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Archives for December 2016

Swirling brick circles form back garden for South London Gallery

Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco has worked with 6a Architects to create a sculptural garden paved in a pattern of interconnected circles for the South London Gallery.

The community-focused gallery, located in the London area of Camberwell, was previously renovated and extended by 6a Architects in 2010.

The new back garden is intended give the gallery’s visitors space to sit, eat and play. It will also serve as an outdoor showcase for installations by various artists.

South London Gallery Garden by Gabriel Orozco

Arranged across a number of levels, the garden is widely paved in Yorkstone bricks, many salvaged from what used to be the gallery’s rear facade.

These bricks draw circles around the garden, demarcating pockets for different activities. Rather than appearing repetitive, however, the circles are each given their own character through the use of different levels, or through the addition of plantings or water butts.

Circles are a common motif in Orozco’s work, but this is the first time the Tokyo-based artist has applied them to a garden design.

His main concern in designing the garden was to integrate the space with its surrounding architecture while serving the needs of the community.

South London Gallery Garden by Gabriel Orozco

“From my first visit I was impressed by the South London Gallery’s commitment to its local community and neighbourhood, and intrigued by the relationship between the garden space and its different audiences, and the idea of creating something which could provide an inspiring platform for all of them,” Orozco said.

“I started to think about various geometries emerging from the architecture surrounding the space and how they might be reintegrated into it as the basis of a design. It has been a fascinating process.”

Orozco intends the garden, which is currently sparsely planted, to be allowed to overgrow into a rambling environment that connotes an urban ruin.

It is planted with different grasses, creepers and scented plants, chosen on the basis of advice from horticulturists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

South London Gallery Garden by Gabriel Orozco

The garden will be open to the public every weekend and by private invitation during the week. As well as through South London Gallery itself, the garden can be entered from the abutting Sceaux Gardens housing estate, where the gallery runs art programmes.

The project adds to 6a Architects‘ growing portfolio of artistic and cultural spaces. The London-based studio previously renovated contemporary art gallery Raven Row and recently built a concrete studio for famed photographer Juergen Teller.

Its 2010 extension of the South London Gallery saw the studio renovate a neighbouring derelict house, exposing its original structural features.

The South London Gallery is currently displaying working drawings and a film about the garden project in its first-floor galleries until 8 January 2017.

Photography is by Andy Stagg

Article source: https://www.dezeen.com/2016/12/28/brick-circles-south-london-gallery-garden-gabriel-orozco-landscape-design-6a-architects/

The design story behind the new light garden at the Spring Garden El stop

The walk from Festival Pier to the Spring Garden El stop at night used to be a dark one. Not anymore, though.

The street improvements at the stop between Second and Front streets feature a light installation so striking that it hits the eye as more than nice urbanism — it’s public art.

The project, implemented by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, cost $2.4 million in a patchwork of grants. The Spring Garden Street Connector looks similar at first glance to the one on Race Street, which guides pedestrians along the I-95 underpass. But this one is powered by a prismatic light installation that, according to its designers at the Lighting Practice,follows the cycle of the sun as it rises and sets each day.”

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Matt Stanley

Technical engineering firm NV5 led the design team. The metal panels that cover the lights have a leafy design that were inspired by the street’s name, according to PlanPhillywhich detailed that construction was underway back in July. They were designed by Cloud Gehshan and made in an old Progresso factory in South Jersey, now the HQ for Urban Sign. Liz Ruff, an account manager at Urban Sign, said translating the garden-inspired designs was tough.

“It’s one idea to come up with them as a concept, it’s another thing to have that flow as a pattern and repeat itself,” she said.

For example, the light shines through “hundreds and hundreds” of holes, with the leaf shapes visible in the negative (unperforated) spaces. Cloud Gehshan “wanted the holes to be varying. In artwork that’s easy,” said Ruff. To fabricate that, every opening had to be adjusted. “I think the design firm touched each hole on that project.”

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NV5, Cloud Gehshan Associates, and DRWC

Colored beams also come through hanging, wavy, metal sheets— Ruff called these “clouds”— also bearing the leaf design. The stop has new sidewalks and streetscape upgrades to make getting to and front the waterfront safer.

