north of Archer Road and south of Newberry Road from U.S. 441 west to the county line.



Earlier this year, the commission voted not to send to the state for review a proposal for development in the eastern portion of the county put forth by Plum Creek Timber Company, now known as Weyerhaeuser.

Commissioners cited a number of concerns, including that the plan promoted sprawl, did not meet county environmental standards, and was too far east to help those in east Gainesville with jobs.

McDaniel said he would have voted to move the plan, especially since there are a number of residents in favor of the proposal.

“Moving forward gathers you some other options from some people who are not as vested in the process and not as set in cement,’’ he said. “So you get an outside view from other experts other than your staff.”

McDaniel acknowledged that the job benefits from Plum Creek would have been years off, but leaders should strive to bring about economic development to east Gainesville. He said better landscaping would help to make the area look more inviting.

“Get the business owners who are there and let them be leaders in the process of putting together a plan for changing the face of that community,’’ he said.

McDaniel also speaks of a training partnership with community stakeholders so workers can be trained for jobs to help attract businesses.

“I think there’s lots and lots of things that can be done,” he said. “The difference between me and my opponent and some of the other folks is they look at everything that’s not being built in the core of the city as sprawl.”

Campaign documents show McDaniel has received contributions from businesses and individuals, but his totals are several paces behind Hutchinson’s donations.

Stephen Cade, a local businessman in the auto industry, said he is supporting McDaniel because he would be friendly toward business.

“He’s not against growth and he wants to fix our roads and those would be the main things (why I’m backing him),” said Cade, whose sister, Phoebe Cade Miles, runs the Cade Museum.

McDaniel also said if elected, he would serve a maximum two terms.

“You have commissioners that think being on the commission is a lifetime commitment,” he said. Serving that long, he said, makes a commissioner think he is the only person who can make decisions for others.

“I believe in succession planning,” he said. “That means I’m going to try to find folks who are willing to serve in government who are millennials that are willing to learn the process … to groom them.”

Every other Sunday for the last two months, McDaniel said he has made his way to T.B. McPherson Recreation Complex off Southeast 15th Street in Gainesville where anywhere from 1,200-1,400 young individuals gather doing various recreational activities.

“Those folks have ideas, of things they want to see happen,’’ he said. “They just don’t know how to make them happen.’’

McDaniel talks to them about government, hoping to get them involved and feel part of the process.

He also said the county should do more to diversify its workforce.

“I understand the internal workings of the county process,’’ he said. “Development of jobs is a big item for me.’’

The county commission has pledged additional funds to diversity efforts in next year’s budget.



In recent years, the County Commission has feuded with Sheriff Sadie Darnell over her budget. The county provides the money, and Darnell gets to decide how to spend it.

Darnell insists the county has not sufficiently funded the agency, and an appeal of the current budget is still pending at the governor’s office.

McDaniel has sat through many years of the county’s budget process having retired after 30 years in Alachua County Court Services, where he worked as the manager of the sentencing alternatives division.

“I think there are some valid points on both sides,” he said, but the feud has turned personal.

“We must be responsible as a community to our first-line responders, especially in this time,” he said.

He adds that the sheriff is not the only one locking horns with the board. “Their relationship with other (Alachua County) municipalities is not good,” McDaniel said.

He points to the suit the county filed against the city of Alachua over a proposed Wal-Mart, and the suit against Gainesville over the ownership of an old RTS facility.

“You look around the county and they have been in litigation with most of the small municipalities around the county over several different issues,” he said.

McDaniel said intergovernmental relationships would be one of his top priorities.

“I’m going to try my best to work those things out,” he said. “To be a commissioner that listens, who is out there with the people as much as possible, not just when I’m invited on a formal basis.”


Getting personal

McDaniel served 25 years in the Army, beginning as a private first class and ending with a volunteer deployment to the Middle East from 2002-03 for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I walked away from there with a totally different perspective on life,” he said. “I believe that life was valuable before, but I realized how valuable afterward.”

He also worked for 30 years around the criminal justice system, first as a state probation officer and then with Alachua County Department of Court Services where he retired in 2011 as sentencing aternatives manager. Under his court services tenure, diversion programs increased — many receiving state and national recognition — offender manpower began to be used for county projects and a program that provided intense supervision and rehabilitation to repeat offenders was also begun.

