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Archives for December 10, 2016

Spring show introduces new feature to encourage no professional fledgling garden designers

WHILE most families are currently focused on the festive season, garden designers across the globe are looking further ahead to spring as the closing date for entries to the Malvern Spring Festival looms.

And visitors to the show next May are in for a treat as the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has introduced a new garden category called Spa Gardens, where budding non-professional designers can showcase their creative flair.

Entrants are tasked with producing a garden for a small space inspired by Malvern in its Victorian heyday as a fashionable health resort when visitors flocked to try the Malvern water cure and take in the fresh clean air from various spots on the hills.

The aim is to produce a contemporary garden re-interpreting the Victorian pleasure and healthy living garden experience.

Spa Garden designers are encouraged to revisit the amazing and innovative things Victorians enjoyed in their design. Although, designers must consider much more than a trip into Victoriana.

Organisers have already received more than 20 entries for this category from international designers and there may be more to come as the closing date is Friday January 6 2017. There are a total of seven spaces for gardens in the Spa section and the international applicants are each competing for one place, while home-bred garden creators are vying for the other six places.

The entries will be judged the day before the show opens on Thursday May 11 next year, and the winner will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase their talents at the Moscow Flower Show as part of a newly introduced exchange programme.

Jane Furze, head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, said: “We are so excited to be launching the Spa Gardens category and cannot wait to see the creativity from new designers blossom at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017.

“It’s a real privilege to be working with the Moscow Flower Show to offer an exchange programme that is unlike anything we’ve ever done before.

“The Spa Gardens category will be a spectacular showcase of our new vision for RHS Malvern Spring Festival and is a wonderful development for our festival, which is going from strength to strength.

“RHS Malvern Spring Festival has always been an event to give opportunity to those looking to get into the gardening world and the Spa Gardens category is the ideal forum for new talent to flourish.

“We are really looking forward to seeing this year’s entries and look forward to welcoming a new collection of designers to next year’s event.”

The Moscow Flower Show exchange programme will see one designer, with grant aid, invited to build a sponsored garden at the top horticultural event in Russia at the event at the end of June.

While the exchange programme will invite one Russian designer to build a garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

Offering a unique platform for emerging talent, the Spa Gardens category will bring to life the new vision for RHS Malvern Spring Festival. The festival’s new vision will reflect the thirst for knowledge, new horizons and innovative technology at the heart of Malvern’s Victorian heritage. Successful Spa Garden designs will sit alongside the festival’s iconic Show Gardens.

Each selected design will be offered a £5,000 bursary to support the cost of the garden build. Entries to the Spa Gardens category are invited to submit a design for a small 6m x 6m garden. The garden need not be square within that area and can take any shape.

Anyone with creative flair and a love of gardens, who is interested in entering the Spa Garden category, can find more information on how to apply by visiting http://www.threecounties.co.uk/rhsmalvern/options.php?id=21

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 will take place from Thursday 11 May until Sunday 14 May. For more information and full winners details from 2016, please call 01684 584900 or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk

The show is expected to attract around 100,000 visitors over its four days and there are already a record number of garden design entries for the 2017 show in all categories.

Article source: http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/14950880.Spring_show_introduces_new_feature_to_encourage_no_professional_fledgling_garden_designers/

Victorian Malvern is used as inspiration for new show garden design category

WHILE most families are currently focused on the festive season, garden designers across the globe are looking further ahead to spring as the closing date for entries to the Malvern Spring Festival looms.

And visitors to the show next May are in for a treat as the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has introduced a new garden category called Spa Gardens, where budding non-professional designers can showcase their creative flair.

Entrants are tasked with producing a garden for a small space inspired by Malvern in its Victorian heyday as a fashionable health resort when visitors flocked to try the Malvern water cure and take in the fresh clean air from various spots on the hills.

The aim is to produce a contemporary garden re-interpreting the Victorian pleasure and healthy living garden experience.

Spa Garden designers are encouraged to revisit the amazing and innovative things Victorians enjoyed in their design. Although, designers must consider much more than a trip into Victoriana.

Organisers have already received more than 20 entries for this category from international designers and there may be more to come as the closing date is Friday January 6 2017. There are a total of seven spaces for gardens in the Spa section and the international applicants are each competing for one place, while home-bred garden creators are vying for the other six places.

The entries will be judged the day before the show opens on Thursday May 11 next year, and the winner will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase their talents at the Moscow Flower Show as part of a newly introduced exchange programme.

Jane Furze, head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, said: “We are so excited to be launching the Spa Gardens category and cannot wait to see the creativity from new designers blossom at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017.

“It’s a real privilege to be working with the Moscow Flower Show to offer an exchange programme that is unlike anything we’ve ever done before.

“The Spa Gardens category will be a spectacular showcase of our new vision for RHS Malvern Spring Festival and is a wonderful development for our festival, which is going from strength to strength.

“RHS Malvern Spring Festival has always been an event to give opportunity to those looking to get into the gardening world and the Spa Gardens category is the ideal forum for new talent to flourish.

“We are really looking forward to seeing this year’s entries and look forward to welcoming a new collection of designers to next year’s event.”

The Moscow Flower Show exchange programme will see one designer, with grant aid, invited to build a sponsored garden at the top horticultural event in Russia at the event at the end of June.

While the exchange programme will invite one Russian designer to build a garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

Offering a unique platform for emerging talent, the Spa Gardens category will bring to life the new vision for RHS Malvern Spring Festival. The festival’s new vision will reflect the thirst for knowledge, new horizons and innovative technology at the heart of Malvern’s Victorian heritage. Successful Spa Garden designs will sit alongside the festival’s iconic Show Gardens.

