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Archives for February 7, 2017

Design show features projects meant to lift communities | Home and …





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Gardening Events Calendar


Feb. 10

Soup with Substance, Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Hike, snowshoe, or blaze your own skiing trail. Indoors, enjoy homemade soup, bread, dessert, and a garden-related presentation. Finish out the evening with live musical entertainment. Includes free admission to the Garden and snowshoe rental. Advanced tickets, $10, members; $15, nonmembers. At door, $12, members; $17, nonmembers. Limited seats, advance purchase recommended., 920-490-9457.


Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison. A midwinter oasis for people ready to venture out and dig their hands in the dirt. For ticket info visit or call 608-262-5256.

Feb. 17

Spring Thaw Lecture. Green Bay Botanical Garden. 6:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m. Lecture topic is The Art of Growing Food. For more information, visit

Feb. 18

Winter Escapes, Summer Dreams presented by Winnebago County Master Gardeners . 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Their annual winter gardening conference. LaSure’s Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh. Visit for registration information.

Spring Thaw Workshop. Kitchen Garden Design. Green Bay Botanical Garden. Two sessions: 9:00 a.m. – Noon or 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit

Think Spring Garden Seminar. Chippewa Valley Master Gardener Association. 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Held at the Avalon Hotel Conference Center, 1009 W. Park Ave., Chippewa Falls. For more information, contact the Chippewa County UW-Extension Office at 715-726-7950 or visit our website at

Feb. 23

Evening Garden Seminar: Selecting a Tree for Your Home Landscape. Rotary Botanical Garden. 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. For more information, visit

March 11

Spring Into Gardening. Racine and Kenosha County Master Gardeners. 9:00 a.m.- 3:15 p.m. This one day event offers a variety of sessions on gardening, plants, and horticulture related activities. Westosha Central High School, 24617 75th St., Paddock Lake.

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The Magical Garden Landscapes of Jinny Blom

The Thoughtful Gardener, at once a lavishly illustrated coffee-table tome and a friendly hands-on primer, offers a glimpse into some of the most magical gardens in the world—from a lodge in Kenya, where Kikuyu and Masai assistants broke into song when the plants were delivered, to the Buckinghamshire home of Victoria Getty, widow of Sir Paul, the philanthropist. “Lady Getty was quite terrifying,” Blom recalls with a laugh. “I asked her, ‘What do you want?’ She peered down her nose and said, ‘Well, you decide.’ It was one of my greatest experiences. I had complete freedom.”

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Mount Zion expected to accept bids for new water tower in coming weeks





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Four students receive scholarships for GROW!

Marty Grunder of Grunder Landscaping and Marty Grunder! Inc. have partnered with NALP’s Foundation to provide scholarships to four landscape and horticulture students to send them to the Grow Conference. Grunder is joining NALP’s Foundation Board of Directors in May 2017. The Foundation is dedicated to advancing professional careers in the landscape industry.

The students who received the scholarships include:

Jillian Brockmeyer was born and raised in southwest Ohio. Being passionate about the environment and nature, Cincinnati State’s horticulture program was a natural fit. She will graduate in Spring 2017, majoring in Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape Horticulture. Brockmeyer is currently working in the horticulture department at Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum. In her free time, she likes to go on hikes and grow plants. She is enthusiastic about the industry and eager to grow within it.

Brett Carmean is a sophomore studying horticulture at Auburn University. He has always loved meandering through beautiful gardens and landscapes as well as getting his hands dirty to enhancing those landscapes. Although a Maryland native, he chose Auburn in pursuit of a school that would provide him with the most educational and professional opportunities. He has always had a strong desire to do high end residential landscape installations, but is very passionate about all of the other opportunities available within the green industry.

Zac Gordon is from Piqua, Ohio and lives with his mother Shelly, father James and younger sister Samantha. He is a student at the Upper Valley Career Center enrolled in the Landscape Management lab. He is an FFA member and the Chapter Treasurer. He hopes to attend college at The Ohio State University majoring in Turfgrass Science. After College, his dream is to be able to take ownership of his family’s lawn and grounds care business when my father retires.

Camille Werner was raised in Idaho on a small farm. She is currently a junior studying horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho. While doing an internship with Bailey Nurseries in Oregon, Werner fell in love with wholesale production and wants to be a grower after graduation. Werner originally became interested in horticulture while competing in the Nursery/Landscape competition for FFA during high school. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her horse, hiking, reading, and playing with plants.

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Des Moines Home and Garden Show set for Feb. 9-12

When Jason Cameron attended his first home show, a manager asked him to do a demonstration.

Shortly after he started the presentation, “half the crowd disappeared,” said Cameron, star of DIY Network’s “Desperate Landscapes.”

