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Archives for August 24, 2016

Natural Tea Garden Design

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Tropical Garden Design Guide

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Indoor Herb Garden Design Tips To Assist You Garden Without Chemicals

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50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets

As more cities try to improve walkability—from car-free “superblocks” in Barcelona to heat-protected walkways in Dubai—a new report outlines the reasons behind the shift, the actions that cities can take to move away from a car-centric world, and why walkability matters.

“The benefits of walkability are all interconnected,” says James Francisco, an urban designer and planner at Arup, the global engineering firm that created the report. “Maybe you want your local business to be enhanced by more foot traffic. But by having that benefit, other benefits are integrated. Not only do you get the economic vitality, but you get the social benefits—so people are out and having conversations and connecting—and then you get the health benefits.” A single intervention can also lead to environmental and political benefits.

The report sifted through dozens of studies to quantify 50 benefits of walkability in cities.

1. It helps people live longer
Inactivity is the fourth leading cause of mortality around the world; physical activity dropped 32% in the last four decades in the U.S., and 45% in less than two decades in China. For people over 60, walking just 15 minutes a day can reduce the risk of dying by 22%.

2. It helps people lose weight
A 30-minute walk can burn 100 calories; for every 12 blocks or so walked a day, your risk of obesity drops 4.8%.

3. It reduces the risk of chronic disease
Regular walking may reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. Inactivity is a primary cause of most chronic diseases.

4. It makes people happier
Someone with a one-hour commute in a car needs to earn 40% more to be as happy as someone with a short walk to work. On the other hand, researchers found that if someone shifts from a long commute to a walk, their happiness increases as much as if they’d fallen in love. People who walk 8.6 minutes a day are 33% more likely to report better mental health.

5. It improves traffic safety
More than 270,000 pedestrians are killed around the world every year; better street design, and policies that reduce speed, can obviously help reduce the risk of crashes. Just shortening a long crosswalk can reduce the risk of pedestrian deaths 6%.

6. It brings back “eyes on the street”
While some countries invest in security cameras for streets—like the U.K., with 5.9 million cameras in public spaces—encouraging more people to walk is a cheaper way of increasing surveillance and making streets feel safer.

7. It reduces crime in other ways
Making streets more pleasant for walking—reducing trash, for example, or enforcing the speed limit—also has the added benefit of reducing crime. In one Kansas City neighborhood, crime dropped 74% after some streets went car-free on weekends.

8. It makes neighborhoods more vibrant
The same features that make streets more walkable, like a safer and more attractive design, make people want to spend more time in them generally, bringing vibrancy back to neighborhoods.

9. It enhances the “sense of place”
Spending time walking through a neighborhood, rather than driving, helps people have a better sense of what makes it unique—and more likely to want to help take care of it.

10. It’s a driver for creativity
If a neighborhood is walkable, it’s more likely to become home to public street art and open-air events; conversely, public art and cultural events can help draw people to streets where they might not have walked before.

11. It’s universally accessible
While not everyone can afford a car or knows how to drive, walking is universally accessible, and even those who take the subway or drive also walk at some points during the day. The report makes the point that designing pedestrian infrastructure for those who are less mobile also helps make the experience of walking better for everyone.

12. It fosters social interaction
Walkable streets bring people together who might not otherwise meet. In a classic 1960s study, people who lived on streets with more car traffic were less likely to know their neighbors.

13. It strengthens community identity
As people interact more on streets, that also builds a sense of community. In Ireland, one study found that people in walkable neighborhoods had 80% more “social capital” than those living in car-dependant areas.

14. It connects people across generations
In the U.S., millennials prefer walking to driving by a 12% margin. In some areas, the elderly are also more likely to walk or take public transit. Making streets more walkable helps bring people of all ages—including children—together.

15. It builds inclusiveness
Traffic infrastructure, such as highways, can physically separate and segregate neighborhoods; better design for walkability makes the whole city more accessible to everyone. For the lowest-income people, who might lose a job if their car breaks down, it can help build a social safety net.

16. It boosts the economy
Making neighborhoods more walkable increases the number of people who shop there. Pedestrians may spend as much as 65% more than drivers. It also boosts employment; in Dublin, a redesigned pedestrian-friendly neighborhood led to a 300% increase in employment. Overall, biking and walking provide an estimated return on investment of $11.80 for every $1 invested.

