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Archives for August 25, 2016

Little Garden Design – 8 Concepts To Wake Up Your Household And Your Neighbours

For nearly 100 years, Kirby has been manufacturing exactly what nearly all consider to be the finest vacuum in the whole world.Kirby’s newest production, the Sentria, is truly an achievement in the location of house cleansing, and it is a total care cleansing system. Kirby has nearly surpassed themselves, but that is part and parcel for a business of this caliber. We need to say that Kirby has prospered, quite conveniently, with offering the world a treat in house cleaning care. Do continue reading as you will experience our evaluation of Kirby vacuums and get prompt info relevant to your decision.

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Savannah residents to get vocal over Victory Drive plan

As traffic backed up along Victory Drive after an accident on Tuesday afternoon, Harry Harvey stood on the sidewalk with his bicycle, waiting to cross the street to get to the Home Depot.

The stress of dealing with the congestion and multiple traffic signals along the corridor was behind his decision about five years ago to avoid driving as much as he could, Harvey said.

“I jumped on my bike and felt like a kid again,” he said.

Congestion is just one issue Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission officials are trying to address along the corridor that serves as the primary emergency evacuation route off the islands. Pedestrian and bicycling amenities are lacking in some areas, flooding issues are prevalent, landscaping is consistently overgrown and sometimes unsustainable, and natural and cultural resources along the corridor have been lost or ignored, according to planning commission officials.

On Thursday, residents will get a chance during a public meeting to offer their ideas for improving the stretch of Victory that runs from Bee Road to Skidaway Road. In addition to landscaping and transportation enhancements, the planning commission will be seeking feedback on land use and urban development.

Samuel Williams had plenty of suggestions while walking along Victory on Tuesday, including the need for more lighting, wider sidewalks and better maintenance of the area. While developers have been accommodated, amenities for residents are also needed, Williams said.

“The improvements around are for finances, but not the living,” he said.

Identified as the area most affected by commercial development and increasing traffic, the stretch of road includes the former site of the Johnny Harris restaurant. The building that housed the restaurant for 80 years was recently demolished to make way for a new 11-acre commercial development between Dixie Avenue and Wicklow Street. Some residents voiced concerns the commercial development would soon spread further west, as they made failed attempts to block the project because of traffic worries and issues with the design.

There is not as much control over development in that area as there are in other places, and Thursday’s meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to voice support for additional regularity tools such as height, landscaping and setback requirements, said Jane Love, MPC project manager.

“Of course the property owners, we want to hear from them as well,” Love said. “Not everyone wants more regulation.”

Focus on the area comes after the planning commission’s recent completion of the first and second phases of the study. The first phase, which looked at the entire corridor between Ogeechee Road and the south end of Tybee Island, included recommendations for the addition of small “pocket” parks and pedestrian facilities, as well as the restoration of curbs and improved drainage systems.

The second phase looked in more detail at the most western segment from Ogeechee to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, with the aim of revitalizing the section as a “classic main street.” Recommendations include the elimination of one lane in each direction of the four-lane road to expand the sidewalks and add landscaped tree lawns as well as a wider median.

Planning officials tout the Victory Drive study, begun in 2014, as a way to preserve and restore the historic landscape of the corridor while incorporating contemporary complete street solutions and balancing the need for mobility.

The plan is seen as long-term and will likely take years to get the funding and support needed to implement the recommendations, according to officials.

Still, some improvements to the corridor could be coming sooner.

Last week, the City Council approved a $34,245 contract with Southern Tree Experts for palm tree maintenance services along Victory from Ogeechee to Downing Avenue. The city decided to contract out the work because the palms are high maintenance and had been too time consuming for city staff, said city spokesman Bret Bell. Also, the Georgia Department of Transportation is planning to implement a program in which they install cameras at Victory’s intersections so that the stop lights can be manually monitored and controlled to manage traffic more efficiently, Bell said.

The third phase of the Victory Drive study is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Future phases will look in detail at the other segments of the corridor.



What: Victory Drive Corridor Study, Phase III

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave.

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Ojai mulls temporary ban on new construction

By Claudia Boyd-Barrett, Special to The Star

A temporary moratorium on new construction in Ojai is one of several measures being considered in response to the Ojai Valley’s escalating water crisis.

