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Archives for January 31, 2017

Design your vegetable garden for success

A well-designed vegetable garden is a wonderful source of fresh produce for the chef, but it can also be a favorite garden destination, a place to retreat to and relax. If you plan it right, a kitchen garden can be the prettiest planting on your property.

Start by choosing a site that meets the requirements of the plants. Vegetables of all kinds flourish in sun, so find a spot that gets a good eight hours of direct sunlight. Your site should be level, on a part of your property that you walk past every day, and convenient to the kitchen. It’s important to have a nearby source of water so you don’t have to drag a hose or carry watering cans too far. These are the basics. After that, let your imagination go.

“Design is often what is missing from the vegetable garden, yet it is the most important element to enjoying the garden,” says Ellen Ecker Ogden, who recommends including a bench, table, pergola or arbor in the design to make it more inviting. “It’s a nice way to say, ‘I like it here. I don’t just come here to work and pull weeds,’” she says.

Ogden, the author of “The Complete Kitchen Garden,” went to art school, but “then I turned into a gardener,” she says. She balanced her interests by becoming a kitchen-garden designer. Her four-square garden in Vermont is as pretty as it is productive, with lettuce and greens growing in sweeping curves, lozenges and circles instead of traditional rows. “It’s really a visual thing for me as much as it is a food thing,” she says.

Most people start with a space that’s too big. “They have an appetite to grow everything,” Ogden says. Instead, pick and choose your crops just as you would at a market. The selection of fresh produce at local markets expands every year, so maybe you don’t need to grow your own eggplant or zucchini. Instead, you might want to concentrate on salad greens, Ogden says, especially if you’re a new gardener. “They grow fast, there are not many pests and they have really high nutrition per square foot,” she says.

Instead of growing six tomato plants, you might decide to make room for just one or two, perhaps a cherry tomato and one other. That leaves room for herbs, such as basil and oregano, to help those tomatoes taste even better.

Color should also play a role in your choices, just as it does in flower beds. Plant a mixture of red and green lettuces, or train golden wax beans up a tepee. Flowers grown right alongside your vegetables not only fill the garden with bright colors, but also attract pollinators and beneficial insects that help manage pests in your vegetable beds. Ogden loves to plant nasturtiums in her kitchen garden. She likes calendulas and marigolds, especially the little signet marigolds called “Lemon Gem.” She also relies on the flowers of some vegetable crops to add a flourish. Scarlet runner beans have bright red blooms that attract hummingbirds. Okra flowers look like sunny yellow hibiscus.

Texture is a big element in interesting gardens, too. Frilly lettuces look like a luxurious ruffled petticoat around the edge of a vegetable garden. Shiny red and green peppers sparkle among the foliage. The feathery tops of carrots and the spiky foliage of onions and leeks give the eye a lot of contrast to enjoy. Herbs of all kinds add still more texture, as well as fragrance.

To give a vegetable garden even more character, build upward. In Ogden’s garden, an arbor lifts pole beans up into the light. Peas, cucumbers and even melons can be grown on a sturdy trellis. Just remember, tall elements should be placed toward the back of the garden (which should be on the north side) so they do not shade out crops in front.

Sprawling plants may need a place of their own. Especially if you have a small garden, pots are a great way to grow more crops without giving up much space in the ground. Ogden plants pumpkins in half a whiskey barrel near her driveway instead of giving them space in her kitchen garden. Last year, she also grew tomatoes, summer squash and potatoes in pots.

Vegetable gardening doesn’t have to be hard or expensive, Ogden says. Start small, with beds no more than 4 feet wide. Sketch out a pretty planting plan on paper, and leave plenty of room for generous paths. Make liberal use of steppingstones so you don’t compact your soil while working in your beds. Sow seeds or plant transplants of a good variety of crops you can harvest over a long season. Then, look forward to spending some time in your garden every day, inspecting its progress, thinning and weeding if necessary, and harvesting a few leaves of lettuce or fresh tomatoes for your dinner salad. And don’t forget that garden bench. “Food is important and functional, but it’s important to me to have the garden look nice, too,” Ogden says. In a well-designed kitchen garden, you can count on a bumper crop of satisfaction.