17. It helps local businesses
In Brooklyn, redesigning a parking lot into a pedestrian plaza boosted retail sales 172%. People who visit street markets in a city are also more likely to shop at stores nearby. The less that people drive, the more money they also have available to spend locally; an economist estimates that because people in Portland, Oregon, drive 20% less than the rest of the country, they save more than $1 billion, and much of that goes back to local businesses.

18. It helps make people more creative and productive
Research suggests that walking boosts creative output an average of 60%. You’re also more likely to be productive, improve memory, and make better decisions after exercise. Walking during work also helps: One internal study at a company found that people felt more energetic, focused, and engaged after walking meetings.

19. It improves a city’s brand and identity
Making a city more walkable and liveable can also give it a stronger identity, and make people want to visit. Barcelona, which has worked on improving public spaces and walkability since the 1980s, has seen its number of annual visitors grow 335% over the last two decades.

20. It increases tourism
For tourists, walking is one of the best ways to experience a city, and improving walkability makes more people interested in visiting. In London, Trafalgar Square saw a 300% increase in visitors after pedestrianizing.

21. It encourages more investment
After cities invest in walkable public space, it can encourage more investment in the same area. The High Line in New York led to $2 billion in private investment in the neighborhood around the park.

22. It attracts the creative class
Skilled professionals tend to migrate to walkable areas; the most walkable neighborhoods have much higher GDPs per capita, and more college graduates.

23. It increases land and property values
When neighborhoods become safer, more accessible, and more liveable, property values rise. Pedestrianizing a street can make home values go up $82 a square foot. It’s also good for landlords, if not tenants: Rents can rise $300 per month.

24. It activates the street facade
Walkable neighborhoods are less likely to have a lot of vacant storefronts. In New York City, expanding the pedestrian space in Union Square reduced commercial vacancies 49%.

25. It shrinks the cost of traffic congestion
The more people walk and the fewer people are stuck in traffic on roads, the more that benefits the economy. In the Bay Area, for example, businesses lose $2 billion a year because employees are stuck in gridlock.

26. It saves money on construction and maintenance
While building and maintaining roads is expensive—the U.S. needs an estimated $3.6 trillion by 2020 to repair existing infrastructure—sidewalks are more affordable. Investing in sidewalks also brings health and air quality benefits worth twice as much as the cost of construction.

27. It reduces health care costs
Inactivity leads to huge health care costs. The U.S. spends $190 billion on obesity-related illnesses alone.

28. It decreases dependency on nonrenewable resources
Experts estimate that the world may only have 56 years worth of oil left; cars waste most of the gas they use. Walking, by contrast, can actually generate energy if cities install energy-harvesting sidewalk tiles.

29. It minimizes land use
Sidewalks and bike paths are more compact than roads; they also enable people to easily live in denser neighborhoods, unlike traditional car-dependant suburbs.

30. It reduces air pollution
On a single car-free day in 2015, Paris cut smog by 40% in parts of the city. Over the long term, pedestrianization can improve health as the air grows cleaner, and can help cut a city’s carbon footprint.

31. It cuts ambient noise
With fewer people driving, cities get quieter. On Paris’s first car-free day, sound levels on main roads dropped three decibels. Plants and trees—which make streets more walkable—also reduce ambient noise.

32. It helps improve urban microclimates
While paved roads contribute to the urban heat island effect, making cities hotter, shaded, plant-lined sidewalks can help cool neighborhoods down from 9 to 35 degrees.

33. It can improve water management
Sidewalks designed with permeable surfaces can help suck up water during heavy rain, reducing flooding.

34. It makes cities more beautiful
Roads and sidewalks typically make up the majority of public space in cities; in Chicago, for example, they make up 70%. Making public space more walkable—with landscaping, public art, and other interventions—also makes it more attractive than a typical road.

35. It increases active use of space
In walkable neighborhoods, people are also more likely to make use of parks and public squares, and other outdoor spaces. In Copenhagen, as the city became more pedestrian-friendly over the last few decades, the number of people sitting in squares and otherwise making use of city space tripled.

36. It makes better use of space
Streets that are redesigned to become more walkable also tend to incorporate underutilized space next to roads. In New York, one study found 700 miles of underused public space under elevated structures.

37. It encourages people to drive less
When Copenhagen pedestrianized its main street, foot traffic increased 35% in the first year. In many cities, a large number of trips are only a short distance, and better design makes it more likely that people will prefer to walk or bike.

38. It also promotes public transit
People using a subway or bus to commute to work have to get there from their home—and a better walk makes it more likely that they’ll want to use public transit instead of driving.

