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Archives for October 5, 2016

In the Garden: Big design in a small palm – Sanibel

Plant subject: European fan palm (Chamaerops humbles)

Multiple clumps curving as they rise with a fan-shaped leaf, in colors ranging from sage green to bluish green, give this palm an edgy, modern look. Chamaerops is a genus of dwarf fan palms that have ‘teeth’ on the long petioles or stems ending in the spikey fan-shaped leaves. It’s a small and elegant accent palm that is used by many gardeners and landscapers, it does especially well in drier areas and looks good in modern to Mediterranean-inspired landscapes.

The European fan palm is a drought and wind resistant palm that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is cold hearty and has been known to withstand temperatures as low as 6 degrees Fahrenheit. It is very slow growing which makes it ideal for planters or as an accent within a garden. The flowers although not significant will typically bloom from April to May. This palm has many material benefits as well. Once the fronds become mature, it has been used as a material for baskets, brooms, weaving mats and other similar items. The small fruit measuring to 1-1/2″ and yellow to brown in color, is not edible, but has been used as an astringent in traditional medicine.

Article Photos

European fan palm.


More commonly the European fan palm is a desirable choice to be utilized in a landscape for many residential and commercial gardens. Since this palm rarely exceeds 10 feet high, it is an ideal choice in areas where space is limited. It grows well in both sun and shade environments, as well as coastal areas where salt spray is prevalent. However, this palm will not thrive in wet areas, and prefers a dry to moist soil environment. Overall, the European fan palm is an elegant palm, low in maintenance, and adds to the Mediterranean look and feel that many homeowners and gardeners desire in their landscape.

This column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, Sanibel’s local garden center located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, Florida.

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Designing a framework for your flowers

© 2015 by Fayette Publishing, Inc.

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Exeter student plants winning garden idea

By Reggie Ellis


exeter – Senior Brenden Woods enjoys working in the greenhouse with classmates at Kaweah High School in Exeter. But amidst the succulents, flowers and other ornamental plants, he wished there was a way to grow something that could benefit people in need more than brightening up their window sill.

“I wanted to grow fresh fruits and vegetables that could be donated to the Exeter Food Closet,” he said. “It’s kind of like a community garden that is run by students.”

Kaweah High School teacher Bethany Micari asked Woods to come up with a design for a garden and enter it into a contest sponsored by Kellogg Garden Products and California League Baseball, who provide grants for schools as part of their “Going to bat for school gardens” campaign. Woods’ design was selected out of 900 applicants for the community aspect of harvesting fresh produce to help feed those in need.

“I wanted to do something for the whole community and not just the school. I think that’s why my project was selected,” Woods said.

A ribbon cutting for the garden was held on Sept. 15 at Kaweah High School (KHS). Representatives from Kellogg Garden Products, KHS Principal Darin Pace and Micari did the ceremonial honors. Kellogg helped construct five wooden, raised garden beds at the northeast corner of the school. The garden was planted with squash, kumquats, onions, et. Micari said the beds were placed in the back lawn of the property because they will get plenty of sun and are within range of the sprinklers which automatically turn on and off in the summer time when students and staff are scarce.

“This was a really great idea by Brenden and it benefits most of the students at Kaweah and the entire community,” Micari said.

Exeter Unified School District Board member Virginia Padilla said she had little interest in gardening as a child, but now that she is retired has found the activity to be relaxing and rewarding. She said school gardens provide students with a lifelong skill and has endless possibilities for educational enrichment, such as matching plants with the proper soil, planting them in the proper season, knowing when to harvest them and how much water to provide the plants.

“Who knows, maybe one of these students will own their own nursery some day,” she said.

In addition to donating food to the local food pantry, Micari said students can use the fresh produce to make their own nutritious salads or take home to their families, many of which struggle with the rising cost of food. The garden beds will also help propagate ornamental succulents and flowers which can grow there and then be potted and moved to the greenhouse. Micari started the school’s gardening program with the building of a green house in September 2015.

There are currently 45 students involved with the ag program at Kaweah, which is about half of the enrollment there. Many of the students at Kaweah have trouble in traditional classroom settings, so sitting still for too long doesn’t always work out.

“This gives students some more variety in their experiences and allows them to go outside and get their hands dirty,” Micari said. “For most of them, the greenhouse and the garden are their only connection to the agriculture all around us.”

