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Archives for November 8, 2016

Prosper is awarded Municipal Excellence Award in Public Works – Stephenville Empire

Prosper’s 2016 Municipal Excellence Award in the Public Works category for cities under 25,000 in population was recognized on Oct. 25 at the town council meeting. The Texas Municipal League award was presented at the TML conference in early October in Austin.

Prosper’s Public Works Department partnered with the Texas AM Agri-Life Extension Service and the Collin County Master Gardeners on a project that uses Earth-Kind methods on three gardens, one a demonstration garden, one a research garden and one a restored garden, a press release said. The Earth-Kind Landscaping method focuses on gardening success while protecting the environment.

One of the two gardens sits in the shadows of the water tower at Craig Street and First Street, and is designed to test the suitability of various types of dwarf shrubs for the local area. It is the first of its type in the country, conducting long-term research of these plants under conditions that can be found in the local are, a press release said.

The other garden is also on the grounds of the water tower and is designed to hold other types and species of plants. It is designed to provide information on the plants’ livability and viability for use in the area.

The group also restored a neglected garden at nearby Rucker Elementary School, the release said, taking a large patch of the school’s property from a weedy, untended garden that had fallen into serious decline and bringing it back to its original state.

All three gardens fully utilize the Earth-Kind Landscape Management System which is focused on preserving and protecting the environment.

“Earth-Kind is a registered trademark of AgriLife Extension,” said Steve George, Dallas AgriLife Extension landscape specialist, in an AgriLife Today interview. “Earth-Kind principles have been in use since the 1990s and emphasize environmental responsibility through water conservation and a reduction in fertilizers and pesticides.”

A 2009 Agricultural Health Study conducted by the National Cancer Institute reported that people who use imazethapyr, a general use pesticide, have increased risks of bladder and colon cancer. In addition, a 2007 study conducted by researchers at the Public Health Institute, the California Department of Health Services, and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health found a sixfold increase in risk factor for autism spectrum disorders for children of women who were exposed to organochlorine pesticides.

Project Manager Tristan Cisco said the research will be ongoing, with a focus on the success of the Earth-Kind method.

“These gardens are subject to the same sunlight, wind, temperature and rain conditions as every residence in Prosper,” Cisco said. “The difference will be in the use of the Earth-Kind system. (The AgriLife and Master Gardeners’) findings will be extremely helpful in water conservation and pesticide elimination.”

The TML, of which Prosper is a member, is a voluntary association of 1,150 Texas cities. Its primary objective is to serve the needs and advocate the interests of Texas cities. The TML Municipal Excellence Awards recognizes and encourages the achievements of Texas cities in meeting the challenges of municipal government.

The press release said the Award of Excellence is the second for Prosper, which won a similar award for its communication program in 2011.

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NALP’s best are nation’s best: 2016 Awards of Excellence

Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping Garden Centers won the Audience Choice Award, a Judges Award and a Grand Award for its residential design/buld project.
Photo: Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping Garden Centers

The National Association of Landscape Professionals announced the winners of its annual Awards of Excellence during Landscapes 2016, recognizing 131 projects for outstanding commercial and residential landscape design, installation and maintenance, as well as interior plantscaping.

This the 47th year the association has presented the NALP Awards of Excellence. Because of the national breadth of the competition, the awards help companies become more well-known in the industry. Needless to say, winning also encourages and motivates employees.

Members of NALP had the chance to enter in a number of different categories, including installation/contracting, design/build, landscape management, interior container plantings, erosion control/ecological restoration, special events, and the Decade Awards category.

Two Decade Awards, seven Recognition Awards, 60 Merit Awards and 61 Grand Awards were presented during the Landscapes 2016 awards dinner in Louisville, Kentucky. From the Grand winners, the panel of judges selected three projects to receive a Judges Award, the highest of the awards.

Bonick Landscaping in Dallas, Texas, Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping Garden Centers in Portland, Oregon, and Town and Gardens Ltd., which is based in Long Island, New York, received the top honor.