Each selected design will be offered a £5,000 bursary to support the cost of the garden build. Entries to the Spa Gardens category are invited to submit a design for a small 6m x 6m garden. The garden need not be square within that area and can take any shape.

Anyone with creative flair and a love of gardens, who is interested in entering the Spa Garden category, can find more information on how to apply by visiting http://www.threecounties.co.uk/rhsmalvern/options.php?id=21

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 will take place from Thursday 11 May until Sunday 14 May. For more information and full winners details from 2016, please call 01684 584900 or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk

The show is expected to attract around 100,000 visitors over its four days and there are already a record number of garden design entries for the 2017 show in all categories.

Article source: http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/NEWs/14950880.Spring_show_introduces_new_feature_to_encourage_no_professional_fledgling_garden_designers/

Small-Space Gardening Tips and Tricks: Techniques for Big Potential in Little Gardens

Gardeners who live in urban or suburban areas often become discouraged by what they perceive as less-than-enough planting space. I promise you that this is an unnecessary worry. In fact, it’s often easier to create the “wow” factor in a smaller garden, especially of you take advantage of some simple design principles.

Simple Garden Design Principles

The following design rules of thumb work for any garden size, but are perhaps most important in small-space gardens. Utilizing some basic strategies will pull everything together and bring cohesiveness to your garden.

Use Repetition

One of the simplest design practices you can implement is repetition throughout the yard. This can be done with any element you choose, whether it’s repeating a shape, color, or plant variety.

Repetition is a useful technique for any design (garden or not), but it’s key for small-space gardens. When there’s too much variety going on inside a small space, it tends to overwhelm the senses. Eyes appreciate balance and patterns. Repetition brings unity, organization, and tranquility.

Don’t overlook man-made structures and garden decor to connect elements with repetition. Furniture, paving stones, garden art, fabric, walls, arbors, trellises, statuary, and containers can be used to connect elements together.

Adjust the Scale

Scale is basically all about the size of one thing in comparison to the size of another thing. In fact, our eyes make comparisons between our own bodies and everything else all day long.

In a yard or garden, we typically compare (or “measure”) everything to the largest thing around. That largest thing in a small-space garden is typically our house. Using scale in your design can bring the feeling of a larger garden in a smaller space.

In an ornamental garden, one of the best ways to pull this off is to have one to three large specimen plants to act as focal points, a lot of medium-size plants, and a handful (or more) of dwarf varieties. This technique will bring balance and structure to your garden.

Think about this: If large plant varieties are all you have, they’ll end up overwhelming a small space and potentially shade out other plants. That said, if you have all dwarf plant varieties, the scale will also be off and create a “dollhouse garden” effect.

Here’s a nice garden design trick: Plants that are medium-size but have large leaves can offer the feel of a larger plant. Hostas, small elephant ears, and cannas are good examples.

Plant Texture

When we talk about “texture” in garden design, it refers to visual texture as opposed to tactile texture. While shape and distance can affect texture, it’s truly mostly about the leaves. Ornamental plants fall primarily into one of three categories: fine-leaved, medium-leaved, or coarse-leaved (aka bold-leaved).

Many plants we tend to use have a medium texture, so give your garden some interest by introducing some fine- or bold-textured plant varieties, as well.

Fine-Textured Plants: Plants with small leaves, such as maidenhair fern, New Zealand tea tree, or spirea, can help make a space look bigger because they encourage the eye to follow these plants. Finely-textured leaves also tend to fade into a view.

Coarsely Textured Plants: Plants with large, bold leaves, such as hostas and cannas, tend to stop the eye. These make for great focal points in the garden. Bold-textured leaves add interest and offer bigger visual impact.

Medium-Textured Plants: Both fine- and medium-textured plants will give a garden a soft, romantic feel. They also help to move the eye across the garden.

Plant textures can be used to create illusion. For example, by placing a coarsely textured plant or two at the front of the garden and some fine- and medium-textured varieties the rest of the way back (down the sight line), you can make your garden look deeper than it actually is.

Ornamental grasses such as fountain grass, Mexican feather grass, bamboo muhly, and maiden grass are wonderful for adding interesting textures to a small garden.

Focal Points

Focal points by their very definition ask the eye to stop roaming and take a good look at a specific plant, statuary, art, pond, fountain, etc. Depending on how small your garden is, you’ll want to use focal points sparingly – having too many star subjects creates chaos.

When choosing focal points for the garden, I tend to use mostly plants. The idea when designing a welcoming yard or garden is to lead the viewer’s eye to the focal point, where it can stop and admire something special. One way you can do this is to have fine-textured varieties lead the way down to a coarse-textured specimen plant.

Tips on Small-Space Garden Themes

Almost anything that can be done in a big space can be done in a small space – you just have to make a few adjustments.

Small-Space Vegetable Gardens: Vegetables have zero bias when it comes to their garden home. Use these tips to help vegetables thrive in your small-space garden.

  • Try vertical vegetable gardening.
  • Integrate veggies into the existing landscape.
  • Plant intensively (closer together than normal).
  • Take advantage of dwarf vegetable varieties.
  • Try succession planting.
  • Plant inside soil bags that are placed on top of cemented areas.

Micro Orchards: Yes, it’s absolutely possible to grow fruit in a small garden. It may also surprise you to hear that many dwarf (and semidwarf) varieties bear standard-size fruit!

  • Plant dwarf fruit trees.
  • Try columnar apple trees (narrow, bottlebrush-growing habit).
  • Plant multi-grafted fruit trees (several fruit varieties on a single tree).
  • Use espalier techniques (pruning a fruit tree into a shape against a wall).