Dave Benningfield, a sales representative for Kellogg, said the garden supply company donated all of the lumber for the beds, the soil and fertilizer to fill the beds, all of the plants to start the garden and all of the tools to plant them.

“They have enough soil left over for some future projects,” Benningfield said.

Benningfield said Exeter Unified School District is the first to win the School Garden Design Contest more than once. Lincoln Elementary won the contest back in 2013. The School Garden Design Contest was sponsored by Kellogg Garden Products, in partnership with the California Minor League Baseball team, Visalia Rawhide.

The contest involved school districts in and around Cal League cities where students created garden designs and submitted them all summer long through the Cal League Teams.

Woods, 10 of his classmates, and 30 parents and teachers were all invited onto the field of the Aug. 25 Rawhide game and were recognized for their accomplishment.

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ADOT internships prepare next generation of transportation professionals





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Eagle Scout clears many non-native plants from City Hall grounds – Austin American

Boy Scouts, city officials and anyone willing to work hard volunteered their time Oct. 24 in removing non-native plants from the grounds at West Lake Hills City Hall.

The idea for the project stemmed from West Lake Hills Mayor Linda Anthony’s vision for using City Hall landscaping as a living example for residents to consider incorporating into their own properties. In discussing the idea with City Administrator Robert Wood, she learned Wood’s son, Justin, was looking for an environmentally oriented Eagle Scout project, and it was a perfect fit.

Justin Wood, a senior at Bowie High School, said he was more than happy to rally eight of his fellow Troop 448 members and six of their relatives to lend a hand.

Ed Allen

“I think it is pretty cool to be a part of the overall rejuvenation of the area,” Wood said. “I was looking for a project that was environmentally centered. I had a couple of ideas, but the mayor had already done some work on her own and was looking for a way to get a large group of workers together to maybe do something like we did.

“From both of our ends, it was kind of lucky that we just came across each other at the right time.”

Anthony, who did her fair share serving as a volunteer at the Oct. 24 work day, has done similar removal of non-native plants throughout her home adjacent to the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. She said the impetus for her idea was hearing from residents about the city’s strict tree ordinance limiting them from planting much vegetation.

Ed Allen

“There are a wealth of native plants out there, and one of the problems is people just don’t know how to use them,” Anthony said, noting that she learned through 30 years of empirical experience working on her property how make the most of the plants that “not only survive but thrive in certain conditions.”

Anthony said one of the biggest mistakes residents make is falling in love with a plant in a nursery that simply doesn’t survive because it is not placed in the right spot.

“I started realizing that this piece of property (City Hall) has a lot of characteristics that residents encounter – slopes, erosion issues, wet-weather creeks – and we could demonstrate all kinds of techniques on this property that is basically a sort of a how-to for residents if they want to take advantage of it.”

In addition, Anthony said she is certain that the eventual removal of all of most of the non-native plants will make City Hall, at 911 Westlake Drive, much more appealing.

“For a community that urges or touts natural beauty, we should be doing more of it on our own property, and this a great way to do it,” Anthony said.

Anthony recently asked Earl Broussard, a former longtime City Council member and noted landscape expert, to volunteer his time to lend some expertise to best utilize each section of the City Hall tract for groupings of plants.

The next step in the process is for Anthony to see if she can get council support for pursing a native landscaping plan. If the council likes the idea, she acknowledged could be a “multi-year” project.

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Orland plans major downtown facelift – Appeal

Downtown facelift

Greg Melton, landscape architect at Melton Design Group, presents possibilities for Orland’s downtown beautification project at the meeting held on Sept. 27. The project aims to make the city’s downtown more “walkable,” meaning enjoyable.

Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 6:08 pm

Updated: 6:09 pm, Tue Oct 4, 2016.

Orland plans major downtown facelift

By Kayla Webster

Big changes are coming to Orland’s downtown as the city collaborates with Melton Design Group to renovate the area.

However, to demonstrate that the changes are meant to compliment, rather than alter, the city’s character, the design company met with members of the City Council, chamber of commerce and local business owners to brainstorm ideas for improving Orland’s downtown on Sept. 27.

“He’s trying to get a feel for how people feel about their town,” said Pete Carr, Orland city manager.

Melton Design Group started working on this project with the city after Caltrans decided to fund the research. Once the city and company agree on a plan for downtown, it will present the blueprints to Caltrans. Since Orland is connected to a major interstate and highway, there’s potential for Caltrans to foot the bill if the project is approved.

