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Archives for November 20, 2016

Concord Bell unveiled at War Memorial

Years of planning, talking, meeting, digging, bricklaying, more meeting, and landscaping came to a successful conclusion at the dedication of the iron bell from the USS Concord to the town.

The Concord Rotary Club was responsible for the installation, particularly the efforts of two club members, Dick Hale and Henry Dane.

At the Nov. 19 dedication, Dane spoke of the bell’s significance to the community.

“It was the fourth naval ship bearing the name of the Town, and its bell, which we dedicate today, marked the hours, days and years of the ship’s life,” said Dane to a crowd of veterans and families who gathered in the Milldam. “It sounded through the dark of night, ocean storms and the fog of battle. It carried the name and message of Concord to remote places far from home: Quan Firma Res Concordia, a message of peace, not of war,” Dane noted in his remarks.

The bell sits on a tall granite block in the rejuvenated War Memorial Park where monuments to all wars stand, and where the names of the fallen from Concord are inscribed.

The bell was in the basement of the Town House when, in 2014, Dane and other Rotarians took on the challenge of installing the bell and improving the small park at the corner of Main Street and Monument Square.

“We wanted to find a place for the bell that would be available to the public as part of the War Memorial,” said Dane.

Hale said his responsibilities included raising the necessary funds, lining up resources and materials, and supervising labor and construction. He said his son, Bob Hale, did the lion’s share of the construction.

The cost was $100,000, said June Grace, past Rotary president. She said $50,000 came from the Community Preservation Committee.

“But the cost doesn’t measure the hours and hours of labor, nor the materials donated,” said Dane. He noted he and Hale had to obtain approval from the Historical Committee, Historic Districts Commission, Select Board, Community Preservation Committee, Department of Public Works, among others, all of which held hearings.

“It was hundreds and hundreds of hours,” said Dane.

One gratifying sentiment in the long process of getting approval came from David Wood, curator at the Concord Museum, who said to Dane, “it looks like (the bell) belongs here. It looks like nothing has changed.”

“With the ‘sounds of silence,’ it speaks of honor, courage, hope and sacrifice,” said Dane.

Other speakers at the dedication included Dick Krug, veterans agent for the town; Mike Lawson from the Select Board; and Army veteran Maynard Forbes, who noted the “universal support” that veterans get from the citizens of Concord.

Donations of cash, goods and services came from: Ruth Armknecht, ADM Partners, Frank Rigg, Gary Vilchik, June and Buck Grace, Sharon Spaulding, Hills Brothers Custom Builders, Lenox Landscaping, J. Melone Sons, Rotary Club of Maynard, Onyx Construction, Breht Feigh, Stonegate Gardens, New England Drilling, Frank Maurer Co., Shaw Bros. Landscaping, Colonial Stores, Vanderhoof’s Hardware, David Valchius, Jack Maloney, Arlex Oil Corp., Elena Pascatrella, Landscape Elements, LLC, Hiram Cutter, Colonial Inn, New England Drilling and Blasting.

 

Article source: http://concord.wickedlocal.com/news/20161120/concord-bell-unveiled-at-war-memorial

Three HDB projects in Dawson and Punggol win awards for landscaping and greenery

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Article source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/housing/three-hdb-projects-in-dawson-and-punggol-win-awards-for-landscaping-and-greenery

Marin Master Gardeners: Turn garden into sustainable landscape


Water-wise plants such as Mexican sage, carpet white roses, toyon and grevillea ‘Moonlight’ are well zoned in this garden.

Water-wise plants such as Mexican sage, carpet white roses, toyon and grevillea ‘Moonlight’ are well zoned in this garden.
Photo by Anne-Marie Walker



LEARN MORE

• For design tips and regional plant lists, go to marinmg.ucanr.edu/ and click on water-wise plant selection guide. You will find photos and attributes of plants to help you design and plant your sustainable garden.

• To learn more about plants classified as low water use and very low water use, go to ucanr.edu/sites/WUCOLS.

In Marin, our Mediterranean climate gives us mild, rainy winters, frequently wet springs, rainless summers and early falls. Fog comes to the Bay Area when cold ocean water and moist air are drawn in with the westerly breezes resulting in added precipitation.

