Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for November 4, 2016

Bawaka Landscapes Ramps Up Turf Laying Services …

Latest News


Article source:

Garden Calendar for Nov. 4 – Bryan


Christmas Cottage Arts and Crafts Sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lyons Community Center, Texas 36 North. Sponsored by the Lyons Extension Club. Quilt drawing, handmade Christmas items, candy, baked goods, plants, yard art, canned goods and much more. Details: 535-8122.

South Brazos County Farmer’s Market, noon to 5:30 p.m. Scott White Hospital parking lot. Locally grown seasonal produce, honey, eggs, grass-fed beef, olive oil, bread, jams, jellies and much more.  281-684-1372.


Christmas Cottage Arts and Crafts Sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lyons Community Center, Texas 36 North. Sponsored by the Lyons Extension Club. Quilt drawing, handmade Christmas items, candy, baked goods, plants, yard art, canned goods and much more. Details: 535-8122.

Brazos Valley Farmers’ Market, 8 a.m. to noon at its new location in Downtown Bryan: 500 N. Main St. between 21st and 22nd Streets. Locally grown fresh produce and other items. or 229-5503.

Brenham Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to noon. 307 S. Park St., Brenham.


26th annual Fall Festival of Roses sponsored by The Antique Rose Emporium, 10000 F.M. 50, Brenham.  Enjoy a weekend of free garden seminars and tour the grounds. Speakers and topics include: Friday, 11 a.m.: “Rooting Made Easy” with Glenn Schroeter, propagation manager for ARE; 1:30 p.m.: “A Perfect Texas Garden: Choosing the Winning Plant Palette for Gardening Success” with Robbi Daves Will. Saturday, 10 a.m.: “Lessons from Houston’s Green Renaissance” with Molly Glentzer, author of Pink Ladies Crimson Gents: Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses; 11:15 a.m.: “Texas Rose Rustlers” with William Welch, professor and landscape horticulturist at Texas AM University; 1:30 p.m.: “The Water Saving Garden” with Pam Penick, writer, landscape designer; 3 p.m.: “Cutting Edges Roses” with Mike Shoup, owner of ARE and author of The Empress of the Garden; 3:30 p.m.: “My Life as a Rustler” with Greg Grant, horticulturist. Sunday: 11 a.m.: tour of ARE Growing Fields led by Mike Shoup. Details: 836-5548. Or


Meeting of the Men’s Garden Club, 7 p.m.  Room S113 of the AM United Methodist Church at Northgate. Joseph Johnson, Program Manager for The Gardens at Texas AM University will talk about the latest developments at The Gardens. Guest Welcome.


“Garden Success,” noon to 1 p.m. The radio show with Skip Richter, County Extension Agent Horticulture, Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service. Listen to Richter’s advice on gardening in the Brazos Valley on KAMU-FM 90.9.


Nov. 11:  Meeting of the AM Garden Club, 9:30 a.m. College Station Waste Water Treatment Plant, 2200 N. Forest Parkway, College Station. Program: “Your Secret Garden — Surprisingly Edible [and Drinkable] Landscaping Plants” with Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, research chemist, blogger on foraging and teacher. Come learn about surprising ways to grow edibles. Guests are welcome.

Nov. 15: Meeting of the TAMU Women’s Club Garden Interest Group, 9:30 a.m. Education Classroom, George Bush Presidential Museum, 1000 George Bush Drive. Bill McKinley, Benz School of Floral Design and Jade Wu will present “Candles Galore:  Holiday Designs with New and Recycled Candles.” Guests welcome.

Article source:

Harlow Gardens gets a look at its early work

Bill and John Harlow, both 76, hold the 75-year-old blueprints to a Joessler home in the foothills on Oct 17, 2016, that their father used to landscape the Tucson property. The two huge weeping bottlebrush trees in the background were on the plans. The 1941 and 1942 blueprints were drawn up by their father, John M. Harlow, and were found when the current homeowner moved into the home earlier this year. A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star

Article source:

Gardening tips for renters

Think living in a rental property means you can’t have your dream garden, or that it’s not worth investing in your outdoor spaces? Think again.