Containers: If your space is mostly covered in cement, plant your garden in containers. Even small trees and shrubs won’t know the difference!

  • Use large tubs and half-barrels for large plants.
  • Always use soil that’s especially made for container planting (potting soil).
  • Seek out portable raised garden beds for little vegetable gardens.
  • Consider unusual containers such as buckets, baskets, old dressers, watering cans, wagons, old wheelbarrows, truck beds, tires, hollow tree stumps, or old kitchen sinks.

Use these tips to make the most of your small garden space!

Article Courtesy of Fix.com / Chris McLaughlin

Article source: http://www.capecod.com/lifestyle/small-space-gardening-tips-and-tricks-techniques-for-big-potential-in-little-gardens/

Columbia City Council member relates walker/biker ideas from Copenhagen

Brandon Smith
Brandon Smith
Columbia City Council held its monthly meeting Tuesday, December 6.

Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine gave a presentation about a recent trip to Copenhagen where she learned about the ways the city became more walker and biker friendly.

Devine visited Copenhagen from September 29 to October 6 and was a representative of one of ten cities attenting the tour. Along with touring the city, Devine heard presentations from architects.

According to Devine, Copenhagen has gone through a minor shift in the dynamics in how residents move about the city. When city officials implemented measures in 2003, 53 percent of Copenhagen residents drove, 20 percent biked, 14 percent walked, and 13 percent took public transportation.

In 2013, 41 percent drove, 23 percent biked, 21 percent took public transportation, and 15 percent walked. She said city officials project by 2030 30 percent will drive, 30 percent will bike, 25 percent would take public transportation, and 15 percent would walk.

In the state of South Carolina, 90 percent of residents drive, 3 percent walk, and 2 percent bike.

In order to implement measures to become more walker and biker friendly, Devine said Copenhagen city officials considered some main points. First, every day decisions made by government officials need to take into consideration quality of life for the residents. Also, they need to take into consideration the risks and motivations of the different forms of transportation. Lastly, government officials need to consider residents/ communities which may be felt excluded.

Among the ideas was a traffic park for children. Popular in Europe, traffic parks include traffic circles, stop signs, and pedestrian cross walks to help children learn about the rules of the road.

Moving forward, Devine says Columbia City Council needs to look at the current infrastructure, along with working with walk/bike Columbia.

Derrick Huggins was appointed to the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority Board. LaToya Grate, Jim Daniel, Lydie Brandt, and Robert Broom were appointed to the Design/ Development Review Commission. Aimee Edwards, Mary-Elisabeth Grigg, Justin Waites, Sue Erwin Harper, Maudra Brown, and Keith Terry were appointed to the Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Council approved the first reading granting an encroachment to Raymond and Barbara Burke for installation and maintenance of a knee wall, landscaping, and an irrigation system within the right of way area of the 17 block of Gibbs Court.

Council also approved the first reading of an ordinance granting an encroachment to Jennifer, Richard, and H. B. McKissick for installation and maintenance of a concrete sidewalks at the 2500 block of Two Notch Road.

The second reading of an annexation, comprehensive plan map amendment, and zoning map amendment were approved for 10750 Two Notch Road, 102 Golf View Bend, 197 Golf View Bend, 139 Golf View Bend, and Woodcreek Farms Road. Tameika Isaac Devine proclaimed Tuesday, December 6, 2016, Brandon Smith Day because of his work with the homeless and his establishing the Homeless Court

Article source: http://www.thecolumbiastar.com/news/2016-12-09/Government_%7C_Neighborhood/Columbia_City_Council_member_relates_walkerbiker_i.html

Immaculate Graduate, David Keefe, 50, Passed Away

BROOKFIELD, CT — David C. Keefe, age 50, of Southbury previously Bridgewater and Brookfield died December 5th, 2016. Dave was born in Danbury and the son of David C. Keefe and Nancy (Buck) Keefe of Southbury, The Villages FL., and previously Brookfield. He was the father of Marin and Lily Keefe of Bridgewater.

For 30 years he owned and operated Keefe Landscaping out of Bridgewater and served Fairfield and Litchfield counties. He also owned and operated Brookfield Mulch. Dave went to Brookfield public elementary schools and graduated from Immaculate High School in 1984. Dave loved his classmates from IHS and also starred in Football and Baseball. After graduating he attended Becker Jr. College and the University of Maine where he was Phi Beta Kappa and a fullback on the football team. After college Dave returned to the area and opened Keefe Landscaping. Dave’s business flourished for years because of hard work and his social likability. He was everyone’s friend and continuously went out of his way for clients.

Dave built some of the greatest landscapes in Western CT. Dave had a great eye for the proper design and layout of a landscape. His favorite projects were new homes on a bare patch of land where he could work his magic. He frequently could be found at nurseries and supply companies coming up with new ideas.During the winter he would travel to nurseries in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia looking for the perfect landscape stock. He would also spend time at landscape seminars in Boston where he could pick minds and get advice from some of the greats in the industry.

Dave’s landscaping business was a natural fit for him because it enabled him to be outdoors constantly. Dave loved the elements of sun, rain, wind, and snow. Some of his happiest days were spent with a sun burn on his face, dirt on his jeans, and mud on his boots. Even better if he was driving his truck, listening to John Denver, and trying to keep snacks away from his Labrador retriever.

Animals were a big part of Dave’s life. At one time or another he and his girls practically had a zoo which included multiple dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, turtles, and even a 600lb pig.Dave will be sorely missed. He was your best neighbor, friend, and brother. His middle name was “fun.” If it meant having a good time, he was in. Let’s go skiing, swimming, snowmobiling, bike riding, road tripping, football, baseball, basketball, tailgating, boating, fishing, bar hopping, he would be there.