In what may be another dry year, just turning off the water to our landscapes is not enough. Changing patterns of rainfall and fog, longer periods of warm weather, dropping humidity and warmer nighttime temperatures, challenge us to develop sustainable alternatives to standard landscaping.

As UC Master Gardeners, we counsel “right plant, right place.” The takeaway is drought-resistant and sustainable gardens that collaborate with local ecology and are filled with flowers and beneficial insects that keep pests and diseases at bay. A sustainable landscape achieves a balance of recycling nutrients, resisting disease and keeping pests in check while conserving water and attracting beneficial insects. Focusing on climate-appropriate annuals, perennials, ground covers, shrubs and trees that provide visual interest, habitat for wildlife, reduce green waste, and are water efficient stops the unsustainable formula of lawns, clipped hedges and patches of annuals.

To make your garden a community of plants that coexist in a balanced composition, first recognize each plant’s growth characteristics, water needs, and maintenance requirements. John Muir observed California’s natural habitat in the late 1860s, noting in “The Mountains of California,” “wherever a bee might fly within the bounds of this virgin wilderness — through the redwood forests, along the banks of the rivers, along the bluffs and headlands fronting the sea, over valley and plain, park and grove, and deep leafy glen, or far up the piney slopes of the mountains — throughout every belt and section of climate up to the timber line, bee flowers bloomed in abundance.”

Beginning in March and continuing through April and May, mints, gilias, nemophilas, castilleias, phacelias, penstemons and groups of salvias bloomed. In a pleasing contrast of forms, penstemons, wild fuschia and salvias are paired in the sustainable, award-winning garden planted in hedgerow style, under the direction of UC master gardener Harvey Rogers, on the Old Rail Trail in Tiburon. Researchers at UC Davis and UC Berkeley have found that hedgerows of native plants especially around farms do support beneficial insects, bees and hummingbirds.

Remember to group plants according to water needs with sufficient room to grow in soil that is healthy and mulched appropriately. Managing rainwater with grading, swales, berms, basins and channels is essential to help water percolate into your garden soil concentrating water on the root zones of your plants and trees. The UC Berkeley and the San Francisco botanical gardens are informative places to observe plant strategies that fight drought. There, you will find drought-tolerant bulbing and rhizomatous plants such as Douglas iris, plants with leathery leaves like manzanita and others with resinous leaves, including salvias. Ground-hugging varieties of water wise plants, including mahonia, frangula, ceanothus, manzanita, symphorcarpos and baccharis, are being planted in a demonstration garden at the fire station on Butterfield Road in San Anselmo where the lawn has been removed. UC master gardeners Tony Mekisich and Leita Brown are using planting practices that demonstrate appropriate ways to establish “fire safe” zones around residences using only native plants on state and Marin Municipal Water District low-water-use lists.

Beautiful drought-tolerant gardens transform our landscape expectations; as Rachel Carson observed, “those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

The UC Marin Master Gardener column is written by UC Marin Master Gardeners, who are sponsored by the University of California Cooperative Extension. For questions about gardening, plant pests or diseases, call 415-473-4204 from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays, bring in samples or pictures to 1682 Novato Blvd., Suite 150B, Novato, or email helpdesk@marinmg.org.

Article source: http://www.marinij.com/lifestyle/20161118/marin-master-gardeners-turn-garden-into-sustainable-landscape

Helen Yemm: tips for ponds, plants for shade

Will anything grow in pots that will give privacy and look good in an exceedingly dark, paved passageway (about 13ft/4m wide) between two small terraced houses? The dividing wall between the houses is barely 5ft (1.5m) high, so we effectively look into each other’s kitchens when our blinds are up. None of us gardens, and this is a joint project.

Bridget Jones (yes really), via email 

This is, surely, a common problem for owners of small terraced houses. First, the lack of light: painting the walls to a certain height with a light-reflective hue will make a big difference. White is probably best – a definite colour might annoy you after a while. Then you could put up 12in (30cm) of smart, small-squared trellis on top of the wall, or perhaps that more modern alternative of horizontal wooden slats.

