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Archives for August 11, 2016

Sophie’s garden design to transform school rubbish tip

A KEEN gardener is getting her hands dirty for a local charity by turning an overgrown rubbish tip into a beautiful sensory garden.

Sophie Coulton, 25, of North Swindon, is hoping to provide children and staff at Eldene Nursery and Primary School with somewhere to relax, unwind and explore.

The school, based at Colingsmead, is a registered charity that teaches children with disabilities, and not having the funds to transform their garden themselves, Sophie kindly stepped in and volunteered.

Construction is set to start on Monday and Sophie will have a small troupe of green-fingered helpers to keep her company.

Sophie, who currently works at Homebase at the Greenbridge retail park while undertaking an online gardening design degree, said: “Garden design is my passion so I’m really excited about the project.

“When I first went to see the plot of land, I couldn’t actually get in because it was so overgrown and full of rubbish.

“They wanted something sensory with nice smells and colours, so I went away and came up with a few ideas – it’s now all about me cracking on and getting stuck in.”

She said that garden designer Adam Frost, who won a gold medal at the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, has been her inspiration, mentor and the reason why she discovered a passion for garden design.

Nicola Timbrell, assistant manager at the school, and who is currently on maternity leave, said: “We have been trying really hard to get our garden together for the past five years.

“We’re very grateful for Sophie’s help because we’re a charity and we don’t have the money to do things like this ourselves.

“She has worked really hard and we’re very excited about seeing the finished result.”

The garden is being funded by donations from local businesses such as BandB Innovations, Perry Mini Digger Hire, Swindon Car and Van rental, and others, with most of the materials having been donated by Homebase.

Sophie used to be the deputy manager at Homebase, but recently stood down to give her more time to focus on her degree.

The plot of land measures 18m x 10m and Sophie is hoping for it to be completed in a week.

She said: “I have gone through four different designs before choosing the final one, but I’m happy with it.

“There will be artificial grass, a water feature and lots of plants to give it plenty of colour.

“Everyone at the school is really excited. I have shown them a few ideas and they’re all really happy.”

There will be a grand unveiling when the garden is complete.

Article source: http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/14676086.Sophie___s_garden_design_to_transform_school_rubbish_tip/

When Your Backyard Costs $37.5 Million

When the world’s superrich shop for a lavish garden to frame their sprawling estates, they call Belgian master-landscaper François Goffinet.

Goffinet’s secret weapon: a deep knowledge of the land and a timeless classical style. With his pavilions, ironwork, gate lodges, and follies (who doesn’t love a good hedge maze?), he’s reviving the grand tradition of the 18th century one garden at the time.

The Making of the Garden

His client list stretches from European aristocracy to global titans of business, all of whom entrust Goffinet’s vision, expertise, and sophistication to create an oasis of beauty around their multimillion-dollar residences. But the rich and famous are not the only ones with Goffinet in their phonebook: The landscaper was recently commissioned by monks to design the Cistercian Abbey of Notre Dame de Saint Rémy of Rochefort in the Belgian Ardennes.

The Trappist monks happen to have good taste in more than just landscaping, being producers of the award-winning Trappistes Beer of Rochefort.

Verdant tranquillity doesn’t come cheap. Goffinet’s gardens range from $2.2 million up to $37.5 million (so far), not counting the designer’s visits to curate the land and maintain its luster. The completion alone can take a couple of years.

“It takes time to get to know the land, to understand it,” says Goffinet from his studio in Brussels. “Clients give us their wish lists, we then price a project depending on the level of sophistication requested. I find that many of them want to recreate a memory of their grandparents’ garden.”

In his European and North American gardens, it is common to see long avenues of linden, beech, and oak trees.

“I study the subtle association of shade and light and transparencies; trees’ shadows are fundamental to the serenity of the garden.”

He’ll compose flower beds like paintings with the help of a team of colourists, a botanist, and a horticulturalist. “I use green, blue, pale pink, and white to maintain harmony,” says Goffinet. “You will rarely find a strong orange and yellow presence in one of my gardens”

And the Golden Ratio of proportions, of course, is essential.