1612_drwc_springgarden-2209

Article source: https://billypenn.com/2016/12/28/the-design-story-behind-the-new-light-garden-at-the-spring-garden-el-stop/

What your garden needs right now


Photo by Nico Toutenhoofd - Detroit Free PressAdd unusual bulbs to your garden like this Tulipa Schrenkii from Old House Garden Bulbs.

Photo by Nico Toutenhoofd – Detroit Free PressAdd unusual bulbs to your garden like this Tulipa Schrenkii from Old House Garden Bulbs.






For serious gardeners, the winter season is a less hectic but important one. Here are some tips categorized in what I call my “Seven Ps” — plan, plant, prune, provide, prevent, protect and prioritize.

Plan

If you don’t already have seed and plant catalogs pouring into your mailbox or email inbox, start with some of my favorites.

For heirlooms, I like Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (www.rareseeds.com). You can also shop in person at its Petaluma Seed Bank showroom. For unusual bulbs, I like Old House Garden Bulbs (www.oldhoursgardens.com) or Humboldt County’s Telos Rare Bulbs (www.telosrarebulbs.com).

For edibles, I drive up to the Occidental Arts Ecology Center (www.oaec.org) in Occidental for heirloom-certified organic, open-pollinated plants.

Gone native? Try Larner Seeds in Bolinas or Mostly Natives Nursery in Tomales. Main Street Trees in Napa grows and sells native trees and shrubs and The Wildflower Seed Co. in St. Helena sells a California native wildflower mix.

Incorporate firescaping techniques and plants in the garden design to protect your home and neighboring properties.

Introduce design into your garden if you haven’t done so already. New design apps will help you create stylish and practical traditional, modern, Japanese, native, vegetable and small gardens.

Plant

Winter is ideal for planting bareroot trees, roses, shrubs and vines. They tend to be less expensive than those that have been potted up and nurtured for months in a nursery. Make sure to dig generous holes and do not to plant trees underneath overhead wires.

You’ll soon start seeing wonderful edible options such as berry and grapes vines, asparagus crowns, artichoke plants and fruit trees in nurseries. Indulge! Choose only those plants that are compatible with your microclimate, soil, wind and watering conditions.

If you are talented with seeds, start lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, leeks, broccoli and cauliflower, among other vegetables, indoors now.

Prune

Wait until the weather warms up before pruning any frostbitten plant now. It could further traumatize the plant. Shelter it from further cold and give it time to recover.

Trim back sleeping vines, fruit trees, grape vines, hydrangeas, buddleia, penstemon, salvias, and the ornamental grasses that bloomed so beautifully in your garden over summertime.

Divide clumps of bulbs and tubers.

Provide

Fertilize established citrus trees with extra nitrogen. Even when it rains, plants under overhangs need water, and houseplants if in warm homes, need extra moisture.

Adjust your irrigation system with free weekly email or Twitter alerts from the Marin Municipal Water District based on your climate zone, irrigation system and plant types. Sign up at (www.marinwater.org)

Prevent

To keep gardens free from over-wintering pests and diseases, keep them free from dead plant material. Dispose of spent flowers and plants, dead or moldy leaves, and fallen produce. A dormant spray can help, too.

Clear away ivy and other dense plantings from your home’s exterior and you clear away easy hiding places for rodents. Check every inch of your home’s perimeter to make sure there isn’t a hole more than the size of a dime that can allow rodents inside.

Discourage rodents from damaging citrus trees by applying Bonide Repels All.

Screen windows so spiders, moths and other insects stay outside.

Overturn rainwater as it collects in pots, wheelbarrows or other containers to prevent mosquito breeding and the spread of West Nile disease.

Mulch now and you’ll save on water bills, soil erosion and time spent weeding later. Keep mulch pulled back from citrus trees, though, so the soil can warm up during sunny days, Pull up weeds now while the soil is soft.

Protect

Winter is a fabulous time to assess your landscape. Fallen leaves have laid bare the structure of arbors, and deciduous trees, shrubs and bushes. Rains can draw attention to leaking gutters and rooftops or soggy landscapes. Mud can wash away from fence bottoms exposing rotted wood and rodents may have found a shortcut into your home. Take notes and photographs so you can remember to fix things.