“Caltrans is open to us coming forward and doing what we want to do,” said Greg Melton, the landscape architect overseeing the project. “They love community input; they require it.”

During the meeting, Melton showed the audience pictures of various downtowns throughout the country and asked people to point out features they’d like to see in Orland. These ideas ranged from increased landscaping, adding a town plaza, shrinking crosswalks and widening sidewalks.

The project also aims to make the downtown, specifically Walker Street, handicap and pedestrian friendly. One of the priorities will be lowering the three-foot curbs on the street to make sidewalks more accessible.

“I love Orland and want to see it grow and prosper,” said Trish Saint-Evans, a local business owner. “I do like the idea of the plaza and crosswalks. It’s going to be a more pleasant place to walk around and visit.”

Melton said the new additions to the street would be designed to slow traffic to attract business to the downtown. However, this drew concern from the audience, who told Melton that Walker Street already gets severely congested because many residents commute to Chico for work. Melton assured them the company would attempt to address this issue going forward.

“It was very informative; lots of interaction, mostly positive,” said Mayor Bruce Roundy. “We still have a ways to go.”

Melton Design Group plans to host another Orland meeting in mid-November. This time, community members are encouraged to attend and give their input once the date of the meeting is announced. Until then, the city plans to post the current proposed plan for Orland’s downtown on the city’s website.

  • Discuss


Tuesday, October 4, 2016 6:08 pm.

Updated: 6:09 pm.

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Winning garden makes lavish use of difficult space





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Rosie on the House: Fall, winter prime times for herb gardens





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John Klein: Garden spot of Oklahoma grew from needs of 41-year-old OETA show

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Visitors explore the Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University on Sept. 27. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

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Taylor Anthony, of Stillwater, and Acacia Shelton, of Bartlesville, look at plants while visiting the Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University on Sept. 27. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

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Customers walk around while exploring The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

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A piece of art , using old glass bottles, sits on display at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

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A type of purple grass sits on display at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

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Flowers sit on display at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 12:01 am

Updated: 12:57 am, Wed Oct 5, 2016.

John Klein: Garden spot of Oklahoma grew from needs of 41-year-old OETA show

By John Klein
Tulsa World


VIDEO: Stillwater Botanic Garden Grows on Visitors


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    STILLWATER — The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University is not the largest or most grand facility of its kind in the state.

    However, there is no more diverse and educational piece of ground in Oklahoma.

    The Botanic Garden at OSU is quite literally the garden spot of the state.

    “This is what we do here,” said Lou Anella, director of the garden. “We are the land grant university.

    “We’re here to educate and research. We’re here for the citizens of our state.”

    The Botanic Garden at OSU is a teaching and research facility for OSU students in horticulture and landscape architecture.

    If it’s in your garden at home and you got it in this state, it was or may still be growing in one of the many different plots at the OSU site.

    The garden, a 110-acre spot in the midst of several major research farms, is located just west of Stillwater.

    Neighbors include turf management areas, where many types of grass have been developed for the NFL, MLB and some of the world’s top golf courses. Crops and animal science research stations also are nearby.

    In the midst of all that agriculture is this garden, with four acres of “intensely cultivated gardens” for use in the weekly statewide television show “Oklahoma Gardening.” Broadcast weekly by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the show is in its 41st year.

    The Botanic Garden grew out of the needs of the television show. As a result, much of it comprises small rectangle gardens with various plants and landscaping. Gardens in various stages of development are growing here, from recently planted to fully mature.

    “The good thing is that these gardens are all things that anyone in the state can do in their yard,” Anella said. “That’s why the show is so popular. These are things that anyone, with a little guidance, can do.”

    Anella acknowledged that there are larger and more grand gardens in spots all over the state. That’s not the point. The OSU garden exists for the education of the state’s residents.

    “The Tulsa Botanic Gardens are fabulous, as are several other major gardens around the state,” Anella said. “What they’re doing is really spectacular.

    “We’re not doing that. Our gardens here are small. They are plants and landscaping that anyone can do.”

    Literally thousands of plants and designs are featured. Many are “Oklahoma Proven” — plants that have been tested and recommended for growing in Oklahoma.

    “All of our gardens, no matter how small, have their own identity and are in a different process,” said Anella.

    The Botanic Garden works closely not only with students but also the state’s many Master Gardener programs. The OSU site has hosted 162 workshops in the past year. In addition, 23 different OSU classes have met here.