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Longwood Gardens Sets Date For Main Fountain Garden Opening …

KENNETT SQUARE, Pennsylvania, Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Longwood Gardens today announced its Main Fountain Garden will make its grand return on May 27, 2017, following a two-year, $90 million revitalization.

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The crown jewel of the most significant fountain collection in North America, Longwood’s Main Fountain Garden rivals the magnificent fountains of Europe with its beauty and ingenious application of leading-edge technologies and design. The Garden will premiere with a Summer of Spectacle delighting visitors with incredible fountain shows, fireworks, tours and programs to jump start a season of celebration.

“The revitalization of our iconic Main Fountain Garden is the largest project in Longwood’s history since the passing of our founder in 1954 and to share its return with our guests is incredibly exciting,” said Paul B. Redman, Longwood Gardens President and CEO. “Thanks to the efforts of our amazing and world-renowned design, engineering and historic preservation partners, as well as our most talented and dedicated Longwood team, our legendary Main Fountain Garden is back and more spectacular than ever.”

The premiere Summer of Spectacle season, May 27– September 30, will include an array of special programming. In addition to daily fountains shows, guests will enjoy tours, concerts, and special events throughout the summer. The gardens will have extended visiting hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for evening illuminated Fountain Shows. In addition, the popular Fireworks Fountains shows, featuring illuminated fountains and fireworks choreographed to music, will return with six exciting special shows on May 28, July 2, July 22, August 12, September 2, and September 16. General admission tickets and Fireworks Fountains show tickets go on sale in the spring.

Reimagining a Grand Garden
The Main Fountain Garden is a hallmark of the Longwood experience visited by more than 1.35 million people each year. In 1931, Longwood’s founder Pierre S. du Pont debuted the Main Fountain Garden, which was inspired by 20th century technology from the world’s fairs and the beauty of renowned European gardens. As Longwood embarked on preserving the Garden, the team looked to the future to honor his vision and ensure the continued enjoyment of the fountains with an original concept of “adaptive restoration” guiding thousands of design, restoration, and technology application decisions.

“A fountain and garden are living, joyful gifts and the charge of reawakening the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood is an exercise in creativity, thoughtfulness, and responsibility. It demands respect for how forward-looking the space was in its era and carrying that intent forward to build a magical, innovative, and full sensory experience. It is a place both heralded and unique in the world,” said Redman.

Highlights of the project include a complete restoration of 4,000 pieces of limestone, new mechanical and electrical infrastructure, and a brand new Garden experience, the Grotto. To improve guest access, enhanced pathways, an elaborate boxwood hedge, and inviting alleés are being created. The use of cutting-edge technology will bring the fountain displays soaring to greater heights, making the revitalized Main Fountain Garden a truly unmatched visitor experience.

The revitalization of Longwood’s Main Fountain Garden is the largest fountain preservation project of its kind in the United States. Such a massive and complex effort takes the talent, skill set and care of a dream team to restore the old while introducing the new. Longwood is collaborating with a stellar international lineup of leading firms dedicated to historic preservation, landscape architecture, and water feature design including:

  • Beyer Blinder Belle, the premier architectural firm specializing in historic preservation, is leading the renovation project and a team of local, national, and international designers. BBB is also leading efforts related to reimagining the existing architecture to accommodate a greater range of guests and to improve access to different areas of the Garden.
  • West 8, a world renowned landscape architecture firm, is designing the garden’s public spaces to amplify the original design and enhance the Main Fountain Garden’s horticultural elements, as well as creating gardens that will be new amenities for Longwood’s guests.
  • Fluidity Design Consultants, a Los Angeles-based water feature design and engineering firm, oversees the incorporation of state-of-the-art infrastructure to the fountains. They are also adding exciting new capabilities to control the water’s movement that will enhance Longwood’s renowned Illuminated Fountain Shows set to music.

For information about the Main Fountain Garden and Summer of Spectacle season, visit

About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, Pa., to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the performing arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship, and community engagement.

Longwood Gardens is on US Route 1 near Kennett Square, Pa., 30 miles west of Philadelphia. Details can be found at                                           

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Circular garden walkway cuts straight through Japanese timber home

Serious gardeners love to have their
green space as close to their home as possible, but one Japanese couple’s love for gardening has literally come “full circle”. Designed by Fujiwaramuro Architects, the House in Mukainada has a continuous concrete garden promenade that cuts straight through the couple’s tiny timber clad home.