Succulents, citrus and tropicals can be damaged during cold spells. Shelter container plants in a warm space near a protective wall, or a corner of walls, under an overhang. Alternatively, spray them with an anti-transpirant product, such as Cloud Cover, or wrap their trunks in a thermal wrap.

Prioritize

Gardening tasks are ongoing but don’t get overwhelmed. I like to focus on the most important tasks now that will save me time, money, energy and grief later. And, whenever possible, enlist help.

Don’t-miss events

• Learn how to identify, collect and grow edible mushrooms and avoid the toxic ones in “Mushroom Cultivation” in a seven-week class from 1:10 to 3 p.m Jan. 30 to March 20 (no class Feb. 20) at Indian Valley Campus at 1800 Ignacio Blvd. in Novato. The cost is $138. Register at 415-485-9305 or www.marincommunityed.com.

• See free-flying monarchs, Western swallowtails, painted ladies and more at the “Butterflies and Blooms” exhibit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays through March 15, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 16 through Oct. 30. The exhibit will close for maintenance from Jan. 17 through 22. Admission is $8. The Conservatory is at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Call 415-831-2090 or go to www.conservatoryofflowers.org.

• Ready, set, prune! In this free “Fruit Tree Pruning and Planting” class, gardeners will learn techniques to prune one fruit tree or a home orchard for fruitful production and how to choose a pruner. Classes will be at 9 a.m. Jan. 7 at Armstrong Garden Centers at 130 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in San Anselmo (415-453-2701) or 1430 South Novato Blvd. in Novato (415-878-0493) www.armstronggarden.com.

• Learn how to create aesthetically pleasing and healthy and productive fruit trees with garden designer Elizabeth Ruiz in a “Fruit Tree Pruning 101” seminar at 1 p.m. Jan. 22 at 401 Miller Ave. in Mill Valley; 10 a.m. on Jan. 29 at 700 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Kentfield (415-454-0262); and noon January 29 at 2000 Novato Blvd. in Novato (415-897-2169). Free for members, or $10. To register, call or go to www.sloatgardens.com.

• Make a wooden candlestick, oil lamp holder and small bowl during “A Taste of Turning” workshop with Geo Monley from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 7 at the Tamalpais High School Wood Shop at 700 Miller Ave. in Mill Valley and costs $86. Register at 415-945-3730 or www.marinlearn.org.

PJ Bremier writes on home, garden, design and entertaining topics every Saturday and also on her blog at DesignSwirl.co. She may be contacted at P.O. Box 412, Kentfield 94914, or at pj@pjbremier.com.

Article source: http://www.marinij.com/lifestyle/20161230/what-your-garden-needs-right-now

Meet the garden designer who has won praise from Theresa May and Princess Eugenie

SHE is garden designer who has won admiration from the likes of David Cameron and Theresa May.

Juliet Sargeant is a Chelsea Flower Show gold-medal winning garden designer living and working in Sussex.

Earlier this month the Rottingdean resident featured in week-long BBC One show Operation People Power with Dave Myers which highlights the incredible volunteering projects from around the UK.

“The great thing about it is the variety of skills people bring to the show. A few of the projects are about creating outdoor spaces – I could bring to it my dual background in garden design and health as I am medically qualified.

“So I understand the effect of outdoor play areas on peoples health and wellbeing – as a few of projects featured in the programme are about creating outdoor spaces,” the 51-year-old says.

The London native turned her back on a career as a doctor to embark on a new career in garden designing.

“I’ve always gardened – from the age of seven my mum gave me a corner of the garden and said ‘this is your bit’ and I made a rockery.

“I always enjoyed that creative part of gardening, so when I decided to leave medicine I thought I’ll try something completely different – try garden design.”

Since going back to university to study for a BA in Garden Design in 1995, she went on to become an award-winning garden designer, lecturer and media personality.