39. It increases permeability
Walkability can also make cities more “permeable,” or easier to move around, creating a walking network that may even be easier to use than driving.

40. It bridges barriers
Pedestrian infrastructure can reconnect parts of the city that may have been disconnected by older infrastructure. In Rotterdam, a crowdfunded pedestrian bridge stretches over a busy road and old train tracks.

41. It makes cities more competitive
Walkability is directly connected to liveability. When Melbourne redesigned its center for pedestrians, it saw an 830% increase in residents, and it was recognized as The Economist‘s “world’s most liveable city” five years in a row.

42. It builds political support
After the mayor of the Spanish city of Pontevedra decided to go car-free in 1999, the public loved him: He’s now in his fifth term.

43. It builds engagement
As people spend more time outside in their neighborhoods, they’re more likely to feel attached, and to engage in improving the city in general. Crowdfunded public projects are growing in many cities.

44. It encourages more stakeholders to participate
Every added 10 minutes of commuting cuts community involvement 10%. In L.A., where commuters waste 64 hours a year in traffic, the city is building more participation by helping neighbors transform underused roads into pedestrian spaces.

45. It inspires civic responsibility
Walkability brings people together with other community members, which increases a sense of responsibility. Mexico City’s self-appointed pedestrian “superhero,” who defends pedestrians on city streets, helped build political support for the city’s new commitment to zero traffic deaths.

46. It promotes sustainable behaviors
In Canada, a study found that if people drove one less day a week, it could reduce 3.8 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year. As cities become more walkable, it can enable a cultural shift away from driving. Though the report doesn’t mention it, taking one sustainable action can also lead people to take others.

47. It helps make cities more resilient
If people can easily walk, a breakdown in mass transit, or a gas shortage, is less of a problem. Walkability makes cities more resilient in disasters.

48. It’s a tool for urban regeneration
Making neighborhoods more walkable can spark urban regeneration. In Madrid, a walkable park along the river led to investment in new sports areas, plazas, cafes, and the renovation of historic landmarks.

49. It allows for flexible micro-solutions
A car-free or walkable street is more likely to support pop-up interventions and other cheap, simple, DIY solutions.

50. It supports cultural heritage
Pedestrianization around a cultural landmark can increase the number of people who visit, and help support efforts for preservation. As Beijing quickly modernized, the city decided to pedestrianize several ancient, narrow streets—bringing new visitors and saving part of the city that otherwise might have disappeared.

Download the full report here.

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Lumberton OKs 3 projects for downtown

LUMBERTON — The Lumberton City Council changed the landscape of downtown Lumberton in about an hour and a half on Tuesday morning.

The council, during a special meeting, authorized three downtown projects that will be paid for with a combination of city money and a $94,340 grant from the state: a system of directional and welcome signs; a new design for the downtown plaza; and upgrades to an alley that runs behind the Carolina Civic Center.

“All of these things will improve the aesthetics of the downtown area, the connectivity and just the overall environment,” said Connie Russ, the city’s downtown development coordinator and a member of Rediscover Downtown Lumberton.

Lumberton was among 53 cities awarded the downtown revitalization grant as part of the state budget approved in June. City staff received information on how the money could be used on Aug. 1, along with a Sept. 1 deadline to tell the state its plans. Another $35,000 set aside in the city budget will also be put toward some work discussed Tuesday.

Because of the quick turnaround, city staff began looking at “shovel-ready” projects that had already been researched and discussed. The city must provide a report to the state by March 31 detailing “how the funds were spent and the outcomes of the project.”

Rediscover Downtown Lumberton pitched the signage known as a “way-finding system.”

Richard Monroe, who is president of the group, told the council it would cost approximately $13,000 for seven “Welcome to Downtown Lumberton” signs and 12 other signs directing visitors to Lumberton landmarks like the plaza, library and Carolina Civic Center. RDL would contribute $3,000 to the project.

Monroe said RDL members — intent on highlighting the Lumber River — went through “probably 5,000 designs” before landing one featuring waves and two people paddling a canoe. The group took cues from other towns where way-finding systems are in use.

“We had no idea there would be money this quickly,” Monroe said. “… This really is an excellent opportunity.”

The downtown plaza will get new brickwork and a new water feature that will better accommodate events like Alive After 5, held there since the construction of the Southeastern Health Performance Shelter. The city plans to replace the current fountain, which is recessed and takes up prime seating area during concerts, with a flat, level feature similar to a splash pad that could be turned off instead of drained.