But steer away from fast-growing climbers in containers to grow up everything. They would soon race off to find the sun and leave you with their ugly undercarriages to look out on, leaves to sweep up and (perish the thought) a pruning job. You will find that, even unadorned by greenery, the trellis/screen will subtly but significantly remove the “eyeball-to-eyeball” feeling.

As for plants, less is more: a low-maintenance hardy evergreen, with architectural shiny leaves, the false castor oil plant Fatsia japonica (above), would grow well with limited light to about 4ft x 3ft (1.2m x 1m) and look magnificent through the kitchen window against a stark white wall, planted in a large, handsome container 1½ft (45cm) high and wide.

An alternative would be a virtually evergreen bamboo, one of the smaller-leaved ones, e.g. Fargesia nitida. Come to think of it, if both households planted one of each of these and put them against their side of the wall alternately back to back, they would soon form a green thicket. Success might even lead to an interest in gardening.

Making a bog garden 

Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/problem-solving/helen-yemm-tips-for-ponds-plants-for-shade/

Walpole residents among Garden Club officers


Newly elected officers of the Norwood Evening Garden Club (from left to right): Tracy Firth, Secretary, and Susan Cosman, Treasurer, both of Walpole; Sheela Venkatesh, Vice President; and Nancy Costa, President.

The Norwood Evening Garden Club announced the installation of a new slate of officers for a two-year term. Nancy Costa of Norwood was elected President; Sheela Venkatesh of Norwood was elected Vice President; Tracy Firth of Walpole was elected Secretary; and Susan Cosman of Walpole was elected Treasurer.
Costa has selected her Board and says she is confident that with such a strong support team, the club will continue its 20-year tradition of being an asset to the communities it serves.

The new Board of Directors includes Donna Lane, Awards, Scholarships, and Publicity; Janet Taylor, Civic Beautification; and Barbara Hopcroft, Membership; Anne Marie Bielenin Carol Cheek, Hospitality; and Anne Heller, Horticulture. Also assisting the Board will be Nell Rose Maresco, Sunshine; Kathleen Pellegrini, Garden Therapy; Debbie Wells, Plant-A-Row; Debbie Jim Schulz, liaisons to the Trustees of Reservations for Francis William Bird Park; and Lisa Oberly and Laura Lee, Plant Sale.

According to Venkatesh, the new Programs chair, the Garden Club has an interesting lineup of speakers scheduled for this year, including talks and demonstrations covering garden design (foliage, dahlias and hydrangeas), floral design, holiday traditions, cactus and succulents and the environment. The Club plans to continue its Plant-A-Row for the Hungry campaign, as well its annual Art in Bloom event, where club members interpret the drawings of Norwood and Walpole High School art students. Most club programs and events are open to the public.

In addition to offering a variety of entertaining and educational programs, the Club will continue its significant civic beautification efforts for the towns of Norwood and Walpole. The Club’s most visible community contributions to date have been the design and care of the “Washington Street Corridor” which includes the beds in Norwood’s Guild Square, the Round in Norwood Center, the corner of Cottage and Washington streets at the Common, Hawes Pool Park in South Norwood, and the beds at the entrance to Bird Park in Walpole. They will also care for the Walpole Library’s rain garden.

Because the Club meets in the evening, it draws members from a number of towns – Norwood, Walpole, Westwood, Dedham and several others. The Club is celebrating its 20 year anniversary welcoming novices, experts and all levels in-between. “Membership is open to anyone who loves gardening and is willing to further the Club’s goals,” says Costa. “Our primary objectives are to encourage interest in all phases of home gardening, and to promote environmentally sound horticultural practices, civic beauty and the conservation of natural resources.”

The Norwood Evening Garden Club has won many awards at the local, regional and national levels from the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, the New England Region of Garden Clubs, National Garden Clubs, Inc., the Boston and Newport Flower Shows and the Marshfield Fair. They have also won numerous awards from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and an award of distinction from the Garden Club of America.

For more information about becoming a member of the Norwood Evening Garden Club or to learn about upcoming club programs, contact Donna Lane at (781-769-3854) or visit www.NorwoodEveningGardenClub.org.

