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Archives for September 7, 2016

Garden Design Ideas To Give Yourself Some Peaceful Time

Fashion business is among the most popular and income generating industries on the planet. In the recent times, there has actually been a lot of emphasis on appearances which has actually been a favorable effect on clothing sales.

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Research studies have actually aimed to reveal that the life expectancy of left handed individual is almost 9 years shorter than that of a best handed person. Due to the left side of the brain being less industrialized than people who use their ideal hand and therefore the left side of their brain.

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Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden design approved

September 6th, 2016 by

Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden design approved

Hugh O’Neil.

Design work for a garden honouring the late Hugh O’Neil has been approved.

Tuesday night, Quinte West council signed off on the plans to build the Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden. The main feature is a steeled barre monument with a picture of O’Neil on it with the inscription ‘Hugh O’Neil Garden, come my friends and rest awhile.’ O’Neil died in September 2015. He served as Liberal member for the former Quinte riding for 20 years, from 1975 to 1995.

Pictured from left to right: Andre Ypma of Modern Earthscapes Land Design, Donna O’Neil and Dave O’Neil. (Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber / Quinte News)

His wife Donna says her favourite aspect of the design by Modern Earthscapes Land Design is the five pillars honouring O’Neil’s many roles as an educator, entrepreneur, statesman, culture supporter and volunteer.

Donna O’Neil

Construction is expected to begin on the garden at the Trent Port Marina in late October.

Committee member councillor Duncan Armstrong said almost half of the $60,000 fundraising goal for the memorial set to begin construction in late October has been raised.

Anyone who is interested in donating to the project can mail their donation to: Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden P.O. Box 427 Trenton, Ontario K8V5R6

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Friendship Garden design approved


Construction of the Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden is expected to begin in October.
City council approved the final design of the garden at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The main feature of the garden will be a monument with a picture of O’Neil and an inscription that reads: Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden, come my friends and rest awhile.”
Donna O’Neil said the design is “beautiful.”
“I want to thank everybody that helped come up with the idea and helped get the project off ground. I want to thank Andre for his great design, and Campbell Monuments for working so closely with us. I love the way it all comes together. We’re really excited,” said O’Neil.
The garden was designed by Andre Ypma of Modern Earthscapes Land Design.
He said the O’Neil family had a lot of input from O’Neil family members when it came to the design.
“They had a lot of great ideas, plus I wanted to incorporate elements of the (Trent Port) Marina. Everything harmonizes together,” said Ypma.
Five oval pedestals will tell the story of O’Neil’s life, outlining his many accomplishments, including his careers in politics, business and education.
Two stone walls will be placed on either side of the monument and granite boulders placed at each of the two entrances to the park. A compass feature will be constructed at the centre of the garden. A stone wall will separate the centre stone wall and the landscaped strip around the garden. Other features include benches and  planting of trees and shrubs.
The friendship garden committee launched a $56,000 fund raising campaign earlier this summer and, so far, about $33,000 has been donated.
“People have been very supportive and complimentary. It’s been very heart warming,” said O’Neil.
Fundraising campaign co-chair Dunc Armstrong said the campaign started a bit slow due to labour disputes at Canada Post earlier this summer.
“People were concerned about putting donations in the mail, but once the threat of strike ended things really picked up. We have nice donations from individuals and groups,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong said the campaign expects to start receiving donations from service clubs and other groups from Quinte West and Belleville.
“We’re confident this is going to be a first class tribute to Hugh,” said Armstrong.
Individuals or groups wishing to make a donation can do so by mail cheques payable to The Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden and mail them to the following address: Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden, Box 247, Trenton, ON K8V-5R6.

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Revisiting the 1971 MasterPlan


The 1971 Plan represents the first real comprehensive attempt to assert planning over the city of Jacksonville since George Simon’s original one in 1929.  The Simons Plan was completely executed (as of course it was, since it was backed by the incredibly powerful women of Jacksonville) and implemented shortly after the end of WW2.