“I quickly realized that if the crowd isn’t interested in what you’re doing, they won’t stick around,” he said. “At the next show, I skipped the demo and just talked to the audience on a more personal level about my work.”

Cameron has been talking to crowds about his passion for landscape architecture, carpentry and the value of trade work ever since, and he plans to do so again at the Des Moines Home and Garden Show, Thursday through Sunday at the Iowa Events Center.

Cameron is scheduled to appear on the show’s Inspiration Stage four times during the weekend, and he promises to divulge more than just tips and budget ideas from “Desperate Landscapes” and “Man Caves.”

“I’ll also be talking a lot about the behind-the-scenes stuff that happens on the shows,” he said.

Joining Cameron on the Des Moines Home and Garden Show stage will be rising stars Andy and Candis Meredith of the upcoming HGTV/DIY series “Old Home Love.” The Merediths will be talking about historic home preservation on Thursday and Friday, and audiences can expect to learn more about their new television series.

While celebrity presentations will be a highlight of the show, familiar faces will be featured on the floor. More than 400 exhibitors will be ready to greet visitors and give a glimpse into their business offerings.

“We’ve been at the Des Moines Home and Garden Show since 1984,” said Paul Despenas of Midwest Construction. “It’s a great opportunity to meet homeowners, and gives us a chance to showcase the work we do.”

Many booths will include full-size demonstrations and examples of their work, for an up-close look at products. Visitors to the show will also benefit from the opportunity to talk to companies they’re interested in working with, and gather ideas and inspiration for their own home projects.

“The Des Moines Home and Garden Show is fresh every year,” said Despenas.

Visitors will also get a break from the current winter landscape, when strolling through the Feature Gardens in the exhibit hall. The latest garden trends, as well as conventional gardening methods, will be showcased in the interactive gardens, as well as new landscaping styles, a wide variety of plants and tips for gardeners.

Trends in the industry will also be on display, such as an example of small-space living. The Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity|Restore will have a “Studio in a Box,” which is made from a shipping container.

“The display helps show attendees imagine what they could do with items you can find at both ReStore locations, like plumbing fixtures, lighting, paint supplies, flooring, and other construction materials,” said Jenna Ekstrom of Restore. “At the show, we’re able to meet thousands of people and connect them to both the Restore and Habitat for Humanity. The Des Moines Home and Garden Show is really all about making connections.”

If you go


Thursday: noon to 9 p.m. 

Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Adults (at the door) $12

Adults (online only) $10

Children (ages 7-12) $4

Children (ages 6 under) free


Iowa Events Center, 730 3rd Street, Des Moines


Find more details at

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Conifers provide texture, color through winter season

Conifers in every shape and size show their true colors during the peak of winter when picturesque snowfalls decorate their branches and their beautiful colors are a showcase feature of the winter garden.

Evergreens are more than just green in today’s world. There are conifers, or evergreens, that feature foliage in rich shades of blue, gold, chartreuse as well as traditional deep green. With some evergreens, you also get splashes of red and purple as new growth and cones begin to appear in spring and early summer.

Conifers provide much-needed texture, color and beautiful form in the garden during all seasons, but especially so during winter when deciduous trees and shrubs drop their foliage and many garden perennials have lost their flair.

An assortment of conifers in a variety of shapes and sizes forms a permanent backbone or architecture in the garden to last during all four seasons.

The classic conical or spire shape of many evergreens is the perfect complement to fresh fallen snows that decorate the branches throughout winter.

Weeping and asymmetrical or unusual form evergreens and conifers are becoming all the rage among landscapers and gardeners. These may twist, sag, drape their branches and sprawl in bizarre form in the garden, making them an attractive and unusual addition to any landscape.

There are also a wide variety of conifers that spread or sprawl close to the ground, creating a carpet of texture and color.

Miniature or dwarf conifers are among the hottest plants in gardening and landscaping, easy to grow, compact and useful in many garden situations.

Colorful conifers

Combining colorful conifers in the garden is a great way to add interest all season long. In addition to the classic green conifers available, pick up a few gold and blue additions to create wonderful tapestries of color and texture that really stand out against winter snows.

The classic blue spruce is now available in many forms, including a large number of dwarf and miniature varieties, as well as creeping form blue spruce that are perfect for hillsides, slopes and rock walls.

Many varieties of juniper are available in beautiful shades of icy blue, as well.

Golden conifers are becoming my favorite class of evergreens, bright and beautiful in all four seasons. There a golden junipers, arborvitae, and others that are glorious in the winter garden, especially when perfectly placed alongside conifers in rich, powdery blue.

An array of textures

Conifers are excellent choices for wonderful texture in the garden. From short, stubby needles to long, wiry fronds and scaly, intertwined boughs, The many different textures of conifers make them excellent choices for landscaping and gardening. Combine textures of various types for a rich display of garden beauty.