Habitat asked the experts for their top tips to help renters achieve a stylish and productive garden.

Simon Caldow in his Claremont garden, which is a great example of how to create a beautiful and productive garden when you’re renting. Pictures: Iain Gillespie


Tenants don’t need to spend a lot of money to make their mark in the garden of a rental home, according to horticulturist Martyn Goodger, of Planet Landscapes.

“Tenants can simply use pots, planters, vertical gardens and outdoor furniture, or they can add laser-cut metal art and screens, or trompe-l’oeil — optical illusion art,” Mr Goodger said.

Pots are perfect for rental gardens.


For longer-term tenants, Mr Goodger said themed planting could work well. Try succulents or Tuscan, cottage, native or modern plants in pots or planters.


Charlie Dawson, of Dawson’s Garden World, urges renters to get creative in the garden.

“Use wine barrels, chairs, disused wheelbarrows and even old shoes to grow things in and on, and they are easily transferable when it’s time to move,” Mr Dawson said.


Mr Dawson said trellises with a favourite climbing plant could beautify a garden quickly, need not be permanent fixtures and were a great way to go vertical or act as a privacy screen.

Plantings in Mr Caldow and fiancee Greta Etherington’s garden include hedges of Viburnum suspensum and olive, ornamental pear trees, magnolia, crepe myrtle, wisteria growing over a pergola, and a 3sqm grassed area.


“Simple, inexpensive drip irrigation systems are vital in ensuring the health of your plants, and can be re-used and relocated,” Mr Dawson said.


“Outdoor furniture or a daybed is an easy and practical way to give an outdoor area your personal touch — think bright, vibrant colours on cushions for creating atmosphere and interest,” Werd Landscapes owner Drew Davey said.


“Solar lights are also good — no wiring or changes to structure needed to add a lovely element in the evenings,” Mr Davey said.

Introduce plenty of greenery to help influence mood, wellbeing and motivation.


“Accessorise — an outdoor mat or good-quality synthetic turf, cushions, fairy lights, hanging lanterns or candles in beautiful glass or wicker containers will complete the look, and an umbrella is a final touch for shade,” Chris Gallop, from Waldecks, said. “Every one of these items is moveable.”


A little bit of outdoor styling, with pots, furniture and some retro party lights arranged for ambience can make a rental property feel homely and look stylish, according to SolScapes landscape designer Ascher Smith.

“Hanging chairs are a great way to take up a dead space and create a focal point, and they are a functional piece of furniture, to allow more sitting space when entertaining,” Ms Smith said.


Slightly Garden Obsessed creative director Mon Palmer recommended introducing lots of greenery, to influence mood, wellbeing and motivation.

“Having rented for many, many years, the best way to put your own stamp on the garden and outdoor space is by grouping collections of pots — big, small, round, cylindrical — and filling with a variety of succulents, cactus and strelitzia (bird of paradise),” Ms Palmer said.

The couple also grows edibles in old wooden fruit bins, including tomatoes, eggplants, corn, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and mint.

Fruit wholesaler Simon Caldow provides proof that it’s possible to have a beautiful garden in a rented property.

Mr Caldow and his fiancee Greta Etherington, both 29, have been renting a Claremont townhouse from Ms Etherington’s parents for four or five years and knew it was important to keep the garden looking great. “Greta’s parents bought the place and renovated the inside, and I planned the garden and keep it looking good,” Mr Caldow said.

Among the species he planted are hedges of Viburnum suspensum and olive, ornamental pear trees, magnolia, crepe myrtle, and wisteria over a pergola. He also grows vegetables and herbs in old wooden fruit bins, including tomatoes, eggplants, corn, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and mint. There’s also a pocket lawn of about 3sqm.

“Some weeks I don’t have to do anything in the garden, other weeks I might spend five or 10 hours out there, and hedging can take a full day. But I think it only takes an average of an hour of pottering each week to keep it looking good,” he said.

Article source:

November garden tips – Visalia Times

We usually experience the first frost in our gardens in the middle of November.  For this reason, it is important to finish up your gardening projects at the beginning of the month.  Move all of the frost tender plants into the house, onto the patio, or under the eaves. 