Our land use planning system was ahead of its time in Florida, and very realistic (and wholly prescient) growth projections had been conducted in the 1930s through the 40s, which predicted the growth of Arlington and enabled transportation to be in place by the 1960s. (The Matthews Bridge, for example) but the City, like every city in the United States was being subjected to a new Federal force driving the way it developed: The FHA and VA loans which underwrote nearly every new home construction were all but forbidden from building or rehabbing homes in the urban core.

Mayor Burns was the first to notice the drain on the downtown economy, and fear of a dying downtown drove his massive and ambitious downtown redevelopment building program: (the Haydon Burns Library, Friendship Park, The Courthouse, The City Hall) and the rise of Jacksonville’s mid century architectural icon, Taylor Hardwick.  But driven by federal money in the form of new housing and road construction, sprawl began to happen, creating county vs city political struggles as well as competing regulations that were strangling business.

Jacksonville reacted by Consolidating its government, and in the political unity that followed, decided to turn to the planning process once again.

This time to reinvigorate downtown.

The resulting plan aimed for the moon.

To stop the hemorrhaging, a new public entity known as the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was created.

Unfortunately, instead of successful revitalization, the DDA would end up assuming the role of a bull with downtown being its own personal china shop.

The famed 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Master Plan would be the first of many studies produced by this group that would eventually drive the final nail in the downtown’s retail scene’s coffin.

Worst of all, the DDA had no problem spending taxpayer money as if it flowed freely from the land of milk and honey.


Rogers, Taliaferro, Kostritsky, and Lamb (RTKL) of Baltimore. This firm was known for its impressive work on the Charles Center area in downtown Baltimore.  RTKL believed downtown revitalization would be most effective by transforming the area into a mall-like environment to help rejuvenate retail sales in an area that had suffered from the competition of new suburban malls like Regency, Gateway, Roosevelt, and Normandy Malls.

A sketch of the 1971 Master Plan from a Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce brochure about downtown revitalization.

The Downtown Transportation Loop System

A major part of the plan was to separate vehicular and pedestrian traffic throughout the downtown core.  A new loop system was the solution recommended by RKTL.  Vehicular traffic would be routed around the heart of the Northbank and in the process converting the core of downtown into a large pedestrian mall. The Loop system consisted of converting Water, Ocean, Beaver, and Pearl Streets into a one way outer loop, while turning Main, Ashley, Julia, and Bay Streets into the inner loop.  Parking garages and surface lots containing at least 5,000 spaces would then be constructed along the loop streets.

To read more about this system and it effect on downtown, check out our article here:

Pedestrian Mall

A pedestrian street or pedestrian mall is a street where pedestrian traffic is given partial or total priority over all other kinds of traffic. It is a limited form of an auto-free zone.

Under the 1971 plan, Hogan between Duval and Bay, Laura between Church and Bay and Duval/Monroe, between Hogan and Laura would have been converted into pedestrian use only.  This pedestrian only section of downtown, surrounded by the transportation loops, would be divided into three major sections.

1. New Riverfront Center

2. Laura / Hogan Axis

3. Retail Core Area

This illustration shows the entire plan of the proposed pedestrian mall concept.  Many buildings, such as the Snyder Memorial and Knight Lofts would have been demolished for this concept to be fully developed.

Elevated Walkways

With the emphasis on completely separating pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the plan also called for a series of elevated walkways that would stretch from the river to the Cathedral Apartments off of Ocean Street.

1. New Riverfront Center Area

The Riverfront Center area would be the southern focal point of the pedestrian mall idea.  It would include a riverfront park, Convention Hotel, Exhibition Center, Sears Department Store, and a vertical financial-office complex that would bridge over Bay Street, as shown in the above section graphic.

2. Laura/Hogan Axis

The Laura / Hogan Axis would serve as a retail connector and pedestrian zone between the River Center area, to the South, and the core retail area, that once surrounded Hemming Park.  The illustrations above are examples of what this corridor would resemble, when fully built out.