The Artist

Born in 1955 in Castle Reux to the Belgian royal family, Goffinet felt the urge from a young age to create places of beauty. The first garden he worked on was his own, originally created in 1750 by his ancestors in Annevoie. Having discovered his green fingers as a teen, he studied landscaping and gardening at the Royal Horticultural Society in England and worked under the supervision of British master Russell Page, whom he succeeded, curating the iconic Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens, at the PepsiCo headquarters in Purchase, N.Y. Francois has dedicated more than 30 years to maintaining these gardens.

His philosophy espouses the idea that a garden is all about the relationship between man, space, and nature and that it is the gardeners job to link those together. 

“The art of gardening is the music of space which makes your body vibrate. It is the harmonious arrangement of notes.”

Billionaires Estates

Late media billionaire John Kluge, once America’s richest man, commissioned Goffinet to design 220 acres of stunning land surrounding his family estate south of Charlottesville, Va. Today Albemarle Estate serves as an upscale bed and breakfast—plus a winery—now part of Trump Hotel Collection. (In contrast to the idylls of the garden, John Kluge Junior alleged land-deal fraud in a lawsuit against Trump, after the now Republican nominee acquired the property, once marketed at $100 million, for a mere $6.2 million.)

The Castles

“British clients often ask for gate lodges, which were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. You need to preserve the spirit of the land, respect its tradition,” says Goffinet.

The designer cut his teeth curating the landscapes of some of England’s most iconic castles, among which are the 250-acre park around Leeds Castle in Kent, Longleat House, where he created an arboretum, and Badminton Estate gardens.

In London he recreated and restored the elegance of the Victorian age in 14 urban garden squares stretching from Harrods (SW3) to the Boltons (SW5). Among the best known are Egerton Gardens and Onslow Square  Gardens.

 

Water Magic

One of Goffinet’s signature features is his use of water, making the irrigation of his gardens a work of art.

“Using turbulent water. which needs to be artificially pumped, ruins the harmony of look and sound,” explains Goffinet, who prefers to use so-called laminated water in elevated reservoirs and gravity alone. “A single jet of water that flows naturally and shines beautifully in the sun, on the other hand, produces a delicate noise.”

His work has been heavily influenced by his ancestors’ water creations in Annevoie, and today he uses the same tricks in his gardens.

They used to collect spring water from the hills and conduct it via small stone channels to reservoirs created above the gardens in the shape of canals. From here water would travel in pipes made of oak trees hollowed by incandescent red iron.

“This apparatus was created in 1750 and lasted for 200 years. The last original pipe was replaced in the 1960s,” says Goffinet.

Among the most complex of his water features is a mystery “grotto” in the gardens of an 18th century Oxfordshire residence.

“What’s astonishing about the grotto is the mosaic of waterfalls and pathways contained within, including automatic surprise doors, stairways, and other tricks typical of Renaissance gardens, all decorated with shells and mirrors.”

If you want to get a taste of Francois’ world of gardens, Bank of Luxembourg is celebrating his life work with a summer exhibition in Luxembourg through Sept. 15.

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-10/meet-francois-goffinet-garden-designer-to-billionaires

Walmart, landowner still eyeing US 98 in Lamar County – WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) –

In February, Walmart representatives asked to table the decision to locate along U.S. 98 in Lamar County, but those plans could soon be resurfacing.

Since March, land owner and Florida businessman Chad Henderson has been working to get residents on board.

“We are taking their ideas into consideration, things like elevation, how the store would look and feel, things such as green space within the parking lot, landscape buffering between the store and the residential community next door,” Henderson said. 

Henderson has met with members of the Canebrake Home Owners Association and held a pair of meetings in the neighborhood on Monday. 

A private Facebook page, “Say no to Big Box Walmart West Hattiesburg on Cole Road” has gained over 1,400 members and even gives residents an avenue to sign a petition against the Walmart store.