Article continues after…


  • “I’ll be all right. Don’t worry I can do it” – Fisherman’s last words before being swept away
  • Man arrested over the death of porn star in Brighton freed by police
  • Met Office issue yellow weather warning for Sussex
  • A love for beards defies the national trend in Brighton
  • Mice, wasps and ants found in hospitals

Her pinnacle she says was winning a gold medal and People’s Choice Award at The Chelsea Flower Show this year 2016 with her Modern Slavery Garden in the Fresh category.

The garden features several doors an oak representing captivity and three William Wilberforce sat beneath when he vowed to help end the slave trade.

She says: “It was all about raising awareness that modern slavery exists. Even today we think slavery has ended but it is still going on.

“It’s quite an edgy subject to cover at Chelsea, I wasn’t sure how it would be received, but people were really engaged and interested in the subject and we were supported by quite a few high profile people.”

High profile people including Theresa May and Phillip Hammond who came to visit the garden, David Cameron who tweeted about it and even two members of the Royal Family.

“Princess Eugenie was really supportive – she was actually behind the scenes supporting the project all the way through.

“She came and visited with her father the Duke of York to see the garden – we were all so pleased with the number of people interested in modern slavery,” she says.

But the garden wasn’t the only thing making headlines: Juliet was the first black woman to showcase a garden design at the Chelsea Flower Show.

“It was all quite a surprise because it was journalist that picked up on it.

“But what really surprised me was the number of black people who contacted me to say that it was great to see a person of colour doing this and were asking how they could get into garden design.

“Breaking preconceptions about various issues can make a real difference.”

Juliet runs her garden designing business from an office in Alfriston, and when she is not breaking barriers Juliet is wife to husband Chris, who she met whilst they were both at medical school in London, and daughter 18-year-old daughter Loretta.

She has now lived in Rottingdean for 20 years and spends her spare time wandering the deserted Tidemills Village on the beach near Newhaven and on her allotment.

She said: “Making gardens is similar to practicing medicine – both are about helping people to be happy and healthy – but now I do it by creating beautiful gardens.”

Article source: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14991966.Ex_doctor_breaks_new_ground_in_garden_design_and_wins_praise_host_of_stars/?ref=rss

Ex-doctor breaks new ground in garden design and wins praise host of stars

SHE is garden designer who has won admiration from the likes of David Cameron and Theresa May.

Juliet Sargeant is a Chelsea Flower Show gold-medal winning garden designer living and working in Sussex.

Earlier this month the Rottingdean resident featured in week-long BBC One show Operation People Power with Dave Myers which highlights the incredible volunteering projects from around the UK.

“The great thing about it is the variety of skills people bring to the show. A few of the projects are about creating outdoor spaces – I could bring to it my dual background in garden design and health as I am medically qualified.

“So I understand the effect of outdoor play areas on peoples health and wellbeing – as a few of projects featured in the programme are about creating outdoor spaces,” the 51-year-old says.

The London native turned her back on a career as a doctor to embark on a new career in garden designing.

“I’ve always gardened – from the age of seven my mum gave me a corner of the garden and said ‘this is your bit’ and I made a rockery.

“I always enjoyed that creative part of gardening, so when I decided to leave medicine I thought I’ll try something completely different – try garden design.”

Since going back to university to study for a BA in Garden Design in 1995, she went on to become an award-winning garden designer, lecturer and media personality.

Article continues after…


  • “I’ll be all right. Don’t worry I can do it” – Fisherman’s last words before being swept away
  • Man arrested over the death of porn star in Brighton freed by police
  • Met Office issue yellow weather warning for Sussex
  • A love for beards defies the national trend in Brighton
  • Mice, wasps and ants found in hospitals

Her pinnacle she says was winning a gold medal and People’s Choice Award at The Chelsea Flower Show this year 2016 with her Modern Slavery Garden in the Fresh category.

The garden features several doors an oak representing captivity and three William Wilberforce sat beneath when he vowed to help end the slave trade.

She says: “It was all about raising awareness that modern slavery exists. Even today we think slavery has ended but it is still going on.

“It’s quite an edgy subject to cover at Chelsea, I wasn’t sure how it would be received, but people were really engaged and interested in the subject and we were supported by quite a few high profile people.”

High profile people including Theresa May and Phillip Hammond who came to visit the garden, David Cameron who tweeted about it and even two members of the Royal Family.

