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Archives for January 3, 2017

Winter Refuge

by

January 2, 2017

3:19 PM

Article source: http://richmondmagazine.com/home/experts/winter-refuge/

New garden festival to launch in Macclesfield

Macclesfield will be transformed into a floral oasis for the town’s first ever horticultural festival.

The Macclesfield Garden Festival has been organised by award winning garden designer Jon Tilley, who came up with the idea to create beautiful temporary gardens around the town for a weekend in May.

It will include exhibits by RHS Gold medal winning garden designers, artists, sculptors, horticulturalists and floral design artists at Christ Church, as well as town centre displays along Chestergate and Mill Street.

Jon, who won Gold at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park in 2011, hopes the festival will delight residents and visitors, as well as encourage a new generation of green fingers.

He said: “I want to involve as many people from Macclesfield as possible. This is something that could really work well in the middle of the town. It will be something to bring the community together and brighten up the town centre. We want to get as many people involved as possible. It will be fantastic to walk down Mill Street and Chestergate and see all these colourful planters.

“The festival is bringing together all of the town’s schools, community groups and businesses, to live up to our mission to celebrate gardens, design, art and nature. We’ve got all the schools doing something and I’d like to hear from gardeners who can get involved.”

Jon, who ran Dragonfly Garden Design for many years until moving into property development, said he hoped the festival would fill a void left by the Barnaby Festival, which will next take place in 2018.

He said: “The festival has been knocking around my brain for some time and when I heard Barnaby became biannual there was a space to do something.”

Professional garden designers Clive Scott and Andy Walker have both been confirmed for the festival, with sculptors Michelle Castles and Olivia Ferrier also taking part. It is also hoped that there will be a ‘Jurassic garden’ created by paleontologist Stu Pond.

Michelle Castles, who created this ‘Running Dome’ sculpture, will be exhibiting at the Macclesfield Garden Festival

Red Willow Brewery are also hoping to run a special ‘garden bar’ for the event.

Community exhibitions planned include a ‘Yarn Tree’ outside the Town Hall, which will be designed and created by Sixth Form students at Kings. And the town’s high schools will create painted designs with recycled materials on the four pillars of the Town Hall, with an award for the best design.

Primary School children are also getting involved and will dress up for a ‘Spring Wassail’, while shops and businesses are invited to take part in a ‘planter competition’.

Jon, who has already secured some sponsorship from the Grosvenor Centre and a number of local businesses, is holding a public meeting tomorrow (Thursday, January 5) for anyone who would like to get involved.

He said: “The whole idea is to bring the community together, so we need as many people as possible to get involved.

“We would like people to get involved with the gardens, but we would also need help with people as marshals, organising some of the events, there’s lots to be done.”

The festival will run from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21.

The meeting will be held at St Michael’s Church at 7pm.

Article source: http://www.macclesfield-express.co.uk/news/local-news/new-garden-festival-launch-macclesfield-12394268

Lets evaluate your 2016 landscaping

By the time many of you are reading this you may of recently unwrapped a nice surprise from Santa. Or perhaps finishing up that holiday meal or enjoying your favorite football team on TV. Maybe even celebrated the brand new year of 2017. Ah yes, the holidays are such a great time of year. Even though we tend to get into a “take a break” mode it can be a really good time to look back at the past year and evaluate what we did well and things perhaps we would like to tweak a bit and do a better job or improve upon. It’s a good time of evaluation and planning for the upcoming year.

This can also be a great time of year to give the same type of evaluation to your landscaping. What worked out well? What didn’t? Keep in mind that reviewing this year’s gardening triumphs and defeats is the best guarantee of success when designing the following year’s garden. Garden design requires a knowledge of plants and you’ve got a whole garden full to learn from. Don’t let that experience go to waste, just because a season is winding down.

What went right? What always brought a smile to your face? There’s usually at least one section of your garden that works really well. That should be a key to telling you what your style of gardening is, as well as what truly grows well in your conditions. Was it the blue iris that bloomed with the bright yellow daylilies? The hummingbirds flying to your Butterfly Bush? The way your Chinese Fringe Flower made all the other plants pop? Viewing your garden in small sections makes it easy to set up season long eye candy!