What was Dave interested in? Just about everything. He had a great time.Family was very important to Dave. He was the third brother of four. The love of his life was his two daughters, Marin and Lily, and he talked about them constantly.

Besides his parents, Dave leaves behind his brothers: Jamie Keefe and his niece, Cameron, both of Portland Maine; his brother Dan Keefe and wife his wife, Sherri, niece Kaylee and nephews Brody and Dylan, all of Brookfield. He also leaves behind several loving aunts, uncles,cousins and his special friend, Liz. Dave was predeceased by his brother, Kevin Cameron Keefe, who passed away in June of 2000.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11am on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 at St. Joseph Church, 163 Whisconier Rd., Brookfield, CT with the Rev. George F. O’Neill, Pastor, officiating. Interment will be at the convenience of the family.Friends will be received from 9:30am-11am on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 at St. Joseph Church, Brookfield.

Friends are kindly asked to omit flowers. Contributions in Dave’s memory may be made to the David Keefe Memorial Fund, c/o Webster Bank, 789 Federal Rd., Brookfield, CT 06804. For further information or to express your condolences on line, go to www.thegreenfuneralhome.com.

Obituary courtesy of Green Funeral Home

Article source: http://patch.com/connecticut/danbury/immaculate-graduate-david-keefe-50-passed-away

Take a look at your landscape for decorating ideas

I love searching my landscape for plants that can be used to decorate my home for the holidays. I have actually been intentionally planting the shrubs that I like to use for decorating.

For instance, one of my favorites, though not usually a favorite for others, is Juniper. I have planted two different varieties in the past four years in order to get different colors of greenery.

Junipers come in a wide array of foliage colors including yellow, bluish, and green and make excellent accent plants for arrangements and wreaths.

They are still quite small, but I managed to get a few cuttings from them this year. Junipers can be cut just about anywhere on the stem.

However, if you want to retain the natural, arching shape the best cuts are those made near the ends of the branches, making the cut down into the plant, back behind outside growth.

If you trim your Junipers each year to a tight shrub, you won’t be able to use them for greens. You may not like them anyway because they tend to have prickly foliage. I, however, love the fragrance.



Another favorite green I desperately need is a concolor fir. I absolutely love this coniferous (cone-bearing) tree and its shape and foliage color.

Firs are typically soft-needled and extremely fragrant. One of the identification characteristics we use is to scratch the stem – if it smells citrusy, it’s a fir.

Firs have needles attached directly to the stem and usually have a white stripe down the back of the soft needle. Concolor fir needles are approximately two inches long.

There is a person down the street who has a beautiful 20-foot concolor fir in their front yard. It has a perfect shape and is a pretty incredible specimen. You don’t see a lot of these plants in the Miami Valley — so if you have one, I am envious!

Another great plant to add color to your arrangement is Chamaecyparis. There are several different varieties that can be used but I like those cultivars with yellow or bluish color.

One of my favorites is also the deciduous holly. I planted three of these two years ago but unfortunately they succumbed to dogs digging for moles. I didn’t realize they were uprooted until it was too late.

These provide beautiful berries; don’t forget you need a male and female plant in order to have any holly berries.

Enjoy selecting a variety of plants to try out in your holiday decorations!


Article source: http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/lifestyles/take-look-your-landscape-for-decorating-ideas/tVpwPyhCjFBKlYiZwmhTWN/

The gardener in your life will really dig these books! Horticultural …

GARDENISTA by Michelle Slatalla (Artisan £28.99)

GARDENISTA by Michelle Slatalla (Artisan £28.99)

GARDENISTA

by Michelle Slatalla (Artisan £28.99)

Michelle Slatalla is a former columnist for the New York Times and the editor-in-chief of the Gardenista website. Her ‘definitive guide to stylish outdoor spaces’ begins with a ‘gardenista manifesto’: ten rules for the style-conscious gardener.

They include such homely aphorisms as ‘a hedge makes a better neighbour than a fence’, ‘plant for the garden you will have five years from now’, and ‘buy beautiful tools and you will enjoy using them for a lifetime’ — the latter a sharp reproof to those of us still using the bog-standard secateurs we bought at a DIY warehouse.

Among the aspirational gardens featured is that of Michelle herself and her husband, Josh, who embellished their Spanish Revival bungalow with a planting inspired by New York’s High Line.

With ravishing photographs and handy advice on how to ‘steal the look’, this is a superlatively elegant guide to making the most of your outdoor space.

 

CAPABILITY BROWN AND HIS LANDSCAPE GARDENS by Sarah Rutherford (National Trust £20)

CAPABILITY BROWN AND HIS LANDSCAPE GARDENS by Sarah Rutherford (National Trust £20)

CAPABILITY BROWN AND HIS LANDSCAPE GARDENS 

by Sarah Rutherford (National Trust £20)

The great landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was born 300 years ago this year.

The son of a land agent, he worked for the designer and landscape architect William Kent, and became the most sought-after garden designer of his age.

He created naturalistic landscapes at Blenheim Palace, Harewood House, Warwick Castle and many others that survive today.

The garden historian Sarah Rutherford celebrates Brown’s enduring influence on English gardening style and our ideas of English landscape in this handsomely illustrated account of his life and work.

The secret of Brown’s success, Rutherford claims, was his instinctive sense of framing a landscape that looked both natural and beautiful.

 

THENFORD, THE CREATION OF AN ENGLISH GARDEN by Michael and Anne Heseltine (Head of Zeus £40)

THENFORD, THE CREATION OF AN ENGLISH GARDEN by Michael and Anne Heseltine (Head of Zeus £40)

THENFORD, THE CREATION OF AN ENGLISH GARDEN

by Michael and Anne Heseltine (Head of Zeus £40) 

The 18th-century satirist Voltaire suggested that in troubled times, the best thing to do is cultivate one’s garden.