“Princess Eugenie was really supportive – she was actually behind the scenes supporting the project all the way through.

“She came and visited with her father the Duke of York to see the garden – we were all so pleased with the number of people interested in modern slavery,” she says.

But the garden wasn’t the only thing making headlines: Juliet was the first black woman to showcase a garden design at the Chelsea Flower Show.

“It was all quite a surprise because it was journalist that picked up on it.

“But what really surprised me was the number of black people who contacted me to say that it was great to see a person of colour doing this and were asking how they could get into garden design.

“Breaking preconceptions about various issues can make a real difference.”

Juliet runs her garden designing business from an office in Alfriston, and when she is not breaking barriers Juliet is wife to husband Chris, who she met whilst they were both at medical school in London, and daughter 18-year-old daughter Loretta.

She has now lived in Rottingdean for 20 years and spends her spare time wandering the deserted Tidemills Village on the beach near Newhaven and on her allotment.

She said: “Making gardens is similar to practicing medicine – both are about helping people to be happy and healthy – but now I do it by creating beautiful gardens.”

Article source: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14991966.Ex_doctor_breaks_new_ground_in_garden_design_and_wins_praise_host_of_stars/?commentSort=oldest

Pat Munts: Garden design trending toward free-form and casual – The Spokesman

As the sugar plums dance out of our heads and the holidays fade away, we gardeners will have to find something new to dream, scheme and plan for over the next couple of cold, snowy months. Here are some of the hot new trends that garden designers around the country are putting into their clients’ gardens in 2017.

The use of more free-form, locally sourced, natural materials for furniture, structures, fences and walls are replacing the minimalist and modern look that has been around for several years. Gardeners are asking for garden furnishings that blend with the natural surroundings to create a casual, lived-in feel that looks like it’s been there for years. Angular hardscape paths are being replaced by more free-form gravel or crushed stone paths that meander about the garden as if you are walking on a nature trail. Patios and decks are no longer squares and rectangles but more free-form shapes that flow into spaces for outdoor living or draw your attention to a view of the garden.

In our region, this will mean using a lot of wood for furnishings and native stone for hardscaping. Salvaged materials from old structures, fences and rock piles can be made into new outdoor furniture, garden sheds and hardscaping. For stone, our area is blessed with lots of basalt and glacial boulders that can be incorporated into walls, fences and garden accents. With access to a truck and some strong backs, you might even get them for the asking.

It’s a lot of work to maintain a garden to bloom through the entire season so why not just incorporate some colorful panels or whimsical structures around the garden? Maybe it’s some bright yellow panels hung on an exterior wall or fence, colorful pots or outdoor rugs. These flashes of color don’t need to be deadheaded, trimmed or weeded.

That leads me to the next trend: selecting the right plants for the right space, thereby reducing the amount of work you have to do. Pick plants that fit your garden conditions rather than imposing your idea of a garden on the space. Got lots of shade? Plant stuff that can take the shade. Have dry spots? Plant drought-tolerant plants instead of trying to keep the water hogs happy and failing miserably in the process. If you must have your hydrangeas and rhododendrons, plant them in a place that is easy for you to look after them.

In keeping with the more casual gardening style, consider replacing your traditional lawn grass with one of the short-statured grass varieties that are coming on to the market. Throw in a mix that has some wildflowers in it and create a short grass meadow that will only need to be mowed a few times a summer. Many of these new grasses are also fairly drought tolerant and do well without a lot of fertilizer. This will help your water bill and reduce chances of excess fertilizer getting into our ground water.

Pat Munts can be reached at pat@inlandnw gardening.com.

Article source: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/dec/29/pat-munts-garden-design-trending-toward-free-form-/

Top landscaping tips for 2017

You have read and heard a lot of landscaping advice and ideas throughout the year. Some may have been helpful; others were just not for you.

Still others could have been too complicated or too costly to execute within your means. Others were probably outrightly absurd, especially those from those know-it-all fundis and neighbours.

In the midst of these numerous insights certain basics can easily be lost. Here are some of the most important landscaping tips you should try out in 2017.