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Located in Hiroshima, the home was designed to integrate the garden into the design, making it easier for the elderly couple to enjoy their greenery. The home’s compact volume stems from wanting to protect the existing Japanese dogwood trees found on the lot. As part of the design, the architects built an earthquake-resistant wall around the perimeter that pulls double duty as a privacy fence.

Related: Beautiful Greenhouse from Bangkok is a miniature garden you can bring inside

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Once the cedar-clad structure was designed, the architects began to build a circular earthen floor that lined up with the home’s two entrances. This round pathway was then was covered in concrete, leaving space for various planting holes. The garden design is meant to grow with the homeowners, so that eventually, they will be able to stroll through a verdant walkway without having to get their feet dirty. On the interior, the walls and flooring are also covered in oak, with a wide path of paler wood leading from the outdoor walkway through the home and back out again.

The compact 800-square-foot space has one bedroom, an office space and a kitchen and bathroom. For now the home serves as a place for the family to socialize, but it was designed to be adaptable for various future uses, such as a community center or gallery space.

+ Fujiwaramuro Architects

Via Archdaily

Photography by Toshiyuki Yano

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Smyrna Oysterfest: 16 things to do in metro Atlanta this weekend

Whether you’re planning to remodel your home, or looking for landscaping ideas for your yard, the Atlanta Build, Remodel and Landscape Expo has you covered. Get a chance to talk to experts, take part in seminars, watch demonstrations and peruse flooring, cabinetry, finished, siding and more.

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O’Meara: Don’t miss Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants Conference

If you go

What: Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants conference, presented by the Butterfly Pavilion, Colorado State University Extension, Colorado Native Plant Master Program, Colorado Native Plant Society, Denver Botanic Gardens, and High Plains Environmental Center

When: Saturday, Feb. 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Thomas M. McKee 4-H, Youth Community Building, The Ranch Events Center at Larimer County Fairgrounds, , 5280 Arena Circle, Loveland

Cost: $35-$90

More info:

Conference and seminar planners have been busy this winter, planning an array of classes to expand gardeners’ minds and feed their souls. If you’re looking to change up your landscape by going back to natives, check out the Landscaping With Colorado Native Plants Conference on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Ranch Events Center in Loveland.

Now in its second year, this blockbuster natives event features design, construction and inspiration for using natives in your garden.

Kicking off the event is a panel of experts and viewing of Hometown Habitat film clips, celebrating native plant landscapes in our area. Moderator Susan Tweit, author and plant biologist, will lead an inspiring discussion with Connie Holsinger, founder of Habitat Heroes Project; Alison Peck, designer with Matrix Gardens; and Linda Boley, a Habitat Hero.

Carol OMeara

Participants can choose to attend five smaller breakout sessions, focusing education on what helps you plan for success with native plants. The list of topics includes: Native Plants for Western Slope Gardens by Denver Botanic Gardens’ Nick Daniel; Designing with Native Plants by Susan J. Tweit; and Creating Native Plant Landscapes: Can Do Ideas for Beginners (two-part talk) by designer Anne Clark.

In session two, check out: Southeast and Plains Area Natives by Don Barnett, and Establishing Natives: Native Plant Whisperer by Jim Borland, a consultant, horticulturist and radio host. Session three offers Mountain Gardening with Natives: Firewise and Waterwise by CSU Extension Agent Irene Shonle; or Dryer Plants for a New Landscape Era by local plant legend Kelly Grummons.

Sessions four and five include Gardening with Native Plants of the Front Range by CSU Extension agent Deryn Davidson; Plant This, Not That: Colorado Native Plant Alternatives to Common Garden Plants by Colorado Native Plant Society’s Jennifer Bousselot, a CSU instructor; Ask an Expert: Follow up Questions and Conversation conference partners panel; and Water Conservation and Water Requirements for our Native Plants by Denver Botanic Gardens’ Dan Johnson and Northern Water’s Mary Hattendorf.

There’s even a track for pros, with Landscape Restoration: Native Plants on a Bigger Scale by the Butterfly Pavilion’s Amy Yarger and Jim Tolstrup, executive director of the High Plains Environmental Center; Creating Homes for Native Plants by Alison Peck; and Propagation of the Native Plants of the Interior West: Secrets Revealed by Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery’s Scott Skogerboe.