The audience at the awards dinner then chose from the three Judges Award winners the recipient of the Audience Choice Award. Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping was the audience favorite, with its project featuring a massive saltwater pool, a 3,500-square-foot putting green and a covered outdoor patio with a fireplace.

“The caliber of the projects in the Awards of Excellence is just incredible,” said Brett Lemcke, NALP president. “NALP is honored to showcase and promote such great examples of professionalism and dedication to our craft.”

Below is a sampling of some of the award winners. For NALP’s complete list of recipients and photo gallery, click here.

Town and Gardens Ltd. was awarded a Judges Award and Grand Award for its commercial design/build project.
Photo: Town and Gardens Ltd.

Bonick Landscaping was awarded a Grand Award and a Judges Award for its work in residential landscape contracting.
Photo: Bonick Landscaping

John Mini Distinctive Landscapes received a Decade Award for its work in interior maintenance at the Ford Foundation Building.
Photo: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

Mariani Landscape received a Grand Award for its residential design/build project.
Photo: Mariani Landscape

Designs By Sundown received a Grand Award for its residential design/build project.
Photo: Designs By Sundown

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Autumn Gardening Tips From Our Expert

The Stone and Eccleshall Gazette will be carrying gardening tips every fortnight on our website and Facebook from Jason Harker.

Jason is a professional gardener and landscaper, and owner of JHPS-Gardens Ltd. He regularly writes a piece for the Sentinel newspaper and is a go to expert on BBC Radio Stoke’s Gardening programme.


Jason Harker

Hello Gazette Readers

As we can see autumn is well and truly here, showing off all its amazing and remarkable colours, bringing a visual warmth to your garden. Already it’s that time of year to tidy, maintain and        plan-ahead for spring displays.

Autumn Preparation – With autumn well underway, now is the perfect opportunity to not only prepare your garden for the cold weather, but get it ready for spring.

• If you haven’t already, plant Erysimums (Wallflowers), Polyanthus and other spring bedding now in preparation for next season. You also still have time to plant an autumn container, giving your garden an extra boost of colour. Heucheras and Asters are the perfect autumn plants.

• It’s your last chance to move half hardy and tender plants into the greenhouse to save them from early frost.

• Clearing up fallen leaves can seem like a never-ending task but the effort is well worth it. Put a few in the compost bin and collect the rest to make leaf mould.

Edible Gardens – Autumn is a great time to plant some strawberries. They prefer a sunny and sheltered position in fertile, free-draining soil. Plant them so that the crowns are slightly above the soil and give them a good water if its dry out. Strawberries and cream is only a summer away!

From your Armchair – Autumn gardening is different to Summer gardening, as plants tend to look after themselves more throughout the colder months, although, there is plenty of cutting back along with the biggest task of raking up the huge amounts of leaves that will fall over the coming weeks.

Why not take a bit of time to look back at this years garden and make a few notes or sketches for next spring – a digital camera has become the modern gardeners best friend – taking photos of where herbaceous plants are located before they die back so you don’t damage their roots during a winter dig, capturing images of borders you’d like to replicate at home or simply just a reminder so you recall which areas of the garden look like they need improving.

By keeping a photo diary of your garden, you can reflect on what grew well, what failed miserably, and what you plan to change next year. If you would like to add some additional colour and interest to the front or rear of your property, please call the office on 01782 396 168 to enquire about our beautiful planting schemes.


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How to plant fall garlic, permaculture gardening and pet first aid: Home and Garden News

Plant garlic in the fall, and you can enjoy the harvest next year. This variety is Georgian Crystal.   

Fall is the time for harvesting veggies, but there’s one crop that should be planted now – garlic. This easy-to-grow edible will be bigger and more flavor-packed if you plant it in the fall, and harvest it next summer.

Here’s information about how to grow garlic. The information comes from Old Farmer’s Almanac, Cornell University, Mother Earth News and Burpee.

When to Plant: Just break cloves off from whole bulb, and each clove will multiply in the ground, forming a new bulb.Plant cloves about one month before the ground freezes.  Fall plantings take about 8 months to mature.