Joe Lipsey remembers starting work in 2004 as the county work release manager and meeting McDaniel, who he now considers a personal friend. He describes McDaniel as someone who is a good listener, has a strong work ethic, is articulate and has a passion for mentoring young men through athletics.

He watched McDaniel work with the staff at court services. “They saw Larry as a leader,” he said. “One that they could talk to as a person, who wasn’t afraid to stand up for his team or do what was right when it was against the grain.”

When asked if McDaniel has any flaws, Lipsey paused.

“If I were going to critique anything I would say that probably the drive to completion becomes the focus and that he is kind of like having blinders on we’re going to do this until we finish it,” he said.

In retirement, McDaniel is still involved with the Army, has counseled state Department of Corrections clients on substance abuse, and guided young men through a youth basketball program aimed at developing their moral and social character.

McDaniel has been coaching basketball at P.K. Yonge since 1993. “The reason I love it is, because I love to see people develop their skill-sets, but at the same time develop all of the things that go along with eventually becoming a productive citizen,” he said.

Another piece of McDaniel’s past arose during the campaign in the form of financial documents. Official records show McDaniel owes a little more than $81,000 in unsatisfied IRS tax liens from 2001-10.

McDaniel said he is in negotiations with the IRS and has made the issue known to his supporters. “I believe the issue will be resolved within the next couple months,” he said.

Candidate Bio

Larry McDaniel

Age: 60

Family: Married 38 years to Verlinda McDaniel, and the couple has a son, daughter and six grandchildren.

Education: First African-American student to enroll in middle school at St. Patrick’s Catholic School. Graduated from P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School; bachelor’s degree in political science and pre-law from St. Andrews University in North Carolina.

Work: Retired military, retired Alachua County Department of Court Services Sentencing Alternatives Manager.




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Street of Dreams’ multigenerational French farmhouse-style house (photos)

If you haven’t attended a NW Natural Street of Dreams new home tour in a while, maybe this year’s focus on energy efficiency amid extreme living will lure you back.

Five luxury estates on two-acre lots in West Linn’s Tumwater at Pete’s Mountain development will be open to ticket holders ($17, 503-684-1880, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. July 30-Aug. 28.

The multimillion-dollar dwellings show off designers’ skills and builders’ abilities to execute complicated, cutting-edge construction. Still, everyone should be able to see a new idea, from a color scheme to an outdoor seating arrangement, that’s attractive, practical and economical.

Houses on the tour organized by the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland have blown-in insulation to stop air and heat losses, high-efficiency windows, heating and cooling systems, LED lighting and other features that will reduce energy needs and save on utility bills.

Water-saving landscaping ideas include giving more space to native plants and less to lawns. Bioswales and stormwater systems allow rainwater to be absorbed slowly into the ground to reduce erosion and the impact on local water treatment facilities and waterways. Drip irrigation systems collect rainwater and apply a low-volume stream directly to plants’ root zones.

Here’s one of the 2016 NW Natural Street of Dreams houses

The French farmhouse-style house called Mon Coeur, which translates to “My Heart,” was built with a multigenerational family in mind by Gordon Root and Rick Waible of Stafford Homes Land.

The 8,263-square-foot house has six bedrooms, six full baths and three half baths. The children’s rooms are upstairs, and separate quarters were created for grandparents in a carriage house-style part of the south wing.

Round Beaux Arts-style windows, arched doors and copper-topped cupolas add to the custom home’s French features. Durable pine floors were made in France by F.P. Bois.

Architect Ralph Tahran, interior designer Colleen Mihalik of CMD Design and interior decorator Tiffany Edmondson of the Urban Coop were part of the design team.

High-efficiency products and processes to reduce energy needs and save on utility bills include insulation to stop air and heat loss, heating and cooling systems, and energy-saving lighting controls. Landscaping includes water-saving drip irrigation and artificial turf.

The exterior has durable, low-maintenance Malarkey Roofing, Nichiha fiber cement shakes and Boral trim boards.

Natural gas products include a Rinnai tankless water heater, Town Country Fireplace and a Lacanche 71-inch range custom made to the owners specifications.