Article source: http://www.hometownweekly.net/walpole/walpole-residents-among-garden-club-officers/

Along for the Ride: Restrooms on wish lists for three MetroLink stations

At the North Hanley MetroLink station, where about 1,400 people board each weekday, there’s little protection from sun or wind for waiting passengers.

People unplug vending machines and use the outlets to charge their phones. Landscaping is overgrown. An empty pay phone booth and peeling paint signal a lack of care at the property.

There’s no bathroom — such a luxury is a rarity at any St. Louis-area transit station — or a little cafe to buy a sandwich while waiting for the train or bus.

Such problems were cited over the last few months as Citizens for Modern Transit and the AARP in St. Louis led “walk audits” at three MetroLink stations — North Hanley, Forest Park-DeBaliviere and Delmar — to help determine what can be done to make them places where people want to go for more than just boarding and exiting transit, and to improve them for riders. The report detailing the findings was released Tuesday.

The purpose wasn’t to advocate for policy or operation changes, such as police or security staffing matters on the trains and platforms. Some recommendations brought forth, such as better lighting and fencing off dark corners, could improve safety, as would more people around the stations.

“More eyes on the street helps make for a more secure, more vibrant, more enjoyable light-rail station and area,” said Russ Volmert, director of planning at the design firm Arcturis that was a part of the study.



Download PDF

Summary of MetroLink 'walk audits' report

Suggestions from those who participated ranged from small fixes such as adding landscape planters, to bigger goals like attracting mixed-use development around the stations.

At the North Hanley station, recommendations included getting rid of obsolete pay phone stands and overgrown landscaping along North Hanley Road and installing solar-powered charging stations.

At the Forest Park station, people wanted numerous hidden spaces on the platform under the street fenced off, and better use made of the space along DeBaliviere Avenue by working with Forest Park to bring in performers or events.

At the Delmar station, it was replacing sidewalks along Hodiamont Avenue near the station and moving the ticket-validating machines closer to the ticket vending machines. Another idea: put chess tables on the west side of Des Peres Avenue.

Food trucks made the lists too, and suggestions for every station studied included more seating and restrooms.

Representatives from Metro Transit were part of the walk audits. The agency said in a statement Friday that many people and interest groups make requests and suggestions about transit, and it is glad to take all ideas into account.

Metro said restrooms at public transit stations are rare nationwide. Locally, there are restrooms at the Clayton Transit Center (which is maintained by St. Louis County), at the Riverview and Hall location and at the North County Transit Center in Ferguson that opened in March. The new Civic Center Transit Center being built near the Scottrade Center also will have them.

So, not many. And that means some people urinate in public areas, such as elevators. And riders often worry about more serious crimes.

“Our riders have repeatedly told us that safety and security on the system are the top priorities, and we are working with the local police jurisdictions to address those concerns,” said Metro’s statement, which came one day after a MetroLink security officer was shot by a man who was then shot by police at the Wellston station.

It remains to be seen which of the ideas collected through the walk audits will come to fruition. The next task is to narrow down the list by determining which projects are feasible and finding ways to pay for them.

Article source: http://www.stltoday.com/news/traffic/along-for-the-ride/along-for-the-ride-restrooms-on-wish-lists-for-three/article_f139b150-6cc3-5e9b-93b2-f5525403786a.html

Save the Dunes releases booklet/website to combat invasive plants

Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2016 4:10 pm
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Updated: 4:17 pm, Sat Nov 19, 2016.

Save the Dunes releases booklet/website to combat invasive plants

STAFF REPORTS

TheNewsDispatch.com

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MICHIGAN CITY — One of the largest threats to biodiversity within Northwest Indiana’s natural areas is the invasion of exotic flora, according to representatives from Save the Dunes.

To challenge this threat, Save the Dunes has put together an advisory committee to create a colored booklet covering 10 plants to be wary of when landscaping and 20 native plants to put into the landscape instead.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016 4:10 pm.

Updated: 4:17 pm.

Article source: http://www.thenewsdispatch.com/news/article_f21a40c6-baf4-51f6-86fb-c923799413ba.html

Diana Balmori, Landscape Architect With a Blending Philosophy, Dies at 84

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Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/arts/design/diana-balmori-landscape-architect-with-a-blending-philosophy-dies-at-84.html