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Archives for November 26, 2016

Black Friday shoppers hit local stores, restaurants

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP – Overcast skies and a short-lived misty rain didn’t stop holiday shoppers from searching out bargains on Black Friday. 

Local stores drew in crowds of shoppers, but none had an overwhelming turnout. Retailers credit this to the large number of stores that opened on Thanksgiving. For example, the line outside the door at the Coach store in Grove City Premium Outlets on Thanksgiving evening made a return.

A spirited addition 

There also was a unique retailer at the outlets this year.  

McLaughlin Distillery, a craft spirit producer from Sewickley, Pa., was given permission to set up a small booth at the outlets. Owner Kim McLaughlin was handing out small sipping samples to customers – to those 21 and older.

Creating such items as moonshine, and vodka, McLaughlin also crafts specialty liquors like Toasted Apple Wood Whiskey and Grandma’s Rocking Chair Whiskey. 

Customers buying his moonshine, which contains a relatively mild 25 percent alcohol, use it to create their own cocktails, McLaughlin said.  

”They usually mix it with cider,’’ he said. 

A dairy farmer for 22 years, he’s found spirit producing is a more forgiving industry.

”The thing with milk is you have to sell it or it goes bad,’’ he said. “With my spirits, I can take them back home for another day.’’

Popular spot, eh?

As usual on Black Friday, there was a large number of Canadian shoppers at the outlets. Ontario license plates could readily be seen in the parking lot along with Canadian tour buses dropping off shoppers.

Alda Menezes, an Ontario resident, was among those stepping off a bus with her daughters. Her daughters were playing in a hockey tournament in the Pittsburgh region. But the trip to the outlets served as some relaxing time.

”We’re just looking for deals,’’ Menezes said.

A number of retailers let their employees dress in relaxing attire – real relaxing. Justice, a retailer at the outlets, let employees working the late night shift wear comfy pajamas.

Biting off more than they could chew

It wasn’t just clothing retailers who were busy.

Managers at a couple Hermitage restaurants were so busy handling crowds they didn’t have time to talk. But they did say simple meals such as hamburgers and salads where the top sellers.

In downtown Sharon, lunchtime patrons at Quaker Steak Lube restaurant had a 10 minute or so wait for seating to become available.

”By 11:30 a.m. we had a waiting list,’’ Manager Frank Corbett said.

A tree by any other name

And Cottage Gardens was doing a brisk business on live Christmas tree sales. For many, Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional time to erect and decorate the tree.

”We put ours up on Thanksgiving or a day or two later,’’ said Mark Williams, a Sharon resident who just bought a tree at the store.

With so many pine trees for sale at the store, to distinguish one tree from another, the Hermitage greenhouse and landscaping business gives each tree a different first name. 

”Ours is named Brandon,’’ Williams said with a smile. 

Some customers cling to the name each year, said Corey Wise, director of landscaping for Cottage Gardens. 

”They’ll take an hour to search for the name among our trees,’’ Wise said. “It’s kind of comical. No matter what the tree is like, they’ll buy it because of its name.’’

Article source: http://www.sharonherald.com/news/black-friday-shoppers-hit-local-stores-restaurants/article_0a194afc-1a91-519f-9057-6e65c4a2edd3.html

12 ways to use evergreen boxwoods in the landscape

 Choosing your boxwood. All boxwoods are in the Buxus genus, with around 70 different species and hundreds of cultivars. Common, or English, boxwood (B. sempervirens, USDA zones 5 to 8) gets bigger, grows faster and has more pointed leaves than dwarf English boxwood (B. sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’, zones 5 to 8). Dwarf English boxwood is particularly prized for topiary and edging, as its slow-growing habit and dense form requires less pruning.

Both littleleaf boxwood (B. microphylla, zones 6 to 9) and Korean boxwood (B. sinica var. insularis, zones 4 to 9) have narrow leaves and a compact form. Of all the Buxus species, Korean boxwood can survive in the lowest temperatures (down to Zone 4), making it the best choice for cold-winter regions.