– Homes Gardens of the Northwest staff

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Forest City dedicates Jerry Tweeten Pavilion

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Susan Giammattei, 58, was killed in car accident

Susan Giammattei grew up in a family of pioneer Geyserville grape growers and winemakers, but found her joy helping plant and prune the gardens of Golden Gate Park.

Born into the Nervo family, whose immigrant generation settled and sank roots in northern Sonoma County in 1896, Giammattei worked for decades directing city landscaping crews that maintained the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

“She was the first woman hired as a parks supervisor” in San Francisco, said her husband, Joe Giammattei. They met about 15 years ago while both were supervisors at Golden Gate Park, and married in 2011.

Residing in Petaluma, the Giammatteis were headed home from a grocery store Thursday when a car ran into theirs. The couple wasn’t hurt, but as Susan Giammattei stood on the sidewalk following the collision she was hit and killed by another car.

She was 58.

The former Susan Nervo was born and grew up in San Francisco. It was siblings of her father, Ed Nervo, who grew grapes and made wine in Geyserville. The 1908 Nervo winery is now part of Trione Vineyards Winery, but the Nervo family still owns about 14 acres of vineyards nearby.

Young Susan Nervo attended Catholic schools in San Francisco, then studied horticulture at San Francisco State University. She made Petaluma her home in 1984, commuting to her work at Golden Gate Park.

She had worked for the city 36 years when she retired three years ago. Her love of plants led her to volunteer at the Luther Burbank Home Gardens in Santa Rosa.

Susan Giammattei also was a regular blood donor and someone who cared about, and for, animals.

Her husband said he accepted that her first love was her 1960 Chevrolet Impala. The couple traveled often to the Hot August Nights classic car show in Reno, and Susan Giammattei was an officer in Cruisin’ the Boulevard, Petaluma’s salute to American Graffiti.

Said Joyce Giammattei of Santa Rosa, one of Joe Giammattei’s two daughters and four granddaughters, “She was really a caring person.”

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Parent-Sorensen Mortuary Crematory, 850 Keokuk St., Petaluma. A Vigil Service is at 7 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, 1555 39th Ave., San Francisco. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and

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Green Thumb: Rock Gardening

Using natural elements in your landscape or garden area does not mean that you are a lazy landscaper, but rather a smart gardener.

Too often we bypass the usefulness of large rocks, boulders or gravel as they lack the color of annual flowers, or the brightness of life growing around us in the landscape. But, using these more eternal elements in your landscape mixed with changeable annual flowers, and longer lasting perennials gives your garden a sense of permanency and at the same time growth and life in the season of spring and summer.

I compare rock gardening to an old photograph I saw of the town of Hamer that was taken in the early 1920’s. The town itself looked very different from how it stands today, the buildings have changed, the interstate had not been built, and so the roads and where people lived were located in different places. The mountains in the distance though had obviously not changed, and that was the one aspect of the picture that gives the town and area of Hamer a sense of permanence and solidarity. (Aside from the fact that not a lot of things ever really change in Hamer, which is a good thing). Adding large boulders to your landscape is a great way to add the permanence and sense that this environment will be here for many years and decades to come. Subconsciously, we as humans like things that don’t change, and that we know will be there for years to come for future enjoyment, and that are a consistent “norm”. Rocks whether large or small can provide this for our landscape. Japanese landscapers have a form of rock gardening using boulders, large and medium sized rocks, and gravel to represent mountains, waterfalls, oceans, hills, valleys, and rivers.

By using different colors, sizes, and textures of rocks these elements can combine to create entire areas of landscaping that require almost no maintenance, and are intriguing to the eye and enjoyable to spend time in. Select your rock, boulder, or gravel that you are going to use by the theme you want in the garden area. So for example if you want a desert feel in your landscape use red toned boulders or sand stone colored gravel to give you warmer tones in the design. If you want a high mountain type experience, then use gray granite type boulders, and for a pacific northwest experience select boulders that have lichens or moss growing on them as this will add a sense of a dense forested woodland rock garden. It is recommended to avoid odd or unnatural colored rock in most gardens as it can be very detracting and not cohesive with the colors of the landscape or shrubbery in the rest of your yard.