Another major element of the Laura/Hogan Axis was the Atlantic Bank Complex.  During this period, the bank had plans to construct new a headquarter tower on the corner of Forsyth and Hogan.  Once this tower was completed, the old Atlantic Bank complex would be converted into a retail / entertainment complex, featuring a movie theater complex and retail arcade, inside of the historic Atlantic Bank Tower.

Retail Core Area

For most of the 20th Century, the area around Hemming Park was the retail core for the entire city.  In the 1970s major anchors in this area included Ivey’s, May-Cohens, JCPenney’s, and Purcells.  The 1971 plan suggested that Hemming Park should be paved over, forming a central plaza (3) for the pedestrian mall and a transit terminal for JTA buses (5).  Similar to Circle City Center in Indianapolis, an enclosed vertical retail galleria mall (1) would connect May-Cohens, Ivey’s, and Purcells with a multi-level parking garage.  Other improvements included in this general area were the expansion of First Baptist Church (2) and landscaping improvements to Block 17 (4).

This illustration gives views an idea of how the Retail Galleria would extend over the intersection of Laura and Church Streets.

A view of the Retail Galleria from Church Main Streets.  Notice the elevated courtyard and pedestrian walkway extending from Ivey’s and the Universal Marion Building?  Plans called for this walkway to connect the mall to the Cathedral Apartment Towers along Ocean Street.

The 1971 Master Plan also came complete with a scale model of build out, which was anticipated to be completed within 10 to 20 years.


Now looking back, the implementation of the 1971 plan was the foreshadowing of a common pattern that continues to plague downtown today.  While the plan was estimated to be fully complete within 20 years (1991), it never was and its partial implementation can be blamed for finally sending the steadily declining downtown retail sector down faster than a prom queen at the after party.

Hemming Park Becomes Hemming Plaza

My favorite part of this history:

Implementation of the 1971 plan was a very slow process.  

The renovation of Hemming Park into an urban plaza was intended to be the pedestrian mall’s first phase.  The first phase of the plaza was completed in 1978 for $648,000.  

However, the $2.2 million second phase, which involved closing streets and changing the traffic directional flow was delayed at the request of retail owners because they didn’t want construction to disrupt the holiday shopping season.  

The money set aside for phase 2, was then diverted to fund a railroad overpass on University Blvd near Phillips Hwy.  

In 1981, new funds were diverted to fund the widening of 103rd Street.  

Construction finally got underway in 1984.  

Unfortunately several streets were closed during the construction phase and the project dragged on for two years.  

For retailers who had been struggling for years to stay afloat, already dealing with the parking meter situation, urban blight, and aggressive marketing from suburban malls, this was a killing blow.

The retail core’s three major retailers (May-Cohens, JCPenney, and Ivey’s) all shut down within a few months of each other.  

With no major retail anchors and the Landing planned for the waterfront, the 1971 master plan was officially dead.

Several private sector projects were constructed during this era, in accordance with the plan.  They included FCCJ, Atlantic Bank (now BBT), Independent Life (MODIS) and the sheriff’s station on the corner of Liberty and Bay.  

Elements of the 1971 plan can still be seen today.  The photo above points out a few:

A.  Atlantic Bank (BBT) – the elevated courtyard was supposed to be a part of the elevated walkway system.

B.  The stop lights and streetlights throughout downtown, come from the 1971 plan.

C.  This courtyard at the JEA complex (originally Ivey’s Department Store and the Universal Marion Building, was supposed to be a part of the Retail Galleria Mall.

D.  Today’s building-less Main Street is a direct result of the plan.  The plan endorsed using eminent domain to demolish structures along the “Loop” streets, so that surface parking lots and garages could be built in their place.

Not Shown: The Main Street Bridge Ramps:  This ramp system was another segment of the “Loop” system.