Designing With Boxwoods

Boxwood

Photo: PAGE | DUKE Landscape Architects

1. Accentuate a garden gate. The gate may officially mark the entryway to this garden, but a pair of large boxwoods gives the arrival real presence. Clipped into sculptural balls, the boxwood looks good year-round and could be wrapped with twinkling white lights in winter.

home-garden-ILCA-Excellence-in-Landscape-Silver-Award-Winnetka

Photo: Premier Service

2. Add structure to informal gardens. Looser gardens can benefit from the addition of boxwoods to add structure to free-form beds of perennials and billowing grasses. Boxwoods look attractive year-round, which can help ease transitions in the garden as flowers fade and perennials die back, or if beds are left bare in winter.

Beautiful-garden-Melbourne-Australia

Photo: Andrew Renn

3. Edge a garden bed. The top choices for low-growing hedges are boxwood varieties that have been cultivated to stay compact, such as dwarf English ( sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’), Wee Willie (B. sinica var. insularis ‘Wee Willie’) and ‘Morris Midget’ (B. microphylla var. japonica ‘Morris Midget’). Plant along garden borders to define planting beds or edge the beds of a kitchen garden.

Lockwood-Road-traditional-entryway

Photo: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

4. Make a stately entrance. Place a potted boxwood on either side of the front door for a welcoming entrance display that takes far less effort to maintain than seasonal annuals. Plant the boxwoods in a well-drained potting mix and keep the soil moist but not too damp.

country-farmhouse-landscape

Photo: A Blade of Grass

5. Soften corners. Shaped into tightly clipped spheres or left as looser mounds, boxwoods can help round out the corners of garden beds. Center a single boxwood on the corner of a bed or arrange a trio of boxwoods with staggered heights in a tight grouping. Softening corners can be particularly useful in small gardens or tight intersections where you might be tempted to clip a corner moving from one space to the next.

topiary-traditional-landscape

Photo: Laara Copley-Smith Garden Landscape Design

6. Plant en masse. For maximum sculptural impact, plant many boxwoods together and keep them all clipped into globes. The repetitive curved shapes have a peaceful, almost hypnotic, quality as sunlight moves over them. To plan for pruning, space the boxwoods with small gaps between them to allow someone to step into the bed to access plants in the center.

College-Crescent-landscape-winter

Photo: The Association of Professional Landscapers

7. Plant a room divider. A row of boxwood orbs separates an upper terrace from a lower courtyard in this garden in Berkshire, England. Kept to about 2½ feet tall and wide, the boxwood balls help define the two areas without blocking the view from one to the other.

moss-elements-garden

Photo: Le jardinet

8. Dissuade deer. In gardens that are prone to hungry four-legged visitors, boxwoods can be used in place of other shrubs, such as azalea, arborvitae, roses and yew, that are frequently nibbled. Deer avoid boxwoods thanks to their bitter alkaloid-rich foliage — the same compound that gives boxwood leaves their slightly astringent smell.

contemporary-landscaping-hardscape

Photo: Harrington Porter Landscapes Ltd

9. Emphasize edges. While we usually see boxwoods sheared as hedges or grown into globes, shaping them into rectangular blocks can be surprisingly effective in emphasizing hardscape geometry. In this London garden, boxwoods clipped into low rectangles mimic the form of the stairs, while larger boxwood cubes highlight the geometry of the water feature to the right.

traditional-landscaping-exterior

Photo: JLF Associates, Inc.