Lunch, drinks and snacks are provided with your registration fee and vendor booths will be open during registration, lunch and breaks.

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North Carolina Museum of Art integrates landscape, culture

North Carolina Museum of Art Wave Garden

The Wave Garden is one of the new additions to the NCMA Park.
Photo: Courtesy of NCMA

Nature and museums don’t seem like they would mix well, but the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) is working to change that perception with its expanded park project.

The expansion of the NCMA Park began in August 2015 and was completed in November 2016.

Civitas, a landscape architecture firm based in Denver, Colorado, was put to the task of designing a park that connects art, nature and people.

“Moving the Museum into nature provides a memorable and ever-changing means of connecting to art and culture, as well as a social experience that resonates in today’s world,” said Mark Johnson, founding president of Civitas.

The goal of the development was to combine the museum and park into one memorable destination and to reimagine what a museum could be.

Rather than just create a traditional sculpture park, Civitas designed both formal and informal environments that could invite a variety of different experiences.


A drone view of the Ellipse during the temporary installation of Amanda Parer’s Intrude.
Photo: Courtesy of NCMA

The expansion included the construction of the Ellipse, the Promenade, Wave Gardens, Parterre Lawn and Gardens and new Blue Ridge Parking.

The Ellipse features a central lawn encircled by a 600-foot ipe-wood bench. Temporary public art installations can be placed here or it can be used for relaxing and playing.

The Promenade provides a long view as it winds through the 164-acre property. In the Wave Garden, more than 150,000 plants bow and dance on 20 mounded contemporary gardens. This area is interspersed with paths and benches.

The Parterre Lawn and Gardens connect the Ellipse and Wave Gardens to Blue Ridge Road, and are another space that can be used for art installations or events. The new parking lot added more than 500 new parking spaces and a 1,000-foot-long water quality garden will catch water from the parking areas to help filter out pollutants.

“By giving definition to the Park, we enable new programs, art events and public and private gatherings where the Museum community can invent new ways of rethinking what an art museum can mean to them,” Johnson said.

The $13 million project certainly attracted a crowd in November when it opened. The Ellipse was the temporary home to Australian artist Amanda Parer’s Intrude, which consisted of five giant inflatable rabbits.

More than 25,000 people visited during the Intrude installation’s 12 days of events.

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Awakening the senses in the new year

Now that we are close to a month into winter, it is time for the gardener in us to slow down, reflect and refresh. It is time to get into all of those garden books you have collected, do some serious reading and also to look at all of the plant nursery catalogues that have come in. You say you don’t have any garden books? May I suggest a trip to one of our local Halifax Library branches and check out some of the books they have on hand.

I bet you are tired of raking leaves, right? Now you can see the trees in the landscape and forest. Without leaves, trees look a whole lot different and show off their structure without all of that greenery hiding everything.

Find a woodland trail, albeit in South Boston along the Tobacco Heritage Trail or at Edmunds Park. Take a walk and enjoy the scenery. Any favorite woodland trail is a totally different experience in the winter. It has been said that a forest shows its winter bones.

Like forests, your winter stricken gardens and landscape provide new views, insights and inspiration … yes, inspiration for what you want to see in the coming spring.

Part of planning for next year’s garden and landscaping changes might include, besides reading about possibilities, a trip or two to visit some public gardens. Public gardens generally will have many different species and varieties/cultivars of plants that you may want to consider.

One excellent place to visit is the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. What a relief to go into the arboretum located below the Capital, especially after a wintry trek on the mall.

Inside this beautiful building you will find flora and fauna from around the globe as well as from around the country. After you have soaked up the sights, smells and colors in that warm moist air, you may want to check out Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, just west of I-385 off Little River Turnpike, where you will find Virginia Master Gardener volunteers involved in the annual upkeep, and you also may get a tour of these beautiful gardens.

In fact, at many of our gardens throughout Virginia and North Carolina, you are likely to run into Master Gardeners involved in the care and tours.

J. C. Raulston in Raleigh is another highlight stop for any plant enthusiasts. These gardens are close enough that you may be interested in some of the upcoming programs just down the road from us. The new year programs at J. Raulston Arboretum started Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 1 p.m. with the “Plantsmen’s Tour” taking in the Winter Wonders with Director Mark Weathington leading the tour.