**Metro Jacksonville has spent considerable time studying several former plans that have collected dust in the bowels of city hall over the decades.  In an effort to show how much money, time and effort has been wasted over the years with consultant fees and public development ideas, it is our quest to share as much of this information with the general public as possible.  The overall goal is to get to the point, where we can move on to addressing the nagging issues that have plagued the core for decades, reverse some of the negative ideas still in use and use the little money we do have to design a better future.**

The test of time has revealed that the 1971 plan had both good and bad components.  The good, being the Retail Galleria, which would have connected three existing department stores, similar to popular downtown malls in Norfolk and Indianapolis.  The bad, being the loop system, which still diverts vehicular traffic away from the retail core today, as well as confuse the few visiting tourist who do come downtown. Then the ugly, which was the idea of constructing elevated covered walkways throughout the core, as if this community was located in Siberia or the Northpole.  A major flaw in this plan was that it did not directly deal with the negative factors that hindered retail growth in the core, such as parking meters, lack of directional signage, the zoning laws that continually reduced the amount of downtown residents and crime, all of which can be summed up as creating a non-user friendly and hostile retail environment.

In any event, this was only the first of several, after 1970, that have combined to form the downtown that exists today.

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South Mountain Freeway construction to begin, meetings scheduled

PHOENIX — About three weeks after a federal court dismissed legal challenges, preliminary construction of the South Mountain Freeway is set to begin Monday in Phoenix.

The freeway is scheduled to open in 2019 as a new southern route that will connect Chandler and Ahwatukee to the West Valley.

“It will run 22 miles and clip around the South Mountain park,” said Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman Dustin Krugel. “Then it will head further north and connect to Interstate 10 in the West Valley.”

Krugel said the freeway will be a vital part of Phoenix’s future.

“Phoenix is continuing to grow,” he said. “With that growth, we’re seeing more congestion on our freeways. This is going to provide another alternative for motorists and help the region tremendously as a whole.”

ADOT wants to give people an opportunity to learn more about the freeway, and to entertain some ideas about it.

“Later this month, ADOT is going to be hosting three public meetings in Ahwatukee, Laveen and Phoenix,” Krugel said. “These meetings are going to provide information on the freeway’s location, its profile, the traffic interchange configurations, the noise barrier locations, as well as the initial concepts for landscaping and aesthetics.”

The dates, locations and times of the meetings are:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 27, Desert Vista High School, Multipurpose Room, 16440 S. 32nd St., Phoenix
  • Wednesday, Sept. 28, Betty Fairfax High School, Multipurpose Room, 8225 S. 59th Ave., Laveen Village
  • Thursday, Oct. 6, Fowler Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 6707 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix

All three meetings are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and last two hours, with presentations slated to start at 6:30 p.m.

More public meetings will be held later this year to share final design and construction plans, and to provide more information on what to expect during construction.

For more information about the South Mountain Freeway, click here.

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CITY: Public invited for input at two meetings on Bemidji growth

The first meeting will take place at Rail River Folk School, focusing on the progression of the rail corridor sector of Bemidji. The gathering, starting at 5:30 p.m., comes after the folk school made a request for a rezone to access potential resources and expand capacity at the facility, including plumbing, electrical work and bathrooms.

According to a Facebook page for the event, the meeting is inviting the public to learn if the community supports ideas such as experiential outdoor learning areas, edible landscaping, a farmers’ market shelter, a downtown indoor/outdoor market and a parent research center.

“In an effort to capture some of that forward momentum and economic development as well as some of the environmental remediation work, we’re starting to query our neighbors to discuss some components that can build on our capacity to serve,” said Jessica Saucedo, co-founder of the Rail River Folk School.

The meeting also follows announcements from local business owner Mitch Rautio, who is working with city officials to purchase property in the rail corridor to develop the land for residential and office space. The city purchased the property, located south of Bemidji’s downtown area extending from Park Avenue Northwest to the area near the Mississippi River, in 2003 to install a sewer system and pave the Paul Bunyan trail that runs through the area.

“We want to work together with developers on both sides of the tracks,” Saucedo said. “We’ve met with Greater Bemidji Economic Development and Mitch Rautio to ensure the concepts are brought together.”

The event is sponsored by the Indigenous Environmental Network, BSU, the Rail River Folk School and Universidad Sin Fronteras. The folk school is located at 303 Railroad St. SW and can be reached at (218) 766-3837.