“This is nothing that has been recent, this has been an ongoing process,” Henderson said. 

Henderson added that Walmart has been in a contract for roughly three years and has been working to be a fit in the community.

Potential mayor of the proposed city of Bellevue, John Adcock, said he is opposed to the store.

MOBILE USERS: View the Walmart plans here.

“I am against having an 180,000 square feet big box directly next door to me, as I think most anybody would be,” Adcock said. “It has its place, but right next door to a neighborhood, and the most populated neighborhood in the community at that, it just does not go there.”

Henderson added that changes to store hours, lighting in the parking lot, truck delivery times along with other things have been addressed with Walmart officials.

“They have agreed to delivery times, agreed to increase landscaping, and landscape buffering, things that are well above the code,” Henderson said. “We are not looking to put tattoo shops, and bait shops, pawn shops, things like that.”

Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks are the types of stores that are being targeted to accompany Walmart, according to Henderson.

Adcock added this one of the reasons that he and other citizens are pushing the city of Bellevue.

“Right now that property is not zoned for an 180,000 square foot big box retailer, it is zoned the way that it is for a reason,” Adcock said. “You don’t go straight from big box type commercial to a neighborhood.”

Henderson said they have missed the date to file any paperwork for the September Lamar County Planning Commission meeting, but added there is no set timeline.

“This is something we are going to continue to work at and try to get people on board,” Henderson said. 

Copyright 2016 WDAM. All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.wdam.com/story/32733097/walmart-landowner-still-eyeing-us-98-in-lamar-county

Navigating Post-Recession Retail Redevelopment

Ginsborg: “Throw in a recession and you have the perfect storm to create a redevelopment opportunity.”

DENVER—In 2012, NewMark Merrill purchased a 50% vacant retail center for $8.5 million. Five years and $90 million of additional investment later, the new Village at the Peaks is the retail centerpiece of the community with Whole Foods, Sam’s Club and a Regal Cinemas movie theater among the anchor tenants at the 500,000-square-foot complex. To accomplish this success, NewMark Merrill forged partnerships with the city and the community to create a retail center curated to the tastes of Northern Colorado residents. For a closer look at this case study, we sat down with Allen Ginsborg, NewMark Merrill Mountain States managing director and principal for an exclusive interview. Here, he gives us an inside look at the making of Village at the Peaks.

GlobeSt.com: Why was this mall a good candidate for redevelopment?

Allen Ginsborg: This project was originally built in 1985 as the Twin Peaks Mall, and was anchored by Sears, Dillard’s, United Artist Theaters, Joslins Department Store and a JC Penney. Over time, JC Penney, Joslins and Sears relocated or closed their stores. At the same time, the old mall’s fashion-centric tenant mix was consumed by the development of new regional projects on the periphery of the mall’s trade area. The first was Flat Irons Mall, which was an enclosed regional mall, and then the redevelopment of open-air centers in Boulder, Westminster and Loveland. Several factors led to the demise of the old mall including the great recession, new competition and failure of the existing mall to carve out its market position in the face of that competition.

GlobeSt.com: What are some of the characteristics that you look for in a redevelopment opportunity like this?

Ginsborg: First and foremost, if the cost basis isn’t right, you can’t truly recreate anything. The project cost has to be low enough to allow for a return on the enormous amount of new investment required to completely overhaul and reformat a property. A high cost basis restricts your creativity to low-cost band aids and cosmetic fixes to see if simple re-tenanting efforts can improve the sales of the merchants to generate higher occupancy and rents to create return on investment. In this case, as new competition intervened, it eliminated much of the apparel demand the old mall catered to, creating increased vacancy that reduced income.  Throw in a recession and you have the perfect storm to create a redevelopment opportunity. But in good times or bad, we’re always very careful to be sure the cost basis of our project is low enough to deal with all the surprises that pop up during a redevelopment.