Water, or Ojai’s lack of it, dominated discussions at Tuesday’s Ojai City Council meeting, during which council members, residents and local water experts ruminated for hours about what the city can do to help conserve and replenish the Ojai Valley’s diminishing water supply.

At the end of the meeting, the council directed the city staff to return with proposed water-conservation standards for new development and construction projects and said it also will consider a moratorium on new projects until new standards are passed.

Lake Casitas — a major source of water for the Ojai Valley and west Ventura — is only 38 percent full and is likely to keep shrinking rain falls, which is hoped for in October, Russ Baggerly told the council. Baggerly sits on the Casitas Municipal Water District and Ojai Basin Groundwater Management Agency boards.

“We are in the throes of the most unprecedented drought scenario that any of us will witness probably,” Baggerly said. “Hopefully, it’s not going to get any worse. No one has seen it like this. What does this mean for the city of Ojai? What can you do? … There are a lot of things that you can do, but you need to think of extreme conservation in order to provide extra years of water availability in that lake.”

Ojai Planning Commission Chairwoman Rosalie Zabilla, who also heads the Ojai Valley Board of Realtors, said home sellers and buyers are starting to get nervous about the water situation and what it could mean for home investments.

“We are now hearing clients say every day, ‘I’m selling my house because I’m worried about water,’ or ‘I’m not going to buy because I’m worried about water.’ Is it a lot of people? No, not so far, and that’s really good news. But the thing about real estate is that perception creates reality,” she said. “If we have nothing concrete about what new measures are being taken to preserve the water supply, they’re going to continue to grow more fearful and act on that fear.”

Over the course of the evening, numerous concerned residents brought forward ideas. Suggestions included stepping up public education efforts to help people understand how much water they consume, tapping into possible unused aquifers, reusing wastewater, asking the state to declare a water emergency in Ojai, and enacting building and landscaping standards that promote water conservation and groundwater replenishment.

Several speakers and council members called for better communication and collaboration between water agencies and authorities in the Ojai Valley. Some council members also cited concerns about Lake Casitas water going to the city of Ventura, which Councilman Bill Weirick said makes up about a third of annual water usage from the lake.

“We’ve got to get a bigger picture on the water conservation because we could conserve ourselves to no water at all because everyone else is using it,” Mayor Paul Blatz said. “We’ve got a real uphill struggle here.”

Blatz applauded community members for taking on the issue and said Ojai must reach out for help from regional, state and federal officials.

In other business, the council unanimously passed an ordinance prohibiting advertising of short-term residential rentals. Under the ordinance, landlords, property managers and tenants could be fined as much as $500 a day for advertising unlawful rentals of less than 30 days. Online sites such as will not be penalized under the new law.

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Landscaping Design Ideas That Are Perfect For Your Home

If you want something just like the cushion cut, but less expensive, an antique-style and marvelously romantic ring, the striking Asscher engagement rings may tickle your fancy. Initially crafted by the family of the same name from Amsterdam, Holland, in 1902, the gem fit the 1920’s style perfectly. Pleased with their design, the family still holds the patent on this beautifully cut gem. Each has their mark engraved on it although it is so little it is unnoticeable to the naked eye. If the mark can’t be seen by a jewelry expert’s eyepiece, carry on. You are not taking a look at an original.

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Gardens that inspired famed painter T.C. Steele being brought back …

For The Republic

BELMONT—The out-of-town guests shifted and swatted even under the shade of the tent.

It was 90-plus degrees still at 5 p.m., and the insects were doing their work on the adjacent flower garden.

Selma Steele could have related.

When she moved to that very piece of land from Indianapolis 109 years ago with her new husband, painter T.C. Steele, the environment took a lot of getting used to.

Getting a garden to take root on the steep hillsides was no easy task. She lost an entire season of bulbs to washouts, art historian Rachel Perry said.

But she read, she researched, she retried. She trucked in soil; she brought in trees; she babied tiny seeds until they could survive and thrive.

It took years, but Selma sculpted from the Brown County clay an ever-changing palette of flowers: peonies, irises, columbine, foxglove, bleeding hearts, lilies, wisteria and daffodils among the wild landscape, Perry said.

T.C. Steele became a leader in the spread of impressionist landscaping painting throughout the Midwest. He was the one who became famous.