Michael Heseltine, the former Conservative deputy Prime Minister, has taken this advice to heart. 

With the help of their garden designer, the late Lanning Roper, and their head gardener, Darren Webster, Heseltine and his wife Anne have turned the garden at their Northamptonshire home, Thenford, into a landscape of immense grandeur, with ambitious plantings and a wealth of sometimes startling sculpture.

This richly illustrated coffee-table book explains the creative process in detail, from the hourly rate (£6.25) paid to a labourer who rebuilt a stone wall, to the installation of sculpture, including a 9ft head of Lenin acquired from the former Soviet Union.

 From Thenford: The Creation of an English Garden Book by Anne Heseltine and Michael Heseltine

 From Thenford: The Creation of an English Garden Book by Anne Heseltine and Michael Heseltine

 

LIVES OF THE GREAT GARDENERS by Stephen Anderton (Thames  Hudson £24.95)

LIVES OF THE GREAT GARDENERS by Stephen Anderton (Thames Hudson £24.95)

LIVES OF THE GREAT GARDENERS

by Stephen Anderton (Thames Hudson £24.95)

What makes a great gardener? Perhaps the single quality that unites the 40 men and women in Stephen Anderton’s collection of gardening lives is a certain tenacity, or stubbornness, in pursuing their vision.

His gardeners encompass a vast range of era and backgrounds, from Andre Le Notre, who created the Sun King’s gardens at Versailles, and Charles Jencks (‘a great provocateur of the horticultural establishment’) to Ian Hamilton Finlay, who made Stonypath (an aphoristic literary garden south of Edinburgh, otherwise known as Little Sparta) and Rosemary Verey, ‘queen bee of English country house gardening’, whose clients included Elton John and the Prince of Wales.

 

NEW WILD GARDEN Ian Hodgson (Frances Lincoln £25)

NEW WILD GARDEN Ian Hodgson (Frances Lincoln £25)

NEW WILD GARDEN

Ian Hodgson (Frances Lincoln £25)

A ‘wild’ garden is, of course, no such thing, but an artificial landscape, ingeniously planned and constructed to appear entirely natural.

In this guide to creating a natural-style garden, Ian Hodgson, a landscape architect and former editor of the Royal Horticultural Society magazine, The Garden, discusses the ecological benefits of wild planting, including the provision of habitats for wildlife from insects and birds to mammals such as hedgehogs. He suggests different styles of natural garden, from urban woodland to an informal cottage garden or a wild water garden.

With plenty of colourful illustrations, and practical advice on preparing the ground, sowing a meadow and creating a natural look in small spaces (such as roof-top gardens, balconies and planters), this is a useful guide for anyone who would like to create an informal garden that provides year-round interest and a sanctuary for wildlife, but isn’t sure how to begin.

 

HOW DO WORMS WORK? Guy Barter (Mitchell Beazley £14.99)

HOW DO WORMS WORK? Guy Barter (Mitchell Beazley £14.99)

HOW DO WORMS WORK?

Guy Barter (Mitchell Beazley £14.99)

If you have a troublesome gardening query, Guy Barter may be able to help.

For more than two decades he has offered advice to gardeners on behalf of Gardening Which? and the Royal Horticultural Society, and there are few horticultural conundrums, from the serious to the whimsical, to which he cannot provide an answer.

Such pressing questions as when is a plant a weed, how can you tell a mushroom from a toadstool or the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, are briskly dealt with.

There is practical advice on attracting butterflies, making a hot bed to grow early salad crops and using beer to get rid of slugs (apparently they are less keen on Budweiser than other brands).

And when it comes to spider-proofing your shed, Barter is firmly on the side of the arachnids: ‘It seems unfeeling to deny winter accommodation to some very useful members of society.

 

RHAPSODY IN GREEN by Charlotte Mendelson (Kyle Books £16.99)

RHAPSODY IN GREEN by Charlotte Mendelson (Kyle Books £16.99)

RHAPSODY IN GREEN 

by Charlotte Mendelson (Kyle Books £16.99)

The award-winning novelist Charlotte Mendelson has a garden so small that it scarcely deserves the name. An irregular shape, about 8 x 11 metres, it has ‘no bench, pond, greenhouse, nursery bed, log pile . . . nuttery or parterre’.

Still, Mendelson’s modest patch of land has inspired her with a passion for exotic vegetable growing.

This exuberant love letter to her garden is as much a celebration of the language and drama of gardening as the deed itself. Bite-sized essays, ideal for reading between the weeding and the dead-heading, record her horticultural triumphs and disasters in fine comic style.

 

PLANTS, BEDS AND BORDERS Katie Rushworth (Kyle Books £16.99)

PLANTS, BEDS AND BORDERS Katie Rushworth (Kyle Books £16.99)

PLANTS, BEDS AND BORDERS

Katie Rushworth (Kyle Books £16.99)

TV presenter Katie Rushworth may be one of a younger generation of gardening experts, but there’s nothing impetuous about her approach. ‘It is worth being absolutely clear from the beginning that gardening is not about instant satisfaction,’ she writes.

‘You must be patient. Accepting that now before you get going is probably the best advice I can give you.’

Before you buy so much as a single seed, she suggests sitting down and considering your garden’s shape, aspect and soil type, and the use you want to make of it.

How much time you have for gardening, whether you have children or pets, and whether your priorities are encouraging wildlife or growing your own food will all affect the design of your plot.

Nicely illustrated, with plant lists and sample planting plans, this is a clear and helpful guide for the novice gardener.