BULBS:  November is an ideal month for planting your spring bulbs.  Nurseries usually have a large number of bulbs available.  Purchase only the bulbs that are firm and do not show any signs of mold.  Certain bulbs, such as Tulips or Hyacinths, will require pre-cooling for 6 weeks before they are planted.  A good way to pre-cool is to place them in the refrigerator.  I use the vegetable/fruit drawer, but make sure there isn’t any fruit near the bulbs.  Fruits and vegetables can cause the bulbs to sprout prematurely.

Plant your bulbs where they will get a full day of sunshine.  A general rule to follow when planting is to place the larger bulbs deeper.  In most cases, you should plant the bulb three times deeper than its height.  Usually, the pointed end of the bulb is placed up when planting.  Add a handful of bulb fertilizer to the base of the planting holes, and mix it into the soil.  All spring bulbs should be planted by Thanksgiving at the very latest.

•    Anenomes have little wrinkly tubers that resemble raisins.  Soak the tubers in water for a couple of hours before you plant them 4-5″ deep.
•    Daffodils are planted about 8″ deep, unless they are miniatures.  Miniatures should be planted 4″ deep. Daffodils will multiply every year, so don’t plant them too close together.  If you have a gopher problem, these are the bulbs to plant.
•    Grape Hyacinths have lovely blue, purple or white blooms.  These bulbs will also multiply every year. Plant about 4-6″ deep. 
•    Hyacinth bulbs must be pre-cooled. Otherwise they will have short stubby stems and smaller flowers. These are treated as annuals and are pulled out and discarded after their bloom time.
•    Ranunculus tubers look like dried miniature bunches of bananas.  Soak the tubers in water for a couple of hours before planting.  Place in the hole with the little pointy ends down, approximately 2″ deep.
•    Tulips are another bulb that requires pre-cooling to achieve the best results.  Plant 6″-8″ deep. Tulips are also treated as annuals in our area, as they rarely survive the summer.  Pull out and discard them after they have bloomed.

PLANT:  There is still time to plant native plants, shrubs, trees and winter vegetables.  Try and complete all planting while the soil is still warm.

If you want to move some of your established plants to another spot in the garden, you should wait until the end of the month.  It is best to transplant shrubs, trees, and perennials when they go dormant or drop their leaves.  Dig them up carefully, and take as much of the root system as you can.  Be sure to plant at the same ground level, and water well.  If you plant them too deep, it will kill the plant.  By doing it now, there will be less transplant shock, and the winter will give them time to spend their energy growing a strong root system, which will give them more growing reserves for the spring.

PRUNE:  After the leaves fall, begin pruning shrubs and trees, not only to shape them but to prevent storm damage.  A tree without gaps in the leaf canopy may have broken branches as a result of the wind.  Open up spaces by removing a few branches from the trunk with thinning cuts.  You should never top landscape trees.  Complete your fall cleanup by cutting back perennials that have become too leggy, or they will be damaged by the frost.

FERTILIZE:  Fall and winter blooming plants and vegetables can be fertilized now.  Do not fertilize avocado, citrus, palms or any other frost sensitive plants.

DISEASE PREVENTION:  If your peach or nectarine tree had deformed leaves during the summer, it probably had “peach leaf curl.”  This is a fungal disease that affects fruiting, and if severe, it can cause the tree to die.  To control peach leaf curl:

•    Rake leaves when they fall.  Remove any mummies and discard.  Do not add these to your compost pile.
•    Spray trunk, branches and the ground underneath the tree with a copper-based fungicide or a Bordeaux mixture (a slurry made of hydrated lime and copper sulfate).  You can also use a synthetic fungicide.  Products need to have 50 percent copper to be truly effective.
•    One application is usually sufficient, however, if we have a wet winter, then spray again before the flower buds swell in the spring.

FROST PROTECTION:  Wrap trunks of avocados, citrus, kiwi and palms with heavy paper or burlap (not plastic) if a heavy frost is in the forecast.