But Selma’s work also deserves recognition, Perry told the crowd under the tent, fanning themselves with prints of the painting “Selma in the Garden.”

“Selma has often been maligned for her supposed task-mastering of the painter, allegedly forcing him to waste no time and producing landscapes for sale,” Perry said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Selma’s toils, creating a sanctuary of ponds, paths and color, “made it possible for T.C. Steele to wander off at daybreak and follow his muse — something that his passion and training made crucial for his emotional well-being,” Perry said.

The crowd gathered at Selma’s formal gardens July 22 included some of the people responsible for restoring the first of nine gardens on the Steele property, which is now a state historic site.

The formal gardens had been gradually buried under 6 inches or more of soil, said Site Manager Andrea deTarnowsky.

Historic site volunteers and staff spent hundreds of hours walking the area with metal probes trying to find the walkways Selma had placed, and poring over Selma’s collection of gardening books and journals to determine what she had planted and where.

They even studied T.C. Steele’s paintings for clues and historical photographs with magnifying glasses trying to identify the foliage, deTarnowsky said.

The result is “partly a restoration and partly an adaptation,” she said. “We really struggled to remain true to Mrs. Steele’s vision, but we also knew we needed to adapt certain features to accommodate modern safety and access needs.”

Gary and Kathy Anderson of Nashville funded the work at the formal gardens. That’s where they had their first date in May 1974. He is now a board member of the Indiana State Museum and she sits on state and local arts boards.

There’s nothing like the Steele property in all of Indiana or in all the country; the closest thing to it is in France, Gary Anderson said.

“The artist colony of plein air that grew up here is still here,” he said. “This is a national treasure.”

Six of the planned nine restoration projects are funded. The formal gardens are the first project in phase one, which also includes lily ponds and winding paths.

Two other phases are planned to revive the flower gardens around the Steeles’ House of the Singing Winds, as well as rock gardens, an orchard and trellises.

Selma was schooled in painting herself, but she never painted again after she married Steele. “I wanted to realize my conception of the beauty I discovered about me, even if it was to be imaged in other forms than his,” Perry quoted Selma as saying.

Without Selma’s devotion to the art of gardening, the painter “likely wouldn’t have been as prolific or contentive for his efforts to labor on canvas the quiet beauty of Brown County,” Perry said. “Selma’s unilaterally successful efforts to make the House of the Singing Winds a public sanctuary helped memorialize her artist husband in perpetuity.”

Brandt Nicholson Steele, a retired professor of classics, came from Greencastle for the ceremony to remember T.C. Steele, his great-great-grandfather.

He said he didn’t inherit any of Steele’s artistic talent, but he remembered visiting the studio as a teen, when a dirt road led to it.

Though the new plantings won’t be in their full glory for about two years, Brandt Steele was all smiles about the progress at the site, posing for a picture under the arbor.

“This really is a transformation,” he said.

More people need to know about the significance of the site and experience its quiet beauty, Gary Anderson said.

“Hopefully, 100 years from now, it will receive far greater recognition outside our boundaries.”

Where: 4220 T.C. Steele Road, west of Nashville near Belmont

Contact: 812-988-2785,


Hours: Open year-round Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.; closed Mondays except Labor Day; open on Memorial Day and Independence Day.

What: 211 acres of gardens, grounds and hiking trails may be enjoyed at no cost; the House of the Singing Winds and Steele’s Large Studio, including exhibits of his paintings, may be toured for a fee. The Selma Steele Nature Preserve includes trails through 92 acres of woods, wildflowers, ravines, streams and wildlife.

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Northern Landscape Design & Plowing – Westborough contractor offers year-round services


Jim Mugford of Northern Landscape

By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer

Business name:   Northern Landscape Design Plowing

Address: 26 Hyder St., Westborough

Owner:  James Mugford

Contact Information:  508-330-9466

On Facebook, website under construction

How did you get into this business?

“I have operated a snow plowing business for over three years. I have also done some landscaping for hotels, a couple of retirement communities, and a few individuals who have specifically asked me,” said Jim Mugford, owner of Northern Landscape Design Plowing.

“I grew up around plants and gardens my whole life because of my grandparents’ business, Mugford’s Flower Shoppe in Westborough. I enjoy landscaping and thought it was a great way to expand my company and business.”