Always plan

When thinking about a new garden or any changes you want to make on your yard, it is important to consider how you propose to use the space, not just now but also in the future. This can range from very complex and highly specialised garden spaces, to very little intervention at the other extreme.

Ask yourself a series of questions about the yard’s many roles. Do you want a space for entertaining, a play area while the children are young, or do you simply want a peaceful but beautiful yard in which to relax when you have free time?

Consider these questions and draw up a plan based on how you answer them. The process is a simple one: Lay tracing paper over your base plan, sketch all sorts of ideas, then select or change ideas based on how they fit together and how they sort out your needs.

Choose your plants wisely

Selecting the right plant for the right place is an essential skill for any gardener. Start by doing a bit of research on some of the trees, shrubs, climbers, perennials, bulbs, grasses, and water plants you like in your region. Get information on their design uses, site and soil preferences, mature sizes as well as the shape of each plant. All this information should help you make the right decisions on the best plant to plant where.

Get the right advice

There is plenty of information about gardening out there. Books and magazines, the Internet and your local landscaper are just a few of them. Still there are friends and acquaintances who sound knowledgeable about gardening as well as shamba boys who are ever ready with stories about their gardening exploits.

Don’t believe everything you hear. Find out for yourself that the information you get is factual and relevant. If you can, call in a professional.

Mulch

Mulching is the practice of placing a blanket of organic or inorganic material to cover the surface of the soil.

Few garden practices serve as many functions simultaneously as mulching does. It helps supress weeds, improves water retention and helps control soil erosion. Organic mulches also decompose and add important nutrients into the soil.

Consider the environment

In everything you do in your garden, be kind to the environment. Save water by growing plants that thrive in your area without the need to constantly irrigate. If you have to water, do so in the mornings or evenings and use water efficient irrigation methods. You should also make some effort to cut down on the use of chemicals by using compost and non- chemical methods to deal with pests.

-The writer is a landscape architect

Article source: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000228264/top-landscaping-tips-for-2017

Rethink your landscape for 2017 with Grow Green program

With the new year ahead, many gardeners are making resolutions for getting their yards, flower beds and vegetable plots in shape in 2017.

The Grow Green gardening education program, which is a partnership between the city of Austin and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, offers a lot of help through training classes, printed materials, demonstration gardens and more.

Grow Green focuses on water quality, conservation, recycling and integrated pest management as well as Earth-wise practices.

“It’s all just about sustainability,” says Denise Delaney, environmental program coordinator with the city of Austin Watershed Protection Department.

Grow Green, which started in 2001, holds twice-a-year homeowner trainings, which are free but require registration.

The most recent Grow Green Homeowner Training in November drew a couple dozen gardeners to a downtown building. For this November class, the registration had filled up online. Topics covered basics of landscape design, plant combinations, rebates and resources, as well as a garden walk and talk, and more.



Nancy Homsher, who is in the Travis County Master Gardener Program, says she attended because she is particularly interested in “landscape design that’s compatible with the harsh Texas climate.”

Zelda Laitinen, who grows fruit and vegetables, says she wanted to learn “how can we incorporate both gardening and landscaping,” such as the use of pathways and waterways. Laitinen says her husband is an avid gardener, but “I’m here more for the design part.”

Debbie Wertheim says she stumbled across information about the training online and decided the four-hour length meant it probably had “enough information to make it worthwhile.” In addition, “it was free.” She wished to find out about “native plants and better water options.”

The training is a crash course that covers a lot of ground, Delaney says. In gardening design, Delaney talked about proportion, intention and balance. She encouraged unity, which she says is “having some thread that ties things together,” yet, she says, “you can have lots of diversity.”

Delaney also offered simple ideas, such as assessing a landscape from different perspectives by stepping far back. Or “go inside and look out your windows,” she says.

Other straightforward advice: “Get yourself a rain gauge,” she says. This helps to more accurately assess your specific garden area’s water needs.

Overall, she cautioned, “There’s no landscape that’s no-maintenance.” She also advised that, “There is no right design. It’s what you like. … Don’t feel there’s a right or wrong.”

Delaney also let attendees know that the Grow Green program aims to help. “Any way we can help you be successful, we’re here,” she says.