WATER WISELY:  Reduce watering due to cooler temperatures and shorter days.  You may only need to water once a week, if at all.  It is important that you follow your city’s water regulations.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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 to search past articles, find links to UC gardening information, or to email us with your questions: 

Article source:

Rain gardens catch and channel rain

Due to the current drought, any responsible homeowner in Santa Barbara County would be wise to consider incorporating a rain garden into their landscape. Unfortunately, it is anyone’s guess when the drought will end. Make the best out of the rainy season by capturing the rain that lands on your roof, and let the benefits flow.

What is a rain garden, you might ask?

Rain gardens are depressional areas, landscaped with native vegetation that soak up rainwater. They are strategically located to capture runoff from impervious surfaces, such as roofs, driveways and streets. Rain gardens fill with a few inches of water after a storm and then water filters into the ground, rather than running off to a storm drain. Rain gardens can absorb most rainfall events.

During the next rainfall, observe your landscape and identify existing drainage patterns. Collect water from rain gutters, driveways or other overflow areas and let gravity move water towards a natural depression or flat area. The idea is for water to soak into the ground, benefiting plants long term, rather then pond.

When designing your rain garden, keep water away from building foundations, utilities, underground pipes, septic systems and large tree roots.

Rocks and gravel will help slow water. In my landscape designs, I often incorporate a dry creek into the landscape. A well-designed dry creek is both attractive and functional. The dry creek collects water from the downspouts or rain chains, where water will slowly flow down the creek during rainy days. A dry creek should have a minimum of 2 percent slope (1/4 inch per foot) in order to work properly, and approximately 9 inches at it’s deepest point. Boulders, rock, gravel, sand and native flora help slow the runoff, allowing water to percolate into the ground along the way.

Water gardens are dry most of the time, especially in hot climate areas such as in the Santa Ynez Valley.

If designed appropriately, water will soak into the ground within 24 hours of last rainfall.

In order to avoid flooding, plan an overflow route should a large storm hit. An overflow route can be directed into a driveway that drains to a storm drain.

If irrigation is absent during dry months, select plants for your dry creek that are drought tolerant. Native plants are the best option since they are adaptable to long periods of drought, once established. If you are not familiar with plants best suited for your garden and dry creek, visit local nurseries for plant suggestions, or contact your landscape professional for guidance.

The ideal time to plant is during fall, when air temperatures are cooler and the soil is still warm. Water the new plants thoroughly and apply three to four inches of mulch without covering smaller plants. It is important that you keep mulch 1 to 2 inches away from the base of the plants, as new mulch often is too hot, and can burn plants during the first two weeks to three weeks after application. Shredded mulch such as gorilla mulch is fibrous in nature, and does not tend to float like decorative bark might do. It is a good garden rule to reapply mulch annually.

During the first 12 months, give your native plants regular water until established. After the first year, minimal water is required.

Article source:

A Therapeutic Garden for Singapore’s Oldest Residents

On a breezy morning in Singapore, I walk along a circular pathway into the new therapeutic garden in HortPark, a 22-acre park in the city-state’s southwestern corner. Water dribbles in a fountain. Wind chimes tinkle. The sweet smells of gardenia and ylang ylang attract butterflies from the nearby butterfly garden, and the aromas of screw pine and basil evoke the Southeast Asian kitchen. The shaded benches and gazebos here provide a respite from the hyper-urban city.

Copious evidence has shown that urban green spaces have a net positive effect on people’s health. Access to green spaces can improve mood, and ease anxiety, stress, and depression. Green spaces also have a long history as specific therapeutic modalities. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, horticulture has been used as therapy since ancient times; the use of horticulture to calm the senses dates as far back as 2000 BCE in Mesopotamia. In the United States, the practice became widespread and acceptable in the 1940s and 1950s, when these therapies were used as part of the rehabilitative care of hospitalized war veterans. Now, the landscapes—which often include a variety of plants with interesting form, texture, and color to provide sensory stimulation and firm, smooth path surfaces easy for wheelchairs to navigate—have been installed in hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement communities.