 

Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-4014548/The-gardener-life-really-dig-books-Horticultural-experts-dish-dirt-best-landscaping-tips.html

Portrait of a Garden City Artist | www.gcnews.com | Garden City News

15 Franklin Court: This was one of the unplanned works of the series. I usually have a camera with me when driving or biking around town. Sunlight effects canrsquo;t always be anticipated, and a house may have several lucky times a day when the effects are striking. A summer sun was raking the side of the stucco wall on this beautifully designed and landscaped corner of Franklin Ct. The light refracting from the slate roof was brighter than the sky. The Garden City evocation of England was acute.
15 Franklin Court: This was one of the unplanned works of the series. I usually have a camera with me when driving or biking around town. Sunlight effects can’t always be anticipated, and a house may have several lucky times a day when the effects are striking. A summer sun was raking the side of the stucco wall on this beautifully designed and landscaped corner of Franklin Ct. The light refracting from the slate roof was brighter than the sky. The Garden City evocation of England was acute.
It takes an artist to render a village.

Resident and professional artist Michael White has launched Portrait of a Village, an art project portraying in impressionistic fashion the beautiful houses, gardens, and landmark buildings of Garden City. “Since I specialize in architectural renderings, living here compels me to respond to Garden City’s astounding landscapes and architecture, which is also the setting of my memories and family history. This ongoing series is the result.”

St. Paulrsquo;s School: I doubt there are many buildings in this country of this age, scale, and quality. How fortunate that Garden City has had St Paulrsquo;s all these decades to establish the architectural tone for the town. While photographing and drawing it, I saw what bad shape the building is in, especially the roofs, and could only imagine how glorious it could be in pristine condition. Itrsquo;s still magnificent. I chose an angle that would showcase the entire facade and also reveal the depth and variety of the structure-- including the great neo-Gothic arch and the clock tower.
St. Paul’s School: I doubt there are many buildings in this country of this age, scale, and quality. How fortunate that Garden City has had St Paul’s all these decades to establish the architectural tone for the town. While photographing and drawing it, I saw what bad shape the building is in, especially the roofs, and could only imagine how glorious it could be in pristine condition. It’s still magnificent. I chose an angle that would showcase the entire facade and also reveal the depth and variety of the structure– including the great neo-Gothic arch and the clock tower.
The first 22 artworks are on view at the Garden City Public Library through the end of the year and include exquisitely detailed graphite drawings of such institutions as The Cathedral of the Incarnation; beloved St. Paul’s School; the second iteration (not the current one) of the iconic Garden City Hotel; and the former Endo Pharmaceutical Laboratories, designed by celebrated architect Paul Rudolph and considered an extraordinary example of the post- World War II brutalist style.

St. Maryrsquo;s School: I took a summer art class here at the age of 12. My memories of it are a bit dim and I conflate the building with St Paulrsquo;s (also finished in 1879). I had to go into the village archives for this photo-- you can go see it now, at the Stewart Room archive at the library, in all its antique dignity.
St. Mary’s School: I took a summer art class here at the age of 12. My memories of it are a bit dim and I conflate the building with St Paul’s (also finished in 1879). I had to go into the village archives for this photo– you can go see it now, at the Stewart Room archive at the library, in all its antique dignity.
Villagers will recognize many of the houses in the series, which range from historic Apostle homes to some of the great Tudor mansions on Stewart or Cathedral Avenues to the charming Cotswoldian attached houses along Franklin Court, now so sought-after. One drawing of voluptuous blossoms offers a glimpse of the backyard garden his mother, a talented amateur gardener, created at her home on Harvard Street.

82 Chelsea Road: A beautiful example of the Tudor style, whose richness of materials blends so well with foliage and shrubbery. This house was designed by Olive Tjaden, who began to study architecture at Cornell at the age of 15 and finished the five-year program in four years. She was the first woman ever admitted to the American Institute of Architects, and the art building at Cornell, where I studied, is named for her. She designed or supervised the design of 400 houses in Garden City from the 1920rsquo;s to the 1940rsquo;s, mostly grand mansions in this style, leaving a considerable imprint on the village. This project was particularly interesting to me because it was commissioned by someone who grew up in the house in the 1940rsquo;s and 50rsquo;s! Another former resident and the current owners commissioned prints of the resulting drawing, extending the reach of the project.
82 Chelsea Road: A beautiful example of the Tudor style, whose richness of materials blends so well with foliage and shrubbery. This house was designed by Olive Tjaden, who began to study architecture at Cornell at the age of 15 and finished the five-year program in four years. She was the first woman ever admitted to the American Institute of Architects, and the art building at Cornell, where I studied, is named for her. She designed or supervised the design of 400 houses in Garden City from the 1920’s to the 1940’s, mostly grand mansions in this style, leaving a considerable imprint on the village. This project was particularly interesting to me because it was commissioned by someone who grew up in the house in the 1940’s and 50’s! Another former resident and the current owners commissioned prints of the resulting drawing, extending the reach of the project.
Village founder Alexander T. Stewart would be proud. Having amassed a fortune in dry goods retailing, wholesaling and manufacturing in New York City, this Northern Irish-born émigré conceived one of the first “model towns”. In 1869, he bought a section of the sparsely populated Hempstead Plains, one of the only natural prairies east of the Alleghenys. His intention was “….to devote them to the usual purposes for which such lands, so located, should be applied, that is, open them by constructing extensive public roads, laying out the lands in parcels for sale to actual settlers and erecting at various points attractive buildings and residences so that a barren waste may speedily be covered by a population desirable in every respect as neighbor taxpayers and as citizens.”