Several council members and Mayor Bruce Davis said the new water feature was the highlight of Tuesday’s presentations because it will maximize space in the plaza and give children a safe area to play.

Improvements to the alleyway behind the Carolina Civic Center will include brick work, lighting, planters and benches, connecting public parking at the courthouse to the plaza. The plan also includes some improvements to the parking lot next to the Civic Center on North Chestnut Street, including planters and a designated area for trash bins. Councilman Leon Maynor suggested that bricks be sold in dedication to raise money.

The alley is “greatly in need” of lighting, paving and cleaning, said Richard Sceiford, the Civic Center’s executive director.

“These improvements will be really beneficial to the theater and its audiences,” Sceiford said. “We have an increasing number of visitors from out of the county who are seeing downtown Lumberton with fresh eyes. We get a lot of feedback from them about the downtown’s appearance and we know to them this will make a big difference.”

Sceiford said the way-finding system will not only guide people to the theater, but will spread awareness of the theater and other landmarks and show that the city values those places.

“As everybody drives by, they are reminded that we’re here,” he said.

Sceiford said he foresees more visitors to the Civic Center taking a “stroll” to the redesigned plaza.

“Anything to make the plaza more approachable and people feel secure would be beneficial,” he said.

The council on Tuesday also approved the Department of Transportation’s plans to landscape the interchange at Exit 22. The DOT will plant trees, shrubs and flowers at the interchange, with the city taking over maintenance after a year.

City Councilman John Cantey cast the lone vote against DOT’s plan, questioning whether city staff will have the time and energy to maintain the landscaping, especially after recently taking on upkeep at Northeast Park. Cantey said residents he has spoken to would rather see the city clean up vacant lots.

By Sarah Willets

[email protected]

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.

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Flashback: Street of Dreams homes’ construction photos. See the completed custom houses by Sunday

Your shiny, new appliances are still wrapped in the cardboard they came in. Your floor has more dusty boot tracks than an army base. And there are more trucks parked in front of your house than at a Ford dealership.

You’re in the middle of a remodel and you’re wondering: Will it ever end?

Yes. Someday. Soon.

If you need assurance, take a peek at these photos captured less than two weeks before the NW Natural Street of Dreams home tour opened July 30. You’ll see that walls were bare, light fixtures were still protected in Bubble Wrap and just a few finishing touches had been installed.

Then voilà! The doors to the five luxury estates, on two-acre lots in West Linn’s Tumwater at Pete’s Mountain development, opened to the public and everything was in its place, from seemingly endless counters in a sewing room larger than a single-car garage to drought-tolerant plants around a terraced infinity hot tub with fire elements.

In the last few days before the custom home tour, organized by the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland, opened, wide gaps in walls were filled by barn doors and industrial folding doors. Beverage stations, warming drawers and other culinary conveniences, including a circular grill in the outdoor kitchen, were plugged in and ready to go. And dramatic gas fireplaces were fired up in living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and outdoor living spaces.

Landscapes were completed on time, too. With a backdrop of vineyards and Mount Hood, builders brought in energy- and water-saving features, from solar panels to an underground, net-type irrigation system that collects rainwater and applies a low-volume stream directly to plants’ root zones.

Water-wise landscaping ideas include giving more space to native plants and less to lawns (one of the properties has artificial turf around the pool). Bioswales and stormwater systems allow rainwater to be absorbed slowly into the ground to reduce erosion and the effect on waterways and water treatment facilities.

Despite the emphasis on conservation, however, elaborate water features still stop visitors in their tracks.

A concrete lazy river winds across the front of the 7,641-square-foot house called Dolcetto. The water channel drops like a waterfall into a pool visible from a glass wall seen from the main floor. From here, you can also look through the glass floor into the wine-tasting area.

OK, that’s extreme. 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.

The month-long home tour closes Sunday, Aug. 28. Ticket are $17 (503-684-1880,

— Janet Eastman

Stay in the loop. Sign up to receive a free weekly Homes Gardens of the Northwest newsletter and join the conversation at the Homes Gardens of the Northwest on Facebook page.

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Departments – Digital Focus | Creative ideas for your online spaces

Amy and Luke Oeth bought their first house about a decade ago. Like many first-time homeowners, their improvement efforts were focused primarily indoors. Stripping their bathroom down to the studs didn’t intimidate them, and neither did building a stone patio in their backyard last summer, but plants were another story. Save for a raised bed vegetable garden, their house was surrounded by overgrown perennials and grass.