    “Oklahoma Gardening” came on the air statewide in 1975. In the early 1980s, it was filmed in the Stillwater backyard of OSU horticulturalist Ray Campbell.

    “We’ve recently expanded the show on YouTube, and that has really been a game changer,” said Anella. “We went from 177,000 viewers to millions around the world.

    “There may be more people around the world that have seen The Botanic Garden than folks in Stillwater who know we’re out here.”

    In 1986, the seeds of The Botanic Garden started to grow when a small parcel west of Stillwater was dedicated for use with the television show.

    These days the gardens have grown to include an irrigation system, a formal garden, shade-loving perennial flower beds, water gardens, butterfly gardens, a garden railway, an alpine rock garden, a Japanese tea ceremony garden, a patio garden, the chicken moat, the lotus garden, the sun perennial garden, the Oklahoma Proven garden and an herb garden.

    If it can be grown in Oklahoma, it’s being grown in The Botanic Garden at OSU.

    “We are obviously always doing trials on plants,” said Anella. “Companies send us plants or grasses, and we do the trials to see if they do well in Oklahoma.”

    Oklahoma is a great testing ground for plants. The state is considered a temperate climate with diverse soil and rainfall. Same parts of eastern Oklahoma get up to 40 inches of rainfall per year, while some parts of the Oklahoma Panhandle get less than 15 inches.

    “We’re kind of right in the middle of the state in the middle of the country,” said Anella. “This is a great spot for this.”

    He said Interstate 35, which divides the state into relatively equal eastern and western halves, is sort of a border used in horticulture.

    “A lot of times we talk about the success of a plant either west of I-35 or east of I-35,” said Anella.

    The Botanic Garden at OSU is working to improve its facilities. A new entrance and parking area was recently added off Oklahoma 51, the road heading west of Stillwater toward I-35.

    Classes and workshops are held in a building that doubles as a workshop and barn.

    “We’d love to have a visitor center, but we understand it takes money, and we know the budget is tight,” said Anella.

    So his group has been working to attract private investment to help build new features. He also considers it important to get the short road to the gardens paved.

    “There are things we would like to do,” said Anella. “All we want to do is make this more accessible, more available to Oklahomans. This is their garden.”

    John Klein 918-581-8368

    Twitter: @JohnKleinTW


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      Your spring Gardening tips are here

      Here is some great advice from a local expert in the field who is getting us ready for this coming season change.

      SPRING GARDEN: Now is a good time to plant seedlings for Christmas color in your garden as they take 8-10 weeks to mature. Don’t forget to mulch!

      What a wet Spring we are having so far. 

      Remember last year when the rain just stopped! This year has to be the complete opposite and I am loving it. We love the rain and so do our gardens and this lovely wet spring has been the best antidote for our parched soils. 

      Soon the warmth will return and we’ll be wishing it was cold again as the days heat up for summer.  So, that being said, it is time to get busy in the garden and fix your irrigation hoses and lay out your mulch, the ultimate insurance against heat stressed plants and rampaging weeds.

      The easiest way to retain any moisture we do receive is to mulch the entire area of your garden. Make sure the mulch is at least 10 cm thick and ideally of organic materials such as lucerne hay or offal, pea straw, or leaf and bark mulch. 

      You can still establish new, very drought tolerant plants while the weather is mild as long as you make a promise to check on them regularly as they will take some establishing in this weather.  Water in any new plant with an organic wetting agent, which will help take moisture down to the root zone.

      Now is the time to make sure all the drippers are working on your irrigation systems.  Try to avoid spray systems, dripper and soaker/weeping hoses are more effective and create less evaporation, therefore conserving water. Aphids are a pest, feeding on the juicy new shoots of roses. 

      But wait, don’t spray; wait for their natural predators, the Lady Birds and Hover Flies, who will do that job for you. They will eat the aphids and their larvae.  If you think the ladybirds are taking their time to get to your garden, you can also hose the aphids off.

      Feed your entire garden, including the lawn, with organic fertilisers if you haven’t already done so.  If you plan to fertilise natives make sure the fertiliser is suitable for natives.

       On the Sunday, 23 October, you can also visit 6 gardens around the Keith District and help raise funds for the Keith District Hospital Auxilliary, with afternoon tea and guest speaker at Judy Molineux’s garden from 3.30pm.  For further information re the Keith Garden Tour: contact Rosie Stopp on 0438 859 976

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