32 Cathedral Avenue: This apostle house was beautifully and faithfully restored by the current owners. There are some existing photos of the house from when Garden City was still new, which adds to its interest for me. Itrsquo;s also a testament to the taste and lifestyle of the period-- the mansard roof, the knockout cornice, and the prominence of the porch. Summer gatherings there must have been beautiful in the non-air conditioned 19th century. I photographed the house from several angles, including head on, and they are all beautiful, but I chose this one for its glimpse of the side, which gives the drawing more depth and reveals the pleasingly copious scale of the house. I also like how the hazy midsummer sky echoes the whiteness of the house, offset by dark bushes.
32 Cathedral Avenue: This apostle house was beautifully and faithfully restored by the current owners. There are some existing photos of the house from when Garden City was still new, which adds to its interest for me. It’s also a testament to the taste and lifestyle of the period– the mansard roof, the knockout cornice, and the prominence of the porch. Summer gatherings there must have been beautiful in the non-air conditioned 19th century. I photographed the house from several angles, including head on, and they are all beautiful, but I chose this one for its glimpse of the side, which gives the drawing more depth and reveals the pleasingly copious scale of the house. I also like how the hazy midsummer sky echoes the whiteness of the house, offset by dark bushes.
Sadly, Stewart did not live to see his vision realized – he died in 1876. But his widow, Cornelia, carried on by founding some of Garden City’s most impressive buildings — St. Paul School for Boys, St. Mary’s School for Girls, the Bishop’s residence and the Gothic Cathedral of the Incarnation, where Stewart and his wife lie buried. These are the very buildings that White was drawn to. He explains that, “I gravitate towards Garden City’s older buildings — St. Paul’s School, the cathedral, historical homes — with their beautiful, austere rhythms and deep feeling for material. The sight of these structures among trees beneath the flux of sunlight makes for a stirring effect. It’s a great subject for artwork”

Germination of the Portrait of a Village Project

In 2014, White was commissioned to create a massive mural of the Queensboro Bridge (rendered entirely in graphite) in a bank building in Long Island City. It was his first major architectural commission, requiring hardcore observation of structural details. “The bridge is composed of hundreds of parallel beams, girders, stones and towers. The project was an exciting challenge for me, but I must admit it made me long to do smaller scale vistas, with more trees and a focus on sunlight effects.”

The success of the Queensboro Bridge mural was immediate –- people made detours to see it and stood watching as the artist brought the bridge to life on a 22-foot-wide wall. That led to other cityscapes. Then, a Garden City couple commissioned Michael to create a portrait of their home. More commissions followed and sparked the artist’s desire to create a portfolio of related work that in time could be turned into a book. Thus was born Portrait of a Village.

It’s no coincidence that the artist is focused on Garden City. As Michael tells it, “My Garden City roots run deep: All of my grandparents lived here — my parents began dating at Garden City High, and my own children are the fourth generation to live here.” His daughter is at the Homestead school and his son at Stratford Avenue. All six of his Healy aunts and uncles went through the Garden City school system beginning with “Work Play Camp” and continuing through elementary, junior high school, and Garden City High School.

White remembers “every Christmas driving past St. Paul’s, through the towering oaks of Stratford Avenue, and past the school to my grandparents’ house on the corner of Tullamore Road. The house was welcoming inside and out– all the slate, stained glass, brick and varnished wood. The vast living room could accommodate a grand piano, fireplace, and around 30 people. Even the rooms of the attic were full of rich, old world details — cedar closets and 1920’s light fixtures.”

As the Portrait of a Village project unfolded, White researched the history of Garden City and became enamored of A. T. Stewart and his concept of a planned community, where landscaping and architecture were encouraged to flourish to mutual benefit. While it would take a century for the flora to mature, over time (and in spite of the loss of many stately trees through natural phenomena such as Hurricane Sandy), it has happened and to wonderful effect. White appreciates the “kind of shared pastoral vision, where everyone had a responsibility but was rewarded for being stewards of Stewart’s vision – a paradise of trees and shrubs, azaleas leading into cherries leading into poplars leading into oaks.” As an artist he appreciates, too, “the balance of lushness, open space, and thickets of different tree species.”

White believes that while many structures in Garden City warrant a formal, frontal portrait, there are other angles that can be just as beautiful and rewarding, such as glimpses of houses and buildings through trees while driving or walking around the village. His portfolio includes both types. “These are from the point of view of a person living here, a kind of insider’s vision.” Half of the house portraits are unplanned. They arise out of excursions around town where a sudden effect of light and shadow suggests itself as a subject.

As his interest in the village deepened, White spoke to Gloria Jones, Recording Secretary of the Garden City Historical Society, which is devoted to preserving the architectural and historical heritage of the village. She told him that there was a resident who had created woodcuts of a number of the same buildings that Michael had rendered — the cathedral and the Community Church, among others. The woodcut artist, W. Oakley Cagney, had created his oeuvre in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s and published it in book form in 1970. Of Cagney’s work, White says, “It’s a living, breathing document of the contemporary life of the place, even as it emphasizes the history of the village.”

And this is White’s ultimate goal – to capture the reality of the town, its personality. To create a Portrait of a Village.

Article source: http://www.gcnews.com/news/2016-12-09/Community/Portrait_of_a_Garden_City_Artist.html

Gardening: Tips about holly, mistletoe and other holiday plants

I’ve addressed two of the most common Christmas plants, poinsettias and amaryllis, in recent columns. However, there are a few more plants that merit some discussion this time of year.

Holly (Ilex aquifolium): This traditional Christmas plant is one of my favorites. The glossy green leaves and red berries are an integral part of my holiday memories. My mother was British, a war bride, and she often put a holly wreath on the front door. Later, I bought one for each of us, continuing the tradition.