That all changed this past spring.

Amy and Luke Oeth have lived in their house for about a decade, but this is their first garden project.

Amy Oeth works for GdB Agency, a PR and advertising firm that represents Bailey Nurseries’ brands, including First Editions Plants. The agency was brainstorming ways that Bailey could encourage customers, especially newbie gardeners, to get over their cultivating fears and get started. The other goal was to teach people how to pair plants in the landscape — another hurdle for the inexperienced.

Videos of real-life people navigating new landscaping projects were pitched, and the agency decided that the Oeths were the perfect couple for the task.

The Oeth’s garden before and after the first-timers project.

“What we wanted to do was find a way to show real projects to people that are inspiring, instill some confidence and encourage people to go out there and just try it out,” says Kris Fitzpatrick, account director at GdB. “When you think about DIY projects you do at your home, there’s usually something that’s technical that you have to figure out. With landscaping, the instructions are pretty basic.

“We wanted to see what would happen if we found a real-life couple that had the right situation, the right personality to take this on and let them have a little fun with it.”

They’re calling it the first-timers campaign, with the tagline “Turn your blandscape into a landscape.” The first video introducing the series features the real, likeable couple posing American Gothic-style, with ragtime piano music in the background and a narrator reassuring viewers that “anyone can plant with pride and confidence” because of the selection and breeding process.

Bailey Nurseries and GdB are both located in Minnesota — St. Paul and Minneapolis respectively — and requested help from nearby Bachman’s, which sent a garden designer to help the Oeths plan the project before they got started. They began with the backyard to warm the space around their newly built patio.

“There was no big expectation on me being a pro, which was really helpful,” Oeth says. “I was pretty excited because I’ve been wanting to have more personality and style back there. You don’t want to spend time in a place that doesn’t feel cozy.”

But, like many new gardeners, she wasn’t sure where to start.

“It was really helpful to have the designer come out and do a quick plan for us,” she says. “That’s where I would have got stopped up myself, not knowing where to put things with shade, sun and part-sun [options]. I’m not an expert on that at all.”

Once they had their plan, the Oeths, armed with a tripod and video camera, documented their first days in the garden. The first weekend, they amended and tilled the soil off-camera. The next weekend, they started rolling and planting their hydrangeas, dogwood, magnolia and other Bailey plants.

“We got [the plants] all in the ground in one day. It was pretty doable with the two of us, Luke digging the holes, me putting the plants in, filling it in,” she says, laughing. “It took us 6 or 7 hours. That was very intensive, but it was really easy and it was pretty fun. And it was a fun challenge to do it all in one day, too.”

The video is time lapsed, so all of those hours in the garden are condensed to about 1 to 2 minutes — an ideal run-time to ensure people will get through the entire video.

More videos that feature specific gardening tips and solutions are in the works, Fitzpatrick says, as are interactive photo galleries with plant pairing ideas in the landscape that feature more than just Bailey plants. Topics are still being discussed, but they may cover transplanting, the Oeths’ front garden bed or how to recover when a storm has pelted your landscape.

Amy and Luke Oeth were able to get all of their plants in the ground in one day.

The digital campaign will include several platforms, including YouTube, the First Editions website, Houzz, Better Homes Gardens and their social media channels. POP with images from the program will be available to garden centers as well. In the future, they may share and even create similar videos for new garden center staffers who are inexperienced as a training tool.

“We want to see the appetite for it,” Fitzpatrick says. “If people are liking it, we want to keep doing more.”

Oeth wouldn’t mind continuing with the project, she says.

“It’s just so fun to watch them grow,” Oeth says. “It’s been six weeks. I think they’ve doubled in size. It feels so nice and cozy [in the backyard]. It’s very rewarding.”

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As Santa Ana gentrification hits their pocketbooks, immigrants turn to co-ops to help make ends meet

Under the watchful eye of Apolonio Cortes and Abel Ruiz, a handful of shoppers picked at a selection of lettuce, green onions and other produce at the El Centro Cultural de Mexico community space in Santa Ana.

Across the room, a group of women showed off their display of handicrafts: jewelry and purses woven out of strands of recycled paper. Other vendors were selling cosmetics, T-shirts and other products.

The event, sharing the hallmarks of a typical community market, is held once a month by several immigrant-run cooperatives in a town where 80% of residents are Latino, nearly half are immigrants and many are struggling.