The second meeting scheduled Thursday is being organized by the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board as part of its long term comprehensive plan. The session will start at 6 p.m. at Bemidji City Hall and will focus on how Bemidji should plan growth, development and infrastructure.

As part of the meeting, the comprehensive plan’s steering committee is holding a photo contest of local and area landmarks and is seeking input from the public. Following the submission process, the committee will select the photos and include them in the plan.

Bemidji City Hall is located at 317 Fourth St. NW and the Joint Planning Board office can be reached at (218) 759-3579.


What: Help Us Plan for the Rail Corridor. A public meeting about development at the Rail River Folk School and the surrounding Rail Corridor area.

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Rail River Folk School, 303 Railroad St. SW

What: Community meeting on Great Bemidji comprehensive planning guide.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: Bemidji City Hall, 317 Fourth St. NW

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Answer Man: Tree ‘denuding’ in the RAD? Local food at UNCA? – Asheville Citizen

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:

Question: Why are the trees along Lyman Street all the way down to 12 Bones being hacked away for a bare look? Why are they denuding this area?

My answer: Why do I always miss all the good denuding around here? First, I didn’t even hear a peep about the topless rally this year, and now this.

Real answer: “Many trees will be removed as part of the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project,” said Polly McDaniel, a city of Asheville spokeswoman. “The trees and other vegetation will be cleared in order to make way for needed improvements.”

The city, as well as private developers, has huge plans for the River Arts District, formerly a largely industrial area that is now home to a mix of restaurants, studios, business and industry. Public monies being spent on the overhaul will reach $50 million in the next six years, although 44 percent of public money is coming from federal and state sources.

The RADTIP, according to the city’s website, is “a city of Asheville multi-modal transportation project that includes the installation of sidewalks, street trees, public art, bike lanes and greenways.”

McDaniel said, “When the construction is finished three years from now, the community will have a roadway that has been realigned for safety purposes and includes these now-missing elements:

• An on-street stormwater management system that makes the roads safer.

• Off-road stormwater collection areas that support wildlife and mitigate sediment flow to the river.

• Safe bicycle and pedestrian corridors including crosswalks and a greenway

• Street trees that provide shade to those pedestrians.”

I drove down Lyman Tuesday afternoon, and the tree cutting is pretty severe. One stretch right by the river has been cleared out near 12 Bones Smokehouse, and farther south, closer to the Norfolk Southern entrance, a longer stretch has indeed been denuded.

The city is working to ensure that nudity is not permanent.

“The city is working with a variety of not-for-profits to create a landscaping plan to implement after the construction project is completed,” McDaniel said. “The plan will include replacing removed trees with more ecologically appropriate species. The city is committed to creating a better riverbank buffer area in this section of the French Broad River.”

Question: With another college school year about ready to start, I started wondering about the feeding of hungry college students. How much food is required to feed students at the UNC Asheville for the year? In addition to total amount, do they have information by different food categories? Does the Food Service do anything that educates about healthy eating and about not wasting food? How much of the food that is purchased is locally grown?

My answer: As the father of two teenagers, I suspect they buy cereal and milk by the trainload.

Real answer: While UNCA didn’t offer up tonnage, they did provide an interesting snapshot of the food scene.

“UNC Asheville’s Dining Services provides a full dining experience to more than 1,500 students every day in Brown Hall,”  said Brooks Casteel, director of dining services at UNC Asheville. “Additional retail facilities are available on campus, too. The menu includes multiple stations including a grill station, at least two made-to-order entrée stations, made-to-order deli, a salad bar and continental-style area.”

As far as their largest purchase categories, Casteel said grocery items account for 27 percent, followed by meat, produce, beverages and dairy. Frozen items and bakery goods make up less than 12 percent of the total, each.

The university partners with Chartwells Higher Education for its dining services, and the company “prides itself on offering a healthy, balanced plate, including vegan and vegetarian options,” Casteel said.