However, as lovely as holly is, it needs some care to last the season. First and foremost, keep it outside. Holly dries out very quickly in the house, and dried holly is a mess. The leaves become painfully sharp and the berries drop.

The best solution is to display your holly outside or in a very cool area indoors. You can mist it to keep it a bit longer.

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Caption Radio Q102 Jingle Ball at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center

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This plant is another one to watch carefully. Do not place it where small children or pets can reach it. Be sure to clean up any real berries that fall off. The grower recommendations I found suggested hanging it immediately and letting it dry out.

Bulbs: Forced tulips, daffodils and others are, as with most things, best kept in cool areas. Find a balance where the plants receive bright indirect light but not too much heat. Keep all bulbs away from pets and children.

Please remember that paperwhites, although very attractive, have a very strong scent that may be offensive so don’t use them in a confined space. Or select another bulb with less potency. Ziva is the most commonly used bulb but for a lighter scent try Erlicheer or Chinese sacred lily.

If you are forcing your own bulbs, note that most spring bulbs need approximately eight to 12 weeks of chilling — temperatures at or below 40 degrees so they may not be ready until later this winter.

Hazardous plants: There is a good list of hazardous plants at: bit.ly/2h7khEs. If you are unsure if a plant is toxic, consult the ASPCA site for poison control (bit.ly/19xkhoG). Note that poinsettias, long rumored to be very poisonous, are not. They aren’t edible, will cause stomach distress and their sap can cause skin irritations but they aren’t likely to kill you.

Christmas trees

When considering the Christmas tree, first start with what type of tree you want/need: artificial, fresh cut or balled.

Artificial: Though I love the thought of a fresh tree, some varieties make me ill, causing itching and wheezing. So I recommend getting an artificial tree if anyone in your family suffers from severe allergies, asthma or other breathing problems.

Artificial is also an option if you like to keep your tree up for several weeks.

Fresh: A fresh tree is wonderful, and getting the tree is often a family ritual of the season. Before shopping, make a few decisions. Where will the tree go? How high are the ceilings and how wide should the tree be? Do you want a full, long-needled variety or something with shorter needles that may be better for displaying treasured ornaments? How big a tree can you move in your car and get into the house?

When you shop, make sure to measure the tree. What looks just fine on the lot may be a foot or two taller than you think. Since trees are usually priced by size, buying one that is too big and cutting it down to size is just wasting money.

Look for a tree with plenty of needles. The needles should be supple, not brittle, and brushing against a branch should not produce a shower of dropped needles.

Look for a trunk that will fit into your tree stand. Take the stand with you.

Getting a trunk that won’t fit may make you hack back the stem. Since the water to the tree flows up the trunk in the tissue just below the bark, removing the bark will definitely affect how long the tree lasts.

Check the main trunk. Avoid multiple trunks or a crooked stem, particularly if you are planning on a freestanding tree.

Look at all sides of the tree. If you are displaying your tree in a corner or against a wall, then having a bad, or less full side can be a good thing.

Balled: Planting the Christmas tree can be a great experience and create wonderful memories. Remember a few extra things when considering this option:

The size of the tree: Even if you are buying a very small tree, plant it in a spot that will be big enough for the mature tree.

The conditions: Do you have the right soil, water and sun conditions for a tree? Each tree will have specific needs. Generally, most evergreens prefer an acid soil, good drainage and at least six to eight hours of sunlight.

Plan ahead: You will need a large container to hold the root ball while the tree is indoors. Your display time should be a week or less, and the tree should be eased from the outdoors to an unheated area and finally to the coolest spot possible in the house. Reverse the process when removing the tree.

The hole: Dig the hole ahead of time, because sometimes the ground is solidly frozen by Christmas. Put the loose soil in a wheelbarrow, in containers or on and under a tarp.

Sue Kittek is a freelance garden columnist, writer, and lecturer. Send questions to Garden Keeper at grdnkpr@gmail.com or mail: Garden Keeper, The Morning Call, P.O. Box 1260, Allentown, PA 18105.

This week in the garden

Planting:

•Pot up any leftover spring-flowering bulbs and store them in a cool area with temperatures around 40 degrees or cooler for eight to 12 weeks, then bring in for forcing.

Seasonal:

•Purchase gifts and gift cards for gardeners on your Christmas list

•Clean, check and repair decorations before installing, discarding all that are damaged. Secure all displays so they don’t blow away.

•Keep pathways clear of dead plants and leaves.

•If you are purchasing a live potted or burlapped Christmas tree, find an appropriate planting spot, dig it out and store the soil, covered or in a container in the garage.

•Start amaryllis bulbs for holiday display.

•Allow plants to set seed as food for wildlife.

Lawn:

•Rake, blow or mulch fallen leaves on the lawn.

•Keep new lawns watered until the ground freezes.

Chores:

•Store empty terracotta, clay or plastic pots in a dry, protected area to avoid cracking.

Article source: http://www.mcall.com/features/family/mc-garden-holly-mistletoe-holiday-plants-20161209-story.html

Centre of attention: Alan Titchmarsh’s tips for your Christmas table decorations

Everyone wants a bit of glamour about their dining table at Christmas. You don’t need a shiny mahogany one, but you do need to banish the tat.

Tinsel and fake snow are out: candlelight is romantic and candles are cheap – the more of them you have down the centre of the table, the more opulent it will look. 

I know it’s tempting to go for those little tea-lights popped in decorated jars, but, while they may look lovely, they’re not exactly swanky.

Taller candlesticks with good quality candles look sensational and you can buy candlesticks at very reasonable prices.

Article source: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/740759/Christmas-dining-table-decoration-Alan-Titchmarsh