What landscaping services do you provide?

“We do garden installations and can design a whole garden, including installing trees and shrubs. We can put in retaining walls and playground enclosures. We’ve rehabbed overgrown courtyards.

“We would design the garden and recommend plants that do well depending on the shade and sun. If a customer wants certain plants, we can say where they would do well and where they would not. We work with two different nurseries to get shrubs and plants, so we can get anything anyone is looking for,” Mugford said.

“It’s been tough this summer with the drought. For new installations, we need to make sure customers water morning and night. We’ve actually set up sprinklers on timers because we can’t warranty the plants if they aren’t cared for. We set the timers to run when the water bans allow.

“We do landscape maintenance as well, mowing, trimming, pruning. We can repair irrigation lines, though we don’t install whole systems. We do fall cleanups, and now is the time to get on that list. We clean the sticks, leaves and acorns out of the yard and beds. It makes it easier when it’s time to do spring cleanup, pruning and new planting.”

Do you do hardscape designs as well?

“Yes. We install stone, brick, block or timber walls and walkways. We’ve built firepits. “

What plowing services do you offer?

    “We do both commercial and residential snow plowing. For residential customers, we plow the driveway and salt it if the customer wants. We also clear walkways. For commercial customers, we do salting, plowing, and snow removal if they need the snow off the lot. We shovel walkways and take care of any salting applications they want.

“We can do roof raking and snow removal from roofs.”

What geographic area do you serve?

“For snow plowing, I go to Northborough, Marlborough, Southborough, Grafton, Upton and some Shrewsbury, basically all the surrounding towns that touch Westborough.

“For landscaping, we can go out a little farther, toward Milford, Clinton, Sutton, Northbridge.”

What sets your company apart?

“I’m a Westborough native. My grandparents owned Mugford’s Flower Shoppe in Westborough, so I grew up with flowers and plants and gardens. They just sold the shop about 10 years ago. Both my brothers, Matt and John, work with me, and we get along great.”

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Garden tour event Saturday features Meriden home – Record-Journal – Meriden Record

MERIDEN — On Wednesday morning, George Trecina was raking through some rocks and dirt and putting some finishing touches on a sitting area on the side of his home on Spring Street.

He wiped his forehead, took off his hat and placed it on a wooden picnic table.

“People think housework is hard, try yard work,” said Trecina, laughing. “It’s labor intensive.”

While he takes care of hundreds of plants almost year round, this week Trecina, a landscape designer and gardener, is paying even extra attention to them because on Saturday the public will tour his yard. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Trecina will allow people to view his garden as part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program.



“Open Days is an award-winning national garden education program created to fuel the public passion for gardens and gardening,” said Stephanie Werskey, information resources manager with the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, in an email. “Since its inception in 1995, Open Days has introduced more than one million visitors to thousands of private gardens around the country.”

For the past 20 years, Trecina has participated in the Open Days program. He’s had from four to 100 people show up throughout the years. Some have traveled from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.

Trecina said he enjoys gardening because it allows him to be creative. One area of his backyard was recently redone with large rocks, surrounded by a few plants.

There are trellises throughout the garden with various vines and flowers. A large stone water fountain is another attraction along with tropical plants, desert succulents, and a blueberry bush.

Trecina’s favorite plant is the Persian shield, which he described as a foliage plant with an “iridescent color.” Its leaves have hues of deep purple, black, and even blue.

“I like the in-between colors,” he said.

During tours, he enjoys answering questions.

“…We are so grateful to Mr. Trecina and the hundreds of other volunteer Garden Hosts nationwide that make this program possible,” said Werskey.

Trecina has been gardening since he was 10. He obtained a master’s degree from Cornell University in landscape architecture. He’s also had the opportunity to travel around the country, and to Italy and England, to learn more about gardening and landscaping. At 70, he still has a passion for gardening and looks forward to the annual tours.

“What else am I going to do with my life?” said Trecina laughing. “I don’t want to sit back, I don’t really like to fish… (gardening) just keeps you going.”

The Open Days program will take place Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Trecina’s residence, 341 Spring St., Meriden. Donations are $7 per person and the event is held rain or shine.