The following week on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. a lecture was held at the arboretum entitled “Exploring Cuba and South Africa with the J.C. Raulston Arboretum.”

There is generally very informative programming throughout the calendar year at the arboretum. The director is very knowledgeable and someone I’ve worked with before over the years when he was the director of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens prior to going to NCSU. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech, so he probably has a hard time sitting on either side of the stadium at a football game when those two teams play.

If you are really adventurous and want to travel further north, consider visiting Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square Pennsylvania or take the Amtrak trip to New York and take in the New York Botanical Gardens and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

If you are leaning towards a southern excursion, I-85 will take you close to some wonderful choices such as the Atlanta Botanical Gardens or Callaway Gardens west of Atlanta at Pine Mountain, Georgia.

Heading on into Alabama you will find Bellingrath Gardens and Home, located in Theodore, Alabama, which is near Dauphin Island, Alabama. If you are inclined to check out the deep southern gardens of Florida, there is the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden located at Coral Gables, Florida. Also if in the Largo area, consider the Florida Botanical Gardens. There are 13 major botanical gardens in Florida, so let your fingers do a search on the internet, and you will find many places to go (while it is icy/snowy in Virginia).

Just don’t forget to write down those desirable plants that you’ll find along the way. You know…keep focused on the reason for the trip; gardening and landscaping ideas.

After visiting a few of these gardens, or just doing some cruising on the internet, you should have some inspiration for what you might like to incorporate in your garden and landscape as spring gets closer and closer.

Remember, plants awaken our senses in many ways such as through sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. Yes, hearing is affected by the sounds of the pollinators hard at work in the spring. The senses bring fascination, and with that, pleasure.

Fragrance and aromas in the landscape can be a specific pleasure created to make you excited about going out each and every day. In the true traditional southern culture, many of us purposely plant fragrant roses.

There are gardenias that will survive and do well here in Southside Virginia, but not much further north. The fragrances generated by the flowers will have you looking for the pollinators that also love them, honeybees. Oh, for the pleasurable whiff of newly bloomed old-fashion rose, fresh cut grass or a quick afternoon rain shower. The sense of smell will be awoken. Want more of such pleasure? Then do plan and plant aromatic plants in your beds.

Consider cultivating fragrance and aromas as an enhancement to the gardening life and well-being. In the spring, the sense of sight is the most anxious. Imagine that first glimpse of a cheerful daffodil peeking out of winter litter and mulch. Some daffodils are fragrant, so why not plan for early boosts to the senses of sight and smell? Plant a fragrant daffodil in the fall, or even take the risk of planting some on a winter day.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget fragrant hyacinths. Do you appreciate subtle aromas that do not waft but that invite a personal, up-close whiff or brushing against? The choices are many all through the gardening season.

As I said, the resources are many; visiting botanical gardens and arboretums, our local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office, local libraries and from your smartphone or computer.

To cut out some of your searching, I have put together a list of aromatic plants (minus always-fragrant herbs) to consider growing in your garden. This list came from the book, “The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being” by Kathi Keville.

Balsam fir, clematis, clove pink/dianthus, daphne, flowering tobacco/nicotiana, freesia, gardenia, geranium, heliotrope, hyacinth, iris, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lilac, lily-of-the-valley, Mexican orange flower, mock orange, oriental lily, phlox, poet’s daffodil, primrose, rose, stock, sweet box/sarcococca, sweet flag, sweet pea, sweet pepperbush, tuberose, trumpet flower, viburnum, violet, wallflower, wintersweet and witch hazel.

This list will give you a wide variety of choices in color, height, coverage etc. Not all varieties of a species are fragrant, so you need to check closely on each to make sure that is the variety you want prior to purchasing.

If you see “sweet” or “ordorata/odoratus” in the plant’s botanical name, it should have aroma to it. Some people would add Yarrow to the list as well. Yarrow is one of those plants that the Native American peoples used for medicinal purposes, but the pungent odor isn’t pleasing to some folks who will turn up their nose at having it in the garden/landscape. Yarrow also was used as an insect repellant, but then your spouse might not be too happy if you went “native” and used it around him or her.