The next homeowner training will be around spring, with registration starting a month or so earlier.

Interested people can subscribe online to receive notifications about such gardening classes or call 512-974-2550 to get on the email list. They also can find Grow Green tools at growgreen.org.

The Grow Green program also offers trainings for landscape professionals. The series of five daylong trainings, which costs $20 per day or $75 for all five, cover plants and trees, edibles and wildlife, rainscapes, maintenance and treating pests and fire-wise landscaping. Registration has been ongoing for these sessions, which begin Jan. 20.

If you’re thinking about hiring a landscaping professional, a list of who has completed the professional training courses is listed at the Grow Green website. “We get lots of questions from citizens on who should (they) hire. The city can’t endorse particular businesses,” but “these professionals are committed to following sustainable landscaping practices” by taking the training, Delaney says.

The growgreen.org site also lists other events, including children’s garden story times and numerous Streamside Sapling Plantings.

“It’s almost all city activities that have something to do with landscaping and/or land management,” she says.

The Grow Green program also offers many free publications on a range of topics, including “Landscape Design,” ”Lawn Problems,” “Rain Gardens,” “Weeds” and “Beneficial Insects.” The guides are available at local home improvement stores, nurseries and more. Find the list of locations online at growgreen.org.

A popular guide, titled “Native and Adapted Landscape Plants: An Earth-wise Guide for Central Texas,” is a booklet with descriptions and photos of plants. It was created to help people select plants that are good for Austin’s climate and soil. They are also plants that tend to be drought tolerant, pest and disease resistant and are beneficial for wildlife.

Between 40,000 and 50,000 of these guides are given out each year, Delaney says.

Information is also available on a searchable plant database at the Grow Green website.

“We aim to provide the resources that you need to be successful landscaping in Austin,” Delaney says.


Article source: http://www.mystatesman.com/lifestyles/home--garden/rethink-your-landscape-for-2017-with-grow-green-program/pAxSItIoG0dc4hKrjqqprJ/

Victory Highway Landscaping Project Ideas Presented at Open House

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L-R: Robert Jones, Bailey Krause and Candace Amberg gave a presentation on the Victory Drive Memorial Highway landscaping project on Dec. 20, 2016, at the Mapleton Fire Hall.

Article source: http://www.prairiepublishingmn.com/2016/12/28/victory-highway-landscaping-project-ideas-presented-at-open-house/

Tropical Gardening: Using gardens to create peace on Earth …

It is the time to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. In Hawaii, many Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu folks celebrate as well. The uniting elements of our multi-ethnic, multi-faith community are a bit complicated to explain in detail, but simply put, it is about faith, hope and most of all, love.

There are many similarities among the major religions. For example, most people might not know the Muslim Quran teaches that God, or Allah, sent Christ Jesus and He was born of the Virgin Mary. The message in the Quran is similar to that of the Christian Gospels.

Love and peace are binding elements of each faith and that unites us all. Gardens play an important part in finding peace and harmony, thus allowing us to experience a sense of love. Adam and Eve were to have lived in a perfect garden. Most faiths find the garden a place of meditation, contemplation and prayer.

So, let’s focus on how we can each contribute to creating a peaceful island garden community.

How do beautiful gardens affect our state of mind?

Gardens have played an important role throughout human history. There is the spiritual aspect. Practically speaking, we also should remember that a healthy green landscape helps minimize the extremes of hot and cold. Vegetation helps reduce noise, pollution and produces oxygen that makes us feel better. Also, the color green is a very restful color.

This season, we have had plenty of rain, but some years even the rainiest locations suffered drought.

With water rates on the increase, some people might consider concrete or plastic lawns. But don’t be hasty. You can have a beautiful garden even if you live in a drier area. It’s just a matter of planning and proper planting.

A garden planted with no thought given to dry spells will do well throughout rainy periods but deteriorate without irrigation during dry periods. Even in East Hawaii, we need to use plants that will tolerate extremes of wet to dry conditions. Fortunately, many garden plants in Hawaii are fairly hardy when it comes to short water supply, so we have a long list from which to draw.