10. Gussy up a parking area. Potted boxwoods placed equidistant along the side of a parking area help soften an expanse of cobblestones. Using potted containers in an open parking area can also help direct guests where to park — keeping cars well away from the post of an awning or the living room windows, for example.

craftsman-home-landscaped-exterior

Photo: Bosworth Hoedemaker

11. Tuck into window boxes. Boxwoods are great plants for window boxes, as they require little tending and their dark green leaves complement flowers of any hue. In spring, plant edging lobelia (Lobelia erinus, zones 10 and 11) below the boxwood for a profusion of blooms through summer. Once the flowers begin to look tired, replace them with bronze- or purple-leaved coral bells (Heuchera spp., zones 4 to 9) for fall and winter interest.

traditional-green-landscape-garden

Photo: Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Article source: http://www.totallandscapecare.com/landscaping/12-ways-to-use-boxwoods/

Greener Living: Book on native plants is a gift for the asking – Virginian

Native plant lovers, a holiday gift is yours for the asking.

A beautiful full-color paperback, “Native Plants for Southeast Virginia including Hampton Roads Region,” is hot off the press.

” Until more than 13,000 copies have been distributed, the book, full of information and luscious photos of native plants, is free. See the note at right for ways to get a copy.

Virginia Witmer, the outreach coordinator with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, designed the book and coordinated the publication.

Authors are several native plant experts around Hampton Roads, who wrote plant descriptions and donated photos. A grant from the United States Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded the book’s publication.

The book gives an informative rundown on many native groundcovers, ferns, flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees for this area, along with color photos. Information on where and when they like to grow, as well as the wildlife they support, is included. Comments below each plant give extra tidbits of interesting information.

“Step by step, show me what to do, really hits home with people,” Witmer said.

You don’t have to look far in the alphabetical listing of perennials to find Asclepias incarnata, or swamp milkweed, the popular monarch butterfly host plant. Besides growing information, the helpful comments note that swamp milkweed cannot be transplanted because of its long taproot. And the comments go on to say that aphids are inevitable but not to worry unless the plants look sick. Then “spray the plant and aphids with soapy water.”

We’re told that passionvine, often called maypop, got its name from its fruit that pops loudly when crushed, and that the sweet groundcover, partridge berry, “implies that the scarlet fruits are relished by partridges.”

Turns out that coral honeysuckle, a pretty dainty vine, is a powerhouse as a food source for many insects and birds. Not only is it popular as a nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies, but surprisingly, it also is host to 33 spring caterpillars. Come fall, its fruit attracts the purple finch, goldfinch, hermit thrush and robin.

The guide is modeled after other native plant books recently published in other regions in the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, Witmer noted. Almost all of the handsome photos of plants that accompany the descriptions in this book were taken by the authors in local gardens, Witmer said.

“The photography for this one is wonderful,” she said. “As a designer, I just absolutely loved, loved, loved to get these photos.”

Other than the sections on the plants themselves, look for a chapter called “The Right Plants in the Right Place,” which has plant recommendations for almost every habitat you can think of. There’s “Landscaping in Streetside Places,” “Landscaping in Small Places” and even “Landscaping in Dry Shade” and “Landscaping in Wet Shade.” Other sections discuss landscaping along the water and in rain gardens.

You can find information on places to see native plants and on kids and native plants. An extensive list of additional resources, both online and books, also is included.

“Native Plants for Southeast Virginia” is fun to thumb through and full of specific information when you want it.

The guide was produced as part of a coastwide regional native plant marketing initiative coordinated by the Coastal Zone Management Program. The authors who worked with Witmer represent more than two dozen gardening and environmental groups and businesses across southeast Virginia.

“I just love having all that creativity at the table,” Witmer said, “and all that knowledge and expertise.”

Not only did many people work hard to produce this special book that will be invaluable to gardeners, but they also are gifting it to us.

Article source: http://pilotonline.com/life/greener-living-book-on-native-plants-is-a-gift-for/article_58e0b6ff-da36-505a-9983-57ea4b29ccef.html

7 Gardening Tips for Year’s End – Prescott eNews

Watters Weekly Garden Classes

Nov 26 – Decorating with Holiday Tropicals, Poinsettia Christmas Cactus. The most garden fun is had with indoor tropicals our holiday plant collection. The first of these festive plants arrive this week just for the event. Cooking the turkey dinner fine, but these plant ideas bring out the kid in even the most avid gardener. Coupons abound for each of the students as we premier this years newest poinsettias, amaryllis and blooming cactus.