The benefits of using gravel or river rock in your landscape is that it will not blow away, fade, or need to be replaced in a few years, but if you live in a high wind location, like most of eastern Idaho, the gravel can be blown full of dirt in a few years, which then leads to weed issues. Landscape fabrics placed under gravel do help in suppressing weeds, but dirt will eventually accumulate amongst the rocks, sometimes over decades or sometimes in a few years, and it can become a problem to be deal with. In the long term though using gravel or rock gardens throughout your yard is less work, and enjoyable for many years.

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August gardening tips: What to do in the garden this month

As the weather heats up, you’ll be watering your pots daily and deadheading regularly, but at least the dry weather should mean less mowing and weeds won’t be so rampant. Harvest home-grown herbs and salad leaves and sit back and make the most of the warm weather.

Flower maintenance

  • Water and feed your container and hanging basket plants, deadhead every day and if some of the trailers look straggly, give them a trim with scissors
  • Cut back perennials which have finished flowering and continue to deadhead roses. Trim back catmint that’s gone over and give lavender a haircut with shears, ensuring you don’t cut back into old wood
  • Make sure tall varieties of late summer blooms like Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ are supported so they don’t topple over
  • Collect ripening seed from plants you wish to propagate, including calendulas, love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascene) and nasturtiums. Cut off the ripe seed heads, place them in paper bags and hang them in a warm dry place to dry for a few days. Break open the capsules, separate the seeds from the debris and pack them in labelled envelopes in a sealed container

[Related story: BBQ trade secrets: 8 tips from the pros on how to hold the best barbecue ever]

Be water-wise

  • Use grey water when watering is at its peak. Washing up water and bath water can be recycled. Siphon it through a hosepipe to a water butt and focus your watering on container plants and on trees and shrubs planted this year which are not yet established
  • Don’t worry too much about watering beds and borders, or the lawn, as these will usually survive
  • Add a new mulch to borders and the kitchen garden or top up an old one, but only when the soil is moist. This will help reduce evaporation. Mulching also suppresses weeds, which compete with your favoured plants for water.

Be wary of pests and diseases

  • Now is the time to apply vine weevil control to containers, greenhouse pot plants and vulnerable plants in the garden. Nematodes – a biological control – which specifically target vine weevil larvae arrive as freeze-dried ‘powder’ which needs to be diluted and watered on to the soil
  • On damp, hot days diseases can be rampant, while in a hot, dry one, aphids and red spider mite multiply prolifically. Inspect your plants carefully. Sometimes just pinching out stems or pulling off leaves covered with pests will contain the problem.
  • Watch out for powdery mildew on roses and honeysuckle, tomato blight and caterpillars on brassicas

Ideas time

  • The summer break is the ideal time to visit public gardens and jot down design ideas and plant combinations you feel might work in yours
  • Design new borders for planting in the autumn, drawing up plans on paper, preferably to scale, working out the plants you’ll need bearing in mind their height and spread when mature. Budget for extras such as fertilisers and stakes

[Related story: 8 plants that would survive a hosepipe ban this summer]

Fruit and veg

  • Harvest fruit and veg when they are ripe and freeze or dry what you can’t use immediately. Continue to harvest broad, French and runner beans, courgettes while they are still small and cut pumpkins and winter squashes now. Complete harvesting early potatoes
  • Pick the first ripe tomatoes, trimming off the leaves from the stem to allow the light and sunshine to ripen remaining fruits
  • Sow overwintering onions such as Japanese varieties, for harvesting early next summer. Choose a well-drained spot in neutral soil.
  • Prune summer-fruiting raspberries, cutting the old fruited canes down to 2.5cm (1in) above ground level and tie in all the new unfruited canes
  • Prune gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants, but avoid pruning figs and grapevines whose wounds bleed badly if the stems are cut in summer
  • Harvest blackberries, peaches, nectarines and apricots, loganberries and the last of the summer raspberries

Bulb planting

  • Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as autumn crocuses, colchicums and sternbergias early in the month and plant them straight away in well-drained soil in sun.
  • While most spring bulbs can wait until autumn for planting, daffodils are best off planted at the end of the month unless they are earmarked for beds which can’t be cleared of summer annuals until September
  • Plant prepared hyacinths and ‘Paper White’ narcissi in bowls for Christmas flowering indoors