Another key to a successful redevelopment is engaging the community early, personally and often. I held more than two dozen community meetings with a couple of thousand stakeholders to develop and refine what people in the community said they wanted. Then I tested our vision using community-wide polling and opinion surveys to be sure we were on track and to educate and build public consensus about the market and tenant demand. I always want the majority of the community to be my partner in our projects. I can’t fight the battle to attract retailers and deal with the rising costs, and have the community fighting me along the way too. That’s a losing hand.

GlobeSt.com: What was your vision for the Longmont project?

Ginsborg: Overall, we saw an opportunity to create a place where Longmont could distinguish itself from its glitzy Boulder neighbor. The more time I spent in Longmont, the more I realized residents wanted their own identity rather than being seen as the stepchild of Boulder. They wanted to shop, be entertained and dine in their town. Our vision to create a space where Longmonters could celebrate their community in an authentically local way was the natural outcome of our in-depth research. With this clear vision, we set out to attract the merchandising mix and destination uses to create a uniquely experiential place and space for Boulder County to gather and to celebrate the Colorado lifestyle. We borrowed architectural themes from nearby Rocky Mountain Park; preserved spectacular vistas to the snowcapped peaks; incorporated over 100 tons of natural boulders into our landscaping; and built a massive water fall feature in addition to many other amenities.

GlobeSt.com: Tenant mix is becoming increasingly important in retail. How important was the tenant mix to this project?

Ginsborg: When I started in the industry in 1983, tenant mix in open air centers was not even an afterthought.  Today, it’s what I think about most often and enjoy creating the best.  Years ago, all that mattered was the consumer’s ease of making a purchase. Today, what goes on outside the store is almost as important as what goes on inside it. We have to give people a reason to visit our projects that has nothing to do with the immediate need to buy something, which is what the internet is for. Our Village must be a place where residents create good lasting memories and know that they will continue to find fun and exciting things to do while they shop, eat or see a movie. We have held events in our open-air shopping centers for decades, which is something that is just now becoming common. That’s one ingredient to my partner Sandy Sigal’s secret sauce and it is catching on everywhere now.

GlobeSt.com: You partnered with the city on this project. Why was that partnership important to the success of the project?

Ginsborg: We bought this property in February 2012, which means that we had to tee it up in 2011, while we were still in the depths of a recession, particularly in retailing. As we came out of the recession, we knew costs were increasing but they went up more rapidly than anyone could have anticipated. Somewhere in the realm of 10% to 15% a year, and at the same time retail sales were still falling or best case flat. Without the city assistance and a bond issuance, there is no way we could have built this project financially. We also ended up needing the City Urban Renewal Authority to condemn covenants Dillard’s had against the property that had prevented it from being redeveloped in the past.

GlobeSt.com: Give me an update on the project today, and how much value you have created post redevelopment?

Ginsborg: Village at the Peaks is still a work in progress, but so far many of our merchants have had record openings and we’re almost 95% leased. Over 8,000 people participated in our grand opening events, and another 10,000 have participated in our concert series, kid’s clubs, back to school weekend and other activities over the past seven months.

GlobeSt.com: What is next for the project? What is your long-term business plan?

Ginsborg: Now that construction is almost done and we are well leased I get to have fun programming cool events, helping the community and finding the next wave of great merchants to anchor our second and final phase of the project totaling about 50,000 square feet. We are partnering with several great local charities and have already raised over $75,000 for them in a seven-month cycle. We are looking at starting a regional road bike race and are working closely with the school district to improve local schools. We love to operate our projects to test out new ideas and to continue creating fresh exciting experiences for our merchants and communities as we seek new projects.

Article source: http://www.globest.com/sites/kelsimareeborland/2016/08/11/navigating-post-recession-retail-redevelopment/

Parks forum draws concerned residents, spurs ideas – Quad

ROCK ISLAND — More than 40 people showed up to a forum about the future of the city’s parks Wednesday night at the Rock Island Fitness Recreation Center.

The next forum will be held Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. at the Hauberg Center. The final forum will be held Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Southwest Branch Library.

The Rock Island Parks and Recreation Department is considering dividing the parks into three tier levels to determine how much financial support each park will get. John Gripp, director of Rock Island Parks and Recreation, said the tiers are still under development.