UNCA provide educational opportunities through themed events such as National Nutrition Month, Women’s Weightlifting Week and Eating Disorder Awareness Month, and it uses “a variety of platforms to educate our students including in-person education and consultation for nutrition-related problems, tabling events, and group lectures,” Casteel said.

“We also use signage and icons to label balanced menu choices and local foods, which tend to be our healthiest options because of the freshness and quality of the foods produced locally in the area,” he said. “One of the highlights of the year is when we take our locally grown menu, with some items straight from the campus gardens, to the Quad for the annual Farm-to-Table Dinner, coming up on Sept. 14.”

Casteel said UNCA has a “great relationship with our local purveyors, such as No Evil Foods, Imladris Farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Sunburst Trout Farms.”

With all this eating going on, some leftovers “are unavoidable but we do not waste them,” Casteel said.

“We partner with Food Connection to donate approximately 100 pounds of unserved, nutritionally prepared food daily for distribution to Buncombe and Madison County organizations in an effort to reduce hunger and food insecurity,” he said. “This partnership was encouraged by students, particularly the Student Environmental Center. In addition, through their “AsheFILL it Up” program of reusable cups, we offer 15 percent off of any drink purchase, plus 15 cents donated to Food Connection.”

This is the opinion of John Boyle. To submit a question, contact him at 232-5847 or

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Nurturing nature at Bethlehem’s Hoover-Mason Trestle

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) – Not everything is coming up roses at the Hoover-Mason Trestle at Bethlehem’s SteelStacks.

Ironweed, sumac, switch grass, black birch, blue asters, Virginia creepers and other plants are also growing along the elevated walkway that takes visitors over the narrow-gauge rail that Bethlehem Steel once used to shuttle raw materials to its blast furnaces.

The urban garden includes pops of purple, yellow and red against earth-toned, native grasses. It’s a botanical feast for birds and bees at what had once been the pinnacle of industry for more than a century.

“This is a fabulous area to sit and just take it all in,” said Ilse Stoll, a master gardener who volunteers her time taking care of the gardens.

The Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority, which opened the Hoover-Mason Trestle last year, is installing more plantings this fall and is organizing a volunteer group, initiated by Stoll, to tend the gardens and put together educational programs.

It’s the latest project the redevelopment authority is working on at the 1,650-foot-long elevated walkway that goes from the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to SteelStacks and takes visitors through industrial relics of the nation’s one-time No. 2 steelmaker.

“We’ve created something that is about connections. It connects visitors from the SteelStacks campus to the Sands. We’re also connecting the community to history – bringing them close to the blast furnaces . and then we have this unexpected connection to plants and greenery that you wouldn’t expect to find at a brownfield,” said Tony Hanna, executive director of the redevelopment authority.

Hanna said the authority decided very early on to incorporate the gardens. The $700,000 project, designed by Wallace, Roberts Todd, was a major component of the $15.5 million trestle park. The gardens require irrigation systems and beds that are hoisted 36 feet above the ground.

The feature was inspired by the popular High Line, a 1.45-mile Manhattan park that follows the path of a historic elevated freight rail 30 feet above the streets. The High Line, which opened in 2009, is like a green roof with porous paths designed to divert the rain into the lush landscape rather than city sewers.

The Hoover-Mason gardens follow those principles in miniature. Instead of the contiguous landscaping at the High Line, the Hoover-Mason features 11 small gardens interspersed along thewalkway from the blast furnaces east toward the casino.

While many are native species, some are invasive that took root between the rail tracks, blast furnaces other structures when Steel began shutting down its hometown plant in 1995.

Just because it was an “industrial space” doesn’t mean it lost its ability to become a “natural space,” said Patrick Cullina, a horticulturist who consulted on the Bethlehem project and was founding vice president of the Horticulture and Park Operations for the High Line.

“It is a very serendipitous landscape that is unique,” Cullina said.

Cullina recalled being surprised to discover on the property a katsura tree, an ornamental prized in Japan, growing wildly at the shuttered plant. He said the tree adds another fall color and “fills the air with a sugary sweet smell almost like creme brulee.” So, the tree was incorporated into the gardens.