When you use these senses in designing and building a landscape pleasing to you, you have awoken more in you.

Many of the above plants will draw beneficial insects, birds, mammals, that will add to your sense of sight, sound and redirect nature’s wonders closer to home — just a new way to look for change in your gardening and landscaping.

Okay, some mammals aren’t welcome, but we can’t control that.

After all of your planning and ordering plants and bulbs, then on those cold damp days of winter when you don’t want to do anything outdoors, you can engage in arts and crafts projects to transform the spoils of gardening into other forms and uses that can continue to fascinate you.

Watch for advertised educational opportunities to make hardscape items for your garden.

Our Halifax County Master Gardeners are always putting on educational programs and do advertise them in our local newspapers. Just watch for these announcements of upcoming programs and call and sign up to attend.

If you have an idea for a program that you would like to see, you can always drop me an email at and share your ideas. In the meantime, I’ll be doing a lot of planning, planting and awakening my senses as well. 

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Tree-Felling and Gardening Services in South Africa 2016

LONDON, Jan. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The South African Tree Felling and Gardening Services Sector: The South African tree felling and gardening services sector is a fragmented sector that comprises hundreds of companies ranging from SMMEs employing no more than five people to large companies that provide services to large corporate and government entities. With no formal research conducted by the sector, there is no reliable estimate for the value or size of the industry.

A sector Under Pressure : The country’s weak economic climate and the increasing financial strain on households has led to a shift away from non-essential costs such as gardening services and this, together with the decreasing size of urban dwellings, has resulted in a decline in the demand for residential gardening and landscaping services. In the commercial sector, landscape architects who generally work closely with developers, architects, civil engineers and municipal authorities have also experienced slower growth, due to weak activity in South Africa’s construction industry and the reduction in government’s spending on infrastructure.

Environmentally Friendly Trends:
Companies in the sector have seen increasing demand for ‘indigenous’ and ‘organic’ gardens, as customers have realised the urgency of protecting and preserving the country’s natural resources. The trend towards water-wise planting and the use of sustainable organic methods has increased and garden landscapers continue to promote environmental responsibility by using exclusively organic compost and fertilisers, recycling compost, and sourcing natural stone from local quarries in an effort to minimise carbon footprint.

Report Coverage:

The South African Tree Felling and Gardening Services Sector report describes current conditions, training initiatives and other factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 18 companies including leaders in the landscaping sector, Servest Landscaping, Abacus Garden Enterprises and Bidvest Landscaping, previously known as Topturf. Also profiled are tree felling companies, Tree Fellas Inc, Fastfell CC, Leon du Plessis Arborcare CC t/a Arborcare, Singenza Tree Felling CC and Topfell CC, all SMMEs based in the Western Cape.
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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

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Home & Garden Tips – Virginia, MN

One of the healthiest things that can be done for the entire family is vegetable gardening. Not only does gardening provide plenty of exercise, but the taste and nutrition of that produce is outstanding. More…

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IN THE GARDEN: Tips for growing African violets

African violets are among the most popular indoor plants.

Healthy violet plants require the proper temperature, light and humidity, as well as adequate moisture and the right soil.

For best results, avoid placing your plants where temperatures are above 90 degrees F or below 60 degrees F. To avoid leaf burn, avoid placing plants near drafts or having the leaves touching glass windowpanes.

To insure continuous bloom, a southern or western window offers the best light in winter. During warmer seasons, consider moving the plants to an eastern or northern exposure. Consider trying fluorescent lights.

Humidity is very important. Consider placing your plants on a tray filled with water and pebbles to increase humidity. Maintain a shallow level of water in the tray and do not allow the pots to sit in water. Misting is not recommended because the leaves can develop water ring spots.

Soil moisture and proper watering are critical. Touch the soil surface with your fingertips and if it feels dry, add room temperature water. Do not allow the soil to completely dry out or the plant will wilt, which can cause root damage. You can water from the top or the bottom. If you water from the top, move the leaves aside so that water is not splashed onto the leaves.

For information, visit Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County’s website at or call our Horticulture Hot Line at 736-3394 and ask to speak to a master gardener volunteer.


Rosanne Loparco is a master gardener volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County. Look for more gardening tips in the Times Telegram or online at

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