It’s important to vegetate these areas so that our islands don’t look like Devil’s Hole, N.M., in years to come. A good reference to help you select the right plants is “Sunset National Garden Book.”

There are two factors that make plants able to survive moisture stress.

First, some plants are notably resistant to drought. This quality is centered largely in the cellular structure and has a bearing on the economy with which the plant functions. Some plants have the ability to carry through extended dry periods because of a happy faculty of closing the pores of the leaf against transpiration, or turning the leaf back or edge-on to the sun. Others root deeply to tap, and have available for day periods, any accumulated moisture in subsoil.

The garden environment is the other critical factor.

Water use is a process controlled by energy. The source of that energy is the sun. To move water out of the soil directly or through the plant and away into the atmosphere requires energy. The amount of energy available and the nature of the conducting medium that is the soil-plant-atmosphere complex determine how much water will be used in a given time.

Consider the amount of energy available on a piece of the landscape. The total available is the solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. Air that is heated in another and drier part of the landscape and moves across the area of land in which we have our plants growing also adds heat. The result is a larger amount of water evaporated than we would predict purely on the basis of solar radiation.

This is why the more shade and wind protection from trees we have in the garden the less water is required to keep moisture levels up. And conversely, the more asphalt and concrete to heat up, the more rapidly our planted area dries up, even in normally high rainfall areas such as Hilo.

Our lava lands are unusually prone to moisture loss, so when we develop these areas and plant trees, shrubs and grass, we actually create a cooler more comfortable environment. We actually might increase the rainfall in places such as Hualalai, Kukio and Mauna Kea Beach when we change lava flows to develop “urban forests,” parks and gardens

Besides the soil moisture, the nature of the plant itself has considerable effect on the amount of water lost into the air. The height of the plant and roughness of the surface have an effect on the wind movement and mixing of air across the surface of the vegetation. A rough surface will cause more water loss than a smooth surface.

Plants that are tolerant of salty beach conditions often use less water than many soft, luxuriant jungle plants because they are streamlined for water conservation. Beach naupaka is a great salt resistant shrub but also is used in the inland landscape. Plants such as the bird of paradise, dracaena, monstera and many philodendrons give a luxuriant look and are still drought resistant.

Many palms also have this quality. Heritage plants such as noni, hala and kukui are very drought tolerant but also will grow in our wet humid lowlands.

Relatively new plant introductions such as tropical Vireya rhododendrons have an amazing capacity for adjusting to environmental extremes. In wet areas, they can grow as epiphytes. Under drier conditions, they will grow as terrestrials. To learn more about this amazing family, connect with the Hawaii Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. For details, call Sherla Bertelmann at 966-9225.

Proper fertilization will help accomplish healthy roots. Also, poor soils should be improved with the necessary amendments to help the plants develop good root systems. Addition of well rotted organic matter or compost often helps increase moisture and nutrient-holding capacity. In many Hawaiian soils, available phosphorus is lacking. This is essential to root growth, so addition of this element is particularly important.

The use of mulches also will help conserve soil moisture.

Proper planning and maintenance of your garden will help in the short term, but we must do something about the overall future of the islands as well.

A series of past dry years and increased pressure on water supplies have made us aware that water is an exhaustible resource. Limits on our water resource mean we can sustain only a certain level of population. Too many people can seriously threaten our water supply. This includes keeping our parks, gardens and perhaps even houseplants alive if the shortage became critical. Limited water could mean a definite reduction in the quality of life in Hawaii.

Will the time come when we are islands teaming with too many people? Will we be so limited for water that we no longer can have gardens or parks or landscaped highways?

Reforestation and greening of our urban areas and lava lands will help, but the trend toward global warming and continued extremes of drought and flood require creative planning, planting and maintenance. For our mental, spiritual and physical health, we can focus on our own gardens and at the same time work with our local politicians and planners to keep Hawaii the green and peaceful Paradise it is meant to be.

This information is supplied by the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. For more information about gardening and landscaping, contact one of our Master Gardeners at 981-5199 in Hilo or 322-4892 in Kona.

Article source: http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/community/tropical-gardening-using-gardens-create-peace-earth-through-peace-mind