December

Dec 3 Cut Christmas Trees and Greens How to Force them to Stay Fresh. This is the week the freshest cut trees arrive of the season. We have a new featured tree that last longer than all the others this year. Students learn which trees stay fresh, care and some insider secrets that insure your tree stays fresh until the very end. We have locally designed wreaths, swags and garlands just for the students of this class. Free to all locals with a special coupon just for attending.

The days grow short as we move into the last of the 2016 gardening season. This is a time to relax, sip some tea while warming our feet by the fire, and reflect on our gardening successes and near misses.  But there still are some things to watch for in December, so here are seven gardening ideas for closing down this year’s garden and to ensure healthy plants through the winter.  

#1 HOUSEPLANT CARE

·Watch closely for flying fungus gnats in the house or greenhouse; they kill houseplants.  Treat with Bonide’s Systemic Granules at first sign of trouble.

·Reduce watering of houseplants as light levels drop.

·Check that houseplants are getting enough light – most do best on a sunny windowsill.

·Cacti and succulents need a period of dormancy over winter, so keep them barely moist and do not feed. Resume watering and food in spring.

·Plant amaryllis bulbs.

·Cyclamen prefer a cool room and being watered from below, i.e. in the saucer not the pot.

·Poinsettias should be kept in a warm room and away from drafts to ensure they last as long as possible.

·Put indoor hyacinths in a cool room. If they become too warm the flowers will be short-lived. 

·If Christmas cacti fail to set buds the room may be too warm or the plant is receiving too much artificial light.  If so, try moving the plant to a cooler room, near a window.

#2 LAWN CARE

·If winter is mild, grass will continue to grow; if this is the case it may be necessary to give the lawn a trim. Make sure mower blades are set at 1.5 – 2 inches high.

·Once you have completed the last cut make sure the mower is clean and dry before storing. Remember to drain fuel as unleaded gas doesn’t keep and may cause issues when beginning the next mowing season. Consider servicing the mower and sharpening blades for next year.

·Continue to rake fallen leaves off lawns so they don’t block out light and air to the grass.

·Avoid walking on the grass on frosty mornings as it can damage or blacken the grass.

·You can still apply Watters 7-4-4 ‘All Purpose Plant Food’ as a lawn food.  It is high in potassium and phosphorous which helps to harden the grass and build a strong root system.

·Re-cut all edges for a crisp clean appearance.

·Check for water logging, as this condition can be rectified now.

#3 IN THE GARDEN

·Remove fallen leaves from lawns, borders, and ponds. 

·Raise containers by using ‘pot feet’ to prevent water logging.

·Improve clay soils by incorporating organic matter like composted mulch and barnyard manure.

·Move trees and shrubs that are growing in unsuitable/undesirable places. If they have been growing for several years be sure to remove a large enough root ball to avoid root disturbance.

·Protect not-so-hardy plants with protective mulch.

·Deer, rabbits, and squirrels can be a problem in winter months. Use tree guards to prevent  bark from being gnawed.

#4 GREENHOUSE 

·Remove the last of spent crops, then clean and disinfect the greenhouse.

·In addition to a heater, insulation may be needed to keep the structure frost-free.

·Regularly inspect plants for pests and diseases.

·Invest in Max/Min thermometer for accurate monitoring of temperatures.

·Don’t forget that ventilation may be required during warm autumn days.

·To discourage fungal diseases, try not to wet leaves when watering.

·Remove faded flowers, yellowing and dead leaves to prevent the development of diseases within the greenhouse.

#5 VEGETABLE GARDEN

·Stake any Brussels sprouts stalks that are leggy and vulnerable to wind.

·Remove plant debris to help prevent the spread of disease.

·Turn over vacant areas and add organic mulch and manure to prepare soil for planting next year.

·Parsnips can be left in the ground until needed.