What went wrong? Did the year seem like the endless year of problems? Always out there keeping things cut back? Some weird bugs showed up on your favorite plants and started eating on them and you were not sure what to do exactly? Everything seemed dying for a drink of water but your water restrictions or lack of your own time kept denying their thirst and they seemed to stay alive but not thrive?

Did you find yourself telling guests, “I wish you’d been here last week, when [fill in the blank] was in bloom?” You need to play with the sequence of bloom in your gardens. Strive for having a different section at peak at different times, rather than trying to have the whole garden in flower all season. And give more focus to colorful and unusual foliage that’s stunning all season.

Have enthusiastic growers crowded out other plants? If you’re wondering how your lilies turned into a jungle, it’s time to think about doing some thinning and dividing. If you don’t have the time for it now, at least mark the plants this fall or winter, so you won’t be tempted to let them be in the spring. New gardeners like instant plants. As your garden matures, you need to be more selective about what gets space in it. If you’re pulling your hair out about too many plants having the run of your garden, consider putting in larger plants and more specimen shrubs.

Perhaps your garden was beautiful but you just don’t seem to be enjoying it the way you used to. What about those pesky weeds? Did the weeds get away from you? Make a note to mulch earlier next year. Sometimes we get caught up in planting or waiting to see what has self-seeded. Before you know it, it’s July and every weed seed that landed in your borders has now firmly taken hold. Mulching isn’t fun, but it can free up so much time you would otherwise spend weeding and watering. If you really hate to mulch, get more plants. Exposed soil is an open invitation to weeds.

Did you take the actual time to smell your own roses? Did you spend any time sitting and enjoying your garden or better still, entertaining in your garden? It’s a joy to work in a garden, but you need to take time to appreciate what you’ve created. If you don’t have a seating area (or 2 or 3) in your garden, design one this winter. Whether it’s a small table and chairs, a couple of functional chairs or a stone patio with a fire pit, if you build it, they will come. Nothing pulls guests into the garden faster than a chair with a view?

These are just a very few ideas that pop into my head when I begin to evaluate my or a clients landscaping. Perhaps it will help you do the same. Now back to those new year resolutions and I think I am getting hungry again…

Until next time…

Happy gardening and I wish peace and prosperity to all of you in the new year.

Jimmie

Send your landscaping and gardening questions to Jimmie Gibson Jr. at http://www.absolutelybushedlandscaping.com or in care of the Prosper Press at mwilcox@prosperpressnews.com. Jimmie is the owner of Absolutely Bushed Landscaping Company. He is a resident in Prosper. His landscaping and gardening column runs every other week in the Prosper Press.

Article source: http://www.yourvalleyvoice.com/opinion/20170102/lets-evaluate-your-2016-landscaping

Surfing into spring!

“Another year has passed and all its happenings are behind us. The new year is here as it brings new beginnings for each of us to develop, experience and cherish. The January door has opened and we continue our journey through it, one day at a time.” Autumn Seagle

January 1st is here and the door to the New Year has opened! College football bowl games are winding down. Warm weather is hanging around. While kicking back into the recliner with a good book, a movie, a football game, or simply surfing the web, take the time to ponder, plan and schedule your springtime landscape and construction activities. While you are surfing into spring, please take the following points into consideration.

Sketch before digging or building: Always plan your steps in the landscaping process. Part of the planning involves sketching your ideas onto paper. Do the math! Determine the quantities of plants needed, the volume of materials necessary, and the costs to complete your project. This approach will help you determine exactly what you need and avoid wasting your hard-earned dollars.

Pursue the right resources: As you begin your planning, do the necessary research to find the professional assistance needed to determine economic savings with minimal waste from start to finish. Find the right personnel who will give you sound and accurate advice. This resourceful support and information may be partial or for the entirety of the project.

Consultation: Seek the advice of an advisor or consultant to point you in the right direction for the project. The price you pay for an hour of consultation could prove priceless, especially if it saves you money on designs, plants, supplies and other items, as well as preventing costly errors. However, do your homework before seeking such advice by creating the picture in your mind. The more ideas and facts you offer to the advisor, the more wise use you will get with their time.