Cortes, for one, can no longer find work cleaning offices or moving furniture, so he was thankful for every head of lettuce sold, even at just a dollar.

Horticulturist hopes to educate and beautify Morris County

When he was chosen as the new manager of horticulture at the Morris County Park Commission, Mark Inzano was already very familiar with the gardens he was hired to nurture.

“I know this area really well. I’ve always come up here to Frelinghuysen and Willowwood because I’m someone who loves gardens. I’ve also come up here during my time at Rutgers to either brush-up on studying for identification or to see what type of displays they have or for educational things,” said Inzano, who spent the past three years as the Horticulture Supervisor for the Somerset County Park Commission.

“It’s just amazing how professional Morris is. When I was at Somerset, we always used the Morris County Park Commission as the benchmark as to where we should be horticulturally, what we should be doing, how we should be reaching out to the public. It really is a high standard here so I’m really happy to be a part of that.”

Inzano joins the Morris County Park Commission to oversee The Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township and Willowwood Arboretum and Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center, both located in Chester Township.

“I’m still in the stages of figuring out the basics of where things go and how to do things. But it’s important because these gardens mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. People relate to these areas and spaces in different ways, especially Frelinghuysen. It’s used for different things. Some people come here for education, some people come here to relax, some people come here to exercise. So it’s trying to devise ways that you’re meeting the expectations of all these different people when they come.”

With the Somerset County Park Commission, Inzano managed the county park sites at the Colonial Park Arboretum and Gardens in Somerset, which included its Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden. In 2015, the garden was the recipient of the 2015 World Federation of Rose Societies’ Garden of Excellence Award. Inzano and the Somerset County Park Commission will receive the award in a formal dinner and ceremony on Oct. 7.

Never having worked with the beautiful flowers before, Inzano began intensive training when he learned that the staff rosarian (a person who cultivates roses) was retiring after 19 years. He quickly grew to love the more than 3,000 roses of 325 varieties in the acre-sized van der Goot Rose Garden.

“It’s beautiful. I had no experience with roses. I definitely had a baptism by fire. It was an amazing experience. It was three years and I developed a real deep love for roses, that’s for sure. Nothing I ever pictured myself being interested in caring that much about but I guess once you become saturated in these things, you start really caring for them. I guess that’s the relationship people have with garden spaces and plants,” said Inzano, who lives in Bridgewater with his young son.

As a teen, Inzano tended gardens at Malanga’s Farm Greenhouses in Warren and with his uncle’s landscaping business. But his love of music took him to Syracuse University to study communications. Realizing it wasn’t the right career path for him, he transferred to Rutgers University to study Agricultural Science.

“But I didn’t finish. I was already working in the same field and didn’t really see the value in it. Then I ended up moving to Washington, D.C. to work at Hillwood Estate, Museum Gardens, the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post who is the heiress to the Post Cereal fortune. They have 21 acres of formal gardens. That was my first foray into public gardening and I just fell in love with it. It was kind of like I found my niche and how I wanted to work with plants.”

After spending three years at Hillwood, Inzano returned home to finish his degree at Rutgers. After graduating, he took the position with the Somerset County Park Commission before his diverse background brought him to the Morris County Park Commission.

“As much as I enjoy gardening, I enjoy the personal aspect of this position of working with people who have the same passions as I do and the same passions for the areas. People in the horticulture field are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. It’s not a profit-driven industry, public gardens. It’s an educational type of industry. People do this type of work because they love it,” Inzano said.

Help the Homeless

Danni Girl from Eleventh Hour Rescue is a shorthaired cat with a beautiful orange and white coat who is about 5 years old. She used to live with 10 other cats but a man came to her home and kicked them all out. Danni and her friends had to survive on their own – she was the only one who made it. She is sad and confused because she does not know where her friends are. Danni is very affectionate and happy, gets along with other cats and loves people of all ages. She is spayed and up-to-date on all vaccinations. To read more about Danni Girl, to complete an application for her, or to see all of the adoptable pets, please visit: or call 973-664-0865.

Hanover Park grad earns Dean’s List honors

Matthew Ehrenburg, a graduate of Hanover Park High School, has been named to the Dean’s List for the spring semester at The College of Wooster in Ohio. Ehrenburg, a senior communication sciences and disorders and Spanish double major from Florham Park, achieved a grade point average of 3.65 or above.

Staff Writer Leslie Ruse: 973-428-6671;

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