“I think over the next two months we will be able to complete that process,” Mr. Gripp said. “It sounds easy. It’s not.”

Part of the problem is the amount of park space the department has, Mr. Gripp said. Citing a 2015 study from the National Recreation and Park Association, Rock Island currently has 22.19 acres of park land per 1,000 residents. A typical department has just 9.5 acres per 1,000 residents.

“We have a large number of parks and a large amount of park space for a town our size,” Mr. Gripp said. “We have 11 full time staff to take care of that and a handful of seasonal help that works the summer until they have to return back to school. It has been extremely difficult to keep up with.”

A tier one park would be fully maintained. Tier two parks would be mowed and safety measures would be instilled, but no landscaping or additions would be forthcoming. Tier three parks would be taken care of by outside groups or friends of the park. Also, they could be allowed to be not taken care of at all or surplussed. Mr. Gripp said surplussing is “the last option.”

Ideas from the audience included turning some of the parks into dog parks, or looking into conservation easements. An easement would allow the property to be taken over by a private landlord but permanently limit the use to protect the conservation of the land.

Dorothy McGee, of Rock Island, said she believes Mr. Gripp is taking a “genuine interest” in the concerns of community. She said she is concerned about Douglas Park and wanted to be sure her voice was heard.

“Rock Island is in a crisis mode,” Mrs. McGee said. “It is is good to see people give ideas.”

Article source: http://www.qconline.com/news/local/parks-forum-draws-concerned-residents-spurs-ideas/article_53aad2b6-e31c-56af-90ac-73dcfb5465f1.html

3 Most Expensive Homes for Sale in the Napa Valley

One of a kind Napa Valley estate. The first offering of this exceptional, 7+/- acre property ideally set between St. Helena and Calistoga. 6,000+/- sq. ft. main house with 4 bedroom suites, impeccable design, bright with windows plus a 1,200+/- guest house set in a resort-like setting with full outdoor kitchen, tennis bocce ball courts, shuffle board, and exquisite pool, formal gardens with mature lush landscaping and pond.

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Article source: http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/most-expensive-homes-for-sale-in-the-napa-valley/collection_778e06c2-7402-58b1-b8ee-c5709f424dda.html

Meet Francois Goffinet, Garden Designer to Billionaires – Bloomberg

When the world’s superrich shop for a lavish garden to frame their sprawling estates, they call Belgian master-landscaper François Goffinet.

Goffinet’s secret weapon: a deep knowledge of the land and a timeless classical style. With his pavilions, ironwork, gate lodges, and follies (who doesn’t love a good hedge maze?), he’s reviving the grand tradition of the 18th century one garden at the time.

The Making of the Garden

His client list stretches from European aristocracy to global titans of business, all of whom entrust Goffinet’s vision, expertise, and sophistication to create an oasis of beauty around their multimillion-dollar residences. But the rich and famous are not the only ones with Goffinet in their phonebook: The landscaper was recently commissioned by monks to design the Cistercian Abbey of Notre Dame de Saint Rémy of Rochefort in the Belgian Ardennes.

The Trappist monks happen to have good taste in more than just landscaping, being producers of the award-winning Trappistes Beer of Rochefort.

Verdant tranquillity doesn’t come cheap. Goffinet’s gardens range from $2.2 million up to $37.5 million (so far), not counting the designer’s visits to curate the land and maintain its luster. The completion alone can take a couple of years.

“It takes time to get to know the land, to understand it,” says Goffinet from his studio in Brussels. “Clients give us their wish lists, we then price a project depending on the level of sophistication requested. I find that many of them want to recreate a memory of their grandparents’ garden.”

In his European and North American gardens, it is common to see long avenues of linden, beech, and oak trees.

“I study the subtle association of shade and light and transparencies; trees’ shadows are fundamental to the serenity of the garden.”