So were black locust trees. Their white bloom rising behind St. Michael’s Cemetery caught Cullina’s attention, as did the cherry birch that dot the wooded areas of South Mountain. The view of those from the trestle inspired Cullina to incorporate the species into the garden. One of the cherry birch trees took root at the Steel plant, snaking up the eastern end of the trestle. The elevated walkway was configured to allow that tree to continue growing.

Cullina said the gardens provide not only seeds and fruit for birds but also cover for animals – a wildlife sanctuary in the city.

The message is consistent with an environmental initiative the city initiated four years ago. In 2012, the National Wildlife Federation certified the entire city of Bethlehem a wildlife habitat because of the number of homeowners, schools and parks that provide shelter, food and water for wildlife.

The trestle expands that footprint and shows the thousands who visit what they could do in their own yards, Stoll said. Volunteers are preparing text and graphics to erect signs along the trestle, laying the groundwork for educational programs. The goal is to make the trestle not only the narrative spine for the steelmaking industry, but also for the environment.

Stoll offered her help after noticing some of the invasive plants and what appeared to her to be a lack of maintenance.

She, master gardeners at the Penn State Extension and other volunteers have logged 45.5 hours weeding since the spring and likely dozens more that weren’t entered into the system.

Stoll said the work is nuanced. Pushing aside the red berries of a Rosa virginiana bush, Stoll grabbed some tall grass. To the non-gardener, she said, native grasses may look like weeds but they are very important for the new ecosystem that has sprung up at the trestle.

She noted that some of the varieties planted in the garden, though pretty to some, will take over the stand. She pointed to a small, native sumac bush – an invasive plant – taking root alongside a larger one planted last year.

How much garden space the sumac will take up will be decided by community members like Stoll who will manage the gardens over the coming years. Gardens are living landscapes that can be pruned and expanded based on what the community wants, Cullina said.

“Once people have a sense of those intentions,” he said, “they get to interpret it in creative ways and make it their own.”




Information from: The Morning Call,

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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Farmington to dig community garden

Farmington will be joining the ranks of many other city across this country when the Farmington Coumminty Garden breaks ground this spring on a community garden. The organization will be transforming a lot next to the Farmington Parks and Recreations office on the corner of Boyce Street and Perrine Road into a garden containing 40 plots and edible landscaping. To help fund the project, a fall pork roast, sponsored by Earth Mother Health Food Stores, will be held Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m.

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Tips to create a holiday garden paradise

Create a holiday paradise with these top tips by Garry Winwood from Stone Cross Nurseries.

The children are going back to school and autumn is nearly upon us, yet this doesn’t mean you need to let that holiday feeling go.

Sweet William

To recreate your dream holiday destination introduce tropical plants into your garden. Don’t worry that the weather is not the same as your holiday – there are many plants for you to be able to achieve a touch of the Mediterranean just outside your window.

Palms that thrive in Sussex

1. Phoenix canariensis is a Canary Island Date Palm that is hardy and copes well with wind and coastal conditions. After 20-40 years it can reach heights of around six metres. It has big graceful leaves that arch. It looks fantastic as a centrepiece in a central bed under planted with bedding plants or herbaceous perennials, such as heuchera and coreopsis.

2. Trachycarpus fortunei is hardy in sheltered gardens. This is a really good palm for a pot where it can gracefully dance in the breeze.


3. Cordyline – cabbage palm. This is the most widely grown palm suitable for coastal and high wind gardens. As the lower leaves die off the plant grows exposing a central trunk.

Colourful plants

1. Summer bedding: gazania, geraniums and dahlia can provide a rich tapestry of colour when interspersed with evergreen perennials such as heuchera.

2. Summer and autumn perennials: eryngium, coreopsis and sedum give long lasting colour year after year.

3. In winter you can add pansy and viola to offer additional bedding colour.

4. Winter flowering shrubs such as viburnum, mahonia, skimmia and sarcococca all offer much needed winter colour.

Plant of the month

If your garden is lacking a little colour why not introduce our plant of the month – pot mums.