Make an objective decision involving your needs and wants. Decide what you want and how you can get it. As you invest in your projects, be sure that they are do-able and user-friendly. If you cut corners on cost, quality and size, how will these decisions impact the end result? It may be less expensive to build a smaller patio or deck, but it will lose its bargain characteristics when you find it does not satisfy your needs and does not get used for its intent? It will be worth the few dollars you pay a designer to create a space that meets your criteria and be useable.

Complete your project in phases: Very few people have the necessary and available financial resources to landscape their site or property all at once. Identify the use areas (public, private and service) and divide your project into phases over the next few seasons or years. This approach will be a “pay as you develop” with current funding on hand which will save you on credit or loan costs and fees. Also, you will be able to assess your progress within each phase and make any necessary changes or modifications before moving to the next phase. Do keep each phase on a time schedule to keep your family happy and interested in the project.

Look at price and quality: You should never assume that cheaper is better! You always get what you pay for, so if you go cheap you may end up with low quality and a less desirable space. Your planning choices should include all types of retail outlets from warehouse to specialty shops to determine the best investment for you. Also, when (time of season) that you buy can be very critical in so far as being a bargain or not.  It is best to buy lumber in the winter, Christmas decorations about the first of the year, plants in middle or late season, equipment in the off-season, etc. What about personal service, expert advice, guarantees, and rebates? Are these available? And, if you are planning specialized hardscapes, seek a specialty company rather than a general installation company that seldom deals with hardscapes.

Effective shopping and buying: Develop an instinct for finding the real deals. Always accept cheaper when it’s good enough and you know for sure that quality is not sacrificed. With some items, there’s very little difference in quality between first class and economy. (Like in a plane, both sections will arrive at a destination together so are you willing to pay extra for the comfort since timing is equal?) What is the extra costs providing you? Is there any price advantage at a home improvement warehouse due to their volume buying power on plants and supplies. Or, is the quality better at the independent garden center? Always inspect your selections for quality and form before purchasing and leaving the store.

Online shopping and mail-order sources: Research catalogs and websites to expand your choices and buying power. Shopping online or by phone does offer a convenience but be assured of product quality and availability. Be certain that the company you are dealing with is reputable and not a scam. Also, are handling, shipping taxes, and other costs added to the purchase price? If so, is it now such a bargain? Buying local does make accessibility more convenient and much simpler.

Check alternate resources: As you follow through in the shopping process, look beyond stores and catalogs for bargains and good deals. Be reminded that arboretums, botanical centers, and school programs often have plant sales and may have exactly what you need. Also, keep an open line of communication with your neighbors and friends who may have extra annuals and perennials that they will share. Furthermore, cities and municipalities may offer free mulch and compost throughout the year, and construction and demolition sites may be sources of bricks and stones. By being very aware of your surroundings and what is going on in your communities, you will be one of the first to know about such opportunities.

Adapt sharing opportunities: Through friends and neighbors, you can share equipment and tools. Also, this becomes another way to be sociable and neighborly. If you are planning on renting a tiller, chipper, tractor, trencher or other piece of equipment, always plan in a manner that will provide best investment and wise use. Check with your friends and neighbors for the possibility of renting and sharing costs to complete all projects in a certain time frame.

Preparing your lawn mower: It is time to inspect and service your lawn mower for the spring and summer seasons. Don’t wait until the busy rush of March and April when repair shops get very busy. Make sure your mower blade is sharp and ready to mow. Check the spark plug for wear and replace with correct replacement if necessary. Put the proper grease into all the available grease fittings. Drain the old fuel and replace with fresh fuel. Crank the mower and let it run for a few minutes before placing back into the garage or equipment shed.

Pre-emergent herbicides: If your strategy is to preventively control the weeds in your lawn, you should start becoming familiar with your choices for herbicides. The weeds for spring and summer will start germinating in late February and continue throughout the spring.  For those weeds that are early germinators, you should be thinking about an herbicide application in middle of February. For those that germinate later in the spring, you should be thinking about an early April application. Seek professional advice for your particular situation and plans.

Sustainability:  In all that you do in your landscape, think towards low maintenance and sustainability. Always make those choices that are environmentally-friendly and cost effective.

May your horticultural and landscape efforts provide you with an atmosphere filled with ornamental appeal, spiritual contentment, and personal safety and happiness throughout the new year. Happy New Year! Blessings and Good Will to all!