He’ll compose flower beds like paintings with the help of a team of colourists, a botanist, and a horticulturalist. “I use green, blue, pale pink, and white to maintain harmony,” says Goffinet. “You will rarely find a strong orange and yellow presence in one of my gardens”

And the Golden Ratio of proportions, of course, is essential.

The Artist

Born in 1955 in Castle Reux to the Belgian royal family, Goffinet felt the urge from a young age to create places of beauty. The first garden he worked on was his own, originally created in 1750 by his ancestors in Annevoie. Having discovered his green fingers as a teen, he studied landscaping and gardening at the Royal Horticultural Society in England and worked under the supervision of British master Russell Page, whom he succeeded, curating the iconic Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens, at the PepsiCo headquarters in Purchase, N.Y. Francois has dedicated more than 30 years to maintaining these gardens.

His philosophy espouses the idea that a garden is all about the relationship between man, space, and nature and that it is the gardeners job to link those together. 

“The art of gardening is the music of space which makes your body vibrate. It is the harmonious arrangement of notes.”

Billionaires Estates

Late media billionaire John Kluge, once America’s richest man, commissioned Goffinet to design 220 acres of stunning land surrounding his family estate south of Charlottesville, Va. Today Albemarle Estate serves as an upscale bed and breakfast—plus a winery—now part of Trump Hotel Collection. (In contrast to the idylls of the garden, John Kluge Junior alleged land-deal fraud in a lawsuit against Trump, after the now Republican nominee acquired the property, once marketed at $100 million, for a mere $6.2 million.)

The Castles

“British clients often ask for gate lodges, which were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. You need to preserve the spirit of the land, respect its tradition,” says Goffinet.

The designer cut his teeth curating the landscapes of some of England’s most iconic castles, among which are the 250-acre park around Leeds Castle in Kent, Longleat House, where he created an arboretum, and Badminton Estate gardens.

In London he recreated and restored the elegance of the Victorian age in 14 urban garden squares stretching from Harrods (SW3) to the Boltons (SW5). Among the best known are Egerton Gardens and Onslow Square  Gardens.

 

Water Magic

One of Goffinet’s signature features is his use of water, making the irrigation of his gardens a work of art.

“Using turbulent water. which needs to be artificially pumped, ruins the harmony of look and sound,” explains Goffinet, who prefers to use so-called laminated water in elevated reservoirs and gravity alone. “A single jet of water that flows naturally and shines beautifully in the sun, on the other hand, produces a delicate noise.”

His work has been heavily influenced by his ancestors’ water creations in Annevoie, and today he uses the same tricks in his gardens.

They used to collect spring water from the hills and conduct it via small stone channels to reservoirs created above the gardens in the shape of canals. From here water would travel in pipes made of oak trees hollowed by incandescent red iron.

“This apparatus was created in 1750 and lasted for 200 years. The last original pipe was replaced in the 1960s,” says Goffinet.

Among the most complex of his water features is a mystery “grotto” in the gardens of an 18th century Oxfordshire residence.

“What’s astonishing about the grotto is the mosaic of waterfalls and pathways contained within, including automatic surprise doors, stairways, and other tricks typical of Renaissance gardens, all decorated with shells and mirrors.”

If you want to get a taste of Francois’ world of gardens, Bank of Luxembourg is celebrating his life work with a summer exhibition in Luxembourg through Sept. 15.

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-10/meet-francois-goffinet-garden-designer-to-billionaires

Gardening: When it comes to landscaping, keep it simple

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Article source: http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/communities/marco-eagle/2016/08/10/gardening-when-comes-landscaping-keep-simple/88517394/

Gardening Tips: The August garden

This certainly has been a different summer than last year! Hot sunny weather and a bit of rain has made for lush gardens.

All my flowering shrubs and perennials are loaded with blooms. The large clump of hybrid lilies I have in the garden near my deck is loaded with about 100 flowers.

Now that August is well under way you should stop pruning your trees and shrubs. Pruning at this time of year will stimulate another flush of soft, tender growth that may not have a chance to harden off before cold winter temperatures arrive.