These chrysanthemums will fill with flowers and offer fabulous pots of autumn colour. They are thirsty devils and will require watering daily and feeding weekly with rose or tomato feed.

Plan for spring

September is the month to start planning for spring as this will pay dividends next year.

Here are some of our favourites:

1. Bedding: Wallflower, sweet William and bellis are biennial, meaning you plant them in the autumn ready for them to flower in the spring.

2. Bulbs: It’s time to think about planting to ensure they establish for spring. Daffodil, snowdrop, crocus and iris can all be planted from September onwards – don’t miss out on your favourites and put in a few new varieties to give you a surprise in the spring.

3. Watering: It is very important to keep rhododendrons and camellias well-watered in the autumn months as this is when the flower buds are swelling ready to bloom in the spring.

Hang on to the summer bedding colour

Don’t let your summer colour go. By continuing to deadhead your bedding summer plants you will be able to keep the blooms coming well into the autumn months.

If you planted them with controlled-release pellets it is still important to feed with tomato food to give them an extra boost, as the pellets will be running out of steam.

Also remember water well. If the plants get stressed by running out of liquid they will give up and die off.

Extra interest

With the soil warm from the summer sunshine and the weather cooling down now is an ideal month for planting trees and shrubs.

Putting them into the ground now gives them time to bed in and establish their roots prior to the winter frosts.

When planting use a good rooting aid, such as bone meal, and come spring your new shrubs will be fully established and ready to grow.

Instant impact

Add additional plants to give instant colour such as sedum, which never fails to impress and fills an empty space.

Alternatively, try evergreen ferns as they provide graceful elegance throughout the year.


By adding mulch to the surface of borders around shrubs and perennials you will suppress weeds, lock in moisture and add goodness to the soil – don’t let your weeds mature and establish themselves.


If you have roses that have finished flowering or are infected with blackspot it is time to cut them back to around a foot from the ground or top of the soil if in pots.

Rake up any fallen leaves so that the disease will not remain in the soil ready to attack next year.

Pruning should be disposed of in council green waste bins as home composting will not generate enough heat to kill off the disease.

Roses are tough and hardy and will benefit from having a severe pruning. This give them time to rest prior to re-growing in the spring and providing an abundance of colour next summer.

Dividing plants

Dividing plants is often beneficial to their long term performance. It gives them renewed vigour and prevents them from becoming too big, dwarfing other plants around them.

You can divide plants such as hemerocallis by lifting the clump and prising it apart using two forks. Alternatively use a spade to slice through the middle of the clump.

The two fork method is preferable as it keeps more root intact, however, it is not always practical. When you replant the smaller clumps incorporate some bone meal into the soil to enhance the plants root development.


Plant hyacinth bulbs so you can give them as fragrant home-grown presents – buy some beautiful pots, bulbs and you have started your gift buying.

Harvest time

1. Once the tops of onion bulbs flop over they are ready to harvest. Remove them from the ground and leave them in the sun to bake for a few days to dry off. They can then be stored in netted bags in a cool dry place.

2. Similarly once the foliage of potatoes has died off they will not grow anymore. Harvest the tubers by digging them up and storing the potatoes in paper bags or potato sacks. Do not let the light get to them as this will turn them green and make them inedible.

3. Squashes such as butternut and pumpkin will be beginning to ripen. Courgettes will still be producing.

4. You still have time to plant out spring cabbage ready to harvest in spring.

5. Whilst it is encouraging to see tomato plants still growing, the leaves should be significantly thinned out. This will allow more light to get to the fruit helping it to ripen before the days shorten and the weather turns.

6. There is still time to sow lettuce, radish and spring onions so that you have tasty salad crops through to Christmas.

7. In the fruit garden early fruiting apples such as discovery can be picked by grasping the apple in the palm of your hand and twisting it away from the tree branch.

Stone Cross Nurseries, Dittons Road, Stone Cross, Pevensey BN24 5ET. Call 01323 488188 or visit

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