Twitter: @FollowingFarrah

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Waterwise Gardening Tips – WKBW

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) – No matter where you live, being a waterwise gardener makes environmental and economic sense. 

And it’s really easier than you think.

Use rain barrels to capture rain off your roof or directly from the sky.  Decorate or mask the barrels with nearby plantings.

And connect it to a soaker hose installed in a nearby garden.  Just open the spigot and allow gravity to slowly empty the water throughout the day.

Using soaker hoses and drip irrigation will also save water by applying the water directly to the soil where it is needed.

Group moisture-loving plants together.  You’ll save time and money spent watering by skipping those drought tolerant plants and lawns that can recover from drought induced dormancy.

Always water thoroughly and less frequently to encourage deep drought tolerant roots.  And mulch the soil to conserve moisture and keep roots cool.

I’m Melinda Myers, check out our website for this and other gardening tips.

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Garden tips for August – Visalia Times

August is the month to use wise watering practices to keep your plants alive during the long, hot days. It’s also a great time to start planning your winter vegetable garden. Seed catalogs will start filling your mailbox and are also readily available on-line, so take a moment to sit in the shade and plan a garden project for the cooler weather.

WATER WISELY: This is your primary concern for August. Follow drought restrictions on watering, but be sure to water trees and shrubs deeply at least once a month. Deep watering will induce roots to grow deeper in the soil where they are less likely to dry out. Light watering actually wastes water because it doesn’t reach the root zone. The best way to check is to take a trowel or shovel and dig down six to eight inches and check soil moisture. The soil should be slightly damp–if the ground is so hard you can’t dig down, water is not reaching the roots. Drought resistant trees and shrubs don’t need to be watered as often, but the principle of deep watering still applies.

WHAT TO PLANT: It’s time to plan a winter vegetable garden while you are relaxing from the summer heat. Our local nurseries have a great variety of seeds, but also check out catalogs and the internet for new, unusual, or heritage seed varieties. Try something not available at the local supermarket like purple, yellow, red or white carrots. Seeds of cole crops like bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are usually seeded in small pots and later planted into the garden. Root crops such as beets, carrots, parsnips, and turnips are seeded directly into the planting beds. Some seeds, such as carrots and onions, come in seed tapes which makes it much easier to get the proper spacing.

Because of the heat and drought, it is a poor time to do any other planting. Wait until September or October.

MAINTENANCE: Prune hybrid tea roses in late August to promote a new flush of blooms in October. This is not the severe pruning of winter, so be gentle. Remove spent flowers, lanky growth, and any suckers from the base of the plant.

Rejuvenate your summer-blooming annuals and perennials. Remove faded blooms, pinch back any leggy growth, then lightly fertilize and water. This works wonders on geraniums, marigolds, salvias, verbenas and zinnias.

August is also the month to divide German iris. Lift the entire clump with a spading fork or shovel and discard the oldest, bloomed out rhizomes. Remove any disfigured leaves and rotted portions. Then trim the leaves to about six inches. Set the exposed sections in the sun to dry and from a callus over any cut sections. Prepare the area you are going to replant with extra compost or fertilizer. Plant the rhizomes just below the surface, water well and mulch.

Remember to keep harvesting your summer veggies. Hopefully, they will keep producing till the frost in November.

FRUIT TREES: Support heavily laden fruit branches to keep them from breaking. Dispose of any fallen fruit, as they will harbor pests. Apricots and olives should be pruned now rather than in the winter to prevent fungal disease problems.

WEEDS: Control of weeds is always very important. Weeds in the garden rob your plants of water and nutrients, harbor insects, and viruses, and sometimes grow tall enough to shade your flowers and shrubs. On top of that, weeds are not aesthetically pleasing in front yards of neighborhoods and can drive down the value of homes. So even if you have ditched your lawn to save water, please mow down your weeds and tidy up your front yards. Be diligent and take pride in where you live!

For answers to all your home gardening questions, call Master Gardeners in Tulare County at (559) 684-3325, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:30 and 11:30 am; or Kings County at (559) 852-2736, Thursday Only, 9:30-11:30 a.m; or visit our website:

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Hilton Garden Inn, Gateway Hospitality Group pay $4M settlement …

Whenever Ashley Nerbovig posts new content, you’ll get an email delivered to your inbox with a link.

Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

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