Post-holiday tidy-up

  • If your lawn has gone brown while you’ve been away on holiday, cut it in easy stages. Raise the blades to just trim the top off the first time round, then lower the blades a notch each time you cut it until eventually it returns to its usual level. And don’t worry, it will come back
  • If container plants are so shrivelled they are beyond help, tip them out and start again, either making the most of late bedding bargains in garden centres or going straight on to autumn planting schemes
  • Thoroughly weed beds and borders, removing overgrown weeds which are threatening to shed seeds
  • Feed and water greenhouse plants, picking ripe crops and clearing up and on the veg patch harvest any crops that are ripe

Pond care

  • Top up pond water regularly, as it evaporates quickly in hot weather
  • Remove faded flower heads from marginal aquatic plants, cutting off or pulling away excess growth, which will improve the appearance of the pond. Leaves left in the water also increase its nutrient content which then boosts the growth of algae

What will you be doing to your garden in August? Share your tips and tricks in the Comments box below.

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Agromin gardening tips: August heat makes Southern California gardening a challenge

Average temperatures in southern California are at their highest in August, making it a challenging month to keep gardens looking their best, says Agromin, a manufacturer of earth-friendly compost products made from organic material collected from more than 50 California cities. Residents can obtain Agromin soil products in bulk or in bags at Rainbow Environmental Services (gate seven) in Huntington Beach and in bulk at South Coast Supply in Huntington Beach and Los Alamitos.

Remove Non-producing Vegetable Plants: We sometime continue to water vegetables plants that have produced little or no vegetables. By August, most vegetables planted in spring have already yielded a sizable crop. Remove those that are past their prime or have failed to produce. Focus your attention (and water) on healthy plants.

Add Plants That Love Hot Weather: If you want to spruce up your flower garden, add splashes of summer color with perennials that can take the heat. These include California fuchsia, chalk live-forevers (which produce long shoots of red flowers), yarrow, lantana and sage.

Deep Water Trees and Shrubs: Most trees and shrubs need a weekly deep watering during August. It is better to deep water (15 minutes on a slow drip) than water more often but for less time. Deep watering forces roots to grow down into the cooler and moister portion of the soil. Water in the early morning hours.

Plant Cool Weather Vegetables in Containers: Wait until the end of August and then plant cool weather vegetables in outside containers. Vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, leeks, onions and shallots. Place the containers in a shady location.

Clean Up Annuals: Your annuals may start to look a little raggedy in August. Remove dead blooms and stems to encourage new growth.

Cut Back Poor Growing Perennials: If perennials are struggling in the summer heat, cut them back to only a few inches tall. They will start to regrow in fall or early spring.

Rose Care: Feed, prune and water roses weekly or biweekly to encourage flowering into the fall and beyond. Faded flowers should be removed immediately to encourage new budding. Gently prune rose bushes to shape and strengthen lower canes.

Re-evaluate Your Landscaping
: Even with water conservation efforts, water costs are still rising.

August is a good time to examine your landscaping—decide which trees and plants are doing well without much water and which are not—and then plan to make changes to a more water-efficient landscape when the weather cools.

For more gardening tips, go to

This article was released by Agromin.

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Support ginger, prune blackberry canes, add soaker hoses: This week’s gardening tips

Some of the taller gingers, such as hedychium, alpinia and costus, may get top heavy when they bloom. A little graceful leaning is generally not an issue, but consider supporting the shoots if they fall over too much. Each shoot only blooms once. After it blooms, cut it back to the ground to help manage the plant.

If you haven’t done so already, prune to the ground the blackberry canes that produced fruit this year. The vigorous new canes coming up this summer will produce next year’s crop. They should not be heavily pruned, although they may be tip pruned to control their length.

Continue to water deeply as needed. Soaker hoses are an excellent way to water flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. Keeping the foliage dry helps keep fungal diseases from attacking.

Fine, silvery webbing appearing on the bark of trees and large shrubs is harmless. The webbing is produced by tiny scavenging insects called bark lice. There is no need to apply insecticides.

Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter.

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