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.

Article source: http://www.moultrieobserver.com/opinion/columns/surfing-into-spring/article_141420ae-d136-11e6-8cdc-174161bce4cb.html

Lets evaluate your 2016 landscaping

By the time many of you are reading this you may of recently unwrapped a nice surprise from Santa. Or perhaps finishing up that holiday meal or enjoying your favorite football team on TV. Maybe even celebrated the brand new year of 2017. Ah yes, the holidays are such a great time of year. Even though we tend to get into a “take a break” mode it can be a really good time to look back at the past year and evaluate what we did well and things perhaps we would like to tweak a bit and do a better job or improve upon. It’s a good time of evaluation and planning for the upcoming year.

This can also be a great time of year to give the same type of evaluation to your landscaping. What worked out well? What didn’t? Keep in mind that reviewing this year’s gardening triumphs and defeats is the best guarantee of success when designing the following year’s garden. Garden design requires a knowledge of plants and you’ve got a whole garden full to learn from. Don’t let that experience go to waste, just because a season is winding down.

What went right? What always brought a smile to your face? There’s usually at least one section of your garden that works really well. That should be a key to telling you what your style of gardening is, as well as what truly grows well in your conditions. Was it the blue iris that bloomed with the bright yellow daylilies? The hummingbirds flying to your Butterfly Bush? The way your Chinese Fringe Flower made all the other plants pop? Viewing your garden in small sections makes it easy to set up season long eye candy!

What went wrong? Did the year seem like the endless year of problems? Always out there keeping things cut back? Some weird bugs showed up on your favorite plants and started eating on them and you were not sure what to do exactly? Everything seemed dying for a drink of water but your water restrictions or lack of your own time kept denying their thirst and they seemed to stay alive but not thrive?

Did you find yourself telling guests, “I wish you’d been here last week, when [fill in the blank] was in bloom?” You need to play with the sequence of bloom in your gardens. Strive for having a different section at peak at different times, rather than trying to have the whole garden in flower all season. And give more focus to colorful and unusual foliage that’s stunning all season.

Have enthusiastic growers crowded out other plants? If you’re wondering how your lilies turned into a jungle, it’s time to think about doing some thinning and dividing. If you don’t have the time for it now, at least mark the plants this fall or winter, so you won’t be tempted to let them be in the spring. New gardeners like instant plants. As your garden matures, you need to be more selective about what gets space in it. If you’re pulling your hair out about too many plants having the run of your garden, consider putting in larger plants and more specimen shrubs.

Perhaps your garden was beautiful but you just don’t seem to be enjoying it the way you used to. What about those pesky weeds? Did the weeds get away from you? Make a note to mulch earlier next year. Sometimes we get caught up in planting or waiting to see what has self-seeded. Before you know it, it’s July and every weed seed that landed in your borders has now firmly taken hold. Mulching isn’t fun, but it can free up so much time you would otherwise spend weeding and watering. If you really hate to mulch, get more plants. Exposed soil is an open invitation to weeds.

Did you take the actual time to smell your own roses? Did you spend any time sitting and enjoying your garden or better still, entertaining in your garden? It’s a joy to work in a garden, but you need to take time to appreciate what you’ve created. If you don’t have a seating area (or 2 or 3) in your garden, design one this winter. Whether it’s a small table and chairs, a couple of functional chairs or a stone patio with a fire pit, if you build it, they will come. Nothing pulls guests into the garden faster than a chair with a view?

These are just a very few ideas that pop into my head when I begin to evaluate my or a clients landscaping. Perhaps it will help you do the same. Now back to those new year resolutions and I think I am getting hungry again…

Until next time…

Happy gardening and I wish peace and prosperity to all of you in the new year.

Jimmie

Send your landscaping and gardening questions to Jimmie Gibson Jr. at http://www.absolutelybushedlandscaping.com or in care of the Prosper Press at mwilcox@prosperpressnews.com. Jimmie is the owner of Absolutely Bushed Landscaping Company. He is a resident in Prosper. His landscaping and gardening column runs every other week in the Prosper Press.

Article source: http://www.edinburgreview.com/opinion/20170102/lets-evaluate-your-2016-landscaping