·Prune grape vines, and apple, pear, and quince trees.

·Continue to harvest turnips, swedes, parsnips, celery, Brussels sprouts, and beetroot.

·Regularly check stored apples and persimmons.

·Plant new fruit trees

·Prune autumn raspberries.

·Prune red and white currants and gooseberries.

·Tie up new tiers on espaliers.

 

#6 WILDLIFE BIRD CARE

·Hummingbird feeders should be left out as long as birds are active.

·Refill bird feeders.  All foods, including peanuts, are safe as the breeding season is ended.

·Clean out birdbaths and bird feeders.

·Keep birdbaths topped off and free of ice.

·Make a leaf pile for hibernating mammals and ground-feeding birds.

·Dig a wildlife pond.

#7 Odds Ends

·The 2017 seeds have arrived at the garden center, so it’s time to look through catalogs, plan gardens, and order seeds for next season.  

·Place fallen leaves on the compost pile for rotting down into leaf mold. Shredding or mowing the leaves will help speed up the composting process.

·Dig new garden spaces for next year; this will expose pest larvae and eggs to birds and frost.

·Make sure all winter protection is in place to help plants should the worst possible winter weather become a reality.

Until next issue, I’ll see you at Watters Garden Center.  

Article source: http://www.prescottenews.com/index.php/features/columnists/mountain-gardener/item/28858-7-gardening-tips-for-year-s-end

Wood ash is good for your garden; tips for pruning pear trees

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Article source: http://www.kentuckynewera.com/living/article_82aad846-b36d-11e6-ba87-eb3400ccfb74.html

Ask SAM: Where to get garden patio tips – Winston

Online:

journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, P.O. Box 3159, Winston-Salem, NC 27102

Article source: http://www.journalnow.com/news/ask_sam/ask-sam-where-to-get-garden-patio-tips/article_efdf0be5-3ea6-5984-9b1a-64a36580f26f.html

Designing the garden for your future | News | heraldbanner.com – Herald

It has been said, “When you are 16, you wonder how an old man of 30 manages to drag himself around. When you get to be 30, you feel that 60 is as old as Methuselah. When you get to be 60, you think that the ‘aged’ are those in their 90s.”  

It is best to remember that, with luck, we will all become elderly one day.  Even if you are young, and are just now starting your garden, a little forethought into designing your garden for your golden years may be much-appreciated by your future self.  

The design and future maintenance of tall plantings is important to consider.  Try to keep the mature height to one-story level or below of any plantings that might need to be pruned or hedged.  That way, you will not have to climb a ladder to keep plantings maintained.  I did not plan my garden well in this regard, and I am beginning to realize what a mistake I made. 

Used to be, it was easy for me to jaunt up to the top of a ladder, swinging pruners, electric hedge shears, chainsaw, or any other sharp tool that might cause bodily harm.  Now, however, my hedges and climbing plants are getting trimmed shorter and shorter each year, as I realize that it might not be in my best interest to take on such risk.

Thorny plants are another consideration.  As skin gets thinner and more tender, scratches are more likely to tear the skin, causing scars and possible infection.  I wish I would have thought of that before I planted so many plants with thorns and prickles, such as roses, pyracantha, barberry, hollies, and flowering quince (Chaenomeles).

Curiosities such as the Wingthorn rose (Rosa sericea ptericantha) are interesting to have, but may not be the best choice for someone with skin that easily tears or bleeds.

Weed maintenance is always a consideration, but even more so, as bending over for long periods of time becomes harder on your back. 

If weed removal is a top priority for you, try to plant ground covers that will shade out weed seeds, or keep a deep mulch applied.  Of course, applying mulch is back breaking work, too.  Perhaps failing eyesight will allow you to look past small areas of imperfection.

Pathways also need to be considered. If you find your footing is unstable on a gravel or flagstone pathway, you may want to consider replacing it before you fall.  There is no perfect path material, however.  Footing is sure on concrete, but should you fall, it is hard and unforgiving. A pathway made from a thick layer of mulch will need to be replenished regularly.  Grass is soft, but will need to be mown, and can be slippery when wet.  