Songbird shelter

In addition to their visual benefit and architectural element, conifers are an excellent choice for gardens and landscapes where songbirds and wildlife are treasured.

Placing conifers near birdfeeders is an excellent idea as small songbirds such as chickadees, goldfinches and others have added security to escape hunting hawks and other predators.

Find Rob Zimmer online at On Facebook at

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Gardening tips for February

For answers to all your home gardening questions, call the Master Gardeners in Tulare County at 684-3325, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:30 and 11:30 am; or Kings County at 852-2736, Thursday Only, 9:30-11:30 a.m; or visit our website to search past articles, find links to UC gardening information, or to email us with your questions: 

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Gardening Tips: Coping with cold – Columbia-Greene Media …

Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2017 12:15 am

Gardening Tips: Coping with cold

By Bob Beyfuss
For Columbia-Greene Media

Plants do not have the luxury of heading south for the winter as some people and many birds do, although I do know some snowbirds who pack up and move their houseplants south with them each year.

Plants have evolved some tricky mechanisms for dealing with freezing and even subzero temperatures. Herbaceous perennials use their leaves to make sugars through photosynthesis, which they turn into starch in the fall to better store carbohydrate reserves in their roots for the winter. Allowing the top growth to die back each fall is a clever way to survive. Once the ground has frozen they simply sleep it out, protected by the thermal mass of soil they live in. Soil temperatures remain pretty stable throughout the winter and they may be as much as 20-30 degrees warmer then ambient air temperatures.

The main danger to perennials surviving winter are periods of freezing and thawing that occur when sunlight reaches the soil surface to warm it during the day, followed by freezing again at night. Water is one of the few substances that expands when frozen and that water expanding into thawed soil pushes solid objects upward, toward the thawed topsoil and away from the harder, frozen subsoil. This is why your garden seemingly “grows” new crops of rocks almost every year. The rocks in your garden, which appear on or near the soil surface each May, were buried the previous fall. Perennial roots are likewise subject to “heaving” and once they are “pushed” to the soil surface they may be killed by cold temperatures later on. If your garden has lost its protective cover of snow, which insulates and keeps the soil frozen, now would be a good time to apply several inches of mulch to keep the soil frozen. This is why it is a good idea to store some mulch each fall in a place where it does not freeze into a solid brick.

Woody plants also have their winter challenges, especially broad leaved evergreens such as rhododendrons. Sunlight triggers photosynthesis, a series of chemical reactions that requires plants to inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen gasses. This exchange of gas occurs in tiny pores on the lower surfaces of leaves called stomates. Water is also required for photosynthesis and water vapor is also lost through these pores. When the ground is frozen the uptake of water is difficult at best and plants can easily become desiccated.

The next time we have a really cold snap, observe the leaves of your rhododendron. Notice how they curl themselves into little rolls that look like green Tootsie rolls. The reason they do this is to limit the amount of green leaf surface area exposed to sunlight and to protect the open stomates on the lower leaf surface. If you use an antidessicant spray such as “wilt proof,” make sure you spray the lower leaf surfaces to clog the stomates and limit water loss. The best time to apply antidessicants is on a relatively warm and sunny winter day. Fortunately, the rate of photosynthesis, like most chemical reactions, is slowed dramatically by cold temperatures.

Trees also have bark, an amazing tissue that insulates the water filled vessels beneath and prevents these vessels from freezing and exploding. Ice may form in the space between the inner cells but generally not in the cells themselves. Woody plants also use energy from some of their stored food reserves in the roots to prevent freezing. It may appear that woody plants simply sleep through the winter, but they are hardly resting at all. Like us humans they are just waiting it out and doing the best they can to cope.

  • Discuss


Saturday, February 4, 2017 12:15 am.

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This week’s gardening tips: prune hardy fruit trees, mulch beds, direct-seed lettuce


This week’s gardening tips: This month, fertilize hardy fruit trees, such as apple, peach, pear and plum, and fruit bushes, such as blackberry, blueberry and grape vines. Choose a general purpose fertilizer or a fruit tree fertilizer and follow label directions. For blueberries, use an acid-loving plant fertilizer.

Hardy fruit trees should be pruned now. For information on pruning fruit trees, contact your local LSU AgCenter Extension office for a copy of “Louisiana Home Orchard” or view it  at

Keep beds mulched to a depth of 2 to 3 inches to control cool-season weeds. Use leaves, pine straw or other available materials. To reduce the risk of termites, remember to keep mulches pulled back 8 to 12 inches from the foundation of slab houses and pillars of raised houses.

Lettuce can be direct seeded into the garden now through the end of February. Good varieties include Black Seeded Simpson, Oakleaf, Redsails, Cos Romaine, Buttercrunch and many others.

Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter.

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