What to plant: Do not plant cloves from the grocery store. Instead, get cloves from a mail order seed company or a local nursery. Hardneck types adapt to cold winter climates; popular varieties include porcelain, purple stripe and rocambole. Elephant garlic produces a large, mild-flavored bulb comprised of four to six big cloves, and is hardy to Zone 5 if buried under deep winter mulch.

How to Plant : Choose a sunny site, and loosen the planting bed to at least 12 inches deep. Thoroughly mix in a 1-inch layer of mature compost. Don’t plant garlic in spots where other crops in the onion family have been grown in the past three years.

Break bulbs apart at planting time, keeping papery husks on the individual cloves. Plant with tips up, 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Add 6 inches of mulch for winter protection. Roots will begin to grow, even though you might not see any top growth.

PERMACULTURE CLASS: A class called “Permaculture? What’s That?” will explain the basic concepts of permaculture, which is a system of landscape and garden design principles centered around using patterns seen in nature.

The class is 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 at the CanalWay Center at the Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation, 4524 East 49th St., Cuyahoga Heights. It’s free, but registration is required by 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16.

PET FIRST AID: If your pet were seriously injured, would you know what to do? A class on pet first aid can teach you how to give emergency care to cats and dogs. A class on American Red Cross Pet First Aid meets from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Rocky River Reservation’s Park Operations administration building, 4500 Valley Parkway, Fairview Park.

Participants will be able to work with canine and feline manikins for a more realistic experience.

The cost is $65 (includes dog and cat first aid books/DVDs) or $50 (includes dog or cat first aid book/DVD). The registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 9; call 440-331-8111.


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The Cavalier Daily – :: Michelle Obama calls on U.Va. for gardening …


U.Va. students, faculty renovate First Lady’s Kitchen Garden

The design team created the White House Garden in First Lady Michelle Obama’s vision for an outdoor sanctuary. 

As President Barack Obama and his family wrap up their time in the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama intends to leave a lasting legacy on the property through her “Let’s Move!” initiative with a revival of the White House Kitchen Garden.

Beginning in early May, the National Park Service called on Architecture Prof. Beth Meyer, a member of the United States Commission of Fine Arts and former dean of the Architecture School, to assemble a group of University students, faculty and alumni to design and construct a new layout for the garden complete with tables and benches, as well as an arbor for the entryway.

The team was challenged to design a space for ages from all walks of life, whether the visitors are fourth-graders or heads of state. Architecture graduate student Josh Aronson said the task was to create something “not too alternative but graceful to fit all ages.”

“[It had to have] the aesthetic of a farmer’s garden but with the grace of the White House,” Aronson said.

Ultimately, they came up with a theme — “e pluribus unum,” which means “out of many, one.” In continuity with the theme, University alumnus Owen Weinstein explained even the tables had two parts and could come together in a variety of ways.

“It’s a fundamental American ideal — we are better together than apart,” Weinstein said.

With this in mind, they designed tables and benches made with strips of seventeen different types of wood sourced from different places across the country representing agriculture, food production. This includes wood from chicken coops, wine vats and pickle barrels, as well as wood from the homes and farms of three founding fathers — Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. Additionally, the structures even consist of wood from the home of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Roger Sherry, University alumnus, landscape architect and master craftsman, explained the symbolism of the garden construction. Because visitors face west toward the Appalachian Mountains at the garden’s entrance, the team designed the entrance to be made of oak native to the Appalachians. Likewise, when leaving the garden, guests face the east, so the exit is composed of cypress native to that region.

Sherry also shared the First Lady’s vision for a long-lasting natural space. Consequently, the team included steel within the structures — for the arbor specifically had to withstand the immense amount of gravitational force the Marine One Helicopter creates when it lands.

Along with its structural renovation, the team reinvented the layout of the garden, reflective and encouraging of the “Let’s Move!” campaign.

“The garden now has a heart, a place to gather, and it feels welcoming,” Meyer said.

There is also something significant in working on a renovation to a garden so permanent.

“People [are always] taking iconic pictures of the White House,” Weinstein said. Because the garden is visible from the south fence, it is now “permanently part of that photo.”

The project is ultimately reflective of the American desire for invention but also the importance to look back at the past and reflect, Weinstein said.

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