Plus you want all those buds that have formed to stay dormant until next spring.

However, you can remove dead wood at any time of year. It is best to prune dead branches and twigs as soon as you notice the problem. This allows the healthy tissue to start to heal up the pruning cut. Otherwise the area won’t heal until the dead branch rots and falls away.

Remember not to prune the early spring blooming trees and shrubs now, in fall or early spring. They have already set flower buds for next season. Lilac, azalea and rhododendron have formed buds at the ends of the new growth. Instead, they should be pruned immediately after blooming.

Trees, shrubs and perennials also don’t need any more fertilizer that stimulates new grow. Plants need to harden off for winter. If you use anything at all, it should have a low first number (nitrogen), since that nutrient promotes leaf growth.

Focus on phosphorous for root development and potassium for overall health and hardiness. Those are the second and third numbers respectively.

Annuals should still be fertilized, deadheaded and pinched back until the end of the season. This will help them stay compact, healthy and blooming. I was out this morning picking off yellow leaves and pinching some of the leggy growth in my planters.

With good care, you should be able to enjoy your annuals right up until the frost.

If your lawn needs a pick-me-up, now is the time to fertilize again. Use a good quality organic food with a moderate nitrogen level. The first number on the package should still be the highest.

Examine any dead areas in the lawn to see if there was a pest at work. You may have damage from White Grubs as I’ve had reports of active feeding. If dead grass comes easily away with no roots, the problem was grubs. If sunken dead areas are still firmly rooted, Chinch bug was the culprit.

It will soon be time to apply a second round of beneficial nematodes to control White Grubs. Be sure the ground is moist before you apply the nematodes with a hose end spray.

Start in the damaged area and work your way outwards. Then keep the lawn watered for three days after the application; this will keep the nematodes alive until they enter the grubs.

Once you have killed the grubs, do a vigorous raking in the damaged areas to remove dead grass, spread some topsoil and reseed. Remember that newly scattered seed has to be kept constantly moist while the seed germinates and the young plants get established.

Now is a good time to take a few moments to assess your gardens. Make notes about perennials that are too crowded or need dividing. Fall is a good time for that task. Just leave fall blooming plants undisturbed. The spring is a better time to divide those ones.

You may also want to plant for planting a few trees and shrubs once summer heat has passed. There may be empty areas in your yard that need some work.

I hope we still have some nice summer and fall weather so that we can all enjoy our gardens for weeks to come. Soon fall pansies, mums, ornamental grasses and kale will arrive at the garden centres. They will be a nice splash of colour that will survive fall frosts.

Article source: https://www.sootoday.com/columns/gardening-tips/gardening-tips-the-august-garden-349154

Clever Tips For Pet-Proofing Your Garden

Australians love their pets. In fact, we have 25 million of them — more than one for every person.

Not surprisingly, dogs are the most popular pet, with 39 percent of households having one pooch or more. Cats come in at a close second, with 29 percent of households having one kitty or more. (There are no official figures on how many crazy cat ladies we have but this journo is proudly one of them.)

So, you’ve got a pet or you’re thinking about getting one, but have you assessed your yard?

First up, discourage your dog — particularly if he or she is still young and playful — from digging up the garden. Do so by designating an area for play — let pup dig and bury here — and using chicken wire to corner off the out-of-bounds areas.

It became a legal requirement in Australia to have all dogs microchipped from April 2016. That means that hopefully, if your pup did go missing, they’d be more easily tracked. Though pets still go AWOL all the time so a sturdy fenced in yard is essential.

It’s also wise to research what hazards might be in your yard. For example, bone and blood fertilizers can be toxic to pets and when ingested will cause vomiting, diarrhea and inflammation of the pancreas. Use manure or compost as fertilizers, instead.

Lilies, tulips and daffodils all look pretty but are all toxic, too, so think twice before you pants.

For more tips check out the below infographic:

Infographic from Home Advisor.

Visit HuffPost Australia’s profile on Pinterest.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/08/10/clever-tips-for-pet-proofing-your-garden/