Gardens are made for enjoyment. To enjoy your garden for as long as possible, think about  your garden’s design, its plants, pathways, and maintenance, and what each will mean for you in the future.

For more information, call 903-675-6130, e-mail hendersonCMGA@gmail.com, or visit www.henderson-co-tx-mg.org.

Article source: http://www.heraldbanner.com/texas/news/designing-the-garden-for-your-future/article_63d3c011-c159-59ee-8b09-ea5ae94b3bf5.html

Designing the garden for your future | News | heraldbanner.com – Herald

It has been said, “When you are 16, you wonder how an old man of 30 manages to drag himself around. When you get to be 30, you feel that 60 is as old as Methuselah. When you get to be 60, you think that the ‘aged’ are those in their 90s.”  

It is best to remember that, with luck, we will all become elderly one day.  Even if you are young, and are just now starting your garden, a little forethought into designing your garden for your golden years may be much-appreciated by your future self.  

The design and future maintenance of tall plantings is important to consider.  Try to keep the mature height to one-story level or below of any plantings that might need to be pruned or hedged.  That way, you will not have to climb a ladder to keep plantings maintained.  I did not plan my garden well in this regard, and I am beginning to realize what a mistake I made. 

Used to be, it was easy for me to jaunt up to the top of a ladder, swinging pruners, electric hedge shears, chainsaw, or any other sharp tool that might cause bodily harm.  Now, however, my hedges and climbing plants are getting trimmed shorter and shorter each year, as I realize that it might not be in my best interest to take on such risk.

Thorny plants are another consideration.  As skin gets thinner and more tender, scratches are more likely to tear the skin, causing scars and possible infection.  I wish I would have thought of that before I planted so many plants with thorns and prickles, such as roses, pyracantha, barberry, hollies, and flowering quince (Chaenomeles).

Curiosities such as the Wingthorn rose (Rosa sericea ptericantha) are interesting to have, but may not be the best choice for someone with skin that easily tears or bleeds.

Weed maintenance is always a consideration, but even more so, as bending over for long periods of time becomes harder on your back. 

If weed removal is a top priority for you, try to plant ground covers that will shade out weed seeds, or keep a deep mulch applied.  Of course, applying mulch is back breaking work, too.  Perhaps failing eyesight will allow you to look past small areas of imperfection.

Pathways also need to be considered. If you find your footing is unstable on a gravel or flagstone pathway, you may want to consider replacing it before you fall.  There is no perfect path material, however.  Footing is sure on concrete, but should you fall, it is hard and unforgiving. A pathway made from a thick layer of mulch will need to be replenished regularly.  Grass is soft, but will need to be mown, and can be slippery when wet.  

Gardens are made for enjoyment. To enjoy your garden for as long as possible, think about  your garden’s design, its plants, pathways, and maintenance, and what each will mean for you in the future.

For more information, call 903-675-6130, e-mail hendersonCMGA@gmail.com, or visit www.henderson-co-tx-mg.org.

Article source: http://www.heraldbanner.com/texas/news/designing-the-garden-for-your-future/article_63d3c011-c159-59ee-8b09-ea5ae94b3bf5.html

Stuart Charles Towner in plea to sponsors for help to design first …


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or call 020 8267 8121, or refer to our answers to frequently asked questions.

Article source: http://www.hortweek.com/stuart-charles-towner-plea-sponsors-help-design-first-chelsea-flower-show-garden/landscape/article/1416794

Stuart Charles Towner in plea to sponsors for help to design first …


Having trouble signing in?

Contact Customer Support at

hwsupport@haymarket.com
or call 020 8267 8121, or refer to our answers to frequently asked questions.

Article source: http://www.hortweek.com/stuart-charles-towner-plea-sponsors-help-design-first-chelsea-flower-show-garden/landscape/article/1416794