Situated in a land-scarce, densely populated metropolis, the Therapeutic Garden@HortPark is the city’s first and only therapeutic garden in a public park designed specifically for post-stroke patients and seniors with dementia. It’s a welcome addition to a city where, by 2030, a quarter of the residents will be older than 65.

The garden is only one prong in Singapore’s Action Plan for Successful Aging, an ambitious $3 billion plan to better the lives of the elderly in urban spaces. The plan, announced by a cabinet-level committee on aging in 2015, details over 30 initiatives to transform Singapore by 2030, from revamping public transportation and pedestrian and road infrastructure to doubling the number of hospital beds and increasing nursing home capacity by more than 70 percent over the next decade.

The therapeutic “pocket” garden, which opened in May, is a permanent pilot project in an existing park, and HortPark is an obvious choice for a site. The park is already a hub for gardening enthusiasts: It houses community gardening plots, hosts public gardening events, and even has a garden supply shop.

The design of Therapeutic Garden@HortPark conforms to best practices for healing gardens: The 850-square-meter garden includes mature shade trees, colorful flowers that aid biodiversity, and shrubs and herbs that can be seen, touched, and smelled. Its walkways can accommodate wheelchairs, and there’s ample seating for caregivers. Movable planting beds make activities more accessible for those with mobility concerns.

The garden’s design includes wheelchair-accessible paths and a variety of colorful flowers. (Courtesy Pooja Makhijani)

The garden’s design is guided by evidence, says Mohamad Azmi Shahbudin, HortPark’s director. In Singapore, a dementia patient is expected to live 10 to 12 years from diagnosis, says Dr. Kua Ee Heok, a professor and psychiatrist at National University of Singapore’s Department of Psychological Medicine, whose research on horticultural therapy, dementia, mental illness, and quality of life informed the construction and design of this park. While horticultural therapy does not increase life expectancy, it can improve cognition, increase social interaction, and stave off depression, which is often co-morbid with dementia. In a large-scale randomized control study wherein elderly participants at risk of dementia grew vegetables and herbs, Kua and his colleagues demonstrated that patients who received horticultural therapy fared better than a control group in scores for life satisfaction, memory, and psychological well-being.

While Therapeutic Garden@HortPark currently does not have staff trained in horticultural therapy, Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE), jointly run by National Parks Board and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, aims to build capacity in horticultural therapy in Singapore. “We [park managers] currently work in tandem with patients’ caregivers or occupational therapists to provide them general knowledge about gardening and this park,” says Shahbudin. But the long-term aim is to encourage trained therapists to get additional certifications in horticultural therapy, he adds.

Singapore hopes to create ten more such gardens if the pilot project if HortPark is deemed a success by the various ministries and statutory boards who have stakes in the project. “This is an experimental space,” says Shahbudin. “We will continually improve based on our researchers’ and partners’ feedback.”

Since the Action Plan for Successful Aging aspires to be a blueprint for successful aging across Asia, HortPark’s design trial may have implications beyond Singapore’s borders. The garden is full of many different design and sensory elements, adds Andrew Foke, landscape architect and Manager at HortPark. Researchers will collect data about them so that the space can serve as a living laboratory for future gardens in Singapore and elsewhere. Asia’s elderly population is projected to reach nearly 1 billion by 2050, and the continent is “on track in the next few decades to become the oldest region in the world” according to the Asian Development Bank. “More and more, our cities need to cater for these trends in growth,” says Shahbudin. “Our parks must remain relevant to our greying population.”

Article source:

Residents invited to presentation on historical garden designs in Bethel

BETHEL – The Bethel Historical Society is hosting a presentation on garden designs for historic homes at 1 p.m. on Nov. 13.

Krista Fiorini, a master gardner and member of the Bethel Garden Club, will instruct attendees on the best way to design their gardens at homes built from the 1700s to the late 1800s. Refreshments will be served.

The Historical Society will also run a short, annual business meeting before the presentation.

The event will be at the 1842 Second Meeting House on 40 Main St.

For reservations, call Patricia Rist at